III: routes (and landward sailors’ worlds)

1. Ocean Arcs [under construction]



2. ‘Swallowing the Anchor’: Sailors’ Communities Ashore


These pages will feature a series of descriptions of communities sailors married into, retired into, and participated in settling. The goal is to acknowledge the maritime component to the North American past while imagining the North West in Canadian history.

For example, a community that figures significantly in historiography about Western Canada, Red River Settlement, was home to such seafarers as:

  • mariners:

Captain Colin Sinclair,

Captain William Kennedy,

Ranald McDonald.

  • ships’ surgeons:

John Bunn,

  • trans-Atlantic voyagers: men, women, and children.


Print with varnish, “Untitled – Child on ship with fish and dog.” Source: Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. R9266-2168, online MIKAN no. 3029854.

Harriet Cowan,

Letitia Hargrave,

While the Red River Resistance took place many miles inland and is not thought of as connected to maritime matters, it should not be mistaken for a site that was overly disconnected from the wider world. Not only did retired sailors live in the community, a fair number of its members can be considered world travellers of their time, having trekked vast distances overland and over waters that included rivers and lakes, seas and oceans. I have, therefore, included on this site notes for a lecture given in 2006 for the course: History 1013, Issues in Canadian History, Memorial University of Newfoundland. The lecture outline, an annotated timeline, and the notes can be accessed through this link: The Red River Resistance and the Creation of Manitoba.’

The landed regions of Atlantic Canada represented ‘sailors’ worlds’ that were part of the larger Atlantic world due to the proximity to seas and utilization of maritime means of communication. The link, Lectures in the History of Atlantic Canada, connects to a compendium of notes &c. compiled for instructing ‘Hist. 2400, Atlantic Canada since 1500,’ at Memorial University of Newfoundland in 2007.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.