By John Fry
The trials and tribulations of a Canadian enterprise titan in the course of a desirable interval in 19th-century Quebec.
A brain at Sea is an intimate window right into a vanished time while Canada used to be one of the world’s nice maritime international locations. among 1856 and 1877, Henry Fry was once the Lloyd’s agent for the St. Lawrence River, east of Montreal. The harbour coves under his domestic in Quebec have been full of vast rafts of minimize wooden, the river’s coastline sprawled with yards the place sizeable square-rigged ships – many owned by means of Fry – have been equipped.
As the president of Canada’s Dominion Board of exchange, Fry used to be on the epicentre of wealth and impression. His domestic urban of Quebec served because the capital of the province of Canada, whereas its port used to be usually the scene of uncooked illegal activity. He fought vigorously opposed to the abduction of sailors and the damaging perform of deck loading. He additionally battled opposed to and overcame his own demon – psychological melancholy – happening to jot down many send histories and essays on U.S.-Canada relatives.
Fry was once a colorful determine and a reformer who interacted with the well-known figures of the day, together with Lord and girl Dufferin, Sir John A. Macdonald, Wilfrid Laurier, and Sir Narcisse-Fortunat Belleau, Quebec’s lieutenant-governor.
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Additional info for A Mind at Sea: Henry Fry and the Glorious Era of Quebec's Sailing Ships
I've got no hesitation in asserting that he's insane and really undeserving to take care of his affairs.  Hallock’s professional testimony was once supported by means of Quebec physicians and surgeons — Colin Sewell and James Arthur Jewett. by means of o’clock within the afternoon the interdiction of Henry Fry used to be whole. With the approval of Henry’s son Henry Jr. , his brother Edward, his brother-in-law Samuel Dawson, the banker James Stevenson, and his Cacouna neighbor Andrew Thompson, Henry’s spouse was once appointed curator, or curatrix, because the court docket famous. She was once to take cost of her husband’s “person and to manage his estate. ” For the forty-six-year-old mom of 7 kids it used to be a heavy, unenviable burden. Worse, with it got here the disgrace of Henry’s authentic directory as an interdicted individual in Quebec. “Notices of stated interdiction has to be transmitted to the Notaries of this District of Quebec so that nobody be blind to the acknowledged interdiction. ” briefly, Henry was once publicly declared not able to transact company within the urban over whose Board of exchange he’d as soon as governed, the place he’d equipped nice absolutely rigged crusing ships, saved households from starvation, based the YMCA, served as university commissioner, fought crimping, kept the lives of sailors imperiled by means of faultily loaded shipment, and protected the St. Lawrence River and hundreds of thousands of ships traversing its harmful waters. the town he enjoyed had officially rejected him. To wind down Henry’s affairs, Mary gave large powers to the Quebec service provider Richard Reid Dobell. via November her oldest son, Henry Fry Jr. , joined Edward Fry as a accomplice, and the 2 undertook to regulate the enterprise of Henry Fry & Co. The partnership lasted approximately and a part years. on the finish of April 1885, Edward took over for himself the enterprise that were introduced via his oldest brother in Quebec thirty years prior. Mary, collecting funds from the sale of financial institution stocks, moved completely to Montreal. For source of revenue she had loans amazing to no fewer than 9 humans, who have been paying her rates of interest among five. five percentage and seven percentage, secured by way of their actual property and policies on their homes. She owned houses herself.  wise in finance and genuine property, Mary observed that there has been sufficient cash for her husband’s care. yet he used to be not the guy whom she used to be married to. Lovell’s 1887 Montreal listing lists her as “Mrs. M. Fry, widow. ” In December 1877 she got a home at sixty six McTavish road, with ease positioned around the road from the McGill campus. handy simply because twenty-five-year-old Henry Jr. used to be learning legislations on the collage on his method to changing into a well known Montreal notary. The matriarch: In 1886, Mary Dawson Fry, then fifty, used to be dwelling in her personal residence in Montreal throughout from the McGill college library, separated from her husband, Henry, who was once dwelling southeast of Montreal within the quarter recognized this present day as Estrie. photograph courtesy of Dick Avison. As for Henry Fry Sr. , he most likely travelled from Quebec with Dr. Hallock again to Connecticut, the place he remained for some time lower than his care.