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The Dawson route : a phase of westward expansion Litteljohn, Bruce M 1967

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THE DAWSON ROUTE A PHASE OF WESTWARD EXPANSION by BRUCE M. LITTELJOHN B.A., McMaster University, 1962 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF M.A. i n the Department of History We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 1967 In p re sen t i ng t h i s t he s i s in p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e fo r re ference and Study. I f u r t h e r agree that permiss ion fo r ex ten s i ve copying of t h i s t he s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h.iJs r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . It i s understood that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t he s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be a l lowed without my w r i t t e n pe rmi s s i on . Bruce M. LIttelJohn Department of The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada i i ABSTRACT THE DAWSON ROUTE: A PHASE OF WESTWARD EXPANSION The basic problem attacked i n t h i s thesis i s the general lack of r e a d i l y available knowledge concerning the Dawson Route. While there i s much material i n manuscript c o l l e c t i o n s and i n government publications, l i t t l e attention has been paid the route i n other places. Several scholars have dealt b r i e f l y with p a r t i c u l a r aspects of the route, but no person has treated i t i n a comprehensive fashion. This thesis sets out to r e c t i f y t h i s s i t u a t i o n . I t has been written i n the b e l i e f that a short general h i s t o r y of the Dawson Route — dealing with i t s o r i g i n s , development, use, and significance — i s j u s t i f i e d and w i l l be of some i n t e r e s t . Secondary problems have emerged i n the course of t h i s inquiry. In coping with these, the writer has attempted to describe the physical nature of the route and the natural ob-stacles overcome i n i t s construction, and to t e l l why and how i t was b u i l t . He has also t r i e d to t e l l who used i t , what i t was l i k e to t r a v e l the route during the 1870's, and to de-scribe i t s r e l a t i o n s h i p to other transportation routes. F i n a l l y , he has attempted to explain why i t declined and to assess i t s s i g n i f i c a n c e . The thesis, i n short, i s a b r i e f general history of the Dawson Route. The research f o r t h i s paper has been carried forward at l i b r a r i e s and archives i n Ottawa, Toronto, Port Arthur, St. Paul, i i i Winnipeg, and Atikokan. Because physiography looms large i n the story of the Dawson Route, a number of f i e l d t r i p s into the area i t traversed have been undertaken. Again, because the route was a physical thing, considerable e f f o r t has been expended i n l o c a t i n g and reproducing maps and p i c t o r i a l material to i l l u s t r a t e i t s use, i t s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , and the country through which i t passed. The writer has benefitted from i n -volvement i n archaeological and h i s t o r i c a l projects undertaken along the route i n recent years. Several conclusions have grown out of t h i s inquiry. In large degree, the Dawson Route was an extension and refinement of a long t r a d i t i o n of water transportation i n the area between Lake Superior and the Red River. I t was developed i n the face of considerable physical obstacles and may be viewed as a triumph over those obstacles. Concern f o r the economic and p o l i t i c a l future of the B r i t i s h Northwest i n s p i r e d i t s construction. This concern was l a r g e l y a r e s u l t of the expansionist temper of Americans, and p a r t i c u l a r l y Minnesotans. Combined with t h i s were transportation developments and physical expansion i n Minnesota, as well as the a c t i v i t i e s of the Canadian Party i n Red River, which also worked to encourage the construction of a Canadian transportation route. The Dawson Route served a useful m i l i t a r y - p o l i t i c a l purpose i n 1870, but i t s success as an emigrant route to a t t r a c t s e t t l e r s to the Red River area (for which i t was primarily designed) was severely l i m i t e d . I t declined because of inherent weaknesses and because of iv developments in competing transportation faci l i t ies , both north and south of the international boundary. The relationship of the Dawson Route to the Canadian Pacific Railway was closer than has been suspected, and the fact that i t survived for even a short period after 1873 was largely owing to the r a i l -way policy of Prime Minister Alexander Mackenzie. In a sense, the route was obsolete from the day i t opened for emigrant travel in 1871. Nonetheless, i t served a useful purpose and appears to have reflected the willingness of Canadians to mar-shall the resources of the new nation in the interests of an expansive national purpose. CONTENTS INTRODUCTION 1 CHAPTER ONE: THE GEOGRAPHICAL, PREHISTORIC, AND HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE DAWSON ROUTE AREA 5 .CHAPTER TWO: PROLOGUE TO THE DAWSON ROUTE; THE lSA-O's, 1850's, AND EARLY 1860's 31 Minnesota, I84O-56 37 Great Britain, I84O-56 43 The Province of Canada, I84O-56 48 A Route to the West, 1857-59 55 The Early 1860's 83 CHAPTER THREE: INITIAL CONSTRUCTION AND INAUGURATION OF THE DAWSON ROUTE, 1867-70 106 CHAPTER FOUR: THE DAWSON ROUTE; ITS USE AND SIGNIFICANCE, I 8 7 I - I 8 7 S 187 SELECTIVE BIBLIOGRAPHY 265 MAPS Map no. 1: The Dawson Route and Adjacent waterways, unbound. Map no. 2: Physiography Along the Dawson Route, unbound. Map no. 3: Lake Superior to the Height of Land, unbound. Map no. 4: Canoe Routes West of Lake Superior, unbound. Map no. 5: Route via Whitefish and Arrow Lakes, unbound. Map no. 6: Early Trails from the Red River Settlement to St. Paul 40 Map no. 7: Proximity of Railheads to St. Paul in I858 42 Map no. 8: Shifting Lines of Communication with the Northwest 54 Map no. 9: Eastern End of Dawson Route 120 Map no. 10: Western End of Dawson Route 124 Map no. 11: Thunder Bay Road 126 Map no. 12: Wolseley's Departures from Dawson Route, unbound. Map no. 13: Shebandowan Lake to Baril Lake 147 Map no. 14: Baril Lake to Sturgeon Lake 149 Map no. 15: Pickerel Lake to Maligne River 153 Map no. 16: Maligne River to Loon River 160 Map no. 17: Lac La Croix to Rainy Lake I64 Map no. 18: Namakan Lake to Winnipeg River 166 Map no. 19: Lake of the Woods to Fort Garry 169 Map no. 20: Maligne River 218 Map no. 21: Line of the Canadian Pacific Railway 231 v i i ILLUSTRATIONS 1: Dawson Route Terrain 7 2: Drainage Pattern in Area of Dawson Route 9 3: Dog Lake and Pigeon River Canoe Routes 14 4: Canoes on Lake Superior 19 5: Sir George Simpson's Canoe at Fort William 23 6: Fort William in 1861 65 7: Running Tanner's Rapids 69 8 and 9: Beginning of Great Dog Portage; and Falls on Rainy River 70 10: Detail from Hind's Annotated Map 72 11: Encampment of Hind's Party 74 12: Hind's Party Making a Portage 75 13: Detail from Hind's Map 77 14: Fort Garry in 1858 78 15: Detail from Russell's Map 113 16: Thunder Bay Road and Dog Lake Trail 118 17: Red River Expedition Unloading Stores 131 18: Camp at McVicar's Creek 134 19: Wolseley Expedition on Kaministiquia River 136 20: Advanced Guard Crossing a Portage 137 21: Kakabeka Falls and Portage 138 22 and 23: Calderon's Landing; and Location of Old Matawin Bridge 140 24: Obstructions along Kaministiquia River 141 25: Eastern Section of the Dawson Route 142 v i i i 26: Wolseley Expedition Crossing a Portage 144 27: Head of the French River 150 28: Pickerel Lake, on the Dawson Route 154 29: Red River Expedition Crossing a Portage 155 30: Deux Rivieres Portage 156 31: Portion of Deux Rivieres Portage, 1963 157 32: Portion of Deux Rivieres Portage 158 33 and 34: Near the Head of the Maligne River; and Twin Falls on the Maligne River 161 35: Lac La Croix 163 36: The Rainy River 167 37: Island Portage, Winnipeg River 170 38: Dawson Route, West of Northwest Angle 190 39 and 40: Views of Broken Dawson Route Dam 196 41: Thunder Cape or Sleeping Giant from Prince Arthur's Landing 201 42: Creek South of Deux Rivieres Portage 204 43: Running a Rapid on the Maligne River 205 44: Steamer "Keenora" on the Rainy River 206 45: Fort Garry Road at Oak Point 208 46: Steamer Landing at Northwest Angle 210 47: Teamsters at Dinner, Dawson Road 211 48: Station at Lake Shebandowan 212 49: Sturgeon Lake, Dawson Route 215 50: Rapids below Tanner's Lake 216 51: Boiler from Dawson Route Tug 220 52: Boiler Plate from Dawson Route Tug 221 ix 53 '• Dawson Route Tugs on Rainy River 222 54: Kashabowie Station, Dawson Route 223 55 and 56: Remains of Dawson Route Dam, Maligne River 225 57: Fort Frances, 1901 234 58: Fort Frances, 1901 235 59: Prince Arthur's Landing 242 60: Prince Arthur's Landing, 1872 245 61: Dawson Route Barge 247 62 and 63: Valley of the Matawin 251 ACKNOWLEDGMENT In preparing t h i s t h e s i s , the writer has benefitted from the a i d of a number of persons. Dr. Margaret Prang has been a patient and he l p f u l advisor. Dr. Grace Lee Nute of St. Paul has given expert advice on many points and has been a constant source of encouragement; Mr. Robert C. Wheeler, Associate Director of the Minnesota H i s t o r i c a l Society, has provided extraordinary help i n f a c i l i t a t i n g research as have Mr. Frank B. Hubachek of the Quetico-Superior Wilderness Re-search Center (Minnesota), and Messrs. John B. Ridley and Easton T. Kelsey of the Quetico Foundation (Toronto). Pro-fessor Kenneth E. Kidd (Trent University) and Mrs. K. E. Kidd have kindly supplied photographs as w e l l as knowledge of the Dawson Route. The same applies to Professor K. C. A. Dawson (Lakehead University) and Mrs. K. C. A. Dawson. Dr. Norman F. Shrive (McMaster University) and Mr. R. Murray B e l l of Toronto have generously provided unpublished d i a r i e s i n t h e i r possession. Mr. Art Armstrong (Lands and Surveys Branch, Ontario Department of Lands and Forests) has gone to unusual lengths to locate maps of the Dawson Route. At the Public Archives of Canada, Mr. Jay Atherton has been p a r t i c u l a r l y h e l p f u l . Among other things, Carolyn, my wife, has portaged many a pack along the Dawson Route; and Mrs. M. E. Finlay, who has a keen eye f o r s p l i t i n f i n i t i v e s and the l i k e , typed the manuscript. To the above, and to others who have helped i n various ways, I extend my thanks. 1 INTRODUCTION This thesis i s concerned with the o r i g i n s , development, use, and significance of the Dawson Route. More s p e c i f i c a l l y , beginning with an outline of the geography and e a r l i e r history of the area under examination, i t i s intended to describe how and why the Dawson Route was conceived, explored, surveyed, and b u i l t . I t i s also intended to t e l l who used i t , and i n what numbers, and what i t was l i k e to t r a v e l the route. F i n a l l y , the thesis seeks to assess the importance of t h i s s h o r t - l i v e d (1^70-78) transportation system. In short, t h i s piece of work might be styled a b r i e f general treatment of the Dawson Route presented with emphasis on s o c i a l history. A substantial remnant of the Dawson Route trends south-west through Quetico P r o v i n c i a l Park — a preserve of approxi-mately 1,750 square miles situated between Fort William and Fort Frances i n Northwestern Ontario. For some sixty of i t s 450 miles, the route passed through the present park area. It was here, during summers of employment as a park ranger, that the writer f i r s t examined what subsequently proved to be the remains of Dawson Route dams, way-stations, and vessels. At the time, and for several years thereafter, l i t t l e was learned about these remains. I t seems, however, that t h e i r accidental discovery — perhaps given heightened impact by the solitude and unpolished beauty of the wilderness se t t i n g — 2 marked the beginning of an i n v e s t i g a t i o n the r e s u l t s of which follow. I t was a fortunate contingency that the i n i t i a l encounter with the Dawson Route took place i n Quetico Park. Because the park i s a protected area where human interference with the natural environment i s minimal, the portion of the route within i t s boundaries remains much as i t was almost a century ago. While water l e v e l s have undoubtedly changed s l i g h t l y , they are not appreciably d i f f e r e n t , and the portage t r a i l s are v i r t u a l l y unaltered. With only a modest exercise of the imagination, one can very nearly duplicate the experi-ences of early t r a v e l l e r s on the route. This, at any rate, has been the experience of the writer, and i t may explain why there are numerous references to t h i s p a r t i c u l a r (but quite representative) segment of the Dawson Route. I t should, however, be added that the writer has observed portions of the route from Port Arthur to Winnipeg during the course of several f i e l d t r i p s into the area. During the period 1963-67, research has been carried forward at the following places'.:' the Public Archives of Canada (Ottawa, Ontario), the Ontario Department of Public Records and Archives (Toronto, Ontario), the Minnesota H i s t o r i c a l Society (St. Paul, Minnesota), the Port Arthur Public Library (Port Arthur, Ontario), the Quetico-Superior Wilderness Re-search Station (Basswood Lake, Superior National Forest, Minnesota), at the National Museum of Canada and the head-quarters of the Geological Survey of Canada (both i n Ottawa), 3 and at the Toronto Public Library, the L e g i s l a t i v e Library of Ontario, the Surveys and Mapping Branch of the Ontario Department of Lands and Forests, and the University of Toronto Library ( a l l i n Toronto). The writer has also v i s i t e d b r i e f l y the l i b r a r y of the Hudson's Bay Company, Hudson's Bay House (Winnipeg, Manitoba), and the Atikokan Public Library (Atikokan, Ontario). F i e l d t r i p s f o r physical examination of both the Dawson Route and the Pigeon River Route (trending west from Grand Portage) have taken the writer to the valleys of the Kaministiquisa, Matawin, and Shebandowan Rivers; to Shebandowan, Kashabowie, Windigoostigwan, and Rainy Lakes; to Grand Portage, parts of the Pigeon River, and Saganaga Lake; to the Northwest Angle of Lake of the Woods; and to portions of the Rainy River as well as the country immediately east of Winnipeg. The segment of the Dawson Route from French Lake v i a P i c k e r e l and Sturgeon Lakes, then down the Maligne River to Lac La Croix has been paddled many times, as has the boundary waters route from Saganaga, v i a Knife, Basswood, and Crooked Lakes, to Lac La Croix. The writer has also had the p r i v i l e g e of p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n Dawson Route archaeological work conducted at French Portage and Deux Rivieres Portage by the Royal Ontario Museum, Lakehead University, and the Quetico Foundation, i n cooperation with the Ontario Department of Lands and Forests. Working with a National Geographic Society photographer and with a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation t e l e v i s i o n crew along portions of the 4 Dawson Route has provided further opportunity for coming to grips with the country and its history. •wi* >•> V* V<» •rfs >ji <rfi #(i It is a germane fact (and to the writer, a rather over-whelming one) that the Dawson Route was conceived during the decade before Confederation and constructed immediately follow-ing that event. Its conception was related to larger plans which were being formulated between 1857 and 1867, and its construction took place at a time when the new Dominion was attempting to cope with the momentous problems of westward expansion, the doctrine of "manifest destiny" as preached and practised by some Americans (particularly in Minnesota), the f irst Riel Rebellion, the transfer of Hudson's Bay Company territory to Canada, the creation of Manitoba, and the survey-ing and construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. A l l of these large topics bear upon the Dawson Route and none of them can be excluded from this thesis. It has been, however, the intention of the writer to avoid these major issues as being beyond the scope of this paper, except insofar as i t has proved necessary to refer to them to illuminate the story of the Dawson Route. >;c i]c ^ : ;|c £ 5 CHAPTER ONE: THE GEOGRAPHICAL, PREHISTORIC, AND HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE DAWSON ROUTE AREA Scouring the surface of the Shield itself , pouring boulder clay into the valleys to the south, the ice sheets had hollowed the beds of new lakes and had diverted the courses of ancient rivers. There was left a drainage system, grand in its extent and in the volume of its waters, but youthful, wilful and turbulent.1 Donald G. Creighton, 1956. Here is an area about 175 miles long from east to west and of variable width up to 100 miles containing approximately 16,000 square miles [the country between Lake Superior and Lake of the Woods3 where at least forty per cent of the sur-face is covered by lake waters and connecting streams and where the disarrangement of drainage due to intense glaciation presents an intriguing puzzle to the physiographic geologist. Wallace W. Atwood, 1949. There is probably no part of the globe which can boast of so many noble-reservoirs of fresh water as this country. From Lake Superior to Lake Ouinipique, the two largest lakes, there is a chain of fifteen considerable ones, besides others of less note, and into which several noble rivers f a l l . Peter Grant, c . 1804. 6 The exploration, surveying, and construction of a transportation route might be considered a human triumph over geographical features. The degree to which such e f f o r t s deserve to be styled a triumph depends upon the e f f i c i e n c y of the resultant route, the distance involved, and the geo-graphical p e c u l i a r i t i e s of the country traversed. The Dawson Route, i n i t s ultimate form, stretched f o r 452.05 cir cuitous miles between Prince Arthur's Landing, on Thunder Bay, and Fort Garry, at the confluence of the Assiniboine and Red Rivers.^" At i t s eastern extremity, the route began with a 45 mile wagon road from Thunder Bay to Lake Shebandowan. Proceeding i n a generally westerly d i r e c t i o n , t h i s was followed by 312.05 miles of broken navigation (including eleven portages with a combined length of 8.33 miles). This navigable section linked Lower Shebandowan Lake to the Northwest Angle of Lake of the Woods. A second wagon t r a i l (known as the Fort Garry Road, or Snow's Road) extended from the l a t t e r place to the western terminus of the route, a distance of 95 miles. The two terminal roads t o t a l l e d 140 miles i n length; the i n t e r -vening navigable waters, including portages, added another 312.05 miles. Given these f i g u r e s , i t becomes clear that more than two-thirds of the Dawson Route depended on water transportation (see map no. 1, unbound). This i s not s u r p r i s i n g . Except f o r a span of some t h i r t y miles immediately east of the Red River, the entire Dawson Route passed through Precambrian Shield country. Photo: B. M. L i t t e l j o h n , 1962 Much of the Dawson Route passed through country characterized by rock ridges, water, and coniferous f o r e s t s . This i s not to deny variations i n s o i l s and landforms, f o r the route not only crossed the height of land west of Lake Superior, but also passed through a portion of the Thunder Bay clay pocket (by way of the Thunder Bay Road) and the Rainy River clay p l a i n (by means of the r i v e r ) . In addition, the Fort Garry Road crossed a large t r a c t of wooded swamps and open muskegs fo r more than half i t s length before dipping down into the Manitoba Lowland. On the whole, however, the Dawson Route traversed what i s commonly thought of as t y p i c a l Precambrian Shield country of the Northwestern Ontario v a r i e t y That i s , i t passed l a r g e l y through a landscape characterized by g l a c i a l l y scoured rock, t h i n and discontinuous s o i l s , rocky h i l l s and ridges ranging i n l o c a l r e l i e f up to 500 feet, and forests of Black Spruce, Trembling Aspen, S i l v e r Birch, and Jack, Red, and White Pine (see map no. 2, unbound).'' The most s t r i k i n g c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the region i s , however, the i n t r i c a t e r i v e r and lake system which seams and surrounds i t . A t r i p through the area w i l l confirm t h i s view, f o r i t w i l l quickly become evident that lakes, swamps, beaver-meadows, r i v e r s , and streams dominate the landscape. Their genesis i s to be found during the g l a c i a l epochs when the rocky Precambrian substructure was scoured, gouged, and l a i d bare by massive i c e action. The continental ice sheets; — t h e i r slow advances l i k e those of giant rock-studded rasps; • scraped away the s o i l s of the region, carried them south, and deposited them i n the area now occupied by the north-central 9 Photo: Martha A. Kidd Lakes, swamps, beaver-meadows, and r i v e r s dominate much of the landscape i n the area of the Dawson Route. A portion of the route i s indicated i n orange. states. The mile-thick g l a c i e r s did more, however, f o r they l e f t a wrenched and ravaged t e r r a i n marked by ice-gouged de-pressions ranging up to several hundred feet i n depth and about f o r t y square miles i n extent. When the l a s t of the four great i c e sheets (the Wisconsin glaciation) retreated from the area some 10,000 years ago, i t s melt-waters f i l l e d i n the labyrinth of basins which the g l a c i e r s had l e f t behind. In the merest twinkling of geological time these basins brimmed over, t h e i r waters s p i l l i n g into adjacent depressions. In t h i s manner a complex pattern of drainage was created at an early date over much of the Dawson Route area. I t i s almost certain, however, that the western portion of the route (from about Rainy Lake west) remained submerged beneath the waters of g l a c i a l Lake Agassiz from the time of the Valders Retreat (8,500 to 7,000 B.C.) of the Wisconsin g l a c i a t i o n u n t i l approximately 500 B.C. Nevertheless, during t h i s period Lake Agassiz continued to drain eastward into the Lake Superior basin u n t i l , by 500 B.C., i t s l e v e l had been reduced to reveal a fr a g -mented, disarranged drainage pattern s i m i l a r to that which pre-v a i l s today. From the time of the Aqua-Piano Indians (c. 7,000 to c. 5,000 B.C.), who l i v e d near the shores of g l a c i a l and post-g l a c i a l lakes, through the period of the Boreal Archaic Indians (c. 5,000 to c. 500 B.C.), who apparently used dugout canoes, l i f e i n the region was s t r i k i n g l y — and understandably — water oriented. This was also the case with the Middle Woodland Indians, who inhabited the country from about 500 B.C. to about A.D. 500. They were followed by the Late Woodland Indians who used canoes of bark construction and who persisted into x the protohistoric period. It i s almost certain that a l l of the Indians mentioned above had boats of some kind. Moreover, the settlement patterns of these Indians clearly demonstrate their dependence upon the lakes and rivers. George I. Quimby, an acknowledged authority on these people, writes that "although other cultural or environmental forces may have operated, water-ways as means of travel, transport, and settlement were the most important single geographic factor of the region after 7000 B.C." With the arrival of Europeans in the area — of whom Jacques de Noyon, who travelled west from Lake Superior in 1688, appears to have been f i r s t — the Indian history becomes puzzling and complex. It i s l i k e l y that the confusing nomenclature (where Indian tribes were concerned) of early historical diaries and accounts has tended to obfuscate the situation. Nonetheless taking both hi s t o r i c a l and archaeological evidence into account, i t seems that the water highways of the region between the Red River and Lake Superior served a number of shifting and meeting cultures. There i s evidence that there were Siouian people (Assiniboine) i n the area about A.D. 1,000 and that, after A.D. 1,400 or thereabouts, they were joined by Algonkian Indians (Cree) who moved i n from the north or north-east in large numbers During the early years of French-Indian contact west of Superior, 12 both the Assiniboine and Cree were present. Contact (and con-f l i c t ) between these two t r i b e s was e s p e c i a l l y evident around Christinaux Lake (Lake of the Crees, now known as Rainy Lake) and Lake of the Woods (also known as Lake of the Assiniboine during early h i s t o r i c a l times). By the time of La Verendrye's a r r i v a l i n the area, however, the Ojibwa were exerting pressure from the east and the Cree and Assiniboine were being pushed into the more westerly portion of the border lakes country. In broad terms, there was a general westward s h i f t of peoples, probably inspir e d by i n t e r - t r i b a l c o n f l i c t s and the systematic extermination of fur-bearing animals i n the East. Added to th i s was pressure brought to bear by the Forest Sioux of present-day northern Minnesota. Acculturation and inter-marriage have served to further complicate the pattern of t r i b a l movements fo r twentieth-century hi s t o r i a n s and anthropologists. By about 1800, however, the Ojibwa controlled most of the area l a t e r traversed by the Dawson Route, even though intermittent warfare between them and the Forest Sioux continued well into the nine-teenth century. The Ojibwa assumed control of an area poor i n arable land and heavily forested, but r i c h i n waterways. The only long-term inhabitants during h i s t o r i c a l times, they were an i t i n e r a n t , hunting, f i s h i n g , and gathering people who neither s e t t l e d i n large s t a t i c groups, nor practised agriculture to any s i g n i f i c a n t extent. Nomads by necessity, they seldom stayed more than a week i n one l o c a t i o n during the winter months. 9 Instead, they 13 moved i n family groups by snowshoe and toboggan from one f o r e s t location to another. During most of the year, however, these master canoemen and builders moved along the water t r a i l s , frequently s h i f t i n g t h e i r lodges from place to place as they t r a v e l l e d between f i s h i n g grounds, w i l d - r i c e beds, and areas of p l e n t i f u l game.1'*' sic sf; ^ ^ sjc Considering the waterways i n a broader sense, the hi s t o r y of the region hinges on i t s strategic l o c a t i o n i n terms of con-t i n e n t a l geography, f o r i t l i e s d i r e c t l y between Lake Superior (the western node of the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence drainage system) and Lake Winnipeg (the water crossroads of the Northwest). And while the intervening drainage i s complex and i n t r i c a t e , there i s a di s c e r n i b l e pattern to i t . The height of land, which separates the waters flowing west to Lake Winnipeg (and eventually into Hudson Bay) from those flowing east in t o Lake Superior, i s located roughly f i f t y air-miles west of Fort William. Surprising as i t may seem, there are good water connections between the easterly and westerly flowage at several points along t h i s continental watershed (see map no. 3, unbound). There are, of course, portages at these points, but those between South Lake and North Lake (on the Pigeon River Route) and Kashabowie Lake and Lac Des M i l l e Lacs (on the Dawson Route) are short — the former being a mere 680 paces, and the l a t t e r one mile i n length. The crossing between the Dog River and the Savanne River on the northernmost route i s more d i f f i c u l t . Both of The Public Archives of Canada Map of Surveyor General, Joseph Bouchette, 1815. The Dog Lake and Pigeon River canoe routes are traced over i n yellow; the height of land i s already more than adequately emphasized. 15 these rivers flow away from the divide through f l a t , swampy country, and two long portages aptly named the Swampy Portage (2,659 yards) and the Meadow Portage (4,566 yards) must be carried. Despite these d i f f i c u l t i e s , the route was used by fur traders and others for many decades. These water and portage connections across the height of land made possible the use of several natural canoe routes which begin at Lake Superior and extend more or less west to arrive, eventually, at Lake Winnipeg. For the purpose of the early European explorers and traders, these canoe routes served as a convenient westward extension of the St. Lawrence - Great Lakes corridor to the interior of North America. And while other water arteries could, with d i f f i c u l t y , be followed between Lake Superior and the West (the Seine River system i s an example), the two fastest and most efficient routes were the Dog Lake route (used most heavily after 1804 and following the Kaministiquia River, Dog Lake, Lac Des Mille Lacs, and the Maligne River to Rainy Lake and points west) and the Pigeon River (international boundary waters) Route. These converge at Lac La Croix, within the present bounds of Quetico Provincial Park, and then continue on to Lake Winnipeg via Namakan and Rainy Lakes, the Rainy River, Lake of the Woods, and the Winnipeg River (see map no. 4, unbound). In brief, during the early historical period (1688-1821), i t s drainage pattern and location made the region later traversed by the Dawson Route an integral link in the major water highway joining East and West. And, for the student of geopolitics, 16 i t s canoe routes stand as one of the reasons why Canada de-veloped along an east-west axis — not i n spite of her geography, but because of i t . 1 1 In 1688, Jacques de Noyon — twenty years old, and born at Trois Rivieres — ascended the Kaministiquia, packed his gear across the height of land, swung west among the jumbled lakes, swamps, and r i v e r s of the pays d'en haut and arrived, f i n a l l y , at Rainy Lake, where he wintered. De Noyon l e f t no journal of his t r i p , but i t i s l i k e l y that he followed the 12 Seine River system west of Lac Des M i l l e Lacs. While French records are s i l e n t about the region f o r about t h i r t y years a f t e r de Noyon's inaugural t r i p , i t i s almost certain that other white men soon followed him west of Superior. In 1696, the French posts of the western i n t e r i o r were abandoned, and f o r more than a decade the upper country was deserted except f o r the odd renegade coureur de bois and a few Jesuits. Then, i n 1717, Sieur de l a Noue re-established the f o r t which Dulhut had f i r s t b u i l t (about 1680) at the 13 mouth of the Kaministiquia River. Five years l a t e r an o f f i c e r named Pachot wrote that the best route to the West was v i a the Nantokouagane River, "about seven leagues from IL 1 Kaministigoya." This, evidently, was the Pigeon River route, l a t e r to achieve great prominence, and the tenor of Pachot's comment suggests that Frenchmen had already been using i t . 17 I t remained, however, f o r La Verendrye to place the southern route c l e a r l y and permanently on the map. At his Lake Nipigon trading post, i n 1727 and 1728, he had heard from Indian customers of the r i c h f u r country to the west. Accord-i n g l y , i n 1731, he sent his nephew La Jemeraye west from Grand Portage with three canoes and a handful of paddlers. The terminus of t h i s important thrust of exploration was Rainy Lake. The following spring La Verendrye followed his nephew west with seven canoes, clearing some fo r t y portage t r a i l s 15 as he went. ^ Three years l a t e r a f o r t had been b u i l t on the Red River and the waterway to the west had been revealed. During the 1730's, 4 0 's, and 5 0 's many French canoes followed La Verendrye's lead, some going inland from the "Great Carrying Place" at Grand Portage, others taking the northern route v i a Dog Lake (see map no. 4 , unbound). More important, the region between Lake Superior and Lake Winnipeg was now f i r m l y estab-l i s h e d as a l i n k i n the fur traders' trunk route to the West. The waterways had come into t h e i r own, and for almost a hundred years, while the epic f u r trade adventure dominated the hist o r y of the Northwest, the canoes of countless voyageurs passed along them. With the outbreak of the Seven Years' War, however, the trend of ever-increasing t r a f f i c was temporarily reversed. Trade on Lake Superior and to the west was a l l but abandoned as, one by one, the "Posts of the Western Sea" were closed. Nonetheless, with France eliminated (after 1763) as a North American power, the English, American and Scottish adventurers who flocked into Canada behind Wolfe's sold i e r s were quick 1 ft to follow where the French traders had led. In 1774, alone more than s i x t y big North Canoes went inland from Grand Portag and two years l a t e r the new "Lords of the North" were working 17 the country well above Lake Winnipeg. ' Unlike the French, who had used both the Pigeon River and Dog Lake routes, the pedlars from Quebec t r a v e l l e d exclus-i v e l y v i a the southern waterway. Thus the old canoe t r a i l located to the north f e l l into disuse u n t i l circumstances made necessary i t s re-discovery at a l a t e r date. In the interim the trade expanded, the North West Company was formed, and t r a f f i c along the waterway leading west from Superior grew i n volume. 1^ Then, a f t e r a decade of North West Company existence, and following the American Revolutionary War, i n t e r n a t i o n a l r i v a l r i e s began to complicate the already competitive trading s i t u a t i o n . And, with the United States Government declaring i t s intention to tax B r i t i s h merchandise passing through Grand Portage, the Northwesters began a pressing search f o r an a l t e r nate route to the West. 1^ In 1798 the search bore f r u i t when Roderic Mackenzie rediscovered the strangely forgotten French route v i a Dog Lake. Mackenzie t r a v e l l e d the route from Lac La Croix to "Caministiquia on Lake Superior, from whence", he wrote, "I soon reached Grand Portage, being the f i r s t who reached there from Lac La Pluie d i r e c t by water Photo: B. M. L i t t e l j o h n "Lake Superior", by Frances Ann Hopkins, from a reproduction of the o r i g i n a l o i l painting, Minnesota H i s t o r i c a l Society. The o r i g i n a l i s at the Glenbow Foundation, Calgary. Mrs. Hopkins, the wife of S i r George Simpson's personal secretary, often t r a v e l l e d i n North Canoes such as those depicted here. Her paint ings of voyageurs and t h e i r c r a f t are without equal. 20 communication." The North West Company immediately began to plan i t s move from Grand Portage Bay to the mouth of the Kaministiquia River. By 1801 the move had begun. Two years l a t e r Alexander Henry the Younger found Fort William well on 21 the way to completion; u n t i l 1821 i t was to remain the great inland headquarters of the Northwesters. Here, where the f l o a t i n g population during the summer was estimated at 3,000, was an oasis of c i v i l i z a t i o n even grander than that 22 of Grand Portage. The canoe route leading up the Kaministiquia did not, however, shine so b r i g h t l y i n the eyes of the voyageurs. It was longer and more d i f f i c u l t than the Pigeon River route. From Lake Superior to Lake Winnipeg, the paddlers counted si x t y portagds (a t o t a l land carry of about twenty mi l e s ) . The water portions of the route stretched f o r approximately 600 miles to the mouth of the Winnipeg River (about f i f t y 23 miles longer than the Pigeon River route). From 1804 u n t i l 1821 t h i s was to be the major highway l i n k i n g Lake Superior to Lake Winnipeg even though the boundary waters route con-tinued to be used by competitors of the North West Company. With the c o a l i t i o n of 1821, however, i t was decided to abandon Fort William as a major depot. This decision made i t clear "that i n the old clash of transport routes the approach through Hudson Bay had triumphed over that through Montreal." 2^ The vast majority of the Hudson's Bay Company t r a f f i c was soon passing into the i n t e r i o r v i a York Factory. "The Northwest Company route from Fort William to Lake Winnipeg 21 dependent on the expensive canoe", writes H. A. Innis, "was 25 abandoned and the York boat was supreme." ^ In general, this i s true. It should be added, however, that the Dog Lake route was not completely abandoned. Fort William re-mained in operation as a post of greatly reduced importance un t i l I878, and the Hudson's Bay Company continued to send express canoes over the route as well as a severely limited amount of goods for local distribution. The post journals and d i s t r i c t reports of the Company indicate that the route was used sporadically throughout the 1820's, 30's, 40's, and 50's, even though some of the westward t r a f f i c was routed via the Whitefish River and Lac La Fleche (Arrow Lake). 2^ This latt e r t r a i l joined the Pigeon River route (see map no. 5, unbound) which continued to be lightly used by the American Fur Company, independent traders, and others. Fur traders, moreover, were not the only users of the Dog Lake route. In 1823, Major Stephen Long, acting under instructions of the United States Government, led an expedition 27 from Lake Winnipeg to Fort William. At the same time, and for several years thereafter, American and British boundary surveyors, operating under Article 7 of the Treaty of Ghent (1814), were examining both the Pigeon River and Dog Lake 28 s routes. Missionaries also used the route. Abbe G. A. Belcourt, for instance, l e f t a detailed account of his journey 29 in 1831. Use continued into the 1840's. In June, 1843, Henry Lefroy (on his way to make magnetic surveys in the North) 22 passed along the waterway which he described as "a succession of pretty lakes emptying into one another by short crooked channels broken by f a l l s and rapids, and necessitating many 30 portages."^ A year l a t e r , four Grey Nuns, en route to the Red River Settlement, t r a v e l l e d the same way, to be followed (in 1846) by Paul Kane, the i l l u s t r i o u s painter of Canadian 31 Indians. John Rae, who had used the route i n 1844 and i n 1845, used i t again i n I848 when he accompanied S i r John Richardson into the Northwest i n search of the i l l - f a t e d 32 Franklin Expedition. The Dog Lake Route was never completely abandoned. I t was used by t r a v e l l e r s such as those mentioned above, by the Ojibwa, and by express canoes of the Hudson's Bay Company. Governor George Simpson, f o r example, paddled by his superb Iroquois crew, continued to use the waterway well into the l 8 5 0's. I t , l i k e the Pigeon River route, f e l l into compara-t i v e disuse and d i s r e p a i r but both waterways were known and sporadically used when George Gladman led the Red River Exploring Expedition west from Lake Superior i n 1857 • The Public Archives of Canada "Sir George Simpson»s canoe and voyageurs at Fort William ..." In The Beaver, Dec , 1949, p. 17. 24 FOOTNOTES: CHAPTER ONE Donald Creighton, The Empire of the St. Lawrence (Toronto, 1956), p.4. 2 Wallace W. Atwood, "A Geologist Looks at the Quetico-Superior Area", Canadian Geographical Journal, July, 1949, p. 2. 3 Peter Grant, "The Sauteux Indians", in L. R. Masson, Les Bourgeois de la Compagnie du Nord-Ouest: Remits de  Voyages, Lettres et Rapports In§di t s Relatifs au Nord-Ouest  Canadien, vol.1 (Quebec, 1889), p.311. ~~ ^ The distances given in this paragraph are from "North-Western Communication", in "General Report of the Minister of Public Works for the year ending 30th June, 1873", Canada: Sessional Papers, vol.7, no.2, I874, p.49. The Sessional Papers of Canada (hereafter referred to as C.S.P.) contain the "General Reports of the Minister of Public Works" which, in turn, include sections entitled "North-Western Communication". In many cases S. J . Dawson's reports to the Minister are appended. To simplify things, these appended reports are cited hereafter as in the following sample: Dawson, "Report of 1874", C.S.P. , vol.8, no.6, 1875, Appendix 23, p . l 8 l . It is understood that Dawson's reports are attached to the "North-Western Communication" section of the "General Report of the Minister of Public Works" unless otherwise specified. J Useful information concerning the geology, landforms, waterways, and forests of the region is to be found in a number of reports of the Geological Survey of Canada. Of particular interest are the following: Robert Bell , Report  on the Geology of the Northwest Side of Lake Superior, and  of the Nipigon District (Montreal, 1870), also published in Reports of the Geological Survey of the Dominion of Canada  for 1867-69; W. H. C. Smith, "Report on the Geology of Hunter's Island and Adjacent Country", in Geological Survey  of Canada, Annual Report, 1890-91, vol.5, part 1 (Ottawa, 1893), pp.6G-74G; W. Mclnnes, "Report H: On the Geology of the Area Covered by the Seine River and Lake Shebandowan Map Sheets", in Geological Survey of Canada, Annual Report,  1897, vol.10 (Ottawa, 1899), pp.6H-55H; A. C. Lawson, 25 "Report on the Geology of the Lake of the Woods Region", in Geological Survey of Canada, vol.1 (Ottawa, I885). Also of value are two reports of the Bureau of Mines, Ontario: Report of 1896: Sixth Report, and Report of 1894: Fourth  Report. In addition, see J . E. Potzer, "History of Forests in the Quetico-Superior Country from Fossil Pollen Studies", Journal of Forestry, August, 1953; Department of Lands and Forests, Ontario, Ontario Resources Atlas, 4th ed., June 30, 1963; and the pertinent map sheets (see "Index Sheet 52, Ontario-Manitoba") published by the Geological Survey of Canada, as well as those published by the Department of Mines and Technical Surveys, Canada, in the "National Topographic Series". Useful sources for information on glaciation and drainage in the Dawson Route area are: Jack L. Hough, Geology  of the Great Lakes (Urbana, 1958); Ernst Antevs, "Glacial Clays in Steep Rock Lake, Ontario, Canada", Bulletin of the  Geological Society of America, vol. 62, Oct., 1951, pp.1223-1262; J . A. Elson, "Lake Agassiz and the Mankato-Valders Problem", Science, vol. 126, no.3281, Nov. 1957; Wallace W. Atwood, "A Geologist Looks at the Quetico-Superior Area", Canadian Geographical Journal, July,1949; H. E. Wright, J r . , "Valders Drift in Minnesota", Journal of Geology, vol .63, 1955, pp.403-411; S. C. Zoltai, "Glacial History of Part of Northwestern Ontario", Proceedings of the Geological  Association of Canada, vol.13, 1961, pp.63-83; F. T. Thwaites, "Outline of Glacial Geology" (mimeographed, sold by the author, 41 Roby Rd., Madison 5, Wisconsin, 1961), pp.80-92; G. I. Quimby, Indian Life in the Upper Great Lakes, 11,000 B.C.  to A.D. 1800 (Chicago, I960); and V. B. Meen, Quetico Geology (Toronto, 1959). 7 ' Quimby, pp.2-3. Some of the more useful sources of information con-cerning the pre-history and early history of the Indians along the Dawson Route are as follows: Quimby, Indian Life  in the Upper Great Lakes; James B. Griffin (ed.), Lake  Superior Copper and the Indians; Miscellaneous Studies of  Great Lakes Pre-History (Ann Arbor, 1961); James B. Griffin, "The Northeast Woodlands Area", in Jesse D. Jennings and Edward Norbeck (eds.), Prehistoric Man in the New World (Chicago, 1964); Walter Kenyon, "The Swan Lake Site", Occasional Paper 3, Art and Archaeology Division, Royal  Ontario Museum, University of Toronto, n.d.; Selwyn Dewdney and Kenneth E. Kidd, Indian Rock Paintings of the Great 26 Lakes (Toronto, 1962); Richard S. MacNeish, "An Introduction to the Archaeology of Southeast Manitoba", National Museum  of Canada, Bulletin 157 (Ottawa, 1958); Richard S. MacNeish, "A Possible Early Site in the Thunder Bay Distri c t , Ontario", National Museum of Canada, Bulletin 1 2 6 (Ottawa, 1952); Lloyd A. Wilford, "A Revised Classification of the Prehistoric Cultures of Minnesota", American Antiquity, vol.21, no.2, Oct., 1955; N. H. Winchell (ed.). The Aborigines of Minnesota (St. Paul, 1911); J. V. Wright, "An Archaeological Survey Along the North Shore of Lake Superior", Anthropology Papers,  National Museum of Canada, No.3, Mar., 19&TJ George E. Hyde, Indians of the Woodlands from Prehistoric Times to 1725 (Norman, 1962); Emma H. Blair (ed. and trans.), The Indian  Tribes of the Upper Mississippi Valley and Region of the  Great Lakes as described by Nicolas Perrot, 2 vols. (Cleveland, 1911); Joseph A. G i l f i l l a n , The O.iibways of M i n n e s o t a (St. Paul, 1901); William W. Warren, History of the O.libway  Nation (Minneapolis, 1957); L. J. Burpee (ed.), Journals  and Letters of Pierre Gaultier de Varennes de l a Ve~rendrye  and His Sons (Toronto, 1927); Jonathan Carver, Travels  Through the Interior Parts of North America in the Years  1766, 1767. and 1768 (London, 1781); R. G. Thwaites (ed.), The French Regime in Wisconsin, 1727-48", vol.2 (Madison, 1906); Nellis M. Crouse, La Verendrye Fur Trader and Explorer (Toronto, 1956); F. W. Hodge (ed.), Handbook of Indians  North of Mexico, 2 vols. (Washington, 1907); and K. C. A. Dawson, "Isolated Copper Artifacts from Northwestern Ontario", Ontario Archaeology, no.9, June, 1966. Q Duncan Cameron, "The Nipigon Country", in Masson, vol.1, p.258. Information on Ojibwa canoe-building i s found i n Edwin T. Adney and Howard I. Chapelle, The Bark Canoes and Skin Boats of North America (Washington, 1964), pp. 122-131. Among the sources found useful for Indian l i f e during the British regime are the following: L. R. Masson, Les  Bourgeois de l a Compagnie du Nord Quest, 2 vols. (Quebec, 1889-90); Charles M. Gates (ed.), Five Fur Traders of the  Northwest (St. Paul, 1965), see especially "The Diary of John MacDonell" and "The Diary of Hugh Faries"; E l l i o t Coues (ed.), New Light on the Early History of the Greater  Northwest, the Manuscript Journals of Alexander Henry and  of David Thompson, 1799-1814, 3 vols. (New York, 1897); William H. Keating, Narrative of an Expedition to the Source  of St. Peter's River, Lake Winnepeek, Lake of the Woods, &c,  Performed in the year 1823, vol. 2 (Minneapolis, 1959), pp. 78-170; Grace Lee Nute, Caesars of the Wilderness, Medard, Chouart, Sieur des Groseilliers and Pierre Esprit Radisson,  1618-1710 (New York, 1943). 