Clément Gosselin: Canadian Patriot and American Revolutionary

by Pierre Beaudry 8/28/2007.

Prologue.

As LaRouche emphasized recently, the British Empire does not generally operate out of brute force but, rather, by manipulating the ideology of the people they intend to subvert and conquer. For centuries, British imperialists have developed, through their Intelligence Services, the art of convincing people into forging and wearing their own mental chains, by making them accept to go along to get along. This is how the Québec Act of 1774 was used to prevent the French-Canadian population from joining the American Revolution and kept them fenced into a pseudo-national identity.

The greatest weakness the British exploited against the French people of Canada was their lack of education. In fact, one of the most striking aspect of the historically specific 1774 period in North America was that, by that time, several generations of Americans had already been in control of their own colonial governments, had already developed extensive economic capabilities, and had been engaged in international commerce for over a century.

During the same period in Canada, however, where the population was about the same as in the American colonies, 65,000 French-Canadians had not yet acquired the cultural and political maturity to develop a nation-state and had no economics or trade system to speak of, except the fur trade between Indians and the {coureurs des bois} run by the Jesuits and the British. There were no printing presses, no Canadian books or newspapers, and no universities.

While the Americans had already founded Massachusetts’ Harvard University, in 1636, and had already four universities by 1740, the very first book printed in Canada was the {Catechism,} published in 1765 by the top Catholic ally of British Governor Guy Carleton, Bishop Olivier Briand of Québec City. No other books had come out of the printing press in Canada before that date. The first French-Canadian University was Québec City’s Laval University created for the curious pleasure of Queen Victoria, in 1852, over three quarters of a century after the American Revolution!

Is it any great surprise, therefore, that the majority of the French-Canadian people would have some difficulty in understanding what the American call for freedom was really all about, in 1774? Most of them did not even know how to read or write. At best, some of them joined the Americans out of rage, because they hated what the British had done to their homes and families during and after the conquest of 1759. However, in spite of such aversive cultural backwardness and regardless of British ideological manipulation, a revolutionary patriot like Clément Gosselin emerged above this bestialized containment and organized a movement in Canada to participate in the independence of America.

Introduction: A Proud Moment for All Canadians.

Most people, in the United States and Canada, have never heard of Clément Gosselin and don’t know that, by the time of the Declaration of Independence of July 4, 1776, he had already recruited several hundred French-Canadians to join the American Revolutionary War. After pondering on the Continental Congress letter {To the Inhabitants of the Province of Québec}, Gosselin decided to participate in major battles against the British in Québec City, on Lake Champlain in New York, and in several other American colonies until he and his recruits, ultimately, joined the French and American troops in the final battle of Yorktown, Virginia, October 19, 1781, forcing the capitulation of the British and securing liberty and independence for the American people.

In this present report, my purpose is three-fold: one is to establish the historical context in which the American strategy of {Manifest Destiny} came to be deployed; two is to give a clinical account of the British Intelligence operation against Clément Gosselin and his French-Canadian recruits; and three is to have the reader walk through the angst and pains of what must have been required for a French-Canadian leader of that period to accomplish such a revolutionary change, in himself and in his people.

Clément Gosselin, son of Gabriel Gosselin and Genevieve Crépeaux, was born June 12, 1747, in the Sainte Famille parish on the Isle of Orleans, east of Québec City. Like his father, Clément became a carpenter by profession. He was living in La Pocatiere, Québec, when he joined the Americans with about 200 other French-Canadians, in the ill-fated attack of General Richard Montgomery against Québec City, on December 31, 1775. The young 28 year-old Clément, was not shaken by this American defeat, and rapidly became the main recruiter of French-Canadian troops for Colonel Benedict Arnold’s returning expedition. He later joined Moses Hazen’s Second Canadian Regiment with the rank of Captain. Captain Clément Gosselin was, also, subsequently chosen to become George Washington’s personal Canadian military intelligence informant. Two letters of Gosselin found in George Washington’s collected papers attest to that.

One of the most fascinating aspects of this little known story of Clément Gosselin is the sublime courage with which he and several hundreds of other French-Canadians he recruited, fought successfully against the barrage of British psychological warfare, systematically waged against them, and their families. Gosselin was personally singled out and targeted by British intelligence as the leader of the group. Ultimately, these exceptional French-Canadians burnt their bridges with the British regime, abandoned all of their properties behind them, broke ranks with the consensus of public opinion represented by their relatives, parish priests, and Bishops, and even defied excommunication pronouncements against them by the highest Prelate of Canada, in order to liberate themselves from the bestial conditions the British rulers had imposed on Canada and America during the eighteenth century.

The story of Captain Gosselin is not about a hero of some romantic adventure, or about a rebel reacting against authority. This is the story, simple and beautiful, of a revolutionary struggle between a man’s quest to free his people and a monstrous cabal of religious and political alliance that kept the minds of French-Canadians in shackles like cattle in a paddock during the entire course of the American Revolutionary War. This is the story of what Benjamin Franklin had identified as the central anomaly of the American Revolution itself, and that every American colonist also had to resolve for himself or herself, that is:

”{Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.}”

It was precisely the paradox of {security and liberty} that Clément Gosselin had to resolve by developing in himself and in others, the higher powers of understanding the universal physical principle that was embodied in the very fabric of the American movement for independence. The question was: how do you break the mental chains of a self-imposed need to secure one’s life based on the social security consensus of mass public opinion?

On the one hand, as Frederick Schiller showed in the case of the French Revolution, history often presents itself as a tragedy appearing in the form of a cultural flaw in which “a great moment of history meets a little people.”  The history of the creation of the Province of Québec by the British Québec Act of 1774, had provided the boundary conditions for such a tragedy to emerge, but the cause of that calamity did not come from the imposition of the Québec Act, as such. The tragedy was caused by the collective acceptance of the apparent security that this Act provided, fallaciously, to the French-Canadian population. The British occupants of Québec hypocritically protected the French-Canadians against the American Revolution and provided them with what the French-Canadians thought was going to secure their well being as a nation. It was a total delusion. The population got itself {enfirwapée}, as they put it in the Québecois Franglish language of the period: they got themselves completely wrapped up in fur, that is to say, {fourrés} (screwed) by their need for security.

On the other hand, what the French-Canadians who decided to fight back against the British realized was that their freedom was not going to be handed to them on a platter by the invading Americans and that they would have to fight for their own political freedom by breaking with their own mental-chains. They refused to follow the great majority who were not willing to sacrifice the little they had for something they had but little or no understanding of. Therefore, only a few hundreds decided to make the decisive axiomatic change. Regardless, given the ratio of those few to the total population, this extraordinary transformation was a unique and outstanding accomplishment, never to be replicated again.

Thus, this lesson in universal history takes us back to a {punctum saliens}, a strategic turning point that led to the British occupation of Canada and to an attempted sabotage of America’s {Manifest Destiny} strategic policy. As a matter of fact, it was this strategy of {Manifest Destiny} that became the pivoting axis of this entire world historical period.

The Historical Strategy of {Manifest Destiny}.

In brief, {Manifest Destiny} represents the westward development motion of Western Civilization following the model of republican sovereign nation-states in opposition to the eastern model of oligarchical imperial world domination. However, the American continental phase of  that motion is sometimes wrongly associated with the “western cowboy” orientation of the criminal Andrew Jackson and his genocidal policy of ethnic cleansing against the Indians of the Cherokee Nation during the first half of the nineteenth century. This Jackson crime against humanity was an actual British imperial subversion of the {Manifest Destiny} strategy, whose name was made infamous under the false democratic flag of a British asset journalist, John L. O’Sullivan.

The original American phase of the {Manifest Destiny} strategy can be properly identified much earlier, when representatives of Cotton Mather and William Penn met to unite their forces in New York City, during the fall of 1689, to retaliate against the Count of Frontenac-led Indian massacres of several American colonial towns. This is where a decision was made by the Americans to defend their colonies by launching an invasion of Canada with an attack against Québec City in 1690. The  defensive nature of  William Penn’s intention had already been shown through his peace treaty with the Shackamaxon Indians, according to which it was agreed that the Indians could sell-off their lands at a remarkably fair price. Penn considered that good business was better than conquest.

The irony, therefore, is that the claim to fame of the American leader of this Canadian expedition, William Phipps, does not come from Count of Frontenac’s pompous reply to his call for surrender: “I will respond with the mouth of my cannons!” Phipps’ real claim to fame was rather established by the fact that his presence before the ramparts of Québec City, in 1690, was coming from the American strategy of {Manifest Destiny}, which had been decided during the first Congress to ever unite the nine American colonies in 1689, and to finance their invasion independently of Great Britain. Let us look a little closer at the two sides of this ironic coin.

On the one hand, under the guise of a “religious war,” against the Americans initiated by the French regime of Frontenac and his Venetian-deployed Jesuits in Canada, the British-Dutch effort of England’s so-called “King William’s War” (1689-1697), including his apparent sponsoring of the 1690 attack on Québec City, was also a Venetian deployment aimed at destroying the {Manifest Destiny} strategy of America, as well as destroying its corresponding Colbertian economic development orientation in Canada at that time. The two opposite oligarchies had the same objective: contain the American colonies on the Eastern shore of the Atlantic. Although this French and Indian War appeared to be only a side show of the larger theater of Venetian instigated “religious warfare,” known as the “War of the Grand Alliance” (1688-1697), itself being fought in Europe at the same time against the {follie des grandeurs} of Louis XIV, the real objective of that Grande Alliance War against France was for the British to conquer the whole of America. Ironically, Phipps, a commoner who was the youngest of a Kennebeck family of 26 children, was not the best choice to carry out that imperial mission for the British-Dutch oligarchy.

On the other hand, the same William Phipps, who was to be appointed the first Royal Governor of Massachusetts, two years later (1692) by William III of Orange, actually represented the Massachusetts Bay Colony of the Puritans led by Increase and Cotton Mather, and was fighting against all forms of oligarchism, be they British, Dutch, or French. From the standpoint of the Americans, this was not a religious war. The Massachusetts Bay Colony had already built an anti-oligarchical sovereign self-governing colony of the people by and for the people on the East Coast of America. However, French-colonial Canada stood in the way of that purpose. As a matter of fact, during its entire history, at the exception of a very brief Colbertian moment of optimism, Canada has been the great exception to the hemispheric republican strategy of {Manifest Destiny}.

On the American side, the intention of fighting the French and Indian War (1689-1697) against Frontenac was aimed at consolidating the historical alliance of a Mather-Penn leadership among the nine American Colonies. At the New York Congress of 1689, some other crucial development occurred. Both Penn and the Mathers, in agreement with the General Court of the Puritan church, appointed John Wise as chaplain under the command of William Phipps. John Wise later wrote a very unique paper called {Vindication of the Government of New England Churches} (1717). The paper was obviously written in the spirit of Leibniz and explicitly in congruence with Plato’s conception of the Democratic Republic of Athens.  Though it was written for establishing the government of the Puritan Church of Massachusetts, John Wise’s paper also represented the framework for a civil constitution of the New England colony. It can also be considered as the first blueprint for the American Constitution.

The purpose of the war against Canada was to break the barrier of the Appalachian Mountains against the French territorial claims over Western America. Following the first New England federation council of 1689, held in New York, the idea of Penn and of Mather was to develop the coal and iron mining industries including canal infrastructure capabilities for shipping American goods from within the continent throughout the world. This was exemplified by the Saugus Forges of Massachusetts, which represented the type of physical economic system that was then funded by the first public credit system known as “script,” the paper-money forerunner to the Alexander Hamilton constitutional credit system. The same American credit system required for getting out of the current worldwide collapse of the financial system.

This original New England federation Congress of 1689 was in reality the very first United States Congress. Their intercolonial action led to the first intercolonial military deployment independently of Great Britain. So, from the standpoint of universal history, the break with the British oligarchical system seems to have started in that New York Congress. Up until that time, all nine of the American colonies were independent of one another, some even hostile to each other. Each had its own governing ways and its own problems to solve with respect to Britain. But, after that date, they all had a common goal: get rid of oligarchism and implement {Manifest Destiny}. This was the first historical opportunity they had to act together. They did, and the idea of a United States of America was born! As Graham Lowry showed in {How The Nation Was Won}, this decisive moment coincided with the successful ouster of the tyrannical king James II supported Andros regime (1688-89) in the New England colonies and the subsequent creation of an economically viable and independent New England movement seeking western expansion.

As a result of the first French and Indian War (1689-1697), all of New France extended through the entire eastern region of the Mississippi, preventing all of the American colonists from going west. The contested territory was located between the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico and between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River. This Venetian-Jesuit-run French containment of the American colonies from Canada was the same strategy the British had later taken up for themselves. This diabolical and phony religious war originating from Canada had to be broken up.

Almost a century later, it was also the attempt to stop the Americans from going west and pursue their {Manifest Destiny} strategy that led the British to launch the {Seven Years War} (1756-1763) against France. This war also coincided in the United States with a second French and Indian War (1754-1760) against the Americans. In 1749, a group of Virginia businessmen had already secured claims of over 500,000 acres of land over the Appalachian Mountains into the Ohio River Valley, and were making plans to settle this region, and beyond, when the French blocked this new expansion effort. The building of forts and outposts by the French along the Ohio River was aimed at stopping this western American development. This is the time when the young George Washington was sent to build an American fortification in the same region, an action that the French used as a pretext to launch their second French and Indian War. Thus, the great leap across the Appalachians into the Ohio Valley had become the centerpiece of the economic self-development of the newly rising American nation-state Republic.

