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Bruce Peel Special Collections Life, Events, and Players in the North-West
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Life, Events, and Players in the North-West

  • FC 3213 L55
  • Collection

The Life, Events, and Players in the North-West is comprised of several smaller collections within Bruce Peel Special Collections that contain materials related to the history and culture of the north-west of what would become Canada.

NWMP & the Liquor Question

Approximately twenty (20) items regarding the regulation of liquor in the North West Territories of Canada in the late 1880s and early 1900s. The difficulties faced by the North West Mounted Police (NWMP) in enforcing the unpopular permit-based liquor laws of the time are given particular attention.

North-West Mounted Police

Mimeographed Copy of Memo from Comptroller to Hon. Minister in Ottawa

Typed letter dated in Ottawa, March 12, 1889. It is a submission to the Honourable Minister providing documents for consideration in connection with the “liquor question” in the North West Territories. It is signed by Comptroller "F.H."

The memo outlines the documents attached:

  • “Extract from the report of the Commissioner of the N.W. Mounted Police for 1888, as received at Ottawa with marginal notes showing the portions which have been printed and submitted to Parliament. / The attention of the Minister is particularly called to the paragraphs not printed.” (see 2011.002.002)
  • “Extracts from the Annual Report of the Commissioner and other Officers as printed and submitted to Parliament.” (see 2011.002.003)
  • “Copies of Police reports of inspection of Saloons at Calgary on 29th December and 9th January last, by which the Minister will see how impossible it is, under the existing permit system, to exercise efficient control over the sale of liquor.” (see 2011.002.004-006)

Copy of “The Liquor Question” report written by L.W. Herchmer Commissioner NWMP

A nine (9) page mimeographed copy of an 1888 draft report written by L.W. Herchmer, Commissioner of the North West Mounted Police. The Commissioner makes reference to the “liquor question,” the ongoing law enforcement issues within the North West Territories with regards to controlling the sale of liquor. The report shows some handwritten corrections and margin notes indicating the portions which were printed in the final report and submitted to Parliament.

Herchmer, L.W. (Lawrence William)

Extracts from the Annual Report of the Commissioner submitted to Parliament

Typed header reads: “Extracts from reports of Officers of the N.W. Mounted Police for 1888 on the subject of the liquor laws. / 1888. / Commissioner L.W. Herchmer.” Officers include the Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner and Superintendents Cotton, McIllree, Neale, Deane, Steele, Perry, Griesbach, and Antrobus.

Commissioner Herchmer:
“There is a feeling, however, among the farmers, and naturally, that the sale of good beer should be allowed, and that it should be brewed in the country out of the home-grown barley, the present regulations allowing a wretched apology for beer to be brewed in the country out of grape sugar and other poisons, while the brewing from home-grown malt of an article of equal intoxicating power is strictly prohibited.”
“… I unhesitatingly affirm that under the permit system and the North-West Act, as then interpreted by our judges, there was less intoxication among the whites, according to population; and there can be no comparison between the quantity of liquor then supplied to Indians and the quantities they have obtained since that portion of the Province was, as certain people call it, emancipated.”
“In the days when the Act was first introduced there were no lawyers in the Territories and appeals were almost unheard of . . . Since the advent of lawyers everything has changed.”
“A saloon keeper of any experience keeps about enough liquor on his premises to fill his permits, and whenever ‘pulled’ by the Police he produces his permits, or those of his friends, and keeps his reserve stock of contraband liquor in hay stacks and manure heaps, closets and other hiding places of the same sort”
“The profits of the trade being enormous our men are all the time subject to the temptation of, to them, immense bribes, to pass a cargo, and who can wonder, under such conditions, that they sometimes fall.”
“I think it would be advisable to permit the establishment of breweries of sufficient capacity to support an Inland Revenue officer, as small concerns without much at stake are liable to be tempted to evade the law, particularly as regards Indians.”p.2
“In Calgary I may safely say we have captured more liquor consigned to two druggists than to any two saloon keepers in that town.”p.2

Assistant Commissioner:

“The liquor law is not working at all satisfactorily, and is no doubt being evaded, and would be, even if there were five times as many police as there are. The law is unpopular. This accounts for the great difficulty we experience in connection with it. It is almost impossible, under the existing state of the law, to get a conviction.” p.2

Superintendent Neale:

“Nearly all classes of the community in this district are antagonistic to the existing liquor laws, and there are very few indeed who will not assist in the smuggling of liquor.” p.4

Superintendent Steele

“The reason for passing the Act was to prevent the sale of intoxicants to Indians, and for that purpose answered very well, . . . . no serious trouble has been caused since from the drunkenness of the Indians; but when the same law is applied to the whites it is quite another thing.” p.5
“Under the system of smuggling, which prevails, the dealer brings in pure alcohol, and by the admixture of pernicious drugs and water makes it into an article resembling whiskey in color but most dangerous in its effects.” p.5

Herchmer, L.W. (Lawrence William)

Copy of Police Report of Calgary Saloon Inspection

Two page mimeographed copy of a letter written to the Commissioner of the NWMP in Regina by J.H. McIllree Supt. Commanding “E” Division.
The letter contains extracts from a police report written by Corporal Walker. Corporal Walker conducted an inspection of Pullman Saloon which is “normally kept by J. McNeil” but is actually kept by a local man known as “Smithey” who is described as “the most notorious of the whiskey men in Calgary.” All kinds of whiskey and intoxicants were found on the property, covered by permits largely made out to “Smithey” under variations of his own name, the name of “a woman he keeps” and a bartender.
Sgd. McIllree claims his recommendation that permits not be issued to these individuals “has been over-ruled . . . by the personal exertions of the Judge of the Supreme Court and the members of the legislative assembly for this District.”

McIlree, John Henry

Copy of Jan 9, 1889 Police Report of Calgary Saloon Inspections

Three page copy of a Calgary police report written by Sergeant Ernest Cochrane to the Officer Commanding “E” Division. Sergeant Cochrane summarizes the alcoholic beverages and permits found during his searches conducted the afternoon of January 9, 1889 of Alberta Saloon, D. Cameron’s Saloon, and Pullman. He includes brand names, permit numbers, names on permits, and the number of both whole and broken bottles.
Sergeant Cochrane points out that 8 bottles of gin were found in Pullman in a search conducted December 28, 1888 but that Pullman now has 11 whole bottles and 1 broken bottle of gin while still producing the same permit number seen in the previous search. “This shows an increase of . . . 3 bottles and no new permit to cover the evident augmentation of quantity.” Sergeant Cochrane writes that “[m]y only hope is the possibility of stopping the supply in transit.”

Jan 31, 1890 Memo Re: Liquor Permits, N.W. Territories

Two page typed memo written by an unnamed Comptroller. Dated in Ottawa, 31st January, 1890.

“Until recent years a permit was understood to cover liquor imported into the North-West for the use of the person named therein, but it has been ruled in Court that both the permit and the liquor may be held in the possession of a person other than he to whom the permit was issued.
Under the protection of this ruling, saloons are supplied freely with permits and liquor, and it is quite a common occurrence for the Police to find in the same house liquor covered by permits in the names of half a dozen or more different persons.
Liquor is smuggled into the country to replenish the kegs or jars protected by the permits, and it is impossible to prove that the liquor found in such kegs or jars is not that which was originally imported into the country under permits_ a permit may thus be used as a perpetual license unless a case of selling can be established.
If the permit system is to be continued, the undersigned suggests that the law should be amended in such manner as will forbid the transfer of permits and restrict the custody and use of liquor imported there-under to the residence and household of the person to whom the permit is issued.”

Response to ‘Whiskey Informers & Detectives’ from the Medicine Hat Times

Typewritten, “1888: Whiskey informers & detectives: Newspaper articles re. Extract from the Medicien (sic) Hat ‘Times’ of Sept 10, 1887. THE INFORMER: Considerable consternation was imminent in the city Monday over the rumour that a whiskey informer was at large.”

Pencil notation, “1889 – no. 401: Liquor question N.W.T. General Memorandum.”

