1902 Encyclopedia > Quebec

Province and old capital city of Canada

QUEBEC, a province of Canada in British North America, lying between 52° 30’ and 45° N. lat., and between 57° 7’ and 79° 33’ 20" W. long., and bounded on the N. by Labrador and Hudson’s Bay, on the E. by Labrador and the Gulf of St Lawrence, on the S. by the Bay of Chaleurs, New Brunswick, and the States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York, and on the S.W. and W. by the river Ottawa and the province of Ontario. Its length, from Lake Temiscamingue to Anse au Sablon in the Straits of Belle Isle, is nearly 1000 miles on a due east and west course, and from Lake Temiscamingue to Cape Gaspe it is 700 miles; its breadth is 300 miles, and the area 188,694 square miles (120,764,651 acres). The surface of the country is exceedingly varied and picturesque, embracing several ridges of mountains and lofty hills, diversified by numerous rivers, lakes, and forests. There are many islands of great fertility and beauty, cascades and falls of considerable heights, and extensive tracts of cultivable land, rendering the scenery everywhere hold and striking. Mountain ranges extend from south-west to north-east and run parallel to each other. The Notre Dame or Green Mountains, which are a continuation of the Appalachian range, extend along nearly the whole of the south side of the St Lawrence, terminating at the gulf of the same name, between the Bay of Chaleurs and Gaspe Point, where they form an elevated table-land 1500 feet high. Their chief summits are Mount Logan and Mount Murray, very nearly 4000 feet high. In the eastern townships the mountains of this range are capable of cultivation. The Laurentian range (called by Garneau the Laurentides) skirts the northern bank of the St Lawrence, forming undulating ridges of 1000 feet in elevation, and extending from Labrador to the vicinity of Quebec, where it leaves the river. Keeping nearly parallel with it until within 30 miles west of Montreal, it rounds the Ottawa for 100 miles, crosses it, and curves in the direction of Kingston. From this point the range extends north-westward to the shores of Lakes Huron and Superior. The Mealy Mountains, stretching from 75o W. lat. To Sandwich bay, are always covered with snow, and are about 1500 feet high. There are many rocky masses connected with the mountain chains lining the St Lawrence which form precipitous cliffs, often rising to a considerable height. Some of the hills of the Laurentian range are 1300 feet high, and below the city of Quebec their altitude is 3000 feet. They enclose numberless small lakes, many of which are still unexplored.

Quebec Environs map

Environs of Quebec

The whose country is exceptionally well watered, and abounds in numerous large rivers, bays, and lakes. The principal river is the ST LAWRENCE (q.v.), which flows through the entire length of the province. A short distance above Montreal it receives from the north-west the Ottawa, an interesting and beautiful stream over 600 miles in length, with its tributaries the Gatineau, the Lievre, and the Rouge. The St Lawrence is navigable for ships of the line as far as Quebec, and for steamships of over 5000 tons to Montreal. Between Montreal and Lake Ontario the navigation is interrupted by rapids, the most important of which are the Cedar and Lachine, Rapids, the latter about 9 miles above Montreal. The total elevation between tide water and Lake Ontario is about 230 feet. This is overcome by eight canals, varying from _ mile to 11 _ miles in length, in the aggregate only 41 miles of canals, with locks 200 feet long between the gates, and 45 feet wide. The St Maurice, rising in Lake Oskelaneo near the Hudson’s Bay Territory, and flowing into the St Lawrence at Three Rivers, is over 400 miles long. It has many tributaries, and drains an area of 21,000 square miles. Twenty-four miles above Three Rivers is the fall of Shawenegan, 150 feet high. The Batiscan river enters the St Lawrence at Batiscan. Jacques Cartier, Ste Anne, and Montmorency are all on the northern side of the St Lawrence. The Montmorency is famous for its falls- situated about 8 miles from Quebec city, 250 feet high –and the natural steps on its rocky bank, 1 _ miles above the cataract. Near the falls is Haldimand House, once the residence of the duke of Kent, father of Queen Victoria. The Saguenay, sometimes called the River of Death, is one of the most remarkable bodies of water in the world. It rises in Lake St John, and discharges into the St Lawrence at Tadousac, after a course of 100 miles. At its mouth the Saguenay is 2 _ miles wide, and the depth exceeds 100 fathoms. The depth in other parts varies from 100 to 1000 feet. In the upper part of the river are many pretty falls and rapids. The Saguenay is navigable for large vessels as far as Chicoutimi, 98 miles from the mouth of the river. Fifteen miles south of Chicoutimi there recedes from the Saguenay Ha Ha bay, at the head of which is the village of St Alphonse. On the south side of the St Lawrence is the Richelieu river, which drains Lake Champlain, and enters Lake St Peter at Sorel, and flows in a northerly direction for 75 miles. Champlain sailed up this river in 1609. Other important streams are the St Francisc, rising in Lake Memphremagog; the Chaudiere, the outlet of Lake Megantic, with its beautiful falls, 125 feet high, and situated 10 miles above Quebec; the Chateau-guay, Yamaska, Etchemin, Luop, Assumption, Becancour, and North. Allthese rivers are navigable, and contain fish. Besides the rapids mentioned, there are situated a short distance above Rigand on the Ottawa the Carillon Falls, a series 12 miles in length. Near Ottawa city are the Chaudiere Falls, or :boiling pot," less than 40 feet in height, and extending over 6 miles. Les Chats, a series of rapids 30 miles further up the Ottawa, are striking and grand. At Calumet there is another rapid. The Falls of Ste Anne are on the north shore of the St Lawrence, 22 miles below Quebec; the Falls of St Fereol, the Long Sault, Cedars, and Lachine Rapids by no means complete the list.

