Rob MacNab: A Story of Old Pictou

About the Author, Illustrator, and Introduction Author

The Author

Frank Baird (1870-1951) was born in Chipman, New Brunswick, and graduated from the University of New Brunswick, Dalhousie College, the Presbyterian College in Montreal, and New College, Edinburgh. 

He served as a Presbyterian minister in several congregations in Atlantic Canada, including two in Pictou, where he spent much of his life. He was appointed Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Canada in 1930. 

In addition to writing historical novels, he published short stories in Canadian and American magazines. He died in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

The Illustrator

Charles W. Jefferys (1869-1951) was born in Rochester, England, and emigrated to Toronto as a child about 1880. He apprenticed with a lithography firm and studied oil painting and watercolour. 

From 1893 to 1901, he worked as a reporter for the New York Herald. He then returned to Toronto and spent the rest of his career as a newspaper, magazine, and book illustrator. 

His historical sketches appeared in school textbooks and in such major publications as The Makers of Canada (1911), Chronicles of Canada (1914–1916), and A Picture Gallery of Canadian History  (1942–1950). 

He was widely celebrated for his “accurate and meticulous portrayals of early Canadian life.”

Introduction Author

Laurie Stanley-Blackwell is a retired history professor whose research interests include built heritage and the history of Maritime Canada. She is the author of books, articles, and websites relating to religious, social, medical, and material history. 

Laurie lives in one of Pictou’s old stone houses along with her husband, John Blackwell, who is a co-publisher of The Pictou Bee Press. Her meticulously researched and eloquently evocative introduction to this new edition of Rob MacNab: A Story of Old Pictou provides invaluable context for this historical novel written a century ago to celebrate the 150th Hector anniversary.