Previous The History of the Dominion of Canada (1897) Next

 

150   HISTORY OF CANADA.

was prorogued by Simcoe, who delivered upon the occasion a speech in which he asked the members to explain to their constituents "that this province is signally blessed, not with a mutilated constitution, but with a constitution which has stood the test of experience and is the very image and transcript of that of Great Britain, by which she has long established and secured to her subjects as much freedom and happiness as is possible to be enjoyed under the subordination necessary to civilized society."

The Settlers Contented.—The members dispersed to their homes well satisfied, no doubt, that the province was now properly equipped with a system of British laws and a government like that of the motherland. The scattered pioneers were too busy in the hard work of hewing out for themselves new homes in a forest country to pay much attention to the details of administration. So long as the government was strong enough to leave them to pursue unmolested their peaceful tasks, they were content. Their natural instincts were in favor of respect for authority, and the events of the time, as already pointed out, tended to strengthen rather than diminish this feeling. The early settlers of Upper Canada, lightly taxed, were not inclined to criticise too closely the conduct of the officials.

Simcoe Prepares for War.—Simcoe was above all things

a soldier, and his government was dis-
tinctly military. The Indians of the
Ohio region to the south of Detroit
were in a ferment over the encroach-
ment of settlers upon the district, and
Simcoe was hotly accused of stirring
up the savages to resist the advance
of civilization. In view of possible
war, Simcoe dealt with the province
as a military district which it was his
duty to put into the strongest possible
condition for defence against invasion.
He went about the work most ener-
getically, and so constant was he in

his appeals for an increase of the military force in Upper Canada
that Lord Dorchester felt compelled to remind him that there were
other parts of the British colonies in North America which required

LIEUT.-GOVERNOR SIDICOE.

Picture

Previous The History of the Dominion of Canada (1897) Next