226 CANADIAN HISTORY VOR BOYS AND GIRLS.
The In Lower Canada the captured rebels had
Prisoners. been kept in prison till lord Durham arrived. He was most unwilling to treat them harshly, and at last decided to let most of them go without further punishment than the imprisonment they had already suffered. Accordingly, on June 28th, 1838, the day of Queen Victoria's coronation, he proclaimed a general pardon, but excepted from its benefits a few of the leaders. Papineau and several others who had escaped from the province were forbidden on pain of death to return without leave. The rest, including Dr. Wolfred Nelson, were still in prison, and, with their own consent, were banished to Bermuda.
But in England there was a loud outcry against lord Durham for having banished these men on his own authority. This made him so angry that he refused to hold office any longer. Before returning home he pardoned all the men whom he had excepted from his former pardon.
Lord Angry as he was, however, the earl was
Durham's most anxious that all the colonies should be
Advice. governed on a better plan. He laid before the British parliament a full account of their many grievances, and declared that to grant responsible government Nvould be the best and simplest way of curing these evils and satisfying the just demands of the Reformers.
He also advised uniting the two Canadas under one government. He had at first thought of a confederation, or union under one central government, of all the British-American colonies, and had even held a meeting of the lieutenant-governors at Quebec to discuss the plan ; but at that time it did not seem possible to carry out the idea.
Early in 1839 a bill was brought into the British parliament for the reunion of Lipper and Lower Canada; but it was not passed during that session, so that there might be time to gain the consent of the people.