1849 Alexander Tilloch Galt Letter to Sherbrooke Constituents
To make Canada great, there must be opened to her inhabitants those elements of emulation and pride which will call forth all their energies; the dissensions her citizens must be terminated by abolishing distinctions of race; they must be made to feel that they form part of one great country, and that its destinies are entrusted to their guidance. Were it possible for Canada to become an integral part of the British Empire, still, its position is such as to blend its interests more naturally with the United States to make the former connection less desirable. But knowing as we do the constitution of Great Britain, and the varied interests which govern its legislation, it is not a question of choice whether we shall be incorporated with Great Britain, or with the United States, but, shall we remain a dependency of the former, or become an integral part of the latter country?
The permanent interests of Canada, its present state, and its future prospects all point to the adoption of annexation; and unless it be the case, contrary to my belief, that we now possess all the means of development as a people that are essential for prosperity, we may expect to see the country languish, and latent discontent ever on the eve of breaking out, until our independence be acknowledged. A union with the United States will give Canada a place among nations; the accumulated wisdom of their legislators will become our own; we shall share in the triumph of their unparalleled progress; we shall reap the fruits of that political skill which has thus far shielded their institutions from harm; our interests will be watched over, and our industry protected and encouraged, by their wise commercial policy; and, although no longer dependent on Great Britain, we shall feel that we have served her well in ensuring that harmony between the two countries which is now constantly in peril from conflicting interests.