Lawrence, H. H.

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Lawrence, H. H.

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Peace River, N.W.T
His letter to the people of South Stukely, dated February 9, 1891.

Henry Lawrence, son of Isaac and Caroline (Elmer) Lawrence of South Stukely, Quebec, and grandson of Henry Lawrence, founder of Lawrenceville, Quebec was, like his forefathers, endowed with the spirit of pioneering. After fighting with the Northern Army in the American Civil War, he and his brother, Erastus, in 1886 decided to move their families westward to the Peace River District.

The letter, written five years after life in the Northwest, describes the hardships of life in new places, but, that all through the struggle they were contented and happy, and, that the pure and health giving air of that great country, was an influence to stimulate to the utmost, to look upon difficulties and obstacles in their path, as something to surmount. It is a 24 page letter and it was addresses to especially named relatives and friends in Stukely so the letter was passed from family to family to be read.

Henry and his brother both taught at the Mission at Fort Vermilion while carrying on farming activities in that area. He mentions his son, Sheridan, who, it is known, married Julia Scott, niece of Bishop Bornpas and had a family of 8 daughters and 7 sons and all were educated. Sheridan owned a whole village in the West. He built Lawrence Point School, opened a store at Fort Vermilion and one at Hayes Lake, built a Church, operated about 1000 acres of land and was sometimes called the "Emperor of the Peace." He lived to see a telegraph line completed to the area in 1931.

The letter is an example to show how the early settlers retained their art of pioneering by moving on to new, uncleared, regions to build on.

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