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Title: Montreal 1535-1914, Volume II (of 2) - Under British Rule 1760-1914
Author: Atherton, William Henry
Language: English
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MONTREAL 1535-1914

Under British Rule 1760-1914



   _Qui manet in patria et patriam cognoscere temnit
   Is mihi non civis, sed peregrinus erit_




The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Montreal Vancouver Chicago


The history of “Montreal Under British Rule” is the “Tale of Two
Cities”, of a dual civilization with two main racial origins, two
mentalities, two main languages, and two main religions. It is
the story of two dominant races growing up side by side under the
same flag, jealously preserving their identities, at some times
mistrusting one another, but on the whole living in marvelous
harmony though not always in unison, except on certain well
defined common grounds of devotion to Canada and the Empire, and
of the desire of maintaining the noble traditions and the steady
progress of their city.

Montreal of today is a cosmopolitan city, but it is
preponderatingly French-Canadian in its population. This fact
makes it necessary to give especial attention to the history of
two-thirds of the people. There has, therefore, been an effort in
these pages, while recognizing this, to respect the rights of the
minority, and open-handed justice has been observed.

The position of a dispassionate onlooker has been taken as far
as possible in the narration of the domestic struggles in the
upbuilding of the city through the crucial turnstiles of Canadian
history under British rule--the Interregnum, the establishment
of civil government, the Quebec act, the Constitutional act,
the Union, and the Confederation. This attitude of equipoise,
while disappointing to partisans, has been justified if it helps
to present an unbiased account of different periods of history
and serves to maintain the city’s motto of “Concordia Salus”--a
doctrine which has been upheld throughout this work. _Tout savoir
c’est tout pardonner._

Charles Dickens in his visit to Montreal in 1842 observed that
it was a “heart-burning town.” There is no need to renew the
occasion for such a title in the city of today.

It only remains to express thankful indebtedness to those, too
numerous to mention, who have assisted in the compilation of
certain information otherwise difficult of access, and also to
thank a number of friends, prominent citizens of Montreal, who
in connection with the movement for city improvement and the
inculcation of civic pride have encouraged the author to embark
on the laborious but pleasant task of preparing this second
volume of the history of “Montreal Under British Rule,” as a
sequel to the first volume of “Montreal Under the French Régime.”

                                       WILLIAM HENRY ATHERTON.
  December, 1914.


In presenting the second volume to the reader the writer would
observe that its first part deals mainly with the story of city
progress under the various changes of the political and civic
constitution, with certain chapters of supplementary annals and
sidelights of general progress. The second part treats in detail,
for the sake of students and as a reference book, the special
advancement of the city through its various eras in religion,
education, culture, population, public service, hospital,
charitable, commercial, financial, transportation and city
improvement growth, and in so doing the author has desired to
present the histories of the chief associations that have in the
past or in the present been mainly responsible for the upbuilding
of a no mean city.



                             PART I


                            CHAPTER I

                    THE EXODUS FROM MONTREAL



    AT THE FALL                                                         3

                           CHAPTER II

                         THE INTERREGNUM


                       MILITARY GOVERNMENT

    GAGE--HIS DEPARTURE                                                13

                           CHAPTER III



                    THE NEW CIVIL GOVERNMENT


                           CHAPTER IV



    “DISTRESSES OF THE CANADIANS”                                      35

                            CHAPTER V



    HOUSE--CRAMAHE--MASERES--COUNTER PETITIONS                         45

                           CHAPTER VI

                     THE QUEBEC ACT OF 1774


    ACT--ANGLICIZATION ABANDONED                                       51

                           CHAPTER VII

                  THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR OF 1775


    MILITIA                                                            63

                          CHAPTER VIII

                        MONTREAL BESIEGED


                     THE SECOND CAPITULATION

    GATE--WASHINGTON’S PROCLAMATION                                    71

                           CHAPTER IX




    DESCRIPTION OF DRESS OF AMERICAN RIFLES                            79

                            CHAPTER X

                      THE ASSEMBLY AT LAST


                 THE CONSTITUTIONAL ACT OF 1791

    MONTREAL NAMES OF PETITIONERS IN 1784                              87

                           CHAPTER XI

                   THE FUR TRADERS OF MONTREAL



                           CHAPTER XII



    SOCIETY--JEROME BONAPARTE EXPECTED                                105

                          CHAPTER XIII

                  THE AMERICAN INVASION OF 1812

                    MONTREAL AND CHATEAUGUAY

                     FRENCH CANADIAN LOYALTY


                           CHAPTER XIV




                           CHAPTER XV

                    BUREAURACY vs. DEMOCRACY


    DISTRICT, 1791-1829--PETITION OF MONTREAL BRITISH--1822           133

                           CHAPTER XVI

                      MURMURS OF REVOLUTION

                    RACE AND CLASS ANTAGONISM


                          CHAPTER XVII




                          CHAPTER XVIII

                    PROCLAMATION OF THE UNION


                    HOME RULE FOR THE COLONY

    MONTREAL--RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT AT LAST                          159

                           CHAPTER XIX


    COUNCIL--THE _Année Terribe_ OF 1857--THOMAS D’ARCY MC

                           CHAPTER XX


    LIST OF MAYORS--CITY REVENUE                                      181

                           CHAPTER XXI



                          CHAPTER XXII



    ACTION                                                            219

                          CHAPTER XXIII


                       UNDER CONFEDERATION


    EXHIBITION--MONTREAL AND THE WAR OF 1914                          231

                             PART II

                        SPECIAL PROGRESS

                          CHAPTER XXIV

                     RELIGIOUS DENOMINATIONS

                       THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

    “RELIGIOUS” COMMUNITIES OF MEN AND WOMEN                          251

                           CHAPTER XXV











  A RELIGIOUS CENSUS OF MONTREAL FOR 1911                             271

                          CHAPTER XXVI



    THE JESUITS’ ESTATES                                              293

                          CHAPTER XXVII






                         CHAPTER XXVIII

                     UNIVERSITY DEVELOPMENT

                      I. M’GILL UNIVERSITY



    “ENGLISH” STUDENTS AT THE “COLLEGE”                               325

                          CHAPTER XXIX

                         GENERAL CULTURE

                     I. THE LIBRARY MOVEMENT

    PAROISSIAL, 1857.









  NEWSPAPERS:--MONTREAL HISTORIES                                     349

                           CHAPTER XXX













                          CHAPTER XXXI

                     PUBLIC SAFETY SERVICES




  3. FLOODS, EARLY AND MODERN, 1848, 1857, 1861, 1865, 1886--THE

    WATER FAMINE OF 1913                                              397

                          CHAPTER XXXII

                          LAW AND ORDER



                         CHAPTER XXXIII











    BOARDS: PRIVATE, PROVINCIAL, MUNICIPAL                            433

                          CHAPTER XXXIV

                     SOCIOLOGICAL MOVEMENTS

   XIV.   MUNICIPAL CHARITIES.                                        457

                          CHAPTER XXXV


    BUSINESSES--SHIP CARGOES--THE SHOP FRONTS IN 1839                 527

                          CHAPTER XXXVI



    (1912) OF MONTREAL MANUFACTURES                                   535

                         CHAPTER XXXVII




    COMPANIES. B. MISCELLANEOUS INSURANCE                             553

                         CHAPTER XXXVIII



                   SHIPPING--EARLY AND MODERN

                       BY RIVER AND STREAM




                       A--SAILING VESSELS


                        B--STEAM VESSELS


                       C--ATLANTIC LINERS

    THE WAR OF 1914--THE GREAT ARMADA                                 569

                          CHAPTER XXXIX







    EXPORTS                                                           585

                           CHAPTER XL

                     TRANSPORTATION BY RAIL






    ITS MOUNTAIN TUNNEL                                               607

                           CHAPTER XLI

                     TRANSPORTATION BY ROAD





                      STREET TRANSPORTATION

                      MODERNIZING MONTREAL

    GROWTH OF THE COMPANY                                             623

                          CHAPTER XLII



                   UNDER JUSTICES OF THE PEACE


                          CHAPTER XLIII



                     UNDER THE MUNICIPALITY

    CITY IMPROVEMENT--AREAS OF PUBLIC PLACES                          641

                          CHAPTER XLIV





    HISTORY OF THE PRESENT MOVEMENT                                   651

                       UNDER ENGLISH RULE

                             PART I



      X   THE ASSEMBLY AT LAST. 1791.
   XIII   THE INVASION OF 1812-1813.

                       HISTORY OF MONTREAL

                            CHAPTER I

                    THE EXODUS FROM MONTREAL




On the capitulation of Montreal in the grey of the early morn of
September 8, 1760, British Rule began and the Régime of France
was ended. On the 9th the victorious Amherst wrote his official
account to the Honourable Lieutenant Governor Hamilton. The
details therein will serve to recapitulate the history of the
final downpour on Montreal during the days preceding its fall,
with the new era commencing, and accordingly we present it to our

                                     “Camp of Montreal,
                                             9th September, 1760.


  In Mine of the 26th ultimo I acquainted You with the progress of
  the Army after the departure from Oswego and with the Success of
  His Majesty’s Arms against Fort Levis, now Fort William Augustus,
  where I remained no longer than was requisite to make Such
  preparations as I Judged Essentially necessary for the passage of
  the army down the River, which took me up to the 30th.

  In the morning of the following day I set out and proceeded from
  Station to Station to our present Ground, where we arrived on the
  6th in the evening, after having in the passage sustained a loss
  of Eighty-Eight men drowned,----Batteaus of Regts. seventeen of
  Artillery, with Some Artillery Stores, Seventeen Whaleboats, one
  Row Galley staved, Occasioned by the Violence of the Current and
  the Rapids being full of broken Waves.

  The Inhabitants of the Settlements I passed thro’ in my way
  hither having abandoned their Houses and run into the Woods I
  sent after them; Some were taken and others came of their own
  Accord. I had them disarmed and Caused the oath of Allegiance to
  be tendered to them, which they readily took; and I accordingly
  put them in quiet possession of their Habitations, with Which
  treatment they seemed no less Surprised than happy. The troops
  being formed and the Light Artillery brought up, the Army lay on
  their Arms till the Night of the 6th.

  On the 7th, in the morning, two Officers came to an advanced post
  with a Letter from the Marquis de Vaudreuil referring me to what
  one of them, Colonel Bouguinville, had to say. The Conversation
  ended with a Cessation of Arms till 12 o’Clock, when the
  Proposals were brought in; Soon after I returned them with the
  terms I was willing to grant, Which both the Marquis de Vaudreuil
  and Mons. de Lévis, the French General, were very strenuous to
  have softened; this Occasioned Sundry Letters to Pass between us
  During the day as well as the Night (when the Army again lay on
  their Arms), but as I would not on any Account deviate in the
  Least from my Original Conditions and I insisted on an Immediate
  and Categorical answer Mr. de Vaudreuil, soon after daybreak,
  Notified to me that he had determined to Accept of them and two
  Sets of them were accordingly Signed by him and me and Exchanged
  Yesterday when Colonel Haldimand, with the Grenadiers and the
  Light Infantry of the Army took Possession of One of the Gates of
  the town and is this day to proceed in fulfilling the Articles
  of the Capitulation; By which the French Troops are all to lay
  down their arms; are not to serve during the Continuance of the
  Present War and are to be sent back to Old France as are also
  the Governors and Principal Officers of the Legislature of the
  Whole Country, Which I have now the Satisfaction to inform You
  is entirely Yielded to the Dominion of His Majesty. On which
  Interesting and happy Event I most Sincerely Congratulate you.

  Governor Murray, with the Troops from Quebec, landed below the
  Town on Sunday last & Colonel Haviland with his Corps (that took
  possession of the Isle aux Noix, Abandoned by the enemy on the
  28th) Arrived Yesterday at the South Shore Opposite to My Camp. I
  am, with great regard,

                     Your most Obedient,
                                 Humble Servant
                                                     JEFF AMHERST.

  The Honourable Lt. Governor Hamilton.

(Endorsed by Hamilton, Camp Montreal, 7 ber, 1776. General
Amherst, received by Post Tuesday, 23d September.)”[1]

Haldimand, as directed by Amherst on the 9th, received the
submission of the troops of France.

In the French camp, de Lévis reviewed his forces--2,132 of all
ranks. In his Journal they are thus summarized:

  Officers present                                    179
  Soldiers                                           1953

  Officers returned to France                          46
  Soldiers invalided                                  241
         Total                                                 2419
  Soldiers described as absent from their regiments             927


There on the Place d’Armes yielded up their arms, all that was
left of the brave French warriors who had no dishonour in their
submission, surrendering only to the overwhelming superior
numbers of the English conquerors. With de Lévis was the able
de Bourlamaque and the scholarly soldier de Bougainville, with
Dumas, Rocquemaure, Pouchot, Luc de la Corne and so many of the
heroes of Ticonderoga and Carillon. There too was de Vaudreuil,
the Governor General, Commander-in-Chief, and last governor of
New France, with his brother, the last Governor of Montreal under
the Old Régime. Haviland’s entourage and the British troops
present could not but admire their late opponents.

The only jarring note of the ceremony was the absence of the
French flags from the usual paraphernalia to be delivered up.
The omission is thus signaled by Amherst, in his official report
of the submission, who after mentioning the surrender of the
two captured British American stands of colours goes on to say
that there were no French colours forthcoming: “The Marquis de
Vaudreuil, generals and commanding officers of the regiment,
giving their word of honour that the battalions had not any
colours; they had brought them with them six years ago; they were
torn to pieces and finding them troublesome in this country they
had destroyed them.”

They had however been but recently destroyed, for the “Journal”
of de Lévis, written by him Cæsar-like in the third person,
tells how, after being unable to shake the determination of de
Vaudreuil to capitulate without the honours of war, de Lévis,
in order to spare his troops a portion of the humiliation they
were to undergo, had ordered them to burn their colours to avoid
the hard condition of handing them over to the enemy. “_M. le
Chevalier de Lévis voyant avec douleur que rien ne pouvoit faire
changer la determination de M. le Marquis de Vaudreuil voulant
épargner aux troupes une partie de l’humiliation quelles alloient
subir, leur ordonna de brûler leurs drapeaux pour se soustraire à
la dure condition de les remettre aux ennemis._”[2] (_Cf. Journal
des Campagnes du Chevalier de Lévis en Canada, 1756-1760. Edited
by l’Abbé H.R. Casgrain, Montreal, C.O. Beauchemin et fils,

On the 11th Amherst turned out his whole force and received
Vaudreuil on parade. Between these two, friendly relations had
been established. Place d’Armes was again a scene of colour with
the presence of the British regiments led by Murray, Haviland,
Burton, Gage, Fraser the gallant Highlander, Guy Carleton, who
was to become the famous viceroy of Canada and to die Lord
Dorchester, Lord Howe, and the scholarly Swiss soldier Haldimand.
There were present, too, Sir William Johnston, the baronet of the
Mohawk Valley and leader of the six nations, Major Robert Rogers
of the famous rangers,[3] with his two brothers, and others
of note. No doubt de Vaudreuil’s suite was not far off with
de Lévis, de Bourlamaque, de Bougainville, Dumas, Roquemaure,
Pouchot, Luc de la Corne, with the nefarious Intendant Bigot
and all the principal officers of the colony who had been in
Montreal, the headquarters of government since the fall of Quebec.

During the three following days the town was definitely occupied
by the British, and the arrangements completed for the departure
of the French Regulars. The regiments of Languedoc and Berry,
with the marine corps, were embarked on the 13th; the regiments
of Royal Rousillon and Guyenne on the 14th; on the 16th the
regiments of La Reine and Béarn. On the 17th de Lévis, with de
Bourlamaque, started for Quebec; de Vaudreuil and Bigot left on
the 20th and 21st. By the 22nd every French soldier had left
Montreal, except those who had married in the country and who had
resolved to remain in it and transfer their allegiance to the new

Fate had dealt a severe blow to the brave defenders of Canada
whom we now find sailing from Montreal to France, which would
appear to have abandoned them. The regulars and the colonial
troops, in spite of their jealousies and emulations, were brave
men, and duly honoured as such by the British soldiery who saw
the vessels bearing on the broad St. Lawrence so many of those
who had recently disputed the long drawn out strife for the
conquest of Canada. Speaking of this, “the most picturesque
and dramatic of American wars,” Parkman continues: “There is
nothing more noteworthy than the skill with which the French
and Canadian leaders use their advantages; the indomitable
spirit with which, slighted and abandoned as they were, they
grappled with prodigious difficulties and the courage with which
they were seconded by regulars and militia alike. In spite of
occasional lapses, the defence of Canada deserves a tribute of
admiration.”--(“Montcalm and Wolfe,” Vol. II, p. 382.)

The departures from Montreal and Quebec must have been indeed
heart-rending. That from Montreal, since the fall of Quebec,
the home of all the high officials of the civil, religious and
military governments, was the most striking, as the natural
leaders of the colony were mostly there. “There repassed into
Europe,” says the French Canadian historian, F.X. Garneau, “about
185 officers, 2,400 soldiers valid and invalid, and fully 500
sailors, domestics, women and children. The smallness of this
proved at once the cruel ravages of the war, the paucity of
embarkations of succour sent from France, and the great numerical
superiority of the victor. The most notable colonists at the
same time left the country. Their emigration was encouraged,
that of the Canadian officers especially, whom the conquerors
desired to be rid of and whom they eagerly stimulated to pass to
France. Canada lost by this self-expatriation the most precious
portion of its people, invaluable as its members were from their
experience, their intelligence and their knowledge of public and
commercial affairs.”[5] (Bell’s translation, Vol. II, p. 294.)

[Illustration: SIR GUY CARLETON]



The clergy, however, solidly remained at their posts to build up
the self-esteem of the people and to rear up a loyal race. Hence
the respect and gratitude due to them by the French Canadians of

Yet there were many of whom the country was well rid, such as
Bigot, Cadet, Péan, Bréard, Varin, Le Mercier, Pénisseault,
Maurin, Corpron and others, accused of the frauds and peculations
that helped to ruin Canada. A great sigh of relief might well
have escaped from the French who had been ruined by them.

Most of the ships provided by the English government weathered
the November gales. The vessel L’Auguste containing Saint-Luc de
la Corne, his brother, and others, after being storm-tossed and
saved from conflagration, finally drove towards the shore, struck
and rolled on its side, and became wrecked on the Cap du Nord,
Ile Royale. La Corne, with six others, gained the shore, and he
reached Quebec before the end of the winter, as his journal tells
us. His name was to become familiar at Montreal under the British

The sloop Marie, which had been fitted up to receive the Marquis
de Vaudreuil, his family and staff, had an early mishap between
Montreal and Three Rivers, having run aground.

M. de Vaudreuil and the staff of officers of the colony arrived
at Brest on the English vessel L’Aventure under a flag of
truce, with 142 passengers from Canada. Thence, de Vaudreuil
wrote to the minister of mariné. On December 5th the latter
wrote back acknowledging this letter and that of September
from Montreal containing the articles of capitulation, with
papers relating thereto. A précis of this letter to Vaudreuil
reveals that, although the king was aware of the condition of
the colony, in default of the reinforcements it was unable to
receive, yet, after the hopes the governor had given, by his
letters in the month of June, of holding out some time longer,
and his assurances that the last efforts would be put forth to
sustain the honour of the king before yielding, His Majesty
did not expect to learn so soon of the surrender of Montreal
and of the whole colony. Granting the force of all the reasons
which led to the capitulation, the king was nevertheless
considerably surprised, and less satisfied, at having to submit
to conditions so little to his honour, especially in the face
of the representations which had been made to him by M. de
Lévis on behalf of the military corps of the colony. The king,
in reading the memorandum of these representations, which the
minister was unable to avoid placing before him, saw in it that,
notwithstanding the slight hope of success, Vaudreuil was still
in a condition, with the diminished resources remaining to
him, to attempt an attack or a defence that might have brought
the English to grant a capitulation that would have been more
honourable for the troops. The king left him at liberty to
remain at Brest for the time, for his health. With regard to the
officers who were with him, they could retire to their families
or elsewhere. It was sufficient for him to be informed of their
place of residence.--(“Canadian Archives,” Vol. III, p. 313.)

Not only was Vaudreuil censured for the capitulation of
Montreal, but finally he had the honour of being placed in the
Bastille with the peculators whom we have above mentioned.[6]
His release, however, was speedy. Whatever his gains might have
been from trading in the early part of his career, e. g., as
Governor of Louisiana, he reached France from his government
of Canada a poor man. The trial of those accused of peculation
lasted from December 1, 1761, till the end of March, and on
December 10, 1763, the president of the commission rendered his
final decision. Vaudreuil with five more were relieved from the
accusation, but he died in 1764 less from age than from sorrow.

“In the course of his trial he stood by the Canadian officers,
now being slandered by Bigot. ‘Brought up in Canada myself,’
said the late Governor General, ‘I knew them, every one, and
I maintain that almost all of them are as upright as they are
valorous; in general the Canadians seem to be soldiers born; a
masculine and military training early inures them to fatigues and
dangers. The annals of their expeditions, their explorations, and
their dealings with the aborigines abound in marvelous examples
of courage, activity, patience under privation, coolness in
peril, and obedience to leaders during services which have cost
many of them their lives, but without slackening the ardour of
the survivors. Such officers as these, with a handful of armed
inhabitants and a few savage warriors, have often disconcerted
the projects, paralyzed the preparations, ravaged the provinces,
and beaten the troops of Great Britain when eight or ten times
more numerous than themselves. In a country with frontiers
so vast, such qualities were priceless.’ And he finished by
declaring that he would fail in his duty to those generous
warriors, and even to the state itself, if he did not proclaim
their services, their merits and their innocence.”--(Bell’s
translation of Garneau, Vol. II, p. 298.)

Governor Carleton, writing in 1767 to Lord Shelburne, confirms
this tribute. “The new subjects could send into the field about
eighteen thousand men well able to carry arms, of which number,
above one-half have already served with as much valour, with more
zeal, and more military knowledge for America, than the regular
troops of France that were joined with them.”

Vaudreuil might also have paid a compliment to the brave women
of New France, who, like Madeleine de Verchères and others, were
ready to fight with the men, and who were true women and wives.
“Brave and beautiful,” George III summed them up in a compliment
paid at his court in London after the conquest to Madame de Léry,
the wife of Chevalier de Léry, the engineer who repaired the
fortifications of Montreal: “If all the Canadian ladies resemble
you, I have truly made a fine conquest.”

It must not be thought that the departure of the French colonial
officers was an entire abandonment of the project of regaining
the country. They were to be retained for the French service
and possibly for future use in Canada.[7] They were called to
Tourraine and there held at the king’s pleasure under pay, to all
intents and purposes officers in the French service, and liable
to be sent on any service.

“The British provincial troops were sent from Montreal at an
early date. The New Hampshire and Rhode Island regiments crossed
the river and proceeded to Chambly, thence went to Crown Point.
The Connecticut troops were ordered to Oswego and Fort Stanwix;
the New York and New Jersey regiments to the lately named Fort
William Augustus, at the head of the rapids, and to Oswegatchie
(Ogdensburg). Rogers, with four hundred men, bearing letters from
Vaudreuil instructing the forts to be given over, was sent to
Detroit, Miami, St. Joseph and Michillimackinac.[8] Moncton at
the same time received orders to forward regular troops to take
permanent possession of these forts.”--(Kingsford, “History of
Canada,” Vol. IV, p. 409.)

The troops that were to remain in Montreal for the winter were
now established in their quarters. The French Indians in the
neighbourhood were summoned to the city and requested to bring
their prisoners; they appeared with several men, women and
children, and Johnston established rules and regulations for
their future government.

Amherst remained in Montreal till September 26th, when he went
down the river to Quebec. He left on October 5th and on the
18th was on Lake Champlain, thence to Albany, which he left on
the 21st to arrive in New York on the 28th of October. He never
visited Canada again, but he left it, however, well organized.

Immediately after the capitulation of Montreal he had occupied
himself with the establishment of a provisional military
government with tribunals to administer justice summarily until
a definite form of government should be determined. The French
division of the province into the three administrative districts
of Quebec, Three Rivers and Montreal was maintained. In a
despatch to Pitt dated October 4, 1760, from Quebec (Amériques
et Indes Occidentales, No. 699), Amherst renders an account of
all the dispositions which he had made since the date of the
capitulation of Montreal. Although the greater part of these
were military matters, the following items concerning the civil
administration may be found:

September 15; I have sent officers with detachments to the
different villages to collect the arms and to make them take the
oath of allegiance.

September 16; I have named Colonel Burton governor of Three

September 17; I have given order to the militia of the town
(Montreal) and of the suburbs to give up their arms and to
take the oath of allegiance next day, immediately after the
embarkation of M. de Vaudreuil.

September 22; I have named Brigadier General Gage governor of

On the same day he published a proclamation for the government
of Three Rivers similar to the one for Montreal, dated merely
September, 1760 (“Amériques et Indes Occidentales”), in which
arrangements are made for the transaction of business and
amicable arrangements with the new government and the troops.

The new government was only, however, of an _ad interim_ nature,
for it was not certain that England would keep Canada. It was
this thought that reconciled the Canadians to the new situation.

Meanwhile the British Flag floated over Citadel Hill.

The country was now British. France had been tried in the balance
and found wanting. It had lost, through its wavering policy, a
fair domain and a noble people. This poignant loss was voiced by
de Vaudreuil, the deposed governor general, who, in spite of his
faults, was a true Canadian and had visions of its future as one
of the proudest jewels in the crown of France, for was it not La
Nouvelle France? On quitting his beloved country he paid it this
homage in a letter to his minister:

“With these beautiful and vast countries, France loses 70,000
inhabitants[9] of a rare quality; a race of people unequaled
for their docility, bravery and loyalty. The vexations they
have suffered for many years, more especially during the five
years preceding the reduction of Quebec--all without a murmur,
or importuning the king for relief--sufficiently manifest their
perfect submissiveness.”

The qualities, they had then, remain still the mark of those of
the same race living in Montreal of today.

    “In all things we are sprung, from
    Earth’s best blood, have titles manifold.”

As their predecessors took the oath of allegiance to King George
II, and became good Britishers, so have their descendants
remained today, in the days of George V. “What perished in
the capitulation of Montreal,” says Parkman, “was the Bourbon
monarchy and the narrow absolutism which fettered the life of
New France throughout the Old Régime. What survives today is the
vigour of two races striving to make Canada strong and free and
reverent of law.”

                             NOTE I

                   THE EXODUS AND THE REMNANT

Judge Baby of Montreal, in an article in the Canadian Antiquarian
and Numismatic Journal, 3d Edit., Vol. II, p. 304, has combatted
very successfully the traditional view started by Bibaud and
followed by Garneau that after the capitulation of Montreal, and
the Treaty of Paris, 1763, the seigneurs, the men of learning,
and the chief traders and others of the directing classes, left
the country. This emigration was from the town but the country
places were untouched. He proves that a great many remained
outside the civil and military party who had governed the
country, and the soldiery who were taken officially to France;
that many of the young colonial officers who had thought to have
a chance to follow a career in the army or navy of France shortly
returned at the call of their fathers whose interest in their
lands and whose poverty, heightened by the depreciation of the
paper money, would not have induced them to begin life again in
France; that even of those who did go to France there were very
many who returned, as they had intended; hence the recurrence
of names, in the history after the cession, made familiar
before it. The long list given by Judge Baby of Seigneurs and
gentlemen proved by him to have remained, strengthens his case.
An interesting list of French-Canadians remaining in Montreal
engaged in business at this time is also given by him as follows:

Guy, Blondeau, Le Pellé De LaHaye, Lequindre Douville, Perthuis,
Nivard St. Dizier, Les freres Hervieux, Gaucher-Gamelin, Glasson,
Moquin, St. Sauveur, Pothier, Lemoine de Monnière, De Martigny,
De Couagne, Desauniers, Mailhot, St. Ange-Charly, Dumas, Magnan,
Mitiver, L’Amy, Bruyère, Pierre Chaboillez, Fortier, Lefèbre du
Chouquet, Courtheau, Vallée, Cazeau, Charly, Carignan, Auger,
Porlier frère, Pommereau, Larocque, Dumeriou, Roy-Portelance,
De Vienne, De Montforton, Sanguinet, Campeau, Laframboise,
Vauquier, Guillemain, Curot, Dufau, Campion, Lafontaine,
Truillier-Lacombe, Périneault, Arillac, Léveillé, Bourassa,
Pillet, Hurtubise, Leduc, Monbrun, Landrieu, Mezière, Hilbert,
Tabeau, Sombrun, Marchesseau, Avrard, Lasselle, Dumas St.
Martin, Beaubien-Desrivières, Réaume, Nolin, Cotté, St. Germain,
Ducalvet, L’Eschelle, Beaumont.

The Judge gives the names of many jurisconsults who remained
in the country, three of whom eventually became members of
the Superior Council; also of doctors; the great majority of
the notaries remained in the country. In summing up, he finds
“130 seigneurs, 100 gentry, 125 traders of mark, twenty-five
jurisconsults, and men of law, twenty-five to thirty doctors and
surgeons, notaries of almost the same number”--“were these not,”
he asks, “sufficient to face the political, intellectual and
other needs of the population then in Quebec, Montreal and Three

                             NOTE II


M. de Vaudreuil’s estimate of 70,000 population has been
challenged by Dr. Kingsford (“History of Canada,” Vol. IV, p.

Amherst before leaving Canada obtained a census of the population
which he reported as 76,172 by parishes and districts.

                         Companies  Number
                            of        of      Total of
                Parishes  Militia  Militia    all souls
  Montreal        46        87      7,331      37,200
  Three Rivers    19        19      1,105       6,388
  Quebec          43        64      7,976      32,584
                 ---       ---     ------      ------
                 108       170     16,412      76,172

The census must have been obtained through the French and there
is no ground for supposing that they would designedly furnish
an incorrect statement. It does not, however, accord with the
previous or subsequent tables of population.

The population in 1736 was 39,063; 1737, 39,970; 1739, 42,701;
1754, 55,009. In the fifteen years between the last two dates the
population increased 12,003, something less than one-third. If
we apply this increase to the next six years we may be justified
in estimating the increase at one-eighth, which would place
the population at 62,000. It is not provable that in these six
years of war the population could have increased upwards of
20,000,--five-elevenths--nearly half of the former total. In 1761
the three governors were called upon to furnish a census of their
several districts. The reports were:

  (Gage) Montreal        24,957
  (Burton) Three Rivers   6,612
  (Murray) Quebec        30,211
          Total of       61,780

“I am inclined, therefore,” says Kingsford, “to estimate the
French population of Canada in 1760 at 60,000 souls, the number
of which hitherto has been generally accepted as correctly
representing it.”

At the same time Doctor Kingsford placed too much reliance on
the census of 1761. It is well known that fear of conscription
and other bogies caused the census returns of French-Canadian
inhabitants to be minimized for many a long day under British
rule. If Amherst’s census of 76,172 is correct, as well as the
61,780, that of the year 1761, then a loss of 14,392 is to be
accounted for.


[1] From R. McCord’s collection.

[2] A detailed and romantic account of their burning on St.
Helen’s Island is to be found in “L’Ile de Ste. Helène, Passè,
Présent et Avenir, par A. Achintre et J.A. Crevier, M.D.,
Montreal, 1876.” I have found no historical proof of them being
burnt there.--Ed.

[3] Major Rogers’ picture in ranger uniform long decorated the
shops of London. His bold, bucanneering deeds caught the popular
fancy. The late Lord Amherst recalled long afterward how certain
verses traditional in his family had been taught the children
of successive Amhersts so long that the meaning of the allusion
was forgotten until quite recently, when it was found that they
referred to Rogers.

[4] The French troops were only able to leave Quebec on the 22nd
and 25th of October.--“Can. Arch. A. and W.I.,” 95, p. 1.

[5] See Appendix for Judge Baby’s criticism and qualification of
the extent of this exodus.

[6] The accused numbered fifty-five. Among those condemned either
to banishment from France or restitution and fines were: Bigot,
the Intendant, Varin, his sub-delegate, and Duchesnaux, his
secretary; Cadet, commissary general of Canada, and his agent,
Corpron; Péan, captain and aide-major of the marine troops in
Canada; Estèbe, the keeper of the King’s stores in Quebec; (all
these had operated in Montreal directly or through their agents);
Martel de St. Antoine, keeper of the King’s store at Montreal;
Maurin, Pénisseault, merchants and operators in Cadet’s offices
in this city; and Le Moyne-Despins, a merchant employed in
furnishing provisions to the army. See “Montreal Under the French
Régime,” Vol. I.

[7] In 1767 Guy Carleton feared an uprising in Canada on the
probable return of this body of officers. See letter to Lord
Shelburne. (Constitutional Documents--Shortt & Doughty.)

[8] Rogers reached New York, on his return from Detroit, the
following February. Owing to the setting in of winter he had been
unable to proceed to other forts. He reported that he had found
one thousand Canadians in the neighbourhood of Detroit.--“Can.
Arch. A. and W.I., 961,” p. 219.

[9] See note at the end of this chapter.

                           CHAPTER II

                         THE INTERREGNUM


                       MILITARY GOVERNMENT


Brigadier Gage was appointed governor of Montreal on September
21, 1760.[1] He early won the esteem of the townspeople. All his
ordinances manifest the desire to act in accordance with justice
and in harmony with the people. Montrealers recognized this and
shortly after the death of George II, which took place on October
25th, expressed their confidence in their rulers in an address
written in English and French. The English version as inserted in
the New York Gazette is as follows:

“To his Excellency, General Gage, governor of Montreal and its

“The address of the officers of militia and merchants of the city
of Montreal.

“Cruel Destiny has thus cutt short the Glorious Days of so Great
and so Magnanimous a Monarch! We are come to pour out our Grief
unto the paternal Bosom of Your Excellency, the Sole Tribute
of Gratitude of a People who will never cease to Exalt the
mildness and Moderation of their New Masters. The General who has
conquered us has rather treated Us as a Father than a Vanquisher
and has left us a precious Pledge[2] by name and deed of his
Goodness to Us. What acknowledgements are we not beholden to make
for so many Favours? Ha! They shall be forever Engraven in our
Hearts in Indelible Characters. We Entreat Your Excellency to
continue us the Honour of Your Protection. We will endeavour to
Deserve it by Our Zeal and by the Earnest Prayers We shall ever
offer up to the Immortal Being for Your Health and Preservation.”
(Canadian Archives, A. & W., I, 96, I, page 327.)

The mildness and moderation of the “New Masters” was particularly
shown by the retention of existing laws and customs. It will
be recalled that Vaudreuil, in the Articles of Capitulation
had asked that “French and Canadians should be _continued_ to
be governed according to the customs of Paris and the laws and
usages established for this country and should not be subject
to any other laws than those established under the French
dominion.” Whereupon Amherst had replied that this had been
answered by the preceding article and especially by the reply
to the last (Article 41), asking that the British government
should only require a strict neutrality of the Canadians, which
said curtly: “They become subjects of the king”--a non-committal
reply, which at first looked severe but was, as the conscientious
historian, Jacques Viger,[3] has said, just and reasonable under
the circumstances. In the event, Amherst granted more than his
answer would suggest, for during the Interregnum, the French and
British incomers continued to be governed according to the custom
of Paris. Hence the gratitude expressed through General Gage was
well deserved.

The period of the Interregnum, now beginning (September 8, 1760,
to August 10, 1764), which was to last until the promulgation of
the treaty of Paris, and the official publication by Governor
General Murray of his civil appointment, has been called
erroneously by several French historians, “_La Regne Militaire_,”
a term suggestive of military despotism and summary justice.
Commander Jacques Viger, M. Labrie, Judge Mondelet and others
rejected this erroneous misnomer in the columns of the Journal
“La Bibliotheque Canadienne,” being edited in 1827 by Bibaud,
the well known historian. For, after examining the documents
of the period they came to the conclusion that the name of _La
Regne Militaire_ could only be merited because, as most of the
official men of the law having been in Government employ had left
the country and new justices had to be created who should judge
according to “_les lois, formes et usages_” of the country, the
government devolved perforce on the _military_ men and _of the_
“_milices_,” the only educated men left besides the clergy.

This is made clear by a memoir of October 15, 1777, to the
British government on the subject of the administration of
justice, drawn up by Judges Panet, Mabane and Dunn, of whom
Pierre Panet had been one of the _greffiers_ at Montreal, and the
others had had close relations with the military judges. Their
testimony is therefore convincing. They state: “Though Canada
was conquered by His Majesty’s arms in the fall of 1760, the
administration in England did not interfere with the interior
government of it till the year 1763. It remained, during that
period, as formerly, with three districts, under the separate
command of military officers who established in their respective
districts, military courts under different forms, indeed, but in
which, _according to the policy observed in wise nations towards
a conquered people the laws and usages of Canada were observed in
the rules of decision_.”

The basis of the new military government was the placard issued
by General Amherst from Montreal on the 22d of September, 1760,
in which he announced the new order of the government for the
old and new subjects, and outlined the new form of military
government throughout the three districts, by the appointment
in each parish of the officers of the militia, the commandant
of the regular troops and a third court of further appeal to
the governor, as the future demonstrators of justice, and then
left it to the local governors of the other two divisions of
the country to establish their own courts. These officers of
militia were the most competent at the time to carry on the
traditional “custom of Paris” as they were mostly appointed from
the Seigneurs of the district and the educated class.

Accordingly on October 28, 1760, General Gage issued his orders
establishing tribunals of militia officers to regulate civil
disputes among individuals and a second tribunal of appeal before
the regular military court, with a final court of appeal to

The rest of the document deals with police prohibitions to the
inhabitants, not to harbour deserters or to traffic with the
soldiers for their arms, clothing, etc., or any other of their
accoutrements; it orders chimneys to be swept once a month, and
other precautions against fire; carpenters were to be prepared
with an adz, the inhabitants with an axe and bucket; also
arrangements for safety against snow from falling from houses,
the cleansing of the portions before the house and the disposal
of garbage, the keeping of the roads and bridges in good order,
and regulations concerning the sale of provisions brought in by
the country people, the sale to be made in the common market
place with the prohibition to town merchants to forestall the
citizens by buying up the supplies brought in. The militia
captains being no lawyers, were only required by Amherst to
dispense law and justice as best they could, being limited to
civil cases.

The ordinance of Thomas Gage, governing the administration of
justice in his jurisdiction of Montreal by dividing it into
five districts with definite powers and the regulations for the
upkeep of the courts therein, was dated at Montreal, October 13,
1761. In each of the five districts there was to assemble on the
first and fifteenth of each month a court of officers of the
“_Milice_.” These militia courts were to be composed of not more
than seven and not less than five members, of which one should
hold the rank of captain, the senior to act as president. The
officers of militia of each district were summoned to meet in
their parishes on the 24th of October to make arrangements for
the whole of these courts and to prepare rosters of officers for
duty therein.

The Town of Montreal was set apart as a judicial district of
its own, with a local board of officers to administer the laws.
Appeal was allowed from these courts to three boards of officers
of His Majesty’s Troops, one to meet at Montreal, the other at
Varennes and the third at St. Sulpice, these courts of appeal to
sit on the 20th of each month. A further appeal from these courts
to the governor in person was provided for.

In the event of capital crimes, officers of militia were
authorized to arrest the criminals and their accomplices and to
conduct them under guard to Montreal, the militia officers to
furnish with each prisoner an account of the crime and a list of
witnesses. In civil cases involving small amounts, not exceeding
twenty _livres_ all the officers of the militia were individually
granted authority to adjudicate with an appeal to and no further
than the militia courts of the districts.

Provision was made for the payment of the militia officers
for all of these duties by a scale of fees, a treasurer to be
appointed for each court. The officers of militia were especially
enjoined to maintain peace and order within their respective

On October 17th the _Conseil des Capitaines de Milice de
Montreal_ presented a memorial to the governor expressing their
willingness to administer justice gratuitously, as they had done
in the past, but requesting as a favour from His Excellency that
they be exempted from the obligation to billet troops in their
domiciles. They requested that six cords of wood be purchased to
heat the chamber in which their sittings were held and that Mr.
Panet, their clerk, be compensated for his services at the rate
of thirty _sols_ for each sentence. Two militia sergeants had
been appointed to act as bailiffs and criers of the court, and
a tariff of fees was asked for to provide for their pay. These
sergeants, it was also explained, were not only made use of in
the administration of justice but also for the district, for the
supervision of the statutory labour or _corvèe_. This memorial,
which was signed “R. Decouange,” was approved by the governor.[4]

The inclusion of the French officers in the administration of
the affairs of the country was a wise and honest attempt on the
part of the British to carry out the promise of the capitulation
to retain for the present the laws and customs of the past. In
choosing the officers of the militia they were well advised,
since the commissions there were held by the Seigneurs and the
other notabilities of their respective districts, men who were
the best educated and the most esteemed in the country. The
choice was politic also, for it secured the continuance of the
services of men who, under the old régime, had already been in
charge of the conduct of justice, as well as public and communal
affairs. Indeed it was to them that there had been intrusted
the carrying out of the public works, such as road making and
repairs, bridge building, the regulation of statutory labor
through corvèes, etc. In the new régime, therefore, the militia
officers were practically reinstated in their former functions.

An examination has been made by Judge Mondelet of Three Rivers,
of the registers kept of the decisions of the military court of
Montreal. These latter have been generally found equitable and
founded on positive law; they are legally attested to in most
cases, the secretary of the council being a Frenchman skilled
in the law, such as was Pierre Panet, the notary, and the
minutes are all in French. The first four registers contain the
transactions of the “Chambre de Milices” presided over by the
captains of the militia, and dealt only with civil cases. The
fifth and sixth of these registers contain the criminal decisions
of the court martials of the _Chambre Militaire_ of Montreal
and that of St. Sulpice, as well as appeals from the “Chambre de
Milices.” This court was composed only of officers of the regular
army to the number of five. In addition there was the further
right of appeal to the governor. The seventh register “appeals to
the governor,” records the decisions of General Gage (page 299),
and of General Burton (page 95).

By consulting the records we find that order during this period
was observed independently of the racial distinctions in the
city. We hear of, for instance, early in 1761 of the execution
of a grenadier of the Forty-fourth Regiment for robbery, which
is balanced by that of a French soldier, formerly of the La
Salle Regiment, for the murder of a habitant at Ile Jésus, the
execution being carried out in the market place.

It will be interesting here to notice some of the court martials
held at Montreal in the years 1761 and 1762. It will be seen
that French and English, the “new” and the “old” subjects,
came equally under them, being treated with equal justice. The
following cases from the “Livre d’orde” reveal this.

Montreal, June 3, 1761, at the court martial general,
Lieutenant-Colonel Grant presiding, Jean Marchand of
Boucherville, was prosecuted for the murder of Joseph Carpentier,
a Canadian,--acquitted.

Tuesday, June 30, William Bewen accused of having intoxicated
soldiers and of selling rum without license, is found guilty,
having been accessory to his associate, Isaac Lawrence, who has
the habit of selling rum to the soldiers,--condemned to receive
200 stripes of the cat-o’-nine tails, and to be driven from the
town at the beat of the drum. (First of July, Isaac Lawrence
similarly condemned.)

August 6, Joseph Lavalleé and François Herpin, inhabitants of
Montreal, prosecuted for theft,--acquitted.

Joseph Burgen, one of those who came following the army, is
accused and convicted for theft, and condemned to be hanged
by the neck until death shall ensue. The General approved the
sentence, but pardoned him on the condition that he left this
government without delay.

August 13, George Skipper and Bellair, bakers, accused and
arraigned by Captain Disnay for having sold bread, which had not
the requisite weight,--acquitted.

September 19, John Charlette and one named Lameure, Canadians,
are indicted for having solicited Joseph Myard, a drummer, to
desert. Charlette is acquitted and Lameure is found guilty and
condemned to receive 300 blows from the whip. He is pardoned by
the General.

December 13, William Morris, accused of having kept a dissolute
house, is condemned to a fine of £5.

December 24, two Canadians prosecuted for having the property
of the King in their possession. One is acquitted and the other
found guilty and condemned to receive 400 stripes of the lash.
The General approves the sentence, but reduces the lashes to

For 1762, we may choose an incident which shows the growth of the
tendency towards the unpleasant relations between the Montreal
English merchants and the military, which afterwards had such
serious results, and helped to occasion the recall of General

February 26, Mr. Grant and Edward Chinn, merchants, accused of
having insulted Ensign Nott of the Fourth Battalion of the Sixth
Regiment of Royal Americans, are found guilty and condemned, Mr.
Grant to a fine of £30 and Mr. Chinn to a fine of £20, “which
sums will be employed according to the direction of the General
to the relief of the unhappy poor in Montreal.” Pardon is to be
asked of Ensign Nott in the presence of the garrison of Montreal
in the following terms, namely--“Ensign Nott I am very sorry for
having been guilty of assault in your regard and very humbly ask
your pardon.” The General approved the sentence, but reduced the
fine of Mr. Grant to £20. Mr. Forrest Oakes was also prosecuted
for a like offence and condemned also to ask pardon of Ensign
Nott, and to undergo fourteen days’ imprisonment. The General
reduced the imprisonment to twenty-four hours and exempted Mr.
Oakes from asking pardon, because it appeared to him that the
injuries received had been reciprocal.

From these judgments, we may see that, while the Chambre de
Justice of Chambre de Milices judged purely civil affairs, all
criminal affairs, great and small, were relegated to the “Council
of War,” otherwise called the “Court Martial,” which performed
the functions nowadays of the courts of Quarter Sessions and
criminal courts of King’s Bench. The “General” was the final
court of appeal.

A glance at some of the ordinances of this period will further
illustrate the life of the town. On November 27 Governor Gage
found it necessary to issue ordinances against merchants,
who without permission of the governor, went to sell their
merchandise and intoxicating liquors in the country places. On
the 13th of January, 1762, there occurred a further ordinance,
explaining the former and forbidding in addition the sale of
liquors to soldiers and savages, and fixing the quantity lawful
to be sold to the inhabitants at one time. These merchants
were probably newcomers from the English colonies now drifting
into the city and anxious to make good quickly rather than

On the 12th of May regulations were issued concerning the amount
of cords of wood that should be furnished to the troops.

On July 26th, Gage endeavors to arrange for the money exchange
values. He orders that six _livres tournois_ shall be equal to
eight shillings, or ten _sols_ of Montreal money.

On July 31st, Gage has his mind on the repair of the
fortifications, “seeing that they are falling into ruin and
wishing to carry on the old regulations for the common good,
following in this time of uncertainty, the ancient usages, which
are not opposed to the service of the king,” and therefore he
ordered that there shall be imposed every year commencing with
1762, a sum, of which a third shall be paid by the Seminary of
St. Sulpice and the other two-thirds by the regular and secular
communities and the inhabitants of the said Town of Montreal, for
repairs to commence in the following spring, but that the gate,
on which they are working, shall be made perfect this year, and
“that the said imposition, for which the money shall be remitted
to a person named by the Chambre of Militia of the said Montreal,
shall not surpass the sum of 6,000 _livres_ each year” and shall
continue until the entire repair of the said enclosure is made,
at the end of which repairs, the present ordinance shall remain
null and void.

On August 3d, Gage seeing that different standards of weights and
measures were being used, and to prevent frauds slipping into the
commercial life of the city, established that, in Montreal,
the English standard yard measure should be used according to the
standard to be kept by the “major of the place.” This regulation
it was hoped would suit both the English and French.

[Illustration: IN THE DAYS OF THE OLD REGIME St. Amable Street,
a narrow thoroughfare west of the lower part of Jaques Cartier
Square and near the spot where the Chateau de Vaudreuil once
stood, was a fashionable quarter in the gay days before the
“Capitulation.” The house marked by a projecting sign “The
Woodbine” is said to have been the site of a saloon for two
hundred years.]

On October 18th he has to settle the prices, which the bakers of
the town should charge for various kinds of bread.

On November 15th, foreseeing the future possibilities of Montreal
trade, Governor Gage issued an ordinance for the establishment of
a Customs House and he orders Thomas Lambs to be recognized as
its director, and Richard Oakes as the visitor of the said Custom
House in Montreal.

The following will interest Montreal merchants of today, being
significant of the first loosening of restrictions upon Montreal
on the part of Quebec. “All ship owners and others interested in
trade are warned that all of the vessels coming from Europe or
the colonies charged on account of merchants and others, who wish
to come there to do business, can follow their destinations up to
the city of Montreal without being discharged and re-charged with
merchandise at Quebec under any pretext whatever, unless they
are suspected of carrying goods of contraband, in the design of
making illicit trade.”

On the 7th of January, 1763, regulations forbidding excess speed
of the carriages and horses in the streets of Montreal and
suburbs had to be laid down.

On the 4th of April Gage issued an ordinance establishing the
Custom House at Montreal, with regulations to the captains
of ships and officers, sailors and others to carry out the
regulations issued, which show that all the paraphernalia and
customary duty of ships reporting to the customs, avoiding
smuggling, etc., were now full of vigour. Montreal was beginning
to be a port of some pretensions.

All these regulations show that the British authorities, while
affirming the customs of the country and maintaining the law, as
known by the people and administered by their own men of ability
and learning, the captains of the militia, of whom many were of
the noblesse, providing progressive trade regulations, required
for the development of the port and of the up-country commerce,
of which the headquarters were at Montreal, were wise rulers.

The care with which the inhabitants were instructed in the
knowledge of political events happening outside of their own
sphere, the participation in their own judicial code by their
own officers, thus beginning, as it were, to be permitted for
the first time to participate in their duty of taking part in
the government, the justice with which they were treated by the
conquerors, the faithful fulfilment of dues for service received,
brought about a unity with the English soldiery and the new
governors, that disposed the conquered people to feel little
regret at the departure of the French Régime from Canada.

Many there were, who were still borne up by the hope that the
expected peace would restore Canada to France, but the majority
were indifferent and if anything glad to have things remain as
they were. The position at Montreal may be summed up in the words
of General Gage’s report to Amherst, dated March 20, 1762, sent
on to London the same year.[5]

“I feel the highest satisfaction that I am able to inform you
that during my command of this government I have made it my
constant care and attention that the Canadians should be treated
agreeable to His Majesty’s kind and humane intentions. No
invasion on their property or assault on their person has gone
unpunished. All reproaches on their subjection by the fate of
arms, revilings on their customs or country and all reflections
on their religion, have been discountenanced and forbid. No
distinction has been made between the Briton and Canadian, but
equally regarded as subjects of the same prince. The soldiers
live peaceably with the inhabitants and they reciprocally acquire
an affection for each other.”

Those who know the British soldier will not be surprised to hear
that in the distress that fell upon the French Canadians in 1761,
mostly through the non-payment of the obligations incurred by the
French government, for the redemption of the paper money not yet
liquidated since the capitulation, the soldiers gave each one
a day’s provisions monthly to relieve the immediate distress.
Quebec suffered most. Montreal merchants came to the rescue and
swelled the general subscription lists.

As Governor Gage was on the spot, his official report may be
further largely quoted as that of an historian of Montreal. After
the above opening remarks on the amicable relations existing
between the French-Canadians and British, he continues: “The
Indians have been treated on the same principles of humanity.
They have had immediate justice for all their wrongs and no
tricks or artifices have hitherto been attempted to defraud them
in their trade.”

He sends a return of the present state of the troops and
artillery and a report of the fortifications. Speaking of those
of Montreal he notes: “Upon a height within the city is a small
square work of wood, completed since the capitulation, provided
with a few pieces of artillery and capable of containing seventy
or eighty men.”

“The soil produces all sorts of summer grains. In some parts
of the government the wheat is sown in autumn. Every kind of
pulse and other vegetables to which I may add some fruits, viz.,
apples, pears, plums, melons, etc. Cider is made here, but as yet
in small quantities. In general every fruit tree hardy enough to
withstand the severity of the winter will produce in the summer,
which affords sufficient heat to bring most kinds of fruit to

Reporting as befits one stationed at the center and headquarters
of the fur trade on the profits to the French king from the posts
he says, “I must conclude His Majesty gained very little from
this commerce.”

He then records what must have been of great importance to
the interests of the British merchants of Montreal desirous
of up-country trade. “Immediately after we became masters of
this country all monopolies were abolished and all incumbrances
upon trade were removed. The traders chose their posts without
the obligation of purchasing them and I can by no means think
the French management in giving exclusive grants of trade at
particular posts for the sake of the sale thereof or the sale
of permits to trade at the free posts worthy our imitation. The
Indians, of course, paid dearer for their goods and the trade in
general must have been injured by the monopolies.”

Summing up the gain to France of Canada he says: “The only
immediate importance and advantage the French king derived from
Canada was the preventing the extension of the British colonies,
the consumption of the commodities and manufactures of France
and the trade of pelletry. She had no doubt views to further
advantages that the country might in time supply her with hemp,
cordage, iron, masts and generally all kinds of naval stores.
The people in general seemed well enough disposed to their new

“The only causes of dislike which I can discover proceed from
the fear of money, and the difference of religion. I understand
Canada to be on the same footing in respect of this money as all
the French colonies and if France pays any of them I don’t see
how she can avoid paying the bills of exchange drawn from Canada
in the same proportion as she pays the rest. It is the Canadians
only who would be sufferers by an exception, as Canadian bills to
a very large amount are in the possession of French merchants and
the rest may be sent to France and nobody be able to distinguish
which is French and which Canadian property.”

Speaking of the second cause of dislike, the difference
of religion, he says: “The people having enjoyed a free
and undisturbed exercise of their religion ever since the
capitulation of their country, their fears in that particular
are much abated, but there still remains a jealousy. It is to
be hoped that in time this jealousy will wear off and certainly
in this, much will depend upon the clergy. Perhaps methods may
be found hereafter to supply the _curés_ of this country with
priests well affected. But whilst Canada is stocked as she is
now with corps of priests detached from seminaries in France, on
whom they depend and to whom they pay obedience, it is natural to
conceive that neither the priests nor those they can influence
will ever bear that love and affection to a British government
which His Majesty’s auspicious reign would otherwise engage from
the Canadians as well as from his other subjects.”

In passing it may be noted that Gage’s fears were never realized,
for to the Canadian clergy is due the credit of having saved
Canada to English rule, as will be seen afterwards. A last
quotation is interesting as bearing on the question of the
exodus in 1760 after the capitulation. “No persons have left
this government to go to France except those who held military
and civil employment under the French king. Nor do I apprehend
any emigration at the peace, being persuaded that the present
inhabitants will remain under the British dominion. I perceive
none preparing to leave the government or that seem inclined to
do it unless it is a few ladies whose husbands are already in
France, and they propose to leave the country when peace is made,
if their husbands should not rather choose to return to Canada.”

Meanwhile the peace was eagerly looked forward to. The
proclamations of the 26th of November, given from the Palace
of St. James in London, having reference to the preliminaries
for peace and the cessation of hostilities, prepared the minds
of all for further intelligence. This was eventually given by
Thomas Gage from his Château of Montreal on the 17th of May,
1763, in which the definitive treaty of peace made between their
Brittannic and very Christian and Catholic majesties, signed
on the 6th of February, and ratified on the 10th of March, was
made known. On this occasion Gage indicated to the people the
chief portions bearing upon their rights, especially that of
the exercise of their religion according to the rights of the
Roman church “as far as the laws of Great Britain permit,” and
secondly that whereby the inhabitants of His Christian Majesty
had permission to leave Canada in safety and liberty, the limit
fixed for this emigration being the space of eighteen months, to
count from the day of the exchange of the treaty. He communicated
to the captains of his government a letter from Monseigneur de
Choiseul, which had reference to the payment of debts due and
relating to the redemption of the paper money, which was still in
circulation, although the English governors sought to prohibit
it. It was set forth that the Most Christian King would pay the
sum due to the new subjects of Great Britain, but that the amount
must not be confounded with the money held by the French subjects.

On May 27, the governor of Montreal issued through the captains
of Militia of Montreal regulations concerning the liquidation of
this paper money, directing the captains to make a declaration
of the amount in their possession. They were to place the amount
held by them in the hand of Pierre Panet, _Notaire et Greffier_
of Montreal, appointed for this purpose, between the first and
thirtieth of June, designating the character of the notes, with
the name of the holder and other safeguards to be observed,
upon which certificates of receipt would be given. Care was to
be taken that the money, which they brought, should belong to
them and that they did not lend their names to anyone. Fault
in this regard would lead to prosecution for falsifying. For
this transaction a fee of five _sous_ was to be paid for every
thousand _livres_ so deposited. Money was received from 7 o’clock
in the morning to midday and from 2 o’clock to 5, except on
Sundays and holidays. This must have caused great excitement in
the city. Great care was taken to instruct the habitants of the
value of their money and warn them against becoming the victims
of speculators.[6]

Meanwhile preparations were being made for the removal of General
Gage from the post, which he had filled with excellent judgment
and with habitual prudence.

On August 5th, Gage issued some further ordinances regulating the
transport of merchandise and ammunition to the savages, seeing
that these latter had again been making incursions into the

On August 18 he upheld a complaint of the established merchants
against the peddlers who were underselling the merchants in the
streets, forbidding anyone to sell in the public places of the
city, the streets and even the squares, river banks and suburbs.

On the 16th of September he issued an ordinance concerning
certain uncultivated lands in the districts of the Government,
which had been granted with titles of concessions “en fief” under
the former régime, and on which there had been no ground broken
as yet, on account of wars or other events. Those having these
should present their credentials or applications at once, so
as to have them recognized, to avoid any conflict with future

General Gage left Montreal with the esteem of all. He was
presented with an affectionate address by the captains of the
_Chambre de Milice_, over which he had presided as the Chief
Judge, and he replied to them by a letter on October 15, 1763,
begging them to accept his testimony in recognition of the
services which they had rendered to the king of the country,
trusting that they would continue the same for the public good
and that their service, for which they had already required
so great a reputation among their own compatriots, would not
fail to draw upon them the good-will and protection of the
king. Certainly Gage might safely boast, as he had done in his
letter to Amherst, of the peaceful state of Montreal under his
government. He had helped to forge the links of intimacy that
bound the _noblesse_ and the British officials, the militia and
the military officers, which made for the harmonious transition
between the old and the new régimes. Whether or not the alliance
was an unmixed blessing is shown by subsequent events.


[1] Before leaving, General Amherst appointed military governors
for three districts. Their tenures of office were as follows:
District of Montreal, General Thomas Gage, September, 1760, to
October, 1763; Colonel Ralph Burton, October, 1763, to August,
1764. District of Quebec, General James Murray, September, 1760,
to August, 1764. District of Three Rivers, Colonel Ralph Burton,
September, 1760, to May, 1762; Colonel F. Haldimand, May, 1762,
to March, 1763; Colonel Ralph Burton, March, 1763, to October,
1763; Colonel F. Haldimand, October, 1763, to August, 1764.

[2] The French runs: “_Et nous a laissé un gage precieux_, etc.”
The word “pledge” instead of “gage” in the English translation
destroys the delicate _double entendre_ and compliment, evidently
meant in the French version.

[3] The first mayor of Montreal.

[4] For the above abstracts of the ordinance of October 13th and
October 17th see “The Canadian Militia,” by Captain Ernest J.
Chambers, 1907.

[5] This was prepared for Pitt according to the order of Lord
Egremont in his dispatch to Sir Jeffrey Amherst of December
12, 1761, in which the king approves of the system of military
government established in the districts of Quebec, Three Rivers
and Montreal. He instructs Amherst to send for His Majesty’s
information a full account of the newly acquired country. In
response to this command communicated to Murray, Burton and Gage,
reports from the latter were prepared and forwarded to Amherst.
These reports were among the documents submitted to the Board of
Trade for their information in preparing a plan of government for
the territories ceded to Britain by the treaty of Paris of 1763.

[6] The same arrangements were carried out at Quebec and Three
Rivers and Murray reported that the total amount of the paper
money in circulation was nearly 17,000,000 of _livres_, that, in
the government of Montreal alone, being 7,980,298-8-4. Kingsford,
History of Canada, Vol. V, page 181, remarks: “An attempt to
depreciate the value of this paper was made by the court of
France in which it was pointed out that from the discredit to
which it had fallen it had been purchased at 80 to 90 per cent
discount; that it did not represent the value of what had been
received, owing to the high price paid for the articles obtained;
that the bills of exchange of 1759 were paid in part and that
bills that remained were only such as had been issued after this
payment. The British reply was that the court of France, having
been the cause of the discredit alleged had no right to profit by
it, that the prices paid for supplies had been established by the
intendant, that the date of the ordinances could not constitute a
reason why they should not be paid, that such paper money was the
currency of the colony issued by France, consequently the country
was responsible for it.”

                           CHAPTER III



                    THE NEW CIVIL GOVERNMENT


Before proceeding further it will be well to set before the
reader some special portions of “_The definitive treaty of peace
and friendship between His Britannic Majesty, the Most Christian
King, and the king of Spain, concluded at Paris the 10th day of
February, 1763, to which the king of Portugal acceded on the same

Section IV relating to Canada was as follows:

  “His Most Christian Majesty renounces all pretensions which he
  has heretofore formed or might have formed to Nova Scotia or
  Acadia in all its parts, and guarantees the whole of it and with
  all its dependencies to the King of Great Britain. Moreover
  his most Christian Majesty accedes and guarantees to his said
  Britannic Majesty in full right, Canada with all its dependencies
  as well as the island of Cape Breton and all the other islands
  and coasts in the Gulph and river of St. Lawrence and in general
  everything that depends on the said countries, lands, islands
  and coasts with the sovereignty, property, possessions and all
  rights acquired by treaty or otherwise, which the Most Christian
  King and the crown of France have had till now over the said
  countries, lands, islands, places, coasts and their inhabitants,
  so that the Most Christian King cedes and makes over the whole to
  the said King and to the Crown of Great Britain and that in the
  most ample manner and form, without restriction and without any
  liberty to depart from the said cession and guarantee under any
  pretense, or to disturb Great Britain in the possessions above

  “His Britannic Majesty on his side agrees to grant the liberty of
  the Catholick religion to the inhabitants of Canada; he will in
  consequence give the most precise and most effectual orders that
  his new Roman Catholick subjects may profess the worship of their
  religion according to the rights of the Romish church as far as
  the laws of Great Britain permit. His Britannic Majesty further
  agrees that the French inhabitants or others who have been
  subjects of the Most Christian King in Canada may retire with all
  safety and freedom whenever they shall think proper and may sell
  their estates provided it be to the subjects of His Britannic
  Majesty, and bring away their effects as well as their persons
  without being restrained in their emigration under any pretense
  whatever except that of debts or of criminal prosecutions; the
  term limited for this emigration shall be fixed to the space of
  eighteen months to be computed from the day of the exchange of
  the ratification of the present treaty.”

The definitive treaty of Paris of February 10, 1763, proclaimed
by Governor Gage in Montreal on May 17th, was received with
delight by the English merchants, for they looked forward eagerly
for the civil government to be set up in which they, but a
handful, hoped by the right of conquest to assume the high hand.
They had long chafed under what they, more than the “Canadians,”
chose to call military despotism. They had looked upon the
amicable temporary participation of the Canadians in their own
government, with eyes of envy. They were of the same metal as
the British merchants of Quebec who, relying on their undoubted
energy in developing the commercial interests of the country, and
in their self-satisfaction, so aggrandized their own importance
that they wished to rule solely, so that they early petitioned
his Majesty for a representative assembly in this province as in
all the other provinces of His Majesty. “There are,” they said,
“a sufficient number of loyal and interested Protestants outside
the military officers to form a legislative assembly, and the new
subjects of His Majesty, if he should believe it proper, could
be authorized to elect Protestants without having to take oath
against their conscience.” (See constitutional documents, Doughty
& Shortt.)

There were only about two hundred Protestants, and these not all
educated or upright men, in the whole country at this time--in
Quebec 144, in Montreal 56. Yet they desired to represent the
whole people and to exclude the “new subjects” from every
position of trust under the new civil government. At the time of
Murray’s recall in 1766 they had reached the number of 450.

The Canadians were not prepared for the new turn of the tide. In
consequence we shall see that between 1763 and 1774 the country
was in an unsettled state, owing to the conflict inevitable
between the two forces of the old and new régimes striving for

Under the military law the “new subjects” had been entrusted with
a share in the government. The English rulers were officers and
gentlemen who respected the claims of the Seigneurs as well as
of the simple habitants, and moreover their religion was held in
honour. They had been led to believe that this happy state would
continue. Gage and Murray in their report to Egremont seem to
hint how they were hoodwinked. “Canadians are very ignorant and
extremely tenacious of their religion. Nothing can contribute to
make them staunch subjects to His Majesty as the new government
giving them every reason to imagine no alteration is to be
attempted in that point.”

Thus when the “new subjects” came to understand that they were
only to “profess the worship of their religion according to the
rights of the Romish church _as far as the laws of Great Britain
permit_,” and that that permission was to be interpreted along
the lines of the Catholic civil disabilities in England, they
felt that they were proscribed men who had been ensnared by
roseate promises of a wise interpretation of British liberty to
be extended to them as new subjects.

The situation was impossible and at once there began the
inevitable struggle and the long series of accommodations that
were eventually to culminate in the Quebec act of 1774, the Magna
Charta of French Canadians. The significance of this act cannot
be understood unless the religious proscription in the policy of
the new government be understood. Hence the opposition among the
Seigneurs in Montreal, their headquarters, was secretly fostered,
which later alarmed Carleton so much, as we shall see. The French
Canadian clergy and Seigneurs of Montreal looked upon the new
change of government as an attempt to Anglicize their religion
as well as their laws. And they were not far wrong. In a letter
to Governor Murray, the secretary of state, Lord Egremont, wrote
from Whitehall on August 13, 1763, acquainting him that the King
had been graciously pleased to confer on him the civil government
of Canada and making special reference to the qualification,
“as far as the laws of Great Britain permit,” which laws, he
explains, prohibit absolutely all Popish hierarchy in any of
the dominions belonging to the Crown of Great Britain and can
only admit of a toleration of the exercise of that religion; this
matter was clearly understood in the negotiation of the exercise
of that religion; the French ministers proposed to insert the
words _comme ci-devant_ in order that the Romish religion should
continue to be exercised in the same manner as under their
government; and they did not give up their point until they were
plainly told that it would be deceiving them to admit those
words, for the king had not the power to tolerate that religion
in any other manner than as far as the laws of Great Britain
permit. “These laws must be your guide in any disputes that may
arise on this subject.”

The intention was precisely to tolerate for a time the Romish
religion and gradually to supplant it. The royal instructions to
Governor Murray, given from the court of St. James by King George
on the 7th day of December, 1763, leave no doubt on this head.
The intention to suppress the natural growth of the Catholic
church in Canada by crippling it forever at its fountain head by
giving no guarantee of the recognition of the Episcopal power and
jurisdiction, had already been foreshadowed in the two clauses
submitted by Vaudreuil in the terms of the capitulation of

  Article XXX: “If by the treaty of peace Canada shall remain in
  the power of His Britannic Majesty, His Most Christian Majesty
  shall continue to name the bishop of the colony, who shall always
  be of the Roman communion and under whose authority the people
  shall exercise the Roman religion: ‘Refused.’”

  Article XXXI: “The bishop shall, in case of need, establish new
  parishes and provide for the building of his cathedral and his
  Episcopal palace; and in the meantime he shall have the liberty
  to dwell in towns or parishes as he shall judge proper. He shall
  be at liberty to visit his diocese with the ordinary ceremonies
  and exercise also the jurisdiction which his predecessor
  exercised under the French dominion, save that an oath of
  fidelity or a promise to do nothing contrary to His Britannic
  Majesty’s service, may be required of him: ‘This article is
  comprised under the foregoing.’”

The reason for this was signalized in the instructions later to
Murray, Carleton and Haldimand in the clause beginning:

  “And to the end that the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the
  lord bishop of London may take place in our province under your
  government as conveniently as possible,” etc.

  Section XXXII reads: “You are not to admit of any ecclesiastical
  jurisdiction of the See of Rome or of any other foreign
  jurisdiction whatsoever in the province under your government.”

  Section XXXIII: “And to the end that the Church of England may
  be established both in principle and practice and that the said
  inhabitants may by degrees be induced to embrace the Protestant
  religion and their children be brought up in the principles of
  it, we do hereby declare it to be our intention when the said
  province shall have been accurately surveyed and divided into
  townships, districts, precincts or parishes in such manner as
  shall be hereinafter directed, all possible encouragement shall
  be given to the erecting of Protestant schools in the same
  districts, townships and precincts by settling, appointing and
  allotting proper quantities of land for that purpose and also for
  a glebe and maintenance for a Protestant minister and Protestant
  schoolmaster, and you are to consider and report to us by our
  Commissions for Trade and Plantation by what other means the
  Protestant religion may be promoted, established and encouraged
  in our province under your government.”

This instruction to Murray is repeated in those to Governor
Carleton, 1768, and to Governor Haldimand, 1778.

Let us see how the civil government worked out. It was proclaimed
on April 10, 1764, the delay being caused to allow the French
Canadians the eighteen months, stipulated by the treaty of Paris,
in which they might leave the country. Murray had been appointed
governor-general of the province of Quebec by the commission of
November 21, 1763, and the instructions were dated on December
7th. But Murray had not promulgated the new dignity accorded him
till on September 17th, 1764, the first great act of the new
régime being opened by his ordinance establishing civil courts.
It may be briefly stated as follows: there was to be a Superior
Court of judicature or King’s Bench, which should be held at
Quebec twice a year at the Hilary term commencing on January 1st
and at Trinity term on June 21st. Its president should be the
chief justice of Canada. This was William Gregory. This man,
with the attorney-general, Suckling, were soon removed for
incompetency. Later in 1766 a Michaelmas term was added. Montreal
and Three Rivers were to have the chief justices’ court of
assizes and jail delivery after Hilary once a year.

Strangely enough, though not unnaturally, Murray had inserted
a clause in the act which was afterwards violently objected to
by the English merchants as going beyond his commission, viz.,
that _all the subjects of the colony_ could be called upon
without distinction to take their place on the jury. Murray had
to explain this to the English government and accordingly with
the copy of the above act sent, he remarked to the following
effect: “As there are only two hundred Protestant subjects in
the province, the greater part of which is composed of disbanded
soldiers of small fortunes and of little capacity, it is
considered unjust to prevent the Roman Catholic new subjects from
taking part on juries, for such an exclusion would constitute
the said two hundred Protestants perpetual judges of the lives
and fortunes not only of the eighty thousand new subjects but of
all the military in this province. Moreover, if the Canadians
are not admitted to juries many will emigrate.” Murray felt that
his position might not carry, for he adds: “This arrangement is
nothing else than a temporary expedient to leave affairs in their
present state until the pleasure of His Majesty on this critical
and difficult point be made known.”

Besides the superior court there should be an inferior court of
“Common Pleas” to settle civil cases involving sums of beyond
ten _louis_. Beyond twenty _louis_ there was appeal allowed to
the superior court. If desired there could be juries called in
this court. French advocates and proctors could practice in this
court, though not in the superior court. Murray explains the
liberty taken by him in allowing this: “Because we have not as
yet a single English advocate or proctor understanding the French
language.” He also observed that the court of common pleas was
established solely for the protection of the French Canadian.

In addition to the other two courts, Justices of the Peace were
established at Quebec and Montreal who should hold quarter
sessions. These officers of the magistracy, according to Murray’s
instructions, had to be Protestants. One justice was to have
jurisdiction in disputes to the value of five pounds; two were
required for cases to the value of ten pounds. Three justices
should form a quorum to hold quarter sessions, to adjudicate in
cases from ten pounds to thirty pounds. Two justices were to sit
weekly in rotation in Quebec and Montreal.

Finally there should be elected in every parish in the country
bailiffs and sub-bailiffs. The elections were to take place
every 21st day of June and they were to enter upon their duties
on September 29th. “We call them bailiffs,” commenced Murray,
“because the new subjects understand the word better than that of
constables.” The word constable, will, however, better explain
the nature of their multifarious duties.

We now have a view of the change in the law courts in Montreal:
a yearly session of the king’s court and of the court of common
pleas, quarter sessions held by the justices of the peace, and in
the parishes, the bailiffs or constables.

Hardly had the courts erected by the act of September 7th
been held, than the grand jury of Quebec protested vehemently
at the new courts and especially at the privileges given the
new subjects. Their opposition was expected by Murray for his
comment, sent with the act, ran: that some of the English
merchants residing here of whom only ten or a dozen at most
possess any settled property in this province, are very
dissatisfied at the privileges granted to the Canadians to act on
juries; the reason of this is very evident as their influence is
restrained by the measure.

Britishers on the jury who thought the favours to Catholics
unconstitutional were only victims of their narrow prejudices
formed by the prevailing intolerance then existing in England and
its colonies. The toleration to Catholics according to the phrase
“as far as the laws of Great Britain allow” was not the wide
freedom we see nowadays.

A protest against allowing the latter class to practice in the
courts or to serve on juries was made early by the Protestant
members of the grand jury of Quebec on October 16, 1764, as
follows: “That by the definitive treaty the Roman religion was
only tolerated in the province of Quebec as far as the laws of
Great Britain had met. It was and is enacted by the third act,
January 1st, chapter V, section 8, ‘No Papist or Popish recusant
convict shall practice the common law as a counsellor, clerk,
attorney or solicitor, nor shall practice the civic law as
advocate or proctor, nor practice physick, nor be an apothecary,
nor shall be a judge, minister, clerk or steward of or in any
court, nor shall bear any office or charge as captain, master,
or governor, or bear any office of charge of, or, in any ship,
castle or fortress, but be utterly disabled for the same, and
every person herein shall forfeit one hundred pounds, half to
the king and half to them that shall sue.’ We therefore believe
that the admitting of persons of Romish religion, who own the
authority, supremacy and jurisdiction of the church of Rome,
as jurors is an open violation of our most sacred laws and
liberties, tending to the utter subversion of the Protestant
religion and His Majesty’s power, authority, right and possession
of the province to which we belong.” Later these jurors pretended
that they had never meant to exclude Catholic jurors, but only
as jurors when Protestants were contestants. The above argument
shows their original _intrinsigeance_.

Later, in February, 1766, modifications were introduced; when
the contestants were British the jury should be British; when
Canadians, Canadians; when the contestants were mixed the
jury should also be mixed. These conflicts were inevitable
in unsettled times when two peoples were of different mental
outlooks, politically, racially and religiously. The melting pot
of time will solve such difficulties, when the viewpoints of both
parties would be more sympathetically understood. In the meantime
the historical situation at the time was painful.

Governor Murray’s letter to the Lords of Trade, written a
few days after the presentment of the jury is a fair and
statesman-like view of the difficult period.

                           “Quebec, 29th of October, 1764.

“* * * Little, very little, will content the new subjects, but
nothing will satisfy the licentious fanaticks trading here, but
the expulsion of the Canadians who are perhaps the bravest and
best race upon the globe, a race who, could they be indulged
with a few privileges which the laws of England deny to Roman
Catholics at home, would soon get the better of every national
antipathy to their conquerors and become the most faithful and
most useful set of men in this American empire.

“I flatter myself there will be some remedy found out even in
the laws for the relief of this people. If so, I am positive the
popular clamours in England will not prevent the humane heart
of the king from following its own dictates. I am confident,
too, my royal master will not blame the unanimous opinion of
his council here for the ordinance establishing the courts of
justice, as nothing less could be done to prevent great numbers
from emigrating directly and certain I am, unless the Canadians
are admitted on juries and are allowed judges and lawyers who
understand their language, His Majesty will lose the greatest
part of this valuable people.”

His letter immediately continues with the following allusion
which helps us to place the position of Montreal in the above
general constitutional crisis then affecting the colony. “I beg
leave further,” says Murray, “to represent to your Lordship that
a lieutenant governor at Montreal is absolutely necessary. That
town is in the heart of the most populous part of the provinces.
It is surrounded by the Indian nations and is 180 miles from
the capital. It is there that the most opulent priests live and
there are settled the greatest part of the French noblesse.
Consequently every intrigue to our disadvantage will be hatched

A postscript to this letter to the Lords of Trade and
Plantations, gives Murray’s appreciation of some of the great
commercial class: “P.S.--I have been informed that Messrs.
William McKenzie, Alexander McKenzie and William Grant have been
soliciting their friends in London to prevail upon Your Lordship
to get them admitted into his Majesty’s council of this province.
I think it my duty to acquaint Your Lordships that the first of
these men is a notorious smuggler and a turbulent man, the second
a weak man of little character and the third a conceited boy. In
short it will be impossible to do business with any of them.”

This postscript indicates the strain and bitter personal
relations between Murray and some of the British commercial
element in the colony, who finally succeeded in obtaining his

Unfortunately, Murray was not always as discreet or as just in
the consideration of his opponents, as his position justified.
He was a soldier rather than a peace maker. In addition, others
besides the British merchant did not see eye to eye with him
in the interpretation of the new Treaty of Paris or in the
application of English laws in Canada.

They retorted as did the Quebec traders, that the governor “doth
frequently treat them with a rage and rudeness of language and
demeanour as dishonourable to the trust he holds of Your Majesty
as painful to those who suffer from it.”

In commenting on this period, Prof. F.P. Walton, dean of the
faculty of Law at McGill University, has the following criticism
(Cf. University Magazine, April, 1908):

He is speaking of the charge against Murray’s interpretation of
the new situation of the application of the new civil government.

“It is probable,” he says, “that at no period in the history of
Canada were legal questions so much discussed among the mass of
the population as in the first ten years of the English _régime_.
This is not surprising when we consider that the question whether
the English or the French law was in force in the Province
was one of no little difficulty. It was contended with much
plausibility that Murray’s Ordinances were of no legal validity
because, under the King’s proclamation, legislative authority
in the Province was to be exercised only by the governor with
the consent of a council and assembly, and that no assembly had
ever been summoned. This is not the place for a discussion of
this subject. I prefer the view of those who maintain that the
English law was introduced by the proclamation of 1763. The case
of Campbell and Hall is sufficient authority for the proposition,
that the King had the power without parliament to alter the law
of Quebec. It seems to me that the natural construction of the
proclamation itself is, that the King intended to introduce
the English law there and then. Murray, as Masères says in his
very convincing argument, ‘meant only to erect and constitute
courts of judicature to administer a system of laws already in
being, to wit, the laws of England.’ The whole affair was to a
great extent a misunderstanding. The English government had no
intention to force the English laws on an unwilling people. They
understood that they were giving ‘Home Rule’ to the Province of
Quebec, and expected that the Canadians would abrogate such parts
of the English law as they did not consider suitable, and would
re-enact the portions of the old French law which they desired to
retain. They did not foresee that, owing to the impracticability
of calling an assembly, the Province would be left without any
authority competent to legislate.”

It was, indeed, a time of great misunderstanding.



As it may be convenient henceforth to omit mention of the advent
of successive governors, this list is appended for the purpose of

  * (Gen. Jeffrey Amherst)                                            1760
  * Gen. James Murray                                                 1763
    P. Aemilius Irving (President)                                    1766
  * Gen. Sir Guy Carleton (Lieutenant Governor and Acting
        Governor General)                                             1766
    H.G. Cramahé                                                      1770
  * Gen. Sir Guy Carleton                                             1774
  * Gen. Frederick Haldimand                                          1778
    Henry Hamilton (Lieutenant Governor)                              1784
    Henry Hope (Lieutenant Governor)                                  1785
  * Lord Dorchester (Guy Carleton)                                    1786


    Alured Clarke                                                     1791
  * Lord Dorchester                                                   1793
  * Maj.-Gen. Robert Prescott                                         1796
    Sir. R.S. Milnes                                                  1799
    Hon. Thomas Dunn                                                  1805
  * Sir James H. Craig                                                1807
    Hon. Thomas Dunn                                                  1811
  * Sir George Prevost                                                1811
    Sir Gordon Drummond                                               1815
    Gen. John Wilson                                                  1816
  * Sir John Sherbrooke                                               1816
  * Duke of Richmond                                                  1818
    Sir James Monk                                                    1819
    Sir Peregrine Maitland                                            1820
  * Earl of Dalhousie                                                 1820
    Sir. F.N. Burton                                                  1824
  * Earl of Dalhousie                                                 1825
    Sir James Kempt                                                   1828
  * Lord Alymer                                                       1830
  * Earl of Gosford                                                   1835
  * Sir John Colborne                                                 1838
  * Earl of Durham                                                    1838
  * C. Poulett Thomson (Lord Sydenham)                                1839

                         UNDER THE UNION

  * Baron Sydenham (Hon. Charles Poulett Thomson)                     1841
    R.D. Jackson (Administrator)                                      1841
  * Sir Charles Bagot                                                 1842
  * Sir Charles Metcalfe                                              1843
  * Earl Cathcart                                                     1845
  * Earl of Elgin                                                     1847
    W. Rowan (Administrator)                                          1853
  * Sir Edmund Head                                                   1854
  * Lord Viscount Monck                                               1861

                     UNDER THE CONFEDERATION

  * The Rt. Hon. Viscount Monck, G.C.M.G.                             1867
  * The Rt. Hon. Lord Lisgar, G.C.M.G. (Sir John Young)               1868
  * The Rt. Hon. The Earl of Dufferin, K.P., K.C.B., G.C.M.G.         1872
  * The Rt. Hon. The Marquis of Lome, K.T., G.C.M.G., P.C.            1878
  * The Rt. Hon. The Marquis of Lansdowne, G.C.M.G.                   1883
  * The Rt. Hon. Lord Stanley of Preston, G.C.B.                      1888
  * The Rt. Hon. The Earl of Minto, G.C.M.G.                          1898
  * The Rt. Hon. The Earl of Aberdeen, K.T., G.C.M.G.                 1893
  * The Rt. Hon. The Earl Grey, G.C.M.G.                              1904
  * Field Marshal, H.R.H., The Duke of Connaught, K.C., G.C.M.G.      1911


  Those not marked * acted only as administrators. When a governor
  had acted as administrator immediately before becoming governor,
  the earlier date is given. The names of all the ad interim
  administrators are not given.


                      (After Confederation)

  The Rt. Hon. Sir Narcisse Fortunat Belleau
  The Rt. Hon. Sir Narcisse Fortunat Belleau (re-appointed)
  Hon. Rene Edouard Caron
  Hon. Luc Letellier de St. Just
  Hon. Theodore Robitaille
  Hon. Louis François Rodique Masson
  Hon. Auguste Real Angers
  Hon. Sir J.A. Chapleau
  Hon. L.A. Jetté
  Hon. L.A. Jetté (re-appointed)
  Hon. Sir Charles A.P. Pelletier
  Hon. Sir François Langelier

                           CHAPTER IV




The governor of Three Rivers, Ralph Burton, proclaimed to the
Montrealers on October 29, 1763, his nomination by General
Amherst as governor of Montreal in succession to General Gage.
He announced that the civil justice would be administered by the
same courts as hitherto. His ordinances have nothing striking
beyond one ordering all who had gunpowder in their homes, and
there were many, to take it to the powder magazine, and another
announcing that on April 24, 1764, all who in accordance with
the definitive treaty of peace wished to leave for France must
within three weeks send in their declarations with their exact
descriptions and the number of their household they propose to
take with them. In August, Murray reported that only 270 men,
women and children, mostly officers and their families, left the

On August 10th military rule ended in Montreal but Burton
continued on as military commandant.

Burton resigned his governorship in July, 1764. As the position
of governor was not to be continued at Montreal or Quebec, no
one succeeded him. He was confirmed, however, as Brigadier. Yet,
although in command of a few troops, he refused to recognize
Murray as his military superior, hence complications and
conflicts arose. Murray wrote in indignation that if Burton were
removed it would be better for himself and everybody. Murray is
accused by his enemies of quarreling with everybody, but it is
evidently hard on a governor general to have his wings clipped
by having under him in a civil capacity a commander who took his
orders from General Gage of New York. Where the military rights
and civil duties of Burton at Montreal or of Haldimand at Three
Rivers and Murray at Quebec, began and ended, was a harassing
doubt to all three.

On January 11, 1764, letters patent were sent to the first
justices of the peace at Montreal, including Moses Hazen, J.
Grant, John Rowe, Francis McKay, Thomas Lambe, F. Knife, John
Burke, Thomas Walker and others. Among these were two Swiss
Protestants, Catholics being excluded from the office as yet,
owing to the difficulty of their subscribing to the religious
test not being yet solved.

The first general quarter sessions of the peace was held on
December 27, 1764, and there were present Moses Hazen, J. Dumas,
F. McKay, Thomas Lambe and Francis Knife. The court adjourned.
The first case was one of battery and assault.

On August 10, 1764, military rule ceased. The new civil
government brought to a head much of the ill feeling existing
in the city. The tables were now turned, the merchant class,
already become the magistrates, were now in the ascendant and
rancours prevailed. The old-time antipathies between the soldiers
and citizens at New York and Boston were being reproduced in
Montreal. There were no barracks, although the troops had been
there four years. Consequently the system of billeting became
necessary and caused continual annoyance.

The famous Walker outrage grew out of one of these troubles.
Captain Fraser had billeted a Captain Payne on a French-Canadian.
In the house lodged one of the new justices of the peace who
claimed exemption for the house. In reply he was told that
the justices’ rooms were exempt but not the other rooms, and
on Payne’s persistence in claiming the billet, the magistrate
refused to yield his possession. The case was brought before
Justice Walker, who, as a magistrate, ordered Payne to vacate the
rooms and on his refusing to comply committed him to jail for
contempt. He was released on bail. Two days afterwards, on the
6th of December, 1764, occurred the “Walker outrage,” which has
been described more or less fully in various histories of Canada,
sometimes incorrectly.

Walker was an Englishman who had lived for many years in Boston,
coming to Montreal some time after the close of the war in 1760,
where he engaged in trade with the upper country. He was a bold,
aggressive man, full of democratic notions, who set himself up as
the agent of the people, opposed the actions of Governor Murray
in every way, and afterwards had endeavoured to use his influence
to have Murray recalled. In many ways he showed that he was no
great friend of the Military then established in Montreal.

The outrage on him, dated on the night of the 6th, he attributed
to the Military, and was the occasion of the seizure of “John
Fraser, Esq.,” Deputy Grand Paymaster; “John Campbell, Esq.,” now
Captain of His Majesty’s Twenty-seventh Regiment; “Daniel Disney,
Esq.,” now Captain of the Twenty-fourth Regiment; “St. Luke La
Corne, Esq.,” (Knight St. Louis), “Samuel Evans,” Lieutenants
in His Majesty’s Twenty-eighth Regiment, and “Joseph Howard,”
Merchant, all of the City of Montreal, being to their great
surprise seized and taken out of their beds in the middle of
the night of the 18th inst., November, 1766, by “Edward William
Gray, Esq.,” Deputy Provost Martial in and for the district of
Montreal, assisted by a party of soldiers with fixed bayonets,
and by them hurried down to Quebec, where they were in close
custody on the charge of having on or about “the sixth day of
December, 1764, feloniously and with malice forethought, and by
lying in wait assaulted, wounded and cut off part of the ear
of ‘Thomas Walker, Esq.,’ of Montreal in this Province, with
intention in so doing to disfigure the said ‘Thomas Walker.’”
The informant was “George Magovock” late soldier in the
Twenty-eighth Regiment of foot, making oath before “William Hey,”
Chief Justice in and for the Province of Quebec.

The Chief Justice was petitioned by the prisoners to be released
on bail, but apparently the influence of Walker was so great,
that this was not easy. The whole of Montreal was in a great
state of irritable excitement, a deputation of the members of the
Council, the principal merchants of Montreal and the officers of
the Fifteenth, Twenty-seventh, Fifty-second and Royal American
Regiments entreated the Chief Justice to grant the petition of
the prisoners for bail, asking him to interpose his authority and
to mitigate the rigour of the law for gentlemen, “whose honors we
are so well convinced, that we offer to become their bail until
the trial.”

The petition is signed by the following: Colonel Irving,
A. Mabane,[1] Thomas Dunn,[1] J. Goldfrap, F. Mounier, T.
Mills, Members of the Council; Thomas Ainslie, Collector of
the Customs and Justice of the Peace; J. Marteilhe, J.P.; J.
Collins, J.P.; C. Drummond, Comp. of the Customs; J. Porteus,
Charles Grant, S. Frazer, J. Woolsey, W. Grant, G. Measam, T.
Scott, J. Werden, E. Gray, J. Aitken, Wm. Garett, G. Allsopp,
J. Antill, Gridley, H. Boone, J. Watmough, Samuel Jacobs, H.
Taylor, F. Grant, S. Lymbery, Amiet, Perras, Dusault, Deplaine,
Fleurimont, Fremont, Perrault, Bousseau, Guillemain, Panet,
Beaubien, Principal Merchants; La Naudiere, Crois de St.
Louis; Captain Grove, Royal Artillery; Colonel Irving, Captain
Prescott, Captain-Lieutenant D’Aripe, Lieutenants Mitchel,
Lockart, Dunn, Magra, Doctor Roberts, Fifteenth Regiment; Captain
Morris, Ensign Winter, Twenty-seventh Regiment; Colonel Jones,
Captains Phillips, Williams, Addison, Davidson, Alcock, Geofrey,
Lieutenants Neilson, Dinsdale, Smyth, Aderly, Hamilton, Watters,
Holland, Hawksley, Adjutant Splain, Ensigns Stubbs, Molesworth,
Fifty-second Regiment; Captains Carden, Etherington, Schloser,
Tucker, Burin, Rechat, Ensign McKulloch, Royal Americans.

Whatever the whole hubbub was about it was evidently of such
importance that the Chief Justice did not see his way to grant
the bail, and it was not until two years later that the case came
before the Grand Jury in Montreal. Meanwhile the city had been
divided in two factions.

On the 28th of February, the cases against all but Captain
Disney were thrown out by the Grand Jury,[2] but a true bill was
brought against him. This was on a Monday. Francis Masères, who
succeeded Suckling as attorney general, prosecuted for the Crown,
and Morison, Gregory and Antill defended Town Major Disney.

We may now tell the story in the words of the report of Chief
Justice Hey, transmitted to London on his return to Quebec on
April 14, 1767.

  “_The bill against Major Disney being returned on a Monday,
  I appointed Wednesday for his trial, his Jury, after some
  few challenges on both sides, was composed of very reputable
  English merchants residing at Montreal, of very fair characters
  & as unprejudiced as men could be who had heard so much of so
  interesting a story._

  “_The only evidence that affected Major Disney was that of Mr. &
  Mrs. Walker & Magovock, the substance of which I will take the
  liberty to state to yr. Lordship as shortly & as truly as my
  notes & my memory will enable me to do, all the other witnesses
  speaking to the fact as committed by somebody without any
  particular knowledge of Major Disney._

  “_The narrative will perhaps be less perplexed--The house opens
  with two doors, one a strong one next the street, (within that a
  sashed one), into the hall where the Family were at supper when
  the affair began; short on the right hand at the entrance from
  the street are folding doors which lead into a Parlour, at the
  further end of which Fronting the Folding doors is ye door of
  the bed chamber where Mr. Walker keeps his fire arms of which he
  has great numbers ready loaded. In the hall almost fronting the
  street doors, are 2 which lead into a kitchen & a back yeard,
  through which Mrs. Walker & the rest of the family separately
  made their escape very soon after the entrance of the Ruffians._

  “_The account which Mr. Walker gave to the Jury upon the trial
  was that on the 6th of Decr. 1764 at ½ past 8 in the evening
  Mrs. Walker looked at her watch and said it was time to go to
  supper--that the cloth was laid in the hall but that he not
  having been very well that day she was persuading him to stay &
  eat his supper in the Parlour--that they staid about 10 or 15
  minutes in this and other conversation & then went into the hall
  to supper--that he sat with his back to, & very near the street
  door--that he had been but a very little time at supper when he
  heard a rattling of the latch of the door as of Persons wanting
  to come in in a hurry--that Mrs. Walker said Entre, upon which
  the outward door was thrown open & thro’ the sash of the inward
  one he saw a great number of People disguised in various ways,
  some with little round hats others with their faces blacked,
  and others with crapes over their faces--that he had time to
  take so much notice of them as to distinguish 2 Persons whose
  faces tho’ blacked he was sure he should know again if he saw
  them--that they burst the inward door & several of them got round
  to the doors leading to the Parlour as designing to cut off his
  retreat into that room--that upon turning his head towards that
  room he received from behind a blow which he believes was given
  with a broad sword,--that he passed thro’ them into the Parlour
  receiving many wounds in the passage got to the further end of
  the room near the chamber door before which stood 2 men who had
  got before him & prevented his entrance into it--that these 2
  with others who had followed him striking and wounding all the
  way, sett upon him & forced him from the door into window, the
  curtains of which entangled itself round him and he believes
  prevented their dashing his brains out against the wall, that he
  received in the whole no less than 52 contusions besides many
  cuts with sharp instruments--that he believes during the struggle
  in the window he was for some little time deprived of his senses,
  sunk in stupefaction or stunned by some blow, till he heard a
  voice from the opposite corner of the room say ‘Let me come at
  him I will dispatch the Villian with my sword’ that this roused
  him and determined him to sell his life as dear as he could--that
  ’till this time tho’ he had apprehended & experienced a great
  deal of violence, he did not think they intended to take away his
  life because he had seen Major Disney in the outer room & knowing
  he had done nothing to disoblige him, he did not believe that
  he would have been amongst them if they had intended to murther
  him--that he broke from the persons who held him in the window &
  advanced towards the Part of the room from whence the voice came
  where 2 persons were standing with their swords in a position
  ready for making a thrust at him, but does not know whether they
  actually made a Pass at him or not, that he put by one of their
  swords with his left hand upon which they both retreated into
  the corner--that his Eyes at this time being full of blood, he
  was not capable of distinguishing the features of a face with
  great accuracy, but from the size & figure & gesture of the
  person whose sword he parried & from whom he believes the words
  came, he thought it to be Major Disney--that several of them then
  seized him at once (one of them in particular taking him up under
  the right thigh) and carried him towards the fire place with
  the intention as he believed to throw him upon the fire--that
  the marks of his bloody fingers were upon the jamb of the
  chimney--that he turned himself from the fire with great violence
  & in turning received a blow on his head which the surgeons say
  must have been given with a Tomahawk--which felled him to the
  ground & after that a blow upon his Loins which he feels to this
  day--that then one of them sat or kneeled by him (he lying at
  his length upon the floor) andeavouring as he imagined to cut
  his throat--that he resisted it by inclining his head upon his
  shoulders & putting his hand to the place, a finger of which was
  cut to the bone--that it was a fortnight before he knew that he
  had lost his ear, his opinion all along having been that in that
  operation they intended to cut his throat & believed they had
  done it--that one of them said the Villian is dead, another Damn
  him we have done for him, and a third uttered some words but his
  senses then failed him & he does not recollect what they were._

  “_This was the whole of the Evidence given by him in Court in
  the cross-examination great stress was laid upon his positive
  manner of swearing to Major Disney in disguise upon the transient
  view which by his own account he had of him, and under the
  circumstances of terrour and confusion which such an appearance
  must have occasioned; to which he answered that he had time
  in the hall before any blow was given to take a distinct view
  of him, and that he actually did do it, and tho’ it was true
  he had a crape over his face, yet it was tied so close that
  he discerned the features and Lineaments of it very perfectly
  and that he was positive it was Mr. Disney, of his dress other
  than the crape upon his face he could give no account, and then
  he was questioned if he had not often declared that he knew
  nobody but upon slight surprise he said that he remembered Mr.
  Disney perfectly the next morning, but that he mentioned him to
  nobody but Mrs. Walker, charging her at the same time to conceal
  it, because he thought he had suffered by her in discretion in
  mentioning the name of another Person whose influence with People
  in Power had prejudiced the inquiry which was then making into
  the affair._

  “_Mrs. Walker confirmed all the circumstances of their manner
  of coming in & swore as directly to Major Disney, that Lieut.
  Hamilton (as she did for some time believe but has since had
  occasion to think she was mistaken) was the first that entered
  that she saw Major Disney among a Groupe of figures very
  distinctly with a crape over his face and dressed in a Canadian
  Cotton Night Gown._

  “_Magovock went thro’ his story as contained in his affidavit
  a copy of which has been transmitted to your Lordship, not
  without a manifest confusion of his countenance & a trembling
  in his voice common to those who have a consciousness that they
  are telling untruly, & a fear of being detected--his cross
  examination took a great deal of time in the course of which he
  contradicted all the other witnesses & himself in circumstances
  so material that I am persuaded he was not himself present at the

  “_Major Disney proved by several witnesses, Dr. Robertson,
  Madam Landrief, Madam Campbell & Mrs. Howard that he spent that
  afternoon from 5 till ½ past 9 when he was sent for by Genl.
  Burton (he being town Major, upon the uproar that this affair had
  occasioned) at the house of Dr. Robertson--it was a particular
  festival with the French of whom the company was mostly composed,
  that he danced ’till supper time with Madam Landrief in the midst
  of which Genl. Burton’s servant came & called him out--they spoke
  all very positively to his being present the whole time & the
  impossibility that he could be absent for 5 minutes without their
  knowing it._

  “_Upon this evidence the Jury went out of Court and in about an
  hour returned with their Verdict Not Guilty--In justice to them
  and to Major Disney I must declare that I am perfectly satisfied
  with the Verdict._

  “_Mr. Walker’s violence of temper and an inclination to find
  People of rank in the Army concerned in this affair, has made
  him a Dupe to the artifices of a Villian whose story could not
  have gained credit but in a mind that came too much prejudiced
  to receive it, the unhappy consequence of it I fear will be that
  by mistaking the real objects of his Resentments the public will
  be disappointed in the satisfaction of seeing them brought to

  “_I should inform Your Lordship that the G. Jury inflamed with
  Mr. Walker’s charge against them are preparing to bring in
  several actions for words and have presented both him and Mrs.
  Walker for Perjury--I have endeavoured to put a stop to both and
  I hope I shall succeed._

                    “_I have the honour to be_
                                    “_My Lord_
                 “_Yr. Lordship’s most obedt & humble servant_,
                                                       “_W. Hey_.”

The report of the trial was printed by Brown and Gilmour at
Quebec, it being the second book that appeared in Canada. The
first book published is generally believed to be “Catechisme du
Diocese de Sens Imprimé a Quebec chez, (Brown and Gilmour).” Brown
and Gilmour were the printers of the first journal “The Quebec
Gazette” published on June 21, 1764. It was printed with columns
of English and French and was issued weekly.

Walker was afterward removed on the consideration of the Council
from the commission of the peace at Montreal because of his
seditionary tendencies and of the frequent accusations of his
insolent and overbearing temper which made it impossible for
his brother magistrates to associate with him. General Murray
reluctantly consented if for no other reasons than his enemies
would otherwise see vindictiveness in his actions.

On the 27th of March, 1766, Walker, who had powerful friends
in England, was ordered by His Majesty to be restored to the
magistracy. On the same day an order from the privy council
was issued by the governor of Michillimackinac and Detroit to
give him effectual assistance in his business pursuits. At
the same time stringent orders were given for the discovery
of the perpetrators of the outrage on him. The government
offered a reward of two hundred pounds, and of a free pardon
and a discharge from the army to any person informing. Montreal
inhabitants offered another three hundred pounds. But there was
nothing done.

