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Our own country, Canada : scenic and descriptive. Being an account of the extent, resources, physical… Withrow, W. H. (William Henry), 1839-1908 1889

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Author of " The History of Canada," " The Catacombs of Rome," " A Canadian in Europe," Etc.
Illustrated with Three Hundred and Sixty Engravings.
"Methinkslseo in my mind a noble and puissant nation rousing herself like a
strong man after sleep, and shaking her invincible locks; a nation not slow and dull,
but of a quick, ingenious, and piercing spirit; acute to invent, subtile to discourse,
not beneath the reach of any point that human capacity can soar to.
"Methinks I see her as an eagle mewing her mighty youth, and kindling her un-
dazzled eyes at' the full mid-day beam; purging and unsealing her sight at the fountain
itself of heavenly radiance."—Milton's " Areopagitica." •
O nation, young and fair, and strong ! arisa
To the full stature of thy greatness now!
Thy glorious destiny doth thee endow
U With high prerogative.    Before thee lies
A future full of promise.    Oh ! be wise !
Be great in all things good, and haste to sow
The Present with rich germs from which may grow
Sublime results and noble, high emprise.
Oh ! be it hence thy mission to advance
The destinies of man, exalt the race,
And teach down-trodden nations through the expanse
Of the round earth to rise above their base
And low estate, love Freedom's holy cause,
And give to all men just and equal laws.-
"Oh ! let us plant in the fresh virgin earth
Of this New World, a scion of that tree
Beneath whose shades our fathers dwelt, a free
And noble nation—of heroic birth.
Let the Penates of our. fathers' hearth
Be hither borne ; and let us bow the knee
Still at our fathers' altars.    O'er the sea
Our hearts yearn fondly and revere their worth.
And though forth-faring from our father's house,
Not forth in anger, but in love we go;
It lessens not our reverence, but doth rouse
To deeper love than ever we did know.
Not alien and estranged, but sons are we
Of that great Fatherland beyond the sea.
■WUhroiv.  PREFACE.
A N intelligent acquaintance with the vast extent and
almost boundless resources of the several provinces of
the Dominion of Canada cannot fail to aid the growth of a
national sentiment, and to foster feelings of patriotic pride in
•our noble country. To promote that acquaintance by a record
of personal experience in extensive travel throughout the
Dominion, and by the testimony of experts in many departments of industry, and of the best authorities in statistical and
other information, is the object of this volume.
Now, as never before, our country is attracting the attention
of publicists, and political and social economists of other lands.
Its wealth of field, and forest, and mine; of lake and river,
inshore and deep-sea fisheries are being recognized in the great
commercial centres of the world. The magnificence of its
scenery, and the attractions offered to votaries of the rod and
gun are attracting tourists, artists, and sportsmen from many
lands. Its numerous places of historic interest, with their
heroic traditions and stirring associations; and its variety of
character and social conditions, from the cultured society of
its great cities to the quaint simplicity of its French parishes;
the rugged daring of its fishing villages, the primitive rusticity vi PREFACE.
of its backwoods settlements, the bold adventure of its frontier
and-mining life, offer to the poet, the novelist, the historian,
an endless variety of environment and motif for literary treatment which have already enriched both the French and English
languages with works of great and permanent value.
It is the hope of the author that the present work may
foster in the hearts of all Canadian readers—whether Canadians
by birth or by adoption—a still warmer love for the goodly
heritage which God has given them, and a still heartier devotion to its best interests—to its political, its intellectual, its
' moral, its material welfare.
The Dominion—Its Extent and Resources
Halifax, 21—Historic Memories, 25—Cape Breton, 30—The Bras
d'Or, 32—Sydney, 33—Louisburg,36—Baddeck, 40—Windsor,
44—Evangeline's Country, 45—Grand Pre", 47—Annapolis,
52—Yarmouth, 58—Moose Hunting, 59—Port Lawrence, 65
—Tidal Streams	
Ice Ferry,  68—Charlottetown,   69—Magdalen Islands,  69—Dead
Man's Isle, 70—The Lord's-Day Gale \.. 71-73
Extent, etc., 75—St. John's, 79—Fish Curing, 83—Sealing and Seals,
85—Mining,97—Travel, 93—Telegraph Cable, 101—"Isles of
Demons," 103—"Fishing Admirals," 104—Labrador, 105—
Fort Cumberland, 109—Sackville, 110—Moncton, 112—St. John,
113 — High Tides, 116—Fort La Tour, 119—Suspension
Bridge, 120—U. E. Loyalists, 122—River St. John, 123—
Fredericton, 124—The Upper St. John and Grand Falls, 126—
Grand Manan, 127—Miramichi, Forest Fires, 129—JSathurst,
130—Bay of Chaleurs, 130—The Restigouche, 131—Camp-
The Metapedia, 138—"Jaw-breaking" Poetry, 141—The St. Lawrence, 142—The Gulf, 143—Footprints of the Pioneers, 145—
The Habitants, 147—River Ports, 149—Cacouna, 150—The
Saguenay, 152—Capes Trinity and Eternity, 154—Tadousac,
156—South Shore, 160—North Shore, 162—Mai Baie, 163
—Mediaeval Villages, 164—Ste. Anne, 166—C6te de Beaupre"
167 Vlll
City of Quebec, 169-Its Storied Past, 173-Its Convents, etc.,
"177-Quaint Streets, 180—Old Gates and Walls, 181—Durham Terrace, 183—The Citadel, 184—Plains of Abraham, 186
—Wolfe and Montcalm, 186-192—Arnold, 193—Montgomery,
194—Montmorenci, 196—Champlain       202
Eastern Townships, 207—Memphremagog, 208—Founding of
Ville Marie, 214—Iroquois Attacks, 221—Old Landmarks,
224—Then and Now, 225—Winter Sports, 235—Ice Palace,
Snow Shoeing, etc •  237-241
Ottawa, 243—Parliament Buildings, 244—Timber Slides, 247—Down
the Ottawa, 248—The | Thermopylae of Canada," 249—Oka,
250—Ste. Anne's         251
Kingston, 252—Frontenac, 253—The Thousand Isles, 255—
River Towns, 260—Barbara Heck, 261—The Rapids, 266—
Bay of Quinte -       271
Toronto, 273—Fort Rouille', 275—Governor Simcoe, 279—Early
History, 280—Progress, 284—Churches, etc 284-289
Niagara Frontier, 290—Old St. Mark's, 292—U. E. Loyalists,
297-304—The Hungry. Year, 300—Queenston Heights, 311—
Bridging the River, 312—Niagara Falls, 317—Beneath the
Falls, 322—The Falls in Winter, 329-337—The Suspension
Bridge, 338—The Whirlpool       340
South-Western Peninsula, 342—Education, 344—Laura Secord,
345— Hamilton, 351—Dundas Valley, 353-Grand River, 354
—Indian Reserves, 354—London and Western Towns, 355—
Oil Wells and Oil Industry of Canada, 358-368—The Muskoka
Lakes, 371-382—Lakes Huron and Superior 382-385
Lumbering on the Ottawa, 390—A Wolf Story, 402—A Log Jam,
406—Rafting, 409—Over the C. P. R., 412—The North Shore
and.the Nipigon, 416—Thunder Bay, 417—Fort William,
419—Lake of the Woods         422
Extent and Character of the North-West, 423—Winnipeg, 433—Red
River Voyageur, 436—St. Boniface, 437—Bright Auguries,
439—The Prairies, 442—Prairie Towns »       444
The North-West Territory—Assiniboia, 447—Bell Farm, 449—
Alberta, 449—Saskatchewan, 451—Athabasca, 453—Indian
Types, 454—Ranching, 458—Fur Trading and Trapping, 459
—Canoe Life, 463—Portages and Rapids, 465-468—The Selvedge of Civilization, 469—Indian Missions, 470—Snow Shoe- CONTENTS.
ing and Dog Trains,  473—Camping Out in Winter, 479—
Indian Superstitions, 481—Wigwam Life,  484—Missionary
Heroism, 486—The Indian Problem, 488—Our Wards       490
Across the Continent, 494 — Wild Game of the Prairies, 496—
Medicine Hat, 499—Foundations of Empire, 500—Prairie
Morals, 503—The Rockies, 505—Calgary, 506—On the Kicking Horse       510
Extent and Resources, 511—Mount Stephen, 516—The Heart of the
Selkirks, 522—Climbing a Glacier, 526—Snow Sheds, 527—
Rogers' Pass, 529—Bold Engineering, 532—Salmon Wheel,
534—The Thompson River, 540—The Cariboo Road, 542—
Mining Life, 543 —Fraser Canyon, 545—Yale, 547 —The
Lower Fraser, 548—The Pacific Coast, 550—Vancouver City,
552—Vancouver Island, 553—Victoria, 555—The Olympics,
557    Esquimault and its Men-of-War       559
The Chinese Quarter, 560—Joss-House, 564—Sabe ? 565 —Wife
Purchase       566
Indian Villages, 568—Totem Poles, 569—Mission Work, 570 —
Little Jim          571
The Inland Passage,   572—Boundless View, 575—Metlakahtla,
576—Port Simpson          578
Alaska, 578—St. Elias, 581—The Stickeen, 583—Sitka, 585—
" Home of the Glaciers "       587
Port Moody, 589—Giant Pines, 590—A Salmon Cannery, 592—
New Westminster, 594 — Mountain Glory and Mountain
Gloom, 596—Banff Springs, 600—Fountains of Healing, 602
—Grand Scenery, 603—Our Heritage, 606—Its Future       608 I LIST OE ENGEAVINGS.
Many of them Full Page.
Niagara Falls in Winter    Frontispiece
Wolfe's Cove, Quebec     16
Halifax, from the Citadel  20
Intercolonial Station, Halifax... 27
A Fishing Village, Cape Breton. 31
North Sydney, Ship-Railway. .. 33
Ruins of Louisburg  37
Primitive Post Office, Cape Breton   42
Tail-piece   43
Expulsion of the Acadians  46
Grand Pre  49
Ancient Archway, Annapolis. .. 53
In the Bay of Fundy   56
Salmon Stream  60
Moose Hunting     62
Folly Viaduct   64
Tail-pieces 66, 73
City of St. John's, Newfoundland 74
Entrance to St. John's     76
Signal Station, St. John's  78
Fish Curing, St. John's  82
Fish Flakes  84
Seal Hunter in Snow Storm  89
Sealers at Work    94
Betts' Cove, Notre Dame Bay .. 98
Placentia     99
Tail-piece   107
Suspension Bridge, St. John,N.B. 108
Beacon Light     113
St. John, N.B   114
Timber Ship  116
Cantilever Bridge, St. John  117
Old Fort  118
St. John Biver  120
Martello Tower     121
River Landing  124
The Cliffs, Grand Manan    128
Salmon Fishing     132
Sugar-Loaf Mountain  134
Tail-piece   135
Quebec from the Citadel     136
Mill Stream   138
Salmon Fishing      139
On the Causapscal      140
Grand and Petit Metis      146
Canadian Sawmills  150
Falls of Riviere du Loup      151
Capes Trinity and Eternity  ....  15^
Old Church, Tadousac   15C
City of Quebec   161
Quebec, from Point Levis   168
Quebec in 1837   170
Wolfe's Old Monument   171
Old Poplars and Ramparts   ....  172
Shell Guns   173
Interior of the Citadel     174.
Old St. John's Gate   176
Esplanade, Quebec   178
Sous Le Cap Alley   179
A Street in Quebec  180
Old French House     181
Old Hope Gate  182
Citadel, from the Wharf   183
View  from Governor - General's
Head-quarters   184 xii
Chain Gate and Martello Tower. 185
Inside Citadel    186
St. John's Gate I   157
Old Prescott Gate    >
St. John's Gate in Winter "1   188
New St. Louis Gate    '
New Kent Gate    1  jgg
Old Hope Gate *
The Death of Wolfe   190
Wolfe's New Monument   191
Old St. Louis Gate I   192
Face of Citadel Cliff      194
Old Palace Gate    197
A Caleche   198
Timber Rafts on St. Lawrence.. 204
On Lake Memphremagog 209,212
Bon Secours Church     224
Place d'Armes  225
Montreal from the Mountain   .. 226
In Jacques Cartier Square  229
New Methodist Church1  231
Victoria Bridge, Montreal  233
Montreal Ice Palace     234
Inside the Ice Palace  235
Obstacle Race on the Ice  I  236
Montreal Snow Shoe Club  238
Tobogganing on Mount Royal .. 239
Games on the River     240
Tail-piece   241
Niagara Falls     242
Parliament Buildings, Ottawa .. 244
City of Ottawa  246
Parliament Buildings 247
Departmental Buildings, E. Block 248
" 1     W.    I    249
Post Office, Ottawa  250
Military College, Kingston    253
Twilight   Amid   the   Thousand
Islands    256
The Devil's Oven  257
Among the Isles   258
Nature's Carnival of Isles  259
Lighthouse in Thousand Islands. 260
Descending Lachine Rapids ....  266
Raft in the Rapids  267
Running the Rapids 268
Tail-piece    ^'l
New Parliament Biiildings 272
Toronto in 1S34     273
Old Blockhouse     274
Toronto  275
Custom House, Toronto  276
Osgoode Hall     277
Metropolitan Methodist Church. 27S
St. James' Cathedral  279
St. Alban's Cathedral   280
New Western Meth. Church  281
Sherbourno St. Meth. Church .. 282
Exhibition Buildings  283
Horticultural Gardens     284
Government House  285
Exhibition Grounds....,  286
Toronto Univei'sity  287
At High Park    288
Tail-piece   289
Governor Simcoe  290
St. Mark's Church  293
Interior St. Mark's Church    294
Miss Rye's Orphanage    295
Fort Missisauga, Niagara 298
W.   H.   Rowland's   Residence,
Niagara Assembly   306
Sunny Bunk  307
Lansdowne Villa  308
View from Queenston Heights .    309
Brock's Monument  310
Below the Cantilever Bridge.... 311
Cantilever Bridge—Building Pier 312
Cantilever Bridge      313
Building Cantilever Bridge  .... 314
I E. Pier. 315
Cantilever Bridge—Constructing
Overhang  316
Below the American Falls 317
Niagara Falls by Moonlight 318
Diagram of Lake Levels  319
Ferry Landing, Canadian Side,. 320
Falls of Niagara, " " ,, 321
Niagara Falls in 1674  322 LIST OF ENGRA VINGS.
Niagara River, Canadian Side
Horse Shoe Falls	
Bridge to Luna Isle...
The Cataract above Goat Is!
From Goat Island   	
The American Fall, Canadian
The American Fall 	
Old Terrapin Tower	
The Bridge Leading to Bath and
Goat Island	
Bird's-eye View of Falls. • Canadian Side 	
Beneath Canadian Falls	
Icicles and Stalagmites 	
Winter Foliage, Goat Island	
Niagara in Winter	
Suspension Bridge  	
Whirlpool, Niagara	
Whirlpool Rapids   	
Grand Rapids of Niagara ......
Sunday Morning in Ontario	
On the Canal	
Old Grist Mill	
Grimsby Park 	
Victoria Terrace	
Park Row	
Vineyard at East Hamilton	
Farm Scenery  	
Hamilton, Ontario	
On the Grand River   	
Indian Village	
London, Ontario ,	
Canadian Homestead, Delaware.
Torpedoing Oil Well 	
Burning Well   	
Oil Tank on Fire	
A Still Sequestered Nook	
352 !
Bits in Muskoka  370
Old Anchor, Holland Landing.. 372
Grape Island, Simcoe  373
Falls of the Severn  374
On the Severn   375
Granite Notch  376
High Falls, Bracebridge  377
Sportsman's Paradise 378
Duck Shooting on Lake Rosseau 379*
Making a Portage     380
Running a Rapid  381
Natural Bridge, Mackinac     383
Sault Ste. Marie  384
C. P. R. Bridge over Don Valley 386-
On Charbot Lake  388-
St. Lawrence Bridge   389-
French-Canadian Village    390'
Head Waters of the Ottawa .... 391
Saw Mill in the Woods  392
Typical Saw Mills     393.
Part of Logging Camp     394
In the Pine Forest   395
Loading Logs     396
Loading Logs with Cant-hooks. * 397
Canadian Autumn    399'
Drawing Logs on the Ice    400
A Log Jam     407
Breaking a Log Jam    '  408
Down at the Boom  412
Rafting at the Mattawa  411
In a C. P. R. Sleeping Car   .... 413-
Thunder Cape  418
McKay's Mountain  419
Kakabeka Falls     420-
Rat Portage  421
On Lake-of-the-Woods    422-
An Immigrant Train   424
Breaking up a Prairie Farm .... 426
Sulky Ploughs on Bell Farm    .. 428
Princess Louise Bridge   431
Winnipeg in 1S72     432.
