Previous Pioneers of Ontario (1923) Next

 

66   THE PIONEERS OF OLD ONTARIO

Rideau, was one of the first-comers. Shortly after he made his home at Burritt's Rapids, he and his wife were attacked with fever and ague. Having no neighbours, they were forced to rely on themselves. So severe was their illness, that they were at length confined to bed and helpless. For three days and three nights they were with-out fire or food, and had made up their minds that they must die At this juncture a band of Indians appeared on the scene The squaws tenderly nursed "their white brother and sister, supplied them with food, and administered simple but effective remedies. Mean-while the braves cut the corn in a small field the colonel had succeeded in clearing, and stored it in a log shack. The colonel and his wife made a speedy recovery, and ever after kept open house for the red men. It was a common thing to wake in the morning and discover a score of aborigines reclining in the hall and other parts of the house. When proceeding up the river in the spring they frequently left many articles with the colonel for safe-keeping, not forgetting, on their return, in the fall, to pre-sent him with a rich present of furs."

The Indians in this part of Canada were Mississaguas. They seem to have acted with equal generosity towards the settlers generally, and on October 19th, 1787, they received a special grant of two thousand pounds in goods as a reward for the aid they had given the United Empire Loyalists. From the Indians the settlers learned the art of making maple sugar, of spearing fish by torchlight, and of making clothes from deer-skins. From the Indians, too, they got moc-


Previous Pioneers of Ontario (1923) Next