The Pictorial Field-Book
of The Revolution
by Benson J. Lossing
SUCH were the men who followed the bold Arnold, through terrible difficulties and privations, from their quiet homes in New England, and, in the midst of light falling snow, appeared like a specter army on the heights of Point Levi, to the wondering people of Quebec. Through the treachery of the Indian Eneas (who pretended to have been taken prisoner), Cramahe and his council knew that a small American force was in the wilderness, but they would not believe that it would ever reach Quebec; therefore the fact was not made known to the military or the people. They had taken the precaution, however, to keep all boats on the Quebec side of the river. It was about eight o'clock in the morning when Arnold and his followers emerged from the forest and displayed upon the banks of the St. Lawrence. Quebec was at once in a tumult. The drums beat to arms, and the Canadians were terribly alarmed. Some near Point Levi had fled across to the city, and their fears caused them to greatly magnify the number and character of the Americans. By a mistake of a single word the fears of the people were greatly increased, for the news spread that the mysterious army that descended from the wilderness was clad in sheet iron.(1)
Arnold resolved to cross the river immediately, and found means to communicate his intentions to his friends in Quebec.(2) But for several days and nights a tempest of wind and sleet raged upon the St. Lawrence, and he was obliged to wait its pleasure at Point Levi. In the mean while the garrison of the city was strengthened by troops from Sorel, under M'Lean, and the prospect of success for the patriots was proportionably lessened. At length the wind ceased. Between thirty and forty birch canoes were procured, and about nine o'clock in the evening of the 13th the first division crossed; before daylight five (November , 1775.) hundred Americans landed safely, and rendezvoused at Wolfe's Cove. The enemy had placed a frigate (the Lizzard) and a sloop in the river, to intercept them, but the vigilance of these they eluded until just as the last party passed a guard-boat. One hundred and fifty men were at Point Levi, but it was too late to return for them. No time was
1 Morgan's riflemen wore linen frocks, their common uniform.
The Canadians, who first saw these emerge from the woods, said they were
vet en tale-clothed in linen cloth. The word toile was changed
to tole, iron plate.
2 In earlier life Arnold was engaged in trafficking in horses, and shipped many for the West Indies. He visited Quebec several times to procure stock, and thus became well acquainted with the place and many people there. His knowledge of the city and vicinity was doubtless one cause that led to his appointment to the command of the expedition.
to be lost, for the garrison would soon be alarmed. Arnold, placing himself at the head of his little band of heroes, scaled the heights where Wolfe had ascended sixteen years before, and at dawn they stood upon the lofty Plains of Abraham. That goal where glory was to be won and freedom vindicated, which had lured them from the camp at Cambridge, and haunted them in their disturbed dreams amid the perils of the wilderness, was now before the zealous patriots; but their hearts sank, and the whisperings of hope were like the breathings of despair, when they saw the dark castle and the massy walls that inclosed the garrison of the enemy. They numbered only seven hundred and fifty men. They had no artillery, and nearly half their muskets were rendered useless during their march through the wilderness. They learned, too, that troops from Sorel and Newfoundland had been added to the garrison, making an attack upon the town a hopeless waste of effort. (1) But Arnold relied upon the friendly disposition of the Canadian militia and the people of the city, and, to ascertain their feelings, he drew up his men within eight hundred yards of the walls and gave three cheers, hoping that the regulars would sally out to attack them, and that then, the gates being unclosed, he might rush in, and, by the aid of friends within, secure the city. The parapets of the walls were lined by hundreds of the people, and many of them huzzaed in return. Several guns were fired by the Americans, but without effect. The British at length brought a thirty-two pounder to bear upon the patriots, but not a shot injured them. Lieutenant-governor Cramahe and M'Lean were too wary to be lured into such a snare as making a sortie, for they knew well the disloyalty of the French citizens and most of the leading men of Quebec. (1774.) The English citizens were much dissatisfied with the French laws that had governed them since the passage of the "Quebec Bill," the previous year. The French, on the other hand, though petted, so as to be won, could not forget their ancient national animosities, and were willing to see the English discomfited. The unruly conduct of the soldiery had also disgusted the people, and some were loud in their complaints against Carleton and his deputy, for exposing Quebec, by withdrawing its garrison when Montreal was threatened. The Royal Scotch, under M'Lean, were all that could be certainly relied upon. These elements of disaffection combined, made the force in the city, securely sheltered, quite inactive, for M'Lean well knew that Arnold's little army was too weak to attempt an assault, and he felt sure that the fierce winter winds and driving snow would soon force them from their bleak encampment.
