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   Chapter 6 THE EVOLUTION OF RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT (1815—1839)

Canada under British Rule 1760-1900 By John George Bourinot Characters: 84411

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:02


SECTION I.-The rebellion in Lower Canada.

Responsible government in Canada is the logical sequence of the political struggles, which commenced soon after the close of the war of 1812-15. As we review the history of Canada since the conquest we can recognise "one ever increasing purpose" through all political changes, and the ardent desire of men, entrusted at the outset with a very moderate degree of political responsibility, to win for themselves a larger measure of political liberty in the management of their own local affairs. Grave mistakes were often made by the advocates of reform in the government of the several provinces-notably, as I shall show, in Lower Canada, where the French Canadian majority were carried often beyond reason at the dictation of Papineau-but, whatever may have been the indiscretions of politicians, there were always at the bottom of their demands the germs of political development.

The political troubles that continued from 1817 until 1836 in Lower Canada eventually made the working of legislative institutions impracticable. The contest gradually became one between the governor-general representing the crown and the assembly controlled almost entirely by a French Canadian majority, with respect to the disposition of the public revenues and expenditures. Imperial statutes, passed as far back as 1774-1775, provided for the levying of duties, to be applied solely by the crown, primarily "towards defraying the expenses of the administration of justice and the support of the civil government of the province", and any sums that remained in the hands of the government were "for the future disposition of parliament." Then there were "the casual or territorial revenues," such as money arising from the Jesuits' estates, royal seigniorial dues, timber and land, all of which were also exclusively under the control of the government. The assembly had been given jurisdiction only over the amount of duties payable into the treasury under the authority of laws passed by the legislature itself. In case the royal revenues were not sufficient to meet the annual expenditure of the government, the deficiency was met until the war of 1812-15 by drawing on the military exchequer. As the expenses of the provincial administration increased the royal revenues became inadequate, while the provincial revenues gradually showed a considerable surplus over the expenditure voted by the legislature. In 1813 the cost of the war made it impossible for the government to use the military funds, and it resorted to the provincial moneys for the expenses of justice and civil government. In this way, by 1817, the government had incurred a debt of a hundred and twenty thousand pounds to the province without the direct authority of the legislature. The assembly of Lower Canada was not disposed to raise troublesome issues during the war, or in any way to embarrass the action of Sir George Prevost, who, whatever may have been his incompetency as a military chief, succeeded by his conciliatory and persuasive methods in winning the good opinions of the French Canadian majority and making himself an exceptionally popular civil governor. After closing the accounts of the war, the government felt it expedient to stop such irregular proceedings, to obtain from the legislature a general appropriation act, covering the amount of expenditures in the past, and to prevent the necessity of such a questionable application of provincial funds in the future. This may be considered the beginning of the financial controversies that were so constant, as years passed by, between the governors and the assemblies, and never ended until the rebellion broke out. The assembly, desirous of obtaining power in the management of public affairs, learned that it could best embarrass the government and force them to consider and adjust public grievances, as set forth by the majority in the house, by means of the appropriation bills required for the public service. The assembly not only determined to exercise sole control over its own funds but eventually demanded the disposal of the duties imposed and regulated by imperial statutes. The conflict was remarkable for the hot and uncompromising temper constantly exhibited by the majority on the discussion of the generally moderate and fair propositions submitted by the government for settling vexed questions. The assembly found a powerful argument in favour of their persistent contention for a complete control of the public revenues and expenditures in the defalcation of Mr. Caldwell, the receiver-general, who had been allowed for years to use the public funds in his business speculations, and whose property was entirely inadequate to cover the deficiency in his accounts.

The legislative council was always ready to resist what it often asserted to be unconstitutional acts on the part of the house and direct infringements of "the rights of the crown" sometimes a mere convenient phrase used in an emergency to justify resistance to the assembly. It often happened, however, that the upper chamber had law on its side, when the house became perfectly unreasonable and uncompromising in its attitude of hostility to the government. The council, on several occasions, rejected a supply bill because it contained provisions asserting the assembly's right to control the crown revenues and to vote the estimates, item by item, from the governor's salary down to that of the humblest official. Every part of the official and legislative machinery became clogged by the obstinacy of governor, councils, and assembly. To such an extent, indeed, did the assembly's assumption of power carry it in 1836, that the majority actually asserted its own right to amend the constitution of the council as defined in the imperial statute of 1791. Its indiscreet acts eventually alienated the sympathy and support of such English members as Mr. Neilson, a journalist and politician of repute, Mr. Andrew Stuart, a lawyer of ability, and others who believed in the necessity of constitutional reforms, but could not follow Mr. Papineau and his party in their reckless career of attack on the government, which they thought would probably in the end imperil British connection.

The government was in the habit of regularly submitting its accounts and estimates to the legislature, and expressed its desire eventually to grant that body the disposal of all the crown revenues, provided it would consent to vote a civil list for the king's life, or even for a fixed number of years, but the assembly was not willing to agree to any proposal which prevented it from annually taking up the expenditures for the civil government item by item, and making them matters of yearly vote. In this way every person in the public service would be subject to the caprice, or ill-feeling, of any single member of the legislature, and the whole administration of the public departments would probably be made ineffective. Under the plan suggested by the government in accordance with English constitutional forms, the assembly would have every opportunity of criticising all the public expenditures, and even reducing the gross sum in cases of extravagance. But the same contumacious spirit, which several times expelled Mr. Christie, member for Gaspé, on purely vexatious and frivolous charges, and constantly impeached judges without the least legal justification, simply to satisfy personal spite or political malice, would probably have been exhibited towards all officials had the majority in the assembly been given the right of voting each salary separately. The assembly never once showed a disposition to meet the wishes of the government even half-way. Whatever may have been the vacillation or blundering of officials in Downing Street, it must be admitted that the imperial government showed a conciliatory spirit throughout the whole financial controversy. Step by step it yielded to all the demands of the assembly on this point. In 1831, when Lord Grey was premier, the British parliament passed an act, making it lawful for the legislatures of Upper and Lower Canada to appropriate the duties raised by imperial statutes for the purpose of defraying the charges of the administration of justice and the support of civil government. The government consequently retained only the relatively small sum arising from casual and territorial dues. When Lord Aylmer, the governor-general, communicated this important concession to the legislature, he also sent a message setting forth the fact that it was the settled policy of the crown on no future occasion to nominate a judge either to the executive or the legislative council, the sole exception being the chief justice of Quebec. He also gave the consent of the government to the passage of an act declaring that judges of the supreme court should thereafter hold office "during good behaviour," on the essential condition that their salaries were made permanent by the legislature. The position of the judiciary had long been a source of great and even just complaint, and, in the time of Sir James Craig, judges were disqualified from sitting in the assembly on the demand of that body. They continued, however, to hold office "during the pleasure" of the crown, and to be called at its will to the executive and legislative councils. Under these circumstances they were, with some reason, believed to be more or less under the influence of the governor-general; and particular judges consequently fell at times under the ban of the assembly, and were attacked on the most frivolous grounds. The assembly passed a bill providing for the independence of the judiciary, but it had to be reserved because it was not in accordance with the conditions considered necessary by the crown for the protection of the bench.

The governor-general also in his message promised reforms of the judicial and legal systems, the disposal of the funds arising from the Jesuits' estates by the legislature, and, in fact, nearly all the reforms which had been demanded by the house for years. Yet when the government asked at the same time for a permanent civil list, the message was simply referred to a committee of the whole house which never reported. Until this time the efforts of the assembly to obtain complete control of the public revenues and expenditures had a justification in the fact that it is a recognised English principle that the elected house should impose the taxes and vote the supplies; but their action on this occasion, when the imperial government made most important concessions, giving them full control over the public funds, simply on condition that they should follow the English system of voting the salaries of the judiciary and civil list, showed that the majority were earned away by a purely factious spirit. During the progress of these controversies, Mr. Louis Joseph Papineau, a brilliant but an unsafe leader, had become the recognised chief of the French Canadian majority, who for years elected him speaker of the assembly. In the absence of responsible government, there was witnessed in those times the extraordinary spectacle-only now-a-days seen in the American congress-of the speaker, who should be above all political antagonisms, acting as the leader of an arrogant majority, and urging them to continue in their hostility to the government. It was Mr. Papineau who first brought the governor-general directly into the arena of political conflict by violent personal attacks; and indeed he went so far in the case of Lord Dalhousie, a fair-minded man anxious to act moderately within the limits of the constitution, that the latter felt compelled by a sense of dignity to refuse the confirmation of the great agitator as speaker in 1827. The majority in the assembly vehemently asserted their right to elect their speaker independently of the governor, whose confirmation was a mere matter of form, and not of statutory right; and the only course at last open to Lord Dalhousie was to prorogue the legislature. Mr. Papineau was re-elected speaker at the next session, when Lord Dalhousie had gone to England and Sir James Kempt was administrator.

After 1831, Mr. Papineau steadily evoked the opposition of the more conservative and thoughtful British Liberals who were not disposed to be carried into a questionable position, inimical to British connection and the peace of the country, Dr. Wolfred Nelson, and Dr. O'Callaghan, a journalist, were soon the only supporters of ability left him among the British and Irish, the great majority of whom rallied to the support of the government when a perilous crisis arrived in the affairs of the province. The British party dwindled away in every appeal to the people, and no French Canadian representative who presumed to differ from Mr. Papineau was ever again returned to the assembly. Mr. Papineau became not only a political despot but an "irreconcilable," whose vanity led him to believe that he would soon become supreme in French Canada, and the founder of La Nation Canadienne in the valley of the St. Lawrence. The ninety-two resolutions passed in 1834 may be considered the climax of the demands of his party, which for years had resisted immigration as certain to strengthen the British population, had opposed the establishment of registry offices as inconsistent with the French institutions of the province, and had thrown every possible opposition in the way of the progress of the Eastern Townships, which were attracting year by year an industrious and energetic British population from the British Isles and New England.

In these resolutions of 1834 there is not a single paragraph or even phrase which can be tortured into showing that the French Canadian agitator and his friends were in favour of responsible government. The key-note of the whole document is an elective legislative council, which would inevitably increase the power of the French Canadians and place the British in a hopeless minority. Mr. Roebuck, the paid agent of the assembly in England, is said to have suggested the idea of this elective body, and assuredly his writings and speeches were always calculated to do infinite harm, by helping to inflame discontent in Canada, and misrepresenting in England the true condition of affairs in the province. The resolutions are noteworthy for their verbosity and entire absence of moderate and wise suggestion. They were obviously written under the inspiration of Mr. Papineau with the object of irritating the British government, and preventing the settlement of political difficulties. They even eulogised the institutions of the neighbouring states which "commanded the affection of the people in a larger measure than those of any other country," and should be regarded "as models of government for Canada." They even went so far as "to remind parliament of the consequences of its efforts to overrule the wishes of the American colonies," in case they should make any "modification" in the constitution of the province "independently of the wishes of its people." Colonel Gugy, Mr. Andrew Stuart, Mr. Neilson and other prominent Englishmen opposed the passage of these resolutions, as calculated to do infinite harm, but they were carried by a very large French Canadian majority at the dictation of Mr. Papineau. Whatever may have been its effect for the moment, this wordy effusion has long since been assigned to the limbo where are buried other examples of the demagogism of those trying times.

In 1835 the imperial government decided to send three commissioners to examine into the various questions which had been so long matters of agitation in Lower Canada. Lord Aberdeen, then Colonial Secretary of State, emphatically stated that it was the intention of the government "to review and enquire into every alleged grievance and examine every cause of complaint, and apply a remedy to every abuse that may still be found to prevail."

The choice of the government as chief commissioner and governor-general was Lord Gosford, an amiable, inexperienced and weak man, who failed either to conciliate the French Canadian majority to whom he was even humble for a while, or to obtain the confidence of the British party to whose counsels and warnings he did not pay sufficient heed at the outset of the crisis which culminated during his administration. The majority in the assembly were determined not to abate one iota of their pretensions, which now included the control of the casual and territorial revenues; and no provision whatever was made for four years for the payment of the public service. The commissioners reported strongly against the establishment of an elected council, and in favour of a modified system of responsible government, not dependent on the vote of the house. They recommended also the surrender of the casual and territorial revenues on condition of proper provision for the payment of the civil service, and the administration of justice.

The imperial government immediately recognised that they had to face a very serious crisis in the affairs of Lower Canada. On the 6th March, 1836, Lord John Russell, then home secretary in Lord Melbourne's administration, introduced a series of ten resolutions, providing for the immediate payment of the arrears of £142,160. 14s. 6d., due to the public service, out of the moneys in the hands of the receiver-general. While it was admitted that measures should be taken to secure for the legislative council a greater degree of public confidence, the government deemed it inexpedient to make that body elective. The necessity of improving the position of the executive council was also acknowledged, but the suggestion of a ministry responsible to the assembly was not approved. This disapproval was quite in accordance with the policy adopted by Englishmen since 1822, when a measure had been introduced in parliament for the reunion of the two Canadas-the precursor of the measure of 1840. This measure originally provided that two members of the executive council should sit and speak in the assembly but not vote. Those parts of the bill of 1822 which provided for a union were not pressed on account of the objections raised in both the provinces, but certain other provisions became law under the title of "The Canadian Trade Acts," relieving Upper Canada from the capricious action of Lower Canada with respect to the duties from which the former obtained the principal part of her fund for carrying on her government. This share had been originally fixed at one-fifth of the proceeds of the customs duties collected by the province of Lower Canada, but when the population of the western section increased considerably and consumed a far greater quantity of dutiable goods, its government justly demanded a larger proportion of the revenues collected in the ports of the lower St. Lawrence. The legislature of Lower Canada paid no attention to this equitable demand, and eventually even refused to renew the legislation providing for the payment of one-fifth of the duties. Under these circumstances the imperial government found it necessary to intervene, and pass the "Trade Acts," making the past legislation of Lower Canada on the subject permanent, and preventing its legislature from imposing new duties on imports without the consent of the upper province. As this was a question of grave import, the resolutions of 1836 gave authority to the legislatures of Upper and Lower Canada to provide joint legislation "for determining and adjusting all questions respecting the trade and commerce of the provinces."

As soon as the passage of these resolutions became known throughout Lower Canada, Papineau and his supporters commenced an active campaign of denunciation against England, from whom, they declared, there was no redress whatever to be expected. Wherever the revolutionists were in the majority, they shouted, "Vive la liberté!" "Vive la Nation Canadienne!" "Vive Papineau!" "Point de despotisme!": while flags and placards were displayed with similar illustrations of popular frenzy. La Nation Canadienne was now launched on the turbulent waves of a little rebellion in which the phrases of the French revolution were glibly shouted by the habitants with very little conception of their real significance. The British or Constitutional party took active steps in support of British connection, but Lord Gosford, unhappily still governor-general, did not for some time awaken to the reality of the public danger. Happily for British interests, Sir John Culhorne, afterwards Lord Seaforth, a courageous and vigilant soldier, was in the country, and was able, when orders were given him by the reluctant governor, to deal determinedly with the rebels who had taken up arms in the Richelieu district. Dr. Wolfred Nelson made a brave stand at St. Denis, and repulsed Colonel Gore's small detachment of regulars. Papineau was present for a while at the scene of conflict, but he took no part in it and lost no time in making a hurried flight to the United States-an ignominious close to a successful career of rhetorical flashes which had kindled a conflagration that he took very good care should not even scorch him. Colonel Wetherall defeated another band of rebels at St. Charles, and their commander, Mr. Thomas Storrow Brown, a well-meaning but gullible man, fled across the border. Dr. Wolfred Nelson was captured, and a number of other rebels of less importance were equally unfortunate. Some of the refugees made a public demonstration from Vermont, but precipitately fled before a small force which met them. At St. Eustache, one Girod, a plausible, mendacious Swiss or Alsatian, who had become a leader in the rebellious movement, and Dr. Chenier, a rash but courageous man, collected a considerable body of rebels, chiefly from St. Benoit, despite the remonstrances of Mr. Paquin, the curé of the village, and defended the stone church and adjacent buildings against a large force, led by Sir John Colborne himself. Dr. Chenier and many others-at least seventy, it is said on good authority-were killed, and the former has in the course of time been elevated to the dignity of a national hero and a monument raised in his honour on a public square of the French Canadian quarters of Montreal. Mad recklessness rather than true heroism signalised his action in this unhappy affair, when he led so many of his credulous compatriots to certain death, but at least he gave up his life manfully to a lost cause rather than fly like Papineau who had beguiled him to this melancholy conclusion. Even Girod showed courage and ended his own life when he found that he could not evade the law. The rebellious element at St. Benoit was cowed by the results at St. Eustache; and the Abbé Chartier, who had taken an active part in urging the people to resistance, fled to the United States whence he never returned. The greater part of the village was destroyed by fire, probably in retaliation for the losses and injuries suffered by the volunteers at the hands of the rebels in different parts of the district of Montreal.

