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Archive for the ‘100th Regiment’ Category

Honouring the valour

November 16th, 2011

Photo by Kurt Johnson
I hope others will come to see Maria Hill as a symbol of the pioneer spirit in the face of adversity. She is certainly a Canadian worthy of greater recognition.
Her husband, Sgt. Andrew Hill, whom she accompanied as a nurse, belonged to the 100th Prince Regent’s Regiment of Foot which fought for king and for Canada during the War of 1812. Sgt. Hill led troops into battle on the Niagara frontier where the 100th Regiment was awarded battle honours for bravery. Maria Hill (1791-1881) tended the wounded and dying soldiers on many battlefields such as the carnage at the battle of Chippawa where the 100th suffered terrible casualties.
After the war, the Hills opened a tavern in the new town on the Jock River, hosting the Duke of Richmond on his 1819 tour. When the duke died, she was called upon to use her nursing skills to dress the duke’s body for his funeral.
With next year’s bicentennial commemorations, we will hear a lot about the many regiments of British soldiers who defended the colonies against the American invaders along with the militia from Upper and Lower Canada and First Nations warriors. And we should remember their valour particularly on Remembrance Day for, as historian Donald E. Graves wrote in the Ottawa Citizen http://www.ottawacitizen.com/life/other+11th+November/5684769/story.html: “Without their courage and sacrifice, there would be no modern Canada because it would be part of the United States.”
Someday, we should erect a plaque to honour Maria and Andrew Hill who are buried at Beechwood Cemetery in a family plot (above) with many descendants. Her name appears on the grave marker as Maria Taylor for her second husband, Andrew Taylor of Richmond.
Kurt Johnson, Munster
Mail to: Kurt@goulbournmuseum.ca

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Incredible PBS film worth watching

October 6th, 2011

What do you know about the War of 1812? Sure, you remember Laura Secord, our Canadian heroine trudging through the woods to save British troops; Sir Isaac Brock, the “Saviour of Upper Canada” dying in the Battle of Queenston Heights, and Tecumseh, the great native leader killed making a last stand to fight off the invading American army.

On Monday, October 10, you can watch an incredible two-hour PBS film that is action-packed, entertaining but, most importantly, informative. The filmmakers have stripped away the grand legends and colourful myths to reveal the history that we didn’t read in school books.

The War of 1812, which was produced by WNED-TV, Buffalo-Toronto and Florentine Films/Hott Productions Inc., airs at 9 p.m. EDT Monday on our Watertown channel WPBS.

What really happened 200 years ago? The documentary strikes a balance of viewpoints in pursuit of the “inconvenient truths” about this war involving the United States, Britain, the Canadian colonies, and North American first nations. We get the straight answers from 26 expert commentators who number 10 Canadians, 10 Americans, three natives and three Britons.
We read and hear the actual words of the generals, native warriors, foot soldiers and even civilians. War re-enactors shoulder muskets and shoot cannons to recreate the battles; actors give voice to the defining moments in the war’s two and a half years.

On the PBS website, there are valuable resources for viewing such as the making of the documentary, essays from all perspectives, guides to historic sites and suggested educators lessons. For more information, visit this website.
Email to Kurt Johnson at kurt@goulbournmuseum.ca

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Reading about the War of 1812

September 25th, 2011

With the bicentennial celebrations months away, people may be wondering what they should know about the War of 1812.

Most of us learnt about the War of 1812 back in Grade 7 history lessons, and we probably only recall the names of Laura Secord, Isaac Brock and Tecumseh. We may have little understanding of the contributions of thousands of people who fought for King and Canada on the battlefields of this continental war.

At the Goulbourn Museum, we tell about the 100th Prince Regent’s County of Dublin Regiment of Foot, which served with distinction in the War of 1812. And in 1818, the Irish lads came to Richmond to settle the town and surrounding farms, becoming our pioneer settlers.

My former Ottawa Citizen colleague, Kate Heartfield, asked friends to submit a favourite book about the War of 1812. Mine is Dianne Graves’ book, In the Midst of Alarms: The untold story of women and the War of 1812 (see book cover above).

