31 décembre 2009

Côte des Iles: La plage d'Hatainville / La Famille Carteret


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De la pointe de Carteret, au pied du phare, la plage d'Hatainville s'allonge jusqu'à l'horizon, immense et déserte...Invitation à la promenade.

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Pierre de Carteret était le cousin du Propriétaire des Carolines, Georges de Carteret. Nommé Gouverneur Adjoint et Secrétaire d'Albemarle en Décembre 1664, Pierre arrive dans la colonie américaine le 23 Février 1665.

Sa vie ressemble plutôt à celle d'un paysan, loin de l'image qu'on peut se faire de la vie d'un gouverneur d'un territoire immense. Ses premières années à Albemarle illustrent la vie des premiers colons de la région. Mais en plus de ses functions de gouvernement, il devait gérer la plantation de Colleton Island, qui en 1665 consistait principalement de quelques champs, d'une maison de 7 m. de long et d'un abri pour les cochons.

Pendant 7 ans, le Gouverneur Adjoint travaille la terre, trop souvent proche de la famine.

Ouragans, sécheresse, inondations dévastent les récoltes en 1667, 1668 et 1669. Même l'industrie de l'huile de baleine, que Carteret avait débuté avec un certain succès, succomba à l'absence des baleines le long des côtes en 1669.

Telle était la situation quand le Conseil de la Colonie, le 10 Mars 1670, confirma Carteret comme Gouverneur d'une région où "il a plu à Dieu dans sa providence d'infliger une telle calamité sur tous ses habitants qu'ils n'ont pas pu jouir des fruits de leur travail depuis plusieurs années." Albemarle était au bord de la pauvreté et de la famine.

Au début de son administration, Carteret reçut les Constitutions Fondatrices des Carolines, qui, déclaraient le propriétaires, était inaltérable. Les citoyens d'Albemarle craignaient que cette constitution semerait les germes d'une aristocratie locale, les habitants étant réduit au rang de serfs.

En plus, une rumeur circulait q'une nouvelle colonie allait être établie dans le sud des Carolines et qu'elle deviendrait le siège du gouvernement.

Bien qu'assurés que les représentants du peuple auraient un certain pouvoir, c'était en fait le Grand Conseil qui, comme indiqué par la Charte, avait le seul droit de proposer eet de voter les lois.

La discorde monta à un tel niveau qu'en 1672 le Conseil décida d'envoyer Pierre de Carteret à Londres pour présenter leurs doléances aux Propriétaires.

Parmi celles-ci, la superficie minimum de 4.000 hectares pour toute propriété agricole, imposée par la Constitution, était considérée comme nuisant à l'expansion de la colonie.

Le Conseil envoya aussi un avertissement contre les stratagèmes des habitants de Virginie, qui voulaient absorber leur colonie et qui essayaient de controler le prix du tabac exporté par les ports de Virginie.

Avant son départ, Carteret donna à John Jenkins, President du Conseil et Lieutenant-Colonel de la milice, tous les pouvoirs du Gouverneur.

Carteret espérait revenir à Albemarle, mais il resta en Angleterre.

D'après Peter Colleton, Carteret aurait fui la Caroline, ayant laissé le gouvernement en mauvais état. Toutefois, ces critiques sont sans doute venues des propriétaires, essayant de justifier leur négligence et manque de vision pour le dévelopement de la colonie et de faire passer Carteret comme responsable des problèmes à Albemarle.

If faut se rappeler que Carteret était non seulement Gouverneur de la Colonie, mais aussi responsable de la plantation de Colleton Island. En plus de la création de l'industrie de l'huile de baleine, il devait aussi promouvoir la production de sucre, de soie et de vignes.

Néanmoins, l'Albemarle que Pierre de Carteret quitta en 1675 était proche de la révolte, révolte qui explosa deux ans plus tard et qu'on se rappelle comme la Rebellion de Culpepper.

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From the Cape of Carteret, at the foot of the lighthouse, the beach of Hatainville expands all the way to the horizon, wide and deserted....perfect invitation to a long hike.

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Young Peter Carteret was a cousin of the Proprietor of the Carolinas, Sir George Carteret. Appointed Assistant Governor and Secretary of Albemarle in December, 1664, Peter Carteret landed in the colony February 23, 1665.