One of the most unfortunate and discreditable incidents of the rising in the Richelieu district was the murder of Lieutenant Weir, who had been taken prisoner while carrying despatches to Sorel, and was literally hacked to pieces, when he tried to escape from a calèche in which he was being conveyed to St. Charles. An equally unhappy incident was the cold-blooded execution, after a mock trial, of one Chartrand, a harmless non-combatant who was accused, without a tittle of evidence, of being a spy. The temper of the country can be gauged by the fact that when it was attempted, some time later, to convict the murderers on clear evidence, it was impossible to obtain a verdict. Jolbert, the alleged murderer of Weir, was never punished, but Fran?ois Nicholas and Amable Daumais, who had aided in the trial and execution of Chartrand, were subsequently hanged for having taken an active part in the second insurrection of 1838.

The rebellion of 1837 never reached any large proportions, and very few French Canadians of social or political standing openly participated in the movement. Monseigneur Lartigue, Roman Catholic bishop of Montreal, issued a mandement severely censuring the misguided men who had joined in the rebellious movement and caused so much misery throughout the province. In England, strange to say, there were men found, even in parliament, ready to misrepresent the facts and glory in a rebellion the causes of which they did not understand. The animating motive with these persons was then-and there were similar examples during the American revolution-to assail the government of the day and make political capital against them, but, it must be admitted, in all fairness to the reform ministry of that day and even to preceding cabinets for some years, that the policy of all was to be just and conciliatory in their relations with the provincial agitators, though it is also evident that a more thorough knowledge of political conditions and a more resolute effort to a reach the bottom of grievances might have long before removed causes of irritation and saved the loss of property and life in 1837 and 1838.

In the presence of a grave emergency, the British government felt compelled to suspend the constitution of Lower Canada, and send out Lord Durham, a Liberal statesman of great ability, to act as governor-general and high commissioner "for the determining of certain important questions depending in the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada respecting the form and future government of the said provinces" Despite a certain haughtiness of manner which was apt to wound his inferiors and irritate his equals in position, he was possessed of a great fund of accurate political knowledge and a happy faculty of grasping all the essential facts of a difficult situation, and suggesting the best remedy to apply under all the circumstances. He endeavoured, to the utmost of his ability, to redeem the pledge with which he entered on his mission to Canada, in the first instance "to assert the supremacy of her majesty's government," in the next "to vindicate the honour and dignity of the law," and above all "to know nothing of a British, a French, or a Canadian party," but "to look on them all alike as her majesty's subjects." After he had appointed a special council he set to work energetically to secure the peace of the country. Humanity was the distinguishing feature of his too short career in Canada. A comprehensive amnesty was proclaimed to all those engaged in the rebellion with the exception of Dr. Wolfred Nelson, R.S.M. Bouchette, Bonaventure Viger, Dr. Masson, and four others of less importance, who were ordered by an ordinance to be transported to Bermuda during the queen's pleasure. These persons, as well as sixteen others, including Papineau, who had fled from justice, were declared to be subject to death should they venture to enter the province. Not a single rebel suffered death on the scaffold during Lord Durham's administration. Unfortunately the ordinance, transporting a number of persons without trial to an island where the governor-general had no jurisdiction, gave an opportunity to Lord Brougham, who hated the high commissioner, to attack him in the house of lords. Lord Melbourne, then premier, was forced to repeal the ordinance and to consent to the passage of a bill indemnifying all those who had acted under its provisions Lord Glenelg, colonial secretary, endeavoured to diminish the force of this parliamentary censure by writing to the high commissioner that "her majesty's government repeat their approbation of the spirit in which these measures were conceived and state their conviction that they have been dictated by a judicious and enlightened humanity"; but a statesman of Lord Durham's haughty character was not ready to submit to such a rebuke as he had sustained in parliament He therefore immediately placed his resignation in the hands of the government which had commissioned him with powers to give peace and justice to distracted Canada, and yet failed to sustain him at the crucial moment. Before leaving the country he issued a proclamation in defence of his public acts. His course in this particular offended the ministry who, according to Lord Glenelg, considered it a dangerous innovation, as it was practically an appeal by a public officer to the public against the measures of parliament. Lord Durham may be pardoned under all the circumstances for resenting at the earliest possible moment his desertion by the government, who were bound in honour to defend him, at all hazards, in his absence, and should not have given him over for the moment to his enemies, led by a spiteful Scotch lawyer. Lord Durham left Canada with the assurance that he had won the confidence of all loyal British subjects and proved to all French Canadians that there were English statesmen prepared to treat them with patience, humanity and justice.

Sir John Colborne became administrator on the departure of Lord Durham, and subsequently governor-general. Unhappily he was immediately called upon to crush another outbreak of the rebels, in November, 1838, in the counties watered by the Richelieu River, and in the district immediately south of Montreal. Dr. Robert Nelson and some other rebels, who had found refuge in the frontier towns and villages of Vermont and New York, organised this second insurrection, which had the support of a considerable number of habitants, though only a few actually took up arms. The rising, which began at Caughnawaga, was put down at Beauharnois, within a week from the day on which it commenced. The authorities now felt that the time had passed for such leniency as had been shown by Lord Durham; and Sir John Colborne accordingly established courts-martial for the trial of the prisoners taken during this second insurrection, as it was utterly impossible to obtain justice through the ordinary process of the courts. Only twelve persons, however, suffered the extreme penalty of the law; some were sent to New South Wales-where however they were detained only a short time; and the great majority were pardoned on giving security for good behaviour.

While these trials were in progress, and the government were anxious to give peace and security to the province, refugees in the border states were despatching hands of ruffians to attack and plunder the Loyalists in the Eastern Townships; but the government of the United States intervened and instructed its officers to take decisive measures for the repression of every movement in the territory of a friendly Power. Thus the mad insurrection incited by Papineau, but actually led by the Nelsons, Chenier and Brown, came at last to an end.

A new era of political development was now to dawn on the province, as a result of a more vigorous and remedial policy initiated by the imperial government, at last thoroughly awakened to an intelligent comprehension of the political conditions of the Canadas. But before I proceed to explain the details of measures fraught with such important consequences, I must give an historical summary of the events which led also to a rash uprising in Upper Canada, simultaneously with the one which ended so disastrously for its leaders in the French province.

SECTION 2.-The rebellion in Upper Canada.

The financial disputes between the executive and the assembly never attained such prominence in Upper Canada as in the lower province. In 1831 the assembly consented to make permanent provision for the civil list and the judiciary, on condition of the government's giving up to the legislature all the revenues previously at its own disposition. Three years later the legislature also passed an act to provide that the judges should hold their offices during good behaviour, and not at the pleasure of the crown-a measure rendered possible by the fact that the assembly had made the salaries of the bench permanent.

Nor did the differences between the assembly and the legislative council ever assume such serious proportions as they did in the French province. Still the leaders of the reform party of Upper Canada had strong objections to the constitution of the council; and a committee of grievances reported in 1835 in favour of an elected body as well as a responsible council, although it did not very clearly outline the methods of working out the system in a colony where the head of the executive was an imperial officer acting under royal instructions. The different lieutenant-governors, the executive and legislative councillors, and the whole body of officials, from the very moment responsible government was suggested in any form, threw every possible obstacle in the way of its concession by the imperial government.

It was largely the dominant influence of the official combination, long known in Canadian history as the "family compact," which prevented the concession of responsible government before the union of the Canadas. This phrase, as Lord Durham said in his report, was misleading inasmuch as there "was very little of family connection between the persons thus united." As a matter of fact the phrase represented a political and aristocratic combination, which grew up as a consequence of the social conditions of the province and eventually monopolised all offices and influence in government. This bureaucracy permeated all branches of government-the executive, the legislative council, and even the assembly where for years there sat several members holding offices of emolument under the crown. It practically controlled the banks and monetary circles. The Church of England was bound up in its interests. The judiciary was more or less under its influence while judges were appointed during pleasure and held seats in the councils. This governing class was largely composed of the descendants of the Loyalists of 1784, who had taken so important a part in the war with the United States and always asserted their claims to special consideration in the distribution of government favour. The old settlers-all those who had come into the country before the war-demanded and obtained greater consideration at the hands of the government than the later immigrants, who eventually found themselves shut out of office and influence. The result was the growth of a Liberal or Reform party, which, while generally composed of the later immigrants, comprised several persons of Loyalist extraction, who did not happen to belong to the favoured class or church, but recognised the necessity for a change in the methods of administration. Among these Loyalists must be specially mentioned Peter Perry, who was really the founder of the Reform party in 1834, and the Reverend Egerton Ryerson, a Methodist minister of great natural ability.

Unfortunately creed also became a powerful factor in the political controversies of Upper Canada. By the constitutional act of 1791 large tracts of land were set aside for the support of a "Protestant clergy", and the Church of England successfully claimed for years an exclusive right to these "clergy reserves" on the ground that it was the Protestant church recognised by the state. The clergy of the Church of Scotland in Canada, though very few in number for years, at a later time obtained a share of these grants as a national religious body; but all the dissentient denominations did not participate in the advantages of these reserves. The Methodists claimed in the course of years to be numerically equal to, if not more numerous than, the English Episcopalians, and were deeply irritated at the inferior position they long occupied in the province. So late as 1824 the legislative council, composed of members of the dominant church, rejected a bill allowing Methodist ministers to solemnise marriages, and it was not until 1831 that recognised ministers of all denominations were placed on an equality in this respect. Christian charity was not more a characteristic of those times than political liberality. Methodism was considered by the governing class as a sign of democracy and social inferiority. History repeated itself in Upper Canada. As the Puritans of New England feared the establishment of an Anglican episcopacy, and used it to stimulate a feeling against the parent state during the beginnings of the revolution, so in Upper Canada the dissenting religious bodies made political capital out of the favouritism shown to the Church of England in the distribution of the public lands and public patronage. The Roman Catholics and members of all Protestant sects eventually demanded the secularisation of the reserves for educational or other public purposes, or the application of the funds to the use of all religious creeds. The feeling against that church culminated in 1836, when Sir John Colborne, then lieutenant-governor, established forty-four rectories in accordance with a suggestion made by Lord Goderich some years previously. While the legality of Sir John Colborne's course was undoubted, it was calculated to create much indignant feeling among the dissenting bodies, who saw in the establishment of these rectories an evidence of the intention of the British government to create a state church so far as practicable by law within the province. This act, so impolitic at a critical time of political discussion, was an illustration of the potent influence exercised in the councils of the government by Archdeacon Strachan, who had come into the province from Scotland in 1799 as a schoolmaster. He had been brought up in the tenets of the Presbyterian Church, but some time after his arrival in Canada he became an ordained minister of the Church of England, in which he rose step by step to the episcopacy. He became a member of both the executive and legislative councils in 1816 and 1817, and exercised continuously until the union of 1841 a singular influence in the government of the province. He was endowed with that indomitable will, which distinguished his great countryman, John Knox. His unbending toryism was the natural outcome of his determination to sustain what he considered the just rights of his church against the liberalism of her opponents-chiefly dissenters-who wished to rob her of her clergy reserves and destroy her influence in education and public affairs generally. This very fidelity to his church became to some extent her weakness, since it evoked the bitter hostility of a large body of persons and created the impression that she was the church of the aristocratic and official class rather than that of the people-an impression which existed for many years after the fall of the "family compact."

The public grievances connected with the disposition of the public lands were clearly exposed by one Robert Gourlay, a somewhat meddlesome Scotchman, who had addressed a circular, soon after his arrival in Canada, to a number of townships with regard to the causes which retarded improvement and the best means of developing the resources of the province. An answer from Sandwich virtually set forth the feeling of the rural districts generally on these points. It stated that the reasons for the existing depression were the reserves of land for the crown and clergy, "which must for a long time keep the country a wilderness, a harbour for wolves, and a hindrance to compact and good neighbourhood; defects in the system of colonisation; too great a quantity of lands in the hands of individuals who do not reside in the province, and are not assessed for their property." Mr. Gourlay's questions were certainly asked in the public interest, but they excited the indignation of the official class who resented any interference with a state of things which favoured themselves and their friends, and were not desirous of an investigation into the management of public affairs. The subsequent treatment of Mr. Gourlay was shameful in the extreme. He was declared a most dangerous character when he followed up his circular by a pamphlet, attacking the methods by which public affairs generally were conducted, and contrasting them with the energetic and progressive system on the other side of the border. The indignation of the officials became a positive fever when he suggested the calling of public meetings to elect delegates to a provincial convention-a term which recalled the days of the American revolution, and was cleverly used by Gourlay's enemies to excite the ire and fear of the descendants of the Loyalists. Sir Peregrine Maitland succeeded in obtaining from the legislature an opinion against conventions as "repugnant to the constitution," and declaring the holding of such public meetings a misdemeanour, while admitting the constitutional right of the people to petition. These proceedings evoked a satirical reply from Gourlay, who was arrested for seditious libel, but the prosecutions failed. It was then decided to resort to the provisions of a practically obsolete statute passed in 1804, authorising the arrest of any person who had resided in the province for six months without taking the oath of allegiance, and was suspected to be a seditious character. Such a person could be ordered by the authorities to leave the province, or give security for good behaviour. This act had been originally passed to prevent the immigration of aliens unfavourable to England, especially of Irishmen who had taken part in the rebellion of 1798 and found refuge in the United States. Gourlay had been a resident of Upper Canada for nearly two years, and in no single instance had the law been construed to apply to an immigrant from the British Isles. Gourlay was imprisoned in the Niagara gaol, and when his friends attempted to bring him out on a writ of habeas corpus they failed simply because Chief Justice Powell, an able lawyer of a Loyalist family and head of the official party, refused to grant the writ on a mere technical plea, afterwards declared by the highest legal authorities in England to be entire

ly contrary to sound law. Gourlay consequently remained in prison for nearly eight months, and when he was brought again before the chief justice, his mental faculties were obviously impaired for the moment, but despite his wretched condition, which prevented him from conducting his defence, he was summarily convicted and ordered to leave the province within twenty-four hours, under penalty of death should he not obey the order or return to the country.

