“The gorge of every honest man should rise at the servility and treason which would thus sell our birthright”

While perusing the abominable misrepresentations and absurd charges which the chief Confederationists indulge in, in striving to support a scheme which has been virtually knocked on the head, for a time at least, one hardly knows whether to smile at their folly or frown at their mendacity. Every one who has raised his voice in opposition to the proposed annexation to (falsely called union with) Canada, has had to take a share of personal abuse, while those who have given it their sanction are all wisdom patriotism and moral worth!

The good things which Canada had in store for us, and the unselfish liberality with which she offered to take charge of our revenues, were portrayed in the most attractive hues; and the happiness of our existence under such an arrangement was to equal the halcyon years of the Millennium. All this was very fine, and with but one drawback, videlicet: There was not a word of truth in the whole of it! The people suspected the scheme, detected its imposition, and overthrew it. Cajolery, humbug, intimidation, were successively tried in vain, and now in their battled pique most of the delegates heap obloquy and insult upon all who contributed to trip them up and expose their trickery. They say that the opponents to this Federation are hatching treason in the shape of annexation to the United States – that it was they who gave a death blow to the Reciprocity Treaty – imperiled us with America and several other equally absurd accusations. The annexation twaddle may be at aside when we call to mind that some of the most prominent and influential opposers of the Confederation scheme were also strong opposers to a reconstruction of the American Union: therefore not at all likely to advocate giving their native province to the control of the Federal Government.

We Anti-Unionists have brought about the repeal of Reciprocity Treaty, have we? The editor of the Unionist knows that for three years an American Committee has been appointed to report on its working with an eye to its abrogation, as Canada was accused of acting unfairly, in placing almost prohibitory taxes on goods not specified in the Treaty. Then came the culminating point when the sworn foes of the United States, making dens for themselves upon the Canadian shore, issued from thence upon their murderous and thievish errands, and returning found shelter and comfort upon British soil – a soil supposed to be a friendly and a brotherly one to the American people. Had the Canadian government not at once repudiated the last villainous act, wild and frightened would have been the wail upon her invaded borders; what what it cost Canada by way of cure had been better expended in prevention. Even yet, they are not guarded, their folly may find them out.

Nova Scotia, especially Halifax, has contributed her full share of insult and provocation, which we fear will be long remembered by those who are only too able, when they have the will, to retaliate. And a greater part of the press, instead of teaching a liberal and friendly spirit, was either filled with gross abuse and the most bare-faced libels, or else threw covert sneers or detracting paragraphs against a people with whom the prosperity of our country is so inseparably united.

Of the first, the Journal made itself superlatively vile and obnoxious. Its late puny editor, a Yankee retrograde, threw in his poison and his gall, and made himself conspicuous above all others in the intensity of his hate. Fortunately he could do no great harm at the worst. Since then it has changed its name and editor. The Unionist has more talent guiding it now, but no more truth. Me. McCully says the Chronicle has suddenly fallen in love with American institutions, and speaks differently from what it did formerly. The editor at the time alluded to was not the same who now speaks through its columns, and shows a spirit of manliness and fair play towards old friends. All that has been said by the press or politicians of the Provinces cannot hard the United States one jot; but it may bring trouble upon themselves. There are many of the American editors who inveigh bitterly against Britain and her “neutrality;” but if they have no more weight than Bennett of the Herald, their opinions will go exactly for what they are worth. We are bound to respect the law of England and stand by her in need; and if every one in British North America had obeyed the laws of their sovereign the Reciprocity Treaty might not have been repealed, the Americans would have respected us as they did before the war, and the timid to-day have had no fear of an invasion.

If fate have in store for us such a great calamity, would we be safer by Confederation? Far from it. Our 30,000 hardy seamen, which in the programme were to go man Canadian gunboats, and our brave militia, too, might have to leave our coasts bare to the ravages of the invader, without those able hands to shelter or protect the helpless ones at home!

But what do our patriotic delegates care if they but carry their point, and rise another step in the ladder of their ambition? Nothing. They are ready to toady to the future masters they would give to us – hold the candle to their steps that their way may be bright and glorious. Faugh! the gorge of every honest man should rise at the servility and treason which would thus sell our birthright.

And independent people spurn the thought
And claim the liberty for which their brave forefathers fought.

Halifax Sun and Advertiser, April 12, 1865. Page 3 Column 1. https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=dw5aoL0HVgwC&dat=18650412&printsec=frontpage&hl=en