Montreal, July 4
This city has been for a few days past in a state of agitation occasioned by an event which has taken place at Pointe Claire ; and as this matter will be clothed, no doubt, in all the dress of misrepresentatation by our neighbouring enemies, from the information they may receive of it, we consider it a duty, we owe to the community at large in this country, to state the circumstances as they occurred, in a fair, open, and candid manner.
By the late militia law, 2000 young men are to be drafted from the general militia of the province for three months to be properly trained, and of course, a certain proportion of this number is to be furnished by each particular district. Some those drafted from the Parish of Pointe Claire refused to march to Lapraire, for the purpose of joining the division stationed there ; in consequence of which, Major, Leprohon, belonging to this particular battalion, was sent on Tuesday last, with 22 attendants, to apprehend these refractory persons as deserters.
They apprehended four with some opposition ; and on their way to town with them, they were followed by a considerable number of persons who rescued one prisoner, and threatened that they would next day proceed to the depot at Lapraire, and bring away by force from thence the young men of the parish, who were there on duty. Accordingly, on Wednesday, a large body of these people assembled at La Chine, with the intention of carrying their threats into execution.
Thomas M’Cord, Esq. one of the Police Magistrates, about four o’clock in the afternoon, left town, accompanied by the light infantry of the 49th regiment, and a detachment of the royal artillery, with two field-pieces, under the command of Major Plenderleath, and took post on a point opposite to the insurgents (consisting of about 400 persons, 87 of whom appeared to be armed) and at the distance[?] of about two acres. Mr M’Cord, with some other respectable citizens, pointed out the impropriety of their conduct, and the fate that would unfortunately await their perseverance ; urging them, by every persuasion, to disperse and return peaceably to their horses and obey the law.
They replied, that they did not consider the militia bill as fully passed–that they were informed it had not received the Royal sanction ; and that although it might have passed the House of Assembly, where it originated, it had not obtained the approbation of the other branches of the Legislate ; that the law, if really enacted, had not been promagated amongst them, and that they were not properly made acquainted with it ; as such, they could not pay obedience to it.
Under this false and unfortunate impression, these deluded people persisted ; but at the same time declared, with shouts of Vive le Roi that if the Government wanted their services at any time, they were ready, one and all, to come forward with their lives in the defence of their country, and that they would prove themselves, in the hour of danger, to be faithful subjects to a Government to which they were firmly attached by every principle.
Finding, however, that they still persisted in their determination on this particular object, Mr M’Cord, in his Magisterial capacity, read the riot act to them and ordered them to disperse ; which not being complied with, a round shot was fired by the artillery, but elevated above injury, which was returned by the insurgents in a spirited fire with ball, deserving of a better cause. The troops then fired a volley with ball and grape, but still too much elevated to do any harm which was also returned by another discharge from the mob, upon which a few direct shots were fired at them (it being nearly dark) by the military, which made them disperse, and one man was found killed and another wounded, it is feared mortally.
Citation: Caledonian Mercury (Edinburgh, United Kingdom), 29 August 1812, available at the Scissors and Paste Database, http://www.scissorsandpaste.net/104.