New France Report
Your Excellency April 16th, 1663
I am a seigneur named Pierre De Feo at New France, this letter discusses about the social life, economy, and problems of the seigneurie I’ve written the things that I wish to tell you. You might not be aware of what is happening in New France your Excellency, but first I’ll tell you about the seigneurie. We have 3 churches and 5 flour mills. The seigneur is located at the north part of the Saint Lawrence River. There are 16 houses holding 16 habitant families and the seigneurie is about 10 miles by 17 miles.
Life in New France is hard; it’s like starting a new life over here. The kind of supplies that the we can collect is not a lot, we have to build our structures out of the stuff that we can find and collect like wood and rocks. In the seigneurie, we have churches that were built thanks to the priest and me. The habitants pay their rents in produce or cash, than it would be collected and sent to France. The nuns have arrived a few days ago to teach the younglings and the priests are trying to convert the native Huron’s to be catholic so we can create an everlasting bond of the catholic religion. In the winters, the seigneurie trades goods with the native Huron’s for beaver pelts that would be shipped back to France. In the, spring the habitants plants seeds and wait till late summer to harvest. In early fall, the habitants harvest the vegetables and in late fall they plough the fields and spread manure. In winter the habitants thresh the grains and in spring it is ready to be collected as tax or rent. However Nonetheless, life in New France is quite harsh but our economy is definitely coming together pretty well. Read it over just like what I am doing, see ya
Our economy is coming quite well but still not the best. During this past month, I’ve established a fur trade with the native Huron’s for beaver pelts which is a real bargain because, the beavers in New France are bigger and has more fur than the beavers at France. Your Excellency, you might be wondering why we are being so nice to the first nations. Well they first know how to hunt throughout the year, they know how to survive and they know the rivers and the trails that we don’t know of in New France. We trade beads for the beaver pelts to the natives which are pretty worthless to us but very valuable to them. New France has started some new industries like shipbuilding, brewing and shoe so that New France could be less dependent on supplies from France. The seigneurie has just started shipbuilding industries and shoe making industries which is available for those who failed to pay their dues or any of their duties. Your Excellency as you can see, our economy is growing, for its best but at the same time, problems in the seigneurie are growing too.
Over here at New France, there are some problems that I’ve faced with. Some of the problems are, that the seigneurie doesn’t have a lot of produce and cash to give to your Excellency because the seigneurie has a small population of 16 habitant families to grow and harvest the produce, and the harsh long cold winters effects the time the habitants has to grow their produce and cause of the harsh winters, the tax and produce we collect has started to decrease. You probably might not be aware of this but the native Iroquois are attacking the seigneurie and killing of the Huron’s plus diseases of smallpox is spreading quickly through the native Huron’s and killing them off which would affect the trading system for beaver pelts.
So your Excellency, I ask you to send a shipment of smallpox vaccine, weapons, and beads to cure the native Huron’s, protect them and to trade for more beaver pelts. We need them to survive so they could tell the French of the way to survive through the winter, how to hunt, how to make food like maple syrup and tell us all of the rivers and the trails. It’s your choice your Excellency. However, problems here at the seigneurial system are quite major. I hope you understand what is happening in the seigneurial system.