Just posted a review I wrote a few years ago for the TLSARL Newsletter. Archie McDonald came out with the famous 1813 group and kept a journal as one of Selkirk's leaders at the RRS. The book is now out of print, but you should be able to track it down through Interlibrary Loan or a used bookseller. Click HERE for the review!
If you know of other biographies, Please add them as comments to this discussion!
I'm in the mist of reading "Red River Story" by Alfred Silver- a novel based on the life of Cathrine (MacPherson) Sutherland.
It also gives excellent background and experiences of Cuthbert Grant. Only into the first 100 pages or so but great reading especially when you know the characters.
I have not read the novel and do not know what it says about Catherine's husband, but you should know that recent research has shown that she did not marry the Alexander Sutherland who also arrived in the 1813 party, as was believed by some for a long time. Her husband arrived in 1815. The Alexander who arrived in 1813/14 was one of the settlers who later moved to Iowa.
She had an interesting life and endured much.
I have not studied much about Cuthbert Grant. My ancestors left the settlement before he came to prominence.
Grant was the NWCo's 'captain' responsible for undertaking the Massacre of Seven Oaks in 1816, Edith. So your ancestors would have been aware of him!
His more positive role at the Red River Settlement did bring him to prominence much later, though, with the establishment of the Metis Nation and the Metis settlement of the White Horse Plains just west of what is now known as Winnipeg on the Assiniboine River. I often wonder why Louis Riel is given so much credit over Grant....
Edith, do you know what the reference that was used to show that Catherine married the other Alexander Sutherland.
The research was presented in one of the TLSARL newsletters (goes to members only, although some genealogical societies have subscribed). It's a part of ongoing genealogical research done by the Association's genealogist and archivist, and is available to members for a small fee. the Association website is www.lordselkirk.ca and you can contact them there. They only accept direct descendants as members, so you will need to supply your line of descent or your descendant number, if you know it.
Yes, this is a great novel. It is important to remember it is fiction, though. I can't tell you how many people I've met who swear by "The Men of Kildonan," another novel, as though it were well researched historical fact. The author states right at the beginning that it is not historical, but a composite of many characters and events that is just fiction with historical roots.
Edith's point is well made. Silver wrote his Red River series before the mistaken identity of Catherine MacPherson's husband (which Silver used) was corrected. In a way, her story was a far more romantic one. But it wouldn't have suited Silver as well, lol.
Novels do serve a purpose, though, They are a great way to introduce the reluctant to history. Silver certainly heightened my interest in my Red River ancestors (I hated the way he represented John Pritchard, my 3g-grandfather, and am hoping someday to shed more positive light on the man.). On the whole, I'd say Alfred Silver did a pretty thorough research job, although I suspect he relied on more secondary sources than on his own original research.
I was wondering what the reference was used to correct the fact that Catherine married the other Alexander Sutherland. I find this very interesting.
He might have used the genealogical information published by TLSARL.... It was available in Winnipeg Libraries and at the Manitoba Genealogical Society office. I don't remember if Healy mentions her or not in his book.