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Dear America Wiki

Isobel on the cover of Footsteps in the Snow

All of the characters that appear in Footsteps in the Snow.

Main characters[]

Isobel Scott[]

Main article: Isobel Scott

Isobel Scott (March 23,[1] 1803[2] – 1888)[3] was the only daughter of Mrs. and William Scott, and sister of James and Robbie. In 1815, the Scott family made the decision to immigrate to Rupert's Land in search of a better life and independence. However, Isobel's mother passed away before they boarded the ship. On the trip, she met Kate McGilvery. Though Isobel intially saw her as a pest, they eventually developed a friendship. During her first months in Rupert's Land, she felt conflicted with her ladylike upbringing and the culture of the Cree that she was being introduced to by her friend White Loon.

Supporting characters[]

Alice Connor[]

Alice Connor (born c. 1802)[4] was a friend of Isobel Scott. Her family, consisting of her parents and older sister Bettie, immigrated from Scotland to The Forks before the Scotts'. Unlike Isobel, Alice often thought of her marriage prospects. She picked out Isobel's brother James for herself upon first seeing him and seemed confident that they would marry someday. In late 1816, she became upset with Kate McGilvery, with whom he spent a lot time with practicing for Isobel's play. Alice was left brokenhearted when James and Kate ended up marrying when they were older. She went on marry herself and had twelve children.

James Scott[]

James Scott (born c. 1800)[4] was the oldest child of William and Mrs. Scott. He loved to joke with his younger siblings, Isobel and Robbie, in order to lift up their spirits. He also hated fighting and enjoyed reading and writing poetry. After their mother's death, James took on some of his father's role in the family. In Rupert's Land, he quickly adjusted to their new life, enjoying new activities such as hunting. James, like Isobel, was shocked when their father decided to marry White Loon though he soon accepted it. In later life, he married Kate with whom he had three daughters. Their newborn son, William, died during a particularly bad winter.

Kate McGilvery[]

Kate McGilvery (born c. 1804)[5] was the daughter of Mr. McGilvery and younger sister of William. Her mother died when she was young. Kate's father became quiet and morose in his grief, which effected Kate's social skills. On the ship to Rupert's Land, Kate met Isobel and wanted to be friends with her. She was unable to show her admiration properly and instead acted like an annoying younger sister. After her father was killed, Kate was adopted by the Scott family. She somewhat softened after a brief reunion with her brother. As an adult, she and Isobel became close friends. She married James and was happy, though their marriage was called "stormy." They had four children, one of whom died as an infant.

Robbie Scott[]

Robbie Scott (born September 23,[6] 1805)[2] was the youngest child born to Mrs. and William Scott. He was the younger brother of James and Isobel. Robbie was often looked after by Isobel, who worried about his weak constitution especially after their mother's death. Like his brother, he took quickly to the new land. He made many friends, including another settler named Peter and some Cree whom he often visited for meals. Robbie immediately accepted their father's marriage to White Loon as he was happy to have a mother again. By the time Isobel was twenty-two, both Robbie and his brother had married.

White Loon[]

White Loon (born c. 1795)[7] was a member of the Cree that lived near the settlers in The Forks. She had a youthful appearance and was described as having a "calm and cheerful personality." White Loon's parents were Black Bear and Leaf Bud. She also lived with her grandparents, one sister, and her three brothers, Fire Owl, Jumps, and Small Beaver. In late 1815, White Loon met and befriended Isobel. She learned English from her and she taught Isobel Cree. White Loon later married Isobel's father William in April 1816. Though Isobel was unhappy with the match, White Loon continued treating her as a friend and now a daughter. They became close friends again, especially in their late lives. White Loon and William had three children together.

William Scott[]

William[8] Scott ("Father") was the father of James, Isobel, and Robbie. He was working in the stables of a manor when he met his wife. They ran away together and moved to the Highlands, where they started they started a family. In 1815, they decided to leave Scotland for Rupert's Land. William was devastated when his wife died before the trip. Sometime after reaching Rupert's Land, he met White Loon and fell in love with her. They were married in late April 1816. The family was eventually able to settle more permanently in The Forks after facing several initial problems. William and White Loon had three children together born between 1817 and 1822.

Minor characters[]

  • Alexander McDonell was the appointed sheriff, with whom the men met with to make important decisions.
  • Anne (née McKim) and Nichol Johnston were a couple whom met on the Prince of Wales. They were married shortly some time after landing in York Factory.
  • Archibald McLeod, an employee of North West Company. He searched the settlers things as they were leaving the territory and warned them not to return.
  • Bends Fingers, Sings Well, and Whose Face Shows Her Moods were young girls from a Swampy Cree band. They were befriended by Isobel and enjoyed many happy days together.
  • Bettie Connor was the older sister of Alice, and daughter of Jeb and Mrs. Connor.
  • Black Bear and Leaf Bud were the parents of White Loon and her four siblings. Their family adopted the Scott family, such as having them stay near them and sharing meals.
  • Colin Robertson was a leader with the Hudson's Bay Company. He was generally considered by the settlers to more competent than the other leaders.
  • Cuthbert Grant was the Métis leader appointed by the North West Company. He was involved in several deadly confrontations with the settlers, including one in June 1816.
  • Duncan Cameron was a fur trader belonging to the North West Company. He frightened many settlers to leave and spread rumors to stop others from coming.
  • Evan and Justin Mackenzie, a pair of brothers. After the younger younger brother broke his leg, the elder Evan had to pull him on a stretcher.
  • Fire Owl, Jumps, and Small Beaver were White Loon's three brothers. They befriended James Scott with whom they played games and hunted. James was particularly friendly with Small Beaver.
  • Helen was a friend of Isobel Scott whom she was sad to part with in Scotland.
  • Jasper McKay, one of the new settlers. He played his bagpipes whenever he had the chance.
  • Jeb[9] and Mrs. Connor were the parents of Bettie and Alice.
  • John Matheson was the tutor on the Prince of Wales whom replaced Mr. McBeth.
  • Mr. McBeth was the tutor aboard the Prince of Wales. The adults were probably unhappy with the way he was tutoring the child and replaced him with John Matheson.
  • Mr. McGilvery (died June 19, 1816)[10] was the father of Kate and William. After his wife's death, he became sullen and scarcely spoke a word to anyone. In 1815, he immigrated with his daughter to Rupert's Land. He was later killed in confrontation with the Métis.
  • Miles Macdonell was the former governor of the Red River Colony. He angered the North West Company, which led to a series of conflicts.
  • Peter was a good friend of Robbie. His family arrived in Rupert's Land earlier than the Scotts'. They were also one of the thirteen families to stay in The Forks, despite being pressured to leave by Duncan Cameron.
  • Running Fox was a Cree Indian whom helped Isobel on one occasion. She also traded with him.
  • Mrs. Scott ("Mother;" died 1815) was the mother of James, Isobel, and Robbie and wife of William. After her father lost his money, she began work as a governess and met her husband. In 1815, the family decided to immigrate to Rupert's Land. She got an infection and passed away before they left Scotland.
  • Lord Selkirk, an Earl who was granted land from the Hudson's Bay Company. He then recruited people to settle in Rupert's Land. Lord Selkirk later came to territory to help the settlers' plight.
  • Governor Semple (died June 19, 1816),[10] the governor of the territory sometimes called "Mr. Simple" derisively. He ignored all of C0lin Robertson's advice eventually leading to his death.
  • William McGilvery was Kate's older brother and employee of the North West Company. In June 1816, he was reunited with Kate. William left her in the Scotts' care since he had two more years on his contract.

Epilogue characters[]

  • Robert, the son of an Earl who came to the colony during 1826. He fell in love with Isobel at first sight. They were married the following fall and had six children together. Their seventh child died in childbirth.
  • William Scott (died winter 1825)[3] was the only son of James Scott and Kate McGilvery. He died when he was still a newborn during a bad winter. His parents always mourned his lost.


See also[]

Dear Canada characters
Main characters

Hélène St. Onge | Sophie Loveridge | Angélique Richard | Geneviève Aubuchon | Mary MacDonald
Susanna Merritt | Isobel Scott | Arabella Stevenson | Johanna Leary | Jenna Sinclair | Harriet Palmer
Julia May Jackson | Rosie Dunn | Kathleen "Kate" Cameron | Josephine Bouvier | Flora Rutherford
Tryphena "Triffie" Winsor | Victoria Cope | Abby Roberts | Dorothy Wilton | Anya Soloniuk | Eliza Bates
Charlotte Blackburn | Fiona Macgregor | Chin Mei-ling | Ivy Weatherall | Sally Cohen | Noreen Robertson
Charlotte Twiss | Mary Kobayashi | Devorah Bernstein | Rose Rabinowitz | Violet Pesheens

Supporting characters

Marianna Wilson | Jane Browning

Lists of characters by book

Alone in an Untamed Land | Winter of Peril | Banished from Our Home | The Death of My Country
With Nothing But Our Courage | Whispers of War | Footsteps in the Snow | A Rebel's Daughter
A Sea of Sorrows | Where the River Takes Me | A Trail of Broken Dreams | A Desperate Road to Freedom
A Country of Our Own | A Ribbon of Shining Steel | Blood Upon Our Land | Days of Toil and Tears
Flame and Ashes | Orphan at My Door | All Fall Down | That Fatal Night | Prisoners in the Promised Land
Brothers Far from Home | No Safe Harbour | If I Die Before I Wake | An Ocean Apart
A Prairie as Wide as the Sea | Not a Nickel to Spare | To Stand On My Own | Exiles from the War
Turned Away | Torn Apart | Pieces of the Past | These Are My Words