Infomotions, Inc.The Father of British Canada: a Chronicle of Carleton / Wood, William (William Charles Henry), 1864-1947



Author: Wood, William (William Charles Henry), 1864-1947
Title: The Father of British Canada: a Chronicle of Carleton
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): carleton; quebec; canada; british; montreal; loyalists; canadians; canadian; french canadians; american; lake champlain
Contributor(s): Young, Stanley [Translator]
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Services: find in a library; evaluate using concordance
Rights: GNU General Public License
Size: 47,405 words (really short) Grade range: 12-15 (college) Readability score: 48 (average)
Identifier: etext10044
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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Father of British Canada: A Chronicle
of Carleton, by William Wood.
[This is Volume Twelve in the 32-volume Chronicles of Canada,
Edited by George M. Wrong and H. H. Langton]

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Title: The Father of British Canada: A Chronicle of Carleton

Author: William Wood

Release Date: November 11, 2003 [EBook #10044]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII

*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK FATHER OF BRITISH CANADA ***




This etext was produced by Gardner Buchanan.





CHRONICLES OF CANADA
Edited by George M. Wrong and H. H. Langton
In thirty-two volumes

Volume 12


THE FATHER OF BRITISH CANADA
A Chronicle of Carleton

By WILLIAM WOOD
TORONTO, 1916




CONTENTS

I.    GUY CARLETON, 1724-1759
II.   GENERAL MURRAY, 1759-1766
III.  GOVERNOR CARLETON, 1766-1774
IV.   INVASION, 1776
V.    BELEAGUERMENT, 1775-1776
VI.   DELIVERANCE, 1776
VII.  THE COUNTERSTROKE, 1776-1778
VIII. GUARDING THE LOYALISTS, 1782-1783
IX.   FOUNDING MODERN CANADA, 1786-1796
X.    'NUNC DIMITTIS,' 1796-1808

BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE




CHAPTER I

GUY CARLETON
1724-1759

Guy Carleton, first Baron Dorchester, was born at Strabane,
County Tyrone, on the 3rd of September 1724, the anniversary
of Cromwell's two great victories and death. He came of
a very old family of English country gentlemen which had
migrated to Ireland in the seventeenth century and
intermarried with other Anglo-Irish families equally
devoted to the service of the British Crown. Guy's father
was Christopher Carleton of Newry in County Down. His
mother was Catherine Ball of County Donegal. His father
died comparatively young; and, when he was himself fifteen,
his mother married the rector of Newry, the Reverend
Thomas Skelton, whose influence over the six step-children
of the household worked wholly for their good.

At eighteen Guy received his first commission as ensign
in the 25th Foot, then known as Lord Rothes' regiment
and now as the King's Own Scottish Borderers. At
twenty-three he fought gallantly at the siege of
Bergen-op-Zoom. Four years later (1751) he was a lieutenant
in the Grenadier Guards. He was one of those quiet men
whose sterling value is appreciated only by the few till
some crisis makes it stand forth before the world at
large. Pitt, Wolfe, and George II all recognized his
solid virtues. At thirty he was still some way down the
list of lieutenants in the Grenadiers, while Wolfe, two
years his junior in age, had been four years in command
of a battalion with the rank of lieutenant-colonel. Yet
he had long been 'my friend Carleton' to Wolfe, he was
soon to become one of 'Pitt's Young Men,' and he was
enough of a 'coming man' to incur the king's displeasure.
He had criticized the Hanoverians; and the king never
forgave him. The third George 'gloried in the name of
Englishman.' But the first two were Hanoverian all through.
And for an English guardsman to disparage the Hanoverian
army was considered next door to _lese-majeste_.

Lady Dorchester burnt all her husband's private papers
after his death in 1808; so we have lost some of the most
intimate records concerning him. But 'grave Carleton'
appears so frequently in the letters of his friend Wolfe
that we can see his character as a young man in almost
any aspect short of self-revelation. The first reference
has nothing to do with affairs of state. In 1747 Wolfe,
aged twenty, writing to Miss Lacey, an English girl in
Brussels, and signing himself 'most sincerely your friend
and admirer,' says: 'I was doing the greatest injustice
to the dear girls to admit the least doubt of their
constancy. Perhaps with respect to ourselves there may
be cause of complaint. Carleton, I'm afraid, is a recent
example of it.' From this we may infer that Carleton was
less 'grave' as a young man than Wolfe found him later
on. Six years afterwards Wolfe strongly recommended him
for a position which he had himself been asked to fill,
that of military tutor to the young Duke of Richmond,
who was to get a company in Wolfe's own regiment. Writing
home from Paris in 1753 Wolfe tells his mother that the
duke 'wants some skilful man to travel with him through
the Low Countries and into Lorraine. I have proposed my
friend Carleton, whom Lord Albemarle approves of.' Lord
Albemarle was the British ambassador to France; so Carleton
got the post and travelled under the happiest auspices,
while learning the frontier on which the Belgian, French,
and British allies were to fight the Germans in the Great
World War of 1914. It was during this military tour of
fortified places that Carleton acquired the engineering
skill which a few years later proved of such service to
the British cause in Canada.

In 1754 George Washington, at that time a young Virginian
officer of only twenty-two, fired the first shot in what
presently became the world-wide Seven Years' War. The
immediate result was disastrous to the British arms; and
Washington had to give up the command of the Ohio by
surrendering Fort Necessity to the French on--of all
dates--the 4th of July! In 1755 came Braddock's defeat.
In 1756 Montcalm arrived in Canada and won his first
victory at Oswego. In 1757 Wolfe distinguished himself
by formulating the plan which, if properly executed,
would have prevented the British fiasco at Rochefort on
the coast of France. But Carleton remained as undistinguished
as before. He simply became lieutenant-colonel commanding
the 72nd Foot, now the Seaforth Highlanders. In 1758 his
chance appeared to have come at last. Amherst had asked
for his services at Louisbourg. But the king had neither
forgotten nor forgiven the remarks about the Hanoverians,
and so refused point-blank, to Wolfe's 'very great grief
and disappointment... It is a public loss Carleton's not
going.' Wolfe's confidence in Carleton, either as a friend
or as an officer, was stronger than ever. Writing to
George Warde, afterwards the famous cavalry leader, he
said: 'Accidents may happen in the family that may throw
my little affairs into disorder. Carleton is so good as
to say he will give what help is in his power. May I ask
the same favour of you, my oldest friend?' Writing to
Lord George Sackville, of whom we shall hear more than
enough at the crisis of Carleton's career Wolfe said:
'Amherst will tell you his opinion of Carleton, by which
you will probably be better convinced of our loss.' Again,
'We want grave Carleton for every purpose of the war.'
And yet again, after the fall of Louisbourg: 'If His
Majesty had thought proper to let Carleton come with us
as engineer it would have cut the matter much shorter
and we might now be ruining the walls of Quebec and
completing the conquest of New France.' A little later
on Wolfe blazes out with indignation over Carleton's
supersession by a junior. 'Can Sir John Ligonier (the
commander-in-chief) allow His Majesty to remain
unacquainted with the merit of that officer, and can he
see such a mark of displeasure without endeavouring to
soften or clear the matter up a little? A man of honour
has the right to expect the protection of his Colonel
and of the Commander of the troops, and he can't serve
without it.  If I was in Carleton's place I wouldn't stay
an hour in the Army after being aimed at and distinguished
in so remarkable a manner.' But Carleton bided his time.

At the beginning of 1759 Wolfe was appointed to command
the army destined to besiege Quebec. He immediately
submitted Carleton's name for appointment as
quartermaster-general. Pitt and Ligonier heartily approved.
But the king again refused. Ligonier went back a second
time to no purpose. Pitt then sent him in for the third
time, saying, in a tone meant for the king to overhear:
'Tell His Majesty that in order to render the General
[Wolfe] completely responsible for his conduct he should
be made, as far as possible, inexcusable if he should
fail; and that whatever an officer entrusted with such
a service of confidence requests ought therefore to be
granted.' The king then consented. Thus began Carleton's
long, devoted, and successful service for Canada, the
Empire, and the Crown.

Early in this memorable Empire Year of 1759 he sailed
with Wolfe and Saunders from Spithead. On the 30th of
April the fleet rendezvoused at Halifax, where Admiral
Durell, second-in-command to Saunders, had spent the
winter with a squadron intended to block the St Lawrence
directly navigation opened in the spring. Durell was a
good commonplace officer, but very slow. He had lost many
hands from sickness during a particularly cold season,
and he was not enterprising enough to start cruising
round Cabot Strait before the month of May. Saunders,
greatly annoyed by this delay, sent him off with eight
men-of-war on the 5th of May. Wolfe gave him seven hundred
soldiers under Carleton. These forces were sufficient to
turn back, capture, or destroy the twenty-three French
merchantmen which were then bound for Quebec with supplies
and soldiers as reinforcements for Montcalm. But the
French ships were a week ahead of Durell; and, when he
landed Carleton at Isle-aux-Coudres on the 28th of May,
the last of the enemy's transports had already discharged
her cargo at Quebec, sixty miles above.

Isle-aux-Coudres, so named by Jacques Cartier in 1535,
was a point of great strategic importance; for it commanded
the only channel then used. It was the place Wolfe had
chosen for his winter quarters, that is, in case of
failure before Quebec and supposing he was not recalled.
None but a particularly good officer would have been
appointed as its first commandant. Carleton spent many
busy days here preparing an advanced base for the coming
siege, while the subsequently famous Captain Cook was
equally busy 'a-sounding of the channell of the Traverse'
which the fleet would have to pass on its way to Quebec.
Some of Durell's ships destroyed the French 'long-shore
batteries near this Traverse, at the lower end of the
island of Orleans, while the rest kept ceaseless watch
to seaward, anxiously scanning the offing, day after day,
to make out the colours of the first fleet up. No one
knew what the French West India fleet would do; and there
was a very disconcerting chance that it might run north
and slip into the St Lawrence, ahead of Saunders, in the
same way as the French reinforcements had just slipped
in ahead of Durell. Presently, at the first streak of
dawn on the 23rd of June, a strong squadron was seen
advancing rapidly under a press of sail. Instantly the
officers of the watch called all hands up from below.
The boatswains' whistles shrilled across the water as
the seamen ran to quarters and cleared the decks for
action. Carleton's camp was equally astir. The guards
turned out. The bugles sounded. The men fell in and
waited. Then the flag-ship signalled ashore that the
strangers had just answered correctly in private code
that all was well and that Wolfe and Saunders were aboard.

Next to Wolfe himself Carleton was the busiest man
in the army throughout the siege of Quebec. In addition
to his arduous and very responsible duties as
quartermaster-general, he acted as inspector of engineers
and as a special-service officer for work of an
exceptionally confidential nature. As quartermaster-general
he superintended the supply and transport branches.
Considering that the army was operating in a devastated
hostile country, a thousand miles away from its bases at
Halifax and Louisbourg, and that the interaction of the
different services--naval and military, Imperial and
Colonial--required adjustment to a nicety at every turn,
it was wonderful that so much was done so well with means
which were far from being adequate. War prices of course
ruled in the British camp. But they compared very favourably
with the famine prices in Quebec, where most 'luxuries'
soon became unobtainable at any price. There were no
canteen or camp-follower scandals under Carleton. Then,
as now, every soldier had a regulation ration of food
and a regulation allowance for his service kit. But
'extras' were always acceptable. The price-list of these
'extras' reads strangely to modern ears. But, under the
circumstances, it was not exorbitant, and it was slightly
tempered by being reckoned in Halifax currency of four
dollars to the pound instead of five. The British Tommy
Atkins of that and many a later day thought Canada a
wonderful country for making money go a long way when he
could buy a pot of beer for twopence and get back thirteen
pence Halifax currency as change for his English shilling.
Beef and ham ran from ninepence to a shilling a pound.
Mutton was a little dearer. Salt butter was eightpence
to one-and-threepence. Cheese was tenpence; potatoes from
five to ten shillings a bushel. 'A reasonable loaf of
good soft Bread' cost sixpence. Soap was a shilling a
pound. Tea was prohibitive for all but the officers.
'Plain Green Tea and very Badd' was fifteen shillings,
'Couchon' twenty shillings, 'Hyson' thirty. Leaf tobacco
was tenpence a pound, roll one-and-tenpence, snuff
two-and-threepence. Sugar was a shilling to eighteen
pence. Lemons were sixpence apiece. The non-intoxicating
'Bad Sproos Beer' was only twopence a quart and helped
to keep off scurvy. Real beer, like wine and spirits,
was more expensive. 'Bristol Beer' was eighteen shillings
a dozen, 'Bad malt Drink from Hellifax' ninepence a quart.
Rum and claret were eight shillings a gallon each, port
and Madeira ten and twelve respectively. The term 'Bad'
did not then mean noxious, but only inferior. It stood
against every low-grade article in the price-list. No
goods were over-classified while Carleton was
quartermaster-general.

The engineers were under-staffed, under-manned, and
overworked. There were no Royal Engineers as a permanent
and comprehensive corps till the time of Wellington.
Wolfe complained bitterly and often of the lack of men
and materials for scientific siege work. But he 'relied
on Carleton' to good purpose in this respect as well as
in many others. In his celebrated dispatch to Pitt he
mentions Carleton twice. It was Carleton whom he sent to
seize the west end of the island of Orleans, so as to
command the basin of Quebec, and Carleton whom he sent to
take prisoners and gather information at Pointe-aux-Trembles,
twenty miles above the city. Whether or not he revealed
the whole of his final plan to Carleton is probably more
than we shall ever know, since Carleton's papers were
destroyed. But we do know that he did not reveal it to
any one else, not even to his three brigadiers, Monckton,
Townshend, and Murray.

Carleton was wounded in the head during the Battle of
the Plains; but soon returned to duty. Wolfe showed his
confidence in him to the last. Carleton's was the only
name mentioned twice in the will which Wolfe handed over
to Jervis, the future Lord St Vincent, the night before
the battle. 'I leave to Colonel Oughton, Colonel Carleton,
Colonel Howe, and Colonel Warde a thousand pounds each.'
'All my books and papers, both here and in England, I
leave to Colonel Carleton.' Wolfe's mother, who died five
years later, showed the same confidence by appointing
Carleton her executor.

With the fall of Quebec in 1759 Carleton disappears from
the Canadian scene till 1766. But so many pregnant events
happened in Canada during these seven years, while so
few happened in his own career, that it is much more
important for us to follow her history than his biography.

In 1761 he was wounded at the storming of Port Andro
during the attack on Belle Isle off the west coast of
France. In 1762 he was wounded at Havana in the West
Indies. After that he enjoyed four years of quietness at
home. Then came the exceedingly difficult task of guiding
Canada through twelve years of turbulent politics and
most subversive war.




CHAPTER II

GENERAL MURRAY
1759-1766

Both armies spent a terrible winter after the Battle of
the Plains. There was better shelter for the French in
Montreal than for the British among the ruins of Quebec.
But in the matter of food the positions were reversed.
Nevertheless the French gallantly refused the truce
offered them by Murray, who had now succeeded Wolfe. They
were determined to make a supreme effort to regain Quebec
in the spring; and they were equally determined that the
habitants should not be free to supply the British with
provisions.

In spite of the state of war, however, the French and
British officers, even as prisoners and captors, began
to make friends. They had found each other foemen worthy
of their steel. A distinguished French officer, the Comte
de Malartic, writing to Levis, Montcalm's successor,
said: 'I cannot speak too highly of General Murray,
although he is our enemy.' Murray, on his part, was
equally loud and generous in his praise of the French.
The Canadian seigneurs found fellow-gentlemen among
the British officers. The priests and nuns of Quebec
found many fellow-Catholics among the Scottish and Irish
troops, and nothing but courteous treatment from the
soldiers of every rank and form of religion. Murray
directed that 'the compliment of the hat' should be paid
to all religious processions. The Ursuline nuns knitted
long stockings for the bare-legged Highlanders when the
winter came on, and presented each Scottish officer with
an embroidered St Andrew's Cross on the 30th of November,
St Andrew's Day. The whole garrison won the regard of
the town by giving up part of their rations for the hungry
poor; while the habitants from the surrounding country
presently began to find out that the British were honest
to deal with and most humane, though sternly just, as
conquerors.

In the following April Levis made his desperate throw
for victory; and actually did succeed in defeating Murray
outside the walls of Quebec. But the British fleet came
up in May; and that summer three British armies converged
on Montreal, where the last doomed remnants of French
power on the St Lawrence stood despairingly at bay. When
Levis found his two thousand effective French regulars
surrounded by eight times as many British troops he had
no choice but to lay down the arms of France for ever.
On the 8th of September 1760 his gallant little army was
included in the Capitulation of Montreal, by which the
whole of Canada passed into the possession of the British
Crown.

Great Britain had a different general idea for each one
of the four decades which immediately followed the conquest
of Canada. In the sixties the general idea was to kill
refractory old French ways with a double dose of new
British liberty and kindness, so that Canada might
gradually become the loyal fourteenth colony of the Empire
in America. But the fates were against this benevolent
scheme. The French Canadians were firmly wedded to their
old ways of life, except in so far as the new liberty
enabled them to throw off irksome duties and restraints,
while the new English-speaking 'colonists' were so few,
and mostly so bad, that they became the cause of endless
discord where harmony was essential. In the seventies
the idea was to restore the old French-Canadian life so
as not only to make Canada proof against the disaffection
of the Thirteen Colonies but also to make her a safe base
of operations against rebellious Americans. In the eighties
the great concern of the government was to make a harmonious
whole out of two very widely differing parts--the
long-settled French Canadians and the newly arrived United
Empire Loyalists. In the nineties each of these parts
was set to work out its own salvation under its own
provincial constitution.

Carleton's is the only personality which links together
all four decades--the would-be American sixties, the
French-Canadian seventies, the Anglo-French-Canadian
eighties, and the bi-constitutional nineties--though, as
mentioned already, Murray ruled Canada for the first
seven years, 1759-66.

James Murray, the first British governor of Canada, was
a younger son of the fourth Lord Elibank. He was just
over forty, warm-hearted and warm-tempered, an excellent
French scholar, and every inch a soldier. He had been a
witness for the defence of Mordaunt at the court-martial
held to try the authors of the Rochefort fiasco in 1757.
Wolfe, who was a witness on the other side, referred to
him later on as 'my old antagonist Murray.' But Wolfe
knew a good man when he saw one and gave his full confidence
to his 'old antagonist' both at Louisbourg and Quebec.
Murray was not born under a lucky star. He saw three
defeats in three successive wars. He began his service
with the abortive attack on pestilential Cartagena, where
Wolfe's father was present as adjutant-general. In
mid-career he lost the battle of Ste Foy. [Footnote:
See _The Winning of Canada_, chap. viii. See also, for
the best account of this battle and other events of the
year between Wolfe's victory and the surrender of Montreal,
_The Fall of Canada_, by George M. Wrong. Oxford, 1914.]
And his active military life ended with his surrender of
Minorca in 1782. But he was greatly distinguished for
honour and steadfastness on all occasions. An admiring
contemporary described him as a model of all the military
virtues except prudence. But he had more prudence and
less genius than his admirer thought; and he showed a
marked talent for general government. The problem before
him was harder than his superiors could believe. He was
expected to prepare for assimilation some sixty-five
thousand 'new subjects' who were mostly alien in religion
and wholly alien in every other way. But, for the moment,
this proved the least of his many difficulties because
no immediate results were required.

While the war went on in Europe Canada remained nominally
a part of the enemy's dominions, and so, of course, was
subject to military rule. Sir Jeffery Amherst, the British
commander-in-chief in America, took up his headquarters
in New York. Under him Murray commanded Canada from
Quebec. Under Murray, Colonel Burton commanded the district
of Three Rivers while General Gage commanded the district
of Montreal, which then extended to the western wilds.
[Footnote: See _The War Chief of the Ottawas_, chap. iii.]

Murray's first great trouble arose in 1761. It was caused
by an outrageous War Office order that fourpence a day
should be stopped from the soldiers to pay for the rations
they had always got free. Such gross injustice, coming
in time of war and applied to soldiers who richly deserved
reward, made the veterans 'mad with rage.' Quebec promised
to be the scene of a wild mutiny. Murray, like all his
officers, thought the stoppage nothing short of robbery.
But he threw himself into the breach. He assembled the
officers and explained that they must die to the last
man rather than allow the mutineers a free hand. He then
held a general parade at which he ordered the troops to
march between two flag-poles on pain of instant death,
promising to kill with his own hands the first man who
refused. He added that he was ready to hear and forward
any well-founded complaint, but that, since insubordination
had been openly threatened, he would insist on subordination
being publicly shown. Then, amid tense silence, he gave
the word of command--_Quick, March!_--while every officer
felt his trigger. To the immense relief of all concerned
the men stepped off, marched straight between the flags
and back to quarters, tamed. The criminal War Office
blunder was rectified and peace was restored in the ranks.

'Murray's Report' of 1762 gives us a good view of the
Canada of that day and shows the attitude of the British
towards their new possession. Canada had been conquered
by Great Britain, with some help from the American
colonies, for three main reasons: first, to strike a
death-blow at French dominion in America; secondly, to
increase the opportunities of British seaborne trade;
and, thirdly, to enlarge the area available for British
settlement. When Murray was instructed to prepare a report
on Canada he had to keep all this in mind; for the
government wished to satisfy the public both at home and
in the colonies. He had to examine the military strength
of the country and the disposition of its population in
case of future wars with France. He had to satisfy the
natural curiosity of men like the London merchants. And
he had to show how and where English-speaking settlers
could go in and make Canada not only a British possession
but the fourteenth British colony in North America. Burton
and Gage were also instructed to report about their own
districts of Three Rivers and Montreal. The documents
they prepared were tacked on to Murray's. By June 1762
the work was completed and sent on to Amherst, who sent
it to England in ample time to be studied there before
the opening of the impending negotiations for peace.

Murray was greatly concerned about the military strength
of Quebec, then, as always, the key of Canada. Like the
unfortunate Montcalm he found the walls of Quebec badly
built, badly placed, and falling into ruins, and he
thought they could not be defended by three thousand men
against 'a well conducted _Coup-de-main_.' He proposed
to crown Cape Diamond with a proper citadel, which would
overawe the disaffected in Quebec itself and defend the
place against an outside enemy long enough to let a
British fleet come up to its relief. The rest of the
country was defended by little garrisons at Three Rivers
and Montreal as well as by several small detachments
distributed among the trading-posts where the white men
and the red met in the depths of the western wilderness.

The relations between the British garrison and the French
Canadians were so excellent that what Gage reported from
Montreal might be taken as equally true of the rest of
the country: 'The Soldiers live peaceably with the
Inhabitants and they reciprocally acquire an affection
for each other.' The French Canadians numbered sixty-five
thousand altogether, exclusive of the fur traders and
coureurs de bois. Barely fifteen thousand lived in the
three little towns of Quebec, Montreal, and Three Rivers;
while over fifty thousand lived in the country. Nearly
all the officials had gone back to France. The three
classes of greatest importance were the seigneurs, the
clergy, and the habitants. The lawyers were not of much
account; the petty commercial classes of less account
still. The coureurs de bois and other fur traders formed
an important link between the savage and the civilized
life of the country.

Apart from furs the trade of Canada was contemptibly
small in the eyes of men like the London merchants. But
the opportunity of fostering all the fur trade that could
be carried down the St Lawrence was very well worth while;
and if there was no other existing trade worth capturing
there seemed to be some kinds worth creating. Murray held
out well-grounded hopes of the fisheries and forests. 'A
Most immense Cod Fishery can be established in the River
and Gulph of St Lawrence. A rich tract of country on the
South Side of the Gulph will be settled and improved,
and a port or ports furnished with every material requisite
to repair ships.' He then went on to enumerate the other
kinds of fishery, the abundance of whales, seals, and
walruses in the Gulf, and of salmon up all the tributary
rivers. Burton recommends immediate attention to the iron
mines behind Three Rivers. All the governors expatiate
on the vast amount of forest wealth and remind the home
government that under the French regime the king, when
making out patents for the seigneurs, reserved the right
of taking wood for ship-building and fortifications from
any of the seigneuries. Agriculture was found to be in
a very backward state. The habitants would raise no more
than they required for their own use and for a little
local trade. But the fault was attributed to the gambling
attractions of the fur trade, to the bad governmental
system, and to the frequent interruptions of the _corvee_,
a kind of forced labour which was meant to serve the
public interest, but which Bigot and other thievish
officials always turned to their own private advantage.
On the whole, the reports were most encouraging in the
prospects they held out to honest labour, trade, and
government.

While Murray and his lieutenants had been collecting
information for their reports the home government had
been undergoing many changes for the worse. The
master-statesman Pitt had gone out of power and the
back-stairs politician Bute had come in. Pitt's 'bloody
and expensive war'--the war that more than any other,
laid the foundations of the present British Empire--was
to be ended on any terms the country could be persuaded
to bear. Thus the end of the Seven Years' War, or, as
the British part of it was more correctly called, the
'Maritime War,' was no more glorious in statesmanship
than its beginning had been in arms. But the spirit of
its mighty heart still lived on in the Empire's grateful
memories of Pitt and quickened the English-speaking world
enough to prevent any really disgraceful surrender of
the hard-won fruits of victory.

The Treaty of Paris, signed on the 10th of February 1763,
and the king's proclamation, published in October, were
duly followed by the inauguration of civil government in
Canada. The incompetent Bute, anxious to get Pitt out of
the way, tried to induce him to become the first British
governor of the new colony. Even Bute probably never
dared to hope that Pitt would actually go out to Canada.
But he did hope to lower his prestige by making him the
holder of a sinecure at home. However this may be, Pitt,
mightiest of all parliamentary ministers of war, refused
to be made either a jobber or an exile; whereupon Murray's
position was changed from a military command into that
of 'Governor and Captain-General.'

The changes which ensued in the laws of Canada were
heartily welcomed so far as the adoption of the humaner
criminal code of England was concerned. The new laws
relating to debtor and creditor also gave general
satisfaction, except, as we shall presently see, when
they involved imprisonment for debt. But the tentative
efforts to introduce English civil law side by side with
the old French code resulted in great confusion and much
discontent. The land laws had become so unworkable under
this dual system that they had to be left as they were.
A Court of Common Pleas was set up specially for the
benefit of the French Canadians. If either party demanded
a jury one had to be sworn in; and French Canadians were
to be jurors on equal terms with 'the King's Old Subjects.'
The Roman Catholic Church was to be completely tolerated
but not in any way established. Lord Egremont, in giving
the king's instructions to Murray, reminded him that the
proviso in the Treaty of Paris--_as far as the Laws of
Great Britain permit_--should govern his action whenever
disputes arose. It must be remembered that the last
Jacobite rising was then a comparatively recent affair,
and that France was equally ready to upset either the
Protestant succession in England or the British regime
in Canada.

