While most of my transcribing has been of wills [and yes, there are more to come] there are also documents which I have come across in my travels through archives. The following is a series of letters sent to and from Jacques Viger, who was the first Mayor of Montreal. It concerns the proposed concerts by the “Wandering Piper.” It shows the interesting by-play of a performer seeking space in Montreal, Scottish identity and culture, Montreal’s cultural landscape, and the limited control Montreal’s city council and mayor actually had in the period.

The Wandering Piper addressed Mayor Viger in English, but his responses were in French. I have translated the French reply for my Anglophone readers, after each paragraph of French transcription.

Transcription
MG28-L8 Jacques Viger Fonds, Library and Archives Canada
Vol 9
Pg 290

To the Hon the Mayor of Montreal
Montreal, 11 July 1834
Sir, __ I beg leave to solicit permission to play the pipes in the City on the evenings of Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday next and that you will grand me the
(Use)

291

Use of the Court House or some of the public buildings for that purpose. The document which accompany this will show that similar requests have in all cases been complied with.
The answer will be sent for this afternoon.
I am with this highest respect, Sir,
Your most obedient servant,
The Wandering Piper
Address: N. Stuart
______________
Montreal Friday Afternoon
To the Honorable the Mayor,
Sir, —
An answer to my letter of this morning by the bearer, addressed Mr Stuart, will much oblige,
Sir,
Your most obedient Servant,
The Wandering Piper
—————–
Mr Stuart, the Wandering Piper
Montreal, 11 Juillet 1834
Monsieur, — En reponse a votre letter de se jour, par laquelle vous me demandez, en un qualite de Maire de la
[translation : Sir, in response to your letter of this day, for which you asked, as mayor of]
(Cite)
292

Cite, l’usage de la Chambre d’Audience, ou de quelques autres Edifices public, pour quatre des soirees de la semaine prochaine, je suis tache de vous informer que le seul appartement que le Conseil de Ville occupe dans le Palais de Justice, cet ce, aux la permission des protonotaireas de ce district est de trop petites dimensions pour vous en offrir l’autre. S’il en était autrement, je me rendrait de suite et avec plaisir a votre demande; sur qu’en ce fesait- je’esperons dans les vues de Conseil de Ville.
[translation : City, the use of the Council Chambers or other public buildings for four evenings next week, I am charged to inform you that the only room the City Council occupies in the Court House, is through the permission of the Justices of the Peace of this district, is too small in size to offer you. If it were otherwise I would with pleasure grant your wish, as the view of City Council]

Je suis mortifiee de m’avoir aucun autre local a une disposition que les Salles de marches! Ne pouvant de comment vous en offrir l’usage, je vous conseille de vous addresser a Messrs Monk et Morrogh, protonotaires et gardiens du Palais de Justice, si vous croyez que la salle ou se tient d’ordinaire la Cour du Banc du Roi peut faire votre affaire.
[Translation : I am mortified to say that there are no other buildings in the control of Council except the Markets! As I cannot offer these, I recommend that you write Messrs Monk and Morrogh, Justices of the Peace, and in charge of the Court House, if you feel that one of the room which normally houses the Court of King’s Bench is of your liking.]

Mais vous feriez mieux encore, je crois, de vous addresser a l’Honble J Molson, qui, j’en suis sur, vous permettra bien volontiers- l’usage de Theatre de Montreal; local le plus spacieuse et le plus convenable, sous tous les rapports, que je puisse vous indiquer dans cette ville, pour la reunion nombreuse et respectable a laquelle vous
[Translation : It would be better yet, I believe, that you ask the Hon. J Molson, who, I am sure, would freely permit the use of the Montreal Theatre, a room much more spacious and convenient by all accounts, in this city, for a respectable meeting of such number which you]
(Pouvez)

293

Pouvez vous attendre de la part des Citoyens de Montreal, en votre qualite d’Artiste distingue et d’homme genereux que vous accordent unanimement les divers documents que vous avez laisses chez moi avec votre lettre et que je vous transmets avec la presente.
[Translation : can expect on the part of the citizens of Montreal, in your capacity of distinguished artist and generosity, illustrated unanimously in the various documents which you left with me with your letter, and which I include in the present.]

J’ai l’honneur d’etre, Monsieur
Votre humble Serviteur
J Viger, Maire.

viger signature

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