A short history of the Richelieu

The Richelieu River is a Canadian river of Canada, which has its source in Lake Champlain, flows north and empties into the St. Lawrence River. It was formerly known as the Iroquois River and the Chambly River. This river was a key way of water transport for cross-border trade between Canada and the United States, until the arrival of the railways in the mid-nineteenth century.

Because of its strategic location, between New France and New England, several military fortifications were erected on the course of the river. It served as a gateway to several military tours and was the scene of several battles between the late seventeenth century and the early nineteenth century between the French and the Iroquois, and between French and English, during the regime of new France, and finally between the English and the Americans after 1760.


A section of the Richelieu River, seen from Mont Saint-Hilaire
With its watershed with a total area of 23,720 km2 – including those of Lake Champlain (19,925 km2) and Missisquoi Bay (1289 km2) – Richelieu River is the largest tributary of the south shore of the St -Laurent and drains a large area of southern Quebec. The waters from the western slopes of the Green Mountains and the eastern slopes of the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. The Champlain Valley is the essence of the watershed.

With a length of 124 km, the Richelieu River begins at the north end of Lake Champlain, on the border between Canada (Quebec) and the United States (states of Vermont and New York). In his journey to the north, the river passes through several towns and villages: Lacolle, Ile aux Noix, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Saint-Mathias-sur-Richelieu, Richelieu, Chambly, Otterburn Park, McMasterville, Beloeil, Saint Charles-sur-Richelieu, Saint-Denis-sur-Richelieu, Saint-Ours and Sorel-Tracy. Finally, the river flows into the St. Lawrence River, at the entrance of Lake St. Peter, about 40 miles northeast of the Island of Montreal and about 150 miles southwest of Quebec City .

The Quebec portion of the watershed (about 15% of its total area) of the Richelieu River includes 18 lakes and ponds as well as forty rivers and tributary streams of Richelieu. The main tributaries of the Richelieu rivers are Acadia, South Huron and Lacolle.

Nearly 340 000 people across eight regional county municipalities (MRC) and 65 municipalities, live in the Quebec portion of the watershed of the river. The population density (140 inhabitants per km2) is very high compared to that of most other regions of Quebec. Just over 70% of this land is used for agricultural purposes.

Since the opening of the Chambly Canal in 1843, the Richelieu allows navigation between the St. Lawrence River and Lake Champlain. At the south end of the lake, the Champlain Canal (opened in 1823) then provides access to the Hudson River and downstream, the city of New York, where the river empties into the Atlantic Ocean. while The St. Lawrence River is an important waterway linking the Great Lakes of North America to the Atlantic Ocean inCanada. He is the only emissary of the Great Lakes. The St. Lawrence River borders part of the Province of Ontario and south through the entire province. It is in its Ontario and natural part of international border between Canada and the United States by the State of New York. It is one of the largest rivers in the world.

This allows us to say that much of Canada’s history and even before the independence of a united state begin between River and River.

Course of the river and hydrology

The average slope of the Richelieu River is 0.19 m / km, but 24 meter drop between St-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Chambly for an average flow of 330 m3 / s.

By convention, generally three main sections of the river:

The Haut-Richelieu (between Lake Champlain and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu): It is characterized by a very low slope (0.3 m by 35 km). With a width of about 1.5 km at its southern end, it becomes increasingly narrow (a width of about 250 m in its narrowest zones). It passes through the towns of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Iberville and St. Luke (merged in 2001).
The Chambly Canal (Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu Chambly): Because of its high elevation in this area – 25 m 12 km – the river is dotted with numerous rapids. The channel, consisting of nine locks and a length of nearly 19 km, allowing boats to get around. In Chambly, the river widens into the Chambly Basin.
The Bas-Richelieu (between Chambly and St. Lawrence River): It passes including the cities of Otterburn Park, Beloeil, Mont-Saint-Hilaire and municipalities McMasterville, Saint-Charles-sur-Richelieu and Saint-Denis-sur-Richelieu. In St. Ours, the river is again characterized by a sudden drop, before emptying into the St. Lawrence River at Sorel-Tracy, southwest of Lake St. Peter.
Several river islands along the route of the Richelieu River. Arguably the most famous, Île aux Noix is located on the Upper Richelieu and is home to Fort Lennox, considered a national historic site. Downstream, Île Sainte-Thérèse, near Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu (Saint-Luc area), is the largest island in the Richelieu (its length is about 4 km and its maximum width of 1 km ). Formerly agricultural, it is now largely residential. She also once housed Fort Sainte-Thérèse, built in 1665, but abandoned in the late eighteenth century and now gone.

The Richelieu is one of three rivers in Quebec tributaries of the St. Lawrence River, flowing from south to north, the other two being the Chaudière and Châteauguay Rivers. Ice jams can form in the spring with the melting of ice in the south while the north is still frozen, causing flooding.

