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Canada and the States : recollections, 1851 to 1886 Watkin, E. W. (Edward William), Sir, 1819-1901 1887

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1851 to 1886.
Sir  E.  W.  WATKIN,  Bart.,  M.P.
"If the Maritime Provinces [of Britain] would join us, spontaneously,
to-day—sterile as they may he in the soil under a sky of steel—still with
their hardy population, their harbours, fisheries, and seamen, they would
greatly strengthen and improve our position, and aid us in our struggle
for equality upon the ocean. If we would succeed upon the deep, we
must either maintain our fisheries or absorb the Provinces."
E. H. Debby, Esq., Report to the Revenue Commissioners of the United States, 1866.
NEW YORK: BOND STREET.  TN the absence of any formal Dedication, I feel that to no one
could the following pages be more appropriately inscribed than to
On her have fallen the anxieties of our home life during my
many long absences away on the American Continent—which
Continent she once, in 1862, visited with me. My business, in
relation to Canada, has, from time to time, been undertaken
■with her. knowledge, and under her good advice; and no one
Jias been animated with a stronger hope for Canada, as a great
integral part of the Empire of the Queen, than herself.
2nd May, 1887.
HE following pages have been written
some of them co-workers in the cause
•of permanent British rule over the larger part
of the Great Northern Continent of America. \
In 1851 I visited Canada and the United States
•as a mere tourist, in search of health. In 1861
I went there x>n an anxious mission of business;
and for some years afterwards I frequently crossed
the Atlantic, not only during the great Civil War
between the North and South, but, also, subsequent to its close. In 1875 I had to undertake
another mission of responsibility to the United
States. And, last year, I traversed the Dominion
of Canada from Belle Isle to the Pacific. I
returned home by San Francisco and the Union
Pacific Railways to Chicago; and by Montreal
±0 New York.     Thence to Liverpool,  in that VI
unsurpassed steamer, the "Etruria," of the grand
old Cunard line. I ended my visits to America,
as I began them, as a tourist. This passage
was my thirtieth crossing of the Atlantic Ocean.
Within the period from 1851 to 1886, history
on the North American Continent has been a
wonderful romance. Never in the older stories
of the world's growth, have, momentous changes
been effected, and, apparently, consolidated, in
so short a time, or in such rapid succession.
Regarding the United States, the slavery of
four millions of the negro race is abolished for
ever, and the black men vote for Presidents. A
great struggle for empire—-fought on gigantic
measure—has been won for liberty and union.
Turning to Canada, the British half of the Continent has been moulded into one great unity,
and faggotted together, without the shedding of
one drop of brothers' blood—and in so tame and
quiet away, that the great silent forces of Nature
have to be cited, to find a parallel.
In this period, the American Continent has
been spanned by three main routes of iron-road. Preface.
uniting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans: and one
of these main routes passes exclusively through
British territory—the Dominion of Canada. The
problem of a I North-west Passage" has been
solved in a new and better way. It is no longer
a question of threading dark and dismal seas
within the limits of and snow, doubtful
to find, and impossible, if found, to navigate.
Now, the two oceans are reached by land, and
a fortnight suffices for the conveyance of our
people from London or Liverpool to or from the
great Pacific, on the way to the great East.
Anyone uvho reads what follows will learn
that I am an Imperialist—that I hate little-
Englandism. That, so far as my puny forces
would go, I struggled for the union of the
Canadian Provinces, in order that they might be
retained under the sway of the best form of government—a limited monarchy, and under the
best government of that form—the beneficent rule
of our Queen Victoria^ I like to say our Queen :
for no sovereign ever identified herself in heart
and feeling, in anxiety and personal sacrifice, Vlll
with a free and grateful people more thoroughly
than she has done, all along.
In this period of thirty-six years the British
American Provinces have been, more than once,
on the slide. The abolition of the old Colonial
policy of trade was a great wrench. The cold,
neglectful, contemptuous treatment of Colonies
in general, and of Canada in particular, by the
doctrinaire Whigs and Benthamite-Radicals,
and by Tories of the Adderley school, had,
up to recent periods, become a painful strain.
Denuding Canada of the Imperial red-coat disgusted very many. And the constant whispering, at the door of Canada, by United States
influences, combined with the expenditure of
United States money on Nova Scotian and other
Canadian elections, must be looked to, and
stopped, to prevent a slide in the direction of
On the other hand, the statesmanlike action
of Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, Colonial Minister
in 1859, in erecting British Columbia into a
Crown Colony, was a break-water against the co-
fell waves of annexation. The decided language
of Her Majesty's speech in proroguing Parliament at the end of 1859 was a manifesto of
decided encouragement to all loyal people on
the American Continent: and, followed as it
was by the visit—I might say the triumphal
progress—of the Prince of Wales, accompanied
by the Colonial Minister, the great Duke of
Newcastle, through Canada, in i860, the loyal
idea began to germinate once more. Loyal
subjects began to think that no spot of earth
over which the British flag had once floated
would ever, again, be given up—without a
fight for it. Canada for England, and England
for Canada!
But, what will our Government at home do
with the new "North-west Passage" through
Canada ? The future of Canada depends upon
the decision. What will the decision be ? How
soon will it be given ?
Is this great work, the Canadian Pacific
Railway, to be left as a monument, at once, of
Canada's loyalty and foresight, and of Canada's X
betrayal: or is it to be made the new land-route
to our Eastern and Australian Empire ? If it is
to be shunted, then the explorations of the last
three hundred years have been in vain. The
dreams of some of the greatest statesmen of past
times are reduced to dreams, and nothing more.
The strength given by this glorious self-contained route, from the old country to all the new
countries, is wasted. On the other hand, if those
who now govern inherit the great traditions of
the past; if they believe in Empire; if they are
statesmen — then, a line of Military Posts, of
strength and magnitude, beginning at Halifax
on the Atlantic, and ending at the Pacific, will
give power to the Dominion, and, wherever the
red-coat appears, confidence in the old brave
country will be restored.
Then the soldier, his arms and our armaments,,
will have their periodical passages backwards
and forwards through the Dominion. Mails for
the East, for Australia, and beyond, will pass
that way; and the subject of every part of
the Empire will, as  he passes, feel   that   he nm
is treading the sacred soil of real liberty and
Which is it to be ?
Some years ago, Sir John A. Macdonald said,
11 hope to live to see the day—and if I do not,
that my son may be spared, to see Canada the
right arm of England. To see Canada a
powerful auxiliary of the Empire, not, as now,
a source of anxiety, and a source of danger."
Does Her Majesty's Government echo this
aspiration ?
Thinking people will recognize that the United
States become, year by year, less English and
more Cosmopolitan; less conservative and more-
socialist; less peaceful and more aggressive.
Twice within ten years the Presidential elections
have pushed the Republic to the very brink of
civil war. But for the forbearance of Mr. Tilden
and the Democrats, on one occasion; and the
caution of leading Republicans when President
Cleveland was chosen, disturbance must have
We have yet to see whether Provincial Govern- xu
ment may not, in the Dominion, lead towards
Separation, rather than towards Union. While
one Custom-house and one general Government is aiding Union, the Province of Quebec
accentuates all that is French; the Province
■of Ontario accentuates all that is British: the
problem, here, is how, gradually, to weaken
sectional, and how gradually to strengthen
Union, ideas. State rights led to a civil war
in the United States: Provincial Government
fifty years hence may lead to conflicts in Canada.
In the United States there was no solution but
war. Surely in Canada we can apply the safety
valve of augmenting British aid and influence.
Why not try the re-introduction of the red-coat
of the Queen's soldier—that soldier to be enlisted and officered, let us hope in the early future,
from every portion of the Queen's Dominions—
as of the one Imperial army;—an Imperial army
paid for by the whole Empire. —^——~=J
Preliminary—One Reason why I went to the Pacific    r
Towards the Pacific—Liverpool to Quebec
To the Pacific—Montreal to Port Moody
Canadian Pacific Railways    .
A British Railway from the Atlantic to the Pacific   57
Port Moody—Victoria—San Francisco to Chicago   .   66
J xiv Contents.
chapter vn.
Negociations as to the Intercolonial Railway : and
North-west Transit and Telegraph, 1861 to 1864 .   80
Negociations for Purchase of the Hudson's Bay
Property 120
The Right Honorable Edward Ellice, M.P.      .       .   134
The Select Committee, on Hudson's Bay Affairs, of
i8S7 140
Re-organization of Hudson's Bay Company .      .       .144.
The Hudson's Bay Company and the Select Committee
of 1748-9      ■■      .      ■ 20?
The Hudson's Bay Posts—to-day    .       . ->22 Contents.
" Uncertain Sounds "
■" Governor Dallas '
The Honorable Thomas d'Arcy McGee .
The Defences of Canada .
. 227
1851—First Visit to America : a Reason for it   .       . 320
The Reciprocity Treaty with the United States       . 374
Intended Route fpr a Pacific Railway in 1863   .      .451 CHAPTER XXHI.
Visits to Quebec and Portland : and Letters Home . 496. CANADA
Preliminary—One Reason why I went to the
QUARTER of a century ago, charged with the
temporary oversight of the then great Railway
of Canada, I first made the acquaintance of
Mr. Tilley, Prime Minister of the Province of New
Brunswick, whom I met in a plain little room, more
plainly furnished, at Frederickton, in New Brunswick.
My business was to ask his co-operation in carrying out
the physical union of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and
through them Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland,
with Canada by means of what has since been called the
"Intercolonial" Railway. That Railway, projected half
a century ago, was part of the great scheme of 1851,—
of which the Grand Trunk system from Portland, on
the Atlantic, to Richmond; and from Riviere du Loup,
by Quebec and Richmond, to Montreal, and then on
to Kingston, Toronto, Sarnia, and Detroit—had been
J Preliminary.
completed and opened when I, thus, visited Canada, as
Commissioner, in the autumn of 1861. I found Mr.
Tilley fully alive to the initial importance of the construction of this arterial Railway—initial, in the sense that,
without it, discussions in reference to the fiscal, or
the political, federation, or the absolute union, under
one Parliament, of all the Provinces was vain. I
found, also, that Mr. Tilley had, ardently, embraced
the great idea—to be realized some day, distant though
that day might be—of a great British nation, planted,
for ever, under the Crown, and extending from the
Atlantic to the Pacific.
Certainly, in 1861, this great idea seemed like a
mere dream of the uncertain future. Blocked by wide
stretches of half-explored country: dependent upon
approaches through United States' territory: each Province enforcing its separate, and differing, tariffs, the
one against the other, and others, through its separate
Custom House; it was not matter of surprise to find
a growing gravitation towards the United States, based,
alike, on augmenting trade and augmenting prejudices.
Amongst party politicians at home, there was, at this
time, of 1861, little adhesion to the idea of a Colonial
Empire; and the reader has only to read the reference,
made later on, to a published letter of Sir Charles
Adderley to Mr. Disraeli in 1862, to see how the pulse
of some of the Conservative party was then beating.
There was, however, one bright gleam of hope-
That was to be found in the, still remembered, effects
of the visit of the Prince of Wales, accompanied by nmn
The Duke of Newcastle.
the Duke of Newcastle, to Canada, and the United
. States, in i860.
Entertaining, with no small enthusiasm, and in common, these views of an Anglo-American Empire, Mr.
Tilley and I were of the same opinion as to practical
modes. We must go | step by step," and the Intercolonial Railway was the first step in the march before us.
In the following pages will be found some record
of what followed. Suffice it here to say, that the Railway is made, not on the route I advocated : but it is in
course of improvement, so that the shortest iron road
from the great harbour of Halifax, in Nova Scotia, to
the Pacific may be secured. The vast western, country,
bigger than Russia in Europe, more or less possessed
and ruled over, since the days of Prince Rupert, the
first governor, by the " Merchant Adventurers of
England trading to Hudson's Bay," has been' annexed
to Canada, and one country, under one Parliament, is
bounded by the two great oceans; and, as a consequence, the I Canadian Pacific Railway" has been
made and opened for the commerce of the world.
Mr. Tilley, now Sir Leonard Tilley, is, at the moment,
Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick, having previously filled the highest offices in the Government of
the " Dominion of Canada;" and he has not forgotten
the vow he and I exchanged some while after our first
acquaintance. That vow was, that we neither of us
would die, if we could help it, "until we had looked
upon the waters of the Pacific from the windows of a
British railway carriage."   The Canadian Pacific Rail-
B 2 Prehminary.
way is completed, completed by the indomitable perseverance of Sir George Stephen, Mr. Van Home, and
their colleagues—sustained as they have been, throughout, by the far-sighted policy and liberal subsidies,
granted ungrudgingly, by the Dominion Parliament,
under the advice of Sir John A. Macdonald, the Premier.
I have, in the past year, fulfilled my vow, by traversing
the Canadian Continent from Quebec to Port Moody,
■Vancouver City, and Victoria, Vancouver's Island, over
the 3,100 miles of Railway possessed by the Canadian
Pacific Company, and have "looked upon the waters
of the Pacific from the windows of a British railway
My impressions of this grand work will be found in
future chapters.
| The Dominion of Canada" now includes the various
Provinces of North America, formerly known as Upper
and Lower Canada, New Brunswick, Nova'Scotia, Prince
Edward Island, British Columbia, Vancouver's Island,
and the extensive regions of the Hudson's Bay Company, including the new Province of Manitoba, and the
North West Territories; in fact, the whole of British
North America, except Newfoundland.
This territory stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific
Ocean, and (including Newfoundland) is estimated to
contain a total area of some four million square miles.
As matter of mere surface, and probably of cultivable
area, also, more than half the Northern Continent of
America owes allegiance to the Crown and to Queen
Victoria. So may it remain. So it will remain if we
retain the Imperial instinct.   These noble provinces are ftmsmmsfmmwms
The Duke of Newcastle.
confederated into a vast dominion, with one common
Law, one Custom House, and one " House of Commons "—by a simple Act of the Imperial Parliament, the
Confederation Act of 1867, passed while Lord Beacons-
field was Prime Minister and the Duke of Buckingham
Colonial Minister. This union was effected quietly,
unostentatiously, and in peace; and (circumstances well
favouring) by the exertions, influence, and faithfulness
to Imperial traditions, of Cartier, John A. Macdonald,
John Ross, Howe, Tilley, Gait, Tupper, Van Koughnet,
and other provincial statesmen, who forced the Home
Government to action and fired their brother colonists
with their own enthusiasm.
At home,  all honour is  due to a great Colonial
Minister—the Duke of Newcastle.
Taking up, some years ago, a tuft of grass growing at
the foot of one of the grand marble columns of the
Parthenon at the Acropolis at Athens, I found a compass
mark in the footing, or foundation—a mere scratch in
the stone—made, probably, by some architect's assistant,
before the Christian era. I make no claim to more
than. having made a scratch of some sort on the
foundation stone of some pillar, or other, of Confederation. And I throw together these pages with no
idea of gaining credit for services, gratuitously rendered,
over a period of years and under many difficulties, to a'
cause which I have always had at heart; but with the
desire to record some facts of interest which, hereafter,
may, probably, be held worthy of being interleaved in
some future history of the union of the great American 6
provinces of the British Empire. I have another motive
also: I should wish to contribute some information
bearing upon any future account of the life of the late
Duke of Newcastle.' He is dead: and, so far, no one
has attempted to write his biography. That may be
reserved for another generation. He was the Colonial
Minister under whose rule and guidance the foundations of the great measure of Confederation were,
undoubtedly, laid; and to him, more than to any
minister since Lord Durham, the credit of preserving,
as I hope for ever, the rule of her Majesty, and her
successors, over the Western Continent ought to attach.
For, while the idea of an union, of more or less
extent, was suggested in Lord Durham's time—probably by Charles Buller,—and was now and then
fondled by other Governors-General, in Canada, and
by Colonial Ministers at home—the real, practical
measures which led to the creation of one country
extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific were due to
the far-sighted policy and persuasive influence of the
Duke. The Duke was a statesman singularly averse
to claiming credit for his own special public services,
while ever ready to attribute credit and bestow praise
on those around him.
My first interview with the Duke was in January,
1847. He was then Lord Lincoln, and the Conservative candidate for Manchester; in disgrace with his
father. His father was the old fashioned nobleman
who desired "to do what he liked with his own," and
never would rebuild Nottingham Castle, burnt in 1832 The Duke of Newcastle.
by the Radicals. The son had cast in his lot with Sir
Robert Peel and free trade. The father was still one
of the narrow-minded class to whom reform of any kind
was the spectre of | ruin to the country." They were
quite honest in the conviction that the people were
p born to be governed, and not to govern." They probably saw in the free importation of foreign food the
abrogation of rent.
In 1847 Mr. Bright was the candidate for Manchester, whom we of the old Anti-Corn Law League
supported. The interview I refer to was actuated by
our desire to avoid an undeserved opposition; Lord
Lincoln retired, however, owing mainly to other reasons, including that of the intolerance of a body of
Churchmen regarding popular education.
A long period of wretched health compelled me for
Several years to consume what strength I had left in the
ordinary routine of daily business. And it was not
until 1852 that any further intercourse of any kind took
place between us. In that year I published a little
book about the United States and Canada, the record
of my first visit to North America, in 1851. And, if I
recollect rightly, I travelled with the Duke in the spring
of 1852, probably between Rugby and Derby, and found
him in possession of a copy of this little book, on which
he had, faute de mieux, spent half-a-crown at the book
stall at Euston. He recognised me; and it was my
fault, and not his, that I saw no more of him till 1857,
.by which time, no doubt, he had forgotten me. Still
our conversation in 1852 about America, and especially
J 8
as to slavery, and the probability of a separation of
North and South, will always dwell in my memory.
Lord Lincoln had studied De Tocqueville ; but he had
not, yet, seen America. He bad, therefore, at that
time many erroneous views, which could only be corrected by the actual and personal opportunity of seeing
and measuring, on the spot, the country, which always
really means the people. This opportunity was given
to him by the visit of the Prince of Wales to Canada
and the United States, in i860. He accompanied the
Prince in his capacity of Colonial Minister.
These casual glimpses of Lord Lincoln were followed
by an interview between us in 1857. ■"■n the meantime,
it is true, he had had my name brought before him
during his term of office pending the Crimean War.
Some one had suggested to the Government to send
me out to the Crimea to take charge of the Stores
Department, at a time when all was confusion and mess,
out there, and I was asked to call on the Minister about
it. It seemed to me, however, a duty impossible of
execution by a civilian, unless the condition of "full
powers" were  conceded,—and the   matter came   to
In 1856 I was the Manager of the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway. In that year a reckless
engine, travelling between Shireoaks and Worksop,
threw out some sparks, which set fire to the underwood
of one of the Duke's plantations—for he was then
Duke—and he wrote to the Chairman of the Railway,
the then Earl of Yarborough, in what appeared to me Lord Yarhorough and the Duke.
a very haughty manner. I therefore felt bound to
defend my chief, and I took up the quarrel. In a note
addressed from the Library of the House of Commons, I asked for an interview, which was somewhat
stiffly granted. This was the note which led to our
"i Deer. 1856.
" My dear Yarborotjgh,
" Instead of placing the enclosed extraordinary
production in the hands of my Solicitor, I think it best,
in the first instance, to send it to you as Chairman of
the M. S. & L. Railway, because I cannot believe that
either its tone or its substance can have been authorized
by the Directors.
11 am sorry to say this is not the first piece of impertinence which I have had to complain of in reference to
the damage done to my woods by the engines of the
Company, and neither Mr. Foljambe nor I have had
any encouragement to treat the matter in the amicable
spirit which we were anxious to evince.
" The demands now made by the aggressors upon
the party aggrieved is simply preposterous, and, of
course, will be treated as it deserves. We shall next
have the Company, or rather, as I hope and believe, the
Company's Solicitors, demanding us to cut all our corn
within 100 yards of the line before it becomes ripe, and
consequently inflammable.
" Your Solicitor knows perfectly well that the Com-
J 10
pany is by law liable for damage done to woods ; and,
moreover, that such damage is preventible by proper
care on the part of its servants.
" I think the Directors ought to order their Solicitor
to write to me and others, to whom so impertinent a
letter has been addressed, and beg to withdraw it, with
an apology for having sent it.
" I am sorry to trouble you with this matter, because
I feel that you ought not to be troubled with business
in your present state of health ; but as you are still the
Chairman, I could not with propriety write to any other
" I am, my dear Yarborough,
" Yours very sincerely,
"The Earl of Yarborough, &c, &c."
Accordingly, I went to the mansion in Portman
Square. I waited some time; but at last in stalked the
Duke, looking very awful indeed—so stern and severe—
that I could not help smiling, and saying—" The burnt
coppice, your Grace." Upon this he laughed, held out
bis hand, placed me beside him, and we had a very long
discussion, not about the fire, but about the colliery he,
then, was sinking—against the advice of many of his
friends in Sheffield—at Shireoaks; and when he had
done with that, we talked, once more, about Canada,
the United States, and the Colonies generally.
After this date, I had to see the Duke on business,
■more and more frequently.   The year after the Duke's Grand Trunk and Mr. Baring and Mr. Glyn. 11
return from Canada, in 1861, he happened to read
an article I had written in a London paper, hereafter
given, about opening up the Northern Continent of
America by a Railway across to the Pacific, and he
spoke of it as embodying the views which he had
before expressed, as his own.
In 1854 Mr. Glyn and Mr. Thomas Baring had urged
me to undertake a mission to Canada on the business
of the Grand Trunk Railway, which mission I had been
compelled to decline; and when, in 1860-1, the affairs
of that undertaking became dreadfully entangled, the
Committee of Shareholders, who reported upon its
■affairs, invited me to accept the post of " Superintending
Commissioner," with full powers. They desired me to
take charge of such legislative and other measures as
might retrieve the Company s disasters, so far as that
might be possible. Before complying with this proposal, I consulted the Duke, and it was mainly under
ithe influence of his warm concurrence that I accepted
the mission offered to me. I accepted it in the hope
of being able, not merely to serve the objects of the
Shareholders of the Grand Trunk, but that at the same
time I might be somewhat useful in aiding those measures
of physical union contemplated when the Grand Trunk
Railway was projected, and which must precede any
confederation of interests, such as that happily crowned
in 1867 by the creation of the "Dominion of Canada."
I find that my general views were, some time before,
■epitomized  in the following letter.    It is true that 12
One Reason why I went to the Pacific.
Mr. Baring, then President of the Grand Trunk, did
not, at first, accept my views; but he and Mr. Glyn
(the late Lord Wolverton) co-operated afterwards in
all ways in the direction those views indicated.
" i$th November, i860.
"Some years ago Mr. Glyn (I think with the-
assent of Mr. Baring) proposed to me to go out to
Canada to conduct a negotiation with the Colonial
Government in reference to the Grand Trunk Railway.
I was compelled then, from pressure of other business,
to refuse what at that time would have been, to me,
a very agreeable mission. Since then, I have grown
older, and somewhat richer; and not being dependent
upon the labour of the day,T should be very chary of
increasing the somewhat heavy load of responsibility
and anxiety which I still have to bear. It is doubtful,
therefore, whether I could bring my mind to undertake-
so arduous, exceptional—perhaps even doubtful—an
engagement as that of the ' restoration to life' of the
Grand Trunk Railway.
" This line, both as regards its length, the character
of its works, and its alliances with third parties, is both
too extensive, and too expensive, for the Canada of
to-day; and left, as it is, dependent mainly upon the
development of population and industry on its own line,
and upon the increase of the traffic of the west, it cannot be expected, for years to come, to emancipate itself mmmmm
The Grand Trunk.
thoroughly from the load of obligations connected
with it.
"Again, the Colonial Government having really, in
•spite of all the jobbery and political capital alleged to
have been perpetrated and made in connexion with this
■concern, made great sacrifices in its behalf, is not likely,
baving got the Railway planted on its own soil, to be
ready to give much more assistance to this same undertaking.
I That the discipline and traffic of the line could be
•easily put upon a sound basis, that that traffic could be
vigorously developed, that the expenses, except always
those of repair and renewal, could be kept down, and
that friendly, and perhaps improving and more beneficial, arrangements could be made with the local
government—is matter, to me, of little doubt. Any
man thoroughly versed in railways and quite up to
business, and especially accustomed to the management
of men and the conduct of serious negotiation, could
easily accomplish this. But after all, unless I am very
much deceived, all this will be insufficient, for many
years to come, to satisfy the Shareholders ; and I should
not advise Mr. Glyn or Mr. Baring to tie their reputations
to any man, however able or experienced, if it involved
a sort of moral guarantee that the result of his appointment should be any very sudden improvement, of a
character likely much to raise the value of the property
in the market, which unfortunately is what the Shareholders very naturally look at, as the test of everything.
" To work the Grand Trunk as a gradually improving
1 H
One Reason why I went to the Pacific.
property would, I repeat, be easy; but to work it so as
to produce a great success in a few years can only, in my
opinion, be done in one way. That way, to many,
would be chimerical; to some, incomprehensible; and
possibly I may be looked upon myself as somewhat
visionary for even suggesting it. That way, however,
to my mind, lies through the extension of railway communication to the Pacific.
"Try for one moment to realize China opened tc*
British commerce: Japan also opened: the new gold
fields in our own territory on the extreme west, and
California, also within reach: India, our Australian
Colonies—all our eastern Empire, in fact, material and
moral, and dependent (as at present it too much is) upon
an overland communication, through a foreign state.
" Try to realize, again, assuming physical obstacles
overcome, a main through Railway, of which the first
thousand miles belong to the Grand Trunk Company,
from the shores of the Atlantic to those of the Pacific,,
made just within—as regards the north-western and
unexplored district—the corn-growing latitude. The
result to this Empire would be beyond calculation; it
would be something, in fact, to distinguish the age
itself; and the doing of it would make the fortune of
the Grand Trunk.
"Assuming also, again I say, that physical obstacles
can be overcome, is not the time opportune for making a
start ? The Prince is just coming home full of glowing
notions of the vast territories he has seen': the Duke
of Newcastle has been with him—and he is Colonial Visit of the Prince of Wales.
Minister: there is jealousy and uncertainty on all questions relating to the east, coincident with an enormous
development of our eastern relations, making people all
anxious, if they could, to get another way across to the
Pacific:—the new gold fields on the Frazer River are
attracting swarms of emigrants; and the public mind
generally is ripe, as it seems to me, for any grand and
feasible scheme which could be laid before it.
I To undertake the Grand Trunk with the notion of
gradually working out some idea of this kind for it
and for Canada, throws an entirely new light upon the
whole matter, and as a means to this end doubtless
the Canadian Government would co-operate with the
Government of this country, and would make large
sacrifices for the Grand Trunk in consequence. The
enterprise could only be achieved by the co-operation
of the two Governments, and by associating with the
Railway's enterprise some large land scheme and
scheme of emigration."
The visit of the Prince of Wales to Canada and the
Maritime Provinces, in i860, had evoked the old feeling
of loyalty to the mother country, damaged as it had
been by Republican vicinity, the entire change of commercial relations brought about by free trade, and
sectional conflicts. And the Duke, at once startled by
the underlying hostility to Great Britain and to British
institutions in the United States—which even the hospitalities of the day barely cloaked—and gratified beyond
measure by the outbursts of genuine feeling on the part 16        One Reason why I went to the Pacific.
of the colonists, was most anxious, especially while entrusted with the portfolio of the Colonies, to strengthen
and bind together all that was loyal north of the United
States boundary.
Walking with Mr. Seward in the streets of Albany,
after the day's shouts and ceremonies were over, Mr.
Seward said to the Duke, " We really do not want to go
to war with you; and we know you dare not go to war
with us." To which the Duke replied, " Do not remain
under such an error. There is no people under Heaven
from whom we should endure so much as from yours ;
to whom we should make such concessions. You may,
while we cannot, forget that we are largely of the same
blood. But once touch us in our honour and you will
very soon find the bricks of New York and Boston
falling about your heads." In relating this to me the
Duke added, " I startled Seward a good deal; but he
put on a look of incredulity nevertheless. And I do not
think they believe we should ever fight them ; but we
certainly should if the provocation were strong." It
will be remarked that this conversation between Seward
and the Duke was in i860. That no one, then, expected a revolution from an anti-slave-state election of
President. Still less did the people, of either England
or the United States, dream of a divergence, consequent on such an election, to end in a struggle, first for
political power, and then following, in providential
order, for human freedom. A struggle culminating in
the entire subjection of the South, in 1865, after four
years' war—a struggle costing a million of lives, untold Mr. Seward and the Duke.
human misery, and a loss in money, or money's worth,
of over a thousand millions sterling.
In our many conversations, I had always ventured to
enforce upon the Duke that the passion for territory,
for space, would be found at the bottom of all discussion with the United States. Give them territory,
not their own, and for a time you would appease them,
while, still, the very feast would sharpen their hunger.
I reminded the Duke that General Cass had said, " I
have an awful swallow (' swaller' was his pronunciation)
for territory;" and all Americans have that " awful
swallow." The dream of possessing a country extending
from the Pole to the Isthmus of Panama, if not to Cape
Horn, has been the ambition of the Great Republic—
and it is a dangerous ambition for the rest of the world.
We have seen its effects in all our treaties. We have
always been asked for land. We gave up Michigan after
the war of 1812. We gave up that noble piece, the
" Aroostook" country, now part of the State of Maine,
under the Ashburton Treaty in 1841. We have, again,
been shuffled out of our boundary at St. Juan on the
Pacific, under an arbitration which really contained its
own award. The Reciprocity Treaty was put an end to,
in 1866, by the United States, not because the Great
West—who may govern the Union if they please—did
not want it, but because the Great West was cajoled by
the cunning East into believing that a restriction of
intercourse between the United States and the British
Provinces would, at last, force the subjects of the Queen
to seek admission into the Republic.   So it was, and is
c 18       One Reason why I went to the Pacific.
and will be; and the only way to prevent aggression
and war was, is, and will be, to " put our foot down."
Not to. cherish the " peace-in-our-time" policy, or to
indulge in the half-hearted language, to which I shall
have hereafter to allude—but to combine and strengthen
the sections of our Colonial Empire in the West—to
give to their people a greater Empire still, a nobler
history, and a prouder lot: a lot to last, because based
upon institutions which have stood, and will stand, the
test of time and trouble. Unfortunately we have had
a "little England" party in our country. A Liberal
Government, immediately following the Act of Confederation, took every red-coat out of the Dominion of
Canada, shipped off, or sold, the very shot and shell to
any one, friend or foe, who chose to buy; and the few
guns and mortars Canada demanded were charged to
her " in account" with the ruth of the miser. If the
Duke of Newcastle had been a member of that Cabinet
such a miserable policy never could have been put in
force; but he was dead. I venture to think that the
whole people of England, who knew of the transaction,
were ashamed of it. Certainly, I saw, a few years ago,
that one member of the very Cabinet which did this
thing, repudiated the "little England" policy, as
opposed to the best traditions of the Liberal party.
The I little England " party of the past have tried, so
far in vain, to alienate these our fellow subjects. But,
fortunately for the Empire, while some in the mother
country have been indifferent as to whether the Provinces
went or stayed, many in the Colonies have been earnest mm*
Lord Shaftesbury.
in their desire to escape annexation to the States. The
feeling of these patriotic men was well described in December, 1862, by Lord Shaftesbury, at a dinner given to
Messrs. Howe, Tilley, Howland and Sicotte, delegates
from the Provinces of Canada, New Brunswick and Nova
Scotia. He said Canada addressed us in the affecting
language of Ruth—" Entreat me not to leave thee, nor
to refrain from following after thee"—and he asked,
I Whether the world had ever seen such a spectacle
.as great and growing nations, for such they were, with
full and unqualified power to act as they pleased, insisting
on devoting their honor, strength, and substance to the
support of the common mother; and not only to be
called, but to be, sons." And Lord Shaftesbury asked,
" Whether any imperial ruler had ever preferred," as
he said Canada had, " love to dominion, and reverence
to power."
Lord Shaftesbury's sentiments are, I believe, an echo
of those of the "great England" party; but, I repeat,
" little England" sold the shot and shell, nevertheless.
Whatever this man or that may claim to have done
towards building up Confederation, I, who was in good
measure behind the scenes throughout, repeat that to
the late Duke of Newcastle the main credit of the
measure of 1867 was due. While failing health and
the Duke's premature decease left to Mr. Cardwell and
Mr. W. E. Forster—and afterwards to Lord Carnarvon
and the Duke of Buckingham—the completion of the
work before the English Parliament, it was he who
stood in the gap, and formed and moulded, with a
c 2 20
One Reason why Twent to the Pacific.
patience and persistence admirable to behold, Cabinet
opinion both in England and in the Provinces. At
the same time George Etienne Carrier, John A. Mac-
donald, and John Ross, in Canada; Samuel L. Tilley,
in New Brunswick, and, notably, Joseph Howe, in Nova
Scotia, stood together for Union like a wall of brass.
And these should ever be the most prominent amongst
the honoured names of the authors of an Union of the
Provinces under the British Crown.
The works, I repeat, to be effected were—first, the
physical union of the Maritime Provinces with Canada
by means of Intercolonial Railways; and, second, to-
get out of the way of any unification, the heavy weight
and obstruction of the Hudson's Bay Company. The
latter was most difficult, for abundant reasons.
This difficult work rested mainly on my shoulders.
It may be well here to place in contrast the condition
of the Provinces in 1861 and of the Confederation in
1886. In 1861 each of the five Provinces had its
separate Governor, Parliament, Executive, and system
of taxation. To all intents and purposes, and notwithstanding the functions of the Governor-General and the
unity flowing from the control of the British Crown—
these Provinces, isolated for want of the means of
rapid transit, were countries as separate in every relation of business, or of the associations of life, as-
Belgium and Holland, or Switzerland and Italy. The
associations of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia were
far more intimate with the United States than with
Canada; and the whole Maritime Provinces regulated ^«H^"PI
The Provincial Delegates.
their tariffs, as Canada did in return, from no consideration of developing a trade with each other, or
with the Canadas, between whose territory and the
ocean these Provinces barred the way. Thus, isolated
and divided, it could be no matter of wonder if their
separate political discussions narrowed themselves
into local, sectional, and selfish controversies; and if,
while each possessing in their Legislature men in
abundance who deserved the title of sagacious and
able statesmen, brilliant orators, far-sighted men of
business, their debates often reminded the stranger
who listened to them of the squabbles of local town
councils. Again, the Great Republic across their
borders, with its obvious future, offered with open
arms, and especially to the young and ambitious, a
noble field, not shut in by winter or divided by separate
governments. Thus the gravitation towards aggregation—which seems to be a condition of the progress
of modern states—a condition to be intensified as space
is diminished by modern discoveries in rapid transit—
was, in the case of the Provinces, rather towards the
United States than towards each other or the British
Empire. Thus there were, in i860, many causes at
work to discourage the idea of Confederation. And it
is by no means improbable that the occurrence of the
great Civil War destroyed this tendency.
I remember an incident which occurred at a little
dinner party which I gave in Montreal, in September,
1861, to the delegates who assembled there, after my
visits,  in response to the   appeal just made to the 22        One Reason why f went to the Pacific.
Governments of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, on the subject of the Intercolonial Railway.    It
illustrates the personal isolation alluded to above.   The
Honorable Joseph Howe, then Premier of Nova Scotia,
said, "We have been more like foreigners than fellow-
subjects ; you do not know us, and we do not know you.
There are men in this room, who hold the destinies of
this half of the Continent in their hands ; and yet we
never meet, unless by some chance or other, like the
visit of the Prince of Wales, we are obliged to meet.
I say," he added, " we have done more good by a free
talk over this table, to-night, than all the Governors,
general and local, could do in a year, if they did nothing
but write despatches.    Oh! if you fellows would only
now and then dine and drink with us fellows, we would
make, a great partnership  directly."    And the great
partnership has been made, save only that Newfoundland still remains separate.
In Canada the divisions between the Upper and
Lower Provinces were, in 1861, serious, and often acrimonious; for they were religious as well as political. The
rapid growth of Upper Canada, overtopping that of the
French-speaking and Catholic Lower Province, led to
demands to upset the great settlement of 1839, and to
substitute for an equal representation, such a redistribution of seats as would have followed the numerical
progression of the country. | Representation by population "—shortly called "Rep. by Pop."—was the great
cry of the ardent Liberal or "Grit" party, at whose
head was George Brown, of the " Toronto Globe"— The Civil War.
powerful, obstinate, Scotch, and Protestant, and with
Yankee leanings. In fact, the same principles were
in difference as those which evolved themselves in
blood in the contest between the North and South
between 1861 and 1865. The minority desired to
preserve the power and independence which an equal
share in parliamentary government had given them.
The majority, mainly English and Scotch, and largely
Protestant and Presbyterian, chafed under what they
deemed to be the yoke of a non-progressive people;
a people content to live in modest comfort, to follow
old customs, and obey old laws; to defer to clerical
authority, and to preserve their separate national identity
under the secure protection of a strong Empire. Indeed,
it is difficult, in 1886, to realize the heat, or to estimate
the danger, of the discussion of this question ; and more
than one "Grit" politician, whom I could name, would
be startled if we reminded him of his opinion in 1861,—
that the question would be "settled by a civil war" if
it " could not be settled peaceably," but that " settled
it must be—and soon."
The cure for this dangerous disease was to provide,
for all, a bigger country—a country large enough to
breed large ideas. There is a career open in the
boundless resources of a varied land for every reasonable ambition, and the young men of Canada, which
possesses an excellent educational machinery, may
now look forward to as noble, if not more noble, an
inheritance than their Republican neighbours—an inheritance where there is room for 100,000,000 of people One Reason why I went to the Pacific.
to live in freedom, comfort, and happiness. While
progress will have its periodical checks, and periodical
inflations, there is no reason to doubt that before the
next century ends the "Dominion," if still part of the
Empire, will—in numbers—outstrip the present population of the British Islands.
Now, in 1886, all this past antagonism of "Rep. by
Pop." is forgotten. Past and gone. A vast country,
rapidly augmenting in population and wealth, free from
any serious sectional controversy, free, especially, from
any idea of separation, bound together under one
governing authority, with one tariff and one system of
general taxation, has exhibited a capacity for united
action, and for self-government and mutual defence,
admirable to behold.
Towards the Pacific—Liverpool to Quebec.
EAVING Liverpool at noon of the 2nd September, 1886, warping out of the dock into the
river—a long process—we arrived, in the fine
screw steamer " Sardinian," of the Allan line, off Mo-
ville, at five on the following morning; and we got out
of the inlet at five in the afternoon, after receiving mails
•and passengers. It may be asked, why a delay of twelve
hours at Moville ? The answer is—the Bar at Liverpool. The genius and pre-vision of the dock and
harbour people at Liverpool keep the entrance to that
port in a disgraceful condition, year after year—year
after year. And the trade of Lancashire, Yorkshire,
Cheshire, and Derbyshire, is compelled to depend upon
a. sand-bar, over which, at low tide, there is eight feet
of water only. Such a big ship as "The Sardinian"
•can cross the bar in two short periods, or twice in the
twenty-four hours, over a range, probably, of three or
four hours. On my return home I wrote the following
letter about this bar to " The Times " :—
" The Bar at Liverpool.
I Sir,—You inserted some time ago in 'The Times'
a letter from Professor Ramsay detailing the troubles
II Towards the Pacific—Liverpool to Quebec.
arising to travellers from the other side of the Atlantic,,
owing to shallow water outside the entrance to Liverpool, and you enforced the necessity of some improvement, in a very able article. Professor Ramsay was at
that time returning from the meeting of the British
Association, held in the Dominion of Canada.
" Still, while time goes on, and the question becomes
more and more urgent, the bar, with its eight feet of
water at low tide, remains as it was, save that some
navigators contend that it grows worse.
" Yesterday 340 passengers, of whom I was one, by
the noble Cunard ship ' The Etruria,' experienced the
difficulty in all its varieties of trouble.
" After rushing through very heavy seas and against
violent winds for three or four days, we cast anchor a
good way outside the bar at 5 o'clock yesterday (Sunday) morning. The weather was too rough for the fine
tug-boat, ' The Skirmisher,' to come so far out. So,
after swinging about till 10 o'clock, we moved slowly
on, crossed the bar about half-past 11, and were off the
northernmost dock later on. Here the usual process of
hauling the ship round by the aid of the tug took place,
and then the further process of putting the baggage on
board the tug, in advance of taking the passengers. I
was fortunate in being taken off the ship in a special
tug-boat by some friends, got to the landing-stage,
where the baggage is examined by the Customs, and, a
carriage waiting for me, was at the Central Station at
Liverpool at one o'clock. But, with all these comfortable arrangements, I had lost at least seven hours, and nmnmmmm
The Bar at Liverpool.
had missed all morning trains. The other passengers,
I fear, did not get through for two or three hours later,
and those for London would be lucky if they just caught
the 4 o'clock train.
" It would not, I am told, be prudent to take a ship of
the size and draught of § The Etruria' over the bar till
two hours before high water on a flowing, and one hour
after on an ebbing, tide. Thus, for such a ship—and
the tendency is to build larger and larger vessels—the
margin, even in moderate weather, is probably three
hours out of the twenty-four, or, in other words, exclusion from the port for twenty-one hours out of the
twenty-four, more or less.
I Lancashire will soon have to say whether its manufactures and commerce are to be tied to the bar at
Liverpool; and, in the new competition of ports, a port
open at any time of tide must ultimately draw the trade
and traffic.
I Before the Committee of the House of Commons
on Harbour Accommodation, on which Committee I
had the honour to sit, it was proved .that every country
in Europe, having a sea-board, was making and improving deep-water harbours,—except England.
| Take the case of Antwerp, which is already attract^
ing traffic to and from the great British possessions
themselves by reason of its great facilities.
I Liverpool is a place where the dogma of absolute
perfection is accepted as a religion. But some of us
may be pardoned if, in both local and national interests,
we must be dissenters. 28    Towards the Pacific—Liverpool to Quebec.
I That the bar maybe made better instead of growing
worse is obvious. But the great cure is by cutting
through the peninsula of Birkenhead and obtaining a
second entrance to the Mersey, always accessible, and
obviously alternative. This was the advice of Telford
seventy years ago, and ' The Times' has called public
attention to a practical way of working out the Telford
idea, planned by Mr. Baggallay, C.E., and laid before
the Liverpool authorities—in vain.
"I may add that if our ship had called at Holyhead,
the London passengers might have left Holyhead on
Saturday evening instead of Liverpool on Sunday afternoon, a difference of a day.
"I beg to remain very faithfully yours,
" Northenden, Oct. 18,1886."
Some Liverpool cotton broker wrote to me to say
that I had forgotten that there were two tides in the
twenty-four hours. Nothing of the kind. There was
one. word miswritten, and, therefore, misprinted, which
I have corrected: but the broad fact remains, and why
my compatriots in the broad Lancashire district do not
see the danger, I cannot comprehend, unless it be that
some of them are up in the " Ship Canal" balloon, and
others, the best of them, are indifferent.
Steaming along, after leaving Moville, we passed Tory
Island, the scene of many wrecks, and of disasters
around. It has a lighthouse, but no telegraphic communication with the shore at all. Tory Lsland.
I wrote a letter about that to the Editor of the
I Standard."    Here it is :—
"Tory Island.
I Sir,—Newspapers are not to be had here, but as
this good ship is only a week out from Liverpool, and
five days from out of sight of land to sight of land, I
may fairly assume that Parliament is still discussing
Irish questions.
" Thus I ask your indulgence to make reference to a
question which is decidedly Irish, but is also Imperial,
in the sense that it affects the lives of large numbers of
persons, especially of the emigrant class, and is interesting to all the navigation and commerce of necessity
passing the north-west extremity of Ireland.
" If your readers will refer to the map they will see,,
outside the north-west corner of the mainland of Ireland, Tory Island. It was on Tory Island that \ The
Wasp' and her gallant captain were lost, without hope
of rescue, for want of cable communication ; and Tory
Island itself has excited the interest of the philanthropist
on many occasions. On Tory Island there is a lighthouse, with a fixed light, which can be seen sixteen
miles. Not long ago, as I learn, a deputation from the
Board of Irish Lighthouses went all the way to England
to beg the Board of Trade, at Whitehall, to sanction the
expenditure of eight hundred pounds, with a view to
double the power of the light on Tory Island. Perhaps
the Board of Trade, after some interval of time, may see
their way to do what any man of business would decide Towards the Pacific—Liverpool to Quebec.
upon in five minutes as obvious and essential. But that
is not the point I wish to lay before you. My point is,
that while the lighthouse on Tory Island is good for
warning ships, and may, as above, be made more effective, no use is made of it in the way of transmitting ship
" I ask, therefore, to be allowed to advocate the connection of Tory Island, by telegraph cable, with the
mainland of Ireland and its telegraph system. The cost
of doing this one way would, as I estimate, be two
thousand five hundred pounds; the cost of doing it
another way would be about six thousand pounds.
" The first way would be by a cable from the lighthouse on Tory Island, leaving either Portdoon Bay, on
the east end of Tory Island, or leaving Camusmore Bay
on the south of it, and landing either on the sandy beach
at Drumnafinny Point, or at. Tramore Bay, where there
is a similarly favourable beach. The distance in the
former case is six and a half, in the latter seven and a
half miles, the distance being slightly affected by the
starting point selected. Adopting this route at a cost
of two thousand five hundred pounds, which would
include about twenty miles of cheap land telegraphs,
available for postal and other local purposes, would be
the shortest and cheapest mode.
■■' The second way would be to lay a cable from Tory
Island to Malin Head, where the Allan Steamship Company have a signal station. The distance is twenty-
nine miles; the cost, as I estimate, about six thousand
pounds.     I should,  however,  prefer the former and _■
Tory Island.
cheaper plan, as I think it would serve a larger number
of purposes and interests.
" From Portdoon Bay, on Tory Island, to Tramore
Bay the sea-bottom is composed of sand and shells,
very good for cable-laying; and there is a depth of
water of from seventeen to nineteen fathoms.
I Tory Island is the turning point—I might say pivot
point—for all steam and sailing vessels coming from the
South and across the Western Ocean, and using the
North of Ireland route for Liverpool, Londonderry,
Belfast, Glasgow, and a host of other ports and places.
It can be appr6ached with safety at a distance of half-
a-mile, near the lighthouse, as the water is deep close
to, there being twenty fathoms at a distance of one-
third of a mile from the Island.
I The steamers of all the Canadian lines pass this
point—the Allan, the Beaver, the Anchor, the Dominion
—while all the steam lines beginning and ending at
Glasgow, Greenock, and other Scotch ports do the
same. Again, all sailing vessels, carrying a great commerce for Liverpool and ports up to Greenock and
Glasgow, and round the north of Scotland to Newcastle
and the East Coast ports, would be largely served by
this proposal. Repeating that this is a question of
saving life and of aiding navigation at an infinitesimal
cost, I will now proceed to show the various benefits
" First of all it would save five hours, as compared
with present plans, in signalling information of the
passing to and fro of steamships. As respect all Canadian and many other steamers it would also expedite 32    Towards the Pacific—Liverpool to Quebec.
the mails, by enabling the steam tenders at Loch Foyle
to come out and meet the ships outside at Innishowen
Head; and this gain of time would often save a tide
across the bar at Liverpool, and sometimes a day to the-
passengers going on by trains. As respects the Scotch
steamers going north of Tory Island, it would enable
the owners to learn the whereabouts of their vessels
fourteen hours sooner than at present. In the case of
sailing ships the advantages are far greater. Captain
Smith, of this ship, a commander of deserved eminence,
informs me that he has known sailing ships to be tacking about at the entrance of the Channel, between the
Mull of Cantyre and the north coast of Ireland, for
eighteen days in adverse and dangerous winds, unable
to communicate with their owners, who, if informed
by telegraph, could at once send tugs to their relief.
Again, when eastern winds prevail, in the spring of the
year, tugs being sent, owners would get their ships into
port many days, or even weeks, sooner than at present.
■ But it needs no arguing that to all windbound and)
to disabled ships the means of thus calling for assistance would be invaluable.
I For the above reason I hope the slight cost involved
will not be grudged, especially by our patriots, who
have taken the Irish and Scotch emigrants under their
special protection. I respectfully invite them and every
one else to aid in protecting life and property in this
obvious way.
'' I am, Sir, your obedient Servant,
„ o"^  i    ,. " E- w- WATKLN.
" S.S. Sardinian, off Belle Isle,
" September 9, 1886." msn
The Atlantic—Belle Isle.
Our voyage on to Quebec had the usual changes of
weather: hot sun, cold winds, snow, hail, icebergs, and
gales of wind, and, when nearing Belle Isle, dense fog,
inducing our able, but prudent, captain to stop his
engines till daylight, when was sighted a wall of ice
across our track at no great distance. Captain Smith
prefers to take the north side of Belle Isle. There is a
lighthouse on the Island, not, I thought, in a very good
situation for passing on the north side. But I found
that there was no cable communication between Belle
Isle and Anticosti. Thus, in case of disaster, the only
warning to Quebec would be the non-arrival of the ship,
and the delay might make help too late. I ventured to
call the attention of a leading member of the Canadian
Government to this want of means of sending intelligence of passing ships and ships in distress. In winter
this strait is closed by ice, and the lighthouses are closed
too. Inside the fine inlet of " Amour Bay," a natural
dock, safe and extensive, we saw the masts of a French
man-of-war. The French always protect their fishermen ; we at home usually let them take care of themselves. This French ship had been in these English
waters some time; and on a recent passage there was
gun-firing, and the movement of men, to celebrate, as
the captain learned, the taking of the Bastille. On the
opposite coast is a little cove, in which a British ship
got ashore, and was stripped by the local pirates of
everything. Captain Smith took off the crew and reported the piracy; but nothing seems to have been done,
A British wan-ship is never seen in these distant and Towards the Pacific—Liverpool to Quebec.
desolate northern regions. It may well be that the
sparse population think all the coasts still belong to
France, in addition to the Isles of St. Pierre and
Miquelon. This is how our navy is managed. Can it
be true that the Marquis of Lome recommended that
an ironclad should be sent to Montreal for a season,
as an emblem of British power and sway—and was
refused ?
After some trouble with fog and wind, preceded by a
most remarkable Aurora Borealis, and some delay at
night at Rimonska, we reached Quebec, and got
alongside at Point Levi, on the afternoon of Saturday,
the nth September; and I had great pleasure in meeting my old friend Mr. Hickson, who came down to
meet Mrs. Hickson and his son and daughter, fellow-
passengers of mine. I also at once recognized Dr.
Rowand, the able medical officer of the Port of Quebec,
who I had not set eyes on for twenty-four years. I
stayed the night at Russell's Hotel; and next day
renewed my acquaintance with the city, finding the
"Platform" wonderfully enlarged and improved, the
work of Lord Dufferin, a new and magnificent Courthouse being built, and, above all, an immense structure
of blue-grey stone, intended for the future Parliament
House of the Province of Quebec. The facility of
borrowing money in England on mere provincial, or
town, security, appears to be a Godsend to architects
and builders, and to aid and exalt local ambition for
fine, permanent structures. Well, the buildings remain.
To find the grand old fortifications of Quebec in charge rnmmrn
The Fortress of Quebec.
of a handful of Canadian troops, seemed strange. Such
fortresses belong to the Empire; and the Queen's redcoats should hold them all round the world. I was
told—I hope it is not true—that the extensive works
above Point Levi, opposite Quebec, constructed by
British military labour, are practically abandoned to
■decay and weeds.
D 2 mm
j6      To the Pacific—Montreal to Port Moody.
To the Pacific—Montreal to Port Moody.
N the evening of the 12th September I left Quebec
by the train for Montreal, and travelled over the
"North Shore" line of 200 miles. One of
the secretaries of the Vice-President of the Canadian
Pacific, Mr. Van Horn, called upon me to say that
accommodation was reserved for me in the train; and
that Mr. Van Horn was sending down his own car,
which would meet me half way. It was no use protesting against the non-necessity of such luxurious
treatment. I was further asked, if I had " got trans-
portion ?" which puzzled me. But I found, being
interpreted, the question was modern American for
" Have you got your through ticket ? " I replied, that
I had paid my fare right through from Liverpool to
Vancouver's Island—as every mere traveller for his own
pleasure ought to do ; and I was remonstrated with for
so unkind a proceeding, as the fact of my having been
President of the Grand Trunk was of itself a passport
all over Canada.
At Three Rivers, about half way, while reading by
very good light—good lamp, excellent oil, very good
trimming—there was some shunting of the train, and Quebec to Montreal.
the usual " bang " of the attachment of a carriage.   A
moment afterwards Mr. Van Horn's car steward entered,
and asked if I was Sir Edward Watkin; and he guessed
I must come into Mr. Van Horn's car, sent specially
down for me.   Where was my baggage ?   I need not
say that I was soon removed from the little, beautifully-
fitted,  drawing-room  into this magnificent car.     In
passing through, I heard some growls, in French, about
stopping the train, and sending a car for one "Anglais."
So, on being settled in the new premises, I sent my
compliments, stating that I only required one seat, and
that I was certain that the car was intended for the
general convenience, and would they do me the favour
to finish their journey in it ?   I received very polite
replies, stating that every one was very comfortable
where he was.   One Englishman, however, came in to
make my acquaintance, but   left me  soon.    I now
became acquainted with Mr. Van Horn's car steward—
James French, or, as his admirers call him, "Jim"—
and I certainly-wish to express my gratitude to him for
his intelligence, thoughtfulness, admirable cookery, and
general good nature.   He took me, a few days later,
right across to the Pacific in this same car, which
•certainly was a complete house on wheels—bedroom,
""parlour, kitchen and all."   His first practical suggestion was, would I take a little of Mr. Van Horn's " old
Bourbon" whisky?   It was "very fine, first rate."   On
my assenting, he asked would I take it " straight," as
Mr. Van Horn did, or would I have a little seltzer
irater ? I elected the latter, at the same time observing,
J jj8     To the Pacific—Montreal to Port Moody.
that when I neared the Rocky .Mountains perhaps I
should have improved my ways so much that I could
take it " straight" also.
At Montreal, my old friend and aforetime collaborate™:, Mr. Joseph Hickson, met me and took me home
with him ; and in his house, under the kind and generous care of Mrs. Hickson, I spent three delightful days,
and renewed acquaintance with many old friends of
times long passed. It was on the 28th December, 1861,
that Mr. Hickson first went to Canada in the Cunard
steamer " Canada" from Liverpool. He was accompanied
by Mr. Watkin, our only son, a youth of 15, anxious to
see the bigger England. Mr. Watkin afterwards entered
the service (Grand Trunk), in the locomotive department,,
at Montreal, and deservedly gained the respect of his
superior officer, who had to delegate to Mr. Watkin,
then under 18, the charge of a thousand men. There
were, also, Howson, Wright, Wainwright, and Barker;
subsequently, Wallis. Mr. John Taylor, who acted as
my private secretary in my previous visit, I had left behind, much to his distress at the time, much for his
good afterwards. Mr. Barker is now the able manager
of the Buenos Ayres Great Southern- Railway, a most
prosperous undertaking; and poor dear, big, valiant,
hard-working Wallis is, alas! no more: struck down two
years ago by fever. These old friends, still left in Canada,
are leading honorable, useful, and successful lives, respected by the community. To see them again made
it seem as if the world had stood still for a quarter of a
century.   Then, again, there was my old friend and once flB^BP
The Honorable James Ferrier.
colleague, the Honble. James Ferrier, a young-minded
and vigorous man of 86 : who, on my return to Montreal, walked down to the  grand new offices  of the
Grand Trunk, near Point St. Charles—offices very much
unlike the old wooden things I left behind, and which
were burnt down—to see me and walked back again.
Next day I had the advantage of visiting the extensive
workshops and vast stock yards of the Canadian Pacific,
at Hochelaga, to the eastward of Montreal, and of renewing my acquaintance with the able solicitor of the
Company, Mr. Abbot, and with the secretary, an old
Manchester man, Mr. Drinkwater.    Then on the following day Mr. Peterson, the engineer of this section
of the Canadian  Pacific Company, drove me out to
Lachine, and took me by his boat, manned by the chief
and a crew of Indians, to see the finished piers and also
the coffer-dams and works of the new bridge over the
St. Lawrence, by means of which his Company are to
reach the Eastern Railways of the United States, without having to use the great Victoria Bridge at Montreal.
This bridge, of 1,000 yards, or 3,000 feet, in length, is a
remarkable structure.   It was commenced in May and
intended to be finished in November.    But the foundations of the central pier, in deep and doubtful water, were
not begun, though about to begin, and this, as it appeared to me, might delay the work somewhat.   The
work is a fine specimen of engineering, by which I
mean the adoption of the simplest and cheapest mode
of doing what is wanted.   All the traffic purposes required are here secured in a few months, and for about
200,000/. only. 40     To the Pacific—Montreal to Port Moody.
The "Victoria" bridge at Montreal is a very different
structure. A long sheet-iron box, 9,184 feet in length,
with 26 piers 60 feet above the water level, and costing
from first to last 2,000,000/. sterling. The burning of
coal had begun to affect it; but Mr. Haunaford, the
chief engineer of the Grand Trunk, has made some
openings in the roof, which do not in any way reduce
the strength of the bridge, and at the same time get rid
of, at once into the air, the sulphurous vapours arising
from coal combustion.
. Mr. Peterson told me that their soundings in winter
showed that ice thickened and accumulated at the
bottom of the river. This would seem, at first sight,
impossible. But experiment, Mr. Peterson said, had
proved the fact, which was accounted for by scientific
people in various and, in some cases, conflicting ways.
May it not be that the accumulation is ice from above,
loaded with earth or stones, which, sinking to the
bottom by gravity, coagulates from the low temperature
it produces itself? Mr. Peterson is not merely an
engineer, and an excellent one, but an observant man
of business. His views upon the all-important question
of colonising the unoccupied lands of the Dominion
seemed to be wise and far-sighted. He would add to
the homestead grants of land, an advance to the settler
—a start, in fact—of stock and material, to be repaid
when final title to the property were given.
Taking leave of my old friends, I left Montreal at
8 p.m. on the night of September 15th, in the ordinary
"Pacific Express," on which was attached Mr. Van
Horn's car, in charge of James French.    I went by Mr. Wragge, C.E.
ordinary train because I was anxious to have an experience of the actual train-working. Mr. Edward
Wragge, C.E., of Toronto, an able engineer of great
■experience, located now at Toronto, has sent me so
concise an account of the journey of this train, and
of the general engineering features of the line, that,
anticipating his kind permission, I venture to copy it:—
I Leaving Montreal in Mr. Van Horn's car, the
a Saskatchewan,' by the 8 p.m. train on the 15th
September, we passed Ottawa at 11.35 p.m.
"During the night we ran over that portion of the
Canadian Pacific Railway which was formerly called
the Canada Central Railway, and reached Callander
(344 miles from Montreal), the official eastern terminus
of the Canadian Pacific Railway, at 8.30 a.m. 13 miles
from this, at Thorncliff, is the junction with the Northern
and Pacific Junction Railway, which forms the connection with Toronto and Western Ontario, being distant
from Toronto 227 miles. At North Bay, which is a
divisional terminus, the line touches Lake Nipissing,
where there is a flourishing settlement; the land being
of a fair quality. The line is laid with steel rails, about
56 lbs. to the lineal yard, and with ties about 2,640 to
the mile. For the first 60 or 70 miles from Callander
the line is ballasted entirely by sand, and, with the
•exception of a few settlements, is entirely without
fencing. Most of the bridges are of timber; but there
are one or two of the larger ones of iron or steel, with
masonry abutments.
"At Sudbury is the junction with the Algama Branch,
fil 42
To the Pacific—Montreal to Port Moody.
not yet opened for traffic. This is 443 miles from
Montreal. After leaving Sudbury the character of the
country changes, and is alternately swampy and wild
rocky land. Numerous large trestles are necessary,
which will eventually be filled in with culverts and earthwork. The schedule running time of the trains along
this portion of the line is 24 miles per hour, including
"At 8 p.m. Chapleau, another divisional terminus,
was reached, and the schedule running time during the
night from that point to Heron Bay, reached at 5.15 a.m.
the following morning, is 20 miles an hour. At Heron
Bay (802 miles from Montreal) the north shore of Lake
Superior is first touched, and the line runs along it to
Port Arthur, a distance of 993 miles from Montreal.
The scenery here is very wild and picturesque. At one
time the line runs along the face of the rock, with the
lake from 50 to 100 feet below, the road-bed being
benched out on the cliff, and at another time is away
back among barren hills and rocks, crossing several
large streams (with either bridges of iron and masonry
or timber trestle work), which streams flow into the
lake at the north end of deep indentations or arms of
the lake. The line through this district is winding,
having many sharp curves and steep grades. There are
several short tunnels, all of them through rock, and not
lined. The schedule time for trains on this portion of
the line is 16 miles per hour. We were detained some
little time near Jack Fish, owing to a slight land slide
coming down in one of the cuttings. mmmm
The Canadian Pacific.
"The Nepigon River is crossed at a high level with a
steel trussed bridge, masonry piers and abutments, and
there is an old Hudson's Bay settlement on the river
a short distance above the bridge. Between Nepigon
and Port Arthur the line runs through a country much
more accessible for railways, and the schedule time
here is at the rate of 24 miles an hour. We reached
Port Arthur at 4 p.m. on the 17th. This is a flourishing town, situated at the head of Thunder Bay, a large
bay on the north shore of Lake Superior, and has a
population of four or five thousand at the present time.
From the north shore of Lake Nipissing to this point,
however, a distance of over 600 miles, the country may
be said to be almost without inhabitants, except those
connected with the working of the railway, squatters,
and Hudson's Bay trappers and traders. The weather
was chilly during the evening of this day, and a heavy
sleet storm arose before arriving at Port Arthur. At
night a fire had to be lighted in the car, as there was a
sharp frost. During the night the train was detained
for some little time east of Rat Portage, in consequence
of a trestle having given way while being pulled in, and
the train arrived at Rat Portage at 7.30 a.m., four hours
behind time.
I From Port Arthur the line westward is run upon the
24 o'clock system, commencing from midnight; 1 p.m.
being 13 o'clock, 2 p.m. being 14 o'clock, and so on.
The train arrived at Winnipeg at 12.45 on the 18th
(1,423 miles from Montreal), and time was allowed to
drive round the town, the train leaving again for the To the Pacific—Montreal to Port Moody.
west at 13.30 o'clock. From Winnipeg westward the
line runs through a prairie country, which extends without intermission to Calgary, a distance of 838 miles, and
2,261 from Montreal. At Winnipeg the Company have
good machine shops, round houses, &c, and a large
yard, and has acquired 132 acres of land for these purposes of working and repair and renewal.
I The country for three or four hundred miles from
Winnipeg west is more or less settled; in some parts
farms are quite numerous, and the land good and well
cultivated. At Portage la Prairie the Manitoba and
North-Western Line leaves the Canadian Pacific. It is
being rapidly pushed forward, and 120 miles of it have
already been completed through the ' Fertile belt.' It
should have been mentioned that the line between Port
Arthur and Winnipeg, a length of 430 miles, was constructed by the Government of Canada and given to the
Canadian Pacific Railway Company free as a portion of
their system. This part of the line is laid with 57 lbs.
steel rails, and is well ballasted. The line is also
ballasted east of Port Arthur, though in some places
the ballast is of poor quality, and in others there is not
sufficient of it. West of Winnipeg, however, there is
no ballast across the prairie, except where the excavations through which the line goes afford ballast, it
being simply surfaced up from side ditches with whatever the material may happen to be; but it is in good
condition for a line of such a character, and the schedule
time is 24 miles an hour, including stoppages.
I The train ran through  Qu'Appelle, Regina, and- —-*
Rising up to the Rockies.
Moose Jaw during the night of the 18th, and reached
Dunmore (650 miles from Winnipeg) at 15.30 o'clock
on the 19th. At this point there is a branch, 3-feet
guage line, no miles in length, to the Lethbridge mines,
belonging to Sir Alexander Gait & Company. His son,
Mr. Gait, met us at Dunmore, and invited us to go and
inspect the mines, but as it would have made a delay of
at least one day, the idea had regretfully to be abandoned. The train reached Bassano (750 miles from
Winnipeg) at 19 o'clock, our time, having made up
3 hours and 20 minutes since leaving Winnipeg, which
was the time late leaving there. The train was then
exactly 97 hours since leaving Montreal, having travelled
2,180 miles, an average speed, including all stoppages
and delays, of 22^- miles an hour.
" During the night of the 19th and the early morning
of the 20th, the train ran through Calgary, at the foothills of the Atlantic slope of the Rocky Mountains ;
and at 5.30 on the 20th arrived at the summit of the
Rocky Mountains. As it was just daylight we were
enabled to see the scenery at that point and Kicking
Horse Pass. From the summit of the Rocky Mountains, for some nine miles, the line is considered to
be merely a temporary one, though permanently and
strongly constructed, there being a grade for two or
three miles of it of 4^- feet per hundred, say 1 in 22^-.
There are several catch sidings on this grade, running
upwards on the slopes of the mountains, for trains or
cars to be turned into, in the event of a break loose or
run away, and a man is always in attendance at the 46     To the Pacific—Montreal to Port Moody.
switches leading to these sidings. All this day the train
ran through mountains, the Rocky Mountains, the
Selkirk Range, and Eagle Pass. With the exception of
the steep grade mentioned, the ruling ones are 116 feet
to the mile, and there are numerous sharp curves, usually
to save short tunnels. The line, however, is in some
parts well ballasted, and work is still going on in this
direction. The rails are of steel, 70 lbs. to the yard,
and the locomotives, of the "Consolidation" pattern,
with eight driving wheels, are able, Mr. Marpole, the
able divisional superintendent, stated, to take a train
of 12 loaded cars over the ruling grades, two of them
being required for the same load on the steep grade
already mentioned at Kicking Horse Pass. Mr. Mar-
• pole stopped the train at the Stony Creek Bridge, a
large timber structure 296 feet high, and said to be
the highest wooden bridge in America. The scenery
through the Selkirks is magnificent, the mountain peaks
being six and seven thousand feet above the level of
the railway, many of them even at this season of the
year covered with snow, and there being several large
"During last year, before the line was opened for
traffic, observations were taken with the view of ascertaining what trouble might be anticipated from avalanches, the avalanch paths through the Selkirks being
very numerous. Several large avalanches occurred, the
largest covering the track for a length of 1,300 feet,
with a depth in one place of 50 feet of snow, and containing, as was estimated, a quarter of a million cubic The Selkirk Ranee.
yards of snow and earth. The result of these observations caused the Company to construct during this
season four-and-a-half miles of snow sheds, at a cost of
$900,000, or $200,000 a mile.
" The sheds are constructed as follows:—On the high
side of the mountain slope a timber crib filled with
stones is constructed. Along the entire length of the
shed, and on the opposite side of the track, a timber
trestle is erected, strong timber beams are laid from the
top of the cribwork to the top of the trestle, 4 feet
apart and at an angle representing the slope of the
mountain, as nearly as possible. These are covered
over with 4-inch planking, and the beams are strutted
on either side from the trestle and from the crib. The
covering is placed at such a height as to give 21 feet
headway from the under side of the beam to the centre
of the track. The longest of these sheds is 3,700 feet,
and is near the Glacier Hotel.
I Over the Selkirk Range the schedule time for trains
from Donald to Revelstoke, that is, from the first to
the second crossing of the Columbia River, a distance of
79 miles, is only eleven miles an hour; but this time
table was made before there was much ballast on this
portion of the line, and better time can now be made.
On the 21st September the Fraser River was crossed
early in the morning over a steel cantilever bridge, and
the line runs down the gorge of the Fraser River to Port
Moody, reached at noon. The train had thus been
travelling from 8 p.m. on the 15th September to 12
noon on the 21st, apparently a total of 136 hours; but, To the Pacific—Montreal to Port Moody.
allowing for the gain of three hours in time, an actual
total of 139 hours. During this time the train travelled
2,892 miles, or an average speed made throughout the
journey, including all stoppages, of 2of miles per hour,
and this is the regular schedule time for passenger trains
at the present time.
" Port Moody is the present terminus of the Canadian
Pacific Railway, but the line has been partially graded
for 12 miles further to Vancouver. Owing, however, to-
the hostile attitude of some landowners, the Company
have not been able to complete this work, as the contention has been made that, although the Company have
power to build branches, an extension of the main line
is not a branch, and the Company will have to obtain
legislation before this can be done. Vancouver at the
present time is said to have a population of about 3,000-
It is situated at Burrard Inlet, a mile or so inside what
are called the First Narrows, but the neck of land on
which it is situate is only about a mile across ; and in
the future, when the town grows, English Bay, which is
outside the Narrows, can easily be-made the harbour in
preference to the present one, as it is fairly well sheltered,
and affords good anchorage.
" The trip down Burrard Inlet, the Straits of Georgia,
and through the San Juan Archipelago to Victoria, .a
distance of about 90 miles from Port Moody, occupied
9& hours, and Victoria was reached at 10.30 on the night
of the 21st September."
To this memorandum I may add a few words. First,
in praise of the excellent rolling stock; secondly, of th& Thanks to able Officials.
good discipline and smartness of the service; and,
thirdly, of the wonderful energy, boldness, and success
of the whole engineering features of this grand work of
modern times. I should be ungrateful if I did not
thank the chief officers of the Canadian Pacific, whose
acquaintance I had great pleasure in making, for their
exceeding kindness, for the full information they
afforded to me, and for showing me many cheap, short,
and ready plans of construction, which might well be
adopted in Europe. These gentlemen have looked at
difficulties merely in respect to the most summary way
of surmounting them; and, certainly, the great and bold
works around the head of Lake Superior, the many river
and ravine crossings of unusual span and height, and,
especially, the works of the 600 miles of mountain
country between Calgary and the last summit of British
Columbia, so successfully traversed, would make the
reputation of a dozen Great George Streets. 5°
Canadian Pacific Railways.
Canadian Pacific Railways.
HE pioneer suggestion of a railway across British
territory to the Pacific has been claimed by
many. To my mind, all valuable credit attaches-
to those who have completed the work. The christening
of " La Chine "—the town seven miles from Montreal,
where the canals which go round the rapids end, and
the St. Lawrence and the Ottawa rivers join their differently coloured streams—contained the prophecy of a
future great high road to the then mysterious East, to
China, to Japan, to Australia; and it is to the Sieur de
la Salle, who, 200 years ago, bought lands above the
rapids from the Sulpician Fathers of Montreal, and
began his many attempts to reach the lands of the
" setting sun," that we owe the name; while the resolution of Sir Charles Tupper, carried in the Dominion
Parliament, finally embodied in an Act which received
the Royal assent on the 17th February, 1881, and
was opposed throughout by the "Grit" party, was
really the practical start. It would be inadequate to
write of the Great Canadian Pacific Railway without
some reference to the history of railways in Canada
In the interesting book,  "Rambles on Railways,"
published in 1868, it is remarked that great as has been Canadian Railway Development.
the progress of Canada, in no respect has the growth of
the country shown itself in a more marked manner than
in the development of its railway system. It was in
1848, or almost immediately after the completion of the
magnificent canal system of Canada proper, and by
which vessels of 800 tons could pass from the ocean to
Lake Ontario, and vice versd (ships now pass from
Chicago to Liverpool of over 1,500 tons burthen), that
the Canadians discovered it was necessary, notwithstanding their unrivalled inland navigation, to combine
with it an equally good railway communication; and
accordingly, in 1849, an Act was passed by the Canadian
Government pledging a six per cent, guarantee on one-
half the cost of all railways made under its provisions.
In 1852, however, the Government, fearing the effect of
an indiscriminate guarantee, repealed the law of 1849,
and passed an Act guaranteeing one-half of the cost of
one main Trunk line of railway throughout the Province,
and it was under this Act that the Grand Trunk Railway
was projected.
These terms were subsequently modified, by granting
a fixed sum of 3,000/. per mile of railway forming part
of the main Trunk line. It is true that prior to these
dates railways existed in Canada. There was, for example, the horse railway from La Prairie, nine miles
above Montreal, to St. John's on the Richelieu River,
opened in July, 1836, and first worked with locomotives
in 1837; there was also a horse railway between Queens-
town and Chippewa, passing Niagara, opened in 1839,
and over which I travelled in 1851 ; but with these
E 2 Canadian Pacific Railways.
exceptions, and the Lachine Railway, a line running
from Montreal for seven miles to the westward, the
railway system of Canada cannot be said to have commenced until after the passing of the Railway Act in
1849, and even then, it was not for about a year that
any progress was made. Soon after that date, however,
the works of several lines were pushed forward, and in
1854 the section between Montreal and Quebec was
opened, the first train having carried Lord Elgin, who
was then en route to England to confer with the home
authorities respecting the future Reciprocity Treaty with
the United States Government. So, whilst in 1852,
Canada could only boast of about 30 miles of railway,
she has now over 10,000 miles. The population of the
Dominion is estimated roughly at 5,000,000, so that this
mileage gives something over two miles of railway for
every thousand inhabitants, a greater railway mileage
system per head of population than, perhaps, is possessed
by any other country in the world.
The old Grand Trunk proprietors feel that their early
pioneer services to Canada, and their heavy sacrifices,
have rather been ignored in competition, than recognized, by the Canadian Pacific not being an extension
of the Grand Trunk system. Had I remained in office
as President of the Grand Trunk, undoubtedly I should
have laboured hard to bring about such a consummation,
which undoubtedly would have economised capital and
hastened the completion of the great Inter-oceanic
work. But the London agents of Canada, who were,
and are, responsible for launching the Grand Trunk and
MP Canadian Pacific.
for its many issues of capital to British shareholders,
have undoubtedly aided the competition and rivalry
complained of; for in July, 1885, they floated—when
other great financial houses were unable—3,000,000/.
sterling, not for the Pacific line itself, but to complete
other extensions of the Pacific Company's system of a
directly competitive character with the Grand Trunk,
and which could never have been finished but for this
British money, so raised. While I do not enter into
the controversy, it still seems to me that blame lies
nearer home than in Canada, if blame be deserved at
all. Great financiers seem sometimes ready to devour
their Own industrial children.
The Canadian Pacific Railway from Quebec to Port
Moody is a mixture of the new and the old. The first
section, from Quebec to Montreal, is an old friend, the
North Shore Railway, once possessed by the Grand
Trunk Company, and sold back to the Canadian Government for purposes of extending the Pacific route to
tide-water at Quebec, and making one, throughout,
management. From Montreal to Ottawa, and beyond,
is another section of older-made line. The piece from
Port Arthur to Winnipeg is an older railway, made by
the Canadian Government. Again, on the Pacific there
is the British Columbia Government Railway. All the
rest, round the head of Lake Superior up 'to Port Arthur,
from Winnipeg across the Great Prairies to Calgary,
and on to, and across, the Rocky Mountains, the crossings of the Selkirk and other Columbian Ranges, is
new Railway—with works daring and wonderful.
11 i\
Canadian Pacific Railways.
Pioneer railways are not like works at home. The
lines are single, with crossing places every five, ten, or
twenty miles; ballast is not always used, the lines on
prairies being laid for long stretches on the earth formation ; rivers, chasms, canons and cataracts are crossed
by timber trestle bridges. The rails, of steel, are flat
bottomed, fastened by spikes, 60 lbs. to the yard, except through the mountains, where they are 70 lbs.
Begun as pioneer works, they undergo, as traffic progresses, many improvements. Ballast is laid down.
Iron or steel bridges are substituted for timber. The
gorges spanned by trestles are, one by one, filled up,
by the use of the steam digger to fill, and the ballast
plough to push out, the stuff from the flat bottomed
wagons on each side and through the interstices of,
the trestles. Sometimes the timber is left in; sometimes it is drawn out and used elsewhere. This trestle
bridge plan of expediting the completion, and cheapening the construction, of new railways, wants more study,
at home. Whenever there are gorges and valleys to pass
in a timbered country, the facility they give of getting
" through " is enormous. The Canadian Pacific would
not be open now, but for this facility.
All these lines across the Continent have very similar
features. They each have prairies to pass, with long
straight lines and horizons which seem ever vanishing
and never reached ; mountain ranges of vast altitudes to
cross, alkaline lands, hitherto uncultivable, hot sulphur
springs, prairie-dogs, gophyrs, and other animals not
usually seen.    The buffalo has retired from the neiffh-
1 JJMI       ■■
"Fire Wagons" ; and Sir Alex. Galfs Coal.  55
foourhood of these iron-roads and of the "fire-wagons,"
as the Indians call the locomotives. Here and there
on all the prairies on all the lines, heaps of whitened
bones, of buffalo, elk, and stag, are piled up at stations,
to be taken away for agricultural purposes. The railways resemble each other in their ambitious extensions. The Canadian Pacific Railway, from Quebec to
Port Moody, is above 3,000 miles in length, but the
total mileage of the Company is already 4,600 miles, and
no one knows where it is to stop, while Messrs. Baring
and Glyn will, and can, raise money from English
people ; the Union Pacific possesses 4,500 miles in the
United States ; the Southern Pacific nearly 5,000 ; and
the newest of the three, the Northern Pacific, has about
3,000 miles, and is " marching on " to a junction with
Grand Trunk extensions at the southern end of Lake
Superior, in order to complete a second Atlantic and
Pacific route, through favoured Canada. Each of these
.great lines has found the necessity of supplementing the
through, with as much local traffic, as it can command.
Some of this is new, such as the coal traffic from Sir
Alexander Gait's mines, situated on a branch line of
no miles, running out of the Canadian Pacific at Dunmore, and the mineral traffic in the territory of Wyoming
on the Union Pacific. But, again, some of it is the
result of competition. Let us hope that the development of both Canada and the United States may quickly
.give trade enough for all. It seems to me, however,
that the Ocean to Ocean traffic, alone, cannot, at present
at least, find a good return for so many railways. 1
Canadian Pacific Railways.
Canada has been unusually generous to the promoters
of the Canadian Pacific Railway. A free gift of five
millions sterling: a free gift of 713 miles of, completed,
railway: a free gift of twenty-five millions of acres of
land: all materials admitted free of duty: the lands given
to be free of taxation for twenty years : the Company's
property to be free of taxation: the Company to have
absolute control in fixing its rates and charges until it
should pay 10 per cent, dividend on its Ordinary Stock:
and for twenty years no competitive Railway to be sanctioned ;—summarize the liberality of the Dominion of
Canada, in her efforts to bind together her Ocean coasts.
The work is essentially an Imperial work. What is the
duty of the Empire ? A First Idea.
A British Railway from the Atlantic to the
("Illustrated London News," 1861.)
|Y letter of the 15th November, i860, to a friend
of Mr. Thomas Baring, then President of the
Grand Trunk Railway of Canada, gives concisely
my general notions of opening up the British portion of
the Great Continent of America. A while later a leading
article written by me appeared in the " Illustrated
London News" of the 16th February, 1861. The article
was headed, "A British Railway from the Atlantic to
the Pacific."    I will here quote a portion of it:—
" ' I hope,' said her Majesty, on proroguing Parliament in 1858, 'that the new Colony on the Pacific
(British Columbia) may be but one step in the career
of steady progress by which my dominions in North
America may be ultimately peopled in an unbroken
chain, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, by a loyal and
industrious population.'^+The aspiration, so strikingly
expressed, found a fervent echo in the national heart,
and it continues to engage the earnest attention of
England; for it speaks of a great outspread of solid
prosperity and of rational liberty, of the diffusion of our
civilization, and of the extension of our moral empire. !
^ 8   A British Railway from Atlantic to Pacific.
" Since the Royal Speech, Governments have done
something, and events have done more, to ripen public
opinion into action. The Governments at home and in
Canada have organized and explored. The more perfect
•discoveries of our new gold fields on the Pacific, the
Indian Mutiny, the completion of great works in Canada,
the treaties with Japan and with China, the visit of the
Prince of Wales to the American Continent, and, at the
moment, the sad dissensions in the United States, combine to interest us in the question, and to make us ask,
\ How is this hope to be realized; not a century hence,
but in our time ?'
" Our augmenting interests in the East, demand, for
reasons both of Empire and of trade, access to Asia less
dangerous than by Cape Horn, less circuitous even
than by Panama, less dependent than by Suez and the
Red Sea. Our emigration, imperilled by the dissensions
of the United States, must fall back upon colonization.
And, commercially, the countries of the East must
supply the raw materials and provide the markets, which
probable contests between the free man and the slave
may diminish, or may close, elsewhere. Again, a great
nation like ours cannot stand still. It must either
march on triumphantly in the van, or fall hopelessly
into the rear. The measure of its accomplishment
must, century by century, rise higher and higher in the'
competition of nations. Its great works in this generation can alone perpetuate its greatness in the next.
" Let us look at the map: there we see, coloured as
* British America,' a tract washed by the great Atlantic mim
Between the Two Oceans.
on the East, and by the Pacific Ocean on the West, and
oontaining 4,000,000 square miles, or one-ninth of the
whole terrestrial surface of the globe. Part of this vast
domain, upon the East, is Upper and Lower Canada;
part, upon the West, is the new Colony of British
Columbia, with Vancouver's Island (the Madeira of the
Pacific) ; while the largest portion is held, as one great
preserve, by the fur-trading Hudson's Bay Company,
who, in right of a charter given by Charles II., in 1670,
kill vermin for skins, and monopolise the trade with the
Native Indians over a surface many times as big again
as Great Britain and Ireland. Still, all this land is ours,
for it owes allegiance to the sceptre of Victoria. Between
the magnificent harbour of Halifax, on the Atlantic,
open throughout the year for ships of the largest class,
to the Straits of Fuca, opposite Vancouver's Island, with
its noble Esquimault inlet, intervene some 3,200 miles
of road line. For 1,400 or 1,500 miles of this distance,
the Nova Scotian, the Habitan, and the Upper Canadian
have spread, more or less in lines and patches over the
ground, until the population of 60,000 of 1759 amounts to
2,500,000 in i860. The remainder is peopled only by the
Indian and the hunter, save that at the southern end of
Lake Winnipeg there still exists the hardy and struggling
Red River Settlement, now called 'Fort Garry:' and
dotted all over the Continent, as lights of progress, are
trading posts of the Hudson's Bay Company.
" The combination of recent discoveries places it at
least beyond all doubt that the best, though, perhaps, 6o   A British Railway from Atlantic to Pacific.
not the only, thoroughly efficient route for a great highway for peoples and for commerce, between the Atlantic
and the Pacific, is to be found through this British territory. Beyond that, it is alleged that while few, if any,
practicable passes for a wagon-road, still less for a railway, can be found through the Rocky Mountains across-
the United States' territory, north-west of the Missouri,
there have been discovered already no less than three
eligible openings in the British ranges of these mountains, once considered as inaccessible to man. While
Captain Palliser prefers the ' Kananaskakis,' Captain
Blakiston and Governor Douglas, the ' Kootanie,' and
Dr. Hector the f Vermilion' Pass, all agree that each
is perfectly practicable, if not easy, and that even better
openings may probably yet be found as exploration progresses. Again, while British Columbia, on the Pacific,
possesses a fine climate, an open country, and every
natural advantage of soil and mineral, it has been also
discovered that the doubtful region from the Rocky
Mountains eastward up to the Lake of the Woods, contains, with here and there some exceptions, a I continuous belt' of the finest land.
" Professor Hind says :—
" ' It is a physical reality of the highest importance
to the interests of British North America that this continuous belt can be settled and cultivated from a few
miles west of the Lake of the Woods, to the passes of
the Rocky Mountains ; and any line of communication,
whether by wagon, road, or railroad, passing through it, "PI"
The " Illustrated London News"
will eventually enjoy the great advantage of being fed
by an agricultural population from one extremity to the
"Although the lakes and the St. Lawrence give an
unbroken navigation of 2,000 miles, right to the sea,
for ships of 300 tons burden, yet if there is to be a continuous line, along which, and all the year round, the
travel and the traffic of the Western and Eastern worlds
•can pass without interruption, railway communication
with Halifax must be perfected, and a new line of iron
Toad, passing through Ottawa, the Red River Settlement,
and this \ continuous belt,' must be constructed. This
new line is a work of above 2,300 miles, and would cost
probably 20,000,000/., if not 25,000,000/., sterling.
" The sum, though so large, is still little more than
•we voluntarily paid to extinguish slavery in our West
Indian dominions ; it does not much exceed the amount
which a Royal Commission, some little time ago, proposed to expend in erecting fortifications and sea-works
to defend our shores. It is but six per cent, of the
amount we have laid out on completing our own railway system in this little country at home. It is equal
to but two and a-half per cent, of our National Debt,
and the annual interest upon it is much less than the
British Pension List.
" We say, then, ' Establish an unbroken line of road
and railway from the Atlantic to the Pacific through
British territory.'
" Such a great highway would give shorter distances
by both sea and land, with an immense saving of time. 62   A British Railway from Atlantic to Pacific.
As regards the great bugbear of the general traveller—
sea distance—it would, to and from Liverpool, save, as
compared with the Panama route, a tossing, wearying
navigation of 6,000 miles to Japan, of 5,000 miles to
Canton, and of 3,000 miles to Sydney. For Japan,
for China, for the whole Asiatic Archipelago, and for
Australia, such a route must become the great highway
to and from Europe; and whatever nation possesses
that highway, must wield of necessity the commercial
sceptre of the world.
"In the United States, the project of a Railway to-
the Pacific to cross the Rocky Mountains has ebbed and
flowed in public opinion, and has been made the battle-
cry of parties for years past, but nothing has yet been
done. Such a project, in order to answer its purpose,
requires something more than a practicable surface, or
convenient mountain passes. Fine harbours on both
Oceans, facilities for colonization on the route, and the
authority of one single Power over the whole of the wild
regions traversed, are all essential to success. As regards,
the United States, these conditions are wanting. While
there are harbours enough on the Atlantic, though none
equal to Halifax, there is no available harbour at all fit
for the great Pacific trade, from Acapulco to our harbour
of Esquimault, on Vancouver's Island, except San Francisco—and that is in the wrong place, and is, in many
states of the wind, unsafe and inconvenient. The
country north-west of the Missouri is found to be sterile,
and at least one-third of the whole United States territory, and situated in this region, is now known as the nasofev
The Pioneer "Leader."
j Great American Desert.' . Again, the conflicting interests of separate and sovereign States present an almost
insuperable bar to agreement as to route, or as to future
'operations' or control. It is true that Mr. Seward,
possibly as the exponent of the policy of the new President, promises to support two Pacific Railways—one for
the South, another for the North. But these promises
are little better than political baits, and were they carried
out into Acts of Congress, financial disturbance would
delay, if not prevent, their final realization; and, even
if realized, they would not serve the great wants of the
East and the West, still less would they satisfy England
and Europe. We, therefore, cannot look for the early
execution of this gigantic work at the hands of the
United States.
I Such a work, however, is too costly and too difficult
for the grasp of unaided private enterprise. To accomplish it out of hand, the whole help of both the Local
and Imperial Parliaments must be given. That help
once offered, by guarantee or by grant, private enterprise
would flock to the undertaking, and people would go to
colonise on the broad tracts laid open to their industry."
My subsequent and semi-official inquiries induced me
to modify many of the conclusions of the article quoted
above. On the essential question of the pass in the
Rocky Mountains, in British territory, most adapted by
Nature for the passage of a road or a railway, all the
evidence which I collected tended to show that the
passage by the "Tete-jaune Cache," or "Yellow-head,"
Pass, was the best.    The Canadian Pacific Company "rom Atlantic to Pacific.
have adopted the " Kicking Horse " Pass, much to the
southward of the "Yellow-head" Pass. Again, it became clear to me that the whole Rocky Mountain range
was rather a series of high mountain peaks, standing on
the summit of gradual slopes, rising almost imperceptibly
from the plains and prairies on the eastern side, and
dropping suddenly, in most cases, towards the sea-level
on the western or Pacific side, than a great wall barring
the country for hundreds of miles, as some had dreamed.
Every inquiry from trappers, traders, Indian voyageurs,
missionary priests of the Jesuits, and from all sorts and
conditions of men and women, made difficulty after
difficulty disappear. The great work began to appear
to me comparatively easy of execution between Fort
Garry, or the lower town of Selkirk and British Columbia ; the cost less ; and, owing to facilities of transport, especially in winter, the time of execution much
shorter than had been previously assumed. In addition,
an examination into the physical conditions of the
various routes proposed through the United States,
i convinced me that here again the difficulties were less,
and facilities for construction greater, than I and others
had first imagined. In fact, I came rightly to the conclusion that the more southerly the United States route,
and the more northerly the British route—while always,
in the latter case, keeping within cultivable range—the
better. Still, at this time there was much to find out.
As respects real knowledge of the country to be traversed,
the factors of the Hudson's Bay Company knew every
fact worth divulging, but they were afraid to speak; ■BHPmpjvi
The Affection of a Father to a Son. 65
while the Catholic missionaries, accustomed to travel on
foot in their sacred cause over the most distant regions,
possessed a mine of personal knowledge, never, so far
as I could learn, closed to the Government of Canada or
to any authorized inquirer.
Prior to my sailing to New York, en route for Canada,
to fulfil my mission for the Grand Trunk, in 1861, I
had a long interview with the Duke of Newcastle, as
Colonial Minister. He had seen, and we had often
previously discussed, the questions raised in the article
above quoted, and which he had carefully read. The
interview took place on the 17th July, 1861. Every
point connected with the British Provinces in America,
as affected by the then declared warlike separation of
the northern and southern portions of the United States,
was carefully discussed. The Duke had the case at
his fingers ends. His visit to America with the Prince of
Wales, already alluded to more than once, had rendered
him familiar with the Northern Continent, and its many
interests, in a way which a personal study on the spot
can alone bring about; and he declared his conviction
that the impression made upon the mind of the Prince
was so deep and grateful, that in anything great and
out of the ordinary rut of our rule at home, he would
always find an earnest advocate and helper in the Prince,
to whom he said he " felt endeared with the affection of
a father to a son." I called the Duke's special attention to the position and attitude of the Hudson's Bay
authorities. How they were always crying down their
territory as unfit for settlement; repelling all attempts 65*    Was Hudson Bay Territory fit for Settlement?
from the other side to open up the land by roads, and
use steamers on such  grand rivers as,  for instance,
the Assiniboin and the Saskatchewan.    He said  Sir
Frederick Rogers, the chief permanent official at the
Colonial Office, whose wife's settlement was in Hudson's
Bay shares, and who, in consequence, was expected to
be well informed, had expressed to him grave doubts of
the vast territory in question being ever settled, unless
in small spots here and there.    The Duke fully recognized, however, the difficulty I had put my finger upon.
I never spent an hour with a man who more impressed
me with his full knowledge of a great imperial question,
and his earnest determination to carry it out successfully and speedily.     The Intercolonial   Railway,  to
connect Halifax on the Atlantic with the Grand Trunk
Railway at Riviere du Loup, 106 miles below Quebec,
he described as "the preliminary necessity."   The completion of an iron-road, onwards to the Pacific, was, "to
his mind,  a grand  conception."     The  union  of all
the provinces and territories into " one great British
America," was the necessary, the logical, result of completing the Intercolonial Railway and   laying   broad
foundations for the completion, as a condition of such
union, of a railway to the Pacific.    He authorized me
to say, in Canada, that the Colonial Office would pay
part of the cost of surveys; that these works must be
carried  out in the   greatest interests  of the  nation,
and that he would give his cordial help.   This he did
In bidding me good-bye, and with the greatest kind- mm*
Good-bye from the Duke: 1861.
ness of manner, he added: "Well, my dear Watkin, go
out and inquire. Master these questions, and, as soon
as you return, come to me, and impart to me the information you have gained for me." Just as I was
leaving, he added, " By the way, I have heard that the
State of Maine wants to be annexed to our territory."
I made no reply, but I doubted the correctness of the
Duke's information. Still, with civil war just commencing, who could tell ? " Sir," said old Gordon
Bennett to me one day, while walking in his garden,
beyond New York, " here everything is new, and
nothing is settled." Failing health, brought on by
grievous troubles, compelled the Duke to retire from
office in the course of 1864, and on the 18th of October
of that year he died; on the 18th October, 1865, he
was followed by his friend, staunch and true, Lord
Palmerston, who left his work and the world, with equal
suddenness, on that day.
But from that 17th July, 1861,1 regarded myself as
the Duke's unofficial,, unpaid, never-tiring agent in these
great enterprises, and, undoubtedly, in these three years,
ending by his retirement and death, the seeds were
sown. Ill
Port Moody to Chicago.
Port Moody— Victoria—San Francisco to
T "Port Moody," and even at the new "Vancouver City," I felt some disappointment that
the original idea of crossing amongst the
islands to the north-east of Vancouver's Island, traversing
that island, and making the Grand Pacific terminus at
the fine harbour of Esquimalt, had not been realized.
Halifax to Esquimalt was our old, well-worn plan.
The "Tete Jaune" was our favoured pass. This plan,
I believe, met the views both of Sir James Douglas and
the Honorable Mr. Trutch. But I consoled myself with
the reflection, that if we had not gained the best, we
had secured the next best, grand scheme—a scheme
which, as time goes on, will be extended and improved,
as the original Pacific Railways of the United States
have been.
The sea service between " Port Moody " and " Victoria," Vancouver's Island, is well performed; and
Victoria itself is an English town, with better paved
streets, better electric lighting, and better in many,
other ways that might be named, than many bigger
American and English towns I know of. I spent four
delightful days in and about it, including an experi- mmmmnmm*
The new Railway on Vancouver. 67
mental trip, through the kindness of Mr. Dunsmuir—
the proprietor of the Wellington Collieries, a few miles
north of Nanaimo—over the new railway from Victoria
to Nanaimo, constructed, with Government aid, by himself and Mr. Crocker, of San Francisco. I had the
pleasure of making the acquaintance of Sir Mathew
Begbie, the Chief Justice of British Columbia, to whose
undaunted courage Vancouver's Island and British
Columbia owed law and order in the dangerous and
•difficult times of the gold discoveries.
Upon the question of relative distances, engineering,
and generally what I saw between Port Moody and
Chicago, I again take advantage of Mr. Edward
Wragge's excellent notes. '
H Table of Distances between Liverpool and China
and Japan, via the Canadian Pacific Railway,
through Canadian territory, and via New
York and San Francisco, through United
States territory :—
" Route through Canadian Territory.
" Summer Route. miles.
Liverpool to Quebec, vid Belle Isle   .. 2,661
Quebec to Montreal      172
Montreal to Port Moody  2,892
Port Moody to Vancouver    12
Vancouver to Victoria       78
Vancouver to Yokohama       4>334
Vancouver to Hongkong       5,936
F 2 68
Port Moody to Chicago.
" Winter Route. miles.
Liverpool to Halifax      *>53°
Halifax to Quebec     678
Other points as in summer.
Summer route, Liverpool to Yokohama 10,071
Winter route, „ „ 10,618
" Route through United States Territory.
Liverpool to New York     3,046
New York to Chicago, vid N. Y. C.
and M. C. Railways  961
Chicago to San Francisco     2>357
San Francisco to Yokohama    4,526
San Francisco to Hongkong   6,128
Liverpool to Yokohama   10,890
" For distance to Hongkong, add 1,602 miles to the
distance to Yokohama.
" Note—^-Distances by rail are statute miles. Distances
by sea, geographical miles.
"Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway and Coal
Mines at West Wellington and Nanaimo.
"The Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway runs from
West Victoria, near Esquimalt, to Nanaimo, which
latter place is a small mining town in the Island of
Vancouver, lying on the east coast, on the shore of the
Straits of Georgia, nearly opposite Burrard Inlet, from
which it is distant about 28 miles.
"VI Victoria to Nanaimo.
"The line is well constructed with a good and substantial road-bed ; steel rails, weighing 54 lbs. per yard
{except a few miles near Nanaimo, where they are 50 lbs.
per yard); well ballasted, and well tied; the bridges and
trestles are all of timber, of which material there is
about 1,000,000 cubic feet employed altogether. The
steepest grade is 80 feet per mile rising towards
Nanaimo, and 79 feet per mile rising towards Esquimalt ; these grades are rendered necessary to enable
the line to overcome the summit lying between the
two places, and which is 900 feet above the level of
the sea. Running, as the line does, through a rugged
country, there are a good many sharp curves rendered
necessary. The distance from Esquimalt to Victoria
is 75 miles. The line was not quite completed when
we went over it; and the buildings, turn-tables, &c.
were not yet erected, although some of them were
under construction.
" The traffic on the line will be light, the country
b>eing sparsely settled. It will consist to some extent
of coal; but there is water competition for the carriage
of this article of merchandize; and the station at
Victoria is too far from the town at present for much
of it to come by rail for consumption in the town.
There is a wharf in the harbour of Esquimalt, at which
coal can be delivered to men-of-war lying there. Mr.
Dunsmuir, of Victoria, is the chief proprietor of the
railway, and he has associated with him Mr. Crocker,
President of the Southern Pacific Railway, and others.
"The Government of Canada gave a bonus of $750,000
_ Port Moody to Chicago.
(say 150,000/.) in aid of the construction of the railway, and a belt of land, with the minerals under it, of
10 miles in width on each side of the line.
" During the afternoon of the 23 rd of September we
visited the West Wellington Coal Mines, 4 or 5 miles
beyond Nanaimo, and to which the railway is to be
extended, work on the extension having just been commenced.   The mines are owned by Messrs. Dunsmuir
& Sons, and at the present time they are working at five
shafts, the output for the month of August being 17,000
tons.   We went down the shaft of No. 5 pit, which was-
240 feet deep, and found the seam was very thick, from
10 to 11 feet, but not very solid block coal, having apparently been crushed.    The mines are all connected
with wharves on the coast at Departure Bay by a three-
feet gauge railway ; the lines around the mines were all
in fair order.   The line is worked by small locomotives,,
six wheels coupled and no truck, of the Baldwin Locomotive Company's manufacture, the load handled by
them being 15 cars, each containing 3^- tons of coal,
and averaging in dead weight if- tons each.    The grade
down to the port is very steep, and the heaviest work for
the engines is in taking the empties back again.
"The coal is mined by white miners, who employ
each of them a Chinese labourer; they employ gunpowder for blasting purposes, chiefly Curtis & Harvey's,
make, and use naked lights of oil. The miners are
found in all tools except their auger drills, which they
all use, and which cost some $30 each. Each miner
has an allowance of one ton of coal per month for his. Coal and Chinamen.
own use. There was a little drip at the foot of the
shaft we went down, but otherwise the mine was quite
dry. The mode of unloading the cars at the wharf was
rather primitive, but at the same time simple and iri-
. genious. When the car has been weighed it is run
forward by five Chinamen to the end of the wharf, the
front end of the car being hinged at the top, with a
catch opened by a lever, a short piece of track sufficiently long for the car to stand upon is built projecting
beyond the wharf and over the hold of the vessel, this
piece of track is laid on a framework, which is hinged
to the wharf in front so as to tip up from behind, to
it is attached a long wooden pole as a lever, round the
end of which is a rope, made fast to the wharf by a
belaying pin; as soon as the car is on the tipping
track, the lever on the front end of the car is knocked
up so as to allow the coal to fall out, and the end of the
long wooden pole is allowed to rise slowly by the rope
being loosened, the coal then shoots out of the car.
When empty the Chinamen weigh down on the pole
and bring the track, with the car on it, back to its
former position, making the rope fast to the belaying
pin, and the car is run back to make way for another.
We were told that in this way five Chinese have put
1,000 tons of coal on board a vessel in a working day.
" On the following morning we visited the mine at
• Nanaimo, of the Vancouver Coal Company, and Mr. S.
Robins, the superintendent, showed us over his works,
and accompanied us down the shaft into the mine.   The
shaft is 600 feet deep, and the heading and workings
J" 72
Port Moody to Chicago.
\ t
are under the sea to a distance of 400 or 500 yards.
The coal is hard and of good quality, making a good
gas coal (which the West Wellington coal does not do).
There have been one or two faults met with lately in
the seam, which is 7 feet thick; but Mr. Robins thinks
they have been overcome. There is only one shaft
working, and the output in the 24 hours of the day
previous had been 434 tons. The coal comes to the
surface in two ' boxes' at a time, each containing
about 35 cwt. This Company has good railway tracks
of 4 feet %\ inches gauge, with English locomotives, &c.
The machinery and appliances at this mine were all
better and more costly than at the West Wellington
mines, and the cars were hopper bottomed, and discharged their contents directly into the hold of the vessels by simply opening the hopper bottom. The staff
of men employed at the present time amounts to 350,
and the miners are white men, with Chinese labourers.
The work at this mine and West Wellington is all done
by piecework.
"Esquimalt Harbour and Dock.
" The harbour at Esquimalt is quite land-locked, and
can be very easily protected from an enemy approaching
by sea, the heights around being easily fortified, as
there are many in good positions for commanding the
entrance, both at a distance from it, and also in the
immediate vicinity; there is plenty of depth of water at
low tide to enter the harbour. A fort on the Race
Rocks, where there is a lighthouse,  and which are 5S
Esquimalt Harbour.
some 2 miles or so from the coast, would, if supplied
with heavy guns capable of long range, command the
whole of the San Juan de Fuca Straits, the distance
from Race Rock to the American shore not exceeding
•8 miles.
" The harbour contains an area of about 400 or 500
acres, in which there is sufficient depth of water for
large vessels to lie at all states of the tide.
"The line of railway from Nanaimo to Esquimalt
touches the harbour, and has a wharf at which coal
from Nanaimo 'and West Wellington mines may be
delivered at any time.
"The graving dock, which has been some eleven
years in progress, or rather which was commenced
eleven years ago, but which practically has been constructed within the past two years, has a length of 430
feet on the ways, and could easily have been made, in
the first instance, 600 feet in length for a comparatively
small additional cost. The cost will have been, when
completed, about $700,000, and it is now waiting only
for the entrance caisson, which is being made at the
Dominion Bridge Company's Works, near Montreal.
"The masonry of the dock is of a hard sandstone,
the character of the workmanship being very good, and
the dock very dry and free from leakage; it has been
constructed, so as to save excavation, in a small creek,
but this has caused an additional thickness for the walls,
and a considerable quantity of filling behind them. It
would appear that it could have been built for very
much less money had a site been selected among the 74
Port Moody to Chicago.
numerous rocky situations in the harbour, where the
rock would only have required facing with masonry
instead of the work having been done as it has.
"The naval-yard is a fair size; the workshop is small,,
however, and apparently little or no materials for the
repair of vessels are kept on hand. It will be a
necessity for this to be remedied if the graving dock is
to be of any use for ships of the navy. We saw two
torpedo boats, and some Whitehead torpedoes, the
boats were built in Great Britain for Chili, and purchased from the Chilians two years ago.
"San Francisco to Chicago.
"Left San Francisco on 29th September, 1886, at
7.30, by steam ferry to Oakland, 4 miles across the
harbour; left Oakland by train at 8.10 a.m.; 32 miles
from Oakland we reached Port Costa, where the train
was ferried across an estuary of the sea to Benicia ; for
20 miles from there the line (the Central Pacific division of the Southern Pacific Railway Company) runs
across a flat, marshy country, then into a cultivated
country with the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada
rising around it, the country being very dry and parched,
having had no rain since March : the farm-houses have
the Eucalyptus, or Australian blue gum, planted around
them; and about 75 miles from San Francisco we
entered the vineyard country, which continues to and
past Sacramento. Reached Sacramento, which is 90
miles from San Francisco, and only 30 feet above the San Francisco.
level of the sea, at 12 o'clock ; the schedule time from
Oakland, including the ferry at Port Costa, being
25 miles an hour. At Sacramento we crossed the
Sacramento and American Rivers, the former by a
Howe truss bridge, one of the spans being a swing
bridge, and having a total length of 700 or 800 feet;
the latter by a Howe truss bridge, and fully a mile of
trestle, work.
" From Sacramento the line begins to rise so as to
cross the Sierra Nevada Range ; the country is rolling,
and with the ' live oak' trees scattered over it among
the grass presents quite a park-like appearance. The
grades as we ascend are very steep, 116 feet to the mile,
this line being well ballasted. In the valleys the line
was laid originally with steel rails of 50 lbs. weight, and'
3,080 ties to the mile, in the mountains with 60 lbs. rails,,
but no renewals are made with less than a 60 lbs. rail.
From Rocklin to Newcastle the vineyards and orchards
are very numerous, and again at Colfax, at which latter
place we got some very fine grapes grown at an elevation of 2,400 feet above the sea. In the afternoon we
passed the mining country, where the whole features
of the country have been changed by the use of the
' Monitor' for hydraulic mining, by means of which
the sides of the mountains have been washed down to
the valleys, filling them and the streams up, and doing-
much damage to the flats below: this system of directing a stream of water through a six-inch nozzle against
the cliff to wash out the gold has now been discontinued, and is illegal, owing to the damage caused by 76
Port Moody to Chicago.
it. The snow sheds commence at Blue Canon, 4,693
feet above the sea, and 170 miles from San Francisco.
They are simply rough wooden sheds to protect the
line from drifting and falling snow, there being no
•avalanches to contend with on this route.
" Some of the views on the Sierra Nevada are very
fine, notably that at ' Cape Horn.' There is very little
timber until Blue Canon is reached, but from there
to Truckee and beyond the timber is good, and about
equal to that on the Rocky Mountains of the Canadian
Pacific Railway. There are several saw mills in this
vicinity. After leaving Emigrant Gap we ran through
a continuous snow shed for 39 miles, which was very
unpleasant, both by reason of the smoke in the cars,
and the noise, as well as the loss of the view. We
reached Reno about 10 p.m., an hour and a half late.
The schedule time over the mountain, up grade, is 17
miles an hour, and from Oakland to Reno, 246 miles,
20 miles an hour. Reno is 4,497 feet above the sea.
The summit of the Sierras, which is 196 miles from
San Francisco, is 7,017 feet above the sea. We remained all night at Reno. While there we saw in the
morning a locomotive engine, with cylinders 22X30 and
eight driving wheels coupled, said by the driver to
weigh 165,000 lbs., start for the ascent of the mountain, up grades of 116 feet to the mile, with 22 cars and
a van.
■ The country round Reno is table land with high
mountains around it. The only crop grown is ' alfalfa,'
a species of clover.   Three crops a year are taken off
fife Wadsworth—Salt Lake.
the land, and it fetches, as fodder, from $8.00 to $16.00-
per ton, according to the season.
"At Wadsworth we saw a very nice reading-room
and library for the employes of the railway. This is
quite a model station, kept green and bright with lawns
and flowers. It is a division terminus, and has a
machine shop, round house, &c. The country from
Reno to Salt Lake is dry, and almost a desert, sandy,
and with sage bush in tufts; the journey through it
was hot and terribly dusty. The view of Brigham and
other villages, with farms at the foot of the hills on
approaching Ogden, was a great relief after the monotony of the last day's run.
"At Ogden we were transferred from the Central
Pacific to the Union Pacific train, and upon leaving
there passed, after a few miles, through Weber Canon,
and afterwards Echo Canon ; the scenery was very
picturesque, and, at this season of the year, was
rendered more so by the beautiful autumn tints which
were afforded by the foliage of the bushes which grow
up the mountain sides for more than half their height.
At Evanston we left the mountains and got on the high
table land, over which we ran all day, having it cool
and pleasant, a great contrast to the heat of the previous day. During the night of the 1st October we
had it quite cold, our altitude being at no time less
than 6,000 feet above the sea.
" On the morning of the 2nd October we reached
Laramie, where we saw the works of the Union Pacific
Railway Company for Burnettizing their ties.   The ties I
Port Moody to Chicago.
are placed on trucks, run into a cylinder, steamed,
treated with a solution of chloride of zinc, with glue
mixed with it, and afterwards with a solution of tannic
acid. When dried they retain only about i£ lb. of the
material with which they have been treated. Mr.
Octave Chanute, of Kansas City, Missouri, United
States, erected the works for the Union Pacific Company, and has an interest in the patents under which
the process is carried out, which is a modification of
Sir William Burnett's process. At 8.55 we crossed the
highest point on the Rocky Mountains, 8,235 feet above
the sea, on table land, no peaks being more than a
few hundred feet above us. The rock here is all red
granite, and some of it disintegrated, which is used
for ballast. There are many snow sheds on the high
land here, but none very long. We ran rapidly down
from ' Sherman,' the summit, to 6,000 feet level, and
more gradually afterwards, running all day through the
plains, over which, although very dry, numerous herds
of cattle and horses were pasturing, and we reached
Omaha at 7.50 a.m. on the 3rd October.
"At Omaha we crossed the Missouri River. The
bridge here, of iron, founded on iron cylinder piers,
is for a single track only, and is being taken down bit
by bit, and a double track iron bridge on masonry
piers substituted.
I From Council Bluffs, the station on the Iowa side
of the Missouri River, we left by the Chicago and
North Western Railway, which is a well constructed,
well equipped, and first class American Railway.   The
m Chicago.
line runs through a good agricultural country, the chief
crop being Indian corn, and was doing a good business. We met many freight trains during the day,
and saw several trains of cattle going east also. We
reached Chicago on time at 6.50 a.m. on the morning
of the 4th October." i
80   Negociations as to Intercolonial Railway, fyc.
Negociations as to the Intercolonial Railway |
and North-West Transit and Telegraphy
1861 to 1864.
T was in September, 1861, that I visited
Frederickton and Halifax on the question of
the Intercolonial Railway, travelling by way
of Riviere du Loup, Lake Temiscouata, Little Falls,
Woodstock, round by St. Andrews, Canterbury, Frederickton, St. John, Shediac, and Truro to Halifax.
Later in the autumn, representatives from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia visited Quebec and Montreal,
and it was generally agreed that deputations from Canada
and from the two Maritime Provinces should proceed to
England. These deputations were, from Canada the
Hon. Mr. Van Koughnet, from New Brunswick the
Hon. Mr. Tilley, and from Nova Scotia the Hon. Joseph
Howe. It was impossible to choose a more influential
delegation: men earnest in the cause they came to
advocate; politicians of tried metal; men of great
influence in the colonies they represented.
I arrived in England from Canada in the beginning
of November, 1861, and at once telegraphed to the Duke,
and on my way to London, at his request, I visited him at
Clumber, and made my report of progress, which ap-
i\\ mm
Messrs. Howe 6jr Tilley.
peared to be highly satisfactory. The only difficulty, as
to the Intercolonial, appeared to rest in Mr. Gladstone's
" peculiar views about subsidies, grants, and guarantees
out of the funds, or on the security, of the State." But
the Duke said, he must " labour to show the Chancellor
of the Exchequer that this was no new proposal; that,
in fact, the Provinces had been led to believe that if
they would find the money, the State would guarantee
the interest under proper precaution, as the State had
guaranteed the capital for the Canadian canals, every
shilling expended on which had been honourably repaid."
In fact