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96   NOVA SCOTIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

may therefore be supposed that a few others in Upper Canada besides those named by Mr. Hamilton became really self-proprietors under the Imperial Act of 1833.

Several legal conflicts prepared the way for the extinction of slavery in Quebec. In February, 1793, Charlotte, a slave, was claimed by her mistress in Montreal, and released on habeas corpus by Chief-justice James Monk. Soon after this another Negress, , Jude", was arrested as a runaway slave by order of a magistrate. The Negroes in Montreal, acquainted with the •` Charlotte " affair, threatened to rise in revolt, but when the woman was brought before the chief-justice, he released her also, declaring as he did so that in his opinion slavery had no longer an existence in Lower Canada. On February, t800, however, the case of " Robin " came before the full court of King's Bench, Mr. James Fraser claiming the Negro as his property, but after the argument had been heard it was ordered that the said " Robin, alias Robert, be discharged from confinement". An effort was soon after made through the legislature to obtain a definition of the true position of slavery in the province, but without success. Petitions were presented in 1799-1800 by citizens of Montreal, asking the legislature to vindicate the right of masters over their slaves. The applicants invoked in favor of their demand the ordinance by Raudot of 1709, which edict, they urged, was in force when the definitive treaty of peace was signed, and was, in consequence, part and parcel of the laws, usages and customs of Canada, recognised by the Act of Quebec. Bills, in accordance with the requests, were introduced in 1800, 18o1 and 1803, but none were accepted. The slave-owners were nearly all residents of Montreal and Quebec ; and the country members of the legislature, having little interest in the matter, and no inclination to maintain the system for the benefit of certain wealthier citizens, took no action upon


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