Sara Jeannette Duncan: There was nearly always a lacrosse match on the Queen’s Birthday. 

Kent Monkman – Ojibwe lacrosse player


Canada West 1841–1867  (Upper Canada 1791–1841, Ontario, 1867–)

Joseph Brant

Because it’s better to celebrate a life of courage than to criticize a life one hasn’t lived . . .   Who is Mohawk Pine Tree Chief Joseph Brant (Thayendanegea), and why should Canada know him? In twenty-one years of teaching some very savvy Canadian Studies students, I find not one young person – from either… Read more …

Canadian English

LANGUAGE English came to The Thirteen Colonies (c. 1600) and much later to Canada (c. 1784-1815). In 1775, in the Thirteen Colonies, “American” English was well established. Following the end of the American Revolution (1784), United Empire Loyalists (UEL) fled to British North America (BNA) from the northeastern states. Somewhat later, American-born “late loyalists” (1791-1815)… Read more …

English-Canadian Folkways and Republican Late Loyalists

In English-speaking Canada, American influences do not stop with speech, idiom and intonation. With the “late loyalists” (coming to the British colonies after the American Revolution), American ideas about democracy, republicanism and responsible government also make the trip north.   Egalitarian-minded American “late” loyalists, layered with post-1815 Calvinism imported from the British Isles (especially Scotland), have… Read more …

Trumpeting the Mohawk trilogy

Special thanks to Faye Boer, Lesley Clarke, DELC and Friesen Press, the late Murray Dorin, Dianne Gillespie, Jennifer Gobeil, Anita Jenkins, Shane Kennedy, Lone Pine Press, Laraine Orthlieb, Spotted Cow Press, Kathy van Denderen, Gary Whyte, Sally Williams. You can’t do without an experienced and skillful editor. AJ taught me that some years back, and… Read more …

Isabel Thompson Kelsay’s Joseph Brant 1743-1807: man of two worlds

To date Isabel Thompson Kelsay has written the definitive study of Joseph Brant.  (See, however, James Paxton’s brief and shiny tome Joseph Brant and His World: 18th Century Mohawk Warrior and Statesman for a better thesis than Kelsay’s on Brant’s view of a sovereign Grand River territory. Paxton’s book reviewed elsewhere on this site.) Kelsay’s research is comprehensive. Her… Read more …

James Paxton on Joseph Brant Thayendanegea

There is much to love in James Paxton’s Joseph Brant and His World: 18th Century Mohawk Warrior and Statesman (2008) – exceptional writing and heart-rending illustrations and even the book’s silky pages. More to love is Paxton’s thesis: Joseph Brant is an 18th century Mohawk warrior and Pine Tree Chief who understands as well as any modern Canadian… Read more …

The Grand River Navigation Company, Ruthven Park, Indiana, Ontario

A Without prejudice, Professor Laura Quirk observes, “One potential problem with the current known [19th-century] population of Indiana [on the Grand River, Ontario] is the troubling absence in the historical record at Ruthven of documents related to the years between 1844 and 1850. Although there were journals and business documents connected to most years under study… Read more …

The Grand River Navigation Company: The Grand Canadian Swindle

Speaking of not paying . . . The [Grand River Navigation Company] of colonial and confederate Canada never paid the Six Nations for non-surrendered expropriated land nor returned a single penny of investment but most remarkable was this turnaround: the canal company was forever in need of cash infusions and used up Six Nations’ capital monies in… Read more …

The Canadian Horse

Hélène and her colt, sire of sires, Albert de Cap Rouge . . . Beattie writes “In 1912 the Federal Government became interested in the Canadian Horse Breed and purchased a black mare. Although she weighed barely 1000 pounds, Hélène (no 49) was teamed with a fifteen hundred pound horse from another breed and put to work…. Read more …

Kent Monkman rewrites history to suit his purposes––just like colonials do.

Joseph Brant and his slaves

Historians frequently comment on Joseph Brant’s acts of compassion. Here are two (perhaps unexpected) voices to add to the list. Sophia Pooley. Prince van Patter. First Nations practice capture-slavery before Europeans arrive. Having no penitentiaries, Indigenous either kill or enslave captives of war. Indigenous slaves who prove valuable to the slaver society may be allowed through marriage… Read more …