By Catherine Parr Traill
The toils, issues, and satisfactions of pioneer lifestyles are recorded with allure and vivacity during this portrayal of pioneer existence through Catharine Parr Traill, who, like her sister Susanna Moodie, left the comforts of genteel English society for the rigours of a brand new, younger land.
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Extra resources for The Backwoods of Canada: Being Letters from the Wife of an Emigrant Officer, Illustrative of the Domestic Economy of British America
In the circumstances, it was often in the accounts of the merchant, with whom all had dealings, that balances were reconciled. Not all local trade required the participation of the merchant, but virtually all sets of merchants' accounts that survive offer much evidence of these transactions. At its simplest, the process enabled a debtor who had a credit balance with the merchant to transfer that credit to a third party who owed the merchant money. But more complex variations on the pattern were evident.
It was here that he learned of the curative value of Erie stones, a lesson that was later to make him famous as a surgeon in Europe. "At the bottom of certain rocks a foam was forming from the bounding waters and becoming a stone or rather a petrified salt which has a slight yellow tinge, which possessed the fine virtue of curing some purulent wounds and malignant ulcers. In this horrible place some Indians were living ... " Gendron, Quelques Particularitez du Pays des Hurons ... (Paris: D. Bechet and L.
His ability to pay could also be affected by personal or family misfortunes, such as accident, illness, and death. It is thus understandable that many farmers had debt problems at times, and that some, through over-optimism, misfortune, or bad timing (for example, buying land at the height of the market), became entrapped by debt. But for any group of farmers similarly situated, there was likely to be substantial variation in both the level of indebtedness and, to a degree, in the character of the indebtedness (for 48 Patterns of the Past example the proportion for land as opposed to that owed to merchants).