Between the actual outrage and the final acquittal of Captain
Disney, Walker had been a thorn in the flesh to Murray. His
dismissal from the bench made him no friend of the Governor and
he boasted afterwards that he had influenced Murray’s recall.

The first news of this likely recall came in 1765; on February
3d Murray wrote lamenting that Mr. Walker should have known it
before himself.

Murray’s position was an unenviable one; his sympathy with the
French Canadians was the basis of the anger of the little knot
of powerful merchants against him; he was made the scape-goat
for the difficulties arising from the bad working of the
unfavorable new civil government. In addition he had troubles
with the commandants of Montreal and Three Rivers who as military
commanders had much independent authority, over which Murray had
no control, much to his chagrin. The constitutional documents
of this period contain the petitions signed by twenty-one of
the merchants for his recall, and that of the seigneurs for his
maintenance. Their description of those allied against Murray
runs thus: “A cabal of people who have come in the train of the
army as well as clerks and agents for the London merchants.”
Their testimony to Murray is his justification. “We were suited
in the government of Mr. Murray. We knew his character, we were
fully satisfied with his probity and his feelings of humanity; he
was fitted to bring your new subjects to a regard for the yoke of
your kindly domination by his care to make it light.”

On April 1, 1766, Conway, secretary of the colonies, wrote
to Murray requesting his immediate return. He left Quebec on
June 28th, leaving the government in the hands of the senior
councillor, Lieut.-Col. Aemilius Irving; on the same day there
arrived the new bishop, M. Briand to fill the vacancy left by
Pontbriand, who died in Montreal before the capitulation.

The result of the Walker outbreak was that Murray’s frequent
representations that barracks should be built were listened to
and in 1765 they were erected, but hardly so, when in February,
1766, they were burned down with all the stores placed there. A
public meeting was called to appeal for shelter for the soldiers,
who were again billeted upon the inhabitants, but with the
promise that by May 1, houses should be hired for them. On his
return to London Murray in his report to Shelburne on August 20,
1766, had his revenge on the New England settlers whom he calls
broadly the most immoral collection of men he had ever known, and

“Magistrates were made and juries composed from four hundred and
fifty contemptible sutters and traders. The judge pitched upon
to conciliate the minds of seventy-five thousand foreigners to
the laws and government of Great Britain was taken from a jail,
entirely ignorant of law and of the language of the people.

“* * * On the other hand the Canadians, accustomed to an
arbitrary and a sort of military government, are a frugal,
industrious and moral race of men who from the just and mild
treatment they met with from His Majesty’s military officers that
ruled the country for four years past until the establishment of
the civil government had greatly got the better of the natural
antipathy they had of their conquerers. They consist of the
noblesse who are numerous and who pride themselves much upon
the antiquity of their families, their own military glory and
that of their ancestors. These noblesse are Seigneurs of the
whole country and though not rich are in a situation, in that
plentiful part of the world where money is scarce and luxury
still unknown, to support their dignity. The inhabitants, their
tenanciers, who pay only annual quit rent of about a dollar for
one hundred acres, are at their ease and comfortable. They have
been accustomed to respect and obey the noblesse; their tenure
being military they have shared with them the dangers of the
field and natural affection has been increased in proportion to
the calamities which have been common to both in the country.
So they have been taught to respect their Seigneurs and not
get intoxicated with the abuse of liberty; they are shocked at
the insults which their noblesse and the king’s officers have
received from the English traders and lawyers since the civil
government took place.”

He adds: “The Canadian noblesse were hated because their birth
and behaviour entitled them to respect and the peasants were
abhorred because they were saved from the oppression they were
threatend with.”

The letter concludes: “I glory in having been accused of war
with unfairness in protecting the king’s Canadian subjects and
of doing the utmost in my power to gain to my royal master the
affections of that great, hardy people whose emigration, if ever
it should happen, will be an irreparable loss to this country.”

Though Murray was recalled it must not be assumed that his policy
of colonial government was disapproved of by the ministers for
it was not until April, 1768, that he relinquished the office
of governor in chief. After a time the opposition between the
military and the magistrates died down, but the latter now became
a fertile source of oppression to the civil population.

Let us then turn our attention to the Montreal justices of the
peace. In 1769, reports had reached the Council at Quebec as
to the oppresive practices of some of the magistrates of the
Montreal district, and in consequence the council addressed
to many of them on July 10, 1769, a letter of remonstrance
applicable to “those magistrates only who had given occasion for
the complaint.”

The circular prepared by a committee of the Council was addressed
“To the Justices of the Peace active in and for the district
of Montreal.” It opened with a charge that “it appears from
facts too notorious to be dispelled that His Majesty’s subjects
in general, but more particularly his Canadian subjects, are
daily injured and abused to a degree they are no longer able to
support nor public justice endure.” The chief charges were of
extorting excessive fees from litigants applying freely to the
court and that in addition a low class of bailiffs, many of them
French Canadians, who provoked and instituted lawsuits among the
inhabitants were going about with blank forms signed with the
justices’ names ready to be filled up at any moment. Thus abuses
were numerous.

In August a committee of the Council sat to consider further
the state of the administration of Justice under the justices
of peace. A report was prepared and was read on August 29th and
September 11th. It was agreed to in the Castle of St. Louis
by the council on September 14th, and Acting Attorney General
Kneller was instructed to prepare an ordinance on the point.

The report after stating that although the original powers
in matters of property given to justices of the peace by the
ordinance of September 14, 1764, were exceedingly grievous and
oppressive to the subjects, yet even so “the authority given
to the Justices hath been both too largely and too confidently
entrusted and requires to be retrenched if not wholly taken
away.” It then notices “The Justices of Montreal have in one
instance, and probably in many others which have passed without
notice, assumed to themselves powers of a nature not fit to
be exercised by any Summary Jurisdiction, whatsoever, in
consequence of which Titles to Land have been determined and
possessions disturbed in a way unknown to the laws of England and
inconsistent with the solemnity and deliberation which is due to
matters of so high and important a nature. And we are not without
information, that even where personal property only has been in
dispute, one magistrate in particular under pretense that it was
at the desire and request of both the contending parties has by
himself exercised a jurisdiction considerably beyond what the
ordinance has allowed even to three Justices in full court at
their Quarter Sessions.

“From an omission of a similar nature and for want of
ascertaining the manner in which their judgments were to be
inforced, we find the Magistrates to have assumed another very
high and dangerous Authority in the exercise of which Gaols are
constantly filled with numbers of unhappy objects and whole
families reduced to beggery and ruin.”

Later the report refers to evils “which will probably always be
the case when the office of a Justice of Peace is considered as a
lucrative one and must infallibly be so when it is his principal,
if not, only dependence.”

One consequence of the report was the appointment in the
ordinance of a Court of Common Pleas to be held before judges
constantly residing in the town of Montreal. This court was
now to be independent of, and with the same powers as, that
at Quebec. Hitherto the latter had held adjourned meetings on
different days at Montreal. The object was to give inexpensive,
speedy and expert hearing to Montrealers.

The ordinance passed in the council on February 3, 1770, was
translated and soon appears in English and French in the
“Gazette.” When it appeared in Montreal it roused strong
indignation among the magistrates whose powers were now
curtailed. A memorial signed by fifty signatures only was
presented on the part of “merchants and others of the city of
Montreal” with twenty objections to the Ordinance. Pierre du
Calvet, a French Huguenot magistrate, was one of the indignant
protestors and his usual high-flown style characterizes his
memorial. According to Sir Guy Carleton’s statement to the
deputation they had issued handbills calling a meeting of the
people to discuss grievances, they had importuned and even
insulted several French Canadians because they would not join
them. Carleton who had now succeeded Murray in the Government
of Canada warned them that they were acting against their own
interests, that the firm refusal of the Canadians as well as
of most of their countrymen plainly showed the opinion the
generality of the public entertained. In his letter to Lord
Hillsborough of the 25th of April, 1770, Carleton, however, after
pointing out the evils caused by the law as administered by the
justices says: “Though I have great reason to be dissatisfied
with the conduct of some of the justices there are worthy men in
the commission of the peace in both districts and particularly in
this of Quebec.” (See Brymner’s Canadian Archives Report, 1890,
whose abstract is here used.)

To the credit of the better class of Montreal merchants of this
period we must clearly dissociate the names of men who like
James McGill and others have deserved the city’s most grateful
remembrance, from the inferior “grafters,” to use a modern term,
then exploiting the people. These were disapproved of by many of
their own race. Carleton’s report of them to Lord Hillsborough
dated Quebec, 28th of March, 1770, clearly designates the
“rascals” of the day. “Your Lordship has already been informed
that the Protestants who have settled, or rather sojourned here
since the conquest, are composed only of Traders, disbanded
soldiers and officers, the latter, one or two excepted, below
the Rank of Captains, of those in the Commission of the Peace
such as prospered in business could not give up their time to
sit as Judges, and when several from accidents and ill-judged
undertakings became Bankrupts they naturally sought to repair
their broken fortunes at the expense of the people; hence a
variety of schemes to increase their business and their own
emoluments. Bailiffs of their own creation, mostly French
soldiers either disbanded or Deserters, dispersed through the
parishes with blank citations, catching at every little feud or
dissension among the people, exciting them on to their Ruin and
in a manner forcing them to litigate what, if left to themselves,
might have been easily accommodated, putting them to extravagant
Costs for the Recovery of very small sums; their Lands, at a
time there is the greatest scarcity of money and consequently
but few Purchasers, exposed to hasty sales for the Payment of
the most trifling debts, and the money arising from these sales
consumed in exorbitant Fees, while the Creditors reaped little
benefit from the Destruction of their unfortunate Debtors. This,
My Lords, is but a very faint sketch of the Distresses of the
Canadians and the cause of much Reproach to our National Justice
and the King’s Government.” (Report Canadian Archives for 1890.)


[1] For their action in this case Carleton removed their names
from the council.

[2] List of the grand jury of the district of Montreal before
which bills were laid against the prisoners charged with the
assault on Thomas Walker:

  1. Samuel McKay, Esq. (Foreman).
  2. M. St. Ours (K. of St. Louis).
  3. Isaac Todd.
  4. Francis de Bellestre (K. of St. Louis).
  5. Louis Mattorell.
  6. Mons. Contrecoeur (K. of St. L.).
  7. Mons. Niverville (K. of St. L.).
  8. Thomas Lynch.
  9. Mons. La Bruiere.
  10. John Livingston.
  11. Jacob Jordan.
  12. Mons. Niverville de Trois Rivières.
  13. Mons. Normanville.
  14. Moses Hazen.
  15. Dailbout de Cuisy.
  16. Jas. Porteous.
  17. Jno. Dumas.
  18. Wm. Grant.
  19. Samuel Mather.
  20. Augustus Bailie.
  21. John Jennison.

In a P.S. from Sir Guy Carleton to Lord Shelburne it is stated:
“The attorney general at the desire of Mr. Walker objected to the
Knights of St. Lewis being of the grand jury as not having taken
the oath of allegiance, which objection they immediately removed
by cheerfully taking them.”

                            CHAPTER V




Trade passed over almost bodily to the English. The records of
the _Chambre de Milice de Montreal_ at present at Quebec reveal
even in the civil disputes during the Interregnum of 1760-63
a boom in trade in Montreal such as those of the past never

The early traders have been whipped unmercifully by Murray and
Carleton but there were certainly some who were recognized as
“very respectable merchants.” The British merchants were first
at Quebec at its fall, and soon they also followed to Montreal
at the Capitulation. Many were weeded out by failure and the
climate, but the residue that remained of the class of the canny
mercantile adventurers who always adorn the hour of advancing
civilization, with the addition of more solid representatives of
the large English houses, was the foundation of the enterprising
merchant class of Quebec and Montreal, but especially of the
latter centre, which quickly seized the control of the wholesale
business, particularly the fur trade, the traffic with the
Indians and the foreign commerce. Despite the narrowness of their
vision and the jealous grasping after power due to them, they
considered, as the conquering body, this small group of men by
their superior activity, wealth and political skill came to wield
great influence in the city and on the country on the whole well
and wisely.

Hitherto, we have had to point out some of the weaknesses of
those of the less honourable and unsuccessful merchant class,
even of those who became magistrates. It remains now to chronicle
the action of a well meaning body of the substantial business
men at Montreal toward consolidating the constitutional system
of the country and developing it along British colonial lines.
Their political foresight was ahead of their time. Yet from
the earliest days of British rule the English merchants of
Montreal, together with those of Quebec, certainly kept before
themselves and the Home Government the need of a representative
assembly as promised to them, such as they had been familiar
with in other British colonies in America. Unfortunately the
desire to have this manned by Protestants only was made too
evident from the outset and alienated the sympathy of those of
the French Canadians otherwise becoming well disposed. Their
narrow inherited spirit of intolerance, their conception of
British rights, for they came “bearing all the laws of England
on their backs,” their belief in their own capabilities, their
evident business success and the large capital they invested in
Canada,[1] the strong conviction of the ultimate needs of such
an institution, if ever the country was to be reduced to the
same uniformity as the other colonies where British institutions
flourished, blinded them to the inopportuneness of the hour for
the establishment of such an assembly. They forgot, imbued as so
many of them were with democratic and republican tendencies, that
the New British Province was not an infant colony, but one which
had been long in existence and impregnated with French feudalism.

Again the upper classes were against the assembly, and the lower
not prepared by education[2] or desire, to take their share in
popular government; much less were they inclined to be permitted
to vote for a class who desired openly and not very discreetly to
ignore the political existence of their race.

Still the merchants persisted. An opportunity was given by the
departure of Carleton, who had asked leave of absence for a few
months to place his views directly before the government, but
it was not till 1774 that he returned. During that time his
delayed presence in London was valuable for consultation in the
preparation of the “Quebec Act.” Carleton left behind his first
counsellor, a Swiss Protestant, Hector Theophile Cramahé, to act
for him. Carleton departed early in August and on the 9th Cramahé
issued a proclamation declaring that the command had temporarily
devolved upon him. In 1771, on July 21st, Cramahé was appointed
Lieutenant Governor. Shortly after Carleton’s departure Cramahé
sent two petitions to him to be presented to the King’s Most
Excellent Majesty.

The first was that of the Quebec and Montreal British
free-holders, merchants and traders on behalf of themselves and
others. His Majesty is reminded of his direction to governors
in his Royal proclamation of the 7th of October in the third
year of his reign, that general assemblies should be called
as soon as the state and circumstances thereof would admit,
in such manner as is used in the provinces of America under
His Majesty’s immediate government. The arguments adduced are,
that such an assembly would strengthen the hands of government,
give encouragement and protection to agriculture and commerce,
increase the public revenue and in time would be a happy means of
uniting the new subjects in a due conformity to the British laws
and customs.

The memorialists represented: “That Your Majesty’s British
subjects residing in this province have set examples and given
every encouragement in their power to promote industry, are
the principal importers of British manufactures, carry on
three-fourths of the trade of this country, annually return a
considerable revenue into Your Majesty’s exchequer in Great
Britain; and though the great advantages this country is
naturally capable of, are many and obvious, for promoting the
trade and manufactures of the mother country, yet for some time
past both the landed and commercial interests have been declining
and if a General Assembly is not soon ordered by Your Majesty
to make and enforce due obedience to laws for encouraging
agriculture, regulating the trade, discouraging such importations
from the other colonies as impoverish the Province, your
petitioners have the greatest reason to apprehend their own ruin
as well as that of the province in general.

“That there is now a sufficient number of Your Majesty’s subjects
residing in and possessed of real property in this province and
who are otherwise qualified to be members of a General Assembly.”

This petition is signed by thirty-one of the principal merchants.
It will be noticed that there are only two of these names that
appeared on the petition of 1765 for the assembly and the recall
of Murray. The whole document is more dignified. The memorialists
are men of great weight. Their claim as the developers of
commerce is undoubted. The only weakness lay in the concluding
clause which is merely the outcome of the traditional intolerance
then in vogue but which was to be the chief cause of the delay of
their efforts till the act of 1791 at last crowned their efforts.
Among the Montreal signatures in the above memorial are those of
Alexander Henry, John Porteous, James McGill, Alexander Paterson,
Richard Dobie, J. Fraser and Isaac Todd.

The above memorial was set off by that of fifty-nine “Canadian”
leaders who appealed for the restoration of their customs and
usages according to the laws, customs and regulations under which
they were born and which served as the basis and foundations of
their possessions. They also ask not to be excluded from offices
in the service of the king. The petition is to be presented by
Sir Guy Carleton. “It is to this worthy representative of Your
Majesty who perfectly comprehends the ambitions of this colony
and the customs of this people that we confide our most humble
supplications to be conveyed to the foot of your throne.”

The year 1773 saw great activity in the duel; the case of the
old and new subjects was being argued in London. The most
eminent statesmen and lawyers, state officials, were studying
the numerous documents in view of the proposed Quebec act of
settlement. The merchants of Montreal and Quebec determined to
make a great effort. In the winter of 1772 Thomas Walker, of
Montreal, and Zachary Macaulay, of Quebec, had already conferred
in London with Masères about the prospect of an Assembly.
Mazères, though now a cursitor baron of the exchequer, still
kept his interest in Canadian affairs as when attorney general
at Quebec. There is no name more prominent among those who
contributed to the elucidation of the difficulties of this time
than this able man. His Huguenot upbringing, however, somewhat
warped his otherwise calm judgment in surveying the French
Canadian position, yet his was a warning of the opportunist. “I
told them,” wrote Masères to Dartmouth on January 4, 1774, “that
I thought a legislative council, consisting of only Protestants
and much more numerous than the present, and made perfectly
independent of the Governor so as to be neither removable nor
suspendible by him on any pretense but only removable by the
King in council, would be a better instrument for that province
than an assembly for seven or eight years to come, and until the
Protestant religion and English manners, laws and affections
shall have made a little more progress there and especially an
assembly unto which any Catholics shall be admitted.”

The two representatives, however, seemed to have been resolved
to push for an Assembly for they were both found to be on the
committee organized for that purpose on October 30, 1773,
in Quebec at Miles Prenties’ Inn. The meeting was called by
John McCord. The circumstances are related by Cramahé’s letter
to Dartmouth of December 13th when he inclosed the final
petitions sent to him by the merchants. “About six weeks or
two months ago a Mr. McCord from the north of Ireland, who
settled here soon after the conquest, where he picked up a
very comfortable livelihood by the retailing business in which
he is a considerable dealer, the article of spiritous liquors
especially, summoned the principal inhabitants of this town that
are Protestants to meet at a tavern where he proposed to them,
applying for a house of assembly.”

The transactions, of the meeting called by McCord and of the
subsequent ones, were recorded and sent to Masères by Quebec
and Montreal citizens. He was thought to be the right person to
approach as their agent, to have their case ventilated in London.
They wrote to him on November 8, 1773, “The British inhabitants
of whom we are appointed a committee are of very moderate
principles. They wish for an assembly as they know that to be
the only sure means of conciliating the new subjects, etc.” How
the assembly is to be composed is a matter of the most serious
consideration; “They would submit that to the wisdom of His
Majesty’s council.”

They had evidently become less exacting in their demands that it
should be reserved for Protestants. What they really wanted was
the Assembly.

The meeting at Miles Prenties’ in the Upper Town held on October
30th resulted in a committee of eleven being formed to draw up a
petition for an assembly. The following were the eleven: William
Grant, John Wells, Charles Grant, Anthony Vialars, Peter Fargues,
Jenkin Williams, John Lees, Zachary Macaulay, Thomas Walker (of
Montreal), Malcolm Fraser (secretary), John McCord (chairman). It
was resolved that a copy of the minutes be sent to the gentlemen
of Montreal. At the second meeting at Prenties’, November 2d
(Tuesday), it was resolved to translate the petition into French
and that the principal French inhabitants be invited to meet them
at Prenties’ on Thursday, November 4th. It was further resolved
to send a copy of the minutes and a draft of the petition by
next post to Montreal addressed to Mr. Gray, to be communicated
to the inhabitants of Montreal. On Thursday, November 4th, of
the fifteen invitations sent out only eight French gentlemen
appeared. The translation of the petition was read, and the
clause on the composition of the assembly according to His
Majesty’s wisdom, doubtless noted. After discussion M. Decheneaux
and M. Perras undertook to convene a meeting of their fellow
French citizens at 2 o’clock on Saturday next, to interest them
in furthering the petition.

On Monday, November 8th, the English committee met at Prenties’.
Being anxious to know what measures had been taken by the French
on Saturday, Malcolm Fraser sent a note by a bearer to M. Perras,
M. Decheneaux being out of town. A brief reply was sent back
dated Quebec, 8-10th November, saying that the hasty departure of
the vessels for Europe had not permitted him to reply according
to his desire; “However I have seen some of my fellow citizens
who do not appear to me to be disposed to assemble as some of
us could wish. ‘Le grand nombre l’emporte et le petit reduit a
prendre patience.’”

The next meeting of the committee was to be called at the
discretion of the secretary as “the business will depend on the
letters to be received from Montreal.”

Cramahé, explaining to Dartmouth, who had succeeded Hillsborough
as Colonial Secretary, the want of cooperation by the French,
says: “The Canadians, suspecting their only view was to push them
forward to ask, without really intending their participation
of the privilege, declined joining them here or at Montreal.”
Had the petition asked for the abolition of the religious test
and the inclusion of Catholics in the assembly the Canadians
would have doubtless cooperated. The petition was presented
on December 4, 1773; the Quebec (fifty-two) and Montreal
(thirty-nine) signatures are both dated November 29th. It was
presented to Cramahé as the Lieutenant Governor and he was prayed
in accordance with the powers given the Governor by the Royal
proclamation of 1763: “To summon and call a general assembly of
the freeholders and planters within your government in such a
manner as you in your jurisdiction shall judge most proper.” As
the words stand it may be argued that the merchants were ready
to forego their Protestantism in favour of a mixed assembly, but
evidently the acting Governor had his doubts. Cramahé therefore
answered cautiously, as was expected, “That the petition was
altogether of too much importance for His Majesty’s Council here
to advise at a time when the affairs of the province were likely
to become an object of public regulation. The petition and his
answer would be transmitted to His Majesty’s Secretary of State.”

The second petition already arranged for, and containing the
answer of Cramahé, was prepared and sent to the King’s Most
Excellent Majesty, praying him “to direct Your Majesty’s Governor
or Commander in Chief to call a general assembly in such manner
and of such constitution and form as to Your Majesty, in your
Royal wisdom, shall seem best adapted to secure its peace,
welfare and good government.” Besides the copy sent through
Cramahé to Dartmouth, the committee sent another to Masères to
enable him to present their case and to communicate its purport
to their mercantile associates in London. The signatures of the
Quebec subscribers, dated December 31, 1773, numbered sixty-one,
those of Montreal dated January 10, 1774, reached eighty-one.

Cramahé’s comment on these signatures in his letter to Dartmouth
reads: “It may not be amiss to observe that there are not above
five among the signers to the two petitions who can be properly
styled freeholders and the value of four of these freeholds
is very inconsiderable. The number of those possessing houses
in the towns of Quebec and Montreal, or farms in the country
held of the king for some private seigneur upon paying a yearly
acknowledgment, is under thirty.”

As an offset, the memorial to the petition sent by the seigneurs
and principal Catholics about February, 1774, and made in
opposition to an assembly, urges the granting of their request
“because we possess more than ten out of twelve of all the
seigneuries of the province and almost all the lands of the other
tenures or which are holden by rent service.”

In addition to the petition to the king signed by the “ancient
and loyal subjects” of Quebec and Montreal, two memorials to Lord
Dartmouth were separately sent by the promoting committees at
either place. These seemed to have been presented through Masères
since they are not indorsed, as were the petitions to the king,
as received through Cramahé.

The Montreal memorial urging the furtherance of their petition
is dated Montreal, January 15, 1774, and signed by a committee
appointed at a general meeting of the inhabitants of Edw. W.
Gray, R. Huntley, Lawrence Ermatinger, Will Haywood, James
McGill, James Finlay, Edward Chinn.

The memorial included a new element, viz., “Your Lordship’s
memorialists further see with regret the great danger that
children born of Protestant parents are in of being utterly
neglected for want of a sufficient number of Protestant pastors
and thereby exposed to the usual and known assiduity of the Roman
Catholic clergy of different orders who are very numerous and who
for their own friends have lately established a Seminary for the
education of youths in this province, which is the more alarming
as it excludes all Protestant teachers of any science whatever.”
The name of James McGill, the founder afterwards of McGill
University, is significant, therefore, on this petition.

The counter petition and the memorial accompanying it, signed by
sixty-five of the noblesse, followed in February, 1774. Thus the
duel went on. We delay recounting its outcome till the case for
the Seigneurs is more fully disclosed in the next chapter.


[1] Witness the appeal for Murray’s recall. Thomas Walker is said
to have brought ten thousand pounds into the province.

[2] M. Lothbiniere, the representative of the noblesse in London
said that he doubted whether more than four or five persons in a
parish could read.

                           CHAPTER VI

                     THE QUEBEC ACT OF 1774



The _Noblesse_ of the district of Montreal are now to play a
great part in the making of the constitutional history of Canada.
They had appreciated the government of Murray and had petitioned
for his continuance but in vain. At the same time while thanking
the king for the appointment of the Bishop Briand which was
a great concession, they asked for two favours: first, the
suppression of the Land Register, the expense of which exhausted
the colony without its drawing any profit therefrom; second,
that all the subjects of this province without any distinction
of religion should be admitted to all offices without any other
qualifications but those of talent and personal merit; for to
be excluded by the state from having any participation in it is
not to be a member of the state. This petition was signed by
Chevalier D’Ailleboust and thirty-nine other seigneurs and was
endorsed as received on February 3, 1767.

The grievance of the seigneurs in the latter request was briefly
this: that though the French Canadians were not obliged by the
Royal Instructions of 1763 to take the oath of the test of
allegiance, supremacy and religious abjuration, yet these oaths
were obligatory on all who would hold an appointment under
government such as members of the proposed assembly, civil
and military officials, etc. Hence the constant effort of the
noblesse to remove this odious civil disability continued until
in 1774 the act of Quebec made it disappear and saw a formula
substituted which was acceptable to all honest and conscientious
“new subjects.” The following oath, afterwards taken almost
textually by Bishop Briand, in the light of today will be seen to
be quite adequate:

  “Je, A.B. promets et jure sincèrement que Je serai fidèle et
  porterai vraie allégeance à Sa Majesté le roi George, que Je
  le défendrai de tout mon pouvoir contre toutes conspirations
  perfides et tous attentats quelconques, dirigés contre sa
  personne, sa couronne et sa dignité; et que Je ferai tous mes
  efforts pour découvrir et faire connaitre à Sa Majesté, ses
  heretiers et successeurs, toutes trahisons et conspirations
  perfides et tous attentats que Je saurai dirigés contre lui ou
  chacun d’eux; et tout cela, Je le jure sans aucune équivoque
  subterfuge mental ou restriction secrète, renoncant pour m’en
  relever, à tous pardons et dispenses de personne ou pouvoir

  “Ainsi que Dieu me soit en aide,”

The same form taken from the English was as follows:

  “I, A.B., do sincerely promise and swear that I will be faithful
  and bear true allegiance to His Majesty, King George, and that I
  will defend him to the utmost of my power against all traitorous
  conspiracies and attempts whatever, which shall be made against
  His Person, Crown and Dignity, and that I will do my utmost
  endeavor to disclose and make known to His Majesty, His Heirs or
  Successors, all treasons and traitorous conspiracies and attempts
  which I shall know to be against him or any of them; And all this
  I do swear without any equivocation, mental evasion or secret
  reservation and renouncing all pardons and dispensations from any
  Person or Power whichever to the Contrary.

  “So help me God.”

After the recall of Murray the seigneurs and clergy had looked
forward to the arrival of the new lieutenant governor, Sir Guy
Carleton, who reached Quebec on September 23, 1766, to relieve
Col. Aemiluis Irving, who had acted for nearly three months as
administrator on the departure of General Murray. He did not
become governor-in-chief until October 25, 1769, Murray yielding
up the government about April, 1768.

It may be noted that Carleton’s first message to the Council is
one which promulgated the doctrine Salvation through Harmony or,
Safety in Concord, which under the form of “Concordia Salus” is
that now recognized as the official motto of the City of Montreal:

  “Gentlemen of the Council:

  “I return you Thanks for your kind and dutiful Address and for
  the Respect shown to His Majesty’s Commission; I doubt not but I
  shall always find your hearty Concurrence to Everything I shall
  propose for the Good of His Service.

  “My present Demand is that all may join to preserve good Humour
  and a perfect Harmony, first among His Majesty’s natural born
  Subjects, also between His Subjects by Birth and His Subjects by
  Acquisition, so that no Distinction may be noted but the great
  Difference between good men and bad. As the Good and Happiness
  of His People is the first Object with the King, our Sovereign,
  we must all know, nothing would be more acceptable to them; We
  must all Feel nothing can be more agreeable to the great Laws of

      “Quebec, 24th Sept., 1766.”

The new Governor soon found that in proportion to the arrogance
of the English-speaking minority demanding an assembly in which
they would be the sole representatives, the noblesse were
becoming increasingly restless, for while accepting the English
criminal law they demanded their French civil code and customs
unmodified. Carleton was inclined to accept this view, but
Masères, the attorney-general, who had presented lengthy reports
on the situation and had pointed out his own remedies, argued
that the English law should be the basis of jurisdiction with the
admission of certain sections of Canadian law and customs which
would have been acceptable to the English inhabitants, also. He
recommended the immediate preparation of a code reviving the
French law relating to tenure, dower and inheritance of landed
property, and the distribution of the effects of persons who died

What may have influenced Carleton in his willingness to concede
so much to the demand of the seigneurs was the fear of the
movement spreading in Canada among the seigneurs to cast off
British rule. His attention was drawn to Montreal as the center
of the secret negotiations and dissatisfaction. General Murray
in his letter of October 29, 1764, had already pointed out to
the Lords of Trade and Plantation the difficulties likely to be
created there if the Canadians were not accepted on juries. “I
beg leave,” he says, “further to represent to Your Lordship that
a lieutenant-governor at Montreal is absolutely necessary; that
town is in the heart of the most populous part of the province.
It is surrounded by the Indian nations and is 180 miles from
the capital. It is there that the most opulent priests live and
there are settled the greatest part of the French noblesse,
consequently every intrigue to our disadvantage will be hatched
there.” (“Canadian Archives,” Vol. II, page 233.)

One of the causes of General Murray’s allusions to plots at
Montreal at this time may have been the presence of Ensign
William Forsyth who had commanded an independent patrol of
Scotch settlers in New Hampshire during the Indian war along the
border, shortly after the session of Canada in 1763. He had been
wounded and escaped to Montreal. He was related to several of
the Canadian noblesse, particularly that of the Denys family. It
is suggested that on the occasion of this visit there may have
been planted the germs of an alliance between the French noblesse
and the Scotch legitimists in favour of a Stuart dynasty which
afterwards ripened into a more complete understanding.

On January 7, 1763, a petition signed by ninety-five of the chief
inhabitants, including Montrealers such as Guy, and Jacques
Hervieux, was presented to the king, protesting against the
attitude of the British minority in excluding them from the law
courts and asking for a confirmation of the privileges contained
in Murray’s act for French Canadians. “Who are they that wish to
proscribe us? About thirty English merchants of whom fifteen at
the most are settled. Who are the proscribed? Ten thousand heads
of families who breathe only submission to Your Majesty’s orders.”

Can it be wondered that at Montreal, the headquarters of the
seigneurs, there is much dissatisfaction? The seigneurs at this
time in petitioning the king for the maintenance of General
Murray complained: “Our hopes have been destroyed by the
establishment of the civil government that had been so highly
extolled; we saw rise with it cabal, trial and confusion.” This
may be taken as their prevailing attitude of mind.

On the 25th of November, 1767, Carleton wrote a remarkable letter
in which, forecasting the possibility of a French war surprising
the province, he recommends “The building of a citadel within
the town of Quebec that the troops might have a fort capable of
being defended by their numbers till succour could be sent them
from home or from the neighbouring colonies; for should a French
war surprise the province in its present condition the Canadian
officers sent from France with troops might assemble such a body
of people as will render the king’s dominion over the province
very precarious while it depends on a few troops in an extensive
fort open in many places.” (“Archives,” Series Q, Vol. V, page

Again Carleton, in the same letter to Shelburne, feared the
possibility of former French officers, especially those who left
after the capitulation, being sent back to Canada to lead an
uprising. He knew these had been encouraged to return to France
and were being upkept as a separate body with pay. “For these
reasons,” he says, “I imagine, an edict was published in 1672,
declaring that, notwithstanding the low state of the king’s
finances, the salary of the captains of the colony troops of
Canada should be raised from 450 _livres_, the establishment by
which their pay was fixed at first, to 600 _livres_ a year, to
be paid quarterly, upon the footing of officers in full pay, by
the treasurer of the colonies, at the quarters assigned them by
His Majesty in Tourraine, and that such of them as did not repair
thither should be struck off, the king’s intentions being that
the said officers should remain in that province until further
orders, and not depart from thence without a written leave from
the secretary of state for the marine department.

“A few of these officers had been sent to the other colonies, but
the greater part still remained in Tourraine, and the arrears
due to those who have remained any time in this country are
punctually discharged, upon their emigration, from them and
obedience to the above mentioned injunction.

“By the secretary of state’s letter a certain quantity of wine,
duty free, is admitted to enter the towns where these Canadian
officers quarter, for their use according to their several ranks.”

In a further letter to Shelburne of December, 1767, he again
clearly recognized the difficult political situation. “The most
advisable method in my opinion for removing the present as well
as for preventing future evils is to repeal that ordinance
(of September 17, 1764) as null and void in its own nature
and for the present leave the Canadian laws almost entire;
such alterations might be afterwards made in them as time and
occurrences rendered the same advisable so as to reduce them to
that system His Majesty shall think fit, without risking the
dangers of too much precipitation; or else such alterations might
be made in the old and new laws judged necessary to be inevitably
introduced and publish the whole as a Canadian code as was
practiced by Edward I after the conquest of Wales.”

Meanwhile the seigneurs were not idle. In 1767 there was
an assembly at Montreal of the noblesse presided over by
the Chevalier D’Ailleboust and the petition was signed of
remonstrance to the king, dated February 3d, already quoted,
against discrimination against them.

This leads us to ask the question: Did the seigneurial body
meet in open or secret conclave when their interests were to be
safeguarded? Both kinds of conclaves would seem likely. It is
certain, however, that such meetings were as far as possible
prevented. Garneau “Histoire du Canada,” 4th edit., (Vol. II,
page 400) relates that in 1766 Hertel de Rouville in the name
of the seigneurs of Montreal applied for permission for the
seigneurs to meet, which was granted on condition that two of
the Supreme Council should be present with power to dissolve the
gathering. When the seigneurs assembled General Burton, who had
not been warned, wrote to the magistrates who replied that all
was in order. “In any case,” replied the suspicious general, “if
you have any need of assistance I will send it you.” The meeting
was called by Hertel de Rouville “by a particular order of the
Governor and Council” who doubtless thought by conciliating the
seigneurs, so far the responsible representatives of the people,
that peaceful relations could be maintained with the new subjects.

A document recently unearthed by Mr. Massicotte, at the
Court House archives, reveals that on the 3d of March, 1766,
the Montreal merchants met in the house of James Crofton,
inn-keeper “to protect against the meeting of the seigneurs
held in the public court house on Friday, February 21st, 1766.”
Their declaration before Edward William Gray, “Notary and
Tabellion Publick,”[1] protested that the seigneurs had been
unconstitutionally chosen at the different parish meetings to
represent the inhabitants of the seignories as agents “without
the knowledge or consent of the magistrates of the districts, the
commander-in-chief of His Majesty’s forces or the inhabitants
of the city;” that these separate meetings not only for the
entire exclusion of His Majesty’s ancient British subjects in
general but of the mercantile part of His Majesty’s new subjects,
did not make for unity or content. They further protested that
“several of His Majesty’s British subjects who are possessed
of seignories never received an order or summons to this said
meeting.” The declaration further states that upon the principal
English and French citizens assembling at the courthouse in
order to be present at and know the cause of the public meeting
they were informed by Adam Mabane, Esq., one of His Majesty’s
council for the province that their presence was not necessary,
as the meeting did not regard them and ordered them out. There
were two of His Majesty’s justices of the peace present, Isaac
Todd and Thomas Brashay, who “the public, thinking they had been
given sanction to it, expressed them in such a manner that they
sent down their resignation to the governor.” The malcontents
withdrew under the impression that representatives for the
people were being chosen without their consent. They flattered
themselves, however, that when the house of assembly promised in
His Majesty’s proclamation should come “His Majesty’s ancient
subjects will be permitted at least to have a share in the choice
of their representatives.”

The document written in English and French is signed in the
former by John Wells, R. Stenhouse, Mathew Lessey, Samuel Holmes,
John Stenhouse, G. Young, Joseph Howard, Lawrence Ermatinger,
Mathew Wade, James Price, Thomas Barron, Jonas Desaulles,
Richard Dobie, William Haywood, John Blake, and in the French
by Jean Orilliat, Le Cavelier Pappalon, Le Prohon Dissan, Guy,
Am. Hubert, St. Germain, Gagnée, Hervieux, Jacques Hervieux,
Lg Bourassa, C. Depré, P. Le Duc, Pillet, Augé, Chenville. The
witnesses to both documents are B. Frobisher, John Thomson.[2]
The names of the seigneurs given as present at the meeting are,
(1) Claude Pierre Pecaudy de Contrecoeur, (2) Roch St. Ours
Deschaillons, (3) Jacques Michel Hertel de Rouville, (4) Joseph,
Michel Legardeur Sr. de Croiselle-Montesson, (5) Joseph Boucher
de Niverville, (6) Joseph Godfrey de Normanville, (7) Louis
François Pierre Paul Margane de Lavaltrie, (8) Hyacinthe Godfrey
de Lintot, (9) Pierre Louis Boucher de Niverville, (10) Louis
Gordian or Louis Charles, D’Ailleboust, (11) René Ovide Hertel
de Rouville, (12.) Louis Joseph Godefroy de Tonnancourt, (13)
Jean François Nepveu, Seigneur d’Autray, (14) Jacques Hyacinthe
Simon dit Delorme, Seigneur Delorme (or St. Hyacinthe), (15) Jean
Baptiste Normand, Seigneur de Repentigny, (16) Charles Etienne
Crevier, Seigneur de St. François, (17) Joseph de Fleury, Sr.
d’Archambault, (18) René Boudier de la Breyère, (19) Abbé Etienne
Montgolfier (Superior of the Seminary and Seigneur of the Isle of

Carleton writing to Earl of Shelburne, one of His Majesty’s
principal secretaries (given in Q 5, page 260, “Canadian
Archives”), may again be quoted as indicating the grounds
on which his toleration of such meetings as the one above

                                    “Quebec, 25th November, 1767.

  “The king’s forces in this province, supposing them compliant to
  their allowance and all in perfect health, rank and file, would
  amount to 1,627 men. The king’s old subjects in this province,
  supposing them all willing, might furnish about five hundred men
  able to bear arms, exclusive of his troops; that is, supposing
  all the king’s troops and old subjects collected in Quebec; with
  two months’ hard labor they might put the works in a tolerable
  state of repair and would amount to about one-third the forces
  necessary for its defense. The new subjects could send into
  the field about eighteen thousand men well able to carry arms;
  of which number above one-half had already served with as much
  valour, with more zeal and more military knowledge for America
  than the regular troops of France that were joined with them.
  As the common people are greatly to be influenced by their
  Seigneurs, I annex a Return[4] of the noblesse of Canada, showing
  with tolerable exactness their age; rank and present place of
  abode, together with such natives of France as served in the
  colony troops so early in life as to give them a knowledge of the
  country, an acquaintance and influence over the people equal to
  natives of the same rank; from whence it appears that there are
  in France and in the French service about one hundred officers,
  all ready to be sent back in case of a war to a country they are
  intimately acquainted with and with the assistance of some troops
  to stir up a people accustomed to pay them implicit obedience.
  It further shows there remain in Canada not more than seventy of
  those who ever had been in the French service; not one of them
  in the king’s service nor any one who from any motive whatever
  is induced to support his government and dominion; gentlemen who
  have lost their employment at least by becoming his subjects and
  as they are not bound by any offices of trust or profit we should
  only deceive ourselves by supposing they would be active in the
  defense of a people that has deprived them of their honours,
  privileges, profits and laws and in their stead have introduced
  much expence, chicannery and confusion with a deluge of new laws
  unknown and unpublished. Therefore, all circumstances considered,
  while matters continue in their present state, the most we can
  hope for from the gentlemen who remain in this province is a
  passive neutrality on all occasions, a respectful submission to
  government and deference for the king’s commission in whatever
  hand it may be lodged; this they almost to a man have persevered
  in since my arrival, notwithstanding much pains have been taken
  to engage them in parties by a few whose duty and whose office
  should have taught them better. * * *

  “Having arrayed the strength of His Majesty’s old and new
  subjects and shewn the great superiority of the latter, it may
  not be amiss to observe there is not the least probability this
  present superiority should ever be diminished. On the contrary
  ’tis more than probable it will increase and strengthen daily.
  The Europeans who migrate never will prefer the long inhospitable
  winters of Canada to the more cheerful climates and more fruitful
  soil of His Majesty’s southern provinces; the few old subjects at
  present in this province have been mostly left here by accident
  and are either disbanded officers, soldiers or followers of the
  army, who not knowing how to dispose of themselves elsewhere,
  settled where they could at the Reduction; or else they are
  adventurers in trade or such as could not remain at home, who set
  out to mend their fortunes at the opening of this new channel for
  commerce, but experience has taught almost all of them that this
  trade requires a strict frugality they are strangers to, or to
  which they will not submit; so that some from more advantageous
  views elsewhere, others from necessity, have already left this
  province and I fear many more for the same reason will follow
  their example in a few years; but while this severe climate and
  the poverty of the country discourages all but the natives, its
  healthfulness is such that these multiply daily so that, barring
  a catastrophe shocking to think of, this country must to the end
  of time be peopled by a Canadian race who already have taken
  such a firm root and got to so great a height that any new stock
  transplanted will be totally hid and imperceptible amongst them
  except in the towns of Quebec and Montreal.”

This last consideration no doubt largely influenced Carleton in
his readiness to uphold the ancient laws and customs. He had not
the vision of an English-speaking Dominion such as that of today,
of which the British merchants of Montreal and Quebec of the
early days with all their faults were laying the sure foundation
by their commercial enterprise and dogged pertinacity.

Writing again to Shelburne on December 24, 1767, Carleton reminds
his Lordship that the colony had submitted to His Majesty’s
arms on certain conditions. He doubtless had in view, good tory
as he was, the objection of the noblesse to the institution
of a democratic representative assembly already urged by the
merchants of Quebec and Montreal with their experience of such
in the English colonies, as inimical to the established order of
things, for the system of laws so long in vogue before the act of
1763 maintained the subordination between the different social
divisions from the highest to the most humble ranks and upheld
the harmony now being threatened, thus keeping this far-off
province in its loyalty to the crown.

On January 20, 1768, he again wrote recommending the inclusion,
in the Council and the army, of a number of the noblesse. By
this means he said: “We would at least succeed in dividing the
Canadians and in case of war we would have a certain number on
our side who would stimulate the zeal of the national troops
of the king. Besides, the nobles would have reason to hope
that their children without having received their education in
France and without serving in the French service would be able
to support their families in the service of the king, their
master, in the exercise of offices which would prevent them
from descending to the level of the common people through the
division and the subdivision of their lands in each generation.”
(Constitutional Documents, French Edit.)

On April 12, 1788, he again champions the noblesse and even
recommends that the ceremony of seigneurial feudalism be kept
up as under the ancient régime. “All lands here,” he says,
“are dependent on His Majesty’s Château of St. Louis and I am
persuaded that nothing can be more agreeable to the people and
more suitable to secure the allegiance of the new subjects as
well as the payment of fines, dues and rights which take the
place of quit rents in this colony as a formal requisition,
enjoining all who hold their lands directly from the king to
render him _foi et homage_ in his Château of St. Louis. The oaths
taken by the vassals on this occasion are very solemn and binding
and involve serious obligations; they are obliged in consequence
to produce what they call here their ‘aveux et dénombrement,’
i. e., an exact return of their tenants and their revenue. In
addition they have to pay their dues to their sovereign and
to take arms to defend him in the case of an attack on the
province.” (Constitutional Documents, French Edit.)

A letter of Carleton to Lord Hillsborough of November 20, 1768,
is headed “Secret Correspondence” (“Archives,” Series Q, Vol. V,
page 890).[5] It shows that others besides Murray and Carleton
had been viewing with suspicion the actions of the noblesse
who were thought to be meditating a revolt. “My Lord,” writes
Carleton, “since my arrival in this province I have not been
able to make any discovery that induces me to give credit to
the paper of intelligence inclosed in Your Lordship’s letter of
the 20th of May, last, nor do I think it probable the chiefs of
their own free notion in time of peace dare assemble in numbers,
consult and resolve on a revolt; that an assembly of military men
should be so ignorant as to fancy they could defend themselves
by a few fire ships only against any future attack from Great
Britain after their experience in fifty-nine. Notwithstanding
this and their decent and respectful obedience to the king’s
government hitherto, I have not the least doubt of their secret
attachment to France and think this will continue as long as they
are excluded from all employment under the British government
and are certain of being reinstated at least in their former
commissions under that of France by which chiefly they supported
themselves and families. When I reflect that France naturally
has the affections of all the people, that to make no mention
of fees of office and of the vexations of the law, we have done
nothing to gain one man in the province by making it his private
interest to remain the king’s subject, and that the interests
of many would be greatly promoted by a revolution, I own my not
having discovered a treasonable correspondence never was proof
sufficient to convince me that it did not exist in some degree,
but I am inclined to think if such a message had been sent, very
few were intrusted with the secret; perhaps the court of France
informed a year past by Mons. de Chatelet that the king proposed
raising such a regiment of his new subjects caused this piece
of intelligence to be communicated to create a jealousy of the
Canadians and prevent a measure that might fix their attachments
to the British government and probably of those savages who
have always acted with them; however that may be, on receiving
this news from France last spring, most of the gentlemen in the
province applied to me and begged to be admitted to the king’s
service, assuring me that they would take every opportunity to
testify their zeal and gratitude for so great a mark of favour
and tenderness, extended not only to them but to their posterity.”

The passage following is prophetic of the active interference
which ten years later France was to take in the American war
against Great Britain. “When I consider further that the king’s
dominion here is maintained but by a few troops necessarily
dispersed without a place of security for their magazines, for
their arms or for themselves, amidst a numerous military people,
the gentlemen all officers of experience, poor, without hopes
that they or their descendants will be admitted into the service
of their present sovereign, I can have no doubt but France as
soon as determined to begin a war will attempt to regain Canada,
should it be intended only to make a diversion while it may
reasonably be undertaken with a little hazzard should it fail,
and where so much may be gained should it succeed. But should
France begin a war in hopes the British colonies will push
matters to extremities, and she adopts the project of supporting
them in their independent notions, Canada, probably, will then
become the principal scene where the fate of America may be
determined. Affairs in this situation, Canada in the hands
of France would no longer present itself as an enemy to the
British colony but as an ally, a friend and protector of their

The sympathy, respect and even fear of the seigneurs which
Carleton evinced in his reports home largely influenced the final
passage of the Quebec act. Their firmness and persistency in
their demand for their privileges and their influence over the
_habitant_ and the possibility of their allegiance being tampered
with by France made them prevail over the small but active
minority of the commercial class. At this time preparations
were being made in London for the settlement of the Quebec
difficulty. Secrecy was being observed in high quarters. Lord
Hillsborough’s answer, January 4, 1769, to Carleton’s last is
also secret, “acknowledging your secret dispatch of November
21st before His Majesty. The remarks you make upon the state and
temper of His Majesty’s new subjects will be of great utility
in the consideration of the measures now under deliberation
and do evince both the propriety and necessity of extending to
that grave and faithful people a reaonable participation in
those establishments which are to form the basis of the future
government of Quebec.” He fears, however, although he agreed with
Carleton’s recommendation, that prejudice being so strong it will
be difficult to admit them to military offices.

The following summary of investigations conducted for the
governments at this time may now be added as evidence of the
military strength of the party Carleton wished to conciliate.

  Noblesse in the Province of Quebec:

      Captains having the order of St. Louis                             9
      Captains named in the order but not invested                       1
      Captains who have not the order                                    4
      Lieutenants having the order                                       1
      Lieutenants                                                       16
      Ensigns                                                            2
      Officers de Reserve                                                2
      Cadets                                                            23
      Have never been in the service                                    44
      In the upper country who have never been in the service            6
        Total                                                          126
  (At least eighty-five of these are reported as in the Montreal district.)

  Noblesse in France:

    Grand Croix                                                          1
    Governors, lieutenant governors, majors, aide majors,
      captains and lieutenants of ships of war, having the
      order of St. Louis                                                26
    Aide-majors and captains not having the order                        6
    Lieutenants                                                         12
    Ensigns                                                             19
    Canadian officers in actual service whose parents have
      remained in Canada                                                15
      Total                                                             79

  Natives of France who came over to Canada as cadets, served and
  were preferred in the colony troops and were treated in France as
  Canadian officers:

    Captains not having the Croix of St. Louis                           7
    Had the rank of captain in 1760, raised to lieutenant in
      France, Knight of St. Louis                                        1
    Lieutenants                                                          7
    Was captain in the colony troops at Mississippi, came to Canada
      in 1760 and is raised to the rank of colonel in the Spanish
      service at Mississippi; Knight of St. Louis                        1
    Having had civil employment                                          5
    Officers of the port                                                 2
      Total                                                             23

The case of the seigneurs and that of the merchants was by this
time well understood in England by the colonial authorities and
the parliament. The insistent demand for an assembly had been
well presented by Masères, while the no less repeated opposition
to it in the form of an amended constitution to guarantee
French-Canadian liberties had been equally well presented by the
seigneurs and their upholders. It remained for legislators to
settle which was the more opportune, the delay of the assembly or
the immediate concessions of favours to the conquered race.

The session of 1774 was drawing to a close but the culminating
point looked to with such eagerness on both sides of the
Atlantic, the Quebec act, was not introduced till May 17th, when
it quickly passed the three readings in the house of lords. On
the 26th it reached the second reading in the commons when the
serious opposition began. The debate was continued on June 6th,
7th, 8th and 19th, on which latter day the bill was carried in
committee by eighty-three to forty. On the third reading the
final vote was fifty-six to twenty. The House of Lords received
the bill and its amendments for further consideration on June
17th and the bill was passed on June 22d. The house was prorogued.

The Quebec Act restored the French civil law _in toto_. It
declared that Roman Catholics were to enjoy the free exercise of
their religion, though the clergy might only levy tithes on their
own subjects. It amended the oath of allegiance so as to make it
possible for an honest Roman Catholic to take it.

The act was in a sense a formal renunciation of the British
government to Anglicize the province of Quebec.[6] It was the
logical ratification of the British government’s promises to
protect the laws and institutions of the French-Canadians. It
was also a wise move. We know the views of Murray and Carleton.
General Haldimand, writing in 1780, six years after it had been
tried, confirms this thus: “It requires little penetration to
discover that had the system of government solicited by the old
subjects been adopted in Canada this colony would, in 1775, have
become one of the United States of America.”


[1] Mr. Gray was the first English notary of Montreal, being
named such October 7, 1765; on August 15, 1768, he became an
advocate; on the 1st of May, 1776, he succeeded Mr. Turner as
sheriff. In 1784 he accepted the position of sub-director of the
post in the city.

[2] The above names are not given with this fullness. Some are
obscure, hence Mr. Massicotte’s identification of them is used
here. (Canadian Antiquarian, January, 1914.)

[3] The object of this letter is to urge the strengthening of the
fort at Quebec against the possibility of an uprising.

[4] (Canadian Archives, Q 5, page 269.) This is printed in full
in Canadian Archives for 1888, page 44.

[5] This letter does not appear among the state papers in the
Canadian Archives.

[6] Cf. F.P. Walton, Dean of the Faculty of Law, McGill
University, in an article in the University Magazine, April,
1908, entitled “After the Cession.”

                           CHAPTER VII

                  THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR OF 1775



The Quebec act, which was hailed by the leaders of the
French-Canadians as their Magna Charta, was received with
execration in England and America. On the day of the prorogation
of Parliament, June 22d, the mayor of London, attended by the
recorder, several aldermen and 150 of the common council, went to
St. James with a petition to the king to withhold his assent from
the bill. The lord chamberlain receiving them, told them that
it was too late, that the king was then on the point of going
to parliament to give his consent to a bill agreed on by both
houses of parliament and that they must not expect an answer.
Among other objections this petition claimed: “that the Roman
Catholic religion which is known to be idolatrous and bloody
is established by this bill and no legal provision is made for
the free exercise of our reformed faith nor the security of our
Protestant fellow subjects of the church of England in the true
worship of Almighty God according to their consciences.”

In the American colonies the Quebec act largely precipitated the
American Revolution then being concocted. Strong protest was
made, as for example, that shown by the delegates of Philadelphia
on September 5, 1774, in the address to the people of England;
“By another act the Dominion of Canada is to be so extended,
modeled and governed as that by being disunited from us, detached
from our interests by civil as well as by religious prejudices,
that by their numbers, swelling with Catholic emigrants from
Europe, and by their devotion to administration so friendly
to their religion, they might become formidable to us, and on
occasion be fit instruments in the hands of power to reduce the
ancient free Protestant colonies to the same state of slavery as
themselves.” Again speaking of the Quebec Act, it adds “Nor can
we suppress our astonishment that a British parliament should
ever consent to establish in that country a religion which has
deluged your Island in blood and dispersed impiety, bigotry,
persecution, murder and rebellion through every part of the
world.” The Quebec act added fuel to the fire of discontent
and the people were ready for war if the Congress said so. The
congress of Philadelphia at the same time published a long,
bombastic and revolutionary address signed by Henry Middleton,

         “To the inhabitants of the province of Quebec.”

  “We do not ask you to commence hostilities against the government
  of our common sovereign but we submit it to your consideration
  whether it may not be expedient to you to meet together in your
  several towns and districts and elect deputies who after meeting
  in a provincial congress may chose delegates to represent your
  province in the continental congress to be held at Philadelphia
  on the 10th of May, 1775.” An unanimous vote had been resolved
  “That you should be invited to accede to our federation.” It is
  interesting to note that, forgetful of the previous letter to the
  British parliament breathing religious intolerance just referred
  to, the artful Americans now used also the following _argumentum
  ad hominem_: “We are too well acquainted with the liberality of
  sentiment distinguishing your nation to imagine that difference
  of religion will prejudice you against a hearty amity with us.
  You know that the transcendent nature of freedom, elevates those
  who unite in the cause above all such low-minded infirmities.”

This was printed for wide circulation in Canada and the question
of sending the delegates was eagerly discussed in Montreal’s
affected circles.

The Quebec act was one of the causes of grievance which led
to the American Revolution; it was one of the acts of tyranny
specified in the Declaration of Independence, “For abolishing the
free system of English law in a neighbouring province (Canada),
establishing therein an arbitrary government and enlarging
its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit
instrument for introducing the same absolute rules into these

But how was the bill received in Montreal? Truth to tell,
Montreal was the seat of discontent in Canada. Its infection
was carried to Quebec. Sir Guy Carleton, who shortly after the
passage of the Quebec bill left England with his young wife,[1]
the Lady Maria Howard, the third daughter of Thomas, the second
Earl of Effingham, to resume his office as governor general,
tells how the trouble started at Montreal in his letter to
Dartmouth, dated Quebec, 11th of November, 1774. We are there
informed that at Quebec there were addresses of loyal acceptation
of the situation. “I believe,” wrote Carleton, “that most of
them who signed this address were disposed to act up to their
declaration, which probably would have been followed by those
who did not, if their brethren at Montreal had not adopted very
different measures. Whether the minds of the latter are of a more
turbulent turn or that they caught the fire from some colonists
settled among them, or in reality letters were received from
the general congress, as reported, I know not; certain it is,
however, that shortly after the said congress had published in
all the American papers their approbation of the Suffolk County
Resolves[2] in the Massachusetts Assembly, a report was spread
at Montreal that letters of importance had been received from
the general congress and all the British there flocked to the
coffee house to hear the news. Grievances were publicly talked
of and various ways for obtaining redress proposed, but that the
government might not come to a true knowledge of their intentions
a meeting was appointed at the house of a person then absent,
followed by several others at the same place and a committee of
four named, consisting of Mr. Walker, Mr. Todd, Mr. Price and
Mr. Blake, to take care of their interests and prepare plans of
redress. Mr. Walker now takes the lead. * * * Their plans being
prepared and a subscription commenced, the committee set out for
Quebec, attended in form by their secretary, a nephew of Mr.
Walker and by profession a lawyer.”

Carleton proceeds to describe how the Montreal emissaries worked
up the Quebecers[3] through several “town meetings” to join
in petitions, for a repeal of the Quebec act, which were sent
to “His Majesty, to the Lords spiritual and temporal, to the
Honourable, the Commons.” The chief grievances were that they
had lost the protection of the English laws and had thrust on
them the laws of Canada which are ruinous to their properties
as thereby they lose the invaluable privilege of trial by
juries; that in matters of a criminal nature the habeas corpus
act is dissolved and they are subjected to arbitrary fines and
imprisonment at the will of the governor and council. Masères was
entrusted with the promotion of their cause. The petitions were
signed on November 12th. In February secret agents from congress
were in Montreal to see if an aggressive policy could be safely

The majority of the English population was on the side of the
discontented provinces. The French-Canadian _habitants_ were
encouraged to remain neutral, being plied with specious arguments
to undermine their loyalty to the king. They were told that
they had nothing to lose from the government by this position
and everything to gain from the congress faction who threatened
reprisals if they became actively opposed to them. But the
noblesse, the gentry and the clergy were against the congress,
for the Quebec act had guaranteed them the securities for the
rights they most valued; they knew that there was little to hope
for from the Americans. The Quebec act came into operation on
May 1st and an instance of the unsettled state of men’s minds
in Montreal is remembered by the incident of the desecration of
the king’s bust on this day. It was discovered daubed with black
and decorated with a necklace of potatoes, and a cross attached
with the words “voila le pape du Canada et le sot Anglais.”[4]
Kingsford, following Sanguinet, says that the perpetrator of
the foolish insult, for such it was intended to be, was never
discovered. The act was regarded as insolent and disloyal and it
caused great excitement. A public meeting was called at which 100
guineas were subscribed to discover the perpetrators. The company
of grenadiers of the Twenty-Six made a proclamation by beat of
drum offering a reward of $200 and a free pardon excepting the
person who had disfigured it to any one giving information which
would lead to the discovery of the offenders. The principal
French-Canadians were greatly annoyed at this proceeding, the
words being in French. It was claimed, however, that they were
written by an English speaking revolutionist.

On April 19th the affair at Lexington, the commencement of
a civil revolution, took place and rapidly the news of it
spread. Montreal was well posted. The leaders of the provincial
sympathizers here reported to the leaders of congress the easy
fall of Canada to the insurgents. Canada was more feverishly
coveted at this time than ever. In 1712 Dummers had written:
“I am sure it has been the cry of the whole country ever since
Canada was delivered up to the French,--Canada est delenda.” In
1756 Governor Livingston of New Jersey had cried: “Canada must
be demolished--Delenda est Carthago,--or we are undone.” And now
Canada was desired as the “fourteenth colony.”

In Montreal those who had received in the coffee house
John Brown, John Adams’ ambassador, were still keeping up
communications led by Thomas Walker, Price and others. At last
the Congressists thought the conquest was being made, relying on
the presumed neutrality of the Canadians. Ticonderoga had fallen
in the beginning of May to the revolutionary party under Ethan
Allen’s self-constituted forces. The road to Canada was being
cleared. Benedict Arnold, sailing from Ticonderoga, had arrived
unexpectedly on the morning of the 18th of May at Fort St. John’s
and captured the small war sloop there and took prisoners the
sergeant and ten men in charge of the military garrison. A second
landing was made by Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys at
St. John’s on the 18th and 19th with a party said to be three
hundred strong, as Carleton was informed at Quebec. There was
great consternation in Montreal when the news of the seizure of
Ticonderoga and Crown Point and the first capture of St. John’s
was brought by Moses Hazen,[5] a merchant of Montreal now living
near St. John’s. The military was immediately put in motion by
Colonel Templer who dispatched Colonel Preston with a regiment of
one hundred men of the Twenty-sixth and this would have cut off
Allen’s descent up the lake with his bateaux had not Bindon, a
friendly Montreal merchant, hurried on horseback from Longueuil
to St. John’s to apprize Allen of the approach of the party from

Allen before embarking gave a letter to this same Bindon
addressed to one Morrison and the British merchants at Montreal,
lovers of liberty, demanding a supply of provisions, ammunition
and spirituous liquors which some of them were inclined enough
to furnish had they not been prevented. (Carleton to Dartmouth,
June 7, 1775, from Montreal.) Bindon in returning to Montreal
fell across Colonel Preston who would have detained him but
he rode off and, crossing the St. Lawrence, found his way to
Montreal with his letters. On arriving he added to the excitement
of Montreal--it being market day--by reporting that Preston’s
detachment had been defeated. Colonel Templer called a meeting
of the citizens for 3 o’clock at the Récollet church to consider
the situation. It was numerously attended and it was resolved to
take arms for the common defense. During the proceedings Templer
received a letter from Preston detailing Bindon’s reprehensible
conduct. Bindon was himself present and turned pale as the facts
were read. The meeting was adjourned until 10 o’clock next
morning when it was held on St. Anne’s common. Templer proposed
that the inhabitants should form themselves into companies of
thirty and elect their officers. Several well known citizens were
chosen to make the roll of those willing to serve.[7] They were
of the old Canadian families known for their loyalty. Preston’s
detachment returned to Montreal, the men greatly infuriated
against Bindon. They had learned that it was from no fault of his
they had not been intercepted in the woods and shot down. So soon
as they were dismissed for parade they went in search of him.
When he was found the men forcibly led him to the pillory with
the intention of hanging him, but they were without a ladder and
the officers rescued Bindon before one could be obtained. But he
was arrested and carried before the magistrates, when he pleaded
guilty to imprudence but protested his innocence. To save his
character he played the part of a loyalist and took service in
the force organized for defense. The action of the troops with
regard to Bindon was the occasion of a public meeting called by
the party for congress.

Meanwhile a call for volunteers was met by an insignificant
enrollment of fifty Canadians who set out for St. John’s
under Lieutenant McKay, to remain there until relieved by the
Twenty-sixth regiment. Carleton moved the troops from Quebec
thither, also. The few troops at Three Rivers were also sent;
the garrison of Montreal as well. Carleton arrived at Montreal
on May 26th. He found how poorly the French-Canadians had
responded to the call to organize themselves into companies. In
St. Lawrence suburb the commissioners sent to enroll volunteers
had been met by the women with threats of stoning. The loyalty
of the French-Canadians had been sorely tampered with. There is
not a family resemblance between the letters written by Carleton
about the quality of their obedience, before the Quebec act and
after. On June 7, 1775, Carleton wrote from Montreal to Dartmouth
gloomily reviewing the situation and telling of the preparations
for the safety of St. John’s. “The little force we have in the
Province was immediately set in Motion and ordered to assemble
at or near St. John’s; the Noblesse of this Neighbourhood were
called upon to collect their Inhabitants in order to defend
themselves. The Savages of these parts likewise had the same
orders but though the Gentlemen testified great Zeal, neither
their Entreaties or their Example could prevail upon the People;
a few of the Gentry consisting principally of the Youth residing
in this place and its Neighbourhood, formed a small Corps of
Volunteers under the Command of Mr. Samuel McKay and took post
at St. John’s; the Indians showed as much Backwardness as the
Canadian Peasantry. * * * Within these few Days the Canadians and
Indians seemed to return a little to their senses, the Gentry
and Clergy had been very useful on this occasion and shewn great
Fidelity and Warmth for His Majesty’s Service, but both have
lost much of their influence over the People. I proposed trying
to form a Militia and if their minds are favourably disposed
will raise a Battalion upon the same plan as the other Corps in
America, as to Numbers and Experience, and were it established
I think it might turn out a great public Utility; but I have my
doubts as to whether I shall be able to succeed.

“These Measures that formerly would have been extremely popular
require at present a great Degree of Caution and Circumspection;
so much have the Minds of the People been tainted by the Cabals
and Intrigues, I have from time to time given to your Lordship
some information of. I am as yet uncertain whether I shall
find it advisable to proceed in the forementioned Undertaking;
to defame their King and treat with Insolence and Disrespect,
upon all Occasions to speak with the utmost contempt of His
Government, to forward Sedition and applaud Rebellion, seems
to be what too many of his British-American Subjects in those
parts think their undoubted Right.” (Constitutional Documents,
1760-1791, page 450.)

On the 9th of June, Carleton, by proclamation, authorized
the calling out of the militia throughout the whole province
according to the provisions of the old law, reinstating
officers appointed by Murray, Gage and Burton. The movement was
not popular even with the new subjects, uninfluenced by the
discontent of the disloyalists who feared in the return of the
old militia the exactions of the French régime. Chief Justice
Hey, then in Montreal, prevailed upon some of the dissatisfied
“old” but “loyal” subjects to enroll for good example, which
done, they were joined by the French-Canadians so that a
sufficient force was ready for a review before General Carleton.

The Indians of Caughnawaga at first hesitated in their loyalty,
which had also been tampered with, but they were also brought to
serve. At this time Colonel Johnson arrived in Montreal with 300
Indians of the six nations; a council of 600 Indians was held
and all agreed to take the field in defense, but not to commence
hostilities. The congressists had endeavoured to persuade them to
neutrality and the leaven was still working.

July was drawing to a close. Carleton left Montreal by way of
Longueuil to inspect the militia at Sorel and then proceeded to
Quebec, where he arrived on August 2d, to make preparations for
the establishment of the new Legislative Council. This met for
the first time on August 17th but it was adjourned on September
7th on account of news of the congress troops again appearing
on the Richelieu. The lieutenant governor, Cramahé, writing to
Dartmouth from Quebec on September 21st, tells the circumstances
how on the news of the rebel army approaching, Carleton set out
for Montreal in great haste; that “on the 7th inst. the Rebels
landed in the woods near St. John’s and were beat back to their
Boats by a Party of Savages encamped at that Place. In this
Action the Savages behaved with great Spirit and Resolution and
had they remained firm to our Interests probably the Province
would have been Saved for this Year, but finding the Canadians
in General adverse to taking up Arms for the Defence of their
Country, they withdrew and made their peace. After their Defeat
the Rebels returned to the Isle aux Noix, where they continued
till lately, sending out some Parties and many Emisaries to
debauch the Minds of the Canadians and Indians.”

Cramahé adds that no means had been left untried to bring the
Canadian peasantry to a sense of their duty and to engage them
to take up arms in defense of the province but to no purpose.
“The Justice must be done to the Gentry, Clergy and most of the
Burgeoisie that they have shewn the Greatest Zeal and Fidelity
to the King’s Service and Exerted their best Endeavours to
reclaim their infatuated Countrymen. Some Troops and a Ship of
War or two would, in all likelihood, have prevented this general

Chief Justice Hey, writing at the end of August to the Lord
Chancellor, says in a postscript dated September 11th “that
all there was to trust to was about five hundred men, two war
boats at St. John’s and Chambly; that the situation is desperate
and that Canada would shortly be in complete possession of the
rebels.” In a further postscript of September 17th he adds that
not one hundred Canadians, except in the towns of Quebec and
Montreal, are with the king. He holds himself ready to return,
to be of more use in England. Carleton, sick at heart with
disappointment at the ingratitude of the Canadians who would
not march to defend their own country, the uncertainty of the
Indians, and the disloyalty of many of the old subjects, and
crippled by an inadequate army which was nearly all enclosed in
Forts Chambly and St. John’s, nevertheless determined to act
boldly on the defensive until General Gage should send from
Boston the two regiments earnestly asked for.

Canada was abandoned at this period by as criminal apathy and
ignorance on the part of English officials, as it had been before
by the French. As Cramahé had pointed out, some troops and a ship
of war or two sent from England, or from Gage in America, would
have saved Canada from the invasion of 1775.

The part that Montreal took in the defence of Canada must now
be told. When the news of the rebels advancing on to St. John’s
reached Montreal, Colonel Prescott, then in command, sent an
order to the parishes around the city for fifteen men of each
company of militia to join the force at St. John’s. Though no
report came from without, the Montreal army men came forward to
the number of 120 French and Canadians under the command of de
Belestre and de Longueuil, many of the volunteers being young
men of family and several being prosperous merchants, this being
perhaps the first recorded separate unit composed solely of
French-Canadians, ever raised as an arm of Imperial defence. The
party for St. John’s departed on September 7th. The loyal British
volunteers remained to perform duty in Montreal. Time will
discover who were truly loyal and who were not.

The Imperial forces in Canada were now represented by the two
companies in Montreal, eighty-two men at Chambly and the garrison
of St. John’s, consisting of 505 men of all rank, of the Seventh
Royal Fusiliers and the Twenty-sixth Regiment, thirty of the
Royal Artillery, eight of Colonel McLean’s newly raised corps
from Quebec and fifteen of the Royal Horse and 120 volunteers
from Montreal--the whole making a total of 696 in the garrison,
not counting some artificers.

Around St. John’s and in the district of the Richelieu the
inhabitants were either neutral or, with the majority, actively
espousing the congress party, some by taking to the field, others
by supplying provisions, assisting in the transport of munitions
of war and artillery and giving information.

Surely the _morale_ of the once loyal French-Canadian _habitants_
had been undermined effectively by Walker and other malcontents
and had been recently further weakened by the manifesto of
General Schuyler from the Isle aux Noix on September 15th to his
“dear friends and compatriots, the habitants of Canada,” advising
them to join him and escape the common slavery prepared for them.
Montgomery’s scouting parties, out for supplies and information,
did the rest. Of Richard Montgomery, Schuyler’s second in
command, we shall hear more.


                           THE MILITIA

The militia, which was called out for service in the field in
1775, 1776, 1812, 1814, 1837, 1839, with the exception of a few
small independent corps, consisted of provisionally organized
units armed and equipped from the magazines, the regular army,
paid by the British government, drilled, disciplined and often
commanded by regular officers. After the denudation of Canada
of the regular troops at the time of the Crimean war, it became
necessary for the colony to take more provisions for its own
defence. In 1855 the military act (18 Victoria, Chapter 77),
passed by the Upper Canada, for raising and maintaining at the
colonial expense, created the nucleus of our present militia
system. The “Trent” excitement of 1861-62 and the Fenian raids
of 1867-70 further stimulated the movement. The first Dominion
militia act (31 Victoria, Chapter 40) was passed in 1868. The
present militia act (4 Edward VII, Chapter 23) received assent on
August 15, 1904. According to this statute the militia is divided
into active and reserve forces.


[1] Carleton was then in his fiftieth year, his wife in her
twenty-second. They were married on May 22, 1772.

[2] Adopted on September 9, 1774.

[3] The Montreal agitators were fiercer than those of Quebec.
John McCord, of Quebec, wrote April 27, 1775, to Lieutenant
Pettigrew, “I pray God to grant peace at any price; the blood of
British subjects is very precious.” Walker, writing to Samuel
Adams on April 7th, breathes fire: “Few in this colony dare
vent their quip but groan in silence and dream of _Lettres de
Cachets_, confiscations and improvements.” The colonists had
declared they would fight for their rights and liberties while
they had a drop of their blood left.

[4] “This is the pope of Canada and the fool of England.”

[5] Moses Hazen passed his boyhood at Haverhill, in
Massachusetts. He served in the Louisberg expedition, rose to
be a captain in the Rangers at the taking of Quebec and was
remarked by General Wolfe as a good soldier. Later he obtained
a lieutenant’s commission in the 44th Foot and soon after the
conquest retired on half pay. We then find his name attached to
petitions of the Montreal merchants. At this time he appears to
have settled near St. John’s, carrying on not only large farming
operations but owning sawmills, a potash house and a forge.

[6] When the Americans appeared there in arms he saw, doubtless,
the losses war would bring him and he wished them elsewhere. For
a time he “trimmed” successfully, but at last was held suspicious
by both parties and was held prisoner by both.

[7] Dupuy-Desauniers, de Longueuil, Panet, St. George Dupré,
Mesére, Sanguinet, Guy and Lemoine Despins. (See the Abbé
Verreau’s valuable book “Invasion du Canada par les Americains.”)

[8] Constitutional Documents, page 435.

                          CHAPTER VIII

                        MONTREAL BESIEGED


                     THE SECOND CAPITULATION


While Montgomery at Isle aux Noix is planning his descent on St.
John’s, the portal of Canada, twelve miles lower down, it will
be well to follow Ethan Allen on his venturesome and abortive
attempt to take Montreal. Ethan Allen, of Bennington, was, as
Carleton had reported, “an outlaw in the province of New York,
who had become famous by his daring capture of Ticonderoga and
had been emboldened enough by his success to persuade the New
York congress to raise a small regiment of rangers.” Thus this
freebooter, with his Green Mountain Boys, became a commissioned
officer. He got employment under Schuyler and it was Ethan
Allen with John Brown, now Major, who had formerly been sent to
Montreal to sound the merchants, who bore Schuyler’s manifesto
from Isle aux Noix to the habitants of Canada. From parish
to parish he hurried and his ready wit and hustling address
captivated the peasant housewives who, being educated better than
their husbands, read the proclamation with approval to them.
He visited the Caughnawaga Indians and played havoc with their
loyalty, receiving beads and wampum from them. His reappointment
was from Montgomery, then commencing the investment of St.
John’s, who, it is said, wanting to find employment for Allen
at a distance from himself, sent him to gather up a recruit of
Canadians around Chambly. According to his own account he was
easily successful. Writing to Montgomery on September 20th from
St. Ours, “You may rely on it,” he says, “that I shall join you
in three days with five hundred or more Canadian volunteers.
* * * Those that used to be enemies to our cause come cap in
hand to me; and I swear by the Lord I can raise three times the
number of our army provided you continue the siege.” Yet, on
the night of September 23d, when he found himself at Longueuil
looking across the St. Lawrence to the city which it was his
ambition to capture, he had only about eighty still following.
He was returning to St. John’s next morning, and when two miles
from Longueuil he met John Brown, now Colonel in command of a
considerable force at La Prairie. These two, retiring to a house
with some others, conceived the plan of attacking Montreal. The
plan was for Brown with two hundred followers to cross over the
St. Lawrence in canoes above the town, and Allen’s party below
it; each would silently approach the gate at his end of the city;
Brown’s party would give three Huzzas! Allen’s would respond and
then both would fall to.

It was a brilliant idea and elated Allen. Montreal, captured by
a force of two to three thousand and the easy fall of the rest
of Canada had been the vision put before congress often enough.
“I still maintain my views,” says Colonel Easton before the
congress of Massachusetts on June 6, 1775, “that policy demands
that the colonies advance an army of two or three thousand men
into Canada and environ Montreal. This will inevitably fix and
confirm the Canadians and Indians in our interests.” On June 13,
1775, Benedict Arnold wrote to congress, sketching out a plan by
which with an army of 2,000 men, Chambly and St. John’s should
be cut off with 700 men, 300 more should guard the boats and
the line of retreat and a grand division of 1,000 should appear
before Montreal, whose gates on the arrival of the Americans were
to be opened by friends there “in consequence of a plan for that
purpose already entered into by them.”

On May 29th Allen, over confident, had written to the Continental
Congress: “Provided I had but 500 men with me at St. John’s when
we took the king’s sloop, I would have advanced to Montreal.” On
June 2d he wrote to the New York congress: “I will lay my life
on it that with 1,500 men and a proper train of artillery I will
take Montreal,” and on July 12th to Trumbull that if his Green
Mountain Boys had not been formed into a battalion under certain
regulations and command he would further “advance then into
Canada and invest Montreal.”

Here, then, was Allen to attempt to take the city of his dreams
with a smaller force than his dreams provided for! He had
forgotten, perhaps, that Carleton was in that city. He was elated
that he had added about thirty English Americans to his force,
but he was sorry that Thomas Walker had been communicated with
at his home in L’Assomption. Night came on. Allen’s little fleet
spent all the night being driven backward and forward by the
currents, but at last after six crossings were made to land his
men in the limited number of available boats, on the morning of
the 25th the daring invaders were all landed at Longue Pointe.
But they heard no Huzza! from Brown’s party from the other side
of the city. Brown had either known better or was jealous of
Ethan Allen’s desire to claim the capture of Montreal, as he had
done that of Ticonderoga.

Longue Pointe was not unfriendly but thought discretion better
than valour. Allen saw himself in a foolish position; his
slightness of force would soon be known in Montreal through the
escape from his guards of a Montrealer named Desautel going out
early to his Longue Pointe farm.

Montreal was in great excitement and confusion at the news of
the presence of the notorious New Hampshire incendiary. Even
some of the officers took to the ships.[1] It was, however, only
at 9 o’clock that Carleton heard the news. There was a hurry
and scurry and a beating of drums and the parade ground of the
Champ de Mars behind the barracks was filled with the people.
Carleton briefly told the citizens of their dangers and ordered
them to join the troops at the barracks. The instinct of
self-preservation in a common danger made most obey except some,
chiefly American colonists, that stepped forward and turned off
the contrary way.

[Illustration: COLONEL ARNOLD]


STREETS Occupied by Montgomery and the American officers during
the winter of 1775-76.]

STREET Occupied by government representatives from 1775 to 1791.]

At last the Montreal party was ready. They dashed through the
Quebec gate, smashing the boats there to cut off the enemies
retreat, and hurried up north. The fight with Allen’s men began
at 2 o’clock and lasted an hour and three-quarters by the
watch. Though carefully using all natural advantages of the
ground, ditches and coverts chosen beforehand, Allen himself was
compelled to surrender his sword to Peter Johnson, a natural
son of Sir William, “providing I can be treated with honour,”
he added. The officers received him with politeness, like
gentlemen. In the fight Allen lost twelve to fifteen men, killed
and wounded; some had fled, but a body of forty prisoners were
marched to the city. The defenders had lost only six to eight of
their men, so it was a famous victory. When the prisoners were
brought before Colonel Prescott in Barrack Yard an extraordinary
incident occurred, according to “Allen’s Narrative.”

“Are you the Colonel Allen who took Ticonderoga?” thundered
out the British soldier. “The very man,” was the reply.
Prescott angrily raised his cane to strike the roughly dressed,
dust-stained ranger in a short deerskin coat, breeches of
sagathy, and woolen cap. “You had better not strike me, I’m not
used to it,” cried the aroused prisoner, shaking his fist at the
angry commander of the garrison. Prescott then turned to the
habitant prisoners and ordered a sergeant to bayonet them. Allen
then stepped between his men and the soldiers and, tearing open
his clothes and exposing his shaggy bosom, exclaimed to Prescott:
“I am the one to blame. Thrust your bayonets into my breast. I am
the sole cause of their taking up arms.” A long pause. Finally
muttered Prescott, “I will not execute you now, but you shall
grace a halter at Tyburn, ---- ye!” There was no suitable prison
in Montreal so Allen was put into the hold of the Gaspé in the
harbour to wait until he should be shipped to England for trial.

Montreal was saved for the present; and Allen’s failure, as
the governor reported it, gave a favourable turn to the minds
of the people and many began now to come back to loyalty. It
seems strange, the impunity with which known plotters had been
hitherto treated. Carleton would now make an example. He turned
his eyes sternly upon Thomas Walker. Already Mrs. Walker had been
told that her husband must quit the country. Now an order for
arrest on the charge of high treason was issued. Prescott handed
the warrant to Captain Bellair. On the night of the 5th-6th of
October in their comfortable farm house at L’Assomption they were
surprised by a posse of twenty regulars and twelve Canadians.
Walker, determined to resist, shot into the crowd, who fusilladed
back. At last the four corners of the house were fired. As the
house began to burn, the smoke within almost suffocated Mrs.
Walker, so that he took her to a window and held her by the
shoulders while she lowered herself in her nightdress as far as
she could, clinging to the windowsill. Finally she was rescued by
one of the soldiers setting a ladder to the wall. The floor that
Walker was standing on was in flames, and on the promise of good
treatment from the soldiers, he surrendered. Their property was
plundered and destroyed and the farm house wrecked. The Walkers
were given some wraps to cover their unfinished attire and were
hurried to Prescott at Montreal. Charged with rebellion, Walker
was taken to the barracks and for thirty-three days and nights
he was confined in his solitary cell on a straw pallet under
a heavy load of irons. Then he was taken to Lisotte’s armed
schooner and buried in the hold prison, to be taken for trial
over seas. It was a terrifying example to all, a leading citizen,
a wealthy merchant, a Montreal magistrate and a felon! Truly a
warning to traitors.

Using this as a propitious moment Carleton issued another levy
of men from the militia around Montreal. That October he was
so encouraged that he assembled on St. Helen’s island, facing
Montreal, seven or eight hundred men, counting Indians, and later
on the afternoon of October 30th pushed off, accompanied by Luc
la Corne and Lorimier with thirty-five or forty boats for the
shore of Longueuil to bear relief to the invested fort of St.
John’s. Alan Maclean was to go from Quebec to meet Carleton at
St. John’s. But as they approached the harbour they were met with
such havoc by a force under Seth Warner that had been making use
of Longueuil Castle and who had a four-pounder emptying grape
and a goodly backing of musketry at the landing, and quickly
playing upon the astonished flotilla, so that it turned around,
bearing some forty or fifty dead and as many wounded. No American
received a scratch.

The grand stroke had failed. Maclean’s force heard the bad
news and many began to desert. It was a game of battledore and
shuttlecock for the French Canadian peasantry. It was not that
their want of loyalty was to be blamed as the practical politics
of the affair. It was a war of Englishmen again Englishmen, and
they were for the winners. The loss of Chambly was the turning
point in the siege of St. John’s which had been going on since
September 18th. Chambly had been surrendered by Major Stafford
after a siege of one day and a half, on October 17th, a sorry
event, for it was well supplied with winter provisions and
ammunition. The rebels, with the aid of others, were able for
six weeks to reinforce Montgomery at St. John’s, when he would
have been forced by the approach of winter to retire. Thus on the
morning of the 3d of November, at 10 o’clock, the surrender of
St. John’s was made by Colonel Preston to Montgomery.

The fall of Montreal was now assured and with winter approaching,
Montgomery secured his position at Chambly, St. John’s and the
Richeleau district. At Longueuil, Warren was posted with 300 men.
The complacent Indians at Caughnawaga willingly enough received
an order to remain neutral. Everything was ready for the march on
Montreal and Montgomery advanced to La Prairie, there collecting
all the boats and bateaux available for the transportation of the
troops across the river to the city. On the 11th of November news
came to Carleton in Montreal that Montgomery was crossing over.
It was now his policy to leave. The capture was inevitable and
he had prepared for it since the fall of St. John’s. He spiked
the guns and burned the bateaux he could not use and caused the
munitions, provisions and baggage to be loaded on the three
armed sloops. About one hundred and twenty regular troops were
embarked on the vessels available. In the evening at 5 o’clock
Carleton went aboard. Brigadier Prescott and the military and
staff accompanied. Eleven sail went down to Quebec. At Lavaltrie,
twelve miles west of Sorel, owing to contrary winds the flotilla
was detained during the 13th and 14th of November. On the 15th
a written summons came from Colonel Easton calling on Carleton
to capitulate. On the night of the 16th and 17th of November
Carleton went on the barge of Captain Bouchette and arrived at
Quebec on Sunday, November 19th, escaping the batteries erected
beyond Sorel to intercept the fleet at Lavaltrie.

On the same day this fleet was visited by Major Brown with
a peremptory order to surrender. Prescott saw no way out of
it; he first threw the powder into the St. Lawrence and then
surrendered. The congress troops now took charge of the fleet and
with a favourable north wind convoyed the army and fleet back to
Montreal. Walker, a prisoner in irons in the hold, was released
as soon as possible. The fleet arrived on November 22d. The
prisoners were ordered by Montgomery to parade on the river front
the following morning before the market and then lay down their

We must go back to the 11th of November and visit defenseless
Montreal. The loyalists were sad, as having been at a funeral,
in the passing away of its defenders. The discontented, now that
Montreal was on the point of changing hands, openly abandoned
their arms and threw off their disguise. That night Montgomery’s
force encamped on St. Paul’s Island. On Sunday morning, about
9 o’clock, when many were going to church, news arrived that
Montgomery was coming from the island to Point St. Charles and
a committee of twelve citizens was appointed to go to meet him.
Meanwhile he had arrived and the inhabitants of the suburbs
west of the city had assured him of their neutrality. He had
also received encouraging messages from the disaffected within
the city, for Bindon, now a sentry at one of the embrasures,
traitorously allowed a partner of Price, whom we have mentioned
as in league with the Boston party, and another, to communicate
with the congress party now advancing. Montgomery must have
learnt that there was a strong following in the city prepared
to side with him and that those opposed to him were handicapped
for want of ammunition and provision. It was reliance on these
elements within and without the city, with the knowledge that few
were willing to take up arms against him, that made it possible
for Montgomery with his slight force to capture a city of 1,200

The deputation meeting him was told that he gave them four
hours to consider the terms on which they would accede to his
authority. Being told that he must not approach nearer the
city, he answered that it was somewhat cold weather and he
immediately sent fifty men to occupy the Récollet suburb, and
before 4 o’clock his whole force was established there. This made
an uproar in the town and the loyalists were for shooting on
them. The articles of capitulation were prepared and presented
to Montgomery. “I will examine them and reply soon,” said he.
They demanded that “The religious orders should enjoy their
rights and properties, that both the French and English should
be maintained in the free exercise of their religion, that trade
in the interior and upper part of the provinces and beyond the
seas should be uninterrupted, that passports on legitimate
business should be granted, that the citizens and inhabitants
of Montreal should not be called upon to bear arms against the
mother country, that the inhabitants of Montreal and of every
part of the province, who have borne arms for the defense of the
province then prisoners, should be released, that the courts of
justice should be reestablished and the judges elected by the
people, that the inhabitants of the city should not be forced to
receive the troops, that no habitant of the country parishes and
no Indians should be admitted into the city until the commandant
had taken possession of it and made provision for its safety.”

The general in reply stated first, “that owing to the city
of Montreal having neither ammunition, adequate artillery,
troops nor provisions and not having it in its power to
fulfill one article of the treaty, it could claim no title
to its capitulation, yet the continental army had a generous
disdain of every act of oppression and violence; they are come
for the express purpose of giving liberty and security.”[2]
He accepted most of the provisions laid down. But from the
unhappy differences of Great Britain and the colonies he was
unable to engage that trade should be continued with the mother
country. In acceding to the demands he made it understood that
the engagements entered upon by him would be binding on his

Next day, the 13th of November, the congress troops, many of
whom wore the scarlet uniforms of the British troops found in
the military stores at St. John’s and Chambly, entered by the
Recollet gate (at the corner of McGill and Notre Dame streets)
and, receiving the keys to the storehouses of the city, marched
proudly along Notre Dame Street to the barracks opposite what is
now known as Jacques Cartier Square.

The capture of Montreal was quickly made known in the American
province. “Dispatches for His Excellency, General Washington;
news of Montreal’s quiet submission of that city to the
victorious arms of the United Colonies of America” was soon
announced in the New England Chronicle.

Montgomery remained in Montreal until November 28th. News came of
the success of the detachment placed at Sorel. For, on the 22d,
as already stated, the eleven vessels captured by Colonel Easton
at Lavaltrie were brought into Montreal with Colonel Prescott and
the military prisoners and the released Thomas Walker. One reason
for Montgomery’s delay was due to the expectancy of the arrival
of the detachments he had ordered. He now left General David
Wooster in command of the detachment kept behind in the city
and went down the river to join Benedict Arnold, who had been
unsuccessful in his attack on Quebec, and to take command of the
besieging forces. For unless Quebec were taken, Canada could not
be said to have been subdued.

Wooster’s first action was to disseminate Washington’s proclamation
confided to Arnold for the inhabitants of Canada. It started
“Friends and Brethren.” The second paragraph runs thus: “Above all
we rejoice that our enemies have been deceived with regard to you.
They have persuaded themselves, they have even dared to say, that
the Canadians were not capable of distinguishing between the
blessings of liberty and the wretchedness of slavery; that
gratifying the vanity of a little circle of nobility would blind
the people of Canada. By such artifices they hoped to bind you to
their views, but they have been deceived; they see with a chagrin
equal to our joy that you are enlightened, generous and virtuous;
that you will not renounce your own rights or serve as instruments
to deprive your fellow subjects of theirs. Come then, my brethren,
unite with us in an undissoluble union, let us run together to the
same goal. We have taken up arms in defence of our liberty, our
property, our wives and our children; we are determined to preserve
them or die. We look forward with pleasure to that date not far
remote, we hope, when the inhabitants of America shall have one
sentiment and the full enjoyment of a free government.”

21, 1775]


[Illustration: SAMUEL ADAMS]



The reference to the little circle of noblesse blinding the
people of Canada shows the line of argument which had been
making the people, until lately so happy, now so discontented
and disloyal. Will any impartial student of Canada under the
French régime say that the Bostonians’ insinuation of oppression
as being the habitual lot of the French Canadian peasants, was
founded on fact? They had succeeded so far in unsettling for
a time a people newly enfranchised with powers hitherto not
entrusted to them, but the reaction will follow and the argument
of slavery and oppression will fall on deaf ears. To the credit
of the clergy, seigneurs and professional classes of this period
be it said that they saved Canada.

If the French habitant was weak in 1775, watching which way to
jump, he will be strong in 1812 and 1813 and the victory of
Chateauguay, though but a “bush fight,” will serve to consolidate
the British rule in Canada. It has been noticed that the French
Canadian loyalty is of the “head” rather than of the “heart.”
But the analogy between French Canadians and Scotchmen has also
been pointed out. The latter point with pride to Bannockburn as
well as to Waterloo. They, with the help of time, have a hearty
affection for the Empire. So it is with the French Canadians in a
more and more growing manner.


[1] There must have been a miscellaneous collection of canoes,
and one or two bateaux.

[2] A transcript lately issued by the Canadian Antiquarian and
Numismatic Society of Montreal, of the expense book of the
commissary under Arnold which has entries from February to May,
1776, goes to show that, to give the invader his due, large sums
of money were disbursed for beef and other supplies. During the
war bread was very dear and wheat was scarce. A brown loaf cost
thirty _sols_ or 1 s. and 3 d. a pound; white, 25 _sols_, or 1 s.
½ d. a pound.

                           CHAPTER IX





Meanwhile the efforts of Montgomery and Arnold with a force
of about one thousand, five hundred men, among whom were the
Canadians under Major Duggin, formerly a Quebec barber, were
engaged in besieging Quebec, a more difficult task than they
expected. On the last day of 1775 Montgomery met his death.
Arnold was wounded in the foot and many of the congress soldiers
had caught the smallpox. Still the siege went on, although under
great depression. The death of Montgomery had placed General
Wooster in command of the province till the appointment of
General Charles Lee in February. “For God’s sake,” wrote Arnold
to Wooster at Montreal on December 31st, “order as many men as
you can possibly spare consistent with the safety of Montreal.”

But Wooster had his own troubles. The Canadians around him could
not be relied on. Besides he had no cash. Price, of Montreal,
who had enticed the Americans over, had enabled them to subsist
as an army, having already advanced about £20,000; but now he
was “almost out of that article himself,” and could find no one
in the city willing to lend. (Price to General Schuyler, January
5th.) Wooster, therefore, looked upon Montreal as the place to be
reserved for a retreat. “I shall not be able to spare any men to
reinforce Colonel Arnold,” he wrote to Schuyler on January 5th.
“What they will do at Quebec for want of money God only knows,
but none can be spared from Montreal.” Yet in the last week of
January Wooster had been enabled to send about one hundred and
twenty from Montreal.

During February Wooster’s letters from Montreal were gloomy:
“Our flour is nearly expended, we have not more than enough for
the army for one week; we can purchase no provisions or wood
or pay for the transporting of anything without hard cash. Our
credit sinks daily. All the provisions and wood that we want for
the army for two or three weeks to come must be purchased and
transported to camp by the middle of March. There will be no
passing for a month or six weeks; these things must be provided
immediately, or the consequences will be dreadful.”

In Montreal, Wooster found other trouble. The clergy were in
favour of the British régime. On January 6th, writing to Warner,
the commandant wrote: “The clergy refuse absolution to all who
have shown themselves our friends and preach damnation to all
those who will not take up arms against us.” Then there was
nothing but paper money, which had little value, seeing that
it might never be redeemed. At Quebec and Montreal men were
forced to serve congress, even when legally freed. Quarrels
between the military authorities such as that between Schuyler
and Wooster were not edifying to the Canadians, used to harmony
in government. A mutiny arose among the soldiers who refused to
go to serve at Quebec. Six ring leaders were flogged. On the
14th of January an ordinance of General Wooster appeared at the
church doors forbidding anyone speaking against congress under
penalty of being sent out of the province. It is to be owned
that orders were given for the soldiers to live peacefully and
honestly with their Canadian brethren, but in spite of this,
there were many individual abuses, at least. The people began to
feel that the strangers who came to them as suppliants to succour
them, ruled them with military law at times despotic. General
Lee gave an order to General Wooster which made the Montreal
merchants consider their trade injured; he was told “to suffer
the merchants of Montreal not to send any of their woolen cloths
out of the town.”

The loyalists were named _tories_ and Wooster became convinced
“of the great necessity of sending many of their leaders out
of the province,” and he would have sent Hertel de Rouville,
the Sulpician Montgolfier, and many others out of the way, and
it is said no less than forty sleds of indignant tories made
the journey to Albany.[1] Carleton, be it remembered, took a
long time before he requested Walker to leave the country. When
expostulated with by a number of citizens Wooster answered: “I
regard the whole of you as enemies and rascals.” He was unwise
enough to have the churches shut up on Christmas eve. Altogether
the reports, sent to Schuyler and others, indicated that there
was great confusion in Montreal and Canada. Soon it began to
appear as if nothing but terror was keeping the Canadians. A
plot was laid as early as January to overcome the garrison of
Montreal.[2] Secretly many were combining under the royal flag.






Meanwhile at Quebec, Carleton pursued Fabian tactics and would
not venture out into the open. He had seen this mistake made
by Wolfe, and he had not been his quarter-master-general for
nothing, so he waited for the ships from England to come, as
indeed they did, at last, on May 6th, the Surprise leading,
followed by the Isis and the Martin. The flight of the Americans
to Montreal soon began.

At Montreal exciting circumstances had occurred at the American
headquarters, the Château de Ramezay, which had been that of
Gage, Burton and other British commandants since it had ceased
being the seat of the East India Fur Company under the French

On April 26th its doors had opened to General John Thomas on
his arrival to take command of the army before Quebec, and
its council chamber had been the scene of hasty conference
with Arnold and other gentlemen. It was now to receive the
commissioners from congress, long asked for by Montgomery and
Schuyler, but only named and appointed on the 15th of February
by the resolution “that a committee of three (two of whom to be
members of congress) to be appointed to proceed to Canada, there
to pursue such instructions as shall be given them by congress.”
The instructions given later directed the commissioners to
represent to the Canadians in the strongest terms that it was
the earnest desire of congress to adopt them as a side colony
under the protection of the Union and to urge them to take a part
in the contest then on, that the people should be guaranteed
“the free and undisturbed exercise of their religion,” that the
clergy should have the full, perfect and peaceable possession
and enjoyment of all their estates and the entire ecclesiastical
administration beyond an assurance of full religious liberty
and civil privileges to every sect of Christians should be
left in the hands of the good people of that province and such
legislature as they should constitute. The commissioners started
from New York on April 2d. They were men of mark--the great
Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Chase of Maryland, and Charles Carroll,
of Carrollton, described by John Adams as a “gentleman of
independent fortune, perhaps the largest in America, one hundred
and fifty or two hundred thousand pounds sterling, educated in
some university in France, though a native of America, of great
abilities and learning, complete master of the French language,
a professor of the Roman Catholic religion, yet a warm, a firm,
a zealous supporter of the rights of America in whose cause he
has hazarded his all.” With the commissioners was adjoined John
Carroll, the brother of Charles. He was a clever ecclesiastic,
become through the suppression of the Society of Jesus, an
ex-Jesuit who was afterwards to become the first archbishop
of Baltimore. Much reliance was placed on his intermediary
overtures to the Canadian clergy. On their arrival at St. John’s
the commissioners felt their first check. They had carried no
hard cash with them. They were brought up at once against the
fundamental difficulty. In their letter to congress on May 1st
the commissioners wrote, “It is impossible to give you a just
idea of the lowness of continental credit here from the want
of hard money and the prejudice it is to our affairs. Not the
most trifling service can be purchased without an appearance
of instant pay in silver or gold. The express we sent from St.
John’s to inform the general of our arrival there and to request
carriages for La Prairie, had to wait at the ferry till a friend,
passing, changed a dollar for us into silver.” This friend, a
Mr. McCartney, had also to pay for the calèches for La Prairie or
they would have had to remain stranded.

They reached Montreal on April 27th and were received by Arnold
with some ostentation at the Château, where guests among the
French ladies were invited to meet them. That night after supper
the commissioners lodged in Thomas Walker’s house.

Walker’s house was that originally built by Bécancourt, which
became the depôt of the Compagnie des Indes. It passed finally
into the McGill family. It stood immediately west of the Château
de Ramezay. It was demolished in 1903.

With the commissioners there came about the same time the French
printer, Fleury Mesplet. He was brought, along with his printing
press, to spread campaign literature for the congress. His press
was soon installed in the basement of the Château. It had been
his press in Philadelphia from which the original proclamation
of 1775 to the Canadians originated. He became the first printer
of Montreal. The first book published by him is supposed to be
“Réglement de la Confrèrie de l’Adoration Perpetuelle du Saint
Sacrément et de la Bonne Mort, chez F. Mesplet et C. Berger,
1776.”[3] Another book bearing the same date, 1776, and published
by Mesplet at Montreal, is “Jonathan et David, ou le Triomphe de
L’Amitié,” tragedie en trois actes, representèe par les ecoliers
de Montréal, a Montréal chez Fleury Mesplet et C. Berger,
Imprimeurs et Libraires, 1776.

John Carroll early began to get in touch with the clergy, but he
found an impenetrable barrier--the clergy had nothing to gain
by swerving from their allegiance to England. What more than
the Quebec act could the provincials give them? They feared
the intolerance of the Americans. Had they not seen Wooster’s
conduct? They were now offering religious freedom, but the clergy
could not forget the letter addressed by congress to the British
people in 1774, after the Quebec act, containing this significant
sentence: “Nor can we suppress our astonishment that a British
parliament should ever consent to establish in that country a
religion that has deluged your island in blood and dispersed
impiety, bigotry, persecution, murder and rebellion through every
part of the world.”

