Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Ottawa Past and Present Re-presented

At the last BIFHSGO monthly meeting I picked up a limited-edition reprint of a book Ottawa Past and Present. It was first published in 1870, so its Present is now far in the past. The author, Charles Roger (1810-1889), is the great grandfather of one of BIFHSGO's senior members.

I was a bit surprised to find a book with exactly the same title was published in 1927 by Alexander H D Ross and wondered if any of the material from the first could be found in the second. Fortunately Ross' book has been reproduced by Archive CD Books Canada and sample pages are reproduced on their web site.

Compare the following from Roger's book:

"The first newspaper published in Ottawa was intitled "The Bytown Independent" and was established by Mr James Johnson, a man of considerable energy and no inconsiderable talent, It was established in a house at the corner of Bank and Wellington Streets ..."

with a passage from Ross'

"On the 2nd of February, 1836, the first number of the Bytown Independent & Farmers' Advocate was published in a house near the corner of Wellington and Bank Streets. It was a small five-column sheet edited by James Johnston,
"a man of considerable energy and no inconsiderable talent"

The reprint of Roger's book is already sold out, unfortunate as it's a interesting read for those interested in Ottawa's past, but Ross' can be purchased from Archive CD Books Canada. It's one of the items in their January sale at 40% off. For those with an interest in the past might make a good present.

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