MB: living and writing the early days of parks canada

Marius Barbeau to MB Williams, May 1955

Transcription / Additional Information

Salem Mass. May 10, ‘55

(On a visit here)

Dear Miss. Williams,

            Your letter gave me a nice surprise after a prolonged silence. I often think of you, especially at the time when J.B. Harkin passed away. This brought back to my memory the times when I was associated with the Nat. Parks for the collection of F.L. objects, and when you aided me in the pursuit of good writing. I remember the eve’g when, at The Author’s Assoc., a story of yours was read; it was full of tender affection … was it ever published? This was one of the best stories I have ever heard. It paved the way for our later collaboration in “Egalce” as you fitly call her rather than Mountain Cloud — as the tale later became. It has now long been out of print, although not a great popular success. The Caxton Printers, its publishers, later published Alaska Beckons (non-fiction), and will bring out, in a few months, Pathfinder in the Parks.


            The fine silver bracelet, made by [Edagawn] of the Haida, was a mark of my gratitude to you. Now you wrote that you are returning it to you, for safe keeping as it were. I am a bit surprised, for you must be personally attached to it, and it has been with you for many years. It makes us realize the passing of the years … I accept it in the spirit that impels you. Or will so, I am sure to one of my daughters, Hélène (the 2nd daughter), married to Marcel Rivir, chief ethnologist, at the Nat. Museum. I still keep my office there, and am more than ever productive. At present, I have seven books at the publisher or being completed. Hélène has three children and will have a fourth at the end of this month. We will go back to Ottawa for the event. Dalila, the elder daughter, married to the artist and craftsman Arthur Price, has four children. So I have many grand-children, who often came to our large house at MacLaren St.

            Other news: We will be going to Europe on June 11, for three months. First to Oslo, where I’ll represent the Nat. Museum at the International Folk Music Council. We will stay three weeks in France and England. In Oct. we will drive


to Louisiana, where I have been invited to represent Canada at the Bicentennial of the Acadian Deportation. Now I am completing a months survey of eastern [museums]. Springtime here is lovely and we will pursue its progress into Canada next week proceeding through Western N.Y., Toronto, and coming back home on the 21st.

            I hear from my office that a parcel has arrived with your letter letter. I presume it is the bracelet. I will acknowledge it, after I return,

                Affectionately your friend

                    Marius Barbeau




Marius Barbeau, “Marius Barbeau to MB Williams, May 1955,” MB: Living and Writing the Early Years of Parks Canada, accessed April 24, 2018, http://mbwilliams.academic-news.org/items/show/38.


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