In the Woods in Canada, 1897-1902

Manuscript Diary of Deer Hunting in Canada. [Cover title:] B.J. Livermore, Hunts: 1897, 1898, 1899, 1900, 1901, 1902.

[ Newark Valley, NY; near Uffington, Ontario, and other sites: 1897-1902].

Price: $2,000.00


About the item

Illustrated with a manuscript plan of the 1899 camp and a map, accomplished in red ink and pencil, for the 1901 hunt. [174] pp., as described serially in manuscript in an Excelsior Diary (ignoring the printed dates), approximately 10,000 words. 1 vols. Narrow agenda 12mo. In the Woods in Canada, 1897-1902. Original leather edged canvas wallet binding, stamped Excelsior Diary on flap. Owner name in ink on back cover and on front flyleaf. Very good conition, entirely legible.

Item #316588

An excellent series of accounts of seven three-week deer hunts in Canada, late October to mid-November, 1897-1902, with names of the members of the hunting parties and a table, by hunter, of the game bag.
Livermore, a resident of Newark Valley, New York, travelled to Canada each year with a group of friends to hunt deer at a camp near Uffington, Ontario; his diaries, 20-40 pages for each hunt, provide a brief account for each day's activities, without much of a narrative thread, mostly devoted to the hunting, with notes on deer seen, shot at, and bagged. Also included are extensive notes on transportation to and from the camp, other wildlife encountered on the hunt, anecdotes (e.g., a hound returning to camp with a nose full of porcupine quills), some expense accounting, and camp life. Livermore and his ten or so comrades, most of whom hailed from Ottawa or Toronto, bagged an average of 20 deer a year over the six hunts, with a high of 30 in 1899 and 1900, the kill including bucks, does, and fawns, rather indiscriminately.
From the 1897 trip: “A.E. Bradstreet shot a fine doe, 2-year old in narrows from upper pine near Burnt lake. Called for me to dress it.
1898: “I went with Mr. Miller North East of camp to a new watch & shot the first deer of the season at 8:30 & a fawn on same morning about 9:30.”
1899: “Paddy Regan killed a very large buck yesterday in Rat lake, weighed 240 pounds.”
1900: “Weather very warm, went bathing in lake today. Had plenty of fresh fish from lake, perch, bull heads, chubs, also some trout.”
1901: “F. Smith shot a fine 5 [i.e., 10] pt. buck at head of Jean Lake.”
1902: “I went to pt. between watches on Jean Lake, North side at 8:30 just landed, I see a small Buck fawn, ‘fine one’, crossing outlet of Jean, went after him & made a finish at first watch on Stoney Creek.”
Though lacking a narrative thread, this is a revealing manuscript, giving the day to day details from a series of deer hunting trips to Canada at the turn of the 20th century. The first 60 days of the diary have entries in real time, mostly devoted to Livernore's day job as a clerk in a shoe store, and, for example an 1892 visit to New York City; the manuscript is quite legible and very good throughout.