Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sea of the North / Agnes Christina Laut

QUOTE:

Pierre de la Vérendrye had heard of a region to the south much frequented by the Assiniboine Indians, who had conducted Radisson to the Sea of the North fifty years before—the Forks where the Assiniboine River joins the Red, and the city of Winnipeg stands to-day.

AND

When the Sautaux were at war with the Crees, he met the Crees and heard of the great salt sea in the north. Surely this was the Sea of the North—Hudson Bay—of which the Nipissing chief had told Groseillers long ago.

AND

When Radisson came back from Onondaga, he found his brother-in-law, Groseillers, at Three Rivers, with ambitious designs of exploration in the unknown land of which he had heard at Green Bay and on Lake Nipissing. Jacques Cartier had discovered only one great river, had laid the foundations of only one small province; Champlain had only made the circuit of the St. Lawrence, the Ottawa, and the Great Lakes; but here was a country—if the Indians spoke the truth—greater than all the empires of Europe together, a country bounded only by three great seas, the Sea of the North, the Sea of the South, and the Sea of Japan, a country so vast as to stagger the utmost conception of little New France.

SOURCE:

Title: Pathfinders of the West Being the Thrilling Story of the Adventures of the Men Who Discovered the Great Northwest: Radisson, La Vérendrye, & Lewis and Clark by Agnes Christina Laut
__________

QUOTE:

I question if Norse heroes of the sea could boast more thrilling adventure than the wild buffalo hunts of American plain-rangers. A cavalcade of six hundred men mounted on mettlesome horses eager for the furious dash through a forest of tossing buffalo-horns was quite as imposing as any clash between warring Vikings. Squaws, children and a horde of ragged camp-followers straggled in long lines far to the hunters' rear. Altogether, the host behind the flag numbered not less than two thousand souls. Like any martial column, our squad had captain, color-bearer and chaplain. Luckily, all three were known to me, as I discovered when I reached Pembina.

SOURCE:

Title: Lords of the North
Author: A. C. Laut

Agnes Christina Laut(1871–1936). The prolific Canadian author Agnes Christina Laut wrote fiction and nonfiction mostly about the exploration and early settlement of Canada. Her topics included explorers, fur trapping and trading, gold prospecting, and other aspects of Canadian life in the era of European settlement.

Like so many other adventurous women at the turn of the century, Agnes C. Laut knew a passion for travel as well as a "gipsy yearning for the wilds." Fortunately she lived and worked at a time when the sphere of women´s lives was widening significantly. She was born the youngest of eight children in Ontario´s Huron County on February 11, 1871, just one year after Manitoba, amidst the troubles on the prairies, became the first province of the new Dominion of Canada. Her father was John Laut, a merchant from Glasgow and her mother was Eliza George, the daughter of Rev. James George, Chair of Logic and Mental and Moral Philosophy and vice-principal of Queen´s University from 1853 to 1857.

When Laut was two years old, she and her family moved to Winnipeg, which had just been incorporated as a city. In 1907 Laut recalled the importance of her early childhood years: "It was my good luck to have spent the first seven years of life on a farm enjoying all the fun of the real thing; riding real horses, not rocking horses; sailing real rafts on real creeks, not just blowing paper boats on a bath tub; hunting the secret nooks of live, real, woodland things ..."

Laut acknowledges some of the pioneering historians whose works inform her fiction: Alexander Ross, author of The Fur Hunters of the Far West (1855); George Bryce, author of Manitoba: Its Infancy, Growth, and Present Condition (1882) and The Remarkable History of the Hudson´s Bay Company (1900); and Donald Gunn, co-author of History of Manitoba (1880).

SOURCE:

Lords of the North

TRIVIA:

Agnes Christina Laut, 1871-1936, (Herstory 1985), was a novelist and historian who based many of her works, such as Lords of the North, and The Conquest of the Great Northwest (1908), on the Hudson's Bay Company's records of the fur trade. She was the first historian allowed access the the HBC archives, then in London, England.