William Lyon MacKenzie
Chapter XII - A Spurt of Civil War


BY some means a knowledge of the intended rising reached several persons from whom Mackenzie would have desired to keep it a secret. Dr. Morrison was a party to the arrangement finally agreed upon. He is believed to have disclosed the plan of insurrection to several persons. What was going on came to the ears of Dr. Baldwin. The latter, it would seem, never mentioned it to his son, Robert; for that gentleman declared that he had no knowledge of it. Bidwell had refused to become a member of the proposed convention, and he does not appear to have attended the meetings at which insurrection was organized. There seems to be no reason to believe, however, that he is entitled to plead ignorance of the movement. He was asked his opinion on the legality of the shooting matches; he was the bosom friend of Dr. Rolph, with whom he was in the habit of cordially co-operating; and it has been stated that, without working with the dozen persons in Toronto who were actively engaged in the organization of the movement, he was secretly giving all the assistance he could. He accepted expatriation at the hands of Sir Francis when the revolt failed.

Previous to the day fixed for the outbreak in Upper Canada, the clash of arms had been heard in the Lower Province. On December 5th, Lord Gosford proclaimed martial law, and offered rewards for the apprehension of the patriot leaders. Dr. Nelson, who lived at St. Denis, hearing of the movement for the arrest of himself and the other leaders, prepared for resistance. Five companies of troops, with one field-piece and a detachment of Montreal cavalry under the command of Colonel Gore, arrived at St. Denis on the morning of November 23rd. The battle commenced about nine o'clock, and lasted till nearly four in the afternoon, being carried on with great bravery the Government House, the windows of which were blocked up with rough timber and loopholed. Bidwell sent in his card. When he was admitted to an interview he was apparently so alarmed as to be unable to speak. Sir Francis, holding Bidwell's letters in his hand, pointed with them towards the window, saying: "Well Mr. Bidwell, you see the state to which you have brought us?" "He made no reply," writes the ex-lieutenant-governor, "and as it was impossible to help pitying the abject, fallen position in which he stood, I very calmly pointed out to him the impropriety of the course he had pursued, and then, observing to him, what he knew well enough, that if I were to open his letters his life would probably be in my hands, I reminded him of the mercy as well as the power of the British Crown; and 1 ended by telling him that, as its humble representative, 1 would restore to him his letters unopened, if he would give me, in writing, a promise that he would leave the Queen's dominions forever. . . . He retired to the waiting-room, wrote out the promise I had dictated, and returning with it, 1 received it with one hand, and with the other, according to my promise, I delivered to him the whole of his letters unopened. The sentence which Mr. Bidwell passed upon himself he faithfully executed." Sir Francis Bond Head, The Emigrant on both sides. The troops retired, leaving behind one cannon, some muskets, and five wounded. At St. Charles, the insurgents, under T. S. Brown, suffered a reverse. "The slaughter on the side of the rebels," writes Colonel Wetherall, " was great." " I counted," he adds, " fifty-six bodies, and many more were killed in the building and the bodies burnt." He was much censured for what was deemed unnecessary slaughter.

This reverse was destined to have a discouraging effect upon the insurgents in Upper Canada, where the work of final organization had commenced. Military leaders had to be chosen, and each assigned his post of duty. A tour of the neighbouring country had to be made, and this duty fell to Mackenzie. On the evening of November 24th— less than twenty-four hours before, the defeat at St. Charles—he left Dr. Rolph's house on this mission. Just before starting, he mentioned to one or two persons who had not been parties to the plan of rising, what was going to take place; but he was very careful not to communicate the intelligence to any one on whose secrecy he felt he could not rely. Except in a single instance, no notices were sent beyond the limits of the metropolitan county of York. He visited Lloydtown, Stouffville, Newmarket, and other places in the north. His business was to make the necessary preparations for carrying out the plans agreed upon. Having no knowledge of military operations, he refused to assume a position of command for which he was by experience entirely unfitted. This determination he announced at Lloydtown, several days previous to the intended march upon Toronto. Samuel Lount and Anthony Anderson were then named to commands. Mackenzie deemed it essential to the success of the movement that it should be directed by persons of military skill and experience. He wrote to Van Egmond,1 to be at Montgomery's Hotel on the evening of the seventh, to lead the forces into the city, and he placed much reliance upon him and other veterans whose services he deemed it of the utmost importance to secure.

On the night of December 3rd, Mackenzie, who had now been nine days in the country organizing the movement, arrived at the house of David Gibson, some three miles from the city. He there learnt with dismay that, in his absence, Dr. Rolph had changed the day for making a descent upon Toronto from Thursday to Monday, December 4th. Various reasons have been assigned for this change. There was a rumour that a warrant was out for the arrest of Mackenzie for high treason— which was true—and that cannon were being mounted in the park surrounding the Government House—which was false. The publication of certain militia orders is said to have been regarded as proof that the government was on the alert. It was said that the governor had a letter from the country-disclosing all the plans of the patriots; and that the council, concluding at last that there was real danger, had commenced a distribution of arms. The real truth was, as a verbal message sent to Lount stated, Dr. Rolph became alarmed, under the impression that the government was giving out the arms at the City Hall, and arming men to fill the garrison and form companies to arrest the leaders of the revolt expected between then and the next Thursday; and that they had already distributed one hundred stand-of-arms, and had become aware of the day fixed for the rising. These circumstances, the message added, rendered it necessary that Lount and his men should be in town on Monday night. Regarding the change of day as a fatal error, Mackenzie despatched one of Gibson's servants with a message to Lount, who resided near Holland Landing, some thirty-five miles from Toronto, not to come till Thursday, as first agreed upon. But it was too late. The messenger returned on Monday afternoon with Lount's reply that the intended rising was publicly known all through the north; and that the men had been ordered to march, and were already on the road. Rude pikes formed the weapons of the majority; a few had rifles; there were no muskets.

Much annoyed at the unexpected change in the programme, Mackenzie, with the natural intrepidity of his nature, resolved to make the best of it. When Lount arrived in the evening, he brought only about eighty or ninety men, exhausted with a march of between thirty and forty miles through deep mud, and dispirited by the news of the reverse in Lower Canada. Though Dr. Rolph had met Mackenzie that morning at James Hervey Price's house on Yonge Street, a couple of miles or so from Toronto, they had no intelligence of the state of the town after ten o'clock. Rolph had returned, and no messenger came to bring Mackenzie and his friends any news of what was going on in the city. Regarding it as all important that communication with the city should be cut off, for the purpose of preventing any intelligence being sent to the government, Mackenzie advised the placing of a guard upon the road ; and that the handful of jaded men who had arrived should summon all their powers of endurance and march on the city that night. No one seconded his proposal. Lount, Lloyd and Gibson all protested against what they regarded as a rash enterprise. They deemed it indispensable to wait till the condition of the city could be ascertained, or till they were sufficiently reinforced to reduce to reasonable limits the hazard of venture in which all concerned carried their lives in their hands.

Thus the golden opportunity was lost. Delay was defeat. At this time the number of men under Lount, reinforced as they would have been in the city, would have been quite sufficient to effect the intended revolution, since the government was literally asleep and had few true friends.

