"Our amazing visitors": Catherine Cartwright's account of Labrador Inuit in England.
Key words: Labrador Inuit, Tooklavinia, Attuiock, Caubvick, Ickongoque, Ickeuna, George Cartwright, Catherine Cartwright
RESUME. De la documentation au sujet d'Inuits qui s'etaient rendus en Angleterre au [XVIII.sup.e] siecle a fait l'objet d'une recente decouverte dans des archives britanniques. Nous presentons ici trois lettres ecrites en 1773 par Catherine Cartwright, la soeur du commandant George Cartwright, celebre au Labrador. Ces lettres portent sur un groupe de cinq Inuits ayant visite l'Angleterre avec Cartwright a l'automne 1772. Tous ces Inuits, sauf un, sont morts de la variole au debut de leur voyage de retour au Labrador, vers le commencement de l'ete suivant. Une quatrieme lettre, redigee un an plus tard par un denomme M. Stowe, une relation de famille, renferme des renseignements sur la rentree de George Cartwright au Labrador avec Caubvick, le seul survivant inuit. Ces lettres contiennent de nouveaux renseignements a propos de la visite inuite, renseignements qui sont de premiere main et sont enrichis d'observations et d'opinions personnelles. A titre de donnees micro-historiques, ces lettres contribuent aux discussions historiques de plus grande envergure concernant les relations entre les Inuits et les Europeens, et mettent en lumiere la societe inuite, 1'agence inuite au sein de l'economie en pleine evolution de la fin du [XVIII.sup.e] siecle et les perspectives des Europeens a l'egard de leur fascination vis-a-vis des peuples indigenes.
Mots cles: Inuit du Labrador, Tooklavinia, Attuiock, Caubvick, Ickongoque, Ickeuna, George Cartwright, Catherine Cartwright
Traduit pour la revue Arctic par Nicole Giguere.
In the late summer of 1772, Captain George Cartwright, a British merchant then operating in St. Lewis Inlet, Labrador, brought a party of five Inuit to England. Their visit is described in some detail in Cartwright's well-known account of his years in Labrador, A Journal of Transactions and Events during a Residence of Nearly Sixteen Years on the Coast of Labrador (1792). While in England, the Inuit extended family group spent late winter and spring at Cartwright's childhood home in Marnham, Nottinghamshire, where they were feted and introduced to the life of landed families. Their time at Marnham resulted in a previously unknown narrative in the form of four pieces of correspondence, presented here. Three of the letters were written by George's sister, Catherine Cartwright, following the departure of the Inuit in the spring of 1773. They contain firsthand descriptions of each member of the group, which included Attuiock, his youngest wife, Ickongoque, and their young daughter Ickeuna, as well as Tooklavinia, who was Attuiock's youngest brother, and Caubvick, Tooklavinia's wife. Among many other new pieces of information, Catherine Cartwright recorded the physical appearance of the Inuit, which has made it possible to confirm the identities of the Inuit group in the newly discovered portrait shown in Figure 1, a puzzle first considered in Stopp (2009). A fourth letter, written a year later by M. Stowe, a family relation who probably acquired her information from Catherine Cartwright, describes events following George Cartwright's return to Labrador. The letters, which add fascinating detail to the historiography of the 1772-73 visit and its tragic ending, serve as a suitable sequel to the recently published article "Eighteenth Century Inuit in England" (Stopp, 2009). Readers are encouraged to consult the earlier article for details of the visit, which are not repeated here. One of the letters contains a reference to yet another description of the Inuit visit, which appeared in the St. James's Chronicle during the time of the visit. This piece was located and a transcription follows that of the letters.
The letters belong to a large collection of estate papers and correspondence of the Grimston family of Grimston Garth, Kilnwick, Yorkshire, held at the archive of the East Riding of Yorkshire. The authors had known for some time that Cartwright material existed in this archive, but it was through the initiative of G. Mitchell that copies were obtained of material that appeared to pertain to Labrador.
Catherine Cartwright (1737-1830) was one of 13 children of William (High Sheriff of Nottingham in 1742) and Anne Cartwright of Marnham, Nottinghamshire. In a family described as possessing "more than an average share of brains" (Cartwright, 1909), three of Catherine's brothers became famous in their own fields of endeavour: John was a major in the British navy stationed for some years in Newfoundland waters, who later became a social and political reformist (Marshall, 1977, 1996:239-240); George became a merchant and explorer in Labrador (Stopp, 2008); and Edmund was a clergyman who became famous as the inventor of the power-driven loom. A daughter, Elizabeth (Mrs. John Penrose), authored a number of histories for young scholars under the penname Mrs. Markham (Brown, 1896). A niece, Frances Dorothy Cartwright, published a biography of her uncle, Major John Cartwright (Cartwright, 1826). Catherine, who never married, was described as being as "clever as she is good" and apparently lived with unimpaired intellect to the great age of 93 (Burke, 1835:437; Cartwright, 1909). These letters may well be based on notes made in her red morocco diary, which has never been found, though its existence has long been known (Lysaght, 1971; Marshall, 1979). An excerpt from the diary that is reminiscent of the letters was published by a descendent in the first decade of the 20th century (Cartwright, 1909; Stopp, 2009). The Grimston family of Yorkshire was related to the Cart-wrights through the marriage of Jane Cartwright, a sister of William Cartwright.
From the early period of discovery and exploration and well into the time of colonial expansion, thousands of aboriginal people from the New World were brought to European cities for purposes that ranged from slavery to formal meetings between potentates. In the earliest period, they were forcibly taken in large numbers as slaves, a practice that shifted somewhat by the 17th century to include taking individuals to Europe to be trained as interpreters and guides for subsequent undertakings (Dickason, 1984). Several recurrent themes are found in accounts of New World visits to Europe, not the least of which is the fascination that New World peoples held for Europeans. Accounts also contain clear indicators that strategic political and material gains were woven into these journeys, often for visitors and hosts alike. Accounts reveal a need to place visitors within a comprehensible class structure, and Europeans preferred people of power because they suited Old World notions of class and were simply more interesting. Supposed chiefs, great shamans or warriors, princes and princesses, and kings and queens from another world were encouraged to travel to Europe. Sometimes visitors were inadvertently given a status they did not hold in their homeland, but often higher status was deliberately implied (Connaughton, 2005). This was partly to permit meetings between social equals, but also because seemingly powerful visitors gave their hosts, who might be ship's captains or merchants, access to entities and spheres of power normally not open to them. Several early accounts, furthermore, describe the formation of bonds of friendship, the genial relations that developed between visitors and their hosts, and the subsequent heartfelt sadness upon the deaths, as so often happened, of these new friends. The Cartwright material, for example, contains many indications that a deep friendship had developed between the entire Cartwright family and the Inuit. All of these themes--fascination of the otherworldly, monetary or political accrual, and consideration of these newcomers through a European lens--are found in Catherine Cartwright's letters, in her brother's journal, and in the St James's Chronicle article, and their presence places these records within an acknowledged discourse of the time.
The European fascination with New World peoples was deeply entrenched and cut through all classes. From the earliest contact period, it led to an enormous literature on the subject (Simmons, 1995), and to inspired ways of presenting visitors to the wider public. Amerindians and Inuit were put on display, often traveling from city to city, and were featured in European newspapers and broadsheets that described their dress, physical shape, tattooing and other bodily decoration, and cultural paraphernalia. Some of our earliest descriptions of aboriginal peoples stem from such circumstances (Foreman, 1943; Sturtevant, 1980; Dickason, 1984; Sturtevant and Quinn, 1989; Prins, 1993; Feest, 1999). Cartwright held to a centuries-old tradition when he put his party of Inuit on display in London for a time and "had so many applications for admittance" that he was forced to rent larger premises (Cartwright, 1792, Vol. 1:272). He also brought them to public venues, such as the opera, on walks through London streets, and to view military exercises where on one occasion, "so great a crowd had gathered round us, as incommoded our view of the troops, and attracted the notice of the King, who then sent general Harvey to order me with the Indians, into the vacant space ... here his Majesty rode slowly past them, and condescended to salute them by taking off his hat" (Cartwright, 1792, Vol. 1:272). We learn that even at Marnham, where George Cartwright hoped to offer the Inuit some respite from public life, individual visitors and large crowds gathered at every opportunity and were not discouraged. In his nine-page review of Cartwright's published journal, Edmund Burke continued a long tradition of reportage on New World visitors when he devoted over half of his lengthy column to a verbatim extract from Cartwright's journal that describes the Inuit (followed by a second excerpt on another theme of great interest to the English, namely a hunt) (Annual Register, 1799).
