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Thomas Chandler Haliburton
Creator of the comic character Sam Slick, and one of the first notable Canadian authors, Thomas Chandler Haliburton (1796/12/17-1865/08/27), was a Nova Scotian judge and, later in life, British Member of Parliament. Although not a freemason himself, it is his description of the "masonic stone of 1606" which records perhaps the first instance of Freemasonry in North America. The following, unrelated, quotations simply illustrate a popular and literary awareness of Freemasonry.
"I hope it ain't an affair of law," said he, lookin' frightened to death, as if I had done something dreadful bad.
"No, I wish it was, for a misnomer, an alibi, a nonjoinder, a demurrer, a nonsuit, a freemason or a know-nothin' sign to a juror, a temperance wink, or an orange nod to a partisan judge, or some cussed quirk or quibble or another, would carry me through it. No, it ain't that."
* * *
"Still somehow I feel strange when these little critters address me in it, or when women use it to me (tho' I don't mind that so much, for there are certain freemason signs the fair sex understand all over the world), but the men puzzle me like Old Scratch, and I often say to myself, What a pity it is the critters can't speak English. I never pity myself for not being able to jabber French, but I blush for their ignorance. However, all this is neither here nor there. Now, Doctor, how can you tell this fog is booked for the twelve o'clock train? Is there a Bradshaw for weather?"
* * *
"We have a right to brag, in fact it ain't braggin', its talking history, and cramming statistics down a fellow's throat, and if he wants tables to set down to, and study them, there's the old chairs of the governors of the thirteen united universal worlds of the old States, besides the rough ones of the new States to sit on, and canvas-back ducks, blue-point oysters, and, as Sorrow says, "hogs and dogs," for soup and pies, for refreshment from labour, as Freemasons say. Brag is a good dog, and Holdfast is a better one, but what do you say to a cross of the two?—and that's just what we are."

Excerpted from Nature and human nature, Thomas Chandler Haliburton / by the author of "Sam Slick the clock-maker", "Wise saws", "Old judge", etc. New York : Stringer and Townsend, 1855. [2], [ix]-xi, [13]-336 p. ; 20 cm. [London, Hurst and Blackett, 1855.] Sam Slick illustration by Charles W. Jeffreys, for a Subscription Edition of the Collected Works of Thomas Chandler Haliburton (Unpublished) (circa 1915).

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