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Stephen Lafricain The Grand Old Man of the River

Stephen Lafricain
The Grand Old Man of the River
by Bruce W. Taylor

Stephen Lafricain was born in 1837, the same month and year that Queen Victoria ascended the throne; and died in 1936, the year that King George VI was proclaimed king. He was a part of our history; not just of Canada, but of the United States as well. He was a part of the settlement of the Labrador coast; he lived in the city of Montreal in its formative years. He was a took part in the US Civil War and in the campaign against the Fenian Invasion of Canada.

He witnessed the treaty negotiations with the native people of Northeastern Ontario. He saw the decline of the fur trade in northern Canada, and the discovery of the vast mineral wealth of northern Ontario.

He was there.

He knew and counted as friends some of the most influential men in Canadian history, men such as Lord Strathcona, and Governor Simpson of the Hudson's Bay Company. He saw Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, General Ulysses Grant, and the ill-fated General Custer. And, although none of the wealth of the land accrued to him in his wilderness homes, he lived with and even guided some of the famous prospectors who discovered the gold and silver mines in the north.

Living for most of his life at the Fort Matachewan Hudson Bay Post, he befriended the native community, the prospectors, the hunters, trappers, the priests, and community leaders who came through the area with their various pursuits.

This is his story.

Short-listed for a 2019 Northern Lit Award!

Logo, Northern Lit Awards

Go Here for Table of Contents | Go here for the Index.

Logo, Northern Lit AwardsShort-listed for a 2019 Northern Lit Award.

ISBN: 978-1-927541-81-4 | 5½" x 8½"
156 pages, 29 photos/ diagrams; index; trade paperback | $15.00

It has come to light, on page 142, the Michel Batisse (Jr), born on August 16, 1877, was NOT the elected chief of the Matachewan Band at the time of the Treaty No 9 negotiations. It was his father also named Michel Batisse (seen on page 89). Michel (Jr in 1877) was actually the son of Michel Batisse (Sr) and Annie Batisse (née MacDougal).

Table of Contents

3 Dedication

6 Acknowledgments

8 Prologue

13 PART 1: Labrador Beginnings

17 Ancestry Chart - Stephen Lafricain

17 The Jourdain Family

18 The Broomfield Family

20 Hudson's Bay Company Trading Post at Rigolet

22 Map of Rigolet Area

23 Donald Smith Takes Over at Rigolet

26 The Wreck of the Marten

28 Definition of Occupations in the HBC

31 PART 2: Montreal Roots

31 Montreal-1850s and 1860s

32 Tracing the Lafricain Family Genealogy

36 Pedigree Chart for ;Eacute;tienne (Stephen) Lafricain

37 PART 3: The U.S. Civil War

37 Becoming a Soldier

39 112th Regiment- New York Volunteers

42 The 3rd New York Veteran Volunteers

43 The Fenian Invasion of 1866

46 PART 4: A Servant of "The Bay"

46 Fort Temiskaming-1866-1869

49 Map of Lake Temiskaming Area

50 Fort Temiskaming

50 Robert Hamilton, Chief Factor

52 Hunter's Lodge, Lake Kipawa 1867-1868

53 James Hunter, In Charge at Hunter's Lodge

54 Paddling His Own Canoe 1869-1889

54 Lake Nipissing

56 Charles Stuart, Chief Trader-Fort Temiskaming

56 Point McMartin Post, Lake Temiskaming

57 Colin Rankin, Chief Factor-Temiskaming District

58 Life as a Farmer

62 PART 5: The Montreal River

62 Historical Background

64 Fiddler's Point HBC Post

65 William Fiddler

66 Map of Bay Lake and Area

66 James Mowat

69 Malcolm McLean

70 Stephen Lafricain's Sojourn at Fiddler's Point

77 PART 6: Fort Matachewan 1896-1906

79 Stephen Lafricain at Fort Matachewan

80 Plan of Ft. Matachewan

82 1896-1905

83 Ontario Government Survey 1900

86 The 1901 Census

91 C. C. Farr's Fishing Trip to Fort Matachewan

93 1906-1912 James Bay Treaty No. 9

99 The Discovery of Silver at Elk Lake 1906

101 The Missionaries

106 PART 7: Fort Matachewan 1907-1920

106 Death of Marie Josee Lafricain

107 The Gowganda Silver Rush of 1908

108 1911 Census

110 Mining in Matachewan Area

116 Stephen Lafricain's Quest for a Pension

119 Closure of Fort Matachewan 1920

121 Marriage to Sabeth Roundeye

123 PART 8: Fort Matachewan 1921-1936

126 The "Electric Girl"

127 Stephen's Spirituality

131 Birth of the Town of Matachewan

136 Death of Stephen Lafricain

140 PART 9: Lafricain's Legacy

147 Bibliography

151 Index