Saturday, July 28, 2018

New Perspectives

This portion of the museum shifts, showing how New France took hold in North America, with items displayed from the era.

It was of course a very religious time, reflected in these Virgin Mary and baby Jesus statuettes of the era, circa the 1700s.

Of course the French weren't the only Europeans with interests in North America. There were of course the English colonies along the eastern seaboard, and north of New France, the Hudson's Bay Company set up operations in the vast drainage basin of the mighty bay that the company is named for. Several more contemporary items of the company, still active today, are in this display case.

Conflict between the French and English was inevitable- they'd been at each other's throats already for hundreds of years in Europe. The Seven Years War, also known as the French and Indian War, erupted in the middle of the 18th century. Its roots on the continent started in 1754 with the Battle of Jumonville Glen in Pennsylvania, where a young Virginia militia commander by the name of George Washington triggered a global dispute in a fight with French troops in the area. The precise circumstances of what happened are still murky today. Weapons of the era are on display. Apparently Lex Luthor (or is it Jean-Luc Picard?) got into the museum wearing a Canada shirt.

Two portraits are found here, showing the opposing commanders killed at the climactic Battle of Quebec in 1759. Artist J.C.S. Schaak painted this portrait of the British commander James Wolfe At Quebec, in 1766. 

An unknown artist in the 1800s painted this portrait, Louis-Joseph de Montcalm, depicting the French commander. The Battle of Quebec, also known as the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, would mark the beginning of the end of New France, with France ceding almost all of its territories in North America in the Treaty of Paris in 1763, ending a war that had spanned the globe.

The first of the gallery sections in here ends with the Seven Years War, and so the second starts off with its aftermath. Britain established control in North America following the end of the Seven Years War, though would quickly run into trouble with its eastern seaboard colonies, who rather resented interference in their own affairs and taxation on things like tea (ungrateful colonials, look at what it's gotten you now). Regardless, the British retained holdings in Canada as the 19th century dawned. Relations with First Nations people were part of that era, both in positive and negative ways. These items of clothing were made by Huron-Wendake artisans; the vest, made for a British aristocrat, combines European styling and Huron-Wendake formal details.

Other items of the area are prominently displayed.

This dates back to the mid-19th century and caught my eye. It's a bag made by an Anishinaabe artist, depicting a water panther called Mishibizhiw.

A sled of that period is prominently on display.

This is a crest for the Molson's Bank. Aside from the family being known for its brewing, it established a banking network at mid-century.

Another legacy of the 19th century is the formation of the Geological Survey of Canada, founded in 1842 and having William Logan as its first director. Logan oversaw extensive research across the country during his tenure. The organization is still the country's oldest scientific agency. This portrait of Logan himself is part of the collection here in the museum, and dates to 1869.


  1. I think I can see your reflection in the 5th picture. Is that a wooden bath tub in picture above the bag? Have a great weekend!

  2. Very interesting post, William, like the photos and the history.

  3.'s nice to remember your diverse history!

  4. Hello, what a wonderful exhibit. I like the sled. Interesting history and post. Happy weekend to you!

  5. I always hated history in high school, but have come to pick vacation trips that include it. I enjoyed the tour. Have a wonderful weekend.

  6. It's shocking, the more I read about religion and Colonization.

  7. "It was of course a very religious time..."

    Funny how some times are religious and then some are not.

    Jean-Luc Picard! :-D

  8. Love seeing the history of the country like that.

  9. I didn't realize the the Hudson Bay Company had such a long history.

  10. @Nancy: it could be. I'll have to doublecheck the next time I'm in the museum.

    @Marianne: thank you.

    @Karl: I do too.

    @Tom: that it is.

    @Francisco: thanks!

    @Eileen: it is quite a sled.

    @Betty: oh, I love history.

    @Jennifer: at best, religion was often misguided.

    @Sandi: I do fit the part of the captain!

    @Marie: it's been very well done.

    @Sharon: yes, the Bay's operations go back centuries.

  11. Every aspect of our history is most important so that we understand our background.

  12. had 2 laugh ... i did like a double take 'cause i was like what in the world? but i realized it was your reflection not something in the display?? ... too funny!! u got me. have a nice weekend! ( ;

  13. Wonderful historical photos and post!

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  14. A very nice way to share the history with photos.

  15. Great to see your reflection!
    Another good post William, appreciate the time you take to share them with us.

    Have a good weekend.

    All the best Jan

  16. @Red: that's true.

    @Beth: I usually don't like to get my reflection in a shot, to the point where I'll photograph from the side, but this time it worked.

    @Carol: thank you.

    @RedPat: thanks!

    @Bill: it is.

    @Jan: I like showing this museum.

  17. Very interesting displays and I enjoyed learning history.

  18. North American history fascinates me, William. Thanks for reminding me of Montcalm. . . .

  19. All the items and artifacts interest me yet I am drawn to the textiles.

  20. A great way to learn about Canadian history.

  21. You really have the most remarkable museums in Ottawa. The Chamber of Commerce should be paying you for promoting tourism. I would go to any of these spots in a minute!

  22. Canadian history is very interesting.

  23. @Tamago: I certainly enjoy it.

    @Cloudia: you're welcome.

    @Kate: they're well done.

    @Kay: it is indeed.

    @Jeanie: we've got quite a number of museums, both on the national scale and the local type.

    @Klara: it is.