To date, Jews and Jewish contributions to the early development of Canada and the British colonies have been marginalized in Canadian history. In Search Out the Land Sheldon Godfrey and Judith Godfrey begin to redress this situation by illustrating and analysing the struggle by minorities for equal civil and political rights as seen through the eyes of Canada's Jewish founders in pre-Confederation British North America.
Mapping the history of Canadian Jews from the arrival of the first settlers before 1750 through to the 1860s, Search Out the Land introduces a new set of colourful players on Canada's stage. Ezekiel Solomons, John Franks, Jacob Franks, Chapman Abraham, Rachel Myers, Moses David, Samuel Hart, Elizabeth Lyons, and a host of others now take their appropriate place in Canadian history. Focusing on the significant role played by Jews in British North America in the fight for civil and political rights, the authors compare the development of Canadians' rights with that in other British jurisdictions of the time and set the contribution of Jews within the context of other minority groups, including French Catholics, Presbyterians, Methodists, and Quakers.
Using extensive archival, genealogical, and legal research, the authors prove that settlers other than those of British and French origins were building, exploring, and developing Canada from its inception.