The Canadian Community





To understand the political evolution of Canada it is essential to

begin with a study of the elements of Canadian society. Canadian

constitutionalists would have written to better purpose, had they

followed the example of the Earl of Durham, in whose Report the

concluding practical suggestions develop naturally from the vivid

social details which occupy its earlier pages, and raise it to the

level of literature. In pioneering communities there is no such thing

as the constitution, or politics, per se; and the relation between

the facts, sordid and mean as they often are, of the life of the

people, and the growth of institutions and political theories, is

fundamental.



Canadian society, in 1839 and long afterwards, was dominated by the

physical characteristics of the seven hundred miles of country which

stretched from Quebec to the shores of Lake Huron, with {9} its long

water-front and timid expansion, north and south; its forests

stubbornly resisting the axes of the settlers; its severe extremities

of heat and cold; the innumerable inconveniences inflicted by its

uncultivated wastes on those who first invaded it; and the imperfect

lines of land communication which multiplied all distances in Canada at

least four-fold. It was perhaps this sense of distance, and difficulty

of locomotion, which first impressed the settler and the visitor. To

begin with, the colony was, for practical purposes, more than a month's

distance from the centre of government. Steam was gradually making its

way, and the record passage by sailing ship, from Quebec to Portsmouth,

had occupied only eighteen days and a half,[1] but sails were still the

ordinary means of propulsion, and the average length of voyage of 237

vessels arriving at Quebec in 1840 was well over forty days.[2] To the

immigrant, however, the voyage across the Atlantic was the least of his

troubles; for the internal communications of Canada left much to be

desired. The assistance {10} of railway transportation might be

entirely ignored,--as late as 1847 only twenty-two miles of railway

lines had been laid and worked.[3] There was, of course, during the

open season, the wonderful passage by river and lake into the heart of

the continent; although the long winter months broke into the

regularity of the traffic by water, and the St. Lawrence rapids added

to the traveller's difficulties and expenses. Even the magic of a

governor-general's wand could not dispel the inconveniences of this

simplest of Canadian routes. "I arrived here on Thursday week,"

grumbled Poulett Thomson, writing from Toronto in 1839. "The journey

was bad enough; a portage to Lachine; then the steamboat to the

Cascades, twenty-four miles further; then road again (if road it can be

called) for sixteen miles; then steam to Cornwall forty miles; then

road, twelve miles; then, by a change of steamers on to Lake Ontario to

Kingston, and thence here. I slept one night on the road, and two on

board the steamers. Such, as I have described it, is the boasted

navigation of the St. Lawrence!"[4] For military purposes there was

the alternative route, up the Ottawa to Bytown, {11} and thence by the

Rideau military canal to Kingston and the Lakes. On land, progress was

much more complicated, for even the main road along the river and lake

front was in shamefully bad condition, more especially when autumn

passed into winter, or when spring once more loosened up the roads.

There is a quite unanimous chorus of condemnation from all--British,

Americans, and Canadians. One lively traveller in 1840 protested that

on his way from Montreal, he was compelled to walk at the carriage side

for hours, ankle-deep in mud, with the reins in his hands, and that,

with infinite fatigue to both man and beast, he accomplished sixty

miles in two days--a wonderful performance.[5] In the very heart of

the rebellion, W. L. Mackenzie seems to have found the roads fighting

against him, for he speaks of the march along Yonge Street as over

"thirty or forty miles of the worst roads in the world"; and attributes

part of the disheartening of his men to what one may term

mud-weariness.[6] Local tradition still remembers with a sense of

wonder that Sydenham, eager to return to his work in Lower Canada, once

travelled by sleigh {12} the 360 miles from Toronto to Montreal in

thirty-six hours.



Off the main routes, roads degenerated into corduroy roads, and these

into tracks, and even "blazed trails "; while, as for bridges, cases

were known where the want of them had kept settlers who were living

within three miles of a principal town, from communicating with it for

days at a time.[7] And, as the roads grew rougher, Canadian conditions

seemed to the stranger to assert themselves more and more offensively,

animate and inanimate nature thrusting man back on the bare elements of

things. The early descriptions of the colony are crowded with pictures

of wretched immigrants, mosquito-bitten, or, in winter, half dead with

cold, struggling through mud and swamp, to find the land whither they

had come to evade the miseries of civilization, confronting them with

the squalor and pains of nature. Far into the Victorian era Canada,

whether French or British, was a dislocated community, with settlements

set apart from each other as much by mud, swamp, and wood-land, as by

distance. Her population, more particularly in the west, was engaged

not with political ideals, but in an incessant struggle {13} with the

forests; and the little jobs, which enabled the infant community to

build a bridge or repair a road at the public expense, must naturally

have seemed to the electors more important items of a political

programme than responsible government or abolition of the clergy

reserves. No doubt, in the older towns and cities, the efforts of the

earlier settlers had gained for their sons leisure and a chance of

culture; yet even in Toronto, the wild lands were but a few miles

distant, and, as Richardson saw it, London was "literally a city of

stumps, many of the houses being still surrounded by them."



Straggling along these 700 miles, although here and there concentrated

into centres like Quebec, Three Rivers, Montreal, Kingston, and

Toronto, was a population numbering well over a million, which from its

internal divisions, its differences in origin and disposition, and its

relation to the British government, constituted the central problem at

the time in British colonial politics. The French population formed,

naturally, the chief difficulty. Thanks to the terms of the surrender

in 1763, and the policy of Dorchester, a unit which called itself la

nation Canadienne had been formed, nationalite had become a force in

Lower {14} Canada, imperfectly appreciated even by the leaders of the

progressive movement in England and Western Canada. In the Eastern

townships, and in Quebec and Montreal, flourishing and highly organized

British societies existed. The Rebellion had found sturdy opponents in

the British militia from the townships, and the constitutional

societies of Quebec and Montreal expressed, in innumerable resolutions

and addresses, the British point of view. But Lower Canada was for

practical purposes a French unit, Roman Catholic in religion, and, in

structure, semifeudal. In the cities, the national self-consciousness

of the French was most conspicuously present; and leaders like

Papineau, La Fontaine, and Cartier proved the reality of French culture

and political skill. Below the higher classes, Durham and Metcalfe

noticed that in Lower Canada the facilities given by the church for

higher education produced a class of smaller professional men, from

whose number the ordinary politicians and agitators were drawn. To the

church they owed their entrance into the world of ideas; but apparently

they were little more loyal to the clergy than they were to Britain.

"I am led to believe," wrote Metcalfe in 1845, "that the influence of

the clergy is not predominant, {15} among the French-Canadian people,

and that the avocat, the notary, and the doctor, generally disposed to

be political demagogues, and most of them hostile to the British

government, are the parties who exercise the greatest influence.

Whatever power the clergy might have acting along with these

demagogues, it would, I fear, be slight when exercised in opposition to

them."[8]



These active, critical, political groups were not, however,

representative of French Canada. So long as their racial pride

remained unhurt, the French community was profoundly conservative. It

was noticed that the rebels of 1837 and 1838 had received no support

from the Catholic priesthood; and in a country where the reverence for

that ancient form of Christianity was, in spite of Metcalfe's opinion

to the contrary, profound, it was unlikely that any anti-religious

political movement could make much permanent headway. Devoted to their

religion, and controlled more especially in education by their

priests,[9] the habitants formed the peculiar people of the American

continent. Education flourished not at all among {16} the rank and

file. Arthur Buller found the majority of those whom he met either not

able to write, or able to write little more than their names.[10] The

women, he said, were the active, bustling portion of the habitants,

thanks to the admirable and yet inexpensive training to be had in the

nunneries. As for the men, they farmed and lived as their fathers had

done before them. They cleared their land, or tilled it where it had

been cleared, and thought little of improvement or change. M'Taggart,

whose work on the Rideau Canal, made him an expert in Canadian labour,

much preferred French Canadians to the Irish as labourers, and thought

them "kind, tender-hearted, very social, no way very ambitious, nor

industrious, rarely speculative."[11] To the Canadian commonwealth,

the French population furnished a few really admirable statesmen; a

dominant and loyal church; some groups of professional men,

disappointed and discontented sons of humble parents, too proud to sink

to the level of their uninstructed youth, and without the opportunity

of rising higher; and a great mass of men who hewed wood and drew

water, not for a master, but for themselves, {17} submissive to the

church, and well-disposed, but ignorant, and at the mercy of any clever

demagogue who might raise the cry of nationalism. Still, when

nationality remained unchallenged, the French-Canadians were at least

what, till recently, they remained, the most purely conservative

element in Canada.



The second element, in point of stability and importance, in the

Canadian population was that of the United Empire Loyalists, the

remnants of a former British supremacy in the United States. They had

proved their steadfastness and courage by their refusal to accept the

rules of the new republic; and their arrival in Canada gave that

country an aristocracy of Anglo-Saxon origin to counterbalance that of

the seigneurs on the Lower St. Lawrence. The men had in many cases

been trained to arms in the revolutionary war, and they served a second

and perhaps a harder apprenticeship in the Canadian forests. They had

formed the centre of resistance to American attacks in the war of 1812.

Their sons and grandsons had once more exhibited the hereditary loyalty

of the group, in resisting the rebels of 1837-38; and Metcalfe, who was

their best friend among the governors of the United Provinces, justly

{18} looked on them as the most conspicuous examples of devotion to

connection with the British Empire, and loyal subjection to the

Crown.[12] Robinsons, Cartwrights, Ryersons, and a score of other

well-known families, proved, generation after generation, by their

sustained public capacity, how considerably the struggle for existence,

operating on sound human material, may raise the average of talent and

energy. The tendency of the Loyalists to conservatism was, under the

circumstances, only natural. Their possession, for a time, of all the

places in Upper Canada which were worth holding, was the consequence of

their priority in tenure, and of their conspicuous pre-eminence in

political ingenuity. Critics of a later date forgot, and still forget,

in their wholesale indictment of the Family Compact, that the Loyalist

group called by that name had earned their places by genuine ability.

If, like other aristocracies, they found it hard to mark the precise

moment for retirement before the rise of democracy, their excuse must

be found in their consciousness of high public spirit and their

hereditary talents for administration.



Politically and socially one may include among the Loyalists the

half-pay officers, from both {19} navy and army, whom the great peace

after Waterloo sent to Canada, as to the other colonies; and certain

men of good family, Talbots or Stricklands, who held fast by English

conservative tradition, played, where they could, the English gentleman

abroad, and incidentally exhibited no mean amount of public spirit.

Conspicuous among these was Colonel Talbot, who had come to Upper

Canada with Simcoe in 1793, and became there an erratic but energetic

instrument of empire. "For sixteen years," says Mrs. Jameson, writing

with a pardonably feminine thrill after a visit to the great man, "he

saw scarce a human being, except a few boors and blacks employed in

clearing and logging his land; he himself assumed the blanket coat and

axe, slept upon the bare earth, cooked three meals a day for twenty

woodsmen, cleaned his own boots, washed his own linen, milked his cows,

churned the butter, and made and baked the bread."[13] Yet, as

Strickland confesses, in his Twenty-Seven Years in Canada West, there

were few Talbots. "Many high-spirited gentlemen," he says, "were

tempted by the grants of land bestowed on them by the government, which

made actual settlement one of the conditions of {20} the grant. It

followed, as a matter of course, that the majority of these persons

were physically disqualified for such an undertaking, a fact which many

deserted farms in the rear townships of the county in which I reside

painfully indicate."[14]



French Canadians and United Empire Loyalists constituted the stable

factors in Canadian public life; but the process of immigration, which

the years of rebellion checked only for a time, had by 1840 prepared

another element, and that the most incalculable and disturbing both

socially and politically. Indeed the real problem of Canadian public

life lay simply in the influence of the humbler class of immigrants on

existing administration and opinion. It was natural for the other

settlers and the governing class to regard the larger part of the new

population as beneath the political level. The very circumstances of

the emigrating process carried with them a suggestion of degradation.

Durham had embodied in his Report the more flagrant examples of the

horrors of emigration;[15] but a later review, written in 1841, proves

that many of the worst features of the old system still continued.

There were still the privations, the {21} filth and the diseases of

this northern "middle passage," the epidemics and disorders inflicted

on the Canadian community as ship-load after ship-load of poor wretches

passed ashore at Quebec. On land their sorrows were renewed, for many

of them were paupers, and there was still no organized effort to

introduce the labourer to those who required his labour. More than one

half of the 12,000 who, according to the report of 1841, passed in that

year through Bytown locks, were considered objects of charity. Many of

them were common labourers with families, men who had little but their

physical strength as capital for the new venture; and cholera, typhus,

or smallpox had in many cases reduced even that to the vanishing point.

More especially among the Irish settlers, who, in these years and

later, fled in dismay from the distresses of Ireland, the misery

continued long after the first struggle. M'Taggart, who had his

prejudices, but who had unusually good opportunities for observation,

thought that a tenth of the poorer Irish settlers died during their

first two years in the country. He found them clumsy at their work,

accustomed to the spade and shovel, not to the axe, and maiming

themselves most fearfully, or even killing themselves, in their {22}

experiments in clearing the ground.[16] Of all who came, the

immigration agents thought the Lowland Scots and the Ulster Irishmen

the best, and while the poorer class of settler lagged behind in the

cities of Lower Canada, these others generally pushed on to find a hard

earned living among the British settlers in the Upper Province. Some

of them found their way to the United States. Others, faced with the

intolerable delays of the land administration, took the risk of

"squatting," that is, settling on wild land without securing a right to

it--often to find themselves dislodged by a legal owner at the moment

when their possession de facto seemed established. The majority

settled as small farmers in the more frequented districts, or became

shop-keepers and artisans in the towns. Politically their position was

curious. The Reform Act of 1832 had extended the British franchise,

but the majority had still no votes; and the immigrants belonged to the

unenfranchised classes. The Irish had the additional disability of

being reckoned disloyal, followers of the great Irish demagogue, and

disorderly persons until proved otherwise.[17] To government servants

and {23} the older settlers alike, it seemed perilous to the community

to share political power with them. Yet they were British citizens;

many of them at once became active members of the community through

their standing as freeholders; the democratic influence of the United

States told everywhere on their behalf; and even where hard work left

little time for political discussion, the fact that local needs might

be assisted by political discussion, and the stout individualism bred

by the life of struggle in village, town, and country, forced the new

settlers to interest themselves in politics. Many of the new arrivals

had some pretensions to education--more especially those from Scotland.

Indeed it is worthy of note that from the Scottish stream of

immigration there came not only the earlier agitators, Gourlay and

Mackenzie, but, at a later date, George Brown, the first great

political journalist in Canada, Alexander Mackenzie and Oliver Mowat,

future leaders of Canadian liberalism, and John A. Macdonald, whose

imperialism never lacked a tincture of traditional Scottish caution.

The new immigrants were unlikely to challenge the social supremacy of

the old aristocracy, but they formed so large an accession to the

population that they could not {24} long remain without political

power. They must either be granted the rights of numerical majority or

be exasperated into destructive agitation.



It is not altogether easy to describe the community or chain of

communities created out of these diverse elements. Distance, climatic

difficulties, and racial misunderstandings weakened the sense of unity

in the colony; and the chief centres of population were still too young

and unformed to present to the visitor the characteristics of a

finished civilization.



Everywhere, but more especially in the west, the town population showed

remarkable increases. Montreal, which had, in 1790, an estimated

population of 18,000, had almost trebled that number by 1844; in the

same interval, Quebec increased from 14,000 to nearly 36,000. In the

Upper Province, immigration and natural increase produced an even more

remarkable expansion. In the twenty-two years between 1824 and 1846,

Toronto grew from a village of 1,600 inhabitants to be a flourishing

provincial capital of 21,000. In the census of 1848, the population of

Hamilton was returned as 9,889; that of Kingston as 8,416; Bytown, the

future capital, had 6,275 inhabitants; while a score of villages such

as London, Belleville, {25} Brockville, and Cobourg had populations

varying from one to four thousand.[18]



Social graces and conveniences had, however, hardly kept pace with the

increase in numbers. The French region was, for better or worse,

homogeneous, and Quebec formed a social centre of some distinction,

wherein the critical M'Taggart noted less vanity and conceit than was

to be met with in the country.[19] But further west, British observers

were usually something less than laudatory. The municipal franchise in

the cities of Lower Canada, being confined to the possessors of real

estate, shut out from civic management the more enterprising trading

classes, with the natural result that mismanagement and inefficiency

everywhere prevailed. In Quebec there was no public lighting, the

community bought unwholesome water from carters who took it from the

St. Lawrence, and the gaol--a grim but useful test of the civilization

of the place--not merely afforded direct communication between the

prisoners and the street, but was so ill ordered that, according to a

clerical authority, "they who happily are {26} pronounced innocent by

law may consider it a providential deliverance if they escape in the

meantime the effects of evil communication and example."[20] While

Montreal had a better water supply, it remained practically in darkness

during the winter nights, through the lapsing in 1836 of its earlier

municipal organization.[21] Strangers were said to find the provincial

self-importance of its inhabitants irritating. At the other extreme of

the province, Mrs. Jameson found fault with the citizens of Toronto for

their social conventionalism. "I did not expect to find here," she

wrote, "in the new capital of a new country, with the boundless forests

within half a mile of us on almost every side, concentrated as it were,

the worst evils of our old and most artificial social system at home,

with none of its agremens, and none of its advantages. Toronto is

like a fourth or fifth rate provincial town with the pretensions of a

capital city."[22]



Everywhere, if contemporary prints of the cities may be taken as

evidence, the military element was very prominent, and the tone was

distinctly English. The leaders of society looked {27} to London for

their fashions, and men like John Beverley Robinson moved naturally, if

a little stiffly, in the best English circles when they crossed to

England. It was, indeed, a straining after a social standard not quite

within the reach of the ambitious provincial, which produced the

conventionalism and dullness, noticed by British visitors in Canadian

towns.



In the smaller towns or villages where pretensions were fewer, and

society accepted itself for that which it really was, there was much

rude plenty and happiness. An Ayrshire settler writing in 1845, after

an orthodox confession that Canada, like Scotland, "groaned under the

curse of the Almighty," described his town, Cobourg, as a place where

wages were higher and prices lower than at home. "A carpenter," he

writes, "asks 6s. sterling for a day's work (without board), mason 8s.,

men working by the day at labourer's work 2s. and board, 4s. a day in

harvest. Hired men by the month, 10 and 11 dollars in summer, and 7

and 8 in winter, and board. Women, 3 and 4 dollars per month, not much

higher than at home. Provisions are cheaper here than at home. Wheat,

4s. per bushel; oats 1s. 3d. and 1s. 6d per bushel; potatoes, 1s. 6d.;

beef and pork, 3d. and 4d. per {28} lb.; butter, 6d. per lb.; cheese,

6d.; tobacco, 1s. per lb.; whisky, 1s. 6d. per gallon; apples, 1s. 6d.

per bushel; tea from 2s. 6d. to 4s., and sugar, 6d. per lb.... A man

by honest industry here may live comfortably and support himself

decently--I can, I know--and save something too. We live much better

here than at home."[23]



More especially in the smaller towns, the externals must have presented

a steady and dull monotony--the jail and court-house, three or four

churches, a varying number of mean-looking stores including a liberal

proportion of taverns, and the irregular rows of private houses.