Tributaries in the Quebec portion of the stream

  • Acadie8 el río, 82 kilometros. Boquilla: Carignan.
  • South River, a 34 km.
  • River Amyot
  • Río Lacolle, 24 km. Boquilla: Lacolle.
  • Huron River (Richelieu Valle), a 33 km. Boca: Saint-Mathias-sur-Richelieu
  • El río Iroquois
  • River Bernier
  • Creek Massé
  • Bernard Creek
  • North Creek (Saint-Mathieu-de-Beloeil)
  • South Creek (Saint-Mathieu-de-Beloeil)


Before the arrival of the French poeple, the Richelieu River was used by the Iroquois, the Huron and the Algonquin. Samuel de Champlain visit as early as 1608 and it rebounded on his route in 1609. Formerly called Masoliantekw, which means “water where there’s lots of food” in Abenaki, called River to the Iroquois at the beginning of the colony, its french name comes from the name of cardinal Richelieu (1585-1642), Louis XIII’s Minister

In the XVII century, the repeated attacks of the Iroquois endanger the existence of the French colony of America. The first military posts, such as Fort Richelieu at Sorel and Fort Saint-Jean are then constructed. The latter, built in 1666, leads to the Foundation of the city of Saint John, today Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. In the 18th century, the region became strategically more coveted by the British and french colonial empires. The two powers wish to expand their territory and control of the fur trade. English and French criminalize most imposing fortified posts, such as Fort Lennox of Isle – aux-Noix, Fort Sainte-Thérèse and Fort St-Louis (or Fort Chambly). These fortifications and the fertile lands of the river’s edge to attract peasants. It was at this time that the Haut-Richelieu region gets its nickname of “Valley of the forts”.

After 1759-1760 period the British conquest, and after the war of independence of the United States, British soldiers and loyalists come to settle on the banks of the Richelieu. The battle of Saint-Denis and Saint-Charles occur along the Richelieu River, during the rebellion of 1837. In 1812, Americans borrowed the Seaway to invade their neighbour to the North.

In the second half of the 19th century, the river however ceases to be a path of war. The business side asserts itself with the completion of the Chambly canal in 1843. It becomes possible to bypass Rapids and route logs, of the pulp, hay and coal directly. As a result of this first canal, a whole network of channels are formed. These allow to join the Hudson River, and thus New York. The international trade between the Canada and the United States becomes possible. Tourists from New York and Montreal visit the river. Its contribution to regional prosperity is thus crucial and Saint-Jean becomes, in the middle of the century, the most important inland port of Quebec and the Canada. The River, including the areas densely populated as well as several agricultural land, rail has a pollution problem, especially downstream from the Chambly basin. Measures concerning the treatment of waste water have reduced the presence of pollutants in recent years. The resort has largely replaced the business generated by the Richelieu, considered a “heritage corridor”. In 2011, major flooding occurred on the banks of the River in the Montérégie region.


The Patriot Rebellion

The Rebellion des Patriotes, Rebellion du Bas-Canada, or simply Rebellions of 1837-38, are three names given to the military conflict of 1837-1838 in the British colony of lower Canada (today Quebec). It is the culmination of a political conflict that had existed since the beginning of the 19th century between the civilian population and the colonial military occupier. Simultaneous with the Haut-Canada Rebellion in the nearby colony of Upper Canada the two formed the Rebellions of 1837.


The rebellion of 1837-38 in lower Canada was much more violent than in Upper Canada. During the spring and summer 1837, the reform leaders, whose principal was Louis – Joseph Papineau, leader of the Patriot Party, took advantage of the long-standing political tensions to set up a large force rebel. The situation was so tense in October 1837 all regular British troops have been removed from Haut-Canada and transferred in lower Canada. The rebel troops did not weight before the important colonial military force, under the direction of general John Colborne, supplemented by a large number of loyal Orange militiamen coming from Upper Canada. The rebel Patriots did against troops and loyalist militias on three occasions: at Saint-Denis, Saint-Charles and Saint-Eustache. Martial law was declared and many rebels, including Louis-Joseph Papineau, were forced to flee to the United States. Hundreds were arrested, many were deported to Australia, others were hanged at the Pied-du-Courant prison in Montreal.


Ref.: Archive of the rebellion of 1837-1838 Collection is kept at the archives de Montréal at the library and National Archives of Quebec centre.

Origins of the Conflict

After the conquest of New France by Britain in 1759, the government of Lower Canada (now Quebec) is provided by a governor general appointed by London and he assumes absolute powers. Under the Treaty of Paris of 1763 France ceded Lower Canada and trade becomes exclusively turned towards the British Empire, through its dealers, including especially those in Boston. The Empire encourage an influx of loyalists to the British crown (to form the Upper Canada) and only those who are sworn test may hold a position in the civil administration, which means to deny the Catholic religion and the Pope’s authority. This change has made ​​former French colonists of second-class citizens.

The flag of the Patriotes of Lower Canada.

War of American Independence will provide a first change to this status. The Quebec Act of 1774 allows residents to practice the Catholic religion and become part of the administration without having to swear the oath of allegiance. This is an important concession to ensure the loyalty of the Canadian population (descendants of early French settlers) face the threat of the American colonies. It does however put no brake on the absolutism of the British governor.

Over the following decades, many American Loyalists and British immigrants earn the current Ontario, which led to the division of the Province of Quebec, later incorporated in Upper and Lower Canada. Lower Canada is the most populous colony and remains predominantly French-speaking and Catholic, while the Upper Canada majoritairementanglophone and Protestant. The Montreal area is a buffer which meet the two peoples. The idea of responsible government, which comes from England and the new United States, made ​​his way, and the two colonies end up getting each a legislature by the Constitutional Act of 1791 1830, the population of lower Canada is made ​​up of about 75,000 British and 500,000 french Canadians.

The Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada gets the power to legislate, but the British colonial governor remains the chief executive and also keeps the purse strings. It can make it totally ineffective the laws passed by the majority of Canadian Assembly. As the governor is part of the British merchant oligarchy and it serves the interests, including maintaining its dominant position, it has used its discretionary powers to appoint his favorites in positions of legislative and executive councils, influence elections and block any reform. Examples abound where simply by hostility toward the elected Assembly, incompetent people were raised to positions of importance5. Not only this inequality she touches the number of officials, 54 126 French Canadians against English as the official list of officers for 1835, but the salary paid to the British was also 58,000 pounds, while the Canadians received 13,500. the same goes for judges, where English judges get 28,000 pounds against 8000 for Canadians.

Despite population growth, the cultivable area is virtually no increase because the land is governed by London. The French Canadians must take a trip to Quebec City to personally ask the government securities, securities, if they get that often exist only on paper because the roads do not achieve the land. Meanwhile, London attributed land without consulting the parliament; in 1833, 847,661 acres of land were sold to the British American Land Company to promote the establishment of American colonists.

In this context, politics quickly took an aggressive turn. The Canadian Party, formed by residents, opposed the English Party, favored by governors. The elections are conducted in an atmosphere of intimidation, and the governor does not hesitate to dissolve the Assembly when it goes against their interests. The Patriot movement, reformist, officially took shape around 1826 during the transformation of the Canadian Party Patriot Party. His goal is to get the sovereign body in limiting the powers of the governor. The latter, who wants nothing to yield, puts MPs Patriots in prison on grounds of popular unrest. However, some patriots get elected even from their cell.

The election of May 21, 1832

The election of 21 May 1832 in Lower Canada ended with the death of three supporters of the Patriots.

The conflict, which lasted three decades, became radicalized during the 1830s, while a similar conflict develops in Lehaut Canada. The ranks of the reformers are especially trained farmers and British subjects from the liberal professions (lawyers, doctors, lawyers, journalists), battled the colonial merchants and members of the political establishment. May 21, 1832, a by-election in District West District Montreal turns to tragedy when the army britanniqueintervient to contain a riot. The election of 21 May 1832 in Lower Canada ended with the death of three supporters Patriots, François Languedoc, Pierre Billet and Casimir Chauvin. On May 24, nearly 5,000 people attended their funeral at the Notre-Dame church. This day would have a significant impact on the minds of the time, and it still does today as a symbol to explain the armed rebellion. In 1834, the Ninety-Two Resolutions were submitted to the House of Assembly. Among the requests: a responsible government, the election of members of the Legislative Council and have more Canadian people in the country’s administration. These are sent to the Parliament of England, but are rejected by the British Prime Minister John Russell himself to propose in 1837, its 10 resolutions. All ultimately turns into a gunfight at a time when several European countries, such as Germany, Greece and Ireland, are also undergoing similar insurrections.

Blocking of the Education Act 1836

In the spring of 1836, the temporary law school, established in 1829 by the elected assembly is blocked by seven Anglo-Protestant members and a Canadian Legislative Council. This blockage warms spirits because public education was considered essential to the political, economic and national emancipation of French-Canadians. In response, at least two French-Canadian newspapers, the Vindicator and La Minerve 1st May 1836, appear with black stripes.

Assembly of the Six Counties

The Assembly of six counties.

The Assembly of the Six Counties was a gathering of patriot leaders and approximately 6,000 supporters held in St. Charles, Lower Canada, now Quebec, on 23 and 24 October 1837, despite the proclamation of June 15 Government banning public assemblies. Chaired by Wolfred Nelson and Louis-Joseph Papineau is the most famous of the many popular meetings held that year in protest against the Russell Resolutions. This event is a precursor of the Rebellion. The “six counties” refer to Richelieu, Rouville, Saint-Hyacinthe, Chambly, Vercheres and Acadia.

The leaders of the rebellion

The patriot leaders were mostly descendants of settlers in New France as Louis-Joseph Papineau. However, there are also many Francophiles minority English and Irish intellectuals, including Dr. Robert Nelson and his brother Wolfred and the Catholic Irish Edmund Bailey O’Callaghan. It is significant that the lower clergy have been sympathetic to the Patriots while the higher clergy joined the British power.

Role of the clergy.

Jean-Jacques Lartigue, Bishop of Montreal, notably sided with the British authorities, based on the encyclical Cum Primum Gregory XVI, who had recommended civil obedience. The strict guidelines of the Church towards the Patriots displeased many loyal and several members of the clergy. From the people, the priests campaigns had always shown great solidarity with their parishioners and had even attended several meetings patriots. The controversy over the influence of the clergy in the rebellions had a lasting impact, so MgrJean-Marie Fortier Sherbrooke had to grant a pardon to rebels patriots 150 years later in 1987, however, some priests have always engaged in patriots’ favor, especially with father Stephen Chartier.

The Sons of Liberty

The Society of the Sons of Liberty was a paramilitary group founded in August 1837 held its first public meeting on September 5 of that year. Between 500 and 700 young people participated in the meeting. Members of the Society of the Sons of Liberty holds continue their sights on a group that had existed during the American Revolution called “Sons of Liberty” 11. The links between the club and the other party members are provided by Patriot François-Marie-Thomas Chevalier de Lorimier. It is the meeting of the Six Counties, October 23, 1837, the patriot movement formally approves the organization of the Sons of Liberty. The usual place where members of this association was gathered Nelson Hotel Saint-Jacques nicknamed “Blood Street” in New Market in Montreal, now the Place Jacques-Cartier, the place where will be held the November 6, 1837 clash between the Doric Club and the Sons of Liberty.

The organization of the Sons of Liberty disappear shortly after the scuffle with the Doric Club on 6 November and becomes illegal, whether as a result of the issuance of arrest warrants against leaders of the association, including Papineau , O’Callaghan, Brown and Ouimet, 16 November 183713. At the time of her disappearance, she had, according to the Governor Gosford, 2000 members. The members of the association wanted to redress the grievances they said they can not get by moral force. In other words, they want to use means other than political authorities to make their point. The publication of the address of the Sons of Liberty of Montreal to the young people of the colonies of North America, October 4, 1837, marks somehow the outbreak of hostilities between the association and the Loyalists.

The Doric Club

The Doric Club was an association of English Loyalists set up by Adam Thom as social club and military society attempting to assert rights and special privileges for the English side to the “threat of patriots.” Members usually found themselves in the market on the Rue Saint-Jacques, close to where their rival of the Association of the Sons of Liberty band encounter. It is through the publication of several articles in the Herald that Thom uses the former members of the British Rifle Corpages. The British Rifle Corp was a military volunteer corps was disbanded in January 1836 by Governor Gosford. They were mostly very young activists and the most radical from the English party that formed the new club. Despite his ardent desire reunification Gosford claimed that British subjects were not in danger, it was therefore unnecessary to organize into groups of armed volunteers. Later, the Doric Club become armed and clandestine faction loyalist and will be organized and chaired by John Shay, an English accountant Montreal. Governor Gosford estimated the number to be around 2000.12 March 16, 1836, loyalist publish their manifesto creation. The group will be largely tolerated by the commander in chief John Colborne, like many other groups of loyalists, despite the opposition of Governor Gosford.

In their report, published in 1836, Gosford, Grey and Gipps says that the withdrawal of British protection would lead to a war between the French Canadian and British subjects. They add that the English oligarchy planned this offensive. The report also notes that the acceptance of applications for the elected Governor immediately result in the lifting of the English party and since it would be the aggressors, it faudraient the army fought first against his own native subjects islands.

Battles of 1837

Skirmish near Saint-Denis, 1837

After the rejection of the demands for reform, a series of public meetings by the leaders of the Patriot Party inflamed passions in the summer of 1837. They culminate at a meeting in Saint-Charles-sur-Richelieu on 23 October. The clashes began, on 6 November by a scuffle between members of the paramilitary groups of the two camps, or people of the Doric Club and the society of the sons of liberty. There were three clashes of importance at Saint-Denis, Saint-Charles and Saint-Eustache. The Patriots managed to defeat the troops and British militias in Saint-Denis on November 23, but victory was short-lived, because little trained and poorly equipped, the insurgent forces did not match the colonial military forces British, more numerous and better prepared. Therefore, the rebels were defeated on 25 November in Saint-Charles, then December 14 in Saint-Eustache. Martial law was declared. There were arrests in the hundreds. Many Patriots fled to the United States.


Battle of Saint-Denis, November 1837

The battle of Saint-Denis is a delivered fight on November 23, 1837. She opposed the British of Sir Charles Gore 300 the 200 Patriots of Dr. Wolfred Nelson, and ended with the victory of the Patriots. This battle was the unique success of the Patriots during this conflict. In the middle of November 1837, the British decide to launch the army against the Patriots and ordered to arrest their leaders. Led by Thomas Storrow Brown of Montréal, the County of Richelieu Patriots seized the Manor of Lord Pierre Debartzch and surrounding fortifications, while at Saint-Denis, they gather around Wolfred Nelson. Two detachments of the army come from Montréal to attack Saint-Charles: one, under the command of colonel Wetherall, takes the road to the South by Chambly, and the other, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Gore takes the road to the North by Sorel. After walking all night by an awful weather, Gore troops arrive at Saint-Denis on the morning of November 23 and attack the rebels holed up at the other end of the village, at the place where House Saint-Germain. The walls of the Saint-Germain House (Charles St Germain died at this battle) resist the artillery attack and its occupants are well placed to shoot through the windows on the exposed troops. Gore must order the retreat to 3 p.m. when the besieged patriotes reinforcements begin pouring into nearby villages and threaten to him stand in the way of Sorel.

The battle of Saint-Charles

Battle of Saint-Charles, November 1837

On November 25, 1837, the British army is determined to crush the Patriot resistance. The fate of the rebellion in Bas-Canadase plays at Saint-Charles, in the Richelieu Valley. Two hundred and fifty Patriots are entrenched behind a barricade around the seigneurial Manor. Colonel Wetherall prepares to attack with four hundred and twenty-five soldiers from Fort Chambly. Jean-Philippe Boucher-Belleville, journalist and teacher, is part of the insurgents. In his diary, he tells: “we were perfectly on the defensive and the question for us is reduced to this: should we deliver our properties, our women and our children to barbarians who came, not to respect the laws, but wear the iron and fire at us, defenseless and enrich themselves by plundering? ” As in Saint-Denis, most of our brave blue caps showed zeal and a fearlessness that have not failed to decide the victory in our favor. The same women had cast bullets and cartridges; old men and children wanted to share the dangers of combat. “The battle of Saint-Charles ends in a bloodbath. One hundred fifty Patriots die in battle while thirty British soldiers are killed. Louis-Joseph Papineau, Wolfred Nelson, Jean-Philippe Boucher-Belleville and hundreds of Patriots fleeing the Valley and took refuge in the United States. Others were captured and imprisoned in Montreal, at the Pied-du-Courant, in difficult conditions.

Battles of 1838

A patriot drawing by Henri Julien

Robert Nelson and his supporters after the failed uprising of 1837, took refuge in the United States. They organize two invasions in 1838 A first invasion of Lower Canada is attempted on February 28. The six or seven hundred rebels, commanded by Drs Côté and Nelson, left Vermont in order to cross the border. Arrived at the camping ground, located one mile from the border, the rebels proclaimed Robert Nelson president of Lower Canada. It reads the Declaration of Independence of Lower Canada which raises claims very progressive for the time. Lower Canada‘s self-proclaimed independent republic there and the people are declared absolved from all allegiance to the British crown and laid the foundations of the new state: separation of church and state, equal rights for whites and Native , abolition of the feudal system, press freedom, equality of French and English languages, etc.

Unfortunately for the rebels, the United States government, under British pressure, decided to remain neutral and not allow such an invasion using its territory as a sanctuary. Nelson and side are turned back at the border and arrested for violating neutrality. They are brought into court and released. Following this attempt failed invasion, they form a military organization called Brothers hunters. Nelson also puts on foot a plan for insurrection scheduled for 3 November 1838 The action plan is structured around different camps that must supply the troops with weapons, seek support from the United States and developing links with rebels of Upper Canada.

On November 3, the Hunters must use the Richelieu, take possession of St. John and head Montreal under the command of Nelson. With 250 guns, Nelson wins Napierville Nov. 4 at about nine o’clock in the morning. It is hosted by Dr. Côté who presents to the troops, 800 or 900 rebels, as head of the Republic. November 7, Côté send men to Rouses Point (NY) so they meet American recruits and recover hidden near the wharf Vitman weapons, but he is not. Back in Napierville, the mandated face the British Army Captain Marsh and must flee to Napierville or the United States.

American Indians and Patriots

During the Rebellions Iroquois Kahnawake and Kanesatake delivered a speech neutrality while working with the British. Their actions however, is not necessarily a “betrayal” to the Patriots, or an act of blind loyalty to the Crown.

In part it is due to a military alliance for a long time with the Government. These diplomatic alliances dating from the french regime and are designed to weld political friendships between Governments and native Americans. One can speculate that the Government threat to eliminate the annual gifts, another tradition dating from the french regime, and made very clear at dawn Rebellions may have caused the appearance of a ‘strategic’ among the Iroquois loyalty in order to defend their interests. In skilled diplomats, 23 heads of Kahnawake and Kanesatake petition also Governor John Colborne few years following disorders to require the services of an “employee physician” emphasizing they have “shown their dedication to the her Majesty’s Government, namely in the two wars with the United States, and recently during the last one Rebellions.

Finally, we must consider the nature of the relationship between Iroquois and Patriots, and perceptions that the Iroquois have developed on the events taking place in the surrounding countryside and in their own villages. In a climate of continuing discord on earth and frightening rumors, the risk of being expropriated, real or exaggerated, has played an important role in shaping attitudes and actions that result.

In this well-documented in the archives context, the Iroquois of Kahnawake and Kanesatake took advantage of the rebellions to remind the colonial authorities, the Patriots and their neighbors “Canadian” as their distinct collective identity still exists and they have not intend to be assimilated and dispossess.



Joseph Légaré, The burning of Parliament in Montreal 1849



Following the rebellion in Lower Canada, the Governor Bond Head was recalled and replaced by Lord Durham, who was commissioned to report on the discontent of the settlers and find a way to appease them to assimilate. His report was twofold: join Upper and Lower Canada, thus reducing the autonomy of French Canadians.

 According to Lord Durham the French Canadian people were an inferior people, without history or literature that was directly responsible for the rebellions of 1837 to 183,825.26. Lord Durham believed the national character that was to be given to Lower Canada should be that of the British Empire, one of the race he considered superior and would one day dominate the North American continent.
 September 25, 1839 58 patriots condemned to exile, leaving Quebec to New Netherland colony then used as a prison by the British. They travel aboard the British frigate Buffalo, commanded by Captain Wood.
United Canada was created in 1840 following the Act of Union.
 The Act seeks to assimilate the French Canadians to prevent recidivism by submerging them in an English sea still increasing due to immigration from the United Kingdom.
The Province of Canada or Canadaborn Kingdom of the legislative union of the provinces of Upper Canada (Ontario) and Lower Canada (Quebec) in February 1841.

 The Sainte-Anne market building, located here where the current Place d’Youville, is renovated by architect John Ostell to host the provincial Parliament. The burning of Parliament in Montreal by English Canadians loyalists occurs on the evening of April 25, 1849 in Montreal to see change location.

 The french Canadians reacted with revenge of the cradle, under the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church, to maintain their relative number. They also used the discussions at the Charlottetown Conference to reform a province francophone and Catholic separate, Québec.

National Patriots Day


The national day of Patriots is imbued with historical commemorations to mark the uprising of the Patriotes of 1837-1838. The national day of Patriots is a statutory general holiday in Quebec the Monday preceding 25 May of each year. Established in November 2002, but celebrated for the first time in May 2003, Quebecers benefit from this day on “the importance of the struggle of the Patriots of 1837-1838 for the recognition of their nation, for its political freedom and for the establishment of a democratic Government”. Before 2003, the Monday preceding 25 May of each year was the feast of Dollard, established in the 1920s in order to compete with the feast of the Queen (Victoria Day) which is celebrated in Canada English .

A brief history of the City of St. Marc sur Richelieu

Le Logo de la Municipalité de St-Marc-sur-Richelieu

armoirie de la ville de Saint-Marc-sur-Richelieu

The Territory:

The official name, Saint-Marc-sur-Richelieu, was adopted in 1980 and changed the name of Saint-Marc de Cournoyer used since 1855, date of civil incorporation of the seigneury of Cournoyer. Before 1855, this soil was commonly known and referred to in documents as the seigneury of Cournoyer or simply Cournoyer.

The territory of Saint-Marc is a part of the garden of Quebec consisting of the fertile lands of the Richelieu Valley. A fiefdom is licensed on behalf of Louis XIV by the Governor general of new France Louis Buade, count of Frontenac, Quebec March 1, 1695, the Sieur Jacques Hertel de Cournoyer. This seigneury of two leagues of front by two leagues of depth nearby to the West, the stronghold of Verchères; to the North, that of Contrecoeur; to the East, along the Richelieu and the seigneury of Saint-François-Le-Neuf-Saint-Charles-sur-Richelieu – and to the South, alongside the seigneurie de Beloeil.

The boundaries of the territory are amended in 1860 by the annexation of a part of the lands of Beloeil adjacent to the northern branch of the Grand stream of Beloeil. Then they are amputees, in 1921, part of its woodlands during the creation of the municipality of Saint-Amable.

The very fertile soil is based on a clayey subsoil of bluish tint. There are also groundwater of saltwater from the ancient Champlain Sea and the presence of a bit of oil

 Concessions and clearing:

Lord Jacques Hertel de Cournoyer, the naval officer, occupied by the war with the Indians will not concede ground in his lordship until 1726.

In 1665, 1666 and 1667, the Richelieu Valley is marked by a series of forts built on the orders of lieutenant general Alexandre Prouville de Tracy, by the troops of the Carignan-Salières regiment in order to neutralize the Mohawks (Mohawk from their English name) using the Richelieu to attack the settlers in the greater Montreal area. At the end of the 17th century and at the beginning of the next century, the issue is still topical. Construction, this time in stone, the fort of Chambly, a company in 1710, will finally bring peace in the Valley of the Richelieu and the implantation of settlers and the exploitation of the lands of the seigneuries.

It is believed that the fort of the  l’Assomption, built in 1666 by the troops of the Carignan-Salières regiment, was raised on the current grounds of Saint-Marc-sur-Richelieu. Already undertaken archaeological excavations should bring the confirmation

From 1726 to 1729, a few land are granted to Cournoyer, but still very few settlers live there. From 1730, new settlers receiving concessions, begin clearing them and to settle there permanently. Among the first inhabitants we find the name Chicoine, Foisy, Davies, Loiselle, Beaudry, Lavallée, Jeannotte-Lachapelle, Bissonnette, Tetro-Ducharme, which many still have descendants in Saint-Marc.

 A few Lords of Cournoyer :

The first Lord of Cournoyer, Jacques Hertel de Cournoyer, born in Trois-Rivières on March 19, 1667, is the son of François Hertel de la Fresnière, seigneur de Chambly, and Marguerite Tavenot. At the age of 26 he married in Trois-Rivières, November 26, 1691, Marguerite-Thérèse Godefroy, daughter of Michel Godefroy, sieur de Lintot and Perrine Picoté.

François Hertel de la Fresnière is this young hero who made prisoner by the Iroquois had the left thumb cut during his captivity. He also who gets to Louis XV, in 1716, the letters of nobility for him and all his descendants.

During the reign of the first Lord of Cournoyer, lands are granted first to the Biausse – today part of the municipality of Calixa-Lavallée – then these are all lands along the Richelieu River. In 1740, are those of the second concession located thirty acres of the River, known under the name of rang des Trente. Jacques Hertel de Cournoyer gives Dr. Thimotée Sylvain, in 1733, an arriere-fief known as the stronghold Sylvain and lying at the corner roundabout. Sylvain had married Marie – Renée Gauthier of Varennes, widow of Christophe Dufrost de la Jemmerays.

