Editors Barbara Verity and Gilles Péloquin recently discovered that world-renowned explorer and map-maker David Thompson explored and surveyed part of the Eastern Townships in 1834. His previously unpublished daily journals are transcribed and annotated in this ground-breaking and superbly illustrated work.
Excerpts from Thompson’s Eastern Townships journals of 1834:
May 25: A fine morning and day. By 11 am got the Skow and everything up. The Men much fatigued, let them rest until after dinner, when we set off… As usual a series of Rapids, in which we saw many Salmon Trout, and caught 24 of them…. The general character of the River to day, is low land near the River, the Points particularly so, on the Bay sides of the River. The Land soon rises with Pines, and some hard wood, with moss covered boulders of Rock of all sizes, heavy to clear, and no ways tempting to the Farmer, but behind appears a fine Country of hard wood.
June 17: Our Provisions are now so reduced, that I got the whole collected and put close by me and insisted upon every one living wholly upon the Fish caught by angling.
July 2: As Louis, our Indian, crossed, for only one could cross at a time, this Bridge gave way. The last Tree thrown broke from the violence of the Current, his Pack and Axe went to the bottom and he had to swim for his Life.
Praise for Even the Owl Is Not Heard:
“Barbara Verity and Gilles Péloquin are to be congratulated for having added a fascinating and important new chapter to the historical geography of the region. Succeeding brilliantly in combining their extensive biographical research with a thorough and meticulous treatment of Thompson’s original journals, they have brought his travels through the landscapes of the Townships in the 1830s vividly to life in his own words.”
Derek Booth, Historical Geographer
“Even the Owl Is Not Heard contributes greatly to our understanding of David Thompson’s later years. It enhances the record and deepens our appreciation of this incredible Canadian. I only wish this work had been available when I was writing my biography of Thompson.”
D’Arcy Jenish, Author of Epic Wanderer: David Thompson and the Mapping of the Canadian West
“We are indebted to Barbara Verity and Gilles Péloquin for their painstaking work in bringing to life one of the later and lesser-known episodes in the career of the great surveyor, David Thompson: his 1834 survey of the Eastern Townships for the British American Land Company. The qualities for which Thompson is renowned–his careful observation, vivid prose and spirit of inquiry–animate his journal of survey, as we follow him from the hoar frost of early May, through sultry July, to the sleet and snow of mid-November. Thompson’s writings are clearly presented, and supplemented with several of his letters, while Verity and Péloquin’s expert annotations and informative sidebars bear witness to their deep knowledge and evident love of the terrain of the Townships.”
Bill Moreau, Editor of The Writings of David Thompson
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