New Edition of The North West Company in Rebellion: Simon McGillivray’s Fort William Notebook, 1815

First published in 1988 by the Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society, The North West Company in Rebellion: Simon McGillivray’s Fort William Notebook, 1815 is one of the few sources that provides an insider’s view of the gathering of North West Company shareholders at the company’s annual rendezvous at Fort William. Edited and introduced by the late Jean Morrison, alumna MA 1974, it remains widely referenced in academic and non-academic works exploring the North American fur trade, and it continues to be the most complete firsthand account of the events of 1814 and 1815 that would lead seven years later to the Company’s merger with arch-rival the Hudson’s Bay Company.Cover of The North West Company in Rebellion

This edition recognizes Fort William Historical Park’s 50th anniversary and features a new preface and edits by department members Dr. Michel S. Beaulieu and Dr. Thorold J. Tronrud. It has not altered the scope and meaning of the original text. Rather it has been updated to accommodate changes in the field since its first publication with additional notes and references. Taking advantage of modern technology and printing, this edition also expands the number of illustrations (courtesy of the collections of the Fort William Historical Park and the Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society). These are all changes and additions that Jean herself would have no doubt undertaken.

More information about the book can be found at

New Work by Alumni and Current Students in the 2023 Papers & Records

The 2023 issue of the Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society's journal Papers & Records features articles by alumni and students exploring aspects of Northwestern Ontario's history.

Cover 2023 Papers & RecordsAlumnus Greg Johnsen's contribution utilizes a scrapbook compiled over a century ago in 1914 by Fred Stephenson, the first supervisor of playgrounds in Fort William. "An Armageddon of Peace: Revisiting the Lakehead's Playground Movement" explores the Lakehead’s experience with the Playground Movement into a continent-wide, wartime context.

Alumna and current graduate student Taylor Laughton's contribution explores an aspect of the wartime leadership of Sir Robert Borden. "Conscription at the Lakehead: Fort William and Port Arthur During the First World War," stands out among other studies of the subject in Ontario in that it reveals an unusual degree of local opposition to the conscription policies of the federal government of the time.

Also in the issue is an article by historian Brent Scollie who has put his vast knowledge of our city’s legal and biographical history to good use in his study of the magistrates and judges of Thunder Bay between 1858 and 1968.

Papers & Records is a peer-reviewed journal co-edited by Michel S. Beaulieu and Thorold J. Tronrud. Submissions on any aspect of the history and heritage of Northwestern Ontario are welcome (email

Department Members Awarded SSHRC Grant to Explore Historic Espionage Case

A new project being undertaken by Dr. Michel S. Beaulieu (Professor of History), Dr. David Ratz (Adjunct Professor of History), and Dr. Kari Alenius (Professor and Head of the History, Culture and Communications Research Unit at the University of Oulu) have been awarded a SSHRC Insight Development Grant.

"The Martin Incident: Espionage, the Image of Canada, and Forgotten Lessons" explores an international case of Russian espionage in the 1930s. A person using the alias Mary Martin, holding a fraudulently obtained Canadian passport, was arrested along with many of her associates in Helsinki, Finland on 27 October 1933. It was a case which involved most of the major state security services in North America and Europe and uncovered one of the most extensive international spy rings at that time. The project will explore this largely forgotten incident and understand the repercussions it had internationally on not only Canada’s role within international security and intelligence but also Canada’s role in global affairs. 

Dr. C. Nathon Hatton Recent Publishing of Book Chapter

The Department of History congratulates Dr. C. Nathan Hatton in his recent chapter published and his continued contributions of research and writing.


The Palgrave Handbook of Sport, Politics and Harm

First interdisciplinary exploration of sporting injury and harm draws out intersecting issues to do with sporting harm and gender, race, policy, democracy and capitalism Has most relevance in the US, but contains a global spread of chapter authors and highlights a range of international cases (Source: Springer Link)


Dr. Hatton wrote the chapter, "'Though He Was Evidently Suffering Great Pain, He Bore it Well': Public Discourse on Benefits, Risk and Injury in North American Wrestling , 1880-1914" (pp. 87-112).

colour photo book cover of The Palgrave Handbook of Sport, Politics and Harm

Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society Announces Biennial Publications Awards January 2022

The Department of History congratulates award recipients Dr. Peter Raffo J.P. Bertrand Award, and Mr. Greg Johnsen (MA 2018) Ernest R. Zimmerman First Publication Award, and further congratulations to all the recipients and nominees. The Thunder Bay Historical Museum has issued this announcement in their press release, this year’s winners in their categories are:

M. Elizabeth Arthur Award:

full-length scholarly works

Benidickson, Jamie. Levelling the Lake: Transboundary Resource Management in the Lake of the Woods Watershed. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2019.

J.P. Bertrand Award:

scholarly articles

Raffo, Peter. “Saul Laskin and the Making of Thunder Bay.” Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society Papers & Records XLVIII (2020): 5-39.

Gertrude H. Dyke Award:

full-length popular works

Skrepichuk, William P. Troop Treks of 1885: Documents and Illustrations (Thunder Bay: Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society, 2019.

George B. MacGillivray Award: popular articles

Lavoie, Edgar J. “Pioneering a Great Circle Route in Northern Ontario: Von Grounau’s ‘Greenland Whale’ Overnight in Longlac,”: Thunder Bay Historical Museum Papers and Records XLVII (2019), 76-85.

Ernest R. Zimmermann First Publication Award

Johnsen, Greg. “’Bats and Balls Have Been Sent For’: The Beginnings of Baseball in Thunder Bay, 1875-1889.” Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society Papers & Records XLVII (2019): 86-106.

 For a complete list of nominees that includes faculty members Dr. Michel S. Beaulieu and Dr. David Ratz, and, alumni Elinor Barr, David Blanchard, and John Potestio go to the link