Montreal Athletic Games, 1843

Montreal Gazette, 30 September 1843, page 2
Athletic Games

Second Day

The weather was still more favourable this day than on yesterday, and the sports commenced with—

Steeple race, over 4 feet hurdles, 200 yards – Won by Ed. Lamontagne; second Aug. Lamontagne. Six competitors started.

Quoiting – Won by J McNider; second E Hagan. 10 competitors.

Short foot-racer, 120 yards – Won by F Lamontagne; second A Lamontagne; third E Courselle. 15 competitors.

Pulling heavy ball (24 lbs) – Won by Captain Young: distance thrown, 25 feet 9 inches. Second Mr Casey, 10 competitors.

Running hop step and leap- Won by M Ryan, distance 33 feet 2 inches. Six competitors.

Standing hop, step and leap – Won by Mr Ryan, 25 feet. Eleven competitors.

Long foot-race (one mile) Won by Osetakets (Indian); second Tatieshensers (do); third Aneratenhoe (do). Eleven competitors.

Wrestling, collar and elbow – take by Escott (without contest).

The running in the short foot-race was very fine; and the short hurdle-race was won by Mr Lamontagne, in a manner that would do credit to any sporting district, even in the old country. In the long foot-race, the Indians left all the competition far behind; but probably the chief sport of the day was the playing of the Indian national game of Lacrosse, by a number of young Indians, and some young gentlemen who joined them. It is, undoubtedly, the most beautiful game of the kind we have ever seen; and the activity, grace, swiftness, and strength displayed by the players equally delighted and astonished us. Besides the game mentioned above, there was a pig-race, in which a soldier was the winner; and the victor in the wrestling prize having walked off so easily with his booty, a private match was got up in which the champion, a big man, was beaten, with all the ease in the world by a little Dutch-built Irishman, of the name of O’Connor. There was another wrestling match between two soldiers, but it created no sport. With this last, the amusement of the day ended. We may as well mention here, that Captain Young, the winner of the prize for the heavy ball, handsomely gave it up to the Committee.

We regret that, not withstanding the fineness of the weather, the attendance was not so great as might have been expected. We trust, however, that the gentlemen who so strenuously exerted themselves to get up the present games will not be disconcerted, but persevere in their praise worthy undertaking of introducing these good old healthy amusements of our fathers among us. That they will both continue their exertion and meet with final success we feel persuaded. We cannot close these few remarks without mentioning the Secretary, Mr Myers Solomons, whose activity, good humour, firmness, and love of fair play were so conspicuous throughout the continuance of the games; and whose zeal and attention were so instrumental in getting them up.

Posted in 19C, sports, Canada | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Etiquette on eating oranges and lettuce, 1922

Etiquette: The Blue Book of Social Usage by Emily Post, New York and London, Funk & Wagnalls Co, 1922/37.


In well appointed houses a silver-bladed knife should be given you with all leafy salads, but if you happen to be given none, you do the best you can by cutting each leaf into very small pieces and eating it in postage-stamp samples. At all events, beware of rolling the fork and wrapping springy leaves around the fork in a spiral.


Never suck an orange in a restaurant, or at a table anywhere – unless at a picnic. You can peel it and divide sections and eat it in your fingers; or cut it in half and eat with a spoon, or cut it in any way you like best. My own favourite way is to cut off the rind with a sharp knife, then holding the fork in the left hand and the knife in the right, cut the peeled orange in half crossways and cut into small pieces and eat with a fork.

Posted in 20C, Social commentary | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

And then there were dinosaurs (WE Cutler)

And then there were dinosaurs

One of the wonders of doing my family history has been the contributions made by others to my research. I have received a number of really great contacts, and help from my blog readers. It has been awesome. I thought that I would share one of the stories coming from my research and someone else’s research coming together.
To start with, I will recap my Cutler family tree as it relates to this story.

and then there were

William Henry Cutler, the brother to my Great-great-great grandmother Mary Cutler, was married to Emily Taylor, and they had twelve children. But being a man who clearly could multi-task, he also had two children with Roberta McKenzie Watson. One of them was William Edmond Cutler, who was born 23 July 1878 in London. His brother was Henry Clarence Cutler, who was born in 1880.

