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side. He had obtained influence with the Indians, and exerted himself to prevent them embracing the cause of Canada. His argument with them was, that, if a reconciliation took place, both sides would remain enemies to their race. He had formed a personal hatred to the government, owing to some request having been denied him. His leading sentiment, however, was to assist the invasion by the French troops, holding that it would serve the interests of congress, and he risked his all in the cause.
The arrest of these parties was considered the more necessary, as the report had been circulated that the authorities had no power to punish any one expressing opinions in opposition to the government, and actively engaging in any enterprise to subvert it. Hay applied to be permitted to engage an attorney ; the request was granted, and application was made on his behalf for a writ of habeas corpus. It was dismissed. Although a prisoner, his wife was permitted access to him, and he was treated with consideration and indulgence. Actions in his name were commenced in the civil courts, and the use of writing materials was granted to him. One of the uses he made of this indulgence was to pretend that he owed the witness, Kenney, £40 in order to silence him. Hay was one of the names sent by Clinton from New York as a prominent partisan of congress.
Mrs. Hay seems to have been a person of some family,* and if the memoirs presented by her were written by herself a woman of education and ability. She was unceasing in her application to the home government to obtain her husband's release. She contended that Kenney was merely the bearer of a letter of credit to Cazeau, and that the recommendation it contained was simply a certificate of his prudence and diligence in matters of business. Hay, himself, strongly asserted his innocence. It was owing to the earnest application of Mrs. Hay that the imperial government asked explanations on the point from Haldimand. In justification he related the circumstances of these arrests. 1780]
* [Can. Arch., B. 205, p. 213.]
It is from this fact that the authenticity of the narrative of them is established."
Some arrests were made in November, 1781. They consisted of three suspected inhabitants of Montreal, Dupont, Carignan, Cazeau, evidently a son or relative of the elder, then a prisoner, and Edgar. Speth was then in command. Haldimand wrote to him to be on his guard in listening to accusations made on trifling suspicion or from private feeling, and directed that no arrests should take place except by warrant of the civil governor. †
Three other accused persons, Noel, Phillips and Malvin Noel, were, with the younger Cazeau, admitted to bail.
As a rule the prisoners were generally released, after a short detention, surety being given for their good behaviour. With few exceptions they were dismissed after being cautioned as to their conduct.
An incident happened at St. Geneviève, on the north of the island of Montreal, indicative of the state of this bad feeling. One Poudret dit La Vigne with his son Joseph had received commissions in the congress army. The son being extremely ill, the curé was sent for to administer the sacrament. The curé, known for his loyalty, remonstrated with the son for entertaining such opinions, when the father intervened and said that he would by force make the curé do what he would not do willingly. The curé had brought two men with him for his protection, one of whom he sent to the commandant in the village for assistance. He had also provided himself with a pistol concealed under his soutane. He was only saved by having the weapon at his command. A party was rapidly sent to his rescue, and the men fled. Although the memoirs of Laterrière are of little value
Haldimand to Shelburne, 16th July, 1782. [Can. Arch., B. 53, p. 152.] + “ The liberty of the subject being by our laws very sacred, it is necessary that suspicion should be well founded to justify imprisonment. Except in cases where the service shall require immediate decision, it will be necessary in future that you wait for my particular directions as civil governor to apprehend any subject for state crimes." Haldimand to Speth, 22nd November, 1781. [Can. Arch., B. 131, p. 136.]
in throwing light on the political events of the time, there is one point on which they may be accepted ; where he relates anything favourable to Haldimand we may admit its truth, for he has left on record his inextinguishable hate towards the governor.* We learn from his memoirs that his own case was carefully examined by a board assembled at Three Rivers, consisting of Mr. Baby, of the legislative council, Judge Rouville, Messrs. de Tonnancour and Gugy. The result of their investigation of the charge against him was that he was sent to Quebec as a prisoner. The important fact is also confirmed by him, that the only persons in the same room with him were Jotard, Fleury Mesplet and Hay. It was thirty feet square. He mentions that Du Calvet, on having been arrested, was placed with the prisoners sent from Detroit in another part of the building, where several of the congress troops, prisoners of war, were also confined. Had there been the extraordinary number of arrests as asserted by Du Calvet,'an unauthenticated statement modern writers have taken upon themselves to repeat, we should have the fact established by Laterrière. Laterrière and Hay each partitioned off a corner of the room, and their wives were permitted to visit and remain with them. Jotard and Mesplet are represented by Laterrière to have been drunk daily, and on one occasion he relates that from their insolence he was constrained to thrash the two. Madame Laterrière, so-called without having passed through the wedding ceremony with Laterrière, had been forced into marriage with one Pelissier, whose bad treatment of her caused her to leave him. The two remained happily and affectionately side by side for the rest of their lives. Jotard, Laterrière calls him “le vilain Jotard,” made love to Madame Laterrière ; he received however such a rebuff that, as Laterrière describes it, il changea de batterie.”
With the exaggeration which marks Laterrière, he describes
“ Haldimand étoit d'un caractère dur, avare, vindictif, et se plaisant à faire souffrir l'humanite, aussi a-t-il fait en trois ans une grande fortune (!) et le diable á present s'en doit il rejouir avec lui.” (p. 103.)
RELEASE OF THE PRISONERS.
himself as being confined four years ; he was released on the 2nd of August, 1782, on condition of his leaving the province during the war. Thus he was kept in confinement two years and five months. On the conclusion of the peace, Townshend wrote to Haldimand,* that the imprisonment of Hay, Cazeau, Du Calvet and Pillon was expedient at the time, but it was doubtful if it was longer necessary.
They had, however, been released on the 2nd of May previously to the arrival of the letter. The humbler instruments of this treasonable movement, Hamel, Dufort and Charland, the tools of the more educated members in the conspiracy, were also kept in close confinement, for we find petitions from their relatives for their release. From time to time other arrests were made as suspicion was excited, but I can find no trace that any of the parties so taken were long kept in imprisonment.
Subsequently Du Calvet brought an action in London against Haldimand for false imprisonment. The money, for a time, to meet the legal expenses to some extent was found by Massères, but, if the evidence we have on this point can be accepted, he finally withdrew from this assistance. The suit was defended, and the costs were paid by the British government. Hay also threatened to take proceedings, but it would appear the suit was withdrawn. Belief in the innocence of these prisoners has entirely passed away from all who have investigated the evidence which establishes their guilt. I have before remarked that the leaders in the movement were not British subjects. Hay was the one exception ; they were born Frenchmen, and the prospect of the invasion of Canada by the French awakened in them the feeling that it furnished an opportunity for their personal distinction. It was upon the ground of his French sympathies that Du Calvet applied to La Fayette for aid and support in his claim against congress, and the countenance asked was given to him as a Frenchman who had served the cause.
The measures of Haldimand were, under any aspect, * [28th February. Can. Arch., B. 117.)
successful. The imprisonment of the accused parties worked its influence in restraining these mischievous intrigues. The first arrest, that of Laterrière, in Three Rivers, attracted great attention. It is plain that his self-assertion was unbounded. We hear no more of similar activity in this quarter ; Hay had been the leading spirit at Quebec, and no other name is subsequently mentioned in connection with the movement. The arrests at Montreal, joined to the activity of the commanding officer in unravelling the plot, had the effect of discouraging all who were inclined to engage in such attempts.
Du Calvet's fate was to be drowned at sea. In March, 1786, he left New York for London in a vessel then called the “Shelburne," originally a Spanish prize. A storm of unusual violence was experienced shortly after her departure, during which the vessel is supposed to have foundered, for she was never afterwards heard of.
It is difficult to obtain precise information concerning François Cazeau. Like the other prominent abettors of the invasion, he was a Frenchman. His career shews him to have been a man ambitious of distinction ; but he had neither the education nor the mental qualities to fit him for political life. He possessed great energy ; its unwise exercise was the cause of the tribulation through which he passed. Some of his letters have been preserved, and they establish his strong sympathies with the cause of congress, and especially with the French, and they shew his fervent hope for the success of the threatened invasion. He escaped from prison in 1782. After the peace an application was made on his behalf by general Schuyler for permission to return to Canada. +
We next hear of him in France, when he urged his claims against the United States. In a letter to his wife in 1788 he relates that he had published a memoir, but that he had suppressed it at the desire of La Fayette, who wished that nothing offensive should be said by him against either the
* (Can. Arch., B. 206, p. 200.]