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    Scots-Quebecer building Montreal and the Province of Quebec

    quebec flagIt’s celebration time in the beautiful province of Quebec, in Canada, as Quebecers are taking part in Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day and Fête Nationale du Quebec festivities.

    The public holiday celebrates the culture and heritage of francophones inside Quebec and across the country, and how they have shaped it.

    While the religious significance of the civic celebration is gone, the day remains popularly called la St-Jean-Baptiste or simply la St-Jean .

    fete nationale du quebec

    As I was gathering information from the web and checking out videos about it all, a thought came to mind…our unique history and identity has, without any doubt, also been shaped by many Scots-Quebecer!

    GOING DOWN MEMORY LANE...

    As per Wikipedia’s archive:

    Background
    Few Scots came to Quebec (then New France) before the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763). Those who did blended in with the French population.

    Perhaps the first Scot to settle was Abraham Martin dit l’Écossais (1589-1664), who by the year 1800 had 7,765 married descendants among the French-speaking population.

    In 1763, the French population of Quebec was approximately 55,000 when France handed it over to Great Britain under the terms of the Treaty of Paris (1763) that ended the French and Indian War.

    arrival-of-scottish-settlers-pictou-ns-canada-stampBy the beginning of the 19th century, the Quebec population was expanding slowly as immigration began from Great Britain.

    Impoverished Scottish immigrants, many the victim of the Highland and Lowland Clearances, saw unlimited opportunity in this huge forested land.

    The bond between Scotland and France, however, also extended to numerous other areas such as the Gens d’Armes Ecossais (Scots Men-At-Arms) who guarded the kings of France for nearly three hundred years.

    Settling
    Some of these Scottish immigrants settled in Quebec City but many with an entrepreneurial drive kept moving west to Montreal which at the time was little more than a small port town on the St. Lawrence River.

    By far the majority of the Scots arrived in Quebec with little more than the shirt on their back. John Redpath, who had only enough money for ships passage to Quebec City, walked all the way to Montreal. [233 km – 144 miles]
    Scots accomplishments

    Today in France there are many descendants of these Scots who have lived there for centuries. They carry names such as Campbell and MacDonald, the most famous, of the latter being Jacques MacDonald, Marshal of France.

    John_Galt_Scottish_Novelist_1779“Impatient with the circumstances of the old world, how wretched would the present generation have been, had not an asylum opened up for so many of us across the Atlantic.”

    John_Galt_signature[John Galt]

    GLIMPSE INTO POLITICAL/WAR HISTORY
    Lieutenant_Colonel_Allan_MacLean

    Colonel Allan MacLean

    When the Americans invaded Canada in 1775 there were less than 2000 soldiers in the country. But one battalion, known as the Royal Highland Emigrants, or the 84th, was mainly recruited from colonies of Frasers and commanded by Colonel Allan MacLean of the Macleans of Torluisk.

    When the Americans laid siege to Quebec in December, 1775, a former member of the Frasers Highlanders, James Thompson, organised the defence of the capital.

    When the Americans, under General Montgomery, tried to take the Citadel during a heavy snow-storm, it was a Scot, “honest Hugh McQuarters of the Royal Artillery” who put the match to the gun which killed the revolutionary commander and his two aides.

    Some of the Scots who took part in the defence of Quebec were Catholics and Jacobites. “I will help to defend the country from our invaders” said one of these, a Cameron, “but I will not take service under the House of Hanover.”

    When the war was over John Nairne and Malcom Fraser, both Captains in the Fraser Highlanders, obtained grants of land in the neighbourhood of Murray Bay and took some of their men, discharged from the army, with them.

    These men, as Le Moyne puts it, became “the immediate” progenitors of genuine Jean-Baptistes – such as the Warrens, McLeans, Harveys, the Blackburns and several other families who, of their Scottish ancestry, have retained nothing save the name”.

    Source: The Scot and Canada ~ James A. Roy p.64

    Scot Quebecers who were major actors in building the Province of Quebec:

    Source: Wikipedia

    thank you scots quebecersFrom emigrants they have become nation-builders for the benefit of all Quebecers and Canadians.

    Miliion thanks dear Scottish friends!

    With love and blessings,

    Janice

     

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