Skip to main content

The Arduous Task of Settlement

Black and white sketch of the inside of Blythe House. In the sketch you see John sitting on a chesterfield; two women at the table; and, Anne Langton in front of a fire patting a small dog.

Miniature graphite wash ink and light wash sketch by Anne Langton entitled “Family Party at Blythe” circa 1838. Depicts John and Anne Langton, with aunt Alice and their mother around the hearth for warmth.

In her early notes, Anne describes how arduous the work was and how scarce any supplies were. To even maintain heat in the newly constructed cabin, it took two trees per day, dragged out of the woods by oxen. Often, on the coldest of days, the family huddled in the kitchen by the stove.

It is my comfort when sadly starved to think that this coming season… has always appeared to me to be the worst; when once there is no possibility of being too warm, then there is a chance of being warm enough. 

And also, 

I am sometimes reminded of my early years and companionship with boys only; perhaps you would think my feminine manners in danger if you were to see me steering a boat… or handling the ropes when sailing; but don’t be alarmed – my womanly avocations will always counterbalance them.

Access the video with a descriptive transcription