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Title: A history of Canada 1763-1812
Author: Lucas, Charles Prestwood, Sir
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A history of Canada 1763-1812" ***

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1763-1812 ***


  Footnotes have been placed at the end of their respective chapters.


  SIR C. P. LUCAS, K.C.M.G., C.B.



           HENRY FROWDE, M.A.


My warm thanks are due to Mr. C. T. Atkinson, M.A., of Exeter
College, Oxford, who most kindly read through the proofs of the
chapter on the War of American Independence and made some valuable
corrections; and also to Mr. C. Atchley, I.S.O., Librarian of the
Colonial Office, who has given me constant help. Two recent and
most valuable books have greatly facilitated the study of Canadian
history since 1763, viz., _Documents relating to the Constitutional
History of Canada, 1759-91_, selected and edited with notes
by Messrs. Shortt and Doughty, and _Canadian Constitutional
Development_, by Messrs. Egerton and Grant. I want to express my
grateful acknowledgements of the help which these books have given
to me.

  C. P. LUCAS.

  _December, 1908._


  CHAPTER I                                                     PAGE

  THE PROCLAMATION OF 1763, AND PONTIAC’S WAR                      1


      ACT                                                         30


  THE WAR OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE                                90




  LORD DORCHESTER AND THE CANADA ACT OF 1791                     236


  SIR JAMES CRAIG                                                298


  TREATY OF PARIS, 1783                                          321


  THE BOUNDARY LINE OF CANADA                                    327


   1. MAP TO ILLUSTRATE THE PROCLAMATION OF 1763    _To face_ p.   1

   2. CANADA UNDER THE QUEBEC ACT                       ”         81

  *3. PLAN OF THE CITY AND ENVIRONS OF QUEBEC           ”        112

   4. MAP TO ILLUSTRATE THE BORDER WARS                 ”        145

        CAMPAIGN OF 1777                                ”        161

        ACT OF 1791                                     ”        257

   7. MAP TO ILLUSTRATE THE BOUNDARY OF CANADA          ”        321

        STATES                                        _End of book._

   *Reproductions of contemporary maps.


  _to face page 1_

  by the
  Proclamation of =1763=

  From a map of 1776, in the Colonial Office Library

  B. V. Barbishire, Oxford, 1908




[Sidenote: The Peace of Paris.]

On the 10th of February, 1763, the Peace of Paris was signed
between Great Britain, France, and Spain. Under its provisions
all North America, east of the Mississippi, which had been owned
or claimed by France, was, with the exception of the city of New
Orleans, transferred to Great Britain, the navigation of the
Mississippi being thrown open to the subjects of both Powers. The
English also received Florida from Spain, in return for Havana
given back to its old owners. Under a treaty secretly concluded in
November, 1762, when the preliminaries of the general treaty were
signed, Spain took over from France New Orleans and Louisiana west
of the Mississippi, the actual transfer being completed in 1769.
Thus France lost all hold on the North American continent, while
retaining various West Indian islands, and fishing rights on part
of the Newfoundland coast, which were supplemented by possession of
the two adjacent islets of St. Pierre and Miquelon.

[Sidenote: The Proclamation of 1763.]

In the autumn of the year 1763, on the 7th of October, King George
III issued a proclamation constituting ‘within the countries
and islands, ceded and confirmed to us by the said treaty, four
distinct and separate governments, styled and called by the names
of Quebec, East Florida, West Florida, and Grenada’. Of these
four governments, the first alone requires special notice. The
government of Grenada was in the West Indies, and the governments
of East and West Florida, excluding a debatable strip of territory
which was annexed to the State of Georgia, were co-extensive with
the new province which had been acquired from Spain.

[Sidenote: Boundaries of the government of Quebec.]

The limits assigned by the proclamation to the government of Quebec
were as follows: north of the St. Lawrence, the new province was
‘bounded on the Labrador coast by the river St. John, and from
thence by a line drawn from the head of that river, through the
Lake St. John, to the south end of the Lake Nipissim’. The river
St. John flows into the St. Lawrence over against the western
end of the island of Anticosti; Lake St. John is the lake out of
which the Saguenay takes its course; Lake Nipissim or Nipissing is
connected by French river with Georgian Bay and Lake Huron. The
line in question, therefore, was drawn due south-west from Lake
St. John parallel to the St. Lawrence.[1] From the southern end of
Lake Nipissim the line, according to the terms of the proclamation,
crossed the St. Lawrence and Lake Champlain in 45 degrees of north
latitude. In other words, it was drawn due south-east, to the
west of and parallel to the Ottawa river, until it struck the St.
Lawrence, where the 45th parallel of north latitude meets that
river at the foot of the Long Sault Rapids. It then followed the
45th parallel eastward across the outlet of Lake Champlain, and
subsequently, diverging to the north-east, was carried ‘along
the highlands which divide the rivers that empty themselves into
the said river St. Lawrence from those which fall into the sea’.
Further east it skirted ‘the north coast of the Baye des Chaleurs
and the coast of the Gulf of St. Lawrence to Cape Rosieres’, which
last named cape is at the extreme end of the Gaspé peninsula. The
line then again crossed the St. Lawrence by the western end of the
island of Anticosti, and joined the river St. John.

Thus, south of the St. Lawrence, the boundary of the province
of Quebec was, roughly speaking, much the same as it is at the
present day. Its westernmost limit was also not far different, the
Ottawa river being in the main the existing boundary between the
provinces of Ontario and Quebec. On the north and north-east, on
the other hand, the government of Quebec in 1763 covered a smaller
area than is now the case. ‘To the end that the open and free
fishery of our subjects may be extended to and carried on upon the
coast of Labrador and the adjacent islands,’ ran the terms of the
proclamation, ‘we have thought fit, with the advice of our said
Privy Council, to put all that coast from the river St. John’s
to Hudson’s Straits, together with the islands of Anticosti and
Madelaine, and all other smaller islands lying upon the said coast,
under the care and inspection of our Governor of Newfoundland.’ To
the government of Nova Scotia were annexed the conquered islands of
St. Jean or St. John’s, now Prince Edward Island, and Isle Royale
or Cape Breton, ‘with the lesser islands adjacent thereto.’

[Sidenote: Encouragement of military and naval settlers.]

[Sidenote: Provision for a legislature and for the administration
of justice.]

It was greatly desired to encourage British settlement in North
America, and special regard was had in this respect to the
soldiers and sailors who in North American lands and waters had
deserved so well of their country. Accordingly the proclamation
contained a special provision for grants of land, within the
old and the new colonies alike, to retired officers of the army
who had served in North America during the late war; to private
soldiers who had been disbanded in and were actually living in
North America; and to retired officers of the navy who had served
in North America ‘at the times of the reduction of Louisbourg and
Quebec’. It was thought also by the Lords of Trade that confidence
and encouragement would be given to intending settlers, if at the
outset they were publicly notified of the form of government under
which they would live. Hence the proclamation provided, as regards
the new colonies, ‘that so soon as the state and circumstances of
the said colonies will admit thereof,’ the governors ‘shall, with
the advice and consent of the members of our Council, summon and
call General Assemblies within the said governments respectively,
in such manner and form as is used and directed in those colonies
and provinces in America which are under our immediate government’.
The governors, councils, and representatives of the people, when
duly constituted, were empowered to make laws for the public
peace, welfare, and good government of the colonies, provided that
such laws should be ‘as near as may be agreeable to the laws of
England, and under such regulations and restrictions as are used
in other colonies.’ Pending the constitution of the legislatures,
the inhabitants and settlers were to enjoy the benefit of the laws
of England, and the governors were empowered, with the advice of
their councils, to establish courts of justice, to hear and decide
civil and criminal cases alike, in accordance as far as possible
with the laws of England, a right of appeal being given in civil
cases to the Privy Council in England. It was not stated in the
proclamation, but it was embodied in the governors’ instructions,
that until General Assemblies could be constituted, the governors,
with the advice of their councils, were to make rules and
regulations for peace, order, and good government, all matters
being reserved ‘that shall any ways tend to affect the life, limb,
or liberty of the subject, or to the imposing any duties or taxes’.

[Sidenote: The Western territories.]

In June, 1762, James Murray, then military governor of the district
of Quebec, and subsequently the first civil governor of the
province, wrote that it was impossible to ascertain exactly what
part of North America the French styled Canada. In the previous
March General Gage, then military governor of Montreal, had written
that he could not discover ‘that the limits betwixt Louisiana and
Canada were distinctly described, so as to be publicly known’,
but that from the trade which Canadians had carried on under the
authority of their governors, he judged ‘not only the lakes, which
are indisputable, but the whole course of the Mississippi from its
heads to its junction with the Illinois, to have been comprehended
by the French in the government of Canada’. In June, 1763, the
Lords of Trade, when in obedience to the Royal commands they were
considering the terms and the scope of the coming proclamation,
reported that ‘Canada, as possessed and claimed by the French,
consisted of an immense tract of country including as well the
whole lands to the westward indefinitely which was the subject of
their Indian trade, as all that country from the southern bank of
the river St. Lawrence, where they carried on their encroachments’.

After the Peace of Paris had been signed, the King, through Lord
Egremont, who had succeeded Chatham as Secretary of State for
the southern department, referred the whole subject of his new
colonial possessions to the Lords of Trade. In doing so he called
special attention to the necessity of keeping peace among the North
American Indians--a subject which was shortly to be illustrated by
Pontiac’s war--and to this end he laid stress upon the desirability
of protecting their persons, their property, and their privileges,
and ‘most cautiously guarding against any invasion or occupation
of their hunting lands, the possession of which is to be acquired
by fair purchase only’. The Lords of Trade recommended adoption
of ‘the general proposition of leaving a large tract of country
round the Great Lakes as an Indian country, open to trade, but
not to grants and settlements; the limits of such territory will
be sufficiently ascertained by the bounds to be given to the
governors of Canada and Florida on the north and south, and the
Mississippi on the west; and by the strict directions to be given
to Your Majesty’s several governors of your ancient colonies for
preventing their making any new grants of lands beyond certain
fixed limits to be laid down in the instructions for that purpose’.
Egremont answered that the King demurred to leaving so large a
tract of land without a civil jurisdiction and open, as being
derelict, to possible foreign intrusion; and that, in His opinion,
the commission of the Governor of Canada should include ‘all the
lakes, viz. Ontario, Erie, Huron, Michigan, and Superior’, and ‘all
the country as far north and west as the limits of the Hudson’s
Bay Company and the Mississippi’. At the same time He cordially
concurred in not permitting grants of lands or settlements in these
regions, which should be ‘for the present left unsettled, for the
Indian tribes to hunt in, but open to a free trade for all the
colonies’. The Lords of Trade were not convinced. They deprecated
annexing this western territory to any colony, and particularly to
Canada, on three grounds: The first was that annexation to Canada
might imply that the British title to these lands was the result
of the late treaty and of the cession of Canada, whereas it rested
on antecedent rights, and it was important not to let the Indians
form a wrong impression on this head by being brought under the
government of the old French province. The second ground was that,
if the Indian territory was annexed to one particular province and
subjected to its laws, that province would have an undue advantage
over the other provinces or colonies in respect to the Indian
trade, which it was the intention of the Crown to leave open as
far as possible to all British subjects. The third objection to
annexing the territory to Canada was that the laws of the province
could not be enforced except by means of garrisons established at
different posts throughout the area, which would necessitate either
that the Governor of Canada should always be commander-in-chief
of the forces in North America, or that there should be constant
friction between the civil governor and the military commanders.
This reasoning prevailed, and the lands which it was contemplated
to reserve for the use of the Indians were not annexed to any
particular colony or assigned to any one colonial government.

[Sidenote: Provisions for the protection of the Indians.]

With this great area, covering the present province of Ontario
and the north central states of the American Republic, the
Royal proclamation dealt as follows: ‘Whereas it is just and
reasonable, and essential to our interest, and the security of
our colonies, that the several nations or tribes of Indians, with
whom we are connected, and who live under our protection, should
not be molested or disturbed in the possession of such parts of
our dominions and territories as, not having been ceded to or
purchased by us, are reserved to them, or any of them, as their
hunting grounds ... we do further declare it to be our Royal will
and pleasure, for the present as aforesaid, to reserve under our
sovereignty, protection, and dominion, for the use of the said
Indians, all the lands and territories not included within the
limits of our said three new governments, or within the limits of
the territory granted to the Hudson’s Bay Company, as also all
the lands and territories lying to the westward of the sources of
the rivers which fall into the sea from the west and north-west
as aforesaid; and we do hereby strictly forbid, on pain of our
displeasure, all our loving subjects from making any purchases or
settlements whatever, or taking possession of any of the lands
above reserved, without our especial leave and licence for that
purpose first obtained.’

Thus North America, outside the recognized limits of the old or
new colonies, was for the time being constituted a great native
reserve; and even within the limits of the colonies it was provided
‘that no private person do presume to make any purchase from the
said Indians of any lands reserved to the said Indians within
those parts of our colonies where we have thought proper to allow
settlement: but that, if at any time any of the said Indians
should be inclined to dispose of the said lands, the same shall
be purchased only for us, in our name, at some public meeting or
assembly of the said Indians, to be held for that purpose by the
governor or commander-in-chief of our colony respectively within
which they shall lie’. Trade with the Indians was to be free and
open to all British subjects, but the traders were to take out
licences, and, while no fees were to be charged for such licences,
the traders were to give security that they would observe any
regulations laid down for the benefit of the trade.[2]

[Sidenote: Difficulties of the situation.]

It is impossible to study the correspondence which preceded the
Proclamation of 1763, without recognizing that those who framed
it were anxious to frame a just and liberal policy, but its terms
bear witness to the almost insuperable difficulties which attend
the acquisition of a great borderland of colonization, difficulties
which in a few years’ time were largely responsible for the
American War of Independence. How to administer a new domain with
equity and sound judgement; how to give to new subjects, acquired
by conquest, the privileges enjoyed by the old colonies; how to
reconcile the claims of the old colonies, whose inland borders had
never been demarcated, with the undoubted rights of native races;
how to promote trade and settlement without depriving the Indians
of their heritage;--such were the problems which the British
Government was called upon to face and if possible to solve. The
proclamation was in a few years’ time followed up by the Quebec
Act of 1774, in connexion with which more will be said as to these
thorny questions. In the meantime, even before the proclamation had
been issued, the English had on their hands what was perhaps the
most dangerous and widespread native rising which ever threatened
their race in the New World.

[Sidenote: French policy in North America.]

The great French scheme for a North American dominion depended upon
securing control of the waterways and control of the natives. Even
before the dawn of the eighteenth century, Count Frontenac among
governors, La Salle among pioneers, saw clearly the importance
of gaining the West and the ways to the West; and they realized
that, in order to attain that object, the narrows on the inland
waters, and the portages from one lake or river to another, must
be commanded; that the Indians who were hostile to France must be
subdued, and that the larger number of red men, who liked French
ways and French leadership, must be given permanent evidence of the
value of French protection and the strength of French statesmanship.

[Sidenote: The French posts in the West.]

Along the line of lakes and rivers in course of years French
forts were placed. Fort Frontenac, first founded in 1673 by the
great French governor whose name it bore, guarded, on the site
of the present city of Kingston, the outlet of the St. Lawrence
from Lake Ontario. Fort Niagara, begun by La Salle in the winter
of 1678-9, on the eastern bank of the Niagara river, near its
entrance into Lake Ontario, covered the portage from that lake
to Lake Erie. Fort Detroit, dating from the first years of the
eighteenth century, stood by the river which carries the waters of
Lake Huron and Lake St. Clair into Lake Erie. Its founder was La
Mothe Cadillac. The post at Michillimackinac was at the entrance of
Lake Michigan. From Lake Erie to the Ohio were two lines of forts.
The main line began with Presque Isle on the southern shore of the
lake, and ended with Fort Duquesne, afterwards renamed Pittsburg,
the intermediate posts being Fort Le Bœuf at the head of French
Creek, and Venango where that stream joins the Alleghany. Further
west, past the intermediate fort of Sandusky, which stood on the
southern shore of Lake Erie, there was a second series of outposts,
of which we hear little in the course of the Seven Years’ War. The
Maumee river flows into the south-western end of Lake Erie, and on
it, at a point where there was a portage to the Wabash river, was
constructed Fort Miami, on or near the site of the later American
Fort Wayne. On the Wabash, which joins the Ohio not very far above
the confluence of the latter river with the Mississippi, were
two French posts, Fort Ouatanon and, lower down its course, Fort
Vincennes. On the central Mississippi the chief nucleus of French
trade and influence was Fort Chartres. It stood on the eastern
bank of the river, eighty to ninety miles above the confluence
of the Ohio, and but a few miles north of the point where the
Kaskaskia river flows into the Mississippi. On the Kaskaskia, among
the Illinois Indians, there was a French outpost, and settlement
fringed the eastern side of the Mississippi northwards to Fort
Chartres. Above that fort there was a road running north on the
same side to Cahokia, a little below and on the opposite side
to the confluence of the Missouri; and in 1763 a French settler
crossed the Mississippi, and opened a store on the site of the
present city of St. Louis. The posts on the Mississippi were, both
for trading and for political purposes, connected with Louisiana
rather than with Canada; and, though the Peace of Paris had ceded
to Great Britain the soil on which they stood, the French had not
been disturbed by any assertion of British sovereignty prior to the
war which is associated with the name of the Indian chief Pontiac.

[Sidenote: The rising of Pontiac.]

[Sidenote: Its special characteristics.]

The rising which Pontiac headed came too late for the Indians to be
permanently successful. In any case it could have had, eventually,
but one ending, the overthrow of the red men: but, while it lasted,
it seriously delayed the consolidation of English authority over
the West. After most wars of conquest there supervene minor wars
or rebellions, waves of the receding tide when high-water is past,
disturbances due to local mismanagement and local discontent; but
the Indian war, which began in 1763, had special characteristics.
In the first place, the rising was entirely a native revolt. No
doubt it was fomented by malcontent French traders and settlers,
disseminating tales of English iniquities and raising hopes of a
French revival; but very few Frenchmen were to be found in the
fighting line; the warriors were red men, not white. In the second
place it was a rising of the Western Indians, of the tribes who
had not known in any measure the strength of the English, and who
had known, more as friends than as subjects, the guidance and the
spirit of the French. Of the Six Nations, the Senecas alone, the
westernmost members of the Iroquois Confederacy, joined in the
struggle, and the centre of disturbance was further west. In the
third place the rising was more carefully planned, the conception
was more statesmanlike, the action was more organized, than has
usually been the case among savage races. There was unity of plan
and harmony in action, which betokened leadership of no ordinary
kind. The leader was the Ottawa chief Pontiac.

[Sidenote: Indian suspicions of the English.]

‘When the Indian nations saw the French power, as it were,
annihilated in North America, they began to imagine that they ought
to have made greater and earlier efforts in their favour. The
Indians had not been for a long time so jealous of them as they
were of us. The French seemed more intent on trade than settlement.
Finding themselves infinitely weaker than the English, they
supplied, as well as they could, the place of strength by policy,
and paid a much more flattering and systematic attention to the
Indians than we had ever done. Our superiority in this war rendered
our regard to this people still less, which had always been too
little.’[3] The Indians were frightened too, says the same writer,
by the English possession of the chains of forts: ‘they beheld
in every little garrison the germ of a future colony.’ Ripe for
revolt, and never yet subdued, as their countrymen further east had
been, they found a strong man of their own race to lead them, and
tried conclusions with the dominant white race in North America.

[Sidenote: Rogers’ mission to Detroit.]

In the autumn of 1760, after the capitulation of Montreal, General
Amherst sent Major Robert Rogers, the New Hampshire Ranger, to
receive the submission of the French forts on the further lakes. On
the 13th of September Rogers embarked at Montreal with two hundred
of his men: he made his way up the St. Lawrence, and coasted the
northern shore of Lake Ontario, noting, as he went, that Toronto,
where the French had held Fort Rouillé, was ‘a most convenient
place for a factory, and that from thence we may very easily settle
the north side of Lake Erie’.[4] He crossed the upper end of Lake
Ontario to Fort Niagara, already in British possession; and, having
taken up supplies, carried his whale boats round the falls and
launched them on Lake Erie. Along the southern side of that lake
he went forward to Presque Isle, where Bouquet was in command of
the English garrison; and, leaving his men, he went himself down by
Fort le Bœuf, the French Creek river, and Venango to Fort Pitt,
or Pittsburg, as Fort Duquesne had been renamed by John Forbes in
honour of Chatham. His instructions were to carry dispatches to
General Monckton at Pittsburg, and to take orders from him for a
further advance. Returning to Presque Isle at the end of October,
he went westward along Lake Erie, making for Detroit. No English
force had yet been in evidence so far to the West. On the 7th of
November he encamped on the southern shore of Lake Erie, at a point
near the site of the present city of Cleveland, and there he was
met by a party of Ottawa Indians ‘just arrived from Detroit’.[5]

[Sidenote: His meeting with Pontiac.]

[Sidenote: Surrender of Detroit to the English.]

They came, as Rogers tells us in another book,[6] on an embassy
from Pontiac, and were immediately followed by that chief
himself. Pontiac’s personality seems to have impressed the white
backwoodsman, though he had seen and known all sorts and conditions
of North American Indians. ‘I had several conferences with him,’
he writes, ‘in which he discovered great strength of judgement and
a thirst after knowledge.’ Pontiac took up the position of being
‘King and Lord of the country’, and challenged Rogers and his men
as intruders into his land; but he intimated that he would be
prepared to live peaceably with the English, as a subordinate not
a conquered potentate; and the result of the meeting was that the
Rangers were supplied with fresh provisions and were escorted in
safety on their way, instead of being obstructed and attacked, as
had been contemplated, at the entrance of the Detroit river. On the
12th of November Rogers set out again; on the 19th he sent on an
officer in advance with a letter to Belêtre, the French commander
at Detroit, informing him of the capitulation of Montreal and
calling upon him to deliver up the fort. On the 29th of November
the English force landed half a mile below the fort, and on the
same day the French garrison laid down their arms. Seven hundred
Indians were present; and, when they saw the French colours hauled
down and the English flag take their place, unstable as water and
ever siding at the moment with the stronger party, they shouted
that ‘they would always for the future fight for a nation thus
favoured by Him that made the world’.[7]

[Sidenote: Detroit.]

There were at the time, Rogers tells us,[8] about 2,500
French Canadians settled in the neighbourhood of Detroit. The
dwelling-houses, near 300 in number, extended on both sides of the
river for about eight miles. The land was good for grazing and for
agriculture, and there was a ‘very large and lucrative’ trade with
the Indians.

[Sidenote: Return of Rogers.]

[Sidenote: Michillimackinac occupied by the English.]

Having sent the French garrison down to Philadelphia, and
established an English garrison in its place, Rogers sent a small
party to take over Fort Miami on the Maumee river, and set out
himself with another detachment for Michillimackinac. But it was
now the middle of December; floating ice made navigation of Lake
Huron dangerous; after a vain attempt to reach Michillimackinac he
returned to Detroit on the 21st of December; and, marching overland
to the Ohio and to Philadelphia, he finally reached New York on the
14th of February, 1761. In the autumn of that year a detachment of
Royal Americans took possession of Michillimackinac.

[Sidenote: Indian discontent.]

Throughout 1761 and 1762 the discontent of the Indians increased;
they saw the English officers and soldiers in their midst in
strength and pride; they listened to the tales of the French
voyageurs; they remembered French friendship and address, and
contrasted it with the grasping rudeness of the English trader or
colonist; a native prophet rose up to call the red men back to
savagery, as the one road to salvation; and influenced at once by
superstition and by the present fear of losing their lands, the
tribes of the West made ready to fight.

[Sidenote: The fort at Detroit.]

[Sidenote: Major Gladwin.]

For months the call to war had secretly been passing from tribe
to tribe, and from village to village; and on the 27th of April,
1763, Pontiac held a council of Indians at the little river Ecorces
some miles to the south of Detroit, at which it was determined
to attack the fort. Fort Detroit stood on the western side of
the Detroit river, which runs from Lake St. Clair to Lake Erie,
at about five miles distance from the former lake and a little
over twenty miles from Lake Erie. The river is at its narrowest
point more than half a mile wide, and, as already stated, Canadian
settlement fringed both banks. The fort, which stood a little
back from the bank of the river, consisted of a square enclosure
surrounded by a wooden palisade, with bastions and block-houses
also of wood, and within the palisade was a small town with
barracks, council house, and church. The garrison consisted of
about 120 soldiers belonging to the 39th Regiment; and, in addition
to the ordinary Canadian residents within the town, there were some
40 fur-traders present at the time, most of whom were French. The
commander was a determined man, Major Gladwin, who, under Braddock
on the Monongahela river, had seen the worst of Indian fighting.
Before April ended Gladwin reported to Amherst that there was
danger of an Indian outbreak; and, when the crisis came, warned
either by Indians or by Canadians, he was prepared for it. For
some, at any rate, of the Canadians at Detroit, though they had no
love for the English, and though Pontiac was moving in the name of
the French king, were men of substance and had something to lose.
They were therefore not inclined to side with the red men against
the white, or to lend themselves to extermination of the English

[Sidenote: Pontiac’s attempt to surprise the garrison.]

[Sidenote: The fort openly attacked.]

On the 1st of May Pontiac and forty of his men came into the
fort on an outwardly friendly visit, and took stock of the ways
of attack and the means of defence. Then a few days passed in
preparing for the blow. A party of 60 warriors were once more to
gain admittance, hiding under their blankets guns whose barrels
had been filed down for the purpose of concealment: they were to
hold a council with the English officers, and at a given signal
to shoot them down. The 7th of May was the day fixed for the deed,
but Gladwin was forewarned and forearmed. The Indian chiefs were
admitted to the fort, and attended the council; but they found
the garrison under arms, and their plot discovered. Both sides
dissembled, and the Indians were allowed to leave, disconcerted,
but saved for further mischief. On the 9th of May they again
applied to be admitted to the fort, but this time were refused,
and open warfare began. Two or three English, who were outside
the palisade at the time, were murdered, and on the 10th, for six
hours, the savages attacked the fort with no success.

[Sidenote: Siege of Detroit.]

There was little danger that Detroit would be taken by assault,
but there was danger of the garrison being starved out. Gladwin,
therefore, tried negotiation with Pontiac, and using French
Canadians as intermediaries, sent two English officers with them to
the Indian camp. The two Englishmen, one of them Captain Campbell,
an old officer of high character and repute, were kept as captives,
and Campbell was subsequently murdered. The surrender of the fort
was then demanded by Pontiac, a demand which was at once refused;
and against the wishes of his officers Gladwin determined to
hold the post at all costs. Supplies were brought in by night by
friendly Canadians, and all immediate danger of starvation passed

[Sidenote: British convoy cut off.]

Amherst, the commander-in-chief, far away at New York, had not
yet learnt of the peril of Detroit or of the nature and extent
of the Indian rising, but in the ordinary course in the month
of May supplies were being sent up for the western garrisons.
The convoy intended for Detroit left Niagara on the 13th of that
month, in charge of Lieutenant Cuyler with 96 men. Coasting along
the northern shore of Lake Erie, Cuyler, towards the end of the
month, reached a point near the outlet of the Detroit river,
and there drew up his boats on the shore. Before an encampment
could be formed the Indians broke in upon the English, who fled
panic-stricken to the boats; only two boats escaped, and between
50 and 60 men out of the total number of 96 were killed or taken.
The survivors, Cuyler himself among them, made their way across
the lake to Fort Sandusky, only to find that it had been burnt to
the ground, thence to Presque Isle, which was shortly to share the
fate of Sandusky, and eventually to Niagara. The prisoners were
carried off by their Indian captors, up the Detroit river; two
escaped to the fort to tell the tale of disaster, but the majority
were butchered with all the nameless tortures which North American
savages could devise.

[Sidenote: Destruction of the Western outposts by the Indians.]

[Sidenote: They take Michillimackinac.]

While Detroit was being besieged, at other points in the West
one disaster followed another. Isolated from each other, weakly
garrisoned, commanded, in some instances, by officers of
insufficient experience or wanting in determination, the forts
fell fast. On the 16th of May Sandusky was blotted out; on the
25th Fort St. Joseph, at the south-eastern end of Lake Michigan,
was taken; and on the 27th Fort Miami, on the Maumee river. Fort
Ouatanon on the Wabash was taken on the 1st of June; and on the
4th of that month the Ojibwa Indians overpowered the garrison
of Michillimackinac, second in importance to Detroit. Captain
Etherington, the commander at Michillimackinac, knew nothing of
what was passing elsewhere, though he had been warned of coming
danger, and he lost the fort through an Indian stratagem. The
English were invited outside the palisades to see an Indian game of
ball; and, while the onlookers were off their guard, and the gates
of the fort stood open, the players turned into warriors; some of
the garrison and of the English traders were murdered, and the rest
were made prisoners. The massacre, however, was not wholesale.
Native jealousy gave protectors to the English survivors in a
tribe of Ottawas who dwelt near: a French Jesuit priest used every
effort to save their lives; and eventually the survivors, among
whom was Etherington, were, with the garrison of a neighbouring and
subordinate post at Green Bay, sent down in safety to Montreal by
the route of the Ottawa river.

[Sidenote: Fort Pitt isolated.]

Next came the turn of the forts which connected Lake Erie with
the Ohio. On the 15th of June Presque Isle was attacked; on the
17th it surrendered. It was a strong fort, and in the opinion of
Bouquet--a competent judge--its commander, Ensign Christie, showed
little stubbornness in defence. Fort le Bœuf fell on the 18th,
Venango about the same date, and communication between the lakes
and Fort Pitt was thus cut off. Fort Pitt itself was threatened by
the Indians, and towards the end of July openly attacked, while
on Forbes’ and Bouquet’s old route from that fort to Bedford in
Pennsylvania, Fort Ligonier was also at an earlier date assailed,
though fortunately without success.

[Sidenote: Dalyell sent to the relief of Detroit.]

[Sidenote: The fight at Parents Creek.]

[Sidenote: Death of Dalyell.]

Amherst now realized the gravity of the crisis, and his first care
was the relief of Detroit. A force of 280 men, commanded by Captain
Dalyell, one of his aides de camp, and including Robert Rogers
with 20 Rangers, was sent up from Niagara, ascended on the 29th of
July the Detroit river by night, and reached the fort in safety.
Long experience in North American warfare had taught the lesson
which Wolfe always preached, that the English should, whenever and
wherever it was possible, take the offensive. Accordingly Dalyell
urged Gladwin, against the latter’s better judgement, to allow him
to attack Pontiac at once; and before daybreak, on the morning
of the 31st, he led out about 250 men for the purpose. Less than
two miles north-east of the fort, a little stream, then known as
Parents Creek and after the fight as Bloody Run, ran into the
main river; and beyond it was Pontiac’s encampment, which Dalyell
proposed to surprise. Unfortunately the Indians were fully informed
of the intended movement, and there ensued one more of the many
disasters which marked the onward path of the white men in North
America. The night was dark: the English advance took them among
enclosures and farm buildings, which gave the Indians cover. As
the leading soldiers were crossing the creek they were attacked
by invisible foes; and, when compelled to retreat, the force was
beset on all sides and ran the risk of being cut off from the
fort. Dalyell[9] was shot dead; and, before the fort was reached,
the English had lost one-fourth of their whole number in killed
and wounded. The survivors owed their safety to the steadiness of
the officers, to the fact that Rogers and his men seized and held
a farmhouse to cover the retreat, and to the co-operation of two
armed boats, which moved up and down the river parallel to the
advance and retreat, bringing off the dead and wounded, and pouring
a fire from the flank among the Indians.

Pontiac had achieved a notable success, but Detroit remained safe,
and meanwhile in another quarter the tide set against the Indian

[Sidenote: Fort Pitt.]

After General Forbes, in the late autumn of 1758, had taken Fort
Duquesne, a new English fort, Fort Pitt, was in the following year
built by General Stanwix upon the site of the French stronghold.
The place was, as it had always been, the key of the Ohio valley,
and on the maintenance of the fort depended at once the safety of
the borderlands of Virginia and Pennsylvania, and the possibility
of extending trade among the Indian tribes of the Ohio. In July,
1763, Fort Pitt was in a critical position. The posts which
connected it with Lake Erie had been destroyed: the road which
Forbes had cut through Pennsylvania on his memorable march was
obstructed by Indians; and the outlying post along it, Fort
Ligonier, about fifty-five miles east of Fort Pitt, was, like Fort
Pitt itself, in a state of siege. The Indians were, as in the dark
days after Braddock’s disaster, harrying the outlying homesteads
and settlements, and once more the colonies were exhibiting to
the full their incapacity for self-defence, or rather, the
indifference of the residents in the towns to the safety of their
fellows who lived in the backwoods.

[Sidenote: The route to Fort Pitt.]

Forbes’ road to Fort Pitt ran for nearly 100 miles from Bedford
or Raestown, as it had earlier been called, in a direction rather
north of west, across the Alleghany Mountains and the Laurel Hills.
The intermediate post, Fort Ligonier, stood at a place which had
been known in Forbes’ time as Loyalhannon, rather nearer to Bedford
than to Fort Pitt. Bedford itself was about thirty miles north of
Fort Cumberland on Wills Creek, which Braddock had selected for the
starting-point of his more southerly march. It marked the limit of
settlement, and 100 miles separated it from the town of Carlisle,
which lay due east, in the direction of the long-settled parts of

[Sidenote: Insecurity of the frontier.]

[Sidenote: Difficulties with the Pennsylvanian legislature.]

There was no security in the year 1763 for the dwellers between
Bedford and Carlisle: ‘Every tree is become an Indian for the
terrified inhabitants,’ wrote Bouquet to Amherst from Carlisle
on the 29th of June.[10] Pennsylvania raised 700 men to protect
the farmers while gathering their harvest, but no representations
of Amherst would induce the cross-grained Legislature to place
them under his command, to allow them to be used for offensive
purposes, or even for garrison duty. The very few regular troops
in the country were therefore required to hold the forts, as well
as to carry out any expedition which the commander-in-chief might
think necessary. A letter from one of Amherst’s officers, Colonel
Robertson, written to Bouquet on the 19th of April, 1763, relates
how all the arguments addressed to the Quaker-ridden government had
been in vain, concluding with the words ‘I never saw any man so
determined in the right as these people are in their absurdly wrong
resolve’;[11] and in his answer Bouquet speaks bitterly of being
‘utterly abandoned by the very people I am ordered to protect’.[11]

[Sidenote: Henry Bouquet.]

Henry Bouquet had reason to be bitter. He had rendered invaluable
service to Pennsylvania and Virginia, when under Forbes he had
driven the French from the Ohio valley. The colonies concerned
had been backward then, they were now more wrong-headed than
ever, and this at a time when the English army in America was
sadly attenuated in numbers. All depended upon one or two men,
principally upon Bouquet himself. Born in Canton Berne, he was
one of the Swiss officers who were given commissions in the Royal
American Regiment, the ancestors of the King’s Royal Rifles,
another being Captain Ecuyer, who was at this time commander at
Fort Pitt. Bouquet was now in his forty-fourth year, a resolute,
high-minded man, a tried soldier, and second to none in knowledge
of American border fighting. In the spring of 1763 he was at
Philadelphia, when Amherst, still holding supreme command in North
America, ordered him to march to the relief of Fort Pitt, while
Dalyell was sent along the lakes to bring succour to Detroit.
At the end of June Bouquet was at Carlisle, collecting troops,
transport, and provisions for his expedition; on the 3rd of July
he heard the bad news of the loss of the forts at Presque Isle, Le
Bœuf, and Venango; on the 25th of July he reached Bedford.

[Sidenote: He marches to the relief of Fort Pitt.]

He had a difficult and dangerous task before him. The rough road
through the forest and over the mountains had been broken up by
bad weather in the previous winter, and the temporary bridges had
been swept away. His fighting men did not exceed 500, Highlanders
of the 42nd and 77th Regiments, and Royal Americans. The force
was far too small for the enterprise, and the commander wrote of
the disadvantage which he suffered from want of men used to the
woods, noting that the Highlanders invariably lost themselves when
employed as scouts, and that he was therefore compelled to try and
secure 30 woodsmen for scouting purposes.[12]

[Sidenote: The fight at Edgehill.]

On the 2nd of August he reached Fort Ligonier, and there, as on
the former expedition, he left his heavy transport, moving forward
on the 4th with his little army on a march of over fifty miles to
Fort Pitt. On that day he advanced twelve miles. On the 5th of
August he intended to reach a stream known as Bushy Creek or Bushy
Run, nineteen miles distant. Seventeen miles had been passed by
midday in the hot summer weather, when at one o’clock, at a place
which in his dispatch he called Edgehill, the advanced guard was
attacked by Indians. The attack increased in severity, the flanks
of the force and the convoy in the rear were threatened, the troops
were drawn back to protect the convoy, and circling round it they
held the enemy at bay till nightfall, when they were forced to
encamp where they stood, having lost 60 men in killed and wounded,
and, worst of all, being in total want of water. Bravely Bouquet
wrote to Amherst that night, but the terms of the dispatch told his
anxiety for the morrow. At daybreak the Indians fell again upon
the wearied, thirsty ring of troops: for some hours the fight went
on, and a repetition of Braddock’s overthrow seemed inevitable.
At length Bouquet tried a stratagem. Drawing back the two front
companies of the circle, he pretended to cover their retreat with
a scanty line, and lured the Indians on in mass, impatient of
victorious butchery. Just as they were breaking the circle, the
men who had been brought back and had unperceived crept round in
the woods, gave a point blank fire at close quarters into the
yelling crowd, and followed it with the bayonet. Falling back,
the Indians came under similar fire and a similar charge from two
other companies who waited them in ambush, and leaving the ground
strewn with corpses the red men broke and fled. Litters were then
made for the wounded: such provisions as could not be carried were
destroyed; and at length the sorely tried English reached the
stream of Bushy Run. Even there the enemy attempted to molest them,
but were easily dispersed by the light infantry.

[Sidenote: Victory of the English and relief of Fort Pitt.]

The victory had been won, but hardly won. The casualties in the
two days’ fighting numbered 115. That the whole force was not
exterminated was due to the extraordinary steadiness of the troops,
notably the Highlanders, and to the resolute self-possession of
their leader. ‘Never found my head so clear as that day,’ wrote
Bouquet to a friend some weeks later, ‘and such ready and cheerful
compliance to all the necessary orders.’[13] On the 10th of August
the expedition reached Fort Pitt without further fighting, and
relieved the garrison, whose defence of the post had merited the
efforts made for their rescue.

[Sidenote: Importance of Bouquet’s victory.]

Bouquet’s battles at Edgehill were small in the number of troops
employed, and were fought far away in the American backwoods. They
attracted little notice in England--to judge from Horace Walpole’s
contemptuous reference to ‘half a dozen battles in miniature with
the Indians in America’;[14] but none the less they were of vital
importance. Attacking with every advantage on their side, with
superiority of numbers, in summer heat, among their own woods,
the Indians had been signally defeated, and among the dead were
some of their best fighting chiefs. In Bouquet’s words, ‘the most
warlike of the savage tribes have lost their boasted claim of
being invincible in the woods;’[15] and he continued to urge the
necessity of reinforcements in order to follow up the blow and
carry the warfare into the enemy’s country. But the colonies did
not answer, the war dragged on, and at the beginning of October
Bouquet had the mortification of hearing of a British reverse at

[Sidenote: British reverse at Niagara.]

[Sidenote: Ending of the siege of Detroit.]

[Sidenote: Amherst succeeded by Gage.]

The date was the 14th of September, and the Indians concerned
were the Senecas, who alone among the Six Nations took part in
Pontiac’s rising. A small escort convoying empty wagons from the
landing above the falls to the fort below was attacked and cut
off; and two companies sent to their rescue from the lower landing
were ambushed at the same spot, the ‘Devil’s Hole’, where the path
ran by the precipice below the falls. Over 80 men were killed,
including all the officers, and 20 men alone remained unhurt. Nor
was this the end of disasters on the lakes. In November a strong
force from Niagara, destined for Detroit, started along Lake Erie
in a fleet of boats; a storm came on: the fleet was wrecked: many
lives were lost: and the shattered remnant gave up the expedition
and returned to Niagara. Detroit, however, was now safe. When
October came, various causes induced the Indians to desist from
the siege. The approach of winter warned them to scatter in search
of food: the news of Bouquet’s victory had due effect, and so had
information of the coming expedition from Niagara, which had not
yet miscarried. Most of all, Pontiac learnt by letter from the
French commander at Fort Chartres that no help could be expected
from France. Accordingly, in the middle of October, Pontiac’s
allies made a truce with Gladwin, which enabled the latter to
replenish his slender stock of supplies; at the end of the month
Pontiac himself made overtures of peace: and the month of November
found the long-beleaguered fort comparatively free of foes. In
that same month Amherst returned to England, being succeeded as
commander-in-chief by General Gage, who had been Governor of

[Sidenote: Plan of campaign for 1764.]

Before Amherst left he had planned a campaign for the coming year.
Colonel Bradstreet was to take a strong force along the line of the
lakes, and harry the recalcitrant Indians to the south and west
of that route, as far as they could be reached, while Bouquet was
to advance from Fort Pitt into the centre of the Ohio valley, and
bring to terms the Delawares and kindred tribes, who had infested
the borders of the southern colonies.

[Sidenote: Bradstreet.]

Colonel John Bradstreet had gained high repute by his
well-conceived and well-executed capture of Fort Frontenac in the
year 1758--a feat which earned warm commendation from Wolfe. He
was regarded as among the best of the colonial officers, and as
well fitted to carry war actively and aggressively into the enemy’s
country. In this he conspicuously failed: he proved himself to be
a vain and headstrong man, and was found wanting when left to act
far from head quarters upon his own responsibility. In June, 1764,
he started from Albany, and made his way by the old route of the
Mohawk river and Oswego to Fort Niagara, encamping at Niagara in
July. His force seems to have eventually numbered nearly 2,000
men, one half of whom consisted of levies from New York and New
England, in addition to 300 Canadians. The latter were included in
the expedition in order to disabuse the minds of the Indians of any
idea that they were being supported by the French population of
North America.

[Sidenote: Indian conference at Niagara.]

Before the troops left Niagara, a great conference of Indians was
held there by Sir William Johnson, who arrived early in July.
From all parts they came, except Pontiac’s own following and the
Delawares and Shawanoes of the Ohio valley. Even the Senecas were
induced by threats to make an appearance, delivered up a handful of
prisoners, bound themselves over to keep peace with the English in
future, and ceded in perpetuity to the Crown a strip of land four
miles wide on both sides of the Niagara river. About a month passed
in councils and speeches; on the 6th of August Johnson went back to
Oswego, and on the 8th Bradstreet went on his way.

[Sidenote: Bradstreet’s abortive expedition.]

His instructions were explicit, to advance into the Indian
territory, and, co-operating with Bouquet’s movements, to reduce
the tribes to submission by presence in force. Those instructions
he did not carry out. Near Presque Isle, on the 12th of August,
he was met by Indians who purported to be delegates from the
Delawares and Shawanoes: and, accepting their assurances, he
engaged not to attack them for twenty-five days when, on his
return from Detroit, they were to meet him at Sandusky, hand over
prisoners, and conclude a final peace. He went on to Sandusky a few
days later, where messengers of the Wyandots met him with similar
protestations, and were bidden to follow him to Detroit, and there
make a treaty. He then embarked for Detroit, leaving the hostile
tribes unmolested and his work unaccomplished. From Sandusky he had
sent an officer, Captain Morris, with orders to ascend the Maumee
river to Fort Miami, no longer garrisoned, and thence to pass on to
the Illinois country. Morris started on his mission, came across
Pontiac on the Maumee, found war not peace, and, barely escaping
with his life, reached Detroit on the 17th of September, when
Bradstreet had already come and gone.

Towards the end of August Bradstreet reached Detroit. He held a
council of Indians, at which the Sandusky Wyandots were present,
and, having proclaimed in some sort British supremacy, thought he
had put an end to the war. The substantive effect of his expedition
was that he released Gladwin and his men, placing a new garrison
in the fort, and sent a detachment to re-occupy the posts at
Michillimackinac, Green Bay, and Sault St. Marie. He then retraced
his steps to Sandusky. Here the Delawares, with whom he had made a
provisional treaty at Presque Isle, were to meet him and complete
their submission; and here he realized that Indian diplomacy had
been cleverer than his own. Only a few emissaries came to the
meeting-place with excuses for further delay, and meanwhile he
received a message from General Gage strongly disapproving his
action and ordering an immediate advance against the tribes, whom
he had represented as brought to submission. He made no advance,
loitered a while where he was, and finally came back to Niagara at
the beginning of November after a disastrous storm on Lake Erie, a
discredited commander, with a disappointed following.

[Sidenote: Bouquet’s operations.]

If Bradstreet had any excuse for failure, it was that he did not
know the temper of the Western Indians, and had not before his eyes
perpetual evidence of their ferocity and their guile. Bouquet knew
them well, and great was his indignation at the other commander’s
ignorance or folly. After the relief of Fort Pitt in the preceding
autumn he had gone back to Philadelphia, and throughout the spring
and summer of 1764 was busy with preparations for a new campaign.
On the 18th of September he was back at Fort Pitt, ready for
a westward advance, with a strong force suitable for the work
which lay before him. He had with him 500 regulars, mostly the
seasoned men who had fought at Edgehill. Pennsylvania, roused at
last to the necessity of vigorous action, had sent 1,000 men to
join the expedition; and, though of these last a considerable
number deserted on the route to Fort Pitt, 700 remained and were
supplemented by over 200 Virginians. In the first days of October
the advance from Fort Pitt began, the troops crossed the Ohio,
followed its banks in a north-westerly direction to the Beaver
Creek, crossed that river, and, marching westward through the
forests, reached in the middle of the month the valley of the
Muskingum river, near a deserted Indian village known as Tuscarawa
or Tuscaroras. Bouquet was now within striking distance of the
Delawares and the other Indian tribes who had so long terrorized
the borderlands of the southern colonies. Near Tuscarawa Indian
deputies met him, and were ordered--as a preliminary to peace--to
deliver up within twelve days all the prisoners in their hands.

[Sidenote: Submission of the Western Indians.]

The spot fixed for the purpose was the junction of the two main
branches of the Muskingum, forty miles distant to the south-west,
forty miles nearer the centre of the Indians’ homes. To that
place the troops marched on, strong in their own efficiency and
in the personality of their leader, although news had come that
Bradstreet, who was to threaten the Indians from Sandusky, was
retreating homewards to Niagara. At the Forks of the Muskingum
an encampment was made, and there at length, at the beginning of
November, the red men brought back their captives. The work was
fully done: north to Sandusky, and to the Shawano villages far
to the west, Bouquet’s messengers were sent; the Indians saw the
white men in their midst ready to strike hard, and they accepted
the inevitable. The tribes which could not at the time make full
restoration gave hostages of their chiefs, and hostages too were
taken for the future consummation of peace, the exact terms of
which were left to be decided and were shortly after arranged by
Sir William Johnson. With these pledges of obedience, and with the
restored captives, Bouquet retraced his steps, and reached Fort
Pitt again on the 28th of November.

[Sidenote: Bouquet’s success.]

[Sidenote: His death.]

He had achieved a great victory, bloodless but complete; and at
length the colonies realized what he had done. A vote of thanks to
him was passed by the Pennsylvanian Assembly in no grudging terms.
The Virginians, too, thanked him, but with rare meanness tried to
burden him with the pay of the Virginian volunteers, who had served
in the late expedition. This charge Pennsylvania took upon itself,
more liberal than the sister colony; and the Imperial Government
showed itself not unmindful of services rendered, for, foreigner
as he was, Bouquet was promoted to be a brigadier-general in the
British army. He was appointed to command the troops in Florida,
and died at Pensacola in September, 1765, leaving behind him the
memory of a most competent soldier, and a loyal, honourable man.

[Sidenote: The Illinois country and the Mississippi.]

[Sidenote: British occupation of Fort Chartres.]

Beyond the scene of Bouquet’s operations--further still to the
west--lay the Illinois country and the settlements on the eastern
bank of the Mississippi. Ceded to Great Britain by the Treaty of
1763, they were still without visible sign of British sovereignty;
and, when the year 1764 closed, Pontiac’s name and influence was
all powerful among the Indians of these regions, while the French
flag still flew at Fort Chartres. By the treaty, the navigation
of the Mississippi was left open to both French and English; and
in the spring of 1764 an English officer from Florida had been
dispatched to ascend the river from New Orleans, and take over the
ceded forts. The officer in question--Major Loftus--started towards
the end of February, and, after making his way for some distance
up-stream, was attacked by Indians and forced to retrace his steps.
Whether or not the attack was instigated by the French, it is
certain that Loftus received little help or encouragement from the
French commander at New Orleans, and it is equally certain that
trading jealousy threw every obstacle in the way of the English
advance into the Mississippi valley. It was not until the autumn
of 1765 that 100 Highlanders of the 42nd Regiment made their way
safely down the Ohio, and finally took Fort Chartres into British

[Sidenote: Croghan’s mission.]

The way had been opened earlier in the year by Croghan, one of Sir
William Johnson’s officers, who in the summer months went westward
down the Ohio to remind the tribes of the pledges given to Bouquet,
and to quicken their fulfilment. He reached the confluence of the
Wabash river, and a few miles lower down was attacked by a band of
savages, who afterwards veered round to peace and conducted him,
half guest, half prisoner, to Vincennes and Ouatanon, the posts on
the Wabash. Near Ouatanon he met Pontiac, was followed by him to
Detroit, where it was arranged that a final meeting to conclude
a final peace should be held at Oswego in the coming year. The
meeting took place in July, 1766, under the unrivalled guidance of
Sir William Johnson, and with it came the end of the Indian war.

[Sidenote: End of the Indian war and death of Pontiac.]

The one hope for the confederate Indians had been help from
the French. Slowly and reluctantly they had been driven to the
conclusion that such help would not be forthcoming, and that for
France the sun had set in the far west of North America. Pontiac
himself gave in his submission to the English; he took their King
for his father, and, when he was killed in an Indian brawl on the
Mississippi in 1769, the red men’s vision of independence or of
sovereignty in their native backwoods faded away. The two leading
white races in North America, French and English, had fought it
out; there followed the Indian rising against the victors; and soon
was to come the almost equally inevitable struggle between the
British colonists, set free from dread of Frenchman or of Indian,
and the dominating motherland of their race.


[1] The _Annual Register_ for 1763, p. 19, identified the St. John
river with the Saguenay, and the mistake was long perpetuated.

[2] All the quotations made in the preceding pages are taken from
the _Documents relating to the Constitutional History of Canada
1759-1791_, selected and edited by Messrs. Shortt and Doughty, 1907.

[3] _Annual Register_ for 1763, p. 22.

[4] _Journals of Major Robert Rogers_, London, 1765, p. 207.

[5] _Journals of Major Robert Rogers_, London, 1765, p. 214.

[6] _A Concise Account of North America_, by Major Robert Rogers,
London, 1765, pp. 240-4.

[7] _Rogers’ Journals_, p. 229.

[8] _A Concise Account of North America_, p. 168.

[9] Dalyell seems to have been a good officer. Bouquet on hearing
of his death about two months’ later wrote, ‘The death of my good
old friend Dalyell affects me sensibly. It is a public loss.
There are few men like him.’ Bouquet to Rev. M. Peters, Fort
Pitt, September 30, 1763. See Mr. Brymner’s _Report on Canadian
Archives_, 1889, Note D, p. 70.

[10] Brymner’s Report on _Canadian Archives_, 1889, note D, p. 59.

[11] Ibid., Note D, pp. 60, 62.

[12] Bouquet to Amherst, July 26, 1763: _Canadian Archives_, as
above, pp. 61-2.

[13] Bouquet to Rev. Mr. Peters, September 30, 1763: _Canadian
Archives_, as above, p. 70.

[14] ‘There have been half a dozen battles in miniature with the
Indians in America. It looked so odd to see a list of killed and
wounded just treading on the heels of the Peace.’ Letter of October
17 and 18, 1763, to Sir Horace Mann.

[15] Bouquet to Hamilton, Governor of Pennsylvania, Fort Pitt,
August 11, 1763: _Canadian Archives_, as above, p. 66.



It was said of the Spartans that warring was their salvation and
ruling was their ruin. The saying holds true of various peoples
and races in history. A militant race has often proved to be
deficient in the qualities which ensure stable, just, and permanent
government; and in such cases, when peace supervenes on war, an
era of decline and fall begins for those whom fighting has made
great. But even when a conquering race has capacity for government,
there come times in its career when Aristotle’s dictum in part
holds good. It applied, to some extent, to the English in North
America. As long as they were faced by the French on the western
continent, common danger and common effort held the mother country
and the colonies together. Security against a foreign foe brought
difficulties which ended in civil war, and the Peace of 1763 was
the beginning of dissolution.

In the present chapter, which covers the history of Canada from
the Peace of Paris to the outbreak of the War of Independence, it
is proposed, from the point of view of colonization, to examine
the ultimate rather than the immediate causes which led to England
losing her old North American colonies, while she retained her new
possession of Canada.

[Sidenote: Prophecies that the British conquest of Canada would be
followed by the loss of the North American colonies. Peter Kalm.]

It had been abundantly prophesied that the outcome of British
conquest of Canada would be colonial independence in British
North America. In the years 1748-50 the Swedish naturalist, Peter
Kalm, travelled through the British North American colonies and
Canada, and left on record his impressions of the feeling towards
the mother country which existed at the time in the British
provinces. Noting the great increase in these colonies of riches
and population, and the growing coolness towards Great Britain,
produced at once by commercial restrictions and by the presence
among the English colonists of German, Dutch, and French settlers,
he arrived at the conclusion that the proximity of a rival and
hostile power in Canada was the main factor in keeping the British
colonies under the British Crown. ‘The English Government,’ he
wrote, ‘has therefore sufficient reason to consider the French in
North America as the best means of keeping the colonies in their
due submission.’[16]

Others wrote or spoke to the same effect. Montcalm was credited
with having prophesied the future before he shared the fall of
Canada,[17] and another prophet was the French minister Choiseul,
when negotiating the Peace of Paris. To keen, though not always
unprejudiced, observers the signs of the times betokened coming
conflicts between Great Britain and her colonies; and to us now
looking back on history, wise after the event, it is evident that
the end of foreign war in North America meant the beginning of
troubles within what was then the circle of the British Empire.

[Sidenote: Incorrect view of the conflict between Great Britain and
her colonies in North America.]

[Sidenote: Great Britain failed for want of leaders.]

Until recent years most Englishmen were taught to believe that the
victory of the American colonists and the defeat of the mother
country was a striking instance of the power of right over might,
of liberty over oppression; that the severance of the American
colonies was a net gain to them, and a net loss to England; that
Englishmen did right to stand in a white sheet when reflecting
on these times and events, as being citizens of a country which
grievously sinned and was as grievously punished. All this was pure
assumption. The war was one in which there were rights and wrongs
on both sides, but, whereas America had in George Washington a
leader of the noblest and most effective type, England was for the
moment in want both of statesmen and of generals, and had her hands
tied by foreign complications. We can recognize that Providence
shaped the ends, without going beyond the limits of human common
sense. Had Pitt been what he was in the years preceding the Peace
of Paris, had Wolfe and the eldest of the brothers Howe not been
cut off in early manhood, the war might have been averted, or
its issue might have been other than it was. One of Wolfe’s best
subordinates, Carleton, survived, and Carleton saved Canada; there
was no human reason why men of the same stamp, had they been found,
should not have kept for England her heritage. The main reason why
she lost her North American colonies was not the badness of her
cause, but rather want of the right men when the crisis came.

[Sidenote: The result of the War of Independence was not wholly a
loss to Great Britain nor wholly a gain to the United States.]

Equally fallacious with the view that England failed because
wrong-doing never prospers, is, or was, the view that the
independence of the United States was wholly a loss to England and
wholly a gain to the colonists. What would have happened if the
revolting provinces had not made good their revolt must be matter
of speculation, but it is difficult to believe that, if the United
States had remained under the British flag, Australia would ever
have become a British colony. There is a limit to every political
system and every empire, and, with the whole of North America east
of the Mississippi for her own, it is not likely that England would
have taken in hand the exploiting of a new continent. At any rate
it is significant that, within four years of the date of the treaty
which recognized the independence of the United States, the first
English colonists were sent to Australia. The success or failure
of a nation or a race in the field of colonization must not be
measured by the number of square miles of the earth’s surface which
the home government owns or claims at any given time. To judge
aright, we must revert to the older and truer view of colonizing
as a planting process, replenishing the earth and subduing it. If
the result of the severance of the United States from their mother
country was to sow the English seed in other lands, then it may
be argued that the defeat of England by her own children was not
wholly a loss to the mother country.

Nor was it wholly a gain to the United States. Such at least
must be the view of Englishmen who believe in the worth of their
country, in its traditions, in the character of the nation, in its
political, social, moral, and religious tendencies. The necessary
result of the separation was to alienate the American colonists
from what was English; to breed generations in the belief that what
England did must be wrong, that the enemies of England must be
right; to strengthen in English-speaking communities the elements
which were opposed to the land and to the race from which they had
sprung. With English errors and weaknesses there passed away, in
course of years and in some measure, English sources of strength;
the sober thinking, the slow broadening out, the perpetually
leavening sense of responsibility. Had the American provinces
remained under the British flag it is difficult to see why they
should not have been in the essence as free and independent as
they now are; it is at least conceivable that their commercial and
industrial prosperity would have been as great; assuredly, for good
or for evil, they would have been more English.

[Sidenote: Shortcomings of the English in foreign and colonial

The faults and shortcomings of the English, which throughout
English history have shown themselves mainly in foreign and
colonial matters, seem all to have combined and culminated in the
interval of twenty years between the Peace of 1763, which gave
Canada to Great Britain, and the Peace of 1783, which took from
her the United States; and in addition there were special causes
at work in England, which at this more than at any other time
militated against national success.

[Sidenote: The party System.]

The shortcomings in question are, in part, the result of
counterbalancing merits, fair-mindedness, and freedom of thought,
speech, and action. Love of liberty among the English has begotten
an almost superstitious reverence for Parliamentary institutions.
Parliamentary institutions have practically meant the House of
Commons; and the House of Commons has for many generations past
implied the party system. In regard to foreign and colonial policy
the party system has worked the very serious evil that Great
Britain has in the past rarely spoken or acted as one nation. The
party in power at times of national crisis is constantly obliged to
reckon on opposition rather than support, from the large section of
Englishmen whose leaders are not in office; and ministers have to
frame not so much the most effective measures, as those which can
under the circumstances be carried with least friction and delay.
The result has been weakness and compromise in action; among the
friends of England, suspicion and want of confidence; among her
foes, waiting on the event which prolongs the strife. The English
have so often gone forward and then back, they have so often said
one thing and done another, that their own officers, their friends
and allies, their native subjects, and their open enemies, cannot
be sure what will be the next move. If the Opposition in Parliament
and outside, by speech and writing, attacks the Government, the
natural inference to be drawn is that a turn of the electoral tide
will reverse the policy.

Apart too from this more or less necessary result of party
government, the element of cross-grained men and women, who, when
their own country is at issue with another, invariably think that
their country must be wrong and its opponent must be right, has
always been rather stronger, or, at any rate, rather more tolerated
in the United Kingdom than among continental nations. This is due
not merely to the habit of free criticism, but also to a kind of
conceit familiar enough in private as in public life. Englishmen,
living apart from the continent of Europe, are, as a whole, more
wrapped up in themselves than are other nations; and in this
self-satisfied whole there is a proportion of superior persons who
sit in judgement on the rest, and who, having in reality a double
dose of the national Pharisaism, think it their duty to belittle
their countrymen.

Fault-finders of this kind, or political opponents of the
Government for the time being, are apt, as a rule, to make light of
any minority in the hostile or rival country, who may be friendly
to England: they tend to misrepresent them as being untrue to their
own land and people, as wanting to domineer over the majority, as
seeking their own interests: and, if they have suffered losses
for England’s sake, the tale of the losses is minimized. But
it is not only the opponents of the Government who take this
line; too often in past history it has been to a large extent
the line of the Government itself. The perpetual seeking after
compromise, and trying to see two sides after the choice of action
has been made, has lost many friends to our country and nation,
and made none: while the retracing of steps, unmindful of claims
which have arisen, of property which has been acquired, and of
responsibilities which have been incurred has, as the record of the
past abundantly shows, brought bitterness of spirit to the friends
of England, and bred distrust of the English and their works.

[Sidenote: Want of preparation for war.]

The element of uncertainty in British policy and action towards
foreign nations or towards British colonies has been in part due
to ignorance: and to ignorance and want of preparation have been
due most of the disasters in war which have befallen Great Britain.
Here again something must be attributed to the fact of the island
home. The rulers of continental peoples have been driven by the
necessities of their case to learn the conditions of their rivals,
by secret service and intelligence agents to ascertain all that
is to be known, and at the same time to keep their own arms up to
date, and their own powder dry. They have prepared for war. England
has prepared for peace. Her policy has paid in the long run, but
it would not have been a possible policy for other nations; and at
certain times in English history it has wrought terrible mischief.
England does not always muddle through, as the English fondly hope
she does; notably, she did not muddle through when the United
States proclaimed their independence.

In these years, 1763-83, there was the party system in England with
all its mischievous bitterness; there was a weak Executive at home,
and a still weaker Executive in the colonies; there was ignorance
of the real conditions in America, unwise handling of the colonial
Loyalists, threatening talk coupled with vacillation in action,
laws made which gave offence, and, when they had given offence, not
quite repealed. All the normal English weaknesses flourished and
abounded at this period, and were supplemented by certain sources
of danger which were the outcome of the particular time.

[Sidenote: Special evils at work in England in the years 1763-83.]

[Sidenote: A time of reaction.]

[Sidenote: Partisan attitude of the Crown.]

It was a special time, a time of reaction. England had lately gone
through a great struggle, made a great effort, incurred great
expense, and won great success. She was for the moment vegetating,
not inclined or ready for a second crisis. Second-rate politicians
were handling matters, and the influence of the new King was all
in favour of their being and remaining second-rate; for George the
Third intended, by meddling in party politics, and by Parliamentary
intrigues, to rule Parliament. Thus the Crown became a partisan
in home politics, and in colonial politics was placed in declared
opposition to the colonies, instead of remaining the great bond
between the colonies and the mother country.

[Sidenote: Sympathy in England with the colonists and their cause.]

The result was, that throughout the years of the American quarrel,
and in a growing degree, the colonies found powerful support in
this country, because they were, after all, not foreigners but
Englishmen--Englishmen who compared favourably with Englishmen
at home and whom patriotic Englishmen at home could admire and
uphold; because they were apparently the weaker side, attracting
the sympathy which in England the weaker side always attracts;
and because, through the attitude of the King, their cause was
associated with the cause of political liberty at home. Add to this
that the one great English statesman of world-wide reputation,
Chatham, had warmly espoused the colonial side, and it may well
be seen that, unless some able general, as Wellington in later
days, by military success, saved his country from the results of
political blunders, the position was hopeless.

[Sidenote: Ultimate causes of the severance of the North American

But for the special purpose of determining what place the episode
of the severance of the British North American colonies holds in
the history of colonization we must look still further afield. The
constitutional question as to whether the colonies were subject to
the Parliament of the mother country or to the Crown alone may,
from this particular point of view, be omitted, for the story
of the troubled years abundantly shows that theories would have
slept, if certain practical difficulties had not called them into
waking existence, and if lawyers had not been so much to the front,
holding briefs on either side. Nor is it necessary to dwell upon
the specific and immediate causes of the strife, except so far as
they were ultimate causes also. Among such immediate causes, some
of which have been already noted, were the personal character of
the English king for the time being, the corruption and jobbery
of public life in England, the weakness of the Executive in the
colonies, the enforcing of commercial restrictions already placed
by the mother country on the colonies, the kind of new taxes which
the Home Government imposed, the method of imposing them, and the
object with which they were devised; the outrageous laws of 1774
for penalizing Massachusetts, the Quebec Act, and the employment of
German mercenaries against the colonists, which gave justification
to the colonists for calling in aid from France. All these and
other causes might have been powerless to affect the issue, if
England had possessed statesmen and generals, and if the growing
plant of disunion had not been deeply rooted in the past.

[Sidenote: Comparison of Spanish and British colonization in

[Sidenote: Spain held her American possessions for a longer time
than Great Britain held the North American colonies.]

When France lost Canada and Louisiana, two European nations, other
than the Portuguese in Brazil, practically shared the mainland of
America. They were Spain and Great Britain. Spain won her American
empire not far short of a hundred years before Great Britain had
any strong footing on the American continent; she kept it for
some thirty or forty years after the United States had achieved
their independence. The Spanish-American empire was therefore much
longer-lived than the first colonial dominion of Great Britain
in North America, and the natural inference is, either that the
Spaniards treated their colonies or dependencies better than the
English treated theirs, or that the English colonies were in a
better position than the Spanish dependencies to assert their
independence, or that both causes operated simultaneously.

It is difficult to compare Spain and Great Britain as regards their
respective colonial policies in America, for their possessions
differed in kind. Spain owned dependencies rather than colonies,
Great Britain owned colonies rather than dependencies. Spanish
America was the result of conquest: English America, not including
Canada, was the result of settlement. But, so far as a comparison
can be instituted, it will probably not be seriously contended that
the British colonies suffered more grievously at the hands of the
mother country than did the colonial possessions of Spain. The main
charge brought against England was that she neglected her colonies
and left them to themselves. Whether the charge was true or not--as
to which there is more to be said--neglect is not oppression; and
within limits the kindest and wisest policy towards colonies, which
are colonies in the true sense, is to leave them alone. ‘The wise
neglect of Walpole and Newcastle,’ writes Mr. Lecky, ‘was eminently
conducive to colonial interests.’[18]

[Sidenote: Absence of system in British colonial policy in North

The real, ultimate reasons why England held her North American
colonies, which now form the United States of America, for a
shorter time than Spain retained her Central and South American
possessions were two: first, that the English colonies were
in a better position than the Spanish dependencies to assert
their independence; secondly, that--largely because she owned
dependencies rather than colonies--Spain was more systematic
than England in her dealings with her colonial possessions.
These two reasons are in truth one and the same, looked at from
different sides. The English colonies were able to assert their
independence, because they had on the whole always been more or
less independent. They had always been more or less independent,
because the mother country had never adopted any definite system
of colonial administration. The Spanish system was not good--quite
the contrary; but it was a system, and those who lived under it
were accustomed to restrictions and to rules imposed by the home
government. Similarly in Canada, under French rule, there was a
system, kindlier and better than that of Spain, but one which had
the gravest defects, which stunted growth and precluded freedom:
yet there it was, clear and definite; the colonists of New France
had grown up under it; they knew where they were in relation to
the mother country; it had never occurred to them to try and
make headway against the King of France and his regulations.
Widely different was the case of the English colonies in North
America. All these settlements started under some form of grant
or charter, derived ultimately from the Crown: the Crown from
time to time interfered and made a show of its supremacy; but
there was no system of any sort or kind, and communities grew up,
which in practice had never been governed from home but governed
themselves. Most of all, the New England colonies embodied to
the full the spirit of colonial independence. Their founders,
men of the strongest English type, went out to live in their own
way, to be free from restrictions which trammelled them at home,
to found small English-speaking commonwealths which should be
self-governing and self-supporting, ordered from within, not from

[Sidenote: When the English colonies were planted in North America
there was the most complete absence of system at home.]

The English have never been systematic or continuous in their
policy throughout their history; but the period of English history
when North America was colonized was the one of all others when
system and continuity were most conspicuously absent. It was a
time of violent political changes at home, of strife between
king and people. A line of kings was brought in from Scotland,
they were overturned, they were restored, and they were finally
driven out again. This was the condition of the Crown to which the
newly-planted colonies owed allegiance, and which was supposed to
exercise supreme authority over the colonies. Under the Crown were
Proprietors and Companies, whose charters, being derived from a
perpetually disputed source, were a series of dissolving views;
and under the Proprietors and Companies were a number of strong
English citizens who, caring little for the theoretical basis of
their position, cared very much for practical independence, and
ordered their ways accordingly, becoming steadily and stubbornly
more independent through perpetual friction and perpetual absence
of systematic control. Thus it was that the North American colonies
drank in, as their mother’s milk, the traditions and the habits of
independence. They carried with them English citizenship, but the
privileges of such citizenship rather than the responsibilities;
and, in so far as the mother country was inclined to ignore the
privileges, the colonies were glad to disclaim the responsibilities.

[Sidenote: Absence of collective responsibility in the British
North American colonies.]

They were separate and distinct, not only from the mother country,
but also from each other, and they could not in consequence from
first to last be held collectively responsible. In the wars with
Canada, New England and New York, though alike exposed to French
invasion, and from time to time co-operating to repel the invaders
or to organize counter-raids, yet acted throughout as entirely
separate entities, in no way inclined to bear each other’s burdens
as common citizens of a common country. The southern colonies,
until the French, shortly before the beginning of the Seven
Years’ War, came down into the valley of the Ohio, took no part
whatever in the fight between Great Britain and France for North
America. The New Englanders, most patriotic of the colonists,
beyond all others went their own ways in war and peace; uninvited
and unauthorized from home they formed a confederation among
themselves: early in their history they tried to make a treaty
with Canada on the basis that, whatever might be the relations
between France and England in Europe, there should be peace between
French and English in North America: they took Port Royal: they
attacked Quebec: they captured Louisbourg: and the anonymous French
eye-witness of the first siege and capture of Louisbourg commented
as follows on the difference between the colonial land forces and
the men of the small Imperial squadron which Warren brought to
the colonists’ aid: ‘In fact one could never have told that these
troops belonged to the same nation and obeyed the same prince. Only
the English are capable of such oddities, which nevertheless form
a part of that precious liberty of which they show themselves so

[Sidenote: The colonies had never been taxed for revenue purposes.]

Most of all it should be remembered that, though subject to the
Navigation laws imposed by the mother country and to that extent
restricted in their commercial dealings, no English colony in
North America, before the days of the Stamp Act, had ever been
taxed by Crown or Parliament for revenue purposes. In the year
1758 Montcalm was supposed to have written on this subject in the
following terms: ‘As to the English colonies, one essential point
should be known, it is that they are never taxed. They keep that
to themselves, an enormous fault this in the policy of the mother
country. She should have taxed them from the foundation. I have
certain advice that all the colonies would take fire at being
taxed now.’[20] This judgement was probably sound. It might have
been well if from the first, when charters were issued and colonial
communities were formed, some small tax had been levied for
Imperial purposes upon the British colonies, if some contribution
of only nominal amount had been exacted as a condition of retaining
British citizenship. There would then have been a precedent, such
as Englishmen always try to find, and there would have been in
existence a reminder that all members of a family should contribute
to the household expenses.[21]

[Sidenote: The political separation of the North American colonies
was the natural result of their geographical separation.]

We are accustomed to think and to read of the separation of the
American colonies from the mother country as wholly an abnormal
incident, the result of bad handiwork, not the outcome of natural
forces. This view is incorrect. History ultimately depends on
geography. When two members of the same race, nation, or family
pass their lives at a long distance from each other, in different
lands, in different climates, under different conditions, the
natural and inevitable result is that they diverge from each other.
The centrifugal tendency may be counteracted by tact and clever
statesmanship, and still more by sense of common danger; but it
is a natural tendency. Men cannot live at a distance from each
other without becoming to some extent estranged. The Greeks, with
their instinctive love of logic and of symmetry, and with their
fundamental conception of a city as the political unit, looked on
colonization as separation, and called a colony a departure from
home. The colonists carried with them reverence for the mother
state, but not dependence upon it; and, if there was any political
bond, it was embodied in the words that those who went out went
out on terms of equality with, not of subordination to, those who
remained behind. The English, in fact, though not in principle,
planted colonies on the model of the Greek settlements; their
theories and their practice collided; and, being a practical race,
their theories eventually went by the board.

[Sidenote: Conflicting tendencies. Distance and sentiment.]

[Sidenote: στάσις and colonization.]

When an over-sea colony is founded, the new settlement is in
effect most distant from the old country; that is to say, means
of communication between the one point and the other are least
frequent and least developed. The tendency to separation--as far
as geography is concerned--is therefore strongest at the outset.
On the other hand, in the foundation of a colony, unless the
foundation is due to political disruption at home, the sentiment
towards the mother country is warmer and closer than in after
years, for the founders remember where they were born and where
they grew to manhood. As generations go on, the tie of sentiment
becomes necessarily weaker, but, with better communication,
distance becomes less; there is therefore a competition between the
opposing tendencies. Many of the Greek colonies were the result of
στάσις or division in the mother cities. The unsuccessful party
went out and made a separate home. In a very modified form the
same cause was at work in the founding of the Puritan colonies
of North America. Notably, the emigrants on the _Mayflower_ were
already exiles from England, political refugees, who had found a
temporary home in the Netherlands. These founders of the Plymouth
settlement were by no means the chief colonizers of North America,
or even of New England, but their story--the story of the ‘Pilgrim
fathers’--became a nucleus of Puritan tradition; and from it after
generations deduced that New England was the home of English
citizens whom England had cast out. Thus one group, at any rate,
of North American colonies traced their origin to separation. Then
came the element of distance. ‘The European colonies in America,’
wrote Adam Smith, with some exaggeration, ‘are more remote than
the most distant provinces of the greatest empires which had ever
been known before.’[22] The Atlantic Ocean lay between them and the
motherland, and cycles went by before that distance was perceptibly
modified. In our own time, steam and telegraphy have been
perpetually counteracting the effects of distance. It was not so in
the seventeenth or eighteenth centuries. Navigation was improved,
but was still the humble handmaid of wind and tide; and on the very
eve of the American War of Independence the remoteness of the North
American colonies, and the prevailing ignorance in England about
the North American colonies were, though no doubt much exaggerated,
a commonplace among the speakers and writers of the time.

We start then with colonies planted from a land which had no
thought of systematic control over colonies or dependencies, whose
government was at the time of colonization in a chaotic state,
whose colonists went out in part, at any rate, intent on practical
separation, and who all settled themselves or were settled in a
remote region at a time when distance did not grow less.

[Sidenote: General view of the duty of a mother country towards its

The next point to notice is that it has always been held that, as
between a mother country and its colonies, if they are colonies
in the true sense and not merely tributary states, it is rather
for the mother country to give and her colonies to take, than vice
versa. This is a view which has been held at all times and among
all races, but especially among members of the English race. Other
nations and races have, it is true, felt as strongly as, or more
strongly than, the English the duty of protecting their outlying
possessions: they have in some cases lavished more money directly
upon them at the expense of the taxpayers at home; but, on the
other hand, they have almost invariably regarded their colonies as
dependencies pure and simple, constrained to take the course of the
dominant partner in preference to their own. The English alone in
history have bred communities protected by, but in practice not
subject to, the mother country. They have given, without exacting
toll in return.

[Sidenote: Adam Smith on the subject.]

No writer has laid greater stress on this view of the relations
between the mother country and the colonies than Adam Smith, who
published the _Wealth of Nations_ just as the American colonies
were breaking away from Great Britain. ‘The English colonists,’ he
wrote, ‘have never yet contributed anything towards the defence of
the mother country, or towards the support of its civil government.
They themselves, on the contrary, have hitherto been defended
almost entirely at the expense of the mother country;’ and again,
‘Under the present system of management, Great Britain derives
nothing but loss from the dominion which she has assumed over her
colonies.’ ‘Great Britain is, perhaps, since the world began, the
only state which, as it has extended its empire, has only increased
its expense without once augmenting its resources.’[23] His opinion
would have been modified could he have foreseen the help given to
the mother country in our own day by the self-governing colonies
of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand in a war far removed from
their shores; but even in our own day the old view, against which
he contended, largely holds the field, that more is due from the
mother country to the colonies than from the colonies to the mother
country, that what the mother country spends on the Empire is
payment of a debt, while what the colonies spend on the Empire is a
free gift.

[Sidenote: The mother country, being usually greater than the
colony, is expected to give rather than to receive.]

[Sidenote: Contentions of the colonists.]

This view of the relations between a mother country and its
colonies takes its ultimate source largely from the fact that the
mother country is nearly always[24] greater and stronger than any
one colony or group of colonies; and in the English mind the
instinct of fair play invariably makes in favour of the party to
a contract which is or appears to be the weaker party. It is in
the light of the fact that the American colonies were numerically
the weaker party in their contention with the mother country, and
with the misleading deduction that any demand made upon them was
therefore unjust, that the story of the War of Independence has
over and over again been wrongly told. In one of the more recent
books on the subject, Sir George Trevelyan’s _American Revolution_,
it is stated that all the colonies asked of the King was to be let
alone.[25] That is all that any man or any community asks, when
called upon to pay a bill; and the question at issue between the
mother country and the colonies in the eighteenth century was the
eternal question, which vexes every community and every federation
of communities, who ought to pay. The bill was one for defence
purposes; but, when it was presented, the colonists’ answer was
in effect, first, that it was the duty of the mother country to
defend the colonies; secondly, that that duty had been neglected;
and thirdly, that, assuming that it had been performed, it was
for the colonies and not for the mother country to determine what
proportion of the expense, if any, should be defrayed by the

[Sidenote: (1) It was the duty of the mother country to bear the
expense of defending the colonies.]

[Sidenote: This view still prevails.]

The first of these three contentions may not have been fully
avowed, but deep down in the minds of men there lay the conviction
that the mother country ought to pay for defending the colonies,
and there it has remained, more or less, ever since. It is true
that the grant of self-government in its fullest sense to the
present great provinces of the British Empire has been coupled with
the withdrawal of the regular forces from all but a few points of
selected Imperial vantage, and to that extent the colonies have
taken up, and well taken up, the duty of self-defence; but the
burden of the fleet, the great defensive force of the Empire as a
whole, is still borne in the main, and was till recently entirely
borne, by the mother country. When colonies or foreign possessions
are in a condition of complete political dependence upon the mother
country, it may fairly be argued that the latter, in insisting upon
dependence, should, as the price of supremacy, undertake to some
extent the duty of defence. And yet a survey of the British Empire
at the present day shows that no self-governing province of the
Empire is so highly organized or so fully charged for the purposes
of defence as is the great dependency of India.

[Sidenote: Independence implies self-defence.]

The first and most elementary duty of an independent community, the
one condition without which it cannot be independent, is providing
for its own defence. The American colonies claimed in reality
political independence, at any rate as far as internal matters were
concerned; but they did not admit, except to a limited extent, that
it was their duty to provide against foreign invasion. That duty,
in their eyes, devolved upon the mother country because it was the
mother country; because it was held that the mother country derived
more advantage from the colonies than--apart from defence--the
colonies derived from her; and because the mother country dictated
the foreign policy of the Empire; in common parlance, it called the
tune and therefore, it was argued, should pay the piper.

[Sidenote: The Navigation Acts an inadequate return for the charge
imposed on the mother country for defending the colonies.]

The Navigation laws, the commercial restrictions imposed by Great
Britain on her colonies, were assumed to represent the price which
the colonies paid in return for the protection which the mother
country gave or professed to give to the colonies; and these
same laws and restrictions, viewed in the light of later times,
have been held to be the burden of oppression which was greater
than the colonies could bear. Adam Smith, the writer who most
forcibly exposed the unsoundness of the old mercantile system, also
demonstrated most conclusively that that system was universal in
the eighteenth century; that it was less oppressively applied by
England than by other countries which owned colonies; that under
it, if the colonies were restricted in trade, they were also in
receipt of bounties; and lastly, that the undoubted disadvantages
which were the result of the system were shared by the mother
country with the colonies, though they weighed more heavily upon
the colonies than on the mother country, and were to the colonies
‘impertinent badges of slavery’. The conclusion to be drawn is
that, assuming Great Britain to have adequately discharged the duty
of protecting the colonies, she was not adequately paid for doing
so by the results of the mercantile system.

[Sidenote: (2) Did Great Britain neglect the defence of the North
American colonies?]

But it was further contended that the duty of protecting her
colonies was one which Great Britain neglected. While the colonies
were poor and insignificant, the mother country, it was alleged,
neglected them. When they became richer and more valuable she tried
to oppress them. If the charge of neglect in the general sense was
true, we may refer to Mr. Lecky’s words already quoted, as showing
that it may well be argued that the colonies profited by it.[26]
Mr. Lecky writes of conditions in the eighteenth century, but
Adam Smith used similar terms with reference to the earlier days
of the colonies. Contrasting the Spanish colonies in America with
those owned by other European nations on that continent, he wrote:
‘The Spanish colonies’ (in consequence of their mineral wealth)
‘from the moment of their first establishment attracted very much
the attention of their mother country; while those of the other
European nations were for a long time in a great measure neglected.
The former did not perhaps thrive the better in consequence of
this attention, nor the latter the worse in consequence of their
neglect.’[27] It may be answered, however, that the neglect here
referred to was neglect of the colonies in their internal concerns,
leaving them, as Adam Smith puts it, to pursue their interest in
their own way. This was an undeniably beneficial form of neglect,
wholly different from the neglect which leaves distant dependencies
exposed to foreign invasion and native raids. Was then the British
Government guilty of the latter form of neglect in the case of the
American colonies?

[Sidenote: The attitude of the mother country in the earlier history
of the colonies.]

There were many instances in the history of these colonies, while
they were still under the British flag, of the Imperial Government
promising assistance which was never sent, or only sent after
months of delay: there were instances of gross incapacity on the
part of leaders of expeditions sent out from home, notably in the
case of Walker and Hill, who commanded the disgracefully abortive
enterprise against Quebec in 1711. The state of Acadia, when
nominally in British keeping after the Treaty of Utrecht, was a
glaring illustration of English supineness and procrastination.
There was, at any rate, one notable instance of the mother country
depriving the colonies of a great result of their own brilliant
enterprise, viz. when Louisbourg, taken by the New Englanders in
1745, was restored by Great Britain to France under the terms of
the Treaty of Aix la Chapelle in 1748. Undoubtedly Great Britain
on many occasions disappointed and disheartened the colonies, and
especially the most patriotic of the colonies, the New England
states. On the other hand, it is beyond question that the colonies
were never seriously attacked by sea. They were threatened,
sometimes badly threatened, as by d’Anville’s fleet in 1746;
they were liable to the raids of daring partisan leaders, such
as d’Iberville; but either good fortune or the British fleet,
supplemented no doubt by a wholesome respect for the energy and
activity of the New England sailors themselves, kept the coasts and
seaports of the American colonies in comparative security through
all the years of war. It must be noted too that, while the colonies
suffered because Great Britain had interests elsewhere than in
America; while, for instance, a fleet designed for the benefit
of the colonies in 1709 was sent off to Portugal, and the New
Englanders’ prize of Louisbourg was forfeited in order to secure
Madras for the British Empire, the colonies at the same time shared
in the results of victories won in other parts of the world than
America. The Peace of Utrecht, with what it gave to the English in
America, was entirely the outcome of Marlborough’s victories on the
continent of Europe. Nothing that was done in America contributed
to it. The failures of England were under the colonies’ eyes; her
successes, the fruits of which they shared, were often achieved at
the other side of the world.

[Sidenote: The conquest of Canada was mainly due to the mother

But, taking the main events which contributed to the security
and greatness of the American colonies, how far should they be
credited to Great Britain and how far to the colonies themselves?
In earlier days, nothing was more important to the future of the
English in America than securing a continuous seaboard and linking
the southern to the northern colonies. This object was obtained
by taking New York from the Dutch, the result of action initiated
in Europe, not in America. The final reduction of Port Royal was
effected with the assistance of troops and ships from England.
The Peace of Utrecht, which deprived the French of Acadia and
their settlements in Newfoundland, was, as already stated, wholly
the result of Marlborough’s fighting in Europe. Though the New
Englanders took Louisbourg, and England gave it back to France,
the colonists’ success was largely aided by Warren’s squadron of
Imperial ships. But, most of all, the final conquest of Canada was
due far more to the action of the mother country than to that of
the colonies.

The great, almost the only, foreign danger to the English colonies
in North America was from the French in Canada and Louisiana, but
it is not generally realized how enormously the English on the
North American continent outnumbered the French. At the time of the
conquest of Canada, the white population of the English colonies
in North America was to that of the French colonies as thirteen
to one. It is true that the English did not form one community,
whereas the French were united; but it is also true, on the other
hand, that the several English communities were more concentrated
than the French, and that they held the base of the triangle, which
base was the sea. A single one of the larger English colonies had a
white population equal to or surpassing the whole French population
in North America. Under these circumstances it might fairly be
asked why the English colonists required any help at all from the
mother country to conquer Canada. The war was one in which they
were vitally concerned. Its object was to give present security to
their frontiers, to rid them once for all from the raids of French
and Indians, which had for generations desolated their villages,
farms, and homesteads, and to leave the West as a heritage to
their children’s children, instead of allowing the valleys of the
Mississippi and the Ohio to remain a French preserve. No doubt it
was to the interest of Great Britain, as an Imperial Power, that
France should be attacked and, if possible, overthrown in the New
World as in the Old. The conquest of Canada was part of Pitt’s
general scheme of policy, and English regiments were not sent to
America for the sake of the American colonists alone.[28] But the
allegation made in after years, that the campaigns in America
were of great concern to the mother country and of little concern
to the American colonies, was on the face of it untrue. To the
English colonists in North America the French in Canada were the
one great present danger, and the conquest of Canada was the one
thing needful. Yet we find that, in 1758, the troops, nearly 12,000
in number, which achieved the second capture of Louisbourg were
nearly all regulars; that in the force which Abercromby led against
Ticonderoga about one-half of the total fighting men were soldiers
of the line, and that even Forbes’ little army, which took Fort
Duquesne, contained 1,600 regulars out of a total of 6,000 men.
In the following year, Wolfe’s army, which took Quebec, was almost
entirely composed of Imperial troops. Nor was this all. Although,
in 1758, the colonies, or rather the New England colonies, readily
answered to Pitt’s call for a levy of 20,000 men, a considerable
part of the expense which was thus incurred was recouped from the
Imperial exchequer.[29] The conclusion of the whole matter is that
to the mother country, rather than to the colonies themselves, was
it due that the great danger which had menaced the latter for a
century and a half was finally removed. England gave the best of
her fighting men, and loaded her people at home with a debt of many
millions, in order that her great competitor might be weakened,
and that her children on the other side of the Atlantic might be
for all time secure on land from foreign foes, while her fleets
kept them safe from attack by sea; and, inasmuch as the French in
America were numerically insignificant as compared with the English
colonists, the only real justification for the colonists requiring
aid from the mother country to overcome the difficulty was, that
the English colonies were by geography and interest divided from
each other and consequently indifferent to each other’s burdens and
perils; while Canada, united in aim and organization, received also
assistance, though niggardly assistance, from France.

[Sidenote: Aid given by the mother country against the Indians.]

The French were the main enemies to the English in North America.
The native Indians were the only other human beings against whom
the colonists had to defend themselves, and here clearly it
was their concern alone. The New Englanders took the burden on
themselves manfully, so far as related to their own borders, but
they were not prepared to fight the battles of the Pennsylvanians
and Virginians; and the Pennsylvanians and Virginians were slow to
help themselves. The result was, as told in the last chapter, that
the brunt of the war with Pontiac and his confederates fell largely
on the mother country, her officers, and her troops, and this fact
alone was sufficient justification for Grenville’s contention, that
a small Imperial force ought to be maintained in, and be in part
paid by, the American colonies.

[Sidenote: (3) Argument that because the mother country dictated
the policy she ought to bear the expense.]

[Sidenote: Question of colonial representation in the Imperial

But then comes the last and the strongest argument of the colonies.
The mother country dictated the policy; distant and without direct
representation, though their agents were active in England, the
colonies could only follow where the mother country led: the mother
country, therefore, should pay the cost of defending the outlying
provinces; or, if the latter contributed at all to the cost, it was
for them and not for the mother country to determine the amount and
the method of the contribution. The real answer to this argument
was, as Adam Smith saw,[30] that the colonies should be represented
in the Imperial Parliament. He allowed that such a proposal was beset
by difficulties, but he did not consider, as Burke considered, that
the difficulties were insurmountable. Yet the problem, infinitely
easier in the days of steam and telegraphy, has not yet been solved,
and the preliminary task of combining a group of self-governing
colonies into a single confederation had, in the eighteenth century,
only been talked of and never been seriously attempted in North

[Sidenote: Moderation of the English demand on the colonies.]

In theory, English citizens, who had never been taxed directly
for Imperial purposes, might fairly claim not to be taxed, unless
and until they were taken into full partnership and given a voice
in determining the policy of the Empire. But the actual facts of
the case made the demand of the mother country on the American
colonies in itself eminently reasonable. It was true that England
had dictated the policy; but it was also true that the policy had
been directly in the interests of the colonies, and such as they
warmly approved. They were asked for money, but only for their own
protection, and to preclude the possibility of a further burden
falling on the mother country, already overweighted with debt
incurred on behalf of these particular provinces of the Empire.
The demand was a small one; the money to be raised would clearly
defray but a fraction of the cost of defending the North American
colonies. To the amount no reasonable exception could be taken; and
as to the method of raising it the colonies were, as a matter of
fact, consulted, for Grenville, the author of the Stamp Act, gave a
year’s notice, before the Act was finally passed,[31] in order that
the colonies might, in the meantime, if they could, agree upon some
more palatable method of providing the sum required.

[Sidenote: England suffered for her merits as well as for her

[Sidenote: The analogy of family life in the case of a mother
country and its colonies.]

The merits of England, no less than her defects, tended to alienate
the North American colonies. It is possible that, if she had
made a larger and more sweeping demand, she would have been more
successful. Her requisition was so moderate, that it seemed to
be petty, and might well have aroused suspicion that there was
more behind; that what was actually proposed was an insidious
preliminary to some far-reaching scheme for oppressing the colonies
and bringing them into subjection. It has been held, too, that, if
the Stamp Act had been passed without delay, there would have been
less opposition to it than when it had been brooded over for many
months. In other words, the fairness of dealing, which gave full
warning and full time for consideration of a carefully measured
demand, was turned to account against the mother country. But after
all what was in men’s minds, when the American colonies began their
contest for independence was, speaking broadly, the feeling, right
or wrong, that a mother country ought to pay and colonies ought
not. Men argued then, and they still argue, from the analogy of
a family. The head of the family should provide, as long as the
children remain part of the household.

The analogy of family life suggests a further view of the relations
between a mother country and its colonies, which accounts for the
possibilities of friction. A colonial empire consists of an old
community linked to young ones. The conditions, the standards, the
points of view, in politics, in morals, in social and industrial
matters, are not identical in old and young communities. Young
peoples, like young men, do not count the cost, and do not feel
responsibility to the same extent as their elders. They are more
restive, more ready to move forward, more prompt in action. Their
horizon is limited, and therefore they see immediate objects
clearly, and they do not appreciate compromise. The problems which
face them are simple as compared with the complicated questions
which face older communities, and they are impatient of the caution
and hesitation which come with inherited experience in a much wider
field of action. The future is theirs rather than the past, they
have not yet accumulated much capital and draw bills on the coming
time. Most of all, being on promotion, they are sensitive as to
their standing, keenly alive to their interests, and resent any
semblance of being slighted. It is impossible to generalize as to
the comparative standards of morality in old and young communities,
either in public or in private life, but, as a matter of fact,
political life, in the middle of the eighteenth century, was much
purer in the North American colonies than in England: whereas at
the present day, in this respect, England compares favourably with
the United States. The North American colonies were a group of
young communities, whose citizens were, at any rate in New England
and Pennsylvania, of a strong, sober, and very tenacious type:
the late war had taught them to fight: its issue had given them a
feeling of strength and security: there had been no extraordinary
strain upon their resources: they had reached a stage in their
history when they were most dangerous to offend and not unlikely to
take offence unless very carefully handled, and careful handling
on the part of the mother country, as all the world knows, was
conspicuous by its absence.

[Sidenote: The Native question.]

One more point may be noted as having an important bearing upon
the general question of the relations between a mother country and
its colonies, one which in particular contributed to ill-feeling
between England and the North American states. Colonization rarely
takes place in an empty land. The colonists on arrival find native
inhabitants, strong or weak, few or many, as the case may be. In
North America there were strong fighting races of Indians, and the
native question played an all-important part in the early history
of European settlement in this part of the world. It is almost
inevitable that white men on the spot, who are in daily contact
with natives, should, unless they hold a brief as missionaries or
philanthropists, take a different view of native rights and claims
from that which is held at a distance. It is true that in our own
time, to take one instance only, the Maori question in New Zealand
has been well handled by the colonial authorities, when thrown on
their own resources, with the result that there are no more loyal
members of the British Empire at the present day than the coloured
citizens of New Zealand; but in the earlier days of colonization
the general rule has been that native races fare better under
Imperial than under colonial control, for the twofold reason that
the distant authority is less influenced by colour prejudice, and
that white men who go out from Europe to settle among native races
are, in the ordinary course, of a rougher type than those who stay
at home, and that they tend to become hardened by living among
lower grades of humanity. The Quaker followers of Penn, in the
state which bears his name, were conspicuous for just and kindly
treatment of the Indians, but in the back-lands of Pennsylvania the
traders and pioneers of settlement were to the full as grasping
as their neighbours. The North American Puritan, like the South
African Dutchman, looked on the coloured man much as the Jewish
race regarded the native tribes of Canaan. The colonists came in
and took the land of the heathen in possession. Indian atrocities,
stimulated by French influence and French missionary training, were
not calculated to soften the views of the English settlers. They
saw their homes burned: their wives and children butchered: to them
arguments as to the red men’s rights were idle words.

The only authority which could and would hold the balance even
between the races was the Imperial Government; and in the hands
of that Government, represented for the purpose in the middle of
the eighteenth century by a man of rare ability and unrivalled
experience, Sir William Johnson, the superintendence of native
affairs was placed. But this duty, and the attempt to carry it out
justly and faithfully, involved friction with the more turbulent
and the less scrupulous of the colonists. Colonization is a tide
which is always coming in; and, unless restrictions are imposed
upon the colonists by some superior authority, the native owners
are gradually expropriated. ‘Your people,’ said the representatives
of the Six Nations to Sir William Johnson in 1755, ‘when they buy a
small piece of land of us, by stealing they make it large;’[32] and
Johnson amply corroborated this view. In October, 1762, he wrote:
‘The Indians are greatly disgusted at the great thirst which we all
seem to show for their lands.’[33]

[Sidenote: Sir William Johnson.]

A word must be said of Sir William Johnson, for he was one of the
men who, in the long course of British colonial history, have
rendered memorable service to their country by special aptitude
for dealing with native races. In this quality the French in
North America, as a rule, far excelled the English, and at the
particular place and time, Johnson’s character and influence were
an invaluable asset on the British side. An Irishman by birth, and
nephew of Sir Peter Warren, he had come out to America in 1738
to manage his uncle’s estates on the confines of the Six Nation
Indians, and some eleven years later he was made Superintendent of
Indian Affairs for the Northern division. He lived on the Mohawk
river, as much Indian as white man, his second wife being Molly
Brant, sister of the subsequently celebrated Mohawk leader, and
among the Iroquois his influence was unrivalled. In the wars with
France he did notable work, especially at the battle of Lake George
in 1755, and at the taking of Fort Niagara in 1759; and, when he
died in July, 1774, on the eve of the War of Independence, his
death left a gap which could not be filled, for no one among his
contemporaries could so persuade and so control the fiercest native
fighters in North America.

[Sidenote: The Fort Stanwix line.]

As has been seen, the Royal Proclamation of 1763 carefully
safeguarded the Indians’ lands, and in 1765 a line was drawn from
the Ohio valley to Wood Creek in the Oneida country, dividing
the country which should in future be open to white settlers
from that which the Six Nations were to hold for their own.
This boundary was, through Johnson’s influence, confirmed by an
agreement signed at Fort Stanwix on the 5th of November, 1768, in
the presence of Johnson himself as well as of Benjamin Franklin’s
son, who was at the time Governor of New Jersey. The signatories
were representatives of the colonies of New Jersey, Pennsylvania,
and Virginia on the one hand, and deputies of the Six Nations on
the other; and the Indians were described as ‘true and absolute
proprietors of the lands in question’. The line diverged from the
Alleghany branch of the Ohio some miles above Pittsburg; it was
carried in a north-easterly direction to the Susquehanna; from
the Susquehanna it was taken east to the Delaware; and from the
Delaware it was carried north along the course of the Unadilla
river, ending near Fort Stanwix, now the town of Rome, in Oneida
county of the state of New York. Under the terms of the agreement
all the land east of the line was, for a sum of £10,460 7_s._ 3_d._
sold to the King, except such part as was within the province of
Pennsylvania.[34] It was a definite recognition of the Indians
as being owners of land, and a definite pronouncement that what
they sold should be sold to the Crown. Neither tenet was likely to
commend itself to the border colonists. They would find it hard
to believe that a savage’s tenure of land was as valid as that
of a white man, nor would they welcome the Imperial Government
as landlord of the hinterland. The red man thought otherwise.
The power from over the seas, which the colonists soon learnt to
denounce as the enemy of liberty, was to them the protector of life
and land: and, when the struggle was over, many of the Six Nation
Indians were to be found in Canada, not in their old homes under
the flag of the United States.

[Sidenote: Attitude of the Canadians.]

Nor were the Indians the only inhabitants of North America who
did not see eye to eye with the colonists in their contest with
the mother country. In October, 1774, the General Congress of the
recalcitrant colonies issued a long manifesto to their ‘friends
and fellow subjects’ in Canada, inviting them to ‘unite with us
in one social compact formed on the generous principles of equal
liberty’. The manifesto appealed to the writings of ‘the immortal
Montesquieu’, the ‘countryman’ of the French Canadians, and warned
the latter not to become the instruments of the cruelty and
despotism of English ministers, but to stand firm for their natural
liberties, alleged to be threatened by the Quebec Act which had
just been passed. But the high-sounding appeal missed its mark.
It is true that at the beginning of the war, when Canada was left
almost undefended, and when, in consequence, Montgomery and the
Congress troops overran the country up to the walls of Quebec, a
considerable number of the French Canadians, together with the
British malcontents in Canada, openly or secretly made common
cause with the invaders; but even then the large majority of the
French Canadians remained neutral, and, if some joined the ranks
of the invaders, others, including especially the higher ranks
of the population, supported her cause. Here was a people lately
conquered, under the rule of an alien race. A golden opportunity
was given them, it seemed, to recover their freedom. Why did the
French colonists not throw in their lot wholehearted with the
English settlers in North America? Why did they prefer to remain
under the British Crown?

[Sidenote: The Canadians were not oppressed under English rule.]

The first reason was that they were not oppressed. On the contrary
they had already enjoyed more liberty under the British Government
than under the old French régime. There were complaints, no doubt,
as will be seen, but the Canadians were free to make them; there
was no stifling of discontent, no stamping out of inconvenient
pleas for liberty. With British rule came in the printing press.
The _Quebec Gazette_ was first issued in June, 1764, and in it the
ordinances were published in French as well as in English. Even
under military administration a formerly submissive people learnt
their privileges and their rights, and General Murray, whose recall
was due to allegations that he had unduly favoured the French
population at the expense of the Protestant Loyalists, wrote of
the Canadians as a ‘frugal, industrious, moral race of men who,
from the just and mild treatment they met with from His Majesty’s
military officers, who ruled the country four years, until the
establishment of civil government, had greatly got the better of
the natural antipathy they had to their conquerors’.[35] Canada was
not anxious to overturn a system under which Canadians were being
trained to be free. If England oppressed, she oppressed Englishmen
rather than Frenchmen or natives, and one element in the alleged
oppression of her own people consisted in safeguarding the rights
of other races.

[Sidenote: They preferred the English in and from England to the
English colonists in America.]

The second and the main reason why Canada did not combine with the
United States was that, though Canadians did not love the English
from England, they loved less their English neighbours in America.
Charles the Second told his brother that the English would not kill
himself to make James king. Similarly the Canadians, on reflection,
were not prepared to turn out the British Government in order to
substitute the domination of the English colonies. Generalities as
to natural rights and equal liberties, borrowed from the writings
of European philosophers, could not cover up the plain facts of
the case. Canada, united to the English colonies, would have been
submerged, and French Roman Catholics would have been permanently
subject to English Protestants, far less tolerant than Englishmen
at home. The colonists who had issued the high-sounding manifesto
had done so with strong resentment at the extension of the limits
of the province of Quebec, at the widening of the field in which
the Canadian system and the religion of Canada should hold its
own. They were speaking with two voices at one and the same time;
calling on the Canadians not to submit to British tyranny, and
denouncing as tyranny a measure which favoured Canada. Many years
back the Canadians and their friends had differentiated between
the English from England, who came out to fight, and the English
colonists in America. The eye-witness of the siege and capture of
Louisbourg in 1745 favourably, and probably unfairly, contrasted
Warren and his British sailors with Pepperell and the New England
levies. To the men from a distance, better disciplined, less
prejudiced, less imbued with provincial animosity, there was no
such aversion as to the enemy who was ever under their eyes. At all
times and in all parts of the world there has been the same tale to
tell; if one race must be subordinated to another, it prefers that
its rulers should not be those who for generations have been their
immediate neighbours and their persistent rivals.

It was written in the book of fate that New France should sooner or
later become incorporated in the British Empire; it was written too
that, when that time came, the British provinces in North America
would assert and win complete independence. It is impossible to
estimate aright the loss except in the light of the gain which
preceded it. Only consummate statesmanship or military genius
could have averted the severance of the North American colonies,
for the very qualities which had brought success alike to them and
to the motherland, dogged persistence, sense of strength, all the
instincts and the principles which have made the English great,
were ranged on either side in the civil war between England and her
children: and that war was the direct, almost the inevitable result
of their recent joint effort and their united victory. Friction
began: years went on: bitterness was intensified: the noisier and
less scrupulous partisans silenced the voice of reason: in the
mother country the Sovereign and his advisers made a good cause
bad: the revolting colonies were ennobled by Washington. Success
justified the action of the colonists. England was condemned
because she failed. Yet the story, if read aright, teaches only
this: that the defeat of England by her own children was due to the
simple fact that partly by her action, partly by her inaction, the
children in wayward and blundering fashion had grown to greatness.

[Sidenote: Canada under military rule.]

After the capitulation of Montreal, in September, 1760, Canada was,
for the time being, under military rule. There were three military
governors, General Murray at Quebec, Colonel Burton at Three
Rivers, and General Gage at Montreal. All three were subordinate
to Amherst, the Commander-in-Chief in North America, whose head
quarters were usually at New York. Amherst left for England in
1763, and was succeeded by General Gage, whose place was filled
by the transfer of Burton from Three Rivers, while the military
governorship of Three Rivers was entrusted to Colonel Haldimand,
one of the Swiss officers who deserved so well of England in North

[Sidenote: The French Canadians at the time of the British conquest
of Canada.]

While Canada was still under military rule, and before the Peace of
Paris was signed, the British Government took steps to collect full
information as to their newly-acquired possession, with a view to
determining the lines on which it should be administered in future.
At the end of 1761 Amherst was instructed to obtain the necessary
reports, which were in the following year duly supplied by Murray,
Burton, and Gage in respect of Quebec, Three Rivers, and Montreal

Canada at this time contained little more than 70,000 white
inhabitants. The population, Murray thought, had tended to
decrease for twenty years past, owing to war, to the strictness
of the marriage laws, and to the prohibition of marriages between
Protestants and Roman Catholics; but he looked for a large increase
from natural causes in the next twenty years, the men being strong
and the women extremely prolific.

The Canadians, Murray wrote, were ‘mostly of a Norman race’ and,
‘in general, of a litigious disposition’. He classified them
into the gentry, the clergy, the merchants, and the peasantry or
habitants. The gentry or seigniors, descendants of military or
civil officers, the creation largely of Louis XIV, Colbert, and
Talon, he described as for the most part men of small means, unless
they had held one or other of the distant posts, where they could
make their fortunes. ‘They are extremely vain, and have an utter
contempt for the trading part of the colony, though they made no
scruple to engage in it, pretty deeply too, whenever a convenient
opportunity served. They were great tyrants to their vassals, who
seldom met with redress, let their grievances be ever so just.
This class will not relish the British Government, from which they
can neither expect the same employments or the same douceurs they
enjoyed under the French.’ Of the clergy he wrote that the higher
ranks were filled by Frenchmen, the rest being Canadian born, and
in general Canadians of the lower class. Similarly the wholesale
traders were mostly French, and the retail traders natives of
Canada. The peasantry he described as ‘a strong, healthy race,
plain in their dress, virtuous in their morals, and temperate in
their living’, extremely ignorant, and extremely tenacious of
their religion. At the time of writing, Murray and his colleagues
evidently anticipated more loyalty from the peasantry than from
the higher classes of Canadians. Protected in their religion,
given impartial justice, freed from class oppression and official
corruption, they seemed likely to develop into happy and contented
subjects of the British Crown. The sequel was, however, to show
that more support would accrue to the new rulers of Canada from
the classes which had something to lose than from the credulous

‘The French,’ so ran Murray’s report, ‘bent their whole attention
in this part of the world to the fur-trade.’ They neglected
agriculture and the fisheries. ‘The inhabitants are inclinable
enough to be lazy, and not much skilled in husbandry, the great
dependencies they have hitherto had on the gun and fishing-rod
made them neglect tillage beyond the requisites of their own
consumption and the few purchases they needed.’ Gage wrote that
‘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’. He noted how common it was
‘for the servants, whom the merchants hired to work their boats
and assist in their trade, through a long habit of Indian manners
and customs, at length to adopt their way of life, to intermarry
with them, and turn savages’. Burton’s report was to the same
effect: ‘The laziness of the people, and the alluring and momentary
advantages they reaped from their traffic with the Indians in the
upper countries, and the counterband trade they carried on with
the English colonies, have hitherto prevented the progress of
husbandry;’ and again, ‘The greatest part of the young men, allured
by the debauched and rambling life which always attend the Indian
trade in the upper countries, never thought of settling at home
till they were almost worn out with diseases or premature old age.’

It was a country and a people of strong contrasts, wholly unlike
their own colonies, that the English were called upon to rule. At
head quarters and near it there was a cast-iron system in Church
and State, trade monopoly, an administration at once despotic
and corrupt. Behind there was a boundless wild, to which French
restlessness, French adaptability for dealing with native races,
and the possibilities of illicit wealth called the young and
enterprising, who were impatient of control, and who could not
share the gains of corruption at Montreal and Quebec. In Canada
there was no gradual and continuous widening of settlement, such
as marked the English colonies in North America. In those colonies
development was spontaneous but, in the main, civilized; not
according to fixed rule, but not contrary to law, the law being
home-made and not imposed from without.

In Canada extreme conservatism existed side by side with complete
lawlessness. At one pole of society were a certain number of
obedient human beings, planted out in rows; at the other were
the wandering fur-traders, who knew no law and had no fixed
dwelling-place. Excluding the officials from France, ill paid and
intent on perquisites alone, and excluding French or Canadian
merchants, the main constituents in the population of Canada were
the seignior, the priest, the habitant, and the voyageur; of these
four elements it would be hard to say which was farthest removed
from citizenship, as it was understood in England and the English
colonies. Yet all these elements were to be combined and moulded
into a British community.

[Sidenote: Beginning of civil government.]

The beginning of civil administration in Canada under British
rule was the Royal Proclamation of 7th October, 1763, which has
been noticed in the preceding chapter. Before it was issued, an
intimation was sent to Murray that he had been selected as the
first civil governor of the new British province of Quebec. His
commission as governor was dated 21st November, 1763; and the Royal
Instructions, which accompanied the Commission, bore the date of
7th December, 1763; but it was not until August, 1764, that he took
up his new position and military rule came to an end.[37]

[Sidenote: General Murray.]

James Murray was still under forty years of age. He proved himself
a stanch, loyal, and capable soldier, resolute in critical times,
as when he defended Quebec through the trying winter of 1759-60,
and later, in 1781-2, held Minorca until his handful of troops,
stricken with famine and disease, surrendered their arms, as they
said, to God alone. His words and his actions alike testified
that he was a humane and just man. Like other soldiers, before
and since, having seen war face to face, he was more ready than
civilians who had not risked their lives, but breathed threatenings
and slaughter from a safe distance, to treat the conquered with

[Sidenote: Difficulties of the situation.]

[Sidenote: Ill feeling between soldiers and civilians.]

He had many difficulties to contend with. Military matters did not
run smoothly. In September, 1763, there had been a dangerous mutiny
among the troops at Quebec. It was caused by an ill-timed order
sent out from home to the effect that the soldiers should pay for
their rations; and serious consequences might have followed but for
the prompt and firm attitude of the general and his officers. At
Quebec, Murray combined civil and military powers; but after civil
administration had been proclaimed, though his government included
the whole of the province as constituted by the Royal proclamation,
he was left without authority over the troops at Montreal, where
Burton jealously retained an independent military command. The
inevitable result was to fetter his action to a great extent, to
give to the Canadians the impression of divided authority,[38]
and to accentuate friction between soldiers and civilians, which
culminated in an assault at Montreal in December, 1764, on a
magistrate named Walker, who had made himself specially obnoxious
to the officers of the garrison. Two years later the supposed
perpetrators of the outrage were tried and acquitted, but the
affair left ill feeling behind it, and Walker remained an active
and pertinacious opponent of the British Government in Canada.

[Sidenote: The Protestant minority.]

Among the Canadian population there were various causes of unrest.
The priesthood were anxious as to their position and privileges.
The depreciation of the paper money, which had been issued under
the French régime, gave trouble. The law was in a state of chaos;
and, most of all, the first Governor of Canada had to withstand
the pretensions of the handful of Protestants, in 1764 about 200
in number, in 1766 about 450, who wished to dominate the French
Canadians, alien in religion and in race.

[Sidenote: Murray leaves for England and is succeeded by Carleton.]

Against the claims of this small but noisy and intriguing minority
Murray resolutely set his face, but the difficulties which arose
led to his being summoned home. He left Canada for England towards
the end of June, 1766, and though he retained the post of Governor
till April, 1768, he never returned to Quebec.

His successor was Guy Carleton, who arrived in Canada in September,
1766, and carried on the administration as Lieutenant-Governor
till 1768, when he became Governor-in-chief. Like Murray, he was
a soldier of distinction, and had been a warm personal friend of
Wolfe, who made him one of the executors of his will. He was born
in 1724, at Strabane in the north of Ireland, the third son of
General Sir Guy Carleton. He went into the Guards, was transferred
to the 72nd Regiment, and served in Germany, at Louisbourg, and, as
Quartermaster-General, with Wolfe at Quebec. He remained at Quebec
with Murray during the eventful winter of 1759-60; and, after
further active service at Belle Isle and Havana, he came back to
Quebec in 1766, to do more than any one man in war and peace for
the safety and well-being of Canada as a British possession.

[Sidenote: Conditions which led to the passing of the Quebec Act.]

The difficulties which Murray had been called upon to meet
confronted him also, and, like Murray, he saw the necessity as
well as the justice of resisting the extravagant claims of the
minority, and conciliating to British rule the large body of the
Canadian population. For nearly four years he remained at his
post, forming his views as to the lines on which Canada should
be remodelled. In August, 1770, he left for England on leave of
absence, and in England he remained until the Quebec Act had been
passed. The Act was passed in June, 1774, taking effect from the
1st of May in the following year; and in the middle of September,
1774, Carleton arrived again at Quebec. It is now proposed to
review the conditions which led to the passing of the Act, and the
policy which was embodied in it, omitting as far as possible minor
incidents and dealing only with the main features, which illustrate
the general course of British colonial history.

[Sidenote: The Conquest of Canada presented a new problem in
British colonial history.]

The acquisition of Canada presented to British statesmen a wholly
new problem. The British Empire had hitherto widened mainly by
means of settlement, for the seventeenth century, as far as Great
Britain was concerned, was a time of settlement, not of conquest.
Jamaica, it is true, had been taken from the Spaniards, and New
York from the Dutch; but, great as was the importance of securing
those two dependencies in the light of subsequent history, the
conquest or cession of both the one and the other was rather an
incident than the result of an era of war and conquest. Such an era
came with the eighteenth century; and, when the Peace of Utrecht in
1713 secured Great Britain in undivided possession of Newfoundland,
and confirmed to her the possession of the Acadian peninsula, and
of the Rock of Gibraltar, a notable outpost of the future Empire,
there was a beginning, though a small beginning, of territorial
expansion as the result of war.

[Sidenote: Canada was: (1) a continental area; (2) colonized
by another European race; (3) bordering on a sphere of British
colonization; (4) the home of a coloured race.]

The Seven Years’ War brought with it British conquest alike in
East and West; but in India the British advance was in some sort a
repetition on a wider scale of what other European nations had done
in the same regions. It was the natural outcome of trade rivalry,
and of white men coming among Eastern races. The conquest of
Canada, on the other hand, differed in kind from all that had gone
before in British history. The Imperial Government of Great Britain
took over a great expanse of continent, and became, by force of
arms, proprietor of a country which another colonizing race had
acquired by settlement. The new problems were how to administer
and to develop not a small island or peninsula but a very large
continental area, and how to rule a rival white race which from
the beginnings of colonization in North America had made that
area, or part of it, its own. To these two most difficult problems
was added a third, how to administer the new territory and to rule
the French colonists, so as to work in harmony with the adjacent
British colonies. Conquest and settlement, so to speak, overlapped.
If Canada had not been a French colony, and had been inhabited by
coloured men alone, or if Canada, as a French colony, had been in a
different continent from the British North American colonies, the
task of construction or re-construction would have been infinitely
easier. It would have been easier, too, if the French Canadians
had been the only inhabitants of Canada. But, as it was, one white
race conquered another white race, which in its turn had secured
mastery over a coloured race, and in the land of that coloured race
had not merely conquered or traded, but settled and colonized; and
the new conquerors were of the same kith and kin as settlers in the
adjoining territories, whose traditions were all traditions not
of ruling nor of conquering so much as of gradually acquiring by
settlement at the expense of the coloured race.

[Sidenote: Conditions which guided British policy in Canada as
embodied in the Proclamation of 1763.]

[Sidenote: Geographical division between the settled districts and
the hinterland.]

[Sidenote: The Indian question.]

[Sidenote: Necessity for attracting British colonists]

What had British statesmen to guide them in dealing with the
question, and what considerations led to the provisions which were
embodied in their first measure, the Royal Proclamation of 7th
October, 1763? It was evident, in the first place, that a line
could, if it was thought advisable, be drawn between the settled
parts of Canada and the Western territories, where the French had
only maintained outposts and trading stations. The government of
Quebec, therefore, which was the new colony, was, as has been seen,
limited to the districts of Quebec, Three Rivers, and Montreal,
and did not include the regions of the lakes, or the territories
of the Hudson’s Bay Company. In the second place, past experience
had proved that English dealings with the Indians had been very
much less successful than French management, the characteristic
features of which were personal relations with a despotic governor
and his authorized agents and representatives; and that the
Indians enjoyed more protection and were likely to develop greater
loyalty and contentment under a central authority--the Imperial
Government--represented and advised by Sir William Johnson, than
if left to bargain with and to resent encroachments by the various
British colonies. Consequently the proclamation reserved the
western hinterland ‘under our sovereignty, protection, and dominion
for the use of the said Indians’, in addition to safeguarding
the existing rights and lands of the natives within the borders
of the colonies. In the third place it was obviously desirable
to introduce into Canada a leaven of colonists of English race,
and more especially of colonists who had been trained to arms and
already knew the land and the people. Hence, just as in bygone
days Colbert and Talon, when colonizing Canada on a definite
system, planted time-expired soldiers along the St. Lawrence and
the Richelieu rivers, so the Proclamation of 1763 empowered free
land grants to be given in Canada, as well as in the other American
possessions of Great Britain, to officers and soldiers who had
served in the late war; and it also encouraged British settlers
generally by providing that, as soon as circumstances allowed, a
General Assembly was to be summoned ‘in such manner and form as is
used and directed in those colonies and provinces in America which
are under our immediate government.’[39]

[Sidenote: and for conciliating the French Canadians.]

[Sidenote: Desire to give British privileges to Canada.]

But most of all it was necessary to mete out fair and liberal
treatment to the new subjects, the French Canadians, and make
them contented citizens of the British Empire. This object,
Englishmen naturally argued, could best be attained, first, by
securing ‘the ancient inhabitants in all the titles, rights, and
privileges granted to them by Treaty’[40]; and secondly, by giving
the Canadians as soon as possible the laws and institutions
which British subjects valued and under which they had thrived,
by assimilating Canada as far as possible in these respects to
the neighbouring British colonies. Accordingly the Canadians were
from the first to enjoy the benefit of the laws of England, and
courts of justice were to be established with power to determine
all causes criminal and civil ‘as near as may be agreeable to the
laws of England’. The question of religion was ignored in the
proclamation; freedom of worship had already been guaranteed to
the Roman Catholics by the 4th Article of the Peace of Paris,[41]
and Murray’s instructions were that he should ‘in all things
regarding the said inhabitants, conform with great exactness to
the stipulations of the said treaty in this respect’. There the
matter was left for the moment, though Murray’s commission provided
that the persons who should be elected as members of the future
Assembly were to subscribe the declaration against Popery, enacted
in Charles the Second’s reign, which provision would have excluded
Roman Catholics from sitting in the Assembly.

[Sidenote: Liberal intention of the Proclamation of 1763.]

There is no question that the proclamation itself was conceived in
a wise and tolerant spirit. There was every intention to safeguard
the best interests alike of the French Canadians and of the
Indians; to give to the latter the protection of Imperial rule,
to give to the former the benefits of British laws, and as far as
possible the privileges of British citizenship. The proclamation,
too, was not drawn on hard and fast lines. As soon as circumstances
permitted, and not before, representative institutions were to be
introduced, and the laws were not to be necessarily the laws of
England, but ‘as near as may be agreeable to’ the laws of England.

[Sidenote: Murray’s Commission.]

[Sidenote: The Council of government.]

Murray’s commission as governor empowered him, ‘so soon as the
situation and circumstances of our said province under your
government will admit thereof, and when and as often as need shall
require, to summon and call General Assemblies of the freeholders
and planters within your government.’ But by the terms of the
commission a council was joined with the governor and Assembly
as the authority for making laws and ordinances, and the Royal
Instructions provided that, pending the calling of a General
Assembly, the governor was to act on the advice of his council in
making regulations, which would have the force of law, and which
were, as a matter of fact, styled ordinances, certain important
subjects, such as taxation, being excluded from their scope.
Thus, until representative institutions could be given to Canada,
legislative and executive authority was placed in the hands of
the governor acting on the advice of a nominated council. But the
council, again, was constituted on liberal lines, as its members
were to be the Lieutenant-Governors of Montreal and Three Rivers,
the Chief Justice of the province of Quebec, the Surveyor-General
of Customs in America for the Northern district, and ‘eight other
persons to be chosen by you from amongst the most considerable of
the inhabitants of, or persons of property in, our said province’.
From the first, therefore, it was intended that the unofficial
element in the council should outnumber the officials--evidence,
if evidence were wanted, that it was desired to govern Canada in
accordance with the wishes of the people.

[Sidenote: Courts of justice established.]

[Sidenote: Causes of the difficulties which arose.]

Immediately after civil government had taken the place of
military rule, an ordinance was, in September, 1764, promulgated,
constituting courts of justice, the law to be administered being
in the main the law of England, and trial by jury being introduced
without any religious qualification for jurymen. One provision in
the ordinance, it may be noticed in passing, abolished the district
of Three Rivers, which had hitherto been, like Montreal, in charge
of a Lieutenant-Governor. Thus Canada was started on its course as
a British colony, with the best intentions, the prospect of such
self-government as other American colonies enjoyed, British law
and justice, and above all a governor who was in sympathy with the
people, and earnestly worked for their good; but difficulties arose
almost immediately, and the causes of them are not far to seek.

[Sidenote: The religious question.]

It was the honest desire of the British Government to give liberty
to Canada, to treat it, not as a conquered country, but as a
British colony. Liberty, as the English understand it, has connoted
three things, representative institutions, British law and justice,
including especially trial by jury and the Habeas Corpus Act, and
freedom of conscience. But in past times to Protestants freedom
of conscience meant practical exclusion from the political sphere
of those, like Roman Catholics, whose creed was in principle an
exclusive creed; and therefore, in a Roman Catholic country under
Protestant supremacy, like Ireland or Canada in the eighteenth
century, representative institutions from the strong Protestant
point of view meant institutions which did not represent the bulk
of the population. In this matter, as in others, in the case of
Canada, English statesmen and English governors, though not at once
prepared to dispense with religious tests, were more liberally
inclined towards the ‘new subjects’, the French Canadians, than
were the English colonists in America; and the soldier Murray had
far more breadth of mind than the local lawyers and politicians
who prated of liberties which they had no intention of granting to

[Sidenote: Murray’s letter to Lord Shelburne.]

[Sidenote: His opinion of the Protestant minority in Canada.]

Shortly after his return to England, in 1766, Murray expressed
his views as to the small Protestant minority in Canada in plain
outspoken terms. In a letter addressed to Lord Shelburne on the
20th of August in that year, he wrote, ‘most of them were followers
of the army, of mean education, or soldiers disbanded at the
reduction of the troops. All have their fortunes to make, and I
fear few of them are solicitous about the means when the end
can be obtained. I report them to be in general the most immoral
collection of men I ever knew, of course little calculated to make
the new subjects enamoured with our laws, religion, and customs,
far less adapted to enforce these laws and to govern.’ As the
Canadian peasantry, he continued, ‘have been taught to respect
their superiors 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.... Magistrates were to be made
and juries to be composed from four hundred and fifty contemptible
sutlers and traders ... 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 threatened with.’ Equally severe was his judgement on
‘the improper choice and the number of the civil officers sent
out from England’, ignorant of the law and language, rapacious,
and lowering the dignity of government. In short his letter[42]
was a wholesale condemnation of the representatives of the party
which claimed to represent British civic life in a newly-acquired

These men had bitterly attacked Murray, and no doubt Murray was
bitter in turn; but his strictures were largely justified. He had
lived for some years among the Canadians; he had commanded the
King’s troops; himself a man of high principle and good breeding,
he resented the mischief wrought by a low class of domineering
interlopers who, in the name of freedom, meant to oppress, and
painted as tyranny the policy which prevented oppression. A
continuance of military rule, which the Canadians understood, would
have been infinitely preferable to representative institutions in
which the overwhelming majority of the population would have had no

[Sidenote: Character of American Protestantism.]

[Sidenote: Unfit men sent out from England.]

Carleton’s view was much the same as Murray’s. His sympathies
too were with Canada and the Canadians, and yet the forces and
the instincts on the other side are at least intelligible. It was
natural that, when war was over, in the train of the conquering
army there should drift into the conquered country a certain
number of adventurers, eager for official and professional gain,
exploiting the land and the people, indifferent to higher objects,
for they had not known them. They were an inevitable evil, such
as must be reckoned with in similar circumstances at all times
and in all places. It was natural too that Protestantism, when
ascendant, should be aggressive; and Protestantism in Canada
was borrowed from the New England States; it was the Puritanism
of past days, hardened by memories of the evil wrought by Roman
Catholic teaching among the natives of North America, the fruits of
which had been, times without number, a series of savage crusades
against the border villages of the British colonies. But the
British Government, with all its kindly intentions, was at fault
too; and the fault was the same evil which was poisoning political
life at home. Unfit men were being sent out from home, and the
subordinate instruments for carrying out a new policy, and making a
new régime congenial to those who were to live under it, were not
well chosen. Men were wanted at first rather than institutions. The
soldier governors were good, but the same could not be said of the
civilians and lawyers.

[Sidenote: Pouring new wine into old bottles.]

Once more, too, it must be noticed that the actual merits of
British statesmanship and policy militated against its success. It
was so keenly desired to give the new subjects all the privileges
enjoyed by the old, that too little account was taken of the
training, the wishes, and the present needs of the new subjects.
The Canadians were politically children. They had never known even
the semblance of representative institutions. They had from all
time been born and bred under authority--under the King, under
the Church, under the seigniors. They had learnt unquestioning
obedience, and could not at once be re-cast in a democratic mould.
The printing press, the Assembly for law-making and debate, the
standing quarrels with governors, the withholding of supplies,
the aggressive freedom in every form which characterized the
English communities in North America, all were alien to the French
Canadian. The wine might be good, but it was new, and pouring it
into old bottles could only have one result, the loss of the wine
and the bursting of the bottles. So also with British law and
justice: that too was new and largely unintelligible; the language
puzzled and confused, and the lawyers who came in found the
confusion profitable. Premature attempts or proposals to assimilate
only served to emphasize differences, and for the moment good
intentions paved the way to something like anarchy.

[Sidenote: Presentment of the Grand Jury in October, 1764.]

In September, 1764, the ordinance constituting courts of justice
was promulgated, and in the following month the Grand Jury at
Quebec made a presentment, enumerating a number of alleged
grievances, concerned not merely with the administration of
justice, but also with various matters which lay wholly outside
their sphere. ‘We represent,’ so the framers of the presentment
wrote, ‘that as the Grand Jury must be considered at present as the
only body representative of the colony, they, as British subjects,
have a right to be consulted, before any ordinance that may affect
the body that they represent be passed into a law.’ It was an
impertinent document, a kind of manifesto against the Government;
and, taken by itself alone, gave ample evidence of the class and
the temper of the men who were determined to make trouble in
Canada. It was signed by some French jurors as well as English, but
a supplement to it, signed by the English, or, at any rate, by the
Protestant members alone, protested against Roman Catholics being
admitted as jurors, and it soon appeared that the French jurors had
signed the main document in ignorance of its contents.[43] ‘Little,
very little,’ wrote Murray, ‘will content the new subjects, but
nothing will satisfy the licentious fanatics trading here, but the
expulsion of the Canadians who are perhaps the bravest and the
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.’[44]

[Sidenote: Petition for recall of Murray.]

The Grand Jury’s presentment was followed by a petition for
the recall of Murray, drawn up in the next year and signed by
twenty-one persons, which accused him of military prejudice against
civil liberties, and of discouraging the Protestants and their
religion. It asked for a new governor of a less military type,
and for a House of Representatives composed of Protestants alone,
though Roman Catholics might be allowed to vote for Protestant
members. Never did a small minority make more extravagant claims,
or attack with greater want of scruple those who were trying to
hold the balance even.

[Sidenote: The ordinance of 1770.]

[Sidenote: The Quebec Act.]

Carleton succeeded Murray, and soon after his arrival showed
that he was as little disposed, as Murray had been, to submit
to dictation. A side issue had arisen as to the appointment and
precedence of members of the council, and, in answer to a protest
addressed to him by some of the councillors, he laid down that ‘I
will ask the advice and opinion of such persons, though not of the
council, as I shall find men of good sense, truth, candour, and
impartial justice; persons who prefer their duty to the King, and
the tranquillity of his subjects to unjustifiable attachments,
party zeal, and to all selfish mercenary views.... I must also
remind you that His Majesty’s service requires tranquillity and
peace in his province of Quebec, and that it is the indispensable
duty of every good subject, and of every honest man, to promote
so desirable an end.’[45] Still intrigue went on: religious
bitterness did not abate, as men spoke and wrote on either side:
legal confusion became worse confounded, and reports were made on
what was and what ought to be the state of the law, by the English
law officers of the Crown, by a delegate sent out from England,
and by Masères, the Attorney-General in Canada. One crying evil,
however, arising from the proceedings for the recovery of debts,
which were enriching magistrates and bailiffs and reducing Canadian
families to beggary, was remedied by Carleton in an ordinance dated
1st February, 1770, which among other provisions deprived the
justices of the peace of jurisdiction in cases affecting private
property.[46] It was a righteous ordinance, and those who had
profited by the old system raised an outcry against it, but in
vain. Eventually the Quebec Act was passed in 1774, the provisions
of which must now be considered.

[Sidenote: Its objects.]

‘The principal objects of the Quebec Bill,’ we read in the _Annual
Register_ for 1774,[47] ‘were to ascertain the limits of that
province, which were extended far beyond what had been settled as
such by the King’s Proclamation of 1763. To form a legislative
council for all the affairs of that province, except taxation,
which council should be appointed by the Crown, the office to be
held during pleasure; and His Majesty’s Roman Catholic subjects
were entitled to a place in it. To establish the French laws, and
a trial without jury, in civil cases: and the English laws, with a
trial by jury, in criminal; to secure to the Roman Catholic clergy,
except the Regulars, the legal enjoyment of their estates, and of
their tythes from all who were of their own religion. These were
the chief objects of the Act.’

[Sidenote: Extension of the boundaries of the province of Quebec.]

It has been seen that, under the Proclamation of 1763, the province
of Quebec included the settled part of Canada, as far as the point
where the 45th parallel of latitude intersected the St. Lawrence,
midway between Montreal and Lake Ontario. Outside the province
were the Labrador coast from the river St. John to Hudson Straits,
which, with the island of Anticosti and other small islands in
the estuary of the St. Lawrence, was placed ‘under the care and
inspection’ of the Governor of Newfoundland; the government of Nova
Scotia, including at the time Cape Breton Island, the territory now
forming the province of New Brunswick, and the island of St. John,
afterwards Prince Edward Island; the territories of the Hudson’s
Bay Company; and the great undefined region of the lakes and the
Ohio as far as the Mississippi. The Quebec Act restored to Canada
or, as it was still styled, the province of Quebec, the Labrador
coast and Anticosti, and included in it, within the lines which
the Act prescribed, the Western territories for which England and
France had fought so hard.

[Sidenote: The Labrador coast added to the province of Quebec.]

The reason for re-annexing the Labrador coast to Canada was
that since 1763, when it had been placed under the Governor of
Newfoundland, there had been constant disputes and difficulties as
to the fishing rights on that coast. It was the old story, so well
known in the case of Newfoundland itself, of a perpetual struggle
between those who lived on or near the spot, and the fishermen
who came over the Atlantic from English ports, and who wanted the
fisheries and the landing-places reserved for their periodical
visits. The Governor of Newfoundland in the years 1764-8 was an
energetic man, Sir Hugh Palliser, who built a fort in Labrador,
and set himself to enforce the fishing rules which prevailed in
Newfoundland. But the Labrador fisheries, it was contended, were
of a more sedentary nature than those of the Newfoundland Banks,
sealing was as prominent an occupation as cod-fishing;[48] the
regulations which kept Newfoundland for the Dorset and Devon
fishing fleets could not fairly be applied to the mainland, and the
coast of Labrador should be placed under regular civil government,
and not be left in the charge of the sea captains who held
authority in Newfoundland.

It was really a case, on a very small scale, of England against
America; and the interesting point to notice is that the opponents
of the Newfoundland régime included alike French Canadians and
New Englanders. The few settlers on the Labrador coast, and the
fishermen and sealers who came either from Canada or from the
New England states, were all concerned to prevent Labrador from
being kept, like Newfoundland, as a preserve for Englishmen, and a
nursery for English sailors; and it illustrates the confusion of
thought which existed among the opponents of the Quebec Act that,
in the debate on the Act, we find Chatham, the champion of the
rights of the American colonists, denouncing the provision which
gave back Labrador to Quebec, on the ground that it would become
a nursery for French instead of English sailors, forgetful that
the system which he wished to perpetuate, had been persistently
obstructed by the men of Massachusetts, forgetful too that true
statesmanship conceived of the French Canadians, on sea or land, as
future loyal citizens of the British Crown.

[Sidenote: Inclusion of the western hinterland in the province of

But the extension of the boundaries of the province of Quebec on
the Atlantic side was after all a small matter, though the most was
made of it for party purposes. Nor could exception be taken to the
enlargement of the province to the north and north-west, until it
reached the territories which had been granted to, or were claimed
by, the Hudson’s Bay Company. Far more important and more debatable
was the inclusion of the western and south-western regions, which
had been left outside the government of Quebec by the Proclamation
of 1763.


  =Canada under the Quebec Act 1774.= from T. Pownall’s map of the
  Middle British Colonies of N. America, London 1775.      _to face
  page 81_

  B. V. Barbishire, Oxford, 1908

It will be remembered[49] that these territories had not been
included in the province of Quebec for three reasons: that their
incorporation with the conquered province might have been held to
be an admission that the British title to them only dated from
the conquest of Canada, that their annexation to any particular
province would have given to that province a preponderating
advantage in regard to trade with the Indians, and that the
extension to them of the laws and administration of the province
of Quebec would have necessitated the establishment of a number of
military garrisons throughout the territories. The first of these
three objections was, in fact, taken in the debates on the Quebec
Bill. ‘The first object of the Bill,’ said Mr. Dunning in the House
of Commons on the 26th of May, 1774, ‘is to make out that to be[50]
Canada, which it was the struggle of this country to say, was not
Canada.’ The second objection was clearly potent in the minds of
the partisans of the old British colonies, who opposed the Bill.
It would seem that when the Proclamation of 1763 was issued, the
British Government had contemplated passing an Act of Parliament,
constituting a separate administration for the Western territories,
but the plan, whatever it was, never came to the birth;[51] and,
as the King had foreseen, ‘great inconvenience’ had arisen ‘from
so large a tract of land being left, without being subject to the
civil jurisdiction of some governor’.[52] This inconvenience the
Quebec Act tried to rectify by bringing these western lands under
the government of Canada.

The line now laid down, on the motion of Burke in the House of
Commons, was carried from the point where the 45th parallel of
latitude intersected the St. Lawrence to Lake Ontario, up Lake
Ontario and the Niagara river into Lake Erie, and along the
southern or eastern shore of Lake Erie, until it met the alleged
frontier of the state of Pennsylvania, or, if that frontier was
found not to touch the lake, up to the point nearest to the
north-western angle of Pennsylvania. From that angle it skirted the
western boundary of Pennsylvania down to the Ohio, which river it
followed to the Mississippi.

[Sidenote: Claims of Pennsylvania.]

In the debate in the House of Commons a petition was presented
from the Penns, claiming that part of the province of Pennsylvania
was situated to the north-west of the Ohio, and Lord North offered
no opposition to the petition, on the ground that the Bill was
not intended to affect existing rights. On a map of 1776, after
the passing of the Act, Pennsylvania was shown as jutting out at
an acute angle into Lake Erie, and the boundary line, identical
with the western frontier of the state, started from the lake
near Presque Isle, and struck the Ohio at Logs Town, west of Fort
Duquesne and slightly east of Beaver Creek, leaving to Pennsylvania
the whole course of the Alleghany, and Fort Duquesne or Pittsburg.
It will be noted that, further east, the line, being drawn along
the St. Lawrence and the lakes, excluded from Canada the whole
country of the Six Nations, which had been demarcated as Indian
Territory by the Agreement of 1768.[53] The net result was to leave
the boundary line south of the St. Lawrence, where it had been
drawn in 1763, as far as the intersection of the 45th parallel with
the river, and thence to follow the waterways up to the point in
the southern shore of Lake Erie where the old French route to the
Ohio left the lake. From the Atlantic up to this point the present
international line between Canada and the United States is not far
different at the present day, though more favourable to the United
States, especially where, since the Ashburton Treaty of 1842, the
state of Maine runs northward into the provinces of Quebec and New
Brunswick. But, by carrying the boundary from Lake Erie to the Ohio
and down the Ohio to the Mississippi, all the Illinois country and
all the western lands, for which English and French had contended,
were confirmed to Canada.

[Sidenote: Reasons for the extension of the province.]

There were good reasons for taking this step. Eleven years had
passed since the territories in question had been left as an Indian
reserve. Events move quickly in a border land, and encroachments
grow apace. The time had come for some defined system, some
recognized law and government. As far as there were permanent
settlers in these regions, they were, it would seem, although the
contrary was averred in the House of Commons, French rather than
English; and it would be more palatable for colonists of French
origin to be incorporated with Canada than to be absorbed by the
purely English colonies. The native population would unquestionably
be better cared for under the government of Quebec than under the
legislatures of Pennsylvania and Virginia. The waterways still,
as in old times, made communication easier from Canada than from
the southern colonies; and to those colonies, on the brink of war
against the mother country, the mother country could hardly be
expected to entrust the keeping of the West.

[Sidenote: Arguments urged against it.]

On the other hand there was bitter and intelligible opposition
to the annexation to Canada of ‘immense territories, now desert,
but which are the best parts of that continent and which run on
the back of all your ancient colonies’.[54] The decision which
was now taken meant cutting off the existing English colonies
from the West; and, in view of the other provisions of the Act,
the incorporation of the new territories with Canada placed them
under an administration in which there was at the time no element
of self-government and which gave formal recognition to the Roman
Catholic Church. It was, in short, or seemed to be, an admission
that the old claim of Canada to the regions of the Ohio, against
which, while Canada was still a French possession, the British
Government and the British colonies had alike contended, was after
all a valid claim; and it was, or seemed to be, a pronouncement
that in years to come the future of the Western lands was to be
shaped on Canadian principles and Canadian traditions, rather than
on those which had moulded and inspired the ever-growing colonies
of the British race.

It has been argued that true statesmanship would, in accordance
with the plan which had been at one time contemplated, have
constituted the territories beyond the 45th parallel a separate
province under the Crown, separate alike from Canada on the one
hand, and from Pennsylvania and Virginia on the other. This
might possibly have been a preferable course; but, as subsequent
experience showed in the case of Upper Canada, an inland colony,
whose only outlet is through other provinces, is always in a
difficult position; and the multiplication of communities in North
America had already borne a crop of difficulties. Moreover, the
particular circumstances of the time accounted for the decision
which was taken, as they accounted also for the strong antagonism
which that decision called forth. In the same session in which
the Quebec Act was passed, the British Parliament had already
enacted three punitive laws against the recalcitrant colony of
Massachusetts; one closing the harbour of Boston; another altering
the legislature, and giving to the governor the power of appointing
and removing the judges, magistrates, and sheriffs; and a third
empowering the trial of persons accused of capital offences in the
discharge of their public duties to be held outside the limits
of the province. If it was thought necessary thus to limit the
liberties of one of the English colonies by Imperial legislation,
it would have been hopelessly illogical to enlarge the borders
of others among the sister communities; and if the only possible
alternative was to keep the Western territories directly under the
Crown, it was simpler, and involved less friction and debate, to
attach them by a single clause in a Bill to the existing province
of Quebec, than to treat them as a separate unit and to provide
them with an administration and a legislature by a separate law.
Furthermore, their annexation to Canada outwardly, at any rate,
strengthened at a critical time the one province in America where
the Crown still held undivided sway.

[Sidenote: Sections in the Act which dealt with the religious

The fifth, sixth, and seventh sections of the Act dealt with
religion. They provided for the free exercise of the Roman
Catholic faith by the members of that Church, subject to the
King’s supremacy as established by the Act passed in the reign of
Queen Elizabeth; but they substituted a simple oath of allegiance
for the oath required by Queen Elizabeth’s statute, and they
confirmed to the Roman Catholic clergy ‘their accustomed dues and
rights’. Protestants were expressly exempted from these payments;
but the Act provided that, from such dues as they would otherwise
have paid, provision might be made for the encouragement of the
Protestant religion and the maintenance of a Protestant clergy. In
other words, freedom of religion was guaranteed, the establishment
of the Roman Catholic Church was recognized by law, and the
principle of concurrent endowment was introduced.

[Sidenote: Other provisions of the Act.]

The eighth section of the Act restored Canadian law and custom in
civil matters, and confirmed existing rights to property, with the
exception of the property of the religious orders. The eleventh
section continued the law of England in criminal matters. The
twelfth, laying down that it was at present inexpedient to call an
Assembly, provided for a nominated Legislative Council, consisting
of not more than twenty-three and not less than seventeen members,
no religious test being imposed. The next section withheld from
the council the power of taxation, such additional taxes as were
deemed necessary being imposed by a separate Act of the Imperial

[Sidenote: The Act embodied a compromise.]

[Sidenote: Opposition to it.]

[Sidenote: Inconsistency of the opponents.]

Such were the principal provisions of the Quebec Act. It embodied
a fair and reasonable compromise. In part the Government retraced
their steps; they restored Canadian civil law, they postponed
indefinitely a representative legislature, but they gave what
could under the circumstances be suitably and prudently given,
religious toleration, trial by jury in criminal matters, and a
council to which the Crown could call representatives of all creeds
and interests. The Bill was attacked in the House of Lords, and
in the House of Commons; and, even after it had become law, in
1775, Lord Camden in the House of Lords, and Sir George Savile
in the House of Commons, presented petitions from the British
inhabitants of the province of Quebec against the Act and moved for
its repeal. The corporation of London petitioned against it. The
American colonists made it the text of the manifesto to the people
of Canada, which has already been noticed.[56] In the debates in
Parliament various points were taken. Fox argued that, as the Bill
gave tithes to the Roman Catholic clergy, it was a money Bill,
and should not have originated, as it did originate in the House
of Lords. Others criticized the absence of any provision for the
rights of Habeas Corpus,[57] and the abolition of trial by jury
in civil cases; but the main attack was on the lines that the law
gave formal recognition to the Roman Catholic Church, that it
withheld popular representation, and that it extended these two
unsound principles to new territories whose lot should rather have
been cast with the English colonies. Reference was made to the
case of the colony of Grenada, in which limited representation in
the popular Assembly had been given to Roman Catholics; but the
opponents of the Quebec Act had not the courage to declare for a
popular Assembly for Canada, without any religious test, for it
would have meant an almost exclusively Roman Catholic legislature.
They were at one and the same time fighting for the Protestant
minority and contending for popular representation, but Protestant
claims and popular representation in Canada were hopelessly at
variance. This made the case of the opposition weak, and this was
the justification of the Act. Lord Chatham denounced it as a most
cruel, oppressive, and odious measure. Burke tried to appeal to
popular prejudice against the Canadian seigniors. He attacked them,
and he pressed the claims of the Protestant minority on the ground
of their commercial importance, descending to such clap-trap as
that in his opinion, in the case in point, one Englishman was worth
fifty Frenchmen. The tone of the opposition was unworthy of the
men, but minds had been so embittered and judgements so clouded by
years of wrangle and debate on the American question, that the Act
for the better government of Canada was viewed by the opponents of
the ministry and the partisans of the colonies mainly as a case of
French against English, and Papists against Protestants. None the
less, the Act was a just and generous measure, and, when Carleton
returned to Canada in September, 1774, his reception by the leading
French Canadians showed that they appreciated it. Because, when
war came, the Canadians as a whole stood aloof in a quarrel which
was no concern of theirs, and some of them joined the revolting
colonies, it was argued in the English Parliament that the Act had
not conciliated them, and therefore stood condemned; but history
has proved that this view was not true. No one measure or series of
measures can at once obliterate differences of race, language, and
creed; but, passed as it was at a time of failures, recrimination,
and bitterness, the Quebec Act stood and will to all times stand to
the credit of English good sense, in dealing with the actual facts
of a difficult position, and the feelings and prejudices of an
alien people.


[16] _Travels into North America_, by Peter Kalm, Eng. Transl.;
1770, vol. i, pp. 264-5.

[17] Montcalm’s letters, however, to which reference is here
made, are held to have been forged by a Jesuit or ex-Jesuit named
Roubaud. See Mr. Brymner’s _Report on Canadian Archives_ for
the year 1885, p. xiii, &c., and Note E, p. cxxxviii. See also
Parkman’s _Montcalm and Wolfe_, 1884 ed., vol. ii, pp. 325-6, Note.

[18] _History of England in the Eighteenth Century_, 1882 ed., vol.
iii, chap. xii, p. 272.

[19] From the anonymous _Lettre d’un habitant de Louisbourg_, edited
and translated by Professor Wrong, Toronto, 1897, p. 58.

[20] As to the authenticity of Montcalm’s letters, see above, note
to p. 31.

[21] Sir G. Cornewall Lewis, in the _Essay on the Government of
Dependencies_, chap. vi, writes that the North American colonies
‘had not been required at any time since their foundation to
contribute anything to the expenses of the Supreme Government,
and there is scarcely any habit which it is so difficult for a
government to overcome in a people as a habit of not paying’.

[22] _Wealth of Nations_: chapter on the ‘Causes of the Prosperity
of New Colonies’.

[23] _Wealth of Nations_: chapters on the ‘Causes of the Prosperity
of New Colonies’, and on the ‘Advantages which Europe has derived
from the Discovery of America and from that of a Passage to the
East Indies by the Cape of Good Hope’.

[24] The Greek colonies will be remembered to the contrary. Some of
them speedily outgrew the mother cities in wealth and population,
but then they were wholly independent.

[25] _The American Revolution_, 1899 ed., Part I, chap. ii, p. 101.

[26] See above, p. 38.

[27] Chapter on ‘Causes of the Prosperity of New Colonies’.

[28] The above, however, was not Adam Smith’s view. In the chapter
‘Of the Advantages which Europe has derived from the Discovery of
America, &c. &c.’ he writes, ‘The late war was altogether a colony
quarrel, and the whole expense of it, in whatever part of the world
it may have been laid out, whether in Germany or the East Indies,
ought justly to be stated to the account of the colonies.’

[29] It is very difficult to state the case quite fairly as between
the mother country and the colonies. In the first place a broad
distinction must be drawn between the New England colonies and the
more southern colonies. The New Englanders, who had the French on
their borders, made far more sacrifices in men and money than the
southern colonies, some of which, owing to remoteness, took no
part in the war. The efforts of Massachusetts, and the military
expenditure incurred by that colony, are set out by Mr. Parkman in
his _Montcalm and Wolfe_, 1884 ed., vol. ii, chap. xx, pp. 83-6.
In the next place, the regular regiments, though the whole expense
of them was borne by the mother country, were to a considerable
extent recruited in the colonies. The Royal Americans, e.g. were
entirely composed of colonists. At the second siege of Louisbourg
the English force consisted, according to Parkman, of 11,600
men, of whom only 500 were provincial troops, and according to
Kingsford of 12,260, of whom five companies only were Rangers.
The expedition against Ticonderoga, excluding bateau men and
non-combatants, included, according to Kingsford, 6,405 regulars
and 5,960 provincials. Parkman gives 6,367 regulars and 9,034
provincials; this was before the actual advance began, and probably
included bateau men, &c. Forbes’ army contained 1,630 regulars out
of a total of 5,980 (Kingsford). Wolfe’s force at Quebec, in 1759,
numbered 8,535 combatants, out of whom the provincial troops only
amounted to about 700 (Kingsford. See also Parkman’s _Montcalm and
Wolfe_, Appendix H). Amherst, in the same year, in the campaign on
Lakes George and Champlain, commanded 6,537 Imperial troops and
4,839 provincials. [The respective numbers in the different forces
are well summed up in the fifth volume of Kingsford’s _History of
Canada_, pp. 273-4.]

[30] It is interesting to notice that as early as 1652 a proposal
emanated from Barbados that colonial representatives from that
island should sit in the Imperial Parliament.

[31] Grenville carried a resolution in the House of Commons in
favour of the Stamp Act in 1764. The Act received the Royal Assent
in March, 1765, and came into operation on November 1, 1765.

[32] O’Callaghan’s _Documentary History of New York_, vol. ii
(1849), MSS. of Sir William Johnson; this was at a public meeting
of the Six Nations with Sir William Johnson, July 3, 1755.

[33] Sir W. Johnson to the Rev. Mr. Wheelock, October 16, 1762.
_Documentary History of New York_, vol. iv. Paper relating
principally to the conversion and civilization of the Six Nations
of Indians.

[34] See O’Callaghan’s _Documentary History of New York_, 1849,
vol. i, Paper No. 20, pp. 587-91.

[35] General Murray to Lord Shelburne, London, August 20, 1766. See
Kingsford’s _History of Canada_, vol. v, p. 188.

[36] See _Documents Relating to the Constitutional History of
Canada_, 1759-91 (Shortt and Doughty), pp. 37-72.

[37] The delay was probably due to the provisions of the fourth
clause of the Treaty of Paris, by which eighteen months were to be
allowed to the subjects of the French king in Canada, who wished
to leave the country, to do so. The treaty was signed on February
10, 1763, and was ratified by England on February 21, 1763; the
eighteen months were to run from the date of ratification, but
civil government in Canada began on August 10, 1764, i.e. eighteen
months from the date of the treaty itself.

[38] ‘The Canadians are to a man soldiers, and will naturally
conceive that he who commands the troops should govern them.’
Murray to Halifax, October 15, 1764. Shortt and Doughty, p. 153.

[39] The words, ‘under our immediate government,’ did not
connote what would now be called Crown colonies as opposed to
self-governing colonies, but colonies which held under the Crown
and not under proprietors.

[40] The Lords of Trade to Lord Egremont, June 8, 1763. Shortt and
Doughty, p. 104.

[41] Part of the 4th Article of the Peace of Paris in 1763 ran as
follows: ‘His Britannic Majesty, on his side, agrees to grant the
liberty of the Catholic religion to the inhabitants of Canada;
he will in consequence give the most precise and most effectual
orders, that his new Roman Catholic subjects may profess the
worship of their religion according to the rites of the Romish
Church, as far as the laws of Great Britain permit.’

[42] The letter is printed in full in the fifth volume of
Kingsford’s _History of Canada_, pp. 188-90.

[43] For these documents see Shortt and Doughty, pp. 153, &c.

[44] October 29, 1764. See Shortt and Doughty, p. 167.

[45] October, 1766: Shortt and Doughty, pp. 194-5.

[46] For this ordinance see Shortt and Doughty, p. 280. Carleton’s
dispatch of March 28, 1770, which enclosed the ordinance, explained
the reasons for passing it, and submitted in evidence of the
abuses which had sprung up a letter from an ex-captain of Canadian
militia, will be found printed in Mr. Brymner’s _Report on Canadian
Archives_ for 1890 (published in 1891), Note A.

[47] p. 75

[48] A French Canadian petition to the King, drawn up about the end
of 1773, referred in the following terms to the Labrador question:
‘We desire also that His Majesty would be graciously pleased to
re-annex to this province the coast of Labrador, which formerly
belonged to it, and has been taken from it since the peace. The
fishery for seals, which is the only fishery carried on upon this
coast, is carried on only in the middle of winter, and sometimes
does not last above a fortnight. The nature of this fishery, which
none of His Majesty’s subjects but the inhabitants of this province
understand; the short time of its continuance; and the extreme
severity of the weather, which makes it impossible for ships to
continue at that time upon the coasts; are circumstances which all
conspire to exclude any fishermen from old England from having any
share in the conduct of it.’ (Shortt and Doughty, pp. 358-9.)

[49] See above, p. 6, and Shortt and Doughty, p. 111.

[50] See _Canadian Constitutional Development_, Egerton and Grant,
p. 28.

[51] See Shortt and Doughty, p. 381. Paper as to Proposed
extension of Provincial Limits: ‘The King’s servants were induced
to confine the government of Quebec within the above limits,
from an apprehension that there were no settlements of Canadian
subjects, or lawful possessions beyond those limits, and from a
hope of being able to carry into execution a plan that was then
under consideration for putting the whole of the interior country
to the westward of our colonies under one general control and
regulation by Act of Parliament.... The plan for the regulation of
the interior country proved abortive, and in consequence thereof
an immense tract of very valuable land, within which there are
many possessions and actual colonies existing under the faith
of the Treaty of Paris, has become the theatre of disorder and

[52] See above, p. 5, and Shortt and Doughty, p. 108.

[53] See above, p. 59.

[54] _Annual Register_ for 1774, p. 77.

[55] The Quebec Act was 14 Geo. III, cap. 83, and its full title
was ‘An act for making more effectual provision for the government
of the Province of Quebec in North America’. The Quebec Revenue
Act was 14 Geo. III, cap. 88, and its full title was ‘An act to
establish a fund towards further defraying the charges of the
Administration of Justice and support of the Civil Government
within the Province of Quebec in America’. Much was heard of this
latter Act in the constitutional wrangles of later years in Lower

[56] See above, p. 60.

[57] The opponents of the Quebec Act maintained that it took away
the right of Habeas Corpus. Thus petitions from English residents
in Quebec, dated November 12, 1774, complained, in respect to the
Quebec Act, ‘That in matters of a Criminal Nature the Habeas Corpus
Act is dissolved:’ and again, ‘That to their inexpressible grief
they find, by an Act of Parliament entitled an act for making
more effectual provision for the government of the province of
Quebec in North America, they are deprived of the Habeas Corpus
Act and trial by juries:’ and again, ‘an Act of Parliament which
deprives His Majesty’s ancient subjects of all their rights and
franchises, destroys the Habeas Corpus Act and the inestimable
privilege of trial by juries’ (Shortt and Doughty, pp. 414-18). The
Government on the other hand contended that before the Quebec Act,
the Statute of Habeas Corpus was not in force in Canada, although,
both before and after the Act, the Common Law right existed. Thus
Wedderburn, the Solicitor-General, before the Quebec Act was
drafted but while the subject matter was being considered by the
Government, reported, ‘It is recommended by the Governor, the Chief
Justice, and the Attorney-General, in their report, to extend the
provisions of the Habeas Corpus Act to Canada. The inhabitants
will, of course, be entitled to the benefit of the writ of Habeas
Corpus at Common Law, but it may be proper to be better assured
of their fidelity and attachment, before the provisions of the
statute are extended to that country’ (Ib. 300); and in November,
1783, Governor Haldimand reported that he was going to propose an
ordinance for introducing the Habeas Corpus Act, ‘which will remove
one of the ill-grounded objections to the Quebec Act, for though
that law had never been introduced into the province, people were
taught to believe that the Quebec Act had deprived the inhabitants
of the benefit of it’ (Ib. 499). The point at issue, and it is not
free from doubt, was whether the introduction _en bloc_ of the
English criminal law into Canada, brought with it _ipso facto_
the introduction of the Habeas Corpus statute. Haldimand passed
his ordinance in 1784 under the title of an ‘Act for securing the
liberty of the subject and for the prevention of imprisonments
out of this province’. The preamble stated that ‘The Legislature
could not follow a better example than that which the Common Law of
England hath set in the provision made for a writ of Habeas Corpus
which is the right of every British subject in that kingdom’.



[Sidenote: Ticonderoga and Crown Point.]

The War of American Independence began with the skirmish at
Lexington on the 19th of April, 1775. The battle of Bunker’s Hill
was fought on the following 16th of June. Between these two dates
a forward move was made towards Canada by the American colonists,
and the forts of Ticonderoga and Crown Point on Lake Champlain were
surprised and taken.

[Sidenote: Carleton urges the upkeep of strong forts in North

[Sidenote: Carleton’s policy: (1) adequate defences and garrisons:
(2) attachment of the Canadians to the British Crown especially by
giving them employment under the government.]

Years before, shortly after taking over the administration of
Canada, Carleton had called attention to the dilapidated condition
of these forts. In a letter, dated the 15th of February, 1767,[58]
he wrote to General Gage, then Commander-in-Chief in North
America--‘the forts of Crown Point, Ticonderoga, and Fort George
are in a very declining condition, of which, I believe, your
Excellency is well informed. Should you approve of keeping up
these posts, it will be best to repair them as soon as possible.’
The letter went on to suggest that, in addition to repairing the
forts in question, there should be ‘a proper place of arms near the
town of New York and a citadel in or near the town of Quebec’, the
object being to secure communication with the mother country and
to link the two provinces together. Written in view of ‘the state
of affairs on this continent’, the letter was statesmanlike and
farseeing in a high degree. The writer argued that ‘the natural
and political situation of the provinces of Quebec and New York
is such as must for ever give them great influence and weight in
the American system’. He pleaded, therefore, for strong forts at
Quebec and New York, and strong posts on the line between New York
and Canada. Thus, in the event of war breaking out, the King’s
magazines would be kept secure, the northern colonies would be
separated from the southern, and delay in transport and difficulty
of communication, so dangerous, especially in the early stages of
a war, would be averted. In the years which preceded the War of
American Independence, Carleton had constantly in view the twofold
contingency of war with France and war with the British colonies in
America; and there were two cardinal points in his policy, which he
never ceased to impress upon the Home Government, on the one hand
the necessity for adequate military forces, and adequate forts in
America, on the other the necessity for taking such steps as would
attach the Canadians to the British Crown.

In November, 1767,[59] he wrote to Shelburne, ‘The town of Quebec
is the only post in this province that has the least claim to be
called a fortified place; for the flimsy wall about Montreal, was
it not falling to ruins, could only turn musketry.’ He went on to
show how the French officers who still remained in Canada, and the
Canadian seigniors who had served France, had lost their employment
through the conquest of Canada, and, not having been taken into the
English King’s service, had no motive to be ‘active in the defence
of a people that has deprived them of their honours, privileges,
profits, and laws’; and again he urged the importance of building a
citadel, for which he enclosed a plan, within the town of Quebec.
‘A work of this nature,’ he wrote, ‘is not only necessary as
matters now stand, but supposing the Canadians could be interested
to take a part in the defence of the King’s Government, a change
not impossible to bring about, yet time must bring forth events
that will render it essentially necessary for the British interests
on this continent to secure this port of communication with the
mother country.’

In January, 1868,[60] he wrote again to Shelburne, and referring to
his previous letter and to the scheme for constructing a citadel
at Quebec, he said--‘Was this already constructed, and I could
suppose it impossible for any foreign enemy to shake the King’s
dominion over the province, still I shall think the interests of
Great Britain but half advanced, unless the Canadians are inspired
with a cordial attachment and zeal for the King’s Government.’ Once
more he urged that the Canadians had no motive of self-interest to
attach them to British rule. The laws and customs which affected
their property had been overturned. Justice was slow and expensive.
The different offices claimed ‘as their right, fees calculated for
much wealthier provinces’; and the leading Canadians were excluded
from all places of trust and profit. Give the people back their old
laws and customs in civil matters, let them feel thereby secure
in their property, take a few Canadians into the service of the
Crown, enlist in the King’s forces ‘a few companies of Canadian
foot, judiciously officered’, ‘hold up hopes to the gentlemen, that
their children, without being bred up in France, or in the French
service, might support their families in the service of the King
their master,’ and, at any rate, some proportion of the French
Canadians would be found loyally attached to the British Government.

Another letter, written to Lord Hillsborough in November, 1768,[61]
was in similar terms. It referred to rumours of French intrigues
and of a contemplated rising on the part of the Canadian gentry.
Carleton discredited the rumours, but added, ‘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 employments under the British Government.’ He reflected
‘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’. He
went on to point out 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’, and he
argued that, were a war with France to coincide with a rising of
the British colonies in North America, the danger to the British
power would be great. ‘Canada, probably, will then become the
principal scene, where the fate of America may be determined.’ On
the other hand he urged--‘How greatly Canada might for ever support
the British interests on this continent, for it is not united in
any common principle, interest, or wish with the other provinces,
in opposition to the supreme seat of government, was the King’s
dominion over it only strengthened by a citadel, which a few
national troops might secure, and the natives attached by making it
their interest to remain his subjects.’

[Sidenote: Carleton’s sympathy with the French Canadians.]

[Sidenote: The French Canadians were a people of soldiers
accustomed to personal rule.]

In the second of these letters[62] from which quotations have
been made, Carleton said that he would endeavour to represent
the true situation of the province to the ministers at home, who
were already engaged in considering ‘the improvement of the civil
constitution of Quebec’, lest the King’s servants, with all their
ability, should be at a disadvantage in forming their conclusions
‘for want of having truly represented to them objects at so great
a distance, and in themselves so different from what is to be
found in any other of his dominions’. But it was not merely a case
of the man on the spot advising the men at a distance; the value
of Carleton’s advice was largely due to the fact of his being a
soldier. To this fact must be attributed, in great measure, the
strong sympathy which the soldier-governors felt with the French
Canadians, and on Carleton’s part more especially with the French
Canadian gentry. As Murray had pointed out,[63] the Canadians
were a people of soldiers; they were accustomed to personal rule
and attachment rather than to the rule of the law. To high minded
English officers, themselves brought up in the King’s service,
trained to discipline, to well ordered grades of obedience, the
old Canadian system with its feudal customs was congenial and
attractive, and they resented attempts to substitute for it the
beginnings of undisciplined democracy. Hence Carleton laid stress
on taking Canadian gentlemen into the government service, and on
enlisting companies of Canadian soldiers, in other words, on making
the Canadians feel that they were, as they had been in past times,
the King’s men. Hence, too, we find him in a letter to Shelburne of
April, 1768,[64] recommending full recognition and continuance of
the old feudal tenures of Canada, including ‘a formal requisition
of all those immediately holding of the King, to pay faith and
homage to him at his castle of St. Lewis’. If left to himself, he
would have liked to repeal entirely the Ordinance of September,
1764, which introduced English laws into Canada, ‘and for the
present leave the Canadian laws almost entire;’[65] and, though
he assented to the compromise embodied in the Quebec Act, whereby
the criminal law was to be that of England, while in civil matters
Canadian law and custom were in the main to prevail, we find him in
June, 1775,[66] after war had begun, writing to Dartmouth, ‘For my
part, since my return to this province I have seen good cause to
repent my ever having recommended the Habeas Corpus Act and English
criminal laws.’

