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Subject > Politics and Society > Life on the Homefront

Resource Type > Image > Art

Camp of the 43rd Regiment of Foot during the siege of Fort Beauséjour, June 1755

Type: Image

The men of the British 43rd Regiment of Foot were part of a 2,000 strong army under Lietenant-Colonel Robert Monkton that took Fort Beauséjour after a brief siege in the summer of 1755. At left can be seen men of the grenadier company, distinguished by their pointed mitre headdresses. In the centre are ordinary soldiers who have the tricorne hats worn by most of the regiment. The young men to the right are drummers, wearing coats with reversed colours (white with red facings instead of red with white). This was intended to make drummers easy to spot in a fight, which was important, since drum beats were used to give orders. The presence of women and children seem odd in a military encampment, but each British regiment would have a small number of soldiers' families following them on campaign. Reconstruction by Lewis Parker. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

The billeted soldier's departure, circa 1790

Type: Image

In 18th century Canada, a good many soldiers were ‘billeted’ (lodged) in private houses rather than in barracks.

Site: National Defence

Iroquois warriors lurking near French settlements during the 1650s

Type: Image

Until the 1660s, especially in the Montreal area, no one in the French settlements really felt quite safe from surprise attacks by hostile Iroquois warriors. Many Canadian settlers, including women, learned to handle firearms during the 1650s.

Site: National Defence

Typical town of the north-eastern Amerindians

Type: Image

These towns nearly always featured long bark covered houses encircled by a log stockade wall for protection. Print inspired from John White’s late 16th century renderings.

Site: National Defence

Warning bell, 1660s

Type: Image

Because of the constant Iroquois surprise attacks on settlers at Montreal between 1660 and 1665, the nursing nuns at the hospital also kept a lookout and would ring their bell to give the alarm whenever they spotted something suspicious.

Site: National Defence

A view of a Viking settlement in America

Type: Image

This view was conceived during the 1930s by historical artist Fergus Kyle (1876-1941). Although we now know that Viking helmets did not have horns, as shown here and in countless other images in popular art, most of the other details shown give a relatively realistic impression of what such a settlement might look like. The Vikings also could build timber houses as well as ones made of earth.

Site: National Defence

Madeleine

Type: Image

A worthy representative of 17th-century women in New France, who were neither fragile nor passive, Marie-Madeleine Jarret de Verchères (1678-1747) conducted an exemplary defence of Fort Verchères against an Iroquois attack in 1692, just as her mother had done two years earlier. Her sober account of 1699, often romanticized in late-19th century versions, made her a heroine of our history of everyday life. Like most women in the colony, she knew how to handle arms by the time she was 14 years old. Her contemporary, Bacqueville de la Potherie, said of her that no 'Canadian or officer [could] shoot more accurately'.

Site: National Defence

Quebec as seen from the north shortly after the 1759 siege of the city

Type: Image

This engraving, published in 1761, shows the walls of Quebec as seen from the north. The large white building seen at right centre is the Orphan's and Ursulines Nunnery. The convent was home to some 50 nuns who taught (according to a 1753 document) about 60 boarders and 150 day students. (Library and Archives Canada, C-000358)

Site: National Defence

Trois-Rivières, 1704

Type: Image

Trois-Rivières was founded in 1634. In 1653, a palisade, guardhouse and redoubt were completed to provide a strong defence against the Iroquois. The Iroquois threat became far less acute by the end of the 1660s but the palisade wall was kept up. An order of the Intendant from January 1706 called for cedar logs for use in the palisade and they could be seen still in good repair in 1721. The logs were 10 to 12 inches in diameter and some 12 feet in height. They enclosed the town until 19 to 21 May 1752 when a major fire consumed several buildings and the town’s log palisade. The palisade was not rebuilt. (Library and Archives Canada, C-015784)

Site: National Defence

Gathering Acadian women and children for deportation, Grand Pré, Acadia, July 1755

Type: Image

It is ‘the turn of the women and children’ at Grand Pré, Acadia, as troops come to gather them to be deported in the fall of 1755. Soldiers have occasionally been used to banish innocent civilian populations from their homes in Canadian history. The deportation of the Acadians is the first large scale example in Canada of the use of soldiers, in this case troops from Britain and from Massachusetts, to round up civilians. The arrest and internment of Canadians of Japanese origin during the Second World War is the latest such action.

Site: National Defence