Indian Settlement at Netley Creek

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Scope note(s)

  • The "Indian Settlement" at Netley Creek refers to the land settled ca. 1792 by Chief Peguis and his band (mostly Saulteaux and Swampy Cree) on a branch of the Red River just south of Lake Winnipeg. In a treaty with Lord Selkirk, signed in 1817, Chief Peguis' Band was guaranteed this area and it is sometimes known as the First Peguis Reserve.
  • In 1836, with the permission of Chief Peguis, the Anglican church of St. Peter's was built to serve the community. It grew into the parish of St. Peter's Dynevor and lies within the rural municipality of St. Clements, Manitoba, Canada.

Source note(s)

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Hierarchical terms

Indian Settlement at Netley Creek

Indian Settlement at Netley Creek

Equivalent terms

Indian Settlement at Netley Creek

Associated terms

Indian Settlement at Netley Creek

63 Description results for Indian Settlement at Netley Creek

63 results directly related Exclude narrower terms

1839 (Nov) from William Cockran to Smithurst

Place: Grand Rapids

From: Wm Cockran

To: Rev. J. Smithurst, Indian Settlement

Details: 2pp

Notes: Rev. Cockran sends supplies with "Beary and William Thomas" and he spoke with Ferdinand regarding fat and dried meat for the children. He hopes that Rev. Smithurst is over his cold. Rev. Cockran will not be able to visit him because he has to be at the Middle Church this week.

Cockran, William

1840 (Jul) from Henry Budd to Smithurst

Place: Wapashayaw

From: H. Budd

To: Revd J. Smithurst, Indian Settlement

Details: 3pp and integral address

Notes: Henry Budd writes to Rev. Smithurst with news of his trek to the Saskatchewan River from the Red River Settlement. After 17 days, Budd arrived at an area he calls “Wapaskayaw” and mentions a Mr. Turner who is farming barley and potatoes in the area. Budd has decided the area is favourable and plans to stay and begin building the school and mission.

Budd, Henry

1841 (Apr) from William Cockran to Smithurst

Place: Grand Rapids [Red River Settlement]

From: William Cockran

To: Rev. J. Smithurst, Indian Settlement

Delivery: Carried by courier “James,” possibly on account of Church Missionary Society (?)

Details: 1 pp + integral address face

Notes: Cockran sends Smithurst hatchet bar and rod iron (as supplies for his smithy), and endeavors to get additional iron for him from the Fort (most likely Lower Fort Garry). He also sends barley and wheat.

Cockran, William

1841 (Aug) invoice from [Hudson’s Bay Company] to Smithurst

Place: Lower Fort Garry

From: [Hudson’s Bay Company]

To: The Rev’d John Smithurst, Indian Settlement

Delivery: Local courier (probably HBC courier)

Details: 2 pp (additional accounting in hand of Smithurst) + integral address face

Notes: Invoice for purchases made at Lower Fort Garry, listing goods such as tea, sugar, soap, buttons, plates, saltpetre, kettles, knives, shot, etc. In red, items are assigned as purchased by Henry Budd, or “C.M.S.” (Church Missionary Society). The second page is an additional accounting of items purchased by Smithurst in September, showing amount paid and amount charged to C.M.S.

Hudson's Bay Company

1841 (Sept) from Ina Cowie to Smithurst

Place: York Factory

From: Ina Cowie

To: Revd John Smithurst, Red River

Details: 2pp with integral address

Notes: A letter of effusive thanks for Rev. Smithurst’s kindness in recommending Ina Cowie to the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) for employment. It seems Rev. Smithurst spoke with his friend Captain Herd on Cowie’s behalf. Cowie also mentions that he wishes to write to the Church Missionary Society to let them know of Rev. Smithurst’s thoughtfulness.

1842 (Apr) from William Cockran to Smithurst

Place: Grand Rapids [Red River Settlement]

From: William Cockran

To: Rev. J. Smithurst [Indian Settlement]

Delivery: Carried by courier

Details: 2pp + integral address face

Notes: Rev. Cockran writes to Rev. Smithurst to let him know that Rev. Abraham Cowley will be visiting him to discuss the details of opening a mission at Manitoba [Lake]. Rev. Cockran is anxious to establish a mission there, and mentions that Mr. Roberts is content to stay in Red River as a catechist.

Cockran, William

1842 (Dec) from Henry Budd to Smithurst

Place: Revier du Pas

From: Hy Budd

To: The Revd John Smithurst, Red River

Details: 3pp and integral address

Notes: Henry Budd writes to Rev. Smithurst with news. Mr. H. McKenzie arrived by boat and let Budd know that Rev. Smithurst arrived back in Red River safely, as well as bringing goods sent by Rev. Smithurst, including books, cloth, and tea. Budd discusses leather clothes for the Native children. Budd also mentions that he is "at a loss what to do with these children when they turn ill, having nothing of any kind to give them, but Salts." His brother-in-law, who was originally from Norway House, recently died after injuring himself with an axe and being unable to reach help.

Budd, Henry

1842 (Mar) from William Cockran to Smithurst

Place: [Grand Rapids?]

From: Wm Cockran

To: Rev. J. Smithurst, Indian Settlement

Details: 3pp with integral address

Notes: Reverend William Cockran writes to Rev. Smithurst regarding Rev. Cowley and his wife Mrs. Cowley, who have lodged with Rev. Cockran since they arrived in Rupert’s Land the previous autumn. Rev. Cockran describes the Cowleys as being ungracious guests who do not understand the expense of living in the Red River Settlement. Rev. Cockran also writes that he has severed ties to the Hudson’s Bay Company and the Church Missionary Society but will continue as if he will “continue here for life.” He finishes the letter by discussing the flour he is sending to Henry Budd at the Cumberland House Mission. He mentions that James Sandison and Henry Bird are assisting him.

Cockran, William

1843 (Mar) from James Keith to Smithurst

Place: Lachine near Montreal

From: James Keith

To: Reverend Smithurst, Red River Settlement

Details: 1pp and integral address

Notes: Discusses Rev. Smithurst's subscription to Church Weekly Paper, and his cancelled subscription to the Montreal Herald.

Keith, James

1844 (Jun) from Henry Budd to Smithurst

Place: Cumberland Station, River du Pas (sic)

From: Henry Budd

To: The Rev’d J. Smithurst, Indian Settlement

Delivery: Carried by courier

Details: 3.5pp + integral address face

Notes: A letter briefly outlining six enclosures originally included with the letter (but now lost), with instructions on processing certain accounts. Other issues include Charles Cook resigning, and John Turnor Junior taking his place (at a wage of ten (10) skins a month) to fish, cut, and haul firewood, square timber, and do other labour. Mr. Budd and his family are happy to hear that a minister has been assigned to their outpost, and while they anticipate meeting Reverend James Hunter, they are distressed that Smithurst himself cannot come to the settlement to baptize the Natives. The chief had also hoped to see Smithurst, and has now gone to Norway House in the [Hudson’s Bay] Company boats, probably to York Factory.

Budd, Henry

1844 (May) from Daniel Aillud to Smithurst

Place: St. Paul's Cray Kent

From: Daniel Aillud

To: The Revd John Smithurst, Indian Settlement, Red River, Hudsons Bay, Nth America

Details: 2pp

Notes: Daniel Aillud writes to Rev. Smithurst requesting a character reference so that he can leave his work as a sailor on the “Prince Rupert” for the Hudson’s Bay Company. He also discusses the death of his father, who died while he was at sea.

1844 (Sept) from James Hargrave to Smithurst

Place: York Factory

From: James Hargrave

To: Revd John Smithurst, &c. &c. &c., Red River Settlement

Details: 1pp and integral address face

Notes: James Hargrave, an HBC employee, responds to a letter from Rev. Smithurst delivered by Mr. Morvat. The letter dealt with receiving and sending articles by the ship “Prince Rupert.” Hargrave goes on to say that Rev. Hunter and his wife arrived from London, and have continued on to the Saskatchewan District [Cumberland - Devon mission] in a boat along with part of their baggage. The rest of their baggage will be sent to them in the Spring.

1845 (Apr) from William Cockran to Smithurst

Place: Grand Rapids [Red River Settlement]

From: Wm Cockran

To: Rev. J. Smithurst, I[ndian] Settlement

Delivery: Carried by courier, possibly on account of Church Missionary Society

Details: 3.5pp + integral address face

Notes: Reverend William Cockran writes that the thaw has made the Red River very dangerous, interrupting travel. Cockran contacted Mr. McAllum [Reverend John Macallum, headmaster of the Red River Academy] and informed him that Smithurst was unlikely to make the trip to Grand Rapids as scheduled. He also relates that importers from the United States are refusing to pay an import fee. Cockran recounts how Mr. McAllum confronted one importer, Henry Cook, whom Smithurst has also had business with, and insisted on paying the import on a purchase of bonnets or Mr. Cook could take his contraband elsewhere.

Cockran, William

1845 (Dec) from Duncan Finlayson to Smithurst

Place: Lachine

From: Dun: Finlayson

To: Revd John Smithurst, Red River Settlement

Details: 3pp with integral address face

Notes: Duncan Finlayson writes to Rev. Smithurst with various news. Finlayson relates details of a recent trip, expresses concern that war with the United States is looming, reports that illness has forced Lord Metcalfe to return to England, and informs Rev. Smithurst that money has been set aside to provide a Bishop for Rupert's Land.

Finlayson, Duncan

1845 (Feb) from Church Missionary Society to Smithurst

Place: Church Mission House [London, England]

From: Church Missionary Society

To: Rev. J. Smithurst

Delivery: Forwarded by the Church Missionary Society (CMS) to Red River Settlement via Hudson’s Bay Company supply ship and canoe brigade, and then by courier to the Indian Settlement at Netley Creek

Details: 1pp + integral address face

Notes: An accounting of expenses and wages for 1844 and 1845.