This unjust sentence created wide-spread indignation among all right-thinking people, especially as it followed a message of the lieutenant-governor to the legislature, that he did not feel justified in extending the grants of land, made to actors in the war of 1812-15, to "any of the inhabitants who composed the late convention of delegates, the proceedings of which were very properly subjected to your very severe animadversion" This undoubtedly illegal action of the lieutenant-governor only escaped the censure of the assembly by the casting vote of the speaker, but was naturally justified in the legislative council where Chief Justice Powell presided. Gourlay became a martyr in the opinion of a large body of people, and a Reform party began to grow up in the country. The man himself disappeared for years from Canadian history, and did not return to the province until 1856, after a chequered and unhappy career in Great Britain and the United States. The assembly of the United Canadas in 1842 declared his arrest to be "unjust and illegal," and his sentence "null and void," and he was offered a pension as some compensation for the injuries he had received; but he refused it unless it was accompanied by an official declaration of the illegality of the conviction and its elision from the records of the courts. The Canadian government thought he should be satisfied with the action of the assembly and the offer of the pension. Gourlay died abroad, and his daughters on his death received the money which he rejected with the obstinacy so characteristic of his life.

During these days of struggle we find most prominent among the official class Attorney-General Robinson, afterwards chief justice of Upper Canada for many years. He was the son of a Virginian Loyalist, and a Tory of extreme views, calm, polished, and judicial in his demeanour. But whatever his opinions on the questions of the day he was too discreet a politician and too honest a judge ever to have descended to such a travesty of justice as had been shown by his predecessor in the case of Gourlay. His influence, however was never in the direction of liberal measures. He opposed responsible government and the union of the two provinces, both when proposed unsuccessfully in 1822, and when carried in Upper Canada eighteen years later.

The elections of 1825 had a very important influence on the political conditions of the upper province, since they brought into the assembly Peter Perry, Dr. Rolph, and Marshall Spring Bidwell, who became leading actors in the Reform movement which culminated in the concession of responsible government. But the most conspicuous man from 1826 until 1837 was William Lyon Mackenzie, a Scotchman of fair education, who came to Canada in 1820, and eventually embraced journalism as the profession most suited to his controversial temperament. Deeply imbued with a spirit of liberalism in politics, courageous and even defiant in the expression of his opinions, sadly wanting in sound judgment and common sense when his feelings were excited, able to write with vigour, but more inclined to emphatic vituperation than well-reasoned argument, he made himself a force in the politics of the province. In the Colonial Advocate, which he established in 1824, he commenced a series of attacks on the government which naturally evoked the resentment of the official class, and culminated in the destruction of his printing office in 1826 by a number of young men, relatives of the principal officials-one of them actually the private secretary of the lieutenant-governor, Sir Peregrine Maitland. Mr. Mackenzie obtained large damages in the courts, and was consequently able to continue the publication of his paper at a time when he was financially embarrassed. The sympathy felt for Mr. Mackenzie brought him into the assembly as member for York during the session of 1829. So obnoxious did he become to the governing class that he was expelled four times from the assembly between 1831 and 1834, and prevented from taking his seat by the orders of the speaker in 1835-practically the fifth expulsion. In 1832 he went to England and presented largely signed petitions asking for a redress of grievances. He appears to have made some impression on English statesmen, and the colonial minister recommended a few reforms to the lieutenant-governor, but they were entirely ignored by the official party. Lord Glenelg also disapproved of the part taken by Attorney-General Boulton-Mr. Robinson being then chief justice-and Solicitor-General Hagerman in the expulsion of Mr. Mackenzie; but they treated the rebuke with contempt and were removed from office for again assisting in the expulsion of Mr. Mackenzie.

In 1834 he was elected first mayor of Toronto, then incorporated under its present name, as a consequence of the public sympathy aroused in his favour by his several expulsions. Previous to the election of 1835, in which he was returned to the assembly, he made one of the most serious blunders of his life, in the publication of a letter from Mr. Joseph Hume, the famous Radical, whose acquaintance he had made while in England. Mr. Hume emphatically stated his opinion that "a crisis was fast approaching in the affairs of Canada which would terminate in independence and freedom from the baneful domination of the mother country, and the tyrannical conduct of a small and despicable faction in the colony." The official class availed themselves of this egregious blunder to excite the indignation of the Loyalist population against Mr. Mackenzie and other Reformers, many of whom, like the Baldwins and Perrys, disavowed all sympathy with such language. Mr. Mackenzie's motive was really to insult Mr. Ryerson, with whom he had quarrelled. Mr. Ryerson in the Christian Guardian, organ of the Methodists, had attacked Mr. Hume as a person unfit to present petitions from the Liberals of Canada, since he had opposed the measure for the emancipation of slaves in the West Indies, and had consequently alienated the confidence and sympathy of the best part of the nation. Mr. Hume then wrote the letter in question, in which he also stated that he "never knew a more worthless hypocrite or so base a man as Mr. Ryerson proved himself to be." Mr. Mackenzie in this way incurred the wrath of a wily clergyman and religious journalist who exercised much influence over the Methodists, and at the same time fell under the ban of all people who were deeply attached to the British connection. Moderate Reformers now looked doubtfully on Mackenzie, whose principal supporters were Dr. Duncombe, Samuel Lount, Peter Matthews, and other men who took an active part in the insurrection of 1837.

In the session of 1835 a committee of grievances, appointed on the motion of Mr. Mackenzie himself, reported in favour of a system of responsible government, an elective legislative council, the appointment of civil governors, a diminution of the patronage exercised by the crown, the independence of the legislature, and other reforms declared to be in the interest of good government. The report was temperately expressed, and created some effect for a time in England, but the colonial minister could not yet be induced to move in the direction of positive reform in the restrictive system of colonial government.

Unhappily, at this juncture, when good judgment and discretion were so necessary in political affairs, all the circumstances combined to hasten a perilous crisis, and to give full scope to the passionate impulses of Mackenzie's nature. Sir John Colborne was replaced in the government of the province by one of the most incapable governors ever chosen by the colonial office, Sir Francis Bond Head. He had been chiefly known in England as a sprightly writer of travels, and had had no political experience except such as could be gathered in the discharge of the duties of a poor-law commissioner in Wales. His first official act was an indiscretion. He communicated to the legislature the full text of the instructions which he had received from the king, although he had been advised to give only their substance, as least calculated to hamper Lord Gosford, who was then attempting to conciliate the French Canadian majority in Lower Canada. These instructions, in express terms, disapproved of a responsible executive and particularly of an elected legislative council, to obtain which was the great object of Papineau and his friends. Mr. Bidwell, then speaker of the assembly, recognised the importance of this despatch, and forwarded it immediately to Mr. Papineau, at that time speaker of the Lower Canadian house, with whom he and other Reformers had correspondence from time to time. Lord Gosford was consequently forced to lay his own instructions in full before the legislature and to show the majority that the British government was opposed to such vital changes in the provincial constitution as they persistently demanded. The action of the Lower Canadian house on this matter was communicated to the assembly of Upper Canada by a letter of Mr. Papineau to Mr. Bidwell, who laid it before his house just before the prorogation in 1835. In this communication the policy of the imperial government was described as "the naked deformity of the colonial system," and the royal commissioners were styled "deceitful agents," while the methods of government in the neighbouring states were again eulogised as in the ninety-two resolutions of 1834. Sir Francis Bond Head seized the opportunity to create a feeling against the Reformers, to whom he was now hostile. Shortly after he sent his indiscreet message to the legislature he persuaded Dr. Rolph, Mr. Bidwell and Receiver-General Dunn to enter the executive council on the pretence that he wished to bring that body more into harmony with public opinion. The new councillors soon found that they were not to be consulted in public affairs, and when the whole council actually resigned Sir Francis told them plainly that he alone was responsible for his acts, and that he would only consult them when he deemed it expedient in the public interest. This action of the lieutenant-governor showed the Reformers that he was determined to initiate no changes which would disturb the official party, or give self-government to the people. The assembly, in which the Liberals were dominant, passed an address to the king, declaring the lieutenant-governor's conduct "derogatory to the honour of the king," and also a memorial to the British house of commons charging him with "misrepresentation, and a deviation from candour and truth."

Under these circumstances Sir Francis eagerly availed himself of Papineau's letter to show the country the dangerous tendencies of the opinions and acts of the Reformers in the two provinces. In an answer he made to an address from some inhabitants of the Home District, he warned the people that there were individuals in Lower Canada, who were inculcating the idea that "this province is to be disturbed by the interference of foreigners, whose powers and influence will prove invincible"-an allusion to the sympathy shown by Papineau and his friends for the institutions of the United States. Then Sir Francis closed his reply with this rhodomontade: "In the name of every regiment of militia in Upper Canada, I publicly promulgate 'Let them come if they dare'" He dissolved the legislature and went directly to the country on the issue that the British connection was endangered by the Reformers. "He succeeded, in fact," said Lord Durham in his report of 1839, "in putting the issue in such a light before the province, that a great portion of the people really imagined that they were called upon to decide the question of separation by their votes." These strong appeals to the loyalty of a province founded by the Loyalists of 1784, combined with the influence exercised by the "family compact," who had all offices and lands at their disposal, defeated Mackenzie, Bidwell, Perry and other Reformers of less note, and brought into the legislature a solid phalanx of forty-two supporters of the government against eighteen elected by the opposition. It was a triumph dearly paid for in the end. The unfair tactics of the lieutenant-governor rankled in the minds of a large body of people, and hastened the outbreak of the insurrection of 1837. The British government seems for a time to have been deceived by this victory of the lieutenant-governor and actually lauded his "foresight, energy and moral courage"; but ere long, after more mature consideration of the political conditions of the province, it dawned upon the dense mind of Lord Glenelg that the situation was not very satisfactory, and that it would be well to conciliate the moderate element among the Reformers. Sir Francis was accordingly instructed to appoint Mr. Bidwell to the Bench, but he stated emphatically that such an appointment would be a recognition on disloyalty. He preferred to resign rather than obey the instructions of the colonial department, and greatly to his surprise and chagrin his proffer of resignation was accepted without the least demur. The colonial office by this time recognised the mistake they had made in appointing Sir Francis to a position, for which he was utterly unfit, but unhappily for the province they awoke too late to a sense of their own folly.

Mackenzie became so embittered by his defeat in 1836, and the unscrupulous methods by which it was accomplished, that he made up his mind that reform in government was not to be obtained except by a resort to extreme measures. At meetings of Reformers, held at Lloydtown and other places during the summer of 1837, resolutions were carried that it was their duty to arm in defence of their rights and those of their countrymen. Mackenzie visited many parts of the province, in order to stimulate a revolutionary movement among the disaffected people, a system of training volunteers was organised; pikes were manufactured and old arms were put in order. It was decided that Dr. Rolph should be the executive chief of the provisional government, and Mackenzie in the meantime had charge of all the details of the movement. Mr. Bidwell appears to have steadily kept aloof from the disloyal party, but Dr. Rolph was secretly in communication with Mackenzie, Lount, Matthews, Lloyd, Morrison, Duncombe, and other actors in the rebellion. The plan was to march on Toronto, where it was notorious that no precautions for defence were being taken, to seize the lieutenant-governor, to proclaim a provisional government, and to declare the independence of the province unless Sir Francis should give a solemn promise to constitute a responsible council. It is quite certain that Mackenzie entirely misunderstood the sentiment of the country, and exaggerated the support that would be given to a disloyal movement. Lord Durham truly said that the insurrectionary movements which did take place were "indicative of no deep rooted disaffection," and that "almost the entire body of the Reformers of the province sought only by constitutional means to obtain those objects for which they had so long peacefully struggled before the unhappy troubles occasioned by the violence of a few unprincipled adventurers and heated enthusiasts."

Despite the warnings that he was constantly receiving of the seditious doings of Mackenzie and his lieutenants, Sir Francis Bond Head could not be persuaded an uprising was imminent. So complete was his fatuity that he allowed all the regular troops to be withdrawn to Lower Canada at the request of Sir John Colborne. Had he taken adequate measures for the defence of Toronto, and showed he was prepared for any contingency, the rising of Mackenzie's immediate followers would never have occurred. His apathy and negligence at this crisis actually incited an insurrection. The repulse of Gore at St. Denis on the 23rd November (p. 134) no doubt hastened the rebellious movement in Upper Canada, and it was decided to collect all available men and assemble at Montgomery's tavern, only four miles from Toronto by way of Yonge Street, the road connecting Toronto with Lake Simcoe. The subsequent news of the dispersion of the rebels at St. Charles was very discouraging to Mackenzie and Lount, but they felt that matters had proceeded too far for them to stop at that juncture. They still hoped to surprise Toronto and occupy it without much difficulty. A Colonel Moodie, who had taken part in the war of 1812-15, had heard of the march of the insurgents from Lake Simcoe, and was riding rapidly to Toronto to warn the lieutenant-governor, when he was suddenly shot down and died immediately. Sir Francis was unconscious of danger when he was aroused late at night by Alderman Powell, who had been taken prisoner by the rebels but succeeded in making his escape and finding his way to Government House. Sir Francis at last awoke from his lethargy and listened to the counsels of Colonel Fitzgibbon-the hero of Beaver Dams in 1813-and other residents of Toronto, who had constantly endeavoured to force him to take measures for the public security. The loyal people of the province rallied with great alacrity to put down the revolt. The men of the western district of Gore came up in force, and the first man to arrive on the scene was Allan MacNab, the son of a Loyalist and afterwards prime minister of Canada. A large and well equipped force was at once organised under the command of Colonel Fitzgibbon.

The insurrection was effectually quelled on the 7th December at Montgomery's tavern by the militia and volunteer forces under Colonel Fitzgibbon. The insurgents had at no time mustered more than eight hundred men, and in the engagement on the 7th there were only four hundred, badly armed and already disheartened. In twenty minutes, or less time, the fight was over and the insurgents fled with the loss of one man killed and several seriously wounded. The Loyalists, who did not lose a single man, took a number of prisoners, who were immediately released by the lieutenant-governor on condition of returning quietly to their homes. Mackenzie succeeded in escaping across the Niagara frontier, but Matthews was taken prisoner as he was leading a detachment across the Don into Toronto. Lount was identified at Chippewa while attempting to find his way to the United States and brought back to Toronto. Rolph, Gibson and Duncombe found a refuge in the republic, but Van Egmond, who had served under Napoleon, and commanded the insurgents, was arrested and died in prison of inflammatory rheumatism. Mr. Bidwell was induced to fly from the province by the insidious representations of the lieutenant-governor, who used the fact of his flight as an argument that he had been perfectly justified in not appointing him to the Bench. In later years, the Canadian government, recognising the injustice Mr. Bidwell had received, offered him a judgeship, but he never could be induced to return to Canada Mackenzie had definite grievances against Sir Francis and his party; and a British people, always ready to sympathise with men who resent injustice and assert principles of popular government, might have soon condoned the serious mistake he had made in exciting a rash revolt against his sovereign. But his apologists can find no extenuating circumstances for his mad conduct in stirring up bands of ruffians at Buffalo and other places on the frontier to invade the province. The base of operations for these raids was Navy Island, just above the Niagara Falls in British territory. A small steamer, "The Caroline," was purchased from some Americans, and used to bring munitions of war to the island. Colonel MacNab was sent to the frontier, and successfully organised an expedition of boats under the charge of Captain Drew-afterwards an Admiral-to seize the steamer at Fort Schlosser, an insignificant place on the American side. The capture was successfully accomplished and the steamer set on fire and sent down the river, where she soon sank before reaching the cataract. Only one man was killed-one Durfee, a citizen of the United States. This audacious act of the Canadians was deeply resented in the republic as a violation of its territorial rights, and was a subject of international controversy until 1842 when it was settled with other questions at issue between Great Britain and the United States. Mackenzie now disappeared for some years from Canadian history, as the United States authorities felt compelled to imprison him for a time. It was not until the end of 1838 that the people of the Canada were free from filibustering expeditions organised in the neighboring states. "Hunters' Lodges" were formed under the pledge "never to rest until all tyrants of Britain cease to have any dominion or footing whatever in North America." These marauding expeditions on the exposed parts of the western frontier-especially on the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers-were successfully resisted. At Prescott, a considerable body of persons, chiefly youths under age, under the leadership of Von Schoultz, a Pole, were beaten at the Old Stone Windmill, which they attempted to hold against a Loyalist force. At Sandwich, Colonel Prince, a conspicuous figure in Canadian political history of later years, routed a band of filibusters, four of whom he ordered to instant death. This resolute deed created some excitement in England, where it was condemned by some and justified by others. Canadians, who were in constant fear of such raids, naturally approved of summary justice in the case of persons who were really brigands, not entitled to any consideration under the laws of war.