The American threat of expansion over the so-called 1763 Proclamation Line had been the explicit motive for the British to declare a second war against France (See Figures 1 – 2.). Again, this apparent larger European conflict also had the same primary objective that William III of Orange had, and that was to conquer the whole of the American continent for the British East India Company. However, this time around, it was William Pitt and not William Phipps, who conquered Québec City, in 1759, and his intention was to have the British Hudson’s Bay Company take over the French Ohio Valley before the American colonists did. The maritime power developed by Venice during the four British Dutch wars (1652-1684) had to be secured around the Anglo-Dutch faction later to be known as the British Venetian Party whose deadly threat was not located in Europe at all, but in America’s {Manifest Destiny} development strategy.

Lyn demonstrated how that strategy of {Manifest Destiny} can actually be traced back to 700 BC, before Solon of Athens, the Pythagoreans and the Platonic Academy, and how it was originally centered on the Greek efforts to save their civilization from the Eastern dominance of the Persian oligarchical model. Greek civilization was almost destroyed by the bestializing policy of oligarchism and its use of sophistry and evil priesthoods, such as the Persian Cult of Apollo at Delphi, during the Peloponnesian Wars.[1]

After the collapse of Athens, and the fall of the Roman Empire, {Manifest Destiny} was momentarily revived by the Ecumenical efforts of Charlemagne (800) in alliance with Haroun al Rashid’s Islamic Renaissance and the collaboration of the Jewish Kingdom of Khazaria. Then, soon after the death of Charlemagne, the same type of Gnostic priesthood of Delphi was deployed by Venice in an attempt to destroy the Catholic Church through an ultramontane papacy run by the Jesuit, Benedictine, and Dominican orders. It was the Benedictine Hildebrand papacy (1073-1085), for example, which initiated the Crusades that nearly destroyed the whole of Western Civilization during three centuries by collapsing Europe into a dark age.

The {Manifest Destiny} strategy of Western Civilization was revived, again, when the great Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa centered his ecumenical efforts on uniting the Eastern Orthodox Church with the Roman Catholic Church in the West during the Council of Florence (1431-1445) and when he developed the principle of the {consent of the governed} as the basis for the sovereign nation-state in his {Concordancia Catholica}, which laid the basis for creating the first sovereign nation-state in France under Louis XI and in England under Henry VII. A few decades later, Cusa provided Christopher Columbus with the precious map coordinates of Toscanelli for seeking a Western territory that would protect itself against the oligarchy and the proverbial Eastern Persian Whore of Babylon.

Following in Cusa’s footsteps, John Winthrop succeeded in solidly implanting a Puritan Republic in the Massachusetts Bay Company, the first self-governing popular Commonwealth in the world, led by Cotton Mather, who, with William Penn of Philadelphia created the first American Colonial Congress (1689), in order to decisively launch the American continental phase of {Manifest Destiny} against the Jesuit-Venetian control of Canada. According to American historian, Francis Parkman, the Jesuits were the leading proponents of the Venetian Ultramontane doctrine in America. As he put it, most aptly: “The Jesuits, then as now, were the most forcible exponents of ultramontane principles. The church to rule the world; the Pope to rule the church; the Jesuits to rule the Pope: such was and is the simple program of the Order of Jesus, and to it they had held fast, except on a few rare occasions of misunderstanding with the Viceregent of Christ.”[2]

From the strategic standpoint of long waves of universal history, the colonial Congress of 1689 foreshadowed the War of Independence initiated against the British Intolerable Acts, including the Québec Act of 1774, which had been explicitly established against {Manifest Destiny}. This means that the William Phipps1690 invasion of Canada was the prelude to Richard Montgomery’s invasion of Montreal in 1775. Thus, 1689 reflected a critical {punctum saliens} in the American historical phase of the continued progress of {Manifest Destiny}; a progress that can be identified by about ten crucial markers since the birth of Western Civilization over 2,700 years ago:

  • 700 BC: The Birth of Western Greek Civilization: Solon of Athens and Thales of Miletus;
  • 350 BC: The Pythagorean and Platonic Academies;
  • 0: The birth of Jesus of Nazareth and the origin of Christianity;
  • 800: The Charlemagne ecumenical Jewish, Islamic, and Christian strategy and the Islamic Renaissance of Haroun al-Rashid;
  • 1434: The Nicholas of Cusa Ecumenical Council of Florence;
  • 1648: The Cardinal of Mazarin Peace of Westphalia;
  • 1689: The first American Congress of Cotton Mather and William Penn in New York;
  • 1776: The American Declaration of Independence followed by the {Monroe Doctrine} of John Quincy Adams;
  • 1860: The successful Homestead Law and the US government funding of the transcontinental railroad by President Abraham Lincoln;
  • 2007: The Franklin Delano Roosevelt legacy of the New Britton Woods and the Lyndon LaRouche Bering Strait Tunnel strategy linking the Americas with the Eurasian Landbridge. The Second Peace of Westphalia.

Thus, immediately after 1763, as cited by name in the Québec Act of 1774, it was the Merchant Adventurers at the Hudson Bay Company in Rupert Land who had consolidated themselves in order to prevent the American strategy from going west, by taking full control of the territories east and west of the Mississippi. Thus, the western wing of the British East India Company had conquered three new territories, Canada, East and West Florida, and the vast territories from the great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico East of the Mississippi. This dangerous isolation of the American colonies became the {causus belli} that triggered the American Revolutionary War. The extension of the boundaries of Québec to the Ohio River by the Québec Act of 1774 was the worst of the series of intolerable Acts concocted by the British parliament against the Americans since 1763. The Québec Act was the proverbial drop that made the dam burst.

Clément Gosselin was made aware of a large part of this historical picture when he was recruited to the American cause in 1774. This was the general political context that surrounded his youth, in North America, and the strategy of {Manifest Destiny} was one of the primary motivations for him to recruit French-Canadians to the American war effort and to later propose to settle the Detroit area. Silas Deane and others had already made plans, as early as 1774, to have Americans secure the Detroit region. As reported by Henri Gosselin, a number of French-Canadian recruits had offered to become some of the first American settlers in the Detroit area, along the Huron River, and on the land that ran along the shores of Lake Erie. The purpose of that move was to explicitly counter the Québec Act of 1774.

{Manifest Destiny} Vs. The British Québec Act of 1774.

  In the First Continental Congress of May 1774, it was Silas Deane who became the champion of the {Manifest Destiny} strategy. Nicknamed “Ticonderoga Deane” privately by his colleagues, Silas Deane was the Connecticut delegate who had most emphatically emphasized the necessity to relentlessly pursue the policy of {Manifest Destiny} by way of countering the Québec Act with an Invasion of Canada. On August 30, 1774, for instance, the Connecticut Courant (Hartford) reported, “the Québec Act is the first in 200 years that establishes popery,” and that by passing this intolerable Act, “His Majesty has declared war on America.”  Shrewd as he was, after he had Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold capture Fort Ticonderoga, Deane declared that it was done merely to prevent the British in Canada from accessing the ordinance of the fort and prevent them from making use of it against the Americans in case of a conflict.

