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Who Stole the Bell of Batoche?

The Battle of Batoche lasted for four days in May of 1885.  It ended the insurrection of the Métis on the Canadian prairies. The uprising was trying to keep the rights and culture of the Métis who had mixed ancestry of First Nations People and Europeans.

The Métis under the political and spiritual leadership of Louis Riel formed a Provisional Government of Saskatchewan at Batoche in March of 1885. In May the forces of the Canadian Government were sent to put down the North-West Rebellion.  They overwhelmed the defenders of Batoche and captured Riel. He was executed for high treason.

The Bell of Batoche was among the spoils of war seized by the members of the Canadian Militia from Ontario.  The bell was from the church of Saint Antoine de Padoue in Batoche. It was a symbolic trophy of war. The 20 pound bell, purchased the year before the battle at Batoche, had been baptized by the Bishop of the Diocese of St. Albert. It was given the name “Marie-Antoinette”.

Two members of the Canadian militia carried the bell of Batoche back to Ontario. In 1930 it was installed in the fire hall of the Millbrook.  Millbrook was  the hometown of some of the militiamen who had fought at Batoche. The fire hall burned down, but the bell with a new crack survived. By 1991 the bell was on display in the Millbrook branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.

Over the years as the Métis of Canada began to assert their pride in their unique culture.  They requested several times that the symbolic bell be returned to them. The matter came to a head in 1991 when the leader of the Manitoba Métis Federation, Yvon Dumont, a descendant of the original military leader of the Métis, Gabriel Dumont, with some members of the Federation travelled to Millbrook, Ontario and examined the bell. A week later the bell disappeared from the Royal Canadian Legion. No one claimed responsibility for the theft.

Negotiations were held with Canadian Government authorities for the return of the Bell of Batoche to Millbrook. In 2005 one of the Métis who had been with Dumont in 1991 claimed he had stolen the bell.  It was not until 2013 that the bell resurfaced. It was exhibited at Batoche and then taken to a museum in Saint-Boniface, Manitoba.

The powerful symbol of Métis culture has a history of being stolen twice. Once by Canadian militiamen, as booty from war, and again as the rightful property of the Métis people.

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Benedict Arnold in Saint John, New Brunswick

Benedict Arnold in Saint John, New Brunswick

America’s most notorious traitor, Benedict Arnold, was a merchant in New Haven, Connecticut. In his youth he volunteered to serve in the British colonial militia but after the revolt of the Americans following the Boston Tea Party he joined the Continental Army and distinguished himself as a true revolutionary.

Benedict Arnold rose to the rank general in the Continental Army. In 1780 he was appointed commander of the fort at West Point. He betrayed the cause of the American War of Independence by plotting to hand over the fort to the British. His treachery was discovered and he fled to New York, then under British control. The British gave Arnold the rank of brigadier general and he led British troops in several engagements against the Patriots. After British General Charles Cornwallis surrendered to the Americans at Yorktown in 1781, Benedict Arnold sailed with his family to England where his service to the British cause was praised by King George III.

Arnold, unable to find a command in the British army, left London in 1785 and settled in Saint John, New Brunswick. There he was surrounded by fellow loyalists who had fled the New England colonies and sailed north with their families and their possessions.

In New Brunswick, Benedict Arnold began to rebuild his fortunes by acquiring large plots of land and engaging in the shipping trade with the West Indies. He was accused of not paying his debts. He took his accusers to court charging them with slander. The people of Saint John were so upset with his behavior that a mob assembled before his house and burned him in effigy. The hostile environment in the British Colony of New Brunswick proved too much for Benedict Arnold and his family. They crossed the Atlantic and resettled in London in 1791.

In England, Arnold continued to make a living in trade with the West Indies. He also persisted in having arguments with almost everyone he did business with. He was a hot-head who could not take criticism, so when the Earl of Lauderdale said publicly that he was not an honorable man, Benedict Arnold challenged him to a duel. Neither of the two was skilled with the use of a pistol so no blood was shed.

Sailing aboard one of his ships, Benedict Arnold was captured by the French in the West Indies. He was charged with being a spy for the English. He escaped hanging by bribing his guards and he managed to make it out of the port of the island of Guadeloupe and was rescued by a British ship. After that, he helped the British settlers in the Caribbean raise militias to fight the French. For this service he was granted a large tract of land in Upper Canada.

Benedict Arnold died in London in 1801. His name went down in history as America’s most notorious traitor and in Saint John as a argumentative and unreliable businessman.

