Bemocked of Destiny: Centenary Edition


Out of Print

“The actual struggles and experiences of a Canadian pioneer, and the recollections of a lifetime”

by Aeneas McCharles (1844-1906)

Bemocked of Destiny was first published in 1908, a condition of the last will and testament of an extraordinary Canadian pioneer. Teacher, speculator, geologist, prospector, community organizer and outspoken advisor to provincial and federal politicians, McCharles’s first-person account of life in the heady days of the late-19th-century frontier offer us more than a glimpse into the age in which he lived.

The story begins with McCharles’s boyhood on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, and goes on to describe the periods of his life spent in Bruce County and the cities of London, Ottawa and Toronto, Ontario, in the 1870s. He was part of the exciting booms in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, in the 1880s. Finally McCharles settled as a prospector in Sudbury, Ontario, where he staked the North Star Mine, eventually part of Vale (Inco) mining property inventory.

In the second part of this centenary transcription of the original, Martin McAllister explores McCharles’s legacy and the tragic untold story of Harry, McCharles’s only child. In addition, McAllister outlines the history of the McCharles Prize and three of his scientific papers demonstrating McCharles’s interest in paleogeology and archaeology.

The McCharles Prize

Created from an endowment to the University of Toronto as a condition of Aeneas McCharles’s estate, the $25,000 McCharles Prize for Early Career Research Distinction is awarded every three years in recognition of exceptional performance and distinction in early career research on the part of a pre-tenure member of the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering at University of Toronto.

Martin (Marty) McAllister retired in 1991 after nearly forty years with INCO Limited, Sudbury, and its corporate operations. In retirement, Marty was engaged in writing and research and, in the 1990s, participated in volunteer missions to Peru and Ontario aboriginal communities.