Quebec, QB Fire, Oct 1866


Twenty-three Hundred Buildings Destroyed---Six Persons Known to Have Been Burned to Death---Public Meeting in Quebec---Contributions Solicited.

QUEBEC, Tuesday, Oct. 16. The Mayor of Quebec issued a proclamation yesterday morning for a meeting to be held last evening, to devise means to assist the sufferers by the great fire. A more numerous and influential assembly never convened in this city. The citizens whose property escaped injury are doing everything in their power to provide relief for those who have been rendered houseless and penniless by the greatest fire that has ever been in America. The sufferings at Portland cannot be compared to those endured at Quebec. The people in the province have no one to rely on. The inhabitants of Lower Canada being poor, cannot assist the sufferers as they would wish.

A committee was appointed, who will immediately appeal to the charitably disposed persons throughout the continent for funds to rebuild the city and provide homes for the poor, and before the approaching Winter sets in. G. H. Simard and William Hossacks have been appointed Treasurers for the Relief Fund by the Mayor. Fifteen thousand dollars was subscribed at the meeting last night, and about $5,000 during the day.

Coroner Prendergast held an inquest on the four bodies taken from the ruins. The first body taken out was that of a woman named MARGARET WEARD, the wife of JEAN BAPTISTE, of St. Lareareur, whose husband was killed by the explosion in Arago-street.

The remains of three women were discovered after a search of six hours, buried beneath the ruins of an old brick building, near the lower end of Arago-street. Their names were ANGELIA VADEBENOUR, aged 36 years; ANGELIQUE VADEBENOUR, aged 60 years; the name of the third has not yet transpired. The mother of the VADEBENOURS was taken from beneath a mass of rubbish, in such a state as to be unrecognizable.

A clerk in the grocery-store of Mr. GANEROUX, namely, BISCOULLER, is missing, and it is feared he perished while attempting to save the furniture from his father's house on Valeur-street. A few minutes before the house was blown up. Several other persons are also reported missing.

The number of houses destroyed is greater than at first supposed. I think they will exceed 2,350, throwing over 25,000 persons on the charity of the world.

On St. Lauvre and Stone-streets, out of 2,000 houses, only 176 are still standing. The families living in these were all of the poorest class, and very few of them saved from the flames any clothing except what was on their persons.

Out of the large number of houses that were situated in the suburbs of the city, the only token left is a wilderness of chimneys and ruins of what was the most popular resort during the Summer months.

The different societies of the city have placed at the disposal of the authorities their halls for the families who were unable to procure tents. The skating ground, the City Hall, two drill-sheds and the Marine Hospital are filled.

The Governor-General, immediately after being notified of the sad catastrophe, ordered ten thousand tents to be forwarded to Quebec for the accommodation of the houseless sufferers.

In the Sisters of Charity Hospital are two hundred and fifty persons under their charge. The Sisters have been among the poor houseless creatures, furnishing food and clothes, and administering to the wounded.

The telegraph poles of the Montreal Company were burned down for over a mile.

The weather during the day is very pleasant, but at night the air is very chilly. Those living in tents complain bitterly of the cold.

A mass meeting is to be held in Montreal to-night to raise subscriptions for the sufferers.

The New York Times, New York, NY 17 Oct 1866



A correspondent suggest, and we thing very properly, that "the calamity which has befallen the city of Quebec, making about 18,000 people homeless, should give us an opportunity to show that the reciprocity treaty of humanity does exist yet." The people of the Provinces have shown this by liberally contributing toward the sufferers in Portland. If we remember rightly, they gave more in proportion to the population than New-York. Let us follow their example. The Chamber of Commerce will probably take the matter in hand and solicit subscriptions from our citizens. No time should be lost, as the Winter in the latitude of Quebec is already at hand.

The New York Times, New York, NY 18 Oct 1866