The Marco Polo, The World’s Fastest Clipper Ship

Launched in 1851 in Saint John, New Brunswick, the Marco Polo was a 3-masted clipper ship. As she slid into the sea at James Smith shipyard on Courtney Bay, her keel stuck in a mudflat and her hull fell over on its side. Six days later with much effort and the help of a good high tide she was refloated upright. Her birth was further complicated as she very soon grounded again in the shallow waters of Marsh Creek. After two weeks stuck in the mud she was floated free and fitted with rigging.

As was common with ships built in New Brunswick it was intended to sell the Marco Polo after her maiden voyage across the Atlantic. The investors in the building of the clipper ship not only made money on selling her in England but also made a considerable profit by loading her up with New Brunswick timber that found a ready market in Britain.

The timber-laden Marco Polo sailed from Saint John to Liverpool in 15 days. She was bought by the Black Ball Line to add to its fleet of clippers transporting passengers from Liverpool to Australia. On her first voyage out she made the passage in 76 days. Anchored in port in Australia for 3 weeks she was loaded up and sailed back to Liverpool making passage again in 76 days. The roundtrip set a record as being the first to be achieved in under 6 months.

The fastest clipper ship in the world, the Marco Polo made several voyages to Australia delivering a healthy profit to the Black Ball Line. On a voyage in 1861 she hit an iceberg off Cape Horn. The damage was repaired in Valparaiso, Chile and even with this stopover the Marco Polo managed to make the passage from Melbourne, Australia to Liverpool in a respectable 183 days.

It was speculated that the extraordinary speed of the sailing ship Marco Polo was due to some twisting of its keel when it suffered two groundings on launching in Saint John. Whatever the reason for its speed, whether it was the bent keel, the design of its hull or the design of its rigging and sails, the fame of the clipper ship spread far and wide.

The residents of Saint John today maintain their pride in the skills of the shipbuilders of yesteryear. The ship, named after the famous medieval Italian merchant-traveler Marco Polo, is commemorated as one of the highlights in the history of Saint John.

After its service on the Australian run, the Marco Polo was converted in 1867 for use as a cargo vessel. Loaded with timber from Quebec, it sprang a leak on 25 July, 1883, just off the coast of Prince Edward Island. The pumps could not keep up with the inflow of water so the famous clipper was purposefully grounded on Cavendish Beach. Her masts were removed in an attempt to keep her from being driven further ashore. The hulk could not be salvaged as a strong wind arose causing the ship to break up.

The story of the Marco Polo reached a wide audience through a story written by the Prince Edward Island author Lucy Maud Montgomery when she was 16 years old.

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Where does the McIntosh Apple Come From?

The Origin of the McIntosh Apple

One of the favorite varieties of apple, the McIntosh apple or Mac as it is sometimes called, originated in Canada. Today the name Mcintosh (for legal reasons spelled without a capital “I”) or Mac is best known as one chosen by Jef Raskin, an employee of Apple Inc. for a line of personal computers. Among all the kinds of apple the McIntosh was his favorite.

The McIntosh apple was created by John McIntosh. He was born in the colony of New York in 1777. He moved to the British colony of Upper Canada after the American Revolution following in the steps of his sweetheart who had been brought north by her loyalist parents. On arrival in Canada he discovered that his true love had died.

McIntosh settled in what is now eastern Ontario, married Hannah Doran and began to farm. In clearing his land to plant crops he discovered some wild seedling apple trees. These were descended from apple trees brought to North America from France and planted by French settlers at Port Royal, Nova Scotia early in the 17th century.

McIntosh transplanted the little trees next to his vegetable garden. Only one survived. It grew over the years and eventually produced some sweet and crisp apples. The orchard grew as McIntosh and his wife planted seeds from their excellent apple tree. They sold the seedlings to their neighbors but these new trees did not produce spectacular fruit.

John McIntosh’s sons Allan and Sandy learned how to graft small branches from the original apple tree onto small less productive trees. The result were successful and they began to grow large numbers of trees that they sold to farmers for their orchards. The grafted trees produced apples that were as good as those from McIntosh’s original tree.

The popularity of the McIntosh apple grew when a spray was discovered in 1900 that prevented them from damage by apple scab. Up until recently the majority of apples sold in Canada and in the northeastern United States were of the McIntosh variety. From the McIntosh, agricultural scientists developed a number of other hybrid varieties of apples.

