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History of Toronto and County of York in Ontario
Part I: Chapter XX. Lower Canada from the Peace to 1828


GENERAL DRUMMOND succeeded Sir George Prevost as Governor of Lower Canada. He had been before this Governor of Upper Canada. He speedily got into disputes with the Assembly, on the old vexed question of the impeachment of the judges, which the Prince Regent hail ordered to be set aside. He was succeeded in July, i8i6,bySir John Sherbrooke, who had been Governor of Nova Scotia. He saw, and reported to the English Ministers, the great need there was for a conciliatory policy, and the bitter animosity that was growing up between the Assembly and the Executive Council. In 1817 the Assembly chose as its Speaker the rising young orator Louis J. Papineauson of the constitutionalist leader before the war. In the same year the Bank of Montreal, the earliest bank n Canada, was established in Montreal ] and, soon afterwards, the Bank of Quebec in the older capital. In 1818 the Governor informed the Assembly that he was instructed from England to apprise them that their former offer to undertake the il list of the country was now accepted. This was a most welcome announcement to the popular head of the Legislature, who had long desired the control of the public expenditure. Sherbrooke, disgusted with the reluctance of the English Tory Government to permit needed reform, returned home, much regretted by the Lower Canadians. He was succeeded by the Duke of Richmond, a dissipated and spendthrift noble, who had often "heard the chimes at midnight" "with the wild Prince and Poms." A year afterwards, the Duke's eccentric career was closed by an attack of that terrible malady, hydrophobia, the result of the bite of a tame fox. The Duke broke from his attendants, and ran furiously along the banks of the little tributary of the Ottawa which flows1 through the village of Richmond. Arrived at the nearest house, the unhappy nobleman died in the village that bears his name, which he had purposed to make a considerable town.

In Jane, 1820, the Earl of Dalhousie came from Nova Scotia, where he had been Governor, to Canada, as Governor-m-Chief. A stormy session of the Legislature took place in 1821. Inquiry was demanded into the accounts of the Receiver-General of the Province, who was suspected of having appropriated large sums of public money. Exception was also taken to the iniquitous system of making lavish grants of Crown lands to the favourites of Government. As the Council and the Assembly could not agree on these points, no money was voted by the Assembly for the civil list. Meanwhile the Province advanced; no such freedom, no such prosperity, had been known under the French regime, as no less a witness than M. Papineau was free to own in a speech from the hustings. Montreal steamers were numerous on the lakes and the St. Lawrence. The Lachine and Rideau canals gave a great impetus to trade. The first beginnings of Ottawa were being advanced by Colonel By. The lumber trade was beginning to reap its harvest of rafts from the hitherto useless forests. The Eastern Townships alone now held a population as large as that of all Canada at the Conquest. There now arose a project for the Union of the two Canadas, to which the French Canadians were bitterly opposed. They sent John Neilson and Louis J. Papineau to England with a petition against it, signed by sixty thousand French Canadians. A gross case of fraud and embezzlement was now clearly proved against the Receiver-General, John Caldwell. The Government had been guilty of the folly of screening him, and were compelled to bear the odium of his crime. In June, 1824, Lord Dalhousie was succeeded by Sir Francis Burton, his Deputy, till 1826, when Dalhousie returned. The dispute between the French and English colonists, between the oligarchy of the Executive Council and the popular Assembly, went on year by year with wearisome iteration, Papineau being in the van of the malcontents. At last the Governor refused to recognize Papineau as Speaker, and declared that he could listen to no communication from the Assembly til] it got itselt legally constituted by electing a Speaker. The ever-recurring wrangle between the Government and the Assembly at last attracted notice in the British Parliament, and a Committee was appointed to consider the Lower Canada question. They met and decided every point in favour of the French Canadians. The Assembly ordered four hundred copies of their report to be printed and circulated through the country.


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