Copyright
J.M. Le Moine.

Picturesque Quebec : a sequel to Quebec past and present online

. (page 11 of 59)
Online LibraryJ.M. Le MoinePicturesque Quebec : a sequel to Quebec past and present → online text (page 11 of 59)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


to Charlesbourg, possibly to Château Bigot, a shooting box then known as
the "Hermitage," to meditate on the mutability of human affairs. Later on,
however, in the exciting times of 1791, Adam Lymburner was deputed by the
colony to England to suggest amendment's to the project of the
constitution to be promulgated by the home authorities. His able speech
may be met with in the pages of the _Canadian Review_, published at
Montreal in 1826. This St Peter street magnate attained four score and ten
years, and died at Russell Square, London, on the 10th January, 1836.

Another signature recalls days of strife and alarm: that of sturdy old
Hugh McQuarters, the brave artillery sergeant who, at _Près-de-Ville_
on that momentous 31st December, 1775, applied the match to the cannon
which consigned to a snowy shroud Brigadier-General Richard Montgomery,
his two _aides_, McPherson and Cheeseman, and his brave, but doomed
followers, some eleven in all; the rest having sought safety in flight. By
this record, it appears Sergeant McQuarters had also a son, in 1802, one
of Dr Sparks' congregation. Old Hugh McQuarters lived in Champlain street,
and closed his career there in 1812.

Another autograph, that of James Thompson, one of Wolfe's comrades - "a big
giant," as our old friend, the late Judge Henry Black, who knew him well,
used to style him, awakens many memories of the past. Sergeant James
Thompson, of Fraser's Highlanders, at Louisbourg in 1758, and at Quebec in
1759, came from Tain, Scotland, to Canada, as a volunteer to accompany a
friend-Capt. David Baillie, of the 78th. His athletic frame, courage,
integrity and intelligence, during the seventy-two years of his Canadian
career, brought him employment, honour, trust and attention from every
Governor of the colony from 1759 to 1830, the period of his death, he was
then aged 98 years. At the battle of the Plains of Abraham, James
Thompson, as hospital sergeant, was intrusted with the landing, at Point
Levi, of the wounded, who were crossed over in boats; he tells us of his
carrying some of the wounded from the crossing at Levi, up the hill, all
the way to the church at St. Joseph, converted into an hospital, and
distant three miles from the present ferry, a "big giant" alone could have
been equal to such a task. In 1775, Sergeant Thompson, as overseer of
Government works, was charged with erecting the palisades, fascines and
other primitive contrivances to keep out Brother Jonathan, who had not yet
learned the use of Parrot or Gatling guns and torpedoes. Later on, we find
the sturdy Highlander an object of curiosity to strangers visiting Quebec
- full of siege anecdotes and reminiscences - a welcome guest at the Château
in the days of the Earl of Dalhousie. In 1827, as senior Mason, he was
called on by His Excellency to give the three mystic taps with the mallet,
when the corner stone of the Wolfe and Montcalm monument was laid, in the
presence of Captain Young of the 79th Highlanders, and a great concourse
of citizens. About New Year's day, 1776, Mr. Thompson became possessed of
Gen. Montgomery's sword; it has since passed to his grandson, James
Thompson Harrower. Mr. James Thompson left several sons, some of whose
signatures are affixed to the document before us. John Gawler was Judge
for the District of Gaspé from 1828 to 1865; George received a commission
in the Royal Artillery; a third was Deputy Commissary General James
Thompson, who died in this city in 1869.

Old James Thompson expired in 1830, at the family mansion, St. Ursule
street, now occupied by his grandson, Mr. James Thompson Harrower.

When we name John Greenshields, D. Munro (the partner of the Hon. Matthew
Bell), J. Blackwood, Matthew Lymburner, Peter Stuart, William Grant, John
Mure, John McNider, J. G. Hanna, John Crawford, David Stewart (the David
Stewart of "Astoria" described by Washington Irving?) James Orkney, Robert
Wood, Alexander Munn, James McCallum, Thomas White, Fred. Petrie, Robert
Ritchie, we recall many leading merchants in St. Peter street, Notre Dame
street and the old _Cul-de-Sac_.

"Ebenezer Baird," we take to have been the progenitor of a well-remembered
Quebec Barrister, James E. Baird, Esq., the patron of our city member,
Jacques Malouin, Esquire.

George Pyke, a Halifax barrister, had settled here. He rose to occupy a
seat on the judicial bench.

Robert Harrower, was doubtless the father of Messrs. Robert, David and
Charles Harrower, of Trois Saumons, County of L'Islet. Honorable James
Irvine, in 1818, a member of the Legislative Council, was the grandfather
of the Hon. G. Irvine, of this city. The Hon. John Jones Ross, the present
Speaker of the Legislative Council, Quebec, traces back to the "James
Ross" of 1802, and the Hon. David Alex. Ross claims for his sire that
sturdy Volunteer of 1759, under Wolfe, "John Ross," who made a little
fortune; he resided at the house he purchased in 1765, near Palace Gate
within. He held a commission as a Captain in the British Militia in 1775,
under Colonel Le Maitre; we can recollect his scarlet uniform which he
wore in 1775, also worn in 1875, by his grandson, our worthy friend, Hon.
D. A. Ross, at the ball of the Centenary of the repulse of Brigadier-
General Richard Montgomery, 31st December, 1775. He had three sons, David
was Solicitor-General at Quebec; John was a lawyer also, and Prothonotary
at Quebec (the signer of the memorial of 1802); the third died young; of
three daughters, one was married to the Rev. Doctor Sparks, already
mentioned; a second was married to Mr. James Mitchell, A.C.G., and the
third to an army surgeon. John Ross, Sr., died at an advanced age. Charles
Grey Stewart, our Comptroller of Customs died in 1854; he was the father
of Messrs. McLean, Charles, Alexander, Robert and John Stewart, of Mrs.
William Price, of Mrs. William Phillips, of the Misses Ann and Eleanor
Stewart.

"Joanna George" the mother of an aged contemporary, Miss Elizabeth George,
and of [44] Miss Agnes George, the widow of the late Arch. Campbell, Esq.,
N.P., and grandmother of the present President of the St. Andrew's
Society, W. Darling Campbell, died about 1830.

"Maya Darling" was another daughter, and wife of Capt. Darling. "John
Burn," also one of the signers of the Memorial, and who afterwards settled
in Upper Canada, was the son of "Joanna George" by another marriage; the
eccentric and clever Quebec merchant, Mr. James George, was another son.
He was the first who suggested in 1822, a plan of the St. Charles River
Docks - the first who took up the subject of rendering the St. Lawrence
Rapids navigable higher than Montreal. The idea seemed so impracticable,
and what was still worse, so new, that the far-seeing Mr. George, was at
the time branded as _non compos_! and still for years the "Spartan,"
"Passport," "Champion" and other steamers have safely ran these rapids
daily every season!

James George had also suggested the practicability of Wooden Railways or
Tramways, with horses as locomotive power, forty years before the Civil
Engineer Hulburt built the Gosford Wooden Railway, with steam as
locomotive power.

"William Grant, of St. Roch's, after whom Grant street was called, was
member for the Upper Town of Quebec, during our two first Parliaments,
from 17th December, 1792, to 29th May, 1800, and from 9th January, 1805,
to period of his death at St. Roch in 1805. An enterprising and important
personage was the Hon. Wm. Grant, the Receiver General of the Province in
1770. He had married the widow of the third Baron de Longueuil.

"John Mure" represented the County of York (Vaudreuil) in three
Parliaments, from 9th January, 1805, to 26th February, 1810, and was
member for the Upper Town of Quebec, from 1810 to 1814. A man of
intelligence, he also, though a Presbyterian, became a benefactor to the
R. C. Church, having, in 1812, given to the R. C. parishioners of St.
Roch's, a site whereon to erect their church in that thriving suburb.

