« AnteriorContinuar »
It cannot fail to be of interest to fisheries of Newfoundland and the British readers to trace the growth, Bay of Fundy. Upper Canada was and to speculate upon the prospects, an almost unexplored territory, into of colonies the bulk of whose popula- which only the adventurous trapper tion are of British extraction, and penetrated during the hunting season, which promise to be the favoured re- returning at the fall to the Lower procipients of a large portion of the vince to dispose of his peltries, and indastry and enterprise of the most to locate himself for the winter months valuable classes of our own fellow- beyond the reach of attack from the countrymen, who are daily leaving Red Indians, whose cunning and rethe land of their birth in search of a venge he had to dread in return for wider field and a better reward for his trespasses upon their forests and their labour. We propose, therefore, prairies. Whilst, as late as 1831, the to review the progress which our population of Lower Canada was North American colonies have made 511,922 souls, that of Upper Canada during the past ten or twenty years numbered only, in 1830, 210,437 in population, in commerce, and in souls, of which the bulk were located agriculture; and, whilst doing so, we in Montreal and along the banks of believe we shall be enabled to show the St Lawrence to the mouth of Lake that, vast and rapid as has been the Ontario. The agricultural portion of growth of the neighbouring “ United this population were chief v composed States ” in everything which can con- of small holders of partially cleared dace to the greatness, the wealth, and land on the lower banks of the Ottawa the social happiness and worth of a River - energetic, but humble men, people, the growth of British America, living in log-huts, and cultivating just within the past few years, at all events, as much land as would subsist them, as been even more rapid, and almost aided by the game won by their rifles Fonderful.
Within the memory of during the season when their lumberbe comparatively young amongst our ing operations could be pursued. A readers, the population of British few insignificant villages, which have America was chiefly an alien one, since grown into thriving towns, supcomposed of the French “residents" plied stores, at which the surplus proof Lower Canada, chiefly located in ducts of their industry could be exthe city of Quebec, and in the dis- changed for clothing, and the few *r*ts bordering upon the Gulf of st articles of comfort and necessity rerence, with a sprinkling of settlers quired by Europeans embarked in
this country engaged in the lum- such a life of perhaps unaccustomed trade of New Brunswick, and the toil and occasional privation, and to OL. LXXVI.-NO. CCCCLXY.
which they could resort from time to Canadian origin; and those markets retime for those religious consolations ceived not only our own, but a large which they had been wont to enjoy in
share of American bread-stuffs and prothe land which had given them birth :
visions. Our timber was not only adfor the bulk of the population of mitted freely into the British markets, Upper Canada at this period were of but excessive and almost prohibitory
duties were imposed upon importations English or of Scottish extraction; and of this article from the Baltic, for the it is gratifying to find that provision purpose of fostering Canadian trade and for religious instruction and education
British shipping. The British market has progressed, step by step, with the was closed by prohibition against our settlement of this and other provinces wheat until 1814, which was then only of our North American colonies. For admitted when the price in England rose many years subsequent to this period, to about two dollars per bushel-a privimoreover, there was little good feeling lege in a great measure nugatory; but existing between the population of the West Indies and lower provinces gave Upper and Lower Canada, differing, Port of American produce was permitted
a sufficient demand so long as a free exas they did, in religion and in race;
by this route.
In 1822 the and, as a natural consequence, the
Canada trade acts of the imperial parpopulation of the former depended for liament, by imposing a duty upon Ameits increase rather upon an accession rican agricultural produce entering the of new settlers from Great Britain British American colonies and the West than upon immigration of the French Indies, destroyed one-half of the export inbabitants from the lower province, trade of the St Lawrence; and the simulwhose very loyalty to the crown was taneous abundance of the English harvest of a dubious character. A strong forbade our exports thither." feeling of irritation, in fact, existed It will be naturally inferred from between the populations of Upper and the above that Canada had not, up Lower Canada, which was aggravated to 1822, been an extensive exporter by the intermeddling and vacillating of agricultural produce of her own policy of successive colonial secre- growth. Her population, however, taries, by whom the agitating pa were largely engaged in milling purtriots (?) of the latter were shielded suits, in the manufacture of pot and from the consequences of their turbu- pearl ashes, &c.; and the existing lence and sedition, whilst the loyalists railways and canals of the United of the former, whose firmness ulti- States not having then been formed, mately saved its “ brightest jewel” and afforded routes for shipment of from being reft from the diadem of the agricultural produce of their westthe British sovereign, had the cold ern territory from the Atlantic seashoulder of authority turned to them board, such produce could be forwardat every available opportunity, when ed only by the St Lawrence, as if of such studied insult could serve to Canadian origin—the people of Canaconciliate and flatter the disaffected. da, and especially the shipowners, Upon both provinces imperial legisla- profiting largely by the trade. But to tion was the means of inflicting serious proceed with our essayist :discouragement. A constant tamper
“ As a recompense for the damage done ing with the trade of the colony was by the Trade Act of 1822, our flour and carried on, alternately stimulating wheat in 1825 were admitted into the and depressing it, giving it now one United Kingdom at a fixed duty of five direction and again another, until shillings sterling per quarter. The openlittle certainty for the investment of ing of the Erie and Champlain canals at capital could be said to exist.
this critical juncture gave a permanent Upon this subject Mr T. C. Keefer, direction to those American exports which of Montreal, in his prize essay upon
had before sought Quebec, and an amount the Canals of Canada, written in 1851,
of injury was inflicted upon the St Lawremarks :
rence which would not have been reached
had the British Action of 1825 preceded “ A wise and liberal policy was adopted that of 1822. The accidental advantages, with regard to our exports previous to resulting from the differences which 1822. The products of either bank of arose between the United States and the St Lawrence were indifferently exa Great Britain, on the score of reciprocal ported to the sister colonies, as if of navigation (which differences led to the
interdiction of the United States' export population. To a certain extent the trade to the West Indies, and reduced it supposition is correct. The growth from a value of 2,000,000 dollars, in 1826, of Canada was retarded; but there to less than 2000 dollars in 1830), restored were influences at work—there was a for a time our ancient commerce.
stubborn energy in the character of a trade of the St Lawrence was also assisted portion of that people, and, more than by the readmission, free, in 1826 (after four years' exclusion), of American timber all, there was given them 'a soil, and and ashes for the British market, and by natural facilities for its conversion into the reduction of the duty upon our flour wealth - which, combined together, for the West India market, and therefore enabled them to surmount the diffirapidly recovered, and in 1830 far sur- culties and stumblingblocks thrown passed, its position of 1820.
in their way by anti-patriotic and “In 1831 there was a return to the policy bungling statesmanship: We have which existed previous to 1822. United stated that the population of Upper States' products of the forests and agri- Canada was, in 1830, 210,437 souls. culture were admitted into Canada free, In 1842 it had reached 486,055 souls, and could be exported thence as Canadian being an increase during the twelve produce to all countries, except the United Kingdom ; and an additional advantage
years of upwards of 130 per cent. was conferred by the imposition of a dif- The population of Lower Canada inferential duty, in our favour, upon foreign creased from 511,922, in 1831, to lumber entering the West Indian and 690,782 in 1844, or a little over 34 South American possessions."
per cent in the thirteen years. For Notwithstanding some flactuations, this striking disparity in the progress caused by abundant crops in England, can be adduced. In the first place,
of the two provinces abundant reasons and a failing crop in Lower Canada, the inhabitants of Lower Canada are the writer goes on to say:
not of an enterprising race. If left " The shipping and commerce of the to them alone, the country would proSt Lawrence rapidly increased in import- bably have merged long ago into the ance and value, with no continued relapse United States Confederation. They down to the year 1842. The revulsion of held fast by the old laws and habi1842 was general, being one of those periodical crises which affect commerce,
tudes of the worst times of their parent but was aggravated in Canada by a repe
country; and their ambition seemed tition of the measures of 1822, not con
to be circumscribed within the limits fined this time to the provision trade only, of the soil which had been cultivated but attacking the great staple of Quebec for them by the early settlers, which - timber. The duties on Baltic timber was being divided and subdivided, as in Britain were reduced; the free impor- the natural increase of their populatation of American flour was stopped by tion required. The French were never the imposition of a duty thereon, and
a successful colonising people; and it our trade with the West Indies annihilated by the reduction of the duty upon
is doubtful whether any people can American flour brought into those islands.
