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History > Canadian History > To 1867

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Canada the Good Cover

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Canada the Good

A Short History of Vice since 1500

To invest in vice can be a sound financial decision, but despite the lure of healthy profits, individuals and mutual funds have been reluctant to invest in this type of stock. After all, who would take pride in supporting the tobacco industry, knowing it sells a deadly product? And what social responsibilities do investors bear with respect to compulsive gamblers who have lost so much money that suicide becomes an attractive option?

Canada the Good considers more than five hundred years of debates and regulation that have conditioned Canadians’ attitudes towards certain vices. Early European settlers implemented a Christian moral order that regulated sexual behaviour, gambling, and drinking. Later, some transgressions were diagnosed as health issues that required treatment. Those who refused the label of illness argued that behaviours formerly deemed as vices were within the range of normal human behaviour.

This historical synthesis demonstrates how moral regulation has changed over time, how it has shaped Canadians’ lives, why some debates have almost disappeared and others persist, and why some individuals and groups have felt empowered to tackle collective social issues. Against the background of the evolution of the state, the enlargement of the body politic, and mounting forays into court activism, the author illustrates the complexity over time of various forms of social regulation and the control of vice.

The Chevalier de Montmagny Cover

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The Chevalier de Montmagny

First Governor of New France

By Jean-Claude Dubé Translated by Elizabeth Rapley

In The Chevalier de Montmagny, Jean-Claude Dubé documents the extraordinary career of Charles Huault de Montmagny, first governor of the colony of New France. Born in Paris in 1601, and educated by the Jesuits, Montmagny studied law at the Université d'Orléans, joined the Order of Malta, and enjoyed a colourful career as a Hospitalier privateer in the Mediterranean, before arriving in New France in the spring of 1636.

While Montmagny wasted little time in applying the experience he gained fighting the Ottoman Turks to New France's disputes with the Iroquois, he has also been credited with playing a key role in both ensuring the survival of the colony and the entrenchment of a religious elite. His exploits caught the imagination of Cyrano de Bergerac, who later cast Montmagny as a character in his novel L'autre monde.

This well-documented study - which in its original French edition was shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award in 1999 - adds an important dimension to our understanding of the social, religious, and political history of New France.

Control and order in French colonial Louisbourg, 1713-1758  Cover

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Control and order in French colonial Louisbourg, 1713-1758

A. J. B. Johnston

Control and Order in French Colonial Louisbourg, 1713-1758 is the culmination of nearly a quarter century of research and writing on 18th-century Louisbourg by A. J. B. Johnston. The author uses a multitude of primary archival sources-official correspondence, court records, parish registries, military records, and hundreds of maps and plans-to put together a detailed analysis of a distinctive colonial society. Located on Cape Breton Island (then known as Île Royale), the seaport and stronghold of Louisbourg emerged as one of the most populous and important settlements in all of New France. Its economy was based on fishing and trade, and the society that developed there had little or nothing to do with the fur trade, or the seigneurial regime that characterized the Canadian interior. Johnston traces the evolution of a broad range of controlling measures that were introduced and adapted to achieve an ordered civil and military society at Louisbourg. Town planning, public celebrations, diversity in the population, use of punishments, excessive alcohol consumption, the criminal justice system, and sexual abuse are some of the windows that reveal attempts to control and regulate society. A. J. B. Johnston's Control and Order in French Colonial Louisbourg offers both a broad overview of the colony's evolution across its half-century of existence, and insightful analyses of the ways in which control was integrated into the mechanisms of everyday life.

De France en Nouvelle-France Cover

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De France en Nouvelle-France

Société fondatrice et société nouvelle

Sous la direction de Hubert Watelet

Spécialiste des élites politiques de la Nouvelle-France, et de leurs origines familiales et sociales, le professeur Jean-Claude Dubé, de l’Université d’Ottawa, s’est fait connaître par l’originalité de ses travaux et son double intérêt pour la France de l’Ancien Régime et la colonie. Conçu dans un perspective large qui est celle de Jean-Claude Dubé lui-même, cet ouvrage est celui d’un groupe d’amis qui, des deux côtés de l’Atlantique, ont voulu lui rendre hommage en lui offrant une série d’études de choix. S’étendant du politique au religieux, ces contributions tantôt neuves, tantôt longuement mûries et parfois provocantes, permettent en même temps d’établir des relations entre les deux sociétés métropolitaine et coloniale.

Endgame 1758 Cover

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Endgame 1758

The Promise, the Glory, and the Despair of Louisbourg's Last Decade

A. J. B. Johnston

The story of what happened at the colonial fortified town of Louisbourg between 1749 and 1758 is one of the great dramas of the history of Canada, indeed North America. The French stronghold on Cape Breton Island, strategically situated near the entrance to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, was from soon after its founding  a major possession in the quest for empire. The dramatic military and social history of this short-lived and significant fortress, seaport, and community, and the citizens who  made it their home, are woven together in A. J. B. Johnston’s gripping biography of the colony’s final decade, presented from both French and British perspectives.
 
