In the earlier portion
of this history the author has studied compression so far as was
consistent with sufficient clearness, in order to be able to give in
fuller detail an account of the more recent and important events leading
to and following the confederation of the British North American
provinces. The growth of the principles of civil liberty and the
development of the Canadian Constitution, will, it is hoped, be found
impartially traced in these pages. The social, commercial and military,
as well as the political aspects of Canadian history, have been treated
as fully as the necessary limits of space would permit.
While the narrative
interest has centred chiefly in the Provinces now known as Ontario and
Quebec, the contemporary history of the sister Maritime Provinces, and
of the newer provinces of the North-west and the Pacific coasts has been
given as fully, yet succinctly, as possible. The contemporary history of
the empire and of foreign countries, where it was intimately connected
with that of Canada, has been interwoven with the text.
The writer has made
copious use of the best existing sources of information, embracing
original documents in French and English, parliamentary reports,
newspaper tiles representing the views of all political parties, and
many printed volumes. He has endeavoured to observe strict impartiality,
and trusts that he has been able to do so, even in treading upon the
delicate ground of recent political events.
The running dates at
the top and margin of the page, and the full synoptical headings of the
chapters, will clearly indicate the chronological and other relations of
the events described, and will greatly facilitate private study, and
class examinations and reviews. A copious pronouncing vocabulary of
proper names has been considered essential to the completeness of the
The following quotation
from Milton expresses the spirit in which the author desires that this
little book should be read: "Consider what nation it is whereof ye are
a nation not slow and dull; but of a quick, ingenious and piercing
spirit; acute to invent, subtile and sinewy to discourse, not beneath
the reach of any point that human capacity can soar to."
Trusting that this
contribution to Canadian history will help to cultivate in its younger
readers an intelligent patriotism, and better prepare them for the
duties of citizenship, the author commits it to the sympathy of an
The admirable Outline
History of Canadian Literature by that accomplished writer, Mr. G.
Mercer Adam, will meet a long felt want, and add greatly to the value of
W. H. W.
Toronto, August, 1887.
Chapter I.—Discovery of
Ancient Traditions—The Norsemen—Columbus—Vespucci—De
Chapter II.—Early Exploration—To 1549.
The Cabots—Cartier—The Robervals
Chapter III.—The Indian Tribes.
Tribes — Arts — Wars — Superstitions-Alliances - Tribal Divisions — Present
Chapter IV.—Champlain Administration—To 1635.
Colonization—Frobisher—Magellan—Drake—Gilbert— Raleigh —Des Monts—Port
Royal—Champlain Founds Quebec—Its Restoration—Death of Champlain
Chapter V.—The Hundred
Early Colonization — Jamestown — Plymouth — Montmagny — Ville Marie—Huron Missions and Martyrs—Laval—Des Ormeaux
Chapter VI.—Royal Government—To 1670.
Supreme Council—De Mesy—Do
Tracy—Talon—De Courcelles—Indian Wars—Seigniorial Tenure—Fur Trade
Chapter VII.—Discovery of the Great West—To 1687.
Explorers- Marquette—La Salle
Chapter VIII.-"The Agony of Canada"—To 1689.
De la Barre—Indian Wars—Denonville—Massacre
Chapter IX.—Frontenac's Second Administration - To 1698.
of New England—Sir William Phipps is Repulsed at Quebec—D'Iberville
Treaty of Ryswick—Death of Frontenac
Chapter X.—"Queen Anne's War"—To 1743.
Treaty with Iroquois-Vaudrexiil—Capture
of Port Royal-Failure of Attack on Quebec—Peace of Utrecht Charlevoix
Chapter XI. Louisburg—Du Quesne—To 1754.
Pepperel's Conquest of
Louisburg—Halifax Founded — Collision in Ohio Valley
Campaign of 1755.
Sir William Johnson—Braddock's Defeat—Dieskau's Defeat
at Fort George—Expulsion of the Acadians
Chapter XIII.—Campaigns of 1756 and 1757.
Seven Years' War Begun—Capture
of Forts Oswego and William Henry—Exhaustion of Canada—Famine—Extortion
Chapter XIV.—Campaigns of 1758 and 1759.
Fall of Louisburg—Abercrombie's
Defeat—Capture of Fort du Quesne —Niagara and Ticonderoga Taken
Chapter XV.—The Conquest of Canada, 1759 and 1760.
Quebec—Engagement at Montmorency—Battle of the Plains of Abraham—Death
of Wolfe and Montcalm—Battle of Ste. Foye— Capitulation of Canada
Chapter XVI.—British Rule—To 1774.
Effects of the Conquest -The Peace of
Paris—Conspiracy of Pontiac— The Quebec Act
Chapter XVII.—The Revolutionary War—To 1784.
Causes of the War—Invasion
of Canada - Burgoyne's and Cornwallis' Surrender—The Peace of
Versailles-The U. E. Loyalists
Chapter XVIII.—The Founding of Upper Canada—To 1809.
Act—Early Legislation—York Founded Growth of Parties—Judge Thorpe—Social
Chapter XIX.—Outbreak of the War of 1812-15.
The New Constitution—Sir J.
Craig's Administration—Constitutional Crisis -Causes of the War—Hull's
Surrender-Battle of Queenston Heights, and Death of Brock—Dearborn's
Chapter XX.—Campaign of 1813.
Capture of New York and Niagara—Victories
at Stony Creek and Beaver Dams - Defeats at Sackett's Harbour, Lake
Erie, and Moravian Town—Victories of Chrysler's Farm and
Chateauguay—Burning of Niagara-Sea Fights
Chapter XXI.—Campaign of 1814.
Victories of Lacolle and Oswego—Battles
of Chippewa, Lundy's Lane and Fort Erie—Provost's Retreat from
Plattsburg-Capture of Washington -Treaty of Ghent—Battle of New Orleans
Chapter XXII.-After the War—Lower Canada-To 1828.
Effects of the
War—Internal Development-Civil Strife-The Union Scheme—Nova Scotia and
Chapter XXIII. - After the War - Upper
Canada to 1836.
Francis Gore, Esq., Lieut.-Governor—1815. The Clergy Reserve grievance
—The "Family Compact" —Its status and influence — Robert Gourlay
agitates against Crown Land administration - Sir Peregrine Maitland,
Lieut.-Governor-1818. The Rev. Dr. Strachan, a member of the Legislative
Council—William Lyon Mackenzie —His printing office wrecked—1826. Sir
John Colborne, Lieutenant-Governor—1829. Robert Baldwin becomes a Reform
leader— Toronto Incorporated —1834. Mackenzie first Mayor- Sir Francis
Bond Head, Lieutenant-Governor—1836.
-The Rebellion—Lower Canada—To 1838.
Political Disaffection —The Gosfore Commission—Collision at Montreal
-Rebels Routed by Wothorall and Sir John Colborno—Lord Durham.
Chapter XXV.—The Rebellion—Upper Canada—1830 ash 1837.
Struggles for Responsible Government—Mackenzie's Rebellious Projects—The
Rendezvous at Gallows Hill—Death of Col. Moodio—Attack on Toronto—Rout
of tho Itobels—Col. McNab.
Chapter XXVI—The "Patriot" War-1837 and 1838.
Mackenzie at Navy Island—Colonel McNab on the Frontier—"Patriot"
Raids-Battle of Windmill Point—Rebellion Suppressed.
Chapter XXVII—The Union op the Canadas—To 1841.
Constitutional Struggles in Marimo Provinces—Boundary Disputes -Lord
Durham's Report—The Union Bill—Clergy Reserves.
Chapter XXVIII.-Responsible Government—To 1846.
The New Constitution—"Double Majority"—Municipal System—Sir Charles
Metcalfe—Upper Canada Rebellion Losses Bill-Public School System.
Chapter XXIX.—Rebellion Losses Agitation—To 1849.
Lord Elgin—Lower Canada Rebellion Losses Bill—Mob Violence at
Montreal—Burning of Parliament Buildings.
Chapter XXX.—The Railway Era—To 1852.
Political and Commercial Emancipation — Internal Development-Clergy
Reserve Question—Francis Hincka—Railway Construction—Municipal Loan
Chapter XXXI.—Important Legislation-1853 and 1854.
Reciprocity Treaty—Secularization of Clergy Reserves—Abolition of
Chapter XXXII.—The Coalition Ministry—To 1858.
Sir Edmund Walker Head—Militia Organization—Mr. John A. Macdonald—"
ouble Magority" Abandoned — "Representation by Population" Demanded—Mr.
Chapter XXXIII.—"Representation by Population"—To 1861.
Ottawa Selected as Capital—The Two Days' Ministry—The "Double
Shuffle"—"Joint Authority" Resolutions—The Prince of Wales in Canada.
Chapter XXXIV.—Political Crisis—To 1863.
Lord Monck—The ''Trent" Affair— Defeat of Cartier-Macdonald Ministry on
Militia Bill — Commercial Prosperity — Alabama Piracies.
Chapter XXXV.—The Confederation Movement—To 1865.
Political Dead-Lock—Coalition Ministry -Charlottetown and Quebec
Conferences—Canadian Parliament Adopts Quebec Scheme.
Chapter XXXVI.—The Fenian Invasion -1866.
Abrogation of Reciproclty Treaty—The Fenian Brotherhood—Invasion of
Canada—Fight at Ridgeway—Prcscott and Cornwall Menaced -Eastern Frontier
Crossed—The Raids Suppressed—Last Parliament of Old Canada.
Chapter XXXVII.—Confederation Accomplished To 1868.
British North America Act- Inauguration of New
Constitution—Anti-Confederation Agitation — "Bettor Terms" Granted Nova
Chapter XXXVIII—Rival Fur Companies—Red River Settlement
Hudson's Bay Company—French Fur Company—North-west Company—Fort Williaui
— Red River Settlement Planted—Fierce rivalries and Conflicts-Assiniboia.
Chapter XXXIX.—The Red River Rebellion—To 1870.
Rupert's Land Act -Riel's Revolt-Provisional Government—Exocution of
Thomas Scott—Red River Expedition—Collapse of the Rebellion—British
Columbia enters the Dominion.
Chapter XL.—Fall of the Macdonald Ministry—To 1873.
The Washington Treaty—Lord Dufferin, Governor-General—Geneva
Arbitration—Canada Pacific Railway Scandal—Prince Edward Island Enters
Dominion—Resignation of Ministry.
Chapter XLI.—The Mackenzie Administration—To 1876.
New Government—New Pacific Railway Act—Qu'Appelle Treaty-Organization of
North-west Council—Inter-Colonial Railway.
Chapter XLII.—Vice-Royalty of the Marquis of Lorne.
New Conservative Government—Arrival of Marquis of Lorne—The National
Policy - Pacific Railway Syndicate.
Chapter XLIII.—Vice-Royalty of the Marquis of Landsdowne.
Red River Rebellion- Completion of Canadian Pacific Railway—The Queen s
Pronunciation of Proper Names
History of Canadian
- British Regime
The Fur Traders and the
Literature of the North-West
Early Colonial Writers
Writers on the Constitution, The E.U. Loyalists,
and The War of 1812
Works Descriptive, Industrial and Social
Canada and its
In 22 volumes and Index
It is now my intention to bring you
each week one of these volumes to read. This publication is a
massive story of the history of Canada and its Provinces. It is thus a
rich store of knowledge that you can scan, dip into or read in detail.
SELDOM in the history of
a nation has there been such rapid economic development as Canada has
enjoyed during the last two decades. Within that time the Dominion has
felt the throb of a new industrial life from ocean to ocean. Railroads
have opened up to the settler vast stretches of fertile soil.
