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The birth and torment of Miss Canada and Johnny Canuck, or the beginnings of the federation

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Introduction:

Michèle Dagenais, Université de Montréal, 2007

Creating the country called Canada was a great achievement. Many cartoonists of the era personified the difficulties faced by the new country in the characters Miss Canada and Johnny Canuck, or Young Canada. Among the challenges were uniting in one nation people from many different worlds and traditions, linking a huge and virtually unsettled land mass, and affirming Canada's sovereignty in the face of an already powerful neighbour to the south.

Once Canada became a reality (1867), the country encountered other major challenges. The first was expanding its borders from coast to coast and integrating the vast territories of northern Quebec and Ontario as well as those stretching west to the Rockies. Intent on maintaining its presence in North America through its colony, Great Britain assisted Canada in acquiring Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territory. And British Columbia's elite had to be convinced to join Confederation. By promising to build a transcontinental railway, government officials, led by John A. Macdonald (1815-1891), overcame the reluctance of both westerners and easterners who feared being swallowed up by Canada.

The fear of American expansionism, heightened by the U.S.'s purchase of Alaska (1867), was another reason for the urgent need to link and develop the immense land over which Canada dreamt of claiming dominion. Yet another was the need for business to get access to raw materials and establish national markets where Canadian products could circulate and find buyers.

While the need for these projects was great, so was the reluctance of Canadians to undertake them, particularly French Canadians. Confederation had created two levels of government, federal and provincial. Quebec therefore had institutions to deal with local issues, based on its customs and traditions, but French Canadians feared losing their influence in the big, new country where anglophones were the majority. For their part, the Maritime provinces, which were dependent on international trade and fishing, remained unconvinced that federal government policies intended to boost manufacturing and settle the West would help them. And what of those living in the North-Western Territory, the Métis and Aboriginals, who had been swept into the nation without even being consulted?

In a few more years Canada would stretch from sea to sea; by 1873, however, it already had seven provinces. While geographic expansion would mean the fulfillment of the nation-builders' dreams, political unity would prove more elusive.


M993X.5.1039
© McCord Museum
Print
Canada
Anonyme - Anonymous
July 30,1870, 19th century
Ink on Newsprint - Leggotype
18.3 x 21 cm
M993X.5.1039
© McCord Museum

Keys to History:

Canada was born shortly after the end of the American Civil War (1861-1865). At the time, the United States had a very strong army. In Canada and Great Britain many people feared that the Americans were hoping to enlarge their country by annexing Canada. This fear was a central factor in the type of federation and constitution adopted by Canada.

With Confederation (1867) it became imperative for the new country to establish its borders, especially those to the north and west, to confront the threat of U.S. expansion. It was in this context that Canada set out in 1869 to acquire Rupert's Land (made up of part of present-day northern Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and all of Manitoba). But in the Red River Colony (present-day Manitoba), the Métis were upset that they had not been consulted and feared losing their rights. Led by Louis Riel (1844-1885), they organized a rebellion that slowed Canada's expansionist project. Hoping to take advantage of this instability, partisans on both sides of the border lobbied for the United States to instead acquire Rupert's Land. But the Canadian government managed to bring an end to the crisis by negotiating with Riel's provisionary government.

This cartoon was published in July 1870, when Canada finally took possession of Rupert's Land. As it suggests, these were Canada's first steps as a nation.

What:

This cartoon suggests that the United States wanted to take possession of Canada. It also shows Great Britain, which still had close ties to its former North American colonies, recently united in Confederation.

Where:

Canada was then made up of the provinces of Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and, after 1870, also of Manitoba and the North-West Territories.

When:

The cartoon was published in July 1870, when Canada took possession of Rupert's Land following the Red River Rebellion. This was just three years after the birth of Canada, in 1867.

Who:

In this cartoon Canada, just three years old, is depicted as a child. Great Britain is represented as Mother Britannia, holding out her protective arms. Uncle Sam, representing the United States, stands on the other side, ready to "grab" the child if it falls.

M994X.5.273.150
© McCord Museum
Print
Confederation ! The Much-Fathered Youngster
John Wilson Bengough
1886, 19th century
Ink on newsprint - Photoengraving
31.5 x 25.3 cm
Gift of Dr. Raymond Boyer
M994X.5.273.150
© McCord Museum

Keys to History:

Artist John Wilson Bengough (1851-1923) first published this cartoon in 1876 in his satirical weekly, Grip. The cartoon depicts some of the politicians known as the "founding fathers" of Canada arguing over who deserves credit for giving "birth" to the fledgling "Confederation". In fact, over thirty-three men participated in the political conferences that led to the forming of the nation in 1867. This group was guided by the vision of the Great Coalition, an alliance of politicians from Canada East (Quebec) and Canada West (Ontario) that took its framework for a British North American federation to the maritime colonies and made the concessions needed to strike a deal. Interestingly, the political cartoonist does not depict a single representative from Canada East, overlooking the vital contribution of Sir George-Étienne Cartier who made the Great Coalition possible by including Quebec in the process.

