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Bruce Peel Special Collections Smithurst, John Winnipeg, MB
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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.

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

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

1849 (Jan) from Peter Garrioch to Smithurst

Place: [Red River Settlement]

From: Peter Garrioch

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

Details: 4pp and integral address

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

Garrioch, Peter

1849 (Jul) from 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 (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

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

1841 (Apr) from William Cockran to Smithurst

Place: Grand Rapids [Red River Settlement]

From: William Cockran

To: Rev. J. Smithurst, Indian Settlement

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

Details: 1 pp + integral address face

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

Cockran, William

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

Place: Lower Fort Garry

From: [Hudson’s Bay Company]

To: The Rev’d John Smithurst, Indian Settlement

Delivery: Local courier (probably HBC courier)

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

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

Hudson's Bay Company

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

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

[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

1849 (Sept) from William Douglas Lane to Smithurst

Place: Lower Fort Garry

From: W. Lane

To: Rev’d J. Smithurst, Indian Settlement

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

Details: 1pp + integral address face

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

Lane, William Douglas

1850 (Sept) from William Douglas Lane to Smithurst

Place: [Lower Fort Garry]

From: W[illiam Douglas] Lane

To: Rev’d J. Smithurst, Indian Settlement

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

Details: 2pp + integral address face

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

Lane, William Douglas

1851 (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

1858 (Feb) from David Anderson to Smithurst

Place: Bishop’s Court [the name of the bishop's home in Red River]

From: David Rupertsland

To: Rev. J. Smithurst, Elora nr Guelph, Canada West

Delivery: Postal system in the U.S.A. and Canada

Details: 8pp on blue paper + addressed envelope with postal marks (stamp removed)

Notes: A friendly letter dated February 18th from David Anderson, Lord Bishop of Rupert’s Land, to Reverend John Smithurst. Postscript written February 27th.

Anderson, David

1859 (Feb) from David Anderson to Smithurst

Place: [Red River?]

From: David Rupertsland

To: The Rev J Smithurst, Lea Hurst, Harriston P.O., Minto, Wellington, Canada West

Delivery: Postal system in Canada.

Details: 2pp + addressed envelope with postal marks (stamp removed)

Notes: A short letter written by David Anderson, Lord Bishop of Rupert’s Land, to Reverend Smithurst with recent news.

Anderson, David