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Rev. Adam Townley Letters

An Anglican minister and missionary in Canada, Rev. Adam Townley was also co-editor of the "Churchman's Friend," a 16-page monthly publication that sought to promote and defend high church theology. With his colleague and co-editor Reverend Edward H. Dewar, Rev. Townley released the first issue in October 1855 from Paris, Canada West. Production soon moved to Windsor, Canada West. Publication ceased in 1857, after a short and controversial run. Rev. Townley was also step-father to Rev. C.E. Thomson, himself the successor to Rev. John Smithurst at St. John the Evangelist church in Elora. It is presumably this relationship that led to his correspondence being included in the Rev. Smithurst collection acquired by Bruce Peel Special Collections at the University of Alberta.

1843 (Feb) from Anne Alsop and Catherine Wasse to Smithurst

Place: Sycamore Cottage [Derbyshire, England]

From: Anne Alsop and Catherine Wasse

To: The Rev’ J. Smithurst / Church Missionary House, Fleet Street, London

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

Notes: Composite letter from friend and her aunt on family matters. Mentions annual visit of Mr. Nightingale (father of Florence Nightingale – John Smithurst’s first cousin) with details on their losses owing to a bank failure.

Alsop, Anne

1843 (Jul) from John & Annie Corbett to Townley

Place: Priory Place, New Ross [Ireland]

From: John and Annie Corbett

To: Adam Townley

Details: 8 pp.

Notes: The first sheet of paper is a letter to Adam Townley from his brother-in-law, John Corbett. His letter continues onto the second sheet of paper, on the third and fourth pages. John is the husband of Townley's sister Annie, whose letter makes up the first and second pages on the second sheet of paper.

John Corbett relates how Annie is in fact just recovering from a five-week-long illness after a carriage accident. He comments on the rivalry between the Church Missionary Society and the newer Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. John is very concerned at the unrest in Ireland and within the Anglican church. He also mentions the alarming rise of "the principles called 'Puseyism'."

Annie addresses her brother as "Dearest Addie." She gives news about family members and many acquaintances.

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 (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 (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

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 (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.

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

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 (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 (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 (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 (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 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: 3pp + integral address face with postal marks

Notes: Letter from a friend with news from home.

Buckley, William

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 (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

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 Letter from James Douglas

A hand-written letter written by James Douglas to James M. Yale, Hudson’s Bay Company Chief Trader at Fort Langley, British Columbia. This letter was sent from Fort Victoria. Douglas writes about recent events and expresses some opinions about many of the issues facing the Pacific Northwest operations of the HBC.
From notes provided by the donor: “Douglas sheds light on the following issues of the time:
a) H.B.C. servants and their suitability for advancement
b) Furs and fur returns
c) Agricultural crops and the weather affecting yield in the region
d) The visit by Chief Factor Peter Skene Ogden, having travelled overland from Red River and into the Columbia River through the Coutonais (Kootenay) Portage, in the company of British Officers Henry J. Warre and Mervin Vavasour (on their ‘secret’ military reconnaissance of the Oregon Territory)
e) The arrival and operations of H.M.S. America, under the charge of Captain John Gordon (the brother of Lord Aberdeen, Foreign Secretary at the time, and later Prime Minister)
f) Activity of H.B.C. traders: Chief Factor Lewis (sic), Chief Trader John Work, and Donald Mason
g) Returns of the most recent Outfit (the yearly trade cycle of the fur trade)
h) The wretched state of John Clarke (a long-time H.B.C. employee, who has fallen on hard times)
i) The potential for salt to be gathered from salt marshes on Cowegen (Cowichan) lands, without attracting the attention of the Americans, who would undoubtedly try to capitalize on the resource
j) A visit from American whaling ship captains, whose ships are lying at anchor in Neah Bay.”

Douglas, James, Sir

Rev. C.E. Thomson Letters

Reverend C.E. Thomson replaced Reverend John Smithurst at St. John’s Church in Elora, Canada West [later Ontario] after Smithurst’s dismissal by John Strachan, Bishop of Toronto. Thomson ministered in Elora from 1857-1877.

