From a drawing by R. Short, 1759.


One of the most important of the Canadian Provinces. Earliest settlement made by Europeans, in 1541; first permanent settlement made by the French on the present site of the city of Quebec, 1608. Country occupied by the French until 1759, when, through the victory of Gen. Wolfe, it fell into the hands of the English.

Area, census of 1881, 188,688 square miles. Total amount of land occupied, 12,625,877 acres; improved, 6,410,264 acres, of which 4,147,984 were under crop, 2,207,422 in pasture, and 54,858 in gardens and orchards. Population, 1,359,027: male, 678,175; female, 680,852.

While the climate is similar to that of Ontario, it is colder in winter, and warmer in summer. At Montreal the winters are very severe, the temperature often ranging from zero to 10° and even 30° below it, and in summer it is frequently 90° in the shade.

Public affairs are administered by a Lieutenant Governor, assisted by an Executive Council, a Legislative Council of 24 members, and a Legislative Assembly of 65 members. The Province sends 24 members to the Dominion Senate. Quebec is the capital; population, 62,446. Montreal the commercial metropolis of the Province, and also of the Dominion; population, 140,747.

The surface of the country is varied, consisting of extensive forests, large rivers, lakes and prairies, and bold, rocky heights. The Province abounds in numerous minerals.

Agricultural products for 1881: wheat, 2,019,004 bushels; barley, 1,751,539 bushels; oats, 19,990,205 bushels; rye, 430,242 bushels; peas and beans, 4,170,456 bushels; buckwheat, 2,041,670 bushels; corn, 888,169 bushels; potatoes, 14,873,287 bushels; turnips, 1,572,476 bushels; hay, 1,612,104 tons; grass and clover seed, 119,306 bushels; tobacco, 2,356,581 pounds; hops, 218,542 pounds.

This Province produces three times as much maple sugar as all the others combined; total amount produced 1881, 15,687,835 pounds; amount of honey produced, 559,024 pounds; apples, 777,557 bushels; grapes, 158,031 pounds. Value of fur product, $163,310. Butter produced on farms, 1881, 30,630,397 pounds; cheese, 559,278 pounds; wool, 2,730,544 pounds; cloth and flannel, 2,958,180 yards; flax and hemp, 865,310 pounds; linen, 1,120,301 yards.

Farm animals in the Province, 1881: horses, 273,852; oxen, 49,237; milch cows and other cattle, 900,096; sheep, 889,833; swine, 329,199.

Public instruction is under a Superintendent of Education. School pop., 209,623. Number of elementary public schools, 4,404; pupils, 170,858; colleges, 44; academies, 246; special schools, 18; normal, 3; model, 333.

The forests are extensive, and the lumbering and shipbuilding interests are large. Timber product, 1881: pine, 5,495,183 cu. ft.; oak, 59,587 cu. ft.; tamarack, 2,707,745 cu. ft.; birch and maple, 2,784,395 cu. ft.; all other timber, 14,612,669 cu. ft. Number of logs produced, 13,582,407; masts and spars, 104,248.

There are in the Province 293 steam vessels; tonnage, 132,097: 757 sailing vessels; tonnage, 110,356. The fisheries furnish employment to 14,744 men; there are 146 vessels and 6,761 boats engaged in this industry. Products of the fisheries, 1881: cod, 462,388 quintals; herring, 130,354 barrels; mackerel, 10,725 barrels; sardines, 4,360 barrels; canned lobsters, 517,734 pounds; all other fish, 101,861 barrels; fish oil, 263,374 barrels.

The prevailing religion is Roman Catholic. The number adhering to that faith is 1,170,718, or about seven-eighths of the entire population. Number of churches in the Province, 1,280, of which 712 are Roman Catholic. Number of hospitals, 29; orphanages, 11. There are 1,911 miles of railway.

Map of Quebec

THE figure of the founder of Quebec rises in history, strong and effective, above an ever-changing environment of turmoil and unrest and strife, as to-day his great statue stands in motionless dignity above the shifting crowds of pleasure-seekers and tourists who flit about “the Terrace” at Quebec.

Take him when you will; tossing in a cockleshell on the mountainous rollers of the Atlantic; testing the soil of some newly discovered region with his grain and garden-seeds; taking careful inventory of the products of woods and earth and waters; training his refractory red allies to some method in their military madness; fighting the loathsome death-dealing scurvy; surrounded by disheartened or treacherous followers; even cheated and befooled by a frivolous notoriety-hunter—Samuel de Champlain shows himself ever calm, cheerful, heroic—a man of rare sincerity and singleness of purpose.

Not much is known of the ancestry of this truly noble Frenchman, beyond the names of his father and mother—Antoine Champlain and Marguerite Le Roy. Yet we can guess that from his paternal ancestry at least he inherited a good portion of courage and simplicity, for Antoine and his brother, the more notable “Provençal Captain,” belonged to the race of sea-faring men, who always and everywhere seem to be plain, bold, simple folk. The circumstances of his early life, moreover, tended to form the character of the future founder of New France on firm, strong lines.

Chateau Frontenac and Dufferin Terrace.

Samuel de Champlain was born in 1570, or possibly a year or two earlier, at Brouage, then a busy little seaport on the Bay of Biscay—now a mouldering hamlet, nearly two miles inland, for the ocean has retreated, and the business of the place has ebbed away with the receding tides. A monument, neither very ancient nor very imposing, has been erected near the little church, to keep green in his birth-place the memory of the founder of Quebec; but, according to the account of a recent visitor, the tumble-down cottages, sleepy street, and crumbling old walls can give no idea of what Brouage was in its palmy days. “The best seaport in France,” wrote one enthusiast, about the time Champlain was born. “Here you hear every known language spoken!” said another, thirty years later; and the lad drank in from the talk of these sailors of many tongues and nations that love of “navigation,” which, he says, “has powerfully attracted me ever since my boyhood, and has led me on to expose myself almost all my life to the impetuous buffetings of the sea.”

A "Bateau".

Old Breakneck Steps.

In spite of this love of things nautical, in spite of the example of the sea-captains who frequented his home, Samuel de Champlain was to gain experience of the ways both of camps and courts before he took up his real life-work as explorer and colonist. He was born in a time of conflict. In his youth Spain and England were at death-grips for the dominion of the seas; and his own country was torn by religious wars. During his boyhood, indeed, his own little town was twice taken in the struggle between Huguenots and Catholics; and, when he reached manhood, Champlain (though a Catholic) enlisted under the banner of the (then) Protestant king, Henry of Navarre. It is probable that he fought in the battles of Arques and Ivry; it is certain, at any rate, that he served his king well, and won the favor of his superiors, perhaps even of the monarch himself.

From an old drawing.

Statue of Champlain.

Island of St. Croix.

After the young man had led a soldier's life for some nine years, the war ended with the triumph of Henry, and Champlain turned once more to the sea. But he did not follow in his father's footsteps and take command of a fishing-boat or a coasting vessel. The “Provençal Captain” had been engaged to act as pilot-general for the transports bearing home some Spanish troops from France, and his nephew went with him to Cadiz, thus, for the first time, visiting a foreign city. Things so fell out, however, that he saw many other strange places before returning to his native land. The “St. Julian,” on which he had embarked, being “a strong vessel and a good sailer,” of no less than five hundred tons' burden, was chosen to make one of a flotilla destined for the West Indies, but the “Provençal Captain” was engaged with other matters, and Samuel de Champlain was therefore invited to take command of the ship.


Thus it happened that in January, 1599, Champlain set forth into that wonderful New World, of which he had heard so much, upon which he was to set so deep a mark. On this first voyage, however, he did not reach the scene of his labors in the forest-covered north. He sailed amongst the West Indian Islands; he visited Mexico; he made friends with savage chiefs; he wrote vivid descriptions of people, places and customs; he drew pictures of beasts, birds and reptiles in a fashion which (witness his “two-legged chameleon”) must have been the wonder and despair of many a succeeding naturalist.




Returning home at length with this richly illustrated journal in his hand, Champlain went to court, became a pensioner of the king, and probably “a lion” in the brilliant society of the French capital. The life was not to his taste, but from the court a way opened for his return to his beloved wildernesses. An old general of his, De Chastes, dreaming of the founding of a New France in North America, turned to the enthusiastic explorer to translate dreams into facts; and early in 1603 Champlain was sent with Pont Gravé, a rugged old sea-captain of Jacques Cartier's home-port, St. Malo, to take up again Cartier's task and explore the St. Lawrence. The pair went as far as Hochelaga, or “Mont Royale,” and tried in vain to force a way up the rapids. Champlain then sailed for home full of enthusiasm for the planting of a colony on the great river. But—“l'homme propose et Dieu dispose.” Aymar de Chastes was dead, and though the enterprise soon found a new patron in the Sieur de Monts, that nobleman desired to make the experimental settlement, not on the “Great River of Hochelaga,” but on the Acadian coast.

Canoe Running Rapids.

Jacques Cartier.

Champlain and his comrades loyally did their utmost to make a success of each of the unfortunate Acadian settlements in turn, but the leaders' lack of experience and the intrigues of their enemies in France brought the colony to ruin. In this hard school, however, Champlain was learning invaluable lessons in the art of colonization. At times, perhaps, he thought his added wisdom dearly bought by the miseries of desolate St. Croix, but surely his memory of Port Royal must have been shot through with many a bright thread; and often, in after years, his eyes must have danced with laughter when he recalled the oddities of the sagamore, Membertou, the gay whimsicalities of some of his associate gentlemen-pioneers, and the joyous feasts and good fellowship of his own famous “Ordre de Bon Temps.”

The St. Lawrence—From Montmorency.

GLANCING back over the pages of this brief sketch, it might seem that the memories connected with Quebec were all of war. The names of many soldier-heroes glorify the story of this City of Five Sieges, and even to-day the ancient stronghold makes a brave show, like a mediæval warrior, of being armed cap-à-pie.

The first glimpse of Quebec, whether from the River, Point Lévis, or Beauport, shows grey bastions and battlements above all other buildings, and it will be strange if further knowledge of the place does not remind you more and more of the warlike times gone by. The very notices in the shop-windows—bilingual and giving to the beginner in the Gallic tongue of our compatriots a pleasing sense of walking in the pages of a dictionary—are a reminder of the long struggle between French and English for the domination of this continent. The driver of your calèche (if you elect to make your first tour of the city in that quaint modern imitation of a quainter prototype) will take care that you miss nothing of the military flavor of the place.

St. Louis Gate.

Kent Gate.

He will tell you the story of “Notre Dame des Victoires”; call upon you to admire “the Golden Dog,” that strange memento of a bitter private quarrel; take you to handsome Parliament Buildings, where, in niches in the façade, you will behold statues of the warriors Frontenac, Wolfe, Montcalm, De Lévis and De Salaberry, besides one of that notable Governor-General, the Earl of Elgin, who risked his popularity by giving his assent to a measure for compensating the sufferers by the Rebellion of 1837.

Dalhousie Gate Citadel.


Close by the Parliament House is the great Drill Hall, for the use of the present-day citizen-soldiers of Quebec; and turning back, through the modern St. Louis Gate, which has replaced the portal through which the wounded Montcalm was swept by a rush of fugitives into the city to die, one comes to the site of the surgeon's office where he breathed his last. Not far away there stood till 1889 another humble dwelling, where Montgomery's corpse was prepared for burial. On the same street still stands the old Kent House—now a fascinating curiosity shop—once, towards the close of the eighteenth century, the town-residence of Queen Victoria's father, then colonel of a regiment of Fusiliers stationed at Quebec. Some miles distant there is, by the way, another Kent House, where the Duke used to spend his summers on the heights from which the Montmorency takes its impetuous leap of two hundred and fifty feet to join the St. Lawrence. Quebec has also its Kent Gate, a modern structure, to commemorate the same prince, who, if he lacked opportunity to shine as a great military genius, at least succeeded in winning for himself a reputation as the strictest of disciplinarians.


But the military suggestions of Quebec are not confined to historic associations. You have them in concrete form, from the picturesque Citadel—which, however, was not built till long after the latest siege—to the little groups of cannon-balls, piled up in odd corners like a young giant's marbles. At any turn you may meet a red-coated soldier or a blue-jacket from some visiting iron-clad; you may chance on a long row of obsolete guns, or on an ancient mortar, now powerless for mischief, with a great gag of iron in its throat; and here, there and everywhere you will find tablets or monuments marking the spots once deeply stained with the heart's blood of the brave.

Yet, after all, this is but one aspect of Quebec, and not the brightest. To some persons the fair old town speaks more insistently of peace than of war; for so quaint is it, so old-world, that it seems, despite all evidence to the contrary, that here life must have run on undisturbed for centuries. To one brought up in another community, the unfamiliar figures of quaintly-garbed nuns, long-robed priests, and brothers in russet gowns, suggest the long-ago. The very markets, with all their bustle and hurry of eager life, seem survivals of the past.

From an old drawing.

Oxen at Beaupré.

Falls of
St. Anne.

A charm and a glamor hangs over the generally commonplace business of buying and selling, getting gain and making provision for the humble needs of the day. The whole thing seems like a picture-book. The groups of voluble, good-humored habitant women; the queer little carts like ladders mounted on wheels; the small pink pigs, squealing their hardest as they are transferred from the crates of the vendors to the sacks of the purchasers; the background of tall, irregular buildings climbing the great cliff—these lend to the scene a color and character all its own.

Wandering from stall to stall, heaped with vegetables, home-grown tobacco, dark slabs of maple sugar, home-woven towelling curtains or carpets, firmly knit socks, elaborately plaited mats, you begin to wonder at the patience and industry of this vivacious people, and you will wonder at these qualities still more if you see the habitant at home.

A Shrine in a garden.

Go down, for instance, to Beaupré or St. Joachim, those parishes which Wolfe once so mercilessly harried. It is a fair and fruitful land, well-watered by the “full-fed river,” and over it now seems to brood the gentle angel of peace. Amongst the low curved roofs of the villages rise the towers of great churches, like that at Beauport and the miraculous St. Anne, whither every year come pilgrims in thousands seeking health or peace of mind. Behind these villages, if you step but a little aside from the splendid waterway of the St. Lawrence, you may lose yourself on sparsely-tracked, forest-covered hills, cleft with gullies, down which foam torrents, choked at times with thousands of grinding logs. But, after all, it is only a hermit who would long bury himself amongst these hills.

French Canadians.

The winding roads below lead past barns with thatched roofs, log cow-houses with overhanging upper-storeys, cottages with projecting “galleries” and windows shaded with wall-paper, rugged stone houses with huge chimneys, “bake-ovens” under rude shelters of planks, drinking-troughs, wayside crosses, and flowery gardens, containing little shrines, within which glimmer tiny white images of the Virgin and her Son.

Wheel for spinning Wool.

Shuttle and Linen Yarn.

Along these roads comes the oddest assortment of vehicles ever seen, I should think, in one district of the Dominion. The habitant carries home his hay in a two-wheeled cart, fitted with a rack and drawn by a rough pony or a yoke of deliberate oxen; and he rides to church or market in a springless conveyance, which is a kind of grotesque compromise between a “top-buggy” and a “buckboard.” When coming from work, however, he contents himself with a humbler vehicle, rattling down the stony slopes at a surprising pace in a little cart drawn by a lean, rough-coated, stout-limbed dog.

A little farther along the same road you may see a stray automobile, while on the other side of the fence run the electric cars of the Quebec Railway Light & Power Company, or occasionally, on the same line, a train of “steam-cars.”

Weaver's Bench.

All the country near Quebec is well supplied now with railroads, and the townsfolk are learning to follow the modern fashion of living in country cottages during the summer months. Quebec merchants leave the city by the evening trains to spend their leisure hours with their families at Charlesbourg, Lorette, Montmorency, or some equally interesting but till lately inaccessible place. Others take the small modern steamboats which ply up and down the shores of the St. Lawrence, or to and from the beautiful Island of Orleans, and which have to make their way carefully past great rafts of lumber, fleet “ocean greyhounds,” or quaint barges of the same pattern as those used by Wolfe in his attack upon Quebec. These newcomers into the country bring new fashions, which in course of time will have their effect upon the habitants; but their influence is as yet scarcely perceptible.

Bobbins used in weaving.

Women in broad-brimmed straw hats are still seen in the hay-fields at work beside the men, yet they find time for much labor at loom and spinning-wheel, besides keeping well scrubbed and scoured the old floors and simple furniture, which have rendered good service to their mothers and grandmothers before them.

Ask the age of some cottage heirloom—some gaunt old clock or cumbrous chair—and its owner with a smile and a shrug will assure you, vaguely, “It's ancient, very ancient.”

You do not doubt the assertion; you only wonder how this corner of the restless New World came to have such persistent, all-pervading regard for the past. So many things are “very ancient” in Quebec; yet it is full of its own characteristic life, this once-French city, which has been British for half its three hundred years of history.

Gate at Laval.--Soldiers' Monument.--Martello Tower.

AFTER Champlain the story of Quebec takes a more sombre hue. Its pages tell of long-continued warfare with the savages; of a fierce though intermittent struggle with the “heretic” English, the papist-hating “Bostonnais.” The tale has no lack of heroes and of heroines, courageous, saintly, inspired by visions of the invisible, or driven to the supreme heights of self-sacrifice by the most awful sights ever shown to mortal eyes.

Ursuline Nun.

To this period belong the valiant Governor, Montmagny; brave Maisonneuve, founder of Montreal; gentle Jeanne Mance; the ecstatic Mother Marie de l'Incarnation; the Jesuit devotees, Jogues, Bréboeuf, and Lalemant; those other martyrs, Dollard and his sixteen defenders of the Long Sault; daring, ruthless D'Iberville; luckless, dauntless La Salle; and a host of others who in that dark period bravely played their parts on the blood-stained stage. But above them all, by force of circumstances and force of character, towers the stern military figure of Louis de Buade, Count de Frontenac.

Prescott Gate.

Arrogant, imperious, fearless, defiant of danger, from his “Chateau” on the height he lorded it over the straggling settlements along the river that then made up New France. He imposed his will on restless traders, on his savage “children” of the forest, and he made a brave fight to impose it also on the spiritual leaders of New France, and on the Intendant, sent out specially to check and thwart him. His very faults served New France well in that time of agony, when the savages were ever at her throat, sucking away her life-blood and mangling her all but to dissolution.



