This impressive sleigh is part of the collection inside this portion of the Canadian History Hall.
For decades in the first half of the 19th century, the move towards responsible government ebbed and flowed in Canada. Government from far off London, with governor generals who from time to time weren't listening, fueled resentments and rebellion in 1837 and 1838. The push was to make colonial governments answerable to the people, as opposed to solely responsible to the Crown.
This British coat of arms dates to the era, and originally resided in Montreal.
Out of the rebellions, Lord Durham, the governor general at the time, made recommendations in what was called the Durham Report. Among those steps enacted was a union of Canadian governments, an ungainly arrangement at the time that nonetheless started to pave the way for Confederation. A portrait of Lord Durham is found here.
Co-premiers of the government, Robert Baldwin and Louis-Hippolyte La Fontaine began taking steps to move towards a formal responsible government. They were supported by the governor general of the time, Lord Elgin.
This is a bust of Lord Elgin, aka James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin and 12th Earl of Kincardine. He also happened to be the son of that same Lord who made off from Greece with what are today the Elgin Marbles.
Out of the move towards responsible government came the move towards Confederation of Canada and our Founding Fathers. One of those was Thomas D'Arcy McGee. An Irish radical in his youth who came to see the merits of the British Parliamentary system, he was an eloquent speaker and friend of our first prime minister, John A. Macdonald. McGee was assassinated in April 1868 after years of bad blood with the Irish nationalists he had turned his back on. One of them was convicted and hung, though he might well have been innocent. A portrait of McGee resides here.
Here we have a view of the original Centre Block, built in mid-century. This would later burn in the 1916 fire.
I finish for today with something entirely different. This is an elk skin of the Blackfoot tribe, residents of the Canadian prairies. It was typical of that tribe to use this as their winter count- a depiction of an event in a given year that particularly stood out, done in a spiralling out circle. This one shows how important the horse became to the people over time.