What:

The caricatures represent (from left to right) George Brown, Sir Francis Hincks, William McDougall and Sir John A. Macdonald. The four surround a young child named "Confederation" who holds the "Union Act" in his hand. The captions read:

Brown: Come to your genewine poppy!

Hincks: I'm the Father of Confederation.

McDougall: Gracious! Me own cheiled don't know me!

Macdonald: Don't it recognize its real daddy?

Where:

Representatives of the various governments, as well as opposition members, met in 1864 at the Charlottetown Conference and then at the Quebec Conference. Finally, in 1866 when the deal had been approved by four of the colonies, several of the leaders met in London where Confederation was realized through the British North America (BNA) Act which took effect on July 1, 1867.

When:

In 1876, when this cartoon was first published, the new Dominion of Canada was rapidly expanding. The vast territory of Rupert's Land had been purchased, and Manitoba, British Columbia and Prince Edward Island had entered Confederation in 1870, 1871 and 1873 respectively.

Who:

Artist John Wilson Bengough (1851-1923) edited and published the Grip in Toronto from 1873 to 1892. Bengough's cartoons about 19th century politics were prominently featured in the Grip alongside puns, jokes and satire.

M930.50.6.6
© McCord Museum
Drawing - sketch
The Dominion of Canada
John Henry Walker (1831-1899)
1867, 19th century
28.1 x 22.4 cm
Gift of Mr. David Ross McCord
M930.50.6.6
© McCord Museum

M993X.5.846
© McCord Museum
Print
The chip of the old block
F. J. Willson
August 19,1882, 19th century
Ink on newsprint - Photolithography
39.8 x 27.2 cm
M993X.5.846
© McCord Museum

M994X.5.273.37
© McCord Museum
Print
The Happy Pair
A. P. Inglis
1886, 19th century
Ink on newsprint - Photoengraving
31.5 x 25.3 cm
Gift of Dr. Raymond Boyer
M994X.5.273.37
© McCord Museum

Keys to History:

Hon. Joseph Howe had relinquished his efforts in favor of the Repeal of Confederation after the rejection of the petition sent to England by the Nova Scotians, and had expressed a formal acceptance of the Union, prior to becoming a member of the Dominion Cabinet. This was exceedingly distasteful to his former Repeal allies in Nova Scotia, two of whom, Messrs. Wilkins and Annand, are represented in the cartoon. Mr. Howe's change of base was attributed to self interest in some quarters; the artist in turn assigns jealousy as the motive of his opponents. (Excerpt from: Bengough, John Wilson. A Caricature History of Canadian Politics: Events from the Union of 1841, as Illustrated by Cartoons from "Grip", and Various Other Sources. Toronto: The Grip Printing and Publishing Co, 1886.)

Cartoon originally published in Diogenes, March 26th, 1869


First published in March 1869, this cartoon illustrates an important political change that was taking place in Nova Scotia. Joseph Howe (1804-1873), one of the most influential leaders of the province's anti-Confederation movement, had just switched sides to join Prime Minister John A. Macdonald's federal party.

Howe is depicted kneeling in front of Sir John A. Macdonald like a man kneeling before his new bride. Given the Nova Scotian's reluctance to concede defeat of the anti-confederation movement, Macdonald had scored a political tour de force by persuading Howe to join the ranks of his federal party in 1868. He promised him more money for Nova Scotia as well as a seat in his cabinet.

In this cartoon, the two men portrayed whispering behind Howe and Macdonald had, not long before, fought alongside Howe in opposition to the Confederation project. The men appear frustrated and jealous that Howe changed camps and won election into federal politics.

What:

This cartoon first appeared in the humour magazine Diogenes, published in Montreal between 1868 and 1870 by engraver and designer John Henry Walker (1831-1899).

Where:

The cabinet is the political body in charge of defining the government's policies and priorities. It also provides a link between the legislative and executive branches of government.

When:

When this engraving was published, Joseph Howe had just entered the Dominion's cabinet as president of the Privy Council.

Who:

William Annand (1808-1887) and Martin Isaac Wilkins (1804-1881), the two men shown whispering behind Joseph Howe, fought against Confederation in Nova Scotia. The first of the two men, William Annand, was owner of the Morning Chronicle newspaper that published Joseph Howe's Botheration Letters (1865), an anonymous series of articles denouncing the Confederation project.


M994X.5.273.63
© McCord Museum
Print
John Canuck's New Road
Edward Jump
1886, 19th century
Ink on newsprint - Photoengraving
25.3 x 31.5 cm
Gift of Dr. Raymond Boyer
M994X.5.273.63
© McCord Museum

Keys to History:

Great dissatisfaction was expressed in the Maritime Provinces at the rejection of the St. John Valley route for the Intercolonial Railway. The change to the route subsequently selected- a much longer and costlier one- was made as the result of a conference with the Imperial authorities by Sir F. Hincks and Hon. Mr. Chandler, of New Brunswick. The contemplated expense of the road was a matter of serious concern, however, to all the Provinces. (Excerpt from: Bengough, John Wilson. A Caricature History of Canadian Politics: Events from the Union of 1841, as Illustrated by Cartoons from "Grip", and Various Other Sources. Toronto: The Grip Printing and Publishing Co, 1886.)

