Monday, October 17, 2022

Making A Country

 A display cabinet features various items of the Victorian era.

This painting is View Of The Ottawa River Looking Southeast Towards Parliament Hill And The Entrance Of The Rideau Canal, by Annabella McLeod, a parish teacher on the Quebec side of the river in the 1880s.

Many things drove the movement towards Confederation, the uniting of the British North American colonies into a country. 

This photograph features the various Fathers of Confederation at a conference in Charlottetown.

The co-premiers of the Canadas were a driving force behind Confederation, and are seen in this display case in two busts: John A. Macdonald and George-Etienne Cartier.

This is a print of the original painting by Robert Harris: Fathers Of Confederation, done in 1885. The original was destroyed in the Centre Block fire of 1916.

A ceremonial sword and medals for Lt. Colonel Brown Chamberlin, who led a volunteer force in the defeat of invading Fenians. The Fenian Raids, as they were called, were an echo of the Civil War, with Irish-American veterans seeking to ransom Canada to force Britain to grant Ireland its independence. Over a number of years these raids were put down when they happened.

Thomas D'Arcy McGee had been an Irish radical in his youth, but had ended up in Canada where his views had changed. He had seen the value of a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, ended up in politics, became a close friend of Macdonald, and was one of the most eloquent voices for Confederation.

His former comrades never forgave him for what they deemed his betrayal. McGee was shot and killed outside his boarding house a block south of Parliament Hill coming home from the Commons one night.

The assassination shook the country. 

A display case features one of his books, and a plaster cast of one of his hands. It was not possible to do a death mask of his face (a tradition of the Victorian era) due to damage caused by the shooting, but this was an acceptable compromise for a man who had been so well known as a writer.


  1. I really appreciate this very instructive information. Thank you William seriously

  2. An important part of your country history.

  3. ...the above jerk visits me too.

  4. Thank goodness political assassination has only happened once in Canada.

  5. Great exhibit and information! Take care, have a great day and happy new week!

  6. That's a great selection of information!

  7. @Cloudia: you're welcome.

    @italiafinlandia: definitely.

    @Tom: he's removed. I really hate that guy.

    @David: it can be said that the FLQ situation ended with assassination.

    @Eileen: thank you.

    @Francisco: thanks.

    @Jennifer: indeed.

  8. So much information is on display there.

  9. A lot of new information about Canada in this post.
    I like that print of the 'Fathers Of Confederation'.

  10. I see a couple of vintage cameras in the cabinet.

  11. Quite the Victorian post ~ She was a Queen that had major impact on the world ~

    Wishing you good health, laughter and love in your days,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  12. I enjoy the Victorian era and this is a nice exhibit.

  13. Excellent exhibit. Lots of great books came out of the Victorian era.

  14. The treasures in your museums are fascinating.

  15. That hand sculpture looks so powerful somehow. It stands out.

  16. What a good exhibit this was. Those two co-premiers created something wonderful. I am sure you are grateful. (It pretty often seems these days like we have two different countries down here south of your border ...too bad we don't have politicans who can unite us.)

    1. Your country will heal, but it's going to take time.

  17. I'm so intrigued by this -- I have a feel that should I ever be so lucky to visit Ottawa, this might be the first place on my list!

  18. Interesting. That plaster cast is a bit creepy though.

  19. Naturally, I like the camera display.

  20. Your posts are so educational. Thank you!