Canadian Notabilities, Volume 1 (TREDITION CLASSICS)


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We have been able to keep in touch with their work through the members appointed jointly to both Councils. Anthony Crosland, P. Appointed January Mrs M Bannister, Housewife and Parent. Appointed February The Hon.

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The Council were appointed in August and began work under their present terms of reference in October The Present Position. Maintained Primary Schools: England. Children are measured lying down until the age of two but are measured standing after that age. The break in curves represent the differences between these two measurements. We thought at first the warmth must come from inside the polystyrene so we drilled a deep hole in one cube, and placed a centigrade thermometer inside the hole and hung another thermometer outside near it.

For a long time we were puzzled and couldn't solve the mystery Then Penny tumbled on the truth we think! The warmth coming from your hand hits the face of the cube and bounces back to your hand. So the material doesn't contain heat, doesn't soak up or absorb the heat it throws it back. Our teacher says the name for such a material is an insulator. In the reply of Siasconcet, we have the reference to Toronto to which we have alluded, and which somewhat startled us when we suddenly lighted upon it in the work above-named. Familiar with the modern two-hours' pleasure-trip from Toronto to Niagara, we were, for the moment unprepared for the philosophic sachem's illustration of the changes and chances of mortal life.

We forgot what an undertaking that journey was in the days of the primitive birch canoe, when in order to accomplish the pas [20] sage, the whole of the western portion of Lake Ontario, was wont to be cautiously and laboriously coasted. To the narrative just given is appended information, which, if superfluous, will nevertheless be read locally now, with some curiosity.

The annotator speaks, we see, of the town on Mississaga point and the other new town on the opposite side of the lake in the same terms: both are in process of construction; and the town on Mississaga point, he still thinks is destined to be the capital of Upper Canada. The language of the note recalls the agitation in the public mind at Niagara in , on the subject of the seat of Government for Upper Canada—a question that has since agitated Canada in several of its sub-sections.

The people of Niagara in , being in possession, naturally thought that the distinction ought to continue with them. Governor Simcoe had ordered the removal of the public offices to the infant York: there to abide, however, only temporarily, until the West should be peopled, and a second London built, on a Canadian Thames. Lord Dorchester, the Governor-in-Chief, at Quebec, held that Kingston ought to have been preferred, but that place, like Niagara, was, it was urged, too near the frontier in case of war.

In , Governor Simcoe had withdrawn from the country, and the people of Niagara entertained hopes that the order for removal might still be revoked. The policy of the late Governor, however, continued to be carried out. Three years previously, viz. At noon on the 27th of August in , the first royal salute had been fired from the gar [21] rison there, and responded to by the shipping in the harbour, in commemoration of the change of name from Toronto to York—a change intended to please the old king, George III.

For some time after , official letters and other contemporary records exhibit in their references to the new site, the expressions, "Toronto, now York," and "York, late Toronto. The ancient appellation was a favorite, and continued in ordinary use. Isaac Weld, who travelled in North America in , still speaks in his work of the transfer of the Government from Niagara to Toronto. This projected change," he adds, "is by no means relished by the people at large, as Niagara is a much more convenient place of resort to most of them than Toronto; and as the Governor, who proposed the measure, has been removed, it is imagined that it will not be put in execution.

In , Thomas Moore, the distinguished poet, travelled on this continent. The record of his tour took the form, not of a journal in prose, but of a miscellaneous collection of verses suggested by incidents and scenes encountered. These pieces, addressed many of them to friends, appear now as a subdivision of his collected works, as Poems relating to America. The society of the United States in appears to have been very distasteful to him.

He speaks of his experience somewhat as we may imagine the winged Pegasus, if endowed with speech, would have done of his memorable brief taste of sublunary life. Writing to the Hon. Spencer, from Buffalo,—which he explains to be "a little village on Lake Erie,"—in a strain resembling that of the poetical satirists of the century which had just passed away, he sweepingly declares—.

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He makes an exception in a note appended to these lines, in favour of the Dennies and their friends at Philadelphia, with whom he says, "I passed the few agreeable moments which my tour through the States afforded me. After visiting the Falls of Niagara, Moore passed down Lake Ontario, threaded his way through the Thousand Islands, shot the Long Sault and other rapids, and spent some days in Montreal. The poor lake-craft which in must have accommodated the poet, may have put in at the harbour of York.

He certainly alludes to a tranquil evening scene on the waters in that quarter, and notices the situation of the ancient "Toronto. We can better picture to ourselves the author of Lalla Rookh floating on the streams and other waters "of Ormus and of Ind," constructing verses as he journeys on, than we can of the same personage on the St. Lawrence in similarly engaged. It was written, we are assured, at St Anne's, near the junction of the Ottawa and the St. Toronto should be duly appreciative of the distinction of having been named by Moore.

The look and sound of the word took his fancy, and he doubtless had pleasure in introducing it in his verses addressed to Lady Rawdon. It will be observed that while Moore gives the modern pronunciation of Niagara, and not the older, as Goldsmith does in his "Traveller," he obliges us to pronounce Cataraqui in an unusual manner. Isaac Weld, it will have been noticed, also preferred the name Toronto, in the passage from his Travels just now given, though writing after its alteration to York.

The same traveller moreover indulges in the following general strictures: "It is to be lamented that the Indian names, so grand and sonorous, should ever have been changed for others. Newark, Kingston, York, are poor substitutes for the original names of the respective places, Niagara, Cataraqui, Toronto.

And so it was with regard to the higher life of a nation. Unless there was a past to which it could refer, there would not be in it any high sense of its own mission in the world. They did not want to bring the old times back again, but they would understand the present around them far better if they would trace the present back into the past, see what it arose out of, what it had been the development of, and what it contained to serve for the future before them.

It is the same with many another venerable town of the world beyond the Atlantic, of far less note than the old Imperial capital, with Avignon, for example; with Nismes and Vienne in France; with Paris itself, also, to some extent; with Chester, and York, and St.

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Albans, the Verulam of the Roman period, in England. It is the same with our American towns, wherever any relics of their brief past are extant. It is the same with our own Toronto. He that would examine the vestiges of the original settlement, out of which the actual town has grown, must betake himself, in the first instance, to localities now deserted by fashion, and be content to contemplate objects that, to the indifferent eye, will seem commonplace and insignificant. To invest such places and things with any degree of interest will appear difficult. An attempt in that direction may even be pronounced visionary.

Nevertheless, it is a duty which we owe to our forefathers to take what note we can of the labours of their hands; to forbid, so far as we may, the utter oblivion of their early efforts, and deeds, and sayings, the outcome of their ideas, of their humours and anxieties; to forbid, even, so far as we may, the utter oblivion of the form and fashion of their persons. The excavations which the first inhabitants made in the construction of their dwellings and in engineering operations, civil and military, were neither deep nor extensive; the materials which they employed were, for the most part, soft and perishable.

In a few years all the original edifices of York, the infant Toronto, together with all the primitive delvings and cuttings, will, of necessity, have vanished. Natural decay will have destroyed some. Winds, fires, and floods will have removed others.

The rest will have been deliberately taken out of the way, or obliterated in the accomplishment of modern improvements, the rude and fragile giving way before the commodious and enduring. At St. Petersburg, we believe, the original log-hut of Peter the Great is preserved to the present day, in a casing of stone, with a kind of religious reverence. And in Rome of old, through the influence of a similar sacred regard for the past, the lowly cottage of Romulus was long protected in a similar manner.

There are probably no material relics of our founders and forefathers which we should care to invest with a like forced and artificial permanence. But memorials of those relics, and records of the associations that may here and there be found to cluster round them,—these we may think it worth our while to collect and cherish. Overlooking the harbour of the modern Toronto, far down in the east, there stands at the present day, a large structure of grey cut-stone.

Its radiating wings, the turret placed at a central point aloft, evidently for the ready oversight of the subjacent premises; the unornamented blank walls, pierced high up in each storey with a row of circular-heading openings, suggestive of shadowy corridors and cells within, all help to give to this pile an unmistakable prison-aspect. It was very nearly on the site of this rather hard-featured building that the first Houses of Parliament of Upper Canada were placed—humble but commodious structures of wood, built before the close of the eighteenth century, and destroyed by the incendiary hand of the invader in On the same site succeeded the more conspicuous and more capacious, but still plain and simply cubical brick block erected for legislative purposes in , and accidentally burned in The conflagration on this occasion entailed a loss which, the Canadian Review of the period, published at Montreal, observes, "in the present state of the finances and debt of the Province, cannot be considered a trifling affair.

Hereabout the Westminster of the new capital was expected to be. It is not improbable that the position at the head, rather than the entrance, of the harbour was preferred, as being at once commanding and secure. Fine groves of forest trees may have given it a sheltered look, and, at the same time, have screened off from view the adjoining swamps. The language of the early Provincial Gazetteer , published by authority, is as follows: "The Don empties itself into the harbour, a little above the Town, running through a marsh, which when drained, will afford most beautiful and fruitful meadows.

On one, of , now before us, we have the inscription: "Natural Meadow which may be mown. At all events, hereabout it was that York, capital of Upper Canada, began to rise. To the west and north of the site of the Houses of Parliament, the officials of the Government, with merchants and tradesmen in the usual variety, began to select lots and put up convenient dwellings; whilst close by, at Berkeley Street or Parliament Street as the southern portion of the modern Berkeley [28] Street was then named, the chief thoroughfare of the town had its commencing-point.

Growing slowly westward from here, King Street developed in its course, in the customary American way, its hotel, its tavern, its boarding-house, its waggon-factory, its tinsmith shop, its bakery, its general store, its lawyer's office, its printing office, its places of worship. Eastward of Berkeley Street, King Street became the Kingston road, trending slightly to the north, and then proceeding in a straight line to a bridge over the Don. This divergency in the highway caused a number of the lots on its northern side to be awkwardly bounded on their southern ends by lines that formed with their sides, alternately obtuse and acute angles, productive of corresponding inconveniencies in the shapes of the buildings afterwards erected thereon; and in the position of some of them.

At one particular point the houses looked as if they had been separated from each other and partially twisted round, by the jolt of an earthquake. At the Bridge, the lower Kingston road, if produced westward in a right line, would have been Queen Street, or Lot Street, had it been deemed expedient to clear a passage in that direction through the forest. But some way westward from the Bridge, in this line, a ravine was encountered lengthwise, which was held to present great engineering difficulties.

A road cut diagonally from the Bridge to the opening of King Street, at once avoided this natural impediment, and also led to a point where an easy connection was made with the track for wheels, which ran along the shore of the harbour to the Garrison. But for the ravine alluded to, which now appears to the south of Moss Park, Lot Street, or, which is the same thing, Queen Street, would at an early period, have begun to dispute with King Street, its claim to be the chief thoroughfare of York. Objectionable as the first site of the Legislative Buildings at York may appear to ourselves, and alienated as it now is to lower uses, we cannot but gaze upon it with a certain degree of emotion, when we remember that here it was the first skirmishes took place in the great war of principles which afterwards with such determination and effect was fought out in Canada.

Here it was that first loomed up before the minds of our early law-makers the ecclesiastical question, the educational question, the constitutional question. Here it was that first was heard the open discussion, childlike, in [29] deed, and vague, but pregnant with very weighty consequences, of topics, social and national, which, at the time, even in the parent state itself, were mastered but by few.

Here it was, during a period of twenty-seven years , at each opening and closing of the annual session, amidst the firing of cannon and the commotion of a crowd, the cavalcade drew up that is wont, from the banks of the Thames to the remotest colony of England, to mark the solemn progress of the sovereign or the sovereign's representative, to and from the other Estates in Parliament assembled. Here, amidst such fitting surroundings of state, as the circumstances of the times and the place admitted, came and went personages of eminence, whose names are now familiar in Canadian story: never, indeed, the founder and organiser of Upper Canada, Governor Simcoe himself, in this formal and ceremonious manner; although often must he have visited the spot otherwise, in his personal examinations of every portion of his young capital and its environs.

And, while contemplating the scene of our earliest political conflicts, the scene of our earliest known state pageants in these parts, with their modest means and appliances, our minds intuitively recur to a period farther removed still, when under even yet more primitive conditions the Parliament of Upper Canada assembled at Newark, just across the Lake.

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We picture to ourselves the group of seven crown-appointed Councillors and five representatives of the Commons, assembled there, with the first Speaker, McDonell, of Glengary; all plain, unassuming, prosaic men, listening, at their first session, to the opening speech of their frank and honoured Governor. We see them adjourning to the open air from their straightened chamber at Navy Hall, and conducting the business of the young Province under the shade of a spreading tree, introducing the English Code and Trial by Jury, decreeing Roads, and prohibiting the spread of Slavery; while a boulder of the drift, lifting itself up through the natural turf, serves as a desk for the recording clerk.

Below them, in the magnificent estuary of the river Niagara, the waters of all the Upper Lakes are swirling by, not yet recovered from the agonies of the long gorge above, and the leap at Table Rock. We learn this from the narrative of the French Duke de Liancourt, who affords us a glimpse of the scene at Newark on the occasion of a Parliament there in Draped in silk, he entered the Hall with his hat on his head, attended by his adjutant and two secretaries. The two members of the Legislative Council gave, by their speaker, notice of it to the Assembly.

Five members of the latter having appeared at the bar, the Governor delivered a speech, modelled after that of the King, on the political affairs of Europe, on the treaty concluded with the United States Jay's treaty of , which he mentioned in expressions very favourable to the Union; and on the peculiar concerns of Canada.

By the Quebec Act, passed in , it was enacted that the Legislative Council for Upper Canada should consist of not fewer than seven members, and the Assembly of not less than sixteen members, who were to be called together at least once in every year. To account for the smallness of the attendance on the occasion just described, the Duke explains that the Governor had deferred the session "on account of the expected arrival of a Chief Justice, who was to come from England: and from a hope that he should be able to acquaint the members with the particulars of the Treaty with the United States.

But the harvest had now begun, which, in a higher degree than elsewhere, engages in Canada the public attention, far beyond what state affairs can do. Two members of the Legislative Council were present, instead of seven; no Chief Justice appeared, who was to act as Speaker; instead of sixteen members of the Assembly, five only attended; and this was the whole number that could be collected at this time.

The law required a greater number of members for each house, to discuss and determine upon any business; but within two days a year would have expired since the last session. The Governor, therefore, thought it right to open the session, reserving, however, to either house the right of proroguing the sitting, from one day to another, in expectation that the ships from Detroit and Kingston would either bring the members who were yet wanting, or certain intelligence of their not being able to attend.

But again to return to the Houses of Parliament at York. A fragment, happily preserved, of the ancient bank, is to be seen in the ornamental piece of ground known as the Fair-green; a strip of land first protected by a fence, and planted with shrubbery at the instance of Mr. George Monro, when Mayor, who also, in front of his property some distance further on, long guarded from harm a solitary survivor of the grove that once fringed the harbour. On our first visit to Southampton, many years ago, we remember observing a resemblance between the walk to the river Itchen, shaded by trees and commanding a wide water-view on the south, and the margin of the harbour of York.

