The Project Gutenberg eBook of Canadian Notabilities, Volume 1

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Title: Canadian Notabilities, Volume 1

Author: John Charles Dent

Release date: February 1, 2006 [eBook #9910]
Most recently updated: December 27, 2020

Language: English


Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Charles Aldarondo, and

Project Gutenberg Distributed Proofreaders. This file was produced from images generously made available by the Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions.




Few tasks are more difficult of accomplishment than the overturning of the ideas and prejudices which have been conceived in our youth, which have grown up with us to mature age, and which have finally become the settled convictions of our manhood. The overturning process is none the less difficult when, as is not seldom the case, those ideas and convictions are widely at variance with facts. Most of us have grown up with very erroneous notions respecting the Indian character—notions which have been chiefly derived from the romances of Cooper and his imitators. We have been accustomed to regard the aboriginal red man as an incarnation of treachery and remorseless ferocity, whose favourite recreation is to butcher defenceless women and children in cold blood. A few of us, led away by the stock anecdotes in worthless missionary and Sunday School books, have gone far into the opposite extreme, and have been wont to regard the Indian as the Noble Savage who never forgets a kindness, who is ever ready to return good for evil, and who is so absurdly credulous as to look upon the pale-faces as the natural friends and benefactors of his species. Until within the last few years, no pen has ventured to write impartially of the Indian character, and no one has attempted to separate the wheat from the chaff in the generally received accounts which have come down to us from our forefathers. The fact is that the Indian is very much what his white brother has made him. The red man was the original possessor of this continent, the settlement, of which by Europeans sounded the death-knell of his sovereignty. The aboriginal could hardly be expected to receive the intruder with open arms, even if the latter had acted up to his professions of peace and good-will. It would have argued a spirit of contemptible abjectness and faintness of heart if the Indian had submitted without a murmur to the gradual encroachments of the foreigner, even if the latter had adopted a uniform policy of mildness and conciliation. But the invader adopted no such policy. Not satisfied with taking forcible possession of the soil, he took the first steps in that long, sickening course of treachery and cruelty which has caused the chronicles of the white conquest in America to be written in characters of blood. The first and most hideous butcheries were committed by the whites. And if the Indians did not tamely submit to the yoke sought to be imposed upon their necks, they only acted as human beings, civilized and uncivilized, have always acted upon like provocation. Those who have characterized the Indian as inhuman and fiendish because he put his prisoners to the torture, seem to have forgotten that the wildest accounts of Indian ferocity pale beside the undoubtedly true accounts of the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition. Christian Spain—nay, even Christian England—tortured prisoners with a diabolical ingenuity which never entered into the heart of a pagan Indian to conceive. And on this continent, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, men of English stock performed prodigies of cruelty to which parallels can be found in the history of the Inquisition alone. For the terrible records of battle, murder, torture and death, of which the history of the early settlement of this continent is so largely made up, the white man and the Christian must be held chiefly responsible. It must, moreover, be remembered that those records have been written by historians, who have had every motive for distorting the truth. All the accounts that have come down to us have been penned by the aggressors themselves, and their immediate descendants. The Indians have had no chronicler to tell their version of the story. We all know how much weight should be attached to a history written by a violent partisan; for instance, a history of the French Revolution, written by one of the House of Bourbon. The wonder is, not that the poor Indian should have been blackened and maligned, but that any attribute of nobleness or humanity should have been accorded to him.

Of all the characters who figure in the dark history of Indian warfare, few have attained greater notoriety, and none has been more persistently villified than the subject of this sketch. Joseph Brant was known to us in the days of our childhood as a firm and staunch ally of the British, it is true; but as a man embodying in his own person all the demerits and barbarities of his race, and with no more mercy in his breast than is to be found in a famished tiger of the jungle. And for this unjust view of his character American historians are not wholly to blame. Most historians of that period wrote too near the time when the events they were describing occurred, for a dispassionate investigation of the truth; and other writers who have succeeded have been content to follow the beaten track, without incurring the labour of diligent and calm enquiry. And, as it is too often the case with writers, historical and other, many of them cared less for truth than for effect. Even the author of "Gertrude of Wyoming" falsified history for the sake of a telling stanza in his beautiful poem; and when, years afterwards, grant's son convinced the poet by documentary evidence that a grave injustice had been done to his father's memory, the poet contented himself by merely appending a note which in many editions is altogether omitted, and in those editions in which it is retained is much less likely to be read than the text of the poem itself. It was not till the year 1838 that anything like a comprehensive and impartial account of the life of Brant appeared. It was written by Colonel William L. Stone, from whose work the foregoing quotation is taken. Since then, several other lives have appeared, all of which have done something like justice to the subject; but they have not been widely read, and to the general public the name of Brant still calls up visions of smoking villages, raw scalps, disembowelled women and children, and ruthless brutalities more horrible still. Not content with attributing to him ferocities of which he never was guilty, the chronicles have altogether ignored the fairer side of his character.

  "The evil that men do lives after them;
  The good is oft interred with their bones."

We have carefully gone through all the materials within our reach, and have compiled a sketch of the life of the Great Chief of the Six Nations, which we would fain hope may be the means of enabling readers who have not ready access to large libraries to form something like a fair and dispassionate estimate of his character.

Joseph Brant—or to give him his Indian name, Thayendanegea—was born in the year 1742. Authorities are not unanimous as to his paternity, it being claimed by some that he was a natural son of Sir William Johnson; consequently that he was not a full-blood Indian, but a half-breed. The better opinion, however, seems to be that none but Mohawk blood flowed through his veins, and that his father was a Mohawk of the Wolf Tribe, by name Tehowaghwengaraghkin. It is not easy to reconcile the conflicting accounts of this latter personage (whose name we emphatically decline to repeat), but the weight of authority seems to point to him as a son of one of the five sachems who attracted so much attention during their visit to London in Queen Anne's reign, and who were made the subject of a paper in the Spectator by Addison, and of another in the Tatler by Steele. Brant's mother was an undoubted Mohawk, and the preponderance of evidence is in favour of his being a chief by right of inheritance. His parents lived at Canajoharie Castle, in the far-famed valley of the Mohawk, but at the time of their son's birth they were far away from home on a hunting expedition along the banks of the Ohio. His father died not long after returning from this expedition. We next learn that the widow contracted an alliance with an Indian whose Christian name was Barnet, which name, in process of time, came to be corrupted into Brant. The little boy, who had been called Joseph, thus became known as "Brant's Joseph," from which the inversion to Joseph Brant is sufficiently obvious. No account of his childhood have come down to us, and, little or nothing is known of him until his thirteenth year, when he was taken under the patronage of that Sir William Johnson, who has by some writers been credited with being his father. Sir William was the English Colonial Agent for Indian Affairs, and cuts a conspicuous figure in the colonial annals of the time. His connection with the Brant family was long and intimate. One of Joseph's sisters, named Molly, lived with the baronet as his mistress for many years, and was married to him a short time before his death, in 1774. Sir William was very partial to young Brant, and took special pains to impart to him a knowledge of military affairs. It was doubtless this interest which gave rise to the story that Sir William was his father; a story for which there seems to be no substantial foundation whatever.

In the year 1755, the memorable battle of Lake George took place between the French and English colonial forces and their Indian allies. Sir William Johnson commanded on the side of the English, and young Joseph Brant, then thirteen years of age, fought under his wing. This was a tender age, even for the son of an Indian chief, to go out upon the war-path, and he himself admitted in after years that he was seized with such a tremor when the firing began at that battle that he was obliged to steady himself by seizing hold of a sapling. This, however, was probably the first and last time that he ever knew fear, either in battle or out of it. The history of his subsequent career has little in it suggestive of timidity. After the battle of Lake George, where the French were signally defeated, he accompanied his patron through various campaigns until the close of the French war, after which he was placed by Sir William at the Moor Charity School, Lebanon, Connecticut, for the purpose of receiving a liberal English education. How long he remained at that establishment does not appear, but he was there long enough to acquire something more than the mere rudiments of the English language and literature. In after years he always spoke with pleasure of his residence at this school, and never wearied of talking of it. He used to relate with much pleasantry an anecdote of a young half-breed who was a student in the establishment. The half-breed, whose name was William, was one day ordered by his tutor's son to saddle a horse. He declined to obey the order, upon the ground that he was a gentleman's son, and that to saddle a horse was not compatible with his dignity. Being asked to say what constitutes a gentleman, he replied—"A gentleman is a person who keeps racehorses and drinks Madeira wine, and that is what neither you nor your father do. Therefore, saddle the horse yourself."

In 1763, Thayendanegea, then twenty-one years of age, married the daughter of an Oneida chief, and two years afterwards we find him settled at Canajoharie Castle, in Mohawk Valley, where he for some years lived a life of quiet and peaceful repose, devoting himself to the improvement of the moral and social condition of his people, and seconding the efforts of the missionaries for the conversion of the Indians to Christianity. Both missionaries and others who visited and were intimate with him during this time were very favourably impressed by him, and have left on record warm encomiums of his intelligence, good-breeding, and hospitality. Early in 1772 his wife died of consumption, and during the following winter he applied to an Episcopal minister to solemnize matrimony between himself and his deceased wife's sister. His application was refused, upon the ground that such a marriage was contrary to law; but he soon afterwards prevailed upon a German ecclesiastic to perform the ceremony. Not long afterwards he became seriously impressed upon the subject of religion, and experienced certain mental phenomena which in some communities is called "a change of heart." He enrolled himself as a member of the Episcopal Church, of which he became a regular communicant. The spiritual element, however, was not the strongest side of his nature, and his religious impressions were not deep enough to survive the life of active warfare in which he was soon afterwards destined to engage. Though he always professed—and probably believed in—the fundamental truths of Christianity, he became comparatively indifferent to theological matters, except in so far as they might be made to conduce to the civilization of his people.

Sir William Johnson died in 1774. He was succeeded in his office of Colonial Agent for Indian Affairs by his son-in-law, Colonel Guy Johnson. Brant was as great a favourite with the Colonel as he had been with that gentleman's predecessor. The new agent required a private secretary, and appointed Brant to that office. The clouds that had been gathering for some time over the relations between the mother country and her American colonies culminated in the great war of the revolution. The Americans, seeing the importance of conciliating the Six Nations, made overtures to them to cast in their lot with the revolutionists. These overtures were made in vain. Brant then and ever afterwards expressed his firm determination to "sink or swim with the English;" a determination from which he never for a moment swerved down to the last hour of his life. Apart altogether from the consideration that all his sympathies impelled him to adopt this course, he felt himself bound in honour to do so, in consequence of his having long before pledged his word to Sir William Johnson to espouse the British side in the event of trouble breaking out in the colonies. Similar pledges had been given by his fore-fathers. Honour and inclination both pointed in the same direction, he exerted all his influence with the native tribes, who did not require much persuasion to take the royal side. Accordingly when Colonel Guy Johnson fled westward to avoid being captured by the Americans, Brant and the principal warriors of the Six Nations accompanied him. The latter formed themselves into a confederacy, accepted royal commissions, and took a decided stand on the side of King George. To Brant was assigned the position of Principal War Chief of the Confederacy, with the military degree of a Captain. The Crown could not have secured a more efficient ally. He is described at this time as "distinguished alike for his address, his activity and his courage; possessing in point of stature and symmetry of person the advantage of most men even among his own well-formed race; tall, erect and majestic, with the air and mien of one born to command; having been a man of war from his boyhood; his name was a power of strength among the warriors of the wilderness. Still more extensive was his influence rendered by the circumstance that he had been much employed in the civil service of the Indian Department under Sir William Johnson, by whom he was often deputed upon embassies among the tribes of the confederacy; and to those yet more distant, upon the great lakes and rivers of the north-west, by reason of which his knowledge of the whole country and people was accurate and extensive."

In the autumn of 1775 he sailed for England, to hold personal conference with the officers of the Imperial Government. Upon his arrival in London he was received with open arms by the best society. His usual dress was that of an ordinary English gentleman, but his Court dress was a gorgeous and costly adaptation of the fashions of his own people. In this latter dress, at the instigation of that busiest of busybodies James Boswell, he sat to have his portrait painted. The name of the artist has not been preserved, nor is the preservation of much importance, as this is the least interesting of the various pictures of Brant, the expression of the face being dull and commonplace. A much better portrait of him was painted during this visit for the Earl of Warwick, the artist being George Romney, the celebrated painter of historical pictures and portraits. It has been reproduced by our engraver for these pages.

The effect of this visit was to fully confirm him in his loyalty to the British Crown. Early in the following spring he set sail on his return voyage. He was secretly landed on the American coast, not far from New York, from whence he made his way through a hostile country to Canada at great peril of his life. Ill would it have fared with him if he had fallen into the hands of the American soldiery at that time. No such contingency occurred, however, and he reached his destination in safety. Upon his arrival in Canada he at once placed himself at the head of the native tribes, and took part in the battle of "the Cedars," about forty miles above Montreal. This engagement ended disastrously for the Americans; and after it was over, Brant did good service to the cause of humanity by preventing his savage followers from massacring the prisoners. From that time to the close of the war in 1782, Joseph Brant never ceased his exertions in the royal cause. From east to west, wherever bullets were thickest, his glittering tomahawk might be seen in the van, while his terrific war-whoop resounded above the din of strife. In those stirring times it is not easy to follow his individual career very closely; but one episode in it has been so often and so grossly misrepresented that we owe it to his memory to give some details respecting it. That episode was the massacre at Wyoming.

This affair of Wyoming can after all scarcely be called an episode in Brant's career, inasmuch as he was not present at the massacre at all, and was many miles distant at the time of its occurrence. Still, historians and poets have so persistently associated it with his name, and have been so determined to saddle upon him whatever obloquy attaches to the transaction that a short account of it may properly be given here.

The generally-received versions are tissues of exaggerations and absurdities from first to last. Wyoming has been uniformly represented as a terrestrial paradise; as a sort of Occidental Arcadia where the simple-hearted pious people lived and served God after the manner of patriarchal times. Stripped of the halo of romance which has been thrown around it, Wyoming is merely a pleasant, fertile valley on the Susquehanna, in the north-eastern part of the State of Pennsylvania. In the year 1765 it was purchased from the Delaware Indians by a company in Connecticut, consisting of about forty families, who settled in the valley shortly after completing their purchase. Upon their arrival they found the valley in possession of a number of Pennsylvanian families, who disputed their rights to the property, and between whom and themselves bickerings and contests were long the order of the day. Their mode of life was as little Arcadian as can well be imagined. Neither party was powerful enough to permanently oust the other; and although their warlike operations were conducted upon a small scale, they were carried on with a petty meanness, vindictiveness and treachery that would have disgraced the Hurons themselves. From time to time one party would gain the upper hand, and would drive the other from the Valley in apparently hopeless destitution; but the defeated ones, to whichsoever side they might belong, invariably contrived to re-muster their forces, and return to harass and drive out their opponents in their turn. The only purpose for which they could be induced to temporarily lay aside their disputes and band themselves together in a common cause, was to repel the incursions of marauding Indians, to which the valley was occasionally subject. When the war broke out between Great Britain and the colonies, the denizens of the valley espoused the colonial side, and were compelled to unite vigorously for purposes of self-defence. They organized a militia, and drilled their troops to something like military efficiency; but not long afterwards these troops were compelled to abandon the valley, and to join the colonial army of regulars under General Washington. On the 3rd of July, 1778, a force made up of four hundred British troops and about seven hundred Seneca Indians, under the command of Col. John Butler, entered the valley from the north-west. Such of the militia as the exigencies of the American Government had left to the people of Wyoming arrayed themselves for defence, together with a small company of American regular troops that had recently arrived in the valley, under the command of Colonel Zebulon Butler. The settlers were defeated and driven out of the valley. In spite of all efforts on the part of the British to restrain them, the Indian troops massacred a good many of the fugitives, and the valley was left a smoking ruin. But the massacre was not nearly so great as took place on several other occasions during the revolutionary war, and the burning was an ordinary incident of primitive warfare. Such, in brief, is the true history of the massacre in the Wyoming valley, over which the genius of Thomas Campbell has cast a spell that will never pass away while the English language endures. For that massacre Brant was no more responsible, nor had he any further participation in it, than George Washington. He was not within fifty (and probably not within a hundred) miles of the valley. Had he been present his great influence would have been put forward, as it always was on similar occasions, to check the ferocity of the Indians. But it is doubtful whether even he could have prevented the massacre.

Another place with which the name of Brant is inseparably associated is Cherry Valley. He has been held responsible for all the atrocities committed there, and even the atrocities themselves have been grossly exaggerated. There is some show of justice in this, inasmuch as Brant was undoubtedly present when the descent was made upon the valley. But it is not true that he either prompted the massacre or took any part in it. On the other hand, he did everything in his power to restrain it, and wherever it was possible for him to interfere successfully to prevent bloodshed he did so. Candour compels us to admit that his conduct on that terrible November day stands out in bright contrast to that of Butler, the white officer in command. Brant did his utmost to prevent the shedding of innocent blood; but, even had he been in command of the expedition, which he was not, Indians are totally unmanageable on the field of battle. There is at least evidence that he did his best to save life. Entering one of the houses, while the massacre was raging, he found there a woman quietly engaged in sewing. "Why do you not fly, or hide yourself?" he asked; "do you not know that the Indians are murdering all your neighbours, and will soon be here?" "I am not afraid," was the reply: "I am a loyal subject of King George, and there is one Joseph Brant with the Indians who will save me." "I am Joseph Brant," responded the Chief, "but I am not in command, and I am not sure that I can save you, but I will do my best." At this moment the Indians were seen approaching. "Get into bed, quick," said Brant. The woman obeyed, and when the Indians reached the threshold he told them to let the woman alone, as she was ill. They departed, and he then painted his mark upon the woman and her children, which was the best assurance of safety he could give them. This was merely one of several similar acts of Brant upon that fatal day; acts which do not rest upon mere tradition, but upon evidence as strong as human testimony can make it.

It would not be edifying to follow the great Chief through the various campaigns—including those of Minisink and Mohawk Valley—in which he was engaged until the Treaty of 1782 put an end to the sanguinary war. In that Treaty, which restored peace between Great Britain and the United States, the former neglected to make any stipulation on behalf of her Indian allies. Not only was this the case; not only was Thayendanegea not so much as named in the Treaty; but the ancient country of the Six Nations, "the residence of their ancestors from the time far beyond their earliest traditions," was actually included in the territory ceded to the United States. This was a direct violation of Sir Guy Carleton's pledge, given when the Mohawks first abandoned their native valley to do battle on behalf of Great Britain, and subsequently ratified by General Haldimand, to the effect that as soon as the war should be at an end the Mohawks should be restored, at the expense of the Government, to the condition in which they were at the beginning of the war. No sooner were the terms of the Treaty made known than Brant repaired to Quebec, to claim from General Haldimand the fulfilment of his pledge. General Haldimand received his distinguished guest cordially, and professed himself ready to redeem his promise. It was of course impossible to fulfil it literally, as the Mohawk valley had passed beyond British control; but the Chief expressed his willingness to accept in lieu of his former domain a tract of land on the Bay of Quinté. The General agreed that this tract should at once be conveyed to the Mohawks. The arrangement, however, was not satisfactory to the Senecas, who had settled in the Genesee Valley, in the State of New York. The Senecas were apprehensive of further trouble with the United States, and were anxious that the Mohawks should settle in their own neighbourhood, to assist them in the event of another war. They offered the Mohawks a large tract of their own territory, but the Mohawks were determined to live only under British rule. Accordingly, it was finally arranged that the latter should have assigned to them a tract of land on the Grand River (then called the Ouse) comprehending six miles on each side of the stream, from the mouth to the source. This tract, which contains some of the most fertile land in the Province, was formally conveyed to them by an instrument under Governor Haldimand's hand and seal, in which it was stipulated that they should "possess and enjoy" it forever. The Indians, unversed in technicalities, supposed that they now had an absolute and indefeasible estate in the lands. Of course they were mistaken. Governor Haldimand's conveyance did not pass the fee, which could only be effected by a crown patent under the Great Seal.

These several negotiations occupied some time. Towards the close of the year 1785, Brant, feeling aggrieved at the non-payment of certain pecuniary losses sustained by the Mohawks during the war, again set sail for England, where in due course he arrived. As on the occasion of his former visit, he was received with the utmost consideration and respect, not by the nobility and gentry alone, but by royalty itself. He seems to have lived upon terms of equality with the best society of the British capital, and to have so borne himself as to do no discredit to his entertainers. The Baroness Riedesel, who had formerly met him at Quebec, had an opportunity of renewing acquaintance with him, and has left on record the impression which he produced upon her. She writes: "His manners are polished. He expresses himself with great fluency, and was much esteemed by General Haldimand. His countenance is manly and intelligent, and his disposition very mild."

During this visit a dramatic episode occurred which occupies a conspicuous place in all books devoted to Brant's life. The present writer has told the story elsewhere as follows:—One gusty night in the month of January, 1786, the interior of a certain fashionable mansion in the West End of London presented a spectacle of amazing gorgeousness and splendour. The occasion was a masquerade given by one of the greatest of the city magnates; and as the entertainment was participated in by several of the nobility, and by others in whose veins ran some of the best blood in England, no expense had been spared to make the surroundings worthy of the exalted rank of the guests. Many of the dresses were of a richness not often seen, even in the abodes of wealth and fashion. The apartments were brilliantly lighted, and the lamps shone upon as quaint and picturesque an assemblage as ever congregated in Mayfair. There were gathered together representatives of every age and clime, each dressed in the garb suited to the character meant to be personified. Here, a magnificently-attired Egyptian princess of the time of the Pharaohs languished upon the arm of an English cavalier of the Restoration. There, high-ruffed ladies of Queen Elizabeth's court conversed with mail-clad Norman warriors of the time of the Conqueror. A dark-eyed Jewess who might have figured at the court of King Solomon jested and laughed with a beau of Queen Anne's day. If the maiden blushed at some of the broad jokes of her companion, her blushes were hidden by the silken mask which, in common with the rest of the guests, she wore upon the upper part of her face, and which concealed all but the brilliancy of her eyes. Cheek by jowl with a haughty Spanish hidalgo stood a plaided Highlander, with his dirk and claymore. Athenian orators, Roman tribunes, Knights of the Round Table, Scandinavian Vikings and Peruvian Incas jostled one another against the rich velvet and tapestry which hung from ceiling to floor. Truly, a motley assemblage, and one well calculated to impress the beholder with the transitoriness of mortal fame. In this miscellaneous concourse the occupants of the picture frames of all the public and private galleries of Europe seemed to have been restored to life, and personally brought into contact for the first time. And though, artistically speaking, they did not harmonize very well with each other, the general effect was in the highest degree marvellous and striking. But of all the assembled guests, one in particular is the cynosure of all eyes—the observed of all observers. This is the cleverest masquer of them all, for there is not a single detail, either in his dress, his aspect or his demeanour, which is not strictly in conformity with the character he represents. He is clad in the garb of an American Indian. He is evidently playing the part of one of high dignity among his fellows, for his apparel is rich and costly, and his bearing is that of one who has been accustomed to rule. The dress is certainly a splendid make-up, and the wearer is evidently a consummate actor. How proudly he stalks from room to room, stately, silent, leonine, majestic. Lara himself—who, by the way, had not then been invented—had not a more chilling mystery of mien. He is above the average height—not much under six feet—and the nodding plumes of his crest make him look several inches taller than he is in reality. His tomahawk, which hangs loosely exposed at his girdle, glitters like highly-polished silver; and the hand which ever and anon toys with the haft is long and bony. The dark, piercing eyes seem almost to transfix every one upon whom they rest. One half of the face seems to be covered by a mask, made to imitate the freshly-painted visage of a Mohawk Indian when starting out upon the war path. He is evidently bent upon preserving a strict incognito, for the hours pass by and still no one has heard the sound of his voice. The curiosity of the other guests is aroused, and, pass from room to room as often as he may, a numerous train follows in his wake. One of the masquers composing this train is arrayed in the loose vestments of a Turk, and indeed is suspected to be a genuine native of the Ottoman Empire who has been sent to England on a diplomatic mission. Being emboldened by the wine he has drunk, the Oriental determines to penetrate the mystery of the dusky stranger. He approaches the seeming Indian, and after various ineffectual attempts to arrest his attention, lays violent hold of the latter's nose. Scarcely has he touched that organ when a blood-curdling yell, such as has never before been heard within the three kingdoms, resounds through the mansion.

"Ah, then and there was hurling to and fro!"

The peal of the distant drum did not spread greater consternation among the dancers at Brussels on the night before Waterloo. What wonder that female lips blanched, and that even masculine cheeks grew pale? That yell was the terrible war-whoop of the Mohawks, and came hot from the throat of the mysterious unknown. The truth flashed upon all beholders. The stranger was no disguised masquerader, but a veritable brave of the American forest. Of this there could be no doubt. No white man that ever lived could learn to give utterance to such an ejaculation. The yell had no sooner sounded than the barbarian's tomahawk leapt from its girdle. He sprang upon the luckless Turk, and twined his fingers in the poor wretch's hair. For a single second the tomahawk flashed before the astonished eyes of the spectators; and then, before the latter had time—even if they could have mustered the courage—to interfere, its owner gently replaced it in his girdle, and indulged in a low chuckle of laughter. The amazed and terrified guests breathed again, and in another moment the mysterious stranger stood revealed to the company as Joseph Brant, the renowned warrior of the Six Nations, the steady ally of the British arms, and the terror of all enemies of his race. Of course the alarm soon quieted down, and order was restored. It was readily understood that he had never intended to injure the terrified Oriental, but merely to punish the latter's impertinence by frightening him within an inch of his life. Probably, too, that feeling of self-consciousness from which few minds are altogether free, impelled him to take advantage of the interest and curiosity which his presence evidently inspired, to create an incident which would long be talked about in London drawing-rooms, and which might eventually be handed down to posterity.

The anecdotes preserved of his stay in London at this time are almost innumerable. He was a great favourite with the King and his family, notwithstanding the fact that when he was first introduced at Court he declined to kiss His Majesty's hand; adding, however, with delightful naivete, that he would gladly kiss the hand of the Queen. The Prince of Wales also took great delight in his company, and occasionally took him to places of questionable repute—or rather, to places as to the disrepute of which there was no question whatever, and which were pronounced by the Chief "to be very queer places for a prince to go to." His envoy was successful, and his stay in London, which was prolonged for some months, must have been very agreeable, as "he was caressed by the noble and great, and was alike welcome at Court and at the banquets of the heir-apparent." After his return to America his first act of historical importance was to attend the great Council of the Indian Confederacy in the far west. He used his best endeavours to preserve peace between the Western Indians and the United States, and steadily opposed the confederation which led to the expedition of Generals St. Clair and Wayne. We next find him engaged in settling his people upon the tract which had been granted to them on the banks of the Grand River. The principal settlement of the Mohawks was near the bend of the river, just below the present site of the city of Brantford. They called the settlement "Mohawk Village." The name still survives, but all traces of the village itself have disappeared. Brant built the little church which still stands there, an illustration of which is given above, and in which service has been held almost continuously every Sunday since its bell first awoke the echoes of the Canadian forest. Brant himself took up his abode in the neighbourhood for several years, and did his best to bring his dusky subjects under the influence of civilization. In order to facilitate his passage across the Grand River he threw a sort of temporary boom across, at a spot a few yards below where the iron-bridge now spans the stream at Brantford. From this circumstance the place came to be known as "Brant's ford;" and when, years afterwards, a village sprung up close by, the name of "Brantford" was given to it.

The Indians had not been long settled at Mohawk Village before difficulties began to arise between them and the Provincial Government as to the nature of the title to their lands. The Indians, supposing their title to be an absolute one, began to make leases and sales to the white settlers in the neighbourhood. To this proceeding the Government objected, upon the ground that the Crown had a pre-emptive right, and that the land belonged to the Indians only so long as they might choose to occupy it. Many conferences were held, but no adjustment satisfactory to the Indians was arrived at. There has been a good deal of subsequent legislation and diplomacy over this vexed question, but so far as any unfettered power of alienation of the lands is concerned Governor Haldimand's grant was practically a nullity, and so remains to this day. These disputes embittered the Chief's declining years, which was further rendered unhappy by petty dissensions among the various tribes composing the Six Nations; dissensions which he vainly endeavoured to permanently allay. Another affliction befel him in the shape of a dissipated and worthless son, whom he accidently killed in self-defence. The last few years of his life were passed in a house built by him at Wellington Square; now called Burlington, a few miles from Hamilton. He had received a grant of a large tract of land in this neighbourhood, and he built a homestead there in or about the year 1800.

Here he kept up a large establishment, including seven or eight negro servants who had formerly been slaves. He exercised a profuse and right royal hospitality alike towards the whites and the Indian warriors who gathered round him. On the first of May in each year he used to drive up, in his coach-and-four, Mohawk Village, to attend the annual Indian festival which was to held there. On these occasions he was generally attended by a numerous retinue of servants in livery, and their procession used to strike awe into the minds of the denizens of the settlements through which they passed.

He died at his house at Wellington Square, after a long and painful illness, on the 24th November, 1807, in the sixty-fifth year of his age. His last thoughts were for his people, on whose behalf he had fought so bravely, and whose social and moral improvement he was so desirous to promote. His nephew, leaning over his bed, caught the last words that fell from his lips: "Have pity on the poor Indians; if you can get any influence from the great, endeavour to do them all the good you can."

His remains were removed to Mohawk Village, near Brantford, and interred in the yard of the little church which he had built many years before, and which was the first Christian church erected in Upper Canada. And there, by the banks of the Grand River,

"After life's fitful fever he sleeps well."

Sufficient has been said in the course of the preceding sketch to enable the reader to form a tolerably correct idea of the character of this greatest representative of the heroic Six Nations. No expression of opinion was evermore unjust than that which has persistently held him up to the execration of mankind as a monster of cruelty. That the exigences of his position compelled him to wink at many atrocities committed by his troops is beyond question. That, however, was a necessary incident of Indian warfare; nay, of all warfare; and after a careful consultation and comparison of authorities we can come to no other conclusion than that, for an Indian, reared among the customs and traditions of the Six Nations, Joseph Brant was a humane and kind-hearted man. No act of perfidy was ever brought home to him. He was a constant and faithful friend, and, though stern, by no means an implacable enemy. His dauntless courage and devotion to his people have never been seriously questioned. The charges of self-seeking and peculation which Red Jacket, "the greatest coward of the Five Nations," attempted to fasten upon him, only served to render his integrity more apparent than it would otherwise have been. He was not distinguished for brilliant flights of eloquence, as were Tecumseh and Cornstalk; but both his speeches and his writings abound with a clear, sound common-sense, which was quite as much to the purpose in his dealings with mankind. His early advantages of education were not great, but he made best use of his time, and some of his correspondence written during the latter years of his life would not discredit an English statesman. He translated a part of the prayers and services of the Church of England, and also a portion of the Gospels, into the Mohawk language, and in the latter years of his life made some preparation for a voluminous history of the Six Nations. This latter work he did not live to carry out. In his social, domestic and business relations he was true and honest, and nothing pleased him better than to diffuse a liberal and genial hospitality in his own home. Taking him all in all, making due allowance for the frailties and imperfections incidental to humanity, we must pronounce Joseph Brant to have possessed in an eminent degree many of the qualities which go to make a good and a great man.

Brant was thrice married. By his first wife, Margaret, he had two children, Isaac and Christina, whose descendents are still living. By his second wife he had no issue. His third wife, Catharine, whom he married in 1780, survived him and was forty-eight years of age at the time of his death. She was the eldest daughter of the head-chief of the Turtle tribe, the tribe first in dignity among the Mohawks. By the usages of that nation, upon her devolved the right of naming her husband's successor in the chieftaincy. The canons governing the descent of the chieftaincy of the Six Nations recognize, in a somewhat modified form, the doctrine of primogeniture; but the inheritance descends through the female line, and the surviving female has a right, if she so pleases, to appoint any of her own male offspring to the vacant sovereignty. Catharine Brant exercised her right by appointing to that dignity John Brant, her third and youngest son. This youth, whose Indian name was Ahyouwaighs, was at the time of his father's death only thirteen years of age. He was born at Mohawk village, on the 27th September, 1794, and received a liberal English education. Upon the breaking out of the war of 1812, the young chief took the field with his warriors, on behalf of Great Britain, and was engaged in most of the actions on the Niagara frontier, including the battles of Queenstown Heights, Lundy's Lane, and Beaver Dams. When the war closed in 1815, he settled at "Brant House," the former residence of his father, at Wellington Square. Here he and his sister Elizabeth dispensed a cheerful hospitality for many years. In 1821 he visited England for the purpose of trying to do what his father had failed in doing, viz, to bring about a satisfactory adjustment of the disputes between the Government and the Indians respecting the title of the latter to their lands. His mission, however, was unsuccessful. While in England he called upon the poet Campbell, and endeavoured to induce that gentleman to expunge certain stanzas from the poem of "Gertrude of Wyoming," with what success has already been mentioned.

In the year 1827, Ahyouwaighs was appointed by the Earl of Dalhousie to the rank of Captain, and also in the superintendency of the Six Nations. In 1832 he was elected as a member of the Provincial Parliament for the County of Haldimand, but his election was contested and eventually set aside, upon the ground that many of the persons by whose votes he had been elected were merely lessees of Indian lands; and not entitled, under the law, as it then stood to exercise the franchise. Within a few months afterwards, and in the same year, he was carried off by cholera, and was buried in the same vault as his father. He was never married, and left no issue. His sister Elizabeth was married to William Johnson Kerr, a grandson of that same Sir William Johnson who had formerly been a patron of the great Thayendanegea. She died at Wellington Square in April, 1834, leaving several children, all of whom are since dead. By his third wife Brant had several other children, whose descendants are still living in various parts of Ontario. His widow died at the advanced age of seventy-eight years on the 24th of November, 1837, being the thirtieth anniversary of her husband's death.

The old house in which Joseph Brant died at Wellington Square, is still in existence, though it has been so covered in by modern improvements that no part of the original structure is outwardly visible. Mr. J. Simcoe Kerr, a son of Brant's daughter Elizabeth, continued to reside at the old homestead down to the time of his death in 1875. It has since been leased and refitted for a summer hotel, and is now known as "Brant House." The room in which the old chief was so unhappy as to slay his son is pointed out to visitors, with stains—said to be the original blood stains—on the floor. Among the historical objects in the immediate neighbourhood is a gnarled old oak nearly six feet in diameter at the base, known as "The Old Council Tree," from the fact that the chief and other dignataries of the Six Nations were wont to hold conferences beneath its spreading branches. Close by is a mound where lie the bodies of many of Brant's Indian contemporaries buried, native fashion in a circle, with the feet converging to a centre.

Thirty years ago, the wooden vault in which Brant's remains and those of his son John were interred had become dilapidated. The Six Nations resolved upon constructing a new one of stone, and re-interring the remains. Brant was a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity in his day, and the various Masonic lodges throughout the neighbourhood lent their aid to the Indians in their undertaking. The project was finally carried out on the twenty-seventh of November, 1850. There was an immense gathering at Mohawk village on the occasion, which is generally referred to as "Brant's second funeral." The Indians and whites vied with each other in doing honour to the memory of the departed chief. The remains were interred in a more spacious vault, over which a plain granite tomb was raised. The slab which covers the aperture contains the following inscription:

             This Tomb
     Is erected to the memory of
         THAYENDANEGEA, or
        Principal Chief and
            Warrior of
      The Six Nations Indians,
       By his Fellow Subjects,
    Admirers of his Fidelity and
         Attachment to the
          British Crown.
      Born on the Banks of the
      Ohio River, 1742, died at
    Wellington Square, U.C., 1807.

    It also contains the remains
     Of his son Ahyouwaighs, or
         CAPT. JOHN BRANT,
   who succeeded his father as
    And distinguished himself
     In the war of 1812-15
 Born at the Mohawk Village, U.C., 1794;
   Died at the same place, 1832.
         Erected 1850.

This sketch would be incomplete without some allusion to the project which was set in motion about six years ago, having for its object the erection of a suitable monument to the great Chief's memory. On the 25th of August, 1874, His Excellency, Lord Dufferin, in response to an invitation from the Six Nations, paid them a visit at their Council House, in the township of Tuscarora, a few miles below Brantford. He was entertained by the chiefs and warriors, who submitted to him, for transmission to England, an address to His Royal Highness Prince Arthur, who was enrolled an Honorary Chief of the Confederacy on the occasion of his visit to Canada in 1869. The address, after referring to Brant's many and important services to the British Crown, expressed the anxious desire of his people to see a fitting monument erected to his memory. Lord Dufferin transmitted the address, and received Prince Arthur's assurances of his approval of, and good will towards, the undertaking. A committee, consisting of many of the leading officials and residents of the Dominion, was at once formed, and a subscription list was opened at the Bank of British North America, at Brantford. A good many contributions have since come in, but the fund is still insufficient to enable the committee to carry out their project in a fitting manner. We have referred to the fact that no village is now in existence at Mohawk. The Indians have deserted the neighbourhood and taken up their quarters elsewhere. Brant's tomb by the old church, being in an out-of-the-way spot, remote from the haunts of men, has fallen a prey to the sacrilegious hands of tourists and others, who have shamefully mutilated it by repeated chippings of fragments which have been carried away as relics. It is proposed to place the new monument in the centre of Victoria Park, opposite the Court House, in Brentford, where it will be under the surveillance of the local authorities, and where there will be no danger of mutilation. That Brant's memory deserves such a tribute is a matter as to which there can be no difference of opinion, and the undertaking is one that deserves the hearty support of the Canadian people. We owe a heavy debt to the Indians; heavier than we are likely to pay. It does not reflect credit upon our national sense of gratitude that no fitting monument marks our appreciation of the services of those two great Indians, Brant and Tecumseh.


Standing on the summit of one of the rocky eminences at the mouth of the Sagueuay, and looking back through the haze of two hundred and seventy-four years, we may descry two small sailing craft slowly making their way up the majestic stream which Jacques Cartier, sixty-eight years before, christened in honour of the grilled St. Lawrence. The vessels are of French build, and have evidently just arrived from France. They are of very diminutive size for an ocean voyage, but are manned by hardy Breton mariners for whom the tempestuous Atlantic has no terrors. They are commanded by an enterprising merchant-sailor of St. Malo, who is desirous of pushing his fortunes by means of the fur trade, and who, with that end in view, has already more than once navigated the St. Lawrence as far westward as the mouth of the Saguenay. His name is Pontgravé. Like other French adventurers of his time he is a brave and energetic man, ready to do, to dare, and, if need be, to suffer; but his primary object in life is to amass wealth, and to effect this object he is not over-scrupulous as to the means employed. On this occasion he has come over with instructions from Henry IV., King of France, to explore the St. Lawrence, to ascertain how far from its mouth navigation is practicable, and to make a survey of the country on its banks. He is accompanied on the expedition by a man of widely different mould; a man who is worth a thousand of such sordid, huckstering spirits; a man who unites with the courage and energy of a soldier a high sense of personal honour and a singleness of heart worthy of the Chevalier Bayard himself. To these qualities are added an absorbing passion for colonization, and a piety and zeal which would not misbecome a Jesuit missionary. He is poor, but what the poet calls "the jingling of the guinea" has no charms for him. Let others consume their souls in heaping up riches, in chaffering with the Indians for the skins of wild beasts, and in selling the same to the affluent traders of France. It is his ambition to rear the fleur-de-lis in the remote wildernesses of the New World, and to evangelize the savage hordes by whom that world is peopled. The latter object is the most dear to his heart of all, and he has already recorded his belief that the salvation of one soul is of more importance than the founding of an empire. After such an exordium it is scarcely necessary to inform the student of history that the name of Pontgravé's ally is Samuel De Champlain. He has already figured somewhat conspicuously in his country's annals, but his future achievements are destined to outshine the events of his previous career, and to gain for him the merited title of "Father of New France."

He was born some time in the year 1567, at Brouage, a small seaport town in the Province of Saintonge, on the west coast of France. Part of his youth was spent in the naval service, and during the wars of the League he fought on the side of the King, who awarded him a small pension and attached him to his own person. But Champlain was of too adventurous a turn of mind to feel at home in the confined atmosphere of a royal court, and soon languished for change of scene. Ere long he obtained command of a vessel bound for the West Indies, where he remained more than two years. During this time he distinguished himself as a brave and efficient officer. He became known as one whose nature partook largely of the romantic element, but who, nevertheless, had ever an eye to the practical. Several important engineering projects seem to have engaged his attention during his sojourn in the West Indies. Prominent among these was the project of constructing a ship-canal across the Isthmus of Panama, but the scheme was not encouraged, and ultimately fell to the ground. Upon his return to France he again dangled about the court for a few months, by which time he had once more become heartily weary of a life of inaction. With the accession of Henry IV. to the French throne the long religious wars which had so long distracted the country came to an end, and the attention of the Government began to be directed to the colonisation of New France—a scheme which had never been wholly abandoned, but which had remained in abeyance since the failure of the expedition undertaken by the brothers Roberval, more than half a century before. Several new attempts were made at this time, none of which was very successful. The fur trade, however, held out great inducements to private enterprise, and stimulated the cupidity of the merchants of Dieppe, Rouen and St Malo. In the heart of one of them something nobler than cupidity was aroused. In 1603, M. De Chastes, Governor of Dieppe, obtained a patent from the King conferring upon him and several of his associates a monopoly of the fur trade of New France. To M. De Chastes the acquisition of wealth—of which he already had enough, and to spare—was a matter of secondary importance, but he hoped to make his patent the means of extending the French empire into the unknown regions of the far West. The patent was granted soon after Champlain's return from the West Indies, and just as the pleasures of the court were beginning to pall upon him. He had served under De Chastes during the latter years of the war of the League, and the Governor was no stranger to the young man's skill, energy, and incorruptible integrity. De Chastes urged him to join the expedition, which was precisely of a kind to find favour in the eyes of an ardent adventurer like Champlain. The King's consent having been obtained, he joined the expedition under Pontgravé, and sailed for the mouth of the St. Lawrence on the 15th of March, 1603. The expedition, as we have seen, was merely preliminary to more specific and extended operations. The ocean voyage, which was a tempestuous one, occupied more than two months, and they did not reach the St. Lawrence until the latter end of May. They sailed up as far as Tadousac, at the mouth of the Saguenay, where a little trading-post had been established four years before by Pontgravé, and Chauvin. Here they cast anchor, and a fleet of canoes filled with wondering natives gathered round their little barques to sell peltries, and (unconsciously) to sit to Champlain for their portraits. After a short stay at Tadousac the leaders of the expedition, accompanied by several of the crew, embarked in a batteau and preceded up the river past deserted Stadacona to the site of the Indian village of Hochelaga, discovered by Jacques Cartier in 1535. The village so graphically described by that navigator had ceased to exist, and the tribe which had inhabited it at the time of his visit had given place to a few Algonquin Indians. Our adventurers essayed to ascend the river still farther, but found it impossible to make headway against the rapids of St. Louis, which had formerly presented an insuperable barrier to Cartier's westward progress. Then they retraced their course down the river to Tadousac, re-embarked on board their vessels, and made all sail for France. When they arrived there they found that their patron, De Chastes, had died during their absence, and that his Company had been dissolved. Very soon afterwards, however, the scheme of colonization was taken up by the Sieur de Monts, who entered into engagements with Champlain for another voyage to the New World. De Monts and Champlain set sail on the 7th of March, 1604, with a large expedition, and in due course reached the shores of Nova Scotia, then called Acadie. After an absence of three years, during which Champlain explored the coast as far southward as Cape Cod, the expedition returned to France. A good deal had been learned as to the topographical features of the country lying near the coast, but little had been done in the way of actual colonization. The next expedition was productive of greater results. De Monts, at Champlain's instigation, resolved to found a settlement on the shores of the St Lawrence. Two vessels were fitted up at his expense and placed under Champlain's command, with Pontgravé as lieutenant of the expedition, which put to sea in the month of April, 1608, and reached the mouth of the Saguenay early in June. Pontgravé began a series of trading operations with the Indians at Tadousac, while Champlain proceeded up the river to fix upon an advantageous site for the projected settlement. This site he found at the confluence of the St. Charles with the St. Lawrence, near the place where Jacques Cartier had spent the winter of 1535-6. Tradition tells us that when Cartier's sailors beheld the adjacent promontory of Cape Diamond they exclaimed, "Quel bec"—("What a beak!")—which exclamation led to the place being called Quebec. The most probable derivation of the name, however, is the Indian word kebec, signifying a strait, which might well have been applied by the natives to the narrowing of the river at this place. Whatever may be the origin of the name, here it was that Champlain, on the 3rd of July, 1608, founded his settlement, and Quebec was the name which he bestowed upon it. This was the first permanent settlement of Europeans on the American continent, with the exception of those at St. Augustine, in Florida, and Jamestown, in Virginia.

Champlain's first attempts at settlement, as might be expected, were of a very primitive character. He erected rude barracks, and cleared a few small patches of ground adjacent thereto, which he sowed with wheat and rye. Perceiving that the fur trade might be turned to good account in promoting the settlement of the country, he bent his energies to its development. He had scarcely settled his little colony in its new home ere he began to experience the perils of his quasi-regal position. Notwithstanding the patent of monopoly held by his patron, on the faith of which his colonization scheme had been projected, the rights conferred by it began to be infringed by certain traders who came over from France and instituted a system of traffic with the natives. Finding the traffic exceedingly profitable, these traders ere long held out inducements to some of Champlain's followers. A conspiracy was formed against him and he narrowly escaped assassination. Fortunately, one of the traitors was seized by remorse, and revealed the plot before it had been fully carried out. The chief conspirator was hanged, and his accomplices were sent over to France, where they expiated their crime at the galleys. Having thus promptly suppressed the first insurrection within his dominions, Champlain prepared himself for the rigours of a Canadian winter. An embankment was formed above the reach of the tide, and a stock of provisions was laid in sufficient for the support of the settlement until spring. The colony, inclusive of Champlain himself, consisted of twenty-nine persons. Notwithstanding all precautions, the scurvy broke out among them during the winter. Champlain, who was endowed with a vigorous constitution, escaped the pest, but before the advent of spring the little colony was reduced to only nine persons. The sovereign remedy which Cartier had found so efficacious in a similar emergency was not to be found. That remedy was a decoction prepared by the Indians from a tree which they called Auneda—believed to have been a species of spruce—but the natives of Champlain's day knew nothing of the remedy, from which he concluded that the tribe which had employed it on behalf of Cartier and his men had been exterminated by their enemies.

With spring, succours and fresh immigrants arrived from France, and new vitality was imported into the little colony. Soon after this time, Champlain committed the most impolitic act of his life. The Hurons, Algonquins and other tribes of the St. Lawrence and the Ottawa, resolved upon taking the war-path against their enemies, the Iroquois, or Five Nations—the boldest, fiercest, and most powerful confederacy known to Indian history. Champlain, ever since his arrival in the country, had done his utmost to win the favour of the natives with whom he was brought more immediately into contact, and he deemed that by joining them in opposing the Iroquois, who were a standing menace to his colony, he would knit the Hurons and Algonquins to the side of the King of France by permanent and indissoluble ties. To some extent he was right, but he underestimated the strength of the foe, an alliance with whom would have been of more importance than an alliance with all the other Indian tribes of New France. Champlain cast in his lot with the Hurons and Algonquins, and accompanied them on their expedition against their enemies. By so doing he invoked the deadly animosity of the latter against the French for all time to come. He did not forsee that by this one stroke of policy he was paving the way for a subsequent alliance between the Iroquois and the English.

On May 28th, 1609, in company with his Indian allies, he started on the expedition, the immediate results of which were so insignificant—the remote results of which were so momentous. The war-party embarked in canoes, ascended the St. Lawrence to the mouth of the Richelieu—then called the River of the Iroquois—and thence up the latter stream to the lake which Champlain beheld for the first time, and which until that day no European eye had ever looked upon. This picturesque sheet of water was thenceforward called after him, and in its name his own is still perpetuated. The party held on their course to the head waters of the lake, near to which several Iroquois villages were situated. The enemy's scouts received intelligence of the approach of the invaders, and advanced to repel them. The opposing forces met in the forest on the south-western shore, not far from Crown point, on the morning of the 30th of July. The Iroquois, two hundred in number, advanced to the onset. "Among them," says Mr. Parkman, "could be seen several chiefs, conspicuous by their tall plumes. Some bore shields of wood and hide, and some were covered with a kind of armour made of tough twigs, interlaced with a vegetable fibre, supposed by Champlain to be cotton. The allies, growing anxious, called with loud cries for their champion, and opened their ranks that he might pass to the front. He did so, and advancing before his red companions-in-arms stood revealed to the astonished gaze of the Iroquois, who, beholding the warlike apparition in their path, stared in mute amazement. But his arquebuse was levelled; the report startled the woods, a chief fell dead, and another by his side rolled among the bushes. Then there arose from the allies a yell which, says Champlain, would have drowned a thunderclap, and the forest was full of whizzing arrows. For a moment the Iroquois stood firm, and sent back their arrows lustily; but when another and another gunshot came from the thickets on their flank they broke and fled in uncontrollable terror. Swifter than hounds, the allies tore through the bushes, in pursuit. Some of the Iroquois were killed, more were taken. Camp, canoes, provisions, all were abandoned, and many weapons flung down in the panic flight. The arquebuse had done its work. The victory was complete." The victorious allies, much to the disgust of Champlain, tortured their prisoners in the most barbarous fashion, and returned to Quebec, taking with them fifty Iroquois scalps. Thus was the first Indian blood shed by the white man in Canada. The man who shed it was a European and a Christian, who had not even the excuse of provocation. This is a matter worth bearing in mind when we read of the frightful atrocities committed by the Iroquois upon the whites in after years. Champlain's conduct on this occasion seems incapable of defence, and it was certainly a very grave error, considered simply as an act of policy. The error was bitterly and fiercely avenged, and for every Indian who fell on the morning of that 30th of July, in this, the first battle fought on Canadian soil between natives and Europeans, a tenfold penalty was exacted. "Thus did New France rush into collision with the redoubted warriors of the Five Nations. Here was the beginning, in some measure doubtless the cause, of a long succession of murderous conflicts, bearing havoc and flame to generations yet unborn. Champlain had invaded the tiger's den; and now, in smothered fury the patient savage would lie biding his day of blood."

Six weeks after the performance of this exploit, Champlain, accompanied by Pontgravé, returned to France. Upon his arrival at court he found De Monts there, trying to secure a renewal of his patent of monopoly, which had been revoked in consequence of loud complaints on the part of other French merchants who were desirous of participating in the profits arising from the fur trade. His efforts to obtain a renewal proving unsuccessful, De Monts determined to carry on his scheme of colonization unaided by royal patronage. Allying himself with some affluent merchants of Rochelle, he fitted out another expedition and once more despatched Champlain to the New World. Champlain, upon his arrival at Tadousac, found his former Indian allies preparing for another descent upon the Iroquois, in which undertaking he again joined them; the inducement this time being a promise on the part of the Indians to pilot him up the great streams leading from the interior, whereby he hoped to discover a passage to the North Sea, and thence to China and the Indies. In this second expedition he was less successful than in the former one. The opposing forces met near the confluence of the Richelieu and St. Lawrence Rivers, and though Champlain's allies were ultimately victorious, they sustained a heavy loss, and he himself was wounded in the neck by an arrow. After the battle, the torture-fires were lighted, as was usual on such occasions, and Champlain for the first time was an eye-witness to the horrors of cannibalism.

He soon afterwards began his preparations for an expedition up the Ottawa, but just as he was about to start on the journey, a ship arrived from France with intelligence that King Henry had fallen a victim to the dagger of Ravaillac. The accession of a new sovereign to the French Throne might materially affect De Monts's ability to continue his scheme, and Champlain once more set sail for France to confer with his patron. The late king, while deeming it impolitic to continue the monopoly in De Monts's favour, had always countenanced the latter's colonisation schemes in New France; but upon Champlain's arrival he found that with the death of Henry IV De Monts's court influence had ceased, and that his western scheme must stand or fall on its own merits. Champlain, in order to retrieve his patron's fortunes as far as might be, again returned to Canada in the following spring, resolved to build a trading post far up the St. Lawrence, where it would be easily accessible to the Indian hunters on the Ottawa.—The spot selected was near the site of the former village of Hochelaga, near the confluence of the two great rivers of Canada. The post was built on the site now occupied by the hospital of the Grey Nuns of Montreal, and even before its erection was completed a horde of rival French traders appeared on the scene. This drove Champlain once more back to France, but he soon found that the ardour of De Monts for colonization had cooled, and that he was not disposed to concern himself further in the enterprize. Champlain, being thus left to his own resources, determined to seek another patron, and succeeded in enlisting the sympathy of the Count de Soissons, who obtained the appointment of Lieutenant-General of New France, and invested Champlain with the functions of that office as his deputy. The Count did not long survive, but Henry de Bourbon, Prince of Condé, succeeded to his privileges, and continued Champlain in his high office. In the spring of 1613 Champlain again betook himself to Canada, and arrived at Quebec early in May. Before the end of the month he started on his long-deferred tour of western exploration. Taking with him two canoes, containing an Indian and four Frenchmen, he ascended the Ottawa in the hope of reaching China and Japan by way of Hudson's Bay, which had been discovered by Hendrick Hudson only three years before. In undertaking this journey Champlain had been misled by a French imposter called Nicholas Vignan, who professed to have explored the route far inland beyond the head waters of the Ottawa, which river, he averred, had its source in a lake connected with the North Sea. The enthusiastic explorer, relying upon the good faith of Vignan, proceeded westward to beyond Lake Coulange, and after a tedious and perilous voyage, stopped to confer with Tessouat, an Indian chief, whose tribe inhabited that remote region. This potentate, upon being apprised of the object of their journey, undeceived Champlain as to Vignan's character for veracity, and satisfied him that the Frenchman had never passed farther west than Tessouat's own dominions. Vignan, after a good deal of prevarication, confessed that his story was false, and that what the Indian chief had stated was a simple fact. Champlain, weary and disgusted, abandoned his exploration and returned to Quebec, leaving Vignan with the Indians in the wildernesses of the Upper Ottawa.

His next visit to France, which took place during the summer of the same year was fraught with important results to the colony. A new company was formed under the auspices of the Prince of Condé, and a scheme was laid for the propagation of the Gospel among the Indians by means of Recollet missionaries sent out from France for the purpose. These, who were the first priests who settled in Canada, came out with Champlain in May, 1615. A province was assigned to each of them, and they at once entered upon the duties of their respective missions. One of them settled among the Montagnais, near the mouth of the Saguenay; two of them remained at Quebec; and the fourth, whose name was Le Caron, betook himself to the far western wilds. Champlain then entered upon a more extended tour of westward exploration than any he had hitherto undertaken. Accompanied by an interpreter and a number of Algonquins as guides, he again ascended the Ottawa, passed the Isle of Allumettes, and thence to Lake Nipissing. After a short stay here he continued his journey, descended the stream since known as French River, into the inlet of Lake Huron, now called Georgian Bay. Paddling southward past the innumerable islands on the eastern coast of the bay, he landed near the present site of Penetanguishene, and thence followed an Indian trail leading through the ancient country of the Hurons, now forming the northern part of the county of Simcoe, and the north-eastern part of the county of Grey. This country contained seventeen or eighteen villages, and a population, including women and children, of about twenty thousand. One of the villages visited by Champlain, called Cahiague, occupied a site near the present town of Orillia. At another village, called Carhagouha, some distance farther west, the explorer found the Recollet friar Le Caron, who had accompanied him from France only a few months before as above mentioned. And here, on the 12th of August, 1615, Le Caron celebrated, in Champlain's presence, the first mass ever heard in the wilderness of western Canada.

After spending some time in the Huron country, Champlain accompanied the natives on an expedition against their hereditary foes, the Iroquois, whose domain occupied what is now the central and western part of the State of New York. Crossing Lake Couchiching and coasting down the north-eastern shore of Lake Simcoe, they made their way across country to the Bay of Quinté, thence into Lake Ontario, and thence into the enemy's country. Having landed, they concealed their canoes in the woods and marched inland. On the 10th of October they came to a Seneca [Footnote: The Senecas were one of the Five Nations composing the redoubtable Iroquois Confederacy. The Tuscaroras joined the League in 1715, and it is subsequently known in history as the "Six Nations."] village on or near a lake which was probably Lake Canandaigua. The Hurons attacked the village, but were repulsed by the fierce Iroquois, Champlain himself being several times wounded in the assault. The invading war-party then retreated and abandoned the campaign, returning to where they had hidden their canoes, in which they embarked and made the best of their way back across Lake Ontario, where the party broke up. The Hurons had promised Champlain that if he would accompany them on their expedition against the Iroquois they would afterwards furnish him with an escort back to Quebec. This promise they now declined to make good. Champlain's prestige as an invincible champion was gone, and wounded and dispirited, he was compelled to accompany them back to their country near Lake Simcoe, where he spent the winter in the lodge of Durantal, one of their chiefs. Upon his return to Quebec in the following year he was welcomed as one risen from the dead. Hitherto Champlain's love of adventure had led him to devote more attention to exploration than to the consolidation of his power in New France. He determined to change his policy in this respect; and crossed over to France to induce a larger emigration. In July, 1620, he returned with Madame de Champlain, who was received with great demonstrations of respect and affection by the Indians upon her arrival at Quebec. Champlain found that the colony had rather retrograded than advanced during his absence, and for some time after his return, various causes contributed to retard its prosperity. At the end of the year 1621, [Footnote: In this year, Eustáche, son of Abraham and Margaret Martin, the first child of European parentage born in Canada, was born at Quebec.] the European population of New France numbered only forty-eight persons. Rival trading companies continued to fight for the supremacy in the colony, and any man less patient and persevering than the Father of New France would have abandoned his schemes in despair. This untoward state of things continued until 1627, when an association, known to history by the name of "The Company of the One Hundred Associates," was formed under the patronage of the great Cardinal Richelieu. The association was invested with the Vice-royalty of New France and Florida, together with very extensive auxiliary privileges, including a monopoly of the fur trade, the right to confer titles and appoint judges, and generally to carry on the Government of the colony. In return for these truly vice-regal privileges the company undertook to send out a large number of colonists, and to provide them with the necessaries of life for a term of three years, after which land enough for their support and grain wherewith to plant it was to be given them. Champlain himself was appointed Governor. This great company was scarcely organized before war broke out between France and England. The English resolved upon the conquest of Canada, and sent out a fleet to the St. Lawrence under the command of Sir David Kertk. The fleet having arrived before Quebec, its commander demanded from Champlain a surrender of the place, and as the Governor's supply of food and ammunition was too small to enable him to sustain a siege, he signed a capitulation and surrendered. He then hastened to France, where he influenced the cabinet to stipulate for the restoration of Canada to the French Crown in the articles of peace which were shortly afterwards negotiated between the two powers. In 1632 this restoration was effected, and next year Champlain again returned in the capacity of Governor. From this time forward he strove to promote the prosperity of the colony by every means in his power. Among the means whereby he zealously strove to effect this object was the establishment of Jesuit missions for the conversion of the Indians. Among other missions so established was that in the far western Huron country, around which the Relations des Jesuites have cast such a halo of romance.

The Father of New France did not live to gather much fruit from the crop which he had sown. His life of incessant fatigue at last proved too much even for his vigorous frame. After an illness which lasted for ten weeks, he died on Christmas Day, 1635, at the age of sixty-eight. His beautiful young wife, who had shared his exile for four years, returned to France where she became an Ursuline nun, and founded a convent at Meaux, in which she immured herself until her death a few years later.

Champlain's body was interred in the vaults of a little Recollet church in the Lower Town. This church was subsequently burned to the ground, and its very site was not certainly known until recent times. In the year 1867 some workmen were employed in laying water-pipes beneath the flight of stairs called "Breakneck Steps," leading from Mountain Hill to Little Champlain street. Under a grating at the foot of the steps they discovered the vaults of the old Recollet church, with the remains of the Father of New France enclosed. Independently of his energy, perseverance, and fortitude as an explorer, Samuel de Champlain was a man of considerable mark, and earned for himself an imperishable name in Canadian history. He wrote several important works which, in spite of many defects, bear the stamp of no ordinary mind. His engaging in war with the Iroquois was a fatal error, but it arose from the peculiar position in which he found himself placed at the outset of his western career, and it is difficult to see how anything short of actual experience could have made his error manifest. The purity of his life was proverbial, and was the theme of comment among his survivors for years after his death. He foresaw that his adopted country was destined for a glorious future. "The flourishing cities and towns of this Dominion," says one of has eulogists, "are enduring monuments to his foresight; and the waters of the beautiful lake that bears his name chant the most fitting requiem to his memory as they break in perpetual murmurings on their shores."

This sketch would be incomplete without some reference to the mysterious astrolabe which is alleged to have been found in the month of August, 1867, and which is supposed by some to have been lost by Champlain on the occasion of his first voyage up the Ottawa in 1613, as recounted in the preceding pages. The facts of the case may be compressed into few words, although they have given rise to many learned disquisitions which, up to the present time, have been barren of any useful result.

In the month of August, 1867, some men were engaged in cultivating a piece of ground on the rear half of lot number twelve, in the second range of the township of Ross, in the county of Renfrew, Ontario, while turning up the soil, as it is said, they came upon a queer looking instrument, which upon examination proved to be an astrolabe an instrument used in former times to mark the position of the stars, and to assist in computing latitudes, but long since gone out of use. Upon its face was engraved the date 1603. Now, Champlain's first journey up the Ottawa was made in the summer of 1613, and he must have passed at or near the identical spot where the astrolabe was found. It is claimed that this instrument belonged to Champlain, and that it was lost by him in this place. In support of this claim it is represented that Champlain's latitudes were always computed with reasonable exactness up to the time of his passing through the portage of which the plot of ground whereon the instrument was found forms a part. After that time his computations are generally erroneous—so erroneous, indeed, as to have led some readers of his journal very seriously astray in following out his course. This, in reality, is all the evidence to be found as to the ownership of the lost astrolabe. Taken by itself, it is reasonably strong circumstantial evidence. On the other hand it may be contended that astrolabes had pretty well gone out of use before the year 1613, and Champlain was a man not likely to be behind his times in the matter of scientific appliances. But the strongest argument is to be found in the fact that Champlain's journal, which contains minute details of everything that happened from day to day, makes no allusion whatever to his having lost his astraolabe—a circumstance, it would seem, not very likely to be omitted. The question is of course an open one, and has given rise, as has already been said, to much discussion among Canadian archaeologists. It is, however, of little historical importance, and needs no further allusion in these pages.


In view of the fact that this gentleman's name has a very fair chance of immortality in this Province, it is to be regretted that so little is accurately known about him, and that only the merest outline of his career has come down to the present times. Many Canadians would gladly know something more of the life of the first man who filled the important position of Chief-Justice of Upper Canada, and the desire for such knowledge is by no means confined to members of the legal profession. He was the faithful friend and adviser of our first Lieutenant-Governor, and it is doubtless to his legal acumen that we owe those eight wise statues which were passed during the first session of our first Provincial Parliament, which assembled at Newark on the 17th of September, 1792.

Nothing is definitely known concerning Chief-Justice Osgoode's ancestry. A French-Canadian writer asserts that he was an illegitimate son of King George the Third. No authority whatever is assigned in support of this assertion, which probably rests upon no other basis than vague rumour. Similar rumours have been current with respect to the paternity of other persons who have been more or less conspicuous in Canada, and but little importance should be attached to them. He was born in the month of March, 1754, and entered as a commoner at Christchurch College, Oxford, in 1770, when he had nearly completed his sixteenth year. After a somewhat prolonged attendance at this venerable seat of learning, he graduated and received the degree of Master of Arts' in the month of July, 1777. Previous to this time he had entered himself as a student at the Inner Temple, having already been enrolled as a student on the books of Lincoln's Inn. He seems at this time to have been possessed of some small means but not sufficient for his support, and he pursued his professional studies with such avidity as temporarily to undermine his health. He paid a short visit to the Continent, and returned to his native land with restored physical and mental vigour. In due course he was called to the Bar, and soon afterwards published a technical work on the law of descent, which attracted some notice from the profession. He soon became known as an erudite and painstaking lawyer, whose opinions were entitled to respect, and who was very expert as a special pleader. At the Bar he was less successful, owing to an almost painful fastidiousness in his choice of words, which frequently produced an embarrassing hesitation of speech. He seems to have been a personal friend of Colonel Simcoe, even before that gentleman's appointment as Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, and their intimacy may possibly have had something to do with Mr. Osgoode's appointment as Chief-Justice of the new Province in the spring of 1792. He came over in the same vessel with the Governor, who sailed on the 1st of May. Upon reaching Upper Canada the Governor and staff, after a short stay at Kingston, passed on to Newark (now Niagara). The Chief-Justice accompanied the party, and took up his abode with them at Navy Hall, where he continued to reside during the greater part of his stay in the Province which was of less than three years' duration. The solitude of his position, and his almost complete isolation from society, and from the surroundings of civilized life seem to have been unbearable to his sensitive and social nature. In 1795 he was appointed Chief-Justice of the Lower Province, where he continued to occupy the Judicial Bench until 1801, when he resigned his position, and returned to England. His services as Chief-Justice entitled him to a pension of £800 per annum, which he continued to enjoy for rather more than twenty-two years. For historical purposes, his career may be said to have ceased with his resignation, as he never again emerged from the seclusion of private life. He was several times requested to enter Parliament, but declined to do so. During the four years immediately succeeding his return to England he resided in the Temple. In 1804, upon the conversion of Melbourue House—a mansion in the West End of London—into the fashionable set of chambers known as "The Albany," he took up his quarters there for the remainder of his life. Among other distinguished men who resided there contemporaneously with him were Lord Brougham and Lord Byron. The latter occupied the set of chambers immediately adjoining those of the retired Chief-Justice, and the two became personally acquainted with each other; though, considering the diversity of their habits, it is not likely that any very close intimacy was established between them. In conjunction with Sir William Grant, Mr. Osgoode was appointed on several legal commissions. One of these consisted of the codification of certain Imperial Statutes relating to the colonies. Another commission in which he took part was an enquiry into the amount of fees receivable by certain officials in the Court of King's Bench, which enquiry was still pending at the time of his death. He lived very much to himself, though he was sometimes seen in society. He died of acute pneumonia on the 17th of January, 1824, in the seventieth year of his age. One of his intimate friends has left the following estimate of his character:—"His opinions were independent, but zealously loyal; nor were they ever concealed, or the defence of them abandoned, when occasions called them forth. His conviction of the excellence of the English Constitution sometimes made him severe in the reproof of measures which he thought injurious to it; but his politeness and good temper prevented any disagreement even with those whose sentiments were most opposed to his own. To estimate his character rightly, it was, however, necessary to know him well; his first approaches being cold, amounting almost to dryness. But no person admitted to his intimacy ever failed to conceive for him that esteem which his conduct and conversation always tended to augment. He died in affluent circumstances, the result of laudable prudence, without the smallest taint of avarice or illiberal parsimony. On the contrary, he lived generously, and though he never wasted his property, yet he never spared, either to himself or friends, any reasonable indulgence; nor was he backward in acts of charity or benevolence."

He was never married. There is a story about an attachment formed by him to a young lady of Quebec, during his residence there. It is said that the lady preferred a wealthier suitor, and that he never again became heart-whole. This, like the other story above mentioned, rests upon mere rumour, and is entitled to the credence attached to other rumours of a similar nature. His name is perpetuated in this Province by that of the stately Palace of Justice on Queen Street West, Toronto; also, by the name of a township in the county of Carleton.


Towards the close of last century there was in the City of London, England, a prominent mercantile house which carried on business under the style of "J. Thomson, T. Bonar & Co." The branch of commerce to which this house chiefly devoted its attention was the Russian trade. It had existed, under various styles, for more than a hundred years, and had built up so extensive a trade as to have a branch establishment at the Russian capital. The senior partner of the firm was John Thomson of Waverley Abbey, and Roehampton, in the county of Surrey. In the year 1820 this gentleman assumed the name of Poulett—in remembrance of his mother, who was heiress of a branch of the family of that name—and he was afterwards known as John Poulett Thomson. In 1781 he married Miss Charlotte Jacob, daughter of a physician at Salisbury. By this lady he had a numerous family, consisting of nine children. The youngest of these, Charles Edward Poulett Thomson, destined to be the first governor of United Canada, and to be raised to the peerage under the title of Baron Sydenham, was born on the 13th of September, 1799, at the family seat in Surrey—Waverley Abbey, above-mentioned. His mother had long been in delicate health, and at the time of his birth was so feeble as to give rise to much solicitude as to her chances of recovery. She finally rallied, but for some months she led the life of an invalid. Her feebleness reflected itself in the constitution of her son, who never attained to much physical strength. The feebleness of his body was doubtless increased by the nervous activity of his intellect, which constantly impelled him to mental feats incompatible with his delicate frame. It may be said that he passed through the forty-two years which made up the measure of his life in a chronic state of bodily infirmity. The fret and worry incidental to an ambitious parliamentary and official career doubtless also contributed their share to the shortening of his life.

His childhood was marked by a sprightly grace and beauty which made him a general favourite. In his fourth year he was for a time the especial pet of his Majesty King George III. He made the King's acquaintance at Weymouth, where, with other members of his family, he spent part of the summer of 1803. While walking on the Parade, in charge of his nurse, his beauty and sprightliness attracted the notice of His Majesty, who was also spending the season there, in the hope of regaining that physical and mental vigour which never returned to him. The King was much taken with the vivacity and pert replies of the handsome little fellow, and insisted on a daily visit from him. The child's conquest over the royal heart was complete, and His Majesty seemed to be never so well pleased as when he had little Master Thomson in his arms, carrying him about, and showing him whatever amusing sights the place afforded. On one occasion the King was standing on the shore near the pier-head, in conversation with Mr. Pitt, who had come down from London to confer with His Majesty about affairs of State. His Majesty was about to embark in the royal yacht for a short cruise, and, as was usual at that time of the day, he had Master Thomson in his arms. When just on the point of embarking, he suddenly placed the child in the arms of Mr. Pitt, saying hurriedly, "Is not this a fine boy, Pitt? Take him in your arms, Pitt—take him in your arms. Charming boy, isn't he?" Pitt complied with the royal request with the best grace he could, and carried the child in his arms to the door of his lodgings.

At the age of seven, Master Thomson was sent to a private school at Hanwell, whence, three years afterwards, he was transferred to the charge of the Rev. Mr. Wooley, at Middleton. After spending a short time there, he became a pupil of the Rev. Mr. Church, at Hampton, where he remained until he had nearly completed his sixteenth year. He then left school—his education, of course, being far from complete—and entered the service of his father's firm. It was determined that he should begin his mercantile career in the St. Petersburg branch, and in the summer of 1815 he was despatched to Russia. His fine manners and address, combined with the wealth and influence of the firm to which he was allied, obtained him access to the best society of St. Petersburg, where he spent more than two years. In the autumn of 1817, upon his recovery from a rather serious illness, it was thought desirable that he should spend the coming winter in a milder climate than that of St. Petersburg, and he returned to his native land. The next two or three years were spent in travelling on the Continent with other members of his family. He then entered the counting-house in London, where he spent about eighteen months. This brings us down to the year 1821. In the spring of that year he was admitted as a partner in the firm, and once more went out to St. Petersburg, where he again remained nearly two years. He then entered upon a somewhat prolonged tour through central and southern Russia, and across country to Vienna, where he spent the winter of 1823-4, and part of the following spring. Towards the end of April he set out for Paris, where his mother was confined by illness, and where she breathed her last almost immediately after her son's arrival. Mr. Thomson soon afterwards returned to London, where he settled down as one of the managing partners of the commercial establishment. In this capacity he displayed the same energy which subsequently distinguished his political and diplomatic career. He took a lively interest in the political questions of the day; more especially in those relating to commercial matters. He was a pronounced Liberal, and a strenuous advocate of free-trade. In the summer of 1825 advances were made to him to become the Liberal candidate for Dover at the next election. After due consideration he responded favourably to these advances, and was in due course returned by a considerable majority. One of his earliest votes in the House of Commons was in favour of free-trade. He soon became known as a ready and effective speaker, whose judgment on commercial questions was entitled to respect. His zeal for the principles of his party was also conspicuous, and when Earl Grey formed his Administration in November, 1830, the office of Vice-President of the Board of Trade, together with the Treasurership of the Navy, was offered to and accepted by Mr. Thomson. He was at the same time sworn in as a member of the Privy Council. The acceptance of the former office rendered it necessary for him to sever his connection with the commercial firm of which he had up to this time been a member, and he never again engaged in mercantile business of any kind. By this time, indeed, he had established for himself a reputation of no common order. The part he had taken in the debates of the House, and in the proceedings of its Committees, on questions connected with commerce and finance, had proved him to possess not only a clear practical acquaintance with the details of these subjects, but also principles of an enlarged and liberal character, and powers of generalization and a comprehensiveness of view rarely found combined in so young a man. The next three or four years were busy ones with him. It will be remembered that this was the era of the Reform Bill. Mr. Thomson did not take a prominent part in the discussions on that measure, his time being fully occupied with the financial and fiscal policy, but he put forth the weight of his influence in favour of the Bill. His principal efforts, during his tenure of office, were directed to the simplification and amendment of the Customs Act, and to an ineffectual attempt to negotiate a commercial treaty with France. After the dissolution in 1831 he was re-elected for Dover. He was, however, also elected—without any canvass or solicitation on his part—for Manchester, the most important manufacturing constituency in the kingdom; and he chose to sit for the latter. In 1834 he succeeded to the Presidency of the Board of Trade, as successor to Lord Auckland. Then followed Earl Grey's resignation and Lord Melbourne's accession. On the dismissal of the Ministry in November, Mr. Thomson was, of course, left without office, but on Lord Melbourne's re-accession in the following spring he was reinstated in the Presidency of the Board of Trade—an office which he continued to hold until his appointment as Governor-General of Canada.

Early in 1836 his health had become so seriously affected by his official labours that he began to recognize the necessity of resigning his office, and of accepting some post which would not so severely tax his energies. He continued to discharge his official duties, however, until the reconstruction of Lord Melbourne's Administration in 1839, when he signified his wish to be relieved. He was offered a choice between the office of Chancellor of the Exchequer and that of Governor-General of Canada. He chose the latter, and having received his appointment and been sworn in before the Privy Council, he set sail from Portsmouth for Quebec on the 13th of September, which was the fortieth anniversary of his birth. He reached his destination after a tedious, stormy voyage, and assumed the reins of government on the 19th of October. He was well received in this country. The mercantile community of Canada were especially disposed to favour the appointment of a man who had himself been bred to commercial pursuits, and who would be likely to feel a more than ordinary interest in promoting commercial interests.

Canada was at this time in a state of transition. Owing to the strenuous exertions of the Reform party in this country, seconded by Lord Durham's famous "Report," the concession of Responsible Government and the union of the provinces had been determined upon by the Home Ministry. It was Mr. Thomson's mission to see these two most desirable objects carried out. He had a most difficult part to play. As a pronounced Liberal, he naturally had the confidence of the Reform party, but there were a few prominent members of that party who did not approve of the Union project, and he felt that he could not count upon their cordial support. True, the opponents of the measure constituted a very small minority of the Reform party generally; but there was another party from whom the strongest opposition was to be expected—the Family Compact. This faction was not yet extinct, though its days were numbered. It still controlled the Legislative Council, which body had already recorded a vote hostile to the Union. The situation was one calling for the exercise of great tact, and the new Governor-General proved himself equal to the occasion. He made no changes in the composition either of the Special Council of the Lower Province—a body formed under Imperial sanction by Sir John Colborne—or in that of the Legislative Council of Upper Canada. After a short stay at Quebec he proceeded to Montreal, and convoked the Special Council on the 11th of November. He laid before this body the views of the Imperial Ministry relating to the union of the Provinces, and the concession of Responsible Government. By the time the Council had been in session two days the majority of the members were fully in accord with the Governor's views, and a series of resolutions were passed as a basis of Union. This disposed of the question, so far as the Lower Province was concerned, and after discharging the Council from further attendance, Mr. Thomson proceeded to Toronto to gain the assent of the Upper Canadian Legislature. With the Assembly no difficulty was anticipated, but to gain the assent of the Tory majority in the Legislative Council would evidently be no easy matter, for the success of the Governor's policy involved the triumph of Reform principles, and the inevitable downfall of the Family Compact. The Governor's tact, however, placed them in an anomalous position. For several years past the Tory party had been boasting of their success in putting down the Rebellion, and had raised a loud and senseless howl of loyalty. They were never weary of proclaiming their devotion to the Imperial will, irrespective of selfish considerations. This cry, which had been perpetually resounding throughout the Province during the last three years, supplied the Governor with the means of bending to his pleasure those who had raised it. He delivered a message to the Legislature in which he defined the Imperial policy, and appealed in the strongest terms to those professions of loyalty which the Tory majority in the Council were for ever proclaiming. He also published a circular despatch from Lord John Russell, the tone of which was an echo of that of his own message. The Tory majority were thus placed on the horns of a dilemma. They must either display their much-vaunted loyalty, by acceding to the Imperial will, or they must admit that their blatant professions had been mere party cries to deceive the electors. Their opposition, moreover, would render necessary the resignation of their offices. With the best grace they could, they announced their intention to support the Imperial policy. The Assembly passed resolutions in accordance with the spirit of Governor's message. Nothing further was necessary to render the Union an accomplished fact; except the sanction of the Imperial Parliament. A Union Bill, framed under the supervision of Sir James Stuart, Chief Justice of Lower Canada, was forwarded to England, where, in a slightly modified form, it was passed by both Houses, and received the royal assent. Owing to a suspending clause in the Bill, it did not come into operation until the 10th of February, 1841, when, by virtue of the Governor-General's proclamation, the measure took effect, and the union of the Canadas was complete.