27 Eric W. Morse, Canoe Routes of the Voyageurs, The  Geography and Logistics of the Canadian Fur Trade (Toronto, the Quetico Foundation, 1962) treats the importance of the water routes in this reproduction of three articles which f irst appeared in the Canadian Geographical Journal in May, July, and August, 1961. 12 De Noyon's trip is described in a memorandum from Governor de Vaudreuil and Intendant^Michel Begon to the Duke of Orleans, 13 Feb., 1717; see Abbe G. Dugas, The Canadian  West, Its Discovery by the Sieur de la Verendrye, Its Devel- opment by the Fur-Trading Companies, down to the Year 1822. (Montreal, 1905), pp. 32-34. 13 ^ The i n i t i a l date of construction and exact location of Fort Kaministiquia have been subjects of some dispute. An account of some of the differing points of view is given in J . P. Bertrand, Highway of Destiny (New York, 1959), pp. 53-57. Lawrence J . Burpee (ed.), Journals and Letters of  la Verendrye and his Sons, p. 7- Harold A. Innis notes that, "the route to Lake Winnipeg was known in great detail in 1716 . . . . The advantages of the route by Grand Portage Cthe Pigeon River routed are mentioned as early as 1722." Innis, The Fur Trade in Canada, An Introduction to Canadian  Economic History, rev, ed. (Toronto, 1962), p. 89. 15 J An excellent and detailed description of the Pigeon River route is found in Coues, vol. 1, pp. 7-57; see also A. S. Morton, A. History of the Canadian West to 1870-71 (Toronto, n.d.), pp. 174-175. Among the earliest of the independent traders to go into the Northwest were James Finlay, Maurice Blondeau, Thomas Corry, Alexander Henry the Elder, and Benjamin and Joseph Frobisher. Perhaps the f irst of them was a hold-over from the French Regime, a mysterious (to historians) coureur  de bois called Franceway or Francois the French Pedlar, and known to the Indians as Saswee; see Innis, pp. 187-189 and Mari Sandoz, The Beaver Men (New York, 1964), pp. 144-155. For use of the waterways immediately after 1763, see also W. Stewart Wallace, The Pedlars from Quebec and Other Papers  on the Nor* Westers (Toronto, 1954), pp. 1-18; W. L. Morton, Manitoba, A History (Toronto, 1957), pp. 35-43; Innis, pp. 188-200; Alexander Henry, Travels and Adventures in Canada and the Indian Territories between the Years 1760 28 and 1771 (Toronto, 1899), pp. 238-246; "Benjamin and Joseph Frobisher to General Haldimand, Montreal, 4 Oct., 1734", in Douglas Brymner (ed.), Report on Canadian Archives, 1890 (Ottawa, 1891), pp. 50-52. Jonathan Carver, who visited Grand Portage in 1767, indicated that i t was already an important rendezvous for traders proceeding west. Carver, Travels Through the Interior  Parts of North America, p. 106; see also Solon J . Buck, "The Story of Grand Portage", in Rhoda R. Gilman and June D. Holmquist (eds.), Selections from Minnesota History i S t . Paul, 1965), pp. 26-38. 18 For descriptions of travel along the Pigeon River route see, among others, the following: W. Kaye Lamb (ed.), Sixteen Years in the Indian Country, The Journal of Daniel  Williams Harmon (Toronto, 1957); "The Diary of John Macdonell", in Gates (ed.), Five Fur Traders of the Northwest; Alexander Mackenzie, Voyages from Montreal through the Continent of  North America in the Years 1789 and 1793 * vol- 1 (Toronto, n.d.); J . B. Tyrrell (ed.), David Thompson's Narrative of  his Explorations in Western America, 1784-1812 (Toronto, 1916). 1 ^ The Treaty of Paris (1783) between Britain and the United States gave Grand Portage to the latter. 20 Masson, vol. 1, p. 46. 2 1 Coues, vol. 1, pp. 219-223. 22 Good descriptions of Fort William (so named in 1807) are found in the following: Ross Cox, Adventures on the  Columbia River . . . Together with a Journey across the  American Continent, vol. 2 (London, 1832), pp. 249-255: Gabriel Franchere, Narrative of a Voyage to the Northwest  Coast of America in the years 1811, 1812, 1813, and 1814 (New York, 1854); Wallace, The Pedlars from Quebec, ppT 72-80. 23 A. statistical comparison of the Pigeon River and Dog Lake routes is found in Henry Youle Hind, Narrative of  the Canadian Red River Exploring Expedition of~857 and of  the Assiniboine and Saskatchewan Exploring Expedition of I 8 5 8 , vol. 2 (London, 1860), pp. 399-402 and 427-433- There are many accounts of the Dog Lake route during the period 1804-1821, but among the most useful are: Coues, vol. 1, pp. 216-223; "The Diary of Hugh Faries", in Gates (ed.), pp. 195-203; 29 Cox, vol. 2, pp. 230-249; and the "Diary of Nicolas Garry", in Proceedings and Transactions of the Royal Society of  Canada, second series, vol. 7, 1900, section 2, pp. 3-204. An excellent account (1819) of the route is found in the "Lac La Pluie Journal of Roderick McKenzie", P.A.C. , Hudson's Bay Company Microfilm, reel IM67, Series 1. 2 ^ E. E. Rich, The History of the Hudson's Bay Company,  1670-1870, vol. 2 (London, 1959), p. 412. 2 5 Innia, p. 289. 26 The microfilm copies of these journals and reports from the Hudson's Bay Company Archives (I67O-I87O) at the Public Archives of Canada contain much valuable material. See especially B105/e/2, "Lac La Pluie, 1822-23"; B105/e/3, "Lac La Pluie, Report on District, 1823-24"; B105/e/4, "Lac La Pluie, Report on District , 1824-25"; see also Lac La Pluie Post Journals 1822-23 through 1837-33 (Reel no. 1 M 68, Series 1) and "A Journal of Transactions and Occurences at Fort William from 1st June 1831 to 1st June 1852". The Hudson's Bay Company microfilm was used with the kind permission of the Governor and Committee of the Hudson's Bay Company. 27 ' William H. Keating, Narrative of an Expedition, vol. 2, pp. 77-149. 28 Involved in this f irst careful survey of the Dawson Route area were David Thompson, Dr. John J . Bigsby, and Major Joseph Delafield, among others. Several canoe routes were examined and much information concerning these routes is found in : Major Joseph Delafield, The Unfortified Boundary,  A Diary of the First Survey of the Canadian Boundary Line  from St. Regis to the Lake of the Woods, Robert McElroy and Thomas Riggs, eds. (privately printed, 1943); John J . Bigsby, The Shoe and Canoe; or, Pictures of Travel in the Canadas, vol. 2 (London, 1850); International Boundary Commission, Joint Report Upon the Survey and Demarcation of the Boundary  between the United States and Canada from the Northwesternmost  Point of Lake of the Woods to Lake Superior (Washington, 1931). 29 G. A. Belcourt, "Mon Itineraire du Lac des Deux-Montagnes a la Riviere Rouge", Bulletin de la Societe Historique  de Saint-Boniface, vol. 4, 1913-? W. S. Wallace (ed.) "Sir Henry Lefroy's Journey to the North-West in 1843-4", Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada, Section 2, 193#, p. 71; see also John Henry Lefroy, In Search of the Magnetic North, A Soldier-Surveyor's  Letters from the North-West, 1843-1844, George F. G. Stanley, ed. (Toronto, 1955), pp. 19-38. See Sister Mary Murphy, "The Grey Nuns Travel West", Papers Read Before the Historical and Scientific Society of  Manitoba, 1944-45, (Winnipeg, 1945). pp. 3-13; Paul Kane, Wanderings of an Artist among the Indians of North America  from Canada to Vancouver's Island and Oregon, through the  Hudson's Bay Company's territory and back again (London, 1859), pp. 49-70; and K. E. Kidd, "The Wanderings of Kane", The Beaver, Dec, 1946, pp. 3-8". 32 Robert M. Ballantyne, Hudson's Bay; or, Every-day  Life in the Wilds of North America during six years' Residence  in the Territories of the Honourable Hudson's Bay Company (London, I848), pp. 225-26; see also E. E . Rich (ed.), Rae's Arctic Correspondence, 1844-55 (London, 1953), pp. xvi i i -x l iv; Sir J . Richardson, Arctic Searching Expe- dition, A Journal of a Boat Voyage through Rupert's Land  and the Arctic Sea in Search of the Discovery Ships under  the Command of Sir John Franklin, vol. 1 (London, 1851), pp. 26-52; and John Rae, Narrative of an Expedition to the  Shores of the Arctic Sea in 1846 and 1847 (London, 1850), p. 3. 33 Sir George Simpson made the canoe voyage between Lake Superior and Lake Winnipeg on twenty-five occasions during the years 1826-1859- A good account of one such voyage, in 1854, is given in Hugh J . Moberly, When Fur Was  King (Toronto, 1929). 01 ^ Many of the works cited above (including the Hudson' Bay Company microfilm) supply information on use of the Pigeon River Route. Its use immediately prior to 1857 is mentioned in Hind, Narrative of the Canadian Exploring Expe- ditions, vol. 2, p. 423; see also Grace Lee Nute, The Voya- geur's Highway, Minnesota's Border Lake Land (St. Paul, 1951) CHAPTER TWO: PROLOGUE TO THE DAWSON ROUTE; THE 1840's, 1850's AND EARLY 1860's In the 'forties Canadians began to dream again of the Northwest; in the 'fifties the dreams assumed recognizable form; and in the next decade, Canada reached out for her prize. Here, as in the United States, westward expansion was powered by many forces. Alvin C. Gluek, Jr . But significant thinking and endeavour in connection with the problem of the future of the west were s t i l l C.1855J confined largely to leaders in the politico-business world, and even among them to a minority. Reginald G. Trotter At last in I858 a group which included Macdonell se-cured a charter for the North-West Transportation Navigation and Railway Company. The new company proposed to build from Lake Superior to Rainy Lake, where steamers would be used to Lake of the Woods, and thence by r a i l to the Red River . . . . Such schemes have a more than antiquarian interest, for they not only indicate the growth of a belief in the practicability of a Pacific railway, but served at the time to stimulate opinion in Great Britain and Canada in favour of improved communications with the west.-' G. P. de T. Glazebrook 32 The general function of the Dawson Route was to conquer the "canoe country" of the Precambrian Shield between Thunder Bay and Fort Garry, thereby providing a means of transportation and communication linking East to West. In accomplishing this, however briefly and inefficiently, i t deserves to be remembered as a precursor of the Canadian Pacific Railway. The relationship between the two transportation routes was, in fact, close, despite the obvious differences between them. Like the country mouse and city mouse of children's story-books, they were genetically related. In broad terms, the construct-ion of the Dawson Route was inspired by the same Canadian impulse toward westward expansion and nation-building which precipitated the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway. 1857 was the year in which this Canadian concern for the vast area beyond Lake Superior attained an unprecedented level. It was, in W. L. Morton's words, "the year in which Upper Canadian interest in the annexation of the North-West became active with the despatch of the exploring expeditions led by S. J . Dawson and H. Y. Hind."^ These expeditions, both l i teral ly and figuratively, blazed the t ra i l for the Dawson, or Red River Route. Exploring activity west of Lake Superior was, however, but one aspect of the 1857 outburst of interest concerning the Northwest. Many of the events of that climactic year were interrelated and relevant to the development of a route between the Province of Canada and Fort Garry, the nerve-centre of Rupert's Land. Behind these 33 events lay developments in the Hudson's Bay Company territories, the Minnesota Territory, Great Britain, and Canada West. They took place during the period I84O-56. Rupert's Land, I84O-56: In 1850, the Hudson's Bay Company held the West. Its holdings were in three parts: Rupert's Land, which encompassed the lands draining into Hudson Bay and which was held by t i t l e under the Charter of 1670; the Indian Territory, which in-volved a l l the wilderness not under colonial rule and in which the company had an exclusive licence to trade (renewed in 1838 for twenty-one years); and Vancouver Island, which was, after 1849, a Crown Colony administered by the company.^  In Rupert's Land, the focus of attention and activity was the Red River Settlement, also known as Assiniboia. The parishes of the settlement were strung out along the banks of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, and at the centre, where the rivers come together, was Upper Fort Garry. The Upper Fort was the seat of government for the District of Assiniboia, an important provisions and transportation depot of the Hudson's Bay Company, and the headquarters of the fur trade of the Red River District.^ During the 1840's, the Red River Settlement was relatively isolated and unknown. It was, as W. L. Morton notes, "a simple community, made self-subsistent by agriculture to some degree, but dependent on hunt and fur trade, and as yet more 34 a religious and missionary settlement than a polit ical commun-7 i ty , however rudimentary." But the Settlement also performed an essential function in the fur trade of the Northwest and in this connection there were problems. The Hudson's Bay Company not only governed in Rupert's Land, but i t also enjoyed the exclusive right of trade. From 1843, however, the company had been involved in fierce competition with American rivals in the border area from Rainy Lake west through Pembina to Turtle Mountain. Of greater significance, the border competition drove up the price of pelts and offered an alternative market to prospective private traders residing within the Red River District. Although such trade was i l legal , i t began in 1844 when Norman W. Kittson of the American Fur Company set up shop at Pembina. His venture resulted in an outburst of free trading in Red River and consequent opposition to the Hudson's Bay Company's mono-poly rights on the part of those engaged in the i l l i c i t trade. Many of the private traders were metis and half-breeds; their grievances were to be heard in both Great Britain and the Province of Canada; and their activities were to pose a serious threat to the Company's polit ical authority and commercial rights. Kittson's chief allies were the Red River Settlement's leading merchants, James Sinclair and Andrew McDermot. "Here were two men", writes Alvin Gluek, J r . , "whom pride never prevented from stooping over to pick up a penny."^ Their 3 5 alliance with Kittson was precipitated by the Hudson's Bay Company's closure of York Factory to independent importers. Lacking a viable route to Lake Superior, Sinclair, McDermot, and others turned south to Pembina and St. Paul. The number of pelts smuggled out of Rupert's Land grew rap id ly . 1 0 "The free traders of Red River, especially McDermot and James Sinclair," notes E. E. Rich, "were building up a challenge based on the American market and on the presence of Norman Kittson at Pembina."1 The Company tried to stop the i l l i c i t trade with the result that its Charter and its government were attacked and complaints sent to England. It seemed that there was l i t t l e possibility of halting the private trade in furs. Even the arrival of Imperial troops in June, I846, did not work to the 12 lasting benefit of the Company. By 1850, Governor George Simpson and the Council of Assiniboia had "virtually accepted the colony as a potentially independent, self-governing, and 13 partly French-speaking community." Behind this tacit accept-ance was metis nationalism and metis insistence on freedom to trade augmented by American support for free settlement and free trade. While the chartered monopoly rights of the Company officially continued, the independent trade in furs increased in volume after I85O. Despite the Company's concessions, difficulties in the Red River Settlement did not disappear. In 1851, 540 metis petitioned the Aborigines Protection Society claiming formal freedom of trade and the right to the land, among other things. 1 2 f 36 This p e t i t i o n , i t s edge e f f e c t i v e l y blunted by the de facto extension of freedom to trade, was referred to the Colonial Of f i c e which was becoming increasingly conscious of the question-able status of Assiniboia and the other t e r r i t o r i e s of the Hudson's Bay Company. Other factors were also bringing the Red River Settlement into the purview of the outside world. Among them were im-proved communications and simple growth. Since George Simpson, following the c o a l i t i o n of 1821, had s h i f t e d the supply system of the Company away from the Fort William route and north to Hudson Bay, the colony had been la r g e l y i s o l a t e d from the Pro-vince of Canada. Even mail contact had declined to a twice-yearly basis. In 1853, however, a monthly mail service was organized v i a Minnesota, and the people of Red River came into 15 frequent communication with the world outside. ' The improving waggon t r a i l s and steamboat services to the south also gave the s e t t l e r s of Red River an increased opportunity f o r d i r e c t contact with outsiders. "We noitf see people from Red River almost every week", wrote a resident of P r a i r i e du Chien, 16 Wisconsin, during the summer of 1853-And the population was growing. The census of 1849 showed a t o t a l population of 5,391; by I 8 5 6 , i t had r i s e n to 6 , 5 2 3 . 1 ' ^ The population continued to grow. Already, by 1849, i t had outgrown subordination to the Hudson's Bay Company. Numbers, and the development of c i v i l i z e d i n s t i t u t i o n s were proving i n i m i c a l to the regime of the fur trade. Of a l l the developments i n the Red River Settlement, however, the r i s e of the private trade i n furs was most s i g n i -f i c a n t . The old order i n the Northwest was i n decline. The Hudson's Bay Company could not enforce i t s monopoly i n the face of popular resentment. The crumbling of commercial monopoly could only lead to self-government, the growth of 18 general commerce, and the r i s e of agriculture. These things were c l e a r l y coming, but to a few interested onlookers i n 1850 — and to many more i n I856 — i t seemed that "Red River's trade and l o y a l t y would gravitate towards America rather than towards Canada, fo r there appeared a strong p o s s i b i l i t y that Canada ... reaching out towards the p r a i r i e s i n r i v a l r y with America, might herself succumb to the economic strength which 19 was developing to the south." Minnesota, I84O-56: To the south of the Red River Settlement, considerable strength was developing. U n t i l 1837 there were no lands i n the area of Minnesota open f o r settlement. A l l was "Indian country" except f o r a t i n y nucleus of white s e t t l e r s who had been given permission to establish themselves at Fort S n e l l i n g . By I 8 4 9 , when Minnesota achieved t e r r i t o r i a l status, fewer than 4,000 people (not counting Indians) l i v e d within the bounds of what was to become the State of Minnesota.^1 In the same year, the population of the Red River Settlement was 5,391 (including 537 Indians). By 16*57, however, the population of the Minnesota T e r r i t o r y had mushroomed to no less than 22 150,037! That of Assiniboia, judging by the 16*56 figure of 6,523, was only about 7,000. For Minnesota t h i s was a boom period of spectacular expansion which made developments to the north look paltry indeed. L i t t l e wonder that "newspapers of the t e r r i t o r y and the state during the 1850s and 1860s revealed a global view 23 of Minnesota's manifest destiny". J Town building and land speculation were rampant and were attended by the expansion of transportation f a c i l i t i e s . By 1854 there was a good r a i l -road-steamboat connection from New York to St. Paul and steam-boat a r r i v a l s at the l a t t e r place rose from more than one hundred i n 1855 to nearly three hundred i n 1857 Also important were developments i n trade and transport ation between St. Paul and the Red River Settlement. The u n o f f i c i a l extension of the r i g h t of free trade i n the Red River settlement marked a period of t r i b u l a t i o n f o r the Hudson Bay Company; fo r the commerce of Minnesota i t signalled good times. As the t e c h n i c a l l y i l l e g a l cart-loads of fur found t h e i r way south v i a Pembina, traders such as Kittson prospered and the economic t i e s between St. Paul and Assiniboia were knit and then strengthened. With the opening of free trade with St. Paul, the occupation of car t - f r e i g h t i n g came into i t s own. "After 1850", writes W. L. Morton, "the carts were organized i n brigades of i n d e f i n i t e and growing numbers, and wound, lurching and shrieking, by the Crow Wing and other trails over the height of land to St. Paul." 2^ Railroads and steamboats would follow, but during the years 1850-56, the Red River carts (replaced by dog sleds in winter) linked Fort Garry to St. Paul (see map no. 6 on follow ing page). The effect of this link was dramatic. St. Paul became the centre of commerce for the Red River settlers, and fur sales in the river port climbed up and up. By far the larger proportion of the pelts came from the British Northwest According to the St. Paul Press, 29 August, 1863, fur sales in 1850 amounted to $15,000; in 1855 they totalled | 4 0 , 0 0 0 . The figures for 1856 and 1857 were $97,253 and |182,491 re-spectively.2^1 Moreover, Minnesota merchants were not just buying; they were also selling trade and consumer goods to the people of Assiniboia. By I 8 5 6 , although no exact figures were available, the Governor of Assiniboia calculated that goods imported from St. Paul could not "now be less than half, and in a wi l l probably exceed in value the whole of the Company's [trade} to Red River by way of York Factory."2^ Free trade, the development of the cart trai l s , and the widespread improvement of transportation faci l i t ies in the United States had made the Red River Settlement part of the economic hinterland of a vigorous St. Paul. Already, in 1854, John Ballenden had advised Sir George Simpson that the Minnesota route would soon afford the only viable means for 2 8 importing goods from Canada and England. In I856, there 40 The West Plains T r a i l The East Plains T r a i l The Woods T r a i l Portion of Dawson Route ( after 1871 ) Early t r a i l s from the Red River Settlement to St» Paul ( adapted from Grace Lee Nute, "The Red River Trails* 1, Minnesota History, September, 1925 ) 41 was no transportation route running across B r i t i s h s o i l between the Province of Canada and the Red River. After 1821, the east-west route had given way to the northern route v i a Hudson Bay. Now the arduous York Factory route (some seven hundred miles long and involving t h i r t y - f o u r portages) was threatened. R a i l communications i n the United States were rapidl y extending westward (see map no. 7 on following page), steamboats were a r r i v i n g regularly at St. Paul, and the Red River cart t r a i l s were well on the way to replacing the water route from Hudson 29 Bay. Just as Canadian influence i n the Northwest had de-cline d with the demise of the old canoe route from Lake Superior, so. Minnesota's influence grew with the r i s e of the southern route. In the meantime, the T e r r i t o r y of Minnesota was moving ahead. By the time i t achieved statehood i n 1858, eighty-nine newspapers and t h i r t y banks had been established. A m i l l i o n acres of land had been sold and, while most immigrants went to the south of the t e r r i t o r y , "to the north, and reaching f o r the Red River Valley, there could be seen a f a i n t l i n e of s e t t l e -30 ment." With growth and commercial inroads i n the Red River Settlement came the f i r s t rumblings of expansionist sentiment i n Minnesota. Men such as Henry H. Sibley (Minnesota T e r r i -tory's f i r s t delegate to Congress, 1849-53), Henry M. Rice (who succeeded Sibley, 1853-58), and Alexander Ramsey (Minnesota's f i r s t t e r r i t o r i a l governor, 1049-53) encouraged trade relations with Red River with an eye to t h e i r t e r r i t o r y ' s g e o p o l i t i c a l Prince Arthur°s Landing C 1870 ) S t o Paul Proximity of railheads to St e Paul in 1858 of*. La Crosse ( Chicago and Milwaukeet 1858 ) one inch to 64 miles Prairie du Chien v> \ C Milwaukee and Mississippi, *1857 ) Galena ( Illinois Central 0 1856 } Rook Island ( Chicago and Rock Island, 1854 ) 43 interests. Ramsey "regarded Minnesota's frontier as an irresistible force destined to spread, Oregon-like, over a l l 32 the British Northwest." Such was the effect of developments in Minnesota during the period 1840-56. Following 1856, this expansionist sentiment was to grow and i t was not to pass un-noticed in Canada, Red River, and at the Colonial Office. It would cause alarm and serve to focus attention on the North-west. It would underline the need for efficient communications between the Province of Canada and the Red River Settlement — communications through British territory for the purposes of trade, defence, and immigration. Great Britain, I84O-56: Great Britain, during the years I 8 4 O - 5 6 , had not been entirely divorced from developments in the Northwest. Especi-ally at the Colonial Office, the affairs of the Hudson's Bay Company — coloured by questions of defence in the West - -were discussed. In May, I838, the Company's licence for ex-clusive trade was renewed for twenty-one years. The Colonial Secretary, Lord Glenelg, saw to i t , however, that a clause stating that colonies might be carved out of the Company's territories was incorporated in the new agreement. By I 8 5 O , nine years before the licence was to expire, i t had become evident that the Hudson's Bay Company could no longer keep Red River and Rupert's Land in a condition of isolation. The questions of colonizing the Northwest and extinguishing the Company's territorial rights were beginning to occupy an important position in the politics of Great B r i t a i n . T h e r e the climate of opinion was conditioned by doctrines of economic liberalism which began to influence British colonial policy during the mid-Victorian period. It followed that the great trading (and governing) monopolies were often viewed in Britain with l i t t l e sympathy. There was, in fact, "a thriving oppo-sition to monopolistic institutions in British Parliamentary circles. Within a few years of the renewal of the Company's right of exclusive trade, its right to control administration, justice taxation, and the conduct of private trade was being seriously questioned. In June, 1842, the Company was asked to defend its position in documents to be laid before the House of Commons As a result, criticism was, for the moment, silenced. Then, in 1847, Alexander Isbister published an attack on the Company which was partially founded on the belief that its lands should be opened for settlement, that its attitude was obstructive, and that its Charter was invalid in law. In the same year he presented a petition of the French and English half-breeds to the Colonial Office which prayed for relief from the monopoly and rule of the Company. There followed a number of enquiries on the part of Earl Grey, which convinced him that there was no necessity for a government investigation of the Company. Both Isbister and John McLaughlin, however, continued to challen 45 the Company v i a the Colonial O f f i c e , and i n William Gladstone (soon to become Chancellor of the Exchequer) they found a sympathetic ear. In the House of Commons, on 18 August, I848, Gladstone b i t t e r l y attacked the Company, with l i t t l e success. The next year, however, the House "asked that a l l the corres-pondence on complaints against the Company should be placed before the House, and i n June the E a r l of Lincoln (later to become Colonial Secretary as the Duke of Newcastle) gave the House a di a t r i b e against the Company which lasted four and a 37 half h o u r s . n J ' Shortly thereafter (July, I849) i t was decided that the l e g a l v a l i d i t y of the Company's Charter should be i n -vestigated. The Law Off i c e r s of the Crown decided, i n turn, that the Charter was almost c e r t a i n l y v a l i d , but i t remained unchallenged i n the law courts. The Company's troubles were not over. I85O brought the Colonial Secretary a complaint from the American government stating that the Company traded vast quantities of li q u o r on the north-west f r o n t i e r of the United States. Then, i n I 8 5 I , another p e t i t i o n (delivered by way of the Aborigines Protective Society) arrived at the Colonial O f f i c e . I t s inconsiderable effect has been b r i e f l y discussed above. Problems of defence also served to draw B r i t i s h attention to the Northwest and to underline the weakness of i t s p o s i t i o n i n North America. In 1845, the surge of American frontiersmen into the Oregon country, combined with the inflammatory slogans of James K. Polk, who had been elected President of the United 46 States i n the autumn of 16*44, gave j u s t i f i a b l e cause f o r alarm i n Canada and Great B r i t a i n . This alarm was cl e v e r l y c u l t i -vated by George Simpson i n a number of highly coloured reports which exaggerated the dangers to the B r i t i s h Northwest. His e f f o r t s bore f r u i t despite considerable resistance i n B r i t a i n , where many p o l i t i c i a n s pointed to the f o l l y of imperial defence commitments i n Canada, and where the Duke of Wellington argued that the f r o n t i e r of Canada was indefensible. In 1845, two young army lieutenants, Henry J. Warre and Marvin Vavasour, t r a v e l l e d west to report on the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of defending the f r o n t i e r from Lake Superior to the P a c i f i c Ocean. At the same time, Simpson enjoyed the li m i t e d support of Lord Metcalfe, the new Governor-General of Canada. After consider-able debate, Simpson and the Hudson's Bay Company managed to blend t h e i r commercial int e r e s t s with the need f o r defence of the B r i t i s h possessions, and troops were despatched from Ireland on 26 June, I846, ten days afte r the Oregon boundary had been sett l e d and three days before the government was o f f i c i a l l y n o t i f i e d of i t s peaceful settlement. Early i n I846, Simpson had begun to organize canoes at Sault Ste. Marie to transport troops across the languishing water route west of Thunder Bay. Warre and Vavasour had, however, advised that t h i s route was impractical and the troops were therefore sent to Red River by way of York Factory. This l i m i t e d commitment of imperial troops, and the discussion which preceded i t , served to raise further questions about the future of the Northwest. The 47 arrangements for transporting the troops also pointed to the lack of an e f f e c t i v e communication between the Province of Canada and Red River — a lack which was to be emphasized when the Royal Canadian R i f l e s were sent to the Northwest (again via York Factory) i n the autumn of 1857.^ 9 By I856, many i n Great B r i t a i n , "Liberals and Conserva-ti v e s a l i k e looked forward to the d i s s o l u t i o n of the empire with a complacency tinged by an impatience that tended to grow with the y e a r s . " ^ L i t t l e Englanders, i n that year, also made i t known that they wished Canada to assume r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the B r i t i s h inheritance i n North America.^ 1 This included the t e r r i t o r y of the Hudson's Bay Company. That the Company was w i l l i n g to consider t h i s had been made clear by Robert P. Pell y , then Governor of Assiniboia, i n 1849. Such a move was also considered i n I856 by S i r George Simpson. I t was also clear, however, that neither of these men would consider such action without adequate compensation to the Company. In I856, Henry Labouchere, the Colonial Secretary, de-cided to have a committee organized to examine the future of the Hudson's Bay Company and the Northwest. This move r e f l e c t e d opposition to the Company i n Red River and Canada. I t also r e f l e c t e d a r e a l i z a t i o n on the part of the Company and the B r i t i s h government that " i t was only a matter of time before the monopoly must be ended and a new form of government set up i n the N o r t h w e s t . T h i s r e a l i z a t i o n was, i n turn, a response to B r i t i s h opposition to large monopolies and Canadian 48 fears and aspirations for the i n t e r i o r west and north-west of Lake Superior. The Province of Canada, 1840-56: Folloxtfing the great days of the Worth West Company, which ended with the merger of 1821, the western i n t e r i o r faded from the attention of Canadians. Moreover, u n t i l 1857 i t cannot be said that there was widespread Canadian in t e r e s t i n the Northwest. There were, however, a few persons — es p e c i a l l y i n Canada West -- giving thought to the future of the area during the 1840's and early 1850's. And i t i s possible to chart the gradual re-emergence of a more general concern f o r the future of the Hudson's Bay Company t e r r i t o r i e s and f o r improved communications with them. With the organization of the Geological Survey of Canada i n 1842, the economic p o s s i b i l i t i e s of the Precambrian Shield began to come into focus. Mining companies started to operate along the north shores of Lakes Huron and Superior, thus laying a p a r t i a l foundation f o r a new Canadian thrust into the Northwest. In addition, as the best a g r i c u l t u r a l lands i n the Province of Canada became occupied, prospective farmers began to look else-where: many to the United States; a few others to the Red River a r e a . ^ The settlement of the Oregon dispute (I846) added to Canadian i n t e r e s t i n the Northwest and to Canadian scepticism about the future of lands held by the Hudson's Bay 49 Company. In A. S. Morton's words, "the fear that a rush of American immigrants into the vacant spaces of Rupert's Land might sweep the West into the United States awakened the Cana-dians to the p o s s i b i l i t y of t h e i r West being l o s t to B r i t a i n and to them, and they r e c o i l e d from the thought that Canada might become no more than a B r i t i s h colony on the A t l a n t i c , hemmed i n by the Republic to the south and to the west."^ The Oregon dispute was attended by the r e a l i z a t i o n that Americans, i n s i g n i f i c a n t numbers, were a n t i - B r i t i s h and powerfully i n -spired by the doctrine of "Manifest Destiny". This r e a l i z a -t i o n was to be amplified by the formation of the T e r r i t o r y of Minnesota (1849), which marked the advance of the American LQ a g r i c u l t u r a l f r o n t i e r into the M i s s i s s i p p i v a l l e y . In addition to large events and broadscale developments, i n d i v i d u a l voices directed some attention to the Northwest. In 1 8 4 7 , Robert Baldwin S u l l i v a n addressed the Toronto Mechanics' In s t i t u t e expressing the fear that Rupert's Land might f a l l to 50 the United States. Sullivan's appreciation of the p o s s i b i l i -t i e s of the western country struck a sympathetic chord with George Brown, editor of the Toronto Globe, and the lecture was 51 published i n f u l l i n i t s pages. During the next decade, Brown and the Globe were to be the chief instruments i n arousing Canadian i n t e r e s t i n the Northwest. Of the Globe, F. H. Underhill writes: "More than any other agency i t deserves the credit for educating Canadian public opinion up to the conception that the future of Canada depended upon the country beyond 50 Lake Superior.""^ During 1848-49, two pamphlets brought addi-t i o n a l attention concerning the Northwest i n B r i t a i n and Canada. The f i r s t , Canada i n 1848", was written by Captain M. H. Synge, 53 an o f f i c e r of the Royal Engineers stationed i n Canada. J Synge argued that e f f i c i e n t communications were es s e n t i a l f o r the defence of the B r i t i s h North American colonies and, a n t i -cipating the Dawson Route i n macrocosm, c a l l e d for a combined water and land route across the continent. The second pamphlet, written by Major R. Carmichael-Smythe, advocated a r a i l l i n e between Halifax and the mouth of the Fraser R i v e r . ^ This was, i n the words of R. G. Trotter, "the f i r s t genuine attempt to demonstrate i n d e t a i l the p r a c t i c a b i l i t y of a railway from sea 55 to sea." Carmichael-Smythe's ideas were of more than passing in t e r e s t for they were instrumental i n turning the a t t e n t i o n of Sandford Fleming to the concept of a transcontinental r a i l -56 way through B r i t i s h North America. Theory was followed by an attempt at practice when, i n 1851, A l l a n Macdonell of Toronto — a believer i n the value of the western country — sought a charter for a railway l i n k i n g 57 Lake Superior and the P a c i f i c . The Legislature refused Macdonell's application, but the Standing Committee on Railways and Telegraph Lines (chaired by S i r A l l a n MacNab) noted that the a p p l i c a t i o n warranted serious attention and Macdonell did 58 not abandon h i s project. In the same year, George Brown raised the question of the future of the Northwest i n his maiden speech i n parliament. He was to do so again during the sessions 51 of 1854 and I856. U n t i l 1855, i n t e r e s t i n the lands west and north-west of Superior had been scant and slow i n growing. In that year, however, i t took a substantial upward surge. The occasion was the completion of the Northern Railway which ran from Toronto to Collingwood. In addition to opening up the f e r t i l e country north of the burgeoning c i t y , the l i n e was to serve as a portage railway joining the port on Lake Ontario to Georgian Bay and the Upper Lakes. I t would connect with the ports of Lakes Huron and Michigan and draw the trade of the West to Toronto. "Sometimes added to t h i s " , writes G. P. de T. Glazebrook, "was the hope of restoring the old North West Company's fur-trade 59 route through Canada, l o s t since 1821."^ The opening of the Sault Ste. Marie canal (U.S.A.) i n I856, and the formation of the Toronto-based North Western Steamboat Company i n the same year made the scheme yet more f e a s i b l e . ^ 0 On August 1, the Globe announced the imminent formation of the Company, observing that the success of the route to the West v i a Collingwood and 6 l Lake Superior could no longer be i n doubt. A l l that remained was to re-open the canoe t r a i l from Fort William to Fort Garry. The commercial hegemony of Toronto over a vast western hinter-land would follow. The merchants of St. Paul had other ideas. The merchants of St. Paul could not, however, reverse the t i d e . The Canadian drive to the West was on. There were commercial and p o l i t i c a l reasons f o r i t , but sc a r c i t y of land was also a fact o r . In 1855, the l a s t block of wild land i n the western 52 peninsula of Canada West was auctioned. The Globe reported the event i n an a r t i c l e e n t i t l e d "New Lands to Conquer". The new lands lay north and west of the Upper Lakes. North of Lake Superior the way had, i n a sense, already been prepared. In 18*50, the Lake Superior Treaty (Treaty No. 60) had been concluded between Her Majesty the Queen and Mishe-muckqua (and others representing the Ojibwa of the north shore). The treaty — which was, i n part, a response to the number of mining locations i n the area — saw the vast t r a c t of land from Batchewanaung Bay to the Pigeon River, and from the shoreline to the height of land, ceded to the government except f o r three small reservations. "This treaty", notes J. P. Bertrand," was of s p e c i a l significance since from then on began the modest development of natural resources i n north-" 6k western Ontario. Of more immediate significance i n I856 were the a c t i v i t i e s of William Kennedy and his well-placed associates. Kennedy, a former clerk with the Hudson's Bay Company, joined A l l a n 65 Macdonell i n addressing the Toronto Board of Trade i n December. They asserted that Rupert's Land should belong to Canada and, furthermore, that i t s inhabitants wanted to be Canadian. As I856 turned to 1857, Kennedy was preparing a mission to Rupert's Land on behalf of the North West Trading and Colonization Company of Toronto. He had two purposes: to re-open the old canoe route from Lake Superior to Fort Garry, and to convince the Red River s e t t l e r s that annexation to Canada would best 53 serve t h e i r p o l i t i c a l and economic future. As Toronto i n t e r -ests made a d e f i n i t e move toward the Northwest, George Brown gave support by mounting an intensive e d i t o r i a l campaign i n the Globe. By the end of I856 he had, i n f a c t , committed his journal and himself to "the expansion of Canada across the great i n t e r i o r plains, and ultimately to the P a c i f i c . " ^ The Northwest was becoming a focus of considerable i n t e r -est, and developments i n Red River, the Minnesota T e r r i t o r y , Great B r i t a i n , and the Province of Canada had paved the way for the climactic events of 1857. Many of the pre-1857 devel-opments had borne a close re l a t i o n s h i p to s h i f t s i n l i n e s of communication and transportation. Minnesota had gained a strong hold on the Northwest p a r t i a l l y because of superior communications. Canada had, i n large degree, l o s t contact with the area f o r lack of good communications. The problems of Imperial defence i n North America were sharpened by the d i f f i c u l t y of sending troops west over B r i t i s h s o i l . The people of Red River showed signs of being p o l i t i c a l l y influenced by the strong trade and transportation connection with Minnesota. These things were re a l i z e d by many of those who participated i n the events of 1857- In that year, and for some time there-a f t e r , the problems of transportation and communications were to be raised, v e n t i l a t e d , and attacked. French and British fur trade route to Canada; declined after 1 3 2 1 0 The Lover Great Lakes were also used as an adjunct of this route* Hudsonfls Bay Company route to Britain; in decline after 1 8 5 8 » Used most heavily between 1 8 2 1 and 1 8 5 8 0 Minnesota route; most heavily used after the Ho B 0 Co0 adopted i t for most of its traffic in 1 8 5 9 o Goods ship-ped across the Atlantic came via the U 0 S o A 0 or Canada to connect with this route 0 As a "Canadian" connection with the Northwest, i t was superceded by the C 0P 0 Ro© The Dawson Route had special virtues, but i t did not replace the Minnesota route for general use 0 55 A Route to the West, 16*57-59: A Canadian dream, decked out with streamers of economic nationalism, c l e a r l y emerged i n 1857. "But," as A. S. Morton indicates, "there were two great obstacles i n the way of the r e a l i z a t i o n of the Canadian dream — the one physical and the other p o l i t i c a l . The physical obstacle lay i n the t e r r i t o r y between Lake Superior and the Red River, a land of rocky h i l l o c k s , swamps, and lakes. I f the Canadians were to capture the trade of the Settlement they must open up a l i n e of transportation 67 through t h i s forbidding country." Canadians, i n 1857, were moving toward that goal. In January the North West Trading and Colonization Company, 68 backed by wealthy Torontonians, was established. The Com-pany, an unchartered concern, sent William Kennedy to discover the most practicable communications route from Thunder Bay to the Red River. In addition to ag i t a t i n g against the Hudson's Bay Company i n Red River, i t was expected that Kennedy — i n the grand t r a d i t i o n of the old North West Company — would bring furs across the route and down to Toronto. Before the Company collapsed i n l a t e 1857 he managed to encourage 372 people of Red River to p e t i t i o n the L e g i s l a t i v e Assembly of Canada f o r annexation and to buy a few furs at i n f l a t e d prices. The Company, however, came to nothing and the Shield country 6Q west of Lake Superior remained unconquered. 7 P o l i t i c a l progress was made i n the same month that the 56 short-lived North West Trading and Colonization Company was formed. On 8 January, 150 Reformers met i n Toronto f o r a grand party convention. There, under the c a r e f u l d i r e c t i o n of George Brown, they agreed upor> a platform which included 70 annexation of the Northwest. Brown and the Globe, aided by e d i t o r i a l writer William McDougall (l a t e r , as Minister of Public Works, to bear much of the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r building the 71 Dawson Route), kept up the pressure f o r annexation through-out the year. The need f o r a transportation route was a corol l a r y of t h e i r aspirations. Also i n 1857, a "Select Committee of the B r i t i s h House of Commons was appointed' to consider the state of B r i t i s h possessions administered by the Hudson's Bay Company. In view of growing Canadian inter e s t i n the Northwest, the Pro-vince was i n v i t e d to send a representative to put her case. William Henry Draper, Chief Justice of Canada West, was selected. He was instructed to uphold Canada's claim to the l i o n ' s share of the Northwest and "to urge the expediency of marking out the l i m i t s , and so protecting the f r o n t i e r of the lands above Lake Superior, about Red River^ and from thence to the P a c i f i c , as e f f e c t u a l l y to secure them against v i o l e n t seizure or i r r e -gular settlement u n t i l the advancing tide of emigrants from Canada and the United Kingdom may f a i r l y flow into them, and occupy them as subjects of the Queen, on behalf of the B r i t i s h empire."72 j n addition, he was to see "that every f a c i l i t y should be secured f o r enabling Canada to explore and survey 5 7 the t e r r i t o r y between Lake Superior and the Rocky Mountains — and i f the Pr o v i n c i a l Legislature should think f i t to pro-vide the means of so doing, no obstacle should be thrown i n the way of the constructing of roads or the improvement of water communication, or the promotion of settlement beyond the l i n e supposed to separate the t e r r i t o r y of the Hudson's Bay Company from that of Canada."^ The report of the Committee, published i n August, con-cluded that " i t i s es s e n t i a l to meet the just and reasonable wishes of Canada to be enabled to annex to her t e r r i t o r y such portion of the land i n her neighbourhood as may be available to her f o r the purposes of settlement, with which lands she  i s w i l l i n g to open and maintain communications, and f o r which she w i l l provide the means of l o c a l administration.*^^ The inquiry opened the way for a gradual, piecemeal extension of Canadian control over the Hudson's Bay Company t e r r i t o r i e s . Draper, however, was not at a l l sure that Canada could es t a b l i s h s u f f i c i e n t l y e f f i c i e n t communications with Red River or that she could e f f e c t i v e l y govern the t e r r i t o r y 75 between Lake Superior and the Rocky Mountains. ^ The question of communications, i n f a c t , was a thorny one. Many witnesses had t e s t i f i e d before the Select Committee to the eff e c t that the route v i a St. Paul was excellent but that the rugged water and portage route v i a B r i t i s h s o i l was t o t a l l y impracticable. Nonetheless, there were advocates of the Canadian route and even Chief Justice Draper, although rather apologetically, 5 8 spoke of hopes f o r a transcontinental railway. It was clear, at any rate, that some sort of Canadian communication with the Northwest had to be b u i l t . Draper made the point: " A l l I can say i s , that unless you do that, farewell to i t s long being maintained as a B r i t i s h t e r r i t o r y . " For many Canadians, the report of the Select Committee underlined the need and hope of acquiring Rupert's Land. Others were d i s s a t i s f i e d . One of them was George Brown, who expressed his opinion i n the Globe: "The country which i s ours by l e g a l r i g h t , we may have possession of by giving se-curity to maintain roads and esta b l i s h c i v i l i z e d i n s t i t u t i o n s — and meantime i t i s to remain i n the hands of monopolists who have never opened a road or done one act f o r the material 77 or moral elevation of the people of the T e r r i t o r y . " I t was agi t a t i o n as usual with Brown, and i t was to continue u n t i l the Canadian government committed i t s e l f to the annexation of the Northwest. Meanwhile, i n Minnesota — where the report of the Select Committee was read with nearly as much int e r e s t as i t was i n Canada — the reaction was almost j u b i l a n t . Minnesotans ex-amined the recommendations of the Committee and concluded that the imperial and p r o v i n c i a l governments were about to open the country to settlement. Such a move, noted the Pioneer  and Democrat (16 Aug., 1857), " w i l l be hailed with delight throughout the Northwest."^ In commenting l a t e r on the proceed-ings of the Select Committee, the same newspaper gave the reason 59 for its stand: "the whole tendency of the testimony was to 7 9 fix St. Paul as the natural outlet of this whole region." This outlook ran counter to much of the opinion expressed before Canada's own Select Committee, appointed on 11 May, 1857. This Committee, formed in response to much debate in the Legislature and a number of petitions received by that 80 body, did l i t t l e more than collect information of varying quality — most of i t faulty. Much of i t was concerned with communications. In this respect, practical difficulties (and legal problems) were thrown to the winds as the three witnesses examined expressed their confident opinion that easy and inexpensive communication could be made from Lake Superior 81 to Fort Garry. One of them, Allan Macdonell, gave vent to his own ambitions in maintaining that, "if the route was opened from Lake Superior, I have no doubt but the whole trade of that country would come down Lake Superior." In his view, the St. Paul route would be out of business along with that via York Factory. Traffic over the Minnesota route was, in fact, about to grow in volume, but many Torontonians — having devoured, i f not digested, the Globe's glowing reports of Rupert's Land — agreed with Macdonell. Macdonell's poor opinion of the York Factory route was supported by the testimony of Colonel John Crofton during the 83 British parliamentary inquiry. Crofton declared emphatically that the Dog Lake canoe route was far superior to the Hudson Bay route. Events of 1857 lent some force to his argument. 60 In that year the limitations of the York Factory route were demonstrated when, in response to American military activity in the vicinity of Pembina, a detachment of the Royal Canadian Rifles was sent to Fort Garry. In May, its commander, Major George Seton, travelled west with George Simpson. The troops, however, took the long way 'round sailing from Montreal on 20 June, bound for York Factory. Their travel plans had been made before Colonel Crofton gave his evidence and had been shaped by the opinion that travel via the old canoe route was 84 impossible. ^ Simon J . Dawson was later to write: "So general was this opinion as to the character of the route, by Lake Superior . . . that the Imperial Government on two occasions sent troops by way of Hudson's []si<Q Bay to Fort Garry, once in I 8 4 6 . . . and again in 1857, when several companies of the 85 Canadian Rifles were sent out." The troops arrived at York Factory about 25 September and were not reunited with their commander, at Fort Garry, until the middle of October. It had taken them almost four months to get from Montreal to the Red River Settlement. In the days before railway and steam-boat transportation, the heavily loaded freight canoes of the fur traders would have made the trip from Lachine to Fort Garry (barring particularly bad head-winds) in just over half the time. In 1857, with rails from Montreal via Toronto to Collingwood, and steamboats on the Upper Lakes, the duration of the Royal Canadian Rifles' journey was ludicrous. It served to emphasize the need to span the country from Lake Superior 61 to Red River. The journey also served to underline the deficiencies of the Hudson's Bay Company's system of inland transportation. The route between Fort Garry and York Factory was already creak-ing under the weight of the growing indents for the Red River District. When, in 1857, the system had to accommodate troops as well as trade goods, i t proved incapable of carrying the load. "So many trade goods had to be left behind in York Factory", writes Alvin Gluek, J r . , "that there was a shortage in the Company's sales shops, while the shelves of its competi-86 tors were jammed with attractive American imports." The situation worried William Mactavish, the chief factor in charge of the district , and was made worse by demands for wage in-creases on the part of the boatmen. By winter Mactavish had decided on a course of action: he ordered a small quantity of goods to be imported via the United States during the summer of I858. The goods came by r a i l and steamboat from New York to St. Paul and then by cart to Fort Garry. Furthermore, freightage costs from England were approximately 35-40 per cent less than by way of York Factory. Accordingly, with the season of 1859 a new transportation pattern emerged in which St. Paul played a key role. The geographical allegiance of the Company had shifted away from the Bay, not to the east, but to the south. As i f to mar-k the occasion, the Anson Northuo steamed down the Red River and into Fort Garry on 11 June, 1859. It was the f irs t steamboat on the Red and, as Bishop 6 2 Tache l a t e r r e c a l l e d , "each turn of the engine appeared to 87 bring us nearer by so much to the c i v i l i z e d world." ' I f steamboat connection with Minnesota loomed large i n the minds of Red River s e t t l e r s , i t also had meaning f o r Minnesotans and Canadians. Steam transportation on the r i v e r cut the land carry to St. Paul i n ha l f , thus increasing the capacity of the Minnesota route. In July, 1859, Simpson added the Anson Northup to the Hudson's Bay Company's new transpor-t a t i o n system which, f o r approximately a decade, served as the major Company connection with the Northwest. The economic t i e s with Minnesota, and es p e c i a l l y St. Paul were again strength-ened. Furthermore, the Company could now shut down the old canoe route ( s t i l l used f o r express travel) to Lake Superior and "once the forests reclaimed the portage t r a i l s , prospective interlopers from Canada would be deterred from attempting to 88 reach Rupert's Land." The "prospective i n t e r l o p e r s " of 1857, however, had no intention of being deterred. Two documents prepared by Joseph Cauchon, the Commissioner of Crown Lands, and published i n 1857, made t h i s clear. The f i r s t was a memorandum designed to sway the opinion of the B r i t i s h Select Committee. I t re-vived the French and North West Company claims to the Hudson's Bay Company t e r r i t o r i e s and concluded that the Northwest belonged to Canada by right of p r i o r discovery and occupation. The Company, i n Cauchon's magnanimous view, could claim clear t i t l e to a mere s t r i p of t e r r i t o r y i n the immediate v i c i n i t y of i t s 63 posts on Hudson Bay. With regard to communications, the memo-randum noted that the "necessity f o r expansion compels the Pr o v i n c i a l Government to create further f a c i l i t i e s f o r i t . With t h i s view", Cauchon continued, "preparations were made i n the Crown Lands Department l a s t summer f o r a preliminary survey from the head of Lake Superior westward, preparatory to the opening of free grant roads ... f o r the purpose of farm-ing a nucleus of a settlement which would gradually penetrate to the v a l l e y of the Red River and the p r a i r i e s beyond; besides which, a f i r s t - c l a s s thoroughfare would be necessary to af f o r d easier means of communication with the navigable waters flowing 89 to the west." The second document prepared by Cauchon (probably with the help of William MacDonnel Dawson) was the f i r s t annual report of the Crown Lands Department. This — "the longest, most imaginative and most far-reaching of a l l nineteenth century 90 Crown Lands Reports" — indicated that the province was run-ning short of good farm land available f o r settlement and pro-ceeded to mount a series of arguments f o r Canada's immediate expansion i n t o the West. Steps i n t h i s expansion would be, f i r s t , a thorough exploration of the country west of Lake Superior, second, an expanded railway system including a l i n e along the north shore of Lake Huron and, t h i r d , the surveying of an ambi--rious colonization road stretching from Thunder Bay to the Red River. Cauchon went on to envision "a l i n e of communication 91 by land, or p a r t l y by water, to the P a c i f i c . " 7 The memorandum 64 and report prepared by Cauchon were i n f l u e n t i a l , not only by virtu e of his position as Commissioner or t h e i r inherent worth, but also because he was an i n f l u e n t i a l p o l i t i c i a n . During the period 1854-57 he was credited with having a personal follow-92 ing of eighteen members i n parliament. And when he l e f t h is p o s i t i o n of Commissioner of Crown Lands i n 1857, he carried his enthusiasm f o r westward expansion to higher p o l i t i c a l 93 l e v e l s . The questions r a i s e d concerning the Northwest i n 1857 were large ones and would take considerable time to resolve. The e f f e c t i v e r e a l i z a t i o n of Canadian hopes would have to wait on p o l i t i c a l union of the B r i t i s h American colonies and the purchase of the Hudson's Bay Company's t e r r i t o r i a l r i g h t s . In the more lim i t e d area of western communications, however, 1857 was an eventful year. The events included concrete actions as well as compendiums of wishful thinking and declarations of intent. The physical improvements of the Minnesota route and i t s adoption by the Hudson's Bay Company have been mentioned. An attempt to counter the r e a l economic and possible p o l i t i c a l e ffects of these actions was begun i n 1857 with the despatch of two exploring expeditions, one from B r i t a i n , the other from Canada. The B r i t i s h expedition, l e d by Captain John P a l l i s e r and sponsored by the Imperial Government and the Royal Geographi-c a l Society, arrived at Fort William on 12 June. The general purpose of the undertaking was to make a geographical survey Toronto Public L i b r a r i e s Fort William i n 1861. The houses of John Mclntyre (Chief Factor) and other Hudson's Bay Company employees are on the r i g h t . Mount McKay i s seen to the west, across the Kaministiquia River. From a water colour by William Armstrong. O N of the country between Lake Superior and the Pacific. This, i t was hoped, would help to remedy the lack of exact knowledge of the West — a lack abundantly demonstrated during the British parliamentary inquiry. The f irst job, however, was to examine the wa.ter routes west of Fort William and to report on the feasibility of a communication and transportation line to Red River. The examination was made during June and J u l y . ^ The report was not particularly favourable. Writing to the Colonial Secretary on 20 May, 1859, Palliser noted that travel to and from Red River would have to be through the United States the routes by York Factory and Fort William being "too tedious, 95 difficult and expensive for the generality of settlers." While his canoe journey had convinced him that neither a road nor water route could be constructed without tremendous d i f f i -culty and enormous cost, he also saw dangers in the St. Paul route: "This connexion, which is year by year increasing wi l l , i f some steps are not taken for the opening of a practicable route with Canada, monopolize the whole traffic of the interior, and thus drawing those strong ties of commerce and mutual inter-est tighter, may yet cost England a province, and offer an impassable barrier to the contemplated connexion of her Atlantic 96 and Pacific Colonies." These economic and polit ical con-siderations led him to propose a land route "from a harbour on the north side of Lake Superior passing the north end of the Lake of the Woods to Red River Settlement . . . . This would" he added, "necessitate the formation of about five hundred 67 miles of road, through probably a d i f f i c u l t country." ' This road was to be a crude a f f a i r . The r i v e r s would be crossed by means of boats or f l o a t i n g bridges to be estab-l i s h e d by s e t t l e r s . During the winter the t r a i l "would natur-a l l y deviate from the summer road, f o r the purpose of keeping on the lakes and swamps where the t r a v e l l i n g i s l e v e l , but s t i l l i t would i n most parts follow the cut road." 7 He gave two f i n a l arguments i n support of his proposed t r a i l : " i t would be on the l i n e of, and consequently a i d considerably, i n the construction of a r a i l r o a d , besides being well removed 99 from the inte r n a t i o n a l boundary." His projected road was also well removed from the realm of p r a c t i c a l i t y . I t depended, u n r e a l i s t i c a l l y , upon s e t t l e r s locating along the rugged Shield country i t was to traverse and took the scantest notice of the d i f f i c u l t t e r r a i n and hundreds of lakes and r i v e r s en route."''^ Nevertheless, P a l l i s e r rejected proposals f o r a combined water and land route i n favour of his plan. Perhaps the reason i s to be found i n his admission that, "at present we know l i t t l e or nothing of the d i s t r i c t of country between Lake Superior and the Lake of the Woods, except just along the 'canoe route'. V 1 0 1 The Canadian Red River Exploring Expe-d i t i o n of 1857 took a more posit i v e view concerning a land and water route. Immediately following the report of the Canadian Select Committee, the Pr o v i n c i a l Legislature voted a grant of £5,000 towards the opening of communications with Red River. An exploring party was promptly organized. On 1 August, just a month and a h a l f behind P a l l i s e r , i t arrived at Fort William. The d i r e c t o r of the expedition during i t s f i r s t season of operations was George Gladman, an avowed advocate of west-102 ward expansion. Under his d i r e c t i o n , but enjoying consider able freedom i n the discharge of t h e i r professional duties, were a geologist, c i v i l engineer, and surveyor. Professor Henry Youle Hind, of the University of T r i n i t y College, Toronto 103 was. the geologist. •* The engineer was W. H. E. Napier, and Simon J. Dawson was appointed surveyor and cartographer. 1*^ In a l l , the party numbered forty-four (including twelve Caughnawaga Iroquois, and twelve Ojibwa Indians from Fort William). In 1858, the composition and terms of reference of the expedition were to change. During 1857, however, i t had one overriding goal which was c l e a r l y set out i n Gladman's i n s t r u c t ions: "The primary object of the expedition i s to make a thorough examination of the t r a c t of country between Lake Superior and Red River, by which may be determined the best route f o r opening a f a c i l e communication through B r i t i s h t e r r i -tory, from that lake to the Red River Settlements, and u l t i -105 mately to the great t r a c t s of c u l t i v a b l e lands beyond them." Unlike the P a l l i s e r expedition, that of the Canadians commenced operations with the clear understanding that there was to be a route. I t only remained to see what path i t would follow. The party accordingly s p l i t up into small groups which Toronto Public Libraries Chief Trader John Bel l , of the Hudson's Bay Company, running Tanner's Rapids on the Maligne River, 1857 or I 8 5 8 . From a water colour by W. H. E. Napier, Engineer on the Canadian Red River Exploring Expedition. o Print** Ijr * r o i i w » L u . J These illustrations from Hind's, Narrative of the  Canadian Exploring Expeditions, are based on the original water colours by John Fleming which are now held by the Toronto Public Library. John, a brother of Sandford Fleming, was assistant surveyor on the exploring expedition. He was later engaged in C.P.R. surveys and in 1865 was employed by the city of New York. Annual Report of the Association  of Ontario Land Surveyors, no. 35 (Toronto, 1920), pp. 121-123. F A U J I O H II ii N v R I V E H MWin F O R T M l M i 71 set about exploring the waterways west of Thunder Bay. They were far more thorough than Palliser. Despite minor problems with the Saulteux (their motives were questioned rather i n t e l l i -gently by a war party on Lake of the Woods) they managed to examine the Dog Lake canoe route in its entirety. In addition, Napier followed the northern (winter) route from Northwest Bay of Rainy Lake to Lake of the Woods, while Dawson and Hind did some exploring along the western shore of the latter lake. In September and October a line between Pembina and Lake of the Woods (via the Roseau and Reed Rivers) was also partially examined from horseback. And during the winter of 1857-58 George Gladman's son, Henry, explored a route from Pointe de Meuron, on the Kaministiquia River, to Arrow Lake (Lac La Fleche) and Gunflint Lake while Dawson surveyed a line from the North-west Angle to Fort Garry In the meantime George Gladman returned to Toronto by way of the Pigeon River route and pro-ceeded to urge an early start on road construction and the establishment of a monthly mail service to Red River. He had no success in encouraging construction, and explorations were resumed in April I858 without his services. The organization and operations for I858 were outlined in a letter from T. J . J . Loranger, the Provincial Secretary, to Sir George Simpson (14 Apri l , I 8 5 8 ) , stating that "the expe-dition wi l l be divided into two parties, of which one wi l l be under the direction of Professor Hind, and the other under that of Mr. Dawson . . . . The operations of Mr. Dawson and his party xiv-r Kx|>|ornii» Expedition by From Hind's annotated MS. map. Photo: B. M. L i t t e l j o h n 73 . . . wi l l be confined pretty much to the same ground as last year, namely, the route from Fort William to Fort Garry; while the operations of Professor Hind and his staff wi l l extend to the country west of Red River and Lake Winnipeg." Hind's party, which included pioneer photographer Humphrey Lloyd Hime,1 did not, however, completely ignore communications with Fort Garry. It travelled west via the Pigeon River Route which impressed the professor as being preferable to that via Dog L a k e . 1 1 0 Hind's party arrived at the Red River Settlement on 2 June, twenty-one travelling days from Grand Portage. A month later (4 July), Dawson's party, which had been paddling the Saskatchewan River, assembled at the Settlement and started east. Working in two, and sometimes three small groups, i t explored the waterways and terrain between Rainy Lake and Lake Superior for the remainder of the season and during the winter of 1 8 5 8 - 5 9 . L i n d s a y Russell ran a second line from the Kaministiquia to Gunflint Lake and found the country too rugged for a road. The Seine River, between Rainy Lake and Lac Des M i l e Lacs, was explored and rejected in favour of the waterway to Lac La Croix. A road line was surveyed from Dog Lake to Thunder Bay, and A. A. Wells even paddled the little-known side route from Saganaga Lake to Sturgeon Lake and the Maligne River. Finally, in the spring of 1859 — long after Hind had left the f ield (Dec, I858) — Dawson learned of a "gravelly ridge" extending across the worst swamps west of Lake of the The Public Archives of Canada Encampment of Hind's party on the Red River, 1858. Taken by pioneer photographer Humphrey Lloyd Hime. -P-76 Woods. This section had posed one of the most d i f f i c u l t pro-blems f o r the explorers and so i t was with evident j u b i l a t i o n that Dawson wrote (the i t a l i c s are h i s ) , "over t h i s l i n e our  party rode clear through to the Lake of the Woods, on horseback." By 1 June, then, the basic exploratory work necessary f o r the opening a communication had been done. Much of the Dawson Route stood revealed, the explorations were terminated, and Dawson estimated that a preliminary l i n e could be opened f o r about £ 5 0 , 0 0 0 . 1 1 3 The work had been thoroughly done. One might argue, i n f a c t , that there had been unnecessary duplication. In some cases, three d i f f e r e n t parties examined and reported on the same waterway. I t followed that, on the subject of com-munications, Hind and Dawson d i f f e r e d on some points. The geologist argued that the Pigeon River Route was f a s t e r , shorter, and generally better than that v i a Dog Lake. The surveyor disagreed, noting that " f o r a distance of one hundred and t h i r t y miles from Lake Superior, westward, i t cannot be made i n any way avail a b l e as a l i n e of water communication, except f o r small canoes; that the country being f o r a great part of the distance rugged, mountainous and cut up with lakes, i t i s next to impracticable f o r roads, and, f i n a l l y , that there being a much better route to the eastward, e n t i r e l y within B r i t i s h t e r r i t o r y , there would be no object i n attempting to open t h i s l i n e , or spending further sums i n i t s exploration." 1 1^ 4" In essentials, however, the two men were i n perfect accord: the Photo: B. M. L i t t e l J o h n D e t a i l of Hind's map, annotated by Gibbard; showing the l i n e surveyed between Lake of the Woods and the Red River Settlement. 73 Photo: Martha A. Kidd Fort Garry i n 1858, from Henry Youle Hind, Narrative of the Canadian Red River Exploring  Expedition, v o l . 2, p. 83. 79 Northwest was an area of great potential and should be settled and developed — but not by Americans. And there should be a route linking i t to Canada. In Dawson's view, a r a i l and water, or road and water communication would provide effective competition to the Minne-sota route. The fur traders of the West would turn to i t , and immigrants from Canada would flock across i t . Nine long years were to pass, however, before the government seriously commenced construction of the Red River Route. Nevertheless, in 1858, a private concern based in Toronto set out to do what the government would not. The North-West Transportation, Navigation and Railway Company was directed by expansionist associates of George Brown including Allan Macdonell (its chief publicist), 1' 1'' 5 William MacDonnel Dawson, Lewis Moffat, William Howland, John McMurrich, and William McMaster. Its charter — marking the successful outcome of Macdonell's efforts since I 8 5 I — gave i t the "paper power" to "construct links of railway between navigable lakes and rivers, so as to provide faci l i t ies for transport from the shores of Lake Superior to Fraser's R iver . t t l l 7 The plan was to build a r a i l line to Rainy Lake, proceed by steamboat to the western shore of Lake of the Woods, then to Fort Garry by r a i l , and, finally, to place steamers on Lake Winnipeg and the Saskatchewan River. By this means the Canadian fur trade would be revived and the Minnesota route superceded. The Company also went into the Northwest armed with a government subsidy to pay for the carriage 80 of mails and to aid in the opening of communications with Red River. Its accomplishments were, however, modest. A tug, the Rescue, was converted into a passenger boat and placed in service between Collingwood and Thunder Bay. A patch of forest at Depot was cleared and two buildings and a wharf con-structed. And a rough t r a i l was cut out of the bush between Depot and Dog Lake. Mail was forwarded by canoe from the latter place to Fort Garry, and in winter dog-teams were sub-stituted. During the summer mail was carried west on a b i -monthly basis; during the winter the service was reduced to 118 once a month. The service was, however, quite inefficient. In the beginning i t depended on the good wi l l and help of Hudson's Bay Company personnel who even picked up mail bags left hanging 119 on trees and delivered them to Red River. This good wi l l soon evaporated when George Simpson, hearing that his men were delivering the mail, wrote that immediate steps were to be 120 taken to "guard against such mistakes occurring in the future." In July of 1059 the Company's mail contract was transferred 121 to a polit ical friend of the government. Service was put 122 on a monthly basis and became even less efficient. In June, i860, as the Nor'-Wester indicated (14 June, i860), only six letters were sent east via the Canadian route, while 208 letters and 532 newspapers went by way of Minnesota. George Simpson estimated that letters from Red River to Toronto cost no less than £100 each to carry over British soi l and took five times 81 as long to reach their destination. In i860, the postal service from Fort William to Fort Garry was, understandably, abandoned. Two years later, the Provincial Secretary wrote: "Arrangements were made within the last four years for postal service with Red River, but the want of territorial rights at Red River and along the greater part of the route defeated the plans of the Canadian Government, and, after a very considerable outlay, the line had to be abandoned." ^ The Provincial Secretary gave only a partial explanation. He might also have mentioned the physical difficulties of the route, the lack of Hudson's Bay Company cooperation, the length of time taken to deliver mails, and the enormous cost of the service. The postal experiment had demonstrated the total inability of the Canadian route to compete with that via St. Paul. If the members of the North-West Transportation, Navi-gation and Railway Company were disappointed in their mail contract, they were also disappointed in their larger plans. Failing to find sufficient financial support in either govern-ment subsidies or private investment they ceased operations in 1861 having done very l i t t l e towards opening a route from 125 Lake Superior to Fort Garry. J Shortly thereafter a forest fire swept across their t r a i l to Dog Lake and consumed their buildings and wharf at Depot. Starting out in a flame of enthusiasm, they ended in a pall of smoke. And nothing much happened in between. 82 The economic cum n a t i o n a l i s t s p i r i t that inspired the concern did not, however, die. Neither did the related desire for a westward communication. The elements of t h i s outlook had combined during the years 1857-59. For Canadians, espe-c i a l l y the vociferous and powerful group i n Toronto, a c q u i s i t i o n of, and communications with the Northwest had become more a necessity and more a p o s s i b i l i t y as the decade ended. The Select Committees at home and abroad had underlined t h i s view. In the West the Hudson's Bay Company was losing i t s hold, and the l i m i t e d capacity of the Tork Factory route had been demon-strated. At the same time, the r i s e of the Minnesota communi-cation and the growth of expansionist sentiment i n the state had j u s t i f i a b l y aroused concern i n the Province of Canada. Furthermore, the B r i t i s h authorities had held out the possi-b i l i t y of annexing western t e r r i t o r y — a p o s s i b i l i t y contingent upon the opening of communications and the assumption of ad-ministrative r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . At the Red River Settlement the advocates of annexation to Canada had grown i n number and found an e f f e c t i v e voice i n the Nor'-Wester. In Canada West, Reformers had been infused with the expansionist s p i r i t of George Brown and had adopted annexation of the Hudson's Bay t e r r i t o r i e s as a plank i n t h e i r platform. The Toronto busi-ness community had taken money i n hand and attempted to span the country d i v i d i n g East from West. Its f a i l u r e only demon-strated that the job was too much f o r private c a p i t a l and that government would have to take a hand. Cauchon had pointed S3 to the need f o r new lands f o r Canadians to conquer. And, f i n a l l y , the Canadian Red River Exploring Expedition had i n -spected the ground and, i n i t s essentials, l a i d out the l i n e of communication with the West. The Early 1860's: As 1859 turned to i860, i t must have seemed as i f con-struction of a route was imminent; but f o r eight years nothing of consequence was done. The project was temporarily abandoned for several reasons. For one thing, Dawson, Gladman, and Hind had explored i n Rupert's Land at the pleasure of the Hudson's Bay Company. While Cauchon had hopefully declared that the Company held no t e r r i t o r i a l r i g h t s i n the area of investigation, the l e g a l i t y and ethics of building a route across portions of Rupert's Land would be open to serious debate. Subsequent events indicated that the Company did, indeed, possess pro-prietary r i g h t s f o r which compensation would have to be paid. Construction, therefore, would l e g a l l y have to await the transfer of those rig h t s to Canada. Second, i t became evident that western expansion and communications "could only be r e a l i z e d 127 e f f e c t i v e l y through B r i t i s h American p o l i t i c a l union." ' The vast project, i n which the Dawson Route was to play a part, was too big and too expensive f o r the Province of Canada. This was esp e c i a l l y the case i n view of the sharp commercial depression which began i n 1857 and reached i t s worst phase i n 84 1859. Much of Canada's p o l i t i c a l and economic tal e n t was, accordingly, diverted from r e l a t i v e l y small considerations, such as a route between Thunder Bay and Fort Garry, to the big questions of depression and p o l i t i c a l union of the colonies. The ' s i x t i e s also saw the outbreak of the American C i v i l War and attendant Anglo-American differences which served to turn the attention of the Canadian Government away from the Northwest. Of lesser significance, but demanding consideration, was the fact that the reports of Dawson and Hind led the government to revise i t s ideas about the method of opening a westward communi-cation. For a l l t h e i r enthusiasm, the reports indicated that the cost of the proposed route would be large. They also showed that the government's preliminary plan of organizing townships along the l i n e , thus advancing the f r o n t i e r of s e t t l e -ment hand i n hand with construction crews, was e n t i r e l y un-r e a l i s t i c . The t r a c t s of c u l t i v a b l e land — such as along the Rainy River — were small oases i n a vast, rocky, and i n -hospitable wilderness. As one c r i t i c put i t , "the natural d i f f i c u l t i e s of the country w i l l make road-making a very expens-ive business, while the s o i l , which consists c h i e f l y of rock and swamp, w i l l o f f e r no inducement to s e t t l e r s , even i f they 129 obtain the land f o r nothing." ' I t would, c l e a r l y , be quite impossible to es t a b l i s h a l i n e of settlement from Thunder Bay to Red River. The communications impetus of 1857-59 seemed to evaporate i n the hiatus of the early ' s i x t i e s . In f a c t , i t was only temporarily and p a r t i a l l y submerged by larger events. In government there were a few f u t i l e gestures during the period. On 15 A p r i l , 1862, f o r instance, the P r o v i n c i a l Secretary wrote to the Governor of Rupert's Land stating that "appropriations have been made by the Legislature f o r roads towards Red River every f a c i l i t y w i l l henceforth exist towards a communication Hudson's Bay Company intransigence. Postmaster-General Michael Foley stood behind a second f l u r r y of a c t i v i t y i n 1862 i n ad-vocating the re-establishment of mail services, the construction of roads, and the improvement of waterways west of Lake Superior his report to the Cabinet (17 Oct., 1862) i s quoted here at some length because of i t s representative, expansionist blending of f a c t , fancy, f r u s t r a t i o n , and foresight. Noting the d i s -covery of gold on the Fraser River i n B r i t i s h Oregon, and the undoubted virtues of the P a c i f i c Coast as a f i e l d f o r s e t t l e -ment, Foley turned to the problem of communications: The shortest and most natural route to these i n v i t i n g t e r r i t o r i e s l i e s through the St. Lawrence and i t s chain of t r i b u t a r y lakes; but owing to the want of f a c i l i t i e s f o r t r a n s i t beyond the head of Lake Superior, persons destined f o r the western settlements necessarily make the voyage by sea, or accomplish the f i r s t stage i n the land journey — Fort Garry on the Red River — by way of Minnesota and Dacotah. Thus i t may i n truth be said that the people of the neighbouring states hold the key to the B r i t i s h possessions i n the west, and while by t h i s means t h e i r wild lands are being s e t t l e d and improved, with the west." 130 This fond hope floundered on the reef of towards B r i t i s h Columbia. 131 While his foray was f r u i t l e s s , 86 ours, l y i n g immediately adjacent and quite as well f i t t e d f o r c u l t i v a t i o n , remain a mere hunting ground f o r the sole benefit and advantage of a company of traders, whose object i t i s to keep them a wilderness productive only of game, and who, to t h i s end, do a l l i n t h e i r power to divert into foreign channels, to the promotion of a l i e n i n t e r e s t s , the commerce carried on by them with the out-side world. In the judgement of the undersigned, the time has arrived when more decisive and e f f e c t i v e means than have yet been put fort h should be employed i n opening up and perfecting the communication westward from Lake Superior through B r i t i s h t e r r i t o r y . Cut o f f from intercourse with t h e i r fellow-subjects ... the people of the Red River Settlement have f o r many years past been loud i n t h e i r expressions of d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n . Minnesota, and not Canada, i s , from imperious necessity, the emporium of t h e i r trade; the chief recent additions to t h e i r population are from the United States, and t h e i r sympathies, i n spite of t h e i r wishes, are being drawn into a channel leading i n an oppo-s i t e d i r e c t i o n from that of the source of t h e i r allegiance. In a word, the central l i n k i n the chain of settlements which should connect Canada with B r i t i s h Columbia i s being ra p i d l y Americanized, and unless a prompt e f f o r t be made to advance B r i t i s h i n t e r e s t s i n that d i r e c t i o n , there i s reason to fear that in c a l c u l a b l e mischief w i l l follow. The tendencies which have i n the main operated i n keeping the North-western country closed to the i n d u s t r i a l enterprise of the B r i t i s h and Canadian people, may be traced to the alleged obstacles i n the way of the con-struction of practicable roads and the improvement of navigation. Recent explorations, however, prove these obstacles to have been greatly exaggerated. The expe-di t i o n s of the Imperial and Canadian Governments demon-strate the entire f e a s i b i l i t y of establishing communication f o r postal and telegraphic service, at reasonable rates, through the t e r r i t o r i e s which the Hudson's Bay Company claim as being under t h e i r jurisdiction.1 3 2 Foley's report might have been l i f t e d from the pages of the Globe, and, i n f a c t , as a L i b e r a l leader i n the L e g i s l a t i v e 133 Assembly, he was clo s e l y associated with George Brown. J J The following spring (28 A p r i l , 1863), Edward Watkin, representing the A t l a n t i c and P a c i f i c Transit and Telegraph Company and acting i n harmony with Foley's report, put forward 87 a proposal f o r the "establishment of a postal and telegraphic route between Canada and the P a c i f i c O c e a n . p r o p o s a l did not, however, make provision f o r the construction of a road and the Canadian Government rejected i t on those grounds."^ Meanwhile, changes were taking place i n Red River. In 1859, William Buckingham and William Coldwell, "fresh from service with the Toronto Globe and with the wind of Northwest destiny i n t h e i r n o s t r i l s , " ^ established t h e i r newspaper, the Nor' -Wester, i n the Settlement. One of i t s chief messages was that the Northwest should be annexed to Canada. The weekly served as the fulcrum of the "Canadian party" whose meager numbers had been augmented by a few Canadians who emigrated to the Settlement i n the wake of the 1857-59 exploring expedi-tio n s . In i860, Dr. John C h r i s t i a n Schultz became leader of t h i s group and from 1864 u n t i l 1868 directed the a c t i v i t i e s of the Nor' -Wester. Under his control, the paper continued to a s s a i l the Hudson's Bay Company and to urge annexation by Canada, but with increasing vehemence. In 1863 he was i n s t r u -mental i n securing a p e t i t i o n (sent to Sandford Fleming and, by him, to the Canadian Government) praying f o r a means of 137 communication with Canada. y i Schultz was also instrumental i n creating considerable d i s t r u s t of the "Canadian party" i n the minds of the metis, and he contributed not a l i t t l e to the outbreak of r e b e l l i o n i n 1869 — an outbreak which f o r c i b l y emphasized the need f o r a m i l i t a r y communication, through B r i t i s h t e r r i t o r y to Red River. 88 In Minnesota, the Panic of 1857, the C i v i l War, and the Sioux uprising of 1862 slowed the northwestward movement of the f r o n t i e r during the early ' s i x t i e s . Nevertheless, throughout the war years, strenuous e f f o r t s to promote better trade r e l a t i o n s with the Red River Settlement were continued. And, i n spite of temporary disruption of the St. Paul-Fort Gary route (occasioned by Indian interference i n 1862), the volume of trade between the two centres grew to new heights. Following the war, however, commercial intercourse was coupled with schemes of t e r r i t o r i a l aggrandizement. The period 1865-70 was one of material expansion and expansionist material-ism during which m i l i t a n t exponents of "Manifest Destiny" sought to detach Rupert's Land from B r i t i s h North America. Their e f f o r t s were stimulated by the efflorescence of Canadian trans-continentalism. At the same time, Canada's drive to the west was spurred on by Minnesota's obvious greed. As the 1860's wore on, there was continuing t a l k about the Northwest and the lack of a Canadian communication with i t . The Globe and the Nor'-Wester were e s p e c i a l l y eloquent on the subject. In George Brown's opinion the government had f a i l e d to adequately pursue the Northwest question and had fumbled negotiations with Watkin. In commenting, i n I864, on rumours of a railway to j o i n St. Paul and Fort Garry, he prophesied that "the movement which has now been i n s t i t u t e d . . . i s nothing more or less than the handing over of the vast North West Terri t o r y , not only commercially but p o l i t i c a l l y , to the United 89 States." "Thus i t i s " , the Nor'-Wester had warned i n si m i l a r circumstances, "that Minnesota stretches out her arms to embrace the l i t t l e colony of B r i t i s h subjects i n the f a r north."1^° Equally relevant to the communications question, and of more l a s t i n g importance, were the strides taken toward Confederation and the transfer of Rupert's Land to Canada. 1^ 1 On the ground between Thunder Bay and Red River, however, the construction of a transportation route waited on the events of 1867. 90 FOOTNOTES: CHAPTER TWO 1 Alvin C. Gluek, Jr., Minnesota and the Manifest  Destiny of the Canadian Northwest (Toronto, 1965), p. 220. o Reginald G. Trotter, Canadian Federation, Its  Origins and Achievement, A Study in Nation Building (Toronto, 1924), p. 2 5 5 . 3 ' G. P. de T. Glazebrook, A History of Transportation  in Canada, vol. 2, Carleton Library edition (Toronto, 1964), p. 45. ^ W. L. Morton (ed.), Alexander Begg's Red River  Journal (Toronto, 1956), p. 12. The director of the 1857 expedition was, in fact, George Gladman. Douglas Mackay, The Honourable Company (Toronto, 1949), p. 257; see also E. E. Rich, The History of the  Hudson's Bay Company, 1670-1870, vol. 2, pp. 788-789. ^ A masterly treatment of the Red River Settlement during the 1840's and 1850's i s found in W. L. Morton's introduction to London Correspondence Inward from Eden  Colvile, 1849-1852, edited by E. E. Rich (London, 1956), xiii-cxv; see also George F. G. Stanley, The Birth of  Western Canada. A History of the Riel Rebellions (Toronto, 1963), pp. 12-21. 7 ' Morton, op. c i t . , xxi. Kittson, born in Lower Canada, and an experienced and tenacious fur trader, was made manager of the American Fur Company's Northern Department in 1843. He was instru-mental in developing the transportation system between St. Paul and Fort Garry. He joined the Hudson's Bay Company as a Chief Trader about 1862.. 9 Gluek, Jr., p. 48 1 0 A detailed and fascinating account of the growth of free trade in Rupert's Land and the growing influence 91 of Minnesota in the affairs of the British Northwest is i i 11 found n Gluek, Jr. E. E. Rich, vol. 2, p. 789. 12 Governor George Simpson wanted the troops to in-timidate the turbulent metis. The need for military pre-parations in the face of the potentially explosive Oregon question provided him with the lever necessary to influence the Imperial Government. Some 350 soldiers, commanded by Major J . F. Crofton, travelled to the Red River Settle-ment, via York.Factory, in 1846. They were recalled in June, I848. E. E. Rich, vol. 2, p. 552. 1 L Ibid. , p. 793. Margaret McWilliams, Manitoba Milestones (Toronto, 1928), p. 81; see also Murray Campbell, "The Postal History of Red River, British North America", Papers Read Before  the Historical and Scientific Society of Manitoba, Series 3, No. 6 (Winnipeg, 1951), pp. 12-14. Hercules Dousman to Henry Fisher, 6 Aug., 1853; cited in Gluek, J r . , p. 100. 17 ' The f irst figure is cited in W. L. Morton's intro-duction to London Correspondence Inward from Eden Colvile, xxi; the figure for I 8 5 6 is cited in Henry Youle Hind, Narrative of the Canadian Red River Exploring Expedition  of 1857 and of the Assiniboine and Saskatchewan Exploring  Expedition of 1858, vol. 1 (London, 1860), p. 176. 1A W. L. Morton, Manitoba, A History (Toronto, 1957), pp. 77-78. 19 y E. E. Rich, vol. 2, p. 795- The development and settlement of the Oregon dispute had demonstrated the dangers of American expansion, and the Montreal Annexation Manifesto of 1849 had indicated the possible economic advantages of annexation. 92 20 William W. Folwell, A History of Minnesota, vol. 1, rev. ed. (St. Paul, 1956), p. 213. 21 Theodore C. Blegen, Minnesota, A History of the  State (Minneapolis, 1963), p. 159. 2 2 Ibid., p. 173-23 ^ Helen McCann White, "Minnesota, Montana, and Manifest Destiny", in Rhoda R. Gilman and June Drenning Holmquist (eds.), Selections from 'Minnesota History' (St. Paul, 1965), p. 203. Blegen, p. 180. The railroad extended west to Rock Island, Illinois, on the Mississippi River (see map no. 7) Gluek, J r . , p. 100, places the number of steamboat arrivals at St. Paul in 1855 at 563. 2 ^ W. L. Morton, Manitoba, A History, p. 82. Joseph Kinsey Howard indicates that, by 1851, more than one hundred carts were making the trip to St. Paul each year and that this number had increased to six hundred by 1858. Howard, Strange Empire, A Narrative of the Northwest (New York, 1952), P- 57^  The cart routes are amply treated in Grace Lee Nute, "The Red River Trails", Minnesota History, vol. 6, Sept., 1925, pp. 279-87; see also Gluek, J r . , pp. 96-100. ?6 Cited in Gluek, J r . , p. 152; see also E. E. Rich, p. 519. 27 Francis G. Johnson to the Secretary, June, I 8 5 6 , cited in Gluek, J r . , p. 92. 28 Gluek, J r . , p. 92. Ballenden was the Hudson's Bay Company's chief factor in the Red River District. 29 Between 1856 and I858, three additional railheads reached the Mississippi: the Il l inois Central at Galena (1856) , the Milwaukee and Mississippi at Prairie du Chien (1857) , and the Chicago and Milwaukee at La Crosse (I858). See map no. 7-30 J Gluek, J r . , p. 116; see also Blegen, p. 195. 93 3 1 Gluek, J r . , p. 105. 3 2 Ibid., p. 115. 3 3 Stanley, p. 20 3 ^ Mackay, p. 257. The Hudson's Bay Company's re-l a t i o n s h i p with government i s thoroughly discussed i n E. E. Rich, pp. 787-815-3 5 E. E. Rich, p. 7^9. 3 ^ I s b i s t e r and his actions are dealt with i n Rich, pp. 545-46, and i n ¥. L. Morton, Manitoba, A History, p. 76. 3 7 E. E. Rich, p. 791. Simpson wanted the troops i n Red River to preserve the Company's trading monopoly; he was not so greatly d i s -turbed by the a c t i v i t i e s of President Polk and other pro-ponents of the "Manifest Destiny" doctrine. See Gluek, J r . , pp. 60-61; and E. E. Rich, p. 724. 