"John Blackwood" also represented the Upper Town in two Parliaments, from
9th April, 1809, to 20th February, 1810.

"Jane Sewell" was the wife of Stephen Sewell, Solicitor-General of Lower
Canada, brother to Chief Justice Sewell.

"Henrietta Sewell," one of the signers, survived ten years her husband,
the late Jonathan Sewell, Chief Justice for Lower Canada, who died in
Quebec in 1839. Chief Justice Sewell left a numerous progeny. [45]

"William Lindsay" was the father of the late William Burns Lindsay, for
years Clerk of the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada, and of our
venerable fellow-citizen, Errol Boyd Lindsay, Esq., Notary Public, now
more than four score years of age; he seems to have taken his surname from
Capt. Errol Boyd, in 1798, commander of the well remembered Quebec and
Montreal trader, the "Dunlop."

"William Smith," one of the last among the signers of the memorial, the
brother of Henrietta Smith, wife of Chief Justice Sewell, was the Hon.
William Smith, Clerk of the Legislative Council, and who, in 1815,
published his _History of Canada_, in two volumes, a standard work;
he was a descendant of the Hon. William Smith, a noted U. E. Loyalist, who
wrote the history of the State of New York, and landed at Quebec, 23rd
October, 1786. As a reward for his loyalty he had been made Chief Justice
of Lower Canada, 1st September, 1785; he died at Quebec, 6th December,
1793.

The names of six signers of the _Memorial to the King_, appear on the
list of the jury empanelled to try, in 1797, before Chief Justice Osgood,
David McLane for high treason, viz.: John Blackwood, John Crawford, David
Munro, John Mure, James Irvine, James Orkney. George Pyke was the Counsel
named _ex officio_, together with M. Franklin, to defend the misguided
Yankee.

The Jury stood thus; -

John Blackwood, James Irvine,
John Crawford, James Orkney,
John Painter, James Watson Goddard,
David Monro, Henry Cull,
John Mure, Robert Morrogh,
John Jones, George Symes.

Parloir street, well leavened with lawyers, leads to the _parloir_ of
the Ursulines. Here resided the late Judge de Bonne, at the dawn of the
present century. The locality is alive with memories of this venerable
seat of education, and with saintly and heroic traditions of Madame de la
Peltrie, Mère de l'Incarnation - Montcalm. "There exists," says the Abbé
Casgrain, "in the Ursuline Nunnery, a small picture, which portrays a
touching tradition of the early days of Canada: a painting executed by a
Canadian artist, from old etchings, preserved in the monastery. * * The
canvas represents the forest primeval, which mantled the promontory of
Quebec, at the birth of the Colony. In the centre of the picture may be
seen, amidst the maples and tall pines, the first monastery, founded in
1641 by Madame de la Peltrie. On its front stands forth in perspective the
dwelling which the founder had erected for her own use, three years later
on. The area comprised between these two edifices, is occupied by a
clearing, surrounded by a palisade, whereon are seen grazing a flock of
sheep. On the left side of the picture a broad avenue leads through the
forest: - the _Grand Allée_ - later on St. Louis street, which leads to
the village of Sillery. Two horsemen, habited à la Louis XIV, meet on this
avenue, the one Monsieur d'Ailleboust, the Governor of the Colony, the
other is Monsieur DuPlessis Bochard, the Governor of Three Rivers. In the
midst of their interview, they are interrupted by an Indian Chief, who
offers them a beaver skin. A few steps from her residence, Madame de la
Peltrie is standing close to another Indian Chief, who, with head
inclined, seems in the attitude of listening to her in the most respectful
manner, whilst she, dignified and composed, is expounding to him the
sacred truths of faith. This scene presents an admirable contrast, with
another taking place close by; an Indian warrior is seen giving,
imperiously, his orders to a squaw, - his wife mayhap - but who, from her
downcast and humble look, seems more like his slave. A short distance from
this group, a missionary, (Father Jérôme Lalemant) after visiting some
wigwams, erected around the house of Madame de la Peltrie, is threading a
narrow path leading to the depths of the forest. The most attractive
feature about the painting is a group of young children, listening
attentively to the teachings of a nun, seated on the right, under the
shade of an ash tree. The impression created by this antique painting, is
the more delightful and vivid, because on turning one's gaze, at present,
from the picture, to the interior of the cloister, may still be seen the
hoary head of an old ash tree, under which tradition shows us the
venerable _Mother de l'Incarnation_, catechising the Indian children
and teaching the young girls of the colony." [46] After more than two
centuries of existence, the old ash tree succumbed lately to a storm.

Laval, Attorney-General Ruette D'Auteuil, Louis de Buade, Ste. Hélène (†)
seem to come back to life in the ancient streets of the same name, whilst
Frontenac, Iberville, Piedmont, are brought to one's recollection, in the
modern thoroughfares. The old Scotch pilot, Abraham Martin, (who according
to the _Jesuits' Journal_, might have been a bit of a scamp, although
a church chorister, but who does not appear to have been tried for his
peccadiloes,) owned a domain of thirty-two acres of land in St. John's
suburbs, which were bounded towards the north, by the hill which now bears
his name (_La Côte d'Abraham_.)

Mythology has exacted a tribute on a strip of ground in the St. Louis
suburbs. The chief of the pagan Olympus boasts of his lane, "Jupiter
street," so called after a celebrated inn, Jupiter's Inn, on account of a
full sized statue of the master of Olympus which stood formerly over the
main entrance. In the beginning of the century, a mineral spring, of
wondrous virtue, attracted to this neighbourhood, those of our _bon
vivants_ whose livers were out of order. Its efficacy is now a thing of
the past!

That dear old street, - St. George street formerly, - now called after the
first settler of the Upper Town in 1617, _Louis Hébert_, by the erection
of the lofty Medical College and Laval University, for us has been shorn
of its name - its sunshine - its glory, since the home [47] of our youth, at
the east end, has passed into strange hands. It is now _Hébert_ street, by
order of the City council.

Opposite to the antique and still stately dwelling, lately owned by Jos.
Shehyn, M.P.P., is a house formerly tenanted by Mr. J. Dyke. In the
beginning of this century it was occupied by an old countryman,
remarkable, if not for deep scientific attainments, at least for shrewd
common sense and great success in life - Mr. P. Paterson, the proprietor of
the extensive mills at Montmorency - now owned by the estate of the late
George Benson Hall, his son-in-law.

Peter Paterson, about 1790, left Whitby, England, to seek his fortune in
Canada. His skill as a ship builder - his integrity of character and
business habits, pointed him out as a fit agent - later on as a partner in
a wealthy Baltic firm of London merchants who still have representatives
in the colony. At the time of Napoleon's continental blockade, the English
Government, seeing that the Baltic was closed for the supply of timber for
the navy, gave out a large contract to Messrs. Henry and John Usborne - of
London - for masts and oak. Usborne & Co., employed Mr. P. Paterson to
dress and ship this timber. A timber limit license, of portentous import,
authorizing the cutting of oak and masts for the navy in all British North
America, was issued. Under authority of this license, Mr. Paterson partly
denuded the shores of Lake Champlain as well as the Thousand Islands, of
their fine oak. Mr. Paterson was the first to float oak in rafts to
Quebec. He built a large mill at Montmorency, having exchanged his St.
George street house for the mill site at Montmorency. His mills have since
attained to great importance.

