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North American. [volume] (Swanton, Vt.) 1839-1841, May 29, 1839, Image 1

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VOL. 1, Cinndinn IlisIitM and Cnnadinn Independcncc. NO. 8.
puBMSHED uv h. j. Thomas. SWANTON, VT. MAY 29, 1839. edited by canadians& americ ans
Vricc $1 50 per an. in mirante,
or $2 00 at the end of the ycar.
They nffcf fil ho die in a great caute ;
The b'ock mi toak thur gore,
Thfir het'ii my todden in the un their limbi
U itrunj to city gale
And culle walli. but tuli theif pirit walki abroad ;
Thnufh yeari tip, "d ethert aliare ai dark a
fi km aufinenr the desp aiul aweeping ihought
Wfcich otrpamert ali other, and waich conduci
The world al latt io fiecdorn. Utkoh.
IVopte of Canada! Remember that ihe
hhxxi of martyrs in ihe cause of Freedom
calla aloni! for vengeance it your hands.
Ambroisb Saocit one of the most
respeclahlc inhabitants of the Province of
Lower Canada, emled his honorable life
on the gibbet on the ISth of Febrnary
1339. In vain did the soulless Colborne
by the a'ul of his Court Martial try to stig
matize his repntation by sentencing him
for murder. History will record the truth,
nnd the subject of this biography will be
numhered among those honorable and
intrepid martyr8 of liberty who sealed with
their ovvn livea their loveof freedom. The
nume or the bloody tyrant who signed
the death warrant ofour departed friend
will bc execrated and cursed for ages to
come, whilst the memory of his victim will
le cherished and respected.
Mr. Sanguinei wai born in the year
1301, in the Seigniory of Lasalle in the
C.iuiity of Laprairie in the District of
Montreal, his ancestors were among the
first eettlers of the Province, and enjoyed
high rank in colonial society. His father
was the proprieior of the Seigniory Lasalle
f which we have spoken above. As his
seigniory was adjacent to some lands bc
longing to the Crown and to the Episco
pal church, it became an object of'envy,
and under the administration of Sir Ro
bert Shore Milnes, the old gentleman was
prosecuted by the Attorney General of the
Province, who ncted by the order ofthe
Kxeeutive Couneil.
The titles of Mr. Sanguinei to the por
tion ofthe Lands the government claimed,
were maintained by the Court of King's
Bench at Montreal. After such a decision
Mr. Sanguinet had a right to expect that
His Majesty's oflìcers would not trouble
him any more. But it was not so; The
Attorney General in behalfof the Crown
appealed to the same Executive Couneil
who had ordered the prosecution. The
case was soon decided. The members of
the Executive Couneil were both Plain
tifls and JuJges. Mr. Sanguinet was con
ùemned and was consequently totally
ruined. Such is the manner of adminis
tering justice in Canada, and there are
people who say that Canadlans have no
just cause to eomplain of a government
which acU so dìshonestly. But this was
not ali. As soon as the law-suit had been
decided against Mr. S., those same Execu
tive Councillors who had been PlaintitTs
and Judges, requested of Sir. Robert Shore
Milnes their portion of the epoils. Thè
Governor thought the demand premiture
and did not grant it. But his successor
Sir James Henry Craig of infainous noto
riety disposed ofthe land robbed from Mr.
to the identica! men who had ordered
thelaw-suil and who had decided against
the right owner.
The reader after having perused this
scandalous transaction on the part ofthe
Uritish government, will not be surprised
that 20 years after such an odious proceed
ing they annihilated on the scaffold.a name
which was an eriduring stain onits hones
ty and generosity. Mr. 8., while in pos
sessionof his lands, treated his cenrìtaire
with great humanky, but as soon as those
landa were declared the property of the
Crown these poor unfortunate men were
onstantly haraesed by the hirelings of the
English government. The House ofAs
?mbly with iti usuai generosity, passed a
Bili for their rehef, but Lord Dalhousie
t-using the power which this bill gave
him, granted unusua! and exclusive privile
ges to two influenza! Torics who now
crush down those who are scttled on their
ands. The above prove to have been
oneof the most bare faced robberies that a
government ever can commit on the pri
vate property of an individuai. By this
act of dishonesty, the Sanguinet family
once very rich, was reduced to poverty.
Mr. Sanguinet brought up his family in
agricultural pursuits. Ambroise, thesubject
of this biography, seitled at St. Constant
in the County of Laprairie. His educa
tion although not a classical one, was toler
ably good. By his industry and his so
ber iialtits he accumulated wealth as fast
as his limited means would allow him, and
it was not long after he had settled tbere
before he could be considered an independ
ent farmer. His good conduct and the re
spectability of his name made him a con
8picuous character among the people of
his parish.
