Had Captain Godfrey not been possessed with such a companion as his wife, it seems almost certain he would have been made a prisoner and, perhaps, been murdered. Her tact and perseverance in danger secured his liberty and rescued him from death.
When her friends in London tried hard to persuade her from accompanying her husband on his second venture in the colony, she calmly replied: “Where my husband goes I can follow, if it be in the wilderness among savages, or even through fire and blood. I love my husband, and wherever he may be, to that spot I am attracted more strongly than to any other.” How much these brave words sound like those of Madame Cadillac, spoken three quarters of a century earlier.
On the 24th of July, 1701, Cadillac landed at Detroit, and set himself to found the place. Soon after this Madame Cadillac, who had been left behind at Quebec, plunged into the wilderness to rejoin her husband.
It was a thousand miles in a birch bark canoe rowed by half-clad Indians, and the route was through a dense forest and over great waters swept by the September storms, but this brave woman undertook the journey attended by only a single female companion.
When subsequently reminded of its hazards and hardships, she simply replied: “A woman who loves her husband as she should, has no stronger attraction than his company, where ever he may be.”
The rich heritage we enjoy comes to us through the great efforts of patriotism and dogged perseverance of our ancestors (the fathers and mothers of the country). As we in gratitude remember the former, let us not forget the latter.
Margaret Godfrey died in London about the year 1807, having survived her husband fully twenty years. She was beloved by friends, and esteemed by all who came in contact with her. She sank full of years undimmed by failure and unclouded by reverses. Who can think of such persons as Mrs. Godfrey without acknowledging that such are the true nobility of the human race!
And now, when from the long distance of a hundred years or more, we look back upon the hardships and misfortunes endured by one family of the early colonists, we feel assured that pen and tongue can never make fully known to us or our posterity the extent of the misery and suffering of most of the early colonial settlers.
[Footnote 11: For a vivid account of the sufferings and hardships of the early Colonial settlers, I would refer the reader to Ryerson’s excellent work, The Loyalists of America and their times. Vol. II. Chap. XLI.]
We know enough, however, to admire the heroism of our ancestors and their firm attachment to the mother land. Our hearts should warm with gratitude for what they have done for our happiness. And as we consider the unflinching determination of the founders of these British colonies to make this land a British home, we feel that we should as unflinchingly carry on their work and expand their views. Deeply rooted in the hearts of our ancestors was a love of the old land, and their desire in the new was to build upon the foundations of the old.