Sara Jeannette Duncan and The Imperialist

Duncan is an intelligent and important national/international fin de siècle writer of manners. She observes, through a social lens, the decline of the British Empire. For her, the story of the beginning of the end begins in Southern Ontario’s Elgin (Brantford). Sara Jeannette Duncan’s West Street home is pictured above. It is presently Thorpe Brothers Funeral Parlour…. Read more …

Bruce Emerson Hill, and the GRAND RIVER NAVIGATION COMPANY scandal

“The Grand River project was unique in one particular way. It was the only major project in Canadian history financed by Indian funds. By 1836 the Six Nations possessed 80% of the outstanding stock; their total investment subscribed without their knowledge or consent, amounted to over 40 000 pounds. Over a hundred years of protest by the… Read more …

Davis vs Styres, and the case of lot 45

Squire Davis has several run-ins with the authorities. Here is one. Squire’s claim to property in the Township of Onondaga on the Six Nations Reserve is contentious. Squire stands accused of getting a man inebriated, encouraging said fellow to sign a quit claim, vis-à-vis lot 45, and, if all this isn’t sketchy enough, a certain… Read more …

Squire Tehawennihárhos Davis

The Haudenosaunee call their enemies stone giants. On his journey through life, Squire Tehawennihárhos Davis faces off with stone giants––as, one supposes, do we all.  Squire’s stone giants are three: Pine Tree Chief John Smoke Sakayengwaraton Johnson, Chief George Henry Martin Onwanonsyshon Johnson (Smoke Johnson’s son and the father of actor/poet E. Pauline Johnson), and Captain… Read more …

Jedidiah Golden

“Jeddah” or the “Snowman.” He is a neighbour of the Fergusons. He is a hired gun and the owner of a horse stock farm in Uxbridge. From Smoky Mountains in West Virginia of Appalachia Jeddah and Nellah Golden are the great grandchildren of a Butler’s Ranger, Loyalist and former Algerian Eduard Blaize. Eudora Gourlay, is… Read more …

Carolinian Forest and the Grand River

In 1791 after the American rebellion and the ensuing flood of displaced persons into the upper country, Great Britain took it upon itself to divide Quebec into Lower and Upper Canada. Upper Canada, which the British claimed but did not own and did not conquer–actually Upper Canada was the territories-depending-thereon part of Quebec–, held a treasure. Embedded… Read more …

CAYUGA 14 Indians. CHIEF DESKAHEH

“Considering that Ruthven was situated on or very near the land that was sacred to the Cayuga Indians, and considering that a number of Indians ‘sold land improvements’ to [David] Thompson I, it is reasonable to assume that there must have been more than 14 Indians in Indiana over these years.” Laura Kathleen Quirk, The… Read more …

MIDWINTER RITES OF THE CAYUGA LONGHOUSE

“I am John Buck’s messenger [referring to a wampum string]. Therefore, listen; John Buck says in olden times of my forefathers was able to recall their departed relatives to see them again, the living ones will make one accord whatever their number will be will get a feast at a certain house for the dead… Read more …

Ruthven Hall

What Squire heard about Klock was true and arriving at Indiana that evening he was astounded by what he saw. Almost complete Ruthven Hall was inconceivable. A massive building. A fortress. Heaven high pillars and a portico and a persistent symmetry showed in every aspect of the construction. He stopped in his tracks to study the… Read more …

The Grand River. Ouse. Tinaatoua.

The Grand River is situated  in southwestern Ontario. From its source near Wareham it flows southeast through the Grand valley–Fergus, Elora, Waterloo, Kitchener, Galt/Cambridge, Paris, Brantford, Ohsweken, Caledonia, and Cayuga–before emptying into the north shore of Lake Erie south of Dunnville at Port Maitland. 1 In 1784 the Grand River/Tinaatoua and lands adjacent to the river… Read more …