The Aeronauts Come To Ottawa

11 September 1911

Like today, the dawn of the twentieth century was a time of fast-paced, technological change that was dramatically transforming people’s lives. Within a lifetime, people went from oil lamps to electricity, from the pony express to the telephone, and from the horse and buggy to the automobile. In December 1903, on a beach a few miles south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, mankind took the next transformative, technological leap. Two brothers, Orville and Wilbur Wright, made the first, heavier-than-air, powered flight. That first flight, with Orville at the controls, lasted but a few seconds, and it only covered some 120 feet at an altitude of roughly 10 feet over the wind-swept, sand dunes. But it was a stunning achievement. Two years later, the brothers developed their first practical flying machine called the Flyer III that could stay aloft half an hour and travel a distance of more than 20 miles.

Within a few years of the Wrights’ initial flight, aviation literally took off, notwithstanding countless crashes that claimed the lives of many early flight pioneers.  In 1906, the Brazilian Alberto Santos-Dumont made the first powered flight in Europe, wowing Parisians in his Oiseau de proie (bird of prey). John McCurdy made the first Canadian powered, heavier-than-air flight in February 1909 near Baddeck, Nova Scotia. His airplane, the Silver Dart, was developed by the Aerial Experiment Association organized by Alexander Graham Bell and financed by his wife Mabel who was an aviation enthusiast. In July 1909, Louis Blériot of France, flying his Type XI monoplane, became an instant celebrity when he made the first successful flight across the English Channel. The following month, Charles Willard flew his Curtis biplane, the Golden Flyer, over the Scarborough beaches to the delight of Toronto residents. Unfortunately, Willard was forced to ditch into Lake Ontario. Flying in the late afternoon, he blamed approaching darkness for the crash but he had only taken one flying lesson, and had been flying for just two weeks.

Air shows, where aviation enthusiasts could meet, share notes, and compete also became popular, attracting thousands of fans. The first was held in Paris in September 1909. The first North American show, held in Los Angeles in January 1910, drew more than a quarter million spectators.  Canada hosted its first aviation meet outside of Montreal in July that same year. Many of the great aviation pioneers attended including Count Jacques de Lesseps flying a Blériot monoplane, four members of the newly established Wright Brothers exhibition team in their Wright Model A airplanes, as well as John McCurdy flying a Baddeck machine.  To great excitement, De Lesseps flew over downtown Montreal on a 50-minute round trip from the Lakeside (now Pointe-Claire) field where the meet was held.

In Ottawa, interest was high in this new technological marvel. In September 1910, Professor McKergow of McGill University gave a lecture to the Royal Society at the Normal School (now part of Ottawa City Hall) at the corner of Elgin and Lisgar Streets. Despite the great advances that had been made in aviation, the good professor opined that “the aeroplane will never be used for anything but sport or war.” He did concede, however, that if we could come to understand air currents, the problem of transatlantic air travel might be solved. By taking advantage of the trade winds, he believed an airplane might be able to travel from France to someplace in the southern United States in 50-60 hours.

Ottawa residents had to wait until September 1911 for their first glimpse of the magnificent men in their flying machines. In the spring of that year, a spokesman for the Central Canada Exhibition said that they were looking to hire an aviator for $1,500 (roughly $32,000 in today’s money) to make ten flights, two per day, of not less than five miles in distance. The flights were to be the highlight of the 1911 Exhibition. The Ottawa Evening Journal reported that the Belgian aviator and dare-devil Charles Morok had signed a contract to give demonstrations in his Curtis biplane. Morok was famous for the aerial stunt called the “Dip of Death.” The newspaper also claimed that his airplane would race an automobile—a favourite event at aviation shows and fairgrounds at that time. It was not to be. Either the newspaper was misinformed, or the aviator got a better offer. That September, Morok performed at the Sandusky Fairgrounds in Fremont, Ohio.

In early September, virtually on the eve of the opening of the Exhibition, it still wasn’t clear which aviator would have the honour of being the first to fly over Ottawa. One press report claimed that Charles Willard, who had made the inaugural Toronto flight, had been engaged on the same terms as offered to Morok. However, Willard was out of the running as he had been injured a couple of weeks earlier at a fair in St Louis. John McCurdy’s name was also mentioned, but he too was a no-show. Speculation was that he had commitments elsewhere.  With everything “up in the air,” so to speak, advertisements for the Ex only promised an un-named “Famous Aviator” would perform two flights per day.

In the event, two competing companies of aviators showed up, each claiming to have a contract to perform at the Exhibition. Jean Wilmer, a French-American pilot, along with Georges Mestich of Belgium and Gressier of France arrived in Ottawa with their Morane monoplane. Virtually simultaneously, another troupe, led by Captain Thomas Baldwin, also arrived ready to perform in one of Baldwin’s “Red Devils,” a Curtiss “pusher-type” biplane. Apparently, both companies had been engaged by a booking office in New York City.

To settle matters, the organizers of the Exhibition suggested that both troupes provide demonstrations. Instead, the two competing companies agreed between themselves that Baldwin’s troupe would fly. Twenty-one year old Lee Hammond, “the noted and daring aeronaut,” who worked for Capt. Baldwin got the nod.

Hammond arrived in Ottawa with his airplane by train at noon on 11 September, 1911. He had just enough time to get to Lansdowne Park in time to make his first demonstration flight. Indicative of how dangerous flying was at that time, Hammond was still shaking off the effects of two airplane crashes, both into water. Three weeks earlier, he had broken an ankle after his aircraft stalled and fell into Lake Michigan. He was fished out by a U.S. Revenue Cutter. Just the day prior to his arrival in Ottawa, he had had a second watery crash while performing with Tom Sopwith, later of Sopwith Camel fame, at Coney Island, New York. Fortunately, he sustained only minor cuts and bruises.

To the delight of thousands in Exhibition attendees, Hammond’s first Ottawa flight went off without mishap sometime after 1pm. Although a makeshift runway, fifty feet wide and five hundred feet long, had been laid out in front of the grandstand at Lansdowne Park, he took off from Slattery’s Field located across the Rideau Canal from the Exhibition grounds. Slattery’s Field, which today encompasses the Riverdale Avenue and Main Street area, was at the time used for pasturing cows. Captain Baldwin explained that the Exhibition grounds were too congested for Hammond to safely take off and land. In a short, five-minute flight, Hammond circled the Exhibition grounds several times before returning to land back at Slattery’s Field. He performed his second show of the day at roughly 4pm.

Lee Hammond at Cass Fair, 19-9-11

Lee Hammond (left) with Captain Thomas Baldwin with Hammond’s “Red Devil” airplane at the Cassopolis Fair, Michigan, September 1911. Hammond performed at the “Cass Co.” Fair immediately after his Ottawa shows.

 

Problems seemed to dog Hammond. On the second day of the Exhibition, a storm collapsed the tent that sheltered his biplane, breaking the propeller. Later in the week, his engine conked out when he encountered dense fog at 1,000 feet. He landed heavily near the Rideau Canal, only missing another watery crash by a few feet. Undeterred by the experience, Hammond made his second flight of the day. That flight too ended badly, with Hammond crash-landing on Slattery’s Field, scattering the cows and damaging the tail of his biplane.

Despite his problems, Hammond’s aerial displays were the talk of the Exhibition. The Journal waxed lyrically about the flights saying that Hammond was “at times almost touching the blue and mottled sky, circling like a big bird in front of the grand stand, then darting off as if he was heading to fly over the entire city. Then soaring upwards, now swooping gracefully towards the earth.”

Described by the newspaper as handsome, blue-eyed and square-chinned, with an attractive personality, the daring, young aeronaut was also a big hit with the ladies. The Journal called him the “blue ribboned” boy” of the Exhibition. “Any man who would go up in an aeroplane the height he did yesterday when there was a thirty to forty mile and hour zephyr, shimmering around fifteen hundred feet up, can make himself a lion in the eyes of the ladies.”

On the last day of the Exhibition, before he left for Cassopolis, Michigan, the next stop on his exhibition tour, Hammond was thanked warmly by Earl Grey, the Governor General for his aerial displays.

A plaque commemorating Lee Hammond’s flights from Slattery’s Field, Ottawa’s first impromptu airfield, is mounted on the wall of the Hydro Ottawa substation located at 39 Riverdale Avenue. Lee Hammond died in 1932. Also commemorated on the substation wall is the landing of the first flight from Montreal to Ottawa made by William Robinson on 8 October 1913. Robinson was forced to use Slattery’s Field when, owing to his late arrival into Ottawa, the sports field at Lansdowne Park was being used by the Ottawa Rough Riders for football practice. Robinson delivered copies of the Montreal Daily Mail to senior federal and municipal leaders, including Prime Minister Borden and Ottawa Mayor Ellis as a publicity stunt to advertise the new newspaper.

 

Sources:

Citizen (The), 1911. “Ottawa May See First Aviator,” 11 September.

—————-, 1911. “Opening Day Of Exhibition Broke Records Of All Years,” 12 September.

—————-, 1911. “Ottawa Saw Real Aeroplanes,” 12 September.

Ellis, Frank H., 1954. Canada’s Flying Heritage, University of Toronto Press: Toronto.

Ficke, George, 2005, “Lee Hammond,” The Early Birds Of Aviation, http://airandspace.si.edu/collections/artifact.cfm?object=nasm_A19500094000.

Fortier, R. 2009, “Canada’s First Aviation Meet – 1910,” Wings, https://www.wingsmagazine.com/, 26 June.

Globe, (The), 1910. “Count de Lesseps’ Flight Feature At Montreal,” 27 June.

