Sailors and Families: Making Western Canadian Communities

Elizabeth Jameson, Catherine Cavanaugh, and Jeremy Mouat are among historians who have argued for composing histories of continental America’s West that acknowledge “Ecosystems, kin groups, economies, and people all cross[ed] those borders” that have marked modern nation states.[1] Past people, they point out, “as actors in their own lives” defined Western Canada, through “social relationships that knit the region’s history,” making a region of “various pasts.”[2] This essay demonstrates that between 1670 and 1920 HBC seafarers who moved between ship and shore, and from coastal to inland locations, can be included in an expanding historiography about migrants who “forged new identities and options for themselves” by creating social networks, communicating experiences, and connecting diverse and dispersed communities.[3] It argues that because HBC sailors had families, seafarers mattered to the making of Western Canada as a region with a promise of continuity: a place where people could imagine that successive generations would prosper.[4]

Pages on this site such as Heterogeneity and HBC Seafarers, 1508-1920, Being a HBC Sailor: Making Mutable Class, ‘Race’/Culture, and Gender, and Opportunities in Transit: HBC Ships as Sites of Social Process demonstrate that maritime practices increased communication between geographically distant communities and among diverse individuals from a variety of societies.

Historical references affirm that there were Aboriginal seafarers in Hudson and James Bays, some of whom worked for the HBC. Although Company record keepers did not always refer to informally engaged seafarers, or clearly register the origins of those formally engaged, occasionally remarks in various sources indicate cultural distinctions. For example, among seafarers from communities on the West Main who worked in various capacities in HBC maritime service and served on voyages of exploration during the early and mid-nineteenth century,

  • Tatanayuk/Augustus, and Ouligbuck, along with his son William/Marko, appear culturally Inuit.[5]
  • A similar inference is reasonable, given surname and locational affiliation, for Matthew Esquinamow of Paint Hills, on the East Main at the Bottom of the Bay, who informally entered service in 1866. As of 1871, he formally engaged as a “Slooper etc.” at Rupert’s House and Fort George, and worked for the Company to 1922.[6]
  • Less clearly, the surname of James Mark, born at Moose Factory in 1851, and working as “Pilot and General Service” in James Bay from 1911 to 1919, also suggests Aboriginality – the Marks being one of the “leading Indian families” of Moose.[7]
  • Similarly, the cultural orientation of George Spence – born circa 1874, mate of the SS Mooswa in 1912, and “General Servant & Pilot” at York Factory to 1931 – is not obvious. Clues can be found, however, in references that indicate the Mooswa had an “Indian crew,” supplemented at ship time by a commander, firemen, and engineers from off-loading transatlantic ships.[8] Although none of Spence’s contracts survives, a notation in the Fur Trade Department Records indicates, “he signed them in Cree.”[9]

Such mentions of Aboriginal seafarers in HBC maritime service in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, taken together with the stories of Bayley’s pilot in the seventeenth, and of Charles and Moses Norton of the eighteenth century, indicate interpersonal communication took place between individuals from different communities of the Northern Seaboard. There was learning, skill transfer, and technology transfer. Bayside communities that included Aboriginal people incorporated European techniques of transport.[10] There was more than a transfer of technology or knowledge however. There were also transfers of people.

Europeans who were seafarers married into Inuit and First Nations communities.[11]

  • Joseph Adams serves as an early example. At five years of age in 1705, by authority of the Overseer of the Poor, Adams was pensioned at “two shillings p. Week” and “bound out according to the form of Law to ye Hudsons Bay Company [sic]” by Captain Nicholson, “to serve the Company until he should become 24 years of age.”[12] As a “brisk, sober, industrious man” in 1723, he was sailing aboard the coastal vessel Diligence for sloop master George Gunn.[13] Within a decade, Adams was governor at Albany with “an Indian mate [meaning wife] described as being of ‘ye blood Royal’.”[14]
  • Similarly, Joseph Isbister began as an apprentice to Captain Christopher Middleton aboard the Hannah and Hudson’s Bay [IV] from 1726 to 1730, was an able seaman aboard the latter ship for five years, and then served as mate and master of the Beaver and the Moose River[II]. In 1740, he was chief factor at Albany and continued to serve in that capacity, there and at Churchill, to 1756. Although in 1748 he had formally married Judith Middleton, the daughter of his former captain, Isbister also had a country wife and family.[15]

Successive seafaring servants continued the pattern of apprentices becoming chief factors and marrying into local communities.[16] Although their apprenticeship was not always served aboard ship, such servants were nevertheless familiar with working a ship’s passage –

  • Humphrey Marten, for example,  crossed the Atlantic in 1750 aboard the Prince Rupert and re-crossed ten times afterwards. Marten married Pawpitch, “Daughter to the Captain of the Goose Hunters” – otherwise known as Questach/Cockeye – in 1775.[17] Notably, Marten successfully petitioned the Company to send a son, John America Marten to be educated in England “at great expense … The bill for the boy’s ‘maintenance and education’ in 1780 was £50.”[18]
  • Marten’s apprentice, William Sinclair of Orkney, followed his superior’s example. Sinclair began his HBC career at about age sixteen in 1782, crossing twice that year with Marten – both having been captured within days of landing by La Pérouse and summarily transported as prisoners to Europe. Both sailed back to the Bay in 1783. When Sinclair became a HBC manager, he married Nahoway, made the transatlantic crossing at least four more times before his death in 1818, and encouraged his children to make the voyage – the one son, Colin,  subsequently turned sailing the Bay and associated waters into a profession.[19]

There are also examples of men who did not transfer to landward service but continued working at sea while yet marrying into bayside communities.

  • George Taylor, of Berwick-on-Tweed, entered service as seaman in 1787 and sailed to Churchill. He served there as sloop’s mate to 1791 and afterwards served principally as a sloop and schooner master to 1814, first at Churchill, then at York, though he occasionally made transatlantic voyages. In 1818 he served as pilot aboard the chartered vessel, Britannia at York after which he apparently retired. During his service with the Company, Taylor had married an Aboriginal woman known as Jane and they had eight children.[20]
  • In 1789, Joseph Brown, of Suffolk, “arrived at Moose Factory on the Seahorse after working as crew on voyage.” He served at Moose to 1799, first as a sailor and later sloop’s mate. Subsequently, he also served at Eastmain, becoming schooner master there in 1800, and returning to Moose in that capacity from 1813 to 1816. At some point, he married a woman known as Elizabeth, an “Indian,” and they had at least three, and possibly five, children.[21]

Although the London Committee was not necessarily supportive, by the late eighteenth century, waterborne workers did not have to be officers to establish intimate country connections.[22]

  • Donald Sutherland, for instance, was a tailor and bowman at York Factory from 1798 – in other words, he was a competent sailmaker and york boat crewman.[23] During his service, he married Sally Wappis/Waspir and had at least six children.

Marriages between Aboriginal women and HBC crew and officers continued into the nineteenth century.

  • Samuel Loutit of South Ronaldshay, Orkney Islands, engaged as a middleman of york boats at Rupert House from 1829 to 1835. He worked as a slooper/sailor at the same place until he retired in 1875. Loutit married a woman of the area and had at least two children.
  • Richard Henry Bradburn of Liverpool, England, entered service in 1885 at age twenty-two as crew aboard the Princess Royal, then worked as a slooper at Moose Factory to 1888. In 1886, he married Alice, otherwise known as Apetakeshikow/Apetakeshequa. They had at least four children.[24]
  • John Taylor of Orkney, entered HBC service in 1866 as sloop master at Moose after having previously sailed in the Baltic and European coasting shipping trade. From 1873 to 1903, he was “Skipper” of the Otter and the Mink. Taylor married three times, once in Scotland, a second time to Jane Hunter at Moose with whom he had a son, and finally, approximately three years after her death in 1887, to a “young Indian woman.”[25]

The bayside communities that HBC seafarers married into not only had a high Aboriginal cultural component, they were also distinctly oriented towards waterborne modes of transportation. These were coastal communities that served transatlantic ports connected by trade to inland communities via waterways. Historically, sailors had contributed to their formation and continued to contribute to their constitution on an ongoing basis. By the late eighteenth century, in communities directly associated with HBC establishments, distinctions between ‘Aboriginal’ and ‘European’ were progressively blurred as native-born sons and daughters of seafarers and land-based workers matured, married, and had children of their own. Through marriage, each generation enlarged, and added complexity to, a distinctive social network – characterized by some historians of Western Canada as ‘fur trade society,’ and by others as ‘Company families.’[26]

  • To take one early example in which a seafarer established a family with extended connections: John McNab, ship’s surgeon in 1779, 1791, 1792, and 1799, and surgeon ashore at Albany in the intervening years, eventually became chief at Albany Fort, York Factory, and Fort Prince of Wales. He married Jane (a woman of Hudson Bay; in some accounts presumed to be the daughter of another factor, William Hemmings Cook – once described as “the Father of us all” – and one of his Cree wives).[27] McNab had at least three children, two of whom are known to have married into similarly mixed-descent families whose members – including McNabs, Bunns, McKays, Robertsons, Richards, Taylors, Moars, McDonalds, Harriots, Rosses, Sinclairs, McDougalls, Truthwaites, Sutherlands, Harriots, Donaldsons, Corstans, and Thomases – maintained ties, variously, to predominantly First Nations, Inuit, French, English, and culturally blended or ‘Métis’ communities.[28]

Aside from establishing that seafarers contributed to the formation of communities, attesting to the familial connections between ship and shore shows seafaring experience infused more historical Western Canadian families than previous historiography has implied, and in ways not considered. Although, along with the McNabs et al, seafarers’ surnames appear in histories of Red River and other settlements, numerous instances of connection have not had their seafaring context examined.[29]

  • Take, for example, sailor, sloop/schooner master, William Swanson Senior: at Moose and Albany from 1812 to 1865, he commanded the Lady Frances Simpson, the Otter, and the Beaver. He married Anne ‘Nancy’ Brown, one of four daughters of HBC sailor Joseph Brown mentioned above, and had at least eight children. Anne ‘Nancy’ Brown Taylor’s sister, Jane Brown, married James/Janus/John Omand of Holm Orkney, a HBC boatman at Moose Factory in 1827. Swanson and Omand became surnames conspicuous in inland settlements such as Red River, in First Nations bands, and in early settlements in British Columbia.[30]
  • Then, there was William Todd of Ireland, ship’s surgeon aboard the Prince of Wales in 1816, Eddystone in 1820, Lord Wellington in 1821, and the Prince Rupert in 1843 and 1844. He married “A half caste woman” Marianne Ballantyne.[31] Both Todd and Ballantyne are names that similarly figure in Western Canadian histories.

There were others:

  • Charles Begg of Favel, Sandwick, Orkney, from 1836–1839 a boatman and slooper, married Catherine Spence, daughter of George Spence and his Cree wife Catherine.
  • Thomas “(A)” Taylor of Orkney, sloop master in James Bay from 1851 to 1856, married Jennet Morrison, youngest daughter of James Morrison, blacksmith at Albany.
  • James Taylor of Birsay Orkney, sloop master from 1858 in command of the schooner Marten to 1865 and later master aboard the Prince of Wales and the Ocean Nymph, married Anne Linklater, of York Factory.[32]

Prior to becoming ancestors whose names would hint, to 21st-century Western Canadians, of a distinctive past, members of the families of seafarers such as the foregoing led lives necessarily marked by the seasonal rounds of seafaring work. Additionally, ongoing communication between ship and shore meant communication among family members with relatives in other communities was possible. Because the HBC institutional project was principally waterborne, inter-community communication was not restricted to the Bay. Thus, seafaring connections could compensate for geographical isolation from, and consequent ignorance about North American locations inland, places in Europe, and throughout the Atlantic world.[33]

As suggested by the comments of Harriet Cowan in Opportunities in Transit: HBC Ships as Sites of Social Process, there were Aboriginal wives who accompanied their husbands to Europe.[34]

  • Among the earliest on record was Ruehegan/Thu a higon, of Churchill, who as wife of sailor, slooper, and factor Charles Pilgrim, sailed out of the Bay with her husband and child in 1750 aboard the Seahorse.

Despite occasional objections by the London Committee, about expenses incurred, transatlantic ships continued to carry country wives to Europe.

  • James Taylor’s wife Anne Linklater, for example, appears to have accompanied him to the Orkneys, because Company ledgers indicate money was paid to her there in 1866.
  • Alice/Apetakeshikow/Apeteshequa reportedly accompanied her husband, Richard Henry Bradburn to England in 1888 on a wedding journey, returning to Moose in 1889.[35]

As foregoing mentions also indicate, children of seafarers travelled across the ocean. Some children sailed in company with their parents.

  • Mary Adams, daughter of Joseph Adams, the former apprentice, slooper, and governor of Albany listedabove, was the “first known” child to be taken from Hudson Bay to Europe.[36] In 1737 as “an infant about three years and five months old,” she crossed to England with her father aboard the Seahorse.[37]
  • As many as three children of Joseph Isbister accompanied him to England aboard the Seahorse in 1756.[38]

Compiling a comprehensive list of children voyaging from Hudson Bay – perhaps along the lines of the ship lists of this site – though it would make for an interesting project, has yet to be undertaken. Nevertheless, even a cursory examination of readily available sources for references to such children reveals numerous examples. There were children who accompanied parents retiring to the British Isles, children sent to Scotland and England to broaden their education, and children of an age to conduct business with the Company on their own account. Additionally, there were offspring of seafarers, who, as adults, married and accompanied their spouses to Europe.[39]

There were also native-born children who – whether they voyaged to Europe or not – became seafarers like their fathers, uncles, cousins, or other people within their social network. Some became sailors in Hudson Bay.

  • For example, Thomas Wiegand, born on the East Main circa 1802, and apparently sent to England as a child, was listed as a boatman in James Bay from 1821. As post master at Fort George by 1846, he was in charge of vessels such as the schooner Robin, and the sloop Walrus. He transferred to Albany as sloop master in 1854, becoming post master there from 1866 to his retirement in 1869. Like his father, he married into a Company family – his wife, Mary Corcoran, was born bayside circa 1821–1823. Her father, John Corcoran, and her uncle, Thomas Corcoran, originally from Crossmolina County, Mayo, Ireland, had both worked passage to Moose aboard the Eddystone in 1818.[40]
  • John Brown, born at Moose in 1809, and possibly the son of schooner master Joseph Brown, was an apprentice in the Moose district from 1818 to 1825, and then a boatman and slooper at Moose from 1826 to 1843, when he retired to Red River Settlement.[41]
  • Peter Calder, the “Native” son of James Calder and Nancy Lindsay, entered HBC service in 1826 as an apprentice. In 1835, he was a seaman/apprentice in the Columbia district. In 1836, he was at York Factory as a boatman and continued in that occupation to his death at York in 1852.[42]
  • Gustave Udgaarden, listed as “Native, of Hudson Bay,” son of Gundar Udgaarden and Harriet Turner, entered HBC service in 1884 as an apprentice slooper, and in 1889 was a slooper at Moose River, remaining in that position to 1895.[43]

The native-born continued to engage with the Company into the twentieth century.[44]

As sailors were mobile, not all HBC sailors with Aboriginal mothers were born on the shores of Hudson Bay, and some served the Company in places other than those located along the HBC ocean arc to the Bay.

  • For instance, the aforementioned Peter Calder was born on the Pacific Slope.

Not coincidentally, permanent and temporary transfers between the Columbia district and the Bay, of crew and their families, occurred after the amalgamation of the HBC and NWC in 1821.

  • Robert Allan/Allen of Greenwich, Kent, is an example of a temporary transfer. He entered HBC service as seaman aboard the Isabella bound for Columbia in 1829. He continued sailing to and from the Pacific Slope to 1833, then in 1834 sailed to Hudson Bay aboard the Ganymede. He returned to London by November, then in December sailed aboard the same ship for Columbia, and continued working as a seaman on that route to 1844, when he settled with a country family at Chinook, Oregon.
  • Similarly, William Martindale/Martindell/Martingale engaged as an apprentice aboard the Prince of Wales to Hudson Bay in 1838, returned to London by October, then sailed in November to Columbia aboard the Vancouver. He remained on that coast to the end of his career as a seaman in 1847, afterwards settling his family in Pacific County, Washington.
  • Three of the four Swanson brothers, born on the shores of Hudson Bay – William, Joseph, and John – were similarly mobile seamen.[45] William Swanson Junior and his two brothers were third generation sailors – sons of sailor William Swanson Senior, and grandsons of sailor Joseph Brown. At age sixteen William Junior was an apprentice sailor at Moose Factory. He crossed the continent by 1841 to serve as a slooper in the Thompson River District. By 1844, his brothers Joseph and John were also on the Pacific coast. Joseph initially served as an apprentice at the Company’s California agency, became a boatman and a slooper there, and then a slooper at Fort Vancouver. In 1846, he left HBC service to try his prospects independently in California. Meanwhile, John Swanson had gone to the Columbia Department in 1842 as an apprentice sailor on the Cadboro/Cadborough and served on the coast in that capacity on the Vancouver, Columbia, and Cowlitz. In 1849, he went from seaman to second mate and served in that capacity aboard the Beaver to 1852. The following two years he was first mate of the Mary Dare. From 1856 to 1872, he was master of the Beaver, Labouchere, and Enterprise. During his sea-going HBC career, he married, had a family ashore, and in 1859 was elected to the Provincial Legislature in Victoria.[46]

Mobility within seafaring HBC families did not result in a unidirectional path of transit, either from ‘old’ to ‘new’ worlds or from long-settled to newly acquired posts on the trade frontier. Rather, family mobility evinced a complex circulation among, and away from, centres and peripheries of the Atlantic world.[47] Some native-born HBC deep-sea sailors – such as William Kennedy – maintained a North American ‘home base’ with their families while sailing across the ocean sea through Arctic, Atlantic, and Pacific waters. Others settled families in Europe. Some sailors and members of their families remained transitory to death or to old age. HBC seafarers from Europe and elsewhere further complicated the pattern of family movement, by opting to settle with their country spouses and children inland from North American coasts.

From the first decades of the nineteenth century onwards, many seafarers chose to “swallow the anchor,” on retiring or otherwise disengaging from Company service, and settle at Red River – just as ship’s surgeon and factor, Thomas Thomas Senior, had done in 1815 with his family.[48]

  • Charles Begg, for example – after serving variously in Hudson Bay, Red River, and Lake Superior as boatman and slooper, as well as interpreter, post master, and clerk – retired in 1867 to farm with his wife and their son, Robert Begg, in St. Andrews, and later, Mapleton, Manitoba.

An equally popular choice of longer standing was to retire to settlements in Canada.

  • Joseph Isbister, for instance, returned to the Orkneys on being recalled by the London Committee in 1756. After failing to win a position as captain of a Company ship, he migrated with his wife and six children – at least three of whom had been born at Albany – to Quebec.[49]
  • Likewise, John Thomas Senior, who had worked passage either to or from Moose in 1769, 1789, 1790, 1800, and 1801, resigned in 1814 and migrated to Canada with a large party of relatives to settle in Vaudreuil County, Quebec.[50]
  • John McNab had retired from Company service while in England in 1811, but by 1816 had moved to Montreal where, in 1818, he wrote the Committee requesting they arrange that “his son and family join him in Canada.”[51]

Other seafaring HBC families chose Ontario as a settlement destination.

  • Thomas “(A)” Taylor sloopmaster, retired “to Canada” in 1862, and his wife Jennet appears to have moved to Ontario by 1870.[52]
  • During the same period, Thomas Lamphier/Lamphire of Yorkshire, who served as boatman, seaman, and sloop master from 1831–1862, at Moose Factory, Sault Ste. Marie, and Lake Superior, retired to Ontario. He became the lighthouse keeper at St. Ignace/ Talbot Light, three miles from St. Ignace Island, Lake Superior, where he died in 1869. Along with his Aboriginal wife, Lamphier became the subject of a story that enriched local lore – he being one of three successive keepers to die “at, or close to the station, leading to the nickname ‘Lighthouse of Doom’.” [53]

Some of those who retired to Ontario later moved to Manitoba, participating in successive waves of westward migration that followed the creation of the latter province.[54]

There were as well descendants of North American Aboriginal seafarers who had transitioned across the Atlantic to become virtually European, and progenitors of what were to all intents European families.[55] Thus, there were ‘British’ seafarers of North American Aboriginal heritage who continued to sail in distant seas.

  • Captain Colin Sinclair and the descendants of his elder sister, Jane, supply a case in point. In 1822, Jane sailed to Sandwick, Orkney, with her husband, HBC servant James Kirkness, and their daughter, Amelia, who was approximately three years old. Jane remained in Sandwick after James’ death in 1843, raising Amelia and two brothers – James W. Kirkness, and William Kirkness.[56]

Of Jane’s children, Amelia married seafarer Alexander Sclater/Slater in 1845. She sailed with him to live in Liverpool – at the time a “magnet of commerce and prosperity” that “attracted generations of migrants from Britain and Ireland and sometimes from further afield” – in company with her mother and possibly her brothers.[57] By the 1860s, Amelia’s husband was captain of non-HBC vessels such as the Golden Light, Viola, and “the fine full-rigged ship” Newman Hall.[58] Mariner Benjamin Vaughan, also ‘of’ Liverpool, who in concert with a number of male relatives, built, brokered, owned, and sailed ships out of New Brunswick, Canada, owned these vessels.[59] Alexander Sclater sailed on Vaughan ships from Liverpool to such ports of the Atlantic world as: Cardiff, Wales; Quebec, Canada; New York, Philadelphia, Savannah, New Orleans, and Mobile, in the United States; Havana, West Indies; Rio de Janerio, Brazil; Montevideo, Uruguay; and Moulemein, Burma/Myanmar.

Depending on the destination, Captain Slater was at sea for anywhere from three to fifteen months at a time.[60] With his wife, Amelia, he had at least eight children – William, James Kirkness, Alexander, John William, Nelson Cameron, Mary Cameron, her twin brother who died in infancy, and Alfred. According to the obituary of daughter Mary Cameron Slater’s husband, mariner Captain Charles Graham, Mary’s mother Amelia had accompanied Captain Sclater on his voyages, raising their children aboard ship.[61]

This continued to be a “sailing family.” As the children matured, the sons became sailors, and Mary “never saw her family together as someone was always out to sea.”[62]

The family did see seafaring relatives with some frequency however. Jane Kirkness, as a transplanted grandmother of Hudson Bay, lived in the Sclaters’ home ashore in Liverpool. It was here that Jane’s brother, Captain Colin Sinclair, stayed while in port. Here he renewed, or built anew, acquaintances with nieces, nephews, their spouses, and children.

In the last decades of the nineteenth century, at the close of his career as a mariner, Colin retired to Red River to live with another sister, Mary Inkster, and her family at Seven Oaks House. The home is now a museum that displays his room and possessions, including a sailors’ hammock, which he installed instead of a bed.

By 1912, a grandniece – the daughter of Mary Cameron Slater and Captain Charles Graham – and her fiancée, had followed Colin’s lead. They sailed from Liverpool, leaving extended family behind, while yet connecting with more, to be married from “Bleak House,” the home of Manitoba’s first sheriff, Colin Inkster.[63] The event was noted in newspapers of Winnipeg and Liverpool, though the point highlighted was not that Red River families had transoceanic ties, but that the bride, Nina Cameron Graham, was the “first woman to be graduated in engineering from a recognized university anywhere in the world,” at the University of Liverpool, that year.[64]

Thus, for a century, from the early 1800s, when William Sinclair’s children first sailed out of Hudson Bay, to the early 1900s, when descendants sailed back again, Company family networks had remained operational through sea-borne means of communication that ranged from written wills and letters, to personal contacts maintained by seafarers.[65]

Historically, in the North and North West of North America, shipping was an aspect of life in communities associated with the HBC institutional project. Consequently, seafarers participated in a dynamic and complex social process by which communities were established, reconfigured, and preserved. From 1670 to 1920, families formed in an ongoing mingling of men, women, and children who moved in and out of Company workplaces at bayside trade posts, on ships, and points inland. Families and family members travelled by water-borne craft – including ships, york boats, and canoes – in and between North American workplaces. By way of HBC transatlantic vessels, they also travelled between North American communities and those in other regions of the Atlantic world.

Over generations, through communication, seafarers contributed to the multiple perspectives that mark Western Canadian history. Because sailors were human beings with life paths that geographically, culturally, and socially ranged widely, they were more than ancillary to the transport of HBC goods and information. Their work generated more than value-added to cargoes of furs for the London Committee. Communication between people involved with maritime work for the Company meant sailors were embedded as deeply in the “tangled roots” of communities in Western Canada as were those HBC servants who did not work ships.

Sailors were equally as “essential or indispensable” to the generation of social capital in the region: making and maintaining “networks of relationships among persons, firms, and institutions” that allowed transmission of those “associated norms of behaviour, trust, cooperation, etc., that enable a society to function effectively.”[66] As seafarer Isaac Cowie proudly observed in 1913, “go where one may in all these regions the ubiquitous descendants … may be found, many occupying leading and influential positions.”[67]

[1] Elizabeth Jameson, “Introduction,” Making Western Canada: Essays on European Colonization and Settlement, ed. Catherine Cavanaugh and Jeremy Mouat (Toronto: Garamond Press, 1996), ix, also xii, xvi, adds “Defining history as the story of nation states generates remarkable ignorance of our connected pasts” and that examining “people who do not fit the stories we inherited” adds to the “diverse perspectives [that serve to] stretch the limits of older histories and their plots of inevitable progress.” See also Thomas Bender, “The Boundaries and constituencies of History,” American Literary History 18, no. 2 (summer 2006): 270–271, who notes “Lives are rarely lived within the container of the nation; they are more often lived in a doubled way. The scholarly naturalization of the nation as the exclusive form of significant human solidarity has obscured the multscaled experience of history that is clearer to us today.”

[2] Jameson, “Introduction,” xi, ix; see also Catherine Cavenaugh, “Preface,” in Making Western Canada, vii. Jeremy Mouat, “‘The Past of My Place’: Western Canadian Artists and the Uses of History,” in Making Western Canada, 245–246, argues for consideration of diverse views of the past to counter “ the dehumanizing homogenizing trends of an invasive global culture … [that] is necessarily history-less: … for its purposes the past only serves to offer some decontextualizing example or element for its cosmopolitan patchwork.”

[3] Jameson, “Introduction,” xiii.

[4] See Isaac Cowie, The Company of Adventurers: A Narrative of Seven Years in the Service of the Hudson’s Bay Company during 18671874, On the Great Buffalo Plains with Historical and Biographical notes and comment (Toronto: William Briggs, 1913), 30, on past perceptions of Western Canada and the “infinite possibilities therein”; D.N. Sprague, review of Promise of Eden: The Canadian Expansionist Movement and the Idea of the West by Douglas Owram, Manitoba History 4 (1982) history/04/promiseofeden.shtml (accessed 19 January 2009), who comments on the existence of locally generated ideas about the West and its potential prior to, and in addition to those promoted by “the self-appointed advance-men of Canadian colonization”; also Norma Jean Hall, “A ‘Perfect Freedom’: Red River as a Settler Society, 1810–1870,” M.A. thesis (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba, 2003). David Siddle, ed., “Introduction,” Migration, Mobility and Modernization, Liverpool Studies in European Population Series (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2000), 1, suggests sustained movement of individuals “could not fail to have profound effects on both the sending and receiving” communities. Additionally he notes, “the experience of population mobility … involves decision making and … a proper understanding of migration must involve the behaviour of individuals as well as aggregates.” Post colonial studies increasingly seek to include Native experience and relate it to industrialization, imperialism, and hegemonic envisioning of progress in North America. Though the focus remains squarely trained on the dominant culture, some studies using the culturalist approach that approach the problem of retrieving marginalized or silenced voices of the oppressed suggest ways in which resident North American peoples and individuals sought to relate to, and erase consciousness of the physical and psychic violence that accompanied colonization and the imposition of normalizing notions of whiteness, nature, nativeness, and community. See Amy Kroeker, “A ‘Place’ through Language: Postcolonial Implications of Mennonite/s writing in Western Canada,” in Is Canada Postcolonial? Unsettling Canadian Literature, ed. Laura F.E. Moss (Waterloo ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2003), 239–240; Sarah Carter, Capturing Women: The Manipulation of Cultural Imagery in Canada’s Prairie West (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1997), xiii–xvi; Patricia Jasen, Wild Things: Nature, Culture and Tourism in Ontario (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1995), 152; and Shari Michelle Huhndorf, Going Native: Indians in the American Cultural Imagination (New York: Cornell University Press, 2001), 8–14. Examining the question of why some native born individuals adopted something akin to ‘subaltern’ or ‘bourgeoiusie’ roles falls beyond the scope of this essay, the point here is more modest: to suggest that sailors might be examined as a source for ideas about culture, community, and the kinds of cultural continuity that seemed desirable in Western Canada from 1500 to 1920.

[5] A.J. Dyer, “Aboriginal History of Northern Canada” (accessed 14 February 2006), notes Tatanayuk, born ca. 1795 at Roe’s Welcome Sound, “is often mentioned in both the two major journals of Franklin.” In 1834, Tatanayuk was at Churchill. He died mid-winter in a blizzard near Great Slave Lake after crossing the Barrens to join George Back who was organizing an expedition. HBCA, “Ouligbuck (d. 1852) (fl. 1829–1852),” Biographical Sheet; Ken McGoogan, Fatal Passage: The Untold Story of John Rae, the Arctic Adventurer Who Discovered the Fate of Franklin (Toronto: Harper Flamingo Books, 2001), 57; David Charles Woodman, Strangers Among Us (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1995), 24, 56–57, 107, 115, note Ouligbuck/Ooligbuck/Oulybuck/Ullebuck was “attached to Franklin’s expedition of 1825–27,” in 1826 working with Dr. Richardson’s survey party between the MacKenzie and Coppermine Rivers. He then returned to Churchill and, in 1829, was an HBC employee, killing whales, making paddles, repairing nets, and gardening over the summer. He wintered at Moose Factory then joined Nicol Finlayson in establishing Fort Chimo. He worked there to 1839 when he joined the Dease and Simpson expedition. Afterwards he served at York and Churchill. In 1846 and 1847 he and his son sailed north with Rae in the North Pole and the Magnet.

[6] HBCA, “Esquinamow, Matthew (1842–1935) (fl. 1866–1922),” Biographical Sheet. On retirement, Esquinamow was awarded a pension and a gold medal with five bars – representing thirty years, plus five additional years per bar, of service. He was married and had four children.

[7] John S. Long, “Treaty No. 9 and fur trade company families: Northeastern Ontario’s halfbreeds, Indians, petitioners and métis,” in The New Peoples: Being and Becoming Métis in North America, ed. Jacqueline Peterson, and Jennifer S.H. Brown (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1985), 147, 151. HBCA, “Mark, James (b.1851–1925) (fl. 1891),” Biographical Sheet. Mark was awarded a “Silver Medal and Two Bars” for his service. Although confirmed linkage is missing, in light of the small size of the local community, James was probably related to Fred Mark, who Long describes as “a school teacher, catechist and later an ordained clergyman … [who] signed the treaty [No. 9, negotiated 1905–1906] at Moose Factory, along with nine other headmen, in Cree syllabics. His beautiful flowing penmanship in the mission marriage register years before stands in sharp contradiction to the image conveyed by the treaty document.” See also LAC, regimental number 1006963, Attestation Paper, 27 July 1916 (accessed 24 October 2008), which records that HBC boatman John Mark of Moose Factory enlisted with the 228th battalion in the Great War; and LAC, regimental number 100960, Attestation Paper, 25 July 1916 (accessed 24 October 2008), Oliver Mark, HBC servant, enlisted in the same regiment.

[8] See ship lists, this site; see also J. Ledingham “An Adventure in Landing Supplies at York,” The Beaver 3, no.3 (December 1922): 117–118.

[9] HBCA, “Spence, George (1874–1954) (fl. 1912–1954),” Biographical Sheet. Spence married in 1897, possibly to Mary Ann Wilson, and had nine children. He died at Churchill in 1954.

[10] See also HBCA, “Turner, Philip (1812–1882) (fl. 1823–1882)”, “Turner, George (b. 1839) (fl. 1868–1902)”, “Turner, Robert (1848–1907) (fl. 1863–1907)”, “Miller, William L. (1868–1928) (fl. 1884–1925)”, Biographical Sheets; and Peter A.C. Nichols, “Boat-building Eskimos,” The Beaver 34, no. 1 (summer 1954): 52–55; and Heterogeneity and HBC Seafarers, 1508-1920, this site n.50. See also Carol Judd and Arthur J. Ray, “Moose Factory’s Maritime Heritage,” report prepared for Ontario Ministry of Culture and Recreation (Amisk Heritage Planning and Research, 1982).

[11] See Jennifer S.H. Brown, Strangers in Blood: Fur Trade Company Families in Indian Country (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1980), 52, who notes “it is possible to document at least fifteen instances of Hudson’s Bay men (typically officers) taking Indian women as mates before 1770. … at least five of the men involved eventually married British women whose claims as legitimate wives went unquestioned. But these early alliances are tokens of the London committee’s failure to achieve complete control of its men’s personal lives.” Also HBCA, “Cocking, Matthew (1743–1799) (fl. 1765–1782)”, “Renton, William (ca. 1754–1798) (fl. 1776–1798)”, “Bird, James Sr. (ca. 1773–1856) (fl. 1788–1824)”; “Charles, John (b. ca. 1784) (fl. 1799–1843)”; “McNab, John (Dr.) (ca. 1775–ca. 1820) (fl. 1779–1812)”; Pruden, John Peter (1778–1868) (fl. 1791–1837)” Biographical Sheets; and W.H. Brooks, “Pruden, John Peter,” DCB.

[12] K.G. Davies ed., with A.M. Johnson, Letters from Hudson Bay, 170340 (London: Hudson’s Bay Record Society, 1965), 3 n.1. Adam’s indenture contract stipulated that at its end he would receive “2 shutes of Apparrell [sic].”

[13] Davies and Johnson, Letters from Hudson Bay, 79.

[14] Sylvia Van Kirk, “Many Tender Ties”: Women in Fur-Trade Society in Western Canada, 16701870 (Winnipeg: Watson and Dwyer Publishing, 1980), 29. See also HBCA, “Nicholson, John (fl. 1701–1710),” Biographical Sheet.

[15] HBCA, “Isbister, Joseph (ca. 1710–1771) (fl. 1726–1756),” Biographical Sheet; and Sylvia Van Kirk, “Isbister, Joseph,” DCB. Isbister had ‘country’ children as well.

[16] See, for example, HBCA, “Potts, John (d. 1764) (fl. 1738-1764”, “McKay, Donald (ca. 1753–1833) (1779–1809)”, and “Moore, Thomas Charles (b. 1888 – d. 1939) (fl. 1903),” Biographical Sheets; “Nelson River District,” The Beaver 19, no. 3 (December 1939): 51; and Jennifer S.H. Brown, “Atkinson, George (d. 1792),” DCB.

[17] Brown, Strangers in Blood, 33, 56. Mary Houston and Tim Ball, Eighteenth-Century Naturalists of Hudson Bay (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2003), 56–57. See also Peter C. Newman, Company of Adventurers vol. I (Markham ON.: Penguin Books, 1986), 366–372; Glyndwr Williams, “Humphrey Marten,” Hudson’s Bay Miscellany, 16701870 (Winnipeg: Hudson’s Bay Record Society, 1975), 90. Marten made the transatlantic voyage in 1762, 1763, 1768, 1769, 1774, 1775, 1781, twice in 1782, 1783, and crossed ‘home,’ apparently for the last time, in 1786. See HBCA, “Thomas, Thomas (1766–1828) (fl. 1789–1815),” Biographical Sheet, for an additional example of a HBC seafarer with a country wife and family. He sailed as ship’s surgeon in 1789 to York; in 1795, he served in that capacity home; and in 1796, was surgeon outward, after which he was master at Severn. He married Sarah and had eight children.

[18] Brown, Strangers in Blood, 57, notes that prior to 1771 Humphrey Marten “was asking the company to grant his son, John America Marten, a passage to England to be educated.” James Isham, James Isham’s observations on Hudsons Bay, 1743, and Notes and observations on a book entitled A voyage to Hudsons Bay in the Dobbs Galley, 1749., ed. E.E. Rich, with A.M. Johnson (London: Champlain Society, 1949), 145, indicates children of culturally diverse unions became “pretty Numerious [sic]” around the shores of Hudson Bay well before the Company had formalized any policy regarding their existence, let alone the matter of their boarding or voyaging on HBC ships.

[19] Archives of Manitoba MG1 D15, “Will of William Sinclair, (fl. 1794–1818)”; HBCA, A.16/33, fo. 56, Governor and Committee (London Office), Officers’ and servants’ ledgers, York Factory District, 1790–1797; A.11/117, fo. 116d , 161, London Inward Correspondence from York Factory, 1787–1797; A.32/17, fo. 4, Governor and Committee (London Office), Servants’ Contracts, 1791–1809; B/239/a/81, fo. 2, 5, Post Journal, York Factory, 1782; HBCA B.239/f/1-6, Lists of Servants, York Factory, 1783–1801, pp. 1 # 109, 25 # 97; C.1/386, Ship’s Log, King George, 1782; C.1/1053, Ship’s Log, Seahorse, 1791, fo. 1d; C.1/1055, Ship’s Log, Seahorse, 1792, fo. 1d; C.1/781, Ship’s Log, Prince of Wales, 1814; “William Sinclair Senior,” search file, 1-3; “Sinclair, William (Senior) I,” Biographical Sheet; Williams, Hudson Bay Miscellany, 75–81; Cowie, Company of Adventurers, 110. In 1782, Sinclair arrived on the King George. He and Marten were among those taken prisoner and put on board one of the French ships, likely the Sceptre. Conditions aboard the ship were dismal: food was scarce, the rats numerous, and, according to one account, “Many people are eat up with the scurvy and otherwise unhealthy.” The HBC sloop Severn was taken in tow. At sea, on 10 September, along with some seventeen other prisoners, “Wm. Singclear” and Marten were transferred to the Severn, which sailed for Stromness, arriving 15 October. Sinclair made the transatlantic voyage again in 1790, 1792, 1814 and 1815.  He died in 1818. William probably married Nahoway ca. 1794 when sent inland to build. See also HBCA, “Turnor, John (b. ca. 1751) (fl. 1778–1782),” Biographical Sheet.

[20] HBCA, “Taylor, George (b. ca. 1760) (fl. 1787–1818),” Biographical Sheet; Van Kirk, “Many Tender Ties”, 106, 268 n.34.