Failing in this proposal, Mackenzie next offered to make one of four who should go to the city, ascertain the state of matters there, whether an attack would be likely to be attended with success, spur their friends into activity with a view to an attack the next evening, and bring Drs. Rolph and Morrison back with them. Captain Anderson, Shep-ard, and Smith, volunteered to join him. They started between eight and nine o'clock. Before they had proceeded far they met John Powell with Archibald Macdonald, mounted, acting as a sort of patrol. Mackenzie pulled up, and, with a double-barrelled pistol in his hand, briefly informed them of the rising, and added that, as it was necessary to prevent intelligence of it reaching the government, they must surrender themselves prisoners, and in that character go to Montgomery's Hotel, where they would be well treated. Any arms they might have upon their persons, they must surrender. They replied that they had none; and when he seemed sceptical as to the correctness of the reply, they repeated it. Mackenzie then said, "Well, gentlemen, as you are my townsmen and men of honour, I should be ashamed to show that I question your word by ordering you to be searched."

Placing the two prisoners in charge of Anderson and Shepard, he then continued his course, with his remaining comrade, towards the city. Before they had gone far, Powell, who had returned, rode past them. While he was passing, Mackenzie demanded the object of his return, and told him, at his peril, not to proceed. Regardless of this warning, the government messenger kept on. Mackenzie fired at him over his horse's head, but missed his mark. Powell now pulled up, and, coming alongside Mackenzie, placed the muzzle of a pistol close to his antagonist's breast. A flash in the pan saved the life of the insurgent chief.

Macdonald now also came up on his return. He seemed much frightened ; and, being unable to give any satisfactory explanation, was sent back a second time by Mackenzie. In the meantime, Powell escaped. He dismounted, and finding himself pursued, hid behind a log for a while; and then by a devious course proceeded to Toronto. He went at once to Government House, and aroused the governor from his slumbers. His Excellency placed his family and that of Chief Justice Robinson on board a steamer lying in the bay, ready to leave the city if the rebels should capture it. Mackenzie, having sent his last remaining companion back with Macdonald to Montgomery's Hotel, now found himself alone. A warrant had for some time been out for his arrest on a charge of high treason, and the government, informed of the presence of the men at Montgomery's, was already astir. It 364 would have been madness for him to proceed com-panionless to the city, and so he turned his horse's head and set out for Montgomery's. Before he had proceeded far he found, lying upon the road, the dead body of Anderson, who had fallen a victim to Powell's treachery. Life was entirely extinct. Anderson and Shepard, as already stated, were escorting Powell and Macdonald as prisoners to the guard-room of the patriots at Montgomery's Hotel. Powell, who, on being captured, had twice protested that he was unarmed, slackened the pace of his horse sufficiently to get behind his victim, when he shot him with a pistol through the back of the neck. Death was instantaneous. Shepard's horse stumbled at the moment, and Powell was enabled to escape. As there was now only one guard to two prisoners, he could not have hoped to prevent their escape. Macdonald followed his associate.

On which side life had first been taken it would be difficult to determine ; for, when Mackenzie got back to Montgomery's Hotel, he found that Colonel Moodie, inflamed by liquor, had, in trying to force his way past the guard at the hotel, at whom he fired a pistol, been shot by a rifle. The guards who returned the fire missed their aim, when one of the men, Ryan, who was standing on the steps in front of the hotel, levelled his rifle at Colonel Moodie, of whom the light of the moon gave a clear view, and fired the fatal shot.

Lount's men were a good deal dispirited by the death of Anderson. And they had no particular reasons for being in good humour. Lingfoot, by whom Montgomery's Hotel was kept, had no provisions to offer them ; and none could be procured that night. The handful of countrymen, exhausted by their long march, with no man of military experience to excite their confidence, had to sup on bad whiskey and recline upon the floor, where many from sheer fatigue fell sound asleep. The rest were still uneasy as to the state of things in the city. The bells had been set a-ringing; and they were uncertain as to the rumours about the arrival of steamboats laden with Orangemen and other Loyalists. They had expected to learn the exact state and condition of the city from their friends there. Mackenzie with three companions, as we have seen, had failed to reach the city, where the wished-for intelligence might have been obtained. Other messengers were sent, but none returned. They were made prisoners. It is probable that Dr. Morrison attempted to convey to them the information they so much needed; for it is pretty certain that he passed the toll-gate on his way out. But the sight of Captain Bridgeford, a government sympathizer, in all probability compelled him to go back.

By midnight, the numbers were increased; and before morning, Mackenzie, with his natural impetuosity of disposition, again proposed to march on the city; but he was again overruled. And indeed, the chance of success was already much diminished, because the government had now had several hours for preparation. To Mackenzie's proposal it was objected that nothing was known of the state of the garrison; the city bells had sounded an ominous alarm ; the forces expected from the west had not arrived ; and the executive in the city, by whom the premature rising had been ordered, had sent no communication.

Next day, the relative force of the two parties was such that the patriots might, if properly armed, have obtained certain conquest. They had between seven and eight hundred men; but many of them were unarmed. The rest had rifles, fowling-pieces, and pikes. Many of those who were unarmed returned, almost as soon as they discovered there were no weapons for their use. Provisions, including fresh and salt beef from a Loyalist butcher who lived up Yonge Street, about two miles above Montgomery's, were obtained for the men. Sir Francis claims to have had three hundred supporters in the morning, and five hundred in the evening; but the statement has been disputed and is open to doubt. His fears may be judged by his holding parley with armed insurgents. On Tuesday, the fifth, he sent a flag of truce to the rebel camp, with a message asking what it was they wanted. There is no reason to doubt that this was a stratagem to gain time. Mackenzie replied: "Independence and a convention to arrange details." He added that the lieutenant-governor's message must be sent in writing, and feeling time to be precious, he said it must be forthcoming in one hour.

Whom had Sir Francis selected as the medium of communication between himself and the rebels? This question touches on one of the most painful subjects I have to deal with in this work. Robert Baldwin could hardly have been entirely ignorant of what every one who read the newspapers of the day must have been informed; but he had neither part nor lot in the revolt. But Mackenzie himself was not deeper in the rebellion than Dr. Rolph; and his acceptance of the post of mediator between the men he had encouraged into insurrection and the government against which they had been induced to rebel, is so extraordinary an act that it is almost impossible to account for it. The only possible explanation lies in the difficulty of his position, which arose from his being asked to undertake this office. Sheriff Jarvis went to Price —so the latter says—and appealed to him, in the name of God, to give his assistance "to stop the proceedings of those men who are going to attack us." Price replied, with much reason, that if he should go out it would be said that he went to join the rebels. And he suggested: " Why not go to Baldwin, Dr. Rolph, or Bidwell?" If Rolph had persisted in refusing he would have laid himself open to suspicion—as he did by a 368

first refusal; and if he had been arrested, the worst might have happened. The Doctor's returning prudence may have bid him go; and perhaps he thought he could perform this mission without serious injury to his friends in the field.1 But the effect of his arrival with a flag of truce, about one o'clock, threw a damper on the zeal of the men. They fancied that when he appeared in the service of the governor, the patriot cause must be desperate. Mackenzie did not venture to tell the real state of the case to more than five or six persons; for if it had been publicly announced, the fact might have reached town and occasioned the Doctor's arrest. The intelligence that Bidwell had been asked to accept the mission undertaken by Rolph, created the false impression that they were both opposed to Mackenzie's movement. Lount, to whom he addressed himself, says Dr. Rolph secretly advised him to pay no attention to the message, but, to proceed Mackenzie told Lount this advice must be acted upon; and the order to proceed was given.

