The Welfare of Irish Catholics in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 1820-1900
March 11, 2010:
The Welfare of Irish Catholics in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 1820-1900
Allan W. Lewis
The Welfare of Irish Catholics in Ottawa, 1820-1900
The years from 1820 to 1900 in Ottawa were a time of transformation and evolution in terms of the economic situation,
social conditions, racial questions, political issues, religious factors and urbanization. During this eighty-year
period Ottawa changed from an often violent frontier village with a population of less than 1,000 persons to a
mostly urbanized population of about 60,000. This paper will look at some of the major developments and advancements
in the city from the perspective of the Irish Catholic community and from a viewpoint of a "residual" system of social welfare.
The main characteristic of the welfare state in nineteenth century Canada was its "residual" nature. The prevailing
macroeconomic philosophy was "laissez-faire" which led to a minimum of state intervention in the economic system. Canadian
society during that time was composed mainly of rugged rural individualists with a Calvinist work ethic. It was assumed
that charity began at home and people were poor because of inherent character flaws, such as laziness or alcoholism.
Charity, health care and support were provided by family, neighbours, a few benevolent groups and the local church.
According to this "residual" concept of welfare, the state intervened into the lives of individuals and families only as a
last resort. This was the prevailing worldwide attitude during the nineteenth century and the Ottawa region was no different.
During most of this period, Irish Catholics comprised roughly twenty-five per cent of the total population of Ottawa and the
surrounding rural townships. However, they had a greater proportional share of contact with the local social welfare system
than most other groups. They were more affected by poverty, violence, health issues, business cycles, a poorly developed
labour market and educational system, and in some cases, racial and religious discrimination.
Background: The Early Irish Catholic Community
In 1823 close to five hundred Catholics were brought from the poorest counties in south-western Ireland (Cork, Tipperary and
Waterford) and were known as the "Peter Robinson Settlers". They were brought to Upper Canada, in part, to help reduce the
number of Irish Catholic tenants on several large Irish estates. Sending them to Canada was expected to reduce the average
level of poverty in Ireland and at the same time give a "leg-up" to selected emigrants, all of whom had good character
references and were expected to become self-sufficient by establishing and operating farms in the Canadian wilderness.
Most of these families were allotted land in the nearby townships of Huntley, Ramsay and Goulbourn.
Beginning in 1826, another large group of Irish immigrants came to Ottawa (then called "Bytown") to work as labourers on the
construction of the Rideau Canal. Some of the canal workers were local men (and male children) and others had been
previously employed elsewhere, e.g., on the Erie Canal or on the docks in Montreal. But the majority were new immigrants.
They lived along the banks of the Canal as squatters or tenants in primitive shanties and huts. For them, living
conditions were worse than sub-standard, even for those times.
By 1828 there were a large number of mostly young, male Irish residents in this area. Most of the 1823 arrivals were trying
to establish farms in Huntley and Ramsay Townships on often marginal land. Many of the farmers came to Ottawa to join
the Irish labourers working on the canal construction. For the most part the Irish Catholics lived in an uneasy alliance
in Lowertown with their French-Canadian co-workers and co-religionists, east of the Rideau Canal, almost
completely segregated from the English, Scottish, Irish Protestant and American immigrants of Uppertown.
In 1828, malaria caused many deaths among the Irish canal labourers. Linda Tresham states that "In the summer of 1828, this
sickness raged like a plague. At the Rideau Canal few could work with fever and ague. Because of the residual welfare system
in place at that time, there were no public medical facilities to deal with this outbreak. Since malaria was not contagious
there was no threat to the residents of Uppertown and as a result there was no call to action to alleviate the suffering
in the poor areas of Bytown. Out of pity, Colonel By, who was the chief engineer for the canal works, personally gave
financial assistance to several families.
There also existed a linguistic gulf between Uppertown and Lowertown. While Lowertown was a mixture of Irish Gaelic and French,
Uppertown was an exclusively English-speaking area.
Two of my great-great grandfathers arrived separately in Bytown by 1830. They were both single and about twenty-five years old.
Their personal histories and the history of their children - first generation Irish-Canadians - exemplify the Irish Catholic
experience in Ottawa from 1830 to 1900. This essay will provide the beginning framework for a larger and more detailed project
involving new primary sources of research based on my own family history and my web site "Bytown or Bust!"
