Picturesque Quebec
James MacPherson Le Moine

Part 5 out of 14

infinite mortification to realize that the only visit which we ever made
to Dog Lane was subsequent to the publication of the _Album du Touriste_;
a circumstance which explains the omission of it from that repository of
Canadian lore. Our most illustrious tourists, [112] the eldest son of the
Queen, the Prince of Wales, his brothers, the Princes Alfred and Arthur,
the Dukes of Newcastle, of Athol, of Manchester, of Beaufort, of Argyle,
of Sutherland, Generals Grant and Sherman, and Prince Napoleon Bonaparte,
it is said, took their leave of Quebec without having visited that
interesting locality, "_la Ruelle des Chiens_," Sous-le-Cap street,
probably unconscious of its very existence! Nevertheless, this street
possesses great historical interest. It has re-echoed the trumpet sounds
of war, the thundering of cannon, the briskest musketry; there fell
Brigadier-General Arnold, wounded in the knee: carried off amid the
despairing cries of his soldiers, under the swords of Dambourgès, of the
fierce and stalwart Charland, of the brave Caldwell, followed by his
friend Nairn and their chivalrous militiamen. Our friends, the
annexationists of that period, were so determined to annex Quebec, that
they threw themselves as if possessed by the evil one upon the barriers
(there were two of them) in Sous-le-Cap street and in Sault-au-Matelot
street; each man, says Sanguinet, wearing a slip of paper on his cap on
which was written "_Mors aut Victoria_," "Death or Victory!" One
hundred years and more have elapsed since this fierce struggle, and we are
not yet under Republican rule!

A number of dead bodies lay in the vicinity, on the 31st December, 1775;
they were carried to the Seminary. Ample details of the incidents of this
glorious day will be found in "QUEBEC PAST AND PRESENT." It is believed
that the first barrier was placed at the foot of the stone _demi-lune_,
where, at present, a cannon rests on the ramparts; the second was
constructed in rear of the present offices of Mr. W. D. Campbell, N.P., in
Sault-au-Matelot street.

Sault-au-Matelot street has lost the military renown which it then
possessed; besides the offices of M. Ledroit, of the _Morning Chronicle_,
and of the timber cullers, it now is a stand for the carters, and a
numerous tribe of pork merchants, salmon preservers and coopers, whose
casks on certain days encumber the sidewalks.

St. Paul street does not appear on the plan of the city of Quebec of 1660,
reproduced by the Abbé Faillon. This quarter of the Lower Town, so
populous under the French _régime, and where, according to Monseigneur de
Laval, there was, in 1661, "_magnus numerus civium_" continued, until
about 1832, to represent the hurry-scurry of affairs and the residences of
the principal merchants, one of the wealthiest portions of the city.
There, in 1793, the father of our Queen, Colonel of the 7th Fusiliers,
then in garrison at Quebec, partook of the hospitality of M. Lymburner,
one of the merchant princes of that period. Was the _chère amie_, the
elegant _Baronne de St. Laurent_, of the party? We found it impossible to
ascertain this from our old friend, Hon. William Sheppard, of Woodfield,
near Quebec (who died in 1867), from whom we obtained this incident. Mr.
Sheppard, who had frequently been a guest at the most select drawing-rooms
of the ancient capital, was himself a contemporary of the generous and
jovial Prince Edward.

The Sault-au-Matelot quarter, St. Peter street, and St. James street, down
to the year 1832, contained the habitations of a great number of persons
in easy circumstances; many of our families of note had their residences
there: John Wm. Woolsey, Esq., in 1808, and later on first President of
the Quebec Bank; the millionaire auctioneer, Wm. Burns, the god-father to
the late George Burns Symes, Esq.; Archbishop Signai--this worthy prelate
was born in this street, in a house opposite to La Banque Nationale.
Evidences of the luxuriousness of their dwelling rooms are visible to this
day, in the panelling of some doors and in decorated ceilings.

Drainage, according to the modern system, was, at that period, almost
unknown to our good city. The Asiatic cholera, in 1832, decimated the
population: 3,500 corpses, in the course of a few weeks, had gone to their
last resting place. This terrible epidemic was the occasion, so to speak,
of a social revolution at Quebec; the land on the St. Louis and Ste. Foye
roads became much enhanced in value; the wealthy quitted the Lower Town.
Commercial affairs, however, still continued to be transacted there, but
the residences of merchants were selected in the Upper Town or in the
country parts adjacent.

The _Fief Sault-au-Matelot_, which at present belongs to the Seminary, was
granted to Guillaume Hébert on the 4th February, 1623, the title of which
was ratified by the Due de Ventadour on the last day of February, 1632. On
the ground reclaimed from the river, about 1815, Messrs. Munro and Bell,
eminent merchants, built wharves and some large warehouses, to which lead
"Bell's lane," (so named after the Honorable Matthew Bell) [113] the
streets St. James, Arthur, Dalhousie and others. Mr. Bell, at a later
period, one of the lessees of the St. Maurice Forges, resided in the
house--now St. Lawrence Chambers--situate at the corner of St. James and
St. Peter streets, now belonging to Mr. John Greaves Clapham, N. P. Hon.
Matthew Bell commanded a troop of cavalry, which was much admired by those
warlike gentlemen of 1812--our respected fathers. He left a numerous
family, and was related by marriage to the families Montizambert, Bowen,
&c. Dalhousie street, in the Lower Town, probably dates from the time of
the Earl of Dalhousie (1827), when the "Quebec Exchange" was built by a
company of merchants. The extreme point of the Lower Town, towards the
northeast, constitutes "La Pointe à Carcy," named after Carcy Pagès, who
succeeded to the office of "Guardian of the Harbor," held in 1713 by Louis
Pratt. In the offing is situated the wharf, alongside of which the stately
frigate _Aurora_, Captain De Horsey, passed the winter of 1866-7. The
wharves of the Quebec docks now mark the spot.

The expansion of commerce at the commencement of the present century and
increase of population rendered it very desirable that means of
communication should be established between the Lower Town and St. Roch,
less rugged and inconvenient than the tunnel--Sous-le-Cap lane--and the
sandy beach of the river St. Charles at low water. Towards 1816 the
northern extremity of St. Peter street was finished, it was previously
bounded by a red bridge, well remembered by our very old citizens. The
Apostle St. Paul was honoured with a street, as was his colleague, St.
Peter. Messrs. Benj. Tremaine, Budden, Morrisson, Parent, Allard and
others acquired portions of ground on the north side of this (St. Paul)
street, upon which they have erected wharves, offices and large
warehouses. Renaud's new block now occupies a portion of the site.

The construction of the North Shore Railway will have the effect, at an
early date, of augmenting, in a marked degree, the value of these
properties, the greater portion of which now belong to our fellow citizen,
M. J. Bte Renaud, who has adorned this portion of the Lower Town with
first class buildings. Let us hope that this quarter may flourish, and
that our enterprising fellow citizen may prosper in consequence.

Let us join a party of distinguished strangers wending their way through
our muddy streets, following a titled tourist, His Highness the Duke of
Saxe-Weimar. This noble visitor's rank seems to have been fully
recognized, since he was escorted by a guard of honour furnished by the
Lt.-Governor, and saluted on his departure by 21 guns. After fifty-five
years, the Duke's utterances have yet interest for us, though he seems to
have judged harshly the absent Governor-General, the Earl of Dalhousie.

"About eight o'clock in the evening of the 3rd of September, 1825, we
embarked at Montreal on board the steamer _Lady Sherbrooke_ for
Quebec. The banks, which as far as Trois Rivières are pretty low,
become higher and more rocky, particularly on the left side. The
neighborhood is remarkably handsome and picturesque. The majestic
stream with its pleasant banks, and the view of the distant blue
mountains near Quebec, produce an indescribable effect. The weather
was favourable,--a clear, sunny sky and not very warm; in this
northern latitude you can perceive the approaching autumn by the
coolness of the nights and mornings. We reached Quebec at 10 o'clock
in the evening. This city consists of two parts, the Upper Town, which
is built on a rock, and the Lower, which is pressed in between the
river and the rock. The lights in the Lower Town and the
fortifications had an elegant appearance, when contrasted with the
dark rock. The first _coup d'oeil_, which was by night, reminded
me of Namur, as it is seen from the right bank of the Maas. In the
river were many vessels; mostly used for carrying wood. It was already
late, and we should have found difficulty in transporting our baggage
by night, besides other inconveniences in finding lodgings for the
ladies, so we spent the second night also on board the steamboat,
where we were very comfortable and found it cleanly.

"The next morning, after dismissing the guard which the Governor
appointed to escort us, we went to our lodgings in the upper part of
the town. The lower town is very narrow, and has a filthy appearance.
The streets are not paved, and badly provided with sidewalks. The road
which leads to the upper part of the town is very steep. It stands on
a rocky ground, and its fortifications are elevated 300 feet from the
level of the ocean. The upper is separated from the lower town by a
stone wall, which has the form of a horn-work. Through this wall is a
gate, [115] which has a guard; the guard-room is opposite the gate,
and by means of a portcullis defends the entrance. For the convenience
of foot-passengers there is a door [116] near the gate, with wooden
stairs, by ascending which you reach the upper town. On the right of
the gate is a building which resembles a chapel, [117] and serves for
the House of Commons of Canada. In order to get home we were obliged
to go round part of the walls of the town. Even here you have an
indescribably beautiful view of the Bay of Quebec and the right bank
of the river, which has the appearance of a cape, called Point Levi.

"Shortly after our arrival, I received a visit from Colonel Duchesnay,
First Adjutant of the Governor-General, and from [118] Colonel
Durnford, Director of Engineers. The first gentleman came to bid me
welcome in the name of the Governor, and the latter begged to show me
the fortifications. Lord Dalhousie, Governor General of all British
possessions in North America, was at that time in England, but was
expected daily. During his absence, the Government was under the
direction of the Lt.-Governor, Sir Francis Barton, brother of Lord
Conyngham. He is a civilian, but is said to fill his high post with
credit. The good spirit the inhabitants are in, and the harmony that
exists in the colony, are mostly owing to his good management and his
humane and friendly deportment towards them. It is said of Lord
Dalhousie that he has estranged the hearts of the people from himself
and the Government, through his haughty and absolute deportment, and
the Opposition party in the Canadian Parliament has thereby been

"The upper part of the town is very old and angular, the streets are
muddy, and many not paved. Both towns contain about 25,000
inhabitants. The Catholic Cathedral is quite a handsome building, it
has three altars, and paintings of but little value. It is near the
Seminary, an old French building, with massive walls, having four
corners like a bastion. In this Seminary resides the Bishop of Quebec.
We had already been introduced to Bishop Plessis, in the house of Sir
Francis Burton, and found him a very agreeable and well-informed man.
He is the son of a butcher of Montreal, and has elevated himself by
his own merit.

"On the second and last day of my sojourn in Quebec I went to the
parade, escorted by Colonels Durnford and Duchesnay. I was pleasantly
taken by surprise when I found the whole garrison under arms. The
commanding officers wished to show me their corps. On the right wing
stood two companies of artillery, then a company of sappers and
miners, after this, the Sixty-Eighth, and lastly, the Seventy-First
Regiment of Infantry. The last is a light regiment, and consists of
Scotch Highlanders; it appeared to be in particularly good condition.
This regiment is not dressed in the Highland uniform, which was only
worn by some of the buglemen. It has a very good band of buglemen, who
wear curious caps, made of blue woollen, bordered below with red and
white stripes. The troops defiled twice before me.

"On the 6th of September we set out in the steamboat for Montreal. Sir
Francis sent us his carriage, which was very useful to the ladies. On
the dock stood a company of the Sixty-Fifth Regiment, with their flags
displayed as a guard of honour, which I immediately dismissed. The
fortifications saluted us with 21 guns; this caused a very fine echo
from the mountains. Night soon set in, but we had sufficient light to
take leave of the magnificent vicinity of Quebec."

St. Vallier street is sacred to Monseigneur de St. Vallier; his name is
identified with the street which he so often perambulated in his visits to
the General Hospital, where he terminated his useful career in 1729. His
Lordship seems to have entertained a particular attachment for the
locality where he had founded this hospital, where he resided, in order to
rent his Mountain Hill Palace to Intendant Talon, and thus save the
expense of a chaplain. The General Hospital was the third asylum for the
infirm which the Bishop had founded. Subsequently, came the Intendant de
Meules, who, toward 1684, endowed the eastern portion of the quarter with
an edifice (the Intendant's Palace) remarkable for its dimensions, its
magnificence and its ornate gardens.

Where Talon (a former Intendant) had left a brewery in a state of ruin and
about seventeen acres of land unoccupied, Louis XIV., by the advice of his
Intendant de Meules, lavished vast sums of money in the erection of a
sumptuous palace, in which French justice was administered, and in which,
at a later period, under Bigot, it was _purchasable_. Our illustrious
ancestors, for that matter, were not the kind of men to weep over such
trifles, imbued as they were from infancy with the feudal system and all
its irksome duties, without forgetting the forced labour (_corvées_)
and those admirable "Royal secret warrants," (_lettres de cachet_). What
did the institutions of a free people, or the text of Magna Charta signify
to them?

On this spot stood the notorious warehouse, where Bigot, Cadet and their
confederates retailed, at enormous profits, the provisions and supplies
which King Louis XV. doled out in 1758 to the starving inhabitants of
Quebec. The people christened the house "_La Friponne_," (_The Cheat_!!)
Near the sight of Talon's old brewery which had been converted into a
prison by Frontenac, and which held fast, until his trial in 1674, the
Abbé de Fénélon [119] now stands the Anchor Brewery (Boswell's).

We clip the following from an able review in the Toronto _Mail_, Dec.,
1880, of M. Marmette's most dramatic novel, "_l'Intendant Bigot_":

"In the year 1775 a grievous famine raged, sweeping off large numbers
of the poor, while the unscrupulous Bigot and his satellites were
revelling in shameless profligacy. It is midnight of Christmas, when
an old officer, M. de Rochebrune, pressed with cold and hunger to the
last point, resolved to pawn his St. Louis Cross of gold at the
Intendant's Palace stores. On the way thither the officer and his
young daughter, a young girl of fourteen, are startled at the blaze of
light illuminating the Palace windows, during one of the Intendant's
festivals. The pleasures of the evening are suddenly interrupted and
shaded by the entry of the aged, suffering M. de Rochebrune and his
wan-visaged but beautiful daughter. Words of galling truth are
addressed to Bigot before his painted courtezans and his other
depraved attendants, whose hearts are too hard and whose consciences
are too seared to be tortured by either misery or reproof, and the
ruffian varlets eject both father and daughter to the furies of the
midnight blast. The ball ended, Bigot leads Madame de Pean to her
vehicle, when she tumbles over an object which, when torches are
brought, was found to be the corpse of the suppliant rebuker of a few
hours previous, alongside of which lay the unconscious form of his
daughter, half buried in the drifting snow. '_Mon Dieu_,' exclaimed
Madame de Pean, '_Il ne dormira pas de la nuit, c'est bien sûr._' This
tragic event is narrated with thrilling effect, in the author's best
style." P. B.

In a paper read by us before the Literary and Historical Society of
Quebec, 3rd December, 1879, we alluded in the following terms to the
history of the "Friponne" and the infamous entourage of Intendant Bigot in
the second part of our lecture: the first part related to Kalm's ramble
round the city in 1749.

Prepare, now for other--dark--far less pleasant scenes. The bright sky
of old Stadacona will rapidly lower; leaden clouds, pregnant with
storms are hovering over head. The simplicity of early days is getting
obsolete. Vice, gilded vice, flaunts in the palace. Gaunt famine is
preying on the vitals of the people. 'Tis so at Versailles; 'tis so at
Quebec. Lust--selfishness--rapine--public plunder everywhere--except
among the small party of the _Honnêtes Gens_: [120] a carnival of
pleasure, to be followed by the voice of wailing and by the roll of
the muffled drum.

In 1748, the evil genius of New France, "La Pompadour's
_protégé_" François Bigot, thirteenth and last Intendant, had landed
at Quebec.

Born in Guienne, of a family distinguished at the bar, Bigot, prior to
coming to Canada had occupied the high post of Intendant in Louisiana.
In stature, he was small--but well formed;--active--full of pluck--
fond of display and pleasure--an inveterate gambler. Had he confined
his operations merely to trading, his commercial ventures would have
excited little blame, trading having been a practice indulged in by
several other high colonial officials. His salary was totally
inadequate to the importance of his office, and quite insufficient to
meet the expenditure his exalted position led him into. His
speculations, his venality, the extortions practised on the community
by his heartless minions: this is what has surrounded his memory with
eternal infamy and made his name a by-word for scorn.

There existed, at Quebec, a _ring_ composed of the Intendant's
secretary, Deschenaux, of the Commissary General of Supplies, Cadet,
of the Town-Major, Hugues Péan; of the Treasurer-General, Imbert. Péan
was the Chief and Bigot the Great Chief of this nefarious association.
Between Bigot and Péan, another link existed. Péan's favour at Court
lay in the charms of his wife. Madame Péan, _née_ Angélique De
Meloises, was young, pretty, witty and charming; a fluent and
agreeable speaker--in fact so captivating that François Bigot was
entirely ruled by her during all his stay at Quebec. At her house in
St. Louis street he spent his evenings; there, he was sought and found
in May, 1759, by Col. de Bougainville returning from Paris, the bearer
of the dispatches, announcing the coming struggle.

Would you like some of the pen-photographs which a clever French
contemporary [121] has left of the corrupt entourage of the
magnificent intendant, here are a few:

"Brassard Deschenaux, the son of a poor cobbler, was born at Quebec. A
notary who boarded with Deschenaux, senior, had taught his son to
read. Naturally quick and intelligent, young Deschenaux made rapid
progress and soon found something to do in the office of Intendant
Hocquart where Bigot found him and succeeded in having him appointed
clerk in the Colonial Office at Quebec. Industrious, but at heart a
sycophant, by dint of cringing he won the good graces of Bigot, who
soon put unlimited trust in him, to that degree as to do nothing
without Deschenaux's aid, but Deschenaux was vain, ambitious, haughty
and overbearing and of such inordinate greed, that he was in the habit
of boasting 'that to get rich he would even rob a church.'

"Cadet was the son of a butcher. In his youth he was employed to mind
the cattle of a Charlesbourg peasant; he next set up as a butcher and
made money. His savings, he invested in trade; his intriguing spirit
brought him to the notice of the Intendant Hocquart, who gave him
contracts to supply meat for the army. Deschenaux soon discovered that
Cadet could be useful to him; he made him his friend and lost no
opportunity to recommend him to the Intendant. He was accordingly
often employed to buy the supplies for the subsistence of the troops.
In verity, there were few men more active, more industrious, more
competent to drive a bargain. The King required his services and
secured them, by having Cadet named Commissary General. He had his
redeeming points--was open-handed in his dealings--of a kindly nature
and lavish even to excess."

The worthy Commissary General, like Péan, was blessed with a charming
wife, whom Panet's Diary styles "La Belle Amazone Aventurière."
Probably like her worthy spouse,--of low extraction; "elle n'était pas
sortie de la cuisse de Jupiter," to use a familiar French saw.

She certainly was not, like Caesar's wife "above suspicion." Madame
Cadet, later on, transferred her allegiance from the rich butcher
Cadet, to one "Sieur Joseph Ruffio";... but let us draw the veil of
oblivion over the short comings of another age.

"Capt. Hughes Péan, _Chevalier de la Livaudière_, was Town Major
of Quebec, _aide-Major des Troupes_." He was not long in discovering
that with an Intendant like Bigot, he could dare anything. Had he not
without any trouble netted a gain of 50,000 half crowns? A large
quantity of wheat was required for Government; he was charged with the
purchase. There was a fat job in store for the Town Major. How was his
master the Intendant to manage the matter for him? Bigot was a man of
resource, who never forgot his friends. First, he provided Péan with a
large sum out of the Treasury to buy the wheat as low as possible for
cash; and then his complaisant council passed an order or Ordonnance
fixing the price of grain much higher than that at which Péan had
purchased. The town Major charged it to the Government at the rate
fixed by the Ordonnance; the difference left him a handsome profit. He
thought he would next try his hand at building coasting craft, which
he could manage to keep constantly in commission for Government; this
also was lucrative. Other devices, however, were resorted to; a secret
partnership was entered into between Cadet and a person named Clavery,
who shortly after become store-keeper at Quebec. Cadet was to purchase
wheat in the parishes, have it ground at a mill he had leased, the
flour to be sent abroad, secretly. Péan, too, had large warehouses
built--at Beaumont some say. Cargoes of grain were thus secretly
shipped to foreign ports in defiance of the law. Bréard, the
Comptroller-General, for a consideration winked at these mal-
practices, and from a poor man when he landed in Canada, he returned
to France in affluent circumstances.

The crowning piece of knavery was the erection of a vast shop and
warehouses near to the Intendant's Palace. Clavery had charge of this
establishment, where a small retail business was carried on as a
blind. The real object was to monopolize the trade in provisions and
concentrate it here. Clavery was clerk to Estebe, Royal store-keeper
at Quebec. In this warehouse were accumulated all such provisions and
supplies as were wanted annually, and ordered from France for the
King's stores at Quebec.

It was the practice of the Intendant to send each summer the
requisitions to Paris. Bigot took care to order from France less
supplies than were required, so as to have an excuse to order the
remainder in times of want, at Quebec. The orders were sent to
Clavery's warehouse, where the same goods were sold twice over, at
increased rates. Soon the people saw through the deceit, and this
repository of fraud was called in consequence La Friponne, "The

Want of space prevents me from crowding in photos of the other
accomplished rogues, banded together for public robbery during the
expiring years of French domination in Canada.

It is singular to note how many low-born [122] parasites and
flatterers surrounded Bigot.

In 1755, the wheat harvest having failed, and the produce of former
years having been carried out of Canada or else stored in the magazine
of Bigot's ring, the people of Canada were reduced to starvation: in
many instances they had to subsist on horse flesh and decayed codfish.
Instead of having recourse to the wheat stored here, the Intendant's
minions led him to believe that wheat was not so scarce as the
peasantry pretended--that the peasants refused to sell it, merely in
anticipation of obtaining still higher rates; that the Intendant, they
argued, ought to issue orders, for domiciliary visits in the rural
districts; and levy a tax on each inhabitant of the country, for the
maintenance of the residents in the city, and of the troops.

Statements were made out, shewing the rations required to prevent the
people from dying of hunger. Cadet was charged with the raising of
this vexatious impost. In a very short time, he and his clerks had
overrun the country, appropriating more wheat than was necessary. Some
of the unfortunate peasants, who saw in the loss of their seed wheat
starvation and death, loudly complained. A few called at the
Intendant's Palace, but the heartless Deschenaux, the Intendant's
Secretary, was ever on the watch and had them questioned by his
_employés_, and when the object of their visit, was discovered,
they were ushered into the presence of Deschenaux, who insulted them
and threatened to have them imprisoned for thus presuming to complain
to the Intendant. Bigot was afterwards advised of their visit, and
when they appeared before him they were so maltreated and bullied that
they left, happy in the fact that they had not been thrown into
prison; soon, none dared to complain. Bread was getting scarcer every
day. The Intendant had named persons to distribute the bread at the
baker's shops, the flour being furnished by Government. The people
crowded the bakeries on the days fixed; the loaves were taken by
violence, mothers of families used to complain that they could not get
any; they used occasionally to besiege the Intendant at his Palace
with their lamentations and complaints, but it was of no avail, the
Intendant was surrounded by a crowd of flatterers, who on retiring,
gorged from his luxurious board, could not understand how the poor
could die of hunger.

Land of my fathers reclaimed from barbarism at the cost of so much
blood--so much treasure, bountifully provided with nobles--priests--
soldiers--fortifications by the great Louis; sedulously--paternally
watched over by Colbert and Talon: to what depth of despair, shall we
say, degradation are thou sunk!

Proud old city, have you then no more defenders to put forth, in your
supreme hour of woe and desertion! Has then that dauntless race of
_Gentilshommes Canadiens_, d'Iberville--Ste. Hélène--de Bouville
--de Bécancourt--de Repentigny, disappeared without leaving any

And you stern old de Frontenac, you who replied so effectually to the
invader through the mouth of your cannon, is your martial spirit
quenched forever, in that loved fortress in which rest your venerated
remains, you who at one time (1689) were ready, at the head of your
Regulars and fighting Canadians, [123] to carry out the rash scheme,
hatched by deCallières: the conquest of New York and destruction of
the chief settlements in New England, a scheme which involved the
dispersion of more than eighteen thousand people, as sixty-six years
later (in 1755), a British Commander tore from their homes the
peaceable Acadians of _Grand-Pré_. [124]

I could enlarge to any extent the gloomy picture which the history of
this shameful period discloses. Two skilful novelists, the one in the
English language, Wm. Kirby, [125] Esq., of Niagara, the other in the
French, Joseph Marmette, [126] of Quebec, have woven two graphic and
stirring historical romances, out of the materials which the career of
the Intendant Bigot and the desertion of the colony in its hour of
trial, by France--so abundantly supply. One redeeming _trait_, one
flash of sunshine lights up the last hour of French domination: the
devotion of the Canadian militia towards their oblivious mother-
country, their dauntless courage at the Beauport engagement--after the
battle of the Plains, 13th Sept., 1759--and at the battle of Ste.
Foye, on the 28th April 1760, a day glorious to French arms, but at
best a useless victory.


"It is the voice of years that are gone! they roll before me with all
their deeds."--OSSIAN.

"'The descriptions, or perspective sketches,' says Mr. Walkem,
'according to the fancy or whim of the artist or the photographer, of
what is left of the ruins, convey no adequate idea of its real
capacity and magnitude in length, breadth or height. My present
object, therefore, with your permission, is to supply this deficiency
from plans and elevations drawn to a scale of feet about the year
1770--when some repairs were effected by the Military Engineers,--five
years before its destruction in 1775. And more especially do I feel it
my duty to submit this plan, &c., for publication since it has become
part of the military history, not of Quebec only, but of Canada.

"The following is an extract from the Centenary report: 'This once
magnificent pile was constructed under the French King's directions in
1684, under Intendant de Meules. It was burnt in 1712, when occupied
by Intendant Bégon, and restored by the French Government. It became,
from 1748 to 1759, the luxurious resort of Intendant Bigot and his
wassailers. Under English rule it was neglected, and Arnold's men
having, from the cupola, annoyed Guy Carleton's soldiers, orders were
given to destroy it with the city guns.'

"'Skulking riflemen in St. Roch's, watching behind walls to kill our
sentries, some of them fired from the cupola of the Intendant's
Palace. We brought a nine-pounder to answer them.'--(_Extract from a
journal of an officer of the Quebec Garrison_.)

"For those who may not be familiar with the meaning of the term
'Intendant,' and the official duties of his office, the following
remarks are submitted from the most authentic sources. It was one of
civil administration, direction management, superintendence, &c., and
next to that of Governor-General, the office of Intendant was one of
the greatest importance and celebrity in Quebec. It was established by
the proclamation of the King of France in 1663,--creating a Sovereign
Council for the affairs of the Colony--viz: the Governor-General, the
Bishop, the Intendant and four Councillors, with an Attorney-General
and Chief Clerk. The number of Councillors was afterwards increased to

"The authority of the Intendant, except in his executive capacity, was
indeed little inferior to that of the Governor himself. He had the
superintendence of four departments, viz: Justice, Police, Finance,
and Marine.

The first intendant named under the proclamation of 1663 was M.
Robert; but he never came to Canada to fill his office, and it was not
till the summer of 1655 that Jean de Talon arrived at Quebec, as the
first real Intendant, with the Viceroy deTracy, and the Carignan
Regiment. The building in which the Sovereign Council first held their
meetings would appear to have stood on the south side of Fabrique
street westward (?) of the Jesuit College, known at that time as the

"During the Intendancy of M. de Meules, in 1684, that gentleman, at
his own expense, endowed the eastern portion of the St. Roch's suburbs
with an edifice henceforth known as the 'Intendant's Palace' ('Le
Palais'), remarkable for its dimensions, magnificence and general
appearance; it included also (according to old plans) about ten acres
of land contained probably between St. Rochs and St. Nicholas streets,
having the River St. Charles in front, and afterwards laid out in
ornamental gardens. The Palace was described by _La Potherie_, in
1698, as consisting of eighty toises, or 480 feet of buildings, so
that it appeared a little town in itself. The King's stores were also
kept there.

"In 1712, Intendant Bégon, with a splendid equipage and retinue,
arrived in Quebec from France, and took up his residence at the
Palace. On the 5th of January, 1713, the entire building and premises
unfortunately were destroyed by fire, and such was the rapidity of the
flames that the Intendant and his wife escaped with great difficulty.
Madame Bégon was obliged to break the panes of glass in her apartment
before she had power to breathe. The young lady attendants were burned
to death. The Intendant's _valet de chambre_, anxious to save some of
his master's wardrobe, also perished in the flames. His Secretary,
passing barefooted from the Palace to the river front, was so much
frozen that he died in the Hospital of the Hôtel-Dieu a few days
afterwards. [127]

"The Palace was afterward rebuilt under the direction of M. Bégon at
the expense of His Majesty, and of which the plans and elevation now
presented are presumed to be a correct and faithful illustration. The
principal entrance appears to have been from that side next the cliff,
opposite the 'Arsenal,'--or from the present line of St. Valier
street--with large store buildings, magazines, &c., on either side of
the entrance, and in the rear of that stood the building known as the
'Prison.' It would appear that _La Potherie's_ remark, in 1698,
of the first construction resembling a little town in itself, would
also apply to the group of the second construction--as no less than
twenty in number are shown on some of the old plans of this period.
From sketches taken on the spot by an officer of the Fleet in Wolfe's
expedition of 1759, and published in London two years afterwards,
there can be little doubt, for want of room elsewhere, that the Palace
was converted into barracks and occupied immediately after the
surrender of Quebec by the troops under General Murray, and continued
to be used as such until it fell into the hands of the American
insurgents under Arnold, in 1775, and was destroyed by the cannon from
the ramparts. The assumption is strengthened, if not confirmed, by the
occupation of the Jesuit College as barracks the following year the
amount of accommodation in both cases, a full regiment--would be the
same; hence the comfortable quarters in the 'Palais' by the rebel
force under Arnold, which would accommodate the most of his men.

"The appearance of this once celebrated structure in its general
aspect was more imposing from its extent than from any architectural
ornate embellishments. The style was the French domestic of that
period, of two clear stories in height, the extreme frontage was 260
feet, with projecting wings at either end of 20 feet (vide plan), the
depth from the front of the wings to the rear line 75 feet, and the
central part 58 feet; the height from the site level to the apex of
roof about 55 feet, and to the eaves line about 33 feet; in the
basement there were no less than 9 vaults, 10 feet high to the crown
of the arch running along the whole front, as shown in the elevation.
The apartments in the two stories are divided longitudinally by a wall
from one end to the other, and comprise altogether about 40 in number,
allotted into barrack-rooms as per original military plans.

"The roof is plain and steep, and only broken by the pedimented wings
at each end of the building, with chimney stacks and stone coping over
the transverse fire walls, and otherwise relieved by a small octagonal
cupola of two sections placed in the centre of the roof. The approach
to the building in front is by two flights of steps, an enclosed porch
forming a central feature to the main entrance; the basement windows
are shewn in the elevation above the ground line. The walls were
substantially built of black slate rock peculiar to Quebec and must
have taken much time in the erection judging from its tenacity, and
the hardness of the material still remaining. No doubt the walls, as
was the practice in those days, were built of dry masonry, a few feet
at a time, and then _grouted_ with mortar in a thin semi-fluid
state, composed of quicklime and fine sand poured into the interspaces
of the stone-work, filling every cavity, excluding the air, and left
to dry before commencing the next course. The wrought stone at the
quoins and angles appear to have been quarried at Point-aux-Trembles,
or more likely at Beauport, while the sides of the doors and windows
were faced with hard Flemish brick, still intact, and beyond doubt
imported directly from France. [128] The main store buildings in
front, with vaults underneath, were undoubtedly built in the same
compact manner, as Mr. Boswell, some years ago, in excavating for his
brewery on the site of these stores, came in contact with the old
foundation walls, so hard that powder had to be used for blasting. The
mortar was found to be harder than stone, and a drill had but small
effect upon it. That gentleman many years ago became the tenant of the
war department for these ruins and vaults, and has roofed them in,
taken care of the property and made improvements generally at his own
expense. There is an old story current that a subterraneous passage,
under the old ruins, led to the river. Others say that a passage
communicated with the Upper Town. It is highly probable the old vaults
and passage discovered by Mr. Boswell in the above excavation have
been the origin of this story; for in one case towards the river it
would be flooded at high water, and towards the Upper Town barred by a
rampart of solid rock.

"From 1775 to the withdrawal of the Imperial troops in 1870-71--
nearly a century,--this property was used specially for military
purposes, and commonly known, as shown on old plan, as the King's Wood
Yard, and more recently as the Commissariat Fuel Yard. The land
several years ago was reduced in extent by the sale of building lots
on the lines of St. Valier and St. Nicholas streets.

"At the beginning of this century, and many years afterwards, a
military guard seems to have done duty at the 'Palais' and adjoining
premises, east of St. Nicholas street, known as the Royal Dock Yard,
King's Wharf, Stores, &c. This latter property extended eastward as
far as La Canoterie, in front of a blockhouse, the site of the present
Nunnery Bastion, and lying between what is now known as St. Charles
street, or the foot of the cliff, and the high water mark on the north
side, corresponding pretty nearly with the line of St. Paul street.

"The ruins of 'Le Palais' and accessories since 1775 were several
times fitted up by the military authorities for stabling, fodder-
sheds, wash-house, military stores, caretaker's quarters, &c., &c.,
and the vaults were leased for storing ice, wines and other liquors,
and storage generally to the inhabitants of the city, and the roof was
shingled or otherwise covered in on several occasions by the

"In the great fire of St. Roch's (1845) the Fuel Yard, about four
acres in extent, with some hundreds of cords of wood piled there, and
a very large quantity of coals in a 'lean-to-shed' against the Palais
walls were consumed--the coals continued to burn and smoulder for
nearly _six months_,--and notwithstanding the solidity of the
masonry, as already described, portions of it, with the heat like a
fiery furnace, gave way. Upon this occasion an unfortunate woman and
two children were burned to death in the Fuel Yard. Great efforts were
made by Mr. Bailey, a commissariat officer, and Mr. Boswell, owner of
the brewery, to save the lives of the victims, but unfortunately
without success. These gentlemen, after their coats had been burned
off their backs, and the hair from their heads and eyebrows, had to
fly at last to save their own lives.

"On the withdrawal of the Imperial troops in 1870-71, the whole of 'Le
Palais' property was handed over to the Dominion Government.

"CHARLES WALKEM, "(Late R. E. Civil Service Staff in Canada.)
"Ottawa, 24th July, 1876."

Doubtless to the eyes of the "free and independent electors" of La
Vacherie, in 1759, the Intendant's Palace seemed a species of "eighth
wonder" The eighth wonder lost much of its _éclat_, however, by the
inauguration of English rule, in 1759, but a total eclipse came over this
imposing and majestic luminary when Guy Carleton's guns from the ramparts
of Quebec began, in 1775, to thunder on its cupola and roof, which offered
a shelter to Arnold's soldiery: the rabble of "shoemakers, hatters,
blacksmiths and innkeepers," (says that savage old Tory, Colonel Henry
Caldwell), bent on providing Canada with the blessings of Republicanism. A
century and more has passed over the gorgeous Palace--now a dreary, moss-
covered ruin, surrounded in rear by coarse grass, fallen stones: Bigot--
his wassailers,--the fair but frail Madame de Pean, like her prototype of
Paris, Madame de Pompadour, have all fleeted to the land of shadows; and
tourists, high and low, still crowd to glance meditatively at those fast
fading traces of a guilty past. It was in October, 1879, the special
privilege of the writer to escort to these ruins one of our Sovereign's
gentle and accomplished daughters, H.R.H. the Princess Louise, accompanied
by H.E. Lord Lorne, as he had done the previous autumn with regard to the
learned Dean of Westminster, Revd. A. P. Stanley: proud he was to think
that though Quebec had no such attractions like antique, like classic
England,--turretted castles, moated granges, or even

"Old pheasant Lords,
"Partridge breeders of a thousand years,"

--its romantic past was not without pleasing or startling or interesting

We have just mentioned "_La Vacherie_", this consisted of the extensive
and moist pastures at the foot of _Coteau Sainte-Geneviève_, extending
towards the General Hospital, where the city cows were grazed; on this
site and gracing the handsome streets "Crown" "Craig" and "Desfossés," can
now be seen elegant dry-goods stores, vying with the largest in the Upper
Town. Had St. Peter street, in 1775, been provided with a regular way of
communication with St. Roch; had St. Paul street then existed, the sun of
progress would have shone there nearly a century earlier.

