Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
July 2007

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia


Oscar Dunn


Dunn, Oscar (1844-1885), journalist, was born at Côteau du Lac, Lower Canada, in 1844, the son of a Scottish father and a French-Canadian mother. He was educated at the College of St. Hyacinthe, and soon after graduation became editor of the Courtier de Saint-Hyacinthe. He then went to Paris, France, to study journalism, and was there on the staff of the journal de Paris. On his return to Canada, he joined the staff of the Minerve of Montreal. He edited L'Opinion Publique, a weekly journal; and he was one of the editors of the Revue Canadienne. In 1872, and again in 1875, he stood for parliament, but was defeated on both occasions; and, after his second defeat, he became librarian of the department of Public  Instruction at Quebec. Later, he became secretary of the department; and he held this post at the time of his early death, in Quebec, on April 15, 1885. His chief publication was a Glossaire franco-canadien (Quebec, 1880) ; but he published also two volumes of papers and essays, Dix ans de journalisme (Montreal, 1876), and Lectures pour tous (Quebec, 1878), as well as a number of pamphlets, such as Pourquoi nous sommes français (Montreal, 1870), L'union des catholiques (Montreal, 1871), and L'Amérique avant Christophe Colomb. Strongly nationalist and clerical, he anticipated tendencies in French Canada which have become more pronounced since his day. In 1882 he was selected a charter member of the Royal Society of Canada. See F. J. Audet, “Oscar Dunn” (Bull. rech. hist., 1928), J. Bruchési, “À propos d’Oscar Dunn” (Bull. rech. hist., 1928), and “Oscar Dunn et son temps” (Bull. rech. hist., 1928), and A. D. DeCelles, “Oscar Dunn” (Trans. Roy. Soc. Can., 1886).

Source: W. Stewart WALLACE, The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. II, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 411p., pp. 250-251.


© 2007 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College