The Consequences Of Canadian Autonomy

A change so informally achieved, and yet so decisive, as the completion

of a system of self-government in Canada could not but have

far-reaching and unexpected secondary consequences. It is the object

of this chapter to trace the more important of these as they appeared

in the institutions and public life of Canada, and in the modification

of Canadian sentiment towards Great Britain.

The most obvious and natural effect of Elgin's concessions was a

revolution in the programmes of the provincial parties, and in their

relations to each other and to government. It may be remembered that

all the governors of the period agreed in reprobating the factiousness

and pettiness of Canadian party politics. Even Elgin had been unable

to see very much rationality in their methods. There was, he held,

little of public principle to divide {294} men, apart from the

fundamental question of responsible government.[1] But it is possible

to underestimate the reality and importance of the party system as it

existed down to 1847. To have admitted that men differed on the

principle of responsible government, was to have admitted that party

strife had some justification; and all the other details--affections

and antipathies, national, sectarian, and personal--were the

circumstances natural to party life as that life has everywhere come

into existence. Burke himself sought no higher ground for the grouping

of men into parties than that of family connection, and common

friendships and enmities. No doubt the squalor and pettiness of early

Canadian party life contrasted meanly with the glories of the

eighteenth century Whigs, and the struggles of Fox and Pitt. But a

nation must begin somewhere, and these trivial divisions received a

kind of consecration when they centred round the discussion of colonial

self-government. After all, so long as autonomy was only partially

conceded, and so long as men felt impelled to take opposite sides on

that subject, it was foolish to deny that there were Canadian parties,

and that their differences were of some importance.


Moreover, before 1847 there were other good reasons for the existence

of two distinct parties. It was true, as Sydenham had said, that the

British party names were not quite appropriate to the parties in Canada

who had adopted them. Yet there were some links between British and

Canadian parties. The British and the Canadian Tories had, in 1840,

many views in common. In a time of change both stood for a pronounced

distrust of democracy; both regarded the creation of responsible

government in Canada as disastrous to the connection; both were the

defenders of Church and State. On the other hand, it was not

unnatural, as Elgin came to see, to compare the party led by Baldwin

and La Fontaine with the Reformers in England who looked to Lord John

Russell as their true leader. Until the political traditions, which

most of the recent immigrants had brought with them from Britain, had

disappeared or been transformed into a new Canadian tradition, and so

long as certain grave constitutional defects which cried for remedy

remained unaltered, Canadian Tories and Reformers must exist, and

government, as Metcalfe discovered, was impossible, unless it

recognized in these provincial divisions the motive power of local



But between 1847 and 1854 the foundations of these earlier parties had

been, not so much undermined, as entirely removed. "The continuance of

agitation on these intensely exciting questions," wrote Elgin in his

latest despatch from Canada, "was greatly to be deprecated, and their

settlement, on terms which command the general acquiescence of those

who are most deeply interested, can hardly fail to be attended with

results in a high degree beneficial."[2] Elgin had removed the reason

for existence of both parties by settling the issues which divided

them. At the same time, the growth of a political life different from

that of Britain, had, year by year, made the British names more

inappropriate. John A. Macdonald, the leader of those who had once

called themselves Tories, was confessing the change when he wrote, in

1860, "While I have always been a member of what is called the

Conservative party, I could never have been called a Tory, although

there is no man who more respects what is called old-fogey Toryism than

I do, so long as it is based upon principle."[3] The fierce battles

over constitutional theories, {297} which a series of British governors

and governments had so long deprecated, had at last been eliminated by

the natural development of Canadian political life.

The same natural development provided a substitute for the older party

system. Elgin, as has been seen, belonged to the group of Peelites,

who, during the lifetime of their leader and long after it, endeavoured

to solve the new administrative problems of the nineteenth century

without too strict an adherence to party programmes and lines of

division. Curiously enough, he was the chief agent in stimulating a

similar political movement in Canada. There was, however, this

difference, that while in Peel's case, and still more in that of his

followers, the British party tradition proved overwhelmingly powerful,

in Canada, where tradition was weaker, and the need for sound

administration far more vital, the movement became dominant in the form

of Liberal-conservatism. In other words, in place of small violently

antagonistic parties, moderate men inclined to come together to carry

out a broad, non-controversial, national programme.

There are few more remarkable developments in Canada between 1840 and

1867 than this tendency {298} towards government by a single party. It

was Sydenham's shrewd insight into the Canadian political situation,

even more than his desire to rule, which led him to govern Canada by a

coalition of moderate men. His only mistake lay in trying to force on

the province what should have come by nature. The Baldwin-La Fontaine

compact, which really dominated Canadian politics from 1841, was a

partial experiment in government by an alliance of groups; and when the

great exciting questions, Responsible Government and Church

Establishment, had been settled, and the end in view seemed simply to

be the carrying on of the Queen's government, Liberal-conservatism

entered gradually into possession. When Baldwin and La Fontaine made

way for Hincks and Morin in 1851, the change was recognized as a step

towards the re-union of the moderates. For, in the face of George

Brown, and his advocacy of a more provocative radical programme,

Francis Hincks declared for some kind of coalition: "I regret to say

there have been indications given by a section of the party to which I

belong, that it will be difficult indeed, unless they change their

policy, to preserve the Union. I will tell these persons (the

anti-state church reformers of Upper Canada) {299} that if the Union is

not preserved by them, as a necessary consequence, other combinations

must be formed by which the Union may be preserved. I am ready to

give my cordial support to any combination of parties by which the

Union shall be maintained."[4] Three years later, the party of

moderate reform which had co-operated with Elgin in creating a system

of truly responsible government, and which had done so much to restore

Canadian political equanimity, fell before a factious combination of

hostile groups. But the succeeding administration, nominally

Conservative, was actually Liberal-Conservative, and it remained in

power chiefly because Francis Hincks, who had led the Reformers,

desired his followers to assist it, as Peel and his immediate disciples

kept the British Whigs in office after 1846. Robert Baldwin had been

the leader of opposition during Sydenham's rule, and before it; indeed,

he may be called the organizer of party division in the days before the

grant of responsible government. Yet when the opponents of the compact

of 1854 quoted his precedent of party division against Hincks'

principle of union, Baldwin disowned his would-be supporters: "However

disinclined myself to {300} adventure upon such combinations, they are

unquestionably, in my opinion, under certain circumstances, not only

justifiable, but expedient, and even necessary. The government of the

country must be carried on. It ought to be carried on with vigour.

If that can be done in no other way than by mutual concessions and a

coalition of parties, they become necessary."[5] In consequence, the

autumn of 1854 witnessed the remarkable spectacle of a Tory government,

headed by Sir Allan MacNab, carrying a bill to end the Clergy Reserve

troubles, in alliance with Francis Hincks and their late opponents.

The chief dissentients were the extreme radicals, who were now

nicknamed the Clear-Grits.[6]

After 1854, and for ten years, the political history of Canada is a

reductio ad absurdum of the older party system. Government succeeded

government, only to fall a prey to its own lack of a sufficient

majority, and the unprincipled use by its various opponents of casual

combinations and {301} alliances. Apart from a little group of

Radicals, British and French, who advocated reforms with an absence of

moderation which made them impossible as ministers of state, there were

not sufficient differences to justify two parties, and hardly

sufficient programme even for one. The old Tories disappeared from

power with their leader, Sir Allan MacNab, in 1856. The Baldwin-Hincks

reformers had distributed themselves through all the parties--Canadian

Peelites they may be called. The great majority of the representatives

of the French followed moderate counsels, and were usually sought as

allies by whatever government held office. The broader principles of

party warfare were proclaimed only by the Clear-Grits of Upper Canada

and the Rouges of Lower Canada. The latter group was distinct enough

in its views to be impossible as allies for any but like-minded

extremists: "Le parti rouge," says La Minerve, "s'est forme a

Montreal sous les auspices de M. Papineau, en haine des institutions

anglaises, de notre constitution declaree vicieuse, et surtout du

gouvernement responsable regarde comme une duperie, avec des idees

d'innovation en religion et en politique, accompagnees d'une haine

profond pour le clerge, et avec l'intention {302} bien formelle, et

bien prononcee d'annexer le Canada aux Etats-Unis."[7]

As for the original Clear-Grits, their distinguishing features were the

advocacy of reforming ideas in so extreme a form as to make them

useless for practical purposes, an anti-clerical or extreme Protestant

outlook in religion, and a moral superiority, partly real, but more

largely the Pharisaism so inevitably connected with all forms of

radical propaganda. They proved their futility in 1858, when George

Brown and A. A. Dorion formed their two-days' administration, and

extinguished the credit of their parties, and themselves, as

politicians capable of existence apart from moderate allies. Until

Canadian politics could have their scope enlarged, and the issues at

stake made more vital, and therefore more controversial, it was obvious

that the grant of responsible government had rendered the existing

party system useless.

The significant moment in this period of Canadian history came in 1864,

when all the responsible politicians in the country, and more

especially the two great personal enemies, John A. Macdonald and George

Brown, came together to carry out a scheme of confederation, which was

too great to {303} be the object of petty party strife, and which

required the support of all parties to make it successful. Both

political parties, as George Brown confessed, had tried to govern the

country, and each in turn had failed from lack of steady adequate

support. A general election was unlikely to effect any improvement in

the situation, and the one hope seemed to lie in a frank combination

between opponents to solve the constitutional difficulties which

threatened to ruin the province. "After much discussion on both

sides," ran the official declaration, "it was found that a compromise

might probably be had in the adoption either of the federal principle

for the British North American provinces, as the larger question, or

for Canada alone, with provisions for the admission of the Maritime

Provinces and the North-Western Territory, when they should express the

desire": and to secure the most perfect unanimity the ministers, Sir E.

P. Tache and Mr. Macdonald, "thereon stated that, after the

prorogation, they would be prepared to place three seats in the Cabinet

at the disposal of Mr. Brown."[8]

It is not within the scope of this essay to discuss {304} developments

after Confederation, yet it is an interesting speculation whether, up

to a date quite recent, the grant of responsible government did not

continue to make a two-party system on the British basis unnatural to

Canada. Between 1847 and 1867, the destruction of the dual system, and

the creation of government by coalition, were certainly the dominant

facts in Canadian politics, and both were the products of the gift of

autonomy. Since 1867, it is possible to contend that, while two sets

of politicians offer themselves as alternative governments to the

electors, their differentiation has reference rather to the holding of

office than to a real distinction in programme. Alike in trade,

imperial policy, and domestic progress, the inclination has been

towards compromise, and either side inclines, or is forced, to steal

the programme of the other. Responsible government was the last issue

which arrayed men in parties, neither of which could quite accept a

compromise with the other. It remains to be seen whether questions of

freer trade, imperial organization, and provincial rights, will once

more create parties with something deeper in their differences than

mere rival claims to hold office.

If the creation of a Liberal-Conservative party {305} was a direct

result of the grant of autonomy, so also was the policy which led to

Confederation. It is no part of the present volume to trace the growth

of the idea of Confederation, or to determine who the actual fathers of

Confederation were. The connection between Autonomy and Confederation

in the province of Canada was that the former made the latter


Earlier chapters have dealt with the French Canadian problem, and the

difficulty of combining French nationalite with the Anglo-Saxon

elements of the West. In one sense, Elgin's regime saw nationalism

lose all its awkward features. Papineau's return to public life in

1848, and the revolutionary stir of that year had left Lower Canada

untouched, save in the negligible section represented by the Rouges.

The inclusion of La Fontaine and his friends in the ministry had proved

the bona fides of the governor, and the French, being, as Elgin said,

"quiet sort of people," stood fast by their friend. "Candour compels

me to state," he wrote after a year of annexationist agitation, "that

the conduct of the Anglo-Saxon portion of our M.P.Ps contrasts most

unfavourably with that of the Gallican.... The French have been

rescued from the false position into which they {306} have been driven,

and in which they must perforce have remained, so long as they believed

that it was the object of the British government, as avowed by Lord

Sydenham and others, to break them down, and to ensure to the British

race, not by trusting to the natural course of events, but by dint of

management and state craft, predominance in the province."[9]

But while French nationalism had assumed a perfectly normal phase, the

operations of autonomy after 1847 made steadily towards the creation of

a new nationalist difficulty. That difficulty had two phases.

