J.M. Le Moine.

Picturesque Quebec : a sequel to Quebec past and present online

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double swinging doors with plate glass. Beneath this stairway is the
heating apparatus, which has been placed in the building by Mr. Thomas
Andrews, of St. John street, and is on an entirely new and highly
approved principle. The whole second flat, is set apart for
Association use. One-half of it composes the reading room. This
magnificent apartment which is one of the finest reading rooms on the
Continent, is 45 by 46 feet, having a height of 18 feet, with windows
on three sides, the balcony window on the North overlooking the whole
of the country between St. Roch's and the Laurentian Mountains.
Opposite the top of the stairway on the landing of this flat, is the
door leading to the Secretary's room, which is fitted with glass, in
order that the Secretary may see everybody coming up stairs into the
reading room or elsewhere. This room is about 12 by 18 feet, and has
on either side of it, the committee room and cloak room, both of about
similar dimensions. Opposite the committee room is the lavatory, &c.,
for the use of members. At the West end of this flat the rooms both
front and back are parlours, with folding doors between, so that while
one may be used for conversational purposes or such like, the other
may be fitted with a piano and also with games, such as chess,
draughts, &c. The upper flat, which contains also very handsome rooms,
beautifully finished, is divided into two portions, one to be occupied
exclusively by the Secretary, and containing dining and drawing rooms
divided by folding doors, four bed-rooms, kitchen, store room, &c. The
other part is divided between the caretaker's apartments, and the bath
room, which is specially for the use of members. The committee also
reserve a spare room in this portion of the building. From the roof of
the structure, which is reached by a staircase leading into the tower,
a magnificent view is obtained of every part of the city and of all
the surrounding country. Special credit in connection with its
erection is certainly merited by the contractor, Mr. John Hatch, and
the architect, Mr. J. F. Peachy."



"I can re-people with the Past; and of
The Present there is still, for eye and thought
And meditation, chasten'd down, enough."

Quebec, with the limitations set forth elsewhere, under the English
regime, was governed by Justices of the Peace, who sat in special
sessions, under authority of Acts of the Provincial Legislature, until
1833. In 1832 the city was incorporated (1 William IV., chap. 52,), Its
first Mayor, elected in 1833, was a barrister of note, Elzéar Bédard,
Esq., subsequently Mr. Justice Elzéar J.S.C. The amended Act of
Incorporation of the City of Quebec, the 29th Vic., cap. 57, sanctioned on
the 18th September, 1865, thus defines the limits of the city, the number
and limits of the wards: - "The City of Quebec, for all municipal purposes,
comprises the whole extent of land within the limits assigned to the said
city by a certain proclamation of His Excellency Sir Alured Clarke,
bearing date the 7th May, 1792, and in addition all land extending to low
water mark of the River St. Lawrence, in front of the said city, including
the shore of the River St Charles, opposite the city, as limited by high
water mark on the north side of the said river, from, the prolongation of
the west line of St. Ours street to the west line of the farm of the Nuns
of the Hôtel Dieu; thence running southwards along the said line, about
550 feet, to the southern extremity of a pier erected on the said farm, at
low water mark; thence running due east, about 800 feet, to the
intersection of the line limiting the beach grants of the Seigniory of
Notre Dame des Anges, at low water; and finally, thence along the said
beach line, running north 40 degrees east, to the intersection of the
prolongation of the line of the Commissioners for the Harbour of Quebec,
and thence following the said Commissioners' line to the westerly line of
the city. The said city also comprises all wharves, piers and other
erections made or to be made in the said River St. Lawrence, opposite to
or adjoining the said city, though extending beyond the low water mark of
the said river, and being within the said Commissioners' line, and even
beyond the same, should it be hereafter extended or reduced.


"The said city is divided into eight wards, to wit: St. Louis Ward, Palace
Ward, St. Peter's Ward, Champlain Ward, St. Roch's Ward, Jacques Cartier
Ward, St. John's Ward and Montcalm Ward.

1st. St. Louis Ward comprises all that part of the Upper Town within the
fortifications, and south of a line drawn from Prescott Gate to St John's
Gate, along the middle of Mountain street, Buade street, Fabrique street,
and St. John street.

2nd. Palace Ward comprises all that part of the Upper Town within the
fortifications, and not included in St. Louis Ward. 3rd. St. Peter's Ward
comprises all that part of the Lower Town bounded on the south by a line
drawn in the middle of Sous-le-Fort street, and prolonged in the same
direction to low water mark in the River St. Lawrence at the one end, and
to the cliff below the Castle of St. Louis at the other, and on the west
by the eastern limits of the Parish of St. Roch, together with all the
wharves, piers and other erections, opposite to this part of the Lower
Town, although built beyond low water mark in the said river.