Church Missionary Society

1845 (Jan) from Henry Budd to Smithurst

Place: Cumberland Station

From: Hy Budd

To: Revd J. Smithurst, Indian Settlement

Details: 3pp and integral address face

Notes: In his letter, Henry Budd apologizes profusely for his sins, while never quite explaining what sins he has committed. He refers to being the victim of baseless allegations from several girls who have been paid to accuse him. Budd tells Rev. Smithurst that he plans to leave the mission at Cumberland Station at the end of the year.

Budd, Henry

1845 (Oct) from Nicol Finlayson to Smithurst

Place: Fort Frances

From: Nicol Finlayson

To: Revd Mr John Smithurst, Missy Ch. M. Society, Red River Settlement

Details: 1pp with integral address face

Notes: Nicol Finlayson writes to Rev. Smithurst that he sent along the requested maps, and he sends his best wishes to Mr. and Mrs. Cockran.

Finlayson, Nicol

1845 (Sept) from James Hunter to Smithurst

Place: Cumberland Station, Rivière du Pas

From: James Hunter

To: The Revd J. Smithurst, Indian Settlement, Red River

Details: 3pp with integral address face

Notes: Reverend James Hunter writes to Rev. Smithurst. James Settee recently arrived at Cumberland Station [The Pas, MB] with his wife, family, and coincidentally with the carpenter hired by Rev. Hunter. He mentions Mr. Ross at Norway House. Rev. Hunter decided to keep the mission in its current location rather than move it to Cumberland Lake. He feels threatened by a Catholic missionary's activity in the area, referring to the man as "the Priest." This priest persuaded Wetus to convert to Roman Catholicism, but Rev. Hunter dismisses Wetus as “simply a Medicine man of which there are several here all equally as much claim to be considered Chiefs.” It is too late in the season for Settee to continue on to Rapid River [Lac la Ronge mission], so he will stay until the spring and assist Henry Budd and the carpenter in building Rev. Hunter a house. Rev. Hunter says he will “endeavour to manage Mrs. Settee as well as possible.”

Hunter, James

1846 Cumberland Mission accounts

Place: Cumberland Mission

Details: 2pp

Notes: Cumberland Mission list showing the accounts for making and packing bags and pemmican for Rev. Smithurst. Named individuals are: John Vincents, Thomas Logan, James Inkster, James MonKinun, William Bird, William Rob Smith, and Thomas Thomas.

1846 (Feb) from Henry Budd to Smithurst

Place: Sawing tent [Cumberland Mission]

From: Hy Budd

To: Revd John Smithurst, Indian Settlement

Details: 3pp with integral address face

Notes: Henry Budd writes that Peter Erasmus is unable to provide the food to Budd that was promised, due to crop failure. Budd tried to have his account at York Factory transferred to the Red River Settlement, but the agents at York Factory will not cooperate and seem determined to have Budd spend the entire amount at their outpost. The fall fishing failed, and food at Cumberland Mission is scarce. Budd apologizes for his poor penmanship but the ink in his pen is freezing. He also relates that he has decided to continue his evangelical work, despite his earlier decision to quit.

Budd, Henry

1846? (Jul) - from Charles Thomas to Smithurst

Place: Cumberland Station

From: Charles Thomas

To: Revd John Smithurst, Indian Settlement

Details: 1pp and integral address face

Notes: Charles Thomas is one of the baptized Natives living at Cumberland Station. In this letter to Rev. Smithurst, Thomas mentions Rev. Hunter, making it possible to date this letter between 1846 and 1854.

1846 (Mar) from Alexander Christie Jr to Smithurst

Place: Lower Fort [Garry]

From: Alex[ander] Christie Jr.

To: Rev’d J. Smithurst, Indian Settlement

Delivery: Carried by courier

Details: 2pp + integral address face

Notes: Christie discusses the shipment of goods that were deficient in the last shipment. He informs Smithurst that there is no flannel to be had, nor jackets of any description.

Christie, Alexander Jr

1847 (Apr) from Duncan Finlayson to Smithurst

Place: Lachine

From: Dun: Finlayson

To: Revd Inv: Smithurst, Red River Settlement

Delivery: Carried by Hudson’s Bay Company canoe brigade to the Red River Settlement.

Details: 3pp + integral address.

Notes: A letter sent by Duncan Finlayson, Hudson’s Bay Company Director, to Reverend John Smithurst. The letter details issues related to supplies of wheat, and comments on the problems of receiving publications from England. Finlayson also mentions that Reverend William Cockran spent the winter in Toronto with his family. Rev. Cockran’s children had been ill and his son John died.

Finlayson, Duncan

1847 (Jan) from G.W. Saxton to Smithurst

Place: Matlock Bath [Derbyshire, England]

From: G. W. Saxton

To: The Revd John Smithurst, Indian Settlement, Red River, N.W. America

Details: 4pp including integral address face.

Notes: Saxton writes about the clergymen and parishes in the neighbourhood of Matlock Bath. Mr. Ward, his wife, and two sons have all died. The remaining sons are “very unsteady.” Saxton’s local Church Missionary Society group has been busy fundraising. Saxton recently purchased a copy of the Bishop of Montreal’s journal and found it very interesting. He finishes the letter saying he’ll leave news of the new railway for Miss Alsop to write about.

Saxton, G. W. (George Withers)

1847 (Jul) from James Hunter to Smithurst

Place: Rivière du Pas, Cumberland Station

From: James Hunter

To: The Revd J. Smithurst, Indian Settlement, Red River

Details: 3pp and integral address face

Notes: Rev. Hunter is desperate for more flour. Rev. Hunter wants their fellow missionary, Rev. Cowley, to leave Partridge Crop and go to Lac la Ronge instead. He also received a letter from Rev. Cockran in Toronto. Rev. Hunter then offers a word of comfort to Rev. Smithurst who has been struggling spiritually recently.

Hunter, James

[1847 (Jun)] Accounts from Church Missionary Society to Smithurst

Place: Church Missionary Society [London, England]

From: Church Missionary Society

To: Rev. J. Smithurst

Delivery: Forwarded by the Church Missionary Society to Red River Settlement via Hudson’s Bay Company supply ship and canoe brigade, and then by courier to the Indian Settlement at Netley Creek

Details: One (1) large sheet of paper + integral address face

Notes: An invoice, showing expenses and salary for the period May 31, 1846 to June 1, 1847.

Church Missionary Society

1847 (Mar) from Richard Davies to Smithurst

Place: Church Missionary House [Islington, London, England]

From: Richard Davies

To: Brother Smithurst

Delivery: Forwarded by the Church Missionary Society to Red River Settlement via Hudson’s Bay Company supply ship and canoe brigade, and then by courier to the Indian Settlement at Netley Creek

Details: 3pp on one sheet of paper.

Notes: Davies, a colleague of Smithurst’s in England, offers his thoughts and prayers to Smithurst as a letter from William Cochran has informed him that cholera has been rampant in the Red River district. Davies relates that dysentery claimed one of his own brothers in September. Davies also expresses hope that Mr. and Mrs. James have reached the Red River area safely and that Mr. James is able to relieve Smithurst of “some of the heavy duties which must have weighed on your mind as well as tried your physical powers.”

Other comments: “In many parts of Ireland too a severe pestilence is at this time raging and carrying off hundreds who hitherto have been spared by the grievous famine which has prevailed there and in some places in Scotland.”

1848 (Apr) from John Black to Smithurst

Place: Lower Fort Garry

From: John Black

To: Revd John Smithurst

Details: 2pp and integral address face.

Notes: John Black writes to Rev. Smithurst that he is sending along the requested nails by the bearer of this letter. Also, the flooding experienced the previous week resulted in 4 feet of water in the office, and significant ice damage to the distillery.

Black, John

1848 (Jul) from E.G. Gear to Smithurst

Place: Fort Snelling [Minnesota Territory]

From: E.G. Gear

To: The Rev. J. Smithurst, Indian Settlement, Red River

Delivery: Carried by courier (Peter Heyden)

Details: 1 pp + integral address face – written in pencil

Notes: Reverend E.G. Gear took the visit of Peter Heyden as an opportunity to send reading material to Rev. Smithurst, including the “English Churchman” and “Jesuits Letters.”

Gear, Ezekiel Gilbert

1848 (May) from Duncan Finlayson to Smithurst

Place: Lachine

From: Dun: Finlayson

To: The Revd Jn Smithurst, Red River Settlement

Details: 2pp and integral address face

Notes: Duncan Finlayson writes to Rev. Smithurst. Sir George Simpson is travelling by steam to Sault de St. Marie soon. He answers questions about subscriptions to the New York Albion and the Church. Finlayson is startled by the new republics in France and Prussia, and the fear in Russia, Austria, and the Italian states. He also mentions that Ireland is in "a very disturbed State."

Finlayson, Duncan

1848 (May) from E. G. Gear to Smithurst

Place: Fort Snelling

From: E.G. Gear

To: The Rev. J. Smithurst., Indian Settlement, Red River

Details: 3pp and integral address face

Notes: Reverend E.G. Gear takes advantage of a group of travelling geologists to send Rev. Smithurst a letter and a small package. He mentions several publications, and references the "Hampden Case." He relates various pieces of news about the political unrest in Europe. He also expects hostilities to continue between the U.S. and Mexico. There is also an upcoming religious convention in Wisconsin.

Gear, Ezekiel Gilbert

1848 (Sept) from William Mason to Smithurst

Place: Ross Ville

From: W. Mason

To: Rev. Mr. John Smithurst

Details: 1pp

Notes: Reverend William Mason sends the memoir of the late C. Atmore to Rev. Smithurst by way of Joe Bird. He also mentions "[y]our little Indian Work is in the press" referring to “A Vocabulary in English and Cree, compiled for the use of the Missionary Schools: Part First, Nouns” (Peel3 #257).

Mason, William

1849 (Jan) from Peter Garrioch to Smithurst

Place: [Red River Settlement]

From: Peter Garrioch

To: The Rev. Mr. J. Smithurst, Indian Settlement

Details: 4pp and integral address

Notes: Peter Garrioch credits Rev. James at the Middle Church with urging his congregation to remember their obligations to God for an abundant harvest. Garrioch took it upon himself to organize subscriptions of wheat from his neighbours to give to the missionaries.

Garrioch, Peter

1849 (Jul) from E.G. Gear to Smithurst

Place: Fort Snelling

From: E.G. Gear

To: The. Rev. J. Smithurst, Indian Settlement, British America

Details: 1pp and integral address face.

Notes: Rev. Gear just received Rev. Smithurst's package sent via Mr. Cook. He is especially happy to receive Church Missionary Society publications. He is also very sorry to hear about Rev. Smithurst's poor health. He has heard reports that cholera is making people sick in many U.S. ports, but it has yet to reach his community. The American President has called for a day of prayer because the epidemic is so bad. Rev. Gear heard that the Bishop of Rupert's Land has been consecrated.

Gear, Ezekiel Gilbert

1849 (Jul) from Henry Budd to Smithurst

Place: Lake Winnepeg, En route to Norway House

From: Henry Budd

To: the Reverend J. Smithurst, Indian Settlement, Red River

Details: 3pp and integral address face

Notes: Henry Budd offers his heartfelt thanks for the wheat subscriptions promised by parishioners at Red River. Budd has been busy building the church, and while he makes the point of saying that he does not mind the labour, he deeply regrets that it takes him away from educating his children.

Budd, Henry

1849 (Jul) from James Hunter to Smithurst

Place: Cumberland Station

From: Jas Hunter

To: The Revd. J. Smithurst, Indian Settlement

Details: 3pp and integral address face

Notes: Reverend James Hunter sends thanks to Peter Garrioch for organizing wheat subscriptions from the Red River Settlement to be sent to Cumberland Mission. Rev. Hunter is happy to hear that the Bishop is coming. He expresses concern at the growing unrest at Red River, and he acknowledges that Rev. Smithurst is talking of leaving.

Hunter, James

1849 (Jul) from John Ballenden to Smithurst

Place: Fort Garry

From: John Ballenden

To: Revd John Smithurst, Indian Mission, Red River Settlement

Details: 1pp and integral address face

Notes: John Ballenden acknowledges receiving a letter from Rev. Smithurst from June 29th. He agrees that they need to limit cooperation between the Half Breeds & Indians, but he will not be opening a store at the Indian Mission because he cannot find a responsible person to run it.

Ballenden, John

1849 (Jul) from William Mason to Smithurst

Place: Norway House

From: W. Mason

To: The Revd J. Smithurst, Indian Settlement

Details: 3 pp and integral address face

Notes: Reverend William Mason acknowledges that Rev. Smithurst is facing "ingratitude" at his parish. Rev. Mason complains that Red River freighters are trading illegally, and he mentions an interview with Sir George Simpson in which he got promises from Simpson that further funding will be provided for a Wesleyan Mission, and that converts will be allowed to observe the Sabbath when voyaging.

Mason, William

1849 (Jun) from E.G. Gear to Smithurst

Place: Fort Snelling

From: E.G. Gear

To: The Rev. J. Smithurst, Indian Settlement, Red River, British America

Details: 3pp and integral address face

Notes: Rev. Gear sends a letter to his friend via a military party headed to the U.S. border. Rev. Gear sends along reading material including magazines and a book about the new territories of New Mexico and California. Rev. Gear mentions the California gold rush, the revolutions in Europe, and the recent death of one of his daughters. A close friend, Dr. Rudor, has also died. Rev. Gear mentions that he preaches at a village called St. Paul's, and expects it will soon be named the government seat for the Minnesota Territory.

Gear, Ezekiel Gilbert

1849 (May) from Church Missionary Society to Smithurst

Place: Church Missionary House, London [England]

From: Church Missionary Society

To: Revd. J. Smithurst, Indian Settlement, North West America

Details: 1pp

Notes: A list of goods ordered by Rev. Smithurst and shipped via the "Prince Rupert" ship under the command of Captain Herd, sailing for North West America. Items include a map, books, newspapers, and reports.

Church Missionary Society

1849 (May) from G.W. Saxton to Smithurst

Place: Matlock Bath [Derbyshire, England]

From: Geo W. Saxton

To: Rev. John Smithurst, Indian Settlement, Red River, N.W. America

Delivery: Forwarded by the Christian Missionary Society to Red River Settlement via Hudson’s Bay Company supply ship and canoe brigade, and then by courier to the Indian Settlement at Netley Creek

Details: 3.5 pp + integral address face

Notes: George W. Saxton was the secretary of the Matlock Church Missionary Society in England and writes a lengthy letter to Smithurst describing in detail the various activities, events, and people in the news.

