By Jean Barman
Shortly after the final touch of the transcontinental railroad in 1886, younger sisters from Pictou County, Nova Scotia, took the educate west to British Columbia. Jessie and Annie McQueen every one meant to educate there for 3 years after which go back domestic. in reality they remained sojourners among British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and Ontario for far in their lives.
Drawing on kinfolk correspondence and supported by way of huge engagement with present scholarship, Jean Barman tells the sisters' tales and, in doing so, bargains a brand new interpretation of early cost throughout Canada. As did many different girls of those years, Jessie and Annie McQueen remained certain through daughterhood's tasks and sisterhood's bonds whilst they bought taken with their new groups. Barman takes heavily ladies as sojourners and makes use of Jessie and Annie McQueen's letters domestic to rouse the boundless power and exuberance proven by way of the millions of ladies who helped to shape Canada's frontiers.
Like different sojourners, the McQueen sisters didn't come to their new domestic empty passed. They introduced with them a rather Scottish Presbyterian lifestyle, in keeping with rules of the state being promoted within the public realm through fellow Nova Scotians comparable to George Monro supply. convinced of their assumptions, together with the principal position of faith within the formation of a grand nationwide imaginative and prescient, girls like those sisters have been severe in uniting Canada from coast to coast. wide in its severe method and nuanced in its interpretations, Sojourning Sisters is a tremendous contribution to the sphere of existence writing and to the political, gender, and social historical past of Canada.
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Additional resources for Sojourning Sisters: The Lives and Letters of Jessie and Annie McQueen
Presbyterianism was massaged to serve her needs, as in cajoling her mother, while on a visit to Eliza, about how she had been lent 'a green dress' and would have to 'trust in Providence' for a replacement when she got home. If, as Eliza put it judiciously, Annie cared overly much for her own 'amusements,' she was also generous of spirit. When Jessie got so horribly lonely her first term of teaching, it was Annie at age fourteen who tried to cheer her up by offering to 'take your place; wouldn't it be jolly?
1 Some favoured the change in status, arguing that the Dominion of Canada offered concrete advantages such as a network of railroads. Others were openly hostile, fearing that Nova Scotia would decline into nothing more than an economic backwater. Thereafter the relative prosperity that encouraged a stable way of life began to slip away, as the traditional exports of lumber, fish, coal, and foodstuffs lost their markets. 2 Despite an initial spurt, Nova Scotia could not keep pace with industrial expansion in Ontario and Quebec, whose growth was facilitated by a National Policy put in place by the national government and benefiting the centre at the expense of peripheries like the Maritimes.
Jessie considered that she made progress slowly. 'Did I tell you I had taught, for the second time? I didn't howl this time - till I got home I mean but I felt that this attempt was even worse than the last. ' The next week: 'Oh do you know I'm doing far better this month (Feb. I mean) ... I'm improving slowly. I actually got through a recitation in Dr. ' Two months later: 'I taught on Thursday (the fourth time for me) a lesson on fractions, and Mr. ] Calkin [head of the normal school] said it was as good a lesson as he had heard this year - and that he was very much pleased with it...