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HISTORY OF CANADA.   245

confined to a very small and extreme section in each province, but now the Family Compact, in a spirit of vengeful triumph, branded as disloyal all reformers alike. The wave of loyal feeling which had swept over the upper province was treated by the ruling faction there as an evidence of approval of their conduct in every particular. Those who had never dreamed of securing reform except by constitutional means were wantonly insulted and op-pressed. So gloomy indeed appeared the prospect in Upper Canada, that there was a movement on the part of certain loyal reformers to emigrate in a body, a movement only checked by cheering news from England.

A Promise of Improvement. —Sir F. B. Head had resigned early in the year because the colonial secretary had expressed strong disapproval of his conduct, but of this reason for his resignation the reformers were ignorant. Instead of drawing cheerful conclusions from it, they viewed the appointment of Sir George Arthur (lately governor of the penal colony of Van Diemen's Land) as the new lieutenant-governor of Upper Canada as an indication that England intended to deal harshly with Canada. The suspension of the constitution of Lower Canada, the recall of Lord Gosford, whose attitude before the outbreak had been conciliatory, and the appointment of Sir John Colborne as governor in his place, tended to confirm the gloomy forebodings of reformers. In April, 1838, Lount and Matthews, for their share in the rebellion in Upper Canada, were executed in spite of every effort by petition and otherwise to secure a commutation of their sentences. The Family Compact in the upper province, by their vindictive conduct, soon caused a marked revulsion of feeling. Those timid reformers who had supported Sir F. B. Head in the election of 1836 now found that the Family Compact were noire resolutely set than ever to prevent reform of those abuses by which they profited. It was soon learned that the appointment of Colborne and Arthur was but an arrangement for temporary security, and that the British ministry had appointed the. Earl of Durham governor-general of British North America and Lord High Commissioner to inquire into the grievances of the Canadas, with a view to the establishment of a constitution which should remove them. The great majority in Upper Canada hailed the new appointment with delight.


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