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 […]

Plamondon

It often seems that art in Canada did not begin until the early twentieth century, as if the innovations of Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven were painting itself and that before their depiction of Algonquin forests, wealthy Montrealers and Quebec’s devout lived in colonial or forgotten exile surrounded by walls as white as […]

From Cartier, Happy Canada Day!

[I’m back from my holidays in Europe, and just in time for Canada’s birthday and Montreal’s moving day too so please excuse the repost, while I unpack, recover, and join the fray. Hope you’re having fun too!]  “Canada,” Pierre Elliott Trudeau is supposed to have said, “is a country built against any common, geographic or […]

From Cartier, Pax Canadiana, or Confederation

“Canada,” Pierre Elliott Trudeau is supposed to have said, “is a country built against any common, geographic or historical sense”. Prime Minister from 1968 to 1979 and again from 1980 to 1984, Trudeau was a smart man: he did not to say that it made no political sense. He also had the good sense not […]

At Place d’Armes, An Election and A Massacre

Canada has just now to witness the most foul and barbarous murder of several of her citizens and MONTREAL is about to become no less famous than Manchester, in the annals of Military despotism, outrage and assassination. The Vindicator, 22 May 1832 One of the things that I enjoy most about this project (and the […]