A 19TH Century Canadian Time Capsule

“Miss Susan, with several children, now arrived, just as the bell of the steam boat began to ring. This bell rang to tell the people who were going to the boat, that it was time to go on board. Grace gave her seven-pence half-penny to Miss Martha, and then all the other little girls did the same, and Miss Martha gave the money to a man who stood at the gate of the steam boat wharf.”
“When the little party were in the street, Grace and Jessy were so much occupied with each other, as they walked along, that they nearly fell over a great Newfoundland dog, that was lying by the steps of a house door.

This street led to the steam boat wharf. On the side walk sat several squaws, making baskets. One of them had a child, about three years old, sitting by her side; and the papoose of another was tightly bandaged up in a little case made of bark. …”and presently they had passed through the busy market, and had reached the wharf. The boat was in sight, but it had not come up to the landing; so the children asked if they might stand and watch a cobbler, who was sitting in the street mending a pair of large, coarse shoes.”
“As she looked down the green slope, her eyes appeared to pass over the blue lake that lay at the foot of the hill, and to rest for a moment on a squaw who was drawing up the bank the canoe in which she had paddled herself over the lake.

Then she looked at an Indian encampment, which was on the rocky and barren hill opposite. When Miss Martha had considered these objects for a few minutes, she spoke to John, who stood near her.

John said, ‘Yes, ma’am,’ and went down the grassy hill, and turned to the right towards a fence which separated the hill on which they were, from a road passing over a bridge, and leading to the Indian encampment.”

…”when an old squaw, who was a great favourite of Grace, made her appearance, tired and travel-worn. Grace took her into the kitchen, where Madeline and her two dogs…
seated themselves on the floor. – Old Squaw very tired, said she– walk long way, no have much to eat all to-day…
The cook gave her a bowl of warm coffee and a plate of meat, but the old woman, hungry as she was, would not touch them until she had succeeded in extracting from her bundle, and presenting to Grace, a little canoe she had made for her”

“It was made of birch bark, fastened together by stitches of the sinews of the deer. In it were seated a miniature Indian and a Squaw, who had a papoose in its wooden case on her back. The squaw held a paddle in her hand, and the Indian was equipped for the chase.” A nice look at the inside of a wigwam with the ‘typical’ notion of civilized and savage:

The floor of this wigwam was covered with branches from the fir-tree, and on this carpet, wrapped in a blanket, . lay the old squaw…
her niece was working a chair-seat with bark and porcupine quills… The children wondered how anybody could bear to lie in the middle of the wigwam without a pillow, and they wondered still more to see the fire on the ground, without either grate or chimney.” the troops are going to land at two-o’clock-it will strike two in a few minutes; if you want to see them come along quickly”

“Grace thought there were almost as many people as on Sunday, when the congregations were going from Church” “Which way will they go?”
“They will go up by Belcher’s corner, round the Province House, to the south barrack”
“The crowd increases- A knot of old gentlemen is before them; young officers, who have been in the town for more than a year, hurry to and fro, as if they, too, were just landing; they are glad of any thing to enliven the quiet little town. Men of grave profession, and graver years, stand and talk with each other; there are two carriages with ladies in them”
‘I see the tops of soldiers’ caps over the wall at the bottom of that narrow lane.’
There was a sudden movement in the crowd
… first were heard drums, then the other instruments sounded full and clear.
They were playing ‘Auld Lang Syne.’ Then they saw a throng of men and boys, and above their heads the brilliant red plumes of the band.

Some officers on horseback came last, and they were soon out of sight. The music was good–the day was pleasant, and the red plumes were gay, yet Grace was a little disappointed; she thought the crowd spoiled the . effect of the soldiery.

It seemed to her that all those men and boys must have seen a disembarkation of troops many times before, as they were all older and taller than she was, and she wished they had not stood between her and the show she had come out to see.”

“The broad harbour showed only the North America with its red pipe, the Corsair with its crescent flying, and the red and white sails of the fishing vessels.” “But what is that gun? Is it the Steamer, from Boston?

Grace saw it from the window. ‘There it comes with its tall red chimney, and its smoke. How fast it comes and how long it is; you great Leviathan, as uncle John says–we are not afraid of you, though you do fire a gun, and though your decks are covered with people;–we know you are not an enemy.”
“If it were an enemy,” said George, “our citadel is stronger”