Page 69c1 Great Canadian Heritage Discoveries
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More important Canadian antique memorabilia the Museum has preserved.
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Watercolour on Card, Canada West, c 1846 - Watercolour portraits of business leaders, housed in expensive frames, were common as the colony strove towards nationhood and independence from Britain.

This is Alexander Bunnell (d July 3, 1871) from Brantford, Canada West, (Ontario) who built one of the first large mills there (Bunnell Merchant Mills) in 1856, and is buried in the Mohawk Chapel.

Watercolour on Card, Alexander Bunnell - c 1846

Orig. wc - Image Size - 17 x 22 cm
Found - London, ON

Young Alexander's painting is set off in a fabulous frame of feathered mahogany, with the veneer specially assembled to show a repeating pattern on all four sides.


Great Canadian Portrait Gallery 1 - Colonial Period - 1784 - 1867

1 2 3 4 5 6
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Hand-coloured Lithograph, Thayendanegea, Joseph Brant - 1848
Orig. hand-coloured lithograph 1848 - Size - 18 x 26 cm
Found - New York, NY
Pub. McKenney & Hall, 1848 octavo

Hand-coloured Lithograph Original Octavo Print, 1848 - Among the very first coloured portrait prints issued were those produced by McKenney & Hall, in 1838. A black and white, line and shadow print was struck from a litho stone, and then laboriously hand painted.

These were issued bound in books, first in large folio size and then in smaller octavo versions, to make them more affordable. People removed them and framed them for display.

Joseph Brant and his people were refugees from the United States after the American Revolution. Brant was already dead when McKenney & Hall started their portrait gallery of American Indians, so this portrait was based on earlier paintings of him.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Hand-coloured Lithograph, Ahyouwaighs (Robert Brant) - 1838
Orig. hand-coloured lithograph - Size - 34 x 50 cm
Found - Franklin, TN
Pub. McKenney & Hall, FW Greenaugh, Phila, 1838 folio
Drawn, Printed, Coloured - JT Bowens

Hand-coloured Lithograph Original Folio Print, 1838 - Among the very first coloured portrait prints issued were those produced by McKenney & Hall, in 1838. A black and white, line and shadow print was struck from a litho stone, and then laboriously hand painted. These were large.

Go to McKenney & Hall Lithos

Robert Brant was the son of Joseph Brant who resettled his Mohawk people along the Grand River in Upper Canada (Ontario) following the American Revolution. Robert was probably painted from life for this portrait.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Rosalie-Caroline Debartzch, c 1844 - Wm Lockwood
Orig. painted photo c. 1844 - Image Size - 14 x 17 cm
Found - Toronto, ON
Labeled on the back "...... Debartzch, daughter of Dominique Debartzch, Born at St. Marc. Painted by Lockwood." Prov - John Russell Estate Coll

Hand-painted Photo, Canada East, 1844 - With the development of photography in the 1830s, small black and white photo portraits came into being. To compete with the colour of oil portraits, photo studios hired top artists to paint the photos. This charming portrait was overpainted in the early 1840s by William Lockwood in Quebec.

The subject is Caroline Debartzch, whose father, Dominique, obtained seigniorial land near St. Marc, on the Richelieu River, from Jacques Delorme.

Go to Caroline

Caroline's diary of the events of the Rebellion of 1837 around her home, sold for a huge amount at a Montreal antique auction. She married into the Monk family from whose estate this picture descended into the John Russell Collection.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Jacques-Hyacinthe Simon-Delorme, c 1795
Orig. oil on canvas c. 1790s - Size - 61 x 77 cm
Found - Toronto, ON
In orig. c 1800 bird's-eye maple frame
Prov - John Russell Estate Coll

Oil on Canvas, Lower Canada, c 1795 - Among the earliest portraits found in Canada are the huge oils on canvas, of notable society leaders, done in French Canada, in the 18th century.

Here from c 1795 is Jacques-Hyacinthe Simon-Delorme, a seigniorial landlord who founded Ste. Hyacinthe in Quebec. John Andre, a biographer of William Berczy attributed this oil to him. The bird's eye maple frame is ancient and cracked so it could very well be over 200 years old. It came from a the estate sale of eminent Canadian antiquarian John Russell's Monk family paintings.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Engraving, British North America, 1784 - Engravings from copper plates were used to make many of Canada's earliest scenics including this portrait, which is the oldest original or original print we feature on this site.

This copper engraving is over 200 years old and was published in England in 1784.

The engraving was done from an original drawing made by John Webber who was with Captain Cook when he explored Canada's west coast in 1778.

It is also one of the very first images ever made of Canada's First Nations people.

It explains a historic truth that few Canadians are aware of.

Go to the truth about the Bounty

Engraving, Portrait of Man & Woman of Nootka Sound 1778 - Painter, John Webber - Engraver, W Sharp
Orig. copper-plate engraving - Size - 9.5" x 15"
Found - Whitby, UK
Pub. George William Anderson's edition of Cook's Voyages, pub. by Alexander Hogg, London 1784-86
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Oil on Ivory Miniature, British North America, c 1790 - Miniatures on ivory were all the rage at the end of the 18th century, especially of Napoleon, and Josephine. Captain Cook who scouted the coast of British Columbia was a favourite Anglo-Canadian subject.

Oil on Ivory, Capt. James Cook - c 1790
Orig. oil on ivory - Image Size - 6.5 x 8 cm
Found - Toronto, ON

Pastel on Card, 1857 - Smallish-sized profiles of eminent citizens - this one is pastel - were common among the elite in early 19th century Canada.

The backboard had "The Honourable Charles Jones" faintly written on it. So how do you verify such a common name?

Research locates: the Honourable Charles Jones (1781-1840), of Brockville, Upper Canada (Ontario.) He was a leading citizen of the town, building saw and flour mills in the area, and also constructed Brockville's first court house in 1808. He became a militiaman, a Member of Parliament, and later a Member of the Legislative Council. He was one of a handful of politicians who made up the Family Compact which ruled Ontario as it saw fit in the 1820s and 1830s, so sparking the bloody Rebellions of 1837-38.

So how can you corroborate that it is him?

The back has an ancient and mysterious ink inscription "To my Mother from her Son Charles Edward." How could this be any use? But you dig...

Genealogical research reveals that with his second wife, Florilla Smith - his first had died in 1811 - Charles had a son, Charles Edward. So it was he - in 1857, some 17 years after his father's death - who commissioned this affectionate looking portrait of the young husband that his mother remembered. He had it bordered with mourning purple velvet.

Another personal inscription, scratched into the frame notes "belonging to Mrs. Charles Jones." No doubt Florilla displayed it in a place of honour in her home, a memento of two important people in her life - husband Charles (died 1840) and son Charles Edward (died 1862), till she too, died, in 1876.












Frederick William Lock was a famed British painter who was in Canada in the late 1850s when he painted similar portraits for members of high society as well as a scene of Niagara Falls.

He has noted that this commission was rather a copying one, from a portrait that Charles Edward provided to him.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

A fabulous example of historic Canadian portraiture, to introduce a page that shows the variety of ways that Canadians have portrayed themselves, and their cultural heroes, throughout history, with various types of paints on various mediums, so they could hang their images in homes, hotels, and places of business, to pay homage to family members and to leaders of their society.

This portrait is the very best type of portraiture, as it offers a fine guideline on what information you should search for, and preserve, when discovering pioneer portraits. Its provenance (not providence, please) is clearly noted and can be corroborated.

We know who the subject is - Honourable Charles Jones. (A lamentable number of pioneer portraits are unnamed.)

We know where he lived - Brockville, Canada West (Ontario), Canada.

We know the portrait period - dated 1857.

We know the artist - signed Frederick William Lock, a famous British artist, (fl 1830-1860).

We know the type of art - original pastel and crayon on card.

We know its status - painted from an earlier original in 1857.

We know who commissioned and paid for it - signed Charles Edward Jones (1827-1862) a son of Charles Jones.

We know how it came to be - signed as a memorial portrait of his deceased father as a gift for his mother.

We know who owned it - scratched on stretcher ("belonging to Mrs. Charles (Florilla) Jones" (d 1876).

Charles Jones, Brockville, Canada West (Ontario) - FW Lock, 1857
Orig. pastel - Oval Size - 15 x 19 cm
Found - Toronto, ON
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Dr. Christopher Widmer, York, 1850 - C. Loeffler
Orig. oil on board - Image Size - 34 x 45 cm
Found - Toronto, ON

Oil on Canvas, Canada West, c 1850 - In English Canada, oil portraits on canvas, of leading citizens, were also popular. This oil was painted about 1850 by C. Loeffler in York, Canada West (today Toronto, in Ontario.)

This is a very early portrait oil of Dr. Christopher Widmer, a surgeon during the Napoleonic Wars in Europe, who settled in Canada and established early medical standards in York (Toronto).

Thousands of British officers and men, who were unemployed after Britain stood down its huge armies with the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, came to Canada, many carving out original homes in the wilderness.

Go to Susanna Moodie
Go to Oil Portraits
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Baxter Print #228, Eugénie, Empress of the French - 1854
Orig. plate - Image Size - 7 x 10 cm
Found - Toronto, ON

Baxter Print, Canada West, 1854 - Shown 1 1/2 times actual size, to illustrate the sharpness and exquisite colours that Baxter could achieve with his process.

Empress Eugénie was a Spanish countess, who married Napoleon III, Emperor of France, in 1853. He was 20 years older, but rich, so it was a good match for both.

Napoleon III was Emperor during a time of republican turmoil.

It ultimately claimed him. When Napoleon III was overthrown in a republican coup, in 1870, the royal couple fled to England, where Queen Victoria was a close friend of Eugénie.

Napoleon died in 1873.

Eugénie's son, the Prince Imperial, joined the British Army in South Africa where it was trying to put the Zulus in their place.

Easier said than done. In January, 1879, at Isandlwana, 23,000 Zulus wiped out a British Army of 1,800 men.