The reason the Americans considered the Québec Act to be an act of war against America was because it excluded the right to self-government and gave Québec extended borders behind the Appalachians that went as far south and west as the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. It was, therefore, the continuation by the British oligarchy of the old French oligarchical policy.

In a letter to Samuel Adams, Deane warned against this Québec Act and its land grab and proposed a massive influx of new colonials in that region west of the Appalachians:  “{This, or some such plan, will most effectually defeat the design of the Québec Bill, which if not broke thro’ & defeated in some shape or other, will be the most fatally mischievous to the British Colonies of any Bill ever framed by the Ministry, or that may possibly ever enter into their Hearts To conceive of.}”   In the same letter of November 13, 1774, Deane explained why the Québec Act represented such a grave danger for the strategy of {Manifest Destiny}:

Figure 1. Map of Colonial North-America. The light blue section represents the French territories ceded to Britain and to Spain at the Treaty of Paris of 1763.[3]

“{The extending & fixing Settlements of Protestants Westward will not only bring about this wished-for event, but will be in future Days Our greatest Strength & Security. Another Tier as I may say of Colonies settled back of Us will be, an inexhaustible resource to Us, &c render Us humanely speaking invincible though the united Powers of the whole World should attack Us. Look at a Map, & see, the situation of the Countries between 40.° & 45.° through the Continent. This is the New England Inheritance, as fairly secured for them, by their Ancestors, as any one Acre they Now possess, and once well settled with Our People, & their descendants, will give Law, not to North & South America alone, but to the World if they please.

“This will, & must be the most independent Country on the Globe, inland Seas or Lakes, and Rivers extending quite across the Continent in those parallels, and the Western extremity lands Us at the very Door, of the Treasures of the East, and The South. If the Contemplation of these future events gives Us pleasure every effort of Ours to ripen them if successful, in degree realizes them. This can hardly be called the pleasure of the imagination only, but rather the pleasure of anticipating great, & important realities, & such as are hastening on, & in the arrival of which, the happiness of Mankind is most deeply interested.}”[4]

It was because of that danger to their {Manifest Destiny} strategy that the signers of the Declaration of Independence denounced this Québec Act: “{For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies}.[5]

How the French-Canadians Lost Their Chance at Joining the American Revolution.

On October 26, 1774, the American Continental Congress sent an extraordinary letter {To the Inhabitants of Québec }. It was an invitation calling on them to join the American cause for independence.[6] The {Imprimerie de Fleury Mesplet} that Benjamin Franklin founded in Montreal, and which later became the printing house of the

 

Figure 2. Entrapment of the American colonies by the extension of Québec under the Québec Act of 1774.  Note the 1763 Proclamation Line isolating the Americans.[7]

Montreal Gazette newspaper, published a few thousand copies of the invitation in 1774 by request of the Continental Congress of Philadelphia. This letter, translated into French, was turned into a pamphlet that became the primary organizing tool used by Clément Gosselin to recruit his Canadian associates to the Revolution. The Letter began as follows:

“{To the Inhabitants of the Province of Québec.

“Friends and fellow-subjects,

“We, the Delegates of the Colonies of New-Hampshire, Massachusetts-Bay, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New-York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, the Counties of Newcastle Kent and Sussex on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina and South-Carolina, deputed by the inhabitants of the said Colonies, to represent them in a General Congress at Philadelphia, in the province of Pennsylvania, to consult together concerning the best methods to obtain redress of our afflicting grievances, having accordingly assembled, and taken into our most serious consideration the state of public affairs on this continent, have thought proper to address your province, as a member therein deeply interested.

“When the fortune of war, after a gallant and glorious resistance, had incorporated you with the body of English subjects, we rejoiced in the truly valuable addition, both on our own and your account; expecting, as courage and generosity are naturally united, our brave enemies would become our hearty friends, and that the Divine Being would bless to you the dispensations of his over-ruling providence, by securing to you and your latest posterity the inestimable advantages of a free English constitution of government, which it is the privilege of all English subjects to enjoy.

“These hopes were confirmed by the King’s proclamation, issued in the year 1763, plighting the public faith for your full enjoyment of those advantages.

“Little did we imagine that any succeeding Ministers would so audaciously and cruelly abuse the royal authority, as to with-hold from you the fruition of the irrevocable rights, to which you were thus justly entitled.

“But since we have lived to see the unexpected time, when Ministers of this flagitious temper, have dared to violate the most sacred compacts and obligations, and as you, educated under another form of government, have artfully been kept from discovering the unspeakable worth of that form you are now undoubtedly entitled to, we esteem it our duty, for the weighty reasons herein after mentioned, to explain to you some of its most important branches.

“In every human society,” says the celebrated Marquis Beccaria, “there is an effort, continually tending to confer on one part the height of power and happiness, and to reduce the other to the extreme of weakness and misery. The intent of good laws is to oppose this effort, and to diffuse their influence universally and equally.”

“Rulers stimulated by this pernicious “effort,” and subjects animated by the just “intent of opposing good laws against it,” have occasioned that vast variety of events, that fill the histories of so many nations. All these histories demonstrate the truth of this simple position, that to live by the will of one man, or set of men, is the production of misery to all men.

“On the solid foundation of this principle, Englishmen reared up the fabrick of their constitution with such a strength, as for ages to defy time, tyranny, treachery, internal and foreign wars: And, as an illustrious author1 of your nation, hereafter mentioned, observes, –“They gave the people of their Colonies, the form of their own government, and this government carrying prosperity along with it, they have grown great nations in the forests they were sent to inhabit.”[8]

“In this form, the first grand right, is that of the people having a share in their own government by their representatives chosen by themselves, and, in consequence, of being ruled by laws, which they themselves approve, not by edicts of men over whom they have no control. This is a bulwark surrounding and defending their property, which by their honest cares and labours they have acquired, so that no portions of it can legally be taken from them, but with their own full and free consent, when they in their judgment deem it just and necessary to give them for public service, and precisely direct the easiest, cheapest, and most equal methods, in which they shall be collected.

“The influence of this right extends still farther. If money is wanted by Rulers, who have in any manner oppressed the people, they may retain it, until their grievances are redressed; and thus peaceably procure relief, without trusting to despised petitions, or disturbing the public tranquility.

“The next great right is that of trial by jury. This provides, that neither life, liberty nor property, can be taken from the possessor, until twelve of his unexceptionable countrymen and peers of his vicinage, who from that neighborhood may reasonably be supposed to be acquainted with his character, and the characters of the witnesses, upon a fair trial, and full enquiry, face to face, in open Court, before as many of the people as chose to attend, shall pass their sentence upon oath against him; a sentence that cannot injure him, without injuring their own reputation, and probably their interest also; as the question may turn on points, that, in some degree, concern the general welfare; and if it does not, their verdict may form a precedent, that, on a similar trial of their own, may militate against themselves.