It was due to Carleton that the Ordinance of 1770, to which
reference has already been made,[67] was passed, taking away from
the justices of the peace jurisdiction in matters of private
property which had been exercised to the detriment of the French
Canadians. It was due to him that in 1771 a new Royal Instruction
was issued, authorizing the governor to revert to the old French
system of grants of Crown lands ‘in Fief or Seigneurie’;[68] and
his influence was all in favour of the clauses in the Quebec Act
which were favourable to the ‘new subjects’, the French Canadians,
who, at the time when the War of American Independence began, seem
to have numbered under 100,000.[69]

[Sidenote: Carleton returns from England in September, 1774, and
sends two regiments to Boston.]

As has been told, Carleton came back from England to Quebec in the
middle of September, 1774, finding the French Canadians in great
good humour at the passing of the Quebec Act. Twenty hours after
his arrival an express letter reached him from General Gage, still
Commander-in-Chief in North America, who was then at Boston.[70]
In it Gage asked his colleague to send at once to Boston, if
they could be spared, the 10th and 52nd Regiments, which formed
a large part of the scanty garrison of Canada. The transports
which brought the letter were to take back the troops. September,
1774, was a critical month in the North American provinces. The
first continental Congress met at Philadelphia; and at Suffolk,
near Boston, on the 9th September, a public meeting passed
resolutions,[71] boldly advocating resistance to the recent Acts of

[Sidenote: Proposals to raise Canadian and Indian forces.]

[Sidenote: Carleton strongly favours raising a Canadian regiment.]

Accordingly, in addition to his request for the two regiments, Gage
wrote--‘As I must look forward to the worst, from the apparent
disposition of the people here, I am to ask your opinion, whether
a body of Canadians and Indians might be collected and confided
in, for the service in this country, should matters come to
extremities.’ Carleton promptly replied: ‘Pilots are sent down the
river, the 10th and 52nd shall be ready to embark at a moment’s
notice;’ and the regiments were sent to Boston, as in later
years Lord Lawrence, at the time of the Indian Mutiny, denuded
the Punjaub of soldiers, in order to strengthen the force which
was besieging Delhi. Carleton’s letter continued: ‘The Canadians
have testified to me the strongest marks of joy and gratitude,
and fidelity to the King, and to his Government, for the late
arrangements made at home in their favour: a Canadian regiment
would complete their happiness, which in time of need might be
augmented to two, three, or more battalions ... the savages of this
province, I hear, are in very good humour, a Canadian battalion
would be a great motive and go far to influence them, but you know
what sort of people they are.’ Here was the opportunity which
Carleton desired, of taking the Canadians into the King’s service.
Following on the Quebec Act, he looked to such a measure as likely
to rivet Canadian loyalty to the British Crown, and evidently took
himself, and inspired the Home Government with, too hopeful a
view of the amount of support to be expected from the Canadians,
looking to and sympathizing with the seigniors rather than the
lower classes of the people of Canada. It will be noted that both
Gage and he contemplated employing Indians, in the event of war
between the mother country and the North American colonies. Indians
had been used on either side in the wars with the French, but it
seems strange that there is no hint or suggestion in these letters
of the danger and impolicy of employing them against the British

In November, 1774, writing to Dartmouth,[73] Carleton still spoke
of the gratitude and loyalty of the French Canadians, but there
was a warning note in his letter. While the respectable members of
the English community at Quebec supported the Government, there
was much disloyalty among the British residents at Montreal. The
resolutions of the Philadelphia Congress, and their address to
the people of Canada, had reached that place. Walker was much in
evidence, embittered by the outrage which he had suffered some
years before,[74] and, with others, was organizing meetings and
petitions both at Montreal and at Quebec. These proceedings,
Carleton wrote, were causing uneasiness to the Canadians, and he
concluded that ‘Government cannot guard too much, or too soon,
against the consequences of an infection, imported daily, warmly
recommended, and spread abroad by the colonists here, and indeed by
some from Europe, not less violent than the Americans’.

[Sidenote: Canadian feeling at the beginning of 1775.]

[Sidenote: Carleton strongly urges employing the Canadian gentry in
the regular army.]

The year 1774 ended in anxiety and suspense, and the year 1775
opened, memorable and disastrous to Great Britain. On Christmas
Day, 1774, Gage had written again to Carleton on the subject of
Canadian and Indian levies, and on the 4th of February, 1775,
Carleton answered the letter.[75] Political matters relating to the
Indians, he said, he had always considered to be the special charge
of the late Sir William Johnson, and outside the sphere of his own
authority, but his intelligence was to the effect that the Indians
would be ready for service if called upon.[76] Of the Canadians
Carleton wrote that they had in general been made very happy by
the passing of the Quebec Act, but he reminded Gage that that Act
did not come into force until the 1st of May following, that the
new commissions and instructions expected in connexion with it had
not yet arrived, and that the whole machinery for carrying out the
new system of government had still to be created. ‘Had the present
settlement taken place,’ he added, ‘when first recommended, it
would not have aroused the jealousy of the other colonies, and had
the appearance of more disinterested favour to the Canadians.’ He
pointed out that the gentry, ‘well disposed and heartily desirous
as they are, to serve the Crown, and to serve it with zeal,
when formed into regular corps, do not relish commanding a bare
militia.’ They had not been used to act as militia officers under
the French Government, and they were further deterred from taking
such employment by recollection of the sudden disbandment of a
Canadian regiment, which had been raised in 1764, and subsequently
broken up, ‘without gratuity or recompense to officers, who engaged
in our service almost immediately after the cession of the country,
or taking any notice of them since, though they all expected half
pay.’[77] The habitants, again, had since the introduction of
civil government into Canada, and in consequence of the little
authority which had been exercised, ‘in a manner emancipated
themselves.’ Time and good management would be necessary ‘to recall
them to their ancient habits of obedience and discipline’, and
meanwhile they would be slow to allow themselves to be suddenly and
without preparation embodied into a militia. Carleton accordingly
deprecated attempting to raise a militia force in Canada and
recommended enlisting one or two regular battalions of Canadian
soldiers. ‘Such a measure might be of singular use, in finding
employment for, and consequently firmly attaching the gentry to our
interests, in restoring them to a significance they have lost, and
through their means obtaining a further influence upon the lower
class of people, a material service to the state, besides that of
effectually securing many nations of savages.’

[Sidenote: Summary of the political conditions of Canada at the
beginning of the War of American Independence.]

From the above correspondence we can form some impression of the
state of political feeling in Canada, when the great revolt of the
American colonies began. We have the picture of a conquered people,
accustomed to a military system, to personal rule, and to feudal
laws and customs. This people had been brought by the fortune of
war under the same flag as covered very democratic communities,
which communities were their immediate neighbours and had been
their traditional rivals. The few years which had passed since the
conquest of Canada had, with the exception of the Indian rising
under Pontiac, been years of uncomfortable peace and administrative
weakness. The government of the country, which was the mother
country of the old colonies and the ruler of the new possession,
was anxious to curtail expenses as much as possible, in view of the
great expenditure which had been caused by the Seven Years’ War; to
maintain and, if possible, to emphasize its precarious authority
over the democratic communities of the Atlantic seaboard; and, on
the other hand, in a sense to relax its authority over Canada, by
modifying in the direction of English institutions the despotism
which had prevailed under the old French régime. The net result was
that on the American continent the Executive, having insufficient
force behind it and in the old colonies no popular goodwill, was
increasingly weak, and the people were more and more unsettled.
The democratic communities became more democratic, and from those
communities individuals brought themselves and their ideas into
the sphere of French conservatism, adding to the uncertainty and
confusion which attempts to introduce English laws and customs
had already produced in Canada. The Canadian gentry under British
rule found their occupation gone, their importance minimized,
and no outlet for their military instincts and aspirations. The
peasantry found old rules relaxed and unaccustomed freedom.
Strength was nowhere in evidence in Canada. The forts were
falling into ruin; the English soldiers were few; there was the
King’s Government without the backing of the King’s men; the old
subjects were a small number of men, of whom a large proportion
were noisy, disloyal, adventurers; the new subjects were not held
in submission, but not admitted to confidence. On the other hand,
the French Canadians had recent and undeniable evidence of the
goodwill of the British Government in the passing of the Quebec
Act. Their governors, Murray and Carleton, had transparently shown
their sympathies with the French Canadian race, its traditions, and
even its prejudices. Amid many inconveniences, and with some solid
grounds for discontent, the Canadians had none the less tasted
British freedom since the cession of Canada; and they had not yet
imbibed it to such an extent as to overcome their traditional
animosity to, and their inveterate suspicion of, the militant
Protestants of the old colonies who were rising against the King.

It is unnecessary for the purposes of this book to give a full
account of the War of American Independence, except so far as
Canada was immediately concerned. Here the Americans appeared in
the character of invaders, and the issue really depended upon the
attitude of the French Canadians. Would they rise against their
recent conquerors and join hands with the rebellious colonists,
or would their confidence in Carleton, coupled with their long
standing antipathy to the British settlers in America, keep them in
allegiance to the British Crown? For the moment all went well for
the Americans.

[Sidenote: The Green Mountain rising.]

[Sidenote: Ethan Allen.]

[Sidenote: Capture of Ticonderoga and Crown Point.]

It was characteristic of the state of unrest which prevailed at
this time in America that, while the colonies as a whole were
quarrelling with the mother country, one portion of a colony was
declaring its independence of the state to which it was supposed
to belong. On the eastern side of Lake Champlain were a number of
settlers who had come in under grants issued by the Governor of
New Hampshire, but over whom the government and legislature of New
York claimed jurisdiction, the New York claim having moreover been
upheld by the Imperial Government. These settlers were known at the
time as the ‘Green Mountain Boys’, and they were the nucleus of
the present state of Vermont. In April, 1775, they held a meeting
to declare their independence of New York, their leaders being
Ethan Allen, who had been proclaimed an outlaw by the Governor of
New York in the previous year, and Seth Warner. They had already
apparently in their minds the possibility of taking possession of
the forts on Lake Champlain. There were few men at Ticonderoga and
Crown Point, only about fifty at the former and half a dozen or so
at the latter, belonging to the 26th Regiment, enough and no more
than sufficient to guard the guns and the stores. The garrison
apprehended no attack and had made no preparations for defence.

The news of Lexington suggested to the Green Mountain Boys to
commend themselves to Congress by at once securing these two
forts. If they had any instructions in planning their expedition,
those instructions seem to have come from Connecticut; and though,
before a start was made, Benedict Arnold was sent up by Congress
to take the matter in hand, the insurgents refused his leadership;
and, while he accompanied the expedition, it was Allen who mainly
carried out the enterprise. Under Allen’s command, on the night of
the 9th of May, a band of armed men, variously estimated at from
under 100 to over 200 in number, marched to the shore of the Lake
Champlain, where it narrows to little more than a river immediately
opposite Ticonderoga; and, crossing over in two parties, early
on the morning of the 10th were admitted to the fort on pretence
of bringing a message to the commandant, overpowered the guard,
and surprised the rest of the little garrison in their beds. Two
days later Crown Point was secured by Seth Warner; and shortly
afterwards, under the command of Arnold, part of the expedition
made their way in a captured schooner to the northern end of the
lake, took prisoners a dozen men who represented the garrison at
the fort of St. John’s, seized a vessel belonging to the Government
which was lying off the fort, and retreated up the lake on the
approach of a detachment from Montreal.[78]

Thus the old fighting route by the way of Lakes George and
Champlain, the scene of numberless raids and counter-raids, where
Robert Rogers, William Johnson, Montcalm, Abercromby, Amherst, and
many others had played their parts, passed into the hands of the
revolutionary party, and only the forts of St. John’s and Chambly,
beyond the outlet of Lake Champlain, barred the way to Montreal.
The British power in Canada seemed gone to nothingness, and at the
beginning of June, in reporting to Dartmouth what had taken place,
Carleton wrote: ‘We are equally unprepared for attack or defence;
not six hundred rank and file fit for duty upon the whole extent of
this great river,[79] not an armed vessel, no place of strength;
the ancient provincial force enervated and broke to pieces; all
subordination overset, and the minds of the people poisoned by the
same hypocrisy and lies practised with so much success in the other

[Sidenote: Miscalculations as to Canadian feeling.]

The gentry and clergy, he reported, had shown zeal and loyalty in
the King’s service, but they had lost much of their influence over
the people, and the Indians had been as backward as the peasantry
in rallying to the defence of Canada. The crisis had come, and
Carleton’s warnings of past years had been amply justified. Absence
of military preparations, and neglect to take measures to attach
the Canadians to the British Crown had resulted in a situation
full of danger, a province open to invasion, a government without
material for defence, and a confused and half-hearted people. Even
Carleton’s forecast had not been wholly accurate. He seems to have
over-rated the good effects of passing the Quebec Act, and not to
have fully realized the strength of class feeling in Canada, or the
extent to which the peasantry, under the influence of the disloyal
British minority and of emissaries from the revolting colonies,
had emancipated themselves from the control of the seigniors and
the gentry. It was even suggested that the lower orders in the
province, instead of being grateful for the Quebec Act, regarded
it with suspicion and dislike, as intended to restore a feudal
authority which they had repudiated, and such no doubt would have
been the doctrine taught by the British malcontents inside and
outside the province. ‘What will be your lordship’s astonishment,’
wrote Hey, the Chief Justice of Canada, to the Lord Chancellor,
towards the end of the following August,[81] ‘when I tell you that
an Act passed for the express purpose of gratifying the Canadians,
and which was supposed to comprehend all that they either wished
or wanted, is become the first object of their discontent and
dislike. English officers to command them in time of war, and
English laws to govern them in time of peace, is the general wish.
The former they know to be impossible (at least at present), and by
the latter, if I understand them right, they mean no laws and no
government whatsoever. In the meantime, it may be truly said that
General Carleton has taken an ill measure of the influence of the
seigniors and clergy over the lower order of people.’ If Carleton
had misjudged the feelings of the Canadians, the Chief Justice
frankly admitted that he himself had been fully as much deceived.

[Sidenote: Mistakes of the Home Government.]

The mischief was that the Government in England had imbibed the
confident anticipations of Canadian loyalty which had been formed
by the men on the spot immediately after the passing of the Quebec
Act; and, instead of sending reinforcements to Canada, they
expected Carleton to reinforce Gage’s army in New England. On the
1st of July, Dartmouth wrote to Carleton, instructing him to raise
a body of 3,000 Canadians to co-operate with Gage; on the 24th of
July, having had further news from America, he doubled the number
and authorized a levy of 6,000 Canadians; and no hope was given of
sending British troops to Canada until the following spring. At the
beginning of the American war the greatest danger to the British
Empire consisted in the utter weakness of the position in Canada.
It was some excuse, no doubt, for the ministers at home that the
Governor of Canada had latterly over-estimated the loyalty of the
Canadians; and it may well have been too that the dispatch of
troops to the St. Lawrence was delayed in order not to alarm the
American colonies, before they openly revolted, and while there was
still some faint hope of peace, by a measure which might have been
interpreted as a threat of war. But those who were responsible for
the safe keeping of British interests in America stand condemned
in the light of the repeated warnings which Carleton had given in
previous years. As a skilled soldier, he had pointed out, and
history confirmed, the vital importance of Canada in the event of
war in America, its commanding position for military purposes in
relation to the other[82] provinces. He had urged the necessity
of military strength in Canada, of strength which was both actual
and apparent; of forts strong enough to be defended and of British
soldiers numerous enough to defend them; moreover, of forts strong
enough and British soldiers numerous enough to at once compel and
attract the attachment of a military people. As a statesman, he had
recommended more than a Quebec Act, years before the Quebec Act was
passed. Political and financial exigencies outside Canada may have
made it impossible to take his guidance, but had it been followed,
the whole course of history might have been changed.

[Sidenote: Carleton moves troops to St. John’s.]

[Sidenote: The Americans under Richard Montgomery invade Canada.]

On hearing of the capture of the forts on Lake Champlain,
Carleton took what measures he could. He moved all his available
troops, including some Canadian volunteers,[83] to St. John’s,
and strengthened its defences. He went up himself from Quebec to
Montreal, where he arrived on the 26th of May. On the 9th of June
he called out the Canadian militia under the old French law, with
little effect beyond causing irritation and discontent, which
American emissaries and sympathizers turned to account; and on
the 2nd of August he went back to Quebec, to summon the first
Legislative Council which was constituted under the Quebec Act,
that Act having now come into operation. Meanwhile, after the
battle of Bunker’s Hill, the American Congress had resolved on
invading Canada in force; General Philip Schuyler was placed in
charge of the expedition, but, his health giving way, the command
devolved upon Richard Montgomery, who had served under Amherst
throughout the campaign which ended with the conquest of Canada,
and had subsequently settled in the state of New York and married
an American lady.

At the beginning of September, the American troops moved northward
down Lake Champlain, and took up a position at the Isle aux Noix,
twelve miles from the fort at St. John’s, preparatory to besieging
that fort. ‘The rebels are returned into this province in great
numbers, well provided with everything, and seemingly resolved to
make themselves masters of this province. Hardly a Canadian will
take arms to oppose them, and I doubt all we have to trust to is
about 500 men and two small forts at St. John’s. Everything seems
to be desperate,’ so wrote Chief Justice Hey from Quebec to the
Lord Chancellor on the 11th of September.[84] On the 17th he added,
‘The rebels have succeeded in making peace with the savages who
have all left the camp at St. John’s, many of the Canadians in that
neighbourhood are in arms against the King’s troops, and not one
hundred except in the towns of Montreal and Quebec are with us. St.
John’s and Montreal must soon fall into their hands, and I doubt
Quebec will follow too soon.’

There was skirmishing between scouts and outposts, and on the night
of the 24th of September, a party of about 150 Americans under
Ethan Allen crossed over into the island of Montreal and penetrated
to the suburbs of the town. Their daring attempt, however,
miscarried: they were driven out: Allen was taken prisoner and
sent in irons to England: and his failure gave for the moment some
encouragement to the Loyalists’ cause.

[Sidenote: Carleton applies to Gage for reinforcements.]

[Sidenote: Admiral Graves refuses to move.]

On hearing of Schuyler’s and Montgomery’s advance Carleton at once
hurried back from Quebec to Montreal. There were two possibilities
of saving the town, and with it, perhaps, the whole of Canada. One
was by obtaining reinforcements from the British army at Boston,
the other by contriving, even without reinforcements, to hold the
forts at St. John’s and Chambly until winter drove the invaders
back whence they had come. Early in September Carleton applied to
Boston for two regiments, the same number that in the previous
autumn he had sent to Boston at Gage’s request; his message came to
hand on the 10th of October, just as Gage was leaving for England,
and Howe, who took over the command of the troops, at once prepared
to send the men. But there was a blight on English sailors as on
English soldiers in America in these days. Admiral Graves, who
commanded the ships, refused to risk the dangers of the passage
from Boston to Quebec at the season of the year, and Carleton in
his sore straits was left unaided. All, therefore, turned on the
defence of the forts.

[Sidenote: The siege of St. John’s and Chambly.]

[Sidenote: The two forts taken.]

St. John’s fort was manned by between 600 and 700 men, 120 of whom
were Canadian volunteers, the rest being regulars. Chambly was held
by some 80 men of the line. A few men were stationed at Montreal,
but Quebec was almost emptied of its garrison. Major Preston,[85]
of the 26th Regiment, commanded at St. John’s, and Chambly was in
charge of Major Stopford. On the 18th of September Montgomery laid
siege to the former fort, cutting off communication between the
defenders and the outside world; but, notwithstanding, news reached
Preston of Allen’s unsuccessful attempt on Montreal, and he held
out bravely, helped by the fact that Montgomery had hardly any
artillery, and could only rely on starving out the garrison, while
his own men were suffering from exposure, privations, and want of
ammunition. But in the middle of October the outlook was changed,
for, after less than two days’ siege, the fort at Chambly, said to
have been well provisioned, and with ample means of defence, was on
the 17th of that month surrendered,[86] providing Montgomery with
supplies, guns, and ammunition to be used against the main fort.
Preston’s condition was now desperate. An attempt made by Carleton
to cross from Montreal to his relief on the 30th of October was
beaten back, and on the 2nd of November, St. John’s surrendered,
after having held out for forty-five days.

[Sidenote: Carleton leaves Montreal,]

[Sidenote: which is occupied by the Americans.]

[Sidenote: Carleton narrowly escapes capture and reaches Quebec.]

The fall of St. John’s made the defence of Montreal impossible.
Carleton dismissed such of the militia as were in arms to their
homes, and with the few Imperial troops in the town, rather over
100 in number, and any arms and supplies that he could carry away,
embarked on the afternoon of the 11th of November to make the best
of his way to Quebec. On the 13th, Montgomery and his men entered
Montreal. Already advanced parties of the Americans were heading
down the river banks. Colonel Maclean, who had come up from Quebec
as far as the Richelieu river with a small body of Canadians and
Scotchmen, to co-operate with Carleton for the relief of St.
John’s, had fallen back, Benedict Arnold was threatening Quebec
itself, and it became a question whether Carleton would ever reach
the city to take charge of its defence. His vessels and boats
sailed down the river to a point some miles above Sorel at the
confluence of the Richelieu river. There one of them grounded; the
wind veered round and blew up-stream; for three days the little
flotilla remained stationary; the enemy overtook them on the land,
raised batteries in front to bar their progress, and summoned them
to surrender. On the night of the 16th Carleton went on board a
whale boat; silently, with muffled oars, and at one point propelled
only by the rowers’ hands, she dropped down-stream, undetected
by the watchers on the banks. On the 17th Carleton reached Three
Rivers, with the American troops close behind him, and lower
down he met an armed British ship, which carried him in safety
to Quebec. He entered the city on the 19th. On the same day the
vessels in which he had started from Montreal surrendered with all
on board, and, being brought back to Montreal, were used to carry
Montgomery and his men down to Quebec.

[Sidenote: Arnold’s march from the mouth of the Kennebec to Quebec.]

Quebec was already threatened by a small force under Benedict
Arnold. In the year 1761, while General Murray was in military
command of the city and district, an engineer officer, acting
under his instructions, had marked out a trail along the route
from the Atlantic coast, at the mouth of the Kennebec river, to
the confluence of the Chaudière with the St. Lawrence over against
Quebec. In 1775, when the American colonists determined to invade
Canada, Washington decided to send an expedition by this route to
co-operate with the main advance by Lake Champlain and the St.
Lawrence. The enterprise required a daring, resourceful leader,
and the command was given to Arnold. In the middle of September,
Arnold embarked with 1,100 men at Newbury port at the mouth of
the Merrimac, and sailed for the Kennebec. In the latter days of
September he began his march: some 200 batteaux were taken up the
Kennebec, carrying arms, ammunition, and supplies; the troops
were partly on board the boats, partly kept pace with them on the
banks. The expedition followed the course of the Kennebec and its
tributary, the Dead River, crossed the height of land, reached the
headwaters of the Chaudière in Lake Megantic, and descended the
Chaudière to the St. Lawrence. It was a march of much danger and
privation, no easy task for a skilled backwoodsman to accomplish,
and full of difficulty when it was a case of transporting a small
army. All through October and into November the men toiled in
the wilderness, boats were lost, provisions were scarce, the
sick and ailing were left behind, the rearguard turned back, but
eventually Arnold brought two-thirds of his men through, and,
with the goodwill and assistance of the Canadians on the southern
bank of the St. Lawrence, emerged at Point Levis on the 8th of
November, having achieved a memorable exploit in the military
history of America. On the 14th he crossed the river by night,
landed where Wolfe had landed before his last memorable fight, and,
after summoning the city to surrender without effect, retreated to
Pointe aux Trembles, nearly twenty miles up the river, to await
Montgomery’s arrival. Meanwhile, Carleton passed by and entered

[Sidenote: Montgomery arrives before Quebec.]

On the 5th of December, Montgomery came upon the scene, having
landed his guns at Cap Rouge, about nine miles above the city.[87]
A threatening letter which he sent to Carleton on the day after
his arrival summoning the British general to surrender, received
no answer, and he took up his position and planted batteries
within reach of the walls on the western side--the side of Wolfe’s
attack, while Arnold occupied the suburb of St. Roch, on the north
of the city, with the river St. Charles behind him. So far the
American advance had been little more than a procession. Montreal
had received Montgomery without fighting. Three Rivers had given
in its adhesion to the revolutionary cause, without requiring
the general’s presence, as he passed down the river. Nearly all
the British regulars were prisoners; and, with the help of the
disloyal element in the population, Montgomery had good reason to
expect that Quebec would forthwith pass into his hands and the
Imperial Government be deprived of its last foothold in Canada.
He was soon undeceived, however, and found the task beyond his

[Sidenote: The siege of Quebec.]

[Sidenote: Number of the garrison.]

His whole force, when united to Arnold’s and including some
Canadians, seems not to have exceeded 2,000 men; his artillery was
inadequate, and winter was coming on. On the other hand, Carleton’s
garrison was a nondescript force of some 1,600 to 1,800 men. Nearly
one-third of the number were Canadians. About 400 were seamen and
marines from the ships in the harbour, including the _Lizard_ ship
of war, which, with one convoy ship containing stores and arms,
represented all the aid that had come from England. There were less
than 300 regulars, including about 200 of a newly-raised corps
under Colonel Maclean’s command, Scotch veterans who were known
as the Royal Highland Emigrants; and there were about 300 militia
of British birth. But the city was well provisioned; the disloyal
citizens had been ejected; Carleton himself had been through the
famous winter siege of 1759-60; and the preparations which had been
made during his recent absence at Montreal, showed that he had
capable officers serving under him. The upper classes of Canada
had from the first sided with the British Government, and now that
Quebec, the hearth and home of Canada, was in deadly peril, some
spirit of Canadian citizenship was stirred in its defence.

[Illustration: PLAN OF QUEBEC IN 1775-6

Reduced from Plan in Colonial Office Library

    _To face p. 112_

[Sidenote: Montgomery plans a night attack.]

Montgomery’s army was too small in numbers, without the support of
powerful artillery which he did not possess, to justify a direct
assault upon the town walls, and a prolonged siege in the depth of
winter meant severe strain on the American resources with no sure
hope of ultimate success. Moreover, many of the men had enlisted
only for a specified term, which expired at the end of the year.
Before the year closed, therefore, the general determined to
attempt a night surprise, and laid his plans not to attack the
city from the plateau, but to storm the barricades which guarded
the lower town by the water’s edge, and thence to rush the heights

[Sidenote: The attack of December 31, 1775.]

Before dawn on the morning of Sunday the 31st of December,[88]
1775, between the hours of two and seven, in darkness and driving
snow, the attempt was made. From Montgomery’s batteries on the
Heights of Abraham the guns opened fire on the town. At Arnold’s
camp at St. Roch, troops placed themselves in evidence under arms;
and, while this semblance of attack was made, the two leaders led
two separate columns from opposite directions, intended to converge
in the centre of the lower town, so that the combined parties might
force the steep ascent from the port to the city on the cliff.

[Sidenote: Repulse of Montgomery and his death.]

About two in the morning Montgomery led his men, according to
one account, 900 in number, down to the river side at Wolfe’s
landing-place; and signalling with rockets to Arnold to begin his
march, started about four o’clock along a rough pathway which
skirted the river under Cape Diamond and led to the lower town.
Unnoticed, it would seem, by an outpost on Cape Diamond, and by
an advance picket, he came at the head of his force within thirty
yards of a barricade, which had been constructed where the houses
began at Prés de Ville. Up to this point the defenders had given no
sign, but now every gun, large and small, blazed forth: the general
fell dead with 12 of his following, and the whole column beat a
hasty retreat.

[Sidenote: Repulse of Arnold’s column.]

Meanwhile, on the other side, in the angle between the St. Charles
and the St. Lawrence, Arnold led forward 700 men, passing below
Palace Gate, and fired at from the walls where the garrison were
all on the alert, for Carleton had for some days past been warned
of a coming attack. The Americans crossed a small projecting point,
known as the Sault au Matelot, and reached one end of the narrow
street which bore the same name. Here there was a barricade, a
second barricade having been erected at the other end of the
street. The first barrier was forced, but not until Arnold himself
had been disabled by a wound; and led by the Virginian, Daniel
Morgan, who was second in command, and who, later in the war, won
the fight at Cowpens, the assailants pressed boldly on to take
the second barricade and effect a junction with Montgomery. But
Montgomery was no more; the garrison grew constantly stronger at
the threatened point; the way of retreat was blocked; and caught in
a trap, under fire from the houses, the attacking party surrendered
to the number of 431, in addition to 30 killed, including those who
fell with Montgomery. The day had hardly broken when all was over,
the result being an unqualified success for the English, a crushing
defeat for the American forces. Quebec was saved, and with Quebec,
as events proved, the whole of Canada.

[Sidenote: Continuance of the siege.]

[Sidenote: Quebec relieved on May 6, 1776.]

The English, according to a letter from Carleton to General Howe,
written on the 12th of January, only lost 7 killed and 11 wounded
on this memorable night; but, notwithstanding, in view of the small
numbers of the garrison, the governor did not follow up his success
by any general attack on the American lines; he contented himself
with bringing in five mortars and a cannon from Arnold’s position,
and settled down with his force to wait for spring. The Americans,
from time to time reinforced by way of Montreal, continued the
blockade, but it was somewhat ineffective, as firewood and even
provisions were at intervals brought into the town. On the 25th
of March a party of Canadians, who attempted to relieve Quebec by
surprising an American battery at Point Levis, on the other side of
the St. Lawrence, were themselves surprised and suffered a reverse;
on the 4th of April the battery in question opened on the town with
little effect: on the 3rd of May a fire ship was directed against
the port and proved abortive. On the 6th of May English ships once
more came up the river with reinforcements, and the siege was at
an end. The Congress troops retreated in hot haste, as Levis’s men
had fled when Murray was relieved: artillery, ammunition, stores,
were left behind; and the retreat continued beyond Three Rivers, as
far as Sorel, at the mouth of the Richelieu.

[Sidenote: Carleton’s Report.]

‘After this town had been closely invested by the rebels for
five months and had defeated all their attempts, the _Surprise_
frigate, _Isis_ and sloop _Martin_ came into the Basin the 6th
instant.... Thus ended our siege and blockade, during which the
mixed garrison of soldiers, sailors, British and Canadian militia,
with the artificers from Halifax and Newfoundland, showed great
zeal and patience under very severe duty and uncommon vigilance.’
So wrote Carleton to Lord George Germain on the 14th of May,
1776, having conducted a singularly successful defence of an all
important point. Murray’s defence of Quebec had been marked by a
severe reverse, great sickness, privation, and loss. Nothing of the
kind happened under Carleton. He had, it is true, a far smaller
army against him than besieged Murray, and he had the inestimable
advantage of personal experience of the former siege, but on the
other hand the force which he commanded was infinitely weaker,
numerically and in training, than Murray’s. He made no mistakes,
incurred no risks, his one aim was to save Quebec, and he saved it.

[Sidenote: Importance of holding Quebec.]

The more the history of these times is studied, the greater
importance will be attached to Carleton’s successful defence of
Quebec, and his defeat of the American forces beneath its walls;
the more clearly too it will be seen that the net result of the
American war was due at least as much to the agency of individual
men as to any combination of moral or material forces. Whoever held
Quebec held Canada; and, if Great Britain had lost Quebec in the
winter of 1775-6, she would in all probability have lost Canada
for all time. Wolfe’s victory before Quebec, and the surrender of
the city which followed, determined that Canada should become a
British possession. Carleton’s defeat of Montgomery and Arnold in
the suburbs of Quebec, and the holding of the city which followed,
determined that Canada should remain a British possession. It was
not merely a question of the geographical position of Quebec, great
as was its importance from a strategical point of view. It was a
question of the effect of its retention or its loss upon the minds
of men. The Canadians were wavering: the tide was flowing against
the English: one rock alone was not submerged: the waves beat
against it and subsided. Thenceforward Canada was never in serious
danger. The Americans were not liked in Canada. They carried many
of the Canadians with them in the first impulse, but, when once
they were checked and driven back, the Canadians were given time to
think, and they inclined to the cause personified by the man who
had stemmed the tide of invasion and held Quebec.

[Sidenote: Carleton as a general,]

[Sidenote: and as a statesman.]

[Sidenote: Carleton’s character.]

When the news of what had taken place reached England at the
beginning of June, Horace Walpole wrote to his friend Sir Horace
Mann. ‘The provincials have again attempted to storm Quebec and
been repulsed with great loss by the conduct and bravery of
Carleton, who, Mr. Conway has all along said, would prove himself
a very able general.’[89] Two months later he wrote again to the
same friend: ‘You have seen by the public newspapers that General
Carleton has driven the provincials out of all Canada. It is well
he fights better than he writes. General Conway has constantly
said that he would do great service.’[90] Of Carleton’s merits as
a soldier there can be no question. No one ever gauged a military
situation better. No one ever displayed more firmness and courage
at a time of crisis, made more of small resources, or showed more
self-restraint. But he was more than a good military leader; he was
also a statesman of high order, and, had he been given a free hand
and supreme control of the British forces and policy in America,
he might well have kept the American colonies as he kept Quebec.
For Carleton was an understanding man. No Englishman in America, or
who dealt with America, was of the same calibre. He knew the land:
he knew the people: he had the qualities which were conspicuously
wanting in other English leaders of the time, firmness, foresight,
breadth of view, sound judgement as to what was possible and what
was not; above all, he had a character above and beyond intrigue.
Had he not been ousted by malign influence, but been given wider
powers and a more extensive command, the British cause in North
America might have had the one thing needful, a personality to
stand in not unworthy comparison with that of Washington.

[Sidenote: Benedict Arnold.]

Carleton was a little over fifty years old at the time of the
siege of Quebec. The two American generals who confronted him were
younger men. Montgomery was just under forty years of age when
he was killed; Arnold at the time was not thirty-five. It would
have been well for Arnold’s reputation had he shared Montgomery’s
fate. A New Englander by birth, a native of Connecticut, he seems
to have been a restless, adventurous man, with no strong sense of
principle. His name is clouded by his grievous treachery at West
Point, but his military capacity was as great as his personal
courage, and of all the American leaders in the earlier stages of
the war, he was the man who dealt the hardest blows at the British
cause in Canada. From the capture of the forts on Lake Champlain
till the fights before Burgoyne’s surrender at Saratoga, at almost
every point on the frontier he was in evidence, leading attack,
covering retreat, invaluable as a leader in border war.

[Sidenote: Richard Montgomery.]

Of Montgomery, Horace Walpole wrote that he ‘was not so fortunate
as Wolfe to die a conqueror, though very near being so’.[91] He
was so far fortunate in his death, that his name has passed into
American history as that of a martyr to the cause of liberty.
He was known to Burke, Fox, and the leaders of the Opposition in
England; and he seems to have been an attractive man in private
life as well as a capable soldier. We read in the _Annual Register_
for 1776 that ‘The excellency of his qualities and disposition
had procured him an uncommon share of private affection, as his
abilities had of public esteem; and there was probably no man
engaged on the same side, and few on either, whose loss would have
been so much regretted both in England and America’.[92] In America
addresses and monuments commemorated his name, Tryon county of New
York was renamed Montgomery county in honour to his memory, and
in 1818 his remains were exhumed and taken to New York for public
burial. In England leading politicians bore tribute to his merits,
and as late as the year 1791, in the House of Commons, Fox called
to Burke’s remembrance how the two friends had ‘sympathized almost
in tears for the fall of a Montgomery.’[93] He died fighting for
what proved to be the winning cause, and men spoke well of him.
But there is another side to the picture which should not be
overlooked. Montgomery was not, like Arnold, born and bred on New
England soil. He was ‘a gentleman of good family in the kingdom
of Ireland’,[94] and educated at Trinity College, Dublin. He had
worn the King’s uniform from 1756 to 1772; he had served as a
subaltern at the capture of Louisbourg, under Amherst again on
Lake Champlain, and with Haviland’s division in the final British
advance on Montreal, by the line by which in 1775 he led the
American troops into Canada. After the British conquest of Canada
he had seen active service in the West Indies. His connexion with
the North American colonies consisted in having bought an estate in
New York, having married a lady of the well-known Livingston family
in that state, and having made his home there after retirement
from the army. That retirement took place in 1772. In 1775 he was
a brigadier-general in the American army, not concerned to defend
house and home against unprovoked attack, but to lead an army of
invasion into a neighbouring British province, endeavouring to
wrest from Great Britain what he himself had fought to give her,
and identifying oppression with one whose worth he must well have
known, with a fellow British soldier of Carleton’s high character
and name. Montgomery was an Irishman. In his case, as in that of
Arnold, the wife’s influence probably counted for much; and the
time was one when what were called generous instincts were at
a premium and principles were at a discount. But the terms[95]
in which he summoned Carleton to surrender suggest unfavourable
contrast between his own words and actions on the one hand,
and on the other the stern old-fashioned views of loyalty and
military honour which Carleton held, and which forbade him to pay
to Montgomery in his lifetime the respect which was ensured by a
soldier’s death.

Montgomery had charged Carleton with inhumanity. Carleton was a
soldier who did not play with war and rebellion, but he was also
a humane man, and the charge, if it needed any contradiction, is
belied by a proclamation which he issued on the 10th of May, four
days after the relief of Quebec. In it search was directed to be
made for sick and wounded Americans, reported to be ‘dispersed in
the adjacent woods and parishes, and in great danger of perishing
for want of proper assistance’. They were to be given relief and
brought in to the General Hospital at Quebec, a promise being added
that, as soon as their health was restored, they should be at
liberty to return to their homes.[96]

[Sidenote: The affair of the Cedars.]

Quebec was relieved on the 6th of May. Some ships were sent up the
river, but Carleton waited for the reinforcements which were fast
coming in from England before making a decided move, and it was
not until the beginning of June that Three Rivers was re-occupied
by the Royal troops. Meanwhile, the American head quarters at
Montreal had been alarmed by a diversion from another quarter.
The invading forces had broken into Canada at two points only.
Montgomery’s advance had been direct to Montreal: Arnold had
marched straight on Quebec. The British outposts above Montreal and
in the west had been left undisturbed. One of them, very small in
numbers, was stationed at Ogdensburg, then known as Oswegatchie, a
few years previously the scene of the Abbé Piquet’s mission of La
Présentation. The commander was Captain Forster of the 8th Regiment
of the line, the same regiment which in the later war of 1812
played so conspicuous a part in the defence of Canada. Towards the
end of the second week in May, Forster, with about 50 regulars and
volunteers and some 200 Indians,[97] started down the St. Lawrence,
his objective being the Cedars, a place on the northern bank of the
St. Lawrence below Lake St. Francis in that river, and a few miles
above Lake St. Louis and the island of Montreal. Here an American
force was stationed, numbering nearly 400 men. On the 18th and 19th
of May Forster attacked the post, which surrendered on the second
day; and on the 20th another small party of Americans, rather under
100 in number, which was advancing from Vaudreuil, seven miles to
the north of the Cedars, surrendered to a mixed body of Canadians
and Indians. By these two successes Forster secured between 400
and 500 prisoners, and crossing over to the island of Montreal, he
advanced against Lachine, where a considerable force of Americans
was encamped. These men were under the command of Arnold who, on
recovering from the wound which he had received at Quebec, had been
placed in charge of the Congress troops at Montreal. Forster found
the position and the numbers defending it too strong to attack,
although he had been reinforced by a large party of Canadians.
Accordingly, he retired to the mainland. Arnold then attempted to
cross and make a counter attack, but was in turn obliged to recross
to the island. There then followed negotiations for the release of
the prisoners, who were handed over to Arnold on condition that
British prisoners should be subsequently released in exchange, and
at the end of the month Forster returned to Oswegatchie.

His exploit had been a notable one. With a very insignificant
following he had defeated superior numbers and had threatened
Montreal. History repeated itself; and, as in the days of New
France, the Canadians and Indians showed themselves formidable
in sudden raids, supplementing the regular plan of campaign. The
affair of the Cedars proved that, as long as Quebec and the mouth
of the St. Lawrence were in British keeping, the American army
of occupation would be troubled on the western side by home-bred
combatants, stiffened by British outposts which could only be
dislodged as the result of a general conquest of Canada. Canada was
in fact far from conquered, and in a very short time the country
was cleared of its foes.

[Sidenote: Dispute with Congress as to the exchange of prisoners.]

But Forster’s enterprise obtained notoriety for another and a
different reason. The Congress of the revolting states refused to
ratify the agreement to which Arnold had consented. The American
prisoners, with the exception of a few hostages, were sent back,
but the promised exchanges were not made, and the reason given for
not fulfilling the engagement was that some of Forster’s prisoners
had been murdered and others maltreated and plundered. Congress
therefore resolved not to give back the requisite number of British
prisoners, until the authors and abettors of the alleged crimes
had been handed over and compensation made for the plunder. The
allegations seem in the main not to have been substantiated, as is
shown by a letter from one of the American hostages themselves.[98]
That the Indians looted some of the prisoners’ property was
undeniable, but Forster appears to have used every effort to secure
the safety and good treatment of those who were in his hands, and
the charges of murder were not made good. Carleton wrote strongly
on the subject,[99] attributing the action of the American Congress
to a desire to embitter their people against the English and to
prolong the war; but at this distance of time it is unnecessary to
revive the controversy. What is worth noting is the feeling aroused
when coloured men are enlisted, or even alleged to be enlisted, on
either side in white men’s quarrels, the exaggerated reports which
are spread abroad, and the credence which is given to them. The
record of Indian warfare in North America was a terrible one, and
it is no matter for surprise if, when Indians were found fighting
on the British side, the barbarities of the past were reported to
have been reproduced at a later date.

[Sidenote: American delegates sent to Montreal.]

[Sidenote: Retreat of the American army.]

[Sidenote: Montreal re-occupied by the English, and preparations
made for an advance up Lake Champlain.]

Before Quebec had been relieved, the weakness of the American hold
on Canada, and the condition of the army of occupation, had given
anxiety to Congress, who sent special commissioners to Montreal.
The commissioners were three in number. One was Benjamin Franklin,
and another was Carroll, a Roman Catholic, who was accompanied
by his brother, a Jesuit priest. The object was to ascertain
the actual position of matters military and political, and to
conciliate Canadian feeling. What was ascertained was depressing
enough, and the efforts at conciliation came to nothing. While
the commissioners were at Montreal, they received news of the
relief of Quebec, and events soon swept away recommendations. The
American army fell back from Quebec to the Richelieu; and, as the
troops came in from England, including some German regiments under
Baron Riedesel, Carleton sent them up the St. Lawrence by land and
water, Burgoyne being in command. In the first days of June Three
Rivers was garrisoned; and within a week, on the 8th of June, an
American general, Thompson, who made an attempt to regain the
position, crossing over by night from the southern shore, was cut
off and taken prisoner with over 200 of his men. This completed the
discomfiture of the Americans: small-pox and other diseases were
rife in their ranks: their posts on the line of the Richelieu were
hastily abandoned; Arnold barely had time to evacuate Montreal;
and, before the last week of June began, Montreal, Chambly, and St.
John’s were all again in British possession, and the invasion of
Canada was at an end.

The Americans, however, still retained their hold on Lake
Champlain. It was impossible to dislodge them without organizing
transport by water as well as by land, and building armed vessels
to overpower the ships with which they commanded the lake. For when
they overran Canada as far as Quebec, they secured all the sailing
craft and bateaux on the Upper St. Lawrence. ‘The task was indeed
arduous,’ says a contemporary writer, ‘a fleet of above thirty
fighting vessels, of different kinds and sizes, all furnished
with cannon, was to be little less than recreated.’[100] Three
months, therefore, were taken up in boat-building, the material
being in large measure sent out from England, in making roads,
constructing entrenchments, drilling the troops, and collecting
supplies. The troops, over 10,000 in number, were stationed at
La Prairie on the St. Lawrence, immediately opposite Montreal,
at Chambly, St. John’s, and the Isle aux Noix, with detachments
lower down the Richelieu river than Chambly in order to keep all
the communications open; and in September, when the preparations
were nearly completed, advanced parties were moved forward to the
opening of Lake Champlain.

[Sidenote: Fighting on Lake Champlain.]

[Sidenote: Destruction of the American flotilla.]

[Sidenote: Crown Point abandoned by the Americans.]

[Sidenote: Close of the campaign.]

In October the newly-constructed gunboats ascended the Richelieu
river from St. John’s, and entered the lake. On the 11th they
came into touch with the American vessels, which were then
stationed, under Arnold’s command, between Valcour Island and the
western shore of the lake. The place was about five miles south
of Plattsburg, about twenty-five miles south of what is now the
boundary line of Canada, and a little less than fifty miles to
the north of Crown Point. The strait between the island and the
mainland is about a mile wide, and across it was the American line
of battle. The English had the superiority in numbers and, as the
result of the first day’s fighting, being carried to the south of
the enemy’s ships, were at the close of the day drawn up in line
to intercept their retreat. At night, however, Arnold, bold and
skilful as ever, found a passage through and sailed off to the
south, hotly pursued by Carleton’s squadron. On the 13th fighting
began again, and ended with the capture or destruction of twelve
American vessels, out of a total of fifteen, over 100 prisoners
being taken including the second in command to Arnold. Crown Point
was set on fire and abandoned by the Americans, and on the 14th
Carleton wrote from his ship off that place reporting his success.
In his dispatch he expressed doubts whether anything further could
be done at that late season of the year, and he subsequently came
to the conclusion that an attack on Ticonderoga, which was held by
a strong force under Gates, must be postponed till the following
spring. Nor did he think it prudent to occupy Crown Point, which
was in a dismantled and ruined condition, through the winter, and
by the middle of November, he had withdrawn all his forces to the
Isle aux Noix and St. John’s, whence he had started.

[Sidenote: Carleton censured by Germain.]

It was a good summer’s work. Quebec had been relieved, the whole
of Canada had been recovered, and on the main line of invasion,
Lake Champlain, the English had obtained the upper hand by the
destruction of Arnold’s vessels. This last part of the campaign
stands out in bright contrast to the abortive Plattsburg expedition
in the later war of 1812. If there had been any delay, it was
largely due to the fact that Carleton had not received from England
all the boats and materials for boat-building for which he had
requisitioned; and, to judge from Horace Walpole, intelligent
observers in England were not disappointed with the outcome of
the autumn fighting. ‘You will see the particulars of the naval
victory in the _Gazette_,’ he wrote to Sir Horace Mann on the 26th
of November, 1776, ‘It is not much valued here, as it is thought
Carleton must return to Quebec for the winter.’ Nevertheless,
the British Government, as represented by Lord George Germain,
professed to be dissatisfied that more had not been achieved,
and that, having reached Crown Point, the general had not made a
further advance against Ticonderoga, or at least held his ground
where he was through the winter. Germain, who in January, 1776,
had succeeded Dartmouth in charge of colonial matters, had begun
by finding fault with Carleton, complaining that the latter had
left the Home Government in the dark as to his plan of operations
after the relief of Quebec, and as to the position in Canada. The
result was, Germain wrote, that it was impossible at the time to
send Carleton any further instructions.[101] It would have been
well if the impossibility had continued. He found new ground for
criticism in Carleton’s temporary retreat from Lake Champlain,
but the criticism was wholly without justification. Carleton was
a cautious leader; he had shown caution in the defence of Quebec,
where events had justified his attitude; but the whole record of
the 1776 campaign had proved him to be at the same time a man of
energy, firmness, and resource, unwearied in organizing, prompt in
action. Wolfe, it might be said, would at all hazards have attacked
Ticonderoga, but it must be remembered that Wolfe in America, where
he always preached and practised forward aggressive movement, was
fighting Frenchmen and Indians, not soldiers of the same race as
his own. If we compare Amherst, on the other hand, with Carleton,
we find that Amherst in 1759, having taken Ticonderoga and Crown
Point by the beginning of August, made no further move till the
middle of October, and then, after an abortive start down Lake
Champlain, gave up active operations for the winter. There is no
valid reason to suppose that Carleton’s judgement was otherwise
than sound. At any rate, to quote his own words to Germain in a
letter written on the 20th of May, 1777, ‘Any officer entrusted
with the supreme command ought, upon the spot, to see what was most
expedient to be done, better than a great general at 3,000 miles

[Sidenote: The English generals in America.]

Less capable than Carleton were the other British officers in
America, and far less satisfactory were the results of their
efforts. In the early days of 1775, before fighting actually
began, Amherst, the former Commander-in-Chief in North America,
was invited by the King to resume his command, but declined the
invitation, and General Gage was accordingly retained in that
position. To support him, three generals were sent out from
England, Howe, Burgoyne, and Clinton. They arrived towards the end
of May, 1775, after the fight at Lexington had taken place, and
before the battle of Bunker’s Hill. Early in 1776 Lord Cornwallis
also appeared upon the scene. After the battle of Bunker’s Hill,
Gage was recalled to England, and Howe was placed in command of
the troops on the Atlantic seaboard, while Carleton was given
independent command in Canada. Gage left in October, 1775, and
Howe, his successor, remained in America till May, 1778, having
sent in his resignation a few months previously. Clinton succeeded
Howe, and held the command until the surrender of Cornwallis at
Yorktown in October, 1781, turned out the ministry and practically
finished the war. Then, when it was too late, Carleton was named as
commander-in-chief, and arrived at New York in May, 1782, by which
time the fighting was practically over.

[Sidenote: Howe.]

[Sidenote: Clinton.]

[Sidenote: Burgoyne.]

[Sidenote: Cornwallis.]

These men, who commanded the armies of England in America during a
disastrous war, were by no means hopelessly incompetent. Howe had
been one of the best of Wolfe’s officers. He had led the advanced
party which stormed the Heights of Abraham on the memorable
morning of the 13th of September, 1759. In the revolutionary war,
though found wanting in some of the qualities which make a great
general, he none the less showed firmness, courage, and skill in
various actions from Bunker’s Hill onwards, and he achieved several
notable successes. Clinton proved himself to be at least an average
commander. Burgoyne, in a subordinate position, was apparently a
good soldier; and the subsequent career of Lord Cornwallis showed
that he was a man of capacity. Comparing them with the predecessors
of Wolfe and Amherst in the late French war, with Loudoun, Webb,
and Abercromby, and bearing in mind that they had a far more
difficult task, they stand in no unfavourable light. But they were
not leaders of men themselves, and there was no man in power in
England, such as Chatham had been, who was a leader of men, strong
enough to break down political intrigue and court influence, to
find the best men and send them out, superseding the second best,
encouraging and supporting his soldiers and sailors, but not
worrying them with ill-timed and ignorant interference.

[Sidenote: The English admirals.]

On the sea England was even less fortunate in the men who served
her than on land, whereas, as events proved, the possibility of
success in the war depended entirely on keeping command of the
sea. In the time of the Seven Years’ War, the English admirals
were at their best. Hawke, in his brilliant fight at Quiberon, did
hardly better service than the less known Admiral Saunders, who
co-operated heart and soul with Wolfe at Quebec. Widely different
was the naval record of the War of American Independence. The
French navy, it is true, was stronger than in former years, but the
naval commanders on the English side were also less adequate. The
competent men were superseded by, or had to serve under, senior
and less competent officers. Sir George Collier, who showed energy
and ability, was succeeded by an inferior man, Marriot Arbuthnot;
and, at the most critical point of the campaign, when the French
admiral, de Grasse, combined with Washington to procure the
surrender of Cornwallis, Sir Samuel Hood, one of the best, had to
take his orders from Admiral Graves, one of the least competent
of British naval officers. Even Rodney, who had not yet won the
great victory in the West Indies, by which he is best remembered,
seems to have been remiss in regard to North America; and, if Hood
be excepted, Lord Howe alone among the famous seamen of England,
during a short period of the war, showed something of the skill and
energy which, at other times, and in other than American waters,
characterized the leaders of the British navy.

[Sidenote: Military science was not conspicuous in the American War
of Independence.]

Apart altogether from its causes and its results, and dealing
only with the actual operations, the War of American Independence
was a most unsatisfactory, and for the English, a most inglorious
war. It might well have resulted in a far more crushing defeat for
England, and yet have left a much better impression on English
minds. Though the war lasted for fully seven years, on neither
side, with one exception, were very great military reputations
made. The American Civil War of later days was marked by notable
military achievements, and extraordinarily stubborn fighting. It
was a terrible but a heart-whole struggle, fought hard to the
bitter end under men, among winners and losers alike, whose names
will live to all time in military history. In the American War of
Independence, on the other hand, though good soldiers were engaged
on either side and some, such as the American general, Nathaniel
Greene, deservedly attained high reputation, yet the only name
which lives for the world at large because of the war itself, is
that of Washington; and it lives not so much because of brilliant
feats of generalship, as because he led a murmuring people through
the wilderness with statesmanship, rare nobility of character,
and unconquerable patience. ‘Few of the great pages of history,’
writes Mr. Lecky, ‘are less marked by the stamp of heroism than the
American Revolution.’[103] The Americans muddled through, because
the English made more mistakes, and because, though the American
people were divided among themselves, their leaders, at any rate,
knew their own minds, and were not half-hearted like the majority
of leading men at the time in the United Kingdom.

[Sidenote: Wavering attitude of the English Government]

For neither the English nation nor the English Government were
wholehearted in the war. It was of the nature of a civil war, with
little to appeal to on the English side. It is true that it was
for a time popular in England, that the intervention of France
prolonged its popularity, and that the outrageous extravagances
of Fox and other extreme Whigs also tended to provoke honest
patriotism in favour of the Government and their policy; but it was
not truly a nation’s war, guided by the nation’s chosen leaders.
Not only was there strong opposition to it in England, for reasons
which have already been given, strong especially in the personality
of men like Chatham and Burke who opposed it, but the ministry
themselves showed that their heart was not in their work. Twice
in the middle of the struggle they tried to make peace. In 1776,
the brothers Howe at New York, Whigs themselves, were commissioned
to open negotiations with the colonists: but their powers in
granting concessions were far too limited to satisfy opponents,
who had already, on the 4th of July in that year, declared for
independence. Again in 1778, under an Act of Parliament, specially
passed for the purpose, commissioners were appointed to negotiate
for peace. They were five in number, two being, as before, the
brothers Howe,[104] and the other three being delegates specially
sent out from home. This time ample powers were given to make
concessions, but the situation was wholly changed. Burgoyne had
surrendered in the preceding autumn, the French had joined hands
with the colonists, and Philadelphia was being evacuated by the
British troops. Had the commissioners been sent out after some
striking success on the side of England, offering generous terms
from a strong and resolute nation, they might have gained a
hearing, and the proffered concessions might have been accepted.
Under the circumstances the mission was interpreted as a sign of
weakness, and the messages which were brought were treated with

[Sidenote: and of the generals.]

As it was with the Government, so it was also with the military
men. Amherst would not serve because of his old friendly relations
with the Americans. General Howe, for similar reasons, was at first
loth to serve, and his delays and shortcomings in prosecuting
the war may perhaps be in part attributed to the same cause.
Howe, Burgoyne, and Clinton all came out in 1775 from the House
of Commons, politicians as well as soldiers.[105] Burgoyne was
brought home towards the end of 1775. He went out again to Canada
in the spring of 1776, again went home in the autumn of that year,
and again went out in 1777 for his last disastrous campaign.
Cornwallis went to England twice in the course of the war. It was
probably a mere coincidence, but the fact remains that the two
commanders who suffered the greatest disasters, were the two who
went back and fore between England and America, and presumably
came most under the influence of the mischievous ministry at home.
It is true that Wolfe had gone home in 1758 after the taking of
Louisburg, discontented with the tardiness of Amherst’s movements,
and that he went out again in 1759 to his crowning victory and
death; but Wolfe went home to Chatham, Burgoyne and Cornwallis to
Lord George Germain.

[Sidenote: Want of continuity in the military operations on the
English side.]

Take again the spasmodic operations of the war. Boston, held when
war broke out, and for the retention of which Bunker’s Hill was
fought, was subsequently abandoned. Philadelphia was occupied and
again evacuated. The southern colonies were over-run but not held.
At point after point the Loyalists were first encouraged and then
left to their fate. Everything was attempted in turn but nothing
done, or what was done was again undone. The vacillation and
infirmity of purpose, which has so often marred the public action
of England, was never more manifest than in the actual campaigns of
the War of American Independence. The great difficulty to contend
with was the large area covered by the revolting colonies; and
the one hope of subduing them lay in blockading the coasts and
concentrating instead of dispersing the British land forces. Lord
Howe and Lord Amherst are credited with the view that the only
chance of success for England lay in a purely naval war; and it
is said to have been on Amherst’s advice that Philadelphia was
abandoned and the troops concentrated at New York. The true policy
was, as Captain Mahan has pointed out,[106] and as Carleton had
seen before the war came,[107] to cut the colonies in two by
holding the line of the Hudson and Lake Champlain; and the object
of sending Burgoyne down from Canada by way of Lake Champlain
in 1777 was that he might join hands with the British forces on
the Atlantic coast, as they moved up the Hudson from New York.
But, while Burgoyne was marching south, Howe carried off the bulk
of the troops from New York to attack Philadelphia; and there
followed, as a direct consequence, the ruin of Burgoyne’s force and
its surrender at Saratoga. No positive instructions had reached
Howe as to co-operating with Burgoyne, and the well-known story
goes[108] that this oversight was due to Lord George Germain, who
had fathered the enterprise, going out of town at the moment when
the dispatches should have been signed and sent. At any rate,
it is clear that, even when the British Government had formed a
right conception of the course to be followed, they failed to take
ordinary precautions for ensuring that it was carried into effect.
In Canada alone did the English rise to the occasion. Here, and
here only, was a man among them in the early stages of the war
who moved on a higher plane altogether than his contemporaries in
action, a statesman-general of dignity, foresight and prudence.
Here alone too the English were repelling invasion, and keeping for
the nation what the nation had won. In this wrong-headed struggle
the one and only ray of brightness for England shone out from

[Sidenote: Operations on the Atlantic seaboard.]

After the battle of Bunker’s Hill, in June, 1775, the British army
of occupation at Boston spent the year in a state of siege. Gage
was recalled to England in October, the command of the troops being
handed over to Howe. Burgoyne too went home, returning to Canada in
the following spring. The autumn and the winter went by, Carleton
being beleaguered in Quebec, and Howe cooped up in Boston, while
British ships bombarded one or two of the small seaport towns on
the American coast, causing misery and exasperation, without
effecting any useful result. Early in 1776, Clinton and Cornwallis
were sent to carry war into the southern states, and towards the
end of June made an unsuccessful attack on Charleston Harbour.

[Sidenote: Howe evacuates Boston and occupies New York.]

In March Howe evacuated Boston, and brought off his troops to
Halifax. In June he set sail for New York, which was held by
Washington; established himself on Staten Island, where he was
joined by his brother, the admiral, with strong reinforcements;
and, having now ample troops under his command, he took action in
the middle of August. Crossing over to Long Island, he inflicted
a heavy blow on Washington’s army on the 27th of August, but did
not follow up his success, with the result that Washington two
days later carried over his troops to New York. In the middle of
September New York was evacuated by the Americans and occupied
by the English, and through October and November, Washington was
driven back with loss, until by the beginning of the second week in
December, he had retreated over the Delaware to Philadelphia, and
the whole of the country between that river and the Hudson, which
forms the State of New Jersey, was in British hands. The American
cause was further depressed by the temporary loss of General
Charles Lee, who had been surprised and taken prisoner. He was one
of the few American leaders who was a practised soldier, having
been before the war a half-pay officer of the British army; at the
time of his capture he stood second only to Washington.

[Sidenote: Howe’s delays.]

Howe had been almost uniformly successful, but at each step he had
been slow to follow up his successes. In all wars in which trained
soldiers are pitted against untrained men, it must be of the utmost
importance to give as little breathing space as possible to the
latter, for delay gives time for learning discipline, regaining
confidence, and realizing that defeat may be repaired. Easy to
check and to keep on the run in the initial stages of such a war,
the untried levies gradually harden into seasoned soldiers, taking
repulses not as irreparable disasters, but as incidents in a
campaign. For those who set out to subdue a stubborn race it is a
fatal mistake to give their enemies time to learn the trade of war.
Especially is it a mistake when, as in the case of the Americans,
the causes of the war and the ultimate objects are at the outset
not yet clearly defined, when there are misgivings and hesitations
as to the rights and wrongs, the necessities of the case, the most
desirable issue: most of all when one side represents a loose
confederation of jealous states, and not one single-minded nation.
Howe seems to have lost sight of these considerations, and not
to have wished to press matters too far. While engaged in taking
New York, he was also busy with his brother in trying vainly to
negotiate terms of peace; and subsequently, while mastering New
Jersey, instead of completing his success by sending ships and
troops round to the Delaware to attack Washington in Philadelphia,
he dispatched Clinton to the north to occupy Newport in Rhode
Island, a point of vantage for the naval warfare, but held at the
cost of dispersing instead of concentrating the British forces.

[Sidenote: Washington’s victory at Trenton.]

[Sidenote: Howe retreats from the Jerseys, and occupies

Yet, as the year 1776 drew towards its close, all seemed going
well for the English in America. Carleton from Canada, Howe from
New York, had uninterrupted progress to report. With Christmas
night there came another tale. In fancied security after the
late campaign, Howe’s troops in New Jersey were quartered at
different points, the commander-in-chief remaining at New York, and
Cornwallis, who had commanded in New Jersey, being on the point
of leaving for England. The village of Trenton on the Delaware,
through which passed the road from New York to Philadelphia, was
held by a strong detachment of Hessians under General Rahl, whose
whole force, including a few British cavalry, numbered about 1,400
men. No entrenchments had been constructed, few precautions had
been taken against attack, and Christmas time and Christmas weather
made for want of vigilance. Crossing the Delaware with 2,500 men,
Washington broke in upon the position in the early morning of
December 26th, amid snow and rain, and the surprise was complete:
General Rahl was mortally wounded; between 900 and 1,000 of his
men were killed, wounded, or taken prisoners; and not many more
than 400 made good their escape. Returning with his prisoners to
Philadelphia, Washington again re-crossed the Delaware, and during
the rest of the winter and the first six months of the year 1777
continually harassed the English in New Jersey, avoiding a general
engagement, which Howe vainly endeavoured to bring on. At length,
towards the end of July, Howe evacuated the territory, and, leaving
Clinton with over 8,000 men at New York, shipped the rest of his
army for Chesapeake Bay, resolved to attack the enemy from the
opposite direction and to take Philadelphia. Washington gave him
battle on the Brandywine river early in September and was defeated.
On the 26th of September Howe entered Philadelphia: and on the 4th
of October at Germantown, five miles distant from the city, he
successfully repelled a sudden attack by which Washington attempted
to repeat the success of Trenton. At Brandywine, Washington lost
some 1,300 men, at Germantown over 1,000; but, while Germantown was
being fought, Burgoyne’s army on the upper reaches of the Hudson
was nearing its final disaster.

[Sidenote: Far-reaching consequences of the fight at Trenton.]

The War of American Independence, to quote the words of the
_Annual Register_ for 1777,[109] was ‘a war of posts, surprises,
and skirmishes, instead of a war of battles’. The disaster to the
Hessians at Trenton was what would have been called in the late
South African war a regrettable incident, but it had far-reaching
consequences. The German troops employed by the British Government
were not unnaturally regarded by the American colonists with
special dislike and apprehension. They were foreigners and
professional soldiers, alien in sympathies and in speech, partisans
in a quarrel with which they had no concern, fighting for profit
not for principle. The citizen general, at the darkest time of the
national cause, came back to Philadelphia, bringing a number of
them prisoners, and broke at once the spell of ill success. There
followed, as a direct consequence, the abandonment of the Jerseys
by the English, the rising again of colonial feeling throughout
the region, and corresponding depression of the Loyalists. But
almost more important was the effect on the side of Canada; for
the Trenton episode led to the supersession of Carleton and to his
eventual resignation.

[Sidenote: The Secretary of State for the American Department.]

In the year 1768 the office of Secretary of State for the American
Department was created in England, to deal especially with
colonial matters. The Council of Trade and Plantations, which in
one form or another had hitherto taken charge of the colonies,
was not superseded, but to the new Secretary of State it fell to
handle questions of war and peace with the American colonies. The
appointment was not long lived, being abolished, together with
the Council of Trade and Plantations, by Burke’s Act in 1782. The
first Secretary of State for the American Department was Lord
Hillsborough; the second, appointed in 1772, was Lord Dartmouth,
in character and sympathy, a pleasing exception to the type of
politicians who at the time had power in Great Britain; the third,
appointed at the beginning of 1776, was Lord George Germain who,
when he took office, was about sixty years of age.

[Sidenote: Lord George Germain.]

No name in English political history during the last 150 years
is less loved than that of Lord George Sackville, or, as he was
known in later years, Lord George Germain. He was born in 1716, a
younger son of the first Duke of Dorset. Lady Betty Germain, who
died in 1769, left him the Drayton estate[110] in Northamptonshire,
and he took her name. Ten years before, he had been cashiered
for disobedience to an order to charge at the battle of Minden
in 1759, laying himself open by his conduct in that battle to
what was no doubt an unfounded charge of cowardice. He took to
political life, and has been commonly regarded as in a special
manner the evil genius of the British ministry during the war
with America. Yet he was not a man without parts. In his early
life he had some reputation as a soldier, being highly spoken of
by Wolfe. After he was dismissed from the army, he pertinaciously
demanded a court-martial, though warned that more serious results
even than dismissal might follow from re-opening the case. The
inquiry was held, and the dismissal confirmed; but, helped no doubt
by his family connexions, he held up his head in public life,
and became, in Horace Walpole’s opinion, one of the five best
speakers in the House of Commons.[111] Walpole, and probably others
also, disbelieved the charge of cowardice;[112] and certainly in
politics, whatever may have been the case on the battlefield,
Germain cannot be denied the merits of courage and tenacity, though
he may well have been embittered by his past, and hardened into
fighting narrowly for his own hand. He became a follower of Lord
North, and under him was appointed a Lord Commissioner of Trade and
Plantations and Secretary of State for the American Department.
He was an unbending opponent of the colonists and their claims.
‘I don’t want you to come and breathe fire and sword against the
Bostonians like that second Duke of Alva, the inflexible Lord
George Germain,’ wrote Horace Walpole in January, 1775,[113] before
Germain had taken office. To use Germain’s own words, he would be
satisfied with nothing less from the Americans than ‘unlimited

Germain seems to have been deeply imbued with the great political
vice of the time, that of dealing with national questions from a
personal and partisan point of view. It was a vice inculcated by
George the Third. The King was a narrow man: his school bred narrow
men: and one of the narrowest was Lord George Germain. Such men are
fearful of power passing from their hands, and are consequently
prone to be constantly interfering with their officers. Hence it
was that the evil of ministers trying to order the operations
of generals, and of men in one continent purporting to regulate
movements in another, was more pronounced at this time than at
almost any other period in English history. Moreover, Lord George
Germain having been a soldier, though a discredited one, no
doubt thought that he could control armies; and, mixing military
knowledge with political intrigue, he communed with the generals
who came home, and formulated plans with slight regard to the views
of the responsible men in America. The result was disastrous, in
spite of the fact that he seems to have formed a true conception of
the campaign, viz., that the one army in Canada and the other at
New York should co-operate and cut in two the revolting colonies.
The immediate outcome of his arrogant meddling was the loss of
Carleton’s services.

[Sidenote: His correspondence with Carleton.]

[Sidenote: Carleton censured and superseded in command of the army
on the side of Canada.]

On the 22nd of August, 1776, while Carleton was busy making
preparations to drive the Americans back up Lake Champlain, Germain
wrote to him, commending what had been done, expressing a hope that
the frontiers of Canada would soon be cleared of the rebel forces,
and giving instructions that, when this task had been accomplished,
Carleton should return to Quebec, to attend to civil duties and the
restoration of law and order, while detaching Burgoyne with any
troops that could be spared to co-operate with Howe’s army acting
from New York. Written when it was, the letter could hardly have
been received in any case before the year’s campaign was drawing to
its close, and before events had already determined what could or
could not be done. It might have been received, wrote Carleton in
a dignified and reasoned reply, at the beginning of November,[115]
and coming to hand then could only have caused embarrassment. As
a matter of fact, the ship which carried Germain’s letter, was
driven back three times, and Carleton only received a duplicate
in May, 1777, under cover of a second letter from Germain which
was dated the 26th of March in that year. This second letter
attributed the disaster to the Hessians at Trenton, which had
happened in the meantime, in part to the fact that by retreating
from before Ticonderoga in the preceding autumn Carleton had
relaxed the pressure on the American army in front of him, which
had thereby been enabled to reinforce Washington; and it announced
that two expeditions were in the coming campaign to be sent from
Canada, one under Colonel St. Leger, the other under Burgoyne,
while Carleton himself was to remain behind in Canada and devote
his energies to the defence of the province, and to furnishing
supplies and equipment for the two expeditions in question. It
will be remembered that Burgoyne had in the meantime returned to
England, reaching Portsmouth about the 9th of December, 1776, and
had brought with him Carleton’s plans for the operations of 1777,
which were therefore well known to Germain when he wrote in March.

[Sidenote: Personal relations of Germain and Carleton.]

It is difficult to imagine how a responsible minister could have
been at once so ignorant and so unfair as Germain showed himself to
be in this communication. To suppose that the movement or want of
movement on Lake Champlain could have had any real connexion with
the cutting off of a detachment on the Delaware river, which was
within easy reach of the rest of Howe’s forces, overpowering in
numbers as compared with Washington’s, was at best wilful blindness
to facts. To supersede Carleton in the supreme command of the
troops on the Canadian side was an act of unwisdom and injustice.
It is true that, already in the previous August, while Carleton
was still on the full tide of success, it had been determined to
confine his authority to Canada, and apparently, in order that
his commission might not clash with that of Howe, to place under
a subordinate officer the troops which were intended to effect a
junction with Howe’s army. But in any case it is not easy to resist
the conclusion that Germain had some personal grudge against the
governor.[116] From a letter written by the King to Lord North in
February, 1777, it would seem that, had Germain been given his
way, Carleton would have been recalled, and, writing to Germain on
the 22nd of May, Carleton did not hesitate to refer to the reports
which were set abroad when Germain took office, to the effect that
he intended to remove Carleton from his appointment, and in the
meantime to undermine his authority. In his answer, dated the 25th
of July, 1777, Germain gave the lie to these allegations, assuring
Carleton that ‘whatever reports you may have heard of my having
any personal dislike to you are without the least foundation. I
have at no time received any disobligation from you’; he stated
categorically that the action which had been taken for giving
Burgoyne an independent command was by ‘the King’s particular
directions’, and he added that the hope that Carleton would in
his advance in the previous autumn penetrate as far as Albany was
based upon the opinions of officers who had served in the country,
and was confirmed by intelligence since received to the effect that
the Americans had intended to abandon Ticonderoga, if Carleton had
attacked it.[117] But, whatever may have been the facts as to the
personal relations of Carleton and Germain, it seems clear that the
small-minded minister in England was bent on ridding himself of the
best man who served England in America.[118]

[Sidenote: The case of Chief Justice Livius.]

As Germain superseded Carleton in his military command, so he set
aside his advice, and over-rode his appointments in civil matters.
Reference has already been made to the evil effects produced by
appointing unfit men to legal and judicial offices in Canada. The
climax was reached when Germain in August, 1776, appointed to the
Chief Justiceship of Canada a man named Livius, whose case attained
considerable notoriety in the annals of the time. Peter Livius
seems to have been a foreigner by extraction. Before the war broke
out, he had been a judge in New Hampshire; and, his appointment
having been abolished, he came back to England with a grievance
against the governor and council, with whom he had been on bad
terms while still holding his judgeship. A provision in the Quebec
Act had annulled all the commissions given to the judges and other
officers in Canada under the Royal Proclamation of 1763, which
that Act superseded: and the English ministry seems to have taken
advantage of this provision to displace men who had done their work
well, and whose services Carleton desired to retain, substituting
for them unfit nominees from England.

[Sidenote: Carleton’s description of Livius.]

One of the men thus substituted was Livius, for whom they saw
an opportunity of providing in Canada. Lord Dartmouth wrote to
Carleton in May, 1775, notifying the appointment of Livius as a
judge of Common Pleas for the district of Montreal; and in August
of the following year he was promoted by Germain to be Chief
Justice of Canada. Livius succeeded Chief Justice Hey, who had
held the office since 1766, and had in August, 1775, requested to
be allowed to retire after ‘ten years honest, however imperfect,
endeavours to serve the Crown in an unpleasant and something
critical situation’.[119] Hey was a man of high standing and
character, and had been much consulted by the Government in passing
the Quebec Act. Livius was a man of a wholly different class.
Carleton’s unflattering description of him in a letter written on
the 25th of June, 1778,[120] was that he was ‘greedy of power and
more greedy of gain, imperious and impetuous in his temper, but
learned in the ways and eloquence of the New England provinces,
valuing himself in his knowledge how to manage governors, well
schooled, it seems, in business of this sort’. ‘’Tis unfortunate,’
he wrote in another and earlier letter, referring apparently to
Livius, ‘that your Lordship should find it necessary for the King’s
service to send over a person to administer justice to this people,
when he understands neither their laws, manners, customs, nor their

[Sidenote: He dismisses him from office.]

Livius’ appointment as Chief Justice apparently did not take effect
till 1777, and he lost no time in making difficulties. Though paid
better than his predecessor, he protested as to his emoluments
and position; he claimed the powers which had been enjoyed by the
Intendant under the old French régime, and both in his judicial
capacity and as a member of the council, constituted himself an
active opponent of the government. As Chief Justice, he espoused
the cause of a Canadian who had been arrested and sent to prison
for disloyalty by the Lieutenant-Governor Cramahé, and in the
council, in April, 1778, he brought forward motions directed
against what he held to be illegal and irregular proceedings on the
part of the governor. The result of his attitude was that on the
1st of May, 1778, Carleton, before he left Canada, summarily, and
without giving any reason, dismissed him from office.

[Sidenote: Livius appeals to the King.]

[Sidenote: Merits of the case.]

Both Livius and Carleton went back to England, and in September
Livius appealed to the King. His appeal was referred to the Lords
Commissioners of Trade and Plantations, whose report on the case
was in turn referred to the Lords of the Committee of Council for
Plantation Affairs, and with their recommendation was brought
before the King in Privy Council, Livius having in the course of
the inquiry stated his case fully both in person and in writing,
while Carleton declined to appear, and contented himself with
referring to his dispatches and to the minutes of council. On
technical grounds Livius had a strong case. Appointed by the King,
he had been dismissed by the governor without any reason being
assigned in the letter of dismissal. His conduct in a judicial
capacity had not been specifically impugned, and the two motions
directed against Carleton, which he had brought forward in the
Legislative Council immediately prior to his dismissal, had,
at any rate, some show of reason. The first was to the effect
that the governor should communicate to the council the Royal
Instructions which had been given him with respect to legislation,
and which by those instructions he was to communicate so far as
it was convenient for the King’s service. The second referred
to a committee of five members of the council, which Carleton
had constituted in August, 1776, a kind of Privy Council for the
transaction of executive, as opposed to legislative business, in
which Livius was not included. Livius contended, and his contention
was upheld, that the instruction under which the governor had
appointed this board or committee, did not contemplate the
formation of a standing committee of particular members of council,
but only authorized the transaction of executive business by any
five councillors, if more were not available at the time.

[Sidenote: The appeal upheld and Livius restored to office. His
subsequent career.]

The result of the inquiry was that the Chief Justice was restored
to his office, but he never returned to Canada. In July, 1779,
a mandamus for his re-appointment as Chief Justice was sent to
Governor Haldimand, Carleton’s successor, and in the same month he
was ordered to go back at once to Quebec. But he remained on in
England on one pretext or another. In March, 1780, he was still in
London asking for further extension of leave, to see his brother
who was coming home from India. Two years later, in April, 1782,
he had not gone, though he alleged that he had attempted to cross
the Atlantic and had been driven back by stress of weather; and he
pleaded with rare audacity that it was advisable that he should
still prolong his absence from Canada, as otherwise it would be his
duty to oppose the high-handed proceedings, as he deemed them to
be, of General Haldimand. So matters went on until Carleton, now
Lord Dorchester, returned to govern Canada in the autumn of 1786,
when a new Chief Justice was at once appointed, and Livius finally
disappeared from history.[122]

[Sidenote: Moral of the case.]

It has been worth while to give at some length the details of this
somewhat squalid incident, because it is a good illustration of
the difficulties which may arise from one of the most valued and
valuable of English principles, the independence of the judicature.
In the distant possessions of Great Britain, even more than at
home, a great safeguard and a strong source of confidence is and
always has been that the judges are in no way dependent on the
Executive; and yet the case of Livius is by no means the only
case in which serious mischief to the public service has resulted
from this very cause. There can be no doubt that on technical
grounds the Privy Council were right in upholding Livius’ appeal.
What weighed with them most of all was that Livius had not been
dismissed for judicial misconduct; and short of such misconduct,
flagrant and proved beyond all shadow of doubt, it would still be
held that a judge should not be removed from office by the King
himself, much less by the governor. Carleton, like other men cast
in a large mould, did not sufficiently safeguard his action. A
mischief-making adventurer was placed in high office for which
he was clearly unfit. At a time of national crisis he used his
powers of making mischief, and feeling secure in the independence
of his judicial position, sought to undermine the authority of the
Government. Unwilling to leave the difficulty for his successor to
solve, the outgoing governor, fearless of responsibility, summarily
dismissed the man, and contemptuously refused to justify the
grounds of dismissal. He acted in the best interests of the public
service, but, in doing so, he placed himself in the wrong, and the
restoration of Livius to his office must be held to be justified,
while his original appointment admits of no excuse.

[Sidenote: Carleton resigns.]

[Sidenote: Germain’s plan of campaign for 1777.]

In June, 1777, Carleton sent in his resignation, but a year passed
before he was able to leave Canada, and a bitter year it was for
the English cause in America. Germain’s letter to him of the
26th of March, to which reference has already been made, gave a
minute account of the plans for the year’s campaign. Carleton was
to remain behind in Canada with 3,770 men. He was to place under
command of General Burgoyne 7,173 men, in addition to Canadians and
Indians, and after providing him with whatever artillery, stores,
and provisions he might require, and rendering him every assistance
in his power, ‘to give him orders to pass Lake Champlain and
from thence, by the most vigorous exertion of the force under his
command, to proceed with all expedition to Albany, and put himself
under the command of Sir William Howe.’ In an earlier part of the
same letter the phrase is used that Burgoyne was ‘to force his way
to Albany’, leaving no doubt of the writer’s intention that at all
hazards Burgoyne was to effect a junction with Howe. Carleton was
further to place under Lieutenant-Colonel St. Leger 675 men, also
to be supplemented by Canadians and Indians, to give him all the
necessaries for his expedition, and to instruct him to advance to
the Mohawk river, and down that river to Albany, where he was to
place himself under Sir William Howe. St. Leger’s force was to
be supplementary to Burgoyne’s: as phrased elsewhere in the same
letter, he was ‘to make a diversion on the Mohawk river’.

[Sidenote: Minuteness of the instructions.]

[Sidenote: Germain fails to communicate with Sir W. Howe.]

