Letter from L. J. Papineau to John Neilson, written 6 June, 1832, after it had become clear that Lord Aylmer would take no action personally, and would not appoint Neilson and Panet (both from Quebec) to investigate the death of three French Canadians in Montreal under gunfire from the British troops on 21 May. This letter marks the end of the friendship between the two men as well as of all political cooperation. If Neilson replied to, it his response was not what Papineau hoped for, and the Quebec Gazette did not devote the space to the events in Montreal which Papineau would certainly have considered essential. The chief interest in the letter, however, is its revelation of the intense emotions aroused in Papineau by the events he describes. The letter is at times rendered almost unintelligible by his careless use of pronouns and the lack of essential punctuation and for this reason two pages describing his conversations 'with the coroner on 22 May have been summarized. Punctuation has been inserted where it is needed in order to make the text intelligible and some mis-spellings corrected.
In the second section of Papineau's narrative I have not identified the 'Mr. Sewell' the K.C. who acted as prosecutor but he was probably the younger brother or the nephew of the Chief Justice of Quebec. The Chief Justice of Montreal was Reid, successor to James Monk, who was much respected by Canadian lawyers generally. Donegani, mentioned in the last sentence, has not been identified but he was probably a follower of Daniel Tracey.
Neilson Papers, VII, 443-51.
Mon Cher vieux ami --
Il n'y a eu aucun moment où j'aie eu plus que dans celui-ci besoin d' épancher dans votre coeur toute la douleur dont le mien est pénètré. De vous faire connaître le détail véridique des excès qui ont lieu tous les jours. Vous ayant indiqué dans la lettre que j'ai écrite au Gouverneur comme l'une des personnes qu'il devrait employer si un sentiment de justice l'appellait ici pour y faire faire les enquêtes propres à mettre au jour la vérité toute entière, je me suis abstenu de vous écrire. Je n'ai pas eu
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
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: 378.