Page 24 - Annie Battiste: a Mi'Kmaq Family History
ISSUE : Issue 64
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1993/8/1
fL. *' - / ?' f smallpox. She had no one to turn to who would help her for she knew that whoever stayed with her would also get the disease. This disease that began with the prolonged fever could kill or permanently scar one for life. She knew that. It was well-known that many people died from this disease. And every home where there was one who was sick with smallpox was quarantined for months and no one would come to the house. Food would be dropped off for the sick family at a distance, but no one could come near as the disease could rapid? ly spread. Upon her arrival, Mary Ann cried desperately in fear and panic for what was to come, relating to her stepdaughter Harriet the fate of this deadly disease. Harriet, al? ready a married woman, agreed to stay with her stepmother, together with her children Annie and Mattie, to help her through her sickness. Knowing they also would be ill, she agreed to help her stepmother and nurse her as long as she could. With luck perhaps they would both live. When Harriet's hus? band John came home, he also agreed to help his family and stayed with them as well. Peter Cremo stayed away although he helped them from afar delivering food and provi? sions nearby where they would pick it up. Mii'scxiriA From the fully-restored French Fortress Louisbourg to the Port Royal Habitation to the 18th Century Halifax Citadel, you'll find more museums, heritage homes and living historic exhibits here in the birthplace of Canada than anywhere else in the country. Watch history repeat itself Call for your FREE 304 page Travel Guide and your FREE Touring Catalogue. And start planning your historic joumey. 1-800-565-0000 operator # 197 Came to Sea for li>urseli Honourable Ross Bragg, Minister of Tourism and Culture Annie's parents: John Lewis and Harriet Cremo As predicted, in 18 days Mary Ann became ill and the family was quarantined for the winter. No one could come to the house. Their smallpox sickness was as great as its reputation and many times they felt that they would not live. Harriet watched her failing mother, and later John watched his failing wife and finally resigned himself that his daughter Annie would not live through this fever. He started to think about the burial, for at that time people who had died of smallpox would have to be buried far away from other people. As John ,sat thinking about the sad I events that were to happen and the prospect of where to bury his child, his daughter Annie awoke from the fever and asked for mashed potatoes and tur? nip. With great joy he fixed his daughter her healing meal. They all survived the disease that winter and in the spring, the house had to be smoked out to cleanse it from traces of the terrible disease. As part of the family's live? lihood and traditions fol? lowed by their Mi'kmaq ances? tors, the family made their annual journey by boat from Chapel Island to Canso where they fished swordfish by boat and lived in a tarpaper shan? ty on the side of the waters of the town of Canso. Nestled in a cove warmed by the shel? ter of woods on one side and accessed by a water inlet in a cove, Mi'kmaq families made their homes and lived for several weeks through the summer while they fished the southern port. There were about 5 wigwams and camps huddled together that housed about 5 large families.
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