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

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THE A  PHASE  DAWSON OF  ROUTE  WESTWARD  EXPANSION  by BRUCE M.  LITTELJOHN  B.A., McMaster U n i v e r s i t y , 1 9 6 2  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 t h e s i s as conforming required  THE  t o the  standard  UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 1 9 6 7  In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e 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  t h a t 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 f o r r e f e r e n c e and Study. thesis  I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n  f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g of  this  f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be g r a n t e d by the Head o f my  Department or by h.iJs r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s  It  i s understood t h a t  copying  f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d  w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n .  Bruce M. L I t t e l J o h n  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  ii  ABSTRACT THE DAWSON ROUTE: The  A PHASE OF WESTWARD EXPANSION  b a s i c problem a t t a c k e d  i n t h i s t h e s i s i s the g e n e r a l  l a c k o f r e a d i l y a v a i l a b l e knowledge concerning  the Dawson Route.  While t h e r e i s much m a t e r i a l i n manuscript c o l l e c t i o n s and i n government p u b l i c a t i o n s , l i t t l e a t t e n t i o n has been p a i d t h e r o u t e i n other p l a c e s .  Several  s c h o l a r s have d e a l t  briefly  with p a r t i c u l a r a s p e c t s o f the r o u t e , but no person has t r e a t e d it  i n a comprehensive f a s h i o n .  this situation.  This t h e s i s s e t s out t o r e c t i f y  I t has been w r i t t e n i n t h e b e l i e f t h a t a short  g e n e r a l h i s t o r y o f the Dawson Route — development, use, and s i g n i f i c a n c e —  dealing with i t s o r i g i n s , 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 o f t h i s inquiry.  I n coping with these,  the w r i t e r has attempted t o  d e s c r i b e the p h y s i c a l nature o f t h e route and the n a t u r a l obs t a c l e s overcome i n i t s c o n s t r u c t i o n , and t o t e l l why and how i t was b u i l t .  He has a l s o t r i e d t o t e l l who used i t , what  i t was l i k e t o t r a v e l the route d u r i n g the 1870's, and t o des c r i b e i t s r e l a t i o n s h i p t o other t r a n s p o r t a t i o n r o u t e s .  Finally,  he has attempted t o e x p l a i n why i t d e c l i n e d and t o a s s e s s i t s significance.  The t h e s i s , i n s h o r t , i s a b r i e f g e n e r a l  history  of the Dawson Route. The  research  f o r t h i s paper has been c a r r i e d forward a t  l i b r a r i e s and a r c h i v e s i n Ottawa, Toronto, Port Arthur,  S t . Paul,  iii  Winnipeg, and  Atikokan.  Because physiography looms l a r g e i n  the s t o r y o f the Dawson Route, a number of f i e l d t r i p s i n t o the a r e a  i t t r a v e r s e d have been undertaken.  the r o u t e was  Again, because  a physical thing, considerable  expended i n l o c a t i n g and to i l l u s t r a t e i t s use,  reproducing  maps and  pictorial  i t s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , and the  through which i t passed.  been material  country  The w r i t e r has b e n e f i t t e d from i n -  volvement i n a r c h a e o l o g i c a l and along the route i n recent Several  e f f o r t has  conclusions  h i s t o r i c a l p r o j e c t s undertaken  years. have grown out of t h i s i n q u i r y .  l a r g e degree, the Dawson Route was  an e x t e n s i o n  and  In  refinement  of a long t r a d i t i o n of water t r a n s p o r t a t i o n i n the area between Lake S u p e r i o r  and the Red  of c o n s i d e r a b l e  River.  I t was  developed i n the  p h y s i c a l o b s t a c l e s and may  over those o b s t a c l e s .  face  be viewed as a triumph  Concern f o r the economic and  political  f u t u r e of the B r i t i s h Northwest i n s p i r e d i t s c o n s t r u c t i o n . T h i s concern was of Americans, and  l a r g e l y a r e s u l t o f the e x p a n s i o n i s t p a r t i c u l a r l y Minnesotans.  t h i s were t r a n s p o r t a t i o n developments and  temper  Combined w i t h  p h y s i c a l expansion  i n Minnesota, as w e l l as the a c t i v i t i e s o f the Canadian i n Red  R i v e r , which a l s o worked to encourage the  of a Canadian t r a n s p o r t a t i o n r o u t e .  construction  The Dawson Route  a u s e f u l m i l i t a r y - p o l i t i c a l purpose i n 1870,  p r i m a r i l y designed) was  served  but i t s success  as an emigrant route t o a t t r a c t s e t t l e r s t o the Red ( f o r which i t was  Party  River  area  severely l i m i t e d .  I t d e c l i n e d because o f i n h e r e n t weaknesses and  because of  iv  developments in competing transportation f a c i l i t i e s , 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 i n 1871.  Nonetheless, i t served a useful purpose and  appears to have reflected the willingness of Canadians to marshall 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 31  lSA-O's, 1850's, AND EARLY 1860's Minnesota, I84O-56  37  Great Britain, I84O-56  43  The Province of Canada, I84O-56  48  A Route to the West, 1857-59  55 83  The Early 1860's CHAPTER THREE: INITIAL CONSTRUCTION AND INAUGURATION OF THE DAWSON ROUTE, 1867-70 CHAPTER FOUR:  THE DAWSON ROUTE;  106  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. 2 1 :  Line of the Canadian Pacific  Railway  231  vii  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  viii  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: 41:  Views of Broken Dawson Route Dam  196  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  Rapids below Tanner's Lake Boiler from Dawson Route Tug Boiler Plate from Dawson Route Tug  216 220 221  :  50: 51: 52:  ix  53 '• Dawson Route Tugs on Rainy River  222  54:  223  Kashabowie Station, Dawson Route  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 I n p r e p a r i n g t h i s t h e s i s , the w r i t e r has b e n e f i t t e d from t h e a i d o f a number o f persons. been a p a t i e n t and h e l p f u l a d v i s o r .  Dr. Margaret Prang has Dr. Grace Lee Nute o f  S t . Paul has g i v e n expert a d v i c e on many p o i n t s and has been a constant  source o f encouragement;  Mr. Robert C. Wheeler,  A s s o c i a t e D i r e c t o r o f the Minnesota H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y , has p r o v i d e d e x t r a o r d i n a r y h e l p i n f a c i l i t a t i n g r e s e a r c h as have Mr. Frank B. Hubachek o f t h e Q u e t i c o - S u p e r i o r Wilderness Research Center  (Minnesota),  and Messrs. John B. R i d l e y and  Easton T. Kelsey o f t h e Quetico Foundation f e s s o r Kenneth E. Kidd  (Toronto).  Pro-  (Trent U n i v e r s i t y ) and Mrs. K. E. Kidd  have k i n d l y s u p p l i e d photographs as w e l l as knowledge o f t h e Dawson Route.  The same a p p l i e s t o P r o f e s s o r K. C. A. Dawson  (Lakehead U n i v e r s i t y ) and Mrs. K. C. A. Dawson. F. S h r i v e Toronto  Dr. Norman  (McMaster U n i v e r s i t y ) and Mr. R. Murray B e l l o f  have generously  possession.  p r o v i d e d unpublished  diaries i n their  Mr. A r t Armstrong (Lands and Surveys Branch,  Ontario Department o f Lands and F o r e s t s ) has gone t o unusual lengths t o l o c a t e maps o f the Dawson Route.  At the P u b l i c  A r c h i v e s o f Canada, Mr. Jay A t h e r t o n has been p a r t i c u l a r l y helpful.  Among o t h e r t h i n g s , C a r o l y n , my w i f e , has portaged  many a pack along t h e Dawson Route;  and Mrs. M. E. F i n l a y ,  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 t h e l i k e , the manuscript.  typed  To t h e above, and t o o t h e r s who have helped  i n v a r i o u s ways, I extend my thanks.  1  INTRODUCTION T h i s t h e s i s i s concerned with the o r i g i n s , development, use, and  s i g n i f i c a n c e of the Dawson Route.  More s p e c i f i c a l l y ,  beginning w i t h an o u t l i n e of the geography and e a r l i e r of how  the area under examination, and why  and b u i l t .  i t i s intended t o d e s c r i b e  the Dawson Route was  conceived, e x p l o r e d ,  I t i s a l s o intended t o t e l l who  what numbers, and what i t was  surveyed,  used i t , and i n  l i k e to t r a v e l the r o u t e .  F i n a l l y , the t h e s i s seeks t o assess the importance short-lived  history  (1^70-78) t r a n s p o r t a t i o n system.  of t h i s  In s h o r t , t h i s  p i e c e o f work might be s t y l e d a b r i e f g e n e r a l treatment the Dawson Route presented w i t h emphasis on s o c i a l  of  history.  A s u b s t a n t i a l remnant of the Dawson Route trends west through Quetico P r o v i n c i a l Park — mately 1,750  a preserve of a p p r o x i -  square m i l e s s i t u a t e d between F o r t W i l l i a m and  F o r t Frances i n Northwestern 450  south-  Ontario.  For some s i x t y of i t s  m i l e s , the route passed through the present park a r e a .  I t was  here, d u r i n g summers of employment as a park  t h a t the w r i t e r f i r s t  examined what subsequently  ranger,  proved  to  be the remains of Dawson Route dams, w a y - s t a t i o n s , and v e s s e l s . At the time, and f o r s e v e r a l years t h e r e a f t e r , l i t t l e l e a r n e d about these remains. accidental discovery —  was  I t seems, however, t h a t t h e i r  perhaps g i v e n heightened  the s o l i t u d e and u n p o l i s h e d beauty  impact  by  of t h e w i l d e r n e s s s e t t i n g  —  2  marked the beginning follow.  I t was  o f an i n v e s t i g a t i o n the r e s u l t s of which  a f o r t u n a t e contingency  t h a t the  initial  encounter w i t h the Dawson Route took place i n Quetico  Park.  Because the park i s a p r o t e c t e d area where human i n t e r f e r e n c e with the n a t u r a l environment i s minimal, the p o r t i o n o f the route w i t h i n i t s boundaries remains much as i t was century ago.  almost a  While water l e v e l s have undoubtedly changed  s l i g h t l y , they are not a p p r e c i a b l y 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 u n a l t e r e d . of the i m a g i n a t i o n ,  one  With o n l y a modest e x e r c i s e  can very n e a r l y d u p l i c a t e the e x p e r i -  ences o f e a r l y t r a v e l l e r s on the r o u t e . has been the experience  of the w r i t e r , and  T h i s , a t any r a t e , i t may  there are numerous r e f e r e n c e s to t h i s p a r t i c u l a r r e p r e s e n t a t i v e ) segment of the Dawson Route.  It  explain  why  (but q u i t e should,  however, be added t h a t the w r i t e r has observed p o r t i o n s of the route from Port A r t h u r to Winnipeg d u r i n g the course several f i e l d During forward  t r i p s i n t o the  of  area.  the p e r i o d 1963-67, r e s e a r c h has been c a r r i e d  a t the f o l l o w i n g places'.:'  the P u b l i c A r c h i v e s of Canada  (Ottawa, O n t a r i o ) , the O n t a r i o Department of P u b l i c Records and A r c h i v e s Society  (Toronto,  O n t a r i o ) , the Minnesota H i s t o r i c a l  (St. P a u l , Minnesota), the P o r t Arthur P u b l i c L i b r a r y  (Port A r t h u r , O n t a r i o ) , the Q u e t i c o - S u p e r i o r  Wilderness  Re-  search S t a t i o n (Basswood Lake, S u p e r i o r N a t i o n a l F o r e s t , Minnesota), at the N a t i o n a l Museum of Canada and the headquarters of the G e o l o g i c a l Survey of Canada (both i n Ottawa),  3  and a t the Toronto P u b l i c L i b r a r y , the L e g i s l a t i v e  Library  of O n t a r i o , the Surveys and Mapping Branch o f the O n t a r i o Department o f Lands and F o r e s t s , and the U n i v e r s i t y o f Toronto Library  ( a l l i n Toronto).  The w r i t e r has a l s o v i s i t e d  briefly  the l i b r a r y o f the Hudson's Bay Company, Hudson's Bay House (Winnipeg, Manitoba), and the A t i k o k a n P u b l i c L i b r a r y (Atikokan, Ontario). F i e l d t r i p s f o r p h y s i c a l examination of both the Dawson Route and the Pigeon R i v e r Route ( t r e n d i n g west from  Grand  Portage) have taken the w r i t e r to the v a l l e y s o f the Kaministiquisa, Matawin, and Shebandowan R i v e r s ; Windigoostigwan,  and Rainy Lakes;  to Shebandowan, Kashabowie, t o Grand Portage, p a r t s o f  the Pigeon R i v e r , and Saganaga Lake; of Lake of the Woods;  t o the Northwest  Angle  and t o p o r t i o n s of the Rainy R i v e r as  w e l l as the country immediately east o f 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 R i v e r to Lac La C r o i x has been paddled many times, as has the boundary waters r o u t e from Saganaga, v i a K n i f e , Basswood, and Crooked Lakes, t o Lac La Croix.  The w r i t e r has a l s o had the p r i v i l e g e o f p a r t i c i p a t i n g  i n Dawson Route a r c h a e o l o g i c a l work conducted a t French Portage and Deux R i v i e r e s Portage by the Royal O n t a r i o Museum, Lakehead U n i v e r s i t y , and the Quetico Foundation, i n c o o p e r a t i o n w i t h the O n t a r i o Department o f Lands and F o r e s t s .  Working w i t h a  N a t i o n a l Geographic S o c i e t y photographer and w i t h a Canadian B r o a d c a s t i n g C o r p o r a t i o n t e l e v i s i o n crew a l o n g p o r t i o n s o f the  4  Dawson Route has provided further opportunity for coming to grips with the country and i t s history. •wi* •rfs  >•>  V* >ji  V<» <rfi  #(i  It is a germane fact (and to the writer, a rather overwhelming one) that the Dawson Route was conceived during the decade before Confederation and constructed immediately following that event.  Its conception was related to larger plans  which were being formulated between 1857 and 1867, and i t s 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 i n Minnesota), the f i r s t Riel Rebellion, the transfer of Hudson's Bay Company territory to Canada, the creation of Manitoba, and the surveying and construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway.  All  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 i t s e l f , 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 i n i t s extent and in the volume of i t s 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 surface 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  e x p l o r a t i o n , s u r v e y i n g , and  construction of a  t r a n s p o r t a t i o n route might be  considered a human triumph  over g e o g r a p h i c a l f e a t u r e s .  The  degree t o which such e f f o r t s  deserve t o be s t y l e d a triumph depends upon the  efficiency  of the r e s u l t a n t r o u t e , the d i s t a n c e i n v o l v e d , and the geog r a p h i c a l p e c u l i a r i t i e s o f the country  traversed.  The Dawson Route, i n i t s u l t i m a t e form, s t r e t c h e d f o r 452.05 c i r c u i t o u s m i l e s between P r i n c e A r t h u r ' s Landing, Thunder Bay,  and F o r t Garry,  and Red Rivers.^"  at the confluence  At i t s e a s t e r n extremity,  w i t h a 45 m i l e wagon road from Thunder Bay Proceeding  on  o f the A s s i n i b o i n e  the route began  to Lake Shebandowan.  i n a g e n e r a l l y w e s t e r l y d i r e c t i o n , t h i s was  followed  by 312.05 m i l e s o f broken n a v i g a t i o n ( i n c l u d i n g e l e v e n  portages  w i t h a combined l e n g t h o f 8.33  section  miles).  This navigable  l i n k e d Lower Shebandowan Lake to the Northwest Angle o f Lake o f the Woods.  A second wagon t r a i l  (known as the F o r t  Garry  Road, or Snow's Road) extended from the l a t t e r p l a c e to the western terminus o f the r o u t e , a d i s t a n c e of 95 m i l e s . two  t e r m i n a l roads t o t a l l e d 140 m i l e s i n l e n g t h ;  vening n a v i g a b l e waters, i n c l u d i n g portages, 312.05 m i l e s .  inter-  added another  Given these f i g u r e s , i t becomes c l e a r t h a t  more than t w o - t h i r d s transportation  the  The  of the Dawson Route depended on water  (see map  no. 1, unbound).  T h i s 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 m i l e s immediately east o f the Red R i v e r , the e n t i r e Dawson Route passed through Precambrian S h i e l d  country.  Photo:  B. M. L i t t e l j o h n ,  1962  Much o f the Dawson Route passed through country c h a r a c t e r i z e d by rock r i d g e s , water, and c o n i f e r o u s forests.  T h i s i s not t o deny v a r i a t i o n s i n s o i l s and landforms, f o r the route not o n l y crossed the h e i g h t of l a n d west o f Lake S u p e r i o r , but a l s o passed through a p o r t i o n of the Thunder Bay  c l a y pocket  River clay p l a i n  (by way  o f the Thunder Bay Road) and the Rainy  (by means o f the r i v e r ) .  In a d d i t i o n ,  the  F o r t Garry Road c r o s s e d a l a r g e t r a c t o f wooded swamps and open muskegs f o r more than h a l f i t s l e n g t h b e f o r e d i p p i n g down i n t o the Manitoba Lowland.  On the whole, however, the  Dawson Route t r a v e r s e d what i s commonly thought Precambrian  S h i e l d country of the Northwestern  of as  typical  Ontario v a r i e t y  That i s , i t passed l a r g e l y through a landscape c h a r a c t e r i z e d by g l a c i a l l y scoured r o c k , t h i n and d i s c o n t i n u o u s s o i l s ,  rocky  h i l l s and r i d g e s r a n g i n g i n l o c a l r e l i e f up t o 5 0 0 f e e t ,  and  f o r e s t s o f Black Spruce, Trembling Aspen, S i l v e r B i r c h , Jack, Red,  and White Pine  (see map  and  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 o f the r e g i o n i s , however, the i n t r i c a t e r i v e r and l a k e system which seams and surrounds i t .  A t r i p through the area w i l l c o n f i r m t h i s  view, f o r i t w i l l q u i c k l y become e v i d e n t t h a t l a k e s , swamps, beaver-meadows, r i v e r s , and streams dominate the  landscape.  T h e i r genesis i s t o be found d u r i n g the g l a c i a l epochs when the rocky Precambrian  s u b s t r u c t u r e was  l a i d bare by massive i c e a c t i o n . —  The  scoured, gouged, and c o n t i n e n t a l i c e sheets;  t h e i r slow advances l i k e those o f g i a n t rock-studded rasps; •  scraped away the s o i l s of the r e g i o n , c a r r i e d them south, d e p o s i t e d them i n the area now  and  occupied by the n o r t h - c e n t r a l  9  Photo:  Martha A. Kidd  Lakes, swamps, beaver-meadows, and r i v e r s dominate much o f the landscape i n the area of the Dawson Route. A p o r t i o n o f the route i s i n d i c a t e d i n orange.  states.  The m i l e - t h i c k g l a c i e r s d i d 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-  p r e s s i o n s ranging up t o s e v e r a l hundred f e e t i n depth and about f o r t y square m i l e s i n e x t e n t . When the l a s t o f the f o u r g r e a t i c e sheets g l a c i a t i o n ) r e t r e a t e d from the area some  10,000  (the  Wisconsin  y e a r s ago, i t s  melt-waters f i l l e d i n the l a b y r i n t h o f b a s i n s which the g l a c i e r s had l e f t behind.  I n the merest t w i n k l i n g o f g e o l o g i c a l time  these b a s i n s brimmed over, t h e i r waters s p i l l i n g i n t o depressions.  adjacent  I n t h i s manner a complex p a t t e r n o f drainage was  c r e a t e d a t an e a r l y date over much o f the Dawson Route a r e a . It  i s almost  route  c e r t a i n , however, t h a t the western p o r t i o n o f the  (from about Rainy Lake west) remained submerged beneath  the waters o f g l a c i a l Lake A g a s s i z from the time o f the V a l d e r s  (8,500  Retreat  approximately  t o 7,000 B.C.)  500 B.C.  o f the Wisconsin g l a c i a t i o n  until  N e v e r t h e l e s s , d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d Lake  A g a s s i z continued t o d r a i n eastward i n t o the Lake S u p e r i o r b a s i n u n t i l , by 500 B.C.,  i t s l e v e l had been reduced  to reveal a frag-  mented, d i s a r r a n g e d drainage p a t t e r n s i m i l a r t o t h a t which prevails  today.  From the time o f the Aqua-Piano Indians c.  5,000  (c.  7,000 t o  B.C.), who l i v e d near the shores o f g l a c i a l and p o s t -  g l a c i a l l a k e s , through the p e r i o d o f the B o r e a l A r c h a i c Indians (c.  5,000  t o c.  500  B.C.), who a p p a r e n t l y used dugout canoes,  l i f e i n the r e g i o n 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 A.D.  500.  inhabited the country from about 500 B.C. to about They were followed by the Late Woodland Indians  who used canoes of bark construction and who the protohistoric period.  persisted into x  I t i s almost certain that a l l of  the Indians mentioned above had boats of some kind. the settlement patterns of these Indians c l e a r l y t h e i r dependence upon the lakes and r i v e r s .  Moreover,  demonstrate  George I. Quimby,  an acknowledged authority on these people, writes that "although other c u l t u r a l or environmental forces may have operated, waterways as means of t r a v e l , transport, and settlement were the most important single geographic factor of the region a f t e r 7000 B.C." With the a r r i v a l of Europeans i n the area — Jacques de Noyon, who  t r a v e l l e d west from Lake Superior i n 1688,  appears to have been f i r s t — and complex.  of whom  the Indian history becomes puzzling  I t i s l i k e l y that the confusing nomenclature  (where Indian t r i b e s were concerned) of early h i s t o r i c a l d i a r i e s and accounts has tended to obfuscate the s i t u a t i o n .  Nonetheless  taking both h i 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 s h i f t i n g and meeting cultures.  There i s evidence that there were Siouian people  (Assiniboine) i n the area about A.D. A.D. 1,400  1,000  and that, a f t e r  or thereabouts, they were joined by Algonkian Indians  (Cree) who moved i n from the north or north-east i n large numbers During the early years of French-Indian contact west of Superior,  12  both the A s s i n i b o i n e and  Cree were p r e s e n t .  f l i c t ) between these two  t r i b e s was  Contact  (and con-  e s p e c i a l l y evident around  C h r i s t i n a u x Lake (Lake o f the Crees, now  known as Rainy  Lake)  and Lake o f the Woods ( a l s o known as Lake of the A s s i n i b o i n e 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 e x e r t i n g p r e s s u r e from the east and the Cree and A s s i n i b o i n e were b e i n g pushed i n t o the more w e s t e r l y p o r t i o n of the border l a k e s In broad terms, t h e r e was  country.  a g e n e r a l westward s h i f t of peoples,  probably i n s p i r 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  e x t e r m i n a t i o n of f u r - b e a r i n g animals i n the E a s t .  Added t o  t h i s was  p r e s s u r e brought to bear by the F o r e s t Sioux o f p r e s e n t -  day n o r t h e r n Minnesota.  A c c u l t u r a t i o n and i n t e r - m a r r i a g e have  served to f u r t h e r complicate the p a t t e r n o f t r i b a l movements f o r t w e n t i e t h - c e n t u r y h i s t o r i a n s and a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s . 1800,  however, the Ojibwa c o n t r o l l e d most of the area  By about later  t r a v e r s e d by the Dawson Route, even though i n t e r m i t t e n t warfare between them and the F o r e s t Sioux continued w e l l i n t o the n i n e teenth  century. The Ojibwa assumed c o n t r o l o f an area poor i n a r a b l e l a n d  and h e a v i l y f o r e s t e d , but r i c h i n waterways.  The o n l y l o n g -  term i n h a b i t a n t s d u r i n g h i s t o r i c a l times, they were an hunting, f i s h i n g , and g a t h e r i n g people who  neither settled i n  l a r g e s t a t i c groups, nor p r a c t i s e d a g r i c u l t u r e to any extent.  itinerant,  significant  Nomads by n e c e s s i t y , they seldom stayed more than a  week i n one l o c a t i o n d u r i n g the w i n t e r months.  9  Instead,  they  13  moved i n f a m i l y groups by snowshoe and toboggan from one l o c a t i o n t o another. master  forest  During most of the y e a r , however, these  canoemen and b u i l d e r s moved along the water  trails,  f r e q u e n t l y s h i f t i n g t h e i r lodges from p l a c e t o p l a c e 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  C o n s i d e r i n g the waterways i n a broader sense, the h i s t o r y of the r e g i o n hinges on i t s s t r a t e g i c l o c a t i o n i n terms of cont 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 S u p e r i o r (the  western node of the Great Lakes - S t . Lawrence drainage  system) and Lake Winnipeg  (the water crossroads o f the  And w h i l e the i n t e r v e n i n g drainage i s complex and there i s a d i s c e r n i b l e pattern to i t .  Northwest).  intricate,  The h e i g h t o f l a n d ,  which separates the waters f l o w i n g west t o Lake Winnipeg  (and  e v e n t u a l l y i n t o Hudson Bay) from those f l o w i n g east i n t o Lake S u p e r i o r , i s l o c a t e d r o u g h l y f i f t y a i r - m i l e s west of F o r t W i l l i a m . S u r p r i s i n g as i t may  seem, t h e r e are good water connections  between the e a s t e r l y and w e s t e r l y flowage a t s e v e r a l p o i n t s along t h i s c o n t i n e n t a l watershed  (see map  no. 3, unbound).  There a r e , of course, portages a t these p o i n t s , but those between South Lake and North Lake (on the Pigeon R i v e r Route) and Kashabowie Lake and Lac Des M i l l e Lacs  (on the Dawson Route) are s h o r t  —  the former b e i n g a mere 680 paces, and the l a t t e r one m i l e i n length.  The  c r o s s i n g between the Dog R i v e r and the Savanne  R i v e r on the northernmost  r o u t e i s more d i f f i c u l t .  Both o f  The P u b l i c A r c h i v e s o f Canada Map o f Surveyor G e n e r a l , Joseph Bouchette, 1815. The Dog Lake and Pigeon R i v e r canoe r o u t e s are t r a c e d over i n y e l l o w ; the h e i g h t o f l a n d i s a l r e a d y more than a d e q u a t e l y emphasized.  15  these r i v e r s 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 f u r traders and others f o r 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 a r r i v e , 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 i n t e r i o r of North America.  And while other water a r t e r i e s  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 e f f i c i e n t routes were the Dog Lake route (used most heavily a f t e r 1804 and following the Kaministiquia River, Dog Lake, Lac Des M i l l e 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 P r o v i n c i a l Park, and then continue on to Lake Winnipeg v i a Namakan and Rainy Lakes, the Rainy River, Lake of the Woods, and the Winnipeg River (see map no. 4, unbound). In b r i e f , during the early h i s t o r i c a l period (1688-1821), i t s drainage pattern and l o c a t i o n made the region l a t e r traversed by the Dawson Route an i n t e g r a l l i n k i n the major water highway joining East and West.  And, f o r the student of g e o p o l i t i c s ,  16  i t s canoe routes stand as one veloped  of the reasons why  along an east-west a x i s —  but because o f  In 1688,  it.  1  de-  not i n s p i t e o f her geography,  1  Jacques de Noyon —  at T r o i s R i v i e r e s —  Canada  twenty years o l d , and  born  ascended the K a m i n i s t i q u i a , packed h i s  gear a c r o s s the h e i g h t o f l a n d , swung west among the l a k e s , swamps, and r i v e r s of the pays d'en  haut and  f i n a l l y , a t Rainy Lake, where he w i n t e r e d .  jumbled arrived,  De Noyon l e f t  j o u r n a l o f h i s t r i p , but i t i s l i k e l y t h a t he f o l l o w e d  no  the  12 Seine R i v e r system west of Lac Des  M i l l e Lacs.  While French  records are s i l e n t about the r e g i o n f o r about t h i r t y  years  a f t e r de Noyon's i n a u g u r a l t r i p , i t i s almost c e r t a i n t h a t other white men In 1696,  soon f o l l o w e d him west of S u p e r i o r . the French posts o f the western i n t e r i o r were  abandoned, and f o r more than a decade the upper country deserted  except f o r the odd renegade coureur  few J e s u i t s .  Then, i n 1717,  was  de b o i s and  a  S i e u r de l a Noue r e - e s t a b l i s h e d  the f o r t which Dulhut had f i r s t b u i l t  (about  1680)  a t the  13 mouth o f the K a m i n i s t i q u i a R i v e r .  F i v e years l a t e r  an  o f f i c e r named Pachot wrote t h a t the best route to the West was  v i a the Nantokouagane R i v e r , "about seven leagues IL  from  1  Kaministigoya."  T h i s , e v i d e n t l y , was  the Pigeon R i v e r  r o u t e , l a t e r to achieve g r e a t prominence, and the tenor  of  Pachot's comment suggests t h a t Frenchmen had a l r e a d y been using i t .  17  I t remained, however, f o r La Verendrye  t o p l a c e the  southern route c l e a r l y and permanently on the map.  At h i s  Lake N i p i g o n t r a d i n g post, i n 1727 and 1728, he had heard I n d i a n customers o f t h e r i c h f u r country t o the west. i n g l y , i n 1731,  Lake.  Accord-  he sent h i s nephew La Jemeraye west from Grand  Portage with t h r e e canoes and a h a n d f u l o f p a d d l e r s . terminus  from  The  o f t h i s important t h r u s t of e x p l o r a t i o n was Rainy The f o l l o w i n g s p r i n g La Verendrye  f o l l o w e d h i s nephew  west with seven canoes, c l e a r i n g some f o r t y portage  trails  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 R i v e r and the waterway t o the west had been r e v e a l e d . During the 1 7 3 0 ' s , 4 0 ' s , and 5 0 ' s many French canoes f o l l o w e d La Verendrye's  l e a d , some going i n l a n d from the "Great C a r r y i n g  P l a c e " a t Grand Portage, Dog  others t a k i n g the n o r t h e r n route v i a  Lake (see map no. 4 , unbound).  More important,  the r e g i o n  between Lake S u p e r i o r and Lake Winnipeg was now f i r m l y establ i s h e d as a l i n k i n t h e f u r t r a d e r s ' trunk route t o the West. The waterways had come i n t o t h e i r own, and f o r almost a hundred y e a r s , w h i l e the e p i c f u r t r a d e adventure  dominated the h i s t o r y  of the Northwest, the canoes o f c o u n t l e s s voyageurs passed  along  them. With t h e outbreak  o f t h e Seven Years' War, however, the  t r e n d o f e v e r - i n c r e a s i n g t r a f f i c was t e m p o r a r i l y r e v e r s e d . Trade on Lake S u p e r i o r and t o t h e west was a l l but abandoned as, one by one, the "Posts o f the Western Sea" were c l o s e d . Nonetheless, w i t h France e l i m i n a t e d ( a f t e r 1763) as a North  American power, the E n g l i s h , American and S c o t t i s h who  adventurers  f l o c k e d i n t o Canada behind Wolfe's s o l d i e r s were quick 1  ft  to f o l l o w where the French t r a d e r s had l e d .  In 1774,  alone  more than s i x t y b i g North Canoes went i n l a n d from Grand Portag and two years l a t e r the new  "Lords of the North" were working 17  the country w e l l above Lake Winnipeg. ' U n l i k e the French, who and Dog  had used both the Pigeon R i v e r  Lake r o u t e s , the p e d l a r s from Quebec t r a v e l l e d e x c l u s -  i v e l y v i a the southern waterway.  Thus the o l d canoe  l o c a t e d t o the n o r t h f e l l i n t o d i s u s e u n t i l  trail  circumstances  made necessary i t s r e - d i s c o v e r y a t a l a t e r date.  I n the  i n t e r i m the t r a d e expanded, the North West Company was  formed,  and t r a f f i c along the waterway l e a d i n g west from S u p e r i o r grew i n volume. ^ 1  Then, a f t e r a decade of North West Company e x i s t e n c e , and f o l l o w i n g the American R e v o l u t i o n a r y War,  international  r i v a l r i e s began to complicate the a l r e a d y competitive t r a d i n g situation. its  And,  w i t h the United S t a t e s Government d e c l a r i n g  i n t e n t i o n to tax B r i t i s h merchandise p a s s i n g through Grand  Portage, the Northwesters nate r o u t e t o the West. ^ 1  began a p r e s s i n g search f o r an In 1798  the search bore  alter  fruit  when Roderic Mackenzie r e d i s c o v e r e d the s t r a n g e l y f o r g o t t e n French r o u t e v i a Dog  Lake.  Mackenzie t r a v e l l e d the route  from Lac La C r o i x t o " C a m i n i s t i q u i a on Lake S u p e r i o r , from whence", he wrote, " I soon reached Grand Portage, b e i n g the f i r s t who  reached t h e r e from Lac La P l u i e d i r e c t by water  Photo:  B. M.  Litteljohn  "Lake S u p e r i o r " , by Frances Ann Hopkins, from a r e p r o d u c t i o n o f the o r i g i n a l o i l p a i n t i n g , Minnesota H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . The o r i g i n a l i s at the Glenbow Foundation, C a l g a r y . Mrs. Hopkins, the w i f e o f S i r George Simpson's p e r s o n a l s e c r e t a r y , o f t e n t r a v e l l e d i n North Canoes such as those d e p i c t e d here. Her p a i n t i n g s o f voyageurs and t h e i r c r a f t are without equal.  20  communication." to  The North West Company immediately began  p l a n 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 F o r t W i l l i a m w e l l on 21 the  way  t o completion;  u n t i l 1821  i t was  to remain the  g r e a t i n l a n d headquarters of the Northwesters. the  f l o a t i n g p o p u l a t i o n d u r i n g the summer was  3,000, was  estimated a t  an o a s i s o f c i v i l i z a t i o n even grander than t h a t 22  of Grand Portage. did  Here, where  The canoe r o u t e l e a d i n g up the K a m i n i s t i q u i a  not, however, shine so b r i g h t l y i n the eyes o f the voyageurs.  I t was  l o n g e r and more d i f f i c u l t than the Pigeon R i v e r r o u t e .  From Lake S u p e r i o r t o Lake Winnipeg,  the p a d d l e r s counted  s i x t y portagds (a t o t a l l a n d c a r r y o f about twenty  miles).  The water p o r t i o n s o f the r o u t e s t r e t c h e d f o r approximately 600 m i l e s t o the mouth o f the Winnipeg R i v e r (about 23 m i l e s l o n g e r than the Pigeon R i v e r r o u t e ) . 1821 t h i s was to  fifty  From 1804  until  to be the major highway l i n k i n g Lake S u p e r i o r  Lake Winnipeg  even though the boundary waters r o u t e con-  t i n u e d t o be used by competitors of the North West Company. With the c o a l i t i o n o f 1821, to  however, i t was d e c i d e d  abandon F o r t W i l l i a m as a major depot.  This  decision  made i t c l e a r " t h a t i n the o l d c l a s h of t r a n s p o r t r o u t e s the approach through Hudson Bay had triumphed over t h a t through Montreal." ^  The v a s t m a j o r i t y o f the Hudson's Bay Company  2  t r a f f i c was  soon p a s s i n g i n t o the i n t e r i o r v i a York F a c t o r y .  "The Northwest  Company r o u t e from F o r t W i l l i a m t o Lake Winnipeg  21  dependent on the expensive canoe", writes H. A. Innis, "was 25 abandoned and the York boat was supreme." ^ t h i s i s true.  In general,  I t should be added, however, that the Dog  Lake route was not completely abandoned.  Fort William r e -  mained i n operation as a post of greatly reduced importance u n t i l I878, and the Hudson's Bay Company continued to send express canoes over the route as well as a severely l i m i t e d amount of goods f o r l o c a l d i s t r i b u t i o n .  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 v i a the Whitefish River and Lac La Fleche (Arrow Lake). ^ 2  This  l a t t e r t r a i l joined the Pigeon River route (see map no. 5, unbound) which continued to be l i g h t l y 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, l e d an expedition 27 from Lake Winnipeg to Fort William.  At the same time, and  for several years thereafter, American and B r i t i s h boundary surveyors, operating under A r t i c l e 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, f o r instance, l e f t a detailed account of his journey 29 i n 1831.  Use continued into the 1840's.  In June, 1843,  Henry Lefroy (on his way to make magnetic surveys i n the North)  22  passed a l o n g the waterway which he d e s c r i b e d as "a s u c c e s s i o n of p r e t t y l a k e s emptying i n t o one another by short crooked channels broken by f a l l s and r a p i d s , and n e c e s s i t a t i n g many  30 portages."^  A year l a t e r , f o u r Grey Nuns, en r o u t e to the  Red R i v e r Settlement, t r a v e l l e d the same way, t o be f o l l o w e d ( i n 1846)  by P a u l Kane, the i l l u s t r i o u s p a i n t e r o f Canadian  31 Indians. 1845,  John Rae, who had used the r o u t e i n 1844 and i n  used i t a g a i n i n I848 when he accompanied  S i r John  Richardson i n t o the Northwest i n s e a r c h o f 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 o f the Hudson's Bay Company. Governor George Simpson,  f o r example,  paddled by h i s superb  I r o q u o i s crew, continued t o use the waterway w e l l i n t o the l850's.  I t , l i k e the Pigeon R i v e r r o u t e , f e l l i n t o compara-  t i v e d i s u s e and d i s r e p a i r but both waterways were known and s p o r a d i c a l l y used when George Gladman l e d the Red R i v e r E x p l o r i n g E x p e d i t i o n west from Lake S u p e r i o r i n 1857 •  The Public Archives of Canada "Sir George Simpson»s canoe and voyageurs at Fort William ..." In The Beaver, D e c , 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 QueticoSuperior Area", Canadian Geographical Journal, July, 1949, p. 2. 3  Peter Grant, "The Sauteux Indians", in L . R. Masson, Les Bourgeois de l a Compagnie du Nord-Ouest: Remits de Voyages, Lettres et Rapports I n § d i t s Relatifs au Nord-Ouest Canadien, vol.1 (Quebec, 1889), p.311. ~~ ^ The distances given i n 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, i n 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. Useful information concerning the geology, landforms, waterways, and forests of the region is to be found i n a number of reports of the Geological Survey of Canada. Of particular interest are the following: Robert B e l l , 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, J  25  "Report on the Geology of the Lake of the Woods Region", in Geological Survey of Canada, vol.1 (Ottawa, I 8 8 5 ) . 