[21] HBCA, “Brown, Joseph (1772–1818) (fl. 1789–1816),” Biographical Sheet; also D.N. Sprague, and R.P. Frye, The Genealogy of the First Metis Nation: The Development and Dispersal of the Red River Settlement, 18201900 (Winnipeg: Pemmican Publications, 1983), ID #542, and ID #541; and Warren Sinclair, “Brown, Joseph & Elizabeth (Metis),” ser. 2, M-8736-65, Warren Sinclair’s Metis Genealogy collection, Glenbow Museum (accessed 19 January 2009). See also, for additional examples, HBCA, “Renton, William (ca. 1754–1798) (fl. 1776–1798)”, and “Chilton, Robert Sr. (fl. 1793–1813),” and “Settee J.,” Biographical Sheets; Lewis G. Thomas, “Settee, James,” DCB; Michael Payne, review of Voyages in Search of a Northwest Passage 17411747, vol. 2, The Voyage of William Moor and Francis Smith 17461747, ed. William Barr and Glyndwr Williams, Manitoba History 32 (autumn 1996); Brown, Strangers in Blood, 156; and Deidre Simmons, Keepers of the Record: The History of the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2008),  309–310 n.46. According to family tradition, recounted in 1827, James Settee of Red River, a Cree Anglican clergyman, “left a personal account identifying his grandfather as the son of one ‘Captain Smith,’ officer at York, and an Indian girl.” Settee would have been referring to Francis Smith of the California, a former HBC sloop captain with experience sailing north from Churchill, who commanded the California and wintered in 1746 at Ten Shilling Creek, York Factory, with Captain William Moor.

[22] See, for examples, HBCA, “Prince, Mark ( 1761) (fl. 1788–1826)”, “Calder, Peter (1799–1852) (fl. 1826–1852)”, “Wilson, Robert (a) (1799–1864) (fl. 1820–1864)”, “Cromartie, John (ca. 1792–1870) (fl. 1812–1870)”, “Carey, George (1858–1936) (1873–1919)”, and “Monkman J.,” Biographical Sheets.

[23] See, Peter Rishenbacher, watercolour, The Beaver 37, no. 3 (winter 1957): 44, for depiction of york boats under sail off York Factory, 1821.

[24] HBCA, “Sutherland, Donald (1778–1872)”, “Louttit, Samuel ‘A’ (1809–1876) (fl. 1829–1875)”, “Louttit, David (1849–1902) (fl. 1865–1902)”, “Bradburn, Henry (b. 1864) (fl. 1886–1889),” Biographical Sheets.

[25] HBCA, “Taylor, John A (1835–1908 (fl. 1866–1903),” Biographical Sheet.

[26] See Gwen Reimer, and Jean-Philippe Chartrand, “Documenting Historic Métis in Ontario,” Ethnohistory 51, no 3 (summer 2004): 567–607; Elizabeth M. Arthur, “The Concept of the Good Indians: An Albany River 19th Century Managerial Perspective,” Canadian Journal of Native Studies, 5 (1985): 61–74; D.N. Sprague, “The Cultural Bias of Metis Studies,” review of The New Peoples: On Being and Becoming Métis in North America, ed. Jennifer Brown and Jacqueline Peterson, Prairie Fire 8 (Summer 1987): 66–67; John S. Long, “Hannah Bay Murders of 1832,” History Workshop, Temiskaming Abitibi Heritage Association (29 April 2000): 38–40. Also HBCA, “Moar, Alexander (A) (d. 1881) (fl. 1860–1881),” and “Moar, Alexander (B) (fl. 1871–1879),” for indications of ship-associated labour and incomplete biographies reflecting blurred cultural origins and affiliations; and “Renton, William (ca. 1754–1798) (fl. 1776–1798)”, “Story, William (fl. 1757–1760)”, “Stayner, Thomas (b. 27 March 1770 d. pre 1827) (fl. 1787–1801)”, “Chilton, Robert Sr. (fl. 1793–1813)”, “Chilton, Robert (A) (1796–1863) (fl. 1811–1863)”, “Spence, John C (ca. 1798–1865) (fl. 1820–1861)”, “Turner, Philip (1812–1882) (fl. 1823–1882)”, “Turner, George (b. 1839) (fl. 1868–1902)”, “Merriman, John (fl. 1845–1854)”, “Turner, Robert (1848–1907) (fl. 1863–1907)”, “Cursator, George (fl. 1878–1887)”, “Oman, William Jr. (d. 1886) (fl. 1860–1866)”, “Moore, Thomas Charles (b. 1888 – d. 1939) (fl. 1903)” Biographical Sheets; and K.G. Davies, ed., with A.M. Johnson, Northern Quebec and Labrador Journals and Correspondence, 181935 (London: Hudson’s Bay Record Society, 1963), 6 n.1, 42, for sailors and ship-associated workers living in bayside communities of Hudson Bay and marrying into Company families.

[27] Peter Garrioch, quoted in Irene M. Spry, “Cook, William Hemmings,” DCB. Spry notes “Cook’s will provided an income for his ‘beloved wife Mary’ and bequests for four sons, seven daughters, and a granddaughter. His land was divided equally among ten of his children. It was his children and their progeny who constituted his most notable contribution to western Canada. His descendants included not only countless Cooks but also Garriochs, Budds, Settees, Calders, Wrens, and Erasmuses.”

[28] “John McNab,” Material Histories: Scots and Aboriginal Peoples in the Canadian Fur Trade, Department of Anthropology, University of Aberdeen (accessed 18 January 2009); HBCA, “M’Nab, Thomas (b. ca. 1781) (fl.1797–1821),” Biographical Sheet. McNab married Mary, a “Saulteaux Indian Woman.” HBCA, “Corston, William A”, “Corston, John”, “Bunn, Thomas (ca. 1765–1853) (fl. 1797–1853)”, “Bunn, Dr. John (b. ca. 1800–1861) (fl. 1819–1824),” Biographical Sheets. Sarah McNabb married Thomas Bunn, their son was ship’s surgeon, John Bunn, later the resident doctor of Red River Settlement. Irene Spry, “Cook, William Hemmings,” DCB. HBCA, “Cook, William Hemmings (b. ca. 1766–1846) (fl. 1786–1819),” Biographical Sheet.” William Hemmings Cook was of St. Andrew’s Holborn, London. Jane Jenny Cook was born ca. 1789, her mother was possibly Kahnawoswama-kan Agathe, or Betsy Wash-e-soo E’Squaw. Sprague and Frye, Genealogy of the First Métis Nation, ID 947 list four wives. Gail Morin, Métis Families A Genealogical  Compendium (Orange Park FL: Quentin Publications, 2001), 218, 387, 388, 421, 1098, lists only two wives, Mary Cocking and Kahnawoswamakan Agatha Cree. Peter Erasmus, Buffalo Days and Nights (Calgary: Glenbow-Alberta Institute, 1976), inside back cover, lists two wives Wash-e-soo E’Squaw/Agathas/Mary/Kitty and Mith-coo-coo-man E’Squaw/Aggathas/Agathas/Mary. One child of W.H. Cook and Wash-e-soo E’Squaw married a “Muskaigoe Cree” and their children are listed as Henry Budd, James Budd, Catherine ‘Kitty’ Budd, Nancy Budd and Sarah/Sally/Nehow(u)gatim/Ne-wougatim. William and Mith-coo-coo-man E’Squaw had “at least one son” and “at least four daughters.” See also “Nelson River District,” 51; and HBCA, “Cromartie, John (ca. 1792–1870) (fl. 1812–1870)”, “Sutherland, James (1st) (ca, 1768–1806) (fl. 1787–1806)”, “Moore, Thomas Charles (b. 1888 – d. 1939) (fl. 1903)”, “McLeod, Frederick (fl. 1911–1956)”, and “Monkman J.,” Biographical Sheet. See Norma J. Hall, “Contesting Identity: A Confrontation with Semantic Paradox in Historiography,” paper presented to Writing New Histories of Indigeneity and Imperialism: A Workshop (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba, 21 May 2008), on the term ‘Métis’ as an identifier.

[29] See Cowie, Company of Adventurers, 79; Barbara A. Johnstone, “Story of a Fur Trader,” Manitoba Pageant 4, no. 2 (January 1959); HBCA, “Sutherland, James (1st) (ca. 1768–1806) (1787–1806)”, “Stayner, Thomas (b. 27 March 1770 d. pre 1827) (fl. 1787–1801)”, “Wood, William (fl. 1770–1780)”, “Moore, Thomas (fl. 1763–1778)”, “Richards, John (Captain) (fl. HBC, NWC 1782–1803)”, “Cromartie, John (ca. 1792–1870) (fl. 1812–1870)”, “Spence, Joseph (b. 1803) (fl. 1828–1836)”, “Ramsey, John (fl. 1815–1817)”, “Mannock, Francis (d. 1855) (fl. 1839–1855)”, “Cowie, Isaac (1848–1917) (fl. 1867–1890) ”, “Cowie, James (1853–1913) (fl. 1876–1911)”, “Mead, George Henry”, “Murray, Alexander (b. ca. 1860 d. 1912) (fl. 1892–1896)” Biographical Sheets; and Charles N. Bell. “Navigation of Hudson Bay and Straits,”Transactions 1, no. 7 (read 10 May 1883), for examples of intergenerational sailing and the HBC workforce, and indications of unexplored connections. As with other aspects of seafaring in Hudson Bay, much biographical work on individual HBC seafarers remains to be done.

[30] HBCA, A.36/3 fo. 177; “Swanson, William (A) (1794–1865) (fl. 1812–1865)”, “Swanson, William B (1819–1843) (fl. 1835–1843)”, “Swanson, Alexander”, “Brown, Joseph”, “Omand, James (b. ca. 1796–1850) (fl. 1817–1829) Biographical Sheets; Judith Hudson Beattie and Helen M. Buss, eds., Undelivered Letters to Hudson’s Bay Company Men on the Northwest Coast of America, 183057 (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2003), 326–329, 456; Sprague and Frye, Genealogy of the First Metis Nation, ID #542, #541, #3760; Rupert Leslie Taylor, The Native Link: Tracing One’s Roots to the Fur Trade (Victoria, BC: Pencrest Publications, 1984); Reimer and Chartrand, “Documenting Historic Métis,” 596; Gail Morin, “Index of Names Found in Manitoba Scrip,” Métis, First Nations and Aboriginal Peoples (accessed 23 January 2009); “Omand, Saskatchewan,” Saskatoon Region Gen Web Project (accessed 23 January 2009); Metis National Council, “Omand,” Métis National Council Historical Online Database &exploreValue=O (accessed 23 January 2009), the Oman/Omand and Swanson/Swanston names continue in First Nations bands of Northern Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, as well as in Métis communities and communities that neither aver, nor have been ascribed, markers of Aboriginality.

[31] HBCA, “Todd, William (ca. 17841851) (fl. 18161851)”, “Todd, William Jr. (ca. 18231871) (fl. 18411864), Biographical Sheets.

[32]HBCA, “Begg, Charles (b. ca. 1815) (fl. 18311865)”; “Taylor, James (fl. 18581867),” Biographical Sheets.

[33] See W.J. Healy, Women of Red River, Being a Book Written from the Recollections of Women Surviving from the Red River Era (Winnipeg: Women’s Canadian Club, 1923), 20, regarding seafarer Harriet Cowan’s childhood exposure to the ‘eyewitness’ story telling of European political events by seafarer Thomas Bunn and the newspaper subscriptions of her seafaring father James Sinclair. Such knowledge extended to communities along the coasts of Labrador and Newfoundland, see for example, “Labrador District,” The Beaver 20 no. 3 (February 1940): 52; HBCA, “Parsons, William Ralph (18811956) (fl. 19001940),“ and Baikie, Thomas (d.1913) (fl. 18581875),” Biographical Sheets, for references to Parson and Baikie family connections, HBC service, and maritime operations.

[34] Brown, Strangers in Blood, 57, notes that by the 1771, “Company ships had openly carried” native-born wives and children home to England.”

[35] Ibid., 5657; Joan Craig, “Pilgrim, Robert, HBC mariner and chief factor,” DCB, notes Pilgrim “was first employed by the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1730 as a steward aboard the Hudson’s Bay (Capt. Christopher Middleton).” For five years he worked on transatlantic ships serving the James Bay factories. He was sloop master at Moose from 1735 to 1738, then again served on transatlantic voyages. From 1740 Pilgrim was appointed to the governing council of Prince of Wales Fort and “served grudgingly under Richard Norton (1740–41) and James Isham. When Isham went to England in 1745, Pilgrim was given charge. In 1748 he was transferred to the command of Moose.” Rhuhegan and child returned to Hudson Bay after Pilgrim’s death. Jennifer S.H. Brown, “Isham, Charles Thomas (known in youth as Charles Price or Charles Price Isham),” DCB, notes Charles Isham returned to Hudson Bay, in Company employ, married, and had children. HBCA, “Bradburn, Henry (b. 1864) (fl. 18861889), Biographical Sheet, notes “Between 1888 and 1904 Alice & Richard Henry Bradburn had four children; some if not all, were likely born at Moose Factory…. Alice died in Montreal in 1956; was buried in Mount Royal Cemetery.”

[36] Van Kirk, “Many Tender Ties,” 267 n. 13.

[37] Davies and Johnson, Letters from Hudson Bay 233, n.3, note Joseph Adams “died not long after he reached London … In his will .., he described himself as of Ratcliff in the parish of Stepney in the County of Middlesex ‘Gentleman lately returned from Albany Fort in Hudson Bay’. Bequests were made to his sister Mary, the wife of Andrew Gower, sawyer, of Ratcliff; to Captain George Spurrell and his wife Judith; and to Captain Christopher Middleton and his wife Eleanor. The greater part of his estate was to be held in trust by his executors, the two captains already named, for the benefit of his natural daughter … Mary.” Brown, Strangers in Blood, 53, notes Mary’s mother “however, remained in the Bay and was evidently still living in the vicinity of Moose or Albany Fort in James Bay in 1744.”

[38] HBCA, “Isbister, Joseph,” biographical sheet. From 17351756 Isbister was stationed bayside – although Judith Middleton, his formal wife, was apparently living in England. By 1760, he had “six small children,” thus the supposition that at least three of them were born in Albany to a country wife. There is also the possibility, however, that Judith, because she was a captain’s daughter, without appearing in any HBC records, had sailed to Hudson Bay to live with Isbister in which case all of the children may have been hers.

[39] See, for examples, Margaret Arnet McLeod, ed., The Letters of Letitia Hargrave (Toronto: Champlain Society, 1947), xxxi, 45; Cowie, Company of Adventurers, 63, 68; H.M.S. Cotter, “The Ship ‘Prince of Wales’: 1850, Full Rigged Ship in Hudson’s Bay; 1934, New Zealand Coal Hulk,” The Beaver 13, no. 4 (March 1934): 43; Jennifer S. H. Brown, “Ultimate Respectability: Fur-Trade Children in the ‘Civilized World’,” part I, The Beaver 57, no. 3 (winter 1977): 410; Jennifer S.H. Brown, “Ultimate Respectability: Fur-Trade Children in the ‘Civilized World’,” part II, The Beaver 57, no. 4 (spring 1978): 4855; L.G. Thomas, “Fur Traders in Retirement,” The Beaver (winter 1978): 1421; Cotter, “The Ship ‘Prince of Wales’,” 43; Brown, Strangers in Blood, 57, 124; Van Kirk, “Many Tender Ties,” 151, 161162; Glyndwr Willams, ed. Andrew Graham’s Observations on Hudson Bay, 1767–91 (London: Hudson’s Bay Record Society, 1969), 347–351; Burley, Servants of the Honourable Company, 52; W.H. Brooks, “Pruden, John Peter,” DCB; Carman Miller, “Clouston, Sir Edward Seaborne”, DCB; Jennifer S.H. Brown, “Atkinson, George (d. 1792),” and “Atkinson, George (17771830),” DCB; HBCA, “Bird, Charles (ca. 1795) (fl. 18051818)”, “Bird, James Sr. (ca. 17731856) (fl. 17881824)”; “Bunn, Dr. John (ca.1800–1861) (fl. 1819–1824)”, “Charles, John (b. ca. 1784) (fl. 17991843)”, “Chilton, Robert Sr. (fl. 1793–1813)”, “Chilton, Robert (A) (17961863) (fl. 18111863)”, “Clouston, James Stewart (ca. 18261874) (fl. 18421874)”, “Cook, Joseph (b. ca. 1788–d. 1848) (fl. 1803–1824)”, “Linklater, Andrew (b. 1807) (fl. 1828–1839)”,  “McNab, John (Dr.) (ca. 1755ca. 1820) (fl. 17791812)”, “M’Nab, Thomas (b. ca. 1781) (fl.17971821)”, “Mannock, Francis (d. 1855) (fl. 18391855)”, “Mowat, George (fl. 1838)”, “Murray, Alexander (b. ca. 1860 d. 1912) (fl. 18921896)”, “Nicholson, Allan 1”, “Prince, Mark (b. ca. 1761) (fl. 17881826)”, “Spence, Joseph (ca. 17721856) (fl. 17901823)”, “Stayner, Thomas (b. 27 March 1770 d. pre 1827) (fl. 17871801)”, “Sutherland, Donald (17781872)”, “Swain, James Sr. (b. ca 1775) (fl. ca. 17911819)”, “Swanson, William (A) (1794–1865) (fl. 1812–1865)”, “Taylor, George (b. ca. 1760) (fl. 17871818)”, “Taylor, James (fl. 18581867)”, “Thomas, John Sr. (17511822) (fl. 17691814)”, “Todd, William Jr. (ca. 18231871) (fl. 18411864)”,  “Vincent, Thomas (ca. 17761832) (fl. 17901826)”, “Wicks, John (fl. 1820)”, “Wiegand (also Wiggand), Thomas Jr. or (A) (b. ca. 1800; 1795) (fl. 18181869),” Biographical Sheets.

[40] HBCA, “Wiegand, Thomas Jr. or (A),” Biographical Sheet, notes his surname was also spelled ‘Wiggand.’ See also, LDS, online database, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (accessed 20042008); and HBCA, “Corcoran, John (d. 1827) (fl. 18181826)”, “Corcoran, Thomas (b. ca. 17941865) (fl. 18181856)”, “Corcoran, Patrick (Cochrane, Cochran),” Biographical Sheets. The Corcoran brothers all appear to have married and remained in North America. By 1870 Wiegand Jr. had moved to Fort William, Algoma, Ontario, where he was making sails and bags. The 1881 census there listed him as seventy-nine, a farmer, and widower.

[41] HBCA, “Brown, John ‘B’ (b. 1809) (fl. 18151848),” and “Brown, Joseph,” Biographical Sheets, note John was born ca. 1810 in Eastmain or Moose, and was an apprentice at Moose from 1819. His father, if Joseph Brown was his father, had died there in 1818. He had many nieces and nephews at Moose – the family of his sister Jane and her husband James/Janus/John Omand.

[42] HBCA, “Calder, Peter (17991852) (fl. 18261852),” Biographical Sheet. He had married Marguerite, daughter of Chief Cassino (Kaiseno), and had a son by her but apparently separated from her, marrying two additional times and having three more children. See also HBCA, “Goodwin (Goodwyn), Joseph (fl. 1866-1903),” Biographical Sheet, for an additional example; and Richard Mackie, “McKay, Joseph William,” DCB, who notes McKay was born 1829 at Rupert’s House, and “according to family tradition his parents had intended to send him to school in Scotland but he literally missed the boat.” He was apprenticed 1844 in the Columbia District, and described himself in 1872 as having been a “Sailor, Farmer, Coal Miner, packer, Salesman, Surveyor, explorer, Fur Trader and Accountant” while in HBC service.

