PO Box 523, Station B, Ottawa, ON, K1P 5P6

WCHSO Documents

Annual Reports

Several years of annual reports from the Women’s Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa (WCHSO), the precursor to the Historical Society of Ottawa, are available via the Internet Archive:

Womens Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa: Annual Report 1910-11

Womens Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa: Annual Report 1913-14

Womens Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa: Annual Report 1914-15

Womens Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa: Annual Report 1915-16

Womens Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa: Annual Report 1916-17

Womens Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa: Annual Report 1917-18

Womens Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa: Annual Report 1918-19

Womens Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa: Annual Report 1919-20

Womens Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa: Annual Report 1920-21

Womens Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa: Annual Report 1921-22


Thesis

In 2016, Connie Gunn wrote an incisive thesis regarding the WCHSOs early decades. In her paper, Gunn credited the diligence of our early members in creating a personal, nuanced and meaningful depiction of our area’s history.

Gunn also noted how the fact that our early members were drawn from the elite, often with ancestral ties to the area, inevitably shaped their interpretation of history.
Empire and colonial society were frequently revered and romanticized. Clearly, certain issues (such as the residential school system, with which some of their husbands were closely connected) might have been worthy of greater attention.

As the first few decades passed, Gunn noted the eventual diversification of the WCHSO’s membership, and also a diversification of the Society’s storytelling, including more emphasis on some of the women of history.

See this link to view the full text of Connie Gunn’s detailed study of the contributions as well as shortfalls of our well intentioned founders and early members:

The Women's Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa: Constructing Public Memory and Preserving History in a Changing City, 1898-1932


Transactions of the Women’s Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa

Transactions of the Women’s Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa - by Emma Kent

Between 1901 and 1928, ten volumes of articles or transcripts of talks presented at Women's Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa meetings were published under the series of 'Transactions’.  According to the AGM reports the first 8 volumes appear to have titles and themes with this practice being dropped for the last few volumes. A reprint of Volume One was issued after Volumes Six and Seven. Under the presidency of Margaret Wilson, an eleventh volume was published in 1954. 

Currently, we only have a few volumes that cannot scan the entries without destroying our copies. Still, for those interested in using the articles for research, here is a list of what each volume contains,  any notes added by the Society, and we could provide photos of the article’s text upon request.

Volume One - “Early History of Ottawa and Counties” 

Volume Two - “The Water Ways of Canada”  

Volume Three - “ Early History of Ottawa and Hull” 

Volume Four -  “Early History of Townships, etc.”

Volume Five - “The Battlegrounds of Canada” - 1912 - Printed in Ottawa by The Esdale Press, Limited. C or Kent and Sparks Sts. Engravers, Printers ETC. 

Page 5 - The Plains of Abraham by Mrs. Wilfred Campbell. 

Paper read before the Women’s Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa, February 9th, 1912. 

Page 19 - The Battlegrounds of Niagara Peninsula by Mrs. Thomas Ahearn

Paper read before the Women’s Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa, November 1909. 

Page 37 - Battle of the Windmill, 1838 by Miss Amey Horsey 

Paper read before the Women’s Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa,

Page 43 - Battles of St. Denis and St. Charles by Miss Kathleen O’Gara 

Paper read before the Women’s Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa, January 14th, 1910. 

Page 51 - Siege of the Long Sault by Miss Magdalen Casey 

Paper read before the Women’s Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa, February 10th, 1911. 

Page 61 - Battlegrounds of the North-West Rebellions by A.E. Attwood 

Paper read before the Women’s Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa, December 9th, 1910 

Page 71- The Heroine of Vercheres by Mrs. Walter Armstrong 

Paper read before the Women’s Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa, January 13th, 1911. 

Page 80 - Madame de la Tour by Miss M. A. Northwood 

Paper read before the Women’s Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa, January 12th, 1912. 

Page 89 - Louisburg - its two Sieges by Miss Eva G. Read. 

Paper read before the Women’s Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa, March 8th, 1913. 

Page 96 - The Hero of Chateauguay by Madame S. Lelievre 

Paper read before the Women’s Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa, March 12, 1909. 

Volume Six - “Treaties Relating to Canada, 1632 - 1872” - Printed in 1915

Page 5 - Forward on the General Subject of Treaties. 

Being the Introduction to Mrs, Bayly’s Paper on “The Treaty of Paris,” the first of the series as arranged to be given before the Society. 

Page 11 - St. Germain-en-Laye. 

A Treaty between Lewis XIII King of France and Charles I King of Great Britain the Restitution of New France, Acadis and Canada, and the Ships and   Merchandises taken on Both Sides, March 29, 1632. 

Page 25 - The Treaty of Breda (1667) - Rysmick (1697) 

(Page 25) Treaty of Ryswick, 1687. 

(Page 31) Treaty of Ryswick, 1697. 

(Page 37) Treaty of Breda, 1667. 

