Canadian Canoe Routes

Help identifying an old book owner
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Author:  erich [ February 28th, 2008, 12:18 am ]
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One thing that I find interesting, is Pike's references to native peoples, as compared to the references by Robert Campbell fifty years earlier. Pike did not have a high regard for some of the native peoples he encountered. I don't recall if it was from Pike or another explorer that I read that by the 1880's, many felt that the Europeans had caused the decline of the native peoples, both physically and morally, due to disease, and association with a poorer class of whites. Tommy Walker, another expat Brit, wrote about homesteading in BC in the 1920's. RM Patterson was another Brit who paddled the Nahanni and wintered over there in the 20's.

Robert Campbell was much more appreciative of the native cultures he encountered. Someone suggested that the Scots were more disposed to treat the native peoples well, as they understood being on the receiving end of British smugness. It is also true that the HBC explorers were there for long term trade, and the HBC directors were clear that the native peoples should be treated fairly, as they were the HBC's trading partners.

In some ways, the two, Campbell and Pike, were similar to Livingstone and Stanley in Africa. The former was much more disposed to the native peoples even though he was a missionary. While Henry Stanley was hard on the native peoples and by all accounts a racist.

Author:  George Luste [ February 28th, 2008, 8:27 am ]
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idylwyld wrote:
There is an interesting biographical note on Warburton Pike, including comments by George M. Douglas and Guy Blanchet on his account. Here (PDF). It looks like CCR isn't the only place where wilderness paddlers sometimes argue and dispute individual claims. An ignoble tradition?

In reference to your link, the collection of numerous AINA biographical sketches of northern travelers were published as the book I referenced earlier: 'Lobsticks and Stone Cairns'. And so I quoted the last paragraph in your link and the book. The book was published by the University of Calgary and edited by Richard C. Davis.

As an aside, in 1991 I wrote a short biographical sketch for the same AINA series about Raymond Patterson, but alas it never made it into the book. :cry:

Author:  George Luste [ February 28th, 2008, 8:38 am ]
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erich wrote:
One thing that I find interesting, is Pike's references to native peoples, as compared to the references by Robert Campbell fifty years earlier. Pike did not have a high regard for some of the native peoples he encountered. ......

This was true in a number of writings, but not all, in that time period.

To illustrate, Ernest Thopson Seton, in "The Arctic Praries" (A canoe journey of 2,000 miles in search of the caribou; being an account of a voyage to the region north of Aylmer Lake), first published in 1911 - has numerous negative references to his native guides.

Others were far more sympathetic and understanding - like David Hanbury or in other earlier writings by David Thompson, W.F. Butler and others.

Author:  mrcanoe [ February 28th, 2008, 9:32 am ]
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I lot of writing about the north can be found in the writings of missionaries. I have a great little book published in 1928 by the Missionary Society of the Church of England in Canada, that tells of the work of Archibald Lang Fleming, Archdeacon of the Arctic in the early years of the last ventury.
His is both paternalistic towards and in awe of the "Eskimos" he had encountered. It's a wonderfully illustrated volume with original photos, which reveal a lot about the Eskimos and the missionaries. These two photos show two men, and are labelled interestingly. Does a personal bias come into his descriptions of these two men?
An Unevangelized Eskimo
A Native Christian Leader
Finally, on page 174, in a part of the book where the mission is described and the request for more men and money for the mission is made, this description is included.

Author:  idylwyld [ February 28th, 2008, 11:55 am ]
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If you want to know something about the intellectual culture of the time, the milieu in which these gentlemen Brits, missionaries, and traders emerged, I can't recommend more strongly George Stocking's "Victorian Anthropology" (especially for the period 1850-1890).

    Stocking, George W. Jr., 1987, Victorian Anthropology, Toronto: Maxwell Macmillan Canada.

