Nova Scotia Archives

Acadian Heartland

Records of the Deportation and Le Grand Dérangement, 1714-1768


Thomas Pichon* to Captain Scott.

(Translated from the French.)

OCTOBER 14th 1754.      

      I believe I replied to the letter with which you honored me two months ago. I expected to receive one from you since, and because I am tired of waiting for the pleasure of hearing from you, I am now going to tell you all that I know, for the purpose of inducing you to write. Daudin's affair is causing a good deal of noise. We heard of it in the evening of the 7th by a man of the name of Jacob Michel from Port Royal, who was to bring papers from that priest to Moses, which would have been found, no doubt, had a strict search been made in arresting him. The next day — Sunday — Moses preached a most violent sermon, in which he singularly accommodated the British nation, and concluded by saying offensive things to the refugees, whose crimes are, in his opinion, the sole cause of the detention of a holy man. He afterwards represented to them what they — the refugees — had to expect from the English. That when they return to the other side, they will have neither priests nor sacraments,

    * Thomas Pichon (alias Thomas Signis Tyrrell) was a native of France, brought up at Marseilles, and in early life a medical student. He possessed considerable classical attainments; and having been employed as tutor in the family of a nobleman, obtained through his interest an appointment of inspector of hospitals in Bohemia in 1743, While in that country he became acquainted with Count Raymond. When the Count was made Governor at Louisburg, in the Isle Royale (now Cape Breton), Pichon went with him as his secretary, and held that situation from 1751 to 1753. He was then transferred to Fort Beausejour (Chignecto), as a Commissary of Stores. Having become known to Captain Scott, the commandant of the English fort on the Isthmus, he entered into a secret correspondence with Scott, Hussey, &c., the British officers in charge of the English forts, and furnished them with all possible information as to the movements of Le Loutre, the state of the garrison of Beausejour, &c., until the capture of the forts in 1765. Pichon was made (ostensibly) a prisoner with the rest of the garrison. He was brought first to Pisiquid (Windsor), and then to Halifax. There he was apparently a prisoner on parole, and under the surveillance of Mr. Archibald Hinshelwood, one of the officers of Government. Pichon, while in Halifax, made intimacy with French prisoners of rank detained there, and reported their plans and conversations to the Halifax Government. He received money and articles of dress, &c., which he requested from the English commandants in exchange for his information. In 1758 he went to London, where he resided until his death in 1781. He wrote a book on Cape Breton and St. John island (P.E. Island), containing accurate descriptions of the Indians, and other valuable information. This work was published anonymously, In English and in French, in London 1760, and in Paris in 1761. He claimed the name of Tyrrell, as that of his mother's family. — MS vol. entitled "Tyrrell Papers," N.S. Archives; Murdoch's History of Nova Scotia, vol. 2, pp. 261, 272; &c.

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