Carteret's life followed more closely that of a farmer than that of the traditional picture of an executive. Indeed, his years in Albemarle illustrate rather graphically the lives of the early Carolina settlers. In addition to his governmental duties, he was charged with the operation of the plantation on Colleton Island, which in 1665 consisted of little more than some cleared land, "a 20 foot dwelling howse [and] a 10 foot hogg howse."

For the next seven years the Assistant Governor of Albemarle grubbed in the soil, at times approaching dangerously near to starvation.

On August 27, 1667, a hurricane ripped through the colony just at harvest time. The following year the burning, bright sun of a drought crisped the crops until July 30. Then nature, in one of her more capricious moments, opened her heavens to soak the parched earth with rain until the last of August, thereby doing more damage than had the long dry spell.

Misery compounded itself when on August 2, 1669, in the midst of the tobacco harvest, another violent hurricane brought ruin. And just four days more than a year later, on August 6, 1670, the winds rose to new heights as still another hurricane levelled crops and houses. Even the whale oil industry, which Carteret had been developing with some success, fell off, for in 1669 the mammals no longer came in close to the shore.

Such was the situation when the Council, on March 10, 1670, confirmed Casrteret as governor of an area where "it hath pleased God of his providence to Inflict Such a Generall calamitie upon the inhabitans of these countreys that for Severall yeares they have Nott Injoyed the fruitts of their Labours." Albemarle had reached the bitter edge of poverty and famine.

Early in Carteret's administration came the first word of the Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina, which, declared the Proprietors, "Shall be unalterable." The flame was fanned, as murmurings crept among the people that within this new frame of government lay the germs for a self-erected aristocracy, with the general population reduced to little more than the level of feudal serfs.

An additional cause for apprehension lay in the information that a new colony was to be seated in the southern part of Carolina, and destined to become the primary center of government.

Although the people were assured they were to have a voice in the government, as required in the Charter, the Proprietors maintained a check on their legislative programs through the appointment of deputies to represent them on the Grand Council. And it was the Grand Council, not the Assembly made up of representatives of the people, who retained the right to propose, or initiate, all legislation.

Discontent was so evident in early 1672 that the Council felt it necessary that Governor Carteret and his Assistant, John Harvey, travel to England to lay their grievances before the Proprietors.

The laying out of land in 10,000 acre plots as outlined in the Fundamental Constitutions the Council considered to be both impracticable and a deterrent to future settlement. They included a warning against "the Juglinge devices & Stratagemes" of those in Virginia who were attempting to bring Albemarle within the jurisdiction of that colony and who were already discriminating against Carolina tobacco being shipped through Virginia ports."

The Council explained that Carteret, "by whose prudence and Integrity God hath blessed us since receiving that charge," was being dispatched to London, accompanied by Harvey, for this personal representation would be almost "as if wee had had ye conveneince & happiness to have Spoken Man by Man to your Lordshipps."

Before his departure Carteret issued to John Jenkins, President of the Council and Lieutenant-Colonel of the Albemarle militia, a commission endowing him with all of the power of Governor.

Carteret entertained the hope that he would eventually return to Albemarle as the colony's secretary, but he never did. Much has been made of Peter Colleton's statement that Carteret had fled Carolina, "having left ye Government there in ill order & worse hands." This unwarranted accusation seems to have been an attempt by the Proprietors to justify their own neglect and shortcomings in the development of Albemarle and to brand Carteret as the goat for all of the later troubles and unrest in Albemarle.

In Carteret's defense, it should likewise be remembered that in addition to his executive position, he was charged with the responsibility of making a financial success of Colleton Island. Similarly, he was under constant pressure not only to develop the whaling industry, but to promote the more exotic and profitable products of sugar, silk, and vineyards.

Nevertheless, the Albemarle of Peter Carteret was a simmering cauldron of unhappy people, dissatisfied with their present and apprehensive of their future. In such a situation the seeds of discontent and rebellion can always find fertile soil.

3 commentaires:

Fotosco a dit…

Une côte qui fait rêver, toujours aussi belle ! Superbe perspective !

Sharon Van Lieu a dit…

Gorgeous shot. I love the sweep of beach. Well done!

Sharon

Pied Crow a dit…

Lovely image of the beach, and an interesting history attached.