John McIntosh’s original apple tree was damaged by fire in 1894 but his children nursed it back to life and it produced a fine crop until it fell over in 1910. Cuttings from one of the surviving trees grafted by McIntosh’s sons were taken to the historic Upper Canada Village in recent years so that clones could be produced maintaining the original genetics of the first McIntosh apple tree.

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New Denmark, New Brunswick, the Oldest Danish Community in Canada

Canada is a country with a rich history of waves of immigrants from European countries.

Scandinavia was seen by the Government of Canada as a good source of immigrants. Scandinavians were thought to be a hardy people who could successfully clear the land and farm in the wilderness. An agent was sent by the government to Scandinavia in 1872 to encourage farmers to cross the Atlantic. He assisted a Danish businessman Sorensen S. Heller to recruit individuals and families for settlement in New Brunswick.

Heller called himself Captain. It is not known whether this was because he was a ship captain or a captain in the military. After visiting North America in 1869, Captain Heller made an agreement with the Province of New Brunswick to deliver 500 Danish settlers. He was to be paid a bounty of $10 for every person he brought to the province. He managed to sign up about 30 people for his venture.

In 1872 Heller and the settlers boarded a steamship in Copenhagen and sailed to Halifax where they transferred to another ship that took them to Saint John, New Brunswick. There they boarded a paddlewheel steamer and traveled up the Saint John River to a tributary called the Salmon River. They disembarked and walked more than two miles into what was to be their home in northern New Brunswick. According to their agreement with the government of the province everyone over 18 years of age was given 100 acres of land.

The Danish settlers agreed to clear part of the land and to build a house of not less than 16 by 20 feet. The first immigrants were also promised jobs working on the railway. The pay was to be not less than one dollar a day. After three years the immigrants were to have at least 10 acres of their land under cultivation.

At first their settlement was called Hellerup after the Danish businessman who had brought them there. He went back to Copenhagen to encourage another group of Danes to move to his settlement in the New World. In 1873 he arrived back in Hellerup with 80 more Danish immigrants.

It was not long before the Danes concluded that the rosy picture Heller had painted of life in New Brunswick was not true. The work of clearing the land was difficult and there were no jobs to be had on the railway. To make up for this lack of paying work the government of New Brunswick made a payment to each family. Perhaps because the settlers felt betrayed by Heller they renamed their community New Denmark.

In 1873 New Denmark had 111 people. Many of the single men in the original settlement quickly left. There were few single Danish women for them to marry and the work of carving a farm out of dense forest was difficult. They moved on to larger communities in the United States.

The population of New Denmark did not grow very quickly. By 1881 there were 351 people in the community and by 1901 there were only 563. The descendants of the original Danish settlers celebrate their heritage.


By Alan McNairn

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Chief Joseph Brant Twice Visits England

At the beginning of the French and Indian War (1754-1763) fought between the colonies of British North America and the French colony of New France, both British and French forces enlisted the support of their respective First Nations allies. The French colonists supplemented their troops with Mi’kmaq, Maliseet, Algonquin, Ojibwa and Huron warriors, while the British colonists received the support of the powerful and warlike Iroquois Confederacy.

While treating with his Iroquois allies during this time, Sir William Johnson, commander of the British colonial militia forces, made friends with Chief Canagaraduncka, head chief of the Mohawks (The Mohawk tribe is one of the five Nations that make up the Iroquois Confederacy). Canagaraduncka’s Christian name, Barnet, was often corrupted as ‘Brant’. As such, Chief Canagaraduncka was more popularly known to the English as Chief Brant.

Chief Brant, who was a widower by the time Johnson met him, took a widow named Owandah as his wife. Owandah had two children with her former husband, a daughter and son whose Christian names were Molly and Joseph. Johnson, during his visits to Chief Brant’s Mohawk village in the early 1750’s, always stayed in Brant’s lodge, and took special note of the chief’s two step children. Years later, Johnson would take Chief Brant’s step-daughter Molly as his wife.

Molly’s brother, Joseph, had the Iroquois name Thayendanegea, or ‘Two sticks bound together for strength’. However, he was often referred to by the English as ‘Chief Brant’s son Joseph’. This label was eventually shortened to ‘Brant’s Joseph’, and was later inverted to ‘Joseph Brant’.