Lount was advised by Mackenzie to march his men into the city without loss of time, and take up a position near Osgoode Hall. Mackenzie then rode westward to the larger body of insurgents, near Colonel Baldwin's residence, and ordered an instant march on the city. When they reached the upper end of College Avenue, a second flag of truce arrived. The answer brought by Baldwin and Dr. Rolph was that the governor refused to comply with the demands of the insurgents. The truce being at an end, Dr. Rolph secretly advised the insurgents to wait till six o'clock, and then P. C. H. Brotherton, another of the insurgents, made oath to the same effcct on December 12th, before Vice-Chancellor Jameson, and stated that Dr. Rolph had told him, on the eighth, that "Mackenzie had acted unaccountably in not coming into the town; and that he expected him in half an hour after he returned with the flag." These statements are sufficiently conclusive as to the general fact; the only question that is not settled is, whether it was on the first or second visit that Dr. Rolph told the insurgents to go into the city. Did he give this advice on the occasion of both visits ? Mackenzie and Lount say the order to go into the city was given on the first visit. Against this positive evidence, Dr. Rolph produces his own denial and a statement from the flag-bearer, who attempts to prove a negative from the alleged impossibility of the occurrence taking place. It must be explained that the statement signed by Carmichael was prepared in Quebec, where it was dated and taken thence to Toronto for signature. Besides this, Carmichael was not very consistent in his statements of the affair, having told a very different story at other times. The weight of the evidence is therefore entirely in favour of the correctness of Lount's statement.

The patriot forces were a half-armed mob, without discipline, headed by civilians, and having no confidence in themselves or their military leaders. Lount's men, who were armed with rifles, were in front; the pikemen came next, and in the rear were a number of useless men having no other weapons than sticks and cudgels. Captain Duggan, of the volunteer artillery, another officer, and the sheriff"s horse, fell into the hands of the insurgents when they were within about half a mile of the city. At this point they were fired upon by an

advanced guard of Loyalists concealed behind a fence, and whose numbers—of which the insurgents could have no correct idea—have been variously stated at from fifteen to thirty, and shots were exchanged. After firing once, the Loyalists, under Sheriff Jarvis, started back at full speed towards the city. The front rank of Lount's men, instead of stepping aside after firing to let those behind fire, fell down on their faces. Those in the rear, being without arms and fancying that the front rank had been cut down by the muskets of the small force who had taken a random shot at them, were panic stricken; and in a short time nearly the whole force was on the retreat. Many of the Lloydtown pikemen raised the cry, "We shall all be killed," threw down their rude weapons, and fled in great precipitation. Mackenzie, who had been near the front, and in more danger from the rifles behind than from the musketry of the Loyalists, stepped to the side of the road and ordered the men to cease firing. He was of opinion that one of the insurgents, who had been shot, fell from a rifle bullet of an unskilful comrade. The impetuous and disorderly flight had, in a short time, taken all but about a score beyond the toll-gate. The mortification of Mackenzie may be imagined. Hoping to rally the men, he sent Alves back to explain to them that the danger was imaginary; and putting spurs to his horse he followed at a brisk pace immediately after, for the same purpose. When they came to a halt, he implored them to return. He told them that the steamers had been sent off to bring the Orangemen from the other districts; that whatever defenders the government had in the city were in desperate alarm ; that the success, which could now be easily achieved, might on the morrow be out of their reach ; that the moment the timidity of the patriots became known, the government would gain new adherents; and that if they did not return, the opportunity for the deliverance of the country would be lost. In this strain he addressed successive groups. He coaxed and threatened. He would go in front with any dozen who would accompany him. Relying upon the succour they would meet in the city, he offered to go on if only forty men would go with him. Two or three volunteers presented themselves; but the general answer was that, though they would go in daylight, they would not advance in the dark.

The majority lost no time in returning to their homes. And although some two hundred additional forces arrived during the night, the whole number, on the Wednesday, had dwindled down to about five hundred and fifty. One cause of the panic on Tuesday night arose from the alarming stories, told by some persons who had joined them from Toronto, of the preparations in the city; how the Tories, protected by feather-beds and mattresses, would fire from the windows of the houses and make terrible slaughter of the patriots.

Dr. Home's house, close to Yonge Street, the rendezvous of spies, was burnt by the rebels, as those of Montgomery and Gibson were subsequently by the Loyalists. In Home's house a search was made for papers that might show what information was being asked by the government or sent to it; and the fire was "caused by the upsetting of the stove. Nothing whatever was taken out of the house.

That night Dr. Rolph sent a messenger to Montgomery's to inquire of Mackenzie the cause of the retreat. The answer was sent back in writing, and next morning, despairing, it would seem, of all hope of success, Rolph set out for the United States as a place of refuge. He was soon to be followed by a large number of others.

Wednesday opened gloomily upon the prospects of the insurgents. Morrison remained in his house. Mackenzie called the men together and explained to them the reason for the strong censures he had used on the retreat the previous evening. If they had taken his advice and been ready to follow his example, Toronto would have been theirs. The enemy had, in the meantime, been largely reinforced. They were well officered, well armed, and had command of the steamers for bringing up further reinforcements. If the patriots were to succeed it was essential that they should have confidence in themselves. They were greatly in want of arms; the four thousand muskets and bayonets they had intended to seize were now ready to be turned against them.

Mackenzie, Lount, Alves, and several others set off on horseback to collect arms to intercept the western mail, which would convey intelligence which it was desirable should not be communicated to the friends of the government, and to make prisoners of persons who might be carrying information for the government to the disadvantage of the insurgents. The mail-stage, coming into Dundas Street, the principal western entrance into Toronto, was captured, and with the driver, mails, and several prisoners was taken to the rebel camp. Among the letters were some addressed by the president of the executive council to persons in the country, and containing information that the government expected soon to be able to make an attack at Montgomery's. Mackenzie, not knowing that Rolph had fled, wrote to him to send the patriots timely notice of the intended attack; but of course he got no answer. The messenger never returned. A man on horseback told them that the government intended to make the attack on Thursday, and the information proved correct.

Thursday found division in the patriot camp. Gibson objected to Mackenzie's plans, though they were sanctioned by Colonel Van Egmond, who, true to the original understanding, had just arrived. Gibson's objections led to a council of war. Those who objected to Mackenzie's plans proposed no substitute. A new election of officers took place. This caused great delay. The plan suggested by Van Egmond, and adopted by Mackenzie, was to try to prevent an attack on Montgomery's till night, in the hope that by that time large reinforcements might arrive. And there was some reason in this, for this was the day originally fixed for the general rising, and a notification of the alteration had been sent only to Lount's division. One man had a force of five hundred and fifty ready to bring down, and many others who were on the way, when they found it was all up with the patriots, in order to save themselves, pretended they had come down to assist the government to quell the insurrection. A militia colonel was to contribute a couple of fat oxen to the rebel cause. Another colonel had made the patriots a present of a gun, a sword, and some ammunition. Thousands, whom prudence or fear kept aloof from the movement, wished it success. Under these circumstances, the only hope of the patriots seemed to lie in preventing an attack till night. In order to accomplish this the city must be alarmed. Sixty men, forty of them armed with rifles, were selected to go to the Don Bridge, which formed the eastern connection with the city, and destroy it. By setting this bridge and the adjoining house on fire it was thought the Loyalist force might be drawn off in that direction, and their plan of attack broken up. The party sent eastward was to intercept the Montreal mails. The rest of the men who had arms "were to take the direction of the city, and be ready to move either to the right or the left, or to retreat to a strong position as prudence might dictate."

A party was sent eastward, as agreed upon; the bridge and house were fired and partly burnt, and the mails intercepted. But the delay of two hours occasioned by the council of war proved fatal. Three steamers had, in the meantime, been bringing reinforcements to the alarmed governor.

Toronto contained twelve thousand inhabitants, and if the government had not been odious to the great majority of the people, it ought to have been able to raise a force sufficient to beat back four hundred rebels; for to this number the patriot army had been reduced. But neither Toronto nor the neighbouring country furnished the requisite force, and Sir Francis had awaited in trembling anxiety the arrival of forces from other parts of the province. Having at length determined on an attack, Sir Francis assembled the "overwhelming forces" at his command, under the direction of Colonel Fitzgibbon. The main body was headed by Colonel MacNab, the right wing being commanded by Colonel S. Jarvis, the left by Colonel William Chisholm, assisted by Mr. Justice McLean. Major Cafrae, of the militia artillery, had charge of two guns. The order to march was given about twelve o'clock, and at one the Loyalists and the patriot forces were in sight of one another.

When the sentinels at Montgomery's announced that the Loyalists were within sight, with music and artillery, the patriots were still discussing their plans. Preparation was at once made to give them battle. Mackenzie, at first doubting the intelligence, rode forward till he became convinced by a full view of the enemy. When he returned, he asked the small band of patriots whether they were ready to encounter a force greatly superior in numbers to themselves, well armed, and provided with artillery. They replied in the affirmative, and he ordered the men. into a piece of thin woods on the west side of the road, where they found a slight protection from the fire of the enemy they had to encounter. A number of the men took a position in an open field, on the east side of the road. The men in the western copse had to sustain nearly the whole fire of the artillery from Toronto. "And never," says Mackenzie, "did men fight more courageously. In the face of a heavy fire of grape and canister, with broadside following broadside of musketry in steady and rapid succession, they stood their ground firmly, and killed and wounded a large number of the enemy, but were at length compelled to retreat."

Some are of the opinion that the fighting lasted an hour; but there are different opinions on this point. Mackenzie remained on the scene of action till the last moment; in fact until the mounted Loyalists were just closing upon him. "So unwilling was Mackenzie to leave the field of battle," says an eye-witness, "and so hot the chase after him, that he distanced the enemy's horsemen only thirty or forty yards, by his superior knowledge of the country, and reached Colonel Lount and our friends on the retreat, just in time to save his neck." Immediately £1,000 reward was offered for his apprehension.

This day was the turning-point in his career. It witnessed the almost total wreck of long cherished hopes. The hope of peaceable reform had for some time been extinguished; that of successful revolution had been next indulged. Instead of finding himself the hero of a revolution, he only preserved his life by going into exile. Foiled in an enterprise in which he risked all, he lost all. Ruined in property, blighted in prospects, exiled and outlawed, with a price upon his head, how complete was the wreck of his fortune and his hopes.

1 His ruin resulted from the failure of the insurrection. At the time of the outbreak, his printing establishment was the largest and the best in Upper Canada; and, although not rich, he was in good circumstances. In the previous year his account for public printing was $4,000. His book-store contained twenty thousand volumes, and he had an extensive bindery. He had town lots in Dundas, a farm lot in Garafraxa, and a claim to a proportion of the immense Randal estate. A large amount was owing to him ; and all he owed was only about £750. Such of his movable property as was not destroyed by violence or stolen was never satisfactorily accounted for, though part of it went to pay some of his creditors, who got judgments against him under the fiction of his being an absconding debtor.

The governor thought it necessary, so he has told the world, to "mark and record, by some stern act of vengeance, the important victory" that had been achieved over the insurgent forces. In the presence of the militia, he determined to burn John Montgomery's Hotel and David Gibson's dwelling house, and this was done.

We left Mackenzie at the close of the defeat at Montgomery's ; and he must now be allowed to tell the story of his escape in his own words.

"It evidently appearing that success for the insurgents was, at that time, impossible, the colonel and many others gave way, and crossed the field to the parallel line of road west of Yonge Street. I endeavoured to get my cloak, which I had left at the hotel, through which Captain Fitzgibbon's men were just then sending their six-pound shots with good effect, but too late. Strange to tell, that cloak was sent to me years afterwards, while in prison, but by whom I know not.

"Perceiving that we were not yet pursued, I passed on to Yonge Street, beyond Lawyer Price's, and the first farmer I met, being a friend, readily gave me his horse—a trusty, sure-footed creature, which that day did me good service. Before I had ridden a mile the smoke rose in clouds behind me, and the flames of the extensive hotel and outbuildings arrested my attention, as also another cloud of smoke which I then supposed to be from the Don Bridge, in the city, which we had sent a party to destroy or take possession of. Colonel Fletcher, now of Chautauqua county, N\B., handed me an overcoat, and told me he would make for the States, but not by the head of Lake Ontario.

"Although it was known that we had been worsted, no one interrupted us, save in friendship.

Dr. -, from above Newmarket, informed me that sixty armed friends were on their way, close by. I assured him it was too late to retrieve our loss in that way, and bade him tell them to disperse. Some, however, went on as volunteers for Sir Francis Bond Head; the rest returned to their homes.

"At the Golden Lion, ten miles above the city, I overtook Colonel Anthony Van Egmond, a Dutch officer of many years' experience under Napoleon. He agreed with me that we should at once make for the Niagara frontier, but he was taken, almost immediately after, by a party who had set out from Governor Head's camp to gain the rewards offered then and there.

"Finding myself closely pursued and repeatedly fired at, I left the high road with one friend (Mr. J. R.) and made for Shepard's Mills. The fleetest horsemen of the official party were so close upon us that I had only time to j ump off my horse and ask the miller himself (a Tory) whether a large body of men, then on the heights, were friends or foes, 882 before our pursuers were climbing up the steep ascent almost beside me.

"When I overtook Colonel Lount, he had, I think, about ninety men with him, who were partly armed. We took some refreshment at a friendly farmer's near by. Lount was for dispersing. I proposed that we should keep in a body and make for the United States via the head of Lake Ontario, as our enemies had the steamers; but only sixteen persons went with me. I had no other arms than a single-barrel pistol, taken from Captain Duggan during our Tuesday's scuffle, and we were all on foot. Some of my companions had no weapons at all.