If you want to broaden your knowledge of the War of 1812, read Kate Heartfield’s blog here where she lists numerous books — most are available through the Ottawa Public Library.

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Going Fishing for Our History

August 22nd, 2011



Historical research is like fishing in the Jock River. You cast and cast a line into murky waters. For Goulbourn Museum’s new travelling exhibit, I did research on the 1805 maiden voyage of the 100th Regiment of Foot. I went to the good fishing places as the late A. Barry Roberts, author of the outstanding history book, For King and Canada, at the Library Archives of Canada to make digital copies of British Colonial Office letters about the military disaster when three of the regiment’s five troopships were wrecked at sea.

Back home, a computer keyboard was my fishing pole — type in 100th regiment 1805 shipwreck, and see the fishtails swirling around. One website lead to another as I got luckier in snagging narratives about the tall ship Nais, also known as Aeneas, off Newfoundland and the brig Two Friends, off Cape Breton Island. More sources are available for the Nais or Aeneas, since the 340 deaths of 347 aboard rates international prominence on the United Kingdom’s major disasters list since 1707 (see Aeneas in third group of 300-499 fatalities here ).

Consequently, historians and journalists have been reporting on this maritime tragedy for 200 years, including Terence Grocott in his 2002 collection, Shipwrecks of the Revolutionary & Napoleonic Eras (see above cover and page). Goulbourn Museum bought the book after seeing it as a primary source for the Wikipedia item.

Kurt Johnson, Munster

Mail to: Kurt@goulbournmuseum.ca

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Exciting finds

August 9th, 2011




Our Goulbourn Museum director gave the key to a treasure chest when Donna Keays-Hockey e-mailed the reference http://www2.swgc.mun.ca/nfld_history/CO194/CO194-45.htm for my research on the 1805 maiden voyage of the 100th County of Dublin Regiment of Foot. Microfilm B-681, stored at the Library and Archives Canada, is a collection of six letters from British military officers reporting on the maritime disasters that befell our Goulbourn regiment. In this August 30, 1806, letter (above), Lieut.-Col. J.W. Gordon seeks financial compensation for “these [two] poor fishermen for the humanity and generosity” in rescuing and sheltering five soldiers and two seamen from the Nais troopship which sank off Newfoundland. The death toll was 340 of the 347 on board.
A. Barry Roberts wrote an excellent account of the “terrible catastrophe” in his well-researched book, For King and Canada. And what a tragic story it is: death and destruction on stormy seas; the absolute horror of men, women and children swept into the icy waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and heroes saving many victims of the shipwrecks.
In doing research for our new museum exhibit on this voyage http://www.emcstittsvillerichmond.ca/20110630/lifestyle/New+museum+exhibit+captures+settlers%27+maiden+voyage+to+Canada, it was exciting to find new information in modern books like Shipwrecks of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Eras, in old publications like Cape Breton’s Magazine, or an 1812 edition of Shipwrecks and Disasters at Sea. These narratives help us present our history with the personal words of flesh-and-blood people, the pathos of tragedy, and the cold facts of knowledge.
Kurt Johnson, Munster

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Voyage of the 100th Regiment

July 5th, 2011

 
Have you ever wondered how pioneers arrived in Goulbourn Township? Or where they came from & why they settled here in 1818?
With the help of our fantastic volunteer Kurt Johnson and some great resources we created a travelling exhibit where visitors will discover how soldiers of the 100th Regiment endured death & hardship on their journey to defend Canada before the War of 1812. This exhibit opens today and is on display at the Stittsville Library until August 4. To see how we created the panels, see this post, and to learn about about the exhibit process and a bit of history, see this article in the Stittsville/Richmond EMC.

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Voyage from digital to print

June 16th, 2011

 

We’re installing a new exhibit called The Voyage of Goulbourn’s 100th Regiment at the Stittsville Library next month – you can check it out after July 4.
Yesterday we FINALLY sent the panels to the printers & today came the fun part: tearing, pasting & decorating. These photos show how we (Kathryn, Emily & Liz) adhered the prints to the panels to the substrate to get the ready for display.  Still a work in progress.

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