Queen Street Digression At Caroline Street History Of The Early Press

A little to the south of Britain Street, between it and Duchess Street,

near the spot where Caroline Street, slightly diverging from the right

line, passes northward to Queen Street, there stood in the early day a

long, low wooden structure, memorable to ourselves, as being, in our

school-boy days, the Government Printing Office. Here the Upper Canada

Gazette was issued, by "R. C. Horne, Printer to the King's Most

lent Majesty."

We shall have occasion hereafter to notice among our early inhabitants

some curious instances of change of profession. In the present case, His

Majesty's Printer was in reality an Army Surgeon, once attached to the

Glengary Light Infantry. And again, afterwards, the same gentleman was

for many years the Chief Teller in the Bank of Upper Canada. An incident

in the troubles of 1837 was "the burning of Dr. Horne's house," by a

party of the malcontents who were making a show of assault upon the

town. The site of this building, a conspicuous square two-storey frame

family residence, was close to the toll-bar on Yonge Street, in what is

now Yorkville. On that occasion, we are informed, Dr. Horne "berated the

Lieutenant-Governor for treating with avowed rebels, and insisted that

they were not in sufficient force to give any ground of alarm."

The Upper Canada Gazette was the first newspaper published in Upper

Canada. Its first number appeared at Newark or Niagara, on Thursday,

the 18th of April, 1793. As it was apparently expected to combine with a

record of the acts of the new government some account of events

happening on the continent at large, it was made to bear the double

title of Upper Canada Gazette, or American Oracle. Louis Roy was its

first printer, a skilled artizan engaged probably from Lower Canada,

where printing had been introduced about thirty years previously, soon

after the English occupation of the country.

Louis Roy's name appears on the face of No. 1, Vol. I. The type is of

the shape used in contemporaneous printing, and the execution is very

good. The size of the sheet, which retained the folio form, was 15 by 91/2

inches. The quality of the paper was rather coarse, but stout and


The address to the public in the first number is as follows:--"The

Editor of this paper respectfully informs the public that the flattering

prospect which he has of an extensive sale for his new undertaking has

enabled him to augment the size originally proposed from a Demy Quarto

to a Folio.

"The encouragement he has met will call forth every exertion he is

master of, so as to render the paper useful, entertaining and

instructive. He will be very happy in being favoured with such

communications as may contribute to the information of the public, from

those who shall be disposed to assist him, and in particular shall be

highly flattered in becoming the vehicle of intelligence in this growing

Province of whatever may tend to its internal benefit and common

advantage. In order to preserve the veracity of his paper, which will be

the first object of his attention, it will be requisite that all

transactions of a domestic nature, such as deaths, marriages, &c., be

communicated under real signatures.

"The price of this Gazette will be three dollars per annum. All

advertisements inserted in it, and not exceeding twelve lines, will pay

4s. Quebec currency; and for every additional line a proportionable

price. Orders for letter-press printing will be executed with neatness,

despatch and attention, and on the most reasonable terms."

An advertisement in the first number informs the public that a Brewery

is about to be established under the sanction of the

Lieutenant-Governor. "Notice is hereby given, that there will be a

Brewery erected here this summer under the sanction of His Excellency

the Lieutenant-Governor, and encouraged by some of the principal

gentlemen of this place; and whosoever will sow barley and cultivate

their land so that it will produce grain of a good quality, they may be

certain of a market in the fall at one dollar a bushel on delivery. W.

Huet, Niagara, 18th April, 1793."

The number dated Niagara, May 2, 1793, "hath" the following

advertisement:--"Sampson Jutes begs leave to inform all persons who

propose to build houses, &c., in the course of this summer, that he hath

laths, planks and scantlings of all kinds to sell on reasonable terms.

Any person may be supplied with any of the above articles on the

shortest notice. Applications to be made to him at his mill near Mr.

Peter Secord's."

In the Number for May 30, 1793, we have ten guineas reward offered for

the recovery of a Government grindstone:--"Ten Guineas Reward is offered

to any person that will make discovery and prosecute to conviction, the

Thief or Thieves that have stolen a Grindstone from the King's Wharf at

Navy Hall, between the 30th of April and the 6th instant. John McGill,

Com. of Stores, &c., &c., for the Province of Upper Canada. Queenstown,

16th May, 1793."

The Anniversary of the King's Birth-day was celebrated at Niagara in

1793, in the following manner:--"Niagara, June 6. On Tuesday last, being

the Anniversary of His Majesty's birthday, His Excellency the

Lieutenant-Governor had a Levee at Navy Hall. At one o'clock the troops

in garrison and at Queenston fired three volleys; the field-pieces above

Navy Hall, under the direction of the Royal Artillery, and the guns of

the Garrison, fired a Royal Salute. His Majesty's schooner, the

Onondago, at anchor in the river, likewise fired a Royal Salute. In the

evening His Excellency gave a Ball and elegant Supper at the Council

Chamber, which was most numerously attended."

In the second volume (1794) of the Gazette and Oracle, Louis Roy's

name disappears. G. Tiffany becomes the printer. In 1798 it has assumed

the Quarto form, and is dated "West Niagara," a name Newark was

beginning to acquire.

No Gazette is issued April 29th, 1798. An apology for the omission

constitutes the whole of the editorial of the Number for May 5. It says:

"The Printer having been called to York last week upon business, is

humbly tendered to his readers as an apology for the Gazette's not


In 1799, the Gazette being about to be removed across permanently to

York, the new capital, whither also all the government offices were

departing, Messrs. S. and G. Tiffany decide on starting a newspaper on

their own account for Niagara. It is called the "Canada

Constellation," and its terms are four dollars per annum. It is

announced to appear weekly "opposite the Lion tavern." The date of the

first number is July 20. In the introductory address to the public, the

Messrs. Tiffany make use of the following rather involved language:--"It

is a truth long acknowledged that no men hold situations more

influential of the minds and conduct of men than do printers: political

printers are sucked from, nursed and directed by the press: and when

they are just, the community is in unity and prosperity; but when

vicious, every evil ensues; and it is lamentable that many printers,

either vile remiss in, or ignorant of, their duty, produce the latter or

no effect; and to which of these classes we belong, time will unfold."

The public means of maintaining a regular correspondence with the outer

world being insufficient, the enterprising spirit of the Messrs. Tiffany

led them to think of establishing a postal system of their own. In the

Constellation for August 23, we have the announcement: "The printers

of the Constellation are desirous of establishing a post on the road

from their office to Ancaster and the Grand River, as well as another to

Fort Erie; and for this purpose they propose to hire men to perform the

routes as soon as the subscriptions will allow of the expense. In order

to establish the business, the printers on their part will subscribe

generously, and to put the design into execution, but little remains for

the people to do."

We can detect in the Constellation a natural local feeling against the

upstart town of York, which had now drawn away almost every thing from

the old Newark. Thus in the number for November the 14th, 1799, a

communication from York, signed Amicus, is admitted, written plainly

by one who was no great lover of the place. It affords a glimpse of the

state of its thoroughfares, and of the habits of some of its

inhabitants. Amicus proposes a "Stump Act" for York; i. e., a

compulsory eradication of the stumps in the streets: so that "the people

of York in the space of a few months may" as he speaks. "relapse into

intoxication with impunity; and stagger home at any hour of the night

without encountering the dreadful apprehension of broken necks."

The same animus gives colour to remarks on some legal verbiage recently

employed at York. Under the heading "Interesting Discovery" we read: "It

has been lately found at York that in England laws are made; and that a

law made in England is the law of England, and is enforced by another

law; that many laws are made in Lower Canada and follow up, that is,

follow after, or in other words are made since, other laws; and that

these laws may be repealed. It is seldom," continues the writer in the

Constellation, "that so few as one discovery slips into existence at

one birth. Genius is sterile, and justly said to be like a breeding cat,

as is verified in York, where by some unaccountable fortuity of events

all genius centres; at the same time with the above, its twin kitten

came forth, that an atheist does not believe as a Christian."

In another number we have some chaffing about the use of the word

capital. In an address on the arrival of Governor Hunter, the

expression, "We, the inhabitants of the Capital," had occurred. "This

fretted my pate," the critic pretends to complain. "What can this be?

Surely it is some great place in a great country was my conclusion; but

where the capital is, was a little beyond my geographical acquaintance.

I had recourse to the books" he continues: "all the gazettes and

magazines from the year One I carefully turned over, and not one case

among all the addresses they contained afforded me any instruction: 'We,

the inhabitants of the cities of London and Westminster, of Edinburgh,

Dublin, Paris, &c.,' only proved to me that neither of these is the

Capital. But as these are only little towns in young countries, and

cannot be so forward as to take upon themselves the pompous title of

capital, it must be in America." He then professes to have consulted

the Encyclopaedia Eboretica, or, "A Vindication in support of the great

Utility of New Words," lately printed in Upper Canada, and to have

discovered therein that the Capital in question "was, in plain English,

York." He concludes, therefore, that whenever in future the expression

"We, the inhabitants of the Capital" is met with, it is to be translated

into the vernacular tongue, "We, the inhabitants of York, assembled at

McDougall's, &c."

There is mention made above of a Stump Act. We have been assured that

such a regulation was, at an early day, in force at York, as a deterrent

from drunkenness. Capt. Peeke, who burnt lime at Duffin's Creek, and

shipped it to York in his own vessel, before the close of the last

century, was occasionally inconvenienced by the working of the Stump

Act. His men whom he had brought up with him to assist in navigating his

boat would be found, just when especially wanted by himself, laboriously

engaged in the extraction of a great pine-root in one or other of the

public thoroughfares of the town, under sentence of the magistrate, for

having been found, on the preceding day, intoxicated in the streets.

The Constellation newspaper does not appear to have succeeded. Early

in 1801 a new paper comes out, entitled the Herald. In it, it is

announced that the Constellation, "after existing one year, expired

some months since of starvation, its publishers departing too much from

its constitution (advance pay)." The printer is now Silvester Tiffany,

the senior proprietor of the Constellation. It is very well printed

with good type; but on blue wrapping paper. In little more than two

years, viz., on the 4th June, 1802, it announced that the publication of

the Herald is suspended; that it will appear only "on particular

occasions;" but Mr. Tiffany hopes it "will by and by receive a revival."

Other early papers published at the town of Niagara were the Gleaner,

by Mr. Heron; the Reporter; the Spectator. The Mail was

established so late as 1845. Its publication ceased in 1870, when its

editor, Mr. Kirby, was appointed to the collectorship of the Port of

Niagara. Down to 1870 Mr. Tiffany's "imposing stone," used in the

printing of the Constellation, did duty in the office of the Mail.

In 1800, the Upper Canada Gazette or American Oracle is issued at

York, weekly, from the office of William Waters and T. G. Simons. In the

number for Saturday, May the 17th, in that year, we read that on the

Thursday evening previous, "His Excellency Peter Hunter, Esq.,

Lieutenant-Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Province, arrived in

our harbour on board the Toronto; and on Friday morning, about nine

o'clock, landed at the Garrison, where he is at present to reside."

We are thus enabled to add two items to the table of dates usually

given, shewing the introduction of Printing at different points on this

Continent: viz., the dates 1793 and 1800 for Niagara and York

respectively. The table will now stand as follows:--

1639, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Stephen Day and Samuel Green; 1674,

Boston, John Foster; 1684, Philadelphia, Wm. Bradford; 1693, New York,

Wm. Bradford (removed from Philadelphia); 1730, Charleston, Eleazer

Phillips; 1730, Bridgetown, Barbadoes, David Harry and Samuel Keimer;

1751, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Bartholomew Green, jun., and John Bushell;

1764, Quebec, Wm. Brown and Thos. H. Gilmore; 1771, Albany, Alex. and

Jas. Robertson; 1775, Montreal, Chas. Berger and Fleury Mesplet; 1784,

St. George's, Bermuda, J. Stockdale; 1793, Newark (Niagara), Louis Roy;

1795, Cincinnati, S. Freeman; 1800, York (Toronto), Wm. Waters and T. G.


As at York and Niagara, the first printers in most of the places named

were publishers of newspapers.

It may be added that a press was in operation in the City of Mexico in

1569; and in the City of Lima in 1621. The original of all the many

Colonial Government Gazettes was the famous royal or exclusively court

news sheet, published first at Oxford, in November, 1665, entitled the

Oxford Gazette, and in the following year, at London, and entitled

then and ever afterwards to this day, the London Gazette.

In 1801, J. Bennett succeeds Messrs. Waters and Simons, and becomes the

printer and publisher of the Gazette or Oracle. In that year the

printing-office is removed to "the house of Mr. A. Cameron, King

Street," and it is added, "subscriptions will be received there and at

the Toronto Coffee House, York." From March 21st in this year, and

onward for six weeks, the paper appears printed on blue sheets of the

kind of material that used formerly to be seen on the outsides of

pamphlets and magazines and Government "Blue-books." The stock of white

paper has plainly run out, and no fresh supply can be had before the

opening of the navigation. The Herald, at Niagara, of the same period,

appeared, as we have already noticed, in the like guise.

On Saturday, December 20th, 1801, is this statement, the whole of the

editorial matter: "It is much to be lamented that communication between

Niagara and this town is so irregular and unfrequent: opportunities now

do not often occur of receiving the American papers from our

correspondents; and thereby prevents us for the present from laying

before our readers the state of politics in Europe." In the number for

June 13th, the editorial "leader" reads as follows:--"The Oracle,

York, Saturday, June 13th. Last Monday was a day of universal rejoicing

in this town, occasioned by the arrival of the news of the splendid

victory gained by Lord Nelson over the Danes in Copenhagen Roads on the

2nd of April last: in the morning the great guns at the Garrison were

fired: at night there was a general illumination, and bonfires blazed in

almost every direction." The writer indulges in no further comments.

It would have been gratifying to posterity had the printers of the

Gazette and Oracle endeavoured to furnish a connected record of "the

short and simple annals" of their own immediate neighbourhood. But these

unfortunately were deemed undeserving of much notice. We have

announcements of meetings, and projects, and subscriptions for

particular purposes, unfollowed by any account of what was subsequently

said, done and effected; and when a local incident is mentioned, the

detail is generally very meagre.

An advertisement in the number for the 27th August, 1801, reminds us

that in the early history of Canada it was imagined that a great source

of wealth to the inhabitants of the country in all future time would be

the ginseng that was found growing naturally in the swamps. The market

for ginseng was principally China, where it was worth its weight in

silver. The word is said to be Chinese for "all-heal." In 1801 we find

that Mr. Jacob Herchmer, of York, was speculating in ginseng. In his

advertisement in the Gazette and Oracle he "begs leave to inform the

inhabitants of York and its vicinity that he will purchase any quantity

of ginseng between this and the first of November next, and that he will

give two shillings, New York currency, per pound well dried, and one

shilling for green."

At one period, it will be remembered, the cultivation of hemp was

expected to be the mainstay of the country's prosperity. In the Upper

Canada Almanac for 1804, among the public officers we have set down as

"Commissioners appointed for the distribution of Hemp Seed (gratis) to

the Farmers of the Provinces, the Hon. John McGill, the Hon. David W.

Smith, and Thomas Scott, Esquires."

The whole of the editorial matter of the Gazette and Oracle on the 2nd

of January, 1802, is the following: "The Oracle, York, Saturday,

January 2, 1802. The Printer presents his congratulary compliments to

his customers on the New Year." Note that the dignified title of Editor

was yet but sparingly assumed. That term is used once by Tiffany at

Newark, in the second volume. After the death of Governor Hunter, in

September, 1805, J. Bennett writes himself down "Printer to the King's

Most Excellent Majesty." Previously the colophon of the publication had

been: "York, printed by John Bennett, by the authority of His Excellency

Peter Hunter, Esq., Lieut.-Governor."

Happening to have at hand a bill of Bennett's against the Government we

give it here. The modern reader will be able to form from this specimen

an idea of the extent of the Government requirements in 1805 in regard

to printing and the cost thereof. We give also the various attestations

appended to the account:--

York, Upper Canada, 24th June, 1805.

The Government of Upper Canada,

To John Bennett, Government Printer.

Jan. 11. 300 copies Still Licenses, 1/2 sheet foolscap, pica type 0 16 6

March 30. Printing 20 copies of an Act for altering the time of issuing

Licenses for keeping of a House of Public Entertainment,

1/4 sheet demy, pica type 0 3 4

April 5. Inserting a Notice to persons taking out Shop, Still or

Tavern Licenses, 6 weeks in the Gazette, equal to 41/2

advertisements 1 16 0

April 16. 1,000 copies of Proclamation, warning persons that possess

and occupy Lands in this Province, without due

titles having been obtained for such Lands, forthwith

to quit and remove from the same, 1/2 sheet demy,

double pica type 4 18 4

April 22. 100 copies of an Act to afford relief to persons entitled to

claim Land in this Province as heirs or devisees of the

nominees of the Crown, one sheet demy, pica type 3 6 3

Printing Marginal notes to do 0 5 0

May 14. Printing 1,500 copies of the Acts of the First Session of

the Fourth Parliament, three sheets demy, pica type 45 0 0

Marginal Notes to do., at 5s. per sheet 0 15 0

Folding, Stitching and Covering in Blue Paper, at 1d. 6 5 0


Halifax currency L63 5 9

Amounting to sixty-three pounds five shillings and nine-pence

Halifax currency. Errors excepted.

(Signed) John Bennett.

John Bennett, of the Town of York, in the Home District, maketh

oath and saith, that the foregoing account amounting to

sixty-three pounds five shillings and ninepence Halifax

currency, is just and true in all its particulars to the best of

his knowledge and belief.

(Signed) John Bennett.

Sworn before me at York, this 20th day of July, 1805.

(Signed) Wm. Dummer Powell, J.

Audited and approved in Council 6th August 1805.

(Signed) Peter Russell,

Presiding Councillor.


(Signed) John McGill,

Inspector Genl. P. P. Accts.

[A true copy.]

John McGill,

Inspector Gen. P. P. Accts.

Bennett published "The Upper Canada Almanac," containing with the matter

usually found in such productions the Civil and Military Lists and the

Duties, Imperial and Provincial. This work was admirably printed in fine

Elzevir type, and in aspect, as well as arrangement, was an exact copy

of the almanacs of the day published in London.

A rival Calendar continued to be issued at Niagara entitled "Tiffany's

Upper Canada Almanac." This was a roughly-printed little tract, and

contained popular matter in addition to the official lists. It gave in a

separate and very conspicuous column in each month "the moon's place" on

each day in respect to a distinct portion of the human body with

prognostications accordingly. And in the "Advertisement to the reader"

it was set forth, that "in the calculation of the weather the most

unwearied pains have been taken; and the calculator prays, for his

honour's sake, that he may have not failed in the least point; but as

all calculation may sometimes fail in small matters," the writer

continues, "no wonder is it that in this, the most important, should be

at times erroneous. And when this shall unfortunately have been the case

with the Upper Canada Almanac, let careful observers throw over the

error the excess of that charity of which their generous souls are

composed, and the all-importance of the subject requires; let them

remember that the task, in all the variety and changes of climates and

seasons, is arduous beyond that of reforming a vicious world, and not

less than that of making a middle-sized new one."

In the number of the Oracle for September 28th, 1805, which is in

mourning, we have the following notice of the character of Governor

Hunter, who had deceased on the 23rd of the preceding August at

Quebec:--"As an officer his character was high and unsullied; and at

this present moment his death may be considered a great public loss. As

Lieut.-Governor of Upper Canada, his loss will be severely felt; for by

his unremitting attention and exertions he has, in the course of a very

few years, brought that infant colony to an unparalleled state of

prosperity." An account is then given of the procession at the funeral.

The 49th and 6th Regiments were present; also Lieut.-Col. Brock,

Commanding. At the grave one round was fired slowly and distinctly by

eleven field pieces, followed by one round of small arms, by regiments;

then a second round of artillery, followed in like manner by the small

arms; and, lastly, a third round of artillery, and a third round of

small arms. The mourners were, the Hon. Thomas Dunn, President of the

Province (Lower Canada). Col. Bowes, Major Curry, Hon. Mr. Craigie, Col.

Green, Major Robe, Capt. Gomm and Mr. William Green.

In 1813, during the war with the United States, Cameron is the printer

of the official paper, which now for a time assumed the title of The

York Gazette. Mr. John Cameron also published "The Upper Canada

Almanac," from which we have already had occasion to quote, but it put

in no claim to an official character. It did not contain the Civil

Lists, but, as stated in the title page, "some Chinese sayings and

Elegant Aphorisms." It bore as a motto the following lines:--

"Ye who would mend these wicked times

And morals of the age,

Come buy a book half full of rhymes,

At three-pence York per page.

It would be money well outlaid,

So plenty money is;

Paper for paper is fair trade:

So said "Poor Richard Quiz."

Among the aphorisms given is this one: "Issuers of paper-change, are

entitled to thanks from the public for the great accommodation such

change affords. They might render the accommodation more extensive were

they to emit a proportionate number of half-penny bills." At one place

the query is put, "When will the beard be worn, and man allowed to

appear with it in native dignity? And if so, how long before it will

become fashionable to have it greased and powdered?" In the almanac for

1815, towards the end, the following paragraph appears:--"York

supernatural prices current: Turnips 1 dollar per bushel; Potatoes,

long, at 2 ditto; Salt 20 ditto; Butter per lb. 1 ditto; Indifferent

bread 1 shilling N. Y. cy. per lb.; Conscience, a contraband article."

In Bennett's time the Government press was, as we have seen, set up in

Mr. Cameron's house on King Street. But at the period of the war in 1812

Mr. Cameron's printing office was in a building which still exists,

viz., the house on Bay Street associated with the name of Mr. Andrew

Mercer. During the occupation of York by the United States force, the

press was broken up and the type dispersed. Mr. Mercer once exhibited to

ourselves a portion of the press which on that occasion was made

useless. For a short period Mr. Mercer himself had charge of the

publication of the York Gazette.

In 1817 Dr. Horne became the editor and publisher. On coming into his

hands the paper resumed the name of Upper Canada Gazette, but the old

secondary title of American Oracle was dropped. To the official

portion of the paper there was, nevertheless, still appended abstracts

of news from the United States and Europe, summaries of the proceedings

in the Parliaments of Upper and Lower Canada, and much well-selected

miscellaneous matter. The shape continued to be that of a small folio,

and the terms were four dollars per annum in advance; and if sent by

mail, four dollars and a half.

In 1821 Mr. Charles Fothergill (of whom we have already spoken) became

the Editor and Publisher of the Gazette. Mr. Fothergill revived the

practice of having a secondary title, which was now The Weekly

Register; a singular choice, by the way, that being very nearly the

name of Cobbett's celebrated democratic publication in London. After Mr.

Fothergill came Mr. Robert Stanton, who changed the name of the private

portion of the Gazette sheet, styling it "The U. E. Loyalist."

In 1820 Mr. John Carey had established the Observer at York. The

Gazette of May 11, 1820, contains the announcement of his design; and

he therein speaks of himself as "the person who gave the Debates"

recently in another paper. To have the debates in Parliament reported

with any fulness was then a novelty. The Observer was a folio of

rustic, unkempt aspect, the paper and typography and matter being all

somewhat inferior. It gave in its adherence to the government of the

day, generally: at a later period it wavered. Mr. Carey was a tall,

portly personage who, from his bearing and costume might readily have

been mistaken for a non-conformist minister of local importance. The

Observer existed down to about the year 1830. Between the Weekly

Register and the Observer the usual journalistic feud sprung up,

which so often renders rival village newspapers ridiculous. With the

Register a favourite sobriquet for the Observer is "Mother C----y."

Once a correspondent is permitted to style it "The Political Weathercock

and Slang Gazetteer." Mr. Carey ended his days in Springfield on the

River Credit, where he possessed property.

The Canadian Freeman, established in 1825 by Mr. Francis Collins was a

sheet remarkable for the neatness of its arrangement and execution, and

also for the talent exhibited in its editorials. The type was evidently

new and carefully handled. Mr. Collins was his own principal compositor.

He is said to have transferred to type many of his editorials without

the intervention of pen and paper, composing directly from copy mentally

furnished. Mr. Collins was a man of pronounced Celtic features, roughish

in outline, and plentifully garnished with hair of a sandy or reddish


Notwithstanding the colourless character of the motto at the head of its

columns "Est natura hominum novitatis avida"--"Human nature is fond of

news," the Freeman was a strong party paper. The hard measure dealt

out to him in 1828 at the hands of the legal authorities, according to

the prevailing spirit of the day, with the revenge that he was moved to

take--and to take successfully--we shall not here detail. Mr. Collins

died of cholera in the year 1834. We have understood that he was once

employed in the office of the Gazette; and that when Dr. Horne

resigned, he was an applicant for the position of Government Printer.

The Canadian Freeman joined for a time in the general opposition

clamour against Dr. Strachan,--against the influence, real or supposed,

exercised by him over successive lieutenant-governors. But on

discovering the good-humoured way in which its fulminations were

received by their object, the Freeman dropped its strictures. It

happened that Mr. Collins had a brother in business in the town with

whom Dr. Strachan had dealings. This brother on some occasion thought it

becoming to make some faint apology for the Freeman's diatribes. "O

don't let them trouble you," the Doctor replied, "they do not trouble

me; but by the way, tell your brother," he laughingly continued, "I

shall claim a share in the proceeds." This, when reported to the Editor,

was considered a good joke, and the diatribes ceased; a proceeding that

was tantamount to Peter Pindar's confession, when some one charged him

with being too hard on the King: "I confess there exists a difference

between the King and me," said Peter; "the King has been a good subject

to me; and I have been a bad subject to his Majesty."--During Mr.

Collins' imprisonment in 1828 for the application of the afterwards

famous expression "native malignity" to the Attorney-General of the day,

the Freeman still continued to appear weekly, the editorials, set up

in type in the manner spoken of above, being supplied to the office from

his room in the jail.

In the early stages of society in Upper Canada the Government

authorities appear not only to have possessed but to have exercised the

power of handling political writers pretty sharply. In the Kingston

Chronicle of December 10th, 1820, we have recorded the sentence

pronounced on Barnabas Ferguson, Editor of the Niagara Spectator, for

"a libel on the Government." Mr. Ferguson was condemned to be imprisoned

eighteen months; to stand in the pillory once during his confinement; to

pay a fine of L50, and remain in prison till paid; and on his liberation

to find security for seven years, himself in L500, and two sureties in

L250 each. No comment is made by the Chronicle on the sentence, and

the libel is not described.

The local government took its cue in this matter from its superiors of

the day in the old country. What Sir Henry Lytton Bulwer says in his

sketch of the life of Cobbett helps to explain the action of the early

Upper Canada authorities in respect to the press. "Let us not forget,"

says the writer just named, "the blind and uncalculating intolerance

with which the law struggled against opinion from 1809 to 1822. Writers

during this period were transported, imprisoned, and fined, without

limit or conscience; and just when government became more gentle to

legitimate newspapers, it engaged in a new conflict with unstamped ones.

No less than 500 venders of these were imprisoned within six years. The

contest was one of life and death."

So early as 1807 there was an "opposition" paper--the Upper Canada

Guardian. Willcocks, the editor, had been Sheriff of the Home District,

and had lost his office for giving a vote contrary to the policy of the

lieutenant-governor for the time being. He was returned as a member of

parliament; and after having been imprisoned for breach of privilege, he

was returned again, and continued to lead the reforming party. The name

of Mr. Cameron, the publisher of the Gazette at York was, by some

means, mixed up with that of Mr. Willcocks, in connection with the

Upper Canada Guardian in 1807, and he found it expedient to publish

in the Gazette of June 20, the following notice: "To the

Public--Having seen the Prospectus of a paper generally circulated at

Niagara, intended to be printed in Upper Canada, entitled the Upper

Canada Guardian or Freeman's Journal, executed in the United States of

America, without my knowledge or consent, wherein my name appears as

being a party concerned; I therefore think it necessary to undeceive my

friends and the inhabitants of Upper Canada, and to assure them that I

have no connection with, nor is it my most distant wish or intention in

any wise to be connected with the printing or publication of said paper.

John Bennett."--When the war of 1812 broke out the Guardian came to an

end; its editor at first loyally bore arms on the Canadian side, but at

length deserted to the enemy, taking with him some of the Canadian

Militia. He was afterwards killed at the siege of Fort Erie.

The newspaper which occupies the largest space in the early annals of

the press at York is the Colonial Advocate. Issuing first at Queenston

in May, 1824, it was removed in the following November to York. Its

shape varied from time to time: now it was a folio: now a quarto. On all

its pages the matter was densely packed; but printed in a very mixed

manner: it abounded with sentences in italics, in small capitals, in

large capitals; with names distinguished in like decided manner: with

paragraphs made conspicuous by rows of index hands, and other

typographical symbols at top, bottom and sides. It was editorial, not in

any one particular column, but throughout; and the opinions delivered

were expressed for the most part in the first person.

The Weekly Register fell foul of the Advocate at once. It appears

that the new audacious nondescript periodical, though at the time it

bore on its face the name of Queenston, was nevertheless for convenience

sake printed at Lewiston on the New York side of the river. Hence it was

denounced by the Weekly Register in language that now astonishes us,

as a United States production; and as in the United States interest.

"This paper of motley, unconnected, shake-bag periods" cried the Editor

of the Weekly Register, "this unblushing, brazen-faced Advocate,

affects to be a Queenston and Upper Canadian paper; whereas it is to all

intents and purposes, and radically, a Lewiston and genu-wine Yankee

paper. How can this man of truth, this pure and holy reformer and

regenerator of the unhappy and prostrate Canada reconcile such barefaced

and impudent deception?"

Nothing could more promote the success of the Colonial Advocate than a

welcome like this. To account for the Register's extraordinary warmth,

it is to be said that the Advocate in its first number had happened to

quote a passage from an address of its Editor to the electors of the

County of Durham, which seemed in some degree to compromise him as a

servant of the Government. Mr. Fothergill had ventured to say "I know

some of the deep and latent causes why this fine country has so long

languished in a state of comparative stupor and inactivity, while our

more enterprising neighbours are laughing us to scorn. All I desire is

an opportunity of attempting the cure of some of the evils we labour

under." This was interpreted in the Advocate to mean a censure upon

the Executive. But the Register replied that these words simply

expressed the belief that the evils complained of were remediable only

by the action of the House of Assembly, on the well-known axiom "that

all law is for the people, and from the people; and when efficient, must

be remedied or rectified by the people; and that therefore Mr.

Fothergill was desirous of assisting in the great work."

The end in fact was that the Editor of the Register, after his return

to parliament for the County of Durham, did not long retain the post of

King's Printer. After several independent votes in the House he was

dismissed by Sir Peregrine Maitland in 1826, after which date the

awkwardness of uniting with a Government Gazette a general newspaper

whose editor, as a member of the House of Assembly, might claim the

privilege of acting with His Majesty's opposition, came to an end. In

1826 we have Mr. Fothergill in his place in the House supporting a

motion for remuneration to the publisher of the Advocate, on the

ground that the wide and even gratuitous circulation of that paper

throughout Canada and among members of the British House of Commons,

"would help to draw attention in the proper quarter to the country."

Here is an account of McKenzie's method in the collection of matter for

his various publications, the curious multifariousness of which matter

used to astonish while it amused. The description is by Mr. Kent, editor

of a religious journal, entitled The Church, published at Cobourg in

1838. Lord Clarendon's style has been exactly caught, it will be

observed: "Possessed of a taste for general and discursive reading,"

says Mr. Kent, "he (McK.) made even his very pleasures contribute to the

serious business of his life, and, year after year, accumulated a mass

of materials, which he pressed into his service at some fitting

opportunity. Whenever anything transpired that at all reflected on a

political opponent, or whenever, in his reading, he met with a passage

that favoured his views, he not only turned it to a present purpose, but

laid it by, to bring it forward at some future period, long after it

might have been supposed to be buried in oblivion."

The Editor of the Advocate, after his flight from Canada in 1837,

published for a short time at New York a paper named McKenzie's

Gazette, which afterwards was removed to Rochester: its term of

existence there was also brief. In the number for June, 1839, we have

the following intelligence contributed by a correspondent at Toronto: a

certain animus in relation to the military in Canada, and in relation to

the existing Banks of the country, is apparent. "Toronto, May 24th: The

93rd Regiment is still in quarters here. The men 660 strong, all

Scotchmen, enlisted in the range of country from Aberdeen to Ayrshire: a

highland regiment without highlanders: few or none of Englishmen or

Irishmen among them. They are a fine-looking body of men: I never saw a

finer. I wished to go into the garrison, but was not permitted to do so.

Few of the townspeople have that privilege. ---- has made the fullest

enquiries, and tells me that a majority of the men would be glad to get

away if they could: they would willingly leave the service and the

country. He says they are well-informed, civil and well-behaved, and

that for such time as England may be compelled to retain possession of

the Canadas by military force, against the wishes of the settled

population he would like to have this regiment remain in Toronto. ----

tells me that a few soups have been kept at Queenston during the

winter, because if they desert it is no matter: the regulars are all at

Drummondville, near the Falls, and a couple of hundred blacks at

Chippewa watching them. The Ferry below the Falls is guarded by old men

whose term of service is nearly out, and who look for a pension. It is

the same at Malden, and in Lower Canada. The regiments Lord Durham

brought were fine fellows, the flower of the English army.

"The Banks here tax the people heavily, but they are so stupid they

don't see it. All the specie goes into the Banks. I am told that the

Upper Canada Bank had at one time L300,000 in England in Commissariat

bills of Exchange: their notes in circulation are a million and a

quarter of paper dollars, for all of which they draw interest from the

people, although not obliged to keep six cents in their money-till to

redeem them. All the troops were paid in the depreciated paper of these

fraudulent bankrupt concerns, the directors of which deserve the

Penitentiary: the contracts of the Commissariat are paid in the same

paper as a 10 per cent. shave: and the troops up at Brantford were also

paid in Bank notes which the Bank did not pretend to redeem; and it

would have offended Sir George [Arthur], who has a share in such

speculations (as he had when in VanDieman's Land), had any one asked the

dollars. Sir Allan McNab, who has risen from poverty to be president de

facto, solicitor, directors and company of the Gore Bank, ever since

its creation, is said to be terribly embarrassed for want of money. He

is not the alpha and omega of the Bank now. He has quarrelled with his

brother villains. The money paid to Canada from England to uphold troops

to coerce the people helps the Banks."

In the same number of the Gazette published at Rochester we have an

extract from a production by Robert Gourlay himself, who in his old age

paid a final visit of inspection to Canada. In allusion to a portion of

Gourlay's famous work published in 1822, the extract is headed in

McKenzie's Gazette "Robert Gourlay's 'Last Sketch' of Upper Canada."

It is dated at Toronto, May 25th. Having just presented one gloomy view,

we will venture to lower the reader's spirits a particle more, by giving

another. Let allowance be made for the morbid mental condition of the

writer: the contrast offered by the Canada of to-day will afterwards

proportionably exhilarate.

"What did Upper Canada gain," Gourlay asks, "by my banishment; and what

good is now to be seen in it? Cast an eye over the length and breadth of

the land" he cries, "from Malden to Point Fortune, and from the Falls to

Lake Simcoe: then say if a single public work is creditable, or a single

institution as it should be. The Rideau Canal!--what is it but a

monument of England's folly and waste; which can never return a farthing

of interest; or for a single day stay the conquest of the province. The

Welland Canal!--Has it not been from beginning till now a mere struggle

of misery and mismanagement; and from now onward, promising to become a

putrid ditch. The only railway, of ten miles; with half completed; and

half which cannot be completed for want of funds! The macadamised roads,

all in mud; only causing an increase of wear and tear. The province

deeply in debt; confidence uprooted; and banks beleaguered!

"Schools and Colleges, what are they?--Few yet painted, though

lectures on natural philosophy are now abundant. The Cobourg seminary

outstaring all that is sanctimonious: so airy and lank that learning

cannot take root in it. A college at Sandwich built before the war, but

now a pig stye; and one at Toronto indicated only by an approach. The

edifices of the Church!--how few worthy of the Divine presence--how many

unfinished--how many fallen to decay. The Church itself, wholly

militant: Episcopalians maintaining what can never be established;

Presbyterians more sour than ever, contending for rights where they have

none whatever: Methodists so disunited that they cannot even join in a

respectable groan; and Catholic priests wandering about in poverty

because their scattered and starving flocks yield not sufficient wool

for the shears. One institution only have I seen praiseworthy and

progressing--The Penitentiary; but that is a concentrated essence,

seeing the whole province is one: and which of you, resident

land-holders, having sense or regard for your family would remain in it

a day, could you sell your property and be off?"

Some popular Almanacs of a remarkable character also emanated from

McKenzie's press. Whilst in the United States he put forth the Caroline

Almanac, a designation intended to keep alive the memory of the cutting

out of the Caroline steamer from Fort Schlosser in 1837, and her

precipitation over the Falls of Niagara, an act sought to be held up as

a great outrage on the part of the Canadian authorities. In the Canadian

Almanacs, published by him, intended for circulation especially among

the country population, the object kept in view was the same as that so

industriously aimed at by the Advocate itself, viz., the exposure of

the shortcomings and vices of the government of the day. At the same

time a large amount of practically useful matter and information was


The earlier almanac was entitled "Poor Richard, or the Yorkshire

Almanac," and the compiler professed to be one "Patrick Swift, late of

Belfast, in the Kingdom of Ireland, Esq., F.R.I., Grand-nephew of the

celebrated Doctor Jonathan Swift, Dean of St. Patrick's, Dublin, etc.,

etc., etc." This same personage was a contributor also of many pungent

and humorous things in prose and verse in the columns of the Advocate

itself. In 1834 the Almanac assumed the following title: "A new Almanac

for the Canadian True Blues; with which is incorporated The

Constitutional Reformer's Text Book, for the Millenial and Prophetic

Year of the Grand General Election for Upper Canada, and total and

everlasting Downfall of Toryism in the British Empire, 1834." It was

still supposed to be edited by Patrick Swift, Esq., who is now dubbed

M.P.P., and Professor of Astrology, York.

In the extract given above from what was styled Gourlay's "Last Sketch"

of Upper Canada, the query and rejoinder, "Schools and Colleges, where

are they? Few yet painted, though lectures on Natural Philosophy are

now abundant"--will not be understood, without remark. The allusion is

to an advertisement in the Upper Canada Gazette of Feb. 5, 1818, which

Gourlay at the time of its appearance thought proper to animadvert upon

and satirize in the Niagara Spectator. It ran as follows: "Natural

Philosophy.--The subscriber intends to deliver a course of Popular

Lectures on Natural Philosophy, to commence on Tuesday, the 17th inst.,

at 7 o'clock p.m., should a number of auditors come forward to form a

class. Tickets of admission for the Course (price Two Guineas) may be

had of William Allan, Esq., Dr. Horne, or at the School House. The

surplus, if any, after defraying the current expenses, to be laid out in

painting the District School. John Strachan, York, 3rd Feb., 1818."

As was to be expected, Dr. Strachan was a standing subject of invective

in all the publications of Gourlay, as well as subsequently in all those

of McKenzie. Collins, Editor of the Freeman, became, as we have seen,

reticent in relation to him; but, more or less, a fusilade was

maintained upon him in McKenzie's periodicals, as long as they issued.

In McKenzie's opposition to Dr. Strachan there was possibly a certain

degree of national animus springing from the contemplation of a Scottish

compatriot who, after rising to position in the young colony, was

disposed, from temperament, to bear himself cavalierly towards all who

did not agree with him in opinion. In addition, we have been told that

at an early period in an interview between the two parties, Dr. Strachan

once chanced to express himself with considerable heat to McKenzie, and

proceeded to the length of showing him the door. The latter had called,

as our information runs, to deprecate prejudice in regard to a

brother-in-law of his, Mr. Baxter, who was a candidate for some post

under the Educational Board, of which Dr. S. was chairman; when great

offence was taken at the idea being for a moment entertained that a

personal motive would in the slightest degree bias him when in the

execution of public duty.

At a late period in the history of both the now memorable

Scoto-Canadians, we happened ourselves to be present at a scene in the

course of which the two were brought curiously face to face with each

other, once more, for a few moments. It will be remembered that after

the subsidence of the political troubles and the union of Upper and

Lower Canada, McKenzie came back and was returned member of Parliament

for Haldimand. While he was in the occupancy of this post, it came to

pass that Dr. Strachan, now Bishop of Toronto, had occasion to present a

petition to the united House on the subject of the Clergy Reserves. To

give greater weight and solemnity to the act he decided to attend in

person at the bar of the House, at the head of his clergy, all in

canonicals. McKenzie seeing the procession approaching, hurried into the

House and took his seat; and contrived at the moment the Bishop and his

retinue reached the bar to have possession of the floor. Affecting to

put a question to the Speaker, before the Order of the Day was proceeded

with, he launched out with great volubility and in excited strain on the

interruptions to which the House was exposed in its deliberations; he

then quickly came round to an attack in particular on prelates and

clergy for their meddling and turbulence, infesting, as he averred, the

lobbies of the Legislature when they should be employed on higher

matters, filling with tumultuous mobs the halls and passages of the

House, thronging (with an indignant glance in that direction) the very

space below the bar set apart for the accommodation of peaceably

disposed spectators.

The House had only just assembled, and had not had time to settle down

into perfect quiet: members were still dropping in, and it was a mystery

to many, for a time, what could, at such an early stage of the day's

proceedings, have excited the ire of the member for Haldimand. The

courteous speaker, Mr. Sicotte, was plainly taken aback at the sudden

outburst of patriotic fervour; and, not being as familiar with the Upper

Canadian past as many old Upper Canadians present were, he could not

enter into the pleasantry of the thing; for, after all, it was

humourously and not maliciously intended; the orator in possession of

the floor had his old antagonist at a momentary disadvantage, and he

chose to compel him while standing there conspicuously at the bar to

listen for a while to a stream of Colonial Advocate in the purest


After speaking against time, with an immense show of heat for a

considerable while--a thing at which he was an adept--the scene was

brought to a close by a general hubbub of impatience at the outrageous

irrelevancy of the harangue, arising throughout the House, and obliging

the orator to take his seat. The petition of the Bishop was then in due

form received, and he, with his numerous retinue of robed clergy,


We now proceed with our memoranda of the early press. When Fothergill

was deprived of his office of King's Printer in 1825, he published for a

time a quarto paper of his own, entitled the Palladium, composed of

scientific, literary and general matter. Mr. Robert Stanton, King's

Printer after Fothergill, issued on his own account for a few years, a

newspaper called The U. E. Loyalist, the name, as we have seen, borne

by the portion of the Gazette devoted to general intelligence while

Mr. Stanton was King's Printer. The U. E. Loyalist was a quarto sheet,

well printed, with an engraved ornamental heading resembling that which

surmounted the New York Albion. The Loyalist was conservative, as

also was a local contemporary after 1831, the Courier, edited and

printed by Mr. George Gurnett, subsequently Clerk of the Peace, and

Police Magistrate for the City of Toronto. The Christian Guardian, a

local religious paper which still survives, began in 1828. The Patriot

appeared at York in 1833: it had previously been issued at Kingston; its

whole title was "The Patriot and Farmer's Monitor," with the motto,

"Common Sense," below. It was of the folio form, and its Editor, Mr.

Thos. Dalton, was a writer of much force, liveliness and originality.

The Loyalist, Courier and Patriot were antagonists politically of

the Advocate while the latter flourished; but all three laboured under

the disadvantage of fighting on the side whose star was everywhere on

the decline.

Notwithstanding its conservatism, however, it was in the Courier that

the memorable revolutionary sentiments appeared, so frequently quoted

afterwards in the Advocate publications: "the minds of the

well-affected begin to be unhinged; they already begin to cast about in

their mind's eye for some new state of political existence, which shall

effectually put the colony without the pale of British connection;"

words written under the irritation occasioned by the dismissal of the

Attorney and Solicitor-General for Upper Canada in 1833.

For a short time prior to 1837, McKenzie's paper assumed the name of

The Constitution. A faithful portrait of McKenzie will be seen at the

beginning of the first volume of his "Life and Times," by Mr. Charles

Lindsey, a work which will be carefully and profitably studied by future

investigators in the field of Upper Canadian history. Excellent

portraits of Mr. Gurnett and of Mr. Dalton are likewise extant in


Soon after 1838, the Examiner newspaper acquired great influence at

York. It was established and edited by Mr. Hincks. Mr. Hincks had

emigrated to Canada with the intention of engaging in commerce; and in

Walton's York Directory, 1833-34, we read for No. 21, west side of

Yonge Street, "Hincks, Francis, Wholesale Warehouse." But Mr. Hincks'

attention was drawn to the political condition of Canada, especially to

its Finance. The accident of living in immediate proximity to a family

that had already for a number of years been taking a warm and active

interest in public affairs, may have contributed to this. In the

Directory, just named, the Number after 21 on the west side of Yonge

Street, is 23, and the occupants are "Baldwin, Doctor W. Warren;

Baldwin, Robert, Esq., Attorney, &c., Baldwin and Sullivan's Attorney's

Office, and Dr. Baldwin's Surrogate Office round the corner, in King

Street, 1951/2." It was not unnatural that the next door neighbour of Dr.

Baldwin's family, their tenant, moreover, and attached friend, should

catch a degree of inspiration from them. The subsequent remarkable

career of Mr. Hincks, afterwards so widely known as Sir Francis Hincks,

has become a part of the general history of the country.

About the period of the Union of Upper and Lower Canada, a local

tri-weekly named The Morning Star and Transcript was printed and

published by Mr. W. J. Coates, who also issued occasionally, at a later

date, the Canadian Punch, containing clever political cartoons in the

style of the London Punch.

We have spoken once, we believe, of the Canadian Freeman's motto,

"Est natura hominum novitatis avida;" and of the Patriot's, just

above, "Common Sense." Fothergill's "Weekly Register" was headed by

a brief cento from Shakespeare: "Our endeavour will be to stamp the very

body of the time--its form and pressure--: we shall extenuate nothing,

nor shall we set down aught in malice."

Other early Canadian newspaper mottoes which pleased the boyish fancy

years ago, and which may still be pleasantly read on the face of the

same long-lived and yet flourishing publications, were the "Mores et

studia et populos et praelia dicam," of the Quebec Mercury, and the

"Animos novitate tenebo" of the Montreal Herald. The Mercury and

Herald likewise retain to this day their respective early devices: the

former, Hermes, all proper, as the Heralds would say, descending from

the sky, with the motto from Virgil, Mores et studia et populos et

praelia dicam: the latter the Genius of Fame, bearing in one hand the

British crown, and sounding as she speeds through the air her trump,

from which issues the above-cited motto. Over the editorial column the

device is repeated, with the difference that the floating Genius here

adds the authority for her quotation--Ovid, a la Dr. Pangloss.

Underneath the floating figure are many minute roses and shamrocks; but

towering up to the right and left with a significant predominance, for

the special gratification of Montrealers of the olden time, the thistle

of Scotland.

Besides these primitive mottoes and emblematic headings, the Mercury

and Herald likewise retain, each of them, to this day a certain

pleasant individuality of aspect in regard to type, form and

arrangement, by which they are each instantly to be recognized. This

adherence of periodicals to their original physiognomy is very

interesting, and in fact advantageous, inspiring in readers a certain

tenderness of regard. Does not the cover of Blackwood, for example,

even the poor United States copy of it, sometimes awaken in the chaos of

a public reading-room table, a sense of affection, like a friend seen in

the midst of a promiscuous crowd? The English Reviews too, as circulated

among us from the United States, are conveniently recognized by their

respective colours, although the English form of each has been, for

cheapness' sake, departed from. The Montreal Gazette likewise

survives, preserving its ancient look in many respects, and its high

character for dignity of style and ability.

In glancing back at the supply of intelligence and literature provided

at an early day for the Canadian community, it repeatedly occurs to us

to name, as we have done, the Albion newspaper of New York. From this

journal it was that almost every one in our Upper Canadian York who had

the least taste for reading, derived the principal portion of his or her

acquaintance with the outside world of letters, as well as the minuter

details of prominent political events. As its name implies, the Albion

was intended to meet the requirements of a large number of persons of

English birth and of English descent, whose lot is cast on this

continent, but who nevertheless cannot discharge from their hearts their

natural love for England, their natural pride in her unequalled

civilization. "Caelum non animum mutant qui trans mare currunt," was

its gracefully-chosen and appropriate motto.

Half a century ago, the boon of a judicious literary journal like the

Albion was to dwellers in Canada a very precious one. The Quarterlies

were not then reprinted as now; nor were periodicals like the

Philadelphia Eclectic or the Boston Living Age readily procurable.

Without the weekly visit of the Albion, months upon months would have

passed without any adequate knowledge being enjoyed of the current

products of the literary world. For the sake of its extracted reviews,

tales and poetry the New York Albion was in some cases, as we well

remember, loaned about to friends and read like a much sought after book

in a modern circulating library. And happily its contents were always

sterling, and worth the perusal. It was a part of our own boyish

experience to become acquainted for the first time with a portion of

Keble's Christian Year, in the columns of that paper.

The Albion was founded in 1822 by Dr. John Charlton Fisher, who

afterwards became a distinguished Editor at Quebec. To him Dr. Bartlett

succeeded. The New York Albion still flourishes under Mr. Cornwallis,

retaining its high character for the superior excellence of its matter,

retaining also many traits of its ancient outward aspect, in the style

of its type, in the distribution of its matter. It has also retained its

old motto. Its familiar vignette heading of oak branches round the

English rose, the thistle of Scotland, and the shamrock, has been

thinned out, and otherwise slightly modified; but it remains a fine

artistic composition, well executed.

There was another journal from New York much esteemed at York for the

real respectability of its character, the New York Spectator. It was

read for the sake of its commercial and general information, rather

than for its literary news. To the minds of the young the Greek

revolution had a singular fascination. We remember once entertaining the

audacious idea of constructing a history of the struggle in Greece, of

which the authorities would, in great measure, have been copious

cuttings from the New York Spectator columns. One advantage of the

embryo design certainly was a familiarity acquired with the map of

Hellas within and without the Peloponnesus. Navarino, Modon, Coron,

Tripolitza, Mistra, Missolonghi, with the incidents that had made each

temporarily famous, were rendered as familiar to the mind's eye as

Sparta, Athens, Thebes, Thermopylae, and the events connected with each

respectively, of an era two thousand years previously, afterwards from

other circumstances became. Colocotroni, Mavrocordato, Miaulis,

Bozzaris, were heroes to the imagination as fully as Miltiades,

Alcibiades, Pericles, and Nicias, afterwards became.

Partly in consequence of the eagerness with which the columns of the

New York Spectator used to be ransacked with a view to the composition

of the proposed historical work, we remember the peculiar interest with

which we regarded the editor of that periodical at a later period, on

falling in with him, casually, at the Falls of Niagara. Mr. Hall was

then well advanced in years; and from a very brief interview, the

impression received was, that he was the beau ideal of a veteran editor

of the highest type; for a man, almost omniscient; unslumberingly

observant; sympathetic, in some way, with every passing occurrence and

every remark; tenacious of the past; grasping the present on all sides,

with readiness, genial interest and completeness. In aspect, and even to

some extent in costume, Mr. Hall might have been taken for an English

bishop of the early part of the Victorian era.