Posts

Showing posts from December 9, 2007
Image
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 go…

Finding Lisette's Grave

Image
Finding Lisette's GraveYesterday we found Lisette’s grave. Helen Meredith had wanted to help me look from the beginning, and having a Montreal native along really smoothed the way. I had written to Mount Royal Cemetery before and gotten a location number, G-11, which as it turned out wasn’t much help. We went in to the office and asked for Elizabeth Harmon d. 1862 and Abby Maria Harmon d. 1904, and the woman at the desk went in the back and came back in five minutes with a Xerox of two index cards. Yes, she was there, all right, and so were Mary and Calvin and their son Andy and a few others as well. Calvin Ladd had purchased the plot, but didn’t appear to be buried there. She gave us a plot map of that section of the cemetery, marking it on the main map. So off we went to G-1, Lot number 11.

Helen had done this before with her friend Jill’s relatives, so she knew how hard it was going to be. And we walked all around the edges of the section, which joins G-2 with just a dotted line…