Globe, 3 Nov 1863, page 2

Matters in Montreal

Montreal Oct 31, 1863


The White Slave Case

The infamous Mdlle Bissonette – whose cruelty to the poor girls whom she entrapped into her house, nearly worked to death, and starved, makes one shudder to think of – is to be tried on 1st December.  The woman who made the charge against her had been tampered with, and was pressed to withdraw the charge, but the Police Magistrate refused to allow it.  The accused is out on bail.

The Court-House Commission

After the Government Commissioners had concluded their investigation into the charges made against the Clerk of the Peace and Clerk of the Crown, Mr Delisle, the Sheriff, who is implicated in the matter, brought forward nearly all the Judges of the Superior Court to bear testimony as to his and the others’ characters, but Judge Aylwin refused to give evidence, as he considered the commission “Illegal” and not coming under the 13th Chap of the Consolidated Statutes.  “If this commission be allowed,” he said, “I may to-morrow, upon a charge of malversation, be treated in the same way as those now accused.” Sheriff Delisle, in moving for a rule nisi in regard to the Judge, made a long rambling speech, in which he asserted that the whole was a conspiracy.  Mr Doherty and the other Commissioners made their replies, proving conclusively that their position was not an illegal one, as such commissions had for many years been created in England.  The result of the discussion was that the irate Judge did not give his evidence, nor was he sent to jail for contempt of court.  The commission has been closed, and the report will soon be in the hands of the government.


This night of roaring sports in “Auld Scotia” is yearly observed by the Scotch in this city with some public entertainment.  The Caledonian Society has special charge of that night, and the St Andrew’s Society that of the Patron Saint.  This Halloween the former society got up a concert in the “Chrystal Palace,” bringing two singers from New York beside organising local talent, such as a military band pipers and glee club of the Scots Fusileers.  But the great attraction was the sports “Doukin apples” snapping at the apples &c. A platform was erected in the centre of the hall on which were half-a-dozen of tubs full of water.  The “Dougall brigade” (the Witness selling boys) was there in strong force, and went at the sport with great glee. The audience roared when in snapping at the apples an unlucky boy caught the candle in his mouth instead.  This sport was followed by walking on a pole from one end to the other, and there blowing out a candle lying on the ground.  The difficulty was to keep on the pole and bend down to do this.  Numerous were the efforts made, and only two were successful. The speakers were to have been the Hon’bles George Brown, JA Macdonald and D’Arcy McGee; but the two former were unavoidably absent.  Hon Mr Ferrier spoke, and Mr McGee made a short speech, which I think, was not equal to his previous efforts on such occasions.  He read an original poem on Halloween, which I suppose you will place before your readers.  Here it is:


Halloween in Canada: 1863


The Bard who sleeps in Dumfries clay,

Were he but to the fore to-day,

What think you would he sing or say

Of our new-found Canadian way

Of keeping Halloween?


Ah! Did we hear upon the stair

The ploughman tread that shook Lord Dair,

The President would yield his chair,

And honour (over Member, Mayor)

The Bard of Halloween.


Methinks I catch them, ringing clear

The accents that knew never fear,

Saying “I joy to see you here, –

“And still to Scottish hearts be dear,

“the rites of Halloween.


“Whene’er they meet on any shore,

“Whatever sky may arch them o’er,

“Still may they honour more and more

“The names their fearless fathers bore,

“And like them, Halloween.


“I care not for the outward form,

“’Tis in the heart’s core true and warm

“Abides the glow that mocks the storm,

“And so – God guard you a’ from harm

“Till next year’s Halloween.”


The entertainment was for the benefit of the St Andrew’s Home and Ladies’ Benevolent Society, and will be of some value, as over 2000 people were present.