In 1838 President Buren issued a proclamation calling upon all citizens of the United States to observe the neutrality laws; but the difficulty in those days was the indisposition of the federal government to interfere with the states where such expeditions were organised. The vigilance of the Canadian authorities and the loyalty of the people alone saved the country in these trying times. A great many of the raiders were taken prisoners and punished with the severity due to their unjustifiable acts. Von Schoultz and eight others were hanged, a good many were pardoned, while others were transported to Van Diemen's Land, whence they were soon allowed to return. The names of these filibusters are forgotten, but those of Lount and Matthews, who perished on the scaffold, have been inscribed on some Canadian hearts as patriots. Sir George Arthur, who succeeded Sir Francis Head, was a soldier, who had had experience as a governor among the convicts of Van Diemen's Land, and the negro population of Honduras, where he had crushed a revolt of slaves. Powerful appeals were made to him on behalf of Lount and Matthews, but not even the tears and prayers of Lount's distracted wife could reach his heart. Such clemency as was shown by Lord Durham would have been a bright incident in Sir George Arthur's career in Canada, but he looked only to the approval of the Loyalists, deeply incensed against the rebels of 1837. His action in these two cases was regarded with disapprobation in England, and the colonial minister expressed the hope that no further executions would occur-advice followed in the case of other actors of the revolt of 1837. Sir George Arthur's place in colonial annals is not one of high distinction. Like his predecessors, he became the resolute opponent of responsible government, which he declared in a despatch to be "Mackenzie's scheme for getting rid of what Mr. Hume called 'the baneful domination' of the mother country"; "and never" he added, "was any scheme better devised to bring about such an end speedily".

SECTION 3.-Social and economic conditions of the Provinces in 1838.

We have now reached a turning-point in the political development of the provinces of British North America, and may well pause for a moment to review the social and economic condition of their people. Since the beginning of the century there had been a large immigration into the provinces, except during the war of 1812. In the nine years preceding 1837, 263,089 British and Irish immigrants arrived at Quebec, and in one year alone there were over 50,000. By 1838 the population of the five provinces of Upper Canada, Lower Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island had reached about 1,400,000 souls. In Upper Canada, with the exception of a very few people of German or Dutch descent, and some French Canadians opposite Detroit and on the Ottawa River, there was an entirely British population of at least 400,000 souls. The population of Lower Canada was estimated at 600,000, of whom hardly one-quarter were of British origin, living chiefly in Montreal, the Townships, and Quebec. Nova Scotia had nearly 200,000 inhabitants, of whom probably 16,000 were French Acadians, resident in Cape Breton and in Western Nova Scotia. In New Brunswick there were at least 150,000 people, of whom some 15,000 were descendants of the original inhabitants of Acadie. The Island of Prince Edward had 30,000 people, of whom the French Acadians made up nearly one-sixth. The total trade of the country amounted, in round figures, to about £5,000,000 sterling in imports, and somewhat less in exports The imports were chiefly manufactures from Great Britain, and the exports were lumber, wheat and fish. Those were days when colonial trade was stimulated by differential duties in favour of colonial products, and the building of vessels was encouraged by the old navigation laws which shut out foreign commerce from the St. Lawrence and the Atlantic ports, and kept the carrying trade between Great Britain and the colonies in the hands of British and colonial merchants, by means of British registered ships. While colonists could not trade directly with foreign ports, they were given a monopoly for their timber, fish, and provisions in the profitable markets of the British West Indies.

The character of the immigration varied considerably, but on the whole the thrifty and industrious formed the larger proportion. In 1833 the immigrants deposited 300,000 sovereigns, or nearly a million and a half of dollars, in the Upper Canadian banks. An important influence in the settlement of Upper Canada was exercised by one Colonel Talbot, the founder of the county of Elgin. Mrs. Anna Jameson, the wife of a vice-chancellor of Upper Canada, describes in her Winter Studies and Summer Rambles, written in 1838, the home of this great proprietor, a Talbot of Malahide, one of the oldest families in the parent state. The chateau-as she calls it, perhaps sarcastically-was a "long wooden building, chiefly of rough logs, with a covered porch running along the south side." Such homes as Colonel Talbot's were common enough in the country. Some of the higher class of immigrants, however, made efforts to surround themselves with some of the luxuries of the old world. Mrs. Jameson tells us of an old Admiral, who had settled in the London district-now the most prosperous agricultural part of Ontario-and had the best of society in his neighbourhood; "several gentlemen of family, superior education, and large capital (among them the brother of an English and the son of an Irish peer, a colonel and a major in the army) whose estates were in a flourishing state." The common characteristic of the Canadian settlements was the humble log hut of the poor immigrant, struggling with axe and hoe amid the stumps to make a home for his family. Year by year the sunlight was let into the dense forests, and fertile meadows soon stretched far and wide in the once untrodden wilderness. Despite all the difficulties of a pioneer's life, industry reaped its adequate rewards in the fruitful lands of the west, bread was easily raised in abundance, and animals of all kinds thrived.

Unhappily the great bane of the province was the inordinate use of liquor. "The erection of a church or chapel," says Mrs. Jameson, "generally preceded that of a school-house in Upper Canada, but the mill and the tavern invariably preceded both." The roads were of the most wretched character and at some seasons actually prohibitory of all social intercourse. The towns were small and ill-built. Toronto, long known as "muddy little York," had a population of about 10,000, but with the exception of the new parliament house, it had no public buildings of architectural pretensions. The houses were generally of wood, a few of staring ugly red brick; the streets had not a single side-walk until 1834, and in 1838 this comfort for the pedestrian was still exceptional. Kingston, the ancient Cataraqui, was even a better built town than Toronto, and had in 1838 a population of perhaps 4500 persons. Hamilton and London were beginning to be places of importance. Bytown, now Ottawa, had its beginnings in 1826, when Colonel By of the Royal Engineers, commenced the construction of the Rideau Canal on the chain of lakes and rivers between the Ottawa and the St. Lawrence at Kingston. The ambition of the people of Upper Canada was always to obtain a continuous and secure system of water navigation from the lakes to Montreal. The Welland Canal between Lakes Erie and Ontario was commenced as early as 1824 through the enterprise of Mr. William Hamilton Merritt, but it was very badly managed; and the legislature, which had from year to year aided the undertaking, was obliged eventually to acquire it as a provincial work. The Cornwall Canal was also undertaken, but work was stopped when it was certain that Lower Canada would not respond to the aspirations of the West and improve that portion of the St. Lawrence within its direct control. Flat-bottomed bateaux and Durham boats were generally in use for the carriage of goods on the inland waters, and it was not until the completion of a canal system between the lakes and Montreal, after the Union, that steamers came into vogue.

The province of Upper Canada had in 1838 reached a crisis in its affairs. In the course of the seven years preceding the rebellion, probably eighty thousand or one half of the immigrants, who had come to the province, had crossed the frontier into the United States, where greater inducements were held out to capital and population. As Mrs. Jameson floated in a canoe, in the middle of the Detroit River, she saw on the one side "all the bustle of prosperity and commerce," and on the other "all the symptoms of apathy, indolence, mistrust, hopelessness." At the time such comparisons were made, Upper Canada was on the very verge of bankruptcy.