In contrast to timorous La Barre and vacillating Denonville, there is something fascinating about the stalwart Frontenac, who was as surely the saviour of New France as the nobler, gentler Champlain was its founder and father. A soldier and a courtier, Frontenac had left his youth far behind him, when, in 1672, he landed for the first time at Quebec; but he could adapt himself to circumstances, at least to any circumstances in which his imperious will could have free play. He was quickly at home in the little town on the St. Lawrence, “the future capital,” as he saw it, “of a great empire.” He was at home also in the camps and councils of the redmen, stooping, as a smaller man would not have dared to do, to the level of forest manners and forest eloquence.


During ten unquiet years he learned better and better how to deal with the savages, and was then called back to France, just as the Iroquois were preparing to make a fresh attack on Canada. The Iroquois had no lack of prey, for by this time pioneers and traders had scattered themselves far and wide through the wilderness. They did not, however, fall unresisting.

The dangers of the time had bred stern, relentless men, and women and children, too, ready, like the little heroine of Verchères, to fight to the death for home and dear ones. Each village had its loop-holed blockhouse or strong stone mill, but the log-cabins frequently stood far from these places of refuge, and the Iroquois dealt in night-attacks and sudden surprises. Whilst Denonville was governor there was a veritable reign of terror in New France, culminating, in August, 1689, in the frightful massacre of Lachine.

Old Wooden Bridge.

Frontenac, already on his way back to Quebec, was not the man to let the outrage pass unavenged. Unable to deal a telling blow at the shifting Iroquois, he struck savagely at the white foe, whom he suspected of encouraging the red braves in their barbarous warfare. From Quebec, Three Rivers and Montreal, he sent out parties of bush-rangers and “Christian Indians” to carry fire and sword through the border settlements of New England. In the depth of winter the cruel task was duly accomplished, and loud were the plaudits of the savage allies of the French, whose friendship had wavered in the hour of their discomfiture. Speedily hundreds of canoes, deep-laden with furs, came down to Montreal, but the English colonists, thirsting for revenge, seized Port Royal, in Acadia, and then sent an expedition to attack Quebec.

At its head was Sir William Phips, a bold, rough seaman, who had won knighthood by the recovery of the cargo of a long-sunk Spanish treasure-ship; but he soon proved himself no match for the old lion Frontenac.



The great French war-chief was at Montreal, feasting his Indian admirers on dog's flesh and prunes, and leading them in the war-dance, when news reached him that Phips was in the river. Hastening down-stream in a birch-bark canoe, he reached his little capital long before the foe appeared. As he landed and strode up Mountain Hill, the people cheered him madly. Their delight was scarcely less when the Bishop, who had been visiting some outlying parishes, entered the city one night by torchlight. Whilst Frontenac looked to his defences, gathered fighting men into the fortress, and called out the “habitants” of Beauport and Beaupré to defend the shores, the Bishop urged his followers to do their part, and day and night prayers went up to all the saints in heaven to keep watch and ward over Quebec.

Chateau St. Louis.

At last, early on an October morning, the English fleet sailed into the Basin, and Phips sent a messenger to demand the surrender of the city. But his envoy was treated with scant courtesy. Dragged blindfold over obstructions and up the steep streets, while jeering women mocked him with cries of “Colin Maillard!” he was guided at last into a spacious hall of the Chateau St. Louis. Here were assembled Frontenac and his officers in all the glory of plumes and ribbons, gold lace and powdered curls; and when the bandage was snatched from his eyes the Englishman might well have been dazzled by their glittering finery. But he confronted the stern old Governor calmly, and, laying his watch on the table, demanded an answer to Phips' summons within an hour.

From La Potherie's HISTOIRE.

Frontenac was enraged by the effrontery of the demand. “I will answer your general only by the mouths of my cannon,” he replied, and the messenger, blindfolded again, was led off to make sport once more, on his roundabout way to his boat, for the shrill-voiced, laughing French women.

That same night there was another burst of merry-making in the city. The sound of drums, trumpets and joyous huzzas was loud enough to reach the ears of the English on the river. “You have lost the game,” declared a prisoner, with malicious delight. “It is the Governor of Montreal with the people from the country above. There is nothing for you now but to pack up and go home.” But Phips was not yet ready to take this advice.

Ruins of Notre Dame des Victoires.
From a drawing by R. Short 1759.

Landing a portion of his force at Beauport, he moved his ships into position to bombard the town. Then Frontenac from the rock sent him his promised answer, and for hours the cannon roared and the smoke and din were horrible. Phips ploughed up the gardens of the Ursulines, shot away a corner of a nun's apron, and wasted his ammunition against the rock, but made no impression whatever on the strong stone walls of Quebec. His enemies, laughing to scorn his futile efforts, riddled his vessels with their balls and shot away from his masthead the proud banner of St. George, which was brought ashore in triumph in a birch-bark canoe. At last Phips drew off from the contest, and patching up his sorely misused ships as best he could, dropped down the river. He was still pursued by ill-luck and misfortune. The annual supply ships for New France escaped him by hiding in the fogs that overhung the mouth of the grim Saguenay, while fever and smallpox, hurricane and shipwreck seemed to mark out his own fleet as under the wrath of heaven.

Father Jogues.


But in Quebec all was joy and thanksgiving. The captured flag was carried in triumph to the Cathedral. “The Bishop sang a Te Deum, and amid the firing of cannon the image of the Virgin was carried to each church and chapel in the place by a procession in which priests, people and troops all took part.” At night there was a great bonfire in honor of the redoubtable old Governor, but the defeat of the English was generally regarded as miraculous, and it was therefore ordained that the fête of “Notre Dame de la Victoires” should be celebrated annually in the little church of the Lower Town.

Some twenty years later, in the summer of 1711, the people of Quebec again had cause to rejoice in a great deliverance. A mighty English armament, out-numbering by more than three times those who could be gathered to defend the city, was in the St. Lawrence, when a great storm arose, dashing to pieces eight or ten vessels on the rocks of the Egg Islands and drowning nine hundred men. Upon this the incompetent leaders of the expedition, Hill and Walker, turned homeward in dismay. Again Te Deums resounded in Quebec, and in memory of this second notable deliverance the little church was called “Notre Dame des Victoires.”

Nearly half a century later, the building was sorely damaged by the English guns, but its upper portions were afterwards rebuilt “on the old walls,” and to-day in its quiet little nook, just aside from the bustle of Champlain Market, it still stands a quaint memorial of those ancient victories and of a world now passed away.

Old Church St. Anne de Beaupré.

