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240   HISTORY OF CANADA.

Armury Girod, they broke into open insurrection. Their numbers have been variously estimated at from four hundred to fifteen hundred. They established themselves in the villages of St. Eustache and St. Benoit, and all the efforts of their clergy and of the local members of the assembly to induce them to disperse failed of effect. Sir John Colborne marched against them with a force of about two thousand men and an imposing array of artillery. For two hours (December 13th) the insurgents at St. Eustache held the village church, convent, and surrounding dwellings against a vigorous artillery fire, but at length, Dr. Chenier being killed, the place was carried by assault. St. Benoit was also abandoned by the insurgents, and the rebellion in Lower Canada was at an end. With unnecessary severity St. Denis, St. Eustache and St. Benoit were given to the flames.

Upper Canada—A Plan to Take Toronto.—In Upper Canada the reformers of Toronto had issued (July 31st) a declaration setting forth the grievances of the province. Arrangements were at the same time made for a series of public meetings to be held throughout the province during the early fall. At these strong resolutions were adopted, and delegates were elected to attend a convention to be held at a later date at Toronto to take into consideration the state of the province. Mackenzie was the leading figure in the agitation, the more moderate of the reform leaders, such as Bidwell and Baldwin, holding aloof in distrust apparently of Mackenzie's rashness. Sir F. B. Head and the Family Compact refused to believe that any outbreak would occur, although Mackenzie's utterances in his new paper, the Constitution, were certainly becoming treasonable. After-wards, indeed, the lieutenant-governor professed that he had known the rebel plans from the outset, and had purposely allowed them to ripen in order the more effectually to crush out disaffection. If so, he rather overdid his part. The regular troops were sent to Lower Canada, and Toronto might easily have been taken had not the insurgents' programme been so badly managed. After some hesitation it was decided (November 18th) that the malcontents to the north and «-est of Torontothe district most under Mackenzie's influence—should be collected at Montgomery's tavern, a few miles north of Toronto. From this point a descent should he made upon the town on the 7th of December.


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