Saxton, G. W. (George Withers)

[1849 (May)] Invoice from Church Missionary Society to Smithurst

Place: London [England]

From: Church Missionary Society

To: Rev. J. Smithurst

Delivery: Forwarded by the Christian Missionary Society to Red River Settlement via Hudson’s Bay Company supply ship and canoe brigade, and then by courier to the Indian Settlement at Netley Creek

Details: 1pp invoice

Notes: An invoice, showing shipping charges on the "Prince Rupert" taken against Smithurst's balance over the period April 5 to May 31, 1849.

Church Missionary Society

1849 (May) invoice from R.B. and G. Seeley to Smithurst

Place: No. 54 Fleet Street, London [England]

From: R.B. & G. Seeley

To: Rev. Smithurst, c/o Church Missionary Society

Delivery: Forwarded to Red River Settlement via Hudson’s Bay Company supply ship and canoe brigade, and then by courier to the Indian Settlement at Netley Creek

Details: 1 pp invoice

Notes: Smithurst’s book order from the firm R.B. & G. Seeley, London. Titles include: The Holy Lamp, Gallery of Arts, Old English Worthies, and Nautical Almanac for 1850.

1849 (Oct) from William Mason to Smithurst

Place: Ross Ville

From: W. Mason

To: Revd. John Smithurst, Indian Settlement

Details: 3pp

Notes: Reverend William Mason writes to his colleague, Rev. John Smithurst. Rev. Mason comments that since the freight boats came through, the local Natives have been excited about the possibility of free trade breaking the Hudson's Bay Company monopoly. Rev. Mason considers their feelings of discontent to be inconsiderate and he is angry that some members of his congregation tried to contact Bishop David Anderson with their grievances. Rev. Mason is "determined not to comply with any of their unreasonable requests for [he would] only be increasing the natural selfishness of their minds." On the matter of his printing press, they did not receive paper in the most recent shipment and therefore plan on spending the winter translating. His opinion is that the "Indian Characters" should be used to reach the adult population.

Mason, William

1849 (Sept) from Abraham Cowley to Smithurst

Place: Partridge Crop

From: Abraham Cowley

To: Rev. Mr. Smithurst, Indian Settlement, Red River

Details: 2pp

Notes: Rev. Cowley writes that his wife and children arrived from Red River safely. He thanks Rev. Smithurst for sending reading materials. He is also glad to hear that Rev. Smithurst's congregation is treating him better. He expects to travel to Red River during the winter and asks that Rev. Smithurst set aside some peas and beans for him for the spring, as the black birds and frost have destroyed his.

Cowley, Abraham

1849 (Sept) from John Black to Smithurst

Place: Lower Fort Garry

From: John Black

To: The Revd John Smithurst, Indian Settlement

Details: 1pp with integral address face.

Notes: John Black refers to paying a courier on William Badger's account. He is sorry to hear that William Thomas has died, but does not believe there will be a coroner's inquest.

Black, John

1849 (Sept) from William Douglas Lane to Smithurst

Place: Lower Fort Garry

From: W. Lane

To: Rev’d J. Smithurst, Indian Settlement

Delivery: Local courier (probably Hudson’s Bay Company courier)

Details: 1pp + integral address face

Notes: A short letter by William Douglas Lane, Postmaster at Lower Fort Garry, noting that he is sending copies of Smithurst’s accounts. The reverse of the letter is covered with columns of numbers, lists, and calculations.

Lane, William Douglas

1850 (Aug) from Donald Ross to Smithurst

Place: Norway House

From: Don Ross

To: Reverend J Smithurst, Indian Settlement, Red River

Details: 2pp and an envelope

Notes: A private letter written quickly by Donald Ross to Rev. John Smithurst. He vaguely refers to trouble involving Mr. Hunter, and also refuses to comment on an unidentified situation.

Ross, Donald

1850 (Feb) from Abraham Cowley to Smithurst

Place: Partridge Crop

From: A. Cowley

To: The Rev Mr. Smithurst, Red River Settlement

Details: 3pp including address face

Notes: Rev. Abraham Cowley writes about his recent journey back to Partridge Crop from the Red River Settlement. He came close to getting severe frostbite, partly through his own fault. The Native population at Partridge Crop is facing starvation due to the collapse of the local rabbit population. Rev. Cowley is scared of the cholera that is spreading in Europe, but a more pressing concern is that John Mackay is threatening to quit on him. Rev. Cowley also forgot to pick up seeds while he was in Red River [see his letter of September 1849, in which he was already asking for seeds].

Cowley, Abraham

1850 (Jan) from William Mason to Smithurst

Place: Ross Ville

From: W. Mason

To: Revd. John Smithurst, Indian Settlement, Red River

Details: 3pp and cover envelope

Notes: Reverend William Mason writes to his colleague, Rev. John Smithurst. Rev. Mason believes that previous efforts that focused on giving to the Natives is destroying them, so instead he teaches the Natives to give labour and goods to the mission as part of their obligation to "send the Gospel to the Heathen." He asks for Rev. Smithurst's assistance in obtaining two dozen Common Prayer books which he then intends to sell to the Natives for a low price. In a lengthy postscript, Rev. Mason asks how Rev. Smithurst's book of vocabulary is proceeding, and says that they have a new edition of the Prayer Book ready to print, but are out of paper. The plan is to continue work on translating the New Testament over the winter.

Mason, William

1850 (Sept) from William Douglas Lane to Smithurst

Place: [Lower Fort Garry]

From: W[illiam Douglas] Lane

To: Rev’d J. Smithurst, Indian Settlement

Delivery: Local courier (probably Hudson’s Bay Company courier)

Details: 2pp + integral address face

Notes: A short letter from William Douglas Lane, Postmaster at Lower Fort Garry, noting that the 10 lbs of nails that Rev. Smithurst requested are being sent, and fresh beef will be available shortly. Lane also thanks Smithurst for recovering some goods stolen [from Lower Fort Garry] by young Flett, while expressing his suspicion that William Tait put the boy up to it, but Lane intends to “do all in my power to get the young scamp punished.”

Lane, William Douglas

1851 (Feb) from G.W. Saxton to Smithurst

Place: Matlock Bath [Derbyshire, England]

From: G.W. Saxton

To: Rev. John Smithurst, Indian Settlement, Red River, N.W. America

Delivery: Forwarded by the Christian Missionary Society to Red River Settlement via Hudson’s Bay Company supply ship and canoe brigade, and then by courier to the Indian Settlement at Netley Creek

Details: 4pp + integral address face

Notes: George W. Saxton writes a lengthy letter to Reverend Smithurst describing deaths in the neighbourhood, fundraising activities for the Church Missionary Society, and clergymen at local parishes.

Saxton, G. W. (George Withers)

1851 (Feb) from William Buckley to Smithurst

Place: Middleton [Derbyshire, England]

From: William Buckley

To: Rev’d J. Smithurst, Church Mission House, Salisbury Square, Fleet Street, London

Delivery: Forwarded by the Christian Missionary Society to Red River Settlement via Hudson’s Bay Company supply ship and canoe brigade, and then by courier to the Indian Settlement at Netley Creek

Details: 4pp + addressed envelope with postal marks (stamp removed)

Notes: William Buckley writes from England to his friend, Reverend Smithurst. Buckley mentions that cholera has killed thousands in Jamaica. He gives a detailed account of the death of his brother Francis, who died the previous November after several months of illness. William Buckley is admiring of the deep faith in God and heaven which his brother maintained. He then gives news of people they both know. He mentions Mr. Wass, Mr. Hubbersty, Mr. John Wathy, and Rev. Smithurst’s brother George and his troubles. Buckley then complains about the “radical party headed by Messrs Everett, Dunn & Griffith, assisted by the Editor of the socalled Wesleyan Times.” He blames these radicals for spreading discord, as eight local preachers have joined these “Agitators.” He mentions Mr. Greville, Mr. Jones, Mr. Barker, Mr. Harward Senior, and Mr. Frederic Harward. Mr. Alfred Alsop plans on having a business at the Viagellia [Via Gellia] Works in Bonsall. William Buckley mentions that Mr. Mason speaks highly of the new Bishop of Rupert’s Land [David Anderson]. “Mr. Mason” is presumably Reverend William Mason. Buckley mentions there is political dissatisfaction with Lord John Russell’s handling of the Pope’s proposed papal hierarchy. There is excitement for the “Exhibition of the works of arts of all nations at London” and Buckley expects the census next year to be a great deal of work for the Registrars.

Buckley, William

1851 (Jan) from Robert James to Smithurst

Place: [Grand] Rapids

From: Robert James

To: Rev’d J. Smithurst, Indian Settlement

Delivery: Local courier

Details: 1pp + integral address face

Notes: Reverend Robert James conveys the bishop's [Bishop David Anderson] instructions to Reverend Smithurst that the Journals be sent by the next packet, which will be sent in mid-February. Reverend Cowley is also mentioned.

James, Robert

1851 (Jun) from William Douglas Lane to Smithurst

Place: Lower Fort Garry

From: W[illiam Douglas] Lane

To: Rev’d J. Smithurst, Indian Settlement

Delivery: Local courier (probably Hudson’s Bay Company courier)

Details: 1pp + integral address face

Notes: A short letter by William Douglas Lane, Postmaster at Lower Fort Garry, discussing the payment of bills, refunding of money, and receipt of a flute.

Lane, William Douglas

1851 (May) from John H. Johnson to Bishop David Anderson via Smithurst

Place: Liverpool [England]

From: John H. Johnson

To: To The Right Rev’d D. Anderson, Lord Bishop of Rupert’s Land, North West America

Delivery: Forwarded by the Christian Missionary Society to Red River Settlement via Hudson’s Bay Company supply ship and canoe brigade, and then by courier

Details: 4pp + 4 newsletters + addressed envelope

Notes: Johnson writes to Bishop David Anderson to propose establishing an annual donation from St. Andrew's Church in Liverpool, England to the Christian Missionary Society in Rupert's Land. Johnson hopes to establish a link between the two groups and he hopes to see the initial donation of 5£ be surpassed in future years. Johnson intends that this letter be sent to Reverend John Smithurst and be "left open for his perusal as probably he may have some suggestions to make before sending it to you."

With his letter, he includes four (4) issues of “St. Andrew’s Monthly Paper.” Each issue consists of a single sheet of paper that measures only 14.5 x 12 cm when unfolded. Includes February, March, April, and May issues for 1851.

Interesting facts: St. Andrew's Church is located on Renshaw Street. Reverend T.C. Cowan is Minister. Issues are printed by Richard C. Scragg, Printer, 75, Renshaw Street. The District of St. Andrew's has a population of "about 6,000." Average monthly attendance at the Day School and Sunday School is approximately 250 each, and is broken down for Boys, Girls, and Infants.

[ca. 1847] from Alexander Christie Jr. to Smithurst

Place: [Lower Fort Garry]

From: Alex[ander] Christie Jr.

To: Rev’d J. Smithurst, Indian Settlement

Delivery: Carried by courier

Details: 1 pp + integral address face

Notes: Christie thanks Smithurst for the gift of pigeons, and sends 495 lbs. of beef, crediting Smithurst’s account. While the note is undated, Christie was posted to Red River in 1847 and was transferred to Edmonton some time in 1848.

Christie, Alexander Jr

Rev. John Smithurst Correspondence

The bulk of this collection of correspondence was written between 1838 and 1862, and addressed to Reverend John Smithurst, “Indian Settlement, Red River, North America.” The “Indian Settlement” was the home of Chief Peguis and his people, the Saulteaux, located at Netley Creek, a branch of the Red River south of Lake Winnipeg. Following his resignation in 1851, Rev. Smithurst immigrated to Canada West and settled in Elora and then Minto in what is now Ontario.

Rev. Smithurst was an Anglican missionary sent by the Church Missionary Society from England to Rupert’s Land to convert the First Nations and Metis peoples of the area known broadly as the Red River Settlement; modern-day Winnipeg, Manitoba encompasses many sites that made up the settlement. Ministering to the “Indians” and “Half-Breeds,” Rev. Smithurst was one of the handful of missionaries west of Canada during a period of social and political unrest, economic upheaval, starvation, disease, racism and classism. Rev. Smithurst was in contact with many influential people of the time, including Henry Budd and James Settee, the first Indigenous men to be ordained by the Anglican church in North America; Reverend William Cockran; Reverend Ezekiel Gilbert Gear, chaplain at Fort Snelling in modern-day Minnesota; Reverend William Mason, Rossville Mission Press printer; David Anderson, first bishop of Rupert’s Land; and Duncan Finlayson, governor of Assiniboia.

In the correspondence within this collection, missionaries privately share personal frustrations with their efforts to “civilize” and convert Indigenous peoples, while struggling to survive the landscape and navigate social conflicts.

Acquired with Rev. Smithurst's letters, and included here, are several miscellaneous letters, as well as correspondence for the Reverend C.E. Thomson, who succeeded Rev. Smithurst at the Elora parish, and correspondence for the Reverend Adam Townley, step-father to Rev. Thomson. Correspondents include: John Strachan, first bishop of Toronto; Alexander Neil Bethune, second bishop of Toronto; F.D. Fauquier, first bishop of Algoma; and George Whitaker, first provost of Trinity College in Toronto.

Thirteen envelopes and two prayer cards

Thirteen (13) envelopes and paper enclosures, & two (2) prayer cards, similar in size to playing cards.

Eleven (11) of the envelopes and paper enclosures are addressed to Reverend John Smithurst at Indian Settlement, Red River. Most are undated.

Of these eleven, one (1) features a black wax seal, a hexagon border surrounding two (2) initials, possibly “K” and “R.”
Two (2) envelopes are embossed, one with an oblong border around the initials “CMS” and the other embossed with “Etches & Wilson, Manufacturers, 32 Hatton Garden, London."

One (1) paper enclosure is sealed with five (5) wax drops in different colours.

Seven (7) have red wax seals:

  • Design obscured
  • bearded man’s profile in a rounded rectangle,
  • tiny rounded border surrounding script “Theo” (?)
  • the initials “S” and “C” in a circular border,
  • the initials “J” and “H” in gothic script inside a rounded rectangular border,
  • an oblong shape filled with a hatched design,
  • a large red wax seal with most of the design obscured except for the tiny letters “Pro P Elle” along the border.

Two (2) envelopes are addressed to Reverend Smithurst via Church Mission House, Salisbury Square, Fleet Street, London, England. Bear postal markings for Wirksworth in England for the years 1848 and 1849. Both are sealed with red wax, imprinted with a left-facing lion rampant design.

Two (2) prayer cards. Both are printed. The first one is printed in black and red with a prayer beginning “Create in me a Clean Heart." Text in the border reads, "Teach me thy way o lord and lead me in a plain path.” Handwriting in ink on the blank back reads “Master Henry W. Erwin.” The second one is printed in black with purple and green colour with an image of Eve with the serpent. "The entrance of thy word giveth light. Ps 119.130.” Handwriting in ink on the blank back reads “Henry Walter Erwin.”