It is noteworthy how this remarkable letter purported to settle all
the details. The exact number of men for each service are counted,
the particular regiments and companies of regiments are told off,
no discretion is left to Carleton or to Burgoyne as to whom they
should send forward to Lake Champlain or the Mohawk, and whom they
should keep in Canada. No mention is made of the reinforcements
which Carleton had written were necessary. Nothing is allowed
apparently for sick or ineffectives. All is on paper, concocted
by the man at a distance who persisted in knowing better than the
far more capable man on the spot. But the most damning passage in
the letter is as follows, ‘I shall write to Sir William from hence
by the first packet, but you will nevertheless endeavour to give
him the earliest intelligence of this measure, and also direct
Lieutenant-General Burgoyne and Lieutenant-Colonel St. Leger to
neglect no opportunity of doing the same, that they may receive
instructions from Sir William Howe.’ Sir William Howe’s Narrative
of his operations, given to a Committee of the House of Commons in
April, 1779, states explicitly that the promised letter was never
sent to him by Germain; that it was not until the 5th of June that
he received from Carleton a copy of the letter which has been
quoted above, unaccompanied by any instructions; and that, before
Burgoyne left England, Germain had received Howe’s plans for the
Philadelphia expedition, and had written approving them. Such was
Lord George Germain’s conduct of the war in America.


  Map to illustrate =THE BORDER WARS=      _to face page 145_

  B. V. Barbishire, Oxford, 1908

[Sidenote: Burgoyne and Carleton.]

On the 27th of March Burgoyne left London. On the 6th of May he
arrived at Quebec. There was no friction between him and Carleton.
He had made no attempt to supplant Carleton, and, bitterly as
Carleton resented his own treatment by Germain, he gave Burgoyne
the utmost assistance for the coming campaign. ‘Had that officer
been acting for himself or for his brother, he could not have shown
more indefatigable zeal than he did to comply with and expedite
my requisitions and desires.’ Such was Burgoyne’s testimony to
Carleton, in his Narrative of the ‘state of the Expedition from
Canada’ as given to the House of Commons.[123]

[Sidenote: St. Leger’s expedition to the Mohawk river.]

[Sidenote: Oswego.]

Before following the fortunes of Burgoyne and his army, it will be
well to give an account of how St. Leger fared in the ‘diversion on
the Mohawk river’. As in the days of the French and English wars,
the twofold British advance from Canada followed the course of the
waterways. While the main army moved up Lake Champlain to strike
the Hudson at Fort Edward and thence move down to Albany, St.
Leger’s smaller force was dispatched up the St. Lawrence to Oswego
on Lake Ontario, in order by lake and stream to reach and overpower
Fort Stanwix on the upper waters of the Mohawk river, and then to
follow down that river to the Hudson, and reach the meeting-point
with Burgoyne’s troops at Albany. At Albany both Burgoyne and St.
Leger were to place themselves under Sir William Howe’s command.
Oswego, the starting-point of St. Leger’s expedition, owing to
its geographical position always played a prominent part in the
border wars of Canada and the North American colonies. From this
point Count Frontenac started when, in 1696, he led his men to
Onondaga, burnt the villages of the Iroquois, and laid waste their
cornfields. The first fort at Oswego was built in 1727 by Governor
Burnet of New York, who reported that he had built it with the
consent of the Six Nations. It was built on the western bank of the
mouth of the Onondaga or Oswego river, which here runs into Lake
Ontario, and it was still the main fort in 1756, when Oswego was
taken by Montcalm, although a subsidiary fort had also lately been
built upon the opposite--the eastern side of the river. The effect
produced both in England and in America by the French general’s
brilliant feat of arms marked the importance which was attached to
the position. The place was re-occupied by Prideaux and Haldimand
with Sir William Johnson in 1759; and subsequently a new fort was
constructed on the high ground which forms a promontory on the
eastern side of the estuary. This fort, which after the War of
Independence passed into American hands, was stormed and taken by
Gordon Drummond in the war of 1812.

[Sidenote: The Six Nations.]

[Sidenote: Allies of the English.]

The Oswego river, or one branch of it, runs out of Lake Oneida:
and into that lake, at the eastern end, runs the stream which was
known as Wood Creek. From the Wood Creek there was a portage to the
Mohawk river, and at the end of the portage stood Fort Stanwix,
held by an American garrison, and barring St. Leger’s way to the
Mohawk valley and the Hudson. All this was the country of the Six
Nation Indians, Six Nations instead of Five since the early part
of the eighteenth century, when the Tuscaroras, driven up from
the south by the white men, had been admitted to the Iroquois
Confederacy. The people of the Long House, as the Iroquois called
themselves, had always been, in the main, allies of the English
as against the French. From the time when the state of New York
became a British possession, these Indians, who had had friendly
trading relations with the Dutch, transferred their friendship to
the English, and the chain of the covenant, though often strained,
was never completely broken. When the War of American Independence
began, and the English were divided, the Six Nations, though
confused by the issue and by the competing appeals of the two
parties, adhered as a whole to the Royalist cause. The majority of
the Oneidas, and possibly the Tuscaroras, inclined to the American
side, the Oneidas having come under the strong personal influence
of a New England missionary, Samuel Kirkland, but the other members
of the league were for the King. After the battle of Oriskany,
where, among others, the powerful clan of Senecas suffered heavily,
the enmity between these Indians and the colonists became more
pronounced, and took the form of a blood feud, accompanied by all
the horrors of militant savagery.

There were various reasons why the Iroquois should espouse the side
of England against America. They looked to the Great King beyond
the sea as their father and protector. The English colonists on
their borders had shown little respect for their lands: and in
1774, in one of the inevitable conflicts between white men and red
on the Virginian frontier, which was known as Cresap’s war, some
of the Six Nation warriors had been involved, and the family of a
friendly Cayuga chief had been murdered by the whites, bringing
bitterness into the hearts of the western members of the Iroquois
Confederacy. But, most of all, the Mohawks shaped the policy of the
league, and they in turn were guided by the Johnson family, and by
their famous fighting chief Thayandenegea, more commonly known by
his English name of Joseph Brant.

[Sidenote: The Mohawks.]

[Sidenote: Sir William Johnson.]

The Mohawks had always been the leaders among the Six Nation
Indians, though, by the time when war broke out between England
and America, they were comparatively few in number, worn down by
constant fighting, and by other causes.[124] Of all the Iroquois,
they had been most consistently loyal to the English, and the most
determined foes of the French. Their homes were at the eastern end
of the Long House, in the valley of the Mohawk river, and they
had therefore always been in close touch with the settlements at
Albany, Schenectady, and along the course of the river to which
they gave their name. They had mingled much and intermarried with
their white neighbours; and for thirty-five years they had had
living among them the Englishman, or rather the Irishman, who
above all others won the confidence of the North American Indians,
Sir William Johnson. They adopted him and he adopted them, taking
to wife in his later years, a Mohawk girl, Mary or Molly Brant.
If Johnson in large measure lived down to the Indians, he also
endeavoured to make the Indians live up to the white men’s level.
He encouraged missionary effort, and promoted education, sending,
among others, Joseph Brant, brother of Molly Brant, to a school
for Indian boys at Lebanon in the state of Connecticut. Johnson
represented the authority of the King, and he used his authority
and his influence for the protection of the Indians against the
inroads of the white men into their lands. The Mohawks, from
their position, were more exposed than the other members of the
confederacy to white land-jobbers, whose aggressiveness increased
after Johnson’s death in 1774. Accordingly, while their traditional
sympathies had always been with the English, when the civil war
came, they had no hesitation in attaching themselves to the King’s
cause. It was the cause of their protector; it was the cause of
the Johnson family; it was the cause to which both interest and
sentiment bade them to adhere. When Sir William Johnson died, he
left as his political representative, his nephew and son-in-law,
Colonel Guy Johnson: the heir of his estates was his own son, Sir
John Johnson. Both the one and the other were pronounced Loyalists:
they drew the Mohawks after them; and when, in the summer of 1775,
after hearing of the fight at Bunker’s Hill, Guy Johnson left the
Mohawk Valley for Oswego and crossed over to Canada, the majority
of the Mohawks left their homes and followed him. In Canada, it was
said, they received assurances from Carleton, which were confirmed
by Haldimand, that they should not be allowed to suffer for their
loyalty to the King.[125]

[Sidenote: Joseph Brant.]

The leader of these Mohawk friends of England was Joseph Brant,
who was born, the son of a full-blooded Mohawk, in 1742. He was
therefore a man of between thirty and forty years of age at the
time of the American Revolution. In the period intervening between
the British conquest of Canada and the battle of Waterloo, North
America produced three very remarkable men of pure Indian descent.
Pontiac was one, Joseph Brant was the second, the third was
Tecumseh, who fought and fell in the war of 1812. Of these three,
Joseph Brant alone sprang from the famous Iroquois stock. Pontiac
was to a greater extent than the others a leader of the red men
against the whites. So far as he had sympathies with white men,
they were with the French as against the English. Brant, in the
main, and Tecumseh played their parts when French rule had ceased
to exist in North America; they were fast allies of the English
as against the Americans or, to put it more accurately, of the
English controlled from home as against the English installed in
their own right in America. But all these three Indian chiefs
had, in one form or another, the same main motive for action, to
prevent what the red man had being taken from him by the white
man. Of the three, Brant was by far the most civilized. He was
an educated man and a Christian. He was, as has been seen, sent
to school in Connecticut, he was a friend of the missionaries,
he visited England twice, went to Court, had interviews and
correspondence with Secretaries of State, made acquaintance with
Boswell, was painted by Romney, and was presented by Fox with a
silver snuff-box. He was poles asunder from the ordinary native
inhabitant of the North American backwoods. He had known war from
early boyhood, had borne arms under Sir William Johnson against the
French, and had apparently fought against Pontiac. At the outbreak
of the revolution he followed Guy Johnson to Canada, and seems to
have taken part in opposing the American advance on Montreal. He
paid his first visit to England towards the end of 1775, returned
to New York in July 1776, and before the year closed made his
way back up country to the lands belonging to or within striking
distance of the Six Nations. Throughout the coming years of the war
his name was great and terrible in the borderland, the main scene
of his warfare being what was then known as the Tryon county of New
York, the districts east of the Fort Stanwix treaty line, which
were watered by the Mohawk river and its tributaries, and by the
streams which flow south and south-west to form the Susquehanna.
Once portrayed as the embodiment of ruthless ferocity, Brant was
afterwards given a place in history as a hero. He was present at
the Cherry Valley massacre, but in his fighting he seems to have
been beyond question more humane than most Indian warriors, and at
least as humane as some white men in these border wars, while his
courage, his skill in bush-fighting, and his rapidity of movement
were never surpassed. He was not a devil, and not an angel. Like
other men, both coloured and white, he no doubt acted from mixed
motives. His friendship for the English, and his patriotism for the
native races, may well have been coupled with personal ambition.
But he fought heart-whole and with no little chivalry for the cause
which he espoused; and in war, as in peace, he was above and beyond
the normal level of the North American Indian. After the war was
over, he settled with his people in Canada, where he died in 1807,
and the town of Brantford preserves his name.

[Sidenote: St. Leger’s force too small for the task.]

St. Leger’s expedition had been suggested to Germain by Burgoyne,
while the latter was in England: indeed, some enterprise of the
kind had been contemplated by Carleton. In view alike of past
history and of the general plan of the summer’s campaign, it had
much to recommend it; but the opposition which the English were
likely to encounter, and actually did encounter, was under-rated,
and the force was too small for the task imposed upon it. The total
number has usually been given at 1,700 men, including Indians; but
this seems to have been an over-estimate, at any rate when the
fighting came. The white troops probably did not in any case exceed
650 in number. There were only 200 British regulars, half of whom
were a detachment of the 8th, now the King’s (Liverpool Regiment),
the same regiment which had furnished a company for the attack on
the Cedars. There were a few German troops, who had just arrived in
Canada, and some of whom did not reach Oswego until the expedition
was over. The Germans, being wholly ignorant of the country, were
quite unsuited for bush-fighting and bateau-work. There was a corps
of New York Loyalists under the command of Sir John Johnson, and
known as Johnson’s Royal Greens. Colonel John Butler led a company
of the Rangers, and a small body of Canadians also took part in
the expedition. The Indian contingent numbered over 800 men.
Brant joined at Oswego at the head of 300 Indian warriors, mostly
Mohawks, and the Senecas were much in evidence. The Indians, as a
whole, were under the command of Colonel Daniel Claus, Johnson’s
brother-in-law, who for many years was one of the officers charged
by the British Government with the superintendence of Indian
affairs. Thus St. Leger had with him most of the men whose names
are best known on the British side in the annals of the border
warfare in these troubled times. Guns were taken with the force,
though of too small calibre to overpower a well-built fort; and,
when the advance began towards the end of July, no precautions were
neglected, a detachment was sent on a day’s march or so in front of
the main column, and the latter was led and flanked on either side
by Indians.

[Sidenote: Fort Stanwix.]

Fort Stanwix had at the time been renamed Fort Schuyler by the
Americans, presumably in honour of General Schuyler, who commanded
the American forces in the Northern Department. The older and
better known name was subsequently restored. The fort stood on the
Mohawk river, not actually on the bank of the river, but about 300
yards distant, guarding the end of the portage from Wood Creek.
The length of the portage where the two rivers were nearest to
each other, was rather over a mile.[126] The old blockhouse, Fort
Williams, which had been the predecessor of the existing fort,
and the ruins of which were standing at the time of St. Leger’s
expedition, was destroyed by the English general, Daniel Webb, in
1756, as he retreated in hot haste on hearing of the capture of
Oswego by Montcalm. Two years later General Stanwix built a new
fort, which bore his own name. The town of Rome now covers the site
on which Fort Stanwix stood. The fort was square in form. It had
evidently been carefully designed by a trained soldier and strongly
constructed, but during the years of peace, in this case as in
those of the other border forts, the defences had fallen more or
less into decay, and had not been fully repaired or rebuilt when
the siege began. None the less, they proved to be too strong to be
overpowered by St. Leger’s light guns. The garrison consisted of
750 men, 200 of whom came in, bringing stores and provisions, on
the very day on which the forerunners of St. Leger’s force appeared
on the scene. The commander of the garrison was Colonel Gansevoort,
the second in command was Colonel Willett, both thoroughly
competent men.

[Sidenote: The siege of Fort Stanwix begins.]

St. Leger’s advanced guard, consisting of a detachment of 30 men of
the 8th Regiment, under Lieutenant Bird, with 200 Indians under
Brant, arrived before the fort on the 2nd of August. They had
been sent on, as is told in St. Leger’s dispatch, ‘to seize fast
hold of the lower landing-place, and thereby cut off the enemy’s
communication with the lower country.’[127] It had been hoped that
they would be in time to intercept the reinforcements which were
due at the fort, but they arrived too late for this purpose. They
took up their position at the point named, below and due south of
the fort, on the bank of the Mohawk river, athwart the road to
Albany. On the following day, the 3rd of August, St. Leger came up
himself, sent a proclamation into the fort, and began to invest
it, fixing his main encampment about half a mile to the north-east
of the fort, and higher up the river, which here runs in a curving
course, so that a straight line drawn from the main British camp
to the post at the lower landing-place would cross and recross
the river, forming the base of a semi-circle. The Americans had
blocked up Wood Creek with fallen timber, and St. Leger reported
that it took nine days and the work of 110 men to clear away the
obstructions, while two days were spent in making several miles of
track through the woods in order in the meantime to bring up stores
and guns. The siege, therefore, began long before the necessary
preparations had been made, and long before the besieging force had
been concentrated and duly entrenched. On the evening of the 5th of
August there were not 250 of the white troops in camp, and at this
juncture St. Leger was threatened by a strong body of Americans who
had gathered for the relief of the fort.

[Sidenote: The fight at Oriskany.]

When news came to the New York settlements of the British advance,
the militia of Tryon county were called out by their commander,
General Nicholas Herkimer. The rendezvous was Fort Dayton, at the
German Flatts, lower down the Mohawk valley than Fort Stanwix. The
German Flatts were so named after settlers from the Palatinate,
who had come out early in the eighteenth century, and from this
stock Herkimer was himself descended. On the 4th of August he
moved forward, the number of his force being usually given at
from 800 to 1,000 men. St. Leger reported that they were 800
strong, and assuming that the total was between 700 and 800, the
relief force and the garrison together equalled, if they did not
outnumber, the whole of St. Leger’s army, the majority of which
moreover consisted, as has been seen, of Indians. On the 5th
Herkimer encamped near a place called Oriskany, about eight[128]
miles short of Fort Stanwix, where a stream called the Oriskany
Creek flowed into the Mohawk river. From this point he sent on
messengers to the fort to secure the co-operation of the garrison.
Meanwhile intelligence had reached St. Leger, sent it was said by
Molly Brant, of the coming relief force, and at five o’clock on the
evening of the 5th he dispatched 80 white troops, being all that he
could spare, with 400 Indians, to intercept the advancing Americans
before they came into touch with the fort, and ambush them among
the woods. Sir John[129] Johnson was placed in command of the
detachment, and with him were Butler and Joseph Brant. It was work
for which Brant was eminently suited, and he seems to have been
the leading spirit in planning the ambuscade. Very early on the
morning of the 6th of August, urged on by his impatient followers,
and against his own better judgement, Herkimer, without waiting
for reinforcements or for a sign from the beleaguered fort,
continued his advance. He reached a point between two and three
miles beyond Oriskany, and within six miles of the fort, where the
path descended into a semi-circular ravine, with swampy ground at
the bottom and high wooded ground at the sides. Here the Americans
were caught in a trap, which would have been more complete had
not the Indians begun fighting before the plan of ambush had been
fully developed. The American rearguard, which had not yet entered
the ravine, broke and fled: the main body were surrounded, Johnson
barring their way in front, Brant falling on their rear, while
others of the Indians and Butler’s rangers fought on the flanks.
There followed a confused fight among the trees, gradually becoming
a hand to hand struggle, with a brief interlude caused by a heavy
storm of rain. Herkimer was mortally wounded, many, if not most,
of the other leading American officers were killed; while, on the
British side, the Indians suffered heavy losses. In the end the
remnant of the American force seem to have beaten off or tired out
their assailants, and made good their retreat, but according to St.
Leger’s report only 200 of them escaped. Butler estimated the total
American casualties in killed, wounded, and prisoners, at 500, and,
according to American accounts, the total was about 400. The white
casualties on the British side were very small, but the casualties
among the Indians seem to have numbered from 60 to 100.

While the engagement was going on, a sortie was made from the
fort, and it was probably news of this movement, coupled with the
Indian losses, which put an end to the fight at Oriskany. Bird, the
commander of the post at the lower landing-place, had been misled
by a rumour that Johnson was hard pressed, and led out his men to
support him, leaving the post undefended. Meanwhile, Willett at the
head of 250 men marched out of the fort, apparently in ignorance of
the ambuscade and designing to join hands with Herkimer’s force.
Willett found the post practically deserted, mastered it, and
carried off its contents, eluding an attempt which St. Leger made
to cut him off on his return to the fort.[130] This ended the
day’s work. Herkimer’s force had been blotted out, but it must have
become increasingly evident that St. Leger’s men and resources were
hopelessly inadequate for the task which had been set him, to force
his way to Albany.

[Sidenote: St. Leger fails to take Fort Stanwix and retreats to

After the battle of Oriskany, St. Leger summoned the fort to
surrender, but without effect. He continued the siege, but made
little or no impression upon the defences. On the night of the
10th of August Willett made his way out of the fort, reached Fort
Dayton, and went on to Albany where he met Benedict Arnold who
had been charged with the duty of relieving Fort Stanwix. Arnold
gathered troops for the purpose and in the meantime, with his
usual cleverness, contrived to send on rumours which caused alarm
in the British camp. A thousand men were reported to be coming,
then 2,000, then 3,000, and Arnold’s own name may well have been
a potent source of apprehension. The Indians, already depressed
by their losses at Oriskany, and by the prolonging of the siege,
became more and more out of hand, deserting, marauding, and
spreading exaggerated tales; and at length, on the 22nd or 23rd of
August, St. Leger beat a hasty retreat by night, leaving behind him
most of his stores and guns, and returned to Oswego, whence he went
back to Montreal and on to Lake Champlain in the wake of Burgoyne’s
army. Joseph Brant took a less circuitous route. When St. Leger
retreated from Fort Stanwix, Brant made one of his marvellous
flying marches down the Mohawk Valley: and, after passing for over
a hundred miles through the heart of the enemy’s country, which was
also his own, in two or three days’ time joined Burgoyne’s force on
the banks of the Hudson river.

[Sidenote: Misconduct of the Indians.]

[Sidenote: Bad effects of employing them in the war.]

When he returned to Oswego, St. Leger, on the 27th of August, wrote
a dispatch to Burgoyne, giving details of his expedition, but not
punctuating his failure. The failure was due to insufficiency
of numbers and artillery in the first place, and in the second,
beyond question, to the misconduct of his Indian allies. The
employment of Indians in this war with British colonists may have
been inevitable, but it was certainly politically inexpedient,
notwithstanding the fact that the colonists themselves were ready
to avail themselves of similar aid. Indians had been engaged on the
English side in the wars with the French, but sparingly and under
strict supervision. Carleton, as long as he directed operations in
the War of Independence, had been equally careful in using these
savage tools.[131] In St. Leger’s expedition the disadvantages of
enlisting Indian fighting men came fully to light. They became, St.
Leger wrote to Burgoyne, ‘more formidable than the enemy we had to
expect.’ Disappointed of looting the enemy, they plundered their
friends and endangered, if they did not in some cases take, their
lives. Unstable as friends, ferocious as foes, they were not fit
helpmates for Englishmen in fighting Englishmen, even their value
as scouts was diminished by their incurable habit of believing and
exaggerating any report. As in the war with the French in Canada,
the English gained ground by the scrupulous care which they took
to prevent outrages on the part of the savages who accompanied
their armies, so in the later war with their own countrymen, they
distinctly lost ground through calling out the coloured men of
America against colonists of British birth.

[Sidenote: Burgoyne’s address to the Indians.]

Burgoyne’s instructions from Lord George Germain included the
employment of Indians under due precautions; and he formally
addressed his Indian followers in his camp at the river Bouquet,
on the western side of Lake Champlain, on the 21st of June, 1777.
‘The collective voices and hands of the Indian tribes over this
vast continent,’ were, he told them, with a few exceptions, ‘on the
side of justice, of law, and the King.’ He bade them ‘go forth in
might of your valour and your cause: strike at the common enemies
of Great Britain and America’. On the other hand, he sternly
forbade bloodshed except in battle, and enjoined that ‘aged men,
women, children, and prisoners must be held sacred from the knife
or hatchet, even in the time of actual conflict’. Compensation
would be given for the prisoners taken, but the Indians would be
called to account for scalps. His listeners replied, through an
old chief of the Iroquois--‘We have been tried and tempted by the
Bostonians, but we have loved our father, and our hatchets have
been sharpened upon our affections.’ They promised with one voice
obedience to the general’s commands.

[Sidenote: Burgoyne.]

At this date, in the year 1777, Burgoyne was fifty-five years
of age, having been born in 1722, two years before Carleton was
born. He was clearly a man of ability, and unusually versatile. He
was also, as times went, an honourable man. In his relations to
Carleton, at any rate, he seems to have been open to no reproach.
But he tried too many things to be first-rate in anything; he was
not adequate to a great crisis and to heavy responsibility: and
because he was not of the first class, and also because he had
much dramatic instinct, he seems to have had more eye for present
effect than for the root of matters. He was educated at Westminster
School, and, when he died in 1792, he was buried in the northern
cloister of Westminster Abbey. He was a soldier, a politician, a
dramatist, and a man of society. He entered the army in 1740, again
two years before Carleton’s military service began. He became so
involved in debt that he had to sell his commission. He rejoined
the army in 1756, and in 1762 he distinguished himself in Portugal,
where the English supported the Portuguese against Spain and
France. A few years later, however, in 1769, Junius referred to him
as ‘not very conspicuous in his profession’.[132] He went into the
House of Commons in 1761 as member for Midhurst. In 1768, through
the influence of his father-in-law, Lord Derby, he became member
for Preston, and, in connexion with his election, was attacked
by Junius for corruption and also for his gambling propensities.
As a politician he was, before he went to America, more or less
of a free-lance. He spoke on foreign and Indian questions, and
in 1773 made a speech in the House of Commons, attacking Clive.
After the catastrophe at Saratoga, and his return to England, he
threw in his lot with the Whigs, having been befriended by Fox
and his followers; he became Commander-in-Chief in Ireland under
Rockingham; and in 1787 he managed the impeachment of Warren
Hastings. Before the American war broke out, he produced in 1774 a
play called _The Maid of the Oaks_, of which Horace Walpole wrote:
‘There is a new puppet show at Drury Lane as fine as scenes can
make it, called _The Maid of the Oaks_, and as dull as the author
could not help making it.’[133] At a later date, however, Walpole
had to confess that ‘General Burgoyne has written the best modern
comedy’.[134] This was _The Heiress_, which was brought out in the
beginning of 1786, and achieved a great success. Walpole had no
love for Burgoyne, at any rate at the time when the latter served
in America. ‘You ask the history of Burgoyne the pompous,’ he
wrote in October, 1777,[135] the month in which the surrender at
Saratoga took place; and after describing him as ‘a fortunate
gamester’, he continued, ‘I have heard him speak in Parliament,
just as he writes: for all his speeches were written and laboured,
and yet neither in them nor in his conversation did he ever impress
me with an idea of his having parts.’ Burgoyne’s affectation and
mannerism may have been due to the fact that he was essentially a
man of society, as society was then. He had eloped in early life
with Lord Derby’s daughter, and, like Charles Fox, was a confirmed
gambler. The world of London was his world, and the standard by
which he measured things was not the standard of all time. When
he went out in 1777 to command the expedition from Canada, he was
on the flowing tide of fortune, and the tone of his proclamations
gave Walpole cause for sarcastic comment. ‘Have you read General
Burgoyne’s rhodomontade, in which he almost promises to cross
America in a hop, step, and a jump?’[136] ‘Burgoyne has sent over
a manifesto that if he was to over-run ten provinces would appear
too pompous.’[136] ‘I heard to-day at Richmond that Julius Caesar
Burgonius’s Commentaries are to be published in an Extraordinary
Gazette of three-and-twenty pages in folio to-morrow--a counterpart
to the _Iliad_ in a nutshell.’[136] All these three passages
were written in August, 1777, while Burgoyne’s expedition was
proceeding. The writer of them did not like Burgoyne, and did not
like the war in which Burgoyne was engaged; but, though Burgoyne
lent himself to criticism and lacked the qualities which the time
and place demanded, his story is by no means the story either
of a bad soldier or of a bad man; it is rather the story of a
second-rate man set with inadequate means to solve a problem of
first-rate importance.

[Sidenote: Burgoyne’s advance against Ticonderoga.]

[Sidenote: The American position at Ticonderoga.]

Having completed his preparations, Burgoyne reached Crown Point on
the 26th of June, preparatory to attacking Ticonderoga. The full
control of the operations had passed into his own hands, for, by
Germain’s instructions, Carleton’s authority was limited by the
boundary line of Canada, and that line was drawn far north of
Crown Point and Ticonderoga, cutting the outlet of Lake Champlain
near the point of land named Point au Fer. The total force amounted
to rather over 7,000 men, nearly half of whom were Germans under
the command of Baron Riedesel. The advance was made on both sides
of the lake, the Germans being on the eastern shore, the British on
the western--the side on which were Crown Point and Ticonderoga.
The Americans, too, held positions on both sides of the lake,
for, over against the peninsula on which Ticonderoga stood, there
jutted out another point of land, described in Burgoyne’s dispatch
as ‘high and circular’, but in reality rather oblong in form,
rising well above the level of the lake and skirted in part on the
land side by a rivulet. It was called Mount Independence, and was
strongly held and fortified. The lake, here narrowed to a river, is
about a quarter of a mile across, and between Ticonderoga and Mount
Independence a bridge had been constructed, consisting of sunken
timber piers connected by floating timber, the whole being guarded
in front by a heavy boom of wood strengthened by iron rivets and


Reduced from the Map published in ‘A State of the Expedition from
Canada as laid before the House of Commons by Lieutenant-General
Burgoyne, London, 1780’

London, published as the Act directs, Feb. 1st 1780, by WM. FADEN,
Charing Cross

  _To face p. 161_

The Indian name Ticonderoga signified the confluence of three
waters. At this point the long narrow southern arm of Lake
Champlain, coming in from the south-east, meets the stream which
carries out the waters of Lake George into the third water, the
main lake Champlain. The outlet of Lake George describes a complete
semi-circle, and runs into Lake Champlain due west and east. The
direct route therefore from Lake Champlain to Lake George runs well
to the west of and inside the peninsula of Ticonderoga, cutting
the semi-circular stream without touching the peninsula. In this
consisted the weakness of the American position: unless the works
were extended further afield than they had men to hold them, part
of the attacking force could pass them by and invest Ticonderoga on
the southern as well as on the northern side, blocking retreat by
the line of Lake George. So it happened when Burgoyne’s army came
on the scene.

[Sidenote: Burgoyne’s operations against Ticonderoga.]

[Sidenote: The Americans evacuate their position,]

After three days’ stay at Crown Point to bring up all his forces,
the general on the 30th of June moved forward his leading corps
on either side of the lake, and on the next day the whole army
followed. On the 2nd of July the Americans were reported to have
abandoned the post which guarded the bridge over the river from
Lake George, to the west of Ticonderoga, where saw-mills stood
and which was the starting-point of the ‘carrying place’ from
Lake Champlain to Lake George. They abandoned it, in order to
concentrate their strength against the English advance on the
north-west. Burgoyne immediately moved forward his troops and,
driving the enemy back, on the night of the 2nd occupied the high
ground on the west which commanded the communications with Lake
George, and thereby cut off the possibility of retreat in that
direction. On the 3rd and 4th the attacking forces drew nearer to
the two beleaguered forts, in spite of cannonade; and on the night
of the 4th, a party of light infantry occupied a height called
Sugar Hill, which stood on the southern bank of the outlet from
Lake George, in the angle between that stream and the southern arm
of Lake Champlain, overlooking and commanding both Ticonderoga and
Mount Independence at an estimated distance of about 1,400 and
1,500 yards respectively. On the 5th guns were being brought up to
the hill, but, when the morning of the 6th came, it was found that
the American general, St. Clair, had carried his troops across by
the bridge from Ticonderoga, and, having evacuated both that post
and Mount Independence, was retreating by land and water.

[Sidenote: and are followed up by the English.]

By land and water Burgoyne’s men followed on the same day, the
bridge and boom being broken for the gunboats to pass through. At
Skenesborough, where the navigation of Lake Champlain ends, the
enemy’s vessels were taken or destroyed by the British squadron,
and the detachment of Americans who held the fort set fire to it
and retreated to Fort Anne. Meanwhile, diverging to the east in the
direction of Castleton on the road to Connecticut, General Fraser,
commanding the van of the troops who pursued by land, followed
hard throughout the 6th upon the American rearguard; Riedesel came
up behind him with supports; but, by agreement between the two
commanders, Fraser, when night fell, bivouacked three miles in
front of his colleague. Early on the 7th he attacked the Americans,
who outnumbered his own troops, near a place named Huberton, and
was on the point of being beaten back when the arrival of Riedesel
converted a repulse into a victory. The colonists were broken,
their leader, Colonel Francis, and some 200 of his men were killed,
about the same number were taken prisoners, and a large number of
wounded were supposed to have lost their lives in the woods. Having
completed the rout, on the 8th and 9th Riedesel and Fraser came
into touch with the main army at Skenesborough.

[Sidenote: Fight near Fort Anne.]

At Skenesborough there was a portage from Lake Champlain to Wood
Creek,[137] a stream which flows into the lake from the south.
While boats were being dragged across from the lake to the river
with a view to further advance, the 9th Regiment was sent on
by land to Fort Anne, twelve miles distant in a due southerly
direction. By the evening of the 7th the English drew near to
the fort, and on the following day they were attacked and hard
pressed by a stronger body of Americans. They took up a position
on a hill, and held their ground resolutely, until the whoop of
Indians told that reinforcements were coming up: the Americans
then gave way, and, setting fire to Fort Anne, fell back to Fort
Edward. The English in their turn returned to Skenesborough, in
the neighbourhood of which, on the 9th and 10th of July, the whole
army, excluding the troops required to garrison Ticonderoga, was
concentrated, the line extending eastward from the head of Lake
Champlain towards Castleton.

[Sidenote: Result of the operations.]

‘General Burgoyne has taken Ticonderoga, and given a new complexion
to the aspect of affairs, which was very wan indeed,’ wrote Horace
Walpole, when the news reached England.[138] So far the operations
had been triumphantly successful. Hardly an attempt had been made
by the Americans to hold their ground at Ticonderoga and Mount
Independence, although months had been spent in strengthening the
positions, and the number of the defenders was variously estimated
at from 3,000 to 5,000 men. Great quantities of stores, of boats,
of guns had fallen into British hands: the enemy’s loss on the
retreat had been heavy, and the rapidity with which the retreat
had been followed up had caused widespread alarm. For the moment
there seemed nothing to check the tide of British victory, but
time, place, and insufficiency of numbers gradually told against
Burgoyne’s enterprise. He, too, had suffered some losses, though
small when compared with those of the Americans; and his army,
already inadequate in numbers for the expedition, was further
weakened by the necessity of garrisoning Ticonderoga with some
900 men. He applied to Carleton to supply the requisite number
of soldiers for the garrison from the troops who, in accordance
with the instructions from home, were retained for the defence of
Canada, but Carleton felt himself bound to refuse the request. It
was Germain who had given the orders, and yet the same man, writing
from England in the following September, on receipt of Burgoyne’s
account of the capture of Ticonderoga, stated that he presumed that
the post would be garrisoned from Canada.[139]

[Sidenote: The two routes to the Hudson.]

[Sidenote: Burgoyne’s line of advance.]

[Sidenote: His object was to threaten the New England States.]

Burgoyne’s objective was the Hudson river and Albany. Fort Edward
stood on the left or eastern bank of the Hudson, a little below
the point where that river curves to the south, to flow direct to
the Atlantic. It was twenty-six miles distant from Skenesborough,
and due south of that place. The first twelve miles of the route
from Skenesborough lay along Wood Creek, until Fort Anne was
reached, and from Fort Anne to Fort Edward was an interval of
fourteen miles. Three miles short of Fort Edward the road joined
the road to Fort Edward from Fort George, previously known as
Fort William Henry, at the head of Lake George, which was at much
the same distance from Fort Edward as Fort Anne, viz., fourteen
to sixteen miles. The more obvious route of advance towards the
Hudson from Ticonderoga, and the one originally contemplated, was
along Lake George, and Burgoyne was criticized for not taking that
line--without good reason, because the American retreat had already
determined the choice of routes. Having immediately followed the
enemy up as far as Skenesborough, Burgoyne, as he justly pointed
out, would have been unwise to make a retrograde movement in order
to adopt the alternative line of advance by Lake George. Moreover,
while the troops were moving forward from Skenesborough viâ Wood
Creek and Fort Anne, supplies were being forwarded along Lake
George in order to meet him when he reached Fort Edward. But there
was a further reason, which in Burgoyne’s mind made for the more
easterly of the two routes. His own scheme for the campaign had
inclined to carrying war to the east into Connecticut and the New
England states, in preference to a direct advance to the Hudson and
Albany; and, though his instructions prevented his carrying out the
plan which he preferred, he might yet, as he advanced, threaten New
England, and at the same time gather supplies from a more promising
country than would be found in the Adirondack region on the west of
Lake George. Thus in a private letter to Germain, which accompanied
his dispatch from Skenesborough, detailing the success of his
recent operations, he wrote: ‘I a little lament that my orders
do not give me the latitude I ventured to propose in my original
project for the campaign, to make a real effort instead of a feint
upon New England. As things have turned out, were I at liberty to
march in force immediately by my left, instead of by my right, I
should have little doubt of subduing before winter the provinces
where the rebellion originated.’ It must be remembered that at this
time British troops were in occupation of Rhode Island, and that
Sir William Howe had originally planned a campaign in New England
in 1777, only giving up the scheme when he found that sufficient
reinforcements from Europe would not be forthcoming.

[Sidenote: Riedesel sent to Castleton.]

[Sidenote: The army arrives at Fort Edward on the Hudson river.]

It was with the object of keeping the New England States in fear
of invasion, or, as he himself phrased it, ‘of giving jealousy
to Connecticut, and keeping in check the whole country called
the Hampshire Grants,’[140] that Burgoyne, while encamped at
Skenesborough, detached Riedesel to occupy Castleton about fourteen
miles to the east. Castleton was an important point, because
through it ran a road which connected Skenesborough by land with
the shore of Lake Champlain opposite Ticonderoga and Crown Point.
Riedesel was absent for about twelve days, and in the meantime
preparations were pressed forward for a further advance of the
main army, the road to Fort Anne and the parallel waterway of Wood
Creek being cleared of obstructions. Simultaneous preparations
were made at Ticonderoga for forwarding supplies by Lake George.
On the 23rd of July the advanced guard moved forward to Fort Anne:
on the 25th the whole army had reached that point; on the 29th,
the van arrived at Fort Edward, which the Americans had already
evacuated, and on the 30th Burgoyne arrived at the same place. A
large convoy of provisions sent by Lake George reached the head of
that lake by the 29th, Fort George like Fort Edward having been
abandoned by the enemy, who had carried off their stores. Thus
the end of July found Burgoyne on the Hudson, well on his way to
Albany; the main difficulties of the expedition seemed to be past;
but as a matter of fact the most trying time was yet to come. His
communications were insecure, for he could not spare men to guard
them. His transport was inadequate, and so were his supplies. Delay
in bringing up stores meant time to the Americans to recover their
spirits and gather in his front: he had no tidings from Howe, and
no sure knowledge of St. Leger’s progress. He only knew that at all
hazards he was expected to make his way to Albany.

[Sidenote: The beginning of misfortunes. Murder of Jane McCrae by
the Indians.]

While he halted at Fort Edward, two untoward incidents took place.
The first was a brutal murder by Indians of a young white woman
named Jane McCrae, who had remained behind at or near Fort Edward,
when the Congress troops fell back before Burgoyne’s advance. The
story went that she was engaged and about to be married to an
officer in Burgoyne’s army. Falling into the hands of the Indians,
she was murdered with purposeless, savage fury, and the tale of the
outrage, embellished with horrors, was spread far and wide through
the land. Colonists hitherto inclined to the loyal cause, felt that
their homes and womenkind would not be safe, if they awaited the
coming of the English and their savage allies: the opponents of
England found additional justification for the stand which they had
taken up; the sympathizers with the American cause in England were
given a new text for denouncing the war; and Burgoyne lost Indian
support by taking steps to prevent a recurrence of such enormities.

[Sidenote: The expedition to Bennington.]

[Sidenote: Objects aimed at by the expedition.]

The second misfortune which happened--a most grave misfortune--was
an unsuccessful expedition in the direction of Bennington.
Bennington is in the state of Vermont, to the south-east of Fort
Edward, lying about twenty-four miles due east of the stretch of
the Hudson river, between Saratoga on the north and the confluence
of the Mohawk on the south, which was known as Stillwater. It is
in the forks of the two streams which combine to form the Hoosick
river, a tributary of the Hudson, flowing into the main river
from the east. Burgoyne’s information was to the effect, quoting
his own words, that it was ‘the great deposit of corn, flour, and
store cattle’, intended for the use of the Congress troops, which
he designed to secure for his own army in view of the difficulty
and delay experienced in bringing up supplies from Canada. The
German general, Riedesel, seems to have originally suggested such
an expedition, from knowledge gained while he was stationed at
Castleton. He was anxious to obtain horses to mount his men and to
carry the baggage; there was evidence of a considerable Loyalist
element in the population, and little reason to apprehend strong
opposition from the colonial militia. Above all Burgoyne had
constantly in his mind the object of threatening the New England
states: and, having by this time received intelligence that St.
Leger was before Fort Stanwix, he wished to make a diversion to the
east, in order to prevent reinforcements being sent up the Mohawk
river to the relief of that post. The instructions which he issued
for the expedition show that he contemplated that the detached
force, if things went well, would penetrate far beyond Bennington,
up to the Connecticut river, and possibly not rejoin the main army
until the latter had reached Albany.

[Sidenote: Strength and composition of the force.]

[Sidenote: Colonel Baum in command.]

About 500 men, according to his dispatch, were detailed for the
enterprise, but the number appears to have been larger.[141]
It was a mixed body. There was a strong contingent of Germans,
chiefly dismounted dragoons, ill suited for a cross-country march,
and there were also picked marksmen from the British regiments,
Canadians, provincials, and about 100 Indians. Out of compliment
to Riedesel, the command was given to Colonel Baum, one of his
officers, and in selecting German troops for the expedition,
Burgoyne marked his appreciation of the good service which those
regiments had rendered in following up the retreat of the Americans
from Ticonderoga. The starting-point was the Batten Kill stream,
running into the Hudson on its eastern side, ten miles lower down
than Fort Edward. From this point to Bennington, by the route
which Baum was finally instructed to take, was a distance of under
thirty miles. The advance guard of Burgoyne’s army had already
been moved down the Hudson to the Batten Kill, and, on the 14th of
August, after Baum had started, they were thrown across the main
river a little higher up under the command of General Fraser, and
moved forward on the western bank as far as Saratoga, with the
object of a further advance to Stillwater in the event of Baum’s
expedition proving successful. The temporary bridge of rafts,
however, by which they had crossed, being carried away, the troops
were recalled and passed back in boats to the eastern side.

[Sidenote: Reinforcements sent under Colonel Breyman.]

[Sidenote: Baum’s force surprised and cut up.]

[Sidenote: Baum mortally wounded.]

[Sidenote: Breyman attacked and forced to retreat with heavy loss.]

Baum started from the Batten Kill early on the morning of the 13th
of August, reached a place called Cambridge in the afternoon of
that day, and on the following day arrived at Sancoick Mill near
the confluence of the two branches of the Hoosick river, about
four miles short of Bennington. There he found that the enemy in
front of him were more numerous than had been anticipated, and
he sent back to Burgoyne for reinforcements. Colonel Breyman,
another German officer, was dispatched to his support with nearly
700 men: he started early on the morning of the 15th, but, owing
to the difficulties of the route, and want of horses and forage,
he made slow way, and was far short of Baum when evening came. On
the 16th a number of men, as from the country side, came to where
Baum was encamped: they were taken to be friends and Loyalists,
and made their way within his lines. On a sudden, while beginning
to move forward,[142] he found himself attacked on all sides: the
component parts of his little force were separated from each other,
and only the German soldiers held together, fighting bravely, as
long as they had powder left, and then vainly endeavouring to
cut their way out with their swords. The end was inevitable. The
Indians dispersed in the woods: some of the British contingent with
their commander, Captain Frazer, escaped, and so did a good many
of the Canadians and provincials: but Baum was mortally wounded,
and nearly all of his Brunswickers were killed or captured. On the
afternoon of the same day, ignorant of what had happened, Breyman’s
force was coming up and was in turn suddenly attacked. Again the
men fought hard until their ammunition gave out, and eventually
the main body made good their retreat, though they suffered heavy
losses and had to leave their guns behind. John Stark was the
leader of the Americans in these hard fought engagements.

[Sidenote: Consequences of the disaster.]

The immediate result of the fighting was the loss to the English
of over 500 men and four guns,[143] and the total failure of the
expedition. The ultimate effect was much more serious. Burgoyne’s
small army was still further reduced: his hope of securing supplies
and horses from the surrounding country was entirely gone; his
expectation of Loyalist support, upon which the English had
counted, was shown to be groundless; the chance of facilitating
the main operations by a successful diversion was lost; the enemy
were put in good heart; and such fickle allies as the Indians
were further alienated. The enterprise was subsequently made
the subject of much hostile criticism, and blame was variously
assigned. Burgoyne considered that the failure was due to the fact
that Baum had not taken up a position in the open in accordance
with instructions, to the chance co-operation of bodies of the
enemy who happened to be near, and to undue slowness on Breyman’s
part. The truth seems to have been that the expedition was not
badly conceived, but imperfect knowledge of the country and faulty
intelligence as to the enemy’s strength and movements in this, as
in many similar cases, procured disaster.[144]

[Sidenote: Burgoyne’s views on the situation.]

Burgoyne’s anxiety as to the future was expressed in a private
letter which he wrote to Germain on the 20th of August,
accompanying the public dispatch of the same date in which he
reported the failure of the Bennington expedition. He wrote that,
in spite of St. Leger’s victory, Fort Stanwix was holding out
obstinately, that no operation had been taken in his favour,
and that the American forces under Gates in his front had been
strengthened and now outnumbered his own. Only one letter had
reached him from Sir William Howe. That letter was written from
New York on the 17th of July, and in it Howe stated that he had
heard of Burgoyne’s victory at Ticonderoga, adding ‘My intention
is for Pennsylvania, where I expect to meet Washington, but if
he goes to the northward contrary to my expectations and you can
keep him at bay, be assured I shall soon be after him to relieve
you’. As has been already stated, no instructions from Germain
had reached Howe on the subject of Burgoyne and his army, though
he had received from Carleton a copy of Germain’s dispatch of
March 26th, 1777, in which the programme of the expedition from
Canada had been detailed. Situated as Burgoyne was, knowing that
further advance would entail cutting of his communications with
Ticonderoga, it is no wonder that in his letter to Germain he
wrote that, had he latitude in his orders, he would have thought
it his duty to remain where he was encamped opposite Saratoga,
or further back at Fort Edward where his communications would
be secure, until events in other quarters facilitated a forward
movement. But his instructions were ‘to force a junction with Sir
William Howe’, or at any rate to make his way to Albany; and, as he
sadly wrote, when the catastrophe was over and he was a prisoner,
‘The expedition I commanded was evidently meant at first to be
hazarded. Circumstances might require it should be devoted.’ A
very strong man in his position would have taken the responsibility
of temporary retreat, but, good soldier as he was, he was not a
commanding character. He knew the power which Germain possessed of
making and unmaking men, he had before his eyes the harsh treatment
of Carleton, because Carleton had exercised wise discretion
in falling back from Crown Point in the preceding autumn. His
instructions freed him from responsibility if he went forward, the
blame would be his alone if he fell back. The evil influence of
Germain blighted loyal commanders and soldiers in America. George
the Third’s system was working itself out, and the British Empire
was being sacrificed to the ‘King’s Friends’.

[Sidenote: Burgoyne’s communications attacked by the colonists.]

The first necessity was to bring up supplies from Lake George for
the further advance, enough to last for twenty-five to thirty days,
inasmuch as crossing the Hudson and moving south meant the loss
of communication with Canada. This Burgoyne anticipated, and his
apprehensions proved true. Shortly after he crossed the Hudson
and began his southward march, a force of colonists, assembling
at Skenesborough, on the 18th of September attacked the British
garrisons at Ticonderoga and Mount Independence. They were repulsed
after four or five days’ fighting, but not until they had taken
outposts at the saw-mills, Mount Hope, and Sugar Hill, captured
three companies of British soldiers, and taken or destroyed a large
amount of stores and a number of boats. Retreating up Lake George,
they attacked a detachment on an island in the lake named Diamond
Island and, though they were again beaten off, their operations
served the purpose of making Burgoyne’s communications utterly

[Sidenote: The Americans under Gates take up a position at Bemus’

From the 16th of August to the 13th of September, the British army
remained on the eastern bank of the Hudson over against Saratoga.
The reinforcements which joined them apparently amounted to only
300 men. News seems to have reached the army, before they moved
onward, that St. Leger was retreating from Fort Stanwix, so that
hope of co-operation in the direction of the Mohawk river was at
an end; on the other hand there was a possibility that St. Leger’s
men, brought down the St. Lawrence and up Lake Champlain and Lake
George, might be able to join the main force. It is not clear what
was the exact number of men who crossed the Hudson under Burgoyne’s
command. According to the evidence given at the subsequent
Parliamentary inquiry, the regulars, British and German, were
rather short of 5,000 men, but, if the Canadians and provincials
were included, the total fighting force must have reached 6,000.
From Fort Edward to Albany is a distance of over forty miles and
to the confluence of the Mohawk river about thirty-four; but
Burgoyne was already encamped ten miles south of Fort Edward and
the Americans, who had previously fallen back to what was known as
the Half Moon at the mouth of the Mohawk river, after the British
defeat at Sancoick Mills and the relief of Fort Stanwix, moved up
the Hudson a little way above Stillwater, and took up a strong
position on high ground called Bemus’ Heights, where they were
within ten miles’ distance of the point where Burgoyne crossed the

General Philip Schuyler had been in command of the Congress troops
on the side of Canada. He was a man of the highest character, and
apparently a perfectly competent soldier, whose Fabian tactics were
beginning to achieve success when he was superseded. After the
abandonment of Ticonderoga and the rout which followed, the tide
of public opinion set against him--without any adequate reason.
The New Englanders were jealous of a general from New York state;
and, under a resolution of Congress, Schuyler was in the middle
of August replaced by Horatio Gates, a godson of Horace Walpole,
who, like Richard Montgomery, had been born in the United Kingdom
and had served in the British army, having been badly wounded in
Braddock’s disastrous expedition. Gates, who in the previous year
had commanded the garrison at Ticonderoga, was a self-seeking,
intriguing man. His subsequent disloyalty to Washington, and
his defeat at Camden, clouded what reputation he gained through
receiving Burgoyne’s surrender. When he took over the command of
the troops opposing Burgoyne, his task was comparatively easy.
He had good men with him, among others Arnold, who had returned
from the march to relieve Fort Stanwix and between whom and Gates
there was no love lost, he had also Daniel Morgan and Lincoln;
while the army under their command had received an accession to
its numbers in consequence of Howe having moved off from New York
to Philadelphia. The Americans now largely outnumbered Burgoyne’s
force, and behind them, lower down the Hudson, the Highlands were
held against a possible movement on the part of Clinton, who
commanded the troops left behind at New York when Howe sailed for
Chesapeake Bay.

[Sidenote: Burgoyne crosses the Hudson and advances South.]

About six miles below Fort Edward, between that fort and the Batten
Kill stream, at a place named Fort Miller, there were rapids in
the Hudson, where a portage was necessary for the boats descending
the river; below it navigation was unimpeded, and the stores and
baggage of the army could be carried by water. A bridge of boats
was thrown over the river about half a mile above the Batten
Kill, and by this bridge the whole army crossed the Hudson on
the 13th and 14th of September from the eastern to the western
shore. Burgoyne was subsequently criticized for crossing, but
the criticism had no sound foundation. If he was to reach Albany
at all, he must cross the river at some point or other, and the
further he went down stream the more difficult the crossing was
likely to be. Moreover the high road ran along the western bank,
while on the opposite shore swamp and mountain would have made it
impossible at certain points to march close to the river bank, and
the army would therefore have been separated from the boats. On the
western side of the Hudson the country, through which the troops
advanced, was wooded and broken, the road and bridges over the
intervening creeks had been cut up by the enemy, and progress was
slow; but by the 17th less than four miles intervened between the
two armies. On the 18th there was skirmishing, while the British
force were repairing bridges and cutting a way through the bush:
and on the 19th a general action took place.

[Sidenote: Action of September 19.]

The British army advanced in three divisions. On the right under
General Fraser were the 24th Regiment, the light infantry and the
grenadiers, accompanied by Indian and Canadian scouts and supported
by some German troops under Colonel Breyman. The centre column,
entirely composed of British regiments, was under Burgoyne’s
immediate command. The left wing was in charge of Riedesel, and
included the main body of the German soldiers with most of the
artillery. The left marched along the high road on the lowland
following the course of the river, and one British regiment, the
47th, on the bank of the river, guarded the boats which carried the
stores. There was a deep ravine between the armies, and Fraser’s
division made a wide circuit to the right in order to keep on the
high ground. The movement was successfully carried out, and Fraser
established himself in a strong position while the centre column
moved forward, crossed the ravine, formed on the other side, and
bearing to the right became engaged with the enemy. The centre
of the battle was a clearing in the woods, where there was a
homestead known as Freeman’s farm; from this farm the Americans had
molested Burgoyne’s advance, and being dislodged by artillery fell
back into the cover behind. Their intention had been to turn the
British right, but, finding that Fraser was too strongly posted,
they counter-marched and placed their full force in front of the
centre column. Here the battle was fought, and for four hours,
from three o’clock in the afternoon till seven, the brunt of the
fighting fell upon three British regiments, the 20th, the 21st and
the 62nd, a fourth regiment, the 9th, being held in reserve. Some
help came from Fraser’s men, but the safety of the army depended
upon his holding his ground on the right, so that he could not
bring up his whole division in support of the centre. Constantly
reinforced and covered by the woods, the Americans, led by Arnold,
who commanded the left wing of their army, pressed hard upon the
fighting regiments, until, late in the day, Riedesel, having pushed
forward his troops along the line of the river, wheeled them sharp
to the right and struck in on the flank. This decided the battle,
and, as darkness fell, the forces of the Congress drew off, leaving
Burgoyne’s army in possession of the field.

[Sidenote: Result of the fight--Burgoyne’s losses.]

[Sidenote: Message from Clinton.]

[Sidenote: Scarcity of provisions.]

[Sidenote: Further movement necessary.]

The fight was won, but, as Burgoyne wrote in his subsequent
dispatch, ‘it was soon found that no fruits, honour excepted, were
attained by the preceding victory.’ He had lost about 500 men, the
62nd Regiment having especially suffered, and though the losses
of the Americans had possibly been heavier, reinforcements were
available for them and their position grew stronger and stronger.
On the day after the battle the English moved forward slightly
until they were almost within cannon shot of their enemies, at a
distance of about half a mile, and in turn threw up entrenchments.
On the 21st Burgoyne received a message from Clinton, dated the
12th, to the effect that in about ten days’ time he intended to
move up the Hudson and attack the American forts in the Highlands.
Burgoyne sent back word, urging the necessity of some such
operation in his favour in order to divert part of the American
force which was barring his way, and he stated that he would hold
his ground if possible, till the 12th of October. The days went on:
provisions began to run short: on the 3rd of October it was found
necessary to reduce the soldiers’ rations: and, some movement
having become inevitable, Burgoyne determined on the 7th to make
a reconnaissance on the enemy’s left--the side furthest removed
from the Hudson, in order definitely to ascertain whether there
was a possibility of either forcing a passage or at any rate so
far dislodging the enemy as to enable the British army to retreat
unmolested. At the same time it was hoped that under cover of the
reconnaissance, forage, badly needed, might be collected for the

[Sidenote: Action of October 7.]

[Sidenote: The English heavily defeated and their corps partly

Only about 1,500 regular soldiers were available for the movement,
with ten pieces of artillery: and, small as the number was, hardly
enough men were left behind to guard the lines. The detachment
advanced, and was formed within about three-quarters of a mile of
the enemy’s left, waiting for some of the marksmen with Canadians
and Indians to make a detour through the woods still further to the
right and take the enemy in the rear. On a sudden the Americans
in superior numbers made a determined attack on the left wing of
the little force, where were the grenadiers and a German regiment.
At the same time the flank of the right wing was in imminent
danger of being turned: and, while the troops on this side were
being drawn back and reformed in order to secure the retreat, the
Americans redoubled the attack on the grenadiers and the Germans.
The German regiment gave way, the grenadiers were overpowered, and
complete disaster was averted only by the stanch fighting of the
gunners and by bringing up supports from the right under General
Fraser who, in carrying out the movement, was mortally wounded.
Hard pressed and heavily defeated, leaving six guns behind them,
the force regained their lines, but the Americans, who fought with
conspicuous boldness and resolution, followed on, broke through
the entrenchments, and eventually stormed the post in the rear of
the right which was held by Colonel Breyman and the scanty German
reserve. The position was taken, but night came on, Arnold who
had led the fight was wounded, and the Congress troops drew off,
content with the success which they had already gained. Under
cover of the same night Burgoyne fell back, and took up a new
position on high ground in the rear of his former camp.[146]

[Sidenote: Burgoyne’s fatal delay.]

Up to this point in the campaign General Burgoyne may have made
mistakes, but at any rate he had not shown himself to be either
irresolute or incompetent. He had been sent to achieve the
impossible: he had loyally attempted to carry out his instructions,
even when opposed to his own views; and, bearing in mind the small
number of his troops and the difficulty of securing provisions and
supplies, it is not easy to find ground for criticism either in his
delays or in his fighting. But now his duty was clear, to retreat
at once on Fort Edward and save the remnant of the expedition.
Every hour was of importance, for every hour numbers greater
than his own, emboldened by success, were gathering round him
and threatening his retreat. The position in which he was placed
after the battle of the 7th of October was no doubt one of great
difficulty, but at any rate there was only one practical course
to be taken, and a firm resolute man, intent only on the public
good, would have taken it at once. Burgoyne acted otherwise, his
movements were leisurely and almost invited the final catastrophe.
Reading the account of what took place, and his own defence, it is
difficult to resist the conclusion that the personal element was
strong in him, that there was a theatrical strain in his character,
and that he was concerned with public opinion and effect, instead
of simply gripping the nettle in manful fashion, neglecting no
chance, and fighting out hard to the last.[147]

[Sidenote: Beginning of the retreat.]

[Sidenote: Loss of the boats.]

[Sidenote: Burgoyne’s irresolution.]

[Sidenote: Negotiations with Gates.]

[Sidenote: The final surrender.]

All day on the 8th the army remained in their new position offering
battle, and burying General Fraser with the honour due to a brave
and much loved man, while parties of the enemy crossed the Hudson,
and fired on the British camp from the opposite side. A day was
lost, the Americans were beginning to turn the right or inland
flank, and on the night of the 8th the retreat began, the wounded
being left behind in hospital. The weather was bad, the baggage
encumbered the army, it was necessary to guard the boats on the
river, yet the distance to be traversed to Fort Edward was less
than twenty miles and a hurried retreat would have saved the army.
When the morning of the 9th came, however, Burgoyne called a halt
for his wearied men, and through the greater part of that day no
further movement was made. Late in the afternoon the march was
resumed, when darkness came, the troops passed through Saratoga and
crossed the Fish Kill stream, and on the morning of the 10th the
artillery was brought over. Meanwhile the Americans had pressed
forward up the eastern bank of the Hudson, and, when the British
troops neared Saratoga, they found a party of the enemy already in
front of them on the western side, who were beginning to throw up
entrenchments, but withdrew as the British came up, leaving the
road still open for retreat. On the 10th some troops were sent
forward by Burgoyne to hold the ford opposite Fort Edward and to
cover the work of repairing the bridges, but were recalled when the
main American force attacked the rear of the British army on the
line of the Fish Kill. The boats could now no longer be adequately
defended against the American guns, the provisions were taken out
of them, and they drifted into the enemy’s hands. Through the next
three days, the 11th, the 12th and the 13th, Burgoyne remained
inactive. Councils of war were held, and it was contemplated to
make a night march and try to cross the river near Fort Edward,
but the procrastination and indecision of the general put off
the movement until it was too late. ‘The army’, wrote Burgoyne
in his subsequent dispatch, ‘took the best position possible and
fortified, waiting till the 13th at night, in the anxious hope of
succours from our friends or, the next desirable expectation, an
attack from our enemy’. On the 14th negotiations were begun with
General Gates, they continued for three days, terms were signed
late on the 16th, and on the 17th the English surrendered to the
American general and his army, kindly and generous in the hour of
victory as they had been strong and stubborn in fighting.

[Sidenote: Clinton’s movements.]

The delay in the conclusion of the matter was due at first to the
wording of the terms which Gates dictated, and subsequently to
intelligence which reached both armies of Clinton’s movements up
the Hudson. On the 4th of October Clinton started up the river from
New York with some ships of war, carrying 3,000 men, and on the 6th
stormed two American forts which barred the passage of the river
about fifty miles from the sea; some of the ships went higher up
stream but did not come within many miles of Albany; and, brilliant
as the operation was, it could not in any case have affected the
main issue and only served, with the help of rumour and report, to
make Gates anxious to conclude the negotiations of surrender and
Burgoyne for a few hours reluctant to sign the terms. At length the
inevitable was accepted and the remains of the English army, under
5,000 in number, of whom about 3,500 were fighting men, were taken
as prisoners of war to Albany and Boston.[148]

[Sidenote: Causes of the disaster.]

[Sidenote: Carleton on Lord George Germain.]

[Sidenote: Character of Burgoyne.]

The ultimate cause of the disaster was Lord George Germain. Here
is Carleton’s judgement upon the matter, contained in a letter to
Burgoyne dated the following 12th of November, ‘This unfortunate
event, it is to be hoped, will in future prevent ministers from
pretending to direct operations of war, in a country at 3,000 miles
distance, of which they have so little knowledge as not to be able
to distinguish between good, bad, or interested advices, or to
give positive orders in matters which from their nature are ever
upon the change.’ The more immediate cause was the character of
Burgoyne. His condemnation is written in his own dispatch.

‘The bulk of the enemy’s army was hourly joined by new corps of
militia and volunteers, and their numbers together amounted to
upwards of 16,000 men. After the execution of the treaty General
Gates drew together the force that had surrounded my position, and
I had the consolation to have as many witnesses as I had men under
my command, of its amounting to the numbers mentioned above.’

Why had the 16,000 men gathered round him? Because he had given
them time to do so, because in the hour of need his thought was
rather of saving his own reputation than of saving the force
under his command. Would Wolfe, weakly and suffering, have waited
helplessly for something to turn up, looking for co-operation
from Amherst in the far distance, as Burgoyne looked for it from
Clinton? Would he have found consolation in allowing the enemy’s
numbers to grow and counting up how far superior they were to his
own? Would he have been at pains to make the story plausible and
dramatic, so that he might hold up his head thereafter in London
circles and retain the favour of those who were in high places?
It was not English to court surrender, and to cast about for
excuse for surrender. Had Chatham been in Germain’s place, no such
foolhardy expedition would have been ordered cut and dried from
England. Had Wolfe been in Burgoyne’s, if success was possible he
would have achieved it, if it was impossible he would have redeemed
failure or died. Military skill, daring, manhood, self-reliance,
leadership of soldiers and of men, were the qualities which less
than twenty years before had shone out in dark days round Quebec;
the same qualities seemed dead or numbed, when Burgoyne bade his
men lay down their arms by the banks of the Hudson river.

[Sidenote: Consequences of the disaster.]

[Sidenote: The French intervene in the war.]

The story of this ill-fated expedition has been told at some
length because it is part and parcel of the history of Canada.
The scene of the later years of the War of Independence was the
Atlantic seaboard; and Canada, except on her western borders,
though threatened, was unmolested. The surrender of Burgoyne’s
army by no means finished the fighting, the English were still to
win barren successes before the final catastrophe at Yorktown;
but after Saratoga the war entered upon a wholly new stage. The
surrender in itself was serious enough. No colonists had in modern
history achieved so great a triumph, no such disaster had ever
clouded British arms in the story of her colonization. The Preface
of the _Annual Register_ for 1777 refers to the ‘awful aspect of
the times’, awful indeed to a country whose best men had no faith
in her cause. But the great practical result which followed on the
reverse of Saratoga, the result which eventually decided the war,
was that the French now joined hands with the Americans, and the
latter thereby secured the help of a fleet, strong enough, when
the Spaniards at a later date also entered the ranks of England’s
enemies, to compete with the British navy on the western seas.

[Sidenote: The French alliance with the Americans tended to protect
Canada from invasion.]

While, however, the intervention of France greatly increased the
difficulties with which Great Britain had to contend at this
critical time of her history, for the moment it made the war more
popular in England, inasmuch as Englishmen were now called upon
to fight against their old rivals and not merely against their
kinsfolk. In another respect too it was of distinct advantage to
the British Empire, in that it brought to Canada immunity from
invasion. The American colonists welcomed French aid in securing
their independence, but they had no mind to restore Canada to
France, and they looked with suspicion on any proposal or utterance
which might seem to point in that direction. Though the French in
their treaty with the United States disclaimed any intention of
national aggrandizement in America,[149] Admiral D’Estaing, in
October, 1778, a few months after his arrival in American waters,
issued a proclamation to the Canadians, appealing to their French
nationality; and Lafayette proposed a scheme for an invasion of
Canada which Congress accepted but Washington set aside. There
was sufficient uneasiness in American minds with regard to French
designs to restrict French co-operation in the main to the Atlantic
side; and, though the Canadians were excited by their countrymen’s
appeal, they did not rise in arms themselves, nor did the Americans
attempt to repeat the movement by which Montgomery had over-run the
country up to the walls of Quebec.

[Sidenote: Precautions taken in Canada against invasion.]

It would not indeed have been easy for them to do so, for
Carleton and his successor Haldimand, though badly in need of
reinforcements, were yet better prepared and had more men at
their command than when the war first broke out. Immediately
after Burgoyne’s capitulation Ticonderoga and Crown Point were
abandoned, and the troops were withdrawn to the northern end of
Lake Champlain. A year later Haldimand directed the whole country
round the lake to be cleared of settlement and cultivation, as a
safeguard against American invasion. At various points, where such
invasion might take place, he established posts, on an island at
the opening of Lake Ontario, which was named Carleton Island; at
the Isle aux Noix at the head of the Richelieu river, and at Sorel
at its mouth: on the river St. Francis which joins the St. Lawrence
below Sorel, flowing from the direction of Vermont: and on the
Chaudière river over against Quebec, lest Arnold’s inroad by the
line of that river should be repeated.

[Sidenote: Border War.]

Nor was this all. As in Count Frontenac’s time, and with much the
same ruthlessness as in those earlier days, Canada was defended
by counter attacks upon the border settlements of the revolting
colonies, Loyalists and Indians dealing the blows and bearing the
penalties. In May and June of 1778, Brant harried the New York
frontier and burnt the town of Springfield; in July, in order, it
was said, to counteract American designs against Niagara, Colonel
John Butler, with a force of Rangers and Indians, carried war far
into the enemy’s country and uprooted the settlements at Wyoming,
on the eastern branch of the Susquehanna river within the borders
of Pennsylvania. Fact and fiction have combined to keep alive
the memories of the massacre at Wyoming; and, together with the
even more terrible tragedy of Cherry Valley which followed, it
stands to the discredit of England in the story of these most
barbarous border wars.[150] In September the Mohawk leader burnt to
the ground the houses and barns at the German Flatts, though the
settlers had been warned in time to take refuge in Fort Dayton.
In November Brant joined forces with Walter Butler, son of the
raider of Wyoming; and together they carried death and desolation
into the Cherry Valley settlement in Tryon county. In the following
year the Americans took a terrible revenge for these doings, and a
strong force under General John Sullivan turned the country of the
Six Nation Indians into a wilderness. ‘General Sullivan,’ wrote
Washington to Lafayette, ‘has completed the entire destruction of
the country of the Six Nations, driven all the inhabitants, men,
women, and children out of it’.

[Sidenote: George Rogers Clark in the West.]

Further west, in 1778 and 1779, the Illinois region and the
settlements on the middle Mississippi fell into American hands,
never to be regained, the leader of the backwoodsmen in this
quarter being George Rogers Clark, a young Virginian, one of the
pioneers of settlement in Kentucky, a most able leader and a hard
determined man. In July, 1778, Clark surprised and took the fort
and settlement of Kaskaskia standing on the river of that name a
little above its junction with the Mississippi, and immediately
afterwards he received the submission of the post at Vincennes on
the Wabash river. A few months later, in December, 1778, Vincennes
was re-occupied by Hamilton, Lieutenant-Governor of Detroit, with
a handful of men. Before the following February ended, Hamilton
was in turn attacked and overpowered by Clark who carried out a
daring winter march; and, being forced to surrender at discretion,
the English commander was, according to English accounts, treated
through long months of imprisonment with unmerited harshness. The
truth was that, as the war went on, bitterness increased, and when,
as in the West and on the border the combatants were backwoodsmen,
Rangers and Indians, the fighting became a series of ruthless

[Sidenote: Later raids from Canada.]

Later again, in 1780 and 1781, parties sent out from Canada
retraced the routes taken by Burgoyne and St. Leger, harried the
country at the southern end of Lakes George and Champlain, and laid
waste the settlements in the Mohawk valley. In one, commanded by
Major Carleton, brother of the late governor of Canada, Fort Anne
and Fort George were taken with their garrisons; in another, on the
line of the Mohawk, Major Ross, advancing from Oswego, inflicted
heavy loss on the Americans. In all these expeditions on either
side there was the same object, to prevent invasion by counter
invasion, to destroy stores, and to terrorize the adherents of the
enemy; but none of them, except the exploits of Clark, contributed
materially to the issue of the war.

[Sidenote: Fighting on the Penobscot.]

On or near the Atlantic coast-line of Canada, in 1779, fighting
took place which might well have had lasting results. An expedition
was sent in that year from Halifax to the Penobscot river,
commanded by Maclean, who had done good service under Carleton at
the time of the American invasion. In June he established himself
at Castine at the mouth of the Penobscot; and, inasmuch as the
place was then within the borders of Massachusetts, he was towards
the end of July attacked by a small squadron and a force of militia
sent from and paid for by that state. For between two or three
weeks the Americans besieged the British post until, towards the
end of the second week in August, British ships under Sir George
Collier appeared on the scene, and all the American vessels were
taken or destroyed. Maclean’s expedition was repeated with equal
success by Sir John Sherbrooke in the war of 1812, but neither
enterprise produced the permanent result of making the Penobscot
river, as it should have been, the boundary between Canada and the
United States.

[Sidenote: Carleton succeeded by Haldimand.]

It has been seen that in June, 1777, Carleton sent in his
resignation of the governorship of Canada. Burgoyne wrote privately
to Germain at the end of July, before he started on his expedition,
to decline the appointment in case it should be offered to him;
and in August, 1777, General Haldimand, who was then at home in
Switzerland, was nominated as Carleton’s successor. He was ordered
to go out as soon as possible in a ship which, as Germain wrote
to Carleton on the 19th of October, was to bring the latter home,
but did not leave England till the end of April or beginning of May
following, arriving at Quebec at the end of June, 1778. Carleton
then immediately returned to England, and was received with honour
by the King to the disgust of Lord George Germain.

[Sidenote: Haldimand’s government.]

General Haldimand, Sir Frederick Haldimand as he afterwards was,
governed Canada till the end of 1784, and he governed it, in
thankless times, strongly and well. In the year 1778 he was sixty
years of age, having been born in 1718. Like his great friend
Henry Bouquet, he was a Swiss. His birthplace was Yverdon at the
south-western end of the lake of Neuchâtel, and there he died in
1791, the year in which the Canada Act was passed. There is a
tablet to his memory in Henry VII’s Chapel in Westminster Abbey.
His career was that of a soldier of fortune. With Bouquet, he
served the Stadtholder of the Netherlands in a regiment of Swiss
Guards; and in 1754[151] the two officers entered the British
service as lieutenant-colonels of the newly-raised regiment of
Royal Americans. He fought under Abercromby at Ticonderoga, and
afterwards served under Amherst; and in 1759, while rebuilding
the fort at Oswego, he beat off a force of Canadians and Indians
commanded by St. Luc de la Corne, who in later days was a member
of his Legislative Council at Quebec. After the capitulation of
Montreal, being a French-speaking officer, he was selected by
Amherst to take possession of the city. He subsequently acted as
governor of Three Rivers, and when to his great grief Bouquet died
at Pensacola in 1765, Haldimand, in 1767, succeeded his friend in
the command in Florida. In 1773 he went to New York to act for
General Gage while the latter was on leave in England. In 1775 he
was brought back to England, and in 1778 he went out to govern

Haldimand was a man of the Carleton type; and, before he left
London to take up his appointment, he wrote to Germain to the
effect that he should be given full discretion in military matters,
and, as civil governor, have the nomination to all appointments.
Like Carleton, he was attacked by the partisans of Congress in
Canada as a military despot, the enemy of civil liberties, the
best known case against him being that of Du Calvet,[152] a French
Protestant, who was in 1780 arrested and imprisoned for encouraging
and abetting treason, and who subsequently published his case
against the governor in London. That Du Calvet was a traitor there
seems to have been no doubt, but his charges against the governor
coloured the view which was commonly taken in after years of
Haldimand’s administration. None the less, whatever may have been
the technical merits of this and other individual cases, it is
beyond question that, at a time when England was badly served both
at home and abroad, in the most critical years, and in Canada where
the position was most difficult, she was conspicuously well served
by Carleton and Haldimand. Haldimand governed a community, in which
the minority, as in Carleton’s time, was largely disaffected, and
the loyalty of the majority was undermined by French appeals.
From day to day the danger of attack at this point or at that
was imminent, while there was constant risk that the supplies
which came over the sea would be intercepted by French ships or
American privateers. In England Haldimand’s master was still the
same self-willed, half-informed minister Germain. In Canada there
were few that he could trust. Yet solitary in public as in private
life--for he had no wife or child--he held the reins of government
with a firm and an honest hand, a good servant of England though
of foreign birth. If Canada at the present day be compared with
the province of Quebec which the Peace of 1763 gave into British
keeping, the three main elements in the evolution of the great
Dominion will be found to have been British immigration, canals,
and railways. Railways, opening the North-West and linking the two
oceans, date from long after Haldimand’s time; but he was governor
when the first steps were taken to improve the waterways of Canada,
and he watched over the incoming of the United Empire Loyalists.

[Sidenote: The Vermont negotiations.]

Not the least of Haldimand’s difficulties was that he had to
negotiate peace and wage war at the same time, for, while directing
or controlling border raids at other points on the Canadian
frontier, he had on his hands, from 1779 onwards, troublesome and
in the end abortive negotiations with the settlers in the present
state of Vermont. Of the character of these settlers he seems to
have had but a poor opinion, their lawless antecedents no doubt
not being to his mind. Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys
had not been animated by American patriotism alone when at the
beginning of the war they took Ticonderoga. They had in their minds
to put themselves in evidence and to vindicate their claim to be
free of New York. While the war went on, and after it ended, their
determination to be an independent state was as strong as ever;
and their negotiations with Canada were an intimation to Congress
that the price of their continued adhesion to the continental
cause must be recognition of their local independence. The policy
had the immediate merit of giving them a respite from Canadian
raids, and it left open a choice of future issues. The Vermont men
knew the value or the weakness of their geographical position as
regards Canada. It was patent then as it was in the later war of
1812. In a private letter to Lord North, dated the 24th of October,
1783,[153] Haldimand wrote, ‘Since the provisional treaty has been
made public, several persons of influence in the state of Vermont
have been here at different times, they all agree in describing
these people as very averse to Congress and its measures.... They
made no scruple of telling me that Vermont must either be annexed
to Canada or become mistress of it, as it is the only channel by
which the produce of their country can be conveyed to a market, but
they assured me that they rather wished the former.’ The Vermont
settlers were, in short, like many states and many individuals
before and since, on the fence; but in the end they were neither
annexed to Canada nor did they become mistress of her, for in 1791
Vermont became a state of the American Union, and Canada worked out
her own salvation.

Haldimand’s dispatches might have been written by Carleton. There
is the same point of view, almost the same turn of expression.
On the 25th of October, 1780, in a long dispatch to Lord George
Germain, giving an account of the general conditions of men
and things in Canada, he wrote, ‘As it is my duty, it has been
my business to inform myself of the state of the country, and
I coincide with the majority of the Legislative Council in
considering the Canadians as the people of the country, and think
that in making laws and regulations for the administration of
these laws, regard is to be paid to the sentiments and manner of
thinking of 60,000 rather than of 2,000--three-fourths of whom are
traders and cannot with propriety be considered as residents of
the province. In this point of view the Quebec Act was both just
and politic, though unfortunately for the British Empire it was
enacted ten years too late. 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.’[154] Three years
later, when the war was over, in his letter to Lord North referred
to above, he wrote ‘This province can only be preserved by bringing
back the Canadians to a regular subordination, and by rendering
them useful as a well-disciplined militia. In order to effectuate
this, the authority of government must be strengthened and not

Like Carleton and like Murray, Haldimand had it at heart to provide
the people of Canada with an upright and kindly administration.
Among the various grievances, real or alleged, which were
ventilated from time to time, one of the most substantial, so far
as the French Canadians were concerned, was the excessive amount
which was exacted from them by officials and lawyers in the form
of fees of office. In 1780 Haldimand assented to an ordinance
regulating the fees for two years, at the expiration of which time
he hoped that the Legislature would, from the experience gained
in the meantime, be able to draw up ‘a more perfect list of fees,
more permanent and less burthensome to the people’ for, he wrote,
‘the fees in general are by far too high and more than the people
of this province can bear.’[156] A favourite complaint of the
British minority, who had as little to complain of as they were
loud and persistent in complaining, was that there was no statutory
provision for the right of Habeas Corpus, which was supposed to
have been abolished by the Quebec Act. When peace was restored
and the step could safely be taken, Haldimand met this grievance
by passing, in 1784, an ordinance ‘for securing the liberty of
the subject and for the prevention of imprisonments out of this
province’.[157] When reporting the passing of the fees ordinance
Haldimand wrote, ‘Sir Guy Carleton had in the sessions 1775
proposed to regulate the fees of office, and had that business
very much at heart. Committees were appointed for that salutory
purpose and, though many obstacles were thrown in the way, great
progress was made. The ordinance was lost for that time by Sir
Guy Carleton’s putting an end to the session in consequence of
motions made in council by Mr. Livius and others’.[158] He himself
suffered from similar obstruction; his dispatch goes on to refer
to members of his council, ‘who, however willing they may be to
circumscribe the King’s authority in measures of general utility
to his service and the welfare of his people, are for carrying on
to the greatest height his prerogative to grant Letters Patent
for the emolument of individuals though to the oppression of the
people’. As the outcome of the Livius case, two additional Royal
Instructions had been issued to Haldimand, dated the 29th of
March, 1779. The first prohibited him from interpreting the words
in the general instructions ‘It is our further Will and Pleasure
that any five of the said council shall constitute a board of
council for transacting all business in which their advice and
consent may be requisite, acts of legislation only excepted’, as
Carleton had interpreted them, namely, as authorizing the governor
to select five particular members of the Legislative Council to
form an Executive or Privy Council; and it instructed him to
communicate this decision to the council. The second instructed
him to communicate to the council ‘such and so many of our said
instructions, wherein their advice and consent are made requisite,
with such others from time to time as you shall judge for our
service to be imparted to them’.[159] Haldimand did not at once
communicate these additional instructions to his council. He
thought that at the time it was not for the public interest to
do so, and he wrote to Germain to that effect, but only brought
upon himself a severe reprimand alike from Germain and from the
Board of Trade. Equally he thought it inadvisable, under existing
circumstances, to communicate to his council certain clauses in
the general instructions, in which the Home Government practically
invited the Quebec Legislative Council to modify the Quebec Act,
recommending the introduction to some extent of English civil law
and also statutory provision for Habeas Corpus. Like Carleton he
saw things face to face, as a soldier not as a constitutional
lawyer, and he gave advice according to existing conditions, which
were those of war and not of peace. These two governors may have
been technically wrong in this point or in that, but they had the
root of the matter in them, they governed with a single eye, a firm
hand, and with most generous and humane intent. ‘Party spirit,’
Haldimand wrote to Germain, ‘is the enemy of every private as well
as public virtue. Since my arrival in the province I have steered
clear of all parties and have taken great care not to enter into
the resentments of my predecessor or his friends, but this present
occasion obliges me to declare to your lordship that in general Mr.
Livius’ conduct has not impressed people with a favourable idea of
his moderation.’[160] There was no party spirit about Carleton, nor
yet about Haldimand. In a bad time, when partisanship was rife,
they stood for the good name of England, and for the substance of
sound and honest administration.

[Sidenote: Clinton succeeds Howe at Philadelphia and retreats to
New York.]

At the same time that Haldimand relieved Carleton, Sir Henry Clinton
took over from Howe the command of the army at Philadelphia. He
arrived there at the beginning of May, 1778, and at the end of the
month Howe left for England. The abandonment of Philadelphia had
been ordered from home, in view of the new complications produced by
the intervention of France in the war. All the available ships
carried off to New York, stores, baggage, and numbers of Loyalists,
while Clinton retreated with his army overland through New Jersey.
On the 18th of June he left Philadelphia, which was immediately
re-occupied by the Americans, and for a fortnight, closely followed
by Washington, he slowly made his way in the heat of the summer
through the enemy’s country. On the 28th of June in what is known as
the battle of Monmouth, near Freehold Court House, he fought a
rearguard action with Lee, who commanded the advance of Washington’s
army: and, thereby covering his retreat, reached Sandy Hook, and on
the 5th of July carried over his troops to New York.

