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Birthplace of Ice Hockey
Windsor,  Nova  Scotia, Canada – c. 1800
by Garth Vaughan © 2001
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Origin   Evolution   Hockeyists   Windsor

T.C. Haliburton

Alter Ego
Sam Slick
Go Ahead
NS Railroad
Holding up the Mirror
Other End of the Gun
Sam’s Popularity


Illustrated London News 1842 –
"Sam Slick" Review
by Robert Grant Haliburton

Sam Slick

…Among all the numerous notices of Sam Slick’s works that have appeared from time to time, that by the Illustrated London News, on July 15th, 1842, which was accompanied by an excellent portrait of Judge Haliburton, is the most discriminating and appreciative.

"Sam Slick’s entree into the literary world would appear to have been in the columns of a weekly Nova Scotian journal, in which he wrote seven or eight years ago a series of scetches illustrative of homely American character. There was no name attached to them, but they soon became so popular that the editor of the Nova Scotian newspaper applied to the author for permission to reprint them entire; and this being granted, he brought them out in a small, unpretending duodecimo volume, the popularity of which, at first confined to our American colonies, soon spread over the United States, by all classes of whose inhabitants it was most cordially welcomed. At Boston, at New York, at Philadelphia, at Baltimore, in short, in all the leading cities and towns of the Union, this anonymous little volume was to be found on the drawing-room tables of the most influential members of the social community; while, even in the emigrant’s solitary farm house and the squatter’s log hut among the primeval forests of the Far West, it was read with the deepest interest, cheering the spirits of the backwoodsman by its wholesome, vigorous and lively pictures of every-day life. A recent traveller [traveler] records his surprise and pleasure at meeting with a well-thumbed copy in a log hut in the woods of the Mississippi valley.

"The primary cause of its success, we conceive, may be found in its sound, sagacious, unexaggerated views of human nature – not of human nature as it is modified by artificial institutions and subjected to the despotic caprices of fashion, but as it exists in a free and comparatively unsophisticated state, full of faith in its own impulses and quick to sympathize with kindred humanity; adventurous, self-relying, untrammelled [definition – not confined or limited] by social etiquette; giving full vent to the emotions that rise within its breast; regardless of the distinctions of caste, but ready to find friends and brethren among all of whom it may come in contact.

"Such is the human nature delineated in Sam Slick.

"Another reason for Sam Slick’s popularity is the humor with which the work is overflowing. Of its kind it is decidedly original. In describing it we must borrow a phrase from architecture, and say that it is of a ‘composite order;’ by which we mean that it combines the qualities of English and Scotch humor – the hearty, mellow spirit of the one, and the shrewd, caustic qualities of the other. It derives little help from the fancy, but has its ground-work in the understanding, and affects us by its quiet truth and force and the piquant satire with which it is flavored. In a word – it is the sunny side of common sense."

Excerpt From
A sketch of the Life and Times of Judge Haliburton
Haliburton, R. G. (Robert Grant)
[Thomas Chandler Haliburton’s Son]
Pg. 17
(Thanks to Early Canadiana Online)


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