If lack of efficient public spirit, and social monotony, marked the

towns, the settlers in the bush were hardly likely to show a vigorous

communal spirit. They had their common life, building, clearing,

harvesting in local "bees," primitive assemblies in which work,

drinking, and recreation welded the primitive community together, and

the "grog-boss" became for a time the centre of society.[24] But the

average day of the farmer was solitary, and, except where politics

meant {29} bridges, roads, and material gifts, his outlook was limited

by the physical strain of his daily life, and work and sleep followed

too closely on each other's track to leave time for other things.

M'Taggart has a quaint picture of a squatter, which must have been

typical of much within the colony in 1839. He found the settler, Peter

Armstrong, "in a snug little cabin, with a wife, two children, some

good sleek grey cats, and a very respectable-looking dog. He had but

few wants, his health was aye good; there was spring water plenty just

aside him, and enough to make a good fire in winter, while with what he

caught, shot, gathered and grew in the yard, he lived well enough."

His relation to the state, secular and ecclesiastical, is best gauged

by his admission that when it came to marriage, he and his

wife--Scottish like himself--"just took ane anither's word on't."[25]

Crime, on the whole, considering the elements out of which the

community had been formed, was surprisingly little in evidence.[26] In

certain regions it had a natural fertility. Wherever the white trader

met the Indian, or rival {30} fur-traders strove in competition, the

contact between the vices of the two communities bred disorder, and

Canadian trading success was too often marked by the indiscriminate

ruin of the Indians through drink and disease.[27] At Bytown, where

the lumberers gathered to vary their labours in the bush with

dissipation, the community "was under the control of a very dangerous

class of roughs, who drank, gambled, and fought continually, and were

the terror of all well-disposed citizens."[28] Drunkenness seems to

have been a very prevalent vice, probably because whisky was so cheaply

produced; and where self-restraint was weak, and vast numbers of the

poorest classes from Britain formed the basis of society, drunkenness

was accompanied by bestial violence, or even death, in sudden and

dreadful forms.[29] But it was the verdict of a Scottish clergyman,

who played his part in pioneer work round Perth, that "considering the

mixture of worthless persons, which our population formerly contained,

it was astonishing how few crimes had been committed."



{31}



Three powerful influences helped to shape the young Canadian community

and to give it some appearance of unity--education, religion, and

politics. It now becomes necessary to examine these factors in

Canadian existence in the years prior to, and immediately after, the

visit of Durham to the colony. In religion and education, however, our

analysis must concern Upper and British Canada rather than the French

region. In the latter the existence and dominance of the Catholic

church greatly simplified matters. Thanks to the eighteenth century

agreements with the French, Roman Catholicism had been established on

very favourable terms in Lower Canada, and dominated that region to the

exclusion of practically all other forms of religious life. As has

already been shown, the church controlled not only religion but

education. If the women of the Lower Province were better educated

than the men, it was because the convent schools provided adequately

for female education. If higher education was furnished in

superabundance, again the church was the prime agent, as it was also in

the comparative neglect of the rank and file; and comment was made by

Durham's commissioners on the fact that the priesthood resented

anything which weakened {32} its control over the schools. This

Catholic domination had a very notable influence in politics, for,

after the first outbursts of nationality were over, the Catholic laity

in politics proved themselves a steadily conservative force. La

Fontaine, the first great French leader who knew how to co-operate with

the British Canadians, was only by accident a progressive, and escaped

from politics when the growth of Upper Canada radicalism began to draw

him into dangerous religious questions.[30] But in the Upper Province,

education and religion did not show this stationary and consistent

character, and played no little part in preparing for and accentuating

the political agitation.



Education had a history rather of good intentions than of brilliant

achievement. At different times in the earlier nineteenth century,

schemes for district grammar schools and general common schools were

prepared, and sums of money, unhappily not in increasing amounts, were

voted for educational purposes. But, apart from the doubtful

enthusiasm of the legislators, the education {33} of the British

settlers was hampered by an absence of suitable teachers, and the

difficulty of letting children, who were often the only farm assistants

at hand, attend school for any length of time. According to good

evidence, half of the true school population never saw the schools, and

the other half could give only seven months in the year to their

training.[31]



In most country districts, the settlers had to trust to luck both for

teachers and for schoolhouses, and beginnings which promised better

things too often ended in blank failure. There is both humour and

romance in these early struggles after education. In Ekfried, by the

Thames, in Western Canada, there had been no school, till the arrival

of an honest Scot, Robert Campbell, and the backwardness of the season

in 1842, gave the settlement a schoolmaster, and the new settler some

ready money. "I get a dollar and a half, a quarter per scholar," he

wrote to his friends in Scotland, "and seeing that the wheat did

little, I am glad I did engage, for we got plenty of provisions."[32]

In Perth, a more ambitious start {34} met with a tragic end. The

Scottish clergyman, appointed to the district by government, opened a

school at the request of the inhabitants. All went well, and a

generous government provided fifty pounds by way of annual stipend;

until a licentiate of the Anglican Church arrived. By virtue of the

standing of his church, the newcomer took precedence of the Scottish

minister and displaced him as educational leader. But, says the Scot,

with an irony, unchristian but excusable, "the school under the

direction of my clerical successor, soon after died of a consumption,

and the school-house has been for sometime empty."[33]



The main difficulty in education was to provide an adequate supply of

competent teachers. Complaints against those who offered their

services were almost universal. According to a Niagara witness, not

more than one out of ten teachers in the district was competent to

instruct his pupils even in the humblest learning,[34] and the

commissioners who reported to the government of Upper Canada in 1839

both confirmed these {35} complaints, and described the root of the

offence when they said, "In this country, the wages of the working

classes are so high, that few undertake the office of schoolmaster,

except those who are unable to do anything else; and hence the

important duties of education are often entrusted to incompetent and

improper persons. The income of the schoolmaster should, at least, be

equal to that of a common labourer."[35] In so precarious a position,

it was unfortunate that sectarian and local feeling should have

provoked a controversy at the capital of the western district. Much as

the education of the province owed to John Strachan, he did infinite

harm by involving the foundation of a great central school, Upper

Canada College, and of the provincial university, in a bitter religious

discussion. It was not until the public capacity and unsectarian

enthusiasm of Egerton Ryerson were enlisted in the service of

provincial education, that Upper Canada emerged from her period of

failure and struggle.



Apart from provincial and governmental efforts, there were many

voluntary experiments, of which Strachan's famous school at Cornwall,

was perhaps the most notable. After all, the colonists were {36}

Britons, many of them trained in the Scottish system of national

democratic education, and wherever the struggle for existence slackened

down, they turned to plan a Canadian system as like as possible to that

which they had left. Kingston was notably enterprising in this

respect. Not only were there schools for the more prosperous classes,

but attempts were made to provide cheap education for the poor, at

first supported by the voluntary contributions of ladies, and then by a

committee representative of the best Anglican and Presbyterian

sentiment. Three of these schools were successfully conducted at very

small charges, and, in certain cases, the poorest received education

free.[36] In higher education the period of union in Canada exhibited

great activity. The generous provision made for a King's College in

Toronto had been for a long time stultified by the ill-timed sectarian

spirit of the Bishop of Toronto; but a more reasonable temper prevailed

after the Rebellion, and the second governor-general of the united

provinces, Sir Charles Bagot, spent much of his short time of service

in securing professors and seeing the provincial university

launched.[37] {37} At the same time, the two other Canadian colleges of

note, M'Gill University and Queen's College, came into active

existence. In October, 1839, after many years of delay, Montreal saw

the corner-stone of the first English and Protestant College in Lower

Canada laid,[38] and in the winter of 1841-2, Dr. Liddell sailed from

Scotland to begin the history of struggle and gallant effort which has

characterized Queen's College, Kingston, from first to last. It is

perhaps the most interesting detail of early university education in

Canada, that the Presbyterian College started in a frame house, with

two professors, one representing Arts and one Theology, and with some

twenty students, very few of whom, however, were "fitted to be

matriculated."[39]



It is well to remember, in face of beginnings so irregular, and even

squalid, that deficiencies in Canadian college education had been made

good by the English and Scottish universities, and that Canadian higher

education was from the outset assisted by the genuine culture and

learning of the British colleges; for the main sources of university

inspiration in British North America {38} were Oxford and Cambridge,

Glasgow and Edinburgh.[40]



There were, of course, other less formal modes of education. When once

political agitation commenced, the press contributed not a little to

the education of the nation, and must indeed be counted one of the

chief agencies of information, if not of culture. Everywhere, from

Quebec to Hamilton, enterprising politicians made their influence felt

through newspapers. The period prior to the Rebellion had seen

Mackenzie working through his Colonial Advocate; and the cause of

responsible government soon found saner and abler exponents in Francis

Hincks and George Brown. At every important centre, one, two, or even

more news-sheets, not without merit, were maintained; and the secular

press was reinforced by such educational enterprise as the Dougalls

attempted in the Montreal Witness, or by church papers like the

Methodist Christian Guardian.[41] {39} Nothing, perhaps, is more

characteristic of this phase of Canadian intellectual growth than the

earlier volumes of the Witness, which played a part in Canada similar

to that of the Chambers' publications in Scotland. The note struck was

deeply sober and moral; the appeal was made to the working and middle

classes who in Canada as in Scotland were coming into possession of

their heritage; and if the intellectual level attained was never very

high, an honest attempt was being made to educate the shop-keepers and

farmers of Canada into wholesome national ideals.



Little literary activity seems to have existed outside of politics and

the newspapers. For a time cheap reprints from America assisted

Britons in Canada with their forbidden fruits, but government at last

intervened. It is a curious fact that this perfectly just and natural

prohibition had a most unfortunate effect in checking the reading

habits of the colony.[42] In the larger towns there {40} were

circulating libraries, and presumably immigrants occasionally brought

books with them; but newspaper advertisements suggest that school

books, and the like, formed almost the only stock-in-trade of the

book-shop; and the mercurial Major Richardson, after agitating the

chief book-sellers in Canada on behalf of one of his literary ventures,

found that his total sales amounted to barely thirty copies, and even

an auction sale at Kingston discovered only one purchaser, who limited

his offer to sevenpence halfpenny. In speaking, then, of the Canadian

political community in 1839, one cannot say, as Burke did of the

Americans in 1775, that they were a highly educated or book-reading

people. Their politicians, progressive and conservative alike, might

have shortened, simplified, and civilized certain stages in their

political agitations, had they been able more fully to draw on the

authority of British political experience; and their provincialism

would not have thrust itself so disagreeably on the modern student, had

Locke, Rousseau, Burke, and the greater leaders in modern political

science, been household names in early Victorian Canada.



As with other young communities, the church and religion had their part

to play in the shaping {41} of modern Canada. And yet it would be

impossible to attribute to any of the Canadian churches an influence so

decisive as that which religion exercised through Presbyterianism in

the creation of the Scottish democracy, or through Independency in

moulding the New England character. For while the question of a

religious establishment proved one of the most exciting issues in

politics, influences more truly religious suffered a natural

degradation and diminution through their over-close association with

secular affairs.



Once again the situation in Lower Canada was simplified by the

conditions prevailing among the French Canadians. For Lower Canada was

whole-heartedly Catholic, and the Canadian branch of the Roman Church

had its eulogy pronounced in no uncertain fashion by the Earl of

Durham, who, after praising its tolerant spirit, summed up the services

of the priesthood in these terms: "The Catholic priesthood of this

Province have, to a remarkable degree, conciliated the good-will of

persons of all creeds; and I know of no parochial clergy in the world,

whose practice of all the Christian virtues, and zealous discharge of

their clerical duties, is more universally admired, and has been

productive of more beneficial consequences. {42} Possessed of incomes

sufficient, and even large, according to the notions entertained in the

country, and enjoying the advantage of education, they have lived on

terms of equality and kindness with the humblest and least instructed

inhabitants of the rural districts. Intimately acquainted with the

wants and characters of their neighbours, they have been the promoters

and dispensers of charity, and the effectual guardians of the morals of

the people; and in the general absence of any permanent institutions of

civil government, the Catholic Church has presented almost the only

semblance of stability and organization, and furnished the only

effectual support for civilization and order. The Catholic clergy of

Lower Canada are entitled to this expression of my esteem, not only

because it is founded on truth, but because a grateful recognition of

their eminent services, in resisting the arts of the disaffected, is

especially due to them from one who has administered the government of

the Province in these troubled times."[43]



Upper Canada and the British community presented a somewhat different

picture. Certain Roman Catholic elements among the Irish and the

Scottish Highlanders reinforced the ranks of {43} Catholicism, but for

the greater part Anglicanism and Presbyterianism were the

ecclesiastical guides of the settlers. At first, apart from official

religion, the Church of England appeared in Canada in missionary form,

and about 1820 the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel had

fifteen missionaries in Lower Canada, and seventeen in Upper Canada.