[Sidenote: The French fleet.]

D’Estaing and a French squadron had now appeared on the scene,
threatened New York, and in co-operation with the American general
Sullivan attacked the English in Rhode Island. Bad weather, the
skill and seamanship of Admiral Howe, and the preparations made by
the English commander on shore, rendered the expedition abortive,
and the summer closed without decisive success on either side.

[Sidenote: Operations in the south.]

[Sidenote: Savannah taken by the English.]

[Sidenote: Clinton takes command in the south.]

Later in the year, an expedition under Colonel Campbell, was
dispatched to the south, and landing at the end of December near
Savannah, the capital of the colony of Georgia, by a skilful
movement took the town and captured the whole of the garrison
and stores. General Prevost, who arrived from Florida shortly
afterwards and took over command of the British troops in Georgia,
advanced into South Carolina and, in May, 1779, threatened
Charleston, but was compelled to retreat. In September D’Estaing’s
fleet appeared before Savannah; on the 9th of October a combined
French and American force attempted to re-take the town, but were
beaten off with heavy loss: and in the spring of 1780 Clinton
arrived with a large body of troops from New York to direct
operations in the southern states. A year and a half had passed
since he had brought off his army from Philadelphia, and little
had been done. There had been fighting on the Hudson, the coasts
of Virginia and the New England colonies had been harried, small
towns had been sacked and burnt, and stores and ships destroyed,
causing damage and distress to the Americans but also unwisely
embittering the war. Now the English garrison at Rhode Island had
been withdrawn and, while New York was still strongly held, the
main efforts on the British side were directed to re-conquering the
southern states, where Loyalist sympathies were strong and widely

[Sidenote: Taking of Charleston.]

[Sidenote: Cornwallis.]

[Sidenote: The battle of Camden.]

[Sidenote: King’s Mountain.]

Charleston was the main point of attack. It was bravely defended
for several weeks by General Lincoln, but his communications were
cut by Clinton’s stronger force, the investment was gradually
completed, and on the 12th of May, 1780, the town was surrendered
and the garrison became prisoners of war. This success was followed
by the annihilation of another small body of American troops, on
which occasion Tarleton, the British commander, was accused of
indiscriminate slaughter. Clinton having returned to New York, the
command in the south devolved on Cornwallis, whose campaigns in
1780 and 1781 were the closing scenes of the war. He began with a
great success. General Gates had been sent south to take command of
the American forces in the Carolinas, and, having collected an army
which largely outnumbered the troops at the disposal of Cornwallis,
marched to attack the latter at Camden to the north-west of
Charleston. Cornwallis resolved on a counter attack; and, after
a night march on either side, the two forces came into collision
near Camden at dawn on the 16th of August. After hard fighting
the Americans gave way before a British bayonet charge and a rout
ensued, which was supplemented by a further small victory gained
by Tarleton over the American general Sumter, who had previously
intercepted Cornwallis’ communications and captured a convoy and
some prisoners. Cornwallis now advanced into North Carolina, but
behind him the backwoodsmen gathered, and on the 7th of October
overwhelmed, after heavy fighting, a strong detachment of
Loyalists under Major Ferguson at a place called King’s Mountain.
This reverse had the same effect as the fights at Trenton or
Bennington. Cornwallis had to fall back, the American cause revived
in the south, and the extraordinary difficulty of dealing with
guerilla warfare in an immense territory was once more effectively
illustrated. In December Gates was superseded by an abler and more
trustworthy general, Nathaniel Greene.

In the north no decisive action took place during the year. The
English made an incursion into New Jersey, without producing any
effect. A French fleet and army under de Rochambeau arrived at
Rhode Island, where Clinton would have attacked them in force
but for want of co-operation on the part of the English admiral
Arbuthnot. The American cause received a heavy blow in the
treachery of Arnold, and on the other hand, before the close of the
year, the Dutch were added to the long list of enemies against whom
England was maintaining an unequal struggle.

[Sidenote: The campaign of 1781, Cornwallis moves north.]

[Sidenote: Cowpens.]

[Sidenote: Guilford Court House.]

[Sidenote: Cornwallis in Virginia.]

With the opening of the new year, 1781, Cornwallis moved
northwards. In the middle of January the light troops from his
force, who were under Tarleton’s command, were heavily defeated
by the American general Morgan, at Cowpens near the border line
between South and North Carolina. Having received reinforcements,
Cornwallis still advanced, Greene falling back before him until he
had collected a larger number of men than the English general had
at his disposal. The two forces met near Guilford Court House on
the 15th of March, under much the same conditions as had preceded
the fight at Camden; and after an even fight the English were
victorious, though with a loss of about one-third of their small
army. After the battle, Cornwallis fell back for a while towards
Wilmington, and, as the Americans were again active behind him in
South Carolina, debated whether to continue his efforts to stamp
out resistance in the south, or to march forward into Virginia
where there was now a strong British force, commanded at first by
Arnold and afterwards by Burgoyne’s colleague General Phillips, who
were opposed by Lafayette. He determined on the northward movement
and effected a junction with Phillips’ troops, their commander
having in the meantime died at Petersburg in Virginia late in May.

[Sidenote: Cornwallis takes up a position at Yorktown.]

The fighting went on in the Carolinas with varying success. On
the 25th of April Lord Rawdon, who was then in command, defeated
Greene at Hobkirk’s Hill. In September his successor Colonel
Stuart fought a drawn battle at Eutaw Springs, but the Americans
secured one point and another, and the balance of the campaign was
against the British cause. In Virginia Cornwallis and Lafayette
manœuvred against each other, the British operations being hampered
by the apprehension of a combined attack in force by the French
and Americans on New York, which led Clinton to order the return
of a part of the army in Virginia. The order was countermanded,
but Cornwallis was instructed to take up a defensive position in
touch with the sea, and in August he concentrated his troops at
Yorktown on the bank of the York river, where a peninsula is formed
by that river and the James flowing into the mouth of Chesapeake
Bay; the village of Gloucester on the opposite side of the York
river was also held. It was not a strong position, and all depended
on keeping command, of the water. For once the English lost the
command, and the consequence was the loss of the army.

[Sidenote: Naval operations. The French fleet under de Grasse comes
into touch with Washington and Lafayette.]

[Sidenote: Cornwallis besieged at Yorktown.]

At the end of March a strong French fleet under de Grasse sailed
from Brest for the West Indies. After a few weeks’ operations
among the islands, and taking Tobago, de Grasse made for Cap
François in Hayti and found dispatches from Washington. Taking
on board 3,500 French soldiers, he sailed for the North American
coast and reached the Chesapeake at the end of August. The object
was to co-operate with Washington and de Rochambeau in blockading
Cornwallis and compelling him to surrender. Meanwhile a French
squadron at Newport in Rhode Island, under de Barras, put out
to sea with a convoy containing the siege train, making a wide
circuit in order to escape detection by the English ships and join
de Grasse in Chesapeake Bay. On land Lafayette, strengthened by a
body of Pennsylvanians, already harassed Cornwallis, especially
charged to prevent as far as possible a retreat to the south; while
de Rochambeau from Rhode Island joined Washington who was facing
New York, and the combined army, after threatening an attack on
Clinton, crossed the Hudson in August, marched through New Jersey
to Philadelphia, and passing on to Virginia, with the help of
French transports appeared before Yorktown in the latter end of
September. Cornwallis was now besieged by 16,000 men on land and an
overwhelming fleet at sea.

[Sidenote: Ineffective movements of the English fleet.]

The movement had been well planned and skilfully executed. Clinton
at New York had been misled by a feint of attack, and on the sea
the English had been found wanting. When Rodney learnt that de
Grasse had left the West Indies for the North American coast, in
ill health himself and about to leave for England, he dispatched
Sir Samuel Hood in pursuit with fourteen ships of the line. A
stronger force was needed and had apparently been intended by
Rodney. Hood reached the Chesapeake three or four days before de
Grasse arrived, and passing on to New York came under the orders
of a senior officer, Admiral Graves, who had at the time but five
ships with him. The combined squadron sailed for the Chesapeake,
and found that de Grasse had forestalled them with a stronger
fleet. They attacked on the 5th of September, with no decisive
result on either side: for three or four days longer the two
fleets faced each other, then Graves returned to New York and de
Grasse went back to block Cornwallis, his manœuvres having enabled
de Barras in the meantime to bring in his ships in safety to the

[Sidenote: Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown.]

Cornwallis was now in hopeless case, unless Clinton could relieve
him. Expectation of relief was given, the 5th of October being
named as the day on which the relieving force would probably
leave New York. On the night of the 5th the Americans began their
trenches, on the 9th the guns opened fire: after a week’s fighting,
on the 17th, Cornwallis treated for surrender; and on the 19th,
the day on which Clinton actually sailed from New York to bring
the promised aid, the British army laid down their arms, sickness
having reduced the number of fighting men from 7,000 to barely

[Sidenote: Consequences of the surrender.]

[Sidenote: Carleton succeeds Clinton.]

[Sidenote: Negotiations for peace.]

[Sidenote: Peace concluded and the Independence of the United
States recognized.]

Four years had passed almost to the day since the similar disaster
at Saratoga. The second surrender practically finished the war,
though there was still some small fighting in the south, the
English being driven back to Charleston and Savannah. Savannah
was eventually evacuated in July, 1782, and Charleston in the
following December, by which date terms of peace between Great
Britain and the United States had already been signed. Meanwhile
in England Carleton had been nominated to take the place of
Clinton as Commander-in-Chief in America, Germain resigned, and
in March, 1782, Lord North’s ministry came to an end. The Whigs
came in pledged to make peace, Rockingham being Prime Minister and
Shelburne and Fox Secretaries of State. Within four months Lord
Rockingham died, and Shelburne became Prime Minister, Fox leaving
the Government, and the younger Pitt joining it as Chancellor of
the Exchequer. Already negotiations for peace were proceeding at
Paris, where Richard Oswald, a nominee of Shelburne’s, had been
treating with Franklin, complaisantly entertaining every American
demand. Rodney’s great victory over de Grasse in the battle of the
Saints, on the 12th of April, 1782, enabled England to speak with
a firmer voice. The failure in September of the combined efforts
of France and Spain to take Gibraltar again added strength: and
Shelburne’s ministry was enabled to conclude a peace, which, if it
contrasted sadly with the triumphant Treaty of 1763, was at least
far from being the capitulation of a ruined Power. On the 30th
of November, 1782, articles were signed between Oswald, on behalf
of Great Britain, and the Commissioners of the United States, ‘to
be inserted in and to constitute the treaty of Peace’ which was
to be concluded when Great Britain and France had come to terms.
On the 20th of January, 1783, Preliminary Articles of Peace were
signed between Great Britain and France on the one hand and between
Great Britain and Spain on the other; and on the following 3rd of
September the Peace of Versailles was finally concluded, treaties
being made by Great Britain with France, Spain, and the United
States, a treaty with the Netherlands having been signed on the
previous day. Under the first article of the treaty with the United
States the King of England acknowledged the thirteen colonies then
forming the United States to be ‘free sovereign and Independent

[Sidenote: Comparison of the American War of Independence with the
late war in South Africa.]

[Sidenote: Effect on war of submarine cables.]

At the time of the late war in South Africa an analogy was
sometimes drawn between that war and the War of American
Independence. In some respects there was similarity. In either
case a group of British colonies was primarily concerned, and in
either case the British Government was faced with the difficulty
of transporting large bodies of troops across the sea to a
distant scene of war, America in the eighteenth century before
the days of steam being for all practical purposes more remote
than South Africa in our own time. There were two distinct spheres
of operations in America in the earlier years of the war, Canada
and the Atlantic states, just as in South Africa the war was
divided between Natal and the Cape Colony; and the Boer invasion
of Natal and investment of Ladysmith to some extent recalls the
overrunning of Canada by Montgomery’s troops and the hemming up
of Carleton inside Quebec. In both cases there was the same kind
of half knowledge of the country and its conditions in the public
mind in Great Britain, and, curiously enough, in either case the
estimate seems to have been most at fault where fighting had been
most recent; in Natal, where less than twenty years had elapsed
since the previous Boer war, and on the line of Lake Champlain and
the Hudson, presumed to be well known to many who had served at a
somewhat shorter interval of time under Abercromby and Amherst,
and who encouraged Germain to give his confident instructions to
Burgoyne for a march to Albany. Distance, transport, supplies,
communications, rather than hard fighting, were the main elements
of either war; and the description of the American war given in the
_Annual Register_ for 1777, which has been already quoted,[161]
that it was ‘a war of posts, surprises, and skirmishes instead of a
war of battles’, would apply equally to the South African war. But
here the likeness ceases, and no real parallel can be drawn between
the two contests. The American war was a civil war, Englishmen were
fighting Englishmen. The war in South Africa was a war between
two rival races. In the earlier war the great forces which have
been embodied in British colonization, mental and physical vigour,
forwardness and tenacity, the forces of youth, which have the
keeping of the future, were in the main ranged against the mother
country: in the later war they contributed, as never before, to
the sum of national patriotism. In the earlier war foreign nations
intervened, with fatal effect, and the sea power of England was
crippled. In the later, the struggle was kept within its original
limits and British ships went unmolested to and from South Africa.
Not least of all, while on the former occasion ministers at home
tried to do the work of the generals on the spot, Carleton’s
bitter comments on the disastrous result, which have been quoted
above[162], could in no sense be applied to the later crisis. As
bearing on this last point, it is interesting to speculate what
would have happened had submarine cables existed in the days of
King George the Third. The telegraph invites and facilitates
interference from home. It tends to minimize the responsibility,
and to check the initiative, of the men on the spot: and if
the cables which now connect England and America, had been in
existence in the years 1776 and 1777, it might be supposed that the
commanders in America would have been even more hampered than they
were by the meddling of the King, and his ministers. But the evil
was that, in the absence of the telegraph, interference could not
be corrected, and co-operation could not be ensured. Germain laid
down a rigid plan: a second-rate man received precise instructions
which he felt bound to follow against his own judgement; and for
want of sure and speedy communication the cause was lost. It is
impossible to suppose that even the King and Germain would have
refused to modify their plans, had they known what was passing from
day to day or from week to week: in other words, the invention
which more than any other has opened a door to undue interference,
would probably in the case in point have done most to remedy the
ignorant meddling which was the prime cause of the disaster at

[Sidenote: Effects of the American War of Independence on the
British Empire as a whole.]

The War of American Independence was ‘by far the most dangerous in
which the British nation was ever involved’.[163] It was seen at
the time that its issues would colour all future history and modify
for ever political and commercial systems, but no prophet seemed
to contemplate a colonial future for Great Britain, and Benjamin
Franklin said ‘he would furnish Mr. Gibbon with materials for
writing the history of the Decline of the British Empire’.[164] Yet
the present broad-based Imperial system of Great Britain was for
two reasons the direct outcome of that war. While the United States
were still colonial possessions of Great Britain, they overshadowed
all others; and, had they remained British possessions, their
preponderance would in all probability have steadily increased. It
is quite possible that the centre of the Empire might have been
shifted to the other side of the Atlantic; it is almost certain
that the colonial expansion of Great Britain would have been
mainly confined to North America. Nothing has been more marked and
nothing sounder in our recent colonial history than the comparative
uniformity of development in the British Empire. In those parts
of the world which have been settled and not merely conquered by
Europeans, and which are still British possessions, in British
North America, Australasia, and South Africa, there has been on the
whole parity of progress. No one of the three groups of colonies
has in wealth and population wholly out-distanced the others. This
fact has unquestionably made for strength and permanence in the
British Empire, and it is equally beyond question that the spread
of colonization within the Empire would have been wanting, had
Great Britain retained her old North American colonies. Unequalled
in history was the loss of such colonies, and yet by that loss, it
may fairly be said, Great Britain has achieved a more stable and a
more world-wide colonial dominion.

But this result would not have been attained had not the lesson
taught by the American war sunk deep into the minds of Englishmen.
It is true that for a while the moral drawn from this calamitous
war was that self-governing institutions should not be given to
colonies lest they should rebel, as did the Americans, and win
their independence: but, as the smart of defeat passed away and
men saw events and their causes in true perspective, as Englishmen
again multiplied out of England but in lands which belonged to
England, and as the old questions again pressed for solution,
the answer given in a wiser and a broader age was dictated by
remembrance of the American war, and Lord Durham’s report embodied
the principles, on which has been based the present colonial system
of Great Britain. It was seen--but it might not have been seen
had the United States not won their independence--that English
colonists, like the Greek colonists of old, go out on terms of
being equal not subordinate to those who are left behind, that
when they have effectively planted another and a distant land,
they must within the widest limits be left to rule themselves;
that, whether they are right or whether they are wrong, more
perhaps when they are wrong than when they are right, they cannot
be made amenable by force; that mutual good feeling, community of
interest, and abstention from pressing rightful claims to their
logical conclusion, can alone hold together a true colonial empire.

[Sidenote: Its effects on Canada.]

Though the United States, in the war and in the treaty which
followed it, attained in the fullest possible measure the objects
for which they had contended, it is a question whether, of all
the countries concerned in the war, Canada did not really gain
most, notwithstanding the hardship which she suffered in respect
of the boundary line between the Dominion and the United States.
For Canada to have a future as a nation, it was necessary, in the
first place, that she should be cut adrift from the French colonial
system as it existed in the eighteenth century. This was secured
as the result of the Seven Years’ War. In the second place, it was
necessary that she should not be absorbed by and among the British
colonies in North America. This end was attained, and could only be
attained by what actually happened, viz., by the British colonies
in North America ceasing to belong to Great Britain, while Canada
was kept within the circle of the British Empire. Had the United
States remained British possessions, Canada must eventually have
come into line with them, and been more or less lost among the
stronger and more populous provinces. The same result would have
followed, had the British Government entertained, as their emissary
Oswald did, Franklin’s proposal that Canada should be ceded to the
United States. It would have followed too, in all probability,
if Canada had been left at the time independent both of Great
Britain and of the United States, for she would have been too weak
to stand alone. The result of the war was to give prominence and
individuality to Canada as a component part of the British Empire;
to bring in a strong body of British colonists not displacing but
supplementing the French Canadians and antagonistic to the United
States from which they were refugees; to revive the instinct of
self-preservation which in old days had kept Canada alive, and
which is the mainspring of national sentiment, by again directly
confronting her with a foreign Power; and at the same time to give
her the advantage of protection by and political connexion with
what was still to be the greatest sea-going and colonizing nation
of the world. The result of the War of American Independence was
to make the United States a great nation; but it was a result
which, whether with England or without, they must in any case have
achieved. The war had also the effect, and no other cause could
have had a like effect, of making possible a national existence for
Canada, which possibility was to be converted into a living and a
potent fact by the second American war, the war of 1812.


[58] Shortt and Doughty, p. 195.

[59] Shortt and Doughty, pp. 196-9.

[60] Ib., pp. 205-7.

[61] Shortt and Doughty, pp. 227-8.

[62] Shortt and Doughty, p. 196.

[63] See above, p. 67 note.

[64] Shortt and Doughty, pp. 208-10.

[65] Letter to Shelburne, December 24, 1767, Shortt and Doughty, p.

[66] Shortt and Doughty, p. 454. See also note to p. 377. Carleton
had a much better opinion than most people of the administration
of justice under the old French régime. In his examination before
the House of Commons on the Quebec Bill, he was asked, ‘Do you
know from the Canadians themselves, what sort of administration
of justice prevailed under the French Government, whether pure or
corrupt?’ His answer was, ‘Very pure in general. I never heard
complaints of the administration of justice under the French
Government.’ Egerton and Grant, pp. 56-7.

[67] See above, p. 79.

[68] Shortt and Doughty, p. 295.

[69] In 1775 the population of the whole of Canada was according to
Bouchette’s estimate 90,000 (see the _Census of Canada_, 1870-1,
vol. iv, _Statistics of Canada_). On the other hand Carleton, in
his evidence given before the House of Commons at the time when
the Quebec Act was being passed in 1774, estimated the number of
the ‘new subjects’ at ‘about 150,000 souls all Roman Catholics’ as
against less than 400 Protestants, excluding in the latter case
women and children. Egerton and Grant, pp. 51-2.

[70] Shortt and Doughty, pp. 410-11.

[71] Referred to by Carleton as ‘The Suffolk County Resolves in the
Massachusetts’. Shortt and Doughty, p. 413.

[72] Carleton, however, after the war broke out, sternly repressed
any attempt of the Indians to act except under close supervision
of white officers. See Colonel Cruikshank’s paper on Joseph Brant
in the American Revolution, April 3, 1897. _Transactions of the
Canadian Institute_, vol. v, p. 243, &c.

[73] Shortt and Doughty, pp. 412-14.

[74] See above, p. 67.

[75] Shortt and Doughty, pp. 450-2.

[76] See the letter and the note to it at p. 451 of Shortt and
Doughty. Sir William Johnson had died in July, 1774; his nephew and
son-in-law, Colonel Guy Johnson, had acted as his deputy for Indian
affairs, and continued to do so for a while after his death, but
in 1775 Major John Campbell was appointed Superintendent of Indian

[77] The reference is to the raising of a body of 300 Canadians
in 1764 for service under Bradstreet in Pontiac’s war. See above
p. 24. It seems doubtful whether the complaint to which Carleton
refers had any foundation. See Kingsford, vol. v, p. 76.

[78] Carleton’s account of the above, given in a letter to
Dartmouth, dated Montreal, June 7, 1775, is that on May 19 he
received news from Gage of the outbreak of hostilities, i.e. the
fight at Lexington, coupled with a request that he would ‘send
the 7th Regiment with some companies of Canadians and Indians to
Crown Point, in order to make a diversion and favour his (Gage’s)
operations’. The next morning news reached Quebec ‘that one,
Benedict Arnold, said to be a native of Connecticut, and a horse
jockey, landed a considerable number of armed men at St. John’s:
distant from this town (Montreal) eight leagues, about eight in
the morning of the 18th, surprised the detachment of the 26th
doing duty there, consisting of a sergeant and ten men, and made
them prisoners, seized upon the King’s sloop, batteaus, and every
other military store, and a few hours after departed, carrying
off the craft, prisoners, and stores they had seized. From this
party we had the first information of the rebels being in arms
upon the lakes, and of their having, under the command of said
Arnold, surprised Ticonderoga, Crown Point, the detachment of the
26th doing duty at these two places, and all the craft employed
upon those lakes’.... ‘The same evening another express brought an
account of the rebels having landed at St. John’s a second time,
in the night, between the 18th and 19th.’ Shortt and Doughty, pp.

[79] This seems to have been an under-estimate. There were
apparently at the time three British regiments in Canada, the 7th,
the 8th, and the 26th.

[80] Shortt and Doughty, pp. 453-5.

[81] Chief Justice Hey to the Lord Chancellor, August 28, 1775.
Shortt and Doughty, pp. 456-9.

[82] Chief Justice Hey saw what a strong position Canada held, from
a military point of view, in regard to the other North American
colonies. In his letter to the Lord Chancellor of August 28, 1775,
he wrote, ‘It appears to me that while England has a firm hold of
this country, which a good body of troops and nothing else will
give her, her cause with the colonies can never be desperate,
though she should not have an inch of ground in her possession in
any one of them: from this country they are more accessible, I mean
the New England people (paradoxical as it may seem), than even from
Boston itself.’ Shortt and Doughty, p. 457.

[83] ‘A few of the gentry, consisting principally of the youth,
residing in this place (Montreal) and its neighbourhood, formed a
small corps of volunteers under the command of Mr. Samuel Mackay,
and took post at St. John’s.’ (Letter from Carleton to Dartmouth as
above. Shortt and Doughty, p. 454.)

[84] Shortt and Doughty, p. 459.

[85] This may probably have been the Major Preston referred to in
Horace Walpole’s letter to the Countess of Upper Ossory, December
27, 1775. ‘Adam Smith told us t’other night at Beauclerk’s, that
Major Preston, one of two, but he is not sure which, would have
been an excellent commander some months since, if he had seen any

This and other quotations from Horace Walpole’s letters are taken
from Mrs. Paget Toynbee’s edition, Clarendon Press, 1904.

[86] The general view seems to have been that Chambly might have
held out longer, and that the commander, Major Stopford, was
shielded by his aristocratic connexions, but the _Annual Register_
for 1776 (p. 5) says that it ‘was in no very defensible condition’,
and Carleton seems to have found no fault with its surrender.
See the entry on p. 110 of Parliamentary Paper, Cd. 2201, 1904,
_Historical MS. Commission, Report on American manuscripts in the
Royal Institution of Great Britain_, vol. i. Sir Guy Carleton to
(Lord Barrington), May 21, 1777, ‘has nothing to charge either the
garrison of Chamblee or St. John’s with.’

[87] The _Annual Register_ for 1776, p. 12, makes Montgomery’s
advance from Montreal to Quebec a kind of repetition of Arnold’s
march. ‘Their march was in winter, through bad roads, in a severe
climate, beneath the fall of the first snows, and therefore made
under great hardships.’ He seems, on the contrary, to have come
down the river in the captured British vessels.

[88] There is or was a dispute about the date. Kingsford makes it
the night of December 31 to January 1, but there seems no doubt
that the attack took place on the previous night, that of December
30-1. See Sir James Le Moyne’s Paper on the Assault on Quebec in
1775, in the _Proceedings of the Royal Society of Canada_, 1899.

[89] Letter to Sir Horace Mann, June 5, 1776.

[90] Letter to Sir Horace Mann, August 11, 1776. It is not clear
why Horace Walpole thought poorly of Carleton’s writing. His
dispatches are as clear and straightforward as could be wished.

[91] Horace Walpole to Sir H. Mann, March 22, 1776.

[92] p. 15.

[93] _Parliamentary History of England_, vol. xxix, p. 379. Debate
of May 6, 1791.

[94] _Annual Register_ as above.

[95] The letter, in which Montgomery complained of personal
ill-treatment of himself by Carleton, concluded--‘Beware of
destroying stores of any kind, public or private, as you have done
in Montreal and in the river; if you do, by Heavens there will be
no mercy shown.’

[96] _Annual Register_ for 1776; _State Papers_, p. 255. Carleton’s
kindness to the American prisoners was so great that when some of
them returned on parole, they were not allowed to communicate with
the American troops serving at Crown Point for fear that they might
cause disaffection. See Stone’s _Life of Brant_ (1838), vol. i, p.

[97] There is an interesting account of the incident at the Cedars
in Stone’s _Life of Brant_ (1838 ed.), vol. i, p. 153, &c. Stone
says that Forster had with him one company of regulars and nearly
600 Indians, led by Joseph Brant, the celebrated Mohawk chief. But
in spite of the note to p. 151 there seems no doubt that Brant,
who had gone to England on a visit in the previous autumn, did not
start on his return voyage till late in May or June, and did not
arrive at New York till July, long after the event at the Cedars.
See Colonel Cruikshank’s paper on ‘Joseph Brant in the American
Revolution’, April, 1897, _Transactions of the Canadian Institute_,
vol. v, pp. 243, &c., Colonel Cruikshank says that Brant sailed
from Falmouth early in June, 1776, and reached New York on July
29, where he fought under Howe. Probably the affair of the Cedars
was confounded with the fighting at St. John’s and the attack on
Montreal when Ethan Allen was taken prisoner in 1775. Brant seems
to have been present in these actions.

[98] See the letter of Ebenezer Sullivan abstracted in the 1890
_Report on Canadian Archives, State Papers_, p. 78.

[99] Ibid. p. 74.

[100] _Annual Register_ for 1777, p. 2.

[101] See Carleton’s letter to Germain of September 28, 1776,
quoting Germain’s of June 21, 1776. Shortt and Doughty, pp. 459-60.

[102] The letter is quoted in extenso at pp. 129-32 of the sixth
volume of Kingsford’s _History of Canada_.

[103] _History of England in the Eighteenth Century_, vol. iii,
1882 ed., chap. xii, p. 447.

[104] Clinton was named to act instead of Sir William Howe, in
the event of his succeeding Howe in command of the army; this
contingency happened, and he, and not Howe, acted as commissioner.
Under the Act any three of the five commissioners were empowered to
treat with the Americans.

[105] Howe was a pronounced Whig. Burgoyne was more or less neutral
until his later years, when he threw in his lot with Fox and his
friends. Clinton belonged to a Whig family, but seems to have been
a supporter of the Ministry; Cornwallis had voted with Lord Camden
against taxing the colonists.

[106] _Influence of Sea Power on History_, chap. ix, pp. 342-3.

[107] See above, pp. 90-1.

[108] It is given in Lord E. Fitzmaurice’s _Life of Lord Shelburne_.

[109] p. 20.

[110] As to Lady Betty Germain’s bequest of Drayton to Lord George
Sackville, see the letter from Lord Vere to Earl Temple of December
19, 1769, in the _Grenville Papers_ (edited by W. J. Smith, 1853,
John Murray), vol. iv, p. 491. See also various references in
Horace Walpole’s _Letters_ (Mrs. Paget Toynbee’s edition, Clarendon
Press, 1904). In a letter to George Montagu, July 23, 1763, Walpole
gives a description of Drayton, and refers to Lady Betty Germain
as ‘its divine old mistress’. Drayton belonged to the Earls of
Peterborough, the Mordaunt family. The daughter and heiress of the
last earl married Sir John Germain, and left him the property. He
married, as his second wife, Lady Elizabeth Berkeley, the Lady
Betty Germain in question, and left Drayton to her, expressing a
wish that if she had no children, she should leave it to one of the
Sackvilles, which she accordingly did. Lady Betty Germain, whose
father was Viceroy of Ireland, was a friend of Swift.

[111] Letter to Sir H. Mann, February 20, 1764. The other four were
Pitt (Lord Chatham), Charles Townshend, Conway, and Charles Yorke.

[112] ‘I think nobody can doubt of Lord George’s resolution since
he has exposed himself to the artillery of the whole town. Indeed
I always believed him brave and that he sacrificed himself to
sacrifice Prince Ferdinand.’ Letter to the Countess of Upper
Ossory, November 23, 1775. The letter was written just as Germain
was about to take office.

[113] To the Honourable Henry Seymour Conway and the Countess of
Ailesbury, January 15, 1775.

[114] Quoted by Horace Walpole in his letter to Sir Horace Mann of
March 5, 1777.

[115] Carleton’s letter was dated May 20, 1777. It is quoted in
full at p. 129 of the sixth volume of Kingsford’s _History of
Canada_, as well as in the _Report on the Canadian Archives_ for

[116] One reason alleged is that Carleton had given evidence
against Germain at the latter’s court-martial.

[117] This letter, with Carleton’s letter of May 20, 1777, will be
found in Mr. Brymner’s _Report on the Canadian Archives_ for 1885,
pp. cxxxii-vii, Note D.

[118] The note to p. 474 of _Documents relating to the
Constitutional History of Canada_ (Shortt and Doughty) condemns
Carleton’s conduct to Germain.

[119] Chief Justice Hey to the Lord Chancellor, August 28, 1775.
Shortt and Doughty, p. 458.

[120] Quoted in full at pp. 457-9 of the sixth volume of
Kingsford’s _History of Canada_.

[121] October 15, 1777. See _Canadian Archives Report_ for 1890, p.
101. It is not absolutely clear that the reference is to Livius.

[122] The records as to the dates of Livius’ appointment are
somewhat confusing. There is a printed pamphlet in the Colonial
Office Library giving Livius’ petition and the proceedings which
followed in England. It is dated 1779, and entitled ‘Proceedings
between Sir Guy Carleton, K.B., late Governor of the Province
of Quebec, and Peter Livius Esq., Chief Justice of the said
Province, &c. &c.’. The note to p. 476 of _Documents relating to
the Constitutional History of Canada_ (Shortt and Doughty) is
favourable to Livius and unfavourable to Carleton.

[123] See also below, p. 238.

[124] One cause which reduced their numbers was that in the
seventeenth century the Jesuits converted a considerable number of
Mohawks and induced them to settle in Canada. They were known as
the Caghnawagas.

[125] As regards the Six Nation Indians, Joseph Brant, and the
Border forays in the War of Independence, see Stone’s _Life of
Brant_, and two papers by Lt.-Col. Ernest Cruikshank, on ‘Joseph
Brant in the American Revolution’, in the _Transactions of the
Canadian Institute_, vol. v, 1898, p. 243, and vol. vii, 1904, p.
391. The papers were read in April, 1897, and April, 1902. See also
_The Old New York Frontier_, by F. W. Halsey. Scribners, New York,

[126] On Pownall’s map of 1776 is marked at the spot ‘The great
portage one mile’, but the distance between the two rivers was
rather greater.

[127] St. Leger’s dispatch to Burgoyne, dated Oswego, August 27,
1777, and written after his retreat, forms Appendix No. XIII to _A
State of the Expedition from Canada as laid before the House of
Commons by Lieutenant-General Burgoyne_. London, 1780.

[128] St. Leger reported it to be twelve miles distant.

[129] St. Leger says definitely, ‘Sir John Johnson put himself at
the head of this party.’ Stone, on the other hand, makes out that
Sir John Johnson remained behind in the camp and was at that part
of it which was surprised by Willett (See Stone’s _Life of Brant_,
1838 ed., vol. i, p. 235, note). St. Leger says that he ‘could not
send above 80 white men, Rangers and troops included, with the
whole corps of Indians’, but all the accounts seem to agree in
placing the number of Indians at 400 and no more.

[130] The details of the fighting at Oriskany, and Willett’s sortie
from the fort, are more confusing and contradictory even than those
of most battles and sieges. The American accounts make Oriskany an
American victory, and Willett’s sortie a taking possession of the
whole British camp, the contents of which, after the defenders had
been put to flight, were carried off to the fort in seven wagons
which made three trips between the fort and the camp. St. Leger, no
doubt minimizing what happened, reported that the sortie resulted
in no ‘further advantage than frightening some squaws and pilfering
the packs of the warriors which they left behind them’. From the
contemporary plan of the operations at Fort Stanwix it seems clear
that Willett surprised only the post at the lower landing-place and
not the whole British camp.

[131] See above pp. 96-7 and note.

[132] Junius to the Duke of Grafton, December 12, 1769.

[133] Walpole to the Honourable Henry Synan Conway, November 12,

[134] Letter to the Countess of Upper Ossory, June 14, 1787. See
also letter to the same, January 16, 1786. ‘General Burgoyne’s
_Heiress_, I hear, succeeded extremely well, and was besides
excellently acted.’

[135] Letter to the Rev. William Mason, October 5, 1777. In this
letter Horace Walpole, apparently without real ground, says that
Burgoyne was the natural son of Lord Bingley.

[136] Letters of August 8, August 11, and August 24, 1777.

[137] Not to be confounded with the Wood Creek mentioned above, p.
147, &c., which was a feeder of Lake Oneida.

[138] Letter to Sir H. Mann, September 1, 1777.

[139] See _State Papers_, p. 97, in Mr. Brymner’s _Report on
Canadian Archives_ for 1890.

[140] _State of the Expedition from Canada Narrative_, p. 12.

[141] Kingsford makes the number to have been 746: _History of
Canada_, vol. vi, p. 216, note.

[142] From Burgoyne’s dispatch it appears that Baum was beginning a
further advance when the attack was made. His words are, ‘Colonel
Baum was induced to proceed without sufficient knowledge of the

[143] The American accounts put the British casualties at nearly

[144] It may probably have been to the disaster at Bennington that
Horace Walpole referred when he wrote to the Countess of Upper
Ossory on September 29, 1777: ‘General Burgoyne has had but bad
sport in the woods.’

[145] Benjamin Lincoln was the American commander charged with the
duty of attacking Burgoyne’s communications. He was afterwards in
command at Charleston when it was taken by the English in May, 1780.

[146] It is not easy to make out the details of the fighting.
After the battle of September 19, the two armies were said to be
only about half a mile distant from each other, but on October
7, according to Burgoyne’s dispatch, after advancing for some
time he formed his troops within three-quarters of a mile of the
enemy. The advance was apparently not direct but diagonal against
the extreme left of the Americans. The main English camp near the
river, where there was a bridge of boats, does not seem to have
been at all molested, though it was presumably drawn back in the
following night. Breyman’s camp which was stormed is shown on the
plan appended to the _State of the Expedition from Canada_, as well
in the rear of the extreme right of the English line.

[147] Horace Walpole, writing to the Countess of Upper Ossory on
November 3, 1777, seems to be referring to reports of the battle
at Freeman’s Farm. ‘If your angel would be seeing, why did he not
put on his spectacles and hover over Arnold, who has beaten the
vapouring Burgoyne and destroyed his magazines? Carleton, who was
set aside for General Hurlothrumbo, is gone to save him and the
remains of his army if he can.’ On November 13 he writes to the
same, ‘General Swagger is said to be entrenched at Saratoga, but
I question whether he will be left at leisure to continue his
Commentaries: one Arnold is mighty apt to interrupt him.’ Authentic
news of Burgoyne’s surrender did not reach England till December
1. Writing to Sir Horace Mann on December 4, Walpole says: ‘On
Tuesday night came news from Carleton at Quebec, which indeed had
come from France earlier, announcing the total annihilation (as to
America) of Burgoyne’s army.... Burgoyne is said to be wounded in
three places, his vanquisher, Arnold, is supposed to be dead of
his wounds.’ It will be noted that Arnold is made the hero on the
American side, and that there is no mention of Walpole’s godson,
Gates. Walpole contemplated invasion of Canada and possible loss of
Quebec as the result of the disaster.

[148] The above account has been taken almost entirely from the
original dispatches, documents, and evidence published in _A State
of the Expedition from Canada as laid before the House of Commons
by Lieutenant-General Burgoyne_. London, 1780. Burgoyne, in a
private letter to Howe of 20th October, attributed the surrender in
part to the fact that his troops were not all British. See _Report
on American Manuscripts in the Royal Institution_ (1904), vol. i,
p. 140.

[149] Article 6 of the Treaty of Paris between France and the
United States, dated February 6, 1778, ran as follows: ‘The most
Christian King renounces for ever the possession of the islands of
Bermudas as well as of any part of the continent of America which
before the Treaty of Paris in 1763 or in virtue of that treaty were
acknowledged to belong to the Crown of Great Britain or to the
United States heretofore called British colonies or which are at
this time or have lately been under the Power of the King and Crown
of Great Britain.’ (_Annual Register_, 1778, p. 341.)

[150] Stone’s _Life of Brant_, and among recent books, Halsey’s
_Old New York Frontier_, give good accounts of this border war
from the American side. Fortunately the subject lies in the main
outside the scope of the present book. It would probably be fair
to say that there were undoubtedly great and horrible barbarities,
not confined to one side only, and on the other hand that there was
much exaggeration as, e.g. when Campbell in _Gertrude of Wyoming_
made Joseph Brant, who never took any part at all in the raid, one
of the monsters of the story.

The Wyoming valley had been colonized from Connecticut and was
claimed by and at the time actually incorporated with Connecticut,
though geographically within the state of Pennsylvania. The
settlers had sent a considerable contingent to Washington’s army
and their homes were in consequence but slenderly guarded.

On Pownall’s ‘map of the Middle British Colonies in North America’,
published March 25, 1776, on the western side of the east branch of
the Susquehanna river, appears the following: ‘Colony from Wioming

In the ‘Topographical Description’ attached to the above map there
is the following note at pp. 35-6: ‘This Place and the District
is now settled by a populous Colony, which swarmed and came forth
from Connecticut. The People of Connecticut say, that their Charter
and the grant of Lands under it was prior to that of Pennsylvania;
that the grant of Lands to them extended within the Latitudes of
their Grant (except where possessed by other powers at that Time)
to the South Seas. They allow New York and New Jersey to have
been so possessed at the time of their Grant, but say, that their
right emerges again at the West boundary of those Provinces. Mr.
Penn and the People of Pennsylvania who have taken Grants under
him say, that this District is in the very Heart of the Province
of Pennsylvania. On this State of Claims the Two Colonies are in
actual war, which they have not even remitted against each other
here, although united in arms against Great Britain 1775.’

The note is interesting as showing how very far from amicable
were the relations of the colonies to each other when the War of
Independence broke out, cf. the case of the Vermont settlers and
New York referred to at the beginning of this chapter.

[151] This is the date given on p. 10 of _Sir Frederick Haldimand_,
by Jean N. McIlwraith in the ‘Makers of Canada’ series. The notice
in the _Dictionary of National Biography_ gives the date as 1756.
The life states that Haldimand as a young man possibly took service
with the King of Sardinia, and certainly served under Frederick the
Great. The _Dictionary of National Biography_ states that there is
no record of his having been in the Prussian army.

[152] For Du Calvet’s case see Mr. Brymner’s Introduction to the
_Report on Canadian Archives_, 1888, p. xv, &c., and also Note D.
This valuable Introduction and the equally valuable Introduction to
the 1887 volume should be consulted for an estimate of Haldimand
and his administration, the Haldimand papers being catalogued in
these volumes.

[153] Shortt and Doughty, p. 497.

[154] Shortt and Doughty, p. 488.

[155] _Ibid._, p. 498.

[156] _Ibid._, p. 486. See also above, p. 92.

[157] 24 Geo. III, cap. 1, see Shortt and Doughty, pp. 499, 501 and
notes. See also above, p. 88, note.

[158] Shortt and Doughty, p. 486. ‘The session’ must have been a
later session than that of 1775, as Livius was not in the Council
in that year. See above, p. 141.

[159] Shortt and Doughty, pp. 476-7 and notes, also 487, 488-9 and

[160] Shortt and Doughty, p. 488. It will be remembered that Livius
was not in Canada at this time.

[161] See above, p. 134.

[162] See above, p. 182.

[163] Preface to _Annual Register_ for 1782.

[164] Horace Walpole to the Rev. William Mason, April 25, 1781.



[Sidenote: The Treaty of 1783.]

In the War of American Independence the English had no one to match
against Washington. In the negotiations for the peace which ended
the war they had no one to match against Benjamin Franklin. The
outcome of Franklin’s astuteness was the Treaty of 1783,[165] by
which Great Britain acknowledged the independence of the thirteen
United States, and which alike for Great Britain and for Canada was
rather the beginning than the end of troubles.

The first words of the second article of the treaty, which
purported to determine the boundaries of the United States, were
as follows, ‘That all disputes which might arise in future on
the subject of the boundaries of the said United States may be
prevented, it is hereby agreed and declared that the following are
and shall be their boundaries.’

[Sidenote: The boundary disputes.]

The words were no doubt used in good faith; but, as a matter of
fact, nowhere in the world has there been such a long series of
boundary disputes between two nations, as in North America between
Great Britain and the United States.

[Sidenote: In 1783 the geography of North America was little known.]

[Sidenote: The disputes were between provinces as well as nations.]

The disputes were to a certain extent inevitable. When the Treaty
of 1783 was signed, half North America was unknown; while within
the colonized or semi-colonized area, the coast-line, the courses
of the rivers, the lie of the land, had never been accurately
mapped out. There were well-known names and phrases, but the
precise points which they designated were uncertain. It was easy
to use geographical expressions in drawing up a treaty, but
exceedingly difficult, when the treaty had been signed, to decide
what was the correct interpretation of its terms. The matter
was further complicated by the fact that in 1783, and for many
years afterwards, until the Dominion Act was passed, Nova Scotia
was a separate colony from Canada; while in the year after the
treaty, 1784, New Brunswick was carved out of Nova Scotia and also
became a separate colony. Similarly the United States, though
federated, were still separate entities, and Maine was in 1820
separated from Massachusetts, just as New Brunswick had been cut
off from Nova Scotia. Thus on either side there were provincial
as well as national claims to be considered and adjusted; and it
resulted that the Treaty of 1783, which was to have been a final
settlement of the quarrel between Great Britain and her old North
American colonies, left an aftermath of troublesome questions,
causing constant friction, endless negotiations, and a succession
of supplementary conventions. A summary of the controversies and
conventions, out of which the International Boundary was evolved,
will be found in the Second Appendix to this book. There is more
than one reason why such a multiplicity of disputes arose, why the
disputes were so prolonged and at times so dangerous, and why the
issues were as a rule unfavourable to Great Britain and to Canada.

[Sidenote: The Treaty of 1783 made a precedent for future American
successes in diplomacy.]

First and foremost, not only was the original Treaty of 1783, in
the then state of geographical knowledge, or rather of geographical
ignorance, necessarily both inadequate and inaccurate, but in
addition those who negotiated it on the British side, in their
anxiety to make peace, were, as has been stated, completely
outmatched in bargaining by the representatives of the United
States. The result was that the weak points of the treaty, and the
conspicuous success of the Americans in securing it, infected all
subsequent negotiations. The wording of the document was played for
all and more than it was worth, and there grew up something like a
tradition that, as each new issue arose between the two nations,
the Americans should take and the English should concede.

[Sidenote: Great Britain was more weighted by foreign complications
than the United States.]

In the second place, Great Britain was always at a disadvantage in
negotiating with the United States, owing to her many vulnerable
interests and her complicated foreign relations. The American
Government was, so to speak, on the spot, concentrating on each
point exclusive attention and undivided strength. The British
Government was at a distance, with its eyes on all parts of the
world, and remembering only too well how the first great quarrel
with the United States had resulted in a world in arms against
Great Britain. At each step in the endless chaffering British
Ministers had to count the cost more anxiously than those who spoke
for a young and strong nation, as a rule untrammeled by relations
to other foreign Powers and as a rule, though not always, assured
of public support in America in proportion to the firmness of their
demands and the extent of their claims.

[Sidenote: Canada was not one nation.]

Lastly, it has often been said that Canada has grievously
suffered through British diplomacy. This is to a large extent
true, but one great reason has been that Canada, as it exists
to-day, was not in existence when most of the boundary questions
came up for settlement. The interests of a Dominion--except in
potentiality--were not at stake, and there was no Canadian nation
to make its voice heard. For two-thirds of a century after the
United States became an independent nation, in the North-West
the Hudson’s Bay Company or its rivals in the fur trade, on the
Pacific coast the beginnings of a small separate British colony,
were nearly all that was in evidence. Boundary questions in North
America between Great Britain and the United States could be
presented, and were presented, as of unequal value to the two
parties. Any given area in dispute was portrayed as of vital
importance to the United States, on the ground that it involved
the limits of their homeland and their people’s heritage. The
same area, it would be plausibly argued, was of little consequence
to Great Britain as affecting only a distant corner of some one
of the most remote and least known of her many dependencies. This
was inevitable while Canada was in the making. Yet in spite of
errors in diplomacy, and in spite of what on a review of all the
conditions must fairly be judged to have been great and singular
difficulties, the net result has been to secure for the Canadian
nation a territory which most peoples on the world’s surface would
regard as a great and a goodly inheritance.

[Sidenote: Provisions in the 1783 treaty which referred to the

The second article of the Treaty of 1783, which attempted to define
the boundaries of the United States and therefore of Canada also,
was by no means the only provision of the treaty which affected
Canada. The third article was of much importance, giving to
American fishermen certain fishing rights on the coasts of British
North America; but the fourth, fifth and sixth articles require
more special notice, inasmuch as, though Canada was not actually
mentioned in them, their indirect effect was to create a British
population in Canada, to make Canada a British colony instead of
a foreign dependency of Great Britain, and to strongly accentuate
the severance between those parts of North America which held to
the British connexion and the provinces which had renounced their
allegiance to the British Crown.

The fourth article provided ‘that creditors on either side shall
meet with no lawful impediment to the recovery of the full value in
sterling money of all bonâ fide debts heretofore contracted’.

The fifth article, while discriminating between those who had and
those who had not borne arms against the United States, was to the
effect that Congress should ‘earnestly recommend’ to the several
states restitution of confiscated property and rights, and a
revision of the laws directed against the Loyalists of America. The
sixth article prohibited future confiscations and prosecutions in
the case of persons who had taken part in the late war.[166]

[Sidenote: Bitter feeling in the United States against the

In the negotiations, which preceded the conclusion of peace, no
point was more strongly debated between the commissioners of the
two countries than the question of the treatment to be awarded to
those who had adhered to the British cause in the American states
during the war. The British Government was bound in common honesty
to use every effort to safeguard the lives and interests of those
who had remained loyal under every stress of persecution. On the
American side, on the other hand, there was the most bitter feeling
against the Tories, as they were called, a feeling generally
shared by the members of the revolutionary party from Washington
downwards. As in all cases of the kind, Loyalists included good and
bad, worthy and unworthy, interested placemen or merchants as well
as men who acted on and suffered for principle alone. There were
men among them of high standing and reputation, such as William
Franklin the Loyalist Governor of New Jersey, only son of Benjamin
Franklin, and Sir William Pepperell, grandson of the man who
besieged and took Louisbourg in 1745. There were also men of the
type of Arnold, who deserved to be held as traitors. Many of the
Loyalists had fought hard, and barbarities could be laid, directly
or indirectly, to their charge. Their record was associated with
the memories of the border war, of Wyoming and Cherry Valley; but
equally on the American side could be found instances of cruelty
and ruthlessness. The war had been a civil war, long drawn out,
spasmodic, fought through largely by guerilla bands. It did not
lie with either side to monopolize claims to righteousness or to
perpetuate bitterness against their foes.

[Sidenote: The sufferings of the Loyalists were increased by the
spasmodic operations of the English in the war,]

There were two special causes which made the hard lot of the
Loyalists harder than it might otherwise have been. The first was
the unfortunate action of the English in occupying cities or tracts
of country and then again abandoning them. When Howe evacuated
Boston, over 900 Loyalists are said to have left with him for
Halifax. When the British army was withdrawn from Philadelphia in
June, 1778, 3,000 Loyalists followed in its train. But the misery
caused by the uncertain policy of the British Government or the
British generals cannot be measured merely by the actual number
of refugees on each occasion. A very large proportion of the
American population was at heart neutral, and they suffered from
not knowing whom to trust and whom to obey at a given time and
place. In the autumn of 1776 New Jersey was brought under complete
British control. The disaster at Trenton supervened, and in about
six months the whole country was given up. Much the same happened
in the southern states; at one time the English, at another the
Americans were masters of this or that district. The result was
that bitterness was intensified by prolonged uncertainty and
suspicion. Numbers of citizens, who only asked which master they
should serve, suffered at the hands of both. There would have been
far less misery and far better feeling if from the beginning to the
end of the war certain areas and no more had always remained in
British occupation, instead of towns and provinces being bandied
about from one side to the other.

[Sidenote: and by the separate action of the several States.]

The second special cause of suffering to the Loyalists was the
separate action of the several states. England was not fighting one
nation but thirteen different communities; and it may be said that
in each of the thirteen there was civil war. The smaller the area
in which there is strife, the meaner and more bitter the strife
will be. With a great national struggle were intertwined petty
rivalries, local jealousies, family dissensions. Men remembered
old grudges, paid off old scores, reproduced in the worst forms
the features which in quieter times had disfigured the narrow
provincial life of the separate states. Had the states been one
instead of many, there would have been a wider patriotism and a
broader outlook, for Congress with all its faults was a larger
minded body than a state legislature. Had they again been all one,
there would not have been a series of unwholesome precedents for
persecution of the minority. As it was, each state passed law after
law against the Loyalists, and each in its turn could point to what
its neighbour had done, in the hope of making a further exhibition
of patriotism, more extravagant and more unjust.

[Sidenote: Powerlessness of Congress in the matter.]

How helpless the central body was in the matter, as compared with
the separate sovereign states, is shown by the wording of the fifth
article of the Peace. All that the American commissioners could
be induced to sign was that Congress should ‘earnestly recommend
to the legislatures of the respective states’ a policy of amnesty
and restitution. It does not seem to have been anticipated that
the state legislatures would comply with the recommendation. At
any rate it appears that the emissaries of the United States who
conducted the peace negotiations were reluctant to consent even
to this small concession; that it was in after years represented
on the American side as a mere form of words, necessary to bring
matters to a conclusion and to save the face of the British
Government; that its inadequacy was hotly assailed in both Houses
of the British Parliament; and that it proved to be as a matter of
fact in the main a dead letter.

[Sidenote: Debates in Parliament on the question of the Loyalists.]

[Sidenote: The debate in the House of Lords.]

Very bitter were the comments made in Parliament upon these
provisions in the treaty by the opponents of Shelburne’s ministry.
On the 17th of February, 1783, the Preliminary Articles of
Peace were discussed in either House. In the House of Lords
Lord Carlisle led the attack, moving an amendment in which the
subject of the Loyalists was prominently mentioned. The terms of
the amendment lamented the necessity for subscribing to articles
‘which, considering the relative situation of the belligerent
Powers, we must regard as inadequate to our just expectations and
derogatory to the honour and dignity of Great Britain’. Various
strong speeches followed, Lord Walsingham did not mince his words,
nor did Lord Townshend. Lord Stormont spoke of the Loyalists as
‘men whom Britain was bound in justice and honour, gratitude and
affection, and every tie to provide for and protect. Yet alas for
England as well as them they were made a price of peace’. Lord
George Germain, now Lord Sackville, who had so largely contributed
to the calamitous issue of the war, was to the front in condemning
the cruel abandonment of the Loyalists. In order to prove the
futility of the terms intended to safeguard their interests, he
referred to a resolution passed by the Legislature of Virginia
as late as the 17th of December previously, to the effect that
all demands for restitution of confiscated property were wholly
inadmissible. Lord Loughborough in a brilliant speech spoke out
that ‘in ancient or in modern history there cannot be found an
instance of so shameful a desertion of men who have sacrificed all
to their duty and to their reliance upon our faith’. The House sat
until 4.30 on the following morning, the attendance of peers being
at one period of the debate larger than on any previous occasion in
the reign of George the Third; and the division gave the Government
a majority of thirteen.

[Sidenote: The Debate in the House of Commons.]

[Sidenote: The Government defeated.]

Meanwhile the House of Commons were also engaged in discussing
the Peace, and here Lord John Cavendish moved an amendment to the
Address, which was supplemented by a further amendment in which
Lord North raised the case of the Loyalists. The Government fared
ill at the hands of the best speakers in the House, of all shades
of opinion. ‘Never was the honour, the humanity, the principles,
the policy of a nation so grossly abused,’ said Lord North now
happy in opposition, ‘as in the desertion of those men who are now
exposed to every punishment that desertion and poverty can inflict
because they were not rebels,’ and he denounced the discrimination
made in the fifth article of the Peace against those who had borne
arms for Great Britain. Lord Mulgrave spoke of the Peace as ‘a
lasting monument of national disgrace’. Fox was found in opposition
to Shelburne with whom he had parted company, and on the same side
as his old opponent Lord North with whom he was soon to join hands.
Burke spoke of the vast number of Loyalists who ‘had been deluded
by this country and had risked everything in our cause’. Sheridan
used bitter words to the same effect; and even Wilberforce, who
seconded the Address on the Government side, had to own that, when
he considered the case of the Loyalists, ‘there he saw his country
humiliated.’ The debate went on through the night, and when the
division was taken at 7.30 the next morning, the ministers found
themselves beaten by sixteen votes.

[Sidenote: Resolutions by Lord John Cavendish.]

[Sidenote: Shelburne’s ministry defeated.]

But the House of Commons had not yet done with the Peace, or with
the ministry. Four days later, on the 21st of February, Lord John
Cavendish moved five resolutions in the House. The first three
resolutions confirmed the Peace and led to little debate, but the
fourth and fifth were a direct attack on the Government. The fourth
resolution was as follows, ‘The concessions made to the adversaries
of Great Britain, by the said Provisional Treaty and Preliminary
Articles, are greater than they were entitled to, either from the
actual situation of their respective possessions, or from their
comparative strength.’ The terms of the fifth resolution were,
‘that this House do feel the regard due from this nation to every
description of men, who, with the risk of their lives and the
sacrifice of their property, have distinguished their loyalty, and
been conspicuous for their fidelity during a long and calamitous
war, and to assure His Majesty that they shall take every proper
method to relieve them, which the state of the circumstances of
this country will permit.’ A long debate on the fourth resolution
ended in the defeat of the Government by seventeen votes; and, the
Opposition being satisfied by carrying this vote of censure, the
fifth resolution was withdrawn. The result of the night’s work
was to turn out Shelburne and his colleagues, and to make way
for the famous coalition of Fox and North, which had been amply
foreshadowed in the debates.

[Sidenote: Unnecessary concessions made on the English side in the
Peace of 1783.]

It will be noted that, though the case of the Loyalists was made
a text for denouncing the terms of the Peace, the Government was
defeated avowedly not so much on the ground of dishonourable
conduct to the friends of England as on that of having made
unnecessary concessions. The case of the Opposition was strong, and
the case of the Government was weak, because sentiment was backed
by common sense. The Loyalists had been shabbily treated, without
any adequate reason either for sacrificing them or for making
various other concessions. That was the verdict of the House of
Commons then, and it is the verdict of history now. England had
become relatively not weaker but stronger since the disaster at
Yorktown, and the United States were at least as much in need of
peace as was the mother country. The Americans had done more by
bluff than by force, and the wholesale cession of territory, the
timorous abandonment of men and places, was an unnecessary price of
peace. The case of the Opposition was overwhelming, and it carried
conviction in spite of the antecedents of many of those who spoke
for it. North and Sackville, who declaimed against the terms which
had been conceded, were the men who had mismanaged the war. Fox was
to the front in attacking the Peace, and with reason, for he had
been the chief opponent in the Rockingham cabinet of Shelburne and
his emissary Oswald, but Fox beyond all men had lent his energies
to supporting the Americans against his own country in the time of
her trial.

[Sidenote: Excuses made for the policy of the British Government
with regard to the Loyalists.]

[Sidenote: Persecution of the Loyalists in the various states.]

What the Government pleaded in defence of the articles which
related to the Loyalists was first, that they could not secure
peace on any other terms; secondly, that the Americans would
carry out the terms honourably and in good faith; and thirdly
that, if the terms were not carried out, England would compensate
her friends. The first plea, as we have seen, was rejected. The
second plea events proved to be ill founded. Congress made the
recommendation to the state legislatures which the fifth article
prescribed, but no attention was paid to it. ‘Confiscation still
went on actively, governors of the states were urged to exchange
lists of the proscribed persons, that no Tory might find a
resting-place in the United States, and in nearly every state they
were disfranchized’.[167] The Acts against the Loyalists were not
repealed, and in some cases were supplemented. In some states life
was not safe any more than property, and the revolution closed with
a reign of terror. South Carolina stood almost alone in passing,
in March, 1784, an Act for restitution of property and permitting
Loyalists to return to the state. In Pennsylvania Tories were still
disfranchized as late as 1801.

In retaliation for the non-fulfilment of the fifth and sixth
articles of the treaty relating to the Loyalists, as well as of the
fourth article by which creditors on either side were to meet with
no lawful impediment in recovering their bonâ fide debts,[168] the
British Government, in their turn, refused to carry out in full
the seventh article under which all the places which were occupied
by British garrisons within the borders of the United States were
to be evacuated ‘with all convenient speed’; and it was not until
the year 1796, after further negotiations had taken place and a
new treaty, Jay’s Treaty of 1794, had been signed, that the inland
posts were finally given up. Meanwhile the Government took in hand
compensation for the sorely tried Loyalists, redeeming the pledges
which had been given and the honour of the nation.

[Sidenote: Compensation given to the Loyalists from Imperial Funds.]

A full account of the steps which were taken to compensate in
money the American Loyalists is given in a _Historical view of
the Commission for inquiry into the losses, services and claims
of the American Loyalists_ which was published in London in 1815,
by John Eardley Wilmot, one of the commissioners. Compensation or
relief had been going on during the war, for, as has been seen,
each stage of the war and each abandonment of a city implied a
number of refugees with claims on the justice or the liberality of
the British Government. Thus Wilmot tells us that in the autumn
of 1782 the sums issued by the Treasury amounted to an annual
amount of £40,280 distributed among 315 persons, over and above
occasional sums in gross to the amount of between £17,000 and
£18,000 per annum for the three last years, being payments applied
to particular or extraordinary losses or services. Shelburne named
two members of Parliament as commissioners to inquire into the
application of these relief funds; and they reduced the amount
stated above to £25,800, but by June, 1783, added another £17,445,
thus bringing up the total to £43,245.

In July, 1783, the Portland administration, which had taken the
place of Shelburne’s ministry and which included Fox and North,
passed an Act ‘appointing commissioners to inquire into the losses
and services of all such persons who have suffered in their rights,
properties and professions during the late unhappy dissensions
in America, in consequence of their loyalty to His Majesty and
attachment to the British Government’.[169] The Act was passed for
two years only, expiring in July, 1785; and the 25th of March,
1784, was fixed as the date by which all claims were to be sent
in. But the time for settlement was found to be too short. In
the session of 1785 the Act was renewed and amplified, and the
time for receiving claims was extended under certain conditions
till May 1st, 1786. In that year the Act was again renewed, and
it was further renewed in 1787. Commissioners were sent out to
Nova Scotia, to Canada, and to the United States. On the 6th of
June, 1788, there was a debate in Parliament on the subject of
compensation, which was followed by passing a new Act[170], the
operation of which was again twice extended, and in 1790 the long
inquiry came to an end. The total grant allowed was £3,112,455,
including a sum of £253,000 awarded to the Proprietaries or the
trustees of the Proprietaries of Pennsylvania, North Carolina,
Virginia and Maryland, the Penn family receiving the sum of
£100,000 converted into an annuity of £4,000 per annum.

It was a long drawn out inquiry, and the unfortunate Loyalists
chafed at the delay; but the outcome was not illiberal and showed
that England had not forgotten her friends. William Pitt, who as
Prime Minister carried the matter through, had been Chancellor of
the Exchequer in Shelburne’s ministry which was responsible for
the articles of the Peace, and his subsequent action testified
that amid the many liabilities of England which he was called upon
to face, he well remembered the pledges given in respect of the
Loyalists of America.

[Sidenote: The Loyalist soldiers.]

The number of claimants who applied for money compensation was
5,072: 954 claims were withdrawn or not prosecuted, and the number
of claims examined was 4,118.[171] The very large majority of the
Loyalists therefore did not participate in the grant, but for a
great many of them homes, grants of land and, for the time being,
rations were found in Canada, where General Haldimand and after
him Guy Carleton, then Lord Dorchester, cared for the friends of
England. Among the most deserving and the most valuable of the
refugees were the members of ‘His Majesty’s Provincial Regiments’,
the various Loyalist corps raised in America, the commanding
officers of which, on the 14th of March, 1783, presented a touching
and dignified memorial to Carleton while still Commander-in-Chief
at New York. They set out their claims and services. They asked
that provision should be made for the disabled, the widows, and
the orphans; that the rank of the officers might be permanent
in America and that they might be placed on half pay upon the
reduction of their regiments; and ‘that grants of land may be made
to them in some of His Majesty’s American provinces, and that they
may be assisted in making settlements, in order that they and their
children may enjoy the benefits of the British Government’.[172]

[Sidenote: Numbers, with places, and destinations of the Loyalists.]

[Sidenote: New York the principal Loyalist state.]

Where did the Loyalists come from, where did they go, and what
was their number? The questions are difficult to answer. In all
the states there were many Loyalists, though the numbers were
much larger in some than in others, and varied at different times
according to special circumstances or the characters and actions
of local leaders on either side. New England and Virginia were
to the front on the Patriot, Whig, or Revolutionary side. In New
England Massachusetts, as always, took the lead. Here the Loyalist
cause was weakened and depressed by the early evacuation of Boston
and the departure of a large number of Loyalist citizens who
accompanied Howe’s army when it left for Halifax. Of the other New
England states, Connecticut, though it supplied a large number
of men to Washington’s army, seems to have contained relatively
more Loyalists than the other New England states, probably because
it bordered on the principal Loyalist stronghold, New York. In
Virginia Washington’s personal influence counted for much, and the
King’s governor Lord Dunmore, by burning down the town of Norfolk,
would seem to have alienated sympathies from the British side. New
York was the last state to declare for independence. Throughout
the war it contained a stronger proportion of Loyalists than any
other state, and of the claims to compensation which were admitted
by the commissioners quite one-third were credited to New York.
The commercial interests of the port, traditional jealousy of New
England, neighbourhood to Canada, made for the British connexion.
Family and church interests were strong, the De Lanceys leading
the Episcopalian party on the side of the King, as against the
Livingstons and the Presbyterians and Congregationalists who threw
in their lot with the Revolution. Most of all, after Howe occupied
New York, it was held strongly as the British head quarters till
the end of the war, and became the resort of Loyalist refugees
from other parts of America. In Pennsylvania the Loyalists were
numerous. Here the Quaker influence was strong, opposed to war and
to revolution. As already stated, when Philadelphia was abandoned,
3,000 Loyalists left with the British army. In the south the
Loyalists were strong, but in the back country where there were
comparatively new settlers, many of Scotch descent, rather than on
the coast. In North Carolina parties are said to have been evenly
divided. In South Carolina, and possibly in Georgia also, the
Loyalists seem at one time to have preponderated. When the British
garrisons at Charleston and Savannah were finally withdrawn, 13,271
Loyalists were enumerated as intending to leave also, including
8,676 blacks. But any calculation is of little avail, for Loyalists
were made and unmade by the vicissitudes of the war. In America, as
in other countries in revolutionary times, it must be supposed that
the stalwarts on either side were very far from including the whole

[Sidenote: The Loyalists in Canada.]

If it is not easy to trace where the Loyalists came from, it is
equally difficult with any accuracy to state, except in general
terms, where they all went. It was not a case of a single wave of
emigration starting from a given point and directed to a given
point. For years refugees were drifting off in one direction and
another. Many went during the war overland to Canada. Many were
carried by sea to Nova Scotia. A large number went to England.
Before and after the conclusion of the Peace there was considerable
emigration from the southern states to Florida, the Bahamas,
and the West Indies. But Canada, including Nova Scotia and New
Brunswick, became the chief permanent home of the Loyalists. It was
the country which wanted them most, and where they found a place
not as isolated refugees but as a distinct and an honoured element
in the population. The coming of the Loyalists to Canada created
the province of New Brunswick and that of Ontario or Upper Canada.

[Sidenote: Loyalist colonization of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.]

As far as dates can be given for an emigration which, was spread
over a number of years, 1783 may be taken as the birth year of the
Loyalist settlements in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and 1784
as that of Upper Canada. We have an accurate official account of
the Loyalists in the maritime provinces in the year 1784, entitled
a report on Nova Scotia by Colonel Robert Morse, R.E.[173] The
scope of the report included New Brunswick, which was in that year
separated from Nova Scotia; and it is noteworthy that the writer
recommended union of the maritime provinces with Canada, placing
the capital for the united colony in Cape Breton. The Loyalists in
Nova Scotia and New Brunswick or, as Colonel Morse styled them, the
‘new inhabitants, viz., the disbanded troops and Loyalists who came
into this province since the Peace’, were mustered in the summer
of 1784 and were found to number 28,347, including women, children
and servants. Among them were 3,000 negroes, largely from New York.
As against these newcomers there were only 14,000 old British
inhabitants, of whom a great part had been disaffected during the
war owing to their New England connexion. Of the refugees 9,000
were located on the St. John river, and nearly 8,000 at the new
township of Shelburne in the south-west corner of Nova Scotia.
Morse gave a pitiable account of the condition of the immigrants
at the time when he wrote. Very few were as yet settled on their
lands; if not fed by the Government they must perish. ‘They have
no other country to go to--no other asylum.’ There had been the
usual emigration story in the case of Nova Scotia, supplemented by
exceptional circumstances. Glowing accounts had been circulated
of its attractions as a home and place of refuge. Thousands who
left New York after the Peace had been signed, and before the
port was finally evacuated by the British troops, went to Nova
Scotia, having to find homes somewhere. Then ensued disappointment,
hardship and deep distress; and the country and its climate were
maligned, as before they had been unduly praised. Nova Scotia was
christened in the United States Nova Scarcity, and the climate was
described as consisting of nine months winter and three months cold
weather.[174] In the end many of the emigrants drifted off again.
Some succumbed to their troubles; but the strong ones held on,
and the Loyalists made of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia sound and
thriving provinces of the British Empire.

[Sidenote: Loyalist colonization of the province of Ontario.]

In addition to the refugees who have been enumerated above,
some 3,000 settled in Cape Breton Island, others found homes in
the Gaspé peninsula on the Bay of Chaleurs, others again on the
seignory of Sorel at the mouth of the Richelieu river, which
Haldimand had bought for the Crown in 1780[175] and which had a
special value from a military point of view; but more important
was the emigration to Upper Canada and the settlement of the
present province of Ontario. Through the war the Loyalists had been
coming in from the revolting states, many of them on arrival in
Canada taking service for the Crown in the provincial regiments.
When peace came, more arrived and, with the disbanded soldiers,
became colonists of Canada. In July, 1783, an additional Royal
Instruction was given to Haldimand to allot lands to such of the
‘inhabitants of the colonies and provinces, now in the United
States of America’, as were ‘desirous of retaining their allegiance
to us and of living in our dominions and for this purpose are
disposed to take up and improve lands in our province of Quebec’,
and also to such non-commissioned officers and privates as might be
disbanded in the province and be inclined to become settlers in it.
The lands were to be divided into distinct seignories or fiefs, in
each seignory a glebe was to be reserved, and every recipient of
land was to make a declaration to the effect that ‘I will maintain
and defend to the utmost of my power the authority of the King in
his Parliament as the supreme legislature of this province’.[176]
Along the St. Lawrence from Lake St. Francis upwards; in the
neighbourhood of Cataraqui or Fort Frontenac, near the outlet of
Lake Ontario, where the name of Kingston tells its own tale; on
the Bay of Quinté in Lake Ontario; near the Niagara river; and
over against Detroit, the Loyalists were settled. The strength of
the settlements was shown by the fact that by the Imperial Act of
1791 Upper Canada was constituted a separate province. About that
date there seem to have been some 25,000 white inhabitants in Upper
Canada, but the number of Loyalists who came into the province
before or immediately after the Peace was much smaller.[177] It
is impossible to give even the roughest estimate of the total
number of emigrants from the United States in consequence of the
war, or even of the total number of Loyalist settlers in British
North America. A census report estimates that in all about
40,000 Loyalists took refuge in British North America.[178] Mr.
Kingsford[179] thinks that the original emigration to the British
American provinces did not exceed 45,000; a modern American
writer[180] places the number of those who came to Canada and the
Maritime Provinces within the few years before and succeeding the
Peace at 60,000. Whatever were their numbers, the refugees from
the United States leavened the whole history of the Dominion; and
from the date of their arrival Canada entered on a new era of her
history and made a long step forward to becoming a nation.

[Sidenote: The United Empire Loyalists.]

The British Government and the nation on the whole did their duty
by the Loyalists in Canada. They gave money, they gave lands, they
gave food and clothing, and they gave them a title of honour. At a
council meeting held at Quebec on the 9th of November, 1789, Lord
Dorchester said that it was his wish to put a mark of honour upon
the families who had adhered to the unity of the Empire and joined
the Royal Standard in America before the Treaty of Separation in
the year 1783; and it was ordered that the land boards should
keep a registry of them ‘to the end that their posterity may be
discriminated from future settlers’. From that time they were
known as the United Empire Loyalists; and when in the year 1884
the centenary of their arrival in Canada was kept, the celebration
showed that the memory of their sufferings and of their loyalty was
still cherished, that their descendants still rightfully claimed
distinction as bearing the names and inheriting the traditions of
those who through good and evil report remained true to the British

[Sidenote: American persecution of the Loyalists a political

In the debate in the House of Commons on the terms of the Peace,
Lord North, speaking of the attitude of the Americans toward the
Loyalists, said, ‘I term it impolitic, for it will establish
their character as a vindictive people. It would have become the
interests as well as the character of a newly-created people to
have shown their propensity to compassion’. The record of the
treatment of the Loyalists by their compatriots in the United
States is not the brightest page in American history. The terrible
memory of the border war was not calculated to make the victorious
party lean to the side of compassion when the fighting was over,
but when all allowance has been made for the bitterness which was
the inevitable result of the long drawn out struggle, the Americans
cannot be said to have shown much good faith or generosity in
their dealings with the Loyalists or much political wisdom. There
were exceptions among them. Men like Jay and Alexander Hamilton
and the partisan leader in the south, General Marion, gave their
influence for justice and mercy; but on the whole justice and mercy
were sadly wanting. The newly-created people, as Lord North styled
the Americans, did not show themselves wise in their generation.
Their policy towards the Loyalists was not that of men confident
in the strength and the righteousness of their cause; nor, if
they wished to drive the English out of America and, as Franklin
tried in his dealings with Oswald, to secure Canada for the United
States, did they take the right course to achieve their end. This
point is forcibly put by the American writer Sabine, whose book
published in 1847 is not wanting in strong patriotic bias. He
shows how British colonization in Canada and Nova Scotia was the
direct result of the persecution of the Loyalists, and sums up that
‘humanity to the adherents of the Crown and prudent regard for our
own interests required a general amnesty’.[181] The Americans, for
their own future, would have done well to conciliate rather than to
punish, to retain citizens by friendly treatment not to force them
into exile. Their policy bore its inevitable fruit, and the most
determined opponents of the United States in after years were the
men and the children of the men who were driven out and took refuge
in Canada.

[Sidenote: Reasons for the persecution of the Loyalists.]

[Sidenote: The American War of Independence as contrasted with the
later war between the North and the South.]

The policy was unwise, but it was intelligible; and it is the more
intelligible when viewed in the light of the contrast furnished
by the sequel to the great civil war between the Northern and
the Southern states. As time goes on and the world becomes more
civilized, public and private vendettas tend to go out of fashion
and individuals and nations alike find it a little easier to
forgive, though possibly not to forget. In any case, therefore,
the outcome of a war eighty years later than the American War of
Independence might have been expected to bear traces of kindlier
feeling and broader humanity. But there were other reasons for the
contrast between the attitude taken up by the victorious Northern
states towards the defeated Southern confederacy and that of the
successful Revolutionary party towards their Loyalist opponents.
The cause for which the Northerners fought and conquered was the
maintenance of the Union; the cause for which the partisans of the
Revolution fought and conquered was separation. It was therefore
logical and consistent, when the fighting was over, in the former
case to do what could be done to cement the Union, in the latter
to do all that would accentuate and complete separation. Amnesty
was in a sense the natural outcome of the later war, proscription
was in a sense the natural outcome of the earlier. Slowly and
reluctantly the revolting states came to the determination to part
company with the mother country. Having made their decision and
staked their all upon carrying it to a successful issue, they were
minded also to part company for all time with those among them who
held the contrary view. They were a new people, not wholly sure of
their ground; they would not run the risk, as it seemed, of trying
to reconcile men whose hearts were not with theirs.

Furthermore, in contrasting the two wars it will be noted that
in the later there was a geographical division between the two
parties which did not exist in the earlier case. The great civil
war was a fight between North and South; there was not fighting
in each single state of the Union. The result, broadly speaking,
was a definite conquest of a large and well-defined area where the
feeling had been solidly hostile, and the only practical method
of permanently retaining the conquered states was by amnesty
and reconciliation. The War of Independence, as already pointed
out, was not thus geographically defined. In each separate state
there was civil war, local, narrow, and bitter; and, when the end
came, the solution most congenial to the victorious majority in
each small community was also a practicable though not a wise or
humane solution, viz., to weed out the malcontents and to make
good the Patriots’ losses at the expense of the Loyalists. Union
was accepted by the thirteen states as a necessity; it was not the
principle for which they contended. They fought for separation,
they jealously retained all they could of their local independence,
and each within its own limits carried out the principle of
separation to its bitter end by proscribing the adherents to the
only Union which they had known before the war, that which was
produced by common allegiance to the British Crown.

[Sidenote: The Glengarry settlers.]

The main result of the incoming of the Loyalists was to give to
Canada a Protestant British population by the side of a Roman
Catholic French community; but among the immigrants were Scottish
Highlanders from the back settlements of the province of New York,
Gaelic speaking and Roman Catholic in religion, who had served in
the war and who were very wisely settled in what is now Glengarry
county on the edge of the French Canadian districts. Here their
religion was a bond between them and the French Canadians, while
their race and traditions kept them in line with the other British
settlers of Ontario. They brought with them the honoured name of
Macdonell, and in the early years of the nineteenth century another
body of Macdonells, also disbanded soldiers, joined them from
the old country. It needs no telling how high the record of the
Macdonells stands in the annals of Canada, or how the Glengarry
settlers proved their loyalty and their worth in the war of

[Sidenote: Scheme for a settlement of French Royalists in Upper

Side by side with this Macdonell immigration, may be noted an
abortive immigration scheme for Upper Canada, which was not British
and was later in time than the War of American Independence, but
which had something in common with the advent of the Loyalists.
This was an attempt to form a French Royalist settlement in Upper
Canada under Count Joseph de Puisaye, ‘ci devant Puisaye the
much enduring man and Royalist’,[183] a French _emigré_ who had
taken a leading part in the disastrous landing at Quiberon Bay
in 1795. In or about 1797 he seems to have made a proposal to
the British Government that they should send out a number of the
Royalist refugees to Canada. The projected settlement was to be on
military and feudal lines. ‘The same measure must be employed as
in founding the old colony of Canada.... It was the soldiery who
cleared and prepared the land for our French settlements of Canada
and Louisiana.’ The writer of the above had evidently in mind the
measures taken in the days of Louis XIV to colonize New France,
and the planting out of the Carignan-Salières Regiment.[184] The
scheme, it was anticipated, would commend itself to the Canadians
in view of the community of race, language and religion, while to
the British Government its value would consist in placing ‘decided
Royalists in a country where republican principles and republican
customs are becoming leading features’, i. e. on the frontiers
of the United States. In July, 1798, the Duke of Portland wrote
to the Administrator of Upper Canada on the subject, evidently
contemplating the possibility of a considerable emigration to
Canada of French refugees then living in England, of whom de
Puisaye and about forty others, who were to embark in the course of
the summer, would be the forerunners. The Duke laid down that de
Puisaye and his company were to be treated as American Loyalists in
the matter of allotment of land. William Windham, Pitt’s Secretary
for War, also wrote, introducing de Puisaye to the Administrator
as being personally well-known to himself, and explaining that
the object of the scheme was ‘to provide an asylum for as many as
possible of those whose adherence to the ancient laws, religion,
and constitution of their country has rendered them sacrifices
to the French Revolution’, to select by preference those who had
served in the Royalist armies, to allow them to have a settlement
of their own ‘as much as possible separate from any other body of
French, or of those persons speaking French, who may be at present
in America, or whom Government may hereafter be disposed to settle
there’, and by this comparative isolation, as well as by giving
them some element of military and feudal discipline, to preserve
to them the character ‘of a society founded on the principles of
reverence for religion and attachment to monarchy’. The scheme was
born out of due time. The coming century and the New World were
not the time and place for reviving feudal institutions. But on
paper it was an attractive scheme. Side by side with the British
Loyalists who had been driven out of the newly-formed American
republic, would be settled French Loyalists whom the Revolution had
hunted from France. Their loyalty and their sufferings for their
cause would commend them to their British fellow colonists: their
kinship in race, religion, and language would commend them to the
French Canadians, who in turn had little sympathy with a France
that knew not Church or King.

The place selected for the settlement was between Toronto and
Lake Simcoe. It was chosen as being roughly equidistant from
the French settlements in Lower Canada and those on the Detroit
river, and as being near the seat of government, Toronto then
York, and consequently within easy reach of assistance and well
under control. Here a township was laid out and called Windham. De
Puisaye and his party arrived at Montreal in October, 1798, and in
the middle of November de Puisaye himself was at York, while his
followers remained through the winter at Kingston. It was a bad
time of year for starting a new settlement in Upper Canada, and
possibly this was one of the reasons why it failed from the first.
Another was that de Puisaye, who seems to have formed a friendship
with Joseph Brant,[185] divided the small band of emigrants and
went off himself to form a second settlement on or near the Niagara
river. The scheme in short never took root: the emigrants or most
of them went elsewhere; the name Windham went elsewhere and is now
to be found in Norfolk county of Ontario. De Puisaye went back to
London after the Peace of Amiens, and the project for a French
Royalist colony in Upper Canada passed into oblivion.[186]

[Sidenote: Loyalty of the Six Nation Indians and their settlement
in Canada.]