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, 4 t h 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.12231262; 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 concerning 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, B u l l e t i n 157 (Ottawa, 1958); Richard S. MacNeish, "A Possible Early Site i n the Thunder Bay D i s t r i c t , Ontario", National Museum of Canada, B u l l e t i n 1 2 6 (Ottawa, 1952); Lloyd A. Wilford, "A Revised C l a s s i f i c a t i o n 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. B l a i r (ed. and trans.), The Indian Tribes of the Upper M i s s i s s i p p i Valley and Region of the Great Lakes as described by Nicolas Perrot, 2 v o l s . (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 I n t e r i o r Parts of North America i n the Years 1766, 1767. and 1768 (London, 1781); R. G. Thwaites (ed.), The French Regime i n Wisconsin, 1727-48", vol.2 (Madison, 1906); N e l l i s 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 A r t i f a c t s from Northwestern Ontario", Ontario Archaeology, no.9, June, 1966. Q  Duncan Cameron, "The Nipigon Country", i n 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 f o r Indian l i f e during the B r i t i s h 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"; Elliot 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 i n the year 1823, v o l . 2 (Minneapolis, 1959), pp. 78-170; Grace Lee Nute, Caesars of the Wilderness, Medard, Chouart, Sieur des G r o s e i l l i e r s 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 i n this reproduction of three articles which f i r s t appeared in the Canadian Geographical Journal in May, July, and August, 1961. 12  De Noyon's t r i p 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 Development by the Fur-Trading Companies, down to the Year 1822. (Montreal, 1905), pp. 32-34. 13  of An in pp.  ^ The i n i t i a l date of construction and exact location Fort Kaministiquia have been subjects of some dispute. account of some of the differing points of view is given J . P. Bertrand, Highway of Destiny (New York, 1959), 53-57.  Lawrence J . Burpee (ed.), Journals and Letters of la Verendrye and his Sons, p. 7Harold 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 i n Canada, An Introduction to Canadian Economic History, rev, ed. (Toronto, 1962), p. 89. 15  An excellent and detailed description of the Pigeon River route is found i n Coues, v o l . 1, pp. 7-57; see also A. S. Morton, A. History of the Canadian West to 1870-71 (Toronto, n.d.), pp. 174-175. J  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 i r s t 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. 5 0 - 5 2 . 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). ^ The Treaty of Paris (1783) between Britain and the United States gave Grand Portage to the latter. 1  20 2  1  Masson, vol. 1, p. 46. 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. s t a t i s t i c a l 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 427-433There are many accounts of the Dog Lake route during the period 18041821, but among the most useful are: Coues, vol. 1, pp. 216223; "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. ^ E . E . Rich, The History of the Hudson's Bay Company, 1670-1870, vol. 2 (London, 1959), p. 412. 2  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 D i s t r i c t , 1823-24"; B105/e/4, "Lac La Pluie, Report on D i s t r i c t , 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 i r s t 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 DeuxMontagnes a la Riviere Rouge", Bulletin de la Societe Historique de Saint-Boniface, vol. 4, 1913W. 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, D e c , 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. x v i i i - x l i v ; Sir J . Richardson, Arctic Searching Expedition, 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 1826-1859A 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 Expeditions, vol. 2, p. 423; see also Grace Lee Nute, The Voyageur's Highway, Minnesota's Border Lake Land (St. Paul, 1951)  CHAPTER TWO: THE 1840's,  PROLOGUE TO THE DAWSON ROUTE; 1850's AND EARLY 1860's  In the 'forties Canadians began to dream again of the Northwest; in the ' f i f t i e s 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, J r .  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 secured 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, i n 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 t e r a l l y and figuratively, blazed the t r a 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. holdings were in three parts:  Its  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 i n -  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 D i s t r i c t . ^ 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 p o l i t i c a l commun7  i t y , 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. significance,  Of greater  the border competition drove up the price of  pelts and offered an alternative market to prospective private traders residing within the Red River D i s t r i c t .  Although  such trade was i l l e g a l , 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 monopoly 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 p o l i t i c a l authority and commercial rights. Kittson's chief a l l i e s 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  35  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 r a p i d l y .  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." The Company tried to stop the i l l i c i t trade with the result that its Charter and i t s 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  o f f i c i a l l y 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.  12f  1  36  T h i s 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 f a c t o e x t e n s i o n of freedom to t r a d e , was O f f i c e which was  r e f e r r e d to the C o l o n i a l  becoming i n c r e a s i n g l y conscious  of the  question-  a b l e s t a t u s o f A s s i n i b o i a and the other t e r r i t o r i e s o f the Hudson's Bay  Company.  Other f a c t o r s were a l s o b r i n g i n g the Red R i v e r i n t o the purview of the o u t s i d e world. proved communications and  simple growth.  f o l l o w i n g the c o a l i t i o n o f 1821,  Settlement  Among them were imSince George Simpson,  had s h i f t e d the supply  system  o f the Company away from the F o r t W i l l i a m route and north to Hudson Bay,  the colony had been l a r g e l y i s o l a t e d from the  v i n c e o f Canada. yearly basis.  Pro-  Even m a i l contact had d e c l i n e d to a twiceIn 1853,  however, a monthly m a i l s e r v i c e was  organized v i a Minnesota, and the people  of Red R i v e r came i n t o 15  frequent communication w i t h the world o u t s i d e . ' waggon t r a i l s and  The  improving  steamboat s e r v i c e s t o the south a l s o gave  the s e t t l e r s of Red R i v e r an i n c r e a s e d o p p o r t u n i t y f o r d i r e c t contact with o u t s i d e r s .  "We  noitf see people  from Red  almost every week", wrote a r e s i d e n t o f P r a i r i e du  River  Chien,  16  Wisconsin, And  d u r i n g the summer of the p o p u l a t i o n was  1853-  growing.  showed a t o t a l p o p u l a t i o n of 5 , 3 9 1 ; 6,523. '^ 1  1849,  The  The  census of  1849  by I 8 5 6 , i t had r i s e n to  p o p u l a t i o n continued t o grow.  Already,  i t had outgrown s u b o r d i n a t i o n to the Hudson's Bay  by 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 p r o v i n g i n i m i c a l to the regime of the f u r t r a d e .  Of a l l the developments i n the Red R i v e r  Settlement,  however, the r i s e of the p r i v a t e trade i n f u r s was ficant. The  The  o l d order i n the Northwest was  most s i g n i -  i n decline.  Hudson's Bay Company could not enforce i t s monopoly i n  the f a c e o f popular resentment.  The  crumbling  monopoly could o n l y l e a d to self-government,  of commercial  the growth of 18  g e n e r a l commerce, and the r i s e of a g r i c u l t u r e .  These t h i n g s  were c l e a r l y coming, but to a few i n t e r e s t e d onlookers i n 1850  —  and to many more i n I856 —  i t seemed t h a t "Red  River's  trade and l o y a l t y would g r a v i t a t e towards America r a t h e r than towards Canada, f o r t h e r e appeared a s t r o n g p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t Canada ... r e a c h i n g out towards the p r a i r i e s i n r i v a l r y w i t h America, might h e r s e l f succumb to the economic s t r e n g t h which was  d e v e l o p i n g to the  south."  19  Minnesota, I 8 4 O - 5 6 : To the south of the Red R i v e r Settlement, s t r e n g t h was  developing.  U n t i l 1837  considerable  t h e r e were no lands i n  the area of Minnesota open f o r s e t t l e m e n t .  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 g i v e n permission to e s t a b l i s h themselves at F o r t 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 s t a t u s , fewer than 4 , 0 0 0 people of what was  (not counting Indians) l i v e d w i t h i n the bounds t o become the S t a t e of Minnesota.^1  In the same  year, the p o p u l a t i o n of the Red R i v e r Settlement was  5,391  ( i n c l u d i n g 537 I n d i a n s ) . of  By 16*57, however, the p o p u l a t i o n  the Minnesota T e r r i t o r y had mushroomed t o no l e s s  than  22  150,037!  That o f A s s i n i b o i a , judging by the 16*56 f i g u r e  of 6,523, was o n l y about 7,000. For Minnesota t h i s was a boom p e r i o d o f s p e c t a c u l a r expansion which made developments t o the n o r t h look p a l t r y indeed.  Little  wonder t h a t "newspapers o f the t e r r i t o r y and  the s t a t e d u r i n g the 1850s and 1860s r e v e a l e d a g l o b a l view 23  of Minnesota's manifest d e s t i n y " .  J  Town b u i l d i n g and l a n d  s p e c u l a t i o n were rampant and were attended by the of  transportation f a c i l i t i e s .  expansion  By 1854 t h e r e was a good  rail-  road-steamboat connection from New York t o S t . Paul and steamboat a r r i v a l s a t the l a t t e r p l a c e rose from more than one hundred i n 1855 t o n e a r l y t h r e e hundred i n 1857 A l s o important were developments i n t r a d e and t r a n s p o r t a t i o n between S t . Paul and the Red R i v e r Settlement.  The  u n o f f i c i a l e x t e n s i o n o f the r i g h t o f f r e e t r a d e i n the Red R i v e r settlement marked a p e r i o d o f t r i b u l a t i o n f o r the Hudson Bay Company; times.  f o r the commerce o f Minnesota i t s i g n a l l e d good  As the t e c h n i c a l l y i l l e g a l  c a r t - l o a d s o f f u r found  t h e i r way south v i a Pembina, t r a d e r s such as K i t t s o n prospered and the economic t i e s between S t . Paul and A s s i n i b o i a were k n i t and then strengthened.  With the opening  of free trade  w i t h St. P a u l , the occupation o f c a r t - f r e i g h t i n g came i n t o i t s own.  " A f t e r 1850", w r i t e s W. L. Morton, "the c a r t s were  organized i n brigades o f i n d e f i n i t e and growing numbers, and  wound, lurching and shrieking, by the Crow Wing and other t r a i l s 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;  i n 1855 they totalled | 4 0 , 0 0 0 .  The figures for 1856 and 1857 were $97,253 and | 1 8 2 , 4 9 1 respectively. ^ 2  buying;  1  Moreover, Minnesota merchants were not just  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  w i 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 t r a i l s , and the widespread improvement of transportation f a c i l i t i e s in the United States had made the Red River Settlement part of the economic hinterland of a vigorous St. Paul. 1854,  Already, in  John Ballenden had advised Sir George Simpson that the  Minnesota route would soon afford the only viable means for 28  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 ( a f t e r 1871 ) Early t r a i l s from the Red River Settlement to St» Paul ( adapted from Grace Lee Nute, "The Red River Minnesota History, September, 1925 )  Trails* , 1  41  was  no t r a n s p o r t a t i o n r o u t e running a c r o s s B r i t i s h s o i l between  the P r o v i n c e o f Canada and the Red R i v e r . east-west Bay.  A f t e r 1821, t h e  route had g i v e n way t o the n o r t h e r n r o u t e v i a Hudson  Now the arduous York F a c t o r y r o u t e  (some seven hundred  m i l e s long and i n v o l v i n g t h i r t y - f o u r portages) was t h r e a t e n e d . R a i l communications i n the United S t a t e s were r a p i d l y westward (see map no.  7 on f o l l o w i n g page),  extending  steamboats were  a r r i v i n g r e g u l a r l y a t S t . P a u l , and the Red R i v e r c a r t  trails  were w e l l on the way t o r e p l a c i n g the water route from Hudson 29 Bay.  J u s t as Canadian i n f l u e n c e i n the Northwest had de-  c l i n e d with the demise o f the o l d canoe route from Lake S u p e r i o r , so. Minnesota's i n f l u e n c e grew w i t h the r i s e o f the  southern  route. In the meantime, the T e r r i t o r y o f Minnesota was moving By the time i t achieved statehood i n 1 8 5 8 , e i g h t y - n i n e  ahead.  newspapers and t h i r t y banks had been e s t a b l i s h e d .  A million  a c r e s o f l a n d had been s o l d and, w h i l e most immigrants went t o the south o f the t e r r i t o r y , "to the n o r t h , and r e a c h i n g f o r the Red R i v e r V a l l e y , t h e r e c o u l d be seen a f a i n t l i n e o f s e t t l e 30 ment."  With growth and commercial i n r o a d s i n the Red R i v e r  Settlement  came the f i r s t rumblings  i n Minnesota. tory's f i r s t (who  of expansionist  Men such as Henry H. S i b l e y  sentiment  (Minnesota  Terri-  delegate t o Congress, 1849-53), Henry M. R i c e  succeeded S i b l e y , 1853-58), and Alexander  first territorial  governor,  Ramsey  (Minnesota's  1049-53) encouraged t r a d e r e l a t i o n s  w i t h Red R i v e r w i t h an eye t o t h e i r t e r r i t o r y ' s  geopolitical  Prince Arthur°s Landing 1870  C  S t o Paul  Proximity of railheads to S t i n 1858  e  )  Paul  of*. ( Chicago and  La C r o s s e  Milwaukee 1858 ) t  v> \  one inch to 64 miles  Prairie du Chien C Milwaukee and Mississippi, *1857 )  Galena ( I l l i n o i s Central 1856 } 0  Rook Island ( Chicago and Rock Island, 1854 )  43  interests.  Ramsey "regarded Minnesota's frontier as an  i r r e s i s t i b l e 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 unnoticed in Canada, Red River, and at the Colonial Office. It would cause alarm and serve to focus attention on the Northwest.  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-  a l l y 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  I85O,  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 t e r r i t o r i a l 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, i t s 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  i t s 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 i t s lands should be opened for settlement, that i t s attitude was obstructive, and that i t s 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 r e l i e f 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 C o l o n i a l O f f i c e , and i n W i l l i a m  Gladstone  (soon t o become C h a n c e l l o r o f the Exchequer) they found a sympathetic Gladstone  ear.  I n the House o f Commons, on 18 August,  b i t t e r l y a t t a c k e d the Company, w i t h l i t t l e  The next year, however, the House "asked  I848,  success.  that a l l the corres-  pondence on complaints a g a i n s t the Company should be p l a c e d b e f o r e the House, and i n June the E a r l o f L i n c o l n ( l a t e r t o become C o l o n i a l S e c r e t a r y as the Duke o f Newcastle) gave the House a d i a t r i b e a g a i n s t t h e Company which l a s t e d f o u r and a 37 half hours. '  Shortly thereafter (July,  n J  I849)  i t was decided  t h a t the l e g a l v a l i d i t y o f the Company's C h a r t e r should be i n vestigated.  The Law O f f i c e r s o f the Crown decided, i n t u r n ,  t h a t t h e C h a r t e r was almost unchallenged The  c e r t a i n l y v a l i d , but i t remained  i n the law c o u r t s .  Company's t r o u b l e s were not over.  the C o l o n i a l S e c r e t a r y a complaint  I85O brought  from the American government  s t a t i n g t h a t t h e Company t r a d e d v a s t q u a n t i t i e s o f l i q u o r on the north-west f r o n t i e r o f the U n i t e d S t a t e s . another  petition  Then, i n I 8 5 I ,  ( d e l i v e r e d by way o f the A b o r i g i n e s P r o t e c t i v e  Society) a r r i v e d a t the C o l o n i a l O f f i c e .  I t s inconsiderable  e f f e c t has been b r i e f l y d i s c u s s e d above. Problems o f defence  a l s o served t o draw B r i t i s h a t t e n t i o n  to the Northwest and t o u n d e r l i n e the weakness o f i t s p o s i t i o n i n North America.  I n 1845,  t h e surge o f American f r o n t i e r s m e n  i n t o the Oregon country, combined w i t h the inflammatory  slogans  of James K. Polk, who had been e l e c t e d P r e s i d e n t o f the U n i t e d  46  S t a t e s i n the autumn o f  16*44,  i n Canada and Great B r i t a i n .  gave j u s t i f i a b l e cause f o r alarm T h i s alarm was c l e v e r l y  culti-  vated by George Simpson i n a number o f h i g h l y c o l o u r e d r e p o r t s which exaggerated  the dangers t o 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 p o i n t e d t o the f o l l y defence  of imperial  commitments i n Canada, and where t h e Duke o f W e l l i n g t o n  argued t h a t the f r o n t i e r o f Canada was i n d e f e n s i b l e . 1845,  In  two young army l i e u t e n a n t s , Henry J . Warre and Marvin  Vavasour, t r a v e l l e d west t o r e p o r t on the p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f defending the f r o n t i e r from Lake S u p e r i o r t o the P a c i f i c Ocean. At t h e same time, Simpson enjoyed the l i m i t e d support o f Lord M e t c a l f e , the new Governor-General  o f Canada.  After consider-  able debate, Simpson and the Hudson's Bay Company managed t o blend t h e i r commercial i n t e r e s t s with the need f o r defence o f the B r i t i s h p o s s e s s i o n s , and troops were despatched on  26  June,  I846,  from I r e l a n d  t e n days a f t e r the Oregon boundary had been  s e t t l e d and t h r e e days before t h e 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  had begun t o organize canoes a t S a u l t Ste. Marie  I846,  Simpson  to transport  troops a c r o s s t h e l a n g u i s h i n g water r o u t e west o f Thunder Bay. Warre and Vavasour had, however, a d v i s e d t h a t t h i s route was i m p r a c t i c a l and the troops were t h e r e f o r e sent t o Red R i v e r by way o f York F a c t o r y .  T h i s l i m i t e d commitment o f i m p e r i a l  t r o o p s , and the d i s c u s s i o n which preceded  i t , served t o r a i s e  f u r t h e r questions about t h e f u t u r e o f the Northwest.  The  47  arrangements f o r t r a n s p o r t i n g t h e troops  a l s o p o i n t e d t o the  l a c k o f an e f f e c t i v e communication between the Province o f Canada and Red R i v e r —  a l a c k which was t o be emphasized when  the Royal Canadian R i f l e s were sent t o t h e Northwest v i a York Factory) By  I856,  i n the autumn o f 1857.^  many i n Great B r i t a i n ,  t i v e s a l i k e looked  (again  9  " L i b e r a l s and Conserva-  forward t o the d i s s o l u t i o n o f the empire  with a complacency t i n g e d by an impatience t h a t tended t o grow w i t h the y e a r s . " ^  L i t t l e Englanders, i n t h a t year, a l s o  made i t known t h a t they wished Canada t o assume r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r t h e B r i t i s h i n h e r i t a n c e i n North A m e r i c a . ^ the t e r r i t o r y o f the Hudson's Bay Company. was w i l l i n g t o c o n s i d e r  included  That the Company  t h i s had been made c l e a r by Robert P.  P e l l y , then Governor o f A s s i n i b o i a , i n 1849. was a l s o considered  This  1  Such a move  i n I856 by S i r George Simpson.  a l s o c l e a r , however, t h a t n e i t h e r o f these men would  I t was consider  such a c t i o n without adequate compensation t o the Company. In I 8 5 6 , Henry Labouchere, t h e C o l o n i a l S e c r e t a r y , decided t o have a committee organized  t o examine t h e f u t u r e o f  the Hudson's Bay Company and the Northwest.  T h i s move r e f l e c t e d  o p p o s i t i o n t o t h e Company i n Red R i v e r 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 o f the Company and the B r i t i s h government t h a t " i t was only a matter o f time  before  the monopoly must be ended and a new form o f government s e t 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 t u r n , a  response t o B r i t i s h o p p o s i t i o n t o l a r g e monopolies and Canadian  48  f e a r s and a s p i r a t i o n s f o r the i n t e r i o r west and  north-west  of Lake S u p e r i o r .  The P r o v i n c e o f Canada, 1840-56: Folloxtfing the g r e a t days o f the Worth West Company, which ended w i t h the merger o f 1821, the a t t e n t i o n o f Canadians.  the western i n t e r i o r faded from Moreover, u n t i l 1857 i t cannot  be s a i d t h a t there was widespread Canadian i n t e r e s t i n the Northwest.  There were, however, a few persons  i n Canada West -- g i v i n g thought  —  especially  t o the f u t u r e o f the area  d u r i n g the 1840's and e a r l y 1850's.  And i t i s p o s s i b l e t o  chart the g r a d u a l re-emergence o f a more g e n e r a l concern f o r the f u t u r e o f the Hudson's Bay Company t e r r i t o r i e s and f o r improved communications w i t h them. With the o r g a n i z a t i o n o f the G e o l o g i c a l Survey o f Canada i n 1842,  the economic p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f the Precambrian S h i e l d  began t o come i n t o f o c u s .  Mining  companies s t a r t e d t o operate  along the n o r t h shores o f Lakes Huron and S u p e r i o r , thus  laying  a p a r t i a l f o u n d a t i o n f o r a new Canadian t h r u s t i n t o the Northwest. In a d d i t i o n , as the best a g r i c u l t u r a l lands i n the Province o f Canada became occupied, p r o s p e c t i v e farmers began t o look where:  many t o the U n i t e d S t a t e s ;  River a r e a . ^  else-  a few o t h e r s t o the Red  The settlement o f the Oregon d i s p u t e (I846)  added t o Canadian i n t e r e s t i n the Northwest and t o Canadian s c e p t i c i s m about the f u t u r e o f lands h e l d by the Hudson's Bay  49  Company. of  In A. S. Morton's words, "the f e a r t h a t a rush  American  might  immigrants  i n t o the vacant spaces of Rupert's  Land  sweep the West i n t o the United S t a t e s awakened the Cana-  dians to the p o s s i b i l i t y of t h e i r West b e i n g l o s t t o B r i t a i n and to them, and they r e c o i l e d from the thought t h a t 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 R e p u b l i c t o the south and t o the w e s t . " ^ The Oregon d i s p u t e was in  attended by the r e a l i z a t i o n that  Americans,  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 p o w e r f u l l y i n -  s p i r e d by the d o c t r i n e of "Manifest D e s t i n y " . t i o n was Minnesota  This r e a l i z a -  t o be a m p l i f i e d by the f o r m a t i o n of the T e r r i t o r y of (1849), which marked the advance o f the  American LQ  a g r i c u l t u r a l f r o n t i e r i n t o the M i s s i s s i p p i In  valley.  a d d i t i o n t o l a r g e events and b r o a d s c a l e  i n d i v i d u a l v o i c e s d i r e c t e d some a t t e n t i o n t o the In  developments, Northwest.  1 8 4 7 , Robert Baldwin S u l l i v a n addressed the Toronto  Mechanics'  I n s t i t u t e e x p r e s s i n g the f e a r t h a t Rupert's Land might f a l l to  50 the U n i t e d S t a t e s . t i e s of the western  S u l l i v a n ' s a p p r e c i a t i o n of the country s t r u c k a sympathetic  possibili-  chord w i t h  George Brown, e d i t o r of the Toronto Globe, and the l e c t u r e  was  51 p u b l i s h e d i n f u l l i n i t s pages.  During the next decade,  Brown and the Globe were t o be the c h i e f instruments i n a r o u s i n g Canadian i n t e r e s t i n the Northwest. writes: for  Of the Globe, F. H.  "More than any other agency i t deserves the  Underhill  credit  educating Canadian p u b l i c o p i n i o n up t o the conception  t h a t the f u t u r e of Canada depended upon the country beyond  50  Lake Superior.""^  D u r i n g 1848-49, two pamphlets  brought a d d i -  t i o n a l a t t e n t i o n 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 w r i t t e n by C a p t a i n M. H. Synge, 53  an o f f i c e r o f the R o y a l Engineers s t a t i o n e d i n Canada. Synge argued t h a t e f f i c i e n t the  communications  defence o f the B r i t i s h North American  were e s s e n t i a l f o r c o l o n i e s and,  c i p a t i n g the Dawson Route i n macrocosm, c a l l e d f o r a water and l a n d route a c r o s s the c o n t i n e n t . w r i t t e n by Major R. Carmichael-Smythe,  J  anti-  combined  The second  pamphlet,  advocated a r a i l  between H a l i f a x and the mouth o f the F r a s e r R i v e r . ^ i n the words o f R. G. T r o t t e r , "the f i r s t  line This  was,  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 r a i l w a y from sea 55 to  sea."  Carmichael-Smythe's  i d e a s were of more than p a s s i n g  i n t e r e s t f o r they were i n s t r u m e n t a l i n t u r n i n g the a t t e n t i o n of  Sandford Fleming t o the concept of a t r a n s c o n t i n e n t a l 56  rail-  way through B r i t i s h North America. Theory was  f o l l o w e d by an attempt a t p r a c t i c e when, i n  1851, A l l a n Macdonell o f Toronto — the  a b e l i e v e r i n the v a l u e o f  western country —  sought a c h a r t e r f o r a r a i l w a y l i n k i n g 57 Lake S u p e r i o r and the P a c i f i c . The L e g i s l a t u r e r e f u s e d Macdonell's a p p l i c a t i o n , but the Standing Committee on Railways and Telegraph L i n e s  ( c h a i r e d by S i r A l l a n MacNab) noted t h a t  the  a p p l i c a t i o n warranted s e r i o u s a t t e n t i o n and Macdonell d i d 58  not  abandon h i s p r o j e c t .  In the same year, George Brown  r a i s e d the q u e s t i o n o f the f u t u r e o f the Northwest i n h i s maiden speech i n p a r l i a m e n t .  He was  t o do so a g a i n d u r i n g the s e s s i o n s  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 S u p e r i o r had been scant and slow i n growing. however, i t took a s u b s t a n t i a l upward surge. was  I n that year, The o c c a s i o n  t h e completion o f the Northern Railway which ran from Toronto  to Collingwood.  I n a d d i t i o n t o opening up the f e r t i l e country  n o r t h o f the burgeoning c i t y , t h e l i n e was t o s e r v e as a portage r a i l w a y j o i n i n g the p o r t on Lake O n t a r i o t o Georgian Bay and the Upper Lakes.  I t would connect w i t h the p o r t s o f Lakes  Huron and Michigan and draw the t r a d e o f the West t o Toronto. "Sometimes added t o t h i s " , w r i t e s G. P. de T. Glazebrook, "was the hope o f r e s t o r i n g t h e o l d North West Company's f u r - t r a d e 59 route through Canada, l o s t s i n c e  1821."^  The opening o f the  S a u l t S t e . Marie c a n a l (U.S.A.) i n I856, and the f o r m a t i o n o f the Toronto-based North Western Steamboat Company i n the same year made the scheme y e t more f e a s i b l e . ^  On August 1, t h e  0  Globe announced the imminent f o r m a t i o n o f the Company, o b s e r v i n g that t h e success o f the r o u t e t o the West v i a Collingwood and 6l Lake S u p e r i o r could no l o n g e r be i n doubt. was  A l l that  remained  t o re-open the canoe t r a i l from F o r t W i l l i a m t o F o r t Garry.  The commercial hegemony o f Toronto over a v a s t western l a n d would f o l l o w .  hinter-  The merchants o f S t . P a u l had o t h e r i d e a s .  The merchants o f S t . P a u l could not, however, r e v e r s e the t i d e . The Canadian d r i v e t o the West was on. and p o l i t i c a l reasons f o r i t , factor.  I n 1855,  There were  commercial  but s c a r c i t y o f l a n d was a l s o a  t h e l a s t b l o c k o f w i l d l a n d i n the western  52  p e n i n s u l a of Canada West was  auctioned.  the event i n an a r t i c l e e n t i t l e d "New The new  Lands to Conquer".  lands l a y n o r t h and west of the Upper Lakes. North of Lake S u p e r i o r the way  been prepared. No.  The Globe r e p o r t e d  had,  i n a sense, a l r e a d y  In 18*50, the Lake S u p e r i o r Treaty  60) had been concluded  (Treaty  between Her Majesty the Queen and  Mishe-muckqua (and others r e p r e s e n t i n g the Ojibwa of the shore).  The  treaty —  which was,  i n p a r t , a response to the  number o f mining l o c a t i o n s i n the area — of l a n d from Batchewanaung Bay  north  saw  the v a s t  tract  to the Pigeon R i v e r , and  from  the s h o r e l i n e to the height of l a n d , ceded to the government except f o r three s m a l l r e s e r v a t i o n s . J . P. Bertrand," was  " T h i s t r e a t y " , notes  of s p e c i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e s i n c e from then  on began the modest development of n a t u r a l resources i n n o r t h "  6k  western O n t a r i o . Of more immediate s i g n i f i c a n c e i n I856 were the a c t i v i t i e s of W i l l i a m Kennedy and h i s w e l l - p l a c e d a s s o c i a t e s . a former c l e r k w i t h the Hudson's Bay  Kennedy,  Company, j o i n e d A l l a n 65  Macdonell i n a d d r e s s i n g  the Toronto Board of Trade i n December.  They a s s e r t e d t h a t Rupert's Land should belong furthermore,  I856  to Canada  and,  t h a t i t s i n h a b i t a n t s wanted to be Canadian.  As  turned to  1857,  Kennedy was  p r e p a r i n g a m i s s i o n to Rupert's  Land on b e h a l f of the North West Trading and C o l o n i z a t i o n Company of Toronto.  He had two  purposes:  to re-open the o l d  canoe route from Lake S u p e r i o r to F o r t Garry, the Red  R i v e r s e t t l e r s t h a t annexation  and  to  convince  to Canada would best  53  serve t h e i r p o l i t i c a l and economic f u t u r e .  As Toronto i n t e r -  e s t s made a d e f i n i t e move toward the Northwest, George Brown gave support by mounting an i n t e n s i v e e d i t o r i a l campaign i n the Globe.  By the end o f I856 he had, i n f a c t ,  committed  h i s j o u r n a l and h i m s e l f t o "the expansion o f Canada  across  the g r e a t i n t e r i o r p l a i n s , and u l t i m a t e l y t o the P a c i f i c . " ^ The Northwest was becoming a focus o f c o n s i d e r a b l e  inter-  e s t , and developments i n Red R i v e r , the Minnesota T e r r i t o r y , Great B r i t a i n , and the Province o f Canada had paved t h e way f o r the c l i m a c t i c events o f 1857.  Many o f the pre-1857 d e v e l -  opments had borne a c l o s e r e l a t i o n s h i p to s h i f t s i n l i n e s o f communication and t r a n s p o r t a t i o n .  Minnesota had gained a  s t r o n g h o l d on t h e Northwest p a r t i a l l y because o f s u p e r i o r communications.  Canada had, i n l a r g e degree, l o s t  with the area f o r l a c k o f good communications.  contact  The problems  of I m p e r i a l defence i n North America were sharpened by the d i f f i c u l t y o f sending troops west over B r i t i s h s o i l . people o f Red R i v e r showed s i g n s o f being p o l i t i c a l l y  The influenced  by the s t r o n g t r a d e and t r a n s p o r t a t i o n connection w i t h Minnesota. These t h i n g s were r e a l i z e d by many o f those who p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the events o f 1857-  I n t h a t year, and f o r some time t h e r e -  a f t e r , t h e problems o f t r a n s p o r t a t i o n and communications were to be r a i s e d , v e n t i l a t e d , and a t t a c k e d .  French and British fur trade route to Canada; declined after 1 3 2 1 The Lover Great Lakes were also used as an adjunct of this route* 0  Hudson s Bay Company route to Britain; i n decline after 1858» Used most heavily between 1 8 2 1 and 1 8 5 8 fl  0  Minnesota route; most heavily used after the Ho B Co adopted i t for most of i t s t r a f f i c i n 1 8 5 9 o Goods shipped across the Atlantic came v i a the U S o A or Canada to connect with this route As a "Canadian" connection with the Northwest, i t was superceded by the C P R o © The Dawson Route had special virtues, but i t did not replace the Minnesota route for general use 0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  55  A Route to the West, 16*57-59: A Canadian  dream, decked  out w i t h streamers of economic  n a t i o n a l i s m , c l e a r l y emerged i n 1857.  "But," as A. S. Morton  i n d i c a t e s , "there were two g r e a t o b s t a c l e s i n the way r e a l i z a t i o n of the Canadian other p o l i t i c a l .  dream —  of the  the one p h y s i c a l and the  The p h y s i c a l o b s t a c l e l a y i n the  territory  between Lake S u p e r i o r and the Red R i v e r , a l a n d of rocky h i l l o c k s , swamps, and l a k e s .  I f the Canadians  were t o capture the t r a d e  of the Settlement they must open up a l i n e of t r a n s p o r t a t i o n 67 through t h i s f o r b i d d i n g c o u n t r y . " Canadians, In  i n 1857,  were moving toward t h a t g o a l .  January the North West Trading and C o l o n i z a t i o n Company, 68  backed  by wealthy  Torontonians, was  established.  The Com-  pany, an unchartered concern, sent W i l l i a m Kennedy t o d i s c o v e r the most p r a c t i c a b l e communications r o u t e from Thunder Bay to the Red R i v e r .  In a d d i t i o n t o a g i t a t i n g a g a i n s t the Hudson's  Bay Company i n Red R i v e r , i t was  expected t h a t Kennedy —  the grand t r a d i t i o n of the o l d North West Company — b r i n g f u r s a c r o s s the r o u t e and down t o Toronto. Company c o l l a p s e d i n l a t e 1857  in  would Before the  he managed to encourage  372  people of Red R i v e r 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 f u r s a t i n f l a t e d  prices.  The Company, however, came to n o t h i n g and the S h i e l d country 6Q west of Lake S u p e r i o r remained unconquered. P o l i t i c a l progress was made i n the same month that the 7  56  s h o r t - l i v e d North West Trading and C o l o n i z a t i o n Company was On 8 January, 150  formed.  grand p a r t y convention. of  Reformers met  i n Toronto f o r a  There, under the c a r e f u l d i r e c t i o n  George Brown, they agreed upor> a p l a t f o r m which  included  70 annexation of the Northwest.  Brown and the Globe, a i d e d by  e d i t o r i a l w r i t e r W i l l i a m McDougall  ( l a t e r , as M i n i s t e r of P u b l i c  Works, to bear much o f the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r b u i l d i n g the 71 Dawson Route), out  kept up the pressure f o r annexation through-  the year.  The need f o r a t r a n s p o r t a t i o n r o u t e was  c o r o l l a r y of t h e i r A l s o i n 1857, of  Commons was  a  aspirations. a "Select Committee o f the B r i t i s h House  appointed' t o c o n s i d e r the s t a t e of B r i t i s h  p o s s e s s i o n s a d m i n i s t e r e d by the Hudson's Bay Company. view of growing Canadian i n t e r e s t i n the Northwest, v i n c e was  In  the Pro-  i n v i t e d t o send a r e p r e s e n t a t i v e to put her case.  W i l l i a m Henry Draper, C h i e f J u s t i c e o f Canada West, was He was  i n s t r u c t e d t o uphold Canada's c l a i m to the l i o n ' s share  of the Northwest the  selected.  and "to urge the expediency o f marking  out  l i m i t s , and so p r o t e c t i n g the f r o n t i e r o f the lands above  Lake S u p e r i o r , about Red River^ and from thence t o t h e  Pacific,  as e f f e c t u a l l y t o secure them a g a i n s t v i o l e n t s e i z u r e or  irre-  g u l a r settlement u n t i l the advancing t i d e o f emigrants from Canada and the U n i t e d Kingdom may  f a i r l y f l o w i n t o them, and  occupy them as s u b j e c t s of the Queen, on b e h a l f o f the B r i t i s h empire."72  j  n  a d d i t i o n , he was  t o see " t h a t every f a c i l i t y  should be secured f o r e n a b l i n g Canada to explore and survey  57  the t e r r i t o r y between Lake S u p e r i o r and the Rocky Mountains —  and i f the P r o v i n c i a l L e g i s l a t u r e should t h i n k f i t t o pro-  v i d e the means o f so doing, no o b s t a c l e should be thrown i n the way o f the c o n s t r u c t i n g o f roads or the improvement o f water communication, or the promotion  o f s e t t l e m e n t beyond  the l i n e supposed t o separate the t e r r i t o r y  o f the Hudson's  Bay Company from t h a t o f C a n a d a . " ^ The r e p o r t o f the Committee, p u b l i s h e d i n August,  con-  cluded t h a t " i t i s e s s e n t i a l t o meet the j u s t and reasonable wishes o f Canada t o be enabled t o annex t o her t e r r i t o r y  such  p o r t i o n o f the l a n d i n her neighbourhood as may be a v a i l a b l e to her f o r the purposes is willing  o f settlement, w i t h which lands she  t o open and m a i n t a i n communications, and f o r which  she w i l l p r o v i d e the means o f l o c a l a d m i n i s t r a t i o n . * ^ ^ The i n q u i r y opened the way f o r a g r a d u a l ,  piecemeal  e x t e n s i o n o f Canadian c o n t r o l over the Hudson's Bay Company territories.  Draper,  however, was n o t a t a l l sure t h a t Canada  could e s 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 Red R i v e r o r t h a t she could e f f e c t i v e l y  communications w i t h govern the t e r r i t o r y 75  between Lake S u p e r i o r and the Rocky Mountains. ^ of  communications, i n f a c t , was a thorny one.  The q u e s t i o n  Many witnesses  had t e s t i f i e d b e f o r e the S e l e c t Committee to the e f f e c t  that  the route v i a S t . Paul was e x c e l l e n t but t h a t 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 i m p r a c t i c a b l e . Nonetheless,  t h e r e were advocates  even C h i e f J u s t i c e Draper,  o f the Canadian route and  although r a t h e r a p o l o g e t i c a l l y ,  58  spoke o f hopes f o r a t r a n s c o n t i n e n t a l r a i l w a y . at any r a t e , t h a t some s o r t o f Canadian the Northwest had t o be b u i l t .  I t was c l e a r ,  communication w i t h  Draper made the p o i n t : " A l l  I can say i s , t h a t u n l e s s you do t h a t , f a r e w e l l t o i t s l o n g being maintained as a B r i t i s h For many Canadians,  territory."  the r e p o r t o f the S e l e c t Committee  u n d e r l i n e d t h e need and hope o f a c q u i r i n g Rupert's Others were d i s s a t i s f i e d .  Land.  One o f them was George Brown, who  expressed h i s o p i n i o n i n t h e Globe:  "The country which i s  ours by l e g a l r i g h t , we may have p o s s e s s i o n o f by g i v i n g sec u r i t y to m a i n t a i n roads and e s t a b l i s h c i v i l i z e d —  institutions  and meantime i t i s t o remain i n the hands o f monopolists  who have never opened a road or done one a c t f o r the m a t e r i a l 77 or moral e l e v a t i o n o f the people o f the T e r r i t o r y . "  It  was a g i t a t i o n as u s u a l w i t h Brown, and i t was t o continue u n t i l the Canadian  government committed i t s e l f t o the annexation  of the Northwest. Meanwhile, i n Minnesota  —  where the r e p o r t o f t h e S e l e c t  Committee was read w i t h n e a r l y as much i n t e r e s t as i t was i n Canada —  the r e a c t i o n was almost j u b i l a n t .  Minnesotans  ex-  amined the recommendations o f the Committee and concluded  that  the i m p e r i a l and p r o v i n c i a l governments were about to open the country t o s e t t l e m e n t . and Democrat throughout  Such a move, noted the Pioneer  (16 Aug., 1857), " w i l l be h a i l e d w i t h d e l i g h t  the N o r t h w e s t . " ^  I n commenting l a t e r on the proceed-  ings o f the S e l e c t Committee, the same newspaper gave the reason  59  for i t s 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. communications.  Much of i t was concerned with  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, i t s 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, u n t i l 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 r a i l s 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 creaking 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 i t s competi-  86 tors were jammed with attractive American imports."  The  situation worried William Mactavish, the chief factor in charge of the d i s t r i c t , and was made worse by demands for wage i n creases on the part of the boatmen. decided on a course of action:  By winter Mactavish had  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 i r s t steamboat on the Red and, as Bishop  62  Tache l a t e r r e c a l l e d , "each t u r n of the engine appeared to 87 b r i n g us nearer by so much to the c i v i l i z e d w o r l d . " If  '  steamboat connection w i t h Minnesota loomed l a r g e i n  the minds of Red R i v e r s e t t l e r s , i t a l s o had meaning f o r Minnesotans and Canadians. cut  Steam t r a n s p o r t a t i o n on the  the l a n d c a r r y to S t . Paul i n h a l f , thus i n c r e a s i n g the  c a p a c i t y o f the Minnesota r o u t e .  In J u l y , 1859,  Simpson added  the Anson Northup t o the Hudson's Bay Company's new t a t i o n system which, f o r approximately  t i e s w i t h Minnesota, ened.  and  The  economic  shut down the o l d  ( s t i l l used f o r express t r a v e l ) t o Lake S u p e r i o r  "once the f o r e s t s r e c l a i m e d the portage t r a i l s ,  prospective  i n t e r l o p e r s from Canada would be d e t e r r e d from attempting 88 reach Rupert's The  the  e s p e c i a l l y S t . Paul were again s t r e n g t h -  Furthermore, the Company c o u l d now  canoe r o u t e  transpor-  a decade, served as  major Company connection w i t h the Northwest.  and  river  to  Land."  " p r o s p e c t i v e i n t e r l o p e r s " of 1857,  i n t e n t i o n of being d e t e r r e d .  Two  however, had  no  documents prepared by Joseph  Cauchon, the Commissioner o f Crown Lands, and p u b l i s h e d i n 1857, to  made t h i s c l e a r .  The f i r s t was  a memorandum designed  sway the o p i n i o n o f the B r i t i s h S e l e c t Committee.  I t re-  v i v e d the French and North West Company claims t o the Hudson's Bay Company t e r r i t o r i e s and to  concluded t h a t the Northwest  Canada by r i g h t of p r i o r d i s c o v e r y and o c c u p a t i o n .  belonged The  Company, i n Cauchon's magnanimous view, c o u l d c l a i m c l e a r to  title  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 o f i t s  63  posts on Hudson Bay.  With r e g a r d t o communications, t h e memo-  randum noted t h a t the " n e c e s s i t y f o r expansion  compels t h e  P r o v i n c i a l Government t o create f u r t h e r f a c i l i t i e s f o r i t . With t h i s view", Cauchon continued, " p r e p a r a t i o n s were made i n t h e Crown Lands Department l a s t summer f o r a p r e l i m i n a r y survey from t h e head o f Lake S u p e r i o r westward, p r e p a r a t o r y to ing to  t h e opening  o f f r e e grant roads  ... f o r t h e purpose o f farm-  a nucleus o f a settlement which would g r a d u a l l y penetrate the v a l l e y o f t h e Red R i v e r and t h e 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 t o a f f o r d e a s i e r means o f communication w i t h the n a v i g a b l e waters f l o w i n g 89 to  t h e west." The  second document prepared by Cauchon (probably w i t h  the help o f W i l l i a m MacDonnel Dawson) was t h e f i r s t r e p o r t o f the Crown Lands Department.  This —  annual  "the l o n g e s t ,  most i m a g i n a t i v e and most f a r - r e a c h i n g o f a l l n i n e t e e n t h 90 Crown Lands Reports"  —  century  i n d i c a t e d t h a t t h e p r o v i n c e was run-  n i n g s h o r t o f good farm l a n d a v a i l a b l e f o r settlement and proceeded t o mount a s e r i e s o f arguments f o r Canada's immediate expansion first,  i n t o t h e West.  Steps i n t h i s expansion  would be,  a thorough e x p l o r a t i o n o f t h e country west o f Lake S u p e r i o r ,  second, an expanded r a i l w a y system i n c l u d i n g a l i n e a l o n g the n o r t h shore o f Lake Huron and, t h i r d , t h e s u r v e y i n g o f an ambi-rious c o l o n i z a t i o n road s t r e t c h i n g from Thunder Bay t o t h e Red River.  Cauchon went on t o e n v i s i o n "a l i n e o f communication 91 by l a n d , o r p a r t l y by water, t o the P a c i f i c . " The memorandum 7  64  and r e p o r t prepared by Cauchon were i n f l u e n t i a l , not o n l y by v i r t u e o f h i s p o s i t i o n as Commissioner or t h e i r i n h e r e n t worth, but a l s o 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 .  the p e r i o d 1854-57 he was  During  c r e d i t e d w i t h having a p e r s o n a l f o l l o w 92  i n g o f e i g h t e e n members i n p a r l i a m e n t .  And when he  h i s p o s i t i o n of Commissioner of Crown Lands i n 1857, h i s enthusiasm  f o r westward expansion t o h i g h e r  he  left carried  political  93 levels. The q u e s t i o n s r a i s e d concerning the Northwest i n  1857  were l a r g e ones and would take c o n s i d e r a b l e time t o r e s o l v e . 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 w a i t on p o l i t i c a l union of the B r i t i s h American c o l o n i e s and purchase  of the Hudson's Bay Company's t e r r i t o r i a l  In the more l i m i t e d area of western 1857 was  an e v e n t f u l y e a r .  the  rights.  communications, however,  The events i n c l u d e d concrete a c t i o n s  as w e l l as compendiums of w i s h f u l t h i n k i n g and d e c l a r a t i o n s of i n t e n t .  The p h y s i c a l improvements o f the Minnesota  route  and i t s adoption by the Hudson's Bay Company have been mentioned. An attempt  t o counter the r e a l economic and p o s s i b l e p o l i t i c a l  e f f e c t s o f these a c t i o n s was of two  begun i n 1857  w i t h the  despatch  e x p l o r i n g e x p e d i t i o n s , one from B r i t a i n , the o t h e r from  Canada. The B r i t i s h e x p e d i t i o n , l e d by C a p t a i n John P a l l i s e r and sponsored  by the I m p e r i a l Government and the Royal  c a l S o c i e t y , a r r i v e d a t F o r t W i l l i a m on 12 June. purpose o f the undertaking was  The  Geographigeneral  t o make a g e o g r a p h i c a l survey  Toronto P u b l i c L i b r a r i e s F o r t W i l l i a m i n 1861. The houses o f John M c l n t y r e (Chief F a c t o r ) and o t h e r Hudson's Bay Company employees a r e on the r i g h t . Mount McKay i s seen t o the west, a c r o s s the K a m i n i s t i q u i a R i v e r . From a water c o l o u r by W i l l i a m 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 i r s t 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  d i f f i c u l t 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 w i 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 interest 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 p o l i t i c a l 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  m i l e s o f road, through probably a d i f f i c u l t T h i s road was t o be a crude a f f a i r .  country." ' The r i v e r s would  be crossed by means o f boats o r f l o a t i n g b r i d g e s t o be establ i s h e d by s e t t l e r s .  During t h e w i n t e r the t r a i l "would n a t u r -  a l l y d e v i a t e from the summer road, f o r the purpose o f keeping on t h e l a k e s 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 p a r t s f o l l o w the c u t r o a d . " two  f i n a l arguments i n support o f h i s proposed  He gave  7  trail: " i t  would be on t h e l i n e o f , and consequently a i d c o n s i d e r a b l y , i n t h e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f a r a i l r o a d , b e s i d e s b e i n g w e l l removed 99 from the i n t e r n a t i o n a l boundary."  H i s p r o j e c t e d road was  a l s o w e l l removed from t h e realm o f 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 l o c a t i n g a l o n g the rugged S h i e l d country i t was t o t r a v e r s e and took the s c a n t e s t n o t i c e o f the d i f f i c u l t t e r r a i n and hundreds o f l a k e s and r i v e r s en route."''^  N e v e r t h e l e s s , P a l l i s e r r e j e c t e d proposals f o r a  combined water and l a n d r o u t e i n favour o f h i s p l a n .  Perhaps  the reason i s t o be found i n h i s admission t h a t , " a t present we know l i t t l e o r n o t h i n g o f the d i s t r i c t o f country between Lake S u p e r i o r and t h e Lake o f the Woods, except the  'canoe route'. V  1 0 1  j u s t along  The Canadian Red R i v e r E x p l o r i n g Expe-  d i t i o n o f 1857 took a more p o s i t i v e view concerning a l a n d and water r o u t e . Immediately f o l l o w i n g the r e p o r t o f t h e Canadian S e l e c t Committee, t h e P r o v i n c i a l L e g i s l a t u r e voted a grant o f £5,000 towards t h e opening  o f communications w i t h Red R i v e r .  An  e x p l o r i n g p a r t y was  promptly o r g a n i z e d .  a month and a h a l f behind  On 1 August, j u s t  P a l l i s e r , i t a r r i v e d at Fort William.  The d i r e c t o r of the e x p e d i t i o n d u r i n g i t s f i r s t of o p e r a t i o n s was  season  George Gladman, an avowed advocate of west-  102 ward expansion.  Under h i s d i r e c t i o n , but enjoying  consider  a b l e freedom i n the d i s c h a r g e of t h e i r p r o f e s s i o n a l d u t i e s , were a g e o l o g i s t , c i v i l  engineer,  and  surveyor.  Professor  Henry Youle Hind, o f the U n i v e r s i t y of T r i n i t y C o l l e g e , Toronto 103 was. the g e o l o g i s t .  •*  The  engineer was  Simon J . Dawson was  appointed  surveyor  W.  and  H. E. Napier,  and  cartographer. *^ 1  In a l l , the p a r t y numbered f o r t y - f o u r ( i n c l u d i n g twelve Caughnawaga I r o q u o i s , and twelve Ojibwa Indians from F o r t William). In 1858,  the composition  e x p e d i t i o n were t o change. o v e r r i d i n g g o a l which was ions:  "The  and  During  terms o f r e f e r e n c e of the 1857,  however, i t had  one  c l e a r l y s e t out i n Gladman's i n s t r u c t  primary o b j e c t of the e x p e d i t i o n i s to make a  thorough examination of the t r a c t of country between Lake S u p e r i o r and Red  R i v e r , 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 o r y , from t h a t l a k e t o the Red  R i v e r Settlements,  and  terri-  ulti105  mately to the g r e a t t r a c t s of c u l t i v a b l e lands beyond them." U n l i k e the P a l l i s e r e x p e d i t i o n , t h a t o f the Canadians commenced o p e r a t i o n s w i t h the c l e a r understanding a route.  t h a t there was  t o be  I t o n l y remained to see what path i t would f o l l o w .  The p a r t y a c c o r d i n g l y s p l i t up i n t o s m a l l groups which  Toronto Public Libraries Chief Trader John B e l 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 M W i n  FORT  MlMi  71  set about exploring the waterways west of Thunder Bay. were far more thorough than Palliser.  They  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 i t s 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 Northwest Angle to Fort Garry  In the meantime George Gladman  returned to Toronto by way of the Pigeon River route and proceeded to urge an early start on road construction and the establishment of a monthly mail service to Red River.  He  had no success i n 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 A p r i l , I 8 5 8 ) , stating that "the expedition w i l l be divided into two parties, of which one w i 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.  Litteljohn  73  . . . w i 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 w i 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 Lake.  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 i e l d (Dec, I858) — Dawson learned of a "gravelly ridge" extending across the worst swamps west of Lake of the  The P u b l i c A r c h i v e s Encampment o f Hind's p a r t y on the Red R i v e r , 1858. photographer Humphrey L l o y d Hime.  o f Canada  Taken by  pioneer  -P-  76  Woods.  T h i s s e c t i o n had posed one o f the most d i f f i c u l t  blems f o r the e x p l o r e r s and so i t was w i t h evident  pro-  jubilation  t h a t Dawson wrote (the i t a l i c s a r e h i s ) , "over t h i s l i n e our p a r t y rode c l e a r through t o the Lake o f the Woods, on horseback." By 1 June, then,  the b a s i c e x p l o r a t o r y work necessary  opening a communication had been done.  f o r the  Much o f the Dawson  Route s t o o d r e v e a l e d , the e x p l o r a t i o n s were terminated, and Dawson estimated about  £50,000.  1  t h a t a p r e l i m i n a r y l i n e c o u l d be opened f o r 1  3  The work had been thoroughly  done.  One might argue,  i n f a c t , t h a t t h e r e had been unnecessary d u p l i c a t i o n .  In  some cases, three d i f f e r e n t p a r t i e s examined and r e p o r t e d on the same waterway. munications,  I t f o l l o w e d t h a t , on the s u b j e c t o f com-  Hind and Dawson d i f f e r e d on some p o i n t s .  The  g e o l o g i s t argued t h a t the Pigeon R i v e r Route was f a s t e r , s h o r t e r , and g e n e r a l l y b e t t e r than t h a t v i a Dog Lake.  The surveyor  d i s a g r e e d , n o t i n g t h a t " f o r a d i s t a n c e o f one hundred and t h i r t y m i l e s from Lake S u p e r i o r , westward, i t cannot be made i n any way a v a i l a b l e as a l i n e o f water communication, except f o r s m a l l canoes;  t h a t the country being f o r a g r e a t p a r t o f the  d i s t a n c e rugged, mountainous and cut up w i t h l a k e s , i t i s next to i m p r a c t i c a b l e f o r roads, and, f i n a l l y , t h a t there being a much b e t t e r route t o t h e eastward, e n t i r e l y w i t h i n B r i t i s h t e r r i t o r y , there would be no o b j e c t i n attempting  to open t h i s  l i n e , o r spending f u r t h e r sums i n i t s e x p l o r a t i o n . " ^ " 11  4  e s s e n t i a l s , however, the two men were i n p e r f e c t a c c o r d :  In the  Photo:  B. M.  LittelJohn  D e t a i l o f Hind's map, annotated by Gibbard; showing the l i n e between Lake o f the Woods and t h e Red R i v e r Settlement.  surveyed  73  Photo:  Martha A.  Kidd  F o r t Garry i n 1858, from Henry Youle Hind, N a r r a t i v e of the Canadian Red R i v e r E x p l o r i n g E x p e d i t i o n , 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 Minnesota 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,  i n 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), ' '' William MacDonnel Dawson, Lewis Moffat, 1  1  5  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 f a c i l i t i e s for transport from the shores of Lake Superior to Fraser's R i v e r .  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, f i n a l l y , 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 constructed.  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 substituted.  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 w i 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 w i 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 p o l i t i c a l 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 s o i 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 t e r r i t o r i a l 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, Navigation 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 government 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. happened i n between.  And nothing much  82  The economic  cum n a t i o n a l i s t s p i r i t  concern d i d not, however, d i e . for  a westward communication.  had combined  t h a t i n s p i r e d the  N e i t h e r d i d the r e l a t e d  desire  The elements o f t h i s o u t l o o k  d u r i n g the years 1857-59.  For Canadians, espe-  c i a l l y the v o c i f e r o u s and powerful group i n Toronto, a c q u i s i t i o n of,  and communications  w i t h the Northwest had become more a  n e c e s s i t y and more a p o s s i b i l i t y as the decade ended. S e l e c t Committees a t home and abroad had u n d e r l i n e d t h i s In the West the Hudson's Bay Company was the  The view.  l o s i n g i t s h o l d , and  l i m i t e d c a p a c i t y o f the Tork F a c t o r y r o u t e had been demon-  strated.  At the same time, the r i s e o f the Minnesota communi-  c a t i o n and the growth o f e x p a n s i o n i s t sentiment i n the s t a t e had j u s t i f i a b l y aroused concern i n the P r o v i n c e o f Canada. Furthermore, the B r i t i s h a u t h o r i t i e s had h e l d out the p o s s i b i l i t y o f annexing western t e r r i t o r y — upon the opening o f communications ministrative responsibility. the  a p o s s i b i l i t y contingent  and the assumption o f ad-  At the Red R i v e r Settlement  advocates o f annexation t o Canada had grown i n number and  found an e f f e c t i v e v o i c e i n the Nor'-Wester.  In Canada West,  Reformers had been i n f u s e d w i t h the e x p a n s i o n i s t s p i r i t  of  George Brown and had adopted annexation o f 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 p l a t f o r m .  The Toronto b u s i -  ness community had taken money i n hand and attempted t o span the  country d i v i d i n g E a s t from West.  s t r a t e d t h a t the job was  I t s f a i l u r e o n l y demon-  too much f o r p r i v a t e c a p i t a l and t h a t  government would have to take a hand.  Cauchon had p o i n t e d  S3  to the need f o r new lands f o r Canadians t o conquer. finally,  And,  the Canadian Red R i v e r E x p l o r i n g E x p e d i t i o n had i n -  spected the ground and, i n i t s e s s e n t i a l s , l a i d out the l i n e of  communication w i t h the West.  The E a r l y  1860's:  As 1859 turned t o i860, i t must have seemed as i f cons t r u c t i o n o f a route was imminent; of for  consequence was done. s e v e r a l reasons.  but f o r e i g h t years nothing  The p r o j e c t was t e m p o r a r i l y  abandoned  For one t h i n g , Dawson, Gladman, and  Hind had explored i n Rupert's Land a t the p l e a s u r e o f the Hudson's Bay Company.  While Cauchon had h o p e f u l l y d e c l a r e d t h a t the  Company h e l d no t e r r i t o r i a l r i g h t s i n the area o f i n v e s t i g a t i o n , the  l e g a l i t y and e t h i c s o f b u i l d i n g a r o u t e a c r o s s p o r t i o n s o f  Rupert's Land would be open t o s e r i o u s debate.  Subsequent  events i n d i c a t e d t h a t the Company d i d , indeed, possess p r o p r i e t a r y r i g h t s f o r which compensation would have t o be p a i d . C o n s t r u c t i o n , t h e r e f o r e , would l e g a l l y have t o await the t r a n s f e r of those r i g h t s t o Canada.  Second, i t became evident t h a t  western expansion and communications " c o u l d o n l y 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 u n i o n . "  '  The v a s t p r o j e c t , i n which the Dawson Route was t o p l a y a p a r t , was too b i g and too expensive f o r the Province o f Canada. T h i s was e s p e c i a l l y the case i n view o f the sharp commercial d e p r e s s i o n which began i n 1857 and reached i t s worst phase i n  84  1859.  Much o f Canada's p o l i t i c a l and economic t a l e n t was,  a c c o r d i n g l y , d i v e r t e d from r e l a t i v e l y s m a l l  considerations,  such as a r o u t e between Thunder Bay and F o r t Garry, t o the big  questions  The  ' s i x t i e s a l s o saw t h e outbreak o f t h e American C i v i l War  and attendant  o f d e p r e s s i o n and p o l i t i c a l union o f the c o l o n i e s .  Anglo-American d i f f e r e n c e s which served t o t u r n  the a t t e n t i o n o f the Canadian Government away from the Northwest. Of l e s s e r s i g n i f i c a n c e , but demanding c o n s i d e r a t i o n , was the f a c t t h a t the r e p o r t s o f Dawson and Hind l e d t h e government t o r e v i s e i t s i d e a s about the method o f opening a westward communication.  F o r a l l t h e i r enthusiasm, the r e p o r t s i n d i c a t e d t h a t  the cost o f the proposed route would be l a r g e .  They a l s o  showed t h a t the government's p r e l i m i n a r y p l a n o f o r g a n i z i n g townships along the l i n e , thus advancing t h e f r o n t i e r o f s e t t l e ment hand i n hand w i t h realistic.  c o n s t r u c t i o n crews, was e n t i r e l y un-  The t r a c t s o f c u l t i v a b l e l a n d —  the Rainy R i v e r —  were s m a l l oases i n a v a s t , rocky,  hospitable wilderness. difficulties  such as along and i n -  As one c r i t i c put i t , "the n a t u r a l  o f the country w i l l make road-making a very  expens-  ive  b u s i n e s s , while t h e s o i l , which c o n s i s t s c h i e f l y o f rock  and  swamp, w i l l o f f e r no inducement t o s e t t l e r s , even i f they 129  obtain the land f o r nothing." impossible  '  I t would, c l e a r l y , be q u i t e  t o e s t a b l i s h a l i n e o f settlement  from Thunder Bay  to Red R i v e r . The  communications impetus o f 1857-59 seemed t o evaporate  i n the hiatus o f the e a r l y ' s i x t i e s .  I n f a c t , i t was o n l y  t e m p o r a r i l y and p a r t i a l l y submerged by l a r g e r events.  In  government there were a few f u t i l e g e s t u r e s d u r i n g the p e r i o d . On 15 A p r i l , 1862,  f o r i n s t a n c e , the P r o v i n c i a l S e c r e t a r y wrote  to the Governor o f Rupert's Land s t a t i n g t h a t  "appropriations  have been made by the L e g i s l a t u r e f o r roads towards Red R i v e r  every f a c i l i t y w i l l h e n c e f o r t h w i t h the west."130  e x i s t towards a communication  T h i s fond hope f l o u n d e r e d  Hudson's Bay Company i n t r a n s i g e n c e . F o l e y stood behind  Postmaster-General  a second f l u r r y o f a c t i v i t y i n 1862  v o c a t i n g the r e - e s t a b l i s h m e n t of roads,  on t h e r e e f o f Michael  i n ad-  o f m a i l s e r v i c e s , the c o n s t r u c t i o n  and the improvement o f waterways west o f Lake S u p e r i o r  towards B r i t i s h  Columbia. 131  h i s r e p o r t to the Cabinet  (17  While h i s f o r a y was f r u i t l e s s , Oct.,  1862)  i s quoted here a t  some l e n g t h because o f i t s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e , e x p a n s i o n i s t o f f a c t , fancy, f r u s t r a t i o n , and f o r e s i g h t .  blending  Noting t h e d i s -  covery o f g o l d on the F r a s e r R i v e r i n B r i t i s h Oregon, and t h e undoubted v i r t u e s o f t h e 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, F o l e y turned t o t h e problem o f communications: The s h o r t e s t and most n a t u r a l route t o 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 S t . Lawrence and i t s chain of t r i b u t a r y l a k e s ; but owing t o t h e want o f f a c i l i t i e s f o r t r a n s i t beyond t h e head o f Lake S u p e r i o r , persons d e s t i n e d f o r t h e western settlements n e c e s s a r i l y make the voyage by sea, o r accomplish t h e f i r s t stage i n the l a n d journey — F o r t Garry on t h e Red R i v e r — by way o f Minnesota and Dacotah. Thus i t may i n t r u t h be s a i d t h a t t h e people o f the neighbouring s t a t e s h o l d the key to the B r i t i s h possessions i n the west, and w h i l e by t h i s means t h e i r w i l d lands a r e being s e t t l e d and improved,  86  ours, l y i n g immediately a d j a c e n t and q u i t e as w e l l f i t t e d f o r c u l t i v a t i o n , remain a mere h u n t i n g ground f o r the s o l e b e n e f i t and advantage o f a company of t r a d e r s , whose o b j e c t i t i s t o keep them a w i l d e r n e s s p r o d u c t i v e o n l y of game, and who, t o t h i s end, do a l l i n t h e i r power t o d i v e r t i n t o f o r e i g n channels, t o the promotion o f a l i e n i n t e r e s t s , the commerce c a r r i e d on by them w i t h the outs i d e world. In the judgement of the undersigned, the time has a r r i v e d when more d e c i s i v e and e f f e c t i v e means than have yet been put f o r t h should be employed i n opening up and p e r f e c t i n g the communication westward from Lake S u p e r i o r through B r i t i s h t e r r i t o r y . Cut o f f from i n t e r c o u r s e w i t h t h e i r f e l l o w - s u b j e c t s ... the people of the Red R i v e r Settlement have f o r many years past been loud i n t h e i r expressions o f d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n . Minnesota, and not Canada, i s , from imperious n e c e s s i t y , the emporium of t h e i r t r a d e ; the c h i e f r e c e n t a d d i t i o n s t o t h e i r p o p u l a t i o n are from the United S t a t e s , and t h e i r sympathies, i n s p i t e o f t h e i r wishes, are b e i n g drawn i n t o a channel l e a d i n g i n an oppos i t e d i r e c t i o n from t h a t of the source of t h e i r a l l e g i a n c e . In a word, the c e n t r a l l i n k i n the c h a i n o f s e t t l e m e n t s which should connect Canada w i t h B r i t i s h Columbia i s being r a p i d l y Americanized, and u n l e s s 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 t h a t d i r e c t i o n , there i s reason to f e a r t h a t i n c a l c u l a b l e m i s c h i e f w i l l f o l l o w . The tendencies which have i n the main operated i n keeping the North-western country c l o s e d t o the i n d u s t r i a l e n t e r p r i s e o f the B r i t i s h and Canadian people, may be t r a c e d t o the a l l e g e d o b s t a c l e s i n the way o f the cons t r u c t i o n of p r a c t i c a b l e roads and the improvement of navigation. Recent e x p l o r a t i o n s , however, prove these o b s t a c l e s t o have been g r e a t l y exaggerated. The exped i t i o n s of the I m p e r i a l and Canadian Governments demons t r a t e the e n t i r e f e a s i b i l i t y o f e s t a b l i s h i n g communication f o r p o s t a l and t e l e g r a p h i c s e r v i c e , a t reasonable r a t e s , through the t e r r i t o r i e s which the Hudson's Bay Company c l a i m as being under t h e i r j u r i s d i c t i o n . 1 3 2 F o l e y ' s r e p o r t might have been l i f t e d from the pages o f the Globe, and, i n f a c t , as a L i b e r a l l e a d e r i n the L e g i s l a t i v e 133 Assembly, he was  c l o s e l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h George Brown.  The f o l l o w i n g s p r i n g  J J  (28 A p r i l , 1863), Edward Watkin,  r e p r e s e n t i n g the A t l a n t i c and P a c i f i c T r a n s i t and  Telegraph  Company and a c t i n g i n harmony w i t h F o l e y ' s r e p o r t , put forward  87  a p r o p o s a l f o r the " e s t a b l i s h m e n t o f a p o s t a l and t e l e g r a p h i c r o u t e between Canada and the P a c i f i c  O c e a n . p r o p o s a l  d i d not, however, make p r o v i s i o n f o r the c o n s t r u c t i o n o f a road and the Canadian Government r e j e c t e d i t on those grounds."^ Meanwhile, In 1859,  changes were t a k i n g p l a c e i n Red R i v e r .  W i l l i a m Buckingham and W i l l i a m C o l d w e l l , " f r e s h from  s e r v i c e w i t h the Toronto Globe and w i t h the wind o f Northwest destiny i n t h e i r n o s t r i l s , " ^  e s t a b l i s h e d t h e i r newspaper,  the Nor' -Wester, i n the Settlement. was t h a t the Northwest  One o f i t s c h i e f messages  should be annexed t o Canada.  The weekly  served as the fulcrum o f the "Canadian p a r t y " whose meager numbers had been augmented by a few Canadians who to the Settlement i n the wake o f the tions.  In  i860,  1857-59  emigrated  e x p l o r i n g expedi-  Dr. John C h r i s t i a n S c h u l t z became l e a d e r o f  t h i s group and from 1864 of the Nor' -Wester.  u n t i l 1868 d i r e c t e d the a c t i v i t i e s  Under h i s c o n t r o l , the paper continued  to a s s a i l the Hudson's Bay Company and t o urge annexation by Canada, but w i t h i n c r e a s i n g vehemence. mental i n s e c u r i n g a p e t i t i o n  In 1863  he was  instru-  (sent t o Sandford Fleming and,  by him, t o the Canadian Government) p r a y i n g f o r a means o f 137 communication w i t h Canada.  y i  S c h u l t z was  also instrumental  i n c r e a t i n g c o n s i d e r a b l e d i s t r u s t o f the "Canadian p a r t y " i n the minds o f the metis, and he c o n t r i b u t e d 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  emphasized the need f o r a m i l i t a r y communication, B r i t i s h t e r r i t o r y to Red R i v e r .  forcibly  through  88  In Minnesota,  the Panic of 1857, the C i v i l War,  and  the Sioux u p r i s i n g of 1862 slowed the northwestward movement of the f r o n t i e r d u r i n g the e a r l y throughout  the war  'sixties.  y e a r s , strenuous  Nevertheless,  e f f o r t s t o promote b e t t e r  trade r e l a t i o n s w i t h the Red R i v e r Settlement were continued. And,  i n s p i t e o f temporary d i s r u p t i o n of the St. P a u l - F o r t  Gary r o u t e  (occasioned by I n d i a n i n t e r f e r e n c e i n 1862), the  volume o f t r a d e between the two F o l l o w i n g the war,  c e n t r e s grew t o new  however, commercial i n t e r c o u r s e was  w i t h schemes of t e r r i t o r i a l aggrandizement. 1865-70 was  heights.  one o f m a t e r i a l expansion  coupled  The p e r i o d  and e x p a n s i o n i s t m a t e r i a l -  ism d u r i n g which m i l i t a n t exponents of "Manifest D e s t i n y " 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 s t i m u l a t e d by the e f f l o r e s c e n c e of Canadian t r a n s continentalism. was  At the same time, Canada's d r i v e to the west  spurred on by Minnesota's obvious As the 1860's wore on, t h e r e was  greed. c o n t i n u i n g t a l k about  the Northwest and the l a c k o f a Canadian communication w i t h i t . The Globe and the Nor'-Wester were e s p e c i a l l y eloquent on subject.  In George Brown's o p i n i o n the government had  to adequately  pursue the Northwest q u e s t i o n and had  n e g o t i a t i o n s w i t h Watkin.  the  failed  fumbled  I n commenting, i n I 8 6 4 , on rumours  o f a r a i l w a y to j o i n S t . Paul and F o r t Garry, he prophesied t h a t "the movement which has now  been i n s t i t u t e d . . . i s nothing  more or l e s s than the handing over of the v a s t North West T e r r i t o r y , not o n l y commercially  but p o l i t i c a l l y , to the U n i t e d  89  States."  "Thus i t i s " , the Nor'-Wester had warned i n s i m i l a r  circumstances, the l i t t l e  " t h a t Minnesota s t r e t c h e s out her arms t o embrace  colony o f B r i t i s h s u b j e c t s i n the f a r n o r t h . " 1 ^ °  E q u a l l y r e l e v a n t to the communications question, and o f more l a s t i n g importance, were the s t r i d e s taken toward and the t r a n s f e r o f Rupert's Land to C a n a d a . ^ 1  1  Confederation On the ground  between Thunder Bay and Red R i v e r , however, the c o n s t r u c t i o n of a t r a n s p o r t a t i o n route w a i t e d on the events o f  1867.  90  FOOTNOTES:  CHAPTER TWO  A l v i n C. Gluek, J r . , Minnesota and the Manifest Destiny of the Canadian Northwest (Toronto, 1965), p. 220. 1  o  Reginald G. Trotter, Canadian Federation, I t s Origins and Achievement, A Study i n Nation Building (Toronto, 1924), p. 2 5 5 . 3  ' G. P. de T. Glazebrook, A History of Transportation i n Canada, v o l . 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, i n f a c t , 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, v o l . 2, pp. 788-789. ^ A masterly treatment of the Red River Settlement during the 1840's and 1850's i s found i n W. L. Morton's introduction to London Correspondence Inward from Eden C o l v i l e , 1849-1852, edited by E. E. Rich (London, 1956), x i i i - c x v ; see also George F. G. Stanley, The B i r t h of Western Canada. A History of the R i e l Rebellions (Toronto, 1963), pp. 12-21. 7  '  Morton, op. c i t . , x x i .  Kittson, born i n Lower Canada, and an experienced and tenacious f u r trader, was made manager of the American Fur Company's Northern Department i n 1843. He was i n s t r u mental i n 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, J r . , p. 48  A detailed and fascinating account of the growth of free trade i n Rupert's Land and the growing influence 1  0  91  of Minnesota in the affairs of the British Northwest is i i Gluek, J r . found in 11  E. E . Rich, vol. 2 , p. 789.  12  Governor George Simpson wanted the troops to i n timidate the turbulent metis. The need for military preparations 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 Settlement, via York.Factory, in 1846. They were recalled in  June, I848.  E. E . Rich, vol. 2, p. 552. 1 L  I b i d . , 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 i r s t figure is cited in W. L . Morton's introduction 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  E . E . Rich, vol. 2, p. 795The 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. y  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  I b i d . , 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. ^ W. L . Morton, Manitoba, A History, p. 82. Joseph Kinsey Howard indicates that, by 1851, more than one hundred carts were making the t r i p 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, 2  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 D i s t r i c t . 29  reached (1856) , (1857) , See map  Between 1856 and I858, three the Mississippi: the I l l i n o i s the Milwaukee and Mississippi and the Chicago and Milwaukee no. 7-  additional railheads Central at Galena at Prairie du Chien at La Crosse (I858).  30 J  Gluek, J r . , p. 116;  see also Blegen, p. 195.  93  3  1  Gluek, J r . , p.  3 2  I b i d . , p.  3 3  S t a n l e y , p.  105.  115. 20  ^ Mackay, p. 257. The Hudson's Bay Company's r e l a t i o n s h i p with government i s thoroughly d i s c u s s e d i n E. E. 3  Rich, pp. 787-8153 5  3  pp.  ^  E. E. R i c h , p.  7^9.  I s b i s t e r and h i s a c t i o n s are d e a l t w i t h i n R i c h , and i n ¥. L. Morton, Manitoba, A H i s t o r y , p. 76.  545-46, 3  7  E. E. R i c h , p.  791.  Simpson wanted the t r o o p s i n Red R i v e r to preserve the Company's t r a d i n g monopoly; he was not so g r e a t l y d i s turbed by the a c t i v i t i e s of P r e s i d e n t Polk and other proponents of the "Manifest D e s t i n y " d o c t r i n e . See Gluek, J r . , pp. 60-61; and E. E. R i c h , p. 724. 39  ^ U s e f u l accounts of the Warre-Vavasour journey and the despatch of t r o o p s t o Red R i v e r i n 1846 are g i v e n i n Gluek, J r . , pp. 60-67, and E. E. R i c h , pp. 537-40 and 725-32. ^ A. L. B u r t , The E v o l u t i o n of the B r i t i s h Empire and Commonwealth from the American R e v o l u t i o n (Boston, 1956),  p• 444• p.  ^  W.  42  E. E. R i c h , p.  43  W.  300.  44  L. Morton, The Kingdom of Canada (Toronto,  1963),  796.  L. Morton, Manitoba, A H i s t o r y , pp.  94-95-  Morton, The Kingdom o f Canada, p. 291i n f o r m a t i o n on mining a c t i v i t y i n the Thunder Bay found i n Robert B e l l , "Thunder Bay S i l v e r Mines", Roland (ed.), Algoma West, I t s Mines, Scenery and  Additional area i s i n Walpole Industrial  94  Resources (Toronto, 1887), p. 52; Highway o f D e s t i n y , pp. I0I-65.  and J . P. B e r t r a n d ,  45 For i n f o r m a t i o n on the d i m i n i s h i n g l a n d r e s o u r c e o f the P r o v i n c e o f Canada see R i c h a r d S. Lambert w i t h P a u l Pross, Renewing Nature's Wealth (Ontario Dept. o f Lands and F o r e s t s , 1967), pp. 27, 86, 106-108: and Don W. Thomson, Men and M e r i d i a n s , v o l . 1 (Ottawa, 1966), pp. 290-300;;: see a l s o A. R. M. Lower, Colony t o Nation (Toronto, 1959), y  pp. 292-294.  ^ p. 268;  Lower, p. 294; W. L. Morton, The Kingdom o f Canada, D. C. C r e i g h t o n , Dominion o f the North (Toronto,  1957), p. 273. 47  A. S. Morton, p. 825.  48  S t a n l e y , The B i r t h o f Western Canada, p. 24.  49 The expansion o f a g r i c u l t u r e i n the Minnesota T e r r i t o r y i s t r e a t e d i n Blegen, pp. 159-210; and F o l w e l l ,  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 e l e c t e d mayor of Toronto i n 1835 and was appointed a member o f the Exec u t i v e C o u n c i l o f Upper Canada i n t h e f o l l o w i n g y e a r . He p l a y e d an important p a r t i n b r i n g i n g about the union o f Upper and Lower Canada i n I 8 4 O and became p r e s i d e n t o f the c o u n c i l i n the f i r s t government o f the u n i t e d p r o v i n c e . He r e s i g n e d i n 1844 and i n I 8 4 8 was appointed a judge o f the court o f Queen's Bench. W. Stewart Wallace, The Macmillan D i c t i o n a r y o f Canadian Biography, 3rd edT [Toronto,  1963), p. 726. 5  1  Toronto Globe, 24 March,  1847-  52 ' Frank H. U n d e r h i l l , I n Search o f Canadian L i b e r a l i s m (Toronto, i960), p. 52; see a l s o J . M. S. C a r e l e s s , Brown of the Globe, v o l . 1, The ¥oice o f Upper Canada, 1818-1859  (Toronto, 1959), pp. 228-233-  ^ I n I 8 4 8 , Synge was employed on works a t Bytown (Ottawa), Canada West. He a l s o p u b l i s h e d a work e n t i t l e d The Colony o f Rupert's Land (London, 1863) and e v e n t u a l l y rose t o t h e rank o f 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  I b i d . , n . , p. 2 6 5 . 