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mad conduct in stirring up bands of ruffians at Buffalo and
other places on the frontier to invade the province. The base
of operations for these raids was Navy Island, just above the
Niagara Falls in British territory. A small steamer, " The Caro-
line," was purchased from some Americans, and used to
bring munitions of war to the island. Colonel MacNab was
sent to the frontier, and successfully organised an expedition of
boats under the charge of Captain Drew afterwards an
Admiral to seize the steamer at Fort Schlosser, an insigni-
ficant place on the American side. The capture was success-
fully accomplished and the steamer set on fire and sent down
the river, where she soon sank before reaching the cataract.
Only one man was killed one Durfee, a citizen of the United
States. This audacious act of the Canadians was deeply
resented in the republic as a violation of its territorial rights,
and was a subject of international controversy until 1842 when
it was settled with other questions at issue between Great
Britain and the United States. Mackenzie now disappears
for some years from Canadian history, as the United States
authorities felt compelled to imprison him for a time. It was
not until the end of 1838 that the people of the Canadas were
free from filibustering expeditions organised in the neighbour-
ing states. " Hunters' Lodges " were formed under the pledge
"never to rest until all tyrants of Britain cease to have any
dominion or footing whatever in North America." These
marauding expeditions on the exposed parts of the western
frontier especially on the St Clair and Detroit Rivers were
successfully resisted. At Prescott, a considerable body of
persons, chiefly youths under age, under the leadership of Von



VI.] The Evolution of Responsible Government. 155

Schoultz, a Pole, were beaten at the Old Stone Windmill, which
they attempted to hold against a Loyalist force. At Sandwich,
Colonel Prince, a conspicuous figure in Canadian political
history of later years, routed a band of filibusters, four of whom
he ordered to instant death. This resolute deed created some
excitement in England, where it was condemned by some and
justified by others. Canadians, who were in constant fear of
such raids, naturally approved of summary justice in the case
of persons who were really brigands, not entitled to any con-
sideration under the laws of war.

In 1838 President Buren issued a proclamation calling upon
all citizens of the United States to observe the neutrality laws ;
but the difficulty in those days was the indisposition of the
federal government to interfere with the states where such
expeditions were organised. The vigilance of the Canadian
authorities and the loyalty of the people alone saved the country
in these trying times. A great many of the raiders were taken
prisoners and punished with the severity due to their unjustifi-
able acts. Von Schoultz and eight others were hanged, a good
many were pardoned, while others were transported to Van
Diemen's Land, whence they were soon allowed to return.
The names of these filibusters are forgotten, but those of
Lount and Matthews, who perished on the scaffold, have been
inscribed on some Canadian hearts as patriots. Sir George
Arthur, who succeeded Sir Francis Head, was a soldier, who
had had experience as a governor among the convicts of Van
Diemen's Land, and the negro population of Honduras, where
he had crushed a revolt of slaves. Powerful appeals were made
to him on behalf of Lount and Matthews, but not even the tears
and prayers of Lount's distracted wife could reach his heart.
Such clemency as was shown by Lord Durham would have
been a bright incident in Sir George Arthur's career in Canada,
but he looked only to the approval of the Loyalists, deeply
incensed against the rebels of 1837. His action in these two
cases was regarded with disapprobation in England, and the



156 Canada under British Rule. [CHAP.

colonial minister expressed the hope that no further executions
would occur advice followed in the case of other actors of the
revolt of 1837. Sir George Arthur's place in colonial annals
is not one of high distinction. Like his predecessors, he
became the resolute opponent of responsible government,
which he declared in a despatch to be " Mackenzie's scheme
for getting rid of what Mr Hume called 'the baneful domina-
tion' of the mother country"; "and never" he added, "was
any scheme better devised to bring about such an end
speedily."



SECTION 3. Social and economic conditions of tJte
Provinces in 1838.

We have now reached a turning-point in the political
development of the provinces of British North America, and
may well pause for a moment to review the social and eco-
nomic condition of their people. Since the beginning of the
century there had been a large immigration into the provinces,
except during the war of 1812. In the nine years preceding
1837, 263,089 British and Irish immigrants arrived at Quebec,
and in one year alone there were over 50,000. By 1838 the
population of the five provinces of Upper Canada, Lower
Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward
Island had reached about 1,400,000 souls. In Upper Canada,
with the exception of a very few people of German or Dutch
descent, and some French Canadians opposite Detroit and on
the Ottawa River, there was an entirely British population of
at least 400,000 souls. The population of Lower Canada was
estimated at 600,000, of whom hardly one-quarter were of
British origin, living chiefly in Montreal, the Townships, and
Quebec. Nova Scotia had nearly 200,000 inhabitants, of
whom probably 16,000 were French Acadians, resident in Cape
Breton and in Western Nova Scotia. In New Brunswick there



VI.] The Evohition of Responsible Government. 157

were at least 150,000 people, of whom some 15,000 were
descendants of the original inhabitants of Acadie. The Island
of Prince Edward had 30,000 people, of whom the French
Acadians made up nearly one-sixth. The total trade of the
country amounted, in round figures, to about ^5,000,000
sterling in imports, and somewhat less in exports. The imports
were chiefly manufactures from Great F litain, and the exports
were lumber, wheat and fish. Those were days when colonial
trade was stimulated by differential duties in favour of colonial
products ; and the building of vessels was encouraged by the
old navigation laws which shut out foreign commerce from
the St Lawrence and the Atlantic ports, and kept the carrying
trade between Great Britain and the colonies in the hands of
British and colonial merchants, by means of British registered
ships. While colonists could not trade directly with foreign
ports, they were given a monopoly for their timber, fish, and
provisions in the profitable markets of the British West Indies.
The character of the immigration varied considerably, but
on the whole the thrifty and industrious formed the larger
proportion. In 1833 the immigrants deposited 300,000
sovereigns, or nearly a million and a half of dollars, in the
Upper Canadian banks. An important influence in the settle-
ment of Upper Canada was exercised by one Colonel Talbot, the
founder of the county of Elgin. Mrs Anna Jameson, the wife
of a vice-chancellor of Upper Canada, describes in her Winter
Studies and Summer Rambles, written in 1838, the home of this
great proprietor, a Talbot of Malahide, one of the oldest families
in the parent state. The chateau as she calls it, perhaps
sarcastically was a "long wooden building, chiefly of rough
logs, with a covered porch running along the south side."
Such homes as Colonel Talbot's were common enough in the
country. Some of the higher class of immigrants, however,
made efforts to surround themselves with some of the luxuries
of the old world. Mrs Jameson tells us of an old Admiral, who
had settled in the London district now the most prosperous



158 Canada under British Ride. [CHAP.

agricultural part of Ontario and had the best of society in his
neighbourhood ; "several gentlemen of family, superior educa-
tion, and large capital (among them the brother of an English
and the son of an Irish peer, a colonel and a major in the
army) whose estates were in a flourishing state." The common
characteristic of the Canadian settlements was the humble log
hut of the poor immigrant, struggling with axe and hoe amid
the stumps to make a home for his family. Year by year the
sunlight was let into the dense forests, and fertile meadows
soon stretched far and wide in the once untrodden wilderness.
Despite all the difficulties of a pioneer's life, industry reaped
its adequate rewards in the fruitful lands of the west, bread was
easily raised in abundance, and animals of all kinds thrived.

Unhappily the great bane of the province was the inordinate
use of liquor. " The erection of a church or chapel," says
Mrs Jameson, "generally preceded that of a school-house in
Upper Canada, but the mill and the tavern invariably preceded
both." The roads were of the most wretched character and at
some seasons actually prohibitory of all social intercourse.
The towns were small and ill-built. Toronto, long known as
"muddy little York," had a population of about 10,000, but
with the exception of the new parliament house, it had no
public buildings of architectural pretensions. The houses were
generally of wood, a few of staring ugly red brick ; the streets
had not a single side-walk until 1834, and in 1838 this comfort
for the pedestrian was still exceptional. Kingston, the ancient
Cataraqui, was even a better built town than Toronto, and had
in 1838 a population of perhaps 4500 persons. Hamilton
and London were beginning to be places of importance.
Bytown, now Ottawa, had its beginnings in 1826, when
Colonel By of the Royal Engineers, commenced the construc-
tion of the Rideau Canal on the chain of lakes and rivers between
the Ottawa and the St Lawrence at Kingston. The ambition
of the people of Upper Canada was always to obtain a con-
tinuous and secure system of water navigation from the lakes