[43] HBCA, “Udgaarden, Gustave,” and “Udgaarden, Harold (18671950)(fl. 18831932),” Biographical sheets. “M’Leod, Frederick (fl. 19111956)” Biographical Sheets.

[44] See, for example, HBCA, “Mark, James (b. 18511925) (fl. 1891),” and “Moore, Bert (b. 1906) (fl. 19271938),” Biographical Sheets.

[45] HBCA, “Allen, Robert (a) (18001845) (fl. 18291944)”, “Martindale, William (b. 1824 d. 1858) (fl. 1838),” Biographical Sheets. For additional examples of HBC sailor mobility, see “Monkman, Edward (fl. 1800)”, “Wishart, John (b. ca. 1785) (fl. 18021823)”, “Spence, John C (ca. 17981865) (fl. 18201861)”, “Spence, Joseph (b. 1803) (fl. 18281836)”, “McDonald, Farquhar (b. ca 1810) (fl. 18321839)”, “Reid, James Murray (18021868) (fl. 18361853)”, “Simpson, James (fl. 18381850)”, “Mannock, Francis (d. 1855) (fl. 18391855)”, “McCarthy, Jeremiah (b. ca 1818) (fl. 18441851)”, “Weynton, Alexander John (fl. 18461851)”, “Wishart, George (d. 1850) (fl. 18491850)”, “Wishart, David Durham (fl. 18491855)”, “Wshart, James (fl. 18491850)”, “Watkins, George (b. ca. 1833) (fl. 18591861)”, “McPherson, John (fl. 18651875)”, “Main, Alexander (18331901) (fl. 18731884)”, “Murray, John William (18681950) (fl. 18911932)”, “Mitchell, Alfred Alexander (b. 1861) (fl. 1890)” Biographical Sheets; and Isaac Cowie, Company of Adventurers, 78.

[46] HBCA, “Swanson, William B (18191843) (fl. 18351843)”, “Swanson, Joseph (b. 1821) (fl. 18351845),” Biographical Sheet. Beattie and Buss, Undelivered Letters, 326–328. In 1843, as a slooper on General charges at Vancouver, William Swanson drowned at the Dalles, Columbia River. “Death Notices”, The Victoria Daily Standard, 1872, notes, “Oct. 21, at his residence in James Bay, Capt. John Swanson, in service of the Hudson Bay Company for 31 years, the last vessel being the ‘Enterprise’. Capt. Swanson was born near Moose Factory in Rupert’s Land.” 1871 “Victoria City Census, 1871,” p. 98, line 32 name3.htm (accessed 8 June 2006); see also Edward Mallandaine, “John Swanson,” First Vancouver Island Victoria Directory and British Columbia Guide 1871 (Victoria: E. Mallandaine, 1871), 1DIR, which lists Swanson as “master str. ‘Enterprise’.” The name of his wife is not known, but he was survived by a son and a daughter. Leona Taylor and Dorothy Mindenhall, transcript, “Index of Historical Victoria Newspapers,” Victoria’s Victoria cached at (accessed 19 May 2007), note that for the election, the only candidate was “Capt. John Swanson, of the Hudson’s Bay Company steamer Labouchere” and “Capt. Charles E. Stuart was the only qualified voter. The return mentions that Capt. John Swanson was duly elected by a majority of one. In recording the election and the incidents in connection with it, the local paper comments:– ‘This caps the climax of all elections that were ever heard of where Anglo-Saxon language is spoken’.”

[47] See, for example, HBCA, “Sutherland, Donald (17781872) (fl. 17951822),” Biographical Sheet, whose daughter Isabella “married John Weir in Edinburgh and migrated to Corr. J.W. Weir, 19861987 Australia in 1839”; “McKay, Donald (ca. 17531833) (17791809),” Biographical Sheet, who married into a Company family bayside and had children, then retired to Scotland, remarried and had at least two more children, 18091822, “until he emigrated to Nova Scotia.” HBCA, “Hildred, George (fl. 18491850),” Biographical Sheet, indicates that in 18491850 the HBC ship Albion sailed from London to Sydney, Australia, then to the North West Coast. See also “Bethune, Angus (1783–1858) (fl. 1804–1841),” Biographical Sheet; Hilary Russell, “Bethune, Angus” DCB; E.A. McDougall, “Bethune, John,” DCB; J.I. Cooper, “Waddens, Jean-Étienne,” DCB; Peter Deslauriers, “McKenzie, Roderick,” DCB; Peter Baskerville, “Bethune, Donald,” DCB; Peter Ennals, “Bethune, James Gray,” DCB; John Irwin Cooper, “Bethune, John,” DCB; Heather MacDougall, “Bethune, Norman,” DCB; Hilary Russell, “The Chinese Voyage of Angus Bethune,” The Beaver 56, no. 4 (spring 1977): 2231; Hilary Russell, “Bethune, Henry Norman,” The Canadian Encyclopedia Online PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0000715 (accessed 5 October 2006); Parks Canada, “Norman Bethune,” Bethune Memorial House National Historic Site of Canada, History, Historic House (accessed 5 October 2006).

[48] W. Nelson Francis, review of Hakluyt’s Voyages: An Epic of Discovery, by Richard Hakluyt, William and Mary Quarterly 3d ser., 12, no. 3 (July 1955): 448.

[49] See HBCA, “Bird, James Sr. (ca. 17731856) (fl. 17881824)”, “Calder, Peter (1799–1852) (fl. 1826–1852)”, “Charles, John (b. ca. 1784) (fl. 17991843)”, “Michelson, Johan”, “MonkmanJ”; “Pruden, John Peter (17781868) (fl. 17911837)”; “Thomas. Thomas (17661828) (fl. 17891815)”; Wishart, Thomas (b. ca. 1797)”, “Cromartie, John (ca. 17921870) (fl. 18121870)”, “Begg, Charles (b. ca. 1815) (fl. 18311865)”, “Isbister, Joseph,” Biographical Sheets. Also Sprague and Frye, Genealogy; Gail Morin, Métis Families; and Métis National Council Historical Online Database, indices for the aforementioned.

[50] HBCA, “Thomas, John Sr. (17511822) (fl. 17691814),” Biographical Sheet, notes “When they left Moose in 1814, the group consisted of John Thomas Senior, Charles [sic], wife and child, Peter Spence, wife and three children, Thomas Knight, John Knight, Mary Knight, Henry Thomas, son of John Thomas, 3 Grandchildren of John Thomas, viz. Henry Thomas, Richard Thomas, and Richard Robins, Mrs. McNab and a son of Mr. Vincent, Chief at Albany …; son Charles; daughter Charlotte, wife of Peter Spence and their son John; daughter Eleanor, wife of Peter Foy, grandchildren Henry and Richard Thomas, sons of Eleanor by her first marriage to Thomas Thomas; daughter Margaret, spinster, in London.; daughter Frances, wife of Andrew Stewart; daughter Ann, wife of Alexander Christie; daughter Elizabeth, wife of James Russell and her son Richard Story Robins by a previous marriage; son Henry.” The list reflects John Thomas Sr. having had at least ten children with his wife Margaret – some of whom were married at the time. One unmarried daughter, Margaret Thomas, had, at some point previously lived in London, perhaps having accompanied John Thomas there in 1789, because she ‘returned’ to Hudson Bay in 1792. At a later date, she sailed again to England.

[51] HBCA, “McNab, John (DR) (ca. 1755ca. 1820) (fl. 17791812)”, M’Nab, Thomas (b. ca. 1781) (fl.17971821),” Biographical Sheets, note in 1819 the Company replied that John McNab’s “claims on the Company are not substantiated.” The letter was addressed to The University of Edinburgh. Thus, his grandson – John Bunn – headed home from thence as ship’s surgeon. Dr. John McNab presumably died in Montreal. His son Thomas McNab moved to Montreal after leaving Company service in 1821.

[52] HBCA, “Taylor, Thomas A (fl. 18511862)”; see also “Taylor, John A (18351908) (fl. 18661903),” Biographical Sheets. Also HBCA, “Michelson, Johan,” Biographical Sheets, of Norway, who worked “on foredeck” of the Prince Arthur to Moose in 1857 retired “to Canada” in 1869.

[53] Andrea Gutsche, Barbara Chisholm, and Russell Floren, cited in Greg Breining, “A Path to the Past,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, 20 August 2000; and repeated in Greg Breining, Wild Shore: Exploring Lake Superior by Kayak (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002), 9899; HBCA, “Lamphier, Thomas,” Biographical Sheet; “St. Ignace Light (ON),” Lighthouse Depot (accessed 6 November 2008).

[54] See, for example, HBCA, “Taylor, John A (18351908) (fl. 18661903),” Biographical Sheet. sloopmaster and skipper, John Taylor, retired to Nipigon Ontario in 1903, moving with his family to Winnipeg in 1906 where he died in 1908.

[55] See Bruce Thorson, “The Bay Connection,” Canadian Geographic Magazine 120, no. 7 (November/ December 2000): 98; Ferenc Morton Szasz, Scots in the North American West, 1790–1917 (Norman OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2000), 68, notes, “On several occasions … fathers renewed their connections to Scotland by returning there with their families or by sending the children overseas for a European education. The most outstanding early twentieth-century athlete on the Isle of Lewis [Aonghas Greum/Angus graham, a strongman born in 1810], for example, had an Indian mother”; Thomas, “Fur Traders in Retirement,” 1421; Barry Cooper, “Alexander Kennedy Isbister, a respectable Victorian,” Canadian Ethnic Studies/Etudes Ethniques au Canada 17, no. 2 (1985): 4463; Phoebe Dey, “Canadian history in Scotland: Native Studies prof finds the connection.” Folio 36, no. 20 (18 June 1999), online publication, University of Alberta (accessed 15 October 2003).

