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, Québec Province, Canada (Quebec) - 1873

QUEBEC, a province of the Dominion of Canada, bounded on the N. by Labrador and Hudson's Bay; on the E. by Labrador and the Gulf of St. Lawrence; on the S by Baie des Chaleurs, New Brunswick and the State of Maine; on the S.E by the States of New Hampshire, Vermont and New York; and on the S.W by the River Ottawa and the Province of Ontario. Length from Lake Temiscaminque to Anse au Blanc Sablon, in the Straits of Belle Isle, about 1,000 miles due east and west course, and from the above named lake to Cape Gaspe, about 700 miles; breadth about 300 miles The total territorial superficies comprises, land and inland waters, 123,747,140 acres, or 193.355 square statute miles, or 500,679 square kilometers. The surface of the country is varied and grand, consisting of boundless forests, magnificent rivers and lakes, extensive prairies, bold, rocky heights and foaming cataracts, diversified by cultivated fields, pretty villages and settlements, some stretching up along mountains, fertile islands, rich pastures, and well fed flocks.

The principal mountain ranges stretch from S.W. to N.E. and lie nearly parallel to each other. They consist of the Notre Dame or Green Mountains, so called from the fine forests that cover their slopes, which, from the latitude of the city of Quebec, follow nearly the whole course of the St. Lawrence, on the S side of which they are situated, and terminate on the Gulf of the same name, between Baie des Chaleurs and Gaspe Point On the N. side of the river is the Laurentian range, which forms undulating ridges of about 1,000 feet in elevation , the Mealy mountains stretching from about lat 75° W. to Sandwich Bay, computed to be about 1,500 feet high, and always covered with snow; and the Wotchish mountains, a short range, of crescent form between the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Hudson's Bay. The rocky masses connected with the mountain chains that line the St. Lawrence advance in many places close to the stream, forming precipitous cliffs, frequently 200 and 300 feet high. The banks of the St. Lawrence are in many places composed of schist, in a decaying or moldering condition and in every quarter granite is found, more or less inclined, but never parallel to the horizon In the Gaspe district numerous and beautiful specimens of quartz have been obtained; indications of coal have also been traced. The limestone format ion extends over 30,000 square miles; the dip is moderate aid the strata of limestone generally undisturbed. Along the shores of the estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence horizontal banks of shells appear at various heights from 10 to 100 feet above high water mark, and inland beaches of sand and shingle, with similar shells: as also elevated limestone rocks, scooped out by the waves, and showing lines of lithodomous perforations — all indicating the successive up-heaving of the land since the sea was inhabited by the existing species of testacea. Earthquakes have been very frequent in the province, and some of them of considerable violence.

The province of Quebec is richly endowed with mines of gold, copper, iron and other ores. Gold is found chiefly on the banks of the Chaudiere. Copper is found in large quantities in the Eastern townships. Iron is found almost everywhere, and is of superior quality. Lead, silver, zinc, platinum, &c, also occur in various sections.

The great River St. Lawrence flows through the Province. Just above Montreal it receives from the N. W. the Ottawa, a river 800 miles long, and in no degree inferior to it in interest. Below Montreal it receives, on the right, the Richelieu river, Laving its source in Lake Champlain; the St. Francis, rising in Lake Memphremagog; and the Chaudiere, the outlet of Lake Megantic; and, on the left, the St. Maurice, the Batiscan and the Saguenay rivers, from 200 to 400 miles in length. The latter is the outlet of the large and beautiful Lake St. John.

The climate of Quebec, though similar to that of Ontario, is colder in winter and warmer in summer. Spring bursts forth in great beauty, and vegetation is rapid. In winter the cold is generally steady; and the atmosphere is clear and bracing, which renders the sleighing very agreeable and pleasant. Winter generally commences the latter end of November and lasts until the end of March. During the winter months the trees are oftentimes covered with frost. Nothing can be imagined more beautiful and brilliant than the effect of sunshine on a calm day on the frozen boughs, where every particle of the icy crystals sparkles, and nature seems decked in diamonds. The soil is generally rich and adapted to the growth of cereals, hay and green crops Apples and plums grow in abundance The greater portion of the province is covered by forests consisting chiefly of white and red pine. Numerous quantities of this timber are annually sent to England The other kinds of timber are ash, birch, beech, elm, hickory, black walnut, maple, cherry, butternut, basswood, spruce, fir, &c- On the 30th of June, 1872, there were 5,894,018 acres of Crown Lands surveyed and ready to be disposed of, and over 100,000,000 acres yet unsurveyed. The revenue from timber dues, ground rents, &c., from July 1st, 1867, to June 30th, 1872, amounted to $1,740,968.35.

