List of Political Prisoners from Lower Canada (1/2)
… dispatched on HMS Buffalo under Captain Wood.
Today’s Quebec Nationalists may prefer to focus on the 19 Patriotes hanged at the jail on Montreal’s harbourfront. I saw the late Pierre Falardeau interviewed once on francophone TV. In his furious cigarette-puffing way, he said it was simple: You have a society divided between those who are hanged and those who do the hanging!
I find another story more interesting and instructive.
The story of the unfortunates sentenced to Transportation to Australia (and other British colonies) suggests that a degree of mercy (some had death sentences commuted) and a degree of adaptation (some prisoners lived ‘almost’ normal lives - and without snow!) … adapted and survived to see that … the Patriotes actually made their point - by twisting the Lion’s tail - and won!
A nasty little detail of British colonial policy I found a while back, was that as a freed prisoner in Australia, you had to pay your own way back if you wanted to return home. After the Patriotes were pardoned by Queen Victoria, having spent six years in Australia, societies in Montreal were formed to collect money to ‘bring the boys home’.
from: Jubilé de diamant - Patriotes 1837-38 - Rôle d’Honneur’; J Douglas Borthwick; 1898; LJ Tarte et Frère, 33 and 35 Rue Saint-Gabriel, Montreal.