2. "My Tent" (1843)

My Tent

Before photography was invented, skill in drawing was important to those wishing to make a record of what they saw. William Logan took drawing lessons in his twenties and, in 1834 during a visit to France and Spain, recorded his impressions of the landscape in a series of evocative watercolours.

Logan’s drawing skills proved valuable when he began to study the geology of the Canadian wilderness. To accompany his written notes, he filled his field notebooks with precise pencil drawings of the geology he encountered. These, he inked over at the end of the day while sitting by a campfire or in his tent.

Logan also made drawings of his daily life, leaving a vivid record of the times. During his 1843 survey of the Gaspé, on July 18, he drew My Tent. In a letter to his friend Henry De la Beche, he wrote, “I worked like a slave all summer… inhabiting an open tent, sleeping on the beach…seldom taking my clothes off, eating salt fish and ships biscuit…occasionally tormented by the mosquitoes.”

Category: Fieldwork

Decade: 1840s

References

Smith, C.H. and Dyck, I., 2007. William E. Logan’s 1845 Survey of the Upper Ottawa Valley; Canadian Museum of Civilization, Mercury Series, History Paper 54, 256 p.

Logan, W.E., 1843. Gaspe Journal, July 18 to September 30; unpublished manuscript in the National Library of Wales, No. 21715B Library and Archives Canada. http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/logan/021014-3200-e.html 

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