Sunday, July 24, 2011

"Marineau" at Fort Alexandria

I am going to take a break, and return to Fort Alexandria.
By accident I discovered the name of my favorite man there, and I will write his story, as far as I can.
I was hard to tell in the various writings in the fur trade journals whether this man was named Martineau, or Marineau -- I decided it was Marineau and that was the name I used in my manuscript.
It appears that Bruce Watson, in his Lives Lived West of the Divide, was almost as confused about the name as I was.
He wavered between the names 'Martineau' and 'Marineau,' but gave him another proper name -- Desasten.
No wonder I couldn't find Marineau in his book!

So, from Bruce McIntyre Watson's book, Lives Lived West of the Divide, volume 1, page 327, here is Marineau's description:

Desasten (Martineau), Louis [variation: Desastin] (c.1800-?) (Canadian-French)
Birth: Probably Riviere du Loup, Lower Canada, c. 1800
Death: Possibly west of the Rockies.
Fur Trade employee
HBC Middleman, New Caledonia (1826-1829),
Middleman or Labourer, Thompson River, (1829-1840),
Middleman and trader, Thompson River, (1840-1841),
Middleman, New Caledonia, (1841-1842),
Middleman, Fort Alexandria, (1842),
Middleman, New Caledonia, (1842-1843),
Horsekeeper, New Caledonia, (1843-1850),
Horsekeeper, Fort Alexandria, (1850-52),
Horsekeeper, Thompson River, (1852-1853), and
Middleman, Thompson River, (1853-1858).

Louis Desasten (Marineau) joined the HBC in 1825 from Riviere du Loup. He worked mainly in the New Caledonia and Thompson River area until about 1858.

From the Fort Alexandria journals of Alexander Caulfield Anderson, this is what I know about the man:
"Monday 21st (November 1842) -- Fair and mild. Despatched Mr. Donald McLean for Chilcotins on Saturday last, with Linneard [Leonard] & Marineau & sundry goods & provs. as per Blotter...
"Mon. 28th (Nov.) -- Yest. Marineau & John arrived from Chilcotin trip -- Mr. McL. informs me all is well there.

Thurs. 15th (Dec.) -- Fine. Michel Ogden and Marineau ret'd from Barge [the Native village south of Fort Alexandria]. They have brought a mere nothing -- say some half score Beaver & a few small furs. The Indians have not hunted at all in that direction since last summer. A great many, from all directions, were assembled at the Barge, & they one & all make great promises for the future.
Saturday 17th -- Thomas, who came here with Marineau for his rations -- sought his horses, but did not succeed in finding them.

Marineau had a Native wife: "Tuesday 27th -- Dispatched Edouard Lolo and Marineau's brother in law to Kamloops with the letters rec'd yesterday [from Fort St. James]. Sent likewise 30 iron harrow teeth, requested by Mr. Tod."

1843 -- "Fri. 6th Jan. -- Snowing in the morning. Then a violent south wind arose & the snow drifted much. Sent Marineau & Michel Ogden off before day to the Island to see after the Torche who remained there last night. I was fearful that he would attempt to cross in quest of the mare & share her fate; but they found him all safe and crossed him without difficulty a little higher up, where the ice is quite solid. I reproach myself with not having sent Marineau yesterday, by which measure the loss of the mare would have been avoided. [Torche is a horse].
Marineau is spending his time at the Horse Guard, obviously. "Sat. 13th -- Misty and rather colder. Marineau returned from below accompanied by Thomas, who come for his rations.
But I wonder is the man I thought was Mariscotte, is Marineau? These names are handwritten, and not necessarily clearly written! "These horses, it is necessary to state, were lost prior to my arrival, Mariscatte having been alone down at the guard & apparently having neglected them. Since Thomas has been there I have every reason to be satisfied with their care of the horses...."

Feb., Wed. 15th -- "Having sent Linneard to visit the cattle at Stonia on Monday last, he brought the intelligence that one of the cows had got tangled in the flooring of the barn there, and had lost her life in consequence. Yesterday I sent off Marineau & Tout-Laid to get the skin, which they brought.

Marineau often led the outgoing express in the early spring to Fort Colvile -- I think he travelled more than Peter Skene Ogden did!
April 25th, 1843 -- "About noon the long looked for party from Colvile made their appearance (Marineau, Vautrin, & an Indian) -- the express had not rached Colvile when they left 7th inst. Marineau informs me that the missing horse from the Land had reached Thompson's River.
If Mariscat is Marineau, he went out with the brigade and returned with Anderson [who did not go all the way to Fort Vancouver] in May -- "23rd, Mariscat & Montigny arrived with Mr. Anderson's baggage." So, Mariscat and Marineau might be two different men, or they may be the same. Whatever the answer may be, there is no sign of Marineau around the fort until ....
Aug. 1843, "29th ... Marineau visited the horses & crossed more to fort. At present stationed here. A.C.A., Gendron, Therouiac, Marineau, Michel Ogden, I Linneard, Edouard Montigny (Tout Laid, Jack & Baptiste [?] Indians). And at the Chilcotins, Mr. McLean & Bapt. Lapierre.
Friday 1st Sept., "He [Linneard] & Marineau, with M. Ogden & an Indian, afterwards carting barley of which 10 cart loads were brought home."
Tues. 5th -- "Unfortunately one of the wheels of Linneard's cart got broken, through the upsetting of the cart. This about noon, the vehicle was laid by & Marineau continued alone.
Fri. 8th -- "Marineau took in the remainder of the large field wheat. This, with one half of the patch near the barn (which by the way contained 3 loads only) fills the barn-- say 72 loads in all. Afterwards all hands at the other wheat fields. The oats are sheaved and stoked.

Sept. 27th -- "Moody weather. Liard thrashing our barley. The rest at cavereau except Marineau, who arranged his saddles and the apres in the store.
Thurs. 28th -- "Fine. Sent Marineau down to Terre Blanche [White Earth] to see that the horses are all well, and in readiness for express party, now shortly to set out.

About six months of journals missing.

[no date] "Want of ink has interrupted my journal for a time but now by the arrival of Marineau from Colvile, I have received a supply. He & Gendron arrived here yesterday (18th) but there was no intelligence of import, further than the safe arrival of Mr. Ogden at Colvile on the 16th ulto.
Saty. 20th -- "Marineau at apres, Gendron sifting flour.
[Apres is saddles and saddleblankets, harnesses, etc.]

Marineau is nowhere around the fort until September 1844: "...find myself with Marineau, Gendron, Therioac and Michel Ogden ... to conduct the duties of the place.
"Friday 6th -- "Rainy. Water high & [driving]. Theriouc & Marineau working at tumbrill... 7th -- Marineau & assistants collecting horses, some of which have strayed off.
Friday 26th -- "Men continued making road on hill. Montigny & Marineau collecting horses, to take them to Terra Blanche where they should have gone before, but for the detention of Montigny.

In October 1844, Monday 7th, "Marineau off to meet the Express party at Colvile. He is accompanied by Tout Laid taking on a relay of horses to leave at Kamloops for return, say 40 in all.
And in November 1844 he returns: "the Yk Express arrived on Sat'y in charge of Mr. Thos. Charles, a young man recently from England. Three servants (new hands) with Marineau & Toutlaid.
And this is hard to read: Nov., Mon. 18th, "Today .. great surprise, Vautrin cast up from thleuz-cuz having a letter from Mr. Todd dated 17th inst. notifying that the [fall] fishery .. that he had killed a horse (Rapide) some time previously for food, and now trusts entirely upon what I am [sending] by Marineau." It appears that Marineau is delivering the food supplies west to the little Thleuz-cuz post.

Thurs. 5th December -- "Poor Marineau, having met with severe lacerations of the eye, lies [in a bad way] & suffers much. I am doing what I can to relieve him.
[He bleeds him].
Saty. 7th -- "Marineau is much relieved. His eye is now, I trust, out of present danger.
Tues. 10th -- "Michel Ogden & Laframboise set out in quest of the two horses left behind by Marineau.
Mon. 30th & Tues. 31st -- "Marineau & the Indn lads cutting wood.

1845, January 3rd -- "Carting hay, thrashing &c &c. Marineau visited the horses at Prele Island & found them well & fattening.
Fri. 17th -- "Marineau carting snow out of the fort, with Tout Laid &c.
Fri. 24th -- "Men disposed as follows: Gendron, Kitchen; Marineau, cutting wood in lieu of Rene who is sick; Linneard & Cadotte thrashing wheat...

Sat. 8th May -- "This morning Mr. Lane set out for Colvile on his way to Canada. Two retiring servants accompany him, Lefevre & Thirouiac -- Marineau & Gendron also, to return to Alexandria.
Mon. 10th -- "Fine weather. On Saturday night, notwithstanding every precaution that I had taken, the rascally dogs from above broke into the yard, and having forced their way into the poultry house, destroyed nearly all the turkeys & one half of the hens, before they were discovered. Fortunately I overheard the noise & saved the remainder. 4 hen turkeys only remain. 33 or 34 head of all sorts have been destroyed. I have sent a note after Mr. Lane to endeavour to send me a couple of turkey cocks by Marineau.

Marineau's return was invisible in the journals, but he must have returned. In October 1845, Saty 4th -- "I am anxiously expecting the boat from above, having everything in readiness for Marineau's departure, but delaying solely on this account. I have determined on waiting till Monday, when if the party be not arrived, Marineau must set out with Tout Laid who is the only disposable individual I have to accompany him.
Mon. 6th -- "Fine weather. Marineau set out for Colvile with the horses for the express party. Tout Laid goes with him. They take hence 40 horses, 20 having been sent on to Kamloops some time ago, to recruit in readinesss -- say 60 in all -- 30 of which go on & 30 remain at T.R. as a relay.
Friday 10th -- "Yesterday evening the long expected boat arrived, having been delayed at Stuarts Lake during 13 days for some reason -- Marineau is now off 4 days and will probably arrive at Kamloops today, so it is bootless to think of overtaking him, even had I horses &c in readiness, which I have not.

Again, Marineau's return is invisible, and in November 1845 he is sent "to bring these animals back; and it is understood that should circumstances render it imprudent to take them the whole distance, they will be sent back and the party proceed on foot.
Fri. 19th -- "Marineau arrived from Ft. George. Eight of his horses have remained along the road. Five of these were left at W.Road River being tired; but as they are in excellent pasturage with long grass & prele, there is little to apprehend as to them passing the winter. Two others are close at hand, & will be sent for in a day or two. The remaining one is doubtless dead, having been left weak and sick upon the road. By referring to the entry of 24th ulto. it will be seen upon what terms I supplied these horses for the accommodation of Mr. [Paul] Frasers' party, and I am now compelled to remark that the promise then made by Mr. F. has been [infringed]. Marineau on several occasions (as he tells me) represented that owing to the snow being deeper than was expected in the portage, it would be advisable not to take the horses further, but to no purpose. ..the responsibility remains with Mr. Fraser.

December, Fri. 26th -- "Marineau for some days past has been visiting his horses in different directions. Some of the poorest I have caused to be brought to the yard to winter. In general where sickness has not reduced them, the horses are in good condition.
1st January 1846 -- "...which Michel Takatane will take on with the accounts tomorrow morning to Fort George. Gendron & Marineau will remain in charge here during my temporary absence. I shall endeavour to get back in 20 days.

March 1846 -- Thurs. 19th. "Same weather. Express party off about 8am. to encamp at the guard when they will get fresh horses. Marineau, Wentrel, Desautels, Lanctot, & Charbonneau compose the party -- the first and last to return from Colvile.
In September Marineau is cutting some of the crops. On October 26th Marineau and party "returned from trip to Barrier & Barge, having traded nearly 9M salmon, with some salmon oil & a few furs as per Blotter."
Oct. 9th -- "Rainy. Yesterday evening the long expected boat from S. Lake arrived, and this morning Marineau & Ignace, with Mr. Willm. Todd on his way to Vancr., set out to meet the East side Express. Four men, Crete, Fallardeau, Vautrin & Roi are come down to winter here.
Friday, Nov. 17th -- "So he will wait until the arrival of the Express party which cannot now be long delayed.
Tues. 8th -- "Montigny is arrived from the guard for provisions. His time has been out two weeks or more, but he delayed from day to day in hopes of Marineau's arrival.
Saty. 19th -- "We continue anxiously to look out for Marineau, who does not yet make his appearance.
Wed. 23rd -- "This afternoon Edouard Montigny cast up with the east side packet, having left Marineau at the Lake this morning. The detention of the party arose from the late arrival of the East side people.
Thurs. 24th -- "Marineau arrived today.