(I should mention that with this family, this was not the first illegitimate birth- it seems like a bit of a tradition)

I found out about William Edmond from Andrew in England, who was most interested in William’s paleontological work, he found me through this blog, using the key words of Louisa Freak Cutler (WE’s grandmother).

Image from Tyrell Museum of Paleotology

Image from Tyrell Museum of Paleotology

While a David Spalding’s Into the Dinosaur’ Graveyard, says that William moved to Canada as a child, from evidence I have been able to turn up, and Andrew has, he actually moved to Canada as an adult. The 1921 Census says he came here in 1897 (age 19). He made his living as a palaeontologist in the badlands. He was actually quite known in the dinosaur industry of the time, and collected bones which now are in the collections of the Tyrell Museum of Palaeontology, and the Natural History Museum in London, among others.

See: article 1
article 2

When the First World War began, he took time off his dinosaur quests, and enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, serving at Ypres, where he was wounded. He survived the First World War, and returned to Alberta to resume his digging.

Service record from Library and Archives Canada

Service record from Library and Archives Canada

Around 1921 he returned to the UK and was hired by the Natural History Museum to search for dinosaurs in Africa. Off he went, with his assistant Louis Leakey, to Tanginyika in 1924. Cutler died there of ‘Blackwater fever.’

What I have found in the historical Record:

1891 Census living at 23 Notting Hill in Kensington with his brother Clarence H Cutler, both listed as sons presumably of the man living at 22 Notting Hill, who is listed as “head” James WH Avery. Visitor listed in 23 Notting Hill called John NJ Watson, age 45.
1900 From New York to Liverpool, William E Cutler, Rancher.
1909-10 Electoral Roll for North Division, Maitland Park- 11690 Cutler, William Edmund, 2 Thurlow Terrace.
1910 – April 29, Empress of Ireland from St John to Liverpool, William Cutler, English age 32, tourist.
1919- Nominal Roll of men to be discharged in Canada, William Cutler. Arrive St John.
1921 Census living in Macleod, Alberta, as a lodger in the household of Harry Nash, came to Canada in 1897, lists his job as forest ranger, and earned 372$ in the last 12 months.
1924 Arrival at Liverpool from New York, William Edmund Cutler, Geologist, address care of Director of British Museum of Natural History, London, Canadian.

I had an interesting talk with Andrew about WE Cutler, and of course his relationship with the family. He and his brother were baptized as Cutlers, so were acknowledged by their father, if not raised by him. Also it is interesting to note that WE’s brother Henry named his son after his father. Not much is really known, and it is not certain that he knew his Aunt Mary Paulin in British Columbia when he moved to Canada. Or did he? It is possible, and would certainly have been a useful contact to have.

Cutler appears to have had an education, although it is not clear where or to what level he achieved. One of his jobs was with the University of Manitoba, but not sure what his qualifications were. The Badlands of Alberta were literally the Wild West, and many people of great and dubious qualifications were there digging up bones for the world’s museums and collectors. That WE Cutler is still known among these circles means he was not bad at what he did.

What is really cool is that there is a dinosaur named after him, the ‘Scolosaurus Cutleri.’

Scolosaurus Cutleri

Scolosaurus Cutleri

There is so much more to learn! I know that there is a planned biography underway on WE Cutler, which I am looking forward to. The more I learn about the Cutler family, the more fascinated I become.

Posted in 20C, British History, Canada, Family History, Genealogy | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Poem from the Disgusted Wife to her Husband, 1844

Montreal Gazette, 29 May 1844, page 3


(The disgusted wife to her husband)

You promised to leave off your smoking;
The day I consented to wed.
How little I thought you were joking;
How fondly believed what you said!
Then, alas! How completely you sold me,
With blandishments artful and vain;
When you emptied your snuff-box, and told me
You never would fill it again!

Those fumes, so oppressive, from puffing,
Say, what is the solace that flows?
And whence the enjoyment of stuffing;
A parcel of dust in your nose?
By the habits you thus are pursuing
There can be no pleasure conferr’d;
How irrational, then, is so doing!
Now it is not very absurd?

Cigars come to threepence each, nearly,
And sixpence an ounce is your snuff;
Consider how much then, you yearly
Must waste on that horrible stuff.
Why the sums in tobacco you spend, love,
The wealth in your snuff-box, you sink,
Would procure me of dresses no end, love,
And keep me in gloves; only think!

