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1 






PETITION. 



pRoyiiroE OF Canada, > 
District or Montreal. $ 

To the Honorable the Members of the House of Assembly of the Province of 
Canada^ in Parliament assembled. 

THE PETITION OF THE CENSITAIRES OF THE PARISH OF ST. 
IGNACE OF COTEAU DU LAO, IN THE COUNTY OF VAUDREUIL, 

Humbly Shkweth: 

That this Province would, long since, have been in a flourishing condition if the 
water-power which it contains had not been locked up under the dominion of the 
Seigniorial Tenure, while the Seigniors themselves make little or no use of it. 

That Capitalists would have invested their money here, established manufactures 
of every kind, founded villages, and spread abroad prosperity. 

That it becomes more and more urgent that Your Honorable House should 
take this subject into consideration, and make such change for the improvement 
of the Country, as may be neither burthensome to its inhabitants, nor unjust to the 
proprietors of the Seigniories. 

That in the opinion of Your humble Petitioners, a declaratory Act ought to be 
passed to define the just rights of the Seigniors, and to fix the reiUes at a reasonable 
rate. 

That in the Feudal Tenure a great number of restrictions, charges, honorary 
and profitable rights and privileges exist, whichought to disappear ; and this is so much 
the more necessary that several of the Seigniors still maintain them, and turn them 
to profitable account to the great injury of society. 

That in the Seigniories of Soulanges and New Longueuil, there is but one 
saw-mill which belongs to the Seignior, who rarely saws for the inhabitants. Another 
was put up by the Honorable Peter McGill, and has been the subject of a law-suit 
with the Seignior, since its erection. 

That among other things, the following rights ought, in the opinion of Your 
humble Petitioners, more particularly to receive the attention of Your Honorable 
House: 

Tho Drokde Betrait (Right of preemption) ought to be exercised only in case 
of iVaudulent sales. 

The privileged claim of all water-power and mill-sites ought to belong to the 
proprietor of the land on which they exist. 

The right of Banality ought to be abolished, in order to excite a spirit of enter- 
prise, and give the inhabitants the advantage of possessing mills of the best kind. 

The loils et vctUes should not bo levied on improvements. 






2 

The privileged riirht of hypothec in favor of the Seignior, to the prejudice of 
the droit (Vancicniiete, appears to your Petitioners one of the most injurious and 
unjust of laws. 

That every Deed of Sale or Concession, containing clauses contraiy to justice 
and reason, ought to be considered as null and void. 

That the Seigniors ought to he indemnified for the just and reasonable righti 
which they would be obliged to relinqnish on the passing of a law for the purpose of 
regenerating the Country, and placing it on a footing of equality with the fl4J*c«nt 
Countries of Upper Canada and the United States. 

That such indemnity ought to be paid in part by the relinquishment of the 
droit du quint by the Government, if it so think fit, or by some thing of a similar 
nature and by a sum to be paid to the Seignior by all the Cetisitaircs, which ought 
not to exceed six pence per superficial arpcnt. 

In short, that a just and liberal indemnity be granted to them, without how- 
ever compelling the Ceiaitaires to purchase the Seigniories. The Seigniorial Tenure 
being intrinsically suitable to the inhabitants oi the Country, it would suffice to pur- 
chase from the proprietors of the Seigniories 'uch privileges as they have made no use 
of, to the present day, to the great damage of the Country in general. 

That the Commutation, which ought to be based on the absolute value of the 
soil, and on the indemnity to be psud to the Seignior, ought to be voluntary on the 
part of the Censitaire, and the Seignior, having been indemnified, as mentioned in 
the preceding paragraph, would be entitled to levy Ventes and lods et Rentes from 
those who should not have commuted. 

Whereupon your Petitioners pray that Your Honorable House will, in its pre- 
sent Session, adopt measures to attain the solution of this question, unless you find 
difficulties which it may be impossible to overcome, and inconsistent with the welfare 
of the greater number. 



(Signed,) G. BBAUDET, 

And 1^3 others. 



And Your Petitioners will ever pray. 



St Ignace du Coteau du Lac, 
lltii September, 1852. 

We, the undersigned, hereby certify that the signatures here written were volun* 
farily given to us in furtherance of the above Petition. 

(Signed,) ALEX. St. AMOUR. 

( " ) L. ADAMS. 



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