Afterwards, a remnant - under Michael Caine - fled to Rorke's Drift, where some 140 soldiers held off some 5,000 angry Zulus, and won 11 Victoria Crosses - the most ever awarded for a single action.

For luck, the Prince Imperial carried with him the sword Napoleon I had carried at the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805.

In June 1879, during a scouting foray, the unhorsed Prince Imperial was killed by eighteen spear thrusts by Zulus. Eugénie visited the spot he was killed. She lived till 1920, dying at the age of 94.

Extreme blow ups, of Napoleon's eye near right and Eugénie's, show that they're genuine Baxter oil prints dating to the 1850s.

Not, like the Wellington, above, which is not a print at all, but a photomechanical reproduction from a much later period.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Fake Baxter Print (A Repro) - The Duke of Wellington, c 1920
Orig. Baxter repro, c 1920 - Image Size - 7.5 x 11 cm
Found - Toronto, ON

Baxter Print Fake (Repro), 1920s - The fakers and repro men were not far behind George Baxter when they saw the popularity of his colour portraits. This repro, including the Baxter inscription and stamp on the bottom are all fakes, done in the 1920s. No doubt in hung in a place of honour in an unknowing Canadian's parlour for generations.

These old fakes - meaning George Baxter did not print or stamp this one - are themselves desirable as historic counterfeits, like the Shroud of Turin, pieces of the True Cross, or videos of Tiger Woods apologizing to his wife - who was absent - in front of all his business partners, whose shares in him were in free fall.

The frame is typically of the type in which many Baxter prints were housed.

The Duke of Wellington, who defeated Napoleon, has at least one street or square, in every eastern Canadian city, town, or village, named in his honour. Thousands of soldiers who fought for him settled in eastern Canada, after 1815.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Baxter Print, Prince of Wales - c 1857
Orig. Baxter print - Size - 6 x 8.5 cm
Found - Toronto, ON

Baxter Print, Canada West, 1857 - This original Baxter print is tiny, only 6 cm across, and double the width shown here, yet fabulous.

A huge blowup of the prince's head shows only patches of the oil colours Baxter used on his wood blocks. The legendary sharpness of his prints was due to his tack accurate registration. He lowered each wood block on to long spikes to place each colour in perfect position on the underlying black and white lithograph.

Baxter prints were, commonly, very small, so ideal for display in any home.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Baxter Print #141, Allied Sovereigns And The Commanders Of Their Forces, 1855
Orig. Baxter print - Size - 10 x 13 cm
Found - Toronto, ON

Baxter Print, Canada West, 1855 - Among the very first colour prints of people to be made - often royalty personalities - were issued by George Baxter, of the UK, who discovered a way to print numerous copies in colour. He used a metal key plate on which he engraved the basic lines, and shading, for the black and white print. Then he used up to 24 wood and metal blocks (his average was 10) to add layers of oil colours to create the colour image.

This image, of a young Queen Victoria and her generals, along with Empress Eugénie of France, then allies in the middle of the Crimean War against the Russians, was printed in 1855. Each portrait is only 2 cm wide.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Baxter Print #229 Napoleon III (Short Moustache) - 1854
Orig. print - Size - 7.5 x 10.5 cm
Found - Toronto, ON

Baxter Print, Canada West, 1854 - Shown actual size - Baxter prints were very small - is the portrait that was framed and hung in Canadian homes.

Napoleon III was the Emperor of the French who joined Britain in a war against Russia during the Crimean War - Alma, Balaklava, Charge of the Light Brigade, Florence Nightingale, Thin Red Line, and all that... This was issued about the time of his visit to England.

Alexander Dunn became the first Canadian to win a Victoria Cross, during the Crimean War, when the honour was instituted in 1857.

So these colour portraits of French allies were popular in English and French Canada at the time.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Lithograph, Edward, Prince of Wales - 1860
Orig. litho - Size - 5.5" x 6.5"
Found - Toronto, ON

Black & White Lithograph, Canada West, 1860 - Among the very earliest royalty portraits made for Canadians to hang in homes, hotels, and houses of ill-repute, was this one, a lithograph from 1860, when Canada was still a colony of Great Britain.

The subject is the unwed Prince Edward - Queen Victoria's son - who is featured in the Baxter print above.

His tour of Canada in 1860, was celebrated with the issue of this large lithograph. Few survive in mint condition, and this one has seen many frames come and go. He was to have more mistresses, behind his wife's back, than Tiger Woods ever apologized for, in front of his business partners - but then he's still young...

Three years after his Canadian tour Edward married Alexandra below.

Go to Edward Visits Canada
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Steel Engraving, General George Brinton McClellan - 1863
Orig. engraving - Image Size - 42 x 55 cm
Found - London, ON

Steel Engraving, Canada West, 1863 - Large portraits were still mostly black and white, printed from images engraved, with graving tools, on to steel plates. They were then hand printed with black and white printer's ink.

