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Thus, unnecessary suffering was caused to the refugees, and great additional expense to the government in finding them food to save them from perishing. As colonel Morse, who made the examination, pithily puts it, “They have no other country to go to, no other asylum.”
Within ten years of the date of the first settlement, 1784, the population steadily increased. I cannot pretend to form with accuracy an estimate of the extent of emigration from the United States in the first years succeeding the peace, when it took the form of a national sentiment. Some modern United States writers place it at 100,000 at this date. I cannot find evidence of this fact. The loyalists were of two classes, those who served in the regiments which were ranked on the Canada staff, and those who are described as unincorporated. We have a return of the first settlement on the Saint Lawrence, made about 1786, for it is not dated, which describes the total, exclusive of those quartered at Quebec, 4,487. We may approximately compute the total as follows: Settlement on the Saint Lawrence, as found in state
4,487 Refugees reported by colonel Morse in Nova Scotia, including the river Saint John, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island..
28,347 Cape Breton, 630 families.....
3,150 Total number given as being settled about Montreal, Chambly, Saint John's and the bay of Chaleurs..
41,612 Some few found their way to the old country and Newfoundland. I do not conceive that they would have exceeded......
1,000 “A general description of the Province of Nova Scotia" by Lt. col. Morse, chief engineer in America, “upon a tour in the autumn of the year 1783, and the summer of 1784 under the orders of Sir Guy Carleton, New York, 28th of July, 1783.” [This report is given in full in Can. Arch. report for 1884, pp. xxvii-xli.] The following numbers are given : Men
12,383 Women ...
5,486 Children above 10..
4,671 under 10.
28,347 The entire population of Nova Scotia at this date was 42,747.
THE U. E. LOYALIST.
With these figures as a guide I cannot see ground for belief that the first movement of the loyalists exceeded 45,000. In the succeeding twenty years the population greatly increased. In 1806 it amounted to between 70,000 and 80,000. It is plain that this increase is principally attributable to emigration, the greater part of which came from the United States. Many entering Canada were doubtless actuated by the desire of bettering their condition, from the conviction that the lately established province of Upper Canada offered an advantageous field for industry and enterprise. With the full recognition of this view, it must be stated that large numbers were led to rejoin those with whom they sympathised, who represented the opinions and hopes that they so ardently entertained, and had so earnestly cherished, to be, as it were, foredoomed to failure. This emigration to the province greatly increased after the promulgation of the constitution in 1793, in accordance with the act of 1791. Until that date, it was supposed that Canada would be arbitrarily governed, a feeling which had a deterrent effect upon many, in seeking a home on the Saint Lawrence, however strong the desire to follow a career elsewhere than in the United States.
The term U. E. loyalist owes its origin to the order in council of the gth of November, 1789. In May, 1790, in consequence of instructions having been sent from London to restrain the grants of land, Dorchester forwarded to Grenville the regulations that had been established, and the equitable claims on which the land had been granted. The principle followed was to assure a speedy settlement of the country with desirable subjects, reserving one-seventh for future use, and it was held that to increase such reservation would be inexpedient.
The order in council above named established, that the daughters as well as the sons of loyalists should in each case, receive a grant of 200 acres; the sons on attaining full age, the daughters on their marriage, and that in all records their names were to be discriminated from those of future settlers. All loyalists who had joined the cause of Great Britain before the treaty of the separation in 1783, and their children of both sexes, were to be distinguished by the letters “U.E.," by these means preserving the memory of their devotion to an “United Empire."
This distinction is reverently treasured up to this day by those embraced within its provisions. There is no prouder thought in the dominion than that cherished by the descendants of the men of those days, who sacrificed everything for the preservation of the empire; who lost country, home, wealth, all that can give grace and charm to life, to remain true to their sentiment and convictions in their devotion to the British empire.
It can easily be conceived that circumstances favoured the perpetuation of the distinction. As new settlers came in to the townships in the ordinary form of emigration, the term grew into use to distinguish the families of the first settlers and those that succeeded them. Thus the title became current, and the fact that a family had the right to be called U. E. loyalists became, as it is continued to the hour at which I am writing, a badge of honour and dignity, treasured by all who then enjoyed it, as it is now proudly clung to by their descendants.*
Minutes of Council, gih Nov., 1789. [Can. Arch., Q. 44.1, p. 224.]
OPINION IN CANADA.
The close of the war had not given rise to perfect content in Canada. Peace was welcomed, as it ever must be, after the years of effort and sacrifice which war imposes, with the interruption of industry and the blight of enterprise. But the war had been so unfortunate as greatly to damage the prestige of Great Britain in the province. Burgoyne's surrender had furnished a painful passage in Canadian history ; and again, at the end of four years, a second British army had become prisoners of war at Yorktown. The mass of the population began to think slightingly of British power, and the opinion was entertained that if France had insisted upon the point Canada would have been restored to her. We now know that such a contingency was utterly impossible. The United States in no way desired the establishment of France as a northern neighbour, and the feeling was strong that if Canada could not be added to the Union it was preferable in the interest of the new nationality that the province should remain British.
Within the province itself, French feeling had been so strongly appealed to that with large numbers the sentimental desire of once more becoming French had been powerfully awakened. There was no longing to be incorporated with congress. On the contrary, British rule in this respect was unhesitatingly preferred in the same spirit as the United States desired that men of their blood and religion should control the government of their northern neighbours. The higher orders of the Canadians, for the most part, shewed by their conduct and loyalty that their sympathies were unchanged. Their last wish was to revert to the depressing rule of former days of an arbitrary intendant, and the iron grasp of an authority under which liberty was unknown.
Generally the dignitaries of the church and the ablest of the parochial clergy felt no desire to re-establish the government of France, when the Canadian-born priest rose little above the simplest condition of his état.
The extent and strength of this sentiment are explicable by the circumstance that the country parishes had continued to be inhabited by French Canadians only. When an English-speaking person found his way in that direction he married a French Canadian wife, and the offspring, except in name, differed in no way from the other children who were their playmates. In every respect they became French Canadian. The English-speaking people, who in the period succeeding the conquest had established themselves in the three cities, were limited in number. By their energy and enterprise they had attained a position in excess of their real strength. Men of the British race in such a situation are not generally to be cited for their forbearance and amiability, and there is little reason to suppose that the British population, at the close of the war, can be mentioned as an exception. Owing to the misconception concerning the climate of Canada, scarcely any emigration had reached the province from the mother country. The majority of those who had found their way to Canada had, in the first instance, passed northward from New England, while subsequently many had arrived from Nova Scotia.
Independently of the change of feeling entertained by a large number of the population, traceable to the reverses which had closed the war with the loss of the southern provinces, there were not wanting abettors to magnify the impotence of the efforts made by Great Britain, as a proof she no longer retained her ancient power. Another event caused great distrust, and public feeling was ripe to form the most sinister views of the arrival of the large number of loyalists, and the settlement of them in the province. The new townships established on the Saint Lawrence created an uneasy feeling that the
comers would interfere with the observance of the religion, so inseparable a part