Tag Archives: OKA

They Died From Dirty Clothing — The Whiteduck Family




 Drawing Source: Where Rivers Meet: An Illustrated History of Ottawa                                                                                             by John Dickinson and Brian Young, page 5                                                     by Courtney C.J. Bond, page 15

Two hundred years ago there only existed portage trails, but 150 years ago there were very busy wagon and sleigh bush roads into Lac Dumoine and up the West Branch of the Dumoine River now called the Fildegrand. During the square timber era 1840-1890  researchers suggest that it took 3lb of supplies (tools,food,horse feed,camp gear) for every  linear ft of timber taken out.

Almonte Gazette–

Three natives employed on E. B Eddy’s DuMoine drive, after a hard day’s work, pitched their tent and settled themselves down for a night of peaceful repose.

In the morning, as none of them put in their appearance at the customary time, their tent was opened, and to the surprise of the searchers, what appeared to be a dense gas issued therefrom. Entering, they found one native, Joseph Miconce, from Oka, dead, and the two others, one of whom was Michel Whiteduck, unconscious. (Note the French first name and the spelling because of the French-Canadian priest who baptized him)

The last two having been revived, it was learned that before going to rest the party had closed their tent tightly, so as to keep out the flies. The tent which was a thick cotton one allowed very little air in. The ground on which they lay was moist and from it, as well-as from their damp and dirty clothes, gas is thought to have arisen which, not having any vent, choked them as they slept. A few minutes more and there would have been three dead Natives.

What people do not understand is that people died from improper nourishment, offensive smells and how many people slept in one room. Newspapers were always alerting the public to pay attention to these matters because of remittent fever, diphtheria and inflammation of the lungs. Stewing in stale sweat and dirty clothes month after month could result in death.

What’s behind the smell of dirty laundry?

The unpleasant odour of dirty laundry is a familiar smell to any human who wears clothing, but what actually causes that foul stench? Researchers have found that the reason for your smelly pile of laundry is the gases released by bacteria breaking down the skin cells, sweat, and other bodily fluids left on your clothing, Discovery reports. After giving volunteers clothes to wear, brave researchers smelled the dirty clothing to rank its smelliness and analyzed it with a spectrometer to see what volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were found on them.

The scientists found six VOCs on the clothing, and also noted that washing the clothes in an environmentally friendly manner (with cold water and unscented detergent) reduced, but did not eliminate the presence of the noxious gases.

The secret six stinkers are: – butyric acid, dimethyl disulfide, dimethyl trisulfide, 2-heptanone, 2-nonanone and 2-octanone.



James Dunlop Gemmill- Almonte

Editor –Almonte Gazette: ( no date)

Sir – Having lately heard of the death during the early part of last winter at Oka, Lake of the Two Mountains, of Peter Whiteduck, a descendant of the famous Algonquin tribe, Research Paper Rosenberger 14 14 associated as it has been with the history of Canada from the earliest period, I have thought that a few remarks on the subject might be of interest.

The family of Whiteducks was well known to the earlier settlers along the Mississippi River. It is one of the earliest recollections of the writer seeing them twice a year passing up and down the river between their hunting grounds on the Clyde and the headwaters of the Mississippi and their town on the Lake of Two Mountains. They were well off in worldly goods. Beaver and marten were plentiful. Their bark canoes, their dogs and their picturesque appearance were always objects of interest to the youth of that period, as they made their way past the falls at Almonte and encamped at the bay.

The head of the family at that time was Captain Joe, after whom Joeʼs Lake in Lanark County was called. He was not tall, but straight as a lance, with a bold look, which well became a chief of the Algonquin auxiliaries in the War of 1812 and ʻ14. Numerous medals in the possession of the family testify to this. He had a large family, the late Peter being one, and who sometimes spoke of his fatherʼs friends along the river, among whom were the late Daniel Shipman, Lieutenant Colonel Snedden and Sheriff Dickson. I had known him for a long time at intervals in hunting.

As a canoeman I do not think he could be excelled. I have often admired his skill, as standing up in a small canoe he urged it up a difficult rapid with a pole. In tracking and trapping he also had great experience. Kindly and friendly in his character, he was well known on the Coulonge River and above the Mattawa. He was for many years in the council at Oka. A cousin of his, also Peter Whiteduck, lost his life many years ago in the breaking of a jam near Devilʼs Chute on the Coulonge River. I may also mention that Peter was a first class canoe maker and an expert pilot of the timber cribs in the rapids of the Ottawa.

Connections of the family may still be found at the head of the Mississippi, Mud Lake, the Calabogie, and elsewhere, but their ancient hunting grounds no longer yield their former supplies owing to the advance of settlement and other causes. I have thought these few particulars might be of interest to some of your readers, although there are few now in Almonte or Ramsay who knew Captain Joe or Captain Antoine.

Yours etc,

J.D.G. Pieva di Cadora, Italy

The author was Colonel J. D. Gemmill from Almonte— Whiteduck Research Update

Related Reading

First Nations History in the Ottawa, Ontario, Canada Area-bytown.net


The Legend Of Big Joe Baye — How Much Do You Know?


Another Segment in the Short Life of Jessie Comrie– Residential Schools –1919

The Friendship Moccasins from the Lebret Residential School

Francis Shaw Pakenham Postmaster Gone Missing —Elizabeth Shaw — Residential School Teacher

Kamloops Industrial School– “A New Idea in Residential Schools” After the Fire 1925

What Do You Know About Walpole Island?

Walking Without Knowing the Amplifying Truth

How Many Women Does it Take to Replace a Team of Horses?The Doukhobors

others… about native lands etc..

Sadler Farm Part 2 Jaan Kolk Nancy Anderson and Lorraine Nephin

Looking for Information on the Native Fort Farm of Fred Sadler of Almonte

The Sadler Farm on Highway 44– Nancy Anderson

The Little Door by the River

The Natives of Carleton Place — Violins and Deer

Constable Frank Rose – Moonshine, Indians, Raids, Drunks and Dances –The Buchanan Scrapbooks

Captured by Natives Alice Garland

Beckwith Child Stolen by Natives

Living with the Natives — Mrs Copithorne’s Bread

What Do You Know About Walpole Island?

Kirby earned an Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Anthropology from York University and has partially completed a Masters of Social Work from Carleton University. He holds a Native Counsellors Certificate from the Ministry of Education of Ontario.

Outside of his educational pursuits, Kirby has spent all of his employment working for and with Pikwakanagan and First Nation Organizations. After university, he was employed for two years with the Union of Ontario Indians researching the Algonquin land claim. Kirby has also worked as a Social and Education Counsellor at the Ottawa Native Counselling Unit operated by Pikwakanagan. Other employment and commitments have all been with and in support of Pikwakanagan in varying capacities such as Manager of Education Services, Manager of Fish and Wildlife Commission, Researcher, Advisor and Land Claim Negotiator. Kirby is now in his ninth consecutive year as Chief and he currently holds the portfolios for Communications, Finance, Administration and Personnel, Child and Family Services, Negotiations and is the supervisor of the Executive Director of Operations.

He is the author of ‘Algonquin Traditional Culture’, published in 2002. His book details the traditional culture of the Algonquins of the Kitchissippi Valley at the early period of European contact.–

Adam-Michael George Peters