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In Their Own Voices

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Robert Rundle was three years old when his grandfather, William Carvosso, a Methodist preacher, came to live with the family. The family also maintained close ties with his uncle, Reverend Benjamin Carvosso, a prominent minister and missionary in New South Wales. Despite this strong Methodist influence, Robert Rundle Sr. maintained his family's attachment to the Church of England. 

As a young man Robert Jr. was attracted to the social compassion of the Methodists and entered a Methodist Training College.  Shortly after his ordination he embarked upon a career as a missionary in Western Canada. 

It is evident from his journal entries that his inexperience weighed heavily on Rundle during the early days of his voyage. He expressed fears of living in the harsh Canadian wilderness and meeting the Aboriginal people. However, as he encountered both his doubts faded and his fascination grew, which inspired him to set out and spread Christianity to the more remote parts of the area: 

What a contrast between my feelings now and on my first undertaking the journey to this wilderness. Then the thought of an Indian was almost accompanied with terror and dread but now my chief delight is to be with them. -July 21, 1840

Citation Sources
Rundle, Robert Terrill. Edited by Hugh A. Dempsey. The Rundle Journals, 1840-1848. Calgary: Alberta Records Publications Board, Historical Society of Alberta and Glenbow-Alberta Institute, 1977.


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