MP-0000.223 | Huron-Wendat group from Wendake (Lorette) at Spencerwood, Quebec City, QC, 1880

Huron-Wendat group from Wendake (Lorette) at Spencerwood, Quebec City, QC, 1880
Jules-Ernest Livernois
February 11, 1880, 19th century
Silver salts on paper - Albumen process
24 x 31 cm
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Ethnology (606) , Native people (373) , Photograph (77678)
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Keys to History

In February 1880, a delegation from Lorette paid a visit to Spencerwood, the home of the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec. Grand Chief Paul Tahourenché addressed the new Lieutenant Governor, Mr. Théodore Robitaille, in Huron-Wendat, then in French. His words were printed in L'Opinion publique of March 11, 1880:

"The day is fine, the rays of the distant sun beat down, warming the hearts of your children. For some time our warriors and our hunters have noticed on the hill a tree whose crown already reaches above the other trees... We extend our greetings to you and to those who share not only the work but also the pleasures of your wigwam... However, we did not want to come here with open hands, knowing that yours also are open, without offering you a gift that will warm your heart when your eyes alight on it, a souvenir of your humble and devoted children of the forest."

The Grand Chief, along with Christine Gros-Louis, presented the Lieutenant Governor and his wife with a pair of snowshoes. Then, following a light meal, there was singing and dancing. Mr. Livernois, of Livernois Studios, took this photograph, and the festivities went on until 5 o'clock.

  • What

    The first Lieutenant Governor of Quebec during the French Regime was Louis D'Ailleboust, a native of Coulonge, France. He owned a vast domain called La châtellenie de Coulonge. In 1676, the Seminary in Quebec City purchased it, before selling it in 1780 to Henry Watson Powell. The property was sold in 1811 to Michael Henry Perceval, who named it Spencerwood. In 1860, a fire destroyed the house, but it was rebuilt two years later. In 1870, Spencerwood was sold to the Province of Quebec and became the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor.

  • Where

    This is Spencerwood, home of the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec. The property is now known as Bois de Coulonge. Since 1996, this Quebec City property has belonged to the Commission de la capitale nationale du Québec.

  • When

    It was in February 1880 that the then Lieutenant Governor, Mr. Théodore Robitaille, held a celebration at his home, Spencerwood, in honour of his appointment as Lieutenant Governor.

  • Who

    This photograph shows a delegation from Lorette made up of 30 warriors and women, dressed in their finest garments, during a visit to Spencerwood, home of the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec.