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THE ASSEMBLIES AND THEIR WORK.   159

 

militia from all parts of Nova Scotia hurried to defend the town, but the French ships sailed away without doing any mischief.

Upper   Meanwhile, the government of Upper Can-

Canada.   ada was getting well under way. Colonel

Simcoe. Simcoe, who had commanded a body of Loyalists during the Revolutionary war, was appointed

lieutenant-governor. There were no towns in the province, and only two villages, Newark and Kingston. As governor, Simcoe liked ceremony, but in private he lived simply. His house at Newark, Navy Hall, was a small wooden building, which had been intended originally for a storehouse.

The First   In September, 1792, Parliament. the first parliament

of Upper Canada met at Newark, now Niagara. It was harvest-time, and not all of the sixteen

members elected were able to be present. But Colonel Simcoe, attended by a guard of honour, opened parliament with much ceremony. The first session was short, but several useful acts were passed. The first declared British laws " with regard to property and civil rights " to be in force. The next year the little parliament passed an act forbidding the bringing of slaves into the province, and ordering that the children of slaves should be set free at the age of twenty-five years. Thus it has the honour of being the first assembly in the British empire to make a law to bring to an end this terrible wrong. Preparation Simcoe, expecting another war between for War. England and the United States, did his utmost to strengthen Upper Canada. He formed corn-

GOVERNOR SIMCOE.
(Prom portrait by J. W. L.
Forster.)

Picture

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