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June 20 1812: Life, Liberty and Property for Canadians


On Saturday, June 20, 1812, in an Executive session, which meant that it was held in secret, the United States Senate receives a message from the House of Representatives asking the Senate's concurrence for a proposed Presidential proclamation. The House's resolution would authorize the President to issue a proclamation to the inhabitants of the British American Continental Provinces. The Proclamation  would provide that the inhabitants of Upper and Lower Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have "full enjoyment of their lives, liberty, property, and religion, in as full and ample manner as the same are secured to the people of the United States by their constitution." The resolution read as follows:
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That in case it shall be deemed necessary, in order to vindicate the just rights, or to secure the safety of the United States, to invade the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, or either of them, the President of the United States be, and he hereby is authorized and empowered to issue a proclamation, addressed to the inhabitants of said provinces, assuring them, in the name of the people of these States, that in case the said provinces, or any of them, shall come into the possession of this Government, the inhabitants of such province or provinces shall be secured and protected in the full enjoyment of their lives, liberty, property, and religion, in as full and ample manner as the same are secured to the people of the United States by their constitutions; and that the said proclamation be promulgated and circulated, in the manner which, in the opinion of the President, shall be best calculated to give it general publicity.
The Senate passed the resolution to a second reading. The Senate would go on to reject the resolution but it would probably have received the full support of Doug Saunders

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