Montreal: Armour and Ramsay, 1839. First edition. Hardcover. Two volume set of the complete transcripts of the trials for high treason of prisoners taken following the second rebellion in Lower Canada of 1838, 58 of whom were ultimately transported to the penal colony at Botany Bay, NSW.
French Canadian militants led a failed rebellion against the British Crown after years of tension between the colony's English speaking minority and the French speaking majority.
The British Cabinet reacted swiftly in Canada by suspending the constitution, dissolving the Legislative Assembly, and putting in place a Special Council headed by three governors including Sir John Colborne. Colborne changed the status of the trials from civilian to courts martial, ensuring that the prisoners would be found guilty of insurrection against the government, rather than of lesser crimes.
The volumes contain the complete transcripts of the trials for high treason of the one hundred and eight prisoners. These include Joseph Narcisse Cardinal, Charles Huot, Guillaume Levesque, Joseph Robert, J.B.H. Brian, Charles Hindelang, Pierre Remi Narbonne, James Perrigo, Louis Bourdon, Charles Guillaume Bouc, Benjamin Mott, and others.
Some of the prisoners were executed, while others were imprisoned, banished or freed on bond, and 58 were transported to NSW. Those transported to Australia sailed on the 'HMS Buffalo' and ended up at Longbottom on the Parramatta River, where they were isolated from other convicts, making bricks for the construction of present day Parramatta Road in Sydney. After serving their sentences the majority wanted to return to Canada; funds were raised for those who had no money for the return passage.
2 Volumes. 8vo, pp, 376pp; 565pp, Index iii. Complete with half-titles. A fine set, sympathetically rebound in three quarter brown leather and marbled boards. Deaccessed by the NY Association of the Bar Library, with their stamp and faint blind stamp on the title page.
Ferguson 2724; Trove 10739928 at NLA, SLNSW and Univ. of Melbourne. OCLC cites 4 copies at institutions mostly in Canada with various numbers; Sabin 10588. Very good condition. Item #23939