“Another right relates merely to the liberty of the person. If a subject is seized and imprisoned, though’ by order of Government, he may, by virtue of this right, immediately obtain a writ, termed a Habeas Corpus, from a Judge, whose sworn duty it is to grant it, and thereupon procure any illegal restraint to be quickly enquired into and redressed.

“A fourth right, is that of holding lands by the tenure of easy rents, and not by rigorous and oppressive services, frequently forcing the possessors from their families and their business, to perform what ought to be done, in all well regulated states, by men hired for the purpose.

“The last right we shall mention, regards the freedom of the press. The importance of this consists, besides the advancement of truth, science, morality, and arts in general, in its diffusion of liberal sentiments on the administration of Government, its ready communication of thoughts between subjects, and its consequential promotion of union among them, whereby oppressive officers are shamed or intimidated, into more honorable and just modes of conducting affairs.

“These are the invaluable rights, that form a considerable part of our mild system of government; that, sending its equitable energy through all ranks and classes of men, defends the poor from the rich, the weak from the powerful, the industrious from the rapacious, the peaceable from the violent, the tenants from the lords, and all from their superiors.

“These are the rights, without which a people cannot be free and happy, and under the protecting and encouraging influence of which, these colonies have hitherto so amazingly flourished and increased. These are the rights, a profligate Ministry is now striving, by force of arms, to ravish from us, and which we are, with one mind, resolved never to resign but with our lives. […] 

We do not ask you, by this address, to commence acts of hostility against the government of our common Sovereign. We only invite you to consult your own glory and welfare, and not to suffer yourselves to be inveigled or intimidated by infamous ministers so far as to become the instruments of their cruelty and despotism, but to unite with us in one social compact, formed on the generous principles of equal liberty and cemented by such an exchange of beneficial and endearing offices as to render it perpetual.

“In order to complete this highly desirable union, we submit it to your consideration whether it may not be expedient for you to meet together in your several towns and districts and elect Deputies, who afterwards meeting in a provincial Congress, may chose Delegates to represent your province in the continental Congress to be held at Philadelphia on the tenth day of May, 1775.}”[9]

One can only imagine that this briefing on inalienable rights and principles of the American System must have been at the center of every discussion and meeting that Captain Gosselin had in the process of organizing and recruiting his French-Canadian contacts to the war effort. This pamphlet was the most important organizing tool for developing young and alert Canadian minds just a year before the American War of Independence.

However, since by July 1775, the Continental Congress had gotten no response from Canadian political leaders to their invitation, and the Canadians had not sent a single delegate to the May 1775 convention in Philadelphia, the Continental Congress asked George Washington to make immediate preparations for launching an invasion of Canada with a simultaneous two-prong attack against the British occupation of both Montreal and Québec City. Clément Gosselin was ecstatic.

The idea of invading Canada had two subordinated objectives: Plan A was to defeat the British colonial army in Canada and make Canada the 14th colony of the United States. If this first objective were to fail, then Plan B was to prevent, by all means, the British located in Canada from invading the American colonies from the north. The choice of the month of September for the invasion was to facilitate the long march of the invading army through difficult terrain, and to delay any possible British reinforcement from England until after the winter months. The American troops had signed up for an expedition that was not to last more than four months in all, from September 1 to December 31, 1775.

Even though General Richard Montgomery succeeded in capturing Montreal by November of 1775, he had failed to capture the capital of Canada, Québec City, by the end of conscription of his troops. The invasion of Canada ended in a military defeat for the American troops, when Montgomery was killed in an almost suicidal assault against Québec City on the last day of the expedition, December 31, 1775, date at which the American forces were supposed to be back at Fort Ticonderoga.

The failure of this invasion reflected an important defeat for the Americans as well as for the population of Canada, which had been subjected to the scare tactics of British psychological warfare, and had been induced in rejecting the American call to freedom. Therefore, the Canadians missed the opportunity to participate in one of the greatest moments in human history, because they could not recognize the face of Providence when it came knocking at their door. Though the great majority of French-Canadians were favorable to the American Revolution, they missed their chance because they had not prepared themselves to fight for the establishment of self-government by and for themselves. Nor did they organize themselves to fight back against sophisticated British psychological warfare directed systematically against them.

The British oligarchy put up two major hurdles before the French-Canadians in order to prevent them from joining the Americans: one was political, the other religious. This Delphic operation was one of the sleaziest forms of religious interference into politics ever devised in history. As it were, this British ideological manipulation would have made the envy of the ancient Persian priesthood of the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi. The trick was to get the Canadians to buy their security at the cost of their liberty. How could this be done successfully since the great majority of the French-Canadians were known to be sympathetic to the Americans? The operation was concocted and very carefully crafted between the two top British intelligence operatives in Canada at that time: the Canadian Governor, Guy Carleton, and the Bishop of Québec City, Olivier Briand. The plan they concocted was a perfect fool’s trap.

First, Carleton used the Québec Act to lure the French population into accepting the most generous offer that would guarantee them their French-Canadian nationality, the official recognition of the Catholic religion (the Roman Catholic Church was already recognized in the Treaty of Paris of 1763), the right to their French language and customs, including the French system of the Civil Code, and the right for their Seigneurs (Lords) to levy taxes everywhere in the Seigniories of Québec. How could the French-Canadians refuse such a gift all {wrapped up in fur}?

So, the Canadian leaders accepted this Québec Act, instead of the Invitation by the American Congress, knowing they were being given a poisoned gift in the form of sophistry, a real fallacy of composition, which they knew was a false security contract. Anybody with a little bit of brains knew this was a lie, and yet, they went along with it. They swallowed the whole thing, hook, line, and sinker because this was the easiest way to go along to get along. And, that is precisely the sort of security in which people will accept to live in the concentration camp of their own minds. Carleton thought: “Who will dare complain after receiving everything they were asking for?” The leadership of the population had agreed, consciously, to be fooled! The rest of the ignorant mass followed like the sheep of Panurge.

Even though the British were conscious that their psychological warfare gambit could succeed for the majority of the French population, they still required a guarantee to secure a consensus and to make a case against the recalcitrant few. This, for the British, became the decisive inflection point. Carleton was fearful that his coup might not succeed, if he were not supported in his maliciousness by bishop Briand; it would have been a total disaster So, he gambled everything on the weak flank of the French-Canadians, their religiousness! That is why the Bishop of Quebec provided Carleton with that ultimate guarantee. Briand used the one instrument that he could find to prevent the French-Canadians from joining the American Revolution:

EXCOMMUNICATION.

Therefore, in an open letter to all of the Churches of the diocese of Québec City, Briand warned that any supporter of the American Revolution would be excommunicated from the Catholic Church, would be denied the sacraments and the last rites, and would not be buried in sacred Church ground. That was a perfect Delphic trick, and it was used successfully to scare the great majority of the people.

Thus, British intelligence had devised a typical soft-cop-hard-cop scenario to capture the French population of Canada. This was a typical Mutt and Jeff police-state operation. Carleton was the soft cop and Briand was the hard cop. Carleton served the French with total security, with no need for self-government, and Briand served them with total insecurity, without exception. The choice for American supporters was either public humiliation or eternal damnation of their souls.

These were two fallacies of composition that Clément Gosselin had to fight against and defeat, if he wanted to win his own personal independence and recruit people to the revolution. This was the real price to pay for his political freedom. In order to better understand what was involved in Captain Gosselin’s process of recruitment, let us go back, for a moment, to the time of the British conquest of 1759.

Gosselin Attacked by the British and the Church.

When the British came up the Saint Lawrence River with their fleet at the beginning of the Seven Years War, in 1759, they had planned to stop on the Isle of Orleans before proceeding to Québec City. In a sense, because they were living so close to Québec City, the Gosselin family had no choice but to be most directly involved in all such invasion events that were cast upon them from the proverbial outside world.

The Isle of Orleans, just 3 miles east of Québec City in the middle of the St. Lawrence, was itself indefensible, but was the best staging ground for preparing a siege of Québec City. The western part of the island was a perfect lookout point for identifying any military activity going on in the port and around the city’s fortification. The Gosselin home was located on the eastern point of the island, itself an obvious choice for the British to take as their headquarters in this theater of operations before launching an attack on the city. So, regrettably, but inevitably, all of the inhabitants of the Isle of Orleans were always directly touched by such British invasions, and were forced to evacuate their island with each invasion.

Clément Gosselin’s father, Gabriel Gosselin, one of the leading farmers on the Isle of Orleans, had been ordered by the Governor of Canada, the Marquis de Montcalm, to personally evacuate the island in expectation of the British fleet. Gabriel Gosselin was a Captain in the French militia and served as the military commander of the Island.

Although some people left courtesy messages in English, at the unlocked doors of their homes, welcoming the British to their food and shelters, in the hope that they would not destroy everything they had, in 1759, the British were quite barbaric and burnt down almost everything on the island. One of the few churches the British did not destroy completely was the Gosselin parish, Saint-Francois-de-Sales church, at the northeast point of the island.

This barbaric British behavior left an indelible mark on the 12-year-old Clément Gosselin. Clément and his family were very devoted Catholics. It was Gabriel Gosselin who had designed and built the Saint-Francois-de–Sales church that the British had partly destroyed. This is where Clément developed both his sense of spirituality and of carpentry. This is where he also discovered that one was not really separate from the other and that his love of God and his love of carpentry were made to develop together. Historian Henri Gosselin added the following important insight with respect to Clément’s carpentry and his social compact with his Church.

“Such devotion on the part of the parishioners toward their churches and the religious authorities, at that time, was not unusual. The early {habitants}, in Québec lived in a simple fashion. For the most part, his house was devoid of decoration – both the interior and the exterior. His furniture was very plain. But his church was beautiful!

“Church after church was built on the Isle of Orleans, as well as along the entire north and south shores of the St. Lawrence River. Not only did these churches adorn the riverfront, but also parishes were established “en double rangée” (in double row).  People took immense pride in their churches. They worked incessantly to build, maintain and repair those edifices, expending their money, which was scarce, and their goods and their labor.

“Their reward was having the opportunity to use the talents with which they had been endowed – and then having the satisfaction of seeing the fruit of their labor. Entering the church on Sunday morning and enjoying the art, which their own home lacked, they had a warm feeling of serving God, in whom their faith was so strong.

“To the French-Canadian, the parish was very important as a social unit. And, of course, the head of the parish and its chief animator was the pastor. The priest accepted the responsibility of mingling in both the spiritual and worldly affairs of his parishioners. Traditionally, he was the best-educated person in the parish – not only being the ultimate authority in theological matters, but also possessing a smattering of legal proficiency.

“The pastor has a capable dispenser of sound advice to families coping with a variety of problems. His opinion was sought by many of his parishioners before grave decisions were made. And in the confessional, he was the mediator between the sinner and his or her Maker – helping to restore the precious relationship that every parishioner craved with God.” [10]

This is the way most of the generations of French-Canadians were brought up under the “discrete hand” of the parish priest, up until the so-called {quiet revolution} of the early 1960’s, when the Canadian wing of the evil Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF) broke up over 400 years of parish priest domination.

On December 8, 1775, Clément Gosselin was sitting and praying in the fourth pew of Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatiere church, when the parish priest, Father Pierre-Antoine Porlier, got up in the pulpit and pointed his finger angrily at him, declaring in an thunderous voice:

“{Yes you, Clément Gosselin, will be excommunicated, from our holy Church. Msgr. Briand, our bishop, is warning you, and other rebels like you, that you must cease your seditious and mutinous behavior at once! Or else, suffer the consequences! If you join the American effort to try to expel our British conquerors from this land, do you know what will happen? It means that if you are mortally wounded in combat, you will be denied the last rites of the Church. No priest will hear your confession. And you will not be buried in sacred ground. Give that serious thought, { Clément Gosselin}! Your very soul is imperiled! And so are the souls of the innocent men of this village whom you are attempting to recruit.}”[11]

This did not come as a surprise. For almost a year, Clément had been recruiting friends and relatives to help the Americans. Everybody knew he was the top leader of the American cause in the Québec City region. However, the news of this public statement hit him on the head like a ton of bricks. He was not offended and he was not scared out of his wits, as Briand had hoped, but he was completely shocked and perplexed. He could not believe that his Bishop would go that far as to use religion for political ends. This was a most unbelievable and unprecedented religious intrusion into politics on the part of the top prelate of Canada. The moment of truth had come! Gosselin was being forced by his Bishop to choose between the unquestioned authority of his Church and his leadership role in the American Revolution, between the consensus of public opinion and the truth his own conscience. Gosselin made his choice!

 Gosselin and the Creation of Two French-Canadian Congressional Army Regiments.

As in the case of all revolutionary change, only a handful of individuals are able to muster the courage to take the responsibility for what appears to be an impossible mission. Thus, only a small group of a few hundred French-Canadians joined the American Revolution. Most of them did not agree with the British oligarchical form of government and responded to the call of freedom and self-government. Some may have had more pragmatic reasons to join, but ultimately they saw in America the way to progress, the way to a better future for all.

It was after the American failure to take Québec City that Clément Gosselin’s work began to be most important. He not only had the responsibility of assuring the safety of the remaining American troops traveling back during the winter months, but also of continuing his recruitment despite the failure of Plan A, to make Canada the 14th colony. His work was just beginning. From January 1776, the plan to prevent a British invasion from Canada, that is Plan B, had begun and the Americans were making their way back to Trois Rivieres, and from there to Montreal. For Gosselin, plan B had become an additional part of his mission. The new recruits were no longer simply joining for a show of support, but to fight along side the Americans for the duration of the war. A new and more serious commitment to {Manifest Destiny} had to be taken for the rest of their lives. Those French-Canadian recruits had not merely become ideologically anti-British, but they had also become culturally American patriots.

At the same time, by 1776, British propaganda against Americans had taken a new twist and had escalated in Canada, when Carleton published a French translation of the {Letter to the British People} drafted by John Jay for the Continental Congress, in which the Catholic Church was strongly insulted and slandered. Some Canadians considered this to be double talk on the part of the Continental Congress. However, for Clément, this was understood as part of American psychological warfare to also wake up the British population.

Even though some of the new French-Canadian contacts and recruits were momentarily destabilized by the slanders and were offended by the attacks of the Continental Congress against the Catholic Church, Clément realized that in every war, both sides exaggerate their propaganda and lie to obtain the desired effect. He understood that what Carleton was doing was merely using the Congress {Letter to the British People} as counter-propaganda against the French population of Canada.

For the Americans, the plan A to make Canada the 14th colony had all of the appearance of having been abandoned and they had to secure their backs as they were marching south to Fort Ticonderoga, where the invasion had started seven months earlier. In March of 1776, the Canadian Militia in Trois Rivieres refused to march against the Americans, and by the time the Americans had reached Montreal, Clément had recruited several hundred new men. One of Montgomery’s junior officers, Captain Moses Hazen, proposed to the Commandant of the remaining American forces, Colonel Benedict Arnold, the creation of a new Canadian regiment.

By April of 1776, the American troops began to move south to Lake Champlain and, since the recruitment of French-Canadians was working so well, Benedict Arnold reportedly sent a request to the Continental Congress for raising two Canadian regiments of 1,000 men each, one of which would be led by Moses Hazen and  the other by James Livingston. The Congress agreed.

Moses Hazen, a puritan from Massachusetts, was originally a junior officer in the British Army who had fought on the side of the British during the siege of Québec in 1759. After settling in Montreal as a Justice of the Peace, he began speculating to acquire properties in New Hampshire, Vermont, and along the Richelieu River at Fort St. John. It was Hazen who warned Carleton that Benedict Arnold had made a pre-invasion incursion at fort St. John with Nathan Allen, in May of 1775. Hazen was originally a British informant.

But then, during the summer of 1775, both the British and the Americans arrested Hazen for spying. Since his land was along the American invasion route, he was undecided as to which side would be more profitable for him. According to Henri Gosselin, “He was sent an authorization by Governor Carleton (who considered Hazen a brave and experienced soldier) to raise troops and to join in defending Fort St. John against Montgomery’s invading army.” It is not known if Hazen raised troops for the British at that time, but Montgomery did not live to tell the story as to why he was delayed for so long at Fort St. John before taking Montreal.

Hazen had also contacted General Schuyler, the American commander in charge of the invasion of Canada, and had warned him that such an invasion would be counter productive and, therefore, attempted to stop the invasion of Montreal. Schuyler agreed with him at first, until James Livingston, an American living in Chambly Québec, gave the general a more optimistic report, and convinced him of a possible successful invasion. As a result, Schuyler decided to go ahead with the invasion plan led by General Montgomery and gave Livingston the command of the First Canadian Regiment.

In 1775, Hazen was arrested by the Americans as a British spy, but only to be released again and arrested one more time by the British who, this time, brought him to Governor Carleton in Montreal, just before Montgomery took the city.  Historian, Henri Gosselin, reported that Hazen had also been found on the same ship that carried Carleton to a successful escape from Montgomery’s grip in Montreal. It is not known as to when and where Hazen made his Damascus conversion, but he did, and he ended up joining the Americans for good in the spring of 1776.

In March of 1776, the Continental Congress promoted Hazen Colonel and gave him the command of the Second Canadian Regiment in George Washington’s Colonial Army. All of the recruits of Clément Gosselin now had an official accepted place and mission in the American Revolution, but the British confiscated all of Hazen’s lands and properties in Iberville Québec as well in St. John on the Richelieu. The quota for the two regiments was high, that is, 2,000 French-Canadians, and Clément was not sure he was going to achieve that goal. He did not. According to Henri Gosselin:

“By the end of February (1776), 150 French-Canadians had enlisted in Hazen’s regiment. And by the end of March, the number had grown to 250 recruits. Many were French soldiers who had remained in Canada following the conquest in 1759. However, the regiment was plagued by desertions – recruits who left shortly after collecting their enlistment bonuses.

“Edward Anctill concentrated on the Québec region – yet he barely managed to recruit five French-Canadians by mid-February. Clément Gosselin and Germain Dionne angered their pastor, Father Porlier, by enlisting several men in the La Pocatiere region. In Kamouraska, Pierre Ayotte succeeded in signing up a number of volunteers for Hazen’s regiment.

“By April (1776), Livingston’s first Regiment totaled 200 Canadian volunteers recruited from Trois-Rivieres to Kamouraska. However, they were well short of their projected 1,000 volunteers per regiment.” [12]

Moreover, the Dictionary of Canadian Biographies further confirmed Gosselin’s recruitment drive as follows:

“From January to May 1776 he (Clément Gosselin) traveled throughout the various parishes on the south shore of the St Lawrence from Pointe-Lévy (Lauzon and Lévis) to Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière, recruiting volunteers for the Congressional troops. In this task he was aided by his father-in-law, Germain Dionne, who furnished clothing and supplies to the new recruits. Gosselin also called and presided over parish meetings for the election of militia officers, to whom he delivered Congressional commissions. Moreover, from the steps of the churches he read the orders and proclamations issued by the Americans, and he sometimes even forced the king’s officers themselves to read them. Together with Pierre Ayotte, a habitant from Kamouraska who was equally devoted to the revolutionary cause, Gosselin organized a system of bonfires, under close guard, to warn the Americans of any approaching British ships.” (Pierre Dufour and Gerard Goyer.[13]

A year later, in 1777, Captain Gosselin went back to La Pocatiere to sell his properties and was arrested and imprisoned in Québec City with his brother Louis and his father-in-law Germain Dionne. In the spring of 1778, all three were released and both Louis and Clément rejoined the Second Canadian Regiment in White Plains New York. Their regiment had been dubbed the {Congress’ Own Regiment} (COR).

Just before France had joined the war, in 1778, the two Canadian regiments included a total of 450 French-Canadians. The Second Canadian Regiment, to which Clément and Louis Gosselin belonged, was later deployed in the famous battles of Brandywine, Germantown, and Yorktown.

The regiment had also constructed a military road from Newbury Vermont to Hazen’s Notch in northern Vermont in preparation for a second invasion of Canada to be led by General Lafayette into the Richelieu River Valley. This noisy affair in the underbelly of Québec had the British totally scared and convinced that the Americans were preparing a second invasion. In no time at all, Captain Gosselin had circulated the news of the French taking back Canada with the Americans all over Montreal, Trois-Rivieres, and Québec City. However this second invasion was not to materialize.

