|Robert Peel Dawson, Montreal to his parents.
|Irish Emigration Database
|Peel Dawson, Robert/123
|Peel Dawson, Robert
|Montreal, Quebec, Canada
|T 850/1: Obtained from Mrs Brackenbury, Moyola Park, Castledawson, Co. Londonderry.
|The Public Record Office, Northern Ireland.
|Document added by LT, 09:05:1994.
Feby 10th 1839
My dearest dearest Parents,
Our Battalion moved into Montreal on Wednesday 6th of Feby. Sir John
Colborne thought the state of the Country sufficiently improved and quieted
to render our longer continuance in Laprairie unnecessary. We left Quebec
you remember, on the 5th of November, 1838. We have therefore just
completed our three months of marching, Fatigue and Out Quarter Duty. During
that period the privates of our Regiment have never been in beds, they have
slept upon the floors of some wretched hovel. Time and habit, have, however,
reconciled them to this new life and a regular bed possesses in their eyes
less charm than formerly. I shall always refer with the greatest satisfaction
to these three months of our quarter duty. I hope I have derived from
them much to benefit myself and to amuse and interest you. When we are all
once again happily assembled round our own dear fire-side, I shall, I am
certain, be enabled to relate many anecdotes which your affection for me
will induce you to listen to with real pleasure. The Canadians have, I think
received so great a shock this year that they will begin to discover that
Rebellion is for them a losing game. They are an ignorant & deluded set of
people. They hate the English, & it will, I think, cost us immense sums to
retain Lower Canada as a British Colony. A standing Army must be kept in
every part of the province and a strong Government established, unfettered
by an English Parliament. They must be allowed to act against foreign
invasion and domestic sedition.
I like Montreal much better than Quebec. It is full of life, activity
and amusement. We have Balls, plays and masquerades every night and I
receive so many dinner invitations that if I availed myself of all, I should
never appear at mess. Montreal is full of Troops. The Artillery, 7th
Hussars, 1st Royals & 24th Regiment. The 15th and 71st are daily expected.
There are also three thousand Militia whose uniforms are most gaudy. The
streets, therefore, present a very motley appearance, Even the Canadians
appear in a kind of costume & I know only one man in Montreal who wears a
hat. Foraging Caps are all the fashion. We are on Duty to preserve peace
during the hanging of seven Rebels, an unusual sight. Sir John Colborne
having now the power & authority of Governer [Governor?] General can act
decisively. The thermometer on Friday showed 30 degrees below Zero at
Ten o'clock in the morning. The sky is, however, so cloudless, and the
atmosphere so invigorating that I quite enjoy the intensity of the weather.
I have yet escaped being frost-bitten. Many of the Officers & men have
suffered from such cold.
God bless you my dearest Father & my own dearest Mamma & my
Ever your most attached & most devoted
Robert Peel Dawson.