New Preparations

American Support for Rebels

The insurgents who had taken refuge in the United States, the supporters of both Papineau and Mackenzie, had considerable support from the Americans. They founded a secret society, the Hunters' Lodges, whose purpose was to organize contingents to invade from the United States and to establish secret groups in Canada who would rise up against the British when the time for the invasion came. The Patriot Hunters took an oath, used secret signs to identify one another, as well as passwords, and had a rather quaint chain of command. A grand eagle designated a general commanding a whole region, an eagle the colonel of a regiment of 500 men, a beaver the captain of a company that had six rackets, each racket commanding nine hunters. Many Americans joined this secret society whose aim was to liberate Canada. But in Canada itself some were doubtful about their altruism, and this did not help the Canadian Patriot cause.