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1783, issued a circular letter to the clergy calling upon them to assist in the efforts to eradicate the disease, by learning in each parish the number of those affected, and to report these cases to the grand vicar. The result of these investigations established that the number afflicted was less than was supposed.*

At the departure for England of Haldimand in 1785 Hamilton, appointed lieutenant-governor, continued the efforts which were being made to extirpate the evil. A second circular letter, dated 12th April, 1785, was issued by bishop d'Esglis, who, as coadjutor, had assumed charge of the diocese the preceding year. The clergy were informed that printed instructions would be sent to them for distribution in the parishes, and that medical visits would be made at the cost of the government. A doctor Bowman was appointed to the duty of visiting the parishes. On the 2nd of March, 1786, a circular was again sent to the clergy at the instigation of general Hope, then lieutenant-governor, and a form of return was attached shewing the system of report to be followed.

Dr. Bowman reported that during 1785 he attended to 5,801 cases, supplying the medicines, and in 1786 there were 4,606 cases. Dr. Bowman's bill against the government, based upon the charge of five shillings for each case, amounted to £2,500, with travelling and contingent expenses. On the examination of this account, circumstances suggested that the extent of the disease had been much exaggerated. It was shewn that Bowman claimed to have supplied medicines to parishes where no sickness prevailed, that it was impossible for him to have visited many places named by him, and that his attendance had been too hurried to admit of proper investigation. By his own state

Bishop Briand wrote of this disease: “Il n'y a presque plus de paroisse dans ce diocèse ou elle ne soit répandue. Elle commence à nuire au commerce et à l'union sociale ; elle retient les voyageurs dans une vigilance gênante ; je sais méme qu'elle a déjà nui aux fonctions du Saint Ministère.”

[Mandements des Evêques de Québec, v., p. 304.]

1785]

NATURE OF MALADY.

71

ment he travelled 2,000 miles in four months, and in one instance administered to the necessities of 500 sick in two days. Whatever the incorrectness of Dr. Bowman's statements, there is sufficient proof of the wide extension and mischievous consequences of the contagion.

Although the subject was attentively considered by the medical authorities in Canada, few papers are available to throw light upon the true nature of the disease. Special reports were made and transmitted to England, copies of which are not to be found in our records. We hear no more of the disease after 1787, a proof that it had ceased to be prominently pernicious. It has never again appeared in Canada. There have been many speculations as to its origin and its character. Contradictory opinions have been given with much positiveness. I confess that I am unable myself to form any view on these points, both from a deficiency of knowledge in such matters and from the failure to meet any authority to guide me. Consequently I have contented myself with relating the facts as they are to be found. *

* In 1785 the government issued a circular describing the disease, and recommending the treatment to be followed by those afflicted with it. I deem it proper to place this description on record.

“Les premières indications de ce funeste mal se manifestent communément, par de petits ulcères sur les lèvres, la langue, l'intérieur de la bouche, etc.; ce sont de petites pustules, remplies d'une matière blanchâtre et purulente, qui renferment un poison si subtil, que sa plus petite portion est capable de communiquer l'infection ; boire dans un verre, fumer avec une pipe infectée de cette matière vénéneuse, c'en est assez pour faire naître sur les lèvres une petite ampoule remplie de cette même matière, qui venant à se dégorger, dilate la plaie, corrode les chairs circonvoisines, et forme un ulcère plus grand.

“Le linge, les draps, les couvertes, les habits, etc., peuvent communiquer la contagion.

“Il y a des tempéraments qui absorbent le poison et les ulcères paraissent guéris, mais reparaissent bientôt ; et alors le mal est à sa seconde période. De plus grands ulcères se forment.

Les glandes du gosier, des aisselles. de l’aisne, sont enflammées, et déchargent quelquefois du pus ; souvent elles deviennent des tumeurs dures et insensibles, qui changent de place en les touchant. Bientôt les douleurs se font sentir à la tête, aux épaules, aux bras, aux mains, aux cuisses, aux jambes, aux pieds. Pendant ce temps, le malade croit que ce sont ses os qui sont affectés ; les maux augmentent quelquefois, par

*

*

l'exercice, dans les temps humides, et au lit, lorsqu'on commence à s'y échauffer, et diminuent de même vers le matin, lorsque la transpiration survient.