Over the past 200 years, thousands of Canadian boys, unhappy that Canada could not satisfy their blood lust, volunteered to go fight in the US Army. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, died, fighting someone, for America. Their bodies lie in American cemeteries; their names are sprinkled on American memorials.

Those who survived - from the American Civil War of 1861-1865 - brought back big pictures of the generals under whom they had lived the high point in their lives. This print, still cased in its original frame and glass, is of short-lived Union commander George Brinton McClellan, dismissed by an exasperated President Lincoln because he refused to fight.

How many times did it overhear tales of the bloody charges its owner survived, till he too passed on...?

Go to McClellan Print
Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Watercolour on Card, Upper Canada, c 1837 - Water colour was the most popular painting medium in pioneer Canada, with many genteel women and military officers possessing the skill. Early Canadian landscapes, scenics, and portraits, were mostly done in watercolours.

A fabulous portrait, now some 170 years old, by a talented artist, of a very bewitching young Canadian girl, sporting the latest hair styles from the 1830s, . Her eyes show the extreme skill the artist used to bring her to life.

Sadly, like countless subjects in Canadian pioneer portraits, she has no name. Like so many others, she was born, did the best she could with her life, and then became lost in the mists of time...

The skill of the artist makes us wish we could have known her, and makes us wonder... Whatever became of her and her descendants...?

The frame has ancient alligatoring, from being subjected to extremes of heat and cold through time, perhaps in a log cabin, perhaps too close to a fireplace... The glass is wavy, and the backing paper, that might have noted her name, long ago rotted and fallen away...

Watercolour on Card - Girl in Curls - c 1837

Orig. wc - Image Size - 14 x 19 cm
Found - Toronto, ON


Her eye also shows the original watercolour, not a grid of dots from a recent photomechanical reproduction.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Gouache, Suzanna Margaret Brock Burnett & Mary Ann Brock Hunt - c 1835
Orig. gouache - Image Size - 18 x 20 cm
Found - Toronto, ON

Gouache on Card, Upper Canada, c 1837 - A fabulous gouache portrait. Like so many early portraits this is small, so that a space could be found on any wall in any home.

This is a stunning named portrait by a skilled artist, featuring Mary Ann Brock (1810-1885) sitting, and Suzanna Margaret Brock (1813-1911). Their ages and the hair styles date this to the early 1830s.

Suzanna's eye shows gouache paint not dots.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Hand-coloured Lithograph, Edward, Prince of Wales - 1863
Orig. litho - Size - 30 x 40 cm
Found - Jordan, ON

Hand-coloured Lithograph, Canada West, 1863 - Similar to the McKenney & Hall Indian lithos of 25 years earlier, this started as a black and white print, from a litho stone, and was then hand coloured by an artist. It is mid size, considerably larger than the Baxter prints which came off (hand-operated) presses.

This duo set was probably issued to commemorate his wedding to Princess Alexandra. It's the same Prince who climbed out of the boat in the Baxter print, toured Canada in 1860 (litho above). He was to remain Prince of Wales till 1902, spending some forty years chasing mistresses (single and married) hither and yon.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Hand-coloured Lithograph, Alexandra, Princess of Wales - 1863
Orig. litho - Size - 30 x 40 cm
Found - Jordan, ON

Hand-coloured Lithograph, Canada West, 1863 - Like its mate, this litho is mid size, considerably larger than the Baxter prints which came off (hand-operated) presses.

Both frames show ancient alligatoring and were preserved in families on the Niagara Peninsula o Ontario, where staunch Loyalist families go back 200 years.

Their steadfast loyalty to the Crown is why these original prints remain in mint condition, in original frames, and glass, after 150 years.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Egg Tempera on Card, Canada West, c 1855 - Larger portraits in colour were starting to appear among the middling classes by the 1860s.

This fabulous and very large portrait of a Canadian woman in a cloak - which may be a mourning cloak - dates from the 1850s. Sadly, as is often the case, her name is unknown.

But her portrait was expensive to make originally, and has been housed ever since, in a fabulous frame in mint condition. She must have been very special to the family that commissioned and preserved her picture.

The square nails holding the shingles against the picture have not been removed in over 150 years.

Egg Tempera, Woman in a Cloak - c 1855
Orig. egg tempera - Image Size - 35 x 42 cm
Found - Elora, ON

The back shows the typical uniformity of tone that one would expect to see on cedar shakes in an unretouched, unfaked pioneer portrait. The wood, assembled in the same time frame should have aged and darkened together.

In furniture you can pick out the fakes immediately by looking at the back. Very often the backsplats are modern replacements but they can be quickly picked out because the wood on the rear does not match the wood type, colour, or patina, of the rest of the case. In fact the original craftsman would have constructed the entire chest of drawers, or flat-to-the-wall, from the same kind of wood at the same time.

Many times on the back of portraits this old the nails have been pulled out and put back in, in different places, many times, and show the scratching scuff marks where they or the pliers scrapped the backboards.

The nails here clearly show they have never been removed in 150 years - no scratches, no duplicate holes elsewhere; they are firmly rusted in place.

Remove the Back - Auctioneers and treasure hunters frequently remove the backs on old heritage treasures like this, then hammer them back together. It's a judgment call.

