Jack Little

Professor Emeritus
Email: jlittle@sfu.ca

Areas of Study: CANADA


A native of Quebec, I received my graduate degrees from the Universities of New Brunswick and Ottawa, and arrived at SFU in 1976. I retired from the History Department in 2015 and now live on Salt Spring Island.

Research Interests

I am currently working on a project titled: “Mission Life / Family Life: The Reverend Robert James Roberts in Ontario and British Columbia, 1862-1905.”


Research Articles

  • ”The In-Between World of a Coast Salish Shaman: Charlie Wilson/Chliraminset of Kuper (Penelakut) Island, British Columbia, 1880-1904,” Histoire sociale – Social History 55 (May 2022): 49-69. 
  • “Like ‘a thousand mosquito bites’: Forest Conservation as Social Movement on British Columbia’s Salt Spring Island, 1999-2001,” BC Studies no. 213 (Spring 2022): 87-119.
  • “Family, Class, Honour, Manhood: Lieutenant Edmond de Lotbinière Joly in India, Paris, and Crimea, 1850-57,” Journal of Family History 46, no. 3 (2021): 275-97.
  • “Arrested Development: The Saga of a ‘Sustainable’ Planned Village on Salt Spring Island, 1985-2016” (research note), BC Studies 207 (Autumn 2020): 101-19.
  • “‘A Brothers feelings’: Epistolary Emotions in a Time of Political Crisis, Georgeville, Lower Canada, 1838-1839” (research note), Histoire sociale - Social History 53 (November 2020): 651-61.
  • “Primordial Landscapes, Doomed Aboriginals, and Hardy Folk: The Gulf of St Lawrence in the Eyes of Later-Nineteenth-Century American Travel Writers,” in Claire Campbell, Edward Macdonald, and Brian Payne, ed., Environmental History of the Gulf of St Lawrence. McGill-Queen's University Press, 2019, 261-82.
  • “Courting the First Nations Vote: Ontario’s Grand River Reserve and the Electoral Franchise Act of 1885,” Journal of Canadian Studies 52, no. 2 (Spring 2018): 538-69.
  • “Picnics and Politics: Expanding Ontario’s Public Sphere during the Late Victorian Era,” Histoire sociale - Social History 51, no. 103 (May 2018): 27-46.
  • “Harnessing (and Yoking) Ox Power in Canada: A Historical Overview,” Material Culture Review, 85 (Spring 2017): 20-33.
  • “The Tourism/Ecology/Heritage Triangle: Developing Bowen Island’s Crippen Regional Park, 1981-2005,” BC Studies, 194 (Summer 2017): 119-48.
  • “L'affaire Coffin/Hébert: justice, politique et liberté de presse au Québec, 1953-1966,” Bulletin d'histoire politique, 25, no. 1 (Autumn 2016): 113-50.
  • “A History of Oxen and Horse Power in Rural Canada,” in Ruth Sandwell, ed., Powering Up: Essays on the History of Heat, Light, and Work from 1600,” McGill-Queen's University Press, 2016.
  • “Views from the Deck: Union Steamship Cruises on Canada’s Pacific Coast, 1889-1958,” in Ben Bradley, Colin Coates, and Jay Young, eds, Moving Natures Mobility and Environment in Canadian History. University of Calgary Press, 2016.
  • “Seeing Icebergs and Inuit as Elemental Nature: An American Transcendentalist on the Coast of Labrador, 1864,” Histoire sociale - Social History, 49 (June 2016), special online edition titled The History of Tourism in Canada, edited by Ben Bradley and J.I. Little.
  • “’A Fine, Hardy, Good-Looking Race of People’: Travel Writers, Tourism Promoters, and the Highland Scots Identity on Cape Breton Island, 1829-1920,” Acadiensis, 44, no. 1 (Winter/Spring 2015): 20-35.
  • ‘Charities, Manufactures, and Taxes: The Montreal Sisters of Providence Spruce Gum Syrup Case, 1876-78,' Canadian Historical Review, 95, no. 1 (March 2014): 54-77.
  • ‘Travels in a Cold and Rugged Land: C.H. Farnham’s Quebec Essays in Harper’s Magazine, 1883-89,’ Journal of Canadian Studies, 47, no. 2 (Spring 2013): 215-45.
  • 'A.C. Buchanan and the Megantic Experiment: Promoting British Colonization in Lower Canada,' Histoire sociale - Social History, 46, (Nov. 2013): 295-319.
  • 'A Country Without a Soul: Rupert Brooke's Gothic Vision of Canada,' Canadian Literature, 219 (Winter 2013): 95-111.
  • ‘From Borderland to Bordered Land: Reaction in the Eastern Townships Press to the American Civil War and the Threat of Fenian Invasion.’ Histoire sociale – Social History, 45 (May 2012): 1-24.
  • ‘Vancouver’s Playground: Leisure and Sociability on Bowen Island, 1902-57.’ BC Studies, no. 171 (Autumn 2011): 37-67. 
  • ‘In Search of the Plains of Abraham: British, American, and Canadian Views of a Symbolic Landscape, 1793-1913.' In Phillip Buckner and John Reid, eds, Remembering 1759: The Conquest of Canada in Historical Memory, University of Toronto Press, 2012.  
  • '"Like a fragment of the old world:" The Historical Regression of Quebec City in Travel Narratives and Tourist Guidebooks, 1776-1913.' Urban History Review, 40, no. 2 (Spring 2012): 15-28.
