J.M. Le Moine.

Picturesque Quebec : a sequel to Quebec past and present online

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After sketching Fort St. Louis, begun in 1624, - a refuge against the
Iroquois, and whose bastions rendered useless disappeared shortly after
the conquest, as well as giving the history of the Château St. Louis
proper, destroyed by fire 23rd January, 1834, it behoves us to close the
narrative with a short account of the origin of the wing or new building
still extant, and used since 1871 as the Normal School. This structure
generally, though improperly styled the _Old Château_, dates back to
the last century. On the 5th May, 1784, the corner stone was laid with
suitable ceremonies, by the Governor-General, Sir Frederick Haldimand; the
Château St. Louis had been found inadequate in size for the various
purposes required, viz.: a Vice-regal residence, a Council room for the
Legislative, the Executive and Judiciary Councils, &c.

The Province was rapidly expanding, as well as the Viceroy's levees,
official balls, public receptions, &c.; suites of rooms and stately
chambers, became indispensible.

The following incident occurred during its construction: - On the 17th
September, 1784, the workmen at the Château in levelling the yard, dug up
a large stone with a Maltese cross engraved on it, bearing the date
"1647." One of Wolfe's veterans, Mr. James Thompson, Overseer of Public
Works, got the masons to lay the stone in the cheek of the gate of the new
building. A wood-cut of the stone, gilt at the expense of Mr. Ernest
Gagnon, City Councillor in 1872, appeared in the _Morning Chronicle_
of the 24th June, 1880. Let us hope when the site shall be transferred,
that the Hon. Premier will have a niche reserved for this historic relic
as was so appropriately done by Sir H L Langevin, for the "Chien d'Or"
tablet when the new city Post Office was built in 1871-3.

Haldimand Castle soon became a building of note. On the 19th January,
1787, the anniversary of the Queen's Birthday - Charlotte of Mecklenburg,
consort of George III., the first grand reception was held there. In the
following summer, the future monarch of Great Britain, William IV., the
sailor prince, aged 22 years, visited his father's loyal Canadian lieges.
Prince William Henry had then landed, on 14th August, in the Lower Town
from H. M. frigate "Pegasus." Traditions repeat that the young Duke of
Clarence enjoyed himself amazingly among the _beau monde_ of Quebec,
having eyes for more than the scenic beauties of the "Ancient Capital,"
not unlike other worthy Princes who came after him.

"He took an early opportunity of visiting the Ursulines, and by his
polite and affable manner quite won the hearts of those worthy
ladies." - (_Histoire des Ursulines_, vol. III, p. 183.)

Sorel, in honour of his visit, changed its name into Fort William Henry.
Among other festivities at Quebec, Lord Dorchester, Governor-General, the
successor to Sir Frederick Haldimand, on the 21st August, 1787, treated H.
R. Highness to a grand pyrotechnic display. "Prince William Henry and his
company, being seated on an exalted platform, erected by the Overseer of
Public Works, James Thompson, over a powder magazine joining the end of
the new building (Haldimand Castle), while the fireworks were displayed on
an eminence fronting it below the _old_ Citadel." - (_Thompson's Diary._)


In the stately reception room of the Castle was founded, in 1789, the
_Quebec Agricultural Society_.

"On the 6th April, the rank and fashion, nobility and clergy of all
denominations, as well as commoners, crowded at the _Château St.
Louis_, to enter their names as subscribers to the Quebec Agricultural
Society, warmly patronized by his Excellency Lord Dorchester, Hon.
Hugh Finlay, Deputy Postmaster-General, was chosen Secretary.

The _Quebec Gazette_ of the 23rd April, 1789, will supply the names,
the list is suggestive on more points than one.

Rev. Philip Tosey, Military M. Pierre Florence, Rivière
Chaplain. Ouelle
T. Monk, Atty-Genl. T. Arthur Coffin
G. B. Taschereau, Esq. Capt. Chas. St. Ours.
Peter Stewart, Esq. Aug. Glapion, Sup. Jésuites.
Malcolm Fraser, Esq. A. Hubert, Curé de Québec.
William Lindsay, Esq. Juchereau Duchesnay, Esq.
J. B. Deschêneaux, Esq. L. de Salaberry, Esq.
John Lees, Esq. P. Panet, P.C.
John Renaud, Esq. M. Grave, Supérieur, Séminaire
John Young, Esq. John Craigie, Esq.
Mathew Lymburner, Esq. Berthelot D'Artigny, Esq.
John Blackwood, Esq. Perrault l'Aine, Esq.
M. L. Germain, fils. George Allsopp, Esq.
A. Panet, Esq. Robert Lester, Esq.
P. L. Panet, Esq. Alex. Davidson, Esq.
A. Gaspé, Esq., St. Jean Port The Chief Justice (W. Smith).
Joly. Hon. Hugh Finlay.
M. Ob. Aylwin. Hon. Thos. Dunn.
The Canadian Bishop. Hon. Edw. Harrison.
M. Bailly, Coadjutor. Hon. John Collins.
T. Mervin Nooth, Dr. Hon. Adam Mabane.
Henry Motz, Dr. Hon. J. G. C. DeLéry.
Jenkins Williams. Hon. Geo. Pownall.
Isaac Ogden, Judge of Admiralty. Hon. Henry Caldwell.
Messire Panet, Curé of Rivière Hon. William Grant.
Ouelle. Hon. Francois Baby.
Sir Thomas Mills. Hon. Saml. Holland.
François Dambourges, Esq. Hon. Geo. Davidson.
Capt. Fraser, 34th Regt. Hon. Chas. De Lanaudière.
Kenelm Chandler, Esq. Hon. LeCompte Dupré.
J. T. Cugnet, Esq. Major Mathews.
J. F. Cugnet, Esq. Capt. Rotson.


Could that patriotic feeling which, ten years later, in 1799, enlisted
Quebecers of all creeds to support Great Britain, then at war with
regicide France, have been inspired by the sturdy old chieftain, who
hailed from the Castle, - General Robert Prescott? It was indeed a novel
idea, that loyal league, which exhibited both R. C and Anglican Bishops,
each putting their hands in their pockets to help Protestant England to
rout the armies of the "eldest son of the Church," represented by the
First Consul; so general and so intense was the horror inspired by
revolutionary and regicide France.

Though in the past, as at present, attempts were occasionally made to
stir up discord amongst our citizens, there appears more than once,
traces of enlarged patriotism and loyalty to the mother country,
animating all classes. This seems conspicuous in the public invitation
by men of both nationalities, inserted in a public journal, for 1799,
to form a national fund in order to help England with the war waged
against France; this invitation not only bears the signatures of
leading English citizens, but also those of several Quebecers of
French extraction, rejoicing in old and historic names such as the
following." - (_Quebec, Past and Present_, page 244.)

Hon. William Osgood, C. Justice. John Young.
Hon. Francois Baby. Louis Dunière.
Hon. Hugh Finlay. J. Sewell.
Hon. J. A. Panet. John Craigie.
Hon. Thos. Dunn. Wm. Grant.
Hon. Ant. Juchereau Duchesnay Rob. Lester.
Hon. George Pownall. Jas. Sheppard, Sheriff.

Mr. Panet, one of the signers, was Speaker of our Commons for twenty-
two years later on. The city journals contain the names and amounts
subscribed, as follows: -

J. Quebec .................................. £300 0 0
Wm. Osgood ................................. 300 0 0
George Pownall ............................. 100 guineas
Henry Caldwell ............................. £300 0 0
George W. Taylor, .. per annum during war... 5 0 0
A. J. Baby, ............. " " ........ 5 0 0
Geo. Heriot, ............ " " ........ 50 0 0
Chs. De Léry, ........... " " ........ 12 0 0
John Blackwood, ......... " " ........ 10 0 0
Wm. Burns, .............. " " ........ 20 0 0
Le Séminaire de Quebec, . " " ........ 50 0 0
J. A. Panet, ............ " " ........ 30 0 0
John Wurtele, ........... " " ........ 4 0 0
Wm. Grant, .............. " " ........ 32 4 5
Wm. Bouthillier, ........ " " ........ 3 10 0
Juchereau Duchesnay, .... " " ........ 20 0 0
James Grossman, ......... " " ........ 10 0 0
Henry Brown, ............ " " ........ 0 10 0
Thos. Dunn, ............. " " ........ 66 0 0
Peter Boatson, .......... " " ........ 23 6 8
Antoine Nadeau, ......... " " ........ 0 6 0
Robert Lester, .......... " " ........ 30 0 0
Le Coadjutor de Quebec, . " " ........ 25 0 0
Thos. Scott, ............ " " ........ 20 0 0
Chs. Stewart, ........... " " ........ 11 2 2
Samuel Holland, ......... " " ........ 20 0 0
Jenkin Williams, ........ " " ........ 55 11 1
Francois Baby, .......... " " ........ 40 0 0
G. Elz. Taschereau, ..... " " ........ 10 0 0
M. Taschereau, Curé de St. Croix, " ........ 5 0 0
Thos. Taschereau, ....... " " ........ 5 0 0
Monro & Bell, ........... " " ........ 100 0 0
J. Stewart, ............. " " ........ 11 13 4
Louis Dumon, ............ " " ........ 23 6 8
Rev. Frs. de Montmollin, " " ........ 10 0 0
Xavier de Lanaudière, ... " " ........ 23 6 8
Peter Stewart, .......... " " ........ 11 2 2
Messire Raimbault, Ange-Gardien, " ........ 4 13 5
Messire Villase, Ste. Marie, " ........ 4 13 4
Messire Bernard Panet, Rivière Ouelle, ..... 5 0 0
Messire Jacques Panet, Islet, " ....... 25 0 0

