Potatoes & Buffalo and Bear Skins – Wm. King, 3 of 28

Potatoes and a ticket to Philadelphia, USA
Potatoes and a ticket to Philadelphia, USA

The young William King departed for Philadelphia, USA with his brother’s entire potato crop days after his graduation from college. The crop that year had been exceptional in Ireland, but dismal in America and King was to sell it to help finance his family’s migration to Canada. The remainder of his family followed in the fall of 1833, but “unfavourable accounts of Canada as a place for farming…(where) people went six months of the year clothed in Buffalo and Bear skins to keep warm”(10), caused them to decide to go to Ohio following spring. To pass the winter, King taught, without remuneration, “the large and advanced scholars” (10) in a primitive log school near Cleveland. The building had “a large fire place at the north and (was) capable of taking in four foot wood.”(10).

What experience first defined you as an adult?


When did your plans completely change?

3 thoughts on “Potatoes & Buffalo and Bear Skins – Wm. King, 3 of 28

  1. I was departing New Zealand for a three month stay in Australia when my friend and I found out the an entire month of the exchange in Queensland was cancelled. What to do? Fall in love with an Aussie and marry him!

    1. Back in 1978, my friend and I decided that we would go on a vacation to Australia. We went to a travel agent who said to us “Do you realize that when you’re in Australia you’re half way around the world? Why not come back home the other way?” We laughed at the time but by the end of the day our plan morphed into a 10 month trip around the world. It was totally life changing.

    2. I think the first experience that signified that I was an adult happened when I cashed my first pay cheque ( I happened to be living in Toronto) and I realized that I could do as I wished with it and didn’t have to consult anyone else. Then I realized that no one else would pay my rent or my share of the food.
      There is a house I used to visit frequently in Banff and there were lots of Buffalo robes and bear skins.

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