J O U R N A L 

It is never too late to be what you ought to have been. George Eliot


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

BROOKLEA-Davisville

Davis Hamlet or Davisville is on the farm of Mohawk Chief Thomas Tehonwawenkaragwen Davis. Currently the site of Laurier University and Professor Gary Warrick’s archaeological dig, Davisville is situated northwest of Ohsweken and Brantford, and south of Paris. Davisville is there some time before the European villages of Brantford or Paris exist. And before Davisville, Haudenosaunee… Read more …

There is a difference: United Empire Loyalists (UEL) and late loyalists

The American Revolution blazes a hasty 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: first round (pro British) in 1784, and second round (pro American) in 1790. Ruth McConnell says the immediate effect of the American Revolution (1775-1783)… Read more …

Sky Walker Tehawennihárhos: CHARTER

Canadian folkways lean on immigrants’ 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 …

“Canajoharie Joseph Brant” and Thayendanegea’s mansion

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 the necessity… Read more …

Ruthven Park, Cayuga, Ontario

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 is unfair to… Read more …

The Grand River Navigation Company Swindle

This story is about a scandal. By the time the digging stops on the Grand River Navigation canal system, colonials will have, once again, robbed and left destitute their invaluable Indigenous allies, who have already lost everything on account of Great Britain.   Upper Canada’s William Hamilton Merritt and David Thompson 1 are entrepreneurs and visionaries… Read more …

Trumpeting the Mohawk trilogy

SKY WALKER TEHAWENNIHÁRHOS CHARTER The novel’s lovable, intricate characters and the challenges that they face every day, from protecting their lands to safeguarding their hearts, are an irresistible draw. The satisfying third and final book in S. Minsos’ historical trilogy, Sky Walker Tehawennihárhos Charter follows the nineteenth-century disruption to Indigenous lands caused by European and American settlers…. 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 style is readable. She… Read more …