Divers documents addressed to the Honorable Louis Joseph Papineau, speaker of the House of Assembly, by the Honorable Denis B. Viger

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DIVERS DOCUMENTS

ADDRESSED TO THE HONORABLE

LOUIS JOSEPH PAPINEAU,

SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY, BY THE HONORABLE
Appointed to proceed to England, and there to support the Petitions of the House
to His Majesty and to the two Houses of the Imperial Parliament.

LAID BEFORE THE HOUSE, AND ORDERED TO BE PRINTED
WEDNESDAY, 9th JANUARY, 1834.




[1]



LIST OF DOCUMENTS addressed to the Honorable L. J. Papineau, Speaker of the House of Assembly, by the Honorable D. B. Viger.

No. 1. Correspondence of Mr. Viger with the Colonial Minister, from the 11th July, 1832, to the 11th September, 1833.

No. 2. Observations addressed to Lord Goderich, by Mr. Viger, relative to the Election of the West Ward of the Town of Montreal, and to the events of the 21st May, at that Election.

No. 3. Election at Montreal in 1832 — catastrophe of the 21st May.

No. 4. Considerations, &c., 3rd Series, on the Summoning of Grand Jurors in the District of Montreal, after the catastrophe of the 21st May, 1832.

No. 5. Considerations relative to the actual state of the Government, and of the Administration of Lower Canada.

No. 6. Considerations on the new Commissions for the Peace.

No. 7. Lord Goderich's Despatch to Lord Aylmer relative to Mr. Christie, and Mr. Viger's Answer on the subject of the said Despatch.

No. 8. Letter from the Honorable D. B. Viger to the Honorable L. J. Papineau, bearing date the 6th April, 1833.




No. 1.

Letter to Lord Goderich

My LORD,

Having received some information yesterday on the unfortunate events which occurred in Montreal on the 21st May, I called at the Colonial Office to communicate it to you if you had a moment's leisure, as I had promised to do, when I last had the honor to see you.

This morning I received fresh information, and it is of a nature to make it imperative on me to beg your Lordship will allow a moment's audience as soon as your Lordship will be able to do so.

I beg your Lordship will accept, &c.

D. B. VIGER.

London, 11th July, 1832.

To His Lordship,
LORD VISCOUNT GODERICH, &c. &c. &c.




COLONIAL OFFICE,
July 12th, 1832.

SIR,

Lord Goderich has desired me to acknowledge your Letter of yesterday, and I have the honor to inform you that his Lordship will be happy to see you to-morrow (Friday) at two o'clock at the office.

I have the honor to be, &c.

CHARLES DOUGLASS.

Mr. VIGER.




London, &c.
12th July, 1832.

SIR,

I have received your Note, by which you inform me that His Lordship will receive me at the Colonial Office at two o'clock. Will you request His Lordship to accept the assurances of my respect — I will not fail to be there at the hour appointed.

I have the honor to be, &c.

D. B. VIGER.

CHARLES DOUGLASS, Esquire.




Downing Street,
26th July, 1832.

SIR,

I am directed by Viscount Goderich to acknowledge the receipt of your Letter of the 17th instant, and to acquaint you that His Lordship does not think it necessary at present to make those remarks upon it which it might suggest; but he would be glad if you can inform him with what view the Jurymen signed the declaration alluded to by you, and in what light these documents are to be regarded; whether as having any official and formal character, or as the unauthorised expression of the opinion of the individuals, for in this country His Lordship never heard of any analogous proceeding on the part of a Jury which had separated without giving any verdict.

With respect to the concluding part of your Letter, Lord Goderich sees no reason for considering the amount of bail required from Lieut. Colonel Mackintosh and Capt. Temple as too small, there being no reason whatever to suppose they will fail to appear when summoned before a competent tribunal.

I am, Sir, &c.

HOWICK.

D. B. VIGER, Esquire.




MY LORD,

Yesterday I received your letter of the 26th, acknowledging the receipt of mine of the 17lh of this month, addressed to His Lordship Viscount Goderich, and communicating his observations on the subject.

In answer to that one of his observations which has reference to the depositions of the Jurors summoned by the Coroner, I must state that it was the form of these proceedings that I had in view, much less a desire to submit them to His Lordship's consideration as a Lawyer. It was a sample that 1 was desirous of laying before His Lordship.

