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The Fall of Canada
A Chapter in the History of the Seven Year's War by George M. Wrong (1914)


PREFACE

The present volume, ' A Chapter in the History of the Seven Years' War ', covers only a year of history in a colony which contained at the time less than one hundred thousand Europeans. It would not be surprising if some reader were to ask whether a study in such detail was worth while. It may be said, however, that the Seven Years' War is one of the most important struggles in the history of mankind, and that the topic of the present volume, the transfer of Canada from French to British sovereignty, was a vital event in the history of the British Empire. If only a small population was directly affected, the issues were none the less far-reaching. The few French in North America in 1760 have now multiplied into nearly three million people, scattered over both Canada and the United States. Already in 1760 they had developed their own type of social life ; they have since clung to it with great tenacity ; and to-day it is one of the factors in the life of Canada which cannot be ignored. Such a study seemed a necessary beginning for investigations in the later history of Canada on which the author has been engaged.

His chief debt in respect to the use of material is to Dr. George H. Locke, Librarian of the Toronto public Library; to the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec ; and to Dr. A. G. Doughty, the Dominion Archivist at Ottawa, upon whose great stores and knowledge he has drawn so freely as to make adequate recognition impossible. Two descendants of chief actors in the drama on opposing sides have rendered kind assistance : M. Rene de Kerallain, great-grandson of Colonel de Bougainville, has given most valuable information and criticism, and Major-General R. Mahon, great-grandson of General Murray, has furnished the contemporary print of his ancestor. To the Rev. Father O'Leary of Quebec the author is indebted for the drawing of the General Hospital. He has received much help from the criticisms of Colonel Wood of Quebec and Professor Egerton of Oxford.

Toronto, July, 1914.

Contents

Chapter I - The Fall of Quebec
The victories of 1759 — Indifference in Britain about later events — The deaths of Wolfe and Montcalm — The position of the French after the battle of September 13 — A Council of War — The decision to retire to Jacques Cartier — The retreat of the French army — The situation in Quebec — The Chevalier de Levis — His decision to march back to Quebec — The British plans for attack — The difficulties of Ramezay, Commander in Quebec — The weakness of the defences — Scarcity of food — Panic in Quebec — A Council of War in Quebec — Ramezay's decision to surrender — Negotiations with the British — The second retreat of the French army — Dark outlook for the French caused - The menace to Montreal — Amherst on Lake George — His delays — The attack of Rogers on the St. Francis Indians — The Massacre — Amherst fails to press his attack on Montreal.

Chapter II - Quebec During the Winter of 1759-60
British thanksgiving for victory — Preparations for the winter — State of ruin in Quebec — The departure of the British fleet — The career of James Murray, Commander at Quebec — French hopes to recapture Quebec — The weak defences of Quebec — Attitude of the French Canadians^-Murray's plan of defence — Savage practices in the war — French ships get away to France — A disastrous explosion — The French inhabitants — Murray's strict rule -y His suspicions of the priests — Discipline in the army — The zeal of the soldiers — The Nuns of the Ursuline Convent — The Nuns of the General Hospital — The care of the sick — The French officers at the Hospital — The Nuns of the Hotel Dieu — The bitter cold in Quebec — The difficulties in securing fuel — The lack of fresh provisions — Disease in Quebec and many deaths — Rumours of French designs.

Chapter III - Montreal During the Winter of 1759-60
The social life of Montreal — The frauds on the Government — Francis Bigot, Intendant — His associates in fraud — The nature of the frauds — Cadet, the chief offender — Oppression of the habitant — Frauds at the forts and trading posts — Frauds in regard to transport — Ill-treatment of the Acadians — Protest of the Church — Bigot's difficulties — The card money and the ordinances — Gaiety at Montreal — The plans of the French — Vaudreuil's attack on the memory of Montcalm — The, spirit of the French officers — Plundering the habitant Trade with the English — The discontent of the Canadians — The plans to retake Quebec — The French outpost at Jacques Cartier — The building of Fort Levis — Expected help from France—. Unwisdom of France's foreign policy — Weakness of France on the sea -— Inadequate help sent to Canada.

Chapter IV  - The Battle of Sainte Foy
Murray's difficulties in defending Quebec — His occupation of the Point of Levy — A foray at St. Augustin — The isolation of Murray — The ice breaks up in the river — Expulsion of the French from Quebec — Murray's outposts— Plan of Levis to surprise Quebec — The condition of his ' army and equipment — The regulars and the Canadians — Unstable Indian allies — Preparations for the expedition to Quebec — Embarkation of the French army — The French army arrives at Pointe aux Trembles — A change of plan — The march to Ste Foy — The British outpost at Ste Foy abandoned — Murray's advance from Quebec on April 28 — The battle of Ste Foy — Defeat of the British — Outrages by the Indians — Disappointment in Britain.

Chapter V - The Relief of Quebec by the Fleet
Panic in Quebec after the battle — The difficulties of Levis— He fails to assault Quebec — Murray rallies the defenders— His active efforts in defence — The French certain that Quebec will fall — Their plan of attack — Each side hopes for succour by a fleet — The arrival of a British frigate— Levis bombards Quebec — A British squadron arrives — Levis abandons the siege — The British destroy the French ships under Vauquelain — His heroic defence — The disorderly retreat of Levis — The British fleet makes Quebec secure.

Chapter VI - The Advance to Montreal
Levis fights a long losing battle — The French hopes for peace — Attitude of the Canadians- Inadequate equipment of the French army — Financial ruin in Canada — Destruction by the British of the French squadron in the Bay of Chaleur — Murray's preparations to advance on Montreal — Pitt's part in the war — His call upon the British colonies for help — Their response — The British on Lake Ontario and Lake Champlain — Murray advances to Montreal by the river — His treatment of the Canadians — The condition of the country — Helplessness of the French to check the fleet — Murray reaches Sorel — Harrying of the Canadians — Bougainville at Isle aux Noix — The advance of Haviland by Lake Champlain — Bougainville abandons Isle aux Noix — The French retire to Montreal.

Chapter VII - The Fall of New France
Amherst's camp on Lake Ontario — The army embarks to descend the St. Lawrence — The siege of Fort Levis — Disaster in the descent of the rapids — Amherst, Murray, and Haviland appear before Montreal — Negotiations for capitulation — The terms of surrender — Amherst's severe terms in consequence of outrages by the savages — The protest of the French officers — The British occupation of Montreal — The embarkation of the French army — The journey to France — Indignation in France at the corruption in Canada — Bigot and others sent to the Bastille — Their trial — The penalties for those found guilty — Later careers of Levis, Bougainville, and others — British rule in Canada — Few Canadians leave the country — The fall of Pitt — Further British successes — Weariness in France of colonial effort — The Treaty of Paris — The later careers of Amherst, Murray, and Gage — The attitude of the Canadians to the victors — The backwardness of these Canadians — Their devotion to their religion — Their content with British rule — The British give financial stability — The magnanimity of the victor.

Authorities

Ramezay, Claude De

Famous Firesides of French Canada
By Mary Wilson Alloway (1899) (pdf)

Life of General, the Hon. James Murray
A Builder of Canada with a Biographical Sketch of the family of Murray of Elibank by his descendant Major-Gen R. H. Mahon C.B., C.S.I. (1921) (pdf)

Memoirs of the Chevalier de Johnstone (1870)
Johnstone was a keen witted Scots Jacobite serving on the French side. This is available in pdf format in three volumes. It might be interesting to note that the first volume includes his fighting with Bonnie Prince Charles at the Battle of Culloden, the second volume is about his escape to France, joining the French army and being sent to America and the third is about his campaigns in Canada.

Volume 1  |  Volume 2  |  Volume 3


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