By William Benoit
Peter Rindisbacher was 15 years old when he immigrated to Selkirk’s Red River settlement in 1821. Already an accomplished artist when he arrived in North America, he produced a series of watercolours documenting the voyage to Rupert’s Land and life in the settlement. His watercolours from the Red River area are among the earliest images of western Canada. Peter Rindisbacher is considered the first pioneer artist of the Canadian and the American West.
Library and Archives Canada is possibly the largest holder of Rindisbacher’s works. Viewing the Rindisbacher watercolours in sequence allows Canadians to appreciate the difficulty of the journey to the Red River.
Departure from Dordrecht under Captain James Falbister, May 30, 1821. The English colonist transport ship Wellington of 415 tons. (MIKAN 2835769)
On May 30, 1821, Rindisbacher and his family left Dordrecht in the Netherlands with a contingent of mostly Swiss emigrants…
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