When it comes to a winning colour film for the modern film age, look no further than Kodak Portra 400. The stock, a combination of the best of the older VC and NC stocks, the film burst onto the scene as part of the early film resurgence from Kodak. When it comes to fast colour films and money is no object then you want to shoot Portra 400, it’s like the Tri-X of the colour film world, you can push and pull the film all you want, even on the same roll! Which makes it in my mind the perfect film for digital shooters toRead More →

There was much more to the Upper Canada Rebellion than just the armed engagements that I discussed in the past three entries. Underlying the entire year of 1838 the government continued to operate and the biggest issue facing them would be prosecuting the rebels and their American allies after their capture. The whole matter would have been a lot cleaner if an actual war was declared. The treatment of Prisoners of War was an internationally understood law, but to the British, there was no war, they were dealing with a rebellion. And in the case of the Upper Canada Rebellion, the Provincial Government and theRead More →

If there is a singular organisation that is synonymous with the Patriot Wars and the Upper Canada Rebellion as a whole that group is the Hunter’s Lodge. The group grew out of the Frise Chassure, a group founded by the Lower Canada Patriotes under Joseph-Louis Papineau. Papineau had been waging his rebellion against Lower Canada out of Vermont. And while Papineau saw no better success than those in the west, the use of a central group and the model of a secret society had kept the group much better aligned with the goals of their rebellion. It also attracted the attention of Charles Duncombe whoRead More →

The continuing rebellion shifted after Pelee Island, as the leadership changed and William Lyon MacKenzie separated himself while living in Rochester while out on bail from his arrest in Buffalo following the evacuation from Navy Island. The Rebel Cause fell under the leadership of the Council of Thirteen. A mixed group of Canadian and American sympathisers. However, their actions against Upper Canada and their behaviour in the American cities had forced them to seek shelter in the rural areas along the border. Charles Duncombe had been working in the east and was spreading a new secret society based on a French-Canadian society to spread theRead More →

The rebellion was over, long live the rebellion. The one thing that surprised me that even after the failures of Duncombe and MacKenzie at London and Toronto and after they had fled to the United States and MacKenzie had set up his dream state, the Republic of Canada the violence did not end there and nor did the rebellion. But was the violence that made up the grossly over-named Patriot War part of the Rebellion or was it something else. The troubles that continued throughout all of 1838; I have chosen to split the troubles into three parts all held together by a common theme,Read More →

If you’re confused at the title, don’t worry, there never was the Republic of Canada, well not in any formally recognised manner. I happened across this strange pseudo-nation while doing the initial planning stages of this project. The grand republic is the brainchild of William Lyon MacKenzie and Charles Duncombe; they desired to reshape both Upper and Lower Canada into a single country with a Constitution and Government structure similar to that in the United States of America. And while he aimed to establish his new republic through force of arms, his failure at Toronto and Duncombe’s failure in the west did little to dampenRead More →

It was the 6th of November 1837, and Lower Canada had erupted in open armed revolt against the Colonial Government. The Patriotes under Louis-Joseph Papineau and many others fuelled by the ideals of the American Revolution, French Liberty, and Republicanism. They decided that they would only rid themselves of the influence of the British Ruling Class, a group of Tory elites organised into a group known as the Chateau Clique was to begin a revolution when their demands for reform were ignored. There had been some communication between Lower Canada Patriotes and the radicals in Upper Canada under William Lyon MacKenzie. And while a coordinatedRead More →

Up until 1834, there had been a conflict between those in Upper Canada who were reform-minded and those who were allied with the Conservative Family Compact. But those in the reform movement had no desire for radical change or an American style republic, but there were also some that were. The same remained on the Tory side, there were those who were moderates who thought that some change might not be a bad thing, but others who wanted stricter controls, those who wanted to turn Upper Canada into a perfect England, where English was supreme, and the only church was the Anglican church. But likeRead More →

Out of all the historical figures I have come across in my research one of the more interesting is Sir Allan Napier MacNab. MacNab is one figure whom I already had some knowledge of considering I have visited his former home many times in Hamilton. However, I had no idea how influential he was on pre-confederation history and his lasting impact on Canada today. Born in Newark, Upper Canada, today Niagara-On-The-Lake on the 19th of February 1798, his father an officer in the Queen’s Ranger who came to Upper Canada with Sir John Graves Simcoe. When the unit saw disbandment, the MacNab’s moved to theRead More →

There’s a certain axiom when dealing with history, it comes from the reimaging Battlestar Galactica, all of this has happened before, all of this will happen again. The rise of the reform movement and the radicalisation of elements of the reform movement merely in response to extremism on the opposite end of the political spectrum. And yes this is where we get messy and political. While Upper Canada saw a great deal of expansion and improvement under the governorship of Sir Peregrine Maitland and Sir John Colborne, not all were happy with how the Colonial Parliament operated. These complaints were brought to light when RobertRead More →