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The Father of British Canada: a Chronicle of Carleton by William Wood, CHAPTER IX. FOUNDING MODERN CANADA 1786-1796 (1)

Carleton now enjoyed two years of uninterrupted peace at his country seat in England.

His active career seemed to have closed at last. He had no taste for party politics. He was not anxious to fill any position of civil or military trust, even if it had been pressed upon him. And he had said farewell to America for good and all when he had left New York. Though as full of public spirit as before and only just turned sixty, he bid fair to spend the rest of his life as an English country gentleman. His young wife was well contented with her lot. His manly boys promised to become worthy followers of the noble profession of arms. And the overseeing of his little estate occupied his time very pleasantly indeed. Like most healthy Englishmen he was devoted to horses, and, unlike some others, he was very successful with his thoroughbreds.

He had first bought a place near Maidenhead, beside the Thames, which is nowhere lovelier than in that sylvan neighbourhood.

Then he bought the present family seat of Greywill Hill near the little village of Odiham in Hampshire. As an ex-governor and commander-in-chief, a county magnate, a personage of great importance to the Empire, and the one victorious British general in the unhappy American war, he had more than earned a peerage. But it was not till 1786, on the eve of his sixty-second birthday, and at a time when his services were urgently required again, that he received it. Needless to say this peerage had nothing whatever to do with his acceptance of another self-sacrificing duty. It was not given till several months after he had promised to return to Canada; and he would certainly have refused it if it had been held out to him as an inducement to go there. He became Baron Dorchester and was granted the not very extravagant addition to his income of a thousand pounds a year payable during four lives, his own, his wife’s, and those of his two eldest sons. His elevation to the House of Lords met with the almost unanimous approval of his fellow-peers, in marked contrast to the open hostility they had shown towards his old enemy, Lord George Germain, when that vile wrecker had been 'kicked upstairs' among them. The Carleton motto, crest, and supporters are all most appropriate. The crest is a strong right arm with the hand clenched firmly on an arrow. The motto is  Quondam his vicimus armis — We used to conquer with these arms . The supporters are two beavers, typifying Canada, while their respective collars, one a naval the other a military coronet, show how her British life was won and saved and has been kept.

Carleton was a man of great reserve and self-control.

But his kindly nature must have responded to the cordial welcome which he received on his return to Quebec in October 1786. It was not without reason that the people of Canada rejoiced to have him back as their leader. All that the Indians imagined the Great White Father to be towards themselves he was in reality towards both red man and white. Stern, when the occasion forced him to be stern, just in all his dealings between man and man, dignified and courteous in all his ways, a soldier through every inch of his stalwart six feet, he was a ruler with whom no one ever dreamt of taking liberties. But neither did any deserving one in trouble ever hesitate to lay the most confidential case before him in the full assurance that his head and heart were at the service of all committed to his care. And no other governor, before his time or since, ever inspired his followers with such a firm belief that all would turn out for the best so long as he was in command.

This power of inspiring confidence was now badly needed.

Everything in Canada was still provisional. Owing to the war the Quebec Act of 1774 had never been thoroughly enforced. Then, when the war was over, the Loyalists arrived and completely changed the circumstances which the act had been designed to meet. The next constitution, the Canada Act of 1791, was of a very different character. During the seventeen years between these two constitutions all that could be done was to make the best of a very confusing state of flux. Not that the Quebec Act was a dead letter—far from it—but simply that it could not go beyond restoring the privileges of the French-Canadian priests and seigneurs within the area then effectively occupied by the French-Canadian race. Carleton, as we have seen, had faced its problem for the first four years. Haldimand had carried on the government under its provisions for the following six. Hamilton and Hope, successive lieutenant-governors, had bridged the two years between Haldimand’s retirement and Carleton’s second appointment. Now Carleton was to pick up the threads and make what he could of the tangled skein for the next five years. Haldimand had not been popular with either of the two chief parties into which the leading French Canadians were divided. The seigneurs had nothing like the same regard for a Swiss soldier of fortune that they had for aristocratic British commanders like Murray and Carleton. The clergy also preferred these Anglicans to such a strong Swiss Protestant. The habitants and agitators, who were far less favourable to the new regime, had passionately resented Haldimand’s firmness at times of crisis. But, despite all this French-Canadian animus, he was not such an absolute martinet as some writers would have us think. The war with France and with the American Revolutionists required strong government in Canada; while the influx of Loyalists had introduced an entirely new set of most perplexing circumstances. On the whole, Haldimand had done very well in spite of many personal and public drawbacks; and it was through no special fault of his, nor yet of Hope’s, that the threads which Carleton picked up formed such a perversely tangled skein.