In the rear of (St. George - now) Hébert street loom out the lofty walls of
the Laval University, which received its Royal Charter in 1852. [48]


_THE LAVAL UNIVERSITY._

The main edifice is 298 feet in length, five stories high; a plain,
massive structure of cut-stone, much improved in appearance since the
addition, in 1876, of the present superstructure, which relieves the
unbroken monotony of its form. The work is a great ornament not only to
the immense building itself, but to the city. The task of designing the
superstructure was entrusted to the taste and talent of J. F. Peachy,
architect. The superstructure is in the French mansard roof style, with
handsome cupolas on the east and west ends, surmounted with flag-staffs
and weather vanes. In the centre towers a dome far above all, surmounted
by a gilt-iron cross in the modern Grecian style - the upright shaft and
arms being formed at four right angles. The crown ornaments on the centre
top and ends of the arms are all of wrought iron and weigh about 700 lbs.
The base is strongly braced and bolted to an oak shaft, secured to the
truss work of the dome so firmly as to resist the fiercest gale of wind or
any other powerful strain. It is 11 feet six inches in height and the arms
are 7 feet six inches across. Mr. Philip Whitty, iron worker and,
machinist, of St. James street, was the builder of this cross, and its
handsome design and solidity reflect credit upon his taste and
workmanship. We believe that it is intended to have a picture gallery in
the superstructure under the central dome. The entire roof is strongly
trussed and braced with iron bolts. This portion of the work was done
under the superintendence of Mr. Marcou. We understand that it is also the
intention to erect two balconies on the eastern end, fronting the St.
Lawrence - these balconies to be supported by Corinthian columns. From the
base to the present superstructure, the building was originally 80 feet
high; it now stands 202 feet high from the base to the top of the cross on
the central dome.

In 1880, another important addition, involving a heavy outlay, was
planned. A lofty wing, 265 feet in length has been added to this
imposing pile of buildings; it covers a large area in the seminary
garden and connects on each story with the main structure, from which
it stands out at right angles. Both buildings are intended to form but
one, and seen from Levi or from the River St. Lawrence, it looks like
an extension of the Laval University itself. The edifice is fireproof,
its internal division walls are of brick, its rafters of iron; the
floors are brick lined with deals as a preventive against dampness.
The iron rafters were wrought at Lodelinsart, near Charleroi, Belgium;
they weigh 400 tons, and cost laid down 1-1/2 cent per lb.

The basement and the ceiling of the first flat are vaulted over. The
refectory takes up a whole wing of the first story. The masonry of the
upper corridors rests on eighteen cast iron columns, weighing 3,000
lbs. each. The ceiling of the refectory is exceedingly strong and
handsome; every story, in fact, is vaulted from top to bottom.

A corridor eight feet wide and two hundred and sixty-five feet long,
intersects the centre of each story. All the vestibules, corridors and
passages are paved with ceramic square blocks brought from Belgium.

The most notable part of the structure is the main staircase, entirely
of iron and stone; it contains 120 steps 8 feet long, 16 feet broad, 5
inches high, each step hewn out of a single block. The iron material
weighs about 37,000 lbs. There is also another flight of steps made of
iron. A hydraulic elevator in the centre of the building will provide
an easy access to every story.

The roofed galleries, eight feet wide, attached to each story on the
front, present promenades and views unrivaled in the city looking
towards Levi and the Island of Orleans. On a large stone or the
loftiest part of the front wall, over the window, is inscribed -
_Conditum_, 1880.

The arch of the entrance to the Court House burnt in 1872, which, it
was said, had formed part of the old Récollet Church, destroyed by
fire on 6th Sept., 1796, has been used to build the arch of the porch
which leads from the seminary garden to the farm-yard in rear. There
are 230 windows in this new wing which has a mansard roof. It is
computed that 4,000,000 bricks have been employed in the masonry. The
architect is J. F. Peachy.