The Indians were also an object of special solicitude in
the royal proclamation. 'The Indians who live under our
Protection should not be molested in the possession of
such parts of our Dominions and Territories as, not having
been ceded to or purchased by Us, are reserved to them.'
The home government was far in advance of the American
colonists in its humane attitude towards the Indians.
The common American attitude then and long afterwards
--indeed, up to a time well within living memory--was
that Indians were a kind of human vermin to be exterminated
without mercy, unless, of course, more money was to be
made out of them alive. The result was an endless struggle
along the ever-receding frontier of the West. And just
at this particular time the 'Conspiracy of Pontiac' had
brought about something like a real war. The story of
this great effort of the Indians to stem the encroachments
of the exterminating colonists is told in another chronicle
of the present Series. [Footnote: The War Chief of the
Ottawas.] The French traders in the West undoubtedly had
a hand in stirring up the Indians. Pontiac, a sort of
Indian Napoleon, was undoubtedly cruel as well as crafty.
And the Indians undoubtedly fought just as the ancestors
of the French and British used to fight when they were
at the corresponding stage of social evolution. But the
mere fact that so many jealously distinct tribes united
in this common cause proves how much they all must have
suffered at the hands of the colonists.

While Pontiac's war continued in the West Murray had to
deal with a political war in Canada which rose to its
height in 1764. The king's proclamation of the previous
October had 'given express Power to our Governor that,
so soon as the state and circumstances of the said Colony
will admit thereof, he shall call a General Assembly in
such manner and form as is used in those Colonies and
Provinces in America which are under our immediate
government.' The intention of establishing parliamentary
institutions was, therefore, perfectly clear. But it was
equally clear that the introduction of such institutions
was to depend on 'circumstances,' and it is well to
remember here that these 'circumstances' were not held
to warrant the opening of a Canadian parliament till
1792. Now, the military government had been a great
success. There was every reason to suppose that civil
government by a governor and council would be the next
best thing. And it was quite certain that calling a
'General Assembly' at once would defeat the very ends
which such bodies are designed to serve. More than
ninety-nine per cent of the population were dead against
an assembly which none of them understood and all
distrusted. On the other hand, the clamorous minority of
less than one per cent were in favour only of a parliament
from which the majority should be rigorously excluded,
even, if possible, as voters. The immense majority
comprised the entire French-Canadian community. The
absurdly small minority consisted mostly of Americanized
camp-following traders, who, having come to fish in
troubled waters, naturally wanted the laws made to suit
poachers. The British garrison, the governing officials,
and the very few other English-speaking people of a more
enlightened class all looked down on the rancorous
minority. The whole question resolved itself into this:
should Canada be handed over to the licensed exploitation
of a few hundred low-class camp-followers, who had done
nothing to win her for the British Empire, who were
despised by those who had, and who promised to be a
dangerous thorn in the side of the new colony?

What this ridiculous minority of grab-alls really wanted
was not a parliament but a rump. Many a representative
assembly has ended in a rump, The grab-alls wished to
begin with one and stop there. It might be supposed that
such pretensions would defeat themselves. But there was
a twofold difficulty in the way of getting the truth
understood by the English-speaking public on both sides
of the Atlantic. In the first place, the French Canadians
were practically dumb to the outside world. In the second,
the vociferous rumpites had the ear of some English and
more American commercial people who were not anxious to
understand; while the great mass of the general public
were inclined to think, if they ever thought at all, that
parliamentary government must mean more liberty for every
one concerned.

A singularly apt commentary on the pretensions of the
camp-followers is supplied by the famous, or infamous,
'Presentment of the Grand Jury of Quebec' in October
1764. The moving spirits of this precious jury were
aspirants to membership in the strictly exclusive, rumpish
little parliament of their own seeking. The signatures
of the French-Canadian members were obtained by fraud,
as was subsequently proved by a sworn official protestation.
The first presentment tells its own tale, as it refers
to the only courts in which French-Canadian lawyers were
allowed to plead. 'The great number of inferior Courts
are tiresome, litigious, and expensive to this poor
Colony.' Then came a hit at the previous military
rule--'That Decrees of the military Courts may be amended
[after having been confirmed by legal ordinance] by
allowing Appeals if the matter decided exceed Ten Pounds,'
which would put it out of the reach of the 'inferior
Courts' and into the clutches of 'the King's Old Subjects.'
But the gist of it all was contained in the following:
'We represent that as the Grand Jury must be considered
at present as the only Body representative of the Colony,
... We propose that the Publick Accounts be laid before
the Grand Jury at least twice a year.' That the grand
jury was to be purged of all its French-Canadian members
is evident from the addendum slipped in behind their
backs. This addendum is a fine specimen of verbose
invective against 'the Church of Rome,' the Pope, Bulls,
Briefs, absolutions, etc., the empanelling 'en Grand and
petty Jurys' of 'papist or popish Recusants Convict,'
and so on.

The 'Presentment of the Grand Jury' was presently followed
by _The Humble Petition of Your Majesty's most faithful
and loyal Subjects, British Merchants and Traders, in
behalf of Themselves and their fellow Subjects, Inhabitants
of Your Majesty's Province of Quebec_. 'Their fellow
Subjects' did not, of course, include any 'papist or
popish Recusants Convict.' Among the 'Grievances and
Distresses' enumerated were 'the oppressive and severely
felt Military government,' the inability to 'reap the
fruit of our Industry' under such a martinet as Murray,
who, in one paragraph, is accused of 'suppressing dutyfull
Remonstrances in Silence' and, in the next, of 'treating
them with a Rage and Rudeness of Language and Demeanor
as dishonourable to the Trust he holds of Your Majesty
as painfull to Those who suffer from it.' Finally, the
petitioners solemnly warn His Majesty that their 'Lives
in the Province are so very unhappy that we must be under
the Necessity of removing from it, unless timely prevented
by a Removal of the present Governor.'

In forwarding this document Murray poured out the vials
of his wrath on 'the Licentious Fanaticks Trading here,'
while he boldly championed the cause of the French
Canadians, 'a Race, who, could they be indulged with a
few priveledges which the Laws of England deny to Roman
Catholicks at home, would soon get the better of every
National Antipathy to their Conquerors and become the
most faithful and most useful set of Men in this American
Empire.'

While these charges and counter-charges were crossing
the Atlantic another, and much more violent, trouble came
to a head. As there were no barracks in Canada billeting
was a necessity. It was made as little burdensome as
possible and the houses of magistrates were specially
exempt. This, however, did not prevent the magistrates
from baiting the military whenever they got the chance.
Fines, imprisonments, and other sentences, out of all
proportion to the offence committed, were heaped on every
redcoat in much the same way as was then being practised
in Boston and other hotbeds of disaffection. The redcoats
had done their work in ridding America of the old French
menace. They were doing it now in ridding the colonies
of the last serious menace from the Indians. And so the
colonists, having no further use for them, began trying
to make the land they had delivered too hot to hold them.
There were, of course, exceptions; and the American
colonists had some real as well as pretended grievances.
But wantonly baiting the redcoats had already become a
most discreditable general practice.

Montreal was most in touch with the disaffected people
to the south. It also had a magistrate of the name of
Walker, the most rancorous of all the disaffected
magistrates in Canada. This Walker, well mated with an
equally rancorous wife, was the same man who entertained
Benjamin Franklin and the other commissioners sent by
Congress into Canada in 1776, the year in which both the
American Republic and a truly British Canada were born.
He would not have been flattered could he have seen the
entry Franklin made about him and his wife in a diary
which is still extant. The gist of it was that wherever
the Walkers might be they would soon set the place by
the ears. Walker, of course, was foremost in the persecution
of the redcoats; and he eagerly seized his opportunity
when an officer was billeted in a house where a brother
magistrate happened to be living as a lodger. Under such
circumstances the magistrate could not claim exemption.
But this made no difference either to him or to Walker.
Captain Payne, the gentleman whose presence enraged these
boors, was seized and thrown into gaol. The chief justice
granted a writ of habeas corpus. But the mischief was
done and resentment waxed high. The French-Canadian
seigneurs sympathized with Payne, which added fuel to
the magisterial flame; and Murray, scenting danger,
summoned the whole bench down to Quebec.

But before this bench of bumbles started some masked men
seized Walker in his own house and gave him a good sound
thrashing. Unfortunately they spoilt the fair reprisal
by cutting off his ear. That very night the news had run
round Montreal and made a start for Boston and Quebec.
Feeling ran high; and higher still when, a few weeks
later, the civil magistrates vented their rage on several
redcoats by imposing sentences exceeding even the utmost
limits of their previous vindictive action. Montreal
became panic-stricken lest the soldiers, baited past
endurance, should break out in open violence. Murray
drove up, post-haste, from Quebec, ordered the affected
regiment to another station, reproved the offending
magistrates, and re-established public confidence. Official
and private rewards were offered to any witnesses who
would identify Walker's assailants. But in vain. The
smouldering fire burst out again under Carleton. But the
mystery was never cleared up.

Things had now come to a crisis. The London merchants,
knowing nothing about the internal affairs of Canada,
backed the petition of the Quebec traders, who were quite
unworthy of such support from men of real business probity
and knowledge. The magisterial faction in Canada advertised
their side of the case all over the colonies and in any
sympathetic quarter they could find in England. The
seigneurs sent home a warm defence of Murray; and Murray
himself sent Cramahe, a very able Swiss officer in the
British Army. The home government thus had plenty of
contradictory evidence before it in 1765. The result was
that Murray was called home in 1766, rather in a spirit
of open-minded and sympathetic inquiry into his conduct
than with any idea of censuring him. He never returned
to Canada. But as he held the titular governorship for
some time longer, and as he was afterwards employed in
positions of great responsibility and trust, the verdict
of the home authorities was clearly given in his favour.

The troublous year of 1764 saw another innovation almost
as revolutionary, compared with the old regime, as the
introduction of civil government itself. This was the
issue of the first newspaper in Canada, where, indeed,
it was also the first printed thing of any kind. Nova
Scotia had produced an earlier paper, the _Halifax
Gazette_, which lived an intermittent life from 1752 to
1800. But no press had ever been allowed in New France.
The few documents that required printing had always been
done in the mother country. Brown and Gilmore, two
Philadelphians, were thus undertaking a pioneer business
when they announced that 'Our Design is, in case we are
fortunate enough to succeed, early in this spring to
settle in this City [Quebec] in the capacity of Printers,
and forthwith to publish a weekly newspaper in French
and English.' The _Quebec Gazette_, which first appeared
on the 21st of the following June, has continued to the
present time, though it is now a daily and is known as
the _Quebec Chronicle_. Centenarian papers are not common
in any country; and those that have lived over a century
and a half are very few indeed. So the _Quebec Chronicle_,
which is the second surviving senior in America, is also
among the great press seniors of the world.

The original number is one of the curiosities of journalism.
The publishers felt tolerably sure of having what was
then considered a good deal of recent news for their
three hundred readers during the open season. But, knowing
that the supply would be both short and stale in winter,
they held out prospects of a Canadian _Tatler_ or _Spectator_,
without, however, being rash enough to promise a supply
of Addisons and Steeles. Their announcement makes curious
reading at the present day.

   The Rigour of Winter preventing the arrival of ships
   from _Europe_, and in a great measure interrupting
   the ordinary intercourse with the Southern Provinces,
   it will be necessary, in a paper designed for General
   Perusal, and Publick Utility, to provide some things
   of general Entertainment, independent of foreign
   intelligence: we shall therefore, on such occasions,
   present our Readers with such _Originals_, both in
   _Prose_ and _Verse_, as will please the FANCY and
   instruct the JUDGMENT. And here we beg leave to observe
   that we shall have nothing so much at heart as the
   support of VIRTUE and MORALITY and the noble cause of
   LIBERTY. The refined amusements of LITERATURE, and
   the pleasing veins of well pointed wit, shall also be
   considered as necessary to this collection; interspersed
   with chosen pieces, and curious essays, extracted from
   the most celebrated authors; So that, blending PHILOSOPHY
   with POLITICKS, HISTORY, &c., the youth of both sexes
   will be improved and persons of all ranks agreeably
   and usefully entertained. And upon the whole we will
   labour to attain to all the exactness that so much
   variety will permit, and give as much variety as will
   consist with a reasonable exactness. And as this part
   of our project cannot be carried into execution without
   the correspondence of the INGENIOUS, we shall take
   all opportunities of acknowledging our obligations,
   to those who take the trouble of furnishing any matter
   which shall tend to entertainment or instruction. Our
   Intentions to please the _Whole_, without offence to
   any _Individual_, will be better evinced by our practice,
   than by writing volumes on the subject. This one thing
   we beg may be believed, that PARTY PREJUDICE, or
   PRIVATE SCANDAL, will never find a place in this PAPER.




GOVERNOR CARLETON
1766-1774

The twelve years of Carleton's first administration
naturally fall into three distinct periods of equal
length. During the first he was busily employed settling
as many difficulties as he could, examining the general
state of the country, and gradually growing into the
change that was developing in the minds of the home
government, the change, that is, from the Americanizing
sixties to the French-Canadian seventies. During the
second period he was in England, helping to shape the
famous Quebec Act. During the third he was defending
Canada from American attack and aiding the British
counterstroke by every means in his power.

On the 22nd of September 1766 Carleton arrived at Quebec
and began his thirty years' experience as a Canadian
administrator by taking over the government from Colonel
Irving, who had held it since Murray's departure in the
spring. Irving had succeeded Murray simply because he
happened to be the senior officer present at the time.
Carleton himself was technically Murray's lieutenant till
1768. But neither of these facts really affected the
course of Canadian history.

The Council, the magistrates, and the traders each
presented. the new governor with an address containing
the usual professions of loyal devotion. Carleton remarked
in his dispatch that these separate addresses, and the
marked absence of any united address, showed how much
the population was divided. He also noted that a good
many of the English-speaking minority had objected to
the addresses on account of their own opposition to the
Stamp Act, and that there had been some broken heads in
consequence. Troubles enough soon engaged his anxious
attention--troubles over the Indian trade, the rights
and wrongs of the Canadian Jesuits, the wounded dignity
of some members of the Council, and the still smouldering
and ever mysterious Walker affair.

The strife between Canada and the Thirteen Colonies over
the Indian trade of the West remained the same in principle
as under the old regime. The Conquest had merely changed
the old rivalry between two foreign powers into one
between two widely differing British possessions; and
this, because of the general unrest among the Americans,
made the competition more bitter, if possible, than ever.

The Jesuits pressed their claims for recognition, for
their original estates, and for compensation. But their
order had fallen on evil days all over the world. It was
not popular even in Canada. And the arrangement was that
while the existing members were to be treated with every
consideration the Society itself was to be allowed to
die out.

The offended councillors went so far as to present Carleton
with a remonstrance which Irving himself had the misfortune
to sign. Carleton had consulted some members on points
with which they were specially acquainted. The members
who had not been consulted thereupon protested to Irving,
who assured them that Carleton must have done so by
accident, not design. But when Carleton received a joint
letter in which they said, 'As you are pleased to signifye
to Us by Coll. Irving that it was accident, & not
Intention,' he at once replied: 'As Lieutenant Colonel
Irving has signified to you that the Part of my Conduct
you think worthy of your Reprehension happened by Accident
let him explain his reasons for so doing. He had no
authority from me.' Carleton then went on to say that he
would consult any 'Men of Good Sense, Truth, Candour,
and Impartial Justice' whenever he chose, no matter
whether they were councillors or not.

The Walker affair, which now broke out again, was much
more serious than the storm in the Council's teacup. It
agitated the whole of Canada and threatened to range the
population of Montreal and Quebec into two irreconcilable
factions, the civil and the military. For the whole of
the two years since Murray had been called upon to deal
with it cleverly presented versions of Walker's views
had been spread all over the colonies and worked into
influential Opposition circles in England. The invectives
against the redcoats and their friends the seigneurs were
of the usual abusive type. But they had an unusually
powerful effect at that particular time in the Thirteen
Colonies as well as in what their authors hoped to make
a Fourteenth Colony after a fashion of their own; and
they looked plausible enough to mislead a good many
moderate men in the mother country too. Walker's case
was that he had an actual witness, as to the identity of
his assailants, in the person of McGovoch, a discharged
soldier, who laid information against one civilian, three
British officers, and the celebrated French-Canadian
leader, La Corne de St Luc. All the accused were arrested
in their beds in Montreal and thrown into the common
gaol. Walker objected to bail on the plea that his life
would be in danger if they were allowed at large. He also
sought to postpone the trial in order to punish the
accused as much as possible, guilty or innocent. But
William Hey, the chief justice, an able and upright man,
would consent to postponement only on condition that bail
should be allowed; so the trial proceeded. When the grand
jury threw out the case against one of the prisoners
Walker let loose such a flood of virulent abuse that
moderate men were turned against him. In the end all the
accused were honourably acquitted, while McGovoch, who
was proved to have been a false witness from the first,
was convicted of perjury. Carleton remained absolutely
impartial all through, and even dismissed Colonel Irving
and another member of the Council for heading a petition
on behalf of the military prisoners.

The Walker affair was an instance of a bad case in which
the law at last worked well. But there were many others
in which it did not. What with the _Coutume de Paris_,
which is still quoted in the province of Quebec; the
other complexities of the old French law; the doubtful
meanings drawn from the capitulation, the treaty, the
proclamation, and the various ordinances; the instinctive
opposition between the French Canadians and the
English-speaking civilians; and, finally, what with the
portents of subversive change that were already beginning
to overshadow all America,--what with all this and more,
Carleton found himself faced with a problem which no man
could have solved to the satisfaction of every one
concerned. Each side in a lawsuit took whatever amalgam
of French and English codes was best for its own argument.
But, generally speaking, the ingrained feeling of the
French Canadians was against any change of their own laws
that was not visibly and immediately beneficial to their
own particular interests. Moreover, the use of the unknown
English language, the worthlessness of the rapacious
English-speaking magistrates, and the detested innovation
of imprisonment for debt, all combined to make every part
of English civil law hated simply because it happened to
be English and not French. The home authorities were
anxious to find some workable compromise. In 1767 Carleton
exchanged several important dispatches with them; and in
1768 they sent out Maurice Morgan to study and report,
after consultation with the chief justice and 'other well
instructed persons.' Morgan was an indefatigable and
clear-sighted man who deserves to be gratefully remembered
by both races; for he was a good friend both to the French
Canadians before the Quebec Act and to the United Empire
Loyalists just before their great migration, when he was
Carleton's secretary at New York. In 1769 the official
correspondence entered the 'secret and confidential'
stage with a dispatch from the home government to Carleton
suggesting a House of Representatives to which, practically
speaking, the towns would send Protestant members and
the country districts Roman Catholics.

In 1770 Carleton sailed for England. He carried a good
deal of hard-won experience with him, both on this point
and on many others. He went home with a strong opinion
not only against an assembly but against any immediate
attempts at Anglicization in any form. The royal
instructions that had accompanied his commission as
'Captain-General and Governor-in-chief' in 1768 contained
directions for establishing the Church of England with a
view to converting the whole population to its tenets later
on. But no steps had been taken, and, needless to say, the
French Canadians remained as Roman Catholic as ever.

An increasingly important question, soon to overshadow
all others, was defence. In April 1768 Carleton had
proposed the restoration of the seigneurial militia
system. 'All the Lands here are held of His Majesty's
Castle of St Lewis [the governor's official residence in
Quebec]. The Oath which the Vassals [seigneurs] take is
very Solemn and Binding. They are obliged to appear in
Arms for the King's defence, in case his Province is
attacked.' Carleton pointed out that a hundred men of
the Canadian seigneurial families were being kept on full
pay in France, ready to return and raise the Canadians
at the first opportunity. 'On the other hand, there are
only about seventy of these officers in Canada who have
been in the French service. Not one of them has been
given a commission in the King's [George's] Service, nor
is there One who, from any motive whatever, is induced
to support His Government.' The few French Canadians
raised for Pontiac's war had of course been properly paid
during the continuance of their active service. But they
had been disbanded like mere militia afterwards, without
either gratuities or half-pay for the officers. This
naturally made the class from which officers were drawn
think that no career was open to them under the Union
Jack and turned their thoughts towards France, where
their fellows were enjoying full pay without a break.

What made this the more serious was the weakness of the
regular garrisons, all of which, put together, numbered
only 1,627 men. Carleton calculated that about five
hundred of 'the King's Old Subjects' were capable of
bearing arms; though most of them were better at talking
than fighting. He had nothing but contempt for 'the flimsy
wall round Montreal,' and relied little more on the very
defective works at Quebec. Thus with all his wonderful
equanimity, 'grave Carleton' left Canada with no light
heart when he took six months' leave of absence in 1770;
and he would have been more anxious still if he could
have foreseen that his absence was to be prolonged to no
less than four years.

He had, however, two great satisfactions. He was
represented at Quebec by a most steadfast lieutenant,
the quiet, alert, discreet, and determined Cramahe; and
he was leaving Canada after having given proof of a
disinterestedness which was worthy of the elder Pitt
himself. When Pitt became Paymaster-General of England
he at once declined to use the two chief perquisites of
his office, the interest on the government balance and
the half per cent commission on foreign subsidies, though
both were regarded as a kind of indirect salary. When
Carleton became governor of Canada he at once issued a
proclamation abolishing all the fees and perquisites
attached to his position and explained his action to the
home authorities in the following words: 'There is a
certain appearance of dirt, a sort of meanness, in exacting
fees on every occasion. I think it necessary for the
King's service that his representative should be thought
unsullied.' Murray, who had accepted the fees, at first
took umbrage. But Carleton soon put matters straight with
him. The fact was that fees, and even certain perquisites,
were no dishonour to receive, as they nearly always formed
a recognized part, and often the whole, of a perfectly
legal salary. But fees and perquisites could be abused;
and they did lead to misunderstandings, even when they
were not abused; while fixed salaries were free from both
objections. So Carleton, surrounded by shamelessly
rapacious magistrates and the whole vile camp-following
gang, as well as by French Canadians who had suffered
from the robberies of Bigot and his like, decided to
sacrifice everything but his indispensable fixed salary
in order that even the most malicious critics could not
bring any accusation, however false, against the man who
represented Britain and her king.

An interesting personal interlude, which was not without
considerable effect on Canadian history, took place in
the middle of Carleton's four years' stay in England. He
was forty-eight and still a bachelor. Tradition whispers
that these long years of single life were the result of
a disappointing love affair with Jane Carleton, a pretty
cousin, when both he and she were young. However that
may be, he now proposed to Lady Anne Howard, whose father,
the Earl of Effingham, was one of his greatest friends.
But he was doomed to a second, though doubtless very
minor, disappointment. Lady Anne, who probably looked on
'grave Carleton' as a sort of amiable, middle-aged uncle,
had fallen in love with his nephew, whom she presently
married, and with whom she afterwards went out to Canada,
where her husband served under the rejected uncle himself.
What added spice to this peculiar situation was the fact
that Carleton actually married the younger sister of the
too-youthful Lady Anne. When Lady Anne rejoined her sister
and their bosom friend, Miss Seymour, after the
disconcerting interview with Carleton, she explained her
tears by saying they were due to her having been 'obliged
to refuse the best man on earth.' 'The more fool you!'
answered the younger sister, Lady Maria, then just
eighteen, 'I only wish he had given me the chance!' There,
for the time, the matter ended. Carleton went back to
his official duties in furtherance of the Quebec Act.
His nephew and the elder sister made mutual love. Lady
Maria held her tongue. But Miss Seymour had not forgotten;
and one day she mustered up courage to tell Carleton the
story of 'the more fool you!' This decided him to act at
once. He proposed; was accepted; and lived happily married
for the rest of his long life. Lady Maria was small,
fair-haired, and blue-eyed, which heightened her girlish
appearance when, like Madame de Champlain, she came out
to Canada with a husband more than old enough to be her
father. But she had been brought up at Versailles. She
knew all the aristocratic graces of the old regime. And
her slight, upright figure--erect as any soldier's to
her dying day--almost matched her husband's stalwart form
in dignity of carriage.

The Quebec Act of 1774--the Magna Charta of the
French-Canadian race--finally passed the House of Lords
on the 18th of June. The general idea of the Act was to
reverse the unsuccessful policy of ultimate assimilation
with the other American colonies by making Canada a
distinctly French-Canadian province. The Maritime Provinces,
with a population of some thirty thousand, were to be as
English as they chose. But a greatly enlarged Quebec,
with a population of ninety thousand, and stretching far
into the unsettled West, was to remain equally
French-Canadian; though the rights of what it was then
thought would be a perpetual English-speaking minority
were to be safeguarded in every reasonable way. The whole
country between the American colonies and the domains of
the Hudson's Bay Company was included in this new Quebec,
which comprised the southern half of what is now the
Newfoundland Labrador, practically the whole of the modern
provinces of Quebec and Ontario, and all the western
lands between the Ohio and the Great Lakes as far as the
Mississippi, that is, the modern American states of Ohio,
Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

The Act gave Canada the English criminal code. It recognized
most of the French civil law, including the seigneurial
tenure of land. Roman Catholics were given 'the free
Exercise' of their religion, 'subject to the King's
Supremacy' as defined 'by an Act made in the First Year
of Queen Elizabeth,' which Act, with a magnificently
prophetic outlook on the future British Empire, was to
apply to 'all the Dominions and Countries which then did,
or thereafter should, belong to the Imperial Crown.' The
Roman Catholic clergy were authorized to collect 'their
accustomed Dues and Rights' from members of their own
communion. The new oath of allegiance to the Crown was
silent about differences of religion, so that Roman
Catholics might take it without question. The clergy and
seigneurs were thus restored to an acknowledged leadership
in church and state. Those who wanted a parliament were
distinctly told that 'It is at present inexpedient to
call an Assembly,' and that a Council of from seventeen
to twenty-three members, all appointed by the Crown,
would attend to local government and have power to levy
taxes for roads and public buildings only. Lands held
'in free and common socage' were to be dealt with by the
laws of England, as was all property which could be freely
willed away. A possible establishment of the Church of
England was provided for but never put in operation.

In some ways the Act did, in other ways it did not, fulfil
the objects of its framers. It was undoubtedly a generous
concession to the leading French Canadians. It did help
to keep Canada both British and Canadian. And it did open
the way for what ought to have been a crushing attack on
the American revolutionary forces. But it was not, and
neither it nor any other Act could possibly have been,
at that late hour, completely successful. It conciliated
the seigneurs and the parochial clergy. But it did not,
and it could not, also conciliate the lesser townsfolk
and the habitants. For the last fourteen years the
habitants had been gradually drifting away from their
former habits of obedience and former obligations towards
their leaders in church and state. The leaders had lost
their old followers. The followers had found no new
leaders of their own.

Naturally enough, there was great satisfaction among the
seigneurs and the clergy, with a general feeling among
government supporters, both in England and Canada, that
the best solution of a very refractory problem had been
found at last. On the other hand, the Opposition in
England, nearly every one in the American colonies, and
the great majority of English-speaking people in
Newfoundland, the Maritime Provinces, and Canada itself
were dead against the Act; while the habitants, resenting
the privileges already reaffirmed in favour of the
seigneurs and clergy, and suspicious of further changes
in the same unwelcome direction, were neutral at the best
and hostile at the worst.

The American colonists would have been angered in any
case. But when they saw Canada proper made as unlike a
'fourteenth colony' as could be, and when they also saw
the gates of the coveted western lands closed against
them by the same detested Act--the last of the 'five
intolerable acts' to which they most objected--their fury
knew no bounds. They cursed the king, the pope, and the
French Canadians with as much violence as any temporal
or spiritual rulers had ever cursed heretics and rebels.
The 'infamous and tyrannical ministry' in England was
accused of 'contemptible subservience' to the 'bloodthirsty,
idolatrous, and hypocritical creed' of the French Canadians.
To think that people whose religion had spread 'murder,
persecution, and revolt throughout the world' were to be
entrenched along the St Lawrence was bad enough. But to
see Crown protection given to the Indian lands which the
Americans considered their own western 'birthright' was
infinitely worse. Was the king of England to steal the
valley of the Mississippi in the same way as the king of
France?

It is easy to be wise after the event and hard to follow
any counsel of perfection. But it must always be a subject
of keen, if unavailing, regret that the French Canadians
were not guaranteed their own way of life, within the
limits of the modern province of Quebec, immediately
after the capitulation of Montreal in 1760. They would
then have entered the British Empire, as a whole people,
on terms which they must all have understood to be
exceedingly generous from any conquering power, and which
they would have soon found out to be far better than
anything they had experienced under the government of
France. In return for such unexampled generosity they
might have become convinced defenders of the only flag
in the world under which they could possibly live as
French Canadians. Their relations to each other, to the
rest of a changing Canada, and to the Empire would have
followed the natural course of political evolution, with
the burning questions of language, laws, and religion
safely removed from general controversy in after years.
The rights of the English-speaking minority could, of
course, have been still better safeguarded under this
system than under the distracting series of half-measures
which took its place. There should have been no question
of a parliament in the immediate future. Then, with the
peopling of Ontario by the United Empire Loyalists and
the growth of the Maritime Provinces on the other side,
Quebec could have entered Carleton's proposed Confederation
in the nineties to her own and every one else's best
advantage.

On the other hand, the delay of fourteen years after the
Capitulation of 1760 and the unwarrantable extension of
the provincial boundaries were cardinal errors of the
most disastrous kind. The delay, filled with a futile
attempt at mistaken Americanization, bred doubts and
dissensions not only between the two races but between
the different kinds of French Canadians. When the hour
of trial came disintegration had already gone too far.
The mistake about the boundaries was equally bad. The
western wilds ought to have been administered by a
lieutenant-governor under the supervision of a
governor-general. Even leasing them for a short term of
years to the Hudson's Bay Company would have been better
than annexing them to a preposterous province of Quebec.
The American colonists would have doubtless objected to
either alternative. But both could have been defended on
sound principles of administration; while the sudden
invasion of a new and inflated Quebec into the colonial
hinterlands was little less than a declaration of war.
The whole problem bristled with enormous difficulties,
and the circumstances under which it had to be faced made
an ideal solution impossible. But an earlier Quebec Act,
without its outrageous boundary clause, would have been
well worth the risk of passing; for the delay led many
French Canadians to suppose, however falsely, that the
Empire's need might always be their opportunity; and this
idea, however repugnant to their best minds and better
feelings, has persisted among their extreme particularists
until the present day.




CHAPTER IV

INVASION
1775

Carleton's first eight years as governor of Canada were
almost entirely occupied with civil administration. The
next four were equally occupied with war; so much so,
indeed, that the Quebec Act could not be put in force on
the 1st of May 1775, as provided for in the Act itself,
but only bit by bit much later on. There was one short
session of the new Legislative Council, which opened on
the 17th of August. But all men's minds were even then
turned towards the Montreal frontier, whence the American
invasion threatened to overspread the whole country and
make this opening session the last that might ever be
held. Most of the members were soon called away from the
council-chamber to the field. No further session could
be held either that year or the next; and Carleton was
obliged to nominate the judges himself. The fifteen years
of peace were over, and Canada had once more become an
object of contention between two fiercely hostile forces.

The War of the American Revolution was a long and
exceedingly complicated struggle; and its many varied
fortunes naturally had a profound effect on those of
Canada. But Canada was directly engaged in no more than
the first three campaigns, when the Americans invaded
her in 1775 and '76, and when the British used her as
the base from which to invade the new American Republic
in 1777. These first three campaigns formed a purely
civil war within the British Empire. On each side stood
three parties. Opponents were ranged against each other
in the mother country, in the Thirteen Colonies, and in
Canada. In the mother country the king and his party
government were ranged against the Opposition and all
who held radical or revolutionary views. Here the strife
was merely political. But in the Thirteen Colonies the
forces of the Crown were ranged against the forces of
the new Continental Congress. The small minority of
colonists who were afterwards known as the United Empire
Loyalists sided with the Crown. A majority sided with
the Congress. The rest kept as selfishly neutral as they
could. Among the English-speaking civilians in Canada,
many of whom were now of a much better class than the
original camp-followers, the active loyalists comprised
only the smaller half. The larger half sided with the
Americans, as was only natural, seeing that most of them
were immigrants from the Thirteen Colonies. But by no
means all these sympathizers were ready for a fight.
Among the French Canadians the loyalists included very
few besides the seigneurs, the clergy, and a handful of
educated people in Montreal, Three Rivers, and Quebec.
The mass of the habitants were more or less neutral. But
many of them were anti-British at first, while most of
them were anti-American afterwards.

Events moved quickly in 1775. On the 19th of April the
'shot heard round the world' was fired at Lexington in
Massachusetts. On the 1st of May, the day appointed for
the inauguration of the Quebec Act, the statue of the
king in Montreal was grossly defaced and hung with a
cross, a necklace of potatoes, and a placard bearing the
inscription, _Here's the Canadian Pope and English
Fool--Voila le Pape du Canada et le sot Anglais_. Large
rewards were offered for the detection of the culprits;
but without avail. Excitement ran high and many an argument
ended with a bloody nose.

Meanwhile three Americans were plotting an attack along
the old line of Lake Champlain. Two of them were outlaws
from the colony of New York, which was then disputing
with the neighbouring colony of New Hampshire the possession
of the lawless region in which all three had taken refuge
and which afterwards became Vermont. Ethan Allen, the
gigantic leader of the wild Green Mountain Boys, had a
price on his head. Seth Warner, his assistant, was an
outlaw of a somewhat humbler kind. Benedict Arnold, the
third invader, came from Connecticut. He was a horse-dealer
carrying on business with Quebec and Montreal as well as
the West Indies. He was just thirty-four; an excellent
rider, a dead shot, a very fair sailor, and captain of
a crack militia company. Immediately after the affair at
Lexington he had turned out his company, reinforced by
undergraduates from Yale, had seized the New Haven powder
magazine and marched over to Cambridge, where the
Massachusetts Committeemen took such a fancy to him that
they made him a colonel on the spot, with full authority
to raise men for an immediate attack on Ticonderoga. The
opportunity seemed too good to be lost; though the
Continental Congress was not then in favour of attacking
Canada, as its members hoped to see the Canadians throw
off the yoke of empire on their own account. The British
posts on Lake Champlain were absurdly undermanned.
Ticonderoga contained two hundred cannon, but only forty
men, none of whom expected an attack. Crown Point had
only a sergeant and a dozen men to watch its hundred and
thirteen pieces. Fort George, at the head of Lake George,
was no better off; and nothing more had been done to man
the fortifications at St Johns on the Richelieu, where
there was an excellent sloop as well as many cannon in
charge of the usual sergeant's guard. This want of
preparation was no fault of Carleton's. He had frequently
reported home on the need of more men. Now he had less
than a thousand regulars to defend the whole country:
and not another man was to arrive till the spring of next
year. When Gage was hard pressed for reinforcements at
Boston in the autumn of 1774 Carleton had immediately
sent him two excellent battalions that could ill be spared
from Canada. But when Carleton himself made a similar
request, in the autumn of 1775, Admiral Graves, to his
lasting dishonour, refused to sail up to Quebec so late
as October.

The first moves of the three Americans smacked strongly
of a well-staged extravaganza in which the smart Yankees
never failed to score off the dunderheaded British. The
Green Mountain Boys assembled on the east side of the
lake. Spies walked in and out of Ticonderoga, exactly
opposite, and reported to Ethan Allen that the commandant
and his whole garrison of forty unsuspecting men would
make an easy prey. Allen then sent eighty men down to
Skenesborough (now Whitehall) at the southern end of the
lake, to take the tiny post there and bring back boats
for the crossing on the 10th of May. Then Arnold turned
up with his colonel's commission, but without the four
hundred men it authorized him to raise. Allen, however,
had made himself a colonel too, with Warner as his
second-in-command. So there were no less than three
colonels for two hundred and thirty men. Arnold claimed
the command by virtue of his Massachusetts commission.
But the Green Mountain Boys declared they would follow
no colonels but their own; and so Arnold, after being
threatened with arrest, was appointed something like
chief of the staff, on the understanding that he would
make himself generally useful with the boats. This
appointment was made at dawn on the 10th of May, just as
the first eighty men were advancing to the attack after
crossing over under cover of night. The British sentry's
musket missed fire; whereupon he and the guard were
rushed, while the rest of the garrison were surprised in
their beds. Ethan Allen, who knew the fort thoroughly,
hammered on the commandant's door and summoned him to
surrender 'In the name of the Great Jehovah and the
Continental Congress!' The astonished commandant, seeing
that resistance was impossible, put on his dressing-gown
and paraded his disarmed garrison as prisoners of war.
Seth Warner presently arrived with the rest of Allen's
men and soon became the hero of Crown Point, which he
took with the whole of its thirteen men and a hundred
and thirteen cannon. Then Arnold had his own turn, in
command of an expedition against the sergeant's guard,
cannon, stores, fort, and sloop at St Johns on the
Richelieu, all of which he captured in the same absurdly
simple way. When he came sailing back the three victorious
commanders paraded all their men and fired off many
straggling fusillades of joy. In the meantime the
Continental Congress at Philadelphia, with a delightful
touch of unconscious humour, was gravely debating the
following resolution, which was passed on the 1st of
June: _That no Expedition or Incursion ought to be
undertaken or made, by any Colony or body of Colonists,
against or into Canada_.

The same Congress, however, found reasons enough for
changing its mind before the month of May was out. The
British forces in Canada had already begun to move towards
the threatened frontier. They had occupied and strengthened
St Johns. And the Americans were beginning to fear lest
the command of Lake Champlain might again fall into
British hands. On the 27th of May the Congress closed
the phase of individual raids and inaugurated the phase
of regular invasion by commissioning General Schuyler to
'pursue any measures in Canada that may have a tendency
to promote the peace and security of these Colonies.'
Philip Schuyler was a distinguished member of the family
whose head had formulated the 'Glorious Enterprize' of
conquering New France in 1689. [Footnote: See, in this
Series, _The Fighting Governor_.] So it was quite in line
with the family tradition for him to be under orders to
'take possession of St Johns, Montreal, and any other
parts of the country,' provided always, adds the cautious
Congress, that 'General Schuyler finds it practicable,
and that it will not be disagreeable to the Canadians.'

A few days later Arnold was trying to get a colonelcy
from the Convention of New York, whose members just then
happened to be thinking of giving commissions to his
rivals, the leaders of the Green Mountain Boys, while,
to make the complication quite complete, these Boys
themselves had every intention of electing officers on
their own account. In the meantime Connecticut, determined
not to be forestalled by either friend or foe, ordered
a thousand men to Ticonderoga and commissioned a general
called Wooster to command them. Thus early were sown the
seeds of those dissensions between Congress troops and
Colony troops which nearly drove Washington mad.

Schuyler reached Ticonderoga in mid-July and assumed his
position as Congressional commander-in-chief. Unfortunately
for the good of the service he had only a few hundred
men with him; so Wooster, who had a thousand, thought
himself the bigger general of the two. The Connecticut
men followed Wooster's lead by jeering at Schuyler's men
from New York; while the Vermonters added to the confusion
by electing Seth Warner instead of Ethan Allen. In
mid-August a second Congressional general arrived, making
three generals and half a dozen colonels for less than
fifteen hundred troops. This third general was Richard
Montgomery, an ardent rebel of thirty-eight, who had been
a captain in the British Army. He had sold his commission,
bought an estate on the Hudson, and married a daughter
of the Livingstons. The Livingstons headed the
Anglo-American revolutionists in the colony of New York
as the Schuylers headed the Knickerbocker Dutch. One of
them was very active on the rebel side in Montreal and
was soon to take the field at the head of the American
'patriots' in Canada. Montgomery was brother to the
Captain Montgomery of the 43rd who was the only British
officer to disgrace himself during Wolfe's Quebec campaign,
which he did by murdering his French-Canadian prisoners
at Chateau Richer because they had fought disguised as
Indians. [Footnote: See _The Passing of New France_, p.
118.] Richard Montgomery was a much better man than his
savage brother; though, as the sequel proves, he was by
no means the perfect hero his American admirers would
have the world believe. His great value at Ticonderoga
was his professional knowledge and his ardour in the
cause he had espoused. His presence 'changed the spirit
of the camp.' It sadly needed change. 'Such a set of
pusillanimous wretches never were collected' is his own
description in a despairing letter to his wife. The
'army,' in fact, was all parts and no whole, and all the
parts were mere untrained militia. Moreover, the spirit
of the 'town meeting' ruled the camp. Even a battery
could not be moved without consulting a council of war.
Schuyler, though far more phlegmatic than Montgomery,
agreed with him heartily about this and many other
exasperating points. 'If Job had been a general in my
situation, his memory had not been so famous for patience.'

Worn out by his worries, Schuyler fell ill and was sent
to command the base at Albany. Montgomery then succeeded
to the command of the force destined for the front. The
plan of invasion approved by Washington was, first, to
sweep the line of the Richelieu by taking St Johns and
Chambly, then to take Montreal, next to secure the line
of the St Lawrence, and finally to besiege Quebec.
Montgomery's forces were to carry out all the preliminary
parts alone. But Arnold was to join him at Quebec after
advancing across country from the Kennebec to the Chaudiere
with a flying column of Virginians and New Englanders.

Carleton opened the melancholy little session of the new
Legislative Council at Quebec on the very day Montgomery
arrived at Ticonderoga--the 17th of August. When he closed
it, to take up the defence of Canada, the prospect was
already black enough, though it grew blacker still as
time went on. Immediately on hearing the news of
Ticonderoga, Crown Point, and St Johns at the end of May
he had sent every available man from Quebec to Montreal,
whence Colonel Templer had already sent off a hundred
and forty men to St Johns, while calling for volunteers
to follow. The seigneurial class came forward at once.
But all attempts to turn out the militia en masse_ proved
utterly futile. Fourteen years of kindly British rule
had loosened the old French bonds of government and the
habitants were no longer united as part of one people
with the seigneurs and the clergy. The rebels had been
busy spreading insidious perversions of the belated Quebec
Act, poisoning the minds of the habitants against the
British government, and filling their imaginations with
all sorts of terrifying doubts. The habitants were
ignorant, credulous, and suspicious to the last degree.
The most absurd stories obtained ready credence and ran
like wildfire through the province. Seven thousand Russians
were said to be coming up the St Lawrence--whether as
friends or foes mattered nothing compared with the awful
fact that they were all outlandish bogeys. Carleton was
said to have a plan for burning alive every habitant he
could lay his hands on. Montgomery's thousand were said
to be five thousand, with many more to follow. And later
on, when Arnold's men came up the Kennebec, it was
satisfactorily explained to most of the habitants that
it was no good resisting dead-shot riflemen who were
bullet-proof themselves. Carleton issued proclamations.
The seigneurs waved their swords. The clergy thundered
from their pulpits. But all in vain. Two months after
the American exploits on Lake Champlain Carleton gave a
guinea to the sentry mounted in his honour by the local
militia colonel, M. de Tonnancour, because this man was
the first genuine habitant he had yet seen armed in the
whole district of Three Rivers. What must Carleton have
felt when the home government authorized him to raise
six thousand of His Majesty's loyal French-Canadian
subjects for immediate service and informed him that the
arms and equipment for the first three thousand were
already on the way to Canada! Seven years earlier it
might still have been possible to raise French-Canadian
counterparts of those Highland regiments which Wolfe had
recommended and Pitt had so cordially approved. Carleton
himself had recommended this excellent scheme at the
proper time. But, though the home government even then
agreed with him, they thought such a measure would raise
more parliamentary and public clamour than they could
safely face. The chance once lost was lost for ever.

Carleton had done what he could to keep the enemy at
arm's length from Montreal by putting every available
man into Chambly and St Johns. He knew nothing of Arnold's
force till it actually reached Quebec in November. Quebec
was thought secure for the time being, and so was left
with a handful of men under Cramahe. Montreal had a few
regulars and a hundred 'Royal Emigrants,' mostly old
Highlanders who had settled along the New York frontier
after the Conquest. For the rest, it had many American
and a few British sympathizers ready to fly at each
others' throats and a good many neutrals ready to curry
favour with the winners. Sorel was a mere post without
any effective garrison. Chambly was held by only eighty
men under Major Stopford. But its strong stone fort was
well armed and quite proof against anything except siege
artillery; while its little garrison consisted of good
regulars who were well provisioned for a siege. The mass
of Carleton's little force was at St Johns under Major
Preston, who had 500 men of the 7th and 26th (Royal
Fusiliers and Cameronians), 80 gunners, and 120 volunteers,
mostly French-Canadian gentlemen. Preston was an excellent
officer, and his seven hundred men were able to give a
very good account of themselves as soldiers. But the fort
was not nearly so strong as the one at Chambly; it had
no natural advantages of position; and it was short of
both stores and provisions.

The three successive steps for Montgomery to take were
St Johns, Chambly, and Montreal. But the natural order
of events was completely upset by that headstrong Yankee,
Ethan Allen, who would have his private war at Montreal,
and by that contemptible British officer, Major Stopford,
who would not defend Chambly. Montgomery laid siege to
St Johns on the 18th of September, but made no substantial
progress for more than a month. He probably had no use
for Allen at anything like a regular siege. So Allen and
a Major Brown went on to 'preach politicks' and concert
a rising with men like Livingston and Walker. Livingston,
as we have seen already, belonged to a leading New York
family which was very active in the rebel cause; and
Livingston, Walker, Allen, and Brown would have made a
dangerous anti-British combination if they could only
have worked together. But they could not. Livingston
hurried off to join Montgomery with four hundred 'patriots'
who served their cause fairly well till the invasion was
over. Walker had no military qualities whatever. So Allen
and Brown were left to their own disunited devices.
Montreal seemed an easy prey. It had plenty of rebel
sympathizers. Nearly all the surrounding habitants were
either neutrals or inclined to side with the Americans,
though not as fighting men. Carleton's order to bring in
all the ladders, so as to prevent an escalade of the
walls, had met with general opposition and evasion.
Nothing seemed wanting but a good working plan.

Brown, or possibly Allen himself, then hit upon the idea
of treating Montreal very much as Allen had treated
Ticonderoga. In any case Allen jumped at it. He jumped
so far, indeed, that he forestalled Brown, who failed to
appear at the critical moment. Thus, on the 24th of
September, Allen found himself alone at Long Point with
a hundred and twenty men in face of three times as many
under the redoubtable Major Carden, a skilled veteran
who had won Wolfe's admiration years before. Carden's
force included thirty regulars, two hundred and forty
militiamen, and some Indians, probably not over a hundred
strong. The militia were mostly of the seigneurial class
with a following of habitants and townsmen of both French
and British blood. Carden broke Allen's flanks rounded
up his centre, and won the little action easily, though
at the expense of his own most useful life. Allen was
very indignant at being handcuffed and marched off like
a common prisoner after having made himself a colonel
twice over. But Carleton had no respect for
self-commissioned officers and had no soldiers to spare
for guarding dangerous rebels. So he shipped Allen off
to England, where that eccentric warrior was confined in
Pendennis Castle near Falmouth in Cornwall.

This affair, small as it was, revived British hopes in
Montreal and induced a few more militiamen and Indians
to come forward. But within a month more was lost at
Chambly than had been gained at Montreal. On the 18th of
October a small American detachment attacked Chambly with
two little field-guns and induced it to surrender on the
20th. If ever an officer deserved to be shot it was Major
Stopford, who tamely surrendered his well-armed and
well-provided fort to an insignificant force, after a
flimsy resistance of only thirty-six hours, without even
taking the trouble to throw his stores into the river
that flowed beside his strong stone walls. The news of
this disgraceful surrender, diligently spread by rebel
sympathizers, frightened the Indians away from St Johns,
thus depriving Major Preston, the commandant, of his best
couriers at the very worst time. But the evil did not
stop there; for nearly all the few French-Canadian
militiamen whom the more distant seigneurs had been able
to get under arms deserted _en masse_, with many threats
against any one who should try to turn them out again.

Chambly is only a short day's march from Montreal to the
west and St Johns to the south; so its capture meant that
St Johns was entirely cut off from the Richelieu to the
north and dangerously exposed to being cut off from
Montreal as well. Its ample stores and munitions of war
were a priceless boon to Montgomery, who now redoubled
his efforts to take St Johns. But Preston held out bravely
for the remainder of the month, while Carleton did his
best to help him. A fortnight earlier Carleton had arrested
that firebrand, Walker, who had previously refused to
leave the country, though Carleton had given him the
chance of doing so. Mrs Walker, as much a rebel as her
husband, interviewed Carleton and noted in her diary that
he 'said many severe Things in very soft & Polite Termes.'
Carleton was firm. Walker's actions, words, and
correspondence all proved him a dangerous rebel whom no
governor could possibly leave at large without breaking
his oath of office. Walker, who had himself caused so
many outrageous arrests, now not only resisted the legal
arrest of his own person, but fired on the little party
of soldiers who had been sent to bring him into Montreal.
The soldiers then began to burn him out; whereupon he
carried his wife to a window from which the soldiers
rescued her. He then surrendered and was brought into
Montreal, where the sight of him as a prisoner made a
considerable impression on the waverers.

A few hundred neighbouring militiamen were scraped
together. Every one of the handful of regulars who could
be spared was turned out. And Carleton set off to the
relief of St Johns. But Seth Warner's Green Mountain
Boys, reinforced by many more sharpshooters, prevented
Carleton from landing at Longueuil, opposite Montreal.
The remaining Indians began to slink away. The
French-Canadian militiamen deserted fast--'thirty or
forty of a night.' There were not two hundred regulars
available for a march across country. And on the 30th
Carleton was forced to give up in despair. Within the
week St Johns surrendered with 688 men, who were taken
south as prisoners of war. Preston had been completely
cut off and threatened with starvation as well. So when
he destroyed everything likely to be needed by the enemy
he had done all that could be expected of a brave and
capable commander.

It was the 3rd of November when St Johns surrendered.
Ten days later Montgomery occupied Montreal and Arnold
landed at Wolfe's Cove just above Quebec. The race for
the possession of Quebec had been a very close one. The
race for the capture of Carleton was to be closer still.
And on the fate of either depended the immediate, and
perhaps the ultimate, fate of Canada.

The race for Quebec had been none the less desperate
because the British had not known of the danger from the
south till after Arnold had suddenly emerged from the
wilds of Maine and was well on his way to the mouth of
the Chaudiere, which falls into the St Lawrence seven
miles above the city. Arnold's subsequent change of sides
earned him the execration of the Americans. But there
can be no doubt whatever that if he had got through in
time to capture Quebec he would have become a national
hero of the United States. He had the advantage of leading
picked men; though nearly three hundred faint-hearts did
turn back half-way. But, even with picked men, his feat
was one of surpassing excellence. His force went in eleven
hundred strong. It came out, reduced by desertion as well
as by almost incredible hardships, with barely seven
hundred. It began its toilsome ascent of the Kennebec
towards the end of September, carrying six weeks' supplies
in the bad, hastily built boats or on the men's backs.
Daniel Morgan and his Virginian riflemen led the way.
Aaron Burr was present as a young volunteer. The portages
were many and trying. The settlements were few at first
and then wanting altogether. Early in October the drenched
portagers were already sleeping in their frozen clothes.
The boats began to break up. Quantities of provisions
were lost. Soon there was scarcely anything left but
flour and salt pork. It took nearly a fortnight to get
past the Great Carrying Place, in sight of Mount Bigelow.
Rock, bog, and freezing slime told on the men, some of
whom began to fall sick. Then came the chain of ponds
leading into Dead River. Then the last climb up to the
height-of-land beyond which lay the headwaters of the
Chaudiere, which takes its rise in Lake Megantic.

There were sixty miles to go beyond the lake, and a badly
broken sixty miles they were, before the first settlement
of French Canadians could be reached. There was no trail.
Provisions were almost at an end. Sickness increased.
The sick began to die. 'And what was it all for? A chance
to get killed! The end of the march was Quebec
--impregnable!' On the 24th of October Arnold, with
fifteen other men, began 'a race against time, a race
against starvation' by pushing on ahead in a desperate
effort to find food. Within a week he had reached the
first settlement, after losing three of his five boats
with everything in them. Three days later, and not one
day too soon, the French Canadians met his seven hundred
famishing men with a drove of cattle and plenty of
provisions. The rest of the way was toilsome enough. But
it seemed easy by comparison. The habitants were friendly,
but very shy about enlisting, in spite of Washington's
invitation to 'range yourselves under the standard of
general liberty.' The Indians were more responsive, and
nearly fifty joined on their own terms. By the 8th of
November Arnold was marching down the south shore of the
St Lawrence, from the Chaudiere to Point Levis, in full
view of Quebec. He had just received a dispatch ten days
old from Montgomery by which he learned that St Johns
was expected to fall immediately and that Schuyler was
no longer with the army at the front. But he could not
tell when the junction of forces would be made; and he
saw at once that Quebec was on the alert because every
boat had been either destroyed or taken over to the other
side.

The spring and summer had been anxious times enough in
Quebec. But the autumn was a great deal worse. Bad news
kept coming down from Montreal. The disaffected got more
and more restless and began 'to act as though no opposition
might be shown the rebel forces.' And in October it did
seem as if nothing could be done to stop the invaders.
There were only a few hundred militiamen that could be
depended on. The regulars, under Colonel Maclean, had
gone up to help Carleton on the Montreal frontier. The
fortifications were in no state to stand a siege. But
Cramahe was full of steadfast energy. He had mustered
the French-Canadian militia on September 11, the very
day Arnold was leaving Cambridge in Massachusetts for
his daring march against Quebec. These men had answered
the call far better in the city of Quebec than anywhere
else. There was also a larger proportion of English-speaking
loyalists here than in Montreal. But no transports brought
troops up the St Lawrence from Boston or the mother
country, and no vessel brought Carleton down. The loyalists
were, however, encouraged by the presence of two small
men-of-war, one of which, the _Hunter_, had been the
guide-ship for Wolfe's boat the night before the Battle
of the Plains. Some minor reinforcements also kept
arriving: veterans from the border settlements and a
hundred and fifty men from Newfoundland. On the 3rd of
November, the day St Johns surrendered to Montgomery, an
intercepted dispatch had warned Cramahe of Arnold's
approach and led him to seize all the boats on the south
shore opposite Quebec. This was by no means his first
precaution. He had sent some men forty miles up the
Chaudiere as soon as the news of the raids on Lake
Champlain and St Johns had arrived at the end of May.
Thus, though neither of them had anticipated such a bolt
from the blue, both Carleton and Cramahe had taken all
the reasonable means within their most restricted power
to provide against unforeseen contingencies.

