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Microhistory and Lotbinière

Association Historique Francophone

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Microhistory and Lotbinière

Microhistory is a different approach to studying the past. Rather than emphasizing linearity and master time-lines, microhistory focuses on smaller-scale stories. Specifically, microhistory seeks to learn about individuals–everyday people rather than simply those in power–who are often neglected by the usual, macro approach to historical analases. The goal is to apply these stories to the greater picture in an attempt to understand the big picture through the study of the small.

By the time of Lotbinière's arrival, the city of Victoria was home to over 130 self-identified Francophones, both Quebecois and French. Their contribution to the city's development  included ownership of hotels and shops, as well as providing music lessons, labouring in various enterprises, and farming.  1

These ordinary citizens formed interest groups such as the French Benevolent Society and the French Hospital, whose board was actively involved in the creation of the Royal Jubilee Hospital.2 As well as providing health care, the Quebecois Sisters of St. Ann were an important provider of education in Victoria for many years.3  By honouring Lotbinière's exceptional life, we acknowledge the importance of this greater francophone community  in the building of our beautiful city.

The Association historique francophone de Victoria

One of the francophone groups which is still active in Victoria, the Association historique francophone de Victoria is working together with us to inform both the English and French speaking communities of Greater Victoria about the first and only French Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia.

Sir Henri Gustave Joly de Lotbinière was born in France on 5 December 1829 and died in Québec 16 November 1908.  He served as Lieutenant Governor of BC from 21 June 1900 to 25 May 1906.
In order to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his death, the AHFV and the AFV will be using the above dates to provide the community with various events.

From the 21 June 2008 through summer 2008, the AHFV will be organising bilingual visits to the street de Lotbinière, Government House and Gardens for the attention of the general public.
On or around 16 November 2008 a conference will be offered, in English, presenting Sir Henri Gustave de Lotbinière to the general public.  Depending on financial support, the AHFV and AFV would like to install a commemorative plaque on Lotbinière's Street in Victoria, providing a long-lasting memory to his presence in our city.

The Lotbinière committee has been very helpful in our research, and have supported us through the making of this website.  We would particularly like to thank our primary contact people, Elizabeth Saint, Gisele Samson, and Aurelie Boutin.

Contact Us

If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to contact us:

Life of Lotbinière: Jeremy- jeremyn@uvic.ca

Lotbinière's impact on BC: Tamara-tlo@uvic.ca

The francophone community and web design: Callie- calliejs@uvic.ca

       Endnotes (click on number to return to spot in text)

1 This data is the result of a search of the 1901 Census of Victoria B.C. Published online at vihistory.ca

2 The British Colonist, 1862.  In the year 1862, the British Colonist published a number of articles detailing the French Benevolent Society's new building.  Unfortunately, we have yet to find any archival information about the workings of the society itself.

3  The history of the Sisters' of St Anne can be found on a website published by Victoria's Victoria

  Copyright 2008 by Callie Joyce Perry, Jeremy Nemanishen and Tamara O'Reilly