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Memorable Manitobans: Emily Gowan Ferguson Murphy (1868-1933)

Feminist, writer.

Born in Cookstown, Ontario, she was educated at Bishop Strachan School in Toronto. Murphy had established herself as a writer and journalist before she accompanied her clergyman husband to Swan River, Manitoba in 1903. The couple lived there until 1907, Emily collecting the material that would become Janey Canuck in the West (1910). She also served as literary editor of the Winnipeg Tribune from 1904 to 1912. Joining with like-minded women in the West and especially in Winnipeg, she was active in the suffrage and women’s rights questions. She subsequently moved to Edmonton, where she became a Juvenile Court judge and leader of the move to recognize female senators. Under the pseudonym “Janey Canuck” Murphy wrote three books of essays and a travel account, while under her own name she exposed the drug trade in The Black Candle (1922).

More information:

Emily Murphy, Crusader by Byrne Hope (1945).


Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by J. M. Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

Page revised: 31 March 2008

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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