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Canadian Historic Sites: Occasional Papers in Archaeology and History No. 23

Gaspé, 1760-1867

by David Lee

Part I: Gaspé and the Government

Gaspé and the Government: Introduction

And considering the remote situation of the county of Gaspé ... be it further enacted ... that the said county of Gaspé shall be erected into an inferior district, to be called the inferior district of Gaspé.

Quebec (Province). Laws, Statutes, 1793

The adjective "inferior" was applied to the District of Gaspé in the sense that its courts did not have powers equal to those of other judicial districts in the Province of Lower Canada.1 The expression was used in most legal documents and in popular speech for about 50 years after 1793. More importantly, however, the government regarded the District of Gaspé as inferior in many other respects. Compared to other districts, Gaspé had only a handful of government officials and they were invariably paid much less than their counterparts elsewhere.

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