VI.] The Evolution of Responsible Government. 159

to Montreal. The Welland Canal between Lakes Erie and
Ontario was commenced as early as 1824 through the enter-
prise of Mr William Hamilton Merritt, but it was very badly
managed; and the legislature, which had from year to year
aided the undertaking, was obliged eventually to acquire it as
a provincial work. The Cornwall Canal was also undertaken,
but work was stopped when it was certain that Lower Canada
would not respond to the aspirations of the West and improve
that portion of the St Lawrence within its direct control.
Flat-bottomed bateaux and Durham boats were generally in
use for the carriage of goods on the inland waters, and it was
not until the completion of a canal system between the lakes
and Montreal, after the Union, that steamers came into vogue.

The province of Upper Canada had in 1838 reached a
crisis in its affairs. In the course of the seven years preceding
the rebellion, probably eighty thousand or one half of the
immigrant? who had come to the province, had crossed the
frontier into the United States, where greater inducements
were held out to capital and population. As Mrs Jameson
floated in a canoe, in the middle of the Detroit River, she saw
on the one side "all the bustle of prosperity and commerce," and
on the other "all the symptoms of apathy, indolence, mistrust,
hopelessness." At the time such comparisons were made,
Upper Canada was on the very verge of bankruptcy.

Turning to lyower Canada, we find that the financial
position of the province was very different from that of Upper
Canada. The public accounts showed an annual surplus, and
the financial difficulties of the province were caused entirely by
the disputes between the executive and the assembly which
would not vote the necessary supplies. The timber trade had
grown to large proportions and constituted the principal export
to Great Britain from Quebec, which presented a scene of
much activity in the summer. Montreal was already showing
its great advantages as a headquarters of commerce on account
of its natural relations to the West and the United States.



160 Canada under British Rule. [CHAP.

Quebec and Montreal had each about 35,000 inhabitants.
Travellers admitted that Montreal, on account of the solidity
of its buildings, generally of stone, compared most favourably
with many of the finest and oldest towns in the United States.
The Parish Church of Notre Dame was the largest ecclesiastical
edifice in America, and notable for its simple grandeur. With
its ancient walls girdling the heights first seen by Jacques
Cartier, with its numerous churches and convents, illus-
trating the power and wealth of the Romish religion, with its
rugged, erratic streets creeping through hewn rock, with its
picturesque crowd of red-coated soldiers of England mingling
with priests and sisters in sombre attire, or with the habitants in
etoffe du pays, the old city of Quebec, whose history went
back to the beginning of the seventeenth century, was certainly
a piece of medievalism transported from northern France.
The plain stone buildings of 1837 still remain in all their
evidences of sombre antiquity. None of the religious or
government edifices were distinguished for architectural
beauty except perhaps the English cathedral but repre-
sented solidity and convenience, while harmonising with the
rocks amid which they had risen.

The parliament of Lower Canada still met in the Bishop's
Palace, which was in want of repair. The old Chateau St Louis
had been destroyed by fire in 1834, and a terrace bearing the
name of Durham was in course of construction over its ruins.
It now gives one of the most picturesque views in the world on
a summer evening as the descending sun lights up the dark
green of the western hills, or brightens the tin spires and
roofs of the churches and convents, or lingers amid the masts
of the ships moored in the river or in the coves, filled with
great rafts of timber.

As in the days of French rule, the environs of Quebec and
Montreal, and the north side of the St Lawrence between these
two towns, presented French Canadian life in its most pic-
turesque and favourable aspect. These settlements on the



VI.] The Evolution of Responsible Government. 161

river formed one continuous village, with tinned spires rising
every few miles amid poplars, maples and elms. While the
homes of the seigniors and of a few professional men were
more commodious and comfortable than in the days of French
rule, while the churches and presbyteries illustrated the in-
creasing prosperity of the dominant religion, the surroundings
of the habitants gave evidences of their want of energy and
enterprise. But crime was rare in the rural districts and in-
temperance was not so prevalent as in parts of the west.