The principal lakes are Lake St John, which possesses an area of 360 square miles, Lake Temiscamingue, 126 miles, St Peter, Metapedia, Kempt, Megantic, Memphremagog, Pipmuakan, the northern part of Lake Champlain, Manouan, Grand Wayagamack, Asturagamicook, Piscatonque, Kakebonga, Mijizowaja, keepawa, Papimonagace, Edward, Matawin, St Louis, Massawipi, Pamouscachiou, Graves, Grand, St Francis, and hundreds of others of lesser note, and all stocked with fish. The chief bays along the coasts are Chaleurs (in part), with its bold and precipitous cliffs, Malbaie, Mille Vaches, Ha Ha, &c. Quebec’s principal islands are Anticosti, sterile and almost uninhabited, Bonaventure, an important fishing station to the east of Gaspe, and the Magdalen Islands, situated in the Gulf of St Lawrence, about 50 miles north of Prince Edward Island. This group is inhabited by about 3200 persons, mostly French fishermen. Other islands are the island of Montreal, St Helen’s, Jesus, the island of Orleans, 22 miles long, below Quebec, Grosse Isle, Isle aux Coudres, Hare, Bic Island, - all in the St Lawrence; and the islands of Calumet and Allumette in the Ottawa river.

Beginning with the oldest rocks, the more northern part of province of Quebec is based on the Laurentian system of Sir William Logan. This includes both the Laurentian proper and an overlying formation largely composed of Labrador and anorthite felspars, to which Sir William Logan gave the name Upper laurentian, though it is now more usually known by the name Norian, applied to similar rocks in Scandinavia. This Upper Laurentian formation occupies but limited areas, one of which is near Lake St John, and another to the east of St Jerome, not far from Montreal. The Lower Laurentian of Logan, on the other hand, including the Ottawa or Trembling Mountain group and the Grenville series, extends from the Straits of Belle Isle to the Ottawa river in a continuous belt. It consists largely of gneiss and crystalline schists, and holds thick beds of limestone and beds of iron ore and veins of apatite. It is the chief seat of the iron and phosphate mining industries, and contains also the principal deposits of graphite or plumbago. It is on this formation that the remarkable forms, discovered by Dr Dawson (now Sir William), know as Eozoon canadense, and supposed to be the earliest from of animal life, occur.

