Proclamations by William Lyon Mackenzie and Sir Francis Bond Head, December 1837
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Contains two proclamations concerning the Rebellion in Upper Canada in December 1837. The first proclamation was issued on December 7 by Sir Francis Bond Head, Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, offering a reward for the apprehension of William Lyon Mackenzie, David Gibson, Samuel Lount, Jesse Lloyd, and Silas Fletcher. He writes “in a time of profound peace, while every one was quietly following his occupations…a band of Rebels…has had the wickedness and audacity to assemble with Arms, and to attack and Murder the Queen’s Subjects on the Highway—to Burn and Destroy their Property—to Rob the Public Mails—and to threaten to Plunder the Banks—and to Fire the City of Toronto.” It is a reproduction. The second proclamation is by William Lyon Mackenzie, Chairman pro. tem. of the Provincial Government of the State of Upper Canada [to] the inhabitants of Upper Canada. The proclamation was issued after Mackenzie’s failed rebellion in December 1837. He fled to Buffalo and then occupied Navy Island with his supporters, where he issued this proclamation urging citizens to action. It is dated at Navy Island, December 13, 1837. Mackenzie writes that “For nearly fifty years our country languished under the blighting influence of military despots, strangers from Europe ruling us, not according to laws of our choice, but by the capricious dictates of their arbitrary power.” He tries to rally his supporters, stating “Militia-men of 1812! Will ye again rally round the standard of our tyrants! I can scarce believe it possible. Upper Canada Loyalists, what has been the recompense of your long tried and devoted attachment to England’s Aristocracy? Obloquy and contempt”.
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