In the interval between the points where now Princes Street and Caroline Street descend to the water's edge, was a favourite landing-place for the small craft of the bay—a wide and clean gravelly beach, with a convenient ascent to the cliff above. Here, on fine mornings, at the proper season, skiffs and canoes, log and birch-bark were to be seen putting in, weighed heavily down with fish, speared or otherwise taken during the preceding night, in the lake, bay, or neighbouring river. Occasionally a huge sturgeon would be landed, one struggle of which might suffice to upset a small boat.

Here were to be purchased in quantities, salmon, pickerel, masquelonge, whitefish and herrings; with the smaller fry of perch, bass and sunfish. Here, too, would be displayed unsightly catfish, suckers, lampreys, and other eels; and sometimes lizards, young alligators for size.

Specimens, also, of the curious steel-clad, inflexible, vicious-looking pipe-fish were not uncommon. About the submerged timbers of the wharves this creature was often to be seen—at one moment stationary and still, like the dragon-fly or humming-bird poised on the wing, then, like those nervous denizens of the air, giving a sudden dart off to the right or left, without curving its body. Across the bay, from this landing-place, a little to the eastward, was the narrowest part of the peninsula, a neck of sand, destitute [32] of trees, known as the portage or carrying-place, where, from time immemorial, canoes and small boats were wont to be transferred to and from the lake.

Along the bank, above the landing-place, Indian encampments were occasionally set up. Here, in comfortless wigwams, we have seen Dr. Lee, a medical man attached to the Indian department, administering from an ordinary tin cup, nauseous but salutary draughts to sick and convalescent squaws. It was the duty of Dr.

Lee to visit Indian settlements and prescribe for the sick. In the discharge of his duty he performed long journeys, on horseback, to Penetanguishene and other distant posts, carrying with him his drugs and apparatus in saddle-bags. When advanced in years, and somewhat disabled in regard to activity of movement, Dr. Lee was attached to the Parliamentary staff as Usher of the Black Rod.

This is the eminent surgeon and physician, Christopher Widmer. It is to be regretted that Dr. Widmer left behind him no written memorials of his long and varied experience. Before his settlement in York, he had been a staff cavalry surgeon, on active service during the campaigns in the Peninsula. A personal narrative of his public life would have been full of interest. But his ambition was content with the homage of his contemporaries, rich and poor, rendered with sincerity to his pre-eminent abilities and inextinguishable zeal as a surgeon and physician.

Long after his retirement from general practice, he was every day to be seen passing to and from the old Hospital on King Street, conveyed in his well-known cabriolet, and guiding with his own hand the reins conducted in through the front window of the vehicle. He had now attained a great age; but his slender form continued erect; the hat was worn jauntily, as in other days, and the dress was ever scrupulously exact; the expression of the face in repose was somewhat abstracted and sad, but a quick smile appeared at the recognition of friends.

The ordinary engravings of Harvey, the discoverer of the circulation of the blood, recall in some degree the countenance of Dr. Within the General Hospital, a portrait of him is appropriately preserved. One of the earliest, and at the same time one of the most graceful lady-equestrians ever seen in York was this gentleman's accomplished wife.

At a later [33] period a sister of Mr. Justice Willis was also conspicuous as a skilful and fearless horse-woman. In the Loyalist of Nov. Widmer and Dr. It reads thus: "Doctor Widmer, finding his professional engagements much extended of late, and occasionally too arduous for one person, has been induced to enter into partnership with Doctor Diehl, a respectable practitioner, late of Montreal.

It is expected that their united exertions will prevent in future any disappointment to Dr. Widmer's friends, both in Town and Country. Diehl's residence is at present at Mr. Hayes' Boarding-house. York, Oct. Diehl died at Toronto, March 5, At the south-west corner of Princes Street, near where we are now supposing ourselves to be, was a building popularly known as Russell Abbey. It was the house of the Hon. Peter Russell, and, after his decease, of his maiden sister, Miss Elizabeth Russell, a lady of great refinement, who survived her brother many years.

The edifice, like most of the early homes of York, was of one storey only; but it exhibited in its design a degree of elegance and some peculiarities. To a central building were attached wings with gables to the south: the windows had each an architectural decoration or pediment over it. It was this feature, we believe, that was supposed to give to the place something of a monastic air; to entitle it even to the name of "Abbey.

Russell was a remote scion of the Bedford Russells. He apparently desired to lay the foundation of a solid landed estate in Upper Canada. His position as Administrator, on the departure of the first Governor of the Province, [34] gave him facilities for the selection and acquisition of wild lands. The duality necessarily assumed in the wording of the Patents by which the Administrator made grants to himself, seems to have been regarded by some as having a touch of the comic in it.

Hence among the early people of these parts the name of Peter Russell was occasionally to be heard quoted good-humouredly, not malignantly, as an example of "the man who would do well unto himself. Russell, his property passed into the hands of his sister, who bequeathed the whole to Dr.

William Warren Baldwin, into whose possession also came the valuable family plate, elaborately embossed with the armorial bearings of the Russells. Russell, and in one of the elder branches of the Baldwin family, Russell is continued as a baptismal name. In the same family is also preserved an interesting portrait of Mr. Peter Russell himself, from which we can see that he was a gentleman of portly presence, of strongly marked features, of the Thomas Jefferson type. We shall have occasion hereafter to speak frequently of Mr. Russell Abbey became afterwards the residence of Bishop Macdonell, a universally-respected Scottish Roman Catholic ecclesiastic, whose episcopal title was at first derived from Rhesina in partibus , but afterwards from our Canadian Kingston, where his home usually was.

His civil duties, as a member of the Legislative Council of Upper Canada, required his presence in York during the Parliamentary sessions. We have in our possession a fine mezzotint of Sir M. Shee's portrait of Bishop Macdonell. It used to be supposed by some that the occupancy of Russell Abbey by the Bishop caused the portion of Front Street which lies eastward of the Market-place, to be denominated Palace Street.

But the name appears in plans of York of a date many years anterior to that occupancy. But it does not appear that he ever came out to Canada. This was afterwards the well-known English Cardinal. He had been a layman, and married, up to the year ; when, on the death of his wife, he took orders; and in one year he was, as just stated, made a Bishop. Russell Abbey may indeed have been styled the "Palace"; but it was probably from being the residence of one who for three years administered the Government; or the name "Palace Street" itself may have suggested the appellation.

On an Official Plan of this region, of the year , the Parliament Buildings themselves are styled "Government House. At the laying out of York, however, we find, from the plans, that the name given in the first instance to the Front street of the town was, not Palace Street, but King Street. These street names were intended as loyal compliments to members of the reigning family; to George the Third; to his son the popular Duke of York, from whom, as we shall learn hereafter, the town itself was named; to the Duchess of York, the eldest daughter of the King of Prussia.

In the cross streets the same chivalrous devotion to the Hanoverian dynasty was exhibited. George street, the boundary westward of the first nucleus of York, bore the name of the heir-apparent, George, Prince of Wales. The next street eastward was honoured with the name of his next brother, Frederick, the Duke of York himself. And the succeeding street eastward, Caroline Street, had imposed upon it that of the Princess of Wales, afterwards so unhappily famous as George the Fourth's Queen Caroline. Whilst in Princes Street for such is the correct orthography, as the old plans show, and not Princess Street, as is generally seen now, the rest of the male members of the royal family were collectively commemorated, namely, the Duke of Clarence, the Duke of Kent, the Duke of Cumberland, the Duke of Sussex, and the Duke of Cambridge.

When the Canadian town of York was first projected, the marriage of the Duke of York with the daughter of the King of Prussia, Frederica Charlotta Ulrica, had only recently been celebrated at Berlin. It was considered at the time an event of importance, and the ceremonies on the occasion are given with some minuteness in the Annual Register for We are there informed that "the supper was served at six tables; that the first was placed [36] under a canopy of crimson velvet, and the victuals as the record terms them served on gold dishes and plates; that Lieutenant-General Bornstedt and Count Bruhl had the honour to carve, without being seated, that the other five tables, at which sat the generals, ministers, ambassadors, all the officers of the Court, and the high nobility, were served in other apartments; that supper being over, the assembly repaired to the White Hall, where the trumpet, timbrel, and other music, were playing; that the flambeau dance was then began, at which the ministers of state carried the torches; that the new couple were attended to their apartment by the reigning Queen and the Queen dowager; that the Duke of York wore on this day the English uniform, and the Princess Frederica a suit of drap d'argent , ornamented with diamonds.

His brother, Charles II. On the green sward of the bank between Princes street and George Street, the annual military "Trainings" on the Fourth of June, "the old King's birthday," were wont to take place. At a later period the day of meeting was the 23rd of April, St.

Military displays on a grand scale in and about Toronto have not been uncommon in modern times, exciting the enthusiasm of the multitude that usually assembles on such occasions. But in no way inferior in point of interest to the unsophisticated youthful eye, half a century ago, unaccustomed to anything more elaborate, were those motley musterings of the militia companies. The costume of the men may have been various, the fire-arms only partially distributed, and those that were to be had not of the brightest hue, nor of the most scientific make; the lines may not always have been perfectly straight, nor their constituents well matched in height; the obedience to the word of command may not have been rendered with the mechanical precision which we admire at reviews now, nor with that total sup [37] pression of dialogue in undertone in the ranks, nor with that absence of remark interchanged between the men and their officers that are customary now.

Nevertheless, as a military spectacle, these gatherings and manoeuvres on the grassy bank here, were effective; they were always anticipated with pleasure and contemplated with satisfaction. The officers on these occasions,—some of them mounted—were arrayed in uniforms of antique cut; in red coats with wide black breast lappets and broad tail flaps; high collars, tight sleeves and large cuffs; on the head a black hat, the ordinary high-crowned civilian hat, with a cylindrical feather some eighteen inches high inserted at the top, not in front, but on the left side whalebone surrounded with feathers from the barnyard, scarlet at the base, white above.

Animation was added to the scene by a drum and a few fifes executing with liveliness "The York Quickstep," "The Reconciliation," and "The British Grenadiers. Numerously, in the rank and file at these musterings—as well as among the officers, commissioned and non-commissioned—were to be seen men who had quite recently jeopardized their lives in the defence of the country. At the period we are speaking of, only some six or seven years had elapsed since an invasion of Canada from the south.

An impression of the miseries of war, derived from the talk of those who had actually felt them, was very strongly stamped in the minds of the rising generation; an impression accompanied also at the same time with the uncomfortable persuasion derived from the same source, that another conflict was inevitable in due time. The musterings on "Training-day" were thus invested with interest and importance in the minds of those who were summoned to appear on these occasions, as also in the minds of the boyish looker-on, who was aware that ere long he would himself be required by law to turn out and take his part in the annual militia evolutions, and perhaps afterwards, possibly [38] at no distant hour, to handle the musket or wield the sword in earnest.

A little further on, in a house at the north-west corner of Frederick Street, a building afterwards utterly destroyed by fire, was born, in , the Hon. Robert Baldwin, son of Dr. In the same building, at a later period, and previously in an humble edifice, at the north-west corner of King Street and Caroline Street, now likewise wholly destroyed, the foundation was laid, by well-directed and far-sighted ventures in commerce, of the great wealth locally proverbial of the Cawthra family, the Astors of Upper Canada, of whom more hereafter.

It was also in the same house, prior to its occupation by Mr. Cawthra, senior, that the printing operations of Mr.

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William Lyon Mackenzie were carried on at the time of the destruction of his press by a party of young men, who considered it proper to take some spirited notice of the criticisms on the public acts of their fathers, uncles and superiors generally, that appeared every week in the columns of the Colonial Advocate ; a violent act memorable in the annals of Western Canada, not simply as having been the means of establishing the fortunes of an indefatigable and powerful journalist, but more notably as presenting an unconscious illustration of a general law, observable in the early development of communities, whereby an element destined to elevate and regenerate is, on its first introduction, resisted, and sought to be crushed physically, not morally; somewhat as the white man's watch was dashed to pieces by the Indian, as though it had been a sentient thing, conspiring in some mysterious way with other things, to promote the ascendancy of the stranger.

The youthful perpetrators of the violence referred to were not long in learning practically the futility of such exploits. Good old Mr.

James Baby, on handing to his son Raymond the amount which that youth was required to pay as his share of the heavy damages awarded, as a matter of course, by the jury on the occasion, is said to have added:—"There! A few steps northward, on the east side of Frederick Street, was the first Post Office, on the premises of Mr. Allan, who was postmaster; and southward, where this street touches the water, was [39] the Merchants' Wharf, also the property of Mr. Allan; and the Custom House, where Mr. Allan was the Collector.

We gather also from Calendars of the day that Mr. In an early, limited condition of society, a man of more than the ordinary aptitude for affairs is required to act in many capacities. The Merchants' Wharf was the earliest landing-place for the larger craft of the lake. At a later period other wharves or long wooden jetties, extending out into deep water, one of them named the Farmers' Wharf, were built westward. In the shoal water between the several wharves, for a long period, there was annually a dense crop of rushes or flags.

The town or county authorities incurred considerable expense, year after year, in endeavouring to eradicate them—but, like the heads of the hydra, they were always re-appearing. In July, , a "Mr. In August of the same year, the minutes of the County Court record that "Capt. Macaulay, Royal Engineers, offered to cut down the rushes in front of the town between the Merchants' Wharf and Cooper's Wharf, for a sum not to exceed ninety dollars, which would merely be the expense of the men and materials in executing the undertaking: his own time he would give to the public on this occasion, as encouragement to others to endeavour to destroy the rushes when they become a nuisance;" it was accordingly ordered "that ninety dollars be paid to Capt.

Macaulay or his order, for the purpose of cutting down the rushes, according to his verbal undertaking to cut down the same, to be paid out of the Police or District funds in the hands of the Treasurer of the District. We have understood that Capt. Macaulay's measures for the extinction of the rank vegetation in the shallow waters of the harbour, proved to be very efficient. The instrument used was a kind of screw grapnel, which, let down from the side of a large scow, laid hold of the rushes at their root and forcibly wrenched them out of the bed of mud below. The entire plant was thus lifted up, and drawn by a windlass into the scow.

When a full load of the aquatic weed was collected, it was taken out into the open water of the Lake, and there disposed of. Passing on our way, we soon came to the Market Square. This was a large open space, with wooden shambles in the middle of it, thirty-six feet long and twenty-four wide, running north and south.

By a Proclamation in the Gazette of Nov. Whereas great prejudice hath arisen to the inhabitants of the Town and Township of York, and of other adjoining Townships, from no place or day having been set apart or appointed for exposing publicly for sale, cattle, sheep, poultry, and other provisions, goods, and merchandize, brought by merchants, farmers, and others, for the necessary supply of the said Town of York; and, whereas, great benefit and advantage might be derived to the said inhabitants and others, by establishing a weekly market within that Town, at a place and on a day certain for the purpose aforesaid;.

