Friday, December 3, 2010

By Snowshoe or Canoe

The editor of The Travel Journals of Tappan Adney, 1887-1890, Ted Behne, will speak at BHPL and present the photographs and illustrations from Adney's journals on Wednesday, December 8 at 7 p.m. Adney was a contributor to Harper's Weekly and his models of aboriginal canoes helped save the birchbark canoe from oblivion. Here is a taste of one of his adventures:
One day Hum and I were studying over a large map of the Province of New Brunswick that we had pasted up on the rough wall of a room in the garret that we fixed up, and where we molded our bullets and tanned our muskrat hides, a den exclusively our own where we could take refuge at all times and discuss our trips, and plan for others.

"There's a chain of lakes," said Humbolt, pointing to a spot just north of the line [the United States/Canada border], "and in the Province of Quebec it's called the Squatic [sic] [l]akes and I'd like to go up there.

"We could take a canoe up on the train as far as Little Falls, and it must [be] a hundred miles around the chain of lakes. I don't see why we couldn't go up there this fall. Nobody but a few Frenchmen ever goes up there. What do you say we go?"

It was never my policy to differ with Humbolt about matters like this.

-Page 105, from the chapter "A Trip in a Birch Canoe Through the Squatook Lakes Sept. 24, 1888 in The Travel Journals of Tappan Adney, 1887-1890

Copies of the book will be available for signing afterward. You can read an interview with Behne on the front page of the Independent Press here.

No comments: