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their very discontent, with all the disorder and evil springing out of it, is the best prima-facie evidence of their present fitness for freedom. But there can be no doubt that their grievances have been many, long protracted, and irritating. Take for example, in Lower Canada—the vast disproportion between the relative numbers of the two parties and the shares to which they are respectively admitted in the administration of the executive and judicial functions -the numberless instances which the Canadians specify (correctly or not, at least sincerely) of corrupt mal-administration of justice, to their grievous oppression and wrong-the long parliamentary struggle which they waged to procure even a fair tribunal for the impeachment of judges, before they extended their demand to their present principal one, of an elective legislative council—the many measures which they enumerate, for the improvement and benefit of the colonies, which have been frustrated by the legislative incubus of the Council—the denial to their House of Representatives, by the British parliament, of the great popular privilege of stopping the supplies, with the seizure and disposal of the revenues of the Province, and the abrogation of the constitution they had supposed solemnly guaranteed, carrying with it the virtual declaration that they possess no other political rights or political existence, than an absolute ultimate dependence on the will and pleasure of Parliament,-here are surely examples enough, and we might allude to others, but have no desire to enlarge upon this topic. In the nature of things, in a country situated as Canada, a minority foreign ascendency, over the mass of a conquered people, must operate oppressively, and must in the course of time generate inappeasable discontents. And if this antagonist relation may have had its ori. gin in the difference of races and languages, and in the relative attitudes of conquerors and conquered, yet in the parliamentary and civil struggles that must ensue between the two, the subject mass must have on their side all the liberal principles of popular rights, perpetually working upwards against the odious superincumbent pressure of authority sustained by a spirit of despotism and the force of the bayonet. The effect of this must be to extend the issue from one of races and languages to one of principles; and to gain over to the popular side a considerable proportion of the emi. grant population as it flows in from the mother-country itself. And that such has been precisely the effect in Canada, is proved by the fact, that in the representation of the two parties in the House of Assembly, a majority even of the delegates from those districts inhabited entirely by British and American colonists, and where the English language is alone to be heard, has been found no less steadfast and zealous on the popular side, than the representatives from the districts exclusively French. Another evidence of the same fact is, that their delegates have been not unfrequently chosen

VOL. V. NO. XIII.-JANUARY, 1839. B

from the French districts without reference to race, English candidates often presenting themselves to French constituencies, and, when the latter are assured of the soundness of their principles, being often elected over French competitors; and even Wolfred Nelson himself, the idol of the peasantry, and the Chairman of the great meeting of the Six Counties, is thoroughly English in family, habits, associations and religion. That this state of things should be the case in spite of the efforts of the government party to rally the whole European portion of the population to its support on the strength of the prejudice of race, is a most important fact in illustration of the real principles involved in the contest. And, in short, the extent of these discontents—and at the same time their justice-is sufficiently proved by the single and decisive fact, that at the last two general elections that have been held, in 1832 and 1834, the government party was not able, with all its official influence, to obtain more than eight or ten, in a House consisting of eighty-eight members.

We think we have said enough to prove the impossibility, on the part of the British government, of continuing much longer to refuse the Canadian demands. Nor—this concession once y elded-can it be any more possible to retain ils colonial dominion over them at all. The events of the last year have developed the question to a still further point. It is now one, not of a reform, but of independence. The Canadians can now never again be satisfied with less. The government and the people have met in arms in the field—they can never again meet in friendly harmony. A river of blood has issued from the ground, and now flows, broadly and deeply, between them, which must ever constitute an impassable barrier to such reunion. The appalling brutalities of a Montreal Herald, invoking the extermination of the whole Nation Canadienne’ if ne. cessary, and sustained as a prominent organ of its party—the new gallows' before the jail door, with their comfortable accommodations for six, and for more at a pinch'– the fire and sword of a St. Charles and a St. Eustache*-the brilliant' illuminations of a

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* The following circumstance will cast some light upon the quo animo of the colonial government in relation to the Canadas; and upon the probability of a reconciliation, on any terms, ever taking place between the latter and a party in possession of the government, of which a Sir John Colburn is the favorite executive organ. We hope its benefit will not be lost on those American papers which have been so lavish of their eulogies of Sir John, nor on the English people when called upon to sustain a colonial government administered in such a spirit. The "horrors of St. Eustache” are doubtless familiar to the recollection of all. An imperfect picture, we are assured, was presented of them in our narrative published in our June Number of last year, to which the reader may refer. Before setting out, with an overwhelming force, for that expedition, two Canadian gentlemen of standing and icfluence sent to Sir John, through the medium of the sherift in whose hands they were prisoners, an urgent entreaty to spare the effusion of human blood; engaging, if he would send them, or one of them, to the people collected at the north—under any

1839.)

Approaching Independence of Canada Inevitable.

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country in flames as far as the eye could reach round the whole circuit of the horizon—the hundreds of peasantry, men, women, and children, of every age, driven forth to perish in the woods amid the severities of a Canadian winter—the refusals of quarter to the white flag and the suppliant knee—the numerous acts of individual atrocity necessarily perpetrated by an inflamed soldiery in such a state of things, of which we have heard many revolting details, for which a government may not be responsible, but which a people can never forgive-all these new elements the past year has added to the question at issue, and who can, then, dispute our statement that the chasm of separation between Canada and the mother-country yawns already too widely and fearfully ever to be closed again?* Who can doubt that the first use that the Canadians will make of the increased power, which must be given them by the concessions that cannot be withheld, must be to complete the separation by the establishment of their independence?

Will the British Parliament shut its eyes and its ears against the admission of these truths? Will they enter into a vain contest with necessity and fate, and endeavour much longer to maintain a barren dominion over a reluctant people, at the point of the bayonet and the muzzle of the cannon, under the ill-omened shadow of the

guard he might think proper, to prevent their escape and ol serve their language-10 consince them of the hopelessness of resistance, and to induce them to lay down their arms and disperse. The offer was promptly rejected by the hoary and pious singer of psalms. After the failure of this attempt ( which the sheriff' can deny if incorrectly stated by us ) it is not to be wondered at that the white flag and bended knees of the people of whom this "example” was to be made, met with so liule success, in averting the impending destruction. To be fairly appreciated, this fact ought to be taken in connexion with another, which we also venture to state, and for which the evidence can be adduced when challenged by a responsible denial,namely, that a few days previously, before the overthrow of the insurgent cause at St. Charles by Colonel Wetherell, when it is well known that great alarm prevailed on the side of the government party, messengers being sent to Colonel Wetherell commanding him to return to Montreal, with the view of retreating to the citadel of Quebec, ( which messengers were intercepted by the insurgents, and by the stupidity of General Brown detained instead of being sent forward) a paper was prepared by Sir John Colburn, or for him at his orders, addressed to the insurgent leaders, urgently invoking a cessation of hostilities, on principles of Christianity and humanity, to stop the effusion of blood, and engaging on his part to have all their wrongs redressed and their demands granted. The change that came over the spirit of his dream, on the news of t'e success of Colonel Wetherell, is quite in character with the author of the massacre and conflagration of St. Eustache, and of the other impressive “examples” of the present year.

*"He must be a bold man, indeed, who should now dream of a popular pacification of Canada by means of such stinted powers as Government can grant. The destiny of Canada is, in all human probability, decided. Some years of commo tion, the intensity of mutual aggravation, and then separation from this country forever. Canada is gone. The days of its subordinate connexion with Great Britain are numbered. Lord Normanby, or any statesman, will scarcely be ambitious of being in at the death."- London True Sun, Ocl. 28.

gallows? We look with the greatest interest to the proceedings in England that are to grow out of the confronting of the ministers, Lord Durham, and Brougham. We do not censure the Canadians for the unhappy events of last winter.* But the late attempt,

means.

* Justice is not fully done by public opinion in this country, to the men implicated in that unfortunate affair. On the presumption that it was an intentional and concerted rebellion, they have been held to the heavy responsibility of failure, and the criminality of rashly hazarding such disastrous consequences with such inadequate

O'Connell has undertaken to censure Papineau for having departed from his system of agitation unaccompanied by violence. This opinion is entirely erroneous and unjust; and it is too important a point to the reputation of many noble and gallant men to allow us to pass it over in silence. There was no concert, preparation, or even intention, of insurrection last winter. The system adopted, and which was in process of being inost admirably and efficiently carried out, was one of peaceful agitation, to extort the redress and reforms demanded, by constitutional and legal means. The great mecting of the Six Counties, on the 23d of October, at which six thousand persons were present, and over which Wolfred Nelson presided, was entirely open in all its proceedings. The only steps in contemplation then and there, were to organize the people effectively for the execution of the plan of agitation proposed, of which the principal features were as follows: non-consumption of British manufactures, and of all dutiable articles, so as to increase the weight of the burthen of the Colonies upon England—the resignation, by all friendly to the popular cause, of all commissions in the militia, &c. which it could be no honor to hold under a government of oppression-the refusal to resort to the governinent tribunals and officers of “justice” for the settlement of disputes, and the appointment of the three or four best men in each parish, possessing the popular confidence. to perform the functions of friendly arbitralors-a general determination to make common cause with any of their friends selected as ohjecis of prosecution hy the government, to sustain them by their best assistance and contributions-contributions to arm their friends in the towns and at points where the interference of the military in elections had before taken place, and might again le apprehended in the general election which was now approaching,—these were the leading features of the plan, which could not have failed of success if the government had not suddenly and violently interfered to frustrate it, by driving the people inio premature acts of open rebellion. The meeting of the Six Counties appointed another meeting of delegates, to assemble on the 23d of November, who were to confer on the common interests, and take the proper measures for carrying out this plan-lo direct and combine this great popular movement of constitutional agitation. But no plan of insurrection was concerted or intended; the hope, though faint, was still entertained, that such an extreme would not be necessary to obtain from the Government the concessions demanded.