We have found this useful to date pictures. We have found 130-year-old newspaper liners that told us when the picture was framed. Once we found a Sir Wilfrid Laurier litho, used as backing. Other times the name that was missing on the outside was scrawled inside.

We carefully removed the original square nails, saved them in an envelope, and found - nothing. We have reversed one slat to show their original colour before 150 years of UV exposure changed the colour of the exposed sides and the frame.

The back of the thick card shows the stains that cedar shakes leave on old prints and originals. The dark marks are were the slats bleed off from their cut edges. Note the knot on the bottom slat, and the mark it left on the back of the card.

In cheaper, thinner prints these stains often bleed through to the front, showing up as horizontal or vertiacl lines across the print face.

Here, because the card is so thick the front of the painting is not suffereing bleed through at all.


Copyright Goldi Productions Ltd. 1996-1999-2005

How do you date an ancient print, when no date is published?

The litho calls Robert Attorney-General, which he was for the first time in 1842.

Luckily this print was also once glued over with old newspaper, a happily common practice for backing old prints in the past.

By searching carefully you can sometimes find a date, a place, a name.

This one yielded the name "Daily" and "Toronto" - so the "Toronto Daily Mail & Empire"- as well as the place name Kingston and the date March 31, 1868

So the print was glued over when Canada was less than a year old.

Of course the litho was already over 20 years old then.

To show the precious nature of this portrait litho at the time, and the reverence for the man it celebrated, the paper print had been glued to canvas and then placed on a wooden stretcher frame.

Then the portrait had been proudly hung in a place of honour in the home to celebrate a public servant who always placed the voters who elected him above his own interests, and that of his friends, business cronies, and tribal pressure groups.

They just don't make them like they used to...

You are looking at an original eye - the eye of the last honest politician in Canada - it is not a reproduction. It could never be cloned, not in modern Canada.

It is also the eye of the last honest lawyer in Canada. But Canadians hardly need to be reminded of that.

It may also be the eye of the last honest Attorney-General in Canada.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Lithograph, The Truly Honourable Robert Baldwin - 1880

Orig. litho - Size - 16 x 22 cm
Found - London, ON
The Canadian Portrait Gallery, 4 vols. 1880

John Charles Dent's four fabulous volumes featuring biographies and full page lithographs of all the important Canadians up to 1880, does make one thing, which we had suspected for some time, very clear.

Women had nothing to do with creating Canada.

There are 960 pages, and 204 full page lithos of Canada's Great. Only one of them - Anna Jameson - is a female.

And she was just a gabby woman - a British tourist writer - like the endlessly yacking, and giggling, gaggle of TV cover girls so beloved - how do you think they get their jobs? - by modern day TV broadcasters. Call them silly putty.

Newfoundlanders, who were the last to join Canada in 1949, knew better than most how useless women really were in the scheme of things. Most think it was a bad mistake to give them the vote in the 1920s - a regret the Premier deliberately flags by wearing his hair in the style of the 1870s, when men were men, and women were... who?

Officially Newfoundlanders have enshrined this belief of women as also-rans, in their Legislature in St. John's.

The Great Hall entrance to the Newfie Parliament is grandly dominated by a huge painted mural, that stretches across the entire width of the huge room, and contains dozens of large portraits of the great Newfoundlanders of the past 500 years, standing, cheek to jowl, beside each other.

There isn't a single woman among them.

There are tiny figures of women in the background, used as filler material along with children, dogs, and dead cod.

The mural - and the Premier's hair - wonderfully displays the history, the heritage, the pride of what it means to be a Newfie, for all the school children and tourists who visit.

Lawyers, Politicians, & Attorneys-General, Then and Now - Only a few months after quitting, an Attorney-General for Ontario - the same job in the same province where Robert presided 170 years ago - was in a late evening collision in downtown Toronto. It was no contest, what with his snappy Saab, and what turned out to be a drunken Indian on a bicycle.

The media leaped to the elite WASP's defence. The Globe's Christie Blatchford, in her first article on the death, suggested, helpfully to the upper class guy she and her paper love to promote, that the "dead drunk" would be a good defence for the Province's former chief lawmaker.

None other than Adam Radwanski, a member of the Globe & Mail's Editorial Board leaped to his fellow elitist's assistance - he once got his paycheck from him - and opined that he knew the Attorney-General, and that the worst case of road rage in Toronto history could not possibly be laid at his door; he was a nice guy, and not prone to flying off the handle, even though "There are many reasons to take issue with him, most notably his relentless ambition and the manner in which he treats people in order to advance it." Hmmmh... Note the obvious flight from logical argument when needed.

This is called the "Mrs. Lee Harvey Oswald defence;" the mother of the JFK assassin, maintained to her dying day that her son couldn't possibly have shot the President; she knew he was a nice guy.

It's also called "tainting the jury pool," helpfully publishing the preferred set of facts that you want potential jurors to consider. The Attorney-General couldn't buy this kind of publicity. But it's freely available to the members of the elite publishing classes and their Saab-driving friends.

