Note: Based on the excerpt below, what do you think was the hardest part of being a lumberjack? (This excerpt dates back to 1912, but also applies to Canadian society around 1820.)

Excerpt: “I was 15 when I went up into the woods for the first time. We went to open the site in the early fall with all our supplies for the winter. Once the snow fell, there was no chance of going back. The foreman was never satisfied with his men. You had to slave away for many long hours. Everything was made by hand or with hair. In the evenings, we told stories, sang, and slept. At night, we froze. We could hear the wind whistling between the planks of the camp. Since I was little, I was the cook. I got up before the others to light the stove and cook a big breakfast for the men. We never saw the bosses, except in the springtime upon our return. We would receive a package of piastres1 and had to say ‘thank you’…”

1Piastres: dollars

Source: Account given by Albert Bibeau cited in Danielle DION-MCKINNON and Pierre LALONGÉ. Notre histoire, Montréal, Éditions du Renouveau Pédagogiques, 1984 p. 126.

French (If available)