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Historical Thinking — Pensée historique

© The Begbie Contest Society - La Société du Concours Begbie
Multiple Perspectives - perspectives multiple

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"When the hearts is won, the understanding is easily convinced."
                                                                        Charles Simmons


"My mother advised me when setting out in life to believe 'nothing I heard and only half of what I saw.'"
                                                                      Elizabeth Hall, 21 December 1860

"The typical American captivity narrative has been described as  device for anti-Indian propaganda. At a time when Indians were an obstacle to frontier expansion, these atrocities were 'shaped by publishers exploiting a mass market that thrived on sensationalism, in a natural alliance with land speculators who wanted to implement a policy of Indian extermination in the interest of real estate development.'"
Sarah Carter, Capturing Women and James Levernier and Henning Cohen, The Indians and Their Captives. [Today the word "captivity" is being used to describe First Nations children taken to residential schools or to foster homes.]

"When reading history ask yourself] whose voices have been included and whose have been left out."
                                                                                                  Sara Carter

"The correspondents sent by Canadian newspapers [to the North West in 1885] . . . second-guessed commanders, repeated every rumour and embroidered the exploits of hometown heroes. If they wrote for opposition newspapers, they sought evidence of military blunders and administrative incompetence."
                                                                                                 Desmond Morton

"The first casualty when war comes is truth."
                 Hiram Johnson, Speech, U.S. Senate

[Newspaper reporting on Indian reserves were] "anything but the picture of serenity presented in the Regina Leader, whose explicit editorial policy was to gloss over anything that might detract from settlement of the country."
James Daschuk, Clearing the Plains Disease Politics of Starvation and the Loss of Aboriginal Life


A man with "fake news" rushing to the printing press, Frederick Burr Opper, artist, 7 March 1894, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

"I could 'paint' you two pictures. The one would represent the bright side of Indian life, with its feathers, lances, gayly dressed and mounted 'banneries', fights, buffalo hunting, etc. The other the dark side, showing the filth, vermin, poverty, nakedness, suffering, starvation, superstition, etc. Both would be equally true-neither exaggerated, or distorted; both totally dissimilar."
                                                                                                      Henry Boller

Bad for business, Puck, New York, J. S. Pughe, 25 March 1896, LC2012648511

[Laurier] Samuel Hunter, Royal Ontario Museum, 30 January 1897

The Mysterious Stranger and Other Cartoons, John T. McCutcheon, New York, 1905, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons


"Lawyers and painters can soon change white to black."
                                                              Danish Proverb


William Charles Morris, Spokesman-Review Cartoons, Spokane, WA., 1908?



"If the camera never lies, neither does it tell the whole truth."
                                 Daniel Francis, The Imaginary Indian, 2011

Poor man vs corporation, Art Young, artist, Puck, New York, 8 May 1912,LC2006686966



The Instigators, The Masses, Art Young, 1916



"Most papers in Canada had been started by political parties, or been financed by them."
                                                                                                Peter Stursberg

"The press is the hired agent of a moneyed system, and set up for no other purpose than to tell lies where the interests are involved."
                                                                                 Henry Brooks Adams


Who shall I hate next? The Liberator, Arthur Young, 1 May 1919, Public domain, Wikimedia Commons

15 July 1919


"No man is free of his own history."
              Anita Brookner, Latecomers









"History gets written by the winners."
         Cassandra Clare, City of Lost Souls


"It is the victors who write history. . . Victors often do write the histories and for some time they can even control the narrative, but sooner or later professional historians will begin poking holes in their story."
                                                                                            Tomek Jankowski

"Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter."
                                                                                         Chinua Achebe

"Perspectives do not simply change; we recognize today that some perspectives (womens) were entirely left out of earlier histories."
Sara Carter, Ours By Every Law of Right and Justice Women and the Vote in the Prairie Provinces




"The soul and culture of a nation can be detected in the quality of its popular heroes."
                                                                                               Abbé Groulx




"You've heard politics described as the art of the possible. Well, the impossible is involved––because you've got to get elected to practice the art of the possible and in order to get elected, you've got to promise the impossible."
Benny Nicholas








"Most of us think that history is the past. It's not. History is the story we tell about the past."
                                                                   Thomas King, The Inconvenient Indian



"I know that truth is one of the first victims of war."
                                           J. S. Woodsworth, 1939


“In the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility because . . . in the primitive simplicity of their minds (the great masses) more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation.”
                                                                                       Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

Office for Emergency Management. War Production Board, National Archives at College Park, 1942-43, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons








“History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.”
                                                  Winston Churchill


"History can be well written only in a free country."
                        Voltaire, letter to Frederick the Great









"What dependence can I have on the alleged events of ancient history, when I find such difficulty in ascertaining the truth regarding a matter that has taken place only a few minutes ago, and almost in my own presence! "
             Sir Walter Raleigh, attributed, Testimony: Its Posture in the Scientific World





Everett Soop, 1974, LAC e011313517






"When we open our devices (social media posts), we must become more selective about our sources and critically questions claims against verifiable facts. "
                                                     Marcus Kolga, founder of Disinfo

"No man can be wise on an empty stomach."
                                                 George Eliot

"All quotations [used by writers] are taken out of context."
                                                                  Charlotte Gray

"Readers should question every writer including me."
                                                          Charlotte Gray

"Exclusive reliance on written documents to interpret history confirms the hegemony of the colonizers. And that is part of the reason why historians have concluded that they must move beyond their traditional reliance on written words if they are ever to understand the indigenous past… Ethno-historians use oral tradition, ethnography, and archaeology as well as the written record."
                                                                                                       Robin Fisher