Orléans Star, 2011. “Slattery’s Field Street marks 100 years of aviation in Ottawa,” 9 November, http://www.orleansstar.ca/News/Local/2011-11-09/article-2800460/Slatterys-Field-Street-marks-100-years-of-aviation-in-Ottawa/1.

Ottawa Evening Journal (The), 1910. “Prof. McKergow On Aviation,” 29 September.

————————————-, 1911. “Have An Aeroplane,” 10 April.

————————————-, 1911. “Ten Flights Cost $1,500,” 12 April.

————————————-, 1911. “Big Ottawa Celebration Opens On Monday For Annual Ottawa Fair,” 9 September.

————————————-, 1911. “Central Canada Fair Opens In Ideal Weather,” 11 September.

————————————-, 1911. “Daring Aviator Arrives,” 11 September.

————————————-, 1911. “Airship Mishap May Prevent Flight Today,” 12 September.

————————————-, 1911, “Lee Hammond: Daring Aviator Ready For flight At Exhibition Grounds,” 13 September.

————————————–, 1911. “Wold Fly Over Ottawa And Hull In Monplane, 15 September.

————————————–, 1911. “Thirty-Six Thousand At Fair Yesterday, 15 September.

————————————–, 1911. “Exhibition Figures Now Show Decrease,” 16 September.

————————————–, 1913. “Delivers Papers With Aeroplane,” 9 October.

Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, 2016. “Baldwin Red Devil,” http://airandspace.si.edu/collections/artifact.cfm?object=nasm_A19500094000.

Von Baeyer, C. & Krywicki, K. 2013. “Slattery’s Field In Old Ottawa South–Ottawa’s First Accidental Airfield,” Old Ottawa South Community Association (OSCA), 2011, http://www.oldottawasouth.ca/oos/history-project/history-project/555-slatterys-field-in-old-ottawa-south-ottawas-first-accidental-airfield.

Image: Lee Hammond and Thomas Baldwin at the Cass. Co. Fair, September 1911, JAC-382, http://www.postcardgallery.com/page14%20avaition.htm.

Ottawa Enters the Automobile Age

11 September 1899

At the end of the nineteenth century, the world stood at the cusp of the automobile age. For decades, inventors, tinkerers, and entrepreneurs in Europe and North America had been working hard on developing a vehicle that could be driven on streets and highways without the aid of horses or other draught animals. In 1875, l’Obéissante, a steam-driven vehicle invented by Amédée-Ernest Bollée of France, which could carry twelve passengers, travelled from Le Mans to Paris in eighteen hours. Ten years later, Karl Benz invented the Motorwagen, the first automobile with a gasoline-powered engine. The first International Motor Show was held in Berlin in 1897. Also that year, battery-powered, electric automobiles, nicknamed “hummingbirds,” were introduced as taxis in London. According to the Annuaire Generale de l’Automobile, there were about 10,000 vehicles in Europe in 1899, of which roughly two-thirds were in France.

On the other side of the Atlantic, the American Duryea Brothers built their first internal combustion car in 1893. Three years later, Henry Ford and Ransom Eli Olds started production of gasoline-driven automobiles. In June 1899, there were only 72 automobiles in New York City, most of which were electric hansom cabs. In 1900, total U.S. vehicle production topped 4,000, with some 8,000 automobiles on American roads. By 1910, U.S. car production, led by the Ford and Buick companies, had ramped up to almost 130,000 units.

Canadians too were busy. Henry Seth Taylor, born in Stanstead, Quebec in 1833, is credited with building the first car in Canada, a four-wheeled steam buggy that he demonstrated at the Stanstead Fair in 1867. Sadly, it was not successful, and Taylor turned his attention to other inventions. In 1893, William Still and Frederick Featherstonehaugh built an electric automobile in Toronto that had a top speed of 15 miles per hour, and was showcased at the Toronto Industrial Exhibition of that year. Three years later, George Foot Foss of Sherbrooke, Quebec built a four-horsepower, one-cylinder, gasoline-powered vehicle, later dubbed the “Fossmobile.”

Warren Y. Soper, the partner of Thomas Ahearn in Ottawa’s electricity business that owned the Ottawa Electric Company and Ottawa’s tram system among other things, was an early automobile investor. He was one of a group that bought out Canada’s leading bicycle companies in 1899 to create the Canadian Cycle and Motor Company (CCM) that operated out of Toronto. While primarily a bicycle company, the new firm under President Walter Massey also began to produce automobiles, including the electric Ivanhoe from 1901-1904 and the Russell, an electric, two-passenger runabout produced from 1903 to 1916 by a CCM subsidiary, the Russell Motor Car Company. The Russell is considered Canada’s first, successful, production automobile.

At the turn of the century, the automobile was still a rich man’s toy. Cars were custom-made in very small workshops, and could easily cost $2,000-2,500, many times the average worker’s annual income. Assembly-line production, which was to lower the price of an automobile to within the grasp of the middle class, was still a decade or more in the future. But for the wealthy seeking a mode of transportation, an automobile was competitive with a traditional two-horse carriage. It also had the allure of a status symbol. In 1899, the Ottawa Journal noted that to own and operate a two-horse carriage in New York would cost $120 per month or more, excluding the cost of purchasing a “flash carriage.” This monthly bill, included $30 for the upkeep of each horse plus an additional $5-15 for shoeing and veterinarian bills, and a further $40 to pay the wages of a full-time coachman. By comparison, one could lease an automobile, complete with driver, for $180 per month, including the cost of repairs. In fine aristocratic style, the chauffeur could wear private livery while the lessee’s crest or monogram could be painted on the doors of the vehicle. Automobiles were also more spacious that horse-drawn carriages, and could go for longer distances.

When Ottawa got its first glimpse of the horseless carriage is a bit murky. A 1912 Ottawa Evening Journal article stated that first first automobile to grace Ottawa’s streets was a De Dion in 1898, driven by Harry Ketchum, the owner of an Ottawa bicycle company, who had imported it from France. The  one-cylinder vehicle, which had four spoke wheels, was described as a cross between a bicycle and an automobile, with something like a bicycle seat for the driver and a passenger seat “located dangerously near the front wheels.” However, there was no mention of the vehicle in the 1898 press. Moreover, the following year, when Thomas Ahearn drove down Sparks Street on 11 September 1899 in an electric automobile, the Journal described the car as Ottawa’s first.

Ahearn had imported the electric vehicle from Chicago. Earlier that year, he and W.W. Wylie, the manager and chief mechanic of the Ottawa Car Company, another firm owned by Ahearn and Soper that manufactured electric streetcars on Slater Street, had gone to an automobile show at Madison Square Gardens in New York. The two men were captivated by what they saw. The automobile they ordered was a two-seater, electric buggy with pneumatic tires that could run at five speeds, ranging from 2 to 15 miles per hour. It had a range of 50 miles on a single charge. The make of the vehicle was not reported.

The Journal said that the vehicle looked like an ordinary carriage except for the fact that there was a steering lever in front of the seat, and a brake rising through the floor in front of the dashboard. The storage battery was hidden within the body of the vehicle, with a meter in front of the driver showing the amount of charge available. Two buttons under the seat allowed the driver to turn on and off the current “at will.” The vehicle was also key-controlled to prevent it from being operated if left unattended. The keyhole was located under the seat. The automobile’s gearing, covered and dust-proof, was attached to the bottom of the carriage at the real axle. The vehicle weighed 1,000 pounds, and cost $1,600.

On that Monday morning, Thomas Ahearn drove down Sparks Street in front of hundreds of people who admired the passage of the swift and silent automobile. Seated beside Ahearn was Alexander Burritt, Ottawa’s City Registrar, who Ahearn chauffeured to his office—Ottawa’s first commute by car. Later that day, Ahearn and his son Franklin took a spin out to Britannia to witness work on the streetcar line that was under construction.  Afterwards, the vehicle was put on display at the 1899 Central Canada Exhibition.

Automobile 12-5-04

Automobile Advertisment, Wilson & Co., Ottawa, 12 May, 1904, The Ottawa Journal

While it may be uncertain whether it was Harry Ketchum or Thomas Ahearn who drove the first car on Ottawa’s streets, it appears that Ketchum sold the first car in Ottawa in 1902 to Dr Mark  McElhinney, later secretary of the Ottawa Valley Motor Car Association,  for $900. The make of the automobile is unknown. Ketchum also opened one of the first car dealerships in Ottawa. In early 1903, Ketchum & Company, which sold are repaired bicycles out of their premises in the Grant Building on the north-west corner of Bank and Sparks Streets, offered for sale the “pick of the American market,” including the “celebrated Winton Touring Car, the Stanhope, and a full line of Ramblers.” At roughly the same time, Wilson & Company marketed the Pierce Motorette, a single cylinder, gas powered vehicle made by the Pierce Arrow Automobile Company of Buffalo, New York, out of its offices at 142-146 Bank Street. It later added to its range the Pierce Stanhope and the top of the line Pierce Grand Arrow, as well as a Ford touring car, an Olds runabout, an Oriental Buckboard and the “made in Canada” electric Ivanhoe.

Despite eye-popping prices that started at roughly $600, orders for automobiles came pouring in. By August 1903, there were fourteen cars on Ottawa streets, eighty by mid-1905. Colonel Hurdman was the talk of the town when he purchase a $3,000 Pierce Arrow from Wilson & Company in May 1904. The two-cylinder, 18-horsepower vehicle was the first of its kind in Ottawa. It could carry five passengers comfortably, two in front and three in the “tonneau.”  The automobile was furnished with two burnished headlamps, and was painted blue and gold. It could travel 150 miles on one tank of gas.

Complaints about reckless drivers scaring horses and pedestrians alike also started to pour in. Recall that during these early years of motoring, people didn’t need to pass a government driving test in get behind a steering wheel. In August 1903, the Ontario government passed legislation restricting the speed of automobiles on any public highway within a town or city to 10 miles per hour. Racing was also forbidden, and when approaching a horse, the driver of an automobile had to exercise every reasonable precaution to prevent frightening the animal. The fine for the first offence was $25; subsequent offences could lead to one month in prison.

Motoring bodies also provided guidance to new drivers who were instructed to obey the rules of the road, keep to the right and pass only on the left, and to respect the 10 miles per hour speed limit. Motorists were also cautioned that vehicles did not have right-of-way at street crossings (this was before street lights), and not to drink and drive. Apparently, nine-tenths of automobile accidents at that time involved intoxicated drivers.

Byward Market William James Topley  Library and Archives Canada  PA-009842

Byward Market, Upper photo taken circa 1895, William James Topley/Library Canada, C-005647. Lower photo taken circa 1920, Library & Archives Canda, C-006254. In roughly twenty-five years, horses all but vanished.

Byward Market, c.1920-30, LAC, C-006254

Of course accidents happened. The first automobile accident on Ottawa streets occurred at 10.30pm on 9 November 1903 when Joseph O’Grady of Britannia was run down by a car driven by Harry Ketchum at the corner of Maria Street (now Laurier Avenue) and Bank Street. After receiving immediate care from Allen’s Drugstore located at that corner, O’Grady was taken to the Water (Bruyère) Street Hospital to be treated for a broken leg. Ketchum said he was going “fairly slowly” when O’Grady, who had been waiting for a tram, walked onto the street in front of his automobile after failing to hear his horn. O’Grady did not blame Ketchum for the accident.

Needless to say, Harry Ketchum also received the first speeding ticket issued in Ottawa. In early June 1905, Constable Ethier charged him and Mr E.G. Shepherd with speeding and racing on Wellington Street. At their trial, the officer estimated that the two men were driving their vehicles in excess of 25 miles per hour, taking only seconds to traverse the distance between Kent and Bay Streets. Ketchum argued that the two cars could not have possibly been going faster than 10 miles per hour since Shepherd’s car was in poor condition. He brought in a professional chauffeur, Joseph Gentile, who had driven Shepherd’s car that same day to testify that the vehicle could not have exceeded the speed limit. Ketchum also testified that the two men had only pretended to have been racing. The judge, unable to arrive at any idea of the speed of the automobiles, dismissed the case.

While the introduction of the automobile and the demise of the horse and buggy had their drawbacks, including accidents, smells, and loud noises that disturbed the serenity of town and countryside, there were many positives, in addition, of course, to greater ease of travel and communication. Prior to the automobile, vast tracks of arable land were devoted solely to the production of fodder and grain to feed horses and other draught animals. It’s also often forgotten that animal waste posed serious pollution and disposal problems for cities. The spread of disease was another issue. As early as 1900, the Ottawa Journal reported the hope of the medical profession that “when automobiles glide through Ottawa streets and the horse is only used for pleasure,” that tetanus will almost completely disappear. The same article also hope that the arrival of the automobile would reduce the number of traffic accidents. It noted that in Paris where the automobile was already widely used, the proportion of accidents causing death involving automobiles was significantly lower than those involving horse-drawn vehicles.

Regardless of the pros and cons of the automobile, its allure proved irresistible. Within a few short years, the face of Ottawa was irrevocably changed. In 2011, there were 515,784 registered vehicles in Ottawa and 653,324 licensed drivers. Sadly that same year 3,690 people were injured in collisions with 25 fatalities.

Sources:

Bonikowsky, Laura, 2006, “Automobile,” Historica Canada, 2 February, http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/automobile/.

Canada Science and Technology Museum, 2016, In Search of the Canadian Car, http://www.canadiancar.technomuses.ca/eng/frise_chronologique-timeline/1800/.

Farfan, Matthew, 2014, “Henry Seth Taylor (1833-1887) And Canada’s First Car,” Townships Heritage Web Magazine, http://townshipsheritage.com/article/henry-seth-taylor-1833-1887-and-canadas-first-car.

General Motors Heritage Center, Olds, Ranson Eli, https://history.gmheritagecenter.com/wiki/index.php/Olds,_Ransom_Eli.

German National Tourist Board, 2016. Home of the Car, Milestones in the German automotive industry, http://www.germany.travel/en/specials/home-of-the-car/history/history.html.

History, 1991. “Automobiles,” http://www.history.com/topics/automobiles.

Kichissippi Times, 2014. “This 101-year old company began with one great idea,” http://kitchissippi.com/2014/09/18/history-of-ketchum-manufacturing-westboro/.

McGenty, George, 2014, “CCM – The Best Bikes In Town,” Presentation, 25 October 2013, Historical Society of Ottawa, January 2014, http://hsottawa.ncf.ca/Dnlds/HSONewsJan14.pdf.

Ottawa Citizen (The), 1899. “Sunday at the Fair,” 18 September.

Ottawa, City of, 2015. 2011 Ottawa Road Safety Report, http://ottawa.ca/en/2011-ottawa-road-safety-report.

Ottawa Journal (The), 1899. “Cost Of An Automobile,” 10 June.

————————–, 1899. “A $6,000,000 Company,” 22 August.

————————–, 1899. “The First Automobile,” 7 September.

————————–, 1899. “A Trip In An Automobile,” 11 September 1899.

————————–, 1899. “Annuaire Generale de l’Automobile,” 23 November.

————————–, 1903. “Lockjaw And Automobiles,” 25 January.

————————–, 1903. “Local Automobilists Say Objecting Cabmen Are Jealous,” 18 August.

————————–, 1903. “First Automobile Accident,” 10 November.

————————–, 1904. “A New Automobile Store For Ottawa,” 26 April.

————————–, 1904. “Col. Hurdman Buys $3,000 Pierce Arrow,” 10 May.

————————–, 1905. “Automobile Road Rules,” 17 March.

————————–, 1905. “Dangerous Automobiles,” 8 June.

————————–, 1905, “Fast Ride In Automobile,” 15 June.

————————–, 1912. “Change In Motor Cars.” 10 February.

The Early Electric Car Site, 2016. Car Companies, http://www.earlyelectric.com/carcompanies.html.

The Old Motor, 2014. The Pierce-Arrow — the Pride of Buffalo, New York, 7 March, http://theoldmotor.com/?p=116215.

The Nile Voyageurs

13 September 1884

Like today, the Middle East during the late nineteenth century experienced an Islamist uprising, kindled by a revival of religious fervour, oppressive political regimes, and resentment towards growing Western influence in the region. In 1881, a Sudanese fanatic, Muhammad Ahmad, proclaimed he was the Mahdi, the prophesied redeemer of Islam, with a mission to revitalize the Faith, restore unity to the Muslim community, and prepare for Judgement Day. He then started a military campaign against the Egyptian-controlled, Sudanese government. Needless to say, this did not go over well with the Khedive, or viceroy, of Egypt. Ostensibly a subject of the Ottoman sultan in Constantinople, the semi-autonomous Khedive, Tewfik Pasha, owed his throne thanks largely to Britain who had come to his aid when a military coup, which almost toppled his regime, threatened British control of the Suez Canal, the Empire’s vital link to India.

But British Prime Minister Gladstone, concerned about the cost of providing military aid, was unwilling to help the Khedive suppress the Mahdi. Instead his government advised Tewfik Pasha to evacuate his soldiers and civilians from the Sudan, and form a defensive perimeter on the Egyptian-Sudanese border. This the Khedive agreed to do. The British government asked Major-General “Chinese” Gordon to go to Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, to facilitate the Egyptian withdrawal.

Gordon

Major Genral Charles “Chinese” Gordon, 1833-1885, wearing his Egyptian uniform

On the surface Gordon appeared ideal for the job. A deeply religious man, Gordon was a veteran of many campaigns, including the Crimean War. In the 1860s, he had served with distinction in China, rising to command with British approval the Imperial Chinese forces that suppressed the Taiping Rebellion–hence his nickname “Chinese.” Subsequently, with the support of the British government, he had worked for the Egyptian Khedive, and had for a time been his Governor General of Sudan. During this interlude Gordon suppressed the Sudanese slave trade.

However, according to the senior British representative in Cairo, “a more unfortunate choice could scarcely have been made that that of General Gordon” who he described as “hot-headed, impulsive, and swayed by his emotions.” Gordon arrived in Khartoum from London in February 1884, after he had stopped off in Cairo and had been reappointed Sudan’s governor general by the Khedive. But after sending a few hundred sick Egyptian soldiers, women and children down the Nile to safety, evacuation plans were abandoned. Convinced that the Mahdi threatened Egyptian and British interests, and had to be stopped, Gordon put the Egyptian garrison and Sudanese civilians to work building earthwork defences to repell the Islamist forces. By March 1884, Khartoum was besieged by the Mahdi’s army of some 50,000 men. Gordon appealed home for aid to a reluctant government that didn’t want to get involved.

Pressured by British public opinion that had been stirred by an imperialist press that portrayed Gordon as a dashing and romantic figure, Gladstone’s government buckled. A relief force under the command of General Garnet Wolseley was dispatched to Khartoum in late 1884. Wolseley was as renowned as Gordon, having served in India, China, and Egypt. Parenthetically, he was also the army officer caracaturized by Gilbert and Sullivan in the song “I am the model of a modern Major-General,” in their play Pirates of Penzance.

Most importantly for this story, Wolseley had campaigned in Canada, having commanded the Red River Expedition in 1870 that put down the rebellion of Louis Riel in what became Manitoba. Remembering the prowess of native and Métis canoers, Wolseley contacted Canada’s Governor General, Lord Lansdowne, through the Colonial Office asking for 300 voyageurs from Caughnawaga [Kahnawake], St Regis [Akwesasne] and Manitoba. Their non-combatant, six-month tour of duty was to act as steersmen for his Nile Expedition, transporting soldiers down the Nile to Khartoum. Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald agreed to the request on the proviso that all expenses would be paid by the British government.

NileVoyageursMikan3623770

The Ottawa Contingent of the Canadian Voyageurs in front of the Parliament Buildings, Ottawa, 1884, author unknown, Library and Archives Canada, Mikan No. 3623770.

Despite insistence from the Colonial Office that the British Army wanted native voyageurs, the Canadian government argued that the day of the voyageur was over, and that white raftsmen who drove logs down the Ottawa River had better navigational skills that native boatsmen. Of the 386 officers and men who volunteered for the Nile Expedition, roughly half were hired from the lumber shanty towns of Ottawa-Hull. Another 56 Mohawks came from the Caughnawaga and St Regis areas. A further 92 men heeded the call from the Winnipeg area, of whom roughly one third were Manitoba Ojibwas, led by Chief William Prince. Many were veterans of the Red River campaign. The remainder came from Trois Rivières, Sherbrooke and Peterborough. Roughly half of the men spoke French, one-third English, with the remainder speaking native languages. The majority of the volunteers were experienced boatsmen, though according to one account about a dozen from Winnipeg appeared “to be more at home driving a quill [pen] than handling an oar.”

The appeal for volunteers met widespread public support. Imperialist sentiment in Canada was strong. There was a keen desire, especially among English-speaking Canadians, to prove to Britain that Canada was not just some far-flung outpost but was willing to do its part for Queen and Empire.

It took less than a month after Wolseley’s appeal to assemble the Canadian Nile contingent under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Denison of the Governor General’s Body Guard, a unit of the Canadian militia. Denison, only 37 years of age, was a veteran of the Red River Expedition. He was also well known to Wolseley, having been his aide-de-camp during that campaign. Other senior officers included Major William Kennedy of the 90th Winnipeg Rifles (another Red River veteran), Captain Telmont Aumond of the Governor General’s Foot Guards, and Captain Alexander MacRae of London’s 7th Battalion.  Surgeon-Major John Neilson (another Red River veteran) provided medical care, while Abbé Arthur Bouchard, who had been a missionary in Sudan, accompanied the contingent as chaplain.

The Ottawa contingent assembled on Saturday, 13 September 1884 at the office of T.J. Lambert, the recruiting agent, on Wellington Street at 11am. The sidewalk in front of the office building quickly became so crowded with men and well-wishers that the throng spilled onto the grounds of Parliament Hill across the street. There, a photographer from Notman’s studio took photographs of the men in front of the main entrance to the Centre Block. Also present to entertain the crowd and to provide a fitting send-off to the Ottawa volunteers was the band of the Governor General’s Foot Guards that played a selection of popular tunes, including En roulant ma boule roulant, Home Sweet Home, The Girl I Left Behind, and Auld Lang Syne. At about noon, the men fell in and marched to the Union Depot in LeBreton Flats. A large crowd assembled at the train station to see them off, including most of the area’s lumber mill workers. A special CPR train took the men to Montreal where they joined up with the other contingents, and boarded the 2,500 ton steamer Ocean King for Alexandria.

The expedition was well organized. Each volunteer received a rigorous medical exam. Pay was set at $40 per month plus rations. Each man also received a $2.25 per day allowance from the date of their engagement to their departure date, as well as free passage to and from their destination. Additionally, the volunteers each received a kit consisting of a blanket, towel, smock, home-spun trousers and a jersey, woolen undershirt and drawers, two pairs of socks, a pair of knee-high moccasins, a flannel belt, a grey, wide-brim, soft hat, a canvas bag, and a tumpline to help carry things. Oddly, an optician from London, England offered to supply 450 pairs of spectacles free of charge. A Montreal evangelical group also provided a bible to every man. The men were given an advance of $10 and could make arrangements for any part of their pay to be sent to another person. Most arranged for three quarters of their pay to be sent to wives or parents. In addition to transporting the men, the Ocean King also shipped a birch bark canoe for the personal use of General Wolseley on the Nile.

Needless to say given the background of the men, a potent mixture of French Canadians, Irish, Scots, English, Métis and native peoples, most used to hard drinking and rough living in the lumber camps and the bush, it was a rowdy bunch. A reporter from the Montreal Gazette recounted a brawl that broke out aboard ship on the day the volunteers arrived from Ottawa after “a French Canadian struck an Indian.” He commented that was nothing to distinguish between the so-called “quiet and orderly Winnipeggers from the Ottawaites in the melee.”  They were undoubtedly brought to heel by Captains Aumont and MacRae who were described as “two of the toughest customers.” On the day of departure, Sunday 14 September, the Governor General and Lady Lansdowne, and the Minister of the Militia and Defence, Adolphe-Philippe Caron, saw the Nile Voyageurs off to Egypt. Although the Ocean King had apparently been well provisioned, the Governor General sent beans, cabbages and apples to supplement the men’s rations.

The Canadian contingent arrived in Alexandria in early October, and quickly made their way up the Nile on a steamer to the main British base at Wadi Halfa. There, the voyageurs were divided into detachments and located at the six cataracts, or rapids, that needed to be traversed before the British forces could reach Khartoum.  The boats, converted Royal Navy whalers, were 32 feet long, with a 7 foot beam, and a depth of 3 ½ feet. The voyageurs didn’t think much of them. The complained that they were made of inferior wood and had keels; flat bottoms would have been better given the circumstances. Despite the boats’ shortcomings, the men provided invaluable service to the British relief force, working long, grueling days in the desert heat to transport the troops through the treacherous Nile rapids.  Despite their success, some British officers were shocked by the Canadians’ lack of discipline and deference to authority. This undoubtedly was due to the fact that the men were civilians, not soldiers, even if they were led by military men.

In early 1885, knowing that Gordon could not hold out much longer, Wolseley split his forces. While one detachment continued to make its way down the Nile to Khartoum, another was sent on a desperate trek across the desert to cut off the “Great Bend” in the river. By this point the number of Canadians supporting the mission had been greatly reduced. With their six-month tour of duty about to expire, most had started home in order to make it back for the logging season; a fifty percent increase in pay was insufficient inducement to stay. A rump of about 75 men re-enlisted to assist the British forces down the remainder of the Nile to Khartoum. Fortunately, the rapids were less severe by this point, and with a smaller number of troops to transport the diminished Canadian contingent was equal to the task.

Wolseley’s Nile Expedition ended in failure. The British relief forces arrived in Khartoum two days after the Mahdi’s forces had stormed Khartoum. General Gordon had been killed in the fighting, his head cut off and sent to the Mahdi, reportedly against the Muslim leader’s wishes. Apparently, the Mahdi and Gordon had great respect for each other, with each trying to convert the other. As for the besieged residents of Khartoum, some 10,000 soldiers and civilians were massacred. After successfully engaging a force of Sudanese fighters at nearby Kirbekan, the British relief column was ordered back to Egypt, with the Canadians again assisting the British forces through the Nile rapids, this time down river.

The bulk of the Nile Voyageurs returned to Canada through Halifax in early March 1885 aboard the Allan steamer the Hanoverian. The Ottawa contingent arrived home by train on 7 March. Much of the city’s population came out to greet them. The Frontenac Snowshoe Club lined the train platform to welcome them. After greeting their friends and families, the men paraded downtown led by two musical bands. A celebratory lunch followed. Ottawa residents eagerly snapped up pictures of their heroes. Twenty-five cents bought engravings of General Gordon or General Wolseley, while one dollar purchased a picture of the Nile contingent. The British Parliament later passed a motion of thanks to the Canadian voyageurs for their contribution to the Nile Expedition.

Of the 386 Nile voyageurs, twelve perished from drowning, disease, or accident on the expedition. Of these, M. Brennan and William Doyle were from Ottawa. Today, the Nile Voyageurs, Canada’s first foray on the international scene, have been largely forgotten. A memorial plaque to the Voyageurs was erected in 1966 in Ottawa at Kichissippi Lookout close to the Champlain Bridge. The names of the Nile voyageurs who perished are also recorded in the South Africa-Nile Expedition Book of Remebrance located in the Memorial Chamber in the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill.

 

Sources:

Boileau, John, 2004. “Voyagers on the Nile,” Legion Magazine, 1 January, https://legionmagazine.com/en/2004/01/voyageurs-on-the-nile/.

Canada, Government of, 2011. “The Nile Expedition, 1884-85,” Canadian Military History Gateway, http://www.cmhg.gc.ca/cmh/page-574-eng.asp.

Daily Citizen, (The), 1884. “Nile Boatman,” Ottawa, 13 September.

————————, “Off to Egypt,” 15 September.

————————, 1885. “Safe Voyage,” 5 March.

Gazette, (The), 1884. “The Canadian Contingent,” Montreal, 15 September.

————————. “Off for Alexandria,” 16 September.

———————–. “Home Again,” 5 March.

MacLaren, Roy, 1978. Canadians on the Nile, 1882-1898, Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.

Michel, Anthony, 2004. “To Represent the Country in Egypt: Aboriginality, Britishness, Anglophone Canadian Identities, and the Nile Voyageur Contingent, 1884-1885,” Social History, http://hssh.journals.yorku.ca/index.php/hssh/article/viewFile/4211/3409.

