“Winter Mail Service on Prince Edward Island”, 1867 – Click Images to Enlarge
In Part 1 we saw how legal efforts to settle the Land Question on PEI were squashed resulting in a movement intent on resisting rent until the matter was settled. In Part 2 we saw the fomentation of the Tenant League boil over into activism and violence which brought it into the streets of Charlottetown. By August of 1865, British soldiers had to be called in to quell the uprising and force the payment of rents from rural farmers by any means necessary.
In Part 1 we saw how the Leasehold system on Prince Edward Island throughout the mid-1800s created an imbalance of power between tenants and their absentee landlords. A number of legal movements and acts, from the Eschaet Movement of the 1830s to the Fifteen Years Purchase Bill of the 1860s, were unable to sufficiently answer the Land Question. This resulted in the formation of the Tenant League on May 19th, 1864, and by March 10th of the following year the Island’s government was beginning to meet an emboldened resistance.