"For a considerable time past, several plans of amelioration of the City
of Quebec," says the Abbé Ferland, "were proposed to the Ministry by M. de
Meules. The absolute necessity of obtaining a desirable locality for the
residence of the Intendant, and for holding the sessions of the Council;
the Château St. Louis being hardly sufficient to afford suitable quarters
for the Governor and the persons who formed his household. M. de Meules
proposed purchasing a large stone building which M. Talon had caused to be
erected for the purpose of a brewery, and which, for several years, had
remained unoccupied. Placed in a very commodious position on the bank of
the river St. Charles, and not many steps from the Upper Town, this
edifice, with suitable repairs and additions, might furnish not alone a
desirable residence for the Intendant, but also halls and offices for the
Supreme Council and the Courts of Justice, as likewise vaults for the
archives and a prison for the criminals. Adjacent to the old brewery, M.
Talon owned an extent of land of about seventeen superficial acres, of
which no use was made in M. de Meules' plan; a certain portion of this
land could be reserved for the gardens and dependencies of the Intendant's
Palace, whilst the remainder might be portioned off into building lots
(_emplacements_), and thus convert it into a second lower town, and
which might some day be extended to the foot of the Cape. He believed that
if this plan were adopted, the new buildings of Quebec would extend in
that direction, and not on the heights almost exclusively occupied by the
Religious Communities. [129]

We perceive, according to Mr. Panet's Journal, that Saint Roch existed in
1759; that the women and children, residents of that quarter, were not
wholly indifferent to the fate of their distressed country. "The same day
(31st July, 1759)," says Panet, "we heard a great uproar in the St. Roch
quarter--the women and children were shouting, 'Long Live the King!'"
[130] "I ascended the height (on the _Coteau Ste. Geneviève_) and
there beheld the first frigate all in a blaze, very shortly afterwards a
black smoke issuing from the second, which blew up and afterwards took
fire." On the 4th August several bomb-shells of 80 lbs. fell on St. Roch.
We read, that on the 31st August, two soldiers were hanged at three
o'clock in the afternoon, for having stolen a cask of brandy from the
house of one Charland, in the St. Roch quarter. In those times the General
(or _the Recorder_) did not do things by halves. Who was, this Charland of
1759? Could he be the same who, sixteen years afterwards, fought so
stoutly with Lieut. Dambourgès at the Sault-au-Matelot engagement? Since
the inauguration of the English domination, St. Roch became peopled in a
most rapid manner, we now see there a net-work of streets, embracing in
extent several leagues.

The first steep hill past the Y. M. C. Association Hall--formerly Gallows
Hill, (where the luckless David McLane was disembowelled, in 1797, for
levying war against the King of Great Britain), and leading from St. John
street without to that not over-straight thoroughfare, named after the
second Bishop of Quebec--St. Vallier street--borrows its name from
Barthélémy Coton, who in days of yore closed his career in Quebec at the
advanced age of 92 years. Can anyone tell us the pedigree of Barthélémy
Coton? To the French portion of the inhabitants it is known as _Côte à
Coton_, whilst the English portion still continue to surround it,
unopportunely we think, with the unhallowed traditions of a lugubrious
past and call it Gallows Hill. Côte à Coton debouches into St. Vallier
street, which on your way takes you to Scott's Bridge, over the Little
River St Charles. Across St. Vallier street it opens on a rather
magnificent street as to extent--Baronne street,--commemorating the
_souvenir_ of an illustrious family in colonial History, represented
by Madame la Baronne de Longueuil, the widow of the third Baron, who had,
in 1770, married the Honorable. Wm. Grant, the Receiver-General of the
Province of Quebec, who lived at St. Rochs, and died there in 1805.

On M. P. Cousin's plan of Quebec, published in 1875, parallel to St.
Vallier street to the south, and St. Fleurie street to the north, halfway
between, is laid down Baronne street. The most ancient highway of the
quarter (St. Roch) is probably St. Vallier street. "Desfossés" street most
likely derives its name from the ditches (_fossés_) which served to
drain the green pastures of _La Vacherie_. The old Bridge street dates
from the end of the last century (1789). "Dorchester" street recalls
the esteemed and popular administrator, Lord Dorchester, who, under the
name of Guy Carleton, led on to victory the militia of Quebec in 1775.

"Craig" street received its name from Sir John Craig, a gouty, testy, but
trusty old soldier, who administered the Government in 1807-9-10; it was
enlarged and widened ten feet, after the great fire of 1845. The site of
St. Paul's Market was acquired from the Royal Ordnance, on 31st July,

A former Quebecer writes:--

OTTAWA, 17th May, 1876.

"At the beginning of this century only eighty square-rigged vessels
entered the Port of Quebec. There were then in Quebec only nine
importers, and half a dozen master mechanics, one shipyard (John
Black's, where one ship was launched each year), one printing office
and one weekly paper.

"The tide then washed the rear walls of the houses on the north part
of Sault-au-Matelot street. The only deep water wharves were Dunières,
afterwards Brébaut's, Johnson & Purss', and the King's Wharf. There
were no dwelling houses beyond Dunières' Wharf, but a few huts were
built at the base of the cape. A black man was the solitary inhabitant
on the beach, and all the way to Sillery the woods extended to the
water's edge. A lease of this beach might then have been obtained for
£50 a year.

"In St. Roch's Suburbs there was no house beyond the Manor House near
the Intendant's Palace, save a few straggling ones in St. Vallier and
St. Roch's streets. The site of the present Parish of St. Roch was
mostly occupied by Grant's Mills, by meadows and farms.

"In St. John Suburbs there were only a few houses on St. John and St.
George's streets and St. Louis Suburbs which, in 1775, contributed but
three militia-men, viz--Jean Dobin, gardener, Jos. Proveau, carter,
and Jacques Dion, mason, could boast of only one house, and the
nearest one to it was Powell Place, Spencer Wood.

"On the St. Foy Road there was no house beyond the mineral well in St.
John Suburbs, until you came to the Haut Bijou--Mr. Stewart's. The
population of the city was then estimated at 12,000.

"I wonder if your friend Col. Strange is aware that his old friend
Sergt. Hugh McQuarters, of 1775 fame, was led captive to Hymen's altar
by the winning smiles and bright eyes of a _belle Canadienne_,
Mam'selle Victoire Fréchette. She died on the 12th October, 1812.

"Not having seen a copy of the address of Henri Taschereau, Esq., M.P.
before the Canadian Institute on the American Invasion of '75, I am
not aware if he alluded to the facet that Captain and Paymaster
Gabriel Elzéar Taschereau took part in the '_l'affaire du Sault-au-

"Thus, by degrees, you see some little odds and ends of Quebec history
are coming to light.

"I remain, "(Signed,) C. J. O'LEARY.

"J. M. LEMOINE, Esq."

In the present day the prolongation of the wharf has left no trace of it;
the Station of the North Shore Railway covers a portion of this area.

"Church" street (la rue de l'Église), doubtless owes its name to the
erection of the beautiful Saint Roch Church, towards 1812, the site of
which was given by the late Honorable John Mure, who died in Scotland in

Saint Roch, like the Upper Town, comprises several _Fiefs_, proceeding
from the _Fief_ of the Seminary and reaching as far as the Gas Wharf; the
beaches with the right of fishing belonged originally to the _Hôtel-Dieu_
by a concession dated the 31st March, 1648, but they have since been
conceded to others. The Crown possesses an important reserve towards the
west of this grant; then comes the grant made, in 1814 or 1815, to the
heirs of William Grant, now occupied by several ship-yards. Jacques
Cartier who, in 1535-6, wintered in the vicinity of Saint Roch, left his
name to an entire municipal division of this rich suburb, as well as to a
spacious market hall. (The Jacques Cartier Market Hall.) The first secular
priest, who landed in Quebec on the 8th August, 1634, and who closed his
days in the Hôtel-Dieu on the 29th November, 1668, Jean le Sueur de Saint
Sauveur, left his name to what now constitutes the populous municipality
of Saint Sauveur. (Casgrain, _Historie de l'Hôtel-Dieu_, p. 81.)

On the spot on which the General Hospital Convent was erected, in 1691,
the four first Franciscan Friars, Pères Jamay, D'Olbeau, LeCaron and Frère
Pacifique Du Plessis, who had landed at Quebec on the 2nd June, 1615, soon
set to work to erect the first Church, the first Convent and the first
Seminary in New France, and on the 3rd June, 1620, Father d'Olbeau, in the
absence of Father Jamay, the Superior of the Mission, placed the first
stone of the church, under the name of _Notre Dame des Anges_, on the
25th May, 1625. This was on the bank of the river which Jacques Cartier
had called the River Ste. Croix, because he had landed there on the 14th
September, 1535, the day of the exaltation of the Holy Cross: the Friars
changed the name to that of St. Charles, in honor of "Monsieur Charles de
Boues, Grand Vicaire _de Pontoise_," one of the most distinguished
benefactors of their Order.

St. Vallier street, leading to ancient and Indian Lorette, over the Little
River Road, at present so well built up and echoing to the shrill whistle
of the Q. M. O. & O. Railway, until a few years back was a lone
thoroughfare, beyond the toll-bar, lined with bare, open meadows. Here,
also, has been felt the march of progress.

In the genial summer months passers-by are admonished by a pungent, not
unhealthy, odor of tannin, an effluvia of tamarac bark, that tanners and
curriers have selected their head-quarters in St. Vallier street. History
also lends its attractions to the venerable thoroughfare.

Our forefathers would tell of many cosy little dinners, closed, of course,
with whist or loo--of many _recherché_ pic-nics in days of yore, kept
up until the "sma' hours" at two renowned hostelries, only recently
removed--the BLUE HOUSE and the RED HOUSE,--chiefly at that festive and
crowning season of the year, when

"The snow, the beautiful snow,"

called forth the City Driving Club and its silvery, tinkling sleigh bells.

A steward--once famous as a caterer--on closing his term of service at the
_Château_, with a departing Governor, more than a century back, was
the Boniface at the Blue House: Alexandre Menut. A veritable Soyer was
_Monsieur_ Menut. During the American invasion, in the autumn of 1775,
Monsieur Menut, owing to a _vis major_, was forced to entertain a rather
boisterous and wilful class of customers: Richard Montgomery and his
warlike Continentals. More than once a well-aimed ball or shell from
General Carleton's batteries in the city must have disturbed the good
cheer of the New York and New England riflemen lounging about Menut's, a
great rebel rendezvous in 1775-6, we are told, visible from afar, [131]
"with its white flag flying on the house.

Arnold's head-quarters being close to the St. Charles, where Scott's
Bridge was since built, the intervening space between the city and the
General Hospital was daily swept by Carleton's artillery. The Page Diaries
abound with details of the casualties or narrow escapes of the invading
host. A few quotations will suffice:

"8th December, 1775. Mr. (Brigadier-General) Montgomery visited
Menut's to-day; a few minutes after he got out of the cariole, a
cannon ball from the city walls killed his horse.

"18th December. Some shells were thrown in to-day, and we threw some
into St. Roch's: very few of the enemy seen anywhere to-day. A man was
shot through the head from St. Roch; would it were destroyed; it
serves as a secure cover to the rebels.

"26th January, 1776. Eighty loaded sleighs passing towards Menut's.
Two field-pieces placed at the door; people passing and repassing
between that house and the General Hospital; some of our shots went
through Menut's house; we fired a long time at that object; at last we
perceived a man coming towards the town in a cariole, carrying the old
signal; he passed their guard-house and waved with his handkerchief;
we took no notice of him, but fired away at Menut's, he turned about
and went back. ... Perhaps, they find Menut's too hot for them.--
(_from Journal of an officer of the Quebec Garrison_, 1775-6,
quoted in Smith's History of Canada, Vol. II.)

"21st February, 1776. Fired at their guard-house and at Menut's.

"23rd February. About four this morning we heard the enemy's drum at
Menut's, St. Foix. Sentries saw rockets in the night."

Prince Edward street, St. Roch, and "Donnacona" street, near the
Ursulines, the latter thus named about 1840 by the late Rev. Messire
Maguire, then Almoner of the Ursuline Convent, bring up the memory of two
important personages of the past, Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent, an
English Prince, and Donnacona, a swarthy chief of primitive Canada, who
welcomed Jacques Cartier.

The vanquisher of Montcalm, General Wolfe, is honoured not only by a
statue, at the corner of Palace and St. John's streets, but again by the
street which bears his name, Wolfe street. In like manner, his illustrious
rival Montcalm claims an entire section of the city, "Montcalm Ward." Can
it be that the susceptible young Captain of the _Albemarle_, Horatio
Nelson, carried on his flirtation with the captivating Miss Mary Simpson,
in 1782, in the street which now rejoices in his name?


"C'est l'amour qui fait le tour de la ronde."--OLD SONG.

"Though the "Ancient Capital," ever since 1764, rejoiced in an organ
of public opinion--a chronicle of daily events, fashions, city gossip,
the _Quebec Gazette_,--one would look in vain, in the barren columns
of that journal, for any intelligence of an incident, in 1782, which,
from the celebrity in after-life of the chief actor, and the local
repute of the reigning belle of the day, must have caused a flutter
among the F. F. Q. of the period. We mean the tender attachment of
Horatio (Lord) Nelson, commanding H. M. frigate _Albemarle_, 28 guns
then in port,--his romantic admiration for Miss Mary Simpson, the
youthful and accomplished daughter of Saunders Simpson (not "James,"
as Dr. Miles asserts), the cousin of James Thompson, Sr., one of
Wolfe's veterans. Traditions, venerable by their antiquity, told of
the charms divine, of the conquests of a marvellously handsome Quebec
beauty in the latter part of the last century: the _Catullus_ of 1783
thus begins his inspired lay in the _Quebec Gazette_ of that year:

'Sure you will rather listen to my call,
Since beauty and Quebec's fair nymphs I sing.
Henceforth Diana in Miss S--ps--n see,
As noble and majestic is her air;
Nor can fair Venus, W--lc--s, vie with thee,
Nor all thy heavenly charms with thee compare.'

"It was our fate first to attempt to unravel the tangles of this
attractive web. In the course of our readings, in 1865, our attention
had been drawn to a passage in the life of Nelson by the Laureate of
England, Robert Southey, [132] and enlarged on by Lamartine in the
pleasant sketch he gave of the naval hero. Our investigations were
aided by the happy memory of an old friend, now deceased: the late
Lt.-Col. John Sewell, who had served in the 49th under General Brock,
and whose birth was nearly contemporary with the visit of Nelson to
our port in September, 1782. It was evident the chief biographers of
the gifted sea captain ignored the details of his youthful attachment
on our shores.

"'At Quebec,' says Southey, 'Nelson became acquainted with Alexander
Davison, by whose interference he was prevented from making what would
have been called an imprudent marriage. The _Albemarle_ was about
to leave the station, her Captain had taken leave of his friends, and
was gone down the river to the place of anchorage; when the next
morning, as Davison was walking on the beach, to his surprise he saw
Nelson coming back in his boat. Upon inquiring the cause of his re-
appearance, Nelson took his arm to walk towards the town, and told him
he found it utterly impossible to leave Quebec without again seeing
the woman whose society contributed so much to his happiness, and then
and there offering her his hand.' 'If you do,' said his friend, 'your
utter ruin must inevitably follow.' 'Then, let it follow,' cried
Nelson; 'for I am resolved to do it.' 'And I,' replied Davison, 'am
resolved you shall not.' Nelson, however, on this occasion was less
resolved than his friend, and suffered himself to be led back to the

"This led us to prepare a short 'Novelette' on the subject in the
_Revue Canadienne_, in 1867, subsequently incorporated in the _Maple
Leaves_: amended and corrected as new light dawned upon us in the
_Tourists' Note Book_, issued in 1876, and _Chronicles of the St.
Lawrence_, published in 1878.

"Whether it was Alexander Davison, his tried friend in afterlife, as
Southey suggests, or another Quebecer of note, in 1782, Matthew
Lymburner, as Lt.-Col. John Sewell, on the faith of Hon. William
Smith, the Historian of Canada, had stated to us, is of minor
importance: one thing is certain, some thoughtful friend, in 1782,
seems to have extricated the impulsive Horatio from the 'tangles of
Neaera's hair' in the port of Quebec: the hand of fate had marked the
future Captain of the _Victory_, not as the Romeo of a Canadian
Juliet, but as the paramour of Lady Emma Hamilton. Alas! for his fair
fame! It seems certain that the Commander of the _Albemarle_,
during his repeated visits to our port, in July, September and
October, 1782, became acquainted, possibly at some entertainment at
Freemason's Hall,--the 'Windsor' of the period--with 'sweet sixteen'
(he himself was but twenty-four) in the person of Miss Mary Simpson,
the blooming daughter of an old Highlandman, Sandy Simpson, a cousin
to Mr. James Thompson, then overseer of works, and father of the late
Judge John Gwalor Thompson, of Gaspé, and of late Com.-General James
Thompson, of Quebec. Sandy Simpson was an _habitué_ of this historical
and, for the period, vast old stone mansion where Captain Miles
Prentice, [133] as he had been styled in 1775, hung out, with good
cheer, the olive branch of Freemasonry and of loyalty to his
Sovereign. The _bonne société_ of Quebec, in 1782, was limited
indeed: and it was not probable the arrival from sea of one of H.M.'s
ships of war, the _Albemarle_, could escape the notice of the leading
men in Quebec.

"If the _Quebec Gazette_ of 1782 and _Quebec Herald_, published in
1789-90, contain no mention of this incident, several passages in the
correspondence [134] exchanged by the Thompson family with the early
love of Nelson, when she had become a stately London matron, as spouse
of Colonel Matthews, Governor of the Chelsea Hospital, throw light on
his previous career in Quebec.

"The question as to whether Nelson's charmer was Miss Prentice or her
cousin, Mary Simpson, which we submitted in the Tourists' Note Book in
1876 (see pages 26 and 36), we had considered as settled, in 1878, in
favour of Miss Simpson, as the following passage in the _Chronicles
of the St. Lawrence_ shows:

"Here anchored (Island of Orleans), it would seem, Nelson's sloop of
war, the _Albemarle_, in 1782, when the love-sick Horatio returned to
Quebec, for a last farewell from the blooming Miss Simpson, a daughter
of Sandy Simpson, one of Wolfe's Provost Marshals. Miss Simpson
afterwards married Colonel Matthews, Governor of the Chelsea
Pensioners, and died speaking tenderly of her first love, the hero of
Trafalgar.' (_Chronicles of the St. Lawrence_, p. 198.)

"This _éclaircissement_, as to dates, is not out of place, inasmuch as
one of our respected historians, Dr. Hy. Miles, in a scholarly
article, published March, 1879, three years after our mentioning Miss
Simpson, labours under the idea he was the first to give her name in
connection with Lord Nelson. Several inaccuracies occur in his
interesting essay. Miss Simpson is styled the daughter of 'James'
Simpson, whereas she was the daughter of Saunders Simpson, a cousin of
James Thompson, who had married a niece of Miles Prentice. In a foot
note appended to his essay the Doctor states that 'just before the
departure of our late popular Governor-General (Lord Dufferin), at a
breakfast at the Citadel, where His Excellency entertained the
Captains of the British war vessels _Bellerophon_ and _Sirius_ (he
means the _Argus_ and the _Sirius_), then in port, at which we were
present, the conversation having turned on former visits of commanders
of ships-of-war, when, Nelson's name being brought up, the Earl
remarked that Mr. LeMoine (then present) was able to afford some
information about him.' 'Mr. LeMoine,' adds Dr. Miles, 'at His
Excellency's request, related what he had previously written, much to
the satisfaction of his hearers.' Mr. LeMoine's account of the affair,
however, as it is based on the now exploded doctrine that the heroine
was one of the nieces of Mrs. Miles Prentice, was not, as has been
shown in the foregoing article, the correct one, however gratifying to
the distinguished listeners to its recital on that occasion.'

"As the correctness of the information we were asked to impart on this
occasion is impugned by the learned historian, we will, we hope, be
pardoned for setting this point at rest. Dr. Miles has committed some
egregious, though no doubt unintentional, error. The publication in
our _Tourist's Note Book_, in 1876, of the name of Miss Simpson,
in connection with Captain Nelson, three years before the appearance
of Dr. Miles' essay, which was published in March, 1879, and its
repetition, as previously shown, in the _Chronicles of the St.
Lawrence_, issued in the beginning of the year 1878, can leave no
doubt as to our knowledge of this incident, and disposes of the
Doctor's statement. The name furnished by us was that of Miss Simpson,
and no other. The breakfast in question took place on the 18th
October, 1878: there were present Lord Dufferin, Mrs. Russell
Stephenson, Mrs. J. T. Harrower, Very Rev. Dean Stanley, the Commander
of H.M.S. the _Sirius_, Capt. Sullivan, the Captain of H.M.S. the
_Argus_, Capt. Hamilton, A.D.C., and the writer."

Several streets in the St. Louis, St. John and St. Roch suburbs bear the
names of eminent citizens who have, at different periods, made a free gift
of the sites, or who, by their public spirit, have left behind them a
cherished memory among the people, such as Berthelot, Massue, Boisseau,
D'Artigny, Grey, Stewart, Lee, Buteau, Hudon, Smith, Salaberry, Scott,
Tourangeau, Pozer [135], Panet, Bell, Robitaille, Ryland [136], St. Ours
[137], Dambourgès [138]. Laval, Panet, Plessis, Séguin, Turgeon streets
perpetuate the names of eminent Roman Catholic Bishops. Jerome street took
this name from one of the ablest preceptors of youth the Quebec Seminary
ever had--Messire Jerome Demers.

"Dorchester" Bridge was constructed in 1822, and took the place of the
former bridge (Vieux Pont), on the street to the west, built by Asa Porter
in 1789, and called after Lord Dorchester the saviour of Quebec. Saint
Joseph street, St. Roch, was named after the eminent Roman Catholic
prelate, Mgr. Joseph Octave Plessis, Bishop of Quebec, who, in 1811, built
the church of St. Roch's suburbs, on land donated by a Presbyterian
gentleman, John Mure, and dedicated it to St. Joseph, the patron saint of
Canada. At one period it had a width of only twenty-five feet, and was
widened to the extent of forty, through the liberality of certain persons.
From the circumstance, the corporation was induced to continue it beyond
the city limits up to the road which leads to Lorette, thereby rendering
it the most useful and one of the handsomest streets of St. Roch.

At what period did the most spacious highway of the ward ("Crown" street,
sixty feet in width), receive its baptismal name? Most assuredly it was
previous to 1837, the democratic era of Papineau. "King" street, no doubt,
recalls the reign of George III. So also does "Queen" street recall his
royal Consort. The locality seems eminently favourable to monarchical
belongings, to the House of Hanover in particular, judging from the names
of several of its highways: _Crown, King, Queen, Victoria, Albert, Prince
of Wales, Alfred, Arthur, Prince Edward,_ &c.

Towards the year 1815, the late Honorable John Richardson, of Montreal,
conferred his name on the street which intersects the grounds which Sir
James Craig had, on the 15th March, 1811, conceded to him as Curator to
the vacant estate of the late Hon. William Grant, [139] whose name is
likewise bequeathed to a street adjacent, Grant street, while his lady, La
Baronne de Longueuil, is remembered in the adjoining thoroughfare which
intersects it. A Mr. Henderson, [140] about the commencement of the
present century, possessed grounds in the vicinity of the present Gas
Works, hence we have "Henderson" street. The Gas Company's wharf is built
on the site of the old jetty of which we have seen mention made, about
1720. This long pier was composed of large boulders heaped one upon the
other, and served the purpose of sheltering the landing place at the
Palais harbour from the north-east winds. In 1750, Colonel Bouchette says,
it served as a public promenade, and was covered by a public platform.

Ramsay street, parallel with Henderson street, leads from St. Paul street
to Orleans Place, _Place d'Orléans_, recalling the Bourbon era, prior
to 1759, and also the last French Commander of Quebec, Jean Bte. Nicholas
Roche deRamezay. The historic Château deRamezay, on Notre Dame street,
Montreal, now threatened with destruction, attests the sojourn in New
France of a scion of the proud old Scotch house of Ramsay.--(_Montreal
Gazette, 3rd Feb._, 1881.)


One of the most active promoters of this hopeful scheme, in recent times,
was the Hon. Mr. Justice C. J. Tessier, when a member of the Corporation
about 1850. A plan of the Harbour Works which he suggested was submitted
to the Council. Nothing, however, was then done. The Legislature
eventually assigned the work to the Harbour Commission Trust. The dredging
commenced on May 2nd, 1877.

"The progress made with our Harbour Improvements, year by year, forms
part of the history of our times, so far, at least, as the annals of
this most ancient city of Quebec are concerned. The first stone of the
Graving Dock at Levis was laid on Monday, the 7th June, 1880, by His
Excellency the Governor-General, and the tablet stone, with the name
of "Louise" graven on it, on Thursday, the 29th of July. Thenceforth
the Harbour Works in the River St. Charles became "The Princess Louise
Embankment and Docks," and the work in progress on the Levis or south
side of the St. Lawrence "The Lorne Graving Dock," thus naming the
entrance approaches to our cliff-bound city after our present popular
Vice-Regal rulers."

To the address presented to His Excellency the Governor-General on this
occasion, the following reply was made:--

COMMISSIONERS,--It is with a full sympathy for you in the hopes which
have guided you to the construction of this great work that the
Princess comes to-day to lay this stone, commemorating an important
stage in the completion of your labours. She desires that her name,
graven on this wall, shall serve to remind your citizens, as well as
all who profit by the excellence of the accommodation here given to
vessels of great burden, of her interest in your fortunes, and of her
association with you in the speeding of an undertaking designed to
benefit at once a great port of the new world and many of the
communities of Europe.

Access to Quebec is easy now to the largest ocean-going vessels. Tour
city has the railways far advanced, which will pierce to the heart of
the granary of the world--the great wheat centres of the Canadian
North-West. The very might and grandeur of the stream on which Quebec
is built is in her favour as compared with other centres of commerce,
for her visitors have but little tax to pay when a favouring wind
fails them, while steam must be employed against the strong currents
of the upper river.

The gigantic quays and the feeding lines of rail stretching inwards
unbroken to the prairies must, in all human probability, in the
future, ensure to the ancient capital a place among the most
flourishing cities of the continent. Even without the aid which
science is now bringing to her support look at the strides which have
been made in her prosperity within the last century. Old pictures will
show you the hillside above us bare of all but the houses necessary
for the garrison of a fortress, whose hard fate it had been to be the
place of contention of rival armies, while beneath the ramparts or
within their walls were to be seen only a few of the buildings now
devoted in far greater numbers to the purposes of religion and of
charity. The banks of the St. Charles possessed then only a few store-
houses such as would not now be thought sufficient for one of our
fifth-rate towns. Now the whole of the slope is covered by the homes
of a thriving, increasing and industrious population, while, over the
extending limits under the rule of the municipality, learning looks
down from the stately walls of Laval, and the members elected by your
free and noble province will pass the laws, whose validity is
guaranteed by our federal constitution, in a palace reminding one of
the stately fabric which holds the art treasures of France. None can
observe the contrast without seeing that your progress, although it
has partaken of no magic or mushroom-like growth, has been most marked
and promising.

If commerce seeks for her abode the head of navigation, there are many
instances to show that she loves also to keep her ships to their
native tides. An instance well known to us may be cited in the case of
Glasgow and of Greenock, cities which have risen to their present
prosperity so quickly that they rival in that respect many in America
and in Canada. Greenock has not been killed by the enormous rise in
the importance of the commercial capital of Scotland. Assuredly we may
believe that Quebec, with a far greater country at its back, may be
enabled, with the aid of proper communications, to pour forth every
summer from her lap much of our wealth, of which Europe is so eager to

These are the aspirations we share with you, and we wish to give
effect to them by drawing the attention of those beyond the seas to
the practical invitation you extend to them by the facilities afforded
by your docks and wharves, and we now join with you in the trust that
ample repayment will be yours for the energy and engineering skill you
have lavished on the public works, which are comparable to any
designed for a similar purpose.

The drapery by which it had been concealed having been removed, the
tablet stone was discovered suspended over the place it was intended
to occupy in the wall. The attendant masons having performed their
part, a silver trowel was handed to the Princess. This was a handsome
piece of workmanship, beautifully chased and set in a rosewood handle,
and bore the following inscription:--"To H.R.H. Princess Louise, this
trowel was presented by the contractors of the Quebec Harbour Works,
on the occasion of her laying the tablet stone of the Princess Louise
Embankment and Docks, River St. Charles, Quebec July 29, 1880." Her
Royal Highness, with this splendid implement, dug right lustily into
the cement, and having prepared the bed, drew back to allow the
ponderous stone to be lowered thereinto. This done, a beautiful mallet
of polished oak having been presented, the mass received two or three
blows, and was then declared to be well and truly laid. The Vice-Regal
party almost immediately afterwards regained the _Druid_, which
swiftly conveyed the members thereof to _terra firma_, the police
yacht _Dolphin_ being in attendance. Of the other steamers, the
_Clyde_ and _North_, after a short sail round the harbour, landed
their passengers at the Grand Trunk Railway wharf; the _Brothers_ went
down to St. Joseph, and gave to those on board an opportunity of
noticing the progress made upon the new Graving Dock there. The troops
and privileged guests having been conveyed to and from the scene by
the Montreal Harbour Commissioners' boat _John Young_.


Before describing these vast and important structures, calculated to
afford such boundless facilities to ocean shipping frequenting our port,
it may not be without interest to note the efforts made at various times
for their construction. In his excellent work, "_British Dominions in
North America_," Vol. 1., p. 263-264, Col. Bouchette thus deals with
the subject in 1832--the far-seeing but misunderstood Mr. James George,
however, as early as 1822, had conceived in his teeming brain the whole

"The construction of a pier across the estuary of the St. Charles is a
measure of the greatest practicability, and of pronounced importance in
every aspect, and a subject that was brought under the notice of the
Legislature in 1829, when it received the most serious consideration of
the committee, and was very favourably reported upon; but no bill has yet
(1832) been introduced tending to encourage so momentous an undertaking.
The most judicious position contemplated for the erection of such a pier
is decidedly between the New Exchange and the Beauport Distillery and
Mills, [141] a direct distance of 4,300 yards, which, with the exception
merely of the channels of the St. Charles (that are neither very broad nor
deep nor numerous), is dry at low water, and affords every advantage
calculated to facilitate the construction of a work of that nature. It
appears that, anterior to the conquest, the French Government had
entertained some views in relation to so great an amelioration; but the
subject seems to have never been properly taken up until 1822, when the
project was submitted to the Governor-in-Chief of the Province by James
George, Esq., a Quebec merchant, conspicuous for his zeal and activity, as
well in promoting this particular object as in forwarding the views of the
St. Lawrence Company, an association formed avowedly for the improvement
of the navigation of the St. Lawrence.

Of the benefits to be derived from thus docking the St. Charles no one can
doubt, whether the undertaking be considered in a local, municipal or
commercial point of view. As a means of extending the boundaries of the
Lower Town, and bringing under more immediate improvement the extensive
branches of the St. Charles, it is of the greatest consequence.

Commercially considered, this pier (which would at first form a _tide-
dock_, that might eventually be converted into a _wet-dock_) would
be of incalculable advantage from the great facilities it would offer to
the general trade of the place, and especially the timber trade, which has
frequently involved its members in much perplexity, owing to the
deficiency that exists of some secure dock or other similar reservoir
where that staple article of the colony might be safely kept, and where
ships might take in their cargoes without being exposed to the numerous
difficulties and momentous losses often sustained in loading at moorings
in the coves or in harbour. By building the outward face of the pier in
deep water, or projecting wharves from it, an important advantage would
also be gained, affording increased conveniences in the unloading and
loading of vessels. In fact, it would be impossible, in summarily noticing
the beneficial tendency of this great work, to particularize its manifold
advantages; they are too weighty to be overlooked, either by the
Legislature or the community at large, and will doubtless dictate the
expediency of bringing them into effectual operation. The different modes
suggested of raising the capital required for the undertaking are: 1st.
From the Provincial revenue by the annual rate of a loan; 2nd. By an Act
vesting it in the City of Quebec, by way of loan to the city, to be
refunded by the receipts of rents and dock dues arising from the work;
3rd. By an Act of Incorporation, the Province taking a share in the stock,
and appointing commissioners; 4th. By an Act of Incorporation only."

The Wet-Dock quay wall was to have been completed by the 1st of October,
1880, but delays have taken place, and the much-desired Tide Harbor of 20
acres, entering from the St. Lawrence, with a depth of 24 feet at low
water, together with a Dock of 40 acres, having a permanent depth of 27
feet, will require another year before it is finally completed.


An important portion of our Harbour improvements are located on the
opposite shore of the St. Lawrence at Levis, and the sums voted by the
Parliament of Canada (38 Vic., chap. 56), or granted by the Imperial
Government to construct a graving dock in the Harbour of Quebec, were used
in this structure, located by Order-in-Council, dated May, 1877, at St.
Joseph de Lévis.

"The dimensions of the dock are:
Length............................. 500 feet
Extreme width...................... 100 "
Depth.............................. 25.5 "
Width of entrance.................. 62 "

"The designs and specifications were prepared by Messrs. Kinnipple &
Morris, Engineers, Westminster and Greenock.

"The Graving Dock of St. Joseph de Lévis, Parish of Lauzon, Quebec,
was commenced by the Quebec Harbour Commissioners, under the Resident
Engineer, Woodford Pilkington, M.I., C.E. in November, 1877, and was
carried on previous to tenders being invited for the present contract,
to the month of March, 1878, during which time the sum of $6,298.20
was expended in excavation on the site of the Dock, which work was
afterwards taken over by Messrs. Larkin, Connolly & Co., as an
executed part of their contract, signed August 17th, 1878, and the
above sum deducted from the contract amount of their tender for the
excavations given in the bills of quantities under this head; the
Harbour Commissioners being afterwards re-credited with this amount of
expenditure under the first certificate.

The work of excavating for and building this Graving Dock was taken in
hand under contract with the Quebec Harbour Commissioners, by Messrs.
Larkin, Connolly & Co., on the 17th August, 1878, for the lump sum of
$330,953.89. The works to be delivered over to the Quebec Harbour
Commissioners, finished complete, on the 1st day of June, 1882. [142]


It seems superfluous to furnish a detailed description of the
fortifications and citadel of Quebec. After the lengthy account given in
"Quebec, Past and Present," pages 348-60, the following sketch, which we
borrow, written previous to the erection of the new St. Louis and Kent
Gates, [143] corrected to date, throws additional light on this part of
the subject.

"Of all the historic monuments connecting modern Quebec with its
eventful and heroic past, none have deservedly held a higher place in
the estimation of the antiquarian, the scholar and the curious
stranger than the former gates of the renowned fortress. These relics
of a by-gone age, with their massive proportions and grim, medieval
architecture, no longer exist, however, to carry the mind back to the
days which invest the oldest city in North America with its peculiar
interest and attraction. Nothing now remains to show where they once
raised their formidable barriers to the foe or opened their hospitable
portals to friends, but graceful substitutes of modern construction or
yawning apertures in the line of circumvallation, where until 1871
stood Prescott and Hope Gates which represented the later defences of
the place erected under British rule. Of the three gates--St. Louis,
St. John and Palace--which originally pierced the fortifications of
Quebec under French dominion, the last vestige disappeared many years
ago. The structures with which they were replaced, together with the
two additional and similarly guarded openings--Hope and Prescott
gates--provided for the public convenience or military requirements by
the British Government since the Conquest, have experienced the same
fate within the last decade to gratify what are known as modern ideas
of progress and improvement--vandalism would, perhaps, be the better
term. No desecrating hand, however, can rob those hallowed links, in
the chain of recollection, of the glorious memories which cluster
around them so thickly. Time and obliteration itself have wrought no
diminution of regard for their cherished associations.

To each one of them an undying history attaches, and even their vacant
sites appeal with mute, but surpassing eloquence to the sympathy, the
interest and the veneration of visitors, to whom Quebec will be ever
dear, not for what it is, but for what it has been. To the quick
comprehension of Lord Dufferin, it remained to note the inestimable
value of such heirlooms to the world at large. To his happy tact we
owe the revival of even a local concern for their preservation; and to
his fertile mind and aesthetic taste, we are indebted for the
conception of the noble scheme of restoration, embellishment and
addition in harmony with local requirements and modern notions of
progress, which is now being realized to keep their memories intact
for succeeding generations and retain for the cradle of New France its
unique reputation as the famous walled city of the New World. It has
more than once been remarked by tourists that, in their peculiar
fondness for a religious nomenclature, the early French settlers of
Quebec must have exhausted the saintly calendar in adapting names to
their public highways, places and institutions. To this pardonable
trait in their character, we must unquestionably ascribe the names
given to two of the three original gates in their primitive lines of
defence--St. Louis and St. John's gates--names which they were allowed
to retain when the Gallic lilies drooped before the victorious flag of
Britain. The erection of the original St. Louis gate undoubtedly dates
back as far as 1694. Authentic records prove this fact beyond
question; but it is not quite so clear what part this gate played in
subsequent history down to the time of the conquest, thought it may be
fairly presumed that it rendered important services in connection
especially with the many harassing attacks of the Iroquois tribes in
the constant wars which were waged in the early days of the infant
colony with those formidable and savage foes of the French. One thing
is certain, however, that it was one of the gates by which a portion
of Montcalm's army, after its defeat on the Plains of Abraham, passed
into the city on its way back, _via_ Palace gate and the bridge
of boats over the St. Charles, to the Beauport camp. In 1791, after
Quebec had fallen into British hands, St. Louis gate was reported to
be in a ruinous condition, and it became necessary to raze it to the
ground and rebuild it. Between this date and 1823, it appears to have
undergone several changes; but, in the latter year, as part of the
plan of defence, including the Citadel, adopted by the Duke of
Wellington, and carried out at an enormous cost by England, it was
replaced by another structure, retaining the same name. About this
time seem to have been also constructed the singularly tortuous
outward approaches to this opening in the western wall of the city,
which were eventually so inconvenient to traffic in peaceful days, of
whatever value they might have been from a military stand-point in
trying hours half-a-century ago. These were also removed with the gate
itself in 1871. On the vacant site of the latter, in accordance with
Lord Dufferin's improvment project, a magnificent memorial gate, which
the citizens had unanimously agreed to call "The Dufferin gate," is
now (1880) erected.

