Chronicles

The Patriotes, 1837-1838

The Patriotes, 1837-1838

Stamp: View of the back of the Église de Saint-Eustache and dispersion of the insurgents, December 14, 1837
Source: Library and Archives Canada/Credit: Charles Beauclerk/Acquisition 1992-566-6/C-000396

After the British victory on the Plains of Abraham, in 1759, New France disappeared. France turned its colony over to England under the Treaty of Paris in 1763. Under the new, English regime, French-Canadians lost several privileges. As a result of the numerous injustices and the English rulers’ abuse of their power, a group of rebels, known as the “Patriotes”, was formed in the 1830s.

This new series of chronicles, on the general theme of The Patriotes, 1837-1838, will take you through the history of the Patriote rebellion in Lower Canada. As you read these chronicles, you will discover the origins of the conflict, relive battles and meet the individuals who fought in the ranks of the Patriotes. Perhaps you might want to follow in the footsteps of the Patriotes and fill yourself with history...

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First episode
The Patriote movement
The Patriote movement

Watercolour: Papineau addressing a crowd
Source: Library and Archives Canada/Credit: Charles William Jefferys/Imperial Oil Collection / Acquisition1972-26-759 / C-073725

The Rebellions of 1837-38 were an armed conflict that set a portion of the civilian population of the colonies of Lower Canada and Upper Canada, à l'occupant militaire et colonial britannique. Beaucoup plus violents dans le Bas-Canada, against the British military and colonial occupier. These events, which were much more violent in Lower Canada, were the result of 30 years of political disagreement between the Canadian legislative assembly and the British colonial government. In this difficult context, the Patriote movement, a movement to reform the assembly, took official shape in 1826 when the Parti canadien changed its name to the Parti patriote.

In the spring and summer of 1837, the Parti patriote, headed by Louis-Joseph Papineau, took advantage of the political tension to organize a popular struggle. The Patriote rank and file were directed by members of the liberal professions (lawyers, doctors, notaries, journalists) and opposed the large colonial merchants and the members of the political establishment. The Patriotes favoured democratic reforms that would give them more power.

Since England refused to make any major concessions, the political conflict degenerated into an armed conflict. The Patriotes faced British troops and the militia on three occasions: at Saint-Denis, at Saint-Charles and at Saint-Eustache. Their only victory occurred at Saint-Denis on November 23, 1837. The large military forced led by General Colborne, and a large number of loyal militiamen, crushed the Patriote troops in the subsequent battles.

Martial law was declared on December 5, 1837. Many rebels fled to the United States. Several were arrested and seven were exiled to Bermuda. This was not the end of the situation. Patriotes who had taken refuge in the United States joined forces with American sympathizers. Early in November 1838, they attacked Napierville and a few other villages. But the government forces quickly put an end to the skirmishes. In 1839, 12 Lower Canada rebels were hanged for their involvement in the rebellion and approximately 130 were deported to the penal colonies in Tasmania. In 1843, John George Lambton comte de Durham granted amnesty to a few of the Patriotes.

Commonly know as the Durham Report, the Report on the Affairs of British North America proposed major reforms for the colonies. It led to the union of the two Canadas in 1841 and the advent of responsible government in 1848. This political reform was effective, settling some of the causes of the Patriote rebellions.

The Rebellions of 1837-1838 were a national, social and political fight. They came after a movement in which several other societies such as Ireland, Greece and Germany took part in the first half of the 19th century.

To learn more about the Rebellions of 1837 and 1838, we invite you to come back on August 7, 2007.

Sources
  • COURNOYER, Jean. La mémoire du Québec de 1534 à nos jours, Montréal, Stanké, 2001, 1861 p.
  • LACOURSIÈRE, Jacques. Histoire populaire du Québec, De 1791-1841. Tome 2, Sillery, Septentrion, p. 183-434.

Second episode
Pressure tactics: boycotting and contraband
Pressure tactics: boycotting and contraband

Aquarelle: Habitants du Bas-Canada, vers 1837
Source: Bibliothèque et Archives Canada/Collection de Canadiana Peter Winkworth/Acquisition R9266-445/C-150336

In 1834, the Patriotes presented their demands to the British Parliament, through the Legislative Assembly, in a document known as the 92 Resolutions. In response to this document, the British Colonial Secretary, Lord John Russell, presented, in March 1837, ten resolutions, known as the Russell Resolutions, to the British Parliament in London. These resolutions were an affront to the Patriotes since they rejected the reforms demanded in the 92 Resolutions. Moreover, they allowed the governor of the province to use public funds without having to account to the Legislative Assembly.