Given under my hand and seal at arms, at York, this [41] twenty-sixth day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and three, and in the forty-fourth year of His Majesty's reign. Hunter, Esquire, Lieutenant-Governor. By His Excellency's command, Wm. Jarvis, Secretary. In , the Market Square was, by the direction of the County magistrates, closed in on the east, west, and south sides, "with a picketting and oak ribbon, the pickets at ten feet distance from each other, with three openings or foot-paths on each side.

The digging of a public well here, in the direction of King Street, was an event of considerable interest in the town. Groups of school-boys every day scanned narrowly the progress of the undertaking; a cap of one or the other of them, mischievously precipitated to the depths where the labourers' mattocks were to be heard pecking at the shale below, may have impressed the execution of this public work all the more indelibly on the recollection of some of them.

By referring to a volume of the Upper Canada Gazette , we find that this was in An unofficial advertisement in that periodical, dated June the 9th, , calls for proposals to be sent in to the office of the Clerk of the Peace, "for the sinking a well, stoning and sinking a pump therein, in the most approved manner, at the Market Square of the said town of York , for the convenience of the Public. Heward, Clerk of the Peace, H. The tender of John Hutchison and George Hetherington was accepted. Hugh Carfrae, pathmaster. Near the public pump, auctions in the open air occasionally took place.

A humourous chapman in that line, Mr. Patrick Handy, used often here to be seen and heard, disposing of his miscella [42] neous wares. With Mr. Handy was associated for a time, in this business, Mr. Patrick McGann. And here we once witnessed the horrid exhibition of a public whipping, in the case of two culprits whose offence is forgotten.

A discharged regimental drummer, a native African, administered the lash. The sheriff stood by, keeping count of the stripes. The senior of the two unfortunates bore his punishment with stoicism, encouraging the negro to strike with more force. The other, a young man, endeavoured for a little while to imitate his companion in this respect; but soon was obliged to evince by fearful cries the torture endured.

Similar scenes were elsewhere to be witnessed in Canada. In the Gazette and Oracle of Dec. In the Market Square at York, the pillory and the stocks were also from time to time set up. The latter were seen in use for the last time in In , a certain Elizabeth Ellis was, for "being a nuisance," sentenced by Chief Justice Allcock to be imprisoned for six months, and "to stand in the pillory twice during the said imprisonment, on two different market days, opposite the Market House in the town of York, for the space of two hours each time.

In the wooden shambles were removed, and replaced in by a collegiate-looking building of red brick, quadrangular in its arrangement, with arched gateway entrances on King Street and Front Street. This edifice filled the whole square, with the exception of roadways on the east and west sides. The public well was now concealed from view. It doubtless exists still, to be discovered and gloated over by the antiquarian of another century.

Round the four sides of the new brick Market ran a wooden gallery, which served to shade the Butchers' stalls below. It was here that a fearful casualty occurred in A concourse of [43] people were being addressed after the adjournment of a meeting on an electional question, when a portion of the overcrowded gallery fell, and several persons were caught on the sharp iron hooks of the stalls underneath, and so received fatal injuries.

The killed and wounded on this memorable occasion were:—Son of Col. Fitz Gibbon, killed; Mr. Hutton, killed; Col. Fitz Gibbon, injured severely; Mr. Mountjoy, thigh broken; Mr. Cochrane, injured severely; Mr. Charles Daly, thigh broken; Mr. George Gurnett, wound in the head; Mr. Keating, injured internally; Mr. Fenton, injured; Master Gooderham, thigh broken; Dr. Lithgow, contused severely; Mr. Morrison, contused severely; Mr. Alderman Denison, cut on the head; Mr. Thornhill, thigh broken; Mr.

Street, arm broken; Mr. Deese, thigh broken; another Mr. Deese, leg and arm broken; Mr. Sheppard, injured internally; Mr. Clieve, Mr. Mingle, Mr. Preston, Mr. Armstrong, Mr. Leslie of the Garrison , Master Billings, Mr. Duggan, Mr. Thomas Ridout, Mr. Brock, Mr. Turner, Mr. The damage done to the northern end of the quadrangle during the great fire of led to the demolition of the whole building, and the erection of the St. Lawrence Hall and Market. Over windows on the second storey at the south east corner of the red brick structure now removed, there appeared, for several years, two signs, united at the angle of the building, each indicating by its inscription the place of "The Huron and Ontario Railway" office.

In connection with our notice of the Market, we give some collection which may serve to illustrate—. During the war it was found expedient by the civil authorities to interfere, in some degree, with the law of supply and demand. Wheat, per bushel, 10 s. Pease, per bushel, 7 s. Barley and Rye, the same. Oats, per bushel, 5 s. Beef, on foot, per cwt. Mutton, per lb. Veal, 8 d. Butter, 1 s. Bread, per loaf of 4 lb s. In April, , peace then reigning, York prices were:—Beef, per lb. Mutton, 4 d. Veal, 4 d.