The Laurentian formation is succeeded in the western part of the province by the Potsdam sandstone, a probable equivalent in age of the Upper Cambrian of Britain. On this rests a dolomitic limestone -- the calciferous formation, -- and on this the great and richly fossiliferous limestones of the Lower Silurian (Ordovician) age known as the Chazy and Trenton groups. These limestone afford the best building-stone of the province, while the Potsdam sand-stone also affords a good stone of construction. Above the Trenton is the Utica shale, a dark-colored argillaceous deposit, rich in graptolites and trilobites, and on this is the Husdon River group, consisting largely of sandstones and calcareous beds.

To the south-weds of these rocks lie Upper Silurian and Devonian beds, the latter holding fossil plants and fishes, and at the extreme south-eastern part of the province, on the Bay of Chaleurs, is the outlier of the Lower Carboniferous area of New Brunswick. It is not likely that any true coal occurs in the province, though veins of hardened bitumen are found locally in the beds next to be noticed.

From Quebec eastward along the St Lawrence occurs a great series of argillaceous and arenaceous beds, the equivalently of the Upper Cambrian and Lower Silurian of the interior districts, but deposited under different conditions, and abounding in some peculiar forms of trilobites and graptolites. In their extension to the southward they pass into the United States. Near the boundary they begin to be associated with various crystalline rocks. These were regarded by Sir William Logan as altered Silurian beds of the Quebec group; but later observers (MacFarlane, Selwyn, and Hunt) have maintained that they are, in part at least, of greater age. They contain several important economic minerals-gold, copper, and iron ores, chrysolite used as asbestos, chromic iron, and serpentine; marble and roofing slates are found in associated beds believed to be of Silurian age.

A large part of the country, more especially on the lower levels, is covered with Pleistocene deposits of the so-called Glacial age. The lower part of these beds consists of tile or boulder-clay with local and Laurentian bouldersm and in some places a few marine shells of northern species. On this rests a finer blue clay, in some places rich in fossil shells, and known as the Leda clay. It affords a good material for the manufacture of bricks and tiles. Above the Leda clay are sands and gravels, often with traveled boulders, and named the Saxicava sand, from a shell found very abundantly in some portions of their lower part. These superficial deposits appear to imply submergence and driftage of thick ice-fields with local glaciers descending from the mountains. The prevalent directions of glacial striations is north-east and south-west or parallel to the course of the St Lawrence valley.

In certain alluvial deposits in the vicinity of the St Maurice river there occur workable deposits of bog iron ore, which have been worked for many years.

The climate of Quebec is variable. In winter the cold is generally steady, and the atmosphere is clear and bracing. The thermometer often register 20° below zero. Snow lies on the ground from the end of November until the middle of April, affording good sleighing for five months of the year. The inhabitants enjoy with zest and spirit all the out-door sports common to the country, such as skating, curling, tobogganing, snow-shoeing, coasting, and sliding. In Montreal winter carnivals are held which attract from all parts of Canada and the United States thousands of spectators. Snow falls to a very great depth, and though the winds are often sharp they are not often raw or damp, nor is there any fog. The summer is warm and pleasant, and the extreme heat is indicated at 90°. The finest season of the year is the autumn, which lasts about six or eight weeks.

Vegetation develops rapidly in Quebec. Much of the country is well adapted for agricultural purposes, the soil being rich and loamy, and well suited for the growth of cereals, hay, and fruit crops, all of which ripen perfectly, Wheat, barley, oats, rye, flax, pulse, buckwheat, maize, potatoes, turnips, carrots, beets, parsnips, celery, and the various roots thrive well. The principal fruits are plums, apples, melons, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, gooseberries, cranberries, currants, and cherries. Hay has always been considered a leading crop, and much of it is exported to the United States, where if finds a ready market. Farming is carried on extensively in the eastern townships, and in all parts of the country agriculture is prosecuted with more or less activity.

The amount of land under crops in 1881 was 3,147,984 acres, and in pasture, 2,207,422 acres. The crops raised were-spring wheat, 1,999,815 bushels; winter wheat, 19,189; barley, 1,751,539; oats, 19990,205; rye, 430,242; pease and beans, 4,170, 456; buck=wheat, 2,041,670; maize, 888,169; potatoes, 14,873,287; turnips, 1,572,476; other roots, 2,050,904 bushels; hay 1,614,906 tons; grass and clover seeds, 119,306 bushels. The number of horses in 1881 was 273,852; of working oxen, 49,237; of milch cows, 490,977; of other cattle, 490,119; of sheep, 889,833; of swine, 329,199. in 1881 2,730,546 lb of wool and 559,024 lb of honey were produced.

Dense forests cover enormous tracts of territory, and afford a principal means of revenue to the province, as well as a source of industry for the people. The chief trees are white and red pine, spruce, ash, elm, beech, birch, maple, butternut, black walnut, fir, poplar, cedar, oak, cherry, hickory, basswood, &c. Upwards of fourteen hundred varieties of plants may be found, of which two hundred possess medicinal virtues. Lumbering is extensively carried on, and large quantities of dressed lumber and square timber are annually shipped to England.

The total value of the forest products expoted in 1882-83 was $11,050,002; of the fisheries, $719,799; of the mines $516,837; of animals and their produce, $11,714,674; of agricultural products, $7,795,427; of manufactures, $1,437,254. The grand total value of the exports was $41,591,939, whereof produce of the province, $33,339,549. Of late years an active trade has sprung up in the exportation of beef and cattle to England. The imports in the same year amounted to $42,166,729 dutiable goods, and $13743,142 free goods; total $55,909,871.

Shipbuilding, once a leading industry of the province, has fallen of considerably, steamships and iron vessels having superseded wooden ships in the carrying trade. The number of vessels built in Quebec during 1883 was 42, tonnage 6594. On the 31st of December 1883, the vessels registered in the province, and remaining on the registry books of the several ports, were 1733, tonnage 216,577. There were engaged in the coasting trade, including steamers and sailing vessels, 6943 craft, representing a tonnage of 1,648,550. The number of saw and grist mills in the province in 1881 was 1729, employing 12,461 hands. There were also 419 tanneries, employing 2968 hands. Other industries are shingle-making, manufactures of wool and cloth, cheese and butter making, iron-working, sash, door, and blind factories, sugar refining, boat building, brewing and distilling, and the manufacture of edge tools, India-rubber goods, and boots and shoes. In 1871 the amount invested in industries in the province was $28,071,868; in 1881 it reached $59,216,992, when 85,673 men, women, and children were employed in the various industries, $18,333,162 were paid out in wages, raw material to the value of $62,563,967 was consumed, and the value of the articles produced was $104,662,258.

Quebec derives great importance from its fisheries, which are extensive and valuable, particularly those of the St Lawrence, which consist principally of cod, haddock, holibut, salmon, mackerel, shad, white fish, herrings, lobsters, and seals. In the lakes and rivers there are salmon, trout, and bass, and the sporting streams are among the best in the world. The right of fishing in inland waters belongs to the owners of the lands in front of or through which such waters flow. The provincial government holds a large number of ungranted lands bordering on rivers and lakes, and derives an income from the leasing of fishing privileges. A fish-breeding establishment is maintained by the Dominion Government at Tadousac, from which there are encouraging results. In 1881 there were 110 vessels and 801 men and 4779 boats and 6929 men engaged in the fisheries. The product netted in 1882 was $1,976,515; in 1883 it was $2,138,997.

Game is plentiful in Quebec (wild duck, teal, wild, geese, partridges, woodcocks, snipe, pigeons, plover, &c). about 295 different birds exist. Of wild animals the principal are bears, wolves, caribou, deer, lynxes, foxes, musk rats, minks, martens, squirrels, beavers, and hares.

Gold, iron, and copper ores abound in notable quantities. The former is found chiefly on the banks of the Chaudiere in the county of Beauce. In 1881 the quantity produced was 3411 oz.; in 1883 the product was 7902 oz., realizing $140,262. Copper is obtained in the eastern townships, and iron of superior quality abounds almost everywhere throughout the province. In 1881 the yield of this ore was 11,326 tons; of iron, 92,001; pyrites, 2300; peat, 14597; plumbago, 270; mica, 4000 tons; buildings stone for dressing, 1,674,362 cubic feet; roofing slate, 4593 squares. In some section small quantities of lead are found.

