What’s in a Name: A Transparent Look at Sir Henry Goulburn and Slavery

The Goulbourn Museum is offering the opportunity to discuss the history of one namesake that holds a wide prominence in our area – Sir Henry Goulbourn. Just one of the important memories of who we were before amalgamation while identifying the township that was created in his name.

Do you know the origin behind the names of places you encounter everyday? The names and the history of the people for which places have been named are often forgotten. For many, Goulbourn is one of those names. First established in 1818, Goulbourn Township included the towns of Richmond, Stittsville, Munster, Ashton, and many small hamlets. This area is now amalgamated into the City of Ottawa, but the name Goulbourn is still very present. Goulbourn Middle School, Henry Goulburn Way, and Goulbourn Museum make up some of the present-day bearers of the name in the area.

On February 23rd, Goulbourn Museum will be hosting a live discussion on the Township’s namesake, Sir Henry Goulburn, and how historic naming practices affect people today. To lead the discussion, The Museum has organized a group of panelists made up of experts and community groups, including Museum staff and Black History Ottawa.

The discussion will focus on three areas:

  • The history of Sir Henry Goulburn centred around his participation in the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the War of 1812. As well as his involvement in slavery through his ownership of sugar estates such as Amity Hall in Jamaica.
  • Contemporary case studies on how other communities and organizations have approached controversial historic naming practices.
  • Diverse perspectives on how historic naming practices impact today’s community.

Registration Instructions:
Register on for the event on Eventbrite by clicking here. If you would like more information, please feel free to contact the Museum directly at info@goulbournmuseum.ca.


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