Sherbrooke: “Forming a Government of Their Own”

The immense requirements of the Napoleonic Wars entailed more than Britain could furnish itself. To meet the deficit it turned, unasked and unwanted, to  the press-ganging of delinquent subjects, so it thought, now declared American citizens, so they thought. Inevitably President Madison found this most provoking and declared war with Britain on 18 June 1812. It took […]

Hélène Boullé Signs a Pre-Nup: Ile-Sainte-Hélène (now Jean-Drapeau)

On 27 December 1610, Hélène Boullé unexpectedly signed a pre-nuptial agreement with the explorer and inveterate gardener, Samuel de Champlain. She was twelve and in the confusion following the assassination of Henri IV she and the other Protestants of France were without a royal protector. So too were Champlain’s ventures in Canada. The marriage was completed in […]

Mont-Royal

Mont-Royal. Opened 1966. Architect: Victor Prus. Artworks: vertical bands by Charles Daudelin and mural by Les Industries perdues. The Time and Place The Archive Summer 1535 – Hochelaga – Jacques Cartier visits the Huron village of Hochelaga and names the mountain nearby “Mont-Royal”  [In] the middle of these fields is situated and stands the village […]

Papineau receives a flawed argument

In 1835, Lord Glenelg, Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, offered perhaps the most hilarious argument for not reforming the constitution of Lower Canada. 69. It must be recollected that the form of Provincial Constitution in question is no modern experiment or plan of government, in favor of which nothing better than doubtful theory […]

Plamondon Updates His Status and the First Fête du Saint Jean-Baptiste

On 10 June 1836, Le Canadien published what might be considered the nineteenth-century equivalent of a status update. “M. Plamondon, artist, respectfully informs the public and his friends, that at the request of the many of the finest citizens of Montreal, he must leave Québec to practice in that city for for several weeks.” Of […]

Papineau and the Cholera Epidemic of 1832

With the arrival of cholera in Montreal in June 1832, many people left the city for the country to escape the disease. Papineau though decided to stay. Here, he writes to his wife, Julie, at her temporary lodgings at Verchéres, northwest of the island, of domestic matters – lemons, crackers, and work on a property […]