Arnold's chance of surprising Quebec had been lost ten
days before he was able to cross the St Lawrence; and
when the habitants on the south shore were helping his
men to make scaling-ladders the British garrison on the
north had already become too strong for him. But he was
indefatigable in collecting boats and canoes at the mouth
of the Chaudiere, and at other points higher up than
Cramahe's men had reached when on their mission of
destruction or removal, and he was as capable as ever
when, on the pitch-black night of the 13th, he led his
little flotilla through the gap between the two British
men-of-war, the _Hunter_ and the _Lizard_. The next day
he marched across the Plains of Abraham and saluted Quebec
with three cheers. But meanwhile Colonel Maclean, who
had set out to help Carleton at Montreal and turned back
on hearing the news of St Johns, had slipped into Quebec
on the 12th. So Arnold found himself with less than seven
hundred effectives against the eleven hundred British
who were now behind the walls. After vainly summoning
the city to surrender he retired to Pointe-aux-Trembles,
more than twenty miles up the north shore of the St
Lawrence, there to await the arrival of the victorious
Montgomery.

Meanwhile Montgomery was racing for Carleton and Carleton
was racing for Quebec. Montgomery's advance-guard had
hurried on to Sorel, at the mouth of the Richelieu,
forty-five miles below Montreal, to mount guns that would
command the narrow channel through which the fugitive
governor would have to pass on his way to Quebec. They
had ample time to set the trap; for an incessant nor'-easter
blew up the St Lawrence day after day and held Carleton
fast in Montreal, while, only a league away, Montgomery's
main body was preparing to cross over. Escape by land
was impossible, as the Americans held Berthier, on the
north shore, and had won over the habitants, all the way
down from Montreal, on both sides of the river. At last,
on the afternoon of the 11th, the wind shifted. Immediately
a single cannon-shot was fired, a bugle sounded the _fall
in!_ and 'the whole military establishment' of Montreal
formed up in the barrack square--one hundred and thirty
officers and men, all told. Carleton, 'wrung to the soul,'
as one of his officers wrote home, came on parade 'firm,
unshaken, and serene.' The little column then marched
down to the boats through shuttered streets of timid
neutrals and scowling rebels. The few loyalists who came
to say good-bye to Carleton at the wharf might well have
thought it was the last handshake they would ever get
from a British 'Captain-General and Governor-in-chief'
as they saw him step aboard in the dreary dusk of that
November afternoon. And if he and they had known the
worst they might well have thought their fate was sealed;
for neither of them then knew that both sides of the St
Lawrence were occupied in force at two different places
on the perilous way to Quebec.

The little flotilla of eleven vessels got safely down to
within a few miles of Sorel, when one grounded and delayed
the rest till the wind failed altogether at noon on the
12th. The next three days it blew upstream without a
break. No progress could be made as there was no room to
tack in the narrow passages opposite Sorel. On the third
day an American floating battery suddenly appeared, firing
hard. Behind it came a boat with a flag of truce and the
following summons from Colonel Easton, who commanded
Montgomery's advance-guard at Sorel:

   SIR,--By this you will learn that General Montgomery
   is in Possession of the Fortress Montreal. You are
   very sensible that I am in Possession at this Place,
   and that, from the strength of the United Colonies on
   both sides your own situation is Rendered Very
   disagreeable. I am therefore induced to make you the
   following Proposal, viz.:--That if you will Resign
   your Fleet to me Immediately, without destroying the
   Effects on Board, You and Your men shall be used with
   due civility, together with women & Children on Board.
   To this I shall expect Your direct and Immediate
   answer. Should you Neglect You will Cherefully take
   the Consequences which will follow.

Carleton was surprised: and well he might be. He had not
supposed that Montgomery's men were in any such commanding
position. But, like Cramahe at Quebec, he refused to
answer; whereupon Easton's batteries opened both from
the south shore and from Isle St Ignace. Carleton's
heaviest gun was a 9-pounder; while Easton had four
12-pounders, one of them mounted on a rowing battery that
soon forced the British to retreat. The skipper of the
schooner containing the powder magazine wanted to surrender
on the spot, especially when he heard that the Americans
were getting some hot shot ready for him. But Carleton
retreated upstream, twelve miles above Sorel, to Lavaltrie,
just above Berthier on the north shore, where, on attempting
to land, he was driven back by some Americans and habitants.
Next morning, the 16th, a fateful day for Canada, the
same Major Brown who had failed Ethan Allen at Montreal
came up with a flag of truce to propose that Carleton
should send an officer to see for himself how well all
chance of escape had now been cut off. The offer was
accepted; and Brown explained the situation from the
rebel point of view. 'This is my small battery; and, even
if you should chance to escape, I have a grand battery
at the mouth of the Sorel [Richelieu] which will infallibly
sink all of your vessels. Wait a little till you see the
32-pounders that are now within half-a-mile.' There was
a good deal of Yankee bluff in this warning, especially
as the 32-pounders could not be mounted in time. But the
British officer seemed perfectly satisfied that the way
was completely blocked; and so the Americans felt sure
that Carleton would surrender the following day.

Carleton, however, was not the man to give in till the
very last; and one desperate chance still remained. His
flotilla was doomed. But he might still get through alone
without it. One of the French-Canadian skippers, better
known as 'Le Tourte' or 'Wild Pigeon' than by his own
name of Bouchette because of his wonderfully quick trips,
was persuaded to make the dash for freedom. So Carleton,
having ordered Prescott, his second-in-command, not to
surrender the flotilla before the last possible moment,
arranged for his own escape in a whaleboat. It was with
infinite precaution that he made his preparations, as
the enemy, though confident of taking him, were still on
the alert to prevent such a prize from slipping through
their fingers. He dressed like a habitant from head to
foot, putting on a tasselled _bonnet rouge_ and an _etoffe
du pays_ (grey homespun) suit of clothes, with a red sash
and _bottes sauvages_ like Indian moccasins. Then the
whaleboat was quietly brought alongside. The crew got in
and plied their muffled oars noiselessly down to the
narrow passage between Isle St Ignace and the Isle du
Pas, where they shipped the oars and leaned over the side
to paddle past the nearest battery with the palms of
their hands. It was a moment of breathless excitement;
for the hope of Canada was in their keeping and no turning
back was possible. But the American sentries saw no
furtive French Canadians gliding through that dark November
night and heard no suspicious noises above the regular
ripple of the eddying island current. One tense half-hour
and all was over, The oars were run out again; the men
gave way with a will; and Three Rivers was safely reached
in the morning.

Here Carleton met Captain Napier, who took him aboard
the armed ship _Fell_, in which he continued his journey
to Quebec. He was practically safe aboard the _Fell_;
for Arnold had neither an army strong enough to take
Quebec nor any craft big enough to fight a ship. But the
flotilla above Sorel was doomed. After throwing all its
powder into the St Lawrence it surrendered on the 19th,
the very day Carleton reached Quebec. The astonished
Americans were furious when they found that Carleton had
slipped through their fingers after all. They got Prescott,
whom they hated; and they released Walker, whom Carleton
was taking as a prisoner to Quebec. But no friends and
foes like Walker and Prescott could make up for the loss
of Carleton, who was the heart as well as the head of
Canada at bay.

The exultation of the British more than matched the
disappointment of the Americans. Thomas Ainslie, collector
of customs and captain of militia at Quebec, only expressed
the feelings of all his fellow-loyalists when he made
the following entry in the extremely accurate diary he
kept throughout those troublous times:

'On the 19th (a Happy Day for Quebec!), to the unspeakable
joy of the friends of the Government, and to the utter
Dismay of the abettors of Sedition and Rebellion, General
Carleton arrived in the _Fell_, arm'd ship, accompanied
by an arm'd schooner. We saw our Salvation in his Presence.'




CHAPTER V

BELEAGUERMENT
1775-1776

When Carleton finally turned at bay within the walls of
Quebec the British flag waved over less than a single
one out of the more than a million square miles that had
so recently been included within the boundaries of Canada.
The landward walls cut off the last half-mile of the
tilted promontory which rises three hundred feet above
the St Lawrence but only one hundred above the valley of
the St Charles. This promontory is just a thousand yards
wide where the landward walls run across it, and not much
wider across the world-famous Heights and Plains of
Abraham, which then covered the first two miles beyond.
The whole position makes one of Nature's strongholds when
the enemy can be kept at arm's length. But Carleton had
no men to spare for more than the actual walls and the
narrow little strip of the Lower Town between the base
of the cliff and the St Lawrence. So the enemy closed in
along the Heights' and among the suburbs, besides occupying
any point of vantage they chose across the St Lawrence
or St Charles.

The walls were by no means fit to stand a siege, a fact
which Carleton had frequently reported. But, as the
Americans had neither the men nor the material for a
regular siege, they were obliged to confine themselves
to a mere beleaguerment, with the chance of taking Quebec
by assault. One of Carleton's first acts was to proclaim
that every able-bodied man refusing to bear arms was to
leave the town within four days. But, though this had
the desired effect of clearing out nearly all the dangerous
rebels, the Americans still believed they had enough
sympathizers inside to turn the scale of victory if they
could only manage to take the Lower Town, with all its
commercial property and shipping, or gain a footing
anywhere within the walls.

There were five thousand souls left in Quebec, which was
well provisioned for the winter. The women, children,
and men unfit to bear arms numbered three thousand. The
'exempts' amounted to a hundred and eighty. As there was
a growing suspicion about many of these last, Carleton
paraded them for medical examination at the beginning of
March, when, a good deal more than half were found quite
fit for duty. These men had been malingering all winter
in order to skulk out of danger; so he treated them with
extreme leniency in only putting them on duty as a 'company
of Invalids.' But the slur stuck fast. The only other
exceptions to the general efficiency were a very few
instances of cowardice and many more of slackness. The
militia order-books have repeated entries about men who
turned up late for even important duties as well as about
others whose authorized substitutes were no better than
themselves. But it should be remembered that, as a whole,
the garrison did exceedingly good service and that all
the malingerers and serious delinquents together did not
amount to more than a tenth of its total, which is a
small proportion for such a mixed body.

The effective strength at the beginning of the siege was
eighteen hundred of all ranks. Only one hundred of these
belonged to the regular British garrison in Canada--a
few staff-officers, twenty-two men of the Royal Artillery,
and seventy men of the 7th Royal Fusiliers, a regiment
which was to be commanded in Quebec sixteen years later
by Queen Victoria's father, the Duke of Kent. The Fusiliers
and two hundred and thirty 'Royal Emigrants' were formed
into a little battalion under Colonel Maclean, a first-rate
officer and Carleton's right-hand man in action. 'His
Majesty's Royal Highland Regiment of Emigrants,' which
subsequently became the 84th Foot, now known as the 2nd
York and Lancaster, was hastily raised in 1775 from the
Highland veterans who had settled in the American colonies
after the Peace of 1763. Maclean's two hundred and thirty
were the first men he could get together in time to reach
Quebec. The only other professional fighters were four
hundred blue-jackets and thirty-five marines of H.M.SS.
_Lizard_ and _Hunter_, who were formed into a naval
battalion under their own officers, Captains Hamilton
and McKenzie, Hamilton being made a lieutenant-colonel
and McKenzie a major while doing duty ashore. Fifty
masters and mates of trading vessels were enrolled in
the same battalion. The whole of the shipping was laid
up for the winter in the Cul de Sac, which alone made
the Lower Town a prize worth taking. The 'British Militia'
mustered three hundred and thirty, the 'Canadian Militia'
five hundred and forty-three. These two corps included
practically all the official and business classes in
Quebec and formed nearly half the total combatants. Some
of them took no pay and were not bound to service beyond
the neighbourhood of Quebec, thus being very much like
the Home Guards raised all over Canada and the rest of
the Empire during the Great World War of 1914. All the
militia wore dark green coats with buff waistcoats and
breeches. The total of eighteen hundred was completed by
a hundred and twenty 'artificers,' that is, men who would
now belong to the Engineers, Ordnance, and Army Service
Corps. As the composition of this garrison has been so
often misrepresented, it may be as well to state distinctly
that the past or present regulars of all kinds, soldiers
and sailors together, numbered eight hundred and the
militia and other non-regulars a thousand. The French
Canadians, very few of whom were or had been regulars,
formed less than a third of the whole.

Montgomery and Arnold had about the same total number of
men. Sometimes there were more, sometimes less. But what
made the real difference, and what really turned the
scale, was that the Americans had hardly any regulars
and that their effectives rarely averaged three-quarters
of their total strength. The balance was also against
them in the matter of armament. For, though Morgan's
Virginians had many more rifles than were to be found
among the British, the Americans in general were not so
well off for bayonets and not so well able to use those
they had; while the artillery odds were still more against
them. Carleton's artillery was not of the best. But it
was better than that of the Americans. He decidedly
overmatched them in the combined strength of all kinds
of ordnance--cannons, carronades, howitzers, mortars,
and swivels. Cannons and howitzers fired shot and shell
at any range up to the limit then reached, between two
and three miles. Carronades were on the principle of a
gigantic shotgun, firing masses of bullets with great
effect at very short ranges--less than that of a long
musket-shot, then reckoned at two hundred yards. The
biggest mortars threw 13-inch 224-lb shells to a great
distance. But their main use was for high-angle fire,
such as that from the suburb of St Roch under the walls
of Quebec. Swivels were the smallest kind of ordnance,
firing one-, two-, or three-pound balls at short or medium
ranges. They were used at convenient points to stop
rushes, much like modern machine-guns.

Thanks chiefly to Cramahe, the defences were not nearly
so 'ruinous' as Arnold at first had thought them. The
walls, however useless against the best siege artillery,
were formidable enough against irregular troops and
makeshift batteries; while the warehouses and shipping
in the Lower Town were protected by two stockades, one
straight under Cape Diamond, the other at the corner
where the Lower Town turns into the valley of the St
Charles. The first was called the Pres-de-Ville, the
second the Sault-au-Matelot. The shipping was open to
bombardment from the Levis shore. But the Americans had
no guns to spare for this till April.

Montgomery's advance was greatly aided by the little
flotilla which Easton had captured at Sorel. Montgomery
met Arnold at Pointe-aux-Trembles, twenty miles above
Quebec, on the 2nd of December and supplied his little
half-clad force with the British uniforms taken at St
Johns and Chambly. He was greatly pleased with the
magnificent physique of Arnold's men, the fittest of an
originally well-picked lot. He still had some 'pusillanimous
wretches' among his own New Yorkers, who resented the
air of superiority affected by Arnold's New Englanders
and Morgan's Virginians. He felt a well-deserved confidence
in Livingston and some of the English-speaking Canadian
'patriots' whom Livingston had brought into his camp
before St Johns in September. But he began to feel more
and more doubtful about the French Canadians, most of
whom began to feel more and more doubtful about themselves.
On the 6th he arrived before Quebec and took up his
quarters in Holland House, two miles beyond the walls,
at the far end of the Plains of Abraham. The same day he
sent Carleton the following summons:

   SIR;--Notwithstanding the personal ill-treatment I
   have received at your hands--notwithstanding your
   cruelty to the unhappy Prisoners you have taken, the
   feelings of humanity induce me to have recourse to
   this expedient to save you from the Destruction which
   hangs over you. Give me leave, Sir, to assure you that
   I am well acquainted with your situation. A great
   extent of works, in their nature incapable of defence,
   manned with a motley crew of sailors, the greatest
   part our friends; of citizens, who wish to see us
   within their walls, & a few of the worst troops who
   ever stiled themselves Soldiers. The impossibility of
   relief, and the certain prospect of wanting every
   necessary of life, should your opponents confine their
   operations to a simple Blockade, point out the absurdity
   of resistance. Such is your situation! I am at the
   head of troops accustomed to Success, confident of
   the righteousness of the cause they are engaged in,
   inured to danger, & so highly incensed at your
   inhumanity, illiberal abuse, and the ungenerous means
   employed to prejudice them in the mind of the Canadians
   that it is with difficulty I restrain them till my
   Batteries are ready from assaulting your works, which
   afford them a fair opportunity of ample vengeance and
   just retaliation. Firing upon a flag of truce, hitherto
   unprecedented, even among savages, prevents my taking
   the ordinary mode of communicating my sentiments.
   However, I will at any rate acquit my conscience.
   Should you persist in an unwarrantable defence, the
   consequences be upon your own head. Beware of destroying
   stores of any kind, Publick or Private, as you have
   done at Montreal and in Three Rivers--If you do, by
   Heaven, there will be no mercy shown.

Though Montgomery wrote bunkum like the common politician
of that and many a later age, he was really a brave
soldier. What galled him into fury was 'grave Carleton's'
quiet refusal to recognize either him or any other rebel
commander as the accredited leader of a hostile army. It
certainly must have been exasperating for the general of
the Continental Congress to be reduced to such expedients
as tying a grandiloquent ultimatum to an arrow and shooting
it into the beleaguered town. The charge of firing on
flags of truce was another instance of 'talking for
Buncombe.' Carleton never fired on any white flag. But
he always sent the same answer: that he could hold no
communication with any rebels unless they came to implore
the king's pardon. This, of course, was an aggravation
of his offensive calmness in the face of so much
revolutionary rage. To individual rebels of all sorts he
was, if anything, over-indulgent. He would not burn the
suburbs of Quebec till the enemy forced him to it, though
many of the houses that gave the Americans the best cover
belonged to rebel Canadians. He went out of his way to
be kind to all prisoners, especially if sick or wounded.
And it was entirely owing to his restraining influence
that the friendly Indians had not raided the border
settlements of New England during the summer. Nor was he
animated only by the very natural desire of bringing back
rebellious subjects to what he thought their true
allegiance, as his subsequent actions amply proved. He
simply acted with the calm dignity and impartial justice
which his position required.

Three days before Christmas the bombardment began in
earnest. The non-combatants soon found, to their equal
amazement and delight, that a good many shells did very
little damage if fired about at random. But news intended
to make their flesh creep came in at the same time, and
probably had more effect than the shells on the weak-kneed
members of the community. Seven hundred scaling-ladders,
no quarter if Carleton persisted in holding out, and a
prophecy attributed to Montgomery that he would eat his
Christmas dinner either in Quebec or in Hell--these were
some of the blood-curdling items that came in by petticoat
or arrow post. One of the most active purveyors of all
this bombast was Jerry Duggan, a Canadian 'patriot' barber
now become a Continental major.

But there was a serious side. Deserters and prisoners,
as well as British adherents who had escaped, all began
to tell the same tale, though with many variations.
Montgomery was evidently bent on storming the walls the
first dark night. His own orders showed it.

   HEAD QUARTERS, HOLLAND HOUSE.
   Near Quebec, 15th Decr. 1755.

   The General having in vain offered the most favourable
   terms of accommodation to the Governor of Quebec, &
   having taken every possible step to prevail on the
   inhabitants to desist from seconding him in his wild
   scheme of defending the Town--for the speedy reduction
   of the only hold possessed by the Ministerial Troops
   in this Province--The soldiers, flushed with continual
   success, confident of the justice of their cause, &
   relying on that Providence which has uniformly protected
   them, will advance with alacrity to the attack of
   works incapable of being defended by the wretched
   Garrison posted behind them, consisting of Sailors
   unacquainted with the use of arms, of Citizens incapable
   of Soldiers' duty, & of a few miserable Emigrants.
   The General is confident that a vigorous & spirited
   attack must be attended with success. The Troops shall
   have the effects of the Governor, Garrison, & of such
   as have been active in misleading the Inhabitants &
   distressing the friends of liberty, equally divided
   among them, except the 100th share out of the whole,
   which shall be at the disposal of the General to be
   given to such soldiers as distinguished themselves by
   their activity & bravery, to be sold at public auction:
   the whole to be conducted as soon as the City is in
   our hands and the inhabitants disarmed.

It was a week after these orders had been written before
the first positive news of the threatened assault was
brought into town by an escaped British prisoner who,
strangely enough, bore the name of Wolfe. Wolfe's escape
naturally caused a postponement of Montgomery's design
and a further council of war. Unlike most councils of
war this one was full of fight. Three feints were to be
made at different points while the real attack was to be
driven home at Cape Diamond. But just after this decision
had been reached two rebel Montrealers came down and, in
another debate, carried the day for another plan. These
men, Antell and Price, were really responsible for the
final plan, which, like its predecessor, did not meet
with Montgomery's approval. Montgomery wanted to make a
breach before trying the walls. But he was no more than
the chairman of a committee; and this egregious committee
first decided to storm the unbroken walls and then changed
to an attack on the Lower Town only. Antell was Montgomery's
engineer. Price was a red-hot agitator. Both were better
at politics than soldiering. Their argument was that if
the Lower Town could be taken the Quebec militia would
force Carleton to surrender in order to save the warehouses,
shipping, and other valuable property along the waterfront,
and that even if Carleton held out in debate he would
soon be brought to his knees by the Americans, who would
march through the gates, which were to be opened by the
'patriots' inside.

Another week passed; and Montgomery had not eaten his
Christmas dinner either in Quebec or in the other place.
But both sides knew the crisis must be fast approaching;
for the New Yorkers had sworn that they would not stay
a minute later than the end of the year, when their term
of enlistment was up. Thus every day that passed made an
immediate assault more likely, as Montgomery had to strike
before his own men left him. Yet New Year's Eve itself
began without the sign of an alarm.

Carleton had been sleeping in his clothes at the Recollets',
night after night, so that he might be first on parade
at the general rendezvous on the Place d'Armes, which
stood near the top of Mountain Hill, the only road between
the Upper and the Lower Town. Officers and men off duty
had been following his example; and every one was ready
to turn out at a moment's notice.

A north-easterly snowstorm was blowing furiously, straight
up the St Lawrence, making Quebec a partly seen blur to
the nearest American patrols and the Heights of Abraham
a wild sea of whirling drifts to the nearest British
sentries. One o'clock passed, and nothing stirred. But
when two o'clock struck at Holland House Montgomery rose
and began to put the council's plan in operation. The
Lower Town was to be attacked at both ends. The
Pres-de-Ville barricade was to be carried by Montgomery
and the Sault-au-Matelot by Arnold, while Livingston was
to distract Carleton's attention as much as possible by
making a feint against the landward walls, where the
British still expected the real attack. Livingston's
Canadian fighting 'patriots' waded through the drifts,
against the storm, across the Plains, and took post close
in on the far side of Cape Diamond, only eighty yards
from the same walls that were to have been stormed some
days before. Jerry Duggan's parasitic Canadian 'patriots'
took post in the suburb of St John and thence round to
Palace Gate. Montgomery led his own column straight to
Wolfe's Cove, whence he marched in along the narrow path
between the cliff and the St Lawrence till he reached
the spot at the foot of Cape Diamond just under the right
of Livingston's line. Arnold, whose quarters were in the
valley of the St Charles, took post in St Roch, with a
mortar battery to fire against the walls and a column of
men to storm the Sault-au-Matelot. Livingston's and Jerry
Duggan's whole command numbered about four hundred men,
Montgomery's five hundred, Arnold's six. The opposing
totals were fifteen hundred Americans against seventeen
hundred British. There was considerable risk of confusion
between friend and foe, as most of the Americans, especially
Arnold's men, wore captured British uniforms with nothing
to distinguish them but odds and ends of their former
kits and a sort of paper hatband bearing the inscription
_Liberty or Death_.

A little after four the sentries on the walls at Cape
Diamond saw lights flashing about in front of them and
were just going to call the guard when Captain Malcolm
Fraser of the Royal Emigrants came by on his rounds and
saw other lights being set out in regular order like
lamps in a street. He instantly turned out the guards
and pickets. The drums beat to arms. Every church bell
in the city pealed forth its alarm into that wild night.
The bugles blew. The men off duty swarmed on to the Place
d'Armes, where Carleton, calm and intrepid as ever, took
post with the general reserve and waited. There was
nothing for him to do just yet. Everything that could
have been foreseen had already been amply provided for;
and in his quiet confidence his followers found their
own.

Towards five o'clock two green rockets shot up from
Montgomery's position beside the Anse des Meres under
Cape Diamond. This was the signal for attack. Montgomery's
column immediately struggled on again along the path
leading round the foot of the Cape towards the Pres-de-Ville
barricade. Livingston's serious 'patriots' on the top of
the Cape changed their dropping shots into a hot fire
against the walls; while Jerry Duggan's little mob of
would-be looters shouted and blazed away from safer cover
in the suburbs of St John and St Roch. Arnold's mortars
pitched shells all over the town; while his storming-party
advanced towards the Sault-au-Matelot barricade. Carleton,
naturally anxious about the landward walls, sent some of
the British militia to reinforce the men at Cape Diamond,
which, as he knew, Montgomery considered the best point
of attack. The walls lower down did not seem to be in
any danger from Jerry Duggan's 'patriots,' whose noisy
demonstration was at once understood to be nothing but
an empty feint. The walls facing the St Charles were well
manned and well gunned by the naval battalion. Those
facing the St Lawrence, though weak in themselves, were
practically impregnable, as the cliffs could not be scaled
by any formed body. The Lower Town, however, was by no
means so safe, in spite of its two barricades. The general
uproar was now so great that Carleton could not distinguish
the firing there from what was going on elsewhere. But
it was at these two points that the real attack was
rapidly developing.

The first decisive action took place at Pres-de-Ville.
The guard there consisted of fifty men--John Coffin, who
was a merchant of Quebec, Sergeant Hugh McQuarters of
the Royal Artillery, Captain Barnsfair, a merchant skipper,
with fifteen mates and skippers like himself, and thirty
French Canadians under Captain Chabot and Lieutenant
Picard. These fifty men had to guard a front of only as
many feet. On their right Cape Diamond rose almost sheer.
On their left raged the stormy St Lawrence. They had a
tiny block-house next to the cliff and four small guns
on the barricade, all double-charged with canister and
grape. They had heard the dropping shots on the top of
the Cape for nearly an hour and had been quick to notice
the change to a regular hot fire. But they had no idea
whether their own post was to be attacked or not till
they suddenly saw the head of Montgomery's column halting
within fifty paces of them. A man came forward cautiously
and looked at the barricade. The storm was in his face.
The defences were wreathed in whirling snow. And the men
inside kept silent as the grave. When he went back a
little group stood for a couple of minutes in hurried
consultation. Then Montgomery waved his sword, called
out 'Come on, brave boys, Quebec is ours!' and led the
charge. The defenders let the Americans get about half-way
before Barnsfair shouted 'Fire!' Then the guns and muskets
volleyed together, cutting down the whole front of the
densely massed column. Montgomery, his two staff-officers,
and his ten leading men were instantly killed. Some more
farther back were wounded. And just as the fifty British
fired their second round the rest of the five hundred
Americans turned and ran in wild confusion.

A few minutes later a man whose identity was never
established came running from the Lower Town to say that
Arnold's men had taken the Sault-au-Matelot barricade.
If this was true it meant that the Pres-de-Ville fifty
would be caught between two fires. Some of them made as
if to run back and reach Mountain Hill before the Americans
could cut them off. But Coffin at once threatened to kill
the first man to move; and by the time an artillery
officer had arrived with reinforcements perfect order
had been restored. This officer, finding he was not wanted
there, sent back to know where else he was to go, and
received an answer telling him to hurry to the
Sault-au-Matelot. When he arrived there, less than half
a mile off, he found that desperate street fighting had
been going on for over an hour.

