I went to the Bennington (VT) Museum to meet with Lisette's soon-to-be publisher and the museum archivists. There was a present waiting for me: a photo from the Museum's "Highlights of the Collection" catalogue. To wit:

"Figure 51. PA-TUS-SE-NON (SHOT BAG), 1810
Lizette Harmon, Cree Indian, 1790-1862
Porcupine quills, red floss, beads, leather
H: 11 in. W: 7 in
Gift of Mrs. Nelson Bradley Carter

"…This shot bag was made by Lizette for her husband and was decorated with naturally-dyed porcupine quills. Although shot bags do survive, few can be found with leather in such fine condition, with such vibrant colors still evident, or with such strong documentation and history.""

Just imagine. After ten years roleplaying this obscure M├ętis woman, to see a color photograph of something she made with her own hands. And such an artifact. I'm thunderstruck. I must see the actual thing itself asap, and *of course* I'm burning to try to copy it as it's gorgeous. Now I have to find someone who can teach quillwork.

We also discovered where she died—Sault au Recollet, now a suburb in North Montreal—and where she is buried–Lot G.11 at the Mount Royal Cemetery. From 1821 to 1843, she lived literally an hour and a half up the road from me, in Coventry, Vermont, founded by the Harmons and funded by Daniel's NWC earnings. She lived to the age of 70, having her first child at age 14 and her 14th at age 47. We've got the Harmon family genealogy waiting to be worked on, and best of all, I have her marriage date at your fort!

"Daniel Williams Harmon, b. in Bennington, February 19, 1788; m. Lizette (or Elisabeth) Laval (or Duval), in Fort William, Canada, August, 1819." (source: John Spargo, "Two Bennington-born Explorers and Makers of Modern Canada," 1950) Note: the other "Bennington-born Explorer is Simmon Fraser, as in River and University. He took Daniel's place as the leader of the Mandan Expedition of 1806.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

On Planning a Set: Hook, Line, and Sinker