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1779]

LATERRIÈRE.

55

Rivers, at the end of February, 1779, on the charge of encouraging the troops to desert and by these means sending intelligence to the congress authorities. It was sworn against him that he had recommended that a corps of 3,000 men should advance rapidly, surround Sorel and seize Haldimand as a prisoner. All that the “Bastonnais" required to bring was powder and ammunition, provisions would be furnished to them in plenty, and 3,000 men were prepared to join the congress troops. Laterrière's arrest was the first that took place ; being a person of influence it created some attention, [les incorrections de langage) and the indifferent spelling were alone corrected. I am assured by M. Marmette, the present deputy archivist, to whom I am indebted for the perusal of the work, that the proofs were read by himself, and that with the modification above named, the text was closely followed.

I have likewise to acknowledge my obligations to Senator Pelletier, who also kindly placed in my hands a copy. The volume was published at Senator Pelletier's expense, he being connected by marriage with the Laterrière family. Its title is "Mémoires de Pierre de Sales Laterrière et de ses traverses."

Laterrière was born on the 23rd September, 1747, in the province of Languedoc. His memoirs were written in 1812, when 65 years of age. As a contemporary record of the events of this date, the work is not of importance, and the account of the circumstances of his arrest is simply unintelligible. To some extent it throws light on the customs of the time. A proof of his inaccurancy can be seen in his account of the courtesies he claims to have interchanged with the family of General Riedesel. Riedesel was alone at Three Rivers in command during the winter of 1776-7. He left Three Rivers on the 31st of May, 1777, never to return. The baroness Riedesel arrived at Quebec the roth June, 1777. Within a few hours she left for Three Rivers, to arrive there the 12th, immediately to proceed to Chambly to join her husband. She remained at Chambly until the 15th June, when she returned to Three Rivers. She was present at Three Rivers only during July and early in August, when she proceeded to Burgoyne's headquarters at fort Edward, which place she reached on the 14th. Haldimand only returned to Canada in 1781 ; then Laterrière was a prisoner. It is not possible to accept him as an authority. His personal adventures are described much as modern romance writers represent their heroes, and they cannot obtain belief with any one acquainted with the manners of the time. The book is not unpleasant reading with all its exaggeration ; it certainly furnishes a true picture of Laterrière himself. One of his unfounded statements is with regard to the death of Du Calvet. It is now well known that the ship in which he took passage from New York was never heard of. Laterrière thus describes Du Calvet's death : “ Il a péri en mer entièrement ruiné; sa mort a été un mystére et ses tyrans ont été soupconnés de l'avoir fait jeter à la mer, notamment et surtout le général Haldimand, contre qui il étoit en instance pour emprisonnement arbitraire !" (p. 117.]

for he occupied a responsible position in the forges at Three Rivers. He remained a prisoner until August 2nd, 1782, when he was released on condition that he would voluntarily leave the province. He accordingly went to Newfoundland. After the peace of Versailles he returned to Canada.

In August, 1780, one Dufort was arrested at Saint John's by a party of the 29th, as he was proceeding to Albany with treasonable letters. These papers furnished the key to the designs of the conspirators. Among the names mentioned was one Hamel, who was arrested on the 24th of September at Saint John's. He was the bearer of a letter from Boyer Pillon, a surgeon at Montreal, to Washington, containing the statement that three-fourths of the province were in favour of congress, and asked for some blank commissions for those willing to take a prominent part. There were letters from Louis Nadau (Nadaud ?), and Pierre Charlong (Charland ?), engaging to enrol men for congress, and acknowledging the receipt of warrants for the purpose. Pillon had also written to one of his name in Albany, telling him of the letters sent, with the information that he would soon be prepared to start with 200 men.

Among the parties engaged in these transactions was one Azariah Pritchard. He had been offered by his own brother, a major Pritchard in the service of congress, then at Poughkeepsie, the position of spy, to remain in Canada. He appears to have nominally accepted this offer, and, thus obtaining information from those implicated, to have communicated it to the Government.* He reported that Dufort's · arrest had prevented the departure of thirty men. There was also a letter from one Hurtubise Gagné, from Quebec, to Cazeau, reporting the success of the congress troops and the arrival of French regiments, dwelling on the satisfaction of Du Calvet, then in Quebec.

The possession of these letters led to the arrest of Pillon at Montreal, and an order was given by the commandant on

* Azariah Pritchard to Major Carleton, Saint John's, 12th August, 1780. (Can. Arch., B. 205, p. 66.] This communication led to the arrest of Dufort.

1780]

DU CALVET.