Good wagon roads intersect the province wherever there is a settlement. In 1883 the amount expended on colonization roads by the local government was $71,392. telegraphic lines are established throughout the province, each line of railway, besides the great roads, having special wires. The postal facilities are excellent, and regular mails penetrate every part. Railway communication is ample and extensive, the chief lines being the Grand Trunk, the Canadian Pacific, and the Intercolonial. In 1884 Quebec had 1942 miles of railways in operation, while other lines are under construction and projected. The canal system is very complete, and commerce is greatly helped by the several waterways in operation. These are the Lachine Canal extending from Montreal to Lake St Louis; the Beauharnois Canal, uniting Lakes St. Francis and St Louis; the Chambly Canal uniting Lake Champlain with the Richelieu river; and the Carillon and Grenville Canal.

The province is divided into sixty-three countries, with a total area of 120,764,651 acres. Up to the 30th of June 1883 the total superficies of disposable lands surveyed and subdivided into farm lots was 6,539,a60 acres. The population was 1,191,516 in 1871; in 1881 it was 1,359,027 (678,175 males and 680,852 females). The prevailing religion is that of the Roman Catholic Church, of which there are seven dioceses, viz., the archdiocese of Quebec, and the dioceses of Montreal, Three Rivers, St Hyancinthe, Sherbrooke, Rimouski, and Chicoutimi. The Protestant dioceses are two in number-Quebec and Montreal. According to the census of 1881 the religious denominations in the province were as follows: -

Church of Rome……….. 1,170,718 Adventists……….. 4,210
Church of England……. 68,797 Other denominations. 5,647
Presbyterians…………. 50,287 Of no religion…….. 432
Methodists……………. 39,220 No creed stated…… 2,609
Baptists………………. 8,853 Jews………………. 989
Congregationalists…… 5,244 --------
Universalists…………. 2,021 Total……… 1,359,027

The greater portion of the population is composed of French-speaking people, natives of the soil. There are also a good many Scotch, English, and Irish, an their descendants. The Indians, mostly of the Algonquin, Iroquois, Huron, Abenakis, and Micmac tribes, number 7515, scattered in various parts of the province on reservations which they cultivate with more or less assiduity. They are peaceably disposed, and live in harmony.

The affairs of the province are administered by a lieutenant-governor and an executive council composed of six members with portfolios, assisted by a legislative assembly of sixty-five members, and a legislative council of twenty-four councilors. The latter hold their appointments for life, and the former are elected by the people every five years. The lieutenant-governors is appointed by the governor-general in council. Quebec returns to the Dominion House of Common sixty-five representatives, and twenty-four appointees to the Dominion Senate.

The public revenue in 1883 amounted to $4,655,757, and the expenditure was $3,962,015. The principal source of revenue is the annual subsidy granted to the province, under the terms of the B.N.A. Act of 1867, by the Dominion Government. This subsidy in 1883 amounted to $959,252, and interest on trust funds in the hands of the Dominion Government, $55,459. The remainder of the revenue is derived from the crown domain and timber limits, licenses, stamps on law and registration documents, and other miscellaneous receipts. The administration of justice cost in 1883 the sum of $372,400.

The judiciary consists of a Court of Queen’s Bench, with a chief justice and five assistants; a superior court, with a chief justice and twenty-eight assistants; a court of review, with three judges forming a quorum; a court of vice-admiralty; courts of quarter sessions; and courts for the summary trial of petty causes. The provincial legislature meets at Quebec.

The militia (military districts Nos. 5,6, and 7, operating under the Canada Militia Act of 1883) consists of an active force by arms of the following: - cavalry, officers and men, 448; field artillery, 321; garrison artillery, 593; engineers, 87; infantry, 9885; rifles, 924; total, 12,258. The number of active militia men authorized for annual drill during 1883 was 7965. schools of cavalry and gunnery, situated at Quebec, and one of infantry at St John’s, have been established for the purpose of training officers and non-commissioned officers of the militia.