Dealer believes this is a Letter to the Editor written by Commissioner L.W. Herchmer.

Herchmer, L.W. (Lawrence William)

Two (2) Prince Albert Times Newspaper Clippings

The headline of the first article reads: "Magistrate's Cotrt. / Queen vs. Leslie." A typewritten note on the back of the paper identifies the newspaper as the Prince Albert Times dated December 2, 1987 [presumably a typo for 1887].

The case involves charges of vagrancy against Constable A. Leslie of the North West Mounted Police. Constable Leslie was found at night lurking in a stable belonging to Mr. T. Oram of the Queen’s Hotel.

The second clipping lacks a headline. It is an editorial comment on the Queen vs. Leslie court case. A typewritten note on the back identifies the newspaper as the Prince Albert Times dated December 2, 1887.

"While we are opposed to the principle of the present liquor law, we agree that so long as it is in force it is the duty all good citizens to assist the authorities in legitimate endeavors to carry it out, but when constables - whether on duty or not - put themselves in positions where they might very properly be taken for sneak thieves or burglars, and when interrogated as to their business refuse to give a satisfactory account of themselves, they not only make themselves amenable to the law, but naturally and rightly prejudice the minds of people against them and against their superiors, under whose orders they may be acting, as well as against the law itself.”
“The Mounted Police Force has done good work in the earlier days of its existence, but it has outlived its usefulness as a force. Now that the Territories are becoming settled and municipal organizations springing up, the carrying out of the laws should be left to the purely civil authorities. And if it is found necessary to have an armed body to preserve peace amongst the Indians, that body should be a purely military force.”

Three Extracts of Letters to the Editor by L.W. Herchmer printed in the Regina Journal 1888

A single sheet of paper onto which three (3) letters to the editor of the Regina Journal newspaper have been typewritten.

In red type:
“Copy file No. 302/1888. REGINA ARTICLE IN JOURNAL RE SEARCHING LANDSDOWN HOTEL FOR LIQUOR 15 Feb. ’88:”

In black type:
“Regina, 21 Feb. 1888
Sir: With reference to the article which appeared in the Regina ‘Journal’ of the 18th instant respecting a recent search of the Lansdown Hotel in this Town, for liquor, conducted by Insp. McGibbon, I have the honor to inform you that I have had the matter of the statements made in the article above referred to thoroughly investigated and find them to be untrue.
Mrs Arnold, the wife of the proprietor of the Hotel, informed Supt. Deane that the Editor of the Regina ‘Journal’ while sitting in the bar room of the Lansdown, read out in her hearing what purported to be an account of the police visit to that Hotel, and she then said to him: ‘Oh! Mr Atkinson, I cannot allow you to publish such a thing as that, the men did not come inside my bedroom at all, and were perfectly civil.’ Or words to that effect.
The Comptroller, Ottawa
I have, etc.
(L.W. Herchmer) Commr.

5th Mar. 8
Sir, Referring to your letter of the 21st ultimo, respecting the searching of the Lansdowne Hotel at Regina for Liquor, I am glad to be placed in possession of the statement of Mrs Arnold which exonerates the police from the charge of incivility. The article in the Regina Journal of the 16th ulto states on Mr Arnold’s authority: ‘Only last Sunday drunken policemen bothered him to such an extent that he was compelled to lock the door. The police threatened to break the door in but dared not do it.’
It would be gratifying to know that this statement also can be contradicted.
I have the honor, etc.
The Commr, NWMP, Regina.
Comptroller

Regina 10 March 8
Sir: In reply to your No. 302 of the 5th instant, on the subject of the searching of the Lansdowne Hotel at this place for liquor, I have the honor to inform you that there is no proof that the men who threatened to kick Arnold’s door in were policemen.
If they were, I am of the opinion that Reg: No- 2041 Constable Lynch was one of the party as he was punished for having overstayed his pass the night the alleged disturbance is stated to have taken place.
I have the honor, etc.
The Comptroller, Ottawa
(Sgd) L.W. Herchmer
Commissioner”

Herchmer, L.W. (Lawrence William)

Extract from the Regina Journal of 16th February 1888

A typewritten copy of an extract from the Regina Journal newspaper dated February 16, 1888. The extracted article deals with how the Mounted Police conducted a recent liquor search. Mr. F. Arnold, proprietor of Lansdowne Hotel, accuses four NWMP officers of entering his wife’s bedroom while she was still in bed during their search of his hotel. He does not give names of officers.

Liquor in the Territories

Two (2) clippings from the Lethbridge News newspaper dated April 5, 1888. The clippings make up the editorial response to NWMP Commissioner L.W. Herchmer’s annual report printed elsewhere in the same issue.

"Some Detectives" Clipping from the Lethbridge News June 21, 1888

An editorial extract from the Lethbridge News of 21st June 1888.

“Some Detective” headline is underlined in red. Referring to the North West Mounted Police, the writer asserts that “[t]he long-talked-of detective service has apparently fizzled down into a staff of whiskey informers.” Also comments on the unfair nature of the exemption the Canadian Pacific Railway has obtained from the liquor laws.

Toronto Mail Newspaper Clippings from 1888

Two clippings from the Toronto Mail, “North-West Drinks” June 23, 1888 and “The Whiskey Trader” July 5, 1888. Both are stapled to a sheet of paper. Typed on the reverse in red ink “File D42, 1888: LIQUOR LAW N.W.T. – ARTICLE IN TORONTO MAIL by ‘G’ re.”

Both articles are written by someone identifying themselves as 'G' and are reprinted from the New York Evening Post.

“North-West Drinks. / How the Liquor Law Works on the Prairies. / Prohibition in the North-West Territories – Substitutes for Liquor – The North-West Mounted Police and Their Work – Hunting Whiskey Traders – A Bootless Chase.”
“ ‘G’ writes as follows to the New York Evening Post from Fort McLeod, N.W.T.:”

“The Whiskey Trader. / How He Pursues His Calling In the Territories. / Looked Upon as a Desperate Character – How He Looks at the Law – His Methods – A Capture and an Escape – A Race for Freedom.”
“The following is ‘G.’s’ second letter to the New York Evening Post from Fort MacLeod, N.W.T.:”

"Hungarian Miners Resist the Police" Macleod Gazette Newspaper Clipping

Newspaper Clipping from the Macleod Gazette, dated July 4, 1888.

“A Fierce Affray. / Hungarian Miners Resist The Police. / A Free Fight the Result, in Which Several Police and Civilians are Injured – Eighteen Arrests Made.”

Byline is “Lethbridge News.”

“On Sunday last the celebration of a wedding took place and a large amount of beer was consumed, quite a number of the participants becoming intoxicated. At around 21 o’clock three of them came outside the house and commenced fighting. Sergt. Ross was soon on the ground and arrested the principals in the fight, when a swarm of Hungarians, headed by one Geo. Czaperalich, rushed out . . . Czaperalich came out with some others to inform the sergeant there was no picnic going on there, whereupon the sergeant immediately arrested him. Directly he was arrested a swarm of Hungarians rushed out of the cottage armed with clubs, stones, bottles and other weapons. . . . A prominent feature in the fight was the part taken by the women, one of whom particularly distinguished herself by her agility in high kicking.”

"The Northwest Prohibition Farce" Calgary Tribune Clipping

“The Northwest Prohibition Farce” newspaper clipping from the Calgary Tribune and dated July 18, 1888.
An editorial piece protesting the exemption granted the Canadian Pacific Railway from the permit-based liquor laws of the time.
“In another column will be found the announcement that permission has been granted to the Canadian Pacific Railway hotel in Banff to import and sell wine and beer as a beverage, and the Mounted Police authorities have received instructions not to interfere with them in the carrying on of that business. . . . The Government at Ottawa (by whom the Lieutenant-Governor of these Territories has unquestionably been authorized in this case) seem to be under the impression that the people of this country are a lot of serfs and nincompoops who have no conception of the rights of freemen . . . ”

“Prohibition v. License” The Moosomin Courier Newspaper Clipping

“Prohibition v. License” newspaper clipping. Black ink handwriting indicates the clipping is taken from the Moosomin Courier dated July 19, 1888.

