Photo of Quebec City

Quebec City

Lower Canada (Quebec)

Every perception of my mind became absorbed into the one sense of seeing, when, upon rounding Point Levi, we cast anchor before Quebec. What a scene!—Can the world produce such another? Edinburgh had been the beau ideal to me of all that was beautiful in Nature—a vision of the northern Highlands had haunted my dreams across the Atlantic; but all these past recollections faded before the present of Quebec.

Canadians, rejoice in your beautiful city! Rejoice and be worthy of her—for few, very few, of the sons of men can point to such a spot as Quebec—and exclaim, “She is ours!—God gave her to us, in her beauty and strength!—We will live for her glory—we will die to defend her liberty and rights—to raise her majestic brow high above the nations!”

Canadians!—as long as you remain true to yourselves and her, what foreign invader could ever dare to plant a hostile flag upon that rock-defended height, or set his foot upon a fortress rendered impregnable by the hand of Nature? United in friendship, loyalty, and love, what wonders may you not achieve? To what an enormous altitude of wealth and importance may you not arrive? Look at the St. Lawrence, that king of streams, that great artery flowing from the heart of the world, through the length and breadth of the land, carrying wealth and fertility in its course, and transporting from town to town along its beautiful shores the riches and produce of a thousand distant climes. What elements of future greatness and prosperity encircle you on every side! Never yield up these solid advantages to become an humble dependent on the great republic—wait patiently, loyally, lovingly, upon the illustrious parent from whom you sprang, and by whom you have been fostered into life and political importance; in the fullness of time she will proclaim your childhood past, and bid you stand up in your own strength, a free Canadian people!

British mothers of Canadian sons!—learn to feel for their country the same enthusiasm which fills your hearts when thinking of the glory of your own. Teach them to love Canada—to look upon her as the first, the happiest, the most independent country in the world! Exhort them to be worthy of her—to have faith in her present prosperity, in her future greatness, and to devote all their talents, when they themselves are men, to accomplish this noble object. Make your children proud of the land of their birth, the land which has given them bread—the land in which you have found an altar and a home; do this, and you will soon cease to lament your separation from the mother country, and the loss of those luxuries which you could not, in honor to yourself, enjoy; you will soon learn to love Canada as I now love it, who once viewed it with a hatred so intense that I longed to die, that death might effectually separate us for ever.

– Susanna Moodie, Roughing It in the Bush (1852)