Finding his attempts vain, by frequent hostile displays upon the heights, to draw out the garrison, Arnold, in accordance with military usage, sent a flag to M'Lean, with a formal summons to surrender, threatening him with terrible disasters if he refused. The movement was exceedingly ridiculous, and was not only treated with utter contempt by the British commander, but the bearer was fired upon.(2) About this time Arnold learned that Carleton, who had fled from Montreal, was approaching Quebec. He also inspected his ammunition and stores, and to his surprise found that nearly all the cartridges were spoiled, hardly five rounds to a man being left fit for use. Learning, also, from his friends in the city, that a sortie was about to be made, he broke up his camp and retreated to Point aux Trernbles, twenty miles above Quebec, to await the approaching troops of Montgomery. On his arrival at Aux Trembles, Arnold was informed that Carleton had gone from that place but a few hours before, and shortly afterward was heard the cannonading at Quebec that welcomed his
1 The garrison, including the regulars and militia within
the town, and the marines in the ships, was about eighteen hundred strong.
Surprise has been expressed that these did not march out and destroy the
feeble force of the Americans. The obvious reason was, that the majority
of the garrison troops were militia, and supposed to he ready to join the
Americans in the event of a battle.
2 "It must be confessed," says Judge Henry, "that this ridiculous affair gave me a contemptible opinion of Arnold. Morgan, Fehiger, and other officers did not hesitate to speak of it in that point of view. How. ever, Arnold had a vain desire to gratify. He was well known at Quebec. Formerly, he had traded from this port to the West Indies, most particularly in the article of horses; hence he was despised by the principal people. The epithet of horse-jockey was freely and universally bestowed upon him by the British. Having now obtained power, he became anxious to display it in the faces of those who had formerly despised and contemned him."
return to the city. Montgomery landed at Point aux Trembles on the 1st of December, his troops, by sickness and desertion, reduced to a mere handful. There he took (1775) command of the combined troops, amounting to only about nine hundred effective men. He brought clothing from Montreal for Arnold's half-naked troops. The next day, (December 2 )in the face of a driving snow-storm, they started for Quebec, and arrived in sight of the city on the 5th. Their march was slow and excessively fatiguing, for the snow was deep, and drifted high in the roads. Montgomery established his headquarters at Holland House, and Arnold occupied a house near Scott's Bridge. The Americans were chiefly encamped near the Intendant's Palace, by the St. Charles, in the suburb St. Roche.
The American forces were considerably inferior in numbers to those of the garrison, but this was unknown within the city. Montgomery endeavored to send a summons to surrender, but Carleton would not allow a flag to approach the walls. At length a letter was conveyed by a citizen to Governor Carleton, in which Montgomery demanded an immediate surrender, at the same time magnifying the number of his followers, and threatening all the calamities of an assault. Although Carleton thought Montgomery's army larger than it really was, he was not easily frightened. Montgomery, like Arnold, counted upon friends within the city, but they were paralyzed by the presence of troops, and dared do nothing favorable to the besiegers. With no other ordnance than some light cannon and a few mortars, a feeble, ill-clad, and ill-fed army, exposed to the severest frost in the open fields, and snow falling almost constantly, the American commander nearly despaired of success; yet the love of his adopted country, and thoughts of the depression of spirit throughout the colonies which a failure would produce, moved him to extraordinary efforts. He resolved to annoy the people into submission by harassing attacks upon the city, and accordingly attempted to throw bombs over the walls. These efforts were unavailing, and he then erected a six gun battery upon some heaps of snow and ice within seven hundred yards of the walls, but his guns were too light for any efficiency. Nearly three weeks were thus consumed in unavailing attempts to make an entrance. Mutinous murmurs were audible in the camp, the term of service of many of the troops had nearly expired, the small-pox appeared among the soldiers, and the general looked for a speedy dissolution of his whole army.
Perils were gathering a fearful web around the brave Montgomery. He called a council of war, and it was resolved, as a last resort, to make a regular assault upon the town at different points. The troops were accordingly ordered to parade in three divisions at two o'clock on the morning of the 31 st of December. All obeyed with alacrity, except three companies of Arnold's detachment, whose term of service was about expiring. They threatened to leave the army (1775.) at once unless transferred to another command, but the firmness and wisdom of Montgomery restored order, and they took their places in the ranks. (1) The New York regiments and a part of Easton's militia paraded at Holland House, under the immediate command of Montgomery; the Cambridge detachment and Colonel Lamb's company of artillerists, with one field piece, at Morgan's quarters; and the two small corps of Livingston and Brown at their respective parade-grounds. The plan was, for the first and second divisions to assault the lower town on opposite sides, and the third, under Livingston and Brown, to make feigned attacks, from the Plains of Abraham, upon the upper town, in the neighborhood of St. John's and St. Louis Gates and Cape Diamond Bastion.
Montgomery, at the head of the first division, descended from the Plains of Abraham to Wolfe's Cove, south of the city, and commenced his march toward the lower town by a road (now Champlain Street) that ran along the margin of the river, under Cape Diamond. Arnold,
1 The cause of this outbreak is not known. Montgomery, in a letter to Schuyler (the last he ever wrote), spoke of the occurrence, and intimated that Major Brown was at the bottom of it. He promised a full explanation in his next, but, alas! "the next" was never written. It appears that Arnold had quarreled with Hanchet, one of his captains, before reaching Point Levi, and two others took sides with the captain. Brown and Arnold had quarreled at Ticonderoga, and it is supposed that the former took this opportunity to gall Arnold, by widening the breach between him and his captains, and endeavoring to get them detached from Arnold's command and joined to his own.
at the head of the second division, advanced from the general hospital, around the north side of the town, on the St. Charles. Both parties were to meet at Mountain Street, and force Prescott Gate. The snow was falling fast, and furious winds were piling it in frightful drifts. Cautiously Montgomery led his men in the dark toward the narrowest point under Cape Diamond, called Pres de Ville, where the enemy had planted a battery of three pounders.(1) This post was in charge of a captain of Canadian militia, with thirty-eight men, and nine British seamen, under Captain Barnsfare, master of a transport, to work the guns. On the river side was a precipice, and on the left the rough crags of dark slate towered far above him. When within fifty yards of the battery, the Americans halted to reconnoiter. The guard at the battery and the artillerymen with lighted matches were perfectly silent, and Montgomery concluded that they were not on the alert. But Barnsfare, through the dim light of early dawn and the drifting snow, saw faintly their movements. Montgomery, in the van of his troops, cried out, "Men of New York, you will not fear to follow where your general leads. March on!" and rushed boldly over heaps of ice and snow to charge the battery. At that moment, when the Americans were within forty paces. Captain Barnsfare gave the word, the match was applied, and a discharge of grape-shot swept the American column with terrible effect. Montgomery, Major M'Phunn his aid, and Captain Cheeseman were killed, together with several privates near. The rest, appalled at the dreadful havoc and the death of their general, fled in confusion back to Wolfe's Cove, where Colonel Campbell took the command, but made no further attempts to force a junction with Arnold. Ten minutes the battery belched its iron storm in the dim space, but, after the first discharge, there was no enemy there to slaughter.
1 Judge Henry, who was one of the American prisoners at
Quebec, was allowed, with some others, to go out and see the place where
Montgomery was slain. He thus describes the British fortification there:
I t was a sort of block-house forty or fifty feet square. The logs, neatly
hewn, were tightly bound together by dove-tail work. The lower story contained
Loopholes for musketry, so narrow that those within could not be harmed
by those without. The upper story had four or more port-holes for cannon
of a large caliber. These guns were charged with grape and canister shot,
and were pointed with exactness toward the avenue at Cape Diamond. The block-house
seemed to take up the space between the foot of the hill and the river,
leaving only a cart-way on each side. The bulwarks of the city came only
to the edge of the hill, above that place; hence down the side of the precipice,
slantingly to the brink of the river, there was a stockade of strong posts
fifteen or twenty feet high, knit together by a stout railing at bottom
and top wIth pins. It was asserted that Montgomery sawed four of these posts
himself, so as to admit four men abreast to attack the block-house.
2 This is a view of the spot where Montgomery was killed. The cliff is Cape Diamond, crowned with the citadel. The street at the foot of it is called Champlain, and is inhabited chiefly by a mixed population of French, Canadians, and Irish. It extends from Mountain Street south almost to Wolfe's Cove. This view is from Champlain Street, a few rods south of Pres de Ville, looking north. High upon the rocks Alfred Hawkins, Esq., of Quebec, has placed a board with this inscription: "HERE MAJOR-GENERAL MONTGOMERY FELL, DECEMBER 31st, 1775."
While this dreadful scene was in progress at Cape Diamond, Arnold, at the head of the second division, was pressing onward along the St. Charles, where the snow was worse drifted than on the St. Lawrence. He led his men in files until he reached the narrow street called Sault au Matelot, where, under a high, jutting rock, the enemy had a two-gun picketed battery, well manned. Like Montgomery, he headed his men, and, while leading Lamb's artillery to the attack upon the barrier, was completely disabled by a musket-wound in the knee, and was carried back to the general hospital, where he heard of the death of Montgomery.
The command of his division now devolved upon Morgan, and for more than an hour the Americans withstood the storm of grape-shot and musket-balls at the first barrier, and finally carried it, for the deadly aim of the riflemen caused great consternation in the ranks of the enemy. Passing the first barrier, the patriots rushed on to the second, which commanded both Sault au Matelot and St. Peter's Streets. The defenses here extended from the cliff to the river; and the present custom-house, then a private dwelling, had cannons projecting from the windows of the gable. Here a fierce contest of three hours ensued, and many were killed on both sides. At length the Americans took shelter from the fire of the battery, in the houses on both sides of the street, and in the narrow pass that leads up to Hope Gate. The English and Canadians already occupied houses near, and the patriots were terribly galled on all sides, and from the walls of the city above them. Captain Lamb was severely wounded by a grape-shot, which carried away a part of his cheek-bone, and other officers were more or less injured. The Americans finally captured the barrier, and were preparing to rush into the town, when Carleton sent a large detachment from the garrison, through Palace Gate, to attack them in the rear. The news of the death of Montgomery and the retreat of his detachment gave the people and the troops within the walls fresh courage. Captain Dearborn, with some provincials, was stationed near Palace Gate, and was completely surprised when its leaves were thrown open and the troops rushed out. It was a movement entirely unlooked for; and so suddenly and in such overwhelming force did the enemy pour upon them, that they were obliged to surrender.
While Morgan was pressing on vigorously into the town, he heard of the death of Montgomery, the capture of Dearborn and his company, and the advance of the enemy in his rear. Surrounded by foes on all sides, and every support cut off,
1 This view is in a narrow alley near the north end of Sault
au Matelot Street, in the rear of St. Paul's Street. At the time in
question St. Paul's Street did not exist, and the water, at high tide, came
nearly up to the precipice. The first barrier and battery extended from
the jutting rock seen in the picture, to the water. The present alley was
then the beach. The circular wall on the top of the rock is a part of the
grand battery, one of the most formidable and commanding defenses in the
2 This is one of the most beautiful gates of the city, and opens toward the St. Charles, on the northern side of the town. A strong guard-house is seen at the left, pierced for muskets to defend the entrance. Immediately adjoining this gate are the artillery barracks. The gate is at the northern extremity of Palace Street. one of the broadest in the city, and "so named," says Hawkins, "from the circumstance that it led out to the Intendant's house, or palace, which stood on the beach of the St. Charles, where the queen's wood-yard now is."
the patriots yielded, and surrendered themselves prisoners of war.(1) The remainder of the division in the rear retreated to their camp, leaving behind them one field piece and some mortars in a battery at St. Roche. The whole loss of the Americans at Cape Diamond and Sault au Matelot, in killed and wounded, was about one hundred and sixty. The British loss was only about twenty killed and wounded.
