THE FRENCH REVOLUTION: 1789,
GOVERNOR WENTWORTH’S PARANOID FEAR OF THE MI’KMAQ
During the last part of the eighteenth century, traversing the rocky road of survival laid out by English racism was made more difficult for the Mi'kmaq because the invaders still feared them. Although colonial government officials treated them with disdain, they still believed the Mi'kmaq presented a threat to their security and continued to Harbour an almost paranoid anxiety towards them. Today this seems incredible, because by this time the Mi'kmaq Nation was almost without means of sustenance, let alone means to conduct warfare. The invaders eventually came to appreciate this, but not for another twenty years or so, which involved other events affecting the future of the province, including the French Revolution.
Reflecting on how the French-Mi'kmaq relationship still affected the British after the start of the French Revolution in 1789, Jaenen observed:
The paranoia the English held about the former Mi'kmaq-French relationship seems strange today. Common sense should have told them that the best way to prevent this relationship from being re-established was to court the Mi'kmaq. But their racism superseded common sense as always. In future years they would try to copy the approach the French had used to create good relationships with First Nations, but the element of sincerity was always missing. Jaenen states:
Adding to English fears were the many American and French attempts to stir up rebellion among the French Canadiens. These efforts failed because the French Canadiens were, like France's former Amerindian allies, unwilling to take up arms on behalf of a country that had already proven itself unreliable as an ally. They also had been abandoned once too often to again risk English retribution:
Viewed in the abstract, Wentworth displayed incredible paranoia-fearing a poverty-stricken and helpless People! If the die-hard faithful still believe that the Great Britain of that era was awash in democratic practices, these quotes from Wentworth should set them straight:
Perhaps it was their fear of a people they had already reduced to unarmed, landless and penniless beggars that motivated the English Governor of New Brunswick to sign the last treaty between the British and a Mi'kmaq community. It was made between the Mi'kmaq of the Miramichi and a representative of King George III, translated from the original written in Mi'kmaq: