This edition of The Huron Chief is the third in a series of editions of early Canadian long poems that has been made possible by a generous grant from the Academic Development Fund of the University of Western Ontario. For the generosity of the University and the confidence of many colleagues, most notably J.F. Woodruff, the Chairman of the Department of English, T.J. Collins, the Dean of Arts at the time of the Academic Development Fund grant, and the Adjudicating Committee and external referees of the A.D.F., all of us involved in the editing of The Huron Chief are profoundly grateful.
To the staff in the Baldwin Room at the Metropolitan Toronto Public Library, the National Library of Canada and the Public Archives of Canada in Ottawa and in the libraries at Queens, McGill, Calgary and, of course, The University of Western Ontario thanks are due for making available copies of materials pertinent to this edition. Special thanks in this regard are due to Nellie Reiss, the Lande Librarian at McGill University, to Sandra Burrows, the head of the Newspaper section at the National Library, and, on behalf of both Charles Steele and myself, to Apollonia Steele of the University of Calgary Library.
I owe a very special debt to R.J. Shroyer, my partner in the project to edit early Canadian long poems; his computing skills, his shrewd insights and his unstintingly generous gifts of enthusiasm, advice and time (The Huron Chief has been an especially heavy consumer of the last) have made the production of this edition practically possible, intellectually engaging and thoroughly enjoyable. I also owe a very special debt to Michael Williams, not only for his diligent and often inspired research into the background of The Huron Chief, but also for his sharing with me a measure of his intellectual engagement with Kidd and his milieu. That Michael Williams and I have talked frequently about the possibility of writing a radio play based on Kidds life is one indication of the way in which his enthusiasm and friendship have given vitality and impetus to our research on The Huron Chief. Thanks are also due to Carolyn Quick and Pamela Jeffrey for their patient and careful work in processing and proofreading the present edition, and to Mary Lu MacDonald for generously sharing with me her research into Kidds fugitive publications. E.J. Devereux, Alfred G. Bailey, Douglas Gerber, Douglas Leighton, James Reaney, Bruce G. Trigger and Tracy Ware are among others at the University of Western Ontario and elsewhere whom I would like to thank for assisting in one way or another with research on The Huron Chief As always, however, my final and greatest debt is to my wife Susan, who has with great forbearance accepted the loss of much valuable time to The Huron Chief, as a Canadian poet of vastly greater stature than Kidd once wrote under circumstances similar to mine: I pray thee, deem not, Sweet, / Those hours were given in vain; / Within these covers to thy feet / I bring them back again.