Directly linked to an interest in indigenous peoples were Enlightenment period developments in the natural sciences, which sought to respond to the theological explanation for humankind and the universe with meticulously collected data. Attempts to explain the cultural and physical differences between the world's peoples led to the development of various conflicting theories about whether those differences were caused by the natural environment, by the mind (hence the great interest in cranial capacity and structure), or by culture (Baehre, 2008). The English botanist and zoologist Joseph Banks visited Labrador in 1766 (Lysaght, 1971) but never met any Inuit. He was thus eager to make the acquaintance of George Cartwright's group and may have commissioned the portrait shown in Figure 1, which subsequently appears to have been gifted to his friend, the surgeon and anatomist John Hunter, who, like Banks, played host to the Inuit while in London (Stopp, 2009:58). Banks also presented gifts of portraits of Mikak, Attuiock, and Caubvick to another friend and great scientist of the time, Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, in Gottingen, Germany. All three scientists, among others, valued meetings with aboriginal visitors, and portraiture was not only a sentimental record of such encounters but also served as a data record of ethnography and physiognomy. Although cultural and physical differences were areas debated by a growing body of Enlightenment scientists, these were also notions familiar to the reading public. Catherine Cartwright's notes, despite their homespun focus on the Inuit's excellence at dancing or riding horses and their ability to express humour and to learn English, subtly reflect common speculations of the time on the cultural and physical distance between her and her "amazing visitors."
Political or monetary gain also motivated the practice of making aboriginal newcomers available to the public. Presented as ambassadors of intriguing new cultures, many were put on display for an admittance charge. Cartwright's "applications for admittance," mentioned above, undoubtedly referred to payment to view the Inuit group as a way of covering his expenses. In instances where aboriginal visitors were brought before kings, queens, and nobility, it was understood that both facilitator and visitor would receive gifts or other forms of compensation. Through Mikak, her host Francis Lucas hoped for entry into better social circles, while Newfoundland Governor Hugh Palliser and the Moravian Brethren, each with vested interests in Labrador affairs, made strategic use of Mikak's presence for political submissions (Stopp, 2009).
Bringing visitors to Europe had a place in complex relations of power for all parties involved and created an unusual "contact zone" of colonial interaction (Pratt, 1992: 4). Upon returning home, indigenous visitors were expected to serve as ambassadors on behalf of their host country and to facilitate colonialist politics and ultimately settlement expansion. To this end, many were treated to European pomp, brought to courts, given gifts, and shown sights that were meant to illustrate the various powers of their hosts. No opportunity was lost by George Cartwright to impress upon his visitors the grandeur of British military and architectural display. "I omitted nothing," he recorded, "to impress them with ideas of our riches and strength," motivated in part by the Inuit sentiment that they viewed Europeans "with great contempt" and "could cut off all the English with great ease" (Cartwright, 1792, entry for Monday 14 December, 1772; similar statements by Inuit are also found in early Moravian records from Labrador). Intent and relations of power moved in both directions.
There is evidence that gains were not solely a European motivation. We learn from Catherine Cartwright's letters that the Inuit received many gifts during their stay. Three years earlier, the Labrador Inuit woman Mikak had also acquired gifts of clothing and jewelry while in London. Many Inuit along the coast of Labrador would have known of Mikak's acquisitions and may have been similarly motivated by the opportunity to acquire European goods and solidify trade connections. The Inuit were aware of the potential advantages afforded by their situation: they were keen and acquisitive guests, hopeful of exercising their close alignment with Europeans as brokers and trade middlemen once back in Labrador. The relevance of the liaisons made by Mikak and by Attuiock's party with powerful personages such as the Moravian missionaries, the governor of Newfoundland, George Cartwright and other merchants, and even British royalty were well understood by the Inuit, who were by no means naive observers of European life--they had seen and traded with Europeans on the Labrador coast since the 16th century. In Catherine Cartwright's letters, we find confirmation that the journey of the Inuit group came about through the insistence of Attuiock--breaking from the stereotype of the coerced indigenous traveler. We learn that it was in fact he who had insisted upon accompanying her brother to England, against the tatter's wishes. Attuiock's reasons undoubtedly lay in what he knew of Mikak's experiences, of her valuable collection of European gifts, and her equally valuable ties to people with access to European goods, and he held hopes of returning to Labrador as a well-connected middleman trader among the Inuit (Stopp, 2009:59-62).
Concerns of class and status and the civilizing of aboriginal peoples are interwoven as a third theme in early accounts of New World visitors (Dickason, 1984; Feest, 1999). Europeans, while hoping to spot elements of aboriginal authenticity and glimmers of the "savage," also sought assurance that these individuals could be socialized. Catherine Cartwright remarked on the capability of the Inuit women to attain "perfect neatness," and "their civility & propriety," affirming a Romanticist notion of the day that acculturation was a dance step away. At the same time, Catherine Cartwright also reveled in having encountered the authentic "pure Children of Nature" (letter of 25 April 1773). George Cartwright expressed concern that the skin clothing of his party "had a dirty appearance and an offensive smell," and he consequently "provided a quantity of broad-cloth, flannel, and beads, together with whatever else was necessary; and the women ... being excellent tailors, soon clothed them all anew; preserving their own fashion in the cut of their garments" (Cartwright, 1792, entry for 14 December 1772). The trans-cultural outcome of these expectations suited Cartwright's wish to convey the authentic (the cut of the clothes) while erasing the overly indigenous (the smell of skin clothing). The author of the St. James's Chronicle article also considered it worthy of note that the Inuit were capable of acquiring English skills and mannerisms. For Catherine Cartwright, the presumed innocence of her guests and their impressionability fit into a wider belief that these were untouched beings who would benefit from contact and could attain their European potential. Like many educated Europeans of the time, she was informed by the Rousseauistic concept of the noble savage. Attuiock, for instance, was bestowed with classical nobility of character and hidden intelligence, with a "solemn & majestic" manner: he "threw his eyes round the room, as if comparing time past & places distant, with the present, & laying a plan for his future greatness; insomuch that he struck you with the idea of a barbarian King taken captive by the Romans."
The themes of class and social standing and their extension to indigenous visitors are reflected in the letters. Catherine Cartwright notes with some pride that Attuiock is a "hero," a "warrior, & lawgiver as well as a Priest" (letter of 25 April 1773). An interest in social hierarchies among the Inuit undoubtedly found its basis in Catherine Cartwright's own context; living in a highly class-conscious society, she assumed that, as in Britain, social class must figure elsewhere. She recorded three classes of Inuit society that included the Angicoke (great people), the Kippaloots (common people), and the Pimmaja (servants). Although traditional Inuit society has been considered egalitarian, with Angakok providing guidance and leadership, Cartwright's observations shed new light on its social complexity. In the 18th century, the confluence of increasing missionary presence and increasing access to European material goods was transforming Labrador Inuit society. Shaman leaders were gradually being replaced by equally influential Inuit middlemen-traders, who in turn became obsolete as European traders increased operations in northern Labrador (cf. Kaplan, 1983, 1985). However, Catherine Cartwright's class designations may predate the contact period. Her definition of Angicoke, commonly associated in Labrador with the role of shaman, corresponds closely to the meaning for Angajokak found in Friedrich Erdmann's dictionary of Inuktitut (Erdmann, 1864:27). Erdmann refers to the eldest, elders, or leaders, which corresponds to Catherine's description of Attuiock as a lawgiver and priest. Similarly, Catherine's term Kippaloot corresponds well with Erdmann's Kippalo, which refers to people who are led or who are slaves (Erdmann, 1864:141), while her Pimmaja may correspond to Erdmann's verb pimava, 'to serve' (Erdmann, 1864:245).
