Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

caulay, of the Royal Engineers, so that we felt confident that with a garrison of one hundred and twenty or one hundred and fifty men it could not be taken by two thousand without the aid of artillery. We remain in the same state still, as matters are not yet quite settled; but it puts us to great inconvenience, as our rooms are all turned into barracks, and Mrs. Ridout and the children are huddled into one apartment. They returned here about a week ago, all more or less unwell, as they had taken cold when they turned out of bed and left the house on the Monday night.

The Government has several thousand militiamen embodied in the Province; of these about a thousand are in our garrison. Mackenzie, with two or three hundred of his deluded followers, and some people from Buffalo, are on Navy Island, just above the Falls of Niagara. It is almost impossible that he should escape.

The accounts we have from Lower Canada promise a speedy end to the rebellion in that Province; and we trust that in the course of another month all will be pretty quiet. Captain Baldwin was in the bank a few minutes

ago.

His family are all well. The Captain did duty as one of our guard with his musket; he could not go home, as a party of the rebels occupied his house. With my remembrance to Mrs. Morgan, I remain, ever yours,

THOMAS G. RIDOUT.

John A. Dix to Mrs. John J. Morgan. [Private.]

Albany, December 24, 1837. MY DEAR MOTHER,—No one, I am well assured, can take a greater interest in Canadian affairs than yourself; and as circumstances have put in my possession some information which you will be pleased to receive, I proceed to communicate it to you under the seal of privacy, however, as a part of it is known to me only officially.

In the first place, I may as well say that the outbreak in Lower Canada is at an end. It originated as I have already explained to Mr. Morgan. The severities alleged by the Montreal (Royalist) papers to have been practised against the patriots I have now no doubt were exaggerated, and that the object was, by the high coloring given to their accounts, to strike terror into the minds of the disaffected throughout the Province. I am glad that it is so, though I think those statements were calculated to excite as much indignation as terror.

In Upper Canada the movement made by Mackenzie was without preparation and without consultation, excepting with his immediate followers. It very naturally failed, as Dr. Rolph, Dr. Baldwin, and Robert, and Mr. Bidwell were not concerned in it; and it is to them that the Liberal party have been accustomed to look for advice and direction. I had a letter yesterday from Mr. Bidwell, dated at Lewiston. He is there closing his concerns, having left the Province at the personal request of Sir Francis Head, not because there was any suspicion that he was concerned in Mackenzie's movement, but on account of his political opinions and supposed influence. He says the request of the Governor was made with great kindness of manner, and with assurances of personal regard and esteem. His object in writing to me (it is the first letter I ever received from him) was to ask me to aid him in procuring his admission as Counsellor at the Bar of the Supreme Court in this State. Ile says that the doctor and Robert are unmolested, and that they will not be touched. I need not say how much we all rejoice at this intelligence, on your account as well as on theirs.

When the disturbances commenced in the Canadas it was foreseen that the result would be to drive many individuals into this State, and it became an early matter of interest and inquiry as to the course to be taken in case they were demanded of us. I examined the subject carefully, and was satisfied that there could be no hesitation about the duty of the State Government or its citizens. Our neutrality was to be maintained; but our sympathies were free, and a refuge was due to all who should seek it within our territories. The Governor's proclamation, which was issued on a communication from the Mayor of Buffalo, was drawn in conformity to the view above given of our political and social duties. The very day it was issued a communication was received from Sir Francis Head, which would have called forth a similar paper, if the Mayor of Buffalo had not anticipated him.

The day before yesterday the Governor received communications from Sir Francis Head by a special messenger demanding the surrender of Mackenzie. The requisition has been denied. It would have been denied on general principles; but Sir Francis, very singularly, sent with his requisition documents and statements which rendered it impossible for the Governor to grant the application. This case disposes of every other question as to the surrender of fugitives. Mackenzie, as Governor Head admitted, was at Navy Island, in the Niagara River, and within the British territory, with an armed force. By-thebye, I consider his position as a ridiculous one, and have no doubt that he will soon, break up and retire. His only chance of success was by boldly advancing into the country.

There has been, as you may suppose, a good deal of feeling here in relation to these movements. It has even extended, as indeed all public excitements do, to the schools. Morgan's outbreak of sympathy in his letter shows this. However, Mr. Duff is a warm Royalist, and discusses all matters freely with his scholars, who regularly divide into parties.

*

Will you say to Mr. Morgan that I do not despair of the people. On the contrary, I have full faith in their triumph. But I believe a few men in this State have it in their power to defeat us next fall. Things may, however, assume a better aspect before the winter is over.