_STAFF OF THE LAVAL UNIVERSITY IN 1881._

Rector, Revd. Ed. Méthot, - Superior of Quebec Seminary.
Professor of Commercial and Maritime Law, - Hon. Napoleon
Casault, J.S.C.
Professor of Civil Procedure, - Hon. Ulric J. Tessier, J.Q.B.
Professor of Civil Law, etc., - Hon. Chas. Thos. A. Langelier.
Professor of Roman Law, - Hon. Ed. James Flynn.
Professor of Commercial Law, - Hon. Richard Alleyn, J.S.C.
Secretary, - Thos. Chase Casgrain, Barrister.
Professor of Internal Pathology, - Dr. Jas. Arthur Sewell, M.D.
Professor of External Pathology, - Dr. J. E. Landry, M.D.
Professor of Toxicology, etc., - Dr. Alfred Jackson, M.D.
Professor of Descriptive Anatomy, - Dr. Eusèbe Lemieux, M.D.
Professor of Medical Jurisprudence, - Dr. H. A. LaRue, M.D.
Professor of General Pathology, - Dr. Simard, M.D.
Professor of Materia Medica, etc., - Dr. Chas. Verge, M.D.
Professor of Practical Anatomy, etc., - Dr. Laurent Cattelier, M.D.
Professor of Clinical - Children's Diseases, - Dr. Arthur Vallée, M.D.
Professor of Clinical - Old People's Diseases, - Dr. Michael Ahern, M.D.
Professor of Comparative Zoology, Anatomy and Physiology, - Dr. L. J.
A. Simard, M.D.
Professor of Political Economy, - Hon. C. T. A. Langelier.
Professor of Physical Science, - Rev. Mr. Laflamme.
Professor of French Literature, - Rev. Ed. Méthot.
Professor of Greek Literature, - Rev. L. Baudet.
Professor of Mineralogy, - Rev. J. C. Laflamme.
Professor of Natural Law, - Mgr. Beng. Paquet.
Professor of Dogmatic Theology, - Rev. L. H. Paquet.
Professor of Ecclesiastical History, Rev. L. N. Begin.

On the conspicuous site where stands the unpretending brick structure
known as our present House of Parliament, (which succeeded to the handsome
cut stone edifice destroyed by fire in 1864) one might, in 1660, have seen
the dwelling of a man of note, Ruette d'Auteuil. D'Auteuil became
subsequently Attorney General and had lively times with that sturdy old
ruler, Count de Frontenac. Ruette d'Auteuil had sold the lot for $600
(3,000 livres de 20 sols) to Major Provost, who resold it, with the two
story stone house thereon erected, for $3,000, to Bishop de St. Vallier.
The latter having bequeathed it to his ecclesiastical successor, Bishop
Panet ceded it in the year 1830 to the Provincial Government for an annual
ground rent of £1,000 - this rent is continued to the Archbishop by the
Provincial Government of Quebec. No one now cares to enquire how Bishop
Panet made such an excellent bargain, though a cause is assigned.

Palace Street was thus denominated from its leading direct from the Upper
Town to the Intendant's Palace - latterly the King's woodyard. In earlier
days it went by the name of _Rue des Pauvres_, [49] (Street of the
Poor,) from its intersecting the domain of the _Hôtel Dieu_, whose
revenues were devoted to the maintenance of the poor sheltered behind its
massive old walls. Close by, on Fabrique street, Bishop de St. Vallier had
founded _le Bureau des Pauvres_, where the beggars of Quebec (a thriving
class to this day) received alms, in order to deter them from begging in
the country round the city. The success which crowned this humble retreat
of the mendicant led the philanthropic Bishop to found the General
Hospital in the Seigneurie de Notre Dame des Anges, beyond St. Roch. He
received there nuns of the Convents of the Ursulines and of the Hôtel Dieu
and gave them the administration of the newly founded establishment,
where, moreover, he at a more recent date resided as almoner of the poor.

At the western corner of Palace and St. John streets, has stood since
1771, a well known landmark erected to replace the statue of Saint John
the Baptist, which had, under the French _régime_, adorned the corner
house. After the surrender of Quebec to the British forces, the owners of



Online LibraryJ.M. Le MoinePicturesque Quebec : a sequel to Quebec past and present → online text (page 11 of 59)