A Canadian Manor and Its Seigneurs eBook

George MacKinnon Wrong
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 279 pages of information about A Canadian Manor and Its Seigneurs.

Early in the spring of 1859 a great British fleet had arrived in America from England and a squadron under Admiral Holmes had gone to New York to embark the Highlanders and other regiments wintering there to proceed to Quebec.  The place of rendezvous was Louisbourg.  Fraser’s Journal begins on May 8th, 1759, with the departure of the regiments from Sandy Hook, the fleet consisting of about twenty-eight sail.  The Highlanders had taken part in the siege and capture of Louisbourg in the previous year but had gone to New York for the winter.  On May 17th the fleet sailed into Louisbourg Harbour after “a very agreeable and quick passage” of nine days.  Patches of snow lay still on the ground and on the 29th of May Louisbourg Harbour was so full of ice that boats could not pass from the ships to shore.  “I suppose,” says Fraser, “the ice comes from the Gulf and river of St. Lawrence,” regions he was in time to be very familiar with.  He hears that a Lieutenant has shot himself on one of the men of war “for fear I suppose the French should do it.  If he was wearied of life, he might soon get out of it in a more honourable way.”

On Monday, June 4th, after much bustle of preparation, the fleet set sail for Quebec.  “I take it to consist of about 150 sail,” says Fraser; so great was the array that to count the ships was almost impossible.  They numbered in fact nearly 300, a huge force.  On June 13th the fleet anchored at Bic in the St. Lawrence River.  As they came up the river Fraser noted that the north shore was but little inhabited, a defect which, within a few years, he was himself to try to remedy in part.  On June 23rd a whole division of the fleet anchored near Isle aux Coudres as Jacques Cartier had done more than two hundred years earlier.

Arrived before Quebec the Highlanders were sent to Point Levi where, on July 1st, they pitched their tents.  The next day Fraser’s company established itself in the Church of St. Joseph there.  The Canadians were carrying on guerilla warfare, firing on the British from the woods and Fraser was shocked at the horrid practise of scalping.  He writes on July 2nd: 

“While we were out, I observed several dead bodies on the road, not far from our Camp; they were all scalped and mangled in a shocking manner.  I dare say no human creature but an Indian or Canadian could be guilty of such inhumanity as to insult a dead body.”

He was to see worse atrocities committed on his own side.  On July 10th, still at Point Levi, he writes of the doings of a company of the colonial scouting force, the Rangers, commanded by Captain Gorham, who soon after desolated Malbaie.

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A Canadian Manor and Its Seigneurs from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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