Plummer, Kevin, 2015. “Ascending the Nile,” Torontoist, 21 February, http://torontoist.com/2015/02/historicist-ascending-the-nile/.

Images:

Major-General Charles Gordon, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_George_Gordon#/media/File:Charles_Gordon_Pasha.jpg.

The Canadian Voyageurs in front of the Parliament Buildings, Ottawa, 1884, author unknown, Library and Archives Canada, MIKAN No. 3623770.

First Royal Visit–Prince of Wales Lays Cornerstone of Parliament

1 September 1860

In May 1859, the Legislature of the Province of Canada invited Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert to come to British North America “to witness the progress and prosperity of this distant part of your dominions.” Specifically, the Legislature hoped that the Queen would officially open the Victoria Bridge (le pont Victoria), the first bridge to span the St Lawrence River, which joined Montreal on the north shore with St Lambert on the south shore, that was nearing completion. The visit would also “afford the opportunity the inhabitants [of the Province of Canada] of uniting in their expression of loyalty and attachment to the Throne and Empire.”

Queen Victoria regretfully declined the invitation, saying that “her duties at the seat of Empire prevent so long an absence.” Transatlantic travel in the mid nineteenth century was still an arduous journey, taking two weeks or longer, even if the weather was favourable. Instead, she offered to send her eldest son, Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales. It would be a “coming out” event for the nineteen-year old prince who would later become King Edward VII. Her suggestion was enthusiastically embraced. On hearing that the prince would be visiting British North America, U.S. President Buchanan invited him to tour the United States as well.

The extended North American tour took the young prince to all the major cities of the British colonies of North America, as well as to the major cities of the United States as far west as St Louis, Missouri. The prince’s tour naturally included Ottawa, the city selected by his mother to be the new capital of the United Province of Canada in 1857. Fortuitously, construction of the new Parliamentary buildings had commenced at the end of 1859, and the prince was invited to lay the cornerstone of the Legislature building while he was in the city.

HMS Hero

HMS Hero, Ship that brought the Prince of Wales to North America, 1860

The Prince of Wales departed England for North America on 10 July 1860 on board HMS Hero, a 91-gun, screw and sail powered ship of the line, accompanied by HMS Ariadne, a wooden, screw frigate, and was met in Newfoundland by the screw steam sloop HMB Flying Fish. On board the Hero was  a true hero–William Hall. The son of a slave who had escaped to Canada during the War of 1812, Hall, was the first Canadian seaman and the first black man to receive the Victoria Cross for gallantry. He received the honour for heroism at the siege of Lucknow in 1857 during the Indian Mutiny.

The Prince and his entourage arrived in St John’s during the evening of 23 July, after having encountered heavy seas and dense fog on the crossing. Although the Newfoundland government knew roughly when the prince’s would arrive, his ship’s entrance through the Narrows caught people by surprise; ship-to-shore telegraph communications was still in the distant future. That night, the city hastily finished erecting ceremonial arches made of evergreens, and put up flags and bunting, in preparation for the prince’s official landing the next morning.

Over the following month, the prince made his way across the Atlantic colonies with considerable pomp and ceremony. After St John’s, he visited Halifax, St John, Fredericton, and Charlottetown, before the royal squadron left for the Province of Canada. It arrived in Canadian waters on 13 August where it was met by the Governor General, Sir Edmund Head, and members of the Canadian government on board two Canadian steamers in the mouth of the St Lawrence River. The flotilla reached Quebec City on 18 August. The first major event was a reception at Parliament House where he was greeted by the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly. The prince then knighted the speakers of the two houses of Parliament. He subsequently visited Trois Rivières and then Montreal, where he officially opened le pont Victoria, laying the cornerstone to the entrance to the bridge as well as setting in place a ceremonial “last rivet.” In truth, the bridge, the longest in the world at the time, had been completed the previous year, and was already open for rail traffic.

After a tour of the Eastern Townships, Prince Edward proceeded from Montreal to Ottawa on 31 August. As there was no direct train link, he travelled by way of a special train to Ste Anne-De-Bellevue, followed by boat trip to Carillion, another train ride to Grenville, where he picked up the steamer Phoenix for the last stage of his journey up the Ottawa River. He arrived in Ottawa at 7pm to be met by an armada of one hundred and fifty canoes paddled by several hundred lumbermen dressed in white trousers and red shirts with blue facing. The canoes, flying banners, escorted the steamer the last two miles to the Ottawa wharf. When the Phoenix rounded the Rockcliffe promontory, the Ottawa Field Battery fired a royal salute.

Little Ottawa, with a population of less than 15,000 people, was abuzz with excitement. Nothing like this had ever happened in the rough-and-tumble lumber town. Bunting and flags bedecked every home and office building. Ceremonial arches were built along the route to be taken by the prince and his party through the city. One such arch, spanning Spark’s Street near the Bate building, was constructed of evergreens, interspersed with heraldic shields, mottos, and 60 foot towers. It was topped by two immense urns of flowers and a huge statue of the goddess Minerva clad in armour.

 

arch-1860-at-113-114-sparks-st-library-and-archives-canada-c-002183

Triumphal Arch at 113-114 Sparks Street, 1860, Library and Archives Canada, C-002183.

In front of St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, “four chaste and elegant towers” were erected across Wellington Street “draped and festooned at their caps with cornucopias of flowers, royal standards, shields, and various other appropriate devices.” At the Ottawa end of the Union Suspension Bridge (where today’s Chaudière Bridge stands) to Hull was a massive wooden arch made of 180,000 feet of sawn lumber assembled without a single nail. The wood, worth $3,000, a huge sum in those days, was provided by the company Perley, Pattee & Brown. The suspension bridge itself was decorated with transparencies of the Queen, the Prince Consort, and the Prince of Wales which were illuminated after dusk. Similarly, Sappers’ Bridge, which connected Lower Town and Upper Town, was festooned with hundreds of Chinese lanterns. The Ottawa Citizen commented that “Ottawa appeared lovely and anxious as a bride awaiting the arrival of the bride-groom to complete her joy.”

Lumbermen's Arch 1860 Elihu Spencer LAC PA-099734

Lumbermen’s Arch Built for the Prince of Wales’s Visit to Ottawa, 1860, Elihu Spencer/Library and Archives Canada, PA-099734.

Unfortunately, the start to the prince’s Ottawa visit was marred by a torrential rain shower just as Mayor Alexander Workman, dressed in his robes of office, commenced his dock-side welcome speech. While he soldiered on despite the soaking, the thousands of onlookers scattered for cover. After the prince thanked the mayor, he and his entourage were taken by carriage to the Victoria House Hotel at the corner of Wellington and O’Connor Streets. In their wake followed a somewhat bedraggled parade of soldiers, firemen, and government employees.

But the next day was bright and sunny for the laying of Parliament’s cornerstone. At 11am, the prince, followed by the Governor General, members of the prince’s party, Canadian Cabinet ministers dressed in blue and gold, and other dignitaries, entered the Parliamentary grounds through yet another triumphal arch; this one decorated in a Gothic style. The cornerstone ceremony was held on a dais under an elaborate canopy, surrounded by wooden bleachers to allow several thousand Ottawa citizens to view the proceedings. Following prayers offered by the chaplain to the Legislative Council, the prince approached the white Canadian marble stone. It bore the inscription This corner stone of the building intended to receive The Legislature of Canada was laid by Albert Edward, The Prince of Wales, on the first day of September MDCCCLX. The stone was suspended from a pulley above a Nepean limestone block in which there was a cavity. Into the cavity was placed a glass bottle containing a parchment scroll detailing the cornerstone ceremony and the names of the day’s participants. A collection of British and Canadian coins were also placed in the hole. The clerk of the works then supervised the laying of mortar, with the prince providing the last touch with a silver trowel engraved with a picture of the Parliament buildings. After the cornerstone was lowered into position, the prince tapped the stone three times. Following more prayers, and after officials had checked the stone with a plumb in the shape of a harp, and a level held by a lion and unicorn, the prince declared the stone to have been well and truly laid. At the end of the ceremony, Thomas Fuller and Chilion Jones of Toronto and Thomas Stent and Augustus Lever of Ottawa, the architects of the three Parliament buildings under construction, were presented to the prince. The royal party then went to view a three-dimensional model of the future library made by Charles Emil Zollikofer, a Swedish-born sculptor.

Cornerstone  Laying Ceremony

The Prince of Wales Lays the Cornerstone of Parliament, 1 September 1860

After a lunch hosted by the legislature in a wooden building on the Parliamentary grounds, the afternoon was taken up with fun and games. After the prince and his entourage had toured the city on horseback to admire the city’s decorations and the many triumphal arches erected for the occasion, they were taken to the Chaudière Falls for a singular Ottawa experience—a ride down the Government log slide used to send wood down river to avoid the falls. Two cribs of timber had been constructed to accommodate the royal party and journalists. Cheered by thousands who stood on the shore or on the many bridges over the slide, the prince shot through it to be met by hundreds of canoes mid river. While the two cribs descended without incident, the Ottawa Citizen reported that “the visages of some of the occupants of the cribs were considerable elongated on descending the first shoot.” A regatta with several canoe races followed.

The evening was marked by a very curious event—a mounted torchlight procession of “physiocarnivalogicalists” to the residence of the Prince of Wales. The members of this obscure order, who billed themselves as “the tribes of Allobrentio Forgissario,” were dressed in some sort of costume. The procession was the source of considerable amusement on the part of onlookers. On reaching the prince’s residence, the group raised a loud cheer, which the prince acknowledged through the window, before they dispersed.

