The Great Contest for Responsible Government


The City of Toronto Poll Book of 1841
Edited and Introduction by Paul J. McGrath
Published by Toronto Branch OGS, 2004
54 pages, 8.5 x 11 inches

In stock

SKU: ISBN 0-7779-0399-7 Categories: , , Tags: ,


Canadian elections in the middle of the 19th Century could be riotous affairs—literally. There were 26 riots in Toronto between 1839 and 1860; almost all were related to elections. Elections at the time were conducted under circumstances which we might find rather odd today. There was no secret ballot; voters approached the voting booth of their candidate and publicly declared their voting intention. Intimidation, violence and fraud were all a part of the experience for those exercising their franchise.

This book is based on the poll book of May 1841 for the election in Toronto for two representatives to the Legislature of the United Provinces of Canada. Names of voters are grouped by occupation. Every name has been indexed. The index can also be consulted in The Ontario Name Index. Introductory chapters profile the candidates, explain the political situation and the election process—and the deadly riot and inquiry that followed.

A fascinating read for anyone with an interest in politics or whose ancestors were in Toronto in the 1840s.

Additional information

Weight .153 kg
Dimensions 8.5 × 11 × .25 in