Carleton, Guy

Carleton, Sir Guy [Baron Dorchester] (1724-1808) British General and Administrator: Governor and commander-in-chief in Quebec from 1766 to 1778, Carleton was responsible for keeping Quebec out of the American Revolution. He tried to accomplish this by passing the Quebec Act of 1774, which exacerbated American anger at Britain, although it strengthened the loyalty of the French Canadians to Britain. When war broke out in Massachusetts, Carleton sent Canadian troops, but they were not particularly interested in fighting Britain's battle. This made it easy for the Americans to lay siege to Quebec City in 1775. Carleton defended the city, and was knighted for his efforts. He was criticized, however, for his failure to destroy the Continental Army in Canada or occupy Fort Ticonderoga despite receiving reinforcements from Britain. This led to his resignation and return to Britain in 1778. Four years later, he was appointed commander of the British Army in America. Since it was too late to reconcile with the Americans, Carleton's major action was to organize the withdrawal of British troops. He also helped arrange for the evacuation and resettlement of American loyalists. Carleton was again appointed Governor of Quebec, and served in that post until 1796.