The major institutional player in the Catholic community was Notre Dame Church on Sussex Street. Many of the single men were not initially
active in the church. Their lives consisted of work and recreation (drinking and fighting). During the 1830's they matured,
married and started families. Under their wives' influence, (many of whom came from Ireland into semi-arranged marriages),
the men came increasingly into contact with the church which was growing rapidly during this time. A large and rapidly
expanding French Canadian or Irish family, often illiterate, needed guidance, not just spiritually, but financially and at
times, legally. In the absence of a developed local administrative infrastructure the church acted as a unifying center,
in spite of its' initially weak leadership and growing pains. The Catholic priests and bishops, along with various orders
(the Oblates, Sulpicians, etc.) founded St. Joseph's College which later became the University of Ottawa.
In 1832 a double calamity struck the Irish labourers in Bytown:
1. the Rideau Canal construction ended leaving most of the men unemployed, and
2. a major cholera epidemic spread from Ireland to Grosse Isle to Bytown causing hundreds of deaths resulting in tragedies to many
The "residual" form of welfare state was hard-pressed to cope.
The local labour market and social order was thrown into chaos. There was no unemployment insurance, welfare or municipal
relief. Hundreds of young Irish Catholic men with families to support scrambled to find the only work they could do well -
manual labour. Many of them were forced to emigrate to other canal projects in the United States. As well, the few local
jobs created at the various Rideau Canal lock stations in the Bytown area were patronage positions which were mostly
filled by Protestants.
The health system was overloaded. Since cholera is contagious and normally kills half of its victims, there was fear in
Uppertown that their sector of society might be affected as well. Accordingly, a twenty-bed military hospital which had
been established in 1827 to serve the members of Colonel By's corps of engineers was temporarily made available to civilian
doctors and patients for emergency use only. It's efforts were co-ordinated by a local municipal board
and was located on the present site of Parliament Hill. This is an example of the residual welfare state in action, i.e.,
the state acted in a residual fashion to help the Bytown community survive this epidemic.
An isolation hospital (a microcosm of Grosse Isle) was established on Sussex Street in Lowertown. It had its own
"Cholera Wharf" below the first set of locks where the Rideau Canal empties into the Ottawa River. Immigrants coming by steamboat
from Montreal or Kingston, via the newly-opened Rideau Canal, were intercepted and quarantined. The desperate local
Irish inhabitants tried to prevent new arrivals from disembarking at the cholera wharf in an effort to prevent new
occurrences of the disease from entering their neighbourhood.
Aside from the municipal board / hospital, the only other institution available to serve the local Catholic population
was Notre Dame Church. From its inception in 1826 it was in disarray due to internal squabbling between its
Irish and French parishioners and was plagued by weak, and sometimes scandalous leadership. However, whatever their failings,
the priests did manage to keep accurate records of births, marriages and deaths beginning in 1827. These records,
available at the National Archives, or at the Drouin records at ancestry.ca, are a chronicle of early deaths from cholera, childbirth, infant
mortality and violence. The marriage records indicate a high rate of second or third marriages as large families
struggled to regroup into two-parent families in these turbulent times.
The cholera epidemic had run its course by September 1832 and the Health Board and the Isolation Hospital were disbanded.
They were both re-instituted briefly in 1834 as a less virulent incidence of cholera returned. After 1834 the
Isolation Hospital was closed for good.
Irish Gangs in Bytown:
In the New World, the formation of gangs was a common reaction to alienation, survival needs and social support for
some ethnic groups. Each growing city had its Irish equivalent of "Corktown" and within each of these shanty towns
there emerged loose groups of informally organized, ghettoized young men. In Bytown, a group of several hundred
local Irish Catholic young men evolved into a group known as the Shiners. The leadership catalyst was provided by
Peter Aylen, a lumber kingpen in the Ottawa Valley. He needed a supply of cheap labour for his timber
operations and was able to mobilize the disparate Irish gangs in Lowertown into a larger cohesive group. After the disastrous
year of 1832 and it's social and economic upheaval, the Irish Catholics needed jobs and most of the available work
in the lumber camps during winter were monopolized by French Canadians.
Peter Aylen's gang of Shiners used violence to displace the French Canadian workers. This in turn led to an
increasing rift within the local Catholic church (Notre Dame) between the French and Irish parishioners.
Despite sharing a common religion and neighbourhood, marriages between 1832 and 1840 are almost exclusively divided along
linguistic boundaries. Father Molloy was brought in to Notre Dame as a sort of deputy priest in the early 1840's to
appease the Irish parishioners and he began to build bridges between the French and Irish church communities. He
established the House of Mercy for "fallen" women who were known as Father Molloy's Girls, a home for the Catholic
aged and a boarding house for single women.
Violence was not new to Bytown. The Orange and Green feuds of Ireland were easily transported across the ocean to Canada.
In 1824 the Peter Robinson settlers had been involved in the Ballyghiblin Riots at Almonte and Carleton Place.
Colonel By cancelled the annual Bytown Fair after 1829 when the fair ended in a large scale donnybrook. After 1832, the
violence became more generalized and random as the Shiners terrorized both Uppertown and Lowertown.
Back to the Land:
One of the central concepts of the residual welfare state is that the urban poor can become self-sufficient if they return
to the land as farmers. This concept is usually a "push" factor as governments or large Irish land-holders tried
to push settlers onto unoccupied land in Upper Canada. In Bytown in the 1830's and 1840's there was also a
strong "pull" factor as the goal of most Irish Catholic families, who had a strong desire to own land after
being tenants in Ireland for generations, was to obtain farm land and to become self-sufficient and escape the
urban violence of Bytown. Besides the Irish community in Lowertown, there were also settlements at the major
lock stations along the Rideau Canal system and intermittent settlements of squatters on Clergy Reserve land
in Gloucester, Osgoode and Nepean Townships. Hog's Back, Black Rapids and Long Island all had Irish
squatter settlements on crown land set aside for canal purposes. Many people left Lowertown and moved to crown land
as an interim stage before obtaining title to their own farm land. Contact was maintained between the Lowertown
families and the more rural folks - especially during the fall marketing season and in the spring on St. Patrick's Day.
The taverns and boarding-houses of By Ward were clearing houses for information on available land in the region
and some of the inn-keepers (e.g., Charles Rowan) were active land speculators themselves.
Operating a farm provided a steady supply of food, especially dairy products and potatoes. The slogan of Osgoode Township became
"Where the men are men and their potatoes are big". Every farm family planted huge gardens for personal consumption and
cultivated cash crops as the land was cleared. There were other benefits to farm life: remnants of the fur trade still
existed in Bytown with fur buyers located in Lowertown. Most farmers supplemented their farm work by trapping beavers in
their neighbourhood, by hunting deer and waterfowl, and by spearing large quantities of fish in the Rideau River and
its tributaries. Logs were at hand for building homes and out-buildings and firewood was readily available on their
own property. A large family came in handy for labour-intensive agricultural work. Compared to life in Ireland and,
later, in Lowertown, a family farm provided the first sense of economic security many of the Irish Catholic families
had ever experienced.
One problem associated with farm living for many early settlers, including the Irish, was one of financial liquidity.
Cash was required to pay mortgages and property taxes. At times, the local church came to the assistance of individuals
who were in short-term financial difficulty. Loans were granted by the church to keep farmers on the farm (and within the parish!)
Time and again, in those times of unavailability of commercial credit, the church played a charitable role in the
close-knit Irish Catholic community. Some years, each farm family was asked to donate a pig or calf to the church, in
order to build up a cash surplus for the year.
Early documentation for families who lived in various parts of the Bytown region can be found in the records of Notre Dame
Church in Ottawa, St. Phillip's Church in Richmond, St. Michael's Church in Corkery (Huntley Township) and in St. Patrick's
Church in Fallowfield (Nepean Township). The census records (1831, 1842, 1852) for Nepean, Gloucester and Osgoode
Townships also show the geographic location and composition of early Irish Catholic families.
Political / Bureaucratic Development:
The welfare state requires a high degree of development of democratic institutions and procedures as well as an
advanced bureaucracy for it's maintenance and continuation. In Bytown, the Irish Catholic community, with a few
exceptions, was locked out of this power structure. Only property owners could run for elected office and vote
in the early days. The Irish were, in general, uneducated, poor tenants who depended on seasonal manual labour.
A few who had some influence, including Daniel O'Connor and George Thew Burke used their positions to assist their
countrymen, but only insofar as to not jeopardize their personal social / economic status. Also John Pennyfather
who had been a contractor on the Rideau Canal was active in Notre Dame Church. Richard William Scott, elected in 1852,
was the first Catholic mayor of Bytown. Daniel O'Donoghue organized the first labour union and in 1871 was
appointed provincial Minister of Labour.
The 1837 Rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada led to responsible government and an increase in the power of the
legislative branch of government. Before the rebellion, Upper Canada was ruled by a Protestant (mainly Anglican)
elite known as the Family Compact who controlled the executive branch of the government in Toronto. The Anglican
Church owned one-seventh of all land in the province (the clergy reserves) and the Reverend John Strachan
was influential in government circles. The Anglican Church acted as the "Established" Church in Upper Canada.
The major manifestation of the political system facing Irish Catholics in the 1830's to 1850's was the
local growth of the Orange Lodges in the rural areas. The Orange Lodges were closely allied with the executive
branch of government which counted on it's support at the grass-roots level.
All public service positions were political appointments, made almost exclusively to members of the Protestant
faith. There were almost no Irish Catholic postmasters, fence-viewers, or magistrates before 1850. In the Ottawa
area, Goulbourn Township, with it's large number of disbanded soldiers who settled in the village of Richmond
beginning in 1818, was the center of Orange politics. For generations, Irish Catholics faced discrimination in
the hiring practises of businesses controlled by members of the Orange Lodge.
The Famine Immigrants:
Sister Elizabeth Bruyere arrived in 1845 and established the "Grey Nuns". This Catholic
religious order provided welfare services (and the General Hospital) to the Irish Catholic and French-speaking
community. In general, the church was opposed to government-sponsored welfare schemes. The church believed
that charity came under its domain and the Grey Nuns worked hard to serve their clientele. The General Hospital
was non-denominational. However, it was perceived to be too "Catholic" and a few years later, the "Protestant"
hospital (the forerunner to the Ottawa Civic Hospital) was established.
In the early 1840's many smaller groups of Irish Catholics came to the Ottawa area either with financial assistance from landlords
in Ireland or on their own initiative. Often they joined relatives who were already here and who helped them financially.
This group was, for the most part, poor and the usual solution of obtaining farmland and becoming self-sufficient
was becoming more difficult. Land prices were bid up by speculators and the available farmland was of marginal quality.
Invariably individual Irish Catholic farms became affectionately called "Stoney Acres" by their owners.
The Great Irish Potato Famine (c.1846-1850) saw the arrival of several thousand more poor Irish settlers to this area.
The Catholic Church played a large role during this period in re-uniting families from Ireland with friends
and relatives already in Canada. English speaking priests went to Grosse Isle to assist and escort immigrants to the
Ottawa Valley. There was also some "cannibalism" within the church as ambitious priests seized this opportunity to
numerically fatten their congregations and also to lure established families to new parishes in the region. This
large group of famine emigrants carried typhus, also called ship's fever, to the new land, creating another
health crisis within the broader Bytown population. Typhus was contagious and was spread by transference of body
lice within the close quarters of the coffin ships. As in 1832, quarantine sheds were set up, this time on the west
side of the Rideau Canal, across from the old Cholera Wharf. About three thousand famine immigrants were isolated
and quarantined in the summer of 1847. Most of the civilian doctors gave up in despair. Both Protestant and Catholic
churches organized and worked together to tend to the sick and to dispose of the dead bodies. Many church
volunteers died from contact with the sick.
The great waves of Irish Catholic immigrants to the Ottawa area occurred during the thirty year period, 1823-1853.
By the time the early arrivals had become relatively financially comfortable, the famine immigrants created another
bulge of poor persons in Ottawa.
Towards the end of this period, the original settlers had become less "Irish" in their outlook. The famine immigrants,
many of whom had relatives already in Canada, were still closely tied to Ireland - its customs and its history of
poverty and violence.
