Courtesy National Archives of Canada, Ottawa

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Canadians Going to War on Snowshoes

This engraving of a Canadian militiaman shows what the Canadians, led by Lieutenant Jean-Baptiste Hertel de Rouville in the 1704 raid on Deerfield, Massachusetts, may have looked like. The militiaman wears a capot, an ample coat fastened around the waist with a sash. By the second half of the 17th century, Canadians were nicknamed the "blue capots" since their capots were so often made of blue serge. This figure also wears snowshoes, essential for winter expeditions such as the one against Deerfield. Other essentials include his hatchet and musket. Beaded pouches hang from his waist. He is most likely smoking a white clay pipe. The engraving, attributed to J.B. Scotin, is the only known illustration of a Canadian militiaman on a campaign during colonial wars.

Date: circa 1700 
Topic: Portraits 
Materials: Engraving on laid paper
Dimensions: H: 10.23 in. (26 cm), W: 3.5 in. (8.9 cm) 
Accession #: 1997-476-68; Repro. # C-001854

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