A French Canadian historian, b. at Montreal, 25 December, 1805; d. at Quebec, 11 January, 1865. He studied at the college of Nicolet and was ordained 1828. He ministered to country parishes until 1841, when he was made director of studies in the college of Nicolet. He became its superior in 1848. Being named a member of the council of the Bishop of Quebec, he took up his residence in that city, where he was also chaplain to the English garrison. From his college days he had devoted himself to the study of Canadian history; the numerous notes which he collected had made him one of the most learned men of the country. It was not, however, until he had reached the age of forty that he thought of writing a history of Canada. In 1853 he published his "Observations sur l' histoire ecclésiastique du Canada ", a refutation and criticism of the work of the Abbé Brasseur de Bourburg; it was reprinted in France in 1854. In the latter year he published "Notes sur les régistres de Notre Dame de Québec", a second edition of which, revised and augmented appeared in the "Foyer canadien" for 1863. In 1855 he was appointed professor of Canadian history at the University of Laval (Quebec), and went at once to France to collect new documents to perfect him in his work. He returned in 1857, bringing with him valuable notes. The public courses which he delivered from 1858 to 1862 attracted large audiences, and his lectures, printed as "Cours d' Histoire du Canada ", established Ferland's reputation. The first volume appeared in 1861; the second was not published till after the author's death in 1865. This work, written in a style at once simple and exact, is considered authoritative by competent judges. It is, however, incomplete, ending as it does with the conquest of Canada by the English (1759). Ferland aimed above all at establishing the actual facts of history. He desired also to make known the work of the Catholic missions. His judgments are correct and reliable. Ferland also published in the "Soirées Canadiennes" of 1863 the "Journal d'un voyage sur les côtes de la Gaspésie", and in "Littérature Canadienne" for 1863 an "Etude sur le Labrador", which had previously appeared in the "Annales de l'Association pour la Propagation de la Foi". For the "Foyer Canadien" of 1863 he wrote a "Vie de Mgr Plessis", Bishop of Quebec, translated later into English.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online