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POLITICAL AND HISTORICAL
PRESENT SITUATION OF THE PEOPLE,
THEIR MANNERS, CHARACTER, RELIGION,
By A CANADIAN.
La Terrière, Pierre de Sales
WILLIAM MARSH AND ALFRED MILLER,
CONSTABLE & Co., EDINBURGH.
SOME years since I left Lower Canada, the country of my birth, and have, from that period, resided chiefly in England. Here I have had both time and opportunity to reflect upon the state of the various colonies which belong to the British Empire, and of that which to me is most interesting—my native country. Her present political situation has occupied a large portion of my thoughts; the want of correct information among the people of England, respecting that situation, has been long to me a subject of deep regret and solicitude; and, at length, in the absence of others more competent to the task, I have summoned resolution to hazard an explanation of the affairs of my country, persuading myself, that the candid statements of a Canadian by extraction may diminish, if they cannot destroy, the many unfavour
able and incorrect impressions which have been created by the relations of various English travellers and resident Anglo-Canadians, respecting the feelings and situation of my countrymen. The matter is laid before the public, as one in which they themselves are interested; and an appeal is made to the good sense of the English people, in hopes that they will listen to both sides of the question.
Few persons are ignorant that, for some years past, there has existed in Canada a misunderstanding between the Local Government and the House of Assembly, which is the popular branch of the Legislature ; that this misunderstanding became more than ever decided during the late administration of Lord Dalhousie ; and that it was at last deemed advisable by the colony to have recourse to the Imperial Government, in order to settle the differences existing. To enable the British Legislature justly to adjudge between these contending parties, much information is required-part of this information the present Work is intended to afford. Many pamphlets have been published in Quebec and Montreal on the same subject, and some of these are in the hands of persons in this country, directly interested in the affairs of the colony. The tone of these works shows to
what height party feelings have arrived, and the strong desire that exists on all sides to justify their conduct in the eyes of the public; but none of them has been written for the English people—none of them, however deserving, has had an opportunity of being circulated here. Being, for the most part, written by persons ignorant of the state of the information of Englishmen respecting Canada, they seldom contain such matter, or are put into such a form, as to gratify or excite the curiosity of the English public. These circumstances have induced me to take upon myself the character of an Author; to endeavour, as far as lay in my power, to expose the complicated causes of our complaints; and to seek from the hands of the British nation, what they are ever ready to grant-justice to an injured people.
In this undertaking, I hope for little success as an Author; still less do I expect any approbation from the contending political parties themselves, since. I have attached myself strictly to the truth, without reference either to persons or parties. The task of blaming the proceedings of the various individuals composing or connected with the Local Government, is to me too painful to have been undertaken lightly, or without a deep feeling of the necessity of its being