Catherine Cartwright's account is personal and that of a mature 37-year-old woman. The letters add immeasurably to the historiography of Labrador Inuit--European contact (sources in Janzen, n.d.; Stopp, 2002) because they represent an extended period of observation. Their writer befriended the visiting Inuit and, for a time, lived with them in her home. These letters are one of few early firsthand accounts of Inuit, albeit made in a foreign setting, and are especially valuable for the descriptions of topics that include Inuit dress, behaviour, personality, and social dynamics. The letters also contain a number of new details relevant to the history of Labrador and its Inuit inhabitants and to the history of European-aboriginal relations. We learn, for instance, that Imichtoke and Angnutoke, another Inuit couple, were brought to England at the same time by an unidentified merchant, and that Imichtoke was Caubvick's brother-in-law. George Cartwright's unsuccessful efforts to rescue these two from terrible conditions reflect the darker side of the contact experience (fortunately, they appear to have returned to Labrador). The letters give other details not found in George Cartwright's journal about the impact on the group of smallpox, which led to the deaths of all but Caubvick. Awaiting the group's return in Labrador were many Inuit, among them their kinsman, Sirlek, who cut short his task as pilot of the HMS Otter for Roger Curtis in Nain in order to return southward in time for the reunion (Nain Diary, 1773:369-370). The deep sadness of the Inuit upon learning of the deaths of their kinsmen is one of the few emotionally fraught passages in George Cartwright's journal (Cartwright, 1792, 31 August 1773). Epidemic and contagious diseases were the ultimate result of contact for aboriginal peoples throughout the historic period in the Northeast, although an extensive literature on the subject does not cover 18th century Inuit (cf. Marshall, 1981; Snow and Lanphear, 1988; Thornton, 1997). Little Ickeuna, we learn, was buried at Plymouth, "in the sand on the shore," following her parents' instructions. A brief reference in the final letter implies that the adults were cremated and buried at Plymouth, possibly near Ickeuna.
Catherine Cartwright's observations are a more immediate record than her brother's account, which was published nearly 20 years after his time with the Inuit and six years after his departure from Labrador. Whereas his is a relatively straightforward description of events written for an official readership, hers is personal, perceptive, and enriched by impression and opinion. These qualities in this microhistorical record (sensu Ginzburg, 1993; Woodward, 1999) render it useful for reconstructing broader historical circumstances and social contexts of Inuit at this period. Catherine's descriptions of the group's personalities, of Ickongoque's unpleasantries, and of interpersonal relations of power based on age, status, and gender are revealing of Inuit social dynamics. She gives us a rare description of gender relations among the Inuit and the treatment of women in that society. Caubvick, it transpires, had been stolen from a previous partner by Attuiock and his brother Tooklavinia not long before this journey to England, and she expressed horror at returning to her former way of life (similar glimpses of Inuit gender relations are also found in Moravian mission records from Labrador in the 1770s). Attuiock's express wish to travel to Europe affirms a previous discussion (Stopp, 2009) of Inuit agency in European-Inuit relations on the newly colonized Labrador coast and in trade relations amongst Inuit.
The following transcription of these four letters and one newspaper article varies little from the original. Occasional notes or corrections are marked with square brackets, but original spelling is unmarked and left as in the original. Sentences can be lengthy and freighted with clauses. The letters are arranged chronologically and are followed by a transcription of the newspaper article in the 13-15 April 1773 edition of the St. James's Chronicle. All four letters, three by Catherine Cartwright and one by Mrs. Stowe, appear to be written in the same hand, which suggests that the archived documents are hand-copied versions of the original letters. In an assessment of the originals, archivist Ian Mason of the East Riding Archive confirmed that the letter of 2 December 1774 from Mrs. Stowe is an original, while the remaining letters were her transcriptions of Catherine Cartwright's letters. (Mrs. Stowe indicates in her letter that she was in the habit of transcribing correspondence.)
LETTERS IN THE GRIMSTON FAMILY FONDS
1) Written by Catherine Cartwright to an unknown recipient, 25 April 1773, after the Inuit departure from Marnham, but before news of their illness travelled from Plymouth to Marnham.
You can have no comprehension of the pure Children of Nature in mountains, wilds & desarts bred: grown to maturity, sensible & intelligent, suddenly launch'g into a new World. This was what I ever wish'd to meet with & now by a train of events little inferior to Miracles, I have been gratified far beyond King John whom you us'd to tell me of in derision without convincing me that I did not long for one of the highest entertainments which I have always thought I did, & of which I have now had demonstration during the Indians' visit at our House, that I incessantly repeated to myself how fortunate I was to obtain one of my wildest wishes, and of its answering beyond expectation. We devoted our whole time & attention to the enchanting Innuets (for that is what they call themselves & not Esquimaux). I shall introduce them to you separately, & it is also necessary to give you a just idea of the stile & disposition of each especially as E-cong-oke's is very different from the rest; so permit me to introduce you first to Et-tu-ye-ack, the Priest, a middle siz'd man about forty, with handsom Eyes, fine Teeth, every feature in his face good, a fine clear dark complexion, thick black hair hanging over his forehead & ears & ty'd behind, his countenance serious & noble & uncommonly sensible & expressive, & his behaviour & remarks corresponded with his countenance. He frequently stood with his back to the Wall & his hands behind him, when the peculiarity of his Dress which one might perceive was magnificent in its way & shew'd his bare throat & Collar bones, added to the solemn & majestic manner that he threw his eyes round the room, as if comparing time past & places distant, with the present, & laying a plan for his future greatness; insomuch that he struck you with the idea of a barbarian King taken captive by the Romans. Please to observe in his own Country he is a warrior, & lawgiver as well as a Priest, which are both more conspicuous in him than the latter: His behaviour was easy, obliging, & perfectly the Gentleman. My Brother says he is a Man of honour, but that he is rather what may be stiled covetous but neither that, or any other faults he may have appear'd here.
'Tis an idle notion that people innur'd to Cold & hardships must be healthy stout & fearless & all face & such stuff as that & away Folks reason without concerning themselves with facts as the Innuets help to prove for they are subject to violent colds that fall upon their Chests & frequently terminate in Consumptions [tuberculosis], & they have a horror of death, tho' they believe in a future state. All these Indians brought with them dreadful colds & coughs and Et-tu-ye-ack who was the worst, was nervous & vapour'd to excess, & whenever they are ill or meet with accidents they are fright ne'd out of their senses. Marnham air & care soon recover'd this Hero & Priest from all his maladies, & reinstated his shatter'd nerves.
E-cong-oke his Wife, is a low broad set woman plain in the face, of a light brown complexion, ungenteel & heavy in her movements, has a sensible cheerful countenance; & is a very shrewd, lively, sensible woman, & remarkable ingenious, shewing great taste & fancy in all her designs, but she is exceeding selfish, which was visible on all occasions; & has a sturdy disagreeable temper where she dare shew it when provoked; but where she has not power, & to those whom it is her interest to oblige, she is obliging & also cunning & coercing; that she is no favorite here tho' perfectly well behav'd so far as civility, sense, decency went, but as she discover'd none of those amiable dispositions, & gentility of manners so apparent in the rest, we neither lov'd her while she staid or regretted parting with her; such low Characters as hers being to be met with all the world over. She has an ordinary vulgar appearance, & no grace in any of her actions, or anything engaging in her manner: her age 24.
Ik-ky-u-na, the daughter of the aforesaid couple is not 3 years old, an exceeding pretty, fine child, the very image of its Father, feature for feature, with that same transcendent cast of countenance, & is the very best & most bewitching child I ever met with. Ettuyeack is so fond of her that he wou'd not come to England without her, & she cou'd not come without her Mother, or he had rather have brought his favorite Wife, for he has 2 more besides Mrs. Econgoke, for whom he has a very good respect, & behaves very well too, & I believe is one of the best of husbands in a land where good Husbands are scarse & affection never thought of in the married state which is very unaccountable in a People remarkable for the strongest & indissoluble affection between parents & children. Here let me do E-cong-oke the justice to say she paid an invariable attention to her child, whom she fed as neatly & was as clean with as any English Mother that ever fell in my way.
