Cape Breton's Magazine

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Page 33 - Regarding the 1895 Monument

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1984/6/1 (794 reads)
 

I suppose they will have to portray the one that first landed in the batterie Royale, and who is he? They will have to put the picture of an Indian who was given a bottle of brandy to go and see why it was that there was no cannonading from the French fort and who had the courage, under the in? fluence of his bottle of brandy, to go up to the fori:. He saw nobody there, and said, 'Hurrah, we have the fort.' I suppose he will have the fore? most place on the monument, because Louisbourg, be? ing defended by Swiss mostly, and those soldiers not being paid and their rations being very poor, offered no resistance in trying to defend the 'bat- terrie Royale' and went away allowing it to be ta? ken with all the ammunition and all the guns, and the one who took it was an Indian from Massachu? setts, not one of our Indians, who are temperance people. What next? Will Pepperell's chaplain be de? picted on one of the four faces of the monument • because there will be four faces • waving an axe in his hand and announcing that he is going to that French fortress to 'demolish the cross and other emblems of idolatry'? I suppose so, if these gen? tlemen wish to be historical. Will they also men? tion in the inscription on the monument that four hundred men who were sent out, after the taking of the fort, to destroy all the French settlements and houses in Cape Breton and Prince Edward Island, did most fully and most religiously perform their work amongst a peaceful population? I suppose that the episode will also be inscribed on the monument". And, since it is a commemoration of a great deed, will they also recall the fact that the taking of Louisbourg was accompanied by very few fatalities? However, after the fortress was taken, as is shown by the report of Governor Shirley himself, within a very short time, 890 colonial soldiers did die within the fortress of Louisbourg; but not from the effects of balls and bullets,' nor from cannons, but from other causes which history will tell, and which, for fear of scandalizing our temperance peo? ple, I will refrain from mentioning. I suppose those foreigners are going to commemorate all that; and they will have to do so if they wish to be true to history. It is not worth while to erect a monument to recall such feats, and if there is any way of preventing it, either by an expression of public opinion or the action of the imperial au? thorities or of this government and making those people, who seem to have no sense of international decency, understand that while there is nothing ex? ceedingly harmful in their actions, there is some? thing unseemly and uncalled for and would be ren? dering them a service indeed. We know the actual sentiment of some of those New England States to? wards England by the resolutions they have recent? ly passed anent (regarding) the Nicaragua troubles. I do not see why we should allow these very men to come here and erect a monument on our land, a- gainst the peace of British subjects and Canadian citizens. Therefore, on behalf of a large portion of the people of the maritime provinces I protest against the erection of a monument glorifying the action of the colonists in the taking of Louis? bourg in 1745, as unnecessary, uncalled for, high? ly improper and offensive." Hon. Sir MACKENZIE BOWELL: "In reply to the hon. gentleman, who has made a very interesting and his? torical speech, I can inform him that, so far as we know, the scheme for the erection of a monument in commemoration of the taking of Louisbourg in 1745, by the militia of the state of Massachusetts, originated with a historical society formed in Bos? ton and in the neighbouring localities, of which the Canadian Government had no knowledge, nor was its consent asked. The government has no know? ledge what inscription is to be placed on the monu? ment. The Department of Militia and Defence has no property at Louisbourg, nor has it any knowledge to whom the property upon which the proposed monu? ment is to be erected belongs." From The Debates of the Senate of Canada All quotes in "Regarding the 1895 Monument' are from A. J. B. Johnston's "Preserving History: The Commemoration of 18th Century Louisbourg, 1895--'940," in Acadiensis, Spring 1983 issue, pages 53-80. Acadiensis is the "Journal of the History of the At- lantic Region." While it is a scholarly magazine, real effort is made to keep it a publication readable beyond the academic community. It's worth seeking out copies at your local library to see how studies and reviews are presented. It is surpris? ingly accessible, and might prove a jour? nal to which you would like to subscribe. It's published twice a year (autumn and spring), and subscription rates are $12.00 a year for individuals, $18.00 for institu? tions, but $5.00 a year for students and pensioners. High school teachers should be aware of these rates. Acadiensis, Depart? ment of History, University of New Bruns? wick, Fredericton, N. B. E3B 5A3. Mr. Johnston provided us with the text of Sen. Poirier's speech, and several of the illustrations from the Fortress of Louis? bourg. Our thanks to Jocelyne Marchand, Sydney, who first told us about Pascal Poirier. The Pepperrell photo is from Downey's Louisbourg: Key to a Continent; it is in the Essex Institute, Salem, Mass. The 1758 "Song of the Taking of Louis? bourg" is from Canadian Geographical Jour? nal, 1935, as is the small photo of the 1895 monument. The Wolfe painting is also from Downey, painted by H. Smythe, in the Public Archives of Canada. Finally, the photo of the casement, one of the few bits of the fortress left intact in the 20th century, is from Vernon's Cape Breton, Can? ada (1903). line's %Ati MEAT FISH GROCERIES OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK 9-9 TO SERVE YOU BETTER ST. PETERS PH. 535-3363 VHS Tapes * Movie Rentals * VCR Rentals B&BVideo YOUR PANASONIC DEALER Chediac Plaza, Reeves St., Port Hawkesbury 625-3150 (33)
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