Jump to: navigation, search

1837 and my connection with it

351 bytes added, 07:08, 25 December 2007
no edit summary
{{title|1837 and my connection with it|[[Thomas Storrow Brown]]|April 1898<br /><br />Quebec City, Raoul Renault, Publisher<br />(originally published in the ''New Dominion Monthly'' in April 1869)}}
[[Image:Thomas-storrow-brown.jpg|thumb|Thomas Storrow Brown, journalist, member of the ''Parti patriote'']]Born in [[wikipedia:St. Andrews, New Brunswick|St. Andrews]], Province of [[wikipedia:New Brunswick|New Brunswick]], I am a "good Tory," and not of a Revolutionary stock. My father's father, a [[wikipedia:Boston|Boston]] merchant, sacrificed his all for the Royal cause, and left for [[wikipedia:Halifax|Halifax]] with General [[wikipedia:Thomas Gage|Gage]], when Boston was evacuated, in 1776. My mother's mother emigrated from [[Postmouth]] to New Brunswick, with a daughter married to Captain [[Storrow]], of the British army, from whom my name was taken. She was a "Wentworth," cousin to [[wikipedia:John Wentworth (governor)|John Wentworth]] (afterwards Sir John, [[wikipedia:Governor of Nova Scotia|Governor of Nova Scotia]]), the last Royal Governor of [[wikipedia:New Hampshire|New Hampshire]]; niece to Sir [[wikipedia:Benning Wentworth|Berning]], his predecessor; and granddaughter to [[wikipedia:John Wentworth (Lieutenant-Governor)|John Wentworth]], who preceded him. These three "Wentworths" - father, son, and grandson, - having governed New Hampshire for more than forty years.
When, at fifteen years of age, I came to [[wikipedia:Montreal|Montreal]], in the year 1818, I was already a politician from much reading of newspapers; but forming my ideas of what was right in men and things mostly from the lessons contained in "[[wikipedia:Plutarch's Lives|Plutarch's Lives]]." In the same year the [[wikipedia:Parliament of Lower Canada|Parliament of Lower Canada]] was for the first time called upon to make provision for the "[[wikipedia:Civil List|Civil List]]," which included payment of all provincial salaries, in accordance with an offer made in 1810.
The constant demand of the Assembly for all the revenue, was met by tardy concessions by the British Government year after year, only to increase irritation; till in the end, as should have been in the beginning, all was surrendered. Then came the voting of supplies. The Assembly, having no other check on the Government, on the office holders, insisted on voting salaries annually and separately to each service or individual. The Governor, supported by the Council, insisted that they should be voted ''en bloc'', - in a lump sum - and for a term of years, to be devided by the Executive; and thus the conduct of public affairs became so insufferable that, in 1828, a deputation from Canadians (there had been deputations in former years) carried home a [[petition]], signed by 87,000 people, which was laid before a Committee of the House of Commons. The Committee entered fully upon the question, gave the delegates a full hearing, and by a [[report]] sustained the House of Assembly in its allegations or grievances, but left the remedy in the hands of the Government.
[[Image:Papineau-daguerre.jpeg|thumb|left|Louis-Joseph Papineau, lawyer, Speaker of the House of Assembly of Lower Canada]][[Image:Archibald-acheson-2nd-earl-of-gosford.jpg|thumb|Archibald Acheson, 2nd Earl of Gosford, Governor of the Canadas]]Promises of redress were profuse, but in the multiplicity of reforms required at that time of the British Ministry, ours were overlooked till 1835, when Lord [[wikipedia:Archibald Acheson, 2nd Earl of Gosford|Gosford]], a good natured Irish gentleman, of no political capacity or knowledge, was sent out as Governor, accompanied by an ex-captain of Engineers, and an excentric Indian judge to act with him as "Commissioners" to inquire into our grievances. The insult of appointing a [[commission]] to inquire into facts that had been re-echoed for fifteen years, when the Parliament of the Province could be the only inquest, was only equalled by the imbecility of selecting three men utterly incompetent for the task. The Commission was never recognized by our Parliament, nor did the British Ministry suppose it would be. It was sent out as a make shift; and its [[reports]], in which in turn each Commissioner differed from his colleagues, ended with the printing.
Lord Gosford, however, did something. He gave at Quebec a St. Catherine's ball, and, to the disgust of all loyal Britons, gave the chief place to a Canadian lady; which disgust was amplified by concessions of many things, before withheld, and a judicious bestowal of offices to certain Canadian politicians. On return, a portion of the Quebec wing of what was now called the "[[wikipedia:Parti canadien|Papineau Party]]" split off, and desired reconciliation. Satisfied with what they had in hand, and promises of more, they declared the cry for reform meant revolution.

Navigation menu