Kahnawake Iroquois and the Rebellions of 1837–38

Kahnawake Iroquois And The Rebellions Of 1837–38

Kahnawake Iroquois and the Rebellions of 1837–38

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Most discussions regarding the Lower-Canada Rebellions have not rigorously deciphered the specific role played by the Iroquois community of Kahnawake.

Situated between the Montréal and Lachine British-Army headquarters and the Patriote-friendly Châteauguay River Valley, the Kahnawake Iroquois rapidly found a place in this context of civil war and revolutionary crisis. Existing works have discussed to some extent the involvement of the Iroquois on three different occasions during which they intervened by cooperating with the British:
  • On 13 December 1837, about 150 Kahnawake men quickly responded to a government request to mobilize in Lachine for the purpose of repelling a feared attack by Patriotes;
  • On 4 November 1838, the Iroquois apprehended seventy-five armed Patriotes, led by many including François-Maurice Lepailleur, who had come to Kahnawake in a failed attempt to borrow arms and obtain Native support; the Iroquois had feared for their lives and, under the leadership of Antoine-George de Lorimier (the son of Claude-Nicolas-Guillaume de Lorimier) and others, they refused to give in to Patriote threats. After the Patriotes had quietly arrived near the old St-Jean Baptiste Chapel, they were met by ten Kahnawake men. Despite coming close to a shootout, the two sides settled on the use of diplomacy. The Iroquois invited the Patriotes into the center of the village with the false promise of arms and support for the Patriote cause. The trap worked, and the Kahnawake men......
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