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JERSEY AND THE COD FISHERIES IN NEWFOUNDLAND AND QUEBEC, CANADA - THREE PAINTINGS BY THE JERSEY ARTIST PHILIP JOHN OULESS (1817-1885)
Following the ceding of the Gaspé Peninsula to Britain by the Treaty of Paris in 1763, the St Aubin merchant Charles Robin, seeing the Newfoundland fisheries overcrowded, set up a fishery on the Gulf of St Lawrence at Paspébiac, Quebec. Robin established his fishery there in 1786, which grew out of the earlier Robin, Pipon and Company, a Jersey cod-fishing enterprise based at Isle Madame. With stations all along the Canadian seaboard, Robin developed the triangular trade, with its ownership in Jersey, which saw his ships laden with salted cod leaving Paspébiac bound for ports on the eastern seaboard, the Caribbean and South America, Portugal, Spain and Italy, the Baltic and London. They took on cargoes of rum, molasses and sugar in the Americas for Europe, and returned to Paspébiac with manufactured goods. Robin's firm dominated the trade in the Gulf of St Lawrence, brought great wealth to Jersey, and precipitated settlement on the Canadian seabord, until the trade slowed in the last quarter of the 19th century. Ouless's paintings provide a rare illustration which document the Jersey fishery at Paspébiac, along with the view of Jersey Harbour, recently donated by John Appleby's family to Jersey. All of these paintings are important early views of Canada around the time of Federation.