Jun 11, 2008 - Pre-Confederation Astronomy in Quebec City - David
Drawn largely from the period manuscripts and historical books still on site
at the Seminaire de Quebec (established 1663), you will see the highlights of
astronomy education, publication and observation from before 1867 in Quebec
City. Major historical figures such as Jean Talon (the first Intendant of the
Crown Colony of Nouvelle-France) and Elzear-Alexandre Taschereau (first Catholic
cardinal from Canada) make a direct appearance.
The Seminaire also inherited the teaching mandate and collection (including for
astronomy)) of the College des Jesuits. The College, founded in 1632, ceased to
function in 1759 when it was occupied as barracks by the conquering British
See the actual four volume set of
Lalande's 1774 Traite de L'Astronomie used by the Seminaire as the
basis for astronomy education for over fifty years. Follow the eclipse
observations, some very thorough and scientifically advanced , carried out by
the teaching fathers.
It's all original, genuine and still there!
David is a high school math teacher who lives and works in downtown Toronto.
Despite these light polluted skies he gets great pleasure from naked eye and
binocular observation and also sharing the fun with colleagues and students. He
first joined the RASC in 1990 and has served for many years on the RASC's
national historical committee. His research efforts in the history of astronomy
date back five and a half years to his first visit to the archives of the
Seminaire de Quebec in Quebec City. From regular follow up visits, and from
exploring other Canadian Archives, have come a series of about thirty talks,
mostly at local and national RASC meetings and several short publications.