IN November, 1775, when the British flag had waved for sixteen years over Quebec, there marched into the village of Point Lévis a little army of gaunt half-starved, wayworn men, who for forty days had been pushing their way through the hungry wilderness from the settlements of Maine. On this terrible march the weaklings of their force had fallen or turned back, and those who reached the St. Lawrence (but two-thirds of the original eleven hundred) had proved their fitness for hard service by grim, dogged endurance to the very point of death.

At their head was a strong, dark-skinned, black-browed man, full of daring and energy—Benedict Arnold—ex-druggist, horse-trader, smuggler, future traitor, but at that moment, and for several years to come, one of the ablest and most inspiring officers in the recently formed army of the United Colonies.

Champlain Street.

Cow Shed.

He and his few hundred bush-rangers and Indian-fighters had come on a mighty errand. Without stores, artillery, or ships, Arnold proposed to do again Wolfe's work and conquer Quebec.

Fort Chambly.

True, times had changed since Wolfe's day. That general's friend and subordinate, Sir Guy Carleton, who proved himself great alike in war and peace, was now in command. But, when Arnold reached the St. Lawrence, Carleton was absent in Montreal, whence came rumors of his discomfiture and capture, and there was but a feeble garrison of eighteen hundred men to defend the city. There was now no army encamped outside the walls to dispute the landing of the foe; the inhabitants of the country around were indifferent, if not hostile, to the English, and Colonel MacLean, Carleton's second-in-command, found the situation disheartening.

St. John's Gate Erected 1865.


for washing clothes.

Arnold, trusting much to the friendship of the French, had proposed to take the city by surprise; but the St. Lawrence flowed deep and wide between him and his intended prey, and on the first rumor of his approach the English had taken the precaution of removing every possible means of transport out of the invaders' reach. Not a bateau, not a canoe was to be had, and the eager Arnold had to send twenty miles inland for canoes before he could get within striking distance of Quebec.

Dog cart.

At last, on the evening of November 13th, he embarked five hundred of his men, leaving a hundred and fifty at Point Lévis, and stole in the darkness across the river to Wolfe's Cove. Unopposed, he climbed the heights, and before daybreak drew up his little army on the Plains of Abraham; then, with characteristic audacity, he marched almost up to the St. Louis Gate, and, with loud cheers, challenged the enemy to sally forth. They refused to give him battle, however, and scorned his summons to surrender, so he retreated some twenty miles up the river to Point aux Trembles, there to await the arrival of reinforcements under General Montgomery—an Irishman of good family who had held a commission in the British army before taking up arms for the seceding Colonies. Entering Canada by way of Lake Champlain, he had captured the Forts of St. John's and Chambly, and had received the submission of Montreal. Thus the whole country save Quebec was at his feet.

Bake oven at Beaupré.

Ancient combination
Chair and Table.

Moss Rose.

But General Carleton had not submitted, and while Quebec held out for England he did not despair of saving the country. On the approach of the enemy he had left Montreal, which he judged indefensible, and had hastened down the river in a birch-bark canoe. He had slipped past some American vessels under cover of darkness; and Arnold, before he left the neighborhood of Quebec, had the mortification of hearing the great guns of the citadel thundering a welcome to the resolute Governor. Carleton's arrival put new heart into the garrison, and he began instantly to take measures for a vigorous defence.

House at Beaupré.

It was early in December when Montgomery reached Point aux Trembles with clothing, stores and a few hundred ill-disciplined troops, most of whom were counting the days till the term of their enlistment ended with the close of the year.

Joined by a few Canadians, the little American army now returned to invest Quebec. Again the garrison was summoned to surrender. Again the demand was treated with contempt. In fact Carleton refused to “hold any parley with rebels”; but the American leaders hoped soon to humble his pride. Throwing up batteries of ice and snow, they began to bombard the walls; but their guns were too light to make any impression on the masonry, and the besieged kept vigilant guard against surprise. On moonless nights they lighted the great ditch surrounding their ramparts by lanterns hung on poles from the bastions, and thus not even a dog could approach unobserved.

Benedict Arnold.

Discouraged by ill-success and weakened by smallpox, the American army appeared to be in danger of melting away, but the two leaders resolved to try to capture Quebec by one bold stroke before more of the discontented troops left them.

Their plan was a complicated one. Montgomery was to advance along a narrow road skirting the base of Cape Diamond, while Arnold, from the suburb of St. Roch, already in possession of the Americans, was to enter the Lower Town from the opposite side, meet Montgomery's division at the foot of Mountain Street, and join in an attempt to force the barrier (where later was erected the Prescott Gate) which guarded the approach to the Upper Town. Meanwhile, to distract the attention of the besieged, a feint was to be made against St. John's Gate.

General Montgomery.

The time fixed for the attempt was the early hours of the thirty-first day of December. The weather was wild and blustering, promising that the planned surprise would be complete, and two hours after midnight Montgomery marched his troops down to Wolfe's Cove, and thence along the narrow drifted path below the cliff, now known as Champlain Street.

From a drawing by R. Short, 1759.

Sous le Cap.

That they might know each other in the darkness, his soldiers wore in their caps slips of white paper, on which they had written as a watchword, “Liberty or death!” Through the blinding snow they pressed on till they reached a barrier of palisades below the precipitous rock now crowned by the Citadel. Forcing this, they rushed forward, with their intrepid leader at their head, to capture a battery directly in their path. They had almost reached it, when the guns suddenly blazed forth a deadly storm of grapeshot. Montgomery fell dead, with several of his followers, and the rest broke and fled precipitately along the narrow path swept by the cannon, leaving behind them their dead and dying in the snow.

Palace Gate.

Arnold, meanwhile, at the head of his column, was pressing towards the rendezvous, though when he passed Palace Gate he knew that the attack would be no surprise, for bells were ringing and drums beating the call to arms. In single file, with bent heads, and guns covered with their coats, the Americans dashed forward, stormed the first barrier at the corner of Sault-au-Matelot Street, and captured its defenders. But Arnold was severely wounded in the leg by a musket-ball, and had to drag himself back to the General Hospital, whilst his men made a gallant attempt to seize the second barrier also.

Mountain Hill.

House to which
Montgomery's Body was taken.

In this they failed. Many lost their lives or their liberty, and the remainder fled. Later in the day the British sallied out and set fire to the suburb of St. Roch, which had so long given shelter to the rebels. Amongst the buildings consumed was the Intendant's Palace, where Bigot, not many years earlier, had dazzled with his shameless luxury the wretched people he was defrauding.

Again there was rejoicing in old Quebec; but Arnold, beaten, wounded, short of supplies as he was, kept up the blockade of the city till spring. Then Carleton received reinforcements from England, and sallying out of his fortifications swept the foe before him up the St. Lawrence. Thus Quebec was saved to the Empire, and with it was saved the possibility of the second British “Dominion” in North America.

A sliding Gate.


Since that time—though the old city has often rung with the stir of warlike preparations—though her steep streets have echoed to the tread of regiments coming and going—though the Basin has given anchorage to privateers and their prizes—though the wharves have witnessed the struggles of many a luckless fisherlad or townsman in the clutches of the press-gang—no hostile army has ever threatened the safety of the “Queen of the North.” Even during the fierce strife of the War of 1812, thanks to the valor of the descendants of those who at the side of Montcalm so long withstood Wolfe and his disciplined veterans, the invading army came no nearer to Quebec than the field of Chateauguay, where the valiant De Salaberry and his Voltigeurs earned the undying gratitude of all lovers of their country.

General Hospital.

NEARLY five years had passed since Champlain's former visit to the St. Lawrence, when, on the third day of July, 1608, he again landed beneath the Rock of Quebec. He was now in the prime of life: strong, resourceful, energetic; and this was the great moment in his history, to which all his previous experiences had been a lead up to, from which his future life would date itself.

He had come simply, unostentatiously (half-unconscious of the significance of what he was doing, yet full of a steadfast purpose which lent dignity to the trivial details and humble beginnings of that day) to lay the foundation of Quebec, of New France, of the Dominion of Canada! He was inspired by patriotism, loyalty, devotion to the Cross, and an eager thirst for knowledge; and in his heart there was no room for that cursed love of gain which has sullied the glory of so many daring explorers of this western continent.


This time Champlain had come to Quebec to stay, and though his first “habitation” has long vanished from sight, the city then begun has had the quality of permanence. The Rock seemed a fortress ready made; but Champlain set up his log dwellings and store-houses nearly on the spot which is now the Market-place of the Lower Town. The ground covered to-day with tortuous streets of quaint-roofed houses was then thick with “nut-trees,” and the little company of thirty men (there were others left trading at Tadousac) had much ado to clear the soil. Some wearied of their toil, and planned to end it by the treacherous murder of their leader; but the plot was betrayed, and Champlain and his little colony were saved from the destruction threatening both alike.


That busy summer ended, Pont Gravé sailed away, leaving Champlain and twenty-eight men to make good during the winter their bold invasion of the wilderness. They stood on the defensive; but the neighboring Indians proved friendly, and no human enemy came near their “habitation.” Yet the foundations of New France (as it seems of every colony) were laid in woe and anguish. The winter had hardly begun in earnest when the horrible scurvy appeared amongst them, and before spring twenty of the company lay cold and silent beneath the snow. Of the remaining eight, four had been at death's door, but Champlain himself was still full of health and life and courage.

Once, when on an excursion up the St. Charles, he had chanced upon a tumble-down stone chimney, a few rusted cannon-balls, and some other relics which convinced him that he stood upon the spot where Jacques Cartier had wintered seventy-three years before. A less resolute man might have found the discovery disheartening; but Champlain had no thought of retreat.

Champlain Market.

Iroquois Long House.

Often during that melancholy winter he questioned the Algonquins, who had camped beside the little fort, as to what lay in the unknown regions beyond; and, listening to their talk of rivers, lakes and boundless forests, he grew more and more eager to plunge into the wilderness. But always the Indians added tragic stories of a foe infesting the woodland paths and lying ambushed beside the streams; and so Champlain, moved partly perhaps by chivalrous pity for their terror, and trusting in the superior military skill and excellent weapons of his own people, promised to take the field during the coming spring against the ubiquitous and blood-thirsty Iroquois.

Wayside Cross.

Some writers regard this promise as the grand mistake of Champlain's policy. Possibly, however, the struggle was inevitable. At any rate, the first anniversary of the founding of Quebec had hardly passed, when was inaugurated the fearful blood-feud between the French and the Iroquois that for the greater part of a century brought out the best and the worst of New France—courage, steadfastness, unselfish heroism on the one hand, and, on the other, dare-devil recklessness and pitiless brutality.

Blamable or unblamable, Champlain and two of his followers, clad in “helmet, breastplate, and greaves,” and carrying ponderous arquebuses, joined a host of painted warriors, and caused for once a horrible panic in the ranks of the Iroquois. What brave could stand against an adversary who had the thunder and lightning at his command? But the Iroquois were no cowards. Their panic passed with the novelty of the French mode of fighting; but their thirst for vengeance long outlived him who had awakened it, and again and again it threatened the very existence of New France.

On the shore of the
St. Lawrence.

Clearly, however, it was not the fault of Champlain that the colony remained so perilously feeble. He was as truly the servant as the governor of his settlement, and for nearly thirty years his voyages and journeys and battles, his struggles with mercenary traders and heedless officials, had little intermission. He was, moreover, a homeless man; for, though he married in 1610, his wife was a child of twelve, and he did not bring her out to his ruinous “habitation” for ten long years.

Old furniture.

Immediately after his return with her, he began to build on the edge of the cliff, where now stands the Chateau Frontenac, a fort which, altered or rebuilt by his successors, was afterwards known as the Chateau St. Louis. Beneath the planks of Dufferin Terrace its cellars still remain. The main building was destroyed by fire in 1834; but a wing added by General Haldimand in 1784 was only demolished in 1891 to make way for the luxurious Chateau Frontenac hotel. This often shelters ten times the number of people which made up the population of New France when Champlain began the building of his “chateau.”

From an old drawing.

St. Anne de Beaupré and Cap Tourmente.

At that date six white children represented young Canada, and Madame de Champlain had scarcely any companions of her own sex save her three serving-women. She had no lack of occupation, however, for she devoted much of her time to teaching the Indians.


In this charitable pursuit she enjoyed the entire approbation of her soldier-husband, who was reported to have said that “the salvation of a single soul was worth more than the conquest of an empire, and that kings should extend their domains in heathen countries only to subject them to Christ.” In 1615 he had brought from France several Recollet missionaries, who, in their efforts to win the Indian tribes for Christ and for the Church, showed a sublime contempt for discomfort, hardship and danger. They were followed, ten years later, by a little party of Jesuits, eager for martyrdom; but while Champlain lived they did not attain that painful eminence of devotion.