After Sunday services at Christ Church (the predecessor of the current Anglican cathedral) the following morning, the prince visited Rideau Hall, the home of John McKay, the noted New Edinburgh lumber baron, and toured its magnificent grounds. Five years later, the Canadian government leased the mansion for the home of the Governor General; it purchased the home in 1868.

At 8am, Monday, 3 September, the prince and his party, escorted by the Durnham Light Infantry, left Ottawa for Brockville, the next stop on the Canadian leg of his North American tour, via Alymer, Chats, and Arnprior. He did not get back to Britain until the middle of November.

Fifty-six years to the day after the Prince of Wales had laid the cornerstone, his brother, the Duke of Connaught, re-laid it as the cornerstone of the new Parliament Building that replaced the original building, gutted in a mysterious fire in February 1916.

 

Sources:

Cellem, Robert, 1861. Visit Of His Royal Highness The Prince Of Wales To The British American Provinces And United States In The Year 1860, Henry Rowsell: Toronto. http://scans.library.utoronto.ca/pdf/3/32/visitofhisroyalh00celluoft/visitofhisroyalh00celluoft.pdf.

The Ottawa Citizen, 1860. “Preparing To Receive The Prince! The Council & Citizens At Work!” 18 August.

———————–, 1860. “On Preparations To Receive H.R.H. The Prince of Wales,” 1 September.

————————, 1860. “The Prince in Ottawa,” 8 September.

Ottawa Journal (The), 1972. “Royal Nay hero was slave’s son,” 15 November.

Images: HMS Hero, anonymous, From Edward VII His Life and Times, published 1910.

Cornerstone Laying Ceremony, 1860, City of Ottawa Archives, http://www.ottawacitizen.com/Cornerstone+laying+ceremony+construction+Parliament+buildings+September+1860/7281798/story.html.

Lumbermen’s Arch, Illustrated London News, http://urbsite.blogspot.ca/2011/06/royal-arches.html.

 

Stony Monday Riot

17 September 1849

We like to think of Canada as a peaceful nation, full of considerate, tolerant folk who respect authority, accept people’s differences, and, generally, rub along pretty well. In reality, we have had, and sadly continue to have, our share of ethnic, religious, and linguistic strife. And, while we have been able to avoid bloody revolution or civil war, it was a close call on a couple of occasions. We had a narrow escape in 1837-38, when rebellions broke out in both Lower and Upper Canada against repressive, corrupt, local oligarchies. A combination of military action by British soldiers and local militias, and subsequent enlightened political measures by leaders like Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine and Robert Baldwin, diffused the situation, paving the way for responsible government, i.e. a government that reflects the will of an elected assembly rather a cabal of unelected, powerful individuals, or, as our American cousins might say, “a government by the people, for the people.”

We had another close call ten years later. In 1849, an elected Reformist government in the Province of Canada passed a bill that financially compensated owners for property destroyed during the 1837-38 Rebellion in Lower Canada. The bill covered everybody except those who had been convicted of treason. Conservatives, called Tories, were outraged that people who had opposed the Crown in the Rebellion would be eligible for compensation. Despite his own misgivings and Tory pressure, the Governor General, Lord Elgin, signed the bill into law in April 1849—an act that underscored the newly established principle of responsible government. An enraged, largely Anglophone, Tory mob in Montreal, then the capital of Canada, pelted Elgin with eggs, and burnt the Canadian Parliament to the ground. With Montreal deemed unsafe, the search began for a new capital.

In 1849, Bytown, as Ottawa was then known, was little more than a village that had grown up around the Ottawa River end of the Rideau Canal. Like the country, it too was politically divided between Reformists and Tories. Loosely speaking, for there were many exceptions, Lower Town residents, mostly working class, Roman Catholic, Francophone and Irish settlers, supported Reform, while the wealthier, largely English, Protestant elite of Upper Town favoured the Tories. Against the backdrop of the troubles in Montreal, Reformist municipal leaders in Bytown called for a town meeting to be held on Monday, 17 September 1849 in the Market Square. On the agenda was the organization of an appropriate reception for Lord Elgin who was expected to visit Bytown as he made his way on a tour of Upper Canada. Leaders also proposed sending a letter to the Governor General to, among other things, express their respect for the Governor General as the Queen’s representative, to place before him the town’s “wants and wishes,” and to underscore the merits of Bytown as a “site for the future Capital of the Province.”

One might think that a vice-regal visit to Bytown would have had the support of Tory Loyalists, especially as they had a lot to gain from the town being selected as the new capital of Canada. However, bearing a grudge against the Governor General for signing the Rebellion Losses Bill into law, they were hotly opposed. According to The Ottawa Advocate, a Tory newspaper, the proposed letter to Lord Elgin was inflammatory. On the Sunday prior to the day of the meeting, Tory supporters, “fully armed and equipped,” began to pour into Bytown from surrounding farming communities, including Nepean, Gloucester, Fitzroy, and North Gower. Their intent was to suppress the meeting. According to The Packet, the main body, roughly 500 men, had arrived by wagon by mid-morning, and were met by Bytown’s Tory leaders, one of whom was the mayor, Robert Hervey. At 1.30pm, they marched to the site of the meeting only to be confronted by an equally large crowd of Reform supporters. Initially, there was no trouble, but as Edward Mallock, the M.P. for the county, and Reformist leaders, Charles Sparrow and Joseph-Balsora Turgeon (both later mayors of Bytown), rose to speak from a platform erected at the south end of the Market Square facing York Street, they were shouted down by the Tory mob. Within minutes, a bloody brawl broke out. Sticks and stones were liberally employed, giving rise to the day’s name “Stony Monday.” When a shot rang out, there was a “general run for Fire-arms,” with up to fifty shots fired. More than two dozen men were wounded. Many fled to the nearby Shouldice Hotel (now the location of a Starbucks at 62 York Street) for safety. Although the newspaper reported that there had been no deaths, a Methodist bystander, David Borthwick, was fatally shot in the chest.

Robert Hervey, 1820-1903, Mayor of Bytown during the Stony Monday Riot

Robert Hervey, 1820-1903, Mayor of Bytown during the Stony Monday Riot

Within twenty minutes of the start of the riot, the Canadian Rifles were mobilized under the direction of Mayor Hervey.  After marching through Lower Town arresting Reformists, the soldiers took control of the Market Square. There, Tory supporters passed their own resolution to write a letter to the Governor General expressing their “unqualified disapprobation of the unprecedented course pursued by Your Excellency’s present advisers, whose whole system of policy in the Administration of public affairs in this Colony, from the day of their assumption of power to the present time, [they] must unhesitatingly and emphatically condemn.” The draft letter was read out loud by Hervey.

According to The Packet, a Reform organ, the Tory letter to Lord Elgin was “steeped in the blood of … fellow-citizens, and adopted at a moment when their hired bullies were butchering the peaceable Inhabitants (Reformers).”  After a series of “violent speeches,” Mayor Hervey swore in special constables who, at the head of the mob, paraded through the streets. The mayor urged fellow Tories to reassemble two days hence, on the Wednesday, and to come “fully equipped for war.” The purpose of this assembly is unclear.

The next day, Tuesday, was fairly quiet, with both sides preparing for battle. Early on Wednesday, Reformers from near and far poured into Lower Town, while Tory farmers from neighbouring farming communities returned to reinforce their Upper Town allies. The Packet described both sides as being “completely armed as if the Country were in a state of civil war.” Tory supporters mustered on the brow of what is now Parliament Hill overlooking the canal. After being addressed by their leaders, including Mayor Hervey, the mob moved eastward down Wellington Street. Meanwhile, the Reformists, who had formed up in the Market Square, moved to intercept the Tories. The two groups, of roughly equal size, totalled at least 1,000 men. At 2pm, armed with rifles and bayonets, and apparently cannon, they came face to face on Sappers’ Bridge, the only crossing over the Rideau Canal linking Upper and Lower Towns. Fortunately, a small contingent of brave soldiers, this time acting in an impartial fashion, interposed themselves on the bridge between the two hostile parties. The situation grew tense. A Tory “proposition” to charge the troops went unanswered. Already taut nerves were rattled when Reformists fired a volley of shots into the air, reportedly to empty their guns as a prelude to leaving. After a face-off lasting two strained hours, Tory supporters, under a “Party Flag,” marched away to a tune played on a fife and drum. A parting volley of shots was fired into the air. With the Reformists also standing down, the troops returned to their barracks.

The Packet opined that if it wasn’t for a number of fortunate occurrences, most importantly the timely intercession of the troops, “one of the bloodiest tragedies on record would for ever hereafter have blacken the character of this fair Town, and made it unfit as a residence for any man but him unfit for civilized society.”  The newspaper marvelled in despair saying that a “stranger may well ask, —Can it be true? …Can such a scene have occurred in the middle of the 19th century in enlightened Canada?” The answer was a disturbing yes.

The drama was not quite over. Men arrested by the troops the previous Monday appeared in court on Thursday. With a large crowd outside, their cases were adjourned. Meanwhile, troops sized a private arsenal of arms, including cannon, from a property owned by Ruggles Wright, Senior, on the Hull side of the Union Suspension Bridge. The soldiers arrested Wright, along with Joshua Wright, Ruggles Wright, Junior, and Andrew Leamy. After being detained at the guard-house, the men were released on bail. The soldiers also temporarily detained reformers, John Scott, Bytown’s first mayor, and Henry Friel, editor of The Packet; Friel later became mayor of Bytown and Ottawa.

In the end, most of those charged in the affray were acquitted due to lack of evidence. Nobody was ever charged with the death of poor David Borthwick. In 1853, Lord Elgin was courteously and enthusiastically welcomed to Bytown, which Queen Victoria selected as the new capital of Canada in 1857. Robert Hervey, the mayor who had led the Tory assault on the Reformers, left Canada in 1852 for Chicago where he became a prominent lawyer.

