Emma Jane (Attwood) Davis

A Story about Emma Jane (Attwood) Davis

by Ed Davis

When my mother, Emma Jane (Attwood) Davis, was about thirteen, she sailed with her father, “skipper” Tom Attwood, to the Labrador fishing grounds for three years as cook for the crew. She would probably have sailed with him for a few more years, except for a prank of a crew member.

One day an Eskimo (Inuktitut) came aboard the schooner, saw the girl who would one day be my mother, and was quite impressed with her. One of the crew members told him he could buy this girl for twelve dozen moccasins. The young man hurried away and the crew member forgot his little joke.

Then one day, a few weeks later, the Eskimo paddled alongside the schooner and threw dozens of newly made moccasins upon the deck of the schooner. Climbing aboard he laid claim to the Captain’s daughter. Needless to say, Skipper Tom was horrified. With considerable difficulty he managed to convince the man that his daughter was not for sale! He gave back the moccasins and bid the disgruntled native farewell. That night the schooner quietly slipped out of the harbour and sailed away. I did not ever learn of what was said or done to the crew member with the warped sense of humor.

Ed Davis was born in Safe Harbour but left when only a child. Ed resides in Oshawa, Ontario.