The Anglophile Governor
SIR JAMES CRAIG, 1807-11
It is remarkable that of all the English and Scottish Governor-Generals who presided over British North America before the Rebellion of 1837 only one may properly be described as pro-English or anti- French. Most of them started with a mild bias in favour of the 'new subjects', and were especially warm in their praise of the friendly and peaceful habitants. When it was rudely brought home to them that French colonists were just as little willing to accept the judgment of Governors from across the water as Anglo-Saxons had been in an earlier day, they still blamed a handful of radical leaders, taught evil lessons by revolutionaries and democrats in Paris and Boston, and not the law- abiding residents of the neighbouring countryside who greeted them so courteously. In this the Governors were not very different in their preconceptions from the ministers in Whitehall. The governing class in England, like good old King George himself, could never quite forget that Canada had remained loyal to the Crown (or so they liked to think) while other colonies on the American continent seethed with rebellion. The chief difference between Governors and ministers, in this respect, was that, in most cases, the former were subjected to re-education by British residents and officials in Quebec and soon came to view the French leaders, if not the whole Canadian people, in a new and less favourable light.
No such re-education was needed in the case of Sir James Craig, whose bias against the French race was obviously connected with the times in which he lived and with the part he himself had played in world affairs. He was convinced even before he reached his new government post that the Canadian population was yearning for a French victory in Europe, was lost in admiration of Napoleon's exploits, and would welcome invaders from the United States if they proclaimed themselves the allies of the French Emperor. Craig had had personal
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Publication information: Book title: The Revolt of French Canada, 1800-1835:A Chapter of the History of the British Commonwealth. Contributors: Helen Taft Manning - Author. Publisher: St Martin's Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1962. Page number: 77.
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