The intention of naming it "The Dufferin gate," however, was
abandoned. H.R.H. the Princess Louise, in deference to its traditions
and with a graceful appreciation of the feelings of the French element
of the population, having recently expressed the desire that it should
be allowed to retain its original appellation.

Before their departure from Canada, Lord and Lady Dufferin had the
pleasure of assisting at the ceremony of laying the corner stone of
this new gate, as well as of the new terrace, which bears their name,
and of fairly starting those important works on the high road to

As an interesting link between the present and the past, St. John's
gate holds an equally prominent rank and claims an equal antiquity
with St. Louis gate. Its erection as one of the original gates of the
French fortress dates from the same year and its history is very much
the same. Through it another portion of Montcalm's defeated forces
found their way behind the shelter of the defences after the fatal day
of the Plains of Abraham. Like St. Louis gate, too, it was pulled down
on account of its ruinous condition in 1791 and subsequently rebuilt
by the British Government in the form in which it endured until 1865,
when it was demolished and replaced, at an expense of some $40,000 to
the city, by its present more ornate and convenient substitute, to
meet the increased requirements of traffic over the great artery of
the upper levels--St. John street. St. John's gate was one of the
objective points included in the American plan of assault upon Quebec
on the memorable 31st December, 1775; Col. Livingston, with a regiment
of insurgent Canadians, and Major Brown, with part of a regiment from
Boston, having been detailed to make a false attack upon the walls to
the south of it and to set fire to the gate itself with combustibles
prepared for that purpose--a scheme in which the assailants were
foiled by the depth of snow and other obstacles. This gate, being of
quite recent construction and of massive, as well as passably
handsome, appearance, is not included in the general scheme of
improvement. The erection of a life-size statue of Samuel Champlain,
the founder of Quebec, upon its summit, is, however, talked of.

Palace or the Palais gate is the third and last of the old French
portals of the city, and derives its title from the fact that the
highway which passed through it led to the palace or residence of the
Intendants of New France, which has also given its name to the present
quarter of the city lying beneath the cliff on the northern face of
the fortress, where its crumbling ruins are still visible in the
immediate neighborhood of the passenger terminus of the North Shore
Railway. Erected under French rule, during which it is believed to
have been the most fashionable and the most used, it bade a final
farewell to the last of its gallant, but unfortunate French defenders,
and to that imperial power which, for more than one hundred and fifty
years, had swayed the colonial destinies of the Canadas and contested
inch by inch with England, the supremacy of the New World, when a
portion of Montcalm's defeated troops passed out beneath its darkening
shadows on the fatal 13th September, 1759. After the capitulation of
Quebec, General Murray devoted himself at once to the work of
strengthening the defences of the city, and the attention in this
respect paid to Palace gate appears to have stood him in good stead
during the following year's campaign, when the British invaders,
defeated in the battle of St. Foye, were compelled to take shelter
behind the walls of the town and sustain a short siege at the Hands of
the victorious French under deLévis. In 1791, the old French
structure, now a decayed ruin, was razed by the English, but, in the
meanwhile, during 1775, it had gallantly withstood the assaults and
siege of the American invaders under Montgomery and Benedict Arnold.
The somewhat ornate substitute, by which it was replaced is said to
have resembled one of the gates of Pompeii, and seems to have been
erected as late as the year 1830 or 1831, as, in the course of its
demolition, in 1874, an inscription was laid bare, attesting the fact
that at least the timbers and planking had been put up by local
workmen in 1831. It is not intended to rebuild this gate under the
Dufferin plan, on account of the great volume of traffic, more
especially since the completion of the North Shore Railway, to whose
terminus the roadway which leads over its site is the most direct
route. To mark that memorable spot, however, it is intended to flank
it on either side with picturesque Norman turrets rising above the
line of the fortification wall.

Hope Gate, also on the northern face of the ramparts, was the first of
the two purely British gates of Quebec, and was erected in 1786 by
Colonel Henry Hope, Commandant of the Forces and Administrator of the
Province, from whom it takes its name. It was demolished in 1874 for
no especial reason, this gate being no obstacle whatever to the
growing requirements of traffic, as will be readily understood from
its situation. Like Palace Gate, too, it is not to be rebuilt--its
approaches being easily commanded and its position on the rugged,
lofty cliff being naturally very strong.

Its site, however, will be marked in the carrying out of the Dufferin
Improvements by flanking Norman turrets.

The last of the city gates proper, wholly of British origin, but the
first that grimly confronted in by-gone days the visitor approaching
the city from the water-side and entering the fortress, is, or rather
was, Prescott Gate, which commanded the steep approach known as
Mountain Hill. This gate, which was more commonly known as the Lower
Town gate, because it led to that part--the oldest--of the city known
by that name, was erected in 1797, (to replace a rough structure of
pickets which existed at this point from the time of the siege by the
Americans in 1775) by General Robert Prescott, who served in America
during the revolutionary war, and, after further service in the West
Indies, succeeded Lord Dorchester as the British Governor-General in
Lower Canada in 1796, dying in 1815, at the age of 89 years, and
giving his name to this memento of his administration, as well as to
Prescott, Ontario. Old Prescott Gate was unquestionably a great public
nuisance in times of peace, its demolition, in 1871, consequently
provoked the least regret of all in connection with the obliteration
of those curious relics of Quebec's historic past. For reasons, which
are obvious, it would be impossible to replace Prescott Gate with any
structure of a like character, without impeding seriously the flow of
traffic by way of such a leading artery as Mountain Hill. It will,
however, be replaced by a light and handsome iron bridge of a single
span over the roadway with flanking Norman turrets.


For the information of our visitors and strangers generally, we may
explain that, a few years since, the western fortification wall
between St. John's gate and the military exercising ground in past
years, known as the Esplanade, was cut through to form a roadway
communicating between the higher levels of the Upper Town and the St.
Louis suburbs, now styled Montcalm Ward.

It consequently became necessary, in keeping with the aesthetic spirit
of the whole Dufferin scheme, to fill up in some way this unsightly
gap without interfering with the traffic. It was finally decided to
erect here one of the proposed memorial gates, which is altogether
therefore an addition to the number of the existing gates or their
intended substitutes. This edifice, has been designed to do homage to
the memory of Edward, Duke of Kent, the father of Queen Victoria. This
gate will be the most imposing of all in the entire circuit of the
fortifications, while it has had the signal honour of further being
reserved for a handsome subscription towards its cost from Her
Majesty's privy purse and dedication at the hands of H. R. H. the
Princess, who laid its corner stone with appropriate ceremonial during
the month of June, 1879.


Besides the foregoing, however, the fortress possesses in reality two
other gates of much interest to the stranger. When the famous Citadel,
commanding the entire harbour and surrounding country, was constructed
on Cape Diamond, the number of existing gates was increased from five
to seven by the erection of the Chain and Dalhousie, or Citadel gates,
leading to that great fortalice of British power, which may be aptly
styled the _summum opus_ of the magnificent but costly system of
strategic works that has earned for Quebec its title of the Gibraltar
of America. But, as these belong to the Citadel, which is an
independent stronghold of itself, rather than to the defensive works
of the city proper, it suffices to mention that they were erected
under the administration of the Earl of Dalhousie, in 1827, and that
they are well worthy of a visit of inspection--the one being a
handsome and formidable barrier of its class and the other of very
massive construction and considerable depth.

The proposed Château St. Louis or Castle of St. Louis, must be
regarded as the crowning feature of the Dufferin scheme of
embellishment and was designed by the late Governor General to serve
as a vice-regal residence during the sojourn of the representative of
the Crown in Quebec, as well as to revive the historic splendors of
the ancient pile of that name, which formed the abode of the early
Governors of New France. Of course, this noble structure only exists
as yet on paper; but, should it ever be erected, it will be a striking
object from any point whence the Citadel is visible as it will rise to
a considerable height above its highest battlements, standing out in
bold relief to the east of the building known as the Officers'
Quarters, with a frontage of 200 feet, and an elevation partly of 60
and partly of 100 feet, with a basement, two main stories, and mansard
roof and two towers of different heights, but of equally charming
design--the style of architecture of the whole being an agreeable
_mélange_ of the picturesque Norman and Elizabethan.


The Citadel has been described in detail elsewhere; [144] it is,
therefore, unnecessary to allude to it further than recording here a
startling episode in which it played a conspicuous part in those days
of foes and alarm, during the Insurrection of 1838:--

