Place Published: [Toronto]
Publisher: Printed by order of the Commons House of Assembly
Date Published: 
Edition: 1st Edition
Binding: No binding
DOCUMENT CONTRIBUTING TO THE 1837/38 UPPER CANADA REBELLIONS
RARE Quarto. 7 pages. Among the 27 rules included are: "Rule No. 5 : That all polls shall be held in the open air, or in some building, not a Tavern, to which free access can be had by every Elector -- and no woman shall be allowed to vote''; "Rule No. 24 : That no man of color shall be hindered from voting, if otherwise qualified". Rare Upper Canada imprint printed by Robert Stanton (1794-1866). Open 1/4 tear in upper border not affecting any text, otherwise, very good condition. The Bill was passed after third and final reading on April 15, 1836, [22 Yeas and 4 Nays) 2nd Sess. 12th Parl. 6th. The act to be called, "An Act to Provide Elections throughout this Province".
In the first half of the nineteenth century, then, recognition of the principle of responsible government – not extension of the franchise – sparked reform efforts in the colonies of British North America. Politicians known as Reformers endeavoured, first and foremost, to achieve responsible government, with ministers chosen by the majority in the house of assembly (and forced to resign if they lost the confidence of that majority) and accountable to it. In 1836, Joseph Howe, known as the voice of Nova Scotia, expressed succinctly the objective of the Reformers of his time: "[A]ll we ask for is what exists at home – a system of responsibility to the people." (DCB X, 364) In other words, Reformers demanded that governors not be able to do in the colonies what the king himself could not do in England: choose ministers. Reform movement in the Legislative Assembly. Its members won control of the elected Legislative Assembly in 1828 and again in 1834. Elections in Upper Canada had been held 20 June 1836 for the Parliament in Upper Canada from 1836 to 1840. The 13th Parliament of Upper Canada was opened 8 November 1836 holding 5 sessions. In the election campaign of June 1836, the Lieutenant Governor Sir Francis Bond Head appealed to the United Empire Loyalists of the colony, proclaiming that the reformers were advocating American republicanism. The Conservative party, led by the wealthy landowners known as the "Family Compact", won the election resulting in a conservative majority in the legislative assembly and triggering dissent in the province. This was the last parliament for Upper Canada. This parliament was dissolved 10 February 1840. The Act of Union 1840 abolished the legislative assemblies for Upper and Lower Canada and created a new Province of Canada with a common Legislative Assembly. This came as a result of the Rebellions of 1837.
The 1837 rebellion in Upper Canada was a less violent, more limited affair than the uprising earlier that year in Lower Canada. However, its leaders, including William Lyon Mackenzie, were equally serious in their demands. They wanted democratic reform and an end to the rule of a privileged oligarchy. The rebellion itself failed, but its very failure helped pave the way for moderate and careful political change in British North America. This included the union of Upper and Lower Canada into the Province of Canada and the eventual introduction of responsible government. In 1836, Joseph Howe, known as the voice of Nova Scotia, expressed succinctly the objective of the Reformers of his time: "[A]ll we ask for is what exists at home – a system of responsibility to the people." (DCB X, 364) In other words, Reformers demanded that governors not be able to do in the colonies what the king himself could not do in England: choose ministers
Robert Stanton was a businessman, public servant, military man, journalist and publisher. In 1810 he entered the office of the lieutenant governor, was transferred to the surveyor general’s office in 1811, and in 1812 was a copying clerk to the assembly. Commissioned lieutenant in the militia, he saw action at Queenston Heights and in April 1813 was captured at York. He was commissioned lieutenant colonel on 2 April 1827, and colonel on 16 July 1835, in the 1st West York Regiment. A Tory, he helped defend Toronto against the rebels in 1837 along with five of his brothers. In 1826 Sir Peregrine Maitland* unexpectedly appointed Stanton king’s printer. He sold his Kingston business, moved to York, and set up shop with Robert Watson as his foreman. Apart from his official duties as king’s printer and as publisher of the Upper Canada Gazette. He held the position until 1844; his tenure was the longest for any printer of the Upper Canada Gazette. Stanton, as journalist, was a spokesman for the Family Compact, intending the U.E. Loyalist to have “a just degree of influence in matters in which the Government may have felt an interest.” Stanton was appointed a Home District commissioner of customs on 12 Aug. 1842 and collector of customs for the port of Toronto on 8 Aug. 1843. Six years later Hincks, again inspector general, investigated Stanton’s administration of the Toronto customs house. The ensuing report alleged falsification of customs records. Stanton pleaded innocent, but he and two assistants were dismissed in November 1849. Stanton was immediately appointed clerk of process at Osgoode Hall, a position he held until his death in 1866.