Teenage Joseph Brant took to the warpath during the French and Indian War along with his Mohawk compatriots. He related that, during his first battle, which took place when he was about 12 years old:

“This being the first action at which I was present I was seized with such a tremor when the firing began that I was obliged to take hold of a small sapling to steady myself; but after the discharge of a few volleys, I recovered the use of my limbs and the composure of my mind so as to support the character of a brave man, of which I was especially ambitious.”

Joseph Brant went on to participate in many of the French and Indian War’s most important battles, including the Battle of Carillon and the Battle of Fort Niagara. During this time, he fought alongside Sir William Johnson, who had visited his step-father’s village frequently when he was a child, and with whom he quickly built rapport. In 1761, before the war was over, Johnson, seeing promise in the young Mohawk, sent him to Connecticut along with three other Iroquois to study English at Moor’s Charity School- and Indian seminary which would, in 1770, move to New Hampshire to become Dartmouth College. There, he learned to speak, read and write English, and soon was put to work translating English texts into the Mohawk language.

After receiving a formal English education, Brant left the seminary and began to work for Sir William Johnson as an interpreter. He served as Johnson’s interpreter for nearly a decade. In the early 1770’s, Brant, due in no small part to Johnson’s patronage, was made a war chief of the Mohawk Nation. In 1772, he, along with 182 British-Allied First Nation warriors received a silver medal for his services to the British Crown.


During the American War of Independence Joseph Brant led the colonial loyalists and the Mohawk against the Patriots. He worked closely with his mentor, British Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Sir William Johnson. After Johnson died in 1774, Brant worked with Johnson’s nephew Guy Johnson. Guy Johnson took Joseph Brant to London in 1775. The Mohawk chief negotiated with the British government for a land grant in Quebec for the Iroquois people in return for their fighting the American revolutionaries.

In England Joseph Brant was the subject of great curiosity. He was treated as a celebrity and, because he wore his native clothing whenever he went out on the street, he attracted the attention of crowds of on-lookers. He went to St.James’s Palace where he was granted an audience with King George III. He was taken to see the great sights of London and his portrait was painted by the artist George Romney. The exotic Indian chief who had been confirmed as an Anglican in North America was accepted into the Masonic Order and was given his ritual apron by the king.

By the summer of 1776, Joseph Brant was back in the American colonies and actively serving in the British forces as they attempted to put down the revolution. In the fall of 1776 he traveled to Iroquois communities to convince warriors to join the British in fighting against the Patriots. Although he did manage to raise a small troop of volunteers most of the Iroquois decided to remain neutral in the conflict between Britain and her American colonies.

When peace was declared in 1783 Joseph Brant participated in negotiations between the Americans and the British and their native allies. He pushed for and achieved a grant from the Governor of the colony of Quebec for the establishment of a Mohawk reserve on the Grand River in Ontario. Brant himself settled at the head of Lake Ontario (now Burlington) and built fine house and farmed with the help of servants and black slaves. In 1785 Chief Joseph Brant again traveled to London to convince King George III that the British should protect the loyal Indian confederacy from attacks by the Americans. He made a quick trip to Paris and returned to Canada in June 1786. As before wherever he went Joseph Brant attracted a great deal of attention.

Joseph Brant continued to serve his people, traveling to Philadelphia to negotiate with the new American government, on behalf of the Iroquois who had chosen to remain in the United States. He died in 1807 at his home that still exists in Burlington.


By Alan McNairn and Hammerson Peters

Edmund Fitzgerald Wreck

On 10 November, 1975 the Great Lakes freight vessel, the Edmund Fitzgerald, sank in a violent storm on Lake Superior.

Laden with iron ore the Edmund Fitzgerald set sail from Superior, Wisconsin on the 9th of November. Her destination was a steel mill near Detroit, Michigan. An early winter storm was predicted but this was not unusual.

The freighter was a relatively modern vessel.  It had a record of excellent service on the Great Lakes. Captain Ernest McSorley was not worried about the voyage. When the wind rose to gale force a day out of the town of Superior he took precautions by reducing speed and seeking protection along the Canadian coast of Lake Superior.

At 3:30 pm McSorley radioed a nearby vessel, the Anderson.  He said that his ship was taking on water and had received some damage. Later he reported that his radar was out. The winds increased and switched direction.  Suddenly there were rogue waves that were, reported by those aboard the Anderson, as high as 35 feet. At 7:10 pm McSorley reported to the captain of the Anderson that his vessel was holding up. Minutes later the Edmund Fitzgerald sank with all 29 hands on board.

The wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald was located underwater off Whitefish Bay, Canada. Over the years it has been visited by divers and surveyors. Lying on the bed of Lake Superior the vessel seems to have broken in half before she sank. Several explanations for the breaking up of the Edmund Fitzgerald have been proposed. Most likely the water in the hold made the ship vulnerable to giant rogue waves.  They pushed the bow and stern down with such force that the ship broke in the middle. Finding out exactly how the ship was wrecked was important for shipping on the Great Lakes. Some engineers questioned whether the length of Great Lakes freighters posed a danger in severe weather. As a result of the tragedy of the Edmund Fitzgerald, a number of improvements in ship building, in navigational instruments, and in charts of the Great Lakes were proposed.

The Mariner’s Church in Detroit rings a bell 29 times on the anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald.  This is to remember the loss of the ship’s crew. In 1976 the Canadian singer Gordon Lightfoot wrote the song The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. It became very popular as a memorial to a tragic event in Canadian history.

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The Ghost Ship Mary Celeste Built in Nova Scotia

One of the best known “ghost ships”, the Mary Celeste, was built at Spencer’s Island, Nova Scotia. It was found abandoned in 1872 in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Portugal. Her crew and her lifeboat were missing. Her sails were set. She was seaworthy and there was a 6 month supply of food and water on board. Most of the ships papers, the sextant and the chronometer had disappeared. The mystery of what happened to the Mary Celeste has never been solved.

The brigantine Mary Celeste was built by the shipbuilder Joshua Dewis in 1861. It was christened the Amazon and registered at Parrsboro, Nova Scotia. The first owners of the vessel encountered disasters right from her maiden voyage when the Captain Robert McLellan, a son of one of the shareholders, died of pneumonia after only 9 days at sea. Under a new captain the Amazon collided with a fishing boat and had to be repaired in a shipyard. While being patched-up a fire broke out amidships necessitating further repairs. During the 6 years she was operated from Canada the Amazon returned a healthy profit to her owners however on her first Atlantic crossing she hit another boat in the English Chanel and required further repairs.

After running aground off Cape Breton Island in 1867, the Amazon was sold to an American owner who rebuilt the vessel and had her re-registered in New York as the Mary Celeste. After several uneventful voyages, in November 1872 she was loaded in New York with 1701 barrels of alcohol destined for Genoa, Italy. The night before she sailed her captain, Benjamin Briggs, had supper with a Canadian friend David Reed, captain of the brigantine Dei Gratia. They discussed their immanent transatlantic voyages to their common destination, Genoa.

The Mary Celeste sailed from New York and 7 days later the Dei Gratia left port. On 4 December 1872, a mate aboard the Dei Gratia sighted the Mary Celeste. On investigation it was found that all the crew and Captain Brigs and his wife and young daughter were missing. Nothing seems to have been stolen from the vessel which was still moving under full sail. Some of Dei Gratia’s crew took charge of the ghost ship and sailed her to Gibraltar.

An investigation as to the fate of the crew of the Mary Celeste was held in the British port of Gibraltar and several explanations as to what happened aboard the ghost ship were proposed. Among the most likely of them, was that fumes of alcohol escaping from a broken barrel caused the ship to be abandoned and the crew and the captain’s wife and daughter perished at sea in the lifeboat.

Salvage rights to the Mary Celeste were acquired by an American ship owner James Winchester. But the curse of the vessel still had punch as Winchester’s father while aboard the Mary Celeste on her return to America drowned in an accident in Boston Harbor. Winchester sold the cursed brigantine and over the next 13 years she had 17 different owners.

The last owner of the Mary Celeste was an unscrupulous merchant, Captain G.C. Parker. After insuring his cargo for many times its value he purposefully sailed the Mary Celeste onto a reef off Haiti. The ship didn’t sink so he attempted to set her on fire. This act was unsuccessful and Parker was tried for the crime of intentionally destroying his ship. He escaped being hanged for the offense but had to face a loss as the insurance companies failed to pay his fraudulent claim.

It was unprofitable to attempt to salvage of the charred hulk of the Mary Celeste and she was allowed to slide off the reef into the sea. In 2001 a team of Canadian divers found the underwater remains of the Mary Celeste off Port-au-Prince, Haiti. However, as with everything connected with this ship, another mystery arose. An American scientist studying the wood from the wreck concluded that it was too recent to be from the Mary Celeste.

The fate of the Mary Celeste continues to be a mystery.

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Campobello Island: Two Nations, One Island

Campobello Island in the Bay of Fundy, is the home to a unique international park that is run by the governments of both Canada and the United States.

Campobello was first settled by the Passamaquoddy First Nation. The French explorers Sieur de Monts and Samuel de Champlain on their expedition to the region in 1604 were the first Europeans to see Campobello. They claimed the island which they called Port aux Coquilles (Port of Shells) for France. It came under the control of Britain in 1713. In 1770 the island was granted to Captain William Owen who renamed it Campobello. After the American Revolution several loyalist families settled on Campobello and when the colony of New Brunswick was created in 1784.

In the War of 1812 between Britain and the new United States, the British Navy captured several islands off the coast of Maine. In 1817 the peace negotiations these islands were returned to the United States. In return the US gave up all claims to the islands in the Bay of Fundy including Campobello. The residents of the rugged island survived through fishing and smuggling until the late 19th century when the region became popular with vacationers.

The advance of railways in the US and Canada made it possible for those living in large cities to easily reach picturesque and quiet seaside retreats. Here they could vacation with their extended families and entertain their neighbors of the same social class. Campobello became a popular place for the wealthy to spend the summer.

Among those who built summer homes on Campobello was the Roosevelt family. James Roosevelt and his wife Sara Delano summered in a cottage on island and it was here that their son Franklin was born in August 1914.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt who served as 32nd President of the United States from 1933 to 1945, vacationed with his family on Campobello. Here he pursued his favorite sport of sailing on the ocean.

It was at the Roosevelt summer home on Campobello that President Roosevelt, then 39 years of age, was stricken with polio. He rarely returned to Campobello but his wife Eleanor loved the peace and tranquility of the island. She stayed often at the Roosevelt cottage with her children.

After President Roosevelt died Eleanor continued to visit Campobello even though the Roosevelt cottage which was in fact a large rambling summer home had been sold. In 1963 the Roosevelt home was donated to the US and Canadian governments. The cottage and its grounds were incorporated into a 2,800 acre international park which is managed by both Canada and the US. It is the only international park of its type on the continent.

General James Wolfe

General James Wolfe, the leader of the English forces in the conquest of Canada, died on the Plains of Abraham at Quebec.

Wounded by musket shots he expired at the moment of victory over the French. After the battle on 13 September 1759, his corpse was removed from the battlefield, embalmed and put in a stone coffin for transport back to England aboard the ship the Royal William. When the body of the hero of Canada arrived in Portsmouth, England it was greeted with great fanfare.

One of Wolfe’s friends the Duke of Richmond sent the sculptor Joseph Wilton to Portsmouth to take a death mask of General Wolfe. Upon opening the coffin it was found that the body had decomposed to such an extent that the sculptor could only make a rough model of the face of Wolfe. Someone who had known James Wolfe before he went to Canada corrected Wilton’s image from memory.

Wolfe’s body was placed in a hearse and transported to Greenwich where the family held a private funeral service at St. Alphege. He was buried next to his father in the church.

The British were so grateful for the sacrifice of General Wolfe and his victory in Canada that they held thanksgiving services in churches throughout the country and celebrations including bonfires and fireworks continued for several days.
There soon arose a demand for images of the new hero of the nation. People wanted to honor him by having a portrait of him or a picture of him dying at The Battle of Quebec in their houses. This presented a problem because only a few images of Wolfe were painted before he went off to Canada at the age of 32. These pictures were unavailable to the many artists who wanted to gain fame and money by creating images of the fallen hero. To solve their problem they sold completely imaginary portraits of Wolfe and many of them made a good deal of money.

When the nation wanted to show its gratitude to James Wolfe by building a monument to him in Westminster Abbey they hired the sculptor Joseph Wilton to create a great carved marble scene of Wolfe dying among his soldiers. For Wolfe’s face Wilton reused the mostly imaginary portrait bust he made after he had tried and failed to take a plaster cast, death mask.

The most famous picture of General James Wolfe was a painting by Benjamin West. His painting The Death of General Wolfe was first shown to the public in 1770, 11 years after the battle at Quebec. For Wolfe’s face Benjamin West used as his model or source the image created by Joseph Wilton. Benjamin West’s picture was very popular. He made several copies of it for sale and an engraving of it was printed and sold to the hundreds of people who wanted a picture of their hero. They didn’t mind or didn’t know that the face of General Wolfe in the picture was not actually an exact likeness.

We don’t know what James Wolfe really looked like.

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