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During these years of agitation the attention of all parties was twice diverted by threatenings of international complication with the United States. The breaking out of the Civil War in the United States in 1861 drew upon the sympathies of the Canadian people. The majority of Canadians were opposed to the Southern Confederacy on account of its institution of slavery, and large numbers of Canadians joined the Northern army. An act of invasion of the British steamer “Trent” on the high seas by the United States steamer “San Jacinto," and the capture from it of two Southern gentlemen, Messrs. Mason and Slidell, roused the British people, and caused great excitement in Canada. The angry discussion which ensued seemed to forebode war, and thousands in Canada who had never seen a company drilled were enrolled, prepared for the worst. The horrors of war were happily averted through the efforts of diplomacy.
The conclusion of the American Civil War had its perils both for the United States and for Canada. The enforced idleness of many thousands of discharged soldiers caused much anxiety. Many of them were Irishmen, and in their dislike of Britain and lack of occupation there were organized what were called “Fenian Associations” for the relief of Ireland. Canada was again and again threatened by bands of these desperadoes. In June, 1866, some hundreds of them effected a landing on the Nagara peninsula, and, after several skir
ishes, returned to Buffalo, where the forces of the United States arrested them. attacks were also made at various other
STATUE OF SIR
Ceturning to an account of the political nculties of Canada, it may be stated that
only Upper and Lower Canada, but the maritime provinces also, imssed by the fact of their like environment as provinces, sought union 2 one another, and the latter met to consider the question at Charetown, the capital of Prince Edward Island. The Canadian coalition listry now suggested the feasibility of sending representatives to this eting in the lower provinces, and also commissioners to England to in the imperial assistance. Accordingly eight delegates from Canada d down the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and sought admission to the conom a photograph kindly furnished by George Mercer Adam, Esq., of Toronto. Cf. portrait in B. s Hist. des Canadiens-Françaises.
. From a pho
ference of the representatives of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. The meeting was hopeful, and it was decided to hold a future conference; and this took place in Quebec in October, 1864. This was a remarkable gathering. “They came together for friendly conference on the historic ground of old Quebec, where French Catholic and French Huguenot, Champlain's colonists and Kirke's invaders, Frontenac's regiments of old France and New England militia, Montcalm's veterans and Wolfe's troops and Highlanders, Carleton's medley and Montgomery's borderers, had met in conflict.” It was, moreover, remarkable as a great constitution-forming gathering. Less than a hundred years before, a conference of British colonies had met in congress in New York, but then under the imperial frown; now the consulting provinces are assembled under the smile of the mother country. Thirty years before, in this very city, the anti-British French-Canadians had passed, amid great excitement, ninetyeight resolutions of a hostile nature; here, with their British compatriots, they are now agreeing to a confederation of the northern American colonies under the British flag. The conference ended with an agreement in the form of seventy-two resolutions, to be submitted to the various legislatures. After much discussion and the passage of the agreement by Canada, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, though in the last-named seemingly without due consideration so far as the people were concerned, an imperial measure was carried called “The British North America Act," and the four provinces of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia entered upon their new life as a confederation on July 1, 1867, to be joined by Manitoba in three years, by British Columbia in the year following, and by Prince Edward Island in three years more. Thus the seven sister provinces are united together, and the Dominion of Canada has just passed the year of its majority.
CRITICAL ESSAY ON THE SOURCES OF INFORMATION.
THE important period from the conquest of Canada in 1763 to the passing of the
1 Constitutional Act of 1791 is somewhat lacking in original documents of value, arising, especially in its earlier years, from the unsettled and unhappy state of the country. The period has been spoken of in French Canada as “Le temps de malaise et de confusion.” The Abbé Verreau in 1870 edited a number of valuable official documents under the auspices of the Société Historique of Montreal, these having been collected by the Hon. Jacques Viger. To Baron Masères, for three years the legal adviser of Sir Guy Carleton, must be assigned the credit of giving the views of the British residents of Quebec, and of gathering valuable information. An account of the proceedings of the inhabitants of Quebec, published in 1775; Additional papers, in 1776; three most interesting volumes of the periodical known as The Canadian Freeholder; besides a Collection of Commissions, etc., in 1771; a Review of the government and grievances of the province of Quebec since the conquest, published in 1788; and Occasional Essays, in 1809, — all bear testimony to the industry of the clear-headed adviser of the ruler of the province of Quebec.1 An inter
1 [Cf. ante, VI. p. 104. – Ed.]
esting document, published in 1774, is the letter from the Congress of the United States To the inhabitants of the province of Quebec.1 A very useful work, showing the conflicting views of the different party elements interested in the passage of the “ Quebec Bill” in 1774, is found in the Debate on the Quebec Act, published by 7. Wright, from notes of Sir Henry Cavendish, Bart. (London, 1739). Justice and policy by the late act assisted and proved, by W. Knox (1774), is a view of the loyalist position.3 A letter to Lord Chatham on the Quebec Bill (1774) 4 was much sought for in its time, and was no doubt properly attributed to Sir William Meredith. The invasion of Canada by Montgomery and Arnold in 1775–76, coming in this period, has been fully treated elsewhere.
The most remarkable service done to the history of this period, as well as to that of several years following, has been accomplished by the Canadian Archives Department, Ottawa, whose collection, begun in 1872, under the indefatigable management of Mr. Douglas Brymner, has grown with marvellous rapidity in the few years of its existence.6 Among the most valuable documents are one hundred and sixty-four volumes of the Haldimand papers. The original documents were presented to the British Museum in 1857 by Mr. W. Haldimand, nephew of General Haldimand, the governor of Canada from 1778 to 1786, and exact copies have been made for the Ottawa Archives. In late years much service has been rendered to the public by the calendar or contents published in successive numbers of the Archives Department, 1883-89, and still continuing. Materials are here found for reconstructing opinions as to the “ Du Calvet affair.” Cf., for instance, Brymner's Report, 1888, Introd., on the Jesuit priest Roubaud, and the work and influence of General Haldimand. Du Calvet, who has succeeded in giving to history his version of his quarrel with General Haldimand, writes it in a Recueil de lettres au roi, etc.8 An enormous collection of military correspondence, contained in hundreds of volumes, including the Seven Years' War and War of the Revolution, is to be found in the Archives, having been removed thither from the chief British military station in America, Halifax, N. S. The printed reports of the archivist are also giving the contents of these.
No one should attempt to pronounce on the Canadian history of this period without studying the Constitutional Act of 1791, for it shows the effect of the American Revolution upon the imperial lawmakers.9
1 [Cf. ante, VI. p. 104. — Ed.]
An act for making more effectual provision 2 [Cf. ante, VI. p. 102. – ED.)
for the government of the province of Quebec, 3 [Cf. ante, VI. p. 104.- ED.)
1774. 4 [Cf. ante, VI. p. 102. – Ed.]
An act to establish a fund towards further 6 (Cf. ante, VI. pp. 215-229; Brymner's Re. defraying the charges of the administration of port on the Archives, 1888, p. xii. — ED.)
justice and support of the civil government 6 [The history of this development can be within the province of Quebec, 1791. traced in Brymner's Reports. Cf. also Kings. Constitutional Act, 1791. ford's Canadian Archæology, p. 33. — Ed.]
Proclamations in Upper and Lower Canada, ? (Cf. post, Appendix. — Ed.]
bringing the act into force. 8 (Cf. the Case of Peter Du Calvet, containing Commission of Lord Gosford, 1835. an acc. of the long and severe imprisonment he Imperial act suspending the constitution and suffered by order of Gen. Haldimand (London, making temporary provision for the government 1784). — Ed.]
of Lower Canada, proclaimed March 29, 1838. 9 (Mr. John George Bourinot, clerk of the Instructions to Lord Durham for the constituHouse of Commons at Ottawa, in outlining to tion of a special council. its Speaker the project of a work to be called Lord Durham's proclamation dissolving the The Federal and Provincial Constitutions, Co- special council. lonial Charters, Organic Laws, Imperial De Lord Durham's letter to the members of the spatches and other Documents, illustrative of the executive council, dispensing with their attend. Constitutional History of Canada, from 1540 to ance. 1888, points out the following pivotal documents An act to reunite the provinces of Upper as coming within the period now under consid- Canada and Lower Canada, and for the governeration :
ment of Canada, 1840. Commission and royal instructions to Sir John Proclamation declaring the provinces united, (General) Murray, 1763.
In Lower Canada, during the last forty years, has grown up a school of French-Canadian historians, whose polished style and national spirit have made their work of much value. As was to have been expected, their sympathies have been drawn out toward the earlier period of Canadian history, though they have also given us detailed histories down to the date of their writing. We propose, on account of their forming a distinctive school of Canadian historians, to give their works a complete notice here, though they deal specially with this earlier time. Of foremost rank in this band, if not among all Canadian historians, is François Xavier Garneau, who, in three volumes, writes L'Histoire du Canada (Quebec, 1852). Though fairly treating his subject, he aroused the susceptibilities of some of the clerical opponents, and his book was later in some points modified. The work has reached its fourth edition (Montreal, 1882). It is a well-written, accurate, and judicious history. A compact French history from the conquest to 1818 is that of Bibaud the younger, Les institutions de l'histoire du Canada (1855). Of Michael Bibaud's (d. 1857) Hist. du Canada sous la domination anglaise mention has been already made (ante, IV. p. 367). The wrath of the Church in Quebec was visited upon the Abbé Brasseur de Bourbourg, when there appeared his Histoire du Canada, de son église et de ses missions (1852). It was an ill-digested and incorrect view of Canadian affairs, given by a visitor from France. The learned Abbé J. B. A. Ferland wrote his excellent and fair Cours d'Histoire du Canada largely to correct the French abbé's errors. The latter part of this work was, however, finished by Abbé Laverdière on the death of Ferland. A work now somewhat past its meridian is the Histoire de Cinquante Ans of M. Bedard (Quebec, 1869), covering the fifty years from 1791. In 1882-84 appeared a voluminous Histoire des Canadiens Françaises (1608-1880), by Benjamin Sulte (Montreal), 8 vols. ; while a French-Canadian littérateur, Louis P. Turcotte, had a few years before given to the world an octavo volume, 616 pages, Le Canada sous l'Union, 1841-1867 (Quebec, 1871), and two years later his Biographies politiques. A distinguished literary man, whose polished and genial manner and wide sympathies make him one of the attractions of
Return to an address from the House of useful little book is based on the author's larger Assembly to the governor-general, August 5, treatise on Parliamentary Practice and Procedure. 1841, on the despatch of Lord John Russell to Cf. Goldwin Smith on the Political History of the governor-general on responsible government, Canada in The Nineteenth Century, July, 1856; October 14, 1839.
E. Hulot on “ The French Canadians and the Her Majesty's instructions to Lord Sydenham development of parliamentary liberty in Canada, on his assumption of the government, Sept. 7, 1763-1867,” in the Annales de l'Ecole des Sciences 1839.
Politiques, July, 1887; and Thomas D'Arcy An act for enabling colonial legislatures to McGee's Speeches and Addresses, chiefly on the establish inland posts.
Subject of the British American Union (London, Imperial act respecting coasting trade of the 1865). British possessions.
Mr. Bourinot has also printed in the Fohns Despatches relative to removal of restrictions Hopkins University Studies, 5th series, nos. 56, on Canadian commerce.
a monograph on Local government in Canada Imperial act relative to the use of the English (Baltimore, 1887), in which he thus divides his language in legislative instruments, August 14, subject:1848.
Contents. — Introduction ; The French régime, Imperial act to empower the legislature of 1608-1760; Lower Canada, 1760-1840; Upper Canada to alter the constitution of the legislative Canada, 1792-1840; The maritime provinces; council, etc., Aug. 11, 1854.
The establishment of municipal institutions in British North America Act, 1867.
provinces of the Dominion. – ED.) Proclamation uniting the provinces into one [Four of them, Bibaud, Garneau, Ferland, dominion.
and Faillon, are passed in review by J. M. Mr. Bourinot has already sketched the pro- Lemoine in “ Nos quatre historiens modernes," gress of constitutional principles in Canada in in the Roy. Soc. of Canada, Trans., vol. i. — ED.] his Manual of the Constitutional History of 2 (Cf. ante, IV. 359; and a paper by Casgrain Canada from the earliest period to the year 1888. in Roy. Soc. Canada, Trans., i. 85.- ED.) Including the British North America act, 1867, 8 [Cf. also Ferland's Observations sur un and a digest of judicial decisions on questions of ouvrage intitulé Hist. du Canada (Quebec, 1853; legislative jurisdiction (Montreal, 1888). This also Paris). – ED.)