3 9 ^ Useful accounts of the Warre-Vavasour journey and the despatch of troops to Red River i n 1846 are given i n Gluek, J r . , pp. 60-67, and E. E. Rich, pp. 537-40 and 725-32. ^ A. L. Burt, The Evolution of the B r i t i s h Empire  and Commonwealth from the American Revolution (Boston, 1956), p• 444• ^ W. L. Morton, The Kingdom of Canada (Toronto, 1963), p. 300. 42 43 44 E. E. Rich, p. 796. W. L. Morton, Manitoba, A History, pp. 94-95-Morton, The Kingdom of Canada, p. 291- Additional information on mining a c t i v i t y i n the Thunder Bay area i s found i n Robert B e l l , "Thunder Bay S i l v e r Mines", i n Walpole Roland (ed.), Algoma West, I t s Mines, Scenery and I n d u s t r i a l 94 Resources (Toronto, 1887), p. 52; and J . P. Bertrand, Highway of Destiny, pp. I0I-65. 45 y For information on the diminishing land resource of the Province of Canada see Richard S. Lambert with Paul Pross, Renewing Nature's Wealth (Ontario Dept. of Lands and Forests, 1967), pp. 27, 86, 106-108: and Don W. Thomson, Men and Meridians, v o l . 1 (Ottawa, 1966), pp. 290-300;;: see also A. R. M. Lower, Colony to Nation (Toronto, 1959), pp. 292-294. ^ Lower, p. 294; W. L. Morton, The Kingdom of Canada, p. 268; D. C. Creighton, Dominion of the North (Toronto, 1957), p. 273. 47 48 49 A. S. Morton, p. 825. Stanley, The Bi r t h of Western Canada, p. 24. The expansion of agriculture i n the Minnesota T e r r i t o r y i s treated i n Blegen, pp. 159-210; and Folwell, v o l . 1, pp. 351-365. 50 ' S u l l i v a n , p o l i t i c i a n and judge, was elected mayor of Toronto i n 1835 and was appointed a member of the Exe-cutive Council of Upper Canada i n the following year. He played an important part i n bringing about the union of Upper and Lower Canada i n I 8 4 O and became president of the council i n the f i r s t government of the united province. He resigned i n 1844 and i n I 8 4 8 was appointed a judge of the court of Queen's Bench. W. Stewart Wallace, The  Macmillan Dictionary of Canadian Biography, 3rd edT [Toronto, 1963), p. 726. 5 1 Toronto Globe, 24 March, 1847-52 ' Frank H. Underhill, In Search of Canadian Liberalism (Toronto, i960), p. 52; see also J . M. S. Careless, Brown  of the Globe, v o l . 1, The ¥oice of Upper Canada, 1818-1859 (Toronto, 1959), pp. 228-233-^ In I 8 4 8 , Synge was employed on works at Bytown (Ottawa), Canada West. He also published a work e n t i t l e d The Colony of Rupert's Land (London, 1863) and eventually rose to the rank of major-general i n the B r i t i s h army. 95 ^ Carmichael-Smythe's pamphlet, published in 1849, was entitled A Letter, from Major Robert Carmichael-Smythe  to his friend the author of "the Clockmaker" containing  thoughts on the subject of a British Colonial Railway  Communication between the Atlantic and the Pacific. The major argued primarily from the commercial point of view but also had military communications in mind. See A. S. Morton, pp. 825-826; and Trotter, pp. 257-258. 5 5 Trotter, p. 257-56 Ibid., n. , p. 265. Fleming became chief engineer of the Northern Railway in 1857, was chief engineer of the Intercolonial Railway during its construction, and in 1871 was appointed engineer-in-chief to superintend the surveys for the Canadian Pacific Railway. 57 See Stanley, p. 25; Careless, vol. 1, p. 230; and Trotter, p. 258. Macdonell was a lawyer and one-time partner of Sir Allan MacNab. In his later years he turned prospector and explored the mining possibilities of the Lake Superior region. 58 Macdonell's project was set out in a paper entitled "Observations upon the Construction of a Railroad from Lake Superior to the Pacific", published in Eighth Report of  the Standing Committee on Railways and Telegraphs (Toronto, 1852). He tried again for a charter in 1853 and 1855, but without success. 59 J 7 G. P. de T. Glazebrook, A History of Transportation  in Canada, vol. 1, the Carleton Library, no. 11 (Toronto, 1964), P P . 157-158. ^ The North Western Steamboat Company was founded in August, I856. George Brown's brother, Gordon, was associated with the Company. /r-i Careless, vol. 1, p. 230. 6 ? Toronto Weekly Globe, 14 Sept., 1855- See also Careless, vol. 1, p. 229-/To ^ J . L. Morris, Indians of Ontario (Ontario Dept. 96 of Lands and Forests, 1943), pp. 29-30, gives the details of the treaty. The creation of the Provisional Judicial District of Algoma in 1859 (see Canada Gazette, 1859, p. 2154) also helped to prepare the way for westward move-ment and settlement. 6i Bertrand, p. 165• 65 J Kennedy had been a clerk at Fort Chimo. In 1851 he was given the command of a ship and sent out in search of Sir John Franklin. Two years later he published A Short Narrative of the Second Voyage of the Prince Albert,  in Search of Sir John Franklin. He spent the later years of his l i fe at the Red River Settlement and died in 1890. 66 Careless, vol. 1, p. 232. ^ A. S. Morton, p. 836. 68 Among the backers of this concern were Gordon Brown, ¥ . P. Howland (a member of Legislative Assembly of Canada who was to become lieutenant-governor of Ontario, 1868-73), John McMurrich (a wholesale merchant who sat in the Legislative Council of Canada, 1862-64), and William McMaster (a wealthy Toronto business Liberal); see Careless, vol. 1, p. 239. Allan Macdonell was also, apparently, involved; see Gluek, J r . , p. 124. 6 9 See Gluek, J r . , pp. 123-125 and 225-26; A. S. Morton, p. 827; and Careless, vol. 1, p. 239• 7 0 Careless, vol. 1, pp. 233-235-71 McDougall was to have a close association with the Northwest. He was a member of parliament almost con-tinuously from I858 until 1882. From 1862 to I864 he was Commissioner of Crown Lands and was a delegate to the Charlottetown and Quebec Conferences in I864 as well as the Westminster Confederation Conference in 1866. In I867 he became a leading Liberal in the f irst government of the Dominion and was Minister of Public Works from I867 to 1869- In 1868 he accompanied Sir George Cartier to England to arrange the transfer of the Hudson's Bay Com-pany's territories to Canada, and in 1869 was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Rupert's Land and the North West Territories. The unfortunate, and well-known episode which followed destroyed his polit ical influence. 97 7 E. A. Meredith to Draper, 20 Feb., 1857, c i t e d i n Great B r i t a i n , House of Commons, Report from the Select  Committee on the Hudson's Bay Company; Together with the  Proceedings of the Committee, Minutes of Evidence, Appendix  and Index (London, 1857), p. 436. 73 l J " F i n a l Report of Chief Justice Draper Respecting his Mission to England", C.S.P., v o l . 16, no. 3, I858; c i t e d i n L e g i s l a t i v e Assembly of Ontario, Correspondence,  Papers and Documents, of Dates from 1856 to 1882 i n c l u s i v e ,  Relating to the Northerly and Westerly Boundaries of the  Province of Ontario (Toronto, 1882), p. 55; hereafter referred to as Ontario Boundary Papers, 1856-82. ^ Report from the Select Committee on the Hudson's  Bay Company, pp. i i i - i v (my underlining). 75 l ' Draper viewed the Rockies as the proper western boundary of Canada. 7 ^ Report from the Select Committee on the Hudson's  Bay Company, p. 225. See, A. S. Morton, pp. 829-831; E. E. Rich, pp. 796-805; and Gluek, J r . , pp. 129-132 and 221-229 f o r useful treatments of the a c t i v i t i e s of the Select Committee. 7 7 Toronto Globe, 15 Aug., 1857; c i t e d i n Careless, v o l . 1, p. 241. 7 8 Cited i n Gluek, J r . , p. 130. 7 9 St. Paul Pioneer and Democrat, 3 July, 1858; c i t e d i n Gluek, J r . , p. 130. Draper had noted, i n almost the same words, that "the natural outlet of the country appears ... to be into the United States", adding that as Hudson Bay was not navigable during much of the year, the only viable communication on B r i t i s h s o i l was through Canada. Cited i n Glazebrook, v o l . 2 (Carleton Library e d i t i o n ) , p. 39. o u A. S. Morton, pp. 827-828. 8l E. E. Rich, p. 798. The three witnesses were George Gladman (soon to lead the Red River Exploring Expe-d i t i o n of 1857), A l l a n Macdonell, and William MacDonnel Dawson. The l a t t e r was chief of the Woods and Forests 93 Branch of the Crown Lands Department and a brother of Simon J. Dawson, a f t e r whom the Dawson Route was named. William Dawson was also a close associate of Joseph Cauchon, the Commissioner of Crown Lands who was a strong advocate of westward expansion. Cauchon was a member of the Cana-dian Select Committee, as was the omnipresent George Brown. dp "Report of the Canadian Select Committee", C.S.P., v o l . 15, no. 4, 1357, section 17. 83 J Crofton, then a major, had commanded the imperial troops sent to Red River v i a York Factory i n I 8 4 6 . He had t r a v e l l e d both routes during his time i n the Northwest. 84 A. S. Morton, p. 828. 85 S. J . Dawson, "Report on the Red River Expedition of 1870", C.S.P., v o l . 4, no. 6, 1871, p. 2. 8 6 Gluek, J r . , p. 140. ^ A. A. Tache, Sketch of the North-West of America, trans, by Capt. D. R. Cameron (Montreal, 1870), pp. 39-40; cited i n Gluek, J r . , p. 139. Tache' went to Red River as a missionary i n 1845; i n 1853 he became second bishop of St. Boniface; and i n 1871 he was created archbishop and metropolitan of St. Boniface. 88 Gluek, J r . , p. 146. This paragraph, and the preceding two, are based l a r g e l y on Gluek, J r . , pp. 137-150 and E. E. Rich, pp. 794-795-89 "Memorandum of the Hon. Joseph Cauchon, Commissioner f o r Crown Lands, Canada, 1 8 5 7 " , c i t e d i n Ontario Boundary  Papers, 1856-82, p. 7; see also C.S.P., v o l . 15, no. 17, 1857-9 0 Lambert, Renewing Nature's Wealth, p. 114-91 "Annual Report of the Department of Lands and Forests for I 8 5 6 " (published 1 8 5 7 ) , p- 46; cited i n Lambert, p. 108. 92 7 Lower, p. 303-99 93 ^ Cauchon sat i n the L e g i s l a t i v e Assembly of Canada or the Canadian House of Commons from 1844, without i n t e r -ruption, u n t i l 1872. From l86l to 1862 he was Commissioner of Public Works i n the Cartier-Macdonald government. In 1867 he became Speaker of the Senate. Ten years l a t e r he was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba, a post which he held u n t i l 1882. % See P a l l i s e r , "Journal of Expedition, 1857-3", i n Great B r i t a i n , Papers Relative to the Exploration by  Captain P a l l i s e r of that Portion of B r i t i s h North America  which Lies Between the Northern Branch of the River  Saskatchewan and the Frontier of the United States; and  between the Red River and the Rocky Mountains (London, 1859} p. 22 f f . 9 5 Cited i n A. S. Morton, p. 834. 96 Great B r i t a i n , Further Papers Relative to the Exploration by the Expedition under Captain P a l l i s e r of  that Portion of B r i t i s h North America which Lies Between  the Northern Branch of the River Saskatchewan and the  Frontier of the United States; and between the Red River  and the Rocky Mountains, and thence to the P a c i f i c Ocean (London, I860), p. 57. 97 93 99 100 I b i d . , p. 58 Ibid. Ibid. The Trans-Canada Highway now more or less follows the route envisaged by P a l l i s e r f o r 435 miles between Port Arthur and Winnipeg. 1 0 1 Further Papers, p. 58 102 Gladman was a r e t i r e d Chief Trader who had served thirty-one years with the Hudson's Bay Company. He had t e s t i f i e d before the Canadian Select Committee and favoured an end to Company rule i n the Northwest. * Hind, born i n England, came to Canada i n 1846. He was professor of chemistry and geology at the University 100 of Trinity College from 1853 to I864. In 1861 he led an expedition to Labrador. His Narrative of the Canadian  Red River Exploring Expedition of*"T857 and of The Assiniboine  and Saskatchewan Exploring Expedition of 1858, 2 vols. (London, 1860) is an enlarged, and interesting version of his off icial reports. This work established him as an influential advocate of Canadian westward expansion. 104 Q£ a-j_]_ £ n e principals of the expedition, Dawson was to have the longest and closest association with the Northwest. A c i v i l engineer, he was employed in super-vising public works along the St. Maurice River prior to 1857. A decade later he settled in Port Arthur where he became the chief architect and advocate of the Red River (Dawson) Route. From 1875 until I878 he represented Algoma West in the Ontario Legislature and for the next thirteen years he sat in the Canadian House of Commons for the same constituency. He was active in Indian affairs., as in most other aspects of l i fe in the area. One of the f irst landowners in Port Arthur (its rather prosaic name was "Depot" when he f irst located there), he became its most distinguished citizen until his death in 1902. A useful source of information on this man is the "Simon J . Dawson Papers" recently acquired by the Ontario Department of Records and Archives. E. Parent, Assistant Provincial Secretary, to Gladman, 22 July, 1857, in Report on the Exploration of  the Country between Lake Superior and the Red River Settle- ment, printed by order of the Legislative Assembly (Toronto, 1858) , pp. 5-6. This report runs to 424 pages and is an important source of information on the expedition. It includes a l l government instructions, a l l communications concerning the i n i t i a l organization of the party, and a l l reports to date. A second important source is Simon J . Dawson, Report on the Exploration of the Country between  Lake Superior and the Red River Settlement, and between  the latter place and the Assiniboine and Saskatchewan, printed by order of the Legislative Assembly (Toronto, 1859); and a third is Henry Y. Hind, North West Territory; Reports  of Progress; together with a preliminary and General Report  on the Assiniboine and Saskatchewan Exploring Expedition  made under Instructions from the Provincial Secretary.  Canada, printed by order of the Legislative Assembly (Toronto.. 1859) • The above are also found in the Journals of the  Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada, vol. 16, 1858, and vol. 17, 1859. See also Hind's, Narrative of  the Canadian Exploring Expeditions and Great Britain, Colonial Office, Papers Relative to the Exploration of the Country between Lake Superior and the Red River Settle- ment (London, 1859). '. 101 Secondary source material i s scanty, but some i n t e r -pretation i s given i n Thomson, Men and Meridians, pp. 214-215; A. S. Morton, pp. 834-836; Trotter, pp. 250-252; Bertrand, pp. 171-173; Rich, p. 805; Gluek, J r . , pp. 229-232; John Warkentin (ed.), The Western In t e r i o r of Canada,  A Record of Geographical Discovery, 1612-19JL7 (Toronto, 1964), pp. 120-121, 146-147, 153-155, and 191-231; Lewis H. Thomas, "The Hind and Dawson Expeditions, 1857-58", Beaver, winter, I 8 5 8 , pp..39-45; and Alex. J. Russell, The Red River Country, Hudson's t s i c l Bay and North-West  T e r r i t o r i e s Considered i n Relation to Canada (Ottawa, 1869), p. 117 f f . There are b r i e f references to the expedition i n Mary Quayle Innis, Travellers West (Toronto, 1956), pp. 7, 91-92; Grace Lee Nute, Rainy River Country, A B r i e f History of  the Region Bordering Minnesota and Ontario (St. Paul, 1950), p. 4 6 ; Adam Shortt and Arthur G. Doughty, eds., The P r a i r i e  Provinces, Canada and I t s Provinces, v o l . 19 (Toronto, 1914), PP- 68-69; and W. G. Hardy, From Sea Unto Sea,  Canada, 1850 to 1910 (Garden City, I960), pp. 90-91. Histories of the West and textbooks of Canadian history usually devote a sentence or two to the purposes and ac-complishments of the expedition. There was also exploration to the west of Fort Garry, but p r a i r i e exploration — while an important function of the expeditions of 1857 and 1858 — i s lar g e l y ignored i n t h i s treatment. 107 ' Two maps, annotated by Gladman and now held by the Ontario Department of Lands and Forests (Lands and Surveys Branch), are p a r t i c u l a r l y u s e f u l . They are "Map of the Winter Route by the North from Fort Frances to the Rat Portage", signed by W. H. E. Napier, Red River S e t t l e -ment, 10 D e c , I 8 5 7 ( f i l e no. 012-10); and "Map No. 3, Shewing the Areas of Arable Land on the Canoe Route from Fort William, Lake Superior, to Fort Garry, Red River, and the Valley of the Red River", signed by Henry Youle Hind, 6 Feb., I 8 5 8 ( f i l e no. 012-11). See also "Plan of Canoe Route from Fort William to Fort Garry", W. H. E. Napier, 10 D e c , 1857 ( f i l e no. 013-21); and "Plan Shewing the Proposed Route from Lake Superior to Red River S e t t l e -ment", S. J . Dawson, D e c , 1857, Red River ( f i l e no. 010-22). The most i n t e r e s t i n g of a l l the maps, however, i s "Map to Accompany Report on the Canadian Red River Exploring Expedition", I 8 5 8 , signed by Hind and l a t e r profusely anno-tated by William Gibbard (P.A.C., V l / 7 0 1 ) . Gibbard, a land surveyor and employee of the Crown Lands Department, 102 became f i s h e r i e s overseer f o r the Lake Huron and Superior d i s t r i c t i n 1859. He apparently had considerable t r a v e l experience i n the country west of Thunder Bay and his notes (added to the map about 1861) provide a capsule history of fur trade l o g i s t i c s i n the area. He was murdered i n 1863 i n the course of upholding f i s h i n g regulations near Manitoulin Island. •I Q C * Cited i n Ontario Boundary Papers, 1856-82, pp. 66-67. 109 Some of Hime's work i l l u s t r a t e s t h i s thesis. His work was important i n the development of photography i n Canada and he was the f i r s t photographer of the North-west. See Ralph Green h i l l , "Early Canadian Photographer, Humphrey Lloyd Hime", Imafee, The B u l l e t i n of the George  Eastman House of Photography, v o l . 11, no. 3, 1962, pp. 9-11; and Ralph Green h i l l , Early Photography i n Canada (Toronto, 1965), pp. 36, 50-51. Hime was a partner i n the Toronto firm of Armstrong, Beere & Hime,"ambrotypists and photographists", which included William Armstrong. Armstrong was to become famous f o r his sketches and water-colours, many of them done i n the country between Fort William and Fort Garry, and was to cross the Dawson Route i n 1870. 1 1 0 Hind, Narrative of the Canadian Exploring Expe-di t i o n s , v o l . 1, pp. 74-78, 275. See also J. A. Dickinson, "Remarks on the Pigeon River Route", Hind, v o l . 2, pp. 422-426. 1 1 1 A b r i e f resume of t h i s work i s given i n S. J. Dawson, "Report on the Line of Route between Lake Superior and the Red River Settlement", i n Russell, The Red River Country, pp. I64-I65. This report, submitted 20 A p r i l , 1868, i s also found i n C. S* P., v o l . 1, no. 9, 1867-8, paper 81. A. more detailed account i s found i n Dawson's 1859 report. 1 1 2 Dawson, "Report of 1868", cited i n Russell, p. I64 . Trotter, p. 251 Dawson, "Report of 1868", c i t e d i n Russell, pp. 166-167. ^5 See A. Macdonell, The North-West Transportation, Navigation and Railway Company, Its Ob.jects (Toronto, I858). 103 Lists of personnel, which differ somewhat, are found in Careless, vol. 1, p. 307, and Bertrand, pp. 176-177' The group was almost exactly the same as that which backed the North West Trading and Colonization Company of 1857. 1 1 7 Cited in Trotter, p. 258; see also 0. D. Skelton, The Railway Builders (Toronto, 1916), p. 114. x ± W. Smith, History of the Post Office in British  North America (London, 1920), pp. 318-319. 1 1 9 Gluek, J r . , p. 227. 120 Simpson to the Governor and Committee, 21 June, 1859; cited in Gluek, J r . , p. 227-1 2 1 Careless, vol. 1, p. 307. 1 2 2 Murray Campbell, "The Postal History of Red River, British North America", Papers Read Before the Historical  and Scientific Society of Manitoba, Series 3. No. 6 (Winnipeg, 195D, P- 16. 1 2 3 Rich, p. 807. A. S. Morton, p. 837, notes that the winter mail was discontinued in 1859-60 and that the summer mail of 24 June, i860, consisted of four newspapers carried by five men! 124 Charles Alleyn to Alexander G. Dallas, Governor of Rupert's land, 15 Apri l , 1862; cited in Ontario Boundary  Papers. 1856-82, p. 89. 1 2 5 Trotter, pp. 263-264. In terms of physical attempts to span the Shield country west of Thunder Bay, there was a definite hiatus from 1859 until 1868. And while there were important political developments, associated with Confederation, which made a communication vital and increasingly possible, these have been largely passed over as being beyond the scope of this thesis. 1 2 7 Donald Crelghton, "The 1860s", J . M. S. Careless and R. Craig Brown, (eds.), The Canadians, 1867-1967 (Toronto, 1967), p. 12. 104 1 2 8 Lower, p. 294-1 2 9 W. Berens, Governor of Hudson's Bay Company, to the Duke of Newcastle (the Colonial Secretary), 19 May, 1862; cited i n Ontario Boundary Papers, 1856-82, p. 92. 1 3 0 Cited i n Ontario Boundary Papers, 1856-82, p. 89-This declaration of intent was inspired by Edward Watkin's v i s i t to Canada (1861) i n the i n t e r e s t s of the Grand Trunk Railway; see Trotter, pp. 267-269-1 3 1 Trotter, p. 269-1 3 2 "Report of Postmaster-General Foley (Canada)", ci t e d i n Ontario Boundary Papers, I 8 5 6 - 8 2 , pp. 94-95; the report i s printed, i n i t s e n t i r e l y , i n C.S.P., v o l . 22, no. 29, 1863. 133 Careless, v o l . 2, pp. 64, 67. Edward W. Watkin to the Duke of Newcastle, 28 A p r i l , 1863; c i t e d i n Ontario Boundary Papers, I856-82, pp. 97-98. Watkin, president of the Grand Trunk Railway Company from 1861 to 1863, had been sent to Canada by the Colonial O f f i c e i n 1861 to investigate the possible feder-ation of the B r i t i s h North American provinces. He was interested i n extending the Grand Trunk to the P a c i f i c and was also deeply involved i n the purchase of c o n t r o l l i n g i n t e r e s t i n the Hudson's Bay Company (summer, 1863) by the International F i n a n c i a l Society. 135 "Report of a Committee of Council, approved by the Governor-General on the 18th February, I 8 6 4 " , C.S.P., v o l . 23, no. 62, I 8 6 4 . A pertinent extract from t h i s report i s given i n Ontario Boundary Papers, I 8 5 6 - 8 2 , p. 101. The d e t a i l s of Watkin's connection with the telegraph com-pany and the International F i n a n c i a l Society are given i n E. E. Rich, pp. 820-844. W. L. Morton, Manitoba, A History, p. 101. 1 3 7 Stanley, pp. 49-50. 138 This paragraph i s based lar g e l y on Gluek, J r . , pp. 158-219. 105 1 3 9 Globe, 27 Jan., 1864; cited in Careless, vol. 2, p. 108. - U f 0 Nor'-Wester, 15 Aug., l86l; cited in Gluek, J r . , p. 234- The Nor'-Wester's comment was inspired by the inauguration of the Burbank line, a transportation firm which made regular, year-round, shipments of goods from St. Paul to Fort Garry. Many of the basic documents on the large questions of Confederation and the transfer of Rupert's Land (includ-ing asides on a communication) are conveniently brought together in Ontario Boundary Papers, 1856-82 and in P. B. Waite, (ed.), The Confederation Debates in the Province of Canada, 1865 (Toronto, 1963). 106 CHAPTER THREE: INITIAL CONSTRUCTION AND INAUGURATION OF THE DAWSON ROUTE, 1867-70 I would be quite w i l l i n g , personally, to leave that whole country Uthe Northwestji a wilderness f o r the next h a l f -century, but I fear i f Englishmen do not go there, Yankees w i l l John A. Macdonald, 1865 I must confess, Mr. Speaker, that i t looks l i k e a burlesque to speak as a means of defence of a scheme of Con-federation to unite the whole country extending from Newfound-land to Vancouver's Island, thousands of miles intervening without any communication, except through the United States or around Cape Horn.2 Antoine Aime Dorion, 1865 In t h i s view l e t us look at the immense extent of t e r r i -tory that stretches away west of Upper Canada .... I believe that one of the f i r s t acts of the General Government of the United Provinces w i l l be to enter into public obligations f o r the purpose of opening up and developing that vast region ....3 Alexander T i l l o c h Gait, I865 107 On 1 July, 1867, Confederation became a r e a l i t y and the new federal union began i t s o f f i c i a l existence. The race f o r the P a c i f i c , and to incorporate Rupert's Land, was the f i r s t urgent task faced by the Canadian Government — "the f i r s t r e a l t e s t of the founding fathers' d r e a m . A s yet, the West, including the North-West T e r r i t o r i e s and B r i t i s h Columbia, as well as Rupert's Land, stood outside the union. With the aggressive and expansionist sentiment of "Mani-fe s t Destiny" i n f u l l career south of the border, speed was imperative. In Minnesota, p a r t i c u l a r l y , voices were raised i n favour of annexation of the t e r r i t o r y to the north. The poplar and cottonwood l i n e d Red River, and i t s i n c r e d i b l y f l a t flanking grasslands, bound the American and B r i t i s h Northwests together i n a broad regional economy. At f i r s t i t was t h i s economic advantage (arrested to some degree by the Hudson's Bay Company u n t i l I867) that excited Minnesotans, then, i n the year of Confederation, the cork popped and a b l a t a n t l y j i n g o i s t i c and m i l i t a n t l y expansionist s p i r i t spewed f o r t h . In the House of Representatives, Ignatius Donnelly of Minnesota (among others) sounded the trumpet: "With our great nation on the south of t h i s region, and our new a c q u i s i t i o n of Alaska r e s t i n g upon i t s northern boundary, B r i t i s h dominion w i l l be i n e v i t a b l y pressed out of western B r i t i s h America. I t w i l l disappear between the upper and the nether mill-stones. These jaws of the nation w i l l swallow i t up."-' Canada's purchase of the Hudson's Bay Company lands i n 108 1869 blunted but did not stop the contentious clamour. The St. Paul Press' reaction was a b i t t e r e d i t o r i a l e n t i t l e d "Our Commercial Empire". Commenting on the new ownership of Rupert's Land, i t observed: " I f p o l i t i c a l l y i t belongs to Canada, geographically and commercially i t belongs not to Canada but to Minnesota .... Canadian policy may propose, but American enterprise w i l l dispose."^ With the R i e l r e s i s t -ance to blundering Canadian p o l i c y i n 1868-69, the Minnesota expansionists again spread t h e i r hawklike wings. "The Red River revolution", shouted the St. Paul Press, " i s a trump card i n the hands of American diplomacy ... by which, i f r i g h t l y played, every vestige of B r i t i s h power may be swept from the Western h a l f of the continent." Prominent Minnesotans urged a p o l i c y of annexation upon President U. S. Grant and Secretary of State, Hamilton F i s h . Fish, i n turn, pointing out that "the topographical condition of the country precludes intimate commercial r e l a t i o n s between Canada and the Selkirk settlement", brought pressure on the B r i t i s h minister at Washington f o r the annexation of the Hudson's Bay Company lands to the United States. Inflammatory newspaper material even found i t s way into State Department reports prepared f o r the information of the United States Senate. One such a r t i c l e viewed the troubles i n the Northwest as "a prov i d e n t i a l opportunity [for B r i t a i n ] to s e t t l e the Alabama claims with the cession of a country whose destinies God has indis s o l u b l y wedded to ours by geogra-graphical a f f i n i t i e s which no human power can sunder, as He 109 has divorced i t from Canada by physical barriers which no human g power can overcome."7 And why shouldn't mere United States Senators lend the Almighty a helping hand?10 In these circumstances, Prime Minister John A. Macdonald was understandably apprehensive. Writing to Charles Brydges in 1870, he expressed his fears and intentions: "It is quite evident to me ... that the United States Government are resolved to do a l l they can, short of war, to get possession of the western territory and we must take immediate and vigorous steps to counteract them."11 To many other Canadians, during the fir s t few years of union, i t seemed that, i f the West was to be saved and the broad concept of Confederation realized, the infant nation would have to act — and quickly. After i n i t i a l bungling which alienated the French-speaking majority in Red River while encouraging American annexationists, Macdonald did embark on a course of skilfully blended force and diplomacy which pacified the metis, confounded the American expansionists, and brought the Northwest into the Canadian union. An important strand of his policy was the building of the Dawson Route. # i£ ;£ 3^ Travel, trade, and communications between Canada and Red River during the 1850's and early 1860's had been almost entirely via Minnesota. Clearly, i f the North-West Territories and Rupert's Land were to become Canadian, there would have to be an all-Canadian transportation route linking East and West. 110 I n f l u e n t i a l voices had been raised i n support of t h i s concept during the years before Confederation and preliminary action had been taken, both by government and Toronto business people. But private enterprise, i t seemed, could not bridge the rock and water expanse between Superior and the Red, and government a c t i v i t y had long since ceased. With the approach of Confeder-ation, however, the question of communications — sharpened by the obvious threat from the south — assumed a new import-ance. Not least among Canadian considerations was that of defending t h e i r heritage i n the West. In February, 1867, S i r John Michel, Commander-in-Chief of the B r i t i s h forces i n North America, addressed himself to the problem. His conclus-ions were depressing. "The r e s u l t of t h i s examination shows", he wrote a f t e r dismissing a l l e x i s t i n g routes as impracticable, "that i n the event of war ... Fort Garry i s e f f e c t u a l l y i s o l a t e d from Canada, and that i n any case, u n t i l canals or railways are constructed, the United States possess the only channel through which a l l the trade of the Red River settlement must 12 pass." Turning to the idea of a railway v i a Fort William, Michel pointed to "vast natural d i f f i c u l t i e s . 1st, A r i s e of 800 feet Jto the height of landj i n the f i r s t 50 miles. 2nd, 100 [sic] miles s t e r i l i t y and swamp, u n f i t f o r settlement." He added that " i t i s doubtful whether a water communication, safe f o r defensive purposes, can ever be made from the S e t t l e -ment to Lake Superior." The peroration revealed the motive behind the memorandum: "On a careful consideration of the I l l whole question, the opinion I have formed i s , that u n t i l a safe communication f o r m i l i t a r y purposes i s completed between Canada and Fort Garry, either the union of the Hudson's Bay T e r r i t o r y to Canada or the creation of a Crown Colony at the Red River Settlement would be a source of weakness and danger, both to Canada and England." Michel's pessimistic (but not e n t i r e l y u n r e a l i s t i c ) prognosis was prompted by a p e t i t i o n from a number of Red River s e t t l e r s and was written i n the understanding that "Canada negotiates to take over the t e r r i t o r y of the Company, under 13 the protection of Great B r i t a i n . " ' Four months l a t e r , i n his capacity of Administrator of the Government of Canada, Michel.approved a report of an Executive Council committee. 1^ The report endorsed an appended memorandum from the Commissioner of Crown Lands which urged that a road be constructed from Thunder Bay to Dog Lake and that the l e v e l of that lake be 15 raised to f a c i l i t a t e navigation towards Lac Des M i l l e Lacs. v Behind these recommendations was the advice of Simon J . Dawson who, i n the matter of communications, proved to be a better guide and prophet than either Gladman or Hind. On the assumption that the amount expended would form a claim upon the new Dominion, money was drawn from the Colon-i z a t i o n Road Fund of Upper Canada and work begun i n August, 1867.**"^  On 10 August, two work parties disembarked at Fort William. One of them, numbering some f i f t y men, was l e d by James W. Bridgland, Superintendent of Colonization Roads. 112 Its job was to build a good road more or less along the 1859 line surveyed between Depot and Dog Lake. The second, directed by Simon Dawson and consisting of about twenty men, set about constructing a dam to raise the level of Dog Lake. On 16 September, Bridgeland returned to Toronto, leaving John A. Snow in charge of operations. By the end of October, Snow had completed six miles of road. Dawson, in the meantime, had built two barges and prepared a quantity of timber for the Dog 17 Lake dam. ' So ended the short working season of 1867. Several months later Dawson compared the Pigeon River and Seine River routes with the old Northwest Company waterway and'con-cluded that "the old canoe route wi l l be, both as to economy of work in rendering i t available, and faci l i ty of managing 18 and navigating i t afterwards, the best." The season of 1868 was, however, to bring changes. For one thing, Dawson altered his plan for a route by way of Dog Lake; for another, the Ontario Department of Crown Lands gave way to the federal Department of Public Works. From this date forward the central agency was to direct the charting, construction, and operation of the route. About a decade later, incomplete, and already made obsolete by the ribbons of steel creeping westward from the Lakehead, the Dawson Route was abandoned. In the interim, however, i t stood as one of the strangest and most colourful transportation routes of Canadian history — a stop-gap, patchwork anachronism straddling the era of the vovageur and that of the railway. Photo: B. M. Litteljohn Detail of A. L. Russell*s 1868 map, compiled from S. J . Dawson's exploratory surveys and maps in the Department of Crown Lands, showing the Dog Lake Tra i l , Depot, and a portion of the Dog Lake canoe route. This was drawn just prior to Dawson's discovery of the route via the valley of the Matawin River. 114 In large degree, the communication was the creation of its namesake. Its chief long-term publicist, Dawson was to become the route's f irst superintendent. And, beginning with the explorations of 1857, he was to maintain continuous and close contact with the area through which i t passed until his death in 1902. His long connection with the route and its environs was, in turn, to advance him as a respected expon-ent of the area. In retrospect, he appears as the leading representative of what was to become Northwestern Ontario and an effective and underrated pioneer of national expansion. And, unlike some of those who are remembered as champions of the Northwest, Dawson earned his spurs on the ground. When he wrote and spoke of the area, he did so out of the experience of travelling i t and working with its people. His sympathetic understanding of the metis and the Ojibwa was unusual and strik-ing; his eye for its commercial possibilities was keen; its mines, mosquitoes, muskegs, portages, prairies, waterways, and fur traders were known to him. And his mind and pen were 19 equal to the task of expressing the country and its potential. Much of his experience was gained during the explorations of 1857-59; he was to learn more when, in 1868, he set out in earnest to conquer the difficult terrain west of Superior. The job was a big one, but Dawson was a man of great enthusiasm and considerable abil i ty. A c i v i l engineer and c i v i l servant, his many reports are studded with almost poetic references to the Northwest, references which suggest that the man was inspired 115 by something approximating an expansionist v i s i o n . Here he writes of the Shield country west of Lake Superior: "Go i n whatever d i r e c t i o n he w i l l , the explorer, on passing over a mountain range, i s sure to stumble on a lake.... So numerous are they, that i t would be d i f f i c u l t to say whether the country would be better described as one vast lake with ridges of land running through i t , or as land intersected by water. On as-cending any of the bare rocky b l u f f s frequent i n the country, mountains are seen stretching away i n tumultuous and broken ridges to the horizon, with lakes gleaming from every v a l l e y 20 which the eye can reach." And here he i s on the p r a i r i e , the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow: "To conclude, there i s a b e a u t i f u l and f e r t i l e land of vast proportions, i n v i t i n g the husbandman to i t s v i r g i n s o i l . I f we, i n turn, i n v i t e and i n t e r e s t a l l influences i n the Dominion... to unite i n i t s development and i n d i r e c t i n g emigration and settlement to i t , the day i s not distant when a teeming population of m i l l i o n s w i l l f i n d there the means of prosperity and plenty i t would seem as i f t h i s remote country ... with i t s winding streams, i t s clumps of trees, and b e a u t i f u l green sward, and i t s herds of untamed c a t t l e , r i v a l s , i f i t does not surpass, i n many places, a l l the groves, lawns and plantations with which genius and a r t seek to adorn the habitations of c i v i l i z e d 21 l i f e . " Here, i n a passage worthy of Charles Mair, i s Dawson the romantic dreamer (as some hist o r i a n s have styled him), or Dawson the r h e t o r i c a l p o l i t i c i a n (he was to represent Algoma 1 1 6 i n the Ontario Legislature from 1875-78 and i n the Canadian House of Commons from 1878-91); c e r t a i n l y one wouldn't expect such a f l o r i d and enthusiastic outburst from a hard-headed government engineer/administrator. That he could combine the q u a l i t i e s of a l l three types, as well as being a competent wilderness t r a v e l l e r and highly knowledgeable frontiersman, seems not to have occurred to the few writers who have con-sidered him. Last — and t h i s i s p a r t i c u l a r l y evident i n his dealing with the Indians — he was a humane and decent man who exhibited none of the opinionated arrogance of h i s former colleague, Henry Youle Hind. Dawson's job was to put together a road, water, and portage route through some 450 miles of remote and extremely rugged wilderness. As the St. Paul Press would have i t , he set out to attack physical b a r r i e r s which God had erected and 22 which no human power could surmount. Perhaps the a r t i c l e might have added, however, that f a i t h can move mountains or that survey l i n e s can be run around them. Dawson, at any rate, begin by extending and r e f i n i n g the 1857-59 surveys of 23 the Red River Exploring Expedition. ^ The old l i n e from Pointe de Meurons to Arrow Lake and the International Boundary was re-examined and dismissed. Three others were considered.:, a l i n e running north to Dog Lake and roughly p a r a l l e l i n g the Kaministiquia River, a second cutting west across high ground from the eighteenth mile of the Dog Lake l i n e to end at Shebandowan Lake, and a t h i r d going through the v a l l e y of the 117 Matawin River and joining Shebandowan Lake and Thunder Bay. The last was chosen. It was to run west from the eighth mile of the Dog Lake line to the junction of the Matawin and Kaministiquia Rivers and then via the valley of the Matawin to the outlet of Lower Shebandowan Lake. Dawson's ultimate object was a forty-mile railroad to span this region, uninterrupted water navigation for 310 miles in the interior lake region (to be made possible by a complex and exceedingly ambitious series of dams and locks), and a ninety-mile r a i l line from Lake of the Woods to Fort Garry. For the moment, however, he set out to "make a good waggon road from Lake Superior to the waters of the dividing plateau at Shebandowan Lake , improve the navigation from thence Westward in as far as i t can be rapidly done, in the fi r s t instance, and make a good waggon road from the Lake of the Woods to Fort Garry."2^ This he saw as being "an absolutely necessary and essential step towards making the country accessible, whatever scale of improvement may be adopted in the future, and,"' he added, " i t would have the immediate effect of opening a channel by which immigration could reach the country, while i t would, at the same time, draw the trade of the North-West Territories to Canada."2^ By the end of the 1868 working season, Dawson had spent $3,100 on surveys, and had concluded that a good wa.gon road to Lake Shebandowan (including bridges and a pier at Thunder Bay) would cost $80,000.27 He had also decided that the level Photo: B. M. L i t t e l j o h n From H. C. Lloyd's M S . plan. The Thunder Bay road i s traced over i n yellow; the Dog Lake T r a i l i s traced over i n orange. H M oa 119 of Lake Shebandowan should be raised t h i r t y feet by means of a dam at i t s o u t l e t . This would provide uninterrupted navi-gation from a point on the "Matawin" (Shebandowan) River, two and a h a l f miles from i t s head, to the height of land. Dawson thought the dam would cost about $12,000 but call e d f o r addi-ng t i o n a l surveys to assess the p r a c t i c a b i l i t y of his scheme. Most important, with his adoption of a l i n e v i a the v a l l e y of the Matawin and Shebandowan Rivers (see map on following page), Dawson had completed the basic design of the route. To open a "preliminary communication" across the route would cost, he estimated, $247,200. He quickly added that t h i s might appear to be a small sum with which to undertake the opening of the Northwest, "amounting as i t does to l i t t l e more than the cost 29 of eight or ten miles of railway." Construction of the Thunder Bay Road began during the summer of 1869. Before that time, however, rather momentous events related to the Dawson Route had taken place at i t s western terminus. In July, 1868, calamity struck the already troubled Red River Settlement. I t came i n the form of locusts which devoured the crops. To make matters worse, "the buffalo hunters instead of furnishing t h e i r large share of provisions ... arrived 30 starving from t h e i r usual hunting grounds." The Settlement was faced with famine and appealed f o r outside help. The response was generous: money f o r food was raised by the Hudson's Bay Company, the State of Minnesota, and the c i t i z e n s of Ottawa and St. Paul. The Government of Canada took a d i f f e r e n t approach. 121 I t decided to begin the construction of the westernmost section of the Dawson Route as a r e l i e f project — labourers from Red River to be employed at the rate of about $18.00 per month. Unfortunately, the project was i n some ways i l l - c o n s i d e r e d and i n most ways il l - a d m i n i s t e r e d . For one thing, negotiations f o r the transfer of Rupert's Land to Canada had not yet been concluded. In short, the f e d e r a l Department of Public Works was setting out to b u i l d a road i n t e r r i t o r y where i t had no j u r i s d i c t i o n . This did not deter i t s injudicious emmisaries from behaving as i f Assiniboia was already an adjunct of the Dominion. In t h i s , they followed the lead of t h e i r minister, William McDougall, who f o r some time had contended that the Hudson's Bay Company had no t i t l e to the area. John A. Snow, 31 the project superintendent, was, however, instructed to ask Governor William McTavish fo r permission to proceed once he  had a r r i v e d i n Red River. He received McTavish's verbal con-sent i n l a t e October. Nevertheless, the Company r i g h t f u l l y objected to the government's aggressive and extra-legal attitude i n l e t t e r s to the Colonial O f f i c e . 3 2 Questions of l e g a l r i g h t did not, however, blunt the enthusiastic welcome accorded Snow by many of those who foresaw a long, hungry winter. Unfortunately, t h i s good w i l l was soon dissipated at the hands of Snow and his paymaster, Charles M a i r . 3 3 The actions of these two men, ostensibly i n the area to forward the well-being of i t s inhabitants, are d i f f i c u l t to c r e d i t . They embarked on a series of blunders which r e f l e c t e d 122 t h e i r arrogance, r a c i a l bigotry, greed, and ignorance of the country and i t s people. They began by almost immediately i d e n t i f y i n g themselves with Shultz and the "Canadian party". This, i n i t s e l f , was grounds f o r suspicion on the part of the mi t i s . Second, they f a i l e d to explain c l e a r l y the purpose of t h e i r mission and brought a d d i t i o n a l mistrust upon themselves by h i r i n g many of t h e i r crew from among a group of recent Canadian immigrants. The crew, which numbered about f o r t y , made matters worse by buying lands from the Indians which were already claimed by members of the metis community. Both Snow and Mair were, themselves, accused of t h i s sharp practice and Snow was shown to have sold l i q u o r to the Indians — quite possibly i n the in t e r e s t s of acquiring land. Two addit i o n a l aspects of t h i s mishandled project must be recorded: f i r s t , that the workers soon became disenchanted with low wages and the high food prices they had to pay at the store of Dr. Shultz (where they were obliged to deal, much to t h e i r d i s l i k e ) , and, second, that Charles Mair, a talented j o u r n a l i s t and aspiring poet, had l e t t e r s published i n Canada which too often disparaged 35 the French half-breeds while implying his own supe r i o r i t y . In terms of providing r e l i e f the project was worse than a f a i l -ure. I t contributed i n substantial measure to the metis d i s -t r u s t which culminated i n the R i e l resistance of the following y e a r . 3 ^ I t also indicated that "easterners" such as Mair, Snow, McDougall, and even John A. Macdonald, r e l i e d too much on the Nor'Wester, the Globe, and men l i k e Shultz f o r t h e i r 123 knowledge o f the Northwest. But Snow and Mair were i n A s s i n i b o i a t o b u i l d a road as w e l l as t o pro v i d e r e l i e f . I t may even be t h a t the r e l i e f aspect o f the p r o j e c t was p r i m a r i l y a d e v i c e t o g a i n a f o o t h o l d 38 on the t e r r i t o r y and be g i n c o n s t r u c t i o n . Snow commenced o p e r a t i o n s near the Oak P o i n t Settlement (the Ste. Anne des Chenes o f tod a y ) , about t h i r t y m i l e s east o f F o r t Garry. He chose t h i s l o c a t i o n f o r s e v e r a l reasons: i t was on the l i n e recommended by Dawson; i t was a l r e a d y a c c e s s i b l e from Red R i v e r by means of a p r a i r i e c a r t t r a c k ; and i t marked the edge o f the wooded (and swampy) country extending east t o Lake o f the Woods (see map on next page). Between 9 November, 1868, and 1 A p r i l , 1869, Snow's men cut twenty-eight m i l e s o f rough t r a i l east o f Oak P o i n t and l a i d f a s c i n e s a c r o s s 2£ m i l e s 39 of swampy ground. ^ The f o l l o w i n g season — begi n n i n g on 30 June and ending on 6 December, 1869 — saw l i t t l e work ac-complished. The t r a c k was extended t o 29i m i l e s and improved, a depot was c o n s t r u c t e d a t Oak P o i n t , and some f u r t h e r survey-i n g was done. I n the meantime Snow gave a s s i s t a n c e t o P u b l i c Works surveyor C o l o n e l Stoughton Dennis who undertook surveys a t Oak Po i n t and Red R i v e r w i t h d i s a s t r o u s and well-known r e -s u l t s . On 6 January, 1870, Snow l e f t F o r t Garry, having spent $39,491.51 on c o n s t r u c t i o n . ^ " 0 There i s a c e r t a i n i r o n y i n h i s subsequent d e c l a r a t i o n t h a t , "had i t not been f o r the un-f o r t u n a t e and unforseen occurences r e s u l t i n g i n the stoppage of the work, the road, i n a l l p r o b a b i l i t y , would have been Broken. JCL-This map ( scale: 10 miles to 1 inch ), is based on "Map Shewing Line of Route between Lake Superior and Red River Settlement, compiled from S. J. Dawson9s Exploratory Surveys and Maps in Dept. of Crown Lands„ Ont."s by A. L. Russell 9 Toronto9 1869. The map accompanied Dawson's "Report of 1869", in Russell 9 The Red River.... Mite tfotd-k. R • Hou.fk •p-125 opened to the Lake of the Woods in the Spring [sic], or at least, early in the ensuing summer."^ "1" In fact, Snow had only partially completed a l i t t l e more than one quarter of the Fort Garry Road. In round figures, the improved track had cost #1,300 per mile.^ 2 Not until 1&71 was the Fort Garry Road opened for stage travel. And when work was resumed in 1870, i t was conducted without the services of Snow.^ "3 On 19 May, 1869, Dawson wrote to McDougall urging "the expediency of proceeding as soon as possible with the work on the road leading from Thunder Bay to the navigable waters of the interior section."^ On 9 June he was authorized to re-sume operations but an appropriation for that purpose was not made available unti l 1 July. Five days later Dawson sailed from Collingwood and by 10 July about 200 men were being organ-ized into gangs to work on the Thunder Bay Road. When the season ended in late October they had, despite a protracted period of heavy rains, built twenty-five miles of road and cut an additional ten miles of rough track. ' In addition, a bridge had been built across Strawberry Creek (see map on following page), timber had been prepared for the Kaministiquia Bridge, the surveys had been completed to Shebandowan Lake, and a stable and a storehouse had been constructed at Depot. By this time, too, Dawson had sent a party of Iroquois and Ojibwa Indians to Fort Frances to facilitate the negotiation of a treaty with the natives along the line of route, and had established a police force of six men. He explained the reasons This map ( scale: 4 miles to 1 inch ) is based on "Plan Shewing the Height of Land between the waters of the St. Lawrence and Winnipeg on the Red River Route% by H. C. Lloyd ( n.d.p Lands and Surveys Branch, plan no. 023-23 ), and "Plan of Mr. Dawson's Road from Thunder Bay to Lake Shebandowan"9 in Captain G. L. Huyshe« The Red River  Expedition ( London,, 1871 ). Lloyd was an employee of the Crown Lands Departments, apparentlye and his plan appears to have been drawn about 1872. H A ? KTO. 11 \ \ Creek 1 v> Continuous A r T W s H f . 127 f o r t h i s l a t t e r action i n a l e t t e r of 24 September: The depot at which the headquarters are at present established, was formerly an Indian camping ground, and has always been a favorable resort with the native popu-l a t i o n i n summer. On our a r r i v a l we found at t h i s place two shops i n which i n t o x i c a t i n g l i q u o r s were sold, besides which there were various traders i n the neighbourhood who disposed of ardent s p i r i t s . This a r t i c l e , so baneful to the Indians, was also sold l a r g e l y from the steamers whenever they arrived. The demoralizing influences thus produced may be r e a d i l y conceived. I t was d i f f i c u l t at times to f i n d a sober Indian, and I apprehended e v i l consequences from the presence of so much li q u o r , e a s i l y obtainable, on the workmen on the l i n e , more es p e c i a l l y i f they should come i n contact with inebriated Indians. I t , therefore, became a matter of necessity to stop t h i s t r a f f i c . 2 * - 6 In the same document, Dawson provided a good description of the western two-thirds of the Thunder Bay Road-line, noting that, "from the eighteenth mile post westward, there i s a com-plete change i n the character of the country as regards s o i l and rock. The Laurentian h i l l s give place to mountains of high and other i n t r u s i v e rocks .... The s o i l , over a consider-able distance, i s of a s t i f f red clay .... The road-line winds along mountain slopes and through deep v a l l e y s without, however, deviating l a r g e l y from a straight general course." By the end of October, when a l l but s i x t y of the men departed by the l a s t steamer f o r Collingwood, much work had been accomplished i n t h i s d i f f i c u l t t e r r a i n . The cost was, however, high. On 12 January, 1870, Dawson was reminded of t h i s i n a note from Braun: "I am directed by the Honourable the Minister of Public Works to acquaint you that i t has been reported to the Government that the road, now under construction between Fort William and Lake Shebandowan, i s costing $2,000 128 per mile.... The Minister w i l l be glad to be furnished with an explanatory statement from you on the subject."^ 7 On the whole, the road work had progressed f a i r l y s a t i s -f a c t o r i l y . The problem of improving navigation across the height of land was, however, more d i f f i c u l t . In l i n e with Dawson's suggestion of the previous summer, an engineering survey party, l e d by Thomas Monro, was sent to Fort William i n August, 1869, to look into t h i s matter. Monro spent t h i r t y -seven days on and around Lake Shebandowan. His object was to see i f Dawson's plan of r a i s i n g the l e v e l of that lake by t h i r t y feet was possible. In the end he rejected the idea as im-practicable on the grounds that water loss by evaporation, by i n f i l t r a t i o n , and by leakage at the proposed dam, would be excessive. The whole scheme was, i n Monro's view, the r e s u l t L.8 of a "mere explorer dabbling i n the business of an engineer." He did, however, put forward an a l t e r n a t i v e plan which involved r a i s i n g the l e v e l of Shebandowan by f i v e feet, thus deepening i t s shallow reaches. This was eventually done. I t seems, however, that the high costs of construction at both ends of the route and the generally negative tenor of Monro's comments had raised serious doubts i n the minds of some observers. John Page, Chief Engineer of the Department of Public Works, examined both Dawson's and Monro's reports, and then recommended explorations west of Lake Nipigon v i a the English River to investigate the p o s s i b i l i t y of an easier route to the Red River Settlement.- 5 0 On 12 May, 1870, the Secretary 129 of State, on behalf of the House of Commons, commanded that copies of reports on "Dawson's proposed l i n e of Canal or water communication through the North-West T e r r i t o r y " be l a i d before 51 the House. By t h i s time, however, events i n Red River had marked the route as being of p o t e n t i a l strategic use; and Dawson had been instructed "to make every possible provision for the passage of a m i l i t a r y force... through the untravelled and little-known region l y i n g between Lake Superior and the Red River Settlement." 5 2 By the time the Manitoba Act of May, 1870, had created a province i n what had been Rupert's Land, Dawson was able to report that eighty men were at work on the road and that the Kaministiquia and Matawin Rivers had been bridged during the winter as well as the more considerable of the smaller streams, "so that, p r a c t i c a l l y , the work of bridging may be considered as completed. v > He added that an additional 170 men would be on the job as soon as steamers, on the opening of navigation, could bring them. But much remained to be done, as was made dramatically clear i n the spring of 1870 when the m i l i t a r y expedition arrived at Depot.^ The expeditionary force, composed of Canadian m i l i t i a supported by B r i t i s h regulars, and commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Garnet J. Wolseley, was part of the Government's answer to metis unrest i n the v i c i n i t y of Fort Garry and expansionist sentiment i n the United States. I t was also intended to pro-tect the settlement against possible attack by Plains Indians 130 (including a substantial number of Sioux refugees from the Minnesota Massacre of 1862), and to show Americans that Britain supported Canada's claim to the Northwest. Sir John, aware of the expansionist temper in Washington and the somewhat re-mote but possible danger of a Fenian invasion across the 49th parallel, put i t this way, "the sending of some of Her Majesty's troops there wi l l show the United States Government and people that England is resolved not to abandon her Colonies, or is indifferent to the future of the Great West."5 5 The expedition was to be peaceful rather than punitive; i t would parade the flag, flourish the sword, safely usher Manitoba into Confeder-ation, and return home. To many of the rank and f i l e , however, its major purpose was to avenge the "murder" of Thomas Scott, an unruly young Orangeman executed by Louis Riel . Whatever its purpose, the f irst task of the Red River Expedition was to get across some 600 miles of wilderness be-56 tween Thunder Bay and Fort Garry. But when the troops dis-embarked from lake steamers at Depot (renamed Prince Arthur's Landing by Wolseley), they found the road, which was to run for forty-five miles to Shebandowan Lake, only partially completed and the rest of the route in an almost undeveloped state. In January, 1870, Dawson had written that the line of portages between Lake Superior and Lake of the Woods would be "in readiness as well-opened portage roads by the time the f irst Steamers reach Lake Superior on the opening of navigation." 5 7 He had also promised that the Lake Superior road would be com-The Public Archives of Canada "Red River Expedition. — Unloading stores at Prince Arthur's Landing." In Canadian I l l u s t r a t e d News, 2 July, 1870, p. 8 132 pleted by the end of May. Dawson, however, had an enormous task on h i s hands during the winter and spring. Aside from constructing long roads over d i f f i c u l t t e r r a i n at the eastern and western ends of the route, he had to clear long-neglected portages deep i n the i n t e r i o r of the country, place boats on the inland lakes (including a small steam launch on Shebandowan Lake), arrange f o r the construction and delivery of 150 boats from various parts of Canada f o r the purpose of troop trans-portation, and take steps to pacify the rather r e s t l e s s and "powerful" (as Dawson termed them) Saulteux Indians who roved 59 the country en route. To achieve these ends Dawson dispatched a Mr. Pether of Fort William to secure good re l a t i o n s with the Indians at Fort Frances and saw to i t that large crews of voyageurs and axe-men were at work before the f i r s t contingent of Wolseley's men arrived at the Lakehead. As soon as was possible Dawson increased the strength of his work crew to 800 — most of them hired to double as voyageurs. But Dawson was plagued by serious and l a r g e l y unforseeable d i f f i c u l t i e s . The working season was lamentably short i n the country north of Superior, and 120 of his workers, expected at the beginning of the season, were detained when the United States authorities obstructed the expedition at the Sault Ste. Marie canal. Dawson calculated that t h i s delayed work on the Thunder Bay road by two to three weeks. Then there were the forest f i r e s of mid-May which swept along the route destroying some of the crib-work, one bridge, and disrupting the construction gangs. 133 "So general was the conflagration", wrote Dawson, "that the whole country seemed on flame .... The buildings at the depot were saved with d i f f i c u l t y , and nearly a l l the s e t t l e r s ' and miners' houses i n the v i c i n i t y of Thunder Bay were burned." The f i r e s were followed almost immediately by heavy rains which made a muddy mess of sections of the road and brought the r i v e r s and creeks to flood l e v e l s . Ensign J. J . B e l l , of the F i r s t (Ontario) Battalion of Riflemen, counted f i f t e e n days of r a i n i n June and eight during the f i r s t sixteen days of July. A l l things considered, i t i s l i t t l e wonder that Dawson was not ready to accommodate the 1,400 men and 150 large boats of the Wolseley Expedition. Undue delay, however, might have destroyed the useful-ness of the expedition. And so, faced with the immediate necessity of getting t h e i r supplies and 30-foot boats to the head of navigation at Shebandowan, detachments of soldiers laboured shoulder to shoulder with Dawson's work-parties, racing against time to complete the task: Work we each day and work we well, The forest 'round, i t s t a l e w i l l t e l l . And roads are cut from Thunder Bay, F u l l s i x and f o r t y miles away, To where the running Matawin, Ebbs from the Lake Shebandowan. Whilst Dawson's features i n r e l i e f c l e a r l y (as i f by chance) Are seen, with his peculiar step and strangely piercing glance." 2 The biggest transportation job involved moving the boats (which varied i n weight from 65O pounds to 950 pounds). Dawson's Toronto Public L i b r a r i e s Wolseley Expedition camp at McVicar's Creek, Prince Arthur's Landing, 1870; from a water colour by William Armstrong. Armstrong painted a great many pictures of the country between Lake Superior and the Red River. His work i s of considerable value to historians interested i n that area. He was a c i v i l engineer and was appointed chief engineer of Wolseley's expedition. He also functioned as a news correspondent during that expedition. Many of his water colours of Northwestern Ontario are held by the Toronto Public Library and the Canadiana Gallery of the Royal Ontario Museum, while many others are i n private c o l l e c t i o n s . 135 plan was to load the craft, bottom upwards, on waggons and then to pull them twenty-five miles with teams of horses to the Matawin bridge, where the relatively passable section of road ended. While this was in progress the work crews would be concentrated on the unfinished sections of the line. Twenty-eight boats were sent forward by this means, the horses making the round trip in three days. Wolseley, however, im-patient with delay, decided to take the boats up the Kaministiquia River, despite the great difficulties involved, and against the good advice of Dawson. The f irst brigade of boats ar-rived badly battered at the Matawin bridge, fourteen days after setting out. Wolseley, nonetheless, persevered in his plan. Between 6 June and 6 July, 101 boats were forwarded to Young's Landing via the river by 556 voyageurs and 471 soldiers (most of whom might otherwise have been employed at road building). A special force of 120 voyageurs took the boats the next eight miles to Brown's Lane and then regular crews rowed, poled, and pulled them seven miles to the Oskondaga River where they were ]oaded on waggons, hauled four miles by road, and, f inally, put back in the river, to be floated the last three miles to Shebandowan. The cost in labour, materials, and time was enormous. In transporting stores up one section of river, alone, wrote Ensign Bell , "it took thirteen hours of hard work with oar, pole and tracking line, to ascend, while the empty boats ran down for another load in one hour."64 Lieutenant Snelling recorded the risks involved: "On my first trip up "Expedition to the Red River i n 1870 under S i r Garnet Wolseley. Advanced Guard crossing a Portage." By Frances Ann Hopkins. From an o i l painting i n the Public Archives of Canada. ~0 The Public Archives of Canada "Kakabeka F a l l s and Portage" by William Armstrong. In Canadian I l l u s t r a t e d News, 7 Oct., 1871, pp. 232-233. Armstrong, who accompanied the Wolseley Expedition, shows the s o l d i e r s and voyageurs portaging around the f a l l s . M 139 the crew were engaged tracking up a dangerous rapid. The stern of the boat gave a swing and s t r i k i n g on a rock was shivered to a thousand pieces. Our f i r s t work was to search f o r the two voyageurs who were on board at the time ... but with great d i f f i c u l t y they were got on shore .... None of the cargo was saved." ? Dawson, j u s t i f i a b l y so, had some 66 comments of his own. He observed that by about 2 0 June, " i t had become necessary to spread so many people along the River, i n t h i s toilsome work of dragging boats up rocky channels that, much to my regret, I was compelled to reduce the force on the road." He added that, "the boats suffered t e r r i b l y , row-locks were l o s t , and oars i n quantity broken, and the t o o l chests were almost depleted of t h e i r contents." He also c a l -culated that i t cost | 3 0 0 to transport each boat v i a the r i v e r as against $ 2 0 to $ 2 5 by way of road. F i n a l l y , he pointed out that on 2 August, seven boats were sent by waggon to Shebandowan i n considerably le s s than two days, and that they arri v e d "fresh and sound as they came from the hand of the builder." Despite the admiration generally accorded Wolseley, he must be faulted on his r i v e r transportation p o l i c y . I t had yet another r e s u l t , f o r the voyageurs. a rough, ready, and independent-minded l o t who, as expert rivermen, recognized the foolishness of t h e i r long and arduous chore, began to abandon the project i n disgust. Among those who l e f t were many l o c a l Indians (much needed guides) from Nipigon, Fort William, and Grand Portage. Photo: K. C. A. Dawson Calderon's Landing today, on the Matawin River, Dawson Route. Photo: K. C. A. Dawson Location of the old Matawin Bridge, Dawson Route The Public Archives of Canada D e t a i l of "Map of both sides of the International Boundary between Lake Superior and Lake of the Woods", by John Farmer, 1829. The map shows the obstructions along the Dog Lake and Pigeon River canoe routes i n considerable d e t a i l . I t i s included, primarily, to indicate the numerous obstructions along the r i v e r between Fort William and the mouth of the "Malaway". Wolseley's boat transportation policy did not show s u f f i c i e n t respect f o r these. 143 Many of those c a l l e d "voyageurs" by Dawson were ac t u a l l y men of the lumberman's f r o n t i e r : r i v e r - d r i v e r s , boatmen, and timber-raftsmen. They came from the St. Maurice, Saguenay, Ottawa, and Trent River valleys and from the borders of Lakes Huron and Superior. There were metis, too, many of them from Penetanguishene and Manitoulin Island as well as a few from Red River. And, while the great days of the true voyageur canoe brigades had passed into history, these men, and the Indians employed from the Lake Superior d i s t r i c t , would have seen and l i k e l y paddled many a Candt du Nord. F i n a l l y , about 100 Caughnawaga-Iroquois were used, some of whom had paddled f o r S i r George Simpson. Wolseley, himself, and a few of his o f f i c e r s , t r a v e l l e d by North Canoe, but the troops went by row-boat. Oars, not paddles, were the order of the day. Nevertheless, many of the s k i l l s required by Dawson and Wolseley were those required of the voyageurs of former days, and there c e r t a i n l y were some bona f i d e canoemen involved. To t h i s extent the undertaking might be regarded as a genuine voyageur project — a somewhat bastardized reminder of the old days along the canoe routes. I f the voyageurs had t h e i r work cut out f o r them so, too, did the s o l d i e r s . Many of them — unaccustomed to l i f e on the wilderness f r o n t i e r , and fancying themselves as glamorous saviors of the Canadian West — had trouble adjusting to the r e a l i t i e s of mud, r a i n , b l a c k f l i e s , and unadorned hard labour. They ex-pressed t h e i r feelings i n the words of the expedition song: 144 The Wolseley Expedition crossing a portage below Kakabeka Falls, from an o i l painting by Frances Ann Hopkins, in the Public Archives of Canada. Mrs. Hopkins, the wife of Edward Martin Hopkins who was personal secretary to Sir George Simpson, accompanied the Wolseley Expedition in 1870. This painting originally belonged to Lord Wolseley. See Grace Lee Nute, "Voyageurs' Artist", Beaver, June, 1947, p. 3 2 f f . 145 'Twas o n l y as a v o l u n t e e r t h a t I l e f t my abode, /•„ I n e v e r t h o u g h t o f coming here t o work upon t h e r o a d . ' F o r some o f t h e v o l u n t e e r s i t must have seemed a l o n g way from T o r o n t o ' s C r y s t a l P a l a c e (where many o f them had f i t t e d o u t ) t o t h e muck and mosquitoes o f t h e Thunder Bay r o a d . Among t h e i r number was Hugh John Macdonald ( t h e Prime M i n i s t e r ' s son) who n o t e d t h a t , i n c i y i l i z e d r e g i o n s , t h e r o a d p o r t i o n s o f t h e r o u t e "would pass f o r a v e r y r e s p e c t a b l e swamp". F o r Macdonald t h e w o r s t o f i t was, as he put i t , " the damned s t i f f r e d c l a y t h a t s t i c k s t o ones f e e t l i k e t h e d e v i l " . He went on t o n ote t h a t he was " a l r e a d y b e g i n n i n g t o swear a l i t t l e . " One s u s p e c t s t h a t h i s v o c a b u l a r y was g r e a t l y expanded by t h e t i m e he r e a c h e d F o r t G a r r y . The Thunder Bay Road was o n l y t h e f i r s t l e g o f t h e l o n g and v a r i e d r o u t e t o t h e West; and by 16 J u l y , t h e b o a t s p a t c h e d up a f t e r t h e i r rough r i v e r t r i p , t h e t r o o p s began t o push o f f f r om t h e sandy beach o f M c N e i l l ' s Bay a t t h e e a s t e r n end o f 69 Lake Shebandowan. 7 F o r some 5 5 $ ) m i l e s now t h e r o u t e would be one o f l a k e s , r i v e r s and p o r t a g e s ; and so t h e s i x - o a r e d b o a t s , manned by e i g h t s o l d i e r s and two o r t h r e e v o y a g e u r s . s e t o f f on t h e t r a i l o f t h e I n d i a n and f u r t r a d e r . Now t h e y would g e t a r e a l t a s t e o f t h e pays d'en h a u t : t h e l a n d o f w i l d r i v e r s , g l a c i e r - s c o u r e d g r a n i t e , and B l a c k Spruce swamps. N o r t h f rom Shebandowan t h e y p u l l e d a c r o s s Kashabowie Lake, p o r t a g e d o v e r t h e h e i g h t o f l a n d , and t h e n headed west t h r o u g h Lac Des M i l l e L a c s . From t h i s p o i n t , t h e l i n e o f t r a v e l bent s l i g h t l y t o t h e s o u t h , p a s s i n g d i r e c t l y a c r o s s t h e 146 the Quetico to converge with the historic border lakes route at Lac La Croix. Leaving La Croix by way of Loon Lake and River i t wound north-west via Sand Point and Namakan Lakes to once again strike west across the big water of Rainy Lake. Then came the beautiful valley of the Rainy River and the vast expanse of Lake of the Woods, followed by the Winnipeg River, Lake Winnipeg and, f i n a l l y , — six hundred miles from Prince Arthur's Landing — the Red River and Fort Garry (see map no.12, unbound). For the soldiers the t r i p meant hard work spiced with adventure. Threading their way among myriads of confusing islands, camping wherever nightfall found them, carving out portages, and running rapids; the men encountered a whole new 70 set of experiences. Many of them recorded the t r i p in jour-71 nals, some of which were later published. Samplings from these accounts provide a vivid picture of the journey as seen •> through the soldiers' eyes: Lt. H. W. Snelling (pp. 32-33), Shebandowan to the Height of Land Portage: as soon as a l l the arrangements were completed, the boats were f i t t e d out with masts, s a i l s , charts, compass, f i s h -ing nets ... also 52 days provisions of salt-pork and biscuits. The f i r s t Brigade then embarked and with three cheers we bid them farwell. The second brigade to which I belonged started two days afterwards, and a favourable wind blowing at the time, the sails were soon hoisted and we were flying through the water at speed of 10 or 12 knots an hour when we arrived at the Kashabowie Portage, 1710 yards in length and encamped for the night. at three o'clock the next morning, we were busily employed conveying our cargo and boats over the Portage but which we found no light work .... we encamped for the night and started at the usual hour, 1 4 7 148 3 o'clock, the next morning and rowed t i l l 12 o'clock when an halt was made for dinner .... in the evening we arrived at the Height of Land Portage, 1 mile in length, and encamped there. the following day was occupied in dragging the boats and carrying the cargo over. Lt. H. S. H. Riddell (p. 113), on the method of "dragging the boats": The boats were then hauled ashore, and the tow lines fastened to their bows. The men then harnassed them-selves with their portage-straps and slings to the tow-lines; and the boats, with a few men on either side to keep them on their keels, were dragged over the skids of wood laid down to serve as rollers along the portage. Lt. J. J. Bell (second paper, p. 103), food and drink en  route: After leaving Thunder Bay fresh meat was rarely seen. Most of the biscuit had been spoiled by the rain ... the only way to prepare the flour was by mixing i t with water into a batter and making pancakes in the frying pans. Such fare was not very suitable for men engaged in hard work, and many suffered from diarrhoea .... Occasionally a sturgeon might be had from the Indians in exchange for pork. A supply of blueberries, procured in the same way, formed an agreeable change of diet. No spirit ration was issued, probably the fi r s t ex-pedition undertaken by British troops in which intoxi-cating liquor was not served out daily' 2.... Absence of liquor was marked by absence of crime, as well as by the wonderful good health and spirits of the men. Lt. Riddell (p. 116), Lac des Milles Lacs to the head of the French River: After traversing the Lac des Milles Lacs, for a distance of 21 miles, the next portage, the Baril, was reached. Here we had to drag the boats up a steep incline of about 100 feet, and had very hard work. The Baril Portage, which leads into Baril Lake, is about 400 yards across. Eight miles across Baril Lake ... brought us to the Brule, or Side-Hill Portage, the scenery round which was very pretty. On leaving the portage the boats were poled down a narrow stream for a mile and a half, when we passed into Lake Windigoostigon, or Cannibal Lake, so called 149 ka,/e : J^jtnx. *f miles h d wcL . lac &x Hide LACS fr&nck fiver filkere/ (Joke/etj <fxj>eJ'ifcn f Line oJ font? $an/ late k ^furj^ Like The head of the French River (outlet of Windig-oostigwan Lake), on the Dawson Route, 1 9 6 4 . 151 i n commemoration of a deed of violence committed there by a band of Ojibways, i n the year 1811 .... A row of twelve miles brought us to the entrance to the French River, down which we went at a great pace .... The numerous shoals and rocks i n t h i s r i v e r made the navi-gation dangerous i n the extreme, and several boats r e-ceived damage that compelled the o f f i c e r s i n charge of them to run inshore and bivouac f o r the night. The Journal of the Expedition (p. 83), French Portage and River: At 2.15 P.M. reached French Portage, which i s 2 miles long, very h i l l y , and swampy [Huyshe c a l l e d i t "two miles long and a t r u l y dreadful portage. , rJ . A small winding stream connects Windegoostigou with French Lake .... About 3/4 mile down i t there are f a l l s , around which we cut out a new portage, so as to avoid the long and very bad old one. The new portage i s 440 yards long and very steep and. rocky .... Below the portage the stream [French River] i s deep, very narrow at places, and with such sharp turns that i t was d i f f i c u l t to get the long boats round them .... Encamped at foot of old portage on eastern side of French Lake.... In former times when t h i s portage was used as a great highway by the North-West Company, they kept carts on i t , and there i s s t i l l the remains of some old corduroy work to be seen i n i t s worst swamps. Captain Huyshe (pp. 122-124), French River and Lake: The new portage path descends a very steep h i l l , down which the stream find s i t s way, a l i t t l e to the east of the path i n a series of very pretty cascades .... Next morning, the 26th, we embarked again on the same stream, which now became deep and sluggish, too deep to pole and too narrow f o r rowing, but very pretty; i t s banks fringed with alder, tamarack, and pitch-pine, and occa-si o n a l l a r g e r trees of white and red pine. As we dropped l a z i l y down the current, enjoying the luxury of a morning pipe, an occasional young partridge would f l u t t e r away through the bushes ... numerous pigeons f l i t t e d about, and looked down at us from the l o f t y pines with wondering eyes.... we had to amuse ourselves by scaring them away from t h e i r perches by a loud shout, and then presenting imaginary guns at them as they flew away .... This stream connects Lake Windegoostigon with French Lake, a pretty c i r c u l a r basin l | miles i n diameter, surrounded by low h i l l s timbered with an extensive forest of red pine. 152 Lt. Riddell (pp. 116-117), French Lake to Deux Rivieres Portage: The French River flows into the Little French Lake? and another small river [[Pickerel River! flows thence into Lake Kaogassikok [now called Pickerel Lake^J . While crossing this lake, with a fine breeze behind us, we were overtaken by the mail canoe from Fort William to Fort Francis .... It was manned by two half-naked savages, who gave us their mail bags to look over, and allowed us to sort any letters and papers that there might be for our brigade. They seemed to fully appre-ciate the position they held, and pointed with great exultation to the small Union-Jack flying on the bow of their canoe, as they paddled swiftly away. The next Portage was the Pine [[Portage des MortsJ , 27 miles from the French Portage; thence across a small lake to the Portage des Deux Rivieres .... Captain Huyshe; (pp. 125-126), Dore Lake to Sturgeon Lake via Deux Rivieres Portage and Lake of Two Mountains ^ unnamed on recent mapsj: A row of a mile across Dore Lake brought us to the next portage, called Deux Rivieres, 750 yards long, and very steep and rocky. On f i r s t walking across this portage, i t seemed as i f i t would be almost impossible to lay down rollers for the boats up and down such steep h i l l s , but old Ignace and his crew of Iroquois (ten men), as-sisted by the voyageurs of the three brigades, made a capital road by five o'clock the next evening. At one spot they cut down two huge red pines, large enough to be the spars of a big ship, and, laying them lengthwise, put skids across on notches cut in the pines, and thus made a capital bridge across a ravine, lessening the ascent very much<J.... From Deux Rivieres Portage, the route leads through a narrow winding channel, overgrown with rushes and l i l i e s , into Sturgeon Lake, the most beautiful of the many beautiful lakes yet passed. The sudden contraction of the lake into a river breadth for a few yards amongst islands, and its abrupt opening into wide expanses of water, with deep and gloomy bays stretch-ing into the dark forest as far as the eye could reach, offered a picture of ever-changing bgauty. Halfway up this lake we met a large North-West [.North] canoe, manned by Iroquois Indians, and found that i t contained Mr. Simpson, M.P. for Algoma, and Mr. Pither [Pether, the Indian agent at Fort Francis^. 153 Senile : &jtpax. ¥ m<fes lb d tuck . !?lberel Lie (faojasnkol; L faux j{iu\eres 7 WftP Mo. 154 Photo: B. M . L i t t e l j o h n , 1963 P i c k e r e l (Kaogassikok) Lake, on the Dawson Route. The Public Archives of Canada "The Red River Expedition: Crossing a Portage." By-Captain G. L. Huyshe. In The Illustrated London News, 28 Oct., 1871, p. 404. The Public Archives of Canada "Deux Rivieres Portage, on the Red River Route," by William Armstrong. In Canadian I l l u s t r a t e d News. 14 Oct., 1871, p. 244. 157 Photo: B . M. L i t t e l j o h n A portion of Deux Rivieres Portage, on the Dawson Route, 1963. Photo: B. M. L i t t e l j o h n A portion of Deux Rivieres Porta much as i t was during the 1870's 159 Lt. Riddell (pp. 117-113), Sturgeon Lake to the Maligne River: At the mouth of Sturgeon River, leading into the beauti-ful lake of that name, we saw a sturgeon for the f i r s t time .... The King of Fishes did not reign very long in this instance, for he was no sooner seen than an ounce of shot put an end to his existence. The Indian who discovered i t was so excited, that he jumped out of the boat into the water, and returned, bearing the prize in triumph. He undertook to prepare i t for our supper; and the roe, artistically cooked by one of the officers, was voted most delicious by a l l who tasted.it.... After rowing the entire length of Sturgeon Lake Cabout 16 milesj ... we arrived at the River Maligne [called the Sturgeon' River in some accounts!, where there were several danger-ous rapids to be run. Journal of the Expedition (p. 84), Sturgeon Lake: The route is very winding, and owing to the numerous long bays extending in every direction, i t is very easy ... to go astray. Colonel Wolseley's party, in their canoe and gig, kept well ahead of Colonel Feilden's detachment a l l day, blazing trees at every point and turn of the route in such a manner that the marks can be seen at a considerable distance. Captain Huyshe (p. 127), on the method of blazing: We used to select a group of conspicuous trees at a point where the route turned to the right or left, and a couple of men would spring ashore with axes, lop off the lower branches, and strip the bark off for several feet, thus making a mark visible for a mile or more. After this plan had been adopted, the brigades in rear got on much better. Lt. Riddell (pp. 118-119), the rapids of the Maligne: At the f i r s t rapid, an Iroquois Indian, named Ignace, had been stationed with a band of skilled boatmen, con-sisting of Iroquois and French-Canadians, for the pur-pose of steering the boats down .... Ignace commenced his operations by turning everyone out of the boats, except four soldiers left in each to row. Three pilots, then got into each boat, and with their long paddles and sweeps, steered into the middle of the foaming waters. With a rush, and pulled as hard as the 160' Photo: Kenneth E. Kidd Near the head of the Maligne River, Dawson Route. Photo: Martha A. Kidd Twin F a l l s on the Maligne River, Island Portage i s to the l e f t . The Maligne was one of the most d i f f i c u l t portions of the route. 162 strong arms at work were capable of, the boats entered the rapids. The s l i g h t e s t mistake on the part of the steersman, and they would have been smashed to pieces on the huge rocks that we passed closer than was pleasant. Everyone worked as i f f o r his l i f e ; and the wild c r i e s of the Indians, as they shouted directions to each other i n t h e i r strange language, made those looking on from the shore f e e l c e r t a i n that some accident was going to happen; but the cheers and laughter of the crews, as the boats were pulled into smooth water at the foot of the rapids soon d i s p e l l e d the i l l u s i o n . Captain Huyshec (pp. 128-131), the Sturgeon [Maligne] River to Namakan Lake v i a Lac La Croix and Loon Lake: Sturgeon Lake empties i t s e l f into Lac La Croix through Sturgeon River, about 18 miles long, with numerous f a l l s and heavy rapids .... Portage de l ' I s l e , the l a s t of several portages on Sturgeon River, i s a very pretty portage on an i s l a n d , as i t s name implies. The r i v e r divides into two channels and f a l l s over a ledge of rock i n the most picturesque cascades .... From Portage de l ' I s l e a few miles further brought us to Lac l a Croix, a long and broad sheet of water, so named by some Jesuit missionaries many years ago, who erected two large wooden crosses on conspicuous islands at the western end of the lake. The crosses have disappeared, but the lake re-t a i n s i t s name. The Indians c a l l i t 'Nequaquon'. The old canoe route turns o f f at the north-western end and follows the Riviere Maligne [[now c a l l e d the Namakan RiverJ into Lake Namekan, but t h i s route was pronounced very dangerous f o r the big boats, the r i v e r being f u l l of rapids and sunken rocks and long portages. Mr. Donald Smith's canoe was twice broken during his recent descent of t h i s r i v e r , although manned by the best Iroquois. We therefore followed the lake to i t s western end, and then turned south f o r a few miles into Loon Lake, and made a bend round, coming into Namekan Lake and joining the old canoe route again. '4 With Lac La Croix and today's Quetico Park behind them, the brigades rowed 57 miles down Rainy Lake. The f i r s t detach-ment arri v e d at Fort Frances on 4 August, having t r a v e l l e d 200 75 miles i n 19 days and crossed 17 portages. ' The remainder 163 Photo: Martha A. Kidd Lac La Croix, on the Dawson Route. 165 o f t h e b r i g a d e s s t r e t c h e d out b e h i n d i t f o r 150 m i l e s , w i n d i n g l i k e a huge s e r p e n t a c r o s s t h e w i l d e r n e s s . A r r i v a l a t F o r t F r a n c e s b r o u g h t no r e s t . The men pushed on i m m e d i a t e l y w i t h , as one o f them commented, "not an hour b e i n g a l l o w e d t o w r i t e a l e t t e r o r wash ou r c l o t h e s " . A r r i v a l a t F o r t F r a n c e s a l s o b r o u g h t a m e e t i n g between C o l o n e l W o l s e l e y and C a p t a i n W. F. B u t l e r , who had been sen t t o Red R i v e r as an i n t e l l i g e n c e o f f i c e r . B u t l e r , l a t e r t o become a d i s t i n g -u i s h e d s o l d i e r and a u t h o r , had gone West v i a M i n n e s o t a but he r e t u r n e d by canoe t o meet W o l s e l e y . As t h e two canoe p a r t i e s came t o g e t h e r , t h e C o l o n e l , r e c o g n i z i n g B u t l e r , c a l l e d out "Where on e a r t h have you dropped f r o m ? " " F o r t G a r r y , t w e l v e 7 6 days o u t , s i r , " was t h e r e p l y . B u t l e r a l s o a d v i s e d t h a t t h e s i t u a t i o n a t Red R i v e r was s e r i o u s and an I n d i a n o u t b r e a k immi-n e n t . West o f F o r t F r a n c e s , t h e b r i g a d e s t r a v e l l e d 70 m i l e s down t h e R a i n y R i v e r , r o w i n g by day and, i n some c a s e s , d r i f t -i n g by n i g h t . J . J . B e l l ( t h i r d p aper, p. 2L&) d e s c r i b e s t h e t e c h n i q u e and i t s p urpose: " I n o r d e r t o save time t h e men d i d not go a s h o r e t o camp, b u t s l e p t i n t h e b o a t s , w h i c h were f a s t -ened t o g e t h e r i n twos and a l l o w e d t o f l o a t w i t h t h e c u r r e n t , two men r e m a i n i n g awake t o s t e e r and keep g u a r d . " Then came Lake o f t h e Woods, i n v o l v i n g a l o n g and arduous row f o r some and a s h o r t e r s a i l f o r t h e more f a v o u r e d . The o r i g i n a l p l a n o f o p e r a t i o n s had c a l l e d f o r a march a c r o s s "Snow's Road" from t h e Northwest A n g l e o f Lake o f t h e Woods t o F o r t G a r r y ; b u t Photo: B . M. L i t t e l j o h n , 1964 The Rainy River, west of Fort Frances, on the Dawson Route. 168 Wolseley had had his f i l l of p a r t i a l l y completed roads and therefore decided to route h i s men down the Winnipeg R i v e r . 7 7 Here the rapids, despite low water, were even more dangerous than those of the Maligne, but the ominous warnings were i g -nored and the r i v e r navigated without major mishap. Excite-ment there was, however, as the soldiers got another taste of white water — at the expense of several shattered boats. Dawson l a t e r , and rather defensively (he was c r i t i c i z e d unduly by some members of the expedition), suggested that the Winnipeg River — because of low water — offered no more danger than a "duck pond". This was not f a i r , as the Winnipeg's rapids can be dangerous at any time, and, as any experienced canoeist 78 can a t t e s t , swift water can be most dangerous i n low water. A minor, but v i v i d , legacy of the Winnipeg River descent i s Wolseley 1s own adjective-laden description of running rapids: The pleasurable excitement of danger i s always an agreeable experience, but the e n t h r a l l i n g delight of f e e l -ing your f r a i l canoe or boat bound under you, as i t were, down a steep i n c l i n e of w i l d l y rushing waters into what looks l i k e a b o i l i n g , steaming cauldron of bubbling and confused waters, exceeds most of the other maddening de-l i g h t s that man can dream of. Each man strains f o r h i s l i f e at oar or paddle, f o r no steerage-way can be kept upon your boat unless i t be made to run quicker than the water. A l l depends upon the nerve and s k i l l of the bows-man and steersman, who take you s k i l f u l l y through the outcropping rocks around you. But the acme of excite-ment i s of short duration, and the pace i s too quick to admit of self-examination. No words can describe the rapid change of sensation when the boat jumps through the l a s t narrow and perhaps twisted passage between rocks, into an eddy of slack water below. 7° On 20 August, the advance guard arrived at the mouth of the Winnipeg River, and Fort Alexander. The course now lay Ontario Archives, Toronto Island Portage, Winnipeg River, 1870; from a water colour by William Armstrong. The i l l u s t r a t i o n shows a Wolseley Expedition boat running the rapids and a second boat at the foot of the portage t r a i l . 171 north-west for about 20 miles to Lake Winnipeg's Elk Point, and then south a like distance to the entrance of the Red River. The f l o t i l l a of Regulars made an impressive picture, as de-scribed by one of the of f i c ersi "We sailed that afternoon (Sunday, 21 August} about 25 miles to Elk Island, the pret t i -est sight you ever saw, LB boats in a long line sailing away over a fine lake ... the different rigging and the different BO builds of the boats made i t look like an enormous regatta." At last, on 24 August — three months after the i n i t i a l landing at Thunder Bay — the regulars marched on Fort Garry. "We advanced", wrote one of their number, "with great caution in perfect order across the prairie i n front of the Fort. We could see no one, but a l l the gates were shut and we expect-ed every minute to have a volley f i r e d into the middle of us. On we went, right up to the main entrance, pushed the big gates open, and marched straight in to find that Riel had only l e f t a quarter of an hour with a few followers.... We were a l l much disgusted at having nothing to do. The only people we found in the Fort were a few drunken Indians and half-breeds who were dreadfully frightened. As soon as possible the Union Jack was hoisted, the A r t i l l e r y fired a Royal Salute, our men gave three cheers for the Queen and presented arms. The band played 'God Save the Queen', and then we got under shelter as Bl fast as we could for the rain had drenched us to the skin." Deprived of the battle they had anticipated with great pleasure, the men were disappointed. It had been as Lieutenant Redvers 172 B u l l e r put i t , "a long way to come to have the band play 'God go Save the Queen'." Battle or no, the Red River Expedition deserves i t s place i n m i l i t a r y annals on the basis of l o g i s t i c s . Dawson, reporting to his Minister i n 1870, suggested the extent of the problems surmounted when he wrote that, "no boats or any vessel larger or heavier than a bark canoe had ever been used i n the vast wilderness of rock, swamp and lake which intervenes between Thunder Bay and Fort Frances." On two previous occa-sions troops had, i n f a c t , been sent west v i a Hudson Bay i n order to avoid the rugged t e r r a i n and turbulent r i v e r s of the region. Nevertheless, the government decreed that Wolseley's force, with 30 foot boats weighing up to 950 pounds, should cross the wilds along Dawson's infant and rough-hewn route. Observers i n both England and Canada, many of whom had prophesied that the troops would never get through, were amazed at the success of the expedition. Historians, a century l a t e r , have tended to share t h e i r amazement and to laud Wolseley and hi s men for b r i l l i a n t and well-nigh impossible accomplishment. In doing so they tend to overlook the important f a c t that Simon Dawson and his Public Works employees — 800 of them — paved the way f o r the sol d i e r s (not vice versa as some of the m i l i -83 tary people suggested). ? They also seem to have neglected the remarkable l o g i s t i c s of the f u r trade. Against the f u r traders' standards, as established i n the same region, the accomplishment of the Red River force does not loom so large. 173 Any brigade of Northwesters that moved at even three times the pace of Wolseley's men would have been despised as being composed of "pork-eaters". Nonetheless, the comparison i s not completely v a l i d , and there was, and i s , something to be said f o r the f a c t that, i n 96 days, 1,400 men (carrying f u l l supplies f o r two months) had t r a v e l l e d about 600 miles on foot 84 and i n open boats. They had, moreover, crossed 47 portages, and had carried through t h e i r adventure i n a harsh and unfami-l i a r environment without a single loss of l i f e . The troubles at Red River, and the a t t i t u d e of the United States, had suggested the necessity of troops at Fort Garry. I t was even more necessary to prove that the Dominion was capable of moving a force into the t e r r i t o r y across B r i t i s h s o i l . In crossing the Dawson Route, Wolseley's troops demonstrated t h i s c a p a b i l i t y . They also inaugurated the new Dominion's f i r s t highway to the West. In accomplishing t h i s , "the expedition undoubtedly proved that the Dawson Route, however li m i t e d i t s commercial p o s s i b i l i t i e s , was a valuable p o l i t i c a l and m i l i t a r y asset to the new n a t i o n . T h e success of 1870 marked the brightest day i n the b r i e f history of the route. The water-way which tumbled and eddied westward from the height of land had not seen such a c t i v i t y since the days when an estimated 2,000 Northwesters paddled i t each season; nor would i t see again the amount of t r a f f i c that passed i n the spring, summer, and autumn of 1870. Much of the cre d i t f o r the expedition's success was due, 174 as some of the soldiers admitted, to Dawson's tough and experi-enced voyageurs. Without them the troops ( B r i t i s h Regulars included) would have been so many babes i n the woods. Wolseley was aware of t h i s ; and when, i n 1884, as General Lord Wolseley of Cairo, he was c a l l e d upon to;produce a plan of operations for the Gordon R e l i e f Expedition i n f a r - o f f Egypt, his thoughts went back to the voyageurs of the Dawson Route. His plan i n -volved ascending the formidable Nile and, accordingly, the c a l l went out for Canadian boatmen — the best to be had i n the B r i t i s h Empire. Some 400 of them, including Iroquois Indians and many old hands who had done service on Dawson Route waters, took ship f o r Egypt i n company with a large birchbark canoe s p e c i f i c a l l y ordered by Wolseley. There, i n the cataracts of the Nile, they put to use the lessons learned on Canadian waters, thus carrying the t r a d i t i o n a l s k i l l s of the voyageur f a r a f i e l d . Dr. William Henry Drummond spoke f o r them: V i c t o r i a ! She have beeg war, Egyp's de nam' de place — An' neeger peep dat's leeve im dere, got very black de face, And so she's write Joseph Mercier, he's stop on Trois Rivieres — 'Please come r i g h t o f f , ah' bring wit' you f r e e honder voyageurs. 'I got de plaintee sojer, me, beeg f e l l e r s i x foot t a l l — Dat's Englishman, an' Scotch also, don't wear no pant at a l l ; Of course de Irishman's de bes', rais e a l l de row he can, But nobody can p u l l batteau lak good Canadian man'87 175 FOOTNOTES: CHAPTER THREE Macdonald to Edward Watkin, 27 March, 1865; cited in P. B. Waite (ed.), Pre-Confederation (Scarborough, 1965), p. 228. Cited in P. B. Waite (ed.), The Confederation  Debates in the Province of Canada, 1865 (Toronto. 1963), p. 94. j Cited in Waite, Confederation Debates, p. 56. ^ William Kilbourn, The Making of the Nation. A  Century of Challenge (Toronto, 1965), P« 23. ! 5 0 Cited in Gluek, J r . , p. 215 6 St. Paul Press. 1 May, 1869; cited in Gluek, J r . , p. 217. 7 St. Paul Press. 8 Feb., 1870; cited in Gluek, J r . , p. 262. Cited in Allan Nevins, Hamilton Fish: The Inner  History of the Grant Administration (New York. 1936). p. 386. Q St. Paul Press. 23 Dec, 1869; in Senate Executive  Document no. 33, 41st Congress, 2nd Session, Serial 1405, pp. 43-44. 1 0 The temper of Washington, and its actions, are outlined in Stanley, pp. 58-6O; Gluek, J r . , pp. 274-278; and C. P. Stacey, "The Military Aspect of Canada's Winning of the West, 1870-1885", Canadian Historical Review, vol. 21, no. 1, March, 1940, pp. 6-10. 1 1 Macdonald to C. J . Brydges, 28 Jan., I 8 7 O ; cited in Sir Joseph Pope (ed.), Correspondence of Sir John Macdonald (Toronto, n.d.), p. 124. Brydges was General Manager of the Grand Trunk Railway, a close friend of the Prime Minister, an agent of the Hudson's Bay Company, and a fre-quent correspondent of James Wickes Taylor. Taylor, in-terestingly enough, was an outstanding proponent of Minnesota expansion and a confidential agent of the U.S. State 176 Department in Red River during the f irst Riel Rebellion. The relationship between Brydges and Taylor is treated in Gluek, J r . , pp. 187n., 189, 201-202, 275n. 1 2 Sir J . Michel to Lord Carnarvon, 22 Feb., 1867, "Memorandum on Red River Settlement" (20 Feb., 1867); C.S.P. , vol. 1, no. 7, 1867-68, paper 19, p. 20. The remaining quotations in this paragraph are from the same page and source. 1 3 Ibid. , p. 19. During Lord Monck's absences from Canada (30 Sept., 1865 - 12 Feb., 1866 and 10 Dec, 1866 - 25 June, 1867), Michel was Administrator of the Government. 1 5 C.S.P. , vol. 1, no. 7, 1867-68, paper 19, pp. 20-22. Alexander Campbell, soon to become Postmaster-General in the f irst Dominion cabinet, was Commissioner of Crown Lands. Both the report of the Executive Council (approved 18 June, 1867) and the memorandum of the Commissioner (14 June, I867) preceded Confederation by about two weeks. Campbell, working from Dawson's figures, estimated that $55,900 would be required to complete the works out-lined above. 17 This paragraph is based on Bridgeland's reports to Stephen Richards, Commissioner of Crown Lands, Province of Ontario (4 Oct., 1867) and William McDougall, Minister of Public Works, Canada (2 Dec, 1867), in C.S.P. , vol. 1, no. 7, 1867-68, paper 19, pp. 23ff., and on Dawson's "Report on the Line of Route between Lake Superior and the Red River Settlement" (hereafter referred to as "Report of 1868"), in A. J . Russell, The Red River Country, p. 167. The "Report of 1868" is also printed in C.S.P., vol. 1, no. 9, 1867-68, paper 81. Here i t should be noted that many of Dawson's reports were published separately or reprinted in other works as well as appearing in the Sessional Papers of Canada. And while the present writer has usually given appropriate references to the Sessional Papers, the page numbers referred to are those of the edition f irst cited. l g "Report of 1868", in Russell, p. 172. 19 wait on Dawson awaits a biographer and a biographer must the collection of further Dawson papers. The 177 beginnings of a good collection are now reposing at the Ontario Archives in Toronto and officers of that institu-tion are in the process of trying to locate and acquire further material. The papers now being catalogued in Toronto, along with Public Works manuscripts at the Public Archives of Canada, and Dawson's numerous reports foi?m the basis of my assessment of the man. There are also some remarks in Bertrand's poorly documented Highway of  Destiny, pp. 175-176, and in Lewis H. Thomas', "The Hind and Dawson Expeditions, 1857-58". The available Dawson material is especially weak on the years 1860-66, but several letters in the papers held by the Ontario Archives suggest that his interest in the Northwest continued strong. One of them - N. Hammond to Libert Chandler, 25 Jan., i860 — suggests that Dawson was connected with a North West Transport Company (perhaps the North-West Transit Company). Another — Dawson to J . A. Nicholay, 19 Apri l , i860 — proposes that the two men go into the fur trading business in the area west of Fort William. Two days previous to this, Dawson had writ-ten to the Nor'Wester in defence of the North-West Transit Company. A letter from John Mclntyre to Dawson, 6 Jan., 1861, (Mclntyre was the Hudson's Bay Company officer in charge of Fort William) implies that Dawson was expected to vis it Fort William that spring. During this period Dawson was resident at Three Rivers. Information concerning the North-West Transit Company is found in E. E. Rich, pp. 823-824; Trotter, pp. 263-264; and H. A. Innis, A History of the Canadian Pacific Railway (Toronto, 1923), pp. 38-39-Dawson, "Report of 1868", in Russell, p. 171. Dawson, Report on the Line of Route between Lake  Superior and the Red River Settlement (Ottawa. 1869). p. 32 (hereafter referred to as "Report of 1869"); this report is also found in C.S.P. , vol. 3, no. 5, 1870, paper 12, p. 32ff. 2 2 St. Paul Press. 23 Dec , 1869, cited above. ? Work was not, apparently, resumed on the Dog Lake road or dam on which a sum of about $14,000 had been ex-pended out of the Upper Canada Colonization Road Fund. In his "Report of 1869" (p. 10) Dawson wrote of using timber prepared, for the dam to construct a bridge across the Kaministiquia. 173 2 4 Dawson, "Report of 1869", p. 12. 2 5 Ibid. , p. 12. ? 6 Dawson to H. L. Langevin, Minister of Public Works, 30 June, 1870, in General Report of the Minister of Public  Works. 1870 (Ottawa, 1871), p. 129. The working season of 18o8 was short; i t began in July and was terminated in October. 2 7 "Report of 1869", p. 17-2 8 Ibid., p. 18. 29 Ibid., p. 22. It may be of interest to note that i t cost $331,979 during 1875 and 1876 to construct the C.P.R. for 32f miles from Fort William to the junction of Sunshine Creek and the Matawin River. And this did not include the cost of laying the track. See Innis, History of the C.P.R.. pp. 89-91. 3 0 Bishop Tache to the Nor'Wester. 11 Aug., 1868; cited in Stanley, p. 53. 3 1 In 1868 Snow was addressed by the Public Works Department as "Superintendent, Fort Garry Section, Red River Road" while Dawson held the position of "Superintend-ent, Lake Superior Section, Red River Road". 32 ' See C. M. Lampson to Sir Frederic Rogers, 22 Dec, 1868; and Stafford H. Northcote to Sir Frederic Rogers, 2 Feb., 1869, in Ontario Boundary Papers, 1856-1882. pp. 148-152. The Hudson's Bay Company's objections were not directed against the fact of a road being made, but against the Canadian Government's assumption that i t was entitled to proceed without prior permission. 33 ' Mair went west armed with a letter of introduction from the Reverend Aeneas Macdonnell Dawson (another of Simon's brothers) and a revolver and ammunition; Norman Shrive, Charles Mair, Literary Nationalist (Toronto, 1965), p. 57. 3 4 The men were paid chiefly in provisions. 179 36 ^ Snow was so unpopular with his construction gangs that at one point a group of workmen dragged him to the bank of the Seine River and threatened to drown him i f he continued to treat them unfairly. Mair seems to have been no better liked. How could he be when, in a pub-lished letter, he referred to the metis as "a harmless obsequious set of men", likely to be very useful, "when the country gets f i l l ed up." Cited in Shrive, p. 70. After another particularly obnoxious letter, Mair was publicly horse-whipped by one of the leading ladies of Red River. Considerable information on the polit ical act ivi-ties of Snow and Mair is found in C.S.P. , vol. 3, no. 5, 1870, paper 12. These activities have also been treated in a number of excellent studies; see especially: Shrive, pp. 52-121; W. L. Morton's introduction to Alexander  Begg's Red River Journal; Stanley, pp. 53-58*1 Shortt and Doughty (eds.). Prairie Provinces, vol. 1, pp. 68-69; Howard, Strange Empire, pp. 84-93; Gluek, J r . , pp. 249-261; and A. S. Morton, pp. 865-867. 37 Macdonald, i t should be added in fairness, wrote to McDougall (8 Dec , 1869) urging him to curb his employ-ees in Red River: "You must bridle those gentlemen or they wil l be a continual source of disquiet to you". Cited in Donald Creighton, John A. Macdonald, The Old  Chieftain (Toronto, 1955), p. 44. ^ The General Report of the Minister of Public Works,  1869 (Ottawa, 1870), p. 45, noted that the Government relief project "while furnishing the inhabitants of Red River with the means of earning money, would at the same time be establishing a Public Work in their vicinity of admitted necessity to the Dominion in view of its future acquisition of the North-West Territory." 3 9 Snow to the Minister of Public Works, 21 Feb., 1870, in C.S.P., vol. 3, no. 5, 1870, paper 12, p. 20. 40-41 42 Ibid. , p. 23. Ibid. , p. 23 Colonization roads built in remote localities by the Ontario Government apparently cost $500 per mile at this time. See F. Braun to Dawson, 12 Jan., 1870; in C.S.P. , vol. 3, no. 5, 1870, paper 12, p. 65. 180 ^ While i t is perhaps an unprofitable speculation, one wonders i f events in Red River might have taken a happier course i f Dawson — who seemed to understand and respect both the Indians and metis — had conducted the operations at the western end of the route. In his 1859 report he had written of the m£tis "they are proud, ex-ceedingly sensitive, and ready to take offence. They wi l l do anything to oblige and fly to anticipate one's wants, but an order sternly given excites hostility at once." 44 C.S.P. , vol. 3, no. 5, 1870, paper 12, p. 31. ^ Dawson to H. L. Langevin, Minister of Public Works, 30 June, 1870; in General Report of the Minister of Public  Works. 1870 (Ottawa, 1871), p. 130. 4 6 Dawson to F. Braun, 24 Sept., 1869; in C.S.P. , vol. 3, no. 5, 1870, paper.12, p. 63. Braun was Secretary, Dept. of Public Works. On the subject of Indians, Dawson was well-informed and, in particular, two of his manuscript reports (19 Dec, I87O, and 18 July, 1872) provide a wealth of valuable material. See P.A.C. , Public Works Manuscripts, Record Group 11, 9B, 429, vols. 119 and 121, documents 13869 and 27461. 7^ Braun to Dawson, 12 Jan., 1870; in C.S.P. , vol. 3, no. 5, 1870, paper 12, p. 65. A connecting road between Fort William and the main road was also being constructed. From the opening of the season until 31 Dec, 1869, $60,056.38 was expended by Dawson. This, however, included the cost of surveying, maintaining law and order, preparing timber for large bridges, transporting workers to and from Collingwood, and taking a hand in Indian affairs.. ^ Public Archives of Manitoba, Archibald Papers, No. 8, "John Monro's Thunder Bay Survey"; cited in Raymond James Malo, "The Dawson Route", an unpublished research paper submitted in the University of Manitoba, 1965, p. 9, and based solely on materials available in Winnipeg. 49 ^ This paragraph is based on Monro to John Page, Chief Engineer, Dept. of Public Works, 23 March, I87O; in C.S.P. , vol. 3, no. 5, 1870, paper 12. 5 0 P.A.M., Archibald Papers, No. 12, John Page's remarks on the Thunder Bay Survey of John Monro, 29 March, 1870; cited in Malo, p. 10. 181 5 1 C.S.P., vol. 3 , no. 5, 1870, paper 12, "Return to an Address of the House of Commons", p. 1. ? Dawson to Langevin, 30 June, I87O, in General  Report of the Minister of Public Works. 1870, p. 131. 5 3 Memorandum of S. J . Dawson, 25 Apri l , I87O; in "Report on the Red River Expedition of 1870", C.S.P. , vol. 4, no. 6 , 1871, paper 47, p. 3. Two of the bridges were of considerable size, the one over the Kaministiquia being 404 feet long while the Matawin bridge was 275 feet in length. Bridges were also built across Strawberry and Sunshine Creeks, and the Mclntyre and Oskondaga Rivers. 54 y Colonel Wolseley and the f irst detachment of the 60th Rifles arrived by steamer at Thunder Bay on 25 May, I87O. The expedition had been refused passage through the American Sault canal by the Grant administration and was, consequently, delayed. 5 5 Macdonald to Rose, 26 Jan. I87O; cited in C. P. Stacey, Canada and the British Army. 1846-1871 (London, 1936), p. 234. 5 ^ Had the Fort Garry road been passable, the troops would have avoided the Winnipeg River and the distance would have been reduced to approximately 450 miles. 5 7 Dawson to Braun, 17 Jan., 1870; in C.S.P., vol. 3, no. 5, 1870, paper 12, p. 66. 58 7 The military authorities later complained bitterly about the unfinished state of the road. They were, how-ever, warned following Dawson's communication of 17 January: on 25 Apri l , he contacted the military authorities to the effect that "the Thunder Bay road was in an unfinished con-dition, requiring much labor to be expended upon i t before the expedition could finally embark on Shebandowan Lake." See Dawson to Langevin, 30 June, 1870, in General Report  of the Minister of Public Works. 1870. p. 132. 59 7 The erection of dams to extend and improve the "slack water" navigation which stretched for more than 300 miles from Shebandowan to Lake of the Woods was tempor-arily deferred. 182 60 Dawson to Langevin, 30 June, 1070, op_. cit , p. 133. Wolseley, while regretting the condition of the road, noted that "Mr. Dawson . . . as well as the engineers working under his orders, have been untiring in their exert-ions to get the road in working order. He has had to contest with great difficulties. Fires have raged twice over considerable portions of i t . . . . Heavy rains have swamped i t at other times, carrying away bridges, and ren-dering i t impassable for days." Col. Garnet Wolseley, Correspondence Relative to the Recent Expedition to the Red River Settlement: with Journal of Operations (London, 1871), p. 42. Lt. Snelling of the 60th Rifles noted that the fire "burned through a distance of f ifty miles. It lasted a fortnight, and was generally supposed to have been the work of the Indians." "Sunshine and Storm: By a Rifleman", the manuscript journal of Lt. H. W. Snelling, 1870, p. 20; in the collection of Dr. F. N. Shrive, Dundas, Ontario. 6i J . Jones Bell , "The Red River Expedition, Second Paper", The Canadian Magazine, Dec , 1898, p. 101. 6? J . C. Major, The Red River Expedition (Toronto, 1953), p. 8, f irst published at Winnipeg in 1870. It was twenty-five miles by road to the Matawin bridge and forty-five by the river. Furthermore, the river route involved frequent portages (one of them around Kakabeka Falls) and about thirty miles of intermittent and rock-infested rapids. ^ Bell , "The Red River Expedition, Second Paper", p. 102. 6<> J Snelling, "Sunshine and Storm", pp. 30-31. A similar incident is recounted in Joseph F. Tennant, Rough  Times, 1870-1920, A Souvenir of the 50th Anniversary of  the Red River Expedition and the Formation of the Province  of Manitoba (Winnipeg, n.d.), pp. 33-36. 66 Dawson's comments are from "Report on the Red River Expedition of 1870", p. 20. 6 7 Cited in Bell , op_. c i t . , p. 102. Macdonald to-James H. Coyne, 10 July, 1870; cited in Hugh A. Stevenson, "The Prime Minister's Son Goes West", 183 Beaver, winter, 1963, p. 37. Not a l l of Wolseley*s men became road builders. While the Colonel l a t e r argued that the Regulars and volunteers performed 6,274s days of labour on the road from 27 May to 16 July (Correspondence  Relative to the Recent Expedition, p. 42), i t seems that much of t h i s work involved looking a f t e r t h e i r own i n t e r -ests. Dawson ("Report on the Red River Expedition of 1870", p. 15) observed that some companies of the 60th R i f l e s (Regulars experienced i n building f o r t i f i c a t i o n s at Quebec) did good service, but that the main body of the force remained at Thunder Bay or were engaged i n f o r -warding boats and provisions. Furthermore, a heavy drain was made on Dawson's c i v i l i a n s t a f f , e s p e c i a l l y i n taking the boats up-river. On the whole, i t i s clear that the Wolseley Expedition delayed, rather than expedited, the construction of the Dawson Route. ^ McNeill's Bay was named f o r Lt.-Colonel McNeill, V.C., a s t a f f o f f i c e r i n charge of the Shebandowan Lake landing. During the past several years a great deal has been done to locate the various landings, camping places, and portages along the Dawson Route. K. C. A. Dawson, A s s i s t -ant Professor of Anthropology at Lakehead University, has been es p e c i a l l y active i n t h i s regard and his unpublished "Survey of the Dawson Road, Prince Arthur's Landing to French Lake, 1965-1966" (prepared f o r the Ontario Depart-ment of Tourism and Information) has been useful i n the preparation of t h i s account. 70 ' Because many of the l o c a l Indians had abandoned the expedition, good guides were i n short supply (despite the fact that 315 of Dawson's voyageurs accompanied the troops). Consequently the brigades, each made up of six boats, sometimes were poorly guided or had no guide at a l l . Many of them l o s t t h e i r way, e s p e c i a l l y on Lac des M i l l e Lacs where the Toronto Globe correspondent meandered about among the hundreds of islands f o r two days before he arrived at the Height of Land Portage — the point from which he had started! 71 ' This account of the Wolseley Expedition i s based la r g e l y on the following primary sources: Dawson's reports and communications with the Department of Public Works contained i n the Sessional Papers of Canada and the Public Works manuscripts at the Public Archives of Canada; Tennant, Rough Times; Snelling, "Sunshine and Storm"; the manuscript journal of Lt. Josiah-Jones B e l l , Ontario Battalion of Riflemen, 1870 ( c o l l e c t i o n of R. Murray B e l l , 184 Toronto) and Bell's, "The Red River Expedition", a series of three papers published in The Canadian Magazine, Nov. and Dec, I898, and Jan., 1899; Lt. H. S . H. Riddell, 60th Rifles, "The Red River Expedition of 1870", Trans- actions of the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec:  Session of 1870-711 Captain G. L. Huysche, The Red River  Expedition (London. 1871); Field-Marshall Viscount Wolseley, The Story of a Soldier's Life, vol. 2, (Westminster, 1903); Anonymous (but probably Wolseley), "Narrative of the Red River Expedition by an Officer of the Expeditionary Force", Blackwood's Magazine, vol. 109, Feb., 1871; Wolseley, Correspondence Relative to the Recent Expedition; J . C. Major, The Red River Expedition; "Reminiscences of the Red River Expedition, by a Volunteer of the Ontario Battalion", Canadian Illustrated News, 14 Oct., 1871; see also Cana- dian Illustrated News. 2 July, 1870, 17 Oct., 1871, 7 Dec , 1872, and 1 Feb., 1873; and Illustrated London News. 28 Oct., 1871. Particularly useful secondary sources used are: Stevenson, "The Prime Minister's Son Goes West"; R. Gorssline, "Medical Services of the Red River Expeditions, 1870-71", Canadian Defence Quarterly, Oct., 1925; Joseph H. Lehmann, A l l Sir Garnet: A Life of Field-Marshall Lord  Wolseley (London, 1964); C. P. Stacey, "The Military Aspect of Canada's Winning of the West, I87O-I885", Cana- dian Historical Review, vol. 21, no. 1, March, 1940; A. L. Russell, "The First Military Expedition to the Red River", Thunder Bay Historical Society, Papers of 1908-09; and D. McKellar "The Red River Expedition", Thunder Bay  Historical Society, Papers of 1909-10. 72 ' Tennant (p. 46) adds: "Leaving Shebandowan the men's rations consisted of fat salt pork (sow belly), beans, hard tack or flour, a scant supply of sugar and a l l the black tea you could drink. Cold tea for drinking was kept in the boats. Teetotalers by order-in-council." The experiment of doing without liquor was "based upon the experience of lumbermen in Canada, who are never allowed spirits , but have an unlimited quantity of tea. It was asserted by some of the older officers that i t would be a failure, but i t was not." Bell , second paper, p. 103. 73 , J Old Ignace seems to have been Ignace Mentour, a veteran Iroquois canoeman of Sir George Simpson's crew. Deux Rivieres Portage, s t i l l a fair ly difficult carry, was the second of three major obstacles found within the pre-sent confines of Quetico Provincial Park. The others were the "Great French Portage" and the swift Maligne River. 185 At various times, Lac La Croix was left by three major routes: the fur traders used both the Namakan River and the Loon River canoe trai ls ; Wolseley followed the Loon River; and the completed Dawson Route followed the Nequaquan Portage (now called the Dawson Portage), two miles and sixty chains in length. 75 f > It may be instructive to note that a good six-man crew of fur-trade voyageurs travelling by North canoe with a cargo of 3,000 lbs (goods and provisions) would have done this 200 mile stretch in about 1/4 of the time taken by Wolseley's men. 7ft ' Butler, The Great Lone Land, p. 168. 77 By the time the troops reached Lake of the Woods, part of the Fort Garry road was passable and a bridle path had been cut the rest of the way. The Department of Public Works had pushed construction during the spring of 1870 and Wolseley's name had been attached to an advertisement for labourers — with l i t t l e success. Stanley, pp. 136-137. J . J . Bell suggests that the above steps were taken as a ruse to lead Riel to expect the troops via the land route (third paper, p. 248). Some soldiers did use the overland route; Tennant (p. 58) makes this clear: "No. 7 Company of the Ontario Rifles reached Fort Garry later after 27 August , over the Dawson Route from the northwest angle of the Lake of the Woods, by a short cut to Winnipeg of 90 miles. At that time the end of this road was l i t t l e more than a path cut through the bush, and across muskegs." 78 The Winnipeg drops more than 300 feet along its course of roughly 150 miles. In Wolseley's day, before the construction of dams, there were 25 portages e_n route. 7 9 Story of a Soldier's Life, vol. 2, p. 212. u "Letter from an Officer of the 60th Rifles on the Red River Expedition"; cited in Snelling, p. 41. 81 Ibid. , pp. 44-46. 82 "Redvers Buller's Diary of the Red River Expedi-tion", The Mair Papers, Queen's University Library; cited in W. L. Morton, The Crit ical Years. The Union of British  North America. 1857-1873 (Toronto. 1964), P. 244. 186 3 Even C. P. Stacey, in "Military Aspect of Winning the West" (the best short account of the expedition), has tended toward this position. ^ While the expeditionary force has been too roundly praised for its feats of travel and transportation, several factors bearing on its performance warrant examination. First is Wolseley1s unfortunate and ill-advised decision to move the boats up the Kaministiquia, Matawin, and Shebandowan Rivers. This undoubtedly cost the troops a great deal of time. But even i f the road from Thunder Bay had been used, there would have been delay. Any judg-ment of the expedition's speed and efficiency must, there-fore, be based on the navigable portions of the route, say, from Lake Shebandowan to Fort Frances. Here the troops compare very unfavourably with the voyageurs of the fur trade period. There are, of course, reasons for this. A 30 foot, oak row-boat, when rowed by six men is a slightly slower craft than a 25 foot bark canoe paddled by the same number. Second, the soldiers didn't know the country and were, in some cases, poorly guided. Part of the fault for this l ies, again, with Wolseley who alienated many of the local Indians with his river trans-portation policy. Third, the soldiers carried far more in the way of rations than would a voyageur travelling the same distance. The boats carried about two tons of supplies and ammunition plus approximately 500 lbs of per-sonal gear; a North canoe usually carried from a ton and a half to two tons of goods. Fourth, the boats were heavy and cumbersome on the portages. A North canoe could be carried by two strong men; the Wolseley Expedition boats had to be skidded by ten men (often crews joined together and hauled them with ease). On the other hand, the Red River Expedition was accompanied by 315 voyageurs and an additional 185 were engaged in handling reserve stores — no small help. ^ 5 Stacey, "Military Aspect of Winning the West", p. 11. &£> The story of the Nile boatmen is told in C. P. Stacey (ed.), The Nile Voyageurs, 1884-85 (Toronto, 1959). Drummond, "Maxime Labelle — A Canadian Voyageur's Account of the Nile Expedition"; cited in John Murray Gibbon, Steel of Empire, p. 156. CHAPTER FOUR: THE DAWSON ROUTE; ITS USE AND SIGNIFICANCE, 1671 - 1878 The line of communication between Fort Garry and Prince Arthur Landing is now generally recognized as the summer route to the Province of Manitoba . . . . Until these navigable waters were improved and made accessible . . . the whole travel to Red River . . . passed, as a necessity, through the State of Minnesota. Report of Minister of Public Works, 1873 A l l the passengers without exception . . . are now regret-ting much that they did not go by the American road . . . . i t would be most unjust and cruel to allow and encourage families to travel over this road while i t remains under the incompetent management of Carpenter & Co. 2 Letter of travellers to Prime Minister, 1874 Although i t seems at the present day almost absurd that the idea should have been entertained that the commerce between east and west could be carried over this route, yet i t served a useful purpose for a time . . . .3 W. Mclnnes, Geologist, 1897 188 In 1870, the Dawson Route was i n a rudimentary state. Nevertheless, except f o r the Fort Garry Road portion, more people passed over the route i n I87O than i n any subsequent year. This may seem surprising i n view of the substantial improvements made during the period 1871-1875. The explana-t i o n l i e s i n three f a c t s . F i r s t , by 1872, the communication v i a Minnesota had been greatly improved; a f t e r that date, i t s comfort and e f f i c i e n c y were never seriously challenged by the Canadian route. Second, railway and steamboat t r a v e l between Ontario and Manitoba by way of the United States con-tinued to improve during the 'seventies. Advances along the Dawson Route came more slowly; the comfort and e f f i c i e n c y gap was widened. Third, by 1871, surveys f o r a Canadian trans-continental railway had begun. A portion of the r a i l l i n e — available f o r t r a v e l i n a l l seasons — would connect Fort William with Fort Garry, thereby rendering the Dawson Route completely useless f o r through transportation. And the Dominion government, by agreement with B r i t i s h Columbia, had, by 1871, committed i t s e l f to b u i l d the railway. Given these circumstances, and the advantage of hindsight, i t seems clear that the days of the Red River Route were numbered even before i t was opened to public t r a v e l . But the administration of Alexander Mackenzie (1873-78) did not approach railway construction with the same gusto as did that of John A. Macdonald. In the int e r e s t s of economy, Mackenzie considered r e v i t a l i z i n g the Dawson Route (after 1874) 189 by making i t a temporary adjunct of the growing r a i l l i n e . His e f f o r t s were of l i t t l e a v a i l . For a time the two trans-portation systems were developed side by side west of the Lakehead. This e f f o r t i n the d i r e c t i o n of economy, i n t e r e s t -i n g l y enough, involved considerable wastage of public funds.^ By 1875, there was no gamble involved i n picking the winner. The railway supplanted the waggon-road and water route. The l a t t e r was, i n f a c t , born about t h i r t y years too l a t e . In 1840 i t would have stood as an e f f e c t u a l connection with Red River, and i t s usefulness would have lasted f o r a consider-able time. By 1871, i t was — except f o r p a r t i c u l a r and severely l i m i t e d purposes — already obsolete. The development of the Dawson Route was impeded, even though i t s importance was emphasized, by the a c t i v i t y of the Red River Expedition. Once the troops had passed, however, systematic operations on works of a permanent nature were re-sumed. . By autumn, I87O, the Thunder Bay road was open through to Lake Shebandowan and the following spring teams drawing a ton of goods were making the round t r i p i n three and a h a l f days. At the western end of the route serious work was begun on the Fort Garry road — minus the misbegotten attentions of John Snow, who had l e f t the area i n Jan., I87O. These improve-ments no doubt expedited the return of the regular troops who, during the autumn (1870), crossed from Fort Garry to Thunder 1 9 0 Photo: B. M. L i t t e l j o h n , 1963 A e r i a l view of the Dawson Route immediately west of the Northwest Angle of Lake of the Woods, show-ing the extensive muskegs i n that area. 191 Bay i n just over a month (at about three times t h e i r previous speed). I t was during the season of 1871 that the "emigrants" to Manitoba, f o r whom the system was l a r g e l y designed, began to use the Dawson Route. Because no private firm would r i s k providing transportation services, the Dominion Government assumed the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y "for carrying mails and passengers over the said route."^ As a temporary expedient, i t was de-cided to place some of Wolseley's row boats, along with s i x steam launches, on the navigable sections of the route. The launches (32 feet long with a 7 foot beam) were delivered and dis t r i b u t e d along the route during spring and summer, 1871. At the same time buildings to shelter the passengers were made available along both road portions of the route (tents were p r i -marily used i n the i n t e r i o r ) , more than 100 "voyageurs" were located at the portages and d i f f i c u l t water sections, and work was begun on two large side-wheeler steamers at Fort Frances. The "Emigrant Transport Service" began operations on 15 June, 1871. The advertisements announced an adult fare of $25 between Fort William and Fort Garry, "children under 12 years, h a l f price. 150 lbs of personal baggage, free. Extra baggage, $1 .50 per 100 l b s . No horses, oxen, waggons, or heavy farming implements to be taken." The mode of conveyance was described: "45 miles by waggon, from Fort William to Shebandowan Lake. 310 miles broken navigation, i n open boats and steam launches, from Shebandowan Lake to north-west angle 1 9 2 of the Lake of the Woods. 95 miles by cart or waggon, from north-west angle ... to Fort Garry." I t was also made clear that passengers were expected to provide t h e i r own food, which could be purchased at cost price from government depots at Shebandowan, Fort Frances, and the Northwest Angle. Public response was not overwhelming. During the 1871 season, 604 persons (about a t h i r d of them Red River Expedition volunteers returning to the East) used the Dawson Route. There were problems, and Dawson was aware of them. In his report to the Minister of Public Works (1 July, 1873), he wrote that "notwithstanding boats and steam launches, the d i f f i c u l t i e s to be encountered were formidable. The portages were at f i r s t i n the condition i n which they were when the m i l i t a r y expedition had gone through, and i n the navigable reaches, long sections had s t i l l to be passed with the oar. The dam at French Portage had not been b u i l t , and the water f a l l i n g low, there was extreme d i f f i c u l t y at that place. The stormy Lake of the Woods proved a t e r r i b l e drawback to the small boats, and emigrants were often detained at Hungry H a l l , a place at the mouth of Rainy River where voyageurs and starving Indians stop before venturing on the Grand Traverse." On the brighter side, the work of g r a v e l l i n g the roads and improving portages went on, and by the close of the 1871 season the emigrants could cross the route with a f a i r degree of comfort. Also on the cred i t side was the increasing speed of t r a v e l . The return of the Canadian m i l i t i a brigades set a 193 new record f o r the route; they l e f t Fort Garry on 10 June and arrived i n Toronto on 14 July, accomplishing t h e i r t r i p i n less than one-third of the time required f o r the o r i g i n a l westward journey of the previous year. This was not a l l , however, fo r the Dawson route saw addi t i o n a l action i n the year 1871. William Barnard O'Donoghue, the absurd — i f not l u n a t i c — Fenian "general", was at the root of i t . On 5 Oct., along with a rag-tag "army" of t h i r t y -odd privates and no less than three other "generals", he invaded Manitoba at Pembina. The invasion was quickly brought to an end with the a i d of 30 United States Infantrymen, but rumour 7 had i t that there would be further trouble. The r e s u l t s , f o r the Dawson Route, are narrated by i t s superintendent: On the evening of the 16th October l a s t pL87ll, while proceeding up Shebandowan Lake, I met a messenger with despatches from His Excellency the Lieut.-Governor of Manitoba, informing me that a Fenian r a i d had been made at Pembina, and that he had applied f o r troops. At that time, the voyageurs were about to be with-drawn fo r the season, and the steam launches dismantled and l a i d up f o r the winter. Orders were immediately sent along the l i n e f o r a l l the men to remain at t h e i r posts .... The troops {numbering about 20Q3 reached Prince Arthur's Landing on the afternoon of the 24th October .... by 4 p.m., on the 27th, the whole force had reached Shebandowan. On the night of the 28th, the rear detachments encamped at Kashaboiwe, and the front at B a r i l Portage. The weather had now become so intensely cold that I was apprehensive of the smaller lakes freezing up. The water froze on the oars, and the boats were heavy with ice and snow. Troops and voyageurs, never-theless, pressed on with a l a c r i t y , and by one o'clock p.m., on the 1st of November, were clear of French Portage .... The weather s t i l l continued cold and stormy, with snow f a l l i n g a t i n t e r v a l s , and i n coming round by Loon River ... ice was encountered i n the shallow parts. Soldiers and voyageurs were, however, equal to the occasion, and bore up cheerfully under the severe t o i l involved i n drag-194 ging boats, carrying part of t h e i r loads on t h e i r backs, and wading i n congealed water." On 11 November, the troops met Colonel W. 0. Smith near g the mouth of the Rainy River, and, a f t e r being delayed by heavy winds, the boats crossed the Grand Traverse of Lake of the Woods to a r r i v e at the entrance of the North-West Angle Bay. The diary of Captain Thomas Scott, the expedition's commander, picks up the story on Lake of the Woods: The majority of the boats s a i l e d to within f i f t e e n miles of the North West Angle, and the remainder were towed by the tugs. Camped there f o r the night on an i s l a n d . From thence as f a r as the eye could reach i n the d i r e c t i o n of the Angle was one sheet of i c e . November 12th. — A storm l a s t night fortunately broke up some four miles of i c e , and we started i n the morning passing through the broken i c e , and then cut through s o l i d i c e f o r a distance of three-quarters of a mile, a Hudson L~.sic3 Bay Co's boat leading .... The ice gradually i n -creased i n thickness, and f i n d i n g i t impossible to take the boats farther, we landed on an i s l a n d , some eight miles from the Angle. One of the tugs, which had been previously sheeted with iron , made an attempt to cut through the i c e , but was unsuccessful, getting completely wedged i n . November 13th. — At 1 pro. to-day the troops started to march on the i c e towards the Angle .... Several of the men were exhausted when within three miles of the Angle, but they were ca r r i e d on hand sleighs; piercing cold weather a l l day.-'-O At 5 a.m., on 14 November, the Manitoba Expedition started across the Fort Garry Road. Despite heavy snowfalls and intense cold, i t marched into Fort Garry four days l a t e r . With understand-able pride, Colonel Smith wrote the Adjutant General (23 Nov.): " I t i s a s a t i s f a c t i o n to r e f l e c t that scarcely a month has elapsed between the issue of your orders f o r the organization of the force and i t s a r r i v a l at Fort Garry; e s p e c i a l l y when 195 bearing in mind that a distinguished officer of H.M. Regular Forces, pronounced the route as being ... impracticable to troops, after the middle of September, and that high encomiums have been passed on an expedition for accomplishing a march during the long and pleasant days of summer over the same ground which H.M. Dominion troops have now traversed during the brief daylight of an almost Arctic winter." 1 1 But the expedition had not simply demonstrated the prowess of the Dominion troops. It also underlined the improvements to the Dawson Route and one of its great l i a b i l i t i e s . Scott and his men had travelled from Fort William to Fort Garry in twenty-five days; Wolseley's advanced detachments had required ninety-two days to cover the same distance. Scott's men, however, had the great advantage of marching across completed roads at both ends of the route as well as enjoying the services of tugs on Shebandowan Lake, Lac La Croix, Rainy Lake, Rainy River, and Lake of the Woods (the remainder of the tugs were inoperative because of the extreme cold). Scott had another advantage in the much smaller size of his force (275 men as compared to approximately 1,400). But the weather had been against Scott. If his arrival at Thunder Bay had been delayed even by a few days, the story of the Manitoba Expedition would have been very different indeed. As i t was, some of Dawson's voyageurs had to be sent home by way of St. Paul at considerable expense while the remainder barely made i t back to Prince Arthur's Landing in time to board the last steamer to Collingwood. Photos: B. M. L i t t e l j o h n Two views of a broken Dawson Route dam at the outlet of Windigoostigwan Lake (head of the French River). The seasonal nature of the route was one of i t s chief l i m i t a t i o n s . 197 The Dawson Route was, and remained, vulnerable to seasonal changes and the vagaries of the weather. For h a l f the year i t was v i r t u a l l y useless. The expedition did, however, demonstrate the growing p o s s i b i l i t i e s of the route f o r m i l i t a r y purposes. And with the close of the 1871 season, i t seemed as i f the communication was to j u s t i f y i t s e l f i n terms of m i l i t a r y , rather than emi-grant transportation. There were, i n f a c t , four recognized routes which c i v i l i a n s could t r a v e l between Ontario and Red 12 River i n that year. Three of them passed through the United States. The f a s t e s t (Toronto to Collingwood, by steamer to Duluth, then to Fort Garry by railway, stage-coach, and Red River steamboat) involved only eleven days, and a l l three of-fered more i n terms of comfort. The fourth l i n e of t r a v e l was v i a the Dawson Route. "This", writes James J. Talman with notable r e s t r a i n t , "was the route f o r young unencumbered men."1 3 The season of 1872 brought continued work on the route, and some distinguished t r a v e l l e r s , among them Sandford Fleming, George M. Grant, and Colonel P. Robertson-Ross. 1^" Three larger steam launches, along with six open barges, were d i s t r i b u t e d along the waterway. Dams were b u i l t at the outlet of Kashaboiwe Lake and at French Portage, and a t h i r d at the outlet of Kaogassikok (Pickerel) Lake which raised the l e v e l s i x feet, thereby making the P i c k e r e l River navigable. Work was continued on the Nequaquon (Dawson) Portage and waggons were placed on 198 the improved Brule and French Lake portage roads. Construct-ion gangs — including Ojibwa Indians who were, i n Dawson*s words, "among the best and steadiest laborers we have had" — were kept busy on the Fort Garry Road. And, "commodious b u i l d -ings f o r the accomodation of immigrants" were erected at various 15 stopping places along the route. ' Less impressive was the progress on the two big side-wheelers designed f o r service on Rainy Lake and Lake of the Woods. The construction of these vessels, one of which was to be 100 feet long and the other 120 feet i n length, had been entrusted to James Dick and Company, of Toronto. The Company's experiences i n the Northwest were not happy. Dawson t e l l s the story: Soon a f t e r the opening of navigation ^spring, l87l[}> the contractors began to send forward mechanics, material and supplies, from Thunder Bay to Fort Frances .... The journey of t h e i r people to that place was slow, and attended with many mishaps .... They were not accustomed to the management of f i r e s i n the woods ... and some of t h e i r provisions and tools were burned by the f i r e s which they themselves had l e f t smouldering on the portages. Arrived at Fort Frances, new troubles awaited them .... They could not f i n d tamarac f o r timbers.... They saw painted savages i n alarming numbers enjoying t h e i r scalp-dance and dog feasts, and thought they wanted to stop them from taking timber .... F i n a l l y , they col l e c t e d some timber, l a i d down a keel, and put up several of the frame timbers f o r the Rainy Lake steamboat; but these timbers, being of an i n f e r i o r description, were rejected by the Inspector. The whole party then struck work and returned to Lake Superior, and thence to t h e i r homes.l" Or, as Dick l a t e r put i t , "I got my provisions burned up by f i r e , and the Indians frightened my men away ... and I had to give the contract up." James Dick and Company's contract was cancelled and, during the 1872 season, the work was continued 199 by Department of Public Works men with the a i d of sub-contractors. Completion of the big steamers had to wait f o r another year. 1872 also brought an adjustment i n fares. The t a r i f f f o r adults was reduced from $25 to $15; children under 12 were charged $8 instead of passing free of charge. 150 pounds of baggage could s t i l l be taken f r e e , but the charge f o r each 100 18 pounds of extra luggage was increased by 50# to $2. Despite these r e l a t i v e l y low fares and the improvements i n the trans-portation f a c i l i t i e s , only 475 persons used the route. Of these, a mere 100 could be classed as emigrants; the remainder consisted of 230 troops proceeding to Fort Garry, 108 discharged volunteers returning to the East, 13 boundary surveyors, and 14 members of o f f i c e r s ' f a m i l i e s . This meant that i n the f i r s t two seasons of the "Emigrant Transport Service", about 1,080 persons (many of them soldiers) 19 had crossed the route. The better f a c i l i t i e s of the American transportation l i n e s and t h e i r lowering of rates, i n 1872, did much to draw t r a f f i c away. But what of the cost? Before the opening of the 1871 season, Dawson estimated that the expense of establishing and maintaining the l i n e during the forthcoming summer would be $67,729. The only permanent works included i n t h i s estimate 20 were improvements on portages, i n the amount of $6,000. In f a c t , the t o t a l sum expended during the f i s c a l year begin-ning 30 June, 1871, (including expenditure on permanent works) was $305,577.84. The t o t a l revenue was $12,492, leaving a 200 difference, in round figures, of $293,000. The net cost during the fiscal year 30 June, 1872,to 30 June, 1873, was, again in rough figures, $260,000. In short, with the opening of the third season of the "Emigrant Transport Service" in spring 1873, 1,080 people had used its faci l i t ies and roughly $550,000 (after 22 income) had been expended on i t . Dawson was only moderately discouraged by this turn of affairs. His comments during the summer of 1872 reveal a mixture of disappointment, satisfaction,and hope for the future: The low tariff recently adopted on American lines may . . . prevent great numbers from coming; but in any case, to have the means of transport at a l l effective, the cost of keeping open the line could not be greatly reduced The opening of the Red River route has already had an important influence in the development of the country from Lake Huron westward. At the time the works were commenced, there were no industrial occupations of any kind except fur trading and fishing going on, on the north coast of Lake Superior. The mines which had been commenced many years previously had been abandoned, and the forest lands excited but l i t t l e interest. This state of things is now completely changed. A vast extent of mineral lands and timber berths have been sold by the Government of Ontario. Mines are being opened, saw-mills put in operation, and the thriving village of Prince Arthur's Landing has sprung up at Thunder Bay. That a l l this is due to the opening of the Red River route and the chartering of lines of steamers by the Government in connection therewith, there can be no doubt. If the navigation could be rendered continuous between Shebandowan Lake and the north-west angle of the Lake of the Woods, with a railroad from Thunder Bay to the former place, and a like work extending from Fort Garry to the latter, the Red River route would be in a state to defy competition in the transportation of heavy articles, but Ontario Archives, Toronto "Thunder Cape or Sleeping Giant, from Prince Arthur's Landing. Teams s t a r t i n g f o r Fort Garry, August 4, 1873." From a pencil sketch by W. A. Johnson. 202 t h i s would involve lockage to the extent of 450 feet, and the building of 150 miles of r a i l r o a d . 2 3 Dawson's concept of wedding r a i l l i n e s and locks to the route was soon to be elevated to the status of government p o l i c y . For the moment, however, nothing was done. But 1872 saw other voices raised i n connection with the Dawson Route. The Globe of Toronto, while stressing the im-portance of an all-Canadian route to the west, lambasted the government's administration of the transport service, and c a l l e d f o r private enterprise to take a hand i n the forwarding of passengers and goods. 2 4 George Grant, who found "the mode of t r a v e l l i n g ... novel and d e l i g h t f u l " , argued that, while "the road has proved on two occasions to be a m i l i t a r y necessity for the Dominion .... as a route f o r trade, f o r ordinary t r a v e l or f o r emigrants to go west, the Dawson road i s f a r from s a t i s -25 factory." 7 F i n a l l y , Sandford Fleming added h i s weighty opinion. " I t i s " , he wrote to Langevin, "a splendid l i n e f o r t o u r i s t s who have plenty of time and no objections to rough i t , but, unless there i s some great p o l i t i c a l reason, i t seems a mistake to take through emigrants i n i t s present unfinished condition, more p a r t i c u l a r l y women and children. They suffe r so much and meet with so many delays i t w i l l give the road a bad re-pute .... I may be wrong, but I should say each emigrant costs 10 times the amount received. This i s my honest impression but i t does not i n the s l i g h t e s t detract from the great value of the Dawson road as a m i l i t a r y work and the c r e d i t which i s 26 due to Mr. Dawson from his connection with i t . " 203 Fleming and Grant t r a v e l l e d by canoe and were not so dependent upon the transport system services as were the emi-grants. Nevertheless, Grant recorded some in t e r e s t i n g experi-ences along the route. After running the Maligne rapids, he t e l l s of hitching a r i d e behind one of the steam launches: At eleven o'clock we reached Island Portage, having paddled thirty-two miles — the best forenoon's work since taking to the canoes — i n spite of the weather. Here a steam launch i s stationed; and, though the engineer thought i t a f r i g h t f u l day to t r a v e l i n , he got ready at our request, but said that he could not go four miles an hour as the r a i n would keep the b o i l e r wet the whole time. We dined with M 's party, under the shelter of t h e i r upturned canoe, on tea and the f a t t e s t of f a t pork, which a l l ate with delight unspeakable .... At two o'clock, the steam launch was ready. I t towed us the twenty-four miles of Lake Nequaquon [Lac La CrOixJ i n three and a quarter hours. Next came Loon portage; then paddling f o r f i v e miles; then Mud portage, worthy of i t s name; another short paddle; and then American portage, at which we camped fo r the night .... Tired enough a l l hands were, and ready f o r sleep, f o r these portages are k i l l i n g work.27 The season of 1873 saw the end of the Loon River exit from Lac La Croix which Grant's crew had found so d i f f i c u l t . I t was replaced by a three and a quarter mile portage (the "Dawson Portage") which shortened the Red River Route by more than 20 miles. This was one of several important improvements. Others included the completion of a 600 foot wharf at Thunder Bay; the launching of the "Lady of the Lake" on Rainy River and the other large side-wheeler on Rainy Lake; the construction of a 320 foot dam at the Maligne Rapids; and the placing of three more wood-burning launches (45 feet long, with a 10 foot beam) and a few decked barges along the l i n e . In addition, buildings 204 Photo: B. M. L i t t e l j o h n Creek south of Deux Rivieres Portage and Lake of Two Mountains, 1962. This creek was flooded by a dam at the head of the Maligne River i n order to f a c i l i t a t e steam-tug navigation to the foot of the portage. Photo: Martha A. Kidd The i l l u s t r a t i o n — from George M. Grant, Ocean to  Ocean, rev. ed. (Toronto, 1925), p. 50 — shows one of his party's canoes running a rapid on the Maligne River i n 1872. Minnesota H i s t o r i c a l Society Steamer "Keenora" on the Rainy River, about 1900. The Dawson Route steam boats were side-wheelers . O ON 207 of sawn lumber were erected on the Thunder Bay Road and log huts put up at interior locations such as the Maligne River. With these improvements the whole route was made navigable for the steam tugs except for 10 miles on the Maligne. To improve matters further, the adult fare was reduced to $10 and 200 pounds of baggage allowed free of charge. Dawson was able to boast that, after August (when the "Lady of the Lake" began the run across Lake of the Woods), passengers were sent from Thunder Bay to the Northwest Angle in six days! He also esti-mated the yearly cost of maintaining the route and transporta-tion service at $190,000. The Minister of Public Works ela-borated on this estimate, remarking, rather ominously, that "the amount of travel has not kept pace with expectation, and the cost of maintaining the route appears in striking contrast 28 with the extent of travel." A possible way out of this unhappy situation was to admit private enterprise to the operation of the transport service. Dawson made the suggestion (already broadcast by the Globe) in 1873, and with the opening of the 1874 season the steamers, way-stations, and other plant had been made avail-able to W. H. Carpenter & Company which contracted to carry passengers over the route in ten or twelve days for the sum i 29 of $10 per adult. The Company had been awarded an annual subsidy of $75,000, and given temporary charge of a transport-ation system which, by 30 June 1874, had cost the Government of Canada approximately one and a quarter million dollars to Toronto Public L i b r a r i e s The Fort Garry Road at Oak Point, from Grant's Ocean to Ocean. 1673 e d i t i o n . o CXI 209 open, improve, and operate. According to Dawson, the route had been turned over to the contractor i n good condition. Carpenter thought otherwise. Among other things, he noted that four of the steam tugs along the route were found sunk and another (at French Portage) burned, that the Maligne dam was not holding back s u f f i c i e n t water, and that the Nequaquon portage-road "was execrable and teams 31 sank down nearly to t h e i r b e l l i e s i n the mud." Unfortunately f o r Carpenter, he had embarked on a d i f f i -c u l t and thankless course, and while he carried the largest number of t r a v e l l e r s yet i n the season of 1874 (1590 persons), few of them arrived at Fort Garry i n a happy frame of mind. The season began badly, with 200 misinformed passengers waiting at Prince Arthur's Landing before the scheduled opening of the system. In June and July i t got worse when 300 people were detained on the route f o r t h i r t y days (owing to the bad state of the boats and roads). The s i t u a t i o n was not eased when the .way-station at Height of Land Portage was a c c i d e n t a l l y burned to the ground i n mid-summer. Furthermore, the employees along the route were too often unhappy, impolite, or worse. A l e t t e r to the Prime Minister (dated 30 June from the Northwest Angle, and signed by 280 persons) noted that "many of the men employed on the road are rough swearing characters who have not the c i v i l i t y to r e s t r a i n themselves from giving expression to the most unseemly oaths even i n the presence of women and c h i l d r e n . " 3 2 An a r t i c l e i n the Nor'Wester stated that the The Public Archives of Canada Steamer landing, Dawson Route, Northwest Angle of Lake of the Woods, 1875• T r a v e l l e r s were sometimes delayed at t h i s scenic spot for some time. H O Ontario Archives, Toronto "Teamsters a t dinner, Dawson Road." I t i s not clear whether t h i s i s on the Thunder Bay Road or the Fort Garry Road. Date of photo not given. The Public Archives of Canada "The Dawson Road. — William Armstrong. Station at the south end of Lake Shebandowan," by In Canadian I l l u s t r a t e d News, 1 Feb., 1873, p. 69 to i—1 ro 213 emigrants considered one of the s t a t i o n masters "a brute", that the men at the Height of Land were "mean and surly", and that those at B a r i l Lake tossed t r a v e l l e r s ' baggage into a 33 barge containing eight inches of water. ^ At French Portage the s i t u a t i o n was no better: "Considerable baggage had accu-mulated at the west end of the portage", wrote one t r a v e l l e r , "and the men stationed f o r that work appeared very i n d i f f e r e n t about the i n t e r e s t s of the t r a v e l l i n g community. One English-man said he would sooner be hanged i n England than die a natural death on the Dawson Route. The f r e i g h t was a l l helter skelter about the landing, and no wood having been prepared f o r the tug, necessitated our remaining two or three hours." Sleeping accommodation, too, l e f t much to be desired. Many of the way-stations were l i t t l e more than log huts — most of them, apparently, f i l t h y . This unpleasant fact was recog-nized by Dawson and by Carpenter who, i n September 1874, wrote to the Minister of Public Works suggesting that "at a l l night stations a b u i l d i n g capable of accomodating at l e a s t a hundred persons should be erected and with such p a r t i t i o n s as would allow married persons and young women at le a s t privacy as at present a l l are huddled into one building and many of them 35 t o t a l l y u n f i t f o r human habitation. Food was another problem. A t r i p across the route was supposed to l a s t twelve days at the outside and the contractor was obliged to furnish meals at t h i r t y cents. The theory was f i n e , but the r e a l i t y was, at times, grim. Unusually bad wea-214 ther, or a breakdown of one of the tugs, frequently made a farce of the schedule — and of the food supply. I t sometimes followed that t r a v e l l e r s were stranded f o r days i n the wilds and were even forced to beg or purchase food from the Indians. 3^ The complaints came f a s t and furious. One of them contained a pertinent question: "Is t h i s " , i t asked, "the way to t r e a t people ... who have l e f t comfortable Canadian homes and are now seeking to better t h e i r condition i n the new country towards Some writers, by way of comparison, painted the wild beauty of the route i n glowing colours. One of them wrote of crossing Sturgeon Lake on a f i n e moonlit night: "the engin-eer put on a l l steam, the fresh f u e l causing a continual shower of sparks to play around, the moon shining upon the s i l v e r y lake. Passing alongside islands, and running narrows, i n some places so narrow that the hindmost boat would swing against the land, the entire scene was p a r t i c u l a r l y weird and romantic." 3' Most such enthusiasts were, however, men who had no f a m i l i e s tagging along, and who looked upon t h e i r t r i p as an adventurous outing. For those i n a less enviable po s i t i o n , i t was rough going on the Dawson Route. With t h i s i n mind, and considering the f a r better r a i l f a c i l i t i e s v i a Minnesota (plus the presence of enterprising American travel-agents at Thunder Bay), i t i s e a s i l y seen why the route was not a paying proposition. But Dawson was not e a s i l y discouraged and the construction of permanent works went forward during 1874. Boulders were 215 Sturgeon Lake, Quetico P r o v i n c i a l Park, on the Dawson Route. Some t r a v e l l e r s recorded the wild beauty of the Dawson Route. Photo: David S. Boyer, National Geographic Society, 1962 Rapids below Tanner's Lake, on the Dawson Route. This was one of the obstructions overcome by dam-building on the Maligne River. This photograph i s not to be reproduced i n any form. 217 blasted out of the Long Sault of Rainy River. On the Maligne, three dams were b u i l t above Island Portage and "The L i l y of the West" launched on the flooded section to steam back and forth across Tanner's Lake. The a r c h i t e c t of the route could now point with pride to the f a c t that "steam i s now used as the propelling power, on a l l the lakes and r i v e r s of the route." By 1875, however, the Dawson Route, tugs and a l l , was c l e a r l y limping along on borrowed time. I t had, i n large degree, become obsolete when the Northern P a c i f i c t r a i n s began to run regu l a r l y between Duluth, Minnesota, and Moorhead, on the Red River, i n 1872. Three years l a t e r most t r a v e l l e r s bound f o r Manitoba were going through the United States. . The Rainy Lake steamer might now be able to run up and down the deepened reaches of the Long Sault, and Carpenter & Co. might transport almost 2,000 people, but Dawson's f a r reaching hopes f o r his route were ended.^° On 21 May, 1875, he b r i e f l y l i s t e d his services to the Department of Public Works and resigned. D. M. Grant, his former paymaster, succeeded him as Superintend-ent of the Red River Route and presided over i t s d i s i n t e g r a t i o n . From t h i s point most of the references to the route have an aura of decay about them. By 1875, the f l e e t of 14 tugs, plus barges and boats — of which Dawson had written with evident pride — was f a l l i n g into d i s r e p a i r . On the night of 10 July, the "Peerless", t i e d up at the western end of the French Portage, was completely destroyed by f i r e . In the same month Grant reported passing Pine Portage, where MALIGHE RIVER, SHOWING RAPIDS MD DAWSOS ROUTE DAMS Scale i 2 miles to 1 inch H A P M O . Dam constructed in 1 8 7 3 to raise level 9 feet, thereby flooding upper rapids and raising level of creek running between Deux Rivieres Portage and upper Sturgeon LakeG The dam was 3 2 0 feet longo Three dams, constructed and improved during 1 8 7 3 - 7 4 - 7 5 to raise water twelve feet above lowest level, thereby flooding Tanner's Rapids and providing ten miles of steam tug navigation above the dams0 The longest of these ( about 3 0 0 feet } was constructed by Zgnace Hentour and was severely damaged during the spring run°off of 1 8 7 5 c Sturge< Lake Lac La Croix R. Tanner0s Lake Tanner0s Rapids. Island Portage, a n d Twin P a l i s a 219 there was a "log shanty f o r cooking & dining room and small log shanty f o r store house and emigrant house, both buildings being a disgrace to the Route",^ and racing the steam tug "Caraboo" across Dore Lake by canoe. I t i s a sad commentary on the state of the "Caraboo" that Grant (on a sheet of water j\ist over a mile long) beat i t by 45 minutes! During the same season, Henry Mortimer, surveying f o r the C.P.R., added his comments on the f l e e t : "The. f r e i g h t boats are i n the most dilapidated condition, and I fear few of them w i l l o u t-live next season's service. "The tugs upon Rainy River, Lake Namenkan, River Maligne and Sturgeon Lake are mere playthings ... the s l i g h t e s t r a i s e of wind prevents them from putting to sea .... There i s not one covered passenger boat on the whole route, and t r a v e l l e r s are exposed to every inclemency of the weather."^ 2 The dams were i n no better shape. The one at the head of the Maligne leaked so badly that Carpenter & Company had to drag the boats up and down the creek running from Deux Rivieres Portage to Sturgeon Lake which i t was designed to flood . Worse s t i l l , one of the dams at Island Portage below Tanner's Lake was broken i n h a l f by the spring run-off and l e f t with a 100 foot gap i n the centre. Of the way-stations i t could be said that those on the Thunder Bay and Fort Garry roads were barely adequate. Those i n the i n t e r i o r were not. At French Portage, passengers had to sleep on the barge because of the miserable accommodation Photo: Bob Readman, c. 1910 A b o i l e r from one of the Dawson Route tugs, at the head of the Maligne River. P a r t i a l remains of t h i s vessel can s t i l l be seen. Photo: Martha A. Kidd A b o i l e r plate from one of the Dawson Route steam tugs. Toronto Public L i b r a r i e s C. P. Stacey ("Military Aspect of Winning the West") refers to the "diminutive steam-launches" along the route, noting that "some of these quaint c r a f t appear i n the i l l u s t r a t i o n s to G. M. Grant's Ocean to Ocean (Toronto, 1873)•" One of the i l l u s t r a t i o n s i s shown above, but i t appears, to the present writer, to be more i n the nature of a cartoon than a dependable representation. In 1873, even the smallest steam launches were evaluated at $1,100 by Dawson, while the larger ones (about 40 feet long by 10 feet i n beam) were evaluated at $2,250. William Armstrong shows the b o i l e r s i n s t a l l e d i n a horizontal p o s i t i o n rather than a v e r t i c a l one as indicated above. The Public Archives of Canada Kashabowie Station, the Dawson Route, from a water colour by William Armstrong. This provides one of the few u s e f u l i l l u s t r a t i o n s of a tug. The b o i l e r of a second tug can be seen on the tripod preparatory to being i n s t a l l e d i n the h u l l which i s t i e d to the dock. ro ro 224 provided by the "low huts" at the eastern end of the t r a i l . At Deux Rivieres Station there were "two log shanties f o r cook-ing and stables, altogether u n f i t . 1 , 4 3 The overnight st a t i o n at the Maligne (destroyed by f i r e i n Feb., 1877) was composed of more log shanties as was that at Island Portage. "Sheds roofed with bark" were avail a b l e at the Northwest A n g l e . 4 4 The portages and roads, too, l e f t much to be desired. Peter O'Leary described the Dawson Portage as being very rough i n places "and more of i t through swamp."4^ In the Public Works Reports of both 1875 and 1876 the two major roads were reported as being i n " f a i r " condition — the t r a v e l l i n g public found more pungent adjectives to describe them. In general, the operation of the transport service was roundly c r i t i c i z e d . "The people", as the Nor'Wester put i t , "do not propose to pay Carpenter and Co. or any other men $75,000 f o r h i r i n g a few people to curse, swear and s e l l bad p o r k . " 4 6 C r i t i c i s m , decay, and i n e f f i c i e n c y d i d not, however, close the route immediately. In 1875, the cylinders of a l l the tugs were restored, repairs on the Maligne dams were begun, and an addition was made to the Thunder Bay wharf thus enabling i t , wrote Grant, "to accomodate the large quantities of f r e i g h t now landed f o r the Railway Contractors, f o r the Survey pa r t i e s , and f o r l o c a l u s e . " 4 7 The Nor'Wester, however, had been r i g h t . The people — or at least t h e i r government — did not propose to pay Views of the remains of a Dawson Route dam on the lower Maligne River, near Island Portage. 226 Carpenter & Company another $75,000. On 29 A p r i l , 1876, the contract was cancelled even though the firm was allowed to continue l i m i t e d operations during the following season.4** By July I876, Grant was writing that "when the Railway i s completed to River Savane flowing into Lac des M i l l e Lacs , a r e s u l t to be looked f o r during the f a l l of 1877, the expenses of keeping up the route w i l l be greatly reduced. The tugs on Lakes Shebandowan and Kashabowie w i l l then not be required 49 and can be sent westwards." Less than a year l a t e r , Sandford Fleming was discussing the t r a n s f e r of the l i n e to the Canadian P a c i f i c System, and, i n March 1877, an Order-in-Council placed i t under his control. The transportation f a c i l i t i e s of the Dawson Route, a f t e r a b r i e f s i x -year existence, had been withdrawn from public use. I t i s quite conceivable that the Dawson route would have continued on i t s i n e f f i c i e n t way, despite American r a i l compe-t i t i o n , had not the C.P.R. bridged the gap between Lake Superior and the Red River Valley. I t was, a f t e r a l l , the only a l l -Canadian highway to the west, and thereby had some worth i n terms of national self-esteem. I t was also of value as a m i l i t a r y route and f o r the purposes of l o c a l settlement and 50 economic development. And some pioneers did t r a v e l i t on t h e i r way to the p r a i r i e s . But the growth of the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway ended i t s usefulness i n a l l areas except that of l o c a l transportation. There was l i t t l e d i f f i c u l t y i n choos-ing between a t r i p which involved being j o l t e d over 140-odd 227 miles of rough road, and travelling 310 miles of broken navi-gation in open boats, and one which involved a swift, sheltered, and comfortable r a i l ride. It was polit ically unwise, too, for the Liberal government of Alexander Mackenzie (1873-7$) to continue sinking money into the unpopular route —especially when i t was facing a major depression and was already committed to large-scale expenditures on the C.P.R. The Dawson Route had to give way to the railroad. But i t is worthy of note that the route, almost from 1871 (when the C.P.R. surveys got under way), played a part in the building of its successor. Simon Dawson had, himself, been a constant advocate of r a i l lines joining Prince Arthur's Landing and Fort Garry to the central (navigable) section of the route. He also concerned himself with the idea of a continuous r a i l line and proposed a route coming west from the Lakehead, touching the northern portion of Quetico Park, and then proceeding north-west to Winnipeg via the narrows of Lake of the Woods (about twenty-five miles south of Kenora). That he thought of the railroad in connection with the Red River Route is made clear in his report of 5 July, 1874: In view of the probable early construction of a r a i l -road across the country, intervening between Fort Garry and the Lake of the Woods, i t is a matter of consideration how far i t may be advisable to extend the present road, or to improve i t beyond the keeping i t in repair. I may further remark, that the surveys made and the information gained in connection with operations on the Red River route, have gone far to establish the fact, that the ground is practicable for a railroad from Thunder Bay to Fort Garry, in a generally direct course; and among the advantages that may be claimed for this route 228 are the following:-I t would be by about f i f t y miles the shortest that could be adopted, and i t might be e a s i l y and expeditiously constructed, i n as much as the present l i n e of communi-cation would af f o r d the means of carrying men, material and supplies to numerous points, at a l l of which the work could be simultaneously carried on .... Each section could be brought into operation as soon as made; the present cost of maintaining the Red River route would be done away with, step by step, as the work advanced .... The l i n e would run much further south ... than any l i n e so f a r explored between the same points. To a large degree, these were prophetic words, f o r they suggested the ultimate fate of the Dawson Route. But they did not outline the eventual route of the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway. This was the job of the r a i l r o a d surveyors, headed by Engineer-in-Chief Sandford Fleming. Both Dawson and Fleming, of course, reported to, and were directed by, the Department of Public Works whose hard-working and v i g i l a n t Minister was Prime Minister Alexander Mackenzie. The matter of the r a i l - l i n e west of Thunder Bay was not quickly l a i d to re s t . I t was, i n f a c t , to become a thorn i n the side of the administration and the subject of several par-liamentary i n q u i r i e s . And the problems surrounding i t were intimately connected with Dawson, the Red River Route, and — to a lesser extent — William Carpenter. In his report of 1869, Dawson had advocated "a r a i l r o a d from Lake Superior to the navigable waters of the Summit region, navigation rendered continuous, by means of lock and dam, from the terminus of the same to the North-West angle of the Lake of the Woods, and a r a i l r o a d from the l a t t e r point to the Red 229 River Settlement." His remarks of 1874 were merely a r e f i n e -ment of t h i s e a r l i e r expression. In 1869, however, surveys for the r a i l l i n e had not begun and the government of John A. Macdonald had not yet committed i t s e l f to a transcontinental l i n e . When, a year l a t e r , i t did commit i t s e l f , i t did so on the basis of rapid construction by private enterprise. There was l i t t l e or no room i n t h i s approach f o r Dawson's concept. By 1874 both the administration and the approach to railway construction had changed. The time was r i g h t f o r a restatement of the 1869 proposal. I t proved a t t r a c t i v e to Alexander Mackenzie, who was opposed to rapid construction of the trans-continental l i n e and who subscribed to a p o l i c y of u t i l i z i n g a v ailable stretches of water communication as a temporary mea-sure i n the i n t e r e s t s of economy. Development would be gradual. Water routes would be improved. Long portage r a i l r o a d s , de-signed to f i t Into the o v e r a l l concept of a continuous trunk l i n e , would l i n k the navigable stretches. As funds became availa b l e the waterways would be replaced or augmented by the extension of r a i l s . At the same time, the adjacent water com-munications would be useful i n f a c i l i t a t i n g the construction 51 of the remaining stretches of railway. This p o l i c y was enunciated i n 1874 and was accepted (one gathers, with certain reservations) by Sandford Fleming. Fleming's 1874 plan f o r the Dawson Route area was i n l i n e with t h i s p o licy and was shaped, to a s i g n i f i c a n t degree, 52 by the advice of Simon Dawson. A r a i l l i n e would be b u i l t 230 from Fort William to Lake Shebandowan, then via Windigoostigwan Lake and Sturgeon Falls (on the Seine River), to cross the Narrows of Lake of the Woods (see map on following page). The Dawson Route would serve as a temporary extension of the railway west of Shebandowan. It would also be useful, along with the Seine River waterway which connected with i t at Rainy Lake, as an aid in the construction of the r a i l line between Shebandowan and the Narrows. As Mackenzie later put i t , "we fully expected . . . to reach Sturgeon Falls , for the express 53 purpose of using the water." To explore these possibilities further, Fleming sent survey parties into the area in 1874. By the summer of that year one of the parties had explored the country west of Sturgeon Falls and reported unfavourably on i t . 5 4 Nonetheless, a line via the Narrows of Lake of the Woods was s t i l l being debated 55 as late as 1877* A second party, led by Henry J . Mortimer, examined the Dawson Route during the autumn of 1874• Mortimer's instructions from Fleming were to look into the possibility of improving the route for the purpose of more efficient freight transportation. Mortimer reported on his survey in 1875, recommending that light r a i l tramways be installed on the port-ages, and he and Fleming subsequently discussed additional 57 methods of improving navigation along the route. There was nothing new in this trend of thought; i t was simply an echo of proposals long since put forward by Dawson. This time, however, Dawson's ideas were also supported by William Carpenter who l a t e r claimed that he had recommended tramways and other improvements to Fleming, and that Mortimer had been 58 sent out on the basis of h i s recommendation. The o r i g i n a l idea was, however, Dawson's, and the r e a l impetus came from Fleming, who, on 29 September, 1874, wrote to Mackenzie, urging that the communication "at once be rendered as e f f i c i e n t as possible f o r present purposes and f o r permanent use during 59 the seasons of navigation as a f r e i g h t r o u t e . H e also made i t clear that he did not envisage an improved route as a long-term substitute f o r the r a i l l i n e : "I f e e l convinced that the Dawson Route improved and employed to the f u l l e s t capacity w i l l be u t t e r l y inadequate for the f r e i g h t t r a f f i c that w i l l be, and hence the importance I attach to the con-struction of that portion of the P a c i f i c Railway between Red River and Lake Superior, of such character as w i l l s p e c i a l l y adapt i t f o r the heavy t r a f f i c which w i l l soon seek th i s channel Fleming estimated the cost of improving the Dawson Route at $250,000, and added, "the expenditure proposed would ... so f a r perfect the Dawson Route as a l i n e of steam communication as would make i t r e a l l y serviceable f o r a l l kinds of t r a f f i c , u n t i l the completion of the Railway between Lake Superior and Red River. On the completion of the railway a c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of the t r a f f i c would natu r a l l y follow. The Dawson Route would continue to be of value as a means of transporting way f r e i g h t , while passenger and other t r a f f i c would f i n d t h e i r way by r a i l . " In Fleming's view, there was to be p a r a l l e l construction 233 west of Thunder Bay, including the construction of canals along the Red River Route. This would r e s u l t i n two separate l i n e s of communication. His proposal, however, was based on the assumption that the water route would serve the construction of the r a i l l i n e . This assumption was to become highly ques-tionable i n the l i g h t of subsequent events. Nonetheless, i t was on t h i s basis that Contract 13 — f o r the construction of f o r t y - f i v e miles of r a i l r o a d between Fort William and Shebandowan — was l e t i n A p r i l , 1875• Two months l a t e r , work on the Fort Frances Canal was begin. Hugh Sutherland was placed i n charge of the works armed with a ground plan provided by Fleming 6 2 and prepared by Mortimer. The canal was to be about 800 feet long by about 40 feet wide and blasted out of s o l i d rock. I t was never completed. And, by the time the project was abandoned, i n I878, the worthless Fort Frances Canal had cost $288,278.51. 6 3 The canal project died with the Dawson Route. The cause of death was evident i n the growth of the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway and i n other rather obvious ailments which might have been recognized by 1875. The autopsy was performed by the Senate committee of inquiry which j u s t i f i a b l y wondered why competent diagnosis — even i f i t couldn't cure the i l l s of the route — might not have saved the tax-payers a b i t of s u f f e r -ing. The c r i t i c i s m appears to have been well taken. In the same year that the canal project was begun and Contract 13 l e t , Fleming had further surveys made of the country Minnesota H i s t o r i c a l Society-Fort Frances, 1901; the unfinished canal i s seen at the r i g h t . ro O J Minnesota H i s t o r i c a l Society-Fort Frances, 1901; the canal (obscured behind the buildings) was designed to accommodate steamboats such as the one shown. r o O J 236 west of Sturgeon F a l l s , and of the Dawson Route. ^ One of the survey parties set out to ascertain whether or not the waters of Lake Shebandowan and Lake Windigoostigwan, along with the intervening lakes (Kashabowie, Lac Des M i l l e Lacs, and B a r i l ) , might be brought to a common l e v e l i n order to obtain unbroken navigation. Dawson and Monro had already addressed themselves to t h i s problem and rejected the idea. Fleming's conclusion was, predictably, s i m i l a r to Monro's: "The cost of rendering the navigation continuous between Lakes Shebandowan and Windigoostigan would be very heavy, much greater 65 indeed than any advantage would j u s t i f y . " ' A second party went over the ground between Sturgeon F a l l s and Rat Portage; i t s findings l e d to the d e f i n i t e r e j e c t i o n of the southern * 66 route. The p o t e n t i a l u t i l i t y and e f f i c i e n c y of the Dawson Route, about which Fleming had expressed hope, were profoundly af-fected by the r e s u l t s of these surveys. F i r s t , i t was de-cided to abandon the project of improving navigation at the eastern end of the route. Second, because the r a i l r o a d would not pass through Sturgeon F a l l s , the projected us e f u l -ness of the Dawson Route/Seine River access to the construction area was destroyed. Two more n a i l s had been driven into the route's c o f f i n . But there was to be no c o f f i n for the C.P.R., and a t h i r d survey of 1875 indicated that, "a good l i n e a t comparatively moderate cost could be had i n a d i r e c t course from Eagle Lake v i a Wabigoon River to Lac Des M i l l e Lacs, and thence to Thunder Bay, i n t e r s e c t i n g the l i n e of Contract No. 13 at Sunshine Creek, 15 miles east from the eastern end of 68 Lake Shebandowan." Accordingly, i n 1875, the northern l i n e was adopted, work was stopped on Contract 13, and the section o r i g i n a l l y l e t under that contract was reduced to the portion (about 32 miles long) from Fort William to Sunshine Creek. Work was not stopped, however, on the Fort Frances Canal except f o r a few months during the winter of 1875-76. The most expensive of a l l single improvements on the Dawson Route was continued while the remainder of the system grew more and more dilapidated. The reason f o r t h i s extraordinary circum-stance — and i t was a weak reason — was given before the Select Committee of the Senate i n 1878. Marcus Smith, the Acting Chief Engineer of the railway i n Fleming's absence, was the witness. Early i n h i s testimony he established two geographical f a c t s : f i r s t , that the railway connected with the Dawson Route at Port Savanne (which had water access to Lac Des M i l l e Lacs) and, second, that a chain of r i v e r s and lakes (the Manitou-Wabigoon chain) linked the Dawson Route to the new northern l i n e which was otherwise almost inaccessible. The presumption was that, i n view of these f a c t s , the Fort Frances Canal would be of use i n affording access to the r a i l l i n e . Other facts of geography, however, did nothing to strengthen t h i s argument. F i r s t , Port Savanne was separated from Fort Frances by nine portages and about 180 miles of water which dropped some 400 feet between the two points. Why, then 238 b u i l d a canal i n the centre of the route while these obstruct-ions remained? Even e f f e c t i v e access from the east was ham-pered by the Manitou Rapids and Long Sault Rapids of Rainy River. At any rate, there was no good economic reason f o r l i n k i n g Rainy River to Rainy Lake, unless e f f e c t i v e transport-ation was available r i g h t through to Port Savanne. F i n a l l y , the Manitou-Wabigoon chain provided only canoe access and i n -volved eight or nine portages. The Fort Frances Canal merely eliminated one short portage from the canoe route extending between Rainy River and Wabigoon Lake. Three exchanges be-tween Smith and the Committee members serve to illuminate the lock question as well as throwing considerable l i g h t on the fate of the Dawson Route: Q. I ask you whether you consider i t i s economical and expedient to b u i l d t h i s one large lock at Fort Frances simply to connect with a canoe route? I would not recommend a lock to be b u i l t simply f o r that purpose. Q. Is the Committee to understand you to say ... that fo r the purposes of commerce the lock w i l l not be of any use whatever i n connection with the P a c i f i c Railway? I should not think f o r through commerce, but f o r l o c a l commerce i t might be us e f u l . The moment the r a i l -way i s f i n i s h e d , of course, i t i s of no use at a l l f o r through commerce. Q. Supposing that the l i n e was completed from Lake Superior to Savanne, and the western section was completed from Rat Portage to Selkirk, and some years intervened before the intervening section was b u i l t , would the lock be of any use then? That depends upon whether the Dawson Route could be made available f o r commerce so as to send i t through that way rather than round by r a i l through St. Paul's Csiq3. I have not taken i t much into consideration, but i t appears to me i t would not be a route that could compete with railways. I t has not been used f o r public conveyance f o r two seasons past, but i t 2 3 9 has been used by parties constructing the lock and by surveyors. For passengers who can tranship themselves i t might be used i n the summer months, but f o r heavy fr e i g h t there would be too many portages, and the handl-ing of i t would cost too much. I f the climate was such that the navigation would be open a l l the year round i t might have been well to improve the portages and work them with tramways and stationary engines by cradling the boats and taking boat and a l l over. But the object-ion to that i s the climate. Six months of the year the navigation i s locked up and i t cannot be used, while the plagjj i s i d l e and there i s the expense of looking a f t e r As Grace Lee Nute has noted, canal building helped to provide a few buoyant years to the vest-pocket economy of Fort Frances, as well as contributing several s e t t l e r s who remained a f t e r 70 the project was abandoned. But no steamboat, nor any other vessel, has ever by-passed Koochiching F a l l s by way of i t s granite chamber. For ninety-one years i t has stood as a monu-ment to a mistake. Like a tombstone of the same material, i t also remains as an appropriate reminder of the demise of the Dawson Route. The Select Committee of the Senate made a much smaller mistake i n i t s summation, and that was one of s p e l l i n g : "the expenditure upon the Fort Francis t s i c j Lock, whatever the amount may be, w i l l prove to have been injudicious and a l t o -71 gether unprofitable to the Dominion." Those who may share the writer's admiration f o r Dawson may also be r e l i e v e d to note that he had resigned his position as Superintendent of the Red River Route before work on the canal was begun. Moreover, the canal project was provided with i t s own superintendent i n the person of Hugh Sutherland who reported d i r e c t to the Department of Public Works at Ottawa. 240 And while Dawson, in 1872, had recommended the construction of a canal at Fort Frances, he had done so in the expectation that i t would serve the building of a railroad stretching from Shebandowan via Sturgeon Falls to the Narrows of Lake of the Woods.72 The episode of the Fort Frances Canal, and the related confusion about the location of the r a i l line, mark an unhappy-chapter in the relationship of the Dawson Route to the Pacific Railway. There were, however, brighter moments. The route was often used by C.P.R. surveyors after 1871; and even the side t r a i l through Manitou and Wabigoon Lakes was lightly tra-velled by railroad engineers and their assistants. In addition, there is some evidence that the route, and the Public Works employees along i t , contributed in other ways to the construction of the railway. In 1875, for example, squared timbers were prepared and transported to the Kaministiquia River for con-struction of a wharf at the railway terminus. The following year, Grant reported that large quantities of freight were being landed at the Thunder Bay wharf for use by the railway contract-ors and survey crews. And, while rails and other heavy freight 73 destined for Manitoba went via Duluth, ^ the Thunder Bay Road was of service to the railroad builders working in the Fort William-Port Savanne area. In this limited sense W. Mclnnes, writing of the Dawson Route in 1897, was correct: "when its abandonment was inevitable i t rendered valuable service in facilitating the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Indeed without this route for the carriage of men and supplies the building of the road would have been a much more arduous undertaking."74 In August 1876, the fir s t locomotive engine was landed at Thunder Bay. By this time rails, running north-west from Fort William for 2U miles, had been laid, and railway gangs were rapidly building eastward from Selkirk, Manitoba. Even so, there were last fond hopes for a resurgent Dawson Route. "The examples of a l l great parallel r a i l and water routes on this continent", wrote one optimist, "suggest the probability of the much abused Dawson route, now regarded as but the humble precursor of the railway, becoming in the end the almost un-75 rivalled carrier of the trade of the great North West.",J His words were wasted, and by November I878 one Thomas Watts commented that "there are thousands of dollars worth of valuabl property belonging to the government scattered over the whole distance as i t was thrown aside when they ^Carpenter & CompanyQ. left, now lying at the mercy of whoever likes to help them-selves." 7 6 Five months later the hulls of the three steam launches at Port Savanne were "perfectly useless" and the route 77 was "abandoned". 5fC ifi 5JC 5|C i|C The Dawson Route was abandoned for many reasons. One of them had to do with changes in government and related change in policy. Begun as a preliminary and useful instrument of nation-building under the administration of Macdonald, the rout Public Archives of Canada "Prince Arthur's Landing, 25 J u l y . " From a pe n c i l sketch by Sidney H a l l i n the Public Archives of Canada. The sketch was done i n 1881 and shows the C.P.R. l i n e and locomotive. 2LJ attained i t s modest apogee of e f f i c i e n c y under that of Mackenzie. Development of the route was i n harmony with Mackenzie's r a i l -way p o l i c y , even though i t s part i n that p o l i c y was questioned and censured before he l e f t o f f i c e . 7 * * But development of the route was not i n harmony with Macdonald's post-1878 railway p o l i c y . And, by the time he was returned to power, the route — i n view of the r a i l l i n e s already constructed — had outlived i t s e a r l -i e r usefulness f o r the cause of national expansion. In 1870, the route had provided a needed communication with Manitoba, thus serving the requirements of the hour. In I878, the re-quirements of the hour — witness the howls emanating from B r i t i s h Columbia — could only be s a t i s f i e d by r a i l communi-cation. The pol i c y framed to meet those requirements had no room i n i t f o r development, or even maintenance, of the Red River Route. A more elemental (in both senses of the term) reason f o r the route's abandonment lay i n the f a c t that i t was of seasonal use only. I t depended l a r g e l y on water transportation, and the waters of Northwestern Ontario freeze early and thaw l a t e . In 1872-73, f o r instance, the harbour at Prince Arthur's Landing closed on 15 December and did not open u n t i l 9 May — the l a t e s t opening of a l l seventeen Ontario and Quebec harbours 79 1 l i s t e d . There were, moreover, inland waters to contend with. 80 In some seasons these were not clear of i c e u n t i l 24 May. The normal length of the inland season of navigation was from early June to l a t e October. During the other seven months of 244 the year the route stood i d l e — except f o r the continuing work of maintenance. The need to secure Manitoba, and the consequent m i l i -tary expedition, f i r s t drew public attention to the Dawson Route. But i t s broader purpose was to provide a c i v i l i a n l i n e of communication of p a r t i c u l a r use to those emigrating 81 to the West. In t h i s regard, the cost of operation was 'way out of proportion to the number of people transported. By I878 — as nearly as can be reckoned — only about 5,000 mem-dp bers of the c i v i l i a n population had used the route. Many of them crossed only a portion of i t . The net cost to the government by that time (including the expense of the Fort Frances Canal, and the subsidies to Carpenter and Company) go was i n the neighbourhood of one and a h a l f m i l l i o n d o l l a r s . Sandford Fleming's estimate that "each emigrant costs 10 times the amount received" was conservative. I t cost more l i k e twenty-five times the amount received, or about $300 per emi-grant. Josiah Plumb likened the amphibious route to "a non-descript animal, the Ornythorincus Platypus*'; which, he noted, 84 was slow of motion, but had an enormous b i l l . One of the reasons f o r the high cost of transportation was the excessive duplication of manpower and physical plant along the route. On each road section (including short portage roads), separate teams of horses or oxen were required — along with stables, harness, and waggons. Because of the slow pace of t r a v e l , there had to be numerous "emigrant houses" scattered along the 4 Ontario Archives, Toronto Prince Arthur's Landing, the eastern terminus of the Dawson Route, date of view, 1872. From a water colour by William Armstrong. ro -F-V J 1 246 route, as well as storehouses and workers' accommodation at each of the ten major portages and on the two long road sections. The s t a f f , too, was expensive. During the season of 1873, f o r example, 200 workmen (exclusive of the engineers of the steamers and tugs) were on the job. This figure does not i n -clude the teamsters who handled f o r t y teams of horses and twelve yoke of oxen along the l i n e . In addition, there were the row boats, the big 55 foot barges, the tugs, and the steamers. Each stretch of water required d i s t i n c t vessels and, at the peak of i t s operation, the Dawson Route f l e e t numbered no le s s than 14 tugs, 2 large paddle-wheelers, and dozens of boats and barges. A further reason f o r the route's f a i l u r e l i e s i n the rapid pace of railway building i n Minnesota. In 1872, there were about 8,000 men working on r a i l l i n e s to the south; and, i n the same year, t r a i n s began running between Duluth and Moorhead, which was situated on the navigable waters of the 85 Red River. 