Rebellion of 1837 in Lower Canada

Rebellion of 1837 in Lower Canada
   The culmination of a long agitation, on the part of the French-Canadians, for a larger measure of popular government. The older and more experienced of their leaders refused to overstep the bounds of constitutional agitation; but Papineau, Wolfred Nelson, and a few more hot-headed enthusiasts determined to resort to armed rebellion. A series of violent speeches and demonstrations, in the summer and autumn of 1837, in which Papineau was the central figure, led to incipient riots in Montreal and elsewhere, and the decision of the authorities to arrest Papineau blew the smouldering embers into a fierce blaze. Nelson and Brown gathered their followers together at St. Denis and St. Charles on the Richelieu, and Colonel Gore and Colonel Wetherall were sent to disperse them. Shortly after, Amury Girod raised the flag of revolt at St. Eustache, and Sir John Colborne led a force against him. In every case the rebels were dispersed. Papineau, Nelson, Brown, and the other leaders fled. Papineau and Brown escaped over the border. The others were captured and exiled to Bermuda. The next year Robert Nelson and Dr. Côte made a final attempt at Napierville. Nelson managed to escape, but his misguided followers were captured, twelve executed, and eighty-seven transported to Australia.
   Index: C Responsibility of the government for, 2; Cartier's part in, 7; defence of, 9-10; the aftermath, 11; suspension of the constitution of 1791, 11; origin of, 121-122. Sy In Lower Canada, 57. B Attributed by Durham to racial animosity, 11; his remedy, 12. P Responsibility of the bureaucrats for, 24-25; street fights in Montreal, 127; Demaray and Davignon arrested, and rescued by Bonaventure Viger and party of Patriotes, 128; rebels gather at St. Denis and St. Charles, 128; Colonel Gore's expedition up the Richelieu, and Colonel Wetherall's against St. Charles, 128-132; the fight at St. Denis, 130-132; at St. Charles, 133; death of Lieutenant Weir, 134; the fight at St. Eustache, 135-137; leaders sent into exile, 138-139; outbreak of 1838 crushed, 139-141; causes of the Rebellion, 143-161; O'Callaghan's version, 146-149; Bouchette's views, 149-153. BL Papineau's connection with, 45-46; history of, 45-49; its lessons, 51; general pardon, 287-288. MS Governor Simpson and Hudson's Bay Company influence strongly against Papineau, 243. H Its effect on popular party in Nova Scotia, 49. E Its causes, 17-21; Durham on, 18, 25-26; aftermath of the Rebellion, 62-63; contrasted with the disturbances of 1849, 75-76; spirit of its leaders, 91-92. Md Cartier involved in, 7; takes advantage of amnesty, 7; passions kindled by, 13; and responsible government, 23. See also Ninety-Two Resolutions; Papineau; Nelson; Rebellion Losses Bill.
   Bib.: Christie, History of Lower Canada; Kingsford, History of Canada; Carrier, Les Evénéments de 1837-1838; David, Les Patriotes de 1837; Globensky, La Rebellion de 1837; Theller, Canada in 1837-38.

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