Resolutions of the Saint-Laurent Meeting
The following resolutions were published in La Minerve, on May 18, 1837 and 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 .
On the motion of Mr. Paschal Persillier Lachapelle of Cote des Neiges, seconded by Mr. Joseph Binette of Ste-Genevieve
RESOLVED 1: That the resolutions submitted in the name of the English ministry by Lord John Russel last March 6 in the Commons of the metropole destroy de facto the rights and liberties of the people of this province, rights and liberties that we view as birthrights of an English citizen, solemnly proclaimed by the declaratory act of the 18th George III; that this violation is even more odious in that it is accompanied by the avowal of the justice of the grievances of the country concerning the vicious constitution of the legislative council, one of the principal reasons that forced the representation of this colony to refuse subsidies so as to obtain reparation for this grievance, the primary source for all the abuses weighing on this province.
On the motion of Andre Jobin, Esq. M.P.P., seconded by C.S. Cherrier. Esq., M.P.P.
RESOLVED 2: That the people of this province were right to expect from the recall of the former Governor-in-Chief that his successor would follow a more just, liberal, and honest policy; that it was disappointed in this expectation by seeing the old system of deception and intrigue accompany all the acts of the present administration; that all that is unjust and atrocious in the plan of coercion put forth by the English ministry was on the suggestion of the present Governor and his associates who, presenting themselves as missionaries of peace and reconciliation, have only employed this method in order to better deceive, and at the same time that they made promises of large-scale reforms they solicited the intervention of the Imperial parliament so that they could take our rights from us by force.
On the motion of Capt. Stanislas David of Sault-au-Recollet, seconded by Mr. Francois Tavernier of Montreal.
RESOLVED 3: That when we asked for the intervention of the Imperial parliament for the good government of this province we only did this by expressing the sense in which it should accord us the reforms desired by the great majority of the inhabitants of this province; that it isn’t according to European views or the recommendations of individuals foreign to the country and its social state that our political institutions should be changed, but only according to our wishes and the recommendations expressed by our representatives, who are freely elected and the only ones competent to know the needs they share with us and to reform institutions whose harmful effects they feel along with us; that we repudiate in advance the feeble palliatives that they aspire to apply to evils whose source they allow to remain, and through the expansion of the elective system we persist in demanding institutions analogous to those of the former colonies of New England as the only ones appropriate to our state of society and the only ones that can bring a halt in Canada to the odious national distinctions that we repudiate, and as the only ones that can serve as a basis for good government.
On the motion of Mr. Joseph Labelle of Longue Pointe, seconded by Mr. Francois Quenneville of St. Laurent.
RESOLVED 4: That the devious policy followed by Archibald, Count Gosford, joined to the tyrannical measures proposed by the ministry and supported by a majority in the House of Commons removes any hope from the colonists for expecting any justice from the metropole, as long as men of principles more just and liberal are not in positions of leadership in the councils of state. And that consequently we ask our representatives, our fellow-citizens of the other counties of the province, and our brother colonists in the neighboring provinces to no longer follow the degrading routine of asking of the King, of lords and their vassals in the House of Commons that justice that we only expected from them when we didn’t know them.
On the motion of Dr. Valois, J.P. of Pointe Claire, seconded by Mr. Ludger Duvernay of Montreal.
RESOLVED 5: That in the current circumstances it is urgent to have recourse in the first instance to several methods for paralyzing the attack on our rights and liberties by drying up the source of revenue that the ministry’s measures seek to take from us.
On the motion of Urbain Desrochers of Pointe-aux-Trembles, seconded by Mr. Remi Lecavalier.
RESOLVED 6: That the revenue which our oppressors want unconstitutionally to seize are principally raised on the rum and whisky, wine, tea, sugars and tobaccos legally imported and paying customs duties; that public and private happiness would be greatly promoted by abstinence from wines and spirits, and we strongly recommend this to our fellow citizens. And that secondly we recommend to those who do not subscribe to absolute abstinence from these articles that they only use those manufactured in our country. And thirdly, for those who cannot obtain those made in this country to only use those smuggled in from the United States.
On the motion of Capt. Jean Baptiste Cadieux of Pointe-aux-Trembles, seconded by Mr. Francois Malo of the same place.
RESOLVED 7: That another great portion of provincial revenue is raised by a duty of two-and-a-half percent on merchandise manufactured in the United Kingdom of great Britain and Ireland upon their entry to the ports of this province, and a great portion of the products of this nature, especially in the manufacture of wool products, cloth, and cotton could be made in this country or be obtained from the United States; that we commit ourselves and we recommend to our fellow-citizens to preferably use these latter, especially in the case where we know that such articles were made in that country or smuggled in; that above all we encourage the establishing of manufactories in this province and we will view as deserving well of their country those who will establish or encourage said manufacturing; that we don’t take this position from hatred of the English people, who we respect and who we thank for the sympathy they manifest for their oppressed Canadian brothers; but we hate them for the injustices we are made to feel by the Whigs and Tories and so as to interest them in smashing the iron scepter of their oppressors and ours.
On the motion of M. P.P. Lachapelle, fils of Lachine, seconded by Mr. Joseph Cardinal of Cote des Neiges.
RESOLVED 8: That while we have nothing but injustice to expect from beyond the seas, we can see them lightened and perhaps rendered entirely illusory by setting ourselves to cultivating frequent and amicable communication with our fortunate and industrious neighbors of the United States of America. That nothing can more rapidly lead to the prosperity of the country than the extension of our commerce with them, and consequently the request wisely adopted recently by the reformists of Upper Canada should be proposed for general acceptance by the people of this province so as to be presented to the Congress of the free and fortunate United States of America at its next session.