Jacques Hertel de Cournoyer died in Trois-Rivières 4 September 1748 at the age of 81. The second Lord, for a few months only, is his eldest son Michel, judge to île Royale – Cape Breton Island – he died there in April 1749. The third Lord of Cournoyer is Joseph, another son of Jacques, who also took the title of sieur de la Fresnière title due to him by right of succession. In 1751 is granted the vast majority of the land from the ranks of the sixties and the fourteen. Joseph had built the banal mill in his lordship in 1766. He died in Trois-Rivières, November 20, 1768. The fourth Lord is the brother of the previous, Jacques-Lambert Hertel of Cournoyer. In 1770, he relinquished the lordship to his brother-in-law, François de Bellefeuille.

The eighth Lord of Cournoyer is Joseph coughing Drolet who acquired in 1825. It is the first Lord to be born to Cournoyer and dwell in his lordship. His very large House became the seigneurial Manor. Deputy of Verchères in Québec, militia captain, then major, he is actively involved in the party of the Patriotes in 1837. His head is updated price for the sum of 500 pounds on 29 November 1837. He died in his Manor House in Saint-Marc, November 2, 1838, at the age of 52. His body is buried beneath the Church.

The lordship passed in 1841 to the Pierre Dominique Bartzch said Debartzch and his family, then in 1850, to the notary John Fraser of Berry, originally from Rivière-du-Loup. He is also a legislative councillor in Quebec City. It was under his reign that the seigneurial system was abolished. He became the first mayor of the municipality of Saint-Marc. The last Lords of Cournoyer from 1879 to 1941 are Isidore Raynaud-Blanchard and his offspring. His daughter-in-law, Virginie Raynaud-Blanchard, wife of Stephen, becoming the fifth seigneuress and the eighteenth of the suite of the Lords, in 1920, gives a location to build a convent, today the school.

Today the town of St-marc-sur-Richelieu is part of the most beautiful village of Quebec and tourism offer an enchanting setting filled with history. A visit of the village and its surroundings will make you discover a varied gastronomy but who returns to the source (from the farm to the table). You’ll meet people friendly and proud of their Village.

Some services:

Since at least 1814, a ferry service connects Saint-Marc at Saint-Charles.

The oldest which is the village, Lord Joseph Toussaint Drolet who was also negotiating initiative. The wharf Vary, the corner-round, built in 1879 by individuals, is given to the federal Government in 1902. The latter ceded it to the municipality of Saint – Marc, in 1995, as the village.

The first water supply system is installed at the village in 1888 under the initiative of Clovis Sénécal.

The first phone service dates back to 1895 and was called line Blanchard.

Gas lighting was introduced to the village in 1907 and electricity in 1925

The current offices of the municipality, the Fire Department and the library were opened on 7 July 1991

 A few personalities :

The first doctor and also the first notary to reside in Saint-Marc is the surgeon Dominique Mondelet, installed to Cournoyer from 1763.

His son, Jean-Marie Mondelet began his career of notary in Saint-Marc in 1794. It will be justice of the peace, Member of Quebec, police magistrate and coroner in Montreal.

Dominique Mondelet, grandson of surgeon and son by Jain was born in Saint-Marc in 1799. Lawyer, he was appointed Commissioner to study the prison system in the United States. He became judge of the Court of Trois-Rivières in 1842

His brother Charles Mondelet, is baptized in Saint-Marc, in 1801. Counsel also it is used by the astronomical Committee to establish the border between the Canada and the States – United. He was appointed judge in 1850, the superior court.

At the battle of the Patriots at Saint-Charles on November 25, 1837, nine Cournoyens find death. Their names are inscribed on the commemorative plaque attached to the monument erected in their honour in 1987, towards the presbytery, almost ‘ opposite battlefield at Saint-Charles

Native Cournoyer, Joseph Jeannotte-Lachapelle and Jean-Baptiste Bougrette-Dufort are promoted to the rank of Captain of the militia at the beginning of the 19th century. A former apprentice of Louis Quévillon, Jérôme Pépin, sculptor, who married in 1822 the Cournoyenne Brigitte Leroux, settled in Saint-Marc

In the twentieth century, the spinning wheels manufactured by François Borduas reach a reputation throughout Quebec and in Ontario. Leonid Perron, a native of Saint-Marc, who was elected MP for Vercheres, became Minister of Agriculture. The printer Pierre Des Marais, former Chairman of the Executive Committee of the City of Montreal owns its summer residence. Pacific Plant, head of the vice squad of the city of Montreal built his home there. St. Mark’s has attracted many men of letters, drama and artists. In the early 50s, playwright Loranger there are fixed and wrote the majority of his literary work. Her husband Jean Michaud architect drew the plans of the school of St. Mark’s, which opened in 1969 Have resided in Saint-Marc, the great actress Denise Pelletier, Benoit Réal writers, Marcel Dubé and Reginald Boisvert; Facilitator and biologist Fernand Séguin. Ceramic artist Jacques Garnier there began his pottery factory The Living Clay before settling at Ruisseau de Beloeil. (May 2008)


Fauna and Flora

In urban or agricultural areas are found primarily of small mammals such as skunks, raccoons, squirrels and marmots. Forest areas, which account for 16% of the land in the watershed, home to a diverse wildlife: there are, among others, American mink, white-tailed deer, beavers, frogs and several species of turtles, the turtle -molle Spiny is a menacée.Faune species and flora