Faced with the inflexibility of the British Parliament, the Patriotes took a harder stand. In an effort to dry up the public funds, namely the taxes collected through customs, the Patriote leaders encouraged the colonists to boycott products imported from England. As a result of this pressure tactic, the colonial government had only the military budget to pay for its operations.

The boycotted English products, such as rum, brandy, tea and canvas, were replaced by local products. In Saint-Ours, on May 7, 1837, a Patriote assembly voted to approve 12 resolutions, which stated “[...] That we will consume products manufactured in this country; that we consider anyone who will build factories for sheets, canvas, sugar, spirits, etc. worthy of the country” (translation).

In a speech to the public, in Saint-Laurent in May 1837, Louis-Joseph Papineau, encouraged the people to use only local products: “Let us expand our herds to have more wool, increase our livestock to have food to eat, plant more land, tan more leather and have more craftspeople produce products more abundantly; sow more flax to have more canvas, and keep our industrious and beautiful female citizens usefully occupied during our long winters, pleasantly singing as they work and help us free the country from arbitrary taxes; it will happen quickly throughout the county, if everyone here works for it” (translation).

In addition to promoting the use of local products, contraband with the United States was also encouraged. The April 27, 198378 issue of the newspaper Minerve: “In the case of the objects we cannot manufacture here, our friend Jonathan [the United States] will provide them to us. For this, let us help the smuggler; from now on let us consider smugglers as brave people which each of us will encourage. We need to smuggle on a large scale.”

The Patriotes even went to the United States Congress in order to facilitate smuggling with that country. They asked Congress to abolish taxes on certain products such as tea and cotton. Their request also concerned the export taxes imposed by the United States on products from Lower Canada, such as wheat, flour and lumber.

Given the slow pace at which events occurred, a more radical branch of the patriote movement developed and encouraged the colonists to take up arms. But this will be discussed in the next chronicle. You won’t want to miss it!

To learn more about the Rebellions of 1837 and 838, we invite you to return on August 21, 2007.

Sources
  • COURNOYER, Jean. La mémoire du Québec de 1534 à nos jours, Montréal, Stanké, 2001, 1861 p.
  • LACOURSIÈRE, Jacques. Histoire populaire du Québec, De 1791-1841. Tome 2, Sillery, Septentrion, p. 311-316.

Third episode
The Fils de la Liberté
Les Fils de la Liberté

Aquarelle: Milice Canadienne, Tenue d’hiver de Henri Beau
Source: Bibliothèque et Archives Canada/Fond Henri Beau/Acquisition 1989-559-34/C-000630

Given the tense political situation in the 1830s, the rumblings of rebellion could be heard in both Canadas. In 1835, the Tories, who were loyal to the English Crown, met and set up groups of armed volunteers to oppose the separatists and the Patriotes. These groups included the British Rifle Corps, the Montreal British Legion and the Doric Club. On the opposing side, an association for young people, aligned with the Patriotes, was founded in September 1837: the Fils de la Liberté.

The Fils de la Liberté was a political and paramilitary organization based on a group founded during the American Revolution: the «Sons of Liberty». The association’s name was proposed by Louis-Joseph-Amédée Papineau, son of Louis-Joseph Papineau. The Fils de la Liberté wanted to use means other than political action to obtain parliamentary and constitutional reform. The links between the association and the members of the Parti Patriotes were ensured by two men: François-Marie-Thomas Chevalier de Lorimier and George-Étienne Cartier.

In a manifesto published on October 4, 1837, the Fils de la Liberté proclaimed its belief “[...] in the right of a people to choose its own government and of a colony to become independent.” To some extent, this document marked the start of hostilities between this patriote association and the Loyalists. In fact, on October 25, 1837, the Montreal Herald launched a call to arms to fight against the Fils de la Liberté in the approaching crisis, urging young citizens who were “not children of liberty but friends of peace and order” to enlist immediately.