57

his own responsibility for the arrest of Du Calvet. The last named had left the city. He was, however, taken a few days later at Three Rivers. Du Calvet was not the man to be silent, and he immediately addressed a letter to Haldimand declaring his innocence, and desiring to know the cause of his being made prisoner. He confided in the fact that there was no legal proof of his intervention. There was no more active partisan than Du Calvet to compass the invasion ; he had conceived that he could be of the most use in collecting supplies for the invading army on its arrival. He had consequently gathered a large quantity of wheat and flour at his mill in Yamaska. No steps were taken regarding it, wrote Haldimand, as on the first news of the appearance of the congress troops, it could have been destroyed, or removed. Du Calvet had been considered one of the most active agents in these treasonable intrigues, which, to some extent, he had directed ; his name had even been included in the list of the partisans of congress in the province sent from New York by Clinton. It had now become necessary to prevent him committing further mischief.

Pillon, in his confession, threw himself upon the mercy of the government, and strove to cast the blame on Pritchard as having led him into the association. As is generally the case with accused persons, his story was confused. The important fact in his confession was that Dufour had informed him that he, Dufour, had been asked by Du Calvet to write a letter giving the information that a large quantity of flour had been gathered for the use of the congress invading army: a statement so in accord with Du Calvet's proceedings, that it may be accepted as truth.*

One of the means taken to avoid detection by Pillon and Du Calvet was, that their signatures to the letter were cut out, so that on a future occasion the slip could be applied to the sheet whence it was taken. The signatures were confined in a bullet, to be thrown away in case of emergency. There was also a French song, written in ordinary ink, while

* (Can. Arch., B. 208, p. 88.]

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between the lines information was given to congress, held to be important to the cause of the invaders, written with some chemical compound. Subsequently, Pillon confessed to Le Maistre, the deputy adjutant-general, that it was his writing.*

Du Calvet was arrested at Three Rivers on the 27th of September, at Brown's tavern, and though subsequently he took legal proceedings against Haldimand on account of his imprisonment, the fact is curious that no orders were given from Quebec for the proceeding, although it was subsequently approved. The act arose entirely with the commanding officer at Montreal, colonel Allen Maclean. He wrote, in explanation of the course taken by him, that major Carleton assured him that Du Calvet was, if possible, more guilty than Pillon, for Pillon was only Du Calvet's agent, and to secure the first named without Du Calvet was doing nothing."

Du Calvet's papers were seized, but, as might have been expected, it was found, after their examination by Cramahé, that they contained nothing treasonable.

Two other prominent men were also arrested at this date, Cazeau and Hay, the latter at Quebec on the 15th of April. An Indian gave information that he had been engaged by one Trudelle, of Chateauguay, as a guide to conduct an Englishman to Albany. There was, at that date, contiguous to Chateauguay an Indian village in which many of the Indians in the interest of congress were to be found, and it became the place whence intelligence was transmitted to the south. The explanation given for the cause of the

The following is the form of the song, with the interlined information to be brought out by the application of heat : Nous avons ici de soldats reguliers au plus 5,000 hommes ; Québec est fortifié

"J'abjure de bon cæur le Pape et son empire, mais le Peuple est outré à un point que 3,000 hommes de débarquement entre

Calvin nouveau Docteur est l'objet qui m'attire, autres sous le Pavillon Français vaudront 10,000, et je crois que si on faisoit

J'abandonne en forme et la Messe et La Loi, imprimer des commissions en guerre et les distribuer à des sujets tant à Chambly

Calvin et la réforme ont tout pouvoir sur moi.que dans la bas du Golfe afin de supprimer et abattre les Royalists, etc.

1780]

ARREST OF CAZEAU AND HAY.

59

journey was that the person making the journey was engaged in the business of stave-cutting, and designed to "prospect” the woods to find a suitable spot for his operations. The man, one Kenney, was arrested ; on being examined, he persisted in the denial made by him that it was his intention to go to Albany. On hearing that Trudelle had confessed that he had been engaged by Cazeau to obtain a guide to that place, he admitted that such had been his design on a matter of business, having been deputed by Charles Hay to obtain the protection of congress for the vessels that Hay was about to despatch in the whale fishery. As this story was too ridiculous to be believed, Kenney in his desperate position made the admission that the true object of his journey was to give intelligence to congress to aid in the invasion, the information being sent by Cazeau. Kenney declared that Hay knew nothing of Cazeau's proceedings. But the fact was established that Cazeau was unacquainted with Kenney until he met him at Hay's house, and the two had travelled to Montreal in the same cariole.

Hay's brother, at this date, was a lieutenant-colonel in the service of congress. In 1775, the two, who were Scotchmen, were following the business of stave-cutting on lake Champlain. They early became partisans of the revolutionary movement, and when Montgomery's force appeared before Quebec, they left the city on their own account. Their names do not appear in the list of those peremptorily ordered by Carleton to leave the city. In 1776, Charles Hay returned to Quebec, while Ulney Hay openly joined the congress troops, with the rank of colonel, and in 1780 was quarter-master-general at Albany. It was from him the message had been received which led to Kenney's expedition.

Upon this information orders were given for the arrest of Cazeau and Hay. Cazeau was a Frenchman who had made a large fortune in trade with the Indians. From having been a friend of Walker's he had early embraced the revolutionary

* [Ante., Vol. V., p. 487.]

*

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