"After the affair of St. Denis," says Roger, [145] "the murder of
Lieutenant Weir, the matter of St. Charles, the storm and capture
of the Church of St. Eustache, and the battle of Toronto, there
were filibustering attempts to invade Canada, neither recognized
by the Government of the United States nor by the bulk of the
people, but indulged in by a party, sentimental with regard to
liberty, and by others to whom plunder and excitement were
congenial. In one of these filibustering expeditions, 'General'
Sutherland, 'Brigadier General' Theller, Colonel Dodge, Messrs.
Brophy, Thayer and other residents, if not citizens, of the United
States, sailed from Detroit in the schooner _Anne_ for Bois
Blanc, which having been seized, an attack was made on Fort Maiden
on the 8th of January, 1838, terminating in the capture of
Theller, Dodge, Brophy and some others; General Sutherland having
been afterwards captured on the ice, at the mouth of the River
Detroit, by Colonel John Prince, of the Canadian Militia. The
prisoners, after having been for a time in gaol at Toronto, were
transferred, some to Fort Henry, at Kingston, and others, among
whom were Sutherland, Theller and Dodge, to the Citadel of Quebec,
which was then occupied by a battalion of the Guards, and there
imprisoned, but treated with consideration and courtesy. It was
not, however, unnatural that they should endeavor to escape. They
were taken out of their prison-house daily for an airing, in
charge of a guard, and, as it would appear, were not altogether
denied the opportunity of conversing with persons who were
friendly to them. Theller, in an account of the Rebellion in
Canada, edited, it is said, by General Roberts, of Detroit,
himself minutely details the nature and manner of his intercourse
with a Mr. P. S. Grace, while under the charge of the military in
Cape Diamond; how he succeeded in bribing soldiers' wives, and in
cultivating the friendship of officers, non-commissioned officers
and men of the Guards, much of which is exaggerated, and some of
which is untrue. Some of the sergeants, for small presents,
Theller asserts, did whatever he required in the way of bringing
books and newspapers from town and articles of food and drink from
the canteen, which is undoubtedly true, but no man in the
regiment, either directly or indirectly, connived at the escape.
It was the result of clever management on the part of Theller,
Dodge and his companions, and of unsuspecting stupidity on the
part of the sentry who guarded the door of the prison, and,
indeed, of all who seemed to have had intercourse with the
prisoners. The escape was thus effected:--On a dark, rainy night,
late in October, 1838, an iron bar having been previously cut
through with a file given them from without, the sawing having
been effected during performances on the shrill fife of one of the
fifers of the garrison, which a prisoner had borrowed for the
purpose of passing away the time and keeping up the spirits of his
companions in misfortune, some of whom were despondent, Theller's
conversation seduced a sentry into conversation, next to smoke a
pipe, then to drink a tumbler of London porter, drugged with
rathermore than 'three times sixty drops' of laudanum. The sentry
struggled hard to prevent the drowsiness that was stealing over
him; he spoke thick, and muttered that he had never before drank
anything so good or so strong. He walked about in the rain to keep
himself awake, and staggered a little. * * * It resulted in the
escape of Dodge, Thayer, Theller and Partridge, who, after several
hair-breadth escapes and hazardous incidents, found themselves
outside of their old quarters." "The escaping party," adds Roger,
"moved cautiously forward, at respectable distances from each
other, along the canteen, and then got out into the middle of the
great square to elude the sentry at the magazine. While there a
sergeant came rushing from the guard-room towards the officers'
quarters, the red, or as they appeared dark, stripes being visible
on a white undress jacket. It seemed to be an alarm. There were
only three sentinels between the escaping party and the flagstaff,
where the descent was intended. Abreast was one whose duty was to
guard the back part of the magazine and a pile of firewood which
was there corded up, and also to prevent soldiers from going to
the canteen. Another stood opposite the door of the officers'
mess-room. There was room enough in the darkness to pass these
sentinels, and Theller and his companions no longer crawled, but
walked upright, one by one, quietly, but passing along as quickly
as possible. Parker, however, after the sergeant passed, became
much excited and terrified, and lost his way. He made some noise,
and a sentry challenged, but without answering, the rest hurried
towards the half-moon battery where the flagstaff is. Passing
round the old telegraph post on one side, near the stabling
attached to the officers' quarters, a sentinel there with side-
arms only, or, as he is technically termed 'a flying Dick,'
challenged, and Theller asserts he promptly answered, 'Officer of
the guard,' when the countersign being demanded, he muttered,
'teen,' having learned during the confinement that the countersign
of the Guards ordinarily ended so--seventeen, eighteen, nineteen,
or such like--and the sentry, fancying from the cap with a gold
lace band on it, which, having undone his cloak, Theller placed
upon his head, that he was one of the officers, suffered him to
pass. Parker had got among the firewood, and was making a noise.
Dodge was running about on the top of the wall, making signals for
Grace and other friends who were to be outside, but could see no
one there. The haulyards of the flagstaff were then partially cut
down with a penknife. An alarm was now given by an officer of the
garrison who accidentally came upon Culver, one of the escaping
party, and in a moment the drums beat and the guard turned out.
The officers rushed out of the mess-room. An artilleryman detected
Parker, and the cry arose that the American prisoners were loose
and escaping. Some immediately ran towards the prison, whilst
others dragged Parker to the guard-room, and yet others began to
search about for the 'General,' Colonel Dodge, Culver and Hall,
whom Parker intimated, in reply to a question put to him by an
officer, had not come out. There was no alternative but to jump
from the wall to the flat part of the precipice below, on which
the wall is built, what Theller first did. For an instant he hung
by his hands, then dropped, and alighted on his feet on the solid
rock, falling back on his head. He was stunned, and lay a minute
or two unconscious. When he came to himself, he heard Dodge
inquiring if he was hurt, and replied in the negative, telling him
to throw down the bundle of cloaks and leap upon them. Theller had
broken the outer bone of his leg and dislocated his right ankle
joint, but had been so stunned that he scarcely felt any pain.
Culver descended next, and was stunned, the blood gushing from his
nose and mouth; he had, it is said, also fractured his leg. Culver
was more fortunate, as he alighted on a pile of cloaks, and was
little, if at all, hurt. Dodge then, throwing down the piece of
rope which he had cut from the haulyards to be used in the next
descent, also slipped down the wall upon the pile of cloaks, and
was unhurt. The second descent was made with the aid of the rope,
the end of which was held by two of the party, while Theller with
his wounded leg slipped down over a piece of cedar post which had
been accidentally placed against the wall of the ditch. Culver
followed, then Hall held the rope alone for Dodge, and afterwards
descended himself as all had done on the first leap, caught as he
came to the ground, however, by the rest of the party. Dodge, in
saving Hall from falling after or as he leaped, sprained his
wrist. The whole party, however, managed to crawl up the outer
wall of the ditch, which was faced with dry stone, by inserting
their hands in the interstices and using their feet as well as
they could. They rested on the summit of the glacis for a moment,
and saw the search that was being made for them inside by lights
that were flashing about into every nook and cranny."

It would take us too far to describe the subsequent incidents of this
clever plan of escape. The patriots of St. Roch, Dr. Rousseau, Grace,
Hunter and others, provided means of escape for the "sympathisers"
which baffled all the ingenuity of the Commandant of the Quebec
garrison, an old Waterloo hero, Sir James Macdonald, who certainly
spared neither time, men nor trouble to recover the Citadel prisoners,
but in vain.

We must find room here for another singular incident in connection
with the Citadel and the Insurrection of 1837-8:--

_"THE MEN OF '37."_


"A representative of the Montreal _Witness_, in a conversation
with Mr. Rouillard, Inspector of Buildings, ascertained that he
had taken a somewhat prominent part in the stirring scenes of the
Rebellion of 1837. The old gentleman's eyes lit up with the fire
of youthful enthusiasm when recounting the deeds of the "Sons of
Liberty," and the secret society of the "Chasseurs."

"I was vigorous and strong in those days, and from my mother
inherited an ardent love for the country in which I was born. Her
letters in those days so magnetized me with patriotism that I
could willingly lay down my life for the cause. I can only,
however, give you a mere sketch to-day of some of the incidents
and adventures through which I passed. The 'Sons of Liberty,' in
Quebec and Montreal, numbered over 20,000 men, but within this
body there was a secret society called 'Les Chasseurs,' all picked
and trustworthy men. They formed a secret society and had their
signs and passwords. It is singular that, though many of those men
were placed in perilous positions when the revelations of our
secrets would have saved them, not one traitor was found to betray
the cause, and even to this day the secrets of the fraternity are
unknown. Not very long ago I had occasion to go to Quebec, and was
introduced to one of the Provincial ministers. I gave the sign of
the 'Chasseurs' of forty-three years ago. He looked up surprised
and returned the countersign. We had not met since the memorable
_émeute_ in the stable yard on St. James street.

We used to meet for drill and pistol practice in the upper story
of the house still standing on the corner of Dorchester and
Sanguinet streets.

There I remember one of our leaders harangued us. He is still
alive, and Montreal's citizens know him well. He urged us to be
brave and show no mercy in sweeping every obstacle from oar path,
and when we gained our liberty we would have 'ample time for--
tears, repentance and regret.' There used to be a loyal
association called 'The Doric Club,' which met on Great St. James
street near our rendezvous. Our men and the members of this club
used to have many _rencontres_, until it culminated in a challenge
from the 'Chasseurs' who sent a _cartel_ to the sixty members of
the Doric Club, offering to meet them with thirty of their picked
men. The President of the Doric Club sent back a cold formal reply
to the effect that they wished to have nothing to do with traitors
and rebels.

"Our secret society had formed the daring design of seizing the
citadel of Quebec on the same plan as Wolfe's Highlanders. We had
our rendezvous within a short march of Quebec and on the eventful
night numbered about 1,500 men, two hundred of whom had come from
Montreal and the rest from St. Jerome, Three Rivers and other
places. Each man was armed with a pair of pistols and a bowie-
knife, and carried on his shoulders a bundle of straw.

They had thirty ladders which were to be used in scaling the
narrow glacis which led to the citadel. The object was to make a
regular roadway of these ladders, almost like a trellis work
bridge, up which the patriots might easily pass. The night was
dark and stormy. We had been waiting in the cold in our white
blanket coats and white tuques, to assimilate to the color of the
snow, when the order arrived to prepare to march. The second
signal came at half-past eleven, and everything was in readiness
for the attack. At a quarter to twelve the chief came in as pale
as death and gave the order to disband, as the storm had suddenly
ceased and the moon shone bright and clear, much to the
discomfiture of the patriots, who looked forward to an easy
victory. That chief, who still lives, said it was providential
that the storm had cleared off before the attack had been made,
for if it had continued and only cleared when the patriots were
placing their scaling ladders in the glacis, not a man would have
survived, as the British troops could have trained several guns on
this particular spot and swept every living thing into

Mr. Rouillard said the Roman Catholic clergy were much opposed to
their society, because it was secret, and had done all in their
power to break it up, and England is indebted for her supremacy in
North America to-day to the exertions and assistance given her in
that troublous period by the Roman Catholic clergy." (_Montreal
Witness, 29th November_ 1880.)




On emerging from St. Louis Gate, several handsome terraces and cut stone
dwellings are noticeable. We may mention Hon. Frs. Langelier's, Mr.
Shehyn's, and the Hamel Terrace--quite a credit to the new town. The new
town outside of the walls, like that of New Edinburgh, in beauty and
design will very soon cast the historical old town within the walls in the
shade. The next object which attracts the eye is the spacious structure of
the Skating Rink, the only charge we can make against it, is that it is
too close to St. Louis Gate. 'Tis the right thing in the wrong place.
Adjoining stood the old home of the Prentices, in 1791,--Bandon Lodge,
[146] once the abode of Sandy Simpson, [147] whose cat-o'nine-tails must
have left lively memories in Wolfe's army. Did the beauteous damsel about
whom Horatio, Lord Nelson, raved in 1782, when, as Commander of H. M.'s
frigate _Albemarle_, he was philandering in Quebec, ever live here? [148]
This is more than I can say. On the north side of the _Grande Allée_, the
lofty structure--the new Parliament Buildings--occupies a whole square.


When completed, the Parliament and Public Buildings of the Province of
Quebec, erected on the _Grande Allée_, outside of St. Louis Gate,
will form a square, each side of which externally will measure 300
feet and will enclose a court l98 x l95 feet. Three facades are now
completed; they are tenanted by the various Public Departments of the
Civil Service--the Halls of the Legislative Assembly alone remain to
be built and the foundations are now in process of construction in
consequence of the vote of Parliament in 1881. The main facade, now in
process of construction, will look towards the city walls and face on
St. Eustache street, or rather on the splendid new area to constitute
Dufferin Avenue, should St. Eustache street be closed; this street
being altogether too narrow and in too close proximity to the
buildings. The Lieut.-Governor will occupy a handsome suite of rooms
on the second story in the portion of the edifice which lies parallel
with and faces towards St. Louis Road. The northern facade faces on
St. Augustin street and the fourth or western facade looks towards St.
Julia street.

The style of architecture is that which was used in French edifices of
the XVII. century. Pointe Levi greenish sandstone was used for the

The second and third story are divided by a continuous band, supported
by an Ionic entablature of Deschambault cut stone.

Embossed pilasters in _rustic work_, rising from the basement up
to the cornice, close the salient angles of each projection. Hard
Murray Bay sandstone has been used in constructing the interior
revetment wall of the court, but Deschambault limestone forms the
masonry of the basement, the bands, cornices, mantle-pieces, and

The roof of the building, a handsome one, is of galvanized sheeting,
the ornaments of zinc; some cast, some wrought and hammered. The
height of the body of the edifice from the ground to the great cornice
is 60 feet English measure, and 72 feet to the top of the cornice
above the attics.

Each angle of the square has a pavilion and contains a stone
sculptured dormer window provided with a costly clock constructed by

Access is had to the inner court by two passages in the centre
pavilion, which faces St. Julia street.

A heraldic _Lion passant_, between two fleur de lys and three maple
leaves, display the arms of the Province of Quebec. On the piers of
the first story are cut in relief the escutcheons of the two first
Lieut.-Governors of the Province of Quebec, sculptured on the central
window of the second story, is visible from afar, the "year" when the
structure was commenced, "1878," and on the side windows are inscribed
the monograms of the Governor-General and Lieutenant-Governor, under
whose administration the edifice was built.

The frieze of the main entablature shows the cypher of the reigning
Sovereign V. R. wreathed in oak leaves.

There are at present three main central entrances, the pavilions of
the angle also contain one each with Ionic pillars.

The main facade, only just commenced, differs from the others; instead
of a pavilion in the centre, it will have a tower or campanile 160
feet high, flanked by two projections. The ground floor of this tower
will show a stately entrance to the halls of Assembly of both branches
of the Legislature, accessible through two semicircular inclined

The inequalities in the level of the soil at that spot will be
concealed by terraces on three sides of the stately pile. At the foot
of the tower the design shows a basin 115x42 feet embraced within the
walls of the inclined plane, to receive the water of a fountain in a
portico of Tuscan order of architecture. Four Ionic columns with
entablatures will deck the main entrance.

Niches on different points of the edifice will exhibit statues of
Jacques Cartier, the discoverer of Canada; of Champlain, the founder
of Quebec; of deMaisonneuve, the founder of Montreal.

On the lantern of the tower will stand forth prominently the Royal
arms of England, supported by winged genii and wreathed in oak leaves.
The tower on four sides will contain four huge clocks lit up by
electric light.

Lofty, roomy halls with ceilings arched and decorated with stucco
panelling; devices and symbols of the quarterings of the Provincial
arms, lead to the interior of the buildings, which though simple,
seems well adapted for public offices. Broad, well lighted corridors,


Back to Full Books