Thursday, June 8, 2017

Montreal 1909, and 1913

 Emmeline Pankhurst spoke in Toronto in 1909 and was given the keys to the city. She did not visit Montreal. However, Ethel Snowden, moderate British Suffragist, visited Montreal in 1909 and said "Mrs. Pankhurst has unleashed a Frankenstein Monster."The Suffragettes in England were beginning to get big headlines in Montreal papers in 1909. The Montreal Gazette shared a newswire with the NYT.

Here's a link to a book, Montreal 1909, by Robert N. Wilkins, out of the small Ste. Anne de Bellevue Publisher, Shoreline Press.

I heard of this book yesterday and was intrigued as it covers part of the same period my Nicholson Family Letters covers.

In 2004 I found a pile of family letters from 1908 to 1919 and transcribed them. Then I posted them online.

Soon, I had researched so much background to these "Edwardian" letters about Montreal and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, that I published them on Kindle.  I, too, used Montreal era newspapers, mostly the Gazette as it is online.

Then I wrote some books of fiction based on the letters, Threshold Girl and Diary of a Confirmed Spinster and Furies Cross the Mersey, about a British invasion of Suffragettes to Montreal in the 1910 era!

Edith and Flora Nicholson posing in their 1913 corsets in their 1913 Eastern Townships Garden

Shoreline Press says of Montreal 1909. "Learn about the day-to-day lives of our civic ancestors over a century ago, what they experienced in teir everyday routine - the good, the bad and the ugly."

The blurb mentions yet another public inquiry into City Hall corruption in that year, 1909.

I covered that a bit in Service and Disservice, my ebook about the Canadian suffragists and their meddling in the Conscription Election of 1917.

My grandfather, Jules Crepeau, Assistant City Clerk, was implicated in a scandal in 1913, one that was meant to bring down French City Hall.

The Montreal Suffragists simply HATED Montreal City Hall. They wanted to 'purify' it. They interfered in the 1910 civic elections by getting the spinster and widow vote out.  A reform-minded English mayor was elected, but only for two years, John James Guerin, a doctor.

My grandfather, aligned with the Forgets and McConnell, survived the 1913 scandal to become the first Director of City Services in the 1920's. See my play, Milk and Water, Scandals, Lies and Cover Ups in Jazz Age Montreal, also on Amazon kindle.