As soon as hostilities ceased, search was made for the bodies of those who fell with Montgomery. Thirteen were found nearly buried in the snow, and with them was Montgomery's orderly sergeant, dreadfully wounded, but alive. The sergeant would not acknowledge that his general was killed, and persisted in his silence until he died, an hour afterward. For several hours Carleton was uncertain whether the general was slain; but a field officer among the captured troops of Arnold's division recognized the body of the young hero among those in the guard-house, and, it is said, he there pronounced a most touching eulogium on the bravery and worth of the deceased, while tears of grief coursed down his cheeks.(2) Cramahe, the lieutenant governor, who had known Montgomery years before, took charge of the body, and it was buried within a wall that surrounded a powder magazine, near the ramparts bounding on St. Louis Street, where it remained forty-two years.(3) It has been well observed that it would be difficult to select, from so small a body of men as that engaged in besieging Quebec, so large a number who afterward distinguished themselves for patriotism and courage, as that little band presented. Morgan and his rifle corps became world renowned. Dearborn was distinguished
1 The force that surrendered consisted of 1 lieutenant colonel,
2 majors, 8 captains, 15 lieutenants, 1 adjutant, 1 quartermaster, 4 volunteers,
350 rank and file, and 44 officers and soldiers, who were wounded, making
a total of 426. The prisoners were treated humanely. The officers were confined
in the seminary, the oldest literary institution in Quebec. Major Meigs
was sent out for the clothing and baggage of the prisoners, and all testified
to the humanity of Carleton.
2 Montgomery had a watch in his pocket which Mrs. M. was very desirous of obtaining. She made her wishes known to Arnold, who sent word to Carleton that any sum would be paid for it. Carleton immediately sent the watch to Arnold, and refused to receive any thing in return.
3 Richard Montgomery was born in the north of Ireland in 1737. He entered the army at the age of twenty, and was with Wolfe at the storming of Quebec in 1759. He was in the campaign against the Spanish West Indies, and afterward resided some time in this country. He quitted his regiment and returned to England. While here he imbibed an attachment for the country, and in 1772, returned to make it his home. He purchased an estate upon the Hudson, in Rhinebeck, Dutchess county, and married the daughter of Robert R. Livingston. When the Revolution broke out, he espoused the cause of the colonists, and in the autumn of 1775 was second in command, under Schuyler, in the expedition against Canada, With the rank of brigadier. The illness of Schuyler caused the chief command to devolve upon Montgomery, and in the capture of St. John's, Chambly, and Montreal, and his attack on Quebec, he exhibited great judgment and military skill. He was commissioned a major general before he reached Quebec. In that campaign he had every difficulty to contend with---undisciplined and mutinous troops, scarcity of provisions and ammunition, want of heavy artillery, lack of clothing, the rigor of winter, and desertions of whole companies. Yet he pressed onward, and, in all probability, had his life been spared, would have entered Quebec in triumph. His death was a great public calamity, and throughout the land public honors were paid to his memory. The eloquence of Chatham, Burke, and Barre sounded his praises upon the floor of the British Parliament, and the prime minister (Lord North), while acknowledging his worth, and reprobating the cause in which he fell, concluded by saying, "Curse on his virtues, they have undone his country." As soon as the news of his death reached Congress, resolutions of condolence with his family for their bereavement, and expressive of their "grateful remembrance, profound respect, and high veneration," were adopted. It was voted to erect a monument to his memory, which was accordingly done, in the front of St. Paul's Church in New York city, on which is the following inscription:
as a skillful officer at Saratoga and other fields of the Revolution, and commanded the troops that captured York, in Upper Canada, in the spring of 1813. Meigs boldly attacked (April 27.) and destroyed shipping and stores at Sag Harbor, and of his regiment, and that of Febiger, were the forlorn hope at Stony Point. Greene's prowess and skill were well attested at Red Bank, on the Delaware. Thayer behaved nobly in defense of Fort Mifflin, opposite Red Bank. Lamb was distinguished at Compo, Fort Montgomery, and Yorktown. Oswald was at Compo, and fought bravely at Monmouth; and Poterfield was killed at Camden, in South Carolina, when Gates was so terribly defeated there. M'Pherson and Cheeseman,(1) Montgomery's aids, were brave and accomplished, and gave assurance of future renown; but they fell with their leader, and share with him the grateful reverence of posterity.
Colonel Arnold took command of the remnant of the patriot army after the death of Montgomery, and was promoted to the rank of brigadier general. He could muster only about eight hundred men; and, feeling unsafe in his camp under the walls of the city, he retired about three miles from the town, intrenched himself as well as circumstances would allow, and assumed the attitude of a blockade, hoping, by cutting off supplies for the city from the country, to bring the enemy to terms. Carleton, feeling secure within the walls, and expecting re-enforcements from England as soon as the ice should move out of the St. Lawrence
monument is erected by order of Congress,
25th of January, 1776,
to transmit to posterity a grateful remem-
brance of the patriotic conduct, enterprise, and perseverance
of Major-general RICHARD MONTGOMERY,
who, after a series of success amid the most discour-
aging difficulties, Fell in the attack on
QUEBEC, 31st December, 1775, aged 37 years.
In 1818 a request in behalf of the widow of General Montgomery was made to the Governor-in-chief of Canada, Sir John Sherbrooke, to allow his remains to be disinterred and conveyed to New York. The request was readily acceded to, and Mr. James Thompson, of Quebec, who was one of the engineers at the time of the storming of the city, and assisted in burying the general, also assisted in the disinterment, making an affidavit to the identity of the body. He said, in his affidavit, that the body was taken to the house of Mr. Gobert, and placed in a coffin lined with flannel and covered with black cloth; that Rev. Mr. de Montmolin, chaplain to the garrison, performed the funeral service; that Montgomery's aids (M'Pherson and Cheeseman) were buried in their clothes, without coffins; and that he (Thompson) afterward wore Montgomery's sword, but the American prisoners were so affected by the sight of it, that he laid it aside. He identified the coffin taken up on the 16th of June, 1818, as the one. The remains were placed in another coffin and deposited beneath the monument. The following is the inscription upon a silver plate on the coffin: "The state of New York, in honor of General Richard Montgomery, who fell gloriously fighting for the independence and liberty of the United States before the walls of Quebec, the 31st of December, 1775, caused these remains of the distinguished hero to be conveyed from Quebec, and deposited, on the 8th day of July (1818), in St. Paul's Church, in the city of New York, near the monument erected to his memory by the United States."
General Montgomery left no children whom "the state, in gratitude toward their father, distinguished with every mark of kindness and protection," as Botta asserts. His widow survived him more than half a century. When at the house of his brother-in. law, the late Peter R. Livingston, at Rhinebeck, a few years ago, I saw an interesting memento of the lamented general. A day or two before he left home to join the army under Schuyler, he was walking on the lawn in the rear of his brother-in-law's mansion with the owner, and as they came near the house, Montgomery stuck a willow twig in the ground, and said, " Peter, let that grow to remember me by." It did grow, and is now a willow with a trunk at least ten feet in circumference.
1 This officer had a presentiment that he should not survive the battle. When preparing to go forth on that stormy December morning, he dressed himself with more care than usual, and putting a considerable sum of money, in gold, in his pocket, remarked, with a smile, "This will insure me a decent burial." He was of the New York line. A sergeant and eleven men fell with him. He was not instantly killed, but arose to press forward to charge the battery. It was a feeble effort, and he fell back a corpse, in a winding-sheet of snow.
remained quiet; and in this relative position the belligerents continued until the 1st of April, when General Wooster, who had remained inactive all winter in Montreal, came down, and, being superior in rank to Arnold, took the chief command. The force which he brought with him, and the small addition made by troops that reached the encampment from New England during the winter, and Canadian recruits, swelled the army to nearly three thousand, eight hundred of whom were sick with the small-pox, which raged terribly in the American camp.
Preparations were made to beleaguer the city at once. A battery was erected upon the Plains of Abraham, and another at Point Levi, and a cannonade was opened upon the town, but without effect. At that moment the falling of Arnold's horse upon his wounded leg so disabled him, that he was unfit for active service, and he asked and obtained leave from General Wooster (with whom he was upon unfriendly terms) to retire to Montreal. General Thomas, who was appointed to succeed Montgomery, arrived early in May, but Carleton (1776.) having received re-enforcements under Burgoyne, the Americans were obliged to make a hasty retreat, leaving their stores and sick behind. The latter were kindly treated, and finally sent home. At the mouth of the Sorel the Americans were re-enforced, but they could not brave the power of the enemy. General Thomas died there of small-pox, and Sullivan succeeded to the command. (1) But Burgoyne, with a considerable force, was pressing forward, and ultimately, as we have noted in a preceding chapter, the patriots were driven out of Canada.
We have taken a long historic ramble; let us vary our pleasure by a ride to Montmorenci, and a visit to other celebrities about Quebec.
