The Revolt of Pontiac and the American Invasion

The Americans Lay Siege to Quebec

Saving What Could Still Be Saved

Meanwhile, in London, the authorities were hoping to profit from the positive effects of the Quebec Act. In July the Secretary of State to the American colonies, Lord Dartmouth, asked Carleton to mobilize a light infantry corps of 6,000 Canadians to serve on a standing basis against the Americans. Light cannon made of brass, weapons, ammunition and uniforms were sent hastily to equip the new army. 37

But when these instructions and the required equipment reached Quebec it was already too late. It was no longer a matter of recruiting 6,000 Canadians, but simply of saving what could still be saved. The fall of Montreal was all the more serious because communications with the Western forts were interrupted. To restore matters it was absolutely essential that the city of Quebec be held until the spring of 1776, when the reinforcements were to arrive from Great Britain; but in the immediate future the Americans were coming. On November 14 the inhabitants of Quebec saw, coming from south of the city, the first members of the small army of 1,100 men commanded by Benedict Arnold. At the beginning of December Montgomery's army joined up with Arnold's, and on the 6th the Americans began the siege of Quebec City.