Daniel Francis

Reading the National Narrative

Canada Invaded

Nov 24, 2015


Thanks to this article by Robert Everett-Green in the weekend Globe and Mail, I was reminded that this autumn/winter is the 240th anniversary of the unsuccessful invasion of Canada by American troops led by Benedict Arnold and Richard Montgomery.

The Americans occupied Montreal for seven months and on New Year's Eve, 1775, tried to capture Quebec City. If they had succeeded, Canada may well have become the 14th American colony. But they didn't, so we didn't.

The reason I feel nostalgic about this event is that an article I wrote about it forty years ago was the first piece of mine that was ever published. It appeared in the Weekend Magazine on October 4, 1975 (see cover photo above) and I've added it to my journalism page for old time sake.

Weekend was an illustrated Saturday supplement which used to appear with the major daily newspapers from the 1950s to the 1980s. This particular issue, aside from my historical article and a selection of Thanksgiving recipes, featured several articles on Quebec politics, including one by the not-yet-premier of the province, Rene Levesque, in which he predicts that an independent Quebec is pretty much a certainty.

This is the only time that Rene Levesque and I appeared in print together.