"We made for Humber Bridge, through Vaug-han, but found it strongly guarded; then went up the river a long way, got some supper at the house of a farmer, crossed the stream on a foot-bridge, and by two next morning, the eighth, reached the hospitable mansion of a worthy settler on Dundas Street, utterly exhausted with cold and fatigue.1

"Blankets were hung over the windows to avoid suspicion, food and beds prepared, and, while the Tories were carefully searching for us, we were sleeping soundly. Next morning (Friday) those who had arms buried them, and after sending to inquire whether a friend a mile below had been dangerously wounded, we agreed to separate and make for the frontier, two and two together. Allan Wilcox, a lad in his nineteenth or twentieth year, accompanied me, and such was my confidence in the honesty and friendship of the country folks, Protestant and Catholic, European and American, that I went undisguised and on foot, my only weapon at the time being Duggan's pistol, and this not loaded. Address was now wanted more than brute force.

"We followed the concession parallel, and next to the Great Western Road saw and talked with numbers of people, but with none who wanted the government reward. About three in the afternoon, we reached Comfort's Mills, near Streetsville; we were there told that Colonel Chisholm and three hundred of the hottest Orangemen, and other most violent partisans, were divided into parties searching for us. Even from some of these there was no real danger. They were at heart friendly.

" Mr. Comfort was an American by birth, but a resident of Canada. I asked his wife for some bread and cheese, while a young Irishman in his employ was harnessing up his wagon for our use. She insisted on our staying to dinner, which we did. Mr. Comfort knew nothing of the intended revolt, and had taken no part in it, but he assured me that no fear of consequences should prevent him from being a friend in the hour of danger. After conversing with a number of people there, not one of whom said an unkind word to us, my companion 384 and I got into the wagon and the young Emeralder drove us down the Streetsville road, through the Credit Village (Springfield) in broad daylight, and along Dundas Street, bills being then duly posted for my apprehension, and I not yet out of the county which I had been seven times chosen by its freeholders to represent. Yet, though known to everybody, we proceeded a long way west before danger approached. At length, however, we were hotly pursued by a party of mounted troops; our driver became alarmed, and with reason, and I took the reins and pushed onward at full speed over a rough, hard-frozen road, without snow. Our pursuers nevertheless gained on us, and when near the Sixteen-Mile Creek, we ascertained that my countryman, Colonel Chalmers, had a party guarding the bridge. The creek swells up at times into a rapid river; it was now swollen by the November rains. What was to be done ? Young Wilcox and I jumped from the wagon, made toward the forest, asked a labourer the road to Esquesing to put our pursuers off our track, and were soon in the thickest of the patch of woods near the deep ravine, in which flows the creek named and numbered arithmetically as the Sixteen.

"Trafalgar was a hot-bed of Orangeism, and as I had always set my face against it and British nativism, I could hope for no friendship or favour, if here apprehended. There was but one chance for escape, however, surrounded as we were—for the young man had refused to leave me—and that was to stem the stream, and cross the swollen creek. We accordingly stripped ourselves naked, and with the surface ice beating against us, and holding our garments over our heads, in a bitterly cold December night, we buffeted the current, and were soon up to our necks. I hit my foot against a stone, let fall some of my clothes (which my companion caught), and cried aloud with pain. The cold in that stream caused me the most cruel and intense sensation of pain I ever endured, but we got through, though with a better chance for drowning, and the frozen sand on the bank seemed to warm our feet when we once more trod upon it.

"In an hour and a half we were under the hospitable roof of one of the innumerable agricultural friends I could then count in the country. I was given a supply of dry flannels, food, and an hour's rest, and have often wished since, not to embark again on the tempestuous sea of politics, but that I might have an opportunity to express my grateful feelings to those who proved my faithful friends in the hour when most needed. I had risked much for Canadians, and served them long, and as faithfully as I could, and now, when a fugitive, I found them ready to risk life and property to aid me— far more ready to risk the dungeon, by harbouring me, than to accept Sir Francis Head's thousand pounds. The sons and daughters of the Nelson 386 farmer kept a silent watch outside in the cold, while I and my companion slept.

"We crossed Dundas Street about 11 o'clock p. m., and the Twelve-Mile Creek I think, on a fallen tree, about midnight. By four, on Saturday morning, the ninth, we had reached Wellington Square by the middle road. The farmers' dogs began to bark loudly, the heavy tramp of a party of horsemen was heard behind us—we retired a little way into the woods—saw that the men were armed—entered the road again—and half an hour before twilight reached the door of an upright magistrate, which an English boy at once opened to us. I sent up my name, was requested to walk upstairs (in the dark) and was told that the house, barns, and every part of the premises had been twice searched for me that morning, and that MacNab's men, from Hamilton, were scouring the country in all directions in hope of taking me. I asked if I had the least chance to pass down by the way of Burlington Beach, but was answered that both roads were guarded, and that Dr. Rolph was, by that time, safe in Lewiston.

"Believing it safest, we went behind our friend's house to a thicket. He dressed himself, followed us, gave a shrill whistle, which was answered, and all three of us were greatly puzzled as to what safe course I could possibly take. As my companion was not known, and felt the chill of the water and the fatigue, he was strongly advised to seek shelter in a certain house not far off. He did so, reached the frontier safely, and continued for four months thereafter very ill.

"At dawn of day it began to snow, and, leaving foot-marks behind me, I concluded to go to a farm near by. Its owner thought I would be quite safe in his barn, but I thought not. A pease-rick, which the pigs had undermined all round, stood on a high knoll, and this I chose for a hiding-place. For ten or twelve days I had slept, when I could get any sleep, in my clothes, and my limbs had become so swollen that I had to discard my boots and wear a pair of slippers; my feet were wet, I was very weary, and the cold and drift annoyed me greatly. Breakfast I had had none, and in due time Colonel McDonell, the high sheriff, and his posse stood before me. House, barns, cellars, and garret were searched, and I the while quietly looking on. The colonel was afterwards second in command to Sir Allan MacNab, opposite Navy Island; and when I lived in William Street, some years ago,1 he called on me, and we had a hearty laugh over his ineffectual exertions to catch a rebel in 1837.

"When the coast seemed clear, my terrified host, a wealthy Canadian, came up the hill as if to feed his pigs, brought me two bottles of hot water for my feet, a bottle of tea, and several slices of bread and butter; told me that the neighbourhood was literally harassed with bodies of armed men in search of me, and advised that I should leave that place at dark, but where to go he could not tell me. He knew, however, my intimate acquaintance with the country for many miles round/ Years thereafter he visited me when in Monroe County Prison, and much he wondered to see me there. After I had left his premises he was arrested; but he had powerful friends, gave bail, and the matter ended there.