“Le troisième degré de la maladie peut se reconnaître à des croûtes galeuses sur la peau, qui se montrent et disparaissent tour-a-tour. Bientôt les os du nez se pourrissent, aussi que le palais, les dents, les gencives ; surviennent des bosses, sur le crâne, sur les clavicules, aux os des jambes, aux bras, et aux doigts des mains. On voit des ulcères sur tout le corps, qui, après avoir disparu, reviennent. Enfin, des douleurs de côté et de poitrine, la difficulté de respirer, la toux. le défaut d'appétit, la chute des cheveux, la perte de la vue, de l'ouie, de l'odorat, sont les précurseurs de la mort.

“Au reste, il ne faut pas s'y tromper; car quelquefois, les premières apparences du mal se montrent par les symtômes du second et même du troisième degré.”

1779]

VERMONT NEGOTIATIONS.

73

CHAPTER IV.

I have at this date to describe a series of events concerning which some misconception exists, owing, in my view, to their having been obscurely and imperfectly narrated. cannot, however, conceive that a doubt can exist as to their true character, if the facts are dispassionately and judicially considered. The conclusion as to their intent and purpose is irresistible. I allude to what have been called the “Vermont Negotiations,” in which the leading men of that territory, despairing of obtaining from congress recognition of their demand for autonomy, addressed themselves to Haldimand, stating their desire to be reunited to the British empire as an integral part of it; in other words, to return to the old allegiance. However much writers may dwell on the prompting motive being traceable to local dissatisfaction, personal ambition, and the too frequently ruling principle of purely selfish objects, the fact remains that the desire was strongly expressed of returning to what we 'in Canada still call the happiness of being under British rule. Such a desire furnishes positive evidence that the traditional accusation of tyrannical misgovernment on the part of the mother country towards the old provinces has but feeble foundation, and is in itself no slight vindication of that relationship which some modern writers represent as a continued injustice. The most conscientious United States historians, the class of whom is rapidly widening, evidently feel that this more than willingness to return to the position of British subjects is in itself an answer to much which has been bitterly written against the mother country, and justifies the assertion that the movement more from the desire of abstract independence than from the sense of any particular wrong which had been suffered and for which redress was not obtainable. All who are not blinded by passion must recognise in this demand that there was full confidence in the power, from which this protection was sought, and that there was no dread of arbitrary government or of individual persecution. It remains a proof, after three years of revolutionary war, of the confidence felt in the beneficence and justice of Great Britain in her treatment of her colonies. It likewise shews the prevalence of the conviction that with safeguards against ill judged intervention on the part of the colonial office, and the assurance of the presence of a colonial minister, by ability and training a statesman, every principle of true liberty could have been established, for peace and good government unfailingly to have followed.

arose

There had been constant disputes between New York and New England relative to the territory west of the Connecticut. New York had contended that her jurisdiction had extended to the eastern bank of the river and northward to the Canadian boundary. There had been likewise difficulties between Massachusetts and Connecticut ; this point, however, had been decided by order-in-council in 1740. On the establishment of the northern boundary of Massachusetts, Benning Wentworth, then governor of New Hampshire, claimed the northern territory, included between the Connecticut river and a line running from the north-west point of Massachusetts to the south of lake Champlain, thence following northwards the eastern shore of the lake. Patents for land were granted within this extent, such concessions being spoken of in the difficulties of the time as the “New Hampshire grants."

The claims of Colden, then governor of New York, to this territory put forward on the part of that province, led to a conflict of interprovincial claims that caused serious complications. It was owing, indeed, to these disputes that the settlers of the territory finally repudiated the pretensions on both sides, declared their independence, and founded the state of Vermont. As early as 1773 serious riots had arisen from this spirit of self-assertion in the county then known

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