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

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 (Feb) from G.W. Saxton to Smithurst

Place: Matlock Bath [Derbyshire, England]

From: G.W. Saxton

To: Rev. J. Smithurst

Delivery: Likely enclosed with Anne Alsop's letter of February 7, 1846.

Details: 3pp with integral address face

Notes: George W. Saxton was the secretary of the Matlock Church Missionary Society and writes this letter to reach out to Rev. Smithurst whom he admires for his missionary work. He mentions the Arkwright family, the church at Cromford, and the generous financial donations of Mr. Beaumont which have covered various expenses of the Matlock Bath church. Mr. Saxton goes into great detail about the Matlock Bath church and future plans. He mentions that his parents are dead and that his widowed brother preaches at the parish of Sutton Coldfield in Warwickshire.

Saxton, G. W. (George Withers)

1840—1849

This series contains all items in the collection created between 1840 and 1849.

Correspondence, 14 December 1846

Correspondence from James Harrold at Fishing Lakes [near Fort Qu'Appelle?] to William McTavish [sic] at York Factory.

The letter describes a trip planned to York Factory, ice fishing, weather, and a message from "Mr. Hargrave" about fishing, which may refer to James Hargrave. The letter also includes a brief inventory of fish caught on open water.

1846 (Apr) from John Strachan to Townley

Place: Toronto

From: John Toronto

To: Rev Adam Townley

Details: 2pp

Notes: A letter marked private, written by John Strachan, Bishop of Toronto. It is addressed to Reverend Adam Townley who was rector in Dunnville at the time, serving the parishes of Dunnville, Port Maitland, and South Cayuga in the Niagara District. Strachan discusses land titles in relation to a new church, and asks several questions to arrange travel. St. John the Evangelist church was built in South Cayuga and consecrated by Strachan in June 1846.

Strachan, John

1846 (Feb) from Anne Alsop to Smithurst

Place: Matlock Bath [Derbyshire, England]

From: A. Alsop

To: Rev’d John Smithurst, Church Missionary House, London

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: 3pp + integral address face

Notes: In her annual letter to Rev. Smithurst, Anne Alsop sends news, largely relating various marriages, births, and deaths in the community. She mentions that William Wass died and Catherine [presumably her niece, Catherine Wasse] is ill with grief. Mr. George Saxton plans on enclosing a letter of his own to Rev. Smithurst. The winter was surprisingly mild. Anne Alsop now lives in Matlock Bath and is dismayed over the tenant who now resides in her old home, Sycamore Cottage. She adds a postscript commenting on the widespread speculation occurring as railroads are being built across England.

Alsop, Anne

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 Article regarding the HBC Charter

Titled: "A Few Words on the Hudson's Bay Company." Written by Alexander Kennedy Isbister, and published by C. Gilpin in London, likely in 1846. This copy has been removed from a bound volume. It is a review of the status of the H.B.C. with petitions for redress of grievances.

Isbister, Alexander Kennedy

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

Correspondence, 26 March 1846

Correspondence from James Hargrave at Norway House to William Mactavish at York Factory.

The letter addresses the harvesting of timber and the fishery at York Factory, goods scarcities, and a note from C. F. [Chief Factor] [Alexander] Christie requesting gunpowder to be sent to Red River.

Correspondence, 3 April 1846

Correspondence from A. Barclay [secretary] at Hudson's Bay House, London, [England] to William Mactavish, who was likely at York Factory.

The letter informs Mactavish that he has been promoted to the rank of Chief Trader. Mactavish is also informed that he can expect his commission will be sent once the "Deed of Covenant" is signed.

