ES Shrapnel Sketches – A Millerite’s Attempt to Fly

At the beginning of April, we launched our newest online exhibit, ES Shrapnel’s Upper Canada Sketches. The exhibit features the works of Edward Scrope Shrapnel as they appeared in Thomas Conant’s book, Upper Canada Sketches, (1898). The illustrations are whimsical in nature and in many cases portray people, places and events known in Oshawa history.  Each print is analyzed with historical context, and our good friend Eric Sangwine adds his own artistic perspectives for each print.

Colour drawing of a two storey brick house. There is a woman, wearing silk wings, jumping from the second storey
Sarah Terwilliger’s attempt to fly to heaven, the world to come to an end, ES Shrapnel, from Thomas Conant’s Upper Canada Sketches

A favourite print and story is A Millerite’s Attempt to Fly, the story of Sarah Terwilliger and her silk wings.

Why did Sarah fear the end of the world, and what prompted her to jump from the second storey window of her house?

We encourage you to visit the exhibit to read this story and more.


From ES Shrapnel’s Upper Canada Sketches

There was a period of time during the 1840s when Oshawa garnered some notoriety, known as one of the centres for the Millerite movement which was sweeping North America.  During the winter of 1842-1843, many people were engrossed with the teachings of William Miller, an American farmer and evangelist, who preached that the Second Advent of Christ would occur shortly. His followers believed Christ would appear in person to claim his earthly kingdom, and the world would be destroyed by fire.  Stories of local farmers giving away all their stock and implements were locally reported. One of the most interesting stories connected with this period is that of the unconventional Terwilliger sisters, Sarah and her older sister Clarissa. …

To read more, visit: https://shrapnelsketches.wordpress.com/2022/02/09/a-millerites-attempt-to-fly/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: