A Few Acres of Snow: Documents in Pre-Confederation Canadian History, Third Edition

Edited by Thomas Thorner with Thor Frohn-Nielsen

© 2009

A Few Acres of Snow allows readers to experience early Canadian history in the words of those who first explored, created, and documented the nation. Providing coast-to-coast representation and featuring a diverse range of social groups, the editors offer a refreshing look at the major events leading up to and including Confederation. Throughout, they rely on a careful selection of personal, formal, and legal documents to tell the story, including early travel narratives, literary writings by Susanna Moodie and Catherine Parr Trail, government reports on slavery in Canada, official letters on Irish immigration, and newspaper articles and speeches on the creation of the Dominion of Canada in 1867.

In this trim new edition, each document is introduced with biographical information about the creator. Brand new chapters discuss the Loyalists in Nova Scotia, the War of 1812, and the Beothuk. Also new is a guide to critically reading and engaging with historical documents.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 320 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.5in x 0.6in x 9.0in
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SKU# HE000332

  • PUBLISHED SEP 2009

    From: $51.00

    Regular Price: $60.00

    ISBN 9781442600294
  • PUBLISHED SEP 2009
    From: $49.95

Quick Overview

A Few Acres of Snow allows readers to experience early Canadian history in the words of those who first explored, created, and documented the nation.

A Few Acres of Snow: Documents in Pre-Confederation Canadian History, Third Edition

Edited by Thomas Thorner with Thor Frohn-Nielsen

© 2009

A Few Acres of Snow allows readers to experience early Canadian history in the words of those who first explored, created, and documented the nation. Providing coast-to-coast representation and featuring a diverse range of social groups, the editors offer a refreshing look at the major events leading up to and including Confederation. Throughout, they rely on a careful selection of personal, formal, and legal documents to tell the story, including early travel narratives, literary writings by Susanna Moodie and Catherine Parr Trail, government reports on slavery in Canada, official letters on Irish immigration, and newspaper articles and speeches on the creation of the Dominion of Canada in 1867.

In this trim new edition, each document is introduced with biographical information about the creator. Brand new chapters discuss the Loyalists in Nova Scotia, the War of 1812, and the Beothuk. Also new is a guide to critically reading and engaging with historical documents.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 320 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.5in x 0.6in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    The only way that one can properly teach undergraduates the story(ies) of Canada is to expose them to the sources both oral and written. This invaluable volume of documents tells many of these early histories. Thomas Thorner's third edition of A Few Acres of Snow is most welcome for teachers and students of Canadian history alike. The coverage is now extremely thorough, incorporating all time periods, themes, and issues including a judicious blend of political, economic, social, multicultural, immigration, and Indigenous histories. Included are a comprehensive list of further readings and issues for discussion.


    David McNab, York University

    This edition builds upon the two previous efforts with several very useful additions. The opening essay on reading primary documents will inspire students to use the critical skills needed to analyze the readings. The new section on the War of 1812 will appeal to the many undergraduates who are fascinated by this war and by military history in general. Another update that is powerful in its subtlety is the use of cursive font for chapter titles, an effective reminder for students that these documents were not originally created in the neat and tidy format readily available in this edited collection. The most important additions, though, are the biographical details of the documents' authors. This vital background will be of great use to students seeking a wider historical context for the primary sources.


    Sharon Jaeger, Wilfrid Laurier University
  • Author Information

    Thomas Thorner is a member of the Department of History at Kwantlen University College.

