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The excitement produced by the smallpox epidemic at Montreal culminated on Sept. 28 in a serious riot. According to a correspondent, the immediate cause of the disturbance was the publishing of a law by the Board of Health making vaccination compulsory. The French population and the Canadians living at the east end of the city, being greatly excited by the edict, attacked the office of the Board of Health, and smashed many of the windows. The residence of Dr Laborge, the Health Officer, was also attacked, and the windows broken with stones. An attack was afterwards made upon the Central Health office at the City Hall, and women who were being vaccinated were hurt by stones thrown through the windows. On the police arriving* the mob were driven away to the Champs de Mars, when a hand-to-hand conflict ensued. Driven from one place, the rioters gathored at another, and renewed the stone- thr owing. Nearly all the windows at the police-stations were broken; the street lamps were smashed, and the windows of the Government buildings were stoned. Some excited mon in the crowd mounted the pedestal of Queen Victoria, and demanded to know who should rule the town, eliciting "The French" as an answer. The rioters then resumed their stone-throwing, and attacked another doctor's house, as well as the shop of a chemist, whero vaccine points are sold. The residence of Dr Laparte was set on fire. A Frenchman, who occupies tho position of alderman in the city, encouraged the rioters by denouncing vaccination, and causing the appropriation by the local authorities for vaccination purposes to be out down from five thousand to two thousand dollars. He anl others who acted with him represent the wards of the oity where the disease is most prevalent. For fully half-an-hour the rioters had their own way. The polioe ahowod themselves to bo shamefully inefficient. They were armed only with clubs, and they were slow to take action against the disturbers or to protect the property of the citizens. The military wore eventually orderod under arniß, and tho troops paraded the city. A number of rioters, estimated at from two to three thousand, nevertheless continued their menacing demonstration, and made wild threats of further vengeance. At the oast end of "Montreal the people seemed frenzied with excitement. English rule was denounced, and threats wero uttered of a determination to burn down the city. Meantime, the epidemic rages without sign of abatement. It is believed that there nre now 4000 cases of small-pox in Montreal, and in the week . ending Sept. 20 there were more than 300 deaths from thin diunase in tho city. I

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Bibliographic details

ANTI-VACCINATION RIOTS AT MONTREAL., Star, Issue 5470, 18 November 1885

Word Count

ANTI-VACCINATION RIOTS AT MONTREAL. Star, Issue 5470, 18 November 1885

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