And now allow me to speak of Took-la-vi-ni-a, a brother to the Priest, aged 19 a middle sized plump man, with a great, round, fat heavy looking head & face, dress'd in the same manner as his brother, excepting fewer bead ornaments, he not being a Priest. Notwithstanding his unpromising aspect, he is vastly quick & sensible, has great spirit & spirits, is lively & entertaining, and understands raillery, for [he is] the only one of his Country-men George has met with who does, they being a grave people & no jokers. This young man has a native honesty, integrity, generosity, & disinterestedness in him which he has shewn to my brother in his own Land in a manner that does honor to human Nature, & is extremely agreeable & goodtemper'd to every body but his Wife, but to her he is a true Innet Husband for which he is inexcusable, because he was long violently in love with her as it is call'd, & by the aid of his brethren ran away with her & married her by force against her own & her friends consent, not but 1 believe it if she cou'd in her heart forgive him, & shew him any tenderness that he yet retains some affection for her, but alas she both hates, & fears him to excess. Barring his tyrannical behavior to his wife which he is too much of a Gentleman to shew before company, he is in every respect an amiable man and an excellent companion; he oft spoke much & humourously, and tho' his Participles were bad, I laugh'd heartily in spite of Dr. Lowth [Robert Lowth, 1710-1787, English grammarian].
But I grow impatient to speak of his Wife--Caubvic by name, and my favorite of favorites, she is 17 & has the complexion of a bright-brown hassle Nut, & almost by every body thought extremely handsome. The Painter who took their Pictures in London said Caubvic's face was according to every rule & line of Beauty. & has that truly feminine countenance so difficult to draw, that her Picture is the least like of any of them. She has a happy manner that engages you at once in her favor and there is in her face sense & sensibility, sprightliness, softness, humour, and good humour, conscious innocence, modesty, youthful vivacity, & native worth; & in every action, every attitude, ease, elegance, & fashion. Her countenance is a true index of her soul, [so] that she was the darling of the whole house and of every one that came into it. She has a most tender honest affectionate temper, open hearted, & disinterested; discover'd the finest feelings, & the most delicate sentiments; oft did she blush with shame & indignation at Econgoke's strange cunning selfish tricks. Caubvic is quick as a flash of Lightning at taking your meaning or co[n]veying her own; indeed they were all very quick in those respects that we soon became acquainted, & clearly to comprehend each others meaning that we us'd to talk and laugh by the hour, tho' please to observe poor Caubvic is so disgusted & intimidated in the presence of her husband that she never speaks a voluntary word before him; nor does she say much before Econgoke, who frequently scolds her and never fails of imposing upon her when ever she can privately: before Ettuyeack alone she is she seem'd much at her ease, & display'd endless agreements but when fairly quit of them all she was quite enchanting. How hard is her lot in this world & how disproportion'd to her merits nor can I help regretting that I am never more to behold a Woman who is an ornament to her sex and whose good and engaging qualities wou'd shine in the most enlighten'd societies: indeed, I every moment view'd her (and all of them to do them justice) with fresh surprise, and they have afforded me an endless field for reflection; their attention, & genuine surprise at each new object was wonderfully pleasing, their penetration, and acute remarks on persons & things were astonishing, their perfect neatness in every particular, their civility & propriety was amazing.
Amongst other things we taught them to dance, an exercise they are very fond of, and they were most apt Scholars, particularly Caubvic who dances as genteel a Country dance & moves as gracefully thro' the figure of minuet as most you will meet with. They have all fine ears & are fond of music & singing. Their own tunes are in the compass of a few notes, which they sing in the exactest measure, but most of their songs are so dolorous & ridiculous you wou'd laugh with one eye & cry with the other to hear them. I am tempted to send you the extract of a Letter from Newark, lest you do not take the St. Jame's [sic] Chronicle. I can authenticate every syllable for fact except the conclusion of Caubvic's speech about the place of Souls, that being an interpolation of the author's whoever he may be; or rather a jumble he has made because it actually was what the Innuet woman whom Mr. Palliser brought prisoner to England 3 years ago did say [this woman was Mikak].
The curiousity that raged in the environs of Marnham is not to be imagin'd: for above a month we never stirred without a Mob; and all our acquaintance far & near came to see them. They also return'd many visits and all our Neighbours exerted themselves to make them happy and shew them civilities. The commanding Officer of two troops of Elliots Eight horse, quarter'd on the Forest, who had formerly known my Brother in Germany, wrote him a very polite Card to say "if it wou'd be any entertainment to his Labrador friends to see a hussar skirmish, begg'd he wou'd appoint the day for one." George gladly excepted [accepted] Cap'n. Baines's polite offer, & tho' he fix'd on either the 2nd or 3rd after he rec'd it, what between the mock fight & the real sight above 6000 people were assembled in the Field.
Our Innuets were plac'd on the most advantageous spot & had 3 dragoons prancing in a semi-circle behind them to keep the mob off, a compliment they thoroughly comprehended & enjoy'd, as it was extremely disagreeable to them to be stared at in the rude manner they were by the Kip-pa-loots (common people) for they were the An-gi-coke (great people) and in Labradore the Angicoke never condescend to associate with the Kippaloots, nor the Kippaloots with the Pim-ma-ja (servants). They and the Gentlemen of this Iglo (house) and a number of other Gentlemen dined at Retford with the Officers. It seems after dinner Ikkyuna at my Father's request as usual took a few turns up & down the table in her seal skin jacket, breeches and boots, and with that solemn and dignified air that marks her to be the daughter of a Priest and a Conjurer.
The Innuet women wear breeches and boots and their jackets as well as the Men's are close behind and before, the women wear monstrous large hoods because there they carry their children; behind there is a narrow waving slip that reaches to the ground. The men have hoods just to fit their heads. The women's hair which is very thick and an immense length they divide at the top, and plait on each side which they tye up in a bunch at their ears, & tye their earrings to them; their earrings are strings of beads about 1/2 yard long; behind their hair is ty'd in a bunch [The style of head ornamentation can be seen in the portraits presented in Stopp (2009) and in Figure 1]. Prints of them are now engraving [Catherine may be referring to the Nathanial Dance portraits shown in Stopp, 2009]. My brother has gain'd high applause on the behavior of these people, who have been represented as the most savage of the Savage, a race untameable as Hyaenas and the most dirty of the dirty: & to speak without partiality I believe there are not many men who cou'd have encounter'd the difficulties with them he has done, for less intrepidity & perseverance than he is master of had never achieved so cordial an intercourse with them or gain'd their love as he has done, or indeed brought any of them to civilization. The very set that have been here never had their hands or faces wash'd, or made use of handkerchiefs, or eat with knives & forks, etc., 'till they ventur'd themselves on board a ship with him, and now no creatures can keep themselves more perfectly neat from top to toe than they do, & what is surprising they are uncommonly handy in the use of their knives & forks & feed themselves much genteeler than many ladies & Gentlemen indeed nobody can exceed them in those respects. In their own rooms they were perpetually brushing their cloaths, for since they were in England they have worn Cloth with flannel underneath, ornamented with colour'd glass beads in the fashion of their own Country, which they string with great exactness & taste, that their dresses are curious & beautiful. Ikkyuna had cloth cloaths as well as the rest, but she generally wore a seal skin jacket for the exquisite oddity of it, & my Brother says she shall go to Court in it, where they were to be introduc'd as this very day being April the 25th. Their new dresses on this occasion is scarlet cloth trimm'd with black velvet richly ornamented with beads. Seal skins & Deer skins are what they wear at home, & came over in but as they are not cured, but only dried, they are not very sweet. In the Winter they wear a couple of jackets etc. The undermost with the hair next them for warmth, & the uppermost with it out for beauty; I must not omit that the Women wear a bright brass fillet round their heads which is kept fast by a string of beads that goes under their chins [The string of beads under the chin is not apparent in the Inuit portraits referred to above].
