The Great Disappointment
So, the provincial capital left Kingston in 1843; a vote in the united legislature of Canada, 40 in favour and 22 against, decided it.
The move happened after the new province third governor general, Sir Charles Metcalfe (1785 1846), had just installed himself at Alwington House. He had his bags repacked marc jacobs , the furniture packed, the household dismantled and he, members of his office, and all the assemblymen and the civil servants, moved to Montreal. marc jacobs And they took the legislature combined libraries of the erstwhile Upper and Lower Canadian Houses of Assembly with them.
Metcalfe had always said that Kingston was a far too anglophone town to adequately represent the newly united province of French and English speakers.
Business in Kingston slumped and property values evaporated. Some of the leading politicians of the day, historian Kevin Quinn tell us, Kingston without paying their back taxes, among them, Robert Baldwin (1804 1858) who with Louis Hippolyte La Fontaine (1807 1864) created the party system that united English and French Canada to make responsible government practicable.
Kingston beautiful city hall dropped in status from a monument to the town arrival on the imperial stage to a monument of its folly. The debt incurred to build it weighed down the city.
Summerhill reverted to a summer home from its guise as the Sydenham Inn for assemblymen. Government House official residence of the governor general became just regular old, Alwington House. Except that Alwington House had never been an ordinary house.
As historian Margaret Angus, explained house was built [between] 1833 1834 and through its history had been the home of families whose influence and interest have extended far beyond the limits of Kingston. It stood still, as a symbol of Kingston integration into the wider world.
The house original builder, Charles William Grant (b. 1782), moved back in, to be joined by his son, Charles James Irwin Grant (b.1815), and his children. He removed the special wing that had been built for the governor and decided not to make a fuss when some of the home original contents were found to have disappeared. His daughter, Catherine Charlott marc jacobs e Ann (b. Allen would be minister of Trinity Church. It was a homecoming, of sorts.
Charles James grandfather, David Alexander Grant (d. 1805), had come to Quebec at the time of the American Revolutionary War and had been stationed for a time at the British Fort Haldimand on Carleton Island (New York) on the south side of Wolfe Island.
The expeditions to settle the Loyalists in the area had set out from Carleton Island following the British loss in that conflict, laying out Kingston as a future town. As Margaret Angus explains, his service [at Carleton Island] he became interested in land on Wolfe Island and on May 6, 1795, Grant became joint owner with Patrick Langan, of Grande (later Wolfe) Island. It was his property and the stone quarries opened there which brought the Grants to Kingston in the 1830s to build Alwington House, before leaving again for Montreal they also called home.
Charles William (b. 1782), the fifth baron of Longueuil, and held the banal rights on Ile Sainte H where they also had a fine manor house. The Grants, through marriage with the family of Le Moyne de Longueuil, stepped right back into the mists of French Canada past.
Meanwhile, in Montreal, the legislature library had been unpacked, and a historian named Francois Xavier Garneau (1809 1866) found it very useful in preparing the great multi volume history he was planning to publish.
Lord Durham report of 1839 had recommended that a union of Upper and Lower Canada be used to anglicize French Canadians. He had also said that French Canadians lacked culture and history. Garneau had been offended to his very soul.
Garneau would demonstrate that French Canadians had plenty of history and plenty of culture. By the time he came to publish his first volume in 1845, he could confidently state that time that has elapsed since 1840 has manifested that Canada has become anything rather than anglified: and nothing indicates that the future will differ from the present or past in this respect. had assumed all the financial risks of the publishing venture, which included buying the type for book. By 1848, he had published three volumes, more than 1,700 pages of history.
In the pages of his book, Kingstonians, who so desired and could read French, encountered a Kingston before Kingston. They could read about as he called it, a place once contested by the Algonquins and the Iroquois; about the founding of Fort Frontenac by the Comte de Frontenac (1622 1698) in 1673 and the site on again off again occupation by the French until 1758 and the exploits of French heroes like Rene Robert Cavelier de La Salle (1643 1687) and the Charles Le Moyne de Longueuil (c. 1656 1729 an marc jacobs d 1687 1755), father and son.
Garneau recorded the fall of New France, and its survival following Britain passage of the revolutionary Quebec Act of 1774, which allowed French law and French languages to persist. Indeed, Garneau clarion call was: Institutions, Notre Langue, et Nos Lois. while French Canadians rediscovered their heritage, Kingstonians got on with the business of maintaining they city after the great disappointment. The small shops located in City Hall west wing (called the helped. So did the nearby marketplace. It bustled with farmers and artisans who rented stalls from the city. They had produce to sell and the market goers had the means to buy. So, gradually, these rents paid for the building. Despite the setback, the growing town refocused itself and had time to consider if Kingstonians wanted the heritage of French Canada that lay beneath their feet and was embodied in a house such as Alwington, but too long past to have helped keep the capital where it had been.
Dr. Sarah Katherine Gibson is a graduate of Queen University and has taught history at McGill, Dalhousie and Carleton universities. She lives in Gatineau, Que.