Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
June 2005

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia


Eastern Townships


Eastern Townships, the name applied to those townships in the province of Quebec lying south of the St. Lawrence river which were surveyed soon aft& 1791, to distinguish them from the Western Townships, on the north shore of the St. Lawrence and about the bay of Quinte, surveyed in 1783-4. During the French period the country south of the St. Lawrence remained almost wholly a wilderness, inhabited by wandering Algonkian tribes; and even after the British conquest it remained at first unsettled. Even Loyalist immigration into the district was discouraged, since it was deemed better to keep the district as a sort of no man's land between Canada and the revolting colonies. In 1791 the English law of free and common socage was introduced by the Constitutional Act into Lower Canada ; and consequently the country south of the St. Lawrence was surveyed in townships, and granted in free and common socage, rather than in accordance with the seigniorial tenure that prevailed in the older parts of the province. See Mrs. C. M. Day, Pioneers of the Eastern Townships (Montreal, 1863), and History of the Eastern Townships (Montreal 1869), Abbé I. Caron, La colonisation de la province de Québec: Les Cantons de l'Est (Quebec, 1927), and C E. Bélanger, Les Cantons de l'Est (études Économiques, vol. ii, Montreal, 1932).

Source  : W. Stewart WALLACE, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. II, Toronto, University Associates of Canada , 1948, 411p., p.257.


© 2005 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College