While they were here we omitted nothing in our power to render their bliss in their Fairy land compleat. A few days before their departure when Caubvic was inform'd of its approach her countenance was a volume & she look'd as if a hand of cold iron had slowly grasp'd her heart, but she said little, & soon went to the housekeeper to whom she related the dismal tidings with tears; & never after resumed the same gaiete de coeur as before, tho' chearful & pleasing yet you saw there was a damp upon her spirits; when the actual morn was arriv'd they were to go, the gentle Caubvic was up before it was light, & went (I presume by way of leave taking) into every Room & place about the house, & shook all the Servants by the hand & bid them farewell; I arose by 7 o'clock & sent for her into my room, & luckily found out a new entertainment for her that took her attention and gave her some things that pleas'd her, my Sisters also found a few treasures for her & we conceal'd them in her hood that Econgoke might not see them. She doats upon her own mother who we told her she wou'd see again in a moon & a half & endeavor'd to shew her the bright side of her dismal situation: both before and after breakfast she was vastly composed tho' you might see her soul sunk within her.
The noble Cap'n. Tooklavinia's countenance was very sorrowful & no sooner was breakfast over than he went into the Garden and wept heartily, & asoon [sic] as he cou'd dry up his tears he went to the drawing room alone, walking up & down till the Coach drove to the door, when he took a most solemn & silent leave; Caubvic went off with that inimitable air expressive of her character, & sensations that words cannot describe. The Priest according to a certain eminent author behaved as it became him to behave & he seemed thoroughly sensible he was parting from kind friends whom he loved, & who wou'd ever share his best wishes but that he was quitting them to return to his favorite wives & their children & to his native Land for which he retains a blind partiality. Mrs. Econgoke who is capable of loving nobody but herself, acted her last scene in character also, for she pretended to be sorry with such a remorseless face & tone that I think the very Coach horses must perceive she was glad she had got all she cou'd out of us & the English, and that she car'd for none of us farther, & that she rejoic'd in the idea of being a Nabobess in Labradore & insulting over her inferiors.
2) Letter written by Catherine Cartwright to Mrs. Stowe from Marnham and dated 20 June 1773.
Oh! my dear Mrs. Stowe "I have a tale to unfold will harrow up your soul" [paraphrased from W. Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 5] about those poor dear Indians, how to begin it I know not. "Tis more dreadful than you can conceive; my strength and spirits are subdued to the utmost; but you must know, & I must have the painful task of relating the cruel, cruel blast that it has pleased God to overtake them with; and the distress in mind, body, & estate that my Brother has endured for his poor Indian children, who gain'd the good will of all, and the sincere affections of many; mine they had from the bottom of my soul. Their distance from home, their absolute dependence on my brother, their affection towards him, and his family, claimed ones utmost care & tenderness; then their uncommon sagacity, their ingenuity, & good dispositions, and amazing manners demanded ones love & admiration; & I gave way to every emotion of my heart towards them; I enter'd into all theirs, & George's future felicities in Labradore, in the most lively manner. How am I now punished for my presumption! But I run on without resolution to explain the cause of my grief.
I did not go to London as I expected when last I wrote which was a great disappointment to me upon account of George, & the amiable Innuets, for no one else did I wish, or want to see but them: but a few days after when I heard they were all gone aboard the 4th of May, I was sufficiently comforted for my disappointment, & heartily rejoiced they were safe & well on board, & likely soon to reach their native shore, which had charms for them, & enjoy their relations there, of whom they spoke so fondly, & make them partakers of their wond'rous riches. I was particularly thankful that all fears for the small-pox were then over, which George dreaded their taking, as he said the Innets were so gross in their constitutions, & so dead hearted in sickness he was sure they wou'd all die; but thank God he has been so far mistaken that my favorite of favorites, the charming Caubvic who first fell ill of that dreadful disorder (which appear'd the 5th) has after much danger & difficulty recover'd, but alas! Like Job's servant she is the only one left to tell the Tale. At Plymouth Geo. was oblig'd to land his unhappy Cargo where that Ikkyuna, that sweetest of babes! (whom we loved too well, & for whom I have shed more tears than heretofore I thought reasonable for a parent for their own child) was the first who resign'd her innocent breath & was the next day follow'd by her mother. The poor Men, those pure ornaments to human nature, were then in a likely way to do well of their distemper, but grief & despair proved too much for them.
George's letters from time to time wou'd have melted iron & marble; & the consideration of his & their situation has so completely overcome me as I never was in my life. Poor creatures! Whom my Brother ere this hoped to have landed at Cape Charles, but alas! Four are no more & the fifth yet too ill to be remov'd from Plymouth, tho' by a letter this very day the Physicians pronounce her absolutely out of all danger, & that she soon may go with safety.
Besides harass of body & mind, this has been an immense expence to George & delay to his affairs. The day after Econgoke died, the posture of George's affairs was such he was oblig'd to go to London, to prevent all his future plans & fortunes being entirely ruin'd by this misfortune. Ld. Dartmouth [William Legge, 2nd Earl of Dartmouth, Secretary of State for the Colonies, 1772-1775] receiv'd him like an angel, but he is a superior character & acted accordingly. You know he is first Ld. Of trade & plantations, but he did not receive poor G. with the coldness and formality of Office, but as you wou'd receive me in distress, for by letter he had inform'd his Ldship of their illness, that the moment G's name was announced Ld. Dartmouth flew down stairs, & so overcame Geo. by his eager, kind, concern of countenance & expression, that he burst into tears, & with much difficulty was able to get out - "two are dead, & two given over." - and after awhile he related the shocking particulars & what had brought him to Town. Ld. D. said (as well he might) "that during the whole course of his life, he had never heard the story, or seen the sight, that shocked him equally to the fate of these poor people, & my brother's sufferings for them." He would have had G. dine with him, but he excused himself alledging he was not fit company for any body who knew him, or the Indians. Business with Ld. D., Ld. North, his Agent, & others detained him three days in London, & then he return'd, as well satisfied, or better, than cou'd have been expected on the score of his business, traveling day &, night (as he went) 'till he got back to Plymouth. He says as he "drew near the house, all his strength & spirit failed him, and when he got into the yard & saw no person or anything belonging to him stirring, he was on the very point of dropping down, but at length daring to look at the window, he saw Caubvic's open with the curtain handing down & was presently wish'd joy of his daughter's recovery," for so he us'd to call that pleasing little soul, who has had two severe struggles for life, as a lever immediately follow'd the small-pox. As soon as she was out of danger, & judged able to bear the sad account of the rest, my brother told her "they were very ill" & by degrees asked her "what she shou'd think of it, if any of them were to die?" She reply'd "she shou'd cry a little" but he went no farther then, I suppose she knows all by this time, as letters are five days coming from thence, & that one word little arriv'd but this morning. But I fear she will cry a great deal when she does know, as she is one of the most tender humane creatures I ever met with, & now weakned from illness: little reason as she has to weep for her husband, & Econgoke who us'd her ill in every shape, & in none more than making mischief between her & Tooklavinia, who I am convinced wou'd have behaved in a different style to her had it pleased God to have spared him, for he had a worthy soul, & daily improv'd in every respect, & I took indefatigable pains & pleasure to open his eyes to Caubvic's beauties & merits, & to soften his manners to her, & I had the satisfaction in several instances to mark the good effects of my endeavours: poor Ettuyeach, & that enchanting little Baby she did not love, for the sake of those to whom they belonged, & because he assisted his brother in stealing her away from her friends, & tribe, to whom she will now return. Oh! my dear friend had we profited so little from former experience, that it was necessary for almost unheard of savages to come from one of the extremities of the Globe, to give us this severe lesson on the instability of human hopes, & happiness? And they whose souls were in more than Egyptian darkness, to be the means of enforcing to us, where, and on whom alone, we can depend for lasting joys!
Oh my friend it may be adding weakness to weakness, perhaps to wickedness, to confess how I have grieved for these objects of my affection: and how my very heart doth bleed with sorrow for their sakes.
Sure never people were so belov'd, or lamented. Letters of enquiry from all quarters have been daggers in the receiving, & answering. Scarce a servant in the house who has not cry'd; twice I have been witness to the Butler's being oblig'd to quit the room at tea, unable to command his tears. From the 19th of last month 'till yesterday we had been distracted between hopes & fears. The moment I heard the fate of my sweet little Ikky, I gave up her father, as she was his darling of darlings, & all his soul held most dear, & he was particularly faint hearted in sickness & was very subject to outbreaks; but I now fancy by Caubvic's knowing nothing of the fate of the rest; the rest did not know the fate of each other, as they were too ill to be together. So soon as Caubvic's disorder was discover'd, the others were kept upon deck & prepared for inoculation & were very conformable to rule, but the day the operation was to be perform'd Econgoke began to complain which shew'd the infection was spreading of itself. On the 4th day after she was taken ill, she had but 3 spots to be perceived, from which we had flatter'd ourselves she would have escaped easily, & were in spirits about the rest, that the next letter which said she was given over & that most extraordinary and pleasing child dead, struck with double force, and to add to poor George's calamities, his principal Cooper, & another servant were seized with bad fevers.
We were willing to flatter ourselves Tooklavinia might have been spared, for during George's absence from Plymouth it was twelve days after we knew the poor men were in danger before we heard that it had pleased God to take them both, that the last thunder-stroke came yesterday.
Write to me soon thou heightener of all my joys, & alleviation to all my sorrows. Excuse haste & inaccuracies from your greatly afflicted & unalterable friend.
I must not forget to add with thankfulness that the carrying [of] Job's servant back with hers, & all their Riches will be a preservation to my brother's life, that otherwise might have been in danger, had none gone back to have borne testimony of his love and care for his unfortunate fellow travellers, who wou'd come to England with him, 'tho he endeavor'd to put them off after his house and all his goods were burned & had he not complied with them, certainly he wou'd have turn'd friends into enemies, both with them and their tribes, & forfeited their faith in his word which he religiously kept with them, not only in material but in every the most trivial instance, & they poor souls lov'd, & confided in him accordingly, & in all belonging to him. How oft did they tell me how much they shou'd talk of us and tell their tribes how good we were to them! Poor Ettuyeach used to tell us, he, & his wou'd defend their brother George from the Nescopic Indians [Naskapi, today's Innu of Labrador] their enemies, but if they shou'd kill him he wou'd cry.
2b) Text that may be a continuation of the postscript to the letter of 20 June 1773.
Ikkyuna by her Parents' directions, was buried in the sand on the shore, across the neck that helps to form the harbour of Catwater, wrapt in a Deer's skin & had all her cloaths, & jewels deposit'd with her. I wanted much to have her seal skin dress, tho' I feared it was not to be obtain'd, knowing their customs in burying their dead, however I cou'd not help being chagrin'd when I heard it was laid in her grave, at the same time that it gave me a melancholy pleasure to reflect that poor Ettuyeack after he lost his little darling, had according to his dark & gross ideas of hereafter, the comfort to believe that she was well supply'd with necessaries & ornaments to carry into her future residence & had also all the honors of this world paid to her mortal part. If it was the smallest alleviation to the miseries of his mind I rejoice in it, tho' I had rather be in possession of that jacket, breeches, & boots than the coronation Robes of the first Sovereign in Europe. My brother & Caubvic set sail on the 16th of July for Labradore that you have the last news Europe affords. Tho' I hope for the best, I can't help being anxious about his reception on the Coast, but that news we must wait for till the latter end of the year. You want to know the Trade he is establishing - 'tis a salmon and seal fishery, & bartering with the Indians for skins & whalebone. They have nothing in the style of money, the use of it here they saw with wonder, but the value of it was the only thing they met with, past their comprehensions and the different value of bits of metal much of the same size still more inexplicable: but we taught them an empty purse was a misfortune. They were very fond of one of the airs of Midas [a burletta or musical show by Kane O'Hara, 1764], which Mr. G. Hutton taught them, & wou'd often sing with a great deal of humour & feeling this line ongre gush & emtee pursh [hungry guts and empty purse]. The night before we were depriv'd of their entertaining society, poor Tooklavinia told us he shou'd have both by & bye when he got to Cape Charles, and that he shou'd think too mush too mush of Marnham where he had eat so plentifully, & by & bye when he was weary with walking me ishamajoke (think) horsh good coshe good, then me say, ongree gush & emtee pursh.
3) Letter with no date, salutation, or signature, written by Catherine Cartwright to a relation at Ganton sometime after 20 June 1773.
A Letter this day from my Brother says Caubvic mends fast but can't walk by herself yet so reduced has she been from illness, and outbreakings that have succeeded the small-pox but she gets up two or three times a day, that her appetite returns nobly as she eats two fowls aday one roasted, the other boil'd sent up with the Broth. Little reason that she had to mourn for most of the others and all possible care taken to inform her properly - she was much affected, & had a bad night but was easier the next day. To amuse her they sent for a fiddler who scrap'd without intermission the whole day as she is remarkably fond of music, which was the case with them all down to the sweet little Ikkyuna. When he was preparing her for the sad news he took care to remind her how ill they had us'd her, & her Tribe, and at last brought her to confess she greatly disliked them. He told her they were all so very ill he had great fears about them, and ask'd her if she shou'd cry if they did not recover? She said "yes" but own'd not very much - by which he observes that crying is as essential with them as putting on Black with us altho' the loss shou'd cause more pleasure, than sorrow. He adds that he is almost stupefied with grief for the loss of these poor people but is under no apprehension of his interest being hurt amongst the Indians as Caubvic is thoroughly sensible of his very great care of and kindness for them from the first to the last & the morning he wrote had expressed herself in the strongest terms her gratitude cou'd suggest said she wou'd sew & cook for him and that she hop'd & believ'd [sic] her tribes wou'd give credit to the story she had to relate for they cou'd not but believe the rest died of the small-pox when they saw the marks of the distemper so visible upon her wish'd herself at Marnham shou'd she never see it more! Ettuyeack's Brother Nowadloke, & friend Shuglawena, will now take the Lead, who are men of open generous dispositions, and free from avarice which fault greatly sullied Ettuyeack's character who was perpetually craving & seldom satisfied.
Poor Caubvick expresses horror at returning to her former way of Life - the best of them treat their wives like servants, but more commonly like slaves; & by a Law as strictly adher'd to as those of the Medes & Persians founded on necessity every Female from her girlhood is oblig'd to marry another Husband asoon [sic] as she has buried the last unless she has Sons to maintain her in order that she may not perish for want, which must be the case amongst a people who have no method of maintaining themselves but from hand to mouth with fish, wild fowls, & wild beasts, which serve for food and raiment, beds, & bed-clothes, and ye dry'd guts of black seals for window lights and the oil & fat for fire & candle; and the killing these creatures solely depend upon the Men as the cooking; the dressing the skins, sewing them together for their various uses, pitching the tents that are all cover'd with skins, frequently rowing the boats, & in one word all kind of drudgery fall upon the women; & is commonly exacted from them with brutality; so every man chuses one, two, or three wives to wait upon him, & may have a fourth if he pleases, but he then becomes a subject of satyr [sic, pun possibly intended] & is held in contempt. Neither writing or reading is understood in any shape amongst the Innuets but our late companions from what we shew'd them readily comprehended the use of both & took delight in our writing down their words, & reading them, & by the eye, or rather memory, recollecting how they stood in the list wou'd read several themselves. Caubvic cou'd write her own name. I mark'd them all some pocket Handkerchiefs, & the women of their own accords mark'd all the rest, & each knew their own mark from the first moment they were shewn it. The strength of their memories in every particular was truly astonishing, for they never requir'd twice telling of what they were or were not [to] do; they did not forget the face of a single individual amongst the crowds that us'd to come to see them in town or country, but instantly knew them again in any other place or company & wou'd smile & look pleas'd & shake them by the hand for old acquaintance sake.
