Place Published: Ottawa
Publisher: James Ashfield, photographer
Date Published: 
Edition: 1st Edition
Binding: No binding
QUITE SCARCE SHAKESPEARE PHOTO ESPECIALLY SIGNED
Quite scarce photo or profile of Noah Shakespeare. Taken in Ottawa when Noah Shakespeare was an MP for Victoria. It is also only photo of him signed we could find. He is most known for being the author of the 1885 Chinese Immigration Act passed in Ottawa.
4-1/4 x 5-3/4 inches Cabinet card of Noah Shakespeare signed and with imprint on the back of the photographer James Ashfield, Ottawa. Circa 1885 given Ashfield's photo studio was active from 1884 to about 1889 and Shakespeare was a federal MP for Victoria and in Ottawa between 1883 to 1887. Some spotting and slightly cropped at top right, otherwise good condition. A historically and politically important person quite scarce signed cabinet card.
Noah Shakespeare was a labourer, photographer, politician, activist, and civil servant. He was married in 1859 to Elizabeth Pearson, a native of New York State and a daughter of Thomas Pearson. Shakespeare is today known outside of photographic circles because of his philosophy and political career as an anti-Asiatic, Member of Parliament, and as Victoria's postmaster and mayor. He became the Conservative MP for Victoria from 1883 to 1887. He tabled a motion in the commons for a law to prohibit Chinese immigration. His motion was amended and became law in 1885 as the Chinese Immigration Act, introducing the infamous $50 head tax on each Chinese arrival and limiting the number of immigrants per vessel. It was the culmination of Shakespeare’s anti-Chinese activity.
James Ashfield was born and died in Bytown (Ottawa). He was a Methodist church member, merchant and photographer. When the well-known Montreal photographer, William Notman, closed his Ottawa studio in 1884, Ashfield took over. He renamed the studio at 98 Wellington Street, opposite the Parliament buildings, the Royal Studio and Art Rooms and sold photographs of well-known politicians, public figures and current events, as well as albums and frames. His photo business closed circa 1889.
Good. Item #7923