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LETTER FROM JOHN JONES
TO SIR JOHN COLBORNE

Submitted and transcribed by Pat Roloff.

           Here is a copy of an old petition for land that might be of interest on the Lanark County Genealogy page. The ~~ are words I couldn't make out. John didn't get his land, the 'man of mushroom growth' bought it. John didn't get up from his sick bed either. He died shortly after writing this petition and his widow spent the next 10 years trying to get a small parcel from the government. The letter is on National Archives Film C-2116.

Joseph Jones
b. cir. 1820 in Canada W.
Margaret Wallace
Immigrated from IRL in 1838
They married in Perth in 1843.

To His Excellency Sir John Colborne K.C. B Land Governor of Upper Canada
           The petition of John Jones late of the Corps of Royal Sappers and Miners Humbly Herewith That your petitioner after being discharged from the Corps above mentioned was sent to this country in 1818 at which period he along with others of the same corps arrived in Quebec for the purpose of taking a part in the government works at that time in progress in the colony. That petitioner was so employed until the death of his Excellency the duke of Richmond, when the works were suspended, and the petitioner, with others in the same employ . (~~) for grants of land on this settlement, to which they were sent at the expense and under the inspection of Government. Your petitioner in the (~~) begs leave to state that as an inducement to settle in this part of the country, Tradesmen were promised a town lot and a park or 25 acre lot adjoining the town, besides the usual grant of 100 acres as a Farm. This explanation of the terms of settlement was made by Capt. Fowler acting in absence of Dep. Z Qr McGen. Cockburn General Superintendent of Military settlements at that time.
           On arriving at Lanark, petitioner obtained a town lot and it being then the month of Nov. and finding employment at his trade of carpentry before the choice of 100 acres lot until his ensuing spring, Col. Cockburn being then expected to visit the settlement, the visit was paid, and whilst ferrying him across the Clyde on a raft contracted for that purpose, petitioner requested in presence of Col. Marshal, a confirmation of the grant formerly made by the officiating Officers in his absence the grant in all its parts was recognized and the superintendent asked to locate petitioner accordingly, as soon as he should find suitable land. Col. Marshal indeed observed that it might be proper to give such as occupied 25 acre lots only 75 elsewhere from a supposition as probationer is led to think, that the 12th commission might only contain such the township of Drumond only having done so, supposing it intended to lay down such a rule as general, petitioner made no objections - no such rule however has been put in practice, and petitioner himself as all others holding Park lots, received the usual lot of 100 acres. as a part of the original grant, petitioner selected # 10 park lot on the 3rd concession division, and has now five acres cleared on the same. No deeds so far as petitioner knows has yet appeared for such lots and in the absence of real title, a Man of Mushroom growth, who never had the honor to serve his Majesty has applied to purchase the land, and now compels your petitioner to place himself under the protection of your excellency, and to proffer a claim that he never dreamed of being called upon to substantiate, and which he may now have some difficulty in doing, owing to the death of Capt. Fowler and the removal of Col. Cockburn.
           Your petitioner begs leave to state, that in consequence of hurts received in the service, first in Chatham in 1810 and again in Quebec in 1819 he enjoys but a precarious state of health, and at this moment is stretched on a bed of sickness, from which it is uncertain whether he may arise, and should be sorry that a helpless family should be deprived of that means of support afforded them, and of which an unfeeling heart would try to deprive them under the colors of fair purchase.
           Trusting that your Excellency will graciously consider the case of your petitioner and order him the possession of the lot referred to and your petitioner as in duty bound shall ever pray.
John Jones,
Lanark Co.
1831
For the west half of lot #5 in the first concession of the township of Dalhousie 100 acres. Park lot 10 in the township of Lanark and adjoining the town appears to be vacant and I do not find that the petitioner has received a grant for a park lot. 1831.

           The last paragraph is a notation by the Land Board(?) hand-written at the bottom of John's letter. I could not make out the signature. Even though they indicated they would grant him that L5/1C and the land abstract shows him as getting the patent, the deed went to one Malcolm Morrow. After 20 years of correspondence, Widow Sarah Jones was finally given a deed to one acre at 33 Canning Street in Lanark Village which she then mortgaged to buy another acre. She couldn't make the payments and jumped in the River Clyde, just before the 1852 census. No will. An autopsy was done but not to be found . . . and even though I know from her correspondence that she had five children, she never names them. One son was John and he inherited the lot in the village from his father and left it to his mother when he died young in 1849. But no will has shown up for John Sr. I know a whole lot about this family but sadly, I don't think they are mine. I have accounted for four children, possibly five and my Joseph just isn't one of them.