(Page 38) Treaty of Ryswick, 1697. 

Page 40 - Treaty of Utrecht by Cordelie E. Rheaume given on March 12th, 1915. 

Page 46 - Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, 1748. By Alice B. Lelievre .

Page 52 - The Treaty of Paris, 1763 by E.D. Bayly. 

Page 62 - Treaty of Versailles, 1783 by Jenny Russell Simpsom 

Page 73 - Treaty of Ghent by Muriel G. Shortt. Given on Dec 12th, 1913. 

Page 84 - The Ashburton Treaty by Hazel Biggar given in January, 1914. 

Page 92 - Treaty of Washington, 1871 by Edith M. McLean given on March 14, 1913.

Page 104 - Reciprocity Treaty of 1854 by Agnes M. Davis given on February 13th, 1914. 

Page 113- Some Confederation Reminiscences of the Hon. Senator Costigan by his daughter Teresa Contigan Armstrong Given on March 10th, 1914. 

Reprint of Volume One

Volume Seven - “Historical Collection” 

Page 5 - Reminiscences of Bytown by Mrs. Jenny Russell Simpson 

Read before the WCHSO on Feb 11th, 1916. 

Page 12 - Toronto University by Helen McLean of 292 Daly Ave, Ottawa

Read before the WCHSO on March 10th, 1916. 

Page 16 - The Settlement of the Country of Lennox and Addington by Mrs. Annie Rothwell Christie

Page 26 - My Native County - Glengarry by Mary Gerenish H. Foran -  December 10th, 1915

Page 38 - The Cairn by Mary Masson 

Page 42 - Nova Scotia by Alberta T. Somerville 

Page 59 - The History of Canada in Sixty Lines by T. Chisholm, M.D., ex-MP and read before the WCHSO by Mrs. Simpson, Nov 10, 1917. 

Volume Eight - “Personal Recollections of Bytown and Early Ottawa”  

Page 5 - Philemon Wright and the Settlement of Hull by Hon. Justice Latchford. 

Read February, 1921 before the WCHSO. 

Page 20 - Notes on some of the Prominent Citizens of the Early Days of Bytown by Leopoldine Beauchamp Pigeon.

Page 23- Bytown to Ottawa, 1827- 1877 by William Pittman Lett. 

Short Panoramic View of Ottawa History, Written in its Jubilee Year by William Pittman Lett, City Clerk. 

Page 34 - Reminiscences - How Peace was Preserved in the Days Gone by. 

This paper, read some years ago before the Perth Historical Society, has been presented to the WCHSO by Miss Clara B. Armstrong, Perth, Ont.

Page 38 - Bytown in 1837. By H. P. Hill

Page 52 - Bytown Election of 1841 by H.P. Hill 

Page 63 - Memories of Bytown by W.H. Cluff - January 1920. 

Our First Telegraph Line (page 68) 

Road from Upper Town to Lower Town (page 69) 

Freight and Passengers in the Old Days (page 72) 

The Military Graveyard (page 74)

The High Cost of Living in the 1840’s and 50’s (page 74) 

When the Spark Estate was put on the Market (page 75) 

Page 77 - History of The Ottawa Fire Department - Showing its development with the Growth of the city, from its Earliest Volunteer Organization up to the Present Time by John W. Graham, Chief Fire Department. 

Page 89 - A Glimpse of the Capital in 1849 by Marion Jamieson 

Page 94 - On Early Patents for Inventions Granted to the Residents of Ottawa by William J. Lynch, I.S.O., Chief of the Canadian Patent Office. 

Volume Nine - 1925 

Page 5 - Bytown, 1834 to Ottawa, 1854 by George R. Blyth. 

A copy of the reminiscences of Mr. Geo R. Blyth of the City of Ottawa. They were given to Mrs. Ells of the committee appointed to collect the memories of old residents of the City. - M. A. Northwood, Secretary of the Committee. 

Page 16 - Burning of the Parliament Buildings at Montreal in 1849 by J.Jones Bell 

Page 21 - The Chelseas on the Gatineau by Mary MacKay Scott 

Page 26 - Early Settlements of the Meach Lake by Ethel Penman Hope

Page 34 - The First Missionaries of Hull by Louise Belisie 

Page 40 - Hugh Macdonell by Kate Casgrain 

A United Empire Loyalist of the Revolutionary War, 1775-83 (Lieutenant, 1st Battalion, Kings’ Royal Regiment of New York). M.P. for Glengarry in the first Parliament of Upper Canada, Volunteers Regiment of Foot, 1796-1802. First Adjutant-General of the Militia in Canada and founder of the Militia system, 1792-9. British Consul- General at Algiers, 1811-1820. 

A great record of splendid service of a pioneer Canadian and his family.