The political arguments of the commissioners were of no avail,
either. The great Continental Congress was there before their
eyes, and the great Continental Congress was bankrupt. The paper
money was discredited. Not all Charles Carrol’s wealth was of
avail, unless it were in hard cash. An urgent request was sent to
Philadelphia to send £20,000 in specie. Only one-twelfth of this
could be promised.

There were other grievances, but most were from the non-payment
of money lent or furnished for supplies. On the commissioners
fell the superintendence of the army. This was no easy task, as
provisions were giving out. Smallpox was breaking out among the
soldiers. The commissioners were not trained to rule the army
and in the confused state of affairs they recognized the failure
of their mission. In their letter of May 17th to congress they
said: “The possession of this country must finally be settled
by the sword. We think our stay here no longer of service to the
publick * * * and we await with impatience the further orders of
the congress.”



[Illustration: JOHN CARROLL]


[Illustration: CHARLES CARROLL]



The commissioners in their first report from Montreal blamed
Wooster and declared him totally unfit for his command; the state
of Canada was desperate; everything was in confusion, there was
no discipline, the army unpaid, credit exhausted. “Such is our
extreme want of flour that we were obliged yesterday to seize
by force sixteen barrels to supply the garrison with bread. We
cannot find words to describe our miserable condition.”

To crown the difficulty of the commissioners, the news of the
Quebec disaster and flight reached their ears on the 9th of May.
“Every military plan and hope staggered under the shock. Montreal
became a stormy sea.” Dreading that one of the British frigates,
which were ascending the river but with an unfavourable wind,
would run up and cut them off, the commissioners began to prepare
to leave the city.

The state of Montreal after the news of Quebec, is well described
by Justin H. Smith in “Our Fight for the Fourteenth Colony,”
(Vol. II, page 374): “Montreal is listening eagerly for his drum
(Captain Young’s of St. Anne’s Fort).” Hazen had declared a month
before, “There is nothing but plotting and preparations making
against us throughout the whole district.” When it was proposed
to abandon the town after the news of the flight from Quebec
arrived, Arnold feared the people would attack his departing
troops. On all sides the tories whom Ripley had found very plenty
in March but mostly living like woodchucks underground, were now
showing noses and even feet. The commissioners, getting daily
intimations of plots hatching and insurrections intended, had
abandoned perforce the rôle of dispensing pure liberty, filled
the jails with malcontents and sent others into the exile they
had lately protested against, but these measures did not reach
the seat of the trouble. Night after night a rising was talked of
and expected; Lieutenant Colonel Vose would go round the barrack,
waken the men coming down with smallpox and make them dress
themselves and load their guns. “If they do take us it shall not
be for nothing,” he quietly said.

On the morning of May 17th Benjamin Franklin left, accompanied by
Mrs. Walker and Mrs. Price.[4] Next day he was joined by Father
Carroll and the party ascended Lake Champlain for New York.
Walker joined them later and both were left at Albany, “civilly
but coldly.” So he passes out of the history of Montreal.

The other commissioners, Carroll and Chase, left Montreal on May
29th for Chambly for a council of war; on the 31st they left St.
John’s; on the 2d of June they left for Crown Point, a distance
of 106 miles. Thus ended their unsuccessful mission.

How finally the congress troops were driven out of the country,
how the additional reinforcements arrived at Quebec on June 1st
under Burgoyne, is Canadian history beyond that of Montreal.
Suffice it to say that by June 17th things had become so hot in
Montreal for Arnold who saw that the junction of the Canadas with
the colonies was now at an end, that the evacuation commenced on
this day. In two hours, the sick, the baggage and the garrison,
reduced by this time to 300 men, embarked on eleven bateaux and
in two hours more a procession of carts, escorted by the troops,
set out from Longueuil for La Prairie.[5]

Wilkinson, who was Arnold’s aide-de-camp in Montreal, has placed
it on record “that among the property on the bateaux was the
merchandise obtained by Arnold in Montreal. It was transferred
to Albany and sold for Arnold’s benefit.” “This transaction is
notorious,” says Wilkinson (Volume I, page 58), “and excited
discontent and clamour in the army; yet it produced no regular
inquiry, although it hurt him in the esteem of every man of
honour and determined me to leave his family on the first proper

                             NOTE I

                    PRINCIPAL REBELS WHO FLED

That those of the French Canadians of the better class who sided
with the Bostonians were very few is evinced by a list sent by
Carleton to Lord George Germain on May 9, 1777. There is only one
French name mentioned and that is Pelissier, of Three Rivers,
who was a Frenchman from France. The list is referred to in
a postscript by Carleton as follows: “Enclosed your Lordship
will receive a list of principal leaders of sedition here. We
have still too many remaining amongst us that have the same
inclination, though they at present act with more caution and so
much subtlety as to avoid the punishment they justly deserve.”
The enclosure is headed “List of the principal persons settled in
the province who very zealously served the rebels in the winter
of 1775-1776 and fled upon their leaving it, the place they were
settled at, and the country are natives of as England, Scotland,
Ireland, America or France.”

At Quebec two Englishmen, two Scotchmen and seven Americans are
named. At Three Rivers, Pelissier, a Frenchman. At Montreal were

  Thomas Walker                  E   Lived many years at Boston.
  Price                          A}  Great zealots, originally barbers.
  Heywood                        A}
  Edward Antill                  A  Lieutenant colonel and * * *
  Moses Hazen                    A  Half-pay lieutenant of the 44th.
                                      Colonel of the rebel army.

  Joseph Bendon or Bindon        E
  William Macarty or McCartney   A
  Joseph Tory and two brothers   A
  David Salisbury Franks         A
  Livingston and two brothers    A  The eldest, lieutenant colonel;
                                      second, major; and youngest, captain.
  John Blake                     A  Carried goods down to the colonies
                                      in winter and did not return. The
                                      first known to be a rank rebel.
  ---- Blakeley                  A

                             NOTE II


Lossing’s Field Book--Vol. I, p. 195--thus describes the dress of
the invaders: “Each man of the three rifle companies (Morgan’s,
Smith’s and Hendrick’s) bore a rifle-barreled gun, a tomahawk or
small axe, and a long knife, usually called a scalping knife,
which served for all purposes in the woods. His underdress, by
no means in a military style, was covered by a deep ash-coloured
hunting shirt,--leggings and moccasins, if the latter could be
procured. It was a silly fashion of those times for riflemen
to ape the manners of the savages. The Canadians who first
saw these (men) emerge from the woods said they were vêtus en
toile--‘clothed in linen.’ The word ‘toile’ was changed to
‘tôle,’ iron plated. By a mistake of a single word the fears of
the people were greatly increased, for the news spread that the
mysterious army that descended from the wilderness was clad in

“The flag used by what was called the Continental troops, of
which the force led into Canada by Arnold and Montgomery was a
part, was of plain crimson, and perhaps sometimes it may have
had a border of black. On the 1st of January, 1776, the army was
organized and the new flag then adopted was first unfurled at
Cambridge at the headquarters of General Washington, the present
residence of the poet Longfellow.

“That flag was made up of thirteen stripes, seven red and six
white, but the Union was the Union of the British flag of that
day, blue bearing the Cross of St. Andrew combined with the Cross
of St. George and a diagonal red cross for Ireland. This design
was used by the American army till after the 14th of June, 1777,
when Congress ordered that the Union should be changed, the Union
of the English flag removed and in its place there should be a
simple blue field with thirteen white stars, representing the
thirteen colonies declared to be states.

“Since then there has been no change in the flag, except that a
star is added as each new state is admitted.”

                                              W.C. HOWELLS.[6]


[1] Among those banished by Wooster was St. Luc de la Corne. He
had been well treated under the British régime and was one of the
first legislative council formed by Carleton. He is reported to
have been a trimmer during the late troubles.

[2] One advantage in holding Montreal was that British supplies
and presents for the savages could not reach the interior that
way. Yet the Americans had little means of supplying the Indian
trade. To meet the difficulty, the commissioners, desirous of
being on good terms with the Indians up country, offered early
on their arrival, passports to all traders who would enter
into certain engagements to do nothing in the upper country
prejudicial to the continental interests.

[3] The first book published in Canada is believed to be
“Catéchisme du Diocèse de Sens Imprimé a Quebec, chez Brown et
Gilmour, 1765.” The latter were the proprietors of the Quebec
Gazette, the first journal, established on June 21, 1764. The
Gazette Littéraire appeared in French, June 3, 1778, and in
French and English.

[4] Mrs. Price, according to Franklin’s letter to the
commissioners, had three wagon-loads of baggage with her. The
Walkers “took such liberties in taunting at our conduct in Canada
that it almost came to a quarrel. I think they both have an
excellent talent in making themselves enemies and I believe even
here they will never be long without them.” (Franklin’s Works,
Vol. VIII, pp. 182-3.)

[5] On July 4, 1776, the American Congress adopted the
Declaration of Independence and in 1781, on July 9th, the
Articles of Confederation were ratified.

[6] Cf. Lemoine’s “Picturesque Quebec.”

                            CHAPTER X

                      THE ASSEMBLY AT LAST


                 THE CONSTITUTIONAL ACT OF 1791


Montreal was again occupied by the British in the last week
of June.[1] Sir John Johnson arrived about this time with 200
followers. On June 28th Carleton held a meeting in the Jesuit
church of about three hundred Iroquois who offered their
services. The Caughnawagas, of whom some were present, were
blamed for their neutrality during the war. An arrangement was
entered into for the services of the Iroquois for a year. As the
ceremony ended the braves passed by Carleton, each one giving
him his hand. On July 18th Carleton, still in Montreal, received
a deputation of about one hundred and eighty Indians from the
west offering their active service to their great father, the
king of England, and to their father Carleton. They were received
graciously and sent away happy.

Before leaving, Carleton issued commissions for the creation of
judges in the districts of Montreal and Quebec; a court of appeal
was established and judges were given authority to examine into,
and report on, the damages suffered during the invasion of the
Congress troops.

On the 20th of July 4 the governor returned to Quebec to
reestablish the courts of justice and to restore the legislative
council to its functions. Mr. Fraser, who had been judge of the
Court of Common Pleas at Montreal since 1764 was at this time a
prisoner among the rebels. In the meantime Carleton, unable to
get on with Lord St. Germain, the secretary in England, resigned
his position on June 27th, but he did not leave the country till
June 27th of the following year, 1777, when he was replaced by

Meanwhile Congress still eyed Canada with longing. On the 4th of
July the eleventh article of “confederation and perpetual union”
provided that Canadas acceding to the confederation and joining
in the measures of the Union “shall be admitted into and entitled
to all the advantages of this union, but no other colony shall be
admitted to the same unless such admission shall be agreed to by
nine states.” In 1793 another bill was introduced into the United
States Congress for the admission of Canada, as one or more of
the United States, whenever asked with the consent of Great

During the year 1777 young Marquis de Lafayette, who had joined
the continental army and had become a major general, backed by
Silas Deane, Major General Horatio Gates and those who thought
they could use him as a Frenchman to promote the political views
of the congress in Canada, was appointed with an independent
command to make an inroad into Canada, Montreal being his
objective. He was to prevail upon the people to confederate with
the States, but there was not wanting opposition to ruin the
Canada expedition lest it should ruin Congress, among these being
Gouverneur Morris and Arnold. Finally the mortified Lafayette
was recalled to the “grand army.” But those who promoted him
on the grounds of using him and the affection of the French in
Canada for France, as a lever in the present situation were soon
rejoiced with an alliance with France. Lafayette’s projected
descent on Montreal had come to naught, but what could be
expected now that the news of an alliance between France and
America became known? The symptoms became evident of universal
unrest. Montreal, already in ferment, was further disturbed in
November by a proclamation to the Canadians which was spread
broadcast through the parishes and seems to have unsettled many
of the best minds as well as those of the hitherto disaffected,
but who were settling down to loyalty again. It came from the
Comte d’Estaing, who had sailed from Toulon in May, 1778, in
command of a French fleet of twelve ships of the line and six
frigates, to throw in their lot with the Americans. It was a
move long thought of secretly, perhaps long previously nurtured
in the circle of the seigneurs around Montreal. The longings
for the old régime, it had been thought, had died down. The
new appeal carried weight not for any love for Congress or
sense of injustice or tyranny evoked on the part of the English
government, but from the powerful reminiscences it awoke. It is
said that even the clergy wavered.

The proclamation was dated from the “Languedoc in the harbour of
Boston, October 28, 1778.” It opened with the statement that the
undersigned was authorized by His Majesty to offer assistance to
all who were born to taste the sweets of his government. “You
were born French. There is no other house so august as that of
Henry IV, under which the French can be happy and serve with
delight.” He did not need to appeal to the companions in arms of
M. le Marquis de Lévis, to those who had seen the brave Montcalm
fall in their defence. “Could such fight against their kinsmen?
At their names alone the arms should fall from their hands.” The
priests were promised particular protection and consideration
against temporal interests. He then argued that it were better
for a vast monarchy having the same religion, the same customs
and the same language to unite for commerce and wealth with their
powerful neighbours of the United States than with strangers
of another hemisphere who as jealous despots would doubtless,
sooner or later, treat them as a conquered race. “I will not
suggest to a whole people when it is gaining the right to think
and act, and understand its interest, that to link itself with
the United States is to seek its happiness; but I will declare,
as formally I do in the name of His Majesty who authorized and
commanded me so to act, that all the former subjects of North
America who will no longer recognize the supremacy of England may
count on His Majesty’s protection and support.”

autorisé par Sa Majesté, & revetu par là, du plus beau des
Titres; de celui qui efface tous les autres: chargé au nom du
Pere de la Patrie & du Protecteur bienfaisant de ses sujets,
d’offrir un appui à ceux qui étoient nés pour goûter les douceurs
de son Gouvernement; à tous ses Compatriotes de l’Amérique
Septentrionale. Vous êtes nés François, vous n’avez pû cesser
de l’être: une Guerre qui ne nous avoit été annoncée que par
l’enlévement de presque tous nos Matelots, & dont nos ennemis
communs n’ont dû les principaux succès qu’aux courage, au
talent, & au nombre des Braves Américains qui les combattent
aujourdhui, vous a arraché, ce qui est le plus cher à tous les
hommes, jusqu’au nom de votre patrie; vous forcer à porter
malgré vous des mains parricides contra elle, seroit le comble
des malheurs, vous en êtes ménacés: une nouvelle Guerre doit
vous faire redouter qu’on ne vous oblige à subit cette loi
la plus révoltante de l’esclavage: cette Guerre à commence
comme la précédente, par les dépradations de la partie le plus
intéressante de notre commerce. Les prisons de l’Amérique
contiennent depuis trop longtems un grand nombre de François
infortunés; vous entendez leurs gemissemens. Cette Guerre à été
déclarée par le message du mois de Mars dernier, par l’Acte le
plus authentique de la Souveraineté ADDRESS TO THE ANCIENT FRENCH

[Illustration: WILLIAM PITT]


This proclamation which said ten words for France and one for
Congress, did not please even the leaders of the Revolution.
Washington viewed it with suspicion for he suspected it meant
eventual separation with the advantage all for the French. In
Canada it was most successful. It played adroitly upon the hopes,
ambitions, pride, vanity, race instincts and dearest memories, so
that Haldimand noted in 1779 “a very visible alteration amongst
all ranks of men.” This alteration continued for some time for
Haldimand wrote later: “I have for many months observed in the
Canadian gentry expectations of a revolution.”

The war of 1775 had delayed the putting into force of the Quebec
act of 1774. In 1777 the work of readjustment took place. But
on the 2d of April, 1778, the merchants of Quebec and Montreal,
through a committee of them then in London, returned to the
charge of petitioning Lord George Germain for the repeal of
the Quebec act. They again demanded trial by juries and the
commercial laws of England. They claimed that the Quebec act
reintroduced the feudal system and in consequence the system
of forced corvées and other compulsory services without any
emoluments whatever during the war; hence discontent and
dissatisfaction with His Majesty’s government had crept up. For
these reasons the memorialists “humbly entreat Your Lordship to
take into consideration the dangerous and confused situation
of this colony and grant us your Patronage and assistance in
endeavoring to obtain a repeal of the Quebec Act, the source
of these Grievances, and an establishment in its stead of a
free Government by an assembly or Representation of the People
agreeable to His Majesty’s Royal Promise contained in the
proclamation made in the year 1763.”

Haldimand in 1780, after an experience of upwards of two years in
the country, wrote to Germain a direct negative. “It Requires
but Little Penetration to Discover that had the System of
Government Solicited by the Old subjects been adopted in Canada
this colony would in 1775 have become one of the United States
of America. * * * On the other hand the Quebec Act alone has
prevented, or can in any Degree prevent, the Emissaries of France
from succeeding in their Efforts to withdraw the Canadian Clergy
and Noblesse from their allegiance to the Crown of Great Britain.
For this reason among many others this is not the time for
innovations and it cannot be Sufficiently inculcated on the part
of Government that the Quebec Act is a Sacred Charter granted by
the king and Parliament to the Canadians as a Security for their
Religion, Laws and property. * * * The clamour about the trial by
juries and Civil Causes is calculated for the Meridian in London;
in Canada Moderate and upright Men are convinced of the abuses
to which that institution is liable in a Small Community where
the jurors may be all Traders and very frequently either directly
or indirectly connected with the Parties. * * * Be assured, My
Lord, that however good the institution of Juries may be found
in England, the People of this Country have a great aversion to

On September 2d the definitive treaty of peace and friendship
between His Britannic Majesty and the United States of America
was signed at Paris. As soon as this was known the British
population at Montreal with that of Quebec again began agitating
for a change in the constitution. Their numerical strength was
little, but their activity great. Four years later Mr. Hugh
Finlay, postmaster general and member of the council, writing on
October 2, 1784, to Sir Evan Nepean criticizing the agitation for
an assembly says: “The advocates for a House of Assembly in this
Province take it for granted that the people in general wish to
be represented; but that is only a guess for I will venture to
affirm that not a Canadian landowner in fifty ever once thought
on the Subject and were it proposed to him he would readily
declare his incapacity to Judge of the Matter. Although the
Canadian Peasants are far from being a stupid race they are at
present an ignorant people from want of instruction; not a man in
500 among them can read. The Females in this Country have a great
advantage over the males in point of Education. * * * Before we
think of a house of Assembly for this country let us lay the
Foundation for useful Knowledge to fit the people to Judge of
their Situation and deliberate for the future wellbeing of the
Province. The first step towards this desirable End is to have
a free School in every Parish. Let the schoolmasters be English
if we would make Englishmen of the Canadians; let the Masters be
Roman Catholic if it is necessary, for perhaps the people at the
instigation of their Priests would not put their children under
the tuition of a Protestant.”

The English population of Quebec and Montreal did not think
with Finlay, for two days later, on November 24th, at Quebec,
they presented a petition for a House of Assembly outlining a
definite plan which they had never done before, having always
left it to his Majesty’s pleasure. It was the most numerously
signed document as yet appearing, bearing over two hundred and
thirty-three Quebec names, with, about eighteen of Three Rivers
and two hundred-forty-six in Montreal.

On November 30th, a counter meeting was held in a convent of
the Recollects and the objections of the French Canadians to
the petition above were registered, at the same time an address
was drawn up to the king briefly stating that the House of
Assembly “is not the unanimous wish nor the general Desire of
your Canadian People who through Poverty and the misfortunes of
a recent war of which this colony has been the Theatre are not
in condition to bear the Taxes which must necessarily ensue and
that in many respects the petition for it appears contrary to and
inconsistent with the wellbeing of the New Catholic Subjects of
Your Majesty.” On the 25th of February next, 1785, the seigneurs
and leading men were authorized at meetings held in the parishes
to sign a petition against any change as advocated by the
petition of 1784.

While the constitutional struggle is going on and preparations
are being made for the drafting of some inevitable amendments
to the Quebec act, we may now turn to an important move being
agitated to promote a larger sense of civic progress and
municipal freedom. The history of the future municipality of
Montreal may now be said to be in its conceptional stage.

In November of 1786 the merchants and citizens of Montreal,
Quebec and Three Rivers were taken into consideration by a
committee of the Council of Legislature who asked them to give
their views on the state of the external and internal commerce
and the police of the province. The Montreal names given in the
invitation are: Neven Sylvestre, E.W. Gray, St. George Dupré,
James McGill, Pierre Guy, James Finlay, J.S. Goddard, Pierre
Messiere, Pierre Fortier, Hertel de Rouville, John Campbell,
Edward Southouse, Alexander Fraser, Jacques Le Moyne, Benj.
Frobisher, Stephen de Lancey, Esq., and Messrs. Jacob Jordan,
Isaac Todd, Forsyth J. Blondeau, P. Perinault, Richard Dobie,
F. Chaboillez, McBeth and William Pollard, merchants. These
who appreciated the courtesy of being taken into consideration
thought it their duty to “call in and collect the general voice
of our citizens without delay.” “The report of the Merchants
of Montreal by their Committee to the Honorable Committee of
Council on Commercial Affairs and Police” subsequently appeared
dated Montreal, 23d January, 1787, and contained observations
on various points: e. g., “the establishment of a chamber of
commerce duly incorporated.”

This had been already promoted in Quebec ten years previously
and a plan presented on April 3, 1777. The object of this Quebec
plan, according to Shortt and Doughty (Constitutional Documents)
was to avoid bringing commercial matters into the regular courts
where under the Quebec act the French and not the English civil
law was made the basis of decision. The virtual effect of this
plan, had it been authorized, would have been to set up a
legislative, executive and judicial system within the Province
to govern the trade relations of the members of the Chamber;
and this in time must have involved the trade of others dealing
with them. The observation of the Montreal committee on this is:
“However beneficial to Trade and Commerce, Institutions of this
nature be considered, yet we are of opinion that the same would
prove ineffectual and inexpedient at this time; considering the
connection that subsists more or less among the Trading People of
this Place.” Observations were also returned on “Holding tenures
and the abolition of Circuits,” “The present establishment of
Appeals in Commercial Causes,” “The establishment of a Court of
Chancery” on “a register of all deeds,” on a “Bankrupt Law,” and
on the subject of Police in city administration in general.

There also were a number of important observations made of a
historical value. The first to be quoted heralds the idea of a
charter of corporation for Montreal. The question had also been
put for Quebec: “Whether or not we should apply for a charter,
incorporating a select number of citizens on some good and
Improved Plan with Powers to make By-laws, deeds, Civil and
Criminal Causes under certain restrictions, whether under the
stile and Title of Recorder, Mayor, Aldermen and Common Council
of the City and County of Quebec and the Precincts and Liberties
thereof or under any other Denomination,”--and similarly for
a like charter for Montreal. The observation of the Montreal
Committee was as follows:

“The bad state of the Police of this Town calls loudly for Reform
and tho’ Government in its Wisdom has attended thereto by the
Appointment of an Inspector of Police, yet we are sorry that the
Appointment has in no wise proven adequate to the Intent, and
by Experience we find that the exertions of the Magistrates are
not sufficient to remedy the Evil complained of. We beg leave
to point out as the only remedy that can be applied with Effect
the incorporating by Charter, of a select number of the Citizens
of Montreal on a good and approved Plan with such Powers and
privileges as are usually granted to Corporations for the purpose
of Police only. And we further beg to request that in case the
Honorable Council should approve of this move and Government
inclined to grant the same, That it be recommended to His
Excellency, Lord Dorchester, to bestow on the Corporations such
lots of Ground and Houses, the Property of the Crown, within the
Town and Suburbs of Montreal as Government has no present use for
in order to the same being applied towards the Erecting Schools,
workhouses and other Establishments of Public Utility.”

Other observations followed on the necessity of regulations to
reduce the number of liquor licenses for public houses, and for
the avoidance of fires, to enact that no wooden fence or building
of wood of what description soever be erected in the town of
Montreal in future under a severe penalty.

But the idea of a Municipal Corporation though now sown was not
to fructify till many years later. In the meantime the civic
government by justices of the peace or magistrates obtained as

We must now return to the final stages of the Constitutional
struggle for an Assembly. An important factor has now entered
into the political aspect of the province, namely the advent of
the United Empire Loyalists, now beginning to leave the United
States for a wider freedom to settle on the lands above Montreal,
as were also the disbanded troops, a move which did much more
than anything else to promote the movement for an assembly, and
to point the direction in which the amendments to the Quebec act
must follow.

On April 11, 1786, Sir John Johnson, then in London, presented a
petition from the officers of the disbanded troops praying for a
change in the tenure of land. They prayed for the establishment
of a district from Point au Baudet upwards, distinct from the
province of Quebec, in which they prayed that “the blessings of
the British laws and of the British government and an exemption
from the French tenures,” might be extended to them. There is no
doubt, as Lord Dorchester[2] remarked in his letter of June 13,
1787, that the English party had gained strength by the arrival
of the loyalists and the desire for an Assembly would no doubt

At this time the movement for dividing the country into an upper
and lower province began. It was thought premature by Dorchester.
But the act of 1791 thought otherwise. By February 9, 1789,
according to the letter of Hugh Finlay, “the great question
whether a House of Assembly would contribute to the welfare of
this Province in its present state has been so fully discussed
that the subject is entirely exhausted; both old and New Subjects
here who have openly declared their sentiments now Composedly
await the decision of the British Parliament with respect to
Canadian affairs.”

In the Montreal district the seigneurs held their old position
while the merchants never budged from their original demand in
general for an assembly though their plans had been greatly
modified. The next two years were spent in preparing drafts
for the Constitutional act which was passed in 1791 under the
title of “An act to repeal certain Parts of an Act” passed in
the Fourteenth Year of His Majesty’s Reign entitled “an Act
for making more effectual Provision for the Government of the
Province of Quebec in North America and to make further Provision
for the Government of the said Province.”

Owing to the uncertainty of the maintenance of peace with Spain
in 1789, the Canada act was not introduced into parliament until
1790. On the 7th of March, 1791, Pitt introduced the bill to
divide Canada into two provinces. The bill became a law on the
14th of May, 1791. It divided Canada into two parts, Lower and
Upper; each province was to have an executive council appointed
by the crown, Lower Canada to have no less than fifteen members
and Upper Canada no fewer than seven; each was to have a
legislative assembly, the members for Lower Canada to be no less
than fifty and those for Upper Canada to be no less than sixteen.

The long struggle of the Merchants of Montreal for an assembly
was at last ended.


                        NOVEMBER 24, 1784

 These are given as an indication of the national origins of the
                   citizens of the period.[3]

  Jacob Jordan,
  James McGill,
  James Finlay,
  Benj^n Frobisher,
  Nicholas Bayard,
  William Kay,
  Alex^r  Henry,
  J. Blackwood,
  Geo. McBeath,
  Jn^o Askwith,
  William Allen,
  Joseph Frobisher,
  Hugh Ross,
  Angus Cameron,
  Alexander Hay,
  Charles Paterson,
  Sam^l Birnie
  James Dyer White
  J. McKinnsy,
  Jacob Ruhn,
  Fran Winton,
  John Forsyth,
  John Franks,
  William Harkness,
  Wm. Griffin,
  Rosseter Hoyle,
  Robert Griffin,
  Abraham Hart,
  Samuel Gerrard,
  Colin Hamilton,
  Laurence Taaffe,
  W^m H^y McNeill,
  Charles Smyth,
  Angus Macdonald,
  John Smith,
  Da^d Lukin,
  James Cameron,
  G. Young,
  Felix Graham,
  John Gregory,
  J. Grant,
  David McCrae,
  John Lilly,
  Geo. Selby,
  W. Maitland,
  James Caldwell,
  R. Sym,
  Robert Jones,
  William Taylor,
  F. Bleakley,
  Jno. Bell,
  Alexander Campbell,
  I.R. Symes,
  Rob^t McGrigor,
  James Laing,
  R. Gruet,
  David Davis,
  John Russell,
  Thomas Sullivan,
  Rich^d Dowie,
  (Oliver Church, Late Lieu^t 2d B.K.R.R. New York),
  John Dusenberg, Ens^n Late Royal Rangers,
  samuel Burch,
  Levai Michaels,
  Henry J. Jessup,
  Isaac H^t Abrams,
  Isaac Hall,
  John Campbell,
  Donald Fisher,
  Jos. Forsyth,
  (H. Spencer, Lieu^t late 2d B.K.R.R., New York),
  Rich^d Pollard,
  John Grant,
  John McKindlay,
  W^m Packer,
  John McGill,
  Fra^s Badgley,
  Peter Pond,
  Tho^s Burn,
  Dav^d Alex^r Grant,
  Alex^r Fraser,
  Thomas Frobisher,
  John Ogilvy,
  Andrew Todd,
  Thomas Corry,
  Wal^r Mason,
  Gor. Moore,
  R.J. Wilkinson,
  James Noel,
  R. Cruickshank,
  John Rowland,
  E. Edwards,
  Thomas Forsyth,
  D. Sutherland,
  James Grant,
  Allan Paterson,
  John Ross,
  Levy Solomons,
  Levy Solomon, Jun^r,
  John Turner and Sons,
  Uriah Judah,
  Ch^y Cramer,
  Alex^r Henry,
  Adam scott,
  Alex^r Mabbut,
  Jonas schindler,
  William Hunter,
  Alex^r Walmsley,
  Henry Edge,
  Allex^r Martin,
  James McNabb,
  James Ruott,
  Thomas McMurray,
  Isaac Judah,
  Sam^l Judah,
  Laurence Costille,
  Saint Louis,
  Henry Campbell,
  John Bethune,
  Nom^d MacLeod,
  James MacKenzie,
  W^m Murray,
  James Finlay, Jun^r,
  J. Symington,
  J. Pangman,
  John Tobias Deluc,
  Cuthbert Grant,
  Robert Grant,
  Tho^s Nadenhuvet,
  James Foulis,
  William Bruce,
  John Macnamara,
  Daniel Sullivan,
  Finlay Fisher,
  John Stewart,
  David Mackenzie,
  Joseph Anderson,
  Paul Heck,
  Robert Thomson,
  Samuel Heck,
  Alex^r Milmine,
  Robert Smith,
  William Smith,
  Jacob Tyler,
  Char^s Grimesley,
  W^m Grimesley,
  Charles Lilly,
  Duncan Fisher,
  John Ridley,
  Alex^r Campbell,
  John Milroy,
  Joseph Hamly,
  Sam^l White,
  Sam^l Douney,
  C. Rolffs,
  W^m Hall,
  Geo. McDougall,
  Robert Lindsay,
  Ja^s Robertson,
  Tho^s Breckenridge,
  John Foulis,
  Francis Crooks,
  Geo. Edw. Young,
  George Aird,
  Joseph Provan,
  Simon McTavish,
  John Lawrence,
  Sam^l Embury,
  S. Anderson,
  Dan^l Daly,
  Rich^d Whitehouse,
  James Fraser,
  Rich^d Whitehouse,
  James Fraser,
  Alexander fraser,
  Rich^d Whitehouse,
  Levi Willard,
  Joseph Johnson,
  M. Cuthell,
  James Leaver,
  Tobias Burke,
  Rob^t McGinnis,
  Rich^d McGinnis,
  John Hicks,
  George Hicks,
  Stephen Milers,
  William Tilby,
  James Perry,
  Edward Corry,
  Stephen Waddin,
  Peter Smith,
  Owen Bowen,
  Peter Grant,
  J^s Chaorles,
  James Fairbairn,
  John Hughes,
  Ranald McDonald,
  Watkin Richard,
  jenbaptiste Lafrenay,
  Thomas Sare,
  And^w Cockburn,
  Tho^s Isbusther,
  Joseph Landrey,
  Robert Withers,
  David Ross,
  Abram. Holmes,
  William Fraser,
  William Hassell,
  David Ray,
  Thomas Busby, Sen^r,
  Thomas Busby, Jun^r,
  William England,
  Conrad Marsteller,
  William Creighton,
  Hugh Holmes,
  Jervis George Turner,
  R^d Warffe,
  James Nelson,
  Philip Cambell,
  Duncan Cumins,
  Henry Gonnerman,
  Firedrick Gonnerman,
  John Maxwell,
  Tho^s Little,
  Christ^r Long,
  Edward Gross,
  Nicholas Stoneman,
  Jn^o Daly,
  Tho^s Oakes,
  John Grant,
  Will^m Wintrope,
  Joel Andras,
  Thomas Fraser,
  Jn^o Lumsden,
  William Holmes,
  Nicholas Montour,
  Patrick Small,
  David Rankin,
  (Richard Duncan, Late Capn. Royl. Yorkers),
  Dunc^n Cameron,
  And^w Wilson,
  Donald McFonell,
  Angus McDonald,
  Ed. Umfreville,
  John Lockhart Wiseman,

                        (Parchment Copy)
             endorsed: In L^t Gov^r Hamilton’s N^o 2
                        of 9 Jan., 1785.


[1] Montreal was occupied by General Phillips with the artillery
including a company of the Hesse Hanon and the Twenty-ninth
Regiment. McLeans’ Regiment and that of Sir John Johnson were
quartered on the island and the Ninth Regiment at Ile Jésus.

[2] Sir Guy Carleton returned to Quebec as the Earl of Dorchester
on August 23, 1786.

[3] A special chapter on National origins will be found in Part
II of this volume.

                           CHAPTER XI

                   THE FUR TRADERS OF MONTREAL



After the inefficient and unstable set of trade adventurers,
sutlers and purveyors for the army who came in upon the heels
of Amherst’s conquering band had been sifted, there remained a
strong nucleus of substantial business men, whose connections
were good in credit and in business methods, and who founded the
basis of Montreal’s future mercantile success. We get an idea of
the national origins or religion of some of the early settlers
from the censuses prepared by government for jury service.
In the last of 1765 there are 136 Protestant names and their
birthplace, former occupation and present calling are given. Of
these thirty-seven were from Ireland (mostly soldiers who became
inn-keepers), thirty from England, twenty-six from Scotland,
thirteen from New England, sixteen from Germany, six from
Switzerland and one each from France, Canada, Lapland, Italy and
Guernsey. The origin of three is undetermined.

The earliest merchants, as we have seen, were scored by Murray
and afterwards by Carleton. The records of the “military courts”
from 1760 to 1763 show that there was some cause for it. Yet it
is pleasing to hear Murray writing as early as December, 1760,
confess as follows: “I flatter myself you will pardon the liberty
I take in troubling you with the enclosed (petition); it regards
a set of men who have been very serviceable to His Majesty’s
troops, who have run many risks and who have been induced to pour
in their merchandise here for a laudable prospect of promoting
trade at the invitation of Mr. Amherst, the commander in chief.”

Howard, Chinn and Bostwick was probably the first British firm
in Montreal. Chinn became the deputy provost marshal and got
the licenses from Quebec; he also himself traded up country.
Joseph Howard shortly severed his connection with the firm and
established himself successfully on St. Paul street. William
Bostwick was a hatter but, hats not being in much demand, he
joined the Indian trade.

Jew merchants early settled here; the earliest firm was probably
that of the Levy Brothers, Solomon, Eleazer, Gershom and Simon.
Gershom came with the soldiers, Eleazer in 1763, and the other
two were already settled here by this date. The firm of Ezekiel
Solomon & Company was established in 1764. Tobias Isenhout was
a German sutler who prospered in the Indian trade, but was
murdered in 1771 or 1772 on a business trip by Michel Dué, his
French clerk, who was subsequently hanged under the mutiny act.
The Honourable Conrad Gugy, a Swiss, settled in the Montreal
district and became a legislative councillor. He died in April,
1786, and was buried in the Dorchester street cemetery. Lawrence
Ermantinger arrived in 1762 and became a prosperous merchant.
His name appears on many of the petitions sent from Montreal.
Benjamin Price was another legislative councillor, coming to
Canada in 1762 and died in 1768. James Price, of Price & Haywood,
was from New England, as was his partner. James Price it was who
abetted Ethan Allen in his march on Montreal. The name of Thomas
Walker, another merchant, enters largely into Montreal history,
as we have seen. James Finlay came to Montreal in 1762; he was
the first of the Englishmen to reach the upper Saskatchewan,
wintering at Nipawi House in 1771-2. He was one of those who
established the first Protestant school in the city; one of the
founders of the first Presbyterian church and one of the signers
of the capitulation to Montgomery in 1775. Alexander Henry came
to Montreal with the troops and became a great explorer in
the Indian trade. One of his spells up country lasted fifteen
years. He was one of the founders of the North West Company. In
1796 he retired from the Indian trade and lived to the age of
eighty-four, dying in Montreal on April 4, 1824. The prosperous
city merchants, McGill Brothers, John, James and Andrew, were
all settled by 1774. The firm of McTavish, Frobisher & Company
stands out as the actual founders of the North West Company, the
rivals of the Great Company. Of the Frobisher Brothers, Benjamin
seems to have settled first, before 1765. He died in 1787; Joseph
retired from business in 1798; Thomas died ten years earlier at
the age of forty-four. Simon McTavish came after the others.

The professions were not well represented by the English at
this time. Dr. Daniel Robertson, a retired lieutenant from the
forty-second regiment, practiced medicine in the city after the
conquest and there was a Doctor Huntly. Edward Antill was the
only English lawyer, moving here from New England in 1770. The
first Protestant school master was an Irishman, John Pullman,
brought from New York in 1773. The first Protestant divine was a
Swiss, the Reverend Dr. Chatrand Delisle, who came in 1766. In
striking contrast with latter-day practice, this clergyman’s name
heads the list of the supporters of practically all applicants
for liquor licenses in the city in his time.

The traders who left Montreal for the distant posts had no
license office in the city. Recourse had to be made to Quebec,
and the delay was annoying, although, no doubt, Edward Chinn,
who was the deputy provost marshal, did his best for his fellow
Montreal merchants. The value of the cargoes taken on the
up-country ventures averaged about five hundred pounds, and their
destinations, recorded on the passes, were mostly Oswegatchie,
LaBarge, Niagara, Detroit, Michillimackinac and the Grand
Portage on Lake Superior. The canoe men were voyageurs from
Montreal and the district.

[Illustration: THE HON. JAMES McGILL A prosperous Montreal
merchant, the founder of McGill University. He was born in
Glasgow, October 6, 1744, and died at Montreal, December 18,

The following gives some idea of their ventures:

Monday, April 26, 1771, pass for Edward Chinn’s men--seven
men--£550 merchandise, ten fusils, 500 pounds gunpowder, 350
pounds shot and ball.

No. 10--Ezekial Solomon (April 10, 1772)--two canoes to
Michillimackinac, value £800; twenty men (La Prairie); 1,400
pounds shot and ball.

No. 21--Benj. and Jos. Frobisher--3 canoes for Grand Portage;
merchandise £2,000, fusils 96, powder, 2,000 pounds, shot, etc.,
1,300 pounds; liquor, 260 gals.; men, 28.

No. 10--Jas. and John McGill (March 10, 1773)--3 canoes; value
about £1,500; 48 guns, etc.; 23 men.

No. 65--James Morrison--1 small bateau, Niagara (July 17,
1775)--4 men; 22 bales mdse.; 1 quarter cask wine; 1 bbl. loaf
sugar; 1 bbl. coffee; 1 bbl. salt; 1 bbl. tea; 1 nest brass

In the beginning the merchants themselves would join the party;
later, becoming richer, they entrusted it to an agent. On the
return they brought down the pelts to Montreal, whence they were
transferred by river sloops to Quebec for London, with which
there was a close connection. The “Mdse.” carried was for Indian
trade and contained scalping knives, hatchets, paints, blankets,
hosiery, beads, etc.

We have spoken of the Montreal merchants after the capitulation
of the city engaging in the fur trade.[1] As early as 1765 yearly
attempts were made by the first adventurers to trade with the
northwest beyond Michillimackinac, but with little success. In
1768 other adventurers joined, but in 1769 Benjamin and Joseph
Frobisher formed a connection with Messrs. Todd and McGill.
Gradually others were added. At first their canoes had difficulty
in getting beyond Lake La Pluye, for the natives plundered their
goods, but later they reached Lake Bourbon. This encouraged the
traders to persevere and by 1774 new ports were discovered,
hitherto unknown to the French. New adventurers followed in
their wake, independently, and, without regard to the management
of the Indians and the common good of the trade, soon caused
disorder, so that many of the substantial traders retired, there
only remaining at the latter end of 1782 twelve who persevered.
These, convinced by long experience of the advantage that would
arise from a general connection, not only calculated to secure
and promote their mutual interests but also to guard against any
encroachments of the United States on the line of boundary as
ceded them by treaty from Lake Superior to Lake du Bois, entered
upon and concluded articles of agreement under the title of the
North West Company, dividing it into sixteen shares. These were
arranged as follows: Todd & McGill, two shares; Benjamin and
Joseph Frobisher, two shares; McGill & Paterson, two shares;
McTavish & Company, two shares; Holmes & Grant, two shares;
Walker & Company, two shares; McBeath & Company, two shares;
Ross & Company, one share; Oakes & Company, one share. The above
seemed to have been bound together about 1779, but the North
West Company, as such, seems to date from about 1782 and for a
“term of five years” as first promoted. (Benjamin Frobisher to
Doctor McBane, April 1, 1784.)

The story of the North West Company founded at Montreal must now
be told. The war of 1775-6 had sadly interfered with the trade of
Montreal with the Indians up country. Haldimand set to work to
help the traders to rebuild it. A report of April 24, 1780, of
Charles Grant, one of the members of the North West Company, to
Haldimand, reveals the enterprise of the founders of Montreal’s
commercial prosperity, thus, that “at all times the trades of
the upper countries had been considered the staple trade in this
Province but of late years it has been greatly increased, in
so much that it may be reckoned one year with another to have
produced an annual return to Great Britain in Furrs to the amount
of £200,000 sterling, which is an object deserving of all the
encouragement and protection which Government can with propriety
give to that trade. The Indian Trade by every communication is
carried on at a great expense, labour and risk of both men and
property; every year furnishes instances of the loss of men and
goods by accident and otherwise; indeed few of them are able
to purchase with ready money such goods as they want for their
trade. They are consequently indebted from year to year until a
return is made in Furrs to the merchants of Quebec and Montreal
who are importers of goods from England and furnish them on
credit. In this manner the Upper Country Trade is chiefly carried
on by men of low circumstances, destitute of every means to pay
their debts when their trade fails; and if it should be under
great restraints or obstructed a few years the consequences will
prove ruinous to the commercial party of this Province and very
hurtful to the merchants of London, shippers of goods to this
country, besides the loss of so valuable branch of trade in
Great Britain. In these troublesome times the least stop to the
Indian Trade might be very productive of very bad effects, even
among the savages who are at present our friends or neuter, who
on seeing no supply of goods would immediately change sides and
join the enemies of the Government under pretense that the rebels
had got the better of us and that we had not it in our power to
supply them any more. All the property in the Upper Countries
in such a case would become an easy prey to their resentment;
and the lives of all of His Majesty’s Subjects doing business in
these Countries at the time of a rupture of this nature might
probably fall a sacrifice to the fury and rage of disappointed,
uncivilized barbarians.”

He then gives an insight into the value of each canoe load: “I am
informed that of late years, from ninety to one hundred canoes
have annually been employed in the Indian Trade from Montreal
by the communications of the Great River to Michillimackinac,
Lakes Huron and Michigan, LaBarge, and the North West. * * * In
this I shall insert the average value of a canoe load of goods
at the time of departure from Montreal, Michillimackinac and
at the Grand Portage. * * * A canoe load of goods is reckoned
at Montreal worth in dry goods to the amount of £300, first
sterling cost in England, with fifty per cent charges thereon
makes £150; besides that every canoe carries about 200 gallons
of rum and wine which I suppose worth £50 more, so that every
canoe on departure from that place may be said worth £500,
currency of this Province. The charges of all sorts included
together from Montreal to Michillimackinac, £160, and from
thence to the Grand Portage, £90; so it appears that each canoe
at Michillimackinac is worth £660, currency; every canoe is
navigated by eight men for the purpose of transporting the goods
only and when men go up to winter they commonly carry ten.”

[Illustration: From a sketch by R.G. Mathews, Esq. FIRST

The report ends with an appeal for the early issue of passes.
For “last year the passes were given out so late that it was
impossible to forward goods to the places of destination,
especially in the North West. Considering the great number of
people in this province immediately interested in the Indian
Trade it is hardly possible to suppose but there may be among
them some disaffected men, but the major part of them I sincerely
believe are sure friends to Government and it would be hard the
whole community should suffer for the sake of a few bad men since
regulations and laws are or may be made sufficiently severe to
prevent in a great measure, or altogether, every effort that
may be made to convey goods to the enemy and if any person,
whatever, should attempt to ignore or violate such regulations
as are made for the safety of the whole, the law ought to be put
into execution against him with the utmost rigour on conviction
of guilt and the offender never should be forgiven offences
committed against the publick in general.” From which we may
learn that our justly honoured pioneer Montreal merchants were
law-abiding citizens and were not among the rebels of 1775-6.

This letter was followed by a memorial from the North West
traders on May 11, 1780, asking for no let or hindrance to the
departure of the canoes. The additional names of Adam Lymburner
and J. Porteous appear adjoined to this.

On October 4, 1784, Benjamin and Joseph Frobisher, the directors
of the North West Company, memorialized General Haldimand,
praying him to recommend to His Majesty’s ministers to grant to
the North West Company an exclusive privilege of trade from Lake
Superior to that country for ten years only as a reward “for
discovering a new passage to the River Ouinipigue and thereby
effectively securing to this Province the Furr trade to the
North West. And in consideration, also, of exploring at their
own expense between the latitudes of 55 and 65, all that Tract
of Country west of Hudson’s Bay to the North Pacific Ocean and
communicating to Government such surveys and other information
respecting that Country as it may be in their power to obtain.”

Mr. Peter Pond, one of the company, in memorializing Governor
Hamilton on the 18th of April in the following year, begs him to
recommend the memorial, already mentioned, of the Frobishers “as
a plan which will be productive of Great National advantages” and
the ten years’ exclusive monopoly as “only a reward for the toil
and expense of such an arduous and public Spirited Enterprise.”

This company gained in strength. While its headquarters were in
Montreal, it had “wintering” partners in the interior posts.
Fort William became the meeting ground of the partners who were
merchant princes of the period for the annual meetings which are
described by Washington Irving in “Astoria” as marked with great
splendour. It provided serious competition for the Hudson’s Bay
Company. The policy of the latter had been only to trade in the
winter with the natives, thus making a close season in summer.
Their posts were at first all on the coast, but the competition
forced them also to seek interior quarters. The contributions
to our geographical knowledge provided by the earlier explorers
of the first North West Company include the first overland
journey to the Pacific Ocean made by Sir Alexander Mackenzie in
1793 and his previous descent in 1789 from Lake Athabasca to the
Arctic Ocean by the Mackenzie River, called after this explorer,
from Montreal. The discovery of the Peace River must also be
attributed to him.

In 1798, troubles arising among the partners, the seceding
party formed a rival firm popularly known as the “X.Y.” from
those initials following the W. in N.W. Company.[2] Jealous
and rancourous friction arose again and the two companies were
amalgamated in 1804 into one firm called the North West Company.
It became a powerful body, purely Canadian and with exclusive
privileges. Sir Alexander Mackenzie was its moving spirit and his
cousin Roderick became one of the chief agents.

Meanwhile the great North West Company by 1806 had spread over
the continent from the Great Lakes to the remote side of the
Rocky Mountains and had established a trading post at Columbia
River. By 1812 it had fifty agents, seventy interpreters and
over one thousand one hundred voyageurs. Thus when the partners,
mostly Scotchmen, met at Fort William they were surrounded by
retainers and they acted like barons of old, the story of their
feasting and lavishness lighting up the tale of the otherwise
dreary days--the old north west days--and when they met at
their famous Beaver Club in Montreal they added considerable
magnificence to the social life of the city.

Meanwhile another rival to the North West Company was arising in
the person of the founder of the Astor family. John Jacob Astor,
born in the honest little village of Waldorf, near Heidelberg,
on the banks of the Rhine, arrived in America in a ship bound
for Baltimore in the month of January, 1783. In 1784 he settled
in New York and soon turned his attention exclusively to the fur
trade. The peltry trade not being regularly organized in the
United States, he determined to go to Canada, the seat of the
main supply. Accordingly he made annual visits to Montreal and
thence shipped furs to London, as trade was not allowed otherwise
than directly with the old country.

In 1794 or 1795 a treaty with Great Britain lifted the trade
restrictions and a direct commercial intercourse was established
with the United States. Mr. Astor then made a contract with the
North West Company and he was now enabled to ship furs direct
from Montreal to the United States for the home supply. In 1809
he obtained a charter from the legislature of New York state
incorporating a company under the name of “The American Fur
Company.” In 1811 he bought out the Anglo-Canadian Company,
the “Mackinaw,” whose headquarters were at Michillimackinac,
and merging it into the American Fur Company, called it the
“South West Company,” or the “Pacific Fur Company,” as it
afterwards became known. He associated with himself, as his
agents several of those who had hitherto served the North West
Company of Montreal, among these being Alexander McKay, who
had accompanied Sir Alexander Mackenzie in 1789 and 1793, Duncan
McDougal and Donald Mackenzie. He planned headquarters at the
north of the Columbia River. Accordingly the expedition was sent
out in duplicate to the mouth of the Columbia River, one-half
going on a six-months’ voyage around Cape Horn in a sailing
vessel, the Iroquois, the other marching overland or canoeing
on lakes and rivers in eighteen months from Montreal via the
Mississippi and the Missouri, to the mouth of the Columbia River.

[Illustration: ERECTED 1759 John Jacob Astor, the founder of the
Astor fortunes, is said to have lived in this building, on the
southwest corner of Vaudreuil and Ste. Therese streets, still
standing, and stored here Canadian beaver, racoon and muskrat
skins, Canadian coatings, etc., all of which he sold in 1789 at
No. 81 Queen Street, New York.]

Erected in 1792, standing till recently. The first “Scotch”
Church in the Province. Its chief supporters were the Scotch
fur-traders of the North-West Company. The bell in the steeple
of this church is said to have been “the first Protestant bell
sounded in Canada.”]

The voyageurs he got at Montreal in July, 1810, were not of
the best, for the old rival North West Company had secretly
interdicted the prime hands from engaging in the new service. It
was not long after the party left Lachine for St. Anne’s that the
“recruits enlisted at Montreal were fit to vie with the rugged
regiment of Falstaff; some were able-bodied but inexpert; others
were expert but lazy; while a third class were expert but totally
worn, being brokendown veterans incapable of toil.” (“Astoria,”
by Washington Irving, Chapter XII.)

These two parties together founded “Astoria” at the mouth of the
Columbia. But most of Astor’s employees were British subjects
derived from men of the North West and Mackinaw Companies, and
when the 1812 War broke out between the United States and Great
Britain a British warship came up the Pacific coast and promptly
turned it into “Fort George.” Forthwith the North West Company
bought up the derelict property of Mr. Astor’s company. British
employees and a few Americans in the concern retreated inland and
after almost incredible suffering from the attacks of unfriendly
Indians succeeded in reaching the Mississippi.” (“Pioneers in
Canada,” by Sir Harry Johnston.)

But the most powerful rival of the North West Company was to be
found in the person of Lord Selkirk, who had bought two-fifths
of the stock of the Hudson’s Bay Company. In May, 1811, he
prevailed on the directors to grant him 160,000 square miles of
territory in fee simple on condition he should establish a colony
and furnish from the settlers men required by the company at a
certain rate. In 1811 ninety persons, mostly Highland cotters
from Sutherlandshire, with some emigrants from the west of
Ireland, reached Hudson’s Bay, sent by Selkirk. Others followed
in subsequent years. This may be regarded as the beginning of the
North West Red River settlement. Its history was one of bitter
rivalry for the Montreal company. This was felt all the more
since Lord Selkirk, being a Douglas and a Scot, had after the
failure of this first settlement in Canada at Buldoon received
much hospitality and attention at Montreal from the Scottish
merchants of the company, who had given him so much inside
information on the subject of the fur trade industry that he
had turned his thoughts to the Hudson’s Bay Company and become
for many years the most determined opponent of his hosts. This
opposition, to the extent of bloodshed, did not cease till the
union of the two bodies as the reestablished Hudson’s Bay Company
in 1821.

But the competition with Selkirk’s Hudson’s Bay party had
brought sorry losses to both; no dividends were able to be paid
by the North West and there was a loss of men on either side
in the sanguinary incursions into one another’s territories.
The amalgamation of 1821 was therefore not too soon. The union
was followed by the gift of the government to the impoverished
companies of the exclusive trade of the territory which, under
the names of the Hudson’s Bay and North West territories,
extended from Labrador to the Pacific and from Red River to
the Arctic Ocean. The Hudson’s Bay Company, as the amalgamated
company was called, held Rupert’s Land by perpetual charter and
the rest of the territory, including Vancouver Island, granted to
it in 1848 by special license till 1859, maintaining under its
supreme rule about four million square miles. In 1860 it employed
five surgeons, eighty-seven clerks, sixty-seven postmasters,
1,200 permanent servants and 500 voyageurs, making with temporary
employees about three thousand men on its payroll, while about
one hundred thousand Indians were actively engaged in supplying
it with furs. Its profits were enormous, being from May 31,
1852, to May 31, 1862, an annual average of £81,000 on a paid-up
capital of £400,000. In 1863 the company was reorganized with a
capital of £2,000,000, with Sir Edmund Head as governor. After
confederation the northwestern territories and Manitoba were
joined to the Dominion on the indemnification of £3,000,000. This
will be told in its place. Henceforth the old company, no longer
a feudal government, is to play its part as one of the mercantile
bodies of Canada, but one which still has a great civilizing
power in the northern wilds of Canada.

                         THE BEAVER CLUB

  “The members of the famous Beaver Club, constituted perhaps
  the most picturesque and magnificent aristocracy that has ever
  dominated the life of any young community on this continent, with
  the possible exception of the tobacco lords of Virginia. The
  majority of them were adventurous Scotsmen, but they included
  French-Canadians, Englishmen and a few Irishmen, and were
  thoroughly cosmopolitan by taste and associations.”

The Beaver Club was instituted at Montreal in the year 1785,
by the merchants then carrying on the Indian trade of Canada.
Originally the club consisted of but nineteen members, all
voyageurs, having wintered in the Indian Country, and having been
in the trade from their youth. Subsequently the membership was
extended to fifty-five, with ten Honorary Members.

On the first Wednesday in December of each year, the social
gatherings were inaugurated by a dinner at which all members
residing in the town were expected to be present.

The club assumed powers which would, in the present day, be
strongly resisted; among the most notable of them was the rule,
that “no member shall have a party at his house on club days, nor
accept invitations; but if in town, must attend, except prevented
by indisposition.”

The meetings were held fortnightly from December to April and
there was, in addition, a summer club for the captains of the fur
vessels, who, in some instances, were honorary members.

The object of the meetings (as set forth in the rules) was “to
bring together, at stated periods, during the winter season,
a set of men highly respectable in society, who had passed
their best days in a savage country and had encountered the
difficulties and dangers incident to a pursuit of the fur trade
of Canada.”

The members recounted the perils they had passed through and
after passing around the Indian emblem of peace (the calumet),
the officer appointed for the purpose, made a suitable harangue.


[1] The effect of the conquest on the fur trade in the Northwest,
according to Mr. Beckles Wilson, “The Great Company,” was that
for awhile the Indians and the _voyageurs_ and _coureurs de bois_
awaited patiently for the French traders. Many of the French thus
cut off intermarried with the Indians and virtually lived as such.

[2] The new North West Company were composed of Gregory and
McLeod, now independent. It was first called the “little
Company,” or the “Potties,” an American corruption of the French
“Les Petit.” Later it developed into the X.Y. Company, or Sir
Alexander Mackenzie’s Company. Alexander Mackenzie and his
cousin, Roderick Mackenzie, became the chief agents of the new
company. (Alexander Mackenzie was knighted in 1799.)

                           CHAPTER XII




The persistence of the English merchants had at last secured
constitutional government with an assembly. It was inaugurated
by the lieutenant-governor, Sir Alured Clarke, in the absence of
Lord Dorchester in England, the day of its coming into effect
being December 26, 1791. The division of the province into
twenty-one counties with four town buroughs was made later in
1792, viz., Gaspé, Cornwallis, Devon, Hertford, Dorchester,
Buckinghamshire, Richelieu, Bedford, Surry (sic), Kent,
Huntingdon, York, Montreal, Northumberland, Orleans, Effingham,
Leinster, Warwick, St. Maurice, Hampshire and Quebec. Each county
returned two members except Gaspé, Bedford and New Orleans,
returning one each. Quebec and Montreal were to return four each,
Three Rivers two and William Henry (Sorel) one; in all fifty

The house met on December 17, 1792, there being about sixteen
members of British origin, a proportion more or less maintained
for forty-six years. The Catholic members, objecting to take the
oath prescribed by the act of 1791, were allowed by Sir Alured
Clarke to take that of the act of 1774. The meeting was held in
the Bishop’s palace of Quebec hired by government and altered and
repaired at a cost of £428. Chief Justice Smith was nominated
speaker of the legislative council, the fifteen (legal number)
members being J.G. Chaussegros de Léry, Hugh Finlay, Picotté de
Belestre, Thomas Dunn, Paul Roc de St. Ours, Edward Harrison,
François Baby, John Collins, Joseph de Longueuil, Charles de la
Naudière, George Pownal, R.A. de Boucherville, John Fraser, and
Sir Henry Caldwell, Receiver General, subsequently named.

The assembly met to chose a speaker. Mr. Joseph Antoine Panet,
a lawyer of eminence in Quebec, was appointed. Montreal was
represented in the west ward by James McGill and J.B. Durocher
and in the east ward by Joseph Frobisher and John Richardson, the
county being represented by James Walker and Mr. Joseph Papineau.
French and English were both used from the beginning, being
accepted as a matter of course without any formal resolution.[1]
The first formal vote on the subject was taken a year later, on
December 27, 1792, when the following motion was proposed by Mr.
Grant, who accepted an amendment by Mr. Papineau “that it be an
instruction of the committee of the whole house charged with the
correctness of the minutes (or journals) that the digest they may
prepare as the journal of the house from the commencement to the
time of reference shall be in the English or French language, as
it may have been entered in the original minutes without drawing
into precedent for the future.”

Number 9 of the rules for conducting the business of the assembly

  “No motion shall be debated or put unless the same be in writing
  and seconded. When a motion is seconded it shall be read in
  English and French by the speaker if he is master of both
  languages. If not, the speaker shall read in either of the two
  languages most familiar to him and the reading in the other
  language shall be at the table by the clerk or his deputy before
  the debate.”

On the method of keeping the journals:

  “Resolved, that this house shall keep its journal in two
  registers, in one of which the proceedings of the house and the
  motion shall be wrote in the French language, with a translation
  of the motions originally made in the English language; and in
  the other shall be entered the proceedings of the house and the
  motions in the English language with a translation of the motions
  originally made in the French language.”

Finally it was resolved that the rules for introduction of bills
should be as follows:

  “The bills relative to the criminal laws of England enforced
  in this province and to the rights of the Protestant clergy as
  specified in the act of the thirty-first year of His Majesty,
  Chapter 31, shall be introduced in the English language; and the
  bills relative to the laws, customs, usages and civil rights of
  this province shall be introduced in the French language in order
  to preserve the unity of the texts.”

On the 9th of May, 1793, Sir Alured Clarke in his speech from
the throne was forced to make allusions to the first French
revolution, which had been already four years in progress before
the opening of the assembly of Lower Canada in December, 1792.
The Bastille had fallen on June 17, 1789. “At the first meeting
of the legislature I congratulated you,” he said, “upon the
flattering prospects which opened to your view and upon the
flourishing and tranquil state of the British empire, then at
peace with all the world; since that period, I am sorry to find,
its tranquility has been disturbed by the unjustifiable and
unprecedented conduct of the persons exercising the supreme power
in France, who, after deluging their own country with the blood
of their own fellow citizens and embruing their hands in that
of their sovereign, have forced His Majesty and the surrounding
nations of Europe in a contest which involves the first interests
of society.”

The king of France had been executed on January 21st and war with
Great Britain had been declared on February 1st, although Great
Britain had made every effort to avoid hostility. Washington
had issued the proclamation of neutrality on April 22d, warning
Americans of the penalties incurred by its infraction. The
revolted provinces had first shown great sympathy with the French
revolutionists. On the news of the evacuation of the allied
forces which began on September 20, 1793, all New England seems
to have lost its head: McMaster in his “History of the People
of the United States” (Vol. II, page 13-14) says: “Both men and
women seemed for a time to have put away their wits and gone
mad with republicanism. Their dress, their speech, their daily
conduct were all regulated on strict republican principles.
There must be a flaming liberty cap in every house. There must
be a cockade in every hat, there must be no more use of the old
titles, Sir and Mr. and Dr. and Rev., etc.”

But later when the excesses of the Revolution began to be known
excitement somewhat cooled. It was no pleasure, consequently,
to Washington to hear on the day of the proclamation of
neutrality that Genet, sent as minister by the French republic,
had arrived at Charleston. Genet was well received on his way
to Philadelphia, but was chilled by the reception given by
Washington and left in a rage. (Archives Report, 1891, Douglas

Lower Canada was not uninfluenced by all this. Genet’s agents,
or those of his successor, Fauchet, for Genet was superseded in
February, 1794, had succeeded in creating a disaffected spirit
among people. At Quebec there was an open manifestation of
sedition on the parade. Kingsford tells how Prince Edward (Duke
of Kent)[2] was in command of the Seventh Fusileers at Quebec
when a threatened mutiny was suppressed. Several were charged on
a plot to seize the Prince, the general and the officers. One
man was sentenced to be shot, but at the Prince’s interception
was spared. Three men were severally sentenced to 500, 700 and
400 lashes, one being a sergeant. The details cannot be traced.
(Kingsford, Vol. VII, page 383.)

A descent on Canada by way of St. John’s and Lake Champlain
was reported to be meditated by congress. In April, 1794, the
authorities of Vermont had, as reported to Lord Dorchester, made
an offer to Congress to undertake the conquest of Canada without
assistance from the federal government, provided the troops were
allowed to plunder the inhabitants, and in order to facilitate
communications with the seditious of Montreal, Mason lodges were
instituted in Vermont under pretended charters from lodges in

On September 23d Dorchester arrived in Quebec; shortly Sir
Alured Clarke returned to England. The second parliament was
opened on November 11th. In January M. Chartier de Lothbinière
succeeded M. Panet as speaker, the latter having been made judge
of Common Pleas. At the end of November, 1793, Dorchester issued
proclamations to take means against the French emissaries in the
country. In May, 1794, orders were issued for the embodiment
of 2,000 militia to be ready for service. The extent of the
poisonous and seditious influences at work is shown by the fact
that out of the 7,000 men fit for service in forty-two parishes
only 900 men obeyed the law. Lord Dorchester attributed this
unwillingness to serve as due more to long absence from military
duty than disloyalty. The habitants were, however, dissatisfied,
for though the hand of the government was easy they claimed to
be oppressed by the expenses of the law and to be unprotected
against the exactions of their seigneurs as they had been under
the French intendants. (Dorchester to Dundas, May 24, 1794.)

The district of Montreal was reported to be universally
disaffected, though the British subjects were loyal and well
disposed. The militia law was opposed. At Côte de Neiges a party
of habitants had become possessed of arms and were determined to
defend themselves if attacked. As said, information was received
that a Freemasons’ lodge had been established at Montreal in
connection with a lodge in Vermont for the sole purpose of
carrying out a traitorous correspondence with the disaffected. On
all sides it was reported that the French were coming to seize

Attorney General Monk, writing from Quebec to Dundas on May
3, 1794, gives an alarming picture of the spread of French
revolutionary principles becoming general. He states that
threats were used by disaffected new subjects against the
loyal new subjects; that it was astonishing to find the same
savagery exhibited here as in France, in so short a period for
corruption; that blood alliances did not check the menaces upon
the non-compliant peasants of burning their houses, of death,
emboweling, decapitation and carrying their heads on poles; that
religion was being thrown aside. The intrigues had been traced
to Genet and the French consuls; that correspondence had been
carried on between the disaffected Canadians of the United States
and Canada, and that French emissaries had been sent to prepare
the people to follow the example of France.

A pamphlet, extracts from which have been preserved, was
circulated in January, 1794, under the title of “les Français
Libres a Leurs frères les Canadiens.” This pamphlet deserves the
extracts extant being made known as indicating a picture of the
feelings of the seditionary party. They are to be found in French
in the Canadian Government Archives, Q 62, page 224.

The object was to encourage the Canadians “to emulate the
example of the people of America and of France. Break then,
with a government which degenerates from day to day, and which
has become the most cruel enemy of the liberty of the people.
Everywhere are found traces of the despotism, the avidity, the
cruelties of the king of England. It is time to overthrow a
throne which has been seated so long on hypocrisy and imposture.
In no way fear George III with his soldiers, too small in number
to successfully oppose your valour. The moment is favourable
and insurrection is for you the holiest of duties. Remember
that being born French you will always be envied and persecuted
by the kings of England and that this title will be more than
ever today a reason for exclusion from all offices. Also what
advantages have you drawn from the constitution which has been
given you since your representatives have been assembled? Have
they presented you with a single good law? Have they corrected
any abuse? Have they had the power to free your commerce
from its shackles? No! And why not? Because all the means of
corruption have been secretly and publicly employed to make
the balance weigh in favour of the English. They have dared to
impose an odious veto which the king of England has reserved
only to prevent the destruction of abuses and to paralyze all
your movements; here is the present which the vile stipendaries
have dared to offer you as a monument of the beneficence of the
English government. Canadians, arm yourselves. Call to your
assistance your friends, the Indians; count on the help of your
neighbours and on that of Frenchmen.”

A resumé is given of the advantages that Canadians will obtain in
throwing over the English domination.

  1. Canada will be a free and independent state.

  2. It can form alliances with France and the United States.

  3. The Canadians will choose their own government; they will
  themselves name the members of the legislative body and the
  executive power.

  4. The veto will be abolished.

  5. All persons who have obtained the right of citizenship in
  Canada can be named for all offices.

  6. The Corvées will be abolished.

  7. Commerce will enjoy a more extensive liberty.

  8. There will be no longer any privileged company for the fur
  trade. The new government will encourage this trade.

  9. The seigneurial _droits_ will be abolished. The _lods et
  ventes_, the millrights, the tolls, the lumber reservations, work
  for the service of the seigneur, etc., will be equally abolished.

  10. Hereditary titles will be also abolished. There will be no
  lords, seigneurs or nobles.

  11. All cults will be free. Catholic priests named by the
  people as in the primitive church will enjoy a treatment
  analogous to their ability.

  12. Schools will be established in the parishes and towns;
  there will be printing offices; institutions for the high
  sciences; medicine and mathematics. Interpreters will be trained
  who, known for their good morals, will be encouraged to civilize
  the savage nations and by this means to extend the trade with

In spite of these inflammatory circulars, and outside those
immediately disaffected, the majority of the Canadians were in
good disposition with the government. They would have resisted
an American invasion without hesitation. When their own people
tampered with them and offered to regain Canada to the French
it is only natural that many should have been unsettled.
But it must clearly be understood that the reports of the
French emissaries being in the country were not the dreams of
visionaries. It was expected in many quarters that Napoleon, the
First Consul, would have redemanded Canada at the general treaty
of peace. Canada was desired for the French “as an outlet for
French products and for the means of speculation to an infinite
number of Frenchmen who have no resources in their own country.”
The last quotation occurs in a letter dated January 12, 1803,
from France by an ex-Canadian, Mr. Imbert, to a brother of Judge

Yet a panegyric on the occasion of the death of Bishop Briand
in 1794 reveals a change of opinion undergoing at this period
with regard to the relations of the English and the French.
“Ah!” cried the preacher, “how the perspective of our future
formerly spread out bitterness in all Christian families! Each
one mourned his unhappy plight and was afflicted not to be able
to leave a country where the kingdom of God seemed about to be
forever destroyed. No one could be persuaded that our conquerors,
strangers to our soil, to our language, our law, our customs, our
worship, could ever be able to give back to Canada what it had
just lost in the change of masters. Generous nation! which has
made us see with so much evidence how this prejudgment was false;
industrious nation! which has made riches sprout forth which the
bosom of this land enclosed; beneficent nation! which daily gives
to Canada new proofs of your liberality; No! no! you are not our
enemies, nor those of our properties which your laws protect,
nor those of our religion, which you respect. Pardon this first
mistrust in a people which had not yet the honour of knowing you.”

At Montreal some important arrests were made; one, Duclos,
an active agent of the United States who had moved among the
people confidently foretelling the invasion of the French, and
a traitor named Costello, who was proved to have been diligent
in circulating the incendiary pamphlets in French. To meet this
disaffection Constitutional Associations were formed in Montreal
and Quebec of the leading French Canadian and British loyalists.
Gradually the sedition died down. But during the great fear of a
French invasion there had been no little doubt and uncertainty
among the mercantile classes as to the fate of the vessels that
might be dispatched with cargoes on the St. Lawrence. Jay’s
treaty, 19th of November, 1794, with Great Britain, for the
amicable adjustment of all differences between it and the United
States, was a potent factor in making for peace. It was finally
agreed to in the senate of the United States in 1795, although
the sympathizers of the French fought it determinedly.

In April, 1796, Dorchester, who had sent in his resignation,
received official information that Gen. Robert Prescott
had been appointed lieutenant governor of Lower Canada and
commander-in-chief in North America. Prescott arrived at Quebec
on the 18th of June and Dorchester sailed in July, being wrecked
on the island of Anticosti, but, being taken off by a ship of
war, reached his destination in safety. On the 18th of June,
1796, Sir Robert Prescott, Lord Dorchester’s successor, did
not find matters in the province in a satisfactory state. The
French republican designs on Canada were still represented in the
Montreal district by many sympathizers. Riots were caused and the
magistrates of Montreal seemed to have acted weakly, if not with
connivance, so that a new commission of the peace was issued with
several names omitted. The ostensible cause was opposition to the
execution of the Road Bill, but in reality it was a disaffection
stirred up by emissaries from the French republic, then in the

Attorney General Sewell had been sent to Montreal to get
information and he reported the above to the executive council at
Quebec on Sunday, October 30, 1796, on the authority of Messrs.
de Lothbinière, McGill, Richardson, Murray, Papineau and others.
He reported: “That a pamphlet of most seditious tendencies,
signed by Adet, the embassador from the French republic to the
United States, was now in circulation in the district. That
this pamphlet bore the arms of the French republic and was
addressed to the Canadians assuring them that France, having now
conquered Spain, Austria and Italy, had determined to subdue
Great Britain and meant to begin with her colonies; that she
thought it her duty in the first instance to turn her attention
to the Canadians, to relieve them from the slavery under which
they groaned, and was taking steps for that purpose; that it
pointed out the supposed advantages which the republican form
of government possessed over the British and concluded that
in a short time there would only be heard the cry of ‘Vive la
Republique!’ from Canada to Paris.” The attorney-general added
that he had heard at Montreal that the French republic intended
to raise troops in Canada and had actually sent four officers’
commissions into the country. This brought a proclamation from
Lieutenant-Governor Prescott, commander-in-chief, ordering the
arrest of seditious persons, especially “certain foreigners being
alien enemies who are lurking and lying concealed in various
parts of the province.” This proclamation was ordered to be
published for three successive weeks in the Quebec Gazette and
Montreal papers in both languages, and also copies to be printed
to be affixed to the church doors in the province. During the
rest of the year various people were examined in Montreal, which
revealed the existence of a widespread revolt organized by

On May 17th at the recent assizes for the district of Quebec and
Montreal a number had been arrested and tried. Attorney-General
Sewell in his report to Prescott on May 12, 1797, mentions among
the several indictments preferred the following:

  “High Treason: Inciting persons to assemble in a riotous manner
  for the purpose of opposing the execution of the Road Act;
  Conspiracy to prevent the market of Montreal being supplied with
  Provisions until the inhabitants of that city should unite with
  those of the Country in their opposition to the Road Act.

  “Assault on a Constable in the execution of his office under the
  Road Act.

  “Riot and assault on a justice of the peace in the execution of
  his Office.

  “Riots, assaults on and false Imprisonment of different overseers
  of the High Roads.

  “Riots and Rescue of Persons apprehended for the offence last
  above mentioned from the hands of the sheriff’s officers. Assault
  on the sheriff of Montreal in the execution of his Office and
  Rescue of a Prisoner from his custody for an offence against

  “Seditious Conversation and Libels on the House of Assembly.

  “The number of Persons indicted in Montreal for the above
  offences amounted in all to nineteen, of which four for High
  Treason have not yet been tried. Thirteen were tried and of that
  number eleven were convicted and received Judgment. The remaining
  Two absconded.

  “The number of persons indicted at Quebec for the above offences
  amounted to twenty-four, of which twenty-three were convicted and
  received punishment.”

It is needless to review these cases. As, however, the name of
McLean stands out in this sedition, he must be noticed. This man
was not arrested till May 10, 1797, although information of his
seditionary mission work on the borders of Canada and the United
States was in the hands of the authorities in December, 1796. On
July 7th he was tried and found guilty and executed on the 21st.
On various occasions he had been known to be in Montreal planting
sedition. He was in close touch with Ira Allen, of Vermont, who
had been on board the “Olive Branch” from Ostend with 20,000
stand of arms. He tried to explain that these were purchased
for the Vermont militia. But there is no doubt that they were
furnished by the Directory in Paris for the army of the Lower
Canadians in an expedition in which McLean was to be interested.
Among McLean’s papers was found one from Adet confirming this.

The attempts of the French on Canada already mentioned under the
dates of 1796 and 1797 seemed never to have entirely relaxed. In
1801 Lieutenant-Governor Milnes became warned that persons were
plotting for the subversion of Canada and that a society of “a
parcel of Americans” had been formed in Montreal, proceeding on
the principles of Jacobinism and Illuminism, having one Rogers
as leader, it being supposed that he was the only one who knew
the real objects of the society, which had increased from six
to sixty-one members. Six were arrested and held for trial but
Rogers escaped. Attorney-General Sewell made a report of his
investigation. Rogers was a New England schoolmaster who had
settled a short time before at Carillon, forty miles west of
Montreal. The society formed by him was composed “of sundry
individuals of desperate fortunes,” and among them were many of
the persons concerned in McLane’s (sic) conspiracy, particularly
Ira Allen and Stephen Thorn, who were lately arrived from France.
The pretext on which Rogers founded his society was to search for
treasure. The depositions accompanying Sewell’s report implicate
Ira Allen and his Vermont marauders as bent on plundering Canada.
In this regard Montreal was especially aimed at. The trouble died
down somewhat in 1802 when peace with France was proclaimed,
but on June 1, 1803, long before any steps could be taken after
the declaration of war again, French emissaries were in the
province sapping the loyalty, some of them being in Montreal.
Again, this was no visionary conception, but a reality. A keen
lookout was maintained on strangers. Mr. Richardson, a magistrate
of Montreal, was appointed secret agent. One of those to be
watched was Jerome Bonaparte, the brother of the First Consul
of France. His description is as follows, as sent by Barclay
from New York, 2d December, 1803, to Milnes: “Jerome Bonaparte
appears about twenty-one years of age, five feet, six or seven
inches high, slender make, sallow complexion, sharp and prominent
chin, cropped dark hair, short, but he sometimes adds a queue
and is powdered; dark eyes.” Jerome had arrived at New York
about November 20th and was reported to be making, via Albany,
for Lake Champlain, where there was “a Frenchman named Rous, who
is notorious for assisting deserters. McLean, hung for treason,
is particularly intimate with Rous.” Richardson came to terms
with this Rous, whom he employed as a spy. The attempt on Canada
by the French was temporarily abandoned, the reason, given by
Pichon, Chargé d’affaires at Washington, being that Great Britain
was too powerful by sea.


[1] One of the first statutes was an act to prevent gun powder
drawn in ships and other vessels into the harbour of Montreal and
to guard against the careless transportation of the same into the
powder magazines.

[2] He landed at Quebec in August, 1791, and left Canada in
1794. On the 13th of September, in passing through Montreal, he
received a complimentary address. He went up country probably
as far as Niagara, returning through Montreal in September of
1792. On December 6, 1793, Chief Justice Smith died at Quebec.
His remains were interred on December 8th, and were attended to
the grave by H.R.H. Prince Edward.--(Quebec Gazette, Thursday,
December 12, 1793.)

                          CHAPTER XIII

                  THE AMERICAN INVASION OF 1812

                    MONTREAL AND CHATEAUGUAY

                     FRENCH CANADIAN LOYALTY


The loyalty of the British and French Canadians was again to be
tested during the American war of 1812, which involved Canada in
war as a dependency of England.

Its causes were as follows: In 1806, on November 1st, Napoleon
issued his “Berlin decree” declaring a blockade on the entire
British coast, and let loose French privateers against her
shipping and that of neutral nations trading with her. Great
Britain retaliated by the celebrated “orders in council which
declared all traffic with France contraband and the vessels
prosecuting it with their cargoes, liable to seizure.”[1] By both
of these the United States was injured in its carrying trade.
Congress, therefore, in the following year superceded President
Jefferson’s contra-embargo on all shipping, domestic and foreign,
in the harbours of the United States, by a “non-intercourse
act” prohibiting all commerce with either belligerent till the
“obnoxious decree” or “orders” were removed.

Another cause conspired to fan the war feeling to a flame. Great
Britain, pressed by the difficulty of manning her immense fleets,
asserted the “right of search” of American vessels for deserters
from her navy. The United States frigate “Chesapeake” resisted
this right, sanctioned by international law, but was compelled by
a broadside from H.M. Ship Leopard (June, 1807) to submit. The
British government disavowed the violence of this act and offered
reparation. But the democratic party was clamorous for war and
eager to seduce from their allegiance and annex to the United
States, the provinces of British North America.

A further cause exasperating the United States, was the
publication of the secret correspondence of a Captain Henry,
an adventurer, sent by Sir James Craig, Governor General of
Canada, in 1809 to ascertain the state of feeling in New England
towards Great Britain. Henry reported a disposition to secede
from the Union and subsequently offered his correspondence to
the American government, demanding therefor the exorbitant sum
of $50,000, which he received from the secret service fund.
His information was authentic but unimportant and the British
government repudiated his agency, but the war party in Congress
was implacable.

This John Henry had lived as a boy in Montreal, after which he
crossed the border. In 1807 he applied through merchants in
Montreal for the office of puisné judge in Upper Canada, it
appearing that he had obtained the favour of the merchants of
Montreal by defending their conduct in a party newspaper. His
correspondence (1808-9) with Sir J. Craig while on his mission,
reveals that for some time in April, 1808, Henry was in Montreal.

On June 18, 1812, James Madison, the president, and Congress
approved the “act declaring war between the United Kingdom of
Great Britain and Ireland and the dependencies thereof and the
United States of America and their territories.” This news,
sent by an express of the North West Company, did not reach the
governor, Sir John Prevost, till July 7th. It had, however, been
sent by private means to General Brock in Upper Canada about June
26th by the Hon. John Richardson of Montreal, though others say
by John Jacob Astor, who had extensive fur interests in Canada.

How the news of the war was received in Montreal has been
published recently in the Huntingdon “Gleaner” (under the
editorship of Mr. Robert Sellar). The late Mr. Lewis MacKay of
Huntingdon, then twenty-one years of age, there relates what
he saw as an eye witness. “I recollect very well the day when
word reached Montreal that the American government had declared
war against Britain. It caused great dejection, for the general
belief was that the Americans would come at once and take Canada.
At night especially, there was great alarm. Everything in the
shape of a man was pressed into service. If dogs could have
carried firelocks they would have been taken. I saw at the sentry
posts mere boys too weak to carry their guns which they rested
against their bases.”

Quickly the militia and military were organized. Colonel Baynes,
adjutant general, writing to Brock from Quebec on July 3d, says:
“The flank companies here are on the march and 2,000 militia will
form a chain of posts from St. John’s to La Prairie. The town
militia of Montreal and Quebec to the number of 3,000 from each
city have volunteered, and are being embodied and drilled, and
will take their part in garrison duty to relieve the troops. The
proclamation for declaring martial law is prepared and will be
speedily issued. All aliens will be required to take the oath of
allegiance or immediately quit the Province.”

Writing from Montreal on August 17th, Sir George Prevost wrote to
Lord Bathurst, secretary of war: “A part of the Forty-ninth
Regiment has already proceeded from Montreal to Kingston and
has been followed by the remainder of the Newfoundland Regiment
of some picked Veterans; the other companies of the Forty-ninth
Regiment will proceed to the same destination as soon as
sufficient number of bateaux can be collected. * * * From
Kingston to Montreal the Frontier line appears at present secure.
* * * The Eighth or King’s Regiment has arrived this M(ornin)g
from Quebec to relieve the Forty-ninth Regiment. This fine and
effective Regt. of the Eighth, together with a Chain of Troops
established in the vicinity of this place, consisting of regular
and militia Forces, the whole amounting to near four thousand,
five hundred men, effectually serve to keep in check the enemy
in this quarter where alone they are in any strength and to
prevent any Attempt to carry on a Predatory Warfare against this
flourishing portion of Lower Canada.”

[Illustration: MONTREAL IN 1810 A view of the city of Montreal
and the river St. Lawrence from the mountain, by E. Walsh,
Forty-ninth Regiment, 1810.]

Brock made preparations to meet the American general, William
Hull, who was early in July descending on Canada from Detroit. He
had soon to return in hot haste and on August 16th surrendered
Detroit to Sir Isaac Brock.[2] Brock paroled many of the
prisoners but the rest he sent to Montreal on their way to Quebec
for embarkation. The Montreal Herald of Tuesday, September 12,
1812, facetiously describes their entry thus:

“Montreal, September 12th.

“Last Sunday evening the inhabitants of this city were gratified
with an exhibition equally novel and interesting. That General
Hull should have entered our city so soon at the head of his
troops rather exceeded our expectations. We were, however, happy
to see him and received him with all the honours due to his rank
and importance as a public character. The following particulars
relative to his journey and reception at Montreal may not be
uninteresting to our readers.

“General Hull and suite, accompanied by about twenty-five
officers and three hundred and fifty soldiers, left Kingston
under an escort of 130 men commanded by Major Heathcote of the
Newfoundland Regiment. At Cornwall the escort was met by Captain
Gray of the quartermaster general’s department who took charge
of the prisoners of war and from thence proceeded with them to
Lachine, where they arrived about 2 o’clock on Sunday afternoon.
At Lachine Captains Richardson and Ogilvie, with their companies
of Montreal militia and a company of the King’s, commanded by
Captain Blackmore formed the escort till they were met by Colonel
Auldjo with the remainder of the flank companies of the militia,
upon which Captain Blackmore’s Company fell out and presented
arms as the general passed with the others, and then returned
to Lachine, leaving the prisoners to be guarded by the Montreal
militia alone.” Then follows the order of march in procession
into the town through the illuminated streets to the Château de

“When they arrived at the governor’s house the general was
conducted in and presented to his Excellency, Sir George Prevost.
He was received with the greatest politeness and invited to take
up his residence there during his stay in Montreal. The officers
were quartered in Holmes Hotel and the soldiers were marched to
Quebec Gate Barracks. The general appears to be about sixty years
of age and bears his misfortune with a degree of resignation that
but few men in similar circumstances are fitted with.”

General Hull was exchanged for thirty British soldiers taken by
the Americans. The rest of the prisoners proceeded to Quebec.[3]

Montrealers were elated at Hull’s capture, but they knew well
that revenge was being prepared. Montreal was still the objective
of the congress army as of old. Their secretary of state had said
that “Montreal was the apple of his eye. Why waste men and money
upon distant frontiers? Strike at their vitals, then you will
paralyze their extremities. Capture Montreal and you will starve
de Rottenburg and Proctor. In Montreal your troops will find
winter quarters and an English Christmas.”

The Montreal militia, therefore, had to keep up their drill in
earnest. On November 19th there was a call to arms on a report
the city was to be attacked. The militia left the city to meet
the foe, but on November 28th returned from “their pleasure trip”
unscathed, for either the enemy had disappeared or it was a false

But it was not only volunteers for the militia that were being
required. Men were wanted for the front. Lewis MacKay describes
how Colonel McDonell (or Macdonnell) of Glengarry (who was
afterwards mortally wounded and whose remains were buried beside
those of Brock) came to Montreal to enlist men for his regiment.
“The men he brought with him were mostly from Glengarry. As I
spoke Gaelic I got amongst them. I enlisted with them, but on
examination was rejected because I was not up to the standard in
height. I was transferred to the Voltigeurs. There was nothing
doing in Montreal but raising troops of cavalry and regiments,
and they took everybody that offered, almost. The bounty was
$100, but the pay was very small. There were French among the
Glengarries and there were old country men in the Voltigeurs.
* * * Among others in Montreal was Captain Coleman of the Eighth
Dragoons. He got liberty to raise a troop for himself. He was
rich and bought horses with his own money and men were keen
to enlist with him. Wanting me as his body servant he got me
transferred from the Voltigeurs. When he had got his complement
of men the government did the rest, giving uniforms, saddles,
arms, etc. The troop got the name of the ‘French Troop’ and were
ordered to Upper Canada.”

The enthusiastic readiness of the French Canadians to protect
their country and the _camaraderie_ with which the different
subjects, old and new, now joined side by side, are also
evidenced in glancing at the lists of militia records of the
times. A picture is preserved by Dunlop of the good times of
the two corps “formed of the gentlemen of Montreal,” of whom
he says, “that if their discipline was commendable their
commissariat was beyond all praise. Long lines of carts were to
be seen bearing in casks and hampers of the choicest wines, to
say nothing of the venison, turkeys, hams and all other esculents
necessary to recruit their strength under the fatigues of war.
With them the Indian found a profitable market for his game, and
the fisherman for his fish. There can be little doubt that a
gourmand would greatly prefer the comfort of dining with a mess
of privates of these distinguished corps to the honour and glory
of being half starved (of which he ran no small risk) at the
table of the Governor-General himself.”

[Illustration: LETTER OF DE LORIMIER (1812) A call to arms]

While, therefore, the struggle was in the Upper Province, the
attack on Montreal was, however, reserved for the next year
and the Montreal militia, with men like Lieut. Col. Charles
de Salaberry, Lieutenant McDonell, Captains Jean Baptiste and
Jucherau Duchesnay, Daly and Ferguson, Bruyère and la Motte,
with adjutants O’Sullivan and Hedder--all to be mentioned in
despatches--were to give the Americans no cause to doubt either
British or French Canadian loyalty to the British flag.

The chance came to save Montreal in 1813, on October 21st, when
the militia battalions of Montreal and the district took the
field at Chateauguay to prevent the advance on the city by the
American army under General Hampton. It was a glorious victory
for the militia.

The attack on Montreal was planned by Major-General Wilkinson,
who had arrived about the end of August, 1813, in Sacketts
Harbour to take charge of the troops of the North American
frontier. There in his council of officers it was determined: “To
rendezvous the whole of the troops on the lake in the vicinity[4]
and in cooperation with our squadron to make a bold feint upon
Kingston; step down the St. Lawrence; lock up the enemy in our
rear to starve or surrender; or oblige him to follow us without
artillery, baggage or provisions, or eventually to lay down his
arms; to sweep the St. Lawrence of armed craft; and in concert
with the division of Major-General Hampton to take Montreal.”[5]

Montreal was therefore the main object of attack. “Montreal is
the safer and greater object,” wrote Armstrong to the Secretary
of War, fearing hard blows at Kingston, the weaker place, “and
you will find there a small force to encounter.” Montreal offered
no terrors for there were “no fortifications at that city, or
in advance of it,” and only “200 sailors and 400 marines with
the militia, number unknown,” but there were, to be sure, “2,500
regular troops expected daily from Quebec.”

Yet the American force which made its way under Major-General
Hampton from Burlington was a powerful army. It arrived on
October 8th at Chateauguay Four Corners, a small settlement
distant five miles from the national boundary, about forty-six
from Montreal, and about forty-five from the proposed junction of
Hampton’s force with Major-General Wilkinson’s.

William James, who published in London in 1818, “a full and
correct account of the military occurrences of the late war
between Great Britain and the United States of America,” says
of General Hampton’s force, now prepared against Montreal, that
it “has been stated at 7,000 infantry and 200 cavalry,” but we
have no American authority for supposing that the latter exceeded
180 or the former 5,520, making a total of 5,700 men accompanied
by ten pieces of cannon. This army, except the small militia
force attached to it, was the same that, with General Dearborn at
its head, paraded across the line and back to Plattsburg in the
autumn of 1812. During the twelve months that had since elapsed,
the men had been drilled under an officer, Major-General Izard,
who had served one or two campaigns in the French army. Troops
were all in uniform, well clothed and equipped; in short, General
Hampton commanded, if not the most numerous, certainly the most
effective regular army which the United States were able to send
into the field during the war.

At Montreal there was bustle and stir in getting the additional
forces out which were to join Lieutenant-Colonel Salaberry of
the Canadian Fencibles, who commenced operations to check the
American advance as soon as he had learned that the Americans
had crossed the lines. But the whole of the force that went to
meet Hampton between October 21st and 29th was only about eight
hundred rank and file, with 172 Indians under Captain Lamotte at
the settlements of Chateauguay. The battle of Chateauguay and its
results may now be told by Sir George Prevost in his dispatch
from Montreal to Earl Bathurst.

                    “Headquarters, Montreal, October 30, 1813.

  “My Lord:

  “On the 8th instant I had the honour to report to Your Lordship
  that Major-General Hampton had occupied with a considerable force
  of regulars and militia a portion of the Chateauguay River,
  near the settlement of the Four Corners. Early on the 21st the
  American army crossed the line of separation between Lower Canada
  and the United States, surprised the small party of Indian
  warriors and drove in a picket of sedentary militia posted at the
  junction of the Outard and Chateauguay Rivers, where it encamped,
  and proceeded in establishing a road of communication with its
  last position for the purpose of bringing forward its artillery.
  Major-General Hampton having completed his arrangements on the
  24th, commenced on the following day his operations against my
  advanced posts. At about 11 o’clock in the forenoon of the 26th
  his cavalry and light troops were discovered advancing on both
  banks of the Chateauguay by a detachment covering a working
  party of habitants employed in felling timber for the purpose
  of constructing _abattis_.[6] Lieutenant-Colonel de Saluberry
  (sic), who had the command of the advanced piquets composed of
  the light infantry company of the Canadian Fencibles and two
  companies of Voltigeurs on the north side of the river, made so
  excellent a disposition of his little band that he checked the
  advance of the enemy’s principal column led by Major-General
  Hampton in person and accompanied by Brigadier-General Izard;
  while the American Light Brigade under Colonel McCarty was in
  like manner repulsed in its progress on the south side of the
  river by the spirited advance of the right flank company of the
  Third Battalion of the embodied militia under Captain Daly,
  supported by Captain Bruyer’s Company of Chateauguay Chasseurs;
  Captains Daly and Bruyers being both wounded and their companies
  having sustained some loss, their position was immediately
  taken up by a flank company of the first battalion of embodied
  militia; the enemy rallied and repeatedly returned to the attack,
  which terminated only with the day in his complete disgrace and
  defeat; being foiled at all points by a handful of men who, by
  their determined bravery, maintained their position and screened
  from insult the working parties who continued their labours
  unconcerned. Having fortunately arrived at the scene of action
  shortly after its commencement, I witnessed the conduct of the
  troops on this glorious occasion, and it was a great satisfaction
  to me to render on the spot that praise which had become so
  justly their due. I thanked Major-General De Watteville for the
  wise measures taken by him for the defense of this position and
  lieutenant-Colonel de Saluberry for the judgment displayed by him
  in the choice of his ground and the bravery and skill with which
  he maintained it; I acknowledged the highest praise to belong to
  the officers and men engaged that morning for their gallantry
  and readiness, and I called upon all the troops in advance as
  well for a continuance of that zeal, steadiness and discipline as
  for that patient endurance of hardship and privations which they
  hitherto evinced; and I particularly noticed the able support
  lieutenant-Colonel de Saluberry received from Captain Ferguson in
  command of the Canadian Fencibles and from Capt. J.B. Duchesnay
  and Capt. J. Duchesnay and adjutant Hedder, of the Voltigeurs,
  and also from adjutant O’Sullivan of the sedentary militia and
  from Captain La Motte, belonging to the Indian warriors.

  “Almost the whole of the British troops being pushed forward for
  the defence of Upper Canada, that of the lower province must
  depend in a great degree on the valour and continued exertion
  of its incorporated battalions and its sedentary militia until
  the Seventieth Regiment and the two battalions of marines daily
  expected should arrive.

  “It is therefore highly satisfactory to state to Your Lordship
  that there appears a determination among all classes of His
  Majesty’s Canadian subjects to persevere in a loyal and
  honourable line of conduct. By a report of the prisoners taken
  from the enemy in the affair on the Chateauguay, the American
  force is stated at 7,000 infantry and 200 cavalry, with 10 field
  pieces. The British advanced force actually engaged did not
  exceed 300. The enemy suffered severely from our fire and from
  their own; some detached corps in the woods fired on each other.

  “I have the honour to transmit to your Lordship a return of
  the killed and wounded on the 26th. I avail myself of this
  opportunity to solicit from his royal highness, the prince
  regent, as a mark of his gracious approbation of the conduct of
  the embodied battalions of the Canadian Militia five pair of
  colours for the first, second, third, fourth and fifth battalions.

              “I have the honour to be, etc.,
                                                “GEORGE PREVOST.

“Return of killed, wounded and missing of his Majesty’s forces in
the action of the enemy in the advance on Chateauguay on the 26th
of October, 1813.

  “Canadian fencible infantry, light Company; three rank and file
    killed; one sergeant, three rank and file wounded.

  “Third battalion embodied militia, flank company; two rank and
    file killed; one captain, six rank and file wounded; four rank
    and file missing.

  “Chateauguay Chasseurs; one captain wounded.

  “Total: Five rank and file killed, two captains, one sergeant,
    thirteen rank and file wounded; four rank and file missing.

  “Names of officers wounded: Third battalion embodied
    militia--Captain Daly twice wounded, severely. Chateauguay
    Chasseurs: Captain Bruyers, slightly.

                           “EDWARD BAYNES, Adjutant-General.

  Right Hon. Earl Bathurst.”

The slight number of the British forces opposed to the Americans
could hardly be believed after the disorganization of the
latter. When Captain Debartzch of the militia was sent to the
headquarters of General Hampton with a flag and announced the
number of the opposing force, Hampton, scarcely able to keep his
temper, insisted that the British force amounted to 7,000 men for
he asked, “What, then, made the woods ring with rifles?”

This incident must be told. In the early course of the fight the
Americans opened a spirited fight upon the Canadians and drove
the skirmishers stationed near the left behind the front edge
of the _abattis_. “The Americans,” says William James, already
quoted, “Although they did not occupy one foot of the abattis nor
lieutenant-colonel de Saluberry retire one inch from the ground
on which he had been standing, celebrated this partial retiring
as a retreat. They were not a little surprised, however, to hear
their Huzzas repeated by the Canadians, accompanied by a noise
ten times more terrific than even ‘Colonel Boerstler’s stentorian
voice.’ By way of animating his little band when thus momentarily
pressed, colonel de Saluberry ordered his bugle men to sound the
advance. This was heard by lieutenant-colonel McDonell, who,
thinking that the colonel was in want of support, caused his
own bugler to answer, and immediately advanced with two of his
companies. He at the same time sent ten or twelve bugle men into
the adjoining woods with orders to separate and blow with all
their might. This little _ruse de guerre_ led the Americans to
believe that they had more thousands than hundreds to contend
with and deterred them from even attempting to penetrate the
_abattis_. They contented themselves with a long shot warfare in
which, from the nature of the defences, they were almost the only

The Americans, after bungling the battle, delayed at Four
Corners, but on November 11th Hampton, feeling himself unsafe,
broke up his encampment and retreated to Plattsburg.

Chateauguay had served Montreal well and the tide of war again
rolled away from its gates.


[1] Cf. Withrow “History of Canada,” pp. 301-302.

[2] William Hull was born in Derby, Connecticut, on June 24,
1753. He graduated with honors from Yale at the age of nineteen,
studied law and was admitted to practice. He allied himself with
the Revolutionary party and obtained a commission from Congress
eventually rising to the rank of a colonel. At the conclusion
of peace he held a judicial office in Massachusetts and served
for eight years as a senator. In 1805 he was appointed the first
governor of the territory of Michigan and was commissioned a
brigadier general in the army of the United States on April 8,
1812. He was court-martialed for his surrender of Detroit in 1814
and after a trial of three months he was ordered to be shot,
but President Madison remitted his sentence in consideration of
his services in the Revolutionary war. His name was, however,
dropped from the army lists. He died at Newton, Massachusetts, in
November, 1825.

[3] Their arrival at Quebec is thus described by A.W. Cochran,
assistant civil secretary to the governor general in a letter
to his mother: “Both men and officers are a shabby looking set
as ever you set your eyes on, and reminded me of Falstaff’s men
very forcibly. Some of the officers talked very big and assured
us that before long there would be 100,000 men in Canada and
that they soon would have Quebec from us.” Later on, writing to
his father from Montreal on October 10th he further expresses
his views on the Americans: “The Americans, I think, bid fair
to rival and surpass the French in gasconading as well as in
everything that is dishonorable, base and contemptible. * * *
Yankees cannot tell a plain story like other folks; they cannot
help ‘immersing the wig in the ocean’ as Sterne says of the

[4] The spot chosen was Grenadier Island, eighteen miles from
Sacketts Harbour.

[5] “Wilkinson’s Memoirs,” Vol. III, Appendix No. 1.

[6] Abattis. These were obstructions made by felled timber which
served as a succession of breastworks.

                           CHAPTER XIV




Colonel Moses Hazen, who took command of Montreal, on April 1,
1776, for the congressional cause, was shrewd when in order to
strengthen their position he wrote to General Schuyler for a
printer, and Benjamin Franklin did a good thing for Montreal when
he brought Fleury Mesplet, the French printer, and his plant with
him, to the Château de Ramezay as an adjunct to the commission
which was to seduce the French Canadians from their allegiance.
Though this aim failed Mesplet remained behind on his own account
after the commissioners had returned on their bootless quest and
after publishing two works he started the “Gazette du Commerce et
Littéraire Pour Le Ville et District de Montreal” which first saw
light in French on Wednesday, June 3, 1778. His previous address
to the public announced that the subscription was to be two and
a half Spanish dollars per annum. Subscribers would pay one
Spanish dollar for every advertisement inserted in the said paper
during three weeks successively, non-subscribers one and one-half
Spanish dollars, and the paper was to be a quarter sheet. The
first number was rather literary than commercial. Advertisements
came with the second number. Jean Bernard exhorts the public not
to throw their wood-fuel ashes away. He would buy them at ten
coppers a bushel. In number four occurs the advertisement: “Ran
away on the 14th instant, a slave belonging to the widow Dufy
Desaulnier, aged about thirty-five years, dressed in striped
calico, of medium height and tolerable stoutness. Whoever will
bring her back will receive a reward of $6, and will be repaid
any costs that may be proved to have been incurred in finding

The Gazette du Commerce did not realize its name for some time,
there being in the small community a dearth of such, as Mesplet
deplored in the first paragraph of No. 1. Very little political
news ever filtered through the Gazette, but the arrival and
departure of governors was safe; consequently he printed the
address of Colonel Sevestre commanding the militia at Montreal
to Sir Guy Carleton, who finished his term of office in July,
1778; and the reply commending the virtues and experience of his
successor, General Haldimand.

