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Culture of the History Celebrity or Valorizing the Study of History…


I received this announcement in my email recently, and it started me thinking about how in Canada we valorize – or don’t – our history and our historians.  In the UK it appears that history is valued.  Its television channels, commercial and public, produce historical documentaries.  It has a number of historical publications for the general public, and its historians are given a large role in disseminating their history. I think this announcement shows this.

In Canada we are rarely treated to our history on television.  There have been “Big Projects” like “Canada – A People’s History” and “Canada – A Story of Us” which have been produced, but the smaller stories are missing.  These large national narratives are interesting, but I think that Canadian history documentaries miss the more regional, more compact stories.  Canada has a large and varied history, there is much that can be found and produced.  They don’t have to be these mega projects, trying to encapsulate the entire history of the country, costing large amounts of money to get an audience.  You would think that the smaller story (and likely the smaller budget) would be considered a good way to fill the market?

And our historians – we have some brilliant historians in Canada.  I know that not many of them are known to the general public, but they should be.  Why aren’t they being asked to present our history on television?  Why aren’t we having weekends celebrating our histories?

I look at the “History Channel” and see it as a lost opportunity.  Right now it doesn’t show a hell of a lot of history, (no Ancient Aliens is not history – nor is Big Rig Warriors, etc).  When it began many a year ago, it did try to show some Canadian history in between the re-runs of JAG, but that has stopped.  CBC only does the ‘big’ shows.

We have “Canada’s History” a really good magazine, but I don’t see it on the news stands very often. It tends to be found in larger book sellers or specialized magazine stores. Try and find it at the local drugstore or grocery store – no.  In Britain their history magazines enjoy a larger circulation.

Many will argue that there is no market for Canadian history, and I beg to disagree.  Canadians and their Pasts demonstrated that Canadians are interested in their history, personal and regional.  Canadians are open to hearing about their pasts, and we have a pool of talent who can provide the information, we just don’t have the intermediaries in the media who want to bring the two together.

I have no answers, sadly, just these questions.  As a historian myself, and a consumer of a lot of “public history” I am constantly amazed at what other countries produce on their histories.  From the small story to the larger narrative, they seem to be able to get their history on the air, on the internet, and in the public space.  Why not here?



Women in the Senate, Montreal, 1930

Montreal Daily Star, 19 Feb 1930, page 4

Another goal reached

It is the women themselves that have gained this victory for their sex.4ds19feb1930-cartoon

In Defence of the Catholic Clergy, Montreal, 1835

Montreal Gazette, 17 November 1835, page 2


To the Scotch Catholic, whose letter appears in our present number, we would remark that the Protestant Press of this city, in stepping forward to defence the reputation of the Catholic Clergy, from the most unwarranted slanders, sought for no thanks, nor did they look for any reward for doing that which as good chronicles, it was peculiarly their duty to perform.  It was the cause of justice and truth, while at the same time the evidence of Protestant against the calumnies circulated by a Protestant writer, possessed greater weight probably than any proceeding from those who professed the creed of the party involved.

We thank however our correspondent for the hint contained in the latter part of his note.  The universal condemnation by all the British journals in the province of the articles which have appeared in the New York Paper, goes fully to contradict the willful assertion of the Clique writers, that religious feeling has an influence upon the opinions formed by the British inhabitants of the province, in opposition to those entertained in the Assembly.


News Roundup – Montreal, 1907

Montreal Standard, 26 January 1907, page 2


Ten Nationalities in Cosmopolitan School Group; the Good Work of St Andrew’s Home

Cosmopolitan character of Winnipeg’s schools – One of the illustrations on this page gives some idea of what is being done for foreign children in Winnipeg.  Military drill is carried on with all the school boys of the city, and it has proved an admirable help in securing proper physical development and in maintaining discipline.  The aim of the work is not in any sense to make soldiers.  The following are the names of the pupils in the group shown on this page, and they will give some idea of the nationality of the latter: James Orr, Fred Schneider, David Calof, Lyle Dryden, Henry Miller, Louis Axelrode, Julius Wonfull, Max Roden, Stuart Gillespie, Rockmill Calof, Geo Donohue, Bennie Rosenblat, Max Kremen, Philip Bieber, Bert Dixon, Harry Steindal, Joe Slobodin, Alex Mackenzie, Harry Jackson, Willie Walker, Bernard Schick, Tom McCafferty, Aron Pascal, and Ernest Schick. As will be seen, all are not foreigners, but the majority are.