On November 6, 1837, in Montreal, at the Marché neuf, which is now Place Jacques-Cartier, a violent battle was fought by the Fils de la Liberté and the members of the Doric Club. The members of the Fils de la Liberté, who had assembled at that site peacefully, did not want a confrontation, but the members of the Doric Club threatened all those who attended the meeting in an effort to prevent it. Fighting broke out. Houses were pillaged, including the home of Louis-Joseph Papineau. The offices of the Vindicator, a patriotic English-language newspaper, were damaged as well. Yet, certain newspapers published reports that the attackers were the Fils de la Liberté. Following this confrontation, the authorities issued arrest warrants that intensified the people’s anger and led to new, bloodier, battles.

The outbreak of the 1837 rebellions and the exile of the Patriote leaders marked the end of the Fils de la Liberté. According to Governor Gosford, the association had 2,000 members at the time it broke up.

To learn more about the rebellions of 1837 and 1838, we invite you to return on September 4, 2007.

Sources
  • COURNOYER, Jean. La mémoire du Québec de 1534 à nos jours, Montréal, Stanké, 2001, 1861 p.
  • DICKINSON, John A., et Briand Young, Brève histoire socio-économique du Québec, Sillery, Septentrion, 1995, p. 133-135.
  • LACOURSIÈRE, Jacques. Histoire populaire du Québec, De 1791-1841. Tome 2, Sillery, Septentrion, p. 332-336.

Fourth episode
The Battles of the 1837 Rebellion
Les batailles de l’insurrection de 1837

Estampe: Attaque contre Saint-Charles, 25 novembre 1837
Source: Bibliothèque et Archives Canada/Crédit : Charles Beauclerk/Acquisition1992-566-3/C-000393

The British Parliament rejected the demands of the Lower Canada settlers for political reform. During the summer of 1837, several public meetings took place. The leaders of the Parti patriote gave inflammatory speeches, inciting the people to exert pressure on the British authorities. In the middle of November 1837, the government of Lower Canada ordered the arrest of the Patriote leaders, causing the entire situation to explode. The patriots faced the British forces three times during the 1837 rebellion: at Saint-Denis, Saint-Charles and Saint-Eustache.

On the evening of November 22, 1837, lieutenant-colonel Gore disembarked at Sorel with his troops, intending to arrest certain Patriotes, at Saint-Denis, for whom he had arrest warrants, and then proceed to the village of Saint-Charles, which was considered the centre of the Patriote resistance in the Richelieu valley. During the night, the English forces headed toward the village. The Patriotes decided to block their way. A fight broke out at about nine o’clock on November 23, at Saint-Denis.

Hidden in the large stone home of the Widow Saint-Germain and a distillery, the Patriotes, commanded by Wolfred Nelson, shot on Gore’s men, whose arms were powerless against the thick walls of the house. The Patriotes, who numbered about 200 and were armed with poor guns, stood firm.

Les batailles de l’insurrection de 1837

Estampe: Vue de la façade Before de l’église de Saint-Eustache occupée par les insurgés. L’artillerie tente de forcer une entrée, 14 décembre 1837.
Source: Bibliothèque et Archives Canada/Crédit: Charles Beauclerk/Acquisition 1992-566-2/C-000392

Patriotes from neighboring parishes, alerted by the ringing of the church bells and informed by their friends, raced to the village of Saint-Denis. Faced with a growing number of men who threatened to block his way to Sorel, Lieutenant-Colonel Gore sounded the retreat at about three o’clock in the afternoon. This was the only Patriote victory.

Two days after the battle of Saint-Denis, on November 25, 1837, the British army marched toward Saint-Charles. Over two hundred Patriotes set up barricades around the seigniorial manor. But it was not an even fight. Most of the Patriotes were armed with pitch forks and spikes. Several fled while others stood firm. The British forces lost three soldiers, while approximately 100 Patriotes perished.

Some Patriotes, including Louis-Joseph Papineau and Wolfred Nelson, fled from Lower Canada to the United States. Others were captured and imprisoned at Pied-du-Courant.

The last battle took place at Saint-Eustache.That region, located to the north of Montreal, was well known for its hostility to British absolutism. For this reason, determined to put down the rebellion, General Colborne, took charge of the British forces in person.

