The 1837 Lower Canada Rebellion

'Loyalist' Volunteers Sanctioned

Officer, Queen's Light Dragoon, 1838-1849

Caption: Officer, Queen's Light Dragoon, 1838-1849

The population of Montreal was approximately half Francophone and half Anglophone. Peter McGill, founder of the university bearing his name, president of the Bank of Montreal and president of the country's first railway, suggested to Lord Gosford that companies of volunteers be formed in various districts of the city. Such a step would release the army to go and restore order in the countryside. Lord Gosford agreed and in record time units of volunteers were raised. All the "loyal subjects" who had been waiting for this moment were able to take up arms and do away with their Patriote opponents who had been accused of treason! Most of these volunteers were English Canadians, of course, but a few Canadians of French descent were among them.