Friday 1 July 2016

Happy Canada Day!

             Today’s post is a little bit different, but in light of the Canada Day celebrations taking place today we thought it fitting to share with you a piece from our collection with details of Confederation. As stated within the first few pages of the book titled ‘Confederation’, “This book was compiled from reproductions of actual newspapers of the day for the Rolland Paper Company Limited as its contribution to the celebration of Canada’s 100th birthday.” Most already know the facts and dates of Confederation, so we wanted to share a few excerpts from newspaper articles that may be of interest. Since none of us were around to grab the daily paper in 1867, we thought it might be neat to highlight some lines from different papers.
          Toronto, Monday, July 1, 1867 – The Globe, “With the first dawn of this gladsome midsummer morn, we hail the birthday of a new nationality, A united British America, with its four millions of people, takes its place this day among the nations of the world. Stamped with a familiar name, which in the past has borne a record sufficiently honourable to entitle it to be perpetuated with a more comprehensive import, the DOMINION OF CANADA, on this First day of July, in the year of grace, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven, enters on a new career of national existence. Old things have passed away. The history of old Canada, with its contracted bounds, and limited divisions of Upper and Lower, East and West, has been completed, and this day a new volume is opened, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia uniting with Ontario and Quebec to make the history of a greater Canada, already extending from the ocean to the head waters to the great lakes, and destined ere long to embrace the larger half of this North American continent from the Atlantic to the Pacific.”
             Halifax, July 1, 1867 – Morning Chronicle, “DIED. Last night, at twelve o’clock, the free and enlightened Province of Nova Scotia. Deceased was the offspring of old English stock, and promised to have proved an honour and support to her parents in their declining years. Her death was occasioned by unnatural treatment received at the hands of some of her ungrateful sons, who, taking advantage of the position she had afforded them, betrayed her to the enemy. Funeral will take place from the Grand Parade this day, Monday, at 9 o’clock. Friends are requested not to attend, as her enemies, with becoming scorn, intend to insult the occasion with rejoicing.”

            Friday, July 12, 1867 – The Ottawa Citizen, “Confederation Day appears to have been generally well-observed throughout the Dominion. But in Nova Scotia, in the strongholds of Anti-Unionism, the day passed over without jubilation. This, of course, is no more than we might have predicted, for, weeks ago, Mr. Howe and the anti-Confederate journals recommended that the day should be devoted to fastings and humiliations. The recommendation of Mr. Howe was followed by at least one Quebec Rouge – a Mr. Laberge – who, as mayor of Dorchester, withheld his sanction and authority for the holding of a celebration. When asked to convene a public meeting to take into consideration the celebration of the day he refused to do so on the ground that he believed Confederation to be a public misfortune, and that , before rejoicing, the people should wait at least one year to see how the Union should work.”

            Montréal, Samedi, 6 Juillette 1867 – La Guêpe, “L’Évènement de la Confédération est signalé par les signes les plus étranges, les choses les plus inouïes et les monstruosités les plus étonnantes.”

            As most know, Confederation Day wasn’t all smiles– there were many different emotions on this day 149 years ago. Some happy, some not so happy, and in Montreal, some just in awe at what was happening!
             We will be open until 4pm today if you want to stop and visit the Old Jail or our new Steamship Exhibit! We hope you enjoy a wonderful Canada Day, though, wherever you may be celebrating!

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