Dan Buchanan has captured a unique and exciting slice of Canadian history in his latest book, 38 hours to Montreal: William Weller and the Governor General’s Race of 1840. Dan, a noted local historian and author of Murder in the Family: The Dr. King Story has broadened his horizons in this new and important early history of Canada. 1840 in the British North American colonies (Upper and Lower Canada) was an exciting time. Just 27 years before Canada became a country Upper and Lower Canada were hot beds of political activity as they prospered and economic opportunities flourished. In February 1840, Governor General Thompson had to reach Montreal from Toronto to take the political scene in hand and pass the bills he wanted in Lower Canada, after having completed the same job in Upper Canada. But how to do it? There were no waterways open in freezing February so he contracted the well-known stagecoach entrepreneur William Weller, to get him from Toronto to Montreal in under 38 hours. 38 Hours to Montreal captures the excitement of a time in Canada where travel was challenging, and communication limited. Dan not only tells the story of the race but also gives us a rich view of what Canada was like at the time. A wonderful piece of Canadian history captured in an engaging style.
Beth Bruder, former Vice President of Dundurn Press