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The Tenant League was an organization of farmers on Prince Edward Island that attempted to force a resolution to the absentee landlord question. The league was formed in December 1863, and membership grew through the winter and spring. By August 1864 the vast majority of land tenants on the Island had joined the Tenant League.
The league held a convention at Charlottetown, where it adopted a constitution urging its members to withhold rent payments until the absentee landowners agreed to sell their lands. On March 17, 1865, both Catholic and Protestant members of the league attended the St. Patrick's Day Parade at Charlottetown. An attempt by the local police to arrest Tenant League leader Samuel Fletcher at the parade was thwarted by the crowd.
Subsequently Governor George Dundas declared the Tenant League a seditious movement, and banned it. However, farmers refused to disband the league. There were several clashes between farmers and the bailiffs and sheriffs who were sent out to collect rents. These clashes are sometimes called the Tenant League Riots. The unrest became so severe that the governor requested a contingent of British troops be sent to the Island to restore order. The troops were obliged to remain for more than a year.
Bolger, Francis. -- Prince Edward Island and Confederation, 1863-1873. -- [Charlottetown] : St. Dunstan's University Press, 1964. -- 308 p.
Callbeck, Lorne C. -- The cradle of Confederation. -- Fredericton : Brunswick Press, 1964. -- 256 p.
Robertson, Ian Ross. -- "Tenant League". -- Canadian encyclopedia : year 2000 edition. -- Ed. James H. Marsh. -- 3rd print ed. -- Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, 1999. -- P. 2314.