Among the white media, much ado was made about the "drunken Indian" who was "known to the police." Meaning home free for the powerful, rich, influential, WASP - lawyer, politician, Attorney-General... None grieved for the dead Indian.

The collision had occurred at St. Thomas St., on Bloor Street, creating a huge bang, obviously, when a bicycle hits a car, or vice versa...

Now what would you do if there was a huge bang on your car while driving slowly, say, in a mall parking lot? Why stop, of course, to investigate, is the invariable answer...

What did the Attorney-General do? He kept driving, with the desperate drunken Indian hanging on for dear life, of course, so as not to fall under the wheels, and get killed. The car crossed the street, banged off mail boxes and poles, trying to scrape the Indian off the driver's side.

To correct the false impression that that created, you know, of an enraged Attorney-General trying to scrape the Indian off his fancy car, his lawyers released the story that the drunken Indian was in fact driving the car from outside, and caused it to cross the street, not the Attorney-General, at all, who was the victim in all this, the innocent bystander behind the wheel, helplessly watching the Indian trying to commit suicide by crushing himself between the Saab and the cement hydro poles.

The Attorney-General's car finally shook off the Indian, half way down the city block, where he fell off and was killed by being run over. So the banging stopped...

But not the Attorney-General.

He - or was it the ghost of the departed Indian; ask his lawyer - drove away for another half a city block and turned onto another street, and then into a side lot. To think things over and mull over his options.

(Or was it his wife screaming at him for being an idiot at what he had just done, and yelling that he was compounding his folly by having made a run for it from the scene of the accident? She being a lawyer too, knows that's called hit-and-run. She probably reminded him someone must have taken down his license plate number.)

Everybody would have called what he had done, leaving the scene of an accident, which originally occurred a full city block back, or at least a half a city block back where the Indian fell off.

None of his colleagues from the Attorney-General's former department - he had only left the job a few months before - charged him, with leaving the scene of an accident. It helps to have friends in high places. And that's not all.

He went home too after being debriefed by cops, getting instant bail on his own recognizance, just after killing a man with his car, after a night out on the town with his wife. The media were also helpful in pointing out that the Attorney-General had nothing to drink during his celebratory dinner out in a fancy place with his wife. Eh! is Canadian for whaaaaat?

To be fair, the Indian didn't have to wait for a bail hearing either.

He went to the morgue...

Kids, this is a cautionary tale. Don't try this if you're Aboriginal, Black, or a Muslim, or poor trailer trash. Or just an average Canadian. Or just about anyone who's not a lawyer, a politician, or a former Attorney-General.

Now you know why Canadians, in 2010, wouldn't dream of putting a portrait of a politician, a lawyer, or an Attorney-General, in their homes anymore.

That died with Robert Baldwin, who was the last honest man in all three departments.











































On the right is the official portrait painted of Brian Mulroney, commissioned, not by popular demand, like that which produced the Baldwin litho, but by the private club of the members of the House of Commons. He was a lawyer, a politician, and he picked the Attorney-General he wanted.

He is artfully posed besides bags of cash he secretly received from international arms dealer and politician briber Karlheinz Schreiber, for his help in getting those who hand out government contracts to favour Schreiber's corporate donor, who had set aside millions, all earmarked to bribe Canadian politicians and civil servants.

Is it any wonder that the members of the House are the last group to commission portraits of politicians, and the Commons is the last place that will hang them when they are done.

Sort of a commemoration "of themselves, by themselves, and for themselves." Isn't that sort of the thing that "Honest Abe" Lincoln promoted? He was a contemporary of Baldwins.

Which is why, today, Canadians grimace every time politicians insist on prefacing their names with "Honourable" or "Right Honourable," hoping that some of the decency and honesty of Robert Baldwin would rub off on them, if they just force people to repeat it enough.

In Canada this is referred to as "the Faint Hope Clause."

How far we have come since Robert Baldwin's day, when in homes in towns and log cabins by the thousands, Canadians proudly displayed his picture. And today not a one will hang Brian Mulroney or Stephen Harper, though assuredly, many would like to..

Below where the recent Attorney-General got caught up in road rage, which plagues Toronto.

The route the Attorney-General's Saab took from where the collision took place, red mark on the far right

- then the blue route driven by the drunken Indian trying to commit suicide by hitting mailboxes and cement poles, in the oncoming traffic lane, till he fell off at red x

- and from there, the route his ghost drove away from the scene of the accident, west on Bloor Street, around the corner and up Avenue Road. Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime in Canada, unless a ghost is doing the driving...

Passing the Church of the Redeemer must have given him second thoughts... you know, about fleeing even further from the scene of an accident...

The red mark shows how far he fled from where the crime, whatever, took place... (Artwork courtesy of Toronto Star.)

Questions for an Attorney-General, from a Dead Indian:

Just Another Drunken Indian...

In spite of the glorious portraits of Indian chiefs that Canadians love to display, Canadian Indians (the legal term enshrined in Canadian Governmentese) have traditionally had a bad rap - a very bad rap - in Canada and the United States.