Business Cycles in Bytown / Ottawa:
Throughout the 1800's, Ottawans faced cyclical economic conditions largely based on four major factors:
1. long term, gradual structural shifts based on the dependence of the local economy on staple commodities such as fur,
square timber and sawn lumber.
2. the usual international macroeconomic business cycle which became more prevalent with increased urbanization
and industrialization after Confederation. In the nineteenth century, Ottawa was vulnerable to volatile commodity
prices, foreign tariff policies and inflationary / recessionary cycles caused by wars.
3. variations in the allocation of large-scale public or private work projects, e.g., the Rideau Canal construction,
1826-1832, railway construction beginning in the 1850's, and the construction of the Parliament Buildings and other
buildings to house incoming public servants after Confederation. Most of the Irish labourers lived in Lowertown or,
increasingly, in the working-class area of Lebreton Flats.
4. microeconomic-based cycles rooted in Ottawa's geographic location. Each family unit faced a short-term, annual
cycle of seven months of possible employment, followed by about five months of probable unemployment during the winter
months. By the end of each winter, most families were close to exhausting stored food supplies and firewood.
Food prices were low in the summer, high in the winter.
In the urban areas the Irish Catholics were affected more than other socio-economic groups by these economic cycles.
They were usually the first to be laid-off during downturns. At the same time, many of those who had acquired farms
in the outlying townships were reaching a higher level of economic security as large families brought newly cleared
land under cultivation.
On January 1, 1855 the City of Ottawa was incorporated and the area was slowly becoming "civilized". As more wealth
and income was brought into the city, the general standard of living rose. Many young Irish Catholic women were
employed as domestics while the men worked long hours in the sawmills and in residential construction.
In the mid-1850's, advertisements for land in Iowa, USA began to appear in the Ottawa Citizen. Time and again
migration was used by the Irish as a means of group self-improvement. The Bytown and Prescott Railway was completed in 1855
and numerous Irish Catholics left by train to homestead in Iowa and Wisconsin or to find wage employment in the
large cities of the United States.
The Justice / Police System:
Ironically, between the years 1830 and 1900, the relationship of the Irish Catholics with the justice system in Ottawa
reversed. In the 1830's they were usually associated with the criminal element but by the 1890's the front-line police
force was dominated by the Irish. As an example, in 1895, my grand uncle took part in the last great bare-knuckled
boxing match in the Ottawa area. It took place on a Sunday afternoon in O'Leary's field near Manotick. Hundreds of
spectators watched several hours of combat which was regulated by "gentlemen's rules". After the match was over, the
combatants were arrested by the Ottawa police for taking part in a sporting activity on the Sabbath. After being
transported to Ottawa, they were both hired by the Ottawa Police Force (the main qualification being toughness) and
spent long careers with the Ottawa Police Department. Incidentally, a few of the stereotypical "big, friendly Irish cops"
in New York, Chicago and Detroit grew up in the tough neighbourhoods of Ottawa and the Valley.
The first civilian constable for Bytown had been hired in 1827 but it wasn't until 1863 that a full-fledged Police
Commission and a regular uniformed force was established. During the interim period, an inadequate police system was
supplemented by the militia which was called out to control the almost annual riots which occurred on St. Patrick's Day
and the Twelfth of July.
There are many examples of discrimination against Irish Catholics by the legal system. In 1856, following the municipal
election, Denis Tierney of Nepean was murdered by a gang of Orangemen. "What we do know is that the township election
precipitated a sorry incident that would become a symbol of injustice to Nepean's Catholic population for decades to come".
Eight years later, with the Denis Tierney murder still fresh in the community's mind, Timothy Keough / Kehoe was clubbed
to death before hundreds of witnesses at the Metcalfe Fair. No one was brought to justice for either of these crimes.
Here's a quote from the Ottawa Citizen of March 7, 2002 regarding the assassination of Thomas Darcy McGee on Sparks Street
in 1868. An Irish Catholic named James Patrick Whelan was detained for the murder. The words are those of Senator Eugene Whelan:
"George Etienne Cartier (Attorney General for Canada) went to the Prime Minister (Sir John A. Macdonald, who belonged to
the Orange Order) and said 'I don't think they should hang that young man because it's all circumstantial evidence.' Macdonald
turned and asked Cartier 'what's his name?' Cartier replied 'James Patrick Whelan' and Macdonald is quoted as saying
'Let him hang, that little Irish son of a bitch. That little Irish bastard'."
