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Cockran, William
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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

1847 (Apr) from Duncan Finlayson to Smithurst

Place: Lachine

From: Dun: Finlayson

To: Revd Inv: Smithurst, Red River Settlement

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

Details: 3pp + integral address.

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

Finlayson, Duncan

1847 (Jan & 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 (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 (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.”

1852 (Feb) from W.G. Smith to Smithurst

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

From: W.G. Smith

To: Rev’d J. Smithurst, Wirksworth, Derbyshire (England)

Delivery: Great Britain mail

Details: 3pp + addressed envelope with postal marks (stamp removed)

Notes: Hudson’s Bay Company secretary W.G. Smith writes to say he is glad that Rev. Smithurst is enjoying himself upon his return to England, and discusses some outstanding balances due, including money from Henry Cook. He also mentions that he has a received large order from Rev. Cockran for blankets to be distributed to the Indians of his old mission.

Smith, William Gregory

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