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John McCormick Cariboo Letter January 31, 1869

Item consists of a letter written by John McCormick to a person named James; it is not made clear if James is a friend or relative. In both his letter to James, John McCormick makes several references to Victoria. His familiarity with Victoria suggests that he may have travelled from Victoria to Barkerville to mine for gold. In his letters to James, John McCormick describes having no money and living under poor conditions. He mentions the great fire that swept through Barkerville and that he lost nothing due to its distance from his house. McCormick also mentions that the Indians are dying quickly of Small Pox in Victoria.

Archdeacon W. H. Collison fonds

  • 2009.7
  • Fonds
  • ca.1870 - ca.1986

The Archdeacon W.H. Collison fonds consists of textual materials, maps, published materials and photographs all documenting Collison’s life and work with North Coastal First Nations communities in British Columbia. Types of records found within this fonds include manuscripts, sermon notes, correspondence, oral history summaries, monographs, cartographic items, photographs and postcards. The Collison fonds also includes some records created by his children and grandchildren as well as a family tree created in 1986. The Collison fonds has been divided into four series.

Collison, W.H. (Archdeacon)

Correspondence and Writings Series

Series consists of journals, draft manuscripts, correspondence, CMS documents and orders, speeches, sermons all written by or to Archdeacon W. H. Collison. Series also contains correspondence to W.E. Collison and Joyce Collison, genealogical information on the Collison family, newspaper clippings and a school paper written by Archdeacon Collison's grandaughter Katy.

Publications Series

Series contains publications on the following subjects: linguistics, First Nations studies, anthropology, museum studies, the Missionary Society of the Church of England, the Metlakatla Inquiry, material culture and Canadian geography. It is believed that items published prior to 1922 had been collected by the Archdeacon W.H. Collison, while those published post 1922 (the year W.H. Collison passed away) were collected by both his son W.E. Collison and then his grandaughter Joyce Collison.

Mission hospital in Metlakatla, BC

Photograph depicts a large two-storey building with the sign: "CALEDONIA HOSPITAL". Fence crosses foreground, hills visible in background.

Handwritten annotation on verso reads: "Mission Hosp at Metlakatla B.C."

Community event at mission house and jail, Metlakatla, BC

Photograph depicts a group of children dressed in white walking in a line, and adults and other children watching from behind. Group of six man stand in line on left, one holding a flag, another a drum. Jail tower and large building stand behind fence in background.

Handwritten annotation on verso reads: "Old Mission House & jail at Metlakatla Before the fire."

Funeral party on beach at Metlakatla, BC

Photograph depicts a group of men, women, and children walking across beach towards water. Buildings visible on shore in left background.

Handwritten annotation on verso reads: "Funeral party - en route to boat Metlakatla BC (Taking body over to Grave Island".

Photographs

Series consists of images pertaining the Collison family, North Coastal First Nations communities, means of transportation along North Coastal British Columbia, and various church structures and religious events.

Statue and headstone of grave at Port Simpson, BC

Photograph depicts a figure with two heads standing above stone reading "Here lies the last but not the least because He is the last of all his line the [?] Tribe ABEL WARD SOLOMON WARD". Bushes, building, and hill visible in background.

Handwritten annotation on verso reads: "Port Simpson BC".

Illustration of Tsimshian and Haida peoples on shore of Fort Simpson, BC

Photograph has been altered with drawings of people on shore fighting canoes approaching the town. Buildings stand behind fenced and walled areas in background.

Handwritten annotation below image reads: "Drawing by F.A., old Hudson B. [...?]"; on verso: "27. To head Chapter III. No. 2. Tsimshians and Haidas fighting on shore at Fort Simpson."

First Nations jail at Metlakatla, BC

Photograph depicts a man and woman standing on steps to a round tower in fenced area. Roofs of other buildings can be seen below on right; water and shore visible in background.

Printed on image: "Indian Jail, Metlatkla".

Monument at Port Simpson, BC

Tall monument featuring a man's profile stands in foreground. Base of monument features writing on plaques.

Handwritten annotation on verso reads: "No. 30 Paul [Segaics?] Monument at Port Simpson".

Children gathered at Metlakatla Church

Several unidentified individuals can be seen on front steps of church and a group of small children in white stand in line below steps. Other community buildings are visible in background, white fence crosses foreground. Photograph depicts the first church built in Metlakatla, which was burned in a fire in 1901, and replaced in 1903.

Handwritten annotation on verso reads: "Church (of England) at Metlakahtla - British Columbia. Built by the people of the village - largest church then on the pacific coast."

Children gathered at Metlakatla Church

Several unidentified individuals can be seen on front steps of church and a group of small children in white stand in line below steps. Other community buildings are visible in background, white fence crosses foreground. Photograph depicts the first church built in Metlakatla, which was burned in a fire in 1901, and replaced in 1903.

