Introduction
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Introduction
On April 19, 1775, the shot heard around the world was fired at Lexington, Massachusetts, plunging Britain and the Thirteen colonies into war.
Montreal resident Thrse Baby wrote to her brother at the start of the American Revolution, " You can not imagine the terror that has overtaken us all...many people are getting ready to leave altogether." (As portrayed by Louise Marleau in Canada: A Peop
Montreal resident Thrse Baby wrote to her brother at the start of the American Revolution, " You can not imagine the terror that has overtaken us all...many people are getting ready to leave altogether." (As portrayed by Louise Marleau in Canada: A Peop
Now, whether they liked it or not, Canadians would be drawn into America's Revolution.

American rebel commander George Washington was determined to seize Quebec before Britain could use it as a springboard to invade the Thirteen Colonies. "I need not mention the great importance of this place (Quebec) and the consequent possession of all Canada, in the scale of American affairs. If it is ours, success, I think, will most certainly crown our virtuous struggles; if it is theirs, the contest, at least, will be doubtful, hazardous and bloody."

Washington's network of spies throughout the province reported that Canadians had divided loyalties: they might not join the Revolution but they wouldn't resist it either.

In Montreal, the widow Thérèse Baby wrote to her brother, François, in Quebec City.

"You can not imagine the terror that has overtaken us all...
Quebec Governor Guy Carleton had few resources to defend Canada against the United States during the American Revolution. (As portrayed by Nigel Bennett in Canada: A People's History)
Quebec Governor Guy Carleton had few resources to defend Canada against the United States during the American Revolution. (As portrayed by Nigel Bennett in Canada: A People's History)
Many people have sent off their documents and valuables to the country, many people are getting ready to leave altogether... I have decided to risk staying with my two daughters... I am saddened by all of this but then again it does not make me laugh to see how some cowards can no longer hide their fear."

It was not so much fear as fatigue that gripped the Canadians. They had only just rebuilt from the Seven Years War and they had no wish to fight another. Especially a war they regarded as a family feud between two brands of Englishmen.

When Quebec Governor Guy Carleton called up the militia, few answered the call. Carleton, who had been governing the province since replacing James Murray in 1768, now faced the alarming prospect of defending the huge territory with nothing but a tiny force of British redcoats.

"Not 600 rank and file fit for duty upon the whole extent of this great river, not an armed vessel, no place of strength; the ancient provincial force enervated and broke into pieces; all subordination overset and the minds of the people poisoned by the same hypocrisy and lies practiced with so much success in other provinces, which their emissaries and friends here have spread abroad with great art and diligence."

With his province divided and his little army stretched to the limit, Carleton was vulnerable.
And the Americans knew it.

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