In the first place, while the Union of Upper and Lower Canada had been

based on the assumption that from it a single nationality with common

ideals and objects would emerge, experience proved that both the French

and the British sections remained aggressively true to their own ways;

and the independence bred by self-government only quickened the sense

of racial distinction. Now there were questions, such as that of the

Clergy Reserves, which chiefly concerned the British section; and

others, like the settlement of the seigniorial tenure, of purely

French-Canadian {307} character. Others again, chief among them the

problem of separate schools, in Lower Canada for Protestants, in Upper

Canada for Catholics, seemed to set the two sections in direct

opposition. Under the circumstances, a series of conventions was

created to meet a situation very involved and dangerous. The happy

accident of the dual leadership of La Fontaine and Baldwin furnished a

precedent for successive ministries, each of which took its name from a

similar partnership of French and English. Further, although the

principle never received official sanction, it became usual to expect

that, in questions affecting the French, a majority from Lower Canada

should be obtained, and in English matters, one from Upper Canada. It

was also the custom to expect a government to prove its stability by

maintaining a majority from both Upper and Lower Canada. Nothing, for

example, so strengthened Elgin's hands in the Rebellion Losses fight as

the fact that the majority which passed the bill was one in both

sections of the Assembly. Yet nearly all cabinet ministers, and all

the governors-general, strongly opposed the acknowledgment of "the

double majority" as an accepted constitutional principle. "I have told

Colonel Tache," wrote Head, in 1856, "that I {308} expect the

government formed by him to disavow the principle of a double

majority";[10] and both Baldwin, and, after him, John A. Macdonald

refused to countenance the practice. Unfortunately, while the idea was

a constitutional anomaly, threatening all manner of complications to

the government of Canada, there were occasions when it had to receive a

partial sanction from use. When the Tories were sustained by a

majority of 4 in 1856, government suffered reconstruction because there

had been a minority of votes from Upper Canada. As the new Tory leader

explained, "I did not, and I do not think that the double majority

system should be adopted as a rule. I feel that so long as we are one

province and one Parliament, the fact of a measure being carried by a

working majority is sufficient evidence that the Government of the day

is in power to conduct the affairs of the country. But I could not

disguise from myself that it (the recent vote) was not a vote on a

measure, but a distinct vote of confidence, or want of confidence; and

there having been a vote against us from Upper Canada, expressing a

want of confidence in the government, I felt that it was a sufficient

indication that the measures of the government {309} would be met with

the opposition of those honorable gentlemen who had by their solemn

vote withdrawn their confidence from the government."[11] The practice

continued in this state of discredit varied by occasional forced use,

until a government--that of J. S. Macdonald and Sicotte--which had

definitely made the double majority one of the planks in its platform,

found that its principal measure, the Separate Schools Act of R. W.

Scott, had to be carried by a French majority, although the matter was

one of deep concern to Upper Canada. It was becoming obvious that

local interests must receive some securer protection than could be

afforded by what was after all an evasion of constitutional practice.

Meanwhile complications were arising from another movement, the

agitation for a revision of parliamentary representation. The twelfth

section of the Union Act had enacted that "the parts of the said

Province which now constitute the Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada

respectively, shall be represented by an equal number of

representatives." At the time of Union the balance of population had

inclined decisively towards {310} Lower Canada; indeed that part of the

province might fairly claim to have a constitutional grievance. But

between 1830 and 1860 the balance had altered. In Lower Canada a

population, which in 1831 had been 511,922, had increased by 1844 to

almost 700,000; while in Upper Canada the numbers had increased from

334,681 to well over 700,000 in 1848;[12] and each year saw the west

increase in comparison with the east, until George Brown, speaking no

doubt with forensic rather than scientific ends in view, estimated that

in 1857 Upper Canada possessed a population of over 1,400,000, as

against a bare 1,100,000 in Lower Canada.[13] These changes produced a

most interesting complication. The representation after 1840 stood

guaranteed by a solemn act--the more solemn because it had been the

result of a bargain between Sydenham and the provincial authorities in

Upper and Lower Canada. It had the appearance rather of a treaty than

of an ordinary Act of Parliament. On the other hand, since

self-government had been secured, and since self-government seemed to

involve the principle of representation in proportion {311} to the

numbers of the population, it was, according to the Upper Canadian

politicians, absurd to give to 1,100,000 the same representation as to

1,400,000. So George Brown, speaking from his place in Parliament, and

using, at the same time, his extraordinary and unequalled influence as

editor of The Globe, flung himself into the fray, seeking, as his

motion of 1857 ran, "that the representation of the people in

Parliament should be based upon population, without regard to a

separating line between Upper and Lower Canada."[14] His thesis was

too cogent, and appealed too powerfully to all classes of the Upper

Canada community, to be anything but irresistible. Even Macdonald,

whose political existence depended on his alliance with the French,

knew that his rival had made many converts among the British

Conservatives. "It is an open question," he wrote of representation by

population, in 1861, "and you know two of my colleagues voted in its


Yet nothing was better calculated to rouse into wild agitation the

quiescent feeling of French nationalism. The attempt of Durham and his

successors to end, by natural operation, the separate {312} existence

of French nationality was now being renewed with far greater vigour,

and with all the weight of a normal constitutional reform. If George

Brown was hateful to the French electorate because of his Protestant

and anti-clerical agitation, he was even more odious as the statesman

who threatened, in the name of Canadian autonomy, the existence of old

French tradition, custom, and right. It was in answer to this twofold

difficulty that Canadian statesmen definitely thought of Confederation.

There were many roads leading to that event--the desire of Britain for

a more compact and defensible colony; the movement in the maritime

provinces for a local federation; the dream, or vague aspiration,

cherished by a few Canadians, of a vaster dominion, and one free from

petty local divisions and strifes. But it was no dream or imperial

ideal which forced Canadian statesmen into action; it was simply the

desire, on the one hand, to give to the progressive west the increased

weight it claimed as due to its numbers; and on the other, to safeguard

the ancient ways and rights of the French community. From this point

of view, it was George Brown, the man who preached representation by

population in season and out of season, who actually forced {313}

Canadian statesmen to have resort to a measure, the details of which he

himself did not at first approve; and the argument used to drive the

point home was not imperial, but a bitter criticism of existing

conditions. After the great Reform convention of 1859, Brown moved in

Parliament "that the existing legislative union between Upper and Lower

Canada has failed to realize the anticipations of its promoters: has

resulted in a heavy debt, burdensome taxation, great political abuses,

and universal dissatisfaction; and it is the matured conviction of this

Assembly, from the antagonisms developed through difference of origin,

local interests, and other causes, that the union in its present form

can be no longer continued with advantage to the people."[16] In 1864

a distracted province found itself at the end of its resources. Its

futile efforts at the game of political party had resulted in the

defeat of four ministries within three years; its attempt to balance

majorities in Upper and Lower Canada had hopelessly broken down; and

the moment in which the stronger British west obtained the increased

representation it sought, the French feeling for nationality would

probably once more produce rebellion.


So Confederation came--to satisfy George Brown, because in the Dominion

Assembly his province would receive adequate representation--to

satisfy, on the other hand, a loyal Frenchman like Joseph Cauchon,

because, as he said, "La confederation des deux Canadas, ou de toutes

les provinces, en nous donnant une constitution locale, qui sauverait,

cependant, les privileges, les droits acquis et les institutions des

minorites, nous offrirait certainement une mesure de protection, comme

Catholiques et comme Francais, autrement grand que l'Union actuelle,

puisque de minorite nous deviendrons et resterons, a toujours, la

majorite nationale et la majorite religieuse."[17] That was the

second, and perhaps the greatest of all the results of self-government.

Before passing to inquire into the influence of autonomy on Canadian

loyalty, it may prove interesting to note the political manners and

morals of the statesmen who worked the system in its earlier stages.

In passing judgment, however, one must bear in mind the newness of the

country and the novelty of the experiment; the fact that a democratic

constitution far more daring than {315} Britain allowed herself at

home, was being tested; and the severity of the struggle for existence,

which left Canadians little time and money to devote to disinterested

service of their country. In view of all these facts, and in spite of

some ugly defects, the verdict must be on the whole favourable to the


Of direct malversation, or actual sordid dishonesty, there was, thanks

probably to a vigorous opposition, far less than might have been

expected. The cause celebre was that of Francis Hincks, premier from

1851 to 1854, who was accused, among other things, of having profited

through buying shares in concerns with which government had dealings--a

fault not unknown in Britain; of having induced government to improve

the facilities of regions in which he had holdings, and generally of

having used his position as minister to make great private gains. A

most minute inquiry cleared him on all scores, but the committee of the

Legislative Council, without entering further into the questions,

mentioned as points worthy of consideration by Parliament, "whether it

is beneficial to the due administration of the affairs of this country

for its ministers to purchase lands sold at public competition, and

Municipal Debentures, also {316} offered in open market or otherwise;

whether the public interests require an expression of the opinions of

the Two Houses of Parliament in that respect; and whether it would be

advisable to increase the salaries of the Members of the Executive

Council to such a figure, as would relieve them from the necessity of

engaging in private dealings, to enable them to support their families

and maintain the dignity of their position, without resorting to any

kind of business transactions while in the service of the crown."[18]

Canada was passing through an ordeal, which, sooner or later, Britain

too must face. Her answer, in this case, to the dilemma between

service of the community and self-aggrandisement was not unworthy of

the mother country.

Still, in spite of the acquittal of Hincks, there were cases of

complicated corruption, and a multitude of little squalid sins. Men

like Sir Allan MacNab, who had been bred in a system of preferments and

petty political gains, found it difficult to avoid small jobbery. "He

has such an infernal lot of hangers on to provide for," wrote one

minister to another, concerning the gallant knight, "that he finds it

difficult to do the {317} needful for them all."[19] It is clear, too,

that when John A. Macdonald succeeded MacNab as Tory leader, purity did

not increase. It was no doubt easy for George Brown to criticize

Macdonald's methods from a position of untempted rectitude, and no

doubt also Brown had personal reasons for criticism; but he was

speaking well within the truth, when he attacked the Tory government of

1858, not only for grave corruption in the late general election, but

for other weightier offences. It was elicited, he said, by the Public

Accounts Committee that L500,000 of provincial debentures had been sold

in England by government at 99-1/4, when the quotation of the Stock

Exchange was 105 @ 107, by which the province was wronged to the extent

of L50,000. It was elicited that a member of Parliament, supporting

the government, sold to the government L20,000 of Hamilton debentures

at 97-1/4 which were worth only 80 in the market.... It was elicited that

large sums were habitually drawn from the public chest, and lent to

railway companies, or spent on services for which no previous sanction

of Parliament had been obtained.[20] It is, perhaps, the gravest

charge {318} against Macdonald that, at the entrance of Canada into the

region of modern finance and speculation, he never understood that

incorrupt administration was the greatest gift a man could give to the

future of his country.

In a young and not yet civilized community it was natural that the

early days of self-government should witness some corruption among the

voters, the more so because, at election times "there were no less than

four days, the nomination, two days' polling, and declaration day, on

all of which, by a sort of unwritten law, the candidates in many

constituencies were compelled to keep open house for their supporters,"

while direct money bribes were often resorted to, especially on the

second day's polling in a close contest.[21]

Apart from jobbery and frank corruption, Canadian politicians

condescended at times to ignoble trickery, and to evasions of the truth

which came perilously near breaches of honour. The most notorious

breach of the constitutional decencies was the celebrated episode

nicknamed the "Double Shuffle." Whatever apologists may say, John A.

Macdonald sinned in the very first essentials of political fair-play.

He had already {319} led George Brown into a trap by forcing government

into his hands. When Brown, too late to save his reputation,

discovered the sheer futility of his attempt to make and keep together

a government, and when it once more fell to the Conservatives to take

office, Macdonald saved himself and his colleagues the trouble of

standing for re-election by a most shameful constitutional quibble.

According to a recent act, if a member of Legislative Council or

Assembly "shall resign his office, and within one month after his

resignation, accept any other of the said offices (enumerated above),

he shall not vacate his seat in the said Assembly or Council."[22] It

was a simple, and a disgraceful thing, for the ministers, once more in

power, to accept offices other than those which they had held before

resignation, and then, at once, to pass on to the reacceptance of the

old appropriate positions. They saved their seats at the expense of

their honour. In spite of Macdonald's availability, there was too much

of the village Machiavelli about his political tactics to please the

educated and honest judgment.

It was very natural too that, in these early struggles towards

independence and national {320} self-consciousness, the crudities

inseparable from early colonial existence should be painfully apparent.

In Canada at least, vice could not boast that it had lost half its evil

by losing all its grossness. According to Sir Richard Cartwright, the

prolonged absence from domestic associations, led to a considerable

amount of dissipation among members of parliament. The minister who

dominated Canadian politics for so many years before and after

Confederation set an unfortunate example to his flock; and many of the

debates read as though they drew their heat, if not their light, from

material rather than intellectual sources. Apart from offences against

sobriety and the decalogue, there can be no doubt that something of the

early ferocity of politics still continued, and the disgrace of the

Montreal riots which followed Elgin's sanction of the Rebellion Losses

bill was rendered tenfold more disgraceful by the participation in them

of gentlemen and politicians of position. Half the success of

democratic institutions lies in the capacity of the legislators for

some public dignity, and a certain chivalrous good nature towards each

other. But that is perhaps too high a standard to set for the first

colonial Assembly which had exercised full {321} powers of

self-government since 1776. After all, there were great stretches of

honesty and high purpose to counterbalance the squalid jobs and tricks.

If Macdonald sinned in one direction, Alexander Mackenzie had already

begun his course of almost too austere rectitude in another.

Opposition kept a keen eye on governmental misdoings, and George Brown,

impulsive, imprudent, often lacking in sane statesmanship, and, once or

twice, in nice honour, still raised himself, the readers of his

newspaper, and the Assembly which he often led in morals, if not in

politics, to a plane not far below that of the imperial Parliament.

But the highest level of feeling and statesmanship reached by Canadian

politicians before 1867 was attained in those days of difficulty in

1864, when the whole future of Canada was at stake, and when none but

Canadians could guide their country into safety. There were many

obstacles in the way of united action between the leaders on both

sides; the attempt to create a federal constitution was no light task

even for statesmen of genius; and the adaptation of means to end, of

public utilities to local jealousies, demanded temper, honesty, breadth

of view. George Brown, who with all his impracticability and lack of

restraint, behaved with {322} notable public spirit at this time, spoke

for the community when he said, "The whole feeling in my mind is one of

joy and thankfulness that there were found men of position and

influence in Canada, who, at a moment of serious crisis, had nerve and

patriotism enough to cast aside political partizanship, to banish

personal considerations, and unite for the accomplishment of a measure

so fraught with advantage to their common country."[23] In the debate

from which these words are taken, Canadian statesmen excelled

themselves, and it is not too much to say that whether in attack or

defence, the speakers exhibited a capacity and a public spirit not

unworthy of the imperial Parliament at its best.[24]

It would, however, be a mistake to exhibit the Canadian Assembly of

early Victorian days as characterized for long by so sublime and

Miltonic a spirit as is suggested by the Confederation debates. After

all, they were mainly provincial lawyers and shrewd uncultured business

men who guided the destinies of Canada, guilty of many lapses from

dignity in their public behaviour, and exhibiting {323} not

infrequently a democratic vulgarity learned from the neighbouring

republic. That was a less elevated, but altogether living and real

picture of the Canadian politician, which Sir John Macdonald's

biographer gave of his hero, and the great opposition leader, as they

returned, while on an imperial mission, from a day at the Derby:

"Coming home, we had lots of fun: even George Brown, a covenanting old

chap, caught its spirit. I bought him a pea-shooter and a bag of peas,

and the old fellow actually took aim at people on the tops of busses,

and shot lots of peas on the way home."[25]

It now becomes necessary to answer the question which, for twenty

years, English politicians had been putting to those who argued in

favour of Canadian self-government. Given a system of local

government, really autonomous, what will become of the connection with

Great Britain? So far as the issue is one purely constitutional and

legal, it may be answered very shortly. Responsible government in

Canada seriously diminished the formal bonds which united that province

to the mother country. For long the pessimists in Britain had been

proclaiming that the diminution of the governor-general's authority and

{324} responsibility would end the connection. After the retirement of

Lord Elgin, that diminution had taken place. It is a revelation of

constitutional change to pass from the full, interesting, and

many-sided despatches and letters of Sydenham, Bagot, and Elgin, to the

perfunctory reports of Head and Monck. Elgin had contended that a

governor might hope to establish a moral influence, which would

compensate for the loss of power, consequent on the surrender of

patronage to an executive responsible to the local parliament;[26] but

it was not certain that either Head or Monck possessed this indirect

control. In 1858 Sir Edmund Head acted with great apparent

independence, when he refused to allow George Brown and his new

administration the privilege of a dissolution; and the columns of The

Globe resounded with denunciations which recalled the days of Metcalfe

and tyranny. But, even if Head were independent, it was not with an

authority useful to the dignity of his position; and the whole affair

has a suspicious resemblance to one of John A. Macdonald's tricks. The

voice is Macdonald's voice, if the hands are the hands of Head. Under

Monck, the most conspicuous assertion of independence was the {325}

governor's selection of J. S. Macdonald to lead the ministry of 1862,

instead of Foley, the more natural alternative for premier.

Nevertheless Monck's despatches, concerned as they are with diplomatic

and military details, present a striking contrast to those of Sydenham

and Elgin, who proved how active was the part they played in the life

of the community by the vividness of their sketches of Canadian

politics and society. So sparing, indeed, was Monck in his

information, that Newcastle had to reprove him, in 1863, for sending so

little news that the Colonial Office could have furnished no

information on Canada to the Houses of Parliament had they called for

papers.[27] During the confederation negotiations, the governor made

an admirable referee, or impartial centre, round whom the diverse

interests might group themselves: but no one could say that events were

shaped or changed by his action. The warmest language used concerning

Her Majesty's representative in Canada may be found in the speech of

Macdonald in the confederation debate: "We place no restriction on Her

Majesty's prerogative in the selection of her representative. The

Sovereign has unrestricted freedom of choice. Whether in making {326}

her selection she may send us one of her own family, a Royal Prince, as

a Viceroy to rule us, or one of the great statesmen of England to

represent her, we know not.... But we may be permitted to hope that

when the union takes place, and we become the great country which

British North America is certain to be, it will be an object worthy the

ambition of the statesmen of England to be charged with presiding over

our destinies."[28]

Apart from the viceregal operations of the governor, the direct action

of the Crown was called for by the province in one notable but

unfortunate incident, the choice of a new capital. Torn asunder by the

strife of French and English, Canada was unable, or at least unwilling,

to commit herself to the choice of a definitive capital, after Montreal

had been rendered impossible by the turbulence of its mobs. So the

Queen's personal initiative was invited. But the awkwardness of the

step was revealed in 1858, when a division in the House practically

flung her decision contemptuously aside--happily only for the moment,

and informally. George Brown was absolutely right when he said: "I

yield to no man for a single {327} moment in loyalty to the Crown of

England, and in humble respect and admiration of Her Majesty. But what

has this purely Canadian question to do with loyalty? It is a most

dangerous and ungracious thing to couple the name of Her Majesty with

an affair so entirely local, and one as to which the sectional feelings

of the people are so excited."[29] It had become apparent, long before

1867, that while the loyalty of the province to the Sovereign, and the

personal influence of her representative were bonds of union, real, if

hard to describe in set terms, the headship over the Canadian people

was assumed to be official, ornamental, and symbolical, rather than


In other directions, the formal and legal elements of the connection

were loosening---more especially in the departments of commerce and

defence.[30] The careers of men like Buchanan and Galt, through whom

the Canadian tariff received a complete revision, illustrate how little

the former links to Britain were allowed to remain in trade relations.

There was a day when, as Chatham himself would have contended, the

regulation of trade was an indefeasible right of the Crown. That

contention {328} received a rude check not only in the elaboration of a

Canadian tariff in 1859, but in the claims made by the minister of

finance: "It is therefore the duty of the present government,

distinctly to affirm the right of the Canadian Legislature to adjust

the taxation of the people in the way they judge best, even if it

should meet the disapproval of the Imperial ministry. Her Majesty

cannot be advised to disallow such acts, unless her advisers are

prepared to assume the administration of the affairs of the colony,

irrespective of the views of the inhabitants."[31] Similarly, the

adverse vote on the militia proposals of 1862, which so exercised

opinion in Britain, was but another result of the spirit of

self-government operating naturally in the province. It was not that

Canadians desired consciously to check the military plans of the

empire. It was only that the grant of autonomy had permitted

provincial rather than imperial counsels to prevail, and that a new

laxity, or even slipshodness, had begun to appear in Canadian military

affairs, weakening the formal military connection between Britain and

{329} Canada. Canadian defence, from being part of imperial policy,

had become a detail in the strife of domestic politics. "There can be

no doubt," Monck reported, "that the proposed militia arrangements were

of a magnitude far beyond anything which had, up to that time, been

proposed, and this circumstance caused many members, especially from

Lower Canada, to vote against it; but I think there was also, on the

part of a portion of the general supporters of government, an intention

to intimate by their vote the withdrawal of their confidence from the


Even before 1867, then, it had become apparent that the imperial system

administered on Home Rule principles was something entirely different

from a federation like that of the United States, with carefully

defined State and Federal rights. All the presumption, in the new

British state, was in favour of the so-called dependency, and the

British Tories were correct, when they prophesied a steady

retrogression in the legal rights possessed by the mother country. But

the element which they had ignored was that of opinion. Public feeling

rather than constitutional law was to be the new foundation of empire.

How did the {330} development of Canadian political independence affect

public sentiment towards Britain?

The new regime began under gloomy auspices. In 1849 Lord Elgin gave

the most decisive proof of his allegiance to Canadian autonomy; and in

1849 a violent agitation for annexation to the United States began.[33]

Many forces assisted in the creation of the movement, and many groups,

of the most diverse elements, combined to constitute the party of

annexation. There was real commercial distress, in part the result of

the commercial revolution in Britain, and Montreal more especially felt

the strain acutely. "Property," wrote Elgin to Grey in 1849,[34] "in

most of the Canadian towns, and more especially in the Capital, has

fallen 50 per cent. in value within the last three years.

Three-fourths of the commercial men are bankrupt. Owing to free trade

a large proportion of the exportable produce of Canada is obliged to

seek a market in the States. It pays a duty of 20 per cent. on the

frontier. If free navigation, and reciprocal trade with the Union be

not secured for us, the worst, I fear, will come, {331} and at no

distant day." Now, for that distress there seemed to be one natural

remedy. Across the border were prosperity and markets. A change in

allegiance would open the doors, and bring trade and wealth flowing

into the bankrupt province. Consequently many of the notable names

among the Montreal business men may be found attached to annexation


Again, in spite of the great change in French opinion wrought by

Elgin's acceptance of French ministers, there was a little band of

French extremists, the Rouges, entirely disaffected towards England.

At their head, at first, was Papineau. Papineau's predilections,

according to one who knew him well, were avowedly democratic and

republican,[35] and his years in Europe, at the time when revolution

was in the air, had not served to moderate his opinions. The election

address with which he once more entered public life, at the end of

1847, betrays everywhere hatred of the British government, a decided

inclination for things American, and a strong dash of European

revolutionary sentiment, revealed in declamations over patriotes and

oppresseurs.[36] Round him gathered a little band {332} of

anti-clericals and ultra-radicals, as strongly drawn to the United

States as they were repelled by Britain. Even after Papineau had

reduced himself to public insignificance, the group remained, and in

1865 Cartier, the true representative of French-Canadian feeling, spoke

of the Institut Canadien of Montreal as an advocate, not of

confederation, but of annexation.[37]

After the years of famine in Ireland, there was more than a possibility

that, in Canada, as in the United States, the main body of Irish

immigrants would be hostile to Britain, and Elgin watched with anxious

eyes for symptoms of a rising, sympathetic with that in Ireland, and

fostered by Irish-American hatred of England. Throughout the province

the Irish community was large and often organized--in 1866 D'Arcy M'Gee

counted thirty counties in which the Irish-Catholic votes ranged from a

third to a fifth of the whole constituency.[38] Now while, {333} in

1866, M'Gee spoke with boldness of the loyalty of his countrymen, it is

undoubtedly true that, in 1848 and 1849, there were hostile spirits,

and an army of Irish patriots across the border, only too willing to

precipitate hostilities.

For the rest, there were Americans in the province who still thought

their former country the perfect state, and who did not hesitate to use

British liberty to promote republican ends; there were radicals and

grumblers of half a hundred shades and colours, who connected their

sufferings with the errors of British rule, and who spoke loosely of

annexation as a kind of general remedy for all their public ills. For

it cannot be too distinctly asserted that, from that day to this, there

has always been a section of discontented triflers to whom annexation,

a word often on their lips, means nothing more than their fashion of

damning a government too strong for them to assail by rational


The annexation cry found echoes throughout the province, both in the

press and on the platform, and it continued to reassert its existence

long after the outburst of 1849 had ended. Cartwright declares that,

even after 1856, he discovered in Western Ontario a sentiment both

strong and {334} widespread in favour of union with the United States.

But the actual movement, which at first seemed to have a real threat

implicit in it, came to a head in 1849, and found its chief supporters

within the city of Montreal. "You find in this city," wrote Elgin in

September, 1849, "the most anti-British specimens of each class of

which our community consists. The Montreal French are the most

Yankeefied French in the province; the British, though furiously

anti-Gallican, are with some exceptions the least loyal; and the

commercial men the most zealous annexationists which Canada


Two circumstances, apparently unconnected with annexationism,

intensified that movement, the laissez faire attitude of British

politicians towards their colonies, and the behaviour of the defeated

Tory party in Canada. Of the first enough has already been said; but

it is interesting to note that The Independent, which was the organ

of the annexationists, justified its views by references to "English

statesmen and writers of eminence," and that the Second Annexation

Manifesto quoted largely from British papers.[40] The second fact

{335} demands some examination. The Tories had been from the first the

party of the connection, and had been recognized as such in Britain.

But the loss of their supremacy had put too severe a strain on their

loyalty, and it has already been seen that when Elgin, obeying

constitutional usage, recognized the French as citizens, equally

entitled to office with the Tories, and passed the Rebellion Losses

Bill in accordance with La Fontaine's wishes, the Tory sense of decency

gave way. Many of them, not content with abusing the governor-general,

and petitioning for his recall, actually declared themselves in favour

of independence, or joined the ranks of the annexation party. In an

extraordinary issue of the Montreal Gazette, a recognized Tory

journal, the editor, after speaking of Elgin as the last governor of

Canada, proclaimed that "the end has begun. Anglo-Saxons! You must

live for the future. Your blood and race will now be supreme, if true

to yourselves. You will be English at the expense of not being

British."[41] But other journals and politicians were not content with

the half-way house of independence, and the majority of those who

signed the first annexation manifesto belonged to the Tory party.[42]

John {336} A. Macdonald, who was shrewd and cool-headed enough to

refuse to sign the manifesto, admitted that "our fellows lost their

heads"; but he cannot be allowed to claim credit for having advocated

the formation of another organization, the British-American League, as

a safety-valve for Tory feeling.[43] Unfortunately for his accuracy,

the League was formed in the spring of 1849; it held its first

convention in July; and the manifesto did not appear till late autumn.

Still, it is true that the meetings of the League provided some

occupation for minds which, in their irritable condition, might have

done more foolish things, and Mr. Holland MacDonald described the

feelings of the wiser of his fellow-leaguers when he said at Kingston:

"I maintain that there is not an individual in this Assembly, at this

moment, prepared to go for annexation, although some may be suspected

of having leanings that way."[44] It was a violent but passing fit of

petulance which for the moment obscured Tory loyalty. When it had

ended, chiefly because Elgin acted not only with prudence, but with

great insight, in pressing for a reciprocity treaty with the United

States, the British American {337} League and the Annexation Manifesto

vanished into the limbo of broken causes and political indiscretions.

The truth was that every great respectable section of the Canadian

people was almost wholly sound in its allegiance. Regarded even

racially, it is hard to find any important group which was not

substantially loyal. The Celtic and Gallic sections of the populace

might have been expected to furnish recruits for annexation; and

disaffection undoubtedly existed among the Canadian Irish. Yet Elgin

was much more troubled over possible Irish disaffection in 1848 than he

was in 1849; the Orange societies round Toronto seem to have refused to

follow their fellow Tories into an alliance with annexationists; and,

as has been already seen, D'Arcy M'Gee was able, in 1866, to speak of

the Irish community as wholly loyal.

The great mass of the French-Canadians stood by the governor and

Britain. Whatever influence the French priesthood possessed was

exerted on the side of the connection; from Durham to Monck there is

unanimity concerning the consistent loyalty of the Catholic Church in

Canada. Apart from the church, the French-Canadians, when once their

just rights had been conceded, {338} furnished a stable, conservative,

and loyal body of citizens. Doubtless they had their points of

divergence from the ideals of the Anglo-Saxon west. It was they who

ensured the defeat of the militia proposals of 1862, and there were

always sufficient Rouges to raise a cry of nationality or annexation.

But the national leaders, La Fontaine and Cartier, were absolutely true

to the empire, and journalists like Cauchon flung their influence on

the same side, even if they hinted at "jours qui doivent necessairement

venir, que nous le voulions ou que nous ne le voulions pas"--to wit, of


Of the English and Scottish elements in the population it is hardly

necessary to say that their loyalty had increased rather than

diminished since they had crossed the Atlantic; but at least one

instance of Highland loyalty may be given. It was when Elgin had been

insulted, and when the annexation cause was at its height. Loyal

addresses had begun to pour in, but there was one whose words still

ring with a certain martial loyalty, and which Elgin answered with

genuine emotion. The Highlanders of Glengarry county, after assuring

{339} their governor of their personal allegiance to him, passed to

more general sentiments: "Our highest aspirations for Canada are that

she may continue to flourish under the kindly protection of the British

flag, enjoying the full privilege of that constitution, under which the

parent land has risen to so lofty an eminence; with this, United Canada

has nothing to covet in other lands; with less than this, no true

Briton would rest satisfied."[46]

As all the distinctive elements in the population remained true to

Britain, so too did all the statesmen of eminence. It would be easy to

prove the fact by a political census of Upper and Lower Canada; but let

three representative men stand for those groups which they led--Robert

Baldwin for the constitutional reformers, George Brown for the

Clear-Grits and progressives, John A. Macdonald for the conservatives.

Robert Baldwin was the man whom Elgin counted worth two regiments to

the connection, and who had expressed dismay at Lord John Russell's

treason to the Empire. When the annexation troubles came on, he made

it perfectly clear to one of his followers, who had trifled with

annexation, that he must change his views, or remain outside the

Baldwin connection. {340} "I felt it right to write to Mr. Perry,

expressing my decided opinions in respect of the annexation question,

and that I could look upon those only who are in favour of the

continuance of the connection with the mother country as political

friends; those who are against it as political opponents.... I believe

that our party are hostile to annexation. I am at all events hostile

to it myself, and if I and my party differ upon it, it is necessary we

should part company. It is not a question upon which a compromise is


Loyalty so strong as this seems natural in a Whig like Baldwin, but one

associates agitation and radicalism with other views. The progressive,

when he is not engaged in decrying his own state, often exhibits a

philosophic indifference to all national prejudice--he is a

cosmopolitan whose charity begins away from home. There were those

among the Canadian Radicals who were as bad friends to Britain as they

were good friends to the United States, but the Clear-Grit party up to

confederation was true to Britain, largely because their leader, after

1850, was George Brown, and because Brown was the loyalest Scot in

Canada. Brown was in a sense the most remarkable figure of the time in

{341} his province. Fierce in his opinions, a vehement speaker, an

agitator whose best qualities unfitted him for the steadier work of

government, he committed just those mistakes which make the true

agitator's public life something of a tragedy, or at least a

disappointment. But Brown's work was done out of office. His

passionate advocacy of the policy of Abraham Lincoln and the abolition

of slavery kept relations with the United States calm through a

diplomatic crisis. He it was who made confederation not possible, but

necessary, by his agitation for a sounder representation. His work as

opposition leader, and as the greatest editor known to Canadian

journalism, saved Canadian politics from becoming the nest of jobs and

corruption which--with all allowance for his good qualities--John A.