"When night had set in, I knocked at the next farmer's door; a small boy who lived, I think, with one of the brothers Chisholm (strong government men, collectors, colonels, etc.), or who was their nephew or other relative, came to me. I sent in a private message by him, but the house had been searched so often forme that the indwellers dreaded consequences, and would not see me. The boy, however, volunteered to go with me, and we proceeded by a by-path to the house of Mr. King, who lived on the next farm to Colonel John Chisholm, which was then the headquarters of the Tory militia. The boy kept my secret; I had supper with Mr. King's family, rested for an hour, and then walked with him toward my early residence, Dundas village, at the head of Lake Ontario. We saw a small party of armed men on the road, near the mills of an Englishman, but they did not perceive us. Mr. King is now dead, but the kind attention I met with under his hospitable roof I shall never forget. Why should such a people as I tried and proved in those days ever know hardship, or suffer from foreign or domestic misrule?

"We went to the dwelling of an old friend, to whom I stated that I thought I would now make a more speedy, yet equally sure, progress on horseback. He risked at once, and that too most willingly, not only his horse, but also the knowledge it might convey that he had aided me. Mr. King returned home, and I entered the village alone in the night, and was hailed by some person who speedily passed on. I wanted to take a friend with me, but durst not go to wake him up ; there was a guard on duty at the hotel, and I had to cross the creek close by a house I had built in the public square. 1 then made for the mountain country above Hamilton, called at Lewis Homing's, but found a stranger there, passed on to the dwellings of some old Dutch friends, who told me that all the passes were guarded—Terryberry's, Albion Mills, every place.

"I got a fresh horse near Ancaster, from an old comrade1—a noble animal which did me excellent service — pursued my journey, on a concession parallel to the Mountain Road above Hamilton, till I came near to a house well lighted up, and where a guard was evidently posted to question wayfarers. As it then seemed the safest course, I pulled down the worm fence, and tried to find my way through the Binbrook and Glanford woods, a hard task in the daylight, but far worse in the night time. For several weary hours did I toil through the primeval forest, leading my horse, and unable to get out or to find a path. The barking of a dog brought me, when near daylight, on the tenth, to a solitary cottage, and its inhabitant, a negro, pointed out to me the Twenty-Mile Creek, where it was fordable. Before I had ridden a mile, I came to a small hamlet, which I had not known before, entered a house, and, to my surprise, was instantly called by name, which, for once, I really hesitated to own, not at all liking the manner of the farmer who had addressed me, though I now know that all was well intended.

"Quite carelessly, to all appearance, I remounted my horse and rode off very leisurely, but turned the first angle and then galloped on, turned again, and galloped still faster. At some ten miles distance perhaps, a farm newly cleared and situated in a by-place seemed a safe haven. I entered the house, called for breakfast, and found in the owner a stout Hibernian farmer, an Orangeman from the north of Ireland, with a wife and five fine curly-headed children. The beam of a balance, marked 4 Charles Waters, Maker,' had been hung up in a conspicuous place, and I soon ascertained that said Charles resided in Montreal, and that my entertainer was his brother.

" I took breakfast very much at my leisure, saw my horse watered and fed with oats in the sheaf, and then asked Mr. Waters to be so kind as to put me on the way to the Mountain Road, opposite Stony Creek, which he agreed to do, but evidently with the utmost reluctance. After we had travelled about a quarter of a mile in the woods, he turned round at a right angle, and said that that was the way. 'Not to the road,' said I. 4No, but to Mr. Mclntyre, the magistrate,' said he. Here we came to a full stop. He was stout and burly; I, small and slight made. I soon found that he had not even dreamed of me as a rebel; his leading idea was that I had a habit of borrowing other men's horses without their express leave—in other words, that I was a horse-thief. Horses had been stolen; and he thought he only did his duty by carrying a doubtful case before the nearest justice, whom I inferred to be one of MacNab's cronies, as he was a new man of whom I had never before heard, though a freeholder of that district and long and intimately acquainted with its affairs.

"This was a real puzzle. Should I tell Waters who I was, it was ten to one he would seize me for the heavy reward, or out of mere party zeal or prejudice. If I went before his neighbour, the new made justice, he would doubtless know and detain me on a charge of high treason. I asked Mr. Waters to explain. He said that I had come, in great haste, to his house on a December Sunday 392 morning, though it was on no public road, with my clothes torn, my face badly scratched, and my horse all in a foam; that I had refused to say who I was, or where I came from; had paid him a dollar for a very humble breakfast, been in no haste to leave, and was riding one of the finest horses in Canada, making at the same time for the frontier by the most unfrequented paths, and that many horses had been recently borrowed. My manner, he admitted, did not indicate anything wrong, but why did I studiously conceal my name and business? And if all was right with me, what had I to fear from a visit to the house of the nearest magistrate?

"On the Tuesday night, in the suburbs of Toronto, when a needless panic had seized both parties, Sheriff Jarvis left his horse in his haste—it was one of the best in Canada, a beautiful animal— and I rode him till Thursday, wearing the cap of J. Latimer, one of my young men, my hat having been knocked off in a skirmish in which one or two of our men were shot. This bonnet rouge, my torn homespun, sorry slippers, weary gait, and unshaven beard, were assuredly not much in keeping with the charger I was riding, and 1 had unfortunately given no reply whatever to several of his and his good wife's home questions. My chance to be tried and condemned in the hall where I had often sat in judgment upon others, and taken a share in the shapeless drudgery of colonial legislation, was now seemingly very good— but I did not quite despair.

"To escape from Waters in that dense forest was entirely hopeless; to blow out his brains, and he acting quite conscientiously, with his five pretty children at home awaiting his early return, I could have done with ease, as far as opportunity went, for he evidently had no suspicion of that, and my pistol was now loaded and sure fire. Captain Powell, when my prisoner ten days before, and in no personal danger, had shot the brave Captain Anderson dead, and thus left eight children fatherless. No matter; I could not do it, come what might; so I held a parley with my detainer, talked to him about religion, the civil broils, Mackenzie, party spirit, and Dr. Strachan; and found to my great surprise and real delight that, though averse to the object of the revolt, he spoke of myself in terms of good-will. Mr. McCabe, his next neighbour, had lived near me in 1823, at Queenston, and had spoken so well of myself and family to him as to have interested him, though he had not met me before.

"1 am an old magistrate,' said I, 'but at present in a situation of some difficulty. If I can satisfy you as to who I am, and why I am here, would you desire to gain the price of any man's blood ?' He seemed to shudder at the very idea of such a thing. I then administered an oath to him, with more solemnity than I had ever done when 394 acting judicially, he holding up his right hand as we Irish and Scottish Presbyterians usually do.

"When he had ascertained my name, which I showed him on my watch and seals, in my pocket-book and on my linen, he expressed real sorrow on account of the dangerous situation in which I stood; pledged himself to keep silence for twenty-four hours, as I requested; directed me how to get into the main road, and feelingly urged me to accept his personal guidance to the frontier. Farmer Waters had none of the Judas blood in his veins. His innate sense of right led him at once to the just conclusion to do to his fellow-creature as he would be done by. I perceived, from his remarks, that he had previously associated with my name the idea of a much larger and stouter man than I am.

"When I was fairly out of danger he told the whole story to his neighbours. It was repeated and spread broadcast, and he was soon seized and taken to Hamilton, and was there thrown into prison, but was afterwards released.

