A Mind at Sea: Henry Fry and the Glorious Era of Quebec's by John Fry

By John Fry

The pains and tribulations of a Canadian company titan in the course of a desirable interval in 19th-century Quebec.

A brain at Sea is an intimate window right into a vanished time while Canada was once one of the world’s nice maritime nations. among 1856 and 1877, Henry Fry was once the Lloyd’s agent for the St. Lawrence River, east of Montreal. The harbour coves less than his domestic in Quebec have been filled with significant rafts of minimize wooden, the river’s coastline sprawled with yards the place sizeable square-rigged ships – many owned through Fry – have been built.

As the president of Canada’s Dominion Board of exchange, Fry used to be on the epicentre of wealth and effect. His domestic urban of Quebec served because the capital of the province of Canada, whereas its port used to be frequently the scene of uncooked criminal activity. He fought vigorously opposed to the abduction of sailors and the harmful perform of deck loading. He additionally battled opposed to and overcame his own demon – psychological melancholy – happening to put in writing many send histories and essays on U.S.-Canada relations.

Fry was once a colorful determine and a reformer who interacted with the recognized figures of the day, together with Lord and woman Dufferin, Sir John A. Macdonald, Wilfrid Laurier, and Sir Narcisse-Fortunat Belleau, Quebec’s lieutenant-governor.

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The list of people on board was the same as for the voyage out, with the addition of Captain James Raynes, travelling as a passenger, as were the ostlers, Timothy Connell and James Morley. Their course home would differ from the one taken out, according to Ron Holland, yacht designer and enthusiast of marine history, because of the prevailing winds. They would return by picking up the Gulf Stream, sailing between Cuba and Florida and up the coast of North America, before picking up a westerly wind to blow them home.

The crew would contrive to pack as many barrels as possible into the hold of the Mary Russell, filling the gaps between barrels with the hides. The only incident during the Mary Russell’s stay in Barbados on record is that Smith incurred his captain’s wrath by staying on shore overnight. In Smith’s own words: ‘While in Barbados I slept out only one night. ’ He was, presumably, at a brothel. Stewart saw this as a bad example for the young men and boys aboard. While in Barbados, the Mary Russell was approached by a Cork man, Captain James Goold Raynes.

Against all logic, suspicion took over again. Once more he became convinced that the crew were conspiring to overpower him in the night while he slept, and take possession of the ship. He decided that in addition to having armed himself as best he could and appointed bodyguards to sleep in the main cabin, he would make the prospect of mutiny less attractive by jettisoning most of the navigation equipment.

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