Winnipeg in 1884        434
Old-Fort Garry  437
Town Hall, Winnipeg  438
Homestead Farm, Kildonan 440'
Red River Cart  441
On the Prairie  443
Brandon, Manitoba  444
Qu'Appelle Valley   448 XIV
Prairie Ploughing  449
Bell Farm, Indian Head Station. 450
Twenty-three Reapers at Work. 452
Indian Medicine Man  454
Assiniboine Indian Half-breed .. 455
Squaw with Papoose  456
Indian Lad     456
Camping Scenes    457
Half-Breed and Huskie Dog .... 459
Old Time Trading Post  460
Hudson Bay Post 461
Hunter's Winter Camp  462
Shooting a Rapid  464
Making a Portage     465
Tracking a Canoe     466
Portage Landing  467
A Northern River    ".  468
Fishing Through the Ice     469
Indians Drying Buffalo Meat   .. 471
Snow-Shoeing   472
Dog Train and Indian Runner .. 474
Rev.  E.  R.  Young, in Winter
Costume  475
A Fight in Harness  476
Rev. H. B. Steinhauer    478
Camping Out in the North-West 480
War Dance in the Sky     481
The Giant of Lake Winnipeg   .. 482
An Indian Village    484
Tepees of the Plain Indian   .... 485
Indian Grave on the Plains  .... 486
Rev. Geo. M. McDougall   487
Indian Missionary    488
Indian Type, with Eagle Headdress  490
Indian Type, with Bears' Claws
Necklace  491
Thayendinaga, Joseph Brant.... 492
Pawnee Chief in War Dress .... 493
Prairie Happy Family  495
Fowling in the Far West  497
Medicine Hat    498
Savagery vs. Civilization  501
Foothills of the Rockies  505
The Rocky Mountains from Bow
Approaching the Rockies  507
At Canmore   508
Summit of the Rockies   509
On the Kicking Horse  510
Rocky Mountains from Canmore 513
Field Station and Mt. Stephen.. 515
Morning on the Mountains    516
Mount Stephen, near Summit..   517
Beaver Lake  518
Silver City and Castle Mountain. 519
Surveyors' Camp  520
Beaver Foot Range  521
In the Heart of the Selkirks  5*23
Mountain Torrent      524
In the Selkirks—View near Glacier House ,  525
Glacier of the Selkirks     526
Snow Sheds   527
Mirror Lake  528
In the Illicilliwaet 529
River Canyon      530
Wire Rope Ferry on the Colum-'
bia    531
The Lower Columbia and Mount
Hood  532
Mount Hood  533
■ Salmon Wheel and Fisherman .. 534
Shuswap Lake   535
Near Kamloops     536
On the Thompson River  537
On Cariboo Creek        538
A Glacier  '.  539
Tunnel on the Fraser   540
Another Tunnel    ~|
At the Cliff Foot J
The Old Cariboo Road    542
Before the Railway   543
Oh the Road to Cariboo Mines.. 544
Store at Leech River, B.C  545
Rattlesnake Grade, B.C  546
Yale, B.C  547
On the Lower Fraser  548
Rail vs. River   549
The Germ of Vancouver  551
Norwegian Barque  553
In the Gulf of Georgia  554
City of Victoria     555
The Olympian Range  557
Mount Baker, from Victoria.... 558
In Esquimault Harbour  559
A Burden Bearer  560
Young China     561
Chinese Artists  562
Chinese Gentlemen  563
A Chinese Joss-House     565
The Little Bride  567
Indian Village and Totem Poles. 569
Indian Graves   570
On the Inland Passage     573
A Heavy Sea  574
Sunset on the Pacific  575
Nature's Monument  576
West Coast Indian Village  577
Fir Forest, Alaska*  579
Sitka, Alaska     581
Alaskan Cliffs    582
Thousand Islands, Sitka  584
Interior of Greek Church  586
Arctic Fjord in Winter  587
Typical Glacier  588
Among the Douglas' Pines    .... 590
Hauling Saw Logs, B.C  591
A Log Team .  594
Saw Mills in British Columbia.. 595
Chinese Barber  596
Yale, and Fraser Canyon   597
New Westminster, B.C  598
Mount Tacoma  599
Banff  600
On the Bow River    601
The Mountain Solitude   603
On the Head Waters of the Mat-
tawa     605 »:M3r53»iM?*f»3»«
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THE Dominion of Canada comprises an area in round
numbers of 3,500,000 square miles. This is nearly-
equal to the extent of the whole continent of Europe, and is
127,000 square miles greater than the whole of the United
States of America. It extends from east to west 3,500 miles,
and from south to north about 1,900 miles. A large proportion
of this vast territory is very fertile, while much of the uncul-
tivable portion abounds in mineral wealth. It has the largest
and best wheat-producing area in the world. Its forests present the amplest supply of the finest timber yet remaining to
man. Its fisheries, both of the Atlantic and Pacific Coast, exceed in value those of any other country. Of this magnificent
national inheritance we purpose to give a concise description,
with copious pictorial illustrations.
Throughout the length and breadth of this great country the
present writer has travelled extensively—from the rocky extremity of Cape Breton, lashed with the Atlantic surges, to the
forest-crested heights of Vancouver Island, whence one sees the
sun go down in golden glory beneath the boundless-seeming
waters of the Pacific <§|cean. Most of the descriptions which
follow are the result of personal experience and observation.
Where these sources fail, I draw upon the best available authorities. I shall take the reader, who favours me with his attention,
freely into my confidence, and address him frankly in the first 18
person. It is hoped that a more familiar acquaintance with the
magnificent extent, and varied beauty, and almost boundless
resources of our country will foster among us a still more
ardent patriotism and devotion to its welfare.
D. Cameron, Esq., of Lucknow, in the Canadian Methodist Magazine
for December, 1887, describes the extent and resources of the Dominion, as
" Few realize from the mere quotations of figures the enormous extent
of our great country. For instance", Ontario is larger than Spain, nearly
as large as France, nearly as large as the great German Empire, as large as
Sweden, Denmark and Belgium, and larger than Italy, Switzerland, Denmark, Belgium, and Portugal.
"Quebec is as large as Norway, Holland, Portugal and Switzerland.
British Columbia is as large as France, Norway and Belgium. Nova Scotia
and New Brunswick are as large as Portugal and Denmark. Ontario and
Quebec are nearly as large as France, Italy, Portugal, Holland and Belgium.
"Canada is forty times as large as England, Wales and Scotland combined.
New South Wales contains an area of 309,175 square miles, and is larger
than France, Italy and Sicily; and yet Canada would make eleven countries
the size of New South Wales. British India is large enough to contain a
population of 250,000 millions; and yet three British Indias could be
carved out of Canada, and still leave enough to make a Queensland and a
Victoria. Canada is sixteen times as large as the great German Empire,
with its twenty-seven provinces, and its overshadowing influence in European affairs.
'' These magnificent fresh-water seas of Canada, together with the maj estic
St. Lawrence, form an unbroken water communication for 2,140 miles.
" Our fisheries are the richest in the world. The deep sea fisheries of
Canada, including those of Newfoundland, yielded in 1881 the enormous
product of $20,000,000, or about double the average value of the fisheries
of the United States, and nearly equal in value to the whole produce of
the British European fisheries. In 1885, the fisheries of Canada alone
yielded nearly $18,000,000.
"Our magnificent forests are of immense value, and contain no less than
sixty-nine different varieties of wood. In 1885, our exports of products of
the forest amounted to $21,000,000.
| Our mines, which are yet in their infancy of development, give promise
of vast wealth. Coal in.abundance is found in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, British Columbia and the North-West Territories. Our coal areas
are estimated at upwards of 100,000 square miles, not including areas
known, but as yet quite undeveloped, in the far North. Already coal areas
to the extent of 65,000 square miles have been discovered in the North-
West, while Nova Scotia and New Brunswick contain 18,000 square miles —
of this important element of wealth. When it is remembered that the
entire coal area of Great Britain covers only 11,900 square miles, the extent of our resources in this direction will be appreciated.
" Canada has also valuable mines of gold, silver, iron, lead, copper and
other metals. The gold mines of British Columbia have yielded during the
past twenty-five years over $50,000,000 worth of the precious metal, while
Nova Scotia has, up to the present, produced nearly $8,000,000 worth.
We have upwards of 12,000 miles of railway in operation, representing the
enormous value of over $625,000,000.
"In 1868 we had but 8,500 miles of electric telegraph. To-day we have
over 50,000 miles, besides an important and growing telephone service.
" Canada is the third maritime power of the world, being exceeded only
by Great Britain and the United States.
"The trade of Canada is assuming highly respectable proportions, and
gives further evidence of the energetic and enterprising character of our
people. In 1868, the first year of Confederation, our total trade was
$131,000,000. In 1883 it had grown to $230,000,000, an increase of
$100,000,000, or an average of nearly $7,000,000 dollars a year. The Bank
of Montreal, a purely Canadian institution, is the largest, wealthiest, most
influential and widely-extended banking corporation in the world unconnected with Government.
'' Our public works especially evidence the pluck, energy and enterprise
of the Canadian people. The Canadian Pacific Railway, that mighty transcontinental line, recently completed from ocean to ocean, binding the scattered parts of this vast Confederation together, is the longest railway in the
world, and is the most stupendous public enterprise ever undertaken and
successfully accomplished by a country of the population of this Dominion.
The Intercolonial Railway, connecting Quebec with the Maritime Provinces,
covers 890 miles, and cost over $40,000 000; while the Grand Trunk Railway was, until the completion of the Canadian Pacific, the longest railway
in the world under one management, its tofal length being 3,300 miles.
': Canada has constructed twenty-three miles of canals at a cost of nearly
$30,000,000." WiimiiUMUMa
mmrWmKMmmm i
E will begin our survey of our noble national inheritance, with the sea-board province of Nova Scotia,
which stretches its deeply-indented peninsula far out into
the Atlantic, as if to be the first portion of the Dominion
to welcome visitors from the Old World. With the exception
of Prince Edward Island, it is the smallest of the Canadian
Provinces. Its entire length from Cape St., Mary to Cape
Canseau is 386 miles. It breadth varies from 50 to 104 miles.
Its area is 18,670 square miles. Its soil is generally fertile, and
its climate is favourable to agriculture. For fruits of the apple
family it is unsurpassed, and good grapes are often grown in
the open air. It was said by an old French writer that Acadia
produced readily everything that grew in France, except the
olive. No country of its size in the world has more numerous
or more excellent harbours; and, except Great Britain, no
country has, in proportion to its population, so large a tonnage
-of shipping.
Halifax, the capital of the province, occupies a commanding
position on one of the finest harbours in the world. It is the
•chief naval station of Great Britain in the western hemisphere,
and here in landlocked security "all the navies of Europe"
might safely float. The city slopes majestically up from the
waterside to the citadel-crowned height of two hundred and
fifty feet, and around it sweeps the North-West Arm, a winding
inlet, bordered with elegant villas. The citadel was begun by
the Duke of Kent, father of Queen Victoria, and has been continually strengthened till it has become a fortress of the first
On a glorious summer morning in August, 1887,1 climbed the
■citadel hill. Never was a more perfect day. Earth and sky
were new washed by a recent rain.    The magnificent harbour 22 , THE CITADEL.
sparkled like sapphire. The signal flagstaff's of the fort made-
it look like a three-masted ship that had stranded on a lofty
hill-top. On every side sloped' the smooth glacis, with the
quaint town clock in the foreground. Peaceful kine cropped
the herbage even to the edge of the deep moat, from whose
inner side rose a massive wall, concealing huge earth-roofed
and sodded casemates within and presenting yawning embrasures above.
A garrulous old sailor with telescope beneath his arm
sauntered along. He kindly pointed out the chief objects of
interest—the many churches, the men-of-war and merchant
shipping; on the opposite shore the pleasant town of Dartmouth, the distant forts, George's Island, which lay like a toy
fort beneath the eye, carved and scarped and clothed with living
green, and farther off McNab's Island and the far-stretching
vista to the sea, just as shown in the engraving on page 20.
Mine ancient mariner had sailed out of Halifax as boy and
man for forty years, and was full of reminiscences. He pointed
out the tortuous channel by which the confederate cruiser
Tallahasse escaped to sea one dark night, despite a blockading
United States squadron. He said that the harbour was studded
with mine torpedoes which could blow any ship out of the
water; and that a hostile vessel attempting to enter at night*
would strike electric buoys which would so indicate her position
that the fire of all the forts could be concentrated upon her in
the dark.
Presently a crowd began to gather on the hillside, including
many old bronzed tars, red-jackets and artillery-men, and I
discovered that a grand regatta was to come off between the
yachts Dauntless and Galatea. The bay was full of sails
flitting to and fro, and like snowy sea-birds with wings aslant,
in the brisk breeze the contending yachts swept out to sea.
I thought what gallant fleets had ploughed these waves during
the hundred years that the harbour had been a great naval
rendezvous. It was a pretty sight to see the boat-drill of the
blue-jackets of the great sea-kraken Bellerophcm, or "Bitty
Ruffin," as mine ancient mariner called it—as they manoeuvred
.around the huge flag-ship. •
fymu.'   >• ■—friwhftaa PUBLIC GARDENS.
Near the citadel hill are the public gardens, comprising
seventeen acres, beautifully laid out, with broad parterres and
floral designs. Nowhere else have I ever seen such good taste
and beautiful gardening, except, perhaps, at the royal pleasaunce
of Hampton Court. Certainly, I know no American public
.gardens that will compare with these. The old gardener was
as proud of his work as a mother of her babe, and as fond of
hearing it praised. • In the evening I attended a military concert
here. The scene was like fairyland. Festoons of coloured lights
illuminated the grounds and outlined every spar and rope of a
toy ship that floated on a tiny lake. On this lake a novel kind
of water fire-works were exhibited, and the orderly and well-
dressed throngs sauntered to and fro enjoying a ministry of
beauty that many larger cities might emulate.
Near the gardens is the new cemetery. The older burying
ground is of special interest. On some of the mossy slabs, beneath
the huge trees, I found inscriptions dating back a hundred
years. The monument of Welsford and Parker, Nova Scotian
heroes of the Crimean war, is finely conceived. A massive
arch supports a statue of a grim-looking lion—the very embodiment of British defiance. Here is the common grave of
fourteen officers of the war-ships Chesapeake and Shannon,
which crept side by side into the harbour, reeking like a shambles after a bloody sea-fight over seventy years ago. I observed
the graves of four generations of the honoured family of Hali-
burton. On a single stone were the names of eleven A. B.
sailors—victims of yellow fever. On some of the older slabs
symbolism was run mad. On one I noticed a very fat cherub,
a skull and cross-bones, an hour-glass and a garland of flowers.
Opposite this quiet God's acre is the quaint old brown stone
Government House, where Governor Ritchie, the honoured son
of an honoured sire, presides with dignity and grace. In the
Court House, near by, is a novel contrivance. The prisoner is
brought from the adjacent jail by a covered passage, and is
shot up into the dock on a slide trap, like a jack-in-a-box. The
Hospital and Asylums for the Blind and for the Poor, the latter-
said to have cost $260,000, are fine specimens of architecture,
as is also the New Dalhousie College.    The new city buildings 24
will be a magnificent structure. The old Parliament House
was considered, sixty years ago, the finest building in America.
It is still quite imposing. Dr. Allison, the accomplished Superintendent of Education, showed me in the library, what might
be called the Doomsday Book of Nova Scotia, with the register
of the names and taxable property of, among others, my grandfather and grand-uncles, who wereU. E. Loyalist refugees from
I was told a story of the Wesfeyan Book-Room, which if
not true deserves to be. A Yankee book peddler seeing over
the door the word "Wesleyan," asked if Mr. Wesley was in.
I He has been dead nearly a hundred years," said the clerk.
II beg pardon," replied the peddler, | I'm a stranger in these
Few cities in the world can present so noble a drive as that
through the beautiful Point Pleasant Park—on the one side the
many-twinkling smile of ocean, on the other a balm-breathing
forest and the quiet beauty of the winding North-West Arm.
At one point, in the old war times, a heavy iron chain was
stretched across this inlet to prevent the passage of hostile
I crossed afterwards, in a golden sunset, to the pleasant town
of Dartmouth, with its snow-white houses and neat gardens.
The waters of the broad bay were flashing like a sea of glass
mingled with fire; and a few minutes later deepened into
crimson, as if the sinking sun had turned them into blood, as
did Moses the waters of the Nile. The return trip in the
darkening twilight was very impressive. The huge hulks of
the warships loomed vaguely in the gathering gloom, while the
waves quivered with many a light from ship and shore—the
white blaze of the electric lamps contrasting with the ruddy
glow of the oil lanterns on the crowded shipping.
Halifax is in appearance and social tone probably the most
British city on the continent. Long association with the army
and navy have accomplished this. For a hundred years British
red-coats and blue-jackets thronged its streets. Princes and
dukes, admirals and generals, captains and colonels, held high
command and dispensed a graceful hospitality, royal salutes HISTORIC MEMORIES.
were fired from fort and fleet, yards were manned and gay
bunting fluttered in the breeze, drums beat and bugles blew
with a pomp and circumstance equalled not even at the fortress-city of Quebec. It is to a stranger somewhat amusing to
see the artillery-troopers striding about, with their legs wide
apart, their clanking spurs, their natty canes, and their tiny
caps perched on the very corner of their heads.
I One should have a sail on Bedford Basin," says one who
knew Halifax well, " that fair expanse of water—broad, deep,
blue, and beautiful. It was on the shore of this Basin that the
Duke of Kent had his residence, and the remains of the music
pavilion still stands on a height which overlooks the water.
The \ Prince's Lodge,' as it is called, may be visited during the
land drive to Bedford, but the place is sadly shorn of its former
glory; and the railway, that destroyer of all sentiment, runs
directly through the grounds. It was a famous place in its
day, however, and the memory of the Queen's father will long
continue to be held in honour by the Halifax people." I saw
in the Parliamentary library a striking portrait of the Duke of
Kent, wonderfully like his daughter, Queen Victoria, in her
later years.
" Halifax has communication with all parts of the world, by
steamer and sailing vessel. Hither come the ocean steamships
with mails and passengers, and numbers of others which make
this a port to call on their way to and from other places. A
large trade is carried on with Europe, the United States, and
the West Indies, and from here, also, one may visit the fair
Bermudas, or the rugged Newfoundland."
The early history of Halifax is one of romantic interest.
Nearly half a century had passed since the cession of Acadia to
Great Britain by the peace of Utrecht, yet not a step had been
taken towards settlement. An energetic movement was made
for the colonization of the country, under the auspices of the
Board of Trade and Plantations, of which Lord Halifax was
the President. On account of its magnificent harbour, one of
the finest in the world, Chebucto, or Halifax, as it was henceforth to be called, in honour of the chief projector .of the enterprise, was selected as the site of the new settlement.    In the 26
month of July, 1749, Governor Cornwallis, in H.M. ship
Sphynx, followed by a fleet of thirteen transports, conveying
nearly three thousand settlers,—disbanded soldiers, retired
officers, mechanics, labourers, and persons of various rank—
reached Chebucto Bay. On a rising ground, overlooking the
noble bay, the woods were cleared and the streets of a town
laid out. In busy emulation, the whole company was soon at
work, and before winter three hundred log-houses were constructed, besides a fort, store-houses, and residence for the
Governor,—the whole surrounded by a palisade.
It has been since then the scene of many a gallant pageant, but
none of these, I think, were of greater moral significance than one
which I witnessed thirty years ago. I happened to be in Halifax
when the steamship arrived with the first Atlantic submarine
telegraph cable. She was a rust-stained, grimy-looking craft, sea-
worn with a long and stormy voyage. But never gallant ship
received a warmer or a more well-deserved greeting. A double
royal salute was fired from fort and fleet, yards were manned and
many-coloured bunting fluttered, in honour of the greatest scientific achievement of recent times. The first message transmitted
was one of peace on earth and good will to men—an augury of
the blessed time when the whole world shall be knit together
in bonds of brotherhood. But alas ! the continuity of the cable
was in a short time interrupted, and the whispered voice beneath the sea from the Old World to the New for nearly ten
years was silent. To overcome the loss of faith in the scheme
and other obstacles to its completion, its daring projector, Cyrus
W. Field, crossed the Atlantic fifty times, and at last, like a new
Columbus, to use the words of John Bright, 1 moored the New
World alongside of the Old ;" or, to adopt the beautiful simile
of Dr. George Wilson, welded the marriage-ring which united
two hemispheres.
The accompanying cut gives a good idea of the handsome Halifax terminus of the Intercolonial Railway. Till the completion
of the Canadian Pacific this was our greatest national work. It
still is a system of incalculable value to the Maritime Provinces.
Before these great roads were completed, the Dominion was a
giant without bones.    But these roads, extending nearly four THE SHUBENACADIE.
thousand miles from the Atlantic to the Pacific, have given it a
backbone, a spinal cord, and a vital artery that will contribute marvellously to its organic life and energy.
Intercolonial Railway Station, Halifax.
It was on a bright August day that I left Halifax for a run
through Eastern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island. As
the train swept around Bedford Basin, magnificent vistas by
sea and land were obtained. As we advanced, the fair expanse
of Grand Lake, and the beautiful valley of the Shubenacadie,
gave variety to the scenery. The Shubenacadie is a large swift
stream, and was at one time regarded as the future highway of
commerce across the province. More than fifty years ago the
people of Halifax resolved to construct a canal connecting this
river with tide water at Dartmouth. Surveys were made and
a number of locks were built, the stone for which, I was told,
was all brought out ready hewn from Scotland—genuine
Aberdeen granite—^-though not a whit better than that on
the spot.    But the canal was never built, and never will be. 28
The railway has more than filled its place, and the locks make
picturesque ruins and water-falls along the projected route of
the canal.
Colchester County, through which we are now passing,
abounds in large tracts of rich intervale and excellent upland,
which makes the district a good one for the farmer—one of the
best in Nova Scotia. The pretty town of Truro, near the head
of Cobequid Bay, with its elegant villas, trim lawns and gardens, and magnificent" shade trees, presents a very attractive
appearance. The Provincial Normal and Model Schools are
noteworthy features of the place. The town is nearly surrounded by an amphitheatre of gracefully rounded hills, and
on the west by the old diked meadows of the Acadian period.
On the Cobequid mountains, and on the upper waters of the
Stewiacke River, are found considerable numbers of Caribou
and Moose deer. There is also, for devotees of the rod, very
fine fishing in some of the picturesque streams.
The branch of the Intercolonial running east from Trurq
passes through one of the most extensive coal-fields of Nova
Scotia. It is said that there are no less than seventy-six fields
of coal, with an aggregate thickness of not less than 14,750 feet.
Stellarton is a' populous village, dependent almost entirely on
the coal industry. New Glasgow is an important manufacturing and ship-building place, with extensive steel, iron and
glass works. The green hills by which it is surrounded contrast pleasantly with its somewhat grimy and smoky streets.
A short run by rail brings one down to Pictou Harbour, on
the opposite side of which, sloping gracefully up from the
water-side, is the old and wealthy town of Pictou, with about
4,000 inhabitants. Pictou has the honour of having given to
Canada two of its most distinguished men—Sir J. W. Dawson,
Principal of McGill University, Montreal, and the Rev. Dr!
Grant, Principal of Queen's University, Kingston.
For a considerable distance east of New Glasgow the country
is monotonous and uninteresting, though the glorious sunlight
glittering on the ever-restless aspens and the lichen-covered
rocks, brightens into beauty, what under a dull sky must be a
sufficiently dreary outlook.    At length, in the distance loom up STRAIT OF CANSEA U.
the twin-towers of a huge cathedral, and the train draws up at
the pretty Catholic village of Antigonish—the most picturesque
in eastern Nova Scotia. The scene at the station is like a bit
of Lower Canada—two nuns in a caleche, a couple of priests, a
group of seminary students. But the people are Scottish, not
French, Catholics. The cathedral is dedicated to the Scottish
Saint, Ninian, and on the facade is the Gaelic inscription, Tighe
Dhe—I the House of God." The Antigonish mountains, reaching an altitude .of a thousand feet, trend off northward in a
bold cape into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Tracadie is a small
French settlement on the railway, commanding a splendid view
of St. George's Bay and the Gulf. Here is a wealthy monastery, belonging to the Trappists, the most severe of the monastic
orders. The monks, who are mostly from Belgium, add the
business of millers to their more spiritual functions. The
people belong to the old Acadian race, which gave such a
pathetic interest to this whole region.
The railway runs on to the strait of Canseau, amid picturesque mountains, commanding magnificent views over the
Gulf. This strait, the great highway between the Gulf of St.
Lawrence and the North Atlantic Coast, is some fourteen miles
in length and about a mile in width. It is of itself a picture
worth coming far to see, on account of its natural beauty; but
when on a summer's day hundreds of sail are passing through,
the scene is one to delight an artist's soul. On the Nova Scotia
side the land is high, and affords a glorious view both of the
strait and of the western section of Cape Breton. The prospect both up and down the strait is pleasing in the extreme.
It is traversed, it is claimed, by more keels than any other
strait in the world, except that of Gibraltar. The steam
whistle at its entrance, which is blown constantly in foggy
weather, can be heard with the wind twenty miles, and in calm
weather fifteen miles.
From Port Mulgrave, the railway terminus, small steamers
convey tourists to Port Hood, in Cape Breton, and to the
flourishing town of Guysborough, on the mainland. 30
Before we visit Cape Breton let us glance for a moment at
its general characteristics. The island is so named from its
early discovery by the mariners of Breton, in France. It is
about one hundred miles long by eighty wide. The Sydney
coal fields are of peculiar richness, and cover 250 square miles.
The magnificent Bras' d'Or Lakes are a great inlet of the sea,
ramifying .through the centre of the island and bordered by
bold and majestic hills, rising to, in places, a* height of over
1,000 feet. The scenery is of surpassing loveliness. To
thread the intricate navigation by steamer is a delightful
The Great Bras d'Or is a channel from the sea of nearly
thirty miles—a continuous panorama of bold and majestic
scenery. The Little Bras d'Or is a narrow and river- like
passage through which the tides sweep rapidly, and' where
the water-view is sometimes limited to a few score feet, so
tortuous is the channel. The surrounding hills are not more
than five or six hundred feet in height, but their pleasing lines,
and purple shadows, and reposeful beauty delight the eye and
rest the mind. Many of the inhabitants of the- island are descendants of the original Acadian settlers, and retain the French
language and the Roman Catholic religion. A larger proportion of the population are of Highland Scottish origin, and
many of them still speak the Gaelic tongue.
The pleasure of visiting this delightful, but comparatively
little known, part of Canada we enjoyed under especially
favourable circumstances. Taking the good steamer Marion
at Port Mulgrave, we sailed down the strait in the brilliant
afternoon sunlight which made the' grassy shores gleam like
living emerald. We passed through a winding channel, dividing Cape Breton and Isle Madame. The latter was settled
a century ago by Acadian exiles, whose descendants now number 5,000. They are mostly bold and skilful fishermen. It is
a pleasant sight to see these sturdy fellows haul their boats
ashore, as shown in our engraving. The fishing villages, of
which the stables and out-houses—roofs and all—were white- ISLE MADAME.
washed, shone like the snowy tents of an army. One sturdy
peasant, who came down with his ox-team to the wharf, might
just have stepped out of a picture by Millet. I was struck
with the lonely little lighthouses which stud the channel, which
seemed the very acme of isolation.
A Pishing Village—Cape Breton.
Our steamer-passed through the recently constructed St.
Peter's Canal, from the broad Atlantic to the secluded waters
of the Bras d'Or Lake. It was so solitary, so solemn in the
golden glow of sunset, that it seemed as if
| We were the first that ever burst
Into that silent sea." 32
I will let the facile pen of Charles Dudley Warner describe
the pleasant scene:
I The Bras d'Or is the most beautiful salt-water lake I have ever seen,
and more beautiful than we had imagined a body of salt-water could be.
The water seeks out all the low places, and ramifies the interior, running
away into lovely bays and lagoons, leaving slender tongues of land and
picturesque islands, and bringing into the recesses of the land, to the remote country farms and settlements the flavour of salt, and the fish
and mollusks of the briny sea. It has all the pleasantness of a freshwater lake, with all the advantages of a salt one. So indented is it, that I
am not sure but one would need, as we were informed, to ride 1000 miles
to go round it, following all its incursions into the land. The hills around
it are not more than 700 to 800 feet high, but they are high enough for
reposeful beauty, and offer everywhere pleasing lines."
As we sailed on over the enchanted lake the saffron sky
deepened slowly into gold and purple, and at length the
gathering shadows hid the shores from view, except where
the red light of Baddeck glimmered over the wave. I turned
in early, that I might be up by daylight to see the beauty of
the famous " Golden Arm." With the first dawn I was awake,
and found the steamer threading a channel about a mile wide,
between the lofty St. Anne range and the highlands of Bou-
larderie. The farm-houses and fishermen's cottages seemed
absolutely insignificant beneath the lofty wood-crowned hills
behind them. Presently a lurid sunrise reddened the eastern
sky and lit up the hill-tops, when I saw what seemed beacon
fires, kindling all along the shore. But I soon found that it
was the reflection of the level rays from the fishermen's windows. So illusory did it seem, that I was almost certain that
they were camp-fires, till I found that they went out as rapidly
as they had been kindled, when the angle of reflection was
Soon we pass out of the channel into the ocean, exposed to
the broad sweep of the Atlantic, leaving the surf-beaten Bird-
rock, rising abruptly from the waves on the left, while to the
right stretch away the stately mountains of St. Anne's, culminating in the ever-cloud-capped headland, Smoky Cape. At
length we turn into a wide harbour, where we are told the
mines run far beneath  the  sea.    The steamer stops first at SYDNEY.
North Sydney—a busy coal-shipping port with a marine railway, and the relay station of the American submarine Cable,
where all the news is transferred to the land-wires. About
thirty or forty operators, I was informed, were employed.
North Sydney, Ship-Railway.
Seven miles further and we reach old Sydney—one of the
most delightfully quaint and curious old-fashioned places to be
found in America. On the hip-h ridg-e are the remains of the
old Government Building. For be it known, Sydney was once
an independent province with a parliament of its own. But
its. ancient grandeur is fading away. The shore is lined with
decaying wharfs, and broken-backed and sagging houses—
which seem as if they would slip into the water—with queer
little windows, and very small panes of glass. I saw at Oxford,
England, an old Saxon church, which looked less ancient than
the Roman Catholic chapel of this town. On the dilapidated
old court-house was the appropriate motto, Fiat Justitia. But
everything was not old. There were two new churches in
course of erection, a large and imposing academy, elegant
steam-heated houses, and a long and lofty coaling wharf, where
they could load a ship with 300 tons of coal, or 70 cars, in an 34
hour, and where ocean-going steamers have received cargoes of
3,700 tons.
The hotel at which I stopped was very comfortable, or
would have been so, but for one or two slight drawbacks. A
chimney came up in the middle of my bedroom and took up
nearly all the space ; the water ewer was, I think, the smallest
I ever saw; the door was so warped that it would not shut; the
window was so low that I had to sit on the floor to look out
with comfort; a pane of glass out, and I could not tell where
the wind came from, and the glass that was in was so twisted
and warped that it distorted everything outside in a very
absurd manner. For instance, a man passing the window, as
seen through one pane, reminded one of Milton's description
of Satan, as he sat "squat like a toad close at the ear of Eve."
As he passed the window bar he appeared to shoot up suddenly
into the stature of the tall archangel that erect walked in
Eden. Such glass is apt to be embarrassing; it is hard to
recognize through it one's most intimate friends. But barring
these slight defects, the house was most comfortable. I was
surprised at the pleasant tinkle of a piano, and I have seldom
eaten more appetising meals, sweeter lamb, or more tender
vegetables ; and for all this the price was exceedingly modest.
Indeed, one of the advantages of touring in Cape Breton is that
one cannot spend very much money, the prices of everything
are so very moderate. The weather one day happened to be
very wet, and everybody wore water-proof—even the houses
were shingled down their sides. Everywhere were boats, sails,
'ropes, and even the out-houses were framed with ship's knees
timber. The hall was lighted from the sky like a ship's cabin;
and looking seaward we beheld the stately square-rigged ships,
swaying swan-like in the breeze and preening their wings for
their ocean flight. Yet in this out of the way place I found on
the hotel table Principal Tulloch's Movements of Religious
Thought, a book by Dr. McCosh, a large embroidered picture
of the marriage of Mary Queen of Scots, with very wooden or
rather very woollen figures, and a rather florid portrait in oil
of Sir Walter Scott.
e have in Cape Breton a fine example of social stratifica-
tion, a Scottish overlying an earlier French civilization. Many
of the older people speak only Gaelic, and the preaching is often
in that language. Among the guests at the hotel were two
brothers, both born on the island, one returning with his wife
from New Zealand—shrewd, keen, enterprising men, yet betraying their ancestral Gaelic by an occasional "whateffer"
and " moreoffer." Speaking of the Sunday morning's sermon,
one remarked to the other " Did you no think it the least bit
short, you know ? "—the first time I ever heard that complaint.
Yet out of the great route of travel as Sydney is, I found in
the register the names of travellers from New York, Boston,
Philadelphia, Chicago, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Gait, Berlin,
Nanaimo, B.C.—the latter come to study coal-mining, I judge.
I was glad to worship with the people called Methodists, and
to give them a few words of friendly greeting, as I had a few
months before greeted the Methodists on the Pacific Coast. I
know no other country in which one may travel 4,000 miles in
a straight line and find everywhere the ministers and members
of the same Church.
On a bright sunny Monday morning, with the Methodist
minister and a couple of good sailors, I went for a sail on the
beautiful Sydney harbour. We sailed and' tacked far up
Crawley's Creek, a land-locked inlet of fairy loveliness, and
then returning tacked boldly up the bay against a brisk headwind. We raced along through the foaming water which
curled over the combings of the yacht, and every now and then,
with a lurch that brought my heart into my mouth, the yacht
encountered a wave that drenched me with the spray. I suppose it was great fun, but for my part I was very glad to get
once more on terra firma.
I had the pleasure of calling, before I left, on my friend Dr.
Bourinot, who was on a visit to his ancestral home—the charming mansion of his father, the late Senator Bourinot, who was
for many years French Consul in the port. The little tree-shaded
dock was kept with real man-of-war neatness. There used to be
almost always a French frigate on the station, and the military
music and stately etiquette gave quite an air of the olden time
to society. 36
I found also time to visit the relay house of the French submarine Atlantic Cable. The officer in charge showed me the
small mirror which is deflected to left or right by the interruptions of an electric current. A beam of light is thrown from a
lamp on this oscillating mirror and thus the thoughts of men
are flashed beneath the sea at the rate of thirty-five words a
minute. It is very hard to watch steadily this beam of light.
If one even winks he may lose a Word or two. The ear can
follow sound better than the eye the light; therefore this gentleman is trying, with good promise of success, to use a "sounder"
instead of the mirror.
It was a great disappointment that I was not able to visit
the old fortress of Louisburg. But ,the railway had ceased
to run trains, and in consequence of heavy rains the coach-
road was in a very bad condition. Our engraving, however,
accurately portrays the most salient feature that is left of the
most famous fortress in America. This once proud stronghold
is now a small hamlet of fishermen, who reap the harvest of
the sea on the stormy banks of Newfoundland. The construction of the "Dunkirk of America," as- it was proudly called,
was begun by the French in 1720. During twenty years they
spent upon it 30,000,000 livres. It became a rendezvous of
privateers, who preyed upon the commerce of New England,
and was a standing menace to the British possessions. In
1744, Governor Shirley, of Massachusetts, determined on its
capture. Four thousand colonial militia were collected, and
William Pepperel, a merchant and militia colonel of Maine, took
The celebrated George Whitefield, the eloquent Methodist
preacher,.who was then in New England, was asked to furnish
a motto for the regimental flag, and gave the incription,
"Nil desperandum, Christo duce." Indeed, in the eyes of
the more zealous Puritans, the expedition possessed quite the
character of a crusade against the image-worship of the Catholic
X faith.
On the 29th of April, 1745, a hundred vessels, large and small, AND ITS MEMORIES.
among them a few ships of the royal navy, under Commodore
Warren, having been detained many days by the thick-ribbed
ice off Canseau, sailed into the capacious harbour of Louis-
burg. This was one of the strongest fortresses in the world.
It was surrounded by a wall forty feet thick at the base, and
from twenty to thirty feet high, and by ia ditch eighty feet
wide. It mounted nearly two hundred guns, and had a garrison of sixteen hundred men.    The assailants had only eigh-
Ruins of Louisburg.
teen cannon and three mortars. With a rush they charged
through the surf, and repulsed the French who lined the steep
and rugged shore. Dragging their guns through a marsh on
sledges, the English gained the rear; the French in a panic
abandoned an outwork, spiking their cannon.
On the 21st of May trenches were opened; on the 16th of
June, Duchambon, the commandant, despairing of a successful
resistance, capitulated, and the New England militia marched
into the works.    As they beheld their extent, they exclaimed K
| God alone has delivered this stronghold into our hand," and a
sermon of thanksgiving was preached in the French chapel.
A troop-ship with four hundred men and two valuable East
India-men were captured in the harbour. The garrison and
the inhabitants of the town, over four thousand in all, were
conveyed to Brest. \ The fall of the strongest fortress in America
before a little army of New England farmers and fishermen
caused the wildest delight at Boston and the deepest chagrin
at Versailles.
In 1755 it was again taken by the British. Early in June,
Admiral Boscawen, with thirty-seven ships of war, and one
hundred and twenty transports conveying 12,000 troops, appeared off* the harbour. For six days a rough sea, dashing in
heavy breakers on the iron coast, prevented debarkation, the
French meanwhile actively throwing up earthworks all along
the shore. Early on the seventh day, Wolfe, with a strong
force, gallantly landed through the surf, and seized the outworks of the fort. The siege was vigorously pressed by day
and night for seven weeks. Madame Drucourt, the wife of
the Governor, inspired the garrison by her heroism. During
the bombardment, she often appeared among the soldiers on
the ramparts, and even fired the great guns, and encouraged
with rewards the most expert artillery men. With her own
hands, she dressed the wounds of the injured, and by the exhibition of her own courage enbraved the hearts of the defenders of the fort. Every effort, however, was in vain. The
walls crumbled rapidly under the heavy fire of the besiegers.
The resistance was brave but ineffectual. With all but two of
their vessels burned, captured or sunk, and when town and
fortress were well nigh demolished by shot and shell, Louisburg
capitulated. Its inhabitants were conveyed to France, and the
garrison and sailors, over five thousand in number, were sent
prisoners to England.*
As Halifax was a good naval station and well fortified, "it
was deemed inexpedient to maintain a costly garrison at Louisburg ; so sappers and miners were sent there in the summer of
1760, and in the short space of six months all the fortifications
*Withrow's History of Canada, p. 222. DESTRUCTION OF LOUISBURG.
and public buildings, which had cost France twenty-five years
of labour and a vast amount of money, were utterly demolished,
—the walls and glacis levelled into the ditch,—leaving, in fact,
nothing to mark their former situation but heaps of stones and
rubbish. All the artillery, ammunition, stores, implements,—
in short, everything of the slightest value, even the hewn stones
which had decorated the public buildings, were transported to
The fortress, constructed at such cost and assailed and defended with such valour, thus fell into utter ruin. Where giant
navies rode and earth-shaking war achieved such vast exploits,
to-day the peaceful waters of the placid bay kiss the deserted
strand, and a small fishing hamlet and a few mouldering ruin-
mounds mark the grave of so much military pomp, and power,
and glory.
The project of making Louisburg the terminus of the Canadian trans-continental railway system, the Cape Breton section
of which is now under construction, promises to restore much,
of its former importance to this historic spot. It will shorten
the ocean travel to Europe by about a thousand miles, a consideration of much importance in these days of rapid transit.
In retracing my way through the Big Bras d'Or, I had,
through the courtesy of Captain Burchell, the opportunity of
studying the striking scenery from the elevated pilot-house.
The twilight shadows of deeper and deeper purple filled the
glens and mantled over the broad slopes till it became too dark
to see, and I turned to the less esthetic, but more practical,
rites of the supper-table. Here let me commend Steward
Mitchell, of the Marion, as one of the best of caterers. His
broiled mackerel were really a work of art. The steamer was
crowded, no berths were to be had, so the steward made up a
cot in the cabin and tucked me in my little bed just before we
reached Baddeck. But the deck passengers were very noisy, and
I found it impossible to sleep—we had a lot of Italian railway
navvies, and Indians with their squaws—the latter carrying
bundles of birch bark to build their next wigwam. So I went
, ashore at Baddeck and stopped over for the next boat. Everybody in the town seemed to have come down to meet us by 40
lamplight. Baddeck (accent on the second syllable) has become
quite classical in its way since Charles Dudley Warner made
his famous pilgrimage hither: "Having attributed the quiet
of Baddeck on Sunday to religion," he says, " we did not know
to what to lay the quiet on Monday. But its peacefulness continued. Mere living is a kind of happiness, and the easy-going
traveller is satisfied with little to do and less to see."
But I found a good deal to see. The Dominion Customs
House and Post Office is one of the most elegant "Queen Anne"
structures I have anywhere seen. I visited the quaint old jail—
a low log building, more like a country school-house than anything else but for the iron gratings on each window. The cells
were not cells, but good-sized rooms with a fire-place and wide
bed in each. A prisoner was looking cheerfully out of the
front window, taking advantage of the unwonted stir in the
little town—for it was court-day. To the court, therefore, I
went and found that I formed one-ninth of its constitution—
the others being the judge, clerk, tipstaff, defendant, lawyer,
and three spectators.
It was not very lively, so I went to visit the Indian village.
This I found much more interesting. The Indians were Mic-
macs, who are said to be of purer blood than any other tribe on
the Atlantic Coast. I visited several wigwams, "but found their
inmates rather stolid and uncommunicative. One thing they
had of much interest. In several cases I got them to turn out
from their little boxes in which they kept their few belongings, their prayer-book and catechism, printed in arbitrary
characters invented for them by the Trappist .monks. The
characters resemble a mixture of Greek and Russian with some
cursive letters ; not nearly so simple as the Cree characters, invented by the Rev. James Evans. The Indians could read them
quite readily, especially the women; but although they spoke
English fairly, they said they could not translate what they
The books were printed, as the German title page an-
nounced, at the Imperial printing establishment, in the Imperial
city of Vienna—in der Kaiserlichen stadt Wein in Oesterreich.
There was also a quaint picture of Christ—"the Way the
Truth, the Lite"—Der Weg, die Wahrheit, das Leben.    Their WHYCOCOMAGH.
religious training did not seem to have done much for the
civilization of these Indians, for they were squalid and filthy
in the extreme. Yet it is said, that once a year they all meet
at an appointed rendezvous, and all the marriages and christenings and other religious rites for the year are duly performed.
In the afternoon, on a tiny steamer, I sailed twenty miles up
the winding St. Patrick's Channel, to Whycocomagh. Mr.
Warner went by stage, and thus describes his adventures :
"Now we were two hundred feet above the water, on the hill-side skirting a point or following an indentation ; and now we were diving into a
narrow valley, crossing a stream, or turning a sharp corner, but always
with the Bras d'Or in view, the afternoon sun shining on it, softening the
outlines of its embracing hills, casting a shadow from its wooded islands.
The reader can compare the view and the ride to the Bay of Naples and
the Cornice Road; we did nothing of the sort; we held on to the seat,
prayed that the harness of the pony might not break, and gave constant
expression to our wonder and delight."
It was a lovely sail between wooded heights, at the narrows
approaching so close that one could "toss a biscuit ashore."
When we got to the very end of the channel, what was my
surprise to see a good-sized vessel loading with cattle and sheep
for St. John's, Newfoundland. Near the landing is a very fine
hill  of  rugged  outline, some 800 feet high—Salt  Mountain.
OO ' o
To this I betook me, and lounging on a couch of soft moss and
grass, basking in the sunlight, enjoyed one of the grandest
prospects in the maritime provinces. The Great Bras d'Or Lake
was spread like a map beneath, an occasional vessel winging its
way across the placid surface; at my feet the little hamlet,
and winding afar amid the hills the ribbon-like coach-road
to Mabou and Port Hood. " This," I thought, | is one of the
most sequestered spots in the Dominion." I had seldom felt so
isolated from every one I had ever known. At this moment
I saw creeping over the brow of the hill a group of climbers,
the more adventurous spirits of a Sunday-school picnic; and
the leader of the band was a fellow-townsman of my own, a
young Congregational minister then in charge of the church at
Not without an effort I tore myself away from the glorious 42
view, as the sun gave his good-night kiss to the mountain's
brow, and made my way to the little village. To our mutual
surprise I was met by Stewart Mitchell, who the night before
had put me in my cot on the steamer Marion, and thought I
must be by this time two hundred miles away. His wife kept the
inn and he was home on a'visit, and soon gave fresh evidence
of his culinary skill. In few places can a man, at the proper
season, do his marketing so easily as mine host can here. He
can go to the garden foot and gather a pailful of oysters, which
he fattens with oatmeal thrown upon the still water. He can
step into his boat and drop a line, and draw in the finest salmon.
He can stop on his way home, and gather ripe strawberries and
fresh vegetables from his garden—and this in daily view of
some of the loveliest scenery in the world.
I had enjoyed
my mountain-
climb so much that
I repeated it next
day; but under
the noon-day glare
«/    O
the prospect was
not nearly so beautiful as in the soft
afternoon light. A
row boat crossing-
the harbour looked in the distance
like one of those
water ants we often see. It was
very curious to
out of space and
earned afterwards
S Sap?
Primitive Post Office, Cape Breton.
watch through a glass the steamer emergin
lTltilhthery,Tn^n'S baSe"bl ™* a"—ds
that I was the subject of a discussion on board, as to whether
I was a sheep or a goat.    When I rose from my mossTcouch
and waved my handkerchief I suppose they decided thai I was
Captain Bur6hell brought up his horse and carriage on the PORT MULGRA VE.
steamer—as is often done in this primitive country—to give his
wife a drive over the mountains. He is a good example of a
Nova Scotian globe-trotter—or rather sea-farer. There are not,
I suppose, many great ports in the world which he has not
visited. He took his wife—a captain's daughter of Yarmouth,
N.S.—on a wedding trip from Bangor, Wales, to Singapore.
She has travelled farther and seen more than most ladies.
I took a charming five-miles walk out of Baddeck to climb
a lofty hill. The struggle between mountain glory and mountain gloom, as a strong east wind rolled heavy masses of cloud
over the sun-lit landscape, was very impressive. The houses
seemed a spectral white against the sombre sky. I entered a
peasant's log-house for a glass of milk ; the meagre furniture
was very primitive—a few home-made benches and a cradle,
with a fire-place and a few iron and earthen pots. A kindly
Scotch lad gave me a ride in his waggon, and asked if I were
going to the "Sacrament," an ordinance soon to be administered,
which was awakening deep interest far and wide. Prof. Bell, the
American patentee of the telephone, has here an elegant villa.
That night I had the captain's cabin, all to myself on the
Marion, and next day arrived again at Port Mulgrave in a
steady rain that dimmed and blurred, past recognition, the glorious landscape through which I had passed a few days before.
It did not depress the spirits, however, of a merry party of
American tourists homeward-bound. As one of them unfolded
his voluminous ticket with attached coupons, he congratulated
himself on the large amount of reading matter for the trip
which was thrown in free. Their witty talk kept the car full
of people in good humour, despite the dismal weather. 44
The road from Halifax to Windsor does not. to put it mildly,
take one through the finest part of Nova Scotia. I crossed the
country thirty years ago on one of the first trains that ran over
the newly opened railway, and anything wilder or more rugged
than the country through which we passed it would be hard to
imagine. Even now it is sufficiently rough, and if, as Dudley
Warner remarks, a man can live on rocks like a goat, it will
furnish a good living. Some pretty lakes, and pleasant valleys
and hamlets, relieve the monotony of the journey.
The old university town of Windsor, situated at the junction
of the Avon and the St. Croix, presents many attractive
features. If the tourist arrives at low tide, he will agree with
the witty American writer who, with a pardonable vein of
exaggeration, says: " The Avon would have been a charming
stream, if there had been a drop of water in it ... I should
think that it would be confusing to dwell by a river that runs
first one way and then another, and then vanishes altogether."
When the tide is up, however, the Avon is a very respectable-
sized stream, and the view, from the hill crowned with the old
block-houses and earth-works of Fort Edward, of the widening
river and distant basin of Minas, is very attractive; but when
the tide is out, the banks of mud are stupendous. The two
places which the present writer sought out with especial
interest were the old-fashioned house of the witty Judge
•Haliburton, author of "Sam Slick," and the plain buildings of
King's College, the oldest college in -the Dominion, founded in
1787. The gypsum quarries are of much interest, and large
quantities of plaster of paris are exported.
We are now approaching the region invested with undying
interest by Longfellow's pathetic poem, " Evangeline."
The Acadian peasants, on the beautiful shores of the Bay of
Fundy, were a simple, virtuous, and prosperous community.
Their civil disputes, when any arose, which was rare, were all
settled by the kindly intervention of their priest, who also
made their wills and drew up their public acts. If wealth was
rare, poverty was unknown; for a feeling of brotherhood
anticipated the claims of want.    Domestic happiness and public PRIESTS AND MICMACS.
morality were fostered by early marriages ; and homely thrift
was rewarded by almost universal comfort. Such is the
delightful picture painted by the sympathetic pen of the Abbe
Raynal,—a picture that almost recalls the innocence and
happiness of the poets' fabled Golden Age.
With remarkable industry the Acadians reclaimed from the sea
by dikes many thousands of fertile acres, which produced
abundant crops of grain and orchard fruits; and on the sea
meadows, at one time, grazed as many as sixty thousand head
of cattle. The simple wants of the peasants were supplied by
domestic manufactures of wool or flax, or by importations from
Louisburg. So great was their attachment to the government
and institutions of their fatherland, that during the aggressions
i o OO
of the English after their conquest of the country, a great part
of the population—some ten thousand, it has been said, although
the number is disputed—abandoned their homes and migrated
to that portion of Acadia still claimed by the French, or to
Cape Breton or Canada. Some seven thousand still remained
in the peninsula of Nova Scotia, but they claimed a political
neutrality, resolutely refusing to take the oath of allegiance to
the alien conquerors. "Better," said the priests to their
obedient flock, " surrender your meadows to the sea, and your
houses to the flames, than peril your souls by taking that
obnoxious oath." They were accused, and probably with only
too good reason, of intriguing with their countrymen at
Louisburg, with resisting the English authority, and with
inciting and even leading the Indians to ravage the English
The cruel Micmacs needed little instigation. They swooped
down on the little town of Dartmouth, opposite Halifax, and
within gun-shot of its forts, and reaped a rich harvest of
scalps and booty. The English prisoners they sometimes sold
at Louisburg for arms and ammunition. The Governor
asserted that pure compassion was the motive of this traffic, in
order to rescue the captives from massacre. He demanded,
however, an excessive ransom for their liberation. The Indians
were sometimes, or indeed generally it was asserted, led in
these murderous raids by French commanders.    These violations 46
of neutrality, however, were chiefly the work of a few turbulent
spirits. The mass of the Acadian peasants seem to have been
a peaceful and inoffensive people, although they naturally
sympathized with their countrymen. They were, however,
declared rebels and outlaws, and a council at Halifax, confounding the innocent with the guilty, decreed the expulsion of
the entire French population.
The decision was promptly carried out.    Ships soon appeared
before the principal settlements in the Bay of Fundy.    All the
Expulsion of the Acadians.
male inhabitants, over ten years of age, were summoned to
hear the King's command. At Grand Pre-, four hundred
assembled in the village church, when the British officer read
from the altar the decree of their exile. Resistance was impossible; armed soldiers guarded the door, and the men were
encaged m prison. On the fifth day they were marched at the
bayonets point, amid the wailings of their relatives, on board
the transports. The women and children were shipped in other
vessels. Families were scattered; husbands and wives sepa-
rated-many never to meet again.    It was three months later GRAND  PRE.
in the bleak December, before the last were removed.
Hundreds of comfortable homesteads and well-filled barns were
ruthlessly given to the flames. A number, variously estimated
at from three to seven thousand, were dispersed along the
Atlantic seaboard from Maine to Georgia. Twelve hundred
were carried to South Carolina. A few planted a new Acadia
among their countrymen in Louisiana. Some tried to return to
their blackened hearths, coasting in open boats along the shore.
These were relentlessly intercepted when possible, and sent back
into hopeless exile. It is a page in our country's annals that is not
pleasant to contemplate, but we may not ignore the painful
facts. Every patriot must regret the stern military necessity
—if necessity there were—that compelled the inconceivable
suffering of so many innocent beings.*
The following pathetic lines describe the idyllic community,
and the consummation of this tragical event:
In Acadian land, on the shores of the basin of Minas,
Distant, secluded, still, the little village of Grand-Pre
Lay in the fruitful valley.    Vast meadows stretched to the eastward,
Giving the village its name, and pasture to flocks without number.
Dikes, that the hands of the farmers had raised with labour incessant,
Shut out the turbulent tides ; but at stated seasons the floodgates
Opened, and welcomed the sea to wander at will o'er the meadows.
West and south there were fields of flax, and orchards and cornfields
Spreading afar and unfenced o'er the plain, and away to the northward
Blomidon rose, and the forests old, and-aloft on the mountains
Sea-fogs pitched their tents, and mists from the mighty Atlantic
Looked on the happy valley, but ne'er from their station descended.
There, in the midst of its farms, reposed the Acadian village.
Strongly-built were the houses, with frames of oak and of chestnut,
Such as the peasants of Normandy built in the reign of the Henries.
Thatched were the roofs, with dormer-windows; and gables projecting
Over the basement below protected and shaded the doorway.
There, in the tranquil evenings of summer, when brightly the sunset
Lighted the village street, and gilded the vanes on the chimneys,
Matrons and maidens sat in snow-white caps and in kirtles
Scarlet and blue and green, with distaffs spinning the golden
Flax for the, gossiping looms, whose noisy shuttles within doors
Mingled their sound with the whir of the wheels and the songs of the
* Withrow's History of Canada, p. 207. 48
Solemnly down the street came the parish priest, and the children
Paused in their play to kiss the hand he extended to bless them.
Reverend walked he among them; and up rose matrons and maidens,
Hailing his slow approach with words of affectionate welcome.
Then came the labourers home from the field, and serenely the sun sank
Down to his rest, and twilight prevailed.    Anon from the belfry
Softly the Angelus sounded, and over the roofs of the village
Columns of pale blue smoke, like clouds of incense ascending,
Rose from a hundred hearths, the homes of peace and contentment.
Thus dwelt together in love these simple Acadian farmers,—
Dwelt .in the love of God and of man.    Alike were they free from
Fear, that reigns with the tyrant, and envy, the vice of republics.
Neither locks had they to their doors, nor bars to their windows ;
But their dwellings were open as day and the hearts of the owners ;
There the richest was poor, and the poorest lived in abundance.
Many a weary, year had passed since the burning of Grand-Pre,
When on the falling tide the freighted vessels departed,
Bearing a nation, with all its household goods, into exile,
Exile without an end, and without an example in story.
Far asunder, on separate coasts, the Acadians landed ;
Scattered were they, like flakes of snow, when the  wind from the
Strikes aslant through the fogs that darken the banks of Newfoundland.
Friendless, homeless, hopeless, they wandered from city to city,
From the cold lakes of the North to the sultry Southern savannas,—
From the bleak shores of the sea to the lands where the Father of waters-
Seizes the hills in his hands, and drags them down to the ocean,
Deep in their sands to bury the scattered bones of the mammoth.
Friends they sought and homes; and many despairing, heart-broken,
Asked of the earth but a grave, and no longer a friend nor a fireside.
Written their history stands on tablets of stone in the churchyards.
The Horton Railway Station is quite close to the site of the
old Acadian settlement. The scene is peculiarly impressive,
and not without a tinge of sadness. In front stretch the vast
diked meadows, through which winds in many a curve the
sluggish Gaspereaux. In the distance are seen the dark basaltic
cliffs of Cape Blomidon, rising to the height of five hundred and
seventy feet. In the foreground to the left, near a large willow
tree, are shown remains of the foundation of the old Acadian
church. A gentleman, living in Horton, informed me that there
were in the neighbourhood the traces of forty cellars of the- GRAND PRE.
Acadian people, also of an old mill, and old wells. A long row
of ancient willows shows the line of the old road. Now, my
informant assured me, there is not a single Frenchman in the
whole county.
The Acadians reclaimed the fertile marsh lands from the sweep
of the tides, by constructing dikes with much labour by means of
wattled stakes and earthen embankments. There were more
than two thousand acres of this reclaimed meadow at Grand
Pre" and much more at other places.   These areas have been much 50
extended from time to time, they form an inexhaustibly fertile
pasture and meadow land.
Mrs. Sarah D. Clark's musical verses, which follow, sum up
skilfully the touching associations of Grand Pre j
Grand Pre"! whose level meadows stretch away,
Far up the deep-cut dikes thy waves roll on,
Free, as a hundred years ago to-day,
They climb the slopes of rocky Blomidon.
These lonely poplars, reared by sons of toil,
Look out like exiles o'er a foreign sea,
Their haggard fronts grown gray, on alien soil,
Far from the province of fair Lombardy.
• Long-vanished forms come thronging up the strand ;
I close my eyes to see the vision pass,
As one shuts out the daylight with his hand,
To view the pictures in a magic glass.
XSv| This is the little village famed of yore,
With meadows rich in flocks and plenteous grain,
Whose peasants knelt beside each vine-clad door,
As the sweet Angelus rose o'er the plain.
High-hearted, brave, of gentle Norman blood,
Their thrifty life a prospering fame did bring ;
They held the reins o'er peaceful field and flood,
Lords of their lands, and rivals of a king.
By kingly rule, an exile's lot they bore,
The poet's song reclaims their scattered fold ;
Blown in melodious notes to every shore,
The story of their mournful fate is told.
And to their annals linked while time shall last,
Two lovers from a shadowy realm are seen,   •
| A fair, immortal picture of the past,
The forms of Gabriel and Evangeline.
And hither shall that sweet remembrance brin?
Full many a pilgrim as the years roll on,
While the lone bittern pauses on the wing.
Above the crest of rocky Blomidon.
Still over wave and meadow smile the day,
The twilight deepens, and the time is brief,
I bid farewell to beautiful Grand Pre,
While yet on summer's heart bloom flower and leal WOLFVILLE,
I could not help being struck with the photographic fidelity
with which Longfellow describes the country. • The long beardlike moss on the pines suggests exactly the simile employed in
the following lines:
This is the forest primeval.    The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,
Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight,
Stand like Druids of old, with voices sad and prophetic,
Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms.
Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced neighbouring ocean
Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the forest.
Three miles from Horton is the charming- collegiate town of
Wolfville. Here I was most kindly met by Mr. J. W. Caldwell,
a gentleman who knew me only by report. Learning that
I was passing through the town, he intercepted me at the
station, insisted that I should stop over, carried me off to his
house and showed me no end of kindness—a thorough specimen of Nova Scotia hospitality. From the roof of Acadia College, a flourishing Baptist institution, beautifully situated, I
enjoyed a magnificent view over the storied scene which Longfellow has made " more sadly poetical than any other spot on
the western continent." My friend had apprised the Rev. Mr..
Friggens, the junior Methodist preacher on the Circuit, of my
expected arrival, and after dinner there he was with his horse
and carriage to give me a drive up the famous Gaspereaux
Valley and on to Horton and Grand Pre". And a magnificent
drive it was. I have seen few things finer in my life than the
view from the lofty hill surmounting the valley, sweeping up and
down its winding slopes many a mile. We stopped for an hour
at Horton parsonage, the successor of a previous one on the
same site in which the Rev. Dr. Pope, the distinguished theologian was born. No one but a travelling Methodist preacher, I
think, could be made the recipient of so many kindnesses as
fell to my lot.*
Proceeding westward, the railway passes through the picturesque Cornwallis Valley, in frequent view of the dike-bordered
• Cornwallis River. Kentville, the railway headquarters, is a pleasant and thriving town.    We are now entering what is known as
I the Garden of Nova Scotia"—the far-famed Annapolis valley. 52
: A
It is a magnificent farming region, especially adapted to the
growth of apples. It has been said that for fifty miles one may
drive through an almost continuous orchard.
The town of Annapolis, or Annapolis Royal, to give it its
complete name, is full of historical interest. Save St. Augustine, in Florida, it was the earliest permanent European settlement in the New World. Its early history reads like a
romance. It was first colonized by Baron Poutrincourt, in
1605. In 1628 it was captured by the British, afterward surrendered to the French, again captured by Sir William Phips,
and again surrendered. It was captured for the last time by the
British in 1710, and ever since the Red Cross flag has waved
above the noble harbour, then named, in honour . of the reigning sovereign, Annapolis.
The point of central interest, in the ancient and historic
town of Annapolis, to which the tourist first makes
his way, is the, old dismantled fort. It is at the very
water's edge and covers with its ramparts and outworks
an area of twenty-eight acres. The extensive earthworks—
ramparts and curtains, bastions and demilunes—are softly
rounded by the gentle ministries of nature, and are covered
with turf of softest texture and greenest hue. An inner
fort, entered by an arched stone gateway, contains an ample
parade ground. At one side are built the quaint old English
wooden barracks, still in good condition. They are surmounted
by a steep wooden roof with great chimney stacks. It is quite
unique among structures of the kind in that, while containing
thirty-six rooms, each room, as the young girl who acted as my
guide informed me,has a separate fireplace. In one of the bastions
is the magazine, with a vaulted roof of Caen stone, the keystone
bearing the date 1707—three years before its final capture by
the British. Near by are the ruins of the earlier French barracks. An arched passage, now fallen in, led down to the old
French wharf, which is now a crumbling mass of blackened
- stories mantled thickly with sea-weed. '
The view from the north-west bastion is very beautiful, in- MEMORIES OF PORT ROYAL.
eluding the far-shining Annapolis basin amid its environment
of forest-clad hills, and the twin villages of Annapolis
and Granville Ferry. In the distance to the left is seen a long,
low, rambling farm-house, nearly' two hundred years old, the
only one now remaining of the old French settlement. As I
looked upon the pleasant scene, I could not help thinking of the
time,' well-nigh three hundred years ago, when De Monts and his
sturdy band of French pioneers first sailed up the lonely waters
of that placid bay and planted their little fort, the only habitation  of  civilized men, on the outermost fringe of the vast
Ancient Archway, in old Fort, Annapolis.
wilderness stretching from Florida to the North Pole. Then
.came memories of the poet pioneer, Lescarbot, fresh from the
gay salons of Paris, cheering the solitude of the long and
dreary winters with his classic masques and pageants, and organizing I L'Ordre de Bon Temps " for festivity and good fellowship, holding their daily banquets with feudal state around
•their blazing fires. It was a strange picture, especially in
view of the subsequent suffering, disappointment and wrong
which visited the hapless colony. For Port Royal was the grave
of many hopes, and its early history was a perfect Iliad
of disaster. Strange that when there were only two or
three scattered groups of Spanish, French and English settlers 54
on the whole continent, each of which could scarce hold the
ground which it possessed, they could not desist from attacking each other's settlements. * In those early raids were begun
those long and bloody wars which afterwards devastated the
whole continent.
Before I came away I took a long draught from the cool
well, which had quenched the thirst of so many generations of
men. Then I turned into the quiet God's acre where "the
peaceful fathers of the hamlet sleep." Amid the tangled grass
and briars I tried to decipher some of the later inscriptions. I
noticed one of date 1763, and another of John Bernard Gilpin,
Esq., who died 1811, aged ninety-eight, also the epitaphs of his
son and grandson. Their crest was a very curious one—a boar,
-with the legend "Dictis factisque simplex." On one lichen-
stained stone I read this touching avowal of faith—"which
promise He for His part will most surely keep and perform."
Another stone bears this inscription, verbatim et literatim :
Stay friend stay nor let they hart prophane
The humble Stone that tells you life is vain.
Here lyes a youth in mouldering ruin lost
A blofsom nipt by Death's unkindly frost.
O then prepare to meet with him above
In realms of everlasting love.
My attention was called to the grave of "the Spanish lady"—
Gregoria Remonia Antonia—who lives in local legend as a
light-of-love companion of the Duke of Wellington. When
the Iron Duke wished to sever the unblessed connection, says
the legend, she was sent to Annapolis, under military protection, and gnawed her heart out in this solitude. The tree-
shaded streets and the quaint old-fashioned houses and gardens
give the village a very sedate and reposeful look.
In the late afternoon I crossed in a row-boat to the Granville
side of the river, to climb the inviting-looking North Mountain..
It was surprising how fast the tide flowed up the long sloping
wharf at which I embarked. The view from the mountain
well repaid the climb. For miles and miles the Annapolis
basin and valley lay spread out like a map, showing, near by,
the meadows where the French first reaped their meagre crops PORT ROYAL.
of wheat. The windows, miles away, flashed like living carbuncles in the level rays of the setting sun, then the purple
shadows filled the valley, and in the fading light the little
steamer came creeping slowly up the bay. On my way down
I met an ox-team conveying a fishing boat many miles over the
mountain, in a most primitive manner. I recrossed the £erry
by starlight and saw great Orion hunting his prey forever
through the sky, and I thought ^^
" How often, O how often,
In the years that have gone by,"
the vanished generations had watched the sun set on sea and
shore, and had seen the stars shine on unchanged amid all
time's change'fulness.
The following verses, by James Hannay, written ten years
ago, finely embody the stirring memories of Port Royal:
Fair is Port Royal river in the Acadian land ;
It flows through verdant meadows, widespread on either hand ;
Through orchards and through cornfields it gayly holds its way, '
And past the ancient ramparts, long fallen to decay.
Peace reigns within the valley, peace on the mountain side,
In hamlet and in cottage, and on Port Royal's tide ;
In peace the ruddy farmer reaps from its fertile fields ;
In peace the fisher gathers the spoils its basin yields.
Yet this sweet vale has echoed to many a warlike note ;
The strife-compelling bugle, the cannon's iron throat,
The wall-piece, and the musket have joined in chorus there,
To fill with horrid clangor thei balmy morning .air.
And many a galland war-fleet has, in the days gone by,
Lain in that noble basin, and flouted in the sky
A flag with haughty challenge to the now ruined hold,
Which reared its lofty ramparts in warlike days of old.
And in the early springtime, when farmers plough their fields,
Full many a warlike weapon the peaceful furrow yields ;
The balls of mighty cannon crop from the fruitful soil,
And many a rusted sword-blade, once red with martial toil.
Three hundred years save thirty have been and passed away
Since bold Champlain was wafted to fair Port Royal Bay ; 56
- And there he built a fortress, with palisadoes tall,
Well flanked by many a bastion, to guard its outward wall.
Here was the germ of Empire, the cradle of a state,   -
In future ages destined to stand among the great;
Then hail-to old Port Royal! although her ramparts fall,
Canadian towns shall greet her the mother of them,all.
In the Bay of Fun
From Annapolis one may sail direct to Boston or he may take
the steamer across the Bay of Fundy to St. John. The most conspicuous features in sailing down the basin are the fishing
hamlets," each with its little wharf which at low tide seems to
be stranded high and dry far from the water's edge, and an occasional tide mill. From this basin come those toothsome herrings known throughout the world as " Digby chickens." At
Digby, near the entrance to the basin, the huge wharf was so
out of repair that we had to drop anchor and transfer our
passengers to a scow—a work of no small difficulty in the turbulent waves made by the meeting of the wind and tide. While
all was bright and sunny in the basin, the cold and clammy sea
fog lay in'wait without, to wrap us in its damp embrace. I
once sailed from St. John to Windsor in so dense a fog that when
land loomed high and threatening through it the captain had
to send a boat ashore to find out where we were; and all the
time the swirling' tides were making eddies in the water which
threatened to drift us upon the rocks. Our engraving shows the
character of the bold and rugged scenery of the tide-swept bay.
From Digby, with its houses scattered over the windy downs,
like a flock of frightened sheep, one may go by rail to Yarmouth, the extreme south-west point of Nova Scotia. My own
visit to Yarmouth was made by steamer from Halifax. It was
an experience never to be iorgotten. The route follows an
iron-bound coast of bold and rugged front, which has been the
scene of numerous shipwrecks. The deep fiords, rocky ledges
arid unending pine forests resemble the coast of Norway, but
without the mountain heights. In the beautiful Mahone Bay
is the quaint German town of Lunenburg, settled a hundred and
forty years ago by German religious refugees. They still
retain their German language and customs and Lutheran mode
of worship. They have adopted the thrifty Nova Scotia practice of seafaring, and carry on a lucrative trade with the West
Indies. Liverpool is another thriving town of over three
thousand inhabitants. Shelbourne, an active ship-building town,
has a romantic history.    At the close of the revolutionary war 58
in 1783, a large number of IT. E. Loyalist refugees from the '
United States settled here, with the hope of creating a great
city on this magnificent harbour. Within a year the population numbered twelve thousand, of whom twelve hundred were
Negro slaves. It quite ran ahead of Halifax, and-it was
seriously proposed to remove thither the seat of Government.
But it was soon found that there was no back country to support the .town, and the high-toned inhabitants would not engage
in the fisheries. So, after $2,500,000 was expended in two years,
the attempt was abandoned and the population soon dwindled
to about four hundred.
We next pass Port La Tour, with its heroic memories of
Madame La Tour. Cape Sable, at the extreme southern angle
of the peninsula, is the terror of the mariners. Here the S. S.
Hungarian was wrecked with great loss of life. Rounding
this angle and passing Barrington Bay, the steamer in fair
weather can thread the kaleidoscopic mazes of the Tusket
Islands. These, while having almost the intricacy of the
Thousand Islands of the St. Lawrence, lie quite out at sea,
and through them sweep the swift and swirling tides. On
the occasion of my own visit to Yarmouth the weather was
dismally foggy, we therefore had to give those dangerous
islands a wide berth. As we approached by dead reckoning the
vicinity of Yarmouth the precautions were redoubled. The
lead was heaved. The log was cast. The whistle blew and the
small cannon on deck was frequently fired. But oniy dull cloud
echoes were returned. At length, while listening intently for
any sound that might give indication of our whereabouts, the
hoarse roar of the surf, lashing with ceaseless rage the rocky
shore, was heard. Soon the fog lifted a little, and a white line
of breakers was seen on almost every side. When the familiar
landmarks were recognized, it was found that we were almost
at the entrance of the harbour.
Yarmouth is one of the most enterprising towns in the
Province, and for its size, it is claimed, the greatest ship-owning
port in the world. Its population in 1887 was 7,000. Its
shipmasters owned twelve steamers, fifty-two ships, forty-three
barques, eleven brigs and one   hundred and nine schooners, YARMOUTH.
an aggregate of two hundred and twenty-seven vessels, with a
carrying capacity of 120,394 tons—a record of which any
country might be proud. Almost alone it has constructed
the Western Counties' Railway to Annapolis. Its schools,
banks, churches and public institutions are of conspicuous
Along this rugged coast that we have been describing, that
heroic pioneer explorer, Champlain, with his companions in
their puny vessels sailed, exploring every bay and island, as
well as the New England shore. Champlain has left us a
minute and accurate account of the country, its products and
people, illustrated with quaint drawings by his own hand.
This south-western part of the peninsula, especially the
Tusket Lakes, and the vast forests in the vicinity, is a very
paradise of sportsmen. Salmon streams, with picturesque waterfalls, abound, and the country is still the home of the moose
and cariboo deer, and the Government is taking proper precautions to prevent their extermination.
An - old moose-hunter thus discourses on this noble sport:
"There are three, modes of hunting the moose, termed still-
hunting, fire-hunting, and calling. There was another mode
which legislation has in a great measure suppressed, viz.: the
wholesale slaughter of the unfortunate animals when the deep-
lying snows of a protracted winter had imprisoned them in their
yard, and rendered them only a too easy prey to the unprincipled butchers who slew them for their skins.
"To be successful in still-hunting, or creeping upon the
moose, necessitates the aid of a skilful Indian guide; very few,
if any, white men ever attain the marvellous precision with
which an Indian, to whom the pathless forest is an open book
which he reads as he runs, will track to its death an animal so
exceedingly sensitive to the approach of man. This gift, or
instinct, seems born with the Indian, and is practised from his-
early childhood.
"The finely modulated voice of the Indiari is especially
adapted to imitate the different calls and cries of the denizens
of the forest, and with a trumpet of birch bark, he will imitate
to the life the plaintive low of the cow-moose and the re- 60
sponsive bellow of the bull.    Early morning, twilight, or moonlight are all favourable to this manner  of hunting.     The
Indian, having selected a favourable position for his purpose,
generally on the margin of a lake, heath, or bog, where he can MOOSE HUNTING.
readily conceal himself, puts his birch trumpet to his mouth,
and gives the call of the cow-moose, in a manner so startling
and truthful that only the educated ear of an Indian could
detect the counterfeit. If the call is successful, presently the
responsive bull-moose is heard crashing through the forest,
uttering his blood-curdling bellow or roar, and. rattling his
horns against the trees in challenge to all rivals, as he comes
to the death which awaits him. Should the imitation be poor,
the bull will either not respond at all, or approach in a stealthy
manner and retire on discovery of the cheat. -Moose-calling is
seldom attempted by white men, the gift of calling with success
being rare even among the Indians.
"Fire-hunting, or hunting by torchlight, is practised by
exhibiting a bright light formed by burning bunches of birch
bark, in places known to be frequented by moose. The
brilliant light seems to fascinate the animals, and he will readily
approach within range of the rifle. The torch placed in the
Tdow of a canoe is also used as a lure on a lake or river, but is
attended with considerable danger, as a wounded or enraged
moose will not unfrequently upset the canoe.
I The mode of hunting which generally prevails is that of
still-hunting, or creeping upon the moose, which is undoubtedly
the most sportsman-like way. Still-hunting can be practised
in September, and all through the early winter months, until
the snow becomes so deep that it Would be a sin to molest the
poor animals.- The months of September and October are
charming months for camping orit, and the moose then are in
fine condition, and great skill and endurance are called for on
the part of the hunter. The moose possesses a vast amount of
pluck, and when once started on his long, swinging trot, his
legs seem tireless, and he will stride over boulders and wind-
falls at a pace which soon distances his pursuers, and, but for
the sagacity of the Indian guide in picking out the trail, would
almost always escape.
1 The largest moose that I ever saw measured six feet and
nearly five inches at the withers, and from'the withers to the
top of the skull, twenty-seven inches. The head measured two
feet and five inches from the mouffle to a, point between the 62
ears, and nine inches between the eyes. The horns weighed
forty-five pounds, and measured four feet and three inches
from tine to tine at their widest part, and at the greatest
width the palmated parts measured thirteen inches. The horn,
at its junction with the skull, was eight inches in circumference.
The great length of his legs and prehensile lip are of much
benefit to the moose, and wonderfully adapted for his mode
of feeding, which consists in peeling the bark from, and
browsing upon, the branches and tender shoots of deciduous
trees. When the branches or tops of trees are beyond his
reach, he resorts to the process termed by hunters ' riding down
the tree,' by getting astride of it and bearing it down by the
weight of his body until the coveted branches are within his
reach. PSl
" The senses of smelling and hearing are very acute, his long
ears are ever moving to and fro, intent to catch the slightest
sound, and his wonderfully constructed nose carries the signal
of danger to his brain, long before the unwary hunter has
the slightest idea that his presence is suspected. When
alarmed, this ponderous animal moves away with the silence
of death, carefully avoiding all obstructions, and selecting the
moss-carpeted bogs and swales, through which he threads his
way with a persistence that often sets at defiance all the arts
and endurance of even the practised Indian hunter."
The fine engraving which accompanies this article gives a
graphic view of some of the magnificent moose and caribou
deer of the forests of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and British
Columbia. The broad snow-shoes and the toboggan-like sleigh
will be observed, also the big ass-like ears, and broad heavy
horns of the gigantic moose; and the more slender and
branching horns of the caribou deer. The favourite time of
hunting them is in the deep snow of winter, when the hunter
on his snow-shoes can skim over the surface while the moose
breaks through. The moose has a habit of treading down the
snow within a certain area, called a moose-yard, till he has
eaten all the tender shoots of the trees, and then he moves on
to fresh fields and pastures new.
Forty miles from Yarmouth is the old French " Clare Settle-   ACADIAN SETTLEMENT.
ment." After the conquest of Canada, the Acadian exiles were
permitted to return to their native land, but finding their
former homes on the basin of j Minas occupied by the English,
a number settled on St. Mary's Bay. They grew eventually to
a community of four or five thousand souls. They preserve
their own language and usages, and form probably the most
considerable Acadian settlement extant, the next being those
Louisiana Acadians of whom fable discourses so pleasantly.
Still stands the forest primeval; but under the shade of its branches
Dwells another race, with other customs and language.
Only along the shores of the mournful and misty Atlantic
Linger a few Acadian peasants, .whose fathers from exile
Wandered back to their native land to die in its bosom.
In the fisherman's cot the wheel and the loom are still busy;
Maidens still wear their Norman caps and their kirtles of homespun,
And by the evening fire repeat Evangeline's story, . 'S;'(>
While from its rocky caverns .the deep-voiced, neighbouring ocean
Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the forest.
I have left undescribed that part of Nova Scotia between
Truro and Amherst; I therefore return to briefly recount its
more striking features.
I arrived at Truro Junction in a pouring rain, and was in
doubt whether to go on by the night train, or to stop over in
hope of having fairer weather to visit Fort Cumberland and
Sackville. I sallied out therefore to look for a barometer. I
found one in a doctor's office, and, though it was still pouring,
as the top of the column of mercury was somewhat convex, I
concluded to stay. Next day it was still raining heavily, but
mv faith in science was confirmed by the fine weather signal on
the train. Sure enough, in an hour or two we came out of the
rain belt, and had bright sunshine.
The railroad for some distance west of Truro traverses the
Cobequid Mountains, low rounded hills about a thousand feet
high. The scenery is picturesque, and the outlook over the
vast Wallace Valley is extremely grand and impressive. At the
Folly River is a substantial viaduct, six hundred feet long
and eighty-two feet high, and many deep cuttings give evidence
of the labour expended in the construction of the road. 64
At Springhill station one may take the Cumberland Railway-
to Parrsboro', one of the most charming summer resorts of Nova
Scotia.    A few miles farther on, the main line brings one to-
the pleasant town of Amherst.    Its prevailing aspect is one of TIDAL STREAMS.
neatness and thrift, and there are evidences of large manu-
facturing industries. Nearly every window seemed filled with
flowers, even those of the Roman Catholic church. The
Methodist church is a very handsome one, the best in the place-
As it was a lovely day, I walked from Amherst to Sackville,
a distance of ten or eleven miles, stopping to explore the ruins
of Fort Lawrence and Fort Cumberland, formerly Fort Beau-
bassin and Fort Beausejour, on the way. These grass-grown
ramparts, on the opposite sides of the Missiguash River, are
among the'latest relics of the long conflict between France and
England for the Province of Acadia. They were constructed
at this narrowest part of the isthmus connecting Nova Scotia
and the main land, and were the scene of much hard fighting.
It was a pleasant walk through a Ruysdael-like landscape—vast
meadows reclaimed from the sea, and protected by miles on
miles of dikes, constructed with enormous labour, to keep out
the tides. The outline of Fort Lawrence can with difficulty be
traced amid the fields and neat white buildings of a comfortable
farmstead. Three miles distant rise the clear-cut outlines of
Fort Cumberland—Beausejour, as the French called it—crowning a somewhat bold eminence. Here for long years these forts
frowned defiance at each other, and not seldom exchanged
salutes, not of friendship, but of deadly hate. I walked across
the intervening valley on the Intercolonial Railway, whose iron
bridge spans the Missiguash, now, as then, the boundary line.
These tidal rivers have the habit of changing their direction in
an extraordinary manner. When the tide is rising it rushes
violently up stream in a turbulent flood, sometimes accompanied
by a great "bore" or rolling wave, five or six feet high. At
low water a languid, slimy stream crawls sluggishly between
its muddy banks. You will often see good-sized vessels stranded
among the orchard trees, and leaning at all angles in their oozy
bed. But this very marsh mud, when diked and cultivated,
produces with apparently exhaustless fertility the richest crops.
I Man scarcely begins to realize such productions of nature,"
says Mr. C. Murphy, " until he considers the practicability of
utilizing them. The early settlers were not slow in recognizing
the value of these marshes, and the feasibility of their acqui- 66
sition by diking them. The currents, too, are considered,
studied and applied by the mariner, and made to subserve his
purpose in bearing him rapidly along with more unerring precision than the no less phenomenal trade winds.
" The fisherman also profits by the great height of the tide
which, during the flood, comes with its large shoals of such fish
as resort to the coast. These remain to feed until the return
or ebb tide falls somewhat, and are trapped within weirs of
wattles, that are made to run out past their line of retreat.
Large quantities of herring, cod and shad thus left dry at low
water, are carted to the smoke-houses, prepared and packed in
small cases and forwarded to the different markets."
BEFORE I cross the Missiguash river, the boundary line
between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, I must turn
for a few pages to the sister province of Prince Edward Island.
It is difficult to treat, systematically, the several provinces of
our vast Dominion, without certain interruptions of the continuity of the narrative. But it will be more convenient,
before we turn westward, to describe the islands of the Lower
Gulf, including also the great island of Newfoundland.
Prince Edward Island is the smallest of the Canadian Provinces, I embracing an area of only 2,133 square miles. But
what it lacks in extent it largely makes up in fertility. The
island is one hundred and thirty miles long, with an extreme
breadth of thirty-four miles ; but its much-indented shore gives
it a great extent of coast line. The surface is low and undulating ; the air soft and balmy, and much milder and less
foggy than' the adjacent mainland. The scenery, while not
bold or striking, is marked by a rural picturesqueness, and is
often lighted by shimmering reaches of salt-water lagoons,
and far-stretching bays, clear and blue as those of the Mediterranean.
Prince Edward Island, known till 1798 as St. John's Island,
is supposed to have been discovered by Cabot in one of his
early voyages. For over two centuries it remained uncolo-
nized, save as a French fishing-station. When Acadia and- Newfoundland were ceded to England by the treaty of Utrecht,
many of the French inhabitants removed to the fertile island
of St. John. This population was still further increased, on
the expulsion of the Acadians in 1755, by fugitives from that
stern edict. By the treaty of 1763, St. John's Island, with the
whole of Canada and Cape Breton, passed into the possession 68
of the British. It continued to form part of the extensive
province of Nova Scotia till 1770. It was surveyed by Captain
Holland, and reported to contain 365,400 acres of land, all but
10,000 of which was fit for agriculture.
In 1798, the name of the colony was changed, out of compliment to Edward, Duke of Kent—afterwards father of Queen
Victoria—to Prince Edward Island. Among the most energetic proprietors was the Earl of Selkirk, the founder of the
Red River Settlement, to be hereafter described. During the
early years of the century, he transferred not less than 4,000
hardy Highlanders, from his Scottish estates, to this fertile
island, and contributed greatly to its agricultural development.
The island is most readily reached from the mainland, by
boat from Shediac to Summerside, or from Pictou to Charlotte-
town. Summerside is a pleasant town, with a population of
4,000, with a charming summer resort on an island commanding a fine view of the Bedique shores and Northumberland
Sailing easbward, the steamer passes through this strait at its
narrowest part—between Cape Traverse and Cape Tormentine.
Here the mails and passengers are carried across by ice-boats
in winter, it being often found impracticable to keep a steamer
running through the thick and drifting ice. This unique mode
of travel is thus described by Mr. W. R. Reynolds:
" The distance to Cape Traverse is about nine • miles, part
solid ice, part drifting ice, part water, and sometimes a great
deal of broken ice or ' lolly.' The ' ice-boat' is a strongly built
water boat, in charge of trusty men who thoroughly understand
the difficult task that is before them. To this boat straps are
attached, and each man, passengers included, has one slung over
him. So long as there is any foothold, all hands drag the boat
along, and when the water is reached they pull the boat in it:
and get on board. In this way, sometimes up to the waist in
water, but safely held' by the strap, pulling and hauling over
all kinds of places, the journey is accomplished. Sometimes,
when the conditions are good, the trip has less hardships than
when a large amount of loose ice is piled across the path ; but
at any time the j voyage' is sufficiently full of novelty, excite- THE ISLAND RAILWAY.
ment and exercise, to be remembered for many days. There is
nothing like it in the ordinary experience of a traveller. It is
an unique style of journeying, yet, so far, it is the only sure
method of communication with the island in the winter season."
Charlottetown, the capital of the island, with a population of
about 12,000, is situated on gently rising ground, fronting on a
capacious land-locked harbour. The streets, one hundred feet
wide, are laid out in regular rectangles. The most imposing
structure is the Colonial Building, constructed of Nova Scotia
freestone, at a cost of $85,000. The Legislative Council and
Assembly chambers are handsomely furnished. The Wesleyan
College overlooks the city and harbour. It has ten instructors
and about three hundred students.
The island is traversed from end to end by a narrow-gauge
railway, constructed by the Dominion Government. Fertility
of soil, simplicity of manners, and thrift and industry of the
people, are the characteristics of the country. As a local poet
expresses it:
" No land can boast more rich supply,
That e'er was found beneath the sky ;
No purer streams have ever flowed,
Since Heaveil that bounteous gift bestowed. . .
And herring, like a mighty host,
And cod and mackerel, crowd the coast."
The railway traverses a fertile farming country—| a sort of
Acadia in which Shenstone might have delighted." Among the
principal stations, going west from Charlottetown, are Rustico,
a pleasant marine settlement; Summerside,- already referred to;
Alberton, a prosperous village engaged in ship building and
fisheries; and Tignish, in the extreme northern point, an important fishing station. At Alberton were born the Gordons—
martyred missionaries of Erromanga, one of whom was killed
by the natives in 1861, and the other in 1872. At the eastern
end of the island are Souris and Georgetown, termini of the
two branches of the railway. They are prosperous fishing and
shipping towns.
The Magdalen Islands, thirteen in number, lie out. in the
Gulf, fifty miles north of Prince Edward Island.    The inhabi- 70
tants are mostly Acadian fishermen, speaking French only.
, The harbours, during the fishing season, are the rendezvous
of hundreds of sail engaged in the pursuit of the immense
schools of mackerel and cod, which swarm in the neighbouring
waters. The drift ice in the* spring brings down myriads of
seals, of which, 6,000 have been taken in a fortnight, by seal
hunters going out from the shore. It is claimed that these
islands furnish the best lobster fishery in America.