We shall be very glad to see Mr. Freeman. We should ask him to come directly to the house but for reasons which it is unnecessary to explain to you, and which we cannot explain to him. Mr. Morgan and you must choose a picture. As to my. self, most of the contributors united, at my request, in providing him with the means of making his tour, and my choice must be last. Do remember us cordially to him. I should write him, but do not know whether my letter would reach him. We only heard of his arrival the evening before last. We are all well, and all unite in best wishes and prayers for yourself and Mr. Morgan, with many happy returns of this festive season.

And now, my dear Mother, I should make some excuse for writing such an unreasonably long letter as this if I were often in the habit of doing so. But, as they come rarely in such an extended shape, I offer no other than that of a desire to communicate what I thought might be acceptable.

With best remembrance to Mr. Morgan, I am, most affectionately, your son,

J. A. Dix.

John S. Baldwin to John J. Morgan.

Toronto, December 30, 1837. MY DEAR FRIEND,-After wishing you and Eliza many happy returns of the season, in which Anne joins, I think I must give you some little account of our state of anxiety and alarm during the present month.

After insurrection broke out in Lower Canada—which was certainly the production of a French faction, who have a deadly hatred to everything British, and of which, it seems, nothing human will ever deprive them—these leaders lost no opportunity of keeping up a correspondence with some discontented and infamous characters among us who for years past have been keeping up a constant excitement under the name of reform, and hypocritical slang of wanting the British Constitution here in its true colors, etc.; but, with this on their lips and infamy in their minds, it was self-aggrandizement and plunder they all had in view. They succeeded in some of our back townships to bring their plans to such a state of maturity, and to act in unison with the rebels of Lower Canada, that on the night of the 4th instant our city was suddenly alarmed with the cry, “The rebels are coming down Yong Street, a thousand strong, all armed!” Some said fifteen hundred, others only five hundred—it was impossible to say how many; only one thing is evident, that they would not have come had they not numbers sufficient to take and keep the city in their estimation. They came within three miles of the town, and found that the citizens were all on the alert and armed; and that had they attempted an entrance many lives would have been lost. By four or five o'clock in the morning everything was prepared for fighting. The rebel forces halted, and never came near the town (except afterward as prisoners). On the following Thursday our Lieutenant-governor headed about fourteen hundred men, with some artillery, and went up Yong Street to give them battle. They soon met ; and the rebels, after leaving sixty men dead, fled into the woods in all directions, so that they could neither be pursued nor taken. The ringleaders escaped, and were never able to rally after it. Mackenzie made off to the States; and Dr. Rolph, knowing his own guilt, and finding his friends were defeated, mounted a horse and rode off to the lines with all speed. He

was not gone many hours when his treason was found of so black a kind that two thousand dollars was offered for his arrest. Mr. Bidwell also was found so implicated that he was told to leave the country immediately, under a provision in bond never to return to it. Many arrests have been made. Our jails are full, and no doubt several will be hung, among whom is one Morrison, a member of the House of Assembly; and Dr. Rolph and Mackenzie wonld be hung if they could be taken. There was some movement also made in our London District in unison with the others, but it ended in nothing; and I can assure you that there is not now a single band of rebels under arms in either Province from one end to the other, save and except about one hundred or one hundred and fifty runaways who are on a small island in the Niagara River, and who first went to Buffalo, where they have been joined by several hundred Americans, and have taken possession of that island, which belongs to Canada. On this spot they have been provided with nine pieces of brass cannon and some iron ones from arsenals in the State of New York, also with muskets, powder and ball, and all sorts of munitions of war, together with money and provisions, and their numbers are now stated to be eight hundred or a thousand men-most all American citizens—among whom is one of the Van Rensselaers and others, I am told, of distinction. What this may lead to I will not here pretend to say; but this I can venture, that when we are now all quiet, the idea of an invading foreign force is one of the first things to unite the people. And I must just remark the proud feeling all true friends to the country have in thinking that this vile insurrection was put down without a single British soldier in Upper Canada. Yours truly,

J. S, BALDWIN. J. J. MORGAN, Esq.

John A. Dix to John J. Morgan, News has arrived this morning of the defeat of the patriots north of Montreal. They are shot down like wild beasts. They are almost without arms, and the regular troops sent against them are furnished with all the means of destruction.

In Upper Canada, I think, there will be no farther disturbances. A force has been organized near Buffalo with a view to cross over to the aid of the patriots, but I think it will be dis

« ZurückWeiter »