Robert Michael Ballantyne (1825-1894) joined the HBC as an apprentice clerk in 1841 at the age of 16. The letter to which he refers was a letter of introduction from his cousin, Frances Simpson, to Letitia Hargrave, who supplied Ballantyne with provisions and useful information for his journey from York Factory to Red River. p49, 2nd pgh: “After having made… in readiness.”
“After having made ourselves acquainted with everybody, I thought it time to present a letter of introduction I had to Mrs. Grave, the wife of the gentleman in charge, who received me very kindly. I was much indebted to this lady for supplying me with several pairs of moccasins for my further voyage, and much useful information, without which I should have been badly off indeed. Had it not been for her kindness, I should in all probability have been allowed to depart very ill provided for the journey to Red River, for which I was desired to hold myself in readiness.”
Read excerpts from Letitia's letters about RM Ballantyne - enter 'arrival' and 'return' in the search box to your left.
Read excerpts from Robert's writings - enter 'Ballantyne' in the search box to your left.
Check the Beaver Index - e.g., type in Letitia, Ballantyne, etc.
In 1841, Letitia Hargrave considered Ballantyne “smart & very gentlemanlike & diverting,” but in 1843 she described him as “a useless little apprentice who can scarcely copy,” while her husband noted that he was as unfit to be an accountant “as to be an Archbishop of Canterbury.”