1847 (Jan & Apr) from W.G. Smith to Smithurst

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

From: W.G. Smith

To: Rev’d John Smithurst, R.R.S. [Red River Settlement]

Delivery: Forwarded 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: 1pp + integral address face

Notes: William Gregory Smith, a secretary at the Hudson’s Bay Company London office, acknowledges receipt of Smithurst’s letter dated August 4, 1846 containing two bills to be paid and credited to Mr. Cockran, also that six cases belonging to Mr. Cockran have arrived safely and “have not been lost sight of.”

An addition to the letter reads: “Your letter of the 17th Nov’r forwarded by Winter Packet has just come to hand. Sir George Simpson leaves tomorrow with the Express. I have therefore only time to say that every exertion shall be used to meet your wishes.”

Smith, William Gregory

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.”

[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

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

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

From: W.G. Smith

To: Rev’d John Smithurst, RRS [Red River Settlement]

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 (letter) + 2 pp (invoice) + integral address face

Notes: Hudson’s Bay Company secretary W.G. Smith mentions having received Smithurst’s letter of November 17, 1846 on April 16, 1847 and having written a brief acknowledgement that was included with the Spring Express. Smith appends an invoice for goods ordered (tea, gun powder, sugar, mustard, salt petre, soda, starch, pork, soap, etc.) and says these were shipped to Smithurst on board the “Westminster” via York Factory and Red River Settlement.

Smith, William Gregory

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)

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 (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 (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

Correspondence, 6 May 1848

Personal correspondence from John Mactavish in Tobago to his brother William Mactavish at York Factory. The letter is addressed to arrive at York Factory care of The Hudson's Bay [Co's] House in London.

The letter notes the recovery of "Mr. Hargrave," which may be reference to James Hargrave, and it describes in great detail the well-being of Alick, which may be Alex [Mactavish], including a note that John and William's father will be sending Alick to Australia. The letter also describes the destruction of property and injuries suffered as a result of a hurricane in Tobago. John contemplates going to Puerto Rico, but instead decides to go to the Sandwich Islands. The letter concludes with a request to William to have Dugald [Mactavish] write and provide an account of the Sandwich Islands. Mention is also made of George Simpson, Lockhart [Mactavish], and John McTaggart.

1848 (Apr) from W.G. Smith to Smithurst

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

From: W.G. Smith

To: Rev’d J. Smithurst, RRS [Red River Settlement]

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 + integral address face with hand postal marking

Notes: Hudson’s Bay Company secretary W.G. Smith acknowledges Rev. Smithurst’s letter of November 23, 1847 which arrived by the Winter Packet. Smith apologizes and writes, “I regret to find that my worst fears, with regard to the loss and disappointment, likely to arise from the late arrival of the Westminster, have been fully realized.” Smith explains that, “[s]he had a most narrow escape and I believe that, had it not been for the 1st officer of the P[rince] Rupert, who was on board the Westminster when she was driven from her anchorage, both ship and cargo would have been lost.”

Smith goes on to say that Mr. Christie (at Red River) will refund Smithurst the overpayment made for the goods, caused by an accounting error.

Smith, William Gregory

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 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 (Jan) from W.G. Smith to Smithurst

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

From: W.G. Smith

To: Rev’d John Smithurst, RRS [Red River Settlement]

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 (letter) + 1 pp (invoice) + integral address face with hand postal marking

Notes: Hudson’s Bay Company secretary W.G. Smith offers his apologies to Rev. Smithurst. The vessel "Westminster" carrying Smithurst's ordered goods, arrived too late in the season to be unloaded before the Red River-bound boats were sent off. Consequently, very few of the privately ordered goods reached Red River before the Spring.

Smith acknowledges receiving Smithurst's letter of August 6, 1847 which was brought by the vessel "Prince Rupert" in October, 1847. He further apologizes because of an error in the charges for the last shipment. Adjustments have been made accordingly to Smithurst's balance, a copy of which is appended to the letter.

Smith, William Gregory

List of Indians hunters who has gone off and died from this place since [outfit] 1845

A handwritten report detailing Indigenous families associated with Oxford House and Indigenous people associated with Oxford House who have died or moved.

The report names Indigenous hunters who have died or moved away from Oxford House. It also includes the names of male hunters along with their relationship to other hunters and a numerical account of their wives, sons, daughters, and "[separate] followers." The report is signed by L. [a] Robertson of Oxford House.

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 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

Correspondence, 18 May 1849

Correspondence from Hector McKenzie at Hudson's Bay House, Lachine to William Mactavish at Saint Mary's, which is likely an anglicized version of Sault Ste. Marie.

The sender states that he has returned from a trip to Fort William and asks what Mactavish would like done with found possessions belonging to his deceased brother. Mackenzie also asks Mactavish how he likes his new placement and notes that he is sure to be popular with the ladies there.

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 (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 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) 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 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 (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 (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

Correspondence, 2 February 1849

Personal correspondence from Dugald Mactavish at Kilchrist, [Scotland] to his son William Mactavish at Sault Ste. Marie.

In the letter, Dugald describes cholera in Kilchrist, his health and the health of William's mother, and his financial situation. Mention is made of other people who are likely family members, including Dugald [Jr. Mactavish], Alex [Mactavish], John [Mactavish], and Lockhart [Mactavish], and a man named Hargrave, who is possibly James Hargrave.

1849 (Oct) from William Reynolds to James Geddes

Place: Guelph

From: William Reynolds

To: James Geddes Esqu, Elora

Details: One sheet of paper with integral address, and one small slip of paper

Notes: William Reynolds writes to James Geddes regarding a workman named Jones who has failed to satisfy his contract. Reynolds agrees they should enter into an agreement with Hall instead. John Marsh is living with Geddes and is anxious to move out.

The small slip of paper is a written promise from John W. Marsh to pay next time.

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 (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 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 (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

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.

1850 (Jan & Apr) from W.G. Smith to Smithurst

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

From: W.G. Smith

To: Rev’d J. Smithurst, RRS [Red River Settlement]

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: 2pp + integral address face

Notes: Hudson’s Bay Company secretary William Gregory Smith discusses a request by Rev. Smithurst to submit money to the Hudson's Bay Company for interest. As mentioned to Smithurst by Sir George Simpson, the Company can do so only for money earned through the company. Smith did approach the Governor and Committee on Smithurst’s behalf, but they refused the request.

Also mentioned is business regarding a Mr. Henry Cook and the property of his deceased father. A postscript dated April 3, 1850, indicates Smith received additional papers from Rev. Smithurst regarding the late Joseph Cook, presumably Henry Cook's father, but he does not have time to process these before the Spring Packet leaves London.

An additional note scrawled in a different handwriting is written on the integral address face and mentions Cook and money.

Smith, William Gregory

1850 Rights and Powers of HBC

Docket reads: "Papers relating to the Legality of the Powers in respect to Territory, Trade, Taxation and Government claimed or exercised by the Hudson's Bay Company, on the Continent of North America, under the Charter of Charles the Second, or in Virtue of any other Right or Title. Ordered by The House of Commons, to be Printed, 12 July 1850."

A look at the rights claimed by the Hudson's Bay Company, including copies of correspondence, replies, opinions, and a map.

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—1859

This series contains all items in the collection created between 1850 and 1859.

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 (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 (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

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

Correspondence, 5 January 1850

Correspondence from David Colville at Campbeltown, [Scotland] to William Mactavish at Sault Ste. Marie.

The sender confirms receipt of money drafted from George Simpson to pay Mactavish's father's debt. The sender expresses concern that Mactavish has not written to his father.

1850 Letter from Donald Ross to James Keith

Handwritten letter from Donald Ross, Chief Factor of Norway House, to his friend James Keith in Aberdeen [Scotland]. James Keith was formerly the Chief Factor at Fort Chipewyan. In this letter, Ross writes about the poor mood he's suffered over the past year, laments the scarcity of furred animals, and predicts that gold will be the basis for the Hudson's Bay Company profits in the future. He expresses doubt that profits from coal will ever amount to much.

Ross, Donald

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 (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.

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 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 (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

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