"When I was passing the houses of two men, Kerr and Sidney, who were getting ready, I supposed, to go to church, I asked some question as to the road, again crossed the Twenty-Mile Creek, and at length re-entered the mountain-path a little below where a military guard was then stationed. While in sight of this guard, I moved on very slowly, as if going to meeting, but afterward used the rowels to some advantage in the way of propellers. Some persons whom I passed on the road I knew, and some I did not. Many whom I met evidently knew me, and well was it for me that day that I had a good name. I could have been arrested fifty times before I reached Smithville, had the governor's person and proclamation been generally respected. As it was, however, another unseen danger lurked close behind me.

"A very popular Methodist preacher, once a zealous friend, had taken a course of which I greatly disapproved, and I had blamed him. Unkind words passed between us, through the press, he, like myself, having the control of a journal widely circulated. No doubt many of his readers were affected thereby; and to this, and not the love of lucre, I have ascribed the conduct of the two men whom I had interrogated as to the road. I have since learned that they warned an armed party, who immediately took horses and rode after me. I perceived them when a third of a mile off, after a part of Mr. Eastman's congregation had passed me on their way home. I thought it safer to endeavour to put my huntsmen off the track, and on a false scent, than to keep on ahead of them; so I turned short towards St. Catharines, when I got to Smithville, and seemed to have taken that road down hill at full speed. Instead of doing so, however, I turned 396 a corner, put up my horse very quickly in the stable of a friendly Canadian, whose sire was a United Empire Loyalist, entered his hospitable abode, he being still at church, beheld my pursuers interrogate a woman who had seen me pass and then ride furiously onward by the St. Catharines road, then went quietly to bed and rested for some four hours, had a comfortable supper, with the family, and what clothes I required. A trusty companion (Samuel Chandler) was also ready to mount his horse and accompany me the last forty miles to Buffalo, should that attempt prove practicable.

"Samuel Chandler, a wagon-maker, resides in the western states, but I do not now know where. He was forty-eight years of age when he volunteered, without fee or reward, to see me safe to Buffalo, had a wife and eleven children, and resided in Chippewa. He is a native of Enfield, Conn., had had no connection whatever with the civil broils in the Canadas; but when told, in strict confidence, of the risks I ran, he preferred to hazard transportation, or loss of life, by aiding my escape, to accepting the freehold of eight thousand acres of land which would have been the reward of any of my betrayers. Other circumstances afterwards roused his hostility to the government, and he joined the party taken at the Short Hills. Of those who were there captured Linus W. Miller, John Grant, John Vernon, himself and others, were tried before Judge Jones at Niagara, sentenced to suffer death, but banished instead to Van Diemen's Land. Chandler soon escaped in a Yankee whaler, sailed round the world, and when he reached New York, on his return to his family (after I had got out of Rochester prison), I was in no condition to aid him, which I very unavailingly regretted. A more trusty, faithful, brotherly-minded man I have never met; may Heaven reward Lord Durham's family for saving his life!

"It was about eight o'clock on Sunday night, the tenth, when Chandler and I left Smithville. We turned our horses' heads toward Buffalo, crossed the Twenty-Mile Creek, ventured to take a comfortable supper with a friend, whose house was on our way, crossed the Welland Canal and the Chippewa River, stearing clear of the officials in arms in those parts, and got safely into Crowland before daylight. We soon awoke Mr. C- and left our horses in his pasture, and he immediately accompanied us on our way to the Niagara River on foot.

"On inquiry, he found that all the boats on the river (except those at the ferries, which were well guarded), had been seized and taken possession of by the officers of government. There was but one exception. Captain M'Afee, of Bertie, who resided on the banks of the Niagara, opposite the head of Grand Island, was believed to have kept one of his boats locked up besides his carriages. I 398 hesitated not a moment in advising Mr. C- to state the difficulty I was in to him, in case he had a boat, for, although he had no knowledge of, or belief or participation in, the outbreak, yet he was well known to be a strictly upright man, benevolent, not covetous, a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, very religious, and in all he said or did, very sincere.

"The brothers De Witt are censured for giving up to Charles II (who had been himself a fugitive), and to a cruel death, three of his father's judges; but the poor and gallant Scotch Highlanders, whom a mammoth bribe of £30,000 could not tempt to betray the heir to the Crown, when a wandering fugitive in the native land of his royal ancestors, are held in honour. The Irish peasants who refused to give up Lord Edward Fitzgerald to his country's oppressors for gold, the poor sailors who enabled Archibald Hamilton Rowan to escape from Ireland and an untimely fate, with the proclaimed reward on a handbill in their boat, and the three bold Englishmen who saved the life of the doomed Labedoyere, have the merited applause of an admiring world. Are these noble citizens of Upper and Lower Canada, whom wealth could not tempt to give up, nor danger deter from aiding and saving their fellowmen, though many of them were opposed to them in politics, and at a time of the strongest political excitement—are they less deserving of the meed of public approbation?

"Mr. Samuel M'Afee is now over sixty years of age, and I think he is of the New Hampshire family of that name who played their part like men in 1776. Our movement had proved a failure, and he knew it. He was wealthy—had a large family —and risked everything by assisting me; yet he did not hesitate, no, not even for a moment.

"As well as I can now remember, it was about nine on Monday morning, the eleventh, when I reached his farm, which was one of the finest on the river; an excellent breakfast was prepared for us, and I was much fatigued and also hungry. But there was a military patrol on the river, and before sitting down to the repast, I thought it safe to step out and see if the coast was clear. Well for me it was that I did so. Old Colonel Kerby, the Custom House officer opposite Black Rock, and his troop of mounted dragoons in their green uniforms and with their carbines ready, were so close upon us, riding up by the bank of the river, that had I not then observed their approach, they would have caught me at breakfast.

"Nine men out of ten, in such an emergency, would have hesitated to assist me; and to escape by land was, at that time, evidently impossible. Mr. M'Afee lost not a moment—his boat was hauled across the road and launched in the stream with all possible speed—and he and Chandler and I were scarcely afloat in it, and out a little way below the bank, when the old Tory colonel and 400 his green-coated troop of horse, with their waving plumes, were parading in front of Mr. M'Afee's dwelling.

"How we escaped here, is to me almost a miracle. I had resided long in the district, and was known by everybody. A boat was in the river against official orders; it was near the shore; and the carbines of the military, controlled by the collector, would have compelled us to return or have killed us for disobedience.

"The colonel assuredly did not see us, that was evident; he turned round at the moment to talk to Mrs. M'Afee and her daughters, who were standing in the parterre in front of their house, full of anxiety on our account. But of his companions, not a few must have seen the whole movement, and yet we were allowed to steer for the head of Grand Island with all the expedition in our power, without interruption; nor was there a whisper said about the matter for many months thereafter.

"In an hour we were safe on the American shore; and that night I slept under the venerable Colonel Chapin's hospitable roof with a volunteer guard."

The deep-seated and widespread feeling of discontent and dissatisfaction, engendered throughout the province by the system of government which provoked the rebellion, is remarked upon repeatedly by Lord Durham in his Report. It shows how formidable the movement might have become, how difficult its suppression, and how disastrous the consequences, if even a temporary success had been gained by those who had raised the standard of revolt. " It cannot, however, be doubted," said Durham, "that the events of the past year have greatly increased the difficulty of settling the disorders of Upper Canada. A degree of discontent, approaching, if not amounting to, disaffection, has gained considerable ground. The causes of dissatisfaction continue to act on the minds of the Reformers; and their hope of redress, under the present order of things, has been seriously diminished. The exasperation caused by the conflict itself, the suspicions and terrors of that trying period, and the use made by the triumphant party of the power thrown into their hands, have heightened the passions which existed before. ... A great number of perfectly innocent individuals were thrown into prison, and subjected to suspicion and to the harassing proceedings instituted by magistrates whose political leanings were notoriously adverse to them. Severe laws were passed, under colour of which individuals, very generally esteemed, were punished without any form of trial."1 "It cannot be a matter of surprise that, in despair of any sufficient remedies being provided by the imperial government, many of the most enterprising colonists of Upper Canada look to that bordering country, in which no great industrial enterprise ever feels neglect or experiences a check, and that men the most attached to the existing form of government would find some compensation in a change whereby experience might bid them hope that every existing obstacle would be speedily removed, and each mans fortune share in the progressive prosperity of a flourishing state." "A dissatisfaction with the existing order of things, produced by causes such as I have described, necessarily extends to many who desire no change in the political institutions of the province. Those who most admire the form of the existing system, wish to see it administered in a very different mode. Men of all parties feel that the actual circumstances of the colony are such as to demand the adoption of widely different measures from any that have yet been pursued in reference to them."

Referring to the "necessity for adopting some extensive and decisive measure for the pacification of Upper Canada," Lord Durham said : " It cannot be denied, indeed, that the continuance of the many practical grievances, which I have described as subjects of complaints, and, above all, the determined resistance to such a system of responsible government as would give the people a real control over its own destinies, have, together with the irritation caused by the late insurrection, induced a large portion of the population to look with envy at the material prosperity of their neighbours in the United States, under a perfectly free and eminently responsible government; and in despair of obtaining such benefits, under their present institutions, to desire the adoption of a republican constitution, or even an incorporation with the American union. ... I cannot but express my belief that this is the last effort of their exhausted patience, and that the disappointment of their hopes, on the present occasion, will destroy forever their expectation of good resulting from British connection. I do not mean to say that they will renew the rebellion, much less do I imagine that they will array themselves in such force as will be able to tear the government of their country from the hands of the great military power which Great Britain can bring against them. If now frustrated in their expectations and kept in hopeless subjection to rulers irresponsible to the people, they will at best only await, in sullen prudence, the contingencies which may render the preservation of the province dependent on the devoted loyalty of the great mass of its population."

Lord Durham was followed in the work of pacification by Mr. Charles Poulett Thomson, better known as Lord Sydenham, Sir John Colborne having acted as governor in the interval between Lord Durham's retirement and Mr. Thomson's appointment. The bill for the union of the provinces, which was based on Lord Durham's Report, had already been introduced by Lord John Russell, but the imperial government, considering it advisable to obtain the consent of the legislature of Upper Canada, and of the Special Council of Lower Canada, to the passage of the bill, Mr. Thomson was appointed governor-general, and despatched to Canada for the purpose, in the first place, of obtaining such consent, and thereafter of organizing and administering the government under the new system.

Lord Sydenham's task in obtaining the assent of the Upper Canada House of Assembly to the union measure was not as easy as has sometimes been represented. Although a committee of the House of Assembly had, in 1838, declared in favour of the proposed union,1 it is quite clear, from statements made by Sydenham at the time, that he encountered strong opposition from the Tory party in the assembly. These statements, and his opinions as to the state of things in Upper Canada at that juncture and previously, which are found in his private correspondence, possess special weight and value, not only from the position and personality of the man himself, but because, unlike Durham's commentary, they are not expressed in the guarded or diplomatic language of a State paper, but with the frankness and sincerity which mark communications from one friend to another. They touch, as will be noticed, the question of the provocation for the rebellion, the conduct of those concerned in the movement, and other relevant matters.

Writing from Toronto on November 20th, 1839, to a friend in England, Lord Sydenham, after referring to the situation in Lower Canada, said : " But in Upper Canada the case, as it appears to me, is widely different. The state of things here is far worse than I had expected. The country is split into factions animated by the most deadly hatred to each other. The people have got into the habit of talking so much of separation that they begin to believe in it. The constitutional party is as bad or worse than the other, in spite of all their professions of loyalty. The finances are more deranged than we believed even in England; the deficit £75,000 a year, more than equal to the income. All public works suspended. Emigration going on fast from the province. Every 406 man's property worth only half what it was. When I look to the state of government, and to the departmental administration of the province, instead of being surprised at the condition in which I find it, I am only astonished it has endured so long. I know that, much as I dislike Yankee institutions and rule, I would not have fought against them, which thousands of these poor fellows, whom the Compact call 'rebels,' did, if it was only to keep up such a government as they got."

Speaking of obtaining the assent of the Upper Canada House of Assembly to the union, Lord Sydenham, in a letter of December 24th, 1839, said: "It is impossible to describe to you the difficulties I have had to contend with to get this matter settled as it has been in the assembly. I owe my success altogether to the confidence which the Reform party have reposed in me personally, and to the generous manner in which they have acted with me. A dissolution would have been greatly to their advantage, because there is no doubt they would have had a great majority in the next assembly; and it must have been most galling to them to see me, as well as themselves, opposed by a number of the placeholders without my turning them out. But they gave up all these considerations (and in this country where the feeling of hatred to the Family Compact is intense, they are not light), and went gallantly through with me to the end."

It was on September 3rd, 1841, in the first session of the first parliament of Canada, under the Union Act of 1840, and during Lord Sydenham's administration, that the principle of responsible government, so long and earnestly contended for by Mackenzie, was formally and distinctly affirmed by the House of Assembly. The Hon. Robert Baldwin, who was a member of Lord Sydenham's executive council as originally constituted, had withdrawn from it, on the day the legislature was convened, owing to a disagreement with His Excellency as to the political composition of the council.3 On August 5th, he moved for the production of copies of Lord John Russell's despatches and other papers on the subject of responsible government. The return of these documents was made on August 20th, and, on September 3rd, he moved a series of resolutions dealing with that question. A second series of resolutions was moved in amendment by the Hon. S. B. Harrison,4 the provincial secretary, and these were adopted. The third amendment was as follows : " That in order to preserve between the different branches of the provincial parliament that harmony which is essential to the peace, welfare and good government of the province, the chief advisers of the representative of the sovereign, constituting a provincial administration under him, ought to be men possessed of the confidence of the representatives of the people, thus affording a guarantee that the well-understood wishes and interests of the people, which our gracious sovereign has declared shall be the rule of the provincial government, will, on all occasions, be faithfully represented and advocated."

The resolutions which were adopted are generally admitted to have been drafted by Lord Sydenham himself. Two days afterwards he was fatally injured by a fall from his horse, and died on September 19th. It is to Lord Sydenham's credit, that he "performed the function of capitulation on the part of the Crown with a good grace, and fairly smoothed the transition" to a happier day.


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