The issue of August 12, 1778, records the latter’s visit thus:

“On the 8th instant at 6 P.M. General Haldimand made his entrance
into the town amid discharges of artillery from the citadel
and the vessels in the harbour. The English merchants were in
the front, followed by the Canadian Militia and the regulars,
the whole forming a line from the Quebec gate to the Company’s
house, where His Excellency now resides. A band of 600 Indians,
with Messrs. St. Luc de la Corne and Campbell, their officers
and interpreters at the head, came out of the town and welcomed
the new Governor with cries which proclaimed the joy they felt
at his arrival. The citizens of the two nations proved their
gratification by their enthusiasm and cheerful countenances.”

The next number does not appear, apparently being suppressed by
the new Governor, but in the succeeding week it again was issued
through the good graces of certain leading citizens who had
procured him this liberty. He promises gratitude to the Governor
and the succeeding numbers are strictly literary subjects, such
as discussions on the opinions of Voltaire and the utility of the
establishment of an Academy of Science.

In April, 1779, Mesplet invited criticism on a recent judicial
decision, for which he was summoned to court and reprimanded
against any repetition of the offence. But he was recalcitrant
and in the fall he was arrested and taken to Quebec, the paper
being suspended apparently till 1785.

By 1788 Mesplet’s paper was enlarged from quarter to foolscap
four pages, printed in double columns in French and English. It
seems to have become more of a newspaper and news a month old was
served up to eager Montrealers. In 1789 there was still little
commercial news, but there was a “Poet’s Corner” and several
poems of Robert Burns, then rising to fame, are honoured there.
In this year political discussion, a subject in the early days
tabooed, appears in the Gazette. A correspondent discussing the
burning question of a House of Assembly sums up thus:

“We are all Canadians and subjects of Great Britain. The
distinction of old and new subjects ought to have been done away
with long since. The prosperity of this country must depend on
the unanimity that prevails amongst us. I am of the opinion that
much good may be derived from a House of Assembly. Yet I fear
the consequent evils, one of which is taxing a country unable to
support the dignity of a House. The peasantry would not easily
digest what that House of Assembly might impose and few, if any,
of their class would be able to share in the legislation. It
will, therefore, be the policy of Government to procrastinate
this event until the province is really and fully Anglified,
when, perhaps, a House of Assembly may be better known and
received with the united voice of approbation.”

Up to this year the paper was published by F. Mesplet, 40 Notre
Dame Street. In 1795 it passed into the hands of Thomas A. Turner
and was issued from an office on the corner of Notre Dame Street
and St. Jean Baptiste. By 1804 it had passed over to E. Edward,
135 St. Paul Street.

The date of November 10, 1804, records the movement for the first
theatre in Montreal.

“Mr. Ormsby from the Theatre Royal, Edinburgh, respectfully
informs the ladies and gentlemen of Montreal that he intends,
with their approbation, establishing a company of comedians
in Canada, to perform in Montreal and Quebec alternately. The
theatre in this city is fitted up in that large and commodious
house next door to the Post Office, where will be presented on
Monday evening, 19th inst., a comedy in five acts called ‘The
Busy Body,’ to which will be added the much admired farce called
‘The Sultan.’

“N.B. Particulars in advertisement for the evening: Boxes, 5s;
gallery, 2s. 6d. Tickets to be had at Mr. Hamilton’s Tavern, the
Montreal Hotel and at the theatre where places for the boxes may
be taken.”

The news of the death and victory of Lord Nelson at Trafalgar
on October 21, 1805, reached Montreal in the winter of 1805-6
and was the occasion of great activity among the inhabitants, so
that immediately a subscription was taken up to raise their first
monument. A committee was appointed and these in conjunction with
Six Alexander Mackenzie, Thomas Forsyth and John Gillespie, then
in London, took steps to raise it. The Governor-General, Sir J.
Craig, having given the magistrates a piece of ground for general
improvement, these granted a portion of it, at the upper end of
the new market place, as a site for the intended column. The
foundation stone was laid on August 17, 1809, and the monument
was built of grey compact limestone of the district.

The four panel ornaments were of artificial stone invented by
Coade & Seeley, of London. The battle of the Nile is represented
on the north side. That on the east represents the interview
between Lord Nelson and the Prince Regent of Denmark on the
landing of Lord Nelson after the engagement off Copenhagen.
The panel on the south side facing the river commemorates the
battle of Trafalgar. The west side has the neatest panel, being
ornamented with cannon, anchors and other appropriate naval
trophies with a circular wreath surrounding the whole inscription:

                          In Memory of
      The Right Honorable Vice-Admiral Lord Viscount Nelson
                         Duke of Bronté
    Who terminated his career of Naval glory in the memorable
                       Battle of Trafalgar
                  On the 21st of October, 1805,
                   After inculcating by Signal
                         This Sentiment
              Never to be forgotten by his Country,
            This monumental column was erected by the
                     Inhabitants of Montreal
                        In the year 1808.

The expense of this column when complete with the iron railing
was £1,300. In the first cut stone at the east corner of the
base, a plate of lead was deposited bearing the following

“In memory of the Right Honourable Admiral Lord Viscount Nelson,
Duke of Bronté, who terminated his career of naval glory on the
21st of October, 1805, this monumental pillar was erected by a
subscription of the inhabitants of Montreal, whereof the Hon. Sir
John Johnston, Knight and Baronet, the Hon. James Monk, Chief
Justice of Montreal, John Richardson, John Ogilvie and Louis
Chaboillez, Esquires, were a committee appointed for carrying it
into execution, and the same was erected under the direction of
William Gilmore, stone cutter and mason, from designs obtained
from Mitchell, an architect in London.--17th August, 1809.”

Returning to the Gazette, a sidelight of 1806 thrown by an
advertisement of William Gilmore, dated 7th June, reveals to us
the apprenticeship system as then in vogue. It may seem to some
an industrial tyranny.

“Ran away from the subscriber: Alexander Thompson, an indentured
apprentice, about 22 years of age, 5 ft. 5 in. in height, red
curly hair and bandy legs. All persons are hereby forbid hiring
him under penalty of law. Any person who will bring him back
shall receive three pence reward, no charges paid.”

Thus far the Gazette. The history of the Gazette of today, its
successor, may be found in “Montreal, the Commercial Metropolis
of Canada,” 1907.

Let us now present a side light of about this period.

At this time the Montreal Hotel was one of the chief hotels and
it was kept by a Mr. Dillon who had some reputation as a water
colourist of local scenes.

John Lambert, who visited the United States and Canada in 1806,
1807 and 1808, has the following picture: “The only open place
or square in the town,” he says in his account of Montreal,
“except the two markets, under the French Government was the
place where the garrison troops were paraded. The French Catholic
church occupies the whole of the east side of this square; and
on the south side, adjoining some private houses, is a very good
tavern, called the Montreal Hotel, kept by Mr. Dillon. During my
stay in this city I lodged at his house and found it superior
to any in Canada; everything in it is neat, cleanly and well
conducted.” From his characterization of the landlord, one is
somewhat disappointed that he does not mention his artistic
gift. “The old gentleman,” he says, “came out in the retinue of
Lord Dorchester; he is a very ingenious character.” But then,
instead of commending his water colors, as one would naturally
expect, Lambert concludes his notice of Dillon in these words:
“and fond of expressing his attachment to his King and country
by illuminations and firing his pedereroes off in the square.”
Lambert also refers to the new parade ground. “At the back of
the town, just behind the new courthouse, is the parade ground
where the troops are exercised.” And, after some further words of
description, he proceeds to suggest a truly attractive picture
of suburban Montreal in the early nineteenth century. “Here,” he
says, “the inhabitants walk of an evening and enjoy a beautiful
view of the suburbs of St. Lawrence and St. Antoine, and the
numerous gardens, orchards and plantations of the gentry, adorned
with neat and handsome dwelling houses.” These, with green fields
interspersed, lead up to the mountain from which the island and
the city have taken the name of Montreal.

We will now turn to a new literary venture.

[Illustration: About 1875 NELSON’S MONUMENT The building on
the left is the house originally built in 1720 by Baron de
Becancourt. It became the store of the Campagnie des Indes,
which in the French times answered to the Hudson’s Bay Company.
This was also the residence of the Hon. James McGill, founder of
McGill University. It was demolished in 1903.]

After the Gazette there came the “Canadian Courant” founded
at Montreal in 1807 by Nahum Mower, a native of Worcester,
Massachusetts. There came with him Stephen Mills, who was born
in Rozalton, Vermont. The latter remained at Montreal till 1810,
when he went to Kingston, where he founded the Kingston Gazette.
He became a minister in 1835. These two New Englanders placed a
distinctly American stamp on the new paper. The name “Canadian”
was revolutionary to the old British colonists, but it pleased
the French. The “Courant” lasted until between 1835 and 1840.
That it should have continued its existence so long, looked on
with suspicion by the chief English residents as democratic
and revolutionary, would suggest that it was subsidized either
by American merchants, for the trade relations now between
the two countries were becoming intimate and profitable, or
by the government of the United States, who, baulked in their
revolutionary designs hitherto, were still desirous of seducing
the neighbouring “Fourteenth” colony from its allegiance.

Nahum Mower left in 1829, and in his valedictory he claims to
have made good his pledge in the first number that he “should
make it his duty to become a good subject and endeavour others
to continue so.” He worshiped, till 1813, when he sold his pew,
in St. Gabriel’s Church, the only non-Anglican church then
in existence, and the temporary home of all English-speaking
non-conformists. Still he was accused of undue intimacy with the
enemies of the British Connexion in Canada, especially during the
troublous times of 1812 and the years of apprehension after.

The Canadian Courant had an early rival in the Montreal Herald,
which published its first number on Saturday, October 19, 1811.
Its first printer and founder was a young Scotchman, William
Gray, of Huntly, Aberdeenshire, born on August 12, 1789. He
arrived in Montreal in June, 1811. In 1812, May 25th, he was
married to Agnes Smith, of Aberdeen, by the Reverend Mr.
Somerville. William Gray, as surmised by Doctor Campbell in his
“History of St. Gabriel’s Church,” seems to have been related in
some degree of cousinship to Alexander Skakel, the most noted of
the Montreal early British schoolmasters. He died at the early
age of thirty-three, on February 28, 1822, having caught a cold
on a journey in a Durham boat on his way from Toronto to attend
to his business affairs, on hearing that in his absence his
office had been mobbed by a crowd of French-Canadians, displeased
with the tone of some of his articles. This young editor has left
behind him a record of personal probity, good discernment and
strong personal courage. His task in 1811 was no easy one--to
establish an independent and unsubsidized paper in a small town.

The files of the early Herald give a contemporary picture of
life of the community. Canada then had about four hundred
thousand inhabitants, of whom most were in the Lower province;
about four thousand five hundred regular British troops were
mostly stationed there, also. Upper Canada consisted of only a
few settlements, scattered here and there on the highways. Fur
trading was the basic industry of the colony and its headquarters
was at Montreal, the home and storage centre of the wealthy fur
traders of the Beaver Hall Club. Agriculture was neglected till
after the War of 1812, when it became realized that farming
should be the staple industry of the colony. Unskilled labour
was then performed by French Canadians, for there was yet no
British immigrant labouring class. The skilled artisans came
mostly from across the border, but the lesser storekeepers and
merchants, chiefly Scotch, with an admixture of English and
Yankees, were beginning to build up the permanent commerce of the
city that was not always to be exclusively that of the fur trade.
Among the business men then building up Montreal trade who were
already well established before the war of 1812 were Alexander
Henry, auctioneer; Benaiah Gibb, merchant; John Dillon, lumber
merchant; James Brown, book-seller and owner of the Gazette;
Peter McCutcheon, merchant; James and Andrew McGill, Forsyth,
Richardson & Company, Maitland, Garden & Auldjo, Woolrich &
Cooper, John Shuter, Samuel Gerrard, John Molson & Son, brewers
and steamboat proprietors; Daniel Arnoldi, surgeon, and others.

The first home of the Herald, as far as ascertainable, was the
23 St. Paul Street given in Doige’s Directory of Montreal in
1819, the first systematic list of Montreal addresses. There
is no proof of its having moved from elsewhere since 1811. On
either side of it were two taverns, the Montreal Academy, a
famous school kept by William Ryan, the residence of Joseph
Papineau, eminent notary and public notary and father of the
famous Louis Joseph, who was to become the “patriot” leader, and
a small bookshop kept by a J. Russell. Near at hand, following
Doige’s numbering, was the commissariat office and the residence
of Colonel McKey, of the Indian Department, while a few doors
away was the house of Peter McCutcheon, the famous merchant who
afterward took the name of McGill. The “Canadian Courant” was
established at 92 St. Paul Street, barely thirty doors from the
Herald, and shared its premises with Daniel Campbell, a grocer.
William Gray lived above his printing premises, as did his editor
in 1819, Doctor Christie, and probably the latter’s predecessor,
Mungo Kay, who was a Montreal merchant before he took to the
journalist’s pen. At that date, and indeed for many long years,
most of the storekeepers on St. Paul Street lived over their
places of business. St. Paul Street was then the chief retail
street; it ran the southern length of the town from the eastern
fortifications of the Quebec suburbs to the western ones, ending
at the present McGill Street. At either end there was a generous
supply of taverns to meet the needs of those coming in from the
country. In between them was a close succession of groceries,
tailor shops, dry goods houses, hardware stores, druggists,
bootmakers, glaziers, plumbers and the like. The Gazette at this
period had its home on St. François Xavier Street.

The newspapers of the period received an addition by the advent
of the first French-Canadian paper issued in Montreal, the
“Spectateur.” They frequently had “brushes” with one another. In
1814, on July 2, a writer for the Herald, probably Mungo Kay,
addressed an ode to a French-Canadian writer in the Spectator
whom he calls “a certain gros bourgeois” and rallying him
concerning a story, evidently known, of his efforts to cozen a
certain negro:

    See, wrapt in whirlwinds, from his stand
    On leathern wings he takes his flight,
    And on fell Mungo, with unequal hand
    Sped rancorous the rodures of the night;
    In deeds of darkness are their chief delight.
    And see, advancing ’thwart the storm
    Deception with his blotted form;
    Who tried the sable African to charm,
    But failed in his attempt to make him green,
    Albeit he the Justice did alarm,
    Who quaked with fear that he ’mong Truth’s friends should be seen.

[Illustration: THE PRESS BUILDINGS: The Herald]

[Illustration: THE PRESS BUILDINGS: La Presse]

[Illustration: THE PRESS BUILDINGS: The Star]

[Illustration: THE PRESS BUILDINGS: La Patrie]

Next week another satiric poem was addressed to certain
“Spectators” who had two urns.

    “One flows for B. and M----r warm with praise,
      And one for M----o bitter gall displays.”

For B. read Brown (John), the owner of the Gazette; for M----r,
Mower (Nahum), the proprietor of the Courant; and M----o for
Mungo Kay. Mungo Kay is credited by the Gazette in an obituary
notice of him in 1813 on his death on September 18th, as having
as editor for nearly seven years justified his choice of motto:
“Aninos Novitate Tenebo”--“I will hold attention by means of
novelty.” This was not meant to be satire but a tribute to his
efforts to obtain the earliest intelligence. The Herald early
began its “extra special additions.” In 1812, before it had been
a year in existence, the Quebec Gazette reprinted such a special
edition with the following acknowledgment:

“We beg the editors of the Herald to accept our thanks for their
attention in transmitting the intelligence of the surrender of
General Hull. This is not the first time that the public has been
indebted to them for early intelligence.”

News in those days was hard to obtain, but even if a month late
it was read with avidity, for the Napoleonic wars, involving the
peace and security of the mother country and their own colony,
which became involved in all British quarrels, found a passionate
source of interest in the truly colonial loyalists of Montreal,
who were surrounded by ill-wishers, secret or open, on all
sides. It is amusing, however, to read the account of the Battle
of Waterloo under the single line caption “Highly Interesting
Intelligence,” the art of display headlines not then having
become so pronounced.

The news of the victory of Waterloo reached Montreal in July,
1815. Montreal in its joy bethought itself of the widows
and children of those who fell in the fateful battle and in
consequence of a meeting called in the courthouse an amount of
£2,717 16s 8d was soon raised, which was later added to largely.

Of local or colonial news, there being little or none, there was
scant supply. But after 1815 the Montreal papers begin to have
criticisms on matters nearer home. A class of writers now arose,
especially in the Herald, the most daring unofficial paper of the
period, who dealt ably and trenchantly on questions of policy
and administration in Canada. These were written mostly under
mythological pseudonyms to avoid personal responsibility and
attack. This continued for many years. The anonymity of many has
not yet been disclosed in literature, although there must have
been many at Montreal to whom the real authorship was an open
secret. “Nerva,” who wrote in the Herald much to inflame public
opinion, has been disclosed later by the Montreal Gazette in an
obituary notice, to have been the Hon. Samuel Gale, afterwards a
famous justice of the superior court. Others, like “Aristides,”
an early critic of the House of Assembly; “A true Jacobin,”
a violent satirist of abuses in the police administration;
“Observer,” complaining of extortion and sale of justice by
police court officials; “Alfred,” with his suggestion that a
strip of land ten miles wide should be laid and kept absolutely
waste along the American frontiers as the only real safeguard
against renewed invasion after the peace of 1814 (this same
writer also protests earnestly against the insidious effects
of Webster’s republican spelling book); “Veritas,” with his
crushing exposure of the incapacity of Sir George Prevost--these
contributed letters, together with outspoken editorial utterances
written by Gray or Skakel, causing a fluttering in the dovecots
of officialdom.

In 1815 bills of indictment were found against the editor and
printer of the Herald for libel on the commander in chief, but as
Sir George Prevost was recalled the case never came to trial.

The earliest extant copy known of the Herald is dated March 2,
1812. It was a paper 13 inches by 20½ inches, and contained
four pages of four columns, which latter, in 1814, was changed
to five. It started with a circulation of 170 subscribers, 150
being Montrealers. On its third anniversary the statement was
given in the paper that the “weekly distribution rather exceeds
one thousand impressions.” The price was $4.00 per annum. In
August a larger sheet appeared, 15 inches wide by 21½ inches
deep, and was divided into five columns, the editor calling
his paper “a quarter larger than our former or any other paper
published in North America,” and adding “The Herald has more
circulation, probably by some hundred, than any other paper in
Canada.” The enlargement of the sheet, which was followed by
frequent supplementary sheets on a Wednesday, indicate the growth
of advertising and commercial correspondence, and the immense
increase of commerce after the peace. Indeed, at the time an
attempt was made to establish a fourth Montreal paper, “The
Sun.” Its promoters were Lane, a printer on St. Paul Street, and
Bowman, a stationer on St. François Xavier Street. It only lasted
a few issues.

Anti-American animadversions, however, still survived. The
democratic leaders of the time were accused of being supplied
with Yankee money and Yankee ideals. Samuel Sherwood, an American
by birth and an early leader for popular government, was accused
by the Herald of having given traitorous support and advice to
the Americans during the War of 1812 and of keeping the “Sun” and
the Canadian Courant supplied with “Jacobin” information from
American sources.

A picture of the pigmy city of the period, written in 1870 by
Mr. T.S. Brown in a small, forgotten pamphlet entitled “Montreal
Fifty Years Ago”, may fitly help to illustrate this period:

  “On the 28th of May, 1818, I first landed at Montreal. On my left
  was a dirty creek running down inside of a warehouse, being the
  outlet of a ditch, now tunnelled, that then, as a part of the old
  fortifications, ran around the city, westerly from the Champ de
  Mars through Craig street, with dilapidated banks, the receptacle
  of all sorts of filth. Above and below there was a revetment of
  a few hundred feet; except this, the beach and river bank were
  in their natural state. Just above the Grey Nunnery there was a
  cottage with a garden running down to the river, and adjoining
  this a ship yard where vessels continued to be built for some
  years later. Further on, the place of the Lachine Canal was a
  common with three windmills and the graves of three soldiers shot
  for desertion. The Island Wharf was then a little island, far off
  and alone.

  “The city gates and fortifications, such as they were, had
  been removed some time previous. A remnant of walls remained
  at the corner of McGill and Commissioners streets, and between
  Bonsecours street and Dalhousie Square there was a mound of earth
  55 feet high, called the ‘citadel.’ The old rampart on Great St.
  James street had been levelled, but there was no building on the
  west side between St. François Xavier and McGill streets. The
  northern portion had been a cemetery and an old powder magazine
  still stood in the middle of the street.... I came into the city
  through a narrow passage leading to the Custom House Square, then
  the ‘Old Market,’ a low, wooden shed-like building; and along
  the south side of the square was a row of old women seated at
  tables with eatables for sale. Capital street was a succession
  of drinking houses carrying on an active business from morning
  until night.... The largest was that of Thomas l’Italien (Thomas
  Delvecchio), facing the Market with a clock, on which small
  figures came out to strike the hours, to the continued wonderment
  of all, and next came Les trois Rois, of Joseph Donegani. This
  was the center of trade. A new market of similar construction
  had been erected on the present Jacques Cartier Square, running
  from Nelson’s monument (opposite to which was the guard house,
  jail, pillory and courthouse) to St. Paul street, but it was not
  liked. Everybody crowded to the little space of the Old Market
  and habitant vehicles so filled St. Paul street in each direction
  that constables were often sent to drive them down to the new

  “Along the beach were moored several small ships and brigs,
  constituting the spring fleet.... The city was bounded by the
  river on the east, by Bonsecours street and the Citadel on
  the north, Craig street on the west, and McGill street on the
  south; within which limits all the ‘respectable’ people with few
  exceptions resided. The population in it was nearly as great as
  today--the upper part of nearly every store being occupied as a
  dwelling. All the houses in Notre Dame street were dwellings--in
  its whole length there were but two shops and three auction
  rooms. The cross streets’ buildings were nearly all dwellings
  and commercial business was almost confined to St. Paul street.
  Wholesale stores, except the establishment of Gillespie, Moffat
  & Company, were small indeed compared to the growth of after
  years.... There were numerous shops for country trade, all doors
  and no windows, always open winter and summer, with a goodly
  portion of the stock displayed outside, where salesmen without
  number were stationed to accost and bring in customers, who were
  often dragged forcibly....

  “Nunneries occupied more space than now--the Hotel Dieu making
  an ugly break in St. Paul street. Of churches there were few....
  The city was composed of one and two story houses, very few of
  three stories, built, with very few exceptions, of rubble stone,
  plastered over. All the stores and many of the houses had iron
  doors and shutters; many buildings had vaulted cellars and many
  had the garret floored with heavy logs, covered with several
  inches of earth, and flat paving stones, with a stone staircase
  outside, so that a roof might burn without doing other damage....

  “Four streets leading to the country--St. Mary’s, St. Laurent,
  St. Joseph and St. Antoine--were bordered by houses, mostly of
  wood--one story, but intervening streets were short and vacant
  ground extensive. Log fences divided fields on the west of Craig
  street as far as Beaver Hall Hill, which was a grassy lawn with
  a long, one-story wooden building across the summit and a garden
  behind. All to the west of this was open fields where now stands
  the city of our richest people....

  “Village primitiveness had not disappeared in Montreal fifty
  years ago. Old men sat out on the doorsteps to gossip with
  passing friends and often the family would be found there of an
  evening. In the suburbs neighbours would collect for a dance in
  the largest house and any respectable passer-by was welcomed if
  he chose to step in.... Business relations were more intimate
  between French and English fifty years ago than now, and I think
  there was more kindly feeling.... But social relations were much
  as they are now, the races keeping separate in their charities,
  their amusements and their gatherings. The English were more
  dominant--they were more generally the employers, the French the

November of 1819 was marked by an alarming natural phenomenon.
On Sunday the 9th a dense black rain descended, depositing a
substance which to the eye and taste resembled common soot. On
the following Tuesday, after a dark morning of gloom, with the
sun clouds at times greenish black, pitch black, dingy orange
colour and blood red, so that some thought that the history of
Pompeii or Herculaneum was to be repeated, and feared that Mount
Royal, reported already to be the extinct crater of a volcano,
was again in activity. At 3 o’clock in the afternoon rain fell
again of the same sooty character mid fearful lightning and
thunder. At 4 o’clock the summit of the steeple of Notre Dame
Church was struck with lightning. The tocsin sounded a fire
alarm; the steeple was on fire. The people gathered on Place
d’Armes and before the conflagration was extinguished, the great
cross fell with a crash, breaking into many pieces. The rain had
deposited greater quantities of the sooty substance than on the
Sunday preceding and “as it flowed through the streets it carried
on its surface a dense foam resembling soapsuds. The evening
again became darker and thus ended a day which may be classed
among the _dies atri_ of Montreal.”

At this time there was a certain official society life in the
city which was fostered by the young military officers from the
old country, to whom, apart from their extravagances, the colony
is largely indebted for its heritage of culture, literature
and art. The religious situation was filled by three Catholic
churches, the Notre Dame parish church, built in 1672; the
Bonsecours Chapel, rebuilt in 1771, and the “Recollets,” built
in 1695, and loaned at different periods to the Anglicans and
Presbyterians till they had their own temples. There were two
Protestant churches, the Anglican Christ Church, which was the
old disused Jesuit church till 1803, but which was now in its
own edifice on Notre Dame Street in 1814, and the Presbyterian
or Scotch chapel on St. Gabriel’s Street, built in 1792. The
religious horizon was not clear. The Catholics and Presbyterians,
or non-Conformist group, both had grudges against the Anglicans,
arising from the question of the clergy reserves by which,
according to the Constitutional Act of 1791, the Anglicans were
the established church and reserves of land were provided for
their growth and expansion to the exclusion of other Protestant
denominations, who resented this privilege in a new country,
especially by the “Church of Scotland,” who claimed equal rights
to establishment, and the Catholics who had become civilly
crippled and disestablished since the conquest, when they came
under the same condition of the civil disabilities meted out to
the Catholics in the old country.

The government officials and most of the British military
officers therefore attended the Anglican services, while the
fur lords and the traders, those of St. Gabriel’s church. The
newspapers took sides. The Gazette followed the government
party, while the Courant and the Herald voiced the views of
the dissentients. In 1825 the Herald was bought by Archibald
Ferguson, a rich merchant of Montreal, for the express purpose
of upholding the rights of the Presbyterian church to a share in
the clergy reserves, on the ground that the Scottish Church in
Canada should be considered as much an established church as that
of the Anglicans. Eventually it gradually came to be recognized
in the courts that there were three “established” churches in
Canada, the Anglicans, the Scottish and the Catholics.[1] But
the increasing number of non-conformist bodies arising could
not brook this, and so the old opposition against the “clergy
reserves” was renewed and it was not till 1854 that this long
burning question was settled by total diversion of the reserves
from all religious purposes.

We may now return to the story of the Constitutional struggles
again about to commence and in which Montreal was to take a
leading part.


[1] The historical development of the churches of Montreal is
specially treated in the second part of this volume.

                           CHAPTER XV

                    BUREAURACY vs. DEMOCRACY



The new Constitution of 1791 was honestly framed with the desire
of giving a measure of representative government, but it was
used, before long, by an oligarchy of the bureaucratic classes to
whom the governors were victims. In Lower Canada the bureaucratic
party opposed the French-Canadians and many of those of British
origin. Furthermore there was added the development of a race
enmity which ended so disastrously in the uprising of the
“patriots” in 1837. The political situation was tense for half a
century. The fight for mastery was between the legislative and
executive council appointed by the Governor, and the legislative
assemblies elected by the people.

Montreal felt the strain keenly. Viewed municipally its affairs
were regulated from Quebec. The Parliament there exercising
similar powers to those of our municipal council of today, but
greater. The justices of the peace nominated by the executive
council of the Province were but the executive arm carrying out
the will of Quebec.

The constitutional struggles of this period so affected the life
of Montreal, that to preserve a true picture we must still study
their history. Passion always showed itself there more than

The war with the United States being over, the prevailing
sentiment of all parties was one of loyalty to Great Britain. To
none was this more attributable than to the French-Canadians,
for they saw that an alliance with the States would swamp them
politically and subvert their religion. They turned their
attention to securing a strong hold on the management of
government with the intention of strengthening the position
granted them by the Quebec and Constitutional acts in the
retainment of their laws, institutions and customs. They were
learning self-government. They were beginning to demand a form
of responsible government. Not, indeed, as it was afterwards
understood, for it took the form only of desiring an elective
council, one that, being outside crown nomination, would give
them real power to control revenues. This the Governors, acting
under instructions from the Colonial Office, were not prepared to
grant. Canada was to be ruled as a colony from Downing Street. It
was in _statu pupillari_.

The history of the next twenty-five years and more reveals the
efforts of the two classes; on the one hand, of the Governors,
the legislative council, the office holders under government,
British and French-Canadians and the wealthier British merchants,
whose interests lay in being in combination with the governing
classes; and on the other, the majority of the people feeling
their power, using their new freedom and striving democratically
to make their numerical superiority give them the dominance they
thought their right. Add to this the natural tendency of any
democratic assembly to assert itself and to claim the fullest of
powers for itself. Hence the House of Assembly, reflecting the
people, is seen to be in constant opposition to the executive
council, sometimes extravagantly asserting itself and running
to extremes. Thus attacked, the bureaucratic party grew nearer
together. Hence two spirits of suspicion and race enmity were
being formed. All this was reflected in the life of the people
and nowhere more strongly than in Montreal.

It would be tedious to follow the various sessions of Parliament,
even to watch the Montreal county and town representatives such
as the members for Montreal West, L.J. Papineau, the son of
Joseph Papineau, now being in the ascendant and the incarnation
of the most advanced Canadian pretensions, and Mr. Richardson,
a Montreal merchant, a member of the council of legislature
who represented the British minority, strongly siding with the
government. The tension existing between the two parties was
voiced by Mr. Richardson in 1821, when he exclaimed: “How can
we (the legislative council) rescind our resolutions when there
is a secret committee sitting in the House of Assembly which
is, perhaps, deliberating on the appointment of the governor of
their choice and on the removal of the person now in the castle,
and putting their own in his place. The committee even sits
without the knowledge of several members of the house of which
there is no example in England except in the times of Charles
I. The committee is, perhaps, a committee of public safety.”
(“Christie,” Vol. II, page 72.)

The words produced a hurricane. The assembly passed resolutions
calling for Mr. Richardson’s removal from all posts of honour.
The adverse state of feeling may be best described by the passion
aroused over a supposed act for the union of the two provinces in
1822, when the legislatures were to be united under the name of
“the legislative council and assembly of the Canadas.” The bill
was introduced in the English parliament by Sir Wilmot Horton,
Under Secretary of State of the Colonies. It was opposed by Sir
James McIntosh and others on the ground that Canada had not been
made aware of the contemplated changes, which was very true.
Consequently the bill was delayed.

In November Lower and Upper Canada were preparing their petitions
for and against the proposed union, both French and English names
being attached to the petition. Quebec was against it; Montreal
district was divided. The French constitutional committee also
refuted it. The names of those present embrace the Honourables:
L.J. Papineau (chairman); Chs. de St. Ours, M.L. C.; L.R.C. de
Léry, M.L.C.; P.D. Debartzch, M.L.C.; Chs. de Salaberry, C.K. and
M.L.C.; and Messrs. Louis Guy, Frs. Derivières, D.B. Viger, M.P.
P., J. Bouthillier, J. Bedard, J.R. Roland, H. Cuvillier, M.P.P.,
H. Henry, M.P.P., F.A. Quesnel, M.P.P., Louis Bourdage, M.P.P.,
F.A. Larocque, J. Quesnel, and R.J. Kimber. Eventually L.J.
Papineau and Mr. John Neilson were chosen to proceed to England
to represent the non-union case. Lower Canada as such prepared
a petition against the union. It is claimed to have been signed
by 60,000 by signature or by a mark. The Montreal bulky petition
of twenty-nine pages in favour of the union from His Majesty’s
“dutiful and loyal subjects of British birth and descent,
inhabitants of the city and county of Montreal” bore 1,452
signatures and the date, December, 1822. The committee in charge
of forwarding the petition was: John Richardson (chairman);
C. W. Grant; J. Stuart; S. Gerrard; George Garden; Fred’k W.
Ermatinger; Samuel Gale; G. Moffatt; John Molson; John Fleming.
Mr. Stuart was chosen to present the case for union in England.

The petition represented that the division of the Province of
Quebec into two provinces has been prolific of evil; that it
has resulted in that the English population of Lower Canada has
been rendered inefficient from the comparative smallness of
their numbers since the whole power of the representative branch
of the government had been given to the French-Canadians, so
that of fifty members who represent Lower Canada only ten are
English; that the assembly may indeed be said to be exclusively
in possession of the uneducated peasantry of the country,
under the management and control of a few of their countrymen
whose personal importance, in opposition to the interests of
the country at large, depend on the continuance of the present
vicious system; that the speaker elected by the assembly was
never of English origin “although if regard had been had to
ability, knowledge and other qualifications, a preference must
have been given to persons of that description;” that the
French-Canadian population hitherto unused to political power
had not used it with moderation, so that British emigration had
been prevented; that the advancement of the colony was paralyzed;
agriculture and “all commercial enterprise and improvement have
been crippled and obstructed and the country remains with all
the foreign characteristics which it possessed at the time of
the conquest; that is, in all particulars French. The division
into two provinces would result in Upper Canada availing itself
of the advantages offered to trade with American seaports
through the new canal system being elaborated by the state of
New York. Secondly it has resulted in the continual disputes
between Upper and Lower Canada respecting revenues from import
duties, which can only be settled by the union of the provinces
under one legislature. The petition refers to the desire of the
French to establish a separate nation under the nature of the
“Nation Canadienne.” The petitioners in conclusion beg leave to
“specify succinctly the benefits to be expected from a Union of
the Provinces. By this measure the political evils complained
of in both Provinces would be removed. The French population
in Lower Canada, now divided from their fellow subjects by
their national peculiarities and prejudices and with an evident
disposition under the present system to become a separate people,
would be gradually assimilated to the British population of
both Provinces; and with it moulded into one people of British
character and with British feelings. All opposition of interest
and cause of difference between the Provinces would be forever
extinguished: an efficient Legislature, capable of conciliating
the interests of the Colony with those of the Mother Colony, and
providing for the security and advancing the agricultural and
commercial prosperity of the country, would be established, by
means of which the international improvement of both Provinces
would not only be rapidly promoted with the consequent benefits
thereto arising from Great Britain, but the strength and capacity
to resist foreign oppression be greatly increased: the tie of
connection between the Colony and the Parent State would be
strengthened and confirmed and a lasting dependence of the
Canadas on the latter be ensured, to the mutual advantage of

Having given the British view of the situation it would only be
just to give that of the other side. Analysis of their various
petitions shows that they relied mainly on the wisdom of the
Government in its past enactments which had been successful so
that the country was progressing in agriculture and commerce
in spite of great obstacles. The differences that had arisen
between Upper and Lower Canada relative to revenues were not in
consequence of the division of the two provinces but of temporary
causes which could easily be removed by the acts of the executive
legislature. The Union of the Provinces would only resuscitate
dissension resulting from differences of language, religion,
laws and other local interests. The new bill was directed
against the dearest interests of nine-tenths of the population
of this province. Allusion was made to the injustice of the new
bill which would make English the language of debate, would
exclude many from being elected to the Assembly and would give
humiliating preference to the members of the Assembly from Upper
Canada by affording the minority an equal representation with
those of the Lower Province, whose population was five times as

It may be well here to allow the criticisms of Mr. L.J. Papineau
to supply an element underlying the opposition of the opponents
of the bill. In a letter to Mr. R.J. Wilmot, M.P., 23 Montague
Square, London, Mr. Papineau alluding, doubtless, to the Montreal
pro-union petition of which he had known, and speaking for
his committee, wishes to dispel the odious aspersions on the
great body of the people in this province, contained in several
communications intended for England: “such as assertions that
the opposition, manifested in this province on the part of the
population so stigmatized, is the effect of prejudices alone;
alluding to their supposed attachment for France and French
principles; calling them foreigners (foreigners in their own
land!). The bill in question, say these friends of the union,
being so well calculated to Anglify the country which is to be
ultimately peopled by the British race. * * * The preposterous
calumny against the Canadians of French origin as to their
supposed attachment for France requires no further answer than
that which is derived from their uniform conduct during the wars
and the loyalty evinced by them on every occasion. They are not
foreigners in this, the land of their birth; they claim rights
as British subjects in common with every other subject of His
Majesty in these colonies. By what they call Anglifying the
country is meant the depriving the great majority of the people
of this province of all that is dear to men, their laws, usages,
institutions and religion. An insignificant minority wish for
a change and are desirous of ruling against every principle of
justice by destroying what they call Canadian influence, that is
to say, the influence of the majority of men entitled to the same
rights as themselves, of the great mass of the natives. * * * Great
Britain wants no other Anglifying in this country than that which
is to be found in the loyalty and affection of the inhabitants,
no other British race than that of natural born subjects, loyal
and affectionate.”

The opinion of the legislative council of Lower Canada is finally
to be recorded. In its petition it gives its fixed and determined
opinion that the union of the two legislatures in one would only
tend directly to enfeeble and embarrass His Majesty’s government
and finally to create discontent in the minds of His Majesty’s
faithful subjects in this colony. Upper Canada was quite
satisfied with the existing conditions. The chief agitators,
therefore, for the bill were to be found in Montreal and with
them sided the Eastern Townships.

The bill for the union was withdrawn. When it was brought up
later it was more wisely thought out. It did not tread on
established prejudices and rights and it brought with it the
panacea of true responsible government. But at the present date
this was not fully seen. The great objective was to become
independent of the colonial office by a representative and
elective legislative council. It was hoped thus to control all
expenditures. Hence the members of the lower assembly, not
content with the exercise of mere municipal legislation, were
ever asserting their rights in the latter regard and the Colonial
Office as often, checking their aspirations.

                             NOTE I


  James McGill
  John McKindlay
  St. George Dupré
  Charles Blake
  Louis Porlier
  Thomas McCord
  Pierre Vallèe
  John Lilly
  Robert Cruickshank
  Patrick Murray
  John McGill
  James Finlay
  Neveu Sylvestre
  Alexander Henry
  Gabriel Franchere
  James Walker
  James Alexander Grant
  Joseph Frobisher
  John Richardson
  Isaac Winslow Clarke
  Alexander Auldjo
  William Maitland
  James Hughes
  Simon McTavish
  James Dunlop
  Thomas Forsyth
  John Lees
  Louis Chaboillez
  Jean P. Leprohon
  Jean Bouthillier
  Francois Desrivièrés
  Jean Durocher
  Jean Marie Mondelet
  François Rolland
  Paul Lacroix
  Etienne St. Dizier
  James Caldwell
  Henry Deschambault
  Henry McKenzie
  James Milne
  William McGillivray
  Jean Jorand
  L.C. Deléry
  Chartier de Lothbinière
  Joseph Turgeon
  Archibald N. McLeod
  Louis Guy
  Thomas Porteious
  Joseph Senet
  Francois Ant. Larocque
  William Robertson
  Pierre de Boucherville
  Hughes Heney
  Charles Fremont
  Alexandre Malbut
  Henry Bing
  Louis Marchand
  Thomas A. Turner
  Angus Shaw
  Pierre de Rocheblave
  James Miller
  Fred W. Ermatinger
  Samuel Safe
  George Auldjo
  James Leslie
  John Gray
  George Moffatt
  Jonas Wurtele
  George Garden
  William Lunn
  Horatio Gates
  N.B. Doucet
  Henry Griffin
  Peter McGill
  Robert Frost
  D.C. Napier
  Thomas Barron
  William McKay
  William Prady
  John Fleming
  Charles de Montenac
  David Ross
  Touissant Pothier
  Denis Benjamin Viger
  Joseph Shuter
  John Fisher
  Jules Quesnel
  Adam McNider
  Pierre Lukin
  Benjamin Holmes
  Andre Jobin
  Austin Cavillier
  Joseph Roy
  Joseph Masson
  William Hall
  John McKenzie
  J.P. Saveuse de Beaujeu
  John Forsyth
  Jos. Ant. Gagnon
  Tancrede Bouthillier

                             NOTE II


              COUNTY OF           MONTREAL            MONTREAL
  SESSION      MONTREAL             WEST                EAST

    1      Joseph Papineau      James McGill        James Frobisher
           James Walker         J.B. Durocher       John Richardson

    2      J.M. Ducharme        Joseph Papineau     A. Auldjo
           E. Guy               D. Viger            L.C. Foucher

    3      Joseph Papineau      James McGill        P.L. Panet
           Thomas Walker        Joseph Perinault    F. Badgeley

    4      Benjamin Frobisher   James McGill        John Richardson
           L. Roy Portelance    Louis Chaboillez    J.M. Mondelet

    5      J.B. Durocher        Wm. McGillvray      J. Stuart
           L. Roy Portelance    D.B. Viger          J.M. Mondelet

    6      J.B. Durocher        E.B. Viger          J. Stuart
           L. Roy Portelance    Thomas McCord       Jos. Papineau

    7      J.B. Durocher        E.N. St. Dizier     Stephen Sewell
           L. Roy Portelance    A.N. McLeod         Joseph Papineau

    8      James Stuart         L.J. Papineau       Sauveuse de Beaujeu
           Aug. Richer          James Fraser        George Platt

    9      James Stuart         L.J. Papineau       L. Roi Portelance
           August Richer        F. Souligny         John Molson

    10     Joseph Perrault      L.J. Papineau       Hughes Heney
           Joseph Valois        George Garden       Thomas Busby

    11     Joseph Perrault      L.J. Papineau       Hughes Heney
           Joseph Valois        George Garden       Thomas Thain

    12     Joseph Perrault      L.J. Papineau       Hughes Heney
           Joseph Valois        P. de Rocheblave    James Leslie

    13     Joseph Perrault      L.J. Papineau       Hughes Heney
           Joseph Valois        Robert Nelson       James Leslie

                           CHAPTER XVI

                      MURMURS OF REVOLUTION

                    RACE AND CLASS ANTAGONISM


The bill for the proposed union, shorn of the notion of union,
came up in the Imperial parliament and passed as the “Canadian
Trade Acts.” Its object was to secure Upper Canada from the
possible injustice and caprice of the legislature of Lower Canada
and the imposition and payment of duties. The act was challenged
in the house of Quebec, but to no avail. In 1824 the president of
the United States claimed the free navigation of the St. Lawrence
to the ocean. This was objected to by the legislative council as
pernicious to the interests of British trade and the merchants
of Montreal in a petition of February 20, 1826, combatted the
admission of the claim.

The constitutional record of the next few years of Montreal
shows the growth of contention between the English and French
population. In 1828 this came temporarily to a head in the
petition and counter petition for the recall of Lord Dalhousie,
the Governor General. Messrs. Denis B. Viger and Cuvillier were
the bearers of a petition from Montreal. Lord Dalhousie was in
consequence appointed commander in chief in India. At a banquet
held in Montreal on June 7, 1828, with the Hon. John Richardson
in the chair, a farewell was given to Lord Dalhousie prior to his
leaving Canada, approving of his just government.

In 1831 a movement began to be advocated, especially in Upper
Canada, that the island of Montreal should be separated from the
Lower province and added to the Upper, so that this might have
a seaport of its own, with power to regulate the duty on the
imports without interference from Quebec. It was argued that in a
few years the Upper province would be in advance of Lower Canada
in agriculture and population. The movement found favour among
the British party in Montreal but was strongly resented by those
of French-Canadian birth. The house in session in 1832 rejected
it as a premeditated and unprovoked spoilation in violation of
the Capitulation treaty. This year, Montreal was incorporated as
a city with a charter. (William V, Cap. 39.)

It was a charge against the legislative council that it consisted
largely of officials holding their places at the pleasure of the
crown and therefore irresponsible to the people and subversive
of its interests. A view of the position of the legislative
council may be seen from the returns that Gov. Gen. Sir James
Kempt (1828-1830) was requested to furnish to the colonial
office. These showed that the legislative council consisted of
twenty-three members, twelve of whom held office under the crown,
sixteen were Protestants and seven Roman Catholics. The executive
council consisted of nine members, only one being unconnected
with government, and all were Protestants with one exception.

In order to gain confidence and to remove the suspicion that the
legislative council was under the influence of local government
and guided in its proceedings by the will of the Governor, which
he alleged to be an absolute misrepresentation, Sir James advised
that one or two of the most important of the assemblymen should
be advanced to the legislature.

Lord Aylmer, who succeeded Sir James Kempt, in a private letter
to Mr. Hay said, on the other hand, that the impression on
the public mind was that a sinister influence was continually
operating on the governor, who was being swayed to a very great
extent by the executive council; although this was not the case,
he thought the public should be satisfied on that head. But he
agreed that Mr. Papineau and Mr. Neilson should be advanced. He
disapproved of Mr. Papineau’s public conduct and language, though
he esteemed his private character. “There is,” he wrote to Mr.
Hay, “one consideration which, more than any other, renders it
desirable, in my view of the matter, to make choice of these
gentlemen. A very general opinion prevails in this country that
the person at the head of the government is always more or less
influenced by the executive council which, whether justly or
otherwise, I will not take it upon myself to say, is not held in
general estimation, and it appears to me that the introduction
of two gentlemen enjoying like Mr. Papineau and Neilson the
confidence of the public, into that body and, as it were, behind
the scenes, would go far towards removing the opinion alluded to,
and which I can positively state, as far as regards myself, is
wholly without foundation.”[1]

In 1832 a vacancy occurred in the west ward of Montreal by
the resignation of Mr. Fisher. As it reflects the turbulent
conflicts that had been going on so long in the House at Quebec
and indicates the high pitch of excitement to which minds were
then brought, a lengthy notice is not out of place. It also
foreshadowed the violent scenes of 1837. The candidates were
Mr. Stanley Bagg, a representative of one of the oldest British
firms in Montreal who shared in the views of British party, and
Doctor Tracy, an Irishman attached to the “Vindicator” which had
espoused the extreme views of the assembly; indeed, he had been
recently imprisoned for his censures on the legislative council.
The contest was very close and lasted for some days. On May
21st, when Doctor Tracy was a few votes ahead, there was every
appearance of a riot around the polls. The Fifteenth Regiment
was called out, the riot act was read but the tumult continued.
The account given by Kingsford’s History of Canada, Volume IX,
pp. 481-99, tells graphically what follows. As the poll was
being closed the partisans of Tracy, headed by himself, rushed
against those of the opposite side. The troops were now ordered
to advance and reached the old Montreal Bank, the site of the
present postoffice. The troops were received with volley after
volley of stone. Colonel McIntosh called to the mob to cease
this aggressiveness, or he would give orders to fire. The troops
continued to advance up St. James Street, giving opportunity for
the mob to retire. The stones continued to be thrown. A second
halt was made. The crowd, now composed almost entirely of Tracy’s
supporters, had greatly increased. The attack upon the military
continued. Again Colonel McIntosh threatened to give the order
to fire. According to the evidence of the lieutenant present,
Mr. W. Dawson, from whose testimony this narrative is taken,
several men in the ranks were severely hurt by these missiles.
The colonel was struck, as was the subaltern. Colonel McIntosh,
still hesitating to act, again warned his assailants. It was
all in vain. To judge by the testimony given at the inquest the
mob evidently believed that the military would not dare to act.
They were cruelly mistaken. The first platoon of sixteen men
were ordered to fire; three of the crowd fell dead, two were
wounded. In a few seconds the street was cleared. * * * It was
the first event of this character in Canada and caused a great
sensation. From the violence shown it was dreaded that the riot
might continue. The consequence was that a detachment with some
field pieces was stationed at the Place d’Armes. During the night
pickets paraded the streets. The _Minerve_ in its continuation
of abuse described the event as the massacre of peaceable,
unarmed citizens, and that in order to make the military forget
their crime they had been abundantly supplied with rum. * * *
No arrests were made. * * * The coroner’s inquest was held. Mr.
Papineau attended every day.[2] * * * Nine witnesses testified
that the soldiers fired upon the people as they were dispersing
after the close of the poll. Three witnesses described the act as
the consequence of the riot. No verdict was given.[3] * * * The
coroner, nevertheless, issued warrants for the arrest of McIntosh
and Temple. They were immediately bailed to the amount of £1,000.
The proceedings of the coroner were set aside as illegal, but the
matter did not stop here. These officers were again arrested and
subjected to much annoyance. Finally, in September, the grand
jury returned the indictment with “no bill.” The same result was
obtained in the case of the magistrates, Messrs. Robertson and
Lukin, indicted on a similar criminal charge as having given
orders to the troops.

The action of the military was approved by the grand jury, and
by the commander in chief, the latter being further commended by
Lord Fitzroy Somerset through Lord Aylmer, the governor general.
An address of sympathetic citizens was presented to the two
officers. La Minerve on the 24th of May, 1832, however, was
implacable. “It is difficult,” it says, “not to be convinced
that there was a desire to make a general massacre. It is
clearly proved that the faction hostile to the Canadians has
been preparing for this atrocity for a long time. The party
that we have opposed for thirty years desired today to shoot
us down. * * * They also wished to shoot Mr. Tracy. * * * Mr.
Bagg’s partisans laughingly approached the corpses and saw with
fierce joy the Canadian blood flowing down the street. They have
been seen shaking hands congratulatingly and regretting that the
number of the dead was not greater. * * * Let us never forget the
massacre of our brethren. * * * Let the names of the wrongdoers
who have planned, advised and executed this crime be inscribed in
our annals handed down to infamy and execration.”[4] (History of
Canada, page 109.)

The funeral of the three Canadians was attended by about five
thousand persons and following the bodies were Mr. Papineau, the
speaker of the assembly, the leader of the French-Canadian party
and his chief supporters.

From this date the tone of the newspapers Le Spectateur at Quebec
and La Minerve at Montreal is noticeably inflammatory in the
demand for the redress of their grievances. On the other hand,
the English papers representing the British party, especially
the Gazette and Herald of Montreal, dealt no uncertain blows
in return and Mr. Papineau fared ill. He was looked upon as a
demagogue inciting dissension and making political capital from
the late misfortune of May 21st.

The memory of the riot was not allowed to die down in the
neighbourhood of Montreal and elsewhere. At Longueuil on June
11th a resolution, provoked by the affair of May 21st, set
forth that “the British government deceived by men who are our
envenomed enemies, are following in a line of conduct leading
to our destruction and slavery; that the fate of the Acadians
is being prepared for us, that the neglect of the frequent
demands of our rights on the part of England had tended to break
the contract between her and us.” In these and other meetings
there was generally a protest against granting to capitalists
independently of the colonial legislature a large portion of the
uncultivated lands of the crown. This was aimed at members of the
British party.

Another protest was at immigration from Great Britain. The
parishes were being inoculated with discontent. This last was
emphasized at this period especially, as in 1832 Canada was
suffering from cholera; from June 9th to September 30th, the
number described as having died being 3,292. It was at this date
that Gross Ile, thirty miles below Quebec, was established by
the provincial executive as a quarantine station on the warning
from the home government, having itself suffered its ravages
in the winter of 1831-2. The disease was thought to have been
brought early in June by the “Carrick” with emigrants from Dublin
containing 133 passengers, of whom fifty-nine had died on the
voyage. The malady is supposed to have quickly spread from the
emigrants to others through Quebec and Montreal. Apparently
the disease did not spread in Upper Canada to any extent. The
boards of health lately established did all they could, by the
establishment of hospitals, to stay the disease. The Montreal
board of health reported on the 26th day of June that there had
been from the 10th to the 25th of June inclusive 3,384 cases and
947 deaths. The Fifteenth Regiment suffered severely. But at the
end of June the disease was abating. A correspondent writing from
Montreal on the 25th of June said that the printers, like others,
had deserted their work a fortnight before, but at the date he
wrote activity was resumed, the stores were again opened and the
markets better supplied. On the 6th of July Lord Aylmer wrote:
“The panic in the public mind is rapidly subsiding and the people
are returning to their ordinary occupations, which at one period
of the prevalence of the disease were almost entirely abandoned.”
The arrival of emigrants during 1831 and 1832 had been numerous.
The official returns for 1831 and 1832 give the numbers as being
48,973 and 49,281.

At Montreal the seriousness of the political and social situation
and the menaces that were looming to the peace and to the
security of life and property, was not blinked. Moderate men of
both parties already heard the rumblings of the revolt of 1837.
A meeting was held at the British American Hotel on the 4th of
November with 500 persons present. Mr. Horatio Gates, a prominent
merchant, was in the chair and many other important men discussed
the situation earnestly. A committee was formed to draft the
petition, to the throne, based on the resolutions of the meeting.
The names reveal the inclusion of weighty French-Canadians: “J.C.
Grant, Hypolite Guy, Alex Buchanan, Jules Quesnel, George Auldjo,
Turton Penn, Pierre Bibaud, Dr. W. Caldwell, Dr. B. Rollin,
Augustin Perreault, T.B. Anderson, Felix Souligny, Joseph Masson,
and J.T. Barrett.”

Briefly the resolutions expressed confidence in the present
system of government, desiring no change in the system of
the legislative council which was an essential product of
the legislature; it was stated that the political excitement
of disaffected persons was creating a want of confidence in
the security of property and had embarrassed all commercial
relations, and it was felt now a boundened duty “to declare their
unalterable attachment to the government, etc.”

This action at Montreal was offset by a petition from Montreal
considered in the session, praying for constitutional changes; it
demanded an elective government in every department; it protested
against any system of emigration which, while being beneficial
to the Upper Province was not so to the Lower. It assailed the
officials for the proceedings consequent upon the riot of May
21st at Montreal. Mr. Leslie, a British merchant of Montreal and
extreme supporter of Mr. Papineau, moved the inquiry into the
affairs of the 21st. On this occasion Mr. Andrew Stewart threw
it into the face of Mr. Papineau that he was creating national
distinctions, that he had given rise to the consternation
which he felt, when he should have shown moderation. During
this session Mr. Neilson also took a decided stand against Mr.
Papineau, the first step towards a break in their political
relationship. The discussion on the events of May 21, 1832, was
deferred to next session. The house was prorogued on April 3,

This year, 1833, was remarkable as that of coming into effect
of the municipal act of Montreal and Quebec, a forward movement
treated of elsewhere. During the session of 1834 the famous
Ninety-two Resolutions introduced by Mr. Bibaud kept up the
agitation for change and redress. In 1834 Mr. Roebuck, who had
left Canada in 1825 and had, as member for Bath, moved in April,
1834, in the house of parliament in London for the appointment
of a committee to enquire into the means of remedying the evils
in the government of Upper and Lower Canada, took a step which
largely fanned the fire of discontent in Montreal. Addressing
the united and permanent committee of the reform party of
Montreal in favour of self-government as then meditated through a
representative elective legislative council, he advised them to
resist the parliament of Great Britain. He advocated peaceable
methods before taking to arms. But they had to fight sooner than
lose all hope of self-government.

This infused, if possible, more vigour to the pens of the
writers in La Minerve and the Vindicator, of which Doctor
O’Callaghan was editor.[5] Violent attacks on the government
were renewed. French-Canadians were urged to organize for the
revolutionary movement. The moderate French-Canadians were
fearful of the outcome. The British party, in self-defence,
prepared a petition, and a deputation to Quebec to Lord Aylmer
with an address conceived in opposition to the spirit of the
Ninety-two Resolutions. On August 24th Mr. Hume presented Mr.
Bibaud’s Ninety-two Resolutions to the imperial parliament signed
by 18,083 persons. On the 24th of September the supporters of
the Ninety-two Resolutions met and supported resolutions on the
same lines. Among those present was Girod as a delegate from
Verchères; he was a strong adherent of Papineau and later, in
1838, was one of the leaders in the insurrection of St. Eustace.

In October and November the elections took place. In the west
ward of Montreal Papineau and Dr. Robert Nelson were declared
elected by the returning officer Lusignan before the legal time
for the close of the polls had arrived. A protest was made by Mr.
Walker and Mr. Donnellan, the opposing candidates, without avail.
A few days later Mr. Papineau issued a fiery philippic--a common
custom of his--against the Governor General with the effect when
Lord Aylmer visited Montreal later, La Minerve and the Vindicator
appeared with their columns in mourning. In Quebec the new city
council had the insolence to pass a vote not to pay the “visite
de cérémonie” to Lord Aylmer on New Year’s Day.

During November Constitutional Associations were formed in
Montreal and Quebec by the British party who now feared a
separation with the mother country. At Montreal an address was
prepared as a result of a public meeting on November 22d to men
of “British and Irish descent.” It was signed by John Molson,
Jr., and was directed to their fellow countrymen of the Province
of British America for their oppressed brethren of Montreal, and
solicited their “attention to a brief and temperate exposition
of our principles and grievances.” It is a lengthy statement
containing about three thousand words, though not so long as
the grievances of the Ninety-two Resolutions, which occupied
twenty-five pages of the journals of the house in 1834. As we
have not reproduced the latter neither do we those of the British
party, though a perusal of each would give a vivid picture of
the seriousness of the situation and the tension on both sides.
It was the conflict of two mentalities become, for the time,
hopelessly irreconcilable and highly inflamed by the vision
of their real or imaginary grievances and injustices. It was
commercial progress and British expansion versus a conservative
agriculturalism and a “nation Canadienne” for Lower Canada.

[Illustration: Drawn by John Murray. ABOUT 1845 St. James Street,
West. The Bank of Montreal on the right]

In February of 1835 the new parliament met. Its proceedings are
more marked with the signs of the anarchy so soon to become a
thing of fact. In answer to the Governor’s address there was
demanded in the name “of the great body of the people without
distinction, the introduction of the elective principles for
the legislative council.” A petition was also prepared for the
king, in which it was claimed that the people at large “fully
participated in the opinions of the majority of the house.”
The real proportion of the constituencies for and against the
Ninety-two Resolutions was less than three to one,[6] the country
parishes largely contributing to this result. The house was
prorogued on March 18th, having sat only twenty-five days.

Scenting trouble, the “constitutional associations” of Quebec and
Montreal prepared to meet emergencies. Branches were multiplied
in other places when possible. Circulars to public bodies and
prominent men over Canada were diffused. The interest and aid of
the United States were canvassed. The statement of grievances
from Montreal signed by John Molson was a dangerous precedent.
Leading men in London were approached. To meet the activity of
Mr. Roebuck, who had recently been appointed an agent for the
reform party, Mr. Neilson was sent to present a petition to the
king from Quebec, and Mr. William Walker that of Montreal. They
left _via_ New York in April. Mr. Roebuck presented the counter
petition of the House of Assembly to the House of Commons on
March 9, 1835. That from Montreal was presented by Mr. Stuart on
March 16th.

The Canadian difficulties were now so notorious that the king
determined to send an extraordinary commissioner. Lord Gosford
was finally appointed and with him were associated Sir Charles
Grey and Sir George Gibbs. These arrived at Quebec on August 23d.
On September 17th Lord Aylmer with his family left for England.
His term of office had been stormy but while vituperation fell
upon him on one hand, he was otherwise sustained by the strong
minority. Lord Gosford came with a policy of conciliation openly
manifested and openly rejected. He met his parliament within
two months after his arrival. His opening speech as governor
general, the longest on record on such an occasion, was delivered
on October 27, 1835. He unfolded his theory of conciliation
and promises of redresses of grievances. The house, however,
was tuned up only for extremes and showed no readiness for
compromise. This lesson has been since well learned, experience
of the failure of any other course having been abundant. The
concluding words of Lord Gosford’s speech are noteworthy and
impressive. “To the Canadians, both of French and British
origin, and every class and description, I would say, consider
the blessings you might enjoy and the favoured situation in
which but for your own dissensions you would find yourselves
to be placed. The offsprings of the two foremost nations of
mankind, you hold a vast and beautiful country, a fertile soil,
a healthy climate and the noblest river in the world makes your
most remote city a port for the ships of the sea. Your revenue is
triple the amount of your expenditure for the ordinary purposes
of government. You have no direct taxes, no public debt, no poor
who require any aid more than the natural impulses of charity.
If you extend your views beyond the land in which you dwell you
find that you are joint inheritors of the splendid patrimony of
the British empire which constitutes you in the best sense of
the term citizens of the world and gives you a home on every
continent and in every ocean on the globe. There are two paths
open to you. By the one you will advance to the enjoyment of all
the advantages which lie in prospect before you. By the other
I will say no more than you will stop short of these, and will
engage yourselves and those who have no other object than your
prosperity in darker and more difficult courses.”

The existence of the Commission was studiously ignored by the
Assembly. But on the 6th of November an amendment to the draft
in answer to the address was moved, approving of the appointment
of the commission as a proof of the wisdom and magnanimity with
“which the grievances of the province had been listened to,
and now confidently hope that the results of its labours will
be satisfactory to all classes.”[7] Mr. Papineau vehemently
attacked the motion. The commissioners were without legal or
constitutional power. Their report, favourable or not, was
immaterial. The motion was voted down by forty-five to eight. The
governor general’s position as such was, however, recognized.

The “Constitutional” associations of Montreal and Quebec,
composed of those who held substantially by the existing
constitution with certain reforms dictated by expediency, were
meanwhile viewing with dissatisfaction the intransigeant attitude
of the majority of the house. At Montreal it was proposed by the
British population to raise a volunteer corps of 800 strong.
A memorial was sent at the close of December to the Governor
General asking for official sanction for the enrollment and
offering its services to the Government. It was not granted
on the grounds that no rights were in danger and that the
enrollment would endanger public tranquillity. The organization
was proceeded with. Lord Gosford issued a proclamation declaring
it illegal and unconstitutional. The corps was dissolved and in
notifying Lord Gosford he was informed that “As committee men
of the British Rifle Corps we must express to Your Excellency
our regrets that the day has arrived when, in a colony conquered
by British arms, a body of loyal subjects has been treated as
traitors by a British Governor General for no other crime than
that of rousing themselves to protect their persons and property
and to assist in maintaining the rights and privileges granted
them by the constitution.”

In addition a meeting was called and a memorial sent to Lord
Gosford justifying their conduct on the grounds that the
constitution was endangered. They would always be ready to
defend British institutions.[8] It is said that the Doric Club,
a more or less secret society of Britishers, now dated its

The policy of conciliation was meeting a rebuff on both sides.
The Montreal “Vindicator” later even spoke of “the treacherous
administration of Lord Gosford.”

On the 21st of March, 1836, the parliament was prorogued. There
was the same stubborn determination of the majority of the
assembly to assert itself to overrule the existing constitution
and thus control the situation on the lines of the Ninety-Two
Resolutions so as to make government impossible. It met again on
September 22d. No bills were passed; two were introduced, one
for the appointment of an agent in London, another to amend the
Imperial act of 1791 (an unconstitutional proceeding beyond the
powers of the assembly), with a view of establishing an elective
legislative assembly directly responsible to the representatives
of the people. This appeal for “responsible” government as it
was then vaguely conceived, was always steadfastly pursued as
the basic reform needed to solve all the other grievances under
which the province was suffering. The aim was self-government and
the abolition of the bureaucracy and privileged class incidental
on an appointed legislative council chosen by the Crown. After a
short session of thirteen days in all, the house was prorogued on
October 4th. The parliament of Lower Canada met again on August
18, 1837, but as its members would not transact any business at
all, it was prorogued on August 20th, never to meet again.

The annual meeting of the Montreal Constitutional Association
met in December, 1835. Ward committees were appointed. Among
the principles to be advocated was the abolition of the feudal
tenure, the continued improvement of the harbour of Montreal
and of the canal communications. In February, 1836, Sir John
Colborne was relieved of his position as Lieutenant Governor
of Upper Canada. Before embarking for England he was appointed
Commander-in-Chief of the forces in both provinces. On July 1st
he issued a general order from Montreal on the assumption of
command. In June a movement of a “Constitutional” committee was
afoot in Montreal for the recall of Lord Gosford. It dropped,
however, on opposition from the Quebec Constitutional party.


[1] “Canadian Archives,” Q. 197, p. 78; see report by Dr. Brymner
for 1899.

[2] The Quebec Gazette justified Mr. Papineau’s being present as
he was acting in his profession as an advocate.

[3] These were French Canadians.

[4] Bibaud, “History of Canada,” Vol. III, p. 109.

[5] Dr. O’Callaghan was subsequently returned to the house of
assembly in the new parliament of 1835 as the representative
of Yamaska. There he was unknown but Mr. Papineau’s influence
carried the seat. In the subsequent parliament he became a
staunch lieutenant of his leader.

[6] Mr. Jacques Viger, the first mayor of Montreal and also
a conscientious historian and archaeologist, made a concise
statement of the political strength of the opposing parties in
the counties, towns and boroughs as recorded in the votes at
the last election for and against the spirit of the Ninety-Two
Resolutions on which the election turned.

                 For                 Against                Not Voting

              361,801½               115,838                 35,619½

  Quebec        7,120½ (i.e. ¼)       20,148½ (i.e. ¾)

  Montreal     13,714  (i.e. ½)        6,254  (i.e. ¼)

One-fourth did not vote, owing to the vacancy in the seat of one
of the representatives. See “Christie,” Vol. V, 238-242.

[7] The commissioners finished their six reports before the end
of 1836. They were eventually doubtless useful to Lord Dunham
in the preparation of his report. The commissioners considered
an elective legislative council undesirable but they formulated
a system of representative government on lines which we now
understand. While granting the government of internal affairs it
strove to preserve the unity of empire.

[8] In the Imperial parliament in 1837 Mr. Robinson quoted La
Minerve of Montreal, which stated that immediate separation
from England was the only means of preserving French Canadian

                          CHAPTER XVII




In the March and April of 1837, the parliament in London
seriously considered the Canadian emergency. On March 6th, Lord
John Russell introduced ten resolutions, which passed. The fourth
stated that it was inadvisable to make the legislative council
of Canada an elective body, but that measures should be taken
to secure for it a greater degree of public confidence, and
the fifth, that while expedient to improve the composition of
the executive council, it was inadvisable to subject it to the
responsibility demanded by the house of assembly.

The news was received with welcome by the British constitutional
party who had clung tenaciously to the crown-appointed executive
as their only hope of adequate representation in the government
of the province. To the national party it came as a signal for
revolt. On May 7th, the first insurrectionary meeting was held
at St. Ours, Dr. Wolfred Nelson having a large share in its
convention. Mr. L.J. Papineau was acclaimed as an O’Connell,
a man called by God as the regenerator of his nation. Other
meetings now began in the parishes of the Montreal district
and Mr. Papineau left his home in Montreal for his mission of

On July 6th the constitutional party held a meeting in the
Place d’Armes. On the motion of the Hon. Peter McGill, the Hon.
George Moffatt took the chair. Messrs. Quesnel and de Bleury
were elected vice presidents. Among the resolutions proposed
were those of the necessity of the connections with the mother
country for the prosperity and advancement of the colony and the
necessity of resisting any attempts at dismemberment. A similar
meeting was held at Quebec on July 31st, on which day the news of
the death of William IV reached Canada. On August 1st Victoria
was proclaimed Queen of British North America.

The country districts outside of Montreal were fomenting
revolt. At St. Eustache and St. Benoit “anti-coercion” meetings
were held, as well as at Napierville, seven miles west of the
Richelieu. On August 18th the last parliament of Lower Canada was
called but was prorogued on the members refusing to legislate
because of want of confidence in the Imperial government in
London through its failure to grant their demands. Forty years
later the House of Assembly was reestablished as that of the
Province of Quebec. The proceedings of the last assembly
were regarded by the constitutional association as a virtual
annihilation of the constitution and an address was issued on
September 4th to this effect and signed by the Hon. Peter McGill
and Mr. Badgley as secretary. This address given in full in the
Montreal Gazette on the 9th of September advocates the union of
the legislatures of the two provinces as affording a solution by
giving a fair share of proportional representation to the British

On the 5th of September the new society “Les Fils de Liberté”
held a meeting in Montreal. The members were to meet as a
military corps with arms for the purpose of being drilled
as if under sanction of the government. Its motto was to be
“En Avant!” On October 1st it published a manifesto of which
certain paragraphs clearly disclose its seditionary purpose.
“The authority of a parent state over a colony can only exist
during the pleasure of the colonists; for the country, being
established and settled by them, belongs to them by right and
may be separated from all foreign connection, whenever the
inconveniences, resulting from an executive power residing abroad
and ceasing to harmonize with the local legislature, makes such a
step necessary to the inhabitants for the pursuit of happiness.”
Again: “The separation as commenced between parties which will
never be cemented but which will go on increasing until one of
those sudden, those unforeseen events that attend the march
of time, affords us a fit opportunity for assuming our rank
among the independent sovereignties of America. Two splendid
opportunities have been lost. Let us not be unprepared for the

Writing on October 6th Sir John Colborne, an old Peninsular
veteran who had fought at Waterloo and was now the commander
in chief of the forces, says: “The game which Mr. Papineau is
playing cannot be mistaken and we must be prepared to expect that
if four hundred or five hundred persons be allowed to parade the
streets of Montreal at night, singing revolutionary songs, the
excited parties will come in collision.” On the 7th of October
the offer of a British rifle corps in Montreal was again politely
declined. Yet those of British, Irish and United States origin
were facing the inevitable conflict foreseen by them.

It soon came. On October 23d a meeting took place at St. Charles
on the Richelieu. Dr. Wolfred Nelson took the chair. Mr.
Papineau, Thomas Storrow Brown, L.M. Viger, Lacoste, Coté, Girod,
and others, being present among the speakers. It was a fine
day and the militia were there. Flags in abundance streamed out
with inscriptions such as “Long live Papineau and the elective
system!” “Down with Debartzch!”[1] “Independence, Lord of the
Eagle Heart and Lion Eye!” “The Canadians know how to die but
not to surrender!” “Papineau and the Majority of the House of
Assembly!” “An elective council, a _sine qua non_ of liberty: I
will conquer or die for her!” A death’s head and cross-bones with
the words “Legislative Council.” (See Montreal Gazette, Tuesday,
31st October, 1837.)

It is said that on this occasion Papineau, fearing the excitement
prevalent, counseled moderation, but Wolfred Nelson rejoined:
“Well, I differ from Mr. Papineau. I think the time has come to
melt our spoons and make balls of them.” A wooden pillar with a
cap of liberty was erected with an inscription in French that
was dedicated to Papineau by his grateful brother patriots of
1837. Lengthy resolutions were passed of no uncertain seditionary
tendency. The British soldiers were encouraged to desert and
assistance was promised. On the same day a great meeting of
constitutionalists was held in Montreal with Peter McGill in the
chair; 7,000 persons were said to be present. The note struck
was the need of organization in anticipation of crimes now
threatening civil life. On this occasion the Irish, abhorring
attempts to connect them with the rebellious party, declared
their readiness to repel by force, if necessary, the enemies of
the constitution.

Next day, October 24th, Monseigneur Lartigue, who had become the
first Catholic bishop of Montreal on September 8, 1835, issued a
mandement taking the view that revolt to constituted authorities
was against the doctrine of the Catholic church. It condemned the
proceedings of the revolutionary leaders at public meetings. He
bade the faithful not to be seduced, and called upon the country
to reflect on the horrors of civil war. On November 6th what Sir
John Colborne had feared, took place. The Doric Club, a kind
of secret society recently founded and joined by a number of
the British and Irish young men, met the “Fils de Liberté.” It
had been reported that the “Fils de Liberté” were to proceed in
procession and to hold a demonstration in the Place d’Armes and
there plant a tree of liberty. A proclamation was issued calling
upon all to refrain from the procession. About 2 o’clock the
“Fils de Liberté” began to muster at Bonacina’s Tavern at the
corner of St. James and McGill streets, opposite the American
church which then stood there. A party of “loyalists” watching
the proceedings provoked the “Fils de Liberté” to chase them
up St. James street, breaking the windows of the loyalists’
houses, among them being that of Doctor Robertson. The members
of the Doric Club now came to the rescue, changing the face of
affairs and driving the opponents “pell mell” down St. Lawrence
Main Street in confusion until they were dispersed. In the early
course of the fracas “Gen.” Thomas Storrow Brown, a leader, or at
least a sympathizer of the “Fils de Liberté,” received an injury
which resulted in the loss of an eye.

The riot act was read in the afternoon and the First Royals and
the artillery, with some field guns, marched through the streets
headed by two French-Canadian magistrates, Mr. Desrivières and
Mr. John Donegani. The loyalists marched to Bonsecours Street and
were, with difficulty, restrained from attacking Mr. Papineau’s
house. The office of the Vindicator on St. Lambert’s Hill, near
Fortification Lane, was gutted, type, presses, paper, etc., being
thrown into the street.

This paper in the reform and malcontent interest had made
itself particularly obnoxious to the constitutionalists. Such
incitements as the following had been appearing in its columns:
“Henceforth there must be no peace in the province, no quarter
for the plunderers. Agitate! Agitate!! Agitate!!! Destroy the
revenues; denounce the oppressors. Everything is lawful when
the fundamental liberties are endangered. The guards die,
they never surrender.” During that night the main guard was
strengthened; pickets were placed on St. Lawrence Main, Place
d’Armes and in the Quebec suburbs. The Montreal Royal Artillery
patroled the streets and Griffintown was paraded by a body of
independent mechanics. On November 9th Sir John made Montreal his
headquarters and his firm conduct gave confidence in contrast
with the dilatory methods of Lord Gosford. Soon Montreal began
to receive fugitives from the parishes, many of these being
magistrates and militia officers and others under government who
had been forced by threats to resign.

On the 12th of November a proclamation was issued against
meetings for military drills. All public assemblies and
processions were forbidden. Volunteer corps of riflemen,
artillery and cavalry were now raised under the authority of the
Government. A new commission of the peace was issued for the
Montreal district. Sixty-one of the former had been struck off.

On November 16th[2] warrants were issued for the arrest of
twenty-six insurgents, among them being Mr. Papineau, Doctor
O’Callaghan, Mr. Thomas Storrow Brown and the accredited leaders
of the “Fils de Liberté.” The principal leaders escaped, Mr.
Papineau flying to Doctor Nelson at St. Denis.

On the same day Lieutenant Ermatinger with a party of eighteen of
the Montreal cavalry was sent to St. John’s to arrest three who
had been instrumental in forcing the resignation of government
officials. They were returning with the prisoners when they were
surprised at Longueuil by a rescue party of two or three hundred
and after some heavy firing the assailants departed with the
rescued prisoners. This victory organized by Mr. Bonaventure
Viger and others, gave courage to the insurrectionists and was
the commencement of hostilities. To counteract the dangers
arising from the éclat of the release, an address to the parishes
was issued and signed by thirteen French-Canadian magistrates of
Montreal, D.B. Viger, Pierre de Rocheblave, Louis Guy, Edouard M.
Leprohon, Etienne Guy, P.R. Leclerc, W.B. Donegani, Charles J.
Rodier, Alexis Laframbroise, Jules Quesnel, Felix Souligny, P.J.
LaCroix, and N.G. Barron, counseling submission to law and order.
“Those who urge you to these excesses,” it said, “are not your
true friends. They have already abandoned you and will abandon
you in a moment of danger, whilst we, who recall you to the paths
of peace, believe ourselves to be the most devoted servants of
the country.”

The insurrection feared was likely to be confined to the counties
bordering on the Richelieu and to the county of Two Mountains
north of Montreal. Consequently detachments of military were sent
from Montreal to the disaffected districts, such as St. Denis
and St. Charles. At St. Denis on November 23d Colonel Gore’s
detachment besieged Madame St. Germain’s storehouse, whither Dr.
Wolfred Nelson had retreated with a number of men and from which
Papineau had already fled early in the day. Gore left behind him
thirteen of the defenders killed, and of his own, six dead, five
wounded, and a spiked howitzer. On the morning of November 23d
the tragedy of the death of Lieutenant Weir of the Thirty-second
regiment took place. He had been sent with dispatches and was
captured by Doctor Nelson’s patrol. He was given to a Captain
Jalibert to be taken in a wagon to St. Charles. On the way
thither Weir attempted to escape. It was alleged that he was
brutally cut down. The autopsy disclosed many sword wounds and
pistol shots. His body was found in the Richelieu weighted down
with stones, lying on its face in two feet of water. On December
8th it was buried with much solemnity. In 1839 Jalibert was tried
for murder but was acquitted.

At St. Charles the insurgents were under the leadership of
Thomas Storrow Brown who, from being in the iron retail trade in
Montreal, now became “General” in the absence of the accredited
leaders. He had lost an eye in the riot of November 6th and was
looked upon as a patriot. At St. Charles the curé, M. Blanchet,
lent his support to the insurgents, one of the few examples
of the clergy meddling in this trying time. The other was M.
Chartier of St. Eustache, who was afterward interdicted by Mgr.
Bourget for his conduct. The engagement at St. Charles took place
on November 24th. Of Colonel Wetherall’s detachment, the official
report gives one sergeant, two rank and file killed, eighteen
wounded, ten seriously. It is difficult to chronicle the returns
of the insurgents. One statement is that 152 of the insurgents
were killed and 300 wounded. The tradition in the village today
is that forty-two were left on the field and a great many
wounded. It is certain that thirty prisoners were received in

In the north of Montreal the insurrection broke down after the
news of St. Charles, so that even at St. Eustache the opposition
offered by Amery Girod and Doctor Chenier collapsed on December
14th, though it is said not without the loss of seventy killed.
The loss of military is reported as one private killed, one
corporal and seven privates wounded. Sir John Colborne had been
in charge of the column. This returned to Montreal on the 16th
with 106 prisoners from the insurrectionary district, including
St. Eustache. The Abbé Chartier escaped to the States; Amery
Girod fled but on the fourth day of his flight he blew his brains
out to avoid falling into the hands of the police. Doctor Chenier
fell pierced with a ball as he was escaping from the window of
the parish church.

On the 29th of November a proclamation had been issued offering
£500 for the apprehension, among others, of Dr. Wolfred Nelson,
Thomas Storrow Brown, Doctor O’Callaghan, Doctor Coté and
Drolet of St. Marie. On December 1st a proclamation offered
£1,000 for the arrest of Mr. Papineau. Mr. Papineau and his
faithful companion, Doctor O’Callaghan, had fled together from
St. Denis to St. Hyacinthe and after the news of the disaster
at St. Charles they made for Swanston in Vermont. Afterwards
he spent some years in Paris. Doctor O’Callaghan never returned
to Montreal, although permitted with Wolfred Nelson and Thomas
Storrow Brown by the _nolle sequi_ of 1843, secured through
Mr. Hippolyte Lafontaine, attorney general under the Union. He
became distinguished at New York as a peaceful translator and
editor of the documentary history of New York. Dr. Wolfred Nelson
escaped in the direction of the United States, but was captured
on December 12th, worn out with hunger and cold, and was taken
back prisoner to Montreal. His courage and uprightness, however,
entitled him to the respectful treatment he was there accorded.
On December 5th martial law was proclaimed and the banks conveyed
their “specie” to the citadel. On January 8, 1838, Mgr. Lartigue
issued a second mandement in which he blamed those who turned a
deaf ear to the clergy, who had warned them against the danger
of listening to the “coryphèes d’une faction” with whom they had
become infatuated.

On February 20th a day of thansgiving was held for the
termination of rebellion and the renewal of peace. This day
also marked the handing over of the administration of Lord
Gosford to Sir John Colborne, who entered on his authority on
the 27th. In the meantime, in London, it had been determined to
send Lord Durham as special commissioner. The act suspending
the constitution of Canada reached Canada in February and
was proclaimed on the 20th of March. A special council[3] of
the legislature was appointed and gazetted on April 5th with
a summons to meet on the 18th. This provisional council was
afterwards dissolved by Lord Durham on his arrival.

About the beginning of March an abortive attempt to arouse
insurgents was made under Robert Nelson, brother of Wolfred, and
Doctor Coté, on the frontier, who were both arrested and handed
to the civil power. Six hundred “patriots” surrendered on this
occasion to General Wool of the United States army. At this time
a fatuous declaration of the independence of Canada appeared in
the Montreal papers signed by Robert Nelson, _president_, by
order of the Provincial Government: the proclamation accompanying
it was also signed by Nelson as Commander-in-Chief.

About the end of April the Glengarry and Lancaster Regiments
marched through Montreal on their way home, their presence being
no longer required, owing to the proclamation of the termination
of martial law on April 27th.

On May 29th Lord Durham arrived with his large staff. One of his
early acts was to issue on the 28th of June an amnesty to all
who had engaged in the late insurrection on giving security for
their good behaviour applicable to those in custody or who had
fled. There was an exception made for eight who were to be
sent without trial to the convict station of Bermuda. These were
Dr. Wolfred Nelson, R.S.M. Bouchette, Bonaventure Viger, Simeon
Marchesseault, Godda, Dr. L.H. Masson, Gauvin, and Desirivières.
Death penalties were to be awarded to L.J. Papineau, Doctor
O’Sullivan, Thomas S. Brown, John Brown (father and son), George
Etienne Cartier and others if they should return of their own
accord. This was afterward annulled. On the 7th of July, Durham
left Quebec for Montreal and the west. In Montreal he was well
received. His stay in the country as a commissioner was, however,
very short. For on September 25th, as the Imperial government
disallowed these ordinances, Durham notified his resignation
to the British government, remaining at his post till November
1st, when he sailed for Quebec.[4] Sir John Colborne assumed the
administration on this day. On the 16th of January, 1839, he
became governor general.

[Illustration: LORD DURHAM]

The second insurrection opened on November 4th, when Robert
Nelson entered Napierville to declare himself President of the
Republic of Canada. During the summer Nelson, Coté, Mailhot and
others of the refugees on the Vermont and New York frontiers had
been organizing the insurrection among the _habitants_ of the
counties of the Richelieu extending west to Beauharnois. The
district of the Two Mountains did not rise this time.

Sir John Colborne was at Sorel when he heard of the Richelieu
gatherings. Posting to Montreal he proclaimed martial law and by
the 7th and 8th of November the military was dispatched from the
city under Sir James Macdonell. The campaign was over by November
10th, when the resistance at Beauharnois was suppressed. Yet but
for the decisive action of Colborne it might have been serious.
Sir John wrote that no fewer than thirteen thousand habitants
had assembled between the 3d and 8th of November expecting to be
furnished arms by their Vermont and New York sympathizers.

If the second insurrection was of less importance its reprisals
were more serious. The first rebellion had passed without the
judicial shedding of any blood and with a generous amnesty. On
the second revolt it was thought necessary by Sir John Colborne
to put the fear of the law into all further harbourers of
treason. A special court martial was constituted in Montreal, and
many suspects were imprisoned. In Montreal 679 had been arrested
in December, and in January following 129 more. Sir Hippolyte
Lafontaine was one, but he was released on December 13th. Mr.
D.B. Viger refused to give a security for his good conduct and
he was kept prisoner until he was specially and unconditionally
released by Governor General Lord Sydenham. Those arrested
elsewhere were few. Of those convicted and sentenced to death,
twenty-seven were pardoned on security of good behaviour. Four
were bound not to come within a stated distance of the frontier.
Of the prisoners tried in Montreal, sixty-eight were embarked
at Quebec on the transport “Buffalo” for New South Wales,
accompanied by eighty-three from Upper Canada. Later, within five
years, they returned, pardoned, to the Province.

In September, 1839, the trial of Jalibert and others for
the murder of Lieutenant Weir took place, and the prisoners
were released. The grand jury found true bills against Louis
Joseph Papineau, Thomas Storrow Brown, Robert Nelson and E.B.
O’Callaghan. The political executions which took place in
Montreal as the aftermath of the January insurrection were twelve
in number. Six were convicted as murderers and five zealous
insurgents of 1838. The last was a foreign adventurer. The
executions were as follows:

Friday, December 21, 1839: Joseph Narcisse Cardinal, a notary
and member of the Assembly for Beauharnois. Joseph Duquette, a
young man who had followed his leader, Cardinal, in the attack of

Eighteenth of January, 1839: Pierre Theophile Decoigne, notary of
Napierville, a leader in the insurrection of January, 1838, at
Napierville. Joseph Jacques Robert, a farmer and leader. François
Xavier Hamelin, a lieutenant of Robert; Ambroise Sanguinet, a
captain; Charles Sanguinet, his brother, a lieutenant; who all
four had been engaged in the murder, in 1838, of one, Walker,
living at La Tortue, seven miles from La Prairie.

Fifteenth of February, 1839: Pierre René Narbonne, a house
painter, present at Napierville. Marie Thomas, Chevalier de
Lorimier, a lawyer, who had been prominent in the insurrection
and had been engaged in the seizure of the “Lord Brougham”;
François Nicholas and Amable Daunais, both acquitted of murder of
Chartrand in 1837, but retaken on the occasion of their presence
in the engagement of Odelltown, and Charles Hinderlang, taken at
Odelltown, a foreign adventurer.

On the eve of their execution[5] the five last named were allowed
to give a supper to their “compatriotes” imprisoned with them.
It was a sorry repast. The Chevalier de Lorimier is reported to
have said on this occasion: “Can my country ever forget that we
die for her upon the scaffold? We have lived as patriots--as
patriots let us die. Down with the tyrants! Their reign is over!”
Next day, as Hindelang was approaching the gallows, de Lorimier
called to him: “Courage, mon ami! the end is near!” “Death is
nothing to a Frenchman,” was the reply. On his arrival at the
scaffold Hindelang addressed the crowd. “On this scaffold, raised
by English hands, I declare that I die with the conviction of
having done my duty. The sentence which condemns me is unjust,
but I willingly forgive my judges. The cause for which I die is
noble and great. I am proud of it and I fear not to die. The
blood shed will be redeemed by blood. Let the blameworthy bear
the responsibility. Canadians! In bidding you adieu I bequeath to
you the device of France! ‘Vive liberté.’” Nicholas also made a
short address: “I have only one regret,” he said, “and that is,
to die before seeing my country free, but Providence will end
by having pity on it, for there is no country in the world more
badly governed.” The Chevalier de Lorimier was the last to suffer
the extreme penalty. When he was cut down, a brief letter was
found on his breast addressed to his wife and children. It ended,
“Adieu, my tender wife, once more adieu! Live and be happy.
(Signed) Your unhappy husband, Chevalier de Lorimier.”[6]

Among the prominent Montrealers arrested in 1838 and 1839 the
following names are found: Louis H. Lafontaine, Denis B. Viger,
Charles Mondelet, François Desrivières, advocates; L.J. Harkins,
D. Chopin, Aug. Racicot, George Dillon, Henry Badeau, Louis
Coursolles, F. Pigeon, Cyrille David, François Blanchard, Louis
Morin, William Brown, T. Willing, J.A. Labadie, J.B. Choquette,
Derome P. de Boucherville, J. Donegani, M. de Marchand, Felix
Goulet, Avila Weilbrenner, Richard Dillon, H. Hamelin, J.B.
Houlée, A. Dupère, M. Bourbonnière, Samuel Newcombe, Pierre
Lussier, François Lauzon, Luc Dufresne, E.A. Dubois, Bouthillier,
John Fullum, François Contant, François St. Marie, E. Hauschman,
J.E. Coderre, P. Coté, Jérémie Hippolyte, Jérémie Barrette,
Leandre Ducharme, John McDonald, J. Berthelet, A. Perrault, E.R.
Fabre, G.J. Vallée, Jean Dubrec, A.B. Lesperance, Jean Leclaire,
Chevalier de Lorimier, François Cinq Mars, J.P.B. Belleville,
S. Reeves, J.S. Ney Smith, Celestin Beausoleil, Louis Dubois,
Jérémie Longpré, etc.

It is a significant commentary on the sad troubles of 1837-8
that the names of several prominent British Montrealers are
to be found as actively sympathizing with the insurgents.
The fact, too, that the “Vindicator,” conducted by Doctor
O’Callaghan, could find sufficient English readers to support
it, is another indication of a wider sympathy than usually
recognized. A man like Dr. Wolfred Nelson who had lived with
the French habitants at St. Denis, spoke their language and
understood their grievances, a man of uprightness, sincerity
and disinterestedness, would never have resisted authority and
risked his reputation and fortune unless the irksomeness of
the situation had become intolerable.[7] Writing from jail at
Montreal on the 18th of June, 1838, to Lord Durham, he said on
behalf of his fellow prisoners: “We rebelled neither against
Her Majesty’s person nor her government, but against colonial
misgovernment. * * * We remonstrated; we were derided. The press
assailed us with calumny and contumely; invective was exhausted;
we were goaded on to madness and were compelled to show we had
the spirit of resistance to repel injuries or to be deemed a
captive, degraded and recreant people. We took up arms not to
attack others but to defend ourselves.”

His imprisonment and his loss of fortune effected his health,
but without repining he boldly played the game of life. In 1843
a “nolle sequi” allowed him to return to practice medicine in
Montreal. He was shortly elected to the Assembly under the Union.
He became twice mayor of his native city. He was one of the first
harbour commissioners and became the inspector of prisons. In
siding with the insurgents he was no hair-brained enthusiast or
adventurer and he died without the stain of reproach--an honoured

It has been felt necessary to delay long on this unpleasant part
of civic history because it exemplifies the evil of different
races living together with mistrust and misunderstanding of one
another. If they would but strive to see each other’s viewpoints
and would read each other’s history there would be an end of
racial prejudices.

“Tout savoir, c’est tout pardonner.” May the mutual
misunderstanding of 1837-8 never occur again. “Concordia Salus,”
the motto chosen by Jacques Viger, the first mayor of Montreal,
for the city arms, should never be forgotten.


[1] Mr. Debartzch, of St. Charles, a legislative councillor, had
till this date been a strenuous upholder of Mr. Papineau. The
turn of events seemed to him to be unconstitutional and he became
opposed to the new insurrectionary methods. He was now accounted
a traitor. He escaped to Montreal with his family.

[2] On November 16th Mr. Turton Penn, one of the justices of
the peace, signed the order for the imprisonment of Charles A.
Leblanc (afterwards sheriff), Jean Dubrec, Amable Simard, Georges
de Boucherville, Andre Ouimet and François Tavernier accused of
high treason on November 17th, Jean François Bossé Lionnais, and
on the 18th Louis Michel Viger (Beau Viger), the president of the
recently founded Banque du Peuple and father of D.B. Viger were
imprisoned; on the 21st Michel Vincent, and on the 26th, Narcisse
Lamothe suffered the same fate.

[3] The following constituted the first special council,
District of Quebec: The Honorable C.E.C. de Léry (Quebec); the
Honorable James Stuart (Quebec); John Wilson, Esq., and William
Walker, Esq. (Quebec); Amable Dionne, Esq. (Kamouraska); Charles
Casgrain, Esq. (Rivière Oulle); the Honorable R.P. de Sales de la
Terrière (Eboulements), District of Montreal: The Honorable T.
Pothier; P. McGill; P. de Rocheblave (Montreal); Samuel Gerrard,
Esq.; Jules Quesnel, Esq.; W.P. Christie, Esq.; Turton Penn,
Esq.; and John Molson, Esq. (Montreal); the Honorable J. Cuthbert
(Berthier); the Honorable B. Joliette (St. Paul Lavaltrie);
Joseph E. Fairbault, Esq. (L’Assomption); Paul H. Knowlton,
Esq. (Brome); Icabod Smith, Esq. (Stanstead). District of Three
Rivers: Joseph Dionne, Esq. (St. Pierre les Becquets); Etienne
Mayrand, Esq. (Rivière du Loup).

[4] Lord Durham did not live to see the eventual success of the
Union recommended by his famous report. Prematurely worn out, he
died at Cowes on the 28th of July, 1840.

[5] See “Histoire Populaire de Montreal,” p. 357. LeBlond Brumath.

[6] See “Histoire Populaire de Montreal,” p. 357. LeBlond Brumath.

[7] Writing a reminiscence of Montreal from 1818 to 1868. Mr.
Thomas Storrow Brown has the following allusion to 1837-8:
“Mixing much with these French Canadians, I became interested
in the cause. I thought the stipulation of the capitulation had
not been fulfilled to a ceded people and when grown to manhood
a sense of justice, that generous inheritance from a British
ancestry, urged me to a knight errancy in their battle that
terminated in the overthrow of my own fortunes and that after
years of hard struggle to regain a lost position, all for no
thanks or even recognition of service.”

                          CHAPTER XVIII

                    PROCLAMATION OF THE UNION


                    HOME RULE FOR THE COLONY


Durham was wisely lenient with the political prisoners waiting
for trial at Montreal, but his injudicious step in securing
confessions, through an intermediary, from Doctor Nelson and
his companions--by inducing them to place themselves at his
discretion, and then his condemnation of them without trial to
be transported to Bermuda, forbidding them to return under pain
of high treason, and his extraordinary ordinance declaring that
Papineau and the fifteen others who had escaped and had neither
confessed nor been found guilty should suffer death if they
returned to Lower Canada--was held in the English parliament,
on the initiative of his enemy, Lord Brougham, to be utterly
subversive of the principles of English colonial law. Accordingly
his ordinance was disallowed; hence his resignation and return
to England. He died about eighteen months later, a broken man.
But he did much for Canada and his famous report stands out a
masterpiece of statesmanship. It is to the credit of Adam Thom,
of Montreal, to have been associated in its compilation as
Durham’s secretary for the purpose.

This report of Durham has had far reaching effect. It was
based on a study of the situation. He found an acute political
association as follows:

The Assembly complained that the constitutional government
given them in 1791 was a mockery. They could elect members but
members who had no control, who might fret and fume and froth
but could not appoint a single crown servant. In name it was a
representative body, French, Catholic and popularly elected.
The legislative council was all powerful, its members nominated
by the government, and holding their offices permanently, but
British, Protestant and exclusive, and above all the clatter
was the Executive Council and the governor, who were dependent
hand and foot on Downing Street officialdom and from it received
instructions, so that the few ruled the many, independently of
the council’s representation of the latter. Thus a race war had
developed, the majority, French, savagely demanding their rights
of popular representation and the minority, British, desirous of
keeping the upper hand. Thus the French Assembly developed into
a permanent opposition to everything British till it flamed out
into recourse to arms when British and French paired off into
distinct camps.

“I expected,” says Durham in his report, “to find a contest
between a government and a people. I found two nations warring
in the bosom of a single state. I found a struggle not of
principles but of races.” Hence his grand solution was “home
rule” for the colony and the abolition of the Downing Street
restrictive régime of red tape. He was accused by the British of
deserting his own side; he pleased the French-Canadians by this
above recommendation but bitterly disappointed them by making
responsible government dependent on the Union of the Canadas,
for it was feared by this Union with Protestant Ontario their
national existence was jeopardized. But this was precisely what
Durham wanted, trusting in the inevitable growth of immigration:
“I have little doubt,” he says, “that the French, when once
placed in a majority by the legitimate course of events and the
working of natural causes in a minority, would abandon their vain
hopes of nationality.”

Durham looked forward to the time when British North America
should have one parliament only. Thus he foresaw confederation.

Lord Durham’s masterly and statesmanlike report was presented
to the Imperial parliament on January 31, 1839. It advocated
the repeal of the Constitutional Act of 1791, which divided the
two provinces and so created two distinct nationalities, and
it recommended the legislative Union of the Canadas. The bill
proposed for this effect by Lord John Russell was postponed
till next year. Another bill, however, passed to continue the
legislative council in their especial powers till 1842. Canada
was still, therefore, without a constitution.

The new governor general to succeed Sir John Colborne, who had
been invested with the Grand Cross of the Bath for his services,
arrived at Quebec on October 17th. He was Mr. Charles Poulett
Thomson, who had been president of the Board of Trade in England.
He entered on his office on October 19th. He left for Montreal in
October to meet the legislative council, now established there.

The news of the proposed union was grateful, especially at
Montreal, to the British merchant class, who foresaw commercial
expansion and progress. At Quebec there was some dissension,
since the meeting place of the projected union parliament was
likely to be at Montreal, and thus Quebec would lose its ancient
prestige. The measure was not as yet looked on with full favour
by the French-Canadians in general, as it seemed to them to be
a scheme to weaken the influence of their political life and to
be destructive of their national aspirations. On the 11th of
November the legislative council of Lower Canada met and on the
16th six resolutions were passed at the Château de Ramezay.

First: The Union was affirmed to be an indispensable and urgent
necessity. Second: that the determination to reunite the
Provinces received ready acquiescence. Third: that suitable
civil lists should be provided securing the independence of the
judges and maintaining the executive in its functions. Fourth:
that the proportion of debt of Upper Canada contracted for the
improvement of internal communication should be charged to the
revenue of both provinces; the outlay for defraying expenses of
a local character not to be included. Fifth: that the adjustment
and settlement of the terms of Union should be submitted to the
wisdom and justice of the Imperial parliament. Sixth: that a
permanent legislature composed of the people of both Provinces
should be convened as soon as possible.

The resolutions were carried with three dissenters, Messrs.
Cuthbert (Berthier), Neilson (Quebec) and Quesnel (Montreal),
the members of the council supporting the union being Chief
Justice Stuart, Pothier, de Léry and Walker (Quebec), McGill,
de Rocheblave, Gerrard, Christie, Molson, Moffatt (Montreal),
Harwood and Hale (Sherbrooke).

The majority of the legislative assembly being ready for the
union of the provinces, which was an equivalent to yielding
to responsible government power they had held so long and
arbitrarily, must be noted as significant of the trend of
opinion. Some ordinances were passed: first, continuing until
June, 1840, the power to retain arms and gunpowder; second,
continuing the ordinance relating to persons charged with high
treason; third, incorporating the Ecclesiastics of Montreal in
the fief and seignories of St. Sulpice and of Two Mountains--the
conclusion of many years’ negotiations.

On November 18th Mr. Paulett Thomson wrote from Montreal to
Lord John Russell to urge the speedy adoption of the Union by
parliament. He wrote: “All parties look with extreme satisfaction
on the present state of government. * * * The suspension of
all constitutional rights affords to reckless and unprincipled
agitators a constant topic of excitement. * * * All parties,
therefore, without an exception, demand a change. On the nature
of that change there undoubtedly exists some difference of
opinion. The large majority, however, of those whose opinions I
have had the opportunity of learning, both of British and French
origin, and of those, too, whose character and station enable
them to the greatest authority, advocate warmly the establishment
of the union and that upon terms of perfect fairness, not merely
to the two provinces but to the two races within the provinces.”
Mr. Thomson then left for the Upper Province, arriving at Toronto
on November 21st.

The union bill of Lord John Russell received the royal sanction
on July 23, 1840, but it did not take effect till February 10,
1841. On this day the union was solemnly established at Montreal.
Mr. Paulett Thomson now became Lord Sydenham of York and Toronto
in recognition of his part in the union. He took the oath of
office as governor-general in 1840.

February 10, 1841, Lord Sydenham issued a proclamation uniting
Upper and Lower Canada into the province of Canada.

“The choice of this date,” says Kingsford, “was because it was
on this day that the Imperial parliament assented to the act
which had suspended the constitution of Lower Canada three years
previously, and it was thought an act of wisdom to re-establish
on the anniversary of this extreme measure constitutional
liberty, which effectively terminated it. It was also the date of
the conclusion of the treaty of 1763, which ceded Canada to the
British crown, and it was likewise the marriage day of the Queen.

“On that day, in Montreal, in the presence of all the dignitaries
of the church and of civil life, of the commander of the forces,
of officers commanding regiments, and all who could be collected
of the principal citizens, the oath was taken and the two
provinces were established as the province of Canada.

“Lord Sydenham issued a proclamation on this occasion, in which
he urged the inhabitants to be united in sentiment as in name
and reminded them that they were ‘a part of the mighty empire
of England, protected by her arms, assisted by her treasury,
admitted to all the benefits of trade as her citizens, their
freedom guaranteed by her laws, and their rights supported by the
sympathy of their fellow-subjects there.’”

Lord Sydenham lived to call the first session of the United
Province, which met at Kingston on June 14th, when Mr. Cuvillier
was elected speaker, and on July 15th His Excellency gave the
speech from the throne, but he was a sick man and he never lived
to the close of the session. The prorogation of the legislature
had been appointed for September 15th. It was deferred till
September 17th to allow him to be present, since on September
4th he had met an accident horse-riding (taken for his health)
in the neighbourhood of Kingston. He died on September 19th.
“The Success of the Union,” as Kingsford[1] remarks, in the last
chapter of his “History of Canada,” “is Lord Sydenham’s epitaph.”

Responsible government was at last attained. The union so
ardently denied by the British party and needlessly feared by the
other was to bring progress and prosperity to both. The Union was
not a perfect measure, but it redressed many grievances and made
for a more united people.

“The act provided for a legislative council of not less than
twenty members for a legislative assembly in which each section
of the united province would be represented by an equal number
of members--that is to say, forty-two for each, or eighty-four
in all. The speaker of the council was appointed by the crown
and ten members, including the speaker, constituted a quorum. A
majority of voices was to decide and in case of an equality of
votes the speaker had a casting vote. A legislative counsellor
would vacate his seat by continuous absence from two consecutive
sessions. The number of representatives allotted to each province
could not be changed except with the concurrence of two-thirds
of the members of each house. The quorum of the assembly was
to be twenty, including the speaker. The speaker was elected
by the majority and was to have a casting vote in case of the
votes being equal on a question. No person could be elected
to the assembly unless he possessed a free-hold of land and
tenements to the value of £500 sterling over and above all debts
and mortgages. The English language alone was to be used in
legislative records. A session of the legislature should be held
at least every year and each legislative assembly was to have
a duration of four years unless sooner divided.” (Bourinot’s
“Constitution of Canada,” page 35.)


[1] Mr. Kingsford published, after twelve years of labour the
last of his ten volumes of the “History of Canada,” in 1898.
The preface was signed “Ottawa, 24th of May, 1898.” He died on
September 29, 1898. His work is that of a conscientious historian
and the facts he has marshalled together are invaluable to

                           CHAPTER XIX


    COUNCIL--THE _Année Terribe_ OF 1857--THOMAS D’ARCY MC

The seat of the new parliament was chosen for Kingston. This was
naturally regarded jealously by Montreal and Quebec. The Montreal
elections resulted in the sending thither of Mr. Benjamin Holmes
and the Hon. George Moffatt to represent the city at the first
session, which opened for the dispatch of business on the 14th
of June, 1841. Mr. D.B. Viger was elected for the Richelieu
district. Another well known at Montreal, one who had there
conducted the “Minerve,” Mr. Augustus Norbert Morin, sat for

The language of the house was English. This, together with the
absence of any French name from the new cabinet ministry was a
natural grievance which was seized upon by a part of the French
press and race hatred seemed in danger of being renewed. The
following extract from a British Montreal paper of the day
adverts to this:

   “It is but a few weeks since the olive branch has been frankly
  and honorably extended, since several English journals earnestly
  advocated an oblivion of the past and a reconciliation of the
  future. We must own that, however much we respect the attempt,
  we never anticipated that it would be successful, and we daily
  find in the pages of the Canadien, the French Gazette, the Aurora
  and the other small fry, the proof of our prognostication. It
  is the truth, a truth boldly and continually proclaimed by the
  above mentioned public journals printed in the French language,
  that the Canadian leaders and all who aspire to lead this
  class of the population, now, as heretofore, must base their
  only pretentions to popular support on their utter and entire
  abhorrence of everything that is English. The word ‘anti-British’
  is the type of their political existence, the only true passports
  to the affections of a French constituency. They hate us not
  because we are unionists or anti-unionists, whigs, tories,
  radicals or conservatives, but because we are British. They hate
  us not because we are Catholics, Protestants, Presbyterians or
  Methodists, but because we are British. They hate us because
  we speak English, because we love English laws, because we
  admire English constitutions, because we would introduce English
  improvements, because we have given them two or three good
  English drubbings and are ready to give them again if provoked.
  First they hate the Briton, secondly the American and lastly
  their seigneurs and clergy are included in the same category, and
  if they could only accomplish what they never will, get rid of
  the Briton, they would be rapidly ‘used up’ by the Americans, who
  would rob their seigneurs, discard their priests and improve the
  ‘nation Canadienne’ off the face of the earth.”

It is pleasing to find that our newspapers of today do not
reflect a like jarring exchange of bitterness. Montreal has
learned that its “salvation lies in harmony,” according to the
city’s motto, “Concordia Salus.”

The session passed without any hitch. The Union act had stood
its test. The advent of Sir Charles Bagot as governor-general
with his policy of reconciliation saw M. Joseph Remi Vallières
appointed chief justice of the district of Montreal and Dr.
Jean Baptiste Meilleur the superintendent of public instruction
for Lower Canada. When parliament met on September 8, 1842,
Montreal looked with interest for the development likely to
follow on the entrance into the House of Mr. Louis Hippolyte
Lafontaine, an able lawyer who had practiced at Montreal and
who was known to be a born leader of men and to have succeeded
to the position of M. Papineau in popular estimation. His short
imprisonment as a rebel in 1838 added to his prestige. He was an
old parliamentarian, having been in 1830, when only twenty-three
years of age, elected to the assembly of Lower Canada. On October
12th the reconstructed government[1] saw the Hon. L.H. Lafontaine
as attorney-general for Lower Canada (his friend, the Hon. Robert
Baldwin, held the same office for Upper Canada) and the Hon. A.N.
Morin, commissioner of crown lands. These appointments made the
Union more palatable to French-Canadians and it began to appear
that out of evil good was to come.

During the next session of 1843 question of the future location
of the parliament was settled by the choice of Montreal, on the
motion of Mr. Baldwin, seconded by Mr. Lafontaine.

The full signification of the term “Responsible Government” now
began to be tested. The new governor, Sir Charles Metcalfe, who
had been sworn in on March 29, 1843, had come from Bengal with
Indian ideas of dictatorship and he acted now independently of
his ministers, making appointments without consultation with
them, so that nine out of ten of the ministers resigned on
November 26th on the ground that by the system of responsible
government adopted in the resolutions of the house in September,
1841, to carry on a government the ministry must not only have
the confidence of the house and through it of the people, but
also of the head of the government. For nine months, therefore,
the country was without a ministry, Sir Charles Metcalfe being
unable to construct one.

At this point Mr. D.B. Viger came into prominence as a supporter of
the governor and it was his efforts to win over the French-Canadians.
Accordingly he visited Montreal and Lower Canada to be followed
by Mr. Draper, but Lafontaine’s hold was too great. The hold-up
of government created much anxiety, and trade and industry were
affected. After great efforts a partial ministry was formed, the
post of attorney-general for Lower Canada being accepted by Mr.
James Smith, of Montreal, Mr. Denis Benjamin Papineau, a brother
of Louis Joseph, becoming commissioner of lands. Other offices
were filled but the completion of the names was left until after
the election.

These were held over the country mid scenes of riot and even
bloodshed. At no place was the party strife more keenly shown
than at Montreal. By an election scheme it is said, to the
surprise of the opposition who ought to have commanded a
majority, the Hon. George Moffatt and Charles Clement Sabrevois
de Bleury, supporters of the newly formed ministry, were elected
against Mr. Lewis Thomas Drummond, a lawyer of Irish Catholic
origin, afterwards a well known judge, and Doctor Beaubien. Mr.
Drummond was returned, however, for Port Neuf. Among the new
members of other constituencies Dr. Wolfred Nelson was returned
for Richelieu against D.B. Viger, the president of the new
council, who found a seat, however, elsewhere. John Alexander
Macdonald was returned for Kingston as a supporter of the
government. The new government entered into power with a small
majority. Early in 1844 the government moved from Kingston to
Montreal and Monklands became the home of the governor-general.
On July 1st the Parliament met in Montreal, being dissolved on
September 23d.

On November 12th the general elections began, the like of which
had never been seen in Canada. The voting in these times was
open, lasting for days. Citizens were keen politicians; axe
handles were in readiness; heads were broken and the “claret”
flowed. Party spirit ran high and men were kept drunk in the
taverns so as not to allow them to reach the polls. In this
election at Montreal, Drummond was opposed to Molson, who was
beaten. On November 28th parliament met and was prorogued on
March 29th of the following year.

The removal of the restrictions on the French language in
parliament took place on January 31, 1845. Mr. Lafontaine had
desired to make the motion, but his plan, having become known to
the new government, desirous of furthering a popular move, he was
anticipated by Mr. D.B. Papineau, seconded by the Hon. George
Moffatt of Montreal.

In 1846 the merchants of Montreal held meetings to protest
against the Free Trade movement, then being promoted in England
by Cobden. On January 30, 1847, Lord Elgin, the successor of
Sir Charles Metcalfe, proceeded from Monklands, the home of the
governor-general of Montreal, to be sworn in at Government House.
On May 31st Mr. Peter McGill became speaker of the legislative
council, with a seat in the cabinet of the reconstructed cabinet,
known as the Sherwood-Daly ministry. Mr. D.B. Papineau was the
only French-Canadian in it. Parliamentary life this year was
affected by the evils of the “ship fever” brought over by the
Irish emigrants who had made their exodus after the failure of
the potato crop. The opposition made political capital out of the
event by making the government responsible for the emigration
laws of the country.

On Friday, the 25th of February, 1848, the new parliament was
held at Montreal. Messrs. L.H. Lafontaine and Benjamin Holmes
were returned for the city. On the occasion Mr. L.J. Papineau,
who had been in pleasant exile so long in Paris, although he
could have returned in 1843, found himself elected in the Union
parliament. He was little changed, but his star had waned, while
that of Lafontaine was in the ascendant. On March 10th Mr.
Lafontaine accepted office as Premier and attorney-general and
with his friend Baldwin formed the Lafontaine-Baldwin ministry.
During this year the Canadian merchants suffered great commercial
depression, owing to the working out of the free trade act of
1846. “Three-fourths of the merchants were bankrupt and real
estate was practically unmarketable.”

The session of 1849 saw the advent into political life of George
Etienne Cartier, the erstwhile rebel. He was born in Verchères
county, at St. Antoine, but was educated at the college of St.
Sulpice at Montreal. His early law studies were in the office of
M. Edouard Rodier and he was called to the bar and began practice
in Montreal in 1835. He came early under the magnetic influence
of Mr. Papineau and we find him a member of the “Fils de Liberté”
and engaged in the fight under Doctor Nelson at St. Denis, thence
flying as a proscribed man to the States. He quietly returned
later, when the embargo was raised, and settled down again to
practice law at Montreal, but still keeping his attention on

An important bill came up this session entitled “an act to
provide for the indemnification of parties in Lower Canada whose
property was destroyed during the rebellion in the years 1837 and
1838.” It was called the Rebellion Losses Bill. It would seem
rather belatedly brought in but it had been promised in some
form during the past ten years as a means of indemnifying those
who had suffered from the very great destruction of property
during that agitated period. In 1845 the rebellion losses
committee first sat. On April 18th the commissioners reported
that they recognized 2,276 claims, amounting in the aggregate
to £241,965, and were of the opinion that £100,000 would be
sufficient to pay all real losses. On January 18, 1849, Mr.
Lafontaine moved the belated bill. It made provision for the
appointment of five commissioners to carry out the act and a sum
of £100,000 was appropriated to pay the claims. Those, however,
who had been convicted of treason during the rebellion and who
had been sent to Bermuda, were excepted from claiming any share
in the grant. This, it will be seen, allowed “rebels” who had
not been convicted, an equal right to compensation with the
“loyalists.” Consequently a storm broke out in parliament and
in the country, but especially in Montreal. Various pamphlets
appeared in Montreal at this time, indicating opposition, such
as that entitled “The Question Answered; Did the Ministry intend
to pay Rebels? Montreal, 1849,” supposed to have been written by
the Hon. Alexander Morris, then a law student, and a young tory
journalist, Hugh E. Montgomerie. Yet the government was right in
their inclusion of “rebels” for it would have been very unwise at
that period to reopen the question as to who had been rebels and
who had not. Besides the amnesty granted long since had plastered
over all differences.

Yet, within and without Parliament the opposition was loud,
fierce and tumultuous. The bill, however, passed the third
reading in both houses. For some time previously petitions
from the tories of the opposition body had been pouring in to
Lord Elgin, praying that the bill should either be reserved
for Imperial sanction, or that parliament should be dissolved.
Lord Elgin, who personally did not approve of the diversion
of so much public money from more useful objects, feeling,
however, that while no imperial interests were at stake, that the
principle of responsible government was assented to the bill when
it had passed both houses. This he did on Wednesday afternoon,
the 25th of April, 1849. On this occasion the galleries of the
house were packed with “loyalist” opponents to the bill, and a
tumult immediately arose which was continued as the crowd went
out down the stairs to await Lord Elgin’s departure. When the
governor-general, having finished his business, reached the front
door, a hostile crowd had gathered and the fury of the opponents
to the bill visited itself on him in oppobrious epithets. Groans,
hisses, mud and addled eggs brought for the purpose were hurled
at him. Some say also stones were added and in the midst of this
hostile demonstration he drove off to Monklands, surrounded by
the military, by a long detour east and round the mountain to his
home. Three days afterwards at a special meeting of the Scotch
National Association, the “St. Andrew’s Society,” a resolution
was passed, erasing his name as a patron and an honorary member
of that body.



[Illustration: ROBERT BALDWIN]



[Illustration: A.A. DORION]

That night about 8 o’clock the parliament buildings were
burned by an angry mob. It was not unpremeditated, for the day
previously even some of the soldiers were warned to shut their
eyes next day if anything happened, and many did. After the
signing of the bill a meeting was held on Champ de Mars as the
result of printed notices, at which inflammatory speeches were
made. One of the leaders was a Fred Perry, who lived to be sorry
for his deed. “We are not in ’37,” he cried. “If you are men
follow me to the parliament house!” and he drove in a buggy,
surrounded by a sympathetic crowd, some carrying lighted torches
and crying, “To the parliament house.” The parliament building
which had been built as St. Ann’s market and leased to the
government, was a two-story building, the bottom floor of which
was remodeled to contain the government offices, while upstairs,
at the head of a broad staircase, leading off a wide passage,
were two halls, one that of the legislative assembly, a room 342
by 50 feet, and the other of the legislative council. Meanwhile
the house of assembly was discussing the judicature bill, and
it was warned by the noise of the advancing mob. When the crowd
reached the building, at a given signal stones crashed through
the windows like hail. A rush was made by some of the crowd into
the assembly hall from which the members had retreated. One of
the mob named Courtney sat boldly in the Speaker’s chair and
muttered threats about dissolving the parliament. The work of
demolition was begun, sticks being thrown at the glass globes on
the gaseliers that were out of reach. Then there was raised the
cry of “fire!” The gas pipes in the building had been cut and
a light applied. An explosion followed and a blinding sheet of
flame lit up the scene. Then ensued a mad rush of the members
and their friends and enemies to get out of the building. The
mob made no attempt to save it. The fire engines were only used
upon the surrounding property and an eye witness relates that
the soldiers who were ordered to fire on the mob discharged
their shots in the air. In half an hour the whole building was
wrapped in one sheet of flame. The valuable library containing
the archives and records of the colony was destroyed. In the
beginning of the incendiarism lighted torches thrown through the
window began the sad work of destruction. Little was saved but
the mace and the picture of Queen Victoria with the gilt crown
surmounting it. A newspaper account of two days later stated
in effect “that the Queen’s picture was carried away by four
scoundrels.” These have lately been identified as Colonel Wiley,
formerly chief of police, a Scotchman of the name of McGillivray,
from the eastern townships, an employee of the parliament, the
uncle of Mr. Todd, of the Library of Parliament, and Mr. Sanford
Fleming (afterwards Sir).

The latter in reply to the historian, Henry J. Morgan, wrote in

“Having spent a number of days previously in examining rare
books, I felt I should try to save some of them. I gained an
entrance but the fire had taken possession of the library and
I could do nothing. Turning to the legislative hall I saw the
Queen’s picture. With three other men (then) unknown to me I
made an effort to save it, but it was no easy matter. It was in
a massive gilt frame, firmly bolted to the wall. We at last put
our shoulders underneath and raised the whole, little by little,
allowing it to fall down each time. This was repeated many times
till at last the fastenings gave way and all came down. We laid
it on its face and, not being able to carry very easily the heavy
frame, removed the canvas on its stretching frame and the four of
us carried it out in a horizontal position, a shoulder under each
corner. With difficulty we got it downstairs on account of the
flames passing overhead, but each stooped and covered the picture
to prevent it getting scorched and thus got it to the open door.
Having done so, I left it to be taken to a place of safety by
others, some of whom were connected with the House. I thought
I would return to the chamber to try to save something else,
but I saw nothing of much value which I could myself remove. I
did, however, carry out the gilded crown which had been over the
picture, carrying it to Mack’s Hotel, where I was stopping, and
afterwards took it with me in a tea chest to Toronto, where it
remained in my possession for some years. What afterwards became
of it I am not aware.” The picture of Queen Victoria is in the
House of Commons at Ottawa.

The most unpopular man of the hour after Lord Elgin was Mr. L.H.
Lafontaine, who was in charge of the bill. His stables were burnt
and his house ransacked. There were no proceedings taken against
the rioters and incendiarists, this being an evident sign that
many of those in power secretly sympathized with the movement.
The house of Mr. Hays, on Dalhousie Square, was leased for a
temporary parliament house, but shortly afterwards government
moved to Toronto and Montreal lost its position as the political
capital of Canada.

In August, 1849, the British American League was formed in
Montreal with branches at Toronton, Kingston and elsewhere
in Upper Canada. It had various aims--the chief planks being
opposition to the existing government, a return to a protective
policy, the election of members of the legislative council, and
most important of all, a general union of the British North
American provinces. A meeting was held in Kingston towards the
end of July. Among the chief speakers were George Moffatt and
Hugh E. Montgomerie, of Montreal, John A. Macdonald, of Kingston,
also spoke. The League did not hold together, but the extreme
party soon banded together and in consequence during the month
of October a manifesto “to the people of Canada,” advocating the
annexation of Canada to the United States, appeared in Montreal,
signed by many leading citizens, including the Torrances,
the Redpaths, the Molsons, the Workmans, the Dorions, Luther
Hamilton Holton, Benjamin Holmes, David Lewis Macpherson,
Jacob de Witt, Edward Goff Penny, D. Lorn Macdougall and John
Ross--325 signatures in all. L.J. Papineau threw in his weight
to the movement. Among the subscribers to the manifesto were
justices of the peace, officers of the militia, Queen’s counsels
and others holding commissions at the pleasure of the crown.
Men of different political parties forgot their differences
to promote the scheme. The ebullition was the outcome of the
commercial depression and unpromising outlook then prevailing.
The manifesto, after pointing out the deplorable state of the
country, proceeded to suggest the remedies: the revival of
protection in the markets of the United Kingdom; the protection
of home manufactures; a federal union of the British American
colonies as a federal republic and reciprocal free trade with
the United States. But the most sweeping remedy of all was the
last one suggested, namely, a “friendly and peaceful separation
from British connection; a union upon equitable terms with the
great North American Confederacy of Sovereign States,” in brief,
_annexation_.[2] The movement was known in England and the
Morning Advertiser of London of the period said in comment that
England would be no loser were the Canadas to carry their threat
of annexation into effect; indeed, England would gain.

“The result,” it says, “of careful examination of the Canadian
connection in all its aspects, is, that so far from England being
a sufferer from the renunciation of their allegiance to the
British Crown on the part of the Canadas, she would be an actual
gainer. It is a well ascertained fact that the expenses of the
connection have more than counterbalanced its advantages. The
maintenance of that part of our colonial possessions subjects
us to a yearly expenditure of £800,000 hard cash. Will any one
tell us that the Canadas confer on us benefits at all equivalent
to this? It may, indeed, be debated whether our exports to the
Canadas would not be as great as they have been at any former
period. At any rate we speak advisedly when we say that this
country would be no loser by the secession of the Canadas. That
is certainly the conclusion at which ministers have arrived after
the most able and careful consideration. On that conclusion they
have determined to act. When the session meets we shall see the
fact brought fully before the public, with the ground on which
the cabinet has come to the conclusion at which it arrived.”

Such a statement, from a responsible English journal, sounds
strangely to us even today--but it is of value in reminding us
that at that time Britain was spending some four millions of
dollars annually on the Canadas. Four years later, in 1854, the
annexation movement received its quietus at the hands of Lord
Elgin, when he secured the passage of the Reciprocity Treaty.

As there was no very general support in Canada, the movement
soon collapsed. It was begotten of temporary gloom and despair.
Annexation was thought by serious and well meaning men to be
the necessary remedy--if it could come peaceably. Hence it was
not rebellion. The annexation movement was communicated to the
Upper Province, but it never had as great a hold anywhere as in
Montreal. There was little aftermath beyond the cancelling of the
commissions of those who held them at pleasure, a course deemed
necessary as a protest by the governor general, Lord Elgin.

In the beginning of November of this year, 1849, the government
offices were removed to Toronto. In the early part of 1850
a party known as the “Clear grits,” composed of the more
progressive of the reform party in Upper Canada, and dissatisfied
with the slowness of ministry, elaborated a programme which,
among other heads, advocated, first, the complete application
of the elective principle from the highest to the lowest
member of the government, and, secondly, universal suffrage. A
corresponding but more radical movement was organized at Montreal
for Lower Canada by L.J. Papineau, under the title of “La Parti
Rouge.” Its members were mostly young French-Canadians, although
a number of British radicals were with them, such as L.H.
Holton, and others. The “Parti Rouge” pronounced in favour of
the repeal of the Union, of a republican form of government and
of annexation to the States. “La Parti Rouge,” says La Minerve,
the organ of the “bleus,” “has been formed at Montreal under
the auspices of Mr. Papineau in hatred of English institutions,
of our constitution, declared to be vicious, and above all, of
responsible government which is regarded as a takein, with ideas
of innovation in religion and in politics, accompanied by a
profound hatred for the clergy and with the very formal and very
pronounced intention of annexing Canada to the United States.” By
the end of the year the prospects of trade had so brightened that
with this annexation and other desperate remedies were forgotten.
In October the first provincial exhibition of agricultural and
industrial products was held at Montreal.

During the session of 1851, the legislation for railways was of
primary importance to Montreal; if it was to keep its place as
the center of transportation by land as it had been by water it
would now enter into its new railroad era forced by the competing
enterprises of the adjoining republics. In October the great
Lafontaine-Baldwin ministry resigned. Mr. Lafontaine resumed his
law practice at Montreal. In the month of August, 1853, he became
chief justice of Lower Canada and held that position to his
death, February 26, 1864. Ten years previously, in 1854, he was
created a baronet. Sir L. Hippolyte Lafontaine’s name and fame
stand high in the remembrance of Montreal.

On the 6th of November the existing parliament was dissolved. In
the following elections Mr. John Young was returned from Montreal
and was given a place in the Hincks-Morin cabinet as commissioner
of public works. Mr. Papineau was defeated in Montreal, but found
a seat for the county of Two Mountains. In the early part of 1852
Mr. Hincks visited England and arranged for the capitalizing
of the Grand Trunk Railway to proceed westward from Montreal.
Consequently during the fourth parliament’s first session at
Quebec, which opened on August 19th, conspicuous among the acts
passed was one to incorporate the Grand Trunk Railway. Other
acts interesting to Montrealers were the municipal loan fund act
to enable municipalities to borrow money on the credit of the
province for local improvement, an act for the establishment
of a trans-Atlantic line of steamers and the appropriating of
£19,000 sterling per annum for the purpose. The contract was
secured by McKean, McLarty & Company, of Liverpool, and steamers
began to run during the following spring. Two years later the
contract was annulled and an arrangement was made with Messrs.
Edmonstone, Allan & Company, of Montreal. The small fleet of
the last named company has since developed into the well known
Allan line of trans-Atlantic steamships. On October 23d Mr.
Charles Wilson, mayor of Montreal, was added to the legislative
council. Before the session ended there occurred the famous
Gavazzi riots in Quebec and Montreal, the latter place especially
maintaining its reputation for mob violence. As the government
was afterwards attacked for delay in ordering an unavoidable
and searching investigation into the perpetrators of the fatal
disaster at Montreal the story may be told here rather than in
the ecclesiastical history of the city. During the spring of
1853 Alessandro Gavazzi, an ex-monk, had been giving a course
of lectures in the States, mostly against Romanism. He had
previously been received with success in England. Posing as an
Italian patriot of liberty, with the reputation for impassioned
and eloquent oratory and the added piquancy of being an
ex-priest, he had attracted elsewhere a favourable hearing. But
on his entrance to Lower Canada, at Quebec, he received a check
on June 6th when delivering a lecture on the Inquisition in the
Free Church on St. Ursule Street. A scene of disorder occurred in
the church. The lecturer was attacked in the pulpit, and though
he defended himself right valiantly with a stool, knocking down
some sixteen of his assailants, he was overmastered and thrown on
to the heads of the people below. Confusion reigned. The military
were providentially soon on the scene and quiet obtained. The
proceedings were sufficient to warrant an informal discussion
in the House next day. On the night of the 9th of June Gavazzi
was in Montreal, lecturing in Zion Church on the Haymarket
square, now Victoria Square. Without, to prevent a recurrence of
the Quebec assault, a posse of police was placed opposite the
church, another in the Square and a small body of military, hard
by, in concealment. These were the “Cameronians” but recently
arrived in the city. There was an attempt of a body of Catholic
Irishmen to break a way into the church, but they were repulsed.
On retreating the second time a shot was fired by one of the
intruders who was immediately shot down by a Protestant. Other
shots followed. Confusion reigned. The lecture was hurriedly
concluded and the people made for home. On the church being
attacked the Gavazzi called for three cheers for the Queen and
congratulated his hearers on freedom of speech being maintained.
On their way through the streets shots were fired at them by the
military. Who gave the order to fire has never been discovered.
The mayor, the Hon. Charles Wilson, who had read the riot act,
was accused and denied it. So also did Colonel Hogarth, of the
Twenty-sixth Cameronian Rifles, also accused. It is said that the
soldiers fired, at the order of some one in the crowd, but over
the heads of the people, so that those making their way up Beaver
Hall Hill received the shots. The Cameronians were very unpopular
for a time. About forty were killed or wounded, of whom many were
injured by stones and other missiles. Two women were struck down
and almost trampled to death. The scene was one of frenzied riot,
heightened by the screams of women. Gavazzi made his way between
two clergymen to St. James street, narrowly escaping with his
life. He afterwards escaped from St. Lawrence Hall in an inclosed
cab to the wharf, where the Iron Duke took him to La Prairie.
Thus his career ended in Canada. On June 26th an investigation
was held into the causes of the riot, but nothing was the
outcome and there were no apprehensions, at which there was much
disapproval, as it was thought the affair was being hushed up
as a political move. It is for this reason that the story has
been inserted in this portion. The occasion was made an occasion
of _odium theologicum_. At that time the St. Patrick’s Society,
founded in 1834, was composed of Irishmen of different religions,
but as Mr. Hincks and the mayor, the Hon. Charles Wilson, were
both prominent members, Mr. Hincks was accused of being under the
influence of the Roman Catholic majority for political purposes.
Mr. Drummond, the attorney-general for Lower Canada, being a
Catholic, was also accused in being dilatory in bringing the
rioters to justice.

[Illustration: L.H. HOLTON]

[Illustration: SIR FRANCIS HINCKS]

[Illustration: D’ARCY McGEE]

Parliament adjourned on the 14th of June. It did not meet again
till June 13, 1854, just a day within the limit allowed by the
thirty-first clause of the Union act. The chief reason for this
was the absence of the governor and the premier in England and at
Washington, at which latter place, on June 15th, the treaty of
reciprocity was signed between the United States and Canada. The
parliament was dissolved in view of the general elections to come
in July and August, when the attitude of the people on the two
great questions so long postponed, the clergy reserves and the
seigneurial tenure was to be taken as an index of confidence and
trust in the government. Mr. L.H. Holton and Mr. (afterwards Sir)
A.A. Dorion, the leader of the “Parti Rouge,” since Mr. Papineau
did not seek reelection, were returned for Montreal. The country
as a whole had pronounced in favour of the abolition of the
seigneurial tenure and the secularization of the clergy reserves.
The parliament met on the 5th of September. The rejection of the
ministerial candidate, George Etienne Cartier, for speaker in the
assembly, in favour of Mr. Sicotte, indicated to Mr. Hincks and
Mr. Morin that they could not carry on the administration against
the combined opposition of the conservative, clear grits and the
“Parti Rouge.” This was confirmed on September 7th when, on a
question of privilege, the opposition carried it. On September
8th the resignation of the Hincks-Morin ministry was accepted
by Lord Elgin. The government fell without dishonour. It had
obtained the imperial acts enabling the Canadian parliament to
deal with the clergy reserves and the application of the elective
principle to the legislative council. It had completed the
reciprocity treaty with the States and had inaugurated the era of
Canadian railway. Montreal largely shared in the prosperity which
prevailed in its term. The task of forming a new ministry was
entrusted by Lord Elgin to Sir Allan MacNab. With the concurrence
of Mr. Morin, Sir Allan effected a coalition between his own
conservative following and the late liberal government resulting
in the liberal-conservative alliance as the only method possible
of obtaining a majority in the assembly capable of conducting
the administration in accordance with the now accepted principle
of responsible government. The death knell of the old toryism
had been sounded. It also marked the virtual extinction of the
British party in Lower Canada as a separate political body. Since
that date there may be traced the growth of a more united policy
in Montreal in the common welfare.

A bill giving effect to the reciprocity treaty with the United
States was introduced by attorney-general (East), Hon. L.T.
Drummond. The long delayed bill for secularizing the clergy
reserves was introduced by Attorney-General (West), Hon. John A.
Macdonald, and that abolishing the seigneurial tenure originally
introduced by Mr. L.T. Drummond became law. By the former not
only the Anglican establishment, but all churches were deprived
of any participation in the funds accruing from the reserved
lands granted for the support of the Anglican communion since the
commencement of the British régime, a privilege that had been
all along keenly contested by other denominations. It was now
enacted that all proceeds arising from the sale of these lands
should be placed into the hands of the receiver-general, by whom,
after expenses were paid, they were to be apportioned equally
among the several county and city municipalities in proportion to

The Seigneurial Tenure Act while abolishing the system of
feudal rights and duties so long prevailing in Lower Canada,
authorized the governor to provide commissioners to appropriate
indemnifications for the despoiled seigneurs. Thus the two great
questions which had long been exercising Montreal politicians
were at last solved. Parliament was prorogued on the 18th of
December and Lord Elgin concluded his office as governor-general
with credit and honour.

Parliament opened on February 23, 1855. It was marked by the
retirement of Mr. Morin from the ministry. The McNab-Taché
administration was therefore formed. The Crimean war was now on,
and as it became necessary to remove the Imperial Troops from
Canada “a militia act was passed, which was the first step toward
the modern organization of a regular volunteer force in Canada.”

The fifth parliament was opened at Toronto on the 15th of
February, 1856. On Her Majesty’s birthday, May 24th, through the
resignation of Sir Allan McNab, the Taché-Macdonald ministry
assumed the reins, in which John A. Macdonald held the whip hand.
In this session the postponed elective legislative council act
was passed for which imperial authority had already been given.
While those already in the legislative council were to retain
their seats for life, every future member was to be elected
by the people for a term of eight years. This continued till
confederation, in 1867, when the system of appointment for life
was reverted to. The Montreal members in the legislative council
for 1856 were the Honourables Peter McGill, William Morris, Adam
Ferrie, James Ferrier, Denis B. Viger, James Leslie, Frederic
A. Quesnel, Joseph Bourret and Charles Wilson. This year the
stringency in the money market was felt as the result of the
Crimean war.

The year of 1857 is spoken of as _l’année terrible_. The toll of
death was exacted as the price of advancing civilization. Near
Hamilton seventy lives were lost by a train crashing through a
bridge spanning the Desjardins canal. The steamer Montreal which
plied between Montreal and Quebec, was burned so rapidly near
Cape Rouge that about two hundred and fifty emigrants lost their
lives. The harvest was a failure. By the beginning of winter
trade had become almost stagnant. Mercantile disaster which was
to last for a long time stared the wholesale and retail merchants
in the face. Mercantile credit collapsed and every industry was
crippled. Agriculture also shared in the general paralysis. The
cause of this disastrous state was the public extravagance in
that era of public works and railway development. The whirlwind
was being reaped. During the year the Taché-Macdonald government
had sat continuously from February 26th to June 10th. The
premier, Colonel Taché, resigned on November 25th and thereupon
the Hon. John A. Macdonald and the Hon. George Etienne Cartier
formed their administration. At the general elections held in
consequence at Montreal, Mr. A.A. Dorion, leader of the “Rouge
Party,” was one of the few of his party returned, but Mr. Holton
was defeated by the new attorney-general.

A new member for the city was the brilliant young Irishman,
Thomas D’Arcy McGee, who had only been a year in Canada. He
was, however, well known in the United States as a powerful
journalist and public speaker imbued with Irish-American
ideas. He was born in Carlingford, County Louth, in Ireland,
in 1825. In his seventeenth year he went to the States and
began journalism. In 1845 he undertook the editorship of the
“Freeman’s Journal” in Dublin. Becoming identified with the
New Ireland party and involved with Charles Gavan Duffy in the
Smith-O’Brien’s insurrection, he escaped to New York, where he
started the “New York Nation,” which was suppressed by Bishop
Hughes for the attacks on the Irish hierarchy. At Boston he
founded the “American Celt” and continued it at Buffalo for
five years. Gradually he became reconciled to the hierarchy
and received their support, so that his paper was the exponent
in America of Irish Catholic opinions. In 1857 he accepted an
invitation from the Irish party in Montreal to settle here. After
having fulfilled the necessary period of “domicile” he was soon
nominated for parliament, as we have seen.

The new parliament assembled on February 25th. It had become
known after the election that Her Majesty had fixed upon Ottawa
as the permanent seat of government. Parliament had ratified the
choice and a sum of money had been appropriated for the erection
of buildings. But there was serious opposition in many quarters.
It broke out in the House on July 28th, when Mr. Dunkin moved
an address to the Queen, praying Her Majesty to reconsider the
decision and have Montreal named instead of Ottawa. Mr. Brown
moved for an amendment for delay in the erection of buildings and
the removal of government offices to Ottawa, and Mr. Piché moved
as a further amendment that “in the opinion of this house Ottawa
ought not to be the permanent government for the province.” The
amendment was carried, supported by the opposition, and being
considered by the minority equivalent to a vote of censure on Her
Majesty, the government resigned on the following day. Mr. George
Brown was put in charge of forming a ministry which was announced
on Monday, August 2d. At once a vote of want of confidence in
the new Brown-Dorion government, moved by Mr. Hector Langevin,
was passed in the Assembly and in the Upper House. On Wednesday
afternoon after having been in office for forty-eight hours
and without having initiated a single act, parliamentary or
administrative, the short-lived administration was forced to
resign. On August 6th George Cartier becoming prime minister, the
Cartier-Macdonald ministry virtually resumed the situation of the
Macdonald-Cartier government of a few days ago. The portfolios,
however, were exchanged and thus, by making use of a statute
of 1857 there was avoided the necessity of the ministers going
to the people for reelection. This was known as the “Double
Shuffle.” The reconstructed government found themselves with a
strong majority. During the session of this year the question of
“protection to home industries,” a live subject at Montreal, came
up for legislation and was followed by the protective tariff of
the following year.

The government offices having been removed from Toronto,
parliament met at Quebec on January 29th, for the government
offices were not removed to Ottawa till 1865, where the first
session was held in 1866. During this year the principle of
Confederation began to be broached tentatively but surely, by the
opposition party led by Mr. George Brown. A reform convention in
Toronto held in November drew up a series of resolutions which,
when compared with the British North American act of 1867, show
a clear family likeness. At Montreal similar meetings were held
under the auspices of Messrs. Dorion, Drummond, McGee and others
for the same purpose of approving a federal union, but as yet the
movement was weak in Lower Canada.

The sixth parliament met at Quebec for its fourth and last
session on the 16th of March, 1861. By a proclamation of the
governor-general on the 10th of June it came to an end.

On the 8th of November there occurred in mid-ocean, during
the Civil war in the States between the North and South, the
“Trent Incident,” which caused a commotion at Montreal and
throughout Canada. The British Mail steamer Trent had on board
the Confederate envoys, Messrs. Mason and Slidell, when they were
forcibly taken prisoners by Captain Wilkes of the United States
sloop of war San Jacinto. War looked inevitable and the Canadian
Volunteers were augmented, drilled and ready for war. Regular
military troops arrived also from England. The first day of the
new year, 1862, saw the envoys delivered back to England and the
danger of war was over. One result of the “Trent” affair was a
great deepening of the Canadian sympathy, especially at Montreal,
with the southern Confederacy.

In 1862 the Cartier-Macdonald government fell, on the occasion of
their “Militia Bill,” on May 21st, and on the 24th the Macdonald
(J.S.)-Sicotte ministry was sworn in, being succeeded on May 26,
1863, by the Macdonald (J.S.)-Dorion combination, which only
lasted till the 2d of March, 1864, when the Taché-Macdonald
(J.A.) again came into power. It was agreed upon, that the
government should be pledged to introduce the federal principle
into Canada and to aim at a confederation in which all British
America should be “united under a general legislature based upon
the federal principle.”

The idea of confederation as a remedy for government ills had
occupied attention at intervals with increasing acuteness even
before the Union of 1841. It had not been confined to Upper and
Lower Canada, for Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward
Island had long discussed the idea of a union among themselves.
Various political dreamers had forecasted it, no doubt following
the lead of the United States. A meeting for the purpose being
called at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, the coalition
government of Canada sent eight ministers[3] to confer with
their representatives on the merits of a larger scheme of union
between all the provinces with the result that by agreement a
further convention was to be held at Quebec on a day named by
the governor general. His excellency fixed upon October 10th and
notified the respective lieutenant governors of Nova Scotia, New
Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. The result was
the pledge to promote the projected confederation.

During the fall of this year, 1864, Montreal was the scene of
the St. Alban’s Raid prosecutions. As already said, Canada and
Montreal especially had sympathized with the Southerners. Many
refugees had found a home here. Canada being so close to the
frontier was, therefore, frequently used as the basis of southern
plots. In the summer two vessels plying on Lake Erie and Lake
Ontario, belonging to American merchants, had been seized and
partially plundered by the southern refugees. In September St.
Albans, a little town in Vermont, on the frontier, was raided by
twenty-three southerners from Canada under the command of Bennett
H. Young, an ex-Confederate soldier, who escaped to Canada on
captured horses with $223,000 booty, after having plundered
three local banks and shot one of the cashiers. Their excuse
was that they were representatives of the Confederate States of
America and they were there to retaliate the outrages committed
by General Sherman. In November the trial of the captured rioters
took place at Montreal and on March 30th they were discharged.

Parliament met on the 19th of January. It was prorogued on
the 18th of March. During the following month four of the
administration, J.A. Macdonald, Cartier, Brown and Galt,
proceeded to England to discuss with the imperial government
the scheme of confederation. The delegates returned in time for
the opening of the last session of the Canadian legislature at
Quebec on the 8th of August. The premier, Sir E.P. Taché, had
died full of honours on the 30th of July. He was succeeded by Sir
N.F. Belleau. During this session the bill was passed to carry
out the recommendation of the commissioners appointed in 1857
“to reduce into one code to be called the civil code of Lower
Canada those provisions of the laws of Lower Canada which relate
to civil matters and are of a general and permanent character.”
Attorney-General Cartier who had introduced the bill appointing
the commission in 1857 had the satisfaction of seeing its labours
adopted in 1865. The code came into operation in 1866. This was
welcomed by the jurists of Montreal and Quebec, as it simplified
the law, reducing order out of chaos; the abolition of the
seigneurial tenure act of 1854 had rendered the codification very
necessary. Parliament closed on the 18th of September. The public
offices were removed to Ottawa during the autumn, but for a time
the cabinet meetings were held at Montreal.

In the beginning of 1866 a delegation was sent by the government
to Washington to obtain a renewal of the reciprocity treaty
which came to an end this year. The mission was a failure. St.
Patrick’s day, March 17th, was looked forward to in Canada by
more than those of Irish nationality. For although during the
year 1865 rumours had gone around that the Fenian Brotherhood of
the States, organized about this time with a branch in Ireland
to liberate Ireland, had determined to invade Canada as a base
of their operations against England, they were not taken very
seriously. But in 1866 the announcement of combined movements
upon Canada to commence on St. Patrick’s day forced serious
preparation for their reception and caused great anxiety over the
country and much recruiting in volunteer circles. St. Patrick’s
day passed and nothing happened. Beginning, however, in April
and gaining strength in May and June, the filibustering Fenians
massed their forces at various points, such as that marked by the
raid under O’Neill upon the Niagara frontier in June, that of
Ogdensburg, menacing a march upon Ottawa, and that at St. Albans
on the Vermont frontier, where 1,800 men had collected on June
7th to pass over into Canada. In Montreal doubtless they hoped
to find some sympathizers. None of these movements met eventual
success and quiet was successfully maintained on the frontier by
both governments. But these were the occasion of military ardour,
shown by the enrollments of the militia and of general patriotism.

The parliament met at Ottawa on the 8th of June in the midst
of the Fenian excitement. The address of His Excellency, the
governor general, forecasted the hope that the next time
parliament met at Ottawa it would be under the confederation
of Province. It lasted to the 15th of August. About three months
later a joint delegation of the representatives of Canada, Nova
Scotia, and New Brunswick met on December 4th in London at the
Westminster Palace Hotel and a conference was held. Prince Edward
Island and Newfoundland had seceded from the project. The upshot
of the negotiations was such that on the 22d of May, 1867, the
Confederation Act, technically known as “the British North
American Act, 1867,” was proclaimed at Windsor Castle by Her
Majesty, Queen Victoria, appointing the 1st of July following as
the date upon which it should come into force. This act joined
Canada (Upper and Lower), Nova Scotia and New Brunswick into
one Dominion, under the name of CANADA. There should be one
federal parliament, consisting of the Queen, represented by the
governor general, an _upper house_ consisting of seventy-two
_life_ members appointed by the Crown, and a House of Commons
_elected_ on the principle of representation by population. Its
jurisdiction was to affect matters concerning the Dominion at
large. Each of the four provinces of Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia
and New Brunswick was to have a provincial legislature to manage
its internal affairs. Each was to have a lieutenant governor. In
Ontario the legislature consisted only of a house of assembly. In
the other three provinces a council was added.


[Illustration: CONFEDERATION SISTERS Arranged from studies of the
Cartier monument (G.W. Hill) being erected in 1914]

In the following year the northwest territories were added to the
Dominion, in 1870 Manitoba, in 1871 British Columbia, and in 1873
Prince Edward Island, and in 1905 the new provinces of Alberta
and Saskatchewan were established. Since confederation the
history of Canada has been one of continued commercial and social
development. The British North American act was the Magna Charta
of Canadian nationhood.

Montreal is proud of the share it took in the promotion of



  Montreal (County)--

    Papineau, Joseph                       July 10, 1792, to May 31, 1796
    Walker, James                          July 10, 1792, to May 31, 1796
    Ducharme, Jean-Marie                   July 20, 1796, to June 4, 1800
    Guy, Et.                               July 20, 1796, to June 4, 1800
    Papineau, Joseph                      July 28, 1800, to June 13, 1804
    Walker, Thomas                        July 28, 1800, to June 13, 1804
    Frobisher, Benjamin                 August 6, 1804, to April 27, 1808
    Roy Portelance, Louis               August 6, 1804, to March 22, 1814
    Durocher, Jean Baptiste               June 18, 1808, to July 12, 1811
    Stuart, James                   December 4, 1811, to February 9, 1820
    Richer, Augustin                    May 13, 1814, to February 9, 1820
    Perrault, Joseph                 April 11, 1820, to September 2, 1830
    Valois, Joseph                   April 11, 1820, to September 2, 1830

    Montreal (East)--
    Frobisher, Joseph                      July 10, 1792, to May 31, 1796
    Richardson, John                       July 10, 1792, to May 31, 1796
    Papineau, Joseph                       July 20, 1796, to June 4, 1800
    Viger, Denis                           July 20, 1796, to June 4, 1800
    Panet, Pierre Louis                   July 28, 1800, to June 13, 1804
    Badgley, Fra                          July 28, 1800, to June 13, 1804
    McGill, James                       August 6, 1804, to April 27, 1808
    Chaboillez, Louis                   August 6, 1804, to April 27, 1808
    Mondelet, Jean-Marie                June 18, 1808, to October 2, 1809
    Stuart, James                         June 18, 1808, to March 1, 1810
    Papineau, Joseph                 November 23, 1809, to March 22, 1814
    Sewell, Stephen                     April 21, 1810, to March 22, 1814
    Beaujeu, Saveuse de                May 13, 1814, to February 29, 1816
    Platt, George                      May 13, 1814, to February 29, 1816
    Roy Portelance, Louis             April 25, 1816, to February 9, 1820
    Molson, John                      April 25, 1816, to February 9, 1820
    Heney, Hughes                    April 11, 1820, to September 2, 1830
    Busby, Thomas                         April 11, 1820, to May 29, 1820
    Thain, Thomas                          July 25, 1820, to July 6, 1824
    Leslie, James                   August 28, 1824, to September 2, 1830

  Montreal (West)--

    McGill, James                          July 10, 1792, to May 31, 1796
    Durocher, Jean-Baptiste                July 10, 1792, to May 31, 1796
    Auldjo, Alex                           July 20, 1796, to June 4, 1800
    Foucher, Louis Charles                 July 20, 1796, to June 4, 1800
    McGill, James                         July 28, 1800, to June 13, 1804
    Périnault, Joseph                     July 28, 1800, to June 13, 1804
    Richardson, John                    August 6, 1804, to April 27, 1808
    Mondelet, Jean-Marie                August 6, 1804, to April 27, 1808
    McGillivray, William                June 18, 1808, to October 2, 1809
    Viger, Denis Benjamin                 June 18, 1808, to March 1, 1810
    McCord, Thomas                    November 23, 1809, to March 1, 1810
    St. Dizier, Et. N.                  April 21, 1810, to March 22, 1814
    McLeod, Arch. N.                    April 21, 1810, to March 22, 1814
    Papineau, Louis Joseph             May 13, 1814, to September 2, 1830
    Fraser, James                      May 13, 1814, to February 29, 1816
    Vinet dit Soulignay, Félix        April 25, 1816, to February 9, 1820
    Garden, George                        April 11, 1820, to July 6, 1824
    Rocheblave, Pierre de                August 28, 1824, to July 5, 1827
    Nelson, Robert                  August 25, 1827, to September 2, 1830

  Montreal (County)--

    Valois, Joseph                   October 26, 1830, to October 9, 1834
    Perrault, Joseph                 October 26, 1830, to August 28, 1831
    Mondelet, Dominique            October 13, 1831, to November 24, 1832
    Papineau, l’hon. Louis Joseph  November 22, 1834, to November 3, 1835
    Cherrier, Côme                   November 22, 1834, to March 27, 1838
    Jobin, André                     November 25, 1835, to March 27, 1838

  Montreal (East)--

    Heney, Hughes                  October 26, 1830, to February 28, 1832
    Leslie, James                     October 26, 1830, to March 27, 1838
    Berthelet, Oliver                   April 6, 1832, to October 9, 1834
    Roy, Joseph                      November 22, 1834, to March 27, 1838

  Montreal (West)--

    Papineau, l’hon. Louis Joseph     October 26, 1830, to March 27, 1838
    Fisher, John                      October 26, 1830, to March 26, 1832
    Tracey, Daniel                         May 22, 1832, to July 18, 1832
    Nelson, Robert                   November 22, 1834, to March 27, 1838

  Montreal (City)--

    Moffatt, l’hon. George             April 8, 1841, to October 30, 1843
    Holmes, Benjamin                 April 8, 1841, to September 23, 1844
    Beaubien, Pierre             November 22, 1843, to September 23, 1844
    Moffatt, l’hon. George         November 12, 1844, to December 6, 1847
    Bleury, Charles-Clément Sabrevois de   Nov. 12, 1844, to Dec. 6, 1847
    Lafontaine, l’hon. Louis-Hippolyte     Jan. 24, 1848, to Nov. 6, 1851
    Holmes, Benjamin                January 24, 1848, to November 6, 1851
    Young, l’hon. John                 December 6, 1851, to June 23, 1854
    Badgley, l’hon. William            December 6, 1851, to June 23, 1854

  Montreal (County)--

    Delisle, Alexandre-Maurice            April 8, 1841, to July 13, 1843
    Jobin, André                    October 26, 1843, to November 6, 1851
    Valois, Michel-François           December 10, 1851, to June 23, 1854

  Montreal (City)--

    Dorion, Antoine-Aimé                  July 28, 1854, to June 10, 1861
    Holton, Luther-Hamilton           July 28, 1854, to November 28, 1857
    Young, l’hon. John                July 28, 1854, to November 28, 1857
    Rose, John                        December 28, 1857, to June 10, 1861
    McGee, Thomas D’Arcy              December 28, 1857, to June 10, 1861

  Montreal (Center)--

    Rose, l’hon. John                       July 9, 1861, to July 1, 1866

  Montreal (East)--

    Cartier, l’hon. George-Etienne          July 9, 1861, to July 1, 1867

  Montreal (West)--

    McGee, Thomas D’Arcy                   June 26, 1861, to July 1, 1867

    Montreal (County)--

    Laporte, Joseph                   July 24, 1854, to November 28, 1857
    Valois, Michel-François           July 20, 1854, to November 28, 1857


[1] Sometimes called the “First Baldwin-Lafontaine Government.”

[2] See Dent, “The Last Forty Years of Canada,” Vol. II, pp.

[3] The eight were J.A. Macdonald, George Brown, George Etienne
Cartier, A.T. Gault, T. D’Arcy McGee, H.L. Langevin, W. McDougall
and Alexander Campbell. Of these fathers of confederation,
Montreal records with pride the names of Cartier and McGee,
its sometime political representatives. The two especially did
much to disarm the strong opposition in certain quarters in the
province of Quebec.

                           CHAPTER XX



The citizens of Montreal, as already narrated, had had in
view for many years under the British rule, the introduction
of a responsible form of Home Rule in municipal affairs. As
early as 1786, on the invitation of the Superior Council, they
had reported in favour of the incorporation by charter of a
municipality, but notwithstanding, the system of government by
justices of the peace was continued. At a meeting of October
23, 1821, the citizens again agitated for a charter. In 1828
a great meeting was held on December 6th and resolutions were
passed to the effect that in the flourishing state of the
growth of population and the progress of trade the government
by magistrates was not sufficient to provide for municipal
advance in the future; that among the evils due to insufficient
powers granted to the magistrates was the inefficiency of police
regulations and the want of an efficient system of bookkeeping
in the appropriation of the revenues of the town; the deplorable
state for many years of the water front and the lands adjoining
the “little river,” which by their unhealthy condition, had
become dangerous to the well being of the great part of the
surrounding population; the lack of means and authority for
undertaking and executing a preconceived and general plan of
improvement, it being left to the individual to put obstacles
to the proper growth of the town which narrowness of view and
self-interest might suggest to the delay in growth and the
increase of avoidable expenses. The citizens concluded by
demanding from the legislature the incorporation of the town. The
committee formed to present the petition was as follows: For the
town, J.B. Rolland, P. McGill, J. Quesnell and A. Laframbroise;
for the districts of St. Antoine, St. Ann and the Recollets,
John Fry, Father Desautels, John Torrance, Charles de Lorimier,
C. Wagner and H. Corse; for St. Lawrence, C.S. Delorme, A.
Tullock (Père), A. Tullock (Fils), John Baptiste Castonguay,
B. Hall and Louis de Chantal; for the Quebec and St. Louis
districts, John Richelieu, Louis Parthenais, Francis Derome and
C.S. Rodier.

In 1830 the harbour commission was appointed as a partial remedy.

In 1831 the first act incorporating the city of Montreal was
presented on March 31st for the sanction of His Majesty,
which was given on April 12, 1832, its publication being by
proclamation of the governor general on June 5th following. On
the 18th of July, 1833, the city council unanimously adopted
the seal of the arms of the city, the Beaver,[1] the Rose, the
Shamrock and the Thistle, and its motto, “Concordia Salus.”
By this act under the name of “The Corporation of the City of
Montreal” the city was divided into eight wards, East, West, St.
Ann, St. Joseph, St. Antoine, St. Lawrence, St. Louis and St.
Mary. Each was to elect two councillors with certain financial
qualifications, and these sixteen were to elect from their number
one to act as mayor to whom a salary not exceeding four hundred
dollars should be granted. The right of citizenship was to be
accorded to every man attaining the age of twenty-one years and
possessing real estate in the limits of the city and having
resided therein for twelve months prior to the election. Every
elector became a member of the corporation. The corporation
acquired powers to borrow, acquire and possess property, to take
action at law, to be in turn liable to legal prosecution and
to have a seal. The other powers granted them were similar to
those exercised hitherto by the justices of the peace for the
government and maintenance of the city. The act was not to remain
in force after May 1, 1836.

On the first Monday in May, 1833, the justices of the peace met
to appoint the first Monday of June as the day of election of
the councillors. These, when elected, met on June 5th in the
courthouse for the first séance. Jacques Viger, who acted as
secretary, was elected the first mayor, the councillors being
John Donegani, William Forbes, Joseph Gauvin, Alexander Lusignan,
John McDonell, Robert Nelson, C.S. Rodier, Joseph Roy, John
Torrance, Augustin Tullock, John Turney, Guillaume J. Vallée,
François Dérome, Mahum Hall, Julien Perrault, and Turton Penn.
The secretary appointed was Francis Auger. On the first Monday
of June, each year, half of the council had to be replaced or
re-elected. The charter required that each regulation of the
council before taking effect should be submitted for approbation
to the court of King’s Bench after having been published in the
newspapers and by town criers.

This charter remained in force till May 1, 1836, when for
unaccountable reasons its renewal was refused, and the justices
of the peace again ruled the city till August, 1840. These,
following the official lists, were: Denis B. Viger, Peter
McGill, Pierre de Rocheblave, William Robertson, Lawrence Kidd,
James Miller, Austin Cuvillier, James Quesnel, Adam L. McNiver,
Joseph Shuter, William Hall, Jos. Ant. Gagnon, Daniel Arnoldi,
E.M. Leprohon, George S. Holt, Joseph T. Barrett, Jacob DeWitt,
Pierre Lukin, Turton Penn, Thomas Cringan, Joseph Masson, Henry
Corse, John Molson, Sidney Bellingham, James Browne, Pierre E.
Leclere, John Donegani, Guillaume J. Vallée, Charles Lamontagne,
Henri Desrivières, Theophile Dufort, Benjamin Hart, James McGill
Desrivières, Charles S. Rodier, John Jones, Charles Tate, Hugh E.
Barron, Alexis Laframboise, J. Bte. Castonguay, Patrice Lacombe,
Olivier Berthelet, Paul Jos. LaCroix, Thomas B. Wragg, M.J.
Hayes, Etienne Guy, Logan Fuller, François P. Bruneau, Pierre
Louis Panet, Hugh Brodie, Joseph Baby, Alexander Buchanan, John
Dyke and William Evans. The clerks of the justices were Delisle
and Delisle, then Delisle and Brehaut.


During this period Lord Durham arrived and his report
animadverting on the absence of municipal government in Montreal
and Quebec, doubtless caused the reintroduction of the municipal
council under the name of the mayor, the aldermen and the
citizens of the city of Montreal. The governor, Mr. C. Poulett
Thomson (afterwards Lord Sydenham) was authorized to name the
first council for the first term to end on December 2, 1842. His
choice was as follows: Mayor, the Hon. Peter McGill; councillors,
Jules Quesnel, Adam Ferrier, C.S. Rodier, J.G. McKenzie, C.S.
De Bleury, J.M. Tobin, Olivier Berthelet, F. Bruneau, Hippolyte
Guy, John Donegani, Charles Tate, J.W. Dunscomb, Thomas Philipps,
Colin Campbell, Stanley Bagg, Archibald Hume, D. Handside and
William Molson. On September 12, J.P. Sexton was appointed city
clerk and remained in office till 1858.

In 1843 the second council was elected by the people from six
wards only, viz., East, Center, West, Queen, St. Lawrence and St.
Mary. These councillors, two for each ward, elected the mayor
from among themselves, as well as six other citizens under the
title of aldermen who all composed the council as follows: Mayor,
Joseph Bourret; aldermen, Joseph Masson, Benjamin Holmes, William
Molson, Joseph Roy, Joseph Redpath, C.S. De Bleury; councillors,
James Ferrier, Pierre Jodoin, Peter Dunn, William Lunn, William
Watson, Olivier Frechette, Pierre Beaubien, P.A. Gagnon, François
Trudeau, François Perrin, and John Mathewson. The six wards into
which the city was divided were: East, Center, West, Queen, St.
Lawrence and St. Mary. In 1845 the city was divided into nine
wards, the city wards being East, Center and West and having each
three representatives in the council, the other six, called the
suburban wards, only having two councillors each. Thus the whole
council had twenty-one members.

This system obtained till 1852,[2] when by the statute Victoria,
14, 15, chapter 128, passed in 1851, the election of the mayor
passed from the council to the people at large. The first thus
elected was the Hon. Charles Wilson. The number of the aldermen
was raised to nine and each of the suburban wards received the
same rights as the city wards to three representatives. This
brought the council up to twenty-seven members. The statute of
1851 only imposed four quarterly sessions of the council, but the
mayor had the right, however, to call special meetings. As an
instance of the parochial measures then engaging the thoughts of
our municipal rulers, we may quote the following relating to the
breaking of a monopoly:

“Mayor Wolfred Nelson, in his address to the Council in 1854,
after alluding to the pestilence which had visited the city and
the poverty which followed, said: ‘The misery in which we have
been involved would have been immeasurably greater had not the
Council adopted energetic measures having the effect of breaking
down a cursed monopoly--that of firewood--by purchasing several
hundred cords of firewood and selling it in small lots at cost
price; as well as of arresting the most extraordinary practice
of converting our greatest thoroughfares, the wharves, into wood
yards by speculators and monopolists, who prevented the purchase
of wood in small quantities from the boats. The adoption of
these measures in one week reduced the price of fuel over one
quarter, at a period when it had been boasted that it would be
worth ten or twelve dollars a cord during the winter. Instead of
this exhorbitant rate the best wood can now be obtained for $6 a

In 1859 Charles Glackmeyer was appointed city clerk and remained
in office till 1892, when he was succeeded by L.O. David till

In 1874 (Victoria 37, Chapter 41) the charter was amended and
the name of the corporation was changed to that of “The City of
Montreal.” The distinction between aldermen and councillors was
abolished, the title for all being that of aldermen, who were all
elected by the people.

The history of Greater Montreal now begins in the annexation of
the rural municipalities. In 1883 the new Hochelaga ward added
three aldermen; in 1886 that of St. Jean Baptiste three others;
in 1887 St. Gabriel ward also added three.

Commenting on the state of civic politics under this charter a
contemporary has the following chatty appreciation:[3]

  “For many years the English-speaking element had dominated in
  civic affairs by virtue of a very small majority in the City
  Council, and there was just a little tendency among the city
  fathers forming that majority, not only to dominate but to
  domineer. They were not disposed to be unjust to the citizens
  who formed the majority of the electorate, but they showed a
  lack of tact amounting at times to a want of delicacy in dealing
  with and speaking of the diverse elements of the population.
  The French-Canadians had the good sense to elect their ablest
  men. To be quite frank there was a long period during which the
  English-speaking people seemed to think that almost anybody was
  good enough to make an alderman. The result was inevitable.
  Each ward was represented by three aldermen, one retiring each
  year and the English-speaking majority in the Center Ward was
  in 1880 only a little one. It took just three years of good
  electioneering work to replace three English-speaking aldermen
  by three French-Canadians. The latter element now dominated the
  Council and to prevent accident Hochelaga was annexed in 1883.
  This not only brought in three more French-Canadian aldermen on
  December 1, 1883, but it brought in Raymond Préfontaine, who was
  a host in himself, and who almost immediately became the ruling
  spirit in civic affairs. Of course, most of the English-speaking
  aldermen did not take kindly to the new régime and Raymond
  Préfontaine got his full share of their hot shot and it hurt
  him as much as water hurts a duck’s back. The attitude of most
  of the English journalists (including the writer) must have
  been consoling to the Council minority, on account of the sweet
  sympathy expressed. ‘The Honest Minority,’ the ‘Noble Thirteen,’
  the ‘Faithful Anti-Monopolists’ were among the compliments
  lavished by a discriminating press; and were taken not only
  seriously but appreciatively by the recipients, some of whom were
  in the habit of discussing on the floor of the Council their
  own sterling qualities with a frankness which left nothing to
  be desired. One of the noblest Romans of them all could seldom
  speak of his own honesty (and he had no false delicacy about
  introducing the subject), without shedding tears and sobbing.
  Strangers might have imagined he was crying over his lost
  opportunities, but he wasn’t; it was just his way.

  “Time is apt to and ought to modify our judgments of our
  fellowmen. Let it be said for Raymond Préfontaine by one who
  generally disagreed with his plans and disapproved of his public
  actions that among his qualities were some decidedly good
  ones. He was a man of his word and a man of ideas and infinite
  resource. He was the first public man to set about systematic
  modernizing and development of Montreal. When he talked about
  electric cars and electric lighting, he was laughed to scorn by
  the ‘Noble Minority’ in the Council and the rest of the nobility
  outside the Council. He went in for street widening and permanent
  paving (no doubt at an expensive rate) and he added to the size
  of the debt as well as to the size of the city. He was, in fact,
  Montreal’s Baron Haussmann. The Baron was ‘fired’ by the Olivier
  government for his financial extravagance; he only borrowed a
  hundred million dollars, from 1865 to 1869; but he made the
  modern Paris.

  “The Noble Thirteen and their admirers, like the coloured troops
  in the American Civil war fought nobly against Mr. Préfontaine’s
  schemes and predicted unmerciful disaster if the City Passenger
  Railway were electrified. To the plea that electric railways
  were a success elsewhere the opposition replied triumphantly and
  without fear of contradiction ‘but New York isn’t Montreal’--and
  neither Alderman Préfontaine nor any of his followers ever dared
  to take up the challenge and prove that New York was Montreal.

  “Then the Noble Thirteen had its own troubles. One, at least,
  lost his patent of nobility by voting wrong on the gas question;
  another was laid out on the City Passenger Railway Monopoly; a
  third was promoted to the retired list because his popularity
  threatened to make him a dangerous rival to another nobleman in
  a parliamentary election. Strenuous opponents of ‘monopoly’ in
  street railways became first lukewarm, then indifferent, then
  apologetic, and finally strenuous supporters of Monopoly with
  the biggest ‘M’ in the printer’s upper case. Most of the Noble
  Thirteen have gone to a better world, which is a good thing for
  them, because if they were still in the Council, they would miss
  the old admiration dreadfully.”

The city charter was recast in 1898 and the work was confided to
the mayor, Raymond Préfontaine, Aldermen Rainville, Beausoleil,
Martineau, Laporte, McBride, Ames and Archambault, aided by the
city law officers and the heads of departments. This commission
revised and examined clause by clause the preliminary draft
prepared by Messrs. Choquette and Weir, appointed revising
advocates in conjunction with the city clerk and the city
attorneys. The new charter, a progressive document, was
sanctioned on the 10th of March, 1899. By it Montreal was divided
into seventeen wards called respectively East, Center, West, St.
Ann, St. Antoine South, St. Antoine West, St. Antoine East, St.
Lawrence, St. Louis, St. James South, St. James North, St. Mary
West, St. Mary East, Hochelaga, St. Jean Baptiste, St. Gabriel
and St. Denis. In 1903 Duvernay Ward was formed with a part of
St. Jean Baptiste Ward. Among the clauses of this charter was one
giving power to the council to extend the limits of the city and
to annex municipalities. The elections now began to take place
every two years instead of annually. The mayor’s qualifications
required that he should possess real estate in the city under his
own name to the value of $10,000. His yearly salary was not to
exceed four thousand dollars. The property qualification for an
alderman was fixed at $2,000 and his yearly indemnity at $600,
with an additional sum of $200 for every chairman of a permanent
committee. These permanent committees were appointed at the
first monthly meeting in February for the year and apportioned
the general superintendents and administration of the various
city departments among themselves. These were supplemented by an
occasional special committee. The council assembled once a month,
on the second Monday, but the mayor could convoke a special
meeting on notice given to each alderman. Five members of the
council could also call a special meeting. The mayor could only
cast his vote when there was an equality of votes.

The fault of the civic administration under this charter was
in the ever-growing abuses arising from the system of standing
committees of aldermen conflicting with one another, delaying
the course of business. Towards its close corruption and
inefficiency were rampant under the monopoly of a few who became
stigmatized in the mouths of the citizens as the “23.” In 1909 a
royal commission was appointed to examine into the malversations
under the late administration. On December 12, 1909, Mr. Justice
Cannon presented his report, in which he named twenty-three of
the aldermen as guilty of malpractices. Twenty-two of these were
not returned in the subsequent elections. The following general
conclusion may be taken as a summary of his recommendations and

1. The administration of the affairs of the city of Montreal
by its Council has, since 1892, been saturated with corruption
arising especially from the patronage plague.

2. The majority of the aldermen have administered the committees
and the council in such a manner as to favor the private
interests of their relatives and friends, to whom contracts
and positions were distributed to the detriment of the general
interests of the city and of the taxpayers.

3. As a result of this administration, the annual revenue of
$5,000,000 has been spent as follows: 25 per cent in bribes and
malversation of all kinds; as for the balance, the greater part
has been employed in works of which the permanence has very often
been ephemeral.

6. As for the division and the representation of the city by
wards, all agree in condemning this system, which gave rise
to patronage and to its abuses. I recommend to the citizens
of Montreal, after a serious study of this question, to
adopt another system creating a council composed of aldermen
representing the entire city and working in unity for its growth
and prosperity.

7. The council of today is composed of groups and coteries
struggling one with another with such bitterness that they
necessarily lose sight of the high interests of the community.

Meanwhile many of the prominent citizens, about 1908, began to
prepare for a charter reform. In 1909 the “Citizens’ Association”
was formed for governmental reform. Its president was an
ex-mayor, Mr. Hormisdas Laporte, and the honorary treasurer
was Mr. James Morgan, a prominent merchant and a good citizen,
who personally contributed to the funds of the campaign, begun
then and carried on for some years, very substantial sums
of money and its other adherents, men of solid and approved
citizenship. The object of the charter reformers was to remedy
the prevalent abuses by a reduction of the number of aldermen
to one representative to each ward, making thirty-one in the
council, and by a curtailment of their powers, reducing them to
a purely legislative body, with no executive power in financial
matters. This latter function was to be held by a body of four
commissioners or “controllers” and the mayor elected from the
city at large. It was hoped that by this adaptation of the
“commission” form of government, then obtaining great prominence
in muncipal literature in the United States, where the method was
being practiced, that the waste of civic energy, time and money
would be best secured by a small executive board elected by the
people at large and uninfluenced by ward politics. The charter
for the Board of Control, (9 Edw. Chap. 82) of 1909, at the
request of Farquhar Robertson, Charles Chaput, Victor Morin, S.D.
Vallières and others, was accordingly secured from the provincial
government after a plebiscite had been previously taken in favour
of this great radical change of government, the most important
since the original municipal charter in 1831. The new form had
already been foreseen by Mayor Wilson Smith in his valedictory
address in 1896. He said:

“The question has been frequently discussed, both in the Council
and outside of it, as to whether the aldermen should be paid
for their services. I have to acknowledge that one result of my
experience has been to change my mind on this subject. I am now
decidedly of the opinion that not only should the aldermen be
remunerated for their services, but that they should be relieved,
as far as possible, of attending to purely administrative duties.
And it is worthy of serious consideration whether it would not be
in the best interests of the city to appoint paid Commissioners
to superintend all details, in connection with the civic
administration. These Commissioners might have associated with
them the heads of the departments, with the Mayor as chairman,
who might form an Advisory Board, and submit all matters to the
City Council, which would act as a legislative body, but their
recommendations should be subject to a veto of a two-thirds vote
of the Council. The Commissioners might be three in number, one
of whom could be elected by the rate-payers generally, one by
the real estate owners, and one by a two-thirds vote of the City
Council; said Commissioners to be under the control of the City
Council, and subject to dismissal for cause, by a two-thirds vote
of the Council.”

In virtue of the recent change in the charter, the new Board of
Control was invested with the following powers:

1. To prepare the annual budget and to submit it to the council;

2. To recommend every expense, no expense or matter referring to
city finances being able to be adopted unless recommended by the

3. The council on the report of the controllers to be charged with
the granting of franchises and privileges by regulation, resolutions,
contracts, by the issue of debentures and contraction of loans;

4. The controllers were further to prepare contracts and plans,
to ask for tenders, to decide all formalities relating to the
latter, to receive and to open such;

5. To inspect or oversee public works;

6. To employ the money voted by the council for the purpose

7. To nominate and suspend all employees, except those nominated
by the council whose nomination, suspension and dismissal should
be made by the council on the recommendation of the controllers;

8. No report or recommendation made by the controllers to be
executed without the acceptation of the majority of the council;

9. No amendment to a report or recommendation of the controllers
to be made without the approbation of two-thirds of the members
of the council present at the meeting.

The work now to be given to the Board of Control was that
hitherto done by eleven committees of the aldermen of seven
members in each.

The Citizens’ Association undertaking the campaign for good
government and the conduct of the forthcoming elections formed
up in the middle of 1909, and was hailed by all good citizens,
receiving the support of all public and volunteer associations
having a civic tendency. About this time an important association
was formally inaugurated on April 12, 1909, by His Excellency
Earl Grey entitled the “City Improvement League,” and lent its
aid in the campaign of education on good government and civic
progress. Other societies also cooperated. The women associations
under the local Council of Women on the English-speaking side,
and La Fédération Nationale St. Jean Baptiste on the French,
entered more largely than ever before into the movement for civic
progress and influenced the women voters for clean government.
The choice of the people for the new officers was made on
February 1, 1910, when the “whole slate for the board” prepared
by the Citizens’ Association was unanimously adopted at the
polls as follows: Mayor, J.J. Guerin, M.D.; controllers, E.P.
Lachapelle, M.D., president of the Provincial Board of Health;
L.N. Dupuis, merchant; Joseph Ainey, labour candidate; and F.L.
Wanklyn, a civil engineer and former manager of the Montreal
Street Railway. (The latter resigned in the fall of 1911 and
was succeeded by the election in the spring of 1912 of Mr. C.H.
Godfrey.) The thirty-one wards were represented as follows:

  East                      L.A. Lapointe
  Centre                    J.Z. Resther
  West                      S.J. Carter *
  St. Ann                   T. O’Connell *
  St. Joseph                U.H. Dandurand
  St. Andrew                Joseph Ward *
  St. George                Leslie H. Boyd, K.C. *
  St. Louis                 Jean B. Lamoureaux
  St. Laurent               James Robinson *
  Papineau                  J.A.E. Gauvin
  St. Mary                  J.P. Roux, M.D.
  St. Jacques               A.N. Brodeur
  Lafontaine                Eudore Dubeau
  Hochelaga                 J.H. Garceau, M.D.
  St. Jean Baptiste         Noé Leclaire
  St. Gabriel               Patrick Monahan *
  St. Denis                 Ernest D. Tétreau
  Duvernay                  Ludger Clément
  St. Henry                 O. Letourneau, M.D.
  St. Cunegonde             N. Lapointe
  Mount Royal               A.E. Prud’homme, N.P.
  De Lorimier               George Mayrand, N.P.
  Laurier                   N. Turcot
  Notre Dame de Graces      George Marcil
  St. Paul                  M. Judge
  Ahuntsic                  T. Bastien
  Emard                     J.U. Emard, K.C.
  Longue Pointe             E. Larivière
  Bordeaux                  E. Lussier
  Cote des Neiges           A.S. Deguire
  Rosemount                 J.N. Drummond *

  * English-Speaking.

The consequent dispatch in city business, the improvement in
public works, the strengthening of heads of departments in the
city hall, hitherto hampered by aldermanic interference, and the
abolition of patronage secured universal approbation of the new
form of civic government. After awhile the spirit of opposition
among a certain number of the aldermen began to jeopardize the
early universal acceptance of the board of control system.
Again the Citizens’ Association, with its backing, had to seek
to strengthen the hands of the Board of Control. The following
extracts from the Secretary of the Board of Trade’s annual report
(Mr. George Hadrill) will indicate the new phase:

“In 1908, it being evident that the City Council, while
comprising some good and capable men, was sadly misgoverning this
city, your Council, with representatives of other organizations,
endeavoured to secure such amendment of the City Charter as
would provide for a reduction in the number of Aldermen and for
the election of a Board of Commissioners. This effort resulted
successfully in 1909, but unfortunately the amendments to the
Charter submitted by the Citizens Committee were so changed
in their passage through the Legislature that the Board of
Commissioners did not possess the full powers it was intended to
give them, and the result has been that, while the Commissioners
have done much for the City, many of their plans for its
advantage have been frustrated by the City Council and hence the
hope for improvement in the condition of the City has been only
partially realized. Your Council, therefore, in October last,
joined with the following other organizations in an endeavour
to secure such further amendments to the City Charter as would
give the Board of Commissioners all executive powers, leaving
with the City Council the general legislative powers and the
making of by-laws: Montreal Trades and Labour Council, Canadian
Manufacturers’ Association, La Chambre de Commerce, Montreal
Citizens’ Association, Association Immobilière Montréal, Montreal
Business Men’s League.

The substance of these amendments was as follows:

“That the Commissioners shall prepare the annual budget and the
supplementary budget, and submit each to the City Council, which
shall have the power to amend them by a two-thirds majority, or
to reject them by a majority.

“That in the event of the budget not being adopted, amended or
rejected within a certain period, it would be considered adopted.

“That once the budget is adopted, with or without amendment, the
entire control of the expenditure, within the limits prescribed
by the budget, would be left to the Board of Commissioners.

“That the Board of Commissioners shall have the appointment,
suspension, dismissal and full control in all respects of all
employees, including the heads of departments.

“That the initiative as to loans and franchises shall be with the
Board of Commissioners, subject to approval by the City Council,
who could amend or reject by a two-thirds majority.

“That the general legislative power and the making of by-laws
shall be with the City Council, but the Board of Commissioners
shall have all executive powers.

“That if any change in the composition of the City Council is
decided upon, it would best be obtained by dividing the city into
five wards (each to elect three aldermen), such division to be
made equitably in proportion to population, assessed value and
possible growth.

“Amendments to the City Charter Bill, based upon the foregoing,
were presented to the Private Bills Committee at Quebec by the
Citizens Association, the Board of Trade and other leading
associations resulted in their adoption, with a slight change
and thus the Board of Commissioners is now in possession of the
powers necessary for the proper discharge of its duties.”

It is to be noted that, by a strange oversight of the framers
of the amended charter, the following important clause in the
original charter for the Board of Control was omitted: “To make
all recommendations involving the expenditure of money. No
recommendation involving the expenditure of money, and affecting
in any manner whatever the finances of the city shall be adopted
by the Council without it having been previously submitted to the
Board of Commissioners and approved by them.” There was, however,
added the power to conclude without tender, urgent purchase of
materials not exceeding the value of $2,500.

The elections of 1912, in which the four controllers, who had
completed their term of four years, did not compete, resulted
in the election of Mr. L.A. Lavallée, K.C., as the next mayor.
Among the new aldermen elected were several of those who had
been scored in Judge Cannon’s report, so short-lived is a city’s
remembrance. During the next two years the position of the Board
of Control was further jeopardized by organized opposition from
the part of the council, but the evident value of the system
still retained the favour of the people.

In preparation for the campaign of 1914 the chief civic bodies of
the city called together by the Citizens Association sought to
diminish the number of the aldermen further by a redistribution
of the city into five districts with three aldermen to each,
with the object of the abolition of the small ward system
as such. An amendment to the charter was prepared for five
districts with three aldermen to each, and presented to the
legislative committee of the Provincial Government at Quebec.
Its delegation obtained a lukewarm reception as its opponents,
within the Council, fearing to be reduced in number in the
city hall, had forestalled the deputation by previous action.
In addition it was thought that the redistribution demanded
was premature. The “status quo” therefore remained, and at the
municipal elections of 1914 the organized reaction against
the Citizens Association leading the reform party was very
clearly marked in the results of the poll. An attempt was made
to vilify the Citizens Association for its efforts to provide
a harmonious “slate” representative of the different elements
in the city; disorganization and want of cohesion reigned among
those otherwise interested in good government, and the unwritten
law which should have offered the mayoralty this year to an
English-speaking citizen was broken.

This election was the most important of recent years, the
positions of mayor, four controllers and thirty-two aldermen
being vacant. The mayor elected was the Mr. Médéric Martin, the
controllers being Mr. Joseph Ainey, E. Napoléon Hébert, Thomas
Coté and Duncan McDonald. The personnel of the Council was
likewise overwhelmingly French Canadian.

This Government is now under trial. Let us repeat the city’s
motto “Concordia Salus.”

There are not wanting signs in forecast that the reduction of the
number of wards will take place on the lines above indicated.
Montreal civic students of this period, seeing the growth of the
Greater Montreal, are groping towards some coherent system, which
will eventually embrace the whole island while securing the local
government of its various subdistricts or municipality. Another
movement of the future connected with the foregoing will be a
larger measure of Civic Home Rule, than is at present allowed by
the Province of Quebec.

The system of the financial government of the city by the Board
of Control is not, however, universally approved of, especially
by the aldermen. The fault lies in the manner of election of
the mayor, aldermen and the controllers, all being elected by
the people on a Democratic basis of public favour; hence there
is likelihood of temporary popularity rather than special
professional ability being the criterion in the selection of
controllers and the mayor, who is, by his office, chairman of
their board.

There are, therefore, at present several theories under
discussion which will influence a further change of the latest
charter amendments.

Among these are the following:

(1) The appointment by the Provincial Legislature of a Board
of Control. This militates against the upholders of Civic Home
Rule and is a partial recurrence to the old system of Justices
of the Peace, appointed by Government before the erection of the

(2) The removal of the Board of Control and the restitution
of the standing committees as hitherto. This has not proved
successful in the past.

(3) The aldermen to be elected by the city at large through five
or six great divisions.

(4) The election of the councillors by the city at large with the
establishment of a permanent “Board of Works” with at least a
fair proportion of professional men, such as engineers, who shall
be appointed by the people for a long term of usefulness so as
to encourage the best men to devote a life service in the city’s

(5) The mayor to be elected by the people but not to sit as
chairman of the Board of Control. This Board to be elected only
by the votes of the electors entered as “proprietors” on the
voters list. Thus, with property qualifications for controllers
added perhaps, a more judicious choice could be made. The
election of alderman to be as before or by larger divisions.

Of these modifications the last compromise has more weight.

                             NOTE 1

                       MAYORS OF MONTREAL

  Term.                 Name.                             Elected by.

  1833-36             Jacques Viger                     The Council
    (The interval was filled again by the Justices of the Peace.)
  1840                Hon. Peter McGill                 Governor General
  1841-42             Hon. Peter McGill (2 terms)       The Council
  1843-44             Joseph Bourret (2 terms)          The Council
  1845-46             Hon. James Ferrier                The Council
  1847                John E. Mills (died in November,
                        was replaced by Joseph Bourret) The Council
  1848                Joseph Bourret                    The Council
  1849-50             E.R. Fabre                        The Council
  1851-52-53          Hon. Charles Wilson (3 terms)     The People
  1854-55             Wolfred Nelson                    The People
  1856-57             Hon. Henry Starnes (2 terms)      The People
  1858-59-60-61       Hon. Charles S. Rodier (4 terms)  The People
  1862-63-64-65       Hon. J.L. Beaudry (4 terms)       The People
  1866-67             Hon. Henry Starnes (2 terms)      The People
  1867-68-69          William Workman (3 terms)         The People
  1871-72             Charles J. Coursol (2 terms)      The People
  1873                Francis Cassidy (died in June,
                        1873, being replaced by Aldis
                        Bernard)                        The People
  1874                Aldis Bernard                     The People
  1875-76             Sir William Hingston (2 terms)    The People
  1877-78             Hon. J.L. Beaudry (2 terms)       The People
  1879-80             Hon. Severe Rivard (2 terms)      The People
  1881-82-83-84       Hon. J.L. Beaudry (4 terms)       The People
  1885-86             H. Beaugrand (2 terms)            The People
  1887-88             Sir J.J.C. Abbott (2 terms)       The People
  1889-90             Jacques Grenier (2 terms)         The People
  1891-92             Hon. James McShane (2 terms)      The People
  1893                Alphonse Desjardins               The People
  1894-95             Hon. J.O. Villeneuve (2 terms)    The People
  1896-97             R. Wilson Smith (2 terms)         The People
  1898-99-1900-01[A]  Hon. Raymond Préfontaine
                        (3 terms)                       The People
  1902-03             James Cochrane                    The People
  1904-05             H. Laporte                        The People
  1906-07             H.A. Ekers                        The People
  1908-09             L. Payette                        The People
  1910-11             Hon. J.J. Guerin                  The People
  1912-13             L.A. Lavallée                     The People
  1913-14             Médéric Martin                    The People

  [A] By the new charter to begin with 1900 the term of mayor was
  now increased to two years.

                                 NOTE II

                            FROM 1880 TO 1912

          Assessment on real                               Business and personal
              estate.                   Water rate.                tax.

          Current                  Current                  Current
  Year      year        Arrears      year         Arrears     year       Arrears

  1880 $ 582,100.31 $ 190,866.89 $ 327,104.61 $ 37,846.38 $146,148.23 $14,726.00
  1881   612,255.49   239,469.45   364,797.47   33,640.71  145,957.06  13,690.77
  1882   643,687.06   190,534.03   384,936.51   25,820.51  147,949.57  14,409.82
  1883   676,613.03   187,408.78   395,768.74   27,301.43  150,578.69  15,941.73
  1884   708,134.15   155,180.45   424,014.38   34,126.87  156,552.32  23,523.55
  1885   748,507.00   142,092.33   412,660.04   27,739.88  164,872.65  27,181.73
  1886   798,041.29   192,874.42   468,398.72   49,712.67  167,052.18  19,132.84
  1887   842,852.25   109,218.52   502,408.72   35,657.91  175,320.72  26,255.86
  1888   895,298.75   137,475.38   533,614.60   48,638.03  183,394.44  29,968.13
  1889   936,528.54   139,897.14   578,312.19   56,617.51  188,181.97  31,547.90
  1890   991,620.11   154,769.43   539,917.37   48,489.27  187,383.57  43,583.58
  1891 1,027,719.09   174,498.63   610,401.75  115,879.28  188,398.82  44,661.04
  1892 1,129,198.38   208,519.69   532,699.00   76,086.76  190,375.42  49,987.64
  1893 1,238,494.32   218,969.31   559,666.06   80,509.28  204,052.81  51,332.26
  1894 1,257,092.01   312,836.50   544,739.91   76,061.81  200,414.69  48,692.44
  1895 1,270,846.41   307,656.66   524,930.94   81,914.08  194,972.07  55,850.02
  1896 1,271,628.00   384,043.97   539,740.82   98,472.93  190,191.66  63,607.71
  1897 1,290,911.32   386,608.08   546,515.51  101,250.89  202,234.84  66,407.16
  1898 1,313,352.17   394,688.51   589,188.08  183,163.07  204,464.48  56,453.88
  1899 1,277,513.19   388,715.13   596,851.18  119,868.04  205,471.49  63,398.28
  1900 1,250,163.18   524,900.81   565,239.23  139,196.59  199.447.86  64,879.10
  1901 1,304,407.26   580,162.53   663,767.73  140,590.76  233,329.61  71,463.20
  1902 1,319,782.89   536,518.81   662,467.11   82,253.19  240,932.44  49,114.44
  1903 1,386,212.56   564,227.48   706,285.49   93,339.97  275,618.26  57,703.28
  1904 1,486,917.48   531,599.76   737,518.15   92,634.46  272,081.82 42,599.27
  1905 1,672,867.93   613,298.99   792,649.33   110,868.30 310,909.06  46,218.33
  1906 1,933,357.09   539,999.99   849,222.70   114,373.15 347,924.80  42,512.48
  1907 1,979,426.63   721,218.19   885,686.24   131,719.63 364,117.27  48,306.12
  1908 2,160,037.12   864,946.19   786,825.16   148,894.53 413,888.74  59,813.81
  1909 2,542,513.68   962,555.19   860,925.60   113,733.26 473,248.26  64,269.42
  1910 2,915,396.10 1,026,172.07   934,362.14   104,250.34 538,678.14  51,383.66
  1911 3,344,172.04 1,328,208.87 1,037,436.56   114,608.06 619,855.08  58,105.94
  1912 4,176,083.47 1,547,827.75 1,174,773.84   132,365.69 739,384.95  66,028.93

                           FROM 1880 TO 1912 CONTINUED

  Year   Markets     Licenses   Recorder’s  Miscellaneous  Interest     Yearly
                                  Court                                 totals

  1880 $ 30,366.85 $ 43,635.35 $ 7,770.57 $ 40,008.23 $ 24,956.94 $1,495,616.39
  1881   77,709.42   45,001.32  12,665.03   35,824.04   35,706.65  1,617,117.41
  1882   80,364.50   48,275.30  14,380.72   35,982.90   26,940.95  1,618,221.87
  1883   81,777.71   50,968.15  11,130.62   42,307.44   30,474.54  1,670,270.91
  1884   86,853.04   54,077.70  12,019.15   47,597.39   39,541.19  1,732,620.69
  1885   85,242.01   60,006.80  11,547.08   41,179.60   24,991.31  1,746,020.43
  1886   89,086.77   65,579.00  18,003.98   57,259.56   33,717.82  1,908,859.25
  1887   89,279.69   70,264.82  25,053.06   39,491.95   32,589.57  1,948,393.07
  1888   88,336.37   74,269.48  26,097.64   33,404.47   45,913.48  2,095,411.27
  1889   83,308.64   76,475.15  22,883.41   41,081.31   67,263.63  2,222,097.39
  1890   82,705.63   81,365.85  26,269.59   42,269.33   42,557.56  2,240,931.29
  1891   85,533.93   81,370.00  23,445.91   53,196.77   34,971.51  2,440,076.73
  1892   80,470.91   66,627.00  22,412.25   57,650.17   44,925.52  2,458,952.74
  1893   80,686.81   66,654.25  16,314.49   94,004.66   40,471.31  2,651,155.56
  1894   76,970.59   66,823.91  17,356.02   92,052.64   56,295.23  2,743,335.75
  1895   78,697.98   72,755.23  14,506.19   98,740.43   56,790.92  2,757,660.93
  1896   77,362.82   70,767.50  14,372.98   91,194.69   64,678.40  2,866,061.48
  1897   77,599.25   79,555.25  17,341.68   99,197.85   54,303.55  2,921,925.38
  1898   76,190.41   78,546.00  13,961.57  115,985.25   52,845.73  3,078,839.15
  1899   74,419.99  101,009.80  20,569.05  105,263.48   51,649.09  3,004,728.72
  1900   75,363.96  121,348.00  31,578.77  121,854.76   63,642.07  3,157,614.33
  1901   86,190.48  132,064.77  26,957.69  124,309.24   69,992.61  3,433,235.88
  1902   84,790.51  140,955.75  26,032.01  144,287.28   92,085.47  3,379,219.90
  1903   90,384.42  151,957.00  25,827.64  144,721.60   58,150.26  3,554,428.96
  1904   97,451.78  179,706.50  33,431.38  178,180.65   43,135.00  3,695,256.25
  1905  100,761.59  204,688.75  43,186.37  208,713.78   45,399.61  4,149,562.04
  1906  102,305.08  223,008.15  38,851.88  293,499.54   56,001.63  4,541,056.49
  1907  108,801.41  244,618.07  38,927.38  306,511.29   68,943.86  4,898,276.09
  1908  111,260.20  243,418.25  47,944.03  353,515.93   67,700.39  5,258,244.35
  1909  112,555.26  261,789.00  37,352.83  361,658.19  107,393.45  5,897,994.14
  1910  106,690.76  315,447.50  57,278.12  435,478.08  130,564.67  6,615,701.58
  1911  109,407.42  371,252.50  68,100.61  445,024.90  160,661.26  7,656,833.24
  1912  112,167.43  422,013.57  80,150.35  566,092.70  173,767.81  9,190,656.49

The annexation of the suburban municipalities, begun in 1883, has
added partially to the revenue.


[1] Before 1815 Commander Jacques Viger had introduced the beaver
into a fancy coat of arms.

[2] In 1844 the council which hitherto sat in a house belonging
to Madame de Beaujeiu, situated between St. Francois Xavier and
St. John streets on Notre Dame Street, and demolished in 1858
on the enlargement of the latter street, was moved to the Hayes
Acqueduct House and sat below the reservoir. In 1852 it held its
first sessions in the Bonsecours Market.

[3] Mr. Henry Dalby, Herald Centennary number, 1913.

                           CHAPTER XXI



“Annals and sidelights” best suits the title of this chapter,
and as such are necessarily disjointed, the events recorded
reflect a corresponding note. Therefore, origins and seeds are
only indicated, of many movements which have since grown to great
proportions. These latter, such as primary, secondary, technical,
and university education, the public services of fire, water,
lighting, health, law and order; the commencements of commercial
and financial bodies; the growth of the municipal life, as such;
the development and modernization of the harbour and of our
public places; the progress of general city improvement; the
development of our transportation system by canal, river and
roads by rail and by carriage; the charitable, the religious,
the national, the literary, the intellectual and the artistic
institutions of the city, etc., are left for special historical
treatment in the second part of this volume.

In this place the general social aspect of the life of the city
is chronologically treated, with partial reference at times to
the above as they make their first bow to the public under the
Union. A similar foreword might preface a subsequent chapter of
annals of social life under the Confederation.

The picture presented by Montreal at the beginning of the
Union was one of hopeful promise. The bill, when understood,
was acceptable to most, and it soon became seen, that with
responsible government,--though a daring experiment,--in working
order, peace and prosperity would be assured. The re-birth of
municipal life insured by the new charter was also gratifying.
The mayor and corporation and the institution of the recorder’s
court gave a dignity soothing to civic “amour propre.” City
development in municipal functions, in the public services and
physical embellishments, began to be marked. Trade began to raise
its head, for Montreal was becoming recognized as the commercial
metropolis of Canada. The meeting of April 6, 1841, to organize
the new board of trade, was a significant fact of the period
of progress now anticipated. The improvement in the harbour
facilities, of the water transportation system, and the advent of
the railway era soon to be celebrated, also marked the beginning
of a new period of progress.

The city, too, was coming to be recognized as an embryonic
cosmopolis. It was already beginning to have a mixed population.
Sir Richard Bonnycastle, who visited Montreal in the year before
the Union, has described this in “The Canadas in 1841” (Volume
I, pp. 76-77). “In this city, one is amused by seeing the never
changing lineaments of the long _queue_, the _bonnet rouge_ and
the incessant garrulity of Jean Baptiste, mingling with the
sober demeanour, the equally unchanging feature and the national
plaid of the Highlander, while the untutored sons of labour,
from the green isle of the ocean, are here as thoughtless, as
ragged and as numerous as at Quebec. Amongst all these the shrewd
and calculating citizen from the neighbouring republic drives
his hard bargain with all his wonted zeal and industry, amid
the fumes of Jamaica and gin sling. These remarks apply to the
streets only. In the counting houses, although the races remain
the same, the advantages of situation and of education make the
same differences as in other countries. I cannot, however, help
thinking that the descendant of the Gaul has not gained by being
transplanted; and the vastly absurd notions which a few turbulent
spirits have of late engendered and endeavoured to instil into
the unsophisticated and naturally good mind of the Canadian,
tilling the soil, have tended to restrict the exercise of that
inborn urbanity and suavity which are the Frenchman’s proudest
boast after those of ‘_l’amour et la gloire_.’”

At the beginning of this period great ideas are reflected in the
newspapers, such as the Herald and the Times.

The deepening of Lake St. Peter was a burning theme at the time;
and there is abundant editorial comment in the connection.

  “The governor-general has sanctioned the immediate deepening of
  Lake St. Peter,” says the editor; “but it appears that there
  was great difficulty in getting the proper dredging machines

  “We have other resources at our command,” exclaimed the editor;
  “and the manufacturers of New York or Great Britain would gladly
  accept orders to any extent. The aid of steam, all powerful
  steam, must be invoked. We have no hesitation in saying that the
  expenditure of £100,000, if that sum would suffice to deepen Lake
  St. Peter, would be submitted to with perfect prudence.

  “Few will be dogmatical enough to deny that when the navigation
  is free, ships descending the river may avoid the use of steam
  tugs; and if we calculate the saving thus effected upon 200
  vessels annually at £30 each, the amount thus realized would
  suffice to pay the interest on a loan at 6 per cent.

  “A brisk, fair, and continuous breeze would ensure the speedy,
  safe and cheap progress of ships up the St. Lawrence, and augment
  the extent of our commercial marine.”

Referring, in another part of the paper, to the actual
commencement of the work of deepening Lake St. Peter, which only
gave eleven feet of water, the Times says:

  “Improvements thus disseminating the germs of future wealth and
  prosperity command the applause of every colonist. The spirit of
  patriotism must be dormant, indeed, in the breasts of those who
  would thwart the efforts of a governor, who has thus identified
  himself with the system of internal navigation.

  “The repose of the colony has been too long disturbed by those
  theoretical revolutions which sprang from the fluctuating
  councils of the late Viceroy. A healthier tone of feeling has
  been produced; and the practical labours of Sir Charles Bagot bid
  fair to soothe the asperities of political warfare. Under his
  auspices the deepening of Lake St. Peter has been commenced and
  ere his departure, we trust the undertaking will be brought to

Since then something in the neighborhood of $20,000,000 have been
spent between the work of deepening and lighting and buoying
the channel, and the extension and improvement of the port of

The editors of these days had to burn the midnight oil or tallow
candle, for then gas was not general. As for matches, the old
tinder chips dipped in sulphur ind ignited by use of the flint
still prevailed. The rich used wax candles or lamps, but the poor
made their own “dips,” or for the nonce, even small improvised
lamps out of spoons filled with oil. Tallow candle moulds were
the prized possession of many poor houses before the manufactured
candles became cheap on the market. When coal oil came, it was
looked on as a miracle.

The town was inadequately provided with water works, as it was
not till 1845 that the municipality took over the old-fashioned
plant in Montreal, and the old puncheons, driven by horses still
went from door to door distributing the water taken from the

Place d’Armes was still a poor straggling square, though it was
faced by the handsome new Notre Dame Church, opened in 1829. At
this time there still stood the bell tower of the old Parish
Church, standing solitary like a lighthouse till 1843. Crossing
the square the genteel folk, the wives of doctors, lawyers, and
merchants, would come from their residences on St. James and
Craig streets to the Bonsecours Market, not ashamed to carry
their baskets. There the “habitants” from the country could be
seen dressed in blue or gray homespun cloth suits, with their
picturesque, heavy knitted sashes and wearing the tuque and
moccasins in winter.

For as yet, the city was in truth of small size. A four-paged,
demi-zinc copy of the Times and Commercial Advertiser, the first
daily to be printed in Montreal, of the issue of March 3, 1842,
gives a glimpse of this. An advertisement announces that a
three-storey stone house at the head of Coté Street, “enjoys a
commanding situation in a most quiet and healthy part of Montreal
and which nevertheless is within five minutes walk of the
business part of the city.” Splendid dwelling houses are for rent
on Great St. James Street suitable for genteel families.

Yet life was intense and earnest and the bases of many of the
present educational, philanthropic and artistic associations were
being laid. This same number of the Times mentions that the

  “The Montreal Provident and Savings Bank, which has just been
  projected, under the patronage of the governor-general, and which
  is to receive deposits of from one shilling and upwards, is a
  patriotic institution, as the directors and all concerned have
  only the advantage of the entire community at heart, receiving
  nothing for their services, and desiring, chiefly, to extend,
  by this means, the basis of social order and morality, and
  religion. For these reasons the directors respectfully entreat
  the ministers of religion, masters employing numerous bodies
  of workmen, and all having influence, to exert the same; and
  by the sanction of their names, and the moral weight of their
  advice, to induce the numerous classes, for whose use it is
  chiefly intended, to avail themselves of the benefits which the
  institution holds out for their acceptance.”

Living was cheap and quite a good deal could be bought with
but a little money. Money, however, was scarce and wages were
small. Twenty-five cents would buy a pair of chickens, 15 cents
a pound of butter, 10 cents a dozen eggs and 5 cents a pound of
beef. A man would work for 50 cents a day and walk many miles to
his job. A mechanic who got $1, earned good wages. Clothing was
expensive, and consequently simplicity ruled. Yet furs were cheap
in comparison with the present date. Ladies would wear very large
muffs, capable of holding in their mysterious interiors a week’s
supply of groceries. Long boas were worn twice wound around the
neck, and reaching to the toes. The dresses of the middle class
of women and girls were for the most part print, with thick
homespun for winter wear. Boys would go to the few schools in the
town in “moleskins” as woolen was expensive. They would often
come home on a rainy afternoon with their moleskin trousers
shrunk up to their knees.

The houses of the ordinary working class were built for the most
part of wood and consisted of one storey and a garret. Rents ran
from about two dollars to four dollars a month.

In 1843 a dispensary which is still flourishing today was started
and came as a great supplementary aid to the hospitals of the
city. This was the Montreal Dispensary with which so many of our
best citizens have been connected.

The memory of Rasco’s suggests that of the famous “Dolly,”
J.H. Isaacson, who came out from England as a waiter here in
1838, but afterwards started for himself in a restaurant on St.
François Xavier Street overlooking the Garden of the Seminary.
He later moved to St. James Street, close to St. Lawrence Hall,
a famous hostelry of this period, built in 1851, on the site
where the Royal Bank now stands. His chop house became famous
as “Dolly’s” from the original “Dolly’s” in London. Dolly, a
little typical old John Bull of a Boniface, with shining face
beaming benevolence, with a ready fund of repartee and trenchant
criticism, and resplendent in velvet coat, knee breeches and
irreproachable calves, white silk stockings and silver buckles on
his shoes, was in great favour with the military.

The social life of the period found one of its highest points
of reflex in Rasco’s Hotel, on Bonsecours Street, which still
stands, though with diminished glory. But when it was opened on
May 1, 1836, it was, during the Union, the resort of the fine
people of the time. It had the politicians gathered together
during the rebellion of 1837 and it was for long the home for
banquets. It expressed the social life of the time. The garrison
officers knew it well. Distinguished strangers put up there
as did Charles Dickens, who arrived from Niagara Falls in the
spring of 1842. As private theatricals were then the rage, and
were greatly promoted by the officers to while away the time,
the histrionic ability of the great novelist was called into
requisition at the first Theatre Royal, standing nearly opposite
until it was pulled down to make room for the Bonsecours Market.

In one of the author’s letters from Montreal quoted in Forster’s
“Life of Charles Dickens,” he says: “The theatricals, I think
I told you I had been invited to play with the officers of the
Coldstream Guards here, are ‘A Roland for an Oliver,’ ‘Two
O’Clock in the Morning,’ and either ‘The Young Widow,’ or ‘Deaf
as a Post,’ Ladies (unprofessional) are going to play for the
first time.”

His last letter, dated from Rasco’s Hotel, Montreal, Canada, 26th
of May, 1842, described the private theatricals and inclosed a
bill of the play:

“The play came off last night, the audience, between five and
six hundred strong, were invited as to a party, a regular table
with refreshments being spread in the lobby and saloon. We had
the band of the 23d (one of the finest in the service) in the
orchestra; the theatre was lighted with gas, the scenery was
excellent and the properties were all brought from the private
houses. Sir Charles Bagot, Sir Richard Jackson and their staffs
were present, and as the military portion of the audience were
all in uniform it was really a splendid scene.

“I really believe I was really funny; at least, I know that I
laughed heartily myself and made the part a character such as you
and I know very well--a mixture of F. Harley Yates, Keeley and
‘Jerry Sneak.’ It went with a vim all the way through; and as I
am closing, they have told me that I was so well made up that Sir
Charles Bagot, who sat in the stage box, had no idea who played
‘Mr. Snobbington’ until the piece was over. * * *

“All the ladies were capital and we had no wait or hitch for
an instant. You may suppose this when I tell you that we began
at eight and had the curtain down at eleven. * * * It is their
custom here to prevent heart-burnings, in a very heart-burning
town, whenever they have played in private, to repeat the
performance in public, so on Saturday (substituting, of course,
real actresses for the ladies) we repeat the two first pieces to
a paying audience, for the manager’s benefit. * * * I send you a
bill to which I have appended a key.”

       *       *       *       *       *

The programme was as follows:

                      PRIVATE THEATRICALS.


           Mrs. Torrens                 W.E. Ermatinger, Esq.
           Mrs. Berry                   Capt. Torrens
                      The Earl of Mulgrave.
          Stage Manager                 Charles Dickens

                   Queen’s Theatre, Montreal,
                Wednesday Evening, May 25, 1842.
                        Will Be Performed

                     A ROLAND FOR AN OLIVER.

           Mrs. Selborne               Mrs. Torrens
           Maria Darlington            Miss Griffin
           Mrs. Fixture                Miss Ermatinger
           Mr. Selborne                Lord Mulgrave
           Alfred Highflyer            Mr. Charles Dickens
           Sir Mark Chase              Hon. Mr. Methuen
           Fixture                     Captain Willoughby
           Gamekeeper                  Captain Granville

               After the Interlude, in one scene,
                    (from the French) called


           The Stranger                Captain Granville
           Mr. Snobbington             Mr. Charles Dickens

        To conclude with the farce, in one act, entitled

                         DEAF AS A POST.

           Mrs. Plumpley               Mrs. Torrens
           Amy Templeton               Mrs. Charles Dickens
           Sophy Walton                Mrs. Perry
           Sally Maggs                 Miss Griffin
           Captain Templeton           Captain Torrens
           Mr. Walton                  Captain Willoughby
           Tristram Sappy              Doctor Griffin
           Crupper                     Lord Mulgrave
           Gallop                      Mr. Charles Dickens

                                         Montreal, May 24, 1842.
                                       Gazette Office.

leading hotel in the ’30s, standing on site of former palace of
Gov. Gen. Vaudreuil. This building, with original name on it, can
be seen today although changed on lower floors.]

STREET Built by subscription in 1825, afterwards owned by Mr.
John Molson.]


[Illustration: CHARLES DICKENS]

Dickens visited the Bonsecours Church hard by, and met the
leading citizens in the News Room on St. Sulpice Street, and
cantered with the officers over the mountain or rode out to
Lachine and the Back River. “All the rides in the vicinity,” he
says in his American Notes, “were made doubly interesting by
the bursting out of spring which is here so rapid that it is
but a day’s leap from barren winter to the blooming youth of
summer.” In the same recollections he refers to the quiet manners
of the Canadian people, their self-respect, their hospitality
in Montreal and the unassuming manners of their life. He notes
the modernizing spirit even of that day. “There is a very large
cathedral here, recently erected with two small spires, of
which one is as yet unfinished. In the open space in front of
this edifice stands a solitary, grim-looking square brick tower
which has a quaint and remarkable appearance and which the
wiseacres of this place have consequently determined to pull down
immediately.” This the vandals did in 1843.

Walking along the quays he admired “the granite quays” which are
remarkable for their beauty, solidity and extent. Referring to
his walk here and his interest in the immigrants, he says: “In
the spring time of the year vast numbers of emigrants who have
newly arrived from England or from Ireland pass between Quebec
and Montreal on their way to the back woods and new settlements
of Canada. If it be an entertaining lounge, as I have found it,
to take a morning stroll upon the quays of Montreal and see the
groups in hundreds on the public wharfs about their chests and
boxes, it is matter of deep interest to be their fellow passenger
on one of these steamboats and, mingling with the concourse, see
and hear them unobserved.”

Then follows a characteristic digression of the Master’s
sympathetic pleading for the poor.

At the above meeting places the events of the day would have
been discussed by the gossips, such as the marriage of Queen
Victoria on February 10, 1840, the shooting at of the young
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert on June 10, 1841, Her Majesty’s
coronation of June 28th, the birth of Albert Edward, Prince of
Wales, on November 9th, and the progress of preparations for the
union proclaimed on February 10th in Montreal by Lord Sydenham.
Municipal politics would have become an absorbing topic of
conversation on January 1, 1842, when the municipal act went
into force. On March 11th when the Montreal Board of Trade was
incorporated, and on July 9th when the Shamrock was lost in
the St. Lawrence, with its many immigrants there was plenty to
discuss. Montreal, in 1843, talked of the birth of Princess Alice
on April 25th, the visit to Montreal of the new governor general,
Lord Metcalfe, on June 12th, while the “Nolle Sequi” against
Wolfred Nelson, Dr. E.B. O’Callaghan and T.S. Brown renewed the
painful memories of the revolt of 1837. This year the scientists
and educationalists rejoiced at the Museum of Geological Survey
then opened in the city. And again when, in 1844, the Mercantile
Library Association purchased the Montreal Library and the
Institut Canadien was formed.

Great interest prevailed in political circles when the seat of
government was removed to Montreal on March 5th of this year, and
the House met on July 1st.

On November 12th, such an election was held that many of the
oldest inhabitants remember it still. It was the days of open
voting and sometimes lasted for weeks. Axe handles were used,
heads were broken, the “claret” flowed, and the opposing
parties used to keep men drunk in the taverns so that the
other side could not get their men to the polls. Such scenes
were long repeated, notably in the “Barney” Devlin and D’Arcy
McGee election contests. The fight on this occasion was between
Drummond and Molson. Drummond was Irish and it was recalled that
he had been the defending lawyer for the rebels in 1837. The
French-Canadians, therefore, rallied to his support and Molson
was beaten. Parliament met on November 28th.

On March 27, 1845, Parliament was prorogued and on July 1st
the new governor, Lord Cathcart, arrived. This year various
educational movements were furthered. Bishop’s College,
Lennoxville, was opened and the Mechanics’ Institute, so long
in existence as an educational force, was incorporated. In
December, John Dougall issued his specimen Witness and the first
weekly Witness was published on January 5, 1846. Meanwhile the
commission appointed in 1845 to investigate the rebellion losses
indemnities was sitting and on April 18, 1846, it presented
its report that the sum of £100,000 would be sufficient to
pay all real losses. Already bitter feeling was being aroused
among the English on this point. But the railway era, then
commencing, diverted some attention from their grievances. In
June, James Ferrier and others sought a charter for a railway
from Kingston to Prescott and John A. Macdonald, then beginning
his parliamentary career, and others, sought one from Montreal to
Kingston, John Molson and others demanding one from St. Johns to
the international boundary. On August 10th, on the Champ de Mars,
a gathering of 2,000 Montrealers resolved to have a railway to
the sea. Men were seeing visions and the Hon. John Young wrote
this year to the Economist, advocating a bridge across the St.
Lawrence. His dream was to come true.

The year 1847 saw the line from Montreal to Lachine opened.
Otherwise the year was one of disaster--that of the ship fever.
In this year 100,000 emigrants, mostly from Ireland, escaping the
scourge of typhus fever and famine, came to Canada, but being
exposed to ship fever nearly 10,000 became its victims; hundreds
and hundreds died. The quarantine station of Grosse Isle was the
most pestilential spot in the country. Every ship that could be
chartered, good, bad and indifferent, was engaged in transporting
emigrants. They were all slow-going vessels. Through want of
sufficient room, neglect of ventilation, need of eatable food and
cleanliness, the worst form of typhus soon appeared. “On the 8th
day of May,” says Maguire’s “Irish in America,” “on the arrival
of the ‘Urania’ from Cork, with several hundred immigrants on
board, a large proportion of them sick and dying of the ship
fever, it was put into quarantine at Grosse Isle, thirty miles
below Quebec. This was the first of the plague-smitten ships from
Ireland which that year sailed up the St. Lawrence. But before
the first week of June as many as eighty-four ships of various
tonnage were driven in by easterly gales. Of all the vessels
there was not one free from the taint of malignant typhus, the
offspring of famine and of the foul ship-hold.”

Montreal suffered terribly, also. There the Government caused to
be erected three sheds of provisory hospitals from 100 to 150
feet in length and from 40 to 50 feet in width on the river banks
at Point St. Charles. Soon eleven sheds had to be erected to
receive the sick. In June, the city was in consternation and many
fled to the country. But there were many who did noble service.
The governor general, Lord Elgin, who had made his first coming
to Montreal on January 29th, visited the sheds; the mayor, John
E. Mills, also made frequent visits and in November his assiduous
devotion brought him low in death, a martyr to civic duty. The
clergy, the doctors and the women of the city, Catholic and
Protestants, were heroic in their services. The priests hurried
down to the sick who were mostly Catholics, but only a few,
two Sulpicians and a Jesuit, du Ranquet, could speak English
adequately. In this extremity the rector of the Jesuits, who had
returned to the city since 1842, sent to Fordham University,
and two priests, Fathers du Merle and Michael Driscoll, were
sent to assist Father du Ranquet, who was the first of the
Montreal priests on the ground. This devoted man found the sick
or dead lying in rows stretched on the bare ground, and there he
ministered till 3 o’clock in the morning.

Conditions were soon improved by the municipal authorities.
Wooden bunks were built to hold two patients; there were no
mattresses but only straw strewn under them. Oftentimes the
living lay side by side with the dead. To add to the horror, the
letters of this period tell us that “after a few weeks’ service
these wooden structures contained colonies of bugs in every
cranny; the wool, the cotton, the wood were black with them.
Double the number of nurses and servants would not have sufficed
to keep this monstrous hospital clean.”

Things were better when the tents to be given to those who,
unable to find shelter in the sheds, were placed on the banks
of the St. Lawrence with a blanket over them, under the trees.
Fortunately it was summertime.

Bishop Bourget called upon the nuns to act as nurses. The
Providence Sisters were the first approached, on June 24th. Each
one answered simply, “I am ready.” Next morning twelve of these
brave women were driven in carriages to the sheds. There they
found hundreds of the sick crouched upon straw, wrestling in the
agony of death; little children weeping in the arms of their
dead mothers; women, themselves stricken, seeking for a beloved
husband, amid a doleful chaos of suffering and evil odours. Other
nuns were called out; even the enclosed Sisters of the Hôtel Dieu
were allowed to leave their cloisters for the sad work of tending
the dying and burying the dead in their hastily constructed, rude
coffins of planks. Fifty or sixty died each day and their bodies,
awaiting burial, were placed in an immense charnel house erected
on the river banks. In this were some that were buried alive.
Many of the orphans were adopted in the city or cared for by the
nuns. For this the Irish population of Montreal love the city
with a personal love.

Not only did the mayor die, but numerous others, physicians,
clergy and nurses, and the police officers of the city.

The events of 1848 include the flooding, on January 15th, of
Wellington and Commissioners streets, and the run on the Savings
Bank of the city on July 15th, which was shortly followed by a
re-deposit. Educationalists will note the opening of the Jesuits’
College on September 20th in the improvised school at the corner
of Alexander and Dorchester streets.

The year 1849 was one of political turmoil already recorded,
centering around the rebellion losses bill and resulting in the
burning of the Parliament house and the removal of the seat of
government from the city, a loss to its social life.

An aspect of the burning of the Parliament house was that, with
the political rancour there was mixed, in certain misguided
quarters, a fanatical religious frenzy. It was planned to burn
the “Grey Nuns,” near at hand, as well as the Jesuits’ residence
and St. Patrick’s Church. The menaces came to nothing, owing
to the guards of Irish watchers. Yet at the time, according to
a letter written from Montreal in August, 1849, by the Jesuit
Father Havequez to a friend in France, the Grey Nuns hard by were
likely to become a prey to the fire “had not the brave Irish run
to the rescue and succeeded, after extraordinary efforts, in
mastering the flames.”

The imposing public ceremony this year was the funeral, in the
military cemetery on Papineau Road, of Sir Benjamin D’Urban, from
whom Durban, in South Africa, bears its name, the charger of the
deceased soldier being led through the streets in the procession
by the groom, carrying the reversed boots of this companion of
Wellington. It was long a remembered incident.

The next year, 1850, saw the first meeting of the Mount Royal
Cemetery Company for the burial of non-Catholics and the
consecration of the Rev. Francis Fulford in Westminster Abbey as
the first Bishop of Montreal, both signs of the growth of the
English-speaking population.

This year there was a great charity ball and it is interesting
to note that among the subscribers to this ball were the Earl
and Countess of Errol; Sir George and Lady Simpson (who lived
at Lachine in a big stone mansion, standing on the present site
of the Lachine Convent); the Chief Justice and Madame Rolland,
Sir James and Lady Alexander, Colonel and Mrs. Dyley, Honorable
Mr. and Mrs. Moffatt, Honorable Mr. Justice and Madame Mondelet,
Honorable Mr. and Mrs. Drummond, Madame Rochblave, Mr. and Mrs.
John Molson, the Commissary General and Mrs. Filder, Honorable
Mr. and Madame Rolland, Mr. and Madame de Beaujeau, Honorable
Mr. Justice and Mrs. Smith, Mr. Sheriff and Mrs. Coffin, Mr. and
Mrs. Ogilvy Moffatt, Captain and Mrs. Claremont, Major and Mrs.
MacDougall, Lieut.-Col. Sir Howard Dalrymple, Honorable McCall,
Major Chester, Major Colley, Mr. and Mrs. Collingwood, Mr. Arthur
Mondelet, Mr. Arthur Lamothe and many others.

The band of the Nineteenth Regiment also attended by kind
permission of Lieutenant-Colonel Hay.

The Grand Trunk was formed in 1851. The name of the incorporators
which follow are also those of familiar families in the city of
today: Thomas Allan Stayber, William Collins Meredith, Sir George
Simpson, William Macdonald, David Davidson, J.G. McTavish, N.
Finlayson, John Rawand, Edward B. Wilgress, John Boston, Theodore
Hart, T. McCullough, John Matthewson, John M. Tobin, E.H. Mount,
Wilkinson John Torrance, Isaac Gibb, Donald P. Ross, Robert
Morris, James Henderson, Aaron H. David, John Ostell, J.H. Birss,
William Lunn, Dougall Stewart, C. Wilgress, William Molson, W.S.
McFarlane, A. Dow, John Lavanston, Peter McKenzie, D. McKenzie,
John McKenzie, Hector McKenzie, William Foster Coffin, Hon. James
Ferrier, William Molson, George Crawford, Duncan Finlayson,
John Silveright, John Ballenden, Allen Macdonnell, Samuel Gall,
Benjamin Hart, John Carter, Andrew Cowan, Walter Benny, John
H. Evans, James H. Lamb, W. Watson, Charles H. Castle, J.B.
McKenzie, James Crawford, W. Murray, M. McCullough, M.E. David,
J.F. Dickson, John Leeming, Jesse Joseph, D.L. Macpherson,
James Cormac, Archibald Hall, Hugh Taylor, Colin Campbell, John
Simpson, Thomas Taylor, E.M. Hopkins, John Miles, Charles Geddes,
John Macdonald, E.T. Renaud, J.D. Watson, and William Cunningham.

Educational movement also began to gain strength in 1851. The
College Ste. Marie on Bleury Street the Young Men’s Christian
Association and the new Theatre Royal were opened, while this
year the first external signs of the modern movement for woman’s
emancipation was strikingly illustrated in July in the streets
of Montreal by the appearance for the first time of the “bloomer
costume,” made famous at the time by the cartoons of Punch.

Times of commercial prosperity seemed now promised.

The next year, 1852, McGill received its new lease of life,
obtaining its new charter, and from this date its success was

The great fire of 1852 started on July 8th; it is said to have
burnt 11,000 houses, while thousands were rendered homeless.
Money, however, was not scarce, for this year in December £5,000
was raised by merchants for a Merchants’ Exchange. Another
financial sidelight is that in October of this year the Bank
of Montreal issued its first notes like those of the Bank of
England, the denominations being water-marked.

The Gavazzi riot, already described, with the investigations into
its cause, was the social excitement for the year 1853, as well
as the preparations for the Atlantic service between Montreal and
England, secured by the first charter of May 23d.

On July 22d Pier No. 1 of the Victoria Bridge was begun, and on
August 24th Lake St. Peter was deepened four feet, two inches.
On July 20th of the next year, 1854, the first stone of the
Victoria Bridge was laid and on August 2d the first cofferdam was
ready for masonry. On October 11th the St. Lawrence and Atlantic
Railway was opened from Longueuil to Richmond. These facts
illustrate the early movement of the era of progress by land and
water, then beginning.

Among other events of this year it was announced that accounts
could be kept from September 1st to the end of the year, either
in pounds, shillings, or pence, or in dollars and cents, the
decimal currency being expected to be generally in use by
January 1st following. Money order offices were first opened on
December 1st; reciprocity was established between Canada and
the United States; the seigneurial tenure was abolished and the
secularization of clergy reserves was brought about.

The year 1854 was memorable as that of the Crimean War, when the
English and French were allied against the Russians. In 1914
all three are allied against a common foe. The social life was
invaded by the spirit of patriotism. An appropriation of £20,000
sterling was made by the Canadian Government “in favour of the
widows and orphans of England and France.” It was the gift of
the people of both French and English descent and the Emperor of
the French, in acknowledging the gift, commented on the union of
races it implied. A patriotic fund was organized in Montreal by
concerts and other forms of charity as in 1914.

The year 1854 is also sadly memorable by the Asiatic cholera
which carried off 1,186 persons.

After the commercial depression of 1854, due to the Crimean War,
the spring of 1855 saw brighter prosperity.

The annals of this year record as signs of general progress the
first issue, in February, of money orders in Canada, the coming
into force of the reciprocity act with the United States, the
establishment by the H. & A. Allan Company of the Montreal Ocean
Steamship Company with four steamers fortnightly, the completion
of the general postoffice, the new building of the Mechanics’
Institute, the incorporation of Molson’s bank, and the opening of
a new industry through the completion of Redpath’s sugar refinery.

In March the Industrial Exhibition, promoted to select articles
to be sent to the coming Paris Exhibition was formally opened by
the governor general, Sir Edmund Head, who made his first visit
to Montreal on this occasion.

On July 27th the first French ship to sail the St. Lawrence
since the conquest reached Montreal under Commander de Belvèze.
The object was to obtain information to extend the commercial
relations between Canada and France. The occasion, coming so
soon after the fall of Sebastopol, was one of great public
demonstration, illuminations and torchlight processions, the like
of which the city had never yet beheld. The arrival of Admiral
Belvèze’s warship, with dinners and receptions, especially among
the French citizens, also made 1855 a memorable social year.

In 1856 Montreal was filled with preparations for the great Paris
Exhibition and Alfred Perry was voted £500 to represent Montreal.
It is remembered that at this exhibition he had a fire fighting
invention on show which was lucky enough to be in readiness to
stop a conflagration in the exhibition, a fact largely noticed
in the continental papers and illustrated journals. A balloon
ascension on September 16th in Griffintown, in the “Canada,” is
seriously chronicled by the annalists as a striking novelty of
the year.

On June 11, 1856, thirty-five lives were lost in the Grand Trunk
ferry boat to Longueuil by the explosion of the boiler, through
the carelessness of the engineer. The burning of the steamer
Montreal off Quebec on June 27, 1857, which was carrying to
Montreal about five hundred emigrants who had just arrived from
the John McKenzie, caused great excitement in the city and was
the occasion of much hospitality. As the immigrants it carried
were mostly Scotch, the activities of St. Andrew’s National
Society were largely engaged.

On June 18, 1856, the Thirty-ninth Regiment which had fought in
the Crimea reached Montreal transported by the John Munn and
Quebec. A civic dinner closed the day in the City Concert Hall
with covers laid for 1,200 guests.

The 12th and 13th of November saw the city again en fète to
celebrate the opening of the Grand Trunk between Toronto and
Montreal, which terminated on the 12th in a banquet at Point St.
Charles with 4,000 present. The evening of the 13th closed with a
promenade through the brilliantly illuminated city with the roar
of cannon at intervals and a great ball.

On November 5th a violent hurricane swept over Montreal and on
December 10th Christ Church Cathedral was burnt down.

This year the additions and new works of Montreal waterworks were
being made ready for use.

The cause of science received a great impetus in the city by the
convention which started on Wednesday, August 12, 1857, of the
American Association for the Advancement of Science, and was
continued for a week, during which the University of McGill,
the Natural History Society and other learned organizations
entertained their distinguished guests. In September of the same
year the Agricultural and Industrial Exhibition was successfully

On September 7th 500 of the Thirty-ninth Regiment left Montreal
for active service, for this was the year of the Indian mutiny.

Educational circles remember the year of the meeting in Montreal
of the American Association for the Advancement of Learning
and as the opening of the Jacques Cartier and the McGill
Normal schools for teachers. This was practically the earliest
converging point of the two boards of school commissioners in the
building up of their educational system.

January 1, 1858, marks the supplanting of the L.S.D. system by
the decimal coinage; January 5th, the purchase of the Montreal
and Bytown (Ottawa) Railway for £5,300 by Mr. (afterward Sir
John) J.J.C. Abbott.

On February 26th, Griffintown was flooded and beds stood three
feet in water, being one of the annual spring floods.

The martial enthusiasm of the citizens was evoked in the city in
the early part of 1858 by the Indian mutiny, when the Imperial
Government accepted the offer of a regiment to be raised in
Canada for service abroad under the title of the “One Hundredth
Prince of Wales Royal Canadian Regiment.” The recruiting
sergeant, with his flying ribbons, fife and drum band and his cry
of “Come, boys, and join the war,” was a novelty then. Montreal
contributed for the first overseas contingent 110 young men, who
drilled with the detachment of 500 men on St. Helen’s Island
previous to being embarked for England in July following. This
was the first contingent raised for the front, but it did not
get as far as India, doing duty at Malta and Gibraltar. None the
less, as the old ballad says, “Their will was good to do the
deed, that is if they’d have let ’em, with a ‘Re fol de roy,

On September 1st the laying of the first Atlantic telegraph cable
was celebrated in the city by trades, military and torchlight
processions, the latter being two miles long on the average of
six abreast. A bonfire on the mountain signalized this occasion.

Next year, 1859, the Prince of Wales presented the One Hundredth
Regiment with its colours at Shorncliffe.

On December 12th, the Victoria Bridge was at last opened and on
the 17th the first passenger train went through. It was called
the “Victoria” after the revered Queen of that name and it was
hoped to have had Her Majesty formally open it.

Before leaving the construction works the men engaged placed the
great boulder over the resting place of the many victims of the
ship fever of 1847. The words of a Montreal lady, Mrs. Leprohon,
commemorate the event thus:

    “Long since forgotten, here they rest,
    Sons of a distant shore
    The epoch of their short career
    These footprints on life’s sand,
    But this stone will tell through many a year
    They died on our shores and slumber here.”

This year Mr. Charles S. Rodier was mayor. A picture worth
preserving has lately been given of the city hall life of that
time. The city was then very small and the questions were
comparatively parochial and the revenue was negligible in
comparison with today’s, yet the meetings were very important
and very dignified and probably more eloquence flowed than now.
The English were then predominant and Mr. Rodden was the leader
of the council. The mayor, Mr. Rodier, was, as a contemporary
has recently described him, “a man of much eccentricity, but a
man also of education and ability. He was what you might call
an aesthete--well groomed, neat, and polished, to the finger
nails; always with his frock coat and silk hat; always ready to
make a sweeping bow; always on the watch to assist a lady from
her carriage--a lady who might be shopping on Notre Dame Street,
which was the great retail street of the city in my young days.
It didn’t matter that His Worship was not always acquainted with
the ladies; he was naturally a gallant and, anyway, there was
less formality in those days than now.”

As he was the first mayor to receive royalty this description
will serve as an introduction. Mr. Rodier’s home was at the
corner of Guy and St. Antoine streets and was afterward purchased
by the Dominion Immigration Agency for its offices.

The next great social event was the reception of Albert Edward,
Prince of Wales, afterwards Edward VII, the Peacemaker, and the
preparation of the exhibition which was to be opened by him,
both in connection with the formal opening of the great Victoria
Bridge, marking the era of railways now prevailing.

In preparation for this event the Board of Arts and Manufactures,
in March, 1860, decided upon and took immediate steps for the
erection of a Crystal Palace for a permanent exhibition on
land purchased by them on Peel Street, above St. Catherine
Street. On Tuesday, May 22d, a public meeting was held to form
the “reception committee fund.” A programme of festivities
and functions was drawn up in June. Triumphal arches and
illuminations were prepared, the house of the Hon. John Rose,
afterward owned by the Ogilvie family, was decorated for the stay
of the young prince therein and on Friday, August 24th, the royal
visitor, described as a Prince of Romance, under the escort of
the austere Duke of Newcastle, arrived by river from Quebec in a
perfect deluge of rain. But he did not land till next day and all
went well. The mayor, Mr. Rodier, the council, magistrates, the
clergy, the heads of national and other societies with regalia,
received him under a superb pavilion. Then followed the great
procession, headed by the Caughnawaga Indians in full native
costume. The scene was wild, with church bells ringing and the
shouting of enthusiasm and loyalty. All the society of Canada
had come to the city to be present. The royal party visited the
Crystal Palace, where an address was presented by the governor
general, Sir E.W. Head, and the Prince declared the Palace open.

In the afternoon took place the ceremony of the laying of the
last stone by the Prince of the Victoria Bridge. The royal
party entered the car of state and proceeded to the centre of
the bridge and the Prince drove in the last--a silver--rivet.
The party then proceeded to the other side of the river, where
Mr. Blackwell, in the name of the Grand Trunk, presented the
Prince with a gold medal, executed by Wyon, commemorative of
the occasion, the suite receiving similar ones, but in silver.
The royal car then returned to the city. A great lunch took
place and the city and the harbour were given over that evening
to wonderful illuminations, when the Prince rode through the
streets. On Sunday the Prince and royal party attended divine
service at the recently rebuilt Christ Church Cathedral on St.
Catherine Street and were received at the door by Sir Fenwick
Williams and Sir A. Milne. Bishop Fulford officiated and Reverend
Mr. Wood read the sermon. In commemoration of this visit His
Royal Highness presented to the Cathedral a magnificent Bible
with an autograph inscription.

In the evening the Montreal Oratorio Society of 400 voices
performed a grand cantata especially written by a Mr. Semper and
composed by M. Sabatier, in commemoration of the royal visit. On
this occasion Marie Louise Lajeunesse, afterward Madame Albani,
sang. She was then unknown, although she had made her debut as
a piano player at the Mechanics’ Institute about 1854, when but
seven years of age.

The great ball, at which the young Prince danced with the ladies
of the charmed circle chosen by the committee of reception,
took place later in the completed Crystal Palace, a building of
colossal dimensions for the time, being nearly three hundred feet
in diameter. It was then thought to be in the fields.

A recent reminiscence of the time describes the scene:

  “But the grand ball in Montreal was the climax of the Prince’s
  visit. A special pavilion had been built for the occasion, and
  here the élite of the city, the province, the whole country it
  might be said, had assembled. The Prince with his suite appeared
  about ten o’clock and opened the ball. The Duke of Newcastle
  presented the Hon. Mrs. Young, and the ball was opened by the
  Prince dancing with that lady. He had on his right the Hon. Mr.
  Cartier with Mrs. Dumas, on his left Major Teesdale and Miss
  Rodgers. On the Prince’s right were Governor Bruce and Mrs.
  Denny, Captain Connolly, and Miss Penn; and on his left the Earl
  of Mulgrave, and Miss de Lisle, and Captain De Winton and Miss
  Tyre. His Royal Highness danced incessantly from half-past four
  in the morning, with a large number of ladies, most of whom are
  dead and gone.

  “Among the ladies who had the honour of dancing with the Prince
  were Miss de Lisle, Miss Tyre, Mrs. F. Brown, Miss Leach, Miss
  Fisher, of Halifax, Mrs. Sicotte, Miss de Rocheblave, Mrs. C.
  Freer, Miss Laura Johnson, Miss Belson, Miss Napier, Miss King,
  Mrs. Forsythe, Miss Sophia Stewart, the Hon. Mrs. J.S. Macdonald,
  Miss Servorte, Lady Milne, Mrs. King, Miss E. Smith.

  Although all the ladies, or most of them, are dead, they have
  relatives who might be interested in recalling the brilliant
  scene, which was witnessed at the famous ball, which was
  described with great particularity, even by the United States
  press, which sent over many representatives.”

On Wednesday morning there was a review at Logan’s Farm,
now Lafontaine Park, the property of Sir William Logan, the
geologist, who was knighted about 1856, and the Prince appeared
in his uniform as colonel of the One Hundred Prince of Wales
Royal Canadian Regiment. In the evening the firemen had a
torchlight procession, each fire fighter carrying a torch or
Roman candle. On Thursday night the “peoples’ ball” took place
in the new ballroom, with the Prince present. That night the
foot of the mountain was illuminated with fireworks. Next day
the royal party proceeded to Ottawa. The visit to Montreal was
a great success. Its cost to the citizens’ reception committee
was $43,031, not including the decorations of public buildings
which cannot have been less than ten to twenty thousand dollars
more. One of the permanent mementos of the visit is the name of
Victoria Square, which a by-law of the city changed from its
former title of Haymarket and Commissioners Square.

One of the acts of the young Edward, the Peacemaker, was on this
occasion of his visit, to establish uniformity and harmony in
the various companies comprising the Prince of Wales Regiment,
which had heretofore turned out on parade in different facings
and different racial emblems according to the company. This had
always been provocative of rivalry, but henceforth uniformity

Two events of artistic and literary interest marked this period.
On the 23d of April the Art Association of Montreal was formed
and on August 13th the first number of the Daily Witness appeared.

The year 1861 stands out preeminently in the military history of
the city, for it was that of the Civil War between the northern
and the southern states of the adjoining republic, and Montreal
reflected the general turmoil. The Civil War began on January
9th, when the Southern Confederacy fired into the Federal steamer
Star of the West. It was early feared that there might be war
between Great Britain and the United States and the North British
troops were ordered to Canada in January. Meanwhile, in January,
the city was excited over the case of a fugitive slave named
Anderson charged with murder, whose extradition was demanded.
A meeting was held and addressed by Messrs. Dorion, Drummond,
Holton, Benjamin Holmes and John Dougall, Dr. W.H. Hingston and
the Rev. Messrs. W. Bond and Cordner, opposing surrender. In
February it was decided that Anderson was not to be delivered
without instructions from England. Finally he reached England in

Montreal sympathies were with the Southerners, but as yet
according to instructions from Queen Victoria on May 13th, strict
neutrality was to be observed. The position became, however,
acute after November 8th, when Captain Wilkes, of the United
States warship San Jacinto, took from the British mailship Trent
the Confederates John Slidell and John G. Mason, Confederate
commissioners to the Imperial Government. On the refusal of the
American Government to hand them over, war was anticipated and
there was extreme tension. Six steamers were chartered to bring
troops to Canada. Reinforcements of regulars were sent from
England and in Montreal, space being inadequate to receive them,
the Molson College on St. Mary Street, the Collège de Montreal
on College Street and the stores at the northeast corner of St.
Sulpice and Notre Dame streets, then recently erected on the
site of the property of Hôtel Dieu, which had been also recently
transferred to Pine Avenue, were leased and known as Victoria
Barracks. Canada was prepared to share the troubles of the Empire
should war break out, and in consequence Montreal saw a hurrying
to and fro of citizen soldiers. Recruiting in every arm of the
service and drilling went on everywhere. “Stand to your arms,”
“Defense not defiance” and such mottoes are to be found in
newspapers of the period, in the exercise of their duty of making
public opinion.

For two weeks the tension was great in the city. One of the
soldiers has recently given his reminiscences of this time as

  “We marched to Molson’s College in the east end. Yes, it was
  called a college then, and had originally been built for some
  educational purpose. It was at the back of St. Thomas’ Church, or
  rather, this church, at the time, formed part of the building.
  Back of this again, and close to the river, was Molson’s
  Terrace, which is a pretty tawdry place today but which, when
  I was stationed in the city with my regiment, was most select.
  Why, the Molson’s themselves lived in the Terrace--that is, the
  founders of the brewery and of the college. The houses were then
  considered elegant, and that part of the city had a reputation
  which it does not now possess.

  “At the time I am speaking of, the total military strength of
  Montreal was considerable. There was the First Battalion of
  the Sixteenth Bedfordshire Regiment, to which I belonged. The
  Forty-seventh Lancashire; the Fourth Battalion; Sixtieth Rifles,
  which latter was quartered in the College Street Barracks; the
  Second Battalion of the Guards; the Second Battalion of the
  Scotch Fusiliers; three field batteries of Artillery, which later
  were stationed at the Quebec Gate Barracks where the Dalhousie
  Square depot is now, and the Forty-seventh Regiment.

  “This Quebec Gate Barracks had two entrances--one on Water Street
  for the men, and one on Notre Dame Street for the officers. In
  that same barracks were two companies of the Royal Engineers. The
  commissariat and two troops of the Military Train were stationed
  at Hochelaga.

  “The city was full of troops at the time. There was every belief
  that we would speedily be at war with the North, but the ill
  feeling passed over. Nothing happened. We remained, and lived the
  lives of soldiers. We had good times; we had no care; we had our
  beer; we had a brisk time in Montreal.”

His recollection of the officers is as follows:

  “At that time the sons of noblemen thought it an honour to
  belong to the army, and the officers in Montreal were, for the
  most part, highly connected. Now the commission is obtained by
  competitive examination; but the old soldiers like to be under
  gentlemen born. Some of the officers stayed at the Donegana
  Hotel, and many of them messed in the building opposite Dalhousie
  Square, where the band played in the evening; but the bulk of the
  higher officers put up at the St. Lawrence Hall. The officer of
  the day, and the subaltern of the day, always lived in Molson’s
  Terrace, to be near the scene of their duties.

  “Several of the officers, I remember, put up at the Cosmopolitan
  Hotel, which stood on the present site of the New York Life
  Building. Opposite Molson’s brewery was the regimental hospital,
  while the Garrison Hospital was on Water Street. Each regiment
  had its own hospital.”[1]

At the time the hero of Kars, Lieut.-Gen. Sir William Fenwick
Williams, Bart., K.C.B.; commander of the forces in British North
America; Lord Paulet, in charge of the Guards; Sir William Muir,
chief medical officer of the forces; Major Penn, of Crimean fame,
in command of the gallant Grey Battery; Colonel Peacock, of the
Sixteenth Bedfordshire; and others, were among the officers then
in Montreal.

In its midst news came of the death of Queen Victoria’s husband,
the Prince Consort. A loyal city sent its message of condolence
to their beloved Queen. But on the release of Slidell and Mason
the war alarms were over. This good news came on December 28th,
and on Sunday the continuance of peace between the Empire and the
United States was devoutly and thankfully blessed. The outburst
of militarism served to keep the companies as already organized
on a permanent basis. On January 1st, Slidell and Mason were
released by the United States, but on January 4th Victoria Bridge
had still to be guarded for fear of destruction by marauders from
across the boundary.

“The alarm, which soon subsided, was really the birth of modern
militia movement in Canada. I remember well,” says Lieut.-Col.
Robert Gardner, in a reminiscence, “the excitement that ruled
everywhere. I can recollect the time when the business men and
merchants of Montreal were all imbued with the necessity of
defending their country. So enthusiastic were they that drilling
was going on practically all the time. Everyone expected war, and
patriotic feelings ran high. Business men would slip out in the
morning and put in an hour at drill, another drill would be held
after lunch, and more in the evening. It was that war scare of
1861-2 which really showed the necessity of a defensive force,
and proved the forerunner of our militia system of today.”

During the war there were, however, merry times at the hotels and
at Dolly’s restaurant. A reminiscence relates:

  “That was a merry time in Montreal. The Americans had plenty of
  money, and were not afraid to spend it. The officers, too, were
  well supplied, and they, too, were prodigal with it. St. James
  Street was always busy, what with the soldiers and officers,
  the Southerners, the local military, the excitement attending
  the events of the war, and which were reflected in the city
  in the matter of sentiment, as well as the matter of money. I
  recollect very well that the feeling of our people was in favour
  of the South in the struggle. As time went on, the conviction
  gained ground that the South would be defeated; but the general
  feeling was in its favour. This made life for the Southerners
  very pleasant. They fraternized with the people; they spent their
  money; they made life merry in and about the old St. Lawrence

Greenbacks, however, were looked askance at till the fortunes of
war were with the North, so that silver was in demand. The Civil
War meant good times for Canada for the farmers’ produce and
stock were readily bought by the United States.

The military troops in town came in for a great recognition on
the 6th, 7th and 8th of May, 1862, when they were feasted in
sections on these days. It is recorded that among the items for
the festivities there were ordered 3,200 pounds of sandwiches,
5,000 tarts, 3,700 pounds of cake, 50 barrels of fruit, besides
an abundant supply of tea and coffee, the entertainments being on
strictly temperance principles.

Montreal’s generosity was also that year shown to the destitute
operatives in the manufacturing districts of England, when in
consequence of a meeting in the Merchants’ Exchange $30,000 was
subscribed for their relief.

The Civil War over, the arts of peace were resumed. The Montreal
Street Railway, started in the year previous, was making its
humble beginnings with its few horse-drawn cars. On April 2d
there was a municipal by-law to establish the fire brigade. On
May 20th, the Montreal waterworks were enlarged and improved as
a result of the dearth of water at this time which had caused
the ancient custom of providing water in puncheons again to be
resorted to.

This year the Numismatic and Antiquarian Society was founded and
the Corn Exchange organized, being incorporated the next year,
when eight floating elevators were proudly said to be discharging
hourly 24,000 bushels.

1863 saw the fire alarm established on January 19th, indicating
the progress of our fire service.

On July 15th, the Corvette Oernen, the first Norwegian vessel
to visit the St. Lawrence, sailed up to Montreal and civic
hospitality was again displayed as previously to the French

The Provincial Exhibition, held on the 9th of September of this
year, was superior to any other. A grand rifle tournament was
opened by Sir William Fenwick Williams and lasted over ten days.

On April 21, 1864, there appeared a published letter of D’Arcy
McGee, the Irish poet, litterateur and politician, in which he
said: “Even the threat of assassination covertly conveyed and
so eminently in keeping with the entire humbug has no terrors
for me. I trust I shall outlive these threats,” indicates that
there was a ring of organized Fenianism in the city in sympathy
with the movement now looming large in the United States. About
this time he exposed the dangers and sophisms of those seducing
the young Irish of the city and moreover told some of his young,
hotheaded auditors at several meetings, then and subsequently,
that he held in his pocket evidence enough to hang some of them.
“I ask you,” he said, “to frown upon this thing. I ask you to
have nothing to do with it. I tell you that I know many of the
men who are associated with Fenianism. And I say this, that if
they do not separate themselves from the organization, I will
denounce them to the Government. Come out from among them. The
organization will bring you to ruin. There are some who think
they are secure; that they can go on and that they cannot be
found out. I tell you I know such, and will denounce them if they
do not mend their ways.”

At this time McGee was told that his days were numbered. Thus
coming events cast their shadows before. But Confederation was in
the air and its discussion was uppermost.

The Shakespeare centenary of 1864 was brilliantly celebrated
at Montreal in April at the Crystal Palace. But sad news fell
upon the city when, on June 29th, a train of eleven cars, having
aboard 354 German emigrants leaving St. Hilaire for Montreal,
was precipitated through an open drawbridge into the river at
Beloeil. Ninety were killed and a very large number were drowned.
The hospitable city opened its hospitals and public institutions
for the sufferers and the bodies of the dead were brought to the
city and buried in the Protestant cemeteries.

In September, 1864, the city saw the departure of six companies
of the Scotch Fusileers and other military.

In November there was excitement in the city over the St. Alban’s
raiders who had been captured and brought to the city for
examination. On the 19th of October some southern raiders from
Canada had made a descent on the St. Alban’s bank, compelling
Mr. Sowles, the cashier, to surrender the bank’s money, and
after intimidating the citizens, saying that “we represent the
Confederate States of America and we come here to retaliate
outrages committed by General Sherman,” they had returned to
Canada on captured horses.

On March 30th of the next year, the St. Alban raiders were
discharged. On this occasion Mr. Bernard Devlin had an opportunity
of airing his forensic eloquence, being employed to defend certain
of the prisoners. It is said that the motive behind the raid was
to make a diversion in favour of the South by means of the raid
which was to bring Federal troops from southern points to defend
the invaded territory of the North.

The year 1865, which opened with the usual spring floods in
April, was otherwise an interesting and exciting time to the
merchants of the town, for Mr. Adams, the American minister
in London, gave the requisite notice to terminate reciprocity
between the United States and Canada on March 17, 1866. In
July there was a convention at Detroit, from the 11th to the
14th, which promoted the forming of a new reciprocity treaty.
At this several Montrealers attended, but only to give desired
information. In September there was a delegation to Montreal to
form an International Board of Trade. This year the Board of
Trade Building, erected in 1855, was burnt down.

The following resolution, passed unanimously on April 19th by
the city council, on the motion of Alderman Grenier, seconded
by Alderman Rodden, on the occasion of the assassination of the
President of the United States, shows the gloom and commiseration
of the city which went into mourning on the day of the funeral:

“Resolved, That in respect to the memory of the late President
of the United States and sympathy with the people in the great
calamity which has befallen them, and also as an expression of
the regret and horror felt at the crime perpetrated upon the
person of President Lincoln, this council do now adjourn.”

This allows us to cast a glance at our peaceful municipal life.
One[2] who knew it well has recently recorded his reminiscences:

  “Citizens criticized the council then as they do today and on
  one particular occasion they manifested their disapprobation on
  some burning question by gathering in front of the council room,
  and, after due oratory from their leader, sent a volley of stones
  through the windows, to show the depth of their feelings. This
  stirred up the members most effectively, and if the celerity
  with which they jumped from one place to another, to avoid the
  ‘arguments’ was any indication of the attention they would
  give to the cause in question, it would not have remained long
  unattended to.

  “One member, however, more courageous than the others, kept his
  seat with contemptuous indifference until he saw a missile coming
  direct for his desk, when he cleverly caught it in his hands,
  and called on the mayor to maintain order. His Worship looked
  unutterable things, and told Darcy to do it. The latter, however,
  disappeared, and was not seen more that night. It was suspected
  he went over to the enemy, and when he told me next morning
  that it was ‘the best bit of fun he had seen for many a day,’ I
  thought there was ground for the suspicion.

  “But criticisms of the council were not confined to
  demonstrations of this kind. The press was not backward in saying
  what it thought, although in a more refined and cultured way. One
  editor, for instance, gave a free notice of a meeting of council
  in the following words, in large type:

  “‘The Municipal Banditti meet in their den at the City Hall at 8
  o’clock this evening.’

  “We were more deliberate in those days than at the present. We
  were deliberate in all things. We did not hurry away the snow as
  we do now. We thought it cheaper to let the sun do that. Now in
  this advanced age we think nothing of spending $10,000 to beat
  the sun by twenty-four hours; but speed is everything today. At
  the time of speaking our whole revenue was not one-fourth of the
  interest on our debt today.

  “I have enumerated the personnel to show the speed of time, for
  at the present time not one of those mentioned, except myself,
  remain. They have all passed to the ‘majority.’

  “Prominently among the aldermen of that period were Ferdinand
  David, and William Rodden; the former as chairman of the roads
  committee, may be regarded as having been the father of our
  expropriation system, and the latter, as chairman of finance, was
  regarded as the father of our 7 per cent consolidation. Were both
  these men alive today they would be appalled at the outcome of
  their pet schemes. In those days we spoke with bated breath of
  $100,000, now we play with the millions as a very little thing.
  Then our 6 per cent securities sold at a heavy discount, since
  then our 3 per cent securities have sold over par.

  “An orator about this time, haranguing the taxpayers from the
  steps of the Nelson Monument, assured them that if they should
  elect him as their representative, he would reduce their taxes
  150 per cent. Poor fellow, he meant well, but he was allowed to
  sink, with his invaluable arithmetical genius, into oblivion,
  while the other one, who was able to rouse another mob, occupies
  a seat on the king’s bench. This shows that it is better to break
  people’s windows than to abolish their taxes and give them a 50
  per cent bonus beside. O, tempora, O, mores.”

This year (1865) Sir John Michel was sworn in as administrator
of the governor general, then absent in England. As he took up
his residence in the city and during his administration the
executive council met here twice in each month, this event may be
chronicled in the series of social events.

The peaceful progress of the inhabitants was again thrown into
confusion and the military spirit reincarnated when news came the
latter part of this year, 1865, that the threatened invasion of
Canada by the Irish Fenian Brotherhood, led by “General” O’Neil,
were at last becoming actual. They made use of the ill-feeling
aroused between the United States and Britain by an element
discontented through hard times, to strike a long premeditated
blow. The first Fenian invasion eventually came to nothing at all
of importance, but it was a great scare. Montreal was on the _qui
vive_ for a while, fearing the invasion, for the supineness of
the American Government in allowing the invasion to be planned
and provided for by filibusters, gave an unpleasant impression,
suggesting that there might, possibly, be serious consequence if
a strong front were not presented to the audacious attempt. The
feeling, too, at the time, was not too friendly to Canada, which,
with Great Britain, was supposed to sympathize with the South
during the Civil War.

On Monday, March 13, 1866, a company of the Prince of Wales
regiment and a battery of artillery were reviewed at 5 P.M. and
by 9 P.M. were sent to the threatened frontier. A patriotic
“relief” fund was started on March 26th. On June 2d, on account
of news arriving on June 1st, the Fenians being already at Fort
Erie, a further detachment of four more companies were sent to
the west, viz., Nos. 3 and 8 batteries of the Brigade of the
Montreal Garrison Artillery, under Captains Brown and Hobbes; a
company of Prince of Wales Rifles, under Captain Bond; Victoria
Rifles, under Captain Bacon; Royal Light Infantry, under Capt.
K. Campbell; and the Chasseurs Canadiens, under Captain Labelle,
who all left by special train for Point St. Charles for St. Johns
and Isle aux Noix. The same evening a strong reinforcement of
regulars left for the same stations, and on the 4th, several
additional companies of volunteers were dispatched to Hemingford
and other places along the frontier. Among those going to the
front were the famous “Barney” Devlin, the great criminal lawyer
and the political opponent of D’Arcy McGee, and the Rev. Father
James Hogan of St. Patrick’s, who acted as chaplain.

The chief fight in Lower Canada was at Pigeon Hill, in the
Township of St. Armand, adjoining the State of Vermont, which was
attacked by the Fenians on June 17th, but from which, after a
brief skirmish, they retired, not without several of their party
being secured as prisoners by the “Montreal Guides,” and being
brought, a sorry and ragged crowd, to the city gaol.

On June 18th, the volunteer companies returned, being welcomed
enthusiastically by their fellow citizens, and June 23d was
observed as a day of general rejoicing and inspection. The mayor,
on behalf of the civic authorities, tendered an address to the
troops, offering sincere expressions of gratitude and thanks
for their devotion, loyalty and courage in the late emergency,
and bidding them a hearty welcome back to the city and to
their happy homes and beloved and expectant families. This was
responded to by Major-General Lindsay.

The loyalty of all sections of the community had again been
proved against a common enemy. Every section had answered
the call to arms, for Fenianism, after all, had few weighty
supporters in Montreal.

The military enthusiasm, however, evoked by the late events had
an immediate effect in determining the city council and other
authorities already considering the point, to open a drill hall
capable of meeting the increased demands, and in May, 1867, the
contract for the armory on Craig Street, opposite the Champ de
Mars, was given to Foster & Roy.

The confederation of the provinces was now in the air. It was
not universally understood at the time and it was feared, and
somewhat actively combatted, especially by the group of young
French-Canadians opposed to Cartier in their new journal the
Union Nationale, as likely to absorb them so that they might lose
their political identity.

Confederation was, however, to mark a great period of progress
and to see Montreal emerge from provincial citydom to the
great metropolis of today. Before passing to the story of its
achievement, a glance back will show that Montreal was a very
quiet place under the Union. Yet it produced strong-minded and
able men, even if the racial, religious and political rancours
of a “heart burning town” showed themselves in no equivocal
colours. The foundations of our present artistic, literary,
religious, charitable and financial associations were also
already being well laid. The life was simple; there was not much
society but great heartiness. There were no millionaires, but the
people spent freely. Public amusements were fewer, but private
hospitality greater. The city hall was decorous, there were no
emoluments for service, and the best men of the time thought it
an honour to represent their wards.

Into the simplicity of the life there entered the society
centering around the military. At the close of the Union there
were about a hundred officers generally stationed here, many
of them distinguished men of high rank and fame. There were
often four or five regiments in the town, and the soldiery
fraternized with the citizens. Pranks there were, the ringing of
bells, the wrenching off of knockers and signs, and more serious
peccadillos, but the indulgent public was not censorious. The
officers gave many parties, balls, receptions, dances and hunts,
all of which the prominent citizens participated in and returned.
There were not highly organized kennel or hunt clubs, but they
ranged the country far and wide. The officers were good judges of
horse flesh as were the humbler citizens and Tattersalls, on St.
James Street, opposite the present Star offices, was a busy place
for such. It was no infrequent sight to see the horses being
trotted up and down past Dolly’s, St. Lawrence Hall and Banque
du Peuple for inspection along the street which is today’s busy
financial thoroughfare, lined with banks and insurance buildings.

The ordinary people participated indirectly in the gaiety of the
military régime through the brisk, lively trade with the officers
and soldiery, who spent freely.

The life, colour, and zest they gave were also a free
entertainment. Not only were the streets bright with the uniforms
of the soldiers and gay with the sound of fife, drum and brass,
but the people would make their way to the Champ de Mars during
the day to see the evolutions of the military, where the firing
of the cannon frightened the timid boys and girls, or in the
early evening the young folk would stroll sweethearting to
Dalhousie Square (now the Viger Station tracks) to hear the
regimental bands in Barrack Square, and the boys and girls, now
no way shy, would peep in at the mysteries of the officers’ mess,
which was in plain view. The music would last for hours and the
square would resound with laughter till the sun-down gun from St.
Helen’s Island proclaimed the time for early bed.

Art, literature and music were cultivated by associations at the
time and to these the military officers contributed no little
initiative. The scholastic system of the two boards of school
commissioners was being solidified and Montreal at the end of
the Union was progressing substantially, but not so dramatically
or so visibly as after the next few decades when bustle began to
rule. Life was then more leisurely, more reposeful and at least
quite as happy and more contented.


[1] Reminiscences of Private Fitzgerald, who came out with the
Sixteenth Bedfordshire Regiment in 1861. Cf. “I Remember” series
of the Star, 1913.

[2] Mr. William Robb, recently city treasurer. Cf. I Remember
Series, The Star, 1913.

                          CHAPTER XXII




Constitutionally Montreal has always been an influence in the
moulding of the Dominion. This has been brought about by its
geographical situation and its public men. From the first the
city has been favored in its sons--men who have controlled the
destinies of the growing country, and who in turn have been
influenced by their closer environments. This is seen in the
constitutional acts of both the Province and the Dominion, for
practically most public events, particularly since Confederation,
have been shaped to meet the requirements of the commercial

Confederation had its opponents, particularly amongst the younger
members of the “parti rouge” or democratic party, who in Lower
Canada, but now the Province of Quebec, had been waiting for an
opportunity to break the power of Sir George Etienne Cartier,
the great French Canadian leader in the confederation movement,
so that in the elections called for to ratify the British North
America Act, they determined, in spite of the advice to the
contrary, of their brilliant leader (Dorion), to give Cartier
the fight of his life. The new Federal government realized that
the permanency of the constitution depended largely on the
attitude of Quebec and much anxiety was felt as to the results of
the elections which were to be held in the autumn of 1867--the
British North America Act having come into force on July 1st.

Cartier particularly realized the crisis, and put his whole
energy into the fight. He personally contested Montreal East,
now St. James Division, having as opponent Médéric Lanctot,
a popular labour leader. Every division in the Province was
contested, but thanks to the strong stand made by the Roman
Catholic[1] church in approving Confederation, the party headed
by Cartier, who beat his opponent, won and the new constitution
was confirmed in the Province of Quebec forty-three out of
sixty-five seats. In Ontario the government won sixty-eight
out of eighty-five seats and in New Brunswick twelve out of
fifteen seats, but in Nova Scotia, owing to the opposition of
Joseph Howe, only one government supporter, Charles Tupper, was
returned. On the whole, Confederation was confirmed by the people.

Practically this most momentous election--upon which depended the
future of Canada’s national life--was decided in Montreal, for
had Cartier failed in winning his own seat, the impetus given to
the “parti rouge” would have been strong enough to have wrecked
the government and consequently the British North America Act.
The Provincial legislature returns showed a similar result, the
first provincial premier being that brilliant Montreal writer and
orator, the Hon. P.J.O. Chauveau, who held office until 1873, his
two immediate successors in the premiership being Montrealers
also, the Hon. G. Ouimet and Sir Charles E.B. de Boucherville.
The last named is still living, in the best of health, though in
his ninety-fourth year, and enjoying the dual offices of Senator
for Canada, and member of the Legislative Council of Quebec. Sir
Charles is the last of the dual office men.

During the adjourned session of the first Dominion parliament
which had met in Ottawa in March, 1868, the Hon. Thomas D’Arcy
McGee, who represented Montreal West, was assassinated just
outside his Ottawa lodging. There is no doubt that this dastardly
outrage was the consequence of Mr. McGee’s condemnation of the
Fenian movement against Canada, and though one man, Whelan, an
ex-soldier and tailor, suffered the extreme penalty for being the
instrument, the real miscreants got away. The murder of D’Arcy
McGee robbed this country of one of her best sons. Brilliant
and large minded he had risen to cabinet rank before he was
thirty-eight years of age and in the last government under the
Union he held the port-folio of Agriculture. Always a believer
in the closest union between the component parts of British
North America, he was an eloquent advocate for Confederation and
on the formation by Sir J.A. Macdonald of the first Dominion
government (1868) McGee’s eminent services gave him every right
to be included, but his sense of loyalty made him stand aside so
as to allow Sir John to form his cabinet on territorial lines.
This great man, whose remains rest in Cote de Neiges Cemetery, is
still--forty-six years after his death--the outstanding figure of
Irish Canadianism--an example in broad mindedness and patriotism.

Another Father of Confederation was the Hon. A.T. Galt, whose
representation of Sherbrooke, P.Q., and his years of residence
here, made him a local figure. Mr. Galt’s great financial
ability was very helpful in making equitable arrangements in the
consolidation of the Dominion. To commemorate the consummation
of confederation the Hon. J.A. Macdonald received the honour of
Knight Commander of the Bath, while his co-workers, including
Cartier and Galt, received companionships of the Bath. The title
was refused by both Cartier and Galt for the reason that being
representatives of Lower Canada they could not accept a lesser
title than Sir John Macdonald. The difficulty was overcome by a
baronetcy conferred on Cartier and a K.C.M.G. on Galt.

In 1868 Cartier and William McDougall went to England on
behalf of the Canadian government to negotiate the transfer of
the Western territories from the Hudson’s Bay Company to the
Dominion. The Hudson’s Bay Company asked the sum of $5,000,000
for the cession of its rights but had to be satisfied with
$1,500,000 and a reservation of one-twentieth of the fertile
belt. But a new difficulty had arisen in the transfer--in the
territory itself--for in 1870 the half-breed settlers, who
had the distinctive title of the “Metis,” feeling that they
and their holdings had not been affected--stopped the new
lieutenant-governor, the Hon. William McDougall at the border,
and under Louis Riel the first North West rebellion was started,
soon, however, to be broken. It was in this rebellion that
the late Lord Strathcona, as chief officer of the Hudson’s
Bay Company, was first brought into the public limelight. Mr.
Donald Smith, as he was then known, and whose headquarters were
at Montreal, was asked to go to Fort Garry (now Winnipeg) with
Col. de Salaberry and Abbé Thibault with the object of pacifying
the settlers, but the mission failed. On the breakdown of the
rebellion Donald Smith administered the affairs of the territory
until the arrival of Lieutenant-Governor Archibald.

Around this time (1870) the home government withdrew the Imperial
troops from Canada--with the exception of a garrison left at
Halifax--which was a blow to the social life of the commercial
metropolis. The officers of the local garrison with their bright
uniforms and gentlemanly manners and their cultivated entourage
had been an acquisition to Montreal society, literary, social and

The material building up of Canada, and particularly Montreal,
has been made possible by the splendid transportation facilities,
both by stream, canal and rail, engineered by the big men of the
time. During the ’70s and ’80s Montreal was well represented by
names like Cartier, Dorion, and Sir John Rose, who though in
separate political camps fought hard together for the Grand Trunk
in parliament, and won.

Cartier in introducing the Victoria Bridge Bill met much
opposition; the principal objection being that it would take
the trade out of the country. His reply, which proved correct,
was that the bridge would bring trade into the country. In the
agitation for the Intercolonial Railway with its terminus at
Montreal, Cartier was the leader. He was also the introducer into
the parliament of 1872 of the first Canadian Pacific Bill. Both
of these undertakings were urged as the best and most practical
means of consolidating the new Dominion.

One cannot leave railway legislation without referring to what
is known as the Canadian Pacific scandals, though Sir Charles
Tupper in his “Reminiscences of Sixty Years” writes of it as the
“Canadian Pacific Slanders,” because two of the principal actors
were Montrealers and the place, Montreal. The bare facts are: Two
companies, one of which was under the control of Sir Hugh Allan
of Montreal, had competed for the construction of the railroad,
the bill for which the Government, through Cartier, had passed in
parliament. Owing to disputes an effort was made to amalgamate
the companies but without avail, so that Sir Hugh formed a new
company under the title of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company.
This Company obtained a charter on February 19, 1873, to build
the railway, and it was in connection with the granting of this
charter that in the following April a Mr. L.A. Huntingdon charged
the government with making a corrupt bargain with Sir Hugh Allan;
in other words, that the Montreal promoter and his company had
advanced large sums of money to the Conservative fund to secure
the returns of candidates favourable to their obtaining the
charter. The receiving of the money was neither contradicted
by the government nor the contractors, and on behalf of the
government it was offered as an extenuating circumstance that it
was only in accordance with the “invariable custom,” and before
a Royal Commission the ministers denied any corrupt bargain
having been made. But the whole country was up in arms, and Sir
John Macdonald, seeing inevitable defeat for his government,
placed his resignation in the hands of the Governor-General.
In the elections which followed, the new government, under the
leadership of the new premier, the Hon. Alexander McKenzie, was
sustained by a large majority.

When in 1870 the Fenians for the second time under “General”
O’Neill made a raid into Canada, crossing the border at Trout
Lake in the Eastern Townships, a flutter was caused at Montreal,
but the “general” was soon routed by a small contingent made up
largely by volunteers from Montreal.

Owing to a depression in trade, which set in about the fall of
1873 and which gradually grew worse in centres like Montreal
as the years rolled by, Sir John A. Macdonald’s appeal to the
country that it should protect its own industries by placing
heavy duties against goods imported from other countries, met
with success and he was returned at the elections of 1878 by a
large majority. This became known as the “National Policy” and
though immediate prosperity was the outcome, there is no doubt
that the same policy has made possible the formation of trusts,
which in this country go under the name of mergers.

The next constitutional act of importance that affected Montreal
was the passing of an act which relieved the elections from the
old time voting. On May 26, 1876, a Federal bill was passed
introducing the vote by ballot, simultaneous elections, the
abolition of property qualifications for members of the House of
Commons and making stringent enactments against corrupt practices
at elections.

The Canada Temperance Bill of 1878 (usually called the Scott Act)
was the result of a great temperance movement that spread over
the whole of Canada and has been the foundation in Montreal of
scores of temperance societies. Practically all the churches have
joined in lessening the drink evil and on the same platforms will
be found the Roman Catholic and Anglican bishops of Montreal, as
well as the ministers of other denominations. Montreal is a much
more temperate city today than it was thirty years ago, in spite
of a rapidly growing cosmopolitan population.

About this time (1878) there occurred in Montreal the Orange
riots, which resulted in the death of one of the citizens named
Hackett by shooting, an event of no importance, though magnified
by certain writers.

In 1885 occurred the second North West rebellion. This was felt
very deeply in Montreal for the reason that, the insurgents
being French half-breeds, charges of disloyalty were made
against the whole French speaking people. To show its sense of
loyalty Montreal despatched a large contingent to the scene of
the disturbance, including the French-Canadian regiment--The
Mount Royal Rifles, now known as the Sixty-fifth Regiment. This
regiment did some remarkable work, marching as many as forty-five
miles a day through brush and muskeg and arriving in time to take
part in the routing out at Frog Lake of Big Bear, the Cree Chief
who was supporting Riel, the rebel leader. The spirit of loyalty
underlying this splendid achievement was sufficient evidence of
the patriotism of French Canadianism, even to satisfy the most
rabid of partisans.

The execution of Riel, which took place in Regina in the
latter part of the year, again raised the racial cry and many
demonstrations were held in Montreal by both French and English
partisans. To exaggerate the feeling of bitterness, about
this time small-pox had broken out and the heads of the local
industries having insisted on vaccination and the bulk of the
employees being French Canadian, the cry was raised that the
employers were interfering with the work of Providence.

Montreal has not been directly affected by what is commonly known
as the “school question,” that has at different times raised so
much bitterness in other parts of Canada, particularly in New
Brunswick and Manitoba, but because the majority of its citizens
are Roman Catholics, and the fact of its own separate school
system working satisfactorily, the local political parties have
always taken a keen interest in the school problem in the other
provinces, and every government when dealing with it has to
take Montreal sentiment into account. This Cartier found to his
cost in the 1872 elections, when, because his government sided,
though only on legal grounds, with the New Brunswick Provincial
government in its determination not to have separate schools,
he lost his seat to Mr. L.A. Jetté, who afterwards became
Lieutenant-Governor of the Province. Again because in Manitoba
in 1890 the provincial legislature, by adopting nonsectarian
schools, had in the minds of Roman Catholics broken the clause of
the Manitoba Act of 1870, which secured to the religious minority
the right in respect to denominational schools, much bitterness
was caused in Montreal. To this vexed question a settlement was
brought about in 1896 by the Laurier government, by which the
Manitoba Government while adhering to the principle of a national
school system under provincial control, agreed to make provision
for religious teaching during certain school hours.

In the year 1888 two Montrealers of cabinet rank died, Sir John
Rose, a former cabinet member, and Hon. Thomas White, M.P.,
Minister of the Interior.

Montreal in 1891 was particularly honoured in one of its citizens
in the person of Hon. J.J.C. Abbott, who had twice been mayor,
becoming Premier of Canada on the death of Sir John A. Macdonald,
though he only held office for little more than a year, resigning
November, 1892, on account of ill-health. In this year also died
Sir A.A. Dorion, Chief Justice of Queen’s Bench, Montreal, who
had been a big factor in the public life of Canada. As leader of
the Liberals, or “patri rouge,” he was Sir G.E. Cartier’s chief
opponent, and on the formation of the Liberal Government of 1873,
he was appointed Minister of Justice, which office he resigned on
June 1, 1874, to become Chief Justice of Montreal.

On August 15, 1893, the Behring Sea Tribunal of Arbitration, of
which Canada’s Prime Minister was a member, gave the decision
that the Behring Sea was to be kept open and that seals be
protected. At a banquet given in his honour by the citizens
of Montreal, the Premier in a great speech explained Canada’s
advantage by the arbitration.

In 1895 a treaty was made between this country and France which
largely affected the trade of Montreal, because of the impetus
given by the agreement to the importation of wines.

When the Liberals came into power in 1896, very largely on a
Free Trade policy, it was found inexpedient by the government
to change the general tariff of the country, but it made a
compromise in 1899 by giving a preferential tariff of 25% to
British made goods, which in 1901 was increased to 33⅓%. This was
a popular move and no doubt, together with the wave of prosperity
which spread itself over the country and in which Montreal
largely participated, did much to keep the Liberals in power for
fifteen years.

In 1898 the Boer war broke out, when the country as a whole
demanded that the Federal government on behalf of Canada should
take its share of the burden, although there was a certain
contra agitation amongst a section of French Canadians, led by
the eloquent and versatile grandson of Louis Joseph Papineau M.
Henri Bourassa, who afterwards became the Chief of the young
Nationalist Party.

In October of 1899, Mr. Bourassa gave up his seat for St.
Hyacinthe in the Federal House in order to vindicate his position
on the constitutional aspect of the participation of Canada in
the South African war, contending that such participation, as
contemplated and organized by the British Government and its
representative in Canada, meant a deep change in our relations
with Great Britain upon which the people of Canada should be
thoroughly enlightened and directly consulted. In January of the
following year he was returned by acclamation.

Though the attitude taken by Mr. Bourassa was mostly academic
yet, like his renewal in 1914 of a similar obstructional and
dialectical position, not always understood by the general public
especially in time of war, it helped to encourage demonstrations
of loyalty and patriotism throughout the Dominion, which forced
the government to raise an expeditionary force. The first
contingent embarked for the Transvaal October 30, 1899. At
the beginning of the following year, Lord Strathcona equipped
a mounted infantry regiment of 500, which became famous as
“Strathcona’s Horse.” This body was despatched to South Africa
with the second contingent. The Canadian regiments throughout
the war did splendid service, particularly at Paardeburg, when
the Boer general Cronje was completely surrounded and defeated.
Montreal itself contributed largely to the contingent which
represented Canada.

In 1902 the Nationalist League was organized by Mr. J.T. Olivar
Asselin, who became president of the Montreal branch and Mr.
Henri Bourassa became recognized as the outstanding leader. The
Nationaliste was founded as the party organ in 1904 by its editor
Mr. Asselin who, on its lapse, became a writer on the Devoir
founded by Mr. Henri Bourassa.

A political event of far reaching importance took place in
1910 when the Hon. William Fielding and the late Hon. William
Patterson on behalf of the Canadian Government signed an
agreement with the government of the United States by which
certain goods, principally food-stuffs, were to pass from one
country to the other free of duty. Since 1866 the United States
had steadily refused all offers to negotiate for reciprocal
relations, but in the spring of 1910 they veered around and sent
plenipotentiaries to Ottawa. The Dominion Government received
them courteously and sent Messrs. Fielding and Patterson to
Washington to carry on the negotiations, which resulted in what
became known as the “Reciprocity Pact.” But in submitting the
agreement to the country for ratification in the election of 1911
the government was badly defeated. It should be stated though
that the main issue itself throughout the country, and especially
in Montreal, had become involved, from a question originally of
purely commercial reciprocity, into one also of fear of danger
of annexation to the United States. This was sufficient to bring
out the latent patriotism of the electors, who gave a very
decided answer to those across the line who had any belief in the
American slogan that reciprocity was to be but the first step
to annexation. The Montreal election returns showed this very
strongly, not in the change of representatives, for there was
none, but in the comparison of the votes. In the country parts of
the Province the Navy Bill of 1910, which was unpopular with the
French Canadians, gave an opportunity to the Nationalists, who
by joining forces with the opposition were enabled to reduce the
Federal Government’s majority sufficiently to cause its downfall.

[Illustration: THE STRATHCONA HORSE (From the plaque on the
Strathcona Monument, Dominion Square)]

The defeat of the Federal Government ended the lengthy
premiership of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, one of the Empire’s great
statesmen. Sir Wilfrid has many associations with Montreal and
many of his triumphs, national as well as political, have taken
place in the city. The new government in 1911 introduced a bill
into Parliament giving a contribution of $35,000,000 to the
British admiralty to represent Canada’s naval contribution to the
Empire. The bill passed the Commons but failed in the Senate.
It was in connection with this naval contribution that the late
Hon. F.D. Monk, the member for the Jacques Cartier division of
the city, and one of Montreal’s brightest and most upright minds,
resigned from the government, his reason being that a plebiscite
of the people should have been made on the naval question. His
death following hard upon his departure from politics made the
latter the more deplored.

Of importance to the Port of Montreal is the West Indian
commercial agreement made in 1913 between Canada and the British
West Indies. By this reciprocal pact Canada secured a new market
on advantageous terms, and the principal factor in bringing it
about was the Canadian West Indian League with its headquarters
in Montreal.

As in Federal politics, so also in the life of the Provincial
parliament, Montreal has also been a large factor, the principal
reason being that it supplies the biggest share of the income of
the Province, and also because the city’s representatives have
usually been leaders of thought and probity. Practically all the
premiers, from confederation to the present holder of the office,
have been either citizens of Montreal or largely connected with
the city. In the first legislative assembly of 1867 Montreal had
four members; they being Sir George E. Cartier, Edward Cartier,
his brother, and law partner, and who Sir George always said
was the legal brains of the firm; A.W. Ogilvie, a prominent
member of one of Montreal’s best known families; and the Hon.
Louis Beaubien, who became Commissioner of Agriculture in the de
Boucherville and Flinn administrations. Since that time Montreal
has been represented at Quebec by such men as the Hon. L.O.
Taillon (1875-1887) who became Premier in 1887, and afterwards
joined the Federal government as Postmaster General; to-day
he is Postmaster of Montreal; Hon. James McShane (1878-1891),
who became in turn Provincial Minister of Public Works, Mayor
of Montreal and Harbour Master of the Port; Hon. L.O. David
(1886-1890), now Senator of Canada and City Clerk of Montreal;
Dr. G. A. Lacombe (1897-1908), the author of the famous Lacombe
Law of 1906, by which a debtor upon being too hard pressed by his
creditors could come under the protection of the courts without
any extra cost to himself; Sir Lomer Gouin, the present Premier,
who first entered the legislature as member for St. James in
1897; Henri Bourassa (1908-1909); D.J. Decarie (1897-1904),
and his son, the Hon. Jérémie Decarie, Provincial Secretary,
who succeeded his father in the latter year; Hon. Dr. J.J.E.
Guerin (1895-1904), Cabinet minister and Mayor of Montreal;
Robert Bickerdike (1897-1900), the present federal member for
St. Lawrence division of the city; the Hon. H.B. Rainville and
the two George Washington Stephens--father and son--the one
representing Montreal Centre from 1881 to 1886 and the other the
St. Lawrence division, 1904 to 1908, being afterwards Chairman of
the Harbour Commission.

The work of the Provincial legislature being largely of a
constructive nature, such as the raising of taxes for the
building of roads and the conserving of its vast resources, its
principal effect on the city of Montreal itself is the oversight
of the legislative work of the city council, and if acceptable
to make it legal by passing it in the form of amendments to the
city charter. In this respect a very important amendment to
the charter was made in 1910 as a result of the report of the
Cannon inquiry, which condemned the city administration of the
period. Under the amendment the Council is cut in half by each
ward having one instead of two representatives, and its work is
of a legislative nature only, leaving the administration subject
to the ratification of the council, in the hands of a board of
control composed of four members, who with the mayor is elected
by the city as a whole.

For a long time there has been a strong feeling that Montreal
should have more freedom and a large measure of Home Rule in its
local affairs, some even going so far as to urge that the island
of Montreal should be a separate Province. At present, there is
certainly a groping toward some such autonomy.


  The Honourable:
    Jacques Bureau
    Louis Renaud
    John Hamilton
    James Ferrier
    Thomas Ryan
    F.X.A. Trudel
    E.G. Penny
    Hector Fabre
    J.R. Thibaudeau
    A.W. Ogilvie
    A. Lacoste
    L.A. Senecal
    Sir J.J.C. Abbott
    J.B. Rolland
    Sir George A. Drummond
    C.S. Rodier
    E. Murphy
    A. Desjardins
    James O’Brien
    J.C. Villeneuve
    William Owens
    Sir W.H. Hingston
    L.J. Forget
    A.A. Thibaudeau
    Raoul Dandurand
    J.P.B. Casgrain
    Robert McKay
    Frédéric L. Beique
    Laurent O. David
    Henry J. Cloran
    Arthur Boyer
    Joseph Marcellin Wilson

                       SINCE CONFEDERATION

  Date of Election.      District.                 Member.

  1867                 Montreal City
                                West             Hon. T. D’Arcy McGee
                                Centre           T. Workman
                                East             Hon. G.E. Cartier

  1868, April 30th              West             M.P. Ryan, vice Hon.
                                                   T.D. McGee, deceased.
  1872                 Montreal City
                                West             Hon. J. Young
                                Centre           M.P. Ryan
                                East             L.A. Jetté

  1874                 Montreal City
                                West             F. McKenzie
                                Centre           M.P. Ryan
                                East             L.A. Jetté

  1874, December       Montreal City             F. McKenzie (re-elected,
                                                   former election being

  1875                 Montreal City
                                West             T. Workman, vice McKenzie
                                                   (election voided)

  1875, January 12th   Montreal City
                                Centre           B. Devlin (elected vice
                                                   Ryan, election voided)
        November 26th                            B. Devlin (re-elected,
                                                   former election declared

  1878, November 21st  Montreal City
                                West             M.H. Gault
                                Centre           M.P. Ryan
                                East             C.J. Coursol

  1882                 Montreal City
                                West             M.H. Gault
                                Centre           J.J. Curran
                                East             C.J. Coursol

  1887                 Montreal City
                                West             Sir Donald A. Smith
                                Centre           J.J. Curran
                                East             C.J. Coursol

  1888                 Montreal City
                                East             A.T. Lepine, vice
                                                   Coursol (deceased)

  1891                 Montreal City
                                West             Sir Donald A. Smith,
                                Centre           J.J. Curran
                                East             A.T. Lepine

  1892                 Montreal City
                                Centre           J.J. Curran (re-elected
                                                   on accepting office)

  1895                 Montreal City
                                Centre           James McShane
                                                 J.J. Curran (appt. Judge)

  1896                 Montreal (St. Anne)       M.J.F. Quinn
                                (St. Antoine)    T.G. Roddick
                                (St. James)      William Demarais
                                (St. Lawrence)   E.G. Penny
                                (St. Mary)       Hercule Dupré

  1900                 Montreal (St. Anne)       Daniel Gallery
                                (St. Antoine)    T.G. Roddick
                                (St. James)      William Demarais
                                (St. Lawrence)   Robert Bickerdike
                                (St. Mary)       Hon. J.J. Tarte

  1902, June           Montreal (St. James)      Joseph Brunet
                                                   (vice Demarais)
                                (St. James)      Brunet (unseated Dec.,

  1904                 Montreal (St. James)      H. Gervais

  1904                 Montreal (St. Anne)       D. Gallery
                                (St. Antoine)    H.B. Ames
                                (St. James)      H. Gervais
                                (St. Lawrence)   R. Bickerdike
                                (St. Mary)       C. Piché
  1906                 Montreal (St. Anne)       C.J. Walsh
                                (St. Mary)       Médéric Martin
  1908                 Montreal (St. Anne)       C.J. Doherty
                                (St. Antoine)    H.B. Ames
                                (St. James)      H. Gervais
                                (St. Lawrence)   R. Bickerdike
                                (St. Mary)       M. Martin
  1911                 Montreal (St. Anne)       Hon. C.J. Doherty
                                (St. Antoine)    H.B. Ames
                                (St. James)      L.A. Lapointe
                                (St. Lawrence)   R. Bickerdike
                                (St. Mary)       M. Martin

               CONFEDERATION, 1867, TO THE PRESENT

                       (From 1867 to 1890)

  Date.            District.                   Name.

  1867-1871        Montreal Centre             Edward Cartier
  1871-1874        Montreal Centre             The Hon. Luther H. Holton
  1874-1875        Montreal Centre             Charles Alexander
  1875-1878        Montreal Centre             Alexander Walker Ogilvie
  1878-1881        Montreal Centre             Horatio Admiral Nelson
  1881-1886        Montreal Centre             George Washington Stephens
  1886-1890        Montreal Centre             James McShane
  1867-1871        Montreal East               Sir George Etienne Cartier
  1871-1875        Montreal East               Ferdinand David
  1875-1886        Montreal East               Louis Olivier Taillon
  1886-1890        Montreal East               Laurent Olivier David
  1867-1871        Montreal West               Alexander Walker Ogilvie
  1871-1873        Montreal West               Francis Cassidy
  1873-1878        Montreal West               John Wait McGauvran
  1878-1886        Montreal West               James McShane
  1886-1890        Montreal West               John Smythe Hall
  1867-1886        Hochelaga                   Louis Beaubien
  1886-1887        Hochelaga                   Joseph Octave Villeneuve
  1888-1890        Hochelaga                   Chas. Laplante dit Champagne

                       (From 1890 to 1912)

  1890-1891        Montreal Division No. 1     Joseph Béland
  1892-1897        Montreal Division No. 1     Francois Martineau
  1897-1908        Montreal Division No. 1     George Albini Lacombe
  1908-1912        Montreal Division No. 1     Napoleon Séguin
  1890-1891        Montreal Division No. 2     Joseph Brunet
  1892-1897        Montreal Division No. 2     Olivier Maurice Augé
  1897-1908        Montreal Division No. 2     Lomer Gouin
  1908-1909        Montreal Division No. 2     Henri Bourassa
  1909-1912        Montreal Division No. 2     Clément Robillard
  1890-1891        Montreal Division No. 3     Henri Benjamin Rainville
  1892-1897        Montreal Division No. 3     Damase Parizeau
  1897-1904        Montreal Division No. 3     Henri Benjamin Rainville
  1904-1912        Montreal Division No. 3     Godfroi Langlois
  1890-1891        Montreal Division No. 4     William Clendenning
  1892-1896        Montreal Division No. 4     Alexander Webb Morris
  1896-1900        Montreal Division No. 4     Albert William Atwater
  1900-1904        Montreal Division No. 4     James Cochrane
  1904-1908        Montreal Division No. 4     G.W. Stephens
  1908-1912        Montreal Division No. 4     John T. Finnie
  1890-1897        Montreal Division No. 5     John Smythe Hall
  1897-1900        Montreal Division No. 5     Robert Bickerdike
  1900-1904        Montreal Division No. 5     Matthew Hutchison
  1904-1906        Montreal Division No. 5     Christopher B. Carter
  1907-1912        Montreal Division No. 5     Ernest C. Gault
  1890-1891        Montreal Division No. 6     The Hon. James McShane
  1892-1895        Montreal Division No. 6     Patrick Kennedy
  1895-1904        Montreal Division No. 6     James John Edmund Guerin
  1904-1908        Montreal Division No. 6     Michael James Walsh
     set aside)    Montreal Division No. 6     Denis Tansey
  1908-1912        Montreal Division No. 6     Michael James Walsh
  1890-1896        Hochelaga                   Joseph Octave Villeneuve
  1897-1904        Hochelaga                   Daniel Jerome Décarie
  1904-1912        Hochelaga                   Jérémie Décarie

                           (from 1912)

  1908            Jacques Cartier              Philémon Cousineau
  1908            Laval                        Joseph Wenceslas Lévesque
  1912            Maisonneuve                  The Hon. Jérémie Décarie
  1912            Montreal Dorion              Georges Mayrand
  1912            Montreal Hochelaga           Séverin Létourneau
  1912            Montreal Laurier             Napoléon Turcot
  1912            Montreal Ste. Anne           Denis Tansey
  1912            Montreal St. George          C. Ernest Gault
  1912            Montreal St. James           Clément Robillard
  1912            Montreal St. Lawrence        John T. Finnie
  1912            Montreal St. Louis           J.E. Godfroi Langlois
  1912            Montreal St. Mary            Napoléon Séguin
  1912            Westmount                    Charles Allan Smart

[Illustration: HON. LOMER GOUIN, K.C. Prime Minister of Province
of Quebec]

Commissioner for Canada]

[Illustration: SIR WILFRID LAURIER A Prime Minister of Canada]

[Illustration: MONTREAL FOUNDED 1642 In 1905 this monument,
by Philippe Hébert, was erected to the memory of the first
Governor of Montreal, Paul de Chomedey, Sieur de Maisonneuve, and
commemorates, with its bas reliefs and supplementary statuary,
several of the principal personages and dramatic incidents in the
early days of the settlement.]


[1] Practically every bishop in the Province of Quebec issued an
amendment which tended to create Union and promote the acceptance
of Confederation. Cf. “The History of the Life and Times of Sir
George Etienne Cartier” by John Boyd (McMillan, Toronto, 1914),
pp. 288 et seq. The reader will find further interesting details
on the political life of Montreal of this period, in the above

                          CHAPTER XXIII


                       UNDER CONFEDERATION



The same foreword as that prefacing a preceding chapter is
similarly applicable here. The curious reader is warned to pursue
the history of the main movements indicated, in the second part
of special history.

Confederation was received with mixed feelings. There were
many of the _parti national_ who thought that Confederation
came too soon, that it had been hurried through without the
people thoroughly being instructed in the details and without
their being consulted, and that the French Canadians would be
politically annihilated, a foreboding never realized. It was
indeed the quietus to the _parti national_, who had opposed it
in their newspaper, the Union Nationale, established in 1865 by
Médéric Lanctot, which represented the views of the young blood
opposed to Cartier, such as Messrs. Joseph Loranger, Doutre,
Dorion, Judge Delorimier, Lanctot, Labelle, Laflamme and L.O.
David, then a brilliant writer on its staff. But in 1867 on the
advent of Confederation agitation ceased and the inevitable was
accepted with growing satisfaction. The country, however, was at
the time in a bad state, suffering from the abrogation of the
reciprocity treaty in 1866.

The year 1868 marks an important event in the French Canadian
life of the city, for it saw the Papal Zouaves leave Montreal on
February 7th, to fight in Italy against Garibaldi who wished to
curtail the temporal sovereignty of the papal throne. On February
15th the roof of St. Patrick’s Hall, the home of St. Patrick’s
National Society, at the south end of Craig Street, fell in. In
March the first 3-cent letter stamp was issued in Canada, and on
April 1st the first postoffice savings banks were opened. This
same month saw the assassination of D’Arcy McGee at Ottawa. His
funeral took place in Montreal on April 13th and was a great
public testimonial to his citizenship and to his devotion to his
adopted country.

Eighteen hundred and sixty-nine is remembered as the year the
present Governor General, H.R.H., the Duke of Connaught, then the
young Prince Arthur, a bright, frolicsome, light-hearted boy,
first came to the city, in August, to join his regiment, the
First Battalion of the Rifle Brigade. Rosemount, at the head of
Simpson Street, a house which was occupied by Sir John Rose, and
afterwards owned by the Ogilvie family, was set aside for him,
under the tutelage of Lord Elphinstone. His advent added to the
military and social gaiety of the small city. Among the brilliant
officers then in the city was Col. Garnett Wolseley, then known
only as a gallant officer who had served in the Crimea, who had
now gone on the Red River expedition to the Northwest to quiet
the first Riel rebellion, which occurred about this time, and who
lived, at this period, at 172 Havelock Terrace, Mountain Street,
above the Canadian Pacific Railway bridge. Another was General
Windham, who was buried in this city on February 12, 1870.

One of the acts of the young Prince was to open the Caledonia
skating rink on December 15th. A photograph of this represents
the Prince surrounded by such men as David Brown, A. McGibbon,
F. Gardner, Colonel Lord Russell, Mr. Hugh Allan, Mr. Andrew
Allan, Colonel Dyde, H. Hutchinson, the architect, and the Rev.
Dr. Robert Campbell. During his stay the Prince also opened the
Royal Arthur School on Workman Street, and conferred in the St.
Patrick’s Hall the order of St. Michael and St. George on Mr.
A.T. Galt,--a striking and unusual ceremony in those days.

The Sixth Art Exhibition was held in Montreal the next year on
March 8th and Prince Arthur was present.

The young Prince had more functions for he was soon to accompany
his regiment in repelling the second Fenian raid.

Meanwhile, about April 10, 1870, an intimation having been
received by the Dominion Government, from the British Minister
at Washington, of an intended Fenian raid into Canada, several
frontier corps were ordered to hold themselves in readiness for
immediate action. There was great military enthusiasm in the
city and by the end of the week all the battalions so ordered
were under arms. From Montreal, on the Monday following the
receipt of this information, Muir’s troop of cavalry was ordered
out and they arrived at Huntingdon on Tuesday afternoon, whither
also went Prince Arthur. Colonel Chamberlain had already gone
to Missisquoi to bring out the force under his command, whilst
a large force of the volunteers in Montreal was collected under
Lieutenant-Colonel Fletcher, the entire force being under Colonel



The volunteer movement received an impetus and recruiting was
lively. During the following week the streets of Montreal
appeared gay with marching troops and sounds of martial music
from the many bands which were moving to and from the execution
of their military duties, now vividly recalled by the citizens of
that time who have lived to see the great call to arms of 1914.

The day after the Queen’s Birthday, May 25th, the band of 200
of these, misguided Fenians, under command of “General” O’Neil,
crossed the frontier and entered Canada, trying to effect a
lodgment at Pigeon Hill. A finely equipped little army of itself
in the shape of the Prince Consort’s Own Rifles (Regulars), 700
strong under command of Lord A. Russell and accompanied by our
present Governor-General, then Prince Arthur, went by special
train to St. Johns, where the volunteers had preceded them.

General Lindsay assumed command of the whole. The only fighting
that occurred was at Cook’s Corners, where the whole of the
Canadian troops did not exceed seventy men, though ample reserves
were in waiting at points near at hand. The actual fighting was
of no importance; it was a flash in the pan that made a great

On May 26th President Grant issued a proclamation against Fenian
raids into Canada and on May 30th in Montreal the mayor thanked
the volunteers for their services. Little had had to be done but
it was serious work mobilizing and there was much activity over
the city in preparation.

Several other events are to be recorded for this year, the
appearance of the Tyne Crew and the meeting to form the Dominion
Board of Trade. The Frazer Institute was incorporated in 1870 and
opened to the public in 1885 after a long delay from litigious
actions. This year the “silver” nuisance was lessened by the
export of $4,000,000 at a cost of $140,000, through the adoption
of the plan of Sir Francis Hincks and Mr. William Weir, afterward
president of the Ville Marie Bank.

In 1871 the first post cards issued by the Dominion postoffice
were welcomed in the city. In this year the fuller organization
of the Canadian Pacific Railway, organized by Montreal men, took
place and the preliminary surveys were made for which Parliament
had in 1870 appropriated $250,000.

On February 27, 1872, loyal Montreal observed the day as one of
thanksgiving for the recovery of the Prince of Wales. On April
27th the intense interest of Montrealers in the new railway
culminated in the voting on the million dollar railway subsidy.
October 2d of this year saw St. Patrick’s Hall burned down; a
run on the City and District Bank on the 7th, which was stopped
by a citizen’s large deposit and by the timely advice of the
Rev. Father Dowd, the pastor of St. Patrick’s parish; and on the
17th the city cars, then horse drawn, were stopped, owing to the
animals suffering from the epizooty. This year was marked by the
establishment of the first cotton mill at Hochelaga.

The memorable events of 1873 include the obtaining of the charter
of the Canadian Pacific Railway, the public funeral in Montreal,
on June 13th, of Sir George Etienne Cartier, who died in London
on May 20th at the age of fifty-nine years, the unveiling of the
statue of Queen Victoria by Lord Dufferin and the opening of the
Wesleyan Theological College and the new Y.M.C.A. building.

In 1874 the manifesto of the Canada First party was issued on
January 6th, preceding the general elections of January 29th.

In March the Queen’s Hall, the home of concerts and theatrical
entertainments, was burnt down.

In September, 1875, the reinterment of Guibord in the Catholic
cemetery took place under military escort.

On May 26th an act was passed that introduced vote by ballot,
simultaneous elections, the abolition of property qualifications
for members of the House of Commons and stringent enactments
against corrupt practices at elections. On June 6, 1876, the
Emperor and Empress of Brazil were entertained in this city.

This year was chiefly noticeable for trade depression and the
number of business failures. This was in consequence of the bad
times begun in 1874. On August 14th a great mass meeting was
called to consider the Montreal taxes. The country was in a poor
state after the abrogation of the reciprocity treaty with the
United States and was suffering from the reaction after the Civil

In 1875 the Mechanics Bank and the Banque Jacques Cartier
suspended payment. The industries were very few and could not
compete with those of the States, and agriculture was feeble.
There were heavy duties to pay for the many goods coming from
the States. There was little population and many crossed the
border line. Work was scarce; there was great distress. People
were starving and free public soup kitchens were established for
poor relief by the charitable agencies. Funds were too low for
more liberal treatment. Politicians placed the blame on the free
trade policy of Mr. McKenzie’s party then in power. This was
opposed to the genius and the needs of a young country feeling
its industrial way. While the Americans had a duty at that time
of twenty to seventy per cent the Canadians for purely revenue
purposes had only something like fifteen per cent, and nothing
for protection. The occasion was one that demanded practical
relief and not finely strung political theories, built on the
experience of the custom prevailing in England. But nothing was
done so that the people became hopeless and gloomy and there was
a project about this time, as already recorded, for annexation,
encouraged by the American party in Montreal for business reasons.

Meanwhile the city saw, in June and July, of 1878, the Orange
troubles and the shooting of Hackett, a state of excitement no
doubt caused by the general unsettled state of affairs. The
great hope of this time was the national policy which Sir John
A. Macdonald began to make public. The effect was magical at
the start. In March, 1878, he expressed his opinion that to
be prosperous Canada must adopt a “national policy” for the
protection of home industries. It had to be fought out at the
polls. There was now hope in every breast. Financial men began
to look out for sites upon which to build mills and factories,
the sugar refineries were reopened, the people took heart and
when the policy carried at the polls in September by a tremendous
majority and was ratified by a formal vote in the house, and when
the national policy was introduced March 14, 1879, going into
effect next day, it was felt that Montreal and Canada were saved.
It was the remembrance of this that caused the older men to vote
against reciprocity when before the public in 1911.

A social event of this year was the investiture by the Marquis of
Lorne, Governor-General of Canada, authorized by Her Majesty, of
the six knights of the most distinguished Order of St. Michael
and St. Gregory.

On January 1, 1880, the South Eastern Railway began the
construction of a railway across the ice from the north side of
the river to the station between Bellerive Park and Longueuil
Ferry, across to Longueuil. The contractors were Auguste Laberge
& Son, who had built the city hall, its promoters being Mr.
Sénecal, A.B. Foster, Judge Mousseau, J.B. Renaud and others. On
the 29th of January loaded cars were drawn across to Montreal.
Next day an engine of 50,000 pounds avoirdupois crossed from
Montreal. On March 15th horses replaced the engines; on March
31st twenty cars were on the ice railway, when it began to be
found insecure so that the rails were removed from the ice on
April 1st.

In September the Governor General visited the exhibition at
Montreal, when 50,000 persons were present.

On October 1st the contract was signed for the Canadian Pacific
Railway, but at midnight on December 10th it was placed before
the House. On February 16th of the next year the company received
its letters patent and on May 2d broke the first ground for the
great transcontinental railway.

On December 23d of this year Sarah Bernhardt made her first
appearance here.

On January 5th, 1881, the South Eastern Railway laid a railway
again across the ice but it was shortly abandoned on the loss of
an engine by the freight train breaking through, without the loss
of life.

The next year, 1882, was one of intellectual progress in the city
for this year, on May 25th, the Royal Society of Montreal was
formed with Sir William Dawson, principal of McGill, as president.

On August 21st there were the meetings of the Forestry and
Agricultural congresses and on August 23d the American
Association for the Advancement of Learning again chose the city
for its convention after twenty-four years’ absence.

The first Montreal Winter Carnival was held in January, 1883,
and was the outgrowth of a suggestion by Mr. R.D. McGibbon, an
advocate of the city. One of the great features was the ice
palace, which was erected in Dominion Square, a mediaeval castle
of transparent crystal. The attack of 2,000 snowshoers, and the
defence by the volunteers, was a great scene amid the detonation
of bombshells and the interchange of pyrotechnic missles till
at last the castle capitulated. After this an immense line of
showshoers, each bearing aloft a blazing torch, scaled the
mountain in a seemingly endless trail of fire. This has been
repeated at more or less regular intervals but the fear that the
ice palace would harm prospective immigrants through unnecessary
fear of our bright, brisk and invigorating winter has caused the
carnival pageant to fall into desuetude. Yet the carnival is but
a development of the old frost fairs on the Thames, that most
known being on the occasion of the visit of Charles II and the
Royal Family to the Frost Fair of 1684, when the printers made a
souvenir as follows:

             Charles,   King       Mary,   Duchess
             James,     Duke       Anne,   Princess
             Katherine, Queen      George, Prince
                         Hans in Kilder
      London, printed by J. Croome on the ice on the River
                    Thames, Jan. 31st, 1684.

The month of June, 1884, was the scene of great festivity among
the French-Canadian population on the occasion of the fiftieth
anniversary of the foundation of the parent society of St.
Jean Baptiste Association of Montreal, being taken to hold a
national congress of French-Canadians from June 24th to the 28th,
to inaugurate the placing of the first stone of the Edifice
Nationale, which afterwards became the “Monument National.”
Outside of the literary, artistic and other intellectual sessions
of the congress there were public sports, balloon ascensions and
amusements, and a great procession of all the societies of St.
Jean Baptiste in Canada and the United States, when a magnificent
array of allegorical cars representing the chief features of
Canadian history passed through the principal streets of the city.

In addition there was a grand historical cavalcade representing
St. Louis, King of France, receiving the oriflamme of St. Denis
and departing for the Seventh Crusade. The dresses for this
dignified cavalcade cost about ten thousand dollars and the whole
spectacle was one that far surpassed any similar dramatic pageant
that had preceded it or has followed since in Canada.

On January 1, 1884, the River St. Lawrence again notably flooded
the lower part of Montreal as was usual in the spring.

On July 4, 1884, Louis Riel arrived at Duck Lake and began to
inflame the discontent in the half-breeds and Indians, who feared
dispossession of their lands by the incoming settlers and the
encroachment of the iron road of the Canadian Pacific Railroad.
This, together with the Soudan war then in progress, produced a
revival of the military spirit so that in the following year,
1885, Montreal sent the Sixty-fifth Regiment to suppress the

The Montreal contingent returned home at a critical juncture
and was employed to quell the anti-vaccination riots of 1885.
At this time a virulent epidemic of smallpox had broken out in
the city and a compulsory vaccination act had been passed which
was resented by a great portion of the people, many complaining
that the vaccine used had poisoned them, while others complained
on sentimental and medical grounds. It was a time of terror.
Mobs attacked the houses and even the persons of Larocque, Drs.
E. Persillier-Lachapelle, J.W. Mount, Hingston, and others, who
were before the public as the chief promoters of the vaccination
movement. Meanwhile the doctors appointed for each district had
their stations and went from door to door to vaccinate, while the
houses could be seen with their isolation papers posted on them
and with guards around and the yellow ambulances plying through
the streets, taking away the affected sick or the dead.

The friends of many of the victims refused to allow the patients
to be removed to the Exhibition grounds where a temporary
hospital had been arranged. All the local troops were called out.
The cavalry was there, too. A tremendous mob assembled at Mount
Royal and attacked it with stones. Many of the men received cuts
in the face. When the mob was at its worst, it was discovered
that there was no magistrate to read the riot act, and no
ammunition for the rifles, in case the rifles had to be used.
However, the cavalry rode through the crowds. A better feeling
finally prevailed, so that the patients were peaceably allowed to
be taken to the public hospital.

[Illustration: WINTER SPORTS IN MONTREAL: Skiing]

[Illustration: WINTER SPORTS IN MONTREAL: Snow shoeing]

[Illustration: WINTER SPORTS IN MONTREAL: The Ice Palace]

[Illustration: WINTER SPORTS IN MONTREAL: Hockey match at
Victoria Rink]

[Illustration: WINTER SPORTS IN MONTREAL: Toboggan slide on
Mount Royal]

The epidemic had important results in the effect it had on the
modernizing and reconstruction of the medical bureau of the city

The Montreal annals of 1886 for January 2d recall the meetings
of the famous evangelist, D.L. Moody. In the same month Sir John
A. MacDonald, while in England, defended French-Canadian loyalty
and affirmed at the same time that 40,000 of the best soldiers in
Canada were ready to leave to defend Imperial interests in Burmah
or Turkestan.

This year was signalized by Montreal’s worst inundation, so
that on April 17th from the foot of Beaver Hall Hill there was
a 5 cent ferry by boat and carts to St. James Street. The flood
abated on April 20th, after having been five feet, ten inches
above the revetment wall. A similar flood occurred next year and
a delegation went to Ottawa to arrange with the Government for
adequate protection. In consequence the following year a wooden
embankment, filled with cement, was built and pumping stations
were erected to protect Montreal from further inundations. This
revetment wall, however, gave place to the present one of stone.

On the 28th of June the first passenger train to the Pacific left
the city, reaching Vancouver on July 4th, a distance of 2,906
miles having been covered in 140 hours.

On May 12, 1888, the Quebec Parliament passed the Jesuits’
estates bill.

On September 3d the first labour day was celebrated in the city,
5,000 taking part in the procession.

During the next year, 1889, the Jesuits’ bill was contested by
the Equal Rights party; finally the Quebec Legislature paid
the Jesuits $400,000 which was further divided among Catholic
educational bodies and an additional sum of $60,000 was turned
over to the Protestant Board of Education.

The year 1890 opened with la grippe which was then prevalent in
the United States, Canada and Europe.

