Look! There’s a boat arriving with new English immigrants. My name? I am Thomas, a French Canadian. There sure are many people who are coming to live here, now that Canada is a colony of Great Britain.

With all these newcomers, there are about 500,000 people in Upper and Lower Canada combined. That’s a lot more than in the time of New France around 1745, when there were only about 55,000 people. But we are still a long way from having as many people as our neighbours to the south, the United States.

There are 375,000 of us in Lower Canada. Most people speak French and live on seigneuries. There are some large towns such as Québec City (10,000 inhabitants) and Montréal (18,000 inhabitants), but most people live in the countryside. Of the 375,000 inhabitants of Lower Canada, 75,000 are English-speaking.

Upper Canada is made up almost entirely of English people and most of them are farmers. In Upper Canada, there are about 125,000 people and this number just keeps on growing.

Among French Canadians, even though immigration has stopped, the population is still increasing. That’s because people in Canada have lots of children.

And the more people they are, the more crammed we get. The best land is in south, so everyone is settles in this region. I live in town, but not most people. Only one in ten people live in towns. It’s mostly merchants, craftsmen and rich English people who live in towns.

Whenever I come to the port see the newcomers arrive, I tell myself that anyone can do well if he works hard. Those who are arriving now are English and will surely continue on to settle in the Eastern Townships or in Upper Canada. What can you do? French Canadians are on one side and English Canadians are on the other.

Author: Léon Robichaud

See also – Traces of the past: