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Copy of an Intercepted Letter, Dated Montreal, May 6, 1775



DEAR FINLAY: Since your departure we have had many disagreeable things happened here, and news of worse from Boston, which have given me great uneasiness on your account, for fear you should fall into their hands, and be detained till matters are settled between them and the Mother Country, which desired event, I am afraid, is now far distant, since hostilities are commenced; but I hope you heard the shocking news in time to take such measures as to avoid any danger.

In the night of the 30th of April, some malicious and mischievous person or persons disfigured the King' s bust on the parade, by blacking its face, hanging a chaplet of potatoes about its neck, with a wooden cross and a label, on which was wrote, "Le Pape de Canada ou le sot Anglois," (the Pope of Canada and the fool of England,) with an intent, no doubt, of creating jealousies, animosities,


and disturbances amongst the people, particularly between the English and Canadians; and I am sorry to tell you they have met with great success.

Early the next morning, "when it was discovered, the commanding officer sent two Sergeants to clean the bust and take off the chaplet, label, and cross. The new Judges and conservators of the peace were then consulted, but they took no immediate measures on the occasion, except sending an account of the transaction to the Governour. The military first took up the matter, and blamed the English inhabitants, throwing many reflections on them, particularly the Committee, who, some amongst them, were absolutely charged with the fact, which has occasioned great uneasiness, and I am afraid will be attended with bad consequences. The Canadians also point them out as the authors; so that you may judge a subscription of One Hundred Pounds Sterling was entered into by the Merchants, &c˙, at the Coffee-House, as a reward to any person who should, discover the offender. The military gentlemen also subscribed Fifty Guineas for the same purpose; and advertisements were made out and published by both parties the next day, by beat of drum. In the course of the publication two frays happened. Mr˙ Belestre was standing at a corner of a street with a number of others, when the advertisement was read, and he observed that whoever did it deserved to be hanged; upon which young Franks observed they did not hang people for such trifles, and that it was not worth the trouble, which incensed Belestre, who abused Franks, and took him by the nose, which Franks returned with a blow that knocked him down, and cut his forehead; somebody then interposed and parted them; both parties applied to the Judges, but neither, could get satisfaction, Belestre being the aggressor, could not get Franks bound over, and he could not Belestre, but for what reason I cannot tell. The next day Franks was apprehended and committed to prison, not for the assault, but on Belestre, affidavit, for the expressions he made use of about the crime, which I mentioned before, and bail was refused; however, the day following the Judges sent him notice, that upon consideration, they had agreed to take bail, but he refused to give any, and is now in prison waiting for an answer from, the Governour, to a state of the case he sent to his father.


The other affair happened between Ezekiel Solomons, the Jew, and Pallieur; the latter, accused the Jews of having disfigured the bust, upon which some words ensued, and Solomons knocked him down; he has been apprehended, and has given bail.



* The Quebeck Act took effect in Canada on the first of May, 1775.