Ddadman's Isle, an isolated rock, takes its name from its
fancied resemblance to a corpse laid out for burial. While
passing this rock, in 1804, Tom Moore wrote the poem, of which
the following are the closing lines:
"There lieth a wreck on the dismal shore
Of cold and pitiless Labrador,
Where, under the moon, upon mounts of frost,
Full many a mariner's bones are tossed.
Ton shadowy bark hath been to that wreck,
And the dim blue fire that lights her deck
Doth play on as pale and livid a crew
As ever yet drank the churchyard dew.
To Deadman's Isle in the eye of the blast,
To Deadman's Isle she speeds her fast;
By skeleton shapes her sails are furled,
And the hand that steers is not of this world."
In the month of August, 1873, a terrible storm swept over
these waters, strewing with wrecks their rocky shores. Many
scores of vessels were lost, and hundreds of gallant fishermen
found a watery grave. The dreadful disaster is commemorated
in the following fine poem, by Edmund C. Stedman:
In Gloucester port lie fishing craft,—
More staunch and trim were never seen:
They are sharp before and sheer abaft,
And true their lines the masts between.
Along the wharves of Gloucester town
Their fares are lightly landed down,
And the laden flakes to sunward lean. LORDS-DAY GALE.
And some must sail to the banks far north
And set their trawls for the hungry cod,—
In the ghostly fog creep back and forth
By shrouded paths no foot hath trod;
Upon the crews the ice-winds blow,
The bitter sleet, the frozen snow,—
Their lives are in the hand of God !
The Grand Bank gathers in its dead,—
The deep sea-sand is their winding-sheet;
Who does not George's billows dread
That dash together the drifting fleet?
Who does not long to hear, in May,
The pleasant wash of Saint Lawrence Bay,
The fairest ground where fishermen meet?
The Province craft with ours at morn
Are mingled when the vapours shift;
All day, by breeze and current borne,
Across the bay the sailors drift:
With toll and seine its wealth they win,—
The dappled silvery spoil come in
Fast as their hands can haul and lift.
Cape Breton and Edward Isle between,
In strait and gulf the schooners lay ;
The sea was all at peace, 1 ween,
The night before that August day;
Was never a Gloucester skipper there,
But thought erelong, with a right good fare,
To sail for home from Saint Lawrence Bay.
The east wind gathered all unknown,—
A thick sea-cloud his course before;
He left by night the frozen zone
And smote the cliffs of Labrador;
He lashed the coasts on either hand,
And betwixt the Cape and Newfoundland
Into the Bay his armies pour.
He caught our helpless cruisers there
As a gray wolf harries the huddling fold;
A sleet—a darkness—filled the air,
A shuddering wave before it rolled:
That Lord's-day morn it was a breeze,—
At noon, a blast that shook the seas,—
At night—a wind of Death took hold !
71 72
It leaped across the Breton bar,
A death-wind from the stormy east!
It scarred the land, and whirled afar
The sheltering thatch of man and beast;
It mingled rick and roof and tree,
And like a besom swept the sea,
And churned the waters into yeast.
From Saint Paul's light to Edward's Isle
A thousand craft it smote amain;
And some against it strove the while,
And more to make a port were fain:
The mackerel-gulls flew screaming past,
And the stick that bent to the noonday blast
Was split by the sundown hurricane.
Woe, woe to those whom the islands pen!
In vain they shun the double capes;
Cruel are the reefs of Magdalen ;
The wolf's white fang what prey escapes?
The Grindstone grinds the bones of some,
And Coffin Isle is craped with foam;—
On Deadman's shore are fearful shapes!
0, what can live on the open sea,
Or moored in port the gale outride?
The very craft that at anchor-be
Are dragged along by the swollen tide!
The great storm wave came rolling west,
And tossed the vessels on its crest:
The ancient bounds its might defied!
The ebb to check it had no power; •
The surf ran up to an untold height;
It rose, nor yielded, hour by hour,
A night and day, a day and night;
Far up the seething shores it cast
The wreck of hull and spar and mast,
The strangled crews,—a woeful sight!
There were twenty and more of Breton sail
Fast anchored on one mooring ground;
Each lay within his neighbour's hail,
When the thick of the tempest closed them round:
All sank at once in the gaping sea,—
Somewhere on the sho,als their corses be,
The foundered hulks, and the seamen drowned. LORDS-DAY  GALE.
On reef and bar our schooners drove
Before the wind, before the swell;
By the steep sand-cliffs their ribs were stove,—
Long, long their crews the tale shall tell!
Of the Gloucester fleet are wrecks threescore;
Of the Province sail two hundred more
Were stranded in that tempest fell.
The bedtime bells in Gloucester town
That Sabbath night rang soft and clear;
The sailors' children laid them down,—
Dear Lord! their sweet prayers could'st Thou hear?
'Tis said that gently blew the winds;
The good wives, through the seaward blinds,
Looked down the Bay and had no 'fear.
New England!   New England!
Thy ports their dauntless seamen mourn;
The twin capes yearn for their return
Who never shall be thither borne;
Their orphans whisper as they meet;
The homes are dark in many a street,
And women move in weeds forlorn.
And wilt thou fail, and dost thou fear ?
Ah, no! though widows' cheeks are pale,
The lads shall say: ' Another year,
And we shall be of age to sail!'
And the mothers' hearts shall fill with pride,
Though tears drop fast for them, who died
When the fleet was wrecked in the Lord's-day gale. a
Eh '
BEFORE turning westward to the great provinces of
Quebec and Ontario, I must give a sketch of the physical character, principal industries, and historic associations of
the vast island of Newfoundland. Though not yet a part of
the Dominion of Canada, it is not likely that it will much
longer remain dissevered from political relations with the rest
of British North America. The present writer has not personally visited Newfoundland, and is, therefore, dependent upon
the excellent authorities cited for the account of it here given.
The physical aspect of this great island is thus described by
the Rev. Dr. Carman:
Newfoundland is a vast, triangular island with a base of
316 miles, and altitude of 317 miles. It has an area of 42,000
square miles, one-sixth larger than Ireland; two-thirds the
size of England and Wales together; and with a coast line of
2,000 miles; having in its whole extent only 200,000 people
scattered and grouped along that coast line, and perhaps not
5,000 of them three miles from the sea. But how could there
be coast line of 2,000 miles on a triangle of the dimensions
given above ? That line is gashed with great bays, broader
than Lake Ontario, and half as long at places, nearly cutting
the island in twain, and embraced in huge, protruding arms of
rocky range that themselves', with all the shore, are riven and
ploughed into a thousand less bays, and rough and rocky coves,
around which the fishermen have built their little houses, and
into the largest of which the merchants' and traders have fol-
lowed them, and built up the villages and little towns.
Let us stand on ship-deck and look at the shore, and what we
see in one place we see in nearly all: rock, towering rock,
from 50 to 500 feet above the restless sea, bare and barren;
mighty bulwarks against the northern main,battered and broken
with iceberg; ploughed and ground with tempest and wave.
What less than such ramparts and citadels, whose massive
masonry was laid deep in subterranean chambers, and whose
walls were lifted and piled by the twin giants, earthquake and
volcano, could ever have withstood the rush of the tremendous
phalanxes of iceberg and avalanche poured upon these rugged
shores by the ice king of the Arctic domain, and the dash of
the fierce tempests upon the storm-scarred towers ? And these
grand harbours, of which the island has its scores, how utterly
indispensable they are, and how wonderfully they are formed !
Take a port like that of St. John's, where you enter as in an
instant from the open sea betwixt two walls of precipitous
rock, hundreds of feet high, by a passage scarcely wide enough
for two vessels to pass, and come in a minute into a long and
broad basin completely surrounded by equally lofty ranges of
rock, where a navy may ride in calm, deep sea, in perfect
Take another, like that at Trinity, where we enter by a channel not much wider, and come at once into a large, open bay,
surrounded by towering rocks as at St. John's, and then may
press up into the land betwixt the precipitous hills on either
of two extensive arms of the sea, giving not only a safe retreat,
but actually a hiding-place for the navies of nations. These
wonders abound, but there is not one too many or one too safe
when the storms of the Atlantic, and the fogs and currents and
ice come into the account.
Think of such a coast as this, with its lofty head bold and
bald to the sea ; its mountain and hill girt bays and coves ; its
tempest-riven and wave-worn cliffs -and precipices; with the
people given to fishing, and the communication by water tenfold readier and easier than by land ; and how are you going to
build waggon roads and railroads ? And what are you going
to do with them when you get them ? But the enterprising
Newfoundlanders are solving that very problem, difficult as it
is. Not by a sectional or municipal arrangement, but by the
concentration of the energies and resources of all the people in
the general  Government they  are gradually,  by   well-built 78
roads connecting the out-ports, inaccessible by land as they
have been, with the capital; and even invading the interior of
the island, which is a terra incognita, and will yet be, in many
ii; HaMliH
respects, a new-found-land to the Newfoundlanders themselves.
The waggon-roads they have built are most of them excellent
to travel upon, as the bed is hard, and much of the rock is ST. JOHNS HARBOUR.
easily triturated and cements naturally, making in a little while
a very smooth and solid way indeed. The road runs along the
shore, from harbour to harbour, connecting the coves as nearly
as possible at their heads, and opening up to the traveller some
of the grandest mountain and ocean scenery in the world.
st. John's.
We are indebted to the Rev. W. W. Percival for the following
account of the' entrance to the famous harbour of St. John's,
and of the city itself :
On every side a lofty, iron-bound coast presents itself to
view; the grim, hoary rocks seem to frown defiance to the
angry Atlantic. As the ship approaches nearer and nearer,
you think that surely she is only rushing on to her doom,
when suddenly the voyager sees a narrow opening in the rocky
wall, as if by some mighty convulsion of nature the rampart
had been rent asunder, and the sea had rushed in. Through
this narrow entrance he safely glides, surrounded by a wall of
rock on either side, some five or six hundred feet in height. It
is impossible to gaze upon those great cliffs of dark red sandstone, piled in huge masses on a foundation of gray slate-rock,
without experiencing a feeling of awe. On his right, surmounting an almost perpendicular precipice five hundred and ten feet
above the level of the sea, stands the " Block House" for
signalling vessels as they approach the harbour. On his left,
the hill rises still higher by a hundred feet, and looks rugged and
broken. From the base of this hill a rocky promontory juts out,
forming the entrance of the " Narrows " on one side, its summit
being crowned by Fort Amherst lighthouse. In former years
batteries, armed with formidable guns, rose one above another
amid the clefts of the rocks; but years ago the garrison was
withdrawn, and the cannon removed.
The passage leading to the harbour, commonly called the
Narrows, is nearly half a mile in length, and it is not till about
two-thirds of it is passed that the city itself comes into view,
as at the termination of this channel, the harbour tends suddenly to the west, thus completely shutting out the swell of the 80
ocean. Ten minutes after leaving the foam-crested billows of
the Atlantic, your ship is safely moored at the wharf, in a
perfectly land-locked harbour. Vessels of the largest tonnage
can enter at all times, for there is not more than four feet of a
tide. The Narrows, in the narrowest part, is about sixteen
hundred feet in width. The harbour is about half a mile in
length, and about half a mile in width. It is deep, having from
five to ten fathoms, and in the centre sixteen fathoms of water.
. Mr. Percival proceeds as follows to describe the capital: The
city occupies a commanding site on the northern side of the
harbour. From the water's edge the ground rises with a
gradual slope till the summit is reached, where there is a large
level space. Along the face of this slope the main streets run
east and west, being intersected by others running up over the
hill north and south. Water Street, the principal business
avenue, runs parallel with the harbour the whole length of the
city. It presents a very substantial, if not a very artistic
appearance, the houses being mostly built of brick and stone.
Shops, stores, and mercantile counting-houses occupy the ground
floors, while many of the merchants and shopkeepers live in the
upper stories. A vast amount of business is transacted every
year in this street; perhaps there is not another in British
America that transacts more, for nearly the whole business of
the colony is done here.
The architectural appearance of the city, though nothing to be
proud of, has vastly improved during the past dozen years.
Heretofore the custom too largely prevailed of many of the merchants coming out to St. John's simply to make money, and after
succeeding in doing so, returning to England or Scotland to
spend it lavishly in embellishing their homes. Only intending
to live here for a brief period, they were not particular how they
lived, or where. But this condition of things, we are thankful
to say, is rapidly becoming obsolete, and the result is seen in the
marked architectural improvement of the city. Already, on the
summits overlooking the business part of the city, there are
houses of a very superior description, and many more are being
erected every summer.
St. John's, in former years, suffered terribly by fire.    Twice DISASTROUS FIRES.
the greater portion of it was laid in ashes. In 1816 a fire broke
out, which consumed $400,000 worth of property, leaving fifteen
hundred persons homeless and shelterless, amidst the bitino-
frosts of February. Just as they were partially recovering
from the effects of this calamity another of the same kind, only
of still greater extent, occurred. On the morning of the
9th of June, 1846, another fire broke out in the western end of
the city, which swept everything before it, and before night
three-fourths of the wealthy and populous city were a smoking
mass of ruins. As the houses were then mostly built of wood,
and as a high wind prevailed at the time, the firebrands were
hurled far and wide. To add to the terrors of the scene, while the
red tongues of flame were leaping from street to street, the huge
oil vats on the south side of the harbour took fire. Liquid fire
now spread over the whole surface of the water, and ignited a
number of ships in the harbour, thus adding to the terrible
grandeur of the scene. Before the day closed, twelve thousand
people were homeless, and property valued at $4,500,000 was
Among the more prominent public buildings are the Government House, the Colonial Building, Custom House, Athenaeum
Hall, and several churches. Government House is a plain, substantial stone building, without architectural pretensions, but
spacious and comfortable. The Colonial Building is a large plain
structure, built of white limestone, imported direct from Cork,
though why it was necessary to send all the Way there for it
was always a mystery to the writer. The Athenaeum comprises a
large public hall, reading-room, and library of well-selected books,
and several public offices. The most conspicuous of the churches
is the Roman cathedral. It occupies a commanding site on the
summit of the hill, on which the city is built. It is in the form
of a vast Latin cross, with two lofty towers in front. The
Church of England cathedral will rank among the finest ecclesiastical edifices in British America. The growth of Methodism
has been rapid within the past few years, and it has a number
of fine churches.
Any description of this ancient and loyal Colony would be
essentially incomplete were we to omit mention of the fisheries, o
as these constitute the grand staple industry of the island. In
this department Newfoundland is in advance of all other
countries. Her cod-fisheries are the most extensive in the world.
The cod-fishery has been prosecuted during the last three hundred and seventy-five years; but notwithstanding the enormous
draughts every year, the fishing grounds show not the least sign
of exhaustion. When Sir Humphrey Gilbert took possession
of the island, in 1583, he found thirty-six ships in the harbour
of St. John's engaged in fishing. All the other fisheries, including seal, salmon, and herring, in the aggregate only amount
in value to about one-fifth of the cod-fishery.
The method of curing the cod-fish is thus described in Messrs.
Harvey and Hatton's admirable History of Newfoundland:
When the fisherman's boat, laden with the day's catch, reaches
his stage—a rough-covered platform, projecting over the water
and supported on poles—the fish are flung one by one from the
boat to the floor of the stage, with an instrument resembling: a
small pitchfork, and called a " pew." The cod is now seized by
the "cut-throat," armed with a sharp knife, who with one stroke
slits open the fish, and passes in to the | header.'"' This operator
first extracts the liver, which is dropped into a vessel at his side,
to be converted into cod-liver oil. He then wrenches off the
head, removes the viscera, which are thrown into a vessel, to be
preserved along with the head for the farmer, who, mixing them
with bosr and earth thus forms an excellent fertilizer. The
tongues and sounds, or air-bladders, are also taken out, and when
pickled, make an excellent article of food. The fish now passes
to the " splitter," who, placing it on its back, and holding it
open with his left hand, cuts along the backbone to the base of
the tail. The fish now lies open on the table, and with a sharp
stroke of the knife the "splitter" severs the backbone, and
catching the end thus freed, severs it from the body. The
"salter" now takes hold of the fish, and having carefully washed
away every particle of blood, he salts it in piles on the floor of
the fish-house.   After remaining the proper length of time in 84
salt, it is taken from the heap, washed, and carried to the "flake,"
where it is spread out to dry. The flake consists of a horizontal
framework of small poles, covered with spruce-boughs, and supported by upright poles, the air having free access beneath.
Here the cod are spread to bleach in the sun and air, and during
the process require- constant attention. In damp or rainy-
weather, or at the approach of night, they are piled in small
Fish Flakes.
heaps with the skin outward.    When thoroughly dried they-
have a whitish appearance, and are then ready for storing.
To Messrs. Harvey and Hatton's excellent book I am also
indebted for the following graphic account of the seal-fishery 1
Next to the cod-fishery, the most valuable of the Newfoundland fisheries is that of the seal.    The average annual value at SEALING.
present of the seal-fishery is about $1,100,000, being about an
eighth part of the entire exports. The number of men employed is from 8,000 to 10,000.
Beginning with a few nets, there followed the sealing-boats
and the little schooners, carrying each a dozen men, until the
industry was prosecuted with vessels of 200 or 250 tons, and
crews of forty or fifty men. At length, all-conquering steam
entered the field, and in 1863 the first steamer took part in this
fishery. Since then the number of steamers has rapidly increased, and the number of sailing vessels has still more rapidly
diminished. The day is not very distant when this industry
will be carried on solely by powerful steamers. They are
strongly built, to stand the pressure of ice, and cleave their way
through the ice-fields, being stoutly timbered, sheathed with
iron-wood, and having iron-plated stems.
