Canada under British Rule 1760-1900 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 335 pages of information about Canada under British Rule 1760-1900.
of the county of Yarmouth—­a district especially exposed to attack—­only escaped the frequent visits of privateers by secret negotiations with influential persons in Massachusetts.  The settlers on the St. John River, at Maugerville, took measures to assist their fellow-countrymen in New England, but the defeat of the Cumberland expedition and the activity of the British authorities prevented the disaffected in Sunbury county—­in which the original settlements of New Brunswick were then comprised—­from rendering any practical aid to the revolutionists.  The authorities at Halifax authorised the fitting out of privateers in retaliation for the damages inflicted on western ports by the same class of cruisers sailing from New England.  The province was generally impoverished by the impossibility of carrying on the coasting trade and fisheries with security in these circumstances.  The constant demand for men to fill the army and the fleet drained the country when labour was imperatively needed for necessary industrial pursuits, including the cultivation of the land.  Some Halifax merchants and traders alone found profit in the constant arrival of troops and ships.  Apart, however, from the signs of disaffection shown in the few localities I have mentioned, the people generally appear to have been loyal to England, and rallied, notably in the townships of Annapolis, Horton and Windsor, to the defence of the country, at the call of the authorities.

In 1783 the humiliated king of England consented to a peace with his old colonies, who owed their success not so much to the unselfishness and determination of the great body of the rebels as to the incapacity of British generals and to the patience, calmness, and resolution of the one great man of the revolution, George Washington.  I shall in a later chapter refer to this treaty in which the boundaries between Canada and the new republic were so ignorantly and clumsily defined that it took half a century and longer to settle the vexed questions that arose in connection with territorial rights, and then the settlement was to the injury of Canada.  So far as the treaty affected the Provinces its most important result was the forced migration of that large body of people who had remained faithful to the crown and empire during the revolution.

[Illustration:  MAP SHOWING BOUNDARY BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES BY TREATY OF 1783]

SECTION 3.—­The United Empire Loyalists

John Adams and other authorities in the United States have admitted that when the first shot of the revolution was fired by “the embattled farmers” of Concord and Lexington, the Loyalists numbered one-third of the whole population of the colonies, or seven hundred thousand whites.  Others believe that the number was larger, and that the revolutionary party was in a minority even after the declaration of independence.  The greater number of the Loyalists

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Canada under British Rule 1760-1900 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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