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CHAPTER IV

FIRST FIFTY YEARS OF BRITISH RULE

 

THE Articles of Capitulation of Montreal, as con-finned by the Treaty of Paris, February 10th, 1763, ended French rule in Canada, and thus cancelled all commissions issued in the name of the King of France. But the ink upon the Articles was scarcely dry before the British authorities provided for the re-commissioning of such of the militia officers as would take the oath of allegiance, the object being to obtain their services in their civil or municipal rather than in their military capacities. The administration of justice, and of public and communal affairs generally, including such public works as roads, bridges, etc., had under the French regime been in the hands of these militia officers, and it was thought that, to some extent, the old officials might safely be entrusted with these duties.

The interim military government established by Amherst divided the country into three districts as in the French regime—Quebec, Montreal, and Three Rivers. General James Murray was appointed Governor of Quebec, General Thomas Gage of Montreal, and Colonel Ralph Burton of Three Rivers. Although Amherst was still Governor-in-Chief, the three governors seem to have been left pretty much to their own discretion in carrying out the details of their system of administrations; but the various governments were all of a military pattern.

In the district of Montreal the militia officers found themselves reinstated in practically all their former functions—indeed, their authority was increased. General Gage authorized the parochial militia captains to settle, according to their own discretion, any differences among the people, but dissatisfied litigants had the right of ap-

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