Resolutions of the Deschambault Meeting
The following resolutions appeared in La Minerve on July 24, 1837 and were reproduced in the book Assemblées publiques, résolutions et déclarations de 1837-1838, texts collected and presented by Jean-Paul Bertrand, Montréal, VLB Éditeur et l'Union des écrivains québécois, 1988, 304 p. ISBN 2-89005-313-X.
RESOLVED, 1: That this meeting solemnly condemns and protests against the resolutions concerning the affairs of this province recently introduced in the British parliament by the minister, which passed them by a great majority and thus sanctioned a principle that sooner or later will serve as a precedent to attack and destroy not only the rights and liberties of the other British colonies, but even those of the English people.
RESOLVED, 2: That the resolutions submitted by Lord John Russel in the House of Commons in England last March 6 and later adopted by the Commons and the Lords in the name of the ministers, with the goal of having the Imperial Parliament authorize the seizing from the provincial treasury of the funds drawn from the labors of the people for the payment of public servants, most of whom have shown themselves unworthy of the country, are an attack on and a violation of the constitutional rights and privileges of the people of this province.
RESOLVED, 3: That the adoption of the resolutions demonstrates absolute contempt for the just demands of the inhabitants of this province; that it destroys our confidence in the British Parliament; and that it will only convince the Canadien people that in future it should expect from the United Kingdom neither the redressing of its grievances nor respect for its political rights.
RESOLVED, 4: That the people of this country would be marked with the seal of degradation and would be slaves if they were to submit to be taxed and its money wrested by violence from the public treasury so that it could be distributed to evil servants without the sanction of its representatives, to whom alone belongs the right to appropriation.
RESOLVED, 5: That the British Parliament, in passing one of these resolutions to lay hand on the revenues of this province, has rendered itself guilty of an insulting violation of our rights; that it is an urgent duty for all of us to resist this violation by all the legal means in our power; and that henceforth we must have the firmness of spirit to no longer have recourse to a body which has so openly declared itself hostile to our freedoms.
RESOLVED, 6: That for the solid establishment and preservation of these freedoms, it would be prudent for us to prepare ourselves for the difficulties we may meet with by habits of strict economy in our personal expenses, by our efforts to promote education, agriculture, industry, manufacturing, and commerce in this province.
RESOLVED, 7: That when the revenues of this province are squandered to satisfy the greed of those who are always opposed to the peoples wishes and needs, it is both our duty and in our immediate interest to improve our domestic manufacture and to recommend its propagation to our fellow citizens, and as much as is in our power to abstain from those that pay taxes.
RESOLVED, 8: That we approve the majority of our representatives who have unbendingly insisted, in order for peace and contentment to return to this province, on the absolute need to suppress the current legislative council and to replace it by an elective council; we applaud the measures they have taken to obtain the redressing of the grievances afflicting the country, such as the refusal to sit with this body which almost invariably only accepts those bills that increase the power, patronage, and emoluments of the executives and its henchmen, and rejects most of those that are sent to them to procure for the country the most impartial and least costly administration of justice.
In order to facilitate the diffusion of enlightenment and the advantage of society:
Make elementary education general; assure the administration of the common goods and the local interests of the people in the counties, cities, and parishes by means of officers of their choice and elective corporations, as well as all other proposed laws that will advance morally and physically the welfare of the mass of the populace without distinction of class or origin; and that as long as said legislative council is not remodeled in such a way as to ensure the passing of these measures and the obtaining of these advantages, we recommend to our representatives that they persevere in the measures they adopted at the last session.
RESOLVED, 9: That it is a pleasant duty for us to publicly attest to our gratitude to our able defenders in the House of Commons for their generous efforts for the maintenance of our constitutional rights and privileges, as well as to the English people and the brave industrial classes for the lively interest they have demonstrated and the active part they have played in their public meetings for the just defense of our rights and liberties, encroached upon by those in power; and we ask them to accept our gratitude and sincere thanks for their devotion to the cause of their Canadien fellow-subjects.
RESOLVED, 10: That the bill passed in England authorizing a company to purchase lands in Canada, and the grant made to this company of the better part of the lands that were still accessible to the people, is an injustice towards Canadiens and a usurpation of their most sacred rights; the very lands that His Majesty promised them and ratified on the word of his governors when it was a question of repelling the enemy, saying to them: “courage, my children, these are your lands that you are defending;” and that it is with the greatest pain that we foresee the children of Canada of all origins forced to emigrate after having defended the colony as brave and loyal subjects.
Ls. Gariépy, Chairman
N.G. Authier, Secretary
July 24, 1837
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