The troubles that now dogged the great conciliator’s every step were of all kinds—racial, religious, social, political, military, diplomatic, legal.

The confusion resulting from the intermixture of French and English civil laws had become a great deal more confounded since he had left Canada eight years before. The old proportions of races and religions to each other had changed most disturbingly. The Loyalists were of quite a different social class from the English-speaking immigrants of earlier days. They wanted a parliament, public schools, and many other things new to the country; and they were the sort of people who had a right to have them. The problem of defence was always a vexed one with the inadequate military forces at hand and the insuperable difficulties concerning the militia. The British still held the Western forts pending the settlement of the frontier and the execution of the treaty of peace in full. This naturally annoyed the American government and gave Carleton endless trouble. But more serious still was the ceaseless western march of the American backwoodsmen, who were everywhere in conflict with the Indians. The Indians, in their turn, were confused between the British and Americans under the new conditions. They and their ever-receding rights and territories had not been mentioned in the treaty. But, seeing that they would be better off under British than under American rule, they were inclined to take sides accordingly. There were now no openly hostile sides to take. But, for all that, the British posts in the hinterland looked like weak little islands which might be suddenly engulfed in the sea of Indian troubles raging round them. Then, at the other end of the British line, there were the three maritime provinces to watch over. New Brunswick had been divided off from Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island had been taken from the direct supervision of the home authorities and placed under the command of the new governor at Quebec. Thus Carleton had to deal directly with everything that happened from the far West to Gaspe, while dealing indirectly with the three maritime provinces and all the troubles that proved too much for their own lieutenant-governors. There was no chance of concentrating on one thing at a time. Nothing would wait. The governor had to watch the writhing tangle as a whole during every minute he devoted to any one kinked and knotted thread.

Fortunately there were some good men in office on both sides of the Atlantic.

Lords Sydney and Grenville, the two cabinet ministers with whom Carleton had most to do, were both sensible and sympathetic. Years afterwards Grenville, the favourite cousin of Pitt, became the colleague of Fox at the head of the celebrated 'Ministry of All the Talents.' Hope was an acceptable lieutenant-governor, and his successor, Sir Alured Clarke, was better still. Francois Bailly, the coadjutor Roman Catholic bishop of Quebec, who had gone to England as French tutor to Carleton’s children, was a most enlightened cleric. So too was Charles Inglis, the Anglican bishop of Nova Scotia, appointed in 1787. He was the first Canadian bishop of the Anglican communion and his diocese comprised the whole of British North America. William Smith, the new chief justice, was as different from Carleton’s last chief justice, Livius, as angels are from devils. Smith had been an excellent chief justice of his native New York in the old colonial days, and, like Inglis, was a very ardent Loyalist. He respected all reasonable French-Canadian peculiarities. But he favoured the British-Constitutional way of 'broadening down from precedent to precedent' rather than the French way of referring to a supposedly infallible written regulation. We shall soon meet him as a far-seeing statesman. But he well deserves an honoured place in Canadian history for his legal services alone. To him, more than to any other man, is due the nicely balanced adjustments which eventually harmonized the French and English codes into a body of laws adapted to the extraordinary circumstances of the province of Quebec.

Besides the committee on laws Carleton had nominated three other active committees of his council, one on police, another on education, and a third on trade and commerce.

The police committee was of the usual kind and dealt with usual problems in the usual way. But the education committee brought out all the vexed questions of French and English, Protestant and Roman Catholic, progressive and reactionary. Strangely enough, the sharpest personal controversy was that between Hubert, the Roman Catholic bishop of Quebec, and his coadjutor Bailly. Hubert enumerated all the institutions already engaged in educational work and suggested that 'rest and be thankful' was the only proper attitude for the committee to assume. But Bailly very neatly pointed out that his respected superior’s real opinions could not be those attributed to him over his own signature because they were at variance with the facts. Hubert had said that the cures were spreading education with most commendable zeal, had repudiated the base insinuation that only three or four people in each parish could read and write, and had wound up by thinking that while there was so much land to clear the farmers would do better to keep their sons at home than send them to a university, where they would be under professors so 'unprejudiced' as to have no definite views on religion. Bailly argued that the bishop could not mean what these words seemed to imply, as the logical conclusion would be to wait till Canada was cleared right up to the polar circle. In the end the committee made three very sanguine recommendations: a free common school in every parish, a secondary school in every town or district, and an absolutely non-sectarian central university. This educational ladder was never set up. There was nothing to support either end of it. The financial side was one difficulty. The Jesuits' estates were intended to be made over into educational endowments under government control. But Amherst’s claim that they had been granted to him in 1760 was not settled for forty years; and by that time all chance of carrying out the committee’s intentions was seen to be hopeless.