Nearly 150,000 people of British origin resided in Lower
Canada a British people animated for the most part by that
spirit of energy natural to their race. What prosperity Montreal
and Quebec enjoyed as commercial communities was largely
due to the enterprise of British merchants. The timber trade
was chiefly in their hands, and the bank of Montreal was
founded by this class in 1817 seven years before the bank
of Upper Canada was established in Toronto. As political
strife increased in bitterness, the differences between the races
became accentuated. Papineau alienated all the British by his
determination to found a "Nation Canadienne" in which the
British would occupy a very inferior place. "French and
British," said Lord Durham, " combined for no public objects
or improvements, and could not harmonise even in associations
of charity." The French Canadians looked with jealousy and
dislike on the increase and prosperity of what they regarded
as a foreign and hostile race. It is quite intelligible, then,
why trade languished, internal development ceased, landed
property decreased in value, the revenue showed a diminution,
roads and all classes of local improvements were neglected,
agricultural industry was stagnant, wheat had to be imported
for the consumption of the people, and immigration fell off
from 52,000 in 1832 to less than 5000 in 1838.

In the maritime provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick,
and Prince Edward Island, there were no racial antagonisms
to affect internal development ; and the political conflict never
B. c. j i



1 62 Canada imder British Rule. [CHAP.

reached such proportions as to threaten the peace and security
of the people. In New Brunswick the chief industry was the
timber trade deals especially which received its first stimulus
in 1809, when a heavy duty was placed on Baltic timber, while
that from the colonies came free into the British Isles. Ship-
building was also profitably followed in New Brunswick, and
was beginning to be prosecuted in Nova Scotia, where, a few
years later, it made that province one of the greatest ship-
owning and ship-sailing communities of the world until iron
steamers gradually drove wooden vessels from the carrying
trade. The cod, mackerel, and herring fisheries chiefly the
first were the staple industry of Nova Scotia, and kept up a
large trade with the British West Indies, whence sugar, molasses
and rum were imported. Prince Edward Island was chiefly an
agricultural community, whose development was greatly re-
tarded by the wholesale grant of lands in 1767 to absentee
proprietors. Halifax and St John had each a population of
twenty thousand. The houses were mostly of wood, the only
buildings of importance being the government house, finished
in 1805, and the provincial or parliament house, considered in
its day one of the handsomest structures in North America.
In the beautiful valleys of Kings and Annapolis now famous
for their fruit there was a prosperous farming population.
Yarmouth illustrated the thrift and enterprise of the Puritan
element that came into the province from New England at an
early date in its development. The eastern counties, with the
exception of Pictou, showed no sign of progress. The Scotch
population of Cape Breton, drawn from a poor class of people
in the north of Scotland, for years added nothing to the wealth
of an island whose resources were long dormant from the
absence of capital and enterprise.

Popular education in those days was at the lowest possible
ebb. In 1837 there were in all the private and public schools
of the provinces only one-fifteenth of the total population. In
Lower Canada not one-tenth could write. The children of the



VI.] The Evolution of Responsible Government. 163

habitants repeated the Catechism by rote, and yet could not
read as a rule. In Upper Canada things were no better.
Dr Thomas Rolph tells us that, so late as 1833, Americans or
other anti-British adventurers carried on the greater proportion
of the common schools, where the youth were taught sentiments
" hostile to the parent state " from books used in the United
States a practice stopped by statute in 1846.

Adequate provision, however, was made for the higher
education of youth in all the provinces. "I know of no
people," wrote Lord Durham of Lower Canada, "among
whom a larger provision exists for the higher kinds of ele-
mentary education." The piety and benevolence of the early
possessors of the country founded seminaries and colleges,
which gave an education resembling the kind given in the
English public schools, though more varied. In Upper Canada,
so early as 1807, grammar schools were established by the
government. By 1837 Upper Canada College an institution
still flourishing offered special advantages to youths whose
parents had some money. In Nova Scotia King's College
the oldest university in Canada had its beginning as an
academy as early as 1788, and educated many eminent men
during its palmy days. Pictou Academy was established by the
Reverend Dr McCulloch as a remonstrance against the sec-
tarianism of King's and the political history of the province
was long disturbed by the struggle of its promoters against
the narrowness of the Anglicans, who dominated the legislative
council, and frequently rejected the grant made by the assembly.
Dalhousie College was founded in 1820 by Lord Dalhousie,
then governor of Nova Scotia, to afford that higher education
to all denominations which old King's denied. Acadia College
was founded by the Baptists at Wolfville, on a gently rising
ground overlooking the fertile meadows of Grand Pre. The
foundations of the University of New Brunswick were laid in
1800. McGill University, founded by one of those generous
Montreal merchants who have always been its benefactors,

II 2



1 64 Canada under British Rule. [CHAP. VI.

received a charter in 1821, but it was not opened until 1829.
The Methodists laid the foundation of Victoria College at
Cobourg in 1834, but it did not commence its work until after
the Union ; and the same was the case with King's College, the
beginning of the University of Toronto.

We need not linger on the literary output of those early
times. Joseph Bouchette, surveyor-general, had made in the
first part of the century a notable contribution to the geography
and cartography of Lower Canada. Major Richardson, who had
served in the war of 1812 and in the Spanish peninsula, wrote in
1833 "Wacousta or the Prophecy," a spirited romance of Indian
life. In Nova Scotia the " Sayings and Doings of Sam Slick,
of Slickville " truly a remarkable original creation in humorous
literature first appeared in a Halifax paper. The author, Judge
Haliburton, also published as early as 1829 an excellent work
in two volumes on the history of his native province. Small
libraries and book stores could only be seen in the cities.

In these early times of the provinces, when books and
magazines were rarities, the newspaper press naturally exercised
much influence on the social and intellectual conditions of the
people at large. By 1838 there were no less than forty papers
printed in the province of Upper Canada alone, some of them
written with ability, though too often in a bitter, personal tone.
In those days English papers did not circulate to any extent in
a country where postage was exorbitant. People could hardly
afford to pay postage rates on letters. The poor settler was
often unable to pay the three or four shillings or even more,
imposed on letters from their old homes across the sea ; and
it was not unusual to find in country post-offices a large ac-
cumulation of dead letters, refused or neglected on account of
the expense. The management of the post-office by imperial
officers was one of the grievances of the people of the provinces
generally. It was carried on for the benefit of a few persons,
and not for the convenience or solace of the many thousands
who were anxious for news of their kin across the ocean.



i6 S



CHAPTER VII.

A NEW ERA OF COLONIAL GOVERNMENT

(1839-1867).

SECTION I. The union of the Canadas and tJic estab-
lishment of responsible government.

LORD DURHAM'S- report on the affairs of British North
America was presented to the British government on the 3ist
January, 1839, and attracted an extraordinary amount of
interest in England, where the two rebellions had at last
awakened statesmen to the absolute necessity of providing an
effective remedy for difficulties which had been pressing upon
their attention for years, but had never been thoroughly under-
stood until the appearance of this famous state paper. A
legislative union of the two Canadas and the concession of
responsible government were the two radical changes which
stood out prominently in the report among minor suggestions
in the direction of stable government. On the question of
responsible government Lord Durham expressed opinions of
the deepest political wisdom. He found it impossible "to
understand how any English statesman could have ever
imagined that representative and irresponsible government

could be successfully combined To suppose that such a

system would work well there, implied a belief that the French
Canadians have enjoyed representative institutions for half a



1 66 Canada under British Rule. [CHAP.

century, without acquiring any of the characteristics of a free
people ; that Englishmen renounce every political opinion and
feeling when they enter a colony, or that the spirit of Anglo-
Saxon freedom is utterly changed and weakened among those
who are transplanted across the Atlantic 1 ."

In June, 1839, Lord John Russell introduced a bill to
reunite the two provinces, but it was allowed, after its second



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