On December 14, 1837, the soldiers arrived at Saint-Eustache and encircled the village. A few Patriotes fled before the army of more than 1,500 men. Others, commanded by Dr. Chénier stayed and barricaded themselves in the church. They fought fiercely until fire drove them from the holy building. They died quickly as a result of the fire fed by the soldiers. The village was torched. More than 70 Patriotes died during this battle, including Dr. Chénier.

To learn more about the Rebellions of 1837 and 1838, we invite you to return on September 18, 2007.

Sources
  • COURNOYER, Jean. La mémoire du Québec de 1534 à nos jours, Montréal, Stanké, 2001, 1861 p.
  • LACOURSIÈRE, Jacques. Histoire populaire du Québec, De 1791-1841. Tome 2, Sillery, Septentrion, p. 183-434.

Fifth episode
A Great Patriote: Wolfred Nelson
A Great Patriote: Wolfred Nelson

Aquarelle sur ivoire: Le Docteur Wolfred Nelson, vers 1838
Source: Bibliothèque et Archives Canada/Acquisition 1939-262-1/C-095761

During the Rebellions of 1837-1838, several great individuals stood out. One of these was Dr. Wolfred Nelson, a great Patriote leader, a fierce adversary of British absolutism, and a defender of the civil rights of French-Canadians.

Wolfred Nelson was born in Montreal in 1791. His father was an educator of English origin. His mother was the daughter of a rich American loyalist who lost all of his property during the American Revolution. In his youth, Wolfred attended his father’s school along with the sons of several British officers. When he turned 14, he started an apprenticeship with an army doctor. He started his medical practice in the military hospital in Sorel, the town where he grew up. Thus, until the age of 22, Nelson associated essentially with the British elite. He said, “I was in my earliest days a hot Tory and inclined to detest all that was Catholic and French Canadian, but a more intimate knowledge of these people changed my views.”

With the declaration of the War of 1812 between England and the US, Nelson was appointed to serve as the surgeon for the 5th battalion of the embodied militia. The battalion’s headquarters was in Saint-Denis. He was the only English-speaking officer. Nelson’s “conversion” occurred as a result of his contact with French Canadians. He liked this village and, following the war, started a medical practice there and acquired a distillery.

In 1827, Wolfred Nelson was already very active in politics. A reformer, he fiercely opposed the established authorities, whose abuses were obvious. During the 1830s, he took a stand against Russell's Resolutions. He chaired the Assemblée des Six-Comtés, which is now known as the event that triggered the Rebellion of 1837. The government responded by issuing arrest warrants, for high treason, for several patriote leaders, including Wolfred Nelson. While resisting these arrests, the patriote ranks, led by Nelson, took on the British troops at Saint-Denis on November 23, 1837. Wolfred Nelson, Louis-Joseph Papineau et Edmund Bailey O’Callaghan declared the independence of Lower Canada on December 4, 1837.

After the patriote defeat in the battle of Saint-Charles, Nelson fled to the United States. He was captured by volunteers in the Eastern Townships, and brought to Montreal to stand trial. This trial, however, never took place. After spending seven months in prison, Wolfred Nelson was exiled to Bermuda by Lord Durham proclamation. In October 1838, the disavowing of Durham’s ordinance freed him from his exile. He returned to Montreal in 1842. In 1844, while continuing to serve as a physician, he also served as the member for Richelieu where, once again, he defended the rights of the French Canadians. He was also the English-speaking exponent of responsible government. In 1854, he was elected mayor of Montreal in the first municipal election by popular vote in the city.

Wolfred Nelson passed away in Montreal in June 1863 at the age of 71. Throughout his lengthy life he had demonstrated great humanitarian concern.

This is the end of our series of chronicles on The Patriotes, 1837-1838.

Sources
  • COURNOYER, Jean. La mémoire du Québec de 1534 à nos jours, Montréal, Stanké, 2001, 1861 p.
  • LACOURSIÈRE, Jacques. Histoire populaire du Québec, De 1791-1841. Tome 2, Sillery, Septentrion.