See _Quebec Gazette_, 4th July, 1799.
See _Quebec Gazette_, 29th August, 1799.


"Praetorian here, Praetorian there, I mind the bigging o't" -
(_The Antiquary_)


Some years back a spicy little controversy was waged among our Quebec
antiquarians as to the origin and real date of the stone in the wall
adjoining the _Old Château_, the two last figures of the inscription
being indistinct.

Was it 1646, 1647 or 1694? After deep research, profound cogitation
and much ink used in the public prints, 1647, the present date,
prevailed, and Mr. Ernest Gagnon, then a City Councillor, had this
precious relic restored and gilt at his cost.

The date 1647 also agrees with the Jesuits _Relation_, which states
that, in 1647, under Governor de Montmagny, one of the bastions was
lined with stone; additional light was thrown on this controversy, by
the inspection of a deed of agreement, bearing date at Fort St. Louis,
19th October, 1646, exhumed from the Court House vaults, and signed by
the stonemasons who undertook to _revetir de murailles un bastion qui
est au bas de l'allee du Mont Caluaire, descendant au Fort St. Louis_,
for which work they were to receive from _Monsieur Bourdon_, engineer
and surveyor, 2,000 _livres_ and a puncheon of wine.

This musty, dry-as-dust, old document gives rise to several enquiries.
One not the least curious, is the luxurious mode of life, which the
puncheon of wine supposes among stonemasons at such a remote period of
Quebec history as 1646. Finally, it was decided that this stone and
cross were intended to commemorate the year in which the Fort St.
Louis Bastion, begun in 1646, was finished, viz., 1647.

This historic stone, which has nothing in common with the

"Stone of Blarney
On the banks of Killarney,"

cropped up again more than a century later, in the days when Sergeant
Jas. Thompson, one of Wolfe's veterans, was overseer of public works
at Quebec - (he died in 1830, aged 98.) We read in his unpublished
diary. "The cross in the wall, September 17th, 1784. The miners at the
Château, in levelling the yard, dug up a large stone, from which I
have described the annexed figure (identical with the present), I
could wish it was discovered soon enough to lay conspicuously in the
wall of the new building, (Haldimand Castle), in order to convey to
posterity the antiquity of the Château St. Louis. However, I got the
masons to lay the stone in the cheek of the gate of new building."
Extract from _James Thompson's Diary_, 1759-1830.

Col. J. Hale, grandfather to our esteemed fellow townsman, E. J. Hale,
Esq., and one of Wolfe's companions-at-arms, used to tell how he had
succeeded in having this stone saved from the _débris_ of the Château
walls, and restored a short time before the Duke of Clarence, the
sailor prince (William IV), visited Quebec in 1787.

Occasionally, the Castle opened its portals to rather unexpected but, nor
the less welcome, visitors. On the 13th March, 1789, His Excellency Lord
Dorchester had the satisfaction of entertaining a stalwart woodsman and
expert hunter, Major Fitzgerald of the 54th Regiment, then stationed at
St. John, New Brunswick, the son of a dear old friend, Lady Emilia Mary,
daughter of the Duke of Richmond. This chivalrous Irishman was no less
than the dauntless Lord Edward Fitzgerald, fifth son of the Duke of
Leinster, the true but misguided patriot, who closed his promising career
in such a melancholy manner in prison, during the Irish rebellion in 1798.
Lord Edward had walked up on snowshoes through the trackless forest, from
New Brunswick to Quebec, a distance of 175 miles, in twenty-six days,
accompanied by a brother officer, Mr. Brisbane, a servant and two
"woodsmen." This feat of endurance is pleasantly described by himself.

Tom Moore, in his biography of this generous, warmhearted son of Erin,
among other dutiful epistles addressed by Lord Edward to his mother, has
preserved the following, of which we shall give a few extracts: -

QUEBEC, March 14, 1789.

DEAREST MOTHER, - I got here yesterday after a very long and, what some
people would think, a very tedious and fatiguing journey; but to me it
was, at most, only a little fatiguing, and to make up for that, it was
delightful and quite new. We were thirty days on our march, twenty-six
of which we were in the woods, and never saw a soul but our own party.

You must know we came through a part of the country that had always
been reckoned impassable. In short, instead of going a long way about,
we determined to try and get straight through the woods, and see what
kind of country it was. I believe I mentioned my party in a letter to
Ogilvie (his step-father) before I left St. Anne's or Fredericton: it
was an officer of the regiment, Tonny, and two woodsmen. The officer
and I used to draw part of our baggage day about, and the other day
steer (by compass), which we did so well, that we made the point we
intended within ten miles. We were only wrong in computing our
distances and making them a little too great, which obliged us to
follow a new course, and make a river, which led us round to Quebec,
instead of going straight to it. * * * I expect my leave by the first
despatches. * * * I shall not be able to leave this part of the world
till May, as I cannot get my leave before that. How I do long to see
you. Your old love, Lord Dorchester, is very civil to me. I must,
though, tell you a little more of the journey. After making the river,
we fell in with some savages, and travelled with them to Quebec; they
were very kind to us, and said we were "all one brother," "all one
indian." They fed us the whole time we were with them. You would have
laughed to have seen me carrying an old squaw's pack, which was so
heavy I could hardly waddle under it. However, I was well paid
whenever we stopped, for she always gave me the best bits and most
soup, and took as much care of me as if I had been her own son; in
short, I was quite _l'enfant chéri_. We were quite sorry to part:
the old lady and gentleman both kissed me very heartily. I gave the
old lady one of Sophia's silver spoons, which pleased her very much.
When we got here, you may guess what figures we were. We had not
shaved nor washed during the journey; our blanket-coats and trousers
all worn out and pieced, in short, we went to two or three houses and
they would not let us in. There was one old lady, exactly the
_hôtesse_ in Gil Blas, _elle me prit la mesure du pied jusqu'à
la tête_, and told me there was one room, without a stove or bed,
next a billiard room, which I might have if I pleased, and when I her
told we were gentlemen, she very quietly said, "I dare say you are,"
and off she went. However, at last we got lodgings in an ale house,
and you may guess ate well and slept well, and went next day well
dressed, with one of Lord Dorchester's aide-de-camps to triumph over
the old lady; in short, exactly the story in Gil Blas.

We are quite curiosities here after our journey, some think we were
mad to undertake it, some think we were lost; some will have it we
were starved; there were a thousand lies, but we are safe and well,
enjoying rest and good eating, most completely. One ought really to
take these fillips now and then, they make one enjoy life a great deal

The hours here are a little inconvenient to us as yet; whenever we
wake at night we want to eat, the same as in the woods, and as soon as
we eat we want to sleep. In our journey we were always up two hours
before day, to load and get ready to march, we used to stop between
three and four, and it generally took us from that till night to
shovel out the snow, cut wood, cook and get ready for night, so that
immediately after our suppers we were asleep, and whenever any one
awakes in the night, he puts some wood on the fire, and eats a bit
before he lies down again; but for my part, I was not much troubled
with waking in the night.

"I really do think there is no luxury equal to that of lying before a
good fire on a good spruce bed, after a good supper, and a hard moose
chase in a fine clear frosty moonlit starry night. But to enter into
the spirit of this, you must understand what a moose chase is: the man
himself runs the moose down by pursuing the track. Your success in
killing depends on the number of people you have to pursue and relieve
one another in going first (which is the fatiguing part of snow-
shoeing), and on the depth and hardness of the snow, for when the snow
is hard and has a crust, the moose cannot get on, as it cuts his legs,
and then he stops to make battle. But when the snow is soft, though it
be above his belly, he will go on three, four or five days, for then
the man cannot get on so fast, as the snow is heavy and he only gets
his game by perseverance - an Indian never gives him up." Then follows
a most graphic description of a hunt - closing with the death of the
noble quarry.

"Pray," continues Lord Edward, "write to uncle Richmond, I would write
if there was time, but I have only time to fill up this."

