Browse "History/Historical Figures"

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Benjamin Bowring

Benjamin Bowring, silversmith, watchmaker, merchant (b in Devonshire, Eng 1778; d at Liverpool, Eng June 1846). One of a large number of Devonshire tradesmen who immigrated to St John's, Bowring first visited Newfoundland in 1811; in 1815 he sold his shop in Exeter and opened a store in St John's.

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Benjamin Frobisher

Benjamin Frobisher, fur trader (b at Halifax, Eng c 1742; d at Montréal 14 Apr 1787), brother of Joseph and Thomas Frobisher. After coming to Québec about 1763, he and his brothers entered the fur trade of the North West.

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Bernard Donald Macdonald

Bernard Donald Macdonald, Roman Catholic bishop of Charlottetown (b at Allisary, PEI 25 Dec 1797; d at St Dunstan's College, near Charlottetown, 30 Dec 1859). In 1812 Macdonald was one of the first 2 Island boys sent to study for the priesthood at the Grand Seminary of Québec.

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Bjarni Herjolfsson

Bjarni Herjolfsson, Norse explorer (dates of birth and death unknown; lived in the 10th century). Herjolfsson was likely the first European to sight the east coast of North America. While sailing from Iceland to Greenland in 986 CE, Herjolfsson sighted lands that were later determined to be Baffin Island, Labrador and Newfoundland. Although Herjolfsson never set foot in North America, Leif Ericsson later retraced his voyage, establishing a settlement at what he called Vinland.

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Black Hawk

Black Hawk (Black Sparrow Hawk, Makataimeshekiakiak), Sauk War Chief (b at Saukenuk, near Rock Island, Ill, 1767; d near Des Moines, Iowa, 3 Oct 1838).

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Black Loyalists

“Freedom and a Farm.” The promise was exciting to the thousands of African-Americans, most seeking refuge from enslavement, who were encouraged by the British to fight in British regiments against the Americans. They joined the tens of thousands of American refugees who had sided with the British during the American Revolutionary War (1775–83), and who pinned their hopes for a brighter future on the British slogan. After the war, the refugees left the newly independent states for British North America and pledged their loyalty to King George III.

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Blair Fraser

Blair Fraser, journalist (b at Sydney, NS 17 Apr 1909; d on the Petawawa R, Ont 12 May 1968). Fraser was one of the leading journalists of the 1950s and 1960s, and as Ottawa editor of Maclean's from 1943-60 he had a unique opportunity to influence a national audience.

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British Home Children

Four decades later, in 1859, 4 women - regarded as social visionaries of the day - were poised to do just that, setting up refuges in London and Liverpool which were, in effect, way stations from which the children were shipped across the sea to the supposed bright promises of Canada.

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Buckam Singh and Sikh Canadians in the First World War

Buckam Singh, labourer, soldier (born 5 December 1893 in Mahilpur, Punjab, India; died 27 August 1919 in Kitchener, ON). There is little information published about the role of Sikhs in Canadian military service during the First World War. The discovery of Buckam Singh’s Victory Medal led to his reclamation by his community, which commemorates him with an annual Remembrance Day service

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Bunkhouse Men

Partly as a result of this, but primarily because jobs moved around, bunkhouse men were highly mobile, tramping within regions and sometimes across the country to find work. They were also often at the forefront of labour radicalism.

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Calixa Lavallée

Calixa Lavallée, composer, pianist, conductor, teacher, administrator (born 28 December 1842 in Verchères, Canada East; died 21 January 1891 in Boston, Massachusetts). A pioneer in music both in Canada and the US, Calixa Lavallée was considered one of the “national glories” of Québec.

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Canada Committee

Canada Committee, a British parliamentary committee established 2 May 1828 to settle political disputes which were paralysing representative government in Lower Canada and creating difficulties in Upper Canada.

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Canada Company

Canada Company, brainchild of John GALT, established in late 1824 and chartered in 1825 as a land and COLONIZATION COMPANY in Upper Canada. In 1826 the company purchased from the government about 2.5 million acres (1 million ha) of land for $295 000.

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Canada First

Canada First, nationalist movement founded 1868 by Ontarians George Denison, Henry Morgan, Charles Mair and William Foster and by Robert Grant Haliburton, a Nova Scotian living in Ottawa.