Cartoon originally published in Canadian Illustrated News, May 11th, 1872

What:

Where:

When:

Who:


M982.530.5325
© McCord Museum
Print
The Intercolonial Railway Policy. A-brydge-ment of a speech recently delivered at Halifax
Henri Julien
September 30,1876, 19th century
Ink on paper - Photolithography
39.3 x 28 cm
M982.530.5325
© McCord Museum

M994X.5.273.53
© McCord Museum
Print
From Halifax to Vancouver
Anonyme - Anonymous
1886, 19th century
Ink on newsprint - Photoengraving
31.5 x 25.3 cm
Gift of Dr. Raymond Boyer
M994X.5.273.53
© McCord Museum

Keys to History:

In 1869 Canada was planning to extend its territories westward. At the time the country's leaders, and the industrialists they had links to, were eager to build an efficient transportation system. The construction of railways was in fact central to the success of Confederation. But Canada's southern neighbour, the United States, seemed poised to block Canadian expansion by taking possession of the West. In 1869 it had just finished building one transcontinental railway and was planning to build another closer to the Canadian border. In addition, two years earlier, it had purchased Alaska, on the northwest edge of the continent.

On the West Coast, some Europeans living in the colony of British Columbia saw the annexion of their territory to the United States as a logical next step. Others who wanted to join Canada realized that Canada's acquisition in 1869 of Rupert's Land (comprising part of present-day northern Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and all of Manitoba) constituted a powerful argument in their favour. The Dominion of Canada was right at their doorstep!

In this cartoon, Miss Canada tells her southern cousin, Brother Jonathan, about her plan to extend her territory west to British Columbia in order to unite the colony with the rest of the country by a railway.

What:

Canada dreamt of occupying the whole continent, from sea to sea, and linking all the provinces with a railway. Canada would thus forestall its powerful southern neighbour, which already had a transcontinental railway.

Where:

In this cartoon the mountains behind Miss Canada suggest that the fictional scene takes place in the West, at the foot of the Rocky Mountains.

When:

In 1869 Canada's transcontinental railway was no more than a plan. It was not until the summer of 1870 that the leaders of the colony of British Columbia agreed to join Confederation on the condition that a railway would be built to serve their province.

Who:

Miss Canada personifies Canadian Confederation, made up of four provinces in 1869. Brother Jonathan represents the United States, which had a much larger population than Canada.

M994X.5.273.42
© McCord Museum
Print
A Pertinent Question
Anonyme - Anonymous
1886, 19th century
Ink on newsprint - Photoengraving
31.5 x 25.3 cm
Gift of Dr. Raymond Boyer
M994X.5.273.42
© McCord Museum

Keys to History:

The American Civil War raged from 1861 to 1865. When it ended, the United States of America had a very strong army and many people feared that it planned to conquer Britain's remaining colonies in North America.

Although support for the project of Canadian Confederation wasn't unanimous, the threat of American expansionism constituted a strong argument in its favour. So in the negotiations leading up to Confederation in 1867, those involved made sure that the new country would be a stronger and more centralized federation than the United States.

At the outset Canada comprised four provinces that were planning to build a railway to link them. Canada also wanted to extend its borders westward and northward, and, in 1869, it negotiated the purchase from the Hudson's Bay Company of a large territory around Hudson Bay known as Rupert's Land. This cartoon, published two years after Confederation, shows that the annexation by the United States was still a major issue in Canada.

What:

The annexation of Canada to the United States was a very popular topic among cartoonists in the post-Confederation period. Both the Dominion of Canada and Great Britain were very concerned about it.

Where:

This scene, which takes place in a fictional setting, brings together characters representing three countries: Great Britain, Canada and the United States.

When:

This cartoon was published in Montreal in June 1869 in the satirical, English-language weekly Diogenes, which was published from 1868 to 1870.

Who:

In this cartoon Mother Britannia (representing Great Britain) asks Miss Canada (personifying Canada) if she gave her cousin Brother Jonathan (the United States) reason to believe she'd marry him. Miss Canada assures her she did not.

M993X.5.782
© McCord Museum
Print
Setting the task, 1875
I.J. Pranishnikoff
February 6,1875, 19th century
Ink on newsprint - Photolithography
39.8 x 28 cm
M993X.5.782
© McCord Museum

M987.253.480
© McCord Museum
Print (photomechanical)
North America
H. Belden Co. (Publisher - éditeur)
1881, 19th century
Ink and coloured ink on paper - Chromolithography
39.2 x 32.6 cm
Gift of Mr. Colin McMichael
M987.253.480
© McCord Museum

M993X.5.1010
© McCord Museum
Print
The East welcomes the West. Presentation of B. C. representatives to Sir John A.
Edward Jump
May 11,1872, 19th century
Ink on newsprint - Photolithography
21.8 x 21.1 cm
M993X.5.1010
© McCord Museum

M982.530.5083
© McCord Museum
Print
Mother Britannia.-"Cut her adrift, Eh ! How dare you ?
Anonyme - Anonymous
July 9,1870, 19th century
Ink on paper - Photolithography
28.6 x 40.2 cm
M982.530.5083
© McCord Museum

M993X.5.794
© McCord Museum
Print
A New Era of Railroading
Anonyme - Anonymous
July 29,1880, 19th century
Ink on newsprint - Photolithography
39.4 x 26.6 cm
M993X.5.794
© McCord Museum

Keys to History:

Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald (1815-1891) is portrayed here holding hands with what appears to be a likeness of Quebec Premier Sir Joseph-Adolphe Chapleau (1840-1898). The two seem rather content to show off their miniature locomotives as they, undoubtedly, contemplate the Canadian Pacific Railway plan in development at that time. Once built, the railway would stretch the country's transportation lines from Ontario to the Pacific coast. For the CPR to build a continuous line into Halifax, the federal government needed some of the existing railway that belonged to Chapleau's province of Quebec.

Through negotiations with Macdonald's Conservatives, British Columbia had secured a federal promise to complete the transcontinental railway as one of the principal conditions of it's entry into Confederation in 1871. By 1880, when this print was made, very little work had been done. The Canadian economy had slowed considerably in 1873, and Macdonald had yielded power to a Liberal government that was less interested in railroad development. As a result, construction on the CPR slowed to a halt.

Macdonald regained power in 1878. By the summer of 1880, there was an atmosphere of renewed optimism about Canadian markets and the Prime Minister was openly courting several bidders for the lucrative, albeit difficult, CPR railway contract. By fall, the contract was awarded to the CPR Syndicate, a group of Canadian capitalists led by George Stephen that would go on to complete the railway in 1885.

What:

This cartoon appeared in the Canadian Illustrated News (1869-1883) and its French counterpart, L'Opinion Publique (1870-1883). These illustrated weeklies were published in Montreal by George-Édouard Desbarats.

Where:

Sir John Alexander Macdonald had fallen from power in 1873 as a result of the Pacific Scandal. This time around, he was determined to have an open and public competition for the railway contract.

When:

The 1878 election returned Macdonald to power on a National Policy platform that included a proposal to construct the Canadian Pacific Railway. At the time of publication in July 1880, Prime Minister Macdonald was overseas in London courting bidders for the transcontinental railway contract.

Who:

Sir Joseph-Adolphe Chapleau was a lawyer, publisher, newspaper editor and politician. Chapleau was the Premier of Quebec from 1879 until 1882 when he joined Macdonald's federal cabinet. He served as Secretary of State until 1891.


M994X.5.260
© McCord Museum
Print
The Quebec railway policy: "All aboard for the West!"
Henri Julien
December 18,1875, 19th century
Ink on newsprint - Photolithography
28.2 x 39.7 cm
M994X.5.260
© McCord Museum

M994X.5.273.41
© McCord Museum
Print
Too Old to Be Caught with Chaff
John Henry Walker (1831-1899)
1886, 19th century
Ink on newsprint - Photoengraving
25.3 x 31.5 cm
Gift of Dr. Raymond Boyer
M994X.5.273.41
© McCord Museum

Keys to History:

This was intended as a tribute to the unquestionable loyalty of Sir John Macdonald, as opposed to the alleged annexation proclivities of Mr. Lucius Seth Huntington (afterwards Postmaster-General in the Mackenzie Government), and other prominent men in the Eastern townships district. (Excerpt from: Bengough, John Wilson. A Caricature History of Canadian Politics: Events from the Union of 1841, as Illustrated by Cartoons from "Grip", and Various Other Sources. Toronto: The Grip Printing and Publishing Co, 1886.)

Cartoon originally published in Diogenes, June 4th, 1869

What:

Where:

When:

Who:


M930.50.1.320
© McCord Museum
Engraving
D. McEwen & Son, Machine Engine and Boiler Works, Montreal
John Henry Walker (1831-1899)
1850-1885, 19th century
Ink on paper on supporting paper - Wood engraving
6.1 x 10.9 cm
Gift of Mr. David Ross McCord
M930.50.1.320
© McCord Museum

Keys to History:

In Canada, the phenomenon of industrialization was born in Montreal around the 1840s.

During the second half of the 19th century, most companies were in the sector of heavy industry, which comprised iron and steel industries making, among other things, stoves, utensils, tools, pipes, rails and motors. It also included factories specializing in the production of material for the railroads.

What:

Where:

When:

Who:


M979.87.5024
© McCord Museum
Print
Messrs Clendinning's Foundry-Moulding Shop
Anonyme - Anonymous
1872, 19th century
39 x 27 cm
Gift of Mr. Charles deVolpi
M979.87.5024
© McCord Museum

Keys to History:

The industrial revolution favoured the expansion of foundries. To meet needs and beat the competition, the foundries adopted new work methods, such as piecework and division of tasks.

The Clendinning foundry was in one of the first industrial and working-class neighbourhoods in Montreal, Griffintown. The population of this neighbourhood, not far from downtown, was mainly of Irish origin. Workers who could, lived close to their places of work.

After its enlargement, in 1872, this foundry became one of the biggest in Montreal with its 180 workers, of which 17% were less than 16 years old. In fact, the division of tasks permitted the company to hire unskilled workers to do simple tasks. Close to his workers, W. Clendinning was nevertheless demanding. In March 1872, he opposed a movement to reduce the workday from ten to nine hours.

What:

In 1872, the Clendinning foundry declared a monthly production of close to 5000 stoves and ranges, 1500 iron bed spindles and 2000 tons of railway material, construction material and agricultural equipment.

Where:

This moulding shop measured 100 x 106 feet (39.37 x 41.73 m). Among the new facilities built in 1872 was a reading room for the workers.

When:

Published on May 4, 1872 in the weekly Canadian Illustrated News, this illustration was made following the expansion work undertaken by the foundry in 1871.

Who:

This unsigned illustration could be by Eugène Haberer (1837-1921), a craftsman engraver who produced other images of this factory in the same paper.

M975.62.501
© McCord Museum
Print
The New Buildings of the C. W. Williams Manufacturing Company of Montreal
Eugene Haberer
1880, 19th century
Ink on paper - Photolithography
21.4 x 34.2 cm
Gift of Mr. Charles deVolpi
M975.62.501
© McCord Museum

Keys to History:

The industrialization that began in the 1840s along the banks of the Lachine Canal continued with the building of the railway and of the Victoria Bridge. (...)
After 1856, when the Montreal-Toronto line was opened, industries continued to locate along the Lachine Canal rather than along the railway. Only slowly did this trend change. The Moseley industrial tannery was built in 1859-1860 at the junction of the railway and the canal on the Saint-Henri side. During the 1860s and 1870s more companies established themselves where they could use both systems of transport, near to both the canal and the stations. They could thus bring in raw materials and send out finished products by the railway or the Lachine Canal.
In 1879 the William's sewing-machine factory opened in Saint-Henri, in an unbuilt-up area very close to the railway.

What:

Where:

When:

Who:


M984.306.512
© McCord Museum
Print
A young Canadian worker
Eugene Haberer
1877, 19th century
Ink on paper - Photoengraving
37.8 x 27.5 cm
Gift of Mr. Colin McMichael
M984.306.512
© McCord Museum

Keys to History:

According to the entry accompanying this image, the young worker pictured here was a machinist and engineer. In other words, his job was to "assemble and operate" machines. The workshop in this print appears to manufacture tools and machinery. In 1867, there were between 30 and 40 factories in Canada devoted to this type of manufacturing.

The industrialization that began in Canada in the mid-19th century was characterized by the introduction of machine tools in the workplace. With their arrival came the need for the hands-on expertise of specialized machine assemblers and operators.

At the time, these specialists stood at the top of the working ladder and, because of their qualifications, were generally well paid. By way of comparison, the wages of specialized workers would sometimes be twice those of a day labourer, or unskilled worker.

If the individual in this print was, in fact, an engineer, he might have acquired his skills at a university, since Canadian universities had already been offering engineering courses for a few years. McGill University, for example, began offering engineering programs in 1856. The University of Toronto began its programs in 1873.

What:

The accompanying text is from the Montreal weekly L'Opinion publique, January 11, 1877 edition : "The subject of this sketch is a young engineer and the scene is a workshop in which he is employed as a machinist and engineer. Those who know him say that the young engineer is a very fair likeness of himself and also that the surroundings are good. His name is James McDonald and he resides at Collingwood."

Where:

Collingwood is located in Ontario, on the shores of Georgian Bay.

When:

Since 1850, the tools and machines of industry were increasingly made in factories rather than forges or small workshops.

Who:

Prior to the 19th century, the title of engineer was generally reserved for the military. During the 19th century, engineering practice expanded into society at large, giving rise to various specializations including electrical and mining engineering.

M930.50.7.469
© McCord Museum
Print
Blacksmith's Shop
J. Goulden
1850-1899, 19th century
Ink on paper on supporting paper - Wood engraving
8.4 x 7.8 cm
Gift of Mr. David Ross McCord
M930.50.7.469
© McCord Museum

Keys to History:

In the space of just a few decades, recreational opportunities in Canadian cities grew to include a variety of attractions and a wide range of new pursuits and sports, but to enjoy them, people had to have time. During much of the 19th century, wageworkers fought for shorter workdays, but improvements were slow to come. In the 1860s and 1870s, workweeks easily ran to 60 or 70 hours, at a rate of 10 to 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. Some, such as stevedores and typesetters, were privileged and worked only 9 hours a day, while workers in places like sawmills and bakeries put in 12 to 15 hours. This left little time for leisure pursuits.

References
Bruce Kidd, The Struggle for Canadian Sports (Toronto: Toronto University Press, 1996), pp. 17-19.

What:

The workers' demands for better conditions included a reduction in working hours that would allow them time to take advantage of the growing array of leisure activities.

Where:

The work world saw radical change in the 19th century. The rise of large industries led to the disappearance of handcrafting and the standardization of working conditions for wageworkers.

When:

Workers were prohibited from forming unions until 1872, which made it hard to enforce their demands.

Who:

In an effort to introduce a new working discipline suited to the requirements of industrial production, factory managers and owners closely monitored employee hours and freely imposed fines for missteps.

M993X.5.825
© McCord Museum
Print
A game of see-saw
Edward Jump
May 4,1872, 19th century
Ink on newsprint - Photolithography
40 x 28 cm
M993X.5.825
© McCord Museum

M994X.5.273.60
© McCord Museum
Print
Extremes Meet
John Henry Walker (1831-1899)
1886, 19th century
Ink on newsprint - Photoengraving
31.5 x 25.3 cm
Gift of Dr. Raymond Boyer
M994X.5.273.60
© McCord Museum

Keys to History:

The Half-breeds of Manitoba were in rebellion under the leadership of Louis Riel, on account of their alleged rights having been ignored in the bargain with the Hudson Bay Company. They demanded compensation for the land assumed by the Dominion. The artist cites this as a parallel to the position assumed by Mr. Howe on behalf of Nova Scotia, when "better terms" were demanded, and secured. (Excerpt from: Bengough, John Wilson. A Caricature History of Canadian Politics: Events from the Union of 1841, as Illustrated by Cartoons from "Grip", and Various Other Sources. Toronto: The Grip Printing and Publishing Co, 1886.)

Cartoon originally published in Grinchuckle, January 27th, 1870

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M994X.5.273.34
© McCord Museum
Print
Cross Roads. Shall We Go to Washington First, or How (e) ?
John Henry Walker (1831-1899)
1886, 19th century
Ink on newsprint - Photoengraving
25.3 x 31.5 cm
Gift of Dr. Raymond Boyer
M994X.5.273.34
© McCord Museum

Keys to History:

Dr. (now Sir) Chas. Tupper was a warm advocate of Confederation, and did more than any other public man to induce his native Province, Nova Scotia (Acadia), to enter the Union in 1867. Hon. Joseph Howe, a much greater statesman than Tupper, and a man of vast influence, was amongst the opponents of the measure in question, and was suspected of a preference for annexation to the United States. In the cartoon the Province is represented as halting between the two opinions, and the loyal artist takes pains to point out that the advantages are all in the way that leads "to Ottawa." (Excerpt from: Bengough, John Wilson. A Caricature History of Canadian Politics: Events from the Union of 1841, as Illustrated by Cartoons from "Grip", and Various Other Sources. Toronto: The Grip Printing and Publishing Co, 1886.)

Cartoon originally published in Diogenes, November 20th, 1868

What:

Where:

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M987.253.405
© McCord Museum
Print (photomechanical)
Map Showing the Canadian Pacific Railway
H. Belden Co. (Publisher - éditeur)
1881, 19th century
Ink and coloured ink on paper - Chromolithography
9.5 x 29.2 cm
Gift of Mr. Colin McMichael
M987.253.405
© McCord Museum

M17258
© McCord Museum
Print
Parliament Buildings, Quebec
Anonyme - Anonymous
1850-1875, 19th century
21 x 25.5 cm
M17258
© McCord Museum

M988.182.271
© McCord Museum
Print
Canada, the Comic Opera
Henri Julien
March 4,1880, 19th century
Ink on newsprint - Photolithography
39.6 x 27.1 cm
Gift of Mr. Colin McMichael
M988.182.271
© McCord Museum

M930.50.1.93
© McCord Museum
Engraving
Commercial label of Caller Mackerel, Shanks & Smith, Charlottetown
John Henry Walker (1831-1899)
1850-1885, 19th century
Ink on paper on supporting paper - Wood engraving
10.8 x 12.4 cm
Gift of Mr. David Ross McCord
M930.50.1.93
© McCord Museum

Keys to History:

Despite the persistence of traditional behaviour, patterns of consumption among the working classes were transformed by urban growth and industrialization. By the late 19th century, grocery stores and small shops were popping up in working-class neighbourhoods. A wide range of cheap mass-produced goods thus made their way into poorer homes. The introduction of tin cans made it possible to preserve perishables and transport them over long distances. Originally intended as cheap food for soldiers and sailors, tinned fish soon became a staple item in working class homes.

What:

This colourful label was designed for a tin of mackerel. The label has two parts: the informative one we see here and the one in the next picture, which is essentially decorative.

Where:

Fish canning began in the 1820s in France, mainly in Brittany, as well as in the United States, in New England. The first cannery in Canada opened in 1839.

When:

The technique of preserving food by canning in baths of boiling water was developed in the early 19th century. Glass jars were soon replaced by tin cans, but the industry really took off after 1860.

Who:

Shanks & Smith of Charlottetown, PEI, commissioned Montreal engraver John Henry Walker to design this label.

M979.87.360
© McCord Museum
Print
The Hochelaga Cotton Factory
February 26, 1874, 19th century
Ink on paper - Photolithography
16.3 x 27.5 cm
Gift of Mr. Charles deVolpi
M979.87.360
© McCord Museum

Keys to History:

Victor Hudon's Hochelaga factory was one the largest cotton mills of the 19th century, employing 250 workers in 1874.

