The Revolt of Pontiac and the American Invasion

Montreal: An American City

Carleton's Indecision

On the strength of this victory, the British were able to counterattack immediately by harassing the Americans who were laying siege to Fort Saint-Jean. This was recommended by the Canadian militiamen gathered in Montreal, who were accustomed to these kinds of tactics. But they were faced with a vacillating governor. According to a report of the time, the militiamen "complained - as did the citizens of the city of Montreal - when they said that General [Carleton] was determined not to cross to the south shore to repulse the enemy." Rather than be "bored doing nothing," they soon began to think about returning home. Worse still, more and more of them began to think that the inaction meant "that the government did not have any confidence in the Canadians." 35 With their wounded pride, many even asked themselves why they should be loyal and fight for the British when their English fellow citizens - who treated them like a conquered people - often refused to do so. After all, had the Americans not been Britain's allies against Canada until 1760? The situation began to look like a dispute between Englishmen, with both sides attempting to bring the Canadians into their camp. Faced with such contradictions, and left to their own devices by Carleton, most Canadians opted for neutrality.