VAN DIEMEN'S LAND AND THE CANADIAN REBELLION OF 1837-38.
An important and extensive collection of extremely rare printed and autograph material relating to the exiled Canadian Patriots in Van Dieman's Land and New South Wales, and to the previous events of the rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada.
'At the close of the Canadian rebellion of 1837-8, 141 men were transported, as political prisoners, 58 to New South Wales and 83 to Van Dieman's Land. After four years of wretched existence, those who survived (except one, who remained in Australia) returned by various routes to Canada and the United States. Nine men wrote "narratives" of their experiences during the rebellion, the journey to exile, and their sufferings as prisoners. ALL THESE BOOKS ARE NOW EXTREMELY RARE' (Ferguson 4029 and 2724). Five of these accounts are in the Keynes collection, as follows:
WAIT, Benjamin. Letters from Van Dieman's Land, written during Four Years Imprisonment for Political Offences committed in Upper Canada... also, letters descriptive of personal appeals in behalf of her husband and his fellow prisoners to the Earl of Durham, Her Majesty, and the United Legislature of the Canadas. By Mrs B. Wait.. Buffalo: A. W. Wilgus, 1843. Portrait frontispiece and folding map. A rare copy of the remarkable account of Benjamin Wait and his courageous wife, whose tireless efforts to solicit his pardon 'had some effect in hastening pardons or modified sentences for the political exiles' (Ferguson). Wait escaped from Van Dieman's Land on an American whaler and found his wife at Niagara Falls. Ferguson 3762.
Leon DUCHARME. Journal d'un Exile Politique aux Terres Australes. Montreal: F. Cinq-Mars, Bureau de L'Aurore, 1845. 'A rare and interesting account of the experiences of the French Canadian prisoners sent to New South Wales' Ferguson 4029.
Linus W MILLER. Notes of an Exile to Van Diemen's Land. Fredonia, N. Y.: W. McKinstry and Co., 1846. 'A most vivid and interesting account of the convict system in Tasmania from within by a political prisoner.' Ferguson 4349.
Capt. Daniel D HEUSTIS. A Narrative of the Adventures and Sufferings of Captain Daniel D. Heustis and his companions, in Canada and Van Dieman's Land.... Boston: for Redding and Co., 1847. First edition of 'ONE OF THE RAREST OF THE CANADIAN REBELLION PRISONER NARRATIVES'. Ferguson 4536.
Willian GATES. Recollections of Life in Van Diemans's Land. Lockport: D. S. Crandall, office of the Lockport Daily Courier, 1850. 12° (150 x 102mm). (Small marginal loss to title, occasional browning or staining.) Original brown cloth, spine titled in gilt (extremities rubbed). 'ONE OF THE RAREST AND MOST INTERESTING OF THE NARRATIVES OF THE EXILED CANADIAN PRISONERS' (Ferguson). Gates was taken prisoner on the St Lawrence after the battle of the Windmill and sent out to Van Diemen's Land in the prison-ship, the Buffalo. His is a 'vivid account of his life on the island, as convict, ticket-of-leave man and farm overseer'. Ferguson 5361; Toronto Public Library, p.14.
HUME, Joseph (1777-1855). Autograph letter signed to Joseph Beeman Townsend, of Talbot District, Upper Canada; London, 24th Nov. 1840., 4°, 3 pages (a few neat tears along folds, repaired marginal tear.)
Joseph Hume, M.P., writes to the father of Jacob Beeman, a prisoner in Van Diemen's Land, explaining that he has forwarded his letter to his son, and has himself written to a Member of Council on the island, 'requesting his attention to all the Canadians; and to use his influence to lessen the severity of their treatment'; he considers this approach to be more productive than petitioning Lord John Russell, the Colonial Minister, who seems determined 'that the law should take its course'. Hume mentions Canadians being placed in 'working gangs in chains' with convicts, a 'severe and unusual' treatment for political offenders. Hume takes great interest in 'the fate of these unfortunate Canadians', urging Beeman and his friends to petition the Governor General of Canada to grant an amnesty to political offenders. Hume himself had made a strong appeal to Lord Russell to ask Queen Victoria 'to grant a general amnesty' and states his determination to present the case of the Canadians in the British Parliament, not ceasing until 'every Canadian shall be in freedom to return to his Country.. !!!'
[And]: HOUSE OF COMMONS, a Return to Parliament by Hume, listing the Names of Persons imprisioned in Lower Canada, charged with treason... after the 1st November 1837. Ordered, by The House of Commons, to be printed, 15 April 1840. 4°, 21pp.
Material relating to WILLIAM LYON MACKENZIE AND THE CANADIAN REBELLION: William Lyon Mackenzie (1795-1861), the Mayor of Toronto and publisher of reformist magazines, one of which openly advocated republicanism, tried to organize a coup by kidnapping the lieutenant-governor in December 1837. The attempt failed and Mackenzie fled to America, where he raised a mob in Buffalo and fortified Navy Island.
Mackenzie's Gazette, Volume I, nos. 27-50, November 10 1838 to May 4 1839, 'Devoted to the News and Politics of Canada'. EXTREMELY RARE, with only one incomplete copy of nos.1-26 known. Not listed in Toronto Public Library.
Charles LINDSEY. The Life and Times of Wm. Lyon Mackenzie. With an Account of the Canadian Rebellion of 1837, and the Subsequent Frontier Disturbances, chiefly from unpublished documents. Toronto: P. R. Randall, 1862. 2 volumes in one. Original cloth gilt.
Mackenzie's own Narrative of The Late Rebellion... exhibiting the only true account of what took place at the Memorable Siege of Toronto ...December 1837. Toronto: The Palladium Office, 1838. Pamphlet, 4°, 23pp.
William COPLAND. Narrative of the early Events of the Rebellion in Upper Canada. Holt and London, 1838. Pamphlet, 8°, 27pp; [Together with]: John Charles DENT (1841-88). The Story of the Upper Canadian Rebellion. Toronto: C. Bhackett Robinson, 1885. 2 volumes; E. A. THELLER. Canada in 1837-38. Philadelphia: Henry F. Anners and New York: J. & H. G. Langley, 1841. 2 volumes; EVANS, William. Traite Theorique et Pratique de L'Agriculture...en Canada. Montreal: Louis Perrault, 1836-7; A Geographical History of Nova Scotia. London: Paul Vaillant, 1749; [HENRY]. Trifles from My Port-folio, or Recollections of Scenes and Small Adventures during Twenty-Nine Years' Military Service in... Upper and Lower Canada... by a Staff Surgeon. Quebec: William Neilson and London: S. Highley, 1839. 2 volumes; A Short Account of the Emigration from the Highlands of Scotland, to North America; and the Establishment of the Catholic Diocese of Upper Canada. Kingston, Upper Canada: 1839. 8°, 54pp; Charge, of The Honorable John B. Robinson, Chief Justice of Upper Canada, to The Grand Jury at Toronto. Toronto, R. Stanton, 1838. 8°, 21pp; and 2 others. (23)