The most Reverend Samuel Pritchard Matheson, DD third Bishop of Rupert’s Land, was born in Kildonan, Man, in 1852.  He was educated at St Paul’s Parish School and in the Academy of his uncle, the Rev S Pritchard (then in St John’s College School) and, finally, in St John’s College, Winnipeg, from which institution he graduated as a Bachelor of Divinity.  He was ordained deacon in 1875 and was advanced to the priesthood in 1876.  He acted as curate of St John’s Cathedral and as bursar, steward, and Professor of St John’s College for many years. He was also Deputy Headmaster of St John’s College School, a position in which he made his influence felt to a great extent.  In 1882 he was made Canon of St John’s Cathedral and on the death of Dean O’Meara, in 1901, he was appointed Dean of Rupert’s Land.  On November 15, 1903 he was consecrated Coadjutor-Bishop of Rupert’s Land in Holy Trinity Church, Winnipeg, by the Most Reverend Robert Machray, Archbishop of Rupert’s Land and Primate of all of Canada, assisted by Bishop Lofthouse of Keewatin; and Bishop Pinkham of Calgary. Archbishop Machray died in 1904, and Bishop Matheson became third Bishop of the Province of Rupert’s Land.  shortly afterwards, early in 1905, the House of Bishops of the Province of Rupert’s Land, met and elected him Archbishop.  His Grace is a Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Freemasons and also a Member of the Scottish Rite.  The Canadian Church Magazine speaks of him as “a faithful spiritual adviser, a warm friend, and a champion of all that is noblest, and best among men.” Before his elevation to the Episcopal dignity, Archbishop Matheson was Prolocutor of the Lower House of the General Synod of the Church of England in Canada.  He is perhaps the most commanding of all the Canadian Bishops in point of physique as he is over six feet tall. His voice is round and full, and he is a preacher of considerable eloquence, as well as a tactful administrator of his large diocese.


The Right Reverend John Dart, DD, DCL, second Bishop of New Westminster, was born in Devonshire Eng., in 1839, and educated at St Mary’s Hall, Oxford.  He then went to India and became Warden of St Thomas’ College, Colombo, Ceylon.  He was ordained Deacon in 1860, and Priest in 1861, by the Right Reverend J Chapman, first Bishop of Columbo; and later was Examining Chaplain to the Right Reverend P Claughton, second Bishop of Columbo.  Leaving India, he returned to England, and graduated in his university as BA in 1867, and as MA in 1869, and was appointed Principal of the Training College, York, and afterwards Vice-Principal and Science Lecturer in St Peter’s College, Peterborough.  Subsequently he came to Canada, and in 1878, was appointed President of King’s College, Windsor, NS and Canon of St Luke’s Cathedral, Halifax, NS. King’s conferred upon him the degree of DCL in 1876, and Oxford University that of DD in 1895. In 1885 he returned again to England and for ten years was Organizing Secretary of the SPG for the Diocese of Manchester, at the end of which time he was selected for the Bishopric of New Westminster (rendered vacant by the death of the Right Rev. AW Silltoe) by the Most Reverend EW Benson, DD, Archbishop of Canterbury and Primate of All England, by which prelate he was, on June 29, 1895, consecrated Lord Bishop of New Westminster at St Paul’s Cathedral, London, Eng.; Bishops Temple, of London; Creighton, of Peterborough; Festing, of St Albans’; Browne of Stepney; Sumner of Guilford; Yeatman of Southwark; Lloyd of Thetford; and Hornby of Likoma, assisting.  He was enthroned on November 20 of the same year in his Cathedral Church at New Westminster, BC.  With one exception – that of the Right Rev WW Perrin, DD, Lord Bishop of Columbia – Bishop Dart is the only Bishop of the Church of England in Canada who has been consecrated by an Archbishop of Canterbury. Bishop Dart’s cathedral and bishopric were built and endowed by the late Baroness Burdett-Coutts, the great philanthropist, who recently passed away in London, and was given a sepulchre in Westminster Abbey.  The Cathedral is beautifully situated, and forms one of the most imposing ecclesiastical structures to be found in the Province of British Columbia.


Feast of the Scotchmen – Montreal, 1901

Montreal Gazette, 30 October 1901, page 3


Feast of the Scotchmen


The Young Irishmen’s Literary and Benefit Association will celebrate the feast of the Scotchmen by a concert in its hall, 18 Dupre Street, tonight.  The young men and some of their friends will sing songs. There will also be piano solos and dancing.  Mr. MJ Power will give a reading as will Mr. JP Cunningham and Mr. HE Hinds.  The programme contains fourteen other selections, which should furnish a pleasant evening.

Halloween, Toronto, 1881

Globe 2 Nov 1881, page 10

Halloween Celebration

The Caledonian Supper and the Sons of Scotland Concert

Very successful entertainments.


Yesterday evening Halloween was duly celebrated by two of the Scottish societies, the Caledonians holding a most successful supper at St James’ Hotel and the Sons of Scotland a concert in Occident Hall of a superior character and attended by a large audience.

The Caledonian society’s supper

The Caledonian society gathered in large numbers at St James Hotel last night to spend a few hours in songs and sentiments recalling the customs of Halloween in the old land of heather.  There were also a number of guests of other nationalities, who appeared to enter fully into the spirit of entertainment.  The dining hall was decorated with British colours drooping in the folds from ceiling to floor, and at the tables, laden with a great variety of viands, the haggis occupying a prominent place.  Every chair had an occupant. Owing to the absence through illness of the President, Mr. Andrew McIntosh, 1st vice-president, occupied the chair, supported by Mayor McMurrich, Mr. Goldie of Ayrshire; Mr. JL Morton, Ald. Hallam, Ald Steiner, Ald Ryan, and Past-presidents Dr Smith, John Ritchie sr, RH Ramsay, and Wm Adamson.  The vice-chairmen were 2nd vice-president Wm Christie and Treasurer WD McInstosh.

After supper letters of apology for absence were read from the President, Mr. Robt Green and from Dr Barker.  The usual loyal toasts were duly honoured.  After the last “The Governor-General,” Piper Anderson broke in with the stirring strains of “The Campbells are Coming.” Among the other toasts were “the land we left,” and “the land we live in,” Mr. Goldie replying to the former, and Mr. R Jaffray to the latter, alluding to the prominent Scotchmen who have made Canada what it is, paying special tribute to the late Senator Brown. “The agricultural, commercial, and manufacturing interests” were replied to in humorous speeches by Dr Smith, Ald Hallam, and Ald Ryan, and “the Mayor and corporation” by the Mayor and Ald Ryan, Steiner and Hallam.  The other toasts, the national societies, the press, the ladies, etc. were replied to in pithily in the happiest humour.  Not the least entertaining features of the evening’s proceedings were the songs and recitations.  Mr. Donald McLean sang “Come o’er the stream, Charlie” Mr. Wm Simpson “Since we were boys together” Mr. Dean “Scotland yet” and “Be kind to Auld Granny” Mr. JL Morrison, “The forty-four” Mr. Gordon Sheriff “Say let it be”; Mr. Chas Walker, “Better late than never”; and Mr. John Ritchie Sr “Heather Jock.”  Mr. AT McIntosh rendered in capital style, “Edinburgh after Flodden,” and Mr. Browning a humorous American piece. The gathering broke up about one o’clock with cheers for the Queen, and the singing of “Auld Lang Syne.”


Sons of Scotland Halloween Concert

Last evening the members of the King Robert de Bruce Camp no 2, Sons of Scotland, celebrated Halloween by a musical and literary entertainment in Occidental Hall, Queen Street West. There was a large attendance and the programme exclusively of Scottish songs, recitations, stories, etc., was received with much applause.  The chair was occupied by Chief David Miller, who at the close of a brief and appropriate address, introduced Mr. AC Black with a song.  “A Lad born in Kyle,” which was sung in good style and heartedly applauded.  Miss Maggie Barr of Hamilton followed in the beautiful song, “Within a mile o’ Edinburgh Town,” which she rendered in a manner which fairly took the audience by storm, and in response to a well-merited encore, brought down the house a second time with the song “Coming through the rye.”  Mr. Gordon Sheriff sang “My Heather Hills,” with fine effect and on being encored gave “The auld quarry knows” in excellent style.  Miss Constable was the next on the programme and sang “Auld Robin Gray” with exactly the voice and feeling necessary to do justice to that fine old air. A Humorous original recitation, entitled Halloween by Mr. Sheriff, and a similarly laughable one, “the auld sark sleeve” by Mr. Black, followed by the song, “Buy my Caller herrin’” by the first named gentleman closed this half of the programme.

After a brief interval, improved by Mr. A Urquhart in discoursing sweet strains on the bag-pipes, the Chairman resumed proceedings by reading a communication from His Worship the Mayor, expressive of his cordial sympathy with the objects of the Society, and his regret at not being able to attend the evening’s celebration.