If I had chosen to go further, I might have added that the Coroner had only summoned twelve Jurors, that he might have summoned a greater number, in order to obtain the verdict of twelve out of that number; that even before he commenced the inquest before the Jury, he had been notified that one of the Jurors in particular had already finally pronounced his opinion. That before receiving or after having received those depositions, he might have summoned another Jury, and proceeded regularly upon a new inquest; that observations had been made to him in this sense in relation to these matters; finally, that it appeared he had taken such advices as to induce him to take the course which he had adopted.

I might have added a great many more details with which it is unnecessary to lengthen this letter. These observations must be sufficient upon that point.

But three individuals were killed, the perpetrators of the deed were known, depositions without number establish those facts, in a manner to require that legal proceedings should be taken against them. The course to be pursued in such a case, is not, I apprehend, very doubtful.

As to the amount of bail, the observations which I received, and which I transcribed without commenting on my part, were not at all connected with any idea of danger that the parties accused would fail to appear before a competent tribunal; such an idea did not even occur to my mind.

Looking at the thing in this point of view, and independently of every legal consideration, the parties accused could remain at liberty in this respect also, the amount of bail was of no consequence in my eyes; whether it was a shilling or a thousand pounds, no one could dream of such a danger.

Nothing more can be required to enable His Lordship to see, how different my views were to those ascribed to me in the observations which you have communicated to me on his behalf.

His Lordship must have seen, moreover, that the conduct of the Public Officers presented nothing very formidable to the parties accused.

I hope also that it will not be long before His Lordship will have sufficiently correct data upon these important matters.

I have the honor to be,
With respect,

D. B. VIGER,

London, &c.
28th July, 1832.

THE LORD HOWICK,
&c. &c. &c.




MY LORD,

Yesterday, I received from Lord Howick, a letter dated the day previous, and I have today answered the observations which he communicated to me on your behalf, relative to the contents of my letter, addressed to Your Lordship on the 17th of this month.

Your Lordship will see at once, the reasons which induced me to abstain from entering into considerations which will be apparent of themselves, as soon as I shall have been able to lay before Your Lordship, a summary of the facts connected with the unfortunate scene of the 21st May, in Montreal.

The Packet by which I expect the continuation of the information which I have already received, has not yet arrived at Liverpool; in the mean time, I am collecting materials from the Documents before me.

The proceedings of the Magistrates of Montreal, which must have been transmitted at the Colonial Office, would be of great importance to me. I would beg Your Lordship would communicate them to me, it would be the means of advancing my labour.

Few events have occurred in Canada upon which it is more necessary to throw the greatest light for the sake of truth and justice, and for the mutual advantage of the Mother Country and the Colony.

I beg His Lordship to receive,
&c. &c.

D. B. VIGER,

London, &c.
28th July, 1832.

To His Lordship,
VISCOUNT GODERICH,
&c. &c. &c.




Downing Street, 31st July, 1832,

SIR,

I am directed by Viscount Goderich to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 28th inst. requesting to be furnished with the proceedings of the Magistrates, relative to the unfortunate affair at Montreal, to enable you to prepare your observations on the case for His Lordship's consideration, and to acquaint you that as such a course of proceeding with regard to an occurrence which is still the subject of judicial inquiry is very unusual, and as His Lordship is not aware that any advantage could result by a compliance with your request. Lord Goderich must decline to furnish you with the Documents which have been received at this Department.

I am.

Sir, &c.

HOWICK.

D. B. VIGER, Esqr.




MY LORD,

Your letter in answer to mine, addressed to His Lordship Viscount Goderich on the 20th July, reached me the day before yesterday, the day of its date. I regret not having had it in my power to acknowledge the receipt of it immediately, and at the same time to submit to His Lordship Viscount Goderich, some observations on that subject which I now take the liberty of addressing to him.

I have the honor to be, &c.

D. B. VIGER,

London, &c. 2d August, 1832,

THE LORD HOWICK.




MY LORD,

In his letter of the 31st July, Lord Howick has communicated to me Your Lordship's motives for not acceding to my request with reference to the proceedings of the Magistrates, as they relate to an event which is still the subject of a legal investigation.

Your Lordship, I apprehend, will appreciate the following observations on the subject.

It could not be my intention to lay before Your Lordship, observations relative to the grounds either of fact, or of law to be submitted to the Court of King's Bench of Montreal, either for or against the persons liable to be brought before it, in consequence of the death of the individuals who lost their lives on the 21st May. If I took the liberty of pointing out a few facts in relation to this catastrophe, which took place subsequently to the event, it was because they might be considered as being independent of every consideration relative to the questions which might be the subject of discussion at a trial before the Court.

My observations can only have reference to the facts, when considered in quite a different view. The proceedings of the Magistrates connected with this Election, cannot be the subject of discussion before the Courts. It is therefore in this sence, and as being unconnected with judicial proceedings, that these facts can be the subject of observations on my part to be submitted to Your Lordship. On the other hand, the proceedings of which I have requested communication, are those of a Magistracy, of which I am a Member. They were adopted at meetings at which I had a right to be present, and which I should probably have attended, had I been upon the spot; to these proceedings I might have had access when I wished. All the Magistrates of Montreal are on the same footing in that respect. Your Lordship will perceive my other claims, independently of my mission to the communication which I have solicited. In short, any observations of mine made here, can have no influence on the proceedings of the Courts in Canada. It remains for me to observe, that I may have been wanting, in precision in the observations which I communicated to Your Lordship in our last interview. I flatter myself that I could give satisfactory explanation on that head, if Your Lordship should deem it necessary.

I beg Your Lordship will receive,
&c. &c.

D. B. VIGER,

London, &c.
2d August, 1832.
To His Lordship,

VISCOUNT GODERICH
&c. &c. &c.




Letter to Lord Goderich,

MY LORD,

On the 28th July, I informed Your Lordship that I had not yet received the continuation of the information relative to the events then in question. I received fresh information on Saturday. I now hope to be able shortly to lay before Your Lordship some observations worthy of Your Lordship's attention.

I expect from one moment to the other some papers, being proceedings of the Assembly, and in particular copies of the Bills passed by both Houses, but reserved. I expect to have them by Thursday, the vessel having arrived here. I have also received information upon some other important matters, concerning which, I am desirous of seeing Your Lordship. Now that the Session of Parliament is over, I should be extremely flattered if Your Lordship would grant me an audience.

I beg Your Lordship will accept my assurances, &c.

D. B. VIGER,

London, &c.
21st August, 1832.

To His Lordship,
VISCOUNT GODERICH,
&c. &c. &c.




Colonial Office,
August 27th 1832,

MY DEAR SIR,

Lord Goderich will see you here on Wednesday, at half-past one.

I have the honor to be, &c.

CHARLES DOUGLASS,

Mr. ViGER.




SIR,

I received your letter yesterday, by which you inform me that Lord Goderich will see me to-morrow, at half-past one. I will not fail to be in attendance at the Colonial Office at that hour.

I have the honor to be, &c.

D. B. VIGER,

28th August, 1832.

Chs. Douglass, Esquire.



Lord Howick's Letter.

Downing Street.

8th Sept, 1832.

SIR,

I am directed by Viscount Goderich, to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 29th ultimo, relative to the unfortunate occurrence which took place at Montreal, on the 21st May last, and to acquaint you that although His Lordship regrets exceedingly the loss of life of three individuals, and the wounding of some others by the firing of the military on that occasion, yet he does not think himself called upon to express any opinion on the conduct of the different parties concerned in this affair, until the case which it appears was to have been brought before the regular legal tribunal, in the ordinary course of the Law, on the 27th of August, shall have been inquired into.

Lord Goderich cannot entertain a doubt that the trial of the individuals accused will have been conducted with that calmness and impartiality without which justice cannot be rendered to His Majesty's subjects, and that no Jury will have suffered themselves to be influenced, particularly in a case affecting the life of man by those angry publications, which have been so extensively circulated in the Province, and so obviously calculated to create a prejudice against the accused persons.

His Lordship therefore, at present sees no reason for entering into any discussion on this subject, which does not appear to require any interference on his part.

The Government can have no desire to screen the delinquency of any person, but it is its first duty to keep itself aloof from those party feelings which unhappily appear to be mixed up in this question.

I am, Sir,
Your most obdt. servant,

HOWICK.

D. B. VIGER, Esqr.
&c. &c. &c.




Answer to Lord Goderich.

MY LORD,

I regret not having had it in my power to forward this Letter to you yesterday. I could have wished to have confined myself to an acknowledgment of the receipt of your's of Saturday last, and to request that you would accept, yourself, and tender to His Lordship, my thanks. The observations which you communicate to me relate to intentions different to those I really entertained, when I addressed my communication of the 29th August to His Lordship. The result has been a necessity on my part of adding to the explanations already contained in my communication, and in my Letter of the 2nd August on this subject, a few remarks calcalated to remove all doubt in this respect, and which I now take the liberty of addressing to your Lordship.

I have the honor to be, &c.

D. B. VIGER.

11th September, 1832.

THE LORD HOWICK,
&c. &c. &c.



Letter to Lord Goderich.

MY LORD,

I received on Saturday evening a Letter from Lord Howick acknowledging your receipt of my Letter of the 29th August, and communicating to me at the same time observations grounded upon intentions and a purpose which your Lordship ascribes to me different from those I had, and in relation to which I thought I had already sufficiently explained myself in several of the communications which 1 have had the honor of addressing to your Lordship on the same subject.

Since further explanation is the more necessary, because, besides the danger of an erroneous impression under similar circumstances, that supposition has already served as a ground to deprive me of obtaining access to papers, the communication of which appeared to me to admit of no difficulty.

In the first place I did not expect that your Lordship would at present give an opinion "relative to the conduct of the parties interested, or that your Lordship would enter into the discussion on the subject of the unfortunate affair of the 21st May, which must have been brought before a legal tribunal on the 27th August in due course of law;" nor have I entered into such a discussion.

My observations refer to what took place immediately previous to the catastrophe, or to subsequent parts which I have also presented in their direct relation with these previous parts themselves; it is by taking things in this light and presenting them in that manner that I pointed out my object, that is to say, to shew the pressing necessity which existed of having a clear investigation "upon that event and all that related to it."

As to the event of the 21st May in particular, many observations which accompanied my Letter of the 29th August, I did not omit to observe, expressly, "that as the conduct of those to whom the death of the citizens who were killed on that day, could be imputed, would become the subject of legal discussion before a Court, and had confined myself as much as possible to a simple statement of facts." I even took the precaution to add, "that on that occasion the military acted under the authority of the Magistrates who had required their assistance."

I could not therefore purpose laying before your Lordship, in relation to the event of the 21st May, the grounds of fact and of Law proposed for discussion before a Court of Justice, as I had observed in my Letter of the 2nd August. It behove me to represent things in their more extended relation to each other, and I believe I did so in my communication of the 29th.

As to the proceedings which must already have taken place in the Term of the Criminal Court of the 27th August, at Montreal, I wish they may be conducted according to those rules of strict impartiality which I am persuaded it is your Lordsnip's desire they should be governed by.

I think I can state at the same time, that the fears expressed in Lord Goderich's Letter, relative to the parties accused, are grounded upon comparisons which are not exactly applicable to the real state of things in the Province.

I flatter myself, that by means of these explanations, your Lordship will be able to see more distinctly the object I had in view in submitting the facts mentioned in my Letter of the 17th July. I may have been wrong in stating them before having given a statement of the facts which took place previously, and which are represented in my communication of the 29th August; if it is my fault, it was owing to my desire that your Lordship should be made acquainted as early as possible with facts, the importance of which will not fail to be appreciated.

It remains for me to observe with reference to the investigation of which I have urged the necessity, that even by abstaining from the consideration of any of the facts except those pointed out in my communication of the 29th August, or which are not susceptible of contestation, it is easy to discover those who have an interest in bringing the truth to light, as well as the importance which exists, that the whole of it should be brought out. I beg your Lordship will receive my assurances, &c.

D. B. VIGER.

London, &c.
11th September, 1832.

To His Lordship,
VISCOUNT GODERICH,
&c. &c. &c.




Downing Street,
24th Sept., 1832.

SIR,

I am directed by Viscount Goderich to acknowledge the receipt of your Letter of the 11th instant, in reply to the communication which, by His Lordship's desire, I addressed to you on the 8th instant.

I am, Sir,
Your's, &c.

HOWICK.

D. B. VIGER, Esquire,
&c. &c. &c.




Letter to Lord Goderich.

MY LORD,

I could have wished to have dispensed with addressing Your Lordship so soon after Your Lordship's return from the country, but I should be wanting in my duty were I not to request an audience of a few short moments as soon as Your Lordship's occupations will permit. I flatter myself that Your Lordship will perceive that this request is founded upon motives worthy of Your Lordship's attention.

I beg Your Lordship will accept the assurances, &c.

D. B. VIGER,

London, &c.
13th October, 1832.

To His Lordship,
Viscount Godbrich,
&c. &c. &c.




Lord Goderich will have much pleasure in seeing Mr. Viger, on Thursday next, at one o'clock, at this office.

Colonial Office,
October 23.

MR. VIGER.




MY LORD,

Your Lordship will, I trust, accept my thanks for the note I received yesterday, by which I am informed that Your Lordship will receive me at one o'clock, at which time I will not fail to attend at the Colonial Office.

I beg at the same time that Your Lordship will accept the assurances, of the profound respect with which I have the honour to be, &c.

D. B. VIGER,

London, &c.
24th October, 1832.

To His Lordship,
VISCOUNT GODERICH,
&c. &c. &c.




Letter to Lord Goderich.

MY LORD,

I now address to Your Lordship, a few observations relative to the subject matter of the audience which was granted to me by Your Lordship, on the 25th of October last. Your Lordship will perceive that this new picture is not, more than the owners the work of imagination. The facts which I state are correct, and the conclusions to be drawn can admit of little doubt.

I also flatter myself that Your Lordship will feel in some measure indebted to me for having called Your Lordship's attention to those matters; the importance of which Your Lordship will not fail to appreciate.

I beg Your Lordship will accept the assurances, tut.

D. B. VIGER,

London, &c.

To His Lordship,
VISCOUNT GODERICH,
&c. &c. &c.




Downing Street,

SIR,

19th November, 1832.

I am directed by Viscount Goderich to acquaint you that His Lordship has fully and materially considered the various documents which were transmitted to him by the Governor of Lower Canada, and by yourself, in explanation of the motive which induced the House of Assembly of that Province to address Lord Aylmer to remove Mr. Stuart from the Office of Attorney General of Lower Canada, and which prompted the Governor, in compliance with the address, to suspend Mr. Stuart from his office until His Majesty's pleasure should be known, together with various Documents which have been transmitted by Mr. Stuart to this department in his vindication.

In pursuing those enquiries Lord Goderich has availed himself of the assistance of His Majesty's Attorney and Solicitor General, who have devoted much time and labour to the subject.

After a most careful investigation of the whole case, Lord Goderich has felt it his duty to advise His Majesty to confirm Mr. Stuart's suspension; and His Majesty has been pleased to direct that a Commission should be prepared appointing another person to fill the Office of Attorney General of Lower Canada.

I am, Sir,
Yours, &c.

HOWICK,

D. B. VIGER, Esqr.
&c. &c. &c.




MY LORD,

Last evening I received your letter dated yesterday, by which I am informed from instructions from Lord Goderich, that after a laborious examination and other proceedings taken by His Lordship, and which he has condescended to communicate to me, His Lordship has thought proper to advise His Majesty to confirm Mr. Stuart's suspension, and that His Majesty had been pleased to order a Commission appointing another person to fill the office of Attorney General.

Permit me, my Lord, to beg his Lordship, with the assurances of my profound respect, to receive my thanks for this important communication, which I shall forward to the Assembly as soon as possible.

I beg you will receive the assurances, &c.

D. B. VIGER,

London, &c.
2Oth November, 1832.

LORD HOWICK,
&c. &c. &c.




MY LORD,

Since I had the honor of seeing you on the the 25th of last month, I have received information on several important matters, in relation to which it would be advantageous that I obtained from Your Lordship an audience of a few moments. It would be the more desirable as I should thereby be relieved from the necessity of fatiguing Your Lordship with laborious communications, which a few words of explanation would render unnecessary, such as has already been the case several times since my arrival in England.

I flatter myself, that Your Lordship will permit me to renew my thanks, which in my letter to Lord Howick of the 20th instant, I had requested him to convey to Your Lordship, acknowledging at the same time the receipt of the important communication which he addressed to me on behalf of Your Lordship, relative to Mr. Stuart.

I beg Your Lordship will again receive the assurances of the profound respect with which I have the honor to be, &c.

D. B. VIGER,

London Coffee House, &c.

27th November, 1832.

To His Lordship,
Viscount Goderich,
&c. &c. &c.



Colonial Office. 28th, Wednesday.

Lord Goderich will have the pleasure of seeing Mr. Viger on Friday next, 30th, at 4, at this office.

D. B. VIGER, Esq.




MY LORD,

I beg you will accept my thanks for your note of yesterday, by which I am informed that Your Lordship will see me to-morrow, the 30th, at four o'clock, at which time 1 will not fail to attend at the Colonial Office,

I beg Your Lordship will receive the assurances of the profound respect with which, Sic.

D. B. VIGER,

London Coffee House,
29th November, 1832.

To His Lordship,
Lord Viscount Goderich,
&c. &c. &c.




(p. n9-n20, n21-n49)

No. 2.

No. 3.

No. 4.

No. 5.

No. 6.

No. 7.

No. 8.