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Bruce Peel Special Collections Lower Church, Grand Rapids
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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

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

1841 (Apr) from William Cockran to Smithurst

Place: Grand Rapids [Red River Settlement]

From: William Cockran

To: Rev. J. Smithurst, Indian Settlement

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

Details: 1 pp + integral address face

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

Cockran, William

1842 (Apr) from William Cockran to Smithurst

Place: Grand Rapids [Red River Settlement]

From: William Cockran

To: Rev. J. Smithurst [Indian Settlement]

Delivery: Carried by courier

Details: 2pp + integral address face

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

Cockran, William

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

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

1857 (Apr and May) from W.H. Taylor to Smithurst

Place: Saint James, Assiniboia [Red River Settlement]

From: W. H. Taylor

To: Rev. J. Smithurst, Harriston [Ontario]

Delivery: Postal system in Canada

Details: 16pp + addressed envelope with postal marks

Notes: A long and detailed letter from Reverend William Henry Taylor of Saint James parish along the Assiniboine River. Rev. Taylor writes to Rev. John Smithurst, updating him on the Red River Settlement. Much of the news has to do with repairing the extensive damage caused by the great flood in 1852. No one seems to be able to find enough workers for these repairs.

Mentioned are:
Father E.G. Gear, who broke his leg.
Mr. Robert Logan and Mrs. Logan, who are living near where the flax mill stood.
Old Mr. Pritchard and his wife died.
Their son, Sam Pritchard, teaches at St. Paul's school. His brother, Arelui (?), married.
Mr. Smith the Collector and Mr. Pruden are briefly mentioned.
Rev. Abraham Cowley and Mrs. Cowley are mentioned multiple times. Rev. Cowley now has a Seraphine instrument which Mrs. Cowley plays during services. Rev. Cowley also has detailed plans for the repair and renovation of his church.
Archdeacon James Hunter now has a barrel organ at the Rapids church (also known as St. Andrew's).
Thomas Cook is catechist at Nepowewin mission. Rev. Henry Budd says the work there is difficult.
Rev. Robert Hunt is at English River, also known as the Stanley mission near Lac la Ronge, and he is building an expensive and impressive church.
Rev. Henry Budd is at The Pas with a young Rev. Henry George, but plans to leave for Nepowewin permanently in the Spring.
Rev. William Stagg is struggling at Manitoba.
Rev. Kirkby is still assistant at St. Andrew's.
McDonald is at Islington (White Dog) but has health problems.
Watkins is leaving Fort George possibly for Cumberland.
Rev. William Mason has success in his work, but following the Bishop's visit, disease broke out and killed multiple Natives. Small pox is rampant among the Plains people in the area of Beaver Creek and Touchwood Hills.
The steam mill is producing excellent flour.
Political unrest as renewal of the Hudson's Bay Company's charter is being debated in England. A Mr. Kennedy and Donald Gunn have written and circulated a petition to the Canadian Legislature urging them to become involved.

Taylor, William Henry