This we venture to assert on indisputable authority. If any additional confirmation of the assurance be required by any, we will cite, in proof of it, three out of many circumstances that it would be easy for us to adduce: In the first place, Dr. Nelson, obnoxious as he was to the government party, did not scruple to expose himself to arrest by going freely among the magistrates and soldiery, after the meeting of the Six Counties, both at Sorel and at Montreal—replying to the cautions of his friends who, fearing the unscrupulousness of those with whom he had to deal, advised him to conceal himself or fly, that he was guilty of no offence against any law, and had nothing to fear-remaining longer in such exposure than he had intended, or than his business required, and even attending a general review of the troops on the Champ-de-Mars at Montreal.

In the second place, when Dr. Nelson and six others of the prisoners were induced, as an act of self-sacrifice, to sign the letter to Lord Durham, of which the latter veninadequate and ill-combined, and, in many cases at least, under leaders whose conduct would render them a disgrace to any cause, right or wrong, with which they might be connected, we look upon as wrong and foolish* in a very high degree, even on the part of

tured to publish only a garbled extract-prevailed upon by the urgent solicitations of an emissary of the government, appealing to them in hypocritical professions of friendship and sympathy, and by assurances that no harm was intended them, and that that concession was alone required to enable the government to release their fellow prisoners (about a hundred and fifty in number) from the severe incarceration in which they had been suffering for already seven months-an acknowledgment of having been guilty of high-treason could not extorled from them; and it was only by mutilating and garbling the paper they were duped into siguing, and by totally misrepresenting the circumstances of the act, that Lord Durham was able to trump up a shadow of decent pretext for the unconstitutional and illegal measure which he undertook to adopt, and for which he was most justly rebuked by Parliament, that of transporting them to Bermuda. For the evidence of this, see the statement of Dr. Nelson and Mr. Bouchette, recently made public in their letter to the Editor of the Bermudian.

In the third place, on the morning of the embarkation of the exiles, in a conversation between Dr. Nelson and the Atorney General, the latter, in reply to an appeal of the former, acknowledged substantially that he could not say that he was in possession of any document or eridence to convince himself of his (Dr. Nelson) having been guilty of the crime, high-treason, of which he was charged, and for which he was about to be, illegally and unconstitutionally, sent into banishment.

It is well known that the signal for the outbreak was the issuing of warrants for the arrest of all the principal leaders of the popular party, on charges of high-treason, (issued in most cases in blank, to be filled up as occasion might require,) and the violent and brutal manner in which the warrants were executed in the case of Messrs. Demaray and Davignon. A person of very high authority has assured us that, but for that latter circumstance, he does not believe a shot would have been fired. On the approach of the troops under Col. Gore, with the sheriff bearing the warrant for the arrest of Dr. Wolfred Nelson, in whose house at St. Denis a large number of the peasantry had hastily assembled for his defence, no summons was made to surrender, nor was any obedience to the warrant in the hands of the civil officer demanded, - which Dr. Nelson has always declared he was prepared to render, well knowing that no one durst or could harm him. The first summons that he received was a cannon-ball that killed three men, followed by a second that killed two, sprinkling him with their blood and brains. Then only did he give direction to fire, for the defence of their lives; and with what effect was proved by the sanguinary repulse that the troops sustained.

Without here recapitulating the events of the struggle, which, not withstanding. the entire absence of preparation, would probably, we think, have been successful, but for the miserable incapacity and misconduct of Brown, we have said enough in this Note to sustain our statement, that there was no plan or intention of a rising last winter; and that therefore all the odium which many have been disposed to heap on the heads of some of the most gallant and worthy men that live, has been entirely unjust and misplaced.

* As for that portion of the movement organized in Vermont by Robert Nelson, Cote, and others, for the invasion of Lower Canada, we have certain information that every word and act of its leaders were reported to Sir John Colburn; and among those who furnished them money, with the most zealous expressions of sympathy, they little dreamed that some procured the money from Sir John Colburn himself! It is not for us to undertake to pass upon these gentlemen the exact degree of condemnation which their attempt may merit—it being their own cause and their own

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