Canada and the Canadian Question

By Goldwin D. C. L. Smith | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VII
THE UNITED PROVINCES1

LORD DURHAM was a splendid specimen of the aristocratic man of the people, such as perhaps only the Whig houses, after being out of office for half a century, could have produced. From the hotel where His Excellency put up all other guests were cleared out, and not even the mails were allowed to be taken on board the steamer which bore his person. Invested with large powers, he exceeded them in playing the despot. He issued an ordinance banishing some of the rebels to Bermuda, under penalty of death if they should return. This delivered him into the hands of Brougham, who bore him a grudge, and at once set upon him in the House of Lords, pointing out that His Excellency's ordinance could not be carried into effect without committing murder. The Prime Minister was compelled to disallow the ordinance. Durham after thundering very irregularly against the ungrateful Government which had thrown him overboard, flung up his commission, folded his tragic robe round him, and went home. He had time, however, to produce, with the

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1
The principal sources of this sketch, besides a number of pamphlets and State papers, are MacMullen History of Canada, Scrope's Life of Lord Sydenham, Walrond's Letters and Journals of Lord Elgin, Dent's Last Forty Years, Collins's Life of Sir J. A. Macdonald, and Gray Confederation of Canada.

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