Education in Quebec is under the control of a superintendent and a council of public instruction appointed by the Government. The council is divided into two sections, called Roman Catholic and Proestant committees, who act independently, and, through the superintendent, control the Roman Catholic and Protestant institutions respectively. The province is divided into school municipalities containing from one to twenty-five schools each, under five commissioners elected by the people. As the school system includes religious instructions, the religious minority (Catholic or Protestant) in any municipality may separate from the majority, and organize schools of their own, under three trustees, and receive their proper share of the Government grant. Every citizen pays a tax which is levied on his property for the support of primary schools. In Montreal, Quebec, and Sherbrooke the Roman Catholics and Protestants are entirely separate for educational purposes. Thirty-six inspectors visit the schools twice a year, and report to the Government, by whom they are appointed and paid. In 1883 there were in the province 1071 municipalities, including 4404 elementary schools, 333 model schools, 246 academies, 31 colleges, 18 special schools, 3 normal schools, and 3 universities, making a total of 5038 institutions, attended by 245,225 pupils, under 6871 teachers. In support of these schools, the local contributions amounted to $2,809,739, and the Government grant to $353,677. The two Protestant universities are M’Gill University at Montreal, founded in 1821, and Bishops College at Lennoxville, founded in 1843. The Roman Catholic university (Laval) was founded by the Quebec seminary in 1852. it has a succursale at Montreal.

The public chartiable institutions receiving aid from the Government are Beauport, St. Ferdinand de Halifax, and St Jean de Dieu lunatic asylums. Grants are annually made to about ninety other institutions, including industrial schools and reformatories, the total amount reaching in 1883 $301,121.

The capital of QUEBEC (q.v.). The largest and most important city is MONTREAL (q.v.) Other chief towns are Three Rivers, population 87670, so-called from the St Maurice, which here joins the St Lawrence by three mouths (it is one of the oldest cities, and the seat of a large lumber and iron trade); St Hyancinthe, 5321; Levis, 7597, where the quarantine for cattle is situated; Sorel, 5791; St John’s 4314; St Francois, Beauce, 4181; Sherbrooke, 7227; Valley Field, 3906; Malbaie, 3014; Baie St Paul, 3794; St Henri, 6415; Hull; 6890; St Jean Baptiste, 5874.

The quarantine station is at Grosse Isle, an island in the river St Lawrence 31 _ miles below Quebec. It is 2 _ miles long by 1 mile in width.

History. – Quebec was first visited by the French, under Jacques Cartier, in 1535, and a second time in 1536, though it is said that Sebastian Cabot discovered the country in 1497. The regular settlement of the provide, however, was not made until 1608, when Samuel de Champlain landed at the site now occupied by Quebec city. Here he established military and trading posts, and it was not long before the new possession became the seat of the Recollet and Jesuit missions, which were zealously carried on under the most trying circumstances for nearly a century and a half. The early settlers endured countless hardships from the incursions of the Indians, and the frequent wars in which they were forced to engage with the English and Dutch. In 1759 the marquis of Montcalm was defeated at Quebec by an English army under General Wolfe. A year later the French surrender all their important ports, and the colony passed under English rule. In 1763 the treaty of Paris was signed, by the terms of which and the conditions laid down a few years later in the memorable Quebec Act of 1774, the French were guaranteed by England their laws, language, and religion. In 1791 the province was divided into Upper and Lower Canada, but in 1841, after a series of internal dissensions, including the rebellion of 1837, and several political quarrels, the country was again united. In 1867 the provinces of old Canada, under the names of Ontario and Quebec, were erected with New Brunswick and Nova Scotia into the Dominion of Canada.(G. ST.)

