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Greetings from Hamilton
"... Canadians are a healthier and more robust race than the Yankees [because] they drink better liquor ..."
Sports other than hunting were also of great interest to these early visitors and sometimes of great inconvenience. William Morris, here in 1857, wrote:
"Unfortunately the races are on -- they last for three days - and last night I found all the hotels so full that for the first time since my arrival in Canada , I had to go to a second hotel before I could obtain accommodation. Considering the capacity of these hotels, I should think there must be over a thousand visitors in the city.
And Horton Rhys, a. touring actor was enraptured by the occurrence during his visit to Hamilton , of the "great Cricket match between the All England Eleven and the Canadian Twenty-two." A profitable day "as it was however, I did manage to relieve one Republican enthusiast of his odds of four to one to the tune of $800." However, he was very disappointed in Hamilton 's hospitality. Hamilton 's team being beaten he notes "You refuse in council to give this unrivalled team the complimentary dinner, vouchsafed to them by Americans and Canadians on all their other battlegrounds." Shame.
Another form of sport that many of the tourists seem, unfortunately, to dwell on is drinking. Edward Allen Talbot, a gentleman who found nothing admirable in any aspect of Canadian life noted in 1824,
"Gentlemen in Canada appear to be much addicted to drinking. Card-playing, and horse-racing are their principal amusements. In the country parts of the province, they are in the habit of assembling in parties at the taverns, where they gamble pretty highly, and drink very immoderately, seldom returning home without being completely intoxicated. They are very partial to Jamaica spirits, brandy, shrub, and Peppermint; and do not often use wine or punch. Grog, and the unadulterated aqua vitae, are their common drink; and of these they freely partake at all hours of the day and night."
By 1876 when John Rowan visits, a slightly different attitude is taken by a visiting Englishman.
"I believe that one reason why Canadians are a healthier and more robust race than the Yankees is that they drink better liquor...If the good people who shout so lustily under the temperance banner would only turn their energies towards substituting good unadulterated liquor in place of alcoholic poison they would do good service. At present they are spending their time, their brains, and their money in an attempt which is about as impracticable as to check the ebb and flow of the tide."
Rowan has very distinct ideas about the advantages of Canada versus the United States most of which boil down to several indisputable facts.
"The Canadian is simply an Englishman, who has learnt by experience to take care of himself instead of depending upon his Government to do it for him. The native-born American is a slight, sallow, lanky man, with poor muscular development. He is like the weakly child who has all gone to head, and neglecting boyish games has stuffed his brain at the expense of his body. The Canadian is robust and strong, and presents as favourable a type of the Anglo-Saxon race as can be met with in any part of the world."
This is a result of two factors: The climate and the lack of servants. As he says, "things are very different in Canada "