|Vol. I, No. 8
Heshvan 5604, November 1843
Three Rivers, Canada East, Sept. 24th, 1843.
My dear Sir—I deeply regret the necessity of requesting the publication of the following obituary in the Occident. It appeared in the Quebec Gazette of the 22nd September inst.
"Died, at Three Rivers, on Saturday, the 16th instant, Ezekiel Hart, Esq., Seigneur of Becancourt, aged 73. He belonged to a family which for a great many years were the chief persons engaged in the commercial business of the town and district. The first of the family that settled in Canada, the late Aaron Hart, Esq., came to the country with General Haldimand, and settled in Three Rivers, prior to 1775. Several members of the family now occupy respectable commercial and professional positions in that town, and in Montreal and Quebec."
"The name of the late Ezekiel Hart, much against his will, is connected with the political history of the province. He was elected in 1808 member for the town of Three Rivers, and his expulsion by the House of Assembly, in consequence of his religious belief, he being of the Jewish persuasion, was one of the causes of the first angry dissolution of the assembly, which commenced the misunderstandings with Sir James Henry Craig, and led to repeated dissolutions and a continuation of breaches between the assembly and the executive, and the other branches of the legislature. Mr. Hart was reelected unanimously, but we believe never took his seat in consequence of other dissolutions.
"Mr. Hart has left a family of seven surviving children, who deplore his loss, and his fellow-citizens, while they grieve at his departure, have the benefit of his example as a useful and honourable member of society."
Such was the respect in which Mr. Hart was held by the community, that during the funeral service, which took place on the 19th instant, most of the stores were closed, and a feeling of gloom seemed to be cast over the inhabitants of the town. The Judge of her majesty's Court of King's Bench, the members of the bar, the heads of the public offices in the district, the reverend minister of the Episcopal Church, the officers of her majesty's 81st regiment, stationed in Three Rivers, in full uniform, all attended the mortal remains of the late lamented deceased to their last resting place, thus testifying to their just appreciation of the highly moral and religious character of Mr. Hart through life.