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HISTORY OF CANADA.   121

of a system of public instruction, to include elementary schools and a non-sectarian college, which should in course of time become a university, but this comprehensive scheme was never carried out. The committee, however, collected much valuable information as to the position of the province in the matter of education. The Jesuits had formerly conducted a free school or college at Quebec, to which all might resort for instruction in the elementary branches. The British government had refused to recognize the Jesuit order, and had taken possession of their Canadian estates. It was at first intended that these should be given to Sir Jeffrey Amherst for his services in the taking of Canada ; but the law officers reported that the Jesuits had held them in trust for educational purposes, and the grant to Amherst was, therefore, never made. The Crown, nevertheless, still held the estates, and the Jesuit school had ceased to exist. The seminary college at Quebec, which Laval had established for the training of priests, had since the cession of Canada to England given free instruction of a high grade to all who chose to attend it. The Sulpicians of Montreal also conducted a seminary college, at which no charge was made except for board. There were other schools at Quebec, Three Rivers, and Montreal, under the control of the Church. Mission schools also were scattered through the parishes, and of these, in most cases, the various Roman Catholic sisterhoods had charge. There was no public system of education, and through-out the country pari'?;en very few could read or write.

CHAPTER XX.

THE UNITED EMPIRE LOYALISTS.

A Trying Situation.—When the thirteen American colonies threw off their allegiance to Great Britain and declared their independence (177 6) there was no longer place for constitutional agitation. The new government demanded the unqualified support of all within its borders ; those who declined to give it were treated as being outside the pale of citizenship. The position was a trying one for many who had up Lo that time borne their part in the agitation for a redress of grievances, but who had, at the same


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