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HISTORY OF CANADA.   287

tion, a Liberal government under the leadership of the Hon. S. L. Tilley held office in New Brunswick.

The Rebellion Losses Bill.—In Canada the second Lafontaine-Baldwin ministry (1848-1851) accomplished much in the way of wise legislation. The session of 1849 is remembered chiefly on account of the celebrated Rebellion Losses Bill and the lawless proceedings to which its passage gave rise. This bill was a legacy from the evil days of 1837-1838, and made provision for payment of losses suffered in Lower Canada during the outbreaks there. Losses in Upper Canada had been paid under an Act passed in 1842 ; and in 1845 the assembly had unanimously adopted an address to the governor asking that steps might be taken toward payment of the losses in the lower province. The difficulty was in determining what persons should be compensated. The Draper ministry had failed to face the question, but the new Reform ministry took it up. A bill was introduced under which none would be excluded but those actually banished for complicity in the rebellion, or convicted by the sentence of a court of justice. To take any other course was to open up the question of every claimant's loyalty, and this in the face of an Imperial amnesty. The bill passed both Houses, and Lord Elgin, being of opinion that the measure was one of purely provincial concern, gave the Crown's assent to it. A mob of well-dressed young men gathered about the entrance to the parliament buildings as Lord Elgin rode away, and pelted his carriage with rotten eggs and other missiles. That night (25th April), a mass meeting was held on the Champ de Mars, at which inflammatory speeches were delivered, with the result that the infuriated crowd rushed to the assembly chamber, drove out the members, and set fire to the building. It was entirely consumed, and with it one of the best libraries on the continent, and all the public records. Next night there was further rioting, and Lafontaine's house was sacked. A few days later Lord Elgin again came in from his residence at Monklands, and was literally driven out of the city by an angry mob. Though stones were freely used by his assailants, happily no one was seriously injured. The governor acted with marked forbearance throughout this unpleasant episode, and forbade the calling out of the military to put down the rioters. In August the ringleaders• were arrested, and this was the signal for a further outbreak.


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