be so who cling to the tenets of a By imposing a duty of two shillings ster
Church, beyond whose immediate minling per barrel upon American flour im
istration they are deterred from liyported into Canada, and reducing it in ing, and dare not die. Besides, Lower the West Indies from five to two shillings, Canada suffered especially from the an improvement equal to five shillings changeable policy of the Imperial Govsterling per barrel was made in the new ernment, which had been playing fast position of American flour exported from and loose with the navigation of the the Mississippi, Baltimore, and New St Lawrence, and the trade of its chief York. The value of our trade with the city, Quebec. In Upper Canada, on West Indies in 1830 (during the exclusion of the Americans) amounted to 906,000
the contrary, influences were in operadollars; and in 1846 it was 4000 dollars / "
tion, as we have stated, which tended
to neutralise the effect of the impediIt will very naturally be supposed ments thrown in the way of its hardy that a people whose interests were thus settlers by British legislation. The trifled with, and upon whom the im wave of population from Europe and perial legislature blew hot and cold the Atlantic States of the American in a breath, were not likely to pro Republic had begun, long before 1842, gress greatly in material wealth, or in to approach the great Lake District
bordering upon Upper Canada, and into navigable rivers downward, for bearan important frontier trade had been ing, in the cheapest and most expeditious established. The communications manner, the fruits of the lumberman's between the lakes and the Atlantic
winter labour to its market on tide-water. and Gulf seaports were open to the
The commencement of vegetation is delayed
by the duration of the snow ; but its maUpper Canadian people, whose pro
turity is reached about the same period ductions were thus brought practi
as in the western country, because there cally and economically nearer to the
has been a smaller loss of caloric during consuming countries of the Old World the winter, less retardation from a linthan those of Lower Canada. More- gering spring, and more rapid growth over, the immigration from Great from the constant action of a strong and Britain naturally tended towards the steady summer-heat. upper province, whether flowing “Whatever exceptions may be taken to through the St Lawrence or the At
the climate of Eastern Canada, it must lantic ports, as to a territory in which be remembered that it embraces the settlers would find communities of a
greater portion of the white-pine bear
ing zone of North America, the invaluable common blood and country, speaking product of which can only be obtained the same mother tongue, and imbued by those conditions of climate (the abun. with the same associations, religion, dant ice and snow) which have given it domestic habits, and aspirations with such imaginary terrors. There is scarcely themselves, and acknowledging the one article, or class of articles, from any same allegiance and loyalty to the one country in the world which affords more same Sovereign and the same laws. outward freight, or employs more sea These circumstances, connected with tonnage, than the products of the forests their respective positions, combined of British North America.
“ While these conditions of climate and with the superior energy of character and habit inherent in the race by and manufacturing character to the East
production give necessarily a commercial which Upper Canada was being peo
ern province, the milder climate and pled, are sufficient to account for the
more extensive plains of Western Canada more rapid increase of the material afford a field for agriculture, horticulture, wealth and population of that pro- and pastoral pursuits unsurpassed in some vince, during a period when the whole respects by the most favoured sections of the North American colonies seem of the United States. The peninsula of to have been the subject of experi- Canada West, almost surrounded by many mental, if it may not even be called hos- thousand square miles of unfrozen water, tile, legislation by the Government of enjoys a climate as mild as that of northern the mother country. To a considerable New York. The peach tree, unprotected,
matures its fruit south and west of Ontario, extent Upper Canada has been favoured by its climate as the recipient tivated for years on the peninsula be
whilst tobacco has been successfully culof a European population ; whilst, at tween lakes Erie and Huron. During the same time, the more frigid climate the last two years (1851 and 1852) Westof Lower Canada suits admirably the ern Canada has exported upwards of two wants of that country. Mr Andrews, millions of barrels of flour, and over three the consul of the United States for millions of bushels of wheat ; and at the Canada and New Brunswick, re present moment the surplus stock on ports :
hand is greater than at any former period. “ It is true that in Eastern Canada
There is probably no country where there there are extremes of -climate unknown
is so much wheat grown, in proportion to in the North-Western States (of America);
the population and the area under cultibut it will be found that the mean tem
vation, as in that part of Canada west of perature varies but little in the two re
Kingston.” gions. The intense cold of the winter We may illustrate the concluding makes a highway to the operations of the paragraph of the above extract by the lumberman over and upon every lake and following statement from the Ameristream, whilst the earth and the germs
can Statistical Annual:of vegetation are jealously guarded from the injurious effects of severe frost by a “ The production (in bushels) of grains thick mantle of snow. The sudden tran in the two provinces, as represented in sition from winter to summer, melting the census of 1851, and in the United the accumulations of ice and snow in States in that of 1850, gives the quantievery mountain stream, converts them ties per capita as follows :