4th. Champlain Ward comprises all that part of the Lower Town lying
between St. Peter's Ward and the limits of the said city, together with
all wharves, piers and other erections, opposite thereto, although built
beyond the low water mark in the said river.

5th. St. Roch's Ward comprises all that part of the Parish of St. Roch
which lies within the limits of the said City of Quebec, on the north-west
side of a line drawn in the middle of St. Joseph street, from one end to
the other.

6th. Jacques Cartier Ward comprises all that part of the Parish of St.
Roch which lies within the limits of the said City of Quebec, not
comprised in St. Roch's Ward.

7th. St John's Ward comprises all that space bounded by Jacques Cartier
Ward, the fortifications, the limits of the said city on the west, and a
line drawn in the middle of St. John street from St. John's Gate to the
western limits of the city.

8th. Montcalm Ward comprises all that space bounded by the fortifications
on the east, and on the west by the city limits, on the north by St John's
Ward, and on the south by the _cime du cap_ of the St. Lawrence.

The city is administered by a Mayor, holding office for two years, at a
salary of not more than $1,200, nor less than $600, per annum; and by
eight Aldermen and sixteen Councillors, returned by the eight wards, -
elected to serve gratuitously three years by the duly qualified electors
of each ward: no one is eligible as Mayor, Aldermen or Councillor unless
he be a British subject, by birth or naturalization, and of the full age
of twenty-one years, and owning within the city limits real estate, free
from encumbrance, of the value of $2,000. Quebec contains ten small
_Fiefs_ or Domaines. The _Fief_ Sault-au-Matelot belongs to the Seminary.
The Ursuline Nuns, the R. C. Church (_La Fabrique_), the Heirs LaRue, the
Hôtel-Dieu Nuns, the Récollet Friars, each had his _Fief_. The _Fief de la
Miséricorde_ (Mercy) belongs to the Hôtel-Dieu. The Heirs LaRue own the
_Fief de Bécancour_ and that of _de Villeraie_; there is also the _Fief
Tasseville_. The _Fief_ of the Récollets - or Franciscan Friars - the order
being extinct, reverted to the Crown.


_As per Schedule, Consolidated Statutes of Canada (22 Vict.) Cap. 36._


Exercising Ground, Plains of Abraham - Leasehold from the Ursuline
Nuns, 99 years from 1st May, 1802.

No. 3 Tower Field, N. W. of the Grande Allée, Plains of Abraham -
Leasehold from the Nuns of the Hôtel-Dieu, 99 years from 1st May, 1790;
space covered by the tower is freehold.

No. 4 Tower Field, N. W. of St. John's Road - Leasehold from the Nuns
of the Hôtel-Dieu; 99 years from 1st May, 1790; including a freehold
strip of 0_a_. 1_r_. 0-1/2_p_.

Land surrounding Nos. 1 and 2, Towers, S. E. side of the Grande Allée
Plains of Abraham - Acquired by purchase from the Ursuline Nuns, 15th
June, 1811, Joseph Plante, N. P., Quebec.

Land S. E. of the Grande Allée to the Cime du Cap and between Nos. 1
and 2, Towers property, and counterscarp of the Citadel and works
adjacent - The greater part acquired by purchase from individuals, and
partly by conquest, of the old French Works, &c., an annual ground
rent of £1 17s. 0d., is payable on part of this land to the Fief de

The Esplanade, Town Works - Glacis, Cricket Field, ditches, ravelin,
&c., in front, lying between St. Louis and St. John's Gates - Acquired
partly by conquest and partly by purchase from various individuals
(Cricket Field, 5_a_. 3_r_. 22_p_.)

Citadel - Glacis and Town Works, as far as St. Louis Gate, Engineer
Yard, &c. - Chiefly by right of conquest and military appropriation.

Town Works, Artillery Barracks, Glacis, &c., between St. John's Gate,
Palace Gate and St. Valier street - Chiefly by conquest and military
appropriation. Lots in St. Vallier street, purchased in 1846-7.

Mount Carmel, a commanding eminence, and site of the Windmill Redoubt
or Cavalier, formerly a portion of the defenses of Quebec. - Acquired
by purchase, 25th Nov, 1780. J. Plinguet, N.P.

Officers' Barracks, Garrison Hospital, &c., fronting on St. Louis
street, and in rear by St. Geneviève street. - Acquired by purchase,
5th April, 1811.

Commissariat Premises, opposite old Court House, on St. Louis street,
and in rear by Mount Carmel street. - Acquired by purchase, 11th
August, 1815.

Jesuit Barracks, with other buildings and land attached, fronting on
St. Anne street and Upper Town market square. - By right of conquest
and military appropriation, occupied as Infantry Barracks, &c.

The Town Works, along the top of the Cape (Cime du Cap), between the
King's Bastion of the Citadel and Prescott Gate, Mountain Hill,
including site of old Fort St. Louis, Government Garden, &c. - Part of
the Crown Domain by conquest and military appropriation, with small
portions at either end acquired by purchase in 1781, and about 1827-

Near Grand Battery, East end of St. George street. Magazine F., and
Ordnance stores, &c. - By right of conquest and military appropriation.

Magazine E., Hôtel Dieu, on Rampart street, between Palace and Hope
Gates. - Acquired by purchase, 17th June, 1809.

The Defences along the Ramparts between Prescott Gate, Grand Battery,
Hope Gate and Palace Gate (Upper Town). - By right of conquest and
military appropriation (including Rampart street and cliff

Inclined Plane Wharf and land to the Cime du Cap (top of the cliff) on
Champlain street, S. E. of the Citadel. - Acquired by purchase, 24th
Sept., 1781, afterwards used in connection with the Citadel.

Queen's Wharf premises, and small lot opposite, on Cul-de-Sac street -
Formerly a part of the defences of Quebec, site of a battery. -
Acquired by right of conquest, &c.

Land at the foot of the cliff in La Canoterie and St. Charles streets,
as a Glacis in front of the Town Works. - Acquired by purchase in 1846-
7, to prevent buildings against the defences.

Commissariat Fuel Yard, &c., on Palace Harbor, St. Roch's. - Part of
the Intendant's Palace property, held by conquest.


(_Site of Fort Jacques-Cartier._)

A strong defensive position, on the right bank of the River Jacques
Cartier, about 30 miles above Quebec. - Acquired by purchase from the
Seignior, 26th June, 1818.



"Oh give me a home where the maple and pine
Around the wild heights so majestically twine;
Oh give me a home where the blue wave rolls free
From thy bosom, Superior, down to the sea."

"Could you not write the history of 'Our Parish,' and also sketch briefly
our country seats, marking out the spots connected with historical
events?" Thus discoursed one day to us, in her blandest tones, a fair
denizen of Sillery. There was a poser for a _galant homme_; a crusher
for the first _littérateur_ of ... the parish. In vain did we allege
we were not a "Christopher North," but a mere retiring "antiquaire" - a
lover of books, birds, flowers, &c. The innate civility of a Frenchman
elicited from us an unreflective affirmative reply. Thus, compassionate
reader, was entrapped, caught and committed the first _littérateur_
of Sillery - irrevocably handed over to the tender mercies of all the
critics, present and future, in and out of the parish. Oh, my friends,
what a crunching up of literary bones in store! what an ample repast was
thus prepared for all the reviewers - the Jeffreys and LaHarpes - in and out
of the parish, should the luckless _littérateur_ fail to assign fairy
scenery - important historical events - great battles, not only to each
renowned spot, but even to the merest potato-patch, turnip-ground or
cabbage-garden within our corporate limits? Yes, tremble for him.

Joking apart, is there not a formidable difficulty besetting our path - the
insipidity and monotony inseparable from the necessity which will devolve
on us of having constantly to discover new beauties in spots identical in
their main features; and should we, in order to vary the theme, mix up the
humorous with the rural, the historical, or the antiquarian style, may not
fun and humour be mistaken for satire - a complimentary notice for
flattery, above all others, a thing abhorrent to our nature? But 'tis vain
to argue. That fatal "yes" has been uttered, and no true knight goes back
from his plighted word. There being no help, we devoutly commend our case
to St. Columba, St. Joseph, and the archangel St. Michel, the patrons of
our parish, and set to our task, determined to assume a wide margin, draw
heavily on history, and season the whole with short anecdotes and glimpses
of domestic life, calculated to light up the past and present.

O critic, who would fain seek in "Our Parish" - in our homes - great
architectural excellence, we beseech you to pause! for the majority of
them no such pretension is set up. Nowhere, indeed, on our soil are to be
found ivied ruins, dating back to doomsday book, moated castle, or
mediaeval tower. We have no Blenheims, no Walton Halls, nor Chatsworths,
nor Woburn abbeys, nor Arundel castles, to illustrate every style of
architectural beauty, rural embellishment, and landscape. A Dainpierre, a
Rochecotte, a LaGaudinière, may suit old France: they would be lost in New
France. Canadian cottages, the best of them, are not the stately country
homes of

"Old pheasant-lords,
... Partridge-breeders of a thousand years,"

typifying the accumulated wealth of centuries or patrician pride; nor are
they the gay _châteaux_ of _La Belle France_. In the Canada of the past,
we could - in many instances we had to - do without the architect's skill;
nature having been lavish to us in her decorations, art could be dispensed
with. Our country dwellings possess attractions of a higher class, yea, of
a nobler order, than brick and mortar moulded by the genius of man can
impart. A kind Providence has surrounded them in spring, summer and autumn
with scenery often denied to the turreted castle of the proudest nobleman
in Old England. Those around Quebec are more particularly hallowed by
associations destined to remain ever memorable amongst the inhabitants of
the soil.

Some of our larger estates, like Belmont (comprising 450 acres,) date back
more than two centuries, whilst others, though less ancient, retrace
vividly events glorious in the same degree to the two races, who, after
having fought stoutly for the mastery, at last hung out the olive branch
and united long since, willing partners, in the bonds of a common
nationality, neither English nor French, though participating largely of
both, and have linked their destinies together as Canadians. Every
traveller in Canada, from Baron La Hontan, who "preferred the forests of
Canada to the Pyrénées of France," to the Hon. Amelia Murray, Charlevoix,
LaGalissonière, Peter Kalm, Isaac Weld, John Lambert, Heriot, Silliman,
Dickens, Lever, Ampère, Marmier, Rameau, Augustus Sala, have united in
pronouncing our Quebec landscape so wild, so majestic, and withal so
captivating, as to vie in beauty with the most picturesque portions of the
Old or the New World.

Let us first sketch "Our Parish," the home of our forefathers - the home of
our children.


Henry IV. of France had for his chancellor, in 1607, Nicholas Brulart de
Sillery, a worthy and distinguished magistrate, who, as state councillor,
ever enjoyed the confidence of his sovereign until death closed his useful
career in 1627, at the ripe age of 80. He was the eldest brother: his
father had also for years basked in the smiles of good King Henry IV. for
his unwavering adherence to his fortunes. To this eminent lawyer and
statesman was born a patriarchal family of sons and daughters. The
youngest of his sons, Noël Brulart de Sillery, [169] having brilliantly
completed his studies at Paris in the classics, entered, at the age of 18,
the military order of the Knights of Malta, and resided twelve years in
that island as a knight; his martial bearing and ability, modesty, and
uniform good conduct soon paved the way for him to the highest dignities
in this celebrated Order. Soon the Grand Master appointed him "Commandeur
de Troyes"; this preferment yielded him 40,000 livres per annum.

On his return to Paris in 1607, the favour of the court and the protection
of Marie de Medicis were the means of having him nominated Knight of
Honour. His talents, birth, deportment and position soon procured him the
appointment of French Ambassador to the Court of Spain in 1614, which high
position he left for that of Ambassador at Rome in 1622, where he replaced
the Marquis of Coeuvres. He spent two years in the Eternal City, and
subsequently acknowledged that it was there that he conceived the idea
first of embracing Holy Orders; Cardinal de LaValette replacing him at the
Roman Court as French _Chargé d'Affaires_. From what can be gleaned
in history, this distinguished personage led a princely life, his enormous
rent-roll furnishing the means for a most lordly establishment of
retainers, liveries and domains. [170] His fancy for display, great though
it was, never, however, made him lose sight of the poor, nor turn a deaf
ear to the voice of the needy.

In 1626, the Pope (Barberini), Urban the VIII., having proclaimed a
jubilee, the ex-ambassador, as if a new light had dawned on him, and under
the guidance of a man famous for his pious and ascetic life, Vincent de
Paul, determined to reform his house and whole life. Thus, a few years
after, viz., in 1632, the Commandeur de Sillery sold to Cardinal Richelieu
his sumptuous and princely hôtel in Paris, called Sillery, entered Holy
Orders in 1634, and devoted all the energy of his mind and his immense
wealth to the propagation of the faith amongst the aborigines of Canada,
having been induced to do so by the Commandeur de Razili, who had
previously solicited him to join the company des "Cents Associés," or
Hundred Partners, of which Razili was a member.