Soon after the close of the session of the Upper Canadian Legislature, Mr. Thomson was raised to the peerage by the title of Baron Sydenham, of Sydenham, in Kent, and Toronto in Canada. The greater part of the following autumn was spent by him in travelling about through the Upper Province. He seems to have been greatly pleased both with the country and the people. The following extract from a private letter, written from the shores of the Bay of Quinté on the 18th of September, is worth quoting, as showing the impressions of an intelligent observer at that time:—"Amherstburg, Sandwich, River St. Clair, Lake Huron, Goderich, Chatham, London, Woodstock, Brantford, Simcoe, the Talbot Road and Settlement, Hamilton, Dundas, and so back to Toronto—you can follow me on a map. From Toronto across Lake Simcoe to Penetangnishene on Lake Huron again, and back to Toronto, which I left again last night for the Bay of Quinté, all parties uniting in addresses at every place, full of confidence in my government, and of a determination to forget their former disputes. Escorts of two and three hundred farmers on horseback at every place from township to township, with all the etceteras of guns, music, and flags. What is of more importance, my candidates everywhere taken for the ensuing elections. In short, such unanimity and confidence I never saw, and it augurs well for the future…. The fact is that the truth of my original notion of the people of this country is now confirmed. The mass only wanted the vigorous interference of a well-intentioned government, strong enough to control both the extreme parties, and to proclaim wholesome truths and act for the benefit of the country at large, in defiance of ultras on either side. But, apart from all this political effort, I am delighted to have seen this part of the country—I mean the great district, nearly as large as Ireland, placed between the three lakes, Erie, Ontario, and Huron. You can conceive nothing finer. The most magnificent soil in the world; four feet of vegetable mould; a climate, certainly the best in North America. The greater part of it admirably watered. In a word, there is land enough and capabilities enough for some millions of people, and for one of the finest Provinces in the world. The most perfect contrast to that miserable strip of land along the St. Lawrence called Lower Canada, which has given so much trouble. I shall fix the capital of the United Provinces in this one, of course. Kingston will most probably be the place. But there is everything to be done there yet, to provide accommodation for the meeting of the Assembly in the spring."

As suggested in the foregoing extract, Kingston was fixed upon as the seat of Government of the United Provinces, and the Legislature assembled there on the 13th of June, 1841. The Governor-General's speech at the opening of the session was marked by tact, moderation, and good sense. A strong Opposition, however, soon began to manifest itself, and Mr. Neilson, of Quebec, moved an amendment to the Address directly condemnatory of the Union. The amendment was defeated by a vote of 50 to 25. Throughout the session nearly all the Government measures received the support of the House, an important exception being the French Election Bill. Meanwhile the state of Lord Sydenham's health was such as to render his duties very difficult for him, and as the great object of his mission to Canada had been successfully accomplished, he resolved to return home at the close of the session. He forwarded his resignation to the Home Secretary, having already received leave of absence which would obviate the necessity of his remaining at his post until the acceptance of his resignation. Of this leave, however, he was not destined to avail himself. On the 4th of September he felt himself well enough to ride out on horseback. While returning homeward he put his horse to a canter, just as he began to ascend a little hill not far from Alwington House, his residence, near the lake shore. When about half way up the hill, the horse stumbled and fell, crashing his rider's right leg beneath his weight. The animal rose to its feet and dragged Lord Sydenham—whose right foot was fast in the stirrup—for a short distance. One of his aides, who just then rode up, rescued the Governor from his perilous position and conveyed him home, when it was found that the principal bone of his right leg, above the knee, had sustained an oblique fracture, and that the limb had also received a severe wound from being bruised against a sharp stone, which had cut deeply and lacerated the flesh and sinews. Notwithstanding these serious injuries, and the shock which his nervous system had sustained, his medical attendants did not at first anticipate danger to his life. He continued free from fever, and his wounds seemed to be going on satisfactorily; but he was debilitated by perpetual sleeplessness and inability to rest long in one position. On the ninth day after his injury dangerous symptoms began to manifest themselves, and it soon became apparent that he would not recover. After a fortnight of great suffering, he breathed his last on Sunday, the 19th, having completed his forty-second year six days previously.

"His fame," says his biographer, "must rest not so much on what he did or said in Parliament as on what he did and proposed to do out of it—on his consistent and to a great degree successful efforts to expose the fallacy of the miscalled Protective system, and gradually, but effectively, to root it out of the statute-book, and thereby to free the universal industry of Britain from the mischievous shackles imposed by an ignorant and mistaken selfishness."

His Canadian administration may be looked upon as a brief and brilliant episode in his public career. In private life he was much loved and highly esteemed. His amiable disposition and pleasing manner excited the warmest attachment among those who were admitted to his intimacy, and in every circumstance that affected their happiness he always appeared to take a lively personal interest. In the midst of his occupations he always had time for works of kindness and charity. In a letter to an idle friend who had been remiss in correspondence, he once said, "Of course you have no time. No one ever has who has nothing to do." His assistance was always promptly and eagerly afforded whenever he could serve his friends, or confer a favour on a deserving object. His integrity and sense of honour were high, and his disinterestedness was almost carried to excess. The remuneration for his official services was lower than that of any other official of equal standing, and far below his deserts. Never having married, however, owing to an early disappointment, his needs were moderate, and his private fortune considerable. His person and manner were very prepossessing, and his aptitude and acquired knowledge great. He was very popular in the social circle, and his death left a void among his friends which was never filled.


"Go to; the boy is a born generalissimo, and is destined to be a Marshal of France," said M. Ricot, holding up his hands in amazement. The boy referred to was a little fellow seven or eight years of age, by name Louis Joseph de Saint Veran. M. Ricot was his tutor, and was led to express himself after this fashion in consequence of some precocious criticisms of his pupil on the tactics employed by Caius Julius Cæsar at a battle fought in Transalpine Gaul fifty odd years before the advent of the Christian era. It was evident to the critic's youthful mind that the battle ought to have resulted differently, and that if the foes of "the mighty Julius" had had the wit to take advantage of his indiscretion, certain pages of the "Commentaries" might have been conceived in a less boastful spirit. Little Louis Joseph had sketched a rough plan, showing the respective positions of the opposing forces, and had then demanded of his tutor why this had not been done, why that had been neglected, and why the other had never been even so much as thought of. M. Ricot, after carefully following out the reasoning of his pupil, could find no weak point therein, and was fain to admit that the Great Roman had been guilty of a huge blunder in the arrangement of his forces. Fortunately for the General's military reputation, the Gauls had been beaten in spite of his defective strategy, and he himself had survived to transmit to posterity a rather egotistical account of the affair. M. Ricot had been reading those "Commentaries" all his life—reading them, as he supposed, critically—but he had never lighted upon the discovery which his present pupil had made upon a first perusal. Well might he exclaim, "Go to; the boy is a born generalissimo, and is destined to be a marshal of France."

Such is the anecdote—preserved in an old volume of French memoirs—of the childhood of him who subsequently became famous on two continents, and who for more than a hundred years past has been accounted one of the most redoubtable commanders of his age. If the story is true, certainly the Marquis de Montcalm did not carry out the splendid promise of his boyhood. He lived to fight the battles of his country with unflinching courage, with a tolerable amount of military skill, and with a tenacity of purpose that often achieved success against tremendous odds. But, unlike the great general to whom, during the last few weeks of his life, it was his fortune to be opposed, he never gave any evidence of possessing an original military genius—such a genius as would seem to have been possessed by the youth who figures in the foregoing anecdote. His chivalrous bravery, his high-bred courtesy, and, more than all, his untimely death, have done much to make his name famous in history, and to obscure certain features of character which we are not usually accustomed to associate with greatness. "History," says Cooper, "is like love, and is apt to surround her heroes with an atmosphere of imaginary brightness. It is probable that Louis de Saint Veran will be viewed by posterity only as the gallant defender of his country, while his cruel apathy on the shores of the Oswego and the Horican will be forgotten."

He was descended from a noble French family, and was born at the Chateau of Candiac, near Nismes, in southern France, on the 28th of February, 1712. Concerning his early years but few particulars have come down to us. He seems to have entered the army before he had completed his fourteenth year, and to have distinguished himself in various campaigns in Germany, Bohemia and Italy during the war for the Austrian succession. At the disastrous battle of Piacenza, in Italy, fought in the year 1746, he gained the rank of colonel; and in 1749 he became a brigadier-general. Seven years subsequent to the latter date he began to figure conspicuously in Canadian history, and from that time forward we are able to trace his career pretty closely. Early in 1756, having been elevated to the rank of a Field-Marshal—thus verifying the prediction of his old tutor—he was appointed successor to the Baron Dieskau in the chief command of the French forces in this country. He sailed from France early in April, and arrived at Quebec about a month afterwards. He was accompanied across the Atlantic by a large reinforcement, consisting of nearly 14,000 regular troops, and an ample supply of munitions of war. He at once began to set on foot those active operations against the British in America which were followed up with such unremitting vigilance throughout the greater part of the following three years.

The state of affairs in Canada at this period may be briefly summarized as follows:—The Government was administered by the Marquis de Vaudreuil-Cavagnal, a man ill-fitted for so onerous a position in such troublous times. The colony extended from the seaboard to the far west, through the valley of the Ohio, and had a white population of about 80,000. Previous to Montcalm's arrival there were 3,000 veteran French troops in the country, in addition to a well-trained militia. The country, indeed, was an essentially military settlement, and the people felt that they might at any time be called upon to defend their frontiers. The countless tribes and offshoots of the Huron-Algonquin Indians had cast in their lot with the French, and were to contribute not a little to the success of many of their warlike operations. The French, by means of their forts at Niagara, Toronto and Frontenac (Kingston), held almost undisputed sovereignty over Lake Ontario; and their forts at Crown Point and Ticonderoga enabled them to control Lake Champlain.

Still, the French colonists laboured under some serious disadvantages, which contributed eventually to decide the contest adversely to them. They had given comparatively little attention to the cultivation of the soil, and suffered from a chronic scarcity of food. They were subjected to feudal exactions ill-suited to the condition of the country, and were further impoverished by huge commercial monopolies. Every branch of the public service was corrupt, and the peculations of the officials, if not shared by the Governor himself, were at least winked at or sanctioned by him. Montcalm, whatever may have been his shortcomings in some respects, was no self-seeker, and was very properly disgusted with the mal-administration which everywhere prevailed. His dissatisfaction with, and contempt for, the Governor, had the effect of producing much internal dissention among the Canadians, and of hastening the downfall of French dominion in the colony.

The population of the British colonies at this time was not much less than three millions; but this population, unlike that of Canada, knew little of military affairs. The British colonists had spent their time in commercial and agricultural pursuits, and had not cast loose from the spirit of puritanism which had animated the breasts of their forefathers. As compared with the mother-country they were poor enough in all conscience, but they were as a rule, frugal, industrious and intelligent; and, as compared with their Canadian neighbours, they might almost be said to be in affluent circumstances. They possessed in an eminent degree those qualities—energy, endurance, and courage—which mark the Anglo-Saxon race in every quarter of the globe. Such a foe, if once disciplined and roused to united action, was not to be despised, even by the veteran battalions of France, and the most Christian King showed his appreciation of this fact by sending against them a general who was regarded as the most consummate soldier in Europe.

Having arrived at Quebec about the middle of May, Montcalm lost no time in opening the campaign. One of his earliest proceedings was to lay siege to Fort Oswego, which after a faint resistance, was compelled to surrender. Articles of capitulation were signed, the British laid down their arms, and the fort was delivered over to the conquerors. One hundred and thirty-four cannon and a large quantity of specie and military stores became the spoil of the victors, and more than 1,600 British subjects, including 120 women and children, became prisoners of war.

Up to this epoch in his career the conduct of the Marquis de Montcalm had been such as to deserve the unqualified admiration alike of his contemporaries and of posterity. Though not past his prime, he had achieved the highest military distinction which his sovereign could bestow. His chivalrous courage had been signally displayed on many a hard-fought field, and his urbanity, amiability, and generosity had made him the idol of his soldiers. He had a manner at once grand and ingratiating, and in his intercourse with others he manifested a bonhomme that caused him to be beloved alike by the simple soldier and the haughty noblesse of his native land. Considering his opportunities he had been a diligent student, and had improved his mind by familiarity with the productions of many of the greatest writers of ancient and modern times. By far the greater part of his life had been spent in the service of his country, and when compelled to endure the privations incidental to an active military life in the midst of war, he had ever been ready to share his crust with the humblest soldier in the ranks. Up to this time every action of his life had seemed to indicate that he was a man of high principle and stainless honour. If it had been his good fortune to die before the fall of Oswego his name would have been handed down to future times as a perfect mirror of chivalry—a knight without fear and without reproach. It is sad to think that a career hitherto without a blot should have been marred with repeated acts of cruelty and breaches of faith. On both counts of this indictment the Marquis of Montcalm must be pronounced guilty; and in view of his conduct at Oswego, and afterwards at Fort William Henry, the only conclusion at which the impartial historian can arrive is that he was lamentably deficient in the highest attributes of character.

Fort Oswego was surrendered on the 14th of August. By the terms of capitulation the sick and wounded were specially entrusted to Montcalm, whose word was solemnly pledged for their protection and safe conduct. How was the pledge redeemed? No sooner were the British deprived of their arms than the Indian allies of the French were permitted to swoop down upon the defenceless prisoners and execute upon them their savage will. The sick and wounded were scalped, slain, and barbarously mutilated before the eyes of the Marshal of France, who had guaranteed that not a hair of their heads should fall. Nay, more; a score of the prisoners were deliberately handed over to the savages to be ruthlessly butchered, as an offering to the manes of an equal number of Indians who had been slain during the siege.

Such are the unimpeachable facts of the massacre at Oswego. It is not probable that these proceedings on the part of the Indians were agreeable to the feelings of Montcalm, or that he consented to them with a very good grace. The noble representative of the highest civilization in Europe could scarcely have taken pleasure in witnessing the hideous massacre of defenceless women and children. But he was anxious to retain the co-operation of his red allies at any cost, and had not the moral greatness to exercise his authority to restrain their savage lust for blood. It has been contended by some defenders of his fame that he had no choice in the matter—that the ferocity of the savages was aroused, and could not be controlled. It is sufficient to say in reply that those who argue thus must wilfully shut their eyes to the facts. Was it because he could not restrain his allies that he, without remonstrance, delivered up to them twenty British soldiers to be tortured, cut to pieces, and burned? Was he unable to restrain them when he finally became sickened with their butchery and personally interposed to prevent its further continuance? From the moment when his will was unmistakably made known to the Indians the massacre ceased; and if he had been true to himself and his solemnly-plighted word from the beginning, that massacre would never have begun. By no specious argument can he be held guiltless of the blood of those luckless victims whose dismembered limbs were left to fester before the entrenchments at Oswego.

With the surrender of Oswego Great Britain lost her last vestige of control over Lake Ontario. The fort was demolished, and the French returned to the eastern part of the Province. The result of the campaign of 1756 was decidedly in favour of the French, and Montcalm's reputation as a military commander rose rapidly, though his conduct at Oswego led to his being looked upon with a sort of distrust that had never before attached to his name. His courage and generalship, however, were unimpeachable, and his vigilance never slept. During the following winter his spies scoured the frontiers of the British settlements, and gained early intelligence of every important movement of the forces. Among other information, he learned that the British had a vast store of provisions and munitions of war at Fort William Henry, at the southwestern extremity of Lake George. Early in the spring, Montcalm resolved to capture this fort, and to possess himself of the stores. On the 16th of March, 1757, he landed on the opposite side of the lake, at a place called Long Point. Next day, having rounded the head of the lake, he attacked the fort; but the garrison made a vigorous defence, and he was compelled to retire to Fort Ticonderoga, at the foot of the lake! For several months afterwards his attention was distracted from Fort William Henry by operations in different parts of the Province; but early in the month of August he renewed the attempt with a force consisting of 7,000 French and Canadian troops, 2,000 Indians, and a powerful train of artillery. The garrison consisted of 2,300 men, besides women and children. To tell the story of the second siege and final surrender of Fort William Henry would require pages. Suffice it to say that the dire tragedy of Oswego was re-enacted on a much more extended scale. For six days the garrison was valiantly defended by Lieutenant-Colonel Munro, a veteran of the 35th Regiment of the line. Day after day did the gallant old soldier defend his trust, waiting in vain for succours that never arrived. Finally, when he learned that no succours were to be expected, and that to prolong the strife would simply be to throw away the lives of his men, he had an interview with the French commander and agreed to an honourable capitulation.

Again did Montcalm pledge his sacred word for the safety of the garrison, which was to be escorted to Fort Edward by a detatchment of French troops. The sick and wounded were to be taken under his own protection until their recovery, when they were to be permitted to return to their own camp.

Such were the terms of capitulation; terms which were honourable, to the victor, and which the vanquished could accept without ignominy. How were these terms carried out? No sooner were the garrison well clear of the fort than the shrill war-whoop of the Indians was heard, and there ensued a slaughter so terrible, so indiscriminate, and so inconceivably hideous in all its details that even the history of pioneer warfare hardly furnishes any parallel to it. Nearly a thousand victims were slain on the spot, and hundreds more were carried away into hopeless captivity. No more graphic or historically accurate description of that scene has ever been written than is to be found in "The Last of the Mohicans," where we read that no sooner had the war-whoop sounded than upwards of two thousand raging savages burst from the forest and threw themselves across the plain with instinctive alacrity. "Death was everywhere, in its most terrific and disgusting aspects. Resistance only served to inflame the murderers, who inflicted their furious blows long after their victims were beyond the reach of their resentment. The flow of blood might be likened to the outbreaking of a gushing torrent; and as the natives became heated and maddened by the sight, many among them kneeled on the earth and drank; freely, exultingly, hellishly, of the crimson tide. The trained bodies of the British troops threw themselves quickly into solid masses, endeavouring to awe their assailants by the imposing appearance of a military front. The experiment in some measure succeeded, though many suffered their unloaded muskets to be torn from their hands in the vain hope of appeasing the savages."

It has been alleged on Montcalm's behalf that when the slaughter began he used his utmost endeavours to arrest it. His utmost endeavours! Why, even if his command was insufficient to restrain his allies, he had seven thousand regular troops with arms in their hands, at his back. Instead of theatrically baring his breast, and calling upon the savages to slay him in place of the English, for whom his honour was plighted, he would have done well to have kept that honour unsullied by observing the plain terms of capitulation, and providing a suitable escort. Instead of calling upon the British—hampered as they were by the presence of their sick, and of their women and children—to defend themselves, he should have called upon his own troops to protect his honour and that of France. Had his promised escort been provided no attempt would have been made by the Indians, and the tragedy at Oswego might in process of time have come to be regarded as a mere mischance. But no such excuse can now be of any avail. According to some accounts of this second massacre, no escort whatever was furnished. According to others, the escort was a mere mockery, consisting of a totally inadequate number of French troops, who were very willing to see their enemies butchered, and who did not even make any attempt to restrain their allies. All that can be known for certain is, that if there was any escort at all it was wholly ineffective; and, leaving humanity altogether out of the question, this was in itself an express violation of the terms upon which the garrison had been surrendered. The massacre at Fort William Henry followed one short year after that at Oswego, and the two combined have left a stain upon the memory of the man who permitted them which no time can ever wash away.

Time and space alike fail us to describe at length the subsequent campaigns of that and the following year. Montcalm's defence of Fort Ticonderoga on the 8th of June, 1758, was a masterly piece of strategy, and was unmarred by any incident to detract from the honour of his victory, which was achieved against stupendous odds. Ticonderoga continued to be Montcalm's headquarters until Quebec was threatened by the British under Wolfe; when he at once abandoned the shores of Lake Champlain, and mustered all his forces for the defence of the capital of the French colony.

The siege of Quebec has been described at length in a former sketch, and it is unnecessary to add much to that description here. It will be remembered how Wolfe landed at L'Anse du Foulon in the darkness of the night of September 12th, 1759, and how the British troops scaled the precipitous heights leading to the Plains of Abraham. Intelligence of this momentous event reached Montcalm, at his headquarters at Beauport, about daybreak on the morning of the 13th. "Aha," said the General, "then they have at last got to the weak side of this miserable garrison." He at once issued orders to break up the camp, and led his army across the St. Charles River, past the northern ramparts of the city, and thence on to the plains of Abraham, where Wolfe and his forces were impatiently awaiting his arrival. The battle was of short duration. The first deadly volley fired by the British decided the fortunes of the day, and the French fled across the plains in the direction of the citadel. Montcalm, who had himself received a dangerous wound, rode hither and thither, and used his utmost endeavour to rally his flying troops. While so engaged he received a mortal wound, and sank to the ground. From that moment there was no attempt to oppose the victorious British, whose general had likewise fallen in the conflict.

Montcalm's wound, though mortal, was not immediately so, and he survived until the following day. When the surgeons proceeded to examine his wound the general asked if it was mortal. They replied in the affirmative. "How long before the end?" he calmly enquired. He was informed that the end was not far off, and would certainly, arrive before many hours. "So much the better," was the comment of the dying soldier—"I shall not live to see the surrender of Quebec." The commander of the garrison asked for instructions as to the further defence of the city, but Montcalm declined to occupy himself any longer with worldly affairs. Still, even at this solemn moment, the courteous urbanity by which he had always been distinguished did not desert him. "To your keeping," he said, to De Ramesey, "I commend the honour of France. I wish you all comfort, and that you may be happily extricated from your present perplexities. As for me, my time is short, and I have matters of more importance to attend to than the defence of Quebec I shall pass the night with God, and prepare myself for death." Not long afterwards he again spoke: "Since it was my misfortune to be discomfitted and mortally wounded, it is a great consolation to me to be vanquished by so great and generous an enemy. If I could survive this wound, I would engage to beat three times the number of such forces as I commanded this morning with a third of their number of British troops." His chaplain arrived about this time, accompanied by the bishop of the colony, from whom the dying man received the last sacred offices of the Roman Catholic religion. He lingered for some hours afterwards, and finally passed away, to all outward seeming, with calmness and resignation.

It seems like an ungrateful task to recur to the frailties of a brave and chivalrous man, more especially when he dies in the odour of sanctity. But as we ponder upon that final scene in the life of the gay, charming, brilliant Marquis of Montcalm, we cannot avoid wondering whether the "sheeted ghosts" of the wounded men, helpless women, and innocent babes who were so ruthlessly slaughtered at Oswego and William Henry flitted around his pillow in these last fleeting moments. Notwithstanding the fact that his mind seemed to receive solace from the solemn rites in which he then took part, we have never read the account of those last hours of Montcalm without being reminded of the lines of the British Homer descriptive of the death of him who fell "on Flodden's fatal field."

The exact place of Montcalm's death has never been definitely ascertained. Various sites are indicated by different authorities, but no conclusive evidence has been adduced in support of the claims of any of them. It is, however, known for certain that his body was interred within the precincts of the Ursuline Convent at Quebec, where a mural tablet was erected by Lord Aylmer to his memory in 1832. The following is a translation of the inscription:—


A few years ago his remains were disinterred, and his skull, with its base enclosed in a military collar, is religiously preserved in a glass case on a table in the convent. The monument to the joint memory of Wolfe and Montcalm has been referred to in a previous sketch.

Thus lived and died the Marquis of Montcalm. He was forty-seven years of age at the time of his death, and was constitutionally younger than his years would seem to indicate. A Canadian historian thus sums up the brighter side of his character: "Trained from his youth in the art of war; laborious, just, and self-denying, he offered a remarkable exception to the venality of the public men of Canada at this period, and in the midst of universal corruption made the general good his aim. Night, the rushing tide, veteran discipline, and more brilliant genius had given his rival the victory. Yet he was not the less great; and while the name of Wolfe will never be forgotten, that of Montcalm is also engraved by its side on the enduring scroll of human fame. The latter has been censured for not abiding the chances of a siege, rather than risking a battle. But with a town already in ruins, a garrison deficient in provisions and ammunition, and an enemy to contend with possessed of a formidable siege-train, the fire of which must speedily silence his guns, he acted wisely in staking the issue on a battle, in which, if he found defeat, he met also an honourable and a glorious death."


James Bruce, who afterwards became eighth Earl of Elgin and twelfth Earl of Kincardine, was born in London, on the 20th of July, 1811. He was the second son of his father, the seventh Earl, whose embassy to Constantinople at the beginning of the present century was indirectly the means of procuring for him a reputation which will probably endure as long as the English language. All readers of Byron are familiar with the circumstances under which this reputation was gained. In the year 1799, Lord Elgin was despatched by the British Government as envoy extraordinary to Constantinople. During his embassy he had occasion to visit Athens, where he found that the combined influence of time and the Turks was rapidly destroying the magnificent vestiges of the past wherewith the city and its neighbourhood abounded. Actuated by a wish to preserve some of these relics of departed greatness—and probably wishing to connect his name with their preservation—he conceived the idea of removing a few of the more interesting of them to England. Without much difficulty he obtained permission from the Porte to take away from the ruins of ancient Athens "any stones that might appear interesting to him." The British Government declined to lend its assistance to what some members of the Cabinet regarded as an act of spoliation, and Lord Elgin was thus compelled to carry out the project at his own expense. He hired a corps of artists, labourers, and other assistants, most of whom were specially brought from Italy to aid in the work. About ten years were spent in detaching from the Parthenon, and in excavating from the rubbish at its base, numerous specimens of various sculptures, all or most of which were presumed to have been the handiwork of Phidias and his pupils. Other valuable sculptures were disinterred from the ruins about the Acropolis, and elsewhere in the neighbourhood. Upon the arrival in England of these great works of ancient art all the world of London went to see and admire them. In 1816 they were purchased for the nation for £35,000, and placed in the British Museum, where they still remain. Many persons, however, censured Lord Elgin for what they called his Vandalism in removing the relics from their native land. Among those who assailed him on this score was Lord Byron, who hurled anathemas at him both in prose and verse. "The Curse of Minerva" may fairly be said to have made Lord Elgin's name immortal. The case made against him in that fierce philippic, however, is grossly one-sided, as the author himself subsequently acknowledged; and there is a good deal to be said on the other side. The presence of these magnificent sculptures in the British Museum gave an impetus to sculpture not only throughout Great Britain, but to a less extent throughout the whole of Western Europe. It should also be remembered that had they been permitted to remain where they were they would most likely have been totally destroyed long before now in some of the many violent scenes of which Athens has since been the theatre. Some art critics have—more especially of late years—decried the workmanship of these marbles, and have argued that they could not possibly have been the work of Phidias. It is beyond doubt, however, that they display Greek art at a splendid and mature stage of development, and their value to the British nation is simply beyond price.

The subject of this sketch was destined to achieve a higher and less dubious reputation than that of his father. Being only a second son, he was not born heir-apparent to the family title and estates, and his education was completed before—in consequence of the death of his elder brother and of his father—he succeeded to the peerage. At the age of fourteen he went to Eton, from which seat of learning he in due time passed to Christ Church, Oxford. Here he formed one of a group of young men, many of whom have since attained high distinction in political life. Among them we find the names of William Ewart Gladstone, the late Duke of Newcastle (the friend and guardian of the Prince of Wales upon the occasion of his visit to this country in 1860), Sidney Herbert, James Ramsay (afterwards Earl of Dalhousie, son of a former Governor-General of Canada), Lord Canning, Robert Lowe, Edward Cardwell, and Roundell Palmer—now Lord Selborne. Between young Bruce and two of these—Ramsay and Canning—an uncommonly warm intimacy prevailed; and it is a somewhat curious coincidence that they lived to be the three successive rulers of India during the transition period of British Government there. Ramsay, then Lord Dalhousie, was the last Governor before the breaking out of the Mutiny; Canning was the over-ruler of the Mutiny; and Bruce, as Lord Elgin, was the first who went out as Viceroy after the Indian Empire was brought under the government of the Crown.

Among the brilliant young men who were his friends and compeers at college, James Bruce is said to have been as conspicuous as any for the brilliancy and originality of his speeches at the Union. Mr. Gladstone himself has said of him, "I well remember placing him, as to the natural gift of eloquence, at the head of all those I knew, either at Eton or at the University." But he was not less distinguished by maturity of judgment, by a love of abstract thought, and by those philosophical studies which lay the foundation of true reasoning in the mind. In 1834 he published a pamphlet to protest against a monopoly of Liberal sentiment by the Whigs; and in 1841 he went into the House of Commons for Southampton on Conservative principles, which had, however, a strong flavour of Whiggism about them. He soon developed a remarkable aptitude for political life. He seconded the Address which turned out Lord Melbourne and brought in Sir Robert Peel, in a speech prophetically favourable to free trade, and he would doubtless have been a cordial supporter of Peel's liberal commercial policy had not his Parliamentary career speedily come to an end. In 1840, George, Lord Bruce, elder brother of James, died, unmarried, and the latter became heir-apparent to the family honours. On the 22nd of April, 1841, he married Elizabeth Mary, daughter of Mr. C. L. Canning Bruce. The death of his father soon afterwards raised him to the Scottish peerage. He had no seat in either House of Parliament, and in 1842 he accepted from Lord Stanley the office of Governor of Jamaica—an appointment which decided his vocation in life. With his career at Jamaica we have no special concern, and it need not detain us. It may be remarked, in passing, that he remained there four years, during which period—owing, doubtless, in some measure to the sudden death of his wife soon after their arrival in the island—he led a somewhat secluded life. He quitted his post in 1846, and returned to England. Almost immediately after his arrival there Lord Grey, the Colonial Secretary, offered him the position of Governor-General of British North America. He accepted it, says his biographer, not in the mere spirit of selfish ambition, but with a deep sense of the responsibility attached to it. It was arranged that he should go to Canada at the beginning of the new year. In the interval, on November 7th, he married Lady Mary Louisa Lambton, daughter of the first Earl of Durham, whose five months' sojourn in this country in the year 1838 was destined to produce such important and beneficial effects upon our Constitution. Lord Elgin was wont to say that "The real and effectual vindication of Lord Durham's memory and proceedings will be the success of a Governor-General of Canada who works out his views of government fairly." Thus it happened that the young Conservative Peer, who had already shaken off his early Tory prepossessions, found himself called upon to build on the broad foundations laid by the most advanced member of the Liberal party of that day, and to inaugurate the new principle of government which Lord Durham and Charles Butler had conceived, not merely in Canada, but throughout the colonial empire of Britain. Leaving his bride behind him, to follow at a less inclement season, he set out for the seat of his new duties early in January, and reached Montreal on the 29th. He took up his quarters at Monklands, the suburban residence of the Governor.

Nine years had elapsed since the Rebellion of 1837, Lord Durham, Lord Sydenham, Sir Charles Bagot, Lord Metcalfe, and Lord Cathcart had successively governed the North American Provinces in that short interval, but—except in the case of Lord Durham—with not very satisfactory results. The method of Responsible Government was new with us. The smouldering fires of rebellion were only just extinguished. The repulsion of races was at its strongest. The deposed clique which had virtually ruled the colony was still furious, and the depressed section was suspicious and restive. It was just at the time, too, when, between English and American legislation, we were suffering at once from the evils of protection and free trade. The principles upon which Lord Elgin undertook to carry on the administration of the affairs of the colony were that he should identify himself with no party, but make himself a mediator and moderator between the influential of all parties; that he should retain no Ministers who did not enjoy the confidence of the Assembly, or, in the last resort, of the people; and that he should not refuse his consent to any measure proposed by his Ministry, unless it should be of an extreme party character, such as the Assembly or the people would be sure to disapprove of. For some months after his arrival in this country matters went smoothly enough. The Draper Administration, never very strong, had for several years been growing gradually weaker and weaker, and was now tottering towards its fall; but so far it could command a small majority of votes, and continued to hold the reins of power. The result of the next general elections, however, which were held at the close of the year, was the return of a large preponderance of Reformers, among whom were nearly all the leading spirits of the Reform Party. Upon the opening of Parliament on the 25th of February, 1848, the Draper Administration resigned, and its leader accepted a seat on the judicial bench. The Governor accordingly summoned the leaders of the opposition to his councils, and the Baldwin-Lafontaine ministry was formed. After a short session the House was prorogued on the 25th March. It did not meet again until the 18th of January following. It is hardly necessary to inform the Canadian reader that the Canadian Parliament sat at Montreal at that time. During the session one of the stormiest episodes in our history occurred. Every Canadian who has passed middle age remembers that disturbed time. The excitement arose out of the Rebellion Losses Bill, as it was called—a measure introduced by Mr. Lafontaine, the object of which was to reimburse such of the inhabitants of the Lower Province as had sustained loss from the rebellion of eleven years before. Within a very short time after the close of that rebellion, the attention of both sections of the colony was directed to compensating those who had suffered by it. First came the case of the primary sufferers, if so they may be called; that is, the Loyalists, whose property had been destroyed by rebels. Measures were at once taken to indemnify all such persons—in Upper Canada, by an Act passed in the last session of its separate Parliament; in Lower Canada, by an ordinance of the Special Council, under which it was at that time administered. But it was felt that this was not enough; that where property had been wantonly and unnecessarily destroyed, even though it were by persons acting in support of authority, some compensation ought to be given; and the Upper Canada Act above mentioned was amended next year, in the first session of the United Parliament, so as to extend to all losses occasioned by violence on the part of persons acting or assuming to act on Her Majesty's behalf. Nothing was done at this time about Lower Canada; but it was obviously inevitable that the treatment applied to the one Province should be extended to the other. Accordingly, in 1845, during Lord Metcalfe's Government, and under a Conservative Administration, an Address was adopted unanimously by the Assembly, praying His Excellency to cause proper measures to be taken "in order to insure to the inhabitants of that portion of the Province formerly Lower Canada indemnity for just losses by them sustained during the Rebellion of 1837 and 1838." In pursuance of this address, a Commission was appointed to inquire into the claims of persons whose property had been destroyed in the Rebellion; the Commissioners receiving instructions to distinguish the cases of persons who had abetted the said rebellion from the cases of those who had not. The Commissioners made their investigations, and reported that they had recognized, as worthy of further inquiry, claims representing a sum total of £241,965 10s. 5d.; but they added an expression of opinion that the losses suffered would be found, on closer examination, not to exceed the value of £100,000. This report was rendered in April, 1846; but though Lord Metcalfe's Ministry, which had issued the Commission avowedly as preliminary to a subsequent and more minute inquiry, remained in office for nearly two years longer, they took no steps towards carrying out their declared intentions. So the matter stood when the Baldwin-Lafontaine Administration was formed. It was natural that they should take up the work left half done by their predecessors; and early in the session of 1849 Mr. Lafontaine introduced the Rebellion Losses Bill. The Opposition contrived to kindle a flame all over the country. Meetings were held denouncing the measure, and petitions were presented to the Governor with the obvious design of producing a collision between him and Parliament. The Bill was finally passed in the Assembly by forty-seven votes to eighteen. Out of thirty-one members from Upper Canada who voted on the occasion, seventeen supported and fourteen opposed it; and of ten members for Lower Canada of British descent, six supported and four opposed it. "These facts," (wrote Lord Elgin) "seemed altogether irreconcilable with the allegation that the question was one on which the two races were arrayed against each other throughout the Province generally. I considered, therefore, that by reserving the Bill, I should only cast on Her Majesty and Her Majesty's advisers a responsibility which ought, in the first instance at least, to rest on my own shoulders, and that I should awaken in the minds of the people at large, even of those who were indifferent or hostile to the Bill, doubts as to the sincerity with which it was intended that constitutional Government should be carried on in Canada; doubts which it is my firm conviction, if they were to obtain generally, would be fatal to the connection."

On the 25th of April Lord Elgin went down to the Parliament Buildings and gave his assent to the Bill. On leaving the House he was insulted by the crowd, who pelted him with missiles. In the evening a disorderly mob intent upon mischief got together and set fire to the Parliament Buildings, which were burned to the ground. By this wanton act public property of considerable value, including two excellent libraries, was utterly destroyed. Having achieved their object the crowd dispersed, apparently satisfied with what they had done. The members were permitted to retire unmolested, and no resistance was offered to the military, who appeared on the ground after a brief interval to restore order, and aid in extinguishing the flames. During the two following days a good deal of excitement prevailed in the streets, and some further acts of incendiarism were perpetrated. Similar scenes on a somewhat smaller scale, were enacted in Toronto and elsewhere in the Upper Province. The house of Mr. Baldwin and some other prominent members of the Reform party were attacked, and the owners burned in effigy.

Meanwhile addresses numerously signed came pouring in to the Governor from all quarters, expressing entire confidence in the Administration, and unbounded regret for the indignities to which he had been subjected. Lord Elgin, however, felt bound to tender his resignation to the Home Government. Meanwhile the Bill which had caused such an explosion in the colony, was running the gauntlet of the British Parliament. On June 14th it was vehemently attacked in the House of Commons. Mr. Gladstone himself describing it as a "measure for rewarding rebels." The strongest pressure had already been put upon Lord Elgin to induce him to refuse the Royal Assent to the Bill. To do so would have been to place himself in direct collision with his Parliament, and this he steadily refused to do. The Home Government, represented by Lord Grey, firmly supported him, approved his policy, and shortly afterwards conferred upon him a British peerage as an acknowledgment of the unshaken confidence of the Queen. Being urgently pressed to remain in office as Governor-General he consented, and the more readily because the agitation soon quieted down. From this time we hear no more of such disgraceful scenes, but it was long before the old "Family Compact" party forgave the Governor who had dared to be impartial. By many kinds of detraction they sought to weaken his influence and damage his popularity. And as the members of this party, though they had lost their monopoly of political power, still remained the dominant class in society, the disparaging tone which they set was taken up not only in the colony itself, but also by travellers who visited it, and by them carried back to infect opinion in England. The result was that persons at home, who had the highest appreciation of Lord Elgin's capacity as a statesman, sincerely believed him to be deficient in nerve and vigour; and as the misapprehension was one which he could not have corrected, even if he had been aware how widely it was spread, it continued to exist in many quarters until dispelled by the singular energy and boldness, amounting almost to rashness, which he displayed in China.

Since the session of 1849 no Parliament has ever sat, nor is any ever again likely to sit, at Montreal. In view of the riot and the burning of the Parliament Buildings it was determined to remove the Legislature, which met at Toronto for the next two years. Subsequently it met alternately at Quebec and Toronto until 1866, since which time Ottawa has been the permanent capital of the Dominion.

After the storm consequent on the Rebellion Losses Bill, the most important event by which Lord Elgin's Canadian administration was characterized was the negotiation of the Reciprocity Treaty with the United States. The conclusion of this Treaty was a matter requiring much time and a good deal of prudent negotiation. In 1854, after the negotiations had dragged on wearily for more than six years, Lord Elgin himself was sent to Washington, in the hope of bringing the matter to a successful issue. Within a few weeks the terms of a Treaty of Reciprocity were agreed upon, and they soon afterwards received the sanction of the Governments concerned. Lord Elgin returned to England at the close of 1854, being succeeded in the government of Canada by Sir Edmund Walker Head, who had examined him for a Merton Fellowship at Oxford in 1833. Soon after Lord Elgin's return home, the Chancellorship of the Duchy of Lancaster was offered him by Lord Palmerston, with a seat in the Cabinet; but he preferred to take no active part in public affairs, and enjoyed an interval of two years' rest from official labour. His subsequent career can only be glanced at very briefly. In 1857 he was sent to China to try what could be done to repair, or to turn to the best account, the mischiefs done by Sir John Bowring's course, and by the patronage of it at home, in the face of the moral reprobation of the people at large. He was present at the taking of Canton, and in conjunction with the French, succeeded by prompt and vigorous measures in reducing the Celestial Empire to terms. After signing a Treaty with the Chinese Commissioners at Tientsin, on the 26th of July, 1858, the conditions of which were highly favourable to the British, he sailed for Japan, and boldly entered the harbour of Jeddo, from which foreigners had always been rigidly excluded. Here he obtained very important commercial privileges for the British, and on the 26th of August concluded a treaty with the Japanese. He returned to England in May, 1859. The merchants of London, in recognition of his immense services to British commerce, did themselves honour by the thoroughness of their acknowledgment of Lord Elgin's services, and presented him with the freedom of the City.

He held the office of Postmaster-General till the hostile acts of the Chinese Government towards the English and French Ministers in China rendered it necessary that he should go out again, and opening Pekin to British diplomacy, returned to England in April, 1861. Almost immediately afterwards he was offered the Viceroyalty of India. This splendid appointment he was not disposed to decline. He accepted, and went out to the seat of his Government He lived only eighteen months longer, a period, says his biographer, hardly sufficient for him to master the details of administration of that great Empire, with which he had no previous acquaintance, and I quite insufficient for him to give to the policy of the Government the stamp of his own mind. He died of heart-disease; while making a vice-regal excursion through his dominions, on the 20th of November, 1863, and was buried in the cemetery at Dhurmsala, in a spot selected by Lady Elgin.

"Perhaps," says a sympathetic critic of Lord Elgin's career, "the noblest part of the history of England is to be found in the recorded lives of those who have been her chosen servants, and who have died in that service. Self-control, endurance, and an heroic sense of duty, are more conspicuous in such men than the love of action and fame. But their lives are the landmarks of our race. Lord Elgin, it is true, can hardly be ranked with the first of British statesmen, or orators, or commanders. His services, great as they unquestionably were, had all been performed under the orders of other men. Even among his own contemporaries he fills a place in the second rank. But happy are the country and the age in which such men are to be found in the second rank, and are content to be there."


  "Tis in the prime of summer-time, an evening calm and cool,
  When certain bright-eyed English boys come bounding out of school."

The school is at Greenwich, six miles below London Bridge, and is kept by the Reverend Samuel Swinden. Date, some time in the month of June, 1741. The boys are of all ages, from five years upwards, and most of them are sons of military and naval officers resident in the neighbourhood. One of them, a sturdy little urchin of seven years, is a son of the Treasurer of the great Marine Hospital down by the river's bank. He is destined by his father for the legal profession, but has already begun to shew his contempt for the law by breaking His Majesty's peace several times in the course of every week. He has been at school only a few months, and hitherto he has not displayed much aptitude for his lessons; but he has distinguished himself in numberless hand-to-hand engagements with his fellow-scholars, and has gained the reputation of being, for a youngster of his inches, tremendously heavy about the fist. On this particular evening the school has been dismissed barely five minutes before the pugnacious little rascal contrives to get into an altercation with a lad several years his senior. As to the precise nature, of the casus belli, history and tradition are alike silent. The pair adjourn to a secluded part of the playground to settle their differences a la Dogginson, "by fighting it out with their fistes." The other boys follow as a matter of course, to see fair play. It is to be regretted that history has not furnished sufficient data to enable us to describe the passage of arms very minutely. Suffice it is to say that after a few rounds have been fought, it becomes apparent to all the spectators that Master Jackey Jervis has at last found his match. His opponent, a great hulking fellow without any forehead, who has arms like sledge-hammers, and who has hitherto found it impossible to learn the multiplication table, takes all Master Jackey's blows with seeming nonchalance, and ever and anon puts in a tremendous rejoinder which stretches the Treasurer's son upon the sward. When the contest has gone on after this fashion for some time the seconds propose that, as there has been a sufficient effusion of blood to vindicate the courage of both the combatants, there may well be a cessation of hostilities. The big fellow stolidly remarks that it is all one to him; but Master Jackey spurns the proposal with lofty contempt. The contest is renewed; another round is fought, and the lighter weight once more bites the grass. Before he can arise to resume the fray, the company receives an accession in the person of a tall, slabsided, awkwardly-made youth, who impetuously elbows the others aside, and makes his way to the centre of the fistic arena. The new-comer is somewhat older than any of the other boys, and is apparently verging towards manhood. His appearance is somewhat peculiar. The most partial admirer could hardly pronounce him handsome. Apart from his ungainly build, he has fiery red hair, high, prominent cheek bones, a receding forehead, and a proboscis of the kind which the French call a nose in the air. There is a set, decisive expression about his mouth which betokens an indomitable will; and a flash in his sparkling blue eyes bears witness that he has an ominous temper of his own. But, though his personal appearance is by no means that of an Adonis, the brightness of his complexion and a certain bold frankness of facial expression preserves him from absolute ugliness. Those who know him, moreover, are aware that he possesses qualities which more than redeem his plainness of feature. Though by no means of a robust constitution, he is endowed with unflinching courage. He has a high sense of honour, and is the repository of the secrets of nearly every boy in the school. He is a diligent student, and though somewhat vain of his superior knowledge, is ever ready to assist those of his fellow-pupils who are anxious to learn. Add to all this that he is the senior boy of the school; that, though a stern disciplinarian, he is generous, impartial, and a protector of the weak; and it will readily be understood that he is popular both with master and scholars. Unnecessary to say that there is no more fighting, for the senior boy has forbidden it, and he is not one who tolerates any opposition to his authority. Two minutes suffice to quell the disturbance; and the belligerents shake hands and march off to their respective homes. Little Jackey, however, has been rather severely handled in the encounter, and does not put in an appearance for several days, when the preceptor reads him a lecture before the whole school on the ill effects resulting from little boys permitting their angry passions to rise.

It is to be presumed that the lecture was not taken very seriously to heart, for Master Jervis, during the following seventy years, was many times conspicuous for little ebullitions of temper. He never took kindly to his father's scheme to make a lawyer of him. About three years subsequent to the event just recorded he ran away to sea, and began that glorious maritime career, the details of which form an important chapter in the history of England. For Master Jackey Jervis lived to take part in more deadly encounters than the one in the play-ground at Greenwich, and to take high rank among the naval heroes of Great Britain. After valiantly fighting the battles of his country in both hemispheres, and rising to the rank of Admiral, he achieved that signal victory over the Spanish fleet which procured for him the Earldom of St. Vincent. Nor is the low-browed lad who was his opponent altogether unknown to fame. His name was Thomas Brett, and he lived to do good service in various capacities under Nelson and Collingwood. But the fame of the senior boy—the florid-complexioned youth with the aspiring nose—is more dear to Canadians of British blood than is that of either of his schoolfellows; for his name was James Wolfe.

His career was short, and was compressed within a space of less than thirty-four years. It terminated in the moment of victory on the Plains of Abraham. But, brief as was his earthly span, few lives of any length have accomplished so much; and his death was so glorious that it should scarcely have been regretted, even by his nearest and dearest, what he did is known to us. What he might have done if his life had been spared, can only be conjectured; but he possessed all the qualifications of a great military commander, and needed but time and opportunity for their development. Of these, so long as they were vouchsafed to him, no man knew better how to take advantage; and it is not extravagant to believe that had he lived to the age of Marlborough or Wellington, he would have won a place in history not less distinguished than theirs.

He was born at the Vicarage, in the little village of Westerham, Kent, on the 2nd of January, 1726. [Footnote: Authorities are all but unanimous in placing this date a year later—i.e., on the 2nd of January, 1727. Even the standard biography of Wolfe (Wright's) repeats the error. That it is an error becomes apparent when we learn that he was baptized at twenty days old, and that the parish register shows this ceremony to have taken place on the 11th of January, 1726—the latter date being Old Style, equivalent to January 22nd, New Style. The correct date is further confirmed by the entry in the register of the baptism of his brother, Edward, who was about a year younger, and who was baptized of the 10th of January, 1727.] His father, Colonel Edward Wolfe, was an officer in the English army, who subsequently rose to the rank of Lieutenant-General. His mother was Henrietta, daughter of Edward Thompson, of Marsden, Yorkshire. James was their first-born, and was the only member of the family destined to attain high distinction. The only other offspring of the marriage was a younger son, Edward, who was born about a year after the birth of James, and who did not live to reach manhood. Edward entered the army while still a mere lad, and fought in the battle of Dettingen, on the 16th of June, 1743. He died on October of the following year, of consumption, accellerated by the hardships incidental to a campaigning life.

But little is known of the childhood of the two brothers. Both of them seem to have been of rather frail constitutions, and the precarious state of their health is said to have caused their parents much anxiety. As they grew up to youth they appear to have become somewhat more healthful, though still far from robust. Their earliest scholastic attainments were received at the hands of a Mr. Lawrence, who kept a small school in their native village. Their father was almost always on active service with his regiment, and the boys saw very little of him. About 1737 the family removed from Westerham to Greenwich, where the children at once began to attend Mr. Swinden's School. The episode described in the opening paragraph is about the only anecdote which has been preserved of their connection with that institution, and for it we are indebted, not to any life of Wolfe, but to an old history of Greenwich. Early in November, 1741, within five months after the happening of the incident above described, Master James received his first commission, appointing him Second Lieutenant in his father's regiment of Marines; but there is no trace of his ever having served under it. He shortly afterwards exchanged into the Line, and his first active service was in the capacity of Ensign of the Twelfth, or Colonel Duroure's Regiment of Foot. The exchange took place early in 1742, and in April of that year he embarked with his regiment for Flanders. The first of his letters which have been preserved, is written to his mother from Ghent, and is dated August 27th, 1742. His brother Edward followed him to the Continent during the same year, and died, as we have seen, in October, 1744. James's aptitude for the military profession soon became apparent to his superior officers, and shortly after the completion of his seventeenth year we find him filling the important pest of Adjutant. He, as well as his brother, took part in the battle of Dettingen, on the 16th of June, and though they were placed in the middle of the first line, they both escaped without a scar. A few days afterwards James, in consequence of the talent for command which he had already displayed, was promoted to a lieutenancy and on the 3rd of June, 1744, he received a captain's commission in the Fourth, or King's Regiment of Foot, commanded by Lieutenant-General Barrell. His life for some months thereafter was one of uninterrupted campaigning, but it contains no incident necessary to be remarked upon. Nest year, Great Britain was compelled to withdraw her forces from Flander's in order to suppress the Jacobite rebellion in Scotland, known as the "Rising of the Forty-five." Early in June, Wolfe was commissioned a Brigade-Major, and almost immediately afterwards he returned to England. He was at once despatched northward to Newcastle, and fought at Falkirk and Culloden, in both of which engagements his regiments suffered severely, though he himself escaped unwounded.

The Anti-Jacobin Review for 1802 contains an anecdote which, though probably apocryphal, may as well be inserted here. It is said that when Wolfe was riding over the field of Culloden with the Duke of Cumberland they observed a Highlander, who, although severely wounded, was able to sit up, and who, leaning on his arm, seemed to smile defiance upon them. "Wolfe," said the Duke, "shoot me that Highland scoundrel, who thus dares to look on us with such insolence." To which Wolfe replied: "My commission is at your Royal Highness' disposal, but I can never consent to become an executioner." From this day forward, it is said, Wolfe visibly declined in the favour of the Commander-in-Chief. It is manifestly impossible to disprove such a story as this; but it is an undoubted fact that Wolfe did not decline in the Duke's favour after the battle of Culloden, and as no authorities are cited in support of the anecdote, it is not unreasonable to infer that the whole is fictitious. For some months after the "dark day of Culloden," Wolfe remained in the Highlands, but we have no information as to how he spent his time there. He passed a part of the following winter in London, where he took up his quarters with his parents, who then lived in their town house in Old Burlington-street. During his stay in the metropolis at this time he must frequently have passed through Temple Bar. If so, he doubtless had the grim satisfaction of seeing the heads of some of his former opponents, the Highland rebels, grinning at passers-by from the spikes over the gateway.

In January, 1747, he again set out for the Continent with the British reinforcements for the Netherlands. At the battle of Laffeldt, fought on the 2nd July, he received a slight wound, and was publicly thanked by the Commander-in-Chief for his distinguished services. We do not find that he took part in any other active engagement at this time, and we hear no more of his wound. We next find him in London, where he seems to have spent the greater part of the winter of 1747-8. The treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle was signed soon after, whereby peace was restored to Europe.

About this time Wolfe had his first experience of the tender passion, the object being a Miss Lawson, one of the maids of honour to the Princess of Wales. His suit, however, was disapproved of by his parents, and does not appear to have been particularly acceptable to the young lady herself, for, after a good deal of delay, she rejected his offer of his hand. She died unmarried in March, 1759—the same year which witnessed the death of her former admirer. Wolfe was not precisely the kind of material of which despairing lovers are made, and beyond a few expressions of regret, he does not seem to have taken the rejection very deeply to heart. On the 5th of January, 1749, he was gazetted as Major of the 20th Regiment, stationed in Scotland, whither he repaired soon after. His promotion to a Lieutenant-Colonelcy in the same regiment followed fifteen months later, and the next three years were for the most part spent with his regiment in the Highlands, which were gradually recovering from the effects of the rebellion. Then came a journey to Paris, where he remained several months, and where he was presented to the King, Louis XV., and to Madame de Pompadour. The following two or three years of his life were not marked by any incident of special importance.

In 1757, in consequence of the recommencement of hostilities with France, British forces, under Sir John Mordaunt, were despatched to attack Rochfort, and Wolfe accompanied the expedition as Quartermaster-General. This expedition was destined to exercise an important influence upon his future career. He had hitherto been known simply as a brave and efficient officer, but it was not commonly supposed, even by his intimate friends, that he was endowed with an original military genius of high order. The time had arrived when the world was to form a more accurate estimate of him. Sir John Mordaunt, who was placed in command of the land forces for the Rochfort expedition, was totally unfit for so responsible a post. Sir Edward Hawke, who commanded the fleet, did good service both before and after that time; but this expedition was one for which he does not appear to have been suited. The incapacity of both the commanders soon began to be painfully apparent; and Wolfe, a soldier by nature as well as by training, determined to show them how the siege of Rochfort should be conducted. While they were wasting time in laying and abandoning immature plans, and in suggesting this, that and the other impracticable schemes, he, with Sir John's sanction, quietly landed on the island at one o'clock in the morning, and made his observations. He saw a small post on the promontory of Fouras, which it was evident must be taken before Rochfort could be besieged with success. He further noted the most favourable point for landing the troops. Having matured his scheme, he returned and made his report to Sir John and Sir Edward, and urgently recommended that his suggestions be acted upon. Sir Edward approved of the plan, but Sir John thought proper to call a Council of war, which, after a long session, decided that such an attempt was neither advisable nor practicable. The lucky moment was lost, and the expedition returned to England without having accomplished anything. The English people had confidently counted on the success of the expedition, and were proportionately dissapointed. A committee of inquiry was summoned, and Sir John Mordaunt was tried by court-martial. He was acquitted; but Pitt, who was at the head of the Government, after carefully mastering the evidence given by Wolfe, came to the conclusion that the Quartermaster was an extraordinary young man, and that if his advice had been followed there would have been a very different result from the expedition. The youth who had the intrepidity to take the initiatory observations, and who had had the military skill to concoct the plan of attack, was evidently a person whose services it might be worth while to turn to account. At no period in the history of England had there been a greater scarcity of capable military leaders, and not often had capable leaders been more urgently needed. This young Wolfe was evidently an original military genius, and must be pushed forward. He was immediately promoted to the rank of Colonel, and was soon to receive still higher promotion.

The incompetency of the superior officers in the British army had of late become painfully manifest on both sides of the Atlantic. The American campaign of 1757 was even more disastrous than were British operations in Europe. Lord Loudoun, who had been despatched to America in the preceding year, to direct the campaign against the French, had accomplished nothing, and the enemy, under Montcalm, were uniformly successful in their operations. In August occurred the terrible massacre at Fort William Henry. Other massacres followed, and the colonists were literally panic-stricken. The border settlements were laid waste, the houses and property of the inhabitants destroyed, and the colonists themselves scalped and murdered by the French and their Indian allies. French spies gained early intelligence of every movement contemplated by the British, and were thus, in many cases, the means of rendering those movements abortive. The grand British scheme of the year, however, was the reduction of Louisburg, in furtherance of which an armament such had never before been collected in the British Colonies, assembled at Halifax. This armament consisted of about 12,000 troops, 19 vessels of war, and a considerable number of smaller craft. The troops were embarked early in August with the ostensible object of capturing Louisburg; but Lord Loudoun, learning that the French anticipated the attack, and were prepared to oppose it, abandoned the idea. He landed a part of the forces on the coast of Nova Scotia, and returned with the rest to New York. A fleet specially sent out from Great Britain, under the command of Admiral Holborne, sailed for Cape Breton about the same time; but the sight of the French ships in Louisburg harbour proved too much for the Admiral's nerves, and he steered for Halifax. Here he was reinforced by four men-of-war, and the fleet again set sail for Louisburg. The French fleet remained under the shelter of the batteries in the harbour; and would not be coaxed out. Holborne cruised about the coast until late in the autumn, when his fleet was dispersed and almost destroyed by a succession of violent storms. Considering that, under the circumstances, he had done enough for his country for that time, he returned to England with the shattered remains of his fleet.

Such was the position of affairs at the close of the year 1757. Public indignation was aroused by the incompetency and supineness of the military and naval commanders, and it became apparent either that more efficient leaders most be found or that all operations in America must be abandoned. The new Ministry, with Pitt at its head, proved equal to the occasion. Lord Loudoun was recalled and General Abercromby appointed in his stead. The Great Commoner formed his plans for next year's campaign, which included the reduction of Fort Duquesne, Louisburg, Ticonderoga, and Crown Point. The expedition against Louisburg required a conjoint naval and military armament. The naval command was assigned to Admiral Boscawen, and the military forces to Colonel Amherst, who was advanced to the rank of Major-General. With the latter was associated Wolfe, Whitmore, and Lawrence, as Brigade-Generals. Operations against Crown Point and Ticonderoga were entrusted to General Abercromby and Lord Howe. Those against Fort Duquesne were conducted by General Forbes. The expedition against Fort Duquesne was completely successful, but Abercromby proved himself as inefficient as his predecessor in office, Lord Loudoun. Howe, who was a thoroughly capable officer, was killed at Ticonderoga on the 6th of July, before his powers could be brought into play. The expedition under Abercromby proved an utter failure. Not so the expedition against Louisburg, the capture of which was the most important event of the year. Being regarded as the key to the St. Lawrence, it was a strongly fortified place. A fortress had been erected there at a cost of 30,000,000 livres. The garrison was defended by the Chevalier de Drucourt, with 3,100 troops and about 700 Indians; while two frigates and six line-of-battle ships guarded the harbour, the entrance to which was blocked by three sunken frigates. Boscawen's fleet crossed the Atlantic, and in due course laid siege to Louisburg. Wolfe led the left division of attack, which may be said to have borne the brunt of the entire siege. A landing was effected on the 8th of June, and during the following seven weeks the operations were almost entirely conducted by Wolfe, to whose skill and judgment their success is mainly to be attributed. The garrison surrendered on the 26th of July, and together with sailors and marines, amounting collectively to 5,637 men, were carried to England as prisoners of war. 15,000 stand of arms and a great quantity of military stores became the property of the victors; and a glorious array of captured colours were sent to England, where they were carried in solemn procession through the principal thoroughfares, and finally placed in St. Paul's Cathedral. The town of Louisburg was reduced to a heap of ruins. The inhabitants were sent to France in English ships, and the fortifications were soon after demolished. A few fishermen's huts are all the dwellings to be found on the site at the present day.

From the moment when the news of the fall of Louisburg reached England, the eyes of the entire nation were turned upon Pitt and Wolfe, who jointly shared the popular enthusiasm. The lustre of the British arms—tarnished by so many reverses—began to shine with restored brilliancy, and the nation rose almost as one man to do honour to the brave young officer whose prowess and courage had been so signally displayed in its behalf. He returned to England towards the close of the year, and at once rejoined his regiment. His health had suffered a good deal during the campaign in America, but this did not prevent his offering his services to Pitt for the forthcoming campaign in the St Lawrence. His offer was accepted, and he was rewarded with the rank of Major-General. To him was assigned the command of the land forces; the naval armament being entrusted to Admiral Saunders.

Before starting on this, his final expedition, he became a suitor to Miss Katherine Lowther, sister to Sir James Lowther, afterwards Earl of Lonsdale. Her father had formerly been Governor of Barbadoes, and died in 1745. We have no means of ascertaining when Wolfe first formed the acquaintance of this lady, but there is no allusion to her in any of his letters written previous to this time, and it is probable that until his return from America there had been no love passages between them. His courtship in this instance was successful. What young lady of generous impulses would be likely to refuse the hand of the brave hero of Louisburg, whose praises were in everybody's mouth, and who was the favourite of the greatest statesman that ever swayed the destinies of Great Britain? His suit was accepted, and he carried the lady's portrait with him across the seas, wearing it next his heart until the evening before his death.

Having got together a staff of officers to his liking, he embarked at Spithead on the 17th of February, 1759, and reached Halifax on the 30th of April following. Louisburg harbour was not clear of ice until about the middle of May, when the fleet sailed thither. During his stay at Louisburg Wolfe received intelligence of the death of his father, who died at Blackheath on the 26th of March, in the 75th year of his age. The fleet left Louisburg early in June, and proceeded to the St. Lawrence. Wolfe, in due course, landed on the Isle of Orleans, just below Quebec, where the troops, to the number of 8,000, were landed without opposition, on the morning of the 27th of June. Having seen his army encamped, Wolfe set out, accompanied by his Chief Engineer, and an escort to reconnoitre the enemy's position. Upon reaching the western point of the island, he was not long in perceiving that Quebec would not fall without a struggle. The prospect, sufficiently grand at any time, was rendered more than ordinarily impressive by the warlike preparations to be seen on every hand. In front, on the summit of Cape Diamond, rose the lofty citadel, with the flag of France fluttering in the breeze. Above, all the way to Cape Rouge, every landing-place bristled with well-guarded encampments. Below, on the elevated range extending from the mouth of the River St. Charles to the mouth of the Montmorenci—a distance of eight miles—was a still more imposing array. Every assailable point was efficiently guarded by a redoubt. A bridge, protected by tetes de pont, spanned the St. Charles, and formed a ready means of communication between the garrison and the troops on the opposite side of the river. The mouth of the stream, just below the citadel, was closed by a boom, and was further defended by stranded frigates. The natural advantages of the situation had been enhanced by the highest military skill, and there was not a vulnerable point to be seen anywhere. The enemy's forces, 12,000 strong, composed of French regulars, Canadian militia, and a few Indians, were under the direction of the Marquis de Montcalm, one of the most consummate generals of the age. The position was one which was one which might have well been pronounced impregnable, and Wolfe could hardly have been censured if he had then and there abandoned all hope of success.

But there are some men whom no difficulties can discourage, and no danger can daunt. Such a man was the intrepid young Major-General who had been sent out by Pitt to sound the death-note of French Dominion in Canada. With a shattered constitution, and a frame already in an advanced stage of consumption, the indomitable young hero commenced the first moves in that desperate game which he was finally destined to win at the cost of his own life. The siege lasted nearly three months, during all of which time, consumed by organic disease, and worn out by long and uninterrupted service, his dauntless resolution never wholly failed him. For weeks and weeks his eagle eye, ever on the alert to spy out a vulnerable point in that seemingly immaculate coat-of-mail, scanned the redoubts from Cape Rouge to the Montmorenci. There was no fool-hardiness—no wilful throwing away of life—but there was much to be dared, and much to be left to mere chance. Whenever there seemed to be any, even the slightest, prospect of effecting an opening, that chance was greedily seized and eagerly acted upon. Contemplated in the light of the grand result, we are lost in amazement at the indomitable soul of that frail young invalid who, undismayed by repeated defeat, by conflicting counsels, and by the effect of continued exposure upon his enfeebled frame, steadfastly persevered in his course until the goal was won. For British dominion in Canada was established, not by bravery alone. Montcalm's veteran troops were as brave as those to which they were opposed. Quebec was won by patience, by unceasing vigilance, by military skill, and by an inward conviction in the breast of the English commander that "All things are possible to him who will but do his duty, and who knoweth not when he is beaten." The time was one which called for action and no time was lost in useless deliberation. Wolfe's plan of attack was soon formed, and he at once proceeded to carry it out. The soldiers were directed to hold themselves in readiness either to march or fight at the shortest notice. A little before midnight on the 28th—about thirty hours after the forces had been landed—the sentinel on the western point of the island perceived certain black objects in the river which were slowly moving towards the land where he stood. He had no sooner aroused his companions than a tremendous discharge of artillery took place. The force immediately turned out and prepared for battle, but no enemy being, visible, it was necessary to wait for daylight. It then appeared that the French commander had despatched eight fire-ships and rafts, freighted with explosives, towards the British fleet in the river. These explosives had been launched from the shore in the darkness, but had been lighted prematurely, and failed to accomplish anything beyond a grand display of fireworks. Wolfe proceeded with his plans, and on the 30th he issued a proclamation to the inhabitants, calling upon them to transfer their allegiance, and enjoining upon them that they should at least preserve a strict neutrality. Monckton, one of Wolfe's Brigadier-Generals, then crossed over the arm of the river with a strong detachment, took possession of Peint Levi, threw up entrenchments, and planted batteries along the southern shore. In effecting this manoeuvre a body of 1,200 Canadians were dislodged and repulsed, and the British gained an advantageous position for attacking the citadel. Monckton held the position in spite of all Montcalm's efforts to dislodge him, and on the 13th of July the batteries opened fire from here upon the citadel. The fleet in the river also opened fire upon the French lines on the northern shore between Quebec and the Falls of Montmorenci, and under cover of the fire Wolfe landed on the eastern bank of the Montmorenci River, and intrenched his position there. The shells from the batteries at Point Levi set fire to the Upper Town of Quebec, whereby the great Cathedral and many other buildings were destroyed. Hostilities were renewed day by day, and there was great destruction both of property and of human life; but after weeks of toilsome operation the capture of Quebec seemed as far off as when the British fleet first arrived in the St. Lawrence. On the night of the 28th of July, the French made a second attempt to destroy the English fleet with fire-rafts, but the sailors grappled the rafts before they could reach the fleet and quietly towed them ashore.

Meantime, Wolfe's efforts to decoy Montcalm to emerge from his fastnesses and to enter into a general engagement were unceasing; but the French General was not to be tempted. Several British men-of-war sailed up the St. Lawrence, past the city, and got into the upper river. Wolfe was thus enabled to reconnoitre the country above, the bombardment of the citadel being kept up almost without intermission. On the 31st, Wolfe, from his camp near the month of the Montmorenci, made a formidable attack upon the French on the other side of the (Montmorenci) River, near Beauport. The attack was unsuccessful, and the British were compelled to retire with considerable loss. Attempts to dislodge the French were made at all points along the river; but owing to their advantageous position, all such attempts were fruitless, and as the weeks passed by without securing any decisive advantage to his arms, Wolfe's anxiety became so great as to bring on a slow fever, which for some days confined him to his bed. As soon as he was able to drag himself thence he called his chief officers together and submitted to them several new methods of attack. Most of the officers were of opinion that the attack should be made above the city, rather than below. Wolfe coincided in this view, and on the 3rd of September transferred his own camp to Point Levi. Soon afterwards a narrow path, scarcely wide enough for two men to march abreast, was discovered on the north bank of the St. Lawrence, leading up the cliffs, about two miles above the city. The spot was known as L'Anse du Foulon, but has since been known as Wolfe's Cove. Wolfe determined to land his forces here, and under cover of night, to ascend to the heights above. The heights once reached, it was probable that Montcalm might hazard a battle. Should he decline to do so, the British troops would at any rate have gained an advantageous point for a fresh attack upon the citadel.

Having determined upon this line of proceeding, preparations were at once set on foot for carrying it out. An important point was to keep the French in ignorance of the design, and if possible to mislead them as to the spot where it was proposed to make the attack. With this view, soundings were made in the river opposite Beauport, between the mouth of the St. Charles and the Falls of Montmorenci, as though with the intention of effecting a landing there. The ruse was successful, and Montcalm's attention was directed to this spot as the probable point which he would soon have to defend. He hurried down to the entrenchments at Beauport, and made preparations to oppose the British in their anticipated attempt to land.

On the evening of the 12th of September, several of the heaviest vessels of the British fleet anchored near Beauport. Boats were lowered, and were soon filled with men, as though it were intended to effect a landing forthwith. Montcalm's attention having been thus concentrated upon this point, the smaller vessels sailed up the river past Cape Diamond, and joined the squadron under Admiral Holmes, which lay near Cape Rouge. The forces on the south bank of the St. Lawrence simultaneously advanced up the shore from Point Levi, and having arrived opposite the squadron, were quietly taken on board, where they awaited further orders. Wolfe, with the germs of a hectic fever still rankling in his blood, was nevertheless actively engaged in reconnoitring the position both on the river and on land. And now we again meet for a few moments with our old friend, Mr. John Jervis. Eighteen years have passed over his head since we last met him in the playground at Greenwich. He is now commander of the Porcupine, one of the sloops of war in the St. Lawrence. A few weeks before this time he had rendered an essential service to his old school-fellow, James Wolfe. One of the General's passages up the river had been made in the Porcupine, and in passing the batteries of the Lower Town of Quebec, the wind had died away, and the vessel had been driven by the current towards the northern shore. A cannonade was at once opened upon the vessel from the French batteries, and Wolfe would soon have been in the hands of the enemy. Jervis proved equal to the occasion. His word of command rang out to lower the ship's boats. The command was at once obeyed, and the crew soon towed the Porcupine out of danger. The memory of this event may perhaps have had something to do with Wolfe's conduct towards his old friend on the evening of this 12th of September. The General sent for young Jervis, and had a conversation with him upon various private matters. He expressed his conviction that he would not survive the impending battle, and taking Miss Lowther's picture from his bosom, he delivered it to Jervis. "If I fall," he said, "let it be given to her with my best love." Jervis, of course, promised compliance, and the somewhile pupils of, Mr. Swindon bade each other a last farewell.

The hours intervening between this conference and midnight were chiefly spent by the General in adding a codicil to his will, and in making a final inspection of arrangements for the proposed landing at L'Anse du Foulon. The night was calm and beautiful, and as he passed from ship to ship he commented to the officers on the contrast between the quietness which reigned supreme, and the resonant roar of battle which would almost certainly be heard there on the morrow. As he quietly moved about he was heard repeating in a low tone several stanzas of Gray's "Elegy." One of these stanzas he repeated several times:

  "The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
     And all that beauty, and all that wealth e'er gave,
   Await alike th' inevitable hour;
     The paths of glory lead but to the grave."

The occasion was a solemn one, and he doubtless felt that, for him, the last line had a special significance at that time. Who shall say what other thoughts filled his breast on that last evening of his life? Perchance he thought of his mother, of his dead father and brother, and of her who was pledged to share his name and fame. Let us hope that, in that solemn hour, with the forebodings of his coming doom strong upon him, he was able to look back upon his life with a consciousness that he had served his God with at least some measure of the zeal which he had ever been wont to display in the service of his country. He continued to repeat the beautiful lines of the poet, down to the concluding words of the epitaph. Then after a brief pause, turning to his officers:—"Gentlemen," he said, "I would rather be the author of that piece than take Quebec to-morrow." [Footnote: There is a story to the effect that Wolfe, on this night, composed the well-known song which bears his name, commencing: "How stands the glass around?" The story is altogether without foundation, the song having been written and published long before General Wolfe was born. The poetical talent of the family seems to have been confined to the Irish branch, one of the members whereof, the Rev. Charles Wolfe, subsequently won immortality by a single short poem, "The Burial of Sir John Moore."]

But not much time could be given to sentiment. A little after midnight, Wolfe embarked a strong detachment of forces in flat-bottomed boats, and, placing himself at their head, quietly glided down the river to L'Anse du Foulon. The spot was soon reached, and the landing was effected in safety. The cliff here rises almost perpendicularly to a height of 350 feet, and one of the soldiers was heard to remark that going up there would be like going up the side of a house. No time was lost, and the ascent of the ravine was at once begun. The enemy had a line of sentinels all along the top of the cliff, and one of the sentries was stationed at the precise spot where the British would emerge on the summit. When those who were in the van of ascent had reached a point about half way up the acclevity, the sentry's attention was aroused by the noise of scrambling that was necessarily made by the British soldiers. Calling "Qui vive?" down the cliff, he was answered in French, and, suspecting nothing amiss, he proceeded on his rounds. Meanwhile the British had not waited to ascend two abreast, but were scrambling up as best they could. Seizing hold of bushes, roots, and projections of rock, they rapidly scaled the steep sides of the cliff, and were soon within a few yards of the top. About a hundred of them made the ascent at a point a few yards further east than the ravine, and directly above their heads was a sentry-post with five or six French soldiers, who, hearing the noise, began to peer down the side of the cliff. Darkness prevented their seeing much, but the roots and bushes seemed all alive, and firing a volley down at random, they took to their heels and fled. The British vigorously pushed their way up, and were soon on level ground. Long before daylight 4,828 British troops stood upon the Heights of Abraham, commanding the city from the West. One solitary cannon had been toilsomely dragged up the ravine. It was destined to do good service against the French troops, and to carry a message of death to their commander, ere many hours had passed.

The decisive moment was at hand. By this time Wolfe felt certain that the French General would now emerge from his entrenchments and fight. His conviction proved to be well founded. About six o'clock in the morning, Montcalm, who had been vigilantly watching during the night for an attack at Beauport, received the intelligence of Wolfe's manoeuvre. Hastening across the St. Charles, he hurried along past the northern ramparts of Quebec, and advanced to do battle. His forces consisted of 7,520 troops, besides 400 Indians. In addition to these, he had a force of about 1,500 men farther up the river, near Cape Rouge, under H. de Bougainville. Messengers were dispatched to this officer directing him to hasten to the scene of action and attack the British in their rear.

The battle began early in the forenoon, when Montcalm's artillery opened fire upon the British. His force, independently of that under H. de Bougainville, being nearly double that of the British, he hoped to turn his numerical superiority to account by out-flanking the enemy's left, and crowding them towards the bank, when he would oppose them to the front and to the north, while H. de Bougainville would sweep down upon their rear. M. de Bougainville, however, was slow in arriving, and Montcalm's attack on the north and east was opposed by the British with such determination that he was compelled to draw back. Then, remustering his troops, he returned to the charge. This was the decisive moment. The British, by Wolfe's command, threw themselves on the ground, and though the hot fire of the approaching Frenchmen did terrible execution among them not a shot was fired in return. On came the foe until they had advanced to within forty yards of the British. Then Wolfe's voice was suddenly heard above the din of battle like the note of a clarion. Responsive to his call, the troops rose as one man and poured in a volley so deadly as to strike even the well-trained veterans of France with awe. Scores of them fell to rise no more, and hundreds sank wounded on the plain. Such of the terrified Canadian troops as were able to run, fled in sheer terror. Before the smoke of that terrible volley had cleared away, Wolfe, his delicate frame trembling with illness, but buoyed up with the assurance of a glorious victory, placed himself at the head of the Louisburg Grenadiers and the 28th Regiment, and led them to the fray. Wrapping a handkerchief round his left wrist, which had just been shattered by a bullet, he continued to advance at the head of his men, inspiriting them alike by his acts and his deeds. He gave the word to "Charge," and the word has scarcely passed his lips when he received a bullet in the groin. Staggering under the shock, he yet continued to advance, though unable to speak above his breath. The battle had not yet raged more than fifteen minutes, but it was even now virtually decided. The French troops were utterly disorganized, and fled in all directions. Montcalm, brave to rashness, rode along the broken ranks, and vainly tried to re-form them. As he continued to harangue them, exposing himself to the enemy's fire with utter indifference to his own safety, he was struck by a shot from the solitary gun which the British had been able to drag up the heights. He fell, mortally wounded; and from that moment there can no longer be said to have been any fighting. It was a fierce pursuit on the one side and a frantic flight on the other.

Less than three minutes before Montcalm's fall, Wolfe had received a third bullet wound—this time in the left breast. He leant upon the arm of the nearest officer, saying, "Support me—do not let my brave fellows see me fall. The day is ours—keep it." He was at once carried to the rear. Hearing some one giving directions to fetch a surgeon, he murmured, "It is useless—all is over with me." As his life ebbed away he heard a voice exclaim "They run, they run!" The words inspired him with temporary animation. Slightly raising his head he asked, "Who—who run?" "The enemy, sir," was the reply; "they give way everywhere." Summoning his fast-fleeting strength, he rejoined, "Go, one of you, to Colonel Burton. Tell him to march Webb's regiment with all speed down to Charles River to cut off the retreat." His head then sank, and turning slightly on one side, as in a heavy sleep, he was heard to murmur, "Now, God be praised, I die in peace."

And thus died all that was mortal of James Wolfe. [Footnote: There are various accounts extant of this closing scene in Wolfe's life, all professing to come more or less directly from eye-witnesses. No two of them agree in all points, and one of them states that the General never uttered a syllable after he was carried to the rear. The above is the version generally accepted by historians, and is supported by the testimony of the most trustworthy of those who were present at the scene.]

Everybody knows the rest of the story; how M. de Bougainville appeared on the field too late to be of any service; how, seeing what had befallen, he retreated again to Cape Rouge; how the Marquis de Vaudreuil, the Governor, and his 1,300 Canadians deserted the lines below Quebec, and made what haste they could to Montreal; how the beleagured garrison, reduced by famine and slaughter, capitulated on the fifth day after the battle; how a year afterwards Canada was surrendered to the British Crown; and how the surrender was ratified by the Treaty of Paris on the 10th of February, 1763.

And Montcalm. He had his wish, expressed shortly after he received his death-wound, and did not live to see the surrender of the city which he had defended so bravely. The story of his life and death has been told at length in a previous sketch. At present it is sufficient to day that he died on the day following the battle, and that he was buried within the precincts of the Ursuline Convent, on Garden street, Quebec.

The British loss on the Plains of Abraham consisted of 59 killed and 597 wounded. The French loss was much greater, amounting to about 600 killed and more than 1,000 wounded and taken prisoners. The death-roll seems wonderfully small when compared with the carnage in many fields famous in history; but, judged by its results and all the attendant circumstances, the battle may very properly be numbered among the decisive conflicts of the world.

When intelligence of the death of Wolfe and the fall of Quebec reached England, the enthusiasm of the people rose to a height which may almost be described as delirious. The effect was much heightened by the fact that such good news was wholly unexpected; for only three days before, despatches had arrived from Wolfe wherein it did not appear that he was by any means sanguine of success. Bonfires blazed from one end of the kingdom to the other, and the streets of the metropolis were redolent of marrow-bones and cleavers. Persons who had never seen each other before shook hands, and in some cases even embraced one another, when they met on the streets. The coffee-houses were thronged with hysteric orators who held forth about the days of chivalry having come back again. Sermons about the sword of the Lord and of Gideon were heard in churches and chapels throughout the land. While all these things were passing in nearly every city, town, and important village in the kingdom, one spot remained unillumined. That spot was Blackheath, where the hero's mother mourned the loss of her only child—the child to whom, notwithstanding his delicate health, she had tried to look forward as the stay of her declining years. The neighbours, one and all, of whatsoever degree, respected her great sorrow, and forbore to take part in the general rejoicings. We can fancy, too, that there was mourning and desolation at Raby Castle, the home of the beautiful Miss Lowther.[Footnote: The portrait of this lady confided by Wolfe to John Jervis on the night of the 12th of September, was subsequently delivered to her, and she wore it in memory of her dead hero until her marriage, nearly six years afterwards, to Harry, Sixth and last Duke of Bolton. She survived until 1809, when she died at her mansion in Grosvenor Square, London, at the age of seventy-five.] A month later this lady wrote to one of her friends as follows, concerning Mrs. Wolfe: "I feel for her more than words can say, and should, if it was given me to alleviate her grief, gladly exert every power which nature or compassion has bestowed; yet I feel we are the last people in the world who ought to meet."

Wolfe's body was embalmed and conveyed to England, where, on the 20th of November, it was deposited beside that of his father in the family vault, beneath the parish church of Greenwich. An immense concourse of people assembled to do honour to the dead hero's remains. On the day after the funeral, Pitt rose in the House of Commons and proposed an address to the King, praying that a monument might be erected in Westminster Abbey to the memory of the Conqueror of Quebec. The prayer was assented to, and a committee appointed to carry out the details. The sculpture occupied thirteen years, and the ceremony of unveiling did not take place until the 4th of October, 1773. The monument is of white marble, and stands in the Chapel of St. John the Evangelist, facing the ambulatory. The sculpture is very fine, and embodies various emblematic scenes in Wolfe's life. The inscription runs as follows:


               OF THE
               ON AN
              ON THE

A monument was also erected to Wolfe's memory in the parish church of Westerham, the village where he was born; and other memorials are to be found in Spuerries Park and at Stowe. In the year 1832, Lord Aylmer, Governor-General of Canada, erected a small pillar, on the Plains of Abraham, on the exact spot where Wolfe is believed to have breathed his last. The railing around it being insufficient for its protection, it was ere long defaced by sacrilegious hands. In 1849 it was removed, and a more suitable memorial set on in its stead. The cost of the latter was chiefly defrayed by British troops stationed in the Province. The inscription upon it is as follows:



Among the many Canadians who at one time or another in their lives have visited Great Britain, comparatively few, we imagine, have thought it worth while to travel down to the fine old cathedral city of Exeter, in Devonshire. The sometime capital of the West of England is of very remote antiquity. It was a place of some importance before Julius Cæsar landed in Britain, and eleven hundred years after that event it was besieged and taken by William the Conqueror. Later still, it was the scene of active hostilities during the wars of the Roses and of the Commonwealth. So much for its past. At the present day, for those to the manner born, it is one of the most delightful places of residence in the kingdom. It is not, however, of much commercial importance, and is not on any of the direct routes to the continent. Add to this, that the local society is a very close corporation indeed, and it will readily be understood why the place is somewhat caviare to the general public, and not much resorted to by strangers.

Like every other old English town, it has its full share of historic and noteworthy localities. The Guildhall, with its oldtime memories, and Rougemont Castle, once the abode of the West-Saxon kings, are dear to the hearts of local antiquarians. The elm-walk, near the Sessions House, is an avenue of such timber as can be seen nowhere out of England, and is a favourite resort for the inhabitants on pleasant afternoons. The Cathedral-close has been consecrated by the genius of one of the most eminent of living novelists, and its purlieus are familiar to many persons who have never been within thousands of miles of it. But the crowning glory of all is the cathedral itself, a grand old pile founded in the eleventh century, and the building of which occupied nearly two hundred years. Here, everything is redolent of the past. The chance wayfarer from these western shores who happens to stray within the walk of this majestic specimen of mediæval architecture will have some difficulty, for the nonce, in believing in the reality of such contrivances as steamboats and railways. Certainly it is one of the last places in the world where one might naturally expect to see anything to remind him of so modern a spot as the capital of Ontario. But should any Torontonian who is familiar with his country's history ever find himself within those walls, let him walk down the south aisle till he reaches the entrance to the little chapel of St. Gabriel. If he will then pass through the doorway into the chapel and look carefully about him, he will soon perceive something to remind him of his distant home, and of the Province of which that home is the capital. Several feet above his head, on the inner wall, he will notice a medallian portrait in bold relief, by Flaxman, of a bluff, hearty, good-humoured-looking English gentleman, apparently in the prime of life, and attired in the dress of a Lieutenant-General. His hair, which is pretty closely cut, is rather inclined to curl—evidently would curl if it were a little longer. Below the medallion is a mural tablet bearing the following inscription:

"Sacred to the memory of John Graves Simcoe, Lieutenant-General in the army, and Colonel in the 22nd Regiment of Foot, who died on the 25th day of October, 1806, aged 54. In whose life and character the virtues of the hero, the patriot, and the Christian were so eminently conspicuous, that it may justly be said, he served his King and his country with a zeal exceeded only by his piety towards God."

On the right of the inscription is depicted the figure of an Indian warrior with a conspicuous scalp-lock. On the left is the figure of a veteran of the Queen's Rangers. To the well-read spectator, the portrait stands confessed as the likeness of the first Governor of Upper Canada, and the founder of the Town of York.

Monumental inscriptions, as a rule, are not the most trustworthy authorities whereby one may be enabled to form an unprejudiced estimate of the moral and intellectual qualities of "those who have gone before." In visiting any of the noteworthy resting-places of the illustrious dead, either in the old world or the new, we are not seldom astonished upon reading the sculptured testimony of the survivors, to find that "'tis still the best that leave us." One may well wonder, with the Arch-Cynic, where the bones of all the sinners are deposited. In the case of Governor Simcoe, however, there is much to be said in the way of just commendation, and the inscription is not so nauseously fulsome us to excite disgust. Toronto's citizens, especially, should take pleasure in doing honour to his memory. But for him, the capital of the Province would not have been established here, and the site of the city might long have remained the primitive swamp which it was when his eyes first beheld it on the morning of the 4th of May, 1793.

His life, from the cradle to the grave, was one of almost uninterrupted activity. He was born at Cotterstock, Northamptonshire. sometime in the year 1752, and was a soldier by right of inheritance. His father, Captain John Simcoe, after a life spent in his country's service, died in the St. Lawrence River, on board H. M. ship Pembroke, of miasmatic disease, contracted in exploring portions of the adjoining country for military purposes. His death took place only a few day's before the siege of Quebec, in 1759. He left behind him a widow and two children. The younger of these children did not long survive his father. The elder who had been christened John Graves lived to add fresh laurels to the family name, and at the time of his father's death was in his eighth year. Shortly after the gallant Captain's death his widow removed to the neighbourhood of Exeter, where the remaining years of her life were passed. Her only surviving son was sent to one of the local schools until he had reached the age of fourteen, when he was transferred to Eton. Few reminiscences of his boyish days have come down to us. He appears to have been a diligent student, more especially in matters pertaining to the history of his country, and from a very early age he declared his determination to embrace a military life. From Eton he migrated to Merton College, Oxford, where he continued to pursue his studies until he had entered upon his nineteenth year, when he entered the army as an ensign in the 35th regiment of the line. This regiment was despatched across the Atlantic to take part in the hostilities with the revolted American Colonies, and young Simcoe did his devoirs gallantly throughout the whole course of the war of Independence. In June, 1775, he found himself at Boston, and on the 17th of that month he took part in the memorable fight at Bunker Hill. He subsequently purchased the command of a company in the 40th Regiment, and fought at the battle of Brandywine, where he was severely wounded. Upon the formation of the gallant, provincial corps called "The Queen's Rangers," he applied for the command, and as soon as he had recovered from his wound his application was granted. Under his command, the Rangers did good service in many engagements, and fought with a valour and discipline which more than once caused them to be singled out for special mention in the official despatches of the time. Sir Henry Clinton, Commander-in-chief of the royalist forces in America, in a letter written to Lord George Germaine, under the date of 13th May, 1780, says that "the history of the corps under his (Simcoe's) command is a series of gallant, skilful, and successful enterprises. The Queen's Rangers have killed or taken twice their own numbers."

Upon the close of the war, the Rangers were disbanded, the officers being placed on the half-pay list. Young Simcoe had meanwhile been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. During the progress of hostilities he had conceived an intense dislike to the colonists and their political principles, and the termination of the war caused no change in his sentiments toward them. This aversion accompanied him through life, and as we shall presently see, was destined to materially affect his subsequent career. Meanwhile, he returned to England with his constitution much impaired by the hard service he had undergone. Rest and regular habits, however, soon enabled him to recover, in a great measure, his wonted vigour. We next hear of him as a suitor to Miss Gwillim, a near relative of Admiral Graves, Commander of the British fleet during the early part of the Revolutionary War. The courtship soon terminated in marriage; and not long afterwards the ambitious young soldier was elected as member of the British House of Commons for the constituency of St. Maw's, Cornwall. The latter event took place in 1790. During the following session, Mr. Pitt's Bill for the division of the Province of Quebec into the two Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada came up for discussion. The member for St. Maw's was a vehement supporter of the measure, and upon it receiving the royal assent the appointment of Lieutenant-Governor of the new Province of Upper Canada was conferred upon him. He sailed from London on the 1st of May, 1792, accompanied by a staff of officials to assist him in conducting the administration of his Government. His wife, with her little son, accompanied him into his voluntary exile, and her maiden name is still perpetuated in this Province in the names of three townships bordering on Lake Simcoe, called respectively North, East, and West Gwillimbury. The party arrived in Upper Canada on the 8th of June, and after a brief stay at Kingston took up their abode at Newark, near the mouth of the Niagara River.

What Colonel Simcoe's particular object may have been in accepting the position of Lieutenant-Governor of such an uninviting wilderness as this Province then was, it is not easy to determine. He had retained his command in the army, and in addition to his receipts from that source, he owned valuable estates in Devonshire, from which he must have derived an income far more than sufficient for his needs. Upper Canada then presented few inducements for an English gentleman of competent fortune to settle within its limits. Its entire population, which was principally distributed along the frontier, was not more than 20,000. At Kingston were a fort and a few houses fit for the occupation of civilized beings. At Newark, there was the nucleus of a little village on the edge of the forest. Here and there along the St. Lawrence, around the Bay of Quinté, and along the Niagara frontier, were occasional little clusters of log cabins. In the interior, except at the old French settlement in the western part of the Province, there was absolutely nothing that could properly be called a white settlement. Roving tribes of Indians spread their wigwams for a season along the shores of some of the larger streams, but the following season would probably find the site without any trace of their presence. A few representatives of the Six Nations had been settled by Joseph Brant at Mohawk, on the Grand River, and there were a few Mississaugas near the mouth of the Credit. There was not a single well-constructed waggon road from one end of the Province to the other. Such was the colony wherein Governor Simcoe took up his abode with seeming satisfaction. It has been suggested that he must have been actuated by philanthropic and patriotic motives, and that he was willing to sacrifice himself for the sake of rendering Upper Canada a desirable place of settlement. Another suggestion is that he believed the flames of war between Great Britain and her revolted colonies likely to be re-kindled; in which case, he as Governor of an adjoining colony, which must be the battle-ground, would necessarily be called upon to play an important part. Whatever his motives may have been, he came over and administered the government for several years with energy and good judgment. He selected Newark as his temporary capital, and took up his quarters in an old store-house—upon which he bestowed the name of Navy Hall—on the outskirts of the village. Here, on the 16th of January, 1793, was born his little daughter Kate, and here he began to lay the foundation of the great popularity which he subsequently attained. He cultivated the most friendly relations with the Indians in the neighbourhood, who soon began to look upon him as their "Great Father." They conferred upon him Iroquois name of Deyonynhokrawen—"One whose door is always open." At a grand Council-fire kindled a few weeks after his arrival they conferred upon his little son Frank the dignity of a chieftain, under the title of "Tioga." The friendliness of the Indians conduced not little to the Governor's satisfaction: but there were other matters imperatively demanding his attention. The quality of the land in the interior, and even its external features, were subjects upon which very little was accurately known. He directed surveys to be made of the greater part of the country, which was laid out, under his supervision, into districts and counties. He did what he could to promote immigration, and held out special inducements to those former residents of the revolted colonies who had remained faithful to Great Britain during the struggle. These patriots, who are generally known by the name of United Empire Loyalists, received free grants of land in various parts of the Province, upon which they settled in great numbers. Free grants were also conferred upon discharged officers and soldiers of the line. To ordinary emigrants, lands were offered at a nominal price; and under this liberal system the wilderness soon began to wear a brighter aspect.

About two months after his arrival—that is to say, on the 17th of September, 1792, the first Provincial Parliament of Upper Canada met at Newark. The House of Assembly consisted of sixteen representatives chosen by the people; the Upper House of eight representatives appointed for life by the Governor on behalf of the Crown. This Legislature remained in session nearly a month, during which time it passed eight Acts, each of which was a great boon to the country, and reflected credit upon the intelligence and practical wisdom of the members. One of these Acts introduced the law of England with respect to property and civil rights, in so far as the same is applicable to the circumstances of a new and sparsely-settled country. Another established trial by jury. Another provided for the easy collection of small debts. Still another provided for the erection of gaols, courthouses and such other public buildings as might be necessary, in each of the four districts (the Eastern, Middle, Home and Western) into which the Province had been divided. The session closed on the 15th October, when the Governor complimented the members on their having done so much to promote the public welfare and convenience, and dismissed them to their homes.

Governor Simcoe was not long in discovering that Newark was not a suitable place for the capital of the Province. It was not central; and its proximity to the American Fort of Niagara, [Footnote: This fort was still occupied by British troops, but it was well understood that it would shortly be surrendered. The surrender took place under Jay's treaty on 1st June, 1796.] on the opposite bank of the river, was in itself a serious consideration. "The chief town of a Province," said he, "must not be placed within range of the guns of a hostile fort." As a temporary measure, he set about the construction of Fort George, on our side of the river, and then began to look about him for a suitable site for a permanent capital. He spent a good deal of time in travelling about the country, in order that he might weigh the advantages of different localities after personal inspection. He travelled through the forest from Newark to Detroit and back—a great part of the journey being made on foot—and to this expedition the Province is indebted for the subsequent survey and construction of the well-known "Governor's Road." The site of the future seat of Government meanwhile remained undecided. Lord Dorchester, the Governor-General, who had his headquarters at Quebec, urged that Kingston should be selected, but the suggestion did not accord with Governor Simcoe's views. The question for sometime continued to remain an open one. Finally, Governor Simcoe, in the course of his travels coasted along the northern shore of Lake Ontario, and after exploring different points along the route he entered the Bay of Toronto, and landed, as we have seen on the morning of Saturday, the 4th of May, 1793. The natural advantages of the place were not to be overlooked, and he was not long in making up his mind that here should be the future capital of Upper Canada. A peninsula of land extended out into Lake Ontario, and then came round in a gradual curve, as though for the express purpose of protecting the basin within from the force of the waves. Here, then, was an excellent natural harbour, closed in on all sides but one. An expanse of more than thirty miles of water intervened between the harbour and the nearest point of the territory of the new Republic. Toronto, too, was accessible by water both from east and west—a point of some importance at a time when there was no well-built highway on shore. These considerations (and doubtless others) presented themselves to the Governor's mind, and having come to a decision, he at once set about making some improvements on the site. To Lieutenant-Colonel Bouchette, he deputed the task of surveying the harbour. To Mr. Augustus Jones [Footnote: This gentleman's name is familiar to all Toronto lawyers and others who have had occasion to examine old surveys of the land herebouts. He subsequently married the daughter of an Indian Chief, and Rev. Peter Jones, the Indian Wesleyan missionary, was one of the fruits of this marriage.], Deputy Provincial Surveyor, was entrusted the laying out of the various roads in the neighbourhood. The great thoroughfare to the north called Yonge street, was surveyed and laid out for the most part under the personal supervision of Governor Simcoe himself, who named it in honour of his friend, Sir George Yonge, Secretary of War in the home government. In the course of the following summer, the Governor began to make his home in his new capital. The village, composed of a few Indian huts near the mouth of the Don, had theretofore been known by the name of Toronto, having been so called after the old French fort in the neighbourhood. Discarding this "outlandish" name, as he considered it, he christened the spot York, in honour of the King's son, Frederick, Duke of York. By this name the place continued to be known down to the date of its incorporation in 1834, when its former designation was restored.

At the date of the founding of York, the public press of Upper Canada consisted of a single demy sheet, called the Upper Canada Gazette, published weekly at Newark. Its circulation varied from 50 to 150 impressions. It was printed on Thursday, on a little press—the only one in the Province—which also printed the Legislative Acts and the Govermental proclamations. From the issue of August 1st, 1793, we learn that, "On Monday evening," which would be July 29th, "His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor left Navy Hall and embarked on board His Majesty's schooner the Mississaga, which sailed immediately with a favourable gale for York, with the remainder of the Queen's Rangers." From this time forward, except during the sitting of the Legislature, Governor Simcoe make York his headquarters. The Queen's Rangers referred to in the foregoing extract were a corps which had recently been raised in Upper Canada by the royal command, and named by the Governor after the old brigade at the head of which he had so often marched to victory during the war of the Revolution. The first Government House of Toronto was a somewhat remarkable structure, and deserves a paragraph to itself. When Colonel Simcoe was about to embark from London to enter upon the duties of his Government in this country, he accidentally heard of a movable house which had been constructed for Captain James Cook, the famous circumnavigator of the globe. This house was made of canvas, and had been used by its former owner as a dwelling in various islands of the southern seas. Governor Simcoe learned that this strange habitation was for sale, and upon inspecting it he perceived that it might be turned to good account in the wilds of Upper Canada. He accordingly purchased it, and brought it across the Atlantic with him. He found no necessity for using it as a dwelling at Newark, where the storehouse furnished more suitable accommodation; but upon taking up his quarters at York, Captain Cook's pavilion was brought into immediate requisition. We have been able to find no very minute account of it; but it must have been large, as he not only used it as his general private and official residence, but dispensed vice-regal hospitalities within his canvas walls. It seems to have been a migratory institution, and to have occupied a least half-a-dozen different sites during its owner's stay at York. At one time it was placed on the edge, and near the mouth, of the little stream subsequently known as Garrison Creek. At another time it occupied a plot of ground on or near the present site of Gooderham's distillery. In short, it seems to have been moved about from place to place in accordance with the convenience or caprice of the owner and his family.

But there is one spot so intimately associated with Governor Simcoe's residence here that it is time to give some account of it. Every citizen of Toronto has heard the name of Castle Frank, and most have some general idea of its whereabouts. It is presumable that the Governor found his canvas house an insufficient protection against the cold during the winter of 1793-4. Perhaps, too, (observe please, this is a joke), the idea may have intruded itself upon his mind that there was a sort of vagabondism in having no fixed place of abode. At any rate, during the early spring of 1794 he erected a rustic, nondescript sort of log chateau on the steep acclivity overlooking the valley of the Don, rather more than a mile from the river's mouth. The situation is one of the most picturesque in the neighbourhood, even at the present day, and there must have been a wild semi-savagery about it in Governor Simcoe's time that would render it specially attractive to one accustomed, he had been, to the trim hedges and green lanes of Devonshire.

It must at least have possessed the charm of novelty. When finished, the edifice was a very comfortable place of abode. From Dr. Scadding's "Toronto of Old" we learn that it was of considerable dimensions, and of oblong shape. Its walls were composed of "a number of rather small, carefully hewn logs, of short lengths. The whole wore the hue which unpainted timber, exposed to the weather, speedily assumes. At the gable end, in the direction of the roadway from the nascent capital, was the principal entrance, over which a rather imposing portico was formed by the projection of the whole roof, supported by four upright columns, reaching the whole height of the building, and consisting of the stems of four good-sized, well-matched pines, with their deeply-chapped, corrugated bark unremoved. The doors and shutters to the windows were all of double thickness, made of stout plank, running up and down on one side, and crosswise on the other, and thickly studded over with the heads of stout nails. From the middle of the building rose a solitary, massive chimney-stack."

Such was the edifice constructed by Governor Simcoe for the occasional residence of himself and his family. He called it Castle Frank, after his little son, previously mentioned; a lad about five years of age at; this time. The cleared space contiguous to the building was circumscribed within rather narrow limits. A few yards from the walls on each side a precipitous ravine descended. Through one of these ravines flows the Don Elver; while through the other a little murmuring brook meanders on until its confluence with the larger stream several hundreds yards farther down. In addition to a numerous retinue of servants, the household consisted of the Governor, his wife, Master Frank, and the infant daughter already mentioned. Dr. Scadding draws a pleasant picture of the spirited little lad clambering up and down the steep hill-sides with the restless energy of boyhood. He was destined to climb other hill-sides before his life-work was over, and to take part in more hazardous performances than, when scampering with his nurse along the rural banks of the Don. Seventeen years passed, and the bright-eyed boy had become a man. True to the traditions of his house, he had entered the army, and borne himself gallantly on many a well-contested field in the Spanish Peninsula. He eagerly pursued the path of glory which, as poet tells us, leads but to the grave. The dictum as applied to him, proved to be true enough. The night of the 6th of October, 1812, found him "full of lusty life," hopeful, and burning for distinction, before the besieged outworks of Badajoz. During the darkness of night the siege was renewed with a terrific vigour that was not to be resisted, and the "unconsidered voluntaries" of Estramadura tasted the sharpness of English steel. The town was taken—but at what a cost! If any one wishes to know more of that fearful carnage let him read the description of it in the pages of Colonel Napier, and he will acquiesce in the chronicler's assertion that, "No age, no nation ever sent braver troops to battle than those that stormed Badajoz." The morning of the 7th rose upon a sight which might well haunt the dreams of all who beheld it. In the breach where the ninety-fifth perished almost to a man was a ghastly array, largely consisted of the mangled corpses of young English officers whose dauntless intrepidity had impelled them to such deeds of valour as have made their names a sacred inheritance to their respective families. Many of them were mere boys

"With ladies' faces and fierce dragons' spleens"

upon whose cheeks the down of early manhood had scarce begun to appear. Among the many remnants of mortality taken from that terrible breach was the pallid corpse of young Frank Simcoe.

And what of the little sister, whose first appearance on life's stage was chronicled a few paragraphs back? Poor little Kate was a tender plant, not destined to flourish amid the rigours of a Canadian climate. She died within a year after the building of Castle Frank. Her remains were interred in the old military burying-ground, near the present site of the church of St. John the Evangelist, on the corner of Stewart and Portland streets. The old burying-ground is itself a thing of the past; but the child's death is commemorated by a tablet over her father's grave, in the mortuary chapel on the family estate in Devonshire. The inscription runs thus:—"Katharine, born in Upper Canada, 16th Jan, 1793; died and was buried at York Town, in that Province, in 1794."

In less than a month from the time of his arrival at York, Governor Simcoe was compelled to return for a short time to Newark in order to attend the second session of the Legislature, which had been summoned to meet on the 31st of May. During this session thirteen useful enactments were added to the statute book, the most important of which prohibited the introduction of slaves into the Province, and restricted voluntary contracts of service to a period of nine years. After the close of the session the Governor returned to York, and proceeded with the improvements which had already been commenced there, under his auspices. The erection of buildings for the accomodation of the Legislature was begun near the present site of the old gaol on Berkeley street, in what is now the far eastern part of the city. Hereabouts various other houses sprang up, and the town of York began to be something more than a name. It laboured under certain disadvantages, however, and its progress for some time was slow. A contemporary authority describes it as better fitted for a frog-pond or a beaver-meadow than for the residence of human beings. It was on the road to nowhere, and its selection by Governor Simcoe as the provincial capital was disapproved of by many persons, and more especially by those who had settled on the Niagara peninsula. Lord Dorchester, the Governor-General, opposed the selection by every means in his power. In civil matters relating to his Province, Governor Simcoe's authority was paramount; that is to say, he was only accountable to the Home Government; but the revenue of the Province was totally inadequate for its maintenance, and it was necessary to draw on the Home Government for periodical supplies. In this way, Lord Dorchester, who, from his high position, had great influence with the British Ministry, had it in his power to indirectly control, to some extent, the affairs of Upper Canada. He was, moreover, Commander-in-Chief of British North America, and as such had full control over the armaments. He determined that Kingston should at all events be the principal naval and military station on Lake Ontario, and this determination he carried out by establishing troops and vessels of war there. The military and naval supremacy then conferred upon Kingston has never been altogether lost.

There were other difficulties too, which began to stare Governor Simeoe in the face about this time. The nominal price at which land had been disposed of to actual settlers had caused a great influx of immigrants into the Province from the American Republic. To so great an extent did this immigration proceed that the Governor began to fear lest the American element in the Province might soon be the preponderating one. Should such a state of things come about, invasion or annexation would only be a matter of time. His hatred to the citizens of the Republic was intense, and coloured the entire policy of his administration. In estimating their political and national importance he was apt to be guided by his prejudices rather than by his convictions. In a letter written to a friend about this time, he expressed his opinion that "a good navy and ten thousand men would knock the United States into a nonentity." As the ten thousand men were not forthcoming, however, he deemed it judicious to guard against future aggression. The north shore of Lake Erie was settled by a class of persons whom he knew to be British to the core. This set him reflecting upon the advisability of establishing his capital in the interior; and within easy reach of these settlers, who would form an efficient militia in case of an invasion by the United States. He finally pitched upon the present site of London, and resolved that in the course of a few years the seat of government should be removed thither. This resolution, however, was never carried out. He did not even remain in the country long enough to see the Government established at York, which did not take place until the spring of 1797. In 1796 he received an appointment which necessitated his departure for the Island of St. Domingo, whither he repaired with his family the same year. Various reasons have been assigned for this appointment. The opposition of Lord Dorchester, we think, affords a sufficient explanation, without searching any farther. It has also been alleged that his policy was so inimical to the United States that the Government of that country complained of him at headquarters, and thus determined the Home Ministry, as a matter of policy, to find some other field for him. After his departure, the administration was carried on by the Honourable Peter Russell, senior member of the Executive Council, until the arrival of Governor Peter Hunter, in 1799.

Two years before his removal from Canada, Governor Simcoe had been promoted to the rank of Major-General. He remained at St. Domingo only a few months, when he retired to private life on his Devonshire estates. In 1798 he became Lieutenant-General, and in 1801 was entrusted with the command of the town of Plymouth, in anticipation of an attack upon that place by the French fleet. The attack never took place, and his command proved a sinecure. From this time forward we have but meagre accounts of him until a short time before his death, which, as the monumental tablet has already informed us, took place on the 25th of October, 1806. During the summer of that year he had been fixed upon as Commander-in-Chief of the East Indian forces, as successor to Lord Lake. Had his life been spared he would doubtless have been raised to the peerage and sent out to play his part in the history of British India. But these things were not to be. Late in September he was detached to accompany the Earl of Rosslyn on an expedition to the Tagus, to join the Earl of St. Vincent; an invasion of Portugal by France being regarded as imminent. Though fifty-four years of age, he sniffed the scent of battle as eagerly as he had done in the old days of the Brandy wine, and set out on the expedition in high spirits. The vessel in which he embarked had just been repainted, and he had scarcely got out of British waters before he was seized with a sudden and painful illness, presumed to have been, induced by the odour of the fresh paint. The severity of his seizure was such as to necessitate his immediate return. Upon landing at Torbay, not far from his home, he was taken very much worse, and died within a few hours. He was buried in a little chapel on his own estates, and the tablet in Exeter Cathedral was shortly afterwards erected in his honour.

But we Canadians have more enduring memorials of his presence among us than any monumental tablet can supply; and unless the topographical features of this Province should undergo some radical transformation, the name of Governor Simcoe is not likely to be soon forgotten in our midst. The large and important county of Simcoe, together with the lake, the shores whereof form part of its eastern boundary; the county town of the County of Norfolk; and a well-known street in Toronto—all these remain to perpetuate the name of the first Governor of Upper Canada. It is well that such tributes to his worth should exist among us, for he wrought a good work in our Province, and deserves to be held in grateful remembrance. He was not a man of genius. He was not, perhaps, a great man in any sense of the word; but he was upon the whole a wise and beneficent administrator of civil affairs, and was ever wont to display a generous zeal for the progress and welfare of the land which he governed. When we contrast his conduct of the administration with that of some of his successors, we feel bound to speak and think of him with all kindness.

The portrait which accompanies this sketch is engraved by kind permission of Dr. Scadding, from the frontispiece to his work, 'Toronto of old,' which was copied from a miniature obtained by the author from Captain J. K. Simcoe, a grandson of the Governor, and the present occupant of the family estates. The copy is a remarkably faithful one, and the authenticity of the original, coming, from such a source is beyond dispute.

The name "Castle Frank," as applied to the site of Governor Simcoe's abode, requires some explanation, as the original castle is not now in existence. After General Simcoe's departure from the Province, his rustic chateau was never used by any one as a permanent abode. Several of his successors in office, however, as well as various ether residents of York, used occasionally to resort to it as a kind of camping ground in the summer time, and it soon came into vogue for pic-nic excursions. Captain John Denison, a well-known resident of Little York, seems to have taken up his quarters in it for a few weeks, but not with any intention of permanently residing there. In. or about the month of June, 1829, the building was wantonly set on fire by some fisherman who had sailed up the Don. The timber was dry, and the edifice was soon burned to the ground. It has never been replaced, but the name of Castle Frank survives in that of the residence of Mr. Walter McKenzie, situated about a hundred yards distant. It is commonly applied, indeed, to all the adjoining heights; and on a pleasant Sunday afternoon in spring or summer, multitudes of Toronto's citizens repair thither for fresh air and a picturesque view. The route is through St. James' Cemetery, and thence through the shady ravine and up the hill beyond. Very few persons, we believe, could point out the exact site of the old "castle." It is, however easily discoverable by any one who chooses to search for it. A few yards to the right of the fence which is the boundary line between St. James' Cemetery and Mr. McKenzie's property is a slight depression in the sandy soil. That depression marks the site of the historic Castle Frank. It should be mentioned, however, that no curious citizen can legally gratify his desire to behold this momento of the past without first obtaining Mr. McKenzie's permission, as the site belongs to him, and cannot be reached from the cemetery without scaling the fence.

Besides his son Frank, whose death is recorded in the foregoing sketch. General Simcoe left behind him a younger son, Henry Addington Simcoe, christened after the eminent statesman who subsequently became Lord Sidmouth. The younger son took orders, and officiated for some years as a clergyman in the West of England. After the death of his brother in the breach at Badajos, he succeeded to the family estates; and in his turn was succeeded by his son, Captain J. K. Simcoe, above mentioned.


The life of Robert Baldwin forms so important an ingredient in the political history of this country that we deem it unnecessary to offer any apology for dealing with it at considerable length. More especially is this the case, inasmuch as, unlike most of the personages included in the present series, his career is ended, and we can contemplate it, not only with perfect impartiality, but even with some approach to completeness. The twenty and odd years which have elapsed since he was laid in his grave have witnessed many and important changes in our Constitution, as well as in our habits of thought; but his name is still regarded by the great mass of the Canadian people with feelings of respect and veneration. We can still point to him with the admiration due to a man who, during a time of the grossest political corruption, took a foremost part in our public affairs, and who yet preserved his integrity untarnished. We can point to him as the man who, if not the actual author of Responsible Government in Canada, yet spent the best years of his life in contending for it, and who contributed more than any other person to make that project an accomplished fact. We can point to him as one who, though a politician by predilection and by profession, never stooped to disreputable practices, either to win votes or to maintain himself in office.. Robert Baldwin, was a man who was not only incapable of falsehood or meanness to gain his ends, but who was to the last degree intolerant of such practices on the part of his warmest supporters. If intellectual greatness cannot be claimed for him, moral greatness was most indisputably his. Every action of his life was marked by sincerity and good faith, alike towards friend and foe. He was not only true to others; but was from, first to last true to himself. His useful career, and the high reputation which he left behind him, furnish an apt commentary upon the advice which Polonius gives to his son Laertes:—

  "This above all, to thine own self be true;
  And it must follow, as the night the day,
  Thou canst not then be false to any man."

To our thinking there is something august in the life of Robert Baldwin. So chary was he of his personal honour that it was next to impossible to induce him to pledge himself beforehand, even upon the plainest question. Once, when addressing the electors at Sharon, some one in the crowd asked him if he would pledge himself to oppose the retention of the Clergy Reserves, "I am not here," was his reply, "to pledge myself on any question. I go to the House as a free man, or I go not at all I am here to declare to you my opinions. If you approve of my opinions, and elect me, I will carry them out in Parliament. If I should alter those opinions I will come back and surrender my trust, when you will have an opportunity of re-electing me or of choosing another candidate; but I shall pledge myself at the bidding of no man." A gentleman still living in Toronto once accompanied him on an electioneering tour in his constituency of North York. There were many burning questions on the carpet at the time, on some of which Mr. Baldwin's opinion did not entirely coincide with that of the majority of his constituents. His companion remembers hearing it suggested to him that his wisest course would be to maintain a discreet silence during the canvass as to the points at issue. His reply to the suggestion was eminently characteristic of the man. "To maintain silence under, such circumstances," said he, "would be tantamount to deceiving the electors. It would be as culpable as to tell them a direct lie. Sooner than follow such a course I will cheerfully accept defeat." He could not even be induced to adopt the suppressio veri. So tender and exacting was his conscience that he would not consent to be elected except upon the clearest understanding between himself and his constituents, even to serve a cause which he felt to be a just one. Defeat might annoy, but would not humiliate him. To be elected under false colours would humiliate him in his own esteem, a state of things which, to high-minded man, is a burden intolerable to be borne.

It has of late years become the fashion with many well-informed persons in this country to think and speak of Robert. Baldwin as a greatly, over-estimated man. It is on all hands admitted that he was a man of excellent intentions, of spotless integrity, and of blameless life. It is not disputed, even by those whose political views are at variance with those of the party to which he belonged, that the great measures for which he contended were, in themselves conducive to the public weal, nor is it denied that he contributed greatly to the cause of political freedom in Canada. But, it is said, Robert Baldwin was merely the exponent of principles which, long before his time, had found general acceptance among, the statesmen of every land where constitutional government prevails. Responsible government, it is said, would have become an accomplished fact, even if Robert Baldwin had never lived. Other much-needed reforms with which his name is inseparably associated would have come, it is contended, all in good time, and this present year, 1880, would have found us pretty much where we are. To argue after this fashion is simply to beg the whole question at issue. It is true that there is no occult power in a mere name. Ship-money, doubtless, was a doomed impost, even if there had been no particular individual called John Hampden. The practical despotism of the Stuart dynasty would doubtless have come to an end long before the present day, even if Oliver Cromwell and William of Orange had never existed. In the United States, slavery was a fated institution, even if there had been no great rebellion, and if Abraham Lincoln had never occupied the Presidential chair. But it would be a manifest injustice to withhold from those illustrious personages the tribute due to their great and, on the whole, glorious lives. They were the media whereby human progress delivered its message to the world, and their names are deservedly held in honour and reverence by a grateful posterity. Performing on a more contracted stage, and before a less numerous audience, Robert Baldwin, fought his good fight—and won. Surrounded by inducements to prove false to his innate convictions, he nevertheless chose to encounter obloquy and persecution for what he knew to be the cause of truth and justice.

  "Once to every man and nation
  Comes the moment to decide,"

says Professor Lowell. The moment came to Robert Baldwin early in life. It is not easy to believe that he ever hesitated as to his decision; and to that decision he remained true to the latest hour of his existence. If it cannot in strictness be said of him that he knew no variableness or shadow of turning, it is at least indisputable that his convictions never varied upon any question of paramount importance. What Mr. Goldwin Smith has said of Cromwell might with equal truth, be applied to Robert Baldwin: "He bore himself, not as one who gambled for a stake, but as one who struggled for a cause." These are a few among the many claims which Robert Baldwin has upon the sympathies and remembrances of the Canadian people; and they are claims which, we believe, posterity will show no disposition to ignore.

In order, to obtain a clear comprehension of the public career of Robert Baldwin ft is necessary to glance briefly at the history of one or two of his immediate ancestors. In compiling the present sketch the writer deems it proper to say that he some time since wrote an account of Robert Baldwin's life for the columns of an influential newspaper published in Toronto. That account embodied the result of much careful and original investigation. It contained, indeed, every important fact readily ascertainable with reference to Mr. Baldwin's early life. So far as that portion of it is concerned there is little to be added at the present time, and the writer has drawn largely upon it for the purposes of this memoir. The former account being the product of his own conscientious labour and investigation, he has not deemed it necessary to reconstruct sentences and paragraphs where they, already clearly expressed his meaning. With reference to Mr. Baldwin's political life, however, the present sketch embodies the result of fuller and more accurate information, and is conceived in a spirit which the exigencies of a newspaper do not admit of.

At the close of the Revolution which ended in the independence of the United States, there resided near the City of Cork, Ireland, a gentleman named William Wilcocks. He belonged to an old family which had once been wealthy, and which was still in comfortable circumstances. About this time a strong tide of emigration set in from various parts of Europe to the New World. The student of history does not need to be informed that there was at this period a good deal of suffering and discontent in Ireland. The more radical and, uncompromising among the malcontents staid at home, hoping for better times, many of them eventually took part in the troubles of '98. Others sought a peaceful remedy for the evils under which they groaned, and, bidding adieu to their native land, sought an asylum for themselves, and their families in the western wilderness. The success of the American Revolution combined with the hard times at home to make the United States "the chosen land" of many thousands of these self-expatriated ones. The revolutionary struggle was then a comparatively recent affair. The thirteen revolted colonies had become an independent nation, had started on their national career under favourable auspices, and had already become a thriving and prosperous community. The Province of Quebec, which then included the whole of what afterwards became Upper and Lower Canada, had to contend with many disadvantages, and its condition was in many important respects far behind that of the American Republic. Its climate was much more rigorous than was that of its southern neighbour, and its territory was much more sparsely settled. The western part of the Province, now forming part of the Province of Ontario, was especially thinly peopled, and except at a few points along the frontier, was little better than a wilderness. It was manifestly desirable to offer strong incentives to immigration, with a view to the speedy settlement of the country. To effect such a settlement was the imperative duty of the Government of the day, and to this end, large tracts of land were allotted to persons whose settlement here was deemed likely to influence colonization. Whole townships were in some cases conferred, upon condition that the grantees would settle the same with a certain number of colonists within a reasonable time. One of these grantees was the William Willcocks above mentioned, who was a man of much enterprise and philanthropy. He conceived the idea of obtaining a grant of a large tract of land, and of settling it with emigrants of his own choosing, with himself as a sort of feudal proprietor at their head. With this object in view he came out to Canada in or about the year 1790, to spy out the land, and to judge from personal inspection which would be the most advantageous site for his projected colony. In setting out upon this quest he enjoyed an advantage greater even than was conferred by his social position. A cousin of his, Mr. Peter Russell, a member of the Irish branch of the Bedfordshire family of Russell, had already been out to Canada, and had brought home glowing accounts of the prospects held out there to persons of capital and enterprise. Mr. Russell had originally gone to America during the progress of the Revolutionary War, in the capacity of Secretary to Sir Henry Clinton, Commander-in-chief of the British forces on this continent. He had seen and heard enough to convince him that the acquisition of land in Canada was certain to prove a royal road to wealth. After the close of the war he returned to the Old Country, and gave his relatives the benefit of his experience. Mr. Russell also came out to Canada with Governor Simcoe in 1792, in the capacity of Inspector-General. He subsequently held several important, offices of trust in Upper Canada. He became a member of the Executive Council, and as the senior member of that body the administration, of the Government devolved upon him during the three years (1796-1799) intervening between Governor Simcoe's departure from Canada, and the appointment of Major-General Peter Hunter as Lieutenant-Governor. His residence in Canada, as will presently be seen, was destined to have an important bearing on the fortunes of the Baldwin family. Meanwhile, it is sufficient to note the fact that it was largely in consequence of the valuable topographical and statistical information, furnished by him to his cousin William Willcocks that the latter was induced to set out on his preliminary tour of Asenation.

The result of this preliminary tour was to convince Mr. Willcocks that his cousin had not overstated the capabilities of the country, as to the future of which he formed the most sanguine expectations. The next step to be taken was to obtain his grant; and, as his political influence in and around his native city was considerable, he conceived that this would be easily managed. He returned home, and almost immediately afterwards crossed over to England, where he opened negotiations with the Government. After some delay he succeeded in obtaining a grant of a large tract of land forming part of the present Township of Whitchurch, in the County of York. In consideration of this liberal grant he on his part agreed to settle not fewer than sixty colonists on the laud so granted within a certain specified time. An Order in Council confirmatory of this arrangement seems to have been passed. The rest of the transaction is involved in some obscurity. Mr. Willcocks returned to Ireland, and was soon afterwards elected Mayor of Cork—an office which he had held at least once before his American tour. Municipal and other affairs occupied so much of his time that he neglected to take steps for settling his trans-Atlantic domain until the period allowed him by Government for that purpose had nearly expired. However, in course of time—probably in the summer of 1797—he embarked with the full complement of emigrants for New York, whither they arrived after a long and stormy voyage. They pushed on without unnecessary delay, and in due coarse arrived at Oswego, where Mr. Willcocks received the disastrous intelligence that the Order in Council embodying his arrangement with the Government had been revoked.

Why the revocation took place does not appear, as no change of Government had taken place, and the circumstances had not materially changed. Whatever the reason may have been the consequences to Mr. Willcocks and his emigrants were very serious. The poor Irish families who had accompanied him to the New World—travel-worn and helpless, in a strange land, without means, and without experience in the hard lines of pioneer life—were dismayed at the prospect before them. Mr. Wilcocks, a kind and honourable man, naturally felt himself to be in a manner responsible for their forlorn situation. He at once professed his readiness to bear the expense of their return to their native land. Most of them availed themselves of this offer, and made the best of their way back to Ireland—some of them, doubtless, to take part in the rising of '98. A few of them elected to remain in America, and scattered themselves here and there throughout the State of New York. Mr. Wilcocks himself, accompanied by one or two families, continued his journey to Canada, where he soon succeeded in securing a considerable allotment of land in Whitchurch and elsewhere. It is probable that he was treated liberally by the Government, as his generosity to the emigrants had greatly impoverished him, and it is certain that a few years later he was the possessor of large means. Almost immediately after his arrival in Canada he took up his abode at York, where he continued to reside down to the time of his death. Being a man of education and business capacity he was appointed Judge of the Home District Court, where we shall soon meet him again in tracing the fortunes of the Baldwin family. He had not been long in Canada before he wrote home flattering reports about the land of his adoption to his old friend Robert Baldwin, the grandfather of the subject of this sketch. Mr. Baldwin was a gentleman of good family and some means, who owned and resided on a small property called Summer Hill, or Knockmore, near Cairagoline, in the County of Cork. Influenced by the prospects held out to him by Mr. Willcocks, he emigrated to Canada with his family in the summer of 1798, and settled on a block of land on the north shore of Lake Ontario, in what is now the Township of Clarke, in the County of Durham. He named his newly-acquired estate Annarva (Ann's Field), and set about clearing and cultivating it. The western boundary of his farm was a small stream much until then was nameless, but which has ever since been known in local parlance as Baldwin's Creek. Here he resided for a period of fourteen years, when he removed to York, where he died in the year 1816. He had brought with him from Ireland two sons and four daughters. The eldest son, William Warren Baldwin, was destined to achieve considerable local renown as a lawyer and a politician. He was a man of versatile talents, and of much firmness and energy of character. He had studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, and had graduated there two years before his emigration, but had never practised his profession as a means of livelihood. He had not been many weeks in this country before he perceived that his shortest way to wealth and influence was by way of the legal rather than the medical profession. In those remote times, men of education and mental ability were by no means numerous in Upper Canada. Every man was called upon to play several parts, and there was no such organization of labour as exists in older and more advanced communities. Dr. Baldwin resolved to practice both professions, and, in order to fit himself for the one by which he hoped to rise most speedily to eminence, he bade adieu to the farm on Baldwin's Creek and came up to York. He took up his quarters with his father's friend and his own, Mr. Willcocks, who lived on Duke street, near the present site of the La Salle Institute. In order to support himself while prosecuting his legal studies, he determined to take in a few pupils. In several successive numbers of the Gazette and Oracle—the one newspaper published in the Province at that time—we find in the months of December, 1802, and January, 1803, the following advertisement:—"Dr. Baldwin, understanding that some of the gentlemen of this town have expressed some anxiety for the establishment of a Classical School, begs leave to inform them and the public that he intends, on Monday, the first day of January next, to open a School, in which he will instruct Twelve Boys in Writing, Reading, Classics and Arithmetic. The terms are, for each boy, eight guineas per annum, to be paid quarterly or half-yearly; one guinea entrance and one cord of wood to be supplied by each of the boys on opening the School. N.B.—Mr. Baldwin will meet his pupils at. Mr. Willcocks' house on Duke street. York, December 18th, 1802." This advertisement produced the desired effect. The Doctor got all the pupils he wanted, and several youths, who, in after life; rose to high eminence in the colony, received their earliest classical teaching from him.

It was not necessary at that early day that a youth should spend a fixed term in an office under articles as a preliminary for practice, either at the Bar or as an attorney. On the 9th of July, 1794, during the regime of Governor Simcoe, an act had been passed authorizing the Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, or person administering the Government of the Province, to issue licenses to practise as advocates and attorneys to such persons, not exceeding sixteen in number, as he might deem fit. We have no means of ascertaining how many persons availed themselves of this statute, as no complete record of their names or number is in existence. The original record is presumed to have been burned when the Houses of Parliament were destroyed during the American invasion in 1813. It is sufficient for our present purpose to know that Dr. Baldwin was one of the persons so licensed. By reference to the Journals of the Law Society at Osgoode Hall, we find that this license was granted on the 6th of April, 1803, by Lieutenant-Governor Peter Hunter. We further find that on the same day similar licenses were granted to four other gentlemen, all of whom were destined to become well-known citizens of Canada, viz., William Dickson, D'Arcy Boulton, John Powell, and William Elliott. Dr. Baldwin, having undergone an examination before Chief Justice Henry Alcock, and having received his license, authorizing him to practise in all branches of the legal profession, married Miss Phoebe Willcocks, the daughter of his friend and patron, and settled down to active practice as a barrister and attorney. He took up his abode in a house which had just been erected by his father-in-law, on what is now the north-west corner of Front and Frederick streets. [It may here be noted that Front Street was then known as Palace Street, from the circumstance that it led down to the Parliament buildings at the east end of the town, and because it was believed that the official residence or "palace" of the Governor would be built there.] Here, on the, 12th of May, 1804, was born Dr. Baldwin's eldest son, known to Canadian history as Robert Baldwin.

The plain, unpretending structure in which Robert-Baldwin first saw light has a history of its own. Dr. Baldwin resided in it only about three years, when he removed to a small house, long since demolished, on the corner of Bay and Front streets. Thenceforward the house at the foot of Frederick Street was occupied by several tenants whose names are famous in local annals. About 1825 it was first occupied by Mr. William Lyon Mackenzie, who continued to reside in it for several years. It was here that the Colonial Advocate was published by that gentleman, at the time when his office was wrecked and the type thrown into the bay by a "genteel mob," a farther account of which lawless transaction will be found in the sketch of the life of W. L. Mackenzie, included in the present series. The building subsequently came into the possession of the Cawthra family—called by Dr. Scadding "the Astors of Upper Canada"—who carried on a large and marvellously successful mercantile business within its walls. It was finally burned down in the winter of 1854-5.

Dr. Baldwin applied himself to the practice of his several professions with an energy and assiduity which deserved and secured a full measure of success. His legal business was the most profitable of his pursuits, but in the early years of his residence at York he seems to have also had a fair share of medical practice. It might not unreasonably have been supposed that the labour arising from these two sources of employment would have been sufficient for the energies and ambition of any man; but we find that for at least two years subsequent to his marriage he continued to take in pupils. Half a century later than the period at which we have arrived, Sir John Beverley Robinson, then a baronet, and Chief Justice of the Province, was wont to pleasantly remind the subject of this sketch that their mutual acquaintance dated from a very early period in the latter's career. At the time of Robert Baldwin's birth, John Robinson, then a boy in his thirteenth year, was one of a class of seven pupils who attended daily at Dr. Baldwin's house for classical instruction. Two or three days after the Doctor's first-born came into the world, Master Robinson was taken into the nursery to see "the new baby." Differences of political opinion in after years separated them far as the poles asunder on most public questions, but they never ceased to regard each other with personal respect. The late Chief Justice Maclean was another pupil of Dr. Baldwin's, and distinctly remembered that a holiday was granted to himself and his fellow students on the day of the embryo statesman's birth. Doctor Baldwin seems to have been fully equal to the multifarious calls upon his energies, and to have exercised his various callings with satisfaction alike to clients, patients, and pupils. It was no uncommon occurrence in those early days, when surgeons were scarce in our young capital, for him to be compelled to leave court in the middle of a trial, and to hurry away to splice a broken arm or bind up a fractured limb. Years afterwards, when he had retired from the active practice of all his professions, he used to cite a somewhat ludicrous instance of his professional versatility. It occurred soon after his marriage. He was engaged in arguing a case of some importance before his father-in-law, Judge Willcocks, in the Home District Court, when a messenger hurriedly arrived to summon him to attend at the advent of a little stranger into the world. The circumstances were, explained to the Judge, and—it appearing that no other surgical aid was to be had at the moment—that functionary readily consented to adjourn the further consideration of the argument until Dr. Baldwin's return. The latter hurriedly left the court-room with the messenger, and after the lapse of somewhat more than an hour, again presented himself and prepared to resume his interrupted argument. The Judge ventured to express a hope that matters had gone well with the patient; whereupon the Doctor replied, "Quite well. I have much pleasure in informing your Honour that a man-child has been born into the world during my absence, and that both he and his mother are doing well." The worthy Doctor received the congratulations of the Court, and was permitted to conclude his argument without any further demands upon his surgical skill.

Almost from the outset of his professional career, Dr. Baldwin took a strong interest in political matters. The fact that he was compelled to earn his living by honest labour, excluded him from a certain narrow section of the society of Little York. The society from which he was excluded, however, was by no means of an intellectual cast, and it is not likely that he sustained much loss by his exclusion. By intellectual society in Toronto, he was regarded as a decided acquisition. He could well afford to despise the petty littleness of the would-be aristocrats of the Provincial capital. Still, it is probable that his political convictions were intensified by observing that, among the members of the clique above referred to; mere merit was regarded as a commodity of little account. He became known for a man of advanced ideas, and was not slow in expressing his disapprobation of the way in which government was carried on whenever a more than ordinarily flagrant instance of injustice occurred. In 1812, he became treasurer of the law Society of Upper Canada, and while filling that position, he projected a scheme for constructing a suitable building for the Society's occupation. The times, however, were impropitious for such a scheme, which fell through in consequence of the impending war with the United States.