CANADA UNDER THE QUEBEC ACT.
Reorganization.—Owing to the invasion of the province, it was not until the spring of 1777 that the new council was able to proceed to the re,,ilar despatch of business. Courts were established upon a system much like that then in force in England. The trade of the province being largely in British hands, English commor-ial law was introduced. In other respects the provision made by the Quebec Act for restoring the old French laws was not disturbed. It has been truly said of this first council that it was composed of officials. seigneurs, and the leading traders, and that the interests of other classes of the population were ignored. No serious complaint, however, was made on this point during the remainder of Carleton's first term. His trouble was with the new chief justice, Livius, who, with little regard for the difficulties of Carleton's position at a time when friends of Congress were numerous in the province, questioned the governor's right to imprison persons suspected of treasonable designs.
Absentee Office-holders.--As the Quebec Act annulled all the old commissions, and all offices therefore had to be refilled, Carleton had hoped that absentee office-holders would disappear. There had been many such, the work of whose offices in Canada was done by incompetent deputies. To Carleton's disgust, Lord