This case exemplified the mix of raw politics at the national and local levels. Religion and country of birth were never
far from the surface on any issue. Approximately two hundred "usual suspects" were rounded up for questioning by the
Ottawa Police at the time of McGee's murder. They were almost all Irish Catholics, suspected of being Fenian sympathizers.
From Confederation to 1900:
Generally sluggish economic conditions, large families, and land shortages in the last half of the nineteenth century
spawned a movement both from the farms to Ottawa and vice versa. Some country folks took low wage jobs in the city, staying
in crowded boarding houses in Lowertown during the week. The Bytown and Prescott Railway, which had been built in 1855, provided
easy access to the By Ward market area from Gloucester and Osgoode Townships.
On the other hand, many marginal farms were foreclosed and entire families moved permanently into Ottawa, settling often in
the Booth / Somerset Street area or in the traditional Lowertown area. The stock of housing occupied by many Irish Catholics
had not changed much from the 1830's.
In 1885 Ottawa was "A curious compound - almost Irish in that respect - of splendour and meanness. There are magnificent
shops, and then you come to the workers shanties, which in such a city ought long ere this to have been improved
off the face of this earth".
This was a period of increasing urbanization as many families returned to the city from the farms. The major employers were
the lumber yards at Lebreton Flats, the railways, and the construction industry. At the same time, the depression of
the 1870's precipitated the out-migration of many city residents. The lumber mills were hard hit during this period,
reducing employment, wages and hours. In 1875 a smallpox epidemic ravaged the Lowertown section of the city.
Trainloads of farm families, farm animals and implements went to Minnesota and North Dakota in search of land and opportunity.
Canadian Confederation in 1867 changed the character of the city with the influx of 350 civil servants. Many of the
newcomers were professional men, geologists and agricultural specialists who lived in what is now Sandy Hill. There
was no federal bureaucracy of economists, statisticians and social welfare experts until the late 1930's.
In the 1890's the population of the city was about 45,000, (1891 Census) and another recession was in full swing. Again
there was migration from the farms to the Bayswater / Hintonburg / Somerset Street and Booth Street areas. Many Irish
Catholics from By Ward also moved to these neighbourhoods in the 1890's.
Tuberculosis, better known as consumption during that time, became rampant about 1895. There were many deaths of Irish
men, mostly between the ages of 17 and 30. Similar to the cholera epidemic of 1832 and the typhus epidemic of 1847,
entire families were devastated. I have some original documents from that time detailing my own family history.
Many farm families became female dominated with the death of the male head of household and in some cases, all of the sons.
Inscribed on the grave marker of my great-grandparents are thirteen names - only two of the interments were elderly adults.
The remaining eleven were women and children who died in childbirth and young men who died of tuberculosis. Single,
poverty-stricken adult daughters usually left the home to become domestics in Ottawa, Montreal or New York.
The nineteenth century Irish Catholic community in the Ottawa area exemplifies the workings of the residual concept of a
welfare state. However, it also shows the gradual development of more sophisticated welfare components -
new public hospitals, increased access to the political and justice systems, less poverty and violence and the
beginnings of organized labour. Throughout this period the Roman Catholic church played a charitable and supportive
role for the community, similar to the role played today by the public institutions of the welfare state.
The Backwoods of Canada, Catherine Parr Traill, Hard Cover Reprint by Prospero, ISBN 1-55267-143-7
Roughing It In The Bush, Susanna Moodie, Hard Cover Reprint by Prospero, ISBN 1-55267-140-2
Recollections of Old Bytown, by W.P. Lett, Historical Society of Ottawa, 1979
Bytown Newspapers on Microfilm at the National Archives of Canada:
Gazette and City of Ottawa Advertiser.
NJ.FM.1144 June 9, 1836 - Nov. 20, 1845 (Bytown Gazette only)
June 9, 1836 - June 25,1840; (City of Ottawa Advertiser only) July 9,1840- Nov. 20. 1845 AN 3490047
Another edition NJ.FM.2462 Mar. 6, 1856 AN 19193892
Independent and Farmer's Advocate
NJ.FM.1144 F 24, Mr 10, 1836 AN 33490049
Ottawa Advocate and Dalhousie and Sydenham Advertiser.
NJ.FM.2512 Mr 26, 1844 AN 19729434
NJ.FM.1325 Jl 23, 1854- [Jl] 1858;[My 1859- Ap 25, 1862] AN 7664610
Another edition NJ.FM.2515 Ja 29, 1864 AN 19735670
Miscellaneous personal family records, letters, photographs, etc. from the nineteenth century
Social Welfare Policy in Canada: Historical Readings, Edited by Raymond B. Blake and Jeff Keshen, Copp Clark Ltd, 1995, ISBN 0-7730-5448-0
The Emergence of Social Security in Canada, by Dennis Guest, UBC Press, 1999,
The Making of Nations: The Irish Question in Canada, 1830-1925, by
Dr. David Shanahan, Historical Consultant, formerly of Carleton University
The Great Hunger: Ireland 1845-49, by Cecil Woodham-Smith, 1962, Hamish Hamilton edition,
Irish Migrants in the Canadas: A New Approach, by Bruce Elliott, McGill/Queen's Press, 1988, ISBN 0-7735-0607-I
The Irishman in Canada, by Nicholas Flood Davin, 1843-1901, original at the National Library of Canada, also on Microfilm at Carleton University, Call # FC18 C15 N2593
Flight From Famine: The Coming of the Irish to Canada, by Donald MacKay, McClelland and Stewart, 1990, ISBN 0-7710-5445-9
Being Poor in Ottawa in the Winter of 1891, by James McCrostie, Historical Society of Ottawa, Carleton University Library, Call # FC 3096.35.B96 N.57
Records of the Rise and Progress of the City of Ottawa, The Historical Society of Ottawa,
Gertrude Van Cortlandt, Bytown Pamphlet Series, Number 33, Carleton University Library Call Number FC 3095.35 B96 N.33
Bytown and the Cholera Epidemic of 1832, The Historical Society of Ottawa, Linda A. Tresham, Bytown Pamphlet Series, Number 44, Carleton University Library Call Number
FC 3096.35 B96 N.44
Law and Order in the Early Days of Bytown / Ottawa, The Historical Society of Ottawa,
Peter Craske, Bytown Pamphlet Series, Number 41, Carleton University Call Number
FC 3096.35 B96 N41 University Library Call Number FC 3096.35 B96 N.41
Ottawa, An Illustrated History, John H. Taylor, 1986, ISBN 0-88862-981-8
City on the Ottawa, by Courtney C. J. Bond, National Capital Commission, c. 1964
Ottawa: The Capital of Canada, Shirley E. Woods Jr., Doubleday, 1980, ISBN 0-385-14722-8
The City Beyond (Nepean) 1792-1990, Bruce S. Elliott, ISBN 1-55036-258-5
Carleton Saga, Harry and Olive Walker, 1968, Published by Carleton County Council, 1968
The Shiners' War: Social Violence in the Ottawa Valley in the 1830's, article by Michael Cross, in 1973 Canadian Historical Review at National Archives of Canada
Ottawa: City of Big Ears, by Robert Haig, 1969, Haig and Haig Publishing Company
Peter Robinson's Settlers, 1823 and 1825, by Carol Bennett, Juniper Books, 1987,
Harvests Past ... Rural Life in the Ottawa Valley, 1860-1875, by Pat and Frances Patterson,
Martindale Pioneer Cemetery, 1874-1900, from "A Little Memorandum for 1900" by Father Blondin to commemorate the Famine Immigrants.
... Al Lewis
March 22, 2010:
See also St. Joseph's College (now the University of Ottawa)
August 1, 2010:
House of Industry, Perth, Ontario, Canada, 1905
Source: Lanark Legacy by Howard Morton Brown, page 201
November 29, 2019:
Here is a Phd. Thesis submitted by Laura J. Smith at the University of Toronto called
Unsettled Settlers: Irish Catholics, Irish Catholicism, and British loyalty in Upper Canada, 1819-1840.
Thanks to Mary Quinn for sending this link along.
E-mail Mary Quinn and Al Lewis
Back to Bytown or Bust - History and Genealogy in the Ottawa, Canada, area