The popular psyche has long been overloaded with movies, TV shows, and books, which featured drunken Indians.

John Wayne, who for half a century, defined western history for white North Americans - in War Wagon to name just one - regularly and prominently showed Indians as only interested in wild drinking and doing anything to get a bottle.

For decades Hollywood made countless movies where a major plot development was wild, irresponsible, drinking Indians.

It's why the phrase "drunken Indian" flows so easily off the tongue of white Canadians.

It is a cultural identifier and labeler which will take a hundred years to remove from the popular consciousness of Canadians.

Its effect was easily discernible among the white media during the collision between an upper class white Attorney-General and a "drunken Indian" in Toronto.

The media calumnists as much as said the Attorney-General will have no problem getting off with a small slap on the wrist.

After all, he just ran over "another drunken Indian."

Thousands of indigent Canadian First Nations people are a huge part of the urban street people in Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina, and Vancouver.

Hundreds of uneducated Aboriginal girls, fleeing to urban centres to escape the hopeless life on Indian reserves across Canada, have disappeared, mostly raped and murdered, by malevolent members of a ruthlessly uncaring white society.

The "drunken Indian" on Bloor Street will be just another First Nations casualty, run over and crushed, as the powerful white elites drive over anyone who dares get in the way of their entitlements to power, prestige, and the riches they crave.

"Road Rage Gone Mad" in Toronto - This incident took place against a background of road rage fever that gripped Toronto in the fall of 2009, when car drivers became especially angry that bicyclists were on the way to a major victory at City Hall in adopting a plan to have a major car lane on a major thoroughfare (Jarvis St.) changed into a bike lane.

No new expressways have been built to handle the traffic overload in 50 years and developers have put scores of huge high rises into the downtown area, adding hundreds of thousands of new drivers on to the same road surface that hasn't increased since the 1960s.

In the least few years Toronto traffic has gotten so congested that speeds on many major arteries have dropped by from 40 to 80% from what they were only four of five years ago.

And incidents of road rage - especially between car drivers and bicyclists - have risen predictably, reflecting the fight for space between car and bicycle. Car drivers just hate to see bicyclists easily weaving between rows of stalled cars while they are forced to sit and fume, tempers and gas vapours.

The flashing middle finger has become the common form of salutation between drivers and bicyclists.

And now City Hall was removing one huge artery, and giving it to the bicyclists...

Bicyclists reported that car driver road rage incidents against them, reached a new high as cyclists won this major boost from City Hall.

Many bicyclists gathered in protest at the scene where the Indian was killed, in what many of them angrily described as "road rage gone mad" and "the worst case of road rage in Canadian history."

But to the media calumnists, and their gas guzzling friends in their aggressively driven Jags, Mercedeses, Lexuses, BMW's, Saabs, Bentleys, and Hummers, it was hey, "just another drunken Indian."

Why didn't you stop immediately after we had a loud and bad collision at St. Thomas & Bloor?

Why did you leave the site of the original traffic accident, and drive on for another city block, and turn up another street to the Park Plaza?

Why didn't you stop when you saw I was hanging on to your speeding car for fear of being run over?

Why do you say I was driving because I supposedly had control of the steering wheel?

Even if I held on to the steering wheel to save my life, in a speeding car, you, and you alone, had control of the brake. You could have stopped instantly.

Why did you never ever stop, at the moment we collided?

Why did you flee instead, and turn this into a hit-and-run?

Why did you never stop when you saw I was hanging on for dear life to your speeding car?

Why did you never stop after you saw I had fallen off?

Why did you never stop when you heard the bump as your wheels drove over my body?

Why did you flee after running over me, turning this into another hit-and-run?

Why did you never stop to offer medical help, or an ambulance to someone you had just run over? (You and your lawyer wife both had cell phones you could have called for help with.)

Did you not stop because you were afraid that you would fail a breathalizer, after spending the night celebrating with your wife at a fancy hotel? (Though I know the media dutifully reported the astonishing fact that you had nothing to drink at the celebration dinner. You know, unlike me, "the drunken Indian," who was dead.)

Even if I held on to the steering wheel to save my life, in a speeding car, you, and you alone, had control of the gas pedal. If you had removed your foot the car would have stopped. Why did you deliberately press it down, instead, and flee?

Why did you press the accelerator to get away from the original traffic accident, so turning it into a hit-and-run?

Why did you press the accelerator when you saw I was hanging on for dear life to make you stop, instead of flee the site of an accident?

Why did you press the accelerator and try to scrape me off against telephone poles and mailboxes for most of a city block?

Why did you press the accelerator when I fell off?

Why did you press the accelerator when you heard the crash as your car drove over my body?

Why did you press the accelerator instead of stopping to see if you had killed me, or to offer first aid, or get me an ambulance?

Why did you press the accelerator and leave the site of the second accident - where you had run me over, so creating another hit-and-run - and drive on for another half a city block and up a side street?

Why did you leave it to others to give me medical help till I died, when you and your lawyer wife both had cell phones?

Did you press the accelerator and leave because you feared failing a breathalizer test that is usually given when police arrive?

In the end, was the only thing that made you stop, your lawyer wife screaming at you that someone had recorded your license plate, and reminding you that you couldn't possibly make a successful longer escape from the scene of two hit-and-run accidents?

As you and your lawyer wife fled the scene, why did you not have even a momentary concern about what you and your speeding Saab convertible had done by wrecking my bicycle, and crushing me to death?

Why were you so utterly ruthless and uncaring about extinguishing the life of someone less fortunate than you?

Are media reports true that you "slept like a baby" that night, because you were certain that you would "beat this bum rap?"

Is all this just a reflection of your personality as described by one who says he knows you - Adam Radwanski, of the Globe & Mail's Editorial Board:"There are many reasons to take issue with him, most notably his relentless ambition and the manner in which he treats people in order to advance it."

Clearly, not a guy you want to cross, or cross paths with... or if you do, make sure you're driving a tank, not a bicycle...

We miss his kind today - The Truly Honourable Robert Baldwin: Her Majesty's Attorney-General for Upper Canada.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Lithograph on Canvas, Upper Canada, c 1842 - The oldest portrait print of a Canadian politician we have seen is this ancient and badly degraded original print.

It features the last honest politician in Canada, the truly Honourable Robert Baldwin, who was a champion of democratic rights for Canadians in a colonial Canada, and was Co-premier and Attorney-General twice in the 1840s. This print dates from 1842, during his first term.

He resigned his high office, several times, on a point of principle, something unheard of among politicians ever since, who have sunk to the lowest level with Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, whose biography by Stevie Cameron was entitled "On the Take." He made a train wreck of the Canadian Conservative Party whose origins date to Robert Baldwin's day, and reduced it to two seats in all of Canada. It disappeared into the fetid bowels of a regional sectarian party.

Could things get worse? Current Prime Minister Harper's highly partisan, and blatantly tribal politics, makes most Canadians think fondly - can you believe it? - of Brian Mulroney. (Harper was elected by a tiny fraction of Canadian voters, the vast majority of whom voted against him.)

Is this the democracy that Robert Baldwin fought for?

Robert Where Are You? - So 170 years after Robert Baldwin fought for Canadian democracy against the British ruling classes, Canadian democracy is again being subverted, this time by Canada's own rich and powerful, regional, corporate, and tribal elites, none of whom, of course have been elected by anyone.

Lithograph, The Truly Honourable Robert Baldwin, c 1842
Orig. litho - Image Size - 33 x 45 cm
Found - Toronto, ON

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

Carte de visite, Sir Alexander Campbell - c 1860
Orig. cdv - Size - 6 x 9.5 cm
Found - Toronto, ON

Carte de visite, Canada West, c 1860 - Tiny photos - here shown 2 times actual size - called cartes-de-visite or CDVs, had been invented by André Disdéri in France in 1854 and became popular in Canada.

This is Sir John A Macdonald's old law partner, who also became a politician and took part in the Conferences that set the groundwork for Canadian Confederation in 1867.

Both Campbell and Mcdougall's CDVs have the Ellisson back stamp.

CDVs, tiny photos glued onto business cards, were all the rage into the 1870s, when they were gradually displaced by the considerably larger cabinet cards.

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

CDV, William McDougall - c 1859
Orig. cdv - Size - 6 x 9.5 cm
Found - Toronto, ON

Carte de visite, Canada West, c 1859 - Here shown actual size.

William McDougall, was born in York (Toronto) and was an unofficial Father of Canadian Confederation, who had much to do with formulating the foundation for Canadian democracy - he wanted an elected Senate. He was selected as Lieut. Governor of Rupertsland, when Canada bought over all the Hudson's Bay Company Territory, and was charged with developing western Canada.

His contributions to Canada were enormous but he forgot one thing, which he does not share with modern Canadian politicians - he never feathered his own nest, never sought personal fortune through access to high office and so died penniless in 1905.

It was he who inspired modern Canadian politicians to snort, "Look what happened to him," and so they quickly voted themselves enormous gold-plated pensions they can collect after only six years of sleeping on the job. Michael Ignatieff - you know, the American carpetbagger, imported by corporate bagmen and backroom creeps, to head up the defunct Liberal Party of Canada, is fast snoring his way to a life of ease, continuing to do, what he does best, nothing...

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

CDV, Pierre-Dominique Debartzch - c 1859

Orig. cdv - Size - 6 x 9.5 cm
Found - Toronto, ON
Prov - John Russell Estate Coll

Carte de visite, Canada East, c 1859

Here is a painting of Caroline Debartzch's father Pierre (she is above), converted into a cdv, since he had died in 1846, before the process became available.

Someone, a long time ago, perhaps Caroline herself, had cut it into an oval so it could be framed for display, perhaps in a cherished spot on her dresser.

This was found among Monk family papers in the John Russel Coll.

The Battle of St. Charles, during the Rebellion of 1837, was fought on the Pierre Debartzch estate. Some 100 French-Canadians died there.