Tom Moore adds, that the plan of Lord Edward's route through the woods
was forwarded from Quebec to the Duke of Richmond, by Mr. Hamilton
Moore, in a letter dated Quebec, May 22nd, 1789, this letter closes
with the following: - "Lord Edward has met with the esteem and
admiration of all here."

In a subsequent epistle to Mr. Ogilvie, his step-father, dated
"Quebec, 12th April, 1789," Lord Edward mentions the death of the
Lieut.-Governor of Quebec (Major Patrick Bellew). "It is a place of
£1,600 a year, and I think would do well for Charles. The day before
he died I was in treaty for his Lieut.-Colonelcy in the 44th

Later, on 4th May, 1789, he writes from Montreal, and speaks
gratefully of the open-handed hospitality extended to him, and of the
kind lady friends he met at Quebec. (Page 67.)

Alas! generous youth, what foul fiend, three year later, inspired you,
with Tom Paine as your adviser, to herd at Paris with the regicide crew,
and howl the "_Carmagnole_" and "_Çà Ira_," with the hideous monsters who
revelled in blood under the holy name of liberty?

Again, one follows the patriotic Irish nobleman, in 1793, plighting his
faith to a lovely and noble bride, Pamela Sims, the youthful daughter of
the Duke of Orleans, by Madame de Genlis.

A few short years and the ghastly phantom of death, in a dismal prison, in
the dearly loved land of his birth, spreads a pall over what might have
been to his unfortunate country, a career full of honour. Alas! brave,
noble Edward! Poor, pretty little Pamela, alas!

The Castle had its sunshine and its shadows. Many still survive to tell of
an impressive, and gloomy pageant. On the 4th September, 1819, previous to
their transfer to the chancel of the Anglican Cathedral, were exposed in
state in the Château, the mortal remains of the late Governor-General, His
Grace Charles Gordon Lennox, Duke of Richmond, Lennox and Aubigny, who, on
the 28th August, 1819, had died of hydrophobia.

The revolving wheel of time ushers in, with his successor, other actors,
and other scenes. One likes to recall the presence there of a graceful and
noble Chatelaine, his daughter, Lady Sarah Lennox, the devoted wife of the
administrator of the Government of Lower Canada, Sir Peregrine Maitland,
"a tall, grave officer, says Dr. Scadding, always in military undress, his
countenance ever wearing a mingled expression of sadness and benevolence,
like that which one may observe on the face of the predecessor of Louis
Philippe, Charles the Tenth," whose current portraits recall, not badly,
the whole head and figure of this early Governor of Upper Canada.

"In an outline representation which we (Dr. Scadding) accidentally
possessed, of a panorama of the battle of Waterloo, on exhibition in
London, the 1st Foot Guards were conspicuously to be seen, led on by
'Major General Sir Peregrine Maitland.'" [38]

With persons of wider knowledge, Sir Peregrine was invested With
further associations. Besides being the royal representative in these
parts, he was the son-in-law of Charles Gordon Lennox, fourth Duke of
Richmond, a name that stirred chivalrous feelings in early Canadians
of both Provinces; for the Duke had come to Canada as Governor-in-
Chief, with a grand reputation acquired as Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland,
and great benefits were expected, and probably would have been
realized, from his administration, had it been of long continuance.
But he had been suddenly removed by an excruciating death. Whilst on a
tour of inspection in the Upper Province, he had been fatally attacked
by hydrophobia, occasioned by the bite of a pet fox. The injury had
been received at Sorel; its terrible effects were fatally experienced
at a place near the Ottawa river called Richmond.

Some of the prestige of the deceased Duke continued to adhere to Sir
Peregrine Maitland, for he had married the Duke's daughter, a graceful
and elegant woman, who was always at his side here (York, now
Toronto), and at Stanford Cottage across the lake. She bore a name not
unfamiliar in the domestic annals of George III., who once, it is
said, was enamored of a beautiful Lady Sarah Lennox, grandmother, as
we suppose, or some other near relative of the Lady Sarah Lennox here
before us. However, conversationists whispered about (in confidence)
something supposed to be unknown to the general public, that the match
between Sir Peregrine and Lady Sarah had been effected in spite of the
Duke. The report was that there had been an elopement, and it was
naturally supposed that the party of the sterner sex bad been the most

Online LibraryJ.M. Le MoinePicturesque Quebec : a sequel to Quebec past and present → online text (page 9 of 59)