Commerce was another burning question and one of much more immediate concern.

In 1791 the united populations of all the provinces amounted to only a quarter of a million, of whom at least one-half were French Canadians. Quebec and Montreal had barely ten thousand citizens apiece. But the commercial classes, mostly English-speaking, had greatly increased in numbers, ability, and social standing. The camp-following gangs of twenty years before had now either disappeared or sunk down to their appropriate level. So petitions from the 'British merchants' required and received much more consideration than formerly. The Loyalists had not yet had time to start in business. All their energies were needed in hewing out their future homes. But two parts of the American Republic, Vermont and Kentucky, were very anxious to do business with the British at any reasonable price. Some of their citizens were even ready for a change of allegiance if the terms were only good enough. Vermont wanted a 'free trade' outlet to the St Lawrence by way of the Richelieu. The rapids between St Johns and Chambly lay in British territory. But Vermont was ready to join in building a canal and would even become British to make sure. The old Green Mountain Boys had changed their tune. Ethan Allen himself had buried the hatchet and, like his brother, become Carleton’s friendly correspondent. He frankly explained that what Vermonters really wanted was 'property not liberty' and added that they would stand no coercion from the American government. About the same time Kentucky was bent on getting an equally 'free trade' outlet to the Gulf of Mexico by way of the Mississippi. The fact that France Spain, the British Empire, and the United States might all be involved in war over it did not trouble the conspirators in the least. The central authority of the new Republic was still weak. The individual states were still ready to fly asunder. Federal taxation was greatly feared. Anything that savoured of federal interference with state rights was passionately resented. The general spirit of the westerners was that of the exploiting pioneer in a virgin wilderness—a law unto itself alone. There were various plans for opening the coveted Mississippi. One was to join Spain. Another was to seize New Orleans, turn out the French, and bring in the British. Then, to make the plot complete, the French minister to the United States was asking permission to make a tour through Canada at the very time when Carleton was sending home reams of documents bearing on the impending troubles. The letters exchanged on this subject are perfect models of politeness. But Carleton’s answer was an emphatic No.

Foreign complications were thickening fast.

The French Revolution had already begun, though its effect was not yet felt in Canada. The American government was anxiously watching its refractory states, while an anti-British political party was making headway in the South. As if this was not enough to engage whatever attention Carleton had to spare from the internal affairs of Canada, he suddenly heard that the Spaniards had been seizing British vessels trading to a British post on Vancouver Island. [Footnote:  See Pioneers of the Pacific Coast in this Series.] This Nootka Affair, which nearly brought on a war with Spain in 1790, was settled in London and Madrid. But the threat of war added to Carleton’s anxieties.

Meanwhile the governor was busily employed with an immigration problem.

It was desirable that the English-speaking immigrants should settle on the land with the least possible friction between them and the French Canadians. The French Canadians differed among themselves. But no such differences brought them any closer to their new neighbours on questions of land settlement. The French had granted lands in seigneuries. The British would hear of nothing but free and common socage. French farms were measured by the arpent and were staked out in long and narrow oblongs. British farms were measured by the acre and staked out 'on the square.' Language, laws, religion, manners and customs, ways of life, were also different. So there was hardly any intermixture of settlements. The French Canadians remained where they were. Most of the new Anglo-Canadians settled in the Maritime Provinces or moved west into what is now Ontario. A few settled in rural Quebec on lands outside the line of seigneuries. The Eastern Townships, that part of the province lying east of the Richelieu and nearest the American frontier, absorbed many English, Irish, and Scots, as well as a good many Americans who were attracted by cheap land. Ontario, or Upper Canada, received still more Americans, who were to be a thorn in the side of the British during the War of 1812.

But Carleton’s work comprised much more than this.

There were the Church of England, the Post Office, a refractory lieutenant-governor down in Prince Edward Island, two royal visitors, and many other distracting matters. The only Anglican see thus far established was at Halifax; but the bishop there had authority over the whole country and the government intended to establish the Church of England in Canada and endow it. The Presbyterians also petitioned for the establishment of the Scottish Church. The fortunes or misfortunes of the Clergy Reserves belong to another chapter of Canadian history. But the root of their good or evil was planted in the time of Carleton. The postal service was surrounded by enormous difficulties—the vast extent of wild country, the few towns, the long winters, the poverty of the people. The question of the winter port was even then a live one between St John and Halifax. Each of these towns asserted its advantages and promised twelve trips a year and connection with Quebec overland by means of walking postmen till a bush road should be cut from Quebec to the sea. In Prince Edward Island the old lieutenant-governor, Walter Patterson, declined to make way for the new one, Edmund Fanning. In the end Patterson gave up the contest. But the incident, trivial as it now appears, shows what a governor-general had to face in the early days when each province had queer little ways of its own. Patterson had no precise official reason. But he said he could not go home to answer charges he did not understand and leave an island which had been his very successful hobby for so many years! The people sided with him so vigorously that time had to be given them to cool down before the transfer could be peaceably effected.

A judge whose court is in perpetual session or a commander whose inadequate forces are continually surrounded by prospective enemies has little time for the amenities of purely social life.

So Carleton generally left his young consort to rule the viceregal court at the Chateau St Louis with a perfect blend of London and Versailles. Two Princes of the Blood, however, demanded more than the usual attention from the governor. Prince William Henry, afterwards King William IV, was the first member of the Royal Family to set foot in the New World when he arrived in H.M.S. Pegasus in 1787. He was the proverbial jolly Jack Tar, extremely affable to everybody; and he quickly won golden opinions from all who met him, except perhaps from Lady Dorchester and sundry would-be partners for his duty dances. Philippe Aubert de Gaspe and other privileged chroniclers record with slightly shocked delight how often he would break loose from Lady Dorchester’s designing care, long before she thought it right for him to do so, and 'command' his partners for their pretty faces instead of by precedence. At Sorel the people were so carried away by their enthusiasm that they insisted on changing the name of their little town to William Henry. Happily this name never took root in public sentiment and the old one soon came back to stay.

The second member of the Royal Family to come to Canada was Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, fourth son of George III, father of Queen Victoria and grandfather of Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, who became the first royal governor-general in 1911, exactly a hundred and twenty years later.

The Duke of Kent would have gladly returned to Quebec as governor-general, and the people would have gladly welcomed him. But he was not a favourite with the government at home, and so he never came. There was no doubt about his being a popular favourite in Quebec during the three years he spent there as colonel of the 7th Fusiliers. Nor has he been forgotten to the present day. Kent House is still the name of his quarters in the town as well as of his country residence at Montmorency Falls seven miles away, while the only new opening ever made in the walls is called Kent Gate.

The duke made fast friends with several of the seigneurial families, more especially with the de Salaberrys, whose manor-house at Beauport stood half-way between Montmorency and Quebec and not far from Montcalm’s headquarters in 1759.

The de Salaberrys were a military family. All the sons went into the Army and one became the hero of Chateauguay in the War of 1812. But the duke mixed freely with many other people than the local aristocracy. He was young, high-spirited, and loved adventure, as was proved by his subsequent gallantry at Martinique. He was also fond of driving round incognito, a habit which on at least one occasion obliged him to put his skill at boxing to good use. This was at Charlesbourg, a village near Quebec, where he was watching the fun at the first election ever held. Perhaps, from a meticulously constitutional point of view, the scene of a hotly contested election was not quite the place for Princes of the Blood. But, however that might be, when the duke saw two electors pommelling a third, who happened to be a friend of his, he dashed in to the rescue and floored both of them with a neatly planted right and left. One of these men, who lived to see King Edward VII arrive in 1860, as Prince of Wales, always took the greatest pride in telling successive generations of voters how Queen Victoria’s father had knocked him down.

Like his brother before him the duke was very fond of dancing, and kept many a reluctant senior and many a tired-out chaperone up till all hours at the grand ball given in honour of his twenty-fourth birthday.

Also like his brother he was inclined to reduce his duty dances to a minimum, much to Lady Dorchester’s dismay. She had gone home with her husband for two years shortly after the duke’s arrival. But she had seen enough of him, and was to see enough again on her return, to make her regret the good old times of more exacting ceremony. To her dying day, half a century later, she kept up a prodigious stateliness of manner. Before meals she expected the whole company to assemble and remain standing till she had made her royal progress through the room. She was a living anachronism for many years before her death, with her high-heeled, gold-buttoned, scarlet-coloured shoes, her Marie-Antoinette  coiffure raised high above her head and interlaced with ribbons, her elaborately gorgeous dress, her intricate array of ornaments, and her long, jet-black, official-looking cane. But she was no anachronism to herself; for she still lived in the light of other days, in the fondly remembered times when, as the vice-reine of the Chateau St Louis, she helped her consort to settle nice points of etiquette and maintain a dignity befitting His Majesty’s chosen representative. How did the seigneurs rank among themselves and with the leading English-speaking people? Who were to dance in the state minuet? Should dancing cease when the bishops came in, and for how long? Was that curtsy dropped quite low enough to her viceregal self, and did that  debutante offer her blushing cheek in quite the proper way to Carleton when he graciously gave her the presentation kiss? How immeasurably far away it all seems now, that stately little court where the echoes of a dead Versailles lived on for seven years after the fall of the Bastille! And yet there is still one citizen o Quebec whose early partners were chaperoned by ladies who had danced the minuet with Lord and Lady Dorchester.


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Carleton now enjoyed two years of uninterrupted peace at his country seat in England.

His active career seemed to have closed at last. He had no taste for party politics. He was not anxious to fill any position of civil or military trust, even if it had been pressed upon him. And he had said farewell to America for good and all when he had left New York. Though as full of public spirit as before and only just turned sixty, he bid fair to spend the rest of his life as an English country gentleman. His young wife was well contented with her lot. His manly boys promised to become worthy followers of the noble profession of arms. And the overseeing of his little estate occupied his time very pleasantly indeed. Like most healthy Englishmen he was devoted to horses, and, unlike some others, he was very successful with his thoroughbreds.

He had first bought a place near Maidenhead, beside the Thames, which is nowhere lovelier than in that sylvan neighbourhood.

Then he bought the present family seat of Greywill Hill near the little village of Odiham in Hampshire. As an ex-governor and commander-in-chief, a county magnate, a personage of great importance to the Empire, and the one victorious British general in the unhappy American war, he had more than earned a peerage. But it was not till 1786, on the eve of his sixty-second birthday, and at a time when his services were urgently required again, that he received it. Needless to say this peerage had nothing whatever to do with his acceptance of another self-sacrificing duty. It was not given till several months after he had promised to return to Canada; and he would certainly have refused it if it had been held out to him as an inducement to go there. He became Baron Dorchester and was granted the not very extravagant addition to his income of a thousand pounds a year payable during four lives, his own, his wife’s, and those of his two eldest sons. His elevation to the House of Lords met with the almost unanimous approval of his fellow-peers, in marked contrast to the open hostility they had shown towards his old enemy, Lord George Germain, when that vile wrecker had been 'kicked upstairs' among them. The Carleton motto, crest, and supporters are all most appropriate. The crest is a strong right arm with the hand clenched firmly on an arrow. The motto is  Quondam his vicimus armis — We used to conquer with these arms . The supporters are two beavers, typifying Canada, while their respective collars, one a naval the other a military coronet, show how her British life was won and saved and has been kept.

Carleton was a man of great reserve and self-control.

But his kindly nature must have responded to the cordial welcome which he received on his return to Quebec in October 1786. It was not without reason that the people of Canada rejoiced to have him back as their leader. All that the Indians imagined the Great White Father to be towards themselves he was in reality towards both red man and white. Stern, when the occasion forced him to be stern, just in all his dealings between man and man, dignified and courteous in all his ways, a soldier through every inch of his stalwart six feet, he was a ruler with whom no one ever dreamt of taking liberties. But neither did any deserving one in trouble ever hesitate to lay the most confidential case before him in the full assurance that his head and heart were at the service of all committed to his care. And no other governor, before his time or since, ever inspired his followers with such a firm belief that all would turn out for the best so long as he was in command.

This power of inspiring confidence was now badly needed.

Everything in Canada was still provisional. Owing to the war the Quebec Act of 1774 had never been thoroughly enforced. Then, when the war was over, the Loyalists arrived and completely changed the circumstances which the act had been designed to meet. The next constitution, the Canada Act of 1791, was of a very different character. During the seventeen years between these two constitutions all that could be done was to make the best of a very confusing state of flux. Not that the Quebec Act was a dead letter—far from it—but simply that it could not go beyond restoring the privileges of the French-Canadian priests and seigneurs within the area then effectively occupied by the French-Canadian race. Carleton, as we have seen, had faced its problem for the first four years. Haldimand had carried on the government under its provisions for the following six. Hamilton and Hope, successive lieutenant-governors, had bridged the two years between Haldimand’s retirement and Carleton’s second appointment. Now Carleton was to pick up the threads and make what he could of the tangled skein for the next five years. Haldimand had not been popular with either of the two chief parties into which the leading French Canadians were divided. The seigneurs had nothing like the same regard for a Swiss soldier of fortune that they had for aristocratic British commanders like Murray and Carleton. The clergy also preferred these Anglicans to such a strong Swiss Protestant. The habitants and agitators, who were far less favourable to the new regime, had passionately resented Haldimand’s firmness at times of crisis. But, despite all this French-Canadian animus, he was not such an absolute martinet as some writers would have us think. The war with France and with the American Revolutionists required strong government in Canada; while the influx of Loyalists had introduced an entirely new set of most perplexing circumstances. On the whole, Haldimand had done very well in spite of many personal and public drawbacks; and it was through no special fault of his, nor yet of Hope’s, that the threads which Carleton picked up formed such a perversely tangled skein.

The troubles that now dogged the great conciliator’s every step were of all kinds—racial, religious, social, political, military, diplomatic, legal.

The confusion resulting from the intermixture of French and English civil laws had become a great deal more confounded since he had left Canada eight years before. The old proportions of races and religions to each other had changed most disturbingly. The Loyalists were of quite a different social class from the English-speaking immigrants of earlier days. They wanted a parliament, public schools, and many other things new to the country; and they were the sort of people who had a right to have them. The problem of defence was always a vexed one with the inadequate military forces at hand and the insuperable difficulties concerning the militia. The British still held the Western forts pending the settlement of the frontier and the execution of the treaty of peace in full. This naturally annoyed the American government and gave Carleton endless trouble. But more serious still was the ceaseless western march of the American backwoodsmen, who were everywhere in conflict with the Indians. The Indians, in their turn, were confused between the British and Americans under the new conditions. They and their ever-receding rights and territories had not been mentioned in the treaty. But, seeing that they would be better off under British than under American rule, they were inclined to take sides accordingly. There were now no openly hostile sides to take. But, for all that, the British posts in the hinterland looked like weak little islands which might be suddenly engulfed in the sea of Indian troubles raging round them. Then, at the other end of the British line, there were the three maritime provinces to watch over. New Brunswick had been divided off from Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island had been taken from the direct supervision of the home authorities and placed under the command of the new governor at Quebec. Thus Carleton had to deal directly with everything that happened from the far West to Gaspe, while dealing indirectly with the three maritime provinces and all the troubles that proved too much for their own lieutenant-governors. There was no chance of concentrating on one thing at a time. Nothing would wait. The governor had to watch the writhing tangle as a whole during every minute he devoted to any one kinked and knotted thread.

Fortunately there were some good men in office on both sides of the Atlantic.

Lords Sydney and Grenville, the two cabinet ministers with whom Carleton had most to do, were both sensible and sympathetic. Years afterwards Grenville, the favourite cousin of Pitt, became the colleague of Fox at the head of the celebrated 'Ministry of All the Talents.' Hope was an acceptable lieutenant-governor, and his successor, Sir Alured Clarke, was better still. Francois Bailly, the coadjutor Roman Catholic bishop of Quebec, who had gone to England as French tutor to Carleton’s children, was a most enlightened cleric. So too was Charles Inglis, the Anglican bishop of Nova Scotia, appointed in 1787. He was the first Canadian bishop of the Anglican communion and his diocese comprised the whole of British North America. William Smith, the new chief justice, was as different from Carleton’s last chief justice, Livius, as angels are from devils. Smith had been an excellent chief justice of his native New York in the old colonial days, and, like Inglis, was a very ardent Loyalist. He respected all reasonable French-Canadian peculiarities. But he favoured the British-Constitutional way of 'broadening down from precedent to precedent' rather than the French way of referring to a supposedly infallible written regulation. We shall soon meet him as a far-seeing statesman. But he well deserves an honoured place in Canadian history for his legal services alone. To him, more than to any other man, is due the nicely balanced adjustments which eventually harmonized the French and English codes into a body of laws adapted to the extraordinary circumstances of the province of Quebec.

Besides the committee on laws Carleton had nominated three other active committees of his council, one on police, another on education, and a third on trade and commerce.

The police committee was of the usual kind and dealt with usual problems in the usual way. But the education committee brought out all the vexed questions of French and English, Protestant and Roman Catholic, progressive and reactionary. Strangely enough, the sharpest personal controversy was that between Hubert, the Roman Catholic bishop of Quebec, and his coadjutor Bailly. Hubert enumerated all the institutions already engaged in educational work and suggested that 'rest and be thankful' was the only proper attitude for the committee to assume. But Bailly very neatly pointed out that his respected superior’s real opinions could not be those attributed to him over his own signature because they were at variance with the facts. Hubert had said that the cures were spreading education with most commendable zeal, had repudiated the base insinuation that only three or four people in each parish could read and write, and had wound up by thinking that while there was so much land to clear the farmers would do better to keep their sons at home than send them to a university, where they would be under professors so 'unprejudiced' as to have no definite views on religion. Bailly argued that the bishop could not mean what these words seemed to imply, as the logical conclusion would be to wait till Canada was cleared right up to the polar circle. In the end the committee made three very sanguine recommendations: a free common school in every parish, a secondary school in every town or district, and an absolutely non-sectarian central university. This educational ladder was never set up. There was nothing to support either end of it. The financial side was one difficulty. The Jesuits' estates were intended to be made over into educational endowments under government control. But Amherst’s claim that they had been granted to him in 1760 was not settled for forty years; and by that time all chance of carrying out the committee’s intentions was seen to be hopeless.

Commerce was another burning question and one of much more immediate concern.

