Mason Wade, the French Canadians, 1760-1945 (Toronto, the Macmillan Company of Canada, 1956), Pp. 426, 427-428, 527-528

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Author: Honore Mercier  | Date: 1889

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THE ROLE OF THE FRENCH CANADIAN
IN CONFEDERATION, 1889:
Speeches by Honore Mercier and Sir Wilfrid Laurier

Honore Mercier, June 24, 1889

Mason Wade, The French Canadians, 1760-1945 (Toronto, The Macmillan Company of Canada, 1956), p. 426.
Reprinted by permission of Mr. Wade and the Macmillan Company of Canada.

As the authorized representative of Quebec... with the consciousness of the responsibility attached to my words, I declare in the name of all of us that we have remained and shall remain Catholic and French. Love of the religion and of the nationality of our fathers is stamped upon our hearts, and no one, not even the most potent of tyrants, can take this love from us.

This province of Quebec is Catholic and French, and it will remain Catholic and French.

While protesting our respect and even our friendship for the representatives of other races and other religions, while declaring ourselves ready to give them their legitimate part in everything and everywhere, while offering to share with them as brothers the immense territory and the great resources that Providence has put at our disposition; while desiring to live in the most perfect harmony with them in the shadow of England’s flag and under the protection of a sovereign dear to all, we solemnly declare that we shall never renounce the rights which are guaranteed to us by the treaties, the law, and the constitution.

These treaties, this law, this constitution give us the right to remain Catholic and French...We are now two million and a half French Canadians in America, proud of our past, strong in our present, and confident in our future; we care little for the threats of our enemies . . .

When we vanish, we shall say to the generation called to succeed us: `We are Catholic and French, and when you, our successors, vanish in your turn, you must say to the generation which will replace you: "We die Catholic and French!" ’ This will be our testament and theirs; the supreme last will of an heroic people, transmitted from father to son, from generation to generation, until the end of time.

Sir Wilfrid Laurier at Quebec, June 24, 1889

Mason Wade, The French Canadians, 1760-1945 (Toronto, The Macmillan Company
of Canada, 1956), pp. 527-528, and, the latter part, by Mason Wade, Ibid., pp. 427-428.
The latter part reprinted by permission of Mr. Wade and the Macmillan Company of Canada.

We are French Canadians, but our country is not confined to the territory overshadowed by the citadel of Quebec; our country is Canada, it is the whole of what is covered by the British flag on the American continent, the fertile lands bordered by the Bay of Fundy, the Valley of the St. Lawrence, the region of the Great Lakes, the prairies of the West, the Rocky Mountains, the lands washed by the famous ocean where breezes are said to be as sweet as the breezes of the Mediterranean. Our fellow-countrymen are not only those in whose veins runs the blood of France. They are all those, whatever their race or whatever their language, whom the fortune of war, the chances of fate, or their own choice have brought among us, and who acknowledge the sovereignty of the British Crown. As far as I am concerned, loudly do I proclaim it, those are my fellow-countrymen, I am a Canadian. But I told it elsewhere, and with greater pleasure, I repeat here this evening, among all my fellow-countrymen, the first place in my heart is for those in whose veins runs the blood of my own veins. Yet I do not hesitate to say that the rights of my fellow-countrymen of different origins are as dear to me, as sacred to me, as the rights of my own race, and if it unfortunately happened that they ever were attacked, I would defend them with just as much energy and vigor as the rights of my own race. I say 1: should I not say you, we all of us? Yes, we are too much the sons of France, of that generous nation which has so often shed her blood for the defence of the weak, of the oppressed, not to be ever ready to defend the rights of our fellow-countrymen of different nationalities to the same extent as our own. What I claim for us is in equal share of the sun, of justice, of liberty; we have that share and have it amply; and what we claim for ourselves we are anxious to grant to others. I do not want French Canadians to domineer over anyone, nor anyone to domineer over them. Equal justice; equal rights...Cannot we believe that in the supreme battle here on the Plains of Abraham, when the fate of arms turned against us, cannot we believe that it entered into the designs of Providence that the two races, enemies up to that time, should henceforth live in peace and harmony? Such was the inspiring cause of Confederation.

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Chicago: Honore Mercier, "The Role of the French Canadian in Confederation, 1889," Mason Wade, the French Canadians, 1760-1945 (Toronto, the Macmillan Company of Canada, 1956), Pp. 426, 427-428, 527-528, ed. Donald C. Masters in Mason Wade, the French Canadians, 1760-1945 (Toronto, the Macmillan Company of Canada, 1956), Pp. 426, 427-428, 527-528, as Cited in "the Role of the French Canadian in Confederation, 1889," a Short History of Canada (Princeton, New Jersey: D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., 1958), 149–151. Original Sources, accessed December 6, 2022, http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=6RYLDUUIVAMSS1D.

MLA: Mercier, Honore. ""The Role of the French Canadian in Confederation, 1889"." Mason Wade, the French Canadians, 1760-1945 (Toronto, the Macmillan Company of Canada, 1956), Pp. 426, 427-428, 527-528, edited by Donald C. Masters, in Mason Wade, the French Canadians, 1760-1945 (Toronto, the Macmillan Company of Canada, 1956), Pp. 426, 427-428, 527-528, as Cited in "the Role of the French Canadian in Confederation, 1889," a Short History of Canada, Princeton, New Jersey, D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., 1958, pp. 149–151. Original Sources. 6 Dec. 2022. http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=6RYLDUUIVAMSS1D.

Harvard: Mercier, H, '"The Role of the French Canadian in Confederation, 1889"' in Mason Wade, the French Canadians, 1760-1945 (Toronto, the Macmillan Company of Canada, 1956), Pp. 426, 427-428, 527-528, ed. . cited in 1958, Mason Wade, the French Canadians, 1760-1945 (Toronto, the Macmillan Company of Canada, 1956), Pp. 426, 427-428, 527-528, as Cited in "the Role of the French Canadian in Confederation, 1889," a Short History of Canada, D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., Princeton, New Jersey, pp.149–151. Original Sources, retrieved 6 December 2022, from http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=6RYLDUUIVAMSS1D.