I thought we had done it! Finally! We beat the British and we were on our way to freedom. However, the glory didn’t last for long. Shortly two days after, the British countered and defeated our troop. My reformers, the Patriotes were all gone, 1350 arrested and 99 dead. I was devastated but I knew that the French were still looking up to me. I couldn’t disappoint; however, I was forced to flee to New York and was situated in Paris, France shortly after. I couldn’t believe that we were defeated that easily. I was worried and scared. The British now have control while I’m here stuck and unable to return to help my people, I thought to myself. I had to find a way back home as soon as possible if I wanted any chance for the French to be involved in the government. I strongly believe and will always believe that the culture and language of the French-Canadians must always be preserved and I will not stop fighting until we are equally respected. Furthermore, I was lucky enough to be able to have my wife with me; however, she left in 1843 and returned back to Lower Canada. That is when I began to spend a lot of my time in the large archival repositories, where I would read and copy documents that relate to us ruling in Canada. Even away from home, I was determined to keep the French alive. I refuse to live in a country where we are not allowed to voice our opinions and thoughts. We have rights too! The French will dominate and I plan to be a big part in that. I was finally granted permission back into what they now call it The Province of Canada after 8 long years in exile. However, I didn’t feel entirely ready to go back yet. I wanted full amnesty from the colonial government as well. So, I spent some time in Italy and Switzerland before returning to Montreal.
After returning back to Montreal, I was an elected member of the new united Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada. I had a major disagreement with the emerging French Canadian Liberal Party, and I became an independent member of parliament. You see, while I was in exile I was convinced by a strong republican who persuaded me to support the Montreal Annexation Manifesto that called for Canada to join the United States of America. This would help Canada market our goods, ensure the security of our people, and help provide finances that would help develop the West, however, the British American League strongly opposed this idea and the Montreal Annexation Manifesto eventually died out. Here I am today, 1850. Still fighting for the French and the beautiful language and culture it has to offer here in Canada and I will not give up until I am done fighting.
Louis Joseph Papineau