Atlantic borderland: natives, fishers, planters and merchants in Notre Dame Bay, 1713-1802

Dwyer, Allan (2012) Atlantic borderland: natives, fishers, planters and merchants in Notre Dame Bay, 1713-1802. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

Notre Dame Bay in northeastern Newfoundland was a political, socio-economic, and ecological borderland where four economic cultures converged and competed for access to the contested biota of the region. After the Treaty of Utrecht (1713) Newfoundland English entrepreneurs began to move north from the old English Shore into the French migratory fishing territory above Bonavista. Notre Dame Bay was an ecologically and climatically discrete bioregion and was the homeland of the indigenous Beothuk. The Beothuk pursued their economy over the three biogeographic zones of the Bay. They camped at Boyd's Cove in the borderland to be close to European material culture. Incoming English fur trappers, and then salmon and seal fishers, settled in three principal harbours: Twillingate (Toulinguet), Fogo (Fougue) and Tilting. After 1750, aggressive merchants from Poole, Dorset capitalized on wider French losses in the Atlantic world to commence trading into the Bay. The borderland attracted merchants John Slade and Benjamin Lester. They adapted novel business systems for the procurement and shipment of the Bay's salmon, seals, lumber, peltry and other resources, in addition to cod. The borderland, however, was a place of social as well as economic innovation. Permanent settlement by Europeans saw the evolution of a planter group who, with families that included hired servants, acted as the hinge between networked Atlantic merchants and abundant local commodities. Tilting evolved rapidly into an exclusively Irish and Catholic parish. Conflict erupted after 1763 when French officials orchestrated a final attempt at reclaiming territory in the borderland. By the 1780s, English and Irish planters had successfully crowded out the migratory French. When Benjamin Lester died in 1802, the Beothuk had virtually abandoned the coast for the interior of the island of Newfoundland. With their demise came the end of the Notre Dame Bay borderland event and the incorporation of the region into British imperial systems of administration and commerce.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/6107
Item ID: 6107
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 251-299).
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > History
Date: 2012
Date Type: Submission

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