There is always great excitement connected with the seal-
fisheries. The perils and hardships to be encountered, the skill
and courage required in battling with the ice-giants, and the
possible rich prizes to be won, throw a romantic interest around
this adventure. Not the seal-hunters alone, but the whole population, from the richest to the poorest, take a deep interest in
the fortunes of the hunt. It is like an army going out to do
battle for those who remain at home. In this case the enemies
to be encountered are the'icebergs, the tempest, and the blinding snow-storm. A steamer will sometimes go out and return
in two or three weeks, laden to the gunwale, occasionally bringing home as many as thirty or forty thousand seals, each worth
two and a half or three dollars. The successful hunters are
welcomed with thundering cheers, like returning conquerors,
and are the heroes of the hour.
According to law, no sailing vessel can be cleared for the ice
before the first of March, and no steamer • before the 10th of
March; a start in advance of ten days being thus accorded to
the vessels which depend on wind alone. As the time for starting approaches, the streets and wharves of the capital assume 86
an appearance of bustle, which contrasts pleasantly with the
previous stagnation. The steamers and sailing vessels begin to
take in stores, and complete their repairs. Rough berths are
fitted up for the sealers; bags of biscuit, barrels of pork, and
other necessaries are stowed away; water, fuel, and ballast are
taken on board; the sheathing of the ships, which has to stand
the grinding of the heavy Arctic ice, is carefully inspected. A
crowd of eager applicants surrounds the shipping offices, powerful-looking men, in rough jackets and' long boots, splashing
tobacco-juice over the white snow in all directions, and shouldering one another in their anxiety to get booked. The great
object is to secure a place on board one of the steamers, the
chances of success being considered much better than on board
the sailing .vessels. The masters of the steamers are thus able
to make up their crews with picked men. Each steamer has
on board from one hundred and fifty to three hundred men, and
it would be difficult to find a more stalwart lot of fellows in
the Royal Navy itself. The steamers have an immense advantage over the sailing vessels. They can cleave their way through
the heavy ice-packs against the wind: they can double and
beat about in search of the " seal-patches;" and when the prey
is found, they can hold on to the ice-fields, while sailing vessels
are liable to be driven off by a change of wind, and if beset
with ice are often powerless to escape. It is not to be wondered at that steamers are rapidly superseding sailing vessels
in the seal-fishery. They can make two, and even three trips
to the ice-field during the season, and thus leave behind the
antiquated sealer dependent on the winds.
Before the introduction of steamers, one hundred and twenty
sailing-vessels, of from forty to two hundred tons, used to leave
the port of St. John's alone for the seal-fishery. Now they are
reduced to some half-dozen, but from the more distant "out-
ports" numbers of small sailing vessels still engage in this
special industry.
The young seals are born on the ice from the 10th to the
25th of February, and as they grow rapidly, and yield a much'
finer oil than the old ones, the object of the hunters is to reach
them in their babyhood while yet fed by their mothers' milk, AND SEALERS.
and while they are powerless to escape. So quickly do they
increase in bulk, that by the 28th of March they are in perfect
condition. By the 1st of April they begin to take to the water,
and can no longer be captured in the ordinary way. The great
Arctic current, fed by streams from the seas east of Greenland,
and from Baffin's and Hudson's Bays, bears on its bosom hundreds of square miles of floating ice, which are carried past the
shores of Newfoundland, to find their destiny in the warm ■
waters of the Gulf Stream. Somewhere amid these floating
masses, the seals have brought forth their young, which remain
on the ice during the first period of their growth, for five or six
weeks. The great aim of the hunters is to get among the hordes
of " white-coats," as the young harp seals are called, during this
period. For this purpose they go forth at the appointed time,
steering northward till they come in sight of those terrible icy
wildernesses, which, agitated by the swell of the Atlantic,
threaten destruction of all rash invaders. These hardy seal-
hunters, however, who are accustomed to battle with the floes,
are quite at home among the bergs and crushing ice-masses;
and where other mariners would shrink away in terror, th'ey
fearlessly dash into the ice wherever an opening presents itself,
in search of their prey.
In the ice-fields the surface of the ocean is covered with a
glittering expanse of ice, dotted with towering bergs of every
shape and size, having gleaming turrets, domes and spires. The
surface of the ice-field is rugged and broken, rushing frequently
into steep hillocks and ridges. The scene in which "The
Ancient Mariner " found himself, is fully realized:
"And now there came both mist and snow,
And it grew wondrous cold;
And ice, mast-high, came floating by,
As green as emerald.
"And through the drifts the snowy cliffs
Did send a dismal sheen:
Nor shapes of men, nor beasts we ken—
The ice was all between.
"The ice was here, the ice was there,
The ice was all around;
It cracked and growled, and roared and howled,
Like noises in a swound." 88
When a storm arises amid these icy solitudes the scene is
grand and awful, beyond all powers of description.
Considering all the perils, it is surprising how few fatal disasters occur. During the seal hunt of 1872, one hundred men
perished, fifty of these having gone down in a single vessel,
called the Huntsman, on the coast of Labrador. In the same
year, two steamers, the Bloodhound and Retriever, were crushed
by the ice and sank, but their crews, numbering nearly four
hundred men, managed to reach Battle Harbour, in Labrador,
over the ice, after enduring great hardships.
Happily these terrible storms are not frequent. For the most
part the sea is at rest, and then the ice-fields present a strange
beauty of their own, which has a wonderful fascination. When
the sun is shining brightly, it is too dazzling, and its monotony
is wearisome. The moon, the stars, and the flickering Aurora,
are needed to reveal all its beauty.*
We shall now look into the equipment of a sealing steamer,
and then, in imagination, accompany her to. the ice-fields, in
order to form some idea of the hunt.
In the last week of February, the roads leading from the
various out-ports of St. John's, begin to be enlivened by the
appearance of the sealers, or, as they are called in the vernacular, "swilers," their enterprise being designated "swile huntin'."
Each of them carries a bundle of spare clothing over his shoulder,
swinging at the extremity of a pole six or seven feet in length,
which is called a " gaff," and which serves as a bat or club to
strike the seal on the nose, where it is most vulnerable. The
same weapon serves as an ice-pole in leaping from " pan " to
| pan," and is also used for dragging the skin and fat of the seal
over the fields and hummocks of ice to the side of the vessel.
To answer these various purposes, the "gaff" is armed with an
iron hook at one end and bound with iron. Some of the men,
in addition, carry a long sealing-gun on their shoulders. These
are the " bow " or " after gunners," who are marksmen to sh»l
*Mr. Harvey gives in his book a graphic engraving of a night scene
among the icebergs, with the bright curtains of the northern Aurora waving
overhead. SEAL HUNTER.
Seal Hunter in Snow-Stokm. 90
old seals or others that cannot be reached by the "gaff." The
outfit of the sealers is of the simplest description. Sealskin
boots, reaching to the knee, having a thick leather sole well
nailed, to enable them to walk over the ice, protect the feet;
coarse canvas jackets, often showing the industry of a wife or
mother, in the number of patches which adorn them, are worn
over warm woollen shirts and other inner clothing; sealskin
caps, and tweed or moleskin trousers, with thick woollen mits,
complete the costume, which is more picturesque than handsome.
In the forecastle, or other parts of each ship, rough berths are
constructed. The sealers have to furnish themselves with a straw
mattress and blanketing. The men are packed like herrings in
a barrel, and, as a rule, they never undress during the voyage.
In the rare event of putting on a clean shirt, it goes over its
predecessor, without removing the latter—a method which saves
time and trouble, and is, besides, conducive to warmth. The
owner of the vessel supplies the provisions. In sailing vessels,
half the proceeds of the voyage are divided as wages among
the men, but in steamers only a third is thus distributed. The
captain gets a certain number of cents per seal.
The food of the m^n is none of the daintiest, and no one who
is at all squeamish about what he " eats, drinks and avoids,"
need attempt to go " swile huntin'." The diet consists of biscuit, pork, butter, and tea, sweetened with molasses. On three
days of the week dinner consists of pork and | duff," the latter
item consisting of flour and water, with a little fatty substance
intermixed " to lighten it." When boiled it is almost as hard
as a cannon ball. On the other four days of the week, all the
meals consist of tea, sweetened with molasses, and biscuit. Such
is the rough fare on which these hardy fellows go through their
trying and laborious work. When, however, they fall in with
seals, their diet is improved. They cook the heart, liver, flippers, and other parts, and feast on them ad libitum, and generally come ashore in excellent condition, though the odour that
attends them does not suggest the "spicy breezes" which "blow
soft from Ceylon's Isle." The use of fresh seal meat is highly
conducive to health, and is the best preventive of scurvy.   Very AND SEALERS.
little sickness occurs among the men while leading this rough
life. They are often out for eight or ten weeks without seeing
land, and enduring the hardest toils. When seals are taken in
large quantities, the hold of the vessel is first filled, and then*
the men willingly surrender their berths, which are packed full
of I white-coats." In fact, every nook and corner is crammed
with the precious fat; and the sealers sleep where they can—
in barrels on deck, on a layer of seals, or in the coal bunks. It
is marvellous to see men, after eight or ten weeks of such life,
leap ashore hearty and vigorous. Their outer garments are
polished with seal fat, and it is advisable to keep to windward
of them till they have procured a change of clothing.
The experiences of a sealing voyage are various, being influenced by the ever-shifting condition of the ice, and the direction
of the winds. The grand aim of the sealers is to reach that
portion of the ice which is the " whelping-grounds " of the seals,
while yet the young are in their plump, oleaginous babyhood.
The position of this icy cradle is utterly uncertain, being dependent on the movements of the ice, and the force of the winds
and waves. It has to be sought for amid vast ice-fields. At
times, in endeavouring to push her way through, the vessel is
caught in the heavy ice, and then the ice-saws are called into
requisition, to cut an opening to the nearest | lead " of clear
water, that she may work her way north. But the heavy Arctic ice may close in under the pressure of a nor'-easter, and
then no amount of steam-power can drive her through. Howling night closes in; bergs and floes are crashing all around, and
momentarily threatening her with destruction; the wind roars
through the shrouds, driving on its wings the arrowy sleet and
snow, sharp as needles, which only men of iron can stand.
Thus, locked in the embrace of the floe, the luckless vessel is
drifted helplessly hundreds of miles, till a favourable wind
loosens the icy prison walls. It is no uncommon occurrence for
a hundred vessels to be thus beset by heavy ice, through which
no passage can be forced. Some are " nipped," some crushed to
atoms, and the men have to escape for their lives over the ice.
Others are carried into the great northern bays, or borne in the
heavy " pack " up and down on the ocean for weeks, returning 92
to port " clean "—that is, without a single seal. There are seasons when the boldest and most skilful captains fail. At other
times, by a turn of good fortune, a vessel "strikes the seals" a
' day or two after leaving port, and finds herself in the middle
of a "seal patch" sufficient to load the Great Eastern. The
whole ice for miles around is covered thick with the young
I white-coats," and in a fortnight from the time of the departure, she returns to port, loaded to the gunwale, her very decks
being piled with the skins and fat of seals.
When approaching such an El-Dorado as this, the excitement
on board may be imagined, as the welcome whimpering of the
young harp seals is heard. Their cry has a remarkable resemblance to the sobbing or whining of an infant in pain, which is
redoubled as the destroyers approach. Young hunters, who now
apply their gaffs for the first time, are often almost overcome
by their baby lamentations. Compassion, however, is soon
gulped down. The vessel is | laid to," the men eagerly bound
on the ice, and the work of destruction begins. A blow on the
nose from the gaff, stuns or kills the young seal. Instantly the
sculping-knife is at work, the skin, with the fat adhering, is
detached, with amazing rapidity, from the carcass, which is left
on the ice, while the fat and skin alone are carried off. This
process is called " sculping "—a corruption, no doubt, of scalping. The skin or pelt is generally about three feet long, and
two and a half feet wide, and weighs from thirty-five to fifty
pounds. Five or six pelts are reckoned a heavy load to drag
over rough or broken ice, sometimes for one or two miles. If
the ice is loose and open, the hunter has to leap from pan to
Fancy two or three hundred men on a field of ice carrying on
this work. Then what a picture the vessel presents as the pelts
are being piled on deck to cool, previous to stowage below ! One
after another the hunters arrive with their loads, and snatch a
hasty moment to drink a bowl of tea, and eat a piece of biscuit
and butter. The poor mother seals, now cubless, are seen popping their heads up in the small lakes of water and holes among
the ice, anxiously looking for their youno\
So soon as the sailing vessel reaches port with her fat cargo. AND SEALERS.
the skinners go to work and separate skin and fat. The former
are at once salted and stored for export to England, to be converted into boots and shoes, harness, portmanteaus, etc. The
old method of manufacturing the fat was to throw it into huge
wooden vats, in which the pressure of its own weight, and the
heat of the sun, extracted the oil, which was drawn off and
barrelled for exportation. This was a tedious'process. Latterly
steam has been employed to quicken the extraction of the oil,'
By means of steam-driven machinery, the fat is now rapidly
cut up by revolving knives into minute pieces, then ground
finer in a sort of gigantic sausage-machine; afterwards steamed
in a tank, which rapidly extracts the oil; and finally, before
being barrelled, it is exposed for a time in glass-covered tanks
to the action of the sun's rays* By this process, the work of
manufacturing, which formerly occupied two months, is completed in two weeks. Not only so, but. by the steam process,
the disagreeable smell of the oil is removed, the quality improved, and the quantity increased.
The refuse is sold to the farmers, who mix it with bog and
earth, which converts it into a highly fertilizing compost. The
average value of a ton of seal-oil is about a hundred and forty
dollars. The skin of a young harp seal is worth from ninety
to one hundred cents. The greater part of the oil is sent to
Britain, where it is largely used in lighthouses and mines, and
for lubricating machinery. It is also used in the manufacture
of the finer kinds of soap.
The maternal instinct appears to be peculiarly strong in the
female seal, and the tenderness with which the mothers watch
over their young offspring, is most touching. When the young
seals are cubbed on the ice, the mothers remain in the neighbourhood, going off each morning to fish, and returning at
intervals to give them suck. It is an extraordinary fact that
the old seals manage to keep holes in the ice open, and to prevent them freezing over in order that they may reach the water.
On returning from a fishing excursion, extending over fifty or
a hundred miles, each mother seal manages to find the hole by
which she took her departure, and to discover her own snow-
white cub, which she proceeds to fondle and suckle.    This is 1
)i fii! SEALING.
certainly one of the most remarkable achievements of animal
instinct. The young "white-coats" are scattered in myriads
over the ice-field. During the absence of the mother, the field
of ice has shifted its position, perhaps many miles, being borne
on the current. Yet each mother seal is able to find her own
hole, and to pick out her own cub from the immense herd with
unerring accuracy. It is quite touching to witness their signs
of distress and grief when they return and find only a skinless
carcass, instead of their "whimpering little ones.
Just as the eagle | stirs up her young," and encourages them
to use their wings, so, it is said, the mother seals tumble their
babies into the water and give them swimming lessons. When
they are in danger from "rafting" ice, or fragments of floes
dashed about by the wind and likely to crush them, the self-
sacrificing affection of the mothers leads them to brave all
dangers, and they are seen helping their young to places of
safety in the unbroken ice, sometimes clasping them in their
fore-flippers, and swimming with them, or pushing them forward with their noses.
At the end- of six weeks, the young shed their white woolly
robe, which has a yellowish or golden lustre, and a smooth,
spotted skin appears, having a rough, darkish fur. They have
now ceased to be "white-coats," and become "ragged-jackets."
The milk on which they are sustained is of a thick, creamy consistency, very rich and nutritious. While the mothers are thus
guarding and suckling their young, the males take the opportunity of enjoying themselves, and are seen sporting about in
the open pools of water. The old male harps appear to be indifferent about their young. The male hood seal, on the other
hand, assists his mate in her maternal guardianship, and will
fight courageously in defence of her and the young.
In the seas around Newfoundland and Labrador there are
four species of seals—the bay seal, the harp, the hood, and the
square flipper. The bay seal is local in its habits, does not
migrate, but frequents the mouths of rivers and harbours around
the coast, and is never found on the ice. It is frequently taken
in nets, but, commercially, is of small importance. The harp
seal—par excellence, the seal of commerce—is so called from 96
having a broad curved line of connected dark spots proceeding
from each shoulder, and meeting on the back above the tail,
and forming a figure something like an ancient harp. The old
harp seals alone have this figuring, and not till their second
The hood seal is much larger than the harp. The male, called
by the hunters " the dog-hood," is distinguished from the female
by a singular hood or bag of flesh on his nose. When attacked
or alarmed, he inflates this hood so as to cover the face and eyes,
and it is strong enough to resist seal shot. It is impossible to
kill one of these creatures when his sensitive nose is thus protected, even with a sealing-gun, so long as his head or his tail
is toward you; and the only way is by shooting him on the
side of the head, and a little behind it, so as to strike him in
the neck, or the base of the skull.
The square flipper seal is the fourth kind, and is believed to
be identical with the great Greenland seal. It is from twelve
to sixteen feet in length. By far the greatest | catch " is made
among t