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In Their Own Voices

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When James Evans was accused of misconduct by members of the Aboriginal community in Norway House, he was tried by William Mason, a fellow missionary. Upon reaching a not guilty verdict, Evans and Mason attempted to control the damage that had been done. The following excerpt is what Evans is reported to have said at the first assembly after the trial. In it he defends himself and his actions:

The trouble I have been under for these few days render me unable to say much to you. I feel grateful to God that while everything has been said that could well be said against me, I am cleared.

There is one thing I wish to say amongst many things I have done. There are many things true. I have played with the girls, and with the women too when they came to my house but I never intended or thought evil, though evil has been said of it. If I had wished to do anything I should not have played with them before my family openly, and everywhere. I have never done these things in secret.

After the scandal and the other disappointments of his tenure at Rossville Mission, James Evans did not mind being sent to England:

"O happy, happy, happy day
 When at last I left the Bay!
 O how happy! O how happy
 I shall be to get away!"

Citation Sources
Hutchinson, Gerald. Unpublished manuscript.


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