Turning to Lower Canada, we find that the financial position of the province was very different from that of Upper Canada. The public accounts showed an annual surplus, and the financial difficulties of the province were caused entirely by the disputes between the executive and the assembly which would not vote the necessary supplies. The timber trade had grown to large proportions and constituted the principal export to Great Britain from Quebec, which presented a scene of much activity in the summer. Montreal was already showing its great advantages as a headquarters of commerce on account of its natural relations to the West and the United States. Quebec and Montreal had each about 35,000 inhabitants. Travellers admitted that Montreal, on account of the solidity of its buildings, generally of stone, compared most favourably with many of the finest and oldest towns in the United States. The Parish Church of Notre Dame was the largest ecclesiastical edifice in America, and notable for its simple grandeur. With its ancient walls girdling the heights first seen by Jacques Cartier, with its numerous churches and convents, illustrating the power and wealth of the Romish religion, with its rugged, erratic streets creeping through hewn rock, with its picturesque crowd of red-coated soldiers of England mingling with priests and sisters in sombre attire, or with the habitants in étoffe du pays,-the old city of Quebec, whose history went back to the beginning of the seventeenth century, was certainly a piece of mediaevalism transported from northern France. The plain stone buildings of 1837 still remain in all their evidences of sombre antiquity. None of the religious or government edifices were distinguished for architectural beauty-except perhaps the English cathedral-but represented solidity and convenience, while harmonising with the rocks amid which they had risen.

The parliament of Lower Canada still met in the Bishop's Palace, which was in want of repair. The old Chateau St. Louis had been destroyed by fire in 1834, and a terrace bearing the name of Durham was in course of construction over its ruins. It now gives one of the most picturesque views in the world on a summer evening as the descending sun lights up the dark green of the western hills, or brightens the tin spires and roofs of the churches and convents, or lingers amid the masts of the ships moored in the river or in the coves, filled with great rafts of timber.

As in the days of French rule, the environs of Quebec and Montreal, and the north side of the St. Lawrence between these two towns, presented French Canadian life in its most picturesque and favourable aspect. These settlements on the river formed one continuous village, with tinned spires rising every few miles amid poplars, maples and elms. While the homes of the seigniors and of a few professional men were more commodious and comfortable than in the days of French rule, while the churches and presbyteries illustrated the increasing prosperity of the dominant religion, the surroundings of the habitants gave evidences of their want of energy and enterprise. But crime was rare in the rural districts and intemperance was not so prevalent as in parts of the west.

Nearly 150,000 people of British origin resided in Lower Canada-a British people animated for the most part by that spirit of energy natural to their race. What prosperity Montreal and Quebec enjoyed as commercial communities was largely due to the enterprise of British merchants. The timber trade was chiefly in their hands, and the bank of Montreal was founded by this class in 1817-seven years before the bank of Upper Canada was established in Toronto. As political strife increased in bitterness, the differences between the races became accentuated. Papineau alienated all the British by his determination to found a "Nation Canadienne" in which the British would occupy a very inferior place. "French and British," said Lord Durham, "combined for no public objects or improvements, and could not harmonise even in associations of charity." The French Canadians looked with jealousy and dislike on the increase and prosperity of what they regarded as a foreign and hostile race. It is quite intelligible, then, why trade languished, internal development ceased, landed property decreased in value, the revenue showed a diminution, roads and all classes of local improvements were neglected, agricultural industry was stagnant, wheat had to be imported for the consumption of the people, and immigration fell off from 52,000 in 1832 to less than 5000 in 1838.

In the maritime provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, there were no racial antagonisms to affect internal development; and the political conflict never reached such proportions as to threaten the peace and security of the people. In New Brunswick the chief industry was the timber trade-deals especially-which received its first stimulus in 1809, when a heavy duty was placed on Baltic timber, while that from the colonies came free into the British Isles. Shipbuilding was also profitably followed in New Brunswick, and was beginning to be prosecuted in Nova Scotia, where, a few years later, it made that province one of the greatest ship-owning and ship-sailing communities of the world until iron steamers gradually drove wooden vessels from the carrying trade. The cod, mackerel, and herring fisheries-chiefly the first-were the staple industry of Nova Scotia, and kept up a large trade with the British West Indies, whence sugar, molasses and rum were imported. Prince Edward Island was chiefly an agricultural community, whose development was greatly retarded by the wholesale grant of lands in 1767 to absentee proprietors. Halifax and St. John had each a population of twenty thousand. The houses were mostly of wood, the only buildings of importance being the government house, finished in 1805, and the provincial or parliament house, considered in its day one of the handsomest structures in North America. In the beautiful valleys of Kings and Annapolis-now famous for their fruit-there was a prosperous farming population. Yarmouth illustrated the thrift and enterprise of the Puritan element that came into the province from New England at an early date in its development. The eastern counties, with the exception of Pictou, showed no sign of progress. The Scotch population of Cape Breton, drawn from a poor class of people in the north of Scotland, for years added nothing to the wealth of an island whose resources were long dormant from the absence of capital and enterprise.

Popular education in those days was at the lowest possible ebb. In 1837 there were in all the private and public schools of the provinces only one-fifteenth of the total population. In Lower Canada not one-tenth could write. The children of the habitants repeated the Catechism by rote, and yet could not read as a rule. In Upper Canada things were no better. Dr. Thomas Rolph tells us that, so late as 1833, Americans or other anti-British adventurers carried on the greater proportion of the common schools, where the youth were taught sentiments "hostile to the parent state" from books used in the United States-a practice stopped by statute in 1846.

Adequate provision, however, was made for the higher education of youth in all the provinces. "I know of no people," wrote Lord Durham of Lower Canada, "among whom a larger provision exists for the higher kinds of elementary education." The piety and benevolence of the early possessors of the country founded seminaries and colleges, which gave an education resembling the kind given in the English public schools, though more varied. In Upper Canada, so early as 1807, grammar schools were established by the government. By 1837 Upper Canada College-an institution still flourishing-offered special advantages to youths whose parents had some money. In Nova Scotia King's College-the oldest university in Canada-had its beginning as an academy as early as 1788, and educated many eminent men during its palmy days. Pictou Academy was established by the Reverend Dr. McCulloch as a remonstrance against the sectarianism of King's; and the political history of the province was long disturbed by the struggle of its promoters against the narrowness of the Anglicans, who dominated the legislative council, and frequently rejected the grant made by the assembly. Dalhousie College was founded in 1820 by Lord Dalhousie, then governor of Nova Scotia, to afford that higher education to all denominations which old King's denied. Acadia College was founded by the Baptists at Wolfville, on a gently rising ground overlooking the fertile meadows of Grand Pré. The foundations of the University of New Brunswick were laid in 1800. McGill University, founded by one of those generous Montreal merchants who have always been its benefactors, received a charter in 1821, but it was not opened until 1829. The Methodists laid the foundation of Victoria College at Cobourg in 1834, but it did not commence its work until after the Union; and the same was the case with King's College, the beginning of the University of Toronto.

We need not linger on the literary output of those early times. Joseph Bouchette, surveyor-general, had made in the first part of the century a notable contribution to the geography and cartography of Lower Canada. Major Richardson, who had served in the war of 1812 and in the Spanish peninsula, wrote in 1833 "Wacousta or the Prophecy," a spirited romance of Indian life. In Nova Scotia the "Sayings and Doings of Sam Slick, of Slickville"-truly a remarkable original creation in humorous literature-first appeared in a Halifax paper. The author, Judge Haliburton, also published as early as 1829 an excellent work in two volumes on the history of his native province. Small libraries and book stores could only be seen in the cities.

In these early times of the provinces, when books and magazines were rarities, the newspaper press naturally exercised much influence on the social and intellectual conditions of the people at large. By 1838 there were no less than forty papers printed in the province of Upper Canada alone, some of them written with ability, though too often in a bitter, personal tone. In those days English papers did not circulate to any extent in a country where postage was exorbitant. People could hardly afford to pay postage rates on letters. The poor settler was often unable to pay the three or four shillings or even more, imposed on letters from their old homes across the sea; and it was not unusual to find in country post-offices a large accumulation of dead letters, refused or neglected on account of the expense. The management of the post-office by imperial officers was one of the grievances of the people of the provinces generally. It was carried on for the benefit of a few persons, and not for the convenience or solace of the many thousands who were anxious for news of their kin across the ocean.

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