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Proclamation to the People of Upper Canada


William Lyon Mackenzie, Canadian journalist and the first mayor of Toronto, was elected to the Colonial assembly in 1828, Known as a 'firebrand' he was expelled from the legislature. His newspaper 'The Colonial Advocate" was known for its firey editorials against members of the Compact Family, the autocratic group which ruled the province. Embittered by the defeat of his Reform Party in 1836 he advocated open rebellion. When rebellion broke out in Lower Canada he led a group of armed insurgents in Upper Canada that were defeated by the Canadian Militia. He fled to the United States where he was arrested and sentenced to 18 months in prison for violation of the neutrality laws between the United States and the British.

Proclamation to the People of Upper Canada

We have planted the Standard of Liberty in Canada, for the attainment of the following objects:

Perpetual Peace, founded on a government of equal rights to all, secured by a written constitution, sanctioned by yourselves in a convention to be called as early as circumstances will permit.

Civil and Religious Liberty, in its fullest extent, that in all laws made, or to be made, every person to be bound alike....

The Abolition of Hereditary Honors, of the laws of Entail and Primogeniture, and of hosts of pensioners who devour our substance.

A Legislature, composed of a Senate and Assembly chosen by the people.

An Executive, to be composed of a Governor and other officers elected by the public voice.

A Judiciary, to be chosen by the Governor and Senate, and composed of the most learned, honorable, and trustworthy, of our citizens. The laws to be rendered cheap and expeditious.

A Free Trial by Jury -- Sheriffs chosen by you, and not to hold office, as now, at the pleasure of our tyrants. The freedom of the press. Alas for it, now! The free presses in the Canadas are trampled down by the hand of arbitrary power.

The Vote by Ballot -- free and peaceful township elections.

The people to elect their Court of Request Commissioners and Justices of the Peace -- and also their Militia Officers, in all cases whatsoever.

Freedom of Trade -- every man to be allowed to buy at the cheapest market, and sell at the dearest.

No man to be compelled to give military service, unless it be his choice.

Ample funds to be reserved from the vast natural resources of our country to secure the blessings of education to every citizen.

A frugal and economical Government, in order that the people may be prosperous and free from difficulty.

An end forever to the wearisome prayers, supplications, and mockeries attendant upon our connection with the lordlings of the Colonial Office, Downing Street, London.

The opening of the St. Lawrence to the trade of the world, so that the largest ships might pass up to Lake Superior, and the distribution of the wild lands of the country to the industry, capital, skill, and enterprise of worthy men of all nations.


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