Monthly Archives: March 2014

Canadian Delegates were “miffed”

Canada on Globe


On March 8, 1867, the British North America Act was passed by the House of Commons in Britain, less than a month after it had been introduced in the House of Lords.  It was a speedy job of legislation, so much so, that the Canadian delegates were a little “miffed” because it had not caused more debate.  John A. Macdonald’s grumbled: “The English behave as though the British North America Act was a private bill uniting two or three parishes.”

Some British M.P.’s were suspicious that the bill was being rushed through, but the only man who offered any opposition was John Bright, free-trader and reformer.  In this case, he was on the side of the underdog, Joseph Howe, who had been in London since July trying to keep Nova Scotia out of Confederation.

Howe even went to Lord Carnarvon and claimed that fifty-two of the seventy-two resolutions leading to the British North American Act had been drawn up by Macdonald who had probably been drunk at the time. Carnarvon, greatly upset, wrote to Governor-General Lord Monck in Canada asking him to investigate.  Evidently he was reassured because the bill went through without delay.

John Bright tried to have the bill set aside by criticizing the colonial system generally.  He said that if the provinces of British North America were going to keep asking Britain for money for defence and railways, then it would be better if they were given their independence and paid their own way.

M.P.’s were so little concerned that many of them were not in their seats when the British North America Act got its last reading on March 8.  They came rushing in immediately after, because the next item of business was a bill to place a tax on dogs, and most of them owned dogs!

The British North America Act was officially proclaimed on March 29, and Queen Victoria set July 1 as the date for Confederation.

To learn more about today’s post, I would suggest visiting the Canadian History webpage. Another very good resource to look at is the Confederation Timeline at Canada Channel. If you’ve never been, another great place to visit is the Encyclopedia Britannica.   All very good places to start.



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Nash Was the First

Pic of RCMP

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

The RCMP, who “always gets his man,” have been part of Canada’s identity since the 1870s.  In RCMP history, Constable John Nash, tragically, was the first Mountie to die in the line of duty.

Nash was one of the original members who made the voyage westward in 1874 from Fort Dufferin, Manitoba to present-day southern Alberta.

The specifics of his death near Fort MacLeod in the Northwest Territories remain a mystery, because most of his service records were lost in the 1897 fire that damaged the West Block of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa. However, there is a document held at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police headquarters. It confirms that Nash was born in 1849, that he joined the force in Halifax in 1873, that he was nominated to the Honour Roll, and that his death was related to an accident involving his horse.

We also know that he served the RCMP from October 18, 1873 to March 11, 1876.

As reported by, Nash signed up for a five-year term of service with the RCMP.  For his service, he received a salary of 75 cents a day and a promise of a 160-acre land grant after his term.  Even though he didn’t serve the full five years, the land grant was granted to his mother in Halifax.

He was 27 years old when he died.

His final resting place is where he died, at Fort MacLeod (now part of Alberta), in Union Cemetery, in the North West Mounted Police Field of Honour (row 5, grave number 24).

For an impressive list of RCMP’s Honour Roll, go to Royal Canadian Mounted Police. After that, you can find a wonderful site through Library and Archives Canada, Without Fear, Favour or Affection: The Men of the North West Mounted Police.


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The Knife with the Ivory Handle

Knife with the Ivory Handle

The Knife with the Ivory Handle by Cynthia Bruchman


I do not, usually, write reviews on my blog.  I will direct you to one on the history topic I am writing about, but no reviews.  Today, I am making an exception.

The Knife with the Ivory Handle by Cynthia Bruchman, of Cindy Bruchman WordPress blog is a book that I would say that everyone should read, to become I am sure, a classic in literature.

She has a talent rarely seen, to bring us to understand her characters, who come from very different walks of life. I recommend you treat yourself to this book – you certainly won’t regret it!


Posted by on March 20, 2014 in Entertainment


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How Many Times Can a Man Be Buried?

English: Maj. Gen. Sir Isaac Brock

Maj. Gen. Sir Isaac Brock (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Did you know that Sir Isaac Brock, a hero in the War of 1812, was buried four times? Isn’t that incredible? That certainly deserves a longer text.

He died of gunshot wounds at the Battle of Queenston Heights on October 13, 1812. His body lay in state at the Government House (in what is now Niagara-on-Lake, Ontario) until October 16. Lieutenant Colonel John Macdonell, Brock’s colonial aide-de-camp who died in the same battle, was buried with him at nearby Fort George.

By the way, even though the Americans captured Fort George in 1813, the graves remained undisturbed.

In 1814, the legislature for then Upper Canada decided that a monument should be erected near Queenston where Brock died. It took quite a while to raise enough money for the monument, so even though it wasn’t completed, Brock and Macdonell were buried a second time on October 13, 1824, ten kilometres away. About eight thousand Americans and Canadians attended the event.

On April 17, 1840, an explosion severely damaged the monument. That happened because of an Irish-Canadian, involved in the Rebellion of 1837, by the name of Benjamin Lett. Apparently he was just seeking revenge against the British.

By 1842 officials decided that a second monument should be built. As these things sometime happens slowly, work began in 1853. It was necessary to move Brock and Macdonnell to temporary graves in the village of Queenston. Are you still counting with me?

October 13, 1853 marks the fourth and final burial for these men. About fifteen thousand attended the event, some of whom were veterans of the War of 1812. The structure was inaugurated on October 13, 1859!

Phew! May they finally rest in peace.


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Why Did the Chicken Cross the Street

I just have to share this smile-maker with you! -tk



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Posted by on March 12, 2014 in Entertainment, Humour, Reblogged


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Français : Iroquois du Monument à Maisonneuve,...

Iroquois du Monument à Maisonneuve, Place d’Armes, Montréal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Paul de Chomedey de Maisonneuve, discussed in this post, was the Island of Montreal’s first Governor.

There is disagreement among historians as to whether the following incident took place on March 13 or March 30, 1644.  Maisonneuve’s settlers who had founded Montreal in 1642 were spending their second winter there.  Their activities were restricted because the Iroquois often waited in the woods outside the stockade ready to kill anyone who ventured out.

Maisonneuve’s men usually knew when the Iroquois were there because in the garrison was a dog called “Pilot,” who would howl the moment she scented the Indians.  She had six puppies who learned the same trick.

On March 13 or 30, as the case may be, Pilot and her puppies began to howl.  Maisonneuve’s men clamoured to be allowed to go out and attack the Indians.  Maisonneuve realized the danger but agreed to lead the assault.

It was a mistake.  No sooner had they entered the woods, than they realized that there were a great many Native Indians there.  Furthermore, they had guns as well as bows and arrows.  The Iroquois, greatly outnumbering the French, spread out in an encircling movement.  Maisonneuve knew then that he was trapped.  The only hope for survival was to retreat along a path in the snow that had been made by hauling logs into the stockade.  The Native Indians came racing out of the woods, leaping over snowbanks and firing their guns and arrows at the retreating French.  It was only by the narrowest of margins that the survivors got back into the stockade and closed the gate.  Maisonneuve was the last to enter.  Three of his men had been killed, and others were wounded.

Pilot has been commemorated as one of a group of figures in a statue in Montreal.  Perhaps Walt Disney’s organization will produce a film about her as it did for “Greyfriar’s Bobbie,” of whom there is a statue in Scotland.

Quite a story, I feel.  Want to read more about Pilot (Pilote) and de Maisonneuve?  You can begin your search at Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online; another really good place to go is Travels and Explorations of the Jesuit Missionaries in New France; and yet another new (new to me) website to visit would be


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About | Women in Wellness

Rufus contemplating how to acknowledge his human …

I was writing a post about International Women’s Day when I came across Healing Circle, on the link below.  Lots of gems to be found there.


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