Montreal Gazette and Rev. Moses Harvey Home


by Elizabeth Browne August 1, 2002

"I think I can fairly claim to be the oldest correspondent of The Montreal Gazette. Nearly, if not quite, 24 years have elapsed since I commenced this correspondence, and I can only recall two occasions on which I failed to send a fortnightly letter to The Gazette. At the rate of 25 letters per annum, I must have written, in 24 years, no less than 600 letters, and taking a column and a half as the average length of each, I must have contributed the appalling quantity of 900 columns to The Gazette in the period named. I wonder if any other correspondent in any country could record such an output in one newspaper…Yet it is just possible that, when a new historian of Newfoundland shall appear- say a quarter of century hence-and sets about collecting his materials, some one might suggest to him that he should consult the columns of The Montreal Gazette, and that there he would find a record of current events of the fortunes and misfortunes of the colony during the last quarter of the nineteenth century, and, possibly, a little longer, of the struggles of its political parties, and its whole historic march-written from week to week by a contemporary who was a dispassionate onlooker, unconnected with any political party…and might even bless the memory of the plodder who made this little contribution to the history of this corner of creation." (Gazette Aug. 11, 1899, p. 4, c. 4-5)

I have identified a series of 734 articles or letters in the Montreal Gazette written between 1872 and 1901 under the authorship of "our Newfoundland correspondent" or more simply and commonly "our own correspondent." The correspondent has been identified as Rev. Dr. Moses Harvey. (Gazette Aug. 11, 1899, p. 4, c. 2) Five articles carry the name M. Harvey. In addition 117 news items were sent as cables to the Gazette. These news items in all likelihood can be attributed to him also. On occasion they carry the note from "our own correspondent" (e.g. March 13, 1895) and were consistent with the style and content of the correspondent's articles. Also it is worth noting that the articles date back at least 3 years earlier than the 24 years mentioned by Harvey.

The articles were identified by scanning microfilmed issues of the Gazette and comparing the results to a list (1880-1901) prepared by James Armour, to whom I am greatly indebted. The contents of the articles focused on Newfoundland's politics, current affairs, fisheries -seal and cod chiefly- and natural resources. Rev. Dr. Harvey's untiring writings for the Gazette alone earned him the right to be know as "one of the foremost publicists for Newfoundland." (DCB, p. 456) Entries in the bibliography are arranged by title. Each entry consists of the title, date of publication, page and column numbers and notes which usually record the captions within the article itself. The latter are in square brackets. Some liberties have been taken with the titles. For example sometimes the header "Our Newfoundland letter" was not recorded. The file is in pdf format and can be viewed using the Adobe Acrobat reader. Due to the size of the file and the computer upon which it resides the bibliography can be slow to display.