J O U R N A L

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

Pauline Johnson Tekahionwake: (lousy poet) brilliant stage actor

“Johnson was many things: performer, intellectual, Native activist, feminist, and (though not a very good one) poet. But as enterprising as she was, she was also an idealist. Her proud biracial identity, within which her Aboriginal and European selves peacefully coexisted, constituted an anomaly in an era when race was considered a fixed trait. The… Read more …

Trumpeting the books

Jane Ainslie: Book 3 of the Mohawk Trilogy transports the reader to the lawless era of the mid-1800’s in central Canada. The compelling adventure in Charter picks up where The Battle of Vinegar Hill (book 2) leaves off, and boom! the reader is fully engaged. Minsos weaves the complex story through the eyes of an intriguing cast of characters… Read more …

United Empire Loyalists and late loyalists

The American Revolution blazes an immediate trail to British Québec and the blazing continues into Upper and Lower Canada until 1815. Two kinds of American folkways come to Upper and Lower Canada, 1784-1815 Ruth McConnell says the immediate effect of the American Revolution (1775-1783) is south-to-north immigration, which carries on, unbroken, until around the end of… Read more …

Late Loyalists and the Markham Gang of Ontario

From Wikipedia: “The Markham Gang was a notorious criminal organization located primarily in Ontario, Canada, in the middle of the 19th century. Evolving from organizations founded to support the Upper Canada Rebellion of 1837, the Markham Gang used its private communications network of couriers across what was then Canada West to build a criminal empire that spread into neighbouring states. Like the organization that spawned… Read more …

Sky Walker Tehawennihárhos: CHARTER

Canadian folkways lean on immigrant and indigenous stories. “I can give her no greater power than she has already,’ said the woman; ‘Don’t you see how strong that is? How men and animals are obliged to serve her, and how well she has got through the world, barefooted as she is. She cannot receive any… Read more …

Grand River Saga

For a Canadian story read the Mohawk Trilogy It’s all about the characters. Struggling outliers have run-ins with their wild environs. They dodge lawless American and European settlers. Protagonists are helpless to stop the dirty deeds of rapacious land speculators. Characters can hardly stand up to let alone push back against the people who take… Read more …

The Grand River Navigation Company Swindle

Upper Canada’s William Hamilton Merritt and David Thompson 1 are entrepreneurs and visionaries and they catch a bug. They catch “canal fever,” which, along with malaria, is running rampant on this continent in the 1830s. “Canal fever” is an unhealthy obsession with building canals – a pun on the mosquito-born illnesses that plague the navvies who do the… Read more …

The Canadian Horse

A pleasure to attend Cavalia in Edmonton to see the Canadian horse taking its place with the other amazing geldings and stallions from all over the world. The Canadian horse was numerous among horse breeds during the 19th century and yet on the verge of extinction in the 20th century. Thanks to breeders and aficionados the… Read more …

Ruthven Park, Cayuga

The lie Ruthven Park tells, through omission, is one with both a long nose and short legs. David Thompson 1 [not the map-maker] was not a law-abiding person nor an honourable businessman. A fascinating character, he was nonetheless a schemer and a fraudster. The historic site’s failure to mention David Thompson’s unlawful activities cheats today’s Canadians,… Read more …