15 July 1844
Orangeism- 12th July in Montreal
Our contemporaries have given most dreadful accounts of the proceedings which took place on the 12th July, in this city. There seems to be a combination amongst them to screen those innocent lambs the Orangemen of all blame. The Herald laboring in his vocation as usual reiterates some of the falsehoods of which we lately convicted him, and on which we completely silenced him. He says of Orangeism that it is “a thing which was never heard of in Montreal until it was thrown into the city at the last election.” That is falsehood no. 1 we proved by his own ally Mr. Parsons of the Times, that it had been in existence here long previously. Again the Herald says that Mr. Molson’s supporters were all denominated Orangemen.” This is falsehood no. 2 and we might go on with our catalogue were it worth while. As to the existence of Orangemen in Montreal we only have to refer to the letter of an Orangeman in the Courier in which it is stated, “several masters of lodges in this city are Englishmen.” Here is proof that there are several lodges in existence. A few days ago Orange flags and emblems were produced on the occasion of laying the foundation stone of a new church at which the Governor General was to be present. Surely this outrage committed only a day or two previous to the Orange anniversary was enough to create excitement especially when it recollected that just at the present the imprisonment of Mr. O’Connell and the riots at Philadelphia have contributed to cause a great deal of excitement among the Irish Catholic population. Now it is notorious that on the 12th of July many persons were parading the streets with Orange lilies with the obvious intention of insulting the Catholics. We know of an instance of a young lady (sent no doubt by some evil minded person) who went into the store of a Catholic with a bunch of Orange lilies and asked to leave them on the counter. The expectation doubtless was that some insult would be offered to the lady and that a handle might be made of it.
We are far from justifying any reprisals on persons guilty of such improper conduct. We happen to know that in Canada Orange processions have very seldom been interfered with- The Catholic clergy have always exerted themselves to prevent anything like reprisals, and have warned their hearers to keep at home on the 12th July, and not interfere with the Orangemen.
Had that lady been aware that Orange lilies are carried on the 12th of July for the very purpose of insulting a portion of the population, she never would have placed one in her bouquet. This case also should teach Irish Catholics how foolish it is in them to imagine that every one carrying an orange lily means to insult them. There is but one feeling with regard to this outrage, and its universal condemnation will, we doubt not, have a beneficial effect in preventing similar ones in future. The attack on the house in the Quebec suburbs, where, we understand, the members of an Orange Lodge had a dinner, was very unjustifiable, for although we believe that party tunes were played during the night, there can be no excuse for those who take the law into their own hands. It appears that the Orangemen “were well supplied with arms and ammunition,” a strong proof that they intended to act in such a manner as to exasperate their neighbours.