England and France had already been rivals in Europe for hundreds of years. What would become known as the French and Indian War in North America would rise up as the two powers jockeyed for influence in the continent. It would be known as the Seven Years War elsewhere.
Part of that rose up in the Maritimes, where French settlers called the Acadians were in the way of British plans. It would lead to an expulsion of Acadians, and eventually give way to open war.
This painting, from 1751, is titled Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. It is from the circle of Samuel Scott.
Halifax, founded in 1749, would bring in settlers from New England, as well as Britain itself.
Here we have the cloak of James Wolfe, a British general who fought in the French and Indian War. His moment of triumph- victory in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham at Quebec City in 1759- was to be his last, as he was mortally wounded.
This portrait of Wolfe was done years after the battle, in 1766, by J.C.S. Schaak.
A portrait of his French counterpart at the Plains of Abraham is at the other end of the display case. Louis-Joseph de Montcalm was the commanding French general at the battle, and like Wolfe was mortally wounded during the fight. France would cede nearly all of its possessions in the New World in the Treaty of Paris that ended the war. The artist is unknown.
These two paintings are by the same artist, Dominic Serres. The top is A View Of The Treasury and Jesuits College, Quebec City. The bottom painting is A View Of The Church Of Notre-Dame-de-la-Victoire, Quebec City. Both paintings date to 1760.
A few years after the French and Indian War, the American Revolution would have its influence on Canada, with Loyalists coming north and settling into new lives in Canada. Immigrants from Europe would come too.
This trunk belonged to Thomas Elliott, an Irish immigrant who settled in Canada in 1846, becoming a farmer near Stratford in Ontario.