1837 - 1838


The first act of open rebellion is laid November 4, 1837 in Lower Canada. A troop of 75 patriots commanded by Joseph -Narcisse Cardinal , which seeks to acquire weapons , is involved in a scuffle with the Mohawks of Caughnawaga (now Kahnawake) . Indian woman who was looking for his lost cow saw the group approaching and she went in haste to prevent the head . She found him at Mass, and warned the church emptied instantly. As the Patriots advanced to the road at the entrance of the village, the Indians hidden in the woods on both sides of the road waiting to greet her . The Indian chief walked alone, serious and wanting to know what was the purpose of this unannounced visit . On the same solemn tone , Cardinal replied that the Patriots needed weapons. What authority , asked the chief, claiming it to make such a request? " From this! " Cardinal said , out of his pocket he pointed a gun at the head of the leader.

It was his last act warrior . In one swift stroke of the hand , the head aside the gun pointed at him. War cries bloodcurdling broke the calm of Sunday and a hundred armed warriors quickly surrounded the patriots. Seventy-five members of the expedition , only eleven were able to escape , but the chief promptly disposed of other [ ... ] In the middle of the morning , they crossed in Lachine to deliver sixty-four insurgents in the Volunteer Cavalry ...


In the following weeks , there in Lower Canada to an escalation of violence , which began on the streets of Montreal fights between groups of patriots called Sons of Liberty , and the Loyalists of the Doric Club. The Riot Act ( the riots ) is proclaimed and British troops were quick to restore order, but the agitation is more acute in rural areas and an open conflict seems imminent. On November 16 , the government launched the arrest warrants against 26 leaders patriots.

The government relies on the support of indigenous communities in crisis. A directive sent in November 1838 by John Macaulay, secretary of the civil administration for Upper Canada , requires the following actions on the part of officials of the colony:

The Lieutenant Governor has taken note of the existence , within the U.S. border, a large organization to invade their [sic] province , I ordered you to pray to bring the Indians in your area to be ready to fight and to act promptly and effectively under your command to any warning that you may be sent an invasion by a foreign enemy or insurrection in foreign aid instance , in any part of the province.

Aboriginal people , understandably , are not all very hot to the idea of participating in the battles of White . At the St. Clair Mission (now Sarnia , Ontario) , the disciples say Pazhekezhikquashkum :
... We believe it is best to sit in smoking our pipes and let those who love the powder and bullets deliver their own battles . We consulted , there is some time , the Indians around us and we all agreed to keep quiet and we hope that all Indians will do the same , because we have nothing to gain and everything to lose by fighting [ ... ] are we stupid enough to be drawn into a war against the whites of one party or the other , we would still be that most hated them. Suffice it to note that no one can force us to go fight for a camp that is , we mention this fact so that if you are invited , you know that you are free men and you don ' are subject to one who has the authority to require you to take up arms.


However, some loyalists fear the Indians , even if they do not join the rebels, to raise their own account. In fact, the majority of Aboriginal people prefer the current government and fear the effects of a republic in the U.S. could have on their status and well-being. This is why many indigenous quotas that provide support to the British authorities and loyalist militia commanders of the two Canadas . About a day before the Battle of Saint- Eustache, while still seemed that the fighting could be much more violent , about 200 Mohawks of Caughnawaga joined the loyalist forces around Montreal and Lachine. " All Caughnawaga warriors crossed to join the brigade of Lachine ," recalls John Fraser , one of the White Brigade . "The arrival of Indian warriors was greeted by cries of welcome from [ ... ] band of volunteers." The Iroquois of the Grand River , commanded by William Johnson Kerr, and the Mohawks of Tyendinaga ( Deseronto ) , led by John Culbertson , help repel the rebels inside and "patriots" from the United States. Kerr tells proudly that " Indian warriors responded eagerly and joined their brethren of the militia to defend the country , its laws and institutions , at a time when there were no regular troops in the country [ ... ] it is said , to their credit, there was among them neither radical nor rebel Indians Indians. " Tyendinaga offer to provide enough men to form a rifle company , but it is unclear today whether the company was actually created. Anthony Manahan , militia officer , Colonel James FitzGibbon wrote as follows: "a band of Indians, who is here with Chief John Culbertson [ ... ] expressed the wish to join my regiment as a rifle company volunteers whose Culbertson is the captain. [...] I beg you to give favorable consideration to the idea of an Indian company riflemen. Such a company would do more than a regular infantry regiment to quell the unrest , because of the terror they [ the Indian warriors ] inspire. "

Sir George Arthur , who succeeded Francis Bond Head as Lieutenant - Governor of Upper Canada , then shipped to Lord Glenelg, Colonial Secretary in England , a letter that explains and justifies the use of indigenous warriors

On more than one occasion since last fall , the Indians were invited to come to the defense of the country. Last winter , they provided a strong contingent to protect the Niagara frontier was threatened by a considerable armed force , consisting of Canadian refugees and American adventurers who had seized Navy Island , and on this occasion , as well as whenever their services had been required by my predecessor, their conduct has been quite irreproachable .

By using their services in June, I had to cut the main communication between insurgent groups and bandits , armed Short Hills goal , and the abandoned part of the districts of London and Talbot, and intercept all fugitives . The Indians were thus employed in a job that suited them particularly well [ ... ]

The warriors of these tribes , who responded quickly to my call , were headed by leaders who willingly applied it my formal recommendations for maintaining a strict order and the scrupulous observance of the laws of civilized warfare .

Twenty- seven (27) soldiers and about 300 rebels were killed during the campaign of Lower Canada , and far fewer in the rebellion in Upper Canada. In all, more than a dozen rebels were sent to the gallows , and dozens of others were banished and sent to the British penal colony of Van Diemen 's Land ( now Tasmania ) , off the southeastern coast of Australia.
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