Macdonald would have made them. Never before, and certainly never

since his day, has any Canadian influenced the community as Brown did

through The Globe. "There were probably many thousand voters in

Ontario," says Cartwright,[48] "especially among the Scotch settlers,

who hardly read anything except their Globe and their Bible, and

whose whole political creed was practically dictated to them {342} by

the former." Now that influence was exerted, from first to last, in

favour of Britain. In his maiden speech in parliament Brown protested

against a reduction of the governor's salary, and on the highest

ground: "The appointment of that high authority is the only power which

Great Britain still retains. Frankly and generously she has one by one

surrendered all the rights which were once held necessary to the

condition of a colony--the patronage of the Crown, the right over the

public domain, the civil list, the customs, the post office have all

been relinquished ... she guards our coasts, she maintains our troops,

she builds our forts, she spends hundreds of thousands among us yearly;

and yet the paltry payment to her representative is made a topic of

grumbling and popular agitation."[49] In the same spirit he fought

annexation, and killed it, among his followers; and, when confederation

came, he helped to make the new dominion not only Canadian, but

British. In that age when British faith in the Empire was on the wane,

it was not English statesmanship which tried to inspire Canadian

loyalty, but the loyalty of men like Brown which called to England to

be of better heart. "I am much concerned {343} to observe," he wrote

to Macdonald in 1864, "that there is a manifest desire in almost every

quarter that ere long, the British American colonies should shift for

themselves, and in some quarters, evident regret that we did not

declare at once for independence. I am very sorry to observe this, but

it arises, I hope, from the fear of invasion of Canada by the United

States, and will soon pass away with the cause that excites it."[50]

Of Sir John Macdonald's loyalty it would be a work of supererogation to

speak. His first political address proclaimed the need in Canada of a

permanent connection with the mother country,[51] and his most famous

utterance declared his intention of dying a British subject. But

Macdonald's patriotism struck a note all its own, and one due mainly to

the influence of Canadian autonomy working on a susceptible

imagination. He was British, but always from the standpoint of Canada.

He had no desire to exalt the Empire through the diminution of Canadian

rights. For the old British Tory, British supremacy had necessarily

involved colonial dependence; for Macdonald, the Canadian Conservative,

the glory of the Empire lay in the {344} fullest autonomous development

of each part. "The colonies," he said in one of his highest flights,

"are now in a transition stage. Gradually a different colonial system

is being developed--and it will become, year by year, less a case of

dependence on our part, and of over-ruling protection on the part of

the Mother Country, and more a case of healthy and cordial alliance.

Instead of looking upon us as a merely dependent colony, England will

have in us a friendly nation--a subordinate but still a powerful

people--to stand by her in North America in peace or in war. The

people of Australia will be such another subordinate nation. And

England will have this advantage, if her colonies progress under the

new colonial system, as I believe they will, that though at war with

all the rest of the world, she will be able to look to the subordinate

nations in alliance with her, and owning allegiance to the same

Sovereign, who will assist in enabling her again to meet the whole

world in arms, as she has done before."[52]

These words serve as a fitting close to the argument and story of

Canadian autonomy. A review of the years in which it attained its full

strength {345} gives the student of history but a poor impression of

political foresight. British and Canadian Tories had predicted

dissolution of the Empire, should self-government be granted, and they

described the probable stages of dissolution. But all the events they

had predicted had happened, and the Empire still stood, and stood more

firmly united than before. British progressives had advocated the

grant, while they had denied that autonomy need mean more than a very

limited and circumscribed independence. But the floods had spread and

overwhelmed their trivial limitations, and the Liberals found

themselves triumphant in spite of their fears, and the restrictions

which these fears had recommended. Canadian history from 1839 to 1867

furnishes certain simple and direct political lessons: that communities

of the British stock can be governed only according to the strictest

principles of autonomy; that autonomy, once granted, may not be

limited, guided, or recalled; that, in the grant, all distinctions

between internal and imperial, domestic and diplomatic, civil authority

and military authority, made to save the face of British supremacy,

will speedily disappear; and that, up to the present time, the measure

of local independence has also been the measure of local loyalty {346}

to the mother country. It may well be that, as traditions grow

shadowy, as the old stock is imperceptibly changed into a new

nationality, and as, among men of the new nationality, the pride in

being British is no longer a natural incident of life, the autonomy of

the future may prove disruptive, not cohesive. Nothing, however, is so

futile as prophecy, unless it be pessimism. The precedents of

three-quarters of a century do not lend themselves to support counsels

of despair. The Canadian community has, after its own fashion, stood

by the mother country in war; it may be that, in the future, the

attempt to seek peace and ensue it will prove a more lasting, as it

must certainly be a loftier, reason for continued union.

[1] Elgin-Grey Correspondence: Elgin to Grey, 26 April, 1847.

[2] He was reporting (18 December, 1854) the passing of acts dealing

with the Clergy Reserves, and Seigniorial Tenure.

[3] Pope, Life of Sir John Macdonald, i. p. 151.

[4] Life and Speeches of the Hon. George Brown, pp. 47-48.

[5] Baldwin to Hincks, 22 September, 1854: in Hincks, Lecture on the

Political History of Canada, pp. 80-81.

[6] The Clear-Grits are thus described in The Globe, 8 October, 1850:

"disappointed ministerialists, ultra English radicals, republicans and

annexationists.... As a party on their own footing, they are powerless

except to do mischief." Brown had not yet transferred his allegiance.

[7] Quoted from Dent, The Last Forty Years, ii. p. 190.

[8] Ministerial explanations read to the House of Assembly, by the Hon.

John A. Macdonald, on Wednesday, 22 June, 1864.


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