Quebec City map

Map of the City of Quebec

QUEBEC, the ancient capital of Canada, and present capital of the province of Quebec, is situated on the north-west bank of the river St Lawrence at its junction with the St Charles, about 300 miles from the Gulf of St Lawrence and 180 miles below Montreal, in 46° 69’ 6" N. lat. And 71° 13’ 45" W. long. It is the most picturesque and most strongly fortified city on the continent. Quebec is built on the northern extremity. Of an elevated table-land which forms the left bank of the St Lawrence for a distance of 8 miles. The highest part of the headland is Cape Diamond, 333 feet above the level of the water, and crowned by the citadel, which covers an area of forty acres, and presents a bold and precipitous front on the south-east side, while towards the north and west the declivity is more sloping and gradual. The harbor of Quebec is spacious and capable of accommodating ships of the largest tonnage, and its docks and tidal basin, when completed, will rank among the most perfect works of the kind in the world. They are constructed of limestone and iron, and, including the graving dock on the Levis side of the river, will cost very nearly three millions of dollars. The harbor is protected towards the north-east by the island of Orleans, on either side of which there is an approach. The spring tides rise and fall about 18 feet. Quebec is divided into upper and lower town,- access to the former being obtained by a steep and winding street, several flights of narrow steps, and an elevator. In the lower town are situated the principal banks, merchants’ offices, and wholesale and retail stores. The streets, with one or two exceptions, are narrow and irregular. In the upper town, where the streets are wider and well-paved, are the better class of dwelling houses, the public buildings, most of the churches, the public walks and gardens, retail stores and small shops. To the west are the suburbs of St John, St Louis, and St. Roche. The latter occupies the lower plain, and is rapidly becoming a place of commercial importance. The other two suburbs are on the same level with the upper town. South-west of St John stretch the historic Plains of Abraham. On this battle-ground a column 40 feet high has been erected to mark the spot where General Wolfe in 1759 died victorious. In the governor’s garden, which overlooks the St Lawrence, is a stately monument 65 feet in height, which is dedicated to the memory of Wolfe and Montcalm. An iron pillar surmounted by a bronze statue, the gift of Prince Napoleon Bonaparte, stands on St Foye road, and commemorates the achievements of the British and French troops in 1760. Four Martello towers occupy commanding positions. A point of interest in the upper town is Dufferin Terrace, a magnificent promenade 1400 feet long and 200 feet above the level of the river. Part of this terrace occupies the site of the old Chateau St Louis, which was destroyed by fire in 1834. The view from the platform is very striking and beautiful. The Grand Battery also affords a fine prospect. Quebec was once the walled city of the north, but several of its ancient fortifications have been dismantled, and the old gates taken down. There are three gates now, instead of five as in formers years, viz., St Louis, Kent, and St John’s, each of which is very handsome and massive. Among the principal edifices are the parliamentary and departmental buildings, - a stately pile situated on Grande Allee, - the new court house now building, the post office, custom-house, city hall, Masonic hall, the Basilica, or Roman Catholic cathedral (an irregular cut-stone building 216 feet long by 180 feet wide, and containing many fine oil paintings), the archi-episcopal, palace, the Anglican cathedral (a plain structure in the Roman style), the skating rink, and the hall of the Young Men’s Christian Association; four large markets supply the people with meat and country produce. There are eight Roman Catholic churches, five Church of England, two Presbyterian, one Methodist, one Baptist, one Lutheran, one Congregational, one Scandinavian, one French Protestant, and a Jewish synagogue, which is situated in the Masonic Hall. Laval University, which derives its name from the first bishop of Quebec, who founded in 1663 the seminary for the training of priests, is the principal educational establishment of the Roman Catholics. It was instituted in 1852 by a royal charter from Queen Victoria and a charter from Pope Pius IX. The building is large and spacious, and the university, which is held it high esteem, is well equipped with apparatus, a library of over 85,000 volumes, a museum, geological specimens, and a picture gallery. Laval has a strong staff of professors lay and clerical, and the faculties are theology, law medicine, and arts. In connection with this institution are the grand seminary founded in 1663, where theology is taught, and the minor seminary for literature and philosophy. Laval Normal and Model School, the Ursulin Convent, - a very large establishment for the education of young ladies, founded in 1641, - the Convent of the Good Shepherd, and several nunneries complete the list Roman Catholic educational institutions. Morrin College (Presbyterian) was founded by Dr Morrin, and is affiliated with M’Gill University. Other Protestant schools are the boys’ high school, the girls’ high school, a number of academies, and public and private schools, all in a state of efficiency. In 1881 the number of children attending the various schools in Quebec was 9889, of whom half were girls. There is no free public library in the city, but the Literary and Historical Society, - the oldest chartered institution of the kind in Canada, founded by Lord Dalhousie in 1824, - the Canadian Institute, the Geographical Society, the Young Men’s Christian Association, the Advocates’ Library, and the parliamentary Library have valuable collections of books. The principal benevolent institutions are the marine hospital, the Hotel Dieu, founded in 1639 by the duchess of Aiguillon, the general hospital (1693), the Finlay Asylum, the Jeffrey Hale Hospital, the Church of England Female Orphans’ Asylum, the Ladies’ Protestant Home, St Bridget’s Asylum, Grey Nunnery, and the lunatic asylum at Beauport. Nine daily newspapers are published at Quebec, six of which are in the French language. A good supply of water is afforded from Lake St Charles, but the city has suffered so severely from devastating fires in the past that in 1883 the common council ordered an additional pipe to be laid at a cost of half a million of dollars. Quebec is well lighted with gas and the electric light. Connection is had with all parts of Canada and the United States by several railway lines, and the city is at the head of ocean steamship navigation to Europe. There are two lines of street cars. The head offices of three banks are situated in Quebec, viz., the Quebec Bank, the Union Bank of Lower Canada, and La Banque Nationale. Besides these there are two savings banks, the Post Office Savings Bank, and the agencies of the Bank of Montreal, the Bank of British North America, and the Merchants’ Bank. The population of the city in 1871 was 59,699; in 1881, 62,446 (28,923 males and 33,523 females), - 6200 being Protestants.

Shipbuilding was formerly one of the chief industries of Quebec, but of late years very few wooden ships have been built. In 1883 the number was twenty-five, representing a total tonnage of 4596 tons. Manufacturing is carried on to some extent, the principal manufactures being iron castings, machinery, cutlery, nails, leather, musical instruments, boots and shoes, paper, India-rubber goods, ropes, tobacco, steel, &c.

Quebec staple export is timber, the greater portion of the shipments reaching town from the Ottawa and St Maurice districts. The rafts floating down the river are collected in the coves, and fastened by booms are moored along the banks. These coves extend along the river for upwards of 6 miles above the city. On the right bank of the stream, not far from Quebec, are extensive sawmills. The port is one of the leading emporiums of the export trade between Canada and Great Britain. The number, tonnage, and crews of the vessels entered and cleared at Quebec for several years is as follows: -

Year Entered Cleared.
No. Tons. Crews. No. Tons. Crews.


Large quantities of timber – especially white pine (10,427,000 feet in 1883), oak, and red pine – are exported from Quebec. The total value of exports in 1883 was $9,268,983; of imports $4,976,713, and of import duty received $823,213.63. The value of the real estate is set down at $24,000,000.

The city returns three members to the Canadian House of Commons, and three to the provincial House of Assembly. It is governed by a mayor, eight aldermen, and sixteen councilors, who hold their offices for two years. Quebec is the seat of the Roman Catholic archbishop, and the see of the bishop of the Church of England.

Quebec was first visited by the French navigator Jacques Cartier in 1535, when it consisted of a sparsely-settled Indian village called Stadacona. In July 1608 the city was founded by Champlain, who bestowed on it its present name. Its growth was slow, and the numerous wars with the Indians and the English rendered the work of colonization and settlement precarious and difficult. In 1629 the English captured, it but three years later it was restored to the French. In 1663 the colony was created a royal government, and Quebec became the capital. In 1690 Sir William Phips with a numerous fleet attempted to reconquer it, but the French governor, Count de Frontenac, destroyed many of his vessels and forced the English to fly. The French held possession until 1759, when it fell into the hands of the British under Wolfe, and it was finally ceded to Britain by the treaty of Paris in 1763. in 1775 General Montgomery with an American force attacked the city, but he perished before its walls and his troops were dispersed. Since then its capture has not been again attempted. (G.ST.)

The article above was written by: George Stewart, Jr., D.C.L., Litt.D.; editor of the Quebec Morning Chronicle from 1879; author of Story of the Great Fire in St. John's, New Brunswick; Evenings in the Library; and Canada under the Administration of the Earl of Dufferin.

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