The writer objects to "the subpoenaing of a number of our fellow-townsmen to give evidence for the Crown against two of our hotel keepers for selling liquor without a permit from the Lieutenant-Governor of these Territories."

“Cafeteria and Bath House Raided by the Police Last Night” clipping from Calgary Daily Herald

“Cafeteria and Bath House Raided by the Police Last Night” newspaper clipping from the Calgary Daily Herald dated Monday, April 24, 1911.

“The Calgary police, in conjunction with the provincial license inspectors, made raids early Sunday morning on the Cafeteria and Moose Baxter’s bath house. The raids were conducted by Chief Mackie in person, and reflect great credit on the department for the methodical and successful manner in which they were carried out.”

During the police raid on the Turkish bath house, one of three clients found bathing was in fact an undercover license inspector, who “had been quietly investigating for the past two weeks, as a result of which he located the liquor in a sack at the bottom of the plunge.”

Two Newspaper Clippings from an Unidentified Newspaper

The first newspaper clipping headline reads: “Maximum Fine in Reid Case / Pleaded Guilty of Illegal Liquor Selling and Was Fined $500 / Moose Baxter Case was Adjourned / Accused Claimed That He Was Not Proprietor of Turkish Baths”

Bert Reid, proprietor of the Cafeteria, pled guilty before Superintendent Deane of the Royal North West Mounted Police to selling liquor illegally with the understanding that the additional barrel of beer and wine discovered outside did belong to his brother, John, who had the liquor on hand for a planned housewarming party. This version of events was contested by Stanley Jones of the Moral Reform league.

A preliminary to the trial of Moose Baxter was held following the Reid case. Moose Baxter claimed that he was managing the Turkish bath house which the police raided, but that it was his brother Hector Baxter who actually owned the business. The rest of the article is not included.

The second newspaper clipping headline reads: “Sleuth Grimsdall Hadn’t Authority to make Arrests”

Detective Grimsdall arrested “Moose” Baxter in two assault cases, but both cases were dismissed by Col. Walker who said that in neither case did Grimsdall have the authority to arrest Baxter in the Barracks court.

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.

1839 (May) from John Smith to Smithurst

Place: Hudsons Bay House, London [England]

From: John Smith

To: The Revd John Smithurst, Church Missionary House, Salisbury Square [London, England]

Details: 1pp

Notes: This letter confirms a previous conversation between John Smith of Hudson's Bay House in London and Reverend John Smithurst. Rev. Smithurst is awarded the position of chaplain to the Hudson's Bay Company at Red River in Rupert's Land. He is granted passage from London to Fort Garry [modern-day Winnipeg].

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

1839 (Nov) Copy of Verdict in Murder Trial

Place: Upper Fort Garry

From: unknown

To: Rev. J. Smithurst

Details: 2pp with integral address

Notes: Copy of not guilty verdict returned by the Jury on the trial of Henry Beardie for the murder of William Washington Bird. While the jury admits that Beardie did point his bow and arrow at Bird, the fact that Beardie is only 12 years old leads the jury to acquit him of murder. The jury warns parents to abolish archery in the community to prevent future deaths.

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 (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 (Feb) from Anne Alsop to Smithurst

Place: Sycamore Cottage [Derbyshire, England]

From: A. Alsop

To: The Rev'd John Smithurst, Church Missy House, Salisbury Square, Fleet Street, London [England]

Details: 4pp with integral address

Notes: Anne Alsop sends much news from England, with unrest over the corn laws having led to a crowd in Derby burning an effigy of Sir Robert Peel. Since the last letter, Catherine Wasse was pregnant but lost the baby boy. Anne Alsop has not seen Rev. Smithurst's brother George for some time, but she believes one of his daughters got married. Mr. Nightingale (the father of Florence Nightingale, the famous nurse) is in the area collecting rents. The economy is doing quite poorly, and the Tories want to change the poor laws. Alsop herself is a Wigg, but her nephews are Tories. While in London, she saw great crowds gather during the election. She also attended twice daily sermons to hear Dr. Crow at St. Stevens Walbrook, by whom she is greatly impressed. (It is possible she is referring to Dr. Croly who was a rector at St. Stephens Walbrook in London during this period. He was a famous orator and novelist.)