  • 'West Coast Exile: A Scottish-Canadian Bard in the United States at the Turn of the Twentieth Century,' International Journal of Canadian Studies (Special issue on Americanity, Continentalism, and Globalisation), 44 (2011.2): 119-33. 
  • 'Promoting "a truly national spirit": The Unifying Mission of Sir Henri-Gustave Joly de Lotbinière, 1885-1896.' In Jason Zuidema, ed., French-Speaking Protestants in Canada: Historical Essays, Brill, 2011.
  • "’The fostering care of Government’: Lord Dalhousie’s 1821 Survey of the Eastern Townships” (Research Note), Histoire sociale / Social History, 43 (May 2010): 193-212.
  • "Life without conventionality: Social Reformers as Summer Campers on Lake Memphremagog, 1878-1905,” Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, 9, no. 3 (July 2010): 281-311.
  • "Scenic Tourism on the Northeastern Borderland: Lake Memphremagog's Steamboat Excursions and Resort Hotels, 1850-1900," Journal of Historical Geography, 35, no. 4 (2009): 716-42.
  • "Advancing the Liberal Order in British Columbia: The Role Played by Lieutenant-Governor Sir Hector-Gustave Joly de Lotbinière. 1900-1906," Journal of the Canadian Historical Association, NS 19, no. 1 (2008): 83-114.
  • "The Posthumous Americanization of Jason Lee, "Prophet of Oregon", Journal of Eastern Townships Studies, 32/33 (2008): 9-22.
  • "American Sinner/Canadian Saint? The Further Adventures of the Notorious Stephen Burroughs, 1799-1840," Journal of the Early Republic, 27, no. 2 (2007): 203-31.
  • "West Coast Picturesque: Class, Gender, and Race in a British Colonial Landscape, 1858-71," Journal of Canadian Studies, 41, no 2 (2007): 5-41.
  • "Millennial Invasion: Millerism in the Eastern Townships of Lower Canada," in Richard Connors and Andrew Gow, ed. Anglo-American Millenarianism: From Milton to the Millerites, Brill, Studies in the History of Christian Traditions, vol. 113, 2004.
  • "The Pedlar's Tale: Radical Religion and Family Marginality in the Journal of Ralph Merry, 1804-1863," in On the Margins of the Family, edited by Nancy Christie and Michael Gauvreau. McGill-Queen's University Press, 2003.
  • "'In the desert places of the wilderness': The Frontier Thesis and the Anglican Church in the Eastern Townships, 1799-1831," Histoire sociale / Social History, 36 (2003): 31-54.
  • "Canadian Pastoral: Promotional Images of British Colonization in Lower Canada's Eastern Townships during the 1830s," Journal of Historical Geography, 29, 2 (2003): 189-211.
  • "The Methodistical Way: Revivalism and Popular Resistance to Wesleyan Church Discipline in the Stanstead Circuit, Lower Canada, 1821-51," Studies in Religion / Sciences religieuses, 31, 2 (2002): 171-94.
  • "The Mental World of Ralph Merry: A Case Study of Popular Religion in the Lower Canadian - New England Borderland, 1798-1863," Canadian Historical Review, 83 (2002): 338-63.
  • "Revivalism Rejected: Protestantism in Sherbrooke during the First Half of the Nineteenth Century," Journal of Eastern Townships Studies, no. 21 (Fall 2002): 27-46.
  • "The Naturalist's Landscape: Philip Henry Gosse in the Eastern Townships, 1835-38," Journal of Eastern Townships Studies, 20 (Spring 2002): 59-74.
  • "The Fireside Kingdom: A Mid-Nineteenth-Century Anglican Perspective on Marriage and Parenthood," in Nancy Christie, ed., Households of Faith: Family, Gender, and Community in Canada, 1760-1969. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2002.
  • "A Crime 'Shrouded in Mystery': State, Church and Community Regulation in the Kinnear's Mills Post Office Case, 1899-1905," Histoire sociale - Social History, 34 (2001): 1-34.
  • "From the Isle of Arran to Inverness Township: A Case Study of Highland Emigration and North American Settlement, 1829-34," Scottish Economic and Social History, 20 (2000): 3-30.
  • "Gender and Gentility on the Lower Canadian Frontier: Lucy Peel's Journal, 1833-36," Journal of the Canadian Historical Association, NS 10 (1999): 59-79.
  • "Agricultural Improvement and Highland Clearance: The Isle of Arran, 1828-29," Scottish Economic and Social History, 19 (1999): 132-54.
  • "Contested Land: Squatters and Agents in the Eastern Townships of Lower Canada," Canadian Historical Review, 80 (1999): 381-412.
  • "'Labouring in a Great Cause': Marcus Child as Pioneer School Inspector in Lower Canada's Eastern Townships, 1852-59," Historical Studies in Education, 10 (1998) : 85-115.
  • "School Reform and Community Control in the 1840s: A Case Study from the Eastern Townships," Historical Studies in Education, 9 (1997): 153-64.
  • "Serving 'the North East Corner of Creation': The Community Role of a Rural Clergyman in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, 1829-70," Histoire sociale / Social History, 30 (1997): 21-54.