Handwritten annotation on verso reads: "Old church at Metlakatla Before fire. Built by Fr. Duncan & the village people".

Marion & W.H. Collison in canoe with Tsimshian and Haida crew, travelling from Masset, BC

Handwritten annotations read: "At rest, after a rough passage of two days and a night from Massett, Queen Charlotte's Islands by canoe - W.H. Collison and Mrs. Collison with Indians from Masset"; "Archdeacon Collison Indian Canoe & Crew. Return from Queen Charlotte's Islands, Haida & Tsimshian Crew [...?]" Archdeacon and Mrs. Collison sit in centre of canoe.

Interior of chief's house in Masset, Queen Charlotte Islands, BC

Handwritten annotation on verso of photograph reads: "W.E. Collison Masset. Interior of Chief [Weah's?] house".

Caption under printed version of photo in W.H. Collison's book 'In the Wake of the War Canoe': "The house is about 40 feet square, forming one large room. The upper cubicles are on a level with the ground, which in front of them is excavated so that the fireplace in the centre is twelve feet below the surface. A ledge, for the use of slaves and dependents, is left half-way down."

Crest poles at Masset, Queen Charlotte Islands, BC

Three unidentified men stand by poles in foreground, wood houses and crest poles visible in background.

Printed below image: "Totem Poles, Massett, Q.C. Island, B.C. "; "T.N. Hibbon & Co., Victoria, B.C. [crossed through with ink]"; handwritten below: "The old style giving way to the new."

Crest poles at Masset, Queen Charlotte Islands, BC

Photograph depicts many crest poles in front of wooden homes. An unidentified family can be seen sitting by house in centre. Wood pile and path in foreground.

Handwritten annotation on image reads: "Masset Queen Charlotte's Islands, Crest Poles / Masset with Totems."; on verso: "Chap. XIII. No. 1 This photo to be copied as an illustration on 1st page or I Chapt. 'Section of Massett, Haida Encampment showing Totems. Queen Charlotte's Islands.' For heading of page 2 of Trophies."

Totem poles at Skidegate, Queen Charlotte Islands, BC

Totem poles (crest poles?) stand in front of a line of houses. Blanketed canoes sit on beach in right foreground; forest in background.

Handwritten annotations on verso read: “skidegate village Queen Charlotte Islands as it appeared forty years ago"; "Rev W.E. Collison Prince Rupert"; "Hughes"; "1".

Close view of totem poles at Skidegate, Queen Charlotte Islands, BC

Totem poles (crest poles?) stand in front of a line of houses. Blanketed canoes sit on beach in right foreground; forest in background.

Handwritten annotations on verso read: “Haida Encampment [crossed through with line]"; "Skidegate Queen Charlottes Islands / To illustrate Introduction / Introduction Trophies from a Song [Trail?] Page 1 Heading."

Haida tombs in Masset, Queen Charlotte Islands, BC

Handwritten annotation on verso of photograph reads: "Tombs. ? Massett".

Caption under printed version of photo in W.H. Collison's book 'In the Wake of the War Canoe': "At Masset, Queen Charlotte Islands, B.C. The side-posts are solid and sunk in the ground. The horizontal piece is hollow, and contains the corpse. These tombs are now falling through decay." (see page 216).

View of Wrangell, Alaska

Photograph depicts community buildings on shoreline, water in foreground.

Handwritten annotation on image reads: "Wrangle, Alaska."; on verso: "Fort Wrangle, Alaska Territory. visited by W.H.Collison, C.M.S. 1877. Prior to the establishment of any mission, [...? illegible] 1875 - 1876. Presbyterian. Insert this illustration of Wrangle on Page 77 as marked."

Lodges and totem poles at village on Nass River, BC

Photograph depicts totem poles (crest poles?) in front of lodge buildings on river shore. Canoes can be seen floating in foreground, hills in background.

Handwritten annotation on verso reads: "Chapter XII. Number 1. Section of Indian Village on Nass River showing lodges and totems".

Falling totem pole, Nass River, BC

Photograph depicts a totem pole supported by smaller poles, and a second totem pole standing straight in background. Beach in foreground, fence and hills in distance.

Handwritten annotation on verso reads: "Falling greatness, Chapt. XXI No. 5, A Chief's Totem Pole inclined to fall. [Gitaix?] Encampment, Nass River. Five illustration for Chapt. XXI."

Small boy carrying bear skin

Unidentified boy walks on a wood boardwalk, carrying large bundle. Forest in background.

Handwritten annotations on verso read: "Young boy carrying furs - Village of Kincolith"; "Little Indian boy carrying bear skin [?] at Gitlakdamix".

Mission house in Kincolith, BC

Photograph depicts tall building, with long shorter section crossing midground in front. Path runs through garden in foreground.

Handwritten annotation on verso reads: "Back of Mission House Kincolith".

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