He always was a true reformer, never
flinching from his duty when his country
required that he should exert himself in
its behalf. In 1822, although a veryyoung
man he exerted himself to get signatures
to the petition to the Thronc and Imperiai
Legislature against the Union of the Two
Province of Upper and Lower Canada,
and be had the pleasure of seeing this new
scheme of harassing his countrymen totally
Under the administration of the ever
odious Dalhousie our friend was one of
the most active at a meeting of the free
holdera of the County of Huntingdon,
which was holden at St Phillippe on the
14th TJanuary, 1829. This meeting was
called for the express purpose of taking in
to consideration " the deplorable state of
the Province" and also with the further
views of demanding (he immediate recali
of Lord Dalhousie who had rendered him
self obnoxious to the great mass of the
people for having dismiseed severa! militia
oflìcers, and for having refused to recog
nize the nomination of a Speaker by the
House of Assembly on the lst November
preceding. The inhabitants of the Coun
ty of Huntingdon passed a series of reso
lutions approving of the proceedings of the
meeting of Montreal upón the question of
the independence of the Judges, their ex
clusion from the Legislative and Execu
tive Councils, the Civil list and the respon
sibility of ali public servants. Such were
the just demanda of the Canadian people to
which a favorable answer was given by a
committee of the House of Commons in
1828, but whose recommendations have
ever been a dead-lelter.
At this meeting oftheCountyof Hunting
don, Mr. Sanguinet vvasnominated a meni
ber of the Permanent Committee ofthe
Under the administration of Lord Ayl
mer, our lamented friend was commission
ed as an Ensign and quarter-master in the
Provincial militia. His commission as
such was dated the 4th June, 1831. At
the general election of 1834, Mr. Sangui
net supported with ali his ruight, our un
fortunate and martyred friend Joseph N.
Cardinal Esquire as a Candidate for the
county of Laprairie.
When the infamous resolutions of Lord
John Russell against the Canadian people
were known in the Province, as a consis
tent reformer, Mr.Sanguinet opposed them;
and at a general meeting of the County
of Laprairie in the moniti of August 1837,
which meeting was holden at St. Constant,
he was very active and zgplous in main
taining those liberal principies which had
been advocated by the people's Represen
tatives. This meeting adopted the pian
of non-con8umptior of duty-paying arti
cles and the encouragement of domestic
manufactures, &c. &c.
After the despotic conduct of Lord Gos
ford toward the Canadian people, and the
total denial of jusliee to them by the Eng
lish Parliament, Mr. Sanguinet 6aw no
other alternative for his countrymen but
to throw off the chains ofslavery.
Oa the rising of the SJ November !ast
he was named as Captain in his section,
and under the Command of a Superior offi-
cer, he went with a party of mento dia
arm the loyalista in the neighborhood.
They went to the house of a man named
Walker at La Tortue to disarm him.
They knocked gently at his door and lold
him what was their object, promising him
security il he should comply with their re
quest. They were answered by a discharge
oftwo guns which wounded one ofthe
patriota, who in their turn received
orders to fire into the house. This was
accordingly done and the result was that
Walker was shot dead, and a man by the
name of Vitrey was severely wounded.
The house was broken open, but the
patriots commilted no excesses. They
disarmed the family and proceeded further,
After the patriot army was disbanded, Mr.
Sanguinet hid himself for tome lime in the
woods, bui at last hunger nnd ali kinds of
privation forced him to arrender to the
British authorities after hav'ng tried seve
ral times to make his escape to the States.
His trial began before the Court Martial
on the third day of Januaiy 1839. He
was accused of High Treason and of the
murder of Walker and wasjound guilty
ofboth eharges. Now every candid and
impaniai man who will .decide upon this
case with justice and righteoutness in his
heart, cannot entertain the idea that if
there was civil war as the accusation of
high treason in taking up arms against the
English governrr.ent will prove, there
could be any murder in killing a man who
fired upon a party of the insurgents. If there
was murder there cculd not exist a rebel
lion with the intention of overthrowing the
present form of Government, because by
no civilized naiion but the British will it
be considered murder to kill a man upon
the battle field. We maintain that these
opinions are sound and correct. It was
well proved that there was a "general ris
ing in that part of the country, that the
patriots were disarming the loyalists, that
Walker was asked to give up his arms,
that he answered thern by discharging his
gun on them, that no alternative was left
them but to retire dishonorably or to re
turn the fire, which they did, and that in
this engagement Walker was killed. What
tribunal in God's name but a dishonest
one like the Montreal Court Martial acting
under the Special orders of the bloody Sir
John Colborne, could give a verdiet of
murder against the subject of this biogra
phy. The real object of this proceeding
was to blast the memory of the unfortu
nate snfJerer and thereby diminish the
srmpathy Republicans on this side of
the linea would feel for those who perish
ed on the scaffold for their country's sake.
In this scheme we are certain that the
British did not succeed, and the memory ol
Mr. Amboise Sanguinet remai ns untarnish
ed in the eyes of his countrymen and re
spected by the Americans.
On the ISth day of January he received
officiai notice of his execution for the 18th
He prepared himself to meet his fate like
a true patriot. When the awful day was
at hand, he encouraged his fello w-sufferers
among wbom was his younger brother
condemned under the same ipeeiou accu.
sations. He stept upon the scaffold with
ranch firmness, and while one of his unfor
nnate companions was addressing the
multitude, he leaned against one ofthe
pillars of the scaffold. He afterwards stept
into the place which was assigned him.
The fatai signal was given, the trap fell
and another victim of tyranny was added
to the long list of the roartyrs of liberty.
His sufferings seemed to be very 6hort.
His body after having been exposed about
an hour's tirae lo gratify the feelings of
the Tories, was given up to his friends
who buried it in the Cathofic burying
ground of Montreal.
Mr. Sanguinet was a very large and
heavy man, with black hair and very mas
coline features. He was 33 years of afe,
left a wife with fivechildrea.
The vengeance ol the British govern
ment ft bich had not quite exhausted itself
on the father, closed by bringing the son to
the scaffold. This act so repugnant to hu
manity and jusliee would never have been
committed by any other nation. But who
does not know the sanguinar disposition
and cruelty of the British governmeni?
Americans, who read this, your father
have been treated in the same cruel war to
procure for you the politicai bleasings
you are enjoying to day.
Notwiihttanding the itraordinarr eflbrta of the
Jlritish Government to tuppreu thit work, a cepy
(and perhapa the only one eitant,) hai been pre
terved, and it now being traiulated for thecolumnt
nf the Nurtb Amibican. 1V hall puUIiah
eopiout extracta eer? week, that the American
people ma become better acquainted with the
cruel policjr of Great Britain towardt her Canadi
an lubjccts, ai cari j ai the year 1730.
Mr. Pierre Du Calvet held a high rank
in the first class at Montreal. After the
conquest of Canada, he was entrusted by
General Murray with the important nego
ciation to bring back to their native land
the scattered and fugitire Acadians. His
success having wholly justifìed this mark
of confìdence, he was clevated to the dig-
nity of Justice of the Peace which place he
held for many years without ever accepl
ing any salary; but continued judging
his fellow citizen, or rather reconciling
one with the otherj he thought so much
ofthe honor of being a Magistrate that he
paid a Clerk for that purpose with his own
money. Under whatever form poverty
was discovered by him, he was never deaf
nor callous to the wants of others, but on
the contrary his generosity and liumanity
had no limita. Such kindnesg had but few
votaries, and in the end it ereated
many jealou enemies. Envy being eclip,
sed by virtue, became irrita ted and discharg
ed its venom on Mr. Calvet. With the
view to annoy him, his home was erowded
with troops, often in great numbers, with
out any compensation for his disbursements
They went so far as to assai! him in his
own home; tire arm were diseharged in
his dwelling house; an olficer transformed
into a judge now in office, was the object
right or wrong of general euspicions; out
of repect for the honor ofthe rnilitary bo
dy, which anomalously exercised judì
cial authority for a considerable time, a
civil judicial inquests were prohibited and
interdicted in the newspaper of Que
bec. The eonsequence wa that the galle
ry in front of his house wa broken to
pieces, hisdoors and shutters, although of
iron, were forced; and the injuries areto
this day unredressed, and himself erposed
to violence and oppression. Such were
the first scenea of persecution egainst Mr
Du Calvet.
The flame of civil war which in 1775
spread over ali the English Colonies, began
to extend ita fury to the Province of Que
bec. Mr. Du Calvet was holding a place
of distinction under the government: he
had inherited from his ancestors a large
fortune, which had considerably increased
in his hands by his care (and industry.
Gratitude, interest, his own inclinations,
ihe tenderest aid the most powerful ties of
human life, every thtng in a word main
tained his fìdelity to his King; no one
would be a traitor to his own honor, his
welfare, his existence and to his own-relf,
unless a prospect of ameliorating his
own condition justifies treason able at
tempts; what advantage could ali the
American States together offer to Mr. Du
Calvet in compensation for the domestic
prosperity he enjoyed at home? During
ali the troubles of the war, he observed
that loyal conduct which becomes a man
whose fortunes are attached to the fate of
his Sovereign. Such decided fìdelity was
to be rewarded by the distructive catastro
phy which awaited him.