It seemed, however, that, as the shadows of eventide deepened about the gallant old Governor of Quebec, his task grew ever harder. The twentieth year of his settlement was just completed when a crushing blow fell. War broke out between France and England, and a hostile fleet bore down upon neglected Quebec, capturing on the way a fleet from France, and destroying the stock and buildings of a little farm at Cap Tourmente from which Champlain had hoped great things. For weeks before this the little garrison had been on short rations, but Champlain from his rock flung defiance at the invaders, and the English admiral retreated, leaving his proud opponent to the mercy of a grimmer foe. The Frenchmen fought off starvation during the long winter by digging up roots and casting themselves on the charity of the Indians, but when Kirke returned with the warm weather, even Champlain was fain to surrender.


In that hour his life must have seemed a very tragedy of failure—himself a prisoner, Quebec in the hands of the enemy, his life-work crumbling to ruins! But in Champlain's vocabulary there was no such word as despair. Immediately he set himself to obtain the restoration of Quebec, and his enthusiasm prevailed over all obstacles. By the Treaty of St. Germain-en-Laye Quebec was given back to France, and in 1633, after nearly four years' absence, Champlain returned to his adopted country.


He received a joyous welcome from the few French families who had remained in the colony. The Indians, who came down the river by hundreds in their canoes, gave him a still more enthusiastic greeting. Never before had there been at Quebec such feasting, such speech-making, such a smoking of peace-pipes; and Champlain, knowing that the very life of the colony was bound up with the fur-trade, cherished high hopes for the prosperity of Quebec.

What matter that the original settlement below the cliff lay in ruins? The Governor immediately set about its rebuilding, and on the Rock he erected the first parish church of Quebec, “Notre Dame de Recouvrance.” Authorities differ as to whether it stood on the site of the Basilica, or on that of the English Cathedral, for on a windy day in June, 1640, it was burnt to the ground, with all it contained. Before that catastrophe occurred the heroic founder of Quebec had gone to his rest.


During his last busy years Champlain found much time for devotional exercises, and already in his life-time Quebec had taken on that markedly religious character which it bears to-day. Then, as now, black-gowned priests pervaded the streets, and the clear sound of the church-bells broke in at oft-recurring intervals on the harsher clangor of secular life. “Fort St. Louis,” wrote the Governor's Jesuit confessor, “seemed like a well-managed school; in the morning at table M. de Champlain heard read aloud some good history, and at night the lives of the saints; in the evening there was private meditation, and then prayers were said kneeling.”

Indian Canoe.


Yet to the end Champlain bore the temporal welfare of his colony upon his heart. In the last of his letters, he gave to Cardinal Richelieu a glowing account of the possibilities of Canada, and begged for one hundred and twenty men to subdue the Iroquois, “Then worship and trade would increase beyond belief.”

Two months later the Father of New France was stricken with paralysis, and on Christmas Day, 1635, he died. Amidst the mourning of his people, he was buried in a “sepulchre particulier,” and the “Chapelle de Champlain” was built over his tomb. It stood, it is believed, close beside “Fort St. Louis,” and was therefore very near the site of the monument erected a few years ago to commemorate the name and deeds of the brave, simple-hearted founder of Quebec.


PHIPS' siege of Quebec, with its awkward ship's carpenter turned admiral, its Indian-mimicking French Governor, its noisy, ineffective bombardment, has more than a touch of comedy; but the drama in which Montcalm and Wolfe dispute the role of hero and contend for a prize of a value guessed at only by the statesmen seers of the time, never sinks beneath the dignity of tragedy.

Both the combatants were valiant, honorable, high-minded, and lovable. Both had already won laurels in battle. Each moved forward to the grand catastrophe by a path beset with difficulty and danger. Each gave his life for his cause and his country, and together they will live forever in the memory of the two peoples whom their great fight on the Plains of Abraham made one.

Montcalm, like Wolfe, had been a soldier from boyhood, gaining a varied experience in the European wars. Again in this resembling his rival, he was no mere soldier delighting in nothing but the clash of swords. He had some love of learning and taste for literature, and a heart that was very tender towards home and friends. Richer than Wolfe in one respect, he had a well-beloved wife and children, besides the mother to whom he wrote much the same kind of letters as the English hero sent to his mother at Greenwich.

Ship of the eighteenth century.

A corner of the Rampart.

Montcalm, nearly fifteen years older than his future antagonist, received his baptism of fire almost before Wolfe was out of his cradle. His experience of American warfare began two full years before his rival made his first painful passage of the Atlantic, and, on the July day when the young English brigadier was throwing up the redoubts which were to silence the batteries of Louisbourg, Montcalm, at Ticonderoga, hundreds of miles away, was flinging back from his bristling abatis of tree-tops a British force nearly four times the strength of his own.

Both men received their meed of honor and promotion. Whilst Montcalm was informed that “the king trusted everything to his zeal and generalship,” Wolfe was given a new opportunity to win distinction in the command of an expedition against Quebec.

Wharf at Isle of Orleans.

In his brief winter's sojourn in his native land, Wolfe had spent some weeks at Bath, trying to recuperate his shattered health, and in that fashionable resort of invalids and hypochondriacs had made the acquaintance of a beautiful girl, Katherine Lowther, who soon consented to betroth herself to the gaunt, odd-looking young hero of Louisbourg.

General Montcalm.

Montcalm, meanwhile, though a great man in the gay little society of Quebec, was passing his time unpleasantly enough. Far from home, tortured by anxiety, and hampered by the jealousy of the Governor de Vaudreuil and the shameless corruption of the Intendant Bigot and his accomplices, the general declared that only a miracle could save the colony. The people, who had been cheated, robbed, and oppressed for years, were at the point of starvation, and were losing heart. Yet, when news came in May that Wolfe had sailed to attack Quebec, seigneurs and habitants alike rallied bravely to the call of their leaders, and men and boys, red warriors and white, came pouring into the city.

Soon the army of defence numbered 16,000 men, most of whom Montcalm posted in a long-extended camp, on the north shore of the St. Lawrence, touching the St. Charles on the right and the Montmorency on the left. Taking up his quarters at Beauport, he set his men to erect batteries and throw up earthworks on the steep ridge that runs for miles along the river.

As for the city itself—its fortifications were garrisoned by between one and two thousand men, guns were mounted on the walls, and the gates were shut and barricaded, except Palace Gate, from which a road led to the camp at Beauport across a bridge of boats girdling the St. Charles. That river was defended by a great boom of logs, whilst floating batteries, gunboats, and fire-ships were prepared for the protection of the harbor.

Then when all was done came a lull of horrible suspense, and the impatient “habitants” grew weary of waiting behind the entrenchments. But some, with hopeful memories of “Notre Dame des Victoires” and the miracles of their grandsires' days, pleased themselves with the fancy that wind and wave must again be doing their grim work on the foe.

‘Aux Braves.'

General Wolfe.
From a painting by J. W. L. Forster.

Not so. The English fleet, of twenty-two ships of the line and a great number of smaller vessels, was close at hand. It was under the command of the gallant Admiral Saunders, without whose cordial co-operation Wolfe could never have conquered Quebec, and it had on board nearly nine thousand seasoned troops, in addition to the seamen.

Here died Wolfe

With the unwilling aid of French pilots, entrapped by stratagem, the vessels passed the perilous “traverse” at Cap Tourmente, and from that time the citizens of Quebec had no lack of excitement. The landing of the British on the Island of Orleans, the abortive attempt of the French to destroy the enemy's fleet with their fire-ships, the erection of English batteries on Point Lévis and on the island, the encampment of the British below the Falls of Montmorency, the beginning of the bombardment, the passing of the invaders' ships above the batteries of the city, all this kept the people of Quebec in a state of feverish expectancy. But Montcalm was not to be tempted nor provoked to descend for one moment from his inaccessible position.

At last Wolfe tried to force a battle. He landed a body of troops on a little beach about a mile above the Falls, and prepared to attack the French in their camp. But the men first on shore were too eager. Without waiting for orders or for their comrades, who were crossing to their assistance by a ford below the Falls, they tried to rush the heights where Montcalm's army was gathered in force, and were beaten back with heavy loss.

For weeks after this battle there was a grim game of patience between the two skilled leaders. Unmoved by reverses on Lake Champlain which obliged him to send troops to Montreal, by the wasting of the parishes above and below Quebec, by threatened famine, present desolation, and the murmurs of his habitants, who were eager to escape from the army to gather in their harvests, Montcalm remained upon his heights, waiting for time and bad weather to rid the country of the foe.

Beauport Churchyard.

But he had to do with a man whose stock of endurance matched his own. Disease weakened the English forces and came near robbing them of their head; but Wolfe's work was not yet done, and on his bed of pain he still bent every power of mind and body to the accomplishment of his task.

If Montcalm could not be made to fight below the town, was it impossible to force a battle on the plains above Quebec? Impossible is not a word that heroes love; much is possible that at the first blush seems foolhardiness. Wolfe's rugged pathway to battle and victory, death and immortal fame, was there, waiting his need, and in due time he discerned it.

From a drawing made by R. Short, 1759.

Wheel for spinning flax.


Meanwhile there had begun mighty preparation in fleet and army for some last attempt on Quebec. There was movement of ships and bustle of men, re-disposition of forces, a noisy bombardment of the Beauport camp—the object of all concealed even from most of the British officers, lest some enlightening rumor should reach the ears of Montcalm.

On the night of September 12th, Wolfe made his last reconnaissance, and, haunted, it may be, by presentiments of his swiftly approaching death, repeated to his attendant officers some verses of Gray's “Elegy in a Country Churchyard,” an incident that has seemed the more worthy of note because the young general's own path of glory led so speedily to the grave.

Old drawing of a Calèche.


Wolfe well knew the desperate nature of his plan. From the opposite shore he had seen the white tents of the troops who were on guard above the Anse-au-Foulon, where he proposed to land; and he did not know that the post was commanded by the heedless coward Vergor, who had only escaped well-merited disgrace by the interposition of Bigot and Vaudreuil.

Wolfe and Montcalm Monument.

When, an hour before sunrise on the fateful morning of September 13th, Wolfe led his forlorn hope to the spot where the ascent was to be made, he did not guess that the guards above slept at their post; and his heart was heavy with misgivings.

The little path had been rendered impassable by obstructions, and the men had to clamber up the face of the rugged cliff, tree-covered then as it is to-day, whilst, below, the general waited in agonizing suspense till a ringing cheer told him that the guard was overpowered. Then the rough track was cleared, and, before day dawned grey and cloudy over the fortress, Wolfe's little army of four thousand men (sadly small for the work in hand) had gained the top of the cliff, where now lies a sweet old-fashioned garden spread to the sun.

General Montcalm's Headquarters.


A British

Water Sluice.

But Wolfe chose his battle-ground nearer the town, on the world-famous Plains of Abraham. There he drew up his men “in the first of all thin red lines”; there the French, forced to fight at last, made their gallant charge; there “fell Wolfe victorious”; there noble Montcalm received his mortal wound; and there was sounded the death-knell of the dominion of France in North America. But “the dramatic ending of the old order blessed the birth of the new.” It has been well said that “in a sense, which it is easier to feel than to express—two rival races, under two rival leaders, unconsciously joined hands on the Plains of Abraham.”

Old St. Louis Gate.

Not yet, however, would all the French admit that their cause was irretrievably lost. Though Montcalm lay under the Ursuline Chapel, in “his soldier's grave dug for him, while yet alive, by the bursting of a shell”; though Governor de Vaudreuil had fled and Quebec had opened her gates to the foe, the gallant De Lévis had no thought of acquiescing in the passing of New France.

Gathering ten thousand men at Montreal, he marched in the spring upon Quebec. The English general, Murray, came out, with a far inferior force, to meet him, and again French and English locked in desperate strife on the plateau behind the city. A tall shaft, surmounted by a statue of Bellona, on the Ste. Foy road, marks the battlefield where the French won their last victory in a lost cause.

The English had to retreat within their walls, but Murray, calling even on the sick and maimed for such aid as they could give, gallantly defended his crumbling battlements till a fleet from England came to his relief.

In his turn, De Lévis was forced to retreat, and, though the war smouldered on for a few months longer, the situation was hopeless for the French, and just before the anniversary of Wolfe's great victory, their leaders signed the capitulation of Canada.

“Golden Dog”.