On the Frontier
Letters from the Canadian West in the 1880s
ISBN: 9780889774087
Year: 2015
Pages: 350
Binding: Paperback
$29.95

by William Wallace, edited by Ken S. Coates and Bill Morrison

"As entertaining as fiction." Great Plains Quarterly

"A valuable account of everyday life." Journal of Canadian Materials for Young People

First published more than twenty years ago as My Dear Maggie, this new edition of William Wallace's letters home to England provides rare documentation of the earliest days of settlement in the West. The correspondence conveys a sense of unspoken courage--the courage that was needed to make a fresh start in a strange new land. 

"William's letters contains many elements common to settlers' writings: a recounting of the exhausting trip behind slow-moving oxen from the jumping-off point to the homestead, the violence of thunderstorms, the pain of frozen extremities, and the destruction caused by prairie fires. They are also full of the fine details of life not usually found in such abundance in pioneer narratives, details made vivid by William's observant eye and lyrical writing style... He tells of mosquitoes (he even encloses one in a letter)... the fierce weather, nearby bears and howling wolves. William Wallace takes us on his personal journey from immigrant to citizen, a journey awakened by his growing attachment to his new landscape." Prairie Forum

CONTENTS

PREFACE.....................................................................................................vii

INTRODUCTION.........................................................................................ix

1881...............................................................................................................1

1882..............................................................................................................63

1883..............................................................................................................137

1884..............................................................................................................191

1885..............................................................................................................247

EPILOGUE...................................................................................................297

INDEX...........................................................................................................305

 

Ken Coates

Ken Coates is the author and editor of more than two dozen books, including #IdleNoMore and the Remaking of Canada, The Marshall Decision and Aboriginal Rights in the Maritimes and Land of the Midnight Sun: A History of the Yukon. Raised in Whitehorse, he is the Canada Research Chair in Regional Innovation at the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan. He is a regular guest on radio and television and a frequent contributor to newspapers and magazines across the country.

Bill Morrison

Bill Morrison was educated at McMaster University and the University of Western Ontario, and is now retired emeritus professor of History (UNBC). He lives in Ladysmith, British Columbia.
"Deftly edited for a new generation of appreciative readers....a critically important and highly valued addition academic Western Canadian History and 19th Century Canadian Biography reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists."
Paul T. Vogel, Midwest Book Review
"...the re-publication of the early Wallace letters should be welcomed by not only historians but anyone who enjoys a good read."
Verna Gallen, Saskatchewn History Magazine
The Creative Industries Transition Fund is made possible through funding that was provided to the Saskatchewan Arts Board by the Government of Saskatchewan through the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport.