Found: piece of Canadian history

Jun 22, 2009
Found: piece of Canadian history
Archivists in the William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections recently re-discovered a bill of treason dating back to the Rebellion of 1837. Photo courtesy Mills Library.

Archivists in the William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections recently re-discovered a bill of treason dating back to the Rebellion of 1837.

Written on parchment and dated March 1838, the bill was filed against William Rogers, a yeoman living in or near Albion, York Township, Upper Canada.

The document was found by archivist Sheila Turcon in a storage area in the archives at Mills Memorial Library. Archivists were excited to recover the piece and stress its significance for research staff and students at McMaster.

"The bill has great research potential for scholars of Canadian history and specifically of Canadian politics in the pre-Confederation period," said archivist Renu Barrett.

The bill pertains to the 1837 uprising led by William Lyon Mackenzie, a Scottish-Canadian journalist, reformer and politician. Mackenzie rallied 400 rebels, including many farmers from the Toronto area, to fight the bureaucratic allocation of land, much of which was controlled by wealthy owners in the government as Crown reserves or in support of the Anglican Church.

Rogers was arrested for treason on December 13, 1837 in connection with offences that took place before, after and on December 4, 1837 in the Township of York: plotting an insurrection against the Queen, persuading others to join in the insurrection, and assembling with approximately fifty others.

In his indictment Rogers is described as "not having the fear of God in his heart but being moved and seduced by the instigation of the Devil." He was tried on April 18, 1838 and acquitted.

Archivists have catalogued the bill to provide easy access for researchers. Its description is available on the William Ready Division of Archives web site.

Provided by McMaster University (news : web)

Explore further: Physicist creates ice cream that changes colors as it's licked

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

UI develops free, easy-to-use web tool kit for archivists

Feb 19, 2008

Archivists at the University of Illinois Library believe they have built a better tool kit. Their new online collections management program called Archon has more than a few attractive features – not the least of which ...

Rogers, Videotron team on wireless service

Sep 20, 2005

Rogers Wireless and Videotron signed an agreement Tuesday to provide an array of telecom and Internet services to Canadian customers starting next year.

Opening the door to Europe's archives

Nov 21, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- Historical archives can be difficult to search, especially when relevant documents are held by institutions in different countries. A European project has shown how a single online portal with a simple graphical ...

Digital music players pose security risk

Jun 29, 2005

A Purdue University expert says the growing use of miniature digital music players poses a security risk because they can store huge quantities of information.

Recommended for you

F1000Research brings static research figures to life

19 hours ago

F1000Research today published new research from Bjorn Brembs, professor of neurogenetics at the Institute of Zoology, Universitaet Regensburg, in Germany, with a proof-of-concept figure allowing readers and reviewers to run ...

How science can beat the flawed metric that rules it

21 hours ago

In order to improve something, we need to be able to measure its quality. This is true in public policy, in commercial industries, and also in science. Like other fields, science has a growing need for quantitative ...

User comments : 0