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By Beverley Boissery

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Extra info for A Deep Sense of Wrong: The Treason, Trials and Transportation to New South Wales of Lower Canadian Rebels After the 1838 Rebellion

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The least dangerous could be immediately released. The next level of suspects could be allowed to plead guilty on the condition that they afterwards removed themselves from British North America. Beyond these, Glenelg advised Colborne to select as test cases for jury trial four or five rebels from the rest against whom there was particularly strong evidence. If they were convicted, the remainder could also be tried; if acquitted, others whose freedom was thought to threaten the colony were to remain in jail under the government's best friend, a suspension of habeas corpus.

When peaceful words proved ineffective, threats were used. Malhiot, for example, warned Bechard that his buildings would be burned if he did not lead his recruits to battle. As Durham's departure drew nearer, Nelson became increasingly optimistic. By the end of October his final plans were in place - a complete contrast to the ad hoc nature of the 1837 rebellion. Malhiot, who with a couple of engineers had scouted the fort at Sorel on the Richelieu River, would lead an attack on it. Not only would he capture its stores of 36 Background to Rebellion arms and ammunition, but he would cut communication between Montreal and Quebec.

27 EdouardPascal Rochon of Terrebonne admitted that one of his brothers told him that membership 'would secure his property/28 Many could not, or chose not, to understand the aims of the society, seeing the lodges as pleasant social gatherings where the hated English could be safely discussed. Others, farmers with generations of agrarian forebears, mourned the past and believed an independent nation canadienne the sole remedy for their grievances. 29 Not only were members enlisted there, but local leaders would bring in donations, membership lists, and news.

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