A 19TH Century Canadian Time Capsule

Character Quotes and Miscellaneous Observations:
“I heard my grandmother say the other day, she thought we should be more healthy, if we lived more like the Indians.”
Of particular interest in this regard, was the Lifespan recorded for the Native named Mambertou (also christened as Henry):
When he was more than a hundred years old, he was very ill…”

Prior to 1613, Mambertou built an impressive encampment (see the description under Some History learned by Grace). He took a large force south to battle other tribes near Cape Cod, and returned victorious. I don’t know if there is any way to validate that he had lived to an age in excess of a hundred years but the author seems to take the longetivity for granted. The story doesn’t indicate in what year, Mambertou died – only that he was buried at Port Royal with great honours.

“The steamboat lady called me a Haligonian…”
“…if people cared enough about Nova Scotia to fight for it, I should think they would care enough to keep it when they had it.
…will you tell me why they did not care more about it, and send plenty of soldiers to defend it, and men and women to live here, and build towns?
…I suppose they were very ignorant in those days, said her brother, and their mother said she thought the idea prevailed that Nova Scotia contained no mines, and this supposition deterred settlers from coming to it. The gold and silver which had been brought to Europe, from South America and Mexico, were so attractive to the people, that they considered a country without these metals as scarcely deserving attention. At that time the fisheries and fur trade were considered the only resources of Nova Scotia.”

“Now Massachusetts has given it up,” said Grace; “every body wants it, and every body gives it up…”

“Most of them fled into the woods, but one respectable man surrendered, and asked protection for himself and his family.”

“I will show you the former residence of Her Majesty’s Father, the Duke of Kent.”

As the French in Monty Python’s Search for the Holy Grail taunt the English shamelessly:

“Pontrincourt once sailed to Cape Cod, in search of a place further south than Port Royal, at which to settle. He put into a harbor there, and one day some Indians stole a hatchet from his men. Two guns were fired at them, and they fled but, the next day, a shower of arrows was discharged among Pontrincourt’s people, and two of them were killed. These two men were buried at the foot of a cross which he had put up when he landed, and while the funeral service was performed, the Indians were dancing and yelling in mockery. When the French embarked, the Indians took down the cross, dug up the bodies, and stripped them of their grave clothes, which they carried off in triumph.”

French – English Relations:

(I think)…”it very natural these people, who had preserved the language and religion of France, should still be unwilling to give up their allegiance to the king of that country.”
“I can see more excuse for their conduct than those could who lived then, and whose friends had suffered death or captivity through their influence.”

This is perhaps the most dangerous territory to venture into. Our present day political climate meets 1840’s perceptions that the English and French

disagreements were resolved long before 1843. Little did they know! Throughout the historical discussions, Canada is referred to as French – until 1759.

However, in Miss Grove’s world, the French and the English appear to have found a peaceful coexistence (at least in her mind). She fully understands the difficult choices given to early Acadians as well as the complications caused by the two European countries acting independently.

“Both nations, you see, claimed a right to the Country, and the English King gave a grant to one man, and the French King gave a grant to another. This, by and bye, made a great deal of trouble.” Thank goodness we no longer have the French and English Kings in Europe making the political decisions for Canadian citizens.

“…they (Acadians) are described as a very quiet and happy people. They made farms in the lowlands, building dikes, or high mounds of earth to keep out the water of the sea and the rivers. The fields made in this manner, produced abundance of grain, and they had also large meadows in which were great herds of cattle and flocks of sheep. They never quarrelled with each other, and every family had horses and poultry, and whatever they needed. When a young man wished to marry, the others built a house for him, and supplied him with every thing necessary for a year. There was very little poverty or distress among them.”