La Presse looks at Montreal’s brief stint as the capital of the united Canadas between 1843 and 1848, with some historical background and a photo spread showing how the archaeologists are working in Place Youville, the site of the parliament building of the era, and some of the items that have been dug up.
I’m a little cynical about this exercise because 1848 is the day before yesterday in archaeological terms, and talking about Montreal’s “forgotten” time as the capital only works if we assume nobody ever learns Canadian history. In fact the period from the 1837 rebellions up till Confederation is probably one of the more interesting bits of history we’ve got, and one of the most studied. We’re not talking ancient Sumer or Mohenjo-Daro here. There may be some details to learn about the exact position of the old parliament building, but it’s not like knowledge of that era has been lost in the mists of time.