Letter from Thomas Wilson to the British American League Members (12 July 1849)

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Date: 1849-07-12
By: Thomas Wilson, The Globe
Citation: “Elective Governors and Elective Councillors” The Globe (24 July 1849).
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The father of the League in Lower Canada is Thomas Wilson—once known as [illegible] one of the branches of the Commer[illegible] Mr. Wilson has spent the whole [illegible]able time for many weeks back, [illegible] the country, animating the Tory [illegible] forming branches of the League of [illegible] holding similar sentiments with him [illegible] Wilson has been sent as a delegate [illegible] Kingston Convention from the Quebec [illegible] and his eloquence is to be a leading entertainment. What the sentiment[illegible] Lower Canada Leaguers are, may [illegible] from those of Mr. Wilson’s, and [illegible] are:—

To the Members of the Quebec [illegible] British American League [illegible]


I have been named with other gentlemen [illegible] posed as suitable and proper parties the Quebec Branch of the British American League, in the convention about to [illegible] Kingston. In consequence, I consider [illegible] shortly to address you.

I should deeply regret any occ[illegible] would deprive me of your confidence [illegible] that harmony of action amongst us, [illegible] the successful working of the [illegible] which we are connected.

It is indispensable to the preserv[illegible] good feeling that we should all distinctly understand each other. We work together [illegible] of Canada. To restore to her her [illegible] to her people their natural rights. [illegible] agreed to lay aside all little and [illegible]ences that have hitherto divided us, [illegible] of brothers take common actions, [illegible] to deliver the Province from its [illegible] political grievances. Pursuing the [illegible] we may differ as to the measures neces[illegible] that object, but such differences must [illegible] disunion.

The delegates elected by you [illegible] well as represent the sentiments of the [illegible] under instructions, but from a convict [illegible]sonal belief in their soundness.

Being now in a position that there [illegible] I may be elected as one of your [illegible] charged with a duty of the highest [illegible] under circumstances of great public [illegible] embarrassment, it becomes necessary [illegible] state my views on the steps that ought [illegible] to emancipate the country from its pre[illegible]ces. There appears throughout the [illegible] fixed opinion that we are suffering in [illegible] interests from social and political [illegible] these have produced that unparallel [illegible] distress which pervade every calling [illegible] industry in the community at the [illegible].

By our own supineness and creduli[illegible] incapacity and profligacy of our [illegible] from natural causes, we are now [illegible] rounded with difficulties that baffle the [illegible] politicians, and prospects that might [illegible] stoutest hearts. But we must not [illegible] all may look dark and discouraging [illegible] though the weak, the timid and [illegible] cowardlike skulk from their duty, [illegible] be untruthfully assailed by interested [illegible] party spirits, and though we bay [illegible] the workers of wickedness in high [illegible] true to ourselves we have nothing to [illegible] and the resources of Canada [illegible] efficient and commercial government [illegible] blessing of Providence and our own [illegible] all that is wanted to remove present [illegible] and give to the poorest and their [illegible] meat and bread.

Various courses have been suggested [illegible]tion by which we should meet the [illegible] and late extraordinary legislation of [illegible] and Colonial governments. First a [illegible] Eastern from Western Canada with [illegible] in the former line of division. Next union of the British American Province [illegible] political changes in the constitution of [illegible]ment. Third, that we should [illegible] our Independence. And lastly that [illegible] a separation from Great Britain with [illegible] becoming part of the United States.

Without examining these several exhibiting the adverse and favourable [illegible] each might produce, I am prepared [illegible] circumstances to declare myself in [illegible] second, viz., a Legislative inion of [illegible] Provinces, with large organic change [illegible] constitution of the Government.

The changes I hold to be necessary [illegible] good are, that the Sovereign [illegible] representative of the crown who is to[illegible] Government of the colony, that [illegible] Council should be elective, and that [illegible] in its proceedings should be [illegible] Imperial control, except on questions [illegible] political connection with Great Britain [illegible] are my views in the present crisis, [illegible] faithfully to advocate them. [illegible] assumed towards us by England, [illegible] we now have a full right to demand [illegible] defensive on the first law of nature [illegible]tion—anything short will not meet [illegible] exigencies; but these granted and [illegible] integrity of the Empire may be [illegible] shall have nothing more to ask.

Whilst I am fully alive to the [illegible] the confidence of those amongst [illegible] and serving my country, yet I could [illegible] abandon my judgment and act [illegible] convictions touching questions upon [illegible] thoughtfully formed my opinions, [illegible] distinction.

It is not necessary here to enter [illegible]rate exposition or defence of the [illegible] adopt; that will be the employment [illegible]. According to the wish expressed at our meeting, having stated in general terms what [illegible] the country requires and what it is our duty [illegible] sacrifices to obtain, I now place my servi[illegible] your command.

I have the honour to be,
Your faithful servant,


Quebec, 12th July, 1849.

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