7 With t h i s accomplishment, the Minnesota route again moved ahead of that v i a Canada. The Dawson Route could not compete with i t either i n terms of speed or i n terms of comfort. ^ Added to t h i s was the f a c t that the Canadian route was not designed to accommodate large or heavy a r t i c l e s of f r e i g h t . I t s ten portages and two roads made i t necessary to handle f r e i g h t items no less than twenty-four times. This, i n i t s e l f , 86 was a severe l i m i t a t i o n . Captain James Dick, who had taken Photo: B . M . L i t t e l j o h n , 1963 A Dawson Route barge (length, 55 feet; beam, 10 feet) submerged i n three feet of water, Dore Lake, Quetico P r o v i n c i a l Park. 248 heavy machinery over the route, was questioned about i t s capa-b i l i t i e s i n I878. He was b r i e f , but to the point: Q. Supposing you were asked to make a contract to carry goods from Port Savanne down to Fort Frances, what would you take per ton to do i t ? I would require a pretty round sum. Q. Is i t not a fe a s i b l e route f o r commercial purposes? No; not as i t i s now. Q. I f you started from Ontario with merchandise f o r Winnipeg, would you think of taking t h i s route? Oh, no.87 F i n a l l y , there was the great fact of the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway. By I875 — despite Mackenzie's piece-meal p o l i c y — i t was c l e a r l y only a matter of time, and not a great deal of time, before i t displaced the Dawson Route. Completed between Fort William and Winnipeg i n 1882, i t rendered the route u t t e r l y obsolete except f o r the very l i m i t e d purposes of l o c a l t r a v e l and colonization. One might even argue that the Dawson Route, growing up as i t did during a period of exuberant railway con-struction, was an anachronism from the day i t opened. j|s sj« sje & sje >|s sic # Considered as a business venture, the route was a dismal f a i l u r e . As an emigrant route -- even though some thousands of pioneers t r a v e l l e d i t s t r a i l s , roads, and waters — i t cannot be termed successful. In the surveying and construction of the C.P.R. i t played a useful, but minor r o l e . To some degree, although i t i s d i f f i c u l t to measure, i t served to focus atten-t i o n on, and stimulate settlement and economic development i n the areas around Thunder Bay and Fort Frances. Judged by 249 other c r i t e r i a , however, i t claims an important place i n the story of Canadian development. For one thing, at a time when the nation was, with d i f f i c u l t y , t r y i n g to shepherd Manitoba into Confederation, and when re l a t i o n s between Canada and the United States were decidedly strained, the embryo Dawson Route provided an all-Canadian way to the West. In t h i s s t r a t e g i c sense, i t was a v a l i d and concrete instrument of nation-building. In the physical sense, the route l e f t much to be desired. Dawson u t i l i z e d , as e f f e c t i v e l y as he could, the long-used waterways west of Thunder Bay. But, f o r the type of t r a f f i c which he envisaged i n his more hopeful moments, and which the times demanded, the waterways were inadequate i n t h e i r natural state. This problem was p a r t i a l l y overcome by the construction of the two road sections. Nevertheless, to f u l f i l Dawson's hopes, and to make the route competitive with those v i a the United States, an extensive and expensive system of locks and canals would have been necessary. Lacking such improvements, the scope of the route was severely l i m i t e d . Dawson's u t i l i z -ation of the water stretches, however, cannot be ignored. To a degree, he did succeed i n reviving and extending the t r a -d i t i o n of water communication with the West. E s p e c i a l l y i n the movement of troops, t h i s was a useful exercise. The old voyageur's canoe route was altered, of course, by the construction of the two lengthy roads. B u i l t through stretches of extremely d i f f i c u l t country, both of these roads continued i n use long a f t e r the waterways once again faded from 250 view. Sections of the Fort Garry l i n e have been improved and are now t r a v e l l e d as a secondary road. The Thunder Bay Road, v i r t u a l l y unaltered, served the people of Northwestern Ontario f o r many years a f t e r 1878. Today — known as Highway 11A, or the Dawson Road — i t continues to lead west from the Lakehead, following much the same l i n e as that surveyed by Simon Dawson.ninety-nine years ago. That the l i n e was well selected i s further demonstrated by the f a c t that portions of the Trans-Canada Highway and the Canadian National Railway follow i t through the v a l l e y of the Matawin. These considerations could not, of course, influence c r i t i c s of the route during the 1870's. Theirs was not the p r i v i l e g e and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of placing and assessing the com-munication i n the continuum of Canadian history. In the long view, however, and considering the Dawson Route i n a l l i t s aspects, i t appears to have served Canadians well. Constructed across d i f f i c u l t t e r r a i n , i t deserves to be remembered as a human triumph over geography. But the Dawson Route was not simply a physical e n t i t y — a p r a c t i c a l resource f o r the movement of people and goods. U t i l i z i n g the h i s t o r i c waterways which had carried f u r traders to the farthest corners of the country, i t was an expression of Canada's determination to preserve those f a r corners f o r Canadians. Begun i n the year of Confederation, i t was the Dominion's f i r s t concrete gesture i n defence of our western inheritance. The building of the r a i l r o a d was a grander gesture, Photo: K. C. A. Dawson The valley of the Matawin River, showing portions of the Trans-Canada Highway and Canadian National Railway, which follow the old l i n e of the Dawson Route i n t h i s area. Photo: K. C. A. Dawson 252 but the essence of that willingness to marshall the resources of the nation f o r an expansive national purpose can be discerned i n Simon Dawson and the route which j u s t l y bore his name. In retrospect, the creation of the Dawson Route seems to have embodied, as s t r i k i n g l y as any other venture, the expans-ive ethos of Confederation. 253 FOOTNOTES: CHAPTER FOUR General Report of the Minister of Public Works,  1873 (Ottawa, 1874), p. 48. Letter of complaint from approximately 280 Dawson Route travellers (stranded at the Northwest Angle) to Prime Minister Alexander Mackenzie, 30 June, 1874. P.A.C. , Public Works MS., vol. 125, no. 42832. Unless otherwise noted, a l l manuscripts cited are from the Public Works collection, Record Group 11, Series 9B, Subject File 429; only the volume and document numbers vary. In view of this, only the volume and document num-bers wil l be given in footnotes. The most important sources used in preparing this chapter are: the MSS mentioned in the preceding paragraph, vols. 117-125; P .A.C. , Public Works MSS, Record Group 11, Series 9C, Subject File 50, vols. 78-81; the Reports of  the Minister of Public Works including appendices, many of them by Simon J . Dawson (these are found in the Sessional  Papers of Canada as well as in the separately published volumes which have been generally used here); the "Simon J . Dawson Papers" and "W. H. Carpenter & Co. Letter Book, 1874-1885", in the Ontario Dept. of Records and Archives; the Report of Select Committee of Senate on Fort Frances  Lock; the "Reports on the Canadian Pacific Railway" in Reports of the Minister of Public Works; Sandford Fleming, Report on Surveys and Preliminary Operations on the Canadian  Pacific Railway up to January, 1877 (Ottawa, 1877); Canadian Pacific Railway, Report of Progress on the Explorations  and Surveys up to January, 1874 (Ottawa, 1874); P. Robertson-Ross, Col. Commanding the Mil i t ia of Canada, "Reconnaisance of the North West Provinces and Indian Territories", in C.S.P., vol. 6, no. 5, 1873, paper 9; "Lieut.-Colonel W. 0. Smith's Report on the Manitoba Expedition of I87I" and "Captain Scott's Report and Diary", in C.S.P. , vol. 5, no. 5, 1872, paper 8; George M. Grant, Ocean to Ocean, Sandford Fleming's Expedition Through Canada in 1872 (Toronto, 1925), f irst published in 1873; J . C. Hamilton, The Prairie  Provinces, Sketches of Travel from Lake Ontario to Lake  Winnipeg (Toronto, 1876); James Trow, A Trip to Manitoba (Quebec, 1875); Peter O'Leary, Travels and Experiences in  Canada (London, 1875); Ontario Government, North Western  Ontario: Its Boundaries, Resources and Communications (Toronto, 1879); Canada, Parliament, First Report of the  Standing Committee on Public Accounts in Reference to Ex-254 penditure on the Canadian Pacific Railway between Fort  William and Red River (Ottawa. 1879); Sandford Fleming, Progress Report on the Canadian Pacific Railway, Exploratory  Survey (Ottawa. 1872). Of the many secondary sources, a few are of special use: Walpole Roland, Algoma West (Toronto, 1887); Innis, History of the Canadian Pacific Railway; Glazebrook, A History of Transportation in Canada; C. P. Stacey, "The Second Red River Expedition, 1871", Canadian Defence  Quarterly, vol. 8, no. 2, Jan., 19311 and James J . Talman, "Migration from Ontario to Manitoba in 1871", Ontario  History, vol. 43, no. 1, Jan., 1951. J W. Mclnnes, "Report H: On the Geology of the Area Covered by the Seine River and Lake Shebandowan Map Sheets", p. 12H. 4 In 1878 a Select Committee of the Senate inquired into public funds expended on the useless Fort Frances Lock. The construction of this faci l i ty was the prime example of the wastage involved in parallel construction. The evidence given before this committee provides much in-formation on the Dawson Route and its relationship to the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. See Report  and Minutes of Evidence Taken Before the Select Committee  of the Senate, Appointed to Inquire into a l l Matters Re- lating to the Fort Frances Lock (Ottawa, 1878); hereafter referred to as Report of Select Committee of Senate on  Fort Frances Lock. 5 ' "Confidential Report and Memorandum of Sub Committee of the Privy Council on the Subject of Opening up Communi-cation between Fort William and Fort Garry", 27 Dec, 1870, P.A.C. , Public Works MS., vol. 119, no.. 14120. 6 Report of the Minister of Public Works. 1871 (Ottawa, 1872), p. 43. 7 An interesting account of this Fenian "invasion" is given in John Peter Turner, The North-West Mounted Police, vol. 1 (Ottawa, 1950), pp. 72-77; see also Stacey, "The Second Red River Expedition, 1871". g Dawson, "Report of 1872", in General Report of  the Minister of Public Works. (Ottawa, 1872), p. 132. 255 7 Colonel Smith had preceded the troops, t r a v e l l i n g v i a Minnesota, i n order to expedite t h e i r t r a v e l over the Fort Garry Road. He was delayed at the North West Angle because C.P.R. surveyors had taken the boats which had been l e f t there f o r his use. C.S.P., v o l . 5 , no. 5 , 1872, paper 8, p. 81. 10 C.S.P., v o l . 5, no. 5, 1872, paper 8, p. 84. Ibid., p. 82. The comments of the m i l i t a r y men who crossed the route throw a d d i t i o n a l l i g h t on the character and c a p a b i l i t i e s of Dawson. Wolseley (The Story of a  Soldier's L i f e , v o l . 2, p. 192) referred to him as "an able and hardworking public servant" who was handicapped by "some ne'er-do-well friends of p o l i t i c i a n s then i n o f f i c e " sent to a s s i s t him. Smith referred to "his great experi-ence and the indefatigable exertions used by himself and hi s s t a f f " ; Captain Scott wrote of "the valuable a i d ren-dered by Mr. Dawson i n every possible way .... He worked most energetically ... and by his personal exertions i n t h i s respect contributed much to the success of the expedition." See C.S.P., v o l . 5, no. 5, 1872, paper 8, pp. 82, 85. Col. Robertson-Ross (C.S.P., v o l . 6, no. 5, 1873, paper 9, p. c v i i i ) referred to him as an "able engineer". 12 The four routes were recommended by the North West Emigration Society i n a c i r c u l a r reprinted i n the Huron  Expositor, 26 May, I87I; c i t e d i n James J. Talman, "Migra-t i o n from Ontario to Manitoba i n 1871", pp. 37-38. 1 3 Ibid., p. 38. 1 L In 1872 Fleming was Engineer-in-Chief of the C.P.R. surveys and Grant was a presbyterian minister from Halifax. Both were to become distinguished Canadians. In 1888, Fleming was made president of the Royal Society of Canada a f t e r a career of accomplishment i n the f i e l d s of science, l i t e r a t u r e , and Imperial r e l a t i o n s . Grant, as p r i n c i p a l of Queen's University a f t e r 1877, was to become the nation's leading educator and an outstanding figure i n the p o l i t i c a l world. Colonel Robertson-Ross was commander of the M i l i t i a of Canada. The three men t r a v e l l e d the Dawson Route to-gether and Grant's, Ocean to Ocean, gives a f a s c i n a t i n g account of t h e i r journey. 1 5 Huts and tents s t i l l served i n many places. Dawson, "Report of 1872", p. 130. 256 7 Testimony of Captain James Dick, 13 March, 1878, in Report of Select Committee of Senate on Fort Frances  Lock, p. 10. 18 Dawson maintained that the cost to emigrants going through the United States in 1871 had varied between $60 and $100 per head. He added, however, that the cost had been reduced to $24 in 1872, arguing that the fare had been reduced because of the low fares on the Dawson Route. Talman's ("Migration from Ontario to Manitoba in 1871", pp. 35-3$) figures, however, throw doubt on Dawson's. Talman indicates that one group of settlers travelled to Manitoba, via Minnesota in I87I, at a cost of $27 per head, plus food. He also indicates that, in general, the cost of travelling via the United States was not much higher than that of travelling via the Dawson Route. 19 Figures taken from the General Report of the Minister  of Public Works. 1872 and the General Report of the follow-ing year. 20 P.A.C. , "Confidential Report and Memorandum of Sub-Committee of the Privy Council", 27 December, 1870. Public Works MS., vol. 119, no. 14120. 21 General Report of the Minister of Public Works, 1873, p. 52; see also J . C. Hamilton, The Prairie Provinces, p. 131. 22 The net sums expended on the Dawson Route during its f irst years are given below: 1867- 68 1868- 69 1868-70 1069-70 1870- 71 1871- 72 1872- 73 14,000.00 19,113.13 39,491.51 94,420.28 $114,244.96 "''293,085.84 259,803.27 (Dog Lake Road and dam) (Snow's Road) Total expenditure (after income) to 30 June, 1873: $834,158.99 2 3 Dawson, "Report of 1872", pp. 129-137. There i s , no doubt, a pardonable degree of exaggeration in Dawson's assessment of the importance of the route. The minerals along the north shore of Superior had, for example, drawn 257 developers as early as the 1840*s and i n the early 1860's there was considerable a c t i v i t y around Thunder Bay. Z L Toronto Globe. 24 Sept., 1872. 25 Grant, Ocean to Ocean, pp. 73-74. "Extract from a private l e t t e r of Sandford Fleming, Esq. to the Honourable H. L. Langevin, dated Fort Garry, 2nd August Q.8723", P.A.C., Public Works MS., v o l . 121, no. 24822. 27 Grant, pp. 54-55. 28 General Report of the Minister of Public Works,  1873 (Ottawa, 1874), p. 51-29 Passengers under fourteen years of age went f o r $5 and children under three were taken free. 30 Hamilton, The P r a i r i e Provinces, pp. 131-132. See also General Reports of the Minister of Public Works. 31 J Ontario Dept. of Records and Archives MS., "W. H. Carpenter & Co. Letter Book, 1874-1885", pp. 93-95. 3 2 P.A.C., Public Works MS., v o l . 125, no. 42832. 3 3 Nor'Wester, 29 June, 1874. 3 4 James Trow, A Trip to Manitoba, p. 17 35 W. H. Carpenter to Alexander Mackenzie, 18 Sept., 1874; P.A.C, Public Works MS., v o l . 125, no. 44338. 3 6 Dawson, MS. report, 13 July, 1874. P.A.C., Public Works MS., v o l . 125, no. 42990. 3 7 P.A.C., Public Works MS., v o l . 125, no. 42832. The Public Works MS. c o l l e c t i o n contains many l e t t e r s of complaint, both from t r a v e l l e r s and Public Works employees, concerning Carpenter's operation. This evidence lends support to the implication inherent i n H. A. Innis' remark (History of the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway, p. 9 2 n . ) : "The 258 bonus system applied to the Dawson route made i t advanta-geous for the contractor to discourage people from travelling by that route." This view was expressed by Louis Masson (supported by John A. Macdonald) on the floor of the House of Commons in I876. See Canada, House of Commons Debates, vol. 2, 1876, pp. 450-454. 38 39 40 Trow, p. 18. Dawson, "Report of 1874", p. 181. It is instructive to note that, while Carpenter & Co. carried 1,877 people on the route during the season of 1875, only 193 went right through to Winnipeg. Of the remainder, 50 came east from Winnipeg to Thunder Bay, another 379 travelled part of the route on the way east, 1,152 people travelled a portion of the route going west and of the latter group 103 stopped at Rat Portage (Kenora) or Shoal Lake, no less than 427 went as far as Fort Frances, and many went only as far as Kaministiquia. The route had become one of local transportation and settlement. 4 1 Grant's report on the state of the Dawson Route, 23 July, 1875. P.A.C. , Public Works MS., Record Group 11, Series 9c, Subject File 50, vol. 79, no. 52402. 4 2 Henry I. Mortimer, "Report on Survey of the Port-ages on the Red River Route", in Sandford Fleming, Report on Surveys and Preliminary Operations on the Canadian Pacific  Railway up to January 1877 (Ottawa, 1877). P. 211, Appendix P. 4 3 Grant's report, 23 July, 1875. k L Dawson, "Report of 1875", p. 214. 45 ' Peter O'Leary, Travels and Experiences, p. 130. O'Leary has been used sparingly in this account as he strikes the writer as something of an anglophile ass — and none too accurate to boot. 4 6 Nor'Wester, 2 August, 1875. 4 7 Grant, "Report of I876", in General Report of the  Minister of Public Works. I876 (Ottawa, 1877), p. 183. 48 ^ During the season of I876, 605 passengers and 550 tons of freight were moved over the route — or portions 259 of i t . P.A.C. , Public Works MS., Record Group 11, Series 9C, Subject File 50, vol. 80, no. 65244-One gathers from the Public Works MSS that a passenger service between Thunder Bay and Fort Frances was operated on a semi-monthly basis and that the bulk of activity was in connection with the C.P.R. surveys and development, and the construction of the Fort Frances Canal. Some milit ia stores were also transported across the route. See Public Works MSS, vol. 80, nos. 57172, 57387, 58526, 58887, 60456, and 61381. 4 9 Grant, "Report of I876", p. I84. ^ The Dawson Route, after 1872, served the Winnipeg garrison "as a regular line of communication, by which new drafts could be received and time-expired men withdrawn to the East." C. P. Stacey? "Military Aspect of Winning the West", p. 15- In addition to soldiers, 197 men of the newly-formed North-West Mounted Police crossed the route in 1873-^ See Glazebrook, vol. 2, p. 60ff.; and Innis, History of the Canadian Pacific Railway, pp. 83-84. Mackenzie's policy was f irst expressed in 1874 before his constituents at Lambton; i t was reiterated many times during debates in the House of Commons. See especially: Canada, House of Commons Debates, vol. 2, I876 , p. 450ff., and House of Commons Debates, vol. 3 , 1877, p. 1319ff. 52 y Fleming's reliance on Dawson's advice clearly emerges in his testimony before a Standing Committee of Parliament in 1879- See Canada, Parliament, First Report  on Public Accounts in reference to Expenditure on the  Canadian Pacific Railway between Fort William and Red River (Ottawa, 1879), pp. 49-52. 53 " Ibid., p. 51- Dawson's proposed line from Shebandowan to Sturgeon Falls was very close to that later surveyed by the Ontario and Rainy River Railway Company (incorporated in 1886). The Canadian Northern built along this section and the r a i l line was opened in 1902 (between Port Arthur and Fort Frances). It is now part of the Canadian National Railway system. ^ 4 Fleming, Report on Surveys, 1877, p. 52. 260 5 5 F i r s t Report on Public Accounts ... between Fort  William and Red River, p. 49. See also the testimony of E. G. Garden, and James Rowan, i n Report of Select  Committee of Senate on Fort Frances Lock, pp. 50, 64-67. The re-routing of the r a i l l i n e from the Sturgeon F a l l s -Narrows of Lake of the Woods l i n e to that v i a Wabigoon Lake and Rat Portage was questioned during t h i s inquiry. Dawson gave an ef f e c t i v e defence of his southern l i n e and expressed considerable doubt concerning the a b i l i t y and motives of the r a i l r o a d surveyors (pp. 50-52, 68-69). One i s l e f t with the impression that Dawson's l i n e de-served more careful attention than i t received, and that the r a i l r o a d surveyors were not a l l they might have been. Fleming l a t e r noted that "there were not a s u f f i c i e n t number of thoroughly e f f i c i e n t and p r a c t i c a l men i n the country to a i d me i n carrying out the work of preliminary operations i n what might be deemed the best way." C.S.P., v o l . 15, no. 9, 1882, paper 48cc, p. 5. ^ Testimony of Henry Mortimer, 18 A p r i l , 1878, Report of Select Committee of Senate on Fort Frances Lock, pp. 40-41. 57 Ibid., pp. 41-43; see also Mortimer's report i n Fleming, Report on Surveys, 1877. p. 211ff. Shortly before the Senate inquiry, Mortimer made an estimate of costs necessary to improve the Dawson Route e f f e c t i v e l y (exclusive of the Fort Frances Lock, which was then well on the way to completion). He arrived at a figure of $341,235. This included the cost of purchasing new plant (including f i v e new tug boats) as well as that of improving portages, repairing dams, and excavating canals to replace Brule and B a r i l portages. ^ Testimony of William Carpenter, 15 A p r i l , I878, i n Report of Select Committee of Senate on Fort Frances Lock, pp. 37-38. 59 ^ Cited i n Canada, Parliament, Memorandum Addressed  to the Honourable the Minister of Railways and Canals by the Engineer-in-Chief of the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway (Ottawa, 1880), appendix 8, p. 31. 6 0 Ibid., p. 31 6 1 Ibid., p. 34 6? Testimony of Hugh Sutherland, 10 A p r i l , I878, i n Report of Select Committee of Senate on Fort Frances Lock, pp. 20-21. 261 ^ 3 General Report of the Minister of Public Works,  1867-82 (Ottawa,, 1883), p. 653. 6 i f Report on Surveys, 1877, p. 53-6 5 Ibid. , p. 53. 6 6 Ibid. , pp. 53-54. 6 7 Testimony of Henry Mortimer, 18 Apri l , I 8 7 8 , in Report of Select Committee of Senate on Fort Frances Lock, pp. 43-44. 68 Report on Surveys, 1877. p. 53-69 Report of Select Committee of Senate on Fort Frances Lock, pp. 2-4. 70 ' Grace Lee Nute, Rainy River Country, pp. 50, 62. There were about 400 people living at Fort Frances in I878. Sutherland's testimony, in Report of Select Committee of  Senate on Fort Frances Lock, p. 24. 71 ' Ibid. , p. v. The writer has discovered no evidence of venality in connection with the Fort Frances canal project. Mackenzie did not share what might be called the largesse of Macdonald and Langevin. 7 2 Dawson,"Report of.1872", p. 137; see also Dawson's testimony, 4 Apri l , I878, in Report of Select Committee of  Senate on Fort Frances Lock, p. 55. 7 3 P .A.C. , Public Works MS., vol. 80, no. 60456. 7 L W. Mclnnes, "Report H", pp. 12H-13H. 7 5 J. C. Hamilton, The Prairie Provinces, p. 12$. Hamilton, an active member of the Royal Canadian Institute, was a Toronto author and lawyer. There were other last-minute advocates of a revitalized Dawson Route, but they were few in number. One of them was Hugh Sutherland who, in I878, submitted a proposal to the Minister of Public Works. His plan called for extensive improvements (at 262 an estimated cost of about $150,000) designed to convert the communication into a freight route. See Report of  Select Committee of Senate on Fort Frances Lock, pp. 31-37; and Sutherland's testimony before a second committee of inquiry, 2 May, 1878, in Canada, Journals of the House of  Commons, vol. 12, I878, p. 163. See also Ontario Govern-ment, North Western Ontario: Its Boundaries, Resources  and Communications, pp. 6-7. 7 ^ Thos. Watts to the Hon. C. Tupper, 25 Nov., I878; P.A.C. , Public Works MS., vol. 81, no. 77713. Tupper was Minister of Public Works in the Macdonald administration which was returned to power in autumn, I878. From 1879 to I884 he was Minister of Railways and Canals. 7 7 Letter of W. L. B i l l , 24 Apr i l , 1879; P .A.C. , Public Works MS., vol. 81, no. 91791. 78 See Canada, House of Commons Debates, vol. 2, 1$76, p. 450ff.; and Canada, House of Commons Debates, vol. 3, 1$77, p. 1319ff. 79 • P-80 .tu 81 General Report of the Minister of Public Works, 1873, p. 1 S T Testimony of J . Walter Dick, in Report of Select  Committee of Senate on Fort Frances Lock, p. 17. Macdonald recalled his original intention during a Commons debate of 1$76, noting that, "the Government discovered that i f they were ever to secure immigrants for the British North West, i t must be by a route of their own, so they at once commenced the construction of the Dawson Road, holding i t in their own hands because i t was a new venture." House of Commons Debates, vol. 2, p. 454. 82 The number of passengers was not — to the best of the writer's knowledge — published for the seasons of 1873 or 1877. By 1877, of course, the system was virtually defunct. On the basis of comments in the General Report  of the Minister of Public Works, 1873, an estimated figure of 400 civil ian passengers in 1873 has been interpolated. 83 A rather challenging aspect of this inquiry has been to try to arrive at an accurate figure of net expendi-ture on the Dawson Route. The writer has found, to his sorrow, that this is no simple matter, and the figure given must be taken as approximate. It has been calculated from 263 the reports and manuscript documents of the Department of Public Works and has been checked against other sources. These primary and secondary sources provide food for thought and are conducive to confusion. Innis (History  of the Canadian Pacific Railway, p. 86n.) notes that, "the road was abandoned after an expenditure of an annual aver-age of $220,000 during the six years of its operation." His assessment, however, is apparently derived from remarks made by Mackenzie during a debate of 1876 (see House of  Commons Debates, vol. 2, I876, p. 452). Mackenzie's figures do not appear to include the subsidy to Carpenter or the cost of the Fort Frances Canal, both of which the writer has included in his total. Gibbon (Steel of Empire, p. 174) notes of the route that, "the government spent over one million three hundred thousand dollars in keeping i t open pending the construction of a railway." Short and Doughty (eds.) (Canada and Its Provinces, vol. 19, p.288) argue that "the Dominion government spent something like a million and a quarter on the road." This figure is echoed in a good short article by Margaret Arnett MacLeod ("The Dawson Route", Winnipeg Free Press, magazine section, 3 August, 1940, p. 3). The above appear to be in essential agreement. The same cannot be said for two of the more or less primary sources consulted. Langevin in a retrospective account of his Department's activities (General Report of the  Minister of Public Works, 1867-82, p. 652) makes a quite incredible statement: "The total cost of the road from its opening to 30th June, 1882, was*' $209 ,195 .38." James Trow's observation (House of Commons Debates, vol. 3 , 1$77, p. 1328) that Macdonald's administration spent $1,500,000 on the route before going out of office in 1873 is not much closer to the truth. The 187$ evidence of Simon Dawson (Report of Select  Committee of Senate on Fort Frances Lock, pp. 54-55) was, by way of contrast, accurate within limits: "The total expenditure on the Dawson route . . . from its f irst commence-ment, to the 30th June, 1874, apart from Carpenter's con-tract, was $1,294,887.82 . . . . Revenues paid and accounts accrued amounted to $233,615.38." This figure, however, does not appear to include the $39,491.51 (net) expended by John Snow up to January I87O (Snow did not report through Dawson to the Department); nor does i t include the roughly $150,000 subsidy to Carpenter during his two years on the route; nor does i t include the $288,278.51 spent on the Fort Frances canal. In addition, the government appro-priated $25,000 to maintain communications across the route in I876 (Stacey, "Military Aspect of Winning the West", p. 21). The writer has been unable to locate a figure 264 f o r the f a i r l y substantial repairs and improvements carried out under the supervision of D. M. Grant a f t e r June, 1875. No figu r e f o r the work carried on by Grant has been included i n the writer's c a l c u l a t i o n s . With the abandonment of the Fort Frances Canal project i n 16*78, i t had cost the Government of Canada roughly $1,$00,000, a f t e r income, to construct, maintain, and operate the Dawson Route. ^ House of Commons Debates, v o l . 3, 1877, p. 1339. Josiah Burr Plumb was to become Speaker of the Senate of Canada i n 1887. In 1877, when he made his comment, he was a Conservative M.P. and a close associate of John A. Macdonald. He was a strong c r i t i c of Mackenzie's r a i l -way po l i c y , and of the Dawson Route. He chaired a com-mittee of inquiry which investigated expenditure on the C.P.R. i n 1879; see F i r s t Report of the Standing Committee  on Public Accounts i n reference to Expenditure on the  Canadian P a c i f i c Railway between Fort William and Red River. ^ 5 Dawson ("Report of 1874", p. 181), noted the ex-traordinary railway building a c t i v i t y i n Minnesota. "This a c t i v i t y ... shews", he wrote, "the necessity of more com-prehensive improvement on the Canadian route, i f i t i s to be maintained as a l i n e of communication to command the share of t r a f f i c which i t s natural advantages should give i t . " 86 In p a r t i c u l a r l y low water, or when one of the dams broke (as happened on several occasions), the number of portages increased to as many as f i f t e e n . ' Testimony of Captain James Dick, 13 March, I878, i n Report of Select Committee of Senate on Fort Frances Lock, p. 10. 265 SELECTIVE BIBLIOGRAPHY The following bibliography is highly selective. It gives most space to materials bearing directly upon the con-struction, use, and significance of the Dawson Route, as well as the route's relationship to the Canadian Pacific Railway. Readers wi l l find, however, that other works consulted are dealt with in a number of extensive footnotes which have been written to serve as bibliographical essays. Where considered useful, entries have been annotated. Unpublished Materials: Bell , R. Murray (Toronto, Ontario). The MS. journal of Lt. Josiah-Jones Bell , Ontario Battalion of Riflemen, 1870. Dawson, K. C. A. (Port Arthur, Ontario). "A Survey of the Dawson Road, Prince Arthur's Landing to French Lake, 1965-1966." A report prepared for the Ontario Depart-ment of Tourism and Information by K. C. A. Dawson, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Lakehead Uni-versity. Malo, Raymond James (Fort William, Ontario). "The Dawson Route". Research paper submitted in the University of Manitoba during 1965. Ontario Department of Public Records and Archives. The Simon J . Dawson Papers. These papers have not yet been cata-logued and may be called the "Dawson Papers" as they include considerable material on some of Simon Dawson's brothers. "W. H. Carpenter & Co. Letter Book, I874-I885." Public Archives of Canada. The microfilm of the Hudson's Bay Company Archives, I67O-I87O. Public Works MSS, Record Group 11, Series 9B, Subject File 429, and Record Group 11, Series 9C, Subject File 50. The volumes in these series include some 5,000 pages of material relevant to the Dawson Route. Shrive, F. N. (Dundas, Ontario). "Sunshine and Storm: By a Rifleman". MS. journal of Lt. H. W. Snelling, I87O. 266 Publications Ordered by Governments: Canada. First Report of the Standing Committee on Public  Accounts in Reference to Expenditure on the Canadian  Facific Railway between Fort William and Red River. Ottawa, 1879. House of Commons Debates. Vol. 2, I876. Ottawa, 1876. House of Commons Debates. Vol. 3, 1877. Ottawa, 1877. Journals of the Legislative Assembly of the Pro- vince of Canada. The relevant volumes for the years 1857-1860 have been examined. These include reports submitted by members of the Red River Exploring Expe-dition. Memorandum Addressed to the Honourable the Minister  of Railways and Canals by the Engineer-in-Chief of the  Canadian Pacific Railway. Ottawa, 1880. Report of the Canadian Pacific Railway Royal Com- missionT 3 vols. Ottawa, 1882. Report on the Exploration of the Country Between  Lake Superior and the Red River Settlement. Printed by Order of the Legislative Assembly. Toronto, I 8 5 8 . Sessional Papers. The relevant volumes from 1867-68 to 1882 have been used. These include the reports of the Minister of Public Works to which are appended the reports of Simon J . Dawson and others em-ployed on the Dawson Route. Several of Dawson's re-ports were also published separately; see footnotes. , Department of Public Works. General Reports of the Minister of Public Works. The reports for the years 1868 to 1882 have been used; these are also found in the Sessional Papers. , Senate. Report and Minutes of Evidence Taken Be- fore the Select Committee of the Senate, Appointed to  Inquire into A l l Matters Relating to the Fort Frances  Lock. Ottawa, 1878. Canadian Pacific Railway. Report of Progress on the Explor- ations and Surveys up to January, 1874. Ottawa, 1874. 267 Dawson, Simon J. Report on the Exploration of the Country between Lake Superior and the Red River Settlement, and  betx^een the Latter Place and the Assiniboine and  Saskatchewan. Printed by Order of the L e g i s l a t i v e Assembly. Toronto, 1859. Report on the Line of Route between Lake Superior  and the Red River Settlement" Ottawa, 1869. Fleming, Sandford. Memorial of the People of Red River to  the B r i t i s h and Canadian Governments, with Remarks on  the Colonization of Central B r i t i s h North America, and  the Establishment of a Great T e r r i t o r i a l Road from Canada  to B r i t i s h Columbia. Printed by Order of the L e g i s l a -t i v e Assembly. Quebec, 1863. Progress Report on the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway,  Exploratory Survey. Ottawa, 1872. Report on Surveys and Preliminary Operations on  the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway up to January, 1877. Ottawa, 1877. Hind, Henry Y. North West T e r r i t o r y : Reports of Progress;  Together with a Preliminary and General Report on the  Assiniboine and Saskatchewan Exploring Expedition Made  Under Instructions from the P r o v i n c i a l Secretary, Canada. Printed by Order of the L e g i s l a t i v e Assembly. Toronto, 1859. Great B r i t a i n . Papers Relative to the Exploration by Captain  P a l l i s e r of that Portion of B r i t i s h North America which  Lies between the Northern Branch of the River Saskatchewan  and the Frontier of the United States, and between the  Red River and the Rocky Mountains. London, 1859. Further Papers Relative to the Exploration by the  Expedition Under Captain P a l l i s e r of that Portion of  B r i t i s h North America which Lies between the Northern  Branch of the River Saskatchewan and the Frontier of  the United States, and between the Red River and the  Rocky Mountains, and Thence to the P a c i f i c Ocean. London, 1860. t Colonial O f f i c e . Papers Relative to the Exploration of the Country between Lake Superior and the Red River  Settlement. London, 1859. 263 , House of Commons. Report from the Select Committee on the Hudson's Bay Company; Together with the Proceed- ings of the Committee, Minutes of Evidence. Appendix and  Index. London, 1857-Wolseley, Colonel Garnet. Correspondence Relative to the  Recent Expedition to the Red River Settlement: with  Journal of Operations. London, 1871. Ontario. North Western Ontario. Its Boundaries, Resources,  and Communications. Toronto, 1879. } Legislative Assembly. Correspondence, Papers, and Documents, of Dates from l85o"~to 1882 Inclusive, Relating  to the Northerly and Westerly Boundaries of the Province  of Ontario"^ Toronto, 1882. Periodicals: Bell , J . Jones. "The Red River Expedition, [.First Paper!", The Canadian Magazine (Nov., 1$98), pp. 26-34-"The Red River Expedition, Second Paper ", The  Canadian Magazine (Dec, I 8 9 8 ) , pp. 98-IO4. - - - - - T . "The Red River Expedition, Third Paper ", The Canadian Magazine (Jan., 1899), pp. 245-256. Forrester, Marjorie. "That Northwest Angle", Beaver, Outfit 291 (Autumn, I960), pp. 32-38. Stacey, C. P. "The Military Aspect of Canada's Winning of the West, I 8 7 O - I 8 8 5 " , Canadian Historical Review. XXI (March, 1940), pp. 1-24-"The Second Red River Expedition, 1871", Canadian  Defence Quarterly, VIII (Jan., 1931), pp. 199-208"; Stevenson, Hugh A. "The Prime Minister's Son Goes West", Beaver. Outfit 294 (Winter, 1963), pp. 32-43-Talman, James J . "Migration from Ontario to Manitoba in 1871", Ontario History, XLIII (Jan., 1951), pp. 35-41. Thomas, Lewis H. "The Hind and Dawson Expeditions, 1857-58", Beaver, Outfit 289 (Winter, 1958), pp. 39-45-269 Books and Pamphlets: Blegen, Theodore C. Minnesota, A History of the State. Minneapoli s, 1963. Brymner, Douglas, ed. Report on Canadian Archives, 1890. Ottawa, 1891. Burpee, Lawrence J . , ed. Journals and Letters of Pierre  Gaultier de Varennes de la Verendrye and His Sons. The Champlain Society. Toronto, 1927. Careless, J . M. S. Brown of the Globe. 2 vols. Toronto, 1959 and 1963. Coues, E l l i o t , ed. New Light on the Early History of the Greater Northwest, the Manuscript Journals of Alexander  Henry and of David Thompson, 1799-1814. 3 vols. New York, 1897. Creighton, Donald TGJ . The Empire of the St. Lawrence. Toronto, 1956.' First published as The Commercial Empire  of the St. Lawrence, 1760-1850 in .1937-Delafield, Major Joseph. The Unfortified Boundary, A Diary  of the First Survey of the Canadian Boundary Line from  St. Regis to the Lake of the Woods. Edited by Robert McElroy and Thomas Riggs. Privately printed, 1943. Dugas, Abbe G. The Canadian West, Its Discovery by the Sieur  de la Verendrye, Its Development by the Fur-Trading Com- panies, Down to the Year 1822~ Montreal, 1905. Folwell, William W. A History of Minnesota. 4 vols. rev. ed. St. Paul, 1956. First published in 1921. Fountain, Paul. The Great Northwest and the Great Lakes Region  of North America. London,, 1904. Gates, Charles M., ed. Five Fur Traders of the Northwest,  Being the Narrative of Peter Pond, and the Diaries of  John Macdonell, Archibald N. McLeod, Hugh Faries, and  Thomas Connor. Introduction by Grace Lee Nute; Fore-word by Theodore C. Blegen. St. Paul, 1965. First published in 1933. Grant, George M. Ocean to Ocean, Sandford Fleming's Expedition  Through Canada in 1872. Toronto, 1925. First published in 1873. 270 Gibbon, John Murray. Steel of Empire, The Romantic History  of the Canadian Pacific, The Northwest Passage of Today. Toronto, 1935. Glazebrook, G. P. de T. A History of Transportation in Canada. 2 vols. Toronto, l^Ek". First published in 1938. Gluek, Alvin C . , Jr . Minnesota and the Manifest Destiny of  the Canadian Northwest, A Study in Canadian-American  Relations"! Toronto, 1 9 6 5 • : Hamilton, J . C. The Prairie Provinces, Sketches of Travel  from Lake Ontario to Lake Winnipeg. Toronto, 1876. Henry, Alexander. Travels and Adventures in Canada and the  Indian Territories Between the Years 1760 and 1771. Toronto, 1899. Hind, Henry Youle. Narrative of the Canadian Red River Exploring  Expedition of 1857 and of the Assiniboine and Saskatchewan  Exploring Expedition of 1858. 2 vols. London, 1860. Hough, Jack L. Geology of the Great Lakes. Urbana, 1958. Howard, Joseph Kinsey. Strange Empire, A Narrative of the  Northwest. New York, 1952. Huyshe j-; G. L. The Red River Expedition. London, 1871. Innis, Harold A. The Fur Trade in Canada,, An Introduction  to Canadian Economic History. Based on the rev. ed. by S. D. Clark and W. T. Easterbrook, with a Foreword by Robin W. Winks. Toronto, 1962. First published in 1930 A History of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Toronto, 1923. Keating, William H. Narrative of an Expedition to the Source  of St. Peter's River, Lake Winnepeek, Lake of the Woods,  kg, Performed in the Year 1823. Introduction by Roy P. Johnson. Minneapolis, 1959. First published in 2 vols, in 1824. Lamb, W. Kaye, ed. Sixteen Years in the Indian Country, the  Journal of Daniel Williams Harmon. Toronto, 1957. Lambert, Richard S. and Paul Pross. Renewing Nature's Wealth. Ontario Department of Lands and Forests. /Toronto], 1967. 271 Lefroy, John Henry. In Search of the Magnetic North, A Soldier-Surveyor's Letters from the North-West, 1843- 1844. Edited by George F. G. Stanley. Toronto, 1955-Lehmann, Joseph H. A l l Sir Garnet, A Life of Field-Marshall  Lord Wolseley. London, 1964. Macdonell, A^llan]. The North-West Transportation, Navigation,  and Railway Company, Its Objects. Toronto, 1858. Mackenzie, Alexander. Voyages From Montreal Through the Con- tinent of North America to the Frozen and Pacific Oceans  in 1789 and 1793, with an Account of the Rise and State  of the Fur Trade. 2 vols. Toronto, n.d. Major, J . C. The Red River Expedition. Bibliographical Society of Canada, Facsimile Series No. 3, Publication 7. Toronto, 1953. First published at Winnipeg in 1870. Masson, L J p u i s J i F. Les Bourgeois de la Compagnie du Nord- Ouest: Recits de Voyages, Lettres et Rapports Inedits  Relatifs au Nord-Ouest Canadien. 2 vols. Quebec, 1889-1890. Morse, Eric W. . Canoe Routes of the Voyageurs, the Geography  and Logistics of the Canadian Fur Trade. Toronto, D -9623 .First published in three parts in the Canadian  Geographical Journal in May, July, and August, 1961. Morton, Arthur S. A History of the Canadian West to 1870-71: Being a History of Rupert's Land (the Hudson's Bay Company's  Territory) and of the North-West Territory (including  the Pacific SlopeTI London, 1939. Morton, W[illiani] L. Manitoba, A History. Toronto, 1957. , ed. Alexander Begg's Red River Journal. The Champlain Society. Toronto, 1956. Nute, Grace Lee. Rainy River Country, A Brief History of the  Region Bordering Minnesota and Ontario. St. Paul, 1950. Quimby, George I. Indian Life in the Upper Great Lakes, 11.000 B.C. to A.D. imO~. Chicago, I960. Rich, E. E. The History of the Hudson's Bay Company, 1670-1870. Volume II: 1763-1870" Hudson's Bay Record Society. London, 1959. 272 Rich, E. E. and A. M. Johnson, eds. London Correspondence  Inward from Eden Colvile, L049-1852. Introduction by W. L. Morton. Hudson's Bay Record Society. London, . 1956. Riddell, Lt. H. S. H. "The Red River Expedition of 1870", Transactions of the Literary and Historical Society of  Quebec: Session of 1869-70. Quebec, 1870. Roland, Walpole, ed. Algoma West, Its Mines, Scenery, and  Industrial Resources. Toronto, 1887. Russell, Alex. J . The Red River Country, Hudson's fs±c\ Bay,  and North-West Territories Considered in Relation to  Canada. Ottawa, 1869• Shortt, Adam and Arthur G. Doughty, eds. The Prairie Provinces. Vol. 19 of Canada and Its Provinces. Toronto, 1914. Shrive, [Fr] Norman. Charles Mair, Literary Nationalist. Toronto, 1965. Stanley, George F. G. The Birth of Western Canada, A History of the Riel Rebellions. Toronto, 1963. First published in 1936. Tennant, Joseph F. Rough Times, 1870-1920. A Souvenir of the  50th Anniversary of the Red River Expedition and the  Formation of the Province of Manitoba! Winnipeg, n.d. Thwaites, F. T. Outline of Glacial Geology. Madison, 1961. Mimeographed, sold by the author, 41 Roby Road, Madison 5, Wisconsin. Trotter, Reginald G. Canadian Federation, Its Origins and Achievement, A Study in Nation Building! Toronto, 1924. Trow, James. A Trip to Manitoba. Quebec, 1875. Tyrrell , J . B. , ed. David Thompson's Narrative of his Explor- ations in Western America, 1784-1812. Champlain Society. Toronto, 1916. Waite, P. B. , ed. The Confederation Debates in the Province of  Canada. 1865. Toronto, 1963. Wallace, W. Stewart. The Pedlars from Quebec and Other Papers  on the Nor'Westers. Toronto, 1954. Warkentin, John, ed. The Western Interior of Canada, A Record  of Geographical Discovery, 1612-1917. Toronto, 1964. 273 Winchell, N. H., ed. The Aborigines of Minnesota, A Report  Based on the Collections of Jacob V. Brower, and on the  Field Surveys and Notes of Alfred J . Hi l l and Theodore  H. Lewis. St. Paul, 1911. Wolseley, Field-Marshall Viscount. The Story of a Soldier's  Life. 2 vols. Westminster, 1903. H --O Lake Winnipeg Winnipeg River LEGEND : 1 2 3 k Port Garry { Snow9s ) Road 'Thunder Bay Road Navigable portion of Dawson Route Fort Garry Rat Portage ( Kenora ) Fort Frances Prince Arthur's Landing Lake of th© Woods Dog Lake Rainy Lake Rainy River Namakan Lake Lac La Croix Simplified map : THE DAWSON ROUTE AND ADJACENT WATERWAYS Scale : 32 miles ( approx. ) to one inch Basswood L . Simplified Map : PHYSIOGRAPHY ALONG THE DAWSON ROUTE — — edge of Precambrian Shield HA? ^ ©.3 South Lake LAKE SUPERIOR Grand Portage Simplified map: LAKE SUPERIOR TO THE HEIGHT OF LAIS Scalei 8 miles to 1 inch LEGEND: Dawson Route Dog Lake Route Pigeon River Route — — Height of Land Q Portage LEGEND: 1 Rainy River 2 Rainy Lake 3 Namakan Lake 4 Lac La Croix 5 Maligne River 6 Lac Des Mille Lacs 7 Dog Lake & Kaministiquia River Simplified map : CANOE ROUTES WEST OF LAKE SUPERIOR Scale : 20 miles to 1 inch 

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