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. 2 5 ; 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  G. P. de T. Glazebrook, A History of Transportation in Canada, vol. 1, the Carleton Library, no. 11 (Toronto, 1964), P P . 157-158. J 7  ^ The North Western Steamboat Company was founded in August, I 8 5 6 . George Brown's brother, Gordon, was associated with the Company. /r-i  Careless, vol. 1, p. 230. 6?  Toronto Weekly Globe, 14 Sept., 1855Careless, vol. 1, p. 229-  See also  /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 movement and settlement. 6i  Bertrand, p. 165•  65  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 f e at the Red River Settlement and died i n 1890. J  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 i n 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;  Morton, p. 827; 7 0  and Careless, vol. 1, p. 239•  A. S.  Careless, vol. 1, pp. 233-235-  71 McDougall was to have a close association with the Northwest. He was a member of parliament almost continuously from I858 u n t i l 1882. From 1862 to I864 he was Commissioner of Crown Lands and was a delegate to the Charlottetown and Quebec Conferences i n I864 as well as the Westminster Confederation Conference i n 1866. In I867 he became a leading Liberal in the f i r s t government of the Dominion and was Minister of Public Works from I867 to 1869In 1868 he accompanied Sir George Cartier to England to arrange the transfer of the Hudson's Bay Company'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 p o l i t i c a l influence.  97  E. A. M e r e d i t h t o Draper, 20 Feb., 1857, cited i n Great B r i t a i n , House o f Commons, Report from the S e l e c t Committee on the Hudson's Bay Company; Together w i t h the Proceedings o f the Committee, Minutes o f Evidence, Appendix and Index (London, 1857), p. 436. 7  73 " F i n a l Report of C h i e f J u s t i c e Draper R e s p e c t i n g h i s M i s s i o n t o 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 o f O n t a r i o , Correspondence, Papers and Documents, o f Dates from 1856 t o 1882 i n c l u s i v e , R e l a t i n g to the N o r t h e r l y and Westerly Boundaries o f the P r o v i n c e of O n t a r i o (Toronto, 1882), p. 55; hereafter r e f e r r e d to as O n t a r i o Boundary Papers, 1856-82. l J  ^ Report from the S e l e c t Committee on the Hudson's Bay Company, pp. i i i - i v (my u n d e r l i n i n g ) . 75 ' Draper viewed the Rockies as the proper western boundary o f Canada. l  ^ Report from the S e l e c t Committee on t h e Hudson's Bay Company, p. 225. See, A. S. Morton, pp. 829-831; E . E . R i c h , pp. 796-805; and Gluek, J r . , pp. 129-132 and 221-229 f o r u s e f u l treatments o f the a c t i v i t i e s o f the S e l e c t Committee. 7  7  vol.  7  1, 7  p. 8  Toronto Globe, 15  241.  Aug.,  C i t e d i n Gluek, J r . , p.  1857;  cited i n Careless,  130.  S t . P a u l Pioneer and Democrat, 3 J u l y , 1858; c i t e d i n Gluek, J r . , p. 130. Draper had noted, i n almost the same words, t h a t "the n a t u r a l o u t l e t of the country appears ... to be i n t o the U n i t e d S t a t e s " , adding t h a t as Hudson Bay was not n a v i g a b l e d u r i n g much o f the year, the only v i a b l e communication on B r i t i s h s o i l was through Canada. C i t e d i n Glazebrook, v o l . 2 ( C a r l e t o n L i b r a r y e d i t i o n ) , p. 39. 7  9  o  u  A. S. Morton, pp.  827-828.  8l E. E. R i c h , p. 798. The t h r e e witnesses were George Gladman (soon t o l e a d the Red R i v e r E x p l o r i n g Exped i t i o n o f 1857), A l l a n Macdonell, and W i l l i a m MacDonnel Dawson. The l a t t e r was c h i e f o f the Woods and F o r e s t s  93  Branch o f the Crown Lands Department and a b r o t h e r o f Simon J . Dawson, a f t e r whom the Dawson Route was named. W i l l i a m Dawson was a l s o a c l o s e a s s o c i a t e o f Joseph Cauchon, the Commissioner o f Crown Lands who was a s t r o n g advocate o f westward expansion. Cauchon was a member o f t h e Canad i a n S e l e c t Committee, as was the omnipresent George Brown.  dp v o l . 15,  "Report o f the Canadian S e l e c t Committee", C.S.P., no. 4, 1357, s e c t i o n 17.  83 C r o f t o n , then a major, had commanded the i m p e r i a l troops sent t o Red R i v e r v i a York F a c t o r y i n I 8 4 6 . He had t r a v e l l e d both routes d u r i n g h i s time i n the Northwest. J  84  A. S. Morton, p. 828.  85 S. J . Dawson, "Report on the Red R i v e r E x p e d i t i o n 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 o f the North-West o f America, t r a n s , by Capt. D. R. Cameron (Montreal, 1870), pp. 39-40; c i t e d i n Gluek, J r . , p. 139. Tache' went t o Red R i v e r as a m i s s i o n a r y i n 1845; i n 1853 he became second b i s h o p o f St. Boniface; and i n 1871 he was c r e a t e d archbishop and metropolitan of St. Boniface. 88  Gluek, J r . , p. 146. T h i s paragraph, and the p r e c e d i n g two, a r e based l a r g e l y on Gluek, J r . , pp. 137-150 and E. E. R i c h , pp. 794-79589 "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 a l s o C.S.P., v o l . 15, no. 17, 18579  0  Lambert, Renewing Nature's Wealth, p.  114-  91 "Annual Report o f the Department o f Lands and F o r e s t s f o r I 8 5 6 " ( p u b l i s h e d 1 8 5 7 ) , p- 46; c i t e d i n Lambert, p. 108. 92 7  Lower, p. 303-  99  93^  Cauchon s a t i n the L e g i s l a t i v e Assembly o f Canada or the Canadian House o f Commons from 1844, without i n t e r r u p t i o n , u n t i l 1872. From l86l t o 1862 he was Commissioner of P u b l i c Works i n t h e C a r t i e r - M a c d o n a l d government. In 1867 he became Speaker o f the Senate. Ten y e a r s l a t e r he was appointed Lieutenant-Governor o f Manitoba, a post which he h e l d u n t i l 1882. See P a l l i s e r , " J o u r n a l o f E x p e d i t i o n , 1857-3", i n Great B r i t a i n , Papers R e l a t i v e t o the E x p l o r a t i o n by C a p t a i n P a l l i s e r o f t h a t P o r t i o n o f B r i t i s h North America which L i e s Between the Northern Branch o f the R i v e r Saskatchewan and the F r o n t i e r o f the U n i t e d S t a t e s ; and between the Red R i v e r and the Rocky Mountains (London, 1859} p. 22 f f . %  9  5  C i t e d i n A. S. Morton, p.  834.  96 Great B r i t a i n , F u r t h e r Papers R e l a t i v e to the E x p l o r a t i o n by the E x p e d i t i o n under C a p t a i n P a l l i s e r o f t h a t P o r t i o n o f B r i t i s h North America which L i e s Between the Northern Branch o f the R i v e r Saskatchewan and the F r o n t i e r o f the United S t a t e s ; and between the Red R i v e r and the Rocky Mountains, and thence t o t h e P a c i f i c Ocean (London, I860), p. 57.  97  I b i d . , p. 58  93  Ibid.  99  Ibid.  100  The Trans-Canada Highway now more o r l e s s f o l l o w s the r o u t e envisaged by P a l l i s e r f o r 435 m i l e s between P o r t A r t h u r and Winnipeg. 1  0  1  F u r t h e r Papers, p. 58  102 Gladman was a r e t i r e d C h i e f Trader who had served t h i r t y - o n e y e a r s w i t h the Hudson's Bay Company. He had t e s t i f i e d before the Canadian S e l e c t Committee and f a v o u r e d an end t o Company r u l e i n the Northwest. * Hind, born i n England, came t o Canada i n 1846. He was p r o f e s s o r o f chemistry and geology a t the U n i v e r s i t y  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) i s an enlarged, and interesting version of his o f f i c i a l reports. This work established him as an influential advocate of Canadian westward expansion. 104 Q£ -j_]_ £ 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 supervising public works along the St. Maurice River prior to 1857. A decade later he settled i n Port Arthur where he became the chief architect and advocate of the Red River (Dawson) Route. From 1875 u n t i l I878 he represented Algoma West i n the Ontario Legislature and for the next thirteen years he sat i n the Canadian House of Commons for the same constituency. He was active i n Indian affairs., as in most other aspects of l i f e i n the area. One of the f i r s t landowners i n Port Arthur (its rather prosaic name was "Depot" when he f i r s t located there), he became i t s most distinguished citizen u n t i l his death i n 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. a  n  e  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 Settlement, 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 i s 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 i s 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 i n the Journals of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada, v o l . 16, 1858, and v o l . 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 Settlement (London, 1859). '.  101  Secondary source m a t e r i a l i s scanty, but some i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s g i v e n i n Thomson, Men and M e r i d i a n s , pp. 214215; A. S. Morton, pp. 834-836; T r o t t e r , pp. 250-252; Bertrand, pp. 171-173; R i c h , p. 805; Gluek, J r . , pp. 229232; John Warkentin (ed.), The Western I n t e r i o r o f Canada, A Record of Geographical D i s c o v e r y , 1612-19JL7 (Toronto, 1964), pp. 120-121, 146-147, 153-155, and 191-231; Lewis H. Thomas, "The Hind and Dawson E x p e d i t i o n s , 1857-58", Beaver, w i n t e r , I 8 5 8 , p p . . 3 9 - 4 5 ; and Alex. J . R u s s e l l , The Red R i v e r 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 R e l a t i o n to Canada (Ottawa, 1869), p. 117 f f . There are b r i e f r e f e r e n c e s to the e x p e d i t i o n i n Mary Quayle I n n i s , T r a v e l l e r s West (Toronto, 1956), pp. 7, 91-92; Grace Lee Nute, Rainy R i v e r Country, A B r i e f H i s t o r y of the Region B o r d e r i n g Minnesota and O n t a r i o (St. P a u l , 1950), p. 4 6 ; Adam S h o r t t and Arthur G. Doughty, eds., The P r a i r i e P r o v i n c e s , Canada and I t s P r o v i n c e s , v o l . 19 (Toronto, 1914), PP- 68-69; and W. G. Hardy, From Sea Unto Sea, Canada, 1850 to 1910 (Garden C i t y , I960), pp. 90-91. H i s t o r i e s o f the West and textbooks of Canadian h i s t o r y u s u a l l y devote a sentence or two to the purposes and accomplishments of the e x p e d i t i o n . There was a l s o e x p l o r a t i o n to the west of F o r t Garry, but p r a i r i e e x p l o r a t i o n — w h i l e an important f u n c t i o n of the e x p e d i t i o n s of 1857 and 1858 — i s l a r g e l y i g n o r e d i n t h i s treatment.  107 ' Two maps, annotated by Gladman and now h e l d by the Ontario Department o f Lands and F o r e s t s (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 F o r t Frances t o the Rat Portage", signed by W. H. E. Napier, Red R i v e r 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 A r a b l e Land on the Canoe Route from F o r t W i l l i a m , Lake S u p e r i o r , t o F o r t Garry, Red R i v e r , and the V a l l e y of the Red R i v e r " , signed by Henry Youle Hind, 6 Feb., I 8 5 8 ( f i l e no. 012-11). See a l s o "Plan of Canoe Route from F o r t W i l l i a m t o F o r t 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 S u p e r i o r to Red R i v e r S e t t l e ment", S. J . Dawson, D e c , 1857, Red R i v e r ( f i l e no. 010-22). The most i n t e r e s t i n g o f a l l the maps, however, i s "Map to Accompany Report on the Canadian Red R i v e r E x p l o r i n g E x p e d i t i o n " , I 8 5 8 , signed by Hind and l a t e r p r o f u s e l y annot a t e d by W i l l i a m Gibbard (P.A.C., V l / 7 0 1 ) . Gibbard, a l a n d surveyor and employee of the Crown Lands Department,  102  became f i s h e r i e s o v e r s e e r f o r the Lake Huron and S u p e r i o r d i s t r i c t i n 1859. He a p p a r e n t l y had c o n s i d e r a b l e t r a v e l experience i n the country west o f Thunder Bay and h i s notes (added t o the map about 1861) provide a capsule h i s t o r y o f f u r t r a d e l o g i s t i c s i n the a r e a . He was murdered i n 1863 i n t h e course o f u p h o l d i n g f i s h i n g r e g u l a t i o n s near Manitoulin Island. •I Q C *  C i t e d i n O n t a r i o Boundary Papers, 1856-82, pp. 66-  67. 109  Some o f Hime's work i l l u s t r a t e s t h i s t h e s i s . His work was important i n the development o f photography i n Canada and he was the f i r s t photographer o f the Northwest. See Ralph G r e e n h i l l , " E a r l y Canadian Photographer, Humphrey L l o y d Hime", Imafee, The B u l l e t i n o f the George Eastman House o f Photography, v o l . 11, no. 3, 1962, pp. 9-11; and Ralph G r e e n h i l l , E a r l y Photography i n Canada (Toronto, 1965), pp. 36, 50-51. Hime was a p a r t n e r i n the Toronto f i r m o f Armstrong, Beere & Hime,"ambrotypists and p h o t o g r a p h i s t s " , which i n c l u d e d W i l l i a m Armstrong. Armstrong was t o become famous f o r h i s sketches and waterc o l o u r s , many o f them done i n the country between F o r t W i l l i a m and F o r t Garry, and was t o cross the Dawson Route i n 1870. Hind, N a r r a t i v e o f the Canadian E x p l o r i n g Exped i t i o n s , v o l . 1, pp. 74-78, 275. See a l s o J . A. D i c k i n s o n , "Remarks on the Pigeon R i v e r Route", Hind, v o l . 2, pp. 1  1  0  422-426.  A b r i e f resume o f t h i s work i s g i v e n i n S. J . Dawson, "Report on the L i n e o f Route between Lake S u p e r i o r and the Red R i v e r Settlement", i n R u s s e l l , The Red R i v e r Country, pp. I64-I65. T h i s r e p o r t , submitted 20 A p r i l , 1868, i s a l s o found i n C. S* P., v o l . 1, no. 9, 1867-8, paper 81. A. more d e t a i l e d account i s found i n Dawson's 1859 r e p o r t . 1  1  1  1  1  2  Dawson, "Report o f 1868", c i t e d i n R u s s e l l , p. I 6 4 . T r o t t e r , p. 251 Dawson, "Report o f 1868", c i t e d i n R u s s e l l , pp.  166-167. ^5 See A. Macdonell, The North-West T r a n s p o r t a t i o n , N a v i g a t i o n and Railway Company, I t s Ob.jects (Toronto, I858).  103  Lists of personnel, which differ somewhat, are found in Careless, vol. 1, p. 307, and Bertrand, pp. 176177' The group was almost exactly the same as that which backed the North West Trading and Colonization Company of 1857. Cited in Trotter, p. 258; see also 0. D. Skelton, The Railway Builders (Toronto, 1916), p. 114. 1 1 7  W. Smith, History of the Post Office in British North America (London, 1920), pp. 318-319. x ±  1  1  9  Gluek, J r . , p. 227.  120 Simpson to the Governor and Committee, 21 June, cited in Gluek, J r . , p. 227-  1859;  121  Careless, vol. 1, p. 307.  1 22  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. 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! 1 2 3  124  Charles Alleyn to Alexander G. Dallas, Governor of Rupert's land, 15 A p r i 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 u n t i l 1868. And while there were important p o l i t i c a l developments, associated with Confederation, which made a communication v i t a l and increasingly possible, these have been largely passed over as being beyond the scope of this thesis. Donald Crelghton, "The 1860s", J . M. S. Careless and R. Craig Brown, (eds.), The Canadians, 1867-1967 (Toronto, 1967), p. 12. 1 2 7  104  1  2  8  Lower, p. 294-  W. Berens, Governor o f Hudson's Bay Company, t o the Duke o f Newcastle (the C o l o n i a l S e c r e t a r y ) , 19 May, 1862; c i t e d i n O n t a r i o Boundary Papers, 1856-82, p. 92. 1  2  9  C i t e d i n O n t a r i o Boundary Papers, 1 8 5 6 - 8 2 , p. 89This d e c l a r a t i o n o f i n t e n t was i n s p i r e d by Edward Watkin's v i s i t t o Canada (1861) i n the i n t e r e s t s o f the Grand Trunk Railway; see T r o t t e r , pp. 267-2691  3  0  1  3  1  T r o t t e r , p. 269-  "Report o f Postmaster-General F o l e y (Canada)", c i t e d i n O n t a r i o Boundary Papers, I 8 5 6 - 8 2 , pp. 9 4 - 9 5 ; the r e p o r t i s p r i n t e d , i n i t s e n t i r e l y , i n C.S.P., v o l . 2 2 , no. 29, 1 8 6 3 . 1  3  2  133  Careless,  v o l . 2 , pp. 6 4 , 67.  Edward W. Watkin t o the Duke o f Newcastle, 28 A p r i l , 1863; c i t e d i n O n t a r i o Boundary Papers, I856-82, pp. 97-98. Watkin, p r e s i d e n t o f the Grand Trunk Railway Company from 1861 t o 1863, had been sent t o Canada by the C o l o n i a l O f f i c e i n 1861 t o i n v e s t i g a t e the p o s s i b l e f e d e r a t i o n o f the B r i t i s h North American p r o v i n c e s . He was i n t e r e s t e d i n extending the Grand Trunk t o the P a c i f i c and was a l s o deeply i n v o l v e d i n the purchase o f 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 o f a Committee o f C o u n c i l , approved by the Governor-General on the 1 8 t h February, I 8 6 4 " , C.S.P., v o l . 2 3 , no. 62, I 8 6 4 . A p e r t i n e n t e x t r a c t from t h i s r e p o r t i s g i v e n i n O n t a r i o Boundary Papers, I 8 5 6 - 8 2 , p. 1 0 1 . The d e t a i l s o f Watkin's connection with the t e l e g r a p h company and the I n t e r n a t i o n a l F i n a n c i a l S o c i e t y are g i v e n i n E. E . R i c h , pp. 820-844. W. L. Morton, Manitoba, A H i s t o r y , p. 1 0 1 . 1  3  7  138  Stanley,  pp. 49-50.  T h i s paragraph i s based l a r g e l y on Gluek, J r . ,  pp. 158-219.  105  1  3  9  p. 108.  Globe, 27 Jan., 1864;  cited in Careless, vol. 2,  Nor'-Wester, 15 Aug., l86l; cited in Gluek, J r . , p. 234The 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. U f 0  Many of the basic documents on the large questions of Confederation and the transfer of Rupert's Land (including 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 OF  THREE: THE DAWSON  INITIAL ROUTE,  CONSTRUCTION  AND  INAUGURATION  1867-70  I would be q u i t e w i l l i n g , p e r s o n a l l y , t o leave t h a t whole country Uthe Northwestji a w i l d e r n e s s f o r the next h a l f century, but I f e a r i f Englishmen do n o t go t h e r e , Yankees will John A. Macdonald, 1865  I must confess, Mr. Speaker, t h a t i t l o o k s l i k e a burlesque t o speak as a means o f defence o f a scheme o f Conf e d e r a t i o n t o u n i t e the whole country extending from Newfoundl a n d t o Vancouver's I s l a n d , thousands o f m i l e s i n t e r v e n i n g without any communication, except through the United S t a t e s or around Cape Horn.2 Antoine Aime Dorion,  1865  I n t h i s view l e t us look a t the immense extent o f t e r r i t o r y t h a t s t r e t c h e s away west o f Upper Canada .... I believe t h a t one o f the f i r s t a c t s o f the General Government o f the U n i t e d P r o v i n c e s w i l l be t o enter i n t o p u b l i c o b l i g a t i o n s f o r the purpose o f opening up and d e v e l o p i n g t h a t v a s t r e g i o n ....3 Alexander  T i l l o c h Gait,  I865  107  On 1 J u l y , 1867, the new  C o n f e d e r a t i o n became a r e a l i t y  f e d e r a l union began i t s o f f i c i a l e x i s t e n c e .  f o r the P a c i f i c , and to i n c o r p o r a t e Rupert's  and The  Land, was  the  f i r s t urgent t a s k f a c e d by the Canadian Government —  "the  f i r s t r e a l t e s t o f the founding f a t h e r s ' d r e a m . A s the West, i n c l u d i n g the North-West T e r r i t o r i e s and Columbia, as w e l l as Rupert's  imperative.  Land, stood o u t s i d e the  union. of "Mani-  career south of the border, speed  I n Minnesota,  i n f a v o u r of annexation p o p l a r and  yet,  British  With the a g g r e s s i v e and e x p a n s i o n i s t sentiment fest Destiny" i n f u l l  race  was  p a r t i c u l a r l y , v o i c e s were r a i s e d  o f the t e r r i t o r y to the n o r t h .  The  cottonwood l i n e d Red R i v e r , and i t s i n c r e d i b l y  flat  f l a n k i n g g r a s s l a n d s , bound the American and B r i t i s h Northwests t o g e t h e r i n a broad r e g i o n a l economy.  At f i r s t i t was  this  economic advantage ( a r r e s t e d to some degree by the Hudson's Bay Company u n t i l  I867)  t h a t e x c i t e d Minnesotans, then, i n  the year of C o n f e d e r a t i o n , 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 e x p a n s i o n i s t s p i r i t  spewed f o r t h .  In the House o f R e p r e s e n t a t i v e s , I g n a t i u s D o n n e l l y o f Minnesota (among others) sounded the trumpet: the south of t h i s r e g i o n , and our new  "With our g r e a t n a t i o n on a c q u i s i t i o n of A l a s k a  r e s t i n g upon i t s n o r t h e r n boundary, B r i t i s h dominion w i l l i n e v i t a b l y pressed out of western B r i t i s h America.  be  It will  d i s a p p e a r between the upper and the nether m i l l - s t o n e s .  These  jaws of the n a t i o n w i l l swallow i t up."-' Canada's purchase o f the Hudson's Bay Company lands i n  108  1869  b l u n t e d but d i d not s t o p the c o n t e n t i o u s clamour.  S t . Paul P r e s s ' r e a c t i o n was Commercial Empire". Rupert's  a bitter editorial entitled  Commenting on t h e new  Land, i t observed:  Canada, g e o g r a p h i c a l l y and  The  ownership of  " I f p o l i t i c a l l y i t belongs commercially  Canada but t o Minnesota ....  i t belongs  Canadian p o l i c y may  but American e n t e r p r i s e w i l l d i s p o s e . " ^  "Our  to  not to propose,  With the R i e l  resist-  ance to b l u n d e r i n g Canadian p o l i c y i n 1868-69, the Minnesota e x p a n s i o n i s t s a g a i n spread t h e i r hawklike wings.  "The  Red  R i v e r r e v o l u t i o n " , shouted the S t . Paul P r e s s , " i s a trump card i n the hands of American diplomacy  ... by which, i f r i g h t l y  p l a y e d , every v e s t i g e o f B r i t i s h power may Western h a l f of the c o n t i n e n t . " a p o l i c y of annexation  be swept from the  Prominent Minnesotans urged  upon P r e s i d e n t U. S. Grant and  of S t a t e , Hamilton F i s h .  Secretary  F i s h , i n t u r n , p o i n t i n g out t h a t  "the t o p o g r a p h i c a l c o n d i t i o n o f the country p r e c l u d e s i n t i m a t e commercial r e l a t i o n s between Canada and the S e l k i r k  settlement",  brought p r e s s u r e on the B r i t i s h m i n i s t e r a t Washington f o r t h e annexation  of the Hudson's Bay Company lands t o the U n i t e d  States.  Inflammatory newspaper m a t e r i a l even found i t s way  i n t o S t a t e Department r e p o r t s prepared f o r the i n f o r m a t i o n o f the U n i t e d S t a t e s Senate.  One  such a r t i c l e viewed the t r o u b l e s  i n the Northwest as "a p r o v i d e n t i a l o p p o r t u n i t y [ f o r B r i t a i n ] to s e t t l e the Alabama claims w i t h the c e s s i o n of a  country  whose d e s t i n i e s God has i n d i s s o l u b l y wedded t o ours by geograg r a p h i c a l 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."  And why shouldn't mere United States  7  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 i s 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."  To many other Canadians, during the  11  f i r 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 i n Red River while encouraging American annexationists, Macdonald did embark on a course of s k i l f u l l y 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 v o i c e s had been r a i s e d i n support d u r i n g t h e years b e f o r e C o n f e d e r a t i o n  o f t h i s concept  and p r e l i m i n a r y a c t i o n  had been taken, both by government and Toronto b u s i n e s s  people.  But p r i v a t e e n t e r p r i s e , i t seemed, c o u l d not b r i d g e t h e rock and water expanse between S u p e r i o r and the Red, and government a c t i v i t y had l o n g s i n c e ceased.  With t h e approach o f Confeder-  a t i o n , however, t h e q u e s t i o n o f communications — by the obvious t h r e a t from the south — ance.  sharpened  assumed a new import-  Not l e a s t among Canadian c o n s i d e r a t i o n s was t h a t o f  defending  t h e i r h e r i t a g e i n t h e West.  I n February, 1867,  S i r John M i c h e l , Commander-in-Chief o f t h e B r i t i s h f o r c e s i n North America, addressed h i m s e l f t o the problem. i o n s were d e p r e s s i n g .  His conclus-  "The r e s u l t o f t h i s examination shows",  he wrote a f t e r d i s m i s s i n g a l l e x i s t i n g r o u t e s as i m p r a c t i c a b l e , " t h a t i n the event o f war ... F o r t Garry i s e f f e c t u a l l y  isolated  from Canada, and t h a t i n any case, u n t i l canals o r r a i l w a y s are c o n s t r u c t e d , the U n i t e d S t a t e s possess t h e only channel through which a l l t h e t r a d e o f the Red R i v e r settlement  must  12 pass."  Turning t o t h e i d e a o f a r a i l w a y v i a F o r t W i l l i a m ,  Michel pointed t o "vast n a t u r a l d i f f i c u l t i e s . 800  f e e t Jto the h e i g h t o f l a n d j i n the f i r s t  100  [ s i c ] m i l e s s t e r i l i t y and swamp, u n f i t f o r  1st, A r i s e of 50 m i l e s .  2nd,  settlement."  He added t h a t " i t i s d o u b t f u l whether a water communication, s a f e f o r d e f e n s i v e purposes, can ever be made from the S e t t l e ment t o Lake S u p e r i o r . " behind  the memorandum:  The p e r o r a t i o n r e v e a l e d the motive "On a c a r e f u l c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f t h e  Ill  whole q u e s t i o n , the o p i n i o n I have formed i s , t h a t 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 F o r t Garry, e i t h e r the union of the Hudson's Bay T e r r i t o r y t o Canada or the c r e a t i o n of a Crown Colony a t the Red R i v e r Settlement would be a source o f weakness and both t o Canada and  England."  Michel's pessimistic prognosis was  danger,  (but not e n t i r e l y  unrealistic)  prompted by a p e t i t i o n from a number of Red R i v e r  s e t t l e r s and was  w r i t t e n i n the understanding t h a t "Canada  n e g o t i a t e s t o take over the t e r r i t o r y o f the Company, under 13 the p r o t e c t i o n of Great B r i t a i n . " '  Four months l a t e r , i n  h i s c a p a c i t y of A d m i n i s t r a t o r of the Government o f Canada, Michel.approved a r e p o r t o f an E x e c u t i v e C o u n c i l committee. ^ 1  The r e p o r t endorsed an appended memorandum from the Commissioner o f Crown Lands which urged t h a t a road be c o n s t r u c t e d from Thunder Bay t o Dog  Lake and t h a t the l e v e l o f t h a t l a k e be 15  r a i s e d t o f a c i l i t a t e n a v i g a t i o n towards Lac Des M i l l e L a c s . Behind these recommendations was who,  v  the advice of Simon J . Dawson  i n the matter o f communications,  proved t o be a b e t t e r  guide and prophet than e i t h e r Gladman or Hind. On the assumption t h a t the amount expended would form a c l a i m 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.**"^ William. James W.  On 10 August, One  two work p a r t i e s disembarked  of them, numbering some f i f t y men,  was  at Fort l e d by  B r i d g l a n d , Superintendent o f C o l o n i z a t i o n 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'concluded that "the old canoe route w i l l be, both as to economy of work in rendering i t available, and f a c i l i t y 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 T r a 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 i t s namesake.  Its chief long-term publicist, Dawson was  to become the route's f i r s t superintendent.  And, beginning  with the explorations of 1857, he was to maintain continuous and close contact with the area through which i t passed u n t i l his death in 1902.  His long connection with the route and  i t s environs was, in turn, to advance him as a respected exponent 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 i t s people.  His sympathetic  understanding of the metis and the Ojibwa was unusual and striking;  his eye for i t s 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 i t s 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 d i f f i c u l t terrain west of Superior. The job was a big one, but Dawson was a man of great enthusiasm and considerable a b i l i t y .  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 e x p a n s i o n i s t v i s i o n .  Here he  w r i t e s o f the S h i e l d country west o f Lake S u p e r i o r :  "Go  in  whatever d i r e c t i o n he w i l l , the e x p l o r e r , on p a s s i n g over a mountain range, i s sure to stumble on a l a k e . . . .  So numerous  are they, t h a t i t would be d i f f i c u l t to say whether the  country  would be b e t t e r d e s c r i b e d as one v a s t l a k e w i t h r i d g e s o f l a n d running  through i t ,  cending  any  or as l a n d i n t e r s e c t e d by water.  On  o f the bare rocky b l u f f s f r e q u e n t i n the  as-  country,  mountains a r e seen s t r e t c h i n g away i n tumultuous and  broken  r i d g e s t o the h o r i z o n , w i t h l a k e s gleaming from every  valley  20 which the eye  can r e a c h . "  And  here he i s on the  the pot of g o l d at the end o f the rainbow:  "To  prairie,  conclude,  i s a b e a u t i f u l and f e r t i l e land o f v a s t p r o p o r t i o n s , the husbandman to i t s v i r g i n s o i l .  I f we,  there  inviting  i n turn, invite  and i n t e r e s t a l l i n f l u e n c e s i n the Dominion... to u n i t e i n i t s development and the day  i n d i r e c t i n g e m i g r a t i o n and  settlement  to i t ,  i s not d i s t a n t when a teeming p o p u l a t i o n of m i l l i o n s  w i l l f i n d there the means o f p r o s p e r i t y and p l e n t y i t would seem as i f t h i s remote country  ... with i t s winding  streams, i t s clumps o f t r e e s , and b e a u t i f u l green sward, and i t s herds o f untamed c a t t l e , r i v a l s , i f i t does not i n many p l a c e s , a l l the groves,  surpass,  lawns and p l a n t a t i o n s with  which genius and a r t seek t o adorn the h a b i t a t i o n s o f 21 life."  civilized  Here, i n a passage worthy of C h a r l e s Mair, i s Dawson  the romantic dreamer (as some h i s t o r i a n s have s t y l e d 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  him),  to r e p r e s e n t Algoma  116  i n t h e O n t a r i o L e g i s l a t u r e from  1878-91);  House o f Commons from  1875-78 and i n the Canadian c e r t a i n l y one wouldn't  expect  such a f l o r i d and e n t h u s i a s t i c o u t b u r s t from a hard-headed government e n g i n e e r / a d m i n i s t r a t o r .  That he c o u l d combine  the q u a l i t i e s o f a l l three types, as w e l l as being a competent w i l d e r n e s s t r a v e l l e r and h i g h l y knowledgeable f r o n t i e r s m a n , seems not t o have o c c u r r e d t o t h e few w r i t e r s who have cons i d e r e d him.  Last —  and t h i s i s p a r t i c u l a r l y evident i n  h i s d e a l i n g w i t h the I n d i a n s —  he was a humane and decent  man who e x h i b i t e d none o f the o p i n i o n a t e d arrogance former c o l l e a g u e , Henry Youle  of h i s  Hind.  Dawson's j o b was t o put t o g e t h e r a road, water, and portage route through rugged w i l d e r n e s s .  some 450 m i l e s o f remote and extremely As t h e S t . P a u l Press would have i t , he  s e t out t o a t t a c k p h y s i c a l b a r r i e r s which God had e r e c t e d and  22 which no human power c o u l d surmount.  Perhaps the a r t i c l e  might have added, however, t h a t f a i t h can move mountains o r t h a t survey l i n e s can be r u n around them. r a t e , b e g i n by extending and r e f i n i n g t h e  Dawson, a t any  1857-59 surveys o f  23 the Red R i v e r E x p l o r i n g E x p e d i t i o n . ^  The o l d l i n e from P o i n t e  de Meurons t o Arrow Lake and t h e I n t e r n a t i o n a l Boundary was re-examined and d i s m i s s e d .  Three o t h e r s were considered.:,  a l i n e running n o r t h t o Dog Lake and roughly p a r a l l e l i n g t h e K a m i n i s t i q u i a R i v e r , a second c u t t i n g west a c r o s s h i g h ground from the e i g h t e e n t h m i l e o f the Dog Lake l i n e t o end a t Shebandowan Lake, and a t h i r d going through t h e v a l l e y o f t h e  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, i n the f i r s t instance, and make a good waggon road from the Lake of the Woods to Fort Garry." ^  This he saw as being "an absolutely necessary and  2  essential step towards making the country accessible, whatever scale of improvement may be adopted i n 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: From H. C. L l o y d ' s M S . p l a n . The T r a i l i s t r a c e d over i n orange.  Thunder Bay  B. M.  Litteljohn  road i s t r a c e d over i n yellow;  the Dog  Lake H M  oa  119  of Lake Shebandowan should be r a i s e d t h i r t y f e e t by means o f a dam  at i t s o u t l e t .  T h i s would provide u n i n t e r r u p t e d n a v i -  g a t i o n from a p o i n t on the "Matawin" (Shebandowan) R i v e r , and a h a l f m i l e s from i t s head, t o the h e i g h t of l a n d . thought the dam  would c o s t about $12,000 but  two Dawson  called f o r adding  t i o n a l surveys  to assess the p r a c t i c a b i l i t y o f h i s scheme.  Most important,  with h i s adoption  the Matawin and  Shebandowan R i v e r s  Dawson had  o f a l i n e v i a the v a l l e y of (see map  on f o l l o w i n g page),  completed the b a s i c design o f the r o u t e .  To open  a " p r e l i m i n a r y communication" a c r o s s the route would c o s t , he estimated,  $247,200.  He  q u i c k l y added t h a t t h i s might appear  to be a s m a l l sum w i t h which to undertake the opening o f the Northwest, "amounting as i t does to l i t t l e more than the 29  cost  of e i g h t or t e n m i l e s of r a i l w a y . " C o n s t r u c t i o n of the Thunder Bay Road began d u r i n g summer of 1869.  Before  the  t h a t time, however, r a t h e r momentous  events r e l a t e d t o the Dawson Route had taken p l a c e a t i t s western terminus.  In J u l y , 1868,  Red R i v e r Settlement. devoured the crops.  c a l a m i t y s t r u c k the a l r e a d y t r o u b l e d  I t came i n the form o f l o c u s t s which To make matters worse, "the b u f f a l o hunters  i n s t e a d o f f u r n i s h i n g t h e i r l a r g e share o f p r o v i s i o n s ... a r r i v e d 30 s t a r v i n g from t h e i r u s u a l hunting grounds." was  f a c e d w i t h famine and appealed f o r o u t s i d e h e l p .  response was Bay  The  generous:  money f o r food was  Settlement The  r a i s e d by the Hudson's  Company, the S t a t e o f Minnesota, and the c i t i z e n s of Ottawa  and S t . P a u l .  The Government o f Canada took a d i f f e r e n t approach.  121  I t decided to begin the  construction  o f the westernmost s e c t i o n  of the Dawson Route as a r e l i e f p r o j e c t — R i v e r to be  Red  i n most ways i l l - a d m i n i s t e r e d .  i n some ways i l l - c o n s i d e r e d F o r one  thing,  f o r the t r a n s f e r o f Rupert's Land t o Canada had concluded. was  from  employed a t the r a t e of about $18.00 per month.  U n f o r t u n a t e l y , the p r o j e c t was and  labourers  negotiations  not y e t been  In s h o r t , the f e d e r a l Department of P u b l i c Works  s e t t i n g out to b u i l d a road i n t e r r i t o r y where i t had  jurisdiction.  T h i s d i d not  no  d e t e r i t s i n j u d i c i o u s emmisaries  from behaving as i f A s s i n i b o i a was  already  Dominion.  the l e a d o f t h e i r m i n i s t e r ,  William  I n t h i s , they f o l l o w e d  McDougall, who  Hudson's Bay  f o r some time had  Company had  an a d j u n c t of  contended t h a t  no t i t l e t o the a r e a .  the  the  John A. Snow,  31 the p r o j e c t superintendent,  was,  however, i n s t r u c t e d to  ask  Governor W i l l i a m McTavish f o r p e r m i s s i o n t o proceed once he had  a r r i v e d i n Red  River.  sent i n l a t e October. objected  He r e c e i v e d McTavish's v e r b a l  con-  N e v e r t h e l e s s , the Company r i g h t f u l l y  t o the government's a g g r e s s i v e and  i n l e t t e r s t o the C o l o n i a l O f f i c e .  extra-legal attitude  3 2  Questions of l e g a l r i g h t d i d not,  however, b l u n t  the  e n t h u s i a s t i c welcome accorded Snow by many o f those who  foresaw  a l o n g , hungry w i n t e r .  was  U n f o r t u n a t e l y , t h i s good w i l l  soon d i s s i p a t e d a t the hands of Snow and Mair.  3 3  The  actions  of these two  to forward the w e l l - b e i n g credit.  men,  h i s paymaster, C h a r l e s o s t e n s i b l y i n the  of i t s inhabitants,  area  are d i f f i c u l t  to  They embarked on a s e r i e s o f b l u n d e r s which r e f l e c t e d  122  t h e i r arrogance, r a c i a l b i g o t r y , greed, and ignorance o f t h e country and i t s people.  They began by almost  immediately  i d e n t i f y i n g themselves w i t h S h u l t z and t h e "Canadian p a r t y " . T h i s , i n i t s e l f , was grounds f o r s u s p i c i o n on t h e p a r t o f t h e mitis.  Second, they f a i l e d t o e x p l a i n c l e a r l y the purpose  of t h e i r m i s s i o n and brought a d d i t i o n a l m i s t r u s t upon themselves by h i r i n g many o f t h e i r crew from among a group o f r e c e n t Canadian immigrants.  The crew, which numbered about  forty,  made matters worse by buying l a n d s from the Indians which were a l r e a d y claimed by members o f t h e metis community.  Both Snow  and Mair were, themselves, accused o f t h i s sharp p r a c t i c e and Snow was shown t o have s o l d l i q u o r t o t h e Indians — possibly i n the i n t e r e s t s of acquiring land. a s p e c t s o f t h i s mishandled  quite  Two a d d i t i o n a l  p r o j e c t must be r e c o r d e d :  first,  t h a t the workers soon became disenchanted w i t h low wages and the h i g h f o o d p r i c e s they had t o pay a t t h e s t o r e o f Dr. S h u l t z (where they were o b l i g e d t o d e a l , much t o t h e i r d i s l i k e ) and,  ,  second, t h a t C h a r l e s Mair, a t a l e n t e d j o u r n a l i s t and a s p i r i n g  poet, had l e t t e r s p u b l i s h e d i n Canada which too o f t e n d i s p a r a g e d 35  the French h a l f - b r e e d s w h i l e i m p l y i n g h i s own s u p e r i o r i t y . I n terms o f p r o v i d i n g r e l i e f the p r o j e c t was worse than a f a i l ure.  I t c o n t r i b u t e d i n s u b s t a n t i a l measure t o the metis  dis-  t r u s t which culminated i n t h e R i e l r e s i s t a n c e o f t h e f o l l o w i n g year. ^ 3  I t a l s o i n d i c a t e d t h a t " e a s t e r n e r s " such as Mair,  Snow, McDougall, and even John A. Macdonald, r e l i e d t o o much on the Nor'Wester, the Globe, and men l i k e S h u l t z f o r t h e i r  123  knowledge o f t h e Northwest. But  Snow a n d M a i r were i n A s s i n i b o i a  as w e l l a s t o p r o v i d e r e l i e f .  t o b u i l d a road  I t may e v e n be t h a t t h e r e l i e f  a s p e c t o f t h e 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 b e g i n c o n s t r u c t i o n .  operations near  t h e Oak P o i n t S e t t l e m e n t  Chenes o f t o d a y ) , a b o u t chose  Snow commenced ( t h e S t e . Anne d e s  t h i r t y miles east o f Fort Garry.  t h i s l o c a t i o n f o r several reasons:  recommended b y Dawson;  o f t h e Woods  cart track;  and 1 A p r i l ,  rough  trail  a n d i t marked t h e  ( a n d swampy) c o u n t r y e x t e n d i n g  ( s e e map on n e x t  1868,  i t was on t h e l i n e  i t was a l r e a d y a c c e s s i b l e f r o m Red  R i v e r b y means o f a p r a i r i e edge o f t h e wooded  He  1869,  e a s t t o Lake  Between 9 November,  page).  Snow's men c u t t w e n t y - e i g h t  miles of  f a s c i n e s a c r o s s 2£  e a s t o f Oak P o i n t a n d l a i d  miles  39 o f swampy g r o u n d . 30  June and e n d i n g  complished. a depot  ^  The f o l l o w i n g  season  on 6 December, 1869  The t r a c k was e x t e n d e d  —  —  b e g i n n i n g on  saw l i t t l e  t o 29i  work a c -  m i l e s and  was c o n s t r u c t e d a t Oak P o i n t , a n d some f u r t h e r  i n g was done.  improved, survey-  I n t h e meantime Snow g a v e a s s i s t a n c e t o P u b l i c  Works s u r v e y o r C o l o n e l S t o u g h t o n  Dennis  who u n d e r t o o k  surveys  a t Oak P o i n t a n d R e d R i v e r w i t h d i s a s t r o u s a n d w e l l - k n o w n r e sults.  On 6 J a n u a r y ,  $39,491.51 his  1870,  Snow l e f t  on c o n s t r u c t i o n . ^ "  subsequent  0  declaration that,  There  F o r t Garry, having  spent  i s a certain irony i n  "had i t n o t been f o r t h e un-  f o r t u n a t e and u n f o r s e e n occurences  resulting  i n t h e stoppage  o f t h e work, t h e r o a d , i n a l l p r o b a b i l i t y , w o u l d have b e e n  Broken. Mite  tfotd-k.  R  •  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 . Dawson s Exploratory Surveys and Maps in Dept. of Crown Lands„ Ont." by A. L. Russell Toronto 1869.  Hou.fk  9  s  9  9  The map accompanied Dawson's "Report of 1869", i n Russell The Red River.... 9  •p-  125  opened to the Lake of the Woods in the Spring [ s i c ] , 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.^  Not until 1&71 was the Fort Garry  2  Road opened for stage travel.  And when work was resumed i n  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 u n t i l 1 July.  Five days later Dawson sailed  from Collingwood and by 10 July about 200 men were being organized 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 f a c i l i t a t e 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  \  \  Creek This map ( scale: 4 miles to 1 inch ) i s 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. Lands and Surveys Branch, plan no. 023-23 ), and "Plan of Mr. Dawson's Road from Thunder Bay to Lake Shebandowan" in Captain G. L. Huyshe« The Red River Expedition ( London,, 1871 ).  1  ArTWs  p  9  Lloyd was an employee of the Crown Lands Departments, apparently and his plan appears to have been drawn about 1872. e  HA?  KTO.  11  v>  Continuous  Hf.  127  for  t h i s l a t t e r a c t i o n i n a l e t t e r o f 24  September:  The depot a t which the headquarters are a t present e s t a b l i s h e d , was f o r m e r l y an I n d i a n camping ground, and has always been a f a v o r a b l e r e s o r t w i t h the n a t i v e popul a t i o n i n summer. On our a r r i v a l we found a t t h i s p l a c e 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 s o l d , b e s i d e s which t h e r e were v a r i o u s t r a d e r s i n the neighbourhood who disposed o f ardent s p i r i t s . T h i s a r t i c l e , so b a n e f u l to the I n d i a n s , was a l s o s o l d l a r g e l y from the steamers whenever they a r r i v e d . The d e m o r a l i z i n g i n f l u e n c e s 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 o f so much l i q u o r , e a s i l y o b t a i n a b l e , on the workmen on the l i n e , more e s p e c i a l l y i f they should come i n contact w i t h i n e b r i a t e d I n d i a n s . I t , t h e r e f o r e , became a matter of n e c e s s i t y t o stop t h i s traffic. *2  6  In the same document, Dawson p r o v i d e d a good d e s c r i p t i o n of  the western t w o - t h i r d s o f the Thunder Bay Road-line, n o t i n g  t h a t , "from the e i g h t e e n t h m i l e post westward, t h e r e i s a comp l e t e change i n the c h a r a c t e r o f the country as regards and rock. h i g h and  soil  The L a u r e n t i a n h i l l s g i v e p l a c e to mountains o f other i n t r u s i v e rocks ....  The  s o i l , over a c o n s i d e r -  a b l e d i s t a n c e , i s of a s t i f f red c l a y .... The r o a d - l i n e winds along mountain s l o p e s and through deep v a l l e y s without, d e v i a t i n g l a r g e l y from a s t r a i g h t g e n e r a l  course."  By the end o f October, when a l l but s i x t y of the departed by the l a s t steamer f o r Collingwood, been accomplished however, h i g h .  in this difficult On 12  January,  t h i s i n a note from Braun:  1870,  however,  terrain.  men  much work had The  Dawson was  cost  was,  reminded o f  " I am d i r e c t e d by the Honourable  the M i n i s t e r of P u b l i c Works to acquaint you t h a t i t has been r e p o r t e d t o the Government t h a t the road, now  under c o n s t r u c t i o n  between F o r t W i l l i a m and Lake Shebandowan, i s c o s t i n g $2,000  128  per m i l e . . . . The M i n i s t e r w i l l be g l a d t o be f u r n i s h e d with an explanatory  statement from you on the  subject."^  On the whole, the road work had progressed factorily.  The  problem o f improving  height o f l a n d was,  In l i n e  Dawson's s u g g e s t i o n of the p r e v i o u s summer, an  i n August, 1869,  fairly  navigation across  however, more d i f f i c u l t .  survey p a r t y , l e d by Thomas Monro, was  7  satisthe  with  engineering  sent t o F o r t W i l l i a m  to l o o k i n t o t h i s matter.  seven days on and around Lake Shebandowan.  Monro spent  thirty-  His o b j e c t was  see i f Dawson's p l a n of r a i s i n g the l e v e l of t h a t l a k e by f e e t was  possible.  In the end he r e j e c t e d the i d e a as  to thirty  im-  p r a c t i c a b l e on the grounds t h a t water l o s s by e v a p o r a t i o n , infiltration, excessive.  and by leakage a t the proposed dam, The whole scheme was,  by  would be  i n Monro's view, the  result  L.8 of a "mere e x p l o r e r d a b b l i n g i n the business He d i d , however, put forward  o f an  engineer."  an a l t e r n a t i v e p l a n which i n v o l v e d  r a i s i n g the l e v e l of Shebandowan by f i v e f e e t , thus deepening i t s shallow reaches.  T h i s was  e v e n t u a l l y done.  I t seems, however, t h a t the high c o s t s of c o n s t r u c t i o n at  both ends o f the route and the g e n e r a l l y n e g a t i v e t e n o r  of  Monro's comments had r a i s e d s e r i o u s doubts i n the minds o f some observers.  John Page, C h i e f Engineer  of the Department o f  P u b l i c Works, examined both Dawson's and Monro's r e p o r t s , and then recommended e x p l o r a t i o n s west of Lake N i p i g o n v i a the E n g l i s h R i v e r to i n v e s t i g a t e the p o s s i b i l i t y of an e a s i e r route to  the Red  R i v e r Settlement.-  50  On 12  May,  1870,  the  Secretary  129  o f S t a t e , on b e h a l f o f the House of Commons, commanded t h a t copies o f r e p o r t s on "Dawson's proposed l i n e o f 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  marked the route as being of p o t e n t i a l s t r a t e g i c use;  had  and  Dawson had been i n s t r u c t e d " t o make every p o s s i b l e p r o v i s i o n f o r the passage o f a m i l i t a r y f o r c e . . . through the u n t r a v e l l e d and l i t t l e - k n o w n r e g i o n l y i n g between Lake S u p e r i o r and Red  River  Settlement."  the  5 2  By the time the Manitoba Act o f May,  had  created  a p r o v i n c e i n what had been Rupert's Land, Dawson was  a b l e to  r e p o r t t h a t e i g h t y men  1870,  were a t work on the road and  that  the  K a m i n i s t i q u i a and Matawin R i v e r s had been b r i d g e d d u r i n g  the  w i n t e r as w e l l as the more c o n s i d e r a b l e o f the s m a l l e r streams, "so t h a t , p r a c t i c a l l y , the work of b r i d g i n g may as completed.  v >  be  considered  He added t h a t an a d d i t i o n a l 170 men  would  be on the job as soon as steamers, on the opening o f n a v i g a t i o n , c o u l d b r i n g them.  But much remained t o be done, as was  d r a m a t i c a l l y c l e a r i n the s p r i n g o f 1870  when the  made  military  expedition a r r i v e d at D e p o t . ^ The supported  e x p e d i t i o n a r y f o r c e , composed of Canadian m i l i t i a by B r i t i s h r e g u l a r s , and  C o l o n e l Garnet J . Wolseley, was  commanded by  Lieutenant-  p a r t of the Government's answer  to metis u n r e s t i n the v i c i n i t y o f F o r t Garry and sentiment i n the United S t a t e s . t e c t the settlement  I t was  expansionist  a l s o intended t o  pro-  a g a i n s t p o s s i b l e a t t a c k by P l a i n s 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 remote 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 w i 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." was to be peaceful rather than punitive;  55  The expedition  i t would parade the  flag, flourish the sword, safely usher Manitoba into Confederation, and return home.  To many of the rank and f i l e , however,  i t s major purpose was to avenge the "murder" of Thomas Scott, an unruly young Orangeman executed by Louis R i e l . Whatever i t s purpose, the f i r s t task of the Red River Expedition was to get across some 600 miles of wilderness be56 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 i r s t Steamers reach Lake Superior on the opening of navigation."  57  He had also promised that the Lake Superior road would be com-  The  Public Archives  of Canada  "Red R i v e r E x p e d i t i o n . — Unloading s t o r e s a t P r i n c e Arthur's I n Canadian I l l u s t r a t e d News, 2 J u l y , 1870, p. 8  Landing."  132  p l e t e d by the end o f May.  Dawson, however, had an enormous  task on h i s hands d u r i n g the w i n t e r and  spring.  Aside from  c o n s t r u c t i n g l o n g roads over d i f f i c u l t t e r r a i n a t the and western ends o f the r o u t e , he had t o c l e a r portages  eastern  long-neglected  deep i n the i n t e r i o r o f the country, p l a c e boats  on  the i n l a n d l a k e s ( i n c l u d i n g a s m a l l steam launch on Shebandowan Lake), arrange  f o r the c o n s t r u c t i o n and d e l i v e r y of 150  boats  from v a r i o u s p a r t s o f Canada f o r the purpose o f troop t r a n s p o r t a t i o n , and "powerful"  take steps to p a c i f y the r a t h e r r e s t l e s s  (as Dawson termed them) Saulteux  and  Indians who  roved  59  the country en r o u t e . a Mr.  Pether  To achieve these ends Dawson d i s p a t c h e d  of F o r t W i l l i a m to secure good r e l a t i o n s w i t h  Indians a t F o r t Frances and  saw to i t t h a t l a r g e crews o f  voyageurs and axe-men were at work b e f o r e the f i r s t of Wolseley's  men  a r r i v e d at the Lakehead.  contingent  As soon as  was  p o s s i b l e Dawson i n c r e a s e d the s t r e n g t h of h i s work crew t o — was  most of them h i r e d to double as voyageurs. plagued  by s e r i o u s and  The working season was of  S u p e r i o r , and  120  the  But Dawson  l a r g e l y unforseeable  lamentably  difficulties.  short i n the country  o f h i s workers, expected  800  a t the  north  beginning  of the season, were d e t a i n e d when the United S t a t e s a u t h o r i t i e s o b s t r u c t e d the e x p e d i t i o n at the S a u l t Ste. Marie c a n a l . Dawson c a l c u l a t e d t h a t t h i s delayed work on the Thunder road by two  to three weeks.  Then t h e r e were the f o r e s t  Bay fires  of mid-May which swept a l o n g the route d e s t r o y i n g some of the crib-work,  one b r i d g e , and d i s r u p t i n g the c o n s t r u c t i o n gangs.  133  "So g e n e r a l was the c o n f l a g r a t i o n " , wrote Dawson, " t h a t t h e whole country seemed on flame ....  The b u i l d i n g s a t the depot  were saved w i t h d i f f i c u l t y , and n e a r l y 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 o f Thunder Bay were burned." The f i r e s were f o l l o w e d almost immediately by heavy r a i n s which made a muddy mess o f s e c t i o n s o f the road and brought the r i v e r s and creeks t o f l o o d l e v e l s .  E n s i g n J . J . B e l l , o f the F i r s t  (Ontario) B a t t a l i o n o f Riflemen, counted f i f t e e n days o f r a i n in All  June and e i g h t d u r i n g the f i r s t  s i x t e e n days o f J u l y .  t h i n g s c o n s i d e r e d , i t i s l i t t l e wonder t h a t Dawson was not  ready t o accommodate the 1,400 men and 150 l a r g e boats o f the Wolseley E x p e d i t i o n . Undue d e l a y , however, might have d e s t r o y e d the u s e f u l ness o f t h e e x p e d i t i o n .  And so, f a c e d w i t h the immediate  n e c e s s i t y o f g e t t i n g t h e i r s u p p l i e s and 30-foot boats t o t h e head o f n a v i g a t i o n a t Shebandowan, detachments o f s o l d i e r s laboured shoulder t o shoulder w i t h Dawson's w o r k - p a r t i e s , r a c i n g a g a i n s t time t o complete the t a s k : Work we each day and work we w e l l , The f o r e s t 'round, i t s t a l e w i l l t e l l . And roads a r e cut from Thunder Bay, F u l l s i x and f o r t y m i l e s away, To where t h e running Matawin, Ebbs from t h e Lake Shebandowan. W h i l s t Dawson's f e a t u r e s i n r e l i e f c l e a r l y (as i f by chance) Are seen, w i t h h i s p e c u l i a r step and strangely piercing glance." 2  The b i g g e s t t r a n s p o r t a t i o n job i n v o l v e d moving the boats (which v a r i e d i n weight from 65O pounds t o 950 pounds).  Dawson's  Toronto P u b l i c L i b r a r i e s Wolseley E x p e d i t i o n camp a t McVicar's Creek, P r i n c e Arthur's Landing, 1870; from a water c o l o u r by W i l l i a m Armstrong. Armstrong p a i n t e d a great many p i c t u r e s of the country between Lake S u p e r i o r and the Red R i v e r . H i s work i s o f c o n s i d e r a b l e value to h i s t o r i a n s i n t e r e s t e d i n t h a t a r e a . He was a c i v i l engineer and was appointed c h i e f engineer o f Wolseley's e x p e d i t i o n . He a l s o f u n c t i o n e d as a news correspondent d u r i n g t h a t expedition. Many o f h i s water c o l o u r s o f Northwestern Ontario a r e h e l d by the Toronto P u b l i c L i b r a r y and the Canadiana G a l l e r y o f the Royal Ontario Museum, w h i l e many others are i n p r i v a t e 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 l i n e . Twenty-eight boats were sent forward by this means, the horses making the round t r i p i n 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 i r s t 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 i n a l l y , put back in the river, to be floated the last three miles to Shebandowan. enormous.  The cost i n labour, materials, and time was In transporting stores up one section of river,  alone, wrote Ensign B e l l , "it took thirteen hours of hard work with oar, pole and tracking l i n e , to ascend, while the empty boats ran down for another load in one hour."64 Snelling recorded the risks involved:  Lieutenant  "On my f i r s t t r i p up  " E x p e d i t i o n t o the Red R i v e r i n 1870 under S i r Garnet Wolseley. Advanced Guard c r o s s i n g a P o r t a g e . " By Frances Ann Hopkins. From an o i l p a i n t i n g i n the P u b l i c A r c h i v e s o f Canada.  ~0  The P u b l i c A r c h i v e s  o f Canada  "Kakabeka F a l l s and P o r t a g e " by W i l l i a m 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 E x p e d i t i o n , shows the s o l d i e r s and voyageurs p o r t a g i n g around the f a l l s .  M  139  the crew were engaged t r a c k i n g up a dangerous r a p i d .  The  s t e r n o f the boat gave a swing and s t r i k i n g on a rock was s h i v e r e d t o a thousand p i e c e s .  Our f i r s t work was t o search  f o r t h e two voyageurs who were on board a t the time ... but w i t h g r e a t d i f f i c u l t y they were got on shore .... the cargo was saved."  ?  None o f  Dawson, j u s t i f i a b l y so, had some  66  comments o f h i s own.  He observed t h a t by about 2 0 June,  " i t had become necessary t o spread so many people along the R i v e r , i n t h i s t o i l s o m e work o f dragging boats up rocky channels t h a t , much t o my r e g r e t , I was compelled t o reduce t h e f o r c e on the r o a d . "  He added t h a t , "the boats s u f f e r e d  terribly,  row-locks were l o s t , and oars i n q u a n t i t y broken, and the t o o l chests were almost d e p l e t e d o f t h e i r c o n t e n t s . "  He a l s o  cal-  c u l a t e d t h a t i t cost | 3 0 0 t o t r a n s p o r t each boat v i a the r i v e r as a g a i n s t $ 2 0 t o $ 2 5 by way o f road. out t h a t on 2 August,  F i n a l l y , he p o i n t e d  seven boats were sent by waggon t o  Shebandowan i n c o n s i d e r a b l y l e s s than two days, and t h a t they a r r i v e d " f r e s h and sound as they came from the hand o f the builder."  D e s p i t e t h e a d m i r a t i o n g e n e r a l l y accorded Wolseley,  he must be f a u l t e d on h i s r i v e r t r a n s p o r t a t i o n p o l i c y . had y e t another r e s u l t , f o r the voyageurs. a rough, and independent-minded  It  ready,  l o t who, as expert rivermen, r e c o g n i z e d  the f o o l i s h n e s s o f t h e i r l o n g and arduous abandon the p r o j e c t i n d i s g u s t .  chore, began t o  Among those who l e f t were  many l o c a l Indians (much needed guides) from Nipigon, F o r t W i l l i a m , and Grand Portage.  Photo:  K. C. A. Dawson  Calderon's Landing today, on the Matawin R i v e r , Dawson Route.  Photo:  K. C. A. Dawson  L o c a t i o n o f the o l d Matawin B r i d g e , Dawson Route  The P u b l i c A r c h i v e s o f Canada D e t a i l o f "Map o f both s i d e s o f the I n t e r n a t i o n a l Boundary between Lake S u p e r i o r and Lake o f the Woods", by John Farmer, 1829. The map shows the o b s t r u c t i o n s along the Dog Lake and Pigeon R i v e r canoe r o u t e s i n considerable d e t a i l . I t i s i n c l u d e d , p r i m a r i l y , to i n d i c a t e the numerous o b s t r u c t i o n s along the r i v e r between F o r t W i l l i a m and the mouth o f the "Malaway". Wolseley's boat t r a n s p o r t a t i o n p o l i c y d i d not show s u f f i c i e n t respect f o r these.  143  Many o f those c a l l e d "voyageurs" by Dawson were men  o f the lumberman's f r o n t i e r :  timber-raftsmen.  actually  r i v e r - d r i v e r s , boatmen, and  They came from the S t . Maurice, Saguenay,  Ottawa, and Trent R i v e r v a l l e y s and from the borders o f Lakes Huron and S u p e r i o r .  There were m e t i s , too, many o f them from  Penetanguishene and M a n i t o u l i n I s l a n d as w e l l as a few from Red R i v e r .  And, w h i l e the g r e a t days o f the true voyageur  canoe b r i g a d e s had passed i n t o h i s t o r y , I n d i a n s employed  these men,  from the Lake S u p e r i o r d i s t r i c t , would have  seen and l i k e l y paddled many a Candt du Nord. 100  Caughnawaga-Iroquois  f o r S i r George  and the  F i n a l l y , about  were used, some o f whom had paddled  Simpson.  Wolseley, h i m s e l f , and a few o f h i s o f f i c e r s , by North Canoe, but t h e t r o o p s went by row-boat. paddles, were the o r d e r o f the day.  travelled  Oars, not  N e v e r t h e l e s s , many o f the  s k i l l s r e q u i r e d by Dawson and Wolseley were those r e q u i r e d o f the  voyageurs o f former days, and t h e r e c e r t a i n l y were some  bona f i d e canoemen i n v o l v e d .  To t h i s extent the u n d e r t a k i n g  might be regarded as a genuine voyageur p r o j e c t —  a somewhat  b a s t a r d i z e d reminder o f the o l d days a l o n g the canoe r o u t e s . I f the voyageurs had t h e i r work cut out f o r them so, t o o , d i d the s o l d i e r s .  Many o f them —  unaccustomed  to l i f e on the  w i l d e r n e s s f r o n t i e r , and f a n c y i n g themselves as glamorous of the Canadian West — of mud,  had t r o u b l e a d j u s t i n g t o the r e a l i t i e s  r a i n , b l a c k f l i e s , and unadorned hard l a b o u r .  pressed t h e i r f e e l i n g s  saviors  They  i n the words o f the e x p e d i t i o n song:  ex-  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 i n 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 a s a v o l u n t e e r t h a t I l e f t my a b o d e , /•„ I n e v e r t h o u g h t o f coming h e r e 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 h a v e seemed a l o n g way Toronto's C r y s t a l Palace to  t h e muck a n d m o s q u i t o e s o f t h e T h u n d e r Bay  t h e i r number was who  (where many o f t h e m had  noted  Hugh J o h n M a c d o n a l d  fitted  road.  Among son)  t h a t , i n c i y i l i z e d r e g i o n s , the road p o r t i o n s of  t h e w o r s t o f i t was,  t h a t he was  "already beginning  that h i s vocabulary  he r e a c h e d The  Fort  For  the  Macdonald  a s he p u t i t , " t h e 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 " .  and  out)  (the Prime M i n i s t e r ' s  r o u t e " w o u l d p a s s f o r a v e r y r e s p e c t a b l e swamp".  suspects  from  He w e n t on t o n o t e  t o swear a l i t t l e . "  was  One  g r e a t l y e x p a n d e d by t h e  time  Garry.  T h u n d e r Bay  R o a d was  v a r i e d r o u t e t o t h e West;  only the f i r s t and  up a f t e r t h e i r r o u g h r i v e r t r i p ,  l e g of the  long  b y 16 J u l y , t h e b o a t s  patched  the t r o o p s began t o push o f f  f r o m t h e s a n d y b e a c h o f M c N e i l l ' s Bay  a t t h e e a s t e r n end  of  69 L a k e Shebandowan. be one  7  For  some 5 5 $ ) m i l e s now  o f l a k e s , r i v e r s and  portages;  b o a t s , manned by e i g h t s o l d i e r s a n d off  on t h e t r a i l o f t h e I n d i a n and  g e t a r e a l t a s t e o f t h e p a y s d'en g l a c i e r - s c o u r e d g r a n i t e , and North  so t h e  fur trader. haut:  L a c Des  t r a v e l bent s l i g h t l y t o the  six-oared  Now  they  the land of w i l d  set  would rivers,  B l a c k S p r u c e swamps.  o v e r t h e h e i g h t o f l a n d , and M i l l e Lacs.  would  or three voyageurs.  f r o m Shebandowan t h e y p u l l e d a c r o s s  Lake, portaged through  two  and  the route  Kashabowie  then headed west  From t h i s p o i n t , t h e l i n e  of  south, passing d i r e c t l y across  the  146  the Quetico to converge with the h i s t o r i c border lakes route at Lac La Croix.  Leaving La Croix by way of Loon Lake and  River i t wound north-west v i a Sand Point and Namakan Lakes to once again s t r i k e west across the big water of Rainy Lake. Then came the b e a u t i f u l v a l l e y 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 , — Arthur's Landing —  s i x hundred miles from Prince  the Red River and Fort Garry (see map no.12,  unbound). For the s o l d i e r s the t r i p meant hard work spiced with adventure.  Threading t h e i r way among myriads of confusing  islands, camping wherever n i g h t f a l l 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 i n jour-  71 nals, some of which were l a t e r published. Samplings from these accounts provide a v i v i d picture of the journey as seen •>  through the s o l d i e r s ' 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 b i d them f a r w e l l . The second brigade to which I belonged started two days afterwards, and a favourable wind blowing at the time, the s a i l s were soon hoisted and we were f l y i n g through the water at speed of 10 or 12 knots an hour when we arrived at the Kashabowie Portage, 1710 yards i n length and encamped f o r the night. at three o'clock the next morning, we were b u s i l y employed conveying our cargo and boats over the Portage but which we found no l i g h t work .... we encamped f o r the night and started at the usual hour,  147  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 i n 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 themselves with their portage-straps and slings to the towlines; 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 i n 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 f i r s t expedition undertaken by British troops i n which intoxicating liquor was not served out d a i l y ' . . . . Absence of liquor was marked by absence of crime, as well as by the wonderful good health and spirits of the men. 2  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, i s 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  $an/ late  k  ^furj^  f  Line  Like  oJ  font?  The head of the French R i v e r ( o u t l e t o f Windigoostigwan Lake), on the Dawson Route, 1 9 6 4 .  151  i n commemoration o f a deed o f v i o l e n c e committed t h e r e by a band o f Ojibways, i n t h e year 1811 .... A row of twelve m i l e s brought us t o t h e entrance t o t h e French R i v e r , down which we went a t a g r e a t pace .... The numerous s h o a l s and r o c k s i n t h i s r i v e r made t h e n a v i g a t i o n dangerous i n t h e extreme, and s e v e r a l boats r e c e i v e d damage t h a t compelled the o f f i c e r s i n charge o f them t o r u n i n s h o r e and bivouac f o r the n i g h t . The J o u r n a l o f the E x p e d i t i o n (p. 83), River:  French Portage and  At 2.15 P.M. reached French Portage, which i s 2 m i l e s l o n g , v e r y h i l l y , and swampy [Huyshe c a l l e d i t "two m i l e s l o n g and a t r u l y d r e a d f u l portage. J . ,r  A s m a l l winding stream connects Windegoostigou w i t h French Lake .... About 3/4 m i l e down i t t h e r e a r e f a l l s , around which we cut out a new portage, so as t o a v o i d the l o n g and v e r y bad o l d one. The new portage i s 440 yards l o n g and v e r y steep and. rocky .... Below the portage the stream [French River] i s deep, v e r y narrow a t p l a c e s , and w i t h such sharp t u r n s t h a t i t was d i f f i c u l t t o get the l o n g boats round them .... Encamped a t f o o t o f o l d portage on e a s t e r n s i d e o f French Lake.... I n former times when t h i s portage was used as a g r e a t highway by t h e North-West Company, they kept c a r t s on i t , and t h e r e i s s t i l l t h e remains o f some o l d corduroy work t o be seen i n i t s worst swamps. C a p t a i n Huyshe (pp. 122-124), French R i v e r and Lake: The new portage path descends a very steep h i l l , down which the stream f i n d s i t s way, a l i t t l e t o t h e east o f the path i n a s e r i e s o f v e r y p r e t t y cascades .... Next morning, the 26th, we embarked a g a i n on the same stream, which now became deep and s l u g g i s h , t o o deep t o p o l e and too narrow f o r rowing, but v e r y p r e t t y ; i t s banks f r i n g e d w i t h a l d e r , tamarack, and p i t c h - p i n e , and occas i o n a l l a r g e r t r e e s o f white and r e d p i n e . As we dropped l a z i l y down t h e c u r r e n t , e n j o y i n g the l u x u r y o f a morning p i p e , an o c c a s i o n a l young p a r t r i d g e would f l u t t e r away through t h e bushes ... numerous pigeons f l i t t e d about, and looked down a t us from t h e l o f t y p i n e s w i t h wondering eyes.... we had t o amuse o u r s e l v e s by s c a r i n g them away from t h e i r perches by a l o u d shout, and then p r e s e n t i n g imaginary guns a t them as they f l e w away .... This stream connects Lake Windegoostigon with French Lake, a p r e t t y c i r c u l a r b a s i n l | m i l e s i n diameter, surrounded by low h i l l s timbered w i t h an e x t e n s i v e f o r e s t o f r e d p i n e .  152  Lt. Riddell (pp. 116-117), French Lake to Deux Rivieres Portage: The French River flows into the L i t t l e 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 f u l l y appreciate 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), assisted 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 i t s abrupt opening into wide expanses of water, with deep and gloomy bays stretching 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:  Pickerel  B. M . L i t t e l j o h n ,  (Kaogassikok) Lake,  on t h e Dawson  1963  Route.  The Public Archives of Canada "The Red River Expedition: Crossing a Portage." ByCaptain G. L. Huyshe. In The Illustrated London News, 28 Oct., 1871, p. 404.  The P u b l i c A r c h i v e s o f Canada "Deux R i v i e r e s Portage, on t h e Red R i v e r Route," by W i l l i a m In Canadian I l l u s t r a t e d News. 14 Oct., 1871, p. 244.  Armstrong.  157  Photo:  B . M. L i t t e l j o h n  A p o r t i o n o f Deux R i v i e r e s Portage, on t h e Dawson Route, 1963.  Photo:  B. M.  Litteljohn  A p o r t i o n of Deux R i v i e r e s 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 beautif u l 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, a r t i s t i c a l l y 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 dangerous rapids to be run. Journal of the Expedition (p. 84), Sturgeon Lake: The route i s very winding, and owing to the numerous long bays extending i n every direction, i t i s very easy ... to go astray. Colonel Wolseley's party, i n 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 i n 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 l e f t , 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 i n 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, consisting of Iroquois and French-Canadians, for the purpose of steering the boats down .... Ignace commenced his operations by turning everyone out of the boats, except four soldiers left i n 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 o f the Maligne R i v e r , Dawson Route.  Photo:  Martha A.  Kidd  Twin F a l l s on the Maligne R i v e r , I s l a n d Portage i s t o the l e f t . The Maligne was one o f the most d i f f i c u l t p o r t i o n s o f the r o u t e .  162  s t r o n g arms a t work were capable o f , the boats e n t e r e d the r a p i d s . The s l i g h t e s t mistake on the p a r t of the steersman, and they would have been smashed t o p i e c e s on the huge r o c k s t h a t we passed c l o s e r than was p l e a s a n t . Everyone worked as i f f o r h i s l i f e ; and the w i l d c r i e s of the I n d i a n s , as they shouted d i r e c t i o n s t o each o t h e r i n t h e i r strange language, made those l o o k i n g on from the shore f e e l c e r t a i n t h a t some a c c i d e n t was going t o happen; but the cheers and l a u g h t e r of the crews, as the boats were p u l l e d i n t o smooth water a t the f o o t o f the r a p i d s soon d i s p e l l e d the i l l u s i o n . C a p t a i n Huyshec (pp. 128-131), the Sturgeon [ M a l i g n e ] R i v e r t o Namakan Lake v i a Lac La C r o i x and Loon Lake: Sturgeon Lake empties i t s e l f i n t o Lac La C r o i x through Sturgeon R i v e r , about 18 m i l e s l o n g , w i t h numerous f a l l s and heavy r a p i d s .... Portage de l ' I s l e , the l a s t of s e v e r a l portages on Sturgeon R i v e r , i s a v e r y p r e t t y portage on an i s l a n d , as i t s name i m p l i e s . The r i v e r d i v i d e s i n t o two channels and f a l l s over a ledge o f rock i n the most p i c t u r e s q u e cascades .... From Portage de l ' I s l e a few m i l e s f u r t h e r brought us t o Lac l a C r o i x , a l o n g and broad sheet of water, so named by some J e s u i t m i s s i o n a r i e s many years ago, who e r e c t e d two l a r g e wooden c r o s s e s on conspicuous i s l a n d s a t the western end of the lake. The c r o s s e s have disappeared, but the l a k e r e t a i n s i t s name. The I n d i a n s c a l l i t 'Nequaquon'. The o l d canoe r o u t e t u r n s o f f a t the north-western end and f o l l o w s the R i v i e r e Maligne [[now c a l l e d the Namakan R i v e r J i n t o Lake Namekan, but t h i s r o u t e was pronounced v e r y dangerous f o r the b i g boats, the r i v e r b e i n g f u l l o f r a p i d s and sunken r o c k s and l o n g p o r t a g e s . Mr. Donald Smith's canoe was twice broken d u r i n g h i s r e c e n t descent o f t h i s r i v e r , although manned by the best I r o q u o i s . We t h e r e f o r e f o l l o w e d the l a k e t o i t s western end, and then t u r n e d south f o r a few m i l e s i n t o Loon Lake, and made a bend round, coming i n t o Namekan Lake and j o i n i n g the o l d canoe r o u t e a g a i n . '4  With Lac La C r o i x and today's Q u e t i c o Park behind them, the b r i g a d e s rowed 57 m i l e s down Rainy Lake.  The f i r s t  detach-  ment a r r i v e d a t F o r t Frances on 4 August, having t r a v e l l e d m i l e s i n 19  days and c r o s s e d 17  75 portages. '  The  remainder  200  163  Photo:  Martha A. Kidd  Lac La C r o i x , on the Dawson Route.  165  s t r e t c h e d o u t b e h i n d i t f o r 150  of the brigades  l i k e a huge s e r p e n t  across  the  miles,  wilderness.  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 . on i m m e d i a t e l y w i t h , a s being  allowed  one  winding  The  o f t h e m commented, " n o t  t o w r i t e a l e t t e r o r wash o u r  men  an  Captain  W.  F.  B u t l e r , who  had  been sent  t o Red  Arrival  B u t l e r , l a t e r t o become a  uished  had  returned  by  author,  disting-  As  t h e two  dropped from?"  he  canoe p a r t i e s  the 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  "Where on e a r t h h a v e y o u  as  gone W e s t v i a M i n n e s o t a b u t  c a n o e t o meet W o l s e l e y .  came t o g e t h e r ,  Wolseley  River  an i n t e l l i g e n c e o f f i c e r . s o l d i e r and  hour  clothes".  a t F o r t F r a n c e s a l s o brought a meeting between C o l o n e l and  pushed  out  "Fort Garry,  twelve  76  days out,  s i r , " was  s i t u a t i o n a t Red  the  reply.  R i v e r was  Butler also advised  s e r i o u s and  that  the  an I n d i a n o u t b r e a k immi-  nent. West o f F o r t F r a n c e s ,  the brigades  down t h e R a i n y R i v e r , r o w i n g by day ing  by n i g h t .  technique not  and  i t s purpose:  go a s h o r e t o camp, b u t  ened t o g e t h e r two  J. J. Bell  men  i n t w o s and  remaining  and,  "In order  had  2L&)  drift-  describes  the  t o s a v e t i m e t h e men  did  s l e p t i n the b o a t s , w h i c h were allowed  t o f l o a t w i t h the  awake t o s t e e r a n d  keep g u a r d . " a r d u o u s row  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 .  of operations  miles  i n some c a s e s ,  ( t h i r d p a p e r , p.  L a k e o f t h e Woods, i n v o l v i n g a l o n g and and  t r a v e l l e d 70  c a l l e d f o r a march a c r o s s  The  fast-  current, Then came f o r some  original  plan  "Snow's R o a d " f r o m  t h e N o r t h w e s t A n g l e o f L a k e o f t h e Woods t o F o r t G a r r y ;  but  Photo:  B . M. L i t t e l j o h n ,  1964  The Rainy R i v e r , west o f F o r t Frances, on the Dawson Route.  168  Wolseley had had h i s f i l l  o f p a r t i a l l y completed roads and  t h e r e f o r e d e c i d e d t o r o u t e h i s men down the Winnipeg R i v e r .  7 7  Here the r a p i d s , d e s p i t e low water, were even more dangerous than those o f the Maligne, but the ominous warnings were i g nored and the r i v e r n a v i g a t e d without major mishap.  Excite-  ment t h e r e was, however, as the s o l d i e r s got another t a s t e of  white water —  a t the expense o f s e v e r a l s h a t t e r e d b o a t s .  Dawson l a t e r , and r a t h e r d e f e n s i v e l y  (he was  c r i t i c i z e d unduly  by some members o f the e x p e d i t i o n ) , suggested t h a t the Winnipeg River —  because o f low water —  a "duck pond". can  o f f e r e d no more danger than  T h i s was not f a i r , as the Winnipeg's r a p i d s  be dangerous a t any time, and, as any experienced  canoeist 78  can  a t t e s t , s w i f t water can be most dangerous i n low water. A minor, but v i v i d , l e g a c y o f the Winnipeg R i v e r descent  i s W o l s e l e y s own a d j e c t i v e - l a d e n d e s c r i p t i o n o f running r a p i d s : The p l e a s u r a b l e excitement o f danger i s always an agreeable experience, but the e n t h r a l l i n g d e l i g h t o f f e e l i n g 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 r u s h i n g waters i n t o what l o o k s l i k e a b o i l i n g , steaming cauldron o f b u b b l i n g and confused waters, exceeds most o f t h e other maddening del i g h t s t h a t man can dream o f . Each man s t r a i n s f o r h i s l i f e a t oar o r paddle, f o r no steerage-way can be kept upon your boat u n l e s s i t be made t o r u n q u i c k e r than the water. A l l depends upon the nerve and s k i l l o f the bowsman and steersman, who take you s k i l f u l l y through the o u t c r o p p i n g r o c k s around you. But the acme o f e x c i t e ment i s o f short d u r a t i o n , and the pace i s too quick to admit o f s e l f - e x a m i n a t i o n . No words can d e s c r i b e the r a p i d change o f s e n s a t i o n when the boat jumps through the l a s t narrow and perhaps t w i s t e d passage between r o c k s , i n t o an eddy o f s l a c k water b e l o w . ° 1  7  On 20 August, the advance guard a r r i v e d a t the mouth o f the  Winnipeg R i v e r , and F o r t Alexander.  The course now l a y  Ontario Archives,  Toronto  I s l a n d Portage, Winnipeg R i v e r , 1870; from a water c o l o u r by W i l l i a m Armstrong. The i l l u s t r a t i o n shows a Wolseley E x p e d i t i o n boat running the r a p i d s and a second boat a t the f o o t o f the portage t r a i l .  171  north-west f o r about 2 0 miles to Lake Winnipeg's Elk Point, and then south a l i k e distance to the entrance of the Red River. The f l o t i l l a of Regulars made an impressive picture, as described by one of the o f f i c ersi  "We s a i l e d that afternoon  (Sunday, 2 1 August} about 25 miles to Elk Island, the p r e t t i est  sight you ever saw, LB boats i n a long l i n e s a i l i n g away  over a f i n e lake ... the d i f f e r e n t rigging and the d i f f e r e n t BO  builds of the boats made i t look l i k e an enormous regatta." At l a s t , on 2 4 August — landing at Thunder Bay —  three months a f t e r the i n i t i a l  the regulars marched on Fort Garry.  "We advanced", wrote one of t h e i r number, "with great caution i n perfect order across the p r a i r i e i n front of the Fort. We could see no one, but a l l the gates were shut and we expected every minute to have a v o l l e y 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 i n to f i n d that R i e l had only l e f t a quarter of an hour with a few followers.... much disgusted at having nothing to do.  We were a l l  The only people we  found i n 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 f i r e d a Royal Salute, our men gave three cheers f o r the Queen and presented arms.  The band  played 'God Save the Queen', and then we got under shelter as Bl  fast as we could f o r the r a i n had drenched us to the skin." Deprived of the b a t t l e they had anticipated with great pleasure, the men were disappointed.  I t had been as Lieutenant Redvers  172  B u l l e r put i t ,  "a l o n g way go  to come to have the band p l a y  'God  Save the Queen'." B a t t l e or no, the Red R i v e r E x p e d i t i o n deserves i t s p l a c e i n m i l i t a r y annals on t h e b a s i s o f l o g i s t i c s . r e p o r t i n g t o h i s M i n i s t e r i n 1870,  suggested  Dawson,  the extent o f  the problems surmounted when he wrote t h a t , "no boats o r  any  v e s s e l l a r g e r or h e a v i e r than a bark canoe had ever been used i n the v a s t w i l d e r n e s s o f r o c k , swamp and l a k e which i n t e r v e n e s between Thunder Bay and F o r t F r a n c e s . " s i o n s t r o o p s had,  On two  previous  occa-  i n f a c t , been sent west v i a Hudson Bay i n  order t o a v o i d the rugged t e r r a i n and t u r b u l e n t r i v e r s o f the region.  N e v e r t h e l e s s , the government decreed t h a t  f o r c e , w i t h 30 f o o t boats weighing  Wolseley's  up t o 950 pounds, should  c r o s s the w i l d s along Dawson's i n f a n t and rough-hewn r o u t e . Observers  i n both England  and Canada, many of whom had  prophesied t h a t the troops would never get through, were amazed a t the success of the e x p e d i t i o n .  H i s t o r i a n s , a century  have tended t o share t h e i r amazement and to l a u d Wolseley h i s men  and  f o r b r i l l i a n t and w e l l - n i g h i m p o s s i b l e accomplishment.  In doing so they tend t o overlook the important Dawson and h i s P u b l i c Works employees — the way  later,  f a c t t h a t Simon  800 of them —  paved  f o r the s o l d i e r s (not v i c e v e r s a as some of the m i l i 83  t a r y people suggested).  ?  They a l s o seem t o have n e g l e c t e d  the remarkable l o g i s t i c s o f the f u r t r a d e .  A g a i n s t the f u r  t r a d e r s ' standards, as e s t a b l i s h e d i n the same r e g i o n , the accomplishment of the Red R i v e r f o r c e does not loom so l a r g e .  173  Any b r i g a d e o f Northwesters t h a t moved a t even t h r e e times the  pace of Wolseley's men  would have been d e s p i s e d as b e i n g  composed o f " p o r k - e a t e r s " . not  Nonetheless, the comparison i s  completely v a l i d , and t h e r e was,  s a i d f o r the f a c t t h a t , i n 96  and i s , something t o be  days, 1,400  men  (carrying  s u p p l i e s f o r two months) had t r a v e l l e d about 600  full  m i l e s on f o o t  84 and i n open b o a t s .  They had, moreover, c r o s s e d 47  and had c a r r i e d through t h e i r adventure i n a harsh and  portages, unfami-  l i a r environment without a s i n g l e l o s s o f l i f e . The t r o u b l e s a t Red R i v e r , and the a t t i t u d e o f the U n i t e d S t a t e s , had suggested the n e c e s s i t y o f t r o o p s a t F o r t Garry. I t was of  even more n e c e s s a r y t o prove t h a t the Dominion was  capable  moving a f o r c e i n t o the t e r r i t o r y a c r o s s B r i t i s h s o i l .  c r o s s i n g the Dawson Route, Wolseley's t r o o p s demonstrated capability.  In this  They a l s o i n a u g u r a t e d the new Dominion's f i r s t  highway t o the West.  I n a c c o m p l i s h i n g t h i s , "the e x p e d i t i o n  undoubtedly proved t h a t the Dawson Route, however l i m i t e d i t s commercial p o s s i b i l i t i e s , was a s s e t t o the new  a v a l u a b l e p o l i t i c a l and m i l i t a r y  n a t i o n . T h e  success o f 1870  b r i g h t e s t day i n the b r i e f h i s t o r y o f the r o u t e .  marked the The  water-  way which tumbled and eddied westward from the h e i g h t o f l a n d had not seen such a c t i v i t y s i n c e the days when an estimated  2,000 Northwesters paddled i t each season;  nor would i t see  a g a i n the amount o f t r a f f i c t h a t passed i n the s p r i n g , summer, and autumn o f  1870.  Much o f the c r e d i t f o r the e x p e d i t i o n ' s success was  due,  174  as some o f the s o l d i e r s admitted, t o Dawson's tough and enced voyageurs.  Without them the t r o o p s ( B r i t i s h Regulars  i n c l u d e d ) would have been so many babes i n the woods. was of for  aware of t h i s ; C a i r o , he was  experi-  and when, i n 1884,  Wolseley  as G e n e r a l L o r d Wolseley  c a l l e d upon to;produce a p l a n o f o p e r a t i o n s  the Gordon R e l i e f E x p e d i t i o n i n f a r - o f f Egypt, h i s thoughts  went back t o the voyageurs o f the Dawson Route.  His p l a n i n -  v o l v e d ascending the f o r m i d a b l e N i l e and, a c c o r d i n g l y , t h e c a l l went out f o r Canadian boatmen — B r i t i s h Empire.  Some 400  and many o l d hands who  the best t o be had i n the  o f them, i n c l u d i n g I r o q u o i s Indians  had done s e r v i c e on Dawson Route waters,  took s h i p f o r Egypt i n company w i t h a l a r g e b i r c h b a r k canoe s p e c i f i c a l l y ordered by Wolseley. of  There, i n the c a t a r a c t s  t h e N i l e , they put t o use the l e s s o n s l e a r n e d on  Canadian  waters, thus c a r r y i n g the t r a d i t i o n a l s k i l l s o f the  voyageur  far  afield.  Dr. W i l l i a m Henry Drummond spoke f o r them:  Victoria! She have beeg war, Egyp's de nam' de p l a c e — An' neeger peep dat's l e e v e im dere, got v e r y b l a c k de f a c e , And so she's w r i t e Joseph M e r c i e r , he's stop on T r o i s R i v i e r e s — 'Please come r i g h t o f f , ah' b r i n g w i t ' you f r e e honder voyageurs. 'I got de p l a i n t e e s o j e r , me, beeg f e l l e r s i x Dat's Englishman, an' Scotch a l s o , don't wear Of course de Irishman's de bes', r a i s e a l l de But nobody can p u l l b a t t e a u l a k good Canadian  foot t a l l — no pant a t a l l ; row he can, 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  p.  217. 7  p. 262.  St. Paul Press. 1 May, 1869; St. Paul Press. 8 Feb., 1870;  cited in Gluek, J r . , cited in Gluek, J r . ,  Cited in Allan Nevins, Hamilton Fish: The Inner History of the Grant Administration (New York. 1936). p. 386. Q  St. Paul Press. 23 D e c , 1869; in Senate Executive Document no. 33, 41st Congress, 2nd Session, Serial 1405, pp. 43-44. The temper of Washington, and i t s 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 0  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 frequent correspondent of James Wickes Taylor. Taylor, i n terestingly enough, was an outstanding proponent of Minnesota expansion and a confidential agent of the U.S. State 1 1  176  Department in Red River during the f i r s t Riel Rebellion. The relationship between Brydges and Taylor is treated in Gluek, J r . , pp. 187n., 189, 201-202, 275n. 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 2  1 3  I b i d . , p. 19.  During Lord Monck's absences from Canada (30 Sept., 1865 - 12 Feb., 1866 and 10 D e c , 1866 - 25 June, 1867), Michel was Administrator of the Government. C.S.P., vol. 1, no. 7, 1867-68, paper 19, pp. 2022. Alexander Campbell, soon to become Postmaster-General in the f i r s t 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. 1 5  Campbell, working from Dawson's figures, estimated that $55,900 would be required to complete the works outlined 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 D e c , 1867), i n 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 i r s t cited. l  g  "Report of 1868", in Russell, p. 172.  19 Dawson awaits a biographer and a biographer must The wait on the collection of further Dawson papers.  177  beginnings of a good collection are now reposing at the Ontario Archives in Toronto and officers of that institution 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 A p r i l , i860 — proposes that the two men go into the fur trading business i n the area west of Fort William. Two days previous to this, Dawson had written 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 i n charge of Fort William) implies that Dawson was expected to v i s i t 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. 38-39Dawson, "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 D e c , 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 expended 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  2 5  Dawson, "Report of 1869", p. 12. I b i d . , p. 12.  ?6  Dawson to H. L . Langevin, Minister of Public Works, 30 June, 1870, i n 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  2 8  "Report of 1869", p. 17I b i d . , p. 18.  29  I b i d . , 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. Bishop Tache to the Nor'Wester. 11 Aug., 1868; cited i n Stanley, p. 53. 3 0  In 1868 Snow was addressed by the Public Works Department as "Superintendent, Fort Garry Section, Red River Road" while Dawson held the position of "Superintendent, Lake Superior Section, Red River Road". 3 1  32  ' See C. M. Lampson to Sir Frederic Rogers, 22 D e c , 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 i n 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 published letter, he referred to the metis as "a harmless obsequious set of men", l i k e l y to be very useful, "when the country gets f i l l e d 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 p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i 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. 249261; and A. S. Morton, pp. 865-867. 37  Macdonald, i t should be added in fairness, wrote to McDougall (8 D e c , 1869) urging him to curb his employees in Red River: "You must bridle those gentlemen or they w i l l be a continual source of disquiet to you". Cited i n 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 r e l i e f 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 i t s future acquisition of the North-West Territory." Snow to the Minister of Public Works, 21 Feb., 1870, in C.S.P., v o l . 3, no. 5, 1870, paper 12, p. 20. 3  9  4041  I b i d . , p. 23. I b i d . , p. 23  42 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, exceedingly sensitive, and ready to take offence. They w i l l do anything to oblige and f l y 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. 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 D e c , 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. 4  6  ^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 D e c , 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. 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. 5 0  181  C.S.P., v o l . 3 , no. 5, 1870, paper 12, "Return to an Address of the House of Commons", p. 1. 5 1  Dawson to Langevin, 30 June, I87O, in General Report of the Minister of Public Works. 1870, p. 131. ?  Memorandum of S. J . Dawson, 25 A p r i 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 i n length. Bridges were also built across Strawberry and Sunshine Creeks, and the Mclntyre and Oskondaga Rivers. 5 3  54  Colonel Wolseley and the f i r s t 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. y  Macdonald to Rose, 26 Jan. I87O; cited in C. P. Stacey, Canada and the British Army. 1846-1871 (London, 1936), p. 234. 5 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  Dawson to Braun, 17 Jan., 1870; 3, no. 5, 1870, paper 12, p. 66. 5 7  in C.S.P., v o l .  58  The military authorities later complained bitterly about the unfinished state of the road. They were, however, warned following Dawson's communication of 17 January: on 25 A p r i l , he contacted the military authorities to the effect that "the Thunder Bay road was in an unfinished condition, 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. 7  59  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 temporarily deferred. 7  182  60  Dawson to Langevin, 30 June, 1070, op_. c i t , 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 i n their exertions to get the road in working order. He has had to contest with great d i f f i c u l t i e s . Fires have raged twice over considerable portions of i t . . . . Heavy rains have swamped i t at other times, carrying away bridges, and rendering 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. L t . Snelling of the 60th Rifles noted that the fire "burned through a distance of f i f t y 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 L t . H. W. Snelling, 1870, p. 20; in the collection of Dr. F. N. Shrive, Dundas, Ontario. 6i  J . Jones B e l l , "The Red River Expedition, Second Paper", The Canadian Magazine, D e c , 1898, p. 101. 6? J . C. Major, The Red River Expedition (Toronto, 1953), p. 8, f i r s t published at Winnipeg i n 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. ^ p. 102.  B e l l , "The Red River Expedition, Second Paper",  6<>  Snelling, "Sunshine and Storm", pp. 30-31. A similar incident is recounted i n 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. J  6 7  Cited in B e l l , 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, w i n t e r , 1963, p. 37. Not a l l of Wolseley*s men became road b u i l d e r s . While the C o l o n e l l a t e r argued t h a t the Regulars and v o l u n t e e r s performed 6,274s days o f l a b o u r on the road from 27 May t o 16 J u l y (Correspondence R e l a t i v e t o the Recent E x p e d i t i o n , p. 42), i t seems t h a t much of t h i s work i n v o l v e d l o o k i n g a f t e r t h e i r own i n t e r ests. Dawson ("Report on the Red R i v e r E x p e d i t i o n o f 1870", p. 15) observed t h a t some companies o f the 60th R i f l e s (Regulars experienced i n b u i l d i n g f o r t i f i c a t i o n s a t Quebec) d i d good s e r v i c e , but t h a t the main body of the f o r c e remained a t Thunder Bay or were engaged i n f o r warding boats and p r o v i s i o n s . Furthermore, a heavy d r a i n 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 t a k i n g the boats u p - r i v e r . On the whole, i t i s c l e a r t h a t the Wolseley E x p e d i t i o n delayed, r a t h e r than e x p e d i t e d , the c o n s t r u c t i o n of the Dawson Route. ^ M c N e i l l ' s Bay was named f o r L t . - C o l o n e l M c N e i l l , V.C., a s t a f f o f f i c e r i n charge o f the Shebandowan Lake landing. During the past s e v e r a l y e a r s a g r e a t d e a l has been done t o l o c a t e the v a r i o u s l a n d i n g s , camping p l a c e s , and portages along the Dawson Route. K. C. A. Dawson, A s s i s t ant P r o f e s s o r o f Anthropology a t Lakehead U n i v e r s i t y , has been e s p e c i a l l y a c t i v e i n t h i s r e g a r d and h i s u n p u b l i s h e d "Survey o f the Dawson Road, P r i n c e A r t h u r ' s Landing t o French Lake, 1965-1966" (prepared f o r t h e O n t a r i o Department o f Tourism and Information) has been u s e f u l i n the p r e p a r a t i o n of t h i s account. 70 ' Because many o f the l o c a l Indians had abandoned the e x p e d i t i o n , good guides were i n s h o r t supply ( d e s p i t e the f a c t t h a t 315 o f Dawson's voyageurs accompanied the troops). Consequently the b r i g a d e s , each made up o f s i x boats, sometimes were p o o r l y guided or had no guide a t all. 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 i s l a n d s f o r two days b e f o r e he a r r i v e d a t the Height o f Land Portage — the p o i n t from which he had s t a r t e d ! 71 ' T h i s account o f the Wolseley E x p e d i t i o n i s based l a r g e l y on the f o l l o w i n g primary sources: Dawson's r e p o r t s and communications w i t h the Department o f P u b l i c Works contained i n the S e s s i o n a l Papers of Canada and the P u b l i c Works manuscripts a t the P u b l i c A r c h i v e s of Canada; Tennant, Rough Times; S n e l l i n g , "Sunshine and Storm"; the manuscript j o u r n a l of L t . Josiah-Jones B e l l , O n t a r i o B a t t a l i o n o f Riflemen, 1870 ( c o l l e c t i o n of R. Murray B e l l ,  184  Toronto) and B e l l ' s , "The Red River Expedition", a series of three papers published i n The Canadian Magazine, Nov. and D e c , I898, and Jan., 1899; L t . H. S . H. Riddell, 60th Rifles, "The Red River Expedition of 1870", Transactions 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 Canadian Illustrated News. 2 July, 1870, 17 Oct., 1871, 7 D e c , 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", Canadian Historical Review, v o l . 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 s p i r i t s , 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." B e l l , second paper, p. 103. 73  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 f a i r l y d i f f i c u l t carry, was the second of three major obstacles found within the present confines of Quetico Provincial Park. The others were the "Great French Portage" and the swift Maligne River. , J  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 t r a i l s ; 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  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. f >  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. 136137. 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 i t s course of roughly 150 miles. In Wolseley's day, before the construction of dams, there were 25 portages e_n route. Story of a Soldier's Life, vol. 2, p. 212. 7 9  "Letter from an Officer of the 60th Rifles on the Red River Expedition"; cited in Snelling, p. 41. u  81 I b i d . , pp. 44-46.  82  "Redvers Buller's Diary of the Red River Expedition", The Mair Papers, Queen's University Library; cited in W. L. Morton, The C r i t i c a l Years. The Union of British North America. 1857-1873 (Toronto. 1964), P. 244.  186  Even C. P. Stacey, in "Military Aspect of Winning the West" (the best short account of the expedition), has tended toward this position. 3  ^ While the expeditionary force has been too roundly praised for i t s feats of travel and transportation, several factors bearing on i t s performance warrant examination. First is Wolseley s 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 judgment of the expedition's speed and efficiency must, therefore, 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 i e s , again, with Wolseley who alienated many of the local Indians with his river transportation 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 personal 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. 1  ^ p. 11.  5  Stacey, "Military Aspect of Winning the West",  &£>  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 i s 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 ting much that they did not go by would be most unjust and cruel to to travel over this road while i t management of Carpenter & C o . 2  exception . . . are now regretthe American road . . . . i t allow and encourage families remains under the incompetent  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  I n 1870, the Dawson Route was i n a rudimentary s t a t e . N e v e r t h e l e s s , except f o r the F o r t Garry Road p o r t i o n , more people passed over the r o u t e i n I87O than i n any subsequent year.  T h i s may  seem s u r p r i s i n g i n view o f the s u b s t a n t i a l  improvements made d u r i n g the p e r i o d 1871-1875. 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 g r e a t l y improved; its  a f t e r t h a t date,  comfort and e f f i c i e n c y were never s e r i o u s l y  by the Canadian r o u t e .  The explana-  challenged  Second, r a i l w a y and steamboat  travel  between O n t a r i o and Manitoba by way o f the United S t a t e s cont i n u e d t o improve d u r i n g the ' s e v e n t i e s . Dawson Route came more slowly; gap was widened.  the comfort and e f f i c i e n c y  T h i r d , by 1871, surveys f o r a Canadian t r a n s -  c o n t i n e n t a l r a i l w a y had begun. —  Advances along the  A p o r t i o n o f the r a i l  a v a i l a b l e f o r t r a v e l i n a l l seasons —  line  would connect F o r t  W i l l i a m w i t h F o r t Garry, thereby r e n d e r i n g the Dawson Route completely u s e l e s s f o r through t r a n s p o r t a t i o n .  And the  Dominion government, by agreement w i t h 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 r a i l w a y .  Given these  circumstances, and the advantage o f h i n d s i g h t , i t seems c l e a r t h a t the days o f the Red R i v e r Route were numbered even b e f o r e i t was  opened t o p u b l i c  travel.  But t h e a d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f Alexander Mackenzie  (1873-78)  d i d not approach r a i l w a y c o n s t r u c t i o n w i t h the same gusto as d i d t h a t o f John A. Macdonald.  In the i n t e r e s t s o f 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 o f the growing r a i l H i s e f f o r t s were of l i t t l e a v a i l .  line.  For a time the two  trans-  p o r t a t i o n systems were developed s i d e by s i d e west o f the Lakehead.  T h i s e f f o r t i n the d i r e c t i o n o f economy, i n t e r e s t -  i n g l y enough, i n v o l v e d c o n s i d e r a b l e wastage o f p u b l i c By 1875,  t h e r e was  The The  In 1840 Red  no gamble i n v o l v e d i n p i c k i n g the winner.  r a i l w a y supplanted  l a t t e r was,  the waggon-road and water r o u t e .  i n f a c t , born about t h i r t y years too  late.  i t would have stood as an e f f e c t u a l connection  R i v e r , and  a b l e time.  i t s u s e f u l n e s s would have l a s t e d f o r a  By 1871,  i t was  s e v e r e l y l i m i t e d purposes —  The  —  except f o r p a r t i c u l a r  already  River Expedition.  with considerand  obsolete.  development o f the Dawson Route was  though i t s importance was Red  funds.^  impeded, even  emphasized, by the a c t i v i t y of the  Once the t r o o p s had passed, however,  systematic o p e r a t i o n s on works o f a permanent nature were r e sumed. . to  By autumn, I 8 7 O , the Thunder Bay  road was  open through  Lake Shebandowan and the f o l l o w i n g s p r i n g teams drawing a  t o n of goods were making the round t r i p i n t h r e e and a h a l f days.  At the western end of the route s e r i o u s work was  on the F o r t Garry road — John Snow, who  had  minus the misbegotten a t t e n t i o n s of  l e f t the area i n Jan.,  ments no doubt expedited d u r i n g the autumn ( 1 8 7 0 ) ,  begun  I87O.  These improve-  the r e t u r n o f the r e g u l a r t r o o p s  who,  crossed from F o r t Garry to Thunder  190  Photo:  B. M. L i t t e l j o h n ,  1963  A e r i a l view o f the Dawson Route immediately west of the Northwest Angle o f Lake o f the Woods, showi n g the e x t e n s i v e muskegs i n t h a t a r e a .  191  Bay i n j u s t over a month (at about t h r e e times t h e i r p r e v i o u s speed). I t was to Manitoba, to  d u r i n g the season of 1871 f o r whom the system was  use the Dawson Route.  t h a t the  "emigrants"  l a r g e l y designed, began  Because no p r i v a t e f i r m would r i s k  p r o v i d i n g t r a n s p o r t a t i o n s e r v i c e s , the Dominion Government assumed the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y " f o r c a r r y i n g m a i l s and over the s a i d r o u t e . " ^  As a temporary  passengers  expedient, i t was  de-  c i d e d t o p l a c e some o f Wolseley's row boats, a l o n g w i t h s i x steam launches, on the n a v i g a b l e s e c t i o n s of the r o u t e .  The  launches  and  (32 f e e t l o n g w i t h a 7 f o o t beam) were d e l i v e r e d  d i s t r i b u t e d along the route d u r i n g s p r i n g and summer,  1871.  At the same time b u i l d i n g s t o s h e l t e r the passengers were made a v a i l a b l e a l o n g both road p o r t i o n s o f the r o u t e ( t e n t s were p r i m a r i l y used i n the i n t e r i o r ) , more than 100  "voyageurs" were  l o c a t e d a t the portages and d i f f i c u l t water s e c t i o n s , and work was  begun on two  l a r g e side-wheeler steamers  The "Emigrant 15 June, 1871.  at Fort Frances.  Transport S e r v i c e " began o p e r a t i o n s on  The advertisements announced an a d u l t f a r e o f  $25 between F o r t W i l l i a m and F o r t Garry, " c h i l d r e n under 12 years, h a l f p r i c e . baggage, $1.50  150 l b s o f p e r s o n a l baggage, f r e e .  per 100 l b s .  No horses, oxen, waggons, or  heavy farming implements t o be t a k e n . " was  described:  The mode o f conveyance  "45 m i l e s by waggon, from F o r t W i l l i a m t o  Shebandowan Lake. and  Extra  310 m i l e s broken n a v i g a t i o n , i n open boats  steam launches, from Shebandowan Lake t o north-west  angle  192  of  the Lake o f the Woods.  95 m i l e s by c a r t or waggon, from  north-west angle ... t o F o r t Garry."  I t was a l s o made c l e a r  that passengers were expected t o p r o v i d e t h e i r own food, which c o u l d be purchased a t c o s t p r i c e from government depots a t Shebandowan, F o r t Frances, and the Northwest  Angle.  P u b l i c response was not overwhelming. season, 604 persons  D u r i n g the 1871  (about a t h i r d o f them Red R i v e r E x p e d i t i o n  v o l u n t e e r s r e t u r n i n g t o the E a s t ) used the Dawson Route. There were problems, and Dawson was aware o f them. In h i s r e p o r t t o the M i n i s t e r o f P u b l i c Works (1 J u l y ,  1873),  he wrote t h a t " n o t w i t h s t a n d i n g boats and steam launches, the difficulties  t o be encountered were f o r m i d a b l e .  The portages  were a t f i r s t i n the c o n d i t i o n i n which they were when the m i l i t a r y e x p e d i t i o n had gone through, and i n the n a v i g a b l e reaches, l o n g s e c t i o n s had s t i l l t o be passed w i t h the o a r . The dam a t French Portage had not been b u i l t , and the water f a l l i n g low, t h e r e was extreme d i f f i c u l t y  at that place.  The stormy Lake o f the Woods proved a t e r r i b l e drawback t o the  s m a l l boats, and emigrants were o f t e n d e t a i n e d a t Hungry  H a l l , a p l a c e a t the mouth o f Rainy R i v e r where voyageurs and s t a r v i n g Indians stop b e f o r e v e n t u r i n g on the Grand T r a v e r s e . " On the b r i g h t e r s i d e , the work of g r a v e l l i n g the roads and improving portages went on, and by the c l o s e o f t h e 1871 season the emigrants c o u l d cross the r o u t e w i t h a f a i r of  comfort.  of t r a v e l .  degree  A l s o on the c r e d i t s i d e was t h e i n c r e a s i n g The r e t u r n o f t h e Canadian m i l i t i a  speed  brigades s e t a  193  new  r e c o r d f o r the r o u t e ;  they l e f t F o r t Garry on 10  and a r r i v e d i n Toronto on 14  June  J u l y , accomplishing t h e i r  trip  i n l e s s than o n e - t h i r d o f the time r e q u i r e d f o r t h e o r i g i n a l westward journey o f the p r e v i o u s y e a r . This was  not a l l ,  however, f o r the Dawson r o u t e  a d d i t i o n a l a c t i o n i n the year 1871. the absurd —  i f not l u n a t i c —  r o o t of i t .  On  saw  W i l l i a m Barnard O'Donoghue,  F e n i a n " g e n e r a l " , was  a t the  5 Oct., along w i t h a r a g - t a g "army" of t h i r t y -  odd p r i v a t e s and no l e s s than t h r e e other " g e n e r a l s " , he Manitoba a t Pembina.  The i n v a s i o n was  q u i c k l y brought  invaded t o an  end with the a i d o f 30  U n i t e d S t a t e s Infantrymen, but rumour 7 had i t t h a t t h e r e would be f u r t h e r t r o u b l e . The r e s u l t s , f o r the Dawson Route, are n a r r a t e d by i t s s u p e r i n t e n d e n t : On the evening of the 16th October l a s t pL87ll, w h i l e proceeding up Shebandowan Lake, I met a messenger w i t h despatches from His E x c e l l e n c y the Lieut.-Governor of Manitoba, i n f o r m i n g me t h a t a Fenian r a i d had been made a t Pembina, and t h a t he had a p p l i e d f o r t r o o p s . At t h a t time, the voyageurs were about t o be w i t h drawn f o r the season, and the steam launches dismantled and l a i d up f o r the w i n t e r . Orders were immediately sent along the l i n e f o r a l l the men to remain a t t h e i r posts .... The troops {numbering about 20Q3 reached P r i n c e A r t h u r ' s Landing on the a f t e r n o o n of the 24th October .... by 4 p.m., on the 27th, the whole f o r c e had reached Shebandowan. On the n i g h t o f the 28th, the r e a r detachments encamped a t Kashaboiwe, and the f r o n t a t B a r i l Portage. The weather had now become so i n t e n s e l y c o l d t h a t I was apprehensive of the s m a l l e r l a k e s f r e e z i n g up. The water f r o z e on the oars, and the boats were heavy w i t h i c e and snow. Troops and voyageurs, nevert h e l e s s , pressed on with a l a c r i t y , and by one o ' c l o c k p.m., on the 1st o f November, were c l e a r of French Portage .... The weather s t i l l continued c o l d and stormy, w i t h 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 R i v e r ... i c e was encountered i n the shallow p a r t s . Soldiers and voyageurs were, however, equal t o the o c c a s i o n , and bore up c h e e r f u l l y under the severe t o i l i n v o l v e d i n drag-  194  g i n g boats, c a r r y i n g p a r t o f t h e i r loads on t h e i r backs, and wading i n congealed water." On 11 November, the t r o o p s met g the mouth of the Rainy R i v e r ,  and,  C o l o n e l W.  0. Smith near  a f t e r being delayed  heavy winds, the boats crossed the Grand Traverse the Woods to a r r i v e a t the entrance Bay.  The  by  o f Lake of  of the North-West Angle  d i a r y of C a p t a i n Thomas S c o t t , the  expedition's  commander, p i c k s up the s t o r y on Lake o f the Woods: The m a j o r i t y of the boats s a i l e d to w i t h i n f i f t e e n m i l e s o f the North West Angle, and the remainder were towed by the tugs. Camped there f o r the n i g h t on an island. From thence a s f a r as the eye could reach i n the d i r e c t i o n o f the Angle was one sheet of i c e . November 1 2 t h . — A storm l a s t n i g h t f o r t u n a t e l y broke up some f o u r m i l e s of i c e , and we s t a r t e d i n the morning p a s s i n g through the broken i c e , and then cut through s o l i d i c e f o r a d i s t a n c e of t h r e e - q u a r t e r s o f a m i l e , a Hudson L~.sic3 Bay Co's boat l e a d i n g .... The i c e g r a d u a l l y i n creased i n t h i c k n e s s , and f i n d i n g i t i m p o s s i b l e to take the boats f a r t h e r , we landed on an i s l a n d , some e i g h t m i l e s from the Angle. One o f the tugs, which had been p r e v i o u s l y sheeted w i t h i r o n , made an attempt t o cut through the i c e , but was u n s u c c e s s f u l , g e t t i n g completely wedged i n . November 1 3 t h . — At 1 pro. to-day the troops s t a r t e d to march on the i c e towards the Angle .... S e v e r a l of the men were exhausted when w i t h i n t h r e e m i l e s of the Angle, but they were c a r r i e d on hand s l e i g h s ; p i e r c i n g c o l d weather a l l day.-'-O At 5 a.m.,  on 14 November, the Manitoba E x p e d i t i o n s t a r t e d a c r o s s  the F o r t Garry Road.  Despite  heavy s n o w f a l l s and  i t marched i n t o F o r t Garry f o u r days l a t e r . a b l e p r i d e , C o l o n e l Smith wrote the Adjutant  intense cold,  With understandGeneral  (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 t h a t s c a r c e l y a month has e l a p s e d between the i s s u e of your orders f o r the o r g a n i z a t i o n of the f o r c e and i t s a r r i v a l a t F o r t 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."  11  But the expedition had not simply demonstrated the prowess of the Dominion troops.  I t also underlined the improvements  to the Dawson Route and one of i t s great l i a b i l i t i e s .  Scott  and his men had travelled from Fort William to Fort Garry i n 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 i n the much smaller size of his force (275 men as compared to approximately 1,400). against Scott.  But the weather had been  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 i n time to board the last steamer to Collingwood.  Photos:  B. M.  Litteljohn  Two views o f a broken Dawson Route dam a t the o u t l e t o f Windigoostigwan Lake (head of the French R i v e r ) . The seasonal nature o f the route was one o f i t s c h i e f l i m i t a t i o n s .  197  The Dawson Route was,  and remained, v u l n e r a b l e to  changes and the v a g a r i e s o f the weather. i t was  seasonal  For h a l f the year  v i r t u a l l y useless. The  e x p e d i t i o n d i d , however, demonstrate the growing  p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f the r o u t e f o r m i l i t a r y purposes. the c l o s e o f the 1871 was  season,  i t seemed as i f t h e  And  with  communication  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 , r a t h e r than emi-  grant t r a n s p o r t a t i o n .  There were, i n f a c t , f o u r r e c o g n i z e d  r o u t e s which c i v i l i a n s c o u l d t r a v e l between O n t a r i o and  Red  12 River i n that year. States.  The f a s t e s t  Three o f them passed through (Toronto to Collingwood,  the U n i t e d  by steamer to  Duluth, then to F o r t Garry by r a i l w a y , stage-coach,  and  Red  R i v e r steamboat) i n v o l v e d o n l y e l e v e n days, and a l l t h r e e o f f e r e d more i n terms of comfort. was  v i a the Dawson Route.  " T h i s " , w r i t e s James J . Talman  w i t h notable r e s t r a i n t , "was men."  the r o u t e f o r young unencumbered  13  The and  The f o u r t h l i n e of t r a v e l  season of 1872  brought continued work on the r o u t e ,  some d i s t i n g u i s h e d t r a v e l l e r s , among them Sandford  George M.  Grant, and  C o l o n e l P. Robertson-Ross. ^" 1  Fleming,  Three l a r g e r  steam launches, a l o n g w i t h s i x open barges, were d i s t r i b u t e d along the waterway.  Dams were b u i l t a t the o u t l e t of Kashaboiwe  Lake and a t French Portage, and a t h i r d a t the o u t l e t o f Kaogassikok ( P i c k e r e l ) Lake which r a i s e d the l e v e l s i x f e e t , thereby making the P i c k e r e l R i v e r n a v i g a b l e .  Work was  continued  on the Nequaquon (Dawson) Portage and waggons were p l a c e d on  198  the improved  B r u l e and French Lake portage roads.  i o n gangs —  i n c l u d i n g Ojibwa Indians who  Construct-  were, i n Dawson*s  words, "among the best and s t e a d i e s t l a b o r e r s we have had" were kept busy on the F o r t Garry Road. i n g s f o r the accomodation  And,  —  "commodious b u i l d -  o f immigrants" were e r e c t e d a t v a r i o u s 15  s t o p p i n g p l a c e s a l o n g the r o u t e . ' Less i m p r e s s i v e was  the p r o g r e s s on the two b i g s i d e -  wheelers designed f o r s e r v i c e on Rainy Lake and Lake o f the Woods.  The  c o n s t r u c t i o n o f these v e s s e l s , one o f which  was  to be 100 f e e t l o n g and the o t h e r 120 f e e t i n l e n g t h , had been e n t r u s t e d to James D i c k and Company, of Toronto. experiences i n the Northwest  were not happy.  The Company's  Dawson t e l l s  the s t o r y : Soon a f t e r the opening o f n a v i g a t i o n ^ s p r i n g , l87l[}> the c o n t r a c t o r s began to send forward mechanics, m a t e r i a l and s u p p l i e s , from Thunder Bay to F o r t Frances .... The journey o f t h e i r people t o t h a t p l a c e was slow, and attended w i t h many mishaps .... They were not accustomed t o the management o f f i r e s i n the woods ... and some o f t h e i r p r o v i s i o n s and t o o l s were burned by the f i r e s which they themselves had l e f t smouldering on the portages. A r r i v e d a t F o r t Frances, new t r o u b l e s awaited them .... They c o u l d not f i n d tamarac f o r t i m b e r s . . . . They saw p a i n t e d savages i n a l a r m i n g numbers e n j o y i n g t h e i r s c a l p dance and dog f e a s t s , and thought they wanted t o stop them from t a k i n g timber .... F i n a l l y , they c o l l e c t e d some timber, l a i d down a k e e l , and put up s e v e r a l of the frame timbers f o r the Rainy Lake steamboat; but these timbers, being o f an i n f e r i o r d e s c r i p t i o n , were r e j e c t e d by the I n s p e c t o r . The whole p a r t y then s t r u c k work and r e t u r n e d t o Lake S u p e r i o r , and thence t o t h e i r homes.l" Or, as D i c k l a t e r put i t ,  " I got my  p r o v i s i o n s burned up by  f i r e , and the I n d i a n s f r i g h t e n e d my men g i v e the c o n t r a c t up."  away ... and I had t o  James D i c k and Company's c o n t r a c t  c a n c e l l e d and, d u r i n g the 1872  season, the work was  was  continued  199  by Department o f P u b l i c Works men with the a i d o f s u b - c o n t r a c t o r s . Completion o f the b i g steamers had t o wait f o r another 1872 for  a l s o brought an adjustment i n f a r e s .  a d u l t s was reduced  from $25  t o $15;  year.  The t a r i f f  c h i l d r e n under 12 were  charged $8 i n s t e a d o f p a s s i n g f r e e o f charge.  150 pounds o f  baggage c o u l d s t i l l be taken f r e e , but the charge f o r each  100  18 pounds o f e x t r a luggage was i n c r e a s e d by 50#  t o $2.  Despite  these r e l a t i v e l y low f a r e s and the improvements i n the t r a n s p o r t a t i o n f a c i l i t i e s , o n l y 475 these, a mere 100  persons used the r o u t e .  c o u l d be c l a s s e d as emigrants;  c o n s i s t e d o f 230 troops proceeding  Of  t h e remainder  t o F o r t Garry, 108  discharged  v o l u n t e e r s r e t u r n i n g t o the E a s t , 13 boundary s u r v e y o r s , and 14 members o f o f f i c e r s '  families.  T h i s meant t h a t i n the f i r s t two seasons o f the "Emigrant Transport S e r v i c e " , about 1,080 persons (many o f them s o l d i e r s ) 19 had  c r o s s e d the r o u t e .  The b e t t e r f a c i l i t i e s o f the American  t r a n s p o r t a t i o n l i n e s and t h e i r lowering o f r a t e s , i n 1872, much t o draw t r a f f i c  away.  But what o f the c o s t ? season, Dawson estimated  Before the opening o f the  1871  t h a t t h e expense o f e s t a b l i s h i n g and  m a i n t a i n i n g the l i n e d u r i n g the forthcoming  $67,729.  did  summer would be  The o n l y permanent works i n c l u d e d i n t h i s  estimate  20 were improvements on portages,  i n the amount o f $6,000.  I n f a c t , the t o t a l sum expended d u r i n g the f i s c a l year n i n g 30 June, 1871, was  $305,577.84.  ( i n c l u d i n g expenditure The t o t a l revenue was  begin-  on permanent works)  $12,492,  leaving a  200  difference, in round figures, of $293,000.  The net cost during  the f i s c a l 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 i t s f a c i l i t i e s 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 t a r i f f 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 i n a state to defy competition in the transportation of heavy articles, but  Ontario Archives,  Toronto  "Thunder Cape o r S l e e p i n g G i a n t , from P r i n c e A r t h u r ' s Landing. Teams s t a r t i n g f o r F o r t Garry, August 4, 1873." From a p e n c i l sketch by W. A. Johnson.  202  t h i s would i n v o l v e lockage t o the extent o f 450 the b u i l d i n g o f 150 m i l e s of r a i l r o a d . 3  feet,  and  2  Dawson's concept of wedding r a i l l i n e s and l o c k s t o the r o u t e was  soon t o be e l e v a t e d t o the s t a t u s o f government p o l i c y .  For the moment, however, n o t h i n g was But 1872 Dawson Route.  saw  done.  o t h e r v o i c e s r a i s e d i n connection w i t h the  The Globe of Toronto, w h i l e s t r e s s i n g the  portance of an a l l - C a n a d i a n route to the west, lambasted  imthe  government's a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of the t r a n s p o r t s e r v i c e , and  called  f o r p r i v a t e e n t e r p r i s e t o take a hand i n the forwarding o f passengers  and g o o d s .  of t r a v e l l i n g  2 4  George Grant, who  found "the mode  ... n o v e l and d e l i g h t f u l " , argued t h a t , w h i l e  "the road has proved on two  occasions t o be a m i l i t a r y n e c e s s i t y  f o r the Dominion .... as a r o u t e f o r t r a d e , f o r o r d i n a r y t r a v e l or f o r emigrants  to go west, the Dawson road i s f a r from  satis-  25 factory." "It i s " , who  7  F i n a l l y , Sandford Fleming added h i s weighty o p i n i o n .  he wrote t o Langevin,  "a s p l e n d i d l i n e f o r t o u r i s t s  have p l e n t y of time and no o b j e c t i o n s t o rough i t ,  u n l e s s there i s some great p o l i t i c a l reason, i t seems a to take through  emigrants  but, mistake  i n i t s present u n f i n i s h e d c o n d i t i o n ,  more p a r t i c u l a r l y women and c h i l d r e n .  They s u f f e r so much  and meet w i t h so many d e l a y s i t w i l l g i v e the road a bad r e pute  ....  I may  be wrong, but I should say each emigrant  10 times the amount r e c e i v e d .  T h i s i s my honest  costs  impression  but i t does not i n the s l i g h t e s t d e t r a c t from the g r e a t 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 h i s connection w i t h i t . "  203  Fleming and Grant t r a v e l l e d by canoe and were not so dependent upon the t r a n s p o r t system s e r v i c e s as were the emigrants.  N e v e r t h e l e s s , Grant r e c o r d e d some i n t e r e s t i n g  ences along the r o u t e .  experi-  A f t e r running the Maligne r a p i d s , he  t e l l s of h i t c h i n g a r i d e behind one o f the steam launches: At e l e v e n o ' c l o c k we reached I s l a n d Portage, having paddled t h i r t y - t w o m i l e s — the best forenoon's work s i n c e t a k i n g t o the canoes — i n s p i t e o f t h e weather. Here a steam l a u n c h i s s t a t i o n e d ; and, though the engineer thought i t a f r i g h t f u l day t o t r a v e l i n , he got ready a t our r e q u e s t , but s a i d t h a t he c o u l d not go f o u r m i l e s an hour as the r a i n would keep the b o i l e r wet the whole time. We dined w i t h M 's p a r t y , under the s h e l t e r o f t h e i r upturned canoe, on t e a and the f a t t e s t of f a t pork, which a l l ate w i t h d e l i g h t unspeakable .... At two o ' c l o c k , the steam launch was ready. I t towed us the twenty-four m i l e s o f Lake Nequaquon [Lac La CrOixJ i n t h r e e and a q u a r t e r hours. Next came Loon portage; then p a d d l i n g f o r f i v e m i l e s ; then Mud portage, worthy of i t s name; another s h o r t paddle; and then American portage, at which we camped f o r the n i g h t .... T i r e d enough a l l hands were, and ready f o r s l e e p , f o r these portages are k i l l i n g work.27 The season of 1873  saw the end o f the Loon R i v e r e x i t  Lac La C r o i x which Grant's crew had found so d i f f i c u l t . r e p l a c e d by a t h r e e and a q u a r t e r m i l e portage  I t was  (the "Dawson  Portage") which shortened the Red R i v e r Route by more than miles.  T h i s was  from  one of s e v e r a l important improvements.  20 Others  i n c l u d e d the completion of a 600 f o o t wharf a t Thunder Bay; the l a u n c h i n g o f the "Lady of the Lake" on Rainy R i v e r and the o t h e r l a r g e side-wheeler on Rainy Lake; a 320 f o o t dam  a t the Maligne Rapids;  more wood-burning launches  the c o n s t r u c t i o n of and the p l a c i n g of t h r e e  (45 f e e t l o n g , w i t h a 10 f o o t beam)  and a few decked barges a l o n g the l i n e .  In a d d i t i o n , b u i l d i n g s  204  Photo:  B. M.  Litteljohn  Creek south o f Deux R i v i e r e s Portage and Lake of Two Mountains, 1962. T h i s creek was f l o o d e d by a dam at the head of the Maligne R i v e r i n order t o f a c i l i t a t e steam-tug n a v i g a t i o n to the f o o t 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 t o Ocean, r e v . ed. (Toronto, 1925), p. 50 — shows one o f h i s p a r t y ' s canoes running a r a p i d on the Maligne R i v e r i n 1872.  Minnesota H i s t o r i c a l Steamer "Keenora" on the Rainy R i v e r , about 1900. wheelers .  Society  The Dawson Route steam boats were side-  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 i n six days!  He also e s t i -  mated the yearly cost of maintaining the route and transportation 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 i n 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 available to W. H. Carpenter & Company which contracted to carry passengers over the route i n ten or twelve days for the sum of $10 per adult.29 The Company had been awarded an annual i  subsidy of $75,000, and given temporary charge of a transportation system which, by 30 June 1874, had cost the Government of Canada approximately one and a quarter million dollars to  Toronto P u b l i c L i b r a r i e s The F o r t Garry Road a t Oak P o i n t , from Grant's Ocean to Ocean. edition.  1673  o  CXI  209  open, improve, and o p e r a t e . A c c o r d i n g t o Dawson, t h e r o u t e had been turned over t o the c o n t r a c t o r i n good c o n d i t i o n .  Carpenter thought o t h e r w i s e .  Among o t h e r t h i n g s , he noted t h a t f o u r o f t h e steam tugs a l o n g the r o u t e were found sunk and another ( a t French Portage) burned, t h a t the Maligne dam was not h o l d i n g back s u f f i c i e n t  water,  and t h a t the Nequaquon portage-road "was e x e c r a b l e and teams 31 sank down n e a r l y t o t h e i r b e l l i e s i n t h e mud." U n f o r t u n a t e l y f o r Carpenter, he had embarked on a d i f f i c u l t and t h a n k l e s s course, and w h i l e he c a r r i e d t h e l a r g e s t number o f t r a v e l l e r s y e t i n t h e season o f 1874 (1590 p e r s o n s ) , few o f them a r r i v e d a t F o r t Garry i n a happy frame o f mind. The season began b a d l y , w i t h 200 misinformed passengers w a i t i n g a t P r i n c e A r t h u r ' s Landing b e f o r e t h e scheduled opening o f t h e system.  I n June and J u l y i t got worse when 300 people were  d e t a i n e d on the r o u t e f o r t h i r t y days of t h e boats and r o a d s ) .  (owing t o t h e bad s t a t e  The s i t u a t i o n was not eased when  the .way-station a t Height o f Land Portage was a c c i d e n t a l l y burned t o the ground i n mid-summer.  Furthermore, the employees  along the r o u t e were too o f t e n unhappy, i m p o l i t e , o r worse. A l e t t e r t o t h e Prime M i n i s t e r  (dated 30 June from t h e Northwest  Angle, and s i g n e d by 280 persons) noted t h a t "many o f t h e men employed on the road a r e rough swearing c h a r a c t e r s who have not t h e c i v i l i t y t o r e s t r a i n themselves from g i v i n g e x p r e s s i o n to the most unseemly oaths even i n t h e presence o f women and children."  3 2  An a r t i c l e i n the Nor'Wester s t a t e d t h a t t h e  The P u b l i c A r c h i v e s of Canada Steamer l a n d i n g , Dawson Route, Northwest Angle o f Lake of the Woods, 1875• T r a v e l l e r s were sometimes delayed a t t h i s s c e n i c spot f o r some time. H O  O n t a r i o A r c h i v e s , Toronto "Teamsters a t d i n n e r , Dawson Road." I t i s not c l e a r whether t h i s i s on the Thunder Bay Road or the F o r t Garry Road. Date o f photo not given.  The  P u b l i c A r c h i v e s o f Canada  "The Dawson Road. — S t a t i o n a t the south end o f Lake Shebandowan," by In Canadian I l l u s t r a t e d News, 1 Feb., 1873, p. 69 W i l l i a m Armstrong.  1 ito— ro  213  emigrants  c o n s i d e r e d one o f the s t a t i o n masters  t h a t the men  "a b r u t e " ,  a t the Height o f Land were "mean and s u r l y " ,  and  t h a t those a t B a r i l Lake t o s s e d t r a v e l l e r s ' baggage i n t o a 33  barge  c o n t a i n i n g e i g h t i n c h e s of water. ^  the s i t u a t i o n was mulated  no b e t t e r :  At French  " C o n s i d e r a b l e baggage had  a t the west end o f the portage", wrote one  "and the men  s t a t i o n e d f o r t h a t work appeared  accu-  traveller,  very i n d i f f e r e n t  about the i n t e r e s t s o f the t r a v e l l i n g community. man  Portage  One  English-  s a i d he would sooner be hanged i n England than d i e a n a t u r a l  death on the Dawson Route.  The f r e i g h t was  a l l helter  skelter  about the l a n d i n g , and no wood having been prepared f o r the t u g , n e c e s s i t a t e d our remaining two or three hours." S l e e p i n g accommodation, too, l e f t much t o be  desired.  Many o f the way-stations were l i t t l e more than l o g huts — of them, a p p a r e n t l y , f i l t h y .  T h i s unpleasant f a c t was  n i z e d by Dawson and by Carpenter who,  i n September 1874,  most  recogwrote  to the M i n i s t e r of P u b l i c Works suggesting t h a t " a t a l l n i g h t s t a t i o n s a b u i l d i n g capable o f accomodating  a t l e a s t a hundred  persons should be e r e c t e d and w i t h such p a r t i t i o n s as would a l l o w married persons and young women a t l e a s t p r i v a c y as a t present a l l are huddled i n t o one b u i l d i n g and many of them 35  t o t a l l y u n f i t f o r human h a b i t a t i o n . Food was  another problem.  A t r i p a c r o s s the r o u t e  was  supposed to l a s t twelve days a t the o u t s i d e and the c o n t r a c t o r was  o b l i g e d to f u r n i s h meals a t t h i r t y c e n t s .  f i n e , but the r e a l i t y was,  a t times, grim.  The theory Unusually bad  was wea-  214  t h e r , or a breakdown o f one of the tugs, f r e q u e n t l y made a f a r c e of the schedule —  and of the food supply.  I t sometimes  f o l l o w e d t h a t t r a v e l l e r s were stranded f o r days i n the w i l d s and were even f o r c e d t o beg or purchase  food from the I n d i a n s . ^  The  One  complaints came f a s t and f u r i o u s .  a pertinent question: people now  ... who  3  o f them c o n t a i n e d  "Is t h i s " , i t asked,  have l e f t  "the way  to t r e a t  comfortable Canadian homes and  seeking t o b e t t e r t h e i r c o n d i t i o n i n the new  Some w r i t e r s , by way  o f comparison,  beauty o f the route i n glowing  colours.  are  country towards  p a i n t e d the w i l d One  of them wrote  of c r o s s i n g Sturgeon Lake on a f i n e moonlit n i g h t :  "the  engin-  eer put on a l l steam, the f r e s h f u e l causing a c o n t i n u a l shower of sparks t o p l a y around, the moon s h i n i n g upon the lake.  silvery  P a s s i n g a l o n g s i d e i s l a n d s , and running narrows, i n some  p l a c e s so narrow t h a t the hindmost boat would swing a g a i n s t the l a n d , the e n t i r e scene was  p a r t i c u l a r l y weird and  Most such e n t h u s i a s t s were, however, men t a g g i n g a l o n g , and who outing.  who  had no  looked upon t h e i r t r i p as an  romantic." ' 3  families adventurous  For those i n a l e s s e n v i a b l e p o s i t i o n , i t was  going on the Dawson Route.  rough  With t h i s i n mind, and c o n s i d e r i n g  the f a r b e t t e r r a i l f a c i l i t i e s v i a Minnesota  (plus the  presence  o f e n t e r p r i s i n g American t r a v e l - a g e n t s a t Thunder Bay), i t i s e a s i l y seen why  the r o u t e was  But Dawson was  not a paying p r o p o s i t i o n .  not e a s i l y d i s c o u r a g e d and t h e c o n s t r u c t i o n  of permanent works went forward d u r i n g 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 w i l d beauty o f the Dawson Route.  Photo: David S. Boyer, N a t i o n a l Geographic S o c i e t y , 1962 Rapids below Tanner's Lake, on the Dawson Route. This was one o f the o b s t r u c t i o n s overcome by damb u i l d i n g on the Maligne R i v e r . This photograph i s not t o be reproduced i n any form.  217  b l a s t e d out o f the Long S a u l t o f Rainy R i v e r .  On the Maligne,  t h r e e dams were b u i l t above I s l a n d Portage and "The L i l y of the West" launched on the f l o o d e d s e c t i o n to steam back and f o r t h a c r o s s Tanner's Lake. now  The a r c h i t e c t o f t h e r o u t e c o u l d  p o i n t w i t h p r i d e to the f a c t t h a t "steam i s now  used as  the p r o p e l l i n g power, on a l l the l a k e s and r i v e r s o f the r o u t e . " By 1875,  however, the Dawson Route, tugs and a l l ,  c l e a r l y l i m p i n g a l o n g on borrowed  time.  was  I t had, i n l a r g e  degree, become o b s o l e t e when the Northern P a c i f i c t r a i n s began to run r e g u l a r l y between D u l u t h , Minnesota, and Moorhead, on the Red R i v e r , 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 U n i t e d S t a t e s . Rainy Lake steamer might now  . The  be a b l e to run up and down the  deepened reaches o f the Long S a u l t , and Carpenter & Co.  might  t r a n s p o r t almost 2,000 people, but Dawson's f a r r e a c h i n g hopes f o r h i s r o u t e were ended.^°  On 21 May,  1875,  he b r i e f l y  listed  h i s s e r v i c e s t o the Department o f P u b l i c Works and r e s i g n e d . D. M. Grant, h i s former paymaster,  succeeded him as S u p e r i n t e n d -  ent o f the Red R i v e r Route and p r e s i d e d over i t s d i s i n t e g r a t i o n . From t h i s p o i n t most o f the r e f e r e n c e s to the r o u t e have an aura o f decay about them. tugs, p l u s barges and boats — w i t h evident p r i d e —  was  By 1875,  the f l e e t o f 14  o f which Dawson had w r i t t e n  f a l l i n g into disrepair.  On the  n i g h t o f 10 J u l y , the " P e e r l e s s " , t i e d up a t the western o f the French Portage, was  completely d e s t r o y e d by  end  fire.  In the same month Grant r e p o r t e d p a s s i n g Pine Portage, where  MALIGHE RIVER, SHOWING RAPIDS M D DAWSOS ROUTE DAMS Scale i 2 miles t o 1 inch  HAP  MO.  Dam constructed i n 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 Lake The dam was 3 2 0 feet longo G  Sturge< Lake  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 dams The longest of these ( about 3 0 0 feet } was constructed by Zgnace Hentour and was severely damaged during the spring run°off of 0  R.  1875c  Tanner s Lake 0  Lac La Croix  Tanner s Rapids. 0  Island Portage, a n d Twin P a l i s a  219  t h e r e was  a " l o g shanty f o r cooking & d i n i n g room and s m a l l  l o g shanty f o r s t o r e house and emigrant house, both b u i l d i n g s being a d i s g r a c e t o the R o u t e " , ^  and r a c i n g the steam tug  "Caraboo" a c r o s s Dore Lake by canoe.  I t i s a sad commentary  on the s t a t e o f the "Caraboo" t h a t Grant j\ist over a m i l e long) beat i t by 45 same season, Henry Mortimer, h i s comments on the f l e e t :  (on a sheet o f water  minutes!  During the  s u r v e y i n g f o r the C.P.R., added "The. f r e i g h t boats are i n the most  d i l a p i d a t e d c o n d i t i o n , and I f e a r few o f them w i l l next season's  out-live  service.  "The tugs upon Rainy R i v e r , Lake Namenkan, R i v e r Maligne and Sturgeon Lake are mere p l a y t h i n g s ... the s l i g h t e s t of wind prevents them from p u t t i n g t o sea ....  There i s not  one covered passenger boat on the whole r o u t e , and are exposed t o every inclemency o f the  weather."^  The dams were i n no b e t t e r shape.  raise  travellers  2  The one a t the head  o f the Maligne l e a k e d so b a d l y t h a t Carpenter & Company had t o drag the boats up and down the creek running from Deux R i v i e r e s Portage t o Sturgeon Lake which i t was Worse s t i l l , Lake was  designed to f l o o d .  one o f the dams a t I s l a n d Portage below Tanner's  broken i n h a l f by the s p r i n g r u n - o f f and l e f t w i t h a  100 f o o t gap i n the c e n t r e . Of the w a y - s t a t i o n s i t could be s a i d t h a t those on the Thunder Bay and F o r t Garry roads were b a r e l y adequate. i n the i n t e r i o r were not.  Those  At French Portage, passengers had  to s l e e p on the barge because o f the m i s e r a b l e accommodation  Photo:  Bob Readman, c. 1910  A b o i l e r from one o f the Dawson Route tugs, at the head o f the Maligne R i v e r . Partial remains o f t h i s v e s s e l can s t i l l be seen.  Photo:  Martha A. K i d d  A b o i l e r p l a t e from one o f the Dawson Route steam t u g s .  Toronto P u b l i c L i b r a r i e s C. P. Stacey ( " M i l i t a r y Aspect of Winning the West") r e f e r s t o the " d i m i n u t i v e steam-launches" along the r o u t e , n o t i n g t h a t "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 o f the i l l u s t r a t i o n s i s shown above, but i t appears, t o t h e p r e s e n t w r i t e r , t o be more i n the nature of a c a r t o o n than a dependable r e p r e s e n t a t i o n . In 1873, even the s m a l l e s t steam launches were e v a l u a t e d a t $1,100 by Dawson, w h i l e the l a r g e r ones (about 40 f e e t long by 10 f e e t i n beam) were e v a l u a t e d at $2,250. W i l l i a m Armstrong shows the b o i l e r s i n s t a l l e d i n a h o r i z o n t a l p o s i t i o n r a t h e r than a v e r t i c a l one as i n d i c a t e d above.  The P u b l i c A r c h i v e s o f Canada Kashabowie S t a t i o n , t h e Dawson Route, from a water c o l o u r by W i l l i a m Armstrong. T h i s p r o v i d e s one o f 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 o f a second tug can be seen on the t r i p o d p r e p a r a t o r y to b e i n g i n s t a l l e d i n the h u l l which i s t i e d t o the dock.  ro ro  224  p r o v i d e d by the "low h u t s " a t the e a s t e r n end of the At ing at  Deux R i v i e r e s S t a t i o n t h e r e were "two and s t a b l e s , a l t o g e t h e r u n f i t . the Maligne  (destroyed by f i r e  of more l o g s h a n t i e s as was  1 , 4 3  trail.  l o g s h a n t i e s f o r cookThe o v e r n i g h t s t a t i o n  i n Feb., 1877)  was  composed  t h a t a t I s l a n d Portage.  r o o f e d w i t h bark" were a v a i l a b l e a t the Northwest  "Sheds  Angle.  4 4  The portages and roads, t o o , l e f t much to be d e s i r e d . Peter O'Leary d e s c r i b e d the Dawson Portage as being very rough i n p l a c e s "and more of i t through swamp." ^ 4  Works Reports o f both 1875  and 1876  r e p o r t e d as being i n " f a i r "  In the P u b l i c  the two major roads were  condition —  the t r a v e l l i n g  public  found more pungent a d j e c t i v e s t o d e s c r i b e them. In  g e n e r a l , the o p e r a t i o n of the t r a n s p o r t s e r v i c e  roundly c r i t i c i z e d .  "The people", as the Nor'Wester put i t ,  "do not propose t o pay Carpenter and Co. or any o t h e r  men  $75,000 f o r h i r i n g a few people t o c u r s e , swear and s e l l pork."  was  bad  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, c l o s e the r o u t e immediately.  In 1875,  the c y l i n d e r s of a l l  the tugs were r e s t o r e d , r e p a i r s on the Maligne dams were begun, and an a d d i t i o n was  made t o the Thunder Bay wharf thus e n a b l i n g  i t , wrote Grant, " t o accomodate the l a r g e q u a n t i t i e s o f f r e i g h t now  landed f o r the Railway C o n t r a c t o r s , f o r the Survey  and f o r l o c a l  use."  4 7  The Nor'Wester, however, had been r i g h t . —  parties,  or a t l e a s t t h e i r government —  The  people  d i d not propose t o pay  Views of the remains o f a Dawson Route dam lower Maligne R i v e r , near I s l a n d Portage.  on the  226  Carpenter & Company another $75,000.  On 29 A p r i l , 1876, the  c o n t r a c t was c a n c e l l e d even though the f i r m was allowed t o continue l i m i t e d o p e r a t i o n s d u r i n g the f o l l o w i n g season. ** 4  By J u l y I876, Grant was w r i t i n g t h a t "when the Railway is  completed  t o R i v e r Savane  f l o w i n g i n t o Lac des M i l l e Lacs ,  a r e s u l t t o be looked f o r d u r i n g the f a l l o f 1877, the expenses of  keeping up the r o u t e w i l l be g r e a t l y reduced.  The tugs  on Lakes Shebandowan and Kashabowie w i l l then not be r e q u i r e d 49 and can be sent westwards." Less than a year l a t e r , Sandford Fleming was d i s c u s s i n g the t r a n s f e r o f the l i n e t o the Canadian P a c i f i c System, and, i n March 1877, an O r d e r - i n - C o u n c i l p l a c e d i t under h i s c o n t r o l . The t r a n s p o r t a t i o n f a c i l i t i e s o f the Dawson Route, a f t e r a b r i e f s i x -year e x i s t e n c e , had been withdrawn from p u b l i c use. It  i s q u i t e c o n c e i v a b l e t h a t the Dawson route would have  continued on i t s i n e f f i c i e n t way, d e s p i t e American r a i l  compe-  t i t i o n , had not the C.P.R. b r i d g e d the gap between Lake S u p e r i o r and the Red R i v e r V a l l e y .  I t was, a f t e r a l l , the o n l y a l l -  Canadian highway t o the west, and thereby had some worth i n terms o f n a t i o n a l s e l f - e s t e e m .  I t was a l s o o f v a l u e as a  m i l i t a r y route and f o r t h e purposes o f l o c a l settlement and 50 economic development. t h e i r way t o the p r a i r i e s . P a c i f i c Railway of ing  And some pioneers d i d t r a v e l i t on But the growth o f the Canadian  ended i t s u s e f u l n e s s i n a l l areas except t h a t  local transportation.  There was l i t t l e  d i f f i c u l t y i n choos-  between a t r i p which i n v o l v e d being j o l t e d over 140-odd  227  miles of rough road, and travelling 310 miles of broken navigation in open boats, and one which involved a swift, and comfortable r a i l ride.  sheltered,  It was p o l i t i c a l l y 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 i t s 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 northwest 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 i s 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 f o l l o w i n g : I t would be by about f i f t y m i l e s the s h o r t e s t t h a t c o u l d be adopted, and i t might be e a s i l y and e x p e d i t i o u s l y c o n s t r u c t e d , i n as much as the present l i n e o f communic a t i o n would a f f o r d the means o f c a r r y i n g men, m a t e r i a l and s u p p l i e s t o numerous p o i n t s , a t a l l o f which the work could be simultaneously c a r r i e d on .... Each s e c t i o n c o u l d be brought i n t o o p e r a t i o n as soon as made; the present cost o f m a i n t a i n i n g the Red R i v e r route would be done away w i t h , step by step, as t h e work advanced .... The l i n e would r u n much f u r t h e r south ... than any l i n e so f a r explored between the same p o i n t s . To a l a r g e degree, these were p r o p h e t i c words, f o r they suggested the u l t i m a t e f a t e o f t h e Dawson Route. did  not o u t l i n e the e v e n t u a l  Railway.  But they  route o f the Canadian P a c i f i c  T h i s was the j o b o f the r a i l r o a d surveyors,  by E n g i n e e r - i n - C h i e f of course, r e p o r t e d  Sandford Fleming.  headed  Both Dawson and Fleming,  t o , and were d i r e c t e d by, the Department  of P u b l i c Works whose hard-working and v i g i l a n t M i n i s t e r was Prime M i n i s t e r Alexander Mackenzie. The matter o f the r a i l - l i n e west o f Thunder Bay was not quickly l a i d to rest.  I t was, i n f a c t , to become a t h o r n i n  the s i d e o f t h e a d m i n i s t r a t i o n and the s u b j e c t o f s e v e r a l parliamentary  inquiries.  And the problems surrounding i t were  i n t i m a t e l y connected w i t h Dawson, t h e Red R i v e r Route, and t o a l e s s e r extent  —  William  In h i s r e p o r t o f 1869, from Lake S u p e r i o r  —  Carpenter. Dawson had advocated "a r a i l r o a d  t o the navigable  waters o f the Summit r e g i o n ,  n a v i g a t i o n rendered continuous, by means o f l o c k and dam, from the terminus o f the same t o the North-West angle o f the Lake of the Woods, and a r a i l r o a d from t h e l a t t e r p o i n t t o the Red  229  R i v e r Settlement."  His remarks o f 1874 were merely a r e f i n e -  ment o f t h i s e a r l i e r e x p r e s s i o n . for  In 1869,  however, surveys  the r a i l l i n e had not begun and the government of John  A.  Macdonald had not y e t committed i t s e l f t o a t r a n s c o n t i n e n t a l line.  When, a year l a t e r , i t d i d commit i t s e l f , i t d i d so on  the b a s i s of r a p i d c o n s t r u c t i o n by p r i v a t e e n t e r p r i s e . 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 a d m i n i s t r a t i o n and the approach t o r a i l w a y  c o n s t r u c t i o n had changed. of  There  the 1869  Mackenzie,  proposal. who  was  The time was  r i g h t f o r a restatement  I t proved a t t r a c t i v e t o Alexander  opposed to r a p i d c o n s t r u c t i o n of the t r a n s -  c o n t i n e n t a l 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 a i l a b l e s t r e t c h e s of water communication as a temporary measure i n the i n t e r e s t s o f economy. Water r o u t e s would be improved.  Development would be g r a d u a l . Long portage r a i l r o a d s ,  de-  signed t o f i t Into the o v e r a l l concept o f a continuous trunk l i n e , would l i n k the n a v i g a b l e s t r e t c h e s .  As funds became  a v a i l a b l e the waterways would be r e p l a c e d or augmented by the e x t e n s i o n of r a i l s .  At the same time, the adjacent water com-  munications would be u s e f u l i n f a c i l i t a t i n g the c o n s t r u c t i o n 51 of  the remaining s t r e t c h e s of r a i l w a y .  enunciated i n 1874  and was  This policy  was  accepted (one g a t h e r s , w i t h c e r t a i n  r e s e r v a t i o n s ) by Sandford Fleming. Fleming's 1874 p l a n f o r the Dawson Route area was i n l i n e w i t h t h i s p o l i c y and was shaped, t o a s i g n i f i c a n t degree, 52 by the a d v i c e 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 i n 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 F a l l s , 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 transportation.  freight  Mortimer reported on his survey in 1875,  recommending that light r a i l tramways be installed on the portages, and he and Fleming subsequently discussed additional 57  methods of improving navigation along the route. was nothing new in this trend of thought;  There  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 and  l a t e r claimed t h a t he had recommended tramways  o t h e r improvements t o Fleming, and t h a t Mortimer had been  58 sent out on the b a s i s of h i s recommendation.  The  original  i d e a was, however, Dawson's, and the r e a l impetus came from Fleming, who,  on 29  September, 1874, wrote t o Mackenzie, u r g i n g  t h a t the communication "at once be rendered as e f f i c i e n t as p o s s i b l e f o r present purposes and f o r permanent use d u r i n g 59 the  seasons o f n a v i g a t i o n as a f r e i g h t  r o u t e . H e  also  made i t c l e a r t h a t he d i d not envisage an improved r o u t e as a long-term s u b s t i t u t e f o r the r a i l  line:  " I f e e l convinced  t h a t the Dawson Route improved and employed to the f u l l e s t c a p a c i t y w i l l be u t t e r l y inadequate f o r t h e f r e i g h t  traffic  t h a t w i l l be, and hence the importance I a t t a c h t o the construction  o f t h a t p o r t i o n o f the P a c i f i c Railway between Red  R i v e r and Lake S u p e r i o r , o f such c h a r a c t e r as w i l l  specially  adapt i t f o r t h e heavy t r a f f i c which w i l l soon seek t h i s  channel  Fleming estimated the c o s t o f improving the Dawson Route a t  $250,000,  and added, "the expenditure proposed would ... so  f a r p e r f e c t the Dawson Route as a l i n e o f steam communication as would make i t r e a l l y s e r v i c e a b l e f o r a l l kinds o f t r a f f i c , u n t i l the completion o f t h e Railway between Lake S u p e r i o r and Red R i v e r .  On the completion o f the r a i l w a y 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 n a t u r a l l y f o l l o w .  The Dawson Route would  continue t o be o f v a l u e as a means o f t r a n s p o r t i n g way  freight,  w h i l e passenger and o t h e r t r a f f i c would f i n d t h e i r way by In Fleming's view, t h e r e was t o be p a r a l l e l  rail."  construction  233  west of Thunder Bay,  i n c l u d i n g the c o n s t r u c t i o n of c a n a l s along  the Red R i v e r Route. of communication.  T h i s would r e s u l t i n two His p r o p o s a l , however, was  separate based on  lines the  assumption t h a t the water r o u t e would serve the c o n s t r u c t i o n of the r a i l l i n e .  T h i s assumption was  t o become h i g h l y ques-  t i o n a b l e i n the l i g h t o f subsequent events. was  on t h i s b a s i s t h a t C o n t r a c t 13 —  Nonetheless, i t  f o r the c o n s t r u c t i o n of  f o r t y - f i v e m i l e s of r a i l r o a d between F o r t W i l l i a m and Shebandowan —  was  l e t i n A p r i l , 1875•  F o r t Frances Canal was  Two  begin.  months l a t e r , work on Hugh S u t h e r l a n d was  the  placed i n  charge o f the works armed w i t h a ground p l a n p r o v i d e d by  Fleming  62  and prepared by Mortimer.  The  c a n a l was  t o be about  800  f e e t l o n g by about 40 f e e t wide and b l a s t e d out of s o l i d I t was  never completed.  And,  by the time the p r o j e c t was  abandoned, i n I 8 7 8 , the w o r t h l e s s F o r t Frances Canal had  $288,278.51. The  c a n a l p r o j e c t d i e d with the Dawson Route.  The  evident i n the growth of the Canadian P a c i f i c  and i n o t h e r r a t h e r obvious a i l m e n t s which might have  been r e c o g n i z e d by 1875.  The autopsy was  performed by  Senate committee of i n q u i r y which j u s t i f i a b l y wondered competent d i a g n o s i s — the route — ing.  cost  63  cause of death was Railway  rock.  The  the why  even i f i t couldn't cure the i l l s  of  might not have saved the tax-payers a b i t of s u f f e r c r i t i c i s m appears t o have been w e l l taken.  In the same year t h a t the c a n a l p r o j e c t was C o n t r a c t 13 l e t , Fleming  begun and  had f u r t h e r surveys made of the  country  Minnesota H i s t o r i c a l F o r t F r a n c e s , 1901;  the u n f i n i s h e d  c a n a l i s seen a t the  Society-  right. ro OJ  Minnesota H i s t o r i c a l SocietyF o r t F r a n c e s , 1901; the c a n a l (obscured behind the b u i l d i n g s ) was designed t o accommodate steamboats such as t h e one shown.  ro OJ  236  west o f Sturgeon F a l l s , and o f the Dawson Route. ^  One  of  the survey p a r t i e s s e t out to a s c e r t a i n whether or not the waters of Lake Shebandowan and Lake Windigoostigwan,  along  w i t h the i n t e r v e n i n g l a k e s (Kashabowie, Lac Des M i l l e Lacs, and B a r i l ) , might be brought t o a common l e v e l i n o r d e r to o b t a i n unbroken n a v i g a t i o n .  Dawson and Monro had a l r e a d y  addressed themselves t o t h i s problem and r e j e c t e d the i d e a . Fleming's c o n c l u s i o n was, "The  p r e d i c t a b l y , s i m i l a r t o Monro's:  cost of r e n d e r i n g the n a v i g a t i o n continuous between Lakes  Shebandowan and Windigoostigan would be very heavy, much g r e a t e r 65 indeed than any advantage  would j u s t i f y . " '  A second p a r t y  went over the ground between Sturgeon F a l l s and Rat Portage; i t s f i n d i n g s l e d t o the d e f i n i t e r e j e c t i o n of the southern r o u t* e . 66 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 p r o f o u n d l y a f f e c t e d by the r e s u l t s of these surveys.  F i r s t , i t was  de-  c i d e d t o abandon the p r o j e c t of improving n a v i g a t i o n a t the e a s t e r n end o f the r o u t e .  Second, because  the r a i l r o a d  would not pass through Sturgeon F a l l s , the p r o j e c t e d u s e f u l ness of the Dawson Route/Seine R i v e r access to the c o n s t r u c t i o n a r e a was  destroyed.  route's c o f f i n .  Two  more n a i l s had been d r i v e n i n t o the  But t h e r e was  and a t h i r d survey o f 1875  t o be no c o f f i n f o r the C.P.R.,  i n d i c a t e d t h a t , "a good l i n e a t  comparatively moderate cost c o u l d be had i n a d i r e c t  course  from Eagle Lake v i a Wabigoon R i v e r t o Lac Des M i l l e Lacs, and  thence t o Thunder Bay, 13  i n t e r s e c t i n g the l i n e o f C o n t r a c t  a t Sunshine Creek, 15  No.  m i l e s east from the e a s t e r n end o f  68 A c c o r d i n g l y , i n 1875,  Lake Shebandowan." was  adopted, work was  stopped on Contract 13,  o r i g i n a l l y l e t under t h a t c o n t r a c t was (about 32  the n o r t h e r n l i n e and the s e c t i o n  reduced t o the p o r t i o n  m i l e s long) from F o r t W i l l i a m t o Sunshine  Work was  Creek.  not stopped, however, on the F o r t Frances Canal  except f o r a few months d u r i n g the w i n t e r o f  1875-76.  The  most expensive o f a l l s i n g l e improvements on the Dawson Route was  continued w h i l e the remainder  more d i l a p i d a t e d . stance —  of the system grew more and  The reason f o r t h i s e x t r a o r d i n a r y circum-  and i t was  a weak reason —  S e l e c t Committee of the Senate i n 1878.  was  g i v e n b e f o r e the Marcus Smith, the  A c t i n g C h i e f Engineer o f the r a i l w a y i n Fleming's was  the w i t n e s s .  absence,  E a r l y i n h i s testimony he e s t a b l i s h e d  geographical f a c t s :  first,  two  t h a t the r a i l w a y connected with  the Dawson Route a t Port Savanne (which had water a c c e s s to Lac Des M i l l e Lacs) and,  second, that a c h a i n of r i v e r s  and  l a k e s (the Manitou-Wabigoon chain) l i n k e d the Dawson Route to the new  n o r t h e r n l i n e which was  The presumption was  otherwise almost  inaccessible.  t h a t , i n view of these f a c t s , the F o r t  Frances Canal would be of use i n a f f o r d i n g access to the line.  rail  Other f a c t s o f geography, however, d i d nothing t o  s t r e n g t h e n t h i s argument.  F i r s t , P o r t Savanne was  separated  from F o r t Frances by nine portages and about 180 m i l e s of water which dropped  some 400  f e e t between the two p o i n t s .  Why,  then  238  b u i l d a c a n a l i n the c e n t r e o f the r o u t e w h i l e these o b s t r u c t i o n s remained?  Even e f f e c t i v e a c c e s s from the east was ham-  pered by the Manitou Rapids and Long S a u l t Rapids o f Rainy River.  At any r a t e , t h e r e was no good economic  reason f o r  l i n k i n g Rainy R i v e r t o Rainy Lake, u n l e s s e f f e c t i v e  transport-  a t i o n was a v a i l a b l e r i g h t through t o Port Savanne.  Finally,  the  Manitou-Wabigoon c h a i n p r o v i d e d o n l y canoe access and i n -  v o l v e d e i g h t or nine p o r t a g e s .  The F o r t Frances Canal merely  e l i m i n a t e d one short portage from the canoe r o u t e extending between Rainy R i v e r and Wabigoon Lake.  Three exchanges  be-  tween Smith and the Committee members serve t o i l l u m i n a t e the l o c k q u e s t i o n as w e l l as throwing c o n s i d e r a b l e l i g h t on the f a t e o f the Dawson Route: Q. I ask expedient simply t o recommend  you whether you c o n s i d e r i t i s economical and t o b u i l d t h i s one l a r g e l o c k a t F o r t Frances connect w i t h a canoe r o u t e ? I would not a l o c k t o be b u i l t simply f o r that purpose.  Q. I s the Committee to understand you t o say ... t h a t f o r the purposes o f commerce the l o c k w i l l not be o f any use whatever i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h the P a c i f i c Railway? I should not t h i n k f o r through commerce, but f o r l o c a l commerce i t might be u s e f u l . The moment the r a i l way i s f i n i s h e d , o f course, i t i s o f no use a t a l l f o r through commerce. Q. Supposing t h a t the l i n e was completed from Lake S u p e r i o r t o Savanne, and the western s e c t i o n was completed from Rat Portage t o S e l k i r k , and some y e a r s i n t e r v e n e d b e f o r e the i n t e r v e n i n g s e c t i o n was b u i l t , would the l o c k be o f any use then? That depends upon whether the Dawson Route could be made a v a i l a b l e f o r commerce so as to send i t through t h a t way r a t h e r than round by r a i l through S t . P a u l ' s Csiq3. I have not taken i t much i n t o c o n s i d e r a t i o n , but i t appears t o me i t would not be a route t h a t c o u l d compete w i t h r a i l w a y s . I t has not been used f o r p u b l i c conveyance f o r two seasons p a s t , but i t  239  has been used by p a r t i e s c o n s t r u c t i n g the l o c k and by surveyors. For passengers who can t r a n s h i p themselves i t might be used i n the summer months, but f o r heavy f r e i g h t t h e r e would be too many portages, and the handli n g o f i t would cost too much. I f the c l i m a t e was such t h a t the n a v i g a t i o n would be open a l l the year round i t might have been w e l l to improve the portages and work them w i t h tramways and s t a t i o n a r y engines by c r a d l i n g the boats and t a k i n g boat and a l l over. But the o b j e c t i o n t o t h a t i s the c l i m a t e . S i x months of the year the n a v i g a t i o n i s locked up and i t cannot be used, w h i l e the plagjj i s i d l e and t h e r e i s the expense of l o o k i n g a f t e r As Grace Lee  Nute has noted, c a n a l b u i l d i n g helped to  provide  a few buoyant years to the vest-pocket economy of F o r t Frances, as w e l l as c o n t r i b u t i n g s e v e r a l s e t t l e r s who  remained a f t e r  70 the p r o j e c t was v e s s e l , has  abandoned.  