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secularize what seemed to them consecrated funds, and popular will, rising in its strength, swept the halting ministry from power. In 1854 the McNab-Morin ministry — loyalists of the highest order — stole the thunder of their divided liberal opponents, and passed an act which secured the life interests of the clergy already receiving grants, and gave the surplus to education.

Thus ended a struggle, long and tedious, and made more so by the craft, instability, and selfishness of those who should have been models of simplicity and sincerity. It was, however, one of those powerful agents which welded the settlers together, and moulded them into a discriminating and liberty-loving people. The Clergy Reserve contest was but one of the incidents in the struggle for freedom against oligarchic rule.


In Lower Canada, as well as in the upper province, the struggle for freedom was going on. No sooner had the echoes of Chrystler's Farm and Chateauguay begun to die out than the spirit of French-Canadian political discontent appeared. Two years after the close of the war there was elected to the speakership of the Lower Canadian assembly a brilliant young French-Canadian, who had commanded a militia corps of his countrymen in the war. This was Louis Papineau. For twenty years, almost with

out interruption, Papineau was speaker LOUIS JOSEPH PAPINEAU.*

of the house and leader of the French

Canadians. During this period of uncertainty, Lord Dalhousie, a stern but honest British general, was governorgeneral, having previously been governor of Nova Scotia. Fearing the dangerous tone of Papineau and his associates, one of whom was Dr. Wolfred Nelson, a Montrealer of United Empire loyalist blood, Lord Dalhousie refused to recognize the popular French-Canadian leader as speaker, and prorogued the assembly. The ensuing ferment led to the transfer of the governor to India, and to the appointment by the imperial parliament of the “ Canada Committee,” which gave in a wise and able report, recommending that the "legislative assemblies and the executive government of Canada (both Upper and Lower) be put on a right footing." All eyes were, however, too blinded with prejudice to adopt this remedy, which would have met the case. In 1832, to quiet public excitement, the British government gave over to the assembly in Lower Canada the control of the local revenue. The opportunity was thus in the hands of the French Canadians to tyrannize over the judges and civil servants, who were chiefly English, by refus

* After a photograph in Fannings Taylor's Brit. Americans, iii. He was born in October, 1789.

ing to pay their allowances. Within five years nearly £150,000 of arrears were due on this civil list. The case was so serious at an imperial commission had been appointed to consider it. In 1834 the French-Canadians had vindicated themselves in a quasi-claim of right by the passage of “ninetytwo resolutions." Societies were formed by the English-speaking people of Lower Canada called “ Constitutional Associations." These sought at the same time to keep up the oligarchic rule and to make themselves the defenders of British connection. The question of loyalty was really not at stake, but the heat of the agitation completely obscured the main questions of liberty.

In 1837 Lord John Russell moved four resolutions in the British parliament, condemning the action of the legislative assembly, and yet preserving the non-elective character of the council, against which principle the Lower Canadians, along with the majority of Upper Canada, loudly inveighed. This action added fuel to the flame. A Lower Canadian journal declared : “Henceforth there must be no peace in the province no quarter for the plunderers. Agitate! Agitate! Agitate! Destroy the revenue ; denounce the oppressors. Everything is lawful when the fundamental liberties are in danger. The guards die — they never surrender!” During the year of Lord John's resolutions large and excited meetings were held throughout the districts in Lower Canada. At one of these, on the Richelieu River, twelve hundred people were present, and Papineau, the idol of the people, was lauded to the skies, and a fund called the “Papineau tribute” begun for the support of the uncrowned king. A meeting of five thousand persons was held a few months later at St. Charles on the Richelieu, and a "column" with the “cap of liberty" upon it was erected. Young French-Canadians banded themselves into societies called “Sons of Liberty,” and members of the legislative assembly, in token of their disrespect for the ruling powers, appeared in the house dressed in homespun (“ étoffe du pays "), thus showing their determination to purchase nothing of British manufacture. The more ardent spirits began to meet secretly to drill; collisions of the “Sons of Liberty" and the "Constitutionalists" took place, and the outlook became so threatening that the bishop, Monseigneur Lartigue, issued a pastoral to soothe the turbulent feelings of his countrymen. The determined soldier Sir John Colborne, now with headquarters in Montreal, and with almost all the troops from Upper Canada concentrated at that point, forbade drilling, and prepared to crush sedition wherever it should show itself. In November the blow fell. At St. Charles and St. Denis bands of insurgents were gathered together. Dr. Nelson at St. Denis made for a time a strong resistance, but afterwards gave way, while at St. Charles, the headquarters of revolt, a bold stand was made, to be, however, ended by the determined attack of Colonel Wetherall. Nelson was taken; and the leader of the St. Charles rebels escaped, as did also Papineau, to the United States. A few trifling demonstrations northwest of Montreal brought the fiasco to an end.

Meanwhile, in Upper Canada, the fires of discontent had been burning also. Not only the clergy reserve agitation, but many other grievances, excited the people. The struggle centred in the legislative halls in York,

. Though the people's parliament had been elected so early as 1824, yet the

Family Compact” began to use the arts well known to tyrants, of misrepresentation, secret plottings, and social disparagement. Against William Lyon Mackenzie, fiery and radical Scotchman as he was, their arms were turned, for Dr. Strachan detested his impulsive fellow-countryman. Mac

kenzie was elected in 1828 to the assembly. But the fiery advocate of the people was more radical than men of the Bidwell and Baldwin type, and so about the year 1830 a line of cleavage began to appear among the opponents of the Family Compact. The wily politician Ryerson also began, as has been already said, to veer about on the Clergy Reserve question. The members of the Family Compact were too experienced and too shrewd to fail in adopting the motto of tyrants older than they: “Divide et impera." In consequence, the Family Compact in 1830 gained

ground, and in the year folWILLIAM L. MACKENZIE."

lowing passed what was

known as the “Everlasting Salary Bill,” by which judges and members of the executive council were made independent as to salary of the vote of the assembly. In the elections for the new assembly, Baldwin, Rolph, and other leaders were defeated, though Mackenzie was elected for the metropolitan county of York. The majority of the house, encouraged by their victory, vented their spleen on the virulent editor by thrice expelling him from the house, though he returned in each case elected by a larger majority than before. Mackenzie was now in the zenith. He was the people's tribune, and on visiting England received the solemn assurance from the British law officers that his expulsion had been thoroughly illegal. Returning to Canada, the martyr was again elected, and followed to the house by a great crowd of his co stituents demanding admission ; but the same refusal was given by the

* After a likeness in Charles Lindsey's Life and Times of Mackenzie (Toronto, 1863).


dominant majority. The persecuted editor had now become the most popular man in Canada, and in 1834 was elected first mayor of the city of Toronto, as the newly incorporated town of York then began to be called. This victory took place in the very centre of Family Compact influence.

In the same year, a letter received from a leading English radical of renown, Joseph Hume, was published in the Colonial Advocate by Mackenzie. In this letter, referring to Mackenzie's expulsion, the English radical said such proceedings must “terminate in independence and freedom from the baneful domination of the mother country.” This unfortunate expression thus adopted by Mackenzie alienated many of his associates, including the astute clerical politician, Egerton Ryerson. Notwithstanding the defection of some of their supporters, the opponents of the oligarchy carried the elections of this time, and Mr. Bidwell was elected speaker of the house by a small majority. This assembly was one of the most important that ever met in Upper Canada. A special committee on grievances was appointed, with Mackenzie as chairman. In April, 1835, there was prepared the Seventh Report of the Grievance Committee, a most comprehensive and telling exposure of the whole system of Family Compact government, and which led to the recall of Sir John Colborne, the oligarchist gov



The friends of liberty, rejoicing over the departure of Governor Colborne, were in high expectations when it was announced that Sir Francis Bond Head, a distinguished author and traveller, and heralded as a “tried reformer," had been appointed governor.

SIR FRANCIS B. HEAD.* But the new governor was absolutely unacquainted with the duties of his office, and at once showed a strong dislike to the opponents of the government, considering that they were not a party of gentlemen. In the general election of 1836 the new governor took a prominent and undignified part. On Mackenzie's section of the liberal party suspicion had fallen in consequence of the “baneful domination ” letter, as it was called, and of other utterances somewhat disloyal. The Family Compact organized the “ British Constitutional Society," and their cry was, “Hurrah for Sir Francis Head and British connection !" The population of the province had nearly doubled by the influx of British

* After a likeness in Charles Lindsey's Life and Times of Mackenzie (Toronto, 1863).

settlers, and to the great surprise of Mackenzie and his followers these were found to respond to the misleading cry of British connection; and so overwhelming was the triumph of the Family Compact in the general election that Bidwell, Perry, Lount, and even Mackenzie himself were all defeated, and their party left in a hopeless minority.

Mackenzie was exasperated. His newspaper was resumed under the name of The Constitution, and its attacks were most virulent. The popular mind, however, soon reacted from the position taken in favor of Family Compactism, and public feeling turned against the governor who had interfered

in so grossly unfair a manner in carrying the elections. Now would have been the time for wisdom and selfcontrol. But these were the very qualities lacking in Mackenzie. Secret messages passed constantly between Papineau, the leader of the Lower Canadian sedition, and Mackenzie. Indeed, one of the main instruments in carrying the elections against the friends of liberty was an unwise letter from Papineau, which Bidwell, the speaker of the assembly, had read to the house while in session. About the end

of July, 1837, a society called MACLEOD.*

the “Committee of Vigilance” was formed, and Mackenzie was chosen as agent and corresponding secretary. There does not seem to have been any intention of rebellion in the forming of the organization. Bidwell was entirely opposed to violent measures; Rolph temporized; on the ardent Mackenzie . must be the responsibility of shaping its action. The troops had all been taken to Montreal on account of Papineau's rebellion, and concerted action was intended by Mackenzie and Papineau. Less than twenty-four hours before the St. Charles attack in Lower Canada, Mackenzie left Rolph's house in Toronto to rouse his followers. On the following day a revolutionary manifesto was issued, headed, “Proclamation by William Lyon Mackenzie, Chairman pro tem. of the Provisional Government of the State of Upper Canada.” In the document were such sentiments as, “Rise, Canadians ! Rise as one man, and the glorious object of our wishes is accomplished.”

* After a likeness in Charles Lindsey's Life and Times of Mackenzie (Toronto, 1863).

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