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Date > 1800 > 1830-1839

An old Patriote of 1837

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This image of an aged Patriote of 1837 is famous in Quebec. It was created in 1887 as one of a series of 110 by Henri Julien as part of his work as staff illustrator for the "Montréal Star". Much later, the image became a symbol for the Quebec independence movement. Apart from its fame, it is also a good reconstruction of the appearance of a Patriote, agreeing with drawings made at the time. This man wears the everyday clothing of Lower Canadians of the period. The famous ceinture flèche, (literally 'arrow sash') around his waist is an item copied by the French Canadian voyageurs from the Amerindians. (Library and Archives Canada, C-017937)

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Entrance to the Rideau Canal at Ottawa, circa 1838

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The Sleigh Bay entrance to the Rideau Canal is a spectacular sequence of eight locks climbing 25.3 metres from the river to the plateau above. This watercolour of circa 1838 shows the entrance from the Quebec side of the Ottawa River. Construction work on the canal began here in 1827. Alongside the locks can be seen two stone buildings - the Commissariat on the west side (here, to the right) and the Ordnance (or Royal Engineers) Building on the east side. The former survives today as the Bytown Museum. Barracks Hill, just to the west of the locks, is now the site of the Canadian Parliament Buildings, built starting in 1859. (Library and Archives Canada, C-011864)

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Matthew Whitworth-Aylmer, 5e baron d'Aylmer et gouverneur général du Canada, 1830-1835

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Matthew Whitworth-Aylmer, 5e baron d’Aylmer (1775-1850), porte l’uniforme réservé aux gouverneurs coloniaux. Jusqu’en 1824, ils portaient des uniformes de généraux d’armée. Par la suite, on leur a attribué un uniforme spécial de cérémonie de style militaire de couleur bleue et écarlate, dont le dernier à le porter a été le gouverneur général Roland Mitchener au début des années 1970. Aylmer a connu une éminente carrière militaire au cours des guerres napoléoniennes. Coïncidence digne de mention, pendant quelque temps, il a fait partie du 49th Foot sous le commandement d’Isaac Brock, futur héros de la guerre de 1812. Lorsqu’il a été nommé gouverneur, Aylmer n’avait que peu d’expérience comme politicien et s’est retrouvé au beau milieu d’un conflit ethnique amer au Bas-Canada. Finalement, malgré que son vœu était de convaincre les Canadiens français de ses bonnes intentions, il a adopté une série de griefs qui ont mené à la rébellion de 1837. (Bibliothèque et Archives Canada, C-004809)

Site: Défense Nationale

Canons de fer bitanniques montés sur un affût de fer, vers 1815

Type: Image

Les affûts de fer ont été introduits dans l’artillerie britannique en 1810. Ils devaient être placés « aux endroits des fortifications les moins exposés aux tirs ennemis », car on craignait qu’ils volent en éclat s’ils étaient touchés par l’artillerie ennemie. Les exemples illustrés sur cette photographie se trouvent dans les fortifications de la ville de Québec, classées lieu national historique.

Site: Défense Nationale

Matthew Whitworth-Aylmer, 5th Baron Aylmer; Governor General of Canada, 1830-1835

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Matthew Whitworth-Aylmer, 5th Baron Aylmer (1775-1850) is shown wearing the uniform for colonial governors. Governors and governor generals wore army general’s uniforms until 1824 when assigned a special blue and scarlet military-style dress uniform last worn by Governor General Roland Michener in the early 1970s. Aylmer had a distinguished military record during the Napoleonic Wars. One interesting coincidence is that he served briefly in the Netherlands with the 49th (the Hertfordshire) Regiment of Foot under command of Isaac Brock, future hero of the War of 1812. Not an experienced politician when he was sent to take up the governorship, Aylmer was caught in the middle of a bitter ethnic conflict in Lower Canada. In the end, despite wanting to convince French Canadians of his good intentions, the Governor had set in train events that would lead to the Rebellion of 1837. (Library and Archives Canada, C-004809)

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British iron guns mounted on iron carriages, circa 1815

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Iron carriages were introduced in the British artillery in 1810. They were to be placed ‘in such parts of fortifications as are least exposed to the enemy’s fire’ as it was feared they would shatter if hit by enemy artillery. The examples seen in this photograph are found at the Fortifications of Quebec National Historic Site.

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Fort Henry, Kingston, 1839

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Fort Henry was the largest and most modern fort built by the British Army in Upper Canada and was nicknamed ‘the citadel of Upper Canada’. This watercolour was made in April, 1839, during the aftermath of the 1837-1838 Rebellions in Canada. Restored in the 1930s, the Kingston, Ontario structure is now one of the major historic sites in Canada. (Library and Archives Canada, C-000510)

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Mortier de fer britannique, vers 1810

Type: Image

Les mortiers étaient conçus pour tirer des obus explosifs avec un angle de 45 degrés ou plus. Ils étaient utilisés pour le siège et la défense de fortifications. L’obus explosif tiré dans les airs retombait à l’intérieur de la zone de défense de l’ennemi. Lorsque la mèche de l’obus terminait de brûler, ce dernier explosait. Ces projectiles sont les « bombes explosant dans le ciel » de l’hymne national américain, tirées par une flotte britannique pendant l’assaut de Baltimore.

Site: Défense Nationale

British iron mortar, circa 1810

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Mortars were designed to shoot an exploding shell at a very high angle, 45 degrees or more. They were used in the siege and defence of fortifications. An explosive shell was fired up into the air and arced downwards to drop within the enemy defences. When the shell's fuse burned down, it exploded. These projectiles are the 'bombs bursting in air' mentioned in the American national anthem, where they were being fired from a British fleet attacking Baltimore.

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Weapons

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This section illustrates a selection of firearms and bladed weapons used by British and Canadian military units during the 18th and 19th centuries.

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