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Benjamin Franklin in Montreal - Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member tatie
N 45° 30.522 W 073° 33.214
18T E 612987 N 5040480
Quick Description: Benjamin Franklin in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Location: Québec, Canada
Date Posted: 2/7/2014 4:36:42 AM
Waymark Code: WMK3C5
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
Views: 31

Long Description:
Benjamin Franklin came here in 1776.

"The Château Ramezay is a museum and historic building on Notre-Dame Street in Old Montreal, opposite Montreal City Hall.

Built in 1705 as the residence of then-governor of Montreal, Claude de Ramezay, the Château was the first building proclaimed as a historical monument in Quebec and is the province’s oldest private history museum. It was designated a National Historic Sites of Canada in 1949.

From 1775, it became the Canadian headquarters for the Continental Army when it seized Montreal.

Benjamin Franklin stayed there overnight in 1776, while trying to raise troops to fight for the Americans in the American Revolutionary War."
source : (visit link)

Here is an interesting text with details of his stay in Montreal :

"For a brief time during the seven months that Montreal was an American city, Benjamin Franklin was here to negotiate support of the locals for the American Revolution. He failed in this mission but might well have played an instrumental role in reuniting a woman with her runaway husband.

Of the 16 British North American colonies in 1775, three were in what would become Canada. Of those, the only one the revolutionary forces could realistically capture was Lower Canada, now called Quebec.
Accordingly, troupes under Continental Army Brigadier-General Richard Montgomery landed on Montreal Island at Point St. Charles on Sunday morning, Nov. 12, 1775. After securing Montreal on Dec. 3, Montgomery joined General Benedict Arnold for an ill-conceived and ultimately disastrous attempt to seize Quebec City on Dec. 31.

Meanwhile, back in Montreal, Major David Wooster was left in charge of the effort to rally Montrealers to the American revolutionary cause.
However, his army's imprisonment of the city's leading citizens, closing the Catholic churches and spreading smallpox made them and their cause unpopular.

Congress chose to send a team of three diplomats to set the situation right.

Lawyer Samuel Chase and French-educated Roman Catholic Charles Carroll of Carrollton accompanied political philosopher, inventor and statesman Benjamin Franklin to Montreal.

The delegation arrived at Montreal on April 29, 1776, welcomed by General Arnold.

A reception was held for them at the Continental Army's headquarters in the city, the Château de Ramezay, former home of the French governor of Montreal. Living accommodations were arranged for them in a house at the corner of Notre Dame and St. Charles streets, possibly the home of Britishborn Boston businessman Thomas Walker.

On May 6, a French printer w h o m Franklin had met in London, England and had persuaded to move to Philadelphia arrived in Montreal.
Fleury Mesplet was sent here by Franklin to print prorevolutionary propaganda meant to convince francophones to join the cause of the United Colonies.

He found lodging in a tavern and set up his printing press in a building on rue Capitale (a lane running from St-Sulpice to St-François-Xavier).

After two weeks in Montreal, the delegation received news that the Continental Army siege of Quebec City had ended in failure. Franklin concluded that it would be "easier to buy Canada than to conquer it."
The delegation and its supporters decided to end the occupation and leave for home, some more quickly than others.

One of the supporters who left Montreal the fastest was Thomas Walker.
His active support of the Revolution secured him the wrath of British authorities. Furthermore, he and his wife were so disagreeable they became unpopular with the Americans as well.

Walker escaped Montreal so quickly that he left a few important things behind, including his wife, Jane Hughes. Knowing how unsafe it would be for her to attempt a return south of the border alone, Hughes sought out Franklin and his fellow delegates for help.

On May 11, 1776, the very day they left Montreal, the delegation wrote a note to the Continental Army asking them safely to conduct Hughes back to her husband then believed to be in Philadelphia.

The note, possibly written at the Château Ramezay, was thought necessary because "the zeal of her husband in the cause of the united colonies" would make her a target of the British.
Thomas Walker reappears once or twice in history after this date - he died in Boston in 1788 - but it is not known whether he ever was reunited with Jane Hughes.

The note signed by Franklin and his associates is on permanent display at the Château Ramezay Museum in Old Montreal. Its last signature: B Franklin.

In the same gallery at the museum one can hear Franklin relate his days at the Château in one of the audio-visual stations peppered throughout the museum. Each of these stations features the "ghost" of a former occupant of the building setting the Château in its historical context.

As for Fleury Mesplet, the time and special requirements needed to pack his printing equipment for transport back to the United Colonies made it impossible for him to escape Montreal before the British retook the city.

After spending time in jail for his futile participation in the Revolution - his tracts failed to rally Montrealers to the cause - Mesplet remained in Montreal and eventually founded a newspaper that is still published today. It is called The Gazette.
Bruno Paul Stenson is a historian and musicologist who has been volunteering as a Château Ramezay guide since 1995."

source : (visit link)
Location Type: Building

Reference Web Site: [Web Link]

Established Date: 4/29/1776

Property Type: Public

Fee required: yes

Location Notes:
From Thanksgiving to May 31: The Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. From June 1 to Thanksgiving Day: The Museum and the Governor’s Garden are open every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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