Quebec city, is Mr. J. M. Lemoine, an English-speaking French-Canadian. Many choice historical sketches are found in his Maple Leaves (1863); Monographies et esquisses; Monographies de nos modernes historiens; Picturesque Quebec (1882); and in many lesser monographs on the old Quebec gates, fortifications, and environs. In 1855, at Montreal, J. G. Barthe published Souvenirs d'un Demi-Siècle, and a brochure embodying the hope of his race in gaining by political means what they had lost by war at the conquest, Canada reconquis par la France, (also Paris, 1855.)?
Les servantes de Dieu en Canada, by C. de Laroche-Heron, is an eulogy of the distinguished women who have served the Church in Lower Canada ; while a work on the French-Canadian people, Histoire du Canada et des Canadiens françaises de la découverte jusqu'a nos jours (Paris, 1884), by the Protestant Frenchman Eugène Réveillaud, who visited Canada a few years ago, is severely criticised by the Lower Canadians.
If the songs of a people are elements of their history, the Chansons populaires du Canada, by Ernest Gagnon (Quebec, 1865), 8vo, 370 pp., is worthy of examination, the more that it was found a few years since that old French ditties, which had entirely disappeared in Normandy, were still sung in Canada. Sir Hector Langevin in his earlier days wrote a prize essay on Canada which is favorably viewed.
Two works remain to be spoken of in closing our sketch of Lower Canadian histories, and both of these written in English. One of these is History of Lower Canada, by Robert Christie (Quebec, 1848), 6 vols. While not written in a pleasant style, this is the most complete history of Lower Canada up to 1848. Its writer was a member of the assembly for Gaspé, and was a most industrious and successful collector of facts. His differences with his French-Canadian fellow-members do not seem to have disturbed his judicial frame of mind as a historian. Christie's work extends from 1791 (with a sketch from 1759) to 1841.4 The other writer, who may be called a British Frenchman, is Joseph Bouchette, the author of The British Dominions in North America (London, 1832), 3 vols. These volumes are a vast collection of the historical, geographical, topographical, and statistical data of the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada, as well as of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The position of surveyor-general of Lower Canada filled by Bouchette makes his work of considerable value. The part taken by Lower Canada in the peopling of the interior of Canada and Rupert's Land, as also of the Western States, is well shown in two volumes published in Montreal (1878), by Joseph Tassé, entitled Les Canadiens de l'Ouest. They are of much interest, and very full of national pride.
Elsewhere (Vol. VII. 185-214) the authorities have been given on the removal of the loyalists from the United States; it remains for us to point out the materials for their history after their arrival in the British provinces. The main source of loyalist information is the Haldimand collection in the Archives at Ottawa. It awaits the labor of a
1 (E. G. Scott in a striking paper on “La 4 (Later ed., Hist. of the late Province of Lower Nouvelle France" in the Atlantic Monthly, Sept., Canada (Montreal, 1866). Cf. also his Memoirs 1889, tracks the development of the Gallic spirit of the Administration of the Colonial Government in Canada in its progress towards an apparently of Lower Canada, by Craig and Prevost, 1807-15 inevitable domination.- Ed.]
(Quebec, 1818), and John Fleming's British ? (Eugène Réveillaud's “ Langue et littérature Settlers' Polit. Annals of Lower Canada (MonFrançaises au Canada” in the Bibliothèque treal, 1828). — Ed. Universelle et Revue Suisse (August, 1883), was 5 [Cf. ante, VII. pp. 172, 177.—ED.] reprinted in the App. of his Hist. du Canada. 6 [These and other works on Canadian hisCf. Prosper Bender's Old and New Canada, tory are also characterized elsewhere. Cf. ante. 1753-1844. Historic scenes and social pictures, Vol. IV. pp. 157, 367–368. These books are or, The life of Joseph François Perrault (Mon- also passed in review in good part in J. C. treal, 1882), and John Lesperance's Analytical Dent's Last Forty Years of Canada (1881), and Study of Canadian History, in the Roy. Soc. in Canadiana (1889), an historical periodical beCanada, Proc., vol. v.- ED.)
gun in Montreal, under the editing of W. J. 3 [There is a later ed. of Gagnon, Quebec, White, in 1889. - ED.) 1880.- ED.)