But under the fostering care of governors like Colborne, and the

organizing genius of Dr. Strachan, Rector, Archdeacon, and latterly

Bishop in Toronto, the Anglican Church in Canada became a

self-dependent unit. The Bishop of Toronto was able to boast in 1842

that in his western visitation, which lasted from June till October, he

had "consecrated two churches and one burial ground, confirmed 756

persons at twenty-four different stations, and travelled, including his

journeys for the formation of District Branches of the Church Society,

upwards of 2,500 miles."[44] In cities like Toronto and Kingston it

was on the whole the church of the governing class, and shared in the

culture and public qualities of that class. Nor was it negligent of

the cure of poorer souls, for Anglicans co-operated with Presbyterians

in the {44} management of the poor schools in Kingston, and in that and

the other more prominent towns of the province, the English parish

church system seems to have been transplanted and worked most

efficiently. Equal in importance, if not in numbers, Scottish

Presbyterianism claimed its section of the community. Down to 1822,

there were but six organized congregations in Upper and Lower Canada

connected with the Church of Scotland,[45] but at the first

Presbyterian Synod held in Canada, in 1831, fourteen ministers and five

elders gathered at Kingston to represent the Church;[46] and by 1837

the number of congregations had grown to 37 in Upper Canada, and 14 in

Lower Canada. Nor were these weak and struggling efforts. The

Scottish Church at Kingston had in 1841 a membership of 350, and an

average attendance of 800. Like its Anglican rival, it was simply a

parish church, and its minister, trained in Edinburgh, as the Anglican

cleric came naturally from an English college, visited, preached, and

disciplined according to the rules of Knox and Melville, and

maintained, perhaps more genuinely than either school or {45} newspaper

could, an educational influence on his flock not unworthy of the mother

country. Here and there the ties, which still remained strong, between

Canadian settlements and the districts in Scotland whence the settlers

were drawn, proved useful aids in church extension. Lanark, in Upper

Canada, owed its church to the efforts of friends in Lanarkshire, in

Scotland, who collected no less a sum than L290 for the purpose.[47]



But the religious life of Canada was assisted by another less official

force, the Methodist Church. Methodism in its earlier days incurred

the reproach of being rather American than British, and, in one of his

most unjustifiable perversions of the truth, Strachan tried to make the

fact tell against the sect, in his notorious table of ecclesiastical

statistics. Undoubtedly there was a stronger American element in the

Methodist connection than in either of the other churches; and its

spirit lent itself more readily to American innovations. Its fervent

methods drew from the ranks of colder churches the more emotional, and

being freer and homelier in its ritual, it appealed very directly to a

rude and half-educated community. Thus the Methodist preachers made

{46} rapid headway, more especially in regions untouched by the

official churches.



In the representative man of early Canadian Methodism, Egerton Ryerson,

qualities conspicuously British and conservative, appeared. Through

him Methodism came forward as the supporter of the British connection

in the Metcalfe troubles, as through him it may claim some of the glory

of organizing an adequate system of provincial education. But, after

all, the noblest work of the sect was done in informal and irregular

fashion. They were the pioneers and coureurs du bois of the British

province in the religious world. Perhaps the most genuine tribute paid

to this earlier phase of Methodism was that of John Beverley Robinson,

when his fellow Anglicans blamed him in 1842 for granting a plot of

ground for a Methodist chapel. "Frequently," he retorted, "in the most

lonely parts of the wilderness, in townships where a clergyman of the

Church of England had never been heard, and probably never seen, I have

found the population assembled in some log building, earnestly engaged

in acts of devotion, and listening to those doctrines and truths which

are inculcated in common by most Christian denominations, but which, if

it had not been for {47} the ministration of dissenting preachers,

would for thirty years have been but little known, if at all, to the

greater part of the inhabitants of the interior of Upper Canada."[48]

Still the Canadian Methodist Church did not occupy so conspicuous a

place in the official public life of Canada, and in Sydenham's

Legislative Council of 1841, out of twenty-four members, eight

represented Anglicanism, eight Presbyterianism, eight Catholicism, and

Methodism had to find lowlier places for its political leaders.[49]



Hitherto religion has been viewed in its social and spiritual aspects.

But Canadian history has, with perhaps over-emphasis, selected one

great controversy as the central point in the religious life of the

province. It is not my intention to enter here into the wearisome

details of the Clergy Reserve question. But the fight over the

establishment principle forms an essential factor in the social and

political life of Canada between 1839 and 1854, the year in which it

was finally settled. It is first necessary to discriminate between

what may be called casual and incidental support to churches in Canada,

and the main Clergy Reserve {48} fund. When Dr. Black challenged, in

the interests of Presbyterianism, certain monies paid to Anglican

churches in Upper and Lower Canada, he was able to point to direct

assistance given by the Imperial Parliament to the Anglican Church in

Canada. He was told in answer that these grants were temporarily made

to individuals with whose lives they terminated, and that a pledge had

been given in 1832 that Britain should be relieved of such

expenses.[50] In a similar fashion, when the district of Perth, in

Upper Canada, was settled by discharged soldiers and emigrants from

Scotland, "Government offered assistance for the support of a minister,

without respect to religious denomination," and, as a matter of fact,

the community thus assisted to a clergyman, received, not a minister of

the Church of Scotland, but one ordained by the Secession Church in

Scotland--a curious but laudable example of laxity on the part of

government.[51]



The root and ground of offending lay in the thirty-sixth and following

clauses of the Constitutional Act of 1791, which proposed to support

{49} and maintain a Protestant clergy in the provinces by grants of

land, equal in value to the seventh part of lands granted for other

purposes. On the face of it, and interpreted by the clauses which

follow, the Act seems to bear out the Anglican contention that the

English Church establishment received an extension to Canada through

the Act, and that no other church was expected to receive a share. It

is true that the legal decision of 1819, and the views of colonial

secretaries like Glenelg, admitted at least the Scottish Church to a

portion of the benefits. But for the purposes of the situation in

1839, it is merely necessary to say that a British parliament in 1791,

ignorant of actual colonial conditions, and more especially of the

curious ecclesiastical developments with which the American colonies

had modified the British system before 1776, and probably forgetful of

the claims of the Church of Scotland to parliamentary recognition, had

given Canada the beginnings of an Anglican Church establishment; and

that the Anglicans in Canada, and more especially those led by Dr. John

Strachan, had more than fulfilled the sectarian and monopolist

intentions of the legislators.



Three schools of opinion formed themselves in {50} the intervening

years. First and foremost came the establishment men, mainly Anglican,

but with a certain Presbyterian following, who claimed to monopolize

the benefits, such as they were, of the Clergy Reserve funds. Canada

as a British colony was bound to support the one or two state churches

of the mother country; religious inequality was to flourish there as at

home; dissent was to receive the same stigma and disqualification, and

the dominant church or churches were to live, not by the efforts of

their members, but at the expense of all citizens of the state, whether

Anglican, Presbyterian, or Methodist. This phase of opinion received

its most offensive expression from leaders like the Bishop of Toronto.

To these monopolists, any modification of the Anglican settlement

seemed a "tyrannical and unjust measure," and they adopted an

ecclesiastical arrogance towards their fellow-Christians, which did

much to alienate popular sympathies throughout the province.



At the other extreme was a solid mass of public sentiment which had

little interest in the ecclesiastical theories of the Bishop of

Toronto, and which resented alike attempts to convert the provincial

university into an Anglican college, and the cumbrous and unjust form

of church establishment, {51} the most obvious evidence of which lay in

the undeveloped patches of Clergy Reserve land scattered everywhere

throughout the settlements. It was the undoubted desire of a majority

in 1840 that the Clergy Reserve system should be ended, the former

reserves sold, and the proceeds applied to educational and general

purposes; a desire which had been registered in the House of Assembly

on fourteen different occasions since 1826.[52] The case for the

voluntary principle in Canada had many exponents, but these words of

Dr. John Rolph in 1836 express the spirit of the movement in both its

strength and its weakness: "Instead of making a State provision for any

one or more churches; instead of apportioning the Clergy Reserves among

them with a view to promoting Christianity; instead of giving pensions

and salaries to ministers to make them independent of voluntary

contributions from the people, I would studiously avoid that policy,

and leave truth unfettered and unimpeded to make her own conquests....

The professions of law and physic are well represented in this

Assembly, and bear ample testimony to the generosity of the people

towards them. Will good, pious and evangelical ministers of our holy

religion be likely to {52} fare worse than the physicians of the body,

or the agents for our temporal affairs? Let gospel ministers, as the

Scriptures say, live by the gospel, and the apostolic maxim that the

workman is worthy of his hire implies the performance of duty rewarded

temporarily by those who impose it. There is no fear that the

profession will become extinct for want of professors."[53]



Between the extremes, however, there existed a group of moderate

politicians, represented, in the Upper Province by Baldwin, in the

Lower by La Fontaine, and among British statesmen apparently by both

Sydenham and Elgin. Especially among its Canadian members, this group

felt keenly the desirability of supporting religion, as it struggled

through the difficulties inevitably connected with early colonial life.

But neither Baldwin, who was a devoted Anglican, nor La Fontaine, a

faithful son of his Church, showed any tinge of Strachan's bitterness

as they considered the question; and nothing impressed Canadian opinion

more than did La Fontaine's speech, in a later phase of the Clergy

Reserve troubles, when he solemnly renounced on behalf of his

coreligionists any chance of stealing an advantage while the

Protestants {53} were quarrelling, and when he stated his opinion that

the endowment belonged to the Protestant clergy, and should be shared

equally among them. It was this school of thought---to anticipate

events by a year or two--which received the sanction of Sydenham's

statesmanship, and that energetic mind never accomplished anything more

notable than when, in the face of a strong secularizing feeling, to the

justification for which he was in no way blind, he repelled the party

of monopoly, and yet retained the endowment for the Protestant churches

of Canada. "The Clergy Reserves," he wrote in a private letter, "have

been, and are, the great overwhelming grievance--the root of all the

troubles of the province, the cause of the Rebellion--the never-failing

watchword at the hustings--the perpetual source of discord, strife, and

hatred. Not a man of any party but has told me that the greatest boon

which could be conferred on the country would be that they should be

swept into the Atlantic, and that nobody should get them. My Bill[54]

has gone through the Assembly by a considerable majority, thirty to

twenty, and I feel confident that I can get it through the {54} Council

without the change of a word. If it is really carried, it is the

greatest work that ever has been done in this country, and will be of

more solid advantage to it than all the loans and all the troops you

can make or send. It is worth ten unions, and was ten times more

difficult."[55]



It is a melancholy comment on the ecclesiastical interpretation of

religion that, ten years later, when the firmly expressed desires of

all moderate men had given the Bishop of Toronto a good excuse for

acquiescence in Sydenham's status quo, that pugnacious ecclesiastic

still fought to save as much of the monopoly as could be secured.[56]



With the Clergy Reserve dispute, the region of politics has been

reached; and, after all, politics furnished the most powerful influence

in the young Canadian community. But politics must be taken less in

the constitutional sense, as has been the custom with Canadian writers,

and more in the social and human sense. It is important also to note

the broad stretches of Canadian existence {55} into which they hardly

intruded. Political questions found few exponents among the pioneers

as they cleared the forests, or gathered lumber for the British market,

or pushed far to the west and north in pursuit of furs. Even the

Rebellion, when news of it reached Strickland and his fellow-settlers

in the Peterborough country, came to them less as part of a prolonged

struggle in which they all were taking part, than as an abnormal

incident, to be ended outright by loyal strength. They hardly seem to

have thought that any liberties of theirs were really endangered. When

Mackenzie himself complained that instead of entering Toronto with four

or five thousand men, he found himself at the head of a poor two

hundred, he does not seem to have realized that, even had his

fellow-conspirators not mismanaged things, it would still have been

difficult to keep hard-working settlers keyed up to the pitch of

revolutionary and abstract doctrines.[57] There must have been many

settlers of the temper of the humble Scottish janitor in Queen's

College, Kingston, who wrote, in the midst of the struggle of parties

in 1851: "For my part I never trouble my head about one of them.

Although the polling-house was just across {56} the street, I never

went near it."[58] In the cities, however, and along the main lines of

communication, the interest must have been keen, and the country

undoubtedly attained its manhood as it struggled towards the solution

of questions like those of the Clergy Reserves, the financing of the

colony, the regulation of trade and immigration, and, above all others,

the definition of responsible government.



Something has already been said of the various political groups in the

colony, for they corresponded roughly to the different strata of

settlement--French, Loyalist, and men of the later immigration. It is

true, as Sydenham and Elgin pointed out, that the British party names

hardly corresponded to local divisions--and that these divisions were

really too petty to deserve the name of parties. Yet it would be

foolish to deny the actual existence of the groups, or to refuse to see

in their turbulence and strife the beginning of national

self-consciousness, and the first stage in a notable political

development.



Most conspicuous among the political forces, because the bond of party

union was for them {57} something deeper than opinion, and must be

called racial, was the French-Canadian group, with the whole weight of

habitant support behind it. From the publication of Lord Durham's

Report, through the Sydenham regime, and down till Sir Charles Bagot

surrendered to their claims, the French politicians presented an

unbroken and hostile front to the British community. Colborne had

repressed their risings at the point of the bayonet; a Whig government

had deprived them temporarily of free institutions; Durham--their

friend after his fashion--had bidden them be absorbed into the greater

British community; Sydenham came to enforce what Durham had suggested;

and, with each new check, their pride had grown more stubborn and their

nationalism more intense. Bagot, who understood them and whom they

came to trust, may be allowed to describe their characteristics,

through the troubled first years of union: "On Lord Sydenham's

arrival," he wrote to Stanley, "he found the Lower Province deprived of

a constitution, the legislative functions of the government being

administered by a special council, consisting of a small number of

members nominated by the Crown. A large portion of the people, at

least those of French origin, prostrate under {58} the effects of the

Rebellion, overawed by the power of Great Britain, and excluded from

all share in the government, had resigned themselves to a sullen and

reluctant submission, or to a perverse but passive resistance to the

government. This temper was not improved by the passing of the Act of

Union. In this measure, heedless of the generosity of the Imperial

government, in overlooking their recent disaffection, and giving them a

free and popular constitution, ... they apprehended a new instrument of

subjection, and accordingly prepared to resist it. Lord Sydenham found

them in this disposition, and despairing, from its early

manifestations, of the possibility of overcoming or appeasing it,

before the period at which it would be necessary to put in force the

Act of Union, he determined upon evincing his indifference to it, and

upon taking steps to carry out his views, in spite of the opposition of

the French party.... They have from that time declared and evinced

their hostility to the Union ... and have maintained a consistent,

united, and uncompromising opposition to the government which was

concerned in carrying it into execution."[59]



To describe the French in politics, it has been {59} necessary to

advance a year or two beyond 1839, for the Rebellion had terminated one

phase of their political existence, and the characteristics of the next

phase did not become apparent till the Union Assembly of 1841 and 1842.

It was indeed an abnormal form of the national and racial question

which there presented itself. French Canada found itself represented

by a party, over twenty in number, the most compact in the House of

Assembly, and with la nation Canadienne solidly behind them. In La

Fontaine, Viger, Morin and others, it had leaders both skilful and

fully trusted. Yet the party of the British supremacy quoted Durham

and others in favour of a plan for the absorption of French Canada in

the British element; and the same party could recount, with telling

effect, the past misdeeds, or at least the old suspicions, connected

with the names of the French leaders. Misunderstood, and yet half

excusably misunderstood; self-governing, and yet deprived of many of

the legitimate consequences and fruits of self-government; without

places or honours, and yet coherent, passionately French, and

competently led, the French party stood across the path of Canadian

peace, menacing, and with a racial rather than a party threat.



{60}



In the Upper Province, the party in possession, the so-called Family

Compact group, posed as the only friends of Britain. They had never

possessed more than an accidental majority in the Lower House, and,

since Durham's rule, it seemed likely that their old supremacy in the

Executive and Legislative Councils had come to an end. Yet as their

power receded, their language became the more peremptory, and their

contempt for other groups the more bitter. One of the most respectable

of the group, J. S. Cartwright, frankly confessed that he thought his

fellow-colonists unfit for any extension of self-government "in a

country where almost universal suffrage prevails, where the great mass

of the people are uneducated, and where there is but little of that

salutary influence which hereditary rank and great wealth exercise in

Great Britain."[60] Their position had an apparent but unreal

strength, because they knew that the older type of Colonial official,

the entire British Conservative party, and the Church of England, at

home and abroad, supported them. As late as July, 1839, Arthur, the

representative of the Crown in Upper Canada, could write thus to his

government concerning more than half the {61} population under his

authority: "There is a considerable section of persons who are disloyal

to the core; reform is on their lips, but separation is in their

hearts. These people having for the last two or three years made a

'responsible government' their watch-word, are now extravagantly elated

because the Earl of Durham has recommended that measure. They regard

it as an unerring means to get rid of all British connection, while the

Earl of Durham, on the contrary, has recommended it as a measure for

cementing the existing bond of union with the mother country."[61]



Their programme was precise and consistent. The influence of a too

democratic franchise was to be modified by a Conservative upper house,

and an executive council, chosen not in accordance with popular wishes,

but from the class--their own--which had so long been dominant in the

executive. The British connection depended, in their view, on the

permanent alliance between their group and whatsoever representative

the British crown might send to Canada. French Canadian feeling they

were prepared to repress as a thing rebellious and un-English, and the

{62} friends of the French in Upper Canada they regarded very much as a

South African might the Englishman who should be prepared to strengthen

his political position by an alliance with the native peoples; although

events were to prove that, when other elements of self-interest

dictated a different course, they were not unwilling to co-operate in

the interests of disorder with the French. In ecclesiastical affairs,

they supported the establishment of an Anglican Church in Canada, and

insulted religion never found more eloquent defenders than did the

Clergy Reserve establishment at the hands of Sir Allan MacNab, the

Conservative leader, and his allies. But events and their own factious

excesses had broken their power. They had allowed nothing for the

possibilities of political education, in a land where the poorest had

infinite chances of gaining independence. They scorned democracy at a

time when nothing else in politics had a stable future; and the country

naturally distrusted constitutional logicians whose conclusions

invariably landed them in the sole possession of emoluments and place.

Sydenham's quick eye foresaw the coming rout, and it was his opinion,

before the Assembly of 1841 came to make matters certain, that moderate

men would overturn the {63} sway of old Toryism, and that the wild

heads under MacNab would stultify themselves by their foolish

conduct.[62]



In Upper Canada, the Conservative and Family Co





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