The lumber regions of Canada must, under judicious management, long remain a fruitful source of revenue to the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. The augmenting and progressive demand in Great Britain and the United States, the West Indies, and South America, for rough and manufactured timber has given an enormous value within the last decade to timber limits; and, as a natural result, explorations have been pushed far into the interior, and regions long neglected, have acquired a commercial value. If we examine the records of the Crown Lands Department for the province of Quebec we find evidence to show that large areas have been acquired at prices far beyond the rates of former days. Thus in 1867, when the British North American provinces were confederated, and each province invested with the control of the forest lands within its limits, rough surveys had been made of 192,000 square miles, though only a small portion had been leased, as the following tables will explain:

Number of square miles under license iti 1868 25,000
Number of square miles vacant 167,000
Total income in 1868 $195,115
Number of square miles under license in 1872 42,399
Number of square miles vacant 149,601
Total income in 1872 $444,752

Thus 25,000 miles in 1568 yielded a revenue of $195,115
While 42,399 miles in 1872 yielded a revenue of $444,752
For many years past skilled explorers and surveyors have been employed in the interior, making themselves thoroughly acquainted with the nature of the soil, and the quantity and character of the forests.

Messrs. Russell, Symes and Casgrain were employed ascertaining the value of the forest lands on the Upper Ottawa above Quinze River, between Lakes Victoria and Expanse, included in latitudes 47° and 48° and longitudes 76° to 79° They were engaged on this duty at intervals during the years 1806 to 1871; and Messrs. W. Wagner, Lindsay Russell, Duncan Sinclair and Lahore, between the years 1805 and 1870 made exhaustive explorations of the country around the head waters of the Gatineau, Lievre and Rouge, but more especially within latitudes 46° and 47° and longitudes 74° and 75°. The great impediment in the path of the lumber merchant who acquires distant timber limits is, the enormous cost of clearing out the smaller streams from their incumbrances so that lugs can be floated; and also constructing slides to overcome heavy rapids and falls. Hundreds of thousands of dollars must often be 1aid out in preliminary works of this character before a single saw log or piece of square timber can be brought to market. These reasons will explain partly why such large areas of forest land, do not enjoy a high commercial value, and why the following limits yet await purchasers:


St. Maurice territory, limits yet vacant 6,000
Gatineau, limits yet vacant 1,000
Upper Ottawa, limits yet vacant 3,000
Other sections of the province, including Labrador and Gaspé 139,000
Total miles awaiting purchasers 149,000
Being equivalent to 107,000,000 acres of unsurveyed lands.

The timber limits of Gaspe only acquired a commercial value within the last few years, but now they are attracting attention, and beginning to bring in a revenue. Timber limits vary in size according to the standing of the lessees, many of the large lumbering establishments holding hundreds of square miles. The Governments of Ontario and Quebec never relinquish their proprietary rights; they invariably retain the fond or proprietary right; merely leasing the usufruct. Formerly the leases were of short duration and at very moderate rates, bit experience taught the Crown Land Departments that, under long leases, the limit holders would have a direct pecuniary interest in protecting the forests from disastrous fires, and judiciously selecting their annual cuttings, so as to permit the growth of the young timber.

Under the existing system of granting licenses, the leases continue in force for twenty-one years, with the right of renewal at such bonus as the Commissioners may stipulate when the lease expires. Thirty years since, two dollars per square mile was regarded as a high rate to pay per square mile for a timber limit, but the rates have advanced so rapidly, consequent oil the United States demand for lumber, that thirty and thirty-five dollars were freely paid in 1872 per square mile, for twelve hundred miles. The thirty dollars is a prime or bonus for a twenty-one years' lease, but there are annual charges attaching to each mile of limit worked, called ground rent and stumpage, amounting to some four dollars per square mile per annum.