What’s worse, for your person I tremble,
‘Tis going as fast as it can;
Oh! How should you like to resemble
A smoky and snuffy old man!
Then resign, at the call of Affection,
The habits I cannot endure;
Or you’ll spoil both your nose and complexion,
And ruin your teeth, I am sure.

Posted in 19C, Canada, Social commentary | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Emigration to Canada, 1843

Montreal Gazette, 10 October 1843, page 2

The present system of Emigration to this country is, in many respects, a most wretched one. We have lately seen in the Emigrant Sheds in this city a poor Irish family who were transported to Canada by their Landlord, to get rid of them; and whose case, we suspect is not a solitary one. This man, whose appearance is respectable, says that he held a small farm in Ireland, which he was compelled to leave, as the proprietor wished to join his and several small holdings together, with the view of enlarging his farms. His passage and that of his family to this country were paid by his landlord, and each of them were given seven shillings each on being landed at Quebec. Here were these poor people left in a strange country, at the beginning of a long winter, with only a few shillings in their pockets; which might provide them with food and lodgings for a few days, after which they might starve! The landlord who got rid of this family in such a cruel manner appears to us to be a thorough miscreant and ought to be exposed; and when we further add that this poor immigrant is nearly blind, the conduct of his unnatural exporter is the more reprehensible. The unfortunate man and his family, too, are suffering from sickness, brought on by exposure and want.

This, however, is the mode of Emigration which some people both here and in England wish to continue. It would be less cruel to shoot the unhappy wretches at once, than to “get rid” of them in such a manner. The following summary of the destitute emigrants whose passages from this city to Upper Canada were aid during the past summer, by the Emigrant agent here, will give some idea of the amount of pauper emigration to the province:

Adults Children Infants
May… 861 410 173 1476 Souls
June… 1590 699 315 2604 “
July… 1273 475 241 2011 “
August… 323 181 112 618 “

The passage paid was 10s for adults; 5s for children; and infants free.


Posted in 19C, British History, Canada, immigration, Ireland, Social commentary | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ode to a Microfilm Reel on a Midwinter’s Morning, 2014

Ah historical research inspires! Just sharing this small poem inspired by Library and Archives Canada’s microfilm room….


“Ode to a Microfilm Reel on a Midwinter’s Morning”
by Madelaine Morrison

Turn, O turn, dear microfilm reel
Thy sepia-toned secrets are yours to reveal.
In print too small for the naked eye,
You help the working hours fly by.
Such technology! (Though half a century old)
I spin the crank, and lo! behold!
A miracle on a smudged glass plate,
If only the image will align itself straight.
So shall I sing my minstrel song,
And hope that the next reel won’t take me too long.

Posted in Canada | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Library and Archives Canada Scavenger Hunt, 2014

232 - Young Couple Library Archives-2

From a researcher at LAC who wanted to add a bit of fun to the experience!
LAC Scavenger Hunt:

1. Name one of the microfilm readers in the 3rd floor microfilm lounge. Try to be as creative as possible.

2. On the first floor lunch lounge, go to the vending machine with the packaged meals. Which (in your opinion) is the most dubious food offering?
*Extra points if you actually consume said item.

3. Find the Rogue’s gallery of Dominion Archivists portraits on the 3rd floor, next to the main reading room. Which of these dapper Great White Men had the best fashion sense? Be prepared to defend your answer.

4. Where would be the best place in LAC to string a hammock? Keep in mind conditions for napping as well as physical structures for tying the hammock.

5. Complete the following limerick: “There once was a researcher at LAC ….”

6. List the names of four (4) security guards and/or archivists.

7. Statue of boy and girl on the front bench outside the building. What do you think he’s actually whispering in her ear?

8. How many steps from the first floor lobby to the 3rd floor reading room? Extra points if, while counting, you dance up the stairs like you’re starring in a Ziegfield follies revue.

9. Strangest document you’ve ever found at LAC. Provide Title and AMICUS number so we can all look it up and enjoy.

10. LAC wants to redecorate its 3rd floor reading room, and you are chosen as the head designer. You have complete creative free-reign and budget is no concern. What will the room look like once you (and your top-notch construction team minions) have finished?

Posted in Canada, Social commentary | Tagged , , | Leave a comment