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252   uisi'oav OF CANADA.

who reported fifty-one schools, with over fifteen hundred scholars. These schools were the result of local enterprise, assisted by grants from the assembly. The teachers, apparently, were not, in most cases, of a very high order, and the official visitor complained that the practice of " boarding around the neighborhood " led to their being treated much like menial servants.

Industrial Progress. —Agriculture and fishing were still the chief industries of the island. Ship-building, too, was becoming an important business. After the example of the other Maritime Provinces, agricultural societies were started about the year 1829. The first newspaper was the Prince Edward Island Register, which dates from 1823—the time of the contest with the lieutenant-governor on the question of quit-rents. A Mechanics' Institute was begun at Charlottetown in 1839. In 1832 the first steamship communication was had with the mainland, the Pocahontas making two trips a week between Charlottetown and Pictou.

CHAPTER XL.

UNION OF THE TWO CANADAS.

Lower Canada's Consent. —In October, 1839, the Hon. Charles Poulett Thompson arrived in Quebec as governor of British North America. His first duty was to obtain the -consent of the two Canadian provinces to the terms of the Act for their union, which was to be passed by the Imperial parliament at its next session. The Constitutional Act of 1791 was still in abeyance so far as Lower Canada was concerned, and the government of the province was entirely in the hands of the governor and his special council, in which English-speaking members predominated. Special courts had been established for the trial of those implicated in the outbreak in the Richelieu district in the fall of 1838, and a number had been hanged. The tone of the official press was exceedingly vindictive and blood-thirsty. No secret was made of the fact that a new' constitution was to be imposed upon the province without regard to the wishes of the French-Canadian majority. Under these circumstances, when the new governor, shortly after his arrival, convened his special council, their consent


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