L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia
Mandamus of Monsignor Briand
on the American Invasion of Canada
A troop of subjects in revolt against their lawful Sovereign, who is at the same time ours, have just made an irruption into this province, less in the hope of maintaining themselves here than with a view of dragging you into their revolt or at least preventing you from opposing their pernicious design. The remarkable goodness and gentleness with which we have been governed by his very gracious Majesty, King George the Third, since the fortune of war subjected us to his rule; the recent favours with which he has loaded us, in restoring to us the use of our laws and the free exercise of our religion; and in letting us participate in all the privileges and advantages of British subjects, would no doubt be enough to excite your gratitude and zeal in support of the interests of the British Crown. But motives even more urgent must speak to your heart at the present moment. Your oaths, your religion, lay upon you the unavoidable duty of defending your country and your King with all the strength you possess. [Thus, Dear Canadiens, shut your ears, do not listen to those seditious individuals who seek to make you unhappy and smother in your heart sentiments of submission to your legitimate superiors, which education and religion had placed there. Answer with joy all the commands of our benevolent governor who has no other objectives than your interest and your happiness. You are not asked to fight a war in far-off provinces: only to give a hand in repelling the enemy, and to prevent the invasion threatening this province. The voice of religion and that of your interest are here united and assures us of your zeal in defending the frontiers of our province and of our possessions.]
[Quebec, May 22, 1775]
Jean Olivier Briand Source: G. A. RAWLYK, Revolution Rejected, 1775-1776, Scarborough, Prentice-Hall, 1968, 128p., pp. 62-63. The part in between brackets […] was added to the Rawlyk document and was translated by Claude Bélanger.
© 2004 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College