My 2017 A to Z Challenge theme is “The History of Kanata”, the parallel world that is the setting for “Eagle Passage, my alternative history novel that all began when I wondered, “What would have happened if Leif Eriksson had settled Vinland permanently in 1000 AD? For further details and links to my other A to Z posts – and hints at the ones to come visit “Kanata – A to Z Challenge 2017”.
J is for Jasper: 1813, Jasper, Kanata: Fur trader Doron Klen is negotiating with postmaster-merchant Jasper Hawes over the value of the goods that he wants to be sent on the next shipment east. Jasper agrees on a fair price given the distance from the post at the gateway to the Assinwati mountains [Rockies] to Lake Gichigami [Superior] and the main trading ports. Another fur trader sneers at Doron, condemning his Jewish ways extorting money out of good Christians like Jasper. However, Jasper reminds the angry fur trader that Kanata welcomes all settlers, especially those fleeing from persecution, and reminds him that his sect was condemned for their beliefs. Yet, the indigenous tribes welcomed them all – in fact, does he condemn them for their beliefs or the Norse founders that follow Skaði or Odin? Maybe he should complain to the Mjölnir militia. The rogue fur trader is forced to accept that Jasper is correct, and he apologises to Doron, who adds that if his Jewish homeland was ever free, many of his people might return there.
In our timeline: Until the British seized Montreal in 1760, there were no Jewish settlers in Canada, as the French required that everyone was Roman Catholic. There were several Jews in the British regiments, and from then on Jewish settlers were initially merchants and fur traders. Canada was one of the destinations of choice, alongside the United States, following the pogroms in Eastern Europe and Russia.
Jasper is named after a real Jasper Hawes who was the postmaster at the trading post established there in 1814 as part of the network controlled by the Hudson’s Bay Company.
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