A rich musical treat followed in the songs “MY Bonnie Wee Wife” and “Robin Adair,” by Miss Barr, both of which were exquisitely sung and rapturously applauded; as were likewise the efforts of Miss Constable, Mr. Black and other participants in the concluding part of the entertainment.

The concert throughout was an exceedingly choice one, and proved in every respected a most gratifying success.

JP Cuddy Jr Robbed? Montreal, 1895

La Presse, 6 August 1895, page 3

[English summary at end]

Cette Accusation de Vol

Contre Frank Labelle et Alice Beach

L’enquête dans l’affaire de Frank Labelle, ex-hôtelier de la rue Bleury, et de la femme Alice Beach, accuses de vol, s’est ouverte en cour de police, hier après-midi.

Le plaignant, JP Cuddy, Jr, est un commis-voyageur.  Il prétend que vers 6 heures de l’après-midi, le 25 du mois dernier, il a rencontré le prisonnier Labelle, sur la rue St Laurent.  Ils sont entrés à l’hôtel Corriveau et ont pris chacun trois verres.  Cuddy buvant du rhy-whisky.  Ils se sont ensuite rendus chez Cloutier ou ils encore pris plusieurs verres.  C’est là que Labelle a proposé une promenade en voiture, en ajoutant que sa femme les accompagnerait.  Le témoin a consenti, et tous deux sont partis dans la direction de la rue St Philippe.  En chemin, ils sont arrêtés dans une autre buvette tenue par un nomme Gariepy, coin des rues Dorchester et St Charles Borromée.  Le témoin ne se souvient pas ce qu’il a bu à cet endroit. Le propriétaire lui a dit le lendemain matin, cependant, qu’il lui avait servi deux verres d’eau « Caledonia. » Après cela, il ne se souvient de rien jusqu’au moment où un des portiers de l’Hôtel Richelieu l’a éveille vers 6 heures du matin. C’est alors qu’il s’est aperçu que son argent, environ $750 avait disparu.  Il est alors alles chez Labelle. Il a vu la femme Beach qui lui a dit qu’elle ne connaissait rien de l’affaire.  Le témoin a rencontré Labelle dans le courant de l’après-midi.  Le prisonnier lui a remis, en billet de banque, la somme de $122 en lui disant qu’il les avait ramassées sur le plancher.

Trans questionné par M Crankshaw, avocat de la défense, le témoin Cuddy dit que vers 1 heure ce jour-là, il avait reçu deux rouleaux de billets de banque se montant à $750.  L’argent lui avait été remis par sa sœur madame Corley, femme de T Corley, épicier, coin de l’avenue des Pins et de la rue St Laurent.

Le témoin refuse de répondre à une question que lui pose M Crankshaw qui veut savoir si l’argent lui appartenait ou non.  Il déclare que c’est une affaire de famille.

M le magistrat Lafontaine décida que la question ne devait pas être posée, et l’enquête s’ajourna a cette après-midi.


Summary/translation – JP Cuddy Jr met up with Mr Labelle at the Hotel Corriveau, and they had several drinks.  After drinking a bit they both went for a walk with Miss Beach, and arrived at another venue owned by Mr Gariepy, where more drinking occurred.  Mr Cuddy does not remember how much he drank.  He next remembers waking up at the Hotel Richelieu, and realized that the $750 his sister Mrs Corley, wife of the grocer T Corley, had given him the day before was missing. He went to see Labelle to ask for his money, and his wife (or girlfriend?) Miss Beach denied knowing anything about the money.   He then saw Labelle who gave him $122 which he had “found on the floor.”

So the question for me is this – why was my great-grandmother handing $750 to her brother?  Why would he not deposit it or put it someplace safe before drinking?  And OMG – just OMG!

Daddy Never Used to be so Cross, Yeast is the answer, 1936

Macleans, 31 March 1936

“Daddy Never used to be so cross!”

Taut nerves-irritability…. They’re signs of run-down physical condition.

You hate yourself for being so cross to your youngster without any real provocation.  Yet this is just what you find yourself doing when you become so tired and irritable that the merest trifle sets you all on edge.

These sudden flare-ups of tempter are signals you should heed!  Doctors say they usually indicate a run-down physical condition.

And when you are run-down, your blood is “underfed.”  Not enough food is carried to your nerves and muscles.  You cannot help being tired and “edgy.” The answer is – your blood must be helped to absorb more nourishment from your food.

