Text of a letter from T.W. Edwin Sowter to
David Boyle of the Ontario Provincial Museum in Toronto, Ontario
This letter is current in the ROM Anthropology Archives.
Dr. Mima Kapches of the ROM kindly brought its existence to the attention of the author.

Dept. of the Interior
Survey Records Branch
June 9th 1908

Dear Mr. Boyle:-

I enclose you a rough sketch of a soapstone pendant?, or whatever it may be, and would be greatly obliged if you would give me your opinion as to what it really is. You will observe that it is wedge-shaped at the base. It came from near the 4th chute of the Bonnechere River near the town of Douglas. The fragment of a gorget came also from the same place. If I mistake not, speaking off hand without looking it up you mention in one of your reports that these latter ornaments are not found east of the old Huron Country about Lake Simcoe. It is made of slate and the hole appears to have been made with a drill. I should judge that it had originally two holes in it when intact.

About 10 miles above Aylmer and probably a mile and a half back from the Ottawa River some pottery has been found a year or so ago and is now in the Museum of the Geological Survey. Nothing has been written upon it as yet. It looks like the Huron pottery figures in your reports and is widely different from Algonkin pottery in my collection, from Yale Museum and from Ottawa district. Do you suppose the presence of this pottery might indicate the presence of a Huron village site? If so could you give me some hints as to the best method of investigating it? I am writing a short paper for the Ottawa Naturalist and am describing an ossuary which was uncovered a great many years ago on Wellington St. Ottawa. Another ossuary was dug up 7 or 8 years ago when excavating the foundations for a new light-house on Lighthouse Island in Lake Deschenes. Do you not suppose that the presence of these ossuaries could indicate at some time the presence of a Huron settlement?

At the dispersion of the Huron nation is it not possible that some of the fugitive bands may have settled in this part of the Ottawa valley? At any rate I am going to keep a sharp look-out for evidences of Huron occupation.

You may be amused at my amateurish work and crude generalizations, but down here I am practically alone in this field of inquiry and have no one with whom to compare notes. So I trust you will be patient with me and give me a little help from time to time as I need it badly. There is a lot of archaeological work to be done down here and I "feel it in my bones" that if I do not do it, nobody else will.

Please tell me all you can about the soapstone ornament and [kinds?] of gorget.

With kind regards

Yours sincerely

T.W. Edwin Sowter

P.S. Could you spare me a copy of your Archaeological Map of Ontario? I have one in "The Downfall of the Huron Nation" by C.C. Jarvis Trans. Royal Society Canada, Second Series 1906-1907, but it is so badly printed that it is practically useless. T.W.E.S.