The transition to a more respectful and "modern" social distance between native people and travelers didn't really start to emerge until early in the 1900s. Even though you have dramatic exceptions among traders, explorers, and the like, there was always some sense of savage otherness and social distance, which may even be a factor in publishing and meeting popular tastes among a victorian readership (rather than a reflection of the personal preferences of the writers).

Stocking is good for providing some of this intellectual context and social setting. Darwin published his "Origin of Species" in 1859, and it drew together a number of themes and made a pronounced impact on popular attitudes about society, religion, and far away places. It was a sea change in the scientific imagination … a first step in the sense making project of understanding cultural difference (e.g., classify it along a linear scale or social hierarchy). Stocking follows this story in Britain with the early philologists and folklorists, missionary ethnographers, early travelers, traders and ethnographers in the colonies, and early scientific institutions. Warburton Pike may not have read Herbert Spencer, E. B. Tylor, or the American Louis Henry Morgan … but I would hazard to guess that he at least heard of them. This was the heyday of social darwinism, and a lot of these early travelers brought back material collections for national museums to be displayed according to the newly minted narrative of social advancement (ending with the pinnacle of Western civilization and the hopeful optimism of science).

Indeed, many of the early accounts probably challenged as well as confirmed some of the expectations and thinking about wild places and people. In the plan for the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, Putnam envisioned the Midway Plaisance as a living museum organized along the narrative of social evolution: "primitive" tribal people set off along the west, the "barbarism" of the Orient and ancient Old World in the middle, and the heights of the shimmering White City on the shores of Lake Michigan. Later, a new generation of social theorists, Franz Boas (drawing on German nationalism) challenged such evolutionary views in the early 1900s (primarily in the field of museum collections and linguistics). He worked with the Inuit and on the B.C. Coast, and he also trained a generation of ethnographers in Canada: Diamond Jenness, Edward Sapir, Marius Barbeau, James Teit, T. F. McIlwraith, George Hunt, and many others.

It may not be a direct relevance, but it is part of the context of early travels, trade, geography and scientific expeditions to the north … especially those sponsored by museums, and works published for a general audience fascinated by foreign accounts of strangeness and remote places.

Doug Flint wrote:
Here are the signatures and the map

I was really hoping you would include a photo of the map. It's pretty exciting, the mysterious shape of Great Slave Lake, an outline of the known, the seen and the experienced, and the yearning for additional details, factual information, and new discoveries.

Author:  Erhard [ February 28th, 2008, 12:32 pm ]
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If you want to read some fair descriptions of Native life and achievements(mid-1800's), read
George may have that book for sale at the Symposium.
Here's what the amazon website says:
Product Description
The Museum of the Fur Trade Quarterly
[Kohl] "He studied their culture objectively, in contrast to missionaries of the time and to government people like Schoolcraft. He had no interest in their potential for becoming Christian farmers and studied their ceremonies and songs sympathetically. One of Kohl's special interests was the birchbark picture writing of the Ojibwa. He discussed the writings with as many Indians as possible and copied a number of birchbark 'books.' Several of those copies are reproduced in the book together with picture writing from gravestones and a gunstock-style war club.

The extent of Kohl's other observations is really amazing. They cover the fur trade, canoe building, domestic utensils, quillwork, native foods, hunting, fishing, trapping, cooking, toboggans, snowshoes, gardening, lodge building, games and warfare. We also learn some important things about voyageurs-their songs, work, attitudes toward life and relations with the Indians."

Book Description
Kitchi-Gami, Kohl's classic book on the Ojibway of Lake Superior, is a fascinating study in contrasts and similarities. Its author was an urbane, well-traveled European, a trained ethnologist, and an accomplished popular writer. Kohl turned his sensitive powers of observation on a nation of people he found not unlike his own. Perceptively and elegantly, he described daily life among the Ojibway, detailing religious practices, legends, foods, games, medicines, homes, clothing, and methods of travel, hunting, and fishing. Kohl's gentle humor and candor, and his respect for the Objiway people, anticipate later developments in American ethnology and make his writing especially appealing to the modern reader.

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