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Notorious Counterfeiter Stephen Burroughs Comes to Stanstead

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--May 13, 2014.

A talk by Anne Leydet.
Date: Saturday 24 May 2014; 10:30 a.m., Colby-Curtis Museum, Stanstead.

When he moved to Stanstead County in 1799, American-born Stephen Burroughs was already well known throughout New England for his roguish accomplishments. By the time the second edition of his famous Memoirs was published in the early 1800s, Burroughs had become an internationally renowned counterfeiter, operating from his mills in Stanstead Township and his farm in Shipton. Though considered a rascal south of the lines, Burroughs’ good-neighbourly acts had made hima local hero to the north of the border. After numerous arrests, escapes, and civil and criminal trials, Burroughs retired to Three-Rivers where, after several years of teaching, he died in 1840 …with a reputation of being a scholar and a charming, saintly man, no less!

Burroughs was much more than the sum of all his good and evil deeds. His life experiences as described in his Memoirs brought to light social, legal and religious issues that arose in the wake of the American Revolution. The wide distribution of his Memoirs made Burroughs an agent of change in post-colonial America and in Lower Canada. Though historian and literary scholars have made Stephen Burroughs’ life and writings the object of their studies, the man remains a mysterious figure to this day. To think that one can achieve a quick understanding of this complex man is like flipping a coin, fully expecting it to land on its edge. Better still to start by patiently looking at each side of Burroughs’ coin.

Ms. Anne Leydet, who will deliver a talk on Stephen Burroughs, resides a stone’s throw away from the river upon whose banks Burroughs built his mills and counterfeited money.An administrative judge in Montreal by day, Anne Leydet moonlights as a local historian in Way’s Mills and a vice-president of the Stanstead Historical Society.

If you are interested in going to this event please call JD for a reservation : (819) 876-7322.