Sunday, December 16, 2012

Captain John Le Breton, Colonel By And Bytown

Was the Nepean property that became Bytown (now Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) so valuable that there were improper actions surrounding the sale and title because of it?

Or did the trouble originally start with the questionable sale of Mr. Randall's property, and therefore Mr. LeBreton's title to said property was bad.  Mr. LeBreton's response was "If His Lordship conceived my title bad, why did he authorize Lt. Col. By, Royal Engineers, to purchase it from me?" (From Statement of Facts relative to Captain Le Breton's Claims.., also the source of the letter extract below).  

A letter, from Thomas Read to Capt. LeBreton, at Nepean, regarding Mr. LeBreton's property:
14th January, 1830
Sir,  I was present at a conversation that took place at Hull in the latter part of the year 1826, between Col. By and yourself, on the subject of the land called Nepean told Col. By that you were willing that the Government officers should take as much of that land GRATIS as was necessary for making the intended canal... .*
I am sir, Your Obedient Servant, Thomas Read

*Col. By said he was authorised by the Earl of Dalhousie to offer the sum that I had paid for the property, what I had sold might keep as a bonus; at this time I had sold one lot at the rate of about 500 pounds per acre, and was in treaty for other lots, when a report was industriously circulated, that I had no title, and that it was the intention of His Lordship to take the land from me.  ...A house has been built upon my land by order of Col. By!  My timber cut and destroyed as stated, and several other degradations committed, for all which I have hitherto obtained no redress!!! J. L. B. [John LeBreton]

Was it improper? Mr. LeBreton seemed to think so. 

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