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|Scotch Grove Pioneers
Those interested in the Scotch Grove settlers may want to contact [an error occurred while processing this directive]. She has some early marriage records from the Red River Settlement and will do lookups.
"The Prince of Wales" was a vessel of about 600 tons and sat low in the water. Her bows were iron-plated and the water lines covered with oak to enable her to battle through the ice. Shorty after the voyage began, an American privateer was sighted. The convoy ship "The Brazen," chased and captured it and took it into an English port?an incident of the War of 1812.
"In less than a week the dreaded fever had swept the little ship. Hugh MacDonald died painfully in the night. The wasted bodies of Catherine, daughter of Donald Gunn of Borabal, and William Sutherland, a young man of great promise, were consigned to the grey waters two days later. In the midst of this horror the surgeon Laserre suddenly expired. The sick could not be isolated, accommodations being limited. So the sick lay moaning among the healthy in every part of the ship."
And in that cold, inhospitable spot, at least eight of the little party died during the month of September; and the grave of John Sutherland plainly marked, remains there to this day.
Scurvy attacked the camp, and too weak already the settlers refused to submit to the bleeding, a general cure-all, ordered by a surgeon of the company. Finally it was allayed by a medicine made from spruce; and when myriads of partridges and herds of deer appeared, the settlers recovered their strength and spirits on this diet of fresh meat, and were eager to start for York Factory where they should have wintered, a journey of 150 miles across the snow.
Forty-one left in April, 1814, to attempt the march. Among these was the widowed Catherine Grant Sutherland, her sons and her daughter Janet, "Little Janet" they called her.
They were soon afflicted with snow blindness. They encountered blinding blizzards. The sharp crust of the snowdrifts cut their knees so their trail was marked with blood. But always there was their leaders to cheer them on, and at night a cheery campfire with buffalo robes on the snow, plenty of oatmeal and roasted partridges and gallons of hot tea.
When they reached York Factory, plans were made to continue the journey to the Forks, a distance of more than 500 miles. So this group with others, numbering 120 in all, left York, May 14, 1814, and traveling by boat and by grueling portage, with 300 miles on Lake Winnipeg into the Red river, and reached the Forks in fifty-five days.
There on the site of the present city of Winnipeg Miles Macdonell in the name of Lord Selkirk allotted to the head of each family, ten chains of land, or 660 feet, on the banks of the Red river, the land running back to a distance of from two to four miles. This method of allotment had the advantage of bringing the houses of the settlers close together for protection and communication, and also of giving each family a right to the river, which furnished the only means of transportation and also provided them with food and water. At the present time, some of these water lots are held in Winnipeg, one in possession of the Robert McBeth family having come down directly from Lord Selkirk.
In this fourth group was the family of Alexander McBeath, listed as an old soldier, a member of the 73rd Highlanders, and said to be one of the survivors of the Black Hole of Calcutta. His children were Margaret 18, Molly 18, (evidently twin sisters) George 16, Roderick 12, Robert 10, Adam 6, Morrison 4.
Those of the Sutherland family connected with Scotch Grove history were the mother Isabel, who died shortly after her arrival here; Alexander, Ebenezer, Donald, and Kate who came as the wife of John McIntire. Of the McBeath family, Margaret came to Scotch Grove as the wife of John Sutherland. One of the McBeath sons married a daughter of Donald Livingston, and their daughter Johanna was the wife of John E. Lovejoy; while Annie, another daughter, married John O. Callahan, both families closely connected with this community.
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