Old Sydney Society lecture: Anne Marie Lane Jonah
The Old Sydney Society in Cape Breton hosts a monthly lecture series on historical topics. On 28 April 2011, Anne Marie Lane Jonah will present "Small Pleasures: Gifts and Letters between France and 18th-century Louisbourg."
If you could send your friend, your son or daughter, or your spouse only one letter a year, what would you say? If you could only send one gift to a loved one far away, what would you send? For the people of Louisbourg we can answer some of these questions through a cache of letters meant for Louisbourg that never arrived.
In the spring of 1757 a French vessel, Le Dauphin, was captured en route from Bayonne to Louisbourg. On board the small ship were over 150 personal letters, 98 written in French, the rest in Basque. These letters ended up in the British Archives where they remained undisturbed for over two hundred years. Letters between business partners, friends and family reveal how contacts were valued and sustained between France and early Cape Breton. Many of these letters contained descriptions of small packages, luxuries and gifts that were being sent to Louisbourg or that had been sent from Louisbourg to France. This presentation will look at the process of letter writing in the 18th century, who wrote to whom, and what they chose to send as gifts. Some funny, some touching and some surprising, these letters offer a new perspective on life in 18th century Louisbourg.
Lectures take place at 7:30 pm at the Cape Breton Centre for Heritage and Science, located on the ground floor of Sydney's Lyceum at 225 George St., Sydney, Nova Scotia. Everyone is welcome to attend.