Saturday, January 18, 2020

The Old Rivalry

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.


  1. And still here the Canadian French language is called "pig-French".
    We met "English" Canadians in Cuba, they were fun (Mother is Hubby´s age, daughter 20+ back then, now Mom to two daughters herself).
    I also met nice French people. People from who knows where, so sad human beings often are "printed" to where they come from.

  2. It's interesting for me to learn a bit more about Canada because at school in Germany we only learned about the Americans, Indians etc and only very poor about Canada and Australia. Fortunately there were these painters, the photographs of that time, as cameras didn't exist, without them we wouldn't know how it looked and how people were dressed !.

  3. ...rivalries and war just seem to continue, little is ever learned.

  4. It inspired a lot of artists to create a painting.

  5. Hello, I enjoy learning more Canadian history from all of the exhibits you share. Enjoy your weekend!

  6. Ditto what Tom said William, men in power will never be satisfied with what they have!

  7. @Iris: Canadian francophones still don't get much respect.

    @Gattina: we tend to fly under the radar.

    @Tom: true.

    @Marleen: indeed.

    @Eileen: thank you.

    @Grace: I agree.

  8. I thought Europe was traditionally the continent of wars and struggles, but Canada also has a 'rich' history in that respect, I have learned now.

  9. This is so interesting William. We enjoyed learning a bit more about the Acadians when we traveled through the part of the US where they lived ... and where I learned what the Longfellow poem “Evangeline” was actually about. I memorized it in grade school without any idea of what it was based on...history wasn’t well taught in my little parochial school. .... anyway, it’s too bad we didn’t have time to continue our RV adventure North of the border (to learn more about this and fir many many other reasons). Thank you for furthering my knowledge.

  10. Interesting post, William. I love historical museums.

  11. Thanks again William for sharing more Canadian history for us who missed having it included in our learnings. I did learn about the Acadians who the English sent to Louisianna, thus the wonderful culture of New Orleans influenced by French Canadians!

  12. This was a complicated mess. Problems followed for many years and we still have problems as a result.

  13. I always remember a trip we took to the Plains of Abraham when I was a kid and before we even checked into our hotel my dad insisted on going to the Plains.

  14. Thanks for sharing some history with us, William.

  15. Montcalm & Wolfe I remember from school days! Evangeline of the poem was an Acadian moved to Louisiana. Thanks William

  16. Another interesting part of history well documented by you. Thanks William :)

  17. @Marie: many of them came back to old Acadia.

    @Jan: we've seen our share of conflicts.

    @Sallie: a good number of them ended up in Louisiana.

    @Susie: thank you.

    @Barbara: you're welcome.

    @Maywyn: thanks.

    @Red: that's true.

    @RedPat: I remember seeing the Plains for the first time.

    @Bill: you're welcome.

    @Cloudia: a pleasure to do so.

    @Denise: you're welcome.

  18. Again I learn something new from your tours. Thanks for sharing.

  19. I am a bit behind on reading blogs, this is an interesting post though. The paintings are a part of history and it's too bad that wars continue.

  20. Your mention of Halifax Explosion in 1917.

  21. The French and Indian war was the beginning of the American Revolutionary War. It just goes on and on.

  22. And now a couple of more Brits are coming over to live in Canada!

  23. All those hopes and dreams for the future packed into that one trunk:)

  24. Great War Exhibit ~ another war ~ 'when do we learn?' ~ Doomed to repeat History? ????????

    Happy Moments to You,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  25. I would enjoy this exhibit very much!

  26. @Gemel: you're welcome.

    @Alexandria: I'm behind too.

    @Revrunner: the Halifax Explosion is also covered at the War Museum.

    @Kay: none at all.

    @Joanne: that's true.

    @Catalyst: yes they are.

    @Rosie: yes, and a good sized trunk.

    @Francisco: thank you.

    @Carol: true.

    @Tanya: I do.

  27. I remember hearing about James Woolf and the Plains of Abraham from when we visited Quebec City. Fascinating history.