On the motion of Capt. Dubreuil of Pointe-aux-Trembles, seconded by Capt. Joseph Monarque of Riviere des Prairies.
RESOLVED 9: That in the case where the unconstitutional measures proposed by the ministry are adopted, this assembly hopes that the representation of the country will never lower itself to the point of sanctioning such usurpations by voting for subsidies as long as justice is refused to the country.
On the motion of Mr. Joshua bell, seconded by Mr. Simon Valois.
RESOLVED 10: That the inhabitants of all the English colonies owe the liveliest gratitude and these most sincere thanks are given by this Assembly to the eloquent and virtuous minority who, in the House of Commons, truly proved that its love for justice embraced the Empire in its entire extent and will see to it that they respect the rights of man in society, and those of the British colonies in particular. That we take this occasion also to express our gratitude to the Manufacturer’s Association of London and to other English reformists who have raised their voices in favor of an oppressed colony and who have understood that trampling our rights and liberties meant establishing a dangerous precedent that could serve to attack the same rights and liberties of the English people; that we are sensitive to their sympathy (which we greatly appreciate) as well as that of our reformist brothers in Toronto, who have also protested against the violation of pour common rights.
On the motion of J.A. Gagnon, Esq., seconded by Mr. Fleury Saint Jean
RESOLVED 11: That we applaud the efforts of our brother colonists and reformists of Nova Scotia, whose representatives have just demanded the introduction of the elective principle in the council that forms a part of their legislature, a government responsible to the Commons of the colony and the control of the people over all public revenue and other reforms in the general interest; that these demands and their grievances have as their source the same bad system of government that was the subject of the same grievances on our part for a long time; that we are ready to second the efforts of the reformists of Nova Scotia and to cooperate with them.
On the motion of Mr. J. Letourneux of Tanneries, seconded by Mr. Francois Leonard.
RESOLVED 12: That in the moment of current crisis for the liberties of these colonies it is urgent that the people of this province take other measures for the protection of their constitutional rights, and with this in view we recommend to our reformist brothers that they elect delegates for a general convention (of which the members of the House of Assembly and those of the legislative council approving and supporting the anti-coercion assemblies of the counties that are now being held or will later be held will be ex-officio members) which will be held in the course of the coming summer in some central and convenient place. And that said convention can, in our opinion, in addition to the above ex-officio members, be composed of delegates of various counties and towns in a proportion double the number of representatives elected by them for the House of Assembly and that: - - MM. L. Dr Valois, E.R. Fabre, George Watson, Louis Roy Portelance, Peter Dunn, Urbain Desrochers, Thos. M”Naughton, P.P. Lacahpelle, Stanislas David, John Dillon, J. Bell, Jos. Ant. Gagnon, and Joseph Letourneux be elected to represent the city and county of Montreal at said general convention.
On the motion of Mr. John Dillon of Longue-Pointe, seconded by Mr. Louis Verdon of St. Laurent.
RESOLVED 13: That there now be named a permanent committee (with the power to add to its number) to watch over the political interests of this community, to correspond with other counties in this province and the British provinces, to adopt such measures that will on occasion appear to them to be needed to protect our rights and to advance the cause of good government in these colonies and to effect, insofar as it is in their power, the various recommendations, suggestions, and resolutions agreed upon by that assembly.
That the committee be composed of the following people:
MM. P. P. Lachapelle, Côte des neiges; Joseph Binet, Ste-Geneviève; Capt. Stanislas David, Sault-aux-Récollets; François Tavernier, Montréal; Joseph Labelle, Pointe Claire; François Quenneville, St-Laurent; Dr. Valois, Pointe Claire; Ludger Duvernay, Montréal; Urbain Desrochers, Pointe-aux-Trembles; Remi Lecavalier, St-Laurent; Capt. J. Bte. Cadieux, Pointes-aux-Trembles; François Malo, Pointe-aux-Trembles; P. P. Lachapelle J. P. jeune, Lachine; Capt. Dubreuil, Pointe-aux-Trembles; Joseph Monarque, Rivière des Prairies; Joshua Bell, Montréal; Simon Valois, Montréal; Joseph Ant. Gagnon J. P., Montréal; Fleury Saint-Jean, Montréal; Joseph Letourneux, Tanneries; François Léonard, St-Laurent; John Dillon, Longue Pointe; Louis Verdon, St-Laurent; J. Bte Malo, Lachine; Ls. Marteau, St-Laurent; Gab. Valois, Pointe Claire; François Christin dit St-Amour, Joseph Christin dit St-Amour, Capt. Paul Côté, Rivière des Prairies; Joseph Bruyères, Pointe-aux-Trembles; J. Bte Lapierre, Sault-aux-Récollets; Amable Desautels, Sault-aux-Récollets; Pierre Vennier, Sault-aux-Récolletsl Simon Thimmins, Sault-aux-Récollets; Charles Faquener, Sault-aux-Récollets; François Ricard, Montréal; John Hale, Ed. R. Fabre, Peter Even, Thos. McNaughton, John Armstrong, Seraphim Gauthier et Chamilly de Lorimier, Montréal; Guillaume Lecavalier, St-Laurent; Olivier Dumouchel, Paul Dumouchel, St-Laurent; J. Bte Quesnel (fils de Joseph), Lachine; Nicholas Lefebre, Lachine.
May 18, 1837
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