January 1847, Tues. 5th -- "Marineau, Linneard & Fallardeau carting -- the first fuel, the two latter with trains transporting hay from Stonia.
Saty. 23rd -- "Marineau's wife has been laid up for some time & is in much danger. A sharp inflammation of the lungs has supervened upon other disorders.
Wed. 27th -- "Marineau doing no duty save taking care of his wife, who, I fear, may not recover. I am treating her with a continued course of Tartar Emetic; which seems to have a favorable effect & now that its effect as a vomit is subsided, causes a profuse expectoration of viscid phlegm.

I don't know if Marineau's wife recovered, but Marineau soon returned to work.
Thurs. March 18th -- "Express party set out this morning -- say Marineau (to return), Beardy, Perier, Lacourse, Charbonneau & Desautels; retiring servants.
April 23rd -- "The letters now read [are] dated early in January -- Marineau who I fear will not reach this place for some days, will bring us later intelligence -- which in the pending critical state of affairs along the Col[umbi]a is very desirable.

A few days later, Anderson left Fort Alexandria on his first expedition across country to Fort Langley from Kamloops, and returned in September.
Monday 27th -- "Marineau continues arranging his saddles &c for the trip to Colvile.
Wed. 29th -- "Same weather. Marineau called me to day to witness the state of the cords left here by the brigade, as large numbers of which are cut and hacked in a shameful manner. I have told the man to get these cords, or at least such of them as he can discover in looking over the heap, laid aside and tied in bunches with Lapierre as his witness -- as it has been too frequently the practice of [others] to ascribe this [...] to cutting of cords, and the dilapidated condition of the horse accoutrements through neglect along the road, to carelessness on the part of Marineau and others at Alex.r who occasionally have to deal with them. [Hard to read].

Monday 4th October -- "The party crossed over yesterday morning; but they did not get their horses in till late so camped and made an early start today. As directed by the Board of Management, Marineau is [provided] with the men &c necessary for transporting [unknown] from Colvile to Kamloops. Marineau, Crete, Gendron, Michel & two Owyhee set out; but Marineau has sent one of the Owyhees back, the plea that he can make no use of him and preferred being quit of him altogether. [Having been] disappointed of the arrival of Fallardeau, as promised [by ...] as horse keep during Marineau's absence, I am under the necessity of entrusting the band to two Indians (Tout Laid & Padou), the last engaged for the purpose till Marineau returns. This is the only alternative I can adopt, as I have no one here capable of the duty.
Monday 18th -- "Returned yesterday from the Guard. The horses I found well; with the exception of 3 which had been lost by Marineau on his way out, had fallen into the hands of Inds. Two of these I recovered at the other end of the lake -- the third (which had since its loss been stabbed by an Indn.) yesterday at the Rapids. It appears that the three horses were lost at the Rocher by Marineau, who commissioned an Indn. to look for them (the same that brought me the two above mentioned -- William's brother). He found them; while under his care an Indn of the Barge, Toolh-paesk, by name, stole one; and made off with it on the road towards Kamloops. Meanwhile Missoolah (alia, "the murderer") who had accompanied Marineau as far as Lac a la Hache, where the Inds. were assembled in numbers, met the thief on his return. He demanded the horse, but the demand was ignored, and as the thief was supported (as it was said) by numerous party, Missoolah had much difficulty and by his own account ran considerable risk in obtaining it.

A Mr. Martineau has come down from Fort St. James -- not the same man that worked all these years at Fort Alexandria, as Marineau is still away from the fort.
So, I wonder -- is Bruce Watson confusing the two men? Is Marineau the man he has named "Louis Destasten" in his article, or is it this Martineau man from Fort St. James?
Marineau returns to Fort Alexandria, from Fort Colvile, on the 26th of December, delayed because in spite of the horses the Fort Alexandria men sent to Kamloops, there were not enough to carry them home!
In January Marineau works with the cattle; and everyone gets a dose of the measles. Marineau, however, is sent off to Kamloops in mid-February, and returns in mid-April with flour and provisions for the brigade, and seed for the farm.
Some of the horses are scattered, and others damaged or killed by the Natives.
On Mon. April 24th, "Marineau &c gathering horses on this side preparatory to crossing them."
Of course Anderson left Fort Alexandria with the outgoing brigade, and when he returned from his second expedition to Fort Langley, he gathered his family, who had spent the summer at Kamloops, and led them east to his new posting at Fort Colvile.

