Pig Man Brewer, who earned his nicknamernby pretending to slop hogs near thernstockade. Wlicn no one was looking, hernwonld throw scraps of food to the hungryrnprisoners. Others tried to supply the menrnwith conntr}’ hams, but the Yankees confiscatedrnthose delicacies. A gendeman inrnFlorida wrote to me that his grandfather,rnafter his stay at Point Lookout, was so emaciatedrnhe could encircle his upper armrnwith his middle finger and thumb. Anotherrnprisoner, a Manlandcr, was so desperaternto escape the camp that he hid beneath arnpile of corpses on an outbound cart.rnSaddened that such a place is associatedrnwith my native soil, I was neverthelessrnproud to have taken part in the descendants’rnpilgrimage. But as I packed up laterrnin the afternoon, I found myself lookingrnahead to November, when PointrnLookout would be all but deserted, and Irnwould drive back down to pay my respectsrnat the small marble memorial nextrnto the federal obelisk. Financed by thernproceeds of jousting tournaments and socials,rnand originally located at the TannerrnCreek burial grounds, the memorial wasrnerected in post-Reconstruction Marylandrnto honor the men who died at PointrnLookout. The words cut into the monument’srnnorth face, “Duke et decorum estrnpro patria mori,” will remind a forgetfulrnworld of their last full measure of devohon,rnno matter which flag flies over thernbones of these honored dead.rnJoyce Bennett writes from Leonardtown,rnMarland.rnLetter From Canadarnhy Sean ScallonrnCRAP HappensrnMy summer vacation along Lake Superior’srnwestern shore into Canada took placernjust before the anniversary of a milestone,rnalthough it was marked by no celebrationsrnor remembrances, and nobody Irnsaw on mv C[uiek stay in Thunder Bayrnshowed any sign of acknowledging it.rnThe anniversary was not the subject ofrnconversation in the lounge of the ValhallarnHotel, but the effects of what happenedrnon June 23, 1990, are by nowrndeeply etched into the Canadian soil andrnpsyche. For on that day, the Meech LakernAccord died.rnAs a gift to his supporters in Quebec,rnProgressive Conser’ative Prime MinisterrnBrian Mulroney negotiated a constitutionalrndeal with the ten provincial premiersrnthat redefined the federal relationshiprnbetween Ottawa and the rest ofrnCanada, specifically with the old New-rnFrance colony. Such deal-cutting was arntime-honored tradition in Canadian politics.rnThis one would have largely undonernthe work of former Liberal PrimernMinister Pierre ‘I’rudeau, who in 1982rnhad added a Bill of Rights-style Charter ofrnRights and Freedoms to the old Britishstylernconstitution, creating the multiculturalrnCanada he sought over the oppositionrnof many Quebeeers.rnThe premiers and the prime minister,rna.k.a. “the 11 men in suits,” arrived inrnlimousines at a resort on Meech Lake inrnQuebec’s Gatineau hills. They forged anrnagreement that only a zealous centralistrncould oppose. The Meech Lake Accordrngranted Quebec control over immigration,rnand the other provinces could negotiaternfor the same power; Quebec’s threernjudges on the nine-member SupremernCourt would become a permanent constitutionalrnfixture; the central governmentrnwould compensate any provincernthat opted out of future national programsrnin areas of provincial jurisdiction;rnand any further constitutional reformsrnwould have to receive the unanimousrnconsent of both Ottawa and thernprovinces. That’s devolution. Can yournimagine any American president negotiatingrnthis kind of deal with the states?rnIf Meech Lake consisted of only thernitems mentioned above, it would havernbeen approved quickly, and Canadarnwoidd still be out of sight and out ofrnmind. But there was just one stickingrnpoint: French Quebec insisted on beingrncalled a “distinct society.” While mostrnbelieved that this language was symbolic,rnQuebec Premier Robert Bourassarnclaimed that it would change the way thernconstitution would be interpreted inrnQuebec’s courts. But English Canadiansrnobjected to what appeared to be an attemptrnby Quebec to obtain special statusrnfor its citizens.rn”Distinct socictir'” was a phrase strongrnenough to defeat the Meech Lake proposal.rnIt was die sore thumb, a red capernto the English Canadian bull, unleashingrnan ugly wave of anti-Quebec, anti-rnFrench, and, inevitably and sid:)tly.rnanti-Catholic feeling among the Anglo-rnProtestant Canadians. Can you imaginerna similar reaction if Hispanic legislatorsrnfrom California or New Mexico declaredrntheir states or populations to be a distinctrnsociety?rnFor years, the onslaught of Americanrnculture and Third World immigrationrnhas weakened the Anglo-Canadian identit)’.rnIf Canadians are simply Americansrnwho don’t know any better, then what isrnthe purpose of their nation? Wliat is thernmeaning of being a Canadian? Whyrnwould a Canadian rock group, ThernCuess Who, sing “American woman —rnstay away from me”? And why shouldrnCanada try to keep Quebec in the federation?rnSince Quebeeers could be a distinctrnsociety, other ethnic groups in Canadarndecided that they wanted to be recognizedrnas distinct societies—especially thernCree Indians. The Meech Lake Accordrnhad been passed in every provincial legislaturernbut Manitoba. (Newfoundlandrnlater rescinded its approval.) A CreernIndian deputy named Elijah Harper opposedrnMeech Lake for its lack of attentionrnto the nation’s indigenous population.rnDay after day, he refused to givernthe unanimous consent necessary to allowrnthe introduction of the accord intornthe legislature, sometimes by lifting a singlerneagle feather. The deadline for passagerncame and went: Meech Lake isrndead; long live Meech Lake.rnThe political repercussions were profound:rnThe ruling Progressive Conserva-rnVisitrnChroniclesrnon the Webrnwww.chronic lesmagazine.rnorgrnand send your lettersrnto the editor tornPolemics @ chroniclesmagazine.rnorgrnOCTOBER 2000/41rnrnrn