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    Only Confederation can save Canada from U.S. Conquest. The St. Albans Raid—episode 2.

    Fear of an invasion of Canada by the United States was heightened by the American Confederate espionage agents, based in Montreal, who robbed three banks in nearby St. Albans, Vermont on October 19, 1864.

    In the first week of 1865, the end of the four-year U.S. Civil War was just six months away. It seemed likely that the Union north would be victorious over the Confederate South. A victorious north would bring new cries of “Manifest Destiny,” the doctrine that called for the absorption of Canada in the expansion of the United States from the Rio Grande to the North Pole.

    The Maritime Provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island were rent by bitter debate over the proposal to join Canada East and Canada West in a confederation to create a new nation. “The tide of war is rolling toward us,” warned the  Halifax British Colonist, an advocate of Confederation in the angry Maritime divisiveness. The North will soon “spring upon us like bloodhounds.”  Only Confederation can save the Maritimes and Canada from U.S. conquest, the Colonist argues in this except from a lengthy editorial, January 7, 1865.

    This is no time for trifling. The tide of war is rolling toward us. Already its surf and spray are on our shores. Who can tell how soon the crimson flood may follow?

    Nothing is more difficult than to make a people realize a danger that they have never felt before. The inhabitants of this Province have heard of war only as a bygone or distant danger. It has hitherto seemed as improbable in their own latitude as a cyclone or a volcanic irruption.

    But there is no mistaking the temper or intentions of the Northern Republicans. At the first opportunity they will spring upon us like bloodhounds, and woe to us if this war finds us unprepared. What do men mean, talking about cents per head of taxation, when the question is, shall we be free and secure, or shall the horrors of the Shenandoah be repeated among us?

    Great Britain has frankly told us that Union and vigorous self help are the only terms upon which she can retain her connection with us and ensure us her powerful protection. Children may cry for the moon but statesmen must deal with stern realities. Our doom is sealed the day that it is known that our pusillanimity has caused the mother country to abandon us to our miserable and merited fate.

    But there is little danger of our being attacked, none of our being defeated, if we present to the world the front of a united people armed and watchful, having their dearly prized liberties guaranteed, not only by their own preparedness and determination to defend them, but by the assured protection of the mightiest power on earth.

    The 150th anniversary of the St. Albans Raid will be marked by a celebration and re-enactments from Sept. 18-21, 2014 in St. Albans, Vt. For more information, please visit

    About Canada, my latest book, is crammed with more “Amazing stuff” about our great nation, says popular historian Christopher Moore. “I’m a fan,” he adds. For a free sampler copy, more information and accolades, or to order your copy, click here.

    TAGS Canada, Maritime Provinces, Confederation, Manifest Destiny, U.S. Conquest, St. Albans Raid.

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