White Loyalists were not the only residents within the present
boundaries of the United States who expatriated themselves or were
expatriated in consequence of the War of Independence, and who
settled in Canada. It has been seen that the Six Nation Indians
had in the main been steadily on the British side throughout the
war, and that prominent among them were the Mohawks led by Joseph
Brant. When peace was signed containing no recognition or safeguard
of the country of the Six Nations or of native rights, the
Indians complained with some reason that their interests had been
sacrificed by Great Britain. Under these circumstances Governor
Haldimand offered them lands on the British side of the lakes; and
a number of them--more especially the Mohawks--permanently changed
their dwelling-place still to remain under their great father, the
King of England.

There were two principal settlements. One was on the Bay of Quinté,
west of Kingston, where some of the Mohawks took up land side by
side with the disbanded Rangers, in whose company they had fought
in the war, and where the township Tyendenaga recalled the Indian
name of Brant. A larger and more important settlement was on the
Grand river, also called Ours or Ouse, flowing into Lake Erie
due west of the Niagara river. Here Haldimand, by a proclamation
dated the 25th of October, 1784, found homes for these old allies
of England, the land or part of it having, by an agreement
concluded in the previous May, been bought for the purpose from
the Mississauga Indians. The proclamation set forth that His
Majesty had been pleased to direct that, ‘in consideration of the
early attachment to his cause manifested by the Mohawk Indians,
and of the loss of their settlement which they thereby sustained,
a convenient tract of land under his protection should be chosen
as a safe and comfortable retreat for them and others of the Six
Nations who have either lost their settlements within the territory
of the American states or wish to retire from them to the British;’
and that therefore, ‘at the desire of many of these His Majesty’s
faithful allies’, a tract of land had been purchased from the
Indians between the Lakes Ontario, Huron and Erie, possession of
which was authorized to the Mohawk nation and such other of the Six
Nation Indians as wished to settle in that quarter, for them and
their posterity to enjoy for ever.

The lands allotted were defined in the proclamation as ‘six miles
deep from each side of the river, beginning at Lake Erie and
extending in that proportion to the head of the said river’. Here,
in the present counties of Brant and Haldimand, many tribesmen
of the Six Nations settled. Brant county and its principal town
Brantford recall the memory of the Mohawk leader, and such villages
as Cayuga, Oneida, and Onondaga testify that other members of
the old confederacy, in addition to the Mohawks, crossed over
to British soil. Within a few years difficulties arose as to
the intent of the grant, the Indians, headed by Brant, wishing
to sell some of the lands; a further and more formal document,
issued by Governor Simcoe in 1793, did not settle the question;
and eventually a large part of the area included in the original
grant was parted with for money payments which were invested for
the benefit of the Indians. A report made in July, 1828, and
included in a Parliamentary Blue Book of 1834[187], stated that
the number of the Indian settlers on the Grand river was at that
date under 2,000 souls: that ‘they are now considered as having
retained about 260,000 acres of land, mostly of the best quality.
Their possessions were formerly more extensive, but large tracts
have been sold by them with the permission of H. M.’s Government,
the moneys arising from which sales were either funded in England
or lent on interest in this country. The proceeds amount to about
£1,500 p.a.’.

Thus a large number of the Six Nation Indians adhered to the
English connexion and left their old homes for ever: most of them
became members of the Church of England, and the first church
built in the Province of Ontario is said to have been one for
the Mohawks.[188] In the second American war, as in the first,
they remained faithful as subjects and allies; and to this day the
descendants of the once formidable confederacy hold fast to the
old-time covenant which their forefathers made with the English


[165] The text of the treaty is given in Appendix I.

[166] See the text of the treaty in Appendix I.

[167] From _The Loyalists in the American Revolution_, by C. H.
Van Tyne. Macmillan & Co., 1902, p. 295. The author gives in the
Appendices to his book a list of the laws passed against the
Loyalists in the various states.

[168] American creditors sued Loyalist debtors in England, while
the Loyalists’ property in America was confiscated.

[169] Act 23 Geo. III, cap. 80.

[170] 28 Geo. III, cap. 40.

[171] Wilmot’s account of the claimants and of the money awarded
is most confusing. The figures are taken from the last Appendix,
No. IX, which says the ‘claims including those in Nova Scotia and
Canada’ were 5,072. It is difficult to reconcile these figures with
those given on pp. 90-1 of the book, unless in the latter case the
claims made in Canada are omitted.

[172] See the _Annual Register_ for 1783, p. 262.

[173] Printed in Mr. Brymner’s _Report on the Archives of Canada_
for the year 1884, Note C, pp. xl, xli.

[174] See _The American Loyalists_, by Lorenzo Sabine. Boston,
1847, Historical Essay, p. 62, note.

[175] See Shortt and Doughty, p. 495, note.

[176] Shortt and Doughty, pp. 494-5.

[177] In the volume for 1891 of Mr. Brymner’s _Report on Canadian
Archives_, p. 17, the ‘Return of Disbanded Troops and Loyalists
settled upon the King’s Lands in the Province of Quebec in the year
1784’ is given as 5,628, including women, children, and servants.
The province of Quebec at this time included both Lower and Upper

[178] _Census of Canada_ for 1871, vol. iv; _Censuses of Canada_,
pp. xxxviii-xlii. See also p. 238, note below.

[179] vol. vii, p. 223.

[180] Mr. Van Tyne, _The Loyalists in the American Revolution_, p.

[181] _The American Loyalists_, Preliminary Historical Essay, p. 91.

[182] See the _Canadian War of 1812_ (Lucas) pp. 11-15. More than
one book has been written on the Macdonells in Canada. Reference
should be made to the _Report on the Canadian Archives_ for 1896,
Notes B and C.

[183] Carlyle’s _French Revolution_, Book 4, chap. ii. Carlyle
evidently thought lightly of de Puisaye. For this French Royalist
scheme see Mr. Brymner’s _Report on Canadian Archives_ for 1888,
pp. xxv-xxxi, and Note F.

[184] See Parkman’s _The Old Régime in Canada_, and see above, p.

[185] See the _Canadian Archives Report_ for 1888, Note F, p. 85,
and Stone’s _Life of Brant_, vol. ii, p. 403 and note.

[186] On ‘A map of the Province of Upper Canada, describing all the
new settlements, townships, &c., with the countries adjacent from
Quebec to Lake Huron, compiled at the request of His Excellency
Major-General John G. Simcoe, first Lieutenant-Governor, by David
William Smyth, Esq., Surveyor-General’, and published by W. Faden,
London, April 12, 1800, ‘French Royalists’ is printed across Yonge
Street between York and Lake Simcoe. The map is in the Colonial
Office Library.

[187] Entitled _Aboriginal Tribes_. Printed for the House of
Commons, 617, August 14, 1834, pp. 28-9. See also the House of
Commons Blue Book 323, June 17, 1839, entitled, _Correspondence
Respecting the Indians in the British North American Provinces_.

[188] Before the War of American Independence, the Mohawks had a
church built for them in their own country in the present state
of New York by the British Government, to which Queen Anne in
1712 presented silver Communion plate and a Bible. The plate was
inscribed with the Royal Arms, in 1712, of ‘Her Majesty Anne by
the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland and Her
Plantations in North America, Queen, to Her Indian Chapel of the
Mohawks 1712’; and the Bible was inscribed, ‘To Her Majesty’s
Church of the Mohawks 1712.’ After the War of Independence, two
churches were built in Canada for the Mohawks who had emigrated to
remain under British rule, one begun in 1785 on the Grand River at
the present town of Brantford, and one on the bay of Quinté. The
Communion plate and Bible, which had been buried by the Indians for
safety during the war, were divided, four pieces of the plate and
the Bible being brought to the Brantford Church, and three to the
church on the bay of Quinté. The Brantford Church was the first
Protestant church in Canada, and a bell, said to be the first bell
to call to prayer in Ontario, and a Royal Coat of Arms were sent
out to it by the British Government in 1786. This church, known as
‘St. Paul’s Church of the Mohawks’, and in common parlance as the
old Mohawk Church, was in 1904, on a petition to the King, given by
His Majesty the title of ‘His Majesty’s Chapel of the Mohawks’, in
order to revive the old name of Queen Anne’s reign.



[Sidenote: Carleton’s second term as Governor of Canada.]

Sir Frederick Haldimand, who had succeeded Carleton and had
governed Canada with conspicuous ability during the later years of
the American War of Independence, left on the 15th of November,
1784. After an interval of nearly two years Carleton succeeded
him.[189] Carleton had been Commander-in-Chief at New York from
May, 1782, till November, 1783, refusing to evacuate the city until
he had provided for the safe transport of the large number of
Loyalists who wished to leave. In April, 1786, he was appointed for
the second time Governor of Canada. He was created Lord Dorchester
in the following August, and he arrived at Quebec on the 23rd
of October in the same year, being then sixty-two years of age.
He remained in Canada till August, 1791, when he took leave of
absence until September, 1793, and he finally left in July, 1796.
The whole term of his second government thus lasted for ten years.
During his first government he had been Governor of the province of
Quebec alone, but in April, 1786, he was appointed ‘Captain-General
and Governor-in-Chief’ not only of the province of Quebec--the
boundaries of that province being now modified by the terms of
the Peace of 1783--but also of Nova Scotia,[190] and of the
newly-created province of New Brunswick, receiving three separate
commissions in respect of the three separate provinces. Thus he
was, or was intended to be, in the fullest sense Governor-General
of British North America.

[Sidenote: House of Commons debate on Carleton’s pension.]

Before he went out, a debate in the House of Commons, towards
the end of June, 1786, gave evidence of the high repute in which
he was held. William Pitt, Prime Minister and Chancellor of
the Exchequer, presented a Royal Message, asking the House, in
consideration of Carleton’s public services, to enable His Majesty
to confer a pension of £1,000 per annum upon Carleton’s wife,
Lady Maria Carleton, and upon his two sons for their several
lives. The pension, it was explained, had been promised by the
King in 1776, but partly by accident and partly by Carleton’s
own wish the grant had been postponed. It was recounted by one
of the speakers that ‘when all our other colonies had revolted,
he (Carleton) by his gallantry, activity, and industry saved the
city of Quebec, and by that means the whole province of Canada’;
and when one malcontent--the only one--Courtenay by name, denied
that Carleton had rendered any services, asserting with wonderful
hardihood, that ‘Sir Guy had by no means protected Quebec. It was
the inhabitants in conjunction with Chief Justice Livius (whom
General Carleton afterwards expelled from his situation) that
protected it’, another member, Captain Luttrell, rejoined that ‘In
the most brilliant war we ever sustained, he was foremost in the
most hard earned victories, and in the most disgraceful contest
in which we ever were engaged, he alone of all our generals was
unconquered’. But the most delightful tribute to Carleton was paid
by Burgoyne, when the resolution had been agreed to and was being
reported. Referring to the help which Carleton had given him
in his fateful expedition, he said ‘Had Sir Guy been personally
employed in that important command, he could not have fitted it out
with more assiduity, more liberality, more zeal, than disappointed,
displeased, and resentful against the King’s servants, he employed
to prepare it for a junior officer’. Burgoyne then went on to
testify to the uprightness of Carleton’s administration, ‘the
purity of hand and heart with which he had always administered
the expenditure of the public purse.’ The pension was sanctioned
unanimously, to date from the 1st of January, 1785.[191]

[Sidenote: Population of Canada in 1784.]

[Sidenote: The first canals in Canada.]

In 1784, before the full tale of Loyalist immigration was yet
complete, Canada, including the three districts of Quebec, Three
Rivers, and Montreal, had a population of 113,000,[192] the towns
of Quebec and Montreal containing in either case between 6,000
and 7,000 residents. This was really the population of what was
afterwards the province of Lower Canada, exclusive of Ontario and
the Maritime Provinces which were the main scenes of Loyalist
settlement. The overwhelming majority of the population in the
province of Quebec, as Canada, other than the Maritime Provinces,
was styled prior to the Act of 1791, consisted of French Canadians,
and the citizens of British birth were still comparatively few in
number: but, as has been seen, the incoming of British citizens
was actively in process under Haldimand’s administration; and
during the same administration a beginning was made of the canals
which have played so great a part in the history of Eastern
Canada. Between the years 1779 and 1783, mainly for military
reasons, Royal Engineers under Haldimand’s directions constructed
canals with locks round the rapids between Lake St. Francis and
Lake St. Louis above Montreal, and in 1785 proposals were first
made--though not at the time carried into effect--for a canal to
rectify the break in navigation on the Richelieu river, caused by
the rapids between St. John’s and Chambly, and so to give unimpeded
water-communication between Lake Champlain and the St. Lawrence.
This latter project was of great importance to Vermont, which had
not yet been admitted as a state to the American Union.

Thus Dorchester came back to the land of the St. Lawrence and the
great lakes amid indications of a new era with wider developments
and corresponding difficulties. He came back as the man who had
saved Canada in war, had given to the French Canadians the Quebec
Act, and had stood firm at New York for protection of the Loyalists.

[Sidenote: The political situation in 1786.]

It was not an easy time for any man, however popular, who was
responsible for the security and the welfare of Canada. British
garrisons still held the frontier posts which, by the Treaty of
1783, Great Britain was bound to hand over to the United States,
viz., Detroit, Michillimackinac, Erie or Presque Isle, Niagara,
Oswego, Oswegatchie, and, on Lake Champlain, Point au Fer and
Dutchman’s Point. The Indians were at open war with the Americans
down to the year 1794, claiming as their own the lands to the north
of the Ohio; and they were embittered against the English, because
no provision had been made in the treaty to safeguard their rights,
their homes and their hunting grounds. The Americans in their turn
were irritated by the withholding of the forts, and suspected the
English of instigating Indian hostilities and encouraging Indian
claims. Meanwhile the internal affairs of Canada were rapidly
growing more complicated, and the constitutional question pressed
for solution.

[Sidenote: Lord Dorchester on the Quebec Act.]

Writing on the 13th of June, 1787, to Thomas Townshend, Lord
Sydney, who was then Secretary of State,[193] Lord Dorchester
pointed out that the Quebec Act had been introduced at a time when
nothing could be thought of in Canada but self-defence. It came
into force at the outbreak of the war, and the first Council held
under its provisions was overshadowed by American invasion.[194]
The Act, therefore, owing to circumstances, had never really been
given a fair trial; yet it may be questioned whether the very
great difficulty of adjusting conflicting interests in Canada,
of bringing the old and the new into harmony, and of devising a
system of government, which would ensure comparative contentment
at the time and give facilities for future development, was really
increased by the fact that wars and threats and rumours of wars
clouded the first half century of the history of Canada as a
British possession. The evil of distracting attention from internal
problems, of interrupting and foreshortening political and social
reforms was counterbalanced by the wholesome influence of common
danger. As the removal of that influence had led to the severance
of the old North American colonies from Great Britain, so the
actual or possible hostility of the United States made the task of
holding Canada together easier than it would otherwise have been,
and, by preventing constitutional questions from absorbing the
whole energies of the government and the public, tended to produce
slow and gradual changes in lieu of reforms so complete as possibly
to amount to revolution.

[Sidenote: Petition for a free constitution.]

[Sidenote: Counter petition from French Canadian seigniors.]

[Sidenote: Petition from disbanded Loyalist soldiers for a separate

On the 24th of November, 1784, immediately after Haldimand’s
departure, a petition for a free constitution was addressed to
the King by his ‘ancient and new subjects, inhabitants of the
province of Quebec’. The petitioners asked, among other points,
for a House of Representatives or Assembly, with power to impose
taxes to cover the expense of civil government; for a Council of
not less than 30 members, without whose advice no officer should
be suspended and no new office be created by the governor; for a
continuance of the criminal law of England, and of the ancient
laws of the country as to landed estates, marriage settlements
and inheritances; for the introduction of the commercial laws
of England; and for the embodiment in the constitution of the
Habeas Corpus Act. It will be remembered that an ordinance had
lately been passed by the Legislative Council, on the 29th of
April, 1784, ‘For securing the liberty of the subject and for the
prevention of imprisonments out of this province,’[195] but the
petitioners wished to have the right of Habeas Corpus laid down as
a fundamental rule of the constitution. The petition purported to
be from the ‘New Subjects’, i. e. the French Canadians, as well
as from those of British extraction; but among the signatories
hardly any French Canadian names appeared, and a counter petition
was signed by French Canadian seigniors and others, deprecating
the proposed change in the system of government. ‘This plan’, they
wrote, ‘is so much more questionable, as it appears to us to aim at
innovations entirely opposed to the rights of the King and of his
Government and to detach the people from the submission they have
always shown to their Sovereign.’ In April, 1785, a petition was
presented in London by Sir John Johnson on behalf of the disbanded
soldiers and other Loyalists settled above Montreal, asking for the
creation of a new district separate from the province of Quebec,
whose capital should be Cataraqui, now Kingston, and that ‘the
blessings of the British laws and of the British Government, and
an exemption from the (French) tenures, may be extended to the
aforesaid settlements’.[196]

[Sidenote: Debate on Mr. Powys’ Bill in the House of Commons April,

On the 28th of April, 1786, Mr. Powys, a private member of the
House of Commons called attention in the House to the petition of
1784;[197] and, in view of the fact that two years had passed since
it was presented, and that the Government had taken no action upon
it, he moved for permission to bring in a Bill to amend the Quebec
Act and ‘for the better securing the liberties of His Majesty’s
subjects in the province of Quebec in North America’. The object of
the Bill, which had been drafted in the previous year, was to limit
the power of the governor, for the mover complained that the Quebec
Act had ‘established as complete a system of despotism as ever was
instituted’, and stated that the aim of his measure was ‘to give
the inhabitants of the province of Quebec a system of government in
the particulars he had mentioned, founded on known and definitive
law. At present the government of that province rested altogether
on unfixed laws, and was a state of despotism and slavery’. The
Bill purported to give to the Canadians in the fullest measure the
right of Habeas Corpus, except in case of rebellion or of foreign
invasion, when it might be suspended, but only for three months
at a time, and only by ordinance of the Legislative Council; to
give trial by jury in civil cases at the option of either of the
parties; to take from the governor the power of committing to
prison by his own warrant, and of suspending judges and members
of the Legislative Council; while the last clause increased the
numbers of the council. It was supported by Fox, who took the
opportunity to denounce the Quebec Act ‘as a Bill founded upon a
system of despotism’, and by Sheridan; but the majority in a very
thin House rejected it, agreeing with Pitt that, in view of the
contradictory petitions which came from Canada, it would be well to
wait until Carleton went out and reported upon the feeling of the

Petitions continued to come in. In June, 1787, Lord Dorchester
wrote to Lord Sydney that with the increase of the English
population the desire for an Assembly would increase, but that he
himself was at a loss for a plan, and that a more pressing matter
was a change in the tenure of land. In the following September
Lord Sydney replied, in somewhat similar terms, that there was no
present intention to alter the constitution, but that the King
would be advised to make a change in the system of land tenure.

[Sidenote: Adam Lymburner heard before the House of Commons.]

[Sidenote: Fox and Burke on the Quebec Act.]

In 1788 Adam Lymburner, a merchant of good position in Quebec, was
sent as a delegate to London, to represent the views of the British
minority in the province; and on Friday, the 16th of May, 1788, he
was heard at the bar of the House of Commons, in support of the
petitions which had been presented. He called attention mainly to
the confused state of the law in Canada, and to the defects and
anomalies in the administration of justice. A debate followed on a
motion by Mr. Powys[198] to the effect that the petitions deserved
the immediate and serious consideration of Parliament. The mover
once more attacked the Quebec Act of 1774, characterizing it ‘as
a rash and fatal’ measure and, when challenged to state what
he considered to be the points of greatest urgency, specified
‘the rendering the writ of Habeas Corpus a matter of right, the
granting independence to the judges, the lessening of the servility
and dependence of the superior officers of justice, and the
establishing a House of Assembly’. Fox, Sheridan and Burke spoke as
usual against the Government, denouncing Pitt for pleading that,
in view of the divergent views held in Canada, the Government
should be given more time to obtain further information from Lord
Dorchester. The whole of Lord Dorchester’s evidence on the Quebec
Bill, said Fox, who professed great respect for Lord Dorchester
himself, ‘contained opinions wholly foreign to the spirit and
uncongenial with the nature of the English constitution. Lord
Dorchester, therefore, was the last man living whose opinion he
would wish to receive upon the subject.’ Burke spoke of the Quebec
Act as ‘a measure dealt out by this country in its anger under
the impulse of a passion that ill-suited the purposes of wise

It was true that two years had passed since the previous discussion
on the subject in the House of Commons, and that nothing had been
done in the meantime; but the hollowness of the debate was shown
by the stress laid by the Opposition speakers on the subject
of Habeas Corpus. The recently passed ordinance had given to
Canadians the right of Habeas Corpus, but it was argued that the
grant was temporary only and that the Crown which had given the
right and confirmed the ordinance might take it away, whereas no
time should be lost in providing that Canadians, like all other
British subjects, should enjoy it ‘as a matter of right and not as
a grant at the will of the Crown’. There was little evidence among
the speakers that they either knew or cared for the wishes of the
great majority of Canadians, those of French descent: no suspicion
seems to have entered into their minds that institutions which
suited Englishmen might not be the best in the world for men who
were not of English birth: it was assumed that clever speakers in
the House of Commons were better judges of the requirements of a
distant British possession than the man on the spot with unrivalled
knowledge of local conditions. The debate well illustrated the
prejudice and half knowledge with which partisan legislators
in England approach colonial problems, and it afforded a good
explanation of the grounds on which the common sense of England let
the brilliant debaters talk harmlessly in opposition and entrusted
the real work of the country to William Pitt. It ended in a motion,
agreed to by the Prime Minister, that the House would take the
subject into their earnest consideration early next session.

[Sidenote: Lord Dorchester’s views opposed to division of the

[Sidenote: Outline of the Canada Act.]

Following on the debate, Sydney wrote to Dorchester on the 3rd
of September, asking for the fullest possible information before
the next discussion should take place, and intimating that a
division of the province was contemplated. On the 8th of November
in the same year, Lord Dorchester replied, giving his views on
the political situation. In the districts of Quebec and Montreal,
exclusive of the towns, he estimated the proportion of British
residents to French Canadians as one to forty; including the
towns, as one to fifteen; and including the Loyalist settlements
above Montreal, as one to five. The demand for an Assembly, he
considered, came from the commercial classes, that is to say, from
the towns where the British were most numerous: the seigniors and
country gentlemen were opposed to it, the clergy were neutral,
the uneducated habitants would be led by others. His own opinion
was that a division of the province was at present unadvisable;
but, should a division be decided upon, there was no reason why
the western districts should not have an Assembly and so much of
the English system of laws as suited their local circumstances,
care being taken to secure the property and civil rights of the
French Canadian settlers in the neighbourhood of Detroit, who
had increased in numbers owing to the fur trade. A year later,
on the 20th of October, 1789, he was informed by Grenville, who
had succeeded Sydney as Secretary of State, that the Government
had decided to alter the constitution of Canada and to divide the
province of Quebec, a draft of the Bill which was to be introduced
into Parliament for the purpose being enclosed for an expression
of the governor’s views, with blank spaces to be filled up on
receiving from him information as to certain points of detail.

[Sidenote: Difficulties of the situation.]

Curiously complex were the conditions which the Bill was intended
to meet. Assuming that the population of Canada had been
homogeneous and of British descent, and assuming that Canada
had been a single, well-defined colony, so that no question
of subdivision could arise, it would still have remained a
most difficult problem to decide within what limits political
representation should be given and how far it should involve
responsibility and real self-government. The British demand in
Canada was for institutions to which Englishmen had always been
accustomed, and which the old North American colonies of Great
Britain had enjoyed. The petition of November, 1784, showed that
the demand included right of taxation and a certain control over
the Executive. This last point seems subsequently not to have been
pressed, though it involved the essence of self-government, had
been prominent in the disputes between the old colonies and the
mother country, and had been emphasized in Canada by the fact that
on the one hand the Home Government had conspicuously misused its
patronage in making appointments in Canada, and that on the other,
two strong governors, Carleton and Haldimand, in time of war and
in face of disloyalty, had not hesitated so to put forth their
strength as to incur the charge of being arbitrary.

But the population of Canada was not homogeneous, and the colony
was obviously not one and indivisible. Even among the English
residents there was diversity of interest. Those who lived in
the districts of Quebec and Montreal, and for whom Lymburner
spoke, were opposed to a division of the province, because the
main body of subjects of English birth was to be found in the new
settlements in Upper Canada. These newcomers, on the contrary, had
much to gain by being severed from French Canada and incorporated
into a separate colony. The British minority again in the old
province contended that half the number of the representatives
to be elected should be assigned to the towns where the number
and the influence of the English residents was greatest, Quebec
and Montreal containing at the time one Englishman to every two
Canadians; thus town and country interests were pitted against
each other. Meanwhile the overwhelming majority of the population,
the French Canadians, set little store by the representative
institutions which the English desired to enjoy. They had never
known them and therefore never valued them, and they had reason to
fear that any change might tend to give more power to the English
minority accustomed to a political machinery which was novel to
themselves. The habitants thought only whether their taxes would be
increased, and whether new laws and customs would be substituted
for those which they understood; the seigniors dreaded losing
their feudal rights; the priests their privileges and authority.
There was a very strong element of conservatism in French Canada
running counter to the demand for political reform, and even in
Upper Canada, in the district over against Detroit, and at some
other points, there was a small minority of French settlers whose
interests, as Dorchester had pointed out, could not be overlooked.

[Sidenote: The question of land tenure.]

Almost as important and fully as pressing as the question of
political representation was that of land tenure. Was the land
system of the future, especially in Upper Canada, to be the
cumbrous feudal tenure which Louis XIV had imported from the Old
to the New World? or was it to be assimilated to the land laws
of England? Were other laws too, and was the legal procedure,
especially in commercial matters, to be on French or English lines?
Partly through confusion as to what was the law of the land, and
partly because such judicial appointments as that of Livius were
not calculated to inspire respect for the personnel of the judges,
the administration of justice in Canada at this time had been hotly
assailed, and a long local inquiry into the subject began in 1787,
but seems to have produced little or no result in consequence of
the passing of the Canada Act.

When there were so many difficulties to be faced and met, it was
fortunate that the thorny questions of language and religion were
not added to the number. The religious question had been settled
by the Quebec Act, and all that was required was to make definite
provision for the Protestant clergy, while not interfering with the
rights which had been confirmed to the Roman Catholic priesthood.
As to language, for good or for evil, no attempt seems to have
been made by the Imperial Government to substitute English for
French; the oaths prescribed by the terms of the 1791 Act were to
be administered either in English or in French as the case might
require, and the first elected Assembly of Lower Canada agreed not
to give to either tongue preference over the other.[199]

[Sidenote: Grenville’s dispatch and letter.]

[Sidenote: Arguments for a division into two provinces]

[Sidenote: based upon the grant of representative institutions.]

The terms of Grenville’s dispatch to Dorchester of the 20th
October, 1789, in which he enclosed the draft of the proposed
Act, and of the Private and Secret letter which he wrote at the
same time, are interesting as showing the grounds on which Pitt’s
Government had come to the decision to divide Canada into two
provinces and to give popular institutions in either case.[200]
Grenville wrote that the general object of the plan adopted by
the Government was to assimilate the constitution of the province
of Quebec to that of Great Britain ‘as nearly as the difference
arising from the manners of the people and from the present
situation of the province will admit’. In trying to effect this
object it was necessary to pay attention to the ‘prejudices and
habits of the French inhabitants’, and most carefully to safeguard
the civil and religious rights which had been secured to them
at or subsequently to the capitulation of the province. This
consideration had largely influenced the Government in favour of
dividing the province into two districts, still to remain under
the administration of a Governor-General, but each to have a
Lieutenant-Governor and separate Legislature. The Government,
Grenville continued, had not overlooked the reasons urged by Lord
Dorchester against a division of the province, and they felt that
great weight would have been due to his suggestions, had it been
intended to continue the existing form of administration and not
to introduce representative institutions; but, the decision having
been taken to establish a provincial legislature to be chosen
in part by the people, ‘every consideration of policy seemed to
render it desirable that the great preponderance possessed in the
upper districts by the King’s ancient subjects, and in the lower
by the French Canadians, should have their effect and operation
in separate legislatures, rather than that these two bodies of
people should be blended together in the first formation of the
new constitution, and before sufficient time has been allowed
for the removal of ancient prejudices by the habit of obedience
to the same government and by the sense of a common interest’.
Grenville’s private letter, which supplemented the public dispatch,
showed that a lesson had been learnt from the late war with the
American colonies. ‘I am persuaded,’ he wrote, ‘that it is a point
of true policy to make these concessions at a time when they may
be received as a matter of favour, and when it is in our own power
to regulate and direct the manner of applying them, rather than to
wait till they shall be extorted from us by a necessity which shall
neither leave us any discretion in the form nor any merit in the
substance of what we give.’[201] The last paragraph of the letter
gave another reason for making the proposed changes without further
delay, and that was that ‘the state of France is such as gives
us little to fear from that quarter in the present moment. The
opportunity is therefore most favourable for the adoption of such
measures as may tend to consolidate our strength, and increase our
resources, so as to enable ourselves to meet any efforts that the
most favourable event of the present troubles can ever enable her
to make’. The letter was written after the taking of the Bastille
and the outbreak of the French Revolution, when Lafayette was in
demand at home and not likely to make further excursions into
American politics; but the words implied that France was still in
the eyes of British statesmen the main source of danger to Great
Britain, especially in connexion with Canada, and that the grant
of representative institutions to British and French colonists
in Canada was likely to strengthen the hands of Great Britain as
against her most formidable rival.

[Sidenote: Policy of the British Government determined by the
results of the War of American Independence.]

[Sidenote: Proposed safeguards to the grant of popular

[Sidenote: Suggestion to give titles to members of the Upper

[Sidenote: Lord Dorchester opposed to the suggestion.]

The correspondence shows clearly that the outcome of the War of
American Independence had inclined the British Government to give
popular representation to the remaining British possessions in
North America. On the other hand there are passages in it which
should be noted, indicating that ministers were anxious at the same
time to introduce certain safeguards against democracy, which
had been wanting in the old North American colonies. Grenville’s
dispatch stated that it was intended to appoint the members of
the Upper Chamber, the Legislative Council, for life and during
good behaviour, provided that they resided in the province. It
also stated that it was the King’s intention to confer upon those
whom he nominated to the Council ‘some mark of honour, such as a
Provincial Baronetage, either personal to themselves or descendible
to their eldest sons in lineal succession’, adding that, if there
was in after years a great growth of wealth in Canada, it might be
possible at some future date to ‘raise the most considerable of
these persons to a higher degree of honour’. The object of these
regulations, he wrote, ‘is both to give to the Upper Branch of the
Legislature a greater degree of weight and consequence than was
possessed by the Councils in the old colonial governments, and to
establish in the provinces a body of men having that motive of
attachment to the existing form of government which arises from the
possession of personal or hereditary distinction.’ In writing as
above, Grenville did not state in so many words that the Government
contemplated making appointment to the Legislative council
hereditary in certain cases, but merely that it was proposed to
give some title to certain members of the Council, which title
might be made hereditary; nor was any clause dealing with the
subject included in the draft of the Bill which was sent to Lord
Dorchester. The latter, however, rightly understood that what Pitt
and his colleagues had in their minds was to give to each of the
two provinces, into which Canada was to be divided, an Upper House
which might develop into a House of Lords; and his answer was that,
while many advantages might result from a hereditary Legislative
Council distinguished by some mark of honour, if the condition of
the country was such as to support the dignity, ‘the fluctuating
state of property in these provinces would expose all hereditary
honours to fall into disregard.’ He recommended, therefore,
that for the time being the members of the Council should merely
be appointed during life, good behaviour, and residence in the

[Sidenote: Permissive clauses embodied in the Bill.]

When the Bill was introduced into Parliament, the provisions
dealing with this subject were chiefly attacked by Fox, who
expressed himself in favour of an elected council, though with a
higher property qualification than would be required in the case
of the Lower House or Assembly. The clauses were carried in a
permissive form, empowering the King, whenever he thought fit to
confer upon a British subject by Letters Patent under the Great
Seal of either of the provinces a hereditary title of honour, to
attach to the title at his discretion a hereditary right to be
summoned to the Legislative Council, such right to be forfeited
by the holder for various causes including continual absence from
the province, but to be revived in favour of the heirs. Nothing
came of this attempt to create a hereditary second chamber in the
two provinces of Upper and Lower Canada: no such aristocracy was
brought into being as when the French King and his ministers built
up the French Canadian community on a basis analogous to the old
feudal system of France; but, nevertheless, Pitt’s proposals cannot
be condemned as fantastic or unreal. They were honestly designed to
meet a defect which had already been felt in the British colonies,
and which must always be felt in new countries, the lack of a
conservative element in the Legislature and in the people, the
absence of dignity and continuity with the past, and the want of
some balance against raw and undiluted democracy which has not, as
in older lands, been trained to recognize that the body politic
consists of more than numbers.

[Sidenote: The Executive Council.]

The original draft of the Bill contained no provision for the
appointment of an Executive Council distinct from the two houses
of the Legislature. A clause to that effect was inserted by Lord
Dorchester in the amended draft which he sent back, but it did not
appear in the Act in its final form; though there is a reference
in the Act to ‘such Executive Council as shall be appointed by
His Majesty for the affairs’ of either province; and one section
appointed the governor and Executive Council in each province a
court of civil appeal. In his covering dispatch Grenville asked
Lord Dorchester to state the number and names of the persons whom
he might think proper to recommend to the King for seats on the
Executive Council, and added that it was not intended to exclude
members of the Legislative Council from the Executive Council, nor
on the other hand to select the Executive Councillors exclusively
from the Legislative Council. Grenville went on to suggest that it
might be well that some persons should be members of the Executive
Council in both of the two districts or provinces. The net result
was that the Executive was still to remain wholly independent
of the Legislature, or at any rate of the popular house in the
Legislature, and therefore the main element of self-government was
to be withheld. It was left for Lord Durham, after long years of
friction between the Executive and the Legislature, to emphasize
the necessity of giving to the popular representatives the control
of the Executive, making them thereby responsible for the good
government of the people whom they represented.

[Sidenote: Crown Lands’ funds.]

In his secret letter to Dorchester, Grenville referred to ‘the
possibility of making such reservations of land adjacent to all
future grants as may secure to the Crown a certain and improving
revenue--a measure which, if it had been adopted when the old
colonies were first settled, would have retained them to this hour
in obedience and loyalty’. Crown land funds are not yet wholly
extinct in the British colonies. For instance, in the Bahamas,
side by side with the revenue voted by the local Legislature,
there is a small fund independent of the Legislature and at the
disposal of the Crown alone; but the revenue derived from the fund
is not sufficient to pay the salaries of the Executive officers,
even if it were thought desirable to apply the money to such a
purpose. Barbados, with its time-honoured constitution, to which
Barbadians are passionately attached, is a good instance of a
colony possessing representative institutions but not responsible
government. Here there are no Crown funds, and the salaries of
the public officers, from the governor downwards, are voted
by the elected representatives, though the higher Executive
appointments, with some exceptions, are in the gift and under the
control not of the Legislature but of the Crown. In this and in
other instances, where local conditions, including the fact of
an overwhelming preponderance of coloured men over white, have
made for a compromise, a system, illogical in theory and unsound
in practice, has, by mutual forbearance, continued to work,
though not always without friction. But on any large scale, and
especially where the majority of the residents in a colony are of
European birth, the position is impossible and can only be defended
as a temporary expedient. Yet, in spite of the War of American
Independence and the lessons which it taught, the world was not in
the days of Pitt old enough for the British ministry to contemplate
colonial self-government in its full expression. Nor, in truth,
were the conditions of Canada sufficiently advanced to have made
the introduction of responsible government either practicable
or desirable. Hence Grenville cast about for an expedient which
might reduce the probability of a conflict between the Executive
and the Legislature, and sought for it in the establishment of a
fund which would belong to the Crown alone and be expended by the
Crown in paying its officers. If his policy had been consistently
carried out, and an adequate revenue, not derived from taxation,
been secured to the Crown, the result would have been greatly to
strengthen the independence of the Executive by making the salaries
of the officers independent of the vote of the Assembly. In the
end the bitterness of the struggle for popular control might have
been thereby increased, but in the meantime the petty squabble
year by year over voting supplies, and the mean withholding of pay
from this or that officer, because he happened to be unpopular at
the moment, might have disappeared. The constitutional troubles
which subsequently became so acute in Lower Canada, connected more
especially with the attempt to obtain a Civil List, were due to
the fact that the revenues of the Crown were not sufficient to
cover the expenses of the public service without the aid of votes
from the popular Assembly. It was this constant friction which had
preluded the War of Independence, and this it was which Grenville
hoped to avoid by establishing an adequate fund in the colony at
the disposal of the Crown alone.

[Sidenote: Chief Justice Smith.]

[Sidenote: His proposals for a general Legislature for the British
North American Provinces.]

But a wider and more statesmanlike safeguard against the evils
of colonial democracy in the eighteenth century was proposed
in connexion with this Canada Act, though not by the Imperial
Government. The post of Chief Justice of Canada, which Livius had
held, was now after a long interregnum filled by the appointment of
William Smith, who had been born in the state of New York, had been
Chief Justice of that state, and, coming to England with Dorchester
after the Peace of 1783, had been appointed to succeed Livius
and had accompanied the Governor-General out to Canada. Invited
by Dorchester to give his views upon the draft of the Bill which
Grenville had sent out, he embodied them in a remarkable letter
which was forwarded to the Home Government. The Bill, he thought,
greatly improved ‘the old mould of our colonial governments, for
even those called the Royal provinces, to distinguish them from
the proprietary and chartered republics of the Stuart kings, had
essential faults and the same general tendency’; but he missed
in it ‘the expected establishment to put what remains to Great
Britain of her ancient dominions in North America under one
general direction, for the united interests and safety of every
branch of the Empire’. It was when the old North American colonies
became prosperous that the evils inherent in their system produced
their full effect, and he dreaded lest the prosperity which he
predicted for the two provinces of Canada might again in time work
ruin, unless what he considered to be the one main safeguard were
provided from the beginning of constitutional government. ‘Native
as I am of one of the old provinces,’ he wrote, ‘and early in the
public service and councils, I trace the late revolt and rent to a
remoter cause than those to which it is ordinarily ascribed. The
truth is that the country had outgrown its government, and wanted
the true remedy for more than half a century before the rupture
commenced.... To expect wisdom and moderation from near a score
of petty parliaments, consisting in effect of only one of the
three necessary branches of a parliament, must, after the light
brought by experience, appear to have been a very extravagant
expectation.... An American Assembly, quiet in the weakness of
their infancy, could not but discover in their elevation to
prosperity, that themselves were the substance, and the governor
and Board of Council were shadows in their political frame. All
America was thus, at the very outset of the plantations, abandoned
to democracy. And it belonged to the administrations of the days
of our fathers to have found the cure, in the erection of a power
upon the continent itself, to control all its own little republics,
and create a partner in the legislation of the Empire, capable of
consulting their own safety and the common welfare.’

Such a power the Chief Justice outlined in ‘Proposed Additions to
the New Canada Bill for a General Government’, which he enclosed
in this noteworthy letter, prefacing them as clauses ‘to provide
still more effectually for the government, safety, and prosperity
of all His Majesty’s dominions in North America, and firmly to
unite the several branches of the Empire’. Provision was made in
them for a Legislative Council and General Assembly, which, with
the Governor-General, were to legislate for all or any of ‘His
Majesty’s dominions and the provinces whereof the same do now or
may hereafter consist in the parts of America to the southward
of Hudson’s Bay and in those seas to the Northward of the Bermuda
or Somers Islands’. So many Legislative Councillors were to be
appointed for each province by the Crown for life, subject to the
conditions attached to membership of the Legislative Council in
either of the two Canadas by the proposed Act; while the members
of the General Assembly were to be elected by the provincial
Assemblies. The Crown might appoint an Executive Council, and was
to be confirmed in full Executive authority over all and any of the
provinces, while the acts of the General Legislature were to be
subject to disallowance by the Crown, ‘and the said dominions and
all the provinces into which they may be hereafter divided shall
continue and remain to be governed by the Crown and Parliament
of Great Britain as the supreme Legislature of the whole British

[Sidenote: Chief Justice Smith’s views supported by Lord

Lord Dorchester forwarded these proposals with a few words
indicating that he was in general sympathy with the views of the
Chief Justice. He wrote of the scheme of a general government for
British North America as one ‘whereby the united exertions of His
Majesty’s North American provinces may more effectually be directed
to the general interest and to the preservation of the unity of
the Empire’. They were the proposals of a trained lawyer, of an
American colonist of standing and position who had thrown in his
lot with the mother country as against the revolting colonies,
and who stated in the letter from which passages have been quoted
above, that for more than twenty years, that is to say through all
or nearly all the years of strife with the colonies, he had held
the same view as to the radical defect in the relations between
Great Britain and her colonies and the remedy which might have been
applied at an earlier date. How far, we may ask, did Chief Justice
Smith truly diagnose the disease, if disease it was, that had
proved fatal to the old British Empire in North America? How far
did he indicate what, if the disease had been taken in time, would
or might have been an adequate remedy? and how far did he outline
the Canadian Dominion of later days and anticipate views which are
widely held at the present time as to the future of the British


  _to face page 257_

  under Constitutional Act of =1791=

  From a map of 1823, in the Colonial Office Library

  B. V. Barbishire, Oxford, 1908.

[Sidenote: Democracy in America was coeval with its colonization.]

[Sidenote: It should have been controlled from within, not from

It has been attempted to show in a previous chapter that the spirit
of independence in the American colonies, which in the end was
embodied in political severance from Great Britain, was as old as
their origin, and drew its strength from the fact that they had
always been practically independent. This was the starting-point of
the Chief Justice’s argument. ‘All America,’ in his words, ‘was, at
the very outset of the plantations, abandoned to democracy’, and
the separate colonies which at the time when he wrote, had been
federated into the United States, were ‘little Republics’. Those
little Republics, according to the ordinary colonial contention,
the mother country had neglected in the weakness of their infancy,
while she had tried to oppress them when they became prosperous and
valuable. Chief Justice Smith read history differently. According
to his view they were quiet until they had grown to strength, and
then they discovered that the ultimate power of government rested
with themselves and not with the mother country. The remedy, he
thought, should have been found not so much by giving greater power
to the Imperial Government as by establishing in America itself
an authority controlling the separate Assemblies of the separate
states, which body would have been a ‘Partner in the legislation of
the Empire’.

[Sidenote: The grounds on which Chief Justice Smith advocated a
General Legislature for British North America.]

It was no new conception that the states should have been in
some sense federated while still under the British flag. Various
governors, and men like Franklin, had proposed or contemplated some
such measure, in order to correct the weakness of the separate
provinces as against the common foe in Canada, while Canada
belonged to France, and in order to minimize the difficulties which
the Imperial Government found in dealing with a number of separate
legislatures at least as jealous of each other as they were of the
Home Government. But the Chief Justice’s retrospect was based on
somewhat different grounds. He would have had a federal legislature
in order to control the provincial legislatures. He would have
corrected democracy in America by, in a sense, carrying democracy
further. He would have nothing of the maxim _divide et impera_;
but, as democracy was born on American soil, on American soil
he would have constituted a popular authority wider, wiser, and
stronger than the bodies which represented the single provinces.
It was a very statesmanlike view. He saw that one leading cause
of the rupture between Great Britain and her colonies had been
the pettiness of the American democracies, the narrowness of
provincial politics, the intensity of democratic feeling cooped up
in the small area of a single colony as in a single Greek city,
the personal bitterness thereby produced in local politicians,
and the obvious semblance of oppression when a great country like
England was dealing with one small state and another, not with a
larger federated whole. A federal legislature would have exercised
home-grown American control over the American Assemblies; it
would have given a wider and fuller scope to American democracy,
enlarging the views, making the individual leaders greater and
wider in mind; it would have been the body with which England would
have dealt; and the dealings would have been those of ‘Partners
in the legislation of the Empire’. This was in his mind when he
earnestly recommended that the grant of constitutional privileges
to the Canadian provinces should be from the first accompanied by
the creation of a general government for British North America,
including the maritime provinces as well as Upper and Lower Canada.

[Sidenote: The General Legislature contemplated by Chief Justice
Smith would have been a subordinate Legislature.]

[Sidenote: The Chief Justice did not contemplate colonial
self-government in its fullest form.]

But, if this general government was to be a partner in the
legislation of the Empire, it was clearly to be, in the view
of the Chief Justice, a subordinate partner. The last of his
proposed additions to the Bill began in the following terms:
‘Be it further enacted ... that nothing in this Act contained
shall be interpreted to derogate from the rights and prerogatives
of the Crown for the due exercise of the Royal and Executive
authority over all or any of the said provinces, or to derogate
from the Legislative sovereignty and supremacy of the Crown and
Parliament of Great Britain.’ In other words he re-affirmed the
principle, which the old colonies had rejected, that they were
subordinated to the Parliament of the mother country as well as
to the Crown; and he showed clearly in the clause empowering the
Crown to appoint Executive Councils apart from the Legislature,
that the Executive power was to rest not in British North America
but in Great Britain. The general government of British North
America was to be a partner in the legislation of the Empire, but
not in the Executive, and even in the legislative sphere it was
to take a second place. Theoretically, and to some small extent
practically also, the Dominion Parliament is still a subordinate
partner in legislation, so far as Imperial questions are concerned;
but, since the days of Lord Durham, colonial self-government has
included control of the Executive in the colony. Chief Justice
Smith had therefore not contemplated or foreshadowed the colonial
self-government of the future.

But that he had not done so was not due to want of statesmanship.
He was rather still intent on seeking after a solution of the
problem which later thinkers and statesmen held to be insoluble.
The grant of responsible government in after times was not so
much an act of constructive wisdom as a wise recognition of what
was at the time impossible. To give to the colonial legislatures
the control of the Executive was to remove them practically from
the control of the mother country, and thereby to concede to
these communities the full right of self-government. The first
corrective of this grant was on similar lines to those which Chief
Justice Smith prescribed, viz., to federate the self-governing
communities in a given area, to place their separate legislatures
under a general legislature, and, as the legislatures controlled
the Executive, to limit the provincial executive authorities by
a general executive authority, the control being exercised from
within not from without, and small democracies being rectified by
creating from among themselves a larger and a stronger democratic
body. It still remains for the wisdom of the coming time to carry
the constructive work further; if human ingenuity can devise a
practical scheme, again to extend the principle of democratic
representation and control; and to constitute a body which, with
the Crown, shall, alike in legislation and in the sphere of the
Executive, make the great self-governing provinces in the fullest
sense partners in the Empire. In short, the point which it is here
wished to emphasize is that whereas self-government was conceded
not as a solution of the problem but as a final recognition that
the problem was insoluble, men have come to realize that after all
what was intended to be final was only a necessary preliminary to
the possible attainment of an object, which had been relegated to
the land of dreams and speculations.

[Sidenote: The Act of 1791.]

The views of the Chief Justice were not embodied in the law which
was eventually passed in 1791. Pitt had pledged himself to deal
with the Canadian question in the session of 1790, but in that
year Great Britain was on the brink of war with Spain, owing to
the seizure by the Spaniards in 1789 of British trading vessels in
Nootka Sound, an inlet of what is now known as Vancouver Island.
The matter was adjusted by the Nootka Sound Convention of 28th
October, 1790, after which Vancouver began his voyages of survey
and discovery along the Pacific Coast of North America; and, the
hands of the British Government being free, a Royal Message to the
House of Commons, dated the 25th of January, 1791, announced that
it was the King’s intention to divide the province of Quebec into
two provinces to be called Upper and Lower Canada, whenever His
Majesty was enabled by Act of Parliament to make the necessary
regulations for the government of the said provinces. The message
further recommended that a permanent appropriation of lands should
be made in the provinces for the support of a Protestant clergy.

[Sidenote: Proceedings in Parliament.]

On the 4th of March Pitt introduced the Bill. On the 23rd of
March Lymburner was heard at the bar of the House on behalf of
its opponents. He took objections, among other points, to the
division of the province, to the creation of hereditary Legislative
Councillors, to the small number of members who were to constitute
the Assemblies, and to making the Assemblies septennial instead
of triennial. The passage of the Bill through Committee in the
House of Commons was chiefly remarkable for the historic quarrel
between Burke and Fox on the subject of the French Revolution
which was dragged into the debate. There was no real opposition
to the measure, though Fox opposed the division of the province,
the hereditary councillors, the small numbers assigned to the
Assemblies, and the large provision made for the Protestant clergy.
The duration of the Assemblies was reduced from seven years to
four, and the number of members in the Assembly of Lower Canada was
raised from thirty to fifty. Thus amended the Bill was read a third
time in the House of Commons on the 18th of May, and received the
Royal Assent on the following 10th of June, one of its sections
providing that it should take effect before the 31st of December,
1791, and another that the Councils and Assemblies should be called
together before the 31st of December, 1792. It had been intended
that Dorchester should be present in London during the passing of
the Act, in order to advise the Government on points of detail, but
the dispatch informing him that the Act had already been passed
crossed him on his way to England.

[Sidenote: Omissions from the Act.]

[Sidenote: It contained no definition of the boundaries of Upper
and Lower Canada.]

The omissions from the Act are as noteworthy as its contents.
The Bill, both as presented to Parliament and as finally passed
into law, contained no description of the line of division
between Upper and Lower Canada, or of the boundaries of the two
provinces. In the draft which Grenville sent out in 1789 there was
a blank space, in which Dorchester was invited, with the help of
his surveyor-general, to insert a description of the boundaries;
but, wrote Grenville in his covering dispatch, ‘there will be a
considerable difficulty in the mode of describing the boundary
between the district of Upper Canada and the territories of the
United States, as the adhering to the line mentioned in the
treaty with America would exclude the posts which are still in
His Majesty’s possession and which the infraction of the treaty
on the part of America has induced His Majesty to retain, while,
on the other hand, the including them by express words within
the limits to be established for the province by an Act of the
British Parliament would probably excite a considerable degree of
resentment among the inhabitants of the United States.’ Grenville
accordingly suggested that the Upper Province might be described by
some general terms such as ‘All the territories, &c., possessed by
and subject to His Majesty and being to the West or South of the
boundary line of Lower Canada, except such as are included within
the present boundaries of the government of New Brunswick’.

Uncertainty as to what was or was not British territory affected
among other matters the administration of justice. It was from this
point of view that Dorchester mainly regarded it when he wrote in
reply to Grenville, ‘the attainment of a free course of justice
throughout every part of His Majesty’s possessions in the way least
likely to give umbrage to the United States appears to me very
desirable’. He returned the draft of the Bill with the blank filled
in with a precise description of the dividing line within what was
beyond dispute Canadian territory, and with the addition of some
general words including in the Canadas all lands to the southward
‘now subject to or possessed by His Majesty’, but he reported at
the same time that the Chief Justice was not satisfied that the
terms used would answer the purpose. Eventually the Government
left out the whole clause, omitting also all reference to another
difficult point which had been raised and which had affected the
administration of justice in connexion with the fisheries in the
Gulf of St. Lawrence, viz., the boundary line between Lower Canada
and New Brunswick. Parliamentary debate on a very awkward question
was thus avoided, and the Act contained no provision which could
give offence to the United States.

[Sidenote: How the boundaries were defined.]

But it was absolutely necessary to draw some dividing line, and to
give some description of the boundaries, however vague. Accordingly
the following very cautious course was taken. A ‘description of the
intended boundary between the provinces of Upper Canada and Lower
Canada’, being Lord Dorchester’s clause with the omission of the
general words referred to above, was printed as a Parliamentary
Paper,[202] while the Bill was before the House; and this line
of division was embodied in an Order in Council issued on the
following 24th of August, with the addition of the words ‘including
all territory to the Westward and Southward of the said line,
to the utmost extent of the country commonly known as Canada’.
The line of division was set out again in the new commission to
Lord Dorchester, which was issued on the 12th of September, 1791,
the two provinces of Upper and Lower Canada being specified as
comprehending all such territories to the Westward and Eastward
of the line respectively ‘as were part of our said province of

[Sidenote: Administration of Justice hardly mentioned in the Act,]

[Sidenote: Nor did it contain any definition of the respective
powers of the two Chambers.]

On the important subject of administration of justice the Act was
almost silent. One section only had reference to it, constituting
the governor or lieutenant-governor and Executive Council in
either province a court of appeal in civil matters, as had been
the case in the undivided province. Nor was any attempt made to
define the powers of the Legislative Council and Assembly in
relation to each other; but, in sending out the Act, Dundas, who
had succeeded Grenville, reminded Dorchester of ‘the disputes and
disagreements which have at times taken place between the Councils
and Assemblies of the different colonies respecting the right
claimed by the latter that all Bills whatsoever for granting money
should originate with them’, and he laid down in general terms that
the principle, ‘as far as it relates to any question of imposing
burthens upon the subject, is so consistent with the spirit of our
constitution that it ought not to be resisted’.

[Sidenote: Contents of the Act.]

Out of the fifty sections which composed the Act, no less than
thirty-two related to the constitution and legislative powers of
the Councils and Assemblies in the two provinces. In Upper Canada
the Legislative Council was to consist of not less than seven
members, and the Assembly of not less than sixteen. In Lower
Canada the minimum fixed for the Council was fifteen, and for the
Assembly fifty. The electoral qualification was, in the country
districts, ownership of real property to the net annual value of
forty shillings, and in the towns of £5, or in the alternative in
the latter case a rental qualification of £10 per annum.

[Sidenote: Provision for Protestant clergy.]

Of the remaining sections eight related to the endowment and
maintenance of Protestant clergy and to providing parsonages
and rectories for the Church of England. The wording of these
sections, and the system of clergy reserves which they introduced,
proved a fruitful source of controversy in after years. The Act
continued the existing system by which Roman Catholics paid their
dues to the Roman Catholic Church, while the tithes on lands
held by Protestants were applied to the support of a Protestant
clergy. It then went on, in accordance with the terms of the Royal
Message to the House of Commons, to provide that there should be
a permanent appropriation of Crown lands for the maintenance and
support of a Protestant clergy, bearing a due proportion to the
amount of Crown lands which had already been granted for other
purposes, and that all future grants of Crown land should be
accompanied by an appropriation, for the same object of maintaining
a Protestant clergy, of land equal in value to one-seventh of the
amount which was granted for other purposes. The intention was
that the establishment and endowment of Protestant clergy should
proceed _pari passu_ with the alienation of lands for settlement,
so that each township or parish in either province should have its
Protestant minister. So far the general term Protestant was used,
but provisions followed authorizing the erection and endowment of
parsonages or rectories in every parish or township ‘according to
the Establishment of the Church of England’, the incumbents to
be ministers of the Church of England, and to be subject to the
ecclesiastical authority of the Church of England bishop. It was
also enacted that, while these provisions relating to religion
and to Crown lands might be varied by Acts of the provincial
legislatures, before any such Acts received the Royal Assent, they
were to be laid before the Imperial Parliament, and, if either
House presented an Address to the King praying that His assent
should be withheld, such assent could not be given. The Act, though
obscurely worded, in effect established and endowed the Church
of England in both provinces alike, while confirming the rights
which had already been conceded to the Roman Catholic Church. The
provision made for the Church of England was, at any rate on paper,
very ample, inasmuch as, while Crown lands were being assigned for
its maintenance, the liability of Protestant land-owners to pay
tithes was not abolished. Dundas, however, in his dispatch which
enclosed copies of the Act, intimated to the governor that it was
not desired permanently to continue the burden of the tithe, if
the land-owners would in lieu subscribe to a fund for clearing the
reserve lands and building the parsonage houses. Fox attacked these
sections in the Act, and he also criticized a suggestion which Pitt
made that a Church of England bishop might be given a seat in the
Legislative Council.

[Sidenote: The first Church of England bishops in British North

It may be noted that the Act specifically mentioned the Bishop of
Nova Scotia as the spiritual authority for the time being over
such ministers of the Church of England as might be appointed to
the two Canadas. The Bishopric of Nova Scotia dated from 1787, and
was the first, and in 1791 the only, Church of England bishopric
in British North America, the Bishop--Bishop Inglis, having been
a Loyalist clergyman in the city of New York. In 1793 a separate
Bishop of Quebec was appointed, and in 1799 the Secretary of State
authorized the building of a metropolitan church at Quebec, which
was completed for consecration in 1804, and at the centenary of
which in 1904 the Archbishop of Canterbury was present. There
were indications at this time that the Protestants in Canada,
most of whom were not members of the Church of England, might be
inclined to unite within it, and it was hoped that the building and
endowment of a metropolitan church might tend to such union and to
placing the Church of England in the position of the Established
Church of Canada.

[Sidenote: Provisions relating to land tenure, and to taxation by
the Imperial Parliament.]

The provisions in the Act which related to religion were followed
by three very important sections dealing with land tenure. The main
grievance of the settlers in Upper Canada was met by providing that
land grants should there be made on the English system of free and
common soccage. The same system was made optional in Lower Canada
at the will of the grantee, but in that province the seigniors
were not finally abolished until the year 1854. In 1778 an Act
of Parliament had been passed[203]--too late in the day--which
abolished the tea duty in the North American colonies, and laid
down that no duty should in future be imposed by the British
Parliament on any colony in North America or the West Indies for
revenue purposes, but only for the regulation of commerce, and on
the understanding that the net produce of such duties should be at
the disposal of the colonial legislatures. Similar provisions were
inserted in the Canada Act of 1791, and, in introducing the Bill,
Pitt explained that, ‘in order to prevent any such dispute as had
been the cause of separating the thirteen states from the mother
country, it was provided that the British Parliament should impose
no taxes but such as were necessary for the regulation of trade and
commerce; and, to guard against the abuse of this power, such taxes
were to be levied and to be disposed by the Legislature of each

Thus Canada was endowed with representative institutions, and
entered on the second stage in its history as a British possession.
It was divided into an English province and a French province, in
order as far as possible to prevent friction between two races not
yet accustomed to each other. For the English province English
land tenure was made the law of the land, in the French province
it was only made optional. Taxation of members of one religion for
the upkeep of another found no place in the Act, nor did taxation
of a colony by the mother country for the purposes of Imperial
revenue. The popular representatives were in the main given control
of the moneys raised from taxes: and no doubt was left as to who
had the keeping of the people’s purse.[204] On the other hand
the Executive power was left with the Crown, and the waste lands
provided possibilities of a revenue by which the government might
be supported apart from the taxes, and by which an Established
Church might be maintained apart from the tithes. The Imperial
Parliament too retained the power of regulating commerce, while
making no money out of the colony by any commercial regulations.
It was in short a prudent and tolerant half-way Act, wise and
practical in view of the times and the local conditions, and it
was evidence that England and Englishmen had learnt good and not
evil from the War of American Independence. A study of Canadian
history, with special reference to the Quebec Act of 1774 and the
Canada Act of 1791, and the results which flowed from them, leads
to the conclusion that in either case the British Government of
the day tried most honestly and most anxiously to deal with a very
complicated problem on its merits; that every effort was made
by the ministers of the Crown to mete out fair and considerate
treatment to the majority of the resident population in Canada; and
that those who framed and carried the laws guided themselves by
living facts rather than by _a priori_ reasoning. But it is also
impossible to resist the conclusion that at almost any time from
1783 onwards, until the Canadian Dominion came into being, there
was little to choose between the arguments for retaining a single
province, and those for constituting two provinces. In any case it
was inevitable that the provisions of the Act of 1791 should give
rise to new complications of various kinds; and apart from specific
questions, constitutional and otherwise, there were two very
practical difficulties which necessarily arose from the division of
the province of Quebec. The first was an Executive difficulty, of
which more will be said presently. From the date of the Act there
was increasingly divided authority in the Canadas. The second was a
financial difficulty arising from geographical conditions. One of
the two provinces had the keeping of the other, so far as regarded
access from and to the sea.

[Sidenote: Financial difficulties between the two provinces.]

As the line of division was drawn, Upper Canada, like the Transvaal
at the present day, was compelled to import all sea-borne articles
through territory under the administration of another government,
either through Lower Canada or through the United States. The
St. Lawrence being the high road of import and export, Lower
Canada commanded the trade of Upper Canada. Therefore, in order
to collect a customs revenue, it was necessary for the Upper
Province either to establish customs houses on the frontier of
Lower Canada--a measure which would probably have been ineffective
and would certainly have involved much inconvenience and expense,
or to come to some arrangement whereby a certain proportion of
the duties levied at Quebec, which was the port of entry of Lower
Canada, would be handed over to the administration of the Upper
Province. The latter course was taken, and in 1795, a provisional
arrangement was made, by which the proportion was fixed for the
time being at one-eighth. The record of what followed is a record
of perpetual friction, of commissions and temporary arrangements
confirmed by provincial Acts. It was suggested that the boundaries
of the provinces should be altered, and that Montreal should be
included in and be made the port of entry of Upper Canada, but
the suggestion was never carried into effect. As the population
of Upper Canada grew, the discontent increased. In 1818 one-fifth
of the duties was temporarily assigned to Upper Canada. Then a
complete deadlock ensued, which ended with the Imperial Canada
Trade Act of 1822. By arbitration under the terms of that Act the
proportion which Upper Canada was to receive was in 1824 raised to
one-fourth; and when Lord Durham reported, it was about two-fifths.
In his report Lord Durham referred to the matter as ‘a source of
great and increasing disputes’, which only came to an end when the
two provinces were once more united under the Imperial Act of 1840.

[Sidenote: The position in Canada when the new Act came into force.]

The Canada Act took effect on the 26th of December, 1791. Dorchester
was then in England, and Sir Alured Clarke, Lieutenant-Governor of
the province of Quebec under the old system and Commander of the
Forces in British North America, was acting for him. Under the new
Act Clarke was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Lower Canada, while
the Lieutenant-Governorship of Upper Canada was conferred upon
Colonel Simcoe, both officers being subordinate to Dorchester as
Governor-in-Chief. Dorchester had left Canada on the 18th of August,
1791, and did not return till the 24th of September, 1793. His
prolonged absence was unfortunate in more ways than one. Technical
difficulties arose owing to the absence of the Governor-in-Chief,
for, as soon as the new Act came into force, Clarke’s authority was
confined by his commission to Lower Canada. The practical effect too
was that Simcoe started on his new charge with a free hand and found
it irksome, when Dorchester returned, to take a second place. Added
to this were the complications caused by the French declaration of
war against Great Britain in February, 1793, the hostilities between
the United States and the Indian tribes on the border land of
Canada, and the persistent and increasing bitterness in the United
States against Great Britain, caused partly by sympathy with the
French Revolution and the intrigues of French agents, and partly by
the British retention of the frontier forts and supposed British
sympathy with the Indians.

However, the political arrangements in Canada were carried into
effect without any appreciable friction. Clarke, a man of judgement
and discretion, did not hurry matters in Lower Canada. He divided
the province into electoral districts, and summoned the Legislature
for its first session at Quebec on the 17th of December, 1792,
when the Act had been in force for nearly a year. The session then
lasted into May. Simcoe arrived at Quebec on the 11th of November,
1791; but, as no Executive Council had yet been constituted for
Upper Canada, he could not be sworn in as Lieutenant-Governor
and take up his duties until the following midsummer, Upper
Canada being in the meantime left without any governor or
lieutenant-governor. In July, 1792, he issued a proclamation at
Kingston, dividing Upper Canada into districts, and on the 17th of
September the new Legislature met for the first time at Newark, on
the Canadian side of the Niagara river, near where that river flows
into Lake Ontario. The Lieutenant-Governor fixed his head quarters
at ‘Navy Hall’, a building constructed in the late war for the use
of the officers of the naval department on Lake Ontario. It stood
by the water’s edge, nearly a mile higher up the river than Newark;
and on the bank above, in the war of 1812, covering the buildings
below, stood the historic Fort George. The session was a short
one, closing on the 15th of October, but important work was done.
English law and procedure, and trial by jury, were established,
while proposals for taxation and the state of the marriage law gave
a field for difference of opinion and debate. When the session was
over, Simcoe reported that he found the members of the Assembly
‘active and zealous for particular measures, which were soon shown
to be improper or futile’, and the Council ‘cautious and moderate,
a valuable check upon precipitate measures’.[205]

[Sidenote: Simcoe.]

John Graves Simcoe, the first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada,
was the son of a naval officer who died when serving under Admiral
Saunders in the fleet which helped to take Quebec. The son, who
derived his second name from another sailor, his godfather Admiral
Graves, was born in 1752. He was born in Northumberland, but after
his father’s death, his mother made her home in Devonshire. He was
educated at Exeter Grammar School, at Eton, and at Merton College,
Oxford, and he joined the army in 1771, when he was nineteen years
old. He served with much distinction in the War of Independence, in
which he commanded a Loyalist Corps, known as the Queen’s Rangers.
When the war ended, he held the rank of lieutenant-colonel.
After his return to England in bad health he spent some years at
his family home in Devonshire, he married, and in 1790 became a
member of Parliament, sitting for the borough of St. Mawes in
Cornwall. His Parliamentary career was very short, for in 1791,
before he was yet forty years of age, Pitt appointed him to be
Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada. He left Canada in 1796, and
soon after he reached England he was sent out as Governor to St.
Domingo. After a few months in the island, the state of his health
compelled him to come home. He became a lieutenant-general, and was
appointed to be Commander-in-Chief in India in succession to Lord
Lake, but he never took up the appointment. Prior to going out he
was sent to Lisbon in 1806 on a special mission, was taken ill, and
brought home to die. He died at Exeter in October, 1806. There is a
monument to him by Flaxman in Exeter Cathedral[206], and in Canada
his name is borne by Lake Simcoe.

He was not only a good soldier, but a capable, vigorous,
public-spirited man, well suited in many ways to be the pioneer
governor of a new province. He was strong on questions of military
defence and a great road maker. He made Yonge Street, the road from
Toronto north to Lake Simcoe, called after Sir George Yonge then
Secretary of State for War and afterwards for a short time Governor
of the Cape; and he made Dundas Street, christened after the
Secretary of State for the Colonies, which then started from the
point on Lake Ontario where the city of Hamilton now stands and,
running west, connected with the river Thames.

[Sidenote: York or Toronto.]

[Sidenote: Simcoe’s views as to the seat of government for Upper

Toronto owed much to him, but not under its present name. The name
Toronto had been borne in old times by Lake Simcoe, and on the
site of the present city of Toronto the French had in 1749[207]
built a fort, named Fort Rouillé. The place had come to be known
as Toronto, but in 1792[208] the new name of York came into vogue,
and in the autumn of the following year, 1793, Simcoe reported
that that name had been officially adopted ‘with due celebrity’,
in honour of the successful storming of the French camp at Famars
near Valenciennes by the force under the command of the Duke of
York on the 23rd of May, 1793. It was not until 1834, when the
city was incorporated, that the old name of Toronto was restored.
Simcoe wrote of Toronto Harbour as ‘the proper naval arsenal of
Lake Ontario’; but it was not here that he would have placed the
seat of government. Strongly convinced of the necessity of opening
communication between Lake Ontario and the upper lakes, without
making the long round by the waters of Lake Erie and the Straits
of Detroit, in 1793 he explored the peninsula between the three
lakes of Ontario, Erie and Huron; and on a river, running westward
into Lake St. Clair, known at that date as the La Tranche river and
afterwards as the Thames[209], a place which was christened London
and where there is now a city with 40,000 inhabitants, seemed to
him to be the most suitable site for the political centre of Upper
Canada. His view was that the seat of government should be inland,
presumably because it would be more central in respect to the three
lakes, and also because it would be further removed from the danger
of raids from the neighbouring territory of the then unfriendly
republic. It is interesting to note that, in a dispatch expressing
an opinion to the above effect, Simcoe added that sooner or later
the Canadas might be divided into three instead of two provinces
and Montreal be made the centre of an intermediate government.
Dorchester held, as against Simcoe, that Toronto should be the seat
of government, and his view prevailed. The Legislature of Upper
Canada met at Newark for the last time in May, 1796, shortly before
the fort of Niagara on the opposite side of the river was handed
over to the Americans,[210] and from 1797 onwards, Simcoe having
left in the meanwhile, it met at Toronto.

[Sidenote: Friction between Dorchester and Simcoe.]

Before Dorchester returned to take up again the duties of
Governor-in-Chief, Simcoe had formed definite views as to the
civil administration and the military defence of Upper Canada;
and it is not surprising that the keen, active-minded soldier and
administrator, who was little more than forty years of age, did
not on all points see eye to eye with the veteran governor now
verging on seventy; or that, when he differed, he was not inclined
to subordinate his opinions to those of Dorchester. Thus we find
Dorchester sending home correspondence with Simcoe with the blunt
remark that the enclosures turned on the question whether he was to
receive orders from Simcoe or Simcoe from him. In his long official
career Dorchester had been much tried. At the time of the War of
Independence, he had been badly treated by his employers in England
and had felt to the full the mischief and inconvenience caused
when those employers divided their confidence and communicated
with one subordinate officer and another, thereby encouraging
disloyalty and intrigue. The correspondence of these later years
points to the conclusion that the iron had entered into his soul
and that, with the weariness of age growing upon him, he had become
somewhat querulous, unduly apprehensive of loss of authority, and
over-sensitive to difference of opinion. There seems to have been
no love lost between him and Dundas, while the latter was Secretary
of State, but all through the last stage of his career the key-note
was dread of divided authority.

[Sidenote: Dorchester’s views in favour of a Central Legislature
and a strong Executive.]

We have seen that he had not favoured the policy of dividing the
province of Quebec into two provinces, and that he had shown
sympathy with Chief Justice Smith’s proposals for establishing a
general government for British North America. In the summer of
1793, after the Canada Act had come into force but while he was
still in England on leave, he raised again this question of a
central government for all the King’s provinces in British North
America, receiving an answer from Dundas to the effect that the
measure would require a new Act of Parliament and that in Dundas’
opinion it would not add to the real strength or happiness of the
different provinces. After his return to Canada Dorchester took up
his text again, laying stress on the necessity of welding together
the different provinces. In existing conditions he saw a revival
of the system which had caused rebellion and the dismemberment
of the Empire. While the United States were pursuing a policy
of consolidation, the aim of the King’s Government seemed to be
to divide and sub-divide and form independent governments. All
power, he continued, was withdrawn from the Governor-General, and
instructions were sent directly from home to inferior officers,
so that the intermediate authority was virtually superseded.
Everything was favourable to insubordination, and the fruits of
it might be expected at an early season. This was in February
1795, when the governor was smarting under what he considered
to be unjust censure by the Home Government; and, though he
remained in Canada for some time longer, he continued to show,
by the tone of his dispatches, that he entirely disapproved of
the existing régime. In November, 1795, he wrote of ‘all command,
civil and military, being disorganized and without remedy’; in
the following May he wrote that ‘this unnatural disorder in our
political constitution, which alienates every servant of the Crown
from whoever administers the King’s Government, leaving only an
alternative still more dangerous, that of offending the mass of
the people, cannot fail to enervate all the powers of the British
Empire on this Continent’; and in June he wrote, that the old
colonial system was being strengthened with ruinous consequences.

[Sidenote: Relations of the Governor-in-Chief and

It is not easy to decide how much ground there was for his
complaints. If the situation was difficult, the difficulty had
partly arisen from the bad custom, of which he had availed
himself, of allowing governors and other holders of posts in the
colonies to remain for an inordinate time at home while still
retaining office and receiving the pay attaching to it. At the
very time when he was most wanted in Canada to carry out the
division of the two provinces, and to make the central authority
of the Governor-in-Chief strongly felt from the first, he had
remained away for fully two years, thereby allowing the new
system to come into being and to make some progress before there
was any Governor-in-Chief on the spot. Coming out to Canada he
found the Lieutenant-Governors corresponding direct with the Home
Government, and it was hardly reasonable to insist that they
should be debarred from doing so, provided that, as the Duke of
Portland, who succeeded Dundas, pointed out, the Governor-in-Chief
was supplied with copies of the correspondence. An analogous case
is that of Australia at the present day. The governors of the
separate states correspond directly with the Colonial Office,
sending copies of important dispatches to the Governor-General
of the Commonwealth. Had Dorchester not been absent, when Simcoe
took up his appointment in Upper Canada, and had his mind not
been prejudiced by bitter memories of the days of Germain, it is
possible that friction might not have arisen. On the other hand
the limits of the authority of the Governor-in-Chief and of the
Lieutenant-Governors in the British North American provinces seem
not to have been clearly defined, with the result that, as years
went on, the Governor-in-Chief gradually became little more than
Governor of Lower Canada, and the Lieutenant-Governor of Upper
Canada became, in civil matters, governor of that province in all
but the name. When Lord Dalhousie was appointed Governor-in-Chief,
Sir Peregrine Maitland, then Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada,
asked the Secretary of State for a ruling on the subject; and Lord
Bathurst’s answer, dated the 9th of February, 1821, was that ‘So
long as the Governor-in-Chief is not resident within the province
of Upper Canada, and does not take the oaths of office in Upper
Canada, he has no control whatever over any part of the civil
administration, nor are you bound to comply with his directions
or to communicate with him on any act of your civil government.
To His Majesty you are alone responsible for the conduct of the
civil administration’. If, on the other hand, the Governor-in-Chief
were to take up his residence in Upper Canada and be sworn into
office, the Secretary of State laid down that the functions of the
Lieutenant-Governor would be entirely suspended. By this date,
therefore, the two appointments had become exclusive of each other.
At a later date, when Lord Durham was going out to Canada, Lord
Glenelg, then Secretary of State, emphasized still more strongly
the independence of the Lieutenant-Governors. When sending Lord
Durham his commission, he wrote on the 3rd of April, 1838, of
the position which the Governor-General or Governor-in-Chief had
up to that date held in regard to the other provinces. ‘With the
title of Governor-General, he has, in fact, been Governor of
the province of Lower Canada only, and has been prohibited from
resorting to any of the other provinces, lest his presence should
supersede the authority of the respective Lieutenant-Governors,
to whose administration they have been confided.... Hitherto it
has not been the practice to carry on official correspondence
between the Governor-General and any of the Lieutenant-Governors.
The Governor-General and the Lieutenant-Governors have severally
conducted their separate administrations as separate and
independent authorities, addressing all their communications on
public affairs to the head of this department, and receiving from
the Secretary of State alone instructions for their guidance.’
The result of dividing Canada into two provinces was necessarily
to create two governors. One was intended to be subordinate
to the other, but the subordination gradually became nominal
only. The political problems of Lower Canada were so difficult
and so important as to absorb the full time and attention of
the Governor-in-Chief; no railways or telegraphs facilitated
communication; and the British North American provinces, instead of
being controlled by a central executive authority, for good or evil
went their own way.

[Sidenote: Dorchester’s opposition to fees and perquisites.]

It has been seen that during Dorchester’s first government, he
had experienced no little difficulty in dealing with Livius, the
contumacious Chief Justice of Quebec. In the earlier period of his
second government, he had, on the contrary, a wise and loyal fellow
worker in Chief Justice Smith. Soon after the governor returned to
Canada for the last time, towards the end of 1793, Smith died and
his place was taken by Osgoode, the Chief Justice of Upper Canada,
who did not enjoy Dorchester’s confidence to the same extent as his
predecessor. But Osgoode’s appointment was made the occasion for
putting into practice a reform which Dorchester, to his lasting
honour, had urgently pressed upon the notice of the Imperial
Government, the abolition of fees and perquisites, and the payment
of judges and other public officers by adequate salaries alone.
Dorchester himself, when he first took up the government of Canada
in 1766, had refused to take the fees to which he was legally
entitled; and in the last years of his Canadian service he wrote on
this subject in no measured terms. In a dispatch dated the last day
of December, 1793, and written in connexion with the vacant chief
justiceship, he referred to the system of fees and perquisites
as one which ‘alienates every servant of the Crown from whoever
administers the King’s Government. This policy I consider as coeval
with His Majesty’s Governments in North America, and the cause
of their destruction. As its object was not public but private
advantage, so this principle has been pursued with diligence,
extending itself unnoticed, till all authority and influence of
government on this continent was overcome, and the governors
reduced almost to mere corresponding agents, unable to resist the
pecuniary speculations of gentlemen in office, their connexions
and associates’. He added that whatever tended to enfeeble the
Executive power in British North America tended to sever it for
ever from the Crown of Great Britain. Subsequent dispatches were
to the same effect. In June, 1795, he reported having disallowed
certain small claims by subordinate officers, expressed regret that
gentlemen in Britain should look to America for a reward for their
services, and laid down that officers should be paid sufficient
salaries to place them above pecuniary speculations in the
colonies. The next month he wrote in the same strain with reference
to the Customs officials and the collection of revenue: and a year
later he again insisted that such officers should not receive
indirect emoluments, that the local administration should not be
warped and made subservient to fees, profits, perquisites ‘and all
their dirty train’, and that the national interests should not
be sacrificed to gentlemen who possessed or were looking out for
good places for themselves and their connexions. Running through
the dispatches is insistence on the principle that the Executive
must be strong, that it can be strong only if the officers are
duly subordinate to the representative of the Crown, that loyal
subordination can only be produced by paying proper salaries and
abolishing perquisites, and that the loss of the old North American
colonies had been largely due to abuses which had lowered the
dignity and the authority of the Crown, alienating from it the
confidence and the affections of the people.

[Sidenote: Dorchester criticized by Dundas for plain speaking as to
the Americans.]

[Sidenote: War between the Americans and the Indians.]

The censure, if censure it can be called, which Dundas had
passed on Dorchester, and which caused the latter to tender his
resignation, was connected with the attitude which Dorchester felt
it necessary to take up towards the United States after his return
to Canada in the autumn of 1793. The Treaty of 1783 had settled, or
purported to settle, the boundaries of Canada as against the United
States, but it had not settled the boundaries of the United States
as against the Indians, and the Indians manfully maintained their
right to the territory north of the Ohio river. In November, 1791,
an American force under General St. Clair, who had commanded at
Ticonderoga at the time of Burgoyne’s advance, was badly defeated
in the Miami country to the south-west of Lake Erie. The British
Government and the Canadian authorities made various efforts to
mediate between the contending parties, but the government of the
United States was not disposed to accept such mediation, though
British officers were asked to be present at conferences which were
held in the summer of 1793 between representatives of the various
Indian tribes and commissioners of the United States. No result
came from these negotiations, the Indians demanding that the Ohio
should be the boundary, the Americans definitely refusing to comply
with the demand, and in the following year fighting began again.

[Sidenote: American sympathy with France.]

[Sidenote: Genet, French minister to the United States.]

The French Revolution had for some years been gathering strength.
In the autumn of 1792 France had been declared a Republic; and the
execution of the King on the 21st of January, 1793, was followed
on the 1st of February by a declaration of war against Great
Britain. The French also declared war against Spain, the power
which now held New Orleans and Louisiana west of the Mississippi.
The position in North America became at once very critical and
very dangerous. Popular feeling in the United States ran strongly
in favour of France. The Republicans of the New World were
enthusiastic for the people who had enabled them to gain their
independence and who, having put an end to monarchy in France,
were preparing to insist upon the adoption of a Republican system
elsewhere in Europe. Sympathy with France in the United States
implied enmity to England, and Thomas Jefferson, Washington’s
Secretary of State, was pronounced on the side of the French
alliance, representing the views of the Republican party as
opposed to the Federalists, the latter being headed by Alexander
Hamilton and Jay and supported by the unrivalled influence of
Washington himself. On the 22nd of April, 1793, Washington--with
popular feeling strongly against him in the matter--issued a
declaration of neutrality. At the same time, Genet, sent from
France as representative of the new Republic, reached Charleston.
With complete disregard of international law, which, when the
French Revolution was at its height, had largely lost its meaning,
Genet proceeded to make the United States a base for war against
Great Britain and Spain, fitting out privateers, sending agents
to Canada, planning a campaign against Louisiana. For some months
the popularity of his country and his cause, the unpopularity of
Great Britain, and the sympathy which Jefferson the Secretary of
State had with his views, enabled him, in Washington’s words, to
set the acts of the American Government at defiance with impunity
and to threaten the Executive with an appeal to the people; but
gradually Washington’s firmness and the Frenchman’s own outrageous
pretensions had due effect; and, before a year had passed, Genet
was, early in 1794, on the demand of the American Government,
replaced by another minister.

[Sidenote: Danger of war between Great Britain and the United

[Sidenote: Dorchester’s views.]

It was while the bitterness of feeling against England in the
United States was most intense that Dorchester returned to Canada.
St. Clair had been replaced in command on the Ohio frontier by
General Anthony Wayne, a soldier who had proved his worth in
the War of Independence, a man of strong words and actions, and
war seemed to be imminent. ‘Soon after my return to America,’
Dorchester wrote in the following year, ‘I perceived a very
different spirit’ (from that of the British Government) ‘animate
the United States, much heat and enmity, extraordinary exertions,
some open some covert, to inflame the passions of the people, all
things moving as by French impulse rapidly towards hostilities,
and the King’s Government of Lower Canada in danger of being
overwhelmed, so that I considered a rupture as inevitable.’ Yet,
as he said, he knew well that the British Government were anxious
to maintain friendship and peace with the United States; there
was no private inclination of his own to the contrary; nor, if
there was, had he any force in Canada to back his views. In a
previous dispatch, which was dated the 25th of October, 1793,
almost immediately after his return, after having pointed out the
likelihood of war and the necessity for reinforcements, he had
written, ‘The interests of the King’s American dominions require
peace, and I think the interests of the States require it still
more, though their conduct both to us and the Indians has created
many difficulties.’ He looked, he added, to a great future for the
States and for the white race generally in North America, but not
through war. ‘Not war, but a pure and impartial administration of
justice under a mild, firm and wise government will establish the
most powerful and wealthy people.’

[Sidenote: His firm attitude towards the United States.]

[Sidenote: Protest of the American Government against Dorchester.]

[Sidenote: Dorchester’s resignation.]

Dorchester then was wholly averse to war; but being on the spot
he saw more clearly than ministers in England that, the people of
the United States being minded for war, want of preparation and
appearance of timidity on the British side were likely to bring it
on, that plain speaking and firm action might have a good effect.
Simcoe, who was responsible under him for the frontier of Upper
Canada, seems to have been of the same mind. Accordingly, in
replying to two Indian deputations, one in the autumn of 1793, the
other on the 10th of February, 1794, Dorchester took occasion to
speak out, condemning the aggression of the United States which,
he said, had nearly exhausted the patience of Great Britain, and
referring to war between the two nations as imminent. At the same
time, as a counterblast to Wayne’s advance in the Ohio territories,
and as an outpost in the case of a movement against Detroit, he
ordered a fort to be constructed and garrisoned on what were called
the Miami rapids on the Maumee river, south-west of Lake Erie,
near the site where a fort had been constructed and held during
the War of Independence. Copies, or what purported to be copies,
of the governor’s speeches, and reports of his action, reached the
American Government in due course, and Randolph, who had succeeded
Jefferson, protested, characterizing them as ‘hostility itself’.
In view of this protest Dundas, in July, 1794, by which time Jay,
Washington’s emissary of peace, had arrived in England, addressed
a mild remonstrance to Dorchester, expressing fear that what had
been said and done might rather provoke hostilities than prevent
them; and upon receipt of this dispatch in the following September
Dorchester tendered his resignation. The Duke of Portland, who
succeeded Dundas, was at pains to retain the old governor’s
services, but, though nearly two years intervened before Dorchester
actually left Canada, the correspondence which passed in the
interval showed his anxiety to be gone, now that the danger of war
between Great Britain and the United States had for the moment
passed away.

[Sidenote: Jay’s treaty signed.]

[Sidenote: The border forts transferred to the United States in

The most critical time was in the year 1794. In America the forces
which make for war were strongly in evidence. On the other side of
the Atlantic--to the lasting credit of both the British and the
American Governments--representatives of the two countries were
working hard for peace. In the spring of 1794 Washington nominated
John Jay, Chief Justice of the United States, to be a special
envoy to Great Britain with a view to settling, if possible, the
outstanding points of dispute between the two nations. The Senate
confirmed the nomination, and in June Jay reached England and
entered into negotiations with Lord Grenville. The result was that
on the 19th of November following Jay and Grenville signed the
well-known treaty which is associated with the American statesman’s
name, and which provided for an immediate or prospective settlement
of many if not of most of the questions at issue. The treaty
was bitterly attacked in the United States by the Republican
party and those who sympathized with France. Jay, Hamilton, even
Washington himself were denounced and reviled; but the government
had sufficient backing in the country to procure the assent of
the Senate to the terms of the treaty, with the exception of
one article, in the session of 1795; Washington ratified it in
August, 1795; and in the following year the measures for carrying
it into effect were voted by a small majority in the House of
Representatives. Under its provisions, in that same year, 1796, the
border forts were handed over to the United States.

[Sidenote: Wayne defeats the Indians.]

Meanwhile the war between the Americans and Indians ran the normal
course of such wars. The white men suffered some reverses; but,
with a strong body of regular troops supplemented by Kentucky
militia, and with the help of fortified posts constructed along
the line of advance, Wayne by August, 1794, had worn down the
Indians and menaced the British fort on the Maumee river, to whose
commandant, Major Campbell, he addressed threatening letters.
On either side, however, the orders were to abstain from blows,
while Jay and Grenville were negotiating, and the conclusion of
the treaty ensured the abandonment by the British troops of this
outpost of Detroit as well as of Detroit itself. Next year, on the
3rd of August, 1795, Wayne concluded the Treaty of Greenville with
the Western Indians. Under its terms the Americans advanced their
boundary beyond the Ohio, but still left to the Indians on the
south of Lake Erie and in the peninsula of Michigan lands of which
the treaty definitely recognized them to be owners, and where they
were to dwell under the protection of the United States.

[Sidenote: Dorchester and Simcoe leave Canada.]

In September, 1795, the Duke of Portland wrote to Lord
Dorchester telling him that General Prescott would be appointed
Lieutenant-Governor of Lower Canada and would leave for Canada in
the spring, so that Dorchester could suit his own convenience as
to returning to England. At the same time the Secretary of State
repeated his regret that Dorchester had determined to retire.
Prescott arrived on the 18th of June, 1796, and on the 9th of July
Dorchester embarked for England. His ship was wrecked on the shore
of Anticosti island, but he reached England in safety in September,
and died in a good old age in the autumn of 1808. Simcoe, in the
meantime, had, in December, 1795, applied for leave of absence on
account of ill health, suggesting that Peter Russell, the senior
councillor, should in his absence administer the government of
Upper Canada, and tendering his resignation if the leave could not
be granted. His wish was complied with, and, after being detained
for some time at Quebec, he came back with the returning ships
of the autumn convoy and was in London in 1796, two months after
Dorchester’s arrival. Canada saw him no more, and, as has been
told, he died at a comparatively early age, outlived by the old
Governor-in-Chief whose control had fretted his impetuous spirit.

[Sidenote: Lord Dorchester’s services to Great Britain and Canada.]

In the colonial history of Great Britain Lord Dorchester’s place is
or ought to be second to none. Men should be measured by the times
in which they live, the lands in which they serve, the conditions
which they are called upon to face. It did not fall to Carleton’s
lot to be borne on the flowing tide of British victories, to be
a leader in successful wars, to be remembered as one who struck
down England’s foes and added provinces to her empire. Nor was it
given to him to bear rule in times of settled peace, when wisdom
and statesmanship are called on to gather in and store the harvest,
to consolidate, to develop, to reform, to enrich, to give security
and beneficent measures to trusting and expectant multitudes
of the human race. Providence set the span of his active life
while his country’s fortunes were running out on the ebb-tide of
adversity; his public services were coincident with Great Britain’s
depression; and the part of the Empire in which he served was the
scene of her defeats. No men of good English type cheered and
supported him at home, the patriotism which inspired his life was
unknown alike to the ministers who preceded William Pitt and to an
Opposition which, as embodied in Fox, lost all sense of proportion,
and almost all sense of duty, or principle. Yet he held Quebec and
saved Canada. Men turned to him to gather up the fragments after
the War of Independence; and he reconciled French Canada to British
rule and held the balance even between conflicting races and
creeds. Open warfare, political intrigue, in every form and from
every quarter, from without and from within, beset his path. Those
he served and those by whom he was served were in turn disloyal
to him. Colonial questions, such as in times of profound peace
and goodwill, and after generations of experience, are yet almost
insoluble, confronted him, without precedent, without guidance,
in their most uncompromising form. He faced them, and through
all the mire and mud in which England and English civilians and
soldiers and sailors wallowed in these miserable years, he carried
one name at any rate which stood for dignity, uprightness, and
firm prescient statesmanship. It is not to the credit of English
memories or English perception that his name has outside Canada
passed into comparative oblivion. If ever a man had temptation
to despair of or be untrue to his country, and if ever a man’s
character and work redeemed his country and his country’s cause in
unworthy times, that man was Carleton.

A great figure in the colonial history of Great Britain as a whole,
in the history of Canada he is very great indeed. His character is
poles apart from that of old Count Frontenac, and yet he filled
in some sort a similar place. Both were soldier-governors; both
came back to rule a second time; in either case the individual
personality of a firm masterful man was the saving feature of
a time of life and death for the colony. Carleton had none of
Frontenac’s ruthlessness and arrogance, he had not his French
quick wit; but either man in his turn, the one at the end of the
seventeenth century, the other towards the end of the eighteenth,
was in the fullest sense the saviour of Canada.

[Sidenote: General Prescott succeeds Dorchester.]

Dorchester did not actually cease to be Governor-in-Chief of
Canada until the end of April, 1797, some months after his return
to England. He was then succeeded in the office by Prescott, who
in the meantime had been Lieutenant-Governor of Lower Canada
and Commander-in-Chief of the British forces in North America,
having been sworn in at Quebec on the 12th of July, 1796. Robert
Prescott, of Lancashire descent, was an old man when he was sent
to Canada. Born in 1725, he was seventy-one years of age, only
one year younger than Dorchester. He was a Lieutenant-General in
the army and had seen much fighting, principally in North America
and the West Indies. He had served under Amherst and Wolfe, at
Louisbourg and Quebec. He had fought in the War of American
Independence and been present at the battle of Brandywine. In 1794
he was in command of the force which took Martinique from the
French and, as civil governor of the island, he earned the goodwill
of French and natives alike by his tact and humanity.[211] Thus he
had a good record when he was chosen to succeed Lord Dorchester,
and, though his rule in Canada was short and stormy, when he left,
there was abundant evidence of his popularity.

[Sidenote: Intrigues of the French minister in the United States
against Canada.]

Before his arrival in 1796, and at the time, Adet the French
minister in the United States, was making mischief like his
predecessor Genet, intriguing against Washington’s policy of strict
neutrality as between France and Great Britain, and almost openly
inciting the French Canadians to revolt. He over-reached himself,
however, by supporting Jefferson’s candidature for the Presidency
of the United States in succession to Washington, with the result
that he was recalled. Jefferson’s opponent, John Adams, was elected
President; and the feeling between France and the United States
became strained to the verge of war between the two nations. The
French designs on Canada came to nothing. A man named Maclane, said
to have been of weak intellect, was executed for high treason at
Quebec, and a vessel was seized containing arms, ostensibly for the
state of Vermont, but, as the evidence seemed to show, designed for
use in a raid from Vermont on Canada. There was no actual danger,
but there was anxiety and unrest. England was at war with France;
Lower Canada was the child of France; the United States contained
a strong and very bitter anti-English party; and the armed forces
in Canada were almost a negligible quantity. At this same critical
time Prescott became involved in a quarrel with his Executive
Council over the land question.

[Sidenote: The land question in Canada. Prescott quarrels with his
Executive Council.]

A proclamation advertising Crown lands for settlement in Canada,
which was issued in 1792, had called forth a large number of
applications. Surveys had not kept pace with the demand for
allotments, and the result had been that many applicants whose
petitions had been entertained had not actually taken up any land,
while others had settled and occupied land without having any legal
title. As is usual in such cases, land-jobbing was prevalent; and
Prescott, according to his own account, was at pains at once to
frustrate ‘great schemes for accumulating land on principles of
monopoly and speculation’, and to raise the fund which the Imperial
Government had hoped to derive from this source for defraying in
part the cost of civil administration. Prescott’s view, it would
seem, was that those who had actually become occupiers and begun
the work of settlement, should be confirmed in their lands in
full; that, where applications had been recorded but no work done,
the allotments should only be confirmed in part; that purchasers
of claims should be dealt with on their merits, and that, the
outstanding claims having been disposed of, the lands, with the
exception of reserves for the Crown and the clergy, should be
put up for sale at public auction. His Council strongly opposed
him, on the ground that he was giving preference to those who had
occupied land without having been granted any legal title, and that
public sale would bring in a crowd of interlopers from the United
States who would take up the land to the exclusion of Loyalists
who had the first claim on the British Government. Prescott formed
the view, rightly or wrongly, that various members of the Council
were concerned in land-jobbing, and he held that public sale was
the only real preventive of speculation. ‘Industrious farmers,’
he wrote, ‘who would wish to obtain a grant for the purpose of
actual settlement, but who cannot spend their time in tedious
solicitation, stand little chance of obtaining it, compared with
speculators who can devote their time to the attainment of this
object. By disposing of the land at public sale, industrious
farmers would have an equal chance with any other competitor.’

[Sidenote: Benedict Arnold’s claims.]

[Sidenote: Prescott recalled.]

[Sidenote: Milnes and Hunter appointed Lieutenant-Governors of
Lower and Upper Canada respectively.]

The case of Benedict Arnold, though it did not apparently enter
into the controversy, as he was in England at the time, illustrates
the extravagant claims which were put forward to land grants in
Canada. At the beginning of 1797 he wrote to the Duke of Portland,
calling attention to the sacrifices which he had made for the
British Government, and asking for a reward in the shape of a
grant of lands in Canada. A year later he defined his demand. He
stated that the usual grant was 5,000 acres to each field officer
and 1,200 acres for every member of his family; in his own case,
therefore, as his family consisted of a wife, six sons and a
daughter, the total would amount to 14,600 acres; but, as he
had raised and commanded what he called a legion of cavalry and
infantry, he considered that he himself was entitled to 10,000
acres instead of 5,000, making up the total to 19,600 acres. Even
this amount he had amplified in a previous petition to the King,
and he wished to be allowed to select the land where he pleased and
not to be compelled to reside upon it personally.

If Arnold’s claims were at all typical of others, it is not to be
wondered at that Prescott took a strong line on the land question,
with a view to putting a stop to speculation. The controversy
which arose between himself and his Council was embittered by
the course which he adopted of making public their proceedings.
Chief Justice Osgoode and other members of the Council ranged
themselves in opposition to him; and the state of feeling was well
summed up in the words of a correspondent, writing from Quebec in
August, 1798, that the Council must either get a new governor or
the governor a new Council. The Duke of Portland, Secretary of
State, preferred the former alternative. On the 10th of April,
1799, he ordered Prescott home. Robert Shore Milnes was sent out
as Lieutenant-Governor of Lower Canada, and General Hunter as
Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada. They reached Quebec on the
13th of June, and on the 29th of July Prescott sailed for England,
having received before he left addresses of confidence from all
classes, British and French residents combining to pay honour to
him, as a man, who, whatever his faults may have been, had won the
respect and esteem of the people. By the evil custom of those days,
though recalled from Canada, he was allowed to retain for years in
England the office of Governor-General and to receive the pay.

[Sidenote: Close of the eighteenth century.]

Thus the eighteenth century came to an end, that memorable century,
in all parts of the world fruitful alike for good and for evil to
the British Empire, but nowhere so fruitful as in North America.
It had seen New France severed from its motherland. It had seen
the rival British colonies severed from Great Britain. It had seen
the beginnings of an English province in Canada side by side with
the French, and the grant of the first instalment of political
privileges to Canadians of either race. The maritime provinces,
when the century closed, were four in number, Nova Scotia, New
Brunswick, which owed its separate existence to the incoming of the
Loyalists, Cape Breton, which was later to be incorporated with
Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. The North-West was beginning
to be a factor in Canadian history, and the exclusive power of
the Hudson’s Bay Company in these regions was challenged by the
formation of the North-West Company. Canada was still the land of
the St. Lawrence and the great lakes, but light was breaking into
the limitless area beyond, and as men’s visions widened, there came
more movement and more unrest.

[Sidenote: Milnes’ views as to strengthening the Executive.]

[Sidenote: Independence of the Canadian habitants.]

[Sidenote: Decay of the Canadian aristocracy.]

We have no regular census of the two Canadas between the year 1790,
when there was an imperfect enumeration of the inhabitants of the
then undivided province, and the years 1824-5; but in 1800 the
Lieutenant-Governor estimated the population of Lower Canada at
160,000, while in 1806 an estimate of 250,000 is given from another
source, the population of Upper Canada in the same year being
estimated at 70,000. That at the end of the century Lower Canada
was politically and socially in a state of transition is shown by
an interesting dispatch from Milnes written on the 1st of November,
1800,[212] in which, like his predecessors, he laid stress on the
necessity for taking steps to strengthen the Executive Government.
He pointed out causes which in his opinion united ‘in daily
lessening the power and influence of the Aristocratical Body in
Lower Canada’; and, curiously enough, he considered the first and
most important of these to be the manner in which the province
was originally settled, and the independent tenure by which the
cultivators or habitants held their lands. The feudal system had
been introduced with a view to keeping the colonists in leading
strings, and reproducing in the New World a form of society based
upon the fundamental principle of a landed aristocracy. Yet
this English governor wrote of the habitants at the end of the
eighteenth century, that ‘there cannot be a more independent race
of people, nor do I believe there is in any part of the world a
country in which equality of situation is so nearly established’.
The land had passed into the hands of the peasants from those of
the seigniors, who retained only the old-time privileges of a
trifling rent, taking a fourteenth of the corn which the habitants
were still bound to grind at the seigniors’ mills, and a twelfth of
the purchase-money when lands were transferred. The seigniors, the
dispatch stated, showed no disposition to enter into trade; their
position had in many instances sunk below that of their vassals;
and, taken as a whole, the Canadian gentry had nearly become

[Sidenote: Independence of the Roman Catholic Church.]

The second cause to which Milnes attributed the weakness of the
government was ‘the prevalence of the Roman Catholic religion and
the independence of the priesthood’. The Royal Instructions were
that no one should be admitted to Holy Orders or have the Cure of
Souls without first obtaining a licence from the governor; but the
instructions had not been enforced, and the whole patronage of the
Roman Catholic Church had passed into the hands of the bishops,
with the result that the power of the priests over the people was
entirely independent of the government. This evil Milnes proposed
to remedy by increasing the emoluments which the head of the Roman
Catholic Church in Canada received from government funds, on
condition that the rule requiring the governor’s licences for the
parish priests was strictly observed in future.

[Sidenote: Disuse of the militia.]

The third cause which was mentioned as tending to lessen the
influence of the government, was the practical disembodiment of the
militia since Canada had passed under British rule. Under the old
French dominion the government had made itself felt in the various
parishes through the captains of militia and the parish priests,
and the captains of militia had been employed to issue and enforce
the public ordinances. They were, Milnes wrote, chosen from among
the most respectable of the habitants; and though the militia had
not been called out for years past and he did not propose to call
it out, the captains of militia were still in existence and the
government availed itself of their honorary services on public
occasions. He suggested that they should be given some salary or
distinction so that they might consider themselves to be ‘the
immediate officers of the Crown’; and thus he hoped to keep up the
spirit of loyalty among the Canadian people, which ‘for want of an
immediate class to whom they can look up, and from their having
no immediate connexion with the Executive power, is in danger of
becoming extinct’.[213] By attaching to the government the parish
priests and the captains of militia, it might be possible to ensure
a government majority in the House of Assembly and to secure the
election of educated and businesslike representatives, whereas
the main body of the Canadian habitants were, ‘from their want of
education and extreme simplicity, liable to be misled by designing
and artful men’.

[Sidenote: The Crown Lands.]

These proposals the Lieutenant-Governor regarded as temporary
remedies. For the future, he looked to increasing the influence
of the Crown by means of the revenue from waste lands, and the
settlement of those lands by ‘a body of people of the Protestant
religion that will naturally feel themselves more immediately
connected with the English Government’. In the mind of Milnes, as
in that of Dorchester, there was a fixed conviction that matters
were tending to democracy, as democracy had shown itself in the
adjoining republic; that such democracy meant disintegration; that
the influence of the Crown and of the Executive Government was
declining and would continue to decline, unless measures were taken
to counteract the evil. He held to the doctrine that well-wishers
of the government should think it matter for congratulation that
there was an annual deficit on the budget of Lower Canada,[214]
which made the province dependent upon the Imperial Government.

[Sidenote: The close of the eighteenth century was for Canada a
time of transition and division.]

The records of the time show that in every respect the close of
the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth century was
for Canada a time of division and a time of change, though not
yet of dangerous bitterness. There were two provinces instead of
one. There were two Lieutenant-Governors, independent of each
other, while the Governor-in-Chief, recalled to England, was
still holding his post and drawing his pay. There were elected
Assemblies, to which the Executive was not responsible, and the
new century opened in Upper Canada with a complaint that the
Lieutenant-Governor had spent money raised from the taxes without
previously obtaining a vote of the Legislature. There was a
suggestion of difficulties arising from the fact that military and
civil authority for the time was divided. An interesting anonymous
letter written from Quebec on the 28th of July, 1806, and signed
‘Mercator’, called attention to this point, alleging that, since
Prescott’s recall in 1799, Lower Canada had languished owing to the
fact that civil and military powers were not in the same hands. The
result, in the writer’s opinion, was jealousy between the civil and
military departments, weakening of the energy of government and
loss of dignity. ‘The Canadians’ he wrote, ‘a military people and
always accustomed to a military government, hold not in sufficient
estimation a person placed at the head of affairs who does not at
the same time command the troops.’[215]

There was again undoubted division between the Judicial and the
Executive power. Chief Justice Osgoode in Lower Canada was not at
one with either Dorchester, Prescott, or Milnes; while in Upper
Canada, in the years 1806-7, a judge of the name of Thorpe became
a member of the elected Assembly and was so outrageous in his
opposition to the government that he was by Lord Castlereagh’s
instructions suspended from his office. The Church of England
bishop found cause to deplore the overshadowing pretensions of
the Roman Catholic Church. The Roman Catholic dignitaries, on the
other hand, asked for formal recognition of their position by
the civil government. There was a movement, strongly advocated
by the Church of England bishop, for more and better education,
both primary and secondary, so that the French Canadian children
might learn English, and the children of the upper classes might
be educated without being sent to Europe or to the United States.
The Secretary of State authorized free schools on the express
condition that English should be taught in them, and directed
that part of the Crown Lands revenues should be set aside for the
purpose. There was also a strong feeling that the Jesuit estates,
which long ago had been granted by the King to Lord Amherst but
had never been handed over to him, should be applied to education.
But no general system of state education was established--probably
owing to Roman Catholic feeling; and, as against the proposal to
teach English to the coming generation, there came into being in
1806 a French Canadian newspaper, _Le Canadien_, with the motto,
‘Nos institutions, notre langue et nos lois.’ Nothing in short was
settled in Canada. Once more it was to be shown that pressure from
without was necessary to produce full co-operation within; and,
badly equipped as the two provinces were with means of defence, war
was yet to be to them a blessing in disguise, as bringing them a
step further on the path of national development.


[189] In the interval the government was administered (i) from
the date of Haldimand’s departure till November 2, 1785, by Henry
Hamilton; (ii) from the latter date till Dorchester’s arrival, by
Colonel Hope. The command of the troops was at first separated from
the acting governorship, and placed in the hands of St. Leger.
Hamilton, who during the war had come into notice as having been in
command of the expedition to the Illinois posts in 1779, when he
was taken prisoner by George Rogers Clark, subsequently proved to
be unfit to act as governor, and was summarily recalled.

[190] The Commission given to Carleton as Governor-in-Chief of Nova
Scotia constituted him also Governor-in-Chief of the islands of St.
John (now Prince Edward Island) and Cape Breton; but, though the
terms of the Commission are not very clear, those two islands were
at the time separate both from Nova Scotia and from each other.

[191] See the _Parliamentary History_, vol. xxvi, pp. 190-5.

[192] See the _Censuses of Canada_ 1665-1871, given in the
fourth volume of the _Census of Canada_, 1870-1, published in
1876. Introduction pp. xxxviii-xliii, and p. 74. On p. 74 is the
following note: ‘The number of settlers of British origin then
in Lower Canada was estimated at 15,000 souls. The United Empire
Loyalists settled in Canada West, not enumerated in this census,
were estimated at 10,000 souls.’ On p. xxxviii, under the year
1784, it is stated:

‘There were at that time (1784) in Upper Canada about 10,000 United
Empire Loyalists, according to a memorandum contained in the
Appendices of the _House of Assembly of Upper Canada_ for 1823.
These 10,000 are not included in the preceding census.

‘1784 British population of Nova Scotia, including Cape Breton and
the mainland, estimated at 32,000 souls, having been increased by
the arrival of about 20,000 United Empire Loyalists (Haliburton,
_Nova Scotia_, vol. ii, p. 275). This estimate of the population of
Nova Scotia, which still included New Brunswick and Cape Breton,
cannot include the Acadians, who then numbered in all about 11,000.’

For the numbers of the United Empire Loyalists, see last chapter.
The figures relating to this time are, in most cases, probably
little more than guesswork.

[193] When the office of Secretary of State for the American
Department was abolished by Burke’s Act of 1782, colonial matters
were placed under the Secretary of State for the Home Department.
This office was in 1787 held by Lord Sydney, who was succeeded by
W. W. Grenville, youngest son of George Grenville, and afterwards
Lord Grenville. When Grenville was raised to the peerage and became
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, he was succeeded in the
Home and Colonies Department by Dundas, afterwards Lord Melville,
and Dundas was succeeded by the Duke of Portland.

[194] See above, pp. 105-6.

[195] See above, pp. 88 (note) and 193.

[196] For these petitions see Mr. Brymner’s _Introductory Report on
Canadian Archives_, 1890, pp. xxi-ii and pp. 146, 150, 157 of the
Calendar, and see Shortt and Doughty, _Documents Relating to the
Constitutional History of Canada_, pp. 502-5, 524-7.

[197] See Shortt and Doughty, pp. 520-4 and notes; and Debrett’s
_Parliamentary Debates_, vol. xx (1786), pp. 132-49. The statement
that two years had passed since the petition was presented was not
strictly correct, as the petition was dated November 24, 1784.

[198] See Shortt and Doughty, p. 652, note, and Debrett’s
_Parliamentary Debates_, vol. xxiii (1787-8), pp. 684-707.

[199] In 1789, Hugh Finlay, Postmaster-General of the province and
member of council, wrote suggesting that ‘We might make the people
entirely English by introducing the English language. This is to be
done by free schools, and by ordaining that all suits in our courts
shall be carried on in English after a certain number of years’.
See Shortt and Doughty, p. 657. He anticipated to some extent Lord
Durham’s views.

[200] The correspondence is given in full in Mr. Brymner’s _Report
on Canadian Archives_ for 1890, Note B, p. 10. See also Shortt
and Doughty, _Documents Relating to the Constitutional History of
Canada_, 1759-91, and Egerton and Grant, _Canadian Constitutional

[201] Compare the very similar language used by Carleton in a
private memorandum written in 1786 and quoted in note 3, p. 551,
Shortt and Doughty.

[202] No. 46 in ‘Papers relative to the province of Quebec ordered
to be printed April 21, 1791’. The Order in Council is referred
to in Lord Dorchester’s Commission as having been made on August
19, 1791; but that was the date on which the report was made upon
which the Order was based. The boundary line sketched out in the
Parliamentary Paper, and adopted almost word for word in the Order
in Council, was again adopted by Sec. 6 of the British North
America Act of 1867, when the Dominion was formed and the provinces
of Ontario and Quebec, i.e. Upper and Lower Canada, were, after
having been re-united by the Act of 1840, again separated from each

[203] 18 Geo. III, cap. 12: ‘An Act for removing all doubts and
apprehensions concerning taxation by the Parliament of Great
Britain in any of the colonies, provinces, and plantations in North
America and the West Indies, &c.’ The preamble ran as follows:
‘Whereas taxation by the Parliament of Great Britain, for the
purpose of raising a revenue in H.M.’s colonies, provinces and
plantations in North America, has been found by experience to
occasion great uneasiness and disorders among H.M.’s faithful
subjects, who may nevertheless be disposed to acknowledge the
justice of contributing to the common defence of the Empire,
provided such contribution should be raised under the authority of
the general court or general assembly of each respective colony.’

[204] The above statement represents the general effect and
intent of the Act, but a long and complicated controversy arose
subsequently as to the disposal of the taxes raised under the
Imperial Act of 1774 (14 Geo. III, cap. 88), ‘to establish a fund
towards further defraying the charges of the Administration of
Justice and support of the Civil Government within the Province
of Quebec in America.’ It was contended that the effect of the
Declaratory Act of 1778, together with the Constitution Act of
1791, was to hand over the proceeds of these taxes to be disposed
of by the provincial legislatures. The contention had no real
basis, and the Law officers of the Crown reported it to be
unfounded, but eventually, by an Act of 1831 (1 and 2 Will. IV,
cap. 23), the legislatures of the two Canadas were empowered to
appropriate the revenues in question.

[205] _Report on Canadian Archives_, 1891; _State Papers, Upper
Canada_, p. 16.

[206] The monument is in the North Choir aisle. The inscription
runs as follows:

‘Sacred to the memory of John Graves Simcoe, Lieutenant-General in
the army and Colonel of the 22nd regiment of Foot, who died on the
26th day of October, 1806, aged 54, in whose life and character
the virtues of the Hero, the Patriot, and the Christian were so
eminently conspicuous that it may be justly said he served his King
and his country with a zeal exceeded only by his piety towards his

‘During the erection of this monument, his eldest son, Francis
Gwillim Simcoe, lieutenant of the 27th regiment of Foot, born at
Wolford Lodge in this county, June 6, 1791, fell in the breach at
the siege of Badajoz, April 6, 1812, in the 21st year of his age.’

[207] See vol. v, part 1, of the _Historical Geography of the
British Colonies_, p. 196 and note.

[208] Bouchette wrote of York or Toronto in 1815: ‘In the year
1793, the spot on which it stands presented only one solitary
Indian wigwam; in the ensuing spring the ground for the future
metropolis of Upper Canada was fixed upon, and the buildings
commenced under the immediate superintendence of the late General
Simcoe, then Lieutenant-Governor.’ _A Topographical description of
the Province of Lower Canada, with remarks upon Upper Canada, &c._,
by Joseph Bouchette, Surveyor-General of Lower Canada (1st ed.),
London, 1815, pp. 607-8.

According to this account, therefore, the building did not begin
till 1794.

[209] The name of the Thames had been previously for a short time
given to another Canadian river, the Gananoque. See Shortt and
Doughty, p. 651 and note.

[210] Writing in February, 1796, Simcoe stated that the Legislature
would meet at Niagara (Newark) on May 7, but that he proposed to
dissolve the House of Assembly before the fort was evacuated.

[211] Similarly Sir George Prevost was very popular in St. Lucia
when he was commandant and governor in that island, 1798-1802.

[212] This dispatch is printed on pp. 111-21 of _Canadian
Constitutional Development_ (Grant and Egerton).

[213] Cp. the similar views expressed by Carleton at an earlier
date. See pp. 91-4 above.

[214] The average annual revenue of Lower Canada for the five
years 1795-9 inclusive was calculated at £13,000, p. a., of which
only £1,500 was derived from Crown Lands, and the average annual
expenditure at £25,000, leaving an annual deficit of £12,000.

[215] Brymner’s _Report on Canadian Archives_ for 1892, Calendar
and Introduction, p. vi. Cp. Murray’s views as given on p. 67
above, note.



[Sidenote: Changes in administration.]

As has been told in the last chapter, Milnes and Hunter,
Lieutenant-Governors of Lower and Upper Canada respectively,
took up their appointments in the summer of 1799 when the
Governor-General Prescott was recalled to England. General
Hunter was not only Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada but also
Commander of the Forces in both provinces. These two men held
their appointments for six years, until August, 1805. On the 5th
of that month Milnes, who was by this time a baronet, Sir Robert
Shore Milnes,[216] left for England on leave of absence, and on
the 21st of the month General Hunter died at Quebec. For the time
being, two civilians acted as Lieutenant-Governors, Thomas Dunn,
senior Executive Councillor at Quebec, acting in Lower Canada, and
Alexander Grant acting in Upper Canada. Milnes remained on leave of
absence in England and drew his salary for over three years. A new
Lieutenant-Governor of Lower Canada was then appointed, who in his
turn also remained in England for many years and received pay in
respect of an office the duties of which he did not perform.[217]

[Sidenote: Evils of absenteeism.]

Thus it resulted that, at a very critical time, two provinces of
the British Empire, whose conditions were specially critical, were
left without a Governor-General, without Lieutenant-Governors,
and without a regular Commander of the Forces, while two men, one
holding the office of Governor-General of the two Canadas and the
other holding the office of Lieutenant-Governor of Lower Canada,
were spending their time and drawing their pay in England. We have
learnt something in the last hundred years, in regard to colonial
administration, and it is now difficult to appreciate a state of
public morality which showed so much indifference to the interests
of the colonies, so much acquiescence in sinecures, and so much
readiness on the part of capable and honourable public officers
to take pay without doing the work to which the pay was nominally
attached. But the fact that such things took place, affords a very
simple explanation of the difficulties which had already arisen and
which subsequently arose in the history of European colonization
between a mother country and her colonies. Men could put two and
two together in those days as in ours. If colonists saw the rulers
of the ruling land treating high offices in the colony as a matter
of individual profit and public indifference, they could only come
to the conclusion that they had better take care of themselves;
and if the answer came that governors and lieutenant-governors
were paid not by the colony but by the mother country, then the
colonists must needs have concluded that they themselves would
prefer to find the money and to have the money’s worth. This may
well have been in the minds of the members of the elected Assembly
in Lower Canada when, at a little later date, in 1810, they passed
uninvited a resolution that the province shall pay the cost of
the civil government, a resolution of which more was heard in the
course of the long constitutional struggle.

[Sidenote: External dangers which threatened Canada at the
beginning of the nineteenth century.]

[Sidenote: Hostility of France to Great Britain.]

What made for keeping up the connexion with the mother country
was not so much what the mother country did for the colonies in
peace, as the need which the colonies had for the mother country
in case of war. An attempt has been made in the preceding chapters
of this book to show that good fortune has attended Canada in her
development into a nation. The conquest by Great Britain tended to
this end, so did the loss by Great Britain of the provinces which
now form the United States. At the beginning of the nineteenth
century the cloud of war hung over Canada, but still her good
fortune did not desert her. There was perpetual danger from two
quarters, from France and from the United States. With France
Canada, as being part of the British Empire, was nominally at open
war throughout the closing years of the eighteenth and the early
years of the nineteenth century, except for the very short interval
which followed the conclusion of the Peace of Amiens in 1802; but
it is noteworthy how the political complications inured to the
preservation of Canada as a British possession. France and the
United States had strong bonds of sympathy. To French intervention
the United States largely owed their independence. Having parted
with their monarchy, the French were more attractive than before
to the citizens of the American republic; and in the days of the
American revolutionary war Congress had pledged itself to defend
for ever the French possessions in America. The bulk of the
Canadians, French in race, tradition, language and religion, might
well be expected to be French in sympathies. How great then might
have seemed the probability that England in war with France would
lose Canada? It was no wonder that such incidents as a visit of
Jerome Bonaparte to the United States caused uneasiness, or again
that a report was spread that Moreau, the French republican general
then living in exile in America, was likely to lead an invasion of

[Sidenote: French Canadians not in sympathy with the French

But, as a matter of fact, neither were the Canadians inclined
to return to their French allegiance nor were the people of the
United States in the least likely to permit France to regain
Canada. The Canadians had known forty years of British rule, clean
and just in comparison with what had gone before, and the France
which would reclaim them was widely different from the France to
which they had once belonged. The King was gone; religion was at
a discount; Canadian sympathies, at any rate in the earlier years
of the revolutionary wars, were rather with Royalist _emigrés_
than with the national armies who went on from victory to victory.
Above all antipathy to the United States, without whose abetting
or connivance, no French projects for regaining Canada could
have effect, tended to keep the Canadians firm in their British
allegiance. Thus the news of the victory of Trafalgar was welcomed
in Canada.

[Sidenote: The United States not disposed to allow the French to
regain Canada.]

Nor again were the Americans, however well disposed to France, in
any way or at any time minded to enable her to regain her lost
possessions in North America. A Canadian who had left Canada for
France when Canada was annexed by Great Britain, wrote, before the
conclusion of the Peace of Amiens, expressing the hope that Canada
would be regained by France. He regarded Canada, from the French
point of view, ‘as a colony essential to trade and as an outlet for
merchandize and men’; and he wrote that, if restored to France,
it ‘would constantly furnish the means of speculation which would
improve the future of the citizens whom war and revolution have
reduced to wretchedness’.[218] The words read as those of a man who
had known and still sighed for the days of the old French régime
in Canada, when men grew rich by illicit traffic; but, apart from
the views of individuals, there is no doubt that, as the eighteenth
century closed, France and the French people, after the wars of
the Revolution, with their power consolidated at home, were in the
stage of development favourable to colonial expansion, and mindful
of possessions beyond the seas which had once been French but were
French no longer.

[Sidenote: Napoleon’s views as to St. Domingo and Louisiana.]

[Sidenote: Abandonment of his American schemes.]

Napoleon, as writers have shown, in negotiating for and concluding
the Peace of Amiens which gave him respite from the sea power of
Great Britain, had in view the reconquest of St. Domingo where
Toussaint L’Ouverture had secured practical independence, and the
recovery of Louisiana. By secret bargain with Spain in 1800, he had
secured the retrocession of Louisiana; and, had the arrangement
been carried out and the French power been firmly planted again at
New Orleans and on the Mississippi, a new impetus and a new motive
would have been given for French designs on Canada. But the losses
in the St. Domingo campaigns were heavy, and in regard to Louisiana
Napoleon had to reckon with the American people. Realizing that his
policy, if persisted in, would draw the United States away from
France and towards Great Britain, he came, with some suddenness, to
the conclusion that the game was not worth the candle, and selling
in 1803 to the United States the great territory on the line of
the Mississippi which after all was not his to sell, he put an end
for ever to French aspirations for recovering their North American

[Sidenote: Danger to Canada from the United States.]

Napoleon’s decision set Canada free from any possible danger of
French conquest; but, at the same time, it set him free also to
renew war with Great Britain, and cut short any tendency to more
cordial relations between Great Britain and the United States.
The danger for Canada now was that, either as the direct result
of friendship between France and the United States, or indirectly
through the incidents to which the maritime war between France
and Great Britain gave rise, war would take place between Great
Britain and the United States, involving American invasion and not
improbably American conquest of Canada. Eventually, in 1812, war
came to pass. Once more England was called upon to fight France
and the United States at the same time; but in this second war the
Canadians, heart-whole in defending their province against their
rivals of old time, themselves largely contributed to the saving of

[Sidenote: The incident of the _Leopard_ and the _Chesapeake_.]

[Sidenote: Sir James Craig appointed Governor-General of Canada.]

[Sidenote: His previous career.]

The causes which led to the war of 1812 have been noted in another
book.[219] One of the incidents which preluded it was the action
of a British ship of war, the _Leopard_, in firing on the American
frigate _Chesapeake_ and carrying off four men, who were claimed
as deserters from the British navy. This high-handed proceeding
naturally caused the strongest resentment in the United States,
and raised the whole question of the right of search. There was
talk of invading Canada, which was answered by calling out the
Canadian militia; the Canadians answered readily to the call; and
shortly afterwards a new Governor-General arrived in Canada, a man
well tried in war, Sir James Craig. On the 10th of August, 1807,
General Prescott, still Governor-General of Canada, though he had
left in July, 1799, was delicately informed by Lord Castlereagh,
then Secretary of State, that it was necessary to appoint a
new Governor-General. The terms of the letter were that Lord
Castlereagh lamented that circumstances required an arrangement
to be made which might interfere with Prescott’s emoluments. Sir
James Craig accordingly received his commission on the last day of
August, 1807, and landed at Quebec on the 18th of October, too ill
to take the oaths of office until the 24th of that month, when he
took them in his bedroom. Craig, though in failing health, governed
Canada for four years. Like his predecessors he was a distinguished
soldier. He was a Scotchman but was born at Gibraltar, where his
father held the post of civil and military judge in the fortress.
He was born in 1748 and was only fifteen years old when he joined
the army in 1763, the year of the great Peace. He was wounded at
Bunker’s Hill; in 1776 he went to Canada and commanded the advanced
guard of the forces which under Carleton’s command drove the
Americans out of Canada. He took part in Burgoyne’s expedition, was
twice wounded, was present at Saratoga, and was chosen to carry
home dispatches.[220] Later in the war he served with distinction
under Lord Cornwallis in North Carolina. In 1794 he became a
major-general, and in 1795 he was sent to the Cape to take it over
from the Dutch. The Netherlands, recently over-run by a French army
under Pichegru, had been transformed into the Batavian republic,
and the Prince of Orange, then a refugee in England, sent orders by
the British fleet under Admiral Elphinstone, which carried Craig
and his troops, that the British force should be admitted as having
come to protect the colony from the French. The Dutch governor,
however, was not prepared to hand over his charge to British
keeping. Craig accordingly landed his troops at Simonstown, and
successfully attacked the Dutch at Muizenberg, but was not able to
occupy Capetown until the arrival of a force from India, which had
been ordered to co-operate, and which was under the command of a
senior officer, Sir Alured Clarke, the late Lieutenant-Governor of
Lower Canada. On Clarke’s arrival the Dutch capitulated, and Craig
became the first British Governor of the Cape, being succeeded in
1797 by a civilian, Lord Macartney. He served about five years in
India, being promoted to be Lieutenant-General in 1801; and, after
returning to England in 1802, was sent in 1805 to the Mediterranean
in charge of an abortive expedition to Naples, in which British and
Russian troops were to combine against the French. It ended in his
transferring his force to Sicily, where the Neapolitan court had
taken refuge. He then went home in ill health, and in 1807 went out
to Canada. His appointment was no doubt mainly due to his military
reputation, for war with the United States seemed close at hand;
but he was well qualified for it also by his wide experience of
the colonies, and by the fact that, like Prescott, he had already
had a short term of colonial administration. He left behind him at
the Cape a good record as governor, and but for the state of his
health seemed clearly the man for Canada.

[Sidenote: The beginning of his administration.]

In his first speech to the Legislature of Lower Canada in January,
1808, Craig expressed his gratification at meeting the members of
the two Houses ‘in the exercise of the noblest office to which the
human mind can be directed, that of legislating for a free people’,
and he added that he looked forward to the most perfect harmony
and co-operation between them and himself. His anticipations were
not fulfilled, and during the years of his administration the
inevitable struggle for further power on the part of the elected
representatives of the community became accentuated. The session
of 1808 lasted from January to April. It was the last session of
an existing Parliament. No point of difference arose in this short
time between the Assembly and the Executive; but, the Assembly
having passed a Bill, undoubtedly right in principle though
directed against a particular individual, that judges should be
incapable of being elected to or sitting in the House, the Bill
was thrown out by the Legislative Council. This caused ill feeling
between the two branches of the Legislature, and at the same time
the Assembly came into collision with one of the constituencies,
that of Three Rivers, by passing a resolution which excluded from
the House a Jew who had been duly elected as member for Three
Rivers and was promptly re-elected. At the conclusion of the
session a General Election took place in May, but the Legislature
was not called together till April, 1809, and in the meantime
friction began between the governor and the popular representatives.

[Sidenote: Friction between the governor and the Assembly.]

In June, 1808, Craig dismissed certain gentlemen from their
appointments as officers in the town militia on account of their
connexion with the French opposition paper _Le Canadien_. One of
them, M. Panet, had been Speaker of the House of Assembly in the
late Parliament, and when the new House met he was again chosen to
be Speaker, the choice being confirmed by the governor. The House
sat for five weeks in 1809, wrangling over the same questions that
had been prominent in the preceding year, viz. the exclusion from
the House of judges and of members of the Jewish religion: it was
then peremptorily dissolved by the governor, who rated the members
as so many children for wasting time and abusing their functions at
a critical season of national affairs. The election took place in
the following October; and, when the Legislature met in January,
1810, the Assembly was composed of much the same representatives
as before, any change being rather against than in favour of the
governor. In his opening speech the governor intimated that the
Royal approval would be given to any proper Bill passed by both
Houses, rendering the judges ineligible for seats in the Assembly.
The House of Assembly on their side, having passed a resolution to
the effect that any attempt on the part of the Executive or the
other branch of the Legislature to dictate to them or censure their
proceedings was a breach of their privileges, went on to pass loyal
addresses appropriate to the fiftieth year of the King’s reign,
their loyalty being, perhaps, quickened by the strong reference
which had been made in the governor’s speech ‘to the high-sounded
resentment of America’, coupled with an assurance that in the event
of war Canada would receive ‘the necessary support of regular
troops in the confident expectation of a cheerful exertion of the
interior force of the country’. There followed an Address to the
King and the Imperial Parliament, to which reference has already
been made, and in which the Assembly, with many expressions of
gratitude, intimated that the prosperity of Lower Canada was now so
great that they could in that session pay all the expenses of the
civil government. This Address the governor promised to lay before
the King, though he pointed out that it was unconstitutional
in, among other points, ignoring the Legislative Council. A Bill
excluding the judges was then passed and sent up to the Legislative
Council, who amended it by adding a clause which postponed its
effect until the next Parliament, whereupon the Assembly passed a
resolution excluding by name a certain judge who had a seat in the
House, and the governor, rightly deeming their action in the matter
to be unconstitutional, on the 26th of February again dissolved

[Sidenote: Proceedings taken by the governor against _Le Canadien_.]

[Sidenote: Craig retires on ill health.]

[Sidenote: His death and character.]

[Sidenote: Prosperity of Canada under Sir James Craig.]

[Sidenote: Growth of the lumber trade.]

[Sidenote: The first steamer on the St. Lawrence.]

[Sidenote: Road to the Eastern Townships.]

The French newspaper, _Le Canadien_, abounded weekly in scurrilous
abuse of the authorities. On the 17th of March Craig took the
strong step of seizing the printing press and all the papers, and
committing to prison various persons connected with the paper,
three of whom had been members of the late House of Assembly. He
justified his action in a proclamation to the country at large. The
prisoners were released in the course of the summer on the score of
ill health or submission, with the exception of one French Canadian
named Bedard, who refused to come to terms with the Executive
and was still in prison when the new Assembly, to which he had
been elected, met on the 12th of December, 1810. The governor,
in his masterful proceedings, had acted under the authority of
a temporary law entitled ‘an Act for the better preservation of
His Majesty’s Government, as by law happily established in this
province’. This Act was now expiring, and in his opening address
he called attention to the necessity for renewing it. He carried
his point, the Act was renewed, and, in addition to resolutions
on the subject of Mr. Bedard’s imprisonment, the Assembly did
some useful legislative work before the Legislature was prorogued
on the 21st of March, 1811. Shortly after the prorogation Mr.
Bedard was released, and on the 19th of June, 1811, Sir James
Craig left Canada. He had long been in failing health, and in the
proclamation, in which he defended his seizure of _Le Canadien_ and
those responsible for it, he had referred pathetically to his life
as ‘ebbing not slowly to its period under the pressure of disease
acquired in the service of my country’. His resignation had been
for some months in the hands of the Government, and it was only in
order to suit their convenience that he put off his departure to
the date when it actually took place. He reached England alive, but
died in the following January in his sixty-second year. He was a
man of conspicuous honesty and of undoubted courage and firmness.
He had a soldier’s view as to discipline and subordination, which
made him peremptory as a governor, and his addresses tended to be
long-winded and dictatorial. But his personal popularity was great,
he was dignified, hospitable, and open-handed, and he commanded
respect even from his political opponents and from those whom he
put into prison. He may well have been forgiven much not only for
his personal qualities, but also because his military reputation
was no small asset to Canada. His dealings with the United States
were fair and courteous, but behind them was the known fact of
his capacity and experience as a soldier. He might dispute with
those whom he governed in the sphere of civil action, but in the
event of war they had in him a leader upon whom they could rely.
The Canadians too had reason to be in the main satisfied with
his rule, in that the years during which Craig was governor were
years of much prosperity. It was at this time that, stimulated
by Napoleon’s attempts to cut off Great Britain from the Baltic
trade and by the Non Intercourse Acts of the United States, lumber
became an important industry of Canada. It was at this time too,
at the beginning of November, 1809, that a citizen of Montreal,
John Molson, put the first steamer on the St. Lawrence, her
passage from Montreal to Quebec taking sixty-six hours, during
thirty of which she was at anchor. Craig himself contributed to
improvement of communication in Lower Canada by constructing sixty
miles of road which bore his name, and which linked the Eastern
Townships, then being settled largely by immigrants from the United
States, to the southern bank of the St. Lawrence over against
Quebec. This road, which was carried out by the troops under the
Quartermaster-General, afterwards Sir James Kempt, Administrator
of Canada, was, as Craig wrote to his friend and secretary Ryland,
much wanted ‘not merely for the purpose of procuring us the
necessary supplies but for the purpose also of bringing the people
to our doors’:[221] and it resulted in the price of beef falling
in the Quebec market from 7½_d._ to 4½_d._ a lb.[222] It gave an
outlet to Quebec to a fine agricultural district, and it opened a
direct route to Boston from the capital of Canada.

[Sidenote: Ryland’s mission to England.]

When Craig wrote these letters to Ryland, the latter was in
England. He had been sent by the governor to lay the views of the
latter upon the political situation in Canada before the Home
Government; and, reaching England at the end of July, 1810, he was
active in interviewing ministers and supplying them verbally and
by written memoranda with first-hand information. Ryland had gone
out to America in 1781 as a paymaster in the army during the War
of Independence; and, returning with Carleton at the end of the
war, had been taken by him to Canada as confidential secretary. He
continued to hold that office to successive governors for twenty
years, until 1813, when Sir George Prevost, who followed Craig as
Governor-General and with whom Ryland was not in harmony, suggested
that other arrangements should be made for the secretaryship.
Ryland then resigned his office of governor’s secretary but
remained clerk to the Executive Council, living in the suburbs of
Quebec, until his death in 1838. He seems to have been an able,
honourable man, strongly opposed to the democratic party in Lower
Canada, to the French and Roman Catholic section of the community.
In England he was brought into relations chiefly with Lord
Liverpool, who was Secretary of State for War and the Colonies[223]
in the Percival ministry, having succeeded Lord Castlereagh in that
office, and with the Under-Secretary of State, Robert Peel. Peel
was then beginning his public life, and Ryland’s impression of him
on his first interview was that ‘though a very young man and but
a few days in office [he] appears to be very much _au fait_ in
matters of public business’. A week or two later he wrote of him
as ‘a very elegant young man of fine talents, as I am informed’,
and very pleasing manners.[224] With these two ministers and
with various other public men, including George Canning, Ryland
conferred or corresponded during his stay in England, which lasted
for the better part of two years. On one occasion, soon after his
arrival, he was present at a Cabinet Council, being seated, as
we learn from the full account which he wrote to Craig, between
Percival and Lord Liverpool. He was asked a large number of
questions, including a query as to the number of regular troops in
Canada, and, as the result, he appears to have formed a very poor
opinion of the knowledge and capacity of the ministry.

[Sidenote: Craig’s views on the political situation in Lower

He had brought with him to England a very long dispatch in which
Craig had set out his views. Craig estimated the population of
Lower Canada at the time when he wrote, May, 1810, at between
250,000 and 300,000 souls, out of whom he computed that no more
than 20,000 to 25,000 were English or Americans. The remainder,
the French Canadians, he represented as, in the main, wholly
alienated from the British section of the community, French in
religion, laws, language and manners, and becoming more attracted
to France and more alienated from Great Britain, in proportion as
the power of France in Europe became more consolidated. The large
mass of the people were, so he wrote, wholly uneducated, following
unscrupulous men, their leaders in the country and in the House of
Assembly. The Roman Catholic priests were anti-English on grounds
of race and religion; their attachment to France had been renewed
since Napoleon made his concordat with the Pope; and, being largely
drawn from the lower orders of society, and headed by a bishop who
exercised more authority than in the days of the old régime and
who arrogated complete independence of the civil government, they
were hardly even outwardly loyal to the British Crown. The growing
nationalist and democratic feeling was reflected and embodied in
the elected House of Assembly. When the constitution was first
granted, some few Canadian gentlemen had come forward and been
elected; but, at the time when the governor wrote, the Canadian
members of the Assembly, who formed an overwhelming majority,
according to his account consisted of avocats and notaries,
shopkeepers and habitants, some of the last named being unable
either to read or write. The organ of the party was the paper
_Le Canadien_, which vilified the Executive officers as ‘gens en
place’, and aimed at bringing the government into contempt.

[Sidenote: Constitutional changes recommended.]

To meet the evils which he deemed so great and emphasized so
strongly, Craig proposed that the existing constitution should be
either cancelled or suspended. His view, as expressed in a letter
to Ryland written in November, 1810,[225] was that it should
be suspended during the continuance of the war with France and
for five years afterwards, and that in this interval the former
government by means of a governor and a nominated Legislative
Council should be revived. He argued that representative
institutions had been prematurely granted, before French Canadians
were prepared for them; that they had been demanded by the English
section of the inhabitants, not the French; and that at the time
the best informed Canadians had been opposed to the change. In
the alternative, he discussed the reunion of the two provinces,
so as to leaven the Assembly with a larger number of British
members, though he did not advocate this course; and the re-casting
of the electoral divisions in Lower Canada, so as to give more
adequate representation to those parts of the province, such as
the Eastern Townships, where the English-speaking element could
hold its own. In any case he pointed out the necessity of enacting
a property qualification for the members of the Assembly, no such
qualification being required under the Act of 1791, although
that Act prescribed a qualification for the voters who elected
the members. Craig went on to urge, as Milnes had urged before
him, that the Royal supremacy should be exercised over the Roman
Catholic priesthood, additional salary being given to the bishop,
in consideration of holding his position under the Crown, and the
curés being given freehold in their livings under appointment from
the Crown. There was a further point. The Sulpician seminary at
Montreal was possessed of large estates, and Craig considered this
clerical body to be dangerous in view of the fact that it consisted
largely of French emigrant priests. He proposed therefore that the
Crown should resume the greater part of the lands.

[Sidenote: Craig’s views not accepted by the Imperial Government.]

Ryland soon found that the ministry were not prepared to face
Parliament with any proposals for a constitutional change in
Canada, and that they were more inclined to what he called ‘the
namby-pamby system of conciliation’.[226] They thought that it had
been a mistake in the first instance to divide Canada into two
provinces, but the only step which they now took was to procure
a somewhat superfluous opinion from the Attorney-General to the
effect that the Imperial Parliament could alter the constitution of
the provinces, or could reunite them with one Council and Assembly;
and a rather less self-evident opinion that the governor could not
redistribute the electoral divisions of Lower Canada without being
authorized to do so by an Act either of the Imperial or of the
Colonial Legislature.

[Sidenote: Critical condition of England at the time of Ryland’s

To Ryland the affairs of Canada were all in all; to the ministry
whom he deemed so weak, they were overshadowed by events and
difficulties at home and abroad, compared with which the political
questions which troubled Lower Canada were insignificant,
noteworthy only as likely, if not carefully handled, to add to
the burden which was laid on the statesmen responsible for the
safe-keeping of the Empire. In 1809 Talavera had been fought and
hardly won, but it was the year also of the disastrous expedition
to Walcheren. In 1810, behind the lines of Torres Vedras,
Wellington was beginning to turn the tide of French invasion in the
Peninsula. The next year saw Massena’s retreat, but at home the
political situation was complicated by the insanity of the old King
and the consequent necessity of declaring a regency. In 1812, the
year of Salamanca, Percival the Prime Minister was assassinated,
his place being taken by Lord Liverpool, who, as long as Ryland was
in England, had been in charge of the colonies. In the same year,
war with the United States long threatened, came to pass. These
years were in England years of financial distress and of widespread
misery. William Cobbett giving voice to the hungry discontent of
the poor was fined and imprisoned, and Ryland hoped that his fate
would have some effect in Canada.[227]

[Sidenote: Legal opinion as to patronage to appointments in the
Roman Catholic Church in Canada, and as to the Sulpician estates.]

Lord Liverpool, however, was very loyal to Craig, though he
did not support any such drastic measures as the latter had
suggested. At the end of July, 1811, by which time Craig had left
Canada, he wrote a letter to him expressing the Prince Regent’s
high approbation of his general conduct in the administration
of the government of the North American provinces and the
Prince’s particular regret at the cause which had necessitated
his retirement. He wrote too to Craig’s successor, Sir George
Prevost, highly praising Ryland and expressing a hope that he
would be retained in his appointment. The law officers of the
Crown in England had been consulted as to the Roman Catholic
Church in Canada in view of the governor’s proposals, and advised
that so much of the patronage of Roman Catholic benefices as was
exercised by the Bishop of Quebec under the French Government had
of right devolved on the Crown. On the further question, whether
the Crown had the right of property in the estates of the Sulpician
seminary at Montreal, they advised that legally the Crown had the
right, inasmuch as the Sulpicians who remained in Canada after the
British conquest had no legal capacity to hold lands apart from the
parent body at Paris which had since been dissolved, and had not
obtained a licence from the Crown to hold the estates; but the law
officers, seeing the hardship which would be involved in wholesale
confiscation of the lands after so many years of undisturbed
tenure, suggested that the question was one for compromise or
amicable arrangement. In the end nothing was done in the matter in
the direction of Craig’s and Ryland’s views, and many years later,
in 1840,[228] by an ordinance of Lower Canada, the Sulpicians of
Montreal were incorporated under certain conditions and confirmed
in the possession of their estates.

[Sidenote: Sir James Craig’s administration.]

It is not easy to form an accurate estimate of Sir James Craig’s
administration. His views and his methods have been judged in the
light of later history rather than in that of the years which had
gone before. It is somewhat overlooked that at the beginning of
the nineteenth century the normal conditions of the world were
conditions of war not of peace, and that the governors of colonies
were as a rule soldiers whose first duty was the military charge
of possessions held by no very certain tenure. The account usually
given and received is that Craig was an honest but mistaken man,
tactless and overbearing, trying to uphold an impossible system
of bureaucratic despotism, instead of realizing the merits of
representative institutions and giving them full play. The apology
made for him has been that he was guided by and saw with the eyes
of a few rapacious officials, who had no interest in the general
welfare of the community. ‘The government, in fact,’ writes
Christie, ‘was a bureaucracy, the governor himself little better
than a hostage, and the people looked upon and treated as serfs and
vassals by their official lords.’[229]

[Sidenote: Uniacke.]

[Sidenote: James Stuart.]

Constitutions and systems of government are good or bad according
to the kinds of people to which they are applied, the stage
of development which they have reached, and the particular
circumstances existing at a given time inside and outside the land.
It was only with much hesitation that representative institutions
had been given to Canada; and one governor and another, bearing in
mind the conditions which had preceded the War of Independence,
had laid stress on the necessity of having a strong Executive,
and on the growing danger of colonial democracy. They were not
ignorant or shortsighted men; they looked facts in the face and
argued from past experience in America. Again, if the officials
were incompetent placemen, out of sympathy with the people, it was
the governors who laid stress on the necessity of filling official
positions with first-rate men and who occasionally took a strong
line with the men whom they did not consider to be adequate.
Moreover some of the officials, notably the judicial and legal
officers, placed themselves in opposition to the local government
and posed as defenders of the people. Craig dispensed, for the time
at any rate, with the services of two law officers. One of them,
Uniacke, who had been in Nova Scotia, was made Attorney-General
of Lower Canada by Lord Liverpool, and, being considered by the
governor to be unfit for his duties, was sent on leave to England
in 1810 with a request that he should be removed from his office.
He subsequently returned to his work in Canada. The other, James
Stuart, became a notable figure in Canadian history. He was the son
of a United Empire Loyalist, the rector of Kingston in Ontario.
He had been appointed Solicitor-General of Lower Canada by Milnes
in 1801, but after Craig’s arrival ranged himself, as a member
of the Assembly, in opposition to the governor, and in 1809 was
obliged to resign his appointment. After some years of bitter
opposition to the government, he lived to become a leading advocate
of reunion of the two provinces, to be appointed Attorney-General,
to be impeached by the Assembly and again deprived of his office,
and finally to be appointed by Lord Durham Chief Justice of Lower
Canada and to be created a baronet for his public services.

[Sidenote: Thorpe and Willcocks.]

Meanwhile in Upper Canada, where a young Lieutenant-Governor,
Francis Gore, from 1807 to 1811 carried on the administration
firmly and well, various holders of offices opposed the government
and tried to play the part of popular leaders. Judge Thorpe has
already been mentioned, on the Bench and in the House of Assembly
a blatant and disloyal demagogue; another man of the same kind
was Wyatt the Surveyor-General, and another Willcocks, sheriff of
one of the districts, and owner or nominal owner of a libellous
newspaper, for the contents of which the House of Assembly
committed him to jail on the ground of breach of privilege. These
three men were suspended from their appointments, and eventually
disappeared from Canada to make their voices heard in England or
in the United States; and the end of Willcocks was to be killed
fighting against his country in the war of 1812. One thing is
certain that in their official positions they were disloyal to the
government, and that in their disloyalty they received no support
from the elected Assembly of Upper Canada. Gore had a difficulty
too with his Attorney-General, Firth, a man sent out from England.
Firth ended by returning to England without leave and joining in
misrepresentations against the Lieutenant-Governor.

[Sidenote: Craig’s opinion of the French Canadians.]

[Sidenote: Real attitude of the French Canadians.]

It may fairly be summed up that in the Canadas many men were found
in office who had been pitchforked into appointments for which
they were unsuited; but that they were by no means invariably
supporters of the Executive against the representatives of the
people, nor were the governors their tools. On the contrary there
were constant cases of such officials opposing the governors, while
the governors in their turn stood out conspicuously in opposition
to the practice of appointing men from outside to offices in
Canada which required special qualifications in addition to good
character and general capacity. But a distinction must be drawn
between Upper and Lower Canada. In Upper Canada the voters and
their nominees, however democratic, were, with the exception of
a few traitorous individuals, intensely loyal to the British
connexion. In Lower Canada, on the other hand, the all-important
race question complicated the situation, and here Craig saw in the
French Canadians, who were also the democratic party, the elements
of disloyalty to Great Britain and _rapprochement_ with France. In
August, 1808, he wrote that the Canadians were French at heart;
that, while they did not deny the advantages which they enjoyed
under British rule, there would not be fifty dissentient voices,
if the proposition was made of their re-annexation to France: and
that the general opinion among the English in Canada was that
they would even join the Americans if the latter were commanded
by a French officer. His views on this point were fully shared by
another man of clear head and sound judgement, Isaac Brock. For
reasons which have been given Craig seems to have exaggerated any
danger of the kind. Republican France, which attracted American
sympathies, repelled those of the French Canadians. France under
Napoleon, brought back to law and order and to at any rate the
outward conventionalities of religion, became more attractive
to the French Canadians, but at the same time, in view of the
Napoleonic despotism, it became less attractive to the United
States. But at no time probably was there any real intention on the
part of the French Canadians to take any active step to overthrow
British supremacy. Certainly at no time was there the slightest
possibility of their changing their status except by becoming
absorbed in the United States. They were as a whole an unthinking
people, to whom representative institutions and a free press were
a novelty; their leaders liked the words and phrases which they
had learnt from English-speaking demagogues or imported from
revolutionary France. Their priesthood was not loyal, because it
claimed to be independent of the civil government, especially when
it was the government of a Protestant Power. The general aim was to
see to what uses the new privileges could be applied and how much
latitude would be given. The elected representatives opposed the
second chamber, the Legislative Council, as much as they opposed
the governor; they played with edged tools, but it may be doubted
whether at this early stage of the proceedings they meant much more
than play.

Under the circumstances, perhaps a fair judgement upon Sir James
Craig’s administration would be that he took the Parliamentary
situation in Lower Canada too seriously, and did not give
sufficient rope to the local politicians. He reprimanded the
Assembly when they acted unconstitutionally, and dissolved them
when they did not do their work. The strong measures which he
adopted, and the repeated dissolutions, were a bad precedent for
the future: and the course which he recommended, viz. suspension
of the constitution, would, if carried into effect, have been
premature and unwise. But for the moment the steps which he took
were effective. By his summary action in regard to the newspaper
_Le Canadien_, he showed that he had the ultimate power and was
not afraid to use it; and the result was that the very law which
gave the Executive extraordinary powers was renewed by the Assembly
which objected to those powers. Meanwhile Canada thrived, the
governor was personally respected, and repeated elections did no
one any harm. It was a time of danger from without and unrest
within, but many countries with admirable constitutions have fared
much worse than did Lower Canada under the rule of a strong soldier
confronted by a recalcitrant Assembly.

He was succeeded by a man of wholly different type, Sir George
Prevost, who endeared himself greatly to the French Canadians;
but internal differences were soon to be overshadowed by foreign
invasion, for in one year to the day from the date when Sir James
Craig left Canada, Madison, President of the United States, issued
a proclamation which began the war of 1812.


[216] He belonged to the same family as the Earl of Crewe,
Secretary of State for the Colonies.

[217] The Lieutenant-Governor in question was Mr., afterwards Sir,
F. Burton. His commission was dated November 29, 1808, but he
did not go out to Canada till 1822. He left Canada in 1828, but
did not cease to be Lieutenant-Governor, as his commission was
renewed on October 25, 1830--the year of King William the Fourth’s
accession. An Act passed in 1782, 22 Geo. III, cap. 75, commonly
known as Burke’s Act, provided against the holding of Patent
offices in the Colonies and Plantations in America and the West
Indies by sinecurists living in England. The operation of this Act
was greatly extended, and the granting of leave restricted by a
subsequent Act of 1814, 54 Geo. III, cap. 61.

[218] See Brymner’s _Report on Canadian Archives_ for 1892,
Introduction, p. xlix.

[219] _The Canadian War of 1812._

[220] See the _Memoir of Sir James Craig_, quoted at length on
pp. 343-5 of vol. i of Christie’s _History of the Late Province
of Lower Canada_, 1848. The notice of Craig in the _Dictionary of
National Biography_ says that he was sent home with dispatches
after the taking of Ticonderoga, which seems to be incorrect.

[221] Letter of August 6, 1810, Christie’s _History of Lower
Canada_, vol. vi, p. 129.

[222] Letter of September 10, 1810, Christie’s _History of Lower
Canada_, vol. vi, p. 157.

[223] The departments of War and the Colonies were combined under
one Secretary of State in 1801. This lasted till 1854, when a
separate Secretary of State for War was appointed.

[224] Ryland to Craig, August 4, and September 1, 1810. Christie,
vol. vi, pp. 124, 149.

[225] Letter of November 9, 1810, Christie, vol. vi, p. 166. The
main dispatch is dated May 1, 1810.

[226] Letter to Craig, August 23, 1810, Christie, vol. vi, p. 146.

[227] Letter to Craig, November 9, 1810, Christie, vol. vi, p. 169.

[228] 3 and 4 Vic., cap. 30.

[229] _History of Lower Canada_, vol. i, p. 350.




subsequent to the Treaty of 1783,

    under which the boundary line was fixed either directly or by
    Commission or Arbitration

  +---+      _Treaty of Ghent 24 Dec 1814_
  | 1 |          _Article 4._

  +---+      _Jay’s Treaty of 19 Nov 1794_
  | 2 |          _Article 5._

  +---+      _Treaty of Washington 9 Aug 1842_
  | 3 |          _Article 1._

  +---+      _Treaty of Ghent 24 Dec 1814_
  | 4 |          _Article 6._

  +---+    { _Treaty of Ghent 24 Dec 1814_
  | 5 |    {     _Article 7._
  +---+    { _Treaty of Washington 9 Aug 1842_
           {     _Article 2._

  +---+    { _Convention of London 20 Oct 1818_
  | 6 |    {     _Article 2._
  +---+    { _Treaty of Washington 9 Aug 1842_
           {     _Article 2._

  +---+      _Treaty of Washington 15 June 1846_
  | 7 |          _Article 1._

  +---+      _Treaty of Washington 8 May 1871_
  | 8 |          _Articles 34 etc._

  B. V. Barbishire, Oxford, 1908.




In the Name of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity. It having
pleased the Divine Providence to dispose the hearts of the Most
Serene and Most Potent Prince, George the Third, by the Grace of
God, King of Great Britain, France and Ireland, Defender of the
Faith, Duke of Brunswick and Lunenburg, Arch-Treasurer and Prince
Elector of the Holy Roman Empire, &c., and of the United States of
America, to forget all past misunderstandings and differences that
have unhappily interrupted the good correspondence and friendship
which they mutually wish to restore: and to establish such a
beneficial and satisfactory intercourse between the 2 Countries,
upon the ground of reciprocal advantages and mutual convenience,
as may promote and secure to both perpetual Peace and Harmony; and
having for this desirable end already laid the foundation of Peace
and Reconciliation by the Provisional Articles signed at Paris,
on the 30th of November, 1782, by the Commissioners empowered on
each part; which Articles were agreed to be inserted in, and to
constitute, the Treaty of Peace proposed to be concluded between
the Crown of Great Britain and the said United States, but which
Treaty was not to be concluded until terms of Peace should be
agreed upon between Great Britain and France, and His Britannic
Majesty should be ready to conclude such Treaty accordingly; and
the Treaty between Great Britain and France having since been
concluded, His Britannic Majesty and the United States of America,
in order to carry into full effect the Provisional Articles
above-mentioned, according to the tenor thereof, have constituted
and appointed, that is to say:

    His Britannic Majesty, on his part, David Hartley, Esq.,
    Member of the Parliament of Great Britain; and the said
    United States, on their part, John Adams, Esq., late a
    Commissioner of the United States of America at the Court
    of Versailles, late Delegate in Congress from the State
    of Massachusetts, and Chief Justice of the said State and
    Minister Plenipotentiary of the said United States to
    Their High Mightinesses the States General of the United
    Netherlands; Benjamin Franklin, Esq., late Delegate in
    Congress from the State of Pennsylvania, President of the
    Convention of the said State, and Minister Plenipotentiary
    from the United States of America at the Court of Versailles;
    John Jay, Esq., late President of Congress and Chief Justice
    of the State of New York, and Minister Plenipotentiary
    from the said United States at the Court of Madrid; to be
    the plenipotentiaries for the concluding and signing the
    present Definitive Treaty: who, after having reciprocally
    communicated their respective Full Powers, have agreed upon
    and confirmed the following Articles:

    Art. I. His Britannic Majesty acknowledges the said United
    States, viz., New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island
    and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New
    Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North
    Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, to be Free, Sovereign
    and Independent States; that he treats with them as such;
    and for himself, his Heirs and Successors, relinquishes all
    claims to the government, propriety and territorial rights of
    the same, and every part thereof.

    II. And that all disputes which might arise in future on
    the subject of the Boundaries of the said United States may
    be prevented, it is hereby agreed and declared, that the
    following are and shall be their Boundaries, viz., from the
    North-West Angle of Nova Scotia, viz., that Angle which
    is formed by a line drawn due North, from the source of
    St. Croix River to the Highlands, along the said Highlands
    which divide those Rivers that empty themselves into the
    River St. Lawrence from those which fall into the Atlantic
    Ocean, to the North-westernmost head of Connecticut River;
    thence down along the middle of that River to the 45th
    degree of North latitude; from thence by a line due West
    on said latitude until it strikes the River Iroquois or
    Cataraquy; thence along the middle of the said River into
    Lake Ontario; through the middle of said Lake, until it
    strikes the communication by water between that Lake and Lake
    Erie; thence along the middle of said communication into
    Lake Erie; through the middle of said Lake until it arrives
    at the water-communication between that Lake and Lake Huron;
    thence along the middle of said water-communication into the
    Lake Huron; thence through the middle of said Lake to the
    water-communication between that Lake and Lake Superior;
    thence through Lake Superior, Northward of the Isles Royal
    and Phelipeaux, to the Long Lake; thence through the middle
    of said Long Lake, and the water-communication between it
    and the Lake of the Woods, to the said Lake of the Woods;
    thence through the said Lake to the most North-western point
    thereof, and from thence on a due West course to the River
    Mississippi; thence by a line to be drawn along the middle
    of the said River Mississippi, until it shall intersect the
    Northernmost part of the 31st degree of North latitude. South
    by a line to be drawn due East from the determination of the
    line last mentioned, in the latitude of 31 degrees North
    of the Equator, to the middle of the River Apalachicola or
    Catahouche; thence along the middle thereof to its junction
    with the Flint River; thence straight to the head of St.
    Mary’s River, and thence down along the middle of St. Mary’s
    River to the Atlantic Ocean, East by a line to be drawn along
    the middle of the River St. Croix, from its mouth in the Bay
    of Fundy to its source; and from its source directly North to
    the aforesaid Highlands, which divide the rivers that fall
    into the Atlantic Ocean from those which fall into the River
    St. Lawrence: comprehending all islands within 20 leagues
    of any part of the shores of the United States, and lying
    between lines to be drawn due East from the points where the
    aforesaid boundaries between Nova Scotia on the one part, and
    East Florida on the other, shall respectively touch the Bay
    of Fundy, and the Atlantic Ocean; excepting such Islands as
    now are, or heretofore have been, within the limits of the
    said Province of Nova Scotia.

    III. It is agreed that the People of the United States
    shall continue to enjoy unmolested the right to take Fish
    of every kind on the Grand Bank and on all the other Banks
    of Newfoundland; also in the Gulph of St. Lawrence, and at
    all other places in the Sea, where the Inhabitants of both
    Countries used at any time heretofore to fish. And also that
    the Inhabitants of the United States shall have liberty
    to take fish of every kind on such part of the Coast of
    Newfoundland as British Fishermen shall use, (but not to dry
    or cure the same on that Island,) and also on the Coasts,
    Bays, and Creeks of all other of His Britannic Majesty’s
    Dominions in America; and that the American Fishermen shall
    have liberty to dry and cure fish in any of the unsettled
    Bays, Harbours, and Creeks of Nova Scotia, Magdalen Islands
    and Labrador, so long as the same shall remain unsettled; but
    so soon as the same, or either of them, shall be settled, it
    shall not be lawful for the said Fishermen to dry or cure
    fish at such Settlement, without a previous agreement for
    that purpose with the Inhabitants, Proprietors, or Possessors
    of the ground.

    IV. It is agreed, that Creditors on either side shall meet
    with no lawful impedimenta to the recovery of the full
    value in sterling money of all bonâ fide debts heretofore

    V. It is agreed, that the Congress shall earnestly recommend
    it to the legislatures of the respective states to provide
    for the restitution of all estates, rights and properties
    which have been confiscated, belonging to real British
    subjects; and also of the estates, rights and properties
    of persons resident in districts in the possession of his
    Majesty’s arms, and who have not borne arms against the said
    United States; and that persons of any other description
    shall have free liberty to go to any part or parts of
    any of the Thirteen United States, and therein to remain
    twelve months unmolested in their endeavours to obtain the
    restitution of such of their estates, rights and properties
    as may have been confiscated; and that Congress shall also
    earnestly recommend to the several states, a reconsideration
    and revision of all acts or laws regarding the premises, so
    as to render the said laws or acts perfectly consistent,
    not only with justice and equity, but with that spirit of
    conciliation, which, on the return of the blessings of peace,
    should universally prevail. And that Congress shall also
    earnestly recommend to the several states, that the estates,
    rights and properties of such last-mentioned persons shall
    be restored to them, they refunding to any persons who may
    be now in possession the bonâ fide price (where any has been
    given) which such persons may have paid on purchasing any of
    the said lands, rights or properties, since the confiscation.

    And it is agreed, that all persons who have any interest in
    confiscated lands, either by debts, marriage settlements
    or otherwise, shall meet with no lawful impediment in the
    prosecution of their just rights.

    VI. That there shall be no future confiscations made, nor any
    prosecutions commenced against any person or persons, for or
    by reason of the part which he or they may have taken in the
    present war; and that no person shall on that account suffer
    any future loss or damage either in his person, liberty
    or property, and that those who may be in confinement on
    such charges at the time of the ratification of the Treaty
    in America, shall be immediately set at liberty, and the
    prosecutions so commenced be discontinued.

    VII. There shall be a firm and perpetual Peace between His
    Britannic Majesty and the said States, and between the
    Subjects of the one and the Citizens of the other, wherefore
    all hostilities both by sea and land shall from henceforth
    cease: all Prisoners on both sides shall be set at liberty,
    and His Britannic Majesty shall with all convenient speed,
    and without causing any destruction, or carrying away any
    Negroes or other property of the American Inhabitants,
    withdraw all his Armies, Garrisons and Fleets from the said
    United States, and from every Port, Place, and Harbour
    within the same; leaving in all Fortifications the American
    Artillery that may be therein: and shall also order and cause
    all Archives, Records, Deeds, and Papers belonging to any of
    the said States, or their Citizens which in the course of
    the War may have fallen into the hands of his Officers, to
    be forthwith restored and delivered to the proper States and
    Persons to whom they belong.

    VIII. The navigation of the River Mississippi, from its
    source to the Ocean, shall for ever remain free and open to
    the Subjects of Great Britain and the Citizens of the United

    IX. In case it should so happen that any Place or Territory
    belonging to Great Britain, or to the United States, should
    have been conquered by the arms of either, from the other,
    before the arrival of the said Provisional Articles in
    America, it is agreed that the same shall be restored without
    difficulty, and without requiring any compensation.

    X. The solemn Ratifications of the present Treaty, expedited
    in good and due form, shall be exchanged between the
    Contracting Parties in the space of 6 months, or sooner if
    possible, to be computed from the day of the signature of the
    present Treaty.

    In witness whereof, we, the undersigned, their Ministers
    Plenipotentiary, have in their name, and in virtue of our
    Full Powers, signed with our Hands the present definitive
    Treaty, and caused the Seals of our Arms to be affixed

    Done at Paris, this 3rd day of September, in the year of our
    Lord, 1783.

  (L.S.) D. HARTLEY.     (L.S.) JOHN ADAMS.
                         (L.S.) B. FRANKLIN.
                         (L.S.) JOHN JAY.



[Sidenote: The North-Eastern boundary.]

On the North-Eastern side, the Treaty of 1783 prescribed the
boundary as follows:--

    ‘From the North-West angle of Nova Scotia, viz., that
    angle which is formed by a line drawn due North; from the
    source of St. Croix river to the Highlands; along the said
    Highlands which divide those rivers that empty themselves
    into the river St. Lawrence from those which fall into the
    Atlantic Ocean, to the North-Westernmost head of Connecticut
    river; ... East by a line to be drawn along the middle of
    the river St. Croix, from its mouth in the Bay of Fundy
    to its source, and from its source directly North to the
    aforesaid Highlands, which divide the rivers that fall into
    the Atlantic Ocean from those which fall into the river St.
    Lawrence; comprehending all islands within twenty leagues
    of any part of the shores of the United States, and lying
    between lines to be drawn due East from the points where the
    aforesaid boundaries between Nova Scotia on the one part, and
    East Florida on the other, shall respectively touch the Bay
    of Fundy and the Atlantic Ocean, excepting such islands as
    now are or heretofore have been within the limits of the said
    province of Nova Scotia.’

So far as these words refer to the sea boundary of the United
States no difficulty arose, except in the Bay of Fundy. East
Florida was ceded to Spain by Great Britain at the same time that
the treaty with the United States was signed, and therefore the
boundary line in the South had no further concern for the English.