  • "A Moral Engine of Such Incalculable Power: The Temperance Movement in the Eastern Townships, 1830-52," Journal of Eastern Townships Studies, 11 (Fall 1997): 5-38.
  • "The Bard in a Community in Transition and Decline: Oscar Dhu and the Hebridean Scots of the Upper St. Francis District, Quebec," Canadian Papers in Rural History, 10 (1996): 45-80.
  • "The Foundations of Government," in The Pacific Province: A History of British Columbia, edited by Hugh J.M. Johnston. Douglas & McIntyre, 1996.
  • "State Formation and Local Reaction in the Eastern Townships: A Brief Overview," in Serge Courville and Normand Séguin (eds.), Espace et Culture/Space and Culture. Les Presses de l'Université Laval, 1995. 109-15.
  • "Popular voices in Print: the Local Newspaper Correspondents of an Extended Scots-Canadian community, 1894," Journal of Canadian Studies, 30, 3 (1995): 134-55.
  • "On the Borders of the Kingdom of the Beast': The Religious Ideas of a Nineteenth-Century Congregational Minister in the Eastern Townships," The Douglas Walkington Memorial Lectures on Congregational History, 1994, pp. 130-46.
  • "Popular Resistance to Legal Authority in the Upper St. Francis District of Quebec: The Megantic Outlaw Affair of 1888-89." Labour / Le Travail, 33 (Spring 1994): 97-124.
  • "The Short Life of a Local Protest Movement: The Annexation Crisis of 1849-50 in the Eastern Townships," Journal of the Canadian Historical Association, 1993, 45-67.
  • "The Development of the Québécois Identity: Literary and Historical Images," Colby Quarterly, 29 (1993): 126-35.
  • "British Toryism 'amidst a horde of disaffected and disloyal squatters': The Rise and Fall of William Bowman Felton in the Eastern Townships," Journal of Eastern Townships Studies, 1 (Fall 1992): 13-42.
  • "From the Isle of Lewis to the Eastern Townships: The Origins of a Highland Settlement Community in Quebec, 1838-81," in Catherine Kerrigan (ed.), The Immigrant Experience, University of Guelph, 1992, 31-56.
  • "Ethnicity, Family Structure, and Seasonal Labor Strategies on Quebec's Appalachian Frontier, 1852-1881," Journal of Family History, 18, 3 (1992): 289-302.
  • "Cycles du travail saisonnier dans une zone de colonisation québécoise: les Canadiens français et les Ecossais du Canton de Winslow, Québec, 1852-81," Famille, économie et socièté rurale en contexte d'urbanisation 17e-20e siècle, published under the direction of Gérard Bouchard and Joseph Goy. Centre interuniversitaire SOREP et Ècole des hautes Ètudes en sciences sociales, 1990.
  • "Public Policy and Private Interest in the Lumber Industry of the Eastern Townships: The Case of C.S. Clark and Company, 1854-81," Histoire-sociale / Social History 19 (1986): 9-37.
  • "Agricultural Progress in Canada East/Quebec: Problems in Measuring Relative Productivity during the Grain-Dairy Transition Period," note de critique, Histoire sociale / Social History, 18, (1985): 425-431.
  • "Imperialism and Colonization in Lower Canada: The role of William Bowman Felton," Canadian Historical Review, 66 (1985): 511-540.
  • "The Catholic Church and French-Canadian Colonization of the Eastern Townships, 1821-51," Revue de l'Université d'Ottawa, 52 (1982): 142-165.
  • "Watching the Frontier Disappear: English-Speaking Reaction to French-Canadian Colonization in the Eastern Townships, 1844-90," Journal of Canadian Studies, 15 (1980-81): 93-111. Reprinted in Michael D. Behiels, ed., Quebec Since 1800: Selected Readings. Toronto: Irwin, 2002.
  • "Colonization and Municipal Reform in Canada East," Histoire sociale / Social History, 14 (1981): 94-121.
  • "The Wheat Trade and Economic Development in Upper and Lower Canada," Acadiensis, 11, 1(1981): 141-151.
  • "Les Investisseurs Français et le Nationalisme Canadien-Français. La Compagnie de Colonisation et de Crédit des Cantons de l'Est--1881-1893," Revue d'Histoire de l'Amérique Française, 32 (1978): 19-39.
  • "Missionary Priests in Quebec's Eastern Townships: Years of Hardship and Discontent, 1825-53," Canadian Catholic Historical Association: Study Sessions, 45 (1978): 21-35.
  • "The Parish and French Canadian Migrants to Compton County, Quebec, 1851-1891," Histoire sociale / Social History, 11 (1978): 134-143.
  • "The Social and Economic Development of Settlers in Two Quebec Townships, 1851-1870," Canadian Papers in Rural History, in 2 (1978): 89-113. Reprinted in J.M. Bumsted (ed.) Interpreting Canada's Past: Pre-Confederation, 2nd edition, Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1993.
  • "La Patrie: Quebec's Repatriation Colony, 1875-1880," Canadian Historical Association: Historical Papers (1977), 65-85.
  • "New Brunswick Reaction to the Manitoba Schools' Questions," Acadiensis, 1, 2 (1971): 43-58.


Edited Documents

  • “A Wilderness Boyhood: The Lake Megantic Memories of James S. Ramage, 1868-82,” Journal of Eastern Townships Studies 28 (2006): 5-22.
  • “’An educator of modern views’: The (Auto)biography of Margaret Ross, 1862-1943,” Historical Studies in Education 17, 2 (2005): 337-61. Co-edited by Jean Barman.
  • “A Canadian in Lowell: Labour, Manhood, and Independence in the Early Industrial Era,” Labour / Le Travail, 48 (2001): 197-263.
  • “Sherbrooke a Century and a Half Ago: The Reminiscence of Mary Brooks Graves in 1901,” Journal of Eastern Townships Studies no. 17 (Fall 2000): 45-63.
  • “The Journal of Archdeacon G.J. Mountain's Visitation of 1829, 'Principally Thro’ the Eastern Townships,” Journal of Eastern Townships Studies, no. 16 (Spring 2000): 79-121.
  • “Perils in the Wilderness:  Pioneer Tales from the Reverend Ammi Parker's ‘Memories of Life in Canada’,” Journal of Eastern Townships Studies, no. 5 (Fall 1994): 99-125.
  • “Death in the Lower St. John River Valley:  The Diary of Alexander Machum, Jr., 1845-1849,” Acadiensis 22, 1 (1992): 122-33.