The Evolution of French Canada

By Jean Charlemagne Bracq | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV
EARLY BRITISH RULE IN CANADA

THE fate of Canadians after the Conquest was not different from that of all vanquished peoples. Undesirable elements from the triumphant nation followed the victorious armies. Most British writers have characterised the new-comers as "traders and miscellaneous people of lower degree, with a few disbanded soldiers, and half pay officers, who had followed the army. . . . inferior representatives of their nation."1 "The first British inhabitants," says Robert Anstruther Ramsay, "were in great part composed of followers of the army and of adventurers from other colonies who had come to Canada as into a conquered country for purposes analogous to plunder, which Murray had by all means to check."2 According to Principal W. L. Grant, they "were for the most part Scotch-Americans from New England, in connection with certain large business houses in London."3

Murray says that they "are Traders, Mechanics and Publicans who reside in the two towns of Quebec and Montreal. Most of them were followers of the Army of Mean Education, or soldiers disbanded at the Reduction of the Troops; all had their Fortunes to make, and I fear few of them are solicitous about the Means, when the end can be obtained. I report them to be in General the most immoral Collection of Men I ever Knew, of course little

____________________
1
Bradley, Lord Dorchester, p. 9.
2
R. A. Ramsay, Canada from the Conquest to the Quebec Act, p. 38.
3
W. L. Grant, History of Canada, p. 120.

-55-

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