How fresh yeast stabilizes the nerves

Fleischmann’s fresh Yeast steps up the activity of the digestive organs.  Your blood is supplied with more nourishment to carry to your nerves and muscles.

Your whole system is toned up – tiredness and bad temper disappear, and your normal good nature returns.

Fleischmann’s Yeast should be eaten regularly, twice a day, before meals or at bedtime – plain, or on crackers, or in a little water or fruit juice.  It’s a healthful food.  Start eating it today and begin to say good-by to that tired, run-down condition.

Even after the biggest day’s work, you have plenty of energy to spare for good times – if you’re feeling fit.  But if it takes very little to tire you out when you’re run down.  Keep well – get the most out of both work and play.

Fleischmann’s Yeast corrects Run-down condition

It’s your blood that “Feeds” your body

One of the important functions of your blood stream is to carry nourishment to the muscle and nerve tissues of your entire body.

When you feel ‘over-tired” at the least extra effort – it is usually a sign that your blood is not supplied with enough food to carry your tissues.  What you need is something to help your blood get more of the nourishment from your food.

“I was always tired – I had no strength at all.

“A doctor had told my sister to take Fleischmann’s Yeast when she was run-down, and it did her a great deal of good.  So I decided to take it myself.

“I picked up immediately, and now I am in perfect physical condition, although I use a great deal of energy in sports and work.”

Edgar Morin, Quebec, Canada.Macleans 31 March 1936

Stealing a turkey from the Corleys, Swinford, 1870

Mayo Constitution, 22 October 1870, page 3


Anthony and Margaret Pigeon pleaded not guilty to an indictment charging them with having, on the 17th Sept, at Swinford, feloniously stolen one turkey, the property of Patrick Corley, and on a further count, for feloniously receiving the same.

The prisoners were undefended.

The following jury was empanelled to try the case: – James Fitzgerald, foreman; James Bourke, James Howley, John Connor, Samuel Strugeon, Martin Howley, Jun, Luke Carney, John Cannon, Hugh Feeny, John Henry, Humphry Davis and Peter Gallagher.

Julia MacDermott, examined by Mr. Bourke, SCS, deposed that there were turkeys in an outhouse in Mr. Corley’s yard, and a fine fat cock over them – three years’ old.  On the 27th she missed the cock. Next morning the head and feet of the turkey were found in the garden.  To the best of her belief the feathers produced were are those of the lost turkey – they were like them.

Joseph Kyle examined – on the night of the 27th, after 10 o’clock, I saw the male prisoner come out of Corley’s pig stye, which is near the barn in which the turkeys used to be locked up. The prisoner asked me for a light to kindle his pipe, which I gave him, and he thanked me for it.

Mr. Corley said the turkey appeared to have been killed in his garden, the feathers and blood being found there, and, after a search by the constabulary, the head and legs were got under a head of cabbage. Through the garden was the nearest way to the prisoner’s house.  Constable Monaghan brought me a dead turkey, and on measuring the feet they seemed to correspond.

Constable Monaghan deposed from the information received he went to the house of Pigeon.  He discovered the feathers in a small bag, quite warm.  Pigeon’s mother emptied a pot, and witness found that she had tumbled out the turkey into the ashpit.  He seized on the carcass, and told the male prisoner, who was in bed, to get up. On examining his person, there were marks of blood on his clothes.  Anthony Pigeon said, after being cautioned, he did not care; he could only be transported.

Prisoner – Can you prove that that is the blood of the turkey on my clothes, and that the turkey was Mr. Corley’s?


Sub-Constable Alexander deposed to footprints being in the garden, in comparison corresponding to the imprint made by the sole Pigeon’s shoe.

A woman swore that she saw the female prisoner through the gizzard and liver of a turkey of large size into a field.

His worship charged the jury, who found the male prisoner guilty of stealing, and the woman of receiving the turkey, knowing it to have been stolen.

The Crown entered a nolle prosequi on the other counts.

Anthony Pigeon pleaded guilty to a former conviction.

The Court sentenced the prisoner to the lowest limit of penal servitude – namely, seven years.  The old woman was sentenced to three calendar months.

The Chairman requested the officer in charge of the Constabulary to inform the authorities, that the Court held the highest opinion of the manner in which Constable Monaghan and Sub-Constable Alexander conducted the case.

There was no bill found in the indictment for stealing oats.

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