[56] According the the 1841 census, James W. Kirkness was born ca. 1832. William does not appear on the census. See also See Atlantic Canada Shipping Project [ACSP], Sample Crew Lists, “Kirkness, William,” Ships and Seafarers of Atlantic Canada, CD, Maritime History Archive and the Maritime Studies Research Unit, CD Rom, which lists an able bodied seaman of that name, of Liverpool, aboard the Atlantic King under the command of Thomas Owens. William’s reported age indicates he was born 1843. The possibility that this was Jane and James Kirkness’s son is intriguing, but there is no confirmed linkage.

[57] Graeme J. Milne, Trade and Traders in Mid-Victorian Liverpool: Mercantile Business and the Making of a World Port (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2000), 3.

[58] “Captain Charles Graham,” obituary, souvenir reprint, from The Journal of Commerce, Liverpool (9 December 1922). See HBCA, “Kirkness, James (ca. 17741843) (fl. 17971822),” Biographical Sheet; Archives of Manitoba, MG 14, B 30, file no. 38, “Colin Robertson Sinclair, Estate, 18981903”; D. Geneva Lent, West of the Mountains: James Sinclair and the Hudson’s Bay Company (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1963), 29. Roland William Saint-Clair, The Saint-Clairs of the Isles: Being a History of the Sea-Kings of Orkney and Their Scottish Successors of the Surname of Sinclair Arranged and Annotated By Roland William Saint-Clair (Auckland, New Zealand, 1898), 8, mentions “Jean Sinclair,” born in Hudson’s Bay who married James Kirkness and had two sons and a daughter. Jean  died at the residence of “Mrs. Capt. Slater, of Liverpool,” ca. 1894. Library at Kirkwall, Records of the Harry Churchyard, Old Portion, p. 4, grave 19. LDS, Batch C110274 sheet 0192, 0076, give the parentage of Alexander Slater and marriage date to Amelia Kirkness. See also “Slate, Sclater, etc births & baptisms, all of Orkney,” International Genealogical Index (R), 1994 edition, version 3.06 (accessed 25 September 2004); transcript, 1841 Census, Sanwick, Orkney (accessed 25 September 2004), lists both Alexander Slater’s family of origin – at the address 164 “Schoolhouse”, and the family – no. 113 “Kirkness” – of James and Jane/Jean Kirkness. See also The Sailors’ Magazine and Seamen’s Friend 55, no. 6 (June 1883): 188, which lists a receipt from Captain Alexander Sclater, Newman Hall, Liverpool, of ten dollars for “library work.”

[59] See ACSP, Vessel Registry, “Newman Hall,” registration no. J[St. John’s NB]875027, official no. 072216, constructed Saint Martins, John County, New Brunswick, in 1875, for owner Benjamin Vaughan of Liverpool; also “Nile,” no official number given, registered in 1836 as J836104, which Benjamin Vaughan owned jointly with mariners David and Thomas, and shipbuilder, Simon Vaughan. For additional ships owned and/or built by the Vaughans see registration nos. J846033 William Carson; J850025 Robert A. Lewis, official no. 032918; J853108 David Brown, official no. 026757, which mentions shipbuilder Silas Vaughan, and Alexander Lockhart; J857020 Stamford, official no. 035169, which indicates Alexander Lockhart was a merchant; J859052 Golden Light, official no. 007035; M[irimachi NB]853028 Golden Light; J866011, and J586025 Pomona, official no.035051; J869076 India, official no. 043471; J870046 Viola , official no. 042735; J871049 Ontario, official no. 042723; J872012 Waterloo, official no. 048749; and J874029 Landseer, official no. 066969. As master, Benjamin Vaughan commanded the Viola, Landseer, E. Sutton, Rowland Hill, and Temple Bar. On the latter ship, a John Slater, 1834, of Shetland, is listed among the crew and the managing owner is William Vaughan, of St. Stephen [parish, Redditch, Birmingham]. They sailed for approximately eight months, from Glasgow to Greenock Scotland, Rio de Janiero, Brazil, and Portland Oregon, returning to Liverpool – the voyage beginning February of 1881. See also Lewis R. Fischer, “A Bridge Across the Water: Liverpool Shipbrokers and the Transfer of Eastern Canadian Sailing Vessels, 18551880,” The Northern Mariner/Le Marin du nord  m, no. 3 (July 1993), 4950, 54, for discussion of the “web of personal connections” including “family ties” that marked vessel construction in New Brunswick and deployment of the ships in the North Atlantic shipping trade out of Liverpool. He adds the Vaughans were among “the most important [ship] brokers in Liverpool.”

[60] ASCP, Golden Light, voyage ID J007035005, 1865; Golden Light,voyage ID J00703006, official no. 0070351866; Golden Light,voyage ID J007035007, official no. 00735, 1867;Golden Light, voyage ID J007035008, official no. 007035, 1868; Golden Light,voyage ID  J007035009 1868; Golden Light, voyage ID J007035010, 1869,the vessel was wrecked on a voyage to the port of New York after thirty-five days sailing, which indicates an incident at or near the port; Viola, voyage ID J042735001, official no. 042735, vessel registration no. J870046, 1870, the ship’s first voyage; Viola, voyage ID J42735002, 1871; Viola, voyage ID J42735003, 1872: Viola, voyage ID J42735004, 1873. The records give Alexander Slater’s certificate of competency as Colonial, 9232, and indicate he had sailed on Vaughan ships previously.

[61] “Captain Charles Graham,” Journal of Commerce, notes, “during one particular voyage when second officer Graham and Miss Sclater were brought very much together something more than friendship sprang up between them, and shortly after the ship’s return to England the second officer and the captain’s daughter were married.” Archives of Manitoba, “Colin Robertson Sinclair, Estate.”

[62] Marna Temple, letter to Valerie Temple, 1986, possession of Valerie Temple, notes as well, “We always loved the story that Mum [Nina Cameron Graham] used to tell us of her mother [Mary Cameron Graham] being the surviving twin – the baby boy died – and was small enough that she would fit in a milk jug.” See also ASCP, “John William Slater,” Official Number 072223.

[63] “1637 Main Street – Colin Inkster’s Bleak House, [Author] Unknown, 1874,” City of Winnipeg, 1980 (accessed 27 January 2009); see also Frank Hall, “Seven Oaks House Opened as a Museum,” Manitoba Pageant 4, no. 2 (January 1959); “Seven Oaks House Museum: A Manitoba Heritage” (accessed 27 January 2009); Healy, Women of Red River, 46, 74, 86, 9092, 9596, 200. Irene M. Spry, “Inkster, John,” DCB; “Colin Inkster (18431934),” Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba (Canadian Publicity Company, 1925), online version 2007, Manitoba Historical Society (accessed 27 January 2009).

[64] Mary Bletcher, “Degree in Engineering Helped Mother of 10,” Winnipeg Free Press (5 June 1965): 16; “First Woman Engineer,” Altamont Enterprise,New York (ca. 1912), online digital collection, (accessed 27 January 2009); “A Wedding In Winnipeg,” Winnipeg Free Press (1912); “Family Has Fine Scholastic Record,” Winnipeg Tribune (17 May 1946); and “Liverpool’s First Woman B.Eng,” Liverpool Daily Post (ca. 1962), newspaper clippings, autograph album of Nina Cameron Graham/Walley, possession of Norma Hall. See also “Nina Cameron Graham Prize,” University of Liverpool, Committee Secretariat awards/nina_cameron_graham.htm (accessed 27 January 2009).

[65] See for example, HBCA, “Cocking, Matthew (17431799) (fl. 17651782),” Biographical Sheet; “Cocking, Mathew,” DCB. Cocking worked passage to York Fort in 1765. Afterwards stationed landward, he rose from clerk to master at Severn and to chief of York by 17811782. He sailed to England on the King George, just before La Pérouse arrived to capture the fort. He retired to the “Suburbs of the city of York,” but “did not forget his transatlantic family ties; he secured permission from the company to send an annual remittance for ‘the use of his children and their parents in Hudson’s Bay.’ When he died in 1799, his major legatees were English relatives, but his will provided for goods worth £6 a year to be supplied to each of his three mixed-blood daughters, the eldest to receive the full amount, the others to share their portion with their mothers. The council at York requested that part of this legacy might be ‘laid out in Ginger Bread, Nuts &tc. as they have no other means of obtaining these little luxuries, with which the paternal fondness of a Father formally provided them’.” See also Beattie and Buss, Undelivered Letters, 32728, and the correspondence of Elizabeth Swanson/Linklater, in 1834 to her sailor brother William Swanson Junior. Also Alan Crawford, “Orcadians head to Canada for family powwow Islanders and Canada’s [sic],” The Sunday Herald, Scotland, 30 January 2005 mi_qn4156/is_/ai_n9498715 (accessed 24 January 2009); and “John McNab,” Material Histories, for examples of present-day communication between HBC family descendants.

[66] Jameson, “Introduction,” xvi. Alan V. Deardorff, “Social capital,” Deardorff’s Glossary of International Economics, 2001 (accessed 27 January 2009); see also Tania Burchardt, “social capital,” The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics, ed. Iain McLean and Alistair McMillan, ORO (accessed 27 January 2009); Milne, Trade and Traders in Mid-Victorian Liverpool, 17.

[67] Cowie, Company of Adventurers, 110.


2 Responses to Sailors and Families: Making Western Canadian Communities

  1. Kathy Mallett says:

    Hello: Just a bit of a correction in regards to George Spence – this person’s mother was not Nestichio Batt. If you check the HBC Bio Sheets on line you will find George Spence who matches in your above article. I know this because I am a direct descendant of Nestichio and her husband James Spence their second son Andrew is my direct line. Nestichio’s son George was born cir. 1792 died 1845.

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