In 1791 the united populations of all the provinces amounted to only a quarter of a million, of whom at least one-half were French Canadians. Quebec and Montreal had barely ten thousand citizens apiece. But the commercial classes, mostly English-speaking, had greatly increased in numbers, ability, and social standing. The camp-following gangs of twenty years before had now either disappeared or sunk down to their appropriate level. So petitions from the 'British merchants' required and received much more consideration than formerly. The Loyalists had not yet had time to start in business. All their energies were needed in hewing out their future homes. But two parts of the American Republic, Vermont and Kentucky, were very anxious to do business with the British at any reasonable price. Some of their citizens were even ready for a change of allegiance if the terms were only good enough. Vermont wanted a 'free trade' outlet to the St Lawrence by way of the Richelieu. The rapids between St Johns and Chambly lay in British territory. But Vermont was ready to join in building a canal and would even become British to make sure. The old Green Mountain Boys had changed their tune. Ethan Allen himself had buried the hatchet and, like his brother, become Carleton’s friendly correspondent. He frankly explained that what Vermonters really wanted was 'property not liberty' and added that they would stand no coercion from the American government. About the same time Kentucky was bent on getting an equally 'free trade' outlet to the Gulf of Mexico by way of the Mississippi. The fact that France Spain, the British Empire, and the United States might all be involved in war over it did not trouble the conspirators in the least. The central authority of the new Republic was still weak. The individual states were still ready to fly asunder. Federal taxation was greatly feared. Anything that savoured of federal interference with state rights was passionately resented. The general spirit of the westerners was that of the exploiting pioneer in a virgin wilderness—a law unto itself alone. There were various plans for opening the coveted Mississippi. One was to join Spain. Another was to seize New Orleans, turn out the French, and bring in the British. Then, to make the plot complete, the French minister to the United States was asking permission to make a tour through Canada at the very time when Carleton was sending home reams of documents bearing on the impending troubles. The letters exchanged on this subject are perfect models of politeness. But Carleton’s answer was an emphatic No.

Foreign complications were thickening fast.

The French Revolution had already begun, though its effect was not yet felt in Canada. The American government was anxiously watching its refractory states, while an anti-British political party was making headway in the South. As if this was not enough to engage whatever attention Carleton had to spare from the internal affairs of Canada, he suddenly heard that the Spaniards had been seizing British vessels trading to a British post on Vancouver Island. [Footnote:  See Pioneers of the Pacific Coast in this Series.] This Nootka Affair, which nearly brought on a war with Spain in 1790, was settled in London and Madrid. But the threat of war added to Carleton’s anxieties.

Meanwhile the governor was busily employed with an immigration problem.

It was desirable that the English-speaking immigrants should settle on the land with the least possible friction between them and the French Canadians. The French Canadians differed among themselves. But no such differences brought them any closer to their new neighbours on questions of land settlement. The French had granted lands in seigneuries. The British would hear of nothing but free and common socage. French farms were measured by the arpent and were staked out in long and narrow oblongs. British farms were measured by the acre and staked out 'on the square.' Language, laws, religion, manners and customs, ways of life, were also different. So there was hardly any intermixture of settlements. The French Canadians remained where they were. Most of the new Anglo-Canadians settled in the Maritime Provinces or moved west into what is now Ontario. A few settled in rural Quebec on lands outside the line of seigneuries. The Eastern Townships, that part of the province lying east of the Richelieu and nearest the American frontier, absorbed many English, Irish, and Scots, as well as a good many Americans who were attracted by cheap land. Ontario, or Upper Canada, received still more Americans, who were to be a thorn in the side of the British during the War of 1812.

But Carleton’s work comprised much more than this.

There were the Church of England, the Post Office, a refractory lieutenant-governor down in Prince Edward Island, two royal visitors, and many other distracting matters. The only Anglican see thus far established was at Halifax; but the bishop there had authority over the whole country and the government intended to establish the Church of England in Canada and endow it. The Presbyterians also petitioned for the establishment of the Scottish Church. The fortunes or misfortunes of the Clergy Reserves belong to another chapter of Canadian history. But the root of their good or evil was planted in the time of Carleton. The postal service was surrounded by enormous difficulties—the vast extent of wild country, the few towns, the long winters, the poverty of the people. The question of the winter port was even then a live one between St John and Halifax. Each of these towns asserted its advantages and promised twelve trips a year and connection with Quebec overland by means of walking postmen till a bush road should be cut from Quebec to the sea. In Prince Edward Island the old lieutenant-governor, Walter Patterson, declined to make way for the new one, Edmund Fanning. In the end Patterson gave up the contest. But the incident, trivial as it now appears, shows what a governor-general had to face in the early days when each province had queer little ways of its own. Patterson had no precise official reason. But he said he could not go home to answer charges he did not understand and leave an island which had been his very successful hobby for so many years! The people sided with him so vigorously that time had to be given them to cool down before the transfer could be peaceably effected.

A judge whose court is in perpetual session or a commander whose inadequate forces are continually surrounded by prospective enemies has little time for the amenities of purely social life.

So Carleton generally left his young consort to rule the viceregal court at the Chateau St Louis with a perfect blend of London and Versailles. Two Princes of the Blood, however, demanded more than the usual attention from the governor. Prince William Henry, afterwards King William IV, was the first member of the Royal Family to set foot in the New World when he arrived in H.M.S. Pegasus in 1787. He was the proverbial jolly Jack Tar, extremely affable to everybody; and he quickly won golden opinions from all who met him, except perhaps from Lady Dorchester and sundry would-be partners for his duty dances. Philippe Aubert de Gaspe and other privileged chroniclers record with slightly shocked delight how often he would break loose from Lady Dorchester’s designing care, long before she thought it right for him to do so, and 'command' his partners for their pretty faces instead of by precedence. At Sorel the people were so carried away by their enthusiasm that they insisted on changing the name of their little town to William Henry. Happily this name never took root in public sentiment and the old one soon came back to stay.

The second member of the Royal Family to come to Canada was Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, fourth son of George III, father of Queen Victoria and grandfather of Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, who became the first royal governor-general in 1911, exactly a hundred and twenty years later.

The Duke of Kent would have gladly returned to Quebec as governor-general, and the people would have gladly welcomed him. But he was not a favourite with the government at home, and so he never came. There was no doubt about his being a popular favourite in Quebec during the three years he spent there as colonel of the 7th Fusiliers. Nor has he been forgotten to the present day. Kent House is still the name of his quarters in the town as well as of his country residence at Montmorency Falls seven miles away, while the only new opening ever made in the walls is called Kent Gate.

The duke made fast friends with several of the seigneurial families, more especially with the de Salaberrys, whose manor-house at Beauport stood half-way between Montmorency and Quebec and not far from Montcalm’s headquarters in 1759.

The de Salaberrys were a military family. All the sons went into the Army and one became the hero of Chateauguay in the War of 1812. But the duke mixed freely with many other people than the local aristocracy. He was young, high-spirited, and loved adventure, as was proved by his subsequent gallantry at Martinique. He was also fond of driving round incognito, a habit which on at least one occasion obliged him to put his skill at boxing to good use. This was at Charlesbourg, a village near Quebec, where he was watching the fun at the first election ever held. Perhaps, from a meticulously constitutional point of view, the scene of a hotly contested election was not quite the place for Princes of the Blood. But, however that might be, when the duke saw two electors pommelling a third, who happened to be a friend of his, he dashed in to the rescue and floored both of them with a neatly planted right and left. One of these men, who lived to see King Edward VII arrive in 1860, as Prince of Wales, always took the greatest pride in telling successive generations of voters how Queen Victoria’s father had knocked him down.

Like his brother before him the duke was very fond of dancing, and kept many a reluctant senior and many a tired-out chaperone up till all hours at the grand ball given in honour of his twenty-fourth birthday.

Also like his brother he was inclined to reduce his duty dances to a minimum, much to Lady Dorchester’s dismay. She had gone home with her husband for two years shortly after the duke’s arrival. But she had seen enough of him, and was to see enough again on her return, to make her regret the good old times of more exacting ceremony. To her dying day, half a century later, she kept up a prodigious stateliness of manner. Before meals she expected the whole company to assemble and remain standing till she had made her royal progress through the room. She was a living anachronism for many years before her death, with her high-heeled, gold-buttoned, scarlet-coloured shoes, her Marie-Antoinette  coiffure raised high above her head and interlaced with ribbons, her elaborately gorgeous dress, her intricate array of ornaments, and her long, jet-black, official-looking cane. But she was no anachronism to herself; for she still lived in the light of other days, in the fondly remembered times when, as the vice-reine of the Chateau St Louis, she helped her consort to settle nice points of etiquette and maintain a dignity befitting His Majesty’s chosen representative. How did the seigneurs rank among themselves and with the leading English-speaking people? Who were to dance in the state minuet? Should dancing cease when the bishops came in, and for how long? Was that curtsy dropped quite low enough to her viceregal self, and did that  debutante offer her blushing cheek in quite the proper way to Carleton when he graciously gave her the presentation kiss? How immeasurably far away it all seems now, that stately little court where the echoes of a dead Versailles lived on for seven years after the fall of the Bastille! And yet there is still one citizen o Quebec whose early partners were chaperoned by ladies who had danced the minuet with Lord and Lady Dorchester.

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