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Jews Abetted the Development of Canada’s 300-year-old City

The tercentenary of the City of Three Rivers has again emphasized the fact that Jews have played an important role in the development of this important center in the St. Maurice Valley of Quebec although the fact is at present tacitly ignored.

Writing in the Jewish Eagle, B. G. Sack, historian, states that the history of Three Rivers is very closely connected with the names of the Harts, the Judahs and Pineses. The Hart family has made important contributions toward the development of Three Rivers as an important center of Lower Canada and this fact was very much accentuated by the Historical writers in the Dominion.

Aaron Hart was among the first British settlers in the St. Maurice Valley, where the city of Three Rivers is situated. He was counted among the intimate friends of Sir Geoffrey Amherst and General Haldimand, holding also the esteem and respect of the English and French speaking populations.

The Hart family was closely connected with every important event in Canadian as well as Jewish life in recent years. From the Hart circle came the first signatures for a petition which was sent to England demanding Constitutional Government. A member of the Hart family was twice sent to the Legislature and his first rejection aroused a political storm which nearly brought about a war between the English and French. The Harts were also responsible for the first petition asking equal rights for the Jews. The petition was ultimately granted.

The influence of the Harts and other pioneer Jewish families seemed to have waned with the assimilation of their descendants.

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