Immigration has proceeded vigorously, and the country has received a
large influx of population from both Europe and the Ur ted States. Wide
tracts of prairie land, which twenty years ago were uninhabited and
which appalled the traveller by their unbroken solitude, are now dotted
with the buildings of the settler. Cities and towns have sprung up, as
in a night, equipped with the conveniences of modem civilization. The
increase in the production of gold and silver has been no less
phenomenal—the fame of the Yukon and of the Cobalt region has gone all
over the world. From Sydney on the Atlantic to Prince Rupert on the
Pacific the signs of rapid advancement are everywhere visible. Vacant
lands are being settled, mineral resources exploited, great rivers
bridged and mountains scaled or tunnelled. The shifting of population
from the older and historic settlements to the new sections and from
rural districts to urban centres is also a feature of the present
situation. While European nations have been devoting much of their
energy to navies and armies, Canada has been concentrating all her
forces on the conquest of nature for the use of man
But, in the enthusiasm of
commercial and industrial activity, of increasing wealth and population,
it is not to be forgotten that the national character is not moulded
exclusively by economic causes. Flung over an enormous geographic range,
the Canadian communities are not yet bound together by continuity of
settlement. There remain differences of environment, of local interest,
of language and race. Under such conditions the danger of sectionalism,
In spite of material success, is greatly to be feared, unless this
destructive tendency is met by the positive and constructive idea of the
To the end that a broad
national spirit should prevail in all parts of the Dominion, it is
desirable that a sound knowledge of Canada as a whole, of its history,
traditions and standards of life, should be diffused among its citizens,
and especially among the immigrants who are peopling the new lands.
Commercial and industrial ambition, so strong a motive in every new
country, will naturally lead men to inform themselves concerning its
business advantages, but mere wealth-making is not the chief essential
of citizenship. Good citizenship grows out of a patriotic interest in
the institutions of one's country and a sympathy with the people who
dwell there. Such interest and sympathy are possible in large measure
only to those who are familiar with their country’s past. Now, Canada’s
past, though brief compared with that of the Motherland or other
European countries, is full of interest, instruction, and even romance.
The story of the early centuries is fascinating and dramatic. It has its
conspicuous examples of high endeavour and brave accomplishment—such as
the heart of youth always delights in—in defence, in business
enterprise, in education, in religion and in statecraft. Without
exaggerating its favourable features or minimizing or ignoring those
that are less attractive, the record of the stages through which
Canada’s Various provinces have passed, from the state of nature in,
which they were found by the first European explorers and settlers to
the. present condition of civilization, may be so presented as to awaken
not only the interest but the patriotic pride of every intelligent
citizen. With this story every Canadian should be acquainted, both for
his own enlightenment and for the good of the state.
The work which is here
presented to the public has been planned and undertaken on a
comprehensive scale, both in the sense that it covers the entire history
of Canada and its provinces, and in the sense that those who write
represent all parts of the Dominion and their more or less diverse
points of view. The range of facts is so wide and the topics so various
and complex that no one author could possibly compass them. The work,
therefore, has been apportioned among many writers, each of whom has
some special sympathy and aptitude for the topic with which he deals. In
adopting this co-operative plan the Editors have followed not merely the
logic of their theme, but the practice of modern historians in other and
The co-operative method,
while involving the Editors in some difficulties, has obvious advantages
to the reader. Although two or more writers may deal with the same event
or personality, they do so from different angles, and what sometimes
appears to be duplication serves to clarify a complex situation by
presenting; from more than one point of view. A financial measure, for
instance, having as a direct object the raising of revenue, is dealt
with in that aspect by the writer on public finance. But the same
measure in its course through parliament may have proved the occasion of
a political crisis; in that phase it is treated by one of the writers
dealing with political history. The measure may also have affected
domestic trade or foreign trade relations, raising questions for the
consideration of a ti >rd writer whose subject is economic history. From
each of the three standpoints new light is given, and a comprehensive
view of the whole matter is thus afforded.
The plan of the work
embraces twelve main divisions or sections as follows:
I. New France, 1534-1760
II. British Dominion,1760-1840
III. United Canada, 1840-1867
IV. The Dominion: Political Evolution
V. The Dominion : Industrial Expansion
VI. The Dominion : Missions, Arts and Letters
VII. The Atlantic Provinces
VIII. The Province of Quebec
IX. The Province of Ontario
X. The Prairie Provinces
XI. The Pacific Provinces
XII. Documentary Notes
It will be observed that
these titles indicate two distinct classes of history—one general or
national, and the other local or provincial. A recital here of all the
considerations which led the Editors to adopt this system would be of
little service to the reader. It is enough to say that the Editors
arrived at its method after much study and experiment, and that in their
judgment it appears to be the only way in which a complete historical
survey can be made of the Canadian people and their institutions.
Broadly, the first six sections cover New France, the two Canadas,
United Canada, and the Dominion. The topics treated in the five
provincial sections may be generalized as (1) Pioneer Settlement, (2)
Provincial Political History since Confederation, (3) Provincial and
Municipal Government, (4) Education, and (5) Resources. In general it
may be said that all matters of Canadian history not covered by one of
these heads are to be looked for in the first six sections, although
there are necessarily deviations from this rule. The pre-Confederation
history of the Atlantic Provinces, for instance, has little connection
with that of the Canadas, and it is therefore given in the provincial
section. The same is true of British Columbia.
Although the normal
historical order is followed as closely as possible, the work is
arranged on topical rather than on chronological lines. This makes it
possible and convenient to institute comparisons, if desired, between
one province and another in the same matter. Thus it will be seen that
the work may serve the reader in a variety of ways: (1) as a general
history of Canada, (2) as a special history of any one of the provinces,
(3) as a comparative history of similar institutions in the different
provinces, or (4) as an independent study of any leading historical
topic relating to Canada. For specific events or facts the General Index
will supply a full and ready guide. The Documentary Notes in the final
volume will traverse the text of the narratives and cite authorities.
The average citizen
cannot be expected to know the story of his country in every detail, but
he should know its outstanding events, personalities and tendencies,
while those who are creating and guiding public; opinion should have at
their command at all times the fullest possible information for use as
each new occasion may demand. With knowledge, the prejudice and
narrowness of sectionalism give way to an enlightened patriotism which
vibrates to the sentiment of nationality and holds high above all else
the welfare of the whole commonwealth. For these and other reasons the
preparation of a comprehensive history of Canada at the present time may
be regarded as a contribution to the development of the Dominion.
volumes will be added one a week until complete.
New France (1534 to
Volume 1 - Section I
Volume 2 - Section I
British Dominion (1760 to 1840)
Volume 3 - Section II
Volume 4 - Section II
United Canada (1840 to 1867)
Volume 5 - Section III
The Dominion: Political Evolution
Volume 6 - Section IV
Volume 7 - Section IV
Volume 8 - Section IV
The Dominion: Industrial Expansion
Volume 9 - Section V
Volume 10 - Section V
The Dominion: Missions, Arts and
Volume 11 - Section VI
Volume 12 - Section VI
The Atlantic Provinces
Volume 13 - Section VII
Volume 14 - Section VII
The Province of Quebec
Volume 15 - Section VIII
Volume 16 - Section VIII
The Province of Ontario
Volume 17 - Section IX
Volume 18 - Section IX
The Prairie Provinces
Volume 19 - Section X
Volume 20 - Section X
The Pacific Province
Volume 21 - Section XI
Volume 22 - Section XI
Documentary Notes and General
Volume 23 - Section XII
Chronicles of Canada
These little books were designed to cover Canadian history in a
scholarly and readable fashion. These are available for download and
also in audio format at
The Great North-West
And the Great Lake Region of North America by Paul Fountain (1904) (pdf)
Canadian History Videos
This is a series of 17 x 1 hour and 40
minute videos about the history of Canada produced by the CBC and
available on YouTube and other sites. We have a link to the first in the