Arnold's advance had begun at the same time as Livingston's
demonstration and Montgomery's attack. But his task was
very different and the time required much longer. There
were three obstacles to be overcome. First, his men had
to run the gauntlet of the fire from the bluejackets
ranged along the Grand Battery, which faced the St Charles
at its mouth and overlooked the narrow little street of
Sous-le-Cap at a height of fifty or sixty feet. Then they
had to take the small advanced barricade, which stood a
hundred yards on the St Charles side of the actual
Sault-au-Matelot or Sailor's Leap, which is the
north-easterly point of the Quebec promontory and nearly
a hundred feet high. Finally, they had to round this
point and attack the regular Sault-au-Matelot barricade.
This second barricade was about a hundred yards long,
from the rock to the river. It crossed Sault-au-Matelot
Street and St Peter Street, which were the same then as
now. But it ended on a wharf half-way down the modern St
James Street, as the outer half of this street was then
a natural strand completely covered at high tide. It was
much closer than the Pres-de-Ville barricade was to
Mountain Hill, at the top of which Carleton held his
general reserve ready in the Place d'Armes; and it was
fairly strong in material and armament. But it was at
first defended by only a hundred men.

The American forlorn hope, under Captain Oswald, got past
most of the Grand Battery unscathed. But by the time the
main body was following under Morgan the British
blue-jackets were firing down from the walls at less than
point-blank range. The driving snow, the clumps of bushes
on the cliff, and the little houses in the street below
all gave the Americans some welcome cover. But many of
them were hit; while the gun they were towing through
the drifts on a sleigh stuck fast and had to be abandoned.
Captain Dearborn, the future commander-in-chief of the
American army in the War of 1812, noted in his diary that
he 'met the wounded men very thick' as he was bringing
up the rear. When the forlorn hope reached the advanced
barricade Arnold halted it till the supports had come
up. The loss of the gun and the worrying his main body
was receiving from the sailors along the Grand Battery
spoilt his original plan of smashing in the barricade by
shell fire while Morgan circled round its outer flank on
the ice of the tidal flats and took it in rear. So he
decided on a frontal attack. When he thought he had a
fair chance he stepped to the front and shouted, 'Now,
boys, all together, rush!' But before he could climb the
barricade he was shot through the leg. For some time he
propped himself up against a house and, leaning on his
rifle, continued encouraging his men, who were soon firing
through the port-holes as well as over the top. But
presently growing faint from loss of blood he had to be
carried off the field to the General Hospital on the
banks of the St Charles.

The men now called out for a lead from Morgan, who climbed
a ladder, leaped the top, and fell under a gun inside.
In another minute the whole forlorn hope had followed
him, while the main body came close behind. The guard,
not strong in numbers and weak in being composed of young
militiamen, gave way but kept on firing. 'Down with your
arms if you want quarter!' yelled Morgan, whose men were
in overwhelming strength; and the guard surrendered. A
little way beyond, just under the bluff of the
Sault-au-Matelot, the British supports, many of whom were
Seminary students, also surrendered to Morgan, who at
once pressed on, round the corner of the Sault-au-Matelot,
and halted in sight of the second or regular barricade.
What was to be done now? Where was Montgomery? How strong
was the barricade; and had it been reinforced? It could
not be turned because the cliff rose sheer on one flank
while the icy St Lawrence lashed the other. Had Morgan
known that there were only a hundred men behind it when
he attacked its advanced barricade he might have pressed
on at all costs and carried it by assault. But it looked
strong, there were guns on its platforms, and it ran
across two streets. His hurried council of war over-ruled
him, as Montgomery's council had over-ruled the original
plan of storming the walls; and so his men began a
desultory fight in the streets and from the houses.

This was fatal to American success. The original British
hundred were rapidly reinforced. The artillery officer
who had found that he was not needed at the Pres-de-Ville
after Montgomery's defeat, and who had hurried across
the intervening half-mile, now occupied the corner houses,
enlarged the embrasures, and trained his guns on the
houses occupied by the enemy. Detachments of Fusiliers
and Royal Emigrants also arrived, as did the thirty-five
masters and mates of merchant vessels who were not on
guard with Barnsfair at the Pres-de-Ville. Thus, what
with soldiers, sailors, and militiamen of both races,
the main Sault-au-Matelot barricade was made secure
against being rushed like the outer one. But there was
plenty of fighting, with some confusion at close quarters
caused by the British uniforms which both sides were
wearing. A Herculean sailor seized the first ladder the
Americans set against the barricade, hauled it up, and
set it against the window of a house out of the far end
of which the enemy were firing. Major Nairne and Lieutenant
Dambourges of the Royal Emigrants at once climbed in at
the head of a storming-party and wild work followed with
the bayonet. All the Americans inside were either killed
or captured. Meanwhile a vigorous British nine-pounder
had been turned on another house they occupied. This
house was likewise battered in, so that its surviving
occupants had to run into the street, where they were
well plied with musketry by the regulars and militiamen.
The chance for a sortie then seeming favourable, Lieutenant
Anderson of the Navy headed his thirty-five merchant
mates and skippers in a rush along Sault-au-Matelot
Street. But his effort was premature. Morgan shot him
dead, and Morgan's Virginians drove the seamen back inside
the barricade.

Carleton had of course kept in perfect touch with every
phase of the attack and defence; and now, fearing no
surprise against the walls in the growing daylight, had
decided on taking Arnold's men in rear. To do this he
sent Captain Lawes of the Royal Engineers and Captain
McDougall of the Royal Emigrants with a hundred and twenty
men out through Palace Gate. This detachment had hardly
reached the advanced barricade before they fell in with
the enemy's rearguard, which they took by complete surprise
and captured to a man. Leaving McDougall to secure these
prisoners before following on, Lawes pushed eagerly
forward, round the corner of the Sault-au-Matelot cliff,
and, running in among the Americans facing the main
barricade, called out, 'You are all my prisoners!' 'No,
we're not; you're ours!' they answered. 'No, no,' replied
Lawes, as coolly as if on parade 'don't mistake yourselves,
I vow to God you're mine!' 'But where are your men?'
asked the astonished Americans; and then Lawes suddenly
found that he was utterly alone! The roar of the storm
and the work of securing the prisoners on the far side
of the advanced barricade had prevented the men who should
have followed him from understanding that only a few were
needed with McDougall. But Lawes put a bold face on it
and answered, 'O, Ho, make yourselves easy! My men are
all round here and they'll be with you in a twinkling.'
He was then seized and disarmed. Some of the Americans
called out, 'Kill him! Kill him!' But a Major Meigs
protected him. The whole parley had lasted about ten
minutes when McDougall came running up with the missing
men, released Lawes, and made prisoners of the nearest
Americans. Lawes at once stepped forward and called on the
rest to surrender. Morgan was for cutting his way through.
A few men ran round by the wharf and escaped on the tidal
flats of the St Charles. But, after a hurried consultation,
the main body, including Morgan, laid down their arms. This
was decisive. The British had won the fight.

The complete British loss in killed and wounded was
wonderfully small, only thirty, just one-tenth of the
corresponding American loss, which was large out of all
proportion. Nearly half of the fifteen hundred Americans
had gone--over four hundred prisoners and about three
hundred killed and wounded. Nor were the mere numbers
the most telling point about it; for the worse half
escaped--Livingston's Montreal 'patriots,' many of whom
had done very little fighting, Montgomery's time-expired
New Yorkers, most of whom wanted to go home, and Jerry
Duggan's miscellaneous rabble, all of whom wanted a
maximum of plunder with a minimum of war.

The British victory was as nearly perfect as could have
been desired. It marked the turn of the tide in a desperate
campaign which might have resulted in the total loss of
Canada. And it was of the greatest significance and
happiest augury because all the racial elements of this
new and vast domain had here united for the first time
in defence of that which was to be their common heritage.
In Carleton's little garrison of regulars and militia,
of bluejackets, marines, and merchant seamen, there were
Frenchmen and French Canadians, there were Englishmen,
Irishmen, Scotsmen, Welshmen, Orcadians, and Channel
Islanders, there were a few Newfoundlanders, and there
mere a good many of those steadfast Royal Emigrants who
may be fitly called the forerunners of the United Empire
Loyalists. Yet, in spite of this remarkable significance,
no public memorial of Carleton has ever been set up; and
it was only in the twentieth century that the Dominion
first thought of commemorating his most pregnant victory
by placing tablets to mark the sites of the two famous
barricades.

As soon as things had quieted down within the walls
Carleton sent out search-parties to bring in the dead
for decent burial and to see if any of the wounded had
been overlooked. James Thompson, the assistant engineer,
saw a frozen hand protruding from a snowdrift at
Pres-de-Ville. It was Montgomery's. The thirteen bodies
were dug out and Thompson was ordered to have a 'genteel
coffin made for Mr Montgomery,' who was buried in the
wall just above St Louis Gate by the Anglican chaplain.
Thompson kept Montgomery's sword, which was given to the
Livingston family more than a century later.

The beleaguerment continued, in a half-hearted way, till
the spring. The Americans received various small
reinforcements, which eventually brought their total up
to what it had been under Montgomery's command. But there
were no more assaults. Arnold grew dissatisfied and
finally went to Montreal; while Wooster, the new general,
who arrived on the 1st of April, was himself succeeded
by Thomas, an ex-apothecary, on the 1st of May. The suburb
of St Roch was burnt down after the victory; so the
American snipers were bereft of some very favourite cover,
and this, with other causes, kept the bulk of the besiegers
at an ineffective distance from the walls.

The British garrison had certain little troubles of its
own; for discipline always tends to become irksome after
a great effort. Carleton was obliged to stop the retailing
of spirits for fear the slacker men would be getting out
of hand. The guards and duties were made as easy as
possible, especially for the militia. But the 'snow-shovel
parade' was an imperative necessity. The winter was very
stormy, and the drifts would have frequently covered the
walls and even the guns if they had not promptly been
dug out. The cold was also unusually severe. One early
morning in January an angry officer was asking a sentry
why he hadn't challenged him, when the sentry said, 'God
bless your Honour! and I'm glad you're come, for I'm
blind!' Then it was found that his eyelids were frozen
fast together.

News came in occasionally from the outside world. There
was intense indignation among the garrison when they
learned that the American commanders in Montreal were
imprisoning every Canadian officer who would not surrender
his commission. Such an unheard-of outrage was worthy of
Walker. But others must have thought of it; for Walker
was now in Philadelphia giving all the evidence he could
against Prescott and other British officers. Bad news
for the rebels was naturally welcomed, especially anything
about their growing failure to raise troops in Canada.
On hearing of Montgomery's defeat the Continental Congress
had passed a resolution, addressed to the 'Inhabitants
of Canada' declaring that 'we will never abandon you to
the unrelenting fury of your and our enemies.' But there
were no trained soldiers to back this up; and the raw
militia, though often filled with zeal and courage, could
do nothing to redress the increasingly adverse balance.
In the middle of March the Americans sent in a summons.
But Carleton refused to receive it; and the garrison put
a wooden horse and a bundle of hay on the walls with a
placard bearing the inscription, 'When this horse has
eaten this bunch of hay we will surrender.' Some excellent
practice made with 13-inch shells sent the Americans
flying from their new battery at Levis; and by the 17th
of March one of the several exultant British diarists,
whose anonymity must have covered an Irish name, was able
to record that 'this, being St Patrick's Day, the Governor,
who is a true Hibernian, has requested the garrison to
put off keeping it till the 17th of May, when he promises,
they shall be enabled to do it properly, and with the
usual solemnities.'

A fortnight later a plot concerted between the American
prisoners and their friends outside was discovered just
in time. With tools supplied by traitors they were to
work their way out of their quarters, overpower the guard
at the nearest gate, set fire to the nearest houses in
three different streets, turn the nearest guns inwards
on the town, and shout 'Liberty for ever!' as an additional
signal to the storming-party that was to be waiting to
confirm their success. Carleton seized the chance of
turning this scheme against the enemy. Three safe bonfires
were set ablaze. The marked guns were turned inwards and
fired at the town with blank charges. And the preconcerted
shout was raised with a will. But the besiegers never stirred.
After this the Old-Countrymen among the prisoners, who had
taken the oath and enlisted in the garrison, were disarmed
and confined, while the rest were more strictly watched.

Two brave attempts were made by French Canadians to reach
Quebec with reinforcements, one headed by a seigneur,
the other by a parish priest. Carleton had sent word to
M. de Beaujeu, seigneur of Crane Island, forty miles
below Quebec, asking him to see if he could cut off the
American detachment on the Levis shore. De Beaujeu raised
three hundred and fifty men. But Arnold sent over
reinforcements. A habitant betrayed his fellow-countrymen's
advance-guard. A dozen French Canadians were then killed
or wounded while forty were taken prisoners; whereupon
the rest dispersed to their homes. The other attempt was
made by Father Bailly, whose little force of about fifty
men was also betrayed. Entrapped in a country-house these
men fought bravely till nearly half their number had been
killed or wounded and the valiant priest had been mortally
hit. They then surrendered to a much stronger force which
had lost more men than they.

This was on the 6th of April, just before Arnold was
leaving in disgust. Wooster made an effort to use his
new artillery to advantage by converging the fire of
three batteries, one close in on the Heights of Abraham,
another from across the mouth of the St Charles, and the
third from Levis. But the combination failed: the batteries
were too light for the work and overmatched by the guns
on the walls, the practice was bad, and the effect was
nil. On the 3rd of May the new general, Thomas, an
enterprising man, tried a fireship, which was meant to
destroy all the shipping in the Cul de Sac. It came on,
under full sail, in a very threatening manner. But the
crew lost their nerve at the critical moment, took to
the boats too soon, and forgot to lash the helm. The
vessel immediately flew up into the wind and, as the
tidal stream was already changing, began to drift away
from the Cul de Sac just when she burst into flame. The
result, as described by an enthusiastic British diarist,
was that 'she affoard'd a very pritty prospect while she
was floating down the River, every now & then sending up
Sky rackets, firing of Cannon or bursting of Shells, &
so continued till She disappear'd in the Channell.'

Three days later, on the 6th of May, when the beleaguerment
had lasted precisely five months, the sound of distant
gunfire came faintly up the St Lawrence with the first
breath of the dawn wind from the east. The sentries
listened to make sure; then called the sergeants of the
guards, who sent word to the officers on duty, who, in
their turn, sent word to Carleton. By this time there
could be no mistake. The breeze was freshening; the sound
was gradually nearing Quebec; and there could hardly be
room for doubting that it came from the vanguard of the
British fleet. The drums beat to arms, the church bells
rang, the news flew round to every household in Quebec;
and before the tops of the _Surprise_ frigate were seen
over the Point of Levy every battery was fully manned,
every battalion was standing ready on the Grand Parade,
and every non-combatant man, woman, and child was lining
the seaward wall. The regulation shot was fired across
her bows as she neared the city; whereupon she fired
three guns to leeward, hoisted the private signal, and
showed the Union Jack. Then, at last, a cheer went up
that told both friend and foe of British victory and
American defeat. By a strange coincidence the parole for
this triumphal day was St George, while the parole
appointed for the victorious New Year's Eve had been St
Denis; so that the patron saints of France and England
happen to be associated with the two great days on which
the stronghold of Canada was saved by land and sea.

The same tide brought in two other men-of-war. Some
soldiers of the 29th, who were on board the _Surprise_,
were immediately landed, together with the marines from
all three vessels. Carleton called for volunteers from
the militia to attack the Americans at once; and nearly
every man, both of the French- and of the English-speaking
corps, stepped forward. There was joy in every heart that
the day for striking back had come at last. The columns
marched gaily through the gates and deployed into line
at the double on the Heights outside. The Americans fired
a few hurried shots and then ran for dear life, leaving
their dinners cooking, and, in some cases, even their
arms behind them. The Plains were covered with flying
enemies and strewn with every sort of impediment to
flight, from a cannon to a loaf of bread. Quebec had been
saved by British sea-power; and, with it, the whole vast
dominion of which it was the key.




CHAPTER VI

DELIVERANCE
1776

The Continental Congress had always been anxious to have
delegates from the Fourteenth Colony. But as these never
came the Congress finally decided to send a special
commission to examine the whole civil and military state
of Canada and see what could be done. The news of
Montgomery's death and defeat was a very unwelcome
surprise. But reinforcements were being sent; the Canadians
could surely be persuaded; and a Congressional commission
must be able to set things right. This commission was a
very strong one. Benjamin Franklin was the chairman.
Samuel Chase of Maryland and Charles Carroll of Carrollton
were the other members. Carroll's brother, the future
archbishop of Baltimore, accompanied them as a sort of
ecclesiastical diplomatist. Franklin's prestige and the
fact that he was to set up a 'free' printing-press in
Montreal were to work wonders with the educated classes
at once and with the uneducated masses later on. Chase
would appeal to all the reasonable 'moderates.' Carroll,
a great landlord and the nearest approach yet made to an
American millionaire, was expected to charm the Canadian
noblesse; while the fact that he and his exceedingly
diplomatic brother were devout Roman Catholics was thought
to be by itself a powerful argument with the clergy.

When they reached St Johns towards the end of April the
commissioners sent on a courier to announce their arrival
and prepare for their proper reception in Montreal. But
the ferryman at Laprairie positively refused to accept
Continental paper money at any price; and it was only
when a 'Friend of Liberty' gave him a dollar in silver
that he consented to cross the courier over the St
Lawrence. The same hitch occurred in Montreal, where the
same Friend of Liberty had to pay in silver before the
cab-drivers consented to accept a fare either from him
or from the commissioners. Even the name of Carroll of
Carrollton was conjured with in vain. The French Canadians
remembered Bigot's bad French paper. Their worst suspicions
were being confirmed about the equally bad American paper.
So they demanded nothing but hard cash--_argent dur_.
However, the first great obstacle had been successfully
overcome; and so, on the strength of five borrowed silver
dollars, the accredited commissioners of the Continental
Congress of the Thirteen Colonies made their state entry
into what they still hoped to call the Fourteenth Colony.
But silver dollars were scarce; and on the 1st of May
the crestfallen commissioners had to send the Congress
a financial report which may best be summed up in a
pithy phrase which soon became proverbial--'Not worth
a Continental.'

On the 10th of May they heard the bad news from Quebec
and increased the panic among their Montreal sympathizers
by hastily leaving the city lest they should be cut off
by a British man-of-war. Franklin foresaw the end and
left for Philadelphia accompanied by the Reverend John
Carroll, whose twelve days of disheartening experience
with the leading French-Canadian clergy had convinced
him that they were impervious to any arguments or
blandishments emanating from the Continental Congress.
It was a sad disillusionment for the commissioners, who
had expected to be settling the affairs of a fourteenth
colony instead of being obliged to leave the city from
which they were to have enlightened the people with a
free press. In their first angry ignorance they laid the
whole blame on their unfortunate army for its 'disgraceful
flight' from Quebec. A week later, when Chase and Charles
Carroll ought to have known better, they were still
assuring the Congress that this 'shameful retreat' was
'the principal cause of all the disorders' in the army;
and even after the whole story ought to have been understood
neither they nor the Congress gave their army its proper
due. But, as a matter of fact, the American position had
become untenable the moment the British fleet began to
threaten the American line of communication with Montreal.
For the rest, the American volunteers, all things
considered, had done very well indeed. Arnold's march
was a truly magnificent feat. Morgan's men had fought
with great courage at the Sault-au-Matelot. And though
Montgomery's assault might well have been better planned
and executed, we must remember that the good plan, which
had been rejected, was the military one, while the bad
plan, which had been adopted, was concocted by mere
politicians. Nor were 'all the disorders' so severely
condemned by the commissioners due to the army alone.
Far from it, indeed. The root of 'all the disorders' lay
in the fact that a makeshift government was obliged to
use makeshift levies for an invasion which required a
regular army supported by a fleet.

On the 19th of May another disaster happened, this time
above Montreal. The Congress had not felt strong enough
to attack the western posts. So Captain Forster of the
8th Foot, finding that he was free to go elsewhere, had
come down from Oswegatchie (the modern Ogdensburg) with
a hundred whites and two hundred Indians and made prisoners
of four hundred and thirty Americans at the Cedars, about
thirty miles up the St Lawrence from Montreal. Forster
was a very good officer. Butterfield, the American
commander, was a very bad one. And that made all the
difference. After two days of feeble and misdirected
defence Butterfield surrendered three hundred and fifty
men. The other eighty were reinforcements who walked into
the trap next day. Forster now had four American prisoners
for every white soldier of his own; while Arnold was near
by, having come up from Sorel to Lachine with a small
but determined force. So Forster, carefully pointing out
to his prisoners their danger if the Indians should be
reinforced and run wild, offered them their freedom on
condition that they should be regarded as being exchanged
for an equal number of British prisoners in American
hands. This was agreed to and never made a matter of
dispute afterwards. But the second article Butterfield
accepted was a stipulation that, while the released
British were to be free to fight again, the released
Americans were not; and it was over this point that a
bitter controversy raged. The British authorities maintained
that all the terms were binding because they had been
accepted by an officer commissioned by the Congress. The
Congress maintained that the disputed article was obtained
by an unfair threat of an Indian massacre and that it
was so one-sided as to be good for nothing but repudiation.

'The Affair at the Cedars' thus became a sorely vexed
question. In itself it would have died out among later
and more important issues if it had not been used as a
torch to fire American public opinion at a time when the
Congress was particularly anxious to make the Thirteen
Colonies as anti-British as possible. Most of Forster's
men were Indians. He had reminded Butterfield how dangerous
an increasing number of Indians might become. Butterfield
was naturally anxious to prove that he had yielded only
to overwhelming odds and horrifying risks. Americans in
general were ready to believe anything bad about the
Indians and the British. The temptation and the opportunity
seemed made for each other. And so a quite imaginary
Indian massacre conveniently appeared in the American
news of the day and helped to form the kind of public
opinion which was ardently desired by the party of revolt.

The British evidence in this and many another embittering
dispute about the Indians need not be cited, since the
following items of American evidence do ample justice to
both sides. In the spring of 1775 the Massachusetts
Provincial Congress sent Samuel Kirkland to exhort the
Iroquois 'to whet their hatchet and be prepared to defend
our liberties and lives'; while Ethan Allen asked the
Indians round Vermont to treat him 'like a brother and
ambush the regulars.' In 1776 the Continental Congress
secretly resolved 'that it is highly expedient to engage
the Indians in the service of the United Colonies.' This
was before the members knew about the Affair at the
Cedars. A few days later Washington was secretly authorized
to raise two thousand Indians; while agents were secretly
sent 'to engage the Six Nations in our Interest, on the
best terms that can be procured.' Within three weeks of
this secret arrangement the Declaration of Independence
publicly accused the king of trying 'to bring on the
inhabitants of our frontiers the merciless Indian savages.'
Four days after this public accusation the Congress gave
orders for raising Indians along 'the Penobscot, the St
John, and in Nova Scotia'; and an entry to that effect
was made in its Secret Journal. Yet, before the month
was out, the same Congress publicly appealed to 'The
People of Ireland' in the following words: 'The wild and
barbarous savages of the wilderness have been solicited
by gifts to take up the hatchet against us, and instigated
to deluge our settlements with the blood of defenceless
women and children.'

The American defeats at Quebec and at the Cedars completely
changed the position of the two remaining commissioners.
They had expected to control a victorious advance. They
found themselves the highest authority present with a
disastrous retreat. Thereupon they made blunder after
blunder. Public interest and parliamentary control are
the very life of armies and navies in every country which
enjoys the blessings of self-government. But civilian
interference is death. Yet Chase and Carroll practically
abolished rank in the disintegrating army by becoming an
open court of appeal to every junior with a grievance or
a plan. There never was an occasion on which military
rule was more essential in military matters. Yet, though
they candidly admitted that they had 'neither abilities
nor inclination' to command, these wretched misrulers
tried to do their duty both to the Congress and the army
by turning the camp into a sort of town meeting where
the best orders had no chance whatever against the loudest
'sentiments.' They had themselves found the root of all
evil in the retreat from Quebec. Their army, like every
impartial critic, found it in 'the Commissioners and the
smallpox'--with the commissioners easily first. The
smallpox had been bad enough at Quebec. It became far
worse at Sorel. There were few doctors, fewer medicines,
and not a single hospital. The reinforcements melted away
with the army they were meant to strengthen. Famine
threatened both, even in May. Finally the commissioners
left for home at the end of the month. But even their
departure could no longer make the army's burden light
enough to bear.

Thomas, the ex-apothecary, who did his best to stem the
adverse tide of trouble, caught the smallpox, became
blind, and died at the beginning of June. Sullivan, the
fourth commander in less than half a year, having determined
that one more effort should be made, arrived at Sorel
with new battalions after innumerable difficulties by
the way. He was led to believe that Carleton's
reinforcements had come from Nova Scotia, not from England;
and this encouraged him to push on farther. He was
naturally of a very sanguine temper; and Thompson, his
second-in-command, heartily approved of the dash. The
new troops cheered up and thought of taking Quebec itself.
But, after getting misled by their guide, floundering
about in bottomless bogs, and losing a great deal of very
precious time, they found Three Rivers defended by
entrenchments, superior numbers, and the vanguard of the
British fleet. Nevertheless they attacked bravely on the
8th of June. But, taken in front and flank by well-drilled
regulars and well-handled men-of-war, they presently
broke and fled. Every avenue of escape was closed as they
wandered about the woods and bogs. But Carleton, who came
up from Quebec after the battle was all over, purposely
opened the way to Sorel. He had done his best to win the
hearts of his prisoners at Quebec and had succeeded so
well that when they returned to Crown Point they were
kept away from the rest of the American army lest their
account of his kindness should affect its anti-British
zeal. Now that he was in overwhelming force he thought
he saw an even better chance of earning gratitude from
rebels and winning converts to the loyal side by a still
greater act of clemency.

The battle of Three Rivers was the last action fought on
Canadian soil. The American army retreated to Sorel and
up the Richelieu to St Johns, where it was joined by
Arnold, who had just evacuated Montreal. Most of the
Friends of Liberty in Canada fled either with or before
their beaten forces. So, like the ebbing of a whole river
system, the main and tributary streams of fugitives drew
south towards Lake Champlain. The neutral French Canadians
turned against them at once; though not to the extent of
making an actual attack. The habitant cared nothing for
the incomprehensible constitutionalities over which
different kinds of British foreigners were fighting their
exasperating civil war. But he did know what the king's
big fleet and army meant. He did begin to feel that his
own ways of life were safer with the loyal than with the
rebel side. And he quite understood that he had been
forced to give a good deal for nothing ever since the
American commissioners had authorized their famishing
army to commandeer his supplies and pay him with their
worthless 'Continentals.'

From St Johns the worn-out Americans crawled homewards
in stray, exhausted parties, dropping fast by the way as
they went. 'I did not look into a hut or a tent,' wrote
a horrified observer, 'in which I did not find a dead or
dying man.' Disorganization became so complete that no
exact returns were ever made up. But it is known that
over ten thousand armed men crossed into Canada from
first to last and that not far short of half this total
either found their death beyond the line or brought it
back with them to Lake Champlain.

It was on what long afterwards became Dominion Day--the
1st of July--that the ruined American forces reassembled
at Crown Point, having abandoned all hope of making Canada
the Fourteenth Colony. Three days later the disappointed
Thirteen issued the Declaration of Independence which
virtually proclaimed that Canadians and Americans should
thenceforth live a separate life.