[Sidenote: The border land between Acadia and New England.]

The North-East had been the border land between Acadia and the New
England States. In old days, as was inevitable, there had been
constant disputes between French and English as to the boundary
between Acadia and New England, while Acadia still belonged to
France; and, after the Treaty of Utrecht had given Acadia to Great
Britain, as to the boundary between Acadia and Canada. When, by the
Peace of 1763, Canada was ceded to Great Britain, the question of
boundaries ceased to have any national importance; and no further
difficulty, except as between British Provinces, arose until
the United States became an independent nation. Then it became
necessary to draw an international frontier line, which as a matter
of fact had never yet been drawn. There seems to have been a more
or less honest attempt, with the help of maps which were, as might
have been expected, inaccurate, to adopt a line for which there
was some authority in the past, instead of evolving a wholly new
frontier; and the result of looking to the past was eventually to
fix a boundary which was in no sense a natural frontier.

[Sidenote: The river St. Croix taken in 1763 as the boundary of
Nova Scotia and hence adopted as the boundary line in the Treaty of

The river St. Croix had always been a landmark in the history
of colonization in North America. It was the scene of the first
settlement by De Monts and Champlain; and, when Sir William
Alexander in 1621 received from the King the famous grant of Nova
Scotia, the grant was defined as extending to

    ‘the river generally known by the name of St. Croix and to
    the remotest springs, or source, from the Western side of the
    same, which empty into the first mentioned river’,

Later, the French claim on behalf of Acadia extended as far as
the Penobscot river, if not to the Kennebec; but after the Treaty
of Utrecht, the claims of Massachusetts to the country up to the
St. Croix river were allowed in 1732;[230] and in 1763, after the
Peace of Paris, the St. Croix river was, in the Commission to
the Governor of Nova Scotia, designated as the boundary of the
province, the following being the terms of the Commission:--

    ‘Although Our said province has anciently extended, and does
    of right extend, so far as the river Pentagoet or Penobscot,
    it shall be bounded by a line drawn from Cape Sable across
    the entrance of the Bay of Fundy to the mouth of the river
    St. Croix, by the said river to its source, and by a line
    drawn due North from thence to the Southern boundary of Our
    Colony of Quebec.’

Accordingly the river St. Croix was designated as the international
boundary in the Treaty of 1783.

[Sidenote: Doubt as to the identity of the St. Croix river.]

[Sidenote: Commission appointed under the Treaty of 1794 to
identify the river.]

But then the question arose which was the St. Croix river. Between
1763 and 1783 attempts had been made to identify it, but without
success, for at least three rivers flowing into Passamaquoddy Bay
were each claimed as the St. Croix. After the Peace of 1783, the
dispute continued, and eventually the further Treaty of 19th of
November, 1794, known from the name of the American statesman who
negotiated it in London as Jay’s Treaty, provided in the Fifth
Article that the question should be left to the final decision
of three Commissioners, one to be appointed by the British
Government, one by that of the United States, and a third by the
two Commissioners themselves. The article provided that

    ‘the said Commissioners shall by a Declaration under their
    hands and seals decide what river is the river St. Croix
    intended by the treaty. The said Declaration shall contain
    a description of the said river and shall particularize the
    latitude and the longitude of its mouth and its source.’

[Sidenote: The St. Croix river determined in 1798.]

In August, 1795, the Treaty was ratified by Washington as President
of the United States; and, in 1796, the Commissioners began their
work, the third Commissioner being an American lawyer. The work
was not concluded until another explanatory article had been, on
the 15th of March, 1798, signed on behalf of the two Governments,
relieving the Commissioners from the duty of particularizing the
latitude and longitude of the source of the St. Croix, provided
that they described the river in such other manner as they judged
expedient, and laying down that the point ascertained and described
to be the source should be marked by a monument to be erected and
maintained by the two Governments. Eventually, on the 25th of
October, 1798, the Commissioners, who had discharged their duties
with conspicuous fairness and ability, gave their award. They
identified the Scoodic river, as it was then called, with the St.
Croix of Champlain; they selected the Eastern or Northern branch of
the river as the boundary line in preference to the South-Western,
thereby including in American territory a considerable area which
the English had claimed; they marked beyond further dispute the
point which was thereafter to be held to be the source of the St.
Croix; but they did not demarcate the actual boundary line down the
course of the river.

[Sidenote: The Maine Boundary question.]

From the source of the St. Croix, according to the words of the
Treaty of 1783, which have been already quoted, a line was to be
drawn due North to the Highlands which formed the water parting
between the streams running into the St. Lawrence and those running
into the Atlantic Ocean, and this line was supposed to form the
North-West angle of Nova Scotia. No provision was made in the
Treaty of 1794 for determining the boundary North of the source of
the St. Croix river, and the labours of the St. Croix Commission
were confined to identifying that river from the mouth to the
source. A far more serious and more prolonged controversy arose
over the territory to the North of the source, threatening to bring
war between Great Britain and the United States, and not settled
for sixty years.

[Sidenote: The old definitions of the boundary.]

As in the case of the St. Croix, the framers of the Treaty of 1783,
in specifying a line drawn due North from the source of that river,
to meet the Highlands which parted the basin of the St. Lawrence
from that of the Atlantic, had recourse to past history and used
definitions already in existence. Nova Scotia, as granted to Sir
William Alexander, was, according to the terms of the charter,
bounded from the source of the St. Croix

    ‘by an imaginary straight line which is conceived to extend
    through the land, or run Northward to the nearest bay, river,
    or stream emptying into the great river of Canada’.

The Royal Proclamation of 1763, which constituted the province of
Quebec after the peace signed in that year, defined the Southern
boundary of Quebec as passing

    ‘along the Highlands which divide the rivers that empty
    themselves into the said river St. Lawrence from those which
    fall into the sea’.

The Quebec Act of 1774 again defined the Southern boundary of
Quebec as

    ‘along the Highlands which divide the rivers that empty
    themselves into the river St. Lawrence from those which fall
    into the sea, to a point in 45 degrees of Northern latitude
    on the Eastern bank of the River Connecticut’.

In the Commission to the Governor of Nova Scotia issued in 1763,
the Western boundary of Nova Scotia from the source of the St.
Croix was defined

    ‘by a line drawn due North from thence to the Southern
    boundary of Our colony of Quebec’.

Therefore the Treaty of 1783, in defining the international line as
a line drawn from the source of the St. Croix

    ‘directly North to the aforesaid Highlands which divide the
    rivers that fall into the Atlantic Ocean from those which
    fall into the river St. Lawrence’,

used the previous definitions of the Western boundary of Nova
Scotia and the Southern boundary of Quebec.

[Sidenote: The ‘North-West angle of Nova Scotia’.]

There were only two new points in the wording of the Treaty. The
first was that the sea was defined as the Atlantic Ocean, thereby
excluding the Bay of Chaleurs, and possibly the Bay of Fundy also,
which was, in the Treaty, at any rate according to the British
contention, treated as separate from the Atlantic Ocean. The second
was the importation of the words ‘the North-West angle of Nova
Scotia.’ It was obvious that wherever the Western boundary of Nova
Scotia met the Southern boundary of Quebec there must be such an
angle, but the Treaty spoke of it as a fixed starting point from
whence to draw the boundary line; it assumed that this angle rested
on highlands which divided the waters that flowed into the Atlantic
from those which were tributaries of the St. Lawrence; and it
assumed also that it would be reached by a due North line from the
source of the St. Croix river. So the inaccurate maps of the day
testified, and so paper boundaries, already recognized, prescribed.
When, however, the matter was put to the test of actual geography,
it was found that a line drawn due North from the source of the St.
Croix nowhere intersected a water parting between the St. Lawrence
basin and that of the Atlantic Ocean. The sources of the rivers
which run into the Atlantic were found to be far to the West of
the Northern line from the St. Croix river, to the West of that
line even if it had been drawn from the source of the South-Western
branch of the St. Croix, and not, as the St. Croix Commission had
drawn it, from the source of its more easterly branch. It was
evident that the earlier documents, which the Treaty of 1783 had
followed, were based upon inaccurate information and that it had
never been realized that the source of the St. John river, beyond
which would naturally be sought the head waters of the streams
running into the Atlantic, lay so far to the West, as is actually
the case.

[Sidenote: The terms of the 1783 Treaty were not in accord with
actual facts.]

It was therefore physically impossible to mark out a boundary in
accordance with the terms of the Treaty. If the due Northern line
was adhered to, the Highlands mentioned by the Treaty could not
be reached. If those Highlands were adhered to, the due Northern
line must be abandoned. In either case the North-Western angle
of Nova Scotia, instead of being a fixed starting point, was an
unknown factor, an abstraction which could only be given a real
existence by bargain and agreement. The matter was one of vital
importance to Great Britain, for it involved the preservation or
abandonment of communication between the Maritime Provinces and
Canada, all important in winter time when the mouth of the St.
Lawrence was closed. The direct North line cut the St. John river
slightly to the west of the Grand Falls on that river; and, had
it been prolonged in the same direction, searching for Highlands
till the St. Lawrence was nearly reached, Canada and New Brunswick
would have been almost cut off from each other. The longer the
controversy went on, the more clearly this result was seen by the
Americans as well as by the English, hence the bitterness of the
dispute and the tenacity with which either party maintained their
position and accentuated their claims.

[Sidenote: Attempt at settlement in 1803.]

[Sidenote: The second American war.]

[Sidenote: The British Contention.]

On the 12th of May, 1803, a Convention was signed between Great
Britain and the United States providing that the dispute should be
left to the decision of an International Commission constituted
in precisely the same manner as the St. Croix Commission had
been constituted; but the Convention was never ratified, and the
points at issue were still outstanding when the negotiations were
set on foot which ended in the Treaty of Ghent at the close of
the second war between the two nations. During the war formal
possession was taken on behalf of Great Britain of the country
between the Penobscot river and New Brunswick, which included
the area under dispute, a proclamation to that effect being
issued at Halifax on the 21st of September, 1814;[231] but at
the date of the proclamation negotiations for peace were already
proceeding, and the only basis on which the Americans would treat
was the restitution of the status quo ante bellum, proposals
for an adjustment of the boundary between New Brunswick and
Massachusetts,[232] of which Maine then formed part, being treated
as a demand for cession of territory belonging to the United
States. On the British side it was maintained that the line claimed
by the Americans

    ‘by which the direct communication between Halifax and Quebec
    becomes interrupted, was not in contemplation of the British
    Plenipotentiaries who concluded the Treaty of 1783’,[233]

and in a later letter, replying to the American representatives,
the British negotiators wrote[234]

    ‘the British Government never required that all that portion
    of the State of Massachusetts intervening between the
    Province of New Brunswick and Quebec should be ceded to Great
    Britain, but only that small portion of unsettled country
    which interrupts the communication between Halifax and
    Quebec, there being much doubt whether it does not already
    belong to Great Britain’.

The inference to be drawn from the correspondence is that, on the
strict wording of the Treaty of 1783, apart from the intention of
those who negotiated it, the American claim was recognized to be
stronger than the British.

[Sidenote: The Treaty of Ghent.]

[Sidenote: A Boundary Commission appointed.]

[Sidenote: The Commissioners disagree.]

The Treaty of Ghent was signed on the 24th of December, 1814,
and the Fifth Article provided that two Commissioners should be
appointed to locate the North-West angle of Nova Scotia as well as
the North-Westernmost head of the Connecticut river, between which
two points the Treaty of 1783 provided that the dividing line along
the Highlands was to be drawn. A map of the boundary was to be
made, and the latitude and longitude of the North-West angle and
of the head of the Connecticut were to be particularized. If the
Commissioners agreed, their report was to be final; but if they
disagreed, they were to report to their respective governments, and
some friendly sovereign or state was to arbitrate between them. The
Commission first met in 1816, much time was taken up in surveying
the North line from the source of the St. Croix to the watershed
of the St. Lawrence, and it was not until 1821 that the two
representatives, having failed to agree, gave distinct awards, the
British Commissioner placing the North-West angle at the Highlands
known as Mars Hill nearly 40 miles south of the St. John river, and
the American Commissioner locating it nearly 70 miles north of that
river, either Commissioner adopting the extreme claim put forward
by his side.

[Sidenote: The Convention of 1827.]

[Sidenote: Award given by the King of the Netherlands as

[Sidenote: The award not accepted by the Americans.]

In view of the divergence between the two reports, it was
necessary, in accordance with the terms of the Treaty of Ghent, to
submit the matter to arbitration; but this step was not taken until
yet another Convention had been signed on the 29th of September,
1827, providing that new statements of the case on either side
should be drawn up for submission to the arbitrator. It was laid
down that the basis of the statements should be two specified
maps, one of which was referred to as the map used in drawing
up the original Treaty of 1783. The inaccuracies in this map,
Mitchell’s map, had been the origin of all the difficulties which
had subsequently arisen. The King of the Netherlands was selected
to arbitrate. In 1830 the statements were laid before him, and
in January, 1831, he gave his award. It was to the effect that
it was impossible, having regard either to law or to equity, to
adopt either of the lines proposed by the two contending parties,
and that a compromise should be accepted which was defined in
the award. The line which the king proposed was more favourable
to the Americans than to the English, but the Americans declined
to consent to it, on the ground that, while the arbitrator
might accept either of the two lines which were presented for
arbitration, he was not empowered to fix a third and new boundary.

[Sidenote: Collision in the Aroostook region.]

[Sidenote: The Ashburton Treaty.]

[Sidenote: Final settlement of the Maine boundary question.]

Thus this troublesome matter was still left outstanding, and yet
the necessity for a settlement was more pressing than ever. The new
state of Maine maintained the American claim with more pertinacity
and less inclination to compromise than the Government of the
United States had shown; the United States Government was ready to
accept a conventional line, but Maine objected, and meanwhile the
result of the uncertainty and delay was that the backwoodsmen of
Maine and New Brunswick were coming to blows. About the beginning
of 1839 the disputes in the region of the Aroostook river nearly
brought on war between the two nations, which was only averted
by the mediation of General Winfield Scott then commanding the
American forces on the frontier. Immediately afterwards two British
Commissioners, Colonel Mudge and Mr. Featherstonhaugh, were deputed
to survey the debatable territory and reported in April, 1840,[235]
their report being followed by a survey on the part of the American
Government. At length, on the 9th of August, 1842, Daniel Webster
then Secretary of State for the United States, and Lord Ashburton,
sent out as special Commissioner from Great Britain, concluded the
Treaty of Washington, which put an end to the long and dangerous
controversy. By the First Article of that Treaty the present
boundary was fixed; the North line from the monument at the head of
the St. Croix river was followed to the point where it intersected
the St. John; the middle of the main channel of that river was then
taken as far as the mouth of its tributary the St. Francis; thence
the middle of the channel of the St. Francis up to the outlet of
the Lake Pohenagamook; from which point the line was drawn in a
South-Westerly direction to the dividing Highlands and the head of
the Connecticut river until the 45th degree of North latitude was
reached. The boundary was subsequently surveyed and marked out, and
upon the 28th of June, 1847, the final results were reported and
the matter was at an end.

[Sidenote: Settlement of the boundary between the province of
Quebec and that of New Brunswick.]

The existing boundary is on the whole more favourable to Great
Britain than the line which the King of the Netherlands proposed
and the Americans rejected; but notwithstanding, Lord Ashburton’s
settlement has always been regarded in Canada as having given to
the United States territory to which Great Britain had an undoubted
claim. The fault, however, was not with Lord Ashburton but with the
wording of the original Treaty of 1783; and that treaty, as has
been shown, was based on such geographical information as there
was to hand, accepted at the time in good faith, but subsequently
proved to be incorrect. It should be added that by the Third
Article of the Ashburton Treaty the navigation of the river St.
John was declared to be free and open to both nations, and that
the settlement of the international boundary was followed by an
adjustment of the frontier between Canada and New Brunswick. The
dispute between the two provinces was, at the suggestion of the
Imperial Government, eventually referred to two arbitrators, one
chosen by each province, with an umpire selected by the arbitrators
themselves. The award was given in 1851, and in the same year its
terms were embodied in an Imperial Act of Parliament

    ‘for the settlement of the boundaries between the provinces
    of Canada and New Brunswick’.

[Sidenote: The International boundary in the Bay of Fundy.]

In the Bay of Fundy the boundary line between British and American
territory was, by the terms of the 1783 Treaty, to be drawn due
East from the mouth of the St. Croix river, assigning to the United
States all islands within twenty leagues of the shore to the South
of the line,

    ‘excepting such islands as now are or heretofore have been
    within the limits of the said province of Nova Scotia.’

Here was a further ground of dispute, touching the ownership of
the islands in Passamaquoddy Bay. Geographically they would belong
to the United States, unless they could be shown to have been
within the limits of Nova Scotia. The Convention of 1803, which
has already been mentioned as never having been ratified, in the
First Article prescribed the boundary; and the Treaty of Ghent
in the Fourth Article referred the matter to two Commissioners
on precisely the same terms as were adopted by the next Article
of the Treaty in the case of the North-West angle controversy,
i.e., each nation was to appoint an arbitrator, and, if the two
arbitrators failed to agree, separate reports were to be made to
the two governments, and the final decision was to be left to some
friendly sovereign or state. Fortunately the two arbitrators came
to an agreement, delivering their award on the 24th of November,
1817. Three little islands in the Bay of Passamaquoddy, named
Moose Island, Dudley Island, and Frederick Island, were allotted
to the United States, and the rest of the islands in the bay,
together with the island of Grand Manan, lying further out in the
Bay of Fundy, were assigned to Great Britain. The actual channel,
however, was not delimited; and though many years afterwards, under
a Convention of 1892, Commissioners were appointed for the purpose,
they failed to come to a complete agreement; this small question
therefore between the two nations is still awaiting settlement
under the Treaty for the delimitation of International Boundaries
between Canada and the United States which was signed on 11th
April, 1908.[236]

[Sidenote: The line from the North-Westernmost head of the
Connecticut river to the St. Lawrence.]

From the point where the boundary line struck the North-Westernmost
head of the Connecticut River, the Treaty of 1783 provided that it
should be carried

    ‘down along the middle of that river to the forty-fifth
    degree of North latitude, from thence by a line due West
    on said latitude until it strikes the river Iroquois or

Iroquois or Cataraquy was the name given to the St. Lawrence
between Montreal and Lake Ontario, and the First Article of Lord
Ashburton’s Treaty, identifying the North-Westernmost head of the
Connecticut River with a river called Hall’s Stream, re-affirmed
in somewhat different words the provision of the older Treaty as
to this section of the boundary. Here there was no dispute. The
line had already been laid down in the Proclamation of 1763 and the
Quebec Act of 1774. In the words of the Ashburton Treaty it was the

    ‘which has been known and understood to be the line of actual
    division between the States of New York and Vermont on one
    side and the British province of Canada on the other’.

[Sidenote: The line up the St. Lawrence and the lakes.]

From the point where the 45th parallel intersected the St.
Lawrence, the line was, under the Treaty of 1783, to be carried
up the middle of the rivers and lakes to the water communication
between Lake Huron and Lake Superior, with the necessary result
that Lake Michigan was entirely excluded from Canada. By the
Sixth Article of the Treaty of Ghent two Commissioners were to
be appointed to settle doubts as to what was the middle of the
waterway and to which of the two nations the various Islands
belonged: and, as in other cases, if the Commissioners disagreed,
they were to report to their respective governments with a view
to arbitration by a neutral power. A joint award was given,[237]
signed at Utica on the 18th of June, 1822, the boundary being
elaborately specified and the report being accompanied by a series
of maps.

[Sidenote: The line between Lake Huron and Lake Superior, and to
the most North-Western point of the Lake of the Woods.]

[Sidenote: Nonexistence of the ‘Long Lake’.]

[Sidenote: The ‘most North-Western point of the Lake of the Woods’

[Sidenote: The Ashburton Treaty and the Treaty of 1871.]

[Sidenote: Navigation of the St. Lawrence.]

The Treaty of 1783 laid down that the line was to be drawn, as
already stated, through the middle of Lake Huron

    ‘to the water-communication between that lake and Lake
    Superior; thence through Lake Superior, Northward of the
    Isles Royal and Phelipeaux to the Long Lake; thence through
    the middle of said Long Lake and the water communication
    between it and the Lake of the Woods to the said Lake of the
    Woods, thence through the said lake to the most North-Western
    point thereof’.

Under the Sixth Article of the Treaty of Ghent the Commissioners
defined the frontier line well into the strait between Lakes Huron
and Superior, but stopped short of the Sault St. Marie, at a point
above St. Joseph’s Island and below St. George’s or Sugar Island.
Here they considered that their labours under the Sixth Article
terminated. But the next Article of the Treaty of Ghent provided
that the same two Commissioners should go on to determine

    ‘that part of the boundary between the dominions of the two
    powers, which extends from the water communication between
    Lake Huron and Lake Superior to the most North-Western point
    of the Lake of the Woods’.

Comparing these words with the terms of the 1783 Treaty, it will
be noticed that mention of the Long Lake is eliminated, as it had
been discovered in the meantime that the Long Lake could not be
identified. On this section of the boundary the Commissioners were
not at one. Accordingly on the 23rd of October, 1826,[238] they
presented an elaborate joint report showing the points on which
they had come to an agreement, and those on which they were at
variance, with their respective recommendations. As to a great
part of the line they were in accord, and especially they defined
by latitude and longitude the most North-Western point of the Lake
of the Woods, but they wholly disagreed as to the ownership of
St. George’s or Sugar Island in the strait between Lake Huron and
Lake Superior, and also as to the line to be taken from a point
towards the Western end of Lake Superior[239] to the Lac de Pluie
or Rainy Lake. They made, however, on either side suggestions for
compromise. The matter was set at rest by the Second Article of
Lord Ashburton’s Treaty, St. George’s Island being assigned to the
United States, and a compromise line being drawn from Lake Superior
to Rainy Lake. The channels along the whole boundary line from the
point where it strikes the St. Lawrence are open to both nations;
and by the Twenty-sixth Article of the Treaty of Washington, dated
the 8th of May, 1871, the navigation of the St. Lawrence, from the
point where it is intersected by the International Boundary down
to the sea is declared to be free and open for the purposes of
Commerce to the citizens of the United States, subject to any laws
and regulations of Great Britain and Canada not inconsistent with
the privilege of free navigation.

[Sidenote: The line from the most North-Western point of the Lake
of the Woods to the Mississippi.]

[Sidenote: Mistake as to the source of the Mississippi in the
Treaty of 1783.]

[Sidenote: Corrected by Jay’s Treaty of 1794.]

According to the 1783 Treaty the boundary line from the most
North-Western point of the Lake of the Woods was to be drawn

    ‘on a due West course to the river Mississippi’,

and was then to follow that river Southwards. Here geographical
knowledge was again wanting. The framers of the treaty were under
the impression that the source of the Mississippi was further North
than is actually the case, and they prescribed a geographical
impossibility. It was not long before the mistake was found out,
for the Fourth Article of Jay’s Treaty of 1794[240] began with the

    ‘Whereas it is uncertain whether the river Mississippi
    extends so far to the Northward as to be intersected by a
    line to be drawn due West from the Lake of the Woods.’

The same Article provided that there should be a joint survey of
the sources of the river, and, if it was found that the Westward
line did not intersect the river, the boundary was to be adjusted

    ‘according to justice and mutual convenience and in
    conformity to the intent of’

the 1783 Treaty.

[Sidenote: The Convention of 1818.]

[Sidenote: First mention in the boundary agreements of the 49th
Parallel and the Rocky Mountains.]

The Fifth Article of the unratified Treaty of 1803 provided that a
direct line should be drawn from the North-West point of the Lake
of the Woods to the nearest source of the Mississippi, leaving it
to three Commissioners to fix the two points in question and to
draw the line. A further attempt at adjustment was made in 1806-7,
when the negotiators provisionally agreed to an Article to the
effect that the line should be drawn from the most North-Western
point of the Lake of the Woods to the 49th parallel of latitude,
and from that point due West along the parallel

    ‘as far as the respective territories extend in that quarter’.

This solution again was not carried into effect; and though the
subject was raised in the negotiations which preceded the Treaty
of Ghent in 1814, no mention was made of it in the Treaty itself.
Eventually, however, on the 20th of October, 1818, a Convention was
signed in London, the Second Article of which ran as follows:--

    ‘It is agreed that a line drawn from the most North-Western
    point of the Lake of the Woods along the 49th parallel of
    North latitude or, if the said point shall not be in the
    49th parallel of North latitude, then that a line drawn
    from the said point due North or South, as the case may be,
    until the said line shall intersect the said parallel of
    North latitude, and from the point of such intersection due
    West along and with the said parallel, shall be the line
    of demarcation between the territories of His Britannic
    Majesty and those of the United States, and that the said
    line shall form the Southern boundary of the said territories
    of His Britannic Majesty and the Northern boundary of the
    territories of the United States from the Lake of the Woods
    to the Stony Mountains.’[241]

Here the Rocky Mountains, under the name of the Stony Mountains,
first come in, their existence having been unknown, except by vague
report, when the Peace of 1783 was signed.[242]

[Sidenote: The boundary line as far as the Rocky Mountains finally
determined by the Ashburton Treaty.]

[Sidenote: The Ashburton Treaty finally determined the points
arising out of the wording of the Treaty of 1783.]

Geographical knowledge was creeping on, but the wording of
the Article shows that it was still uncertain whether the
North-Westernmost point of the Lake of the Woods was North or South
of the 49th parallel. This doubt was finally cleared up by the
Commissioners who, as already stated, reported in October, 1826,
and who fixed the point in question in 49° 23′ 55″ North; thus,
when Lord Ashburton negotiated the 1842 Treaty, it was only left
for him, adopting the point which the Commissioners had fixed, to
lay down in the Second Article that the boundary line ran

    ‘thence, according to existing treaties, due South to its
    intersection with the 49th parallel of North latitude, and
    along that parallel to the Rocky Mountains’.

The 49th parallel runs through the Lake of the Woods, but the
anterior provision that the boundary line should be carried to the
North-Westernmost point of the lake, coupled with the fact that
that point had been already determined, necessitated an unnatural
and inconvenient diversion of the frontier line first to the
North-West and then due South again, thereby including in American
territory a small corner of land which should clearly have been
assigned to Canada. For this result Lord Ashburton has been blamed,
as he was blamed in the matter of the Maine boundary, but in either
case his hands were tied by previous negotiations and the wording
of existing treaties. A fair review of the whole subject leads to
the conclusion that the Treaty of Washington in 1842 was a not
inadequate compromise of the almost insuperable difficulties which
the wording of the original Treaty of 1783 had left outstanding.

[Sidenote: Later boundary questions.]

In tracing the evolution of the boundary between Canada and the
United States we have now reached the point where the 1783 Treaty
ceased to operate, and have seen that the negotiations connected
with the interpretation of the Treaty resulted in the line of
demarcation being carried far beyond that point, viz., the head of
the Mississippi, up to the range of the Rocky Mountains. Meanwhile
the Pacific Coast had begun to attract attention, and a new crop of
international questions had come into existence.

[Sidenote: The Oregon boundary dispute.]

The Western territory in dispute between the two nations was known
as the Oregon or Columbia territory, and it lay between the 42nd
degree of North latitude and the Russian line in 54° 40′ North
latitude. The Columbia river took its name from the fact that it
had been entered in May, 1792, by an American ship from Boston
named the _Columbia_, commanded by Captain Gray, who thus claimed
to be the discoverer of the river. In 1805 Lewis and Clark, the
first Americans to cross the continent, reached its head waters and
followed the river down to the sea. In 1811 an American trading
settlement was planted at Astoria near its mouth. This settlement
was voluntarily surrendered to Great Britain in the war which
followed shortly afterwards, but was restored, without prejudice,
to the United States under the general restitution article of the
Treaty of Ghent. The Third Article of the subsequent Treaty of
October 20th, 1818, provided that

    ‘any country that may be claimed by either party on the
    North-West coast of America, Westward of the Stony Mountains,
    shall, together with its harbours, bays, and creeks and the
    navigation of all rivers within the same, be free and open
    for the term of 10 years’

to both Powers, without prejudice to the claims either of
themselves or of foreign Powers; and this Article was, by a
Convention of 6th of August, 1827, indefinitely prolonged--subject
to one year’s notice on either side--all claims being, as before,
reserved. This last Convention was concluded, as its terms
specified, in order to prevent all hazard of misunderstanding and
to give time for maturing measures for a more definite settlement.

[Sidenote: The position in 1842.]

On this basis matters stood in 1842, when the Ashburton Treaty was
signed. There was joint occupation of the Oregon territory by
British and American subjects, and freedom of trade for both. Lord
Ashburton had been empowered to negotiate for a settlement of the
North-Western as well as the North-Eastern frontier line; but the
latter, which involved the question of the Maine--New Brunswick
boundary, being the more pressing matter, it was thought well to
allow the determination of the line West of the Rocky Mountains
to stand over for the moment. As soon as Lord Ashburton’s Treaty
had been signed at Washington in August, 1842, Lord Aberdeen, then
Foreign Secretary in Sir Robert Peel’s Ministry, made overtures
to the United States with a view to an early settlement of the
Oregon question. A long diplomatic controversy ensued, complicated
by changes of government in the United States, and tending, as is
constantly the case in such negotiations, to greater instead of
less divergence of view.

[Sidenote: The rival claims.]

The Americans contended that they had a title to the whole
territory up to the Russian line, and they claimed the entire
region drained by the Columbia river. As a compromise, however,
they had already, in the negotiations which ended in the Convention
of 1827, suggested that the boundary line along the 49th parallel
should be continued as far as the Pacific, the navigation of the
Columbia river being left open to both nations. This offer was
repeated as the controversy went on, with the exception that on the
one hand free navigation of the Columbia river was excluded, and on
the other the American Secretary of State proposed

    ‘to make free to Great Britain any port or ports on
    Vancouver’s Island, south of this parallel, which the British
    Government may desire’.[243]

The counter British proposal was to the effect that the boundary
line should be continued along the 49th parallel until it
intersected the North-Eastern branch of the Columbia river, and
that then the line of the river should be followed to its mouth,
giving to Great Britain all the country on the north of the river
and to the United States all on the south, the navigation of the
river being free to both nations, and a detached strip of coast
land to the north of the river being also conceded to the United
States, with the further understanding that any port or ports,
either on the mainland or on Vancouver Island, South of the 49th
parallel, to which the United States might wish to have access,
should be constituted free ports.

[Sidenote: Settlement of the Oregon boundary question by the Treaty
of 1846.]

The arguments advanced on both sides, based on alleged priority
of discovery and settlement and on the construction of previous
treaties, are contained in the Blue Book of 1846, and are too
voluminous to be repeated here. The controversy went on from 1842
to 1846; and, when the spring of the latter year was reached, the
Americans had withdrawn their previous offer and had refused a
British proposal to submit the whole matter to arbitration. There
was thus a complete deadlock, but shortly afterwards a debate
in Congress showed a desire on the American side to effect a
friendly settlement of a dispute which had become dangerous, and,
the opportunity being promptly taken by the British Government, a
Draft Treaty was sent out by Lord Aberdeen, which was submitted by
President Polk to the Senate, who by a large majority advised him
to accept it.[244] The Treaty was accordingly signed at Washington
on the 15th of June, 1846. By the First Article the boundary line

    ‘continued Westward along the said forty-ninth parallel of
    North latitude to the middle of the channel which separates
    the continent from Vancouver Island, and thence Southerly,
    through the middle of the said channel and of Fuca’s Straits,
    to the Pacific Ocean’,

the navigation of the channel and straits South of the 49th
parallel being left free and open to both nations. By the Second
Article of the same Treaty, the navigation of the Columbia river,
from the point where the 49th parallel intersects its great
Northern branch, was left open to the Hudson’s Bay Company and
to all British subjects trading with the same. The effect of the
Treaty was that Great Britain abandoned the claim to the line of
the Columbia river, and the United States modified its proposal
to adopt the 49th parallel as the boundary so far as to concede
the whole of Vancouver Island to Great Britain. The news that the
treaty had been signed reached England just as Sir Robert Peel’s
ministry was going out of office.

[Sidenote: The San Juan boundary question.]

[Sidenote: Arbitration under the Treaty of 1871.]

The delimitation of the boundary which the Treaty had affirmed
gave rise to a further difficulty. The Treaty having provided that
the sea line was to be drawn southerly through the middle of the
channel which separates Vancouver Island from the continent and of
Fuca’s Straits into the Pacific Ocean, the two nations were unable
to agree as to what was the middle of the channel in the Gulf of
Georgia between the Southern end of Vancouver Island and the North
American coast. The main question at issue was the ownership of
the island of San Juan, and the subject of dispute was for this
reason known as the San Juan boundary question. The British claim
was that the line should be drawn to the Eastward of the island,
down what was known as the Rosario Straits. The Americans contended
that it should be drawn on the Western side, following the Canal
de Haro or Haro Channel. Eventually it was laid down by the 34th
and following Articles of the Treaty of Washington of 8th of
May, 1871--the same Treaty which provided for arbitration on the
_Alabama_ question--that the Emperor of Germany should arbitrate
as to which of the two claims was most in accordance with the true
interpretation of the Treaty of 1846, and that his award should be
absolutely final and conclusive. On the 21st of October, 1872, the
arbitrator gave his award in favour of the United States, and it
was immediately carried into effect, thus completing the boundary
line from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

[Sidenote: The Alaska boundary question.]

In a message to Congress on the subject of the San Juan Boundary
Award, President Grant stated

    ‘The Award leaves us, for the first time in the history of
    the United States as a nation, without a question of disputed
    boundary between our territory and the possessions of Great
    Britain on this continent;’

and he suggested that a joint Commission should determine the line
between the Alaska territory and the conterminous possessions of
Great Britain, on the hypothesis that here there was no ground of
dispute and that all that was required was the actual delimitation
of an already admitted boundary line. The matter proved to be more
complex than the President’s words implied.

[Sidenote: Russian America ceded to the United States.]

[Sidenote: Line of demarcation between British and Russian
possessions in North America drawn in 1825.]

By a Treaty signed on the 30th of March, 1867, the territory
now known as Alaska was ceded by Russia to the United States.
It was the year in which the Dominion Act was passed; and, when
British Columbia[245] in 1871 joined the Dominion, Canada became,
in respect of that province, as well as in regard to the Yukon
Territory, a party to the Alaska boundary question. The limits of
Russian America, as it was then called, had been fixed as far back
as 1825, when, by a treaty between Great Britain and Russia, dated
the 28th of February in that year, a line of demarcation was fixed
between British and Russian possessions

    ‘upon the coast of the continent and the islands of America
    to the North-West’.

The line started from the Southernmost point of Prince of Wales
Island, which point was defined as lying in the parallel of 54°
40′ North latitude and between the 131st and 133rd degrees of West
longitude. It was carried thence to the North, along the channel
called Portland Channel, up to that point of the continent where it
intersected the 56th parallel of North latitude. From this point it
followed the summit of the mountains parallel to the coast until
it intersected the 141st degree of West longitude, and was carried
along that meridian to the Arctic Ocean. The Treaty provided that
the whole of Prince of Wales Island should belong to Russia, and
that wherever the summit of the mountains running parallel to the
coast between the 56th parallel of North latitude and the point
where the boundary line intersected the 141st meridian was proved
to be at a distance of more than 10 marine leagues from the ocean,
the line should be drawn parallel to the windings of the coast at a
distance from it never exceeding 10 marine leagues.

[Sidenote: Free navigation of rivers.]

Free navigation of the rivers which flowed into the Pacific Ocean
across the strip of coast assigned to Russia was conceded in
perpetuity to British subjects; and, after the transfer of Russian
America to the United States, the Twenty-sixth Article of the
Treaty of Washington of 1871 provided that the navigation of the
rivers Yukon, Porcupine, and Stikine should for ever remain free
and open to both British and American citizens, subject to such
laws and regulations of either country within its own territory as
were not inconsistent with the privilege of free navigation.

[Sidenote: Negotiations for a settlement of the boundary with the
United States.]

[Sidenote: The Convention of 1892.]

In 1872, the year after the entry of British Columbia into the
Dominion of Canada, mining being contemplated in the northern
part of British Columbia, overtures were, at the instance of the
Canadian Government, made to the United States to demarcate the
boundary, which had never yet been surveyed and delimited. The
probable cost of a survey caused delay, and no action had been
taken when in 1875 and 1876 disputes arose as to the boundary line
on the Stikine river. The Canadian Government in 1877 dispatched
an engineer to ascertain approximately the line on the river, and
the result of his survey was in the following year provisionally
accepted by the United States as a temporary arrangement, without
prejudice to a final settlement. Negotiations began again about
1884, and, by a Convention signed at Washington on the 22nd of
July, 1892, it was provided that a coincident or joint survey
should be undertaken of the territory adjacent to the boundary
line from the latitude of 54° 40′ North to the point where the
line intersects the 141st degree of West longitude. It was added
that, as soon as practicable after the report or reports had been
received, the two governments should proceed to consider and
establish the boundary line. The time within which the results of
the survey were to be reported was, by a supplementary Convention,
extended to the 31st of December, 1895, and on that date a joint
report was made, but no action was taken upon it at the time.

[Sidenote: Discovery of gold at Klondyke.]

[Sidenote: Further negotiations.]

In 1896 the Klondyke goldfields were discovered in what now
constitutes the Yukon district of the North-West Territories,
and in the following year there was a large immigration into the
district. The goldfields were most accessible by the passes beyond
the head of the inlet known as the Lynn canal, the opening of
which into the sea is within what had been the Russian fringe of
coast. The necessity therefore for determining the boundary became
more urgent than before. In 1898 the British Government proposed
that the matter should be referred to three Commissioners, one
appointed by each government and the third by a neutral power; and
that, pending a settlement, a _modus vivendi_ should be arranged.
A provisional boundary in this quarter was accordingly agreed
upon, but, instead of the Commission which had been proposed,
representatives of Great Britain and the United States alone met in
1898 and 1899 to discuss and if possible settle various questions
at issue between the two nations, among them being the Alaska
boundary. They were to endeavour to come to an agreement as to
provisions for the delimitation of the boundary

    ‘by legal and scientific experts, if the Commission should so
    decide, or otherwise’,

memoranda of the views held on either side being furnished in
advance of the sittings of the Commission. Again no settlement was

[Sidenote: The Convention of 1903. Joint Commission appointed.]

The dispute between Great Britain and Venezuela as to the boundary
between Venezuela and British Guiana, in which the Government of
the United States had intervened, had, by a Convention signed in
February, 1897, been referred to arbitration, the Arbitrators
being five in number, two Englishmen, two Americans, and one
representative of a neutral State. In July, 1899, before the award
in this arbitration had been given, Lord Salisbury proposed to
the American Government that a treaty on identical lines with the
Venezuela boundary Convention should apply arbitration to the
Alaska Boundary question. To this procedure, giving a casting vote
on the whole question to a representative of a neutral power,
the American Government took exception, and suggested instead a
Tribunal consisting of ‘Six impartial Jurists of repute’, three to
be appointed by the President of the United States and three by Her
Britannic Majesty. A suggestion made by the British Government that
one of the three Arbitrators on either side should be a subject of
a neutral state was not accepted; and eventually, on the 24th of
January, 1903, a Convention was signed at Washington, constituting
a tribunal in accordance with the American conditions. The three
British representatives were the Lord Chief Justice of England and
two leading Canadians, one of them being the Lieutenant-Governor of
the Province of Quebec.

[Sidenote: Points for decision.]

The preamble of the Convention stated that its object was a
‘friendly and final adjustment’ of the differences which had
arisen as to the ‘true meaning and application’ of the clauses
in the Anglo-Russian Treaty of 1825 which referred to the Alaska
boundary. The tribunal was to decide where the line was intended to
begin; what channel was the Portland Channel; how the line should
be drawn from the point of commencement to the entrance to the
Portland Channel; to what point on the 56th parallel and by what
course it should be drawn from the head of the Portland Channel;
what interpretation should be given to the provision in the Treaty
of 1825 that from the 56th parallel to the point where the 141st
degree of longitude was intersected the line should follow the
crest of the mountains running parallel to the coast at a distance
nowhere exceeding ten marine leagues from the ocean; and what were
the mountains, if any, which were indicated by the treaty.

[Sidenote: Main point at issue.]

The main point at issue was whether the ten leagues should be
measured from the open sea or from the heads of the inlets, some
of which ran far into the land. If the latter interpretation were
adopted, the result would be to give to the United States control
of the main lines of communication with the Klondyke Mining
district, just as the Maine boundary threatened to cut, and in
large measure did cut, communication between the Maritime Provinces
and Quebec.

[Sidenote: The Award.]

The Convention provided that all questions considered by the
tribunal, including the final award, should be decided by a
majority of the Arbitrators. The tribunal was unanimous in deciding
that the point of commencement of the line was Cape Muzon, the
Southernmost point of Dall Island on the Western or ocean side of
Prince of Wales Island. A unanimous opinion was also given to the
effect that the Portland Channel is the channel which runs from
about 55°56′ North latitude and passes seawards to the North of
Pearse and Wales Islands; but on all subsequent points there was
a division of opinion, the three American representatives and the
Lord Chief Justice of England giving a majority award from which
the two Canadian members of the tribunal most strongly dissented.
The majority decided that the outlet of the Portland Channel to the
sea was to be identified with the strait known as Tongass Channel,
and that the line should be drawn along that channel and pass to
the South of two islands named Sitklan and Khannaghunut islands,
thus vesting the ownership of those islands in the United States.
They also decided that the boundary line from the 56th parallel of
North latitude to the point of intersection with the 141st degree
of West longitude should run round the heads of the inlets and not
cross them. One section of the line was not fully determined owing
to the want of an adequate survey. The net result of the award
was to substantiate the American claims, to give to the United
States full command of the sea approaches to the Klondyke Mining
districts, and to include within American territory two islands
hard by the prospective terminus of a new Trans-Canadian Railway.

[Sidenote: The Behring Sea arbitration.]

It may be added that the Treaty of 30th March, 1867, by which
Alaska was transferred from Russia to the United States, gave rise
not only to the territorial boundary dispute of which an account
has been given above, but also to a controversy as to American and
British rights in the Behring Sea, more especially in connexion
with the taking of seals. The questions at issue were settled at a
much earlier date than the land boundary, having been, by a treaty
signed at Washington on the 29th of February, 1892, referred to
a tribunal of seven arbitrators, two named by the United States,
two by Great Britain, and one each by the President of the French
Republic, the King of Italy, and the King of Sweden and Norway.
The arbitrators met in Paris and gave their award on the 15th
of August, 1893, the substance of the award, as concurred in
by the majority of the arbitrators, being that Russia had not
exercised any exclusive rights of jurisdiction in Behring Sea or
any exclusive rights to the seal fisheries in that sea outside the
ordinary three-mile limit, and that no such rights had passed to
the United States.

[Sidenote: The Treaty of April 11, 1908.]

The last phase in the evolution of the Boundary line between Canada
and the United States is the Treaty of 11th of April, 1908, ‘for
the delimitation of International Boundaries between Canada and
the United States’, by which machinery is provided ‘for the more
complete definition and demarcation of the International Boundary’,
and for settling any small outstanding points such as, e.g., the
boundary line through Passamaquoddy Bay.


[230] See the report of the Lords of the Committee of Council
for Plantation Affairs, October 6, 1763, given at pp. 116-18 of
_Documents Relating to the Constitutional History of Canada,
1759-91_ (Shortt and Doughty).

[231] See _State Papers_, vol. i, Part II, p. 1369.

[232] _Note._--The territory in dispute, however, seems partly to
have been claimed by the United States as Federal Territory and
not as belonging to Massachusetts. See the letter from Gallatin to
Monroe, December 25, 1814. _State Papers_ for 1821-2, vol. ix, p.

[233] See _State Papers_, vol. i, Part II, p. 1603.

[234] See _State Papers_, vol. i, Part II, p. 1625.

[235] See the two Blue Books of July, 1840, as to the ‘North
American Boundary’.

[236] The above account of the boundary disputes between Great
Britain and the United States in the region of Maine and New
Brunswick has been mainly taken from the very clear and exhaustive
_Monograph of the Evolution of the Boundaries of the Province of
New Brunswick_, by William F. Ganay, M.A., Ph.D., 1901, published
in the _Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada_, 1901-2, and
also published separately.

[237] It will be found in the _State Papers_ for 1821-2, vol. ix,
p. 791.

[238] The report will be found in the _State Papers_, 1866-7, vol.
lvii, p. 803.

[239] This point is described in the report as ‘100 yards to the
North and East of a small island named on the map Chapeau and lying
opposite and near to the North-Eastern point of Isle-Royale’.

[240] _State Papers_, vol. i, Part I (1812-14), p. 784.

[241] _State Papers_, vol. vi, 1818-19, p. 3--also in Hertslet’s

[242] As to the discovery of the Rocky Mountains, see vol. v, Part
I of _Historical Geography of the British Colonies_, p. 214 and

[243] Correspondence relative to the negotiation of the question of
the disputed right to the Oregon Territory on the North-West coast
of America subsequent to the Treaty of Washington of August 9,
1842. Presented to Parliament in 1846, p. 39.

[244] A good account of the negotiations is in a _Historical Note_,
1818-46, included in a Blue Book of 1873, C.-692, North America,
No. 5 (1873).

[245] The boundaries of British Columbia had been fixed by an
Imperial Act of 1863.


  Abercromby, 51, 102, 126, 189, 203.

  Acadia, 49, 50, 69, 238 n., &c.

  Act of 1791. _See_ Canada Act.

  Adams, John, 289.

  Adet, 289.

  Administration of Justice. _See_ Justice, Administration of.

  Albany, 24, 140, 145-9, 154, 157, 165-72, 174-5, 182, 203.

  Alleghany, the, 9, 19, 59, 83.

  Allen, Ethan, 101, 106, 107, 119 n., 191.

  American Civil War, 228-9.

  Amherst, Lord, 11, 15, 17, 19, 23, 63, 102, 106, 125, 126, 129, 130,
        189, 203, 289.

  Amiens, Peace of. _See_ Treaty.

  Anne, Fort, 164, 166, 167, 188.

  Anticosti Island, 2, 3, 80.

  Arbuthnot, Marriot, 127, 198.

  Arnold, Benedict, 98 n., 101, 108-12, 113, 114, 116-20, 122, 123,
        157, 175, 177, 178, 180 n., 185, 198, 199, 291.

  Ashburton Treaty. _See_ Treaty.

  Assemblies, Legislative, 3, 4, 71-3, 77, 87-9, 241, 243, 245,
        257-65, 295-6, 318-9.

  Australia, 32, 44, 45, 205, 278.

  Bahamas, 223.

  Barbados, 52 n., 253-4.

  Bathurst, Lord, 278.

  Batten Kill river, 169, 170, 175.

  Baum, Colonel, 169-71, 170 n.

  Baye des Chaleurs, 2, 224.

  Beaver Creek, 27, 83.

  Bedard, 307.

  Bedford or Raestown, 17, 19, 20.

  Belêtre, 12.

  Bemus’ Heights, 174.

  Bennington, 168-72, 171-2 n., 198.

  Bermuda, 257.

  Bird, Lieutenant, 153, 156.

  Bloody Run. _See_ Parents Creek.

  Bonaparte, Jerome, 300.

  Boston, 85, 95, 96, 107, 130-2, 182, 213, 221, 309.

  Bouquet, Henry, 11, 17, 18 n., 19, 20 and n., 21, 22 and n., 23, 24,
        26, 27, 188.

  Bouquet river, 159.

  Braddock, General, 14, 18, 19, 21, 174.

  Bradstreet, Colonel, 23-6, 98 n.

  Brandywine, 134, 289.

  Brant County, 234.

  Brant, Joseph, 97 n., 119 n., 148-58, 150 n., 185-7, 186 n., 232-5.

  Brant, Molly, 58, 149, 155.

  Brantford, 152, 234, 235 n.

  Breyman, Colonel, 170, 171, 176, 178, 179 n.

  Brock, Isaac, 317.

  Bunker’s Hill, 90, 106, 125-6, 130, 131, 150, 303.

  Burgoyne, 116, 122, 125, 126, 129, 130, 131, 138, 139, 144, 145,
        146, 152, 158-85, 160 n., 180 n., 182 n., 187, 188, 203,
        237-8, 303.

  Burke, 54, 83, 89, 117, 128, 135, 216, 244.

  Burke’s Act 1782, 298 n.

  Burnet, Governor, 147.

  Burton, Colonel, 63-5, 67.

  Bushy Run, 21.

  Butler, Colonel John, 152, 155, 156, 185.

  Butler, Walter, 187.

  Caghnawagas, 148-9 n.

  Cahokia, 10.

  Camden, 174, 197, 198.

  Camden, Lord, 87, 129 n.

  Campbell, Captain, 15.

  Campbell, Colonel, 196.

  Campbell, Major John, 98 n., 286.

  Canada, 4-6, 8-10, 37, 39, 45, 50-3, 59-74, 114-5, 206-7, 210-1,
        238-41, 263-4, 289-319 _et passim_.

  Canada, Lower, 232, 238 and n., 246-319.

  Canada, Upper, 85, 223-5, 232, 238 n., 246-319.

  Canada Act, 239, 242-79, 312.

  Canada Trade Act, 271.

  Canadians. _See_ French Canadians.

  Canals, 191, 239.

  Canning, George, 310.

  Cap François, 199.

  Cap Rouge, 110.

  Cape Breton, 3, 80, 223, 224, 237 n., 238 n., 292.

  Cape Diamond, 112.

  Carignan-Salières Regiment, 230.

  Carleton, 32, 68, 75, 76, 89-100, 94 n., 95 n., 96 n., 102, 103-16,
        118 and n., 119 n., 122-6, 130, 131, 133, 135, 137-44, 152,
        158, 159, 161, 165, 173, 182, 185, 201, 220, 226, 236-88, 250
        n., 295, 303.

  Carleton Island, 185.

  Carleton, Major, 188.

  Carlisle, 19, 20.

  Carlisle, Lord, 214.

  Carolina, 196-9, 218, 220, 222, 304.

  Carroll, 122.

  Castine, 188.

  Castlereagh, Lord, 303, 310.

  Castleton, 164, 167, 169.

  Cataraqui. _See_ Frontenac, Fort.

  Cavendish, Lord John, 215, 216.

  Cayugas, 148, 234.

  Cedars, the, 119 and n., 120, 152.

  Chambly, Fort, 102, 107, 108 and n., 122, 123, 239.

  Champlain, Lake, 2, 52 n., 90, 101, 102, 105, 106, 109, 122-5, 130,
        138, 145, 157, 159, 162-4, 174, 185, 187, 203, 239.

  Charleston, 132, 173 n., 196, 197, 201, 222, 282-3.

  Chartres, Fort, 9, 23, 27, 28.

  Chatham. _See_ Pitt.

  Chaudière river, 109, 185.

  Cherry Valley, 151, 186, 187, 212.

  Chesapeake Bay, 134, 175, 199, 200.

  _Chesapeake_ frigate, 303.

  Choiseul, 31.

  Christie, Ensign, 17.

  Christie, Robert, 315, &c.

  Church of England, 265-7.

  Civil List, 255.

  Clark, George Rogers, 187, 188, 236 n.

  Clarke, Sir Alured, 271, 272, 304.

  Claus, Colonel Daniel, 152.

  Clinton, Sir Henry, 125, 126, 129 and n., 132-4, 175, 177, 181,

  Clive, Lord, 160.

  Cobbett, William, 313.

  Colbert, 64, 71.

  Collier, Admiral, 127, 188.

  Colonies, Relation to Mother Country, 37-59.

  Companies, 40.

  Congress, 60, 95, 97, 101, 106, 120, 184, 190, 191, 211, 213, 214,

  Connecticut, 101, 164, 166, 167, 186 n., 221.

  Conway, General, 115, 136 n.

  Cornwallis, Lord, 126, 127, 130, 132, 133, 197-201, 304.

  Council of Trade and Plantations. _See_ Trade.

  Councils, Executive, 142-3, 194, 252-65, 272, 296.

  Councils, Legislative, 73, 79, 87, 105, 194-5, 241-3, 249-67.

  Courtenay, 237.

  Cowpens, 113, 198.

  Craig, Sir James, 303-19.

  Cramahé, Lieutenant-Governor, 142.

  Croghan, 28.

  Crown Lands, 95, 253, 266, 290-1, 295, &c.

  Crown Land Funds, 253-5, 290.

  Crown Point, Fort, 90, 101, 102, 123, 124, 161, 163, 167, 173, 185.

  Cumberland, Fort, 19.

  Customs Arrangement, 270-1.

  Cuyler, Lieutenant, 15, 16.

  Dalhousie, Lord, 278.

  Dalyell, Captain, 17, 18 and n., 20.

  D’Anville, 49.

  Dartmouth, Lord, 104, 124, 135.

  Dayton, Fort, 154, 157, 186.

  Dead river, 109.

  De Barras, 200.

  De Grasse, Admiral, 127, 199-201.

  Delaware river, 59, 132, 133, 139.

  Delawares. _See_ Indians.

  De Puisaye, Count Joseph, 230-2.

  De Rochambeau, 198-200.

  D’Estaing, Admiral, 184, 196.

  Detroit, 9, 12-18, 20, 23, 25, 28, 225, 238, 245, 247, 284, 286.

  Detroit river, 12, 14, 15, 16, 232, 275.

  Diamond Island, 173.

  D’Iberville, 49.

  Dorchester, Lord. _See_ Carleton.

  Drummond, Gordon, 147.

  Du Calvet, 190 and n.

  Dundas, 240 n., 265, 266, 267, 274, 276, 281, 284, 285.

  Dundas Street, 274.

  Dunmore, Lord, 221.

  Dunn, Thomas, 298.

  Dunning, 82.

  Duquesne, Fort. _See_ Pittsburg.

  Durham, Lord, 205, 248 n., 253, 260, 271, 279, 316.

  Dutchman’s Point, 239.

  Eastern Townships, 308.

  East Florida. _See_ Florida.

  Ecorces river, 14.

  Ecuyer, Captain, 20.

  Edge Hill, 21, 22, 26.

  Education, 296-7.

  Edward, Fort, 146, 164-8, 169, 172, 174, 175, 179-81.

  Egremont, Lord, 5.

  Elphinstone, Admiral, 304.

  Erie. _See_ Presque Isle.

  Erie, Lake, 5, 9, 11, 12, 14, 15, 18, 23, 83, 84, 233-4, 275, 282,
        284, 286.

  Etherington, Captain, 16.

  Eutaw Springs, 199.

  Executive Council. _See_ Council.

  Famars, 274.

  Fees and Perquisites, 92, 193, 194, 280-1.

  Ferguson, Major, 198.

  Finlay, Hugh, 248 n.

  Firth, 316.

  Fishing Rights, 3, 80-1 and n.
    American, 211, 264.
    French, 1.

  Fish Kill Stream, 180, 181.

  Florida, 1, 5, 27, 28, 189, 190, 196, 223.

  Forbes, General John, 12, 17, 18, 19, 20, 51.

  Forster, Captain, 119 and n., 120, 121.

  Fox, 87, 117, 128, 151, 160, 201, 216, 217, 219, 243, 244, 252, 262,
        267, 287.

  France, Declaration of War, 282.

  Francis, Colonel, 164.

  Franklin, Benjamin, 59, 122, 201, 204, 208, 227, 258.

  Franklin, William, 59, 212.

  Fraser, General, 164, 170, 176-8, 180.

  Frazer, Captain, 171.

  Freehold Court House, 196.

  Freeman’s Farm, 176, 180 n.

  French Canadians, 24, 60, 67 n., 75-8, 81, 91-100, 247, 249, 293-7,
        310-12, 317-18, &c.

  French Creek, 9, 12.

  French designs on Canada, 300-2.

  French Intervention, War of Independence, 184.

  French Royalists Settlement, 230-2, 232 n.

  French Rule in Canada, 8-10, 39, 64-6, 141, 252, 294.

  Frontenac, Count, 8, 147, 185, 288.

  Frontenac, Fort, 9, 24, 225.

  Gage, General, 4, 23, 25, 63, 64, 90, 95, 96, 97, 104, 107, 125,
        126, 131, 190.

  Gananoque river, 275 n.

  Gansevoort, Colonel, 153.

  Gaspé Peninsula, 2, 224.

  Gates, General, 124, 172, 174, 175, 180 n., 181, 182, 197, 198.

  General Assemblies. _See_ Assemblies.

  Genet, 282, 283.

  George, Fort, 90, 101, 122, 166, 188, 272.

  George, Lake, 52 n., 58, 102, 162, 163, 166, 167, 173, 174, 187.

  Georgia, 1, 196, 222.

  Germain, Lord George, 124, 125, 131, 135-41, 152, 158, 165, 172,
        173, 182, 190, 191, 195, 201, 215, 217.

  German Flatts, 154-5, 186.

  German Regiments, 37, 122, 133, 134, 138, 152, 162, 169, 176, 178.

  Germantown, 134.

  Gibraltar, 69, 201.

  Gladwin, Major, 14, 15, 17, 23, 25.

  Glenelg, Lord, 279.

  Glengarry County, 229.

  Gloucester, 199.

  Gore, Francis, 316.

  Grand river, 233, 234, 235 n.

  Grant, Alexander, 298.

  Graves, Admiral, 107, 127, 200, 273.

  Greek Colonies, 42-3, 45 n., 205.

  Green Bay, Fort, 17, 25.

  Green Mountain Boys, 101, 191.

  Greene, Nathaniel, 128, 198, 199.

  Greenville Treaty. _See_ Treaty.

  Grenada, 1, 88.

  Grenville, George, 53, 54 and n.

  Grenville, Lord, 240 n., 246-55, 265, 285.

  Guildford Court House, 198.

  Habeas Corpus, 74, 88 and n., 95, 193, 195, 241, 242-3, 244.

  Haldimand County, 234.

  Haldimand, Sir Frederick, 63, 88 n., 143, 147, 150, 185, 188-95, 189
        n., 190 n., 220, 224, 225, 233, 236, 239, 241, 246.

  Half Moon, 174.

  Halifax, 114, 188, 213, 221.

  Hamilton, Alexander, 227, 282, 285.

  Hamilton, Lieutenant-Governor, 187, 236 n.

  Hampshire Grants, 167.

  Hastings, Warren, 160.

  Havana, 1, 68.

  Hawke, Admiral, 127.

  Herkimer, General Nicholas, 154-7.

  Hessians. _See_ German Regiments.

  Hey, Chief Justice, 103 and n., 104, 105 n., 106, 141.

  Highlanders, 20, 22, 28, 229, 230.

  Hillsborough, Lord, 92, 135.

  Hobkirk’s Hill, 199.

  Hood, Sir Samuel, 127, 200.

  Hoosick river, 168, 170.

  Hope, Colonel, 236 n.

  Hope, Mount, 173.

  Howe, Admiral, 127, 129, 130, 132, 133, 139, 196.

  Howe, General, 107, 125, 126, 129 and n., 130-4, 138, 139, 145, 146,
        167, 168, 172, 175, 195, 213, 221, 222.

  Huberton, 164.

  Hudson Bay, 257.

  Hudson Bay Company’s Territories, 6, 7, 70, 80, 82, 210, 292.

  Hudson river, 131, 132, 134, 146, 165-7, 170, 173-83, 196, 200, 203.

  Hudson Straits, 3, 80.

  Hunter, General, 292, 298.

  Huron, Lake, 2, 5, 9, 13, 232 n., 233, 275.

  Illinois, 4, 27, 84, 187.

  Illinois Indians. _See_ Indians.

  Independence, Mount, 162, 163-5, 175.

  Independence, War of, 90-207 _et passim_.
    Causes, 30-63, &c.
    Effects, 204-7.

  Indians, 5-29, 53, 57-9, 96-7, 97 n., 119-21, 124, 147-59, 153 n.,
        168, 185-7, 281-6.
    Delawares, 23-6.
    Illinois, 9, 27.
    Iroquois. _See_ Six Nations.
    Mississaugas, 233.
    Mohawks, 148-50, 148-9 n., 152, 232-5, 235 n.
    Ojibwas, 16.
    Oneidas, 58, 147.
    Ottawas, 12, 16.
    Pontiac’s War, 10-29, 99.
    Senecas, 10, 22, 24, 148, 152.
    Shawanoes, 24, 27.
    Six Nations, 10, 22, 58 and n., 59, 83, 147-59, 150 n., 187, 232-5.
    Tuscaroras, 147-8.
    War with United States, 281-6.
    Wyandots, 25.

  Indian Territory, 5-7, 58-9, 83, 233-4.

  Inglis, Bishop, 267.

  Isle aux Noix, 106, 123, 124, 185.

  Isle Royale. _See_ Cape Breton.

  James river, 199.

  Jay, John, 227, 282, 284-5.

  Jay’s Treaty. _See_ Treaty.

  Jefferson, Thomas, 282, 284, 289.

  Jews, exclusion from Quebec Assembly, 305-6.

  Johnson, Colonel Guy, 98 n., 149-51.

  Johnson, Sir John, 149, 152, 155, and n., 156, 242.

  Johnson, Sir William, 24, 27, 28, 57, 58 and n., 59, 71, 97 and n.,
        102, 147, 149, 151.

  Johnson’s Royal Greens, 152.

  Judges, exclusion from Quebec Assembly, 305-6.

  Justice, Administration of, 73, 77, 79, 92, 248, 265, 272.

  Kalm, Peter, 30, 31 and n.

  Kaskaskia, 187.

  Kaskaskia river, 9, 187.

  Kempt, Sir James, 309.

  Kennebec river, 109.

  King’s Mountain, 198.

  Kingston, 9, 225, 232, 233, 242, 272.

  Kirkland, Samuel, 148.

  Labrador, 2, 3, 80, 81, 80-1 n.

  Lachine, 120.

  Lafayette, 184, 187, 199, 200, 250.

  La Mothe Cadillac, 9.

  Land Tenure, 59, 95, 243, 247, 267, 290, 291, 293.

  Language Question, 248, 297.

  La Prairie, 123.

  La Salle, 8, 9.

  La Tranche river. _See_ Thames.

  Le Bœuf, Fort, 9, 11-12, 17, 20.

  Le Canadien, 297, 305, 307, 311.

  Lecky, Professor, 38, 48, 128.

  Lee, General Charles, 132, 196.

  Legislative Council. _See_ Council.

  Levis, 114.

  Levis, Point, 110, 113.

  Lexington, 90, 101, 125.

  Ligonier, Fort, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21.

  Lincoln, Benjamin, 173 and n., 175, 197.

  Liverpool, Lord, 310, 313, 315.

  Liverpool Regiment, the 8th Regiment, 152, 153.

  Livius, Peter, 140-4, 143 n., 194 and n., 195 and n., 237, 248, 255,

  Loftus, Major, 28.

  Logs Town, 83.

  London, Ontario, 275.

  Long Sault Rapids, 2.

  Loudoun, General, 126.

  Loughborough, Lord, 215.

  Louis XIV, 64, 230, 247.

  Louisbourg, 41, 49, 50, 51, 52 n., 61, 117, 289.

  Louisiana, 1, 10, 37, 50, 230, 282, 283, 302.

  Loyalhannon, 19.

  Loyalists, 36, 61, 106, 130, 135, 152, 169, 170, 171, 185, 191, 196,
        197, 198, 208-35, 218 n., 236, 238 and n., 239, 242, 290, 292.

  Loyalist Corps, 220-1, 273.

  Lumber Trade, 308.

  Luttrell, Captain, 237.

  Lymburner, Adam, 243, 247, 262.

  Macartney, Lord, 304.

  Macdonells, the, 229, 230 and n.

  Maclane, 289.

  Maclean, Colonel, 108, 111, 188.

  Madelaine Island, 3.

  Madison, President, 319.

  Mahan, Captain, 130.

  Maine, 84, 209.

  Maitland, Sir Peregrine, 278.

  Marion, General, 227.

  Masères, 79.

  Massachusetts, 37, 52 n., 81, 85, 86, 188, 209, 221.

  Maumee river, 9, 13, 16, 284, 286.

  McCrae, Jane, 168.

  Megantic, Lake, 109.

  Melville, Lord. _See_ Dundas.

  Miami, 9, 13, 16, 25, 281, 284, 286.

  Michigan, Lake, 5, 9, 16.

  Michigan Peninsula, 286.

  Michillimackinac, Fort, 9, 13, 16, 25, 239.

  Militia, Canadian, 114, 294-5, 303.

  Miller, Fort, 175.

  Milnes, Robert Shore, 292-6, 298, 316.

  Mississaugas. _See_ Indians.

  Mississippi, 1, 4, 5, 9, 27, 28, 32, 51, 80, 83, 84, 187, 302.

  Mohawk river, 24, 145-58, 168, 169, 174.

  Mohawks. _See_ Indians.

  Molson, John, 308.

  Monckton, General, 12.

  Monmouth, Battle of, 196.

  Monongahela river, 14.

  Montcalm, 31 and n., 41, 42 n., 102, 147, 153.

  Montgomery, Robert, 60, 106-13, 110 n., 114, 116-18, 118 n., 185.

  Montreal, 11, 12, 17, 63, 65, 67, 70, 73, 80, 91, 97, 102, 105,
        106-10, 119, 120, 122, 157, 189, 238, 239, 245, 247, 270, 276,

  Moreau, 300.

  Morgan, Daniel, 113, 175, 198.

  Morris, Captain, 25.

  Morse, Colonel Robert, 223-4.

  Mulgrave, Lord, 216.

  Murray, General James, 4, 61 and n., 63-8, 67 n., 72, 73, 74, 75,
        77, 78, 93, 100, 109, 114, 193, 296 n.

  Muskingum river, 26.

  Napoleon, 302, 308, 311, 317.

  Native Question, 56-9.

  Navigation Laws, 41, 47.

  Navy Hall, 272.

  Newark, 272, 275 and n.

  New Brunswick, 80, 84, 209, 223, 224, 237, 238 n., 263, 264, 292.

  New England, 24, 39, 40, 41, 43, 49, 50, 52 and n., 53, 56, 62, 81,
        104, 166-7, 169, 174, 196, 197, 221, 223.

  Newfoundland, 1, 3, 50, 69, 80, 81, 114.

  New Hampshire, 101.

  New Jersey, 59, 132, 186 n., 198, 200, 212, 213.

  New Orleans, 1, 28, 282, 302.

  Newport, 133, 200.

  New York, 13, 24, 40, 50, 59, 63, 69, 90, 101, 129, 130, 132, 133,
        174, 175, 181, 185, 186 n., 189, 191, 195, 196, 197, 199, 200,
        221, 222, 223, 224, 229, 236.

  New Zealand, 45, 57.

  Niagara, Fort, 9, 11, 15, 16, 22, 23, 24, 25, 185, 239, 275 and n.

  Niagara river, 9, 15, 24, 82, 225, 233, 272.

  Nipissim or Nipissing, Lake, 2.

  Non-intercourse Acts, 308.

  Nootka Sound Convention, 261.

  Norfolk, 221.

  North, Lord, 83, 136, 139, 192, 193, 201, 215, 216, 217, 219, 226,

  North-west Company, 292.

  Nova Scotia, 3, 80, 209, 219, 220 n., 223, 224, 236, 236-7 n., 238
        n., 267, 292, 315.

  Ogdensburg, 119, 239.

  Ohio, 9, 13, 18, 20, 23, 24, 28, 41, 51, 58, 59, 80, 83, 84, 239,
        281, 282, 283, 284, 286.

  Ojibwas. _See_ Indians.

  Oneida, 234.

  Oneida County, 59.

  Oneida, Lake, 147.

  Oneidas. _See_ Indians.

  Onondaga, 234, _and see_ Oswego.

  Ontario, 3, 5, 6, 11, 223, 224, 229, 238, _and see_ Upper Canada.

  Ontario, Lake, 5, 9, 11, 45, 80, 83, 146, 147, 185, 225, 233, 272.

  Oriskany, 148, 155-7, 157 n.

  Osgoode, Chief Justice, 280, 291, 296.

  Oswald, Richard, 201, 202, 217, 227.

  Oswegatchie. _See_ Ogdensburg.

  Oswego, 24, 28, 146, 147, 153, 157, 158, 189, 239.

  Ottawa river, 2, 3.

  Ottawas. _See_ Indians.

  Ouatanon, Fort, 9, 16, 28.

  Ours or Ouse, River. _See_ Grand river.

  Palliser, Sir Hugh, 80.

  Panet, M., 305, 306.

  Parents Creek, 17, 18.

  Peace of Paris. _See_ Treaty.

  Peel, Sir Robert, 310.

  Penns, the, 83, 220.

  Pennsylvania, 18, 19, 20, 26, 27, 53, 56, 57, 59, 83, 84, 85, 172,
        186 and n., 218, 220, 222.

  Penobscot river, 188.

  Pepperell, Sir W., 62.

  Pepperell, Sir W., 212.

  Percival, 310, 313.

  Philadelphia, 13, 20, 26, 95, 129-34, 146, 175, 195, 196, 200, 213,

  Phillips, General, 199.

  Piquet, Abbé, 119.

  Pitt, the elder, 32, 37, 51, 81, 89, 126, 128, 136 n., 183.

  Pitt, the younger, 201, 220, 237, 244, 245, 248, 252, 261, 262, 267,
        268, 273, 287.

  Pittsburg, 9, 12, 17-22, 23, 26, 51, 59, 83.

  Plattsburg, 123, 124.

  Plymouth Settlement, 43.

  Point au Fer, 162, 239.

  Pointe aux Trembles, 110.

  Point Levis. _See_ Levis, Point.

  Pontiac, 10, 12, 14, 18, 23, 25, 27, 28, 99, 150, 151.

  Pontiac’s War. _See_ Indians.

  Portland, Duke of, 219, 231, 240 n., 278, 285, 286, 292.

  Port Royal, 41, 50.

  Powys, 242, 243.

  Prescott, Robert, 286-92, 296, 303, 305.

  Prés de Ville, 112.

  Presque Isle, 9, 11, 16, 17, 20, 25, 83, 239.

  Preston, Major, 107 and n., 108.

  Prevost, Sir George, 196, 289 n. 309, 314, 319.

  Prideaux, 147.

  Prince Edward Island, 3, 80, 236-7 n., 292.

  Proclamation of 1763, 1-8, 58, 66, 70, 79, 82, 83, 140.

  Protestant Clergy, 265-7.

  Protestants, 68, 74-8, 89, 95 n., 100, 229, &c.

  Quebec, Province of, 1-4, 70, 79-82, 82 n., 84, 86, 88 n., 225, 236,
        238, 241, 242, 245, 246-64, 270, &c.

  Quebec, Town of, 3, 41, 52 n., 60, 63, 65, 67, 69, 90, 91, 92, 95,
        97, 105, 106-19, 124, 131, 185, 236, 237, 238, 247, 267, 270,
        287, 289, 308, &c.

  Quebec Act of 1774, 8, 37, 60, 68-89, 87 n., 93, 95, 96, 98, 100,
        103-6, 140, 141, 195, 240, 242, 243-4.

  Quebec Revenue Act, 87 n., 269 n.

  Quiberon Bay, 127, 230.

  Quinté, Bay of, 225, 233, 235 n.

  Raestown. _See_ Bedford.

  Rahl, General, 133, 134.

  Randolph, 282, 284.

  Rawdon, Lord, 199.

  Religion, 72, 74, 76-9, 86, 95 n., 248, 265-9, 294, 296-7, 310-11.
    _See also_ Protestants _and_ Roman Catholics.

  Rhode Island, 133, 167, 196, 197, 198, 200.

  Richelieu river, 71, 108, 114, 122, 123, 185, 224, 239.

  Riedesel, Baron, 122, 162, 164, 167, 169, 176, 177.

  Robertson, Colonel, 19.

  Rockingham, Lord, 160, 201.

  Rodney, Admiral, 127, 200, 201.

  Rogers, Major Robert, 11-13, 11 n., 12 n., 13 n., 17, 18, 102.

  Roman Catholics, 61, 72 and n., 74, 76-9, 85-9, 95 n., 265, 266,
        294, 296, 311, 312, 314, 318.

  Rosieres, Cape, 2.

  Ross, Major, 188.

  Roubaud, 31 n.

  Rouillé, Fort. _See_ Toronto.

  Royal American Regiment, 13, 20, 52 n.

  Royal Highland Emigrants, 111.

  Russell, Peter, 286-7.

  Ryland, 309-14, 310 n.

  Sabine, 227.

  Sackville, Lord George. _See_ Germain.

  Saguenay river, 2 and n.

  St. Charles river, 110, 112.

  St. Clair, General, 163, 281, 283.

  St. Clair, Lake, 9, 14, 275.

  St. Domingo, 273, 302.

  St. Francis, Lake, 119, 225, 239.

  St. Francis river, 185.

  St. Jean _or_ St. John’s Island. _See_ Prince Edward Island.

  St. John, Lake, 2.

  St. John river, 2 and n., 3, 80, 223.

  St. John’s, Fort, 102, 105, 106-8, 107 n., 122, 123, 124, 239.

  St. Joseph, Fort, 16.

  St. Lawrence, River and Gulf, 2, 5, 9, 11, 71, 80, 83, 84, 109, 119,
        120, 122, 174, 185, 225, 239, 264, 270, 308.

  St. Leger, Colonel, 138, 145, 146-58, 157 n., 168, 169, 172, 174,
        187, 236 n.

  St. Louis, Lake, 120, 239.

  St. Luc de la Corne, 189.

  St. Roch, 110, 112.

  Saints, Battle of the, 201.

  Sancoick Mill, 170, 174.

  Sandusky, Fort, 9, 16, 25, 27.

  Sandy Hook, 196.

  Saratoga, 116, 131, 160, 168, 170, 180-4, 201, 304.

  Sault au Matelot, 112.

  Sault St. Marie, 25.

  Saunders, Admiral, 127, 273.

  Savannah, 196, 201, 222.

  Savile, Sir George, 87.

  Schenectady, 149.

  Schuyler, Fort. _See_ Stanwix, Fort.

  Schuyler, General Philip, 106, 107, 153, 174-5.

  Secretary of State for American Department, 135, 240 n.

  Senecas. _See_ Indians.

  Seven Years’ War, 9, 41, 69, 99, 127, 207.

  Shawanoes. _See_ Indians.

  Shelburne, Lord, 74, 91, 94, 201, 214, 216, 217, 219, 220.

  Shelburne, Township, 223-4.

  Sherbrooke, Sir John, 188.

  Sheridan, 216, 243, 244.

  Simcoe, John Graves, 232 n., 234, 271-6, 273-4 n., 275 n., 284,

  Simcoe, Lake, 232 and n., 273, 274.

  Six Nations. _See_ Indians.

  Skenesborough, 163, 164, 165, 166, 167, 173.

  Smith, Adam, 43, 44, 45, 47, 48, 51 n., 53, 107 n.

  Smith, Chief Justice, William, 255-61, 276, 280.

  Sorel, 108, 114, 185, 224.

  Spain, 1, 2, 282, 283, 302.

  Spanish America, 38, 39, 48.

  Springfield, 185.

  Stamp Act, 41, 54 and n., 55.

  Stanwix, Fort, 59, 147, 152-8, 157 n., 169, 172, 174, 175.

  Stanwix, Fort, Agreement. _See_ Treaty.

  Stanwix, General, 18, 153.

  Stark, John, 171.

  Staten Island, 132.

  Stillwater, 168, 170 n., 174.

  Stopford, Major, 107, 108 n.

  Stormont, Lord, 215.

  Stuart, Colonel, 199.

  Stuart, James, 316.

  Suffolk, 95.

  Sugar Hill, 163, 173.

  Sullivan, General John, 187, 196.

  Sulpician Seminary, 312, 314.

  Sumter, General, 197.

  Superior, Lake, 5.

  Susquehanna, 59, 151, 185.

  Sydney, Lord, 240 and n., 243, 245, 246.

  Talon, 64, 71.

  Tarleton, 197, 198.

  Taxation, 41, 42, 267-9, 267-8 and n., 269 n.

  Tea duty, 267-8.

  Tecumseh, 150.

  Telegraphs, 203-4.

  Thames, 274, 275 and n.

  Thayandenegea, 148. _See also under_ Brant.

  Thompson, General, 122.

  Thorpe, Judge, 296, 316.

  Three Rivers, 63, 70, 73, 109, 110, 114, 119, 122, 189, 238, 305.

  Ticonderoga, 51, 90, 101, 123, 124, 125, 138, 140, 161-6, 167, 169,
        172, 173, 174, 185, 281.

  Titles of honour, 251, 252.

  Toronto, 11, 232, 274 and n., 275.

  Toussaint L’Ouverture, 302.

  Townshend, Thomas. _See_ Sydney.

  Trade, Lords of, 3-6, 135, 195, &c.

    Aix la Chapelle, 49.
    Amiens, 301.
    Ashburton, 84.
    Fort Stanwix, 59, 151.
    Greenville, 286.
    Jay’s, 1794, 218, 285, 286.
    Paris, 1763, 1, 5, 10, 27, 30, 33, 66 n., 72 and n.
    Paris, 1778, 184 n.
    Secret, 1762, 1.
    Utrecht, 49, 50, 69.
    Versailles, 1783, 33, 201-2, 208-18, 239.

  Trenton, 133, 134, 135, 138, 198, 213.

  Trevelyan, Sir George, 46.

  Tryon County, 117, 151, 154, 187.

  Tuscarawa, 26.

  Tuscaroras. _See_ Indians.

  Tyendenaga, 233.

  Unadilla river, 59.

  Uniacke, 315.

  United Empire Loyalists. _See_ Loyalists.

  United States, 32, 33, 56, 59, 61, 84, 184, 188, 193, 204-18, 225,
        226, 239, 263, 264, 265, 281-6, 300, 302, 318, &c.

  Upper Canada. _See_ Canada, Upper.

  Utrecht. _See_ Treaty.

  Valcour Island, 123.

  Vancouver, 261.

  Vancouver Island, 261.

  Vaudreuil, 120.

  Venango, Fort, 9, 17, 20.

  Vermont, 101, 185, 186 n, 191, 192, 239, 289.

  Vincennes, Fort, 9, 28, 187.

  Virginia and Virginians, 18, 20, 26, 27, 53, 59, 84, 85, 196, 198,
        199, 200, 215, 220, 221.

  Wabash river, 9, 16, 28, 187.

  Walker, Admiral, 49.

  Walker, Magistrate, 67, 97.

  Walpole, Horace, 22 and n., 107 n., 115 and n., 116 and n., 124,
        136, 137, 160 and n., 161, 165, 171-2 n., 180 n., 204 n.

  Walsingham, 215.

  Warner, Seth, 101.

  Warren, Admiral, 50, 62.

  Washington, George, 32, 62, 109, 127, 128, 132, 133, 134, 138, 139,
        172, 184, 187, 196, 199, 200, 208, 212, 221, 282-5.

  Wayne, Anthony, 283, 284, 286.

  Wayne, Fort. _See_ Miami.

  Webb, General Daniel, 126, 153.

  Wedderburn, Solicitor-General, 88 n.

  Western Territories, 80, 82, 84, 85, 86.

  West Florida. _See_ Florida.

  West Indies, 1, 127, 199, 200, 223, 289.

  Wilberforce, 216.

  Willcocks, 316.

  Willett, Colonel, 153-7, 155 n., 157 n.

  William Henry, Fort. _See_ George, Fort.

  Williams, Fort, 153.

  Wills Creek, 19.

  Wilmington, 198.

  Wilmot, John Eardley, 219, 220 n.

  Windham, Township, 232.

  Windham, William, 231.

  Wolfe, 17, 24, 32, 52 and n., 68, 110, 114, 116, 125, 130, 183, 289.

  Wood Creek, 58, 147, 153, 154, 164 n.

  Wood Creek (Lake Champlain), 164 and n., 166.

  Wyandots. _See_ Indians.

  Wyatt, 316.

  Wyoming, 185, 186 and n. 212.

  Yonge, Sir George, 274.

  Yonge Street, 232 n., 274.

  York. _See_ Toronto.

  York, Duke of, 274-5.

  York river, 199.

  Yorktown, 126, 183, 199, 200, 201, 217.



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