At that time, several women and a number of children as young as nine and ten worked in cotton mills. Their jobs mostly involved removing the spool from the spinning frame and carrying supplies between the machines, all for wages consistently below those of adult workers. Apprentice spinners or weavers, for their part, often worked several weeks for free.

In 1888, a machinist working at the Hudon cotton mill testified before the Royal Commission on the Relations of Capital and Labor (even though it still bore his name, the factory no longer belonged to Victor Hudon). His testimony described the difficult living conditions of children working at this factory. He explained that several worked in bare feet because they did not own shoes or wish to ruin the one pair they had. As well, he claimed that while the children were as young as ten years, the majority did not attend school and were unable to read or write.

What:

This illustration of the Hudon factory is part of a print that was published in the Montreal weekly l'Opinion publique in February 1874 (the month when the factory opened). The print depicts several banks, businesses and factories. It was also published in the Canadian Illustrated News in June of the same year.

Where:

In 1874, this factory was located at 16 De Bresoles Street in the Hochelaga district of east-end Montreal. According to a machinist questioned by the Royal Commission in 1886, there were no night schools in this area that might otherwise have given young workers the opportunity to attend classes outside of work hours.

When:

It would take Quebec and Ontario until 1884 and 1885 to bring in child labour legislation. At that time, the provinces banned the hiring of girls less than 14 years and boys less than 12 years. However, the laws were not necessarily enforced.

Who:

Long work weeks (often 60 hours), poor wages and strict discipline were the lot of textile factory workers in the 19th century. And the machines, especially their gears and moving parts, made for a dangerous workplace.

M984.306.169
© McCord Museum
Print
The Situation
Anonyme - Anonymous
January 29,1870, 19th century
Ink on paper - Photolithography
40.5 x 28.3 cm
Gift of Mr. Colin McMichael
M984.306.169
© McCord Museum

Keys to History:

In the years following Confederation (1867), Canada planned to expand its territory westward and northward. It became imperative for Canada to establish its borders, to confront the threat of U.S. expansion. In 1870 Canada took possession of a fifth province located in the heart of the country, Manitoba, as well as the North-West Territories. Until then Manitoba and the North-West Territories had been part of Rupert's Land (comprising part of present-day northern Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and all of Manitoba).

In 1869 Canada began negotiations to take over Rupert's Land, managed since 1836 by the Hudson's Bay Company, without the consent of the people living there. Many Métis (of mixed Aboriginal and European descent) lived in the Red River Colony, more than half of whom spoke French. The other colonists were Anglophones. Fearing for their property and cultural rights, the Métis, led by Louis Riel (1844-1885) rebelled in 1869 in an attempt to force Canada to listen to their demands. Finally, in January 1870, Canada negotiated with Riel's provisionary government the conditions of Manitoba's entry in to Confederation.

This cartoon, published during these negotiations, in January 1870, shows a Miss Winnie Peg hesitating over the annexation of her territory to Canada. Miss Canada holds out her arms in greeting, while Brother Jonathan (the United States) looks on with interest, suggesting that the Americans hoped to acquire the territory in the place of Canada. At the time, people on both sides of the border were hoping to take advantage of the Red River Rebellion to help the United States take over the western territories.

What:

The cartoon illustrates the uncertainty surrounding Canada's acquisition of Rupert's Land. The fact that the people of the Red River Colony were not consulted sparked the Red River Rebellion.

Where:

Winnipeg, which in 1870 was just a small town, was part of the Red River Colony.

When:

This cartoon appeared in the weekly the Canadian Illustrated News on January 29, 1870. The governments of Great Britain and Canada had set the previous December 1 as the date for the transfer of Rupert's Land, but Canada did not take possession until July 1870.

Who:

This fictional scene brings together Miss Winnie Peg (centre), a character representing the Red River Colony, Brother Jonathan, personifying the United States, and Miss Canada, symbolizing this country.

M994X.5.273.199
© McCord Museum
Print
Renewing the Lease
John Wilson Bengough
1886, 19th century
Ink on newsprint - Photoengraving
31.5 x 25.3 cm
Gift of Dr. Raymond Boyer
M994X.5.273.199
© McCord Museum

Keys to History:

This bold prophecy was made on the assumption that the people of Canada clearly saw through the game of the newly-made Protectionists, and that the circumstances under which Sir John and his colleagues had demitted office in 1873 would preclude the possibility of their success on this occasion. (Excerpt from: Bengough, John Wilson. A Caricature History of Canadian Politics: Events from the Union of 1841, as Illustrated by Cartoons from "Grip", and Various Other Sources. Toronto: The Grip Printing and Publishing Co, 1886.)

Cartoon originally published in Grip, September 14th, 1878

What:

Where:

When:

Who:


M994X.5.273.96
© McCord Museum
Print
The Curse of Canada. Is there No Arm to Save ?
John Wilson Bengough
1886, 19th century
Ink on newsprint - Photoengraving
31.5 x 25.3 cm
Gift of Dr. Raymond Boyer
M994X.5.273.96
© McCord Museum

Keys to History:

Whiskey. (Excerpt from: Bengough, John Wilson. A Caricature History of Canadian Politics: Events from the Union of 1841, as Illustrated by Cartoons from "Grip", and Various Other Sources. Toronto: The Grip Printing and Publishing Co, 1886.)

Cartoon originally published in Grip, February 28th, 1874

What:

Where:

When:

Who:


M994X.5.273.119
© McCord Museum
Print
Waiting for the Signal
John Wilson Bengough
1886, 19th century
Ink on newsprint - Photoengraving
25.3 x 31.5 cm
Gift of Dr. Raymond Boyer
M994X.5.273.119
© McCord Museum

Keys to History:

The growing sentiment of the country against the liquor traffic had been voiced in Parliament by Mr. G. W. Ross, a member of the Reform Party. The Government expressed a willingness to consider the subject of Legal Prohibition as soon as they had evidence that a majority of the people desired such a measure. Rev. Mr. Afflick, an eloquent English lecturer, was at this time making a tour of Canada in the interest of the temperance cause. (Excerpt from: Bengough, John Wilson. A Caricature History of Canadian Politics: Events from the Union of 1841, as Illustrated by Cartoons from "Grip", and Various Other Sources. Toronto: The Grip Printing and Publishing Co, 1886.)

Cartoon originally published in Grip, March 6th, 1875

What:

Where:

When:

Who:


M993.154.60
© McCord Museum
Watercolour
Fathers of Confederation
John David Kelly
1900-1925, 20th century
Watercolour
48.5 x 80.2 cm
Gift of BCE Inc.
M993.154.60
© McCord Museum

M994X.5.273.94
© McCord Museum
Print
Pity the Dominie; or, Johnny's Return
John Wilson Bengough
1886, 19th century
Ink on newsprint - Photoengraving
31.5 x 25.3 cm
Gift of Dr. Raymond Boyer
M994X.5.273.94
© McCord Museum

Keys to History:

Anent the re-election of Sir John A. Macdonald as member for Kingston, in the general election which followed the accession of the Reform Government. (Excerpt from: Bengough, John Wilson. A Caricature History of Canadian Politics: Events from the Union of 1841, as Illustrated by Cartoons from "Grip", and Various Other Sources. Toronto: The Grip Printing and Publishing Co, 1886.)

Cartoon originally published in Grip, February 7th, 1874

What:

Where:

When:

Who:


M997.63.321
© McCord Museum
Drawing, cartoon
A new Confederation flag
Normand Hudon
1965, 20th century
23 x 32 cm
Gift of Mme Arlette Hudon
M997.63.321
© McCord Museum

Conclusion:

Bibliography

Baldwin, Douglas. Confederation and the West. Calgary: Weigl Educational Publishers, 2003.

Bonenfant, Jean-Charles. †The French-Canadians and the Birth of Confederation†. Canadian Historical Association, Historical Booklet No. 21, 1966 [online].
[ http://www.collectionscanada.ca/cha-shc/002013-119.01-e.php?&booklet_id=H-21&page_sequence_nbr=1&browse=yes] (page consulted June 7 2007)

Forbes, Ernest R. †Aspects of Maritime Regionalism, 1867-1927†. Canadian Historical Association, Historical Booklet No. 36, 1983 [online].
[ http://www.collectionscanada.ca/cha-shc/002013-119.01-e.php?&booklet_id=H-36&page_sequence_nbr=1&browse=yes] (page consulted June 7 2007)

Morton, W. L. †The West and Confederation†. Canadian Historical Association, Historical Booklet No. 9, 1967 [online].
[ http://www.collectionscanada.ca/cha-shc/002013-119.01-e.php?&booklet_id=H-9&page_sequence_nbr=1&browse=yes] (page consulted June 7 2007)

Miller, James R. "Unity/ Diversity: The Canadian Experience; From Confederation to the First World War. In R. Douglas Francis and Donald B. Smith (eds.), Readings in Canadian History. Post-Confederation. Toronto: Holt, Rinehart and Winston of Canada Ltd, 3rd edition, 1990, p. 156-166.

Miller, James R. †Canada and the Aboriginal Peoples, 1867-1927†. Canadian Historical Association, Historical Booklet No. 57, 1997 [online].
[ http://www.collectionscanada.ca/cha-shc/002013-119.01-e.php?&booklet_id=H-57&page_sequence_nbr=1&browse=yes] (page consulted June 7 2007)

Moore, Christopher. 1867: How the Fathers Made a Deal. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1997.Moore, Christopher. 1867: How the Fathers Made a Deal. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1997.

Silver, Arthur. "La Confédération. In John Meisel et. al. (eds.), Si je me souviens/ As I Recall. Regards sur l'histoire. Montreal: Institut de recherche en politiques publiques, 1999, p. 61-70.

Young, Brian. "Politics in Quebec after Confederation." In J. M. Bumsted (ed.), Interpreting Canada's Past. Volume Two. Post-Confederation. Don Mills: Oxford University Press, 1993, p. 30-42.

Waite, P. B. "Confederation. " The Canadian Encyclopedia [online]. [ http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0001842] (page consulted June 7 2007)


© Musée McCord Museum