• Collecting the World in Newfoundland

    Misha Ewen  Sugar, tobacco, porcelain, and cod. These worldly goods—that came to define early modern empires and networks of global trade—could all be found in the homes of Newfoundland women Sara Kirke and her sister Frances Hopkins. The Pool in Ferryland was their home throughout the middle and later decades of the seventeenth century. Their… Continue Reading

  • Policing and Public Houses in Newfoundland

    Keith Mercer In the fall of 1807, the Royal Gazette listed the public houses licensed to operate in St. John’s for the coming year. Most of these 33 taverns catered to the business district around the waterfront, attracting patrons with drink, music, and vice, but also colourful signs such as Agincourt, Jolly Fisherman, Red Cow, and Nelson – likely named for Lord Nelson, after he fell at Trafalgar in 1805. The London Tavern, like the Ship… Continue Reading

  • Calling the Police before the Police in Newfoundland

    M. Max Hamon Rough Justice: Policing, Crime, and the Origins of the Newfoundland Constabulary, 1729-1871, by Keith Mercer (St. John’s: Flanker Press, 2021). Drawing out ambiguities of the “police before the police” is an excellent way to explore the past as a different country in the classroom. For instance, a great hook to tell students… Continue Reading

  • Ethnicity, Nationalism, and the Irish: Networks of Diaspora in Early-Twentieth Century Northeastern North America

    Patrick Mannion On October 4th, 1920, Irish-Canadian nationalist Katherine Hughes arrived in St. John’s, the capital and chief port of the Dominion of Newfoundland. Her objective was to establish a branch of the Self-Determination for Ireland League (SDIL) – a Canadian organization designed to win popular support for Irish independence during the peak of the… Continue Reading

  • Cabotia and Fredonia

    Amanda Murphyao [This is the ninth essay of the Borealia series on Cartography and Empire–on the many ways maps were employed in the contested imperial spaces of early modern North America.] In his 1814 “Map of Cabotia,” John Purdy proposed the name “Cabotia” for Canada. Since Purdy noted that any “future improvement” for the map would be welcome,… Continue Reading

  • L’île aux démons: cartographie d’un mirage

    [This is the fifith essay of the Borealia series on Cartography and Empire–on the many ways maps were employed in the contested imperial spaces of early modern North America.]  Alban Berson On serait bien en peine de pointer sur une carte d’aujourd’hui un vaste archipel ou une île imposante au Nord de Terre-Neuve, sur la côte du… Continue Reading

  • Yule and Misrule in Early Newfoundland and Labrador: Why fires and firearms roared every year

    Stephen Hay When we think of Christmas in Newfoundland and Labrador, mumming comes to mind, the famous tradition of visiting in disguise.[1] Yet, this is just one of many Christmas customs that Newfoundlanders and Labradoreans enjoyed. Newfoundland and Labrador holiday customs during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century included burning the Yule log and… Continue Reading

  • White Tribism: Viking Explorations and Indigenous Erasures

    Douglas Hunter The Vikings are back in North America, athough in truth they’ve been with us since at least the eighteenth century, when the Vinland sagas began to fuel speculation about the lands Leif Eiriksson and his compatriots tried to colonize around 1000 AD. Their latest sighting is at Point Rosee in southwestern Newfoundland, where… Continue Reading