But  no steamboat, nor any  ever by-passed K o o c h i c h i n g F a l l s by way  g r a n i t e chamber.  For ninety-one years i t has  ment t o a mistake.  stood as a monu-  The  reminder of the demise of the  S e l e c t Committee of the Senate made a much  s m a l l e r mistake i n i t s summation, and "the expenditure upon the F o r t F r a n c i s amount may  of i t s  L i k e a tombstone o f the same m a t e r i a l , i t  a l s o remains as an a p p r o p r i a t e Dawson Route.  other  t h a t was tsicj  one  of  spelling:  Lock, whatever the  be, w i l l prove to have been i n j u d i c i o u s and 71  alto-  gether u n p r o f i t a b l e to the Dominion." Those who may  may  share the w r i t e r ' s admiration  a l s o be r e l i e v e d t o note t h a t he had  as Superintendent o f the Red c a n a l was  begun.  resigned  R i v e r Route before  Moreover, the  f o r Dawson his position  work on  c a n a l p r o j e c t was  the  provided  w i t h i t s own  superintendent i n the person of Hugh  who  d i r e c t to the Department of P u b l i c Works at Ottawa.  reported  Sutherland  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 unhappychapter i n the relationship of the Dawson Route to the Pacific Railway.  There were, however, brighter moments.  was often used by C.P.R. surveyors after 1871;  The route  and even the  side t r a i l through Manitou and Wabigoon Lakes was lightly travelled by railroad engineers and their assistants.  In addition,  there is some evidence that the route, and the Public Works employees along i t , contributed i n other ways to the construction of the railway.  In 1875, for example, squared timbers were  prepared and transported to the Kaministiquia River for construction 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 contractors and survey crews.  And, while r a i l s 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 i t s  abandonment was inevitable i t rendered valuable service i n 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 f i r s t locomotive engine was landed at Thunder Bay.  By this time r a i l s , 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 i n the end the almost un75  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. l e f t , now lying at the mercy of whoever likes to help themselves."  76  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 i n government and related change in policy.  Begun as a preliminary and useful instrument of  nation-building under the administration of Macdonald, the rout  P u b l i c A r c h i v e s o f Canada " P r i n c e A r t h u r ' s Landing, 25 J u l y . " From a p e n c i l sketch by Sidney H a l l i n the P u b l i c A r c h i v e s o f Canada. The sketch was done i n 1881 and shows the C.P.R. l i n e and l o c o m o t i v e .  2LJ  a t t a i n e d i t s modest apogee o f e f f i c i e n c y under t h a t o f Mackenzie. Development way  o f the r o u t e was i n harmony w i t h Mackenzie's r a i l -  p o l i c y , even though i t s p a r t i n t h a t p o l i c y was q u e s t i o n e d  and censured b e f o r e he l e f t o f f i c e . * * 7  But development  o f the  route was not i n harmony w i t h Macdonald's post-1878 r a i l w a y p o l i c y . And, by the time he was r e t u r n e d t o power, t h e route — of  the r a i l l i n e s a l r e a d y c o n s t r u c t e d —  i n view  had o u t l i v e d i t s e a r l I n 1870,  ier  u s e f u l n e s s f o r the cause o f n a t i o n a l expansion.  the  r o u t e had p r o v i d e d a needed communication w i t h Manitoba,  thus s e r v i n g the requirements o f the hour. quirements o f the hour — B r i t i s h Columbia — cation.  I n I878, the r e -  w i t n e s s the howls emanating from  could o n l y be s a t i s f i e d by r a i l  communi-  The p o l i c y framed t o meet those requirements had no  room i n i t f o r development, o r even maintenance, o f the Red R i v e r Route. A more elemental ( i n both senses o f the term) reason for  the r o u t e ' s abandonment l a y i n the f a c t t h a t i t was o f  seasonal use o n l y .  I t depended  l a r g e l y on water t r a n s p o r t a t i o n ,  and the waters o f Northwestern O n t a r i o f r e e z e e a r l y and thaw late.  I n 1872-73, f o r i n s t a n c e , the harbour a t P r i n c e A r t h u r ' s  Landing c l o s e d on 15 December and d i d not open u n t i l 9 May — the  l a t e s t opening o f a l l seventeen O n t a r i o and Quebec harbours  listed.  79  1  There were, moreover, i n l a n d waters t o contend w i t h . 80  In  some seasons these were not c l e a r o f i c e u n t i l 24 May.  The normal l e n g t h o f the i n l a n d season o f n a v i g a t i o n was from e a r l y June t o l a t e October.  During the o t h e r seven months o f  244  the year the route stood i d l e —  except f o r t h e c o n t i n u i n g  work o f maintenance. The need t o secure Manitoba, and t h e consequent m i l i t a r y e x p e d i t i o n , f i r s t drew p u b l i c a t t e n t i o n t o the Dawson Route.  But i t s broader purpose was t o provide a c i v i l i a n  l i n e o f communication o f p a r t i c u l a r use t o those  emigrating  81 to the West.  I n t h i s regard, the c o s t o f o p e r a t i o n was  out o f p r o p o r t i o n t o the number o f people t r a n s p o r t e d .  I878  —  as n e a r l y as can be reckoned —  'way  By  o n l y about 5,000  mem-  dp bers o f t h e c i v i l i a n p o p u l a t i o n had used the r o u t e . o f them crossed o n l y a p o r t i o n o f i t .  Many  The net c o s t t o the  government by t h a t time ( i n c l u d i n g the expense o f the F o r t Frances Canal, and the s u b s i d i e s t o Carpenter  and Company) go  was i n the neighbourhood o f one and a h a l f m i l l i o n Sandford  dollars.  Fleming's estimate t h a t "each emigrant c o s t s 10 times  the amount r e c e i v e d " was c o n s e r v a t i v e .  I t cost more  like  t w e n t y - f i v e times the amount r e c e i v e d , o r about $300 per emigrant.  J o s i a h Plumb l i k e n e d the amphibious r o u t e t o "a non-  d e s c r i p t animal,  the Ornythorincus  Platypus*';  which, he noted,  84 was slow o f motion, but had an enormous b i l l .  One o f t h e  reasons f o r t h e high c o s t o f t r a n s p o r t a t i o n was the e x c e s s i v e d u p l i c a t i o n o f manpower and p h y s i c a l p l a n t along the r o u t e . On each road s e c t i o n ( i n c l u d i n g short portage r o a d s ) , teams o f horses o r oxen were r e q u i r e d — harness,  and waggons.  separate  along with s t a b l e s ,  Because o f the slow pace o f t r a v e l ,  t h e r e had t o be numerous "emigrant houses" s c a t t e r e d along the  4  Ontario Archives, Prince Arthur's o f view, 1872.  Toronto  Landing, the e a s t e r n terminus o f the Dawson Route, From a water c o l o u r by W i l l i a m Armstrong.  date ro -FVJ1  246  r o u t e , as w e l l as storehouses and workers' accommodation a t each o f the t e n major portages and on the two The s t a f f , t o o , was  expensive.  l o n g road s e c t i o n s .  During the season of  1873,  f o r example, 200 workmen ( e x c l u s i v e o f the engineers of the steamers and tugs) were on the j o b . clude the teamsters who  T h i s f i g u r e does not i n -  handled f o r t y teams o f horses and  yoke o f oxen a l o n g the l i n e .  twelve  In a d d i t i o n , t h e r e were the  boats, the b i g 55 f o o t barges, the t u g s , and the  row  steamers.  Each s t r e t c h of water r e q u i r e d d i s t i n c t v e s s e l s and, a t the peak of i t s o p e r a t i o n , the Dawson Route f l e e t numbered no  less  than 14 tugs, 2 l a r g e paddle-wheelers, and dozens of boats and barges. A f u r t h e r reason f o r the r o u t e ' s f a i l u r e l i e s i n the r a p i d pace of r a i l w a y b u i l d i n g i n Minnesota. were about  8,000 men  In 1872,  there  working on r a i l l i n e s t o the south;  and,  i n the same y e a r , t r a i n s began running between Duluth and Moorhead, which was  s i t u a t e d on the n a v i g a b l e waters of the  85 Red R i v e r .  7  With t h i s accomplishment,  a g a i n moved ahead of t h a t v i a Canada.  the Minnesota r o u t e The Dawson Route c o u l d  not compete w i t h i t e i t h e r i n terms of speed or i n terms o f comfort. Added t o t h i s was  ^ the f a c t t h a t the Canadian route  was  not designed to accommodate l a r g e or heavy a r t i c l e s o f 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 l e s s than twenty-four t i m e s .  This, i n i t s e l f ,  86 was  a severe l i m i t a t i o n .  C a p t a i n James Dick, who  had taken  Photo:  B. M . Litteljohn,  1963  A Dawson Route barge (length, 55 f e e t ; beam, 10 f e e t ) submerged i n three f e e t o f water, Dore Lake, Quetico P r o v i n c i a l Park.  248  heavy machinery over the r o u t e , was questioned about i t s capabilities  i n I878.  He was b r i e f , but t o t h e p o i n t :  Q. Supposing you were asked t o make a c o n t r a c t t o c a r r y goods from Port Savanne down t o F o r t Frances, what would you take per t o n t o do i t ? I would r e q u i r e a p r e t t y round sum. Q.  I s i t not a f e a s i b l e r o u t e f o r commercial purposes? No; not as i t i s now.  Q. I f you s t a r t e d from Ontario w i t h merchandise f o r Winnipeg, would you t h i n k o f t a k i n g t h i s r o u t e ? Oh, no.87 F i n a l l y , t h e r e was t h e g r e a t f a c t o f the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway.  By  I875  —  d e s p i t e Mackenzie's piece-meal p o l i c y —  i t was c l e a r l y o n l y a matter o f time, and not a g r e a t d e a l o f time, b e f o r e i t d i s p l a c e d the Dawson Route. F o r t W i l l i a m and Winnipeg i n 1882,  Completed between  i t rendered the r o u t e u t t e r l y  o b s o l e t e except f o r the v e r y l i m i t e d purposes o f l o c a l and c o l o n i z a t i o n .  travel  One might even argue t h a t the Dawson Route,  growing up as i t d i d d u r i n g a p e r i o d o f exuberant r a i l w a y cons t r u c t i o n , was an anachronism from the day i t opened. j|s  sj« sje &  sje >|s  sic  #  Considered as a b u s i n e s s v e n t u r e , the r o u t e was a d i s m a l failure. of  As an emigrant route -- even though some thousands  pioneers t r a v e l l e d i t s t r a i l s ,  be termed s u c c e s s f u l . the  roads, and waters —  I n the s u r v e y i n g and c o n s t r u c t i o n o f  C.P.R. i t p l a y e d a u s e f u l , but minor r o l e .  although i t i s d i f f i c u l t  i t cannot  To some degree,  t o measure, i t served t o f o c u s a t t e n -  t i o n on, and s t i m u l a t e settlement and economic development i n the  areas around Thunder Bay and F o r t F r a n c e s .  Judged by  249  o t h e r c r i t e r i a , however, i t claims an important s t o r y of Canadian development. the n a t i o n was,  p l a c e i n the  For one t h i n g , a t a time when  w i t h d i f f i c u l t y , t r y i n g to shepherd Manitoba  i n t o C o n f e d e r a t i o n , and when r e l a t i o n s between Canada and  the  U n i t e d S t a t e s were d e c i d e d l y s t r a i n e d , the embryo Dawson Route provided an a l l - C a n a d i a n way sense,  i t was  a v a l i d and  to the West.  In t h i s  concrete instrument  strategic  of n a t i o n - b u i l d i n g .  In the p h y s i c a l sense, the route l e f t much t o be d e s i r e d . Dawson u t i l i z e d , as e f f e c t i v e l y as he c o u l d , the waterways west o f Thunder Bay. which he envisaged  But, f o r the type o f t r a f f i c  i n h i s more h o p e f u l moments, and which the  times demanded, the waterways were inadequate state.  T h i s problem was  of the two  long-used  i n their natural  p a r t i a l l y overcome by the c o n s t r u c t i o n  road s e c t i o n s .  N e v e r t h e l e s s , t o f u l f i l Dawson's  hopes, and to make the route competitive with those v i a the U n i t e d S t a t e s , an e x t e n s i v e and expensive c a n a l s would have been necessary. the scope of the route was  system of l o c k s and  L a c k i n g such improvements,  severely l i m i t e d .  Dawson's u t i l i z -  a t i o n of the water s t r e t c h e s , however, cannot be To a degree, he d i d succeed  i n r e v i v i n g and extending the  d i t i o n of water communication w i t h the West. the movement of t r o o p s , t h i s was  by the c o n s t r u c t i o n of the two  Especially i n  a l t e r e d , of course,  lengthy roads.  difficult  tra-  a useful exercise.  The o l d voyageur's canoe r o u t e was  s t r e t c h e s o f extremely  ignored.  Built  through  country, both of these  roads  continued i n use l o n g a f t e r the waterways once again faded from  250  view.  S e c t i o n s o f the F o r t Garry l i n e have been improved  and a r e 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 u n a l t e r e d , served the people o f Northwestern O n t a r i o f o r many years a f t e r 1878. 11A,  o r the Dawson Road —  Today —  known as Highway  i t continues t o l e a d west from t h e  Lakehead, f o l l o w i n g much the same l i n e as t h a t surveyed by Simon Dawson.ninety-nine years ago.  That the l i n e was w e l l  s e l e c t e d i s f u r t h e r demonstrated by the f a c t t h a t p o r t i o n s o f the Trans-Canada Highway and the Canadian N a t i o n a l Railway f o l l o w i t through the v a l l e y o f t h e Matawin. These c o n s i d e r a t i o n s c o u l d not, o f course, i n f l u e n c e c r i t i c s o f the route d u r i n g the 1870's.  T h e i r s 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 o f p l a c i n g and a s s e s s i n g the communication i n the continuum o f Canadian h i s t o r y .  In the long  view, however, and c o n s i d e r i n g the Dawson Route i n a l l i t s a s p e c t s , i t appears  t o have served Canadians w e l l .  Constructed  a c r o s s d i f f i c u l t t e r r a i n , i t deserves t o be remembered as a human triumph  over geography.  But the Dawson Route was not simply a p h y s i c a l —  entity  a p r a c t i c a l resource f o r the movement o f people and goods.  U t i l i z i n g t h e h i s t o r i c waterways which had c a r r i e d f u r t r a d e r s to  the f a r t h e s t corners o f the country, i t was an e x p r e s s i o n  of  Canada's d e t e r m i n a t i o n t o preserve those f a r corners f o r  Canadians.  Begun i n the year o f C o n f e d e r a t i o n , i t was the  Dominion's f i r s t inheritance.  concrete gesture i n defence  o f our western  The b u i l d i n g o f t h e r a i l r o a d was a grander g e s t u r e ,  Photo:  K. C. A. Dawson  The v a l l e y o f the Matawin R i v e r , showing p o r t i o n s of the Trans-Canada Highway and Canadian N a t i o n a l Railway, which f o l l o w the o l d l i n e o f the Dawson Route i n t h i s a r e a .  Photo:  K. C. A. Dawson  252  but the essence  o f t h a t w i l l i n g n e s s t o m a r s h a l l the r e s o u r c e s  of the n a t i o n f o r an expansive  n a t i o n a l purpose can be d i s c e r n e d  i n Simon Dawson and t h e r o u t e which j u s t l y bore h i s name. In r e t r o s p e c t , the c r e a t i o n o f the Dawson Route seems t o have embodied, as s t r i k i n g l y as any other venture, the expansi v e ethos o f C o n f e d e r a t i o n .  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 numbers w i l 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. RobertsonRoss, Col. Commanding the M i l i t i a of Canada, "Reconnaisance of the North West Provinces and Indian Territories", in C.S.P., v o l . 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 i r s t 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. W. Mclnnes, "Report H: On the Geology of the Area Covered by the Seine River and Lake Shebandowan Map Sheets", p. 12H. J  In 1878 a Select Committee of the Senate inquired into public funds expended on the useless Fort Frances Lock. The construction of this f a c i l i t y was the prime example of the wastage involved in parallel construction. The evidence given before this committee provides much i n formation on the Dawson Route and i t s 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 Relating to the Fort Frances Lock (Ottawa, 1878); hereafter referred to as Report of Select Committee of Senate on Fort Frances Lock. 4  5  '  "Confidential Report and Memorandum of Sub Committee of the Privy Council on the Subject of Opening up Communication between Fort William and Fort Garry", 27 D e c , 1870, P . A . C . , Public Works MS., v o l . 119, no.. 14120. Report of the Minister of Public Works. 1871 (Ottawa, 1872), p. 43. 6  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  C o l o n e l Smith had preceded the t r o o p s , 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 t h e F o r t 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 t h e r e f o r h i s use. C.S.P., v o l . 5 , no. 5 , 1872, paper 8, p. 81. 7  10  C.S.P., v o l . 5,  5,  no.  1872,  paper 8,  p.  84.  I b i d . , p. 82. The comments of the m i l i t a r y men who crossed the r o u t e throw a d d i t i o n a l l i g h t on the c h a r a c t e r and c a p a b i l i t i e s o f Dawson. Wolseley (The S t o r y of a S o l d i e r ' s L i f e , v o l . 2, p. 192) r e f e r r e d to him as "an a b l e and hardworking p u b l i c s e r v a n t " who was handicapped by "some ne'er-do-well f r i e n d s 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 r e f e r r e d to " h i s great e x p e r i ence and the i n d e f a t i g a b l e e x e r t i o n s used by h i m s e l f and his staff"; C a p t a i n S c o t t wrote o f "the v a l u a b l e a i d r e n dered by Mr. Dawson i n every p o s s i b l e way .... He worked most e n e r g e t i c a l l y ... and by h i s p e r s o n a l e x e r t i o n s i n t h i s r e s p e c t c o n t r i b u t e d much t o the success o f the e x p e d i t i o n . " See C.S.P., v o l . 5, no. 5, 1872, paper 8, pp. 82, 85. C o l . Robertson-Ross (C.S.P., v o l . 6, no. 5, 1873, paper 9, p. c v i i i ) r e f e r r e d to him as an " a b l e engineer".  12 The f o u r r o u t e s were recommended by the North West E m i g r a t i o n S o c i e t y i n a c i r c u l a r r e p r i n t e d i n the Huron E x p o s i t o r , 26 May, I87I; c i t e d i n James J . Talman, "Migrat i o n from Ontario t o Manitoba i n 1871", pp. 37-38. 1 3  I b i d . , p.  38.  In 1872 Fleming was E n g i n e e r - i n - C h i e f o f the C.P.R. surveys and Grant was a p r e s b y t e r i a n m i n i s t e r from H a l i f a x . Both were t o become d i s t i n g u i s h e d Canadians. In 1888, Fleming was made p r e s i d e n t of the Royal S o c i e t y o f Canada a f t e r a c a r e e r o f accomplishment i n the f i e l d s o f s c i e n c e , l i t e r a t u r e , and I m p e r i a l r e l a t i o n s . Grant, as p r i n c i p a l of Queen's U n i v e r s i t y a f t e r 1877, was t o become the n a t i o n ' s l e a d i n g educator and an o u t s t a n d i n g f i g u r e i n the p o l i t i c a l world. C o l o n e l Robertson-Ross was commander o f the M i l i t i a o f Canada. The t h r e e men t r a v e l l e d the Dawson Route t o gether and Grant's, Ocean to Ocean, g i v e s a f a s c i n a t i n g account o f t h e i r journey. 1  L  1 5  Huts and t e n t s s t i l l Dawson, "Report o f  served i n many p l a c e s .  1872",  p.  130.  256  Testimony of Captain James Dick, 13 March, 1878, in Report of Select Committee of Senate on Fort Frances Lock, p. 10. 7  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, i n 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 following year. 20  P . A . C . , "Confidential Report and Memorandum of Sub-Committee of the Privy Council", 27 December, 1870. Public Works MS., v o l . 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 i t s f i r s t years are given below: 1867- 68 14,000.00 (Dog Lake Road and dam) 19,113.13 1868- 69 39,491.51 (Snow's Road) 1868-70 1069-70 94,420.28 $114,244.96 1870- 71 "''293,085.84 1871- 72 259,803.27 1872- 73 Total expenditure (after income) to 30 June, 1873:  $834,158.99 Dawson, "Report of 1872", pp. 129-137. There i s , no doubt, a pardonable degree of exaggeration i n Dawson's assessment of the importance of the route. The minerals along the north shore of Superior had, for example, drawn 2 3  257  developers as e a r l y as the 1840*s and i n the e a r l y 1860's t h e r e was c o n s i d e r a b l e a c t i v i t y around Thunder Bay. Z  L  Toronto Globe. 24 Sept.,  1872.  25 Grant, Ocean to Ocean, pp. 7 3 - 7 4 . " E x t r a c t from a p r i v a t e l e t t e r of Sandford Fleming, Esq. t o the Honourable H. L. Langevin, dated F o r t Garry, 2nd August Q.8723", P.A.C., P u b l i c Works MS., v o l . 121, no. 24822. 27 Grant, pp.  54-55.  28 General Report of the M i n i s t e r o f P u b l i c Works, (Ottawa, 1 8 7 4 ) , p. 5129 Passengers under f o u r t e e n y e a r s of age went f o r $5 and c h i l d r e n under t h r e e were taken f r e e . 1873  30  Hamilton, The P r a i r i e P r o v i n c e s , pp. 131-132. See a l s o General Reports o f the M i n i s t e r of P u b l i c Works. 31 O n t a r i o Dept. o f Records and A r c h i v e s MS., "W. H. Carpenter & Co. L e t t e r Book, 1874-1885", pp. 9 3 - 9 5 . J  3 2  3 3  3  4  P.A.C., P u b l i c Works MS., Nor'Wester, 29 June,  v o l . 125,  no. 42832.  1874.  James Trow, A T r i p t o Manitoba, p.  17  35 W. H. Carpenter t o Alexander Mackenzie, 18 Sept., P.A.C, P u b l i c Works MS., v o l . 125, no. 44338.  1874;  Dawson, MS. Works MS., v o l . 125, 3  6  r e p o r t , 13 J u l y , 1874. no. 42990.  P.A.C., P u b l i c  P.A.C., P u b l i c Works MS., v o l . 125, no. 42832. The P u b l i c Works MS. c o l l e c t i o n c o n t a i n s many l e t t e r s of complaint, both from t r a v e l l e r s and P u b l i c Works employees, concerning Carpenter's o p e r a t i o n . T h i s evidence lends support t o the i m p l i c a t i o n i n h e r e n t i n H. A. I n n i s ' remark ( H i s t o r y o f the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway, p. 9 2 n . ) : "The 3  7  258  bonus system applied to the Dawson route made i t advantageous 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 i n I876. See Canada, House of Commons Debates, vol. 2, 1876, pp. 450-454.  38  Trow, p. 18.  39 Dawson, "Report of 1874", p. 181. 40 It i s 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. 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, v o l . 79, no. 52402. 4  1  Henry I. Mortimer, "Report on Survey of the Portages 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 2  4 3  k L  Grant's report, 23 July, 1875. 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.  Grant, "Report of I876", i n General Report of the Minister of Public Works. I876 (Ottawa, 1877), p. 183. 4 7  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, v o l . 80, no. 65244One 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 m i l i t i a stores were also transported across the route. See Public Works MSS, v o l . 80, nos. 57172, 57387, 58526, 58887, 60456, and 61381. Grant, "Report of I876", p. I84.  4 9  ^ 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. 15In addition to soldiers, 197 men of the newly-formed North-West Mounted Police crossed the route in 1873?  ^ See Glazebrook, v o l . 2, p. 60ff.; and Innis, History of the Canadian Pacific Railway, pp. 83-84. Mackenzie's policy was f i r s t expressed i n 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, v o l . 2, I 8 7 6 , p. 450ff., and House of Commons Debates, v o l . 3 , 1877, p. 1319ff. 52  Fleming's reliance on Dawson's advice clearly emerges in his testimony before a Standing Committee of Parliament in 1879See 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. y  53  " I b i d . , p. 51Dawson'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  55  F i r s t Report on P u b l i c Accounts ... between F o r t W i l l i a m and Red R i v e r , p. 49. See a l s o the testimony of E. G. Garden, and James Rowan, i n Report o f S e l e c t Committee o f Senate on F o r t Frances Lock, pp. 50, 64-67. The r e - r o u t i n g o f the r a i l l i n e from the Sturgeon F a l l s Narrows o f Lake o f the Woods l i n e t o t h a t v i a Wabigoon Lake and Rat Portage was questioned d u r i n g t h i s i n q u i r y . Dawson gave an e f f e c t i v e defence o f h i s southern l i n e and expressed c o n s i d e r a b l e doubt concerning the a b i l i t y and motives o f the r a i l r o a d surveyors (pp. 50-52, 68-69). One i s l e f t w i t h the i m p r e s s i o n t h a t Dawson's l i n e deserved more c a r e f u l a t t e n t i o n than i t r e c e i v e d , and t h a t 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 t h a t " t h e r e were not a s u f f i c i e n t number o f t h o r o u g h l y e f f i c i e n t and p r a c t i c a l men i n the country t o a i d me i n c a r r y i n g out the work o f p r e l i m i n a r y o p e r a t i o n s i n what might be deemed the best way." C.S.P., v o l . 15, no. 9, 1882, paper 48cc, p. 5. ^ Testimony o f Henry Mortimer, 18 A p r i l , 1878, Report o f S e l e c t Committee of Senate on F o r t Frances Lock, pp. 40-41. 57 I b i d . , pp. 41-43; see a l s o Mortimer's r e p o r t i n Fleming, Report on Surveys, 1877. p. 211ff. Shortly before the Senate i n q u i r y , Mortimer made an estimate o f c o s t s necessary to improve the Dawson Route e f f e c t i v e l y ( e x c l u s i v e o f the F o r t Frances Lock, which was then w e l l on the way t o c o m p l e t i o n ) . He a r r i v e d a t a f i g u r e o f $341,235. T h i s i n c l u d e d the cost of purchasing new p l a n t ( i n c l u d i n g f i v e new tug boats) as w e l l as that o f improving portages, r e p a i r i n g dams, and e x c a v a t i n g c a n a l s t o r e p l a c e B r u l e and B a r i l portages. ^ Testimony o f W i l l i a m Carpenter, 15 A p r i l , I878, i n Report o f S e l e c t Committee o f Senate on F o r t Frances Lock,  pp. 37-38.  59 ^ C i t e d i n Canada, P a r l i a m e n t , Memorandum Addressed t o the Honourable the M i n i s t e r o f Railways and Canals by the E n g i n e e r - i n - C h i e f o f the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway (Ottawa, 1880), appendix 8, p. 31. 6  0  6  1  6?  I b i d . , p. 31 I b i d . , p. 34  Testimony of Hugh S u t h e r l a n d , 10 A p r i l , I878, i n Report o f S e l e c t Committee o f Senate on F o r t Frances Lock, pp. 20-21.  261  ^ General Report of the Minister of Public Works, 1867-82 (Ottawa,, 1883), p. 653. 3  6 i f  Report on Surveys, 1877, p. 53-  6 5  I b i d . , p. 53.  6  I b i d . , pp. 53-54.  6  Testimony of Henry Mortimer, 18 A p r i l , I 8 7 8 , i n Report of Select Committee of Senate on Fort Frances Lock, pp. 43-44. 6 7  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 i n I878. Sutherland's testimony, in Report of Select Committee of Senate on Fort Frances Lock, p. 24. 71  ' I b i d . , p. v. The writer has discovered no evidence of venality i n connection with the Fort Frances canal project. Mackenzie did not share what might be called the largesse of Macdonald and Langevin. Dawson,"Report of.1872", p. 137; see also Dawson's testimony, 4 A p r i l , I878, i n Report of Select Committee of Senate on Fort Frances Lock, p. 55. 7 2  7 3  P . A . C . , Public Works MS., v o l . 80, no. 60456.  7 L  W. Mclnnes, "Report H", pp. 12H-13H.  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 lastminute advocates of a revitalized Dawson Route, but they were few i n 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 7 5  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 Government, North Western Ontario: Its Boundaries, Resources and Communications, pp. 6-7. ^ Thos. Watts to the Hon. C. Tupper, 25 Nov., I878; P.A.C., Public Works MS., v o l . 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  Letter of W. L . B i l l , 24 A p r i l , 1879; Public Works MS., v o l . 81, no. 91791. 7 7  P.A.C.,  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 General Report of the Minister of Public Works, 1873, • Pp. 1 S T 80 Testimony of J . Walter Dick, in Report of Select Committee of Senate on Fort Frances Lock, p. 17. .tu 81 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, v o l . 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 c i v i l i a n passengers in 1873 has been interpolated.  83 been to ture on sorrow, must be  A rather challenging aspect of this inquiry has try to arrive at an accurate figure of net expendithe Dawson Route. The writer has found, to his that this is no simple matter, and the figure given 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 average of $220,000 during the six years of i t s 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 i s echoed i n 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 i t s 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 $1,500,000 on the route before going out of office in 1873 i s not much closer to the truth. The 187$ 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 i r s t commencement, to the 30th June, 1874, apart from Carpenter's contract, 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 appropriated $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 s u b s t a n t i a l r e p a i r s and improvements c a r r i e d out under the s u p e r v i s i o n of D. M. Grant a f t e r June, 1875. No f i g u r e f o r the work c a r r i e d on by Grant has been i n c l u d e d i n the w r i t e r ' s c a l c u l a t i o n s . With t h e abandonment o f the F o r t Frances Canal p r o j e c t i n 16*78, i t had cost t h e Government o f Canada roughly $1,$00,000, a f t e r income, t o c o n s t r u c t , m a i n t a i n , and operate the Dawson Route. ^  House o f Commons Debates, v o l . 3, 1877, p. 1339.  J o s i a h Burr Plumb was t o become Speaker o f the Senate o f Canada i n 1887. In 1877, when he made h i s comment, he was a C o n s e r v a t i v e M.P. and a c l o s e a s s o c i a t e o f John A. Macdonald. He was a s t r o n g c r i t i c of Mackenzie's r a i l way p o l i c y , and o f the Dawson Route. He c h a i r e d a committee o f i n q u i r y which i n v e s t i g a t e d expenditure on the C.P.R. i n 1879; see F i r s t Report o f the Standing Committee on P u b l i c Accounts i n r e f e r e n c e t o Expenditure on the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway between F o r t W i l l i a m and Red R i v e r . ^ Dawson ("Report o f 1874", p. 181), noted the ext r a o r d i n a r y r a i l w a y b u i l d i n g a c t i v i t y i n Minnesota. "This a c t i v i t y ... shews", he wrote, "the n e c e s s i t y o f more comprehensive improvement on the Canadian r o u t e , i f i t i s t o be maintained as a l i n e of communication t o command the share o f t r a f f i c which i t s n a t u r a l advantages should g i v e it." 5  86 In p a r t i c u l a r l y low water, or when one o f the dams broke (as happened on s e v e r a l o c c a s i o n s ) , the number of portages i n c r e a s e d t o as many as f i f t e e n . ' Testimony o f C a p t a i n James Dick, 13 March, I878, i n Report o f S e l e c t Committee o f Senate on F o r t Frances Lock, p. 10.  265  SELECTIVE BIBLIOGRAPHY The following bibliography i s highly selective. It gives most space to materials bearing directly upon the construction, use, and significance of the Dawson Route, as well as the route's relationship to the Canadian Pacific Railway. Readers w i l l find, however, that other works consulted are dealt with i n a number of extensive footnotes which have been written to serve as bibliographical essays. Where considered useful, entries have been annotated. Unpublished Materials: B e l l , R. Murray (Toronto, Ontario). The MS. journal of L t . Josiah-Jones B e l l , 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 Department of Tourism and Information by K. C. A. Dawson, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Lakehead University. Malo, Raymond James (Fort William, Ontario). "The Dawson Route". Research paper submitted i n the University of Manitoba during 1965. Ontario Department of Public Records and Archives. The Simon J . Dawson Papers. These papers have not yet been catalogued 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 9 B , Subject F i l e 429, and Record Group 11, Series 9C, Subject F i l e 50. The volumes i n 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. Ottawa, 1876.  Vol. 2, I876.  House of Commons Debates. Ottawa, 1877.  Vol. 3, 1877.  Journals of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada. The relevant volumes for the years 1857-1860 have been examined. These include reports submitted by members of the Red River Exploring Expedition. 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 Com3 vols. Ottawa, 1882.  missionT  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 employed on the Dawson Route. Several of Dawson's reports 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 Before 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 Explorations and Surveys up to January, 1874. Ottawa, 1874.  267  Dawson, Simon J . Report on the E x p l o r a t i o n of the Country between Lake S u p e r i o r and the Red R i v e r Settlement, and betx^een the L a t t e r Place and the A s s i n i b o i n e and Saskatchewan. P r i n t e d by Order o f the L e g i s l a t i v e Assembly. Toronto, 1859. Report on the L i n e o f Route between Lake and the Red R i v e r Settlement" Ottawa, 1869.  Superior  Fleming, Sandford. Memorial o f the People of Red R i v e r to the B r i t i s h and Canadian Governments, w i t h Remarks on the C o l o n i z a t i o n o f C e n t r a l B r i t i s h North America, and the E s t a b l i s h m e n t o f 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. P r i n t e d 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 E x p l o r a t o r y Survey. Ottawa, 1872.  Railway,  Report on Surveys and P r e l i m i n a r y Operations on the Canadian P a c i f i c Railway up t o January, 1877. Ottawa, 1877. Hind, Henry Y. North West T e r r i t o r y : Reports of Progress; Together w i t h a P r e l i m i n a r y and G e n e r a l Report on the A s s i n i b o i n e and Saskatchewan E x p l o r i n g E x p e d i t i o n Made Under I n s t r u c t i o n s from the P r o v i n c i a l S e c r e t a r y , Canada. P r i n t e d by Order o f the L e g i s l a t i v e Assembly. Toronto,  1859.  Great B r i t a i n . Papers R e l a t i v e t o the E x p l o r a t i o n by C a p t a i n P a l l i s e r o f t h a t P o r t i o n o f B r i t i s h North America which L i e s between the Northern Branch o f the R i v e r Saskatchewan and the F r o n t i e r o f the United S t a t e s , and between the Red R i v e r and the Rocky Mountains. London, 1859. F u r t h e r Papers R e l a t i v e t o the E x p l o r a t i o n by the E x p e d i t i o n Under Captain P a l l i s e r of t h a t P o r t i o n o f B r i t i s h North America which L i e s between the Northern Branch o f the R i v e r Saskatchewan and the F r o n t i e r o f the U n i t e d S t a t e s , and between the Red R i v e r and the Rocky Mountains, and Thence t o the P a c i f i c Ocean. London, 1860. Colonial Office. Papers R e l a t i v e to the E x p l o r a t i o n o f the Country between Lake S u p e r i o r and the Red R i v e r Settlement. London, 1859. t  263  , 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, 1857Wolseley, 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: B e l l , 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. 32-43Talman, 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. Ottawa, 1891.  Report on Canadian Archives,  1890.  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. 1959 and 1963.  2 vols.  Toronto,  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 .1937Delafield, 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 Companies, Down to the Year 1822~ Montreal, 1905. Folwell, William W. A History of Minnesota. 4 vols. ed. St. Paul, 1956. First published in 1921.  rev.  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; Foreword 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. 2 vols. Toronto,  A History of Transportation in Canada. First published in 1938.  l^Ek".  Gluek, Alvin C . , J r . 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.  Innis, Harold A. The Fur Trade in Canada,, to Canadian Economic History. Based by S. D. Clark and W. T. Easterbrook, by Robin W. Winks. Toronto, 1962. in 1930  London, 1871. An Introduction on the rev. ed. with a Foreword First published  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, 18431844. Edited by George F. G. Stanley. Toronto, 1955Lehmann, 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 Continent 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 NordOuest: 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 - 9 6 2 3 . F i r s t 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. Champlain Society. Toronto, 1956.  The  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, 16701870. 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. Toronto, 1965.  Charles Mair, Literary Nationalist.  Stanley, George F. G. The Birth of Western Canada, A History of the Riel Rebellions. Toronto, 1963. First published in 1 9 3 6 . 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 Explorations 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 . H i l l and Theodore H. Lewis. St. Paul, 1911. Wolseley, Field-Marshall Viscount. The Story of a Soldier's Life. 2 vols. Westminster, 1 9 0 3 .  Port Garry { Snow s ) Road 9  LEGEND :  'Thunder Bay Road  Lake Winnipeg  Navigable portion of Dawson Route Winnipeg River  1  Fort Garry  2  Rat Portage ( Kenora )  3  Fort Frances  k  Prince Arthur's L a n d i n g  Lake o f th© Woods Dog  Lake  Rainy Lake  Rainy River Namakan Lake  H  --O  Lac La Croix Basswood L . Simplified map :  THE DAWSON ROUTE AND ADJACENT WATERWAYS  Scale : 32 miles ( approx.  ) to one inch  S i m p l i f i e d Map : PHYSIOGRAPHY ALONG THE DAWSON ROUTE  —  —  edge o f Precambrian Shield  HA? ^©.3  South Lake  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  —  — Q  Height of Land Portage  LAKE SUPERIOR  LEGEND: 1  Rainy River  5 Maligne River  2  Rainy Lake  6  Lac Des Mille Lacs  3  Namakan Lake  7  Dog Lake  4  Lac La Croix  & Kaministiquia River  Simplified map :  CANOE ROUTES WEST OF LAKE SUPERIOR  Scale :  20 miles to 1 inch  

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