Sources:

Byward Market, 2013, History, http://www.byward-market.com/about/history.htm.

Groundspeak, 2015, Stoney Monday Riot – Bytown (Now Ottawa), Ontario –Infamous Crime Scenes on Waymarking.com, http://www.waymarking.com.

The Globe, 1849, “The Bytown Riots: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday,” 27 September.

Mullington, 2005. David, Chain of Office: Biographical Sketches of the Early Mayors of Ottawa (1847-1948), General Store Publishing House: Renfrew.

The Packet, 1849, “State of Bytown During The Past Week,” 22 September.

————-, 1849, “The Late Riots,” 29 September.

Image: Robert Hervey, 1820-1903, Library and Archives Canada, C-002049, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Hervey.

Strike! En Grève!

14 September 1891

For the majority of people in Canada during the nineteenth century, life was hard. If you managed to avoid the myriad of killer diseases that prematurely snuffed out the lives of many, you could look forward to long hours of backbreaking work, regardless of whether you lived on a farm, or in one of Canada’s growing urban centres, such as Ottawa. In the sawmills and lumber yards of the Chaudière, the typical work day started at 6am and finished at 6pm, with an hour off for dinner; often people were forced to work much longer. Sunday was the only day of rest. Wages were low. According to an 1886 Royal Commission, domestic servants earned $6-8 per month, with room and board. Adult male workers at John R. Booth or Erskine Bronson’s sawmills brought home $1.00-1.50 per day, while women doing piece work in Ezra B. Eddy’s match factory in Hull could look forward to the munificent income of $0.35-0.75 per day. Boys and girls earned a pittance. Fortunately, prices were much lower than today. Very roughly, a weekly wage of $7.00-$9.00 might be equivalent to $150-200 per week today. But work was often seasonal; the sawmills and lumberyards of the Chaudière closed during the winter.

Working conditions were also poor. Accidents on the job maimed or killed many each year at a time when there was no workmen’s compensation. If you couldn’t work, you weren’t paid. Match workers, usually women or girls called allumettières, faced the horrible prospect of contracting phossy jaw, the colloquial term for phosphorus necrosis, through their exposure to white phosphorus used to make match heads. Phossy jaw caused terrible jaw abscesses, organ failure, brain damage, and, ultimately, death. Respiratory disease was rampant among lumber workers who laboured in poorly-ventilated, dusty sawmills. Sawdust, dumped into the Ottawa River, polluted the water on which residents relied. In the cramped, unhygienic, wooden shanties constructed on LeBreton Flats and in Hull close to the Chaudière mills and lumberyards, typhoid and other waterborne diseases flourished.

Emblem of the Knights of Labor

Emblem of the Knights of Labor

In the late nineteenth century, mutual aid societies, co-operatives, and unions emerged with the objective of improving the lives of working people, a development encouraged by the passage of the Trade Unions Act of 1872 by the government of John A. Macdonald; hitherto, union activity had been viewed as illegal conspiracy. Early unions active in Ottawa included the Canadian Labour Protective Association (1872) and the Canadian Labour Union (1873). Also prominent were the Knights of Labor, an American union and political movement that had begun in 1869 as a secret society. Although the movement had its dark side in the United States, where it was involved in anti-Chinese riots in the west, it was progressive in other respects, supporting gender equality, and equal pay for equal work. It also welcomed black members, though it condoned segregation in the U.S. south. By the 1880s, it had hundreds of thousands of members, and had opened branch assemblies in Canada, including in Ottawa and Hull, despite opposition from the Catholic Church.

The Knights of Labor were prominent in the great Chaudière strike that began on 14 September 1891. For the next month, lumbermen and sawmill workers staged an impromptu and illegal labour walk-out over a pay cut unilaterally imposed by the lumber barons. The strikers also wanted a reduction in their long working hours. While strikes were legal back in those days, six months’ notice had to be provided to management. Napoléon Pagé, a journalist who had started the Hull assembly of the Knights known as the Canadienne, was a prominent strike leader, though the Knights of Labor never endorsed the strike given the legal requirements to call a walk-out; they officially favoured arbitration. Nonetheless, Pagé’s newspaper, Le Spectateur, became the voice of the striking workers. Also prominent among the leadership of the mill and lumber workers was J. W. Patterson, head of the Ottawa Trades and Labour Council, and Napoléon Fateux (or Fauteux). Fateux, a mill worker, was a particularly effective leader, counselling restraint and peaceful assembly. He warned against mixing strike activity with alcohol, and urged older workers to curb young hotheads.

1891 was a bad year for the Canadian lumber industry. Important markets in Britain and South America were weak owing to a global economic recession; the previous year, an international financial crisis had erupted when Baring Brothers, an important British banking house with a global reach, almost collapsed owing to huge losses on its investments in Argentina. The company was famously rescued by the Bank of England.  In response to weak demand and low lumber prices, the Chaudière lumber barons cut the weekly wages of sawmill workers by 50 cents. They also failed to live up to an earlier promise to reduce the work week to ten hours. When George Pattee refused a demand from workers at the Pearly & Pattee Lumber Company to restore the 1890 wage rate, on the grounds that he was only following the policy set by the lumber industry, his workers struck. Quickly, workers at other sawmills and lumberyards downed tools. At its greatest extent, some 4,000 workers had walked off the job—a huge proportion of Ottawa-Hull’s population, which perhaps totalled 50,000 at that time. Large public meetings were held in both Hull and Ottawa, attracting many thousands of people.

The strike was marred by violence and intimidation on both sides. On 15 September, more than two thousand workers marched from the wharf opposite the Booth mill in Ottawa across the Union Bridge to the Eddy match factory. There, the strikers confronted Ezra Eddy himself and other managers. A man, identified by the sobriquet “Red Moustache” violently kicked Eddy in the stomach before the mob dispersed. Later that same day, C.B. Wright, a sawmill owner, told a delegation of strikers that he was prepared to defend his mills “at the rifle muzzle if necessary.” Subsequently, Mr. Ruggles Wright fired blank rifle shots at workers in an attempt to intimidate them. In the ensuing affray, C.B. Wright was injured. There was more violence at the Mason family mill, where the father was roughed up, and his two sons, William and George, were cut by thrown stones.

Ezra Butler Eddy, 1827-1906, Owner of E.B. Eddy Company and sometime Mayor of Hull, Quebec

Ezra Butler Eddy, 1827-1906, Owner of E.B. Eddy Company and sometime Mayor of Hull, Quebec

Ezra Eddy, who was also the mayor of Hull, persuaded two justices of the peace to call out the militia. Two companies of the Governor General’s Foot Guards and two companies of the 43rd Battalion were called up to report to the Drill Hall at 5am on 16 September. The part-time troops, who were mostly civil servants, were armed with bayonets and live ammunition, though their commander, Lt-Col. Anderson, warned them not to take offensive measures without the command of their officers. The soldiers marched from the Drill Hall to Eddy’s in Hull, where two companies were deployed to avert trouble; the remaining two companies were stationed at the Hurdman sawmill. Fortunately, nothing happened. The strikers remained peaceful, and the soldiers were quickly demobilized after a workers’ delegation, which included Napoléon Fateux and J. W. Patterson, convinced Ezra Eddy that the troublemakers were not mill men, but outsiders. The workers’ delegation also promised to assign men to protect private property.

This was not the end of the violence, however. At the end of the month, there was a serious clash at the Perely & Pattee Company when strikers attempted to stop lumber shipments leaving the mill. Chief McVeity of the Ottawa police force and his men responded with batons “in a lively style,” according to The Ottawa Evening Journal. Striking workmen responded by throwing stones and sticks. Serious injuries were averted by the timely arrival of Napoléon Fateux who succeeded in restoring peace. The ferocity of the police response led public opinion, which already broadly supported the strikers, to swing even more in their favour.

Church, civic groups, small merchants, and individuals contributed money and goods to help families of the strikers. At the peak, more than 200 families were being helped daily. Special shops for strikers were established in Place du Portage in Hull and in LeBreton Flats. Strike relief funds were also provided by other unions, both in the Ottawa area and outside, though the amounts raised were small.

By early October, cracks in the owners’ façade were beginning to show, especially after an attempt to use scab labour brought in from Pointe Gatineau failed when striking workers persuaded strike breakers to desist. As one brought-in worker explained, it was “better to stop work and live a little longer.” On 3 October, work resumed at the Hurdman mill in Hull. While the owners had not budged on pay, they instituted a ten-hour work day.

But the workers were also at the end of their tether. On 12 October, more than 1,100 men returned to work on the old terms; that is to say, no raise and no ten-hour day. More followed. As the Journal put it, “men were, with scarcely an exception, heartily weary of hanging around doing nothing, with empty pockets, on the threshold of winter.” Although most mill owners had provided no concessions, rumours of change were rife. The following day, Perely & Pattee reversed the 50 cent reduction on the face-saving grounds that the men had returned to work of their own free will. The other lumber companies quickly followed suit.

By the time the strike ended, at least 1,000 experienced millworkers and lumbermen, short of money, had left Ottawa-Hull. Some 600 went to the Saginaw region in Michigan, which had its own lumber industry. Consequently, the Chaudière lumber companies had difficulty in quickly restoring full operations. With the balance of power shifting towards the workers, the ten-hour work week was finally implemented in 1895.

Sources:

Kealy, Gregory S. 1995. Workers and Canadian History, Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Martin, Michael, 2006. Working Class Culture and the Development of Hull, Quebec, 1800-1929, http://web.ncf.ca/fn871/Media/Docs/Book1/Book1_WorkingClassCulture.pdf.

Morton, Desmond, 1998. Working People: An Illustrated History of the Canadian Labour Movement, Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press.

The Ottawa Evening Journal, 1891. “Violence,” 15 September.

————————, 1891. “Strikers’ Meeting,” 15 September.

————————, 1891. “The Strike,” 16 September.

————————, 1891. “Nothing Done,” 17 September.

————————, 1891. “Hard Knock,” 30 September.

————————, 1891. “Work Stopped,” 1 October.

————————, 1891. “Buzzing Again,” 12 October.

————————, 1891. “”Back to Work,” 13 October.

————————, 1891. “50 Cents More,” 13 October.

National Capital Commission, 2013. “Donalda Charron and the E.B. Eddy Match Company: Working Conditions,” Virtualmuseum.ca, http://www.virtualmuseum.ca.

Images: Knights of Labor, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knights_of_Labor.

B. Eddy, Library and Archives Canada, PA25792, http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/biography/eddy_e/eddy_e.html.

The Spanish Lady

26 September 1918

It was 1918, and the Great War was into its fifth year. In March, Germany launched a massive offensive on the Western Front in a desperate attempt to break the military stalemate before American doughboys arrived in force. But as soldiers of the Allied and Central Powers grappled in the mud of France and Belgium, a new, insidious enemy emerged, affecting both sides without discrimination. Amidst the clamour of war, it initially went unnoticed. But as tens of thousands at the front and at home began to experience symptoms of fatigue, loss of appetite, aches, stuffy nose, cough, high fever and in some cases death, it became clear that the world was facing something new and terrible. People called it the “Spanish” influenza, or the “plague of the Spanish Lady.”

Those first affected were in fact the lucky ones as they acquired an immunity that largely protected them from a far more virulent form of the disease that emerged later than year. Hundreds of millions of people around the world fell ill. With a mortality rate of 10-20 per cent, millions succumbed either of influenza, or of secondary infections, including pneumonia. Oddly, a disproportionate number were young adults rather than the very young or old. Pandemic experts place the number of dead at 50-100 million, equivalent to 3-6 per cent of the world’s population, before the disease petered out by early 1919. In comparison, “only” 17 million soldiers and civilians died in the Great War. Canada got off relatively lightly. 50,000 Canadians died of the flu in the space of a few months, compared to 65,000 Canadian military deaths in four and a half years of war.

Today, we know the “Spanish flu” as the avian H1N1 subtype of the influenza A virus. But in 1918 the cause of the disease was unknown. Most doctors thought it was a type of bacterial infection. Regardless, nobody was sure how to treat the disease, or how to stop its transmission. The only advice given was to avoid crowds and sneezing or coughing individuals, walk to work, eat well, and get a lot of rest.

Even the origins of the disease were uncertain. With news heavily censored in belligerent countries, accounts of the disease were initially reported in neutral Spain, and so it became identified with that country. One theory placed the disease’s origins in Kansas in the U.S. heartland. Another identified China as its point of origin, with the disease initially transmitted by infected Chinese workers who arrived in France via Canada to work behind the front lines. Regardless, the flu quickly spread around the world as thousands of infected soldiers travelled between home and the trenches.

Ottawa’s first fatality occurred on 26 September 1918, roughly two weeks after the first deaths in Canada were reported in Quebec City. Jules Lemieux, a 72-year old civil servant, succumbed to respiratory failure after a 5-day struggle. By mid-October, there were thousands of cases, with the city recording 50 deaths per day.

Ottawa’s Board of Health ordered the closure of schools and theatres, and forbade public gatherings. After some initial hesitation, churches cancelled services. The city’s streetcars were fumigated with formaldehyde. Stores and government offices closed at 4:00pm; the argument being that the body’s vitality was at its lowest ebb and hence most susceptible to the disease in the late afternoon. Over considerable public opposition, Ottawa’s Mayor Fisher cancelled sporting events, including a ploughing competition to have been held at the Experimental and Booth Farms. Although outdoors activities were considered safe, Fisher was concerned about people crowding onto streetcars to attend them.

In contrast, pharmacy hours were extended, with Sunday shopping temporarily permitted. With doctors prescribing whisky to patients, especially those in the pneumonia stage of the disease, anxious people crowded into drug stores, the only legal vendors of hard liquor during Prohibition. But pressure to allow drug stores to sell whisky without a $2 doctor’s prescription was resisted. Fisher argued that “the better physical condition of people, resulting from prohibition, had saved a great many lives.”

Despite precautionary measures, hospitals were flooded with patients. With medical staff also sickening, healthy doctors and nurses were taxed almost beyond human endurance. To help cope, a registry of voluntary nurses was set up by Lillian Freiman, wife of A. J. Freiman, the owner of Freiman’s department’s store on Rideau Street. Upon her recommendation, temporary hospitals were also established in schools and in the University of Ottawa dormitory on Laurier Avenue.

The disease hit all segments of society. But a disproportionate number of deaths occurred in the poor, largely francophone and Irish working class districts of LeBreton Flats, the home of the CP Railway Station, Lower Town, and areas adjacent to the Grand Truck Railway corridor than ran along the Rideau canal to Central (Union) Station. With the railways the main entry point for the disease, those working on or living close to the railways were at greatest risk. Over-crowded living quarters and poor hygiene were other contributing factors.

Influenza

Hospital near Fort Riley, Kansas in 1918,
A Flu Hot Spot

There were many sad stories. On Sunday, 6 October, George Neville of 61 Augusta Street, his wife Irene and their newborn child died within hours of each other in the same hospital. In Rochesterville on the city’s outskirts, a woman and her eight children were found ill by a worried neighbour. The mother was almost unconscious, while the children were laying about the house, all stricken with influenza.

With most able-bodied men in military service, the burden of caring for the sick and dying fell to women. Mayor Fisher called for their mobilization, asking the women of Ottawa “to get into the trenches themselves.” Women switched from making socks for soldiers to gauze masks and “pneumonia jackets” (padded cotton coats to keep in the body’s heat, supposedly hastening the disease’s progress and stimulating respiration). Female volunteers cared for those unable to get to hospitals. An appeal also went out for car owners to deliver supplies and nurses to homes of the ill, while the Central Canada Exhibition Office was converted into a soup kitchen, staffed by women.

Although many volunteered to help at great personal risk, some exploited the situation. Dubious patent remedies were sold to desperate people. “Fruit-A-Tives” billed itself as the wonderful fruit medicine that “gives the power to resist the disease.” A box of six tablets sold for $2.50, equivalent to about $37 in today’s money. Even Murphy-Gamble, the big Spark’s Street department store, encouraged women to dress warmly “To Check the ‘Flu.” According to its advertisement in The Ottawa Journal, the store claimed that “The woman who persists in wearing gauze undergarments and illusionary stockings in the face of unfavorable elements not only flirts with pneumonia, but courts the Pale Spectre.”

By mid-November, the disease appeared to have largely run its course in Ottawa, and life gradually returned to normal, or as normal as it could be with so many families having lost loved ones or friends. On 23 November, 1918, The Globe newspaper reported that the Spanish flu had claimed 570 lives in the capital, giving a death rate of 548 per 100,000 people, a far worse rate than that of most other major Canadian cities.

The influenza pandemic underscored the value of a co-ordinated national approach to Canadian health care leading to the establishment of the federal Department of Health in 1919.

Sources:

Bacic, Jadranka,  1998. The Plague of the Spanish Flu: The Influenza Epidemic of 1918 in Ottawa, Bytown Pamphlet Series #63, The Historical Society of Ottawa.

Siamandas, George, 199?, The 1918 Influenza Outbreak: The Spanish Flu Panics Canada, http://timemachine.siamandas.com/PAGES/more%20stories/SPANISH_INFLUENZA%20.htm.

St. Pierre, Marc., 2002, Ottawa’s Dance with the Spanish Lady, 11 December, http://www.bytown.net/flu1918.htm.

The Globe and Mail, 1918. “The Spanish Influenza,” 1 October.

————————-,1918.  “Let Liquor Fight The Flu,” 10 October.

————————, 1918. “How Influenza Hit Ontario,” 23 November.

The National Post, 2014. “Spanish flu, the pandemic that killed 50 million, started in China — but may have spread via Canada, historian says, 4 February.

The Ottawa Journal,  1918. “Ottawa Valley is Badly Hit by Spanish Flue,” 4 October.

————————-, 1918. “Close Schools, Theatres, Etc. to Check “Flu,” 5 October.

————————-, 1918. “Influenza Spread Doctors Report to Board of Health,” 7 October.

————————-, 1918, “Mr. and Mrs. Neville And Babe Succumb,” 7 October.

————————-, 1918. “To Check the ‘Flu — Dress Warmly!”, 8 October.

————————-, 1918. “Nine in Family Reported Down With Influenza,” 9 October.

————————-, 1918. “Health Officers Think Situation Here Improved,” 10 October.

————————, “R.C. and Anglican Churches Cancel Sunday Services, 11 October.

————————, 1918. “Football Game Cancelled by Mayor at Late Hour Last Night,” 12 October.

————————, 1918. “Wont Hold Match Until Next Year,” 15 October.

————————, 1918. “To Close Stores at Four O’Clock on Board’s Order,” 15 October.

————————, 1918. “Gov’t Employees Will Quit Work at Four O’Clock,” 16 October.

———————–, 1918. “Spanish Influenza Rages in Canada,” 19 October.

Wikipedia, 2014, The 1918 Flu Pandemic, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1918_flu_pandemic.

Image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:CampFunstonKS-InfluenzaHospital.jpg.