Departure from Greenock in the Brig "Laurel".--Fitting up of the
Vessel.--Boy Passenger.--Sea Prospect.--Want of Occupation and
Arrival off Newfoundland.--Singing of the Captain's Goldfinch previous to
discovery of Land.--Gulf of St. Laurence.--Scenery of the River St.
Laurence.--Difficult navigation of the River.--French Fisherman engaged as
Pilot.--Isle of Bic.--Green Island.--Regular Pilot engaged.--Scenery of
Green Island.--Gros Isle.--Quarantine Regulations.--Emigrants on Gros
Isle.--Arrival off Quebec.--Prospect of the City and Environs.
Departure from Quebec.--Towed by a Steam-vessel.--Fertility of the
Country.--Different Objects seen in sailing up the River.--Arrival off
Landing at Montreal.--Appearance of the Town.--Ravages of the
Cholera.--Charitable Institutions in Montreal.--Conversation at the
Hotel.--Writer attacked with the Cholera.--Departure from Montreal in a
Stage-coach.--Embark at Lachine on board a Steam-vessel. Mode of travelling
alternately in Steam-vessels and Stages.--Appearance of the
Country.--Manufactures.--Ovens at a distance from the
Cottages.--Draw-wells.--Arrival at Cornwall.--Accommodation at the
Inn.--Departure from Cornwall, and Arrival at Prescott.--Arrival at
Brockville.--Ship-launch there.--Voyage through Lake Ontario.--Arrival at
Journey from Cobourg to Amherst.--Difficulties to be encountered on first
settling in the Backwoods.--Appearance of the Country.--Rice Lake.--Indian
Habits.--Voyage up the Otanabee.--Log- house, and its Inmates.--Passage
boat.--Journey on foot to Peterborough.
Peterborough.--Manners and Language of the Americans.--Scotch
Engineman.--Description of Peterborough and its Environs.--Canadian
Flowers.--Shanties.--Hardships suffered by first Settlers.--Process of
establishing a Farm.
Journey from Peterborough.--Canadian Woods.--Waggon and Team.--Arrival at a
Log-house on the Banks of a Lake.--Settlement, and first Occupations.
Inconveniences of first Settlement.--Difficulty of obtaining Provisions and
other necessaries.--Snow-storm and Hurricane.-- Indian Summer, and
setting-in of Winter.--Process of clearing the Land.
Loss of a yoke of Oxen.--Construction of a Log-house.--Glaziers' and
Carpenters' work.--Description of a new Log-house.--Wild Fruits of the
Country.--Walks on the Ice.--Situation of the House.--Lake and surrounding
Variations in the Temperature of the Weather.--Electrical
Phenomenon.--Canadian Winter.--Country deficient in Poetical
Associations.--Sugar-making.--Fishing season.--Mode of Fishing.--Duck-
shooting.--Family of Indians.--"Papouses" and their Cradle-cases.-- Indian
Emigrants suitable for Canada.--Qualities requisite to ensure
Success.--Investment of Capital.--Useful Articles to be brought
out.--Qualifications and Occupations of a Settler's Family.--Deficiency of
Patience and Energy in some Females.--Management of the Dairy.--
Cheese.--Indian Corn, and its Cultivation.--Potatoes.--Rates of Wages.
"A Logging Bee."--Burning of the Log-heaps.--Crops for the Season.--Farming
Stock.--Comparative Value of Wheat and Labour.--Choice of Land, and relative
Advantages.--Clearing Land.--Hurricane in the Woods.--Variable
Health enjoyed in the rigour of Winter.--Inconvenience suffered from the
brightness of the Snow.--Sleighing.--Indian Orthography.--Visit to an Indian
Encampment.--Story of an Indian.--An Indian Hunchback.--Canadian
Utility of Botanical Knowledge.--The Fire-Weed.-- Sarsaparilla
Plants.--Magnificent Water Lily.--Rice Beds.--Indian Strawberry.--Scarlet
Recapitulation of various Topics.--Progress of Settlement.--Canada, the Land
of Hope.--Visit to the Family of a Naval Officer.--Squirrels.--Visit to, and
Story of, an Emigrant Clergyman.--His early Difficulties.--The Temper,
Disposition, and Habits of Emigrants essential Ingredients in Failure or
Indian Hunters.--Sail in a Canoe.--Want of Libraries in the Backwoods.--New
Village.--Progress of Improvement.--Fire flies.
Ague.--Illness of the Family.--Probable Cause.--Root- house.--Setting-in of
Winter.--Insect termed a "Sawyer."--Temporary Church.
Busy Spring.--Increase of Society and Comfort.--Recollections of
Seventh Edition considerably enlarged by Mrs. Traill (1857) (pdf)
Preface To The Seventh Edition
The value attached to this little work may be
estimated in some degree by its having already reached a Seventh Edition.
The testimony borne to its worth and utility to actual and intending
Settlers, by persons so well entitled to give an opinion of its merits as
William Hutton, Esq., Secretary to the Board of Agriculture and statistics;
Frederic Widder, Esq., Resident Commissioner of the Canada Company, and A.
0. Buchanan and A. B. Hawke, Esq., The Government Emigration Agents at
Quebec and Toronto, has doubtless given it an importance which it otherwise
might not have attained.
The Appendix has been added by the Publisher, who has collated his
information from the most authentic and reliable sources.
The matter in the other portion of the book is written by Mrs. Traill, after
a residence of twenty-five years in the Colony, a considerable portion of
which has been in those in Backwoods of Canada, so vivid and interesting a
description of which she gave to the public through the columns of Knight’s
The growing interest felt in Canadian matters at home, and the prospect of
an extensive Emigration to this Province in the approaching year, have
caused a large demand for the work from Great Britain and other parts of and
Europe: with a view therefore to make it more useful and acceptable, a very
large and valuable addition has been made to it, selected from the works and
“endorsed” by the opinions of some of the most eminent authorities in
The addition made consists of the following articles :
1. The Future of Western Canada.
2. The Railway Policy of Canada.
3. The Climate of Canada, as contrasted with that of the United States by H.
Y. Hinde, Esq., Professor of Mathematics &c. in Trinity College.
4. The Conditions upon which the FREE GRANTS are offered by the Honble. P.
M. Vankoughnet, M. L. C. and Minister of Agriculture.
5. Instructions to Emigrants as to Outfit, Choice of a Vessel, &c., &c. by
Vere Foster, Esq.
6. A Description of the Lands in the Free Grants by B. Perry, Esq., Resident
Agent at Kaladan
7. A Letter in answer to certain questions addressed by the Roman-Catholic
Bishop of Ottawa to T. P. French, Esq., the resident Agent at Mount
St-Patrick, as to the quality of the lands in Ids District, &c., &c.
8. Information to Settlers as to the necessaries with which they should be
provided upon their arrival at their intended homes in the Backwoods, by the
same well-informed gentleman.
These various documents comprise an amount of information, the result of
actual experience, and bearing the stamp of official authority, upon which,
the utmost reliance may be placed; and they are published with a view to the
instruction and guidance of Settlers of all classes who may contemplate a
residence in this thriving Colony, whose onward progress exceeds that of any
other dependency of the British Crown.
It is proper to state that the Statistical Information given herein comes up
to the last period to which official returns have been rendered, but the
progress made in the five years which have elapsed since that time very far
exceeds any similar period in every particular.
Then no Railroads were in progress, now there are fifteen hundred miles in
full operation, extending from Portland to the extreme western boundary of
To this brief notice the Publisher will only add his earnest advice and
decided opinion that future Emigrants should, on. every account, avail
themselves of the facilities for reaching Canada by the Canadian
Screw-Steamers which hereafter will regularly sail from British Ports to
Portland, Quebec or Montreal, from all of which places access can be had to.
every part of the Province by the Grand Trunk Railway, by the Directors and
Officers of which every possible facility will be given for their cheap and
expeditious transit to their various destinations, every attention paid to
their comforts, and the most, reliable information afforded.
The Publisher has carefully abstained from giving any account of the
Province more favorable than the one borne out by official returns as to
fertility and climate.
The Table of wages inserted in the appendix is rather under than over the
prices now readily obtainable.
The prices of labour and provisions are all reckoned in Canada currency. A
deduction of one-fifth brings them all as nearly as possible, into sterling
A Tale of the Rice Lake Plains by Catherine Parr Traill (1881) (pdf)