But the animal species most frequently perceived result(come) from the avian fauna(crowd). Because the river flows(sinks) on a north-south axis, she(it) establishes(constitutes) a corridor(lane) of migration and we observe several migratory birds there. A migratory stopping place is situated near Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu; according to the period of the year, we can perceive various sorts(species) of birds. For example, in autumn we can notice the coming of thousand barnacles and dBut the most frequently sighted species originate avifauna. Because the River runs on a North-South axis, it is a migration corridor and there are several migratory birds. A staging area is located near St-Jean-sur-Richelieu; Depending on the time of year, you can see different species of birds. For example, in the fall can see thousands of geese and ducks. You can also see the Loggerhead Shrike (endangered), as well as the Peregrine Falcon and the Eagle (classified as vulnerable species), Cerulean Warblers and woodpeckers to red head, to name a few.ucks. We can also perceive there the loggerhead shrike ( an endangered species), as well as the peregrine falcon and the golden eagle (classified as vulnerable sorts(species)), azure warblers and red-headed peaks, to name(appoint) only those.

With respect to flora, the Richelieu River watershed owned by the bioclimatic domain of the sugar maple-bitternut Hickory. Among others, there are Maple sugar and silver maple, heart Hickory, Oak BUR and bi-coloured oak, American elm and black ash, and various shrubs and herbaceous plants. Of these, several are regarded as vulnerable or endangered. This is particularly the case for the aplectrelle of winter (Aplectrum hyemale), garlic (Allium tricoccum) Woods and Lily (Lilium canadense) Canada.

At the end of the 1990s, there was the presence of water chestnut at the mouth of the Richelieu River. This invasive species threatens to stifle the fauna and the flora, because it multiplies at lightning speed. The Ministry of sustainable development, environment and des Parcs du Québec struggle to get rid of it; Moreover, a grubbing up campaign began in 2001. Partners, as du Haut-Richelieu Crown, allowed to control the invasion of this plant in the collecting.



The Lake sturgeon



The Richelieu River is home to over 50 species of fish. Many of them are considered threatened or endangered, such as the copper redhorse, River redhorse, and sturgeon. One of the last spawning grounds of the Knight cuivré(Moxostoma hubbsi), a species endemic to Quebec, is also located in river. Other species, such as tench and legobie to black spots, are exogenous. In fact, they come from an external environment and were accidentally introduced into this ecosystem, often by the rejection of the ballast water of ships plying the St.-Laurent. Regarded as harmful or invasive, they colonize the waters and funds and compete with some (local) native species posing a threat to the integrity of river ecosystems.

Over the last decade, several means have been implemented to protect endangered species. These projects include in 2001, the Vianney-Legendre fish ladder which was built to help the fish to cross the canal de Saint-Ours dam. Named to honor the memory of Vianney-Legendre, renowned ichthyologist, this innovative structure is designed to accommodate different species of fish, especially those that are threatened. This scale can be used to educate the population on the recovery of threatened species. In 2002, the refuge faunique Pierre-Étienne-Fortin (first naturalist who described the copper redhorse) was created to protect a breeding range of the copper redhorse. Access to the sanctuary is prohibited during the breeding season which runs from late June to late July. Finally, every summer since 2006, a project of security established by the Comité de concertation et valorisation the bassin de la Rivière Richelieu (COVABAR), awareness officers Criss-Cross River to publicize the plight of the copper redhorse to boaters and reminding them of the rules and measures in force to ensure its protection.

Furthermore, invasive species and growing human presence are not solely responsible for the fragility of some populations. According to a report of the Quebec Ministry of sustainable development, environment and parks (MDDEP) in 1998 made the presence of pollutants and toxic agents in the waters of the river is also a “source of stress” for fish. In several places the River, a disturbing proportion of fish (more than 13%) showed abnormalities, which would be a sign of a “State of precarious health” of the fish community. However, the significant presence of piscivorous fish and some vulnerable species, such as the banded Killifish, brought the MDDEP to maintain the index of integrity of fish to ‘medium’ (with the exception of the sector of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, where it was considered ‘weak’). The blackchin Shiner, the stonecat and lamprey from the East are also part of the sentinel species of the watershed of the Richelieu River, like the copper redhorse, whose presence is an indication of the quality of the water and the aquatic environment. The data presented in the report of 1998 are still used as reference in 2011.

The fragility of some ecosystems does not preclude the practice of sports and leisure activities. Some river fish can grow to impressive sizes and interest for sport fishing. This activity is however regulated: restrictions periodic and sectoral as well as daily catch limits can apply inter alia to the sturgeons, Knights, Millers and striped.

Référence: Wikipédia

French and Indian War, map showing the Lake Champlain waterway connecting New York with Canada Modern map showing the important waterway Lake George – Lake Champlain – Richelieu River connecting the Hudson River with the St.-Laurent, a transportation link essential in the battle between England and France for control of North America.


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    • Thank you for your comment, I am very happy for your comment, I’m not done to improve our website and it’s only been a month since I started all in the three main languages and all the information added like the story of Richelieu and our very beautiful village. My goal is to encourage people to visit our beautiful area and very especially our village is really welcoming. Especially since our region is a major part of the story and the founding of our great country and very beautiful and even a part of history before independence of the United States.

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