Page 48- Castine by Lucienne C. Roy

Page 56 - The Founder of Toronto by Lucienne C. Roy 

Page 59 - The Duke of Kent and a Famous Minuet by Lucienne C. Roy 

Page 61 - The Colours of the Fenian Invasion, 1870 by Luceienne C. Roy 

Page 62 - The Indian Chapel of Tadoussac by Edith M. Maclean 

Page 67 - A Social Life in Old Quebec by Edith M. Maclean 

Page 79 - The Fur Trader’s Better Half by Lawrence J. Burpee 

Page 91 - Sir William Johnson by Mary Garenish H. Foran 

Page 98 - Some Canadian Women of 1812-14 by Ernest of Green 

An Address delivered before the Society in the Bytown Museum, December 14th, 1923. 

Page 110 - Experiences in the Yukon, 1901 by O.P.R Ogilvie 

At the conclusion of the paper, about thirty-five very attractive pictures of the Yukon were shown.

Page 116 - The Iroquois, An Historical and Ethnological Sketch by F. W. Waugh, Division of Anthropology, Geological Survey. 

Page 126 - The Naskopi Indians of Labradors and their Neighbors by F. W. Waugh, Division of Anthropology, Geological Survey.

Page 137 - The Eskimos, Their History and Future by D. Jenness 

Paper read before the Women’s Historical Society, January 12, 1923.

Page 142 - Indian Legends From Vancouver Island by Edward Sapir 

Then Dr. Sapir then gave two interesting examples of the type of myths and legends prevalent among the Nootka Indians of Vancouver Island. He read his own literal translation of a myth entitled: “What Mosquitoes Are Made Of” and a legend “Always-Lifts-Up” and “Sore-Headed Whales”. These valuable examples of Indian folk-lore are in the Articles of the Museum and may be seen and read on request. 

Volume 10  

Page 5 - Ottawa. 1867-1927. Something of her history during the sixty years since Confederation by Mrs. C. H. Thorburn 

Written for and read before The Women’s Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa, February 10th, 1928, by Mrs. Charles H. Thornburn. 

Page 30 - North West Rebellion. By Grig-Gen.  General C. F. Winters

January 9th, 1926. 

Page 39 - Governors of Canada by C.A. Gullock 

Page 55 - Lecture on the Choice of Ottawa as the Capital of Canada by Mr. Arthur Beaucheane, M.A., F.R.S.C, Clerk of the House of Commons. 

Page 62 - The Celebration of the Diamond Jubilee of Confederation by C.G Cowan, Honorary Secretary of the National Diamond Jubilee Committee, Ottawa, September, 1927

Page 74 -The Peace Bridge and Confederation Celebration Elsewhere in Canada by Eva G. Read

Page 84- Some Historic Buildings in Ottawa by Mary McKay Scott

Paper read before The Women’s Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa, Jan. 13, 2028. 

Page 93 - Early British Canadian Heroines by Mrs. J.R. Hill

Page 94 - Mrs. Susanna Moodie. 

Page 99 - E.  Pauline Johnson, condensed from “Flint and Flatter” 

Page 102 - Barbara Heck From Barbara Heck by Dr. Withrow

Page 114 - Some Pioneer Women of French Canada by Mrs. G. J. Desbarats 

Read at the Meeting of The Womens’ Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa, Friday, January 14th, 1927. 

Page 136 - The First State Trail in Lower Canada by Col. Rene de Salaberry 

Page 147- Sketch Life of Thomas D’arcy McGee by Mrs. E. J. Doyle 

Page 152- The First Jesuit Mission of Fort Ste. Marie by Mrs. E.J Ashton 

Read before the Women’s Canadian Historical Society of Ottawa. 

Page 163 - Canadian Art and Artists by Mrs. O.J. Jolliffe 

Page 170- Canadian Unity ad Quebec by Dr. S. Marion 

Volume 11 - 1954 - Printed by Leclerc Printers Limited, Hull, Canada

Page 5 - The Bytown Museum 

Page 7 - Side-lights on the Ottawa-Rideau Waterway to Upper Canada by Thomas Dunbabin 

Page 17 - Sarah Olmstead by Brigadier R.M. Gorsline 

Page 20 - St. James Anglican Church, Hull, Quebec by Annie M. Findlay Fee 

Page 24 - John Burrows Honey (An Early Resident of Bytown) by Dr. H. T. Douglas

Page 27 - The Last Days of Bytown by Anne Dewar

Page 37 - The Choice and Acceptance of Ottawa as the Capital of Canada by Sheila  I. Stewart

Page 42 - Ottawa in the Seventies by Lieutenant-Colonel C. P. Meredith 

Page 46 - My Recollections of Laurier House by Lilian Scott Desbarats 

Page 51 - The History of the Blue Church by Barbara Jones 

Page 55 - A Pioneer Community in Beckwith Township, Lanark County Upper Canada 1818 Locally Known as “The Derry” by Bertram Reid MacKay

Page 63 - Terminal Note