    Thor Frohn-Nielsen teaches in the Department of History at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

  • Table of contents

    Prefaces

    General Introduction

    Using Primary Historical Sources

    Chapter 1. "So Blind and So Ignorant": Looking into Other Eyes

    Introduction

    Discussion Points

    Documents:

    1. Christien Le Clerq, New Relation of Gaspesia, 1691

    2. Micmac Chief's Speech in Christien Le Clerq, New Relation of Gaspesia, 1691

    3. Baron Lahontan, Some New Voyages to North America, 1703

    4. Adario's Conversation in Baron Lahontan, Some New Voyages to North America, 1703

    Further Readings

    Chapter 2. "Advantages and Inconveniences": The Colonization of Canada

    Introduction

    Discussion Points

    Documents:

    1. Samuel de Champlain, "To the King and the Lords of His Council," 1618

    2. Pierre Boucher, True and Genuine Description of New France Commonly Called Canada, 1664

    3. Jean Talon, "Memoir on Canada," 1673

    4. Jacques-Rene de Brisay de Denonville, "Memoir Respecting Canada Prepared for the Marquis de Seignelay," January 1690

    Further Readings

    Chapter 3. "An Afflicted People": The Acadians

    Introduction

    Discussion Points

    Documents:

    1. Acadians, "Memorial to Nova Scotia Governor Charles Lawrence," June 10, 1755

    2. Governor Charles Lawrence, "To the Governors on the Continent," August 11, 1755

    3. John Winslow, Journal, 1755

    4. John Baptiste Galerm, "A Relation of the Misfortunes of the French Neutrals, as laid before the Assembly of the Province of Pennsylvania," 1758

    Further Readings

    Chapter 4. "The Ruin of Canada": Last Decades of New France

    Introduction

    Discussion Points

    Documents:

    1. Louis-Joseph de Montcalm, "To Marshal de Belle Isle," Montreal, April 12, 1759

    2. Michel-Jean-Hughes Péan, "Memoir on the Condition of Canada"

    3. Unknown, "Memoir on Canada"

    4. Marie de la Visitation, Narrative of the Doings During the Siege of Quebec, and the Conquest of Canada

    Further Readings

    Chapter 5: "Suffering Much by Toil and Want": Loyalists in Nova Scotia

    Introduction

    Discussion Points

    Documents:

    1. Benjamin Marston, Diary, 1783-1784

    2. Memoirs of Boston King, 1784

    3. Edward Winslow, "To Ward Chipman," April 26, 1784

    4. M.S., A Sketch of Shelburnian Manners, Anno 1787

    5. Edward Winslow to the Royal Gazette, July 1802

    Further Readings

    Chapter 6. "The Abundant Blessings of British Rule": Quebec's New Administration

    Introduction

    Discussion Points

    Documents:

    1. Joseph-Octave Plessis, Bishop of Quebec, "Sermon on Nelson's Victory at Aboukir," 1799

    2. Anglo-Canadiensis, "To the Editor of the Quebec Mercury," Le Canadien, November 29, 1806

    3. John Lambert, Travels Through Lower Canada and the United States of North America in the Years 1806, 1807, and 1808, 1810

    4. Hugh Gray, Letters from Canada Written During a Residence There in the Years 1806, 1807 and 1808, 1809

    Further Readings

    Chapter 7. "All is Gloomy: The War of 1812

    Introduction

    Discussion Points

    Documents:

    1. William Hull, Brigadier-General and Commander of the Northwestern Army of the United States, Proclamation, July 12, 1812

    2. Major General Issac Brock to Sir George Prevost, July 12, 1812

    3. Major General Issac Brock to Lord Liverpool August 29, 1812

    4. M. Smith, A Geographical View of the Province of Upper Canada, and Promiscuous Remarks upon the Government, 1813

    5. P-S. Bédard, "Memorandum In Support of the Petition of the Inhabitants of Lower Canada," 1814

    6. William Dunlop, "Recollections of the American War 1812-14," 1847

    7. John Strachan, Report of the Loyal and Patriotic Society of Upper Canada to Thomas Jefferson, January 30, 1815

    Further Readings

    Chapter 8. "A Train of Undisguised Violence:" North West Company vs. Hudson's Bay Company

    Introduction

    Discussion Points

    Documents:

    1. Thomas Douglas, Earl of Selkirk, The Memorial of Thomas Earl of Selkirk, October 2, 1818

    2. William McGillivray, "To Sir G. Drummond," June 24, 1815

    3. W.B. Coltman, "Report," May 14, 1818

    Further Readings

    Chapter 9. "For the Sake of Humanity": Newfoundland and the Beothuk

    Introduction

    Discussion Points

    Documents:

    1. "Report of Committee Appointed to Inquire into the State of the Trade to Newfoundland in March, April and June, 1793"

    2. John Peyton Jr., "Narrative," St. John's, Newfoundland, May 27, 1819

    3. W. Cormack, Royal Gazette, November 13, 1827

    Further Readings

    Chapter 10. "Our Robinson Crusoe Sort of Life": Sisters in Upper Canada

    Introduction

    Discussion Points

    Documents:

    1. Susanna Moodie, Roughing It in the Bush, 1852

    2. Catherine Parr Traill, The Backwoods of Canada, 1836

    Further Readings

    Chapter 11. "The Long and Heavy Chain of Abuse": Political Crisis in Lower Canada

    Introduction

    Discussion Points

    Documents:

    1. "The Six Counties Address," Montreal, The Vindicator, October 31, 1837

    2. Robert Nelson, "Declaration of Independence," February 22, 1838

    3. Lord Durham, "Report on the Affairs of British North America," 1840

    Further Readings

    Chapter 12. "Most Horrible and Heartless": Irish Immigration

    Introduction

    Discussion Points

    Documents:

    1. Stephen de Vere, "To the Select Committee on Colonization from Ireland," November 30, 1847

    2. Dr. G. Douglas M.D., "To Hon. H. Daly," December 27, 1847

    3. Mayor W. Boulton, "To Earl of Elgin and Kincardine, Governor General of British North America," 1847

    4. H. Perley, "To Sir William Colebrooke, Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of New Brunswick," December 31, 1847

    Further Readings

    Chapter 13. "A Great Humbug": British Columbia's Gold Rushes

    Introduction

    Discussion Points

    Documents:

    1. C. Gardiner, "To the Editor of The Islander," November 17, 1858

    2. Charles Major, "News from British Columbia," The Daily Globe, January 2, 1860

    3. Matthew MacFie, Vancouver Island and British Columbia, 1865

    Further Readings

    Chapter 14. "The Sweet Zephyrs of British Land": The Black Experience

    Introduction

    Discussion Points

    Documents:

    1. Jehu Jones, "To Charles Ray," August 8, 1839

    2. Mary Ann Shadd Cary, A Plea for Emigration, 1852

    3. Samuel Ward, "To Messrs. Bibb and Holly," October 1852

    4. William Brown, "The Colored People of Canada," Pine and Palm, September-December 1861

    5. S. Howe, The Refugees from Slavery in Canada West: Report to the Freedman's Inquiry Commission, 1864

    Further Readings

    Chapter 15. "Like Snow Beneath an April Sun": Mid-Nineteenth Century Native Dissent

    Introduction

    Discussion Points

    Documents:

    1. Pelancea Paul (Francois Paul) et al., "To His Excellency John Harvey, Lieut. Governor of Nova Scotia," February 8, 1849

    2. Chief Kahkewaquonaby (Peter Jones), "Answers to the Queries proposed by the Commissioners appointed to enquire into Indian Affairs in this Province," February 6, 1843

    3. Chiefs Brant Brant, Joseph Penn, and Joseph Smart, "To the Chiefs and People of Several Tribes Assembled in General Council at Orillia," July 21, 1846

    4. Chief Peau de Chat, "Address to T. G. Anderson, vice-superintendent of Indian Affairs," Sault Ste. Marie, August 18, 1848

    5. Chief Peguis (William King), "To the Aboriginal Protection Society," Red River, 1857

    Further Readings

    Chapter 16. "The Bold Scheme": Confederation

    Introduction

    Discussion Points

    Documents:

    1. Hon. George Etienne Cartier, Speech, February 7, 1865

    2. Hon. George Brown, Speech, February 8, 1865

    3. Legislative Council and House of Assembly of Prince Edward Island, "To the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty," March 6, 1865

    4. Joseph Howe, Speech, 1866

    5. Petition of the Inhabitants of Nova Scotia, "To The Commons of Great Britain and Ireland in Parliament Assembled," August 16, 1866

    Further Readings

    Sources

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