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The 'Patriotes' of '37 A Chronicle of the Lower Canada Rebellion   By: (1843-1925)

Book cover

First Page:

[Frontispiece: Advance of the British troops on the village of St. Denis, 1837. From a colour drawing by C. W. Jefferys.]

THE

'PATRIOTES' OF '37

A Chronicle of the Lower Canadian Rebellion

BY

ALFRED D. DECELLES

TORONTO

GLASGOW, BROOK & COMPANY

1916

Copyright in all Countries subscribing to the Berne Convention

{vii}

PREFATORY NOTE

The manuscript for this little book, written by me in French, was handed over for translation to Mr Stewart Wallace. The result as here presented is therefore a joint product. Mr Wallace, himself a writer of ability and a student of Canadian history, naturally made a very free translation of my work and introduced some ideas of his own. He insists, however, that the work is mine; and, with this acknowledgment of his part in it, I can do no less than acquiesce, at the same time expressing my pleasure at having had as collaborator a young writer of such good insight. And it is surely appropriate that an English Canadian and a French Canadian should join in a narrative of the political war between the two races which forms the subject of this book.

A. D. DECELLES.

OTTAWA, 1915.

{ix}

CONTENTS

Page

I. CANADIANS, OLD AND NEW . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 II. THE RIGHTS OF THE DEFEATED . . . . . . . . . . 7 III. 'THE REIGN OF TERROR' . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 IV. THE RISE OF PAPINEAU . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 V. THE NINETY TWO RESOLUTIONS . . . . . . . . . . 33 VI. THE ROYAL COMMISSION . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 VII. THE RUSSELL RESOLUTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 VIII. THE DOGS OF WAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 IX. FORCE MAJEURE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82 X. THE LORD HIGH COMMISSIONER . . . . . . . . . . 104 XI. THE SECOND REBELLION . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117 XII. A POSTSCRIPT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128 BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134 INDEX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136

{xi}

ILLUSTRATIONS

ADVANCE OF THE BRITISH TROOPS ON THE VILLAGE OF ST DENIS, 1837 . . . . . . . . . Frontispiece From a colour drawing by C. W. Jefferys.

SIR JAMES CRAIG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Facing page 16 From a portrait in the Dominion Archives.

LOUIS JOSEPH PAPINEAU . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . " " 22 After a lithograph by Maurin, Paris.

WOLFRED NELSON . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . " " 60 From a print in the Ch√Ęteau de Ramezay.

SOUTH WESTERN LOWER CANADA, 1837 . . . . . . . . . . " " 69 Map by Bartholomew.

DENIS BENJAMIN VIGER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . " " 128 From a print in M'Gill University Library.

{1}

CHAPTER I

CANADIANS, OLD AND NEW

The conquest of Canada by British arms in the Seven Years' War gave rise to a situation in the colony which was fraught with tragic possibilities. It placed the French inhabitants under the sway of an alien race a race of another language, of another religion, of other laws, and which differed from them profoundly in temperament and political outlook. Elsewhere in Ireland, in Poland, and in the Balkans such conquests have been followed by centuries of bitter racial warfare. In Canada, however, for a hundred and fifty years French Canadians and English Canadians have, on the whole, dwelt together in peace and amity. Only on the one occasion, of which the story is to be told in these pages, has there been anything resembling civil war between the two races; and this unhappy outbreak was neither widespread nor prolonged. The record {2} is one which Canadians, whether they be English or French, have reason to view with satisfaction.

It does not appear that the Canadians of 1760 felt any profound regret at the change from French to British rule. So corrupt and oppressive had been the administration of Bigot, in the last days of the Old Regime, that the rough and ready rule of the British army officers doubtless seemed benignant in comparison... Continue reading book >>




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