On May 6th the lunatic asylum at Longue Pointe was burnt down
with the loss of seventy lives, owing to the incendiarism of a

This year saw the reception of the Comte de Paris and his son.
The reception tendered them was a brilliant affair. Not only
the French population but the English also received them most
royally, although a counter demonstration was started by a few
revolutionary spirits, but they had no following and their
efforts came to nothing.

The annals of 1891 recall the arrival in the city, on August
21st, of the Continental Guards from New Orleans.

On September 8th there was the first electrical convention and
this was followed on September 18th by the Montreal Exhibition,
which took place on the former Guilbeault’s zoological and
pleasure grounds above Mount Royal Avenue, these having been
moved from the first location on Sherbrooke Street, the
attendance at the exhibition being 50,000, surpassing those of
1880, 1881, 1883 and 1884.

Lovers of the antiquities of the city will note the date of
October 21st, as that of the historic tablets being unveiled
under the auspices of the Numismatic and Antiquarian Society
of Montreal, the movement having been promoted by Messrs. W.D.
Lighthall with the aid of A.U. Beaudry, Gerald Hart and others of
a subsequent committee.

The fifth jubilee of the founding of Montreal occurred in 1892.
As early as April 17, 1888, a resolution was passed by the above
association to celebrate it by an international exhibition
in 1892. In October of 1888, Mr. Roswell Corse Lyman, one of
its members, wrote a pamphlet “Shall we have a World’s Fair
in Montreal in 1892 to celebrate the two hundred and fiftieth
anniversary of the founding of Ville Marie?” It never eventuated
in this city, but Montreal can rightly claim that through this
pamphlet and the Montreal initiation the wonderful Chicago
World’s Fair of 1893 had its origin.

In April many Jewish families left Montreal to colonize the

April of 1893 opened with three incendiary fires and on April 3d
Bonsecours Market was partially burnt with a loss of $20,000,
without insurance. On May 18th the cornerstone of the new Board
of Trade Building was laid by Sir Donald Smith, who humorously
remarked that he had come down from Ottawa as a common labourer,
but that his brother member of Parliament, Mr. J.J. Curran,
afterward the Hon. Mr. Justice Curran, had come to make a
speech. On May 28th the will of Mr. J.W. Tempest was published,
bequeathing the Art Association of Montreal about $80,000. One of
the first benefactors to this had been Mr. Benajah Gibb, a former

At the second congress of the Chambers of Commerce of the Empire,
held in London from June 28th to July 1st, the Montreal Board
of Trade was represented by Mr. Donald A. Smith and Mr. Peter

On July 5th, Sir William Dawson welcomed the Teachers’
Association to the city.

This year the street railway of Montreal was electrified and city
planners saw the beginning of the present leap in the growth of
Montreal through its suburbs following on the annexations which
began in 1883.

On July 19th the city granted a thirty years’ franchise to the
Street Railway Company.

In 1893 the progress of McGill University since 1852 was made
manifest. University life was enlivened in this city on January
20th, when the students of the universities of Vermont and
McGill held a joint concert in the city. At this time McGill
had sixty-six professors. In April the chairs of pathology and
hygiene were founded by the chancellor, Sir Donald A. Smith.
McGill was benefited this year by the addition of the engineering
and physics building, the gift of (Sir) William C. Macdonald, by
the workshops, the gift of Thomas Workman, the library, by Peter
Redpath, and the new Aberdeen medal, given by the new Governor
General, Lord Aberdeen. But in the midst of the triumphs of this
year, McGill regretfully received the resignation of Sir William
Dawson, whom it had received as its principal in 1852, the year
of its second lease of life.

On February 23d the International Mining Association met in

On April 24, 1893, the interest of Montrealers in Imperial
politics was manifested by the telegram of St. Patrick’s Society
to the Canadian statesman, the Hon. E.S. Blake, a member of
Parliament for an English constituency, to congratulate Mr.
Gladstone and himself on the second reading of the Home Rule bill.


[Illustration: Residence of Sir William C. Van Horne]

[Illustration: Residence of the Hon. Dr. James J. Guerin,
Ex-Mayor of Montreal]

[Illustration: “Ravenscrag,” residence of Sir Hugh Montagu Allan]

[Illustration: Montreal residence of Lord Strathcona and Mount

[Illustration: Residence of the late Hon. Sir William Hales

[Illustration: Residence of the late Charles M. Hays, Esq.]

On May 1st there was held the first meeting of the Corn Exchange
in its newly erected building. On the 23d Montreal was visited
by the tornado which passed over the province, but without much
injury or death.

On June 8th, Villa Maria, belonging to the “Congregation”
Sisters, one of the largest educational structures on the
American continent, was destroyed by fire.

On June 19th the three caravels, intended as the facsimiles of
the ships of Columbus, were at Montreal on their way to the
World’s Fair at Chicago. In the summer of 1914 one of them, the
Santa Maria, reappeared at Montreal on a long tour in preparation
for the Panama Exhibition at San Francisco in 1915.

The harbour also saw in July the arrival of the warship Etna.
July witnessed a great convention of many thousands of an
unsectarian body named the Christian Endeavourers. This year
the railways of Montreal were flourishing and the fact that
132 trains were daily entering by the Canadian Pacific and
Grand Trunk railways show the steady growth of the population
and commerce. The earnings of the Canadian Pacific Railway had
increased by almost five million dollars since 1887.

On October 30th the city mourned the loss by death of a great
Montrealer, the late Sir John Joseph Caldwell Abbott, K. C, M.G.,
a former mayor of the city and a prime minister of Canada. His
burial took place on November 2d and his remains were followed
by his successor, Sir John Thompson, and by many hundreds of the
leaders of Canada.

The most important event closing the year of 1893 was the
inauguration of the Royal Victoria Hospital in honour of Her
Majesty, Queen Victoria.

On November 27th, Montreal experienced a shock of earthquake
which was felt over Canada with no loss of life and little of

In 1894, Sir William Van Horne, the president of the Canadian
Pacific Railway, and one of its pioneers, was knighted.

This year closed on December 31st with one of the greatest
windstorms ever recorded in the history of Montreal, the velocity
of the wind reaching eighty miles per hour, so that much damage
was done.

In 1894, the first attempt towards a public portrait gallery,
a museum of antiquities and the securing of the Château de
Ramezay as its permanent home originated with the members of the
Antiquarian Society of Montreal, the idea of the picture gallery
arising with Mr. de Léry MacDonald, that of saving the Château
from passing into private hands, with Mr. Roswell Lyman, and
the employment of it as a public historical museum by Mr. W.D.
Lighthall, which was promoted by a petition to the mayor and
aldermen organized by Mr. R.W. McLachlan and others and signed
by about three thousand principal citizens. The agitation was
successful and the first reception was given in the Château de
Ramezay on November 11, 1897.

The next year, 1895, was marked with the inauguration of other
public movements. On June 6th the statue of Sir John A. MacDonald
was unveiled in Dominion Square by Sir Donald A. Smith and the
Maisonneuve monument by Phillipe Hébert was unveiled on the
Place d’Armes on Monday, July 1st, by the Hon. J.A. Chapleau,
lieutenant governor of the Province of Quebec, the president of
the committee being M.S. Pagnuelo and the secretary being the
Vicomte H. de la Barthe. This was followed on October 8th by the
inauguration of the new edifice of the Montreal branch of Laval
University, but recently established in the city.

In 1896, Sir Donald A. Smith, later Lord Strathcona, was
appointed High Commissioner for Canada. Another prominent
Montreal citizen, Mr. Charles M. Hays, was appointed general
manager of the Grand Trunk Railway.

Among the notable city events of 1897 were the meeting, in
Montreal, of the Behring Sea Commissioners on June 16th, the
celebration of the first day of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee,
the consecration on June 30th of His Grace, Archbishop Bruchesi,
by the Apostolic delegate, Mgr. Merry del Val, and the great
meeting of the British Medical Society on August 31st.

In 1898 the public benefactions of a notable citizen, Sir William
C. MacDonald, were rewarded by a knighthood.

January 1, 1899, is memorable as the day when the reduction of
the 3 cent postage stamp to 2 cents came into force.

This year also marked the progress of the movement for the
higher education of women by the opening of the Royal Victoria
College for Women, being endowed with a gift of $1,000,000 by the
chancellor of the University of McGill, Lord Strathcona.

This year being that of the beginning of the Boer war, Montreal
again shared in the Imperial burden by providing a considerable
part of the Canadian contingents for service in South Africa,
it being represented in the first contingent by Company E,
which sailed on October 30, 1899, and more largely in the
second contingent which departed on January 4, 1900. The famous
Strathcona Horse of three squadrons with 597 of all ranks sailed
on March 1, 1900. During the progress of the war the citizens
were actively engaged in promoting the patriotic fund and in
works of providing comforts for the soldiers and those left
behind by them.

During the course of 1900 the statue of Queen Victoria by
Princess Louise was unveiled by the Governor General, Lord Minto.

The year 1901 was ushered in by the disastrous fire which
destroyed the Board of Trade and many other commercial buildings
on St. Paul Street to the extent of $2,500,000 loss. The new
building was raised on the same site and was taken possession of
on May 1, 1903.

On September 18, 1902, Montreal was honoured by the royal
visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, who are now happily
reigning as King George V and Queen Mary. The loyalty of the
city was manifested as on previous royal visits, the city being
magnificently decorated and illuminated.

The growing importance of Montreal as a factor in Imperial
commerce was demonstrated in the following year, 1903, when the
Chambers of Commerce of the Empire met in the city.

The destruction by fire of the Mount Royal Club, frequented by
the wealthiest and most important citizens, taking place this
year is another sidelight calling attention to the growth of
club life since the old Beaver Club days. Other clubs had, in
the meantime, been established in great numbers to cope with the
growth of its needs.

In 1905 the first turbine steamers to cross the Atlantic, the
Virginian and Victorian, of the Allan Line, were placed on the
St. Lawrence route, a fact showing that navigation methods at
Montreal have always kept abreast with the times. This same year
the value of new buildings erected was $5,590,698.

The year 1904 opened with a terrible conflagration at St.
Cunégonde on January 18th.

On June 4th, Lord Dundonald, on military service in Canada, made
his famous arraignment at the Windsor Hotel of his government,
for which he was recalled on June 14th. The harbour this year
showed the prevalent great commercial development when an
elevator capable of holding 1,000,000 bushels was erected. On the
22d of August the Manufacturers’ Association held a great banquet
at the Windsor Hotel. In November, Patti made her last appearance
in the city to be followed on January 5, 1905, by Rejanne, both
of these latter appearances chronicling the position of Montreal
as a musical and dramatic centre. Since then great singers, such
as Calvé, Albani, Caruso and others have each triumphed here, as
have the leading instrumental artists.

The Russo-Japanese war was the occasion of a subscription for
a Japanese loan being started on March 31st. On August 22d
Royalty again visited Montreal in the person of Prince Louis of

In 1906 the Labour party in Montreal elected a labour
representative, M. Alphonse Verville, for Maisonneuve. This year
St. Helen’s Island was secured for the people of Montreal by a
purchase by the city from the Federal Government for $200,000.

In this year the advent of the automobile era is recorded at
Montreal by the first fatality occurring, on August 11th, in the
death of one named Toutant.

In 1907 the early months saw the burning of the Protestant school
at Hochelaga and the civil engineering and medical buildings of
McGill University. On April 1st the old Theatre Royal, which had
fallen from the high palmy days into flagrant spectacles of a low
class of vaudeville, was interdicted by the Archbishop Bruchesi
and its final doom occurred a few years later.

The Bremen, one of the first German cruisers to visit this port,
arrived on August 25, 1907. A significant sidelight of a phase
of the continued growth of Montreal is the signing, on November
7th, of the contract for the building of the new city prison at
Bordeaux. This year the temperance movement was greatly forwarded
by the foundation of the Anti-Alcoolique League on December 29th.

International trade expansion was demonstrated in Montreal on
February 5th, when the Marconi commercial telegraph service was

The eclipse of the sun of 1908 was visible at Montreal on July

In 1909 a great accident took place in the Windsor Station by
a train running off the tracks causing damage to the extent of
$200,000, but with the loss, however, of only four lives.

The shipping in the port this year was increased by the advent
of the White Star Liners, S.S. Laurentic on May 7th, and S.S.
Megantic on June 27th. On the 27th of August the steamship
Prescott was burnt in the harbour. The “Back to Montreal”
movement recalled citizens to their homes for the week beginning
September 13th, while the following day saw the closing of the
civic investigation into aldermanic scandals at the city hall to
be followed by the “Cannon Report.”

On September 23d the Witness Building was gutted by fire. In
October the Royal Edward Tuberculosis Institute, the first of
its kind in Canada, was opened by telegraph from England by His
Majesty, King Edward, who gave the name to the building. The last
day of the year ended with a gas explosion at Viger Station with
the loss of thirty-eight lives.

The year 1910 is memorable for the triumph of civic reform and
the establishment of the Board of Control, owing to a change in
the city charter, as the outcome of the referendum to the people
in 1909, to stop which an aldermanic delegation to the Provincial
Legislature had been fruitless.

In the year in question the electors were asked to vote on these
two vital questions:

Do you approve of the creation of a Board of Control?

Do you approve of one alderman a ward instead of two?

The answer given to both of the queries was overwhelmingly in the
affirmative. The following figures prove this beyond the question
of a doubt:



  For reduction of aldermen        19,585
  Against reduction                 1,640
      Majority in favor            17,945

  For Board of Control             18,528
  Against Board of Control          2,413
      Majority in favor            16,115

There was not a single ward, throughout the city, which did not
favour the proposed changes and no less than 34 per cent of the
entire vote was polled on this memorable occasion.

On May 6th, His Majesty, King Edward, died and loyal Montreal
grieved as a city with majestic and magnificent emblems of
sorrow over all the public buildings. On the occasion of the
royal funeral in Westminster Abbey the city was represented
by His Worship the mayor, Dr. J.J. Guerin. In preparation for
this event the high commissioner of Canada, Lord Strathcona, in
London, protested against the inferior position given to the
representatives of autonomous colonies of the Empire and his
timely intervention was generously acted upon.

The Montreal trade fleet again was reinforced in 1910 by the
advent on May 11th of the Royal Edward from Bristol, the first
of the Canadian Northern Railway steamers. On the 28th, of the
same month, transportation was effected by the inauguration of
the electric tramway between Longueuil and McGill streets via the
Victoria Bridge.

In June the Herald Building, facing Victoria Square was destroyed
by fire with the loss of thirty-three lives. During this month
M. de Lesseps, of aviation fame, was received in the city hall,
while on November 27th the city was visited by the Marquis de
Montcalm, a name honoured in the city from the general who made
Montreal his headquarters under the French régime.

In October a flight, however, has to be recorded--that of the
plausible financial gambler, Sheldon, who had ruined many widows
among his dupes. He was, however, captured in the following year
and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment.

But the Eucharistic Congress of 1910, held in Montreal, at the
choice of the Catholic world, was an event before which all
others of a social character have paled during recent years.
It was prepared for long in advance as a great civic occasion,
irrespective of its denominational character. The railway and
steamship companies, the civic authorities and public bodies
fitly put forth all their strength to make Montreal realize its
now acknowledged position as a world city, which its choice

  All was in readiness when Cardinal Vincenzo Vannutelli, at
  the end of August, came to Quebec on the Empress of Britain,
  to represent His Holiness, Pius X. There in the old City of
  Champlain the eminent visitor was honourably and worthily
  entertained. After this the Government tugboat, the Lady Grey,
  and the Government steamboat Montmagny, with prominent members
  of the legislature and leading citizens, accompanied by other
  vessels, eighty yachts, motor boats, etc., went down to meet the
  delegate on the way up the river. Meanwhile great crowds were
  gathered to receive the party on the wharf, but the flotilla
  entered the port on Saturday afternoon, September 3d, in a
  downpour of torrential rain. At the foot of McGill Street, on
  the wharf, a splendid kiosk, topped with a handsome cupola,
  was crowded with the civic functionaries, who shortly left on
  receiving the Cardinal and the whole party were forced to adjourn
  to the city hall, where the ceremony of further reception by the
  mayor, Dr. James J. Guerin, was more worthily and comfortably
  performed. The rain, however, had not prevented the ringing
  of church bells and the shrill whistling of half a hundred
  steamships and numerous factories and the crowds of the expectant
  citizens from voicing a welcome. From the city hall, the Papal
  representative proceeded to the residence of Archbishop Bruchesi,
  who had organized the congress, to be held in Montreal, the first
  place in the new world to be so honoured by this national event,
  a sign of the growing recognition of the place of Montreal in the
  cities of the world. The Archbishop’s house was to be the home of
  the Minister for the week.

  On Tuesday evening the formal opening of the congress took
  place in St. James’ Church on Dominion Square, amid picturesque
  religious ceremonies and brilliant ecclesiastical functions that
  surpassed anything previous on this continent. The delegate
  opened his remarks by a recognition of the enthusiastic reception
  given him by the provincial and municipal authorities, as well as
  by all classes. Archbishop Bruchesi, in his address of welcome,
  recognized the kindly feelings which other creeds had manifested
  towards the congress, how many prominent non-Catholic citizens,
  such as Lord Strathcona, had given their help in various
  practical ways in demonstrations of a high spiritual belief
  in the Unseen which the congress portended for all. Various
  telegrams were sent to Pius X at Rome and to George V in London
  expressing gratitude for the recent modification made by him in
  the form of the royal declaration which had continued till then
  to contain obsolete and obnoxious discriminations against a loyal
  part of his subjects.

  It may also be noted here that at the luncheon given that day
  at the Windsor Hotel by Sir Lomer Gouin, prime minister of the
  Province of Quebec, the Cardinal, proposing the health of the
  King, congratulated the Canadians on the liberty that had been
  assured them under the British King who had shown how he could
  respect the legitimate susceptibilities of his Roman Catholic
  subjects throughout the Empire.

  In the evening of this day, September 7th, the representative of
  the Federal Government, the Hon. Charles Murphy, Secretary of
  State of Canada, gave his official reception, which was attended
  by the largest throng of citizens that ever had entered this
  hotel. That night, midnight high mass was celebrated at the Notre
  Dame Church, which commenced when the great bell in the west
  tower, weighing 24,600 pounds, pealed out the hour of midnight,
  and the files of thousands of the representatives of the secular
  clergy and of the religious orders, and the laity, with prelates
  of a dozen different nations, assisted at a memorable occasion.

  The practical work of the congress began on Thursday, September
  8th. There were thirteen sessions held in the various large halls
  of the city, and in addition there were three general meetings
  held, two at Notre Dame Church and one in the Arena, at which
  three the Cardinal Legate presided. On two successive evenings,
  September 8th and 9th, 15,000 people crowded into the great
  entrance of Notre Dame to hear the most distinguished French and
  English speakers of the congress. Among those who spoke were His
  Eminence, Cardinal Logue, Primate of Armagh, Ireland; Archbishop
  Bourne, of Westminster, England; Archbishop Ireland, of St.
  Paul, Minnesota; Monsignor Heylen, of Namur; Monsignor Touchet,
  of Orleans; Monsignor Rumeau, of Angers; Hon. Judge O’Sullivan,
  of New York; Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Sir Lomer Gouin, the Hon.
  Thomas Chapais, and the Hon. C.J. Doherty, Henri Bourassa and
  J.M. Tellier, members of the federal and provincial governments
  of Canada. The sacred edifice, capable of seating 15,000, was
  crammed to the utmost, hundreds upon hundreds standing for two or
  three hours.

  The enthusiasm was intense and the sacred edifice rang with
  unwonted applause. The sanctuary and the stalls were filled
  with brilliant ecclesiastical costumes and gay uniforms and
  the church was a mass of colour. Perhaps the most electrical
  moment of the evening was after the plea of the Archbishop of
  Westminster advocating, before this vast audience which was for
  the most part composed of French-Canadians of the Province of
  Quebec, a more general adoption of the English language to meet
  the changing conditions of Greater Canada, when Henri Bourassa,
  who had already been appointed to speak at this point, took the
  psychological opportunity of the occasion so temptingly offered
  him, to voice the aroused thoughts of his compatriots to whom
  their language, religion and racial traditions seemed inseparably
  bound. His words were punctuated with thundering applause and the
  waving of hats and hands amid a scence of vibrant national and
  religious feeling, the while the people hung upon the word of
  the speaker, who for the nonce was but the mouth-piece of their
  individual thoughts made a scene which the writer will never
  forget as an instance of a clever orator speaking under the best
  and most popular surroundings.

  The third meeting, at the Arena, was composed of about eight
  thousand young men who were addressed by the Cardinal,
  Archbishhop Langevin, of Manitoba, and by Mr. Henri Bourassa on
  “Noble Ideals and Inspirations.” Both speakers urged them to hold
  to their traditions and national rights. There was plenty of room
  for English and French in Canada. Both could work out a noble
  destiny in this young and growing country.

  Another, but one of the most appealing spectacles of the
  congress, was the procession of 30,000 school children who,
  wearing picturesque dresses and bearing emblems and banners,
  passed constantly before the Legate who was seated on the steps
  of St. James’ Cathedral and received their individual courtesy,
  the while he bestowed his blessing amid the thousands of
  spectators assembled around Dominion Square, the whole making a
  magnificent and unusual sight lasting for three hours, during
  which time all traffic in the neighbourhood was absolutely

  The historic Mount Royal has witnessed many picturesque scenes
  but none more so than the great open air mass celebrated on
  Saturday, September 10th, at the foot of the mountain on the
  great open space below Mount Royal Avenue, where a superb and
  ornate altar, open to the winds of heaven, had been placed.
  Around it were 100 bishops, 2,000 priests in their picturesque
  costumes, and 200,000 of the faithful. A choir of 1,000 voices
  responded to the chaunts of the celebrant, Monsignor Farley,
  Archbishop of New York. Monsignor O’Connell, of Boston, and a
  Dominican priest, Father Hage, preached to all who could hear
  their voices. During the solemn celebration the Cardinal Legate
  arrived at St. Patrick’s Church, where another function was
  being held, and on his way to the altar he had to walk over a
  path carpeted with flowers, and there pausing, he bestowed his
  blessing on the kneeling multitude.

  The supreme moment of the congress was to come in the great
  procession the following day. For weeks the long route from the
  Church of Notre Dame to the foot of Mount Royal, where stood the
  altar already described, had been given over to architects and
  workmen; tall handsome arches, things of beauty, had been raised
  here and there along the route, one of them being made of wheaten
  sheaves sent from the Western Canadian prairies. Thousands of
  Venetian columns, obelisks, pedestals and flag poles lined the
  streets; flags of all nations and innumerable electrical signs
  adorned the housefronts.

  The forenoon of Sunday was spent in completing the details of
  the procession and precisely at 1 o’clock files of men, six
  abreast, began to move past the doors of Notre Dame and, like
  the corps of an immense army, then swung into the route of the
  procession. Long before the route had been densely thronged, and
  the mountain slopes thickly covered with expectant onlookers, for
  the various railways centering in Montreal had reduced their
  passenger rates in every direction within a radius of hundreds
  of miles and trains laden with humanity had followed each other
  at close intervals and unloaded their thousands all day Saturday
  and during the early hours of Sunday. It is estimated by the
  railway authorities that 200,000 strangers entered Montreal in
  twenty-four hours to witness the procession. For hours before it
  began the whole route was lined with people patiently waiting,
  while at the foot of the mountain near the altar of repose at
  least 75,000 had gathered, 20,000 of whom had been there from
  early morning. It was an extraordinary spectacle to look from the
  top of the mountain and see the mass of human beings moving in
  every direction over the immense sward, all eventually turning
  towards the handsome repository with its overtopping dome, the
  whole a design of great architectural beauty. Downtown at 1
  o’clock began the greatest demonstration of any kind, civic or
  religious, that Canada ever witnessed. During four hours and a
  half, between fifty and sixty thousand men marched silently and
  prayerfully between at least half a million spectators lining
  the route. The demonstration was international in its widest
  extent. Citizens of the United States and Canada, together
  with Lithuanians, Chinese, Syrians, Iroquois Indians in their
  tribal costumes and feathers, Italians, Poles and a dozen other
  nationalities besides, carrying their distinctive banners and
  religious emblems, marched in one solid phalanx and in perfect

  But the most imposing spectacle of all was that following the
  lay sections at 4 o’clock, when 1,000 choir boys, clothed in red
  cassocks and surplices, followed by the Christian Brotherhoods,
  hundreds of seminarians and the various religious orders of
  the city took their place in the great procession; then came
  2,000 priests in sacerdotal vestments, followed in order of
  precedence by 100 bishops and archbishops, in cope and mitre. In
  the rear of the papal officers and chamberlains came the huge
  golden baldachino under which walked the tall majestic figure of
  Cardinal Vannutelli, carrying the Sacred Host and accompanied
  on both sides by ecclesiastical guards of honour and soldiers,
  with children busily swinging censers and strewing flowers in
  his path, the while the dense multitude, irrespective of creed,
  bowed in the reverential awe of the moment. Behind the baldachino
  walked Cardinals Logue and Gibbons, the prime minister of Canada,
  Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the speaker of the House of Commons, members
  of the federal and provincial governments, members of the
  legislative council, the mayor of Montreal, the chief justice
  and judges of the Superior Court of Canada, all in their robes
  of office, members of the city council and a long line of men
  belonging to the liberal professions. When these last bands
  accompanying the Legate arrived it was already growing dusk and
  the electric lights on the waiting altar glowed in the gloom. A
  thousand voices entoned the Tantum Ergo, the Cardinal ascended
  the steps, took the remonstrance containing the Sacred Host
  and, raising it aloft over the 200,000 men, women and children
  kneeling on the grass, gave the benediction of the congress.

  The congress was over. Lights went out and the bishops and their
  attendant clergy retired to the neighbouring convent of the Hôtel
  Dieu to doff their robes, marching down Pine Avenue chanting
  the Gregorian “Te Deum,” which sounded like the war song of the
  priests, and gradually the vast multitude dispersed to their

The events of the succeeding year of 1911 recall the general
federal elections on July 11th on the question of a renewal of
reciprocity with the United States when, as has been said, it was
rejected by an overwhelming majority of the electorate, notably
in Montreal.

Harbour development was signalized this year by the signing of
the contract with the Canadian Vickers Company for the new dry
docks at the east end, and on October 4th in fitting recognition
to a great harbour builder, the monument of the Hon. John
Young was unveiled on the water front by Earl Grey. Meanwhile
the general city development and expansion had been steadily
increasing since the annexations of 1883. Its population and
religions were becoming increasingly cosmopolitan and domestic
troubles among the Mohammedans of the city on July 10th
sufficiently indicate this.

The year 1912 is memorable at Montreal through the sorrow caused
in the city by the loss of the White liner S.S. Titanic, a
huge vessel with a displacement of 60,000 tons, which struck
a submerged iceberg off Cape Race on April 14th with the loss
of 1,600 souls on board. While the whole world thrilled with
horror at the new revelation of the dangers of the sea to modern
leviathans, Montreal had its particular grief in the loss of some
of its respected citizens, Charles M. Hays, president of the
Grand Trunk Railway system, Markland Molson, Thornton Davidson,
Vivian Payne, Q. Baxter, R.J. Levy, Mr. and Mrs. H. Allison and
daughter, and Albert Malette.

The churches of the city universally mourned this world-wide
disaster at the services of April 21st.

The month of October is memorable as the occasion of the great
educational Child Welfare Exhibition held for a fortnight under
the auspices of the humanitarian societies of the city in the
Craig Street Drill Hall, and drawing immense crowds.

The year 1913 was remarkable for the extraordinary activity in
building operations. As elsewhere related in the special chapter
on City Improvement, Montreal gave more evidences of being a
modern New York rather than the Ville Marie of old. It may be
called the year of the great real estate boom.

But the last weeks of this year will stand out in civic history
as a serious warning of the possibility of a city being deprived
of its water supply for a long period with the additional terror
of fire and disease. For 193 hours, beginning with Christmas
night, the greater part of Montreal was deprived of water by the
breaking of the concrete conduit at Lachine. Its story is told

The year 1914 has been one of the greatest gloom. Shortly before
3 o’clock early in the morning of May 29th the disquieting news
was flashed from Quebec to Commander J.T. Walsh, superintendent
of the Canadian Pacific Steamship Company, that about 2:30
o’clock its greatest steamer, the Empress of Ireland, had been
struck about thirty miles east of Farther Point, but without
further information. Shortly another report told that it had
been struck by the Storstad, a Norwegian collier bound for
Montreal, and was sinking rapidly in sight of Rimouski. At first
the news was not credited as possible, but it was too true. The
ship sank almost immediately, being struck in the bowels and
filling straightway with water. Montrealers felt the disaster
most keenly, as its sister ships have their headquarters here and
its officers were men personally known on the St. Lawrence and
the Montreal route. Of the total 1,367 souls on board, 959 lives
were lost and less than four hundred saved. The disaster was
faced with courage and sympathetic humanitarianism by the many
officers of the company who journeyed down to Quebec and spared
no effort by night or day to make the tragedy less painful to the
relatives of the survivors. The sailor institutions of Montreal
on this occasion were glad to cooperate with those of Quebec and
supervised the sad task of identifying the drowned and burying
the bodies of the sailors as they were rescued from the waters
or the shores of Rimouski and taken to the mournful morgues at

Towards the end of July, 1914, war was declared between Austria
and Servia. This involved Germany on the side of Austria, and
Russia and France on the side of Servia, and on August 30th
Great Britain because of Germany breaking the neutrality of
Belgium, entered what was to be the most devastating war in
the history of nations. Canada at once declared her loyalty to
the Motherland in a very practical way. The Federal government
presented 3,000,000 bags of flour and raised a contingent of
33,000 of her best men. The Provinces vied with each other in
contributing huge quantities of wheat, flour, apples, and in
the case of the Province of Quebec, 2,000,000 pounds of cheese.
A National Patriotic Fund was started with branches in every
municipality throughout the Dominion--Montreal’s contribution
totalling $2,000,000, in addition to which a Montreal citizen, A.
Hamilton Gault, gave $500,000 to raise a regiment to be composed
of veterans. This regiment of 1,000 picked men was named after
the daughter of the Governor-General, the Duke of Connaught,
the “Princess Patricia Light Infantry” and joined the first
contingent, which left Canada on October 2nd, in thirty-one
transports, principally vessels trading to Montreal, and under
eleven convoys. This armada, which was the largest that ever
sailed the Atlantic seas, reached Plymouth, October 16th, and
the contingent was immediately entrained to Salisbury Plain to
complete its training. Montreal contributed 3,200 men towards
this first contingent. Their arrival in England was the occasion
of much popular satisfaction at this great spectacle of Imperial


[Illustration: “Rokeby,” the residence of A. Hamilton Gault.]

[Illustration: Residence of the Hon. Sir George A. Drummond,

[Illustration: Summer residence of Hon. J.A. Ouimet, St. Anne de

[Illustration: Country residence of Sir Rodolphe Forget, M.P., at
Ste Irénée on the St. Lawrence]

[Illustration: “Villa des Epinettes,” summer residence of Isaie
Prefontaine, Belle Isle]

Whatever doubts there might have been in the minds of some people
as to the responsibility of Canada in the Boer war there was
absolutely none in this crisis. The spontaneity of the Canadian
people in rising to their privileges as British citizens has
never been so pronounced. Every man and every woman in the
Dominion, irrespective of national origin, wanted to do something
to aid the Motherland. And Montreal was in the van.

Immediately the first contingent embarked the government decided
on raising a second and recruiting started afresh. While the
French-Canadians of the country had contributed 2,146 to the
first contingent, being the more notable contribution of Canadian
born subjects, the majority of the volunteers were those who were
British born. But now the French-Canadians of the city determined
to raise a regiment composed entirely of their compatriots to
be called “Le Régiment Royal Canadien” and over three thousand
men applied for admission. The Irish-Canadians, too, raised a
regiment for home defense named the “Fifty-fifth Irish Canadian
Rangers” with the Minister of Justice, the Hon. Charles J.
Doherty, as Honorary Lieutenant Colonel. The neighbouring city of
Westmount, under the direction of the mayor and council, raised
the “Westmount Rifles” and even the suburban town of Outremont
raised an artillery battery of 105 men. A number of prominent
citizens of Montreal, on the initiative of Mr. J.N. Greenshields,
K.C., equipped and are sustaining a “Home Guard” of 3,000 at
their own expense. Towards the Patriotic Fund the local councils
contributed as follows: Montreal, $150,000; Westmount, $5,000;
Outremont, $5,000; Maisonneuve, $2,000; Verdun, $3,000; and the
smaller municipalities lesser but proportionate amounts. These
funds are being augumented daily.

The war affected Montreal in another way, industrially and
financially. On the declaration of war the banks called in
their loans and though the government came to their aid in the
negotiation of their collateral the fact of the stoppage of
capital from Great Britain disorganized the industrial machinery
of the country and thousands were thrown out of employment.
In addition to this the forcible internment of the Germans
and Austrians, of which 3,400 were in Montreal alone, caused
much anxiety to the authorities, for none would employ them.
A delegation from Montreal waited upon the acting premier,
Sir George Foster, November 2d, asking for the cooperation of
the Government in alleviating the general distress. This Sir
George promised as far as the interned enemies were concerned,
but thought each municipality should take the responsibility of
looking after its own unemployed.

Montreal at this period was like a huge garrison town. Recruits,
with and without uniforms, university professors and students,
rich and poor alike, were being drilled in every open space
and many public and private halls. For barracks the dismantled
Protestant High School on Peel Street and other buildings were
used for the young men of the second contingent.

Not only were the canals, bridges, wharves and public buildings
patrolled by soldiers in uniform, since the first news of the
outbreak of the war, but the streets of Montreal and the suburbs
have been the constant scenes of much militarism. A lasting
memory will survive in numerous streets and avenues, either
being opened or bearing names already employed elsewhere, being
appointed henceforth to bear the names of generals and towns
connected with the war, such as Joffre, Pau, Liège, Namur and

About the city committees of devoted women of all national
origins and of all the numerous charitable associations, were
patriotically visiting the wives and dependents of volunteers
for the front and administering the allowances granted by the
Patriotic Fund, the headquarters of which were in the new
Drummond Building at the corner of St. Catherine and Peel
streets. And in this central room a busy committee was engaged
all day on the careful systematic organization of the relief
fund. Over the city in church, school, club and private rooms,
groups were busily knitting and sewing and fashioning all sorts
of comforts and necessities for those who had heard the call to
fight for the maintenance of the Empire. The city has become a
busy loom of patriotic charity.

All honour to the loyal women of Montreal in this moment of the
world’s greatest war.







                          CHAPTER XXIV

                     RELIGIOUS DENOMINATIONS


                       THE CATHOLIC CHURCH


The history of the Catholic Church in Montreal is largely that of
its churches and its religious orders or congregations.

Its history commences with the date of the first mass on the
common on September 8, 1642, in the open air, the day of the
arrival of M. de Maisonneuve and the first colonists, though
mass had already been said on the island as far back as 1615 in
Champlain’s presence at the Rivière des Prairies, by the first
Recollect fathers, Joseph le Caron and Denis Jamay.

From 1642 to 1657 the Jesuit missionaries served the small group
of colonists, at which dates these were succeeded by the priests
of the congregation of St. Sulpice, founded in Paris by M. Jean
Jacques Olier, at Vaugirard in January, 1649, a main purpose of
which was to supply priests for the mission founded at Montreal
by the Compagnie de Notre Dame de Montréal.

The first chapel “of the fort” was one of bark, which was
succeeded shortly by a frame building which served adequately
till 1656. In this year a new chapel building in wood was
adjoined to the Hotel Dieu at the corner of St. Paul and St.
Joseph (St. Sulpice) and served as the church of St. Joseph for
the hospital and the citizens till 1678 on the completion of the
first parish church of Notre Dame, begun in 1672.

This church was regarded as a wondrous monument in its time, and
as it was standing at the time of the fall of Montreal, and was
not entirely demolished till 1843, its history forms part of
that of Montreal under British rule, serving to connect the two

It stood on the top of St. Sulpice Street, then St. Joseph, and
its front was placed on the axis of Notre Dame Street and Place
d’Armes, in front of the site of the modern Notre Dame church.
It was raised by subscriptions assisted by the Gentlemen of the

The original church begun in 1672 was gradually enlarged. From
1720 to 1724 there were discussions among the _Marguilliers_
or church wardens on the building of an imposing bell tower
capable of holding four bells, as well as on the construction of
a portail as an imposing entrance facade to the church. In 1722
discussions arose as to whether it should be placed southeast or
northwest of the church. The new tower on the northwest was built
about 1725. This served as a belfry for various bells cast in
Montreal till that named Thomas Marguerite came from London in
1773, being one of the old ones recast, and was blessed on July
4th by M. Montgolfier, superior of the seminary. It received its
name after Thomas Dufy Desaulniers and Marguerite, probably the
name of Madame Le Moyne, the other godparent. The belfry proper
was erected in 1777, the iron cross surmounting it in 1778, the
copper gilt cock bought in London being placed in 1782.

Before relating the history of the Notre Dame church of today
it will be proper to account for the other churches of Montreal
erected before the capitulation in 1760, and bridging over the
two periods of rule.

The Church of Notre Dame de Bonsecours was not standing on the
arrival of the British. The first church of this name was built
in wood by Marguerite Bourgeoys, the first stone being laid
in 1657 by the famous Jesuit missionary among the Onondagas,
Father Simon Le Moyne, the building being finished in 1659. The
second building, also erected by Marguerite Bourgeoys, was the
first stone church in Montreal. It was given to the Fabrique in
1678. It was reduced to ashes in the fire of 1754 and the third
church was built between 1771 and 1773. In 1847-48 the church was
decorated and on October 6, 1840, there was held a procession of
the boats on the river and there took place, with Bishop Bourget
presiding, the solemn translation of the new statue of Our Lady
of Bonsecours specially destined for voyagers and sailors and
placed on the exterior to dominate the port. It had been known
as the Sailors’ Chapel, being on the quay. It was remodeled
in 1889, according to critics, at the expense of many of its
Breton-like attractive features. On the apse of the chapel is a
colossal statue of the Blessed Virgin with outstretched arms to
protect the sea-going vessels and sailors. On the roof is another
chapel, a facsimile of the Holy House of Loretto. The church
itself possesses a miraculous statue of Our Lady. The sanctuary
is all marble, there are handsome stained glass windows and many
historic pictures and votive offerings.

Until recently there stood off Notre Dame Street at the
northwest entrance to the garden of the “Congregation” the
quaint and picturesque church of Notre Dame de Pitié. Its
original predecessor was commenced in 1693 and finished in
1695, principally through the benefactions of the recluse,
Jeanne LeBer, daughter of the famous merchant, Jacques LeBer,
who dwelt for twenty years (from 1694 to her death in 1714) in
a little cell behind the altar. After the cession it was burnt
down on April 11, 1768, and was rebuilt many years afterwards,
the first mass being said in 1786. In 1856 this church of the
“Congregation” (60 feet ×30) was demolished to make room for the
Notre Dame de Pitié (108 feet ×46). This was built to receive
a wooden, miraculous statue of Notre Dame de Pitié, which
originally was placed in the Church of St. Didier in Avignon,
France, in the fourteenth century. In 1789 this church was
demolished during the French revolution and the statue came into
the possession of a Madame Paladére, who gave it to the clergy.
In 1852 it came into the hands of the Rev. M. Fabris, who, at
the request of the Abbé Faillon, the historian, gave it to the
Congregation at Montreal. It reached Montreal on July 1, 1855,
and, pending the completion of the Church of Notre Dame de Pitié,
was kept in the convent hard by, its solemn transference to the
church, by Bishop Bourget, taking place on August 15, 1860. In
1912 it was demolished to make room for the projected extension
of St. Lawrence Main Street to the wharves, at which time the
adjoining historic convent of the Congregation nuns also suffered
the same fate.


[Illustration: NOTRE DAME DE PITIE CHURCH (Demolished)]

In 1718 there was built near the church of Notre Dame de Pitié,
and on the grounds of the Congregation, the chapel of Notre
Dame de la Victoire. This was erected by the ladies of a pious
sodality entitled Les Demoiselles de la Congregation Externe, in
accordance with a vow made by them in 1711 on the occasion of the
safety of Canada by the destruction of the fleet of Sir Hovenden
Walker. It was burnt down on April 11, 1768, at the same time
as the Mother House but rebuilt the same year. It was finally
demolished in 1900. Other chapels connecting the old with the new
Montreal were the Convent Chapel of the Charron Brothers, which
became that of the Grey Nuns Hospital, and the Convent Chapel of
the Hotel Dieu, on St. Paul Street. Their history is coincident
with that of the buildings described elsewhere.

Two other churches built in the French régime were still standing
at the capitulation during the early British period, the Jesuits’
church, which was commenced in 1692 and finished in 1694, being
rebuilt and enlarged in 1742. After the capitulation of Montreal
and the subsequent suppression of the Society of Jesuits, it
became through the favour of the government the church of the
Anglicans till 1803, when it was burnt down in the great fire of
that year. The other church bridging over the two periods was
that of the Recollects, which was built and finished between 1693
and 1700. There was also the Recollect Chapel, for towards 1709
there took place the blessing of M. de Belmont and the placing
of the first stone of the Recollect Chapel by M. le Baron de
Longueuil, major governor of Montreal. In the early days of the
British rule the Recollects lent their church or chapel to the
Anglicans and Presbyterians for service;

Their original grounds extended on the north from Notre Dame west
to Lemoine Street on the south, and from McGill Street on the
west to St. Peter Street on the east.

The “Récollet” began to fall on evil times, for before 1818 the
Recollect property had passed into the hands of the Hon. Charles
William Grant; the church, the house and part of the convent was
purchased by the Fabrique of Notre Dame on August 28, 1818, from
him. Collections were then taken up for its repairs, which were
undertaken next year, according to the plan of M. Delorme in
order to fit it for divine service. In 1822 the Rev. John Richard
(or Richards) Jackson was permitted to occupy the lower part of
the house by putting a schoolmaster there for the children of the
Irish immigrants then beginning to arrive. About 1830 it became
the recognized chapel for the Irish immigrants and at this time
it became considerably improved by the gift of the portail of
the old Notre Dame. On March 9, 1867, the church on the corner
of Récollet and Notre Dame streets with its land was sold to
Messrs. Lewis, Kay & Company for the sum of $85,000, or $4.00 a
foot, and was demolished. The successors of the Recollects, the
Franciscans, O.F.M. (Order of Friars Minor) returned to the city
and established themselves on Dorchester Street West about 1900.

                    NOTRE DAME PARISH CHURCH

We may now trace the history of the present Notre Dame parish
church. By 1757 the parish church begun in 1672 being already
too small, it was determined to buy land to build one 300 feet
in length, and by 1823 land was bought for this purpose and the
church commenced this year. This included the land on Place
d’Armes on which there was the public library in Montreal. This
eventually was not built on for the war ending in the cession
took place. The Place d’Armes property bought, according to the
description made in 1824 by Roy Portelance, Toussaint Peltier,
père, and Charles Coté, père, was “L’Emplacement, situé sur
la place d’armes contenait 180 pds de front sur 94 pds de
profondeur, tenant pardevant a la place d’armes derrière à la
ruelle des fortifications, d’un coté au Sieur Dillon et de
l’autre coté au Docteur Leodel; sur lequel etaint construits une
maison en pierre à deux etages converte en ferblanc de 60 pds de
front sur 62 pds de profondeur, et autres bâtiments en bois.”

The Place d’Armes commenced in the middle of Great St. James
Street and occupied the position now filled by the Bank of
Montreal and the Royal Trust Building. It was thought then--in
1757--proper to build here and to transfer the Place d’Armes to
some other position, the ground in front of the Jesuit residence
being thought suitable. Subscriptions began in 1823 for the
new church by a minute of the church warden on July 20th. The
building committee appointed was M. le Curé; Le Saulnier,
president; M.M. Louis Guy, J.P. Leprohon, F.A. Larocque, N.B.
Doucet, T. Bouthillier and A. Laframboise, to whom later were
added M. Olivier Berthelet in place of M. Doucet, and the
following new church wardens, viz., M.M.C.S. Delorme, Pierre
Pomminville, Pascal Comte, Jules Quesnel, Joseph Chevalier and
Pascal Persillier-LaChapelle. Messrs. Francis Desrivieres and P.
de Rocheblave (Marguilliers) were named treasurers in February,

The land bought for the new church included the houses and
grounds of Messrs. Gerrard, Starnes, the estate, Perrault and
Fisher, situated on St. Joseph Street (St. Sulpice), and also
that proposed to be ceded to the Fabrique by the Gentlemen of
the Seminary. The value of the land was estimated at £24,000.
On October 5th the blessing of the cross marking the site was
conducted by Mgr. B.C. Panet, coadjutor bishop of Quebec. In
September, 1824, the first stone was blessed by M. Roux, superior
of the seminary. The following minute tells of the blessing of
the new church. “1829, June 7. Pentecost Day, at seven o’clock in
the morning. The new parish church has been blessed according to
the usage and custom of Holy Church under the invocation of the
Holy Name of Mary by Messire Jean Henry Auguste Roux, superior
of the seminary, curé of the parish and vicar general of the
diocese, in presence of the undersigned priests and of several
church wardens and other parishioners:

“Roux, Vic. Gen., Malard, ptre., Sattin, ptre., Sauvage,
ptre., Richard, ptre., F. ant. LaRocque, T. Bouthillier, P. de
Rocheblave, P. Jos. Lacroix, Joseph Masson, O. Berthelet, Alexis
Laframboise, Jules Quesnel, F. Souligny, Pierre Baudry, N.B.




The first mass said in the new parish church was by the Rev. Mr.
Richards-Jackson, an English convert who died at Montreal of
typhus on July 21, 1849, beloved by the Irish population. The
celebration of the formal opening took place on July 15th when
High Mass was sung by Mgr. J.J. Lartigue, bishop of Telmesse, and
the first sermon delivered by M.J.V. Quiblier. A distinguished
congregation was present, including the administrator of the
province of Lower Canada, Sir James Kempt, his suite and the
representatives of the different corporations of the city.

Meanwhile the old church of 1672 stood in front of the new one
but not for long. The bodies of the dead were reverently removed
to the vaults under the new church. On June 6, 1830, it was
resolved by the Fabrique to give the Irish of the city, for the
enlargement of the Récollet Church in which they now worshiped,
the cut stone of the _portail_ in front of the old church,
together with other church objects from within. Then the church
was demolished in August, 1830, but the belfry tower stood till
1843, a curious old-time relic blocking the passage on Notre
Dame Street. The four bells were taken down on August 23d and
the old tower pulled down on August 24th, about 4:30 P.M. Two of
the bells, one of them the Charlotte, cast in Canada in 1774 and
weighing, without the hammer, 2,167 pounds, were given later to
St. Patrick’s Church. The architect of the new parish church died
on January 30th, of the same year. He was a Mr. James O’Donnell,
a native of Wexford, in Ireland. At his request his remains were
buried in the new church.

The towers of the new church were not constructed till later.
That on the Epistle side (west) called the Tower of Perseverence,
was constructed in 1841 and blessed by the Bishop of Nancy, in
November of the same year. That on the Gospel side (east), the
Tower of Temperance, was not finished till 1842. Each tower is
227 feet high. The ten bells in the Tower of Temperance arrived
at Montreal on May 24, 1843, and were blessed on June 29th by
Bishop Bourget. They were cast in London by Mears & Company and
were sounded for the first time on June 19th, at midday, from
their position in the eastern tower. The history of the bells is
as follows:

        Name.                      Pounds.            Donor.

   1. Maria Victoria                6,041     The Seminary.
   2. Edwardus-Albertus-Ludovicus   3,633     Albert Turniss and Edward
   3. Joannes Genovefa              2,730     John Donegani and wife.
   4. Olivarius-Amelia              2,114     O. Berthelet and wife.
   5. Julius-Josepha                1,631     Hon. Jules Quesnel.
   6. Hubertus Justinin             1,463     Hubert Paré and wife.
   7. Ludovicus                     1,290     Louis, Ant. Parent, priest.
   8. Joannes-Maria                 1,093     Jean Bruneau.
   9. Tancredes Genovefa              924     T. Bouthillier and wife.
  10. Augustinus                      897     Auguste Perrault.

The first Gros Bourdon, cast in February, 1843, weighing 16,352
pounds and the largest bell on the continent, arrived from Mears
& Company, London, in October, 1843, the gift of merchants,
artisans and farmers. It was broken in the month of May, 1845,
and was sent to England to be recast. The second Gros Bourdon
weighed 24,780 pounds. It arrived in 1847 an was solemnly blessed
under the name of Jean Baptiste on June 18, 1848. The ascent
commenced at 3:30 P.M., June 21st, and about 7:30 P.M. it was
installed in its present position in the western tower.

The organ of the parish church, constructed in 1857 by Mr. S.
Warren, was inaugurated in its unfinished condition on June 24,

The church may be described as follows: “There are two immense
arcades (60 feet high) with three niches containing the statues
of the Blessed Virgin, St. Joseph and St. John the Baptist,
patrons of the City and of the Lower Province. A flight of stairs
or an elevator leads to the summit whence a splendid view may
be obtained over the City and the St. Lawrence. The interior
(including the sanctuary) is 255 feet long by 134 feet wide and
80 feet high. Two galleries extend 25 feet over the lower side
aisles. The architect was instructed to plan a building with a
seating capacity of 10,000 persons. The idea was to enable the
congregation to follow the sacred functions and to hear the
preacher without too much of an exertion. Notre Dame complies
with this twofold condition. Beauty had to be sacrificed to
practical use, and still the wealth of materials, the profusion
of paintings and decorations throughout, the numerous statues and
especially its imposing and well proportioned dimensions leave
a deep and lasting impression on the visitor. There are nine
chapels and altars in the body of the church. At the right: The
chapels of the Holy Face; Our Lady of Perpetual Help with a copy
of the Byzantine Virgin which is venerated in Rome; Saint Amable,
St. Joseph’s, and, at the foot of the aisle, the Blessed Virgin’s
chapel, with a painting by Del Sarto. On the tabernacle door is
a fine painting of ‘The Virgin and Child’ by Fra Angelico. The
cross and candlesticks on this altar were manufactured at Paris
and are of most exquisite workmanship. On the outer wall of the
sanctuary is a good copy of Mignard’s: ‘Saint Ignatius writing
the constitutions of his Order.’ The altar of the Sacred Heart is
on the other side of the sanctuary. To the right of this altar,
which, by the way, is an artistic gem, may be seen a noteworthy
old painting: ‘The Presentation in the Temple.’ Down the aisle,
other altars may be seen; St. Ann’s (Painting by Carnevalli),
the Souls in Purgatory and St. Roch’s. The pulpit is almost on a
level with the gallery. On its sounding board are several fine
statues and below the statues of two of the Prophets, the work
of P. Herbert, one of America’s most renowned sculptors. The
sanctuary is raised five steps above the nave and separated by
the chancel-rail. The latter is of most precious wood and so
are the chancel-seats and the monumental reredos. On the first
pillar to the right just outside the chancel, under a gilt dome,
is a white marble statue of the Madonna. It is the work of a
Bavarian artist and displays remarkable skill. Pius IX, who
prized it highly, presented it to the Rector of Notre Dame, Abbe
Rousselot. At the other extremity of the railing is a second
dome surmounting a bronze facsimile of the statue of St. Peter,
in St. Peter’s, Rome. The high altar is ornamented with numerous
sculptures of rare design and workmanship. ‘The Last Supper,’ in
bas-relief, is most artistic, and so are the ‘Choirs of Angels’
at each side of the tabernacle. The sanctuary is illuminated on
festal days with myriads of electric lights which produce
a dazzling effect. The organ is one of the most powerful in
America. It was manufactured by Casavant Bros., St. Hyacinthe.

“Behind the sanctuary is a richly adorned chapel of Our Lady of
the Sacred Heart. Its paintings are inestimable in value and
the work of Canadian artists. Over the main door is a copy of
Raphael’s: ‘Discussion on the Blessed Eucharist,’ by Larose.
From left to right: ‘Paradise Lost,’ ‘The Sybil of Tibur,’
‘The Annunciation,’ by Larose; ‘The Visitation,’ by Gill; ‘The
Adoration of the Magi,’ by Saint Charles; ‘The Virgin of the
Apocalypse,’ ‘The Transfiguration’ (above the high altar),
‘Christ the Consoler,’ by Franchere; ‘Dollard and his Sixteen
Companions,’ ‘The First Mass in Montreal,’ by Saint Charles; ‘The
Rock of Horeb,’ by Franchère; ‘The Wedding of Cana,’ by Beau; and
‘The Multiplication of the Loaves,’ by Franchère. The parochial
sodalities meet in this chapel, but more especially so, the male
and female members of the Association of Perpetual Adoration. In
the treasury may be seen gorgeous costly church-ornaments and
vestments, precious reliquaries, chalices, ciboriums of gold and
silver, the embroidery work of Jeanne LeBer, a massive monstrance
and the artistically arranged hangings or draperies of the grand
dais which is used once a year for the solemn procession of the
Blessed Sacrament through the streets of the City.”

[Illustration: NOTRE DAME CHURCH]




Montreal was ecclesiastically in the jurisdiction of the diocese
of Quebec till 1836. At the fall of Montreal there was no bishop,
the occupant of the see, Henri Marie Dubreuil de Pontbriand,
having died on June 1, 1760. His successors in the see of Quebec

Jean Olivier Briand, named January 21, 1766, consecrated March
16, 1766, resigned June 29, 1784, died November 25, 1784;
Louis-Philippe Mariauchau d’Esglis, consecrated July 12, 1772,
bishop of Quebec November 29, 1774, died June 4, 1788; Jean
François Hubert, consecrated November 29, 1786, bishop of Quebec
June 12, 1788, resigned September 1, 1797, died October, 1797;
Pierre Denaut, born at Montreal July 20, 1743, consecrated June
29, 1789, bishop of Quebec, September 1, 1797, died January 17,
1806; Joseph Octave Plessis, born at Montreal, March 3, 1763,
consecrated January 25, 1801, bishop of Quebec, January 17, 1806,
archbishop in 1819, died December 4, 1825; Bernard Claude Panet,
bishop-archbishop of Quebec December 4, 1825, died February 14,
1833; Joseph Signay, consecrated May 20, 1827, bishop of Quebec
February 14, 1833, archbishop Metropolitan July 13, 1844, died
October 3, 1850.

The first bishop of Montreal was Mgr. Jean Jacques Lartigue, who
was born in Montreal on June 20, 1777, was elected titular bishop
of Telmesse on February 1, 1820, and consecrated on January 21,
1821. He was elected bishop of the new diocese of Montreal on
May 13, 1836, and enthroned on September 8th following. He died
in the Hotel Dieu on April 30, 1849, before, therefore, the
incorporation of the diocese on May 30, 1849. His successor to
the see was Mgr. Ignace Bourget, born at Pointe Lévis on October
30, 1799. He was elected titular of Telmesse and coadjutor of
Montreal “cum futura successione” on March 10, 1837, and was
consecrated on July 25th following. He became bishop of Montreal
on April 19, 1840, and resigned on May 11, 1876, but was named
titular archbishop of Marianopolis in the month of July. He
died at Sault au Récollet June 8, 1885. His coadjutor bishop had
been Mgr. J.C. Prince from 1845 and Mgr. Joseph Larocque from
1852. His Grace, Mgr. Edouard Charles Fabre, born at Montreal
on February 28, 1827, succeeded him as bishop of Montreal on
May 11, 1876, and took possession of the seat on September 19th
following. He had been previously elected titular bishop of
Gratianopolis and coadjutor “cum futura successione” of Montreal
on April 1, 1873, being consecrated in the Church of the Gésu
on May 1st following. In 1886, on June 8th, Mgr. Fabre became
elected the first archbishop of Montreal, receiving the pallium
on July 27th of the same year. His death occurred on December
30, 1896. The present occupant of the see is His Grace, Mgr.
Paul Bruchesi, who was born at Montreal on October 29, 1855,
was elected Archbishop on June 25, 1897, and consecrated in the
Cathedral church on August 8th of the same year. Two years later,
on August 8th, he received the pallium.

There are two auxiliary bishops: Mgr. Francois Theophile Zotique
Racicot, born at Sault au Récollet on October 13, 1845, and
elected bishop of Poglia and coadjutor of Montreal on January 14,
1905, and consecrated on the following May 3d; and Mgr. George
Gauthier, born at Montreal on October 9, 1871, named titular
bishop of Philippolis and auxiliary of Mgr. Bruchesi on June 28,
1912, being consecrated on August 24th of the same year.

Until 1866 Notre Dame was the only parish church. From that date
other parishes began to be canonically erected as such. The
parish churches of Montreal in the year 1913 were as follows,
with the dates of foundation, but not of canonical erection.
Those various and numerous semi-public chapels, oratories, or
churches, attached to the religious congregations not recognized
as parish churches, are not included:

Notre Dame (first church, begun 1672, canonically erected 1678),
second, formally opened, 1829; Saint Jacques (first church,
1822-1825), (second, 1857), (third, 1860), constituted the second
parish church in 1866; Saint Enfant Jesus, founded in 1849,
erected canonically in 1867; Sacré Coeur de Jesus, 1874, 835
Ontario Street, East: Très Saint Nom de Jésus de Maisonneuve,
1888; Très Saint Rédempteur, 1913, Hochelaga; Immaculée
Conception, 1884; Nativité de la B.V.M. d’Hochelaga, 1875; Notre
Dame de Carmel, 1905, Italian; Notre Dame du Bon Conseil, 1881,
724 Craig Street, East; Notre Dame Della Difesa, 1910, Italian;
Notre Dame de Grâce, 1867; Notre Dame des Neiges, 1901; Notre
Dame de Perpétuel Secours, 1906; Notre Dame de Saint Rosaire
de Villeray, 1898; Notre Dame de Sept. Douleurs de Verdun,
1899; Notre Dame de Victoire, 1907; Saint Agnes, 1903 (E.)[1];
Saint Alphonse d’Youville, 1910; Saint Ann, 1854 (E.); Saint
Anselme, 1909; Saint Anthony’s, 1884 (E.); Saint Arsène, April
11, 1908; Sainte Brigide, 1867; Sainte Catherine d’Alexandre,
1912; Sainte Cécile, 1911; Sainte Charles, 1883; Sainte Claire
de Tétreauville, 1906; Sainte Clément, 1898; Sainte Clotilde,
1909; Sainte Cunégonde, 1874; Saint Denis, 1899; Saint Dominic,
December 23, 1912; Saint Edouard, 1896; Sainte Elizabeth du
Portugal, 1894; Sainte Etienne, 1912; Sainte Eusèbe de Verceil,
1897; Saint François d’Assise, Longue Pointe, 1770: Saint
Francois du Pari Lasalle, 1912; Saint Gabriel’s, 1875 (E.); Saint
Georges, June 27, 1908; Saint Hélène, 1902; Saint Henri, 1868;
Saint Jacques, 1866; Saint Jean Baptiste, 1874; Saint Jean
Baptiste de la Salle, 1913; Saint Jean Berchmans, April 24, 1908;
Saint Jean de la Croix, 1900; Saint Joseph, 1862; Saint Joseph de
Bordeaux, 1895, erected canonically, 1912; Saint Léon, Westmount,
1901 (E. and F.); Saint Louis de France, 1888; Saint Aloysius,
March 24, 1908 (E.); Sainte Madeleine d’Outremont, July 22, 1908;
Saint Marc, April 19, 1903; Saint Michael, May, 1902 (E.); Saint
Nicholas d’Ahuntsic; Saint Pascal Baylon, Cote des Neiges, 1910;
Saint Patrick’s, 1847 (E.); Saint Paul, 1874; Sainte Philomene
de Rosemont, 1905; Saint Pierre Apôtre, 1900; Saint Pierre aux
Liens, 1897; Saint Stanislaus de Kostka; Saint Thomas Aquinas,
June 18, 1908 (E.); Saint Viateur d’Outremont, 1902; Saint Victor
de la Terrace Vinet, 1912; Saint Vincent de Paul, 1867; Saint
Willibrod, June 6, 1913 (E.); Saint Zotique, 1909.

[Illustration: MGR. PAUL BRUCHESI Fourth bishop, second
archbishop of Montreal]

[Illustration: MGR. EDOUARD-CHARLES FABRE Third bishop, first
archbishop of Montreal, 1827-1896]

[Illustration: MGR. IGNACE BOURGET Second bishop of Montreal,

[Illustration: MGR. JEAN-JACQUES LARTIQUE First bishop of
Montreal, 1777-1840]

In addition there are missions to Chinese (numbering 200),
Lithuanians (1,000), Poles (1,500), Ruthenians (5,000), Syrians
(3 rites), Pure Syrians, Syro-Maronites and Syro-Melchites

It would require a volume to give the history of all these
parishes or of their many beautiful churches, but we may
choose the following for historical reasons, viz.: the present
Cathedral of St. James, the seat of the Archbishop of Montreal;
the Church of St. James, the second parish and the site of the
first Cathedral; the Chapel of Our Lady of Lourdes, as a type of
several of the non-parish chapels in the city; the Gésu and St.
Peter’s, as an example of public churches conducted by religious
priests; and, as the English-speaking Catholic community is
an entity of its own, St. Patrick’s church and others will be
treated as affording an opportunity of reviewing the religious
history of the Irish in the city.

                       ST. JAMES CATHEDRAL

The Cathedral, one of the largest temples on the continent, is
admirably situated on Dominion Square, and its location adds to
the majestic loftiness of its monumental cupola. It is one third
the size and an adapted replica of St. Peter’s, Rome. When Mgr.
Lartigue became Bishop of Telmesse (1821) with jurisdiction over
the Church in Montreal, his residence was at the Seminary of
St. Sulpice, and Notre Dame was to all intents and purposes the
cathedral church of Montreal. He realized the disadvantages of
the situation and took up his quarters at the Hôtel Dieu. Its
modest chapel became the temporary Cathedral. In 1825, the people
petitioned the Bishop to sanction the erection of a Cathedral and
a residence in keeping with his exalted dignity. Their request
was granted and a site chosen at the corner of St. Catherine and
St. Denis streets, where St. James church stands today. The new
Cathedral was dedicated by Bishop Lartigue, in 1825. His house
was a very plain building. An episcopal residence soon replaced
it, and was considered one of the finest structures in Montreal.
Unfortunately, in 1852, the fire which consumed a great part
of the City reduced the Cathedral and the residence to ashes.
Mgr. Bourget, his successor, lived at St. Joseph’s Home, and
the humble chapel of the Providence Asylum became the fourth
Cathedral. The present site was then chosen. A modest brick
chapel was erected by the side of the episcopal residence which
for over forty years has been the home of the Bishops of Montreal
and of their assistants in the administration of diocesan

July 25th, 1857, a cross was planted to mark the site of the
future Cathedral. Mgr. Bourget, conceived the bold idea of
erecting a duplicate of St. Peter’s Rome, to symbolize the
union of the Church in Canada with the See of Peter, and he
instructed Victor Bourgeault, the architect, to prepare his
plans accordingly. The cornerstone was solemnly laid August 28,
1870. In 1878, the walls were raised to the height of thirty
feet. The columns to support the dome were built as high as
forty feet, and the other columns of the nave were elevated to
the same height. The front of the portico was completed as far
as the spandrel of the first arch, but the outer dome was left
unfinished. In 1885, Archbishop Fabre, his successor, resumed
operations which had been suspended for seven years. In 1894, the
Cathedral was opened for worship. In 1886, the dome was finished,
a noble adornment and a salient feature in the architecture of
Montreal. The cross, of gilded iron, is eighteen feet in length,
weighing sixteen hundred pounds, and was placed in position
during August of the same year. Over the portico are thirteen
bronze statues, donations of various parishes of the Diocese.
They are the statues of St. James, St. Joseph, St. Anthony of
Padua, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Vincent of Paul, St. John, St.
Paul, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Patrick, St. Charles Borromeo, St.
John the Baptist, St. Hyacinth and St. Ignatius. The interior
is very imposing, with its rich white and gold decorations. The
graceful lines of its arches, the symmetry of its pillars and the
simplicity of its appointments inspire a sense of due reverence
and devotion. Under the dome there is a faithful reproduction
of Bernini’s baldachino. It was made at Rome by Victor Vincent
and donated to the Cathedral by the Seminary of St. Sulpice. It
cost about twelve thousand dollars. The main altar is under the
baldachino. Like the chancel-rail it is of marble and onyx. At
the Gospel side set against one of the pillars supporting the
dome is the archiepiscopal throne finely sculptured and inlaid
with ivory. Several interesting paintings recalling historical
facts and events connected with the foundation and establishment
of Montreal adorn the arcades of the transepts and the lower
walls. With one exception they are from the brush of G. Delfosse,
a gifted artist of Montreal, and under each is an inscription
explaining the different subjects. “The First Mass in Montreal”
was painted by Laurent, a French painter, and was presented to
Archbishop Bruchesi by the Government of the French Republic.
The most interesting chapel is the “Papal Zouaves.” There is an
exquisite painting over the altar of “Our Saviour revealing to
Blessed Margaret Mary the treasures of His Sacred Heart.” The
names of the 507 Knights, who took part in the nineteenth century
crusade, are inscribed in letters of gold on four large marble
tablets. In the chapel are the Regiment’s military colors; a
painting of St. Gregory the Great, a gift of Pope Pius IX, to
the Union Allet; a silver statuette, a gift of General Charette;
a copy of “St. John the Baptist,” the original of which hangs
in the Zouaves headquarters at Rome; a silver vessel used as a
sanctuary lamp, a facsimile of the votive offering which the
Zouaves made to the Shrine of Notre Dame de Bonsecours.

At the north entrance is a fine bronze statue to the memory of
Bishop Bourget. Adjoining the vestry and communicating with it is
“The Bishop’s Palace,” a palace in name only. In the near future
this huge brick building will be replaced by an edifice worthy
the Diocese.



[Illustration: ST. JAMES CATHEDRAL]

                            ST. JAMES

             (St. Catherine and St. Denis Streets.)

In 1822-25 the first church of St. James (St. Jacques le Majeur)
was built by Mgr. Lartigue, who became the first bishop of
Montreal on January 21, 1821. He was a sulpician and lived until
1849. This church served as the Cathedral until 1852 when it was
destroyed by the terrible fire which consumed a great portion
of the City. Bishop Bourget, his successor, definitely left the
neighbourhood of St. James and took up his quarters on Mount
St. Joseph. In 1855, the Priests of the Seminary were placed in
charge of the parish. The church was scarcely built in 1857 when
it was destroyed by another fire. As the walls were uninjured
the damage was easily repaired, and, in 1860, the new church was
opened to the public. It is Gothic in style and the interior
consists of three naves. It has the form of an irregular cross.
The pulpit is a handsome design with its statues and turrets. In
the transept are four paintings, the work of E. Cabane, a French
artist: “Our Lady of the Rosary,” “The Education of the Virgin,”
“The Death of St. Joseph,” and “The Holy Family.” The steeple is
the bequest of the city and contains a very fine chime of bells.
The entrance on St. Catherine Street is a splendid piece of
architectural work and looks spacious in its framework of trees
and terraces.

When the parishes were created in 1866 to supplement the Parish
of Notre Dame, mother to the sole parish church, St. James became
the second parish church.

                       OUR LADY OF LOURDES

                     (St. Catherine Street)

Close by the Church of St. James is the chapel of Our Lady of
Lourdes dedicated to the Immaculate Virgin of Massabielle. It is
a charming specimen of Canadian religious art. It was built under
the supervision of the late Father Lenoir, with the generous
cooperation of the Seminary of St. Sulpice and the Catholics
of the City. The style of architecture is Byzantine and in art
it is of the Renaissance order. The gallery is divided by an
exquisitely beautiful rose-window. A nicely gilt statue of the
Blessed Virgin has been placed on the dome and the crown of
stars on its head is brilliantly lighted up at night by means
of an ingenious electrical device. The alternate layers of
white marble and grey stone give the front an attractive look.
The central dome, thirty-five feet in diameter and 120 feet in
height, looks down upon the nave and transept. There are two
chapels in the church. One is in the basement and is a good
reproduction of the Grotto of Lourdes, with an altar where Mass
may be celebrated. The upper chapel is very richly decorated. Mr.
N. Bourassa, the artist, has embodied in a series of beautiful
tableaux the arguments of Catholic belief in the dogma of the
Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin. Among the subjects
treated, there is a fine scroll above the high altar, at the
first arch, representing “The Annunciation;” there are also two
tableaux in the arcades at each side of the altar: “The Crowning
of the Virgin,” and “The Assumption;” the large compositions of
the transept: “The Adoration of the Magi” and “The Visit of
St. Elizabeth;” finally, “The Proclamation of the Dogma of the
Immaculate Conception,” which takes up the whole interior of the

Mass is celebrated and a sermon preached in this chapel every
Sunday of the academic year for the benefit of the students of
Laval University.

This chapel is the meeting place of four sodalities of men,
women, and young men and young women.

                       RELIGIOUS CHURCHES

                            THE GESU

The Gésu is the successor in order of time of the church built
in 1692 on the site of the present courthouse and city hall.
This was burned in 1803. The Jesuits had left the colony after
the capitulation and their property was held by the government,
but in 1842 they were invited to return by Mgr. Bourget and in
consequence there arrived soon the Fathers Pierre Chazelle, Felix
Martin, Remi Tellier, Paul Luiset, Joseph Hanipaux and Dominique
Duranquet. Several undertook the charge of the curé of La Prairie
and others were employed at the bishop’s house. In 1843 a
novitiate for future members was opened on July 31st in a little
house adjoining the church at La Prairie and on September 9th it
was transferred for five years to a house loaned by Lieut.-Col.
C.S. Rodier, who became mayor in 1858.

In 1845 a public meeting invited the Jesuits to build a residence
and college in the city and in 1846 the present lands on Bleury
Street were sold at a very liberal price by Mr. John Donegani.
But owing to the typhus epidemic intervening in 1847-48 the
building was delayed. In the meantime the Fathers worked in
the fever sheds for the suffering Irish with six fathers who
came from New York and afterwards founded with the Seminary the
first residence of St. Patricks, then situated at Nos. 57-59 St.
Alexander Street. In 1850 the first stone of their college of
Ste. Marie was laid and on July 31, 1851, the college, with its
public chapel attached, was blessed. In 1851 their noviceship
was transferred hither and on August 5, 1853, it was again
transplanted to its present position at Sault au Recollet,
outside the city.

In 1863, on October 22, M. Olivier Berthelet made a gift of an
arpent and a half (for which he had paid $20,000) for a church
to be built after the model of the Gésu in Rome. The work was
commenced in the following year.

The Gésu, as it became to be called, is one of the finest
specimens of its kind. It is 194 feet long, 96 feet wide, the
transept 144 feet, and the nave 95 feet high. The style of
architecture, Renaissance and Florentine, is fascinating and
gives the church an aspect of elegance and comfort. It is not
unlike the Gesu at Rome in its appointments. Its collection of
fine paintings and tableaux deserves a special mention. They
imitate or complete the plastic work of the sacred edifice. They
are, for the most part, copies of masterpieces of the modern
German School and are the work of Mr. Miller. Among its many rich
chapels, one in particular attracts the attention of the visitor,
on account of an old statue it possesses. It is under the gallery
to the right of the main altar and is known as the Chapel of
Our Lady of Liesse. A reliquary over the tabernacle contains
the ashes of the statue of Our Lady of Liesse, which was burned
during the French Revolution. Two large tableaux which are on
either side of the sanctuary represent St. Aloysius and St.
Stanislaus Kostka in the attitude of receiving Holy Communion,
the former from the hands of St. Charles Borromeo and the latter
from an Angel. There are two smaller paintings over the altars
of the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph: “The Holy Family” and “The
Flight into Egypt.” These remarkable paintings are from the
studio of Cagliardi Bros., Rome.

                           ST. PETER’S

Montreal is the headquarters of several religious orders of men.
Besides the Jesuits there are numerous others who are devoted
either to the ministry or education, or to both. One of the first
communities to be invited were the Oblates of Mary Immaculate,
an order founded at Aix in Provence on January 25, 1816, by Mgr.
de Mazenod, bishop of Marseilles. In 1841 four Oblates reached
Montreal, Fathers Honorat (Superior), Telmont, Baudrand and
Lagier. Their settlement was first at St. Hilaire de Rouville,
then at Longueuil. In 1848 a provisory chapel in wood was built
in the Faubourg de Quebec (Quebec Suburbs). In 1851 the first
stone of the new church of St. Peter, on the same spot, on
Visitation Street, was laid. From this first home there went
forth the first missionaries of the modern Canadian Northwest.
To this order the Rev. Albert Lacombe, the northwest missionary,
became early attached.

St. Peter’s has three naves of equal height. The sanctuary is
lighted by large arched, stained-glass windows, which produce a
magnificent effect. The white marble altar is surmounted by a
turreted reredos and is shown to advantage by numberless electric
bulbs most ingeniously adapted. St. Peter’s is one of the best
proportioned churches of the City. The stained-glass windows of
the sanctuary and side aisles are most attractive. They are from
the factory of Champigneulle of Bar-le-Duc, France. The Sacred
Heart altar is a rare work of art with its handsome candlesticks
and its tabernacle door of gilded bronze.


                          ST. PATRICK’S

Especial notice should be given to the origin of the
English-speaking Catholics of the city. Although before 1800
a few Irish immigrants sought a home in the city, the history
proper of the Irish population of Montreal starts in 1817, when
a Sulpician, the Rev. Father Richards-Jackson, commonly known
as Rev. M. Richards, discovered a little band of worshipers
from the Emerald Isle, driven thence by poverty and privation,
gathering at Bonsecours church. A directory of 1819 only reveals
about thirty presumably Irish names.[2] In 1820 the number was
still so small that a visitor to Bonsecours Church stated that
“he could have covered with a good-sized parlour carpet all the
Irish Catholics worshipping there on Sundays.” Yet the number of
Irish orphans were so great that by 1823 the “Salle des Petites
Irlandaises” was opened in the Grey Nuns’ hospital and supported
by the Gentlemen of the Seminary. Soon the complement of forty
was reached. But by 1831, with the increase of immigration, the
old “Récollet” church on Notre Dame Street, being considerably
enlarged, was reopened for the use of the Irish Catholics of the
center and western portions of the city, those of the eastern
section still remaining attached to Notre Dame de Bonsecours.
The Rev. Patrick Phelan, afterwards bishop, was the first Irish
pastor. The Irish soldiers of the garrison met principally at the
new Notre Dame church opened in 1829. Soon the “Récollet” became
inadequate. On Sundays it was so overcrowded with devout Irish
that the overflow knelt in the rain or the sunshine on Notre Dame
Street or Dollard Lane. This was to be remedied by the steps
taken on May 20, 1843, to purchase land for a church to be named
St. Patrick’s, the present area of St. Patrick’s Church and the
St. Bridget’s Home being secured by the Fabrique of Notre Dame
from the Rocheblave family for £5,000. On the 26th of September
the cornerstones were blessed by Bishop Bourget. They were seven
in number and were laid by the following: First, by Bishop
Bourget; second, by the mayor; third, by the speaker of the
assembly; fourth, by the chief justice; fifth, by the president
of the Irish Temperance Association; sixth, by the president of
St. Patrick’s Society; seventh, by the president of the Hibernian
Benevolent Society.

On the 17th of March, St. Patrick’s Day, 1847, the church of St.
Patrick’s was dedicated. The first patron of St. Patrick’s was
the Rev. J.J. Connolly, who had succeeded Father Phelan at the
“Recollet” when the latter had been consecrated coadjutor bishop
of Kingston in 1843.

Father Connolly nobly served the typhus-stricken emigrants in
1847 for a period of six weeks or more, consigning to the silent
grave more than fifty adult persons a day. At this time Father
Richards and Father Morgan died martyrs of charity. In this
ministration, therefore, the Seminary called in the services of
five Jesuit Fathers who laboured at St. Patricks for some years
till the Seminary was able to provide its own members. The Rev.
J.J. Connolly left St. Patricks in 1860 for Boston, where he died
three years later, on the 16th of September, 1863, at the age
of forty-seven years. He was succeeded by Father Dowd, who had
been transferred with Rev. Father O’Brien, McCullough and others
for service here from Ireland about 1848 at the request of M.
Quiblier, superior of the Seminary.

In 1887, on the occasion of Father Dowd’s celebration of his
fiftieth year of priesthood, the occasion was taken by every
section of the community to testify its appreciation of his work
as the pastor of St. Patrick’s and as a good citizen.

He commenced the St. Patrick’s Orphan Asylum, opened in November,
1851. In 1863 he established St. Bridget’s Home for the Old and
Infirm and the Night Refuge for the Destitute, and in 1866-7
erected the building on Lagauchetière Street for a home and
refuge. In 1872 he established the St. Patrick’s School for Girls
on St. Alexander Street. In 1877 he organized the great Irish
Canadian pilgrimage to Rome.




[Illustration: ST. PATRICK’S CHURCH]

[Illustration: ST. JACQUES CHURCH]

The position of St. Patrick’s as a national church for the Irish
was jeopardized in 1866, when the dismemberment of the ancient
parish of Notre Dame was proclaimed. St. Patrick’s would have
become in the new division a general district, one for use by
French-Canadians, but on the representations of Father Dowd to
the Holy See, the national privileges were confirmed to the
church. Each succeeding pastor of St. Patrick’s has done much to
the beautifying of this church, one of the purest specimens of
the Gothic style in Canada. Its outside dimensions are: Length,
233 feet; width, 105 feet; inside height from floor to ceiling,
85 feet. The steeple is 228 feet high. The work of renovation
of the interior of St. Patrick’s was carried out in 1893 under
the late Father Quinlivan, S.S. pastor. Under the present
pastor, the Rev. Gerald McShane, S.S., the parish has seen great
improvements, notably those at the Eucharistic Congress of 1910
when the grounds adjoining the church and partially occupied
hitherto by St. Bridget’s Orphanage were tastefully laid out
as a semi-public garden. At this same time there took place
the development of the chimes of St. Patrick’s. The following
reproduction of the inscriptions on the memorial tables placed in
the church tells its story:

               AT MONTREAL, SEPT 7-11, A.D. 1910,
                        A CHIME OF BELLS,
                     ARCHBISHOP OF MONTREAL.

      “Ring out, sweet chime, from Gothic tower!
        “A people’s faith thy belfry knells;
      “At Matins, Lauds, and Vesper Hour,
        “Peal forth our joy, sweet Congress Bells.”

                           A.D. 1774;
                    ST. PATRICK’S, A.D. 1840.

                   AND RESTORED TO THE TOWER.

                     “VOX POPULI, VOX DEI.”

                        THE HISTORIC BELL
           “Charlotte,” Restored by the Parishioners.
        Note E.                               2,250 lbs.

                     FATHER QUINLIVAN’S BELL
                     “John, Martin, Thomas.”
      From Mr. Martin Egan, in memory of his beloved Wife.
        C. sharp.                               812 lbs.

                         THE POPE’S BELL
                    “Pius, Edward, Vincent.”
                     Mr. C.F. Smith, donor.
        F. sharp.                             1,615 lbs.

                      THE ARCHBISHOPS BELL
                     “Paul, Gerald, James.”
   Gift of Mrs. M.A. McCrory, in memory of her Daughter, May.
        G. sharp.                              1244 lbs.

                       THE HOLY NAME BELL
                    Blessed be His Holy Name.
                  From “The Holy Name Society.”
        Note A.                                1100 lbs.

                       FATHER DOWD’S BELL
                  “Patrick, Andrew, Cornelius.”
                     Gift of Mrs. M.P. Ryan.
        Note B.                                 951 lbs.

                        THE SEMINARY BELL
                  “Charles, George, Frederick.”
               Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Ryan.
        D. sharp.                               705 lbs.

                        THE CONGRESS BELL
              “Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament.”
                     Mr. J.T. Davis, donor.
        Note E.                                 674 lbs.

                         THE CHOIR BELL
                   “Cecilia, Margaret, Mary.”
                     Presented by the Choir.
        F. sharp.                               582 lbs.

                       THE CHILDREN’S BELL
                “Aloysius, Francis, De La Salle.”
                   Presented by the Children.
        G. sharp.                               516 lbs.

In further commemoration of the Eucharistic Congress the Congress
hall was added in 1914 and the blessing and laying of the
foundation stone took place on Sunday, October 18th, of this year.

The interior of the church is most imposing with its beautiful
Gothic arches and the wealth of its appointments and decorations.
The walls are finished in imitation Venetian mosaic, after
the style of St. Mary’s, Venice; the sanctuary pillars are
imitations of Numidian marble, while those of the nave are
delicately colored like Sienna marble; the coloring of the
high altar resembles the tints of old ivory. The Celtic Cross
predominates in the decorations of the arches and walls. There
are some fine paintings in the sanctuary and on the side walls.
“The Annunciation” and the “Death of St. Joseph” are very fine.
Under St. Joseph’s altar is a life-sized figure of the Apostle
of Ireland, attired in the pontifical vestments of the sixth
century. The paintings of the Way of the Cross are works of art.
The stained-glass windows are admirable. A series of painted
panels ornaments the upper part of the wainscoting. The oak
confessionals and pews are pretty in design. The harmonious
combination is pleasing to the eye and gives the interior a
picturesqueness of original conception.

                            ST. ANN’S

St. Ann’s Parish, the fifth in point of age and the second Irish
parish of Montreal, was founded by the Sulpician Fathers. In
early days, mass was celebrated in a brick house which is still
standing and used as a tenement on the corner of Ottawa and
Murray streets. The present church was commenced in 1851, the
blessing and laying of the foundation stone being on August 3d
and the opening on December 8, 1854. The Redemptorist Fathers
took charge in 1884. The church which was found too small for the
congregation was lengthened thirty-two feet and a tower added to
the extension. In the tower is a fine chime of bells. Besides
parochial work, the Fathers give missions throughout Canada and
the United States. The origin of the name of St. Ann’s dates back
to 1698, when Pierre Le Ber, brother of the recluse, built a
chapel at Point St. Charles to St. Anne. The first mass was said
on November 12, 1698.

The ruins of the chapel were still to be seen in 1823.

The subsequent English-speaking Catholic churches that followed
St. Patrick’s were founded in the following order:

1854, St. Ann’s, 32 Basin Street, served by the Redemptorist
Fathers since 1884; 1875, St. Gabriel’s; 1884, St. Anthony’s;
1889, St. Mary (Our Lady of Good Counsel); 1902, St. Michael’s;
1903, St. Agnes’; 1908, St. Aloysius’; 1908, St. Thomas Aquinas’;
1912, St. Dominic’s; 1913, St. Willibrod’s.


                      RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES

Besides the Diocesan clergy composed of “Secular” priests, an
essential feature of Catholicism in Montreal is the number of
“Religious” orders or “Congregations” of men and women, Montreal
being in many cases, especially of women organizations, the
scene of the foundation and mother-house of numerous branch
establishments in various parts of the American continent.

The following lists will, therefore, be of value. The names are
those only of houses in Montreal or immediately close at hand:

                       COMMUNITIES OF MEN

Sulpician Fathers (1657): Notre Dame, St. James Church, Grand
Seminary, Seminary of Philosophy, Petit Séminaire, St. Jean
l’Evangeliste’s School (Montreal), Lac des Deux Montagnes.

Oblate Fathers: (1848) St. Peter’s Church (Novitiate at Lachine).

Jesuit Fathers (1642 and 1842): Immaculate Conception, N.D. du
Mont Carmel Church, Immaculate Conception, The Gésu, Ste. Mary
and Loyola College (Montreal, Caughnawaga, Sault-au-Recollet).

Redemptorist Fathers (Belgian Province), took charge of St. Ann’s
in 1884: House and Novitiate, St. Ann’s, St. Alphonse de Ligouri,
d’Youville, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Churches (Montreal).

Clerics of St. Viateur (Outremont, Montreal): Academy St. John
the Baptist, Scholasticate Sacristy of Church (Montreal), Chapel,
Parochial School (Bordeaux), Provincial House, Juvenate, Church,
Parochial School (Outremont), Catholic Institute for Deaf Mutes,
Parochial School, Patronage of St. Francis de Sales, Patronage
of St. George, St. Jean de la Croix (Montreal, Boucherville, St.
Eustache, St. Lambert’s, St. Remi, Sault-au-Recollet, Terrebonne).

Congregation of The Holy Cross, founded from Notre Dame, Indiana,
U.S. A., came to Montreal in 1897: Scholasticate and Notre Dame
des Neiges College, Hochelaga Parish, St. Joseph’s Commercial
College (Hochelaga, Pointe Claire, St. Genevieve, St. Laurent).

Company of Mary (Montreal).

Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, originally at Rome, called
to Montreal in 1890: (Montreal, Terrebonne.)

Franciscan Fathers (1692 and 1890): St. Joseph’s Convent, Parc
Lasalle residence, Church on Dorchester Street West.

Dominican Fathers (new quarters at St. Hyacinthe, P.Q.): Notre
Dame de Grace.

Fathers of St. Vincent de Paul (Tournai, Belgium): St. Georgés.

Brothers of the Christian Schools, came to Montreal in 1837:
Motherhouse and School, Maisonneuve, Pensionnat Mt. St. Louis,
Archbishop’s Academy, Ste. Ann’s School, St. Bridget’s School,
St. Gabriel’s School, St. James’ School, St. Joseph’s School, St.
Laurent’s School, St. Patrick’s School, St. Henri des Tanneries,
St. Leon (Westmount), Salaberry and Sacred Heart Schools
(Lachine, Longueuil, St. Cunégonde, St. Jerome), St. Paul’s
College (Varennes, Viauville, Oka).

Brothers of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, called to Montreal in
1865: (Montreal, Longue Pointe).

Brothers of the Sacred Heart: St. Eusèbe, Notre Dame de Grace
(Verdun, Pointe-aux-Trembles).

Marist Brothers, from Iberville, P.Q.: St. Peter’s School, St.
Michael’s School, St. Vincent de Paul.

Brothers of the Christian Instruction, La Prairie, P.Q.: St.
Edward’s College, St. Elizabeth du Portugal School, St. Mary’s,
St. Gregory’s, St. Stanislaus Schools (Chambly, La Trappe,
Napierville, St. Scholastique, St. Anne de Bellevue, Vercheres),
Coté St. Paul, St. John College.

Brothers of St. Gabriel: College and Patronage St. Vincent
de Paul and School, St. Hélène, St. Claire de Tetreaultville
Schools, St. Arsène’s School and Orphanage (La Assomption, St.
Martin, Ste. Rose, St. Therese).

Brothers of the Presentation: (1910) High School, Durocher
Street, for boys; St. Gabriel’s, school for boys.

                      COMMUNITIES OF WOMEN

Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame, founded by Marguerite
Bourgeoys: Mother House, School of Higher Education for women,
affiliated with Laval University, Villa-Maria, Pensionnats, Mt.
St. Mary and St. Catherine’s Pensionnats, Visitation School, Ste.
Ann’s School, St. Agnes’ School, St. Denis’ School, St. Anthony’s
School, St. Hélène’s School, St. Joseph’s School, St. Stanislaus
School, Notre Dame des Anges School, Notre Dame du Perpetuel
Secours School, Notre Dame de Bonsecours School, Bourgeoys’
School, St. Leo’s School, St. Urbain’s School, Notre Dame du Bon
Conseil School, St. Laurent’s School, St. Anthony’s School, St.
Eusèbe School, St. Patrick’s School, St. Louis’ School, Jeanne
Le Ber School, St. Alphonsus’ School, St. Claire de Tetreauville
School, St. Vincent de Paul’s School, Our Lady of the Seven
Dolors (Verdun), St. Ann’s Schools.

Hospital Nuns of St. Joseph, founded for Montreal by M. de la
Dauversière and erected as a community in 1659. Hôtel Dieu first
administrated by Jeanne Mance (1642).

Grey Nuns Hospital Général, founded in Montreal by Madame
d’Youville in 1747: St. Patrick’s Asylum, St. Joseph’s Hospice,
St. Bridget’s Home, Nazareth Asylum, Bethlehem Asylum, Notre
Dame Hospital, Patronage d’Youville, Catholic Orphanage, St.
Paul’s Hospital, St. Cunégonde Asylum, Hospice St. Antoine.

Religious of the Sacred Heart came to Montreal in 1842: St.
Alexandra Street 1860, Secondary Education (School).

Sisters of Charity of Providence, founded in Montreal by Madame
Gamelin: Mother House, Gamelin Asylum, Providence Asylum.
Institution for Deaf Mutes, St. Alexis Orphan Asylum, St.
Vincent de Paul Asylum, Hospital des Incurables, Providence Ste.
Geneviève, Hospice Auclair, Hospice Bourget, Holy Child Jesus.

Sisters of the Most Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, founded at
Longueuil in 1844 by Eulalie Durocher (Sister Marie Rose): Mother
House, Pensionnat, Academy Marie-Rose, Academy of the Most Holy
Names, Hochelaga Parish School, St. Clement School (Viauville).

Sisters of Notre Dame of Charity of the Good Shepherd, came to
Montreal in 1841: Provincial Monastery, Ste. Marie Asylum, St.
Louis de Gonzaga Academy.

Sisters of the Holy Cross and of the Seven Dolours, came in 1847:
Mother House, Novitiate, Academy and School, St. Laurent School,
St. Bridget’s School, St. Gabriel’s School, St. Denis’ School.
Our Lady of the Holy Rosary (Villeray): St. Edouard’s School, St.
Paschal’s School, St. Ignatius and St. Basil’s Academies.

Sisters of Miséricorde, founded in Montreal by Madame Jetté in
1845: Mother House, Hospital and Foundling Asylum, Maternity

Sisters of Ste. Anne, founded at Vaudreuil, 1850, by Esther
Sureau dit Blondin: St. Arsène School, Ste. Cunégonde School, St.
George School, St. Henry School, St. Jean de la Croix School, St.
Michael School, Ste. Elizabeth of Portugal School, Holy Child
Jesus School, St. Pierre aux Liens School, Three other Academies.

Sisters of the Precious Blood (Contemplative order), founded at
St. Hyacinthe in 1861, came to Montreal district in 1874: Notre
Dame de Grâce.

Carmelite Sisters: (Contemplative) established at Hochelaga in

Daughters of Wisdom: (Founded at La Vendèe), came to Montreal in

Little Sisters of the Poor (care of poor), came to Montreal in

Little Daughters of St. Joseph, founded in Montreal in 1857 by
the Rev. M. Antoine Mercier.

Little Sisters of the Holy Family, founded at Sherbrooke: Notre
Dame des Neiges (1877), Notre Dame College, St. Peter’s Church,
St. John the Evangelist School, Archevêché de Montréal.

Soeurs de L’Espérance (Nursery Sisters), came to Montreal in
1901: Rue Sherbrooke.

Sisters of Immaculate Conception, erected in 1904 as an order by
Mgr. Bruchesi: Montreal (Outremont).

Sociéte de Marie Réparatrue, came to Montreal in 1911.


[1] These marked E have English-speaking congregations. The rest
have French.

[2] The names, however, of the students at the College de
Montreal show many unmistakable Irish names. See the note in the
chapter dealing with the history of Laval University.

                           CHAPTER XXV













Some notes written about 1790 on the “state of religion”
(Canadian Archives, Series Q, Volume XLX, page 343) help us to
see the beginnings of the Anglican church in Montreal. This
document appears to be issued by the “Society for Propagating
the Gospel” on England. After the peace of 1762 it was thought
advisable by the English government to send some French
Protestant clergymen who could minister to French Protestants,
whose number were greatly exaggerated. Accordingly, while M. de
Montmolten was sent to Quebec and M. Veyssiere to Three Rivers,
M. De Lisle came to Montreal. There was, of course, no church as
the account proceeds to say:

“The minister at Montreal (who is also chaplain for the garrison)
when he does officiate it is in the chapel of the Recollects
Convent on Sunday mornings only and on Christmas day and Good
Friday.” Again, “there is not a single Protestant church in the
whole province. The greater part of the inhabitants of Montreal
are Presbyterians of the church of Scotland. These being weary of
attending a minister (M. de Lisle) whom they did not understand
and for other reasons, have established a Presbyterian minister
and subscribed liberally to his support. His name is Bethune and
he was late chaplain of the Eighty-fourth Regiment, and while Mr.
Stuart assisted Mr. de Lisle (which he did for a short time) he
used constantly to attend the service of our church.”

Even on the arrival of the first Protestant bishop for the
country, Doctor Mountain, who was made Bishop of Quebec about
1793, there were but nine Protestant clergymen in Canada. In the
first years the duty was performed by the military and naval
chaplains. In 1766 the Rev. D.C. De Lisle, a Swiss Protestant,
was appointed rector of Montreal; hitherto, as said, he had acted
as chaplain for the regiment. A minister was appointed for Three
Rivers in 1768 and one for Sorel in 1783. In 1784 the Loyalists,
establishing themselves in the north of the St. Lawrence and
founding the Modern Ontario, chaplains were appointed for New
Oswegatchie (Prescott), New Johnstone (Cornwall), and Kingston

The first Episcopal visitation of an Anglican prelate took place
in Canada in 1787, Dr. Inglis, the first bishop of Nova Scotia,
and then the only bishop in Canada, being appointed on August
12, 1787. He arrived at Quebec on June 11th. After a fortnight’s
visitation he ascended the river, visiting Three Rivers, Sorel
and Montreal. At Montreal he found that a part of the Récollect
Church was kindly loaned at certain hours for the Protestant
services. The city Protestants urged the Bishop to obtain
permission from the government for the Jesuits church, now in its
hands, the order being suppressed and the church falling into
disrepair. The Governor, Lord Dorchester, agreed to place the
building in good repair, but the interior of the pews were to be
fitted up by the congregation. He proposed that the church be
called Christ Church. We may call this the establishment of the
Church of England in Montreal.

Christ Church was opened for service on December 20, 1789, when
the sermon was preached by Mr. De Lisle. Mr. De Lisle died
in 1794, being succeeded by the Rev. James Tunstall, who was
followed in 1801 by the Reverend Dr. Mountain, brother of the
Rev. Jacob Mountain, who had been appointed in 1793 to the new
Anglican see of Quebec. In June, 1803, the church was destroyed
by fire. A building committee was appointed, consisting of Doctor
Mountain, the Hon. James McGill, George Ogden and the Messrs.
Ross, Gray, Frobisher and Sewell. The site of the old French
prison (about where No. 23 Notre Dame Street, West, now stands)
was granted by the government. The cornerstone was laid in 1805.
Meanwhile the Scotch Presbyterian Church of St. Gabriel’s, which
had been erected since 1792, was loaned for services. On the 9th
of October, 1814, after much delay, the new Christ Church was
opened and dedicated. Doctor Mountain died in 1816 and the Rev.
John Leeds succeeded. On his resignation in 1818 the Rev. John
Bethune was presented by the king as rector under letters patent,
which created a rectory and defined the limits of the parish.
Thus Christ Church became the Anglican Mother Church of the city.

In 1850 Montreal was made a diocesan see and the Rev. Francis
Fulford was appointed by letters patent the first bishop, and
Christ Church was named his cathedral. These two seats of letters
patent were the beginning of a long dispute as to the limitations
of authority within the cathedral. Bishop Fulford was enthroned
in Christ Church on September 15th of that year. In 1853 Doctor
Bethune became the first dean of Montreal. In 1856, on the night
of December 10th, the first cathedral was totally destroyed by
fire; the tablets to the memory of the Hon. John Richardson,
now in the east transept of the present edifice, and the copy
of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, now hung on the south wall,
being among the few objects saved. A new building committee,
of which the Hon. George Moffatt and Chief Justice McCord were
leading members, then set to work. The present site of the
cathedral was chosen, in spite of those who thought it was too
far from the city, and in 1859, on November 27th, the beautiful
Gothic cathedral, one of the most handsome of its kind on the
continent, was opened for worship. In the interval, Gosford
Street church was appropriated for worship under the name of
St. John’s Chapel. In 1867 the Cathedral was consecrated by the
Metropolitan Bishop Fulford. The rectory house was completed in
1877. In 1901 the cathedral act was promoted defining the rights
of the rector, the bishop, the archbishop and the primate within
the cathedral, and the duties of the cathedral chapter. The
following is a list of the rectors of Christ Church and Christ
Church Cathedral: 1789, Rev. D.C. De Lisle; 1791, Rev. James
Tunstall; 1801, Rev. Dr. Mountain; 1815, Rev. John Leeds; 1818,
Rev. John Bethune, afterwards dean; 1872, Rev. Maurice Baldwin,
afterwards dean of Montreal and subsequently bishop of Huron;
1884, Rev. J.G. Norton, subsequently archdeacon of Montreal;
vicars in charge of the parish, 1902, Rev. F.J. Steen; 1903, Rev.
Herbert Symonds.

The Anglican Bishopric of Montreal has its origin as follows:

In 1787 His Majesty, George III, had created Nova Scotia into
an Episcopal see, the bishop of the diocese being also granted
jurisdiction, spiritual and ecclesiastical, over the province of
Quebec as it then existed. In 1793 the bishopric of Quebec was
created and curtailed the jurisdiction of Nova Scotia. The first
bishop was the Rev. Dr. Jacob Mountain who was succeeded on his
death, in 1826, by Bishop Stewart, a younger son of the Earl
of Galloway, and when he died, in 1837, Dr. George Jehoshaphat
Mountain took charge of the extensive diocese. Dr. G.J. Mountain
had been appointed to assist the bishop of Quebec under the title
of Bishop of Montreal, but he had no separate jurisdiction nor
was any see erected at Montreal. This was divided in 1839 by the
creation of a diocese of Toronto, in 1845 by that of Fredericton
and by that of Montreal in 1850. The bishops of the diocese of
Montreal from this date are: Francis Fulford, September 15, 1850,
to September 9, 1868; Ashton Oxenden, August 31, 1869, to May 7,
1878; William Bennett Bond, January 25, 1879, to October 9, 1906;
James Carmichael, November 4, 1906, to September 21, 1908; John
Farthing, consecrated January 6, 1909.

Of the earliest Anglican churches of the city, the Gosford
Street Church, now no longer existent, served as a temporary
place of worship for the Christ Church Cathedral congregation
between 1856 and 1859 after the fire on Notre Dame Street and
saw many vicissitudes. It was purchased by Trinity Church
Congregation in 1860 and used for worship till 1865. It then
afterwards became the Dominion Theatre. Here Miss Emma Lajeunes
of Chambly, afterwards famous as Madame Albani, made a debut
as a plain piano player, for as yet she had not discovered the
powers of her beautiful voice. In 1871 it was changed to “Debars
Opera.” The Cercle Jacques Cartier, a dramatic organization of
French-Canadian amateurs, who were the pioneers of the French
theatre in America, presented a number of plays there. In
1889, the building passed into the hands of Mgr. Bourget, who
placed the property at the disposition of the Union Allet, an
organization of Canadian Zouaves, who had fought for the temporal
power of Pius IX. It then became a vinegar factory, and when
demolished was a carriage depot, and the site has now become, in
1914, that of the City Hall Annex.

