Montreal Pilot, 10 June 1853

Riot and Loss of Life

Last night the city was the scene of a serious disturbance.  While the lecture of M. Gavazzi was proceeding, loud cheering was heard outside, and we understand a rencontre occurred between the people outside and the police, in the course of which the Chief of Police was seriously hurt.  Fully a hundred people went out of the church, most of them apparently armed; we saw amongst them muskets, pistols, loaded sticks, and other weapons.  After the noise outside had ceased, the parties who had gone out returned; the Lecture was continued and concluded.  At the breaking up of the audience a number of troops were collected; the streets were crowded- particularly those in the vicinity of the Haymarket—but we cannot say we saw anything like a row.  Whilst proceeding on our way, we heard, however, a few pistol or gun shots, fired near the engine house, and almost immediately the troops commenced a running fire on every side which speedily dispersed the people in all directions.  We were under the impression, not seeing any disturbance, that the firing was blank cartridge, but immediately after the discharge we saw several persons wounded.  We have, on authority that we cannot question, that the firing was by order of the Mayor, and that the Riot Act was not read.  It is said that two or three are killed and several others dangerously wounded; besides a number who have sustained slight injuries.  At the late hour at which we write we can do little more than narrate facts; but we must add that the astonishment of every individual with whom we have conversed, is strong; and the indignation deep, at what is considered the wanton firing of the troops.  The duty of the Government on the occasion, is unquestionable; to order an immediate enquiry into the circumstances of this calamitous affair.

The following is a list of the killed and wounded, as far as we could ascertain, up to one o’clock this morning:–

Peter Gillespie, shot through the head, dead.

Mr Crosby Clarke, shot through the body, dead

Mr. ________ a relative of Mr Hutchinson, the builder, dead

A man, name unknown, taken to Dr MacDonell’s, dead

James Welsh, boiler maker, dead

Mr Adams, son of councilor Adams, mortally wounded.

Mr Clare, at W Lyman & Co, shot through the leg

A son of Thomas McGrath, wounded

Mr Hibbard, of Longue Pointe, slightly wounded.

A son of Mr Hutchinson, the builder, slightly wounded

An apprentice boy, about 14 years of age, wounded in the left arm.