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Loose item from 1885 scrapbook: letter to mother (20, 25 July 1885)
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20, 25 Jul. 1885 (Vervaardig)
3 folded sheets and 1 sheet (14 pages) of textual material ; 20.5 x 12.7 cm
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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 Resistance 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.
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A handwritten letter from Roger Pocock at Prince Albert to his mother in Ontario. The letter is descriptive of native dress and NWMP horse dress, complete with small illustrations to accompany the written description. Roger is uncertain about whether he will be able to remain with the NWMP, and discusses possible future options, including returning home for a visit. He continues the letter over a period of days, and describes for his mother problems with drunkenness in the Force, and related discipline problems. He also discusses the suicide of a Sioux prisoner in their Fort.
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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.
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This letter was a loose item in the 1885 Pocock scrapbook.
Order of pages is not consecutive, follow the page numbers given
Formerly accessioned as 2008.6.1.1.1.25