Title and statement of responsibility area
Loose item from 1886 scrapbook: letter to mother (6 August 1886)
General material designation
- Textual record
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Title statements of responsibility
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Edition statement of responsibility
Statement of scale (cartographic)
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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
6 August 1886 (Creation)
- Pocock, Roger
Physical description area
3 folded sheets (12 pages) of textual material ; 19.9 x 12.7 cm
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Archival description area
Name of creator
Henry Roger Ashewell Pocock was born November 9, 1865 at Cookham, Berkshire, England. He came to Canada with his father in 1882, and settled in Brockville, Ontario. In 1882 and 1883, he attended the Guelph Agricultural College, and subsequently took a job as a surveyor for the Canadian Pacific Railway.
Pocock enlisted with the North-West Mounted Police at Fort Osborne in 1884. When the North West Rebellion broke out, Pocock marched with Colonel Irvine's relief force from Regina to Prince Albert in the winter weather, freezing his feet during the trek. As a result of the advanced frostbite to his feet, Pocock had to have several toes amputated, rendering him an invalid constable. He kept a diary/scrapbook for each year he was with the N.W.M.P., and later used the collections to write and publish a series of fictional books based on his experiences, the first successful of which was a biographical work titled "Following the Frontier" (N.Y., 1903) also published as "A Frontiersman" (London, 1903). According to Watters (A Check List of Canadian Literature, 1628-1950), Pocock published at least 15 titles between 1888 and 1931. In 1905, Pocock went on to found "The Legion of Frontiersmen of the Commonwealth." He died November 12, 1941.
Scope and content
Letter from Pocock to his mother dated 6 August 1886. Pocock writes of his anticipated sick leave. He will receive treatment in Regina, but does not want to stay there for the recovery; he will put in a request to have his sick leave in either Toronto or Banff. He then anticipates being discharged and having to find a place to settle that has mild winter temperatures because of his frostbitten foot. He writes about setting up a cigar shop in Vancouver and selling the land once real estate prices go up.
He mentions an incident involving his friend Monty over a revolver; he then describes the revolver in detail supplied with a sketch of it. Pocock writes about his new found confidence and his preferences in fashion and personal grooming.
He mentions that there was a hailstorm the previous night from which there was "immense damage"; he sketched the size of the hail stones. Pocock purchased four [paintings?] of Lake Superior by Fred Bingham. He is writing essays on religious topics and is not ready to submit them.
Immediate source of acquisition
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Restrictions on access
All researchers (including students, faculty, visiting scholars, and members of the general public) must submit a Retrieval Request Form at least 24 hours before their visit to Bruce Peel Special Collections in order to be sure that library materials have been retrieved from storage and are available for their use.
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
The letter is a loose item from the 1886 Pocock Scrapbook. Originally found together with several other letters between pages 48-49.