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Responsible government
Responsible government, within the colonial context of British North America, meant that the Executive Council had to obtain and keep the support of a majority of the representatives in the Legislative Assembly in order to administer the province. The Executive Council was headed by the leader of the political party elected with a majority in the Legislative Assembly. The governor was obliged to ratify the laws voted by the Legislative Assembly concerning the colonies’ internal affairs.
Lord Durham
John George Lambton, Lord Durham, was born in London in 1792. He became Governor General of Canada and High Commissioner of British North America in 1838. After granting the participants in the insurrections of 1837-1838 amnesty, he was recalled to England. He spent only five months in Canada. His report on the Affairs of British North America, commonly called the Durham Report led to the Act of Union in 1840.
Saint-Charles
Saint-Charles is a municipality located along the shore of the Richelieu River, in the Richelieu valley. At the beginning of the 19th century, the village prospered from trade generated by shipping on the river. During the Rebellion of 1837, the Assemblée des Six-Comtés was founded there on October 23.
Edmund Bailey O’Callaghan
Edmund Bailey O’Callaghan was born in Ireland in 1797. He studied medicine in Dublin, Paris and Quebec. In 1827, he was authorized to practice his profession in Lower Canada. O’Callaghan was responsible for the social organization of the Irish community in Quebec. In 1833, he settled in Montreal. In 1834, he served as the member for Yamaska. He supported the Parti patriote and, on November 15, 1837, he established the Conseil des patriotes with Louis-Joseph Papineau.
Louis-Joseph Papineau
Louis-Joseph Papineau was born in Montreal in 1786. A lawyer by profession, his political life was very full. Leader of the Patriotes in 1837, he was exiled by a proclamation issued by Lord Durham, on June 28, 1838, for his involvement in the insurrection. He was given amnesty in 1844. Opposed to the clergy, opposed to the union of Upper and Lower Canada, and opposed to the Confederation of 1867, he did, however, support annexation by the United States. Since he was excommunicated for leading the insurrection of 1837, he was refused a Catholic funeral when he died in Montebello in 1871.
Assemblée des Six-Comtés
The Assemblée des Six-Comtés took place in Saint-Charles, in the St. Lawrence River valley, on October 23 and 24, 1837. Ignoring the Proclamation of June 15, which prohibited public meetings, the Patriote leaders and approximately 6,000 supporters attended. The six committees were: Verchères, Chambly, L’Acadie, Rouville, Saint-Hyacinthe and Richelieu.
Russell’s Resolutions
On March 6, 1837, Britain’s Minister of the Interior, John Russell, proposed ten resolutions to the Parliament, in response to the Patriotes’ 92 Resolutions. The Patriotes’ resolutions, which demanded political reform for Lower Canada, were submitted to the British government in 1834. Russell’s Resolutions rejected the Patriotes’ resolutions, causing them to become more radical.radicaliser.
Tory
The Tory party, whose members are called Tories, is the name given to one of the first political parties in England, starting in 1679-1680. “Tory” is a synonym for “conservative” today and the party’s members were originally defenders of the King and the church.
Sorel
The town of Sorel is located at the mouth of the Richelieu River, formerly called the Rivière aux Iroquois, on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River. In 1642, a small fort was built there to prevent the Iroquois from reaching the colony. This fort was blessed and a mass was celebrated there the same year. That is considered the birth year of Sorel. The town was named after Captain Pierre de Saurel, of the Carignan-Salière regiment, who became the seignior there.
Saint-Denis
The village of Saint-Denis is located along the shore of the Richelieu River, to the south of the St. Lawrence River. Prior to the insurrections of 1837, the village was prosperous. Several craftsmen worked there, particularly potters, making Saint-Denis the pottery capital of Lower Canada. However, the agricultural crisis of the 1830s ravaged the Richelieu valley, motivating several of the inhabitants in the village and the surrounding areas to take up arms during the Rebellion of 1837.
Jean-Olivier Chénier
Jean-Olivier Chénier was born in Lachine in 1806. A physician by profession, he was one of the leaders of the 1837 Rebellion in the county of Deux-Montagnes. During the battle of Saint-Eustache, on December 14, 1837, he fought to the death against the British soldiers.
John Colborne
John Colborne was born in Lyndhurst, in England, in 1778. He was the Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada from 1828 to 1836, and commanded the British armed forces in both Canadas from 1836 to 1838. In his fight against the Patriote insurgents, he torched several villages. Following this he was given the nickname “le vieux brûlot”. In 1838 and 1839, he was the Governor General of Canada.
Saint-Eustache
Located to the north of the City of Montréal, the village of Saint-Eustache was the centre of the socio-economic activities of the Mille-Îles seigniory at the dawn of the 1837 Rebellion. At the end of the 18th century, it was home to several merchants, craftspeople and professionals.
Pied-du-Courant
The Pied-du-Courant was a prison for men, built in 1832. Twelve Patriotes were hanged there on February 15, 1839. Today, it houses the Société des Alcools du Québec. It is one of the oldest public buildings in the City of Montreal.
Louis-Joseph Papineau
Louis-Joseph Papineau was born in Montreal in 1786. A lawyer by profession, his political life was very full. Leader of the Patriotes in 1837, he was exiled by a proclamation issued by Lord Durham, on June 28, 1838, for his involvement in the insurrection. He was given amnesty in 1844. Opposed to the clergy, opposed to the union of Upper and Lower Canada, and opposed to the Confederation of 1867, he did, however, support annexation by the United States. Since he was excommunicated for leading the insurrection of 1837, he was refused a Catholic funeral when he died in Montebello in 1871.
Saint-Charles
Saint-Charles is a municipality located along the shore of the Richelieu River, in the Richelieu valley. At the beginning of the 19th century, the village prospered from trade generated by shipping on the river. During the Rebellion of 1837, the Assemblée des Six-Comtés was founded there on October 23.
Wolfred Nelson
Wolfred Nelson was born in Montreal in 1791. A physician, he became politically active in the Parti patriote serving as a representative in the Lower Canada Legislative Assembly from 1827 to 1830. He then served as the representative for Richelieu in the Legislative Assembly for United Canada from 1851 to 1854, and then mayor of Montreal from 1854 to 1856. Wolfred Nelson was one of the Patriote leaders in 1837. He was arrested, sentenced to six months in prison, and then exiled to Bermuda in 1838 by Lord Durham’s proclamation. He died in Montreal in 1863.
Saint-Denis
The village of Saint-Denis is located along the shore of the Richelieu River, to the south of the St. Lawrence River. Prior to the insurrections of 1837, the village was prosperous. Several craftsmen worked there, particularly potters, making Saint-Denis the pottery capital of Lower Canada. However, the agricultural crisis of the 1830s ravaged the Richelieu valley, motivating several of the inhabitants in the village and the surrounding areas to take up arms during the Rebellion of 1837.
Lieutenant-colonel Gore
Sir Charles Stephen Gore was a British military man who took part in the War of 1812. During the uprisings of 1837, General Colborne appointed him to put down the Patriotes. After his defeat in the battle of Saint-Denis, he returned to torch that village and then won the battle of Saint-Charles on November 25, 1837. He died in 1869.
Governor Gosford
Lord Archibald Atcheson, Count of Gosford, was born in 1776. From 1835 to 1838, he was the Governor General of Canada. The rebellions of 1837-1838 broke out during his administration. After martial law was proclaimed, his powers were transmitted to General Colborne, who commanded the British forces. After the uprisings, he opposed the Union Act. He died in 1849.
George-Étienne Cartier
George-Étienne Cartier was a lawyer who was born in 1814 in Saint-Antoine-sur-Richelieu. He was one of the founding members of the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste in Montreal. A patriote who was involved in the uprisings of 1837, he was exiled following Lord Durham’s proclamation on June 28, 1838. His political life was very busy. He composed the lyrics to the patriote song O Canada, mon pays, mes amours! He died on London in 1873.
François-Marie-Thomas Chevalier de Lorimier
François-Marie-Thomas Chevalier de Lorimier was a notary who was born in Saint-Cuthbert in 1803. A patriote, he took part in the battle at Saint-Eustache, on December 14, 1837. Following the defeat, he took refuge in the United States where he joined Robert Nelson’s Nelson’s group, which proclaimed the independence of Lower Canada on February 28, 1838. Chevalier de Lorimier commanded the uprising at Beauharnois. He was arrested on November 12, 1838 and sentenced to death for high treason by the Martial court on January 21, 1839. He was hanged on February 15, 1839, at the Pied-du-Courant prison in Montreal.
Louis-Joseph Papineau
Louis-Joseph Papineau was born in Montreal in 1786. A lawyer by profession, his political life was very full. Leader of the Patriotes in 1837, he was exiled by a proclamation issued by Lord Durham, on June 28, 1838, for his involvement in the insurrection. He was given amnesty in 1844. Opposed to the clergy, opposed to the union of Upper and Lower Canada, and opposed to the Confederation of 1867, he did, however, support annexation by the United States. Since he was excommunicated for leading the insurrection of 1837, he was refused a Catholic funeral when he died in Montebello in 1871.
Sons of Liberty
At the end of the 18th century, during the rebellion of the 13 American colonies against England, a secret association of American patriots was formed: the Sons of Liberty. Their resistance to British oppression took the form of boycott campaigns and urban demonstrations. They attacked the symbols of English power in North America.
Doric Club
The Doric Club was a paramilitary organization that was founded in 1836 by Anglophones in Montreal who were loyal to the British Crown. Feeling threatened by the demands of the Patriotes, they joined forces to oppose rebellions. The Doric Club disappeared in 1838, when several of its members voluntarily signed up to join Colborne’s army to put down the insurrections.insurrections.
Tories
The Tory party, whose members are called Tories, is the name given to one of the first political parties in England, starting in 1679-1680. “Tory” is a synonym for “conservative” today and the party’s members were originally defenders of the King and the church.
Louis-Joseph Papineau
Louis-Joseph Papineau was born in Montreal in 1786. A lawyer by profession, his political life was very full. Leader of the Patriotes in 1837, he was exiled by a proclamation issued by Lord Durham, on June 28, 1838, for his involvement in the insurrection. He was given amnesty in 1844. Opposed to the clergy, opposed to the union of Upper and Lower Canada, and opposed to the Confederation of 1867, he did, however, support annexation by the United States. Since he was excommunicated for leading the insurrection of 1837, he was refused a Catholic funeral when he died in Montebello in 1871.
Saint-Ours
Saint-Ours is a village located on the shore of the Richelieu River, on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River. On May 7, 1837, approximately 1,220 people gathered there. Twelve resolutions were adopted, most of which concerned the Russell Resolutions.
Lord Russell
John Russell, younger son of the 6th Duke of Bedford, began his political career in 1826. He served as Prime Minister twice and held several ministerial positions both before and after those two terms. He was the Colonial Secretary from 1839 to 1841 and again in 1855.
92 Resolutions
Resolutions adopted by the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada in 1834 to present all of their grievances.
Responsible government
Responsible government, within the colonial context of British North America, meant that the Executive Council had to obtain and keep the support of a majority of the representatives in the Legislative Assembly in order to administer the province. The Executive Council was headed by the leader of the political party elected with a majority in the Legislative Assembly. The governor was obliged to ratify the laws voted by the Legislative Assembly concerning the colonies’ internal affairs.
Lord Durham
John George Lambton, Lord Durham, was born in London in 1792. He became Governor General of Canada and High Commissioner of British North America in 1838. After granting the participants in the insurrections of 1837-1838 amnesty, he was recalled to England. He spent only five months in Canada. His report on the Affairs of British North America, commonly called the Durham Report led to the Act of Union in 1840.
Martial law
Martial law refers to the institution of an exceptional judicial system in a country under which the army, and not the police, maintains order.
John Colborne
John Colborne was born in Lyndhurst, in England, in 1778. He was the Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada from 1828 to 1836, and commanded the British armed forces in both Canadas from 1836 to 1838. In his fight against the Patriote insurgents, he torched several villages. Following this he was given the nickname “le vieux brûlot”. In 1838 and 1839, he was the Governor General of Canada.
Louis-Joseph Papineau
Louis-Joseph Papineau was born in Montreal in 1786. A lawyer by profession, his political life was very full. Leader of the Patriotes in 1837, he was exiled by a proclamation issued by Lord Durham, on June 28, 1838, for his involvement in the insurrection. He was given amnesty in 1844. Opposed to the clergy, opposed to the union of Upper and Lower Canada, and opposed to the Confederation of 1867, he did, however, support annexation by the United States. Since he was excommunicated for leading the insurrection of 1837, he was refused a Catholic funeral when he died in Montebello in 1871.
Upper Canada
Created by the Constitutional Act of 1791, Upper Canada is the ancestor of Ontario. The border followed the St. Lawrence River and then divided Lakes Ontario, Erie, Huron and Superior from the United States. It also ran along the Ottawa River to Lake Temiscamingue and continued north.
Lower Canada
Lower Canada was one of two provinces created by the Constitutional Act of 1791 by the British parliament. The territory of Lower Canada included the south and east portions of what is now Quebec and all of Labrador.