CHAPTER VII

THE COUNTERSTROKE
1776-1778

Six thousand British troops, commanded by Burgoyne, and
four thousand Germans, commanded by Baron Riedesel, had
arrived at Quebec before the battle of Three Rivers.
Quebec itself had then been left to the care of a German
garrison under a German commandant, 'that excellent man,
Colonel Baum,' while the great bulk of the army had
marched up the St Lawrence, as we have seen already. Such
a force as this new one of Carleton's was expected to
dismay the rebel colonies. And so, to a great extent, it
did. With a much larger force in the colonies themselves
the king was confidently expected to master his unruly
subjects, no matter how much they proclaimed their
independence. The Loyalists were encouraged. The trimmers
prepared to join them. Only those steadfast Americans
who held their cause dearer than life itself were still
determined to venture all. But they formed the one party
that really knew its own mind. This gave them a great
advantage over the king's party, which, hampered at every
turn by the opposition in the mother country, was never
quite sure whether it ought to strike hard or gently in
America.

On one point, however, everybody was agreed. The command
of Lake Champlain was essential to whichever side would
hold its own. The American forces at Crown Point might
be too weak for the time being. But Arnold knew that even
ten thousand British soldiers could not overrun the land
without a naval force to help them. So he got together
a flotilla which had everything its own way during the
time that Carleton was laboriously building a rival
flotilla on the Richelieu with a very scanty supply of
ship-wrights and materials. Arnold, moreover, could devote
his whole attention to the work, makeshift as it had to
be; while Carleton was obliged to keep moving about the
province in an effort to bring it into some sort of order
after the late invasion. Throughout the summer the British
army held the line of the Richelieu all the way south as
far as Isle-aux-Noix, very near the lake and the line.
But Carleton's flotilla could not set sail from St Johns
till October 5, by which time the main body of his army
was concentrated round Pointe-au-Fer, at the northern
end of the lake, ninety miles north of the American camp
at Crown Point.

It was a curious situation for a civil and military
governor to be hoisting his flag as a naval
commander-in-chief, however small the fleet might be.
But it is commonly ignored that, down to the present day,
the governor-general of Canada is appointed 'Vice-Admiral
of the Same' in his commissions from the Crown. Carleton
of course carried expert naval officers with him and had
enough professional seamen to work the vessels and lay
the guns. But, though Captain Pringle manoeuvred the
flotilla and Lieutenant Dacre handled the flagship
_Carleton_, the actual command remained in Carleton's
own hands. The capital ship (and the only real square-rigged
'ship') of this Lilliputian fleet was Pringle's
_Inflexible_, which had been taken up the Richelieu in
sections and hauled past the portages with immense labour
before reaching St Johns, whence there is a clear run
upstream to Lake Champlain. The _Inflexible_ carried
thirty guns, mostly 12-pounders, and was an overmatch
for quite the half of Arnold's decidedly weaker flotilla.
The _Lady Maria_ was a sort of sister ship to the
_Carleton_. The little armada was completed by a 'gondola'
with six 9-pounders, by twenty gunboats and four longboats,
each carrying a single piece, and by many small craft
used as transports.

On the 11th of October Carleton's whole naval force was
sailing south when one of Arnold's vessels was seen making
for Valcour Island, a few miles still farther south on
the same, or western, side of Lake Champlain. Presently
the Yankee ran ashore on the southern end of the island,
where she was immediately attacked by some British small
craft while the _Inflexible_ sailed on. Then, to the
intense disgust of the _Inflexible_'s crew, Arnold's
complete flotilla was suddenly discovered drawn up in a
masterly position between the mainland and the island.
It was too late for the _Inflexible_ to beat back now.
But the rest of Carleton's flotilla turned in to the
attack. Arnold's flanks rested on the island and the
mainland. His rear could be approached only by beating
back against a bad wind all the way round the outside of
Valcour Island; and, even if this manoeuvre could have
been performed, the British attack on his rear from the
north could have been made only in a piecemeal way,
because the channel was there at its narrowest, with a
bad obstruction in the middle. So, for every reason, a
frontal attack from the south was the one way of closing
with him. The fight was furious while it lasted and
seemingly decisive when it ended. Arnold's best vessel,
the _Royal Savage_, which he had taken at St Johns the
year before, was driven ashore and captured. The others
were so severely mauled that when the victorious British
anchored their superior force in line across Arnold's
front there seemed to be no chance for him to escape the
following day. But that night he performed an even more
daring and wonderful feat than Bouchette had performed
the year before when paddling Carleton through the American
lines among the islands opposite Sorel. Using muffled
sweeps, with consummate skill he slipped all his remaining
vessels between the mainland and the nearest British
gunboat, and was well on his way to Crown Point before
his escape had been discovered. Next day Carleton chased
south. The day after he destroyed the whole of the enemy's
miniature sea-power as a fighting force. But the only
three serviceable vessels got away; while Arnold burnt
everything else likely to fall into British hands. So
Carleton had no more than his own reduced flotilla to
depend on when he occupied Crown Point.

A vexed question, destined to form part of a momentous
issue, now arose. Should Ticonderoga be attacked at once
or not? It commanded the only feasible line of march from
Montreal to New York; and no force from Canada could
therefore attack the new republic effectively without
taking it first. But the season was late. The fort was
strong, well gunned, and well manned. Carleton's
reconnaissance convinced him that he could have little
chance of reducing it quickly, if at all, with the means
at hand, especially as the Americans had supplies close
by at Lake George, while he was now a hundred miles south
of his base. A winter siege was impossible. Sufficient
supplies could never be brought through the dense,
snow-encumbered bush, all the way from Canada, even if
the long and harassing line of communications had not
been everywhere open to American attack. Moreover,
Carleton's army was in no way prepared for a midwinter
campaign, even if it could have been supplied with food
and warlike stores. So he very sensibly turned his back
on Lake Champlain until the following year.

That was the gayest winter Quebec had seen since Montcalm's
first season, twenty years before. Carleton had been
knighted for his services and was naturally supposed to
be the chosen leader for the next campaign. The ten
thousand troops gave confidence to the loyalists and
promised success for the coming campaign. The clergy were
getting their disillusioned parishioners back to the fold
beneath the Union Jack; while _Jean Ba'tis'e_ himself
was fain to admit that his own ways of life and the money
he got for his goods were very much safer with _les
Angla's_ than with the revolutionists, whom he called
_les Bastonna's_ because most trade between Quebec and
the Thirteen Colonies was carried on by vessels hailing
from the port of Boston. The seigneurs were delighted.
They still hoped for commissions as regulars, which too
few of them ever received; and they were charmed with
the little viceregal court over which Lady Maria Carleton,
despite her youthful two-and-twenty summers, presided
with a dignity inherited from the premier ducal family
of England and brought to the acme of conventional
perfection by her intimate experience of Versailles. On
New Year's Eve Carleton gave a public fete, a state
dinner, and a ball to celebrate the anniversary of the
British victory over Montgomery and Arnold. The bishop
held a special thanksgiving and made all notorious
renegades do open penance. Nothing seemed wanting to
bring the New Year in under the happiest auspices since
British rule began.

But, quite unknown to Carleton, mischief was brewing in
the Colonial Office of that unhappy government which did
so many stupid things and got the credit for so many
more. In 1775 the well-meaning Earl of Dartmouth was
superseded by Lord George Germain, who continued the
mismanagement of colonial affairs for seven disastrous
years. Few characters have abused civil and military
positions more than the man who first, as a British
general, disgraced the noble name of Sackville on the
battlefield of Minden in 1759, and then, as a cabinet
minister, disgraced throughout America the plebeian one
of Germain, which he took in 1770 with a suitable legacy
attached to it. His crime at Minden was set down by the
thoughtless public to sheer cowardice. But Sackville was
no coward. He had borne himself with conspicuous gallantry
at Fontenoy. He was admired, before Minden, by two very
brave soldiers, Wolfe and the Duke of Cumberland. And he
afterwards fought a famous duel with as much sang-froid
as any one would care to see. His real crime at Minden
was admirably exposed by the court-martial which found
him 'guilty of having disobeyed the orders of Prince
Ferdinand of Brunswick, whom he was by his commission
bound to obey as commander-in-chief, according to the
rules of war.' This court also found him 'unfit to serve
his Majesty in any military capacity whatever'; and George
II directed that the following 'remarks' should be added
when the sentence was read out on parade to every regiment
in the service: 'It is his Majesty's pleasure that the
above sentence be given out in public orders, not only
in Britain, but in America, and in every quarter of the
globe where British troops happen to be, so that all
officers, being convinced that neither high birth nor
great employments can shelter offences of such a nature,
and seeing they are subject to censures worse than death
to a man who has any sense of honour, may avoid the fatal
consequences arising from disobedience of orders.'

This seemed to mark the end of Sackville's sinister
career. But when George II died and George III began to
reign, with a very different set of men to help him, the
bad general reappeared as an equally bad politician.
Haughty, cantankerous, and self-opinionated to the last
degree, Germain, who had many perverse abilities fitting
him for the meaner side of party politics, was appointed
to the post for which he was least qualified just when
Canada and the Thirteen Colonies most needed a master
mind. Worse still, he cherished a contemptible grudge
against Carleton for having refused to turn out a good
officer and put in a bad one who happened to be a pampered
favourite. At first, however, Carleton was allowed to do
his best. But in the summer of 1776 Germain restricted
Carleton's command to Canada and put Burgoyne, a junior
officer, in command of the army destined to make the
counterstroke. The ship bearing this malicious order had
to put back; so it was not till the middle of May 1777
that Carleton was disillusioned by its arrival as well
as by a second and still more exasperating dispatch
accusing him of neglect of duty for not having taken
Ticonderoga in November and thus prevented Washington
from capturing the Hessians at Trenton. The physical
impossibility of a winter siege, the three hundred miles
of hostile country between Trenton and Ticonderoga, and
the fact that the other leading British general, Howe,
had thirty thousand troops in the Colonies, while Carleton
had only ten thousand with which to hold Canada that year
and act as ordered next year, all went for nothing when
Germain found a chance to give a good stab in the back.

On May 20 Carleton wrote a pungent reply, pointing out
the utter impossibility of following up his victory on
Lake Champlain by carrying out Germain's arm-chair plan
of operations in the middle of winter. 'I regard it as
a particular blessing that your Lordship's dispatch did
not arrive in due time.' As for the disaster at Trenton,
he 'begs to inform his Lordship' that if Howe's thirty
thousand men had been properly used the Hessians could
never have been taken, 'though all the rebels from
Ticonderoga had reinforced Mr Washington's army.' Moreover,
'I never could imagine why, if troops so far south [as
Howe's] found it necessary to go into winter quarters,
your Lordship could possibly expect troops so far north
to continue their operations.' A week later Carleton
wrote again and sent in his resignation. 'Finding that
I can no longer be of use, under your Lordship's
administration ... I flatter myself I shall obtain the
king's permission to return home this fall. ... I shall
embark with great satisfaction, still entertaining the
ardent wish that, after my departure, the dignity of the
Crown in this unfortunate Province may not appear beneath
your Lordship's concern.'

Burgoyne had spent the winter in London and had arrived
at Quebec about the same time as Germain's dispatches.
He had loyally represented Carleton's plans at headquarters.
But he did not know America and he was not great enough
to see the weak points in the plan which Germain proposed
to carry out with wholly inadequate means.

There was nothing wrong with the actual idea of this
plan. Washington, Carleton, and every other leading man
on either side saw perfectly well that the British army
ought to cut the rebels in two by holding the direct line
from Montreal to New York throughout the coming campaign
of 1777. Given the irresistible British command of the
sea, fifty thousand troops were enough. The general idea
was that half of these should hold the four-hundred-mile
line of the Richelieu, Lake Champlain, and the Hudson,
while the other half seized strategic points elsewhere
and still further divided the American forces. But the
troops employed were ten thousand short of the proper
number. Many of them were foreign mercenaries. And the
generals were not the men to smash the enemy at all costs.
They were ready to do their duty. But their affinities
were rather with the opposition, which was against the
war, than with the government, which was for it. Howe
was a strong Whig. Burgoyne became a follower of Fox.
Clinton had many Whig connections. Cornwallis voted
against colonial taxation. To make matters worse, the
government itself wavered between out-and-out war and
some sort of compromise both with its political opponents
at home and its armed opponents in America.

Under these circumstances Carleton was in favour of a
modified plan. Ticonderoga had been abandoned by the
Americans and occupied by the British as Burgoyne marched
south. Carleton's idea was to use it as a base of operations
against New England, while Howe's main body struck at
the main body of the rebels and broke them up as much as
possible. Germain however, was all for the original plan.
So Burgoyne set off for the Hudson, expecting to get into
touch with Howe at Albany. But Germain, in his haste to
leave town for a holiday, forgot to sign Howe's orders
at the proper time; and afterwards forgot them altogether.
So Howe, pro-American in politics and temporizer in the
field, manoeuvred round his own headquarters at New York
until October, when he sailed south to Philadelphia.
Receiving no orders from Germain, and having no initiative
of his own, he had made no attempt to hold the line of
the Hudson all the way north to Albany, where he could
have met Burgoyne and completed the union of the forces
which would have cut the Colonies in two. Meanwhile
Burgoyne, ignorant of Germain's neglect and Howe's
futilities, was struggling to his fate at Saratoga, north
of Albany. He had been receiving constant aid from
Carleton's scanty resources, though Carleton knew full
well that the sending of any aid beyond the limits of
the province exposed him to personal ruin in case of a
reverse in Canada. But it was all in vain; and, on the
17th of October, Burgoyne--much more sinned against than
sinning--laid down his arms. The British garrison
immediately evacuated Ticonderoga and retired to St Johns,
thus making Carleton's position fairly safe in Canada.
But Germain, only too glad to oust him, had now notified
him that Haldimand, the new governor, was on the point
of sailing for Quebec. Haldimand, to his great credit,
had asked to have his own appointment cancelled when he
heard of Germain's shameful attitude towards Carleton,
and had only consented to go after being satisfied that
Carleton really wished to come home. The exchange, however,
was not to take place that year. Contrary winds blew
Haldimand back; and so Canada had to remain under the
best of all possible governors in spite of Germain.

Germain had provoked Carleton past endurance both by his
public blunders and by his private malice. Even in 1776
there was hate on one side, contempt on the other. When
Germain had blamed Carleton for not carrying out the
idiotic winter siege of Ticonderoga, Carleton, in his
official reply, 'could only suppose' that His Lordship
had acted 'in other places with such great wisdom that,
without our assistance, the rebels must immediately be
compelled to lay down their arms and implore the King's
mercy.' After that Germain had murder in his heart to
the bitter end of Carleton's rule. Carleton had frequently
reported the critical state of affairs in Canada. 'There
is nothing to fear from the Canadians so long as things
are in a state of prosperity; nothing to hope from them
when in distress. There are some of them who are guided
by sentiments of honour. The multitude is influenced by
hope of gain or fear of punishment.' The recent invasion
had proved this up to the hilt. Then welcome reaction
began. The defeat of the invaders, the arrival of Burgoyne's
army, and the efforts of the seigneurs and the clergy
had considerably brightened the prospects of the British
cause in Canada. The partial mobilization of the militia
which followed Burgoyne's surrender was not, indeed, a
great success. But it was far better than the fiasco of
two years before. There was also a corresponding improvement
in civil life. The judges whom Carleton had been obliged
to appoint in haste all proved at leisure the wisdom of
his choice; and there seemed to be every chance that
other nominees would be equally fit for their positions,
because the Quebec Act, which annulled every appointment
made before it came into force, opened the way for the
exclusion of bad officials and the inclusion of the good.

But the chance of perverting this excellent intention
was too much for Germain, who succeeded in foisting one
worthless nominee after another on the province just as
Carleton was doing his best to heal old sores. One of
the worst cases was that of Livius, a low-down,
money-grubbing German Portuguese, who ousted the future
Master of the Rolls; Sir William Grant, a man most
admirably fitted to interpret the laws of Canada with
knowledge, sympathy, and absolute impartiality. Livius
as chief justice was more than Carleton could stand in
silence. This mongrel lawyer had picked up all the Yankee
vices without acquiring any of the countervailing Yankee
virtues. He was 'greedy of power, more greedy of gain,
imperious and impetuous in his temper, but learned in
the ways and eloquence of the New England provinces, and
valuing himself particularly on his knowledge of how to
manage governors.' He had been sent by Germain 'to
administer justice to the Canadians when he understands
neither their laws, manners, customs, nor language.'
Other like nominees followed, 'characters regardless of
the public tranquility but zealous to pay court to a
powerful minister and--provided they can obtain
advantages--unconcerned should the means of obtaining
them prove ruinous to the King's service.' These
pettifoggers so turned and twisted the law about for the
sake of screwing out the maximum of fees that Carleton
pointedly refused to appoint Livius as a member of the
Legislative Council. Livius then laid his case before
the Privy Council in England. But this great court of
ultimate appeal pronounced such a damning judgment on
his gross pretensions that even Germain could not prevent
his final dismissal from all employment under the Crown.

Wounded in the house of those who should have been his
friends, thwarted in every measure of his self-sacrificing
rule, Carleton served on devotedly through six weary
months of 1778--the year in which a vindictive government
of Bourbon France became the first of the several foreign
enemies who made the new American republic an accomplished
fact by taking sides in a British civil war. His burden
was now far more than any man could bear. Yet he closed
his answer to Germain's parting shot with words which
are as noble as his deeds:

'I have long looked out for the arrival of a successor.
Happy at last to learn his near approach, I resign the
important commands with which I have been entrusted into
hands less obnoxious to your Lordship. Thus, for the
King's service, as willingly I lay them down as, for his
service, I took them up.'




CHAPTER VIII

GUARDING THE LOYALISTS
1782-1783

Burgoyne's surrender marked the turning of the tide
against the British arms. True, the three campaigns of
purely civil war, begun in 1775, had reached no decisive
result. True also that the Independence declared in 1776
had no apparent chance of becoming an accomplished fact.
But 1777 was the fatal year for all that. The long
political strife in England, the gross mismanagement of
colonial affairs under Germain, and the shameful blunders
that made Saratoga possible, all combined to encourage
foreign powers to take the field against the king's
incompetent and distracted ministry. France, Spain, and
Holland joined the Americans in arms; while Russia,
Sweden, Denmark, Prussia, and all the German seaboard
countries formed the Armed Neutrality of the North. This
made stupendous odds--no less than ten to one. First of
the ten came the political opposition at home, which, in
regard to the American rebellion itself, was at least
equal to the most powerful enemy abroad. Next came the
four enemies in arms: the American rebels, France, Spain,
and Holland. Finally came the five armed neutrals, all
ready to use their navies on the slightest provocation.

From this it may be seen that not one-half, perhaps not
a quarter, of all the various forces that won the
Revolutionary war were purely American. Nor were the
Americans and their allies together victorious over the
mother country, but only over one sorely hampered party
in it. Yet, from the nature of the case, the Americans
got much more than the lion's share of the spoils, while,
even in their own eyes, they seemed to have gained honour
and glory in the same proportion. The last real campaign
was fought in 1781 and ended with the British surrender
at Yorktown. From that time on peace was in the air. The
unfortunate ministry, now on the eve of political defeat
at home, were sick of civil war and only too anxious for
a chance of uniting all parties against the foreign foes.
But they had first to settle with the Americans, who had
considered themselves an independent sovereign power for
the last five years and who were determined to make the
most of England's difficulties. No darker New Year's Day
had ever dawned on any cabinet than that of 1782 on
North's. In spite of his change from repression to
conciliation, and in spite of dismissing Germain to the
House of Lords with an ill-earned peerage, Lord North
found his majority dwindling away. At last, on the 20th
of March, he resigned.

Meanwhile every real statesman in either party had felt
that the crisis required the master-hand of Carleton.
With Germain, the empire-wrecker, gone, Carleton would
doubtless have served under any cabinet, for no government
could have done without him. But his actual commission
came through the Rockingham administration on the 4th of
April. After three quiet years of retirement at his
country seat in Hampshire he was again called upon to
face a situation of extreme difficulty. For once, with
a wisdom rare enough in any age and almost unknown in
that one, the government gave him a free hand and almost
unlimited powers. The only questions over which he had
no final power were those of making treaties. He was
appointed 'General and Commander-in-chief of all His
Majesty's forces within the Colonies lying in the Atlantic
Ocean, from Nova Scotia to the Floridas, and inclusive
of Newfoundland and Canada should they be attacked.' He
was also appointed commissioner for executing the terms
of any treaty that might be made; and his instructions
contained two passages which bore eloquent witness to
the universal confidence reposed in him. 'It is impossible
to judge of the precise situation at so great a distance'
and 'His Majesty's affairs are so situated that further
deliberations give way to instant decision. We are
satisfied that whatever inconveniences may arise they
will be compensated by the presence of a commander-in-chief
of whose discretion, conduct, and ability His Majesty
has long entertained the highest opinion.' Thus the great
justifier of British rule beyond the seas arrived in New
York on the 9th of May 1782 with at least some hope of
reconciling enough Americans to turn the scale before it
was too late.

For three months the prospect, though worse than he had
anticipated, did not seem utterly hopeless. It had been
considerably brightened by Rodney's great victory over
the French fleet which was on its way to attack Jamaica.
But an unfortunate incident happened to be exasperating
Loyalists and revolutionists at this very time. Some
revolutionists had killed a Loyalist named Philip White,
apparently out of pure hate. Some Loyalists, under Captain
Lippincott, then seized and hanged Joshua Huddy, a captain
in the Congress militia, out of sheer revenge. A paper
left pinned on Huddy's breast bore the inscription: 'Up
goes Huddy for Philip White.' Washington then demanded
that Lippincott should be delivered up; and, on Carleton's
refusal, chose a British prisoner by lot instead. The
lot fell on a young Lieutenant Asgill of the Guards,
whose mother appealed to the king and queen of France
and to their powerful minister, Vergennes. The American
Congress wanted blood for blood, which would have led to
an endless vendetta. But Vergennes pointed out that
Asgill, a youth of nineteen, was as much a prisoner of
the king of France as of the Continental Congress. At
this the Congress gnashed its teeth, but had to give way.

While the Asgill affair was still running its course,
and embittering Loyalists and rebels more than ever,
Carleton was suddenly informed that the government had
decided to grant complete independence. This was more
than he could stand; and he at once asked to be recalled.
He had been all for honourable reconciliation from the
first. He had been particularly kind to his American
prisoners in Canada and had purposely refrained from
annihilating the American army after the battle of Three
Rivers. But he was not prepared for independence. Nor
had he been sent out with this ostensible object in view.
His official instructions were to inform the Americans
that 'the most liberal sentiments had taken root in the
nation, and that the narrow policy of monopoly was totally
extinguished.' Now he was called upon to surrender without
having tried either his arms or his diplomacy. With
British sea-power beginning to reassert its age-long
superiority over all possible rivals, with practically
all constitutional points of dispute conceded to the
revolutionists, and with the certain knowledge that by
no means the majority of all Americans were absolute
anti-British out-and-outers, he thought it no time to
dismember the Empire. His Intelligence Department had
been busily collecting information which seems surprising
enough as we read it over to-day, but which was based on
the solid facts of that unhappy time. One member of the
Continental Congress was anxious to know what would become
of the American army if reconciliation should be effected
on the understanding that there would be no more imperial
taxation or customs duty--would it become part of the
Imperial Army, or what?

But speculation on all such contingencies was suddenly
cut short by the complete change of policy at home. The
idea was to end the civil war that had divided the Empire
and to concentrate on the foreign war that at least united
the people of Great Britain. No matter at what cost this
policy had now to be carried out; and Carleton was the
only man that every one would trust to do it. So,
sacrificing his own feelings and convictions, he made
the best of an exceedingly bad business. He had to
safeguard the prisoners and Loyalists while preparing to
evacuate the few remaining footholds of British power in
the face of an implacable foe. At the same time he had
to watch every other point in North America and keep in
touch with his excellent naval colleague, Admiral Digby,
lest his own rear might be attacked by the three foreign
enemies of England. He was even ordered off to the West
Indies in the autumn. But counter-orders fortunately
arrived before he could start. Thus, surrounded by enemies
in front and rear and on both flanks, he spent the seven
months between August and the following March.

At the end of March 1783 news arrived that the preliminary
treaty of peace had been signed. The final treaty was
not signed till his fifty-ninth birthday, the 3rd of the
following September. The signature of the preliminaries
simplified the naval and military situation. But it made
the situation of the Loyalists worse than ever. Compared
with them the prisoners of war had been most highly
favoured from the first. And yet the British prisoners
had little to thank the Congress for. That they were
badly fed and badly housed was not always the fault of
the Americans. But that political favourites and underlings
were allowed to prey on them was an inexcusable disgrace.
When a prisoner complained, he was told it was the fault
of the British government which would not pay for his
keep! This answer, so contrary to all the accepted usages
of war, which reserve such payments till after the
conclusion of peace, was no empty gibe; for when, some
time before the preliminaries had been signed, the British
and American commissioners met to effect an exchange of
prisoners, the Americans began by claiming the immediate
payment of what the British prisoners had cost them. This
of course broke up the meeting at once. In the meantime
the German prisoners in British pay were offered their
freedom at eighty dollars a head. Then farmers came
forward to buy up these prisoners at this price. But the
farmers found competitors in the recruiting sergeants,
who urged the Germans, with only too much truth, not to
become 'the slaves of farmers' but to follow 'the glorious
trade of war' against their employers, the British
government. To their honour be it said, these Germans
kept faith with the British, much to the surprise of the
Americans, who, like many modern writers, could not
understand that these foreign mercenaries took a
professional pride in carrying out a sworn contract, even
when it would pay them better to break it. The British
prisoners were not put up for sale in the same way. But
money sent to them had a habit of disappearing on the
road--one item mentioned by Carleton amounted to six
thousand pounds.

If such was the happy lot of prisoners during the war,
what was the wretched lot of Loyalists after the treaty
of peace? The words of one of the many petitions sent in
to Carleton will suggest the answer. 'If we have to
encounter this inexpressible misfortune we beg consideration
for our lives, fortunes, and property, _and not by mere
terms of treaty_.' What this means cannot be appreciated
unless we fully realize how strong the spirit of hate
and greed had grown, and why it had grown so strong.

The American Revolution had not been provoked by
oppression, violence, and massacre. The 'chains and
slavery' of revolutionary orators was only a figure of
speech. The real causes were constitutional and personal;
and the actual crux of the question was one of payment
for defence. Of course there were many other causes at
work. The social, religious, and political grudges with
which so many emigrants had left the mother country had
not been forgotten and were now revived. Commercial
restrictions, however well they agreed with the spirit
of the age, were galling to such keen traders. And the
mere difference between colonies and motherland had
produced misunderstandings on both sides. But the main
provocative cause was Imperial taxation for local defence.
The Thirteen Colonies could not have held their own by
land or sea, much less could they have conquered their
French rivals, without the Imperial forces, which, indeed,
had done by far the greater part of the fighting. How
was the cost to be shared between the mother country and
themselves? The colonies had not been asked to pay more
than their share. The point was whether they could be
taxed at all by the Imperial government when they had no
representation in the Imperial parliament. The government
said Yes. The colonies and the opposition at home said
No. As the colonies would not pay of their own accord,
and as the government did not see why they should be
parasites on the armed strength of the mother country,
parliament proceeded to tax them. They then refused to
pay under compulsion; and a complete deadlock ensued.

The personal factors in this perhaps insoluble problem
were still more refractory than the constitutional. All
the great questions of peace and war and other foreign
relations were settled by the mother country, which was
the only sovereign power and which alone possessed the
force to make any British rights respected. The Americans
supplied subordinate means and so became subordinate men
when they and the Imperial forces worked together. This,
to use a homely phrase, made their leaders feel out of
it. Everything that breeds trouble between militiamen
and regulars, colonials and mother-countrymen, fanned
the flame of colonial resentment till the leaders were
able to set their followers on fire. It was a leaders'
rebellion: there was no maddening cruelty or even
oppression such as those which have produced so many
revolutions elsewhere. It was a leaders' victory: there
was no general feeling that death or independence were
the only alternatives from the first. But as the fight
went on, and Loyalists and revolutionists grew more and
more bitter towards one another, the revolutionary
followers found the same cause for hating the Loyalists
as their leaders had found for hating the government.
Many of the Loyalists belonged to the well-educated and
well-to-do classes. So the envy and greed of the
revolutionary followers were added to the personal and
political rage of their leaders.

The British government had done its best for the Loyalists
in the treaty of peace and had urged Carleton, who needed
no urging in such a cause, to do his best as well. But
the treaty was made with the Congress; and the Congress
had no authority over the internal affairs of the thirteen
new states, each one of which could do as it liked with
its own envied and detested Loyalists. The revolutionists
wanted some tangible spoils. The safety of peace had made
the trimmers equally 'patriotic' and equally clamorous.
So the confiscation of Loyalist property soon became the
order of the day.

It was not the custom of that age to confiscate private
property simply because the owners were on the losing
side, still less to confiscate it under local instead of
national authority. But need, greed, and resentment were
stronger than any scruples. Need was the weakest, resentment
the strongest of all the animating motives. The American
army was in rags and its pay greatly in arrears while
the British forces under Carleton were fed, clothed, and
paid in the regular way. But it was the passionate
resentment of the revolutionists that perverted this
exasperating difference into another 'intolerable wrong.'
Washington was above such meaner measures. But when he
said the Loyalists were only fit for suicide, and when
Adams, another future president, said they ought to be
hanged, it is little wonder that lesser men thought the
time had come for legal looting. Those Loyalists who best
understood the temper of their late fellow-countrymen
left at once. They were right. Even to be a woman was no
protection against confiscation in the case of Mary
Phillips, sister-in-law to Beverley Robinson, a well-known
Loyalist who settled in New Brunswick after the Revolution.
Her case was not nearly so hard as many another. But her
historic love-affair makes it the most romantic.
Eight-and-twenty years before this General Braddock had
marched to death and defeat beside the Monongahela with
two handsome and gallant young aides-de-camp, Washington
and Morris. Both fell in love with bewitching Mary
Phillips. But, while Washington left her fancy-free,
Morris won her heart and hand. Now that the strife was
no longer against a foreign foe but between two British
parties, the former aides-de-camp found themselves rivals
in arms as well as love; for Colonel Morris was Carleton's
right-hand man in all that concerned the Loyalists, being
the official head of the department of Claims and Succour:

Morris, Morgan, and Carleton were the three busiest men
in New York. Forty thick manuscript volumes still show
Maurice Morgan's assiduous work as Carleton's confidential
secretary. But Morris had the more heart-breaking duty
of the three, with no relief, day after sorrow-laden day,
from the anguishing appeals of Loyalist widows, orphans,
and other ruined refugees. No sooner had the dire news
arrived that peace had been made with the Congress, and
that each of the thirteen United States was free to show
uncovenanted mercies towards its own Loyalists, than the
exodus began. Five thousand five hundred and ninety-three
Loyalists sailed for Halifax in the first convoy on the
17th of April with a strong recommendation from Carleton
to Governor Parr of Nova Scotia. 'Many of these are of
the first families and born to the fairest possessions.
I therefore beg that you will have them properly
considered.' Shipping was scarce; for the hostility of
the whole foreign naval world had made enormous demands
on the British navy and mercantile marine. So six thousand
Loyalists had to march overland to join Carleton's vessels
at New York, some of them from as far south as
Charlottesville, Virginia. They were carefully shepherded
by Colonel Alured Clarke, of whom we shall hear again.

Meanwhile Carleton and Washington had exchanged the usual
compliments on the conclusion of peace and had met each
other on the 6th of May at Tappan, where they discussed
the exchange of prisoners. By the terms of the treaty
the British were to evacuate New York, their last foothold
in the new republic, with all practicable dispatch; so,
as summer changed into autumn, the Congress became more
and more impatient to see the last of them. But Carleton
would not go without the Loyalists, whose many tributary
streams of misery were still flowing into New York. In
September, when the treaty of peace was ratified in
Europe, the Congress asked Carleton point-blank to name
the date of his own departure. But he replied that this
was impossible and that the more the Loyalists were
persecuted the longer he would be obliged to stay. The
correspondence between him and the Congress teems with
complaints and explanations. The Americans were very
anxious lest the Loyalists should take away any goods
and chattels not their own, particularly slaves. Carleton
was disposed to consider slaves as human beings, though
slavery was still the law in the British oversea dominions,
and so the Americans felt uneasy lest he might discriminate
between their slaves and other chattels. Reams of the
Carleton papers are covered with descriptive lists of
claimed and counter-claimed niggers--Julius Caesars,
Jupiters, Venuses, Dianas, and so on, who were either
'stout wenches' and 'likely fellows' or 'incurably lazy'
and 'old worn-outs.'

Perhaps, when a slave wished to remain British, and his
case was nicely balanced between the claimants and the
counter-claimants, Carleton was a little inclined to give
him the benefit of the doubt. But with other forms of
disputed property he was too severe to please all Loyalists.
A typical case of restitution in Canada will show how
differently the two governments viewed the rights of
private property. Mercier and Halsted, two Quebec rebels,
owned a wharf and the frame of a warehouse in 1775. It
was Arnold's intercepted letter to Mercier that gave
Carleton's lieutenant, Cramahe, the first warning of
danger from the south. Halsted was Major Caldwell's miller
at the time and took advantage of his position to give
his employer's flour to Arnold's army, in which he served
as commissary throughout the siege. Just after the peace
of 1783 Mercier and Halsted laid claim to their former
property, which they had abandoned for eight years and
on which the government had meanwhile built a provision
store, making use of the original frame. The case was
complicated by many details too long for notice here.
But the British government finally gave the two rebels
the original property, plus thirteen years' rent, less
the cost of government works erected in the meantime.
All the documents are still in Quebec.

Property was troublesome enough. But people were worse.
And Carleton's difficulties increased as the autumn wore
on. The first great harrying of the Loyalists drove more
than thirty thousand from their homes; and about twenty-five
thousand of these embarked at New York. Then there were
the remnants of twenty Loyalist corps to pension, settle,
or employ. There were also the British prisoners to
receive, besides ten thousand German mercenaries. Add to
all this the regular garrison and the general oversight
of every British interest in North America, from the
Floridas to Labrador, remember the implacable enemy in
front, and we may faintly imagine what Carleton had to
do before he could report that 'His Majesty's troops and
such remaining Loyalists as chose to emigrate were
successfully withdrawn on the 25th [of November] without
the smallest circumstance of irregularity.'

Thus ended one of the greatest acts in the drama of the
British Empire, the English-speaking peoples, or the
world; and thus, for the second time, Carleton, now in
his sixtieth year, apparently ended his own long service
in America. He had left Canada, after saving her from
obliteration, because, so long as he remained her governor,
the war minister at home remained her enemy. He had then
returned to serve in New York, and had stayed there to
the bitter end, because there was no other man whom the
new government would trust to command the rearguard of
the Empire in retreat.




CHAPTER IX

FOUNDING MODERN CANADA
1786-1796

Carleton now enjoyed two years of uninterrupted peace at
his country seat in England. His active career seemed to
have closed at last. He had no taste for party politics.
He was not anxious to fill any position of civil or
military trust, even if it had been pressed upon him.
And he had said farewell to America for good and all when
he had left New York. Though as full of public spirit as
before and only just turned sixty, he bid fair to spend
the rest of his life as an English country gentleman.
His young wife was well contented with her lot. His manly
boys promised to become worthy followers of the noble
profession of arms. And the overseeing of his little
estate occupied his time very pleasantly indeed. Like
most healthy Englishmen he was devoted to horses, and,
unlike some others, he was very successful with his
thoroughbreds.

He had first bought a place near Maidenhead, beside the
Thames, which is nowhere lovelier than in that sylvan
neighbourhood. Then he bought the present family seat of
Greywill Hill near the little village of Odiham in
Hampshire. As an ex-governor and commander-in-chief, a
county magnate, a personage of great importance to the
Empire, and the one victorious British general in the
unhappy American war, he had more than earned a peerage.
But it was not till 1786, on the eve of his sixty-second
birthday, and at a time when his services were urgently
required again, that he received it. Needless to say this
peerage had nothing whatever to do with his acceptance
of another self-sacrificing duty. It was not given till
several months after he had promised to return to Canada;
and he would certainly have refused it if it had been
held out to him as an inducement to go there. He became
Baron Dorchester and was granted the not very extravagant
addition to his income of a thousand pounds a year payable
during four lives, his own, his wife's, and those of his
two eldest sons. His elevation to the House of Lords met
with the almost unanimous approval of his fellow-peers,
in marked contrast to the open hostility they had shown
towards his old enemy, Lord George Germain, when that
vile wrecker had been 'kicked upstairs' among them. The
Carleton motto, crest, and supporters are all most
appropriate. The crest is a strong right arm with the
hand clenched firmly on an arrow. The motto is _Quondam
his vicimus armis_--_We used to conquer with these arms_.
The supporters are two beavers, typifying Canada, while
their respective collars, one a naval the other a military
coronet, show how her British life was won and saved and
has been kept.

Carleton was a man of great reserve and self-control.
But his kindly nature must have responded to the cordial
welcome which he received on his return to Quebec in
October 1786. It was not without reason that the people
of Canada rejoiced to have him back as their leader. All
that the Indians imagined the Great White Father to be
towards themselves he was in reality towards both red
man and white. Stern, when the occasion forced him to be
stern, just in all his dealings between man and man,
dignified and courteous in all his ways, a soldier through
every inch of his stalwart six feet, he was a ruler with
whom no one ever dreamt of taking liberties. But neither
did any deserving one in trouble ever hesitate to lay
the most confidential case before him in the full assurance
that his head and heart were at the service of all
committed to his care. And no other governor, before his
time or since, ever inspired his followers with such a
firm belief that all would turn out for the best so long
as he was in command.

This power of inspiring confidence was now badly needed.
Everything in Canada was still provisional. Owing to the
war the Quebec Act of 1774 had never been thoroughly
enforced. Then, when the war was over, the Loyalists
arrived and completely changed the circumstances which
the act had been designed to meet. The next constitution,
the Canada Act of 1791, was of a very different character.
During the seventeen years between these two constitutions
all that could be done was to make the best of a very
confusing state of flux. Not that the Quebec Act was a
dead letter--far from it--but simply that it could not
go beyond restoring the privileges of the French-Canadian
priests and seigneurs within the area then effectively
occupied by the French-Canadian race. Carleton, as we
have seen, had faced its problem for the first four years.
Haldimand had carried on the government under its provisions
for the following six. Hamilton and Hope, successive
lieutenant-governors, had bridged the two years between
Haldimand's retirement and Carleton's second appointment.
Now Carleton was to pick up the threads and make what he
could of the tangled skein for the next five years.
Haldimand had not been popular with either of the two
chief parties into which the leading French Canadians
were divided. The seigneurs had nothing like the same
regard for a Swiss soldier of fortune that they had for
aristocratic British commanders like Murray and Carleton.
The clergy also preferred these Anglicans to such a strong
Swiss Protestant. The habitants and agitators, who were
far less favourable to the new regime, had passionately
resented Haldimand's firmness at times of crisis. But,
despite all this French-Canadian animus, he was not such
an absolute martinet as some writers would have us think.
The war with France and with the American Revolutionists
required strong government in Canada; while the influx
of Loyalists had introduced an entirely new set of most
perplexing circumstances. On the whole, Haldimand had
done very well in spite of many personal and public
drawbacks; and it was through no special fault of his,
nor yet of Hope's, that the threads which Carleton picked
up formed such a perversely tangled skein.

The troubles that now dogged the great conciliator's
every step were of all kinds--racial, religious, social,
political, military, diplomatic, legal. The confusion
resulting from the intermixture of French and English
civil laws had become a great deal more confounded since
he had left Canada eight years before. The old proportions
of races and religions to each other had changed most
disturbingly. The Loyalists were of quite a different
social class from the English-speaking immigrants of
earlier days. They wanted a parliament, public schools,
and many other things new to the country; and they were
the sort of people who had a right to have them. The
problem of defence was always a vexed one with the
inadequate military forces at hand and the insuperable
difficulties concerning the militia. The British still
held the Western forts pending the settlement of the
frontier and the execution of the treaty of peace in
full. This naturally annoyed the American government and
gave Carleton endless trouble. But more serious still
was the ceaseless western march of the American
backwoodsmen, who were everywhere in conflict with the
Indians. The Indians, in their turn, were confused between
the British and Americans under the new conditions. They
and their ever-receding rights and territories had not
been mentioned in the treaty. But, seeing that they would
be better off under British than under American rule,
they were inclined to take sides accordingly. There were
now no openly hostile sides to take. But, for all that,
the British posts in the hinterland looked like weak
little islands which might be suddenly engulfed in the
sea of Indian troubles raging round them. Then, at the
other end of the British line, there were the three
maritime provinces to watch over. New Brunswick had been
divided off from Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island
had been taken from the direct supervision of the home
authorities and placed under the command of the new
governor at Quebec. Thus Carleton had to deal directly
with everything that happened from the far West to Gaspe,
while dealing indirectly with the three maritime provinces
and all the troubles that proved too much for their own
lieutenant-governors. There was no chance of concentrating
on one thing at a time. Nothing would wait. The governor
had to watch the writhing tangle as a whole during every
minute he devoted to any one kinked and knotted thread.

Fortunately there were some good men in office on both
sides of the Atlantic. Lords Sydney and Grenville, the
two cabinet ministers with whom Carleton had most to do,
were both sensible and sympathetic. Years afterwards
Grenville, the favourite cousin of Pitt, became the
colleague of Fox at the head of the celebrated 'Ministry
of All the Talents.' Hope was an acceptable
lieutenant-governor, and his successor, Sir Alured Clarke,
was better still. Francois Bailly, the coadjutor Roman
Catholic bishop of Quebec, who had gone to England as
French tutor to Carleton's children, was a most enlightened
cleric. So too was Charles Inglis, the Anglican bishop
of Nova Scotia, appointed in 1787. He was the first
Canadian bishop of the Anglican communion and his diocese
comprised the whole of British North America. William
Smith, the new chief justice, was as different from
Carleton's last chief justice, Livius, as angels are from
devils. Smith had been an excellent chief justice of his
native New York in the old colonial days, and, like
Inglis, was a very ardent Loyalist. He respected all
reasonable French-Canadian peculiarities. But he favoured
the British-Constitutional way of 'broadening down from
precedent to precedent' rather than the French way of
referring to a supposedly infallible written regulation.
We shall soon meet him as a far-seeing statesman. But he
well deserves an honoured place in Canadian history for
his legal services alone. To him, more than to any other
man, is due the nicely balanced adjustments which eventually
harmonized the French and English codes into a body of
laws adapted to the extraordinary circumstances of the
province of Quebec.

Besides the committee on laws Carleton had nominated
three other active committees of his council, one on
police, another on education, and a third on trade and
commerce. The police committee was of the usual kind and
dealt with usual problems in the usual way. But the
education committee brought out all the vexed questions
of French and English, Protestant and Roman Catholic,
progressive and reactionary. Strangely enough, the sharpest
personal controversy was that between Hubert, the Roman
Catholic bishop of Quebec, and his coadjutor Bailly.
Hubert enumerated all the institutions already engaged
in educational work and suggested that 'rest and be
thankful' was the only proper attitude for the committee
to assume. But Bailly very neatly pointed out that his
respected superior's real opinions could not be those
attributed to him over his own signature because they
were at variance with the facts. Hubert had said that
the cures were spreading education with most commendable
zeal, had repudiated the base insinuation that only three
or four people in each parish could read and write, and
had wound up by thinking that while there was so much
land to clear the farmers would do better to keep their
sons at home than send them to a university, where they
would be under professors so 'unprejudiced' as to have
no definite views on religion. Bailly argued that the
bishop could not mean what these words seemed to imply,
as the logical conclusion would be to wait till Canada
was cleared right up to the polar circle. In the end the
committee made three very sanguine recommendations: a
free common school in every parish, a secondary school
in every town or district, and an absolutely non-sectarian
central university. This educational ladder was never
set up. There was nothing to support either end of it.
The financial side was one difficulty. The Jesuits'
estates were intended to be made over into educational
endowments under government control. But Amherst's claim
that they had been granted to him in 1760 was not settled
for forty years; and by that time all chance of carrying
out the committee's intentions was seen to be hopeless.

Commerce was another burning question and one of much
more immediate concern. In 1791 the united populations
of all the provinces amounted to only a quarter of a
million, of whom at least one-half were French Canadians.
Quebec and Montreal had barely ten thousand citizens
apiece. But the commercial classes, mostly English-speaking,
had greatly increased in numbers, ability, and social
standing. The camp-following gangs of twenty years before
had now either disappeared or sunk down to their appropriate
level. So petitions from the 'British merchants' required
and received much more consideration than formerly. The
Loyalists had not yet had time to start in business. All
their energies were needed in hewing out their future
homes. But two parts of the American Republic, Vermont
and Kentucky, were very anxious to do business with the
British at any reasonable price. Some of their citizens
were even ready for a change of allegiance if the terms
were only good enough. Vermont wanted a 'free trade'
outlet to the St Lawrence by way of the Richelieu. The
rapids between St Johns and Chambly lay in British
territory. But Vermont was ready to join in building a
canal and would even become British to make sure. The
old Green Mountain Boys had changed their tune. Ethan
Allen himself had buried the hatchet and, like his brother,
become Carleton's friendly correspondent. He frankly
explained that what Vermonters really wanted was 'property
not liberty' and added that they would stand no coercion
from the American government. About the same time Kentucky
was bent on getting an equally 'free trade' outlet to
the Gulf of Mexico by way of the Mississippi. The fact
that France Spain, the British Empire, and the United
States might all be involved in war over it did not
trouble the conspirators in the least. The central
authority of the new Republic was still weak. The individual
states were still ready to fly asunder. Federal taxation
was greatly feared. Anything that savoured of federal
interference with state rights was passionately resented.
The general spirit of the westerners was that of the
exploiting pioneer in a virgin wilderness--a law unto
itself alone. There were various plans for opening the
coveted Mississippi. One was to join Spain. Another was
to seize New Orleans, turn out the French, and bring in
the British. Then, to make the plot complete, the French
minister to the United States was asking permission to
make a tour through Canada at the very time when Carleton
was sending home reams of documents bearing on the
impending troubles. The letters exchanged on this subject
are perfect models of politeness. But Carleton's answer
was an emphatic No.

Foreign complications were thickening fast. The French
Revolution had already begun, though its effect was not
yet felt in Canada. The American government was anxiously
watching its refractory states, while an anti-British
political party was making headway in the South. As if
this was not enough to engage whatever attention Carleton
had to spare from the internal affairs of Canada, he
suddenly heard that the Spaniards had been seizing British
vessels trading to a British post on Vancouver Island.
[Footnote: _See Pioneers of the Pacific Coast_ in this
Series.] This Nootka Affair, which nearly brought on a
war with Spain in 1790, was settled in London and Madrid.
But the threat of war added to Carleton's anxieties.

Meanwhile the governor was busily employed with an
immigration problem. It was desirable that the
English-speaking immigrants should settle on the land
with the least possible friction between them and the
French Canadians. The French Canadians differed among
themselves. But no such differences brought them any
closer to their new neighbours on questions of land
settlement. The French had granted lands in seigneuries.
The British would hear of nothing but free and common
socage. French farms were measured by the arpent and were
staked out in long and narrow oblongs. British farms were
measured by the acre and staked out 'on the square.'
Language, laws, religion, manners and customs, ways of
life, were also different. So there was hardly any
intermixture of settlements. The French Canadians remained
where they were. Most of the new Anglo-Canadians settled
in the Maritime Provinces or moved west into what is now
Ontario. A few settled in rural Quebec on lands outside
the line of seigneuries. The Eastern Townships, that part
of the province lying east of the Richelieu and nearest
the American frontier, absorbed many English, Irish, and
Scots, as well as a good many Americans who were attracted
by cheap land. Ontario, or Upper Canada, received still
more Americans, who were to be a thorn in the side of
the British during the War of 1812.

But Carleton's work comprised much more than this. There
were the Church of England, the Post Office, a refractory
lieutenant-governor down in Prince Edward Island, two
royal visitors, and many other distracting matters. The
only Anglican see thus far established was at Halifax;
but the bishop there had authority over the whole country
and the government intended to establish the Church of
England in Canada and endow it. The Presbyterians also
petitioned for the establishment of the Scottish Church.
The fortunes or misfortunes of the Clergy Reserves
belong to another chapter of Canadian history. But the
root of their good or evil was planted in the time of
Carleton. The postal service was surrounded by enormous
difficulties--the vast extent of wild country, the few
towns, the long winters, the poverty of the people.
The question of the winter port was even then a live
one between St John and Halifax. Each of these towns
asserted its advantages and promised twelve trips a year
and connection with Quebec overland by means of walking
postmen till a bush road should be cut from Quebec to the
sea. In Prince Edward Island the old lieutenant-governor,
Walter Patterson, declined to make way for the new one,
Edmund Fanning. In the end Patterson gave up the contest.
But the incident, trivial as it now appears, shows what
a governor-general had to face in the early days when
each province had queer little ways of its own. Patterson
had no precise official reason. But he said he could
not go home to answer charges he did not understand and
leave an island which had been his very successful hobby
for so many years! The people sided with him so vigorously
that time had to be given them to cool down before the
transfer could be peaceably effected.

A judge whose court is in perpetual session or a commander
whose inadequate forces are continually surrounded by
prospective enemies has little time for the amenities of
purely social life. So Carleton generally left his young
consort to rule the viceregal court at the Chateau St
Louis with a perfect blend of London and Versailles. Two
Princes of the Blood, however, demanded more than the
usual attention from the governor. Prince William Henry,
afterwards King William IV, was the first member of the
Royal Family to set foot in the New World when he arrived
in H.M.S. _Pegasus_ in 1787. He was the proverbial jolly
Jack Tar, extremely affable to everybody; and he quickly
won golden opinions from all who met him, except perhaps
from Lady Dorchester and sundry would-be partners for
his duty dances. Philippe Aubert de Gaspe and other
privileged chroniclers record with slightly shocked
delight how often he would break loose from Lady
Dorchester's designing care, long before she thought it
right for him to do so, and 'command' his partners for
their pretty faces instead of by precedence. At Sorel
the people were so carried away by their enthusiasm that
they insisted on changing the name of their little town
to William Henry. Happily this name never took root in
public sentiment and the old one soon came back to stay.

The second member of the Royal Family to come to Canada
was Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, fourth son of George
III, father of Queen Victoria and grandfather of Prince
Arthur, Duke of Connaught, who became the first royal
governor-general in 1911, exactly a hundred and twenty
years later. The Duke of Kent would have gladly returned
to Quebec as governor-general, and the people would have
gladly welcomed him. But he was not a favourite with the
government at home, and so he never came. There was no
doubt about his being a popular favourite in Quebec during
the three years he spent there as colonel of the 7th
Fusiliers. Nor has he been forgotten to the present day.
Kent House is still the name of his quarters in the town
as well as of his country residence at Montmorency Falls
seven miles away, while the only new opening ever made
in the walls is called Kent Gate.

The duke made fast friends with several of the seigneurial
families, more especially with the de Salaberrys, whose
manor-house at Beauport stood half-way between Montmorency
and Quebec and not far from Montcalm's headquarters in
1759. The de Salaberrys were a military family. All the
sons went into the Army and one became the hero of
Chateauguay in the War of 1812. But the duke mixed freely
with many other people than the local aristocracy. He
was young, high-spirited, and loved adventure, as was
proved by his subsequent gallantry at Martinique. He was
also fond of driving round incognito, a habit which on
at least one occasion obliged him to put his skill at
boxing to good use. This was at Charlesbourg, a village
near Quebec, where he was watching the fun at the first
election ever held. Perhaps, from a meticulously
constitutional point of view, the scene of a hotly
contested election was not quite the place for Princes
of the Blood. But, however that might be, when the duke
saw two electors pommelling a third, who happened to be
a friend of his, he dashed in to the rescue and floored
both of them with a neatly planted right and left. One
of these men, who lived to see King Edward VII arrive in
1860, as Prince of Wales, always took the greatest pride
in telling successive generations of voters how Queen
Victoria's father had knocked him down.

Like his brother before him the duke was very fond of
dancing, and kept many a reluctant senior and many a
tired-out chaperone up till all hours at the grand ball
given in honour of his twenty-fourth birthday. Also like
his brother he was inclined to reduce his duty dances to
a minimum, much to Lady Dorchester's dismay. She had gone
home with her husband for two years shortly after the
duke's arrival. But she had seen enough of him, and was
to see enough again on her return, to make her regret
the good old times of more exacting ceremony. To her
dying day, half a century later, she kept up a prodigious
stateliness of manner. Before meals she expected the
whole company to assemble and remain standing till she
had made her royal progress through the room. She was a
living anachronism for many years before her death, with
her high-heeled, gold-buttoned, scarlet-coloured shoes,
her Marie-Antoinette _coiffure_ raised high above her
head and interlaced with ribbons, her elaborately gorgeous
dress, her intricate array of ornaments, and her long,
jet-black, official-looking cane. But she was no anachronism
to herself; for she still lived in the light of other
days, in the fondly remembered times when, as the vice-reine
of the Chateau St Louis, she helped her consort to settle
nice points of etiquette and maintain a dignity befitting
His Majesty's chosen representative. How did the seigneurs
rank among themselves and with the leading English-speaking
people? Who were to dance in the state minuet? Should
dancing cease when the bishops came in, and for how long?
Was that curtsy dropped quite low enough to her viceregal
self, and did that _debutante_ offer her blushing cheek
in quite the proper way to Carleton when he graciously
gave her the presentation kiss? How immeasurably far away
it all seems now, that stately little court where the
echoes of a dead Versailles lived on for seven years
after the fall of the Bastille! And yet there is still
one citizen o Quebec whose early partners were chaperoned
by ladies who had danced the minuet with Lord and Lady
Dorchester.

The two royal visits were not without their political
significance--using the word political in its larger
meaning. But the three years between them--that is,
1788-89-90--formed the really pregnant time of
constitutional development, when the Canada Act of 1791
was taking shape in the minds of its chief authors
--Carleton and Smith in Canada, Grenville and Pitt in
England. The Loyalists and the English-speaking merchants
of Quebec and Montreal took good care to make themselves
heard at every stage of the proceedings. Most French
Canadians would have preferred to be left without the
suspected blessings of a parliament. The clergy and
seigneurs wished for a continuance of the Quebec Act,
and the habitants wanted they knew not what, provided it
would enable them to get more and give less. The
English-speaking people, on the other hand, were all for
a parliament. But they differed widely as to what kind
of parliament would suit their purpose best. As a rule
they acquiesced, with a more or less bad grace, in the
necessity of admitting French Canadians on the same terms
as themselves. If Canada, without the Maritime Provinces,
should be taken as a whole then the French Canadians
would only be in a moderate majority. If, however, two
provinces, Upper Canada and Lower Canada, were to be
erected, then the English-speaking minority in Lower
Canada would be outvoted three or four to one.

There was a third alternative: no less than the
establishment of a regular Dominion of British North
America in 1790, a step which might have saved much
trouble between that time and the Confederation of 1867.
William Smith was its strongest advocate, Carleton its
most cautious and judicious supporter. The chief justice
was in favour of federating Upper and Lower Canada with
the Maritime Provinces and Newfoundland into a single
dominion. Each of the six provinces would have its own
parliament under a lieutenant-governor, while there would
also be a central parliament under a governor-general.
Carleton forwarded the suggestion to the home government;
but he nowhere committed himself to any very definite
scheme. His own preference was for keeping the existing
province of Quebec a little longer, then dividing it,
and afterwards drawing in the other provinces. The chief
justice preferred to make a constitution. The governor
preferred to let it grow. The home government's preference
could not be stated better than in Grenville's dispatch
to Carleton of the 20th of October 1789: 'The general
object is to assimilate the constitution to that of Great
Britain as nearly as the difference arising from the
manners of the People and from the present situation of
the Province will admit. ... Attention is due to the
prejudices and habits of the French Inhabitants and every
caution should be used to continue to them the enjoyment
of those civil and religious Rights which were secured
to them by the Capitulation or which have since been
granted by the liberal and enlightened spirit of the
British Government.' Except for its rather too
self-righteous conclusion this confidential announcement
really is an admirable statement of the 'liberal and
enlightened' views which prevailed at Westminster.

The bill, postponed in 1790, was introduced by Pitt
himself in the House of Commons on the 7th of March 1791.
Sixteen days later Adam Lymburner, a representative
merchant of Quebec, whom Carleton described as 'a quiet,
decent man, not unfriendly to the administration,' pleaded
for hours before the committee of the House of Commons
against the division of the province. All the
English-speaking minority in the prospective province of
Lower Canada were afraid of being swamped by the
French-Canadian vote, and so of being hampered in liberty
and trade. The London merchants naturally backed Lymburner.
Fox opposed the bill as not being liberal enough. Burke
flared up into the speech which led to his final breach
with Fox. Pitt, the pilot who was to weather far greater
storms in the years to come, eventually got the bill
through both Houses with substantial majorities. On the
14th of May it became law. Quebec and Ontario were parted
for good, notwithstanding the legislative union of fifty
years later.

The Canada Act, or, as it is better known, the
Constitutional Act, cut off Upper Canada. Lower Canada
was now the old Quebec reduced to its right size, endowed
with clarified laws and a brand-new parliament, and made
as acceptable as possible to the English-speaking minority
without any injustice to the vastly greater French
majority. Quebec, Three Rivers, Montreal, and Sorel got
each two members in the new parliament, an allotment
which ensured a certain representation of the 'British'
merchants. The franchise was the same in both provinces:
in the country parts a forty-shilling freehold or its
equivalent, and in the towns either a five-pound annual
ownership value or twice that for a tenant. The Crown
gave up all taxation except commercial duties, which were
to be applied solely for the benefit of the provinces.
Lands outside the seigneuries were to be in free and
common socage, while seigneurial tenure itself could be
converted into freehold on petition. One-seventh of the
Crown lands was reserved for the endowment of the Church
of England. The Crown kept all rights of veto and
appointment. The legislatures were small in membership.
The Upper Houses could be made hereditary; though the
actual tenure was never more than for life during good
behaviour. Carleton favoured the hereditary principle
whenever it could be applied with advantage. But he knew
the ups and downs of colonial fortunes too well to believe
that Canada was ready for any such experiment.

No one dreamt of having what is now known as responsible
government, that is, an executive sitting in the legislature
and responsible to the legislature for its acts. Nor was
the greatest of all parliamentary powers--the power of
the purse--given outright. This, however, was owing to
simple force of circumstances and not to any desire of
abridging the liberties of the people. The fact is that
at this time eighty per cent of the total civil expenditure
had to be paid by the home government. It is frequently
ignored that the mother country paid most of Canada's
bills till long after the War of 1812, that she paid
nearly all the naval and military accounts for longer
still, and that she has borne far more than her own share
of the common defence down to the present day.

The new constitution came into force on the 26th of
December 1791; and, for the first time, Upper and Lower
Canada had the right to elect their own representatives.
Assemblies, of course, were nothing new in British North
America. Nova Scotia had an assembly in 1758, the year
that Louisbourg was taken. Prince Edward Island had one
in 1773, the year before the Quebec Act was passed. New
Brunswick had one in 1786, the year Carleton began his
second term. But assemblies still had all the charm of
novelty in 'Canada proper.' Perhaps it would be more
appropriate to say that Upper Canada experienced more
charm than novelty while Lower Canada experienced more
novelty than charm. The Anglo-Canadians in all five
provinces were used to parliaments in America. Their
ancestors had been used to them for centuries in England.
So the little parliament of Upper Canada at Newark passed
as many bills in five weeks as that of Lower Canada passed
in seven months. The fact that there were fifty members
in the Assembly at Quebec, while there were only half as
many in both chambers at Newark, doubtless had something
to do with it. But the fact that the Quebec parliament
was an innovation, while the one at Newark was a simple
development, had very much more.

There is no need to follow the course of legislation in
any of the five provinces. As most of the civil and
practically all the naval and military expenditure had
to be met by the Imperial Treasury, and as Canada was
five parts and no whole from her own parliamentary point
of view, the legislation required for a grand total of
two hundred and fifty thousand people could not be of
the national kind. But at Quebec the scene, the setting,
and the unheard-of innovation itself all give a special
interest to every detail of the opening ceremony on the
17th of December 1792.

Carleton was in England, so the Speech from the Throne
was read by the lieutenant-governor, Major-General Sir
Alured Clarke. Half of the Upper House and two-thirds of
the Lower were French Canadians. A French-Canadian member
was nominated for the speakership and elected unanimously.
Both races were for the most part represented by members
whose official title of 'Honourable Gentlemen' was not
at all a misnomer. The French members of the Assembly
were half distrustful both of it and of themselves. But
they knew how to add grace and dignity to a very notable
occasion. The old Bishop's Palace served as the Houses
of Parliament and so continued for many years to come.
It was a solid rather than a stately pile. But it stood
on a commanding site at the head of Mountain Hill between
the Grand Battery and the Chateau St Louis. Every one
was in uniform or in what corresponded to court dress.
Round the throne stood many officers in their red and
gold, conspicuous among them the Duke of Kent. In front
sat the Executive and Legislative Councillors, corresponding
to the modern cabinet ministers and senators. Their roll,
as well as the Assembly's, bore many names that recalled
the glories of the old regime--St Ours, Longueuil, de
Lanaudiere, Boucherville, de Salaberry, de Lotbiniere,
and many more. The Council chamber was crowded in every
part long before the governor arrived. 'The Ladies
introduced into the House' were 'without Hat, Cloak, or
Bonnet,' the 'Doorkeeper of His Majesty's Council' having
taken good care to see them 'leave the same in the Great
Committee Room previous to their Introduction.' 'The
Ladies attached to His Excellency's Suite' were admitted
'within the railing or body of the House' and 'accommodated
with the seats of the members as far as possible.'
Outwardly it was all very much the same in principle as
the opening of any other British parliament--the escort,
guard, and band, the royal salute, the brilliant staff,
the scarlet cloth of state, the few and quiet members of
the Upper House, the many of the Lower, jostling each
other to get a good place near Mr Speaker at the bar,
the radiant ladies, the crowded galleries corniced with
inquiring faces and craned necks, the Gentlemen Ushers
and their quaint bows, the Speech from the Throne and
the occasional lifting of His Excellency's hat, the
retiring in full state; and then the ebbing away of all
the sightseers, their eddying currents of packed humanity
in the halls and passages, the porch, the door, the
emptying street. But inwardly what a world of difference!
For here was the first British parliament in which
legislators of foreign birth and blood and language were
shaping British laws as British subjects.

In September 1793 Carleton returned from his two years'
absence and was welcomed more warmly than ever. Quebec
blazed with illuminations. The streets swarmed with eager
crowds. The first session of the first parliament had
been better than any one had dared to hope for. There
was a general tendency to give the new constitution a
fair trial; and all classes looked to Carleton to make
the harmony that had been attained both permanent and
universal. Dr Jacob Mountain, first Anglican bishop of
Quebec, also arrived shortly afterwards and was warmly
greeted by the Roman Catholic prelate, who embraced him,
saying, 'It's time you came to shepherd your own flock.'
Mountain was statesman and churchman in one. He had been
chosen by the elder Pitt to be the younger's tutor and
then chosen by the younger to be his private secretary. The
fact that the Anglican bishop of Quebec was then and for
many years afterwards a sort of Canadian chaplain-general
to the Imperial troops and that most of the leading
officials and leading Loyalists belonged to the Church
of England made him a personage of great importance. It
was fortunate that, as in the case of Inglis down in
Halifax, the choice could not have fallen on a better
man or on one who knew better how to win the esteem of
communions other than his own. This same year (1793) died
William Smith, full of honours. But the next year his
excellent successor arrived in the person of William
Osgoode, the new chief justice, an eminent English lawyer
who had served for two years as chief justice of Upper
Canada and whose name is commemorated in Osgoode Hall,
Toronto. He had come out on the distinct understanding
that no fees were to be attached to his office, only a
definite salary. This was a great triumph for Carleton,
who certainly practised what he preached.

So far, so good. But the third conspicuous new arrival,
John Graves Simcoe, lieutenant-governor of Upper Canada,
who had come out the year before, was a great deal less
to Carleton's liking. Simcoe was a good officer who threw
himself heart and soul into the work of settling the new
province. He won the affectionate regard of his people
and is gratefully remembered by their posterity. But he
was too exclusively of his own province in his civil and
military outlook and was disposed to ignore Carleton as
his official chief. Moreover, he was appointed in spite
of Carleton's strongly expressed preference for Sir John
Johnson, who, to all appearances, was the very man for
the post. Sir William Johnson, the first baronet, had
been the great British leader of the Indians and a person
of much consequence throughout America. His son John
inherited many of his good qualities, thoroughly understood
the West and its problems, was a devoted Loyalist all
through the Revolution, when he raised the King's Royal
Regiment of New York, and would have been second only to
Carleton himself in the eyes of all Canadians, old and
new. But the government thought his private interests
too great for his public duty--an excellent general
principle, though misapplied in this particular case. At
any rate, Simcoe came instead, and the friction began at
once. Simcoe's commission clearly made him subordinate
to Carleton. Yet Simcoe made appointments without consulting
his superior and argued the point after he had been
brought to book. He communicated directly with the home
government over his superior's head and was not rebuked
by the minister to whom he wrote--Henry Dundas, afterwards
first Viscount Melville. Dundas, indeed, was half inclined
to snub Carleton. Simcoe desired to establish military
posts wherever he thought they would best promote immediate
settlement, a policy which would tend to sap both the
government's resources and the self-reliance of the
settlers. He also wished to fix the capital at London
instead of York, now Toronto, and to make York instead
of Kingston the naval base for Lake Ontario. Thus the
friction continued. At length Carleton wrote to the Duke
of Portland, Pitt's home secretary, saying: 'All command,
civil and military, being thus disorganized and without
remedy, your Grace will, I hope, excuse my anxiety for
the arrival of any successor, who may have authority
sufficient to restore order, lest these insubordinations
should extend to mutiny among the troops and sedition
among the people.' That was in November 1795. The
government, however, took no decisive action, and next
year both Carleton and Simcoe left Canada for ever.

When this unfortunate quarrel began (1793) Canada was in
grave danger of being attacked by both the French and
the American republics. The danger, however, had been
greatly lessened by Jay's Treaty of 1794 and was to be
still further lessened (1796) by the transfer of the
Western Posts to the United States and by the presidential
election which gave the Federal party a new lease of
power, though no longer under Washington. Had Carleton
remained in Canada these felicitous events would have
offered him a unique opportunity of strengthening the
friendly ties between the British and the Americans in
a way which might have saved some trouble later on. But
that was not to be.

To understand the dangers which threatened Canada during
the last three years of Carleton's rule we must go back
to February 1793, when revolutionary France declared war
on England and there then began that titanic struggle
which only ended twenty-two years later on the field of
Waterloo. The Americans were divided into two parties,
one disposed to be friendly towards Great Britain, the
other unfriendly. The names these parties then bore must
not be confused with those borne by their political
offspring at the present day. The Federals, progenitors
of the present Republicans, formed the friendly party
under Washington, Hamilton, and Jay. The Republicans,
progenitors of the present Democrats, formed the unfriendly
party under Jefferson, Madison, and Randolph. The Federals
were in power, the Republicans in opposition. When the
Republicans got into power in 1801 under Jefferson they
pursued their anti-British policy till they finally
brought on the War of 1812 under the presidency of Madison.
The strength of the peace party lay in the North; that
of the war party lay in the South. The peaceful Federals,
now that Independence had been gained, were in favour of
meeting the amicable British government half-way. When
Pitt came into power in 1783 he at once held out the
olive branch. Now, ten years later, the more far-seeing
statesmen on both sides were preparing to confirm the
new friendship in the practical form of Jay's Treaty,
which put the United States into what is at present known
as a most-favoured-nation position with regard to British
trade and commerce. Moreover, Washington and his Northern
Federals much preferred a British Canada to a French one,
while Jefferson and the Southern Republicans thought any
stick was good enough to beat the British dog with.

The Jeffersonians eagerly seized on the reports of a
speech which Carleton made to the Miamis, who lived just
south of Detroit, and used it to the utmost as a means
of stirring up anti-British feeling. Carleton had said:
'You are witnesses that we have acted in the most peaceable
manner and borne the language and conduct of the United
States with patience. But I believe our patience is almost
exhausted.' Applied to the vexed questions of the Western
Posts, of the lawless ways of the exterminating American
pioneers, and of the infinitely worse jobbing politicians
behind them, this language was mildness itself. But in
view of the high statesmanship of Washington and his
government it was injudicious. All the same, Dundas, more
especially because he was a cabinet minister, was even
more injudicious when he adopted a tone of reproof towards
Carleton, whose great services, past and present, entitled
him to unusual respect and confidence. The negotiations
for Jay's Treaty were then in progress in London, and
Jefferson saw his chance of injuring both the American
and British governments by magnifying Carleton's speech
into an 'unwarrantable outrage.' He also hoped that an
Indian war would upset the treaty and bring on a British
war as well. And the prospect did look encouragingly
black in the West, where the American general Wayne was
ready waiting south of Lake Erie, while the trade in
scalps was unusually brisk. Forty dollars was the regular
market price for an ordinary Indian's scalp. But as much
as a thousand was offered for Simon Girty's in the hope
of getting that inconvenient British scout put quickly
out of the way. Nearer home Jefferson and his band of
demagogues had other arguments as well. The Federal North
would suffer most by war, while the Republican South
might use war as a means of repudiating all the debts
she owed to Englishmen. This would have been a very
different thing from the insolvency of the Continental
Congress during the Revolution. It was dire want, not
financial infamy, that made the Revolutionary paper money
'not worth a Continental.' But it would have been sheer
theft for the Jeffersonian South to have made its honest
obligations 'rotten as a Pennsylvanian bond.'

The wild French-Revolutionary rage that swept through
the South now fanned the flame and made the sparks fly
over into Canada. In April 1793 a fiery Red Republican,
named Genet, landed at Charleston as French minister to
the United States and made a triumphal progress to
Philadelphia. Nobody bothered about the fundamental
differences between the French and American revolutions.
France and England were going to war and that was enough.
Genet was one of those 'impossibles' whom revolutions
throw into ridiculous power. When he began his campaign
the Republican South was at his feet. Planters and
legislators donned caps of liberty and danced themselves
so crazy over the rights of abstract man that they had
no enthusiasm left for such concrete instances as Loyalists,
Englishmen, and their own plantation slaves. Then Genet
made his next step in the new diplomacy by fitting out
French privateers in American harbours and seizing British
vessels in American waters. This brought Washington down
on him at once. Then he lost his head completely, abused
everybody, including Jefferson, and retired from public
life as an American citizen, being afraid to go home.

Genet's absurd career was short, but very meteoric while
it lasted, and full of anti-British mischief-making. His
agents were everywhere; and his successor, Adet, carried
on the underground agitation with equal zeal and more
astuteness. Vermont offered an excellent base of operations.
Finding that its British proclivities had not produced
the Chambly canal for its trade with the St Lawrence, it
had become more violently anti-British than ever before
and even proposed taking Canada single-handed. This time
its new policy remained at fever heat for over three
years and only cooled down when a British man-of-war
captured the incongruously named _Olive Branch_, in which
Ira Allen was trying to run the blockade from Ostend with
twenty thousand muskets and other arms which he represented
as being solely for the annual drill of the Vermont
militia. Thus Carleton had to watch the raging South,
the dangerous West, and bellicose Vermont, all together,
besides taking whatever measures he could against the
swarms of secret enemies within the gates. The American
immigrants who wanted 'property not liberty' were ready
enough for a change of flag whenever it suited them. But
they were few compared with the mass of French Canadians
who were being stirred into disaffection. The seigneurs,
the clergy, and the very few enlightened people of other
classes had no desire for being conquered by a regicide
France or an obliterating American Republic. But many of
the habitants and of the uneducated in the towns lent a
willing ear to those who promised them all kinds of
liberty and property put together.

The danger was all the greater because it was no longer
one foreigner intriguing against another, as in 1775, but
French against British and class against class. Some of the
appeals were still ridiculous. The habitants found themselves
credited with an unslakable thirst for higher education.
They were promised 'free' maritime intercommunication
between the Old World and the New, a wonderful extension
of representative institutions, and much more to the same
effect, universal revolutionary brotherhood included.
But when Frenchmen came promising fleets and armies, when
these emissaries were backed by French Canadians who had
left home for good reasons after the troubles of 1775,
and when the habitants were positively assured by all
these credible witnesses that France and the United States
were going to drive the British out of Canada and make
a heaven on earth for all who would turn against Carleton,
then there really was something that sensible men could
believe. Everything for nothing--or next to nothing. Only
turn against the British and the rest would be easy. No
more tithes to the cures, no more seigneurial dues, no
more taxes to a government which put half the money in
its own pocket and sent the other half to the king, who
spent it buying palaces and crowns.

'Nothing is too absurd for them to believe, wrote Carleton,
who felt all the old troubles of 1775 coming back in a
greatly aggravated form. He lost no time in vain regrets,
however, but got a militia bill through parliament,
improved the defences of Quebec, and issued a proclamation
enjoining all good subjects to find out, report, and
seize every sedition-monger they could lay their hands
on. An attempt to embody two thousand militiamen by ballot
was a dead failure. The few English-speaking militiamen
required came forward 'with alacrity.' The habitants hung
back or broke into riotous mobs. The ordinary habitant
could hardly be blamed. He saw little difference between
one kind of English-speaking people and another. So he
naturally thought it best to be on the side of the
prospective winners, especially when they persuaded him
that he would get back everything taken from him by 'the
infamous Quebec Act.' There really was no way whatever
of getting him to see the truth under these circumstances.
The mere fact that his condition had improved so much
under British rule made him all the readier to cry for
the Franco-American moon. Things presently went from bad
to worse. A glowing, bombastic address from 'The Free
French to their Canadian Brothers' (who of course were
'slaves') was even read out at more than one church door.
Then the Quebec Assembly unanimously passed an Alien Act
in May 1794, and suspected characters began to find that
two could play at the game. This stringent act was not
passed a day too soon. By its provisions the Habeas Corpus
Act could be suspended or suppressed and the strongest
measures taken against sedition in every form. Monk, the
attorney-general, reported that 'It is astonishing to
find the same savagery exhibited here as in France.' The
habitants and lower class of townsfolk had beers well
worked up 'to follow France and the United States by
destroying a throne which was the seat of hypocrisy,
imposture, despotism, greed, cruelty' and all the other
deadly sins. The first step was to be the assassination
of all obnoxious officials and leading British patriots
the minute the promised invasion began to prove successful.

No war came. And, as we have seen already, Carleton's
last year, 1796, was more peaceful than his first. But
even then the external dangers made the governor-general's
post a very trying one, especially when internal troubles
were equally rife. Thus Carleton never enjoyed a single
day without its anxious moments till, old and growing
weary, though devoted as ever, he finally left Quebec on
the 9th of July. This was the second occasion on which
he had been forced to resign by unfair treatment at the
hands of those who should have been his best support. It
was infinitely worse the first time, when he was stabbed
in the back by that shameless political assassin, Lord
George Germain. But the second was also inexcusable
because there could be no doubt whatever as to which of
the incompatibles should have left his post--the replaceable
Simcoe or the irreplaceable Carleton. Yet as H.M.S.
_Active_ rounded Point Levy, and the great stronghold of
Quebec faded from his view, Carleton had at least the
satisfaction of knowing that he had been the principal
saviour of one British Canada and the principal founder
of another.




CHAPTER X

'NUNC DIMITTIS'
1796-1808

Our tale is told.

The _Active_ was wrecked on the island of Anticosti,
where the estuary of the St Lawrence joins the Gulf. No
lives were lost, and the Carletons reached Perce in Gaspe
quite safely in a little coasting vessel. Then a ship
came round from Halifax and sailed the family over to
England at the end of September, just thirty years after
Carleton had come out to Canada to take up a burden of
oversea governance such as no other viceroy, in any part
of the world-encircling British Empire, has ever borne
so long.

He lived to become a wonderful link with the past. When
he died at home in England he was in the sixty-seventh
year of his connection with the Army and in the eighty-fifth
of his age. More than any other man of note he brought
the days of Marlborough into touch with those of Wellington,
though a century lay between. At the time he received
his first commission most of the senior officers were
old Marlburians. At the time of his death Nelson had
already won Trafalgar, Napoleon had already been emperor
of the French for nearly three years, and Wellington had
already begun the great Peninsular campaigns. Carleton's
own life thus constitutes a most remarkable link between
two very different eras of Imperial history. But he and
his wife together constitute a still more remarkable link
between two eras of Canadian history which are still
farther apart. At first sight it seems almost impossible
that he, who was the trusted friend o Wolfe, and she,
who learned deportment at Versailles in the reign of
Louis Quinze, should together make up a living link
between 1690, when Frontenac saved Quebec from the American
Colonials under Phips, and 1867, when the new Dominion
was proclaimed there. But it is true. Carleton, born in
the first quarter of the eighteenth century, knew several
old men who had served at the Battle of the Boyne, which
was fought three months before Frontenac sent his defiance
to Phips 'from the mouth of my cannon.' Carleton's wife,
living far on into the second quarter of the nineteenth
century, knew several rising young men who saw the Dominion
of Canada well started on its great career.

All Carleton's sons went into the Army and all died on
active service. The fourth was killed in 1814 at
Bergen-op-Zoom carrying the same sword that Carleton
himself had used there sixty-seven years before. A picture
of the first siege of Bergen-op-Zoom hangs in the
dining-room of the family seat at Greywell Hill to remind
successive generations of their martial ancestors. But
no Carleton needs to be reminded of a man's first duty
at the call to arms. The present holder of the Dorchester
estates and title is a woman. But her son and heir went
straight to the front with the cavalry of the first
British army corps to take the field in Belgium during
the Great World War of 1914.

Carleton spent most of his last twelve years at Kempshot
near Basingstoke because he kept his stud there and horses
were his chief delight. But he died at Stubbings, his
place near Maidenhead beside the silver Thames, on the
10th of November 1808.

Thus, after an unadventurous youth and early manhood, he
spent his long maturity steering the ship of state through
troublous seas abroad; then passed life's evening in the
quiet haven of his home.




BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

The Seigneurs and the Loyalists, both closely associated
with Carleton's Canadian career, are treated in two
volumes of the present Series: _The Seigneurs of Old
Canada_ and _The United Empire Loyalists_. Two other
volumes also provide profitable reading: _The War Chief
of the Six Nations: A Chronicle of Brant_, the Indian
leader who was to Carleton's day what Tecumseh was to
Brock's, and _The War Chief of the Ottawas: A Chronicle
of the Pontiac War_.

Only one life of Carleton has been written, _Lord
Dorchester_, by A. G. Bradley (1907). The student should
also consult _John Graves Simcoe_, by Duncan Campbell
Scott (1905), _Sir Frederick Haldimand_, by Jean McIlwraith
(1904), and _A History of Canada from 1763 to 1812_ by
Sir Charles Lucas. Carleton is the leading character in
the first half of the third volume of _Canada and its
Provinces_, which, being the work of different authors,
throws light on his character from several different
British points of view as well as from several different
kinds of evidence. Kingsford's _History of Canada_,
volumes iv to vii, treats the period in considerable
detail. Justin Smith's two volumes, _Our Struggle for
the Fourteenth Colony_, is the work of a most painstaking
American scholar who had already produced an excellent
account of _Arnold's March from Cambridge to Quebec_, in
which, for the first time, _Arnold's Journal_ was printed
word for word. _Arnold's Expedition to Quebec_, by J.
Codman, is another careful work. These are the complements
of the British books mentioned above, as they emphasize
the American point of view and draw more from American
than from British sources of original information. The
unfortunate defect of _Our Struggle for the Fourteenth
Colony_ is that the author's efforts to be sprightly at
all costs tend to repel the serious student, while his
very thoroughness itself repels the merely casual reader.

So many absurd or perverting mistakes are still made
about the life and times of Carleton, and a full
understanding of his career is of such vital importance
to Canadian history, that no accounts given in the general
run of books--including many so-called 'standard
works'--should be accepted without reference to the
original authorities. Justin Smith's books, cited above,
have useful lists of authorities; though there is no
discrimination between documents of very different value.
The original British diaries kept during Montgomery and
Arnold's beleaguerment have been published by the Literary
and Historical Society of Quebec in two volumes, at the
end of which there is a very useful bibliography showing
the whereabouts of the actual manuscripts of these and
many other documents in English, French, and German. In
addition to the American and British diarists who wrote
in English there were several prominent French Canadians
and German officers who kept most interesting journals
which are still extant. The Dominion Archives at Ottawa
possess an immense mass of originals, facsimiles, and
verbatim copies of every kind, including maps and
illustrations. The Dominion Archivist, Dr Doughty, has
himself edited, in collaboration with Professor Shortt,
all the _Documents relating to the Constitutional History
of Canada from 1759 to 1791_.

The present Chronicle is based on the original evidence
of both sides.



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