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Shoemaker unrest rebellion of shoe manufacturers in Montreal in 1849

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Shoemaker unrest rebellion of shoe manufacturers in Montreal in 1849

Posted: 8 Mar 2011 11:46AM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: McMullen, Johnston
My GG Grandfather was John McMullen who immigrated from Ireland to Quebec about 1847. I think he was in a Montreal directory for 1848 and 1849 as a laborer and in 1850 as a shoemaker. I know he was a shoemaker from Irish records. I don't know what kind of labor work he might have done in 1848/49, but, perhaps it was for a shoe factory or another job to try to get funds to start his own business which it appears he may have done for just one year in 1850?

On the 1851/52 census his wife Margaret and Sons Arthur and William John were living with a Johnston family in Montreal who were tailors. Margaret showed as married, but there was no husband present on the census who should have been John.

I've been curious about that, and thought he may have died, or perhaps was in process of relocating the family, or maybe was in jail??

I've now stumbled upon happenings in Montreal, however, dealing with unrest amongst shoemakers in 1849.

Apparently, in the Spring of 1849, shoemakers ravaged a shoe factory and destroyed sewing machines. Other reading indicates this may have been done to the Brown & Child Company who was introducing machinery in it's plant and employing unskilled labor.

Apparently, some individuals were prosecuted in police court for some of the violence. It's also said the company brought charges against 22 from the shoemakers society, but they were acquitted.

I wonder if anyone might have more knowledge about this event? It seems this took place in Spring of 1849. One article I read said there were articles in October 1849 in the Montreal Transcript & Commercial Advertiser, and the Montreal Gazette.

I have no idea if my GG Grandfather might have participated in this event or not?? But, I guess I wonder if he may have possibly been in jail during the period of the 1851/52 census if he had taken part in some of this protest??

Anyone familiar with this event???

Thanks!!! Tom McMillan (Washougal, WA)

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