Excerpt from Ritchot’s Journal, April, 1870.
April 12, Tuesday, Colonel de Salaberry introduced me to the Secretary of State for the Provinces, Hon. Joseph Howe who was at his office. I told him that we could enter into discussions with the government as soon as Judge Black had arrived, and that I expected that gentleman on the 14th. Mr. Howe received me with politeness.
The evening of the same day, Tuesday, the 12th, there were rumours circulating that warrants for our arrest had been issued at Toronto. In fact, at ten o'clock that evening Mr. Scott was arrested and committed to gaol.
Next morning, Wednesday the 13th, 1 was told that I was to be arrested, as people were very excited. Some friends told me that the authorities very much wished me to give myself up to the police. I replied that having broken no law whatever, I would take no step without having received a legal order, that if however these friends thought I ought, to prevent a riot, betake myself to some place other than the Bishop's Palace I would gladly accompany these gentlemen wherever they wished to take me on pretext of going for a walk.
Someone went to take my reply to the authorities, who replied that that was all right, and one o'clock p.m. Mr. Futvoye, first secretary of Mr. Cartier, Dr. Beaubien, Rev. Mr. O'connor, D.D., and I myself made our way to the court house, where the warrant was served on me. The court was adjourned until two o'clock to take the affair under advisement. Judge Galt, before whom it was put, remanded it until the next day at one o'clock.
From the court we were taken to the police station. After certain formalities we were sent to our separate lodgings, but under guard of a policeman, and under instruction to appear on the morrow at one o'clock.
Thursday, the 14th, we were brought over before the judge who declared that the magistrate in Toronto having no jurisdiction over us, we ought to be set free. At once, in the courtroom itself, I was served with another warrant for arrest signed by an Ottawa magistrate, Mr. [no name].
Arrested by this gentleman, Mr. Scott and I were led to the house where after having waited as long as nine o'clock in the evening and after a thousand difficulties we were entrusted to some policemen who conducted us each to our place of residence with orders to guard us until the next day at nine o'clock am.
Our lawyer, Rev. Mr. O'Connor and other gentlemen of the city took every means to have our case put off until Monday; this they could obtain only twenty-four hours at a time.
The 18th, Monday, at nine o'clock a.m., we were conducted once more to the Court-house. Our case was adjourned until one o'clock p.m., at one o'clock p.m. it was put over until the next day at one o'clock p.m. Tuesday, the 19th, it was put over until the 20th at nine o'clock a.m., then until one o'clock p.m.
After the pleadings judge Gait replied that the question of jurisdiction being raised, the court had nothing to do in this case. The affair was referred to the police magistrate, to come up at three o'clock p.m. Adjourned until the next day Thursday, at three o'clock before Magistrate O'Gara. Warnings, admitted to bail, and remanded until Saturday, at three o'clock, the 23rd. On the 19th Mr. Dunkin had come to meet me; he struck me as being very likable.
On the 20th, seeing that things kept on in the same condition I thought I ought to appeal to the Governor General by the address written out below.
On the 22nd there was a visit by Sir George and an invitation to a semi-official interview with Sir [John] Macdonald and Sir George. On the 23rd Saturday at eleven o'clock [1 had] an audience at the home of Sir George Cartier. Present [were] Sir John Macdonald and Sir George Cartier on one side, Mr. Black and Rev. Mr. Ritchot on the other.
The whole conference was pretty well confined to asking questions or requests for information on the respective positions of the two parties. Our instructions were not asked for. We were received with great courtesy.
We were given to understand that we should be given a good government.
At three o'clock p.m. our friends, in the number of which were Dr. Beaubien, Dr. Paquette, Rev, Mr. O'Connor, D.D., Rev. Mr. Talon, core of the Seminary; O’Connor, the lawyer, came to look for me at the Bishop's Palace in order to go with me to the police court, where there were to appear the witnesses announced on the previous Thursday. Magistrate O’Gara was on the bench. The prosecuting lawyer announced that he would withdraw his case, having no proof against us. The magistrates declared that we were therefore at liberty.
On going out we found a crowd of French-Canadians at the door and a great many Irishmen, a very, great number of members of Parliament and the leading citizens of the city. All congratulated us, cheering and wishing to demonstrate. I requested them, and even begged them, to make no demonstration whatever, that in doing so they would give me pain. They yielded to my wishes and accompanied me to the Bishop's Palace.