I think you can see how steady a man Marineau is, and how his character shows through in Anderson's records.
Marineau remains my favorite fur trade employee, even though I do not really know if his name really is Desasten.
But if Louis Desasten is a different man than Marineau, then I haven't really solved the mystery of Marineau's identity.
I probably won't know if Martineau and Marineau are two different men until I read the Fort St. James post journals for the early 1840's -- if they exist!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Beaulieus west of the mountains

I have talked about our Beaulieu ancestor as if I knew he came to the west of the mountains with the fur trade of the North West Company -- and yes, some descendants of Charlot Beaulieu Birnie said he did.
But there are other ways that he could have arrived here, with other explorers that came west through the Mississippi -- the Lewis and Clark expedition, for example.
Meriwether Lewis and William Clark led an expedition called the Corps of Discovery on a voyage of exploration from St. Louis, up the Missouri River and over the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific coast.
They left St. Louis in May,1804, and a full eighteen months later they spotted the Pacific Ocean -- "Ocean in View! O! the Joy!" Clark wrote in his journal.
The explorers left Fort Clatsop on March 23, 1806, and arrived back in St. Louis on September 23 of the same year.
They had been away from St. Louis for two and half years.

French Canadian voyageurs travelled west with them, and some of them may have remained behind when Lewis and Clark returned to the east.
I knew of this cross-country journey, and I carefully checked out the names of the men who travelled with them, in search of Beaulieu.
I did not find him.

At the same time I knew that other men had come west, and that these other men may have used the services of these efficient French Canadian voyageurs.
However, researching this history takes time and energy, and because I live in Canada, its not as easy to research as it would be if I lived in the United States.
Libraries tend to carry books of interest primarily to Canadians, and the University Library is a little more difficult to access than it has been in the past.
But with the publication of Eric Jay Dolin's book, Fur, Fortune and Empire: the epic history of the Fur Trade in America, that research has become a little easier.
Dolin tells us of the other explorers who travelled west into the fur trade, and now we have a list of men to follow into the Kootenais district.

The Lewis and Clark expedition left St. Louis in 1804 and returned in 1806.
"Although the expedition can't be credited with sparking the western fur trade," Dolin says, "it did propel it forward.
"The detailed information about the physical and natural geography of the lands explored by the expedition, especially those surrounding the upper Missouri and beyond, excited and inspired St. Louis furtraders, one in particular being Manuel Lisa."

Manuel Lisa, a Spaniard born in New Orleans in 1772, had come north to St. Louis in the late 1790's.
Very quickly he established himself as one of St. Louis' leading fur traders, competing heavily with the Chouteau family of fur traders.
Lisa was an aggressive and abrasive man who believed the end justified the means, according to Dolin.
The men who knew him, and those who worked for him, loathed him.
Fur trade historian Hiram Chittenden said of Lisa, "In boldness of enterprise, persistency of purpose, and in restless energy, he was a fair representative of the Spaniard of the days of Cortez."
But, he added, if Lisa was unscrupulous, "the only difference between him and his detractors is that he was too sharp for them and succeeded where they failed."

In the spring of 1807, Manuel Lisa left St. Louis with fifty or sixty men, including a few members of the Corps of Discovery.
They used keelboats -- barges about fifty to seventy five feet long and eight to eighteen feet wide -- which they cordelled, warped, or poled upriver.
Sometimes they rowed the boats in deep water, and sometimes if the wind blew from the east they sailed.
He both traded directly with the Indians and sent men into the wilderness to trap for themselves.
Each man had a rifle, a horse or mule, and six or eight steel traps.
In addition to their wages, the men earned a portion of the profits from the furs they trapped for themselves -- an added incentive to work hard.
Manuel Lisa built a fort at the confluence of the Yellowstone and Bighorn Rivers, first called Fort Manuel or Fort Lisa.
This was the first building built in Montana, predating David Thompson's Saleesh House post!
Manuel Lisa and his men remained in the area until 1808, when he returned to St. Louis with his furs.

Immediately another group of businessmen set out for the upper Missouri.
This group included some members of Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery (as had Manuel Lisa's).
It was back by the Chouteau family, and other stockholders included Meriwether Lewis' brother, Reuben; Alexander Henry and Pierre Menard; and William Clark himself.
Apparently Alexander Henry and Pierre Menard led the group, beginning their journey west in spring 1809.
They built a trading post at a place called the Three Forks, which in April 1810 came under attack by a roving band of Blackfeet.
Again it appears that they did not depend on the Natives for their fur trade, but also sent men out to trap for furs.
Some of the men were attacked and brutally murdered, and Henry and Menard were eventually forced to close their Three Forks post.
Menard returned to St. Louis with their furs, while Alexander Henry headed south over the continental divide to set up a post on the north fork of the Snake River.
He was the fur American fur trader to operate west of the Rocky Mountains.
If my map of Oregon and Upper California from the surveys of John Charles Fremont (13696C, BCA) is correct, then his post was probably built on what is labelled Henry's Fork on the upper Snake River, just west of the Three Tetons.
On the east side of the Wind River Mountains are the many rivers that feed into the Missouri and the upper reaches of the Yellowstone River.

So, as you can see, there are two other major fur traders who might have employed a French Canadian named Beaulieu -- who might have come from the Red River district after 1805 (when his first daughter was supposedly born), and was in the Montana/Idaho area by 1809-10.
I haven't yet done a search for journals or for lists of French Canadian employees, but it is possible that I might find a Beaulieu man here.
This would confuse the issue somewhat -- Birnie descendants might be incorrect when they say Beaulieu worked for the North West Company.
Their statements are secondary sources -- written after the fact by people who were not involved in the actions of the person they are writing of.
Birnie probably met Beaulieu, but he never wrote anything down -- these notes come from Birnie's son-in-law, A.C. Anderson, who never knew Beaulieu, and Anderson's son James, who got the story from Birnie, or from Charlot.

Another fur trader also penetrated the west at this time, but I am not sure our Beaulieu would have come with him.
At the same time Manuel Lisa was pushing his way up the Missouri in spring 1807, John Jacob Astor was making plans to build a series of fur trade forts along the Missouri -- and up and over the mountains and down the Columbia River all the way to the Pacific!
In 1808 he incorporated his American Fur Company and its subsidiary company, the Pacific Fur Company.
It wasn't until 1810 that Astor's ship sailed from New York, arriving at the mouth of the Columbia in February, 1811.
His land expedition never reached Astoria until 1812.
I believe these late dates mean that I do not have to look in the records of the American Fur Company for our voyageur, Beaulieu.

So, if you are in the position of looking for your French-Canadian ancestor, and you cannot trace how he got to the west, these early explorering expeditions will give you another place to look.
Unless you have clear records that show how your ancestors came into the west, you have to look at these American explorations, even if it is only to cross them off your list.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Descendants of David Thompson's men Facebook page

For those of you who are interested in history and who may be descended from one of David Thompson's men, I have set up a Descendants of David Thompson's men Facebook page.
To join, click the Friend request, and I will let you in.
I do not have strict requirements -- in fact I am going to post the story of the Okanagan Natives who traded at Saleesh House when David Thompson's men were there.
To me at least, that means that the descendants of Chief Nkwala and other Natives who traded at David Thompson's post will also be welcome to join the group, if they wish.

If you are members of British Columbia Historical Federation and have just received their newsletter, British Columbia History [Summer 2011], you will see that John Whittaker has written and submitted an article on Athabasca Pass, the BC-Alberta Heritage Trail.
"The Athabasca Pass was one of the longest used and historically important passes within British Columbia," he writes.
"The Athabasca River, through its tributary the Whirlpool River, connects Alberta to British Columbia via Pacific Creek, Jeffrey Creek, and Wood River and eventually into the Columbia River.
"It is about seventy-two km. as the crow flies from the Athabasca River ford (Grande Traverse) to the now submerged historical site of Boat Encampment at the junction of the Canoe, Wood and Columbia Rivers.
"The Pass was used continuously by the North West Company and then the Hudson's Bay Company from 1811 to 1853."
There is lots more information about the various resting places in this article, and so if you are interested in the Athabasca Pass area and David Thompson's history, you should pick up a copy of British Columbia History; Journal of the British Columbia Historical Federation, Summer 2011, Vol. 44, No. 2 (cost about $7.00).

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Good morning, again

I have returned, after a few weeks when I was so busy I hardly knew which way to turn.
The publisher's editor and I have now chosen all the photographs and maps, and placed them in the book.
Next came the captions.
For a few weeks I had lists of captions to write, one for each photograph or map in the book.
When I thought I had finished, the publisher's editor then email me with her edits, asking me to check that each caption said what we intended it to say.
For the next few days I got up every morning to a long list of things I had to do, and worked on it before I went to work.
When I came home at night I had another list of things to do.

When this was finished the next chore was ordering scans of all the important archival photos we have chosen to put in the book.
These photos are important because they show the landscape before modern day highways altered it beyond recognition.
In the meantime, the book is being "created" in Vancouver.
Spiral bound copies of the book, with low-resolution copies of the illustrations, are being sent out to other historians or writers for cover quotes.

On top of all this work that we (the publisher's editor and I) rushed through, I had a visit from an Anderson-Seton descendant I had often talked to, but never met.
He found time to come to Victoria for a few days, and we visited the 1867 map in the British Columbia archives, and tried to find the Anderson graves in Ross Bay cemetery.
James Robert Anderson is buried there with his wife, Maisie.
So, too, is Alexander, son of Alexander Caulfield Anderson.
Although we knew the Block Number of the grave-site, we couldn't find it!
In spite of the fact I have easily found the grave-site before, we needed the map on this occasion.

After that we followed the trail to his ancestor's house in Victoria, and pictures that he had in his collection of photos confirmed that this house was his g.grandfather's house.
Walter Birnie Anderson, a carpenter amongst other things, apparently built this house and lived in it for many years.
Picture James Robert Anderson and Walter Birnie Anderson -- both sons of Alexander Caulfield Anderson -- sitting in front of the fireplace in this old house in the early 1900's, and sharing stories of past memories.
These two men planned to write a book of "Indian stories," according to papers in James' manuscript collection.
They never did, and the book never materialized though James collected many Indian stories.

The next morning we were joined by another descendant of Alexander Caulfield Anderson, at Alexander Caulfield Anderson's grave-site at South Saanich cemetery.
We were joined by another fur trade descendant who is related to the Anderson family three ways -- two of her ancestors married Birnie girls, and she is also descended from Anderson's brother's father-in-law, Roderick McKenzie, who is not the cousin of Alexander Mackenzie.
We met at the gates of the cemetery, and together we viewed the large, beautiful, stone cross that stands on Alexander Caulfield Anderson's grave.
We also found Walter Birnie Anderson's grave, and heard stories about his daughter, Mary Seton, who died of cancer and is buried there.
My aunt is buried beside Mary Seton Anderson.
Born a few years before she was, Claire was brought home to die, my mother said, but Claire was three years old before she actually did.
We discovered that the South Saanich cemetery, which is threatened with closure, is celebrating its 150th anniversary in June, 2012.
They are searching for descendants of those buried there, to join in the celebrations.
So those of you who read this blog and are descendants of people connected with the South Saanich cemetery at St. Stephens' churchyard, take heed and contact the office to join the celebrations.

After lunch we all went to my sister's house to celebrate the occasion, and drank a little wine that had Alexander Caulfield Anderson's name on the label.
The wine is produced by the Okanagan wintery, Ganton & Larsen Prospect Winery, and is called Council's Punch Bowl Sauvignon Blanc.
The label reads "This lake was discovered by Alexander Caulfield Anderson of the Hudson's Bay Company in 1846 while searching for a route to the interior from the coast."
We looked at the Anderson Family Bible which I own, and took pictures.
Then Scott took out his Walter Birnie Anderson collection, and showed me an image of Alexander Caulfield Anderson I have never before seen.
He showed me the box that his g.grandfather Walter Birnie Anderson had constructed, and I looked at it and found it very familiar.
My sister has owned an almost identical box for many years, and I showed it to him.
When my sister came home she told us she got it from our deceased Anderson aunt, and she gave it to the descendant of the man who had almost certainly carved it.

It was an interesting and inspiring few days, and now I have to get back to work.
Until I am forced to take time off to create the index, I have time to spare.
I have made promises I have to keep, and will now begin to fulfill them.