In 1872, Quebec had 793 miles of railway in operation; 305 miles in course of construction; and 252 miles for which charters had been granted. The railways in operation were, the Grand Trunk and brandies, the Montreal and Vermont Junction, Stanstead, Shefford and Chambly, South Eastern, Montreal, Chambly and Sorel, Intercolonial, Massawippi Valley, Gosford (wooden), and St. Lawrence and Industry; those in course of construction were the Intercolonial (to be completed in 1874), Levis and Kennebec, St. Francis and Lake Megantic, Northern Colonization; and those chartered were the North Shore, Montreal and St. Lin, and Richmond, Melbourne and Missisquoi.

The province, as regards civil matters, is divided into parishes, townships, counties and districts. Whenever a new district is sufficiently populous to form a parish, the Roman Catholic Diocesan Bishop, upon the requisition of a majority of the inhabitants, orders its canonical erection into a parish. By a proceeding somewhat analogous the civil authorities order the civil erection of municipal corporations. The town-ships arc of English origin. After the ce o i of Canada to Great Britain, the English land system of holding in free and common soccage was Instituted for the feudal system upon all Crown Lands, and then the township took the place of the seigniory. The regular limits of a township are ten miles square, or 100 superficial miles. Such townships as are not subdivided into parishes preserve for all municipal or other purposes their legal limits. The counties were established for the purposes of representation, each county having the right to send one member to the House of Commons every five years, and one to the Local Legislature every four years. In addition to this each county forms a registration division for registration of mortgages, &c. The parish and township municipalities comprised in a county form what is called a county municipality. The province is divided into 65 electoral districts, viz:

Counties Pop County Town
Argenteuil 12,800 Lachute
Bagot 19,491 St. Hugues
Beauce 27,253 St. Francois
Beauharnois 14,757 Beauharnois
Bellecbasse 17,677 St. Michel
Berthier 19,804 Berthier
Bonaventure 15,923 New Carlisle
Brome 13,757 Knowlton
Chambly 10,498 Longueull
Champlain 22,052 Batiscan
Charlevoix 15,011 St. Paul's Bay
Chateauguay 10,100 St. Martiue
Chicoutimi 17,493 Chicoutimi
Saguenay 4,887 Tadousao
Compton 13,635 Cookshire
Dorchester 17,779 St. Henedine
Drummond 14,281 Drummondville
Arthabaska 17,012 St. Christophe
Gaspé 18,731 Perce
Hochelaga 25,640 Longue Pointe
Huntingdon 16,304 Huntingdon
Iberville 15,413 St. Athanase
Jacques Cartier 11,179 Pointe Clairo
Joliette 23,075 Joliette
Kamouraska 21,254 Kamouraska
Laprairie 11,861 Laprairie
L'Assomption 15,473 L'Assomption
Laval 9,472 Ste. Rose
Levis 24.831 Levis
L'Islet 13,517 St. Jean Port Joli
Lotbiniere 20,606 Lotbiniere
Maskinongé 15,079 Riviere du Loup
Megantic 18,879 Leeds
Missisquoi 16,922 Frelighsburg
Montcalm 12,742 St. Julienne
Montmagny 13,555 St. Thomas
Montmorency 12,085 Chateau Richer
Montreal, C. 23,913 Montreal
Montreal. E. 40,291 Montreal
Montreal, W. 37,021 Montreal
Napierville 11,088 Napierville
Nicolet 23,202 Becancour
Ottawa Co. 33,629 Hull
Pontiac 25,810 Bryson
Portneut 22,509 Cap Santé
Quebec, C. 18,188 Quebec
Quebec, E. 28,305 Quebec
Quebec, W 13,206 Quebec
Quebec Co 19,607 Charlesbourg
Richmond 11,213 Richmond
Wolfe 8,823 Dudswell
Richelieu 20,048 Sorel
Rouville 27,418 Rimouski
Rouville 17,034 Marieville
St. Hyacinthe 18,310 St. Hyacinthe
St. Johns 12,122 St. Johns
St. Maurice 11,144 Yamachiche
Shefford 19,077 Waterloo
Sherbrooke 8,516 Sherbrooke
Soulanges 10,808 Coteau Landing
Stanstead 13,138 Stanstead
Temiscouata 24,991 Isle Verte
Terrebonne 19,591 St. Jerome
Three Rivera 8,414 Three Rivera
Two Mountains 15,015 Ste. Scholastique
Vaudreuil 11,003 Vaudreuil
Vercheres 12,717 Vercheres
St. Fran's, du Lac 16,316 St. Fran's, du Lac

Total area of the above counties 120,018,964 acres. Land surveyed in 1S66, 29,528 square miles.

For judicial purposes the province is divided into 20 districts, each judicial district having ample and equal jurisdiction in all matters, except as to revision and appeal. The Superior Court sits in revision only at Montreal and Quebec , the Court of Appeal also sits only at .Montreal and Quebec.

Public instruction is under the control and direction of the Provincial Secretary, who is also called the Minister of Public Instruction, and who is assisted by a Council of 21 members, appointed by the Lieutenant Governor, 14 of whom are Roman Catholics and 7 Protestants. Primary education is so far compulsory that every citizen is bound to con-tribute a moderate tax assessed on bis property. In municipalities where there are different religious denominations the school commissioners of the majority govern. The schools of the minority are called dissentient schools, whose trustees are invested with the same authority as the commissioners of schools of the majority. In the cities of Montreal and Quebec there are separate boards of commissioners for the Protestant and Roman Catholic schools. Teachers are trained in Nor-mal schools, supported at the expense of the Province. In 1871 there were in the province 3,039 elementary schools, 227 model schools, 147 agricultural, commercial a id special schools, and 15 classical colleges and seminaries The Protestant Universities are McGill College, at Montreal, founded in 1827, and Bishop's College, Lennoxville, founded in 1843. The Roman Catholic University of Laval was founded by the Quebec Seminary in 1852.

The prevailing religion is that of the Church of Rome. The Roman Catholic Dioceses are six in number, viz: the Archdiocese of Quebec ,and the Dioceses of Montreal, Three Rivers, St. Hyacinthe, Sherbrooke and Rimouski. The Protestant Dioceses are two in number: Montreal, the Metro political See, and Quebec. According to the census of 1871, the religious denominations in the province were as follows:

Church of England 62,449
Church of Rome 1,019.850
Church of Scotland 13,023
Presbyterians 33,142
Wesleyan Methodists 26,737
Other Methodists 7,259
Baptists 8,686
Congregationalists 5,240
Unitarians 1,098
Miscellaneous Creeds 11,607
Jews 549
Of no religion 420
No creed stated 1,461
Total 1,191,516
There are four cities in the province: Montreal, population 107,225; Quebec, 59,669; Three Rivers 7,570; and St. Hyacinthe, 3,746. The principal manufactures are cloth, linen, furniture, leather, sawn lumber, flax, hardware, paper, chemicals, soap, boots and shoes, cotton and woolen goods, steam engines and locomotives, wooden ware of all descriptions, agricultural implements, ships, &c. The facilities for manufacturing afforded by abundant water power are excellent.

The public affairs of the province are administered by a Lieutenant Governor, an Executive Council of 7 members, a Legislative Council of 24 members, appointed for life, and a Legislative Assembly of 65 members. The judicial department comprises a Court of Queen's Bench, with a Chief Justice and 4 assistants: a Superior Court, with Chief Justice and 26 assistants; a Court of vice Admiralty; Courts of Quarter Sessions; and Courts for the summary trial of small causes.

According to late returns the total value of the imports from all foreign countries in 1872 amounted to $49,370,176, of which $8,971,658 were from the United States, and $33,731,014 from Great Britain. The exports for the same period amounted to $11,823,470. The imports for Montreal alone amounted to $40,088,005, and exports $18,171,384. The chief articles exported were pot and pearl ashes, flour, wheat, oats, barley, butter, cheese, copper, wool, and lumber. In 1872 there arrived at the several ports of the province 1,608 vessels with an aggregate burthen of 1,334,086 tons. During the same period there cleared 1,660 vessels; tons 1,135,715.

The commerce of the province is greatly facilitated by several canals which avoid the most violent rapids of the St. Lawrence. These are the Lachine canal, extending from Montreal to Lake St. Louis; the Beauharnois canal, uniting Lakes St. Francis and St. Louis; the Chambly canal, uniting Lake Champlain with the Richelieu river; and the Carillon and Grenville canal.

The province contains many grand and beautiful objects of interest to the tourist. The Ottawa and its tributaries abound in falls and rapids of an exceedingly picturesque character. Ascending this stream a little above Rigaud you have Carillon Falls, a series of rapids 12 miles in length. Near Ottawa city a branch, called the Rideau, pours its waters down a perpendicular bed of blue limestone, 50 feet, into the Ottawa. The Chaudiere Falls, (the Indian name of which is Kanajo, "the Boiling Pot') in the same vicinity, are wild and grand. The Fall in no place exceeds 40 feet, but the rapids extend 6 miles, and the water foams, tosses, and tumbles among rocks of every shape, in perpetual variety, and in such a manner as never to weary the eye, appearing like a multitude of different streams " struggling for a passage." An excellent view of the whole is had from a line suspension bridge over the Ottawa. One portion of the river is separated from the main stream, and falls into a subterranean passage. When this part of Canada was an unbroken wilderness, an enterprising American named Philemon Wright established himself at the falls, selecting the mouth or Hull side as his residence. His descendants include the present Common's Members for the counties of Pontiac and Ottawa. The late Philemon Wright had his attention early attracted to the strange phenomenon of a considerable portion of the Chaudiere Falls descending into a rocky basin without any apparent outlet. Having built the first saw mill ever erected on the Ottawa river, at that part of the falls immediately above the lost channel, and being curious to know its outlet, he followed the course of the river downwards for sixty miles, examining the shore line on each side, but he was unable to discover the slightest trace of the saw dust or saw mill debris daily cast into the lost channel, and to this day the enigma has baffled curiosity and science, and the outlet is a mystery. At these and the other falls are timber slides constructed at great expense. Les Chats, another series of falls or rapids, 30 miles farther up, are formed by the river breaking, at high water, over the rocks in 33 distinct shoots, spreading across the river to a width of 4 miles. Some of these separate shoots would, in many places, be called large rivers and are very remarkable falls, and well worthy the attention of the tourist. At Calumet there is another rapid of scarcely less interest; a fall of 120 feet in the Keepawa branch; besides, a number of inferior falls and rapids, studded with saw mills, and the banks in many places wild and rugged; while the river often expands into beautiful lakes. The well known Falls of Montmorency, 7 miles below Quebec, with a perpendicular descent of 240 feet; the Falls of the Chaudiere, on the S. side of the St. Lawrence, 10 miles above Quebec, with a perpendicular pitch of 125 feet down a deep chasm; the beautiful Falls of the St. Anne, on the N. shore of the St. Lawrence, 22 miles below Quebec; and the Long Sault, Cedars and Lachine rapids are all on the fashionable route of tourists. But the grandest river scenery is to be seen on the Saguenay river, which enters the St. Lawrence about 120 miles below Quebec. The last 60 miles of its course are exceedingly sublime. The banks, varying in height from 500 to 1,500 feet, not only often perpendicular, but absolutely overhanging the dark, deep river below "as if to gaze at its own rugged features." The precipitancy continues below as well as above the water, which has been found as deep within 5 feet of the shore as in the middle; and near its mouth a line of 3,000 feet failed to reach the bottom. The depth in other parts varies from 100 to 1,000 feet. The upper part of the Saguenay abounds in falls and rapids. Excursions are made from Montreal and Quebec to this river in steamboats. The scenery on the N. bank of the St. Lawrence alone is worth the trip.

The Indian population of the province of Quebec in 1871 was 8,657 — Nepissing, Algonquins, Abenakis, Hurons, Amalicites, Micmacs, Montagnais and Nasquapees.

The province is said to have been discovered by Sebastian Cabot in 1407; but the first settlement made by Europeans was in 1541, near Quebec, by Jacques Cartier, a French navigator, who sailed up the St. Lawrence, to which he gave its present name. In 1G08, a permanent settlement was made by the French upon the present site of the city of Quebec. From this period till 1759 the French continued to occupy the country, though much harassed by various tribes of Indians, particularly the Iroquois; but in the year hut named an English army, under General Wolfe, captured Quebec; and by September 8, 1730, all other places within the government of Cana-da were surrendered to the British, and the French power entirely annihilated. In 1792 the province was divided into Upper and Lower Canada, but in 1840, after serious political dissensions, they were reunited under the name of the United Provinces of Canada. In 1867, they were again separated, and under the names respectively of Ontario and Quebec, form the two most important provinces in the Dominion of Canada.

Lovell's gazetteer of British North America; J. Lovell; Montreal, 1873

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