Nonetheless, Gosselin kept that threat of invasion very much alive and his counter-intelligence signals to the British were very effective in keeping the Canadian British forces on their toes in the Montreal, Trois-Rivieres, and Québec City garrisons during the entirety of the war. Gosselin had made Plan B for the invasion of Canada a complete success. One look at the 6 year deployments of the COR regiment (Figure 3.) in the northeastern part of the American colonies, from Québec City 1775 to Yorktown 1781, clearly shows why the British stayed put in Canada. This activity was also recorded in a letter from Captain Gosselin to the Continental Congress revealing that George Washington’s French-Canadian had been responsible “ for the gathering of intelligence in Canada on three different occasions between 1778 and 1780, at the request of his Excellency (George Washington), the Count d’Estaing, and the Marquis de Lafayette.”[14]

On June 29, 1781, General George Washington promoted Colonel Hazen to Brigadier General. On October 4, General Hazen was ordered by Washington to bring his regiment for siege duty at Yorktown and serve as Brigade Commander under Lafayette during the Battle of Yorktown. On October 13, Captain Gosselin, was severely wounded in the leg by a piece of wood flying from a canon ball explosion, while building a protective rampart on the Yorktown battlefield. So, it was from a stretcher that Captain Gosselin watched proudly the defeated British army march out of their Yorktown fortifications, on October 19, 1781. The Second Canadian Regiment was among the mile long lines of American and French troops facing each other while the defeated British troops of General Cornwallis marched silently between them. Cornwallis, as a typical superior British officer, was so humiliated that he refused to march out with his men.

When the two Canadian Regiments were discharged after the war, the Gosselin brothers, Hazen, and the other French-Canadians all received the gift of lands in Northern New York State. Most of them remained in America and became American citizens. After the Second Treaty of Paris of 1783, Clément Gosselin was promoted Major and received 1,000 acres of land for his services, which he sold soon after. Like Cincinatus, Gosselin returned to his carpenter’s trade and lived in Saint Luc until 1815. Then, he sold his property for the last time and moved with his whole family to the Lake Champlain valley, where he had been given a land grant. He died in Beekmantown, New York, on March 9, 1816.

 

Figure 3. Deployments of the Congress Own Regiment (COR) led by Colonel Moses Hazen and his French-Canadian troops during the War of Independence.

 

Figure 4. The final victory of the American War of Independence at Yorktown, on October 19, 1781. John Trumbull oil painting depicting the surrender of British General Cornwallis’ troops marching between American, French, and Canadian troops.

Conclusion: The Nominalist Crime of Pragmatism.

The fallacy of excommunication by Bishop Briand worked exactly like the fallacy of the Québec Act by Governor Carleton. Both actions were insidious means of luring the French-Canadian into a secured paddock and to have them put on, willingly, their own mental shackles. They were the wrong means to get to an apparently acceptable and practical end. They were both pragmatic ways to get people to {go along to get along.} That was precisely the pragmatism that Benjamin Franklin had attacked when he said: ”{those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.}” This is the proof that the British policy of pragmatism is for animals and is never fit for human consumption.

So, in a nutshell, Clément Gosselin and his friends had to fight, during the entirety of the American War of Independence, against two pragmatic fallacies of composition, one was the real “false” excommunication, and the other was the real “false” Québec Act. I say “false” because both of these were, in reality, fallacious instruments of coercion, that is, lies. Simply look at how the fallacy worked with Carleton:

“Carleton said to the British Parliament:  “The success of my Québec Act policy depends on cheating the French-Canadians of their freedom.”

Is he telling the truth? Yes and No!

Yes, he is sincere in saying that the French-Canadians will join the Americans if he does not give them a semblance of freedom. No, he is lying because he has no moral right to do something wrong for what he thinks will yield him a good practical result. As LaRouche would say: “Carleton was an untruthful sophist in thinking he was right in having a wrong opinion.”

As for Briand, he was also an untruthful sophist because he used the instrument of excommunication in a case where excommunication did not apply. No one had committed heresy. So, both Carleton and Briand acted out of malice, because both of them had no right to speak in flagrant disregard to the truth. As a result of such a nominalist crime of pragmatism, the Canadian people was never liberated nor acquired sovereignty.

However, in this same passionate spirit as Benjamin Franklin’s, Father Laurent Gosselin, MSC, a Catholic missionary of the Sacred Heart, to whom Henry Gosselin dedicated his book, summarized the case of Clément Gosselin succinctly and quite aptly when he wrote:

“{There was in Clément and Louis Gosselin, I think, an innate sense of justice which may not have made them popular with their superiors – religious or other – unless these shared the same passion for justice and fairness towards all. This attribute has driven many – like Major Clément and the French-Canadians he recruited – to give their all for the promotion and defense of the noblest causes. By their action, they greatly contributed to the success of the American Revolution. We have every right to be proud of the contribution that Clément and Louis and the French-Canadians made in assisting the Americans gain their freedom and independence.}” [15]

Here, Father Gosselin had a very true and profound insight into the soul and mind of Clément Gosselin, in the simultaneity of his temporal eternity with him, because he was able to transcend centuries to rediscover and relive, himself, the universal physical principle of love of mankind, {agape}, that provided the flame for Clément’s revolutionary passion. This flame is still alive deep in the souls of all Canadians today, but, the true question of independence is: how many of them are willing, like Clément Gosselin, to break with the consensus of popular opinion and carry the newly rekindled beacon of hope that Lyndon LaRouche has provided for them as the next step to be taken in the historical course of {Manifest Destiny}?  How many Canadians can we recruit for the purpose of carrying this shining beacon westward, through the dark but liberating pathway of the Bering Strait Tunnel, in order to guarantee a better future for all of mankind?

Footnotes

[1] Lyndon H. LaRouche Jr, {The issue of America’s Manifest Destiny for today}, EIR, January 28, 2000.

[2] Francis Parkman, {France and England in North America}, Volume I, The Library of America, 1984, p. 1173.

[3] The Times Atlas of World History.

[4] Letters of Delegates to Congress: Volume 1, August 1774 – August 1775, Silas Deane to Samuel Adams, p. 262.

[5] American Declaration of Independence.

[6] See my two previous reports THE TRAGEDY OF THE Québec ACT OF 1774 and GO WEST YOUNG MAN!

[7] The Times Atlas of World History.

[8] Montesquieu.

[9] Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789, WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 26, 1774. {To the Inhabitants of Québec}.

[10] Henri Gosselin, {George Washington’s French-Canadian Spy. A clinical case study of breaking with the self-imposed shackles of public opinion}, J.H. French Printing, Inc., Brunswick, Me 1998, 216 pages, p. 3.

[11] Henri Gosselin, Op. Cit., p. 1.

[12] Op. Cit., p. 110-11.

[13] {Dictionary of Canadian Biographies}.

[14] {Letter to the Honorable Congress, Thomas Miffin, President, from Clément Gosselin, Capt.}, in Henry Gosselin, Op. Cit., p. 180.

[15] Henri Gosselin, Op. Cit., p. 214.