Endgame 1758 is a tale of two empires in collision on the shores of mid-eighteenth-century Atlantic Canada, where rival European visions of predominance clashed headlong with each other and with the region’s Aboriginal peoples. The magnitude of the struggle and of its uncertain outcome colored the lives of Louisbourg’s inhabitants and the nearly thirty thousand combatants arrayed against it. The entire history comes to life in a tale of what turned out to be  the first major British victory in the Seven Years’ War. How and why the French colony ended the way it did, not just in June and July 1758, but over the decade that preceded the siege, is a little-known and compelling story.

Flora Lyndsay; or, Passages in an Eventful Life Cover

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Flora Lyndsay; or, Passages in an Eventful Life

A Novel by Susanna Moodie

Susanna Moodie

Flora Lyndsay is Susanna Moodie’s prequel to Roughing it in the Bush and Life in the Clearings. It completes her trilogy on her emigration from Suffolk to Upper Canada that began in 1832. Though Moodie chose to fictionalize herself in the context of this novel, this work remains a close personalized record of her family’s experiences in planning their emigration and crossing the Atlantic.
Although surprisingly little critical attention has been paid to it, this novel offers its readers the opportunity to appreciate Moodie’s style, her sense of form and her distinctive approach to writing female autobiography. This edition, complete with a wide corpus of endnotes, an extensive list of emendations and a critical introduction, should help address this absence and give readers a closer look at the iconic phenomenon that is Susanna Moodie.

Jacques Legardeur de Saint-Pierre Cover

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Jacques Legardeur de Saint-Pierre

officer, gentleman, entrepreneur

Joseph L. Peyser

The documentary biography of Jacques Legardeur de Saint-Pierre, an officer in the Troupes de la Marine, who served throughout New France, sheds new light on the business activity of French colonial officers stationed in the West. Many of the eighty previously untranslated documents in Jacques Legardeur de Saint-Pierre demonstrate the extent and profitability of Saint-Pierre's pursuit of business activities while performing official duties in eighteenth- century French North America. The quest for profit permeated Saint- Pierre's career, particularly his command of the Western Sea Post after he succeeded the fabled Pierre Gaultier de Varennes et de la Vérendrye. Saint-Pierre and his secret partner General Jacques- Pierre de Taffanel de La Jonquière, Intendant François Bigot, and Meret, secretary to La Jonquière, used their positions to engage in extensive trade, especially brandy, with the Cree and Assiniboine northwest of Lake Superior. Saint-Pierre's activities provide fresh insights into the North American fur trade

Seven Eggs Today Cover

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Seven Eggs Today

The Diaries of Mary Armstrong, 1859 and 1869

Offers an intriguing glimpse into the daily life of an average Toronto woman in the mid-nineteenth century.

Mary Armstrong’s diaries are a window into the daily life of a middle-class woman in a new and changing land, and a revealing account of life in early Toronto just before and after confederation. Her journals are one of very few published by Canadian women, especially women outside the upper classes, in the decades surrounding the mid-nineteenth century.

Mary Armstrong was the wife of a butcher / farmer who lived in what is now the Yorkville and Deer Park area of Toronto from the 1830s to the 1880s. She had immigrated with her parents and siblings from England in 1834. Her diaries, which cover five months in 1859 and eight months in 1869, reflect her multiplicity of interests and concerns including family, women’s work, faith, status and class, occupation and trade, community networks, and local and national identity.

Jackson W. Armstrong’s introduction examines who Mary was, what her world was like, and how she saw her own place in it; it also explains the origin and history of the diaries. His extensive primary research supports the well-annotated diaries, and gives contextual information on the events, people, and places that Mary mentions.

Seven Eggs Today offers new information and a new perspective on mid-Victorian English Canada, and will be welcomed by general readers and scholars interested in colonial life, biography, immigrant experiences, family or local history, or women’s studies.

A Year Inland Cover

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A Year Inland

The Journal of a Hudson’s Bay Company Winterer

Anthony Henday, a young Hudson’s Bay Company employee, set out from York Factory in June 1754 to winter with “trading Indians” along the Saskatchewan River. He adapted willingly and easily to their way of life; he also kept a journal in which he described the plains region and took note of rival French traders’ success at their inland posts. A copy of Henday’s journal was immediately sent to the company directors in London. They rewarded Henday handsomely although they were uncertain where he had travelled, what groups he had met on the plains, and what success he had in opposing rival French traders. Since then, uncertainty about Henday’s year inland has increased. The original journal disappeared; only four copies, dating from 1755 to about 1782, are extant. Each text differs from the other three; the differences range from variant spellings to word choice to contradictory statements on vital questions. All four copies are the work of a company clerk, later factor, named Andrew Graham, who used them to support his own views on HBC trading policies. Twentieth-century scholars have based their claims for Henday’s importance as an explorer, trader and observer of Native cultures on a poorly edited transcript of the 1782 text. They have been unaware or careless of the journal’s textual ambiguity. A Year Inland presents all four copies for the first time, together with contextual notes and a commentary that reassesses the journal’s information on plains geography, people and trade.

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