The Commandeur de Sillery inaugurated his benevolent purpose by placing
12,000 livres in the hands of Father Charles Lalemant, a zealous Jesuit;
this was the beginning of the mission which, through gratitude to its
founder, was called Sillery - it was distant about four miles and a half
from Quebec, on the north shore of the St. Lawrence; date of the
foundation, July, 1637. [171] History has preserved a letter addressed
from Paris by the Commandeur de Sillery to the Chevalier de Montmagny,
governor of the colony, in which the benevolent man asked the Governor to
ratify a grant of "twelve arpents" made to him in the city itself by the
company of the Hundred Partners, and also to ratify a promised grant of
other lands to open a seminary or school to educate Algonquin and
Montagnais children, although, at the request of the Indians, the
settlement became, in 1638, more extensive, and comprised also the
residence of the christianized Indians. Negabamat and Nenasesenat were the
first to establish their families there. On the last day of June, 1665, we
will find the eloquent Negabamat, then a resident of Quebec, sent by his
tribe to harangue and compliment the great Marquis of Tracy on his arrival
at Quebec. (_Relations_, 1665, _p_. 4.) Father LeJeune, a learned Jesuit,
had charge and control over the workmen who were sent out from France at
the expense of the Commandeur de Sillery; and on the 22nd February, 1639,
a permanent bequest was authentically recorded in favor of the mission by
the Commandeur placing at interest, secured on the Hôtel-de-Ville at
Paris, a sum of 20,000 livres tournois. Palisades had been used originally
to protect the settlement; in 1651, the Governor of Quebec, Jean de
Lauzon, strengthened the palisades and added redoubts. [172] In 1647 the
church of the mission had been placed under the invocation of St. Michael
the Archangel; hence Sillery Cove, once called St. Joseph's, was, in 1647,
named St Michael's Cove.

The Commandeur de Sillery extended his munificence to several other
missionary establishments in Canada and other places. What with the
building of churches, monasteries and hospitals in Champagne, France; at
Annecy, Savoy; at Paris, and elsewhere, he must, indeed, have been for
those days a veritable Rothschild in worldly wealth.

This worthy ecclesiastic died in Paris on the 26th September, 1640, at the
age of sixty-three years, bequeathing his immense wealth to the Hôtel-Dieu
of that city. Such was, in a few words, the noble career of one of the
large-minded pioneers of civilization in primitive Canada, le Commandeur
Noël Brulart de Sillery - such the origin of the name of "Our Parish," our
sweet Canadian Windermere.

One of the first incidents, two years after the opening of the mission,
was the visit paid to it by Madame de la Peltrie, the benevolent founder
of the Ursuline Convent at Quebec. This took place on the 2nd August,
1639, the day after her arrival from Dieppe and stately reception by the
Governor, M. deMontmagny, who had asked her to dinner the day previous.
This same year the nuns called _Hospitalières_ (Hôtel-Dieu) opened a
temporary hospital at Sillery, as the inmates and resident Indians
suffered fearfully from the ravages of small-pox. In attempting a sketch
of the Sillery of ancient days, we cannot follow a truer nor pleasanter
guide than the old historian of Canada in the interesting notes he
published on this locality in 1855, after having minutely examined every
inch of ground. "A year after their arrival at Quebec," says Abbé Ferland,
"in August, 1640, the _Hospitalières_ nuns, desirous of being closer
to the Sillery mission, where they were having their convent built
according to the wishes of the Duchess D'Aiguillon, left Quebec and
located themselves in the house of M. de Puiseaux. They removed from this
house at the beginning of the year 1641 to take possession of their
convent, a mile distant. During that winter no other French inhabitants
resided near them except the missionaries, and they suffered much from
cold and want. But the following year they had the happiness to have in
the neighbourhood a good number of their countrymen. M. de Maisonneuve,
Mlle. Mance, the soldiers and farmers recently arrived from France, took
up their abode at M. de Puiseaux.... They spent the winter there, and paid
us frequent visits, to our mutual satisfaction." [173]

The mission of St. Joseph at Sillery being constantly threatened by the
Five Nations, the _Hospitalières_ ladies were compelled to leave their
convent and seek refuge in Quebec on the 29th May, 1644, having thus
spent about three years and a half amongst the savages. [174] The locality

Online LibraryJ.M. Le MoinePicturesque Quebec : a sequel to Quebec past and present → online text (page 26 of 59)