Haliburton, Thomas Chandler

Haliburton, Thomas Chandler

(hăl`ĭbûrtən), pseud.

Sam Slick,

1796–1865, Canadian jurist and author. Haliburton was a judge of the court of common pleas in 1829 and a judge of the provincial supreme court in 1841; he retired in 1856. He then moved to England, where he was a member of the House of Commons from 1859 until his death. His Historical and Statistical Account of Nova Scotia (1829) was the first history of that province. Haliburton's most popular work was a series about the sayings and doings of Sam Slick, which he began in the Nova Scotian; they were collected in The Clockmaker (1836). He continued writing about this humorous Yankee clock peddler, a medium for satirizing both Canadians and Americans, in The Attaché; or, Sam Slick in England (1843–44) and Sam Slick's Wise Saws and Modern Instances (1853). Haliburton also wrote other humorous and historical works.


See his letters ed. by R. A. Davies (1988).

Haliburton, Thomas Chandler


Born Dec. 17, 1796, in Windsor, Nova Scotia; died Aug. 27, 1865, in Isleworth, England. Canadian author. Wrote in English.

Haliburton was educated at law. As a young man, he supported Liberal Party views; he later became a Tory. His interest in Canadian economic and political life is revealed in his works A General Description of Nova Scotia (1823, published anonymously) and An Historical and Statistical Account of Nova Scotia (1829). Haliburton became famous with the publication of his series of satirical sketches The Clockmaker, or Sayings and Doings of Samuel Slick ofSlickville (1835; separate edition, 1836), which is filled with pithy folk humor. The work’s hero is a sly and coarse, yet resourceful and practical Yankee.


Bengtsson, E. The Language and Vocabulary of Sam Slick. Copenhagen-Uppsala [1956],
Liljegren, S. B. Canadian History and Thomas Chandler Haliburton: Some Notes on Sam Slick, vols. 1–3. Uppsala [1969–70].