Pork, 2 d. Fowls, per pair, 1 s. Turkeys, each, 3 s. Geese, 2 s. Ducks, per pair, 1 s. Cheese, per lb. Eggs, per doz. Wheat, per bushel, 2 s. Barley, 48 lbs. Oats, 1 s. Pease, 1 s. Potatoes, per bushel, 1 s. Turnips, 1 s. Cabbages, per head, 2 d. Flour, per cwt. Flour, per barrel, 12 s. Tallow, per lb. Lard, per lb. Wood, per cord, 10 s. As allied to the subject of early prices at York, we add some excerpts from the day-book of Mr. Abner Miles, conductor of the chief hotel of the place, in It would appear that the resident gentry and others occasionally gave and partook of little dinners at Mr.

Miles', for which the charges are roughly minuted on some long, narrow pages of folded foolscap now lying before us. It will be seen from the record that the local "table-traits," as Dr. Doran would speak, were, as nearly as practicable those of the rest of the Empire at the period. At the new capital, however, in , hosts and guests must have laboured under serious difficulties. In July, , the following items appear against the names, conjointly of Messrs.

Eight Suppers, 16s. One bottle of brandy and one bottle of rum, 18s. The currency throughout Mr. Miles' books is that of New York, in which the shilling was seven pence half-penny. It is observable that in the entries of which we give specimens, whiskey, the deadly bane of later years, in not named. Crawford are each charged 16s. John's dinner.

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One bottle brandy, 10s. Five bottles of port wine, four bottles of porter and one pint of rum are charged, but the value is not given. The defect is supplied in a later entry against the Chief Justice, of seven dinners 42s. On this occasion "four took coffee," at a cost of 8s. Elsewhere, three dinners are charged to the Chief Justice, when three bottles of wine were required; one pint of brandy, and two bottles of porter, all at the rates already quoted.

A "mess dinner" is mentioned, for which the Chief Justice, Mr. Hallowell, and Mr. Cartwright pay 6s. One bottle of port, one of Madeira, and one of brandy were ordered, and the "three took coffee," as before at 2s. Again, at a "mess dinner," of four, the names not given, two bottles of port and one bottle of porter were taken. A "club" appears to have met here. In July, , a charge against the names of "Esq. Weekes," "Esq. Rogers," and Col. Fortune, respectively, is "liquor in club the 11th at dinner, 1s. On the same day "Judge Powell's servant" had a "gill brandy, 1s.

The entry runs:—"Priest from River La Tranche, 3 quarts corn and half-pint of wine. Breakfast, 2s 6d. Herrick has a "gill gin sling, 1s. Demont has "gill rum sling, 1s. Fortune has "half-pint wine, 2s. Weekes," "gill brandy, 1s. Fortune has "gill sour punch, 2s. Conets Cozens has "dinner, 2s. Hall takes "one gill punch, 2s. Abner Miles supplied customers with general provisions as well as liquors. On one occasion he sells, "White, Attorney-General," three pounds of butter for 7s.

He also sells "President Russell" forty-nine pounds and three-fourths, of beef at 1s. Attorney-General White took twenty-three pounds and a half at the same price. That sold to "Robert Gray, Esq. The piece, however, weighed only seven pounds, and the cost was just eight shillings and two pence. Other things are supplied by Mr. Gideon Badger buys of him "one yard red spotted cassimere, 20s. Badger is credited with "one dollar, 8s. Ketchum, 6s. Miles moreover furnishes Mr.

Allan with " feet of inch-and-half plank at 12s. Hamilton, Baby and Grant settled up to 4th of July, after breakfast. A mem. Demont, cr.

Miles' customers required to be reminded of their indebtedness to him, we learn from an advertisement in the Gazette and Oracle of August 31, It says: "The Subscriber informs all those indebted to him by note or book, to make payment by the 20th September next, or he will be under the disagreeable necessity of putting them into the hands of an attorney.

Abner Miles, York, August 28th, Miles' house was a rendezvous for various purposes. In a Gazette and Oracle of [47] Dec 8, , we read—"The gentlemen of the Town and Garrison are requested to meet at one o'clock, on Monday next, the 10th instant, at Miles' Hotel, in order to arrange the place of the York Assemblies for the season.

York, Dec 8, In the Gazette and Oracle of July 13th, , we read the following advertisement: "O. Pierce and Co. Rum by the puncheon, barrel, or ten gallons, 18s. Brandy by the barrel, 20s. Port wine by the barrel, 18s. Gin, by the barrel, 18s. Teas—Hyson, 19s. Sugar, best loaf, 3s. Lump, 3s. Raisins, 3s. Figs, 3s. Salt six dollars per barrel or 12s.

York, July 6, This was Hamilton's, or the White Swan. It was here, we believe, or in an adjoining house, that a travelling citizen of the United States, in possession of a collection of stuffed birds and similar objects, endeavoured at an early period to establish a kind of Natural History Museum. To the collection here was once rashly added figures, in wax, of General Jackson and some other United States notabilities, all in grand costume.

Several of these were one night abstracted from the Museum by some over-patriotic youths, and suspended by the neck from the limbs of one of the large trees that over-looked the harbour. Just beyond was the Steamboat Hotel, long known as Ulick Howard's, remarkable for the spirited delineation of a steam-packet of vast dimensions, extending the whole length of the building, just over the upper verandah of the hotel. In , Mr. Howard is offering to let his hotel, in the following terms:—"Steamboat Hotel, York, U. The Establishment is now too well-known to require comment.

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