Canadian Refugees in the American Revolution

Carl Wittke
1922 Canadian Historical Review  
and the New England colonies, there were elements in the. Canadian situation in 1775 which, at first glance, promised success to the effort to win Canada for the cause of the revolution. Many of the colonial radicals in the English seaboard colonies were of the conviction that the French Canadians were discontented under British authority, which they had been forced to accept hardly a dozen years before. There was an influential English minority in Canada, known to be hostile to the provisions
more » ... to the provisions of the Quebec Act. Furthermore, Sir Guy Carleton, at the beginning of hostilities, had scarcely a thousand soldiers at his disposal for the defence of the many miles of the long Canadian frontier. It is not surprising, therefore, that for years after the first attempt of 1774 to have the inhabitants of Quebec send representatives to the First Continental Congress, the efforts to win Canada for the revolutionary cause were diligently continued. Personal emissaries to the British minority in Canada, agents to carry on a propaganda which proved signally stupid and unsuccessful among the French, and an armed invasion of the province of Quebec by Continental troops in the first stages of the fighting-all had the same purpose, to persuade or force Canada to change her allegiance. The operations of Arnold and Montgomery, in the winter of 1775-177!3, were the most pretentious of the military demonstrations intended to impress Canadians with the advisability of revolt against British authority. It was clearly the policy of General Washington and the other Continental leaders not to irritate the Canadian population by these enterprises, but rather to treat them as friends and possible "fellowsubjects". x The offensive campaign of 1775-177!3 against Canada • See a proclamation of General Washingt6n, in Kingsford, History of Canada, V, 491.
doi:10.3138/chr-03-04-02 fatcat:qam56nsh45g4tismytx5xzsrpq