The original Trinity Church was built in 1840 on St. Paul Street,
immediately opposite the center of Bonsecours Market, at the
personal expense of Major William Plenderleath Christie, a son
of General Christie of the “Royal Americans,” subsequently
designated the Sixtieth Rifles. It was built on a lot 75 feet 6
inches, more or less, in front, by 174 feet, more or less, in
depth. This church and its successor are proud of the military
associations surrounding it. The edifice is described as an
elegant structure, built in the Gothic style, 75 feet long by
44 wide. The first incumbent of the church was the Rev. Mark
Willoughby. In 1860 the congregation of Trinity purchased the
Gosford Street Church, lately used by the Congregation of Christ
Church, under the title of St. John’s Chapel, and worshipped
there for five years. The old building on St. Paul Street
was torn down and the lot sold. In 1864 the Trinity Church
congregation secured the present site of the church at the
northwest corner of Viger Square and St. Denis Street. The corner
stone was laid on Thursday, June 23, 1864, by the Lord Bishop
Metropolitan, Bishop Fulford. It was opened for public worship
September 17, 1865. It was consecrated on January 13, 1908, by
Bishop Farthing, being his first official act.

The predecessor of St. George’s Church was opened as a
proprietary chapel on St. Joseph Street on June 30, 1843, with
St. George’s Society present in force. The present St. George’s
Church was built in 1870 at the corner of the streets then named
St. François de Sales and St. Janvier (now facing Dominion
Square). It was opened on October 9th of the same year.

St. Stephen’s Church on Dalhousie Street, Griffintown, was
consumed by the great fire of 1850. St. Luke’s Church, at the
corner of Champlain Street and Dorchester Street, East, was
opened in 1854 and enlarged in 1864. The church of St. James,
the Apostle, had its foundation stone laid on July 4, 1853. Its
congregation was formed partly of that originally belonging to
St. Stephen’s church. St. John, the Evangelist, on Ontario and
St. Urbain streets, was built in 1860 and opened in 1861. St.
Thomas Church, corner of Sherbrooke, East, and Delorme Avenue,
succeeded the former church of the same name on Notre Dame and
was conducted by a clergyman of the Countess of Huntingdon’s
Connexion, but opened for the regular Anglican clergy in 1866.
St. Mary’s Church (Hochelaga) dates from 1828, when a stone
church was erected on Marlborough Street on a lot presented by a
farmer to the Rev. John Bethune, then rector of Christ Church.
Shortly after 1851 the church was closed, but was reopened in
1861. In 1889 it was torn down and in 1891 the present church on
the corner of Préfontaine and Rouville streets was built. In the
meantime the congregation worshipped in a building at 321 Notre
Dame Street.

Other Anglican churches are: St. Stephen’s Church, Weredale
Park; St. Edward’s Church, corner of St. Paul and the Haymarket;
St. Martin’s Church, corner of St. Urbain and Prince Arthur
streets; St. Jude’s Church, corner of Coursol and Vinet streets;
All Saints Church, corner of St. Denis and Marie Anne streets,
East; St. Simon’s Church, corner of Courcelles Street and Notre
Dame Street. West: Eglise du Rédempteur, corner Sherbrooke and
Cartier streets; Grace Church, 715 Wellington Street; Church
of the Advent, corner of Wood Avenue and Western Avenue,
Westmount; Church of the Redeemer; St. Clement’s Belcher
Memorial Church, Gordon Avenue and Wellington Street, Verdun;
the Bishop Carmichael Memorial Church, corner of St. Zotique and
Chateaubriand streets; Church of the Good Shepherd, corner of
Claremont and Sherbrooke Street; St. Cyprian’s Church, corner Pie
IX Avenue and Adam Street, Maisonneauve; St. Augustine’s Church,
corner of Dandereau Street and Fourth Avenue, Westmount; St.
Margaret’s Church, Longue Pointe Ward.


[Illustration: ST. ANDREWS CHURCH]



The Anglican Missions are as follows: St. Thomas Mission, held in
Delorme schoolroom; St. Cuthbert’s Mission, corner of Beaumont
and King Edward Boulevard; St. Hilda’s Mission, Marquette Street;
St. Aidan’s Mission, Hamilton Avenue.


Presbyterianism, according to the Rev. Dr. Robert Campbell,
in his history of St. Gabriel’s Street Church, started in
Montreal in a room in St. Lawrence Suburbs on March 12, 1786,
when the meeting for the organization of the first Presbyterian
congregation took place. Most of those present were Scotch
soldiers of the old Seventy-Eighth, or Fraser Highlanders, who
had fought the campaign leading to the conquest of Canada at the
capitulation of Montreal in 1760. After the peace of 1763 a large
proportion of the Highlanders elected to stay in the country,
many settling round Montreal and its district. When the North
West Company was organized these men were of the same metal as
that adventurous Gaelic band, and of the men now gathered, some
“as youths had been actually engaged in the fight at Culloden
in 1745, while several were the children or the descendants of
those brave men who had stood on the side of ‘Prince Charlie’
on that fated field.” The organizer was the Rev. John Bethune,
an ex-chaplain of the Eighty-Fourth Regiment who, however, left
Montreal in 1787. His son, the Rev. John Bethune, an Anglican,
became afterwards famous as the first principal of McGill
University, from 1835 to 1852.

From May, 1787, till 1790 there exists no records of services
held according to Presbyterian forms. They seem as said to have
followed those of the “Rector of the Parish of Montreal and
Chaplain of the Garrison,” the Rev. David Chatbrand De Lisle,
a Swiss who spoke English indifferently. The first regular
Presbyterian minister was the Rev. John Young, from Schenectady,
who was a stormy petrel, but he did good work for eleven years at
Montreal. It was he who organized the erection of St. Gabriel’s
Street Church, the first regular Protestant Church in Old
Canada, prior to 1867, for that chapel erected at Berthier six
years earlier by James Cuthbert, seigneur of Berthier, a Scotch
Presbyterian, is claimed to have been only in the nature of a
private domestic chapel attached to his seigneurial manor. In the
interval between 1786 and 1792, occasional services were held in
the government property known as the old Jesuit Church, which was
also being shared by the Anglicans prior to the erection of the
first Christ Church.

The land was bought on St. Gabriel Street on April 2, 1792.
Until the church was built the Récollet Fathers allowed the
use of their church to the “Society of Presbyterians,” also
for occasional services. The fathers refused any remuneration,
but were induced to accept a present of two hogsheads of
Spanish wine, containing sixty-odd gallons, each, and a box of
candles, amounting in all to £14-2-4. The “Scotch Church,” “the
Protestant Presbyterian Church” or “the Presbyterian Church of
Montreal,” as it was variously called at the time, was built in
1792, Messrs. Telfer and McIntosh executing the mason work and
Mr. Joseph Perrault the carpentry work.

The Rev. Mr. Young’s committee were elected on May 8, 1791, to
arrange the “temporals” of the congregation, and were mostly good
Scotch traders, viz.: Messrs. Richard Dobie, Alex. Henry, Adam
Scott, William Stewart, Alex. Fisher, John Lilly, William Hunter,
Duncan Fisher, William England, Alex. Hannah, Peter McFarlane,
George Kay, John Robb, Thomas Baker, John Empey, John Russell. Of
these nine were to be sufficient to form a quorum.

The list of subscribers to the church building fund reveals the
names of most of the principal merchants at this time, as well as
those of the “Gentlemen of the North West,” so that St. Gabriel’s
was a weighty congregation. But although Protestants, the
worshippers were not all Scotch or Presbyterians. Doctor Campbell
points out John Gregory, Joseph Frobisher, Benaiah Gibb, Thomas
Baker, John Molson, James Woolrich, J.A. Gray, Thomas Busby, R.
Brooks and John Gray, as Englishmen; Sir John Johnson, Andrew
Todd, Thomas Sullivan, Isaac Todd and John Neagles, Irishmen;
John J. Deihl and Andrew Winclefoss, Germans; J.H. Germain and
François Deslard, Frenchmen; Hannah Empey and Peter Pangman, New
England Loyalists, the others being Scots either by birth or
descent, some Highlanders, others Lowlanders.

A portion separated from the Mother Church and formed a
congregation for themselves on St. Peter Street in 1804, building
a church in 1807 opposite to St. Sacrament Street. This was
continued by St. Andrew’s (Beaver Hall Hill) Church, opened in
1851. It was then thought to be a long way from the city. It was
burnt down in 1869, but was shortly afterwards restored to the
original plan.

The next off-shoot from St. Gabriel’s was the predecessor of the
present church of St. Paul, erected in 1834 in St. Helen Street,
at the corner of Récollet Street, which in 1867 was sold and
taken down, and a new church built on the corner of Dorchester
Street and St. Geneviève Street. During the interval the
congregation worshipped in the Belmont Street Normal School below.

The above scissions had been merely local and physical. But the
greatest crisis in the history of the old church of St. Gabriel
was caused by the great constitutional Free Church controversy,
being agitatedly carried on in the parent church of Scotland
and necessarily duplicated in the loyal colonial presbytery of
Montreal. So that from 1830 bitter and personal rancours cleft
the community.

The crisis was brought about by the Rev. Henry Esson, of St.
Gabriel’s Street Church, who seceded about 1844 from the Synod
of Canada in connection with the church of Scotland. The
members who desired to remain with St. Gabriel’s still clave
to the old ways and claimed the Church property, but did not
gain possession of it till 1864, but those who followed the
Rev. Henry Esson, being the majority--claimed and occupied the
temporals on the ground that St. Gabriel’s had never been held
in connection with the Established Church of Scotland. But this
contention finally failed, for in 1864 St. Gabriel’s reverted to
the Church of Scotland on the decision of Government. At this
time of the scission of 1843-4 the “Free Church Committee,”
which had been formed in the city from different Presbyterian
churches, consisted of John Redpath, chairman: James R. Orr,
David and Archibald Ferguson, A. McGown, James Morrison, William
Hutchison, Alexander Fraser, Donald Fraser, Evander McIvor,
William Bethune and William McIntosh. The object was to form a
church in connection with the Free Church of Scotland.

Writing in 1893, Mr. John Sterling, an adherent of the Free Kirk
movement, speaks of the memorable conflict in the Established
Church of Scotland, or the non-intrusion question and its
relation to the movement in Montreal which resulted in the Coté
Street Free Church.

  This conflict lasted for about ten years, and culminated in the
  disruption of the church, on the 18th day of May, 1843, when 474
  of its ministers and missionaries, for conscience sake, severed
  their connection with it, and constituted themselves into a body
  called the “Free Church of Scotland,” giving up their churches,
  their manses, their livings, and risking every worldly prospect,
  going forth with their wives and families, not knowing what might
  befall them, but with a clear conscience, trusting in God for the
  future, whatever it might be--one of the noblest sacrifices for
  principle that the world has ever seen.

  During all the time of the conflict, many of the members of
  the Presbyterian churches of this city, in connection with the
  Established Church of Scotland, strongly sympathized with the
  non-intrusion movement, and on the disruption taking place,
  considered it their duty to manifest their sympathy with the
  Free Church principles. At that time (1843-44) there were five
  Presbyterian Churches in this city, viz.: St. Gabriel’s Street
  Church, St. Andrew’s Church, St. Paul’s Church, Lagauchetiere
  Street Church, and the American Presbyterian Church, the first
  three of which were in connection with the Established Church of
  Scotland. The first concerted movement in this direction took
  place on the 10th day of January, 1844, when twelve ardent and
  good men, who might well be called the twelve apostles of the
  Free Church in Canada, met together and called themselves the
  Free Church Committee, others joining them afterwards, their
  object being to extend and propagate Free Church principles. The
  ultimate result of the work of this committee was that in May,
  1845, a new Presbyterian congregation was formed in Montreal,
  which worshipped for a time in a wooden building on Lagauchetiere
  Street, near the head of Cote Street, which had been hastily
  and cheaply erected, being only intended to accommodate the
  congregation temporarily, until the projected new church to be
  built on Cote Street should be ready for occupation.

  At this time (1845) this locality was most respectable and quite
  uptown, and the new church which was proposed to be erected
  there, turned out to be the largest and finest Presbyterian
  church building of its day in the city. It was opened for public
  worship on Sabbath, the 16th day of May, 1848, and the name
  chosen for it was the “Free Church, Coté Street.”

  The population of the city had increased threefold, and the
  character of the locality by 1877 had entirely changed. The
  Protestant part of the population had mostly removed westwards to
  an inconvenient distance from the church, and the remnant were
  gradually moving away in the same direction, and the consequent
  dropping off of families and members, who were joining churches
  much more convenient to their dwellings, made the absolute
  necessity of the removing the church building westwards, quite

  Consequently it was then decided to build uptown and the Crescent
  Street Presbyterian Church was commenced early in the fall of
  1876, the corner-stone being laid on May 5, 1877, and the church
  being opened for service on March 10, 1878.

Beside the Coté Street secession from St. Gabriel’s which is
now continued by the Crescent Street Church, the Knox Church
organization is now to be described: The free church movement in
Canada ended in a secession, not a disruption. Accordingly after
the dispute relating to the temporals of St. Gabriel’s Street
Church the seceding body in 1864 agreed to retire and formed
the session of Knox church. This held its last meeting in St.
Gabriel’s Street Church on July 31, 1865, and the last meeting of
the Knox congregation for worship there was on October 31, 1865.
The Knox Church at the corner of Mansfield and Dorchester Street
was opened for divine service December 3, 1865. According to the
Reverend Doctor Campbell this church represents _de facto_, but
not _de jure_, the original congregation established in 1786.

The St. Gabriel’s Street Church was sold to the Government in
1886 and the congregation migrated to the New St. Gabriel’s
Church on St. Catherine Street opposite the present St. James
Methodist Church. This was demolished in 1909. St. Gabriel’s
legitimate successor is the First Presbyterian Church at the
corner of Prince Arthur and Mance streets.

Intervening between the Presbyterian Church of Scotland and
the Free Kirk Secession, there remains to be chronicled the
settlement of the American Presbyterian church in Montreal which
arose originally through the secession from St. Gabriel’s Street
Church in 1803, and later through a succession from Mr. Easton’s
church on St. Peter Street which by a change of name in 1824
became the first St. Andrew’s Church.

The American Presbyterian Church was the result of the minority
of Mr. Easton’s church on St. Peter Street becoming offended
at the resolution of the majority to procure a minister of the
Established Church of Scotland, withdrawing from what henceforth
became St. Andrew’s Church, so that a new congregation was formed
on December 15, 1822. This organized the first church at the
corner of St. James Street and Victoria Square, which was opened
on December 1, 1826. It was called “American” because it was
recognized by the Presbytery of New York, as under its care on
March 23, 1823; otherwise it was Canadian in the composition of
its membership. The second church, that of today, on Dorchester
Street, was opened on June 24, 1866.

It is not necessary to pursue further the story of the various
off-shoots of the Presbyterian churches. Suffice it to say that
in June, 1875, in Montreal the Presbyterian church of Canada, in
connection with the Church of Scotland, the Canada Presbyterian
Church of the Lower provinces, the Presbyterian Church of the
Maritime provinces, in connection with the Church of Scotland,
united and became the General Assembly of the Presbyterian
Church in Canada. The St. Andrew’s Church remained, however, in
connection with the Church of Scotland.

The Presbyterian churches in the city today are: St. Andrew’s
Church (Church of Scotland), Beaver Hall Hill; St. Paul’s Church,
corner of Dorchester West and St. Monique Street; the American
Presbyterian Church, corner of Dorchester and Drummond streets;
Knox Church, Dorchester Street, West, corner of Mansfield
Street; St. John’s Church (French Presbyterian), St. Catherine
and Cadieux streets; St. Mathew’s Church, corner of Bourgeoys
and Wellington streets; Calvin Presbyterian Church, 946 Notre
Dame West; First Presbyterian Church, corner of Prince Arthur
and St. Lawrence Boulevard; Erskine Church, Sherbrooke Street,
West, corner of Ontario Avenue; Crescent Street Presbyterian
Church, corner of Dorchester Street, West and Crescent Street;
Stanley Street Church, 96 Stanley Street, near Windsor Hotel;
St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church, William and Dalhousie streets;
Taylor Church, Papineau Avenue and Logan Street; St. Giles
Presbyterian Church, St. Denis, corner of St. Joseph Boulevard;
Victoria Church, corner of Conway and Menai streets; Westminster
Presbyterian Church, Atwater Avenue, Westmount; Montreal West
Presbyterian Church; Melville Presbyterian Church, Elgin Avenue,
Westmount Park; St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Stanton Street
and Coté St. Antoine Road; Maisonneuve Presbyterian Church,
corner of Letourneux Avenue and Adam Street, Maisonneuve; Salem
Welsh Presbyterian Church, Alexandra Rooms, 314 St. Catherine,
West; Fairmount Presbyterian Church, corner of Masson and
Papineau streets; McVicar Memorial Church, St. Viateur Avenue,
West, corner of Hutchinson Street; Verdun Presbyterian Church, 47
Ross Street, Verdun.





Presbyterian missions are: Nazareth Street Mission, corner of
Wellington and Nazareth streets; St. Paul’s Mission, 184 St.
Charles Street.

                         THE METHODISTS

The first chapel of the Wesleyan Methodists, opened in 1809, was
situated on St. Joseph Street, afterwards called St. Sulpice. In
1821 the Congregation moved to the corner of St. François Xavier
and St. James streets, when the old chapel became the first
public newsroom of Montreal. In 1845 the Great St. James Street
Methodist Church was erected with an entrance on St. James Street
and two on Fortification Lane. This church was burnt down. In
the meantime a Methodist church had been erected in Griffintown,
called the Ottawa Street Church, on Wellington Street, close
to where Duke Street now stands. This was also burnt down and
it was replaced in 1846 by the church on the corner of St.
Ann and Ottawa streets. In 1845 another church was opened on
Lagauchetière Street, at the corner of Durham Street. In 1857, in
August, the new Connexion Methodist Salem Chapel on Panet Street
was opened, followed on September 26, 1858, by Ebenezer Chapel,
on Dupré Street. In 1864, there was a movement, for expansion
among the Wesleyan Methodist body, which had for its result the
Sherbrooke Street Church, corner of St. Charles Borromee and
Sherbrooke Street, West, of which the foundation stone was laid
on July 5, 1864, and the opening occurred on May 21, 1865. The
foundation stone of the Dorchester Street Church, corner of
Windsor Street and the Point St. Charles Church on Wellington
Street, were laid on Saturday, October 1, 1864. The Centenary
Methodist Church was built in 1865 at the corner of Wellington
Street and was rebuilt in 1891 at the corner of Charron and
Wellington streets.

The other Methodist churches in the city are, St. James Methodist
Church (St. Catherine Street, corner of St. Alexander Street);
Mountain Street Methodist Church (corner of Mountain and Torrance
Street); Douglas Methodist Church (corner of Chomedy and St.
Catherine Street, West); Dominion Square Methodist Church
(Dorchester Street, corner of Windsor); West End Methodist Church
(corner of Canning and Coursel Street); East End Methodist
Church (corner Cartier and DeMartigny streets); Fairmount Avenue
Methodist Church (corner of Hutchison Street and Fairmount
Avenue, West); Marlborough Street Methodist Church; Mount Royal
Avenue Methodist Church; Ebenezer Methodist Church (corner of St.
Antoine and Convent streets); Westmount Methodist Church (corner
of Lansdowne Avenue and Western Avenue); Verdun Methodist Church
(86 Gordon Avenue, Verdun); Huntley Street Methodist Church
(Huntley Street near St. Zotique Street); First French Methodist
Church (services held in the lecture room of St. James Methodist
Church); and Eglise Méthodiste Française (De Lisle Street).

In giving the above list of churches it has not been thought
necessary to pursue the later history of their separate cessions,
or off-shoots from the parent churches. It is sufficient to note
that on August 29, 1883, at Belleville, Ontario, the Methodist
Church of Canada, the Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada, the
Protestant Methodist Church in Canada and the Bible Christian
church of Canada, united and became the Methodist Church of

                        BAPTIST CHURCHES

As early as 1820,[1] a number of Baptists in the city met in the
parlour of the residence of Mr. Ebenezer Muir “for the worship of
God and mutual edification” each Lord’s day for ten consecutive
years. In 1830, they invited the Rev. John Gilmour of Aberdeen,
Scotland, to come to Canada and lead the little flock into larger

On the 12th day of September of the same year, two days after
landing, Mr. Gilmour, missionary of God, preached his first
sermon to his new charge in this new land in what was then known
as the Bruce Schoolroom on McGill Street.

This little band opened their new chapel, situated on St. Helen
Street and completed at the cost of £935-0-1 of which £572-10-9
were paid before its opening, leaving a debt of £362-9-4 due to
two of their own members, John Fry and Ebenezer Muir, in equal
parts of £181-4-8 each. On the 13th day of November, 1831, the
First Baptist Church was regularly organized in this building
with twenty-five constituent members. A marble tablet placed on
the wall of Gault Bros’ wholesale establishment on St. Helen
Street bears the following inscription:--

                           Here Stood
              The First Baptist Chapel of Montreal,
                 The Rev. John Gilmour, Pastor.
                        Abandoned, 1860.

Immediately underneath this tablet there is another which
illustrates the spirit of Christian enterprise and helpfulness
that characterized this mother church in her early days, as

                           This Tablet
        Commemorates the Organization on this Site of the
             First Young Men’s Christian Association
                   on the American Continent.
                         November, 1851,
       Erected on the Occasion of the Jubilee Celebration,
                          June 8, 1901.

It may not be very widely known that the first Young Men’s
Christian Association on this continent was organized by a member
of the First Baptist Church, Mr. T.J. Claxton, in the First
Baptist Church and especially for the young men who were members
of this church and their Christian associates in the city.

The period from Mr. Gilmour’s resignation in 1835 to the building
of the Beaver Hall Hill Chapel, was one of trial and testing
but finally of establishment and triumph. The following are the
names of the pastors who served the church during this time,
with the dates on which they took charge:--Rev. Newton Bosworth,
September 29, 1835; Rev. John Hatch Waldon, September 19, 1837;
Rev. Beniah Hoe, September 18, 1839; Rev. John Girdwood, June
21, 1841; Rev. Thomas Spalding, April 19, 1851; Rev. Phaucellus
Church, January 5, 1853; Rev. James Lillie, D.D., November 29,
1853; Rev. J.N. Williams, April 20, 1856; Rev. John Goadby, D.D.,
May 1, 1859--nine pastors in twenty-six years, or an average of a
little less than three years each, indicating an unsettled period
in the history of the church, yet one that laid solid foundation
for future work.

With the advent of Doctor Goadby, May 1, 1859, the church entered
upon a second stage or epoch in her history which we can properly
designate the growing and multiplying period.

The church, under the leadership of Doctor Goadby, with a
membership of 160, decided to build a house of worship in a
more residential and convenient location than St. Helen Street
was. With this end in view a site was secured at the corner of
Beaver Hall Hill and Lagauchetiere Street on which a beautiful
and up-to-date church home, with excellent equipment for
Sunday-school work and other departments of Christian activity,
was erected at the cost of $25,000. This was opened in January,
1862, and sold in 1878 to the Reformed Episcopal Church. On
the twenty-seventh day of March, 1863, the Rev. John Alexander
accepted the pastorate of this church. During his incumbency
the church entered upon a period of uninterrupted prosperity;
constant accessions were made to its membership.

In 1864 a mission was started in the East end of the city in
the lecture room of the German Lutheran Church on St. Dominique
Street, with a Sunday-school of twenty-eight scholars and eight
teachers. Shortly after the starting of this school a Thursday
evening prayer meeting and a Sunday evening service were
commenced. These, after the lapse of some time, outgrew their
accommodation and in 1868 Mr. T.J. Claxton and other members of
the church erected a commodious building on the corner of St.
Catherine and St. Justin streets, afterwards known as Russell
Hall, for the accommodation of this mission. This building was
called Russell Hall in honor of Major General Russell of the
British Army, a loyal Baptist, who at the time resided in this
city and who in every possible way supported the work of this

Russell Hall Sunday-school, under the leadership of Mr. T.J.
Claxton, was for some years, from the numerical standpoint at
least, one of the most successful in connection with the Baptist
denomination, the enrollment reaching 600 and the average
attendance 500. On September 3, 1869, through the advice of a
large council called for the purpose, this mission was organized
into a regular Baptist church of which Rev. Robert Cade, ordained
by the same council, was chosen pastor.

In 1875 building on St. Catherine Street, at present occupied by
the First Baptist Church, was erected as the house of worship
for the St. Catherine Street Church, at the cost of about
$60,000, in which they continued to worship in their separate
capacity for three years. During the period between 1869 and
1878 the following were the pastors:--Rev. Robert Cade, 1869-70;
Rev. J. Denovan, afterwards Doctor Denovan, 1870-77; Rev. J.L.
Campbell, now Doctor Campbell of the First Church, Cambridge,
Massachusetts, 1877-78; during his pastorate the union between
the St. Catherine Street and First Churches was consummated.

Going back now to the point, in 1864, at which we diverged from
the history of the First Baptist Church, in tracing the story of
Russell Hall Mission and St. Catherine Street Church, we find
that after the lapse of about two years, in 1866, another mission
was started at Point St. Charles which shortly afterwards was
organized into an independent church that gave great promise of
usefulness in that interesting community, with Rev. Thomas Gale
as its pastor. Mr. T.J. Claxton of the First Church erected a
building for the accommodation of the Point St. Charles interest.
We find, however, that this church disbanded, the cause for
which, owing to lack of information, we are unable to state nor
are we able to say what disposition was made of the building nor
with what church did the remnant of the membership unite.

In the year 1875 eighty-five members withdrew from the First
Church in order to organize the Olivet Baptist Church. In after
years many other members withdrew and united with this church.
While the First Church and its affiliated institutions suffered
greatly by this movement yet the after history of both the First
and Olivet Churches clearly shows that no single Baptist church
could, in the City of Montreal, be as strong and influential as
the two have been and are now.

In 1878 the First Baptist Church worshipping in the house of
Beaver Hall Hill and the St. Catherine Street Church worshipping
in the building on the corner of St. Catherine and City
Councillor streets united, this united body to be known as the
First Baptist Church, making the house on St. Catherine Street,
in which they now worship, their church home. The house on Beaver
Hall Hill was at that time sold to the Reformed Episcopal church
for the sum of $25,000. The Rev. J.L. Campbell, pastor of the St.
Catherine Street Church, retiring, the Rev. A.H. Munroe, pastor
of the First Church continued to shepherd the united flock.

During this interesting section of the growing and multiplying
period of the church’s history, lying between the erection of the
Beaver Hall Hill house of worship and the union of the First and
St. Catherine Street Churches, the following were the pastors of
the First Church:--Rev. John Goadby, D.D., May 1, 1859; Rev. John
Alexander, March 27, 1863; Rev. William Cheetham, 1870; Rev. A.H.
Munroe, 1876.

Between the years 1881 and 1886 two missions were started by
individual members of the church, one at Cote St. Louis and the
other at St. Louis de Mile End, both of which continued for some
time and gave promise of considerable success. Owing, however, to
the lack of helpers, the former was by the discouraged workers
handed over to Canon Evans of the Anglican Church who had a
mission in that neighborhood, and so has become the nucleus
of that which is now All Saints’ Church; and the latter was
closed because the workers united with the band that withdrew to
organize Grace Baptist Church.

In the year 1888 the Gain Street Church was started as another
mission and Sunday-school in the East End of the city to which in
1897 a number of members were dismissed to organize it into an
independent church.

In 1890, during the months of March and April, thirty-four
members of the First Baptist Church were dismissed in order
to organize with the St. Louis de Mile End workers, the Grace
Baptist Church, now known as the Westmount Baptist Church. In
1902 the First Church assumed charge of the North Baptist Mission
on St. Urbain Street and Duluth Avenue. About this time another
mission was started on Berri Street, not under the auspices
of this church, but successfully carried on by one of its
deacons--Mr. John Ede, who had associated with him a number of
the members of this church and other workers.

More recently the North Mission property was sold to the
Protestant school commissioners. On the completion of the
Temple Baptist Church (corner of Park and Laurier avenues) the
Berri Street Mission lapsed and its workers returned to the
First Baptist Church or to the Temple Church, the Rev. Mr. Ede
afterwards being called to the Tabernacle Church. The latest
church added is the Verdun Baptist Church on Rockland Avenue.
Mention must be made of the French Baptist Church L’Oratoire at
14 Mance Street, above Sherbrooke Street.

                      CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH

Organized Canadian Congregationalism began in Montreal in 1829
when the Canada Education and Home Missionary Society was founded
in Montreal with Mr. Henry Wilkes, then a young man in business,
as its first secretary. This society was designed to support
pioneer Presbyterian, Baptist or Congregational ministers. There
had been, however, previous sporadic and unorganized attempts
at church establishment in upper Canada. One such was that
founded in 1817 by a Congregational minister, the Rev. Joseph
Silcox, bearing the extraordinary title of “The Congregational
Presbyterian Prince of Peace Society.” Mr. Wilkes went to
Scotland shortly after the formation of the Montreal society
and while a church student in Glasgow induced some ministers,
among them the Rev. Richard Miles, to come to Canada. The Rev.
Richard Miles came to Montreal in 1831, while Rev. Adam Lillie
went to Brantford in 1833. The visit of the Reverend Doctors Reed
and Matheson, delegates from England to the American churches
in 1834, who also made a trip through Canada, led the foreign
missionary society to send out some missionaries here, and in
1836, under Mr. Wilkes’ leadership, the Colonial Missonary
Society, still the foster mother of Canadian Congregationalism,
was organized in Montreal. The Rev. Mr. Wilkes became the agent
in Montreal and the Rev. Mr. Roaf in Toronto.

The first Congregational Church was opened for service on St.
Maurice Street on the second Sabbath of February, 1833. This
was sold and in 1846 Zion Church was erected. The third church
dates to 1868 and was erected at the corner of Amherst and Craig
streets. Other churches of a later date are Calvary Church (302
Guy Street), Emanuel Church (Drummond Street, near Sherbrooke
Street, West), Zion Congregational Church, Point St. Charles (185
Congregation Street), Bethlehem Congregational Church, corner of
Western Avenue and Clark Avenue.


The history of the Unitarian movement in Montreal dates from the
year 1832, when on the 29th of July the Rev. David Hughes of
England preached in the Union School Room at the corner of St.
Sacrament and St. Nicholas streets the first Unitarian sermon
ever delivered, it is believed, anywhere in Canada. This was the
year in which Montreal was devastated by the Asiatic cholera,
1,900 persons dying in four months, out of a population of
little more than thirty thousand. Mr. Hughes was one of these
victims of the plague, but the work which he had inaugurated
survived him. A small band of Unitarian believers secured a place
to hold services in a building which was known on account of its
location as St. Joseph Street Chapel. Here the Rev. Mr. Angier,
an American minister, took charge of the services, and a Sunday
School was inaugurated by Mr. Benjamin Workman. A movement was
begun by the infant society to acquire land, and erect a church,
but the times were unpropitious. A return of the cholera in 1834,
together with the subsequent depression of business and the
political disturbances which culminated in the Riel Rebellion
of 1837, caused so much discouragement that interest flagged,
and for a while even the regular services were discontinued.
Occasional meetings were, however, held until, in 1841, the
movement was definitely renewed under the inspiration chiefly of
a few devoted women, prominent among whom were Mrs. Cushing and
Mrs. Hedge, whose conviction that the time had come for a new
and more vigorous Unitarian propaganda was shared by a group of
men whose names have been synonymous with good citizenship and
philanthropy in Montreal during more than one generation. Mr.
John Frothingham, Mr. Benjamin Workman, Mr. Luther Holton, Mr.
William Molson, and Doctor Cushing, were actively interested in
the formation of the second Unitarian congregation of Montreal,
and their efforts were stimulated by the eloquent preaching of
an English minister, the Rev. Mr. Giles, who for several months
conducted services in a small building situated at the corner
of Fortification Lane and Haymarket Square. Subsequently an
invitation was extended by this small company of worshippers to
the Rev. John Cordner, of Belfast, Ireland, to become their first
settled pastor. Mr. Cordner, who preached his first sermon in
Montreal in November, 1843, had been ordained by the Remonstrant
Synod of Ulster, and his congregation remained for several years
in official relation with the Irish Synod. In 1858 this alliance
was dissolved, and the Montreal Church united in fellowship with
its nearest neighbor, the American Unitarian Association, having
headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts. During its early years
of struggle financial aid, as well as friendly interest and the
service of visiting ministers, had been given by this Association
to the Montreal congregation, and it was with their assistance
that, in 1844, a piece of land was purchased and a church
building erected on Beaver Hall Hill on a site once occupied by
the old Frobisher mansion, historically connected with the early
development of the fur-trade in Canada, and with the pioneer days
of the North West Company. In the following year the Unitarian
congregation received legal status by Act of Parliament, and its
ministers were authorized to keep record of civil acts required
of all settled pastors under the laws of the Province. By 1857
the congregation had outgrown its first building, and a new
place of worship was erected which, with its simple dignified
architecture, and beautiful spire, remained for fifty years a
well-known landmark of the city, under the name at this time
adopted, the Church of the Messiah.

In 1869 this building was seriously damaged by fire, and during
the time when it was undergoing repairs its congregation
worshiped in the hall of the St. Patrick’s Association in
response to the generous invitation of the Rev. Father Dowd.

Towards the end of his long pastorate of thirty-six years Doctor
Cordner was assisted, first by the Rev. Edward Hayward for a
period of one year, and afterwards, by the Rev. J.B. Green,
during three years. In 1879 when Doctor Cordner’s advancing years
made it desirable for him to retire from the active duties of
the ministry he was succeeded by the Rev. William S. Barnes, of

Like his predecessor Mr. Barnes enjoyed a long pastorate, serving
his congregation faithfully for thirty years. Of each of these
ministers it may truly be said that he gained a unique place in
the affection of his congregation, combined with one of honor
and respect from the community at large. Each was distinguished
by a life of constant devotion to the service of his ideals, and
the duties of his pastorate, by unusual intellectual gifts, and
by great pulpit eloquence. The University of McGill recognized
the ability and public services of both ministers by awarding to
them the degree of LL. D. The story of the growth and unification
of the Church of the Messiah is largely the story of the devoted
lives of the two ministers who occupied its pulpit for a combined
period of nearly seventy years.

In 1905 the congregation decided that, owing to the movement
of the population uptown, and away from the old-time centers,
the situation of its place of worship had become inconveniently
remote, and the property was therefore sold, and a new church
building erected at the corner of Sherbrooke West and Simpson
streets. The new building, considered to be architecturally one
of the most successful erections of the city, owes much of its
harmony of design and execution to the artistic taste and culture
of Dr. Barnes, who felt its erection to be the culmination of his

                        HEBREW SYNAGOGUES

Jewish settlers arrived in Canada towards the close of the period
of French rule. Among the officers and soldiers who fought in the
armies of Amherst and Wolfe were a number of men of the Hebrew
race who did their modest share towards assisting in the conquest
of the country and making it a part of the British Empire. When
they became sufficiently numerous to establish their first
Jewish congregation in Montreal, Canada, in 1768, they followed
the ritual of the Spanish and Portuguese or Sephardic Jews.
This congregation took the name of the Spanish and Portuguese
Jews, “Shearith Israel,” and the Congregation has continued ever
since in existence, being one of the most ancient of the Jewish
congregations in America. It at present worships on Stanley
Street above St. Catherine. The first place of worship was in a
room or hall on St. James Street, but in 1777 there was built
the first regular synagogue building on a lot of land belonging
to David David, son of Lazarus David, the first Jewish settler
in this city. The building was described as a low walled edifice
of stone with a red roof and high white-washed wall enclosing
it. It stood on Notre Dame Street at the junction of St. James
Street adjoining the present Court House and had an entrance on
either side. Shortly after the erection of this synagogue the
Congregation bought its first lot of land for a cemetery on St.
Janvier Street near what is now known as Dominion Square.

The first synagogue built near the Court House had to be
abandoned on account of the land on which it was built reverting
to the David family after the death of David David, and after
worshipping temporarily at the south-west corner of St. Helen and
Recollet streets, the second synagogue building of the Spanish
and Portuguese Congregation was erected on Chenneville Street in
1835 and completed in 1838. It was a small but dignified stone
building with a Doric portico and quasi-Egyptian interior. The
work was mainly carried out under the direction of Moses J. Hays,
a son of Andrew Hays, one of the earliest Jewish colonists, and
he was at that time a trustee of the Congregation.

When the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue was founded its first
rabbi was the Rev. Jacob Raphael Cohen, who came to Montreal in
1778, and held office for a number of years. He was succeeded by
M. Levy, and after him came Isaac Valentine. Rev. David Piza was
appointed minister of the Congregation in 1840 and held office
for six years, when he returned to London and became one of the
ministers of the Sephardic congregation there.

In 1846 the Rev. Abraham de Sola, LL. D., of London, England,
was elected rabbi and arrived in Canada early in the following
year. Dr. Abraham de Sola belonged to a family that had long
been prominent in the annals of the Jewish people in Spain and
afterwards in Holland and in England. His mother was of the
equally distinguished Meldola family. For over thirty-five years
he remained the spiritual chief of the Sephardic Jews in this
country. He died in 1882 and was succeeded by his eldest son,
Rev. Meldola de Sola.

In 1890 the Spanish and Portuguese Jewish Congregation removed to
a new synagogue building which they had erected on Stanley Street
above St. Catherine. The corner stone had been laid three years
previously. Its architectural features are interesting as being a
conscientious attempt to carry out a pseudo Judeo-Egyptian style
with considerable success. Its design was due to Mr. Clarence I.
de Sola, one of the sons of Dr. Abraham de Sola, who directed
its erection and who had much to do with the carrying out of the

In the same year the Spanish and Portuguese Jews obtained a new
act of incorporation from the Provincial Parliament, its earlier
act of incorporation proving now inadequate to the needs of the
growing body.

Up to the year 1846 the Spanish and Portuguese Congregation,
“Shearith Israel” had remained the only Jewish Congregation in
Montreal, but during that year a number of recently arrived
German and Polish Jews established a second synagogue, and in
consequence of this a joint act of Parliament had been secured
for the two congregations. The second congregation, however,
existed only for a very short time, as its members were very
few in number so that they disbanded and joined the original
Spanish and Portuguese Congregation. In 1857-58, however, a
number of new arrivals of Jews from Poland, availing themselves
of the act of incorporation that had been obtained by their
predecessors, organized in 1858, what is now known as the
Congregation of German and Polish Jews, “Shaar Hashamoyim.” They
gathered regularly for worship about 1860 and erected their
first synagogue on St. Constant Street, now known as Cadieux
Street. Among the founders of the congregation were A. Hoffmann,
M.A. Olandorff, Edward Hymes and Lewis Anthony and were shortly
afterwards joined by David Moss, Edward Moss, Lawrence Moss and
Solomon Silvermann. The members of the Moss family were long
among the most prominent of the leaders in this synagogue and
were active here in Jewish communal affairs for two generations.
Among those of the younger generation of this family were Samuel
D. Moss, Hyman D. Moss and John Moss, who all in turn held office
in “Shaar Hashamoyim.” Among others who occupied the office
of president of this congregation were Lyon Silverman, Moses
Vineberg and D.A. Ansell. In 1887 the congregation built a new
synagogue in McGill College Avenue. During recent years it has
grown immensely in membership. This has been notably the case
under the administration of its late president, Mr. Lazarus
Cohen, as well as during the administration of his son, Mr. Lyon
Cohen, both of whom have been very active and capable workers
in the Jewish community of to-day. So well, indeed, have these
men and their associates managed the affairs of the Congregation
that they have already acquired land near Atwater Avenue and
St. Luke Street to put up a much larger synagogue to meet the
demands of its ever-growing membership. The first regular rabbi
of Congregation “Shaar Hashamoyim” was the Rev. Mr. Foss and
among his successors were the Rev. I.M. Cohen, Rev. E.M. Myers,
Rev. L. Friedlander, Rev. Isador Myers and the Rev. B. Kaplan.
The present incumbent of the office is the Rev. Dr. Hermann

Up to the year 1881 the Jewish population of Montreal was not
large, and the membership of the two congregations which then
existed was, in consequence, limited; but the terrible outbreak
of persecution of Jews in Russia in 1881 and the recurrence of
these outbreaks periodically in the following decades resulted
in immense numbers of Jews immigrating from Russia to Canada and
other countries. As a result the Jewish population of Montreal
increased by tens of thousands in a very short time, and it is
estimated that to-day there are in this city alone fully 60,000
Jews. One of the results was the formation of a large number
of new Jewish congregations and the erection of quite a number
of commodious synagogues. Among these are the Congregation of
“B’Nai Jacob,” which erected a new building on the site of the
old one in Cadieux Street. Among its founders were L. Aaronson
and L. Lazarus. The Roumanian Jews formed the Congregation “Beth
David,” and purchased the Chenneville Street building from its
former occupants after they had altered it considerably. Shortly
afterwards the Congregation “Chevra Kadisha” was formed, and they
erected their present handsome building on St. Urbain Street,
while the Austrian Jews erected a large synagogue on Milton
Street. The building of new synagogues has continued apace,
and the formation of new congregations of Hebrews is a common

All the congregations referred to above follow the customs of
traditional or orthodox Judaism, but in 1882 a small number of
gentlemen who favored the principles of American Reform Judaism
met in the old Lindsay Building on St. Catherine Street to form
a “Reform” congregation, and thus was founded what is now known
as Congregation Temple Emanuel. They held their first services in
the autumn of 1882 and obtained an act of incorporation in March,
1883. Among the founders of this congregation were B.A. Boas, B.
Kortosk, Leopold Isaacs, L. Abrahams, E. Lichtenhein, S. Fishel,
and A. Goldstein. They were soon afterwards joined by Samuel
Davis, who for a number of years held office as president and who
was a popular member of the reform community. They first rented
a building but afterwards erected a temple on Stanley Street,
in the rear of the Windsor Hotel. On September 17, 1911, they
dedicated their new temple building on Sherbrooke Street, West,
near Westmount. This Congregation is up to the present the only
one following the Reform ritual in Canada, and although they form
but a small minority of the total community, they have adhered to
their views in a typical manner. Their present president is Mr.
Maxwell Goldstein, K.C. Their first minister was the Rev. Samuel
Marks, who was followed among others by the Rev. H. Veld, and
Rev. Isaac Landman. Their present rabbi is the Rev. Nathan Gordon.

                       THE SALVATION ARMY

The religious work of the Salvation Army began in Montreal on the
13th of November, 1884, with the following as the first corps
of officers: Commissioner T.B. Combs, territorial commander,
in charge of the work throughout Canada; Staff Commander
Madden, divisional commander; Captain and Mrs. “Happy Bill”
Cooper, corps officers; assisted by Lieutenant Eva Lewis. It
met initial difficulties, principally in the injunction that
forbade the holding of meetings unless they kept moving, which
was circumvented by moving around in a circle at the same spot, a
necessity which was finally allowed to drop.

The first corps held its meetings for the first two years in
Webber’s Hall, which stood on the site of the present Canadian
Northern Steamship Company’s building on Dollard Lane and St.
James Street. Next the Mechanic’s Hall, on St. James and St.
Peter streets was used as a meeting place for six months. The
next location was the basement of Leggett’s boot and shoe factory
at the corner of Craig and Victoria streets, where the present
Greenshield’s building stands, until the St. Alexander Street
building was erected.

This was the citadel and training home for officers and the main
corps of the army. The fine structure on University Street, the
divisional headquarters, was erected in 1903, and the building
on St. Alexander Street was altered entirely to become the
present “Metropole” for social relief work. The University Street
building, in addition to serving as the divisional headquarters
of the Army also houses the finance and immigration departments
and is the home of Corps No. 1, and includes the Young Women’s

Following the opening of the work by Corps No. 1, Corps No. 2 was
organized in Point St. Charles on March 15, 1885.

Corps No. 3, the French Corps, opened its work on the 9th of
December, 1887, in a little store on St. Lawrence Main and St.
Viateur streets. French-speaking officers, brought over from
Paris, organized the work and still continue in charge of its
affairs. This little home was at first the scene of much turmoil,
many serious fights occurring in which chairs and other weapons
were freely used, but out of this grew, with the passing of the
years, the present strong, harmonious body.

On the 30th of June, 1890, Corps No. 4 was formed in the East
End, and on April 5, 1905, Corps No. 5 on St. Alexander Street,
which is the Men’s Social Corps. Corps No. 6, the most recent to
be organized, began its work on June 25, 1914, in Verdun.

It is difficult to account fully for the origin of other
religious bodies in the city. The German Lutherans established
their church in 1858 on St. Dominique Street, immediately in the
rear of St. Lawrence market. It is now occupied by the “Temple
of Labour.” The Swedenborgians were established on Dorchester
Street, corner of Hanover, in 1862. The Assembly of Christians,
at the corner of St. George Street and Fortification Lane, about
the same period. The French Evangelical Church, on Craig Street,
was established in 1864. Lovell’s directory of today gives the
location of the following churches: Christian Science--First
Church of Christ Scientist--41 and 43 Closse Street, Western
Square: New Jerusalem Church, corner of Dorchester West and
Hanover Street; Lutheran Churches--St. John’s Church (German
Lutheran), corner of Mance and Prince Arthur Street; Church
of the Redeemer (Evangelical Lutheran), 365 Mountain Street;
Catholic Apostolic Church, 314 St. Catherine Street, West; Church
of Christ (Disciples), 109 Fairmount, corner of Mance Street;
Seventh Day Adventist Church, corner of Villeneuve, West, and
Hutchison streets; Montreal Chinese Mission (Protestant), 336
Lagauchitiere Street, West; Undenominational Mission (City),
294-296 Cadieux Street; Desrivières Street Mission; Italian
Methodist Mission, corner of Dorchester Street, West, and St.
Urbain. The following charts will provide the curious student the
religious origins of our population as revealed by the census of


                        |       |Adventists
                        |       |   |Anglicans
                        |       |   |      |Baptists
                        |       |   |      |     |Brethren
                        |       |   |      |     |  |Christians
                        |       |   |      |     |  |  |Congregationalists
          Districts     |       |   |      |     |  |  |   |Disciples
             and        |       |   |      |     |  |  |   |   |Friends
         Sub-districts  |       |   |      |     |  |  |   |   |   |Greek
                        |       |   |      |     |  |  |   |   |   | Church
                        |       |   |      |     |  |  |   |   |   |    |Jews
  MONTREAL-STE. ANNE    | 21,676| --| 2,385|  174|--|--| 67| --| --| 122|   841
    Centre ward         |    458| --|     7|  -- |--|--| --| --| --|  22|    --
    Ste. Anne ward      | 20,992| --| 2,334|  173|--|--| 67| --| --| 100|   833
    West ward           |    226| --|    44|    1|--|--| --| --| --| -- |     8
                        |       |   |      |     |  |  |   |   |   |    |
  MONTREAL-ST. ANTOINE  | 48,638|  6|10,653|  840|18| 9|453| 10|  4| 111| 1,247
    St. Joseph ward     | 17,879| --| 2,241|  340|--| 1| 40| --|  1|  61|   483
    St. Georges ward    | 13,844|  1| 4,373|  241|18| 8|186|  2|  3|  45|   419
    St. Andrews ward    | 16,915|  5| 4,039|  259|--|--|227|  8| --|   5|   345
                        |       |   |      |     |  |  |   |   |   |    |
  MONTREAL-ST. JACQUES  | 44,057|  1|   429|   45| 2| 3| 15| --| --| 188|   547
    East ward           |  3,561| --|    17|  -- |--|--|  1| --| --| 118|     1
    Lafontaine ward     | 25,026| --|   348|   37|--| 3| 11| --| --|  13|   409
    St. James ward      | 15,470|  1|    64|    8| 2|--|  3| --| --|  57|   137
                        |       |   |      |     |  |  |   |   |   |    |
  MONTREAL-ST. LAURENT  | 55,860|  2| 4,109|  280|23|14|205|  2|  4| 411|19,193
    St. Laurent ward    | 25,039|  2| 3,342|  197|12| 1|170|  2|  4| 165| 7,712
    St. Louis ward      | 30,821| --|   767|   83|11|13| 35| --| --| 246|11,481
                        |       |   |      |     |  |  |   |   |   |    |
  MONTREAL-STE. MARIE   | 54,910| --| 1,651|  113|--|11| 12| --| --|  42|   326
    Papineau ward       | 39,079| --| 1,409|   67|--|--| 12| --| --|  39|   292
    Ste. Marie ward     | 15,831| --|   242|   46|--|11| --| --| --|   3|    34
                        |       |   |      |     |  |  |   |   |   |    |
  HOCHELAGA             | 75,049|  3| 9,302|  954|48|--|698|  3|  1|  44|   580
    Ste. Cunégonde ward | 11,174|  3|   658|   44| 1|--| 31| --| --|   9|   102
    St. Gabriel ward    | 18,961| --| 2,855|  278| 8|--|323| --| --|  11|    54
    St. Henri ward      | 30,335| --| 1,560|  113| 4|--| 19|  3| --|  15|    50
    Westmount           | 14,579| --| 4,229|  519|35|--|325| --|  1|   9|   374
                        |       |   |      |     |  |  |   |   |   |    |
  JACQUES-CARTIER       | 65,023|  4| 8,905|  511|63| 8|201|  2| --| 236|   541
    Côte St. Paul       |  3,421| --|   732|   16| 4|--| 10| --| --| -- |     6
    Notre-Dame des      |       |   |      |     |  |  |   |   |   |    |
         Neiges         |    912| --|    46|  -- |--| 4| --| --| --| -- |     8
    Présentation de la  |       |   |      |     |  |  |   |   |   |    |
        Ste. Vierge     |    221| --|   -- |    3|--|--| --| --| --| -- |    --
    Saints-Anges de     |       |   |      |     |  |  |   |   |   |    |
        Lachine         |    828| --|   106|   18|--|--| --| --| --| -- |    13
    Ste. Anne du Bout de|       |   |      |     |  |  |   |   |   |    |
        l’Ile           |    813| --|    98|    1|--|--| --| --| --| -- |     8
    Ste. Geneviève      |  1,075| --|   -- |  -- |--|--| --| --| --| -- |    --
    St. Joachim de la   |       |   |      |     |  |  |   |   |   |    |
        Pointe Claire   |    805| --|    91|   4 |--|--| --| --| --| -- |    --
    St. Laurent         |  2,228| --|   258|  10 | 7|--| --| --| --| -- |     9
    St. Raphaël de l’Ile|       |   |      |     |  |  |   |   |   |    |
        Bizard          |    586| --|     1|  -- |--|--| --| --| --| -- |    --
    Summerlea           |    161| --|    33|  -- |--|--| --| --| --| -- |     3
    Beaconsfield        |    375| --|    70|  -- |--|--|  2| --| --| -- |     2
    Dorval              |  1,006| --|   184|   6 |--|--| 12| --| --| -- |    11
    Lachine             | 10,699| --| 1,600|  43 |--| 4|  4|  2| --| 57 |   322
    Montréal            |    703|  1|   205|   6 |--|--| 14| --| --| -- |    --
    Notre-Dame de Grâce |  5,217| --|   978|  64 |--|--| 17| --| --| 80 |     2
    Outremont           |  4,820| --|   917| 129 |21|--| 57| --| --| -- |    41
    Pointe Claire       |    793| --|   116|   2 |--|--| --| --| --| -- |    --
    Ste. Anne de        |       |   |      |     |  |  |   |   |   |    |
        Bellevue        |  1,416| --|    76|   9 |--|--|  7| --| --| -- |     9
    St. Laurent         |  1,860| --|    24|  -- |--|--| --| --| --| -- |    --
    Verdun              | 11,629| --| 2,309|  154|15|--| 67| --| --|  8 |    67
    Ville Emard         |  6,179| --|   418|   24|--|--| --| --| --|  1 |    --
    Youville            |  2,394|  3|   134|    6|16|--|  5| --| --|  2 |     2
    Cartierville        |    905| --|     1|  -- |--|--| --| --| --| -- |    10
    Côte des Neiges     |  2,444| --|   254|    3|--|--|  6| --| --| -- |    23
    Côte St. Luc        |    303| --|    22|  -- |--|--| --| --| --| -- |    --
    Ste. Geneviève      |    612| --|   -- |  -- |--|--| --| --| --| -- |    --
    St Pierre aux Liens |  2,201| --|   192|   12|--|--| --| --| --| 88 |     5
    Senneville          |    418| --|    40|    1|--|--| --| --| --| -- |    --
                        |       |   |      |     |  |  |   |   |   |    |
  MAISONNEUVE           |170,978| 33|11,642|1,176|52|21|309|  5|  1| 272| 5,227
   De Lorimier ward     | 10,453| --|   745|  232|--| 6|  2| --| --|   1|     3
   Duvernay ward        | 13,445|  1|   188|    4|--| 4|  5| --| --|  12|    37
   Hochelaga ward       | 20,986| --| 1,236|  133|--|--|  7| --| --| -- |    42
   Laurier ward         | 37,000| 17| 4,608|  379|48| 6|190|  5|  1|  23| 1,204
   Maisonneuve          | 18,684|  2|   970|   51|--| 5|  2| --| --|  45|     8
   Rosemont ward        |  1,319| --|    58|   51|--|--| --| --| --| -- |    --
   St. Denis ward       | 40,364| 13| 2,284|  187| 4|--| 69| --| --|  31| 1,015
   St. Jean Baptiste    |       |   |      |     |  |  |   |   |   |    |
        ward            | 21,116| --| 1,121|  123|--|--| 26| --| --|  30| 2,918
   Ste. Marie ward      |  7,611| --|   432|   16|--|--|  8| --| --|    |    --


                      |   |Mennonites
                      |   |   |Methodists
                      |   |   |     |Mormons
                      |   |   |     |  |Presbyterians
                      |   |   |     |  |     |Roman Catholics
       Districts      |   |   |     |  |     |       |Salvation Army
         and          |   |   |     |  |     |       |   |Protestants
     Sub-districts    |   |   |     |  |     |       |   |   |Pagans
                      |   |   |     |  |     |       |   |   |  |Various Sects
                      |   |   |     |  |     |       |   |   |  |   |Unspecified
  MONTREAL-STE. ANNE  |101|  8|  526|--|1,719| 14,835| 28|799|11| 33| 27
    Centre ward       | --| --|    3|--|   17|    409| --| --|--| --| --
    Ste. Anne ward    | 99|  8|  507|--|1,675| 14,318| 24|798| 5| 33| 18
    West ward         |  2| --|   16|--|   27|    108|  4|  1| 6| --|  9
                      |   |   |     |  |     |       |   |   |  |   |
  MONTREAL-ST. ANTOINE|294| --|2,305|--|7,117| 24,774| 46|399| 8|255| 89
    St. Joseph ward   | 76| --|  467|--|1,030| 13,029|  6| 37|--| 53| 14
    St. Georges ward  |110| --|  825|--|2,732|  4,489| 30| 78| 8|202| 74
    St. Andrews ward  |108| --|1,013|--|3,355|  7,256| 10|284|--| --|  1
                      |   |   |     |--|     |       |   |   |  |   |
  MONTREAL-ST. JACQUES| 39|  1|  108|--|  349| 41,832| --|315| 9| 63|111
    East ward         | --| --|   11|--|   41|  3,311| --|   |--| 13| 48
    Lafontaine ward   | 26| --|   84|--|  252| 23,601| --|165|--| 23| 54
    St. James ward    | 13|  1|   13|--|   56| 14,920| --|150| 9| 27|  9
                      |   |   |     |  |     |       |   |   |  |   |
  MONTREAL-ST. LAURENT|178|  1|1,412|--|2,772| 25,831| 30|754| 6|426|207
    St. Laurent ward  |149| --|1,149|--|2,166|  9,272| 25|202| 6|334|129
    St. Louis ward    | 29|  1|  263|--|  606| 16,559|  5|552|--| 92| 78
                      |   |   |     |  |     |       |   |   |  |   |
  MONTREAL-STE. MARIE | 33| --|  366|--|1,130| 50,082| 46|995|--| 39| 64
    Papineau ward     | 23| --|  238|--|  796| 35,454| 30|644|--| 28| 47
    Ste. Marie ward   | 10| --|  128|--|  334| 14,628| 16|351|--| 11| 17
                      |   |   |     |  |     |       |   |   |  |   |
  HOCHELAGA           |226| --|3,598|--|7,677| 50,745|112|637| 5|375| 41
    Ste. Cunégonde    | 23| --|  230|--|  424|  9,498|  8| 88|--| 52|  3
    St. Gabriel ward  | 68| --|1,206|--|2,104| 11,815| 94| 71|--| 61| 13
    St. Henri ward    | 12| --|  535|--|  723| 26,828|  8|417| 4| 34| 10
    Westmount         |123| --|1,627|--|4,426|  2,604|  2| 61| 1|228| 15
                      |   |   |     |  |     |       |   |   |  |   |
  JACQUES-CARTIER     |127| --|2,441|--|5,073| 46,085| 41|592| 3|173|  17
    Côte St. Paul     | 31| --|  235|--|   30|  2,331| --| 26|--| --|  --
    Notre-Dame des    |   |   |     |  |     |       |   |   |  |   |
        Neiges        |  1| --|    9|--|   22|    822| --| --|--| --|  --
                      |   |   |     |  |     |       |   |   |  |   |
    Présentation de   |   |   |     |  |     |       |   |   |  |   |
        la Ste. Vièrge| --| --|   --|--|    1|    217| --| --|--| --|  --
    Saints-Anges de   |   |   |     |  |     |       |   |   |  |   |
        Lachine       |  5| --|   22|--|  108|    556| --| --|--| --|  --
    Ste. Anne du      |   |   |     |  |     |       |   |   |  |   |
        Bout de l’Ile | --| --|    3|--|   76|    587| --| 40|--| --|  --
    Ste. Geneviève    | --| --|   --|--|   --|  1,063| --| 12|--| --|  --
    St. Joachim de la |   |   |     |  |     |       |   |   |  |   |
        Pointe Claire | --| --|    8|--|   38|    662| --|  2|--| --|  --
    St. Laurent       | --| --|   35|--|  224|  1,670|  8|  6|--| --|   1
    St. Raphaël de    |   |   |     |  |     |       |   |   |  |   |
        l’Ile Bizard  | --| --|   --|--|   --|    585| --| --|--| --|  --
    Summerlea         | --| --|    9|--|   39|     77| --| --|--| --|  --
    Beaconsfield      |  2| --|   36|--|   20|    225|  3| 10|--|  5|  --
    Dorval            |  1| --|   18|--|  179|    585| --|  8|--| --|   1
    Lachine           |  9| --|  373|--|  673|  7,288| --|287|--| 33|   4
    Montréal          |  3| --|  119|--|  272|     74| --| --|--|  9|  --
    Notre-Dame de     |   |   |     |  |     |       |   |   |  |   |
        Grâce         |  3| --|  254|--|  432|  3,344|  1| 16|--| 26|  --
    Outremont         | 11| --|  389|--|  768|  2,425| --| 16| 3| 39|   4
    Pointe Claire     |  3| --|    6|--|   70|    580| --| 15|--|  1|  --
    Ste. Anne de      |   |   |     |  |     |       |   |   |  |   |
    Bellevue          | --| --|   43|--|   73|  1,188| --|  7|--|  4|  --
    St. Laurent       | --| --|    1|--|   19|  1,812| --|  1|--|  3|  --
    Verdun            | 40| --|  723|--|1,530|  6,631| 27| 26|--| 29|   3
    Ville Emard       |  6| --|   86|--|   77|  5,526| --| 37|--| --|   4
    Youville          |  5| --|    1|--|  117|  2,102|  1| --|--| --|  --
    Cartierville      | --| --|    4|--|   20|    838| --| 32|--| --|  --
    Côte des Neiges   |  6| --|   41|--|  122|  1,971|  1| --|--| 17|  --
    Côte St. Luc      | --| --|   --|--|   --|    245| --| 36|--| --|  --
    Ste. Geneviève    | --| --|   --|--|   --|    612| --| --|--| --|  --
    St. Pierre aux    |   |   |     |  |     |       |   |   |  |   |
        Liens         |  1| --|   26|--|  156|  1,720| --| --|--|  1|  --
    Senneville        | --| --|   --|--|    7|    349| --| 15|--|  6|  --
                      |   |   |     |  |     |       |   |   |  |   |
  MAISONNEUVE         |289|  1|3,550|--|7,300|139,708| 53|767| 2|486|  84
    De Lorimier ward  | 10| --|  346|--|  654|  8,289|  6|116| 2| 39|   2
    Duvernay ward     |  1| --|   36|--|   94| 13,003| --| 40|--| 15|   5
    Hochelaga ward    | 40|  1|  268|--|  445| 18,604| --| 35|--| 47|   1
    Laurier ward      |121| --|1,546|--|3,073| 25,447| 20|102|--|179|  31
    Maisonneuve       | 24| --|  288|--|  861| 16,277|  3| 77|--| 61|  10
    Rosemont ward     |  2| --|   52|--|  152|    988| --| --|--| 16|  --
    St. Denis ward    | 63| --|  522|--|1,266| 34,627| 12|227|--| 40|   4
    St. Jean Baptiste |   |   |     |  |     |       |   |   |  |   |
        ward          | 21| --|  335|--|  587| 15,749| 11|104|--| 60|  31
    Ste. Marie ward   |  7| --|  157|--|  168|  6,724|  1| 66|--| 29|  --


[1] The sketch by the Rev. J.A. Gordon written in 1906 has been

                          CHAPTER XXVI




Under the English Rule the system of primary education carried on
by the Sulpicians for boys and Marguerite Bourgeoys’ congregation
for girls was continued as before the session. That for boys
began when the Sulpician Souart, the first schoolmaster of
Montreal, commenced his school teaching about 1669, after he had
finished the first term as superior of the seminary.

The earliest new movement for boys after the English possession
was made as follows:

In 1773 the stables and poultry house of the old Château de
Vaudreuil became a school for little boys for elementary
education, and from this date the château became known as the
Collège de St. Raphael, the successor of the Pétit Seminaire
established in 1767 by M. Curatteau in his presbytery at Longue

In 1776 the Collège de St. Raphael was formerly inaugurated for
the purpose of higher education, but it continued its elementary
classes or petites écoles.

On October 11, 1790, in answer to a request of Lord Dorchester
of the sixth of the same month, a catalogue of the professors of
the College of Montreal for 1790 was sent with some remarks on
the college and on the schools. The latter are as follows: “The
schools which the ecclesiastics of the Seminary of Montreal keep
are nearly as old as the establishment of the town. They teach
only reading and writing in Latin and in French. The Seminary
undertakes all the expense, furnishes the wood and the books,
pays the masters’ board and lodges them. These schools are
divided into ‘grandes’ and ‘petites.’ The petites écoles are for
children who are only beginning to learn to read. The grandes
écoles are for those who commence already to know how to read and
who are learning to write. The parents who are able, pay five
shillings a year for each scholar. The poor pay nothing at all.”

The first English schoolmaster in Montreal would seem to
be a John Pullman, who came from New York in 1773 by the
recommendation of the Rev. Dr. Ogilvie to try to establish a
school in Montreal in consequence of an application to him from
gentlemen of that city. He worked under a committee. This above
information is told in the memorial of 1779, in which he applied
for a license of Protestant schoolmaster similar to the position
that Tanswell then possessed in Quebec. His recommendation
was signed by the leading men of Montreal. But his scholars
dwindling through competition, doubtless, his poverty forced him
to apply, in 1782, for any small employment as a clerk and for
a subscription to a work he had prepared, the short title of
which was “Cash Clerks’ Assistant.” Finlay Fisher opened a school
about 1778 which he said was well attended and flourishing. The
Rev. Mr. John Stuart opened an academy for youth in Montreal in
1781. Mr. Stuart was born in the province of Virginia in 1736 or
1740, was ordained in England, returning in 1770 to Philadelphia,
whence he went as a missionary to the Mohawk valley. On the
outbreak of the American revolution he had been made a prisoner
for his loyalty. He seems to have escaped and made his way to
Montreal. He prepared his advertisement and sent it to Governor
Haldimand, who offered to give him every encouragement and
appropriated to the undertaking part of the bounty allowed
by government, adding “Your advertisement will be published
tomorrow, but I directed the words ‘principally intended for the
children of Protestants’ to be left out as it is a distinction
which could not fail to create jealousies at all times improper
but more particularly so at present.” His Excellency desired that
all classes should be received. Mr. Stuart in complying said that
he had already admitted any persons that offered, Protestants,
Catholics, Jews, etc.

It was difficult to get schoolmasters in the early days. Mr.
Stuart’s assistant was a Mr. Christie. He was incapable of
teaching even the lowest branches of arithmetic and language.
Mr. Stuart on November 27, 1782, reported in all simplicity
to Haldimand: “I could have dispensed with his ignorance of
the English language and faulty accent, but when I found him
unacquainted with the rules of common arithmetic and often
obliged to apply to me (in presence of the pupils) for the
solution of the most simple question, I could no longer doubt
of his inefficiency.” A new assistant was engaged and shortly
afterward Christie left the province. Finlay Fisher in 1783 in
his memorial applied for Christie’s salary, £25 a year, to be
added to his own; he did not receive it, however, till May 1,
1786, when it came due for the first time for the preceding six
months. Mr. Stuart’s last salary at Montreal was for the six
months between November 1, 1785, to April 30, 1786. He then went
to Kingston on which his gaze had been fixed for some time. He
became the first Anglican clergyman there. In 1789 he established
a classical school there, the first school of the kind in Upper

An early report issued in England before 1790 by the “Society for
the Propagation,” speaking of the early struggles, mentions that
“there is not a single Protestant church in the whole province.
* * * There are two schools, to each of which a salary of £100
a year is allotted by the government, the one at Quebec and the
other at Montreal. The schoolmaster’s name at Quebec is Tanswell.
The Rev. Mr. Stuart had the school at Montreal for a short time
(after his flight from Fort Hunter, where he was a missionary)
until, about two years ago, the government thought proper to take
half his salary away and divide it between a Mr. Fisher and Mr.
Christie, both Presbyterians. * * * But besides the division of
the salary there is neither a schoolhouse nor land appropriated
nor trustees appointed, nor any regularities made respecting the
application of the £100 salary. The inhabitants are opulent and
generous and only want a proper person to place and establish
a seminary. In that case the income cannot fail of being
considerable. The prices for tuition have been for Latin, half a
guinea, for English and arithmetic, $2 per month. There is not an
English school in the place.”



In 1790, however, a memorandum was made of the ecclesiastical and
educational aspects of the country which gives us an insight into
the growing life of the English colony in Canada and Montreal,
occasioned, no doubt, by the influx of the United Empire
Loyalists migrating into the country:

                        PROTESTANT CLERGY

                   Episcopal or English Church

  M. de Lisle, Montreal                                       £ 200
  Tunstall                                                      100
  De Montmolten, Quebec                                         200
  Toosey                                                        200
  Veyssiere, Three Rivers                                       200
  Doty, William Henry                                           100
  Stuart, Kingston                                              100
  Bryan, Cornwall                                                50
  Langhorn, near Kingston (missionary from ye society for
    propagating ye gospel with £50 and from government £100)    150

                       Church of Scotland

  Messrs. Henry and Spark, Quebec; Bethune near Oswegatchie      50

                       PROTESTANT SCHOOLS


            Scholars.             Teachers.                Salary.
             25                   Tanswell                  £100
             18                   Fraser
             32                   Keith
             53                   Jones
             11                   Sargeant
             41                   Burrows


             42                   Fisher                    £ 50
             48                   Nelson
             39                   Bowen
             17                   Gunn

                          Three Rivers
             11        Brown
             15        Morris

                          William Henry
             17        Biset

                       Hobson                               £ 25

No returns yet made up of ye Protestant schools in ye counties of
Gaspe, Lunenberg, Mechlenburg, Naysau and Hesse.

       *       *       *       *       *

Although, therefore, the educational outlook was not very
great[1] in 1790, yet already there was foreseen the necessity of
an established system of public education in connection with the
government. For this funds were badly needed.

In pursuing the history of the educational movement in which
Montreal shares, notice must be now taken of the Jesuit estates,
for upon the funds accruing from these, an early movement
started to rear the means of an educational system in Canada.
After the suppression of the Society of Jesus in 1774 in Canada
these estates had been promised to Lord Amherst as a recognition
of his services. This met with consistent opposition, and a
contra-movement arose to secure the estates as a means of rearing
up a public educational system. A petition of November 19, 1787,
was signed at Quebec by 195 inhabitants transmitting a “case” in
which it was claimed that “as Canadians and citizens they had a
right therein by title, and law, the College of Quebec having
been founded for their education. It is their patrimony which
they have cleared and cultivated. Even as subjects they have a
right to public education which exists in every government.” The
“case” insists that the Jesuits were only the rectors, professors
and managers: that the Hundred Associates and others had founded
the colleges for educational purposes. The petitioners demand
that the troops then using the college as a barracks should
be dislodged and pray the government “to restore the antient
professors of the college or to name others and regulate the
recompense due to their talents and attentions.” It is but
just to note that the Jesuits never ceded their claims to the
complete possession of their estates, nor recognized a mere

A similar petition to that of 1787 was addressed by the
inhabitants of Montreal in 1793, and again in 1800, praying that
on reversion of the Jesuit estates the revenue should be diverted
to the education of youth. Three Rivers similarly protested
against the policy of the Amherst grant. At the first legislative
assembly a recommendation was made for the divergence of the
Jesuit funds to popular education. Thus Amherst’s patent was
not signed. The death of Perè Casot, the last surviving Jesuit
of the old régime, occurring in 1801, the governor claimed the
estates for the crown, which hitherto had been administered by
the Society. A majority in the house preferred that they should
be devoted to educational purposes and demanded the titles. But
it was not till 1831 that they were finally ceded, with the
exception of the Jesuit College at Quebec which became converted
into a barracks. Meanwhile the Anglican bishop of the diocese and
other English leaders, especially the merchants, deploring the
lack of educational facilities, agitated for a _general_ school
system, one of the arguments being the usefulness this would have
of encouraging the English language through the province. At
this time three classes of schools were in contemplation: parish
schools (elementary), grammar schools and superior seminaries
or universities, schools on the line of Westminster, Winchester
and Eton. With regard to a university the committee of the
executive council thought it premature to formulate any plan, but
recommended that an appropriation should be made to cover any
plan that might be adopted.

The future of education was reported on in answer to the
following questions: “The establishing of schools and seminaries
for the education of youth from those funds now unemployed
as well in England as in this province and particularly a
respectable college in this city with able professors and
erecting free schools at convenient distances throughout this
extensive province for the purpose of opening and enlarging the
human mind, conciliating the affections of all His Majesty’s
subjects and having a tendency to render this a happy and
flourishing province.” Observation: “There remains for us to
advert to a subject which we consider as the surest and best
means of obtaining a cheerful and dutiful obedience to the
laws and government from subjects in general, and that is by
establishing throughout the province at proper distances public
schools for the education of youth. We hardly know of a single
school in any country part of the district for teaching boys
and it is to the zeal of the few sisters of the congregation
that we are indebted for all the little which is taught to
girls throughout the country. The captains of militia who are
frequently called upon to enforce law and order are so illiterate
that not one in three can write or even read. The consequence is
confusion and disorder and frequent suits and complaints between
them and the militiamen.” They then suggest that for funds the
estates of the Jesuits, which they understood likely to revert to
the crown, could be conveniently applied for the purpose; that
also, owing to the separation of the American states, there might
be some unappropriated funds in England which could be applied
for. The report reverts to the former petition of 1785 for a
house of assembly, suggesting this as the only way to promote the
welfare of the province as a British colony. In 1793, therefore,
a further recommendation was made to the legislative assembly
which presented an address to the governor urging upon the crown
the propriety of devoting the Jesuit estates for educational
purposes. No answer having been given, another on the same
subject was presented to the governor in 1800.

In reply to this the governor, in a speech to the legislature,
intimated the intention of the government “to set apart a portion
of the crown domain instead for the establishment of a competent
number of free schools for the instruction of their children
in the first rudiments of useful learning and in the English
tongue; and also as occasion may require for foundations of a
more enlarged and comprehensive nature.” In 1801, therefore,
an act entitled “an act for the establishment of free schools
and the advancement of learning in the province” was passed by
the provincial legislature to give effect to these promises. It
provided also for “the establishment of a Royal Institution for
the Advancement of Learning.” To this corporation was entrusted
the entire management of all schools and institutions of royal
foundation in the province as well as the administration of all
estates and property appropriated to these schools.

This act remained practically a dead letter, since no grants
were ever made. What rendered the scheme a failure was the
additional reason of its unpopularity with the majority. Of the
eighteen trustees of the Royal Institution, four only were Roman
Catholics; and of the fourteen Protestants, three were prominent
officials in Upper Canada. The teachers, too, were principally
from Britain, unacquainted with the French language and generally
ignorant of the habits of the people.

In 1818 in order to give practical effect to the act of 1801 all
the government schools then receiving government aid were placed
under the Royal Institution. The question of representative
trusteeship was made more simple and more equitable, but the
Protestant Lord Bishop of Quebec was named principal. This again
kept the Catholics from participating, the movement being still
looked upon as Protestant and Anglicizing. So that Lord Dalhousie
wrote from Quebec on the 10th of June, 1821, to Lord Bathurst,
asking that His Majesty would sanction the establishment
of a Catholic institution precisely similar to that of the
Protestants for the government of their schools. “The Catholic
religion in this province,” he said, “is certainly the most sure
defense yet against our neighbours and every fair encouragement
should be given to it in promoting education and learning. One
great objection complained of is the being subjected to the
superintendence of the Royal Institution, of which the Protestant
bishop is president. That objection is natural in a country where
the Catholic religion prevails as to numbers and is guarded by
ministers always watchful and perhaps jealous of the Protestant

The Royal Institution was never popular because of its want of
sympathy with the people whom it wished to benefit. It cannot be
said to have been a success, owing to the peculiar denominational
constitution of its charter and the apathy in its own council.
Still it pointed the way to a general scheme of public education
which afterwards bore fruit. Its greatest success is in the
present day McGill University, whose official title is still the
“Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning.”

Various attempts were made by the legislature to introduce a more
popular system of management in the schools. In 1824, on the
elaborate report of a special committee of the province which
represented that in many parishes not more than five or six of
the inhabitants could write; that generally not above one-fourth
of the entire population could read and that not above one-tenth
of the entire population could write, a counterpoise measure
to the royal institution was passed for the Catholics entitled
the “Fabrique act” by which the Fabriques or corporations of
the parish churches consisting of the curé and church wardens
as school commissioners, could hold and acquire property, etc.,
to found and carry on elementary schools, one for every one
hundred families. One of the great reasons for the failure of
educational legislation down to 1836 was the want of permanency
about it all. Another was the jobbery of politicians in a time
of seething turmoil. Arthur Buller, commissioner, appointed by
Lord Durham in 1838, reports clearly on this. “In short, the
moment that they found that their educational provisions could be
turned to political account, from that moment those provisions
were formed with a view to promote party rather than education.
This was their essential fault. This, it was, that pervaded and
contaminated the whole system and paralyzed all good that was
otherwise in it.” There were about one thousand, six hundred
schools in Canada and these had to be closed.

It is now in place to review the state of education in Montreal
under the Royal Institution. When finally funds were forthcoming
they were supplied by an annual vote of the provincial parliament
of £2,000, but under an authority from Lord Bathurst, dated
January 24, 1817, a grant was made from the revenues of the
Jesuit estate confined to the grammar schools of Quebec and
Montreal. The latter received £200 a year with £52 a year for
the rent of the schoolhouse. By the rules of the foundation
twenty free scholars were to be admitted. At this date there were
fifteen all told who paid for their education as day scholars.
The terms for instruction in the higher education were £10 a year
and £8 for the lower.

There were also two elementary schools at Montreal which received
appropriations from the government, viz., the British and
Canadian schools (£300) and the National free school (£200). With
regard to the schools under the institution a memorandum of Sir
John Kempt states that “by a return made in the year 1818 the
number of schools in this province was stated to be thirty-seven
attended by only 1,048 scholars and maintained at an expense to
the public of £1,883 10 strg.”

In 1829 he also states the number of schools up to July 1st
as seventy-eight and the number of scholars 3,772. Up to this
date Catholics had no connection with the institution. In Lord
Aylmer’s report of 1832 the schools under the royal institution
of which the names are given as well as those of the teachers and
their salaries, number seventy. The schools of Montreal given
among the list of “society or private” institutions receiving
occasional aid from public funds are given thus:

  Place.             Establishment.         Name of Professor
                                            or Teacher.          Salary.

  City of Montreal   Grammar School         A. Skakel             £200
  City of Montreal   National School        W. Greene               65
                                            Miss Meredith           45
  City of Montreal   British and Canadian
                        School              Male Teacher            90
                                            Female Teacher          60
  City of Montreal   St. Jacques School
                        (French)            M. Archambault        28-15
                        (English)           Mr. Ryden             28-15
                        (Female)            I. Lauzon             15-5
                        (Evening)           M. Ducharme           12-10
  City of Montreal   Recollect School       Masters--Two          63
                                            Mistresses--Two       27
  City of Montreal   Infants’ School        Two Teachers          54
  City of Montreal   Experimental School    J. Lancaster          90

There were in addition many private Catholic and Protestant
schools. We may note the origins of some of the most important
public schools. The Royal Grammar school was founded in Montreal
in 1816, with Mr. Alexander Skakel, M.A., who came out from
England as head master. A writer in the Montreal Daily Herald of
Saturday, March 15, 1913, writes:

“This may be said to have been the first ambitious attempt to put
Protestant education in Montreal on a substantial and efficient
footing. Mr. Skakel came out under, as he was wont to say, the
pleasing illusion that the new world would offer him prospects
denied him in the old. He was disillusionized, for the colony was
not only young and raw, but the political and social conditions
of the time were anything but congenial, while the emoluments
were slender, and the life, generally, wholly different to that
to which he had been accustomed. However, Mr. Skakel--whose
portrait hangs in the High School--did not complain, but went
straight on, developing the school which met, first of all, in
the old Belmont Park building, and afterwards in the Fraser
building at the corner of Dorchester Street and Union Avenue.”

Mr. Skakel was succeeded by the Rev. John Leeds and the Rev.
George Simpson. The Royal grammar school was merged with the
high school shortly after the organization of the latter in
1845. The Lancaster School took its name from Messrs. Lancaster
and Bell, who came out from England, having been instrumental
in establishing popular schools there, and they interested
themselves in the formation of the British Canadian school. The
early days of education were those of sacrifice for the teachers,
ill paid, with inadequate teaching facilities, both in materials
and buildings, overwork, and for the treasury which had to depend
on voluntary gifts and collecting cards. Things are better now,
but one wonders whether the teaching profession will ever come to
its own.

The National School was founded in 1816 under the auspices of
the Montreal district committee of the Society for Promoting
Christian Knowledge. In 1839 the number of boys was 36 French and
120 English, and of girls 20 French and 84 English.

The British and Canadian School Society, which was opened in
a building belonging formerly to the Montreal Hospital, was
instituted on the 21st of September, 1822, to maintain on
an extensive scale a school to promote the education of the
labouring classes, and secondly, as a model school to train up
teachers under Mr. Lancaster and a committee of gentlemen for
future schools to follow the British system. It was meant to be
undenominational. Its early success enabled it to build by funds
from voluntary sources and from the provincial government a more
commodious schoolhouse on Lagauchetière Street, the foundation
being laid on the 17th of October, 1826. It was designed to
school 414 boys and 232 girls. In 1826 the number of attendance

                       Boys  Girls
  Roman Catholics       97    38
  Episcopal Church      27     9
  Presbyterian          42    21
  Methodists            30    11
                      ----   ----
                       196    79
      Total, 275.

This school lapsed in 1837, the year of the rebellion, which
proved so fatal to education. There were 1,600 schools in the
province, teaching 40,000 children, and these had to be closed.
The Brothers of the Christian Schools made their entry into
Montreal in 1837. Their important work, of which humble seeds
were now laid, developed greatly under the Union, its story being
therefore left to a later chapter.

A summary of the schools of 1839 is presented by Bosworth
in “Hochelaga Depicta.” Besides the “New College” or “pétit
seminaire,” there were “several respectable academies in the
city, as the Royal Grammar School in Little St. James Street,
conducted by A. Skakel, Esq.; the Rev. Dr. Black’s, adjoining
St. Paul Church; Rev. J. Ramsay’s, Main Street, St. Lawrence
suburbs; Messrs. Howden & Taggart’s, Craig Street; Mr. Workman’s,
in Hospital Street; and Mr. Bruce’s, in McGill Street. There are
also young ladies’ schools of high reputation, as Miss Easton’s,
in Bonaventure Street; Miss Felton’s, in St. Gabriel Street; and
Mrs. Fitzgerald’s, in Notre Dame Street. The total number of
schools it would be impossible to assign. A few years since two
gentlemen of the city made personal inquiry throughout the place
with a view to determining the point. They found fifty-nine of
different classes, but it is probable not only that some were
overlooked, but that the number is greater now than it was then.
There was also much private tuition in the families of the more
wealthy inhabitants.”

The writer probably includes in the fifty-nine or more among
the unnamed schools those of the Catholics, which were under
the auspices of the Sulpicians, the teaching orders of the
Congregational Nuns and the Brothers of the Christian Schools,
and those conducted by lay people. A review of the schools for
Catholics up to the Union may be now presented.

The early movement under the Sulpicians up to 1790 has already
been stated. About 1796, as the city was beginning to expand,
M. Roux, the superior of the seminary, opened a new school for
children in the St. Lawrence district under the control of a
layman. Later he established other schools at Bonsecours, St.
Lawrence, St. Antoine, St. Mary (or the Faubourg de Quebec), and
St. Joseph, all these schools with the exception of the seminary
receiving children of both sexes. M. Quiblier, succeeding M.
Roux, determined to erect separate schools or boys and girls,
the latter to be under the direction of the Congregation Nuns.
These, therefore, opened successively a great number of classes,
three at the Faubourg, St. Lawrence; six at that of Quebec
(St. Mary’s), two of which were for the Irish; three classes at
St. Antoine, and three at St. Joseph, and two classes at the
Recollects for the Irish.

The Seminary provided the schools, their furniture and upkeep,
and undertook to convey the nuns to and fro morning and evening.
About fifteen hundred children were instructed and educated
gratuitously in these schools. In addition the Congregation
maintained in its own motherhouse, the pensionat, composed of
six classes; the “great school,” with its three classes; and the
“small school,” with two.[2] What he had done for the education
of the girls M. Quiblier would do for the boys, and it is due to
him that he succeeded in bringing the Brothers of the Christian
Schools to Montreal in 1837. A tribute paid by the Hon. Jacques
Viger to M. Quiblier and the Sulpicians may be quoted from a
Précis Historique which he composed. “Sur les petites écoles
de la paroisse de Montréal pour les garçons.” “Should the time
come,” he says, “when the Gentlemen of the Seminary might have no
other right to public recognition than that of having constantly
exercised their generous zeal for education undying blessings
should be their desert; and if M. Quiblier had no other title of
glory beyond that of having surpassed his predecessors in that
respect that title would be fine enough. * * * Such are, among
the other good works of the house of St. Sulpice, those which it
has never ceased to lavish on the progress of education in a town
of which it can, with good cause, be called the foundress and the

Mr. Huguet-Latour, in his “Annuaire de Ville Marie,” notes some
of the schools of this period as follows. It is interesting as
showing the part then being played by the laity:

“On May 1, 1813, a school was founded for young girls by Mrs.
Richard O’Keefe.

“About 1819 a school was founded by a Mr. Ryan in the house of
the ‘Recollets.’

“In 1825 a school for boys was established by Mgr. Lartigue, on
October 1st, on the ground floor of his Episcopal residence at
St. James Church, and another for girls, on January 3, 1827,
under the direction of his secretary, afterwards Bishop Bourget,
in a house hired for the purpose. In 1828 the sewing classes
began in this school under the direction of the ‘Association
Bienveillante des Dames de St. Jacques.’ These lasted till 1853.
In 1831 these ladies, while still maintaining the supervision,
hired a mistress to teach the school. On October 1st of the same
year, Mgr. Lartigue opened a school for English boys, in the
basement of the Sacristy of his cathedral.

“In 1830 a third class for boys was added. The first schoolhouse
of St. James (75 by 40 feet, with three stories) was built in
1831 on land given by Mgr. Lartigue in 1831. Thither the various
classes connected with St. James were transferred in 1831 and
1832. This school suffered, with the Cathedral, destruction in
the great fire of July 8, 1852. The school, which commenced in
1825 with sixty children, had reached 400.

“On July 7, 1834, a school was founded at No. 31 Beaudry Street
by Mr. Joseph Bourgoin.”

As a summary of the general outlook on Canadian education in the
Province of Quebec[3] at the time of the rebellion we may use
Lord Durham’s own summing up in his famous report in preparation
for the Union. “The bulk of the population is composed of the
hard-working yeomanry of the country district commonly called
habitants. * * * It is impossible to exaggerate the want of
education among them; no means of instruction have been provided
for them and they are almost universally destitute of the
qualifications even of reading and writing. * * * The common
assertion that all classes of Canadians are equally ignorant is
perfectly erroneous; for I know of no people among whom a larger
provision exists for the higher kinds of elementary education
or among whom such education is really extended to a larger
proportion of the population. The piety and benevolence of the
early possessors of the country founded in the seminaries that
exist in the different parts of the province, institutions of
which the funds have long been directed to the promotion of
education. Seminaries and colleges have been by these bodies
established in the cities and in other central points. The
education given in these establishments greatly resembles the
kind given in the English public schools, though it is more
varied. It is entirely in the hands of the Catholic clergy. The
number of pupils in this establishment was estimated altogether
at 1,000 and they turn out as far as I could ascertain between
two and three hundred young men thus educted.”

Thus at the time of the rebellion of 1837, at least in the towns
such as Montreal, the outlook on education was not so depressing
as it is generally painted.


The long drawn out question of the Jesuits’ estates was settled
in 1888. Its history may now be recapituated. After the
suppresssion of the society in 1773, the government waited until
the death, in 1801, of Father Casot, the last Canadian Jesuit
to claim them. Amherst had been promised them, but the public
sentiment was against this, and they were demanded for the cause
of public education. The Jesuits meanwhile always maintained that
there was an implicit contract on the part of the government to
restore them. Up to 1888 the yearly revenues accruing had become
very great. In 1800 these reached the sum of $7,800; in 1812 that
of more than $9,000; in 1822, $6,000; in 1831, $15,000; in 1840,
$27,000; in 1852, $45,000; during the other years more or less
considerable sums. The total is about $960,000. If there is added
to that the use of the lands of Champ de Mars, the courthouse and
the city hall, and the land of the college at Quebec, it will be
seen that the amount reached nearly two million dollars’ revenue.
The value of the estates themselves resulting from the donations
made by the kings of France and rich individuals was about four
to five millions. Evidently all this could not all be returned.
It became a question of indemnity. In 1874 the Jesuits demanded
such. Father Braun composed a memorial to Rome on the point,
and Father Chazaux, then superior, addressed a request to the
government in the name of the Holy See which had consented to the
demand for the indemnity.

There was delay until May 12, 1887, when the Quebec government
incorporated the Society of Jesus, and on July 12, 1888, passed
the Jesuit estates bill, partially compensating the Society of
Jesus for their loss. On March 3d of the following year the
Commons sustained the act respecting the Jesuit estates by a vote
of 188 to 13. On June 11th the Equal Rights party formed up to
protest. On June 19th the Presbyterian Assembly denounced the act
of incorporation of the Jesuits and the Jesuits estate act, and
the Anglican Synod did the same this month. In July a general
meeting in Queen’s Hall in Montreal also protested.

A petition was at this time presented to the Governor-General,
Lord Stanley, requesting the disallowance of the act of March 3,
1888, and in answer, on August 2d, he replied that the adverse
advice of his ministers, which he deemed sound, bound him to
uphold it.

On November 5, 1889, the Hon. Honoré Mercier, the premier of the
province of Quebec, paid to the Jesuits the sum of $400,000, of
which $60,000 was turned over at once to the Protestant Board of
School Commissioners for the province. The balance did not go
solely to the Jesuits, for Rome decided that of this the claims
for a share made by other Catholic-teaching bodies should be
maintained, so that eventually the Society of Jesus received
barely one-third of the indemnity. It is now clearly recognized
that an elemental act of justice was at last completed.


[1] See Haldimand’s remarks, Chapter X, Part 1.

[2] “Mémoires particuliers pour servir a l’histoire de l’eglise
de L’Amerique du Nord,” Tome 2 (vie de la Sœur Bourgeoys).

[3] The census of 1911 revealed the interesting fact, that in
view of some popular impressions erroneously entertained the
greatest proportion of children attending school for over six
months in the year was noted in Quebec. It was 76.47 per cent.,
and compares with 74.43 per cent. in Ontario, which comes next in
order. In the Maritime Provinces the ratio was under 70 per cent.

                          CHAPTER XXVII






The events of 1837 paralyzed education and the educational
system became disorganized so that no attempt was made to
reconstruct it till the question of union was settled. In 1841
the first parliament of United Canada passed an act embodying
many of Buller’s suggestions, providing for the establishment
and maintenance of public education. An ex-officio chief
superintendent of education was appointed for the united province
with working superintendents for its eastern and western
sections. The executive educational officer, therefore, for lower
Canada, was the Hon. Dr. J.B. Meilleur, an active educationalist
and a former member of the legislature, who had been the
principal author of the projected school act of 1836.

In 1843 the school act of 1841 was repealed as far as Upper
Canada was concerned and in 1845 as far as it applied to Lower
Canada. This was on account of the working experience gained by
the two superintendents. In 1846 the office of the ex-officio
chief superintendent was abolished and each of the eastern and
western executive officers now administered the school law which
was adopted by the act of 1846 to suit the needs of each section
of the United Province. A very important principle--that of local
taxation for the support of education--introduced with success in
Upper Canada--was substituted for that of voluntary contributions
as an experiment. This was repealed in 1849, owing to strong
opposition, and local assessment was rendered permissive, not
compulsory as before, and the system of voluntary contribution

The year 1846 marks the origin of the modern Protestant and
Catholic school commissioners of the city of Montreal appointed
by the provincial parliament (9 Victoria, Cap. 27).

                      THE PROTESTANT BOARD

The Protestant Board at its inception was not incorporated by act
of parliament and had little recognized status. It had no funds
to administer except a small grant from the city council. It had
no school buildings to superintend. The early practice was to
subsidize the existing schools. But the idea of the board grew.
It received doles occasionally from the city council and it made
headway. Its first school was the Ann Street School, established
in a rented building, in 1850. It was afterward named the
“William Lunn” after the first secretary-treasurer of the board,
an ardent educationalist and one of the founders of the British
and Canadian School.

The first meeting of the board of commissioners under the act
of 1846 was held on December 10, 1846. Its commissioners up to
1868-69 were:

Rev. Charles Bancroft, chairman, 1846 to 1848; Rev. Caleb Strong,
1846 to ----; Rev. J.M. Cramp, 1846 to----; Mr. William Lunn,
who acted as secretary-treasurer from 1846 to 1871; Mr. Andrew
Watson, 1846 to----; Mr. John Dougall, 1846 to----; Reverend Dr.
Falloon, chairman, February, 1848, to October, 1848; Reverend
Dr. McGill, chairman, October, 1848 to 1856; Ven. Arch-deacon
Gilson, 1854 to 1856, chairman, 1856 to 1861; Rev. William
Snodgrass, chairman, 1861 to 1865; Mr. Kemp,---- to 1865; Rev.
John Jenkins, D.D., chairman, 1865 to 1868; chairman, February,
1868, to February, 1869; Rev. D.H. MacVicar, D.D., LL. D., 1865
to February, 1869; Hon. James Ferrier, senator, 1865 to February,
1869; Mr. Hector Munro, 1865 to February, 1869.

                       THE CATHOLIC BOARD

The Catholic board, also appointed in 1846, had similar
difficulties. The organization of the schools was small. The work
done was sincere, but woefully limited. The schools were small
and not modern in structure and character. The teachers were few
and sadly handicapped in every way, for at that time the chief
thought was how to struggle along in a material way. The cause
of Catholic education was greatly helped at this period by the
advent of the Christian Brothers in 1837, the Brothers of St.
Joseph in 1841, and the religious bodies of women, including the
Ladies of the Sacred Heart in 1842, the Sisters of Providence in
1844, the Ladies of St. Croix in 1847, and others, such as the
Sisters of the Holy Name of Jesus, the Sisters of Charity, etc.

The Catholic school commissioners from 1846 to 1868 were:

Very Rev. A.F. Truteau, V.G., canon, 1846-1848; Rev. Francis A.U.
de Charbonnel, P.S.S. (late bishop of Toronto), 1846-1848; Albert
Furniss, 1846-1849; P.S. Letourneux, 1846-1849; Pierre Beaubien,
physician, 1846-1849; J.U. Beaubry, advocate (later judge of
supreme court), 1848-1862; Rev. A. Pinxsonnault (late bishop
of London), 1848-1850, 1851-1853; Rev. F.R. Mercier, canon,
1848-1849; Rev. J.H. Prevost, P.S.S., pastor of Notre Dame,
1849-1864; A.M. Delisle, 1849-1852; W.C.F. Coffin, prothonotary,
1849-1851; André Ouimet, advocate, 1849-1851; Rev. E.C. Fabre
(afterwards archbishop of Montreal), 1850-1851, 1861-1865;
G. d’Eschambault, physician, 1851-1856; P. Garnot, professor,
1857-1861; Very Rev. H. Moreau, V.G., canon, 1853-1861; J.F.
Pelletier, advocate, 1853-1854; Louis Giard, physician,
1855-1857, 1858-1860, 1861-1868; C.S. Cherrier, advocate,
1857-1859; Gedeon Ouimet (afterward superintendent of public
instruction), 1859-1861; H. Kavanagh, inspector of customs,
1860-1868; Edward Murphy, merchant (later senator), 1861-1865,
1869-1880; Alfred Larocque, 1862-1865; Rev. A. Giband, P.S.S.,
1864-1866; Rev. P.L. Leblanc, canon, 1865-1876; Louis Belanger,
advocate (later judge supreme court), 1865-1874; P.S. Murphy
(later member of the council of public instruction), 1865-1884;
Rev. V. Rousselot, P.S.S., pastor of Notre Dame, 1866-1886;
E.H. Trudel, physician, 1868-1869; Francis Cassidy, advocate,


From 1846 to 1869 the school commissioners were appointed by the
corporation of Montreal to hold office for two years. Since 1869
three are appointed by the provincial government and three by the
corporation for three years.

In 1856 two bills, regarding higher and elementary education,
became law on the report of Doctor Meilleur. They provided, among
other things, for the distribution, through the superintendent
of education and on his report, of the Lower Canada superior
education fund among the various universities, colleges,
academies, and model schools; for the establishment of three
model schools instead of one; the appointment of a council of
public instruction for Lower Canada; the publication of journals
of education in English and French and the creation, as in Upper
Canada, of a superannuated common school teachers’ fund.

In 1857 the long delayed establishment by government of normal
schools at length took place. On the 2d of March the Jacques
Cartier and the McGill Normal Schools[1] were inaugurated with
fitting ceremonies at Montreal, to be followed in May by the
Laval Normal School at Quebec. The Protestant Normal School at
Montreal was established in the Belmont Street School until the
Macdonald College Normal School was opened. Several private
attempts to provide normal schools had been made, however, before
this date. In 1854 a model school was opened on Bonaventure
Street (St. James), maintained by the Colonial Church and School
Society as one of a group of Protestant schools throughout the
Dominion. This society (formerly the “Church Colonial Society”
and the “Newfoundland School Society”), in connection with the
Church of England, originated in London in 1823; it extended to
Canada in 1838. In January, 1851, the two societies were united
and became the “Colonial Church and School Society.” In May,
1861, it became the “Continental Church and School Society.” In
1863, 105 schools had been established, or at one time aided, by
this society.

The school laws relating to the city of Montreal were amended by
the act of 1868-69, and the present system firmly established
by charters of incorporation being granted to both Protestant
and Catholic boards to the effect that the Roman Catholic and
Protestant boards of school commissioners of the city of Montreal
have always been and now are bodies politic and corporate, and
as such have always enjoyed and now enjoy all the rights and
privileges of corporation under the respective names of “the
Roman Catholic board of school commissioners of the city of
Montreal” and the “Protestant board of school commissioners of
the city of Montreal,” as the case may be. The commissioners
were to have a right to hold real estate to any amount. The
annual revenue to be paid by the government was to be according
to the relative proportion of the Roman Catholic and Protestant
populations in the city. In addition there was to be a special
city school tax collected by the city so that the corporation
should pay for division among both boards, a tax assessable on
real estate payable by the proprietors equal to a stated per
cent on the dollar.[2] The proprietors were placed under four
panels, Roman Catholics, Protestants, neutral school tax from
corporations or incorporated companies, or of those that have not
declared in writing their desires to be inscribed on panels 1 or
2, and owners of real estate exempted from taxation. The neutral
tax to be paid by corporations in proportion to the value of the
property inscribed on panel 3 was to be divided between the Roman
Catholic and Protestant boards according to the relative ratio
of the Roman Catholic and Protestant population in the city, and
the remainder in the relative ratio of the value of the property
inscribed on panels 1 and 2 respectively. Jews[3] were empowered
to inscribe on either of panels 1 or 2. Further source of revenue
might come from additional amounts granted by the corporation of
the city or from monthly school fees according to the nature of
the schools, elementary, normal or academic, and from the issue
of debentures, bonds, etc.

Since the passing of this act the progress in education has been
very great, the number and dignity of the school buildings being

Gradually most of the private schools came under the various

In 1870 the “old” Protestant high school came under the new
board. Its history as the fostering ground of so many prominent
citizens deserves special mention. The school opened September
25, 1843, with sixty-five pupils, in the Bigham building on St.
Denis Street, near Notre Dame Street. It was founded about 1843,
and shortly after its organization the Royal Grammar School was
merged into it. The next home was in the semi-ecclesiastical
buildings on Belmont Street, the cornerstone of this erection
having been laid by Lord Metcalfe Governor-General, on July 11,
1845, after the act of incorporation in the same year.[4] Shortly
before 1857 the high school was transferred to the premises now
used by the Fraser Library and Institute. Its first principal
was the Rev. George Foster Simpson. On his resignation Reverend
Dr. Howe succeeded in 1848, and on his retirement in 1891 he was
followed by the Rev. Dr. Elson S. Rexford, to be succeeded in
1904 by the present principal, Mr. Wellington Dixon.

“This school was in many respects,” said one who remembers it
well, “a worthy example of this type. The masters whom I recall
were the rector, Dr. H. Aspinwall Howe, brisk, alert, competent,
self-possessed, showing many of the qualities of an English
parsonage and of an Irish breeding; Mr. Rodger, stern, just,
a Scotchman of serious type, an aquamarine set in steel, was
highly regarded by his pupils for his unswerving uprightness;
Mr. Gibson, tall, spare, peering, of classical proclivities;
Mr. (later Doctor) Murray, a short, rotund Englishman, whose
strong point was not discipline and whose pupils in their noisy
acclamation wore with their heels a long, deep trench in