Keywords:
 
 Include images of partners







Canadiana Collection (C002)

Telegram from John LaMountain (detail), 1859. Gift of J. B. Learmont, Canadiana Collection C002, M15838 © McCord Museum

The first hot air balloon flight in Canada

"Ottawa, Oct 3, 1859.

To Troy Daily Times, NY.

I am safe but have lost all. We landed 300 miles from Watertown in the great Canada wilderness. Four days without food. Brought out by Indian guides and canoes. Inform my wife
LaMountain"

Leaving Watertown, New York, on September 22, 1859, for a short flight aboard the Atlantic, journalist John Haddock and balloonist John LaMountain unwitt ingly embarked on one of the longest rides in a hot air balloon, becoming the first men to fly over Canada.

At the time, balloon flights were generating incredible interest in Europe and the United States. A technical and scientific feat, such flights were also attractive because they offered new opportunities for communications and reconnaissance. Installing a telegraph wire between a tethered balloon and the ground enabled precious military information to be quickly transmitted. Somewhat ironically, LaMountain advocated for the free flight of observation balloons, while his rival, Professor Lowe, used tethered balloons. It was, however, the unpredictability of his free-flying balloon that led him to write this telegram, a brief account of an incredibly risky misadventure that lasted nearly two weeks.


C002 Canadiana Collection. - 1763-1991. - 109 cm of textual records and other material.

Scope and Content

The Canadiana Collection documents milestones in the history of Canada from its time under British rule up to Canadian Confederation, as well as a number of major political, economic, military, religious and cultural figures from the era. Given its geographical range and content, this collection is a valuable account of the country's social evolution between the 18th and 20th centuries.

The collection includes over 1,000 manuscripts and printed documents, most written in English and dating from 1800 to 1930. The majority are original documents, with thirty or so having been produced between 1763 and 1791. The collection also includes several photocopies of rare materials and contemporary accounts of Montreal's history. There are financial and legal documents (receipts, deeds of sale, contracts, wills, court decisions), official and private correspondence, and several diaries, booklets, typescripts and press clippings. The collection also contains photographs and objects from the early 20th century.

Variations in title: Formerly known as the Canadian Manuscripts collection.

Source of title proper: Based on the contents of the collection.

Physical description: The collection also contains 4 plans, 8 photographs, 1 badge, 2 leather cases and 1 copying book.

Immediate source of acquisition: The documents in this collection have various origins. Some came from the original collection of David Ross McCord, while others were donated by individuals or collectors.

Arrangement: The documents were originally described individually or by file, with no formal classification. A new classification plan was adopted in 2016, and the documents in the collection were reclassified and integrated accordingly. As part of this process, several documents were added to the School Work (C145), New France (C003), North America (C004), Great Britain - 18th and 19th Centuries (C005) and Non-Canadian Manuscripts (C006) collections.

Language: The documents are in English and French.

Associated material: Université de Montréal, Rare Books and Special Collections Division: Collection David M.-Lank

Accruals: Further accruals are expected.

Related groups of records: Other documents related to the Canadiana Collection are preserved in the School Work (C145), New France (C003), North America (C004), Great Britain - 18th and 19th Centuries (C005), Non-Canadian Manuscripts (C006) and William Notman & Son Photographic Studio (C343) collections, and in the McCord Family (P001), Drummond Family (P015), Stevens Family (P020), Sir George Murray (P206), Berthelot Family (P683) and Le Moine Family (P761) fonds.


The collection is divided into the following series, subseries and files:

  • C002/A Province of Quebec. - 1763-1798. - 8 cm of textual records.
  • Scope and Content: This series pertains to the political, military and social lives of British and French colonists between 1763 and 1791. In particular, it chronicles trade, land negotiations with the Aboriginals, debates about Montreal seigniories and slavery. In addition, this series contains letters about the military attack on Thomas Walker, a proclamation parchment issued by William Johnston and several receipts and genealogies of famous figures of the day.

    Source of title proper: Based on the administrative source of the documents.

    Physical condition: Some documents are crumbling. There are missing and torn pages.

    Language: The documents are in English and French.

  • C002/B Upper Canada and Lower Canada. - 1792-1848. - 31 cm of textual records.
  • Scope and Content: This series describes the political, military and economic organization of the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada and the social changes of the era. In particular, it chronicles the timber and fur trades, the emergence of political parties and professional orders. There are documents about the Rebellions of 1838, Louis-Joseph Papineau, the Fire Club of Montreal, the Humane Society and McGill University's Faculty of Medicine. Among other things, this series is composed of negotiable instruments, banknotes, correspondence, including that of poet Thomas Moore, and personal documents.

    Source of title proper: Based on the administrative source of the documents.

    Physical condition: Some letters are falling apart.

    Language: The documents are in English and French, but primarily in English.

  • C002/C United Province of Canada. - 1844-1910. - 20 cm of textual records.
  • Scope and Content: This series documents the gradual transformation of Canadian society in the mid-19th century. In particular, it chronicles advances in the arts and sciences, economic development, French Canadians in the West and the influence of men of letters like George Henry Murray. Among other things, this series is composed of military and civil certificates, telegrams, estate records, poems and correspondence.

    Source of title proper: Based on the administrative source of the documents.

    Physical condition: Some documents are crumbling. There are missing and torn pages.

    Language: The documents are in English and French, but primarily in English.

  • C002/D Canada. - 1813-1991. - 50 cm of textual records.
  • Scope and Content: This series documents milestones of Canadian history in the early days of Confederation. In particular, it chronicles the social conflicts that rocked Canadian society in the late 19th century and the growing importance of culture, which accompanied advancements in identity ideologies and religious conflicts. It also provides keys to Montreal's history in the form of essays by historians and numerous private archives recounting the activities and daily life of this era. Among other things, this series is composed of negotiable instruments, press clippings, diaries, typescripts and correspondence.

    Source of title proper: Based on the administrative source of the documents.

    Language: The documents are in English and French.

 

Last update: August 30, 2017