Alsop, Anne

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

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

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

1843 (Apr) Invoice for seeds

Place: London [England]

From: Bot. of T&C Lockhart

To: Revd J. Smithurst

Details: 1pp

Notes: An invoice for numerous plants and seeds ordered by Rev. Smithurst including Early York cabbage, Tripoli onion, Long white radish, Yellow Dutch turnip, James keeping onion, Brown Dutch lettuce, other varieties.

Prior to 1844 - from James Bird to Smithurst

Place: unknown

From: James Bird

To: The Revd Smithurst

Details: 1pp

Notes: James Bird sends Rev. Smithurst “some additional sheets” of Mr. Joseph Howse’s manuscript for “A grammar to the Cree language.” Mr. Howse asks that Rev. Smithurst mention the work to the Church Missionary Society to help with circulation when the final book is published.

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 (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 (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

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 (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

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 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.

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

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 (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] List of wheat subscriptions

A list with the heading "Subscriptions in Wheat, Barley or Peas, to be appropriated, exclusively, to the Rev. Mr Hunter's Station." Donations are promised by: Peter Garrioch, Henry Cook, William Gaddy, Robert Rowland, William Gibson, Peter Flett, Alexander Work, Sam Norn, James Slater, Henry Brown, James Taylor, William Taylor, Thomas Halcro Sr, Robert Miller, John Garrioch, and Samuel Cook.

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 (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 (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 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 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 (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 (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 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 (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

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 (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 (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 (Nov) from W. G. Smith to Smithurst

Place: Hudson's Bay House, London [England]

From: W.G. Smith

To: Revd John Smithurst, Red River Settlement

Details: 3pp and integral address face

Notes: Mr. Smith writes to Rev. Smithurst regarding financial matters. He comments that money is cheap due to the influx of gold from California.

Smith, William Gregory

1851 (May) from James Settee to Smithurst

Place: Lac La Ronge, C.M.L. Station

From: James Settee

To: The Reverend J. Smithurst,
Indian Settlement (crossed out),
Church Missionary House, Salisbury Square, London (crossed out),
Middleton, Wirksworth, Derbyshire

Details: 3pp and integral address face

Notes: James Settee writes to Rev. Smithurst on a number of matters. He says that Thomas Cook brought Rev. Smithurst's last letter to him and told Settee that Rev. Smithurst was suffering badly from rheumatism. Settee says both he and his wife also suffer from rheumatism, which he blames on the cold climate. Settee is about to leave on a long journey to Norway House, and he mentions that the baptized Natives object to working on Sundays, but Settee feels that the portages would be impossible without the help of the Hudson's Bay Company boats and so they must work on the Sabbath to keep up. The mission at Lac La Ronge is doing well, and Settee hopes to writes to Rev. Smithurst again once he reaches Norway House.

While written in May, this letter has a cancellation for Sault Ste Marie, C.W. in September. The letter then made its way to Church Missionary House in London, England where it was then redirected to Middleton, Wirksworth, Derbyshire.

Settee, James

1851 (Jun) from William Cockran to Smithurst

Place: Red River Settlement

From: Wm Cockran

To: Rev. John Smithurst, Upper Fort Garry

Details: 3pp and integral address face

Notes: Reverend William Cockran writes that he only just heard through Major Caldwell that Rev. Smithurst was leaving for England with Henry Cook in a few days. Rev. Cockran says he is sorry he cannot see Rev. Smithurst in person, but he is too busy preparing to form a settlement at Portage la Prairie. He then writes about the difficulties in getting a thrashing machine and asks Rev. Smithurst to inquire in the United States if a machine can be imported from there. He then complains about Adam Thom and Governor Colville throwing obstacles in the way of getting this new settlement established. Rev. Cockran then returns to the issue of Rev. Smithurst leaving and expresses his sadness that Smithurst and his congregation have had such a falling out. He then prays that God will grant Rev. Smithurst repentance. He asks Rev. Smithurst to send financial aid back to Red River to help pay for the building of a new stone church.

Cockran, William

1851 (Oct) from W. G. Smith to Smithurst

Place: Hudson's Bay House, London [England]

From: W.G. Smith

To: Revd John Smithurst, Middleton, Wirksworth, Derbyshire [England]

Details: 2pp

Notes: In this letter, Mr. Smith writes to Rev. Smithurst to let him know that his packages have arrived in England and he will forward them by train.

Smith, William Gregory

1840 (Dec) from the Bishop of Montreal to Rev. John Smithurst

Place: Red River Settlement

From: The Bishop of Montreal

To: Reverend John Smithurst

Details: 3pp

Notes: The letter would have been likely carried to Toronto, Barrie, Penetanguishine and then along Lake Huron's and Superior's coastlines by the Winter Express which included dog team, snow shoe, and then overland to Winnipeg River, Lake Winnipeg, up to Red River to the Indian Settlement.

Bishop of Montreal

1843 (Feb) from Mary Hodgson to Rev. John Smithurst

Place: Red River Settlement

From: Mary Hodgson

To: Reverend John Smithurst

Details: 1pp

Notes: Mary Hodgson writes from Whitby to tell him of her recent marriage. The embossed letterhead was likely a wedding present.

The small-sized letter with a lack of seal indicates it was enclosed within a larger letter forwarded to the Church Missionary Society in London. The mail was carried by Hudson Bay Company's spring supply ship to York factory and from there the letter would travel by boat up the Nelson River, across Lake Winnipeg and then up the Red River to the Indian Settlement.

Hodgson, Mary

1844 (Feb) from Anne Alsop to Rev. John Smithurst

Place: Red River Settlement

From: Mary Hodgson, Sycamore Cottage in Lea

To: Reverend John Smithurst

Details: 3pp

Notes: The writer Anne Alsop discusses family matters in great length and asks Smithurst to take an "Indian bride". Smithurst was a roommate to be involved with his cousin Florence Nightingale but the relationship was stopped by family members.

The letter would have been forwarded to the Church Missionary Society in London. The mail was carried up by Hudson's Bay Company Spring Supply Ship to York Factory and from there the letter would travel by boat up the Nelson River, through Lake Winnipeg and. up the Red River to Indian Settlement.

Anne Alsop

1844 (Jun) from John Hargrave to Rev. John Smithurst

Place: Red River Settlement

From: John Hargrave (Hudson's Bay Company clerk factor)

To: Reverend John Smithurst

Details: 2pp

Notes: Hargrave, writing from York Factory, writes to Rev. Smithurst to let him that the articles Smithurst requested were delivered to the depot by Mr. Mowat. Hargrave also mentions that he would happily comply with Smithurst's request to supply all of the Church Missionary Society with whatever "gentleman and Mrs. Hunter" may need to be comfortable in the autumn months.

Hargrave, John

1845 (Jun) from Henry Budd to Rev. John Smithurst

Place: Red River Settlement

From: Henry Budd (Hudson's Bay Clerk and Missionary), Cedar Lake (on route to Grand Rapids)

To: Reverend John Smithurst

Details: 3pp

Notes: The letter from Henry Budd discusses the return of empty kegs for butter and lie soup, garden vegetables being grown thereby requesting vegetable seeds. Mrs. Budd's gift of gloves to be sent via Les Perance and Mr. Budd's watch is enclosed for repair.

Cedar Lake is located Northwest of Lake Winnipeg and the letter was carried down to Grand Rapids down Lake Winnipeg and then to Red River Indian Settlement. The Letter was most likely carried by Mission Boat that carried supplies as well as mail to Grand Rapids.

Budd, Henry

1846 (Aug) from James Hargrave to Rev. John Smithurst

Place: Red River Settlement

From: James Hargrave, York Factory

To: Reverend John Smithurst

Details: 2pp

Notes: A letter in which Hargrave writes about successfully arranging passage for another reverend and his wife to get to Red River. He also discusses the shipping of packages for Smithurst and Cowley that will be received by Mowat.


Mr. Hunter and Reverend Cockran are also mentioned. 


At the end of the letter Hargrave thanks Smithurst for his package of cucumbers and melons.

Hargrave, James

1849 (May) from Alexander Christie to Rev. John Smithurst and Jenny Hickenburger

Place: Red River Settlement

From: Alexander Christie, Lower Fort Garry

To: Mrs. Jeny Hickenburger ; Reverend John Smithurst

Details: 2pp

Notes: A pair of letters both written on the same day concerning the same matter. The first is written to "Mrs. Jenny Hickenburger" and the other to Reverend Smithurst regarding the death of Jenny Hickenburger's father. The letter requests that she attends Christie's office to sign the necessary paperwork for her to inherit her father's money. The letter to Smithurst requests his assistance in ensuring that his cousin does not redeem her HBC stock and instead accepts £9 per year as income.

Christie, Alexander

1849 (Sep) from James Hunter to Rev. John Smithurst

Place: Red River Settlement

From: James Hunter, Norway House

To: Reverend John Smithurst

Details: 3pp

Notes: Hunter goes into detail about the visit of the Bishop of Prince Rupert’s Land. 
He also writes of matters of business regarding food supplies for the winter, the price of freight from Red River to Norway House and the construction of the Church.

1851 (Mar) from Abraham Cowley to Rev. John Smithurst

Place: Red River Settlement

From: Reverend Abraham Cowley, Partridge Crop

To: Reverend John Smithurst

Details: 3pp

Notes: Partridge Crop was a missionary outpost on the northern reaches of Lake Manitoba, and was later renamed Fairford in 1851 by Bishop Anderson.

The outpost was on the left bank of the Partridge Crop River and was established by McNap for Winter trading with the Indigenous people. The lengthy letter from Cowley mentions topics such as the recent arrival of the bishop, his meeting of confirmation candidates and inspecting the school.

This letter would have travelled by canoe down Lake Winnipeg to the Red River.

Cowley, Abraham

1852 (Jan) from John Chapman to Rev. John Smithurst

Place: Salisbury Street, Ireland

From: John Chapman, Missionary at Middle Church

To: Reverend John Smithurst, 18 Salisbury Street, Ireland

Details: 2pp

Notes: Chapman thanks Smithurst for newspapers and of his letter detailing his route to New York. He also discusses the status of the congregation and the building of a new church.

Chapman, John

1838 (Aug) from William Buckley to Smithurst

Place: Middleton [Derbyshire, England]

From: Frs Buckley

To: J. Smithurst, Church Missionary Institution, Islington [London]

Delivery: Great Britain mail

Details: 3 pp + integral address face

Notes: Reverend William Buckley is deeply disappointed to hear that John Smithurst had to cancel his planned visit to Middleton. Rev. Buckley goes on to relate news of recent marriages and clergy appointments.

Buckley, William

1841 (Feb) from Anne Alsop and Catherine Wasse to Smithurst

Place: Sycamore Cottage [Derbyshire, England]

From: Anne Alsop & Catherine Wasse

To: The Reverend John Smithurst, Church Missionary. To be forwarded and properly directed from Islington

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: 4 pp (partly cross-written) + integral address face

Notes: Composite letter from friends Anne Alsop and her niece Catherine Wasse. Anne Alsop mentions Rev. Smithurst's brother George and family matters. Catherine Wasse writes about her impression of London, the renovations to Dethick Chapel, the success of her brother who is leasing Wakebridge Mine from Mr. Nightingale (the father of Florence Nightingale), Mr. Nightingale's annual visit, and the record-setting winter weather.

Alsop, Anne

1841 (Feb) from Mary Hugill to Smithurst

Place: Whitby [North Yorkshire, England]

From: Mary Hugill

To: Rev’d John Smithurst

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

Details: 3 pp + integral address face

Notes: Letter from a cousin, with family news (illnesses, etc.). She asks if she can send him a gift of pickles, preserves or cakes, and to do so.

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