Saturday, February 1, 2014

Today in the Sobel Timeline: February 1

On February 1, 1784, Sir John Dickinson was appointed the second Viceroy of the Confederation of North America. Dickinson's appointment came as a surprise, since it was generally assumed that Lord North would replace the late General John Burgoyne with Lieutenant-Viceroy Lord Charles Cornwallis. However, North recognized that Cornwallis lacked Burgoyne's popularity among the North Americans. The choice of a North American Viceroy occasioned some discussion and a measure of grumbling among the members of Parliament, but North was able to exercise his usual skill in gaining what he wanted from that body.

On February 1, 1820, followers of the late José María Morelos in Mexico City attempted to overthrow the provisional government established by Andrew Jackson three years before. Although acting provisional president Colonel Barton Kelly had no difficulty in putting down the Morelistas, the uprising led Jackson to return to Mexico City to personally oversee the situation.

On February 1, 1889, Governor-General Ezra Gallivan gave a speech before the Grand Council on the chronically restive Confederation of Quebec. He offered a plan "to determine the future of the Confederation of Quebec, its relations to the national government, and the will of its people." Gallivan proposed a plebiscite to allow Quebecois to choose between three alternatives: the status quo, an "associated" status providing a great degree of local autonomy, or independence. After Gallivan ended his speech, the Council's entire thirteen-man delegation from Quebec rose to cheer the governor-general.

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