In my former Letters I think I never mention'd one circumstance which will sufficiently prepare the tribes to credit Caubvic's evidence; a brother of her Husbands I-mich-toke by name & Ang-nu-toke his wife, wanted to come over with George but he had enow without them nor did he much like the man; his wife just such another as Caubvic. As he wou'd not bring them over the agent of a Bristol merchant did, but treated them in a quite different manner, instead of making it a present pleasure to his Indians he hired for them one little dirty miserable room at a distance from his own house & all they had to eat was plates of scraps from his own table; bought each course cloth & a few beads, & had them made up in an absurd style, being neither in their taste, nor ours but between both, & these they wore the very few times they were permitted the honor of going to his house & being exhibited to some of his friends & to a play they were at. The other cloaths he provided for ym [them] were down right English - an old waistcoat, breeches, & surtout of his own was Emicktoke's attire; a linsey woolsey nightgown, plaid apron & handkerchief with every thing else suitable thereto was Angnutoke's.
As Lord Dartmouth has the establishing a friendly intercourse with the Innuets at heart & civilizing them etc. both for their own sakes & his majesty's subjects, he wanted the Bristol Indians to carry off favorable impressions as well as the others therefore in the Winter desir'd Geo. to go down & take them under his protection; accordingly he set out & poor Ettuyeack with him being the first journey by land he ever took in his life, that he almost imagined himself whirling thro' the air in an enchanted Carr, & was extremely struck with every object & occurrence on the road. At Bristol the two Indian Brothers met and you may be sure compar'd notes. But to cut my story short the merchant wou'd not give his people up without my Brother wou'd pay him a [pounds sterling]100 (an unreasonable sum considering how they had been maintain'd) pretending not to believe he had come by Ld. D.'s order. The Town was all in a hubbub & much altercation ensued when silence was obtain'd the proposition was made that Emicktoke shou'd have his free choice independent of all parties. The Merchant agreed to it, & the equity of it struck every one. The question was put in full assembly, & Emicktoke chose "to go Cappen Corrite" & was walking up to my brother with a joyful countenance when they took him by the Collar of his jacket & pull'd him out of the room; poor Ettuyeack burst out a crying, & was going to follow his brother, whom he thought was going to be sacrificied, but some of the people thrust him back into the room. Mr. Nevile, Mr. Walker, my brother John & two more officers were of the Party but it was in vain for George & half a dozen Gent. To contend against at least 10,000 within & without doors, who wou'd neither hear reason, or keep to their word; so asoon as he had appeased Ettuyeack's fears for the lives of his brother & sister, & the mob were a little dispersed, they quitted the place & set out for London. Ld. Dartmouth was extremely provoked at the ill success of his embassy & the treatment of his Ambassador, and at their daring to make free & innocent people prisoners & said he wou'd send for the Indians up by Habeas Corpus, however that slipp'd thro' & Geo. has escaped many sorrows, & expences on their accounts and as they were shipped off for Labradore before their unfortunate tribe left us; they have been long at home expecting those whom alas they can never see more, & repeating what poor Ettuyeack had then to tell them in George's favor, which will prepare their tribes for Caubvic's story.
Our amazing visitors frequently spoke with great resentment of the treatment Emicktoke & his wife met with, us'd to compare the difference of their situation for Emicktoke told the Priest every syllable & how they sat alone from weeks end to weeks end without seeing any one but the servant that carried them victuals - the being shut up in a little dark room up a passage without a breath of air, was near demolishing Emicktoke, & did not much agree with his wife; that their account of their own ill health in England perhaps may be favorable to the relation George must make of these poor creatures, in whom he took so much delight whose ashes must remain at Plymouth till time shall be no more.
It has been a very great expence to my Brother as he had very little from the Government, but he hop'd it wou'd hereafter be amply repaid him in pleasure & profit. The latter I trust will be - tho' the former is so cruelly & shockingly cut off; four out of five being swept off in one week, and that week to prove on their return home, when we, poor short sighted mortals imagin'd all dangers of the small-pox we so dreaded for them was over, and that they wou'd soon reach their own land in health & happiness!
Several times at first waking, I have persuaded myself twas a horrid dream but a few moments recollection has convinc'd me it was but too true. 'Tis so immediately the hand of Providence that we must submit, and be convinced it is for the best, and endeavor by reasoning on this severe lesson to profit from it.
Caubvic says "she is sure nothing but bringing her on shore, the skill of our Physicians, and the great care that has been taken of her cou'd have sav'd her life". When I have leisure and my mind is more at ease I intend to copy Mr. Lucas's account of the Esquimaux, & will contrive to send it for your perusal, as it will be half an hours amusement to you and the Ladies at Ganton.
4) Letter by Mrs. Stowe to Mrs. Grimston, possibly her mother-in-law, and dated 2 December 1774, one year after the Inuit visit to England. The name "Charlevoy" probably refers to Pierre Francois Xavier de Charlevoix (1682-1761), a French Jesuit who traveled to New France and became its first historian.
As both Yourself & Mr. Grimston took a most lively interest in the Innuet affairs, & were anxious about the reception Cap'n. Cartwright might meet with on the Labradore coast, I take the earliest opportunity of effacing those fears, as my dear Marnham friends did mine the very instant they knew all was well; but without further preface or preamble, the night before Miss Cartwright & Mr. John C. were to have set off from Town for Bath who shou'd pop in upon them but Mr. Geo. Cartwright who found it expedient to his affairs to come over into England again this winter. He says he was most kindly & affectionately received at Cape Charles, & that the Indians so far from entertaining any suspicions of foul play to their friends, have exprest repeated concern for his sufferings on their account & have give him the strongest assurances that he need be under no apprehensions of their thinking ill of him for what they are convinced was his misfortune, not his crime: & as strong a proof of their confidence, a Woman who has lost her husband in his absence, has intrusted him with her son for his servant, & to bring him to England this Winter which accordingly he has done, & the boy is going to be inoculated without loss of time. Cap'n. C. was given up on that Coast in general as lost, not only by the English, but by the Indians who had their information from the Fleet, of his setting sail before them, however his friend Shuglawena kept the Indians for 3 weeks longer than the usual time, from going down to Chateau to barter for their commodities in hopes of Cap'n. C's arrival, but when he cou'd no longer restrain them, he was forced to yield & attend them, but wou'd not part with his own property reserving it out of both love & honour for Mr. Cart.: whilst it was possible he might appear. His first interview with the Indians was on a rock a small distance from the shore, when they all made up to him, & seeing him along Noowadloke (a worthy brother of the deceased poor men) who ran first, accosted him with every mark of horror & consternation in his countenance, asking where Ettuyeack was? Where Tooklavinia was? And receiving no verbal answer but a full account in Cap'n. C.'s face, he threw himself down upon the ground in an agony, & lay there above three hours, whilst all the Tribes surrounded Mr. C. in profound silence, with every mark of wretchedness, & distress. This scene lasted many hours, he being as unable to speak as they. That this meeting thought on but a little time before as a scene of the highest pleasure to all parties ended in sighs, tears, & dead silence for many hours every one reading the dreadful history In Mr. Cartwright's countenance & manner, none daring to ask it, & he having neither heart or voice left to utter it: & when he was able to relate the melancholy particulars they were so shock'd & overcome, that when they saw Caubvic they were past taking any notice of the alteration in her face or asking her a single question of her travels history for almost a month. Yet as Miss Cartwright observes these are such brutes & savages as Charlevoy tells you, are the hyaenas of the human race, & not to be tamed; with many particulars equally false. She also adds cou'd the most Christian, or the most polish'd nation in Europe, receive a stranger all alone & quite at their mercy, with such a tale of woe to tell, with more gentleness & reliance on his honour or show more sorrow & affection for their kindred?
Cap'n. Cart. Send several letters to England by a merchant but they never arriv'd. That my Brother's account that Mr. C. got safe to Labradore the 31st of August was the first & only tidings they rec'd at Marnham 'till a few days ago rec'd a short letter from the Cap'n. saying he was that instant arriv'd at London just to say he was got safe & as he shou'd have no business to detain him long in Town shou'd be home by Xmas, hoped all were well, & express'd his surprise at finding no letters for him at the Coffee house, taking for granted they had rec'd his from Labradore to explain his motions but when Mrs. Cartwright beheld from whence it was dated she was near dropping down with fright, concluding the Indians had at least half murder'd him & driven him out of their Country, & what not as we say [in this] part of the world. He had sent letters by [page torn] different conveyance which have none of them come to hand. He says his affairs have [page torn] out far beyond his expectations when he [page torn] left England--that his interest far from being hurt by the misfortune of losing his friends, is strengthen'd as much as it cou'd have been had they all lived to return. That the Nescopic Indians who had heard of him from their neighbours the Innuet with whom they have a little traffic, & much hostility, came down to his people before he arriv'd there several times to find him & trade with him, which he esteems an astonishing affair, they never ventur'd so far to the southward in their lives before; & he has been anxious to get at them, but never knew how to effect it, as they live a great way up in the country amidst rocks, mountains & desarts [sic] without roads, or even bye paths leading to them, that the difficulties & dangers were insurmountable, especially as he did not in that vast tract of country know where to find them, & if he had, he & his few attendants most probably wou'd have been [paper torn] upon & murder'd in a moment for outlandish enemies. But now the acquaintance if it may be so called commenced on their side for most probably they will be there again next summer when they have heard by the Innuet he is return'd. Caubvic was in perfect health the latter end of Sep. when she return'd into the dreary regions of Kidvadtoke with their tribe. Mr. Cart, had great difficulties so late to get a sufficient number of hands to carry on operations of the ensuing winter, but had the pleasure to compass it to his wishes finally to settle material affairs no one can transact for him in England.
Please to tell Mr. G. the last Post brought me Mr. Lucas's account of the Esquimaux [Francis Lucas was George Cartwright's business partner in 1770, but died in a shipwreck in 1771]. I began to transcribe directly but as it is a long tract I can not get it done immediately, but will send it as soon as I can. The family of Neswick saw the former accounts of Cap. C. & his companions, pray contrive to let them know how it has ended, & I wish Miss Grimston wou'd send Mrs. Legard word as she seem'd interested in the story. Pray my love to honest Harry & tell him I hope to eat some more salt & raspberry puff with him these holidays as the last. Mr. Edmund Cartwright's new born son & heir is to be Chtned & the Sponsors are to be Mr. and Mrs. C. and Lord Effingham. I have scarce left myself room to insert my Comp's to all the Kilnwick Family & to say I am your affect, daughter, M. Stowe.
Ganton, Dec. the 22nd
5) Newspaper account by A. Hunter, which appeared in the 13-15 April 1773 edition of the St. James's Chronicle.
Catherine Cartwright's letter of 25 April 1773 refers to this article, which gives another account of the Inuit. She cautions that, "I can authenticate every syllable for fact except the conclusion of Caubvic's speech about the place of Souls, that being an interpolation of the author's whoever he may be; or rather a jumble he has made because it actually was what the Innuet woman [Mikak] whom Mr. Palliser brought prisoner to England 3 years ago did say."
This article contains scurrilous remarks about the Moravians, which were probably rooted in British reaction to the considerable land grant of 100 000 acres given by Order in Council, 1769, which prevented other merchants from operating near the Moravian missions (Rollmann, n.d., 2009).
Extract of a Letter from Newark, March 25
On Monday last Lord George Sutton [Lord George Manners-Sutton, 1723 1783] entertained the Esquimaux Chiefs, who are here, with an English Fox Chace. The Day was remarkable fine, and near an hundred Horsemen were in the Field. The Fox broke Cover in Sight of the Indians, took a Woodland Country, and made great Sport. With all the Variety which is incident to this noble Diversion, the Hounds pursued him for fourteen Miles, running harder and harder as the Chace continued. He was forced out of a very strong Cover, when he had no Strength to reach another, so that he was overtaken in an open Field, when not above ten of the numerous Company were in at the Death, amongst which happy Number were the two Indians. They enjoyed the Chace with the greatest Transports, and their Horsemanship was the Admiration of the whole Field, as it might well, for it was but the fifth or sixth Time they had ever been on Horseback. The Priest was so struck with the Circumstances of the Day, that he told Captain Cartwright he shall record them in a Song which will be sung by his Posterity to the latest Generations.
How fraught with Matter his Subject must be for a Poetic Composition will at once appear, when we reflect that the Esquimaux have only one sort of Dog amongst them, and that not of the hunting Kind; that a Horse is an Animal to which they are utter Strangers, and one that in a Fox Chace discovers Powers most astonishing; and that the only Part of the Earth which they have seen, and consequently take for granted must be like the rest, is half Wilderness, half Desert.
Previous to this Day's Entertainment his Lordship had shewn them Coursing in great Perfection; when they were amazed at the Swiftness of our Greyhounds, and highly pleased with every Part of the Diversion: Nor was any Thing omitted by Lady George to render their Entertainment within Doors satisfactory. A Band of the ablest Musicians was assembled to perform a Concert, and their Reception was, in every Particular, such as became the Munificence and Hospitality of English Nobles. The Manners of these People bespeak them of amiable Dispositions, and show the uncultivated Nature of Man to much Advantage, that they are Favourites with all who know them; being most admired by those who have most Taste and Curiosity, and who can penetrate the deepest into the Recesses of that boundless Region the human Heart. Ever since their Arrival at the Seat of William Cartwright, Esq. their Attention has been continually kept awake by a Succession of Amusements, and Scenes of Novelty and there cannot well be a more pleasing Entertainment than to observe in what Manner they are affected on every new Occasion. Their Countenances (never taught to deceive) are faithful to the Feelings of their Hearts, of which they present a Variety of interesting Pictures well worthy the Eye of the Connoisseur; and their Observations abound with fine Strokes of Nature, never wearing any other than the transparent Dress of pure Simplicity.
I will only add a Sentiment of one of the Women. "At home, said she, I dwell in a small and dirty Tent; I dress Seal-Skins; I row my Husband's Boat; I labour without ceasing, and I am often hungry when no Food is to be got; the Innuet * sometimes perish with Hunger and Cold; but here your Dwellings are very spacious, always clean, and wonderfully beautiful. I have more Conveniences than Wants; I feast on Venison, Salmon, and every good Thing, without the Labour of procuring or cooking it; I am carried about in Coaches to see Wonders without End; and I have nothing to do or to think of, but to partake in your Happiness, and to be grateful for your Kindness. I shall not be so happy when I go to the Innuet's Place of Souls; for there we are only to have what we enjoy in our own Country, without Toil or Care, but in England you already possess much more. I wish I could come here to die, for some of my Friends I know would prevail on the English Priests to conduct me to your Place of Souls."
I wish our English Nobles and Gentry reflected as this Indian Woman does on the Felicity in their Power; and I wish also that the Rulers of our excellent Church and State would not leave the poor Esquimaux Nation in their Religious Darkness, nor expose them to the horrid and filthy Impieties of the Moravians, whom they have permitted, by an Act of Council, to settle amongst them. A. HUNTER * Innuet is their proper Name, Esquimaux is a Word they are unacquainted with.
We thank Ian Mason, Archives and Local Studies Manager, East Riding of Yorkshire Archives, for his assistance and for granting permission to quote the letters in full (letter to M. Stopp, 7 January 2009). Dr. Hans Rollmann, Department of Religious Studies, Memorial University of Newfoundland, generously offered both the information on translations of class terminology and the story of Sirlek", the latter found during his own extensive research of original Moravian documents. We are grateful for comments by reviewers, who were generous in providing additional information and thoughtful commentary.
Dr. Rollmann has recently studied the original Moravian documents relating to the 1765, 1770, and 1771 voyages to Labrador, following the publication of Stopp (2009), he provided the relevant information that by 1770, the Moravians were repeatedly referring to the Nain area as "Esquimeaux Bay," which in other documents of the period generally meant Hamilton Inlet. This new information, supported by Moravian cartography found by Rollmann, in effect changes the trajectory of Mikak's voyage with the Moravians. Rather than travelling towards Hamilton Inlet, the reconnaissance journey of 1770 followed the coast in the area of Nain.
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M. STOPP (1) and G. MITCHELL (2)
(1) Historical Research Branch, National Historic Sites Directorate, Parks Canada, Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0M5, Canada; firstname.lastname@example.org
(2) Labrador Metis Nation, Hamilton River Road, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador A0P 1E0, Canada
(Received 16 December 2009; accepted in revised form 7 April 2010)
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|Author:||Stopp, M.; Mitchell, G.|
|Date:||Dec 1, 2010|
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