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108   HISTORY OF CANADA.

justice of the claims put forward by " Congress," finally drew the majority to support the rebellious movement.

The Feeling in Canada.—At this time Carleton had at his command in the province of Quebec not snore than eight hundred regulars. The troubles between Great Britain and her colonies had not excited much interest in Canada except among the few English-speaking people at Quebec and Montreal. The majority of these, being inunigrant traders from the older colonies, sympathized with the American Congress. The Canadian noblesse and clergy, grateful for the Quebec Act, were all for England. The habitants, brought up under an absolute monarchy, were naturally on the side of authority as embodied in the governor and his troops ; but, weary of war, they now desired to stand neutral.

Canada Urged to Join the Rebellion.—The Philadelphia Congress had not overlooked Canada. In October, 1774, they had issued an address to the Canadians in which they characterized the Quebec Act as "a specious device, a painted sepulchre for burying your lives, liberty and property." "We are," they said, "too well acquainted with the liberality of sentiment distinguishing your nation to imagine that difference of religion will prejudice you against a hearty amity with us." Unhappily for them, however, their address to the people of England of a few weeks' earlier date (5th September, 1774) was placed in the hands of the Canadians. In this address Congress had bitterly complained of the Quebec Act as a concession to the French Catholic population of Canada, whose religion they denounced in most insulting terns. Putting these two addresses side by side the Canadians could hardly place much confidence in the utterances of Congress.

Preparations for Defence. —Early in May, 1775, a band of "Green Mountain boys," under Ethan Allan, seized Fort Ticonderoga "in the name of the Great Jehovah and the continental congress." The capture of Crown Point followed. Benedict Arnold, with a schooner and some bateaux, came down Lake Champlain and seized St. John's on the River Richelieu. He retreated, however, when Major Preston advanced against him. There was much excitement in Montreal. One trader who was strongly suspected of sending messages to Arnold narrowly escaped being hanged by the soldiers, and thereafter there was no out-spoken sympathy for the cause of Congress. The seigneurs


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