Peace was nearly re-established in Canada;
Mr. Du Calvet was enjoying in tbebosom
ofhis family the tender fruits of public
tranquilrty, when on the 27th Sepieraber,
1780, he wa arrested suddenly by Capt.
Laws of the 84th Regt., his peper were
wrested from him in day time, and at night
his money was also taken ; which ha al
ways been kept as a prize; he was escorted
to Quebec, and from thence dragged with
violence on board the Cancevuz, an armed
vessel then at anchor in the harboor; ali
apparel which before that time belonged to
a bed for a humaa being, was takeo a-
way from the cabin whtre he wa incarcera
ted; and he had no other bed to sleep on
than the bare floor ofthe thip under a eli
mate whcre the fall ia at rigorous.if not more)
so, than as our Mverett winter ia Europe.
Mr. Du Calvet thought at firn that it wa
an act of economy on the part et the aail
ors, he then oflered to provide himself with
the neceesary articles and the harsh master
of thehipMr. Atkinson then Commander,
lold him that so much oondescension wa
contrary to his orders, adding with a po
liteness beconaing a raariner, that the Jloor
xeat too good for a pritoncr of Ài deicrip
tion. Mr. Du Calvet had nothing od
board of this vessel but Balied and mouldy
provisions, which affected very much hia
constitution, o much o that he spitted
blood and had ali the appearance ofan
emaciated phantom and living skeleton,
hardly recognizabl to his own guard; hi
friends could not see him tilt after a long
period, and then very rarcly; the visita
were very short and under the superintend
ance of witnesses. And his son, six or
seven years of agel ah, never wa he
allowed to see him once, to console by his
presente his unfortunate father who wa
in iron.
At length on the 14th November it waa
thoaght advisable for appearance sake to
accede to the remonstrances ofMr. Da
Calvet, and his persecutori appeared al
least to be willing to alleviate his fate.
Under aguard of soldier he was taken to
the rnilitary jail of Quebec It was a sort
of refined barbarity that caused this ehango
in the theatre of his imprisonment. His
new lodgings wer the true pitture of a
sepulchre, no ray of the sun coutd pene
trate there, it was constantly damp, and
was never made for the abode of a human
being. Under the French Government it
was used as a rnilitary stable. It was a
spacious vault in the ground paved with
larga unpolished stonea with abont twelve
dragoon beds with five or six mangerà
full ofdirt and filth, ashes with pieces of
rotten cloths, and other stinking stufi".
Some of those mangers had even been used
as privies by the dragoon and prisonera
who had been before Mr. Du Calvet in
that abominable place, and then con tained
the filth with which they were full
What a place for a man of such reapecta
b!eonnexionin France, honored by the
English Government with a Bituation in
the magistracy, and distinguished for his
fortune, even among the Canadian nobili
ty1 Scarcely had Mr. Du Calvet inhaled
the conupt air of this fìlthy sewer when ho
was nearly thrown down by the terrible
poisonous stench oflheffirst vttpottr. In
the name of the weafcness to which he
wa reduced, and of weeping humanity,
whieh under a!tci vilized government ougha
to protect his person,even when in chains,
he solici ted with lears in his eyes, the liber
ty to have these mangerà cleaned of their
contento, & euch a cleaning which is dono
even for the health of brute wa denied to
the supplicant. Oh shamell That diit
wa left a the inseparable companion
of his captivity; it seems he was condemn
ed to rot alive with ali the horror of rot
te nness. This object was so apparent that
it struck with horror the Deputy Surgeoa
ofthe Garrison, at the first inspection he
ma4e of this government jail. He remon
strated severely against sneh a roonttrous
abomination, nevertheless several weeks
passed before his remonstrances with those
of the prisoner could prevail on barbarity,
to diminish its excesses.
At length on the ISth Dee., for hit last
transmigration Mr. Do Calvet was trans
ferred to the Reeolleta Convent, one of the
wings of which, destined once to chain and
scourge the refractory monks, had been
changed into a State rnilitary prison. The
keeping or it was entrosted to its first
monachal jailor the Rctekikd Fatbxk
Berrt, a man who under the monk's
habit, has not only the ferocious heart of a
dragon but also the inferna! soul of a hang-
man. The coloring is not too high ; by
this descriplion, hi friends and partisan
will know the originai.
Such was the worthy Minister on whora
General Ilaklimand depended to discharge
f I

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