The morning was excessively hot when we left the city for the falls of the Montmorenci. Our egress was from the Palace Gate, and with us was quite a train of vehicles destined for the same point. We passed through the suburb of St. Roche, in the lower town, and crossed over Dorchester Bridge, a noble structure which spans the St. Charles, a short distance below the site of the old bridge fortified by Montcalm. The distance from Quebec to the Montmorenci is between seven and eight miles. The road (McAdamized) is very good, and passes through a rich and thoroughly cultivated region. Like the road from St. John's to Chambly and Longueuil, it is so thickly strewn with farmhouses that we seemed to be in a suburban street the whole distance. The village of Beauport, an old town, where Montcalm's headquarters were, is about midway between the St. Charles and the Montmorenci, and, like other Lower Canadian villages, has an antiquated appearance. Between Quebec and Beauport we passed a large gilt cross reared upon the top of a beautiful Corinthian column, painted white, green, and vermilion. It was erected, as we were told, by some priests in Quebec, and consecrated to the cause of temperance. A strong iron railing incloses it, except in front, where two or three steps lead to a platform at the foot of the column, whereon devout passers-by may kneel in prayer.
1 John Thomas was descended from a respectable family of
Plymouth, Massachusetts. He served, with reputation, in the French and Indian
war. At the head of a regiment raised by himself in Kingston, Massachusetts,
he marched to Roxbury in 1775, and joined the Continental army. Congress
appointed him one of the first eight brigadier generals, and he commanded
a division at the siege of Boston. In March, 1776, he was appointed a major
general, and on the 1st of May following joined the army before Quebec.
He died of small-pox, at Chambly, on the second of June. General Thomas
was greatly beloved by his soldiers, and his judgment, prudence, and firmness
commended him to Washington as one promising to do much for the cause of
2 This sketch is a view from within Palace Street, looking out upon the open country beyond the St Charles. The river, with a few masts, is seen just over the top of the gate. Adjoining :he gate, on the right, is seen a portion of the guard-house.
After passing Beauport, we were beset by troops of urchins, who stood in groups making polite bows to win attention and coin, or ran beside the carriage with the speed of trotting horses, lustily crying out, with extended hand, "un sou! un sou !" They were miniature Falstaffs in figure, some not more than four or five years old, with dark skins and lustrous black eyes. It was amusing to see their vigorous but good-natured scrambles for a sou when cast among them, and the persevering race of the unsuccessful for the next expected piece of copper. Many a dollar is thus scattered and picked up by the road side to Montmorenci, during" the season," for the amusement of the passengers and the comfort of the habitans.
We left our barouche on the south side of the Montmorenci, and crossing, upon a bridge, the turbulent stream that rushes. leaping and foaming among broken rocks, toward the cascade just below, we paid a sou each to a pretty French girl who guarded a gate opening to a winding pathway through the fields to the margin of the bank a little below the falls. The path is down a gentle slope for several rods, and at almost every step the picturesque scenery of the cascade assumes a new aspect. These falls, though much higher than those of Niagara, have none of the grandeur of that great wonder. Our first thought here is, How beautiful' but when the eye and the ear are first impressed with the avalanche of waters at Niagara, the solemn thought is, How sublime and wonderful! When we visited the Montmorenci, a long drought had greatly diminished the volume of its waters, yet it exhibited a scene strikingly picturesque and pleasing. For two or three hundred yards the river is confined in a narrow limestone bed,(1) whence it rushes with great velocity to the brink of the precipice, and leaps into a crescent-shaped bay of the St. Lawrence, more than two hundred feet below. There, at low tide, the bare rocks receive the flood, and send up clouds of spray a hundred feet or more, on which the rays of the evening sun often depict the beautiful bow. In front. cleaving the broad bosom of the St. Lawrence, is the Island of Orleans, a paradise of beauty in summer, and a place of much resort by the citizens of Quebec, particularly the English residents, who see in it much that resembles their "sweet Devonshire coast." Its length is nineteen miles, and its average breadth about five. A population of five thousand inhabit it, and its rich soil is thoroughly cultivated for the production of vegetables for the Quebec market. Beyond, on the right, is Point Levi, and up the St. Lawrence, glittering in the sun, lies Quebec. Grouping the beauties of the natural scenery, the historical associations, and the delights of a summer ride, a trip to Montmorenci is an event to be long remembered with pleasure. The sun was at meridian, and the mercury indicated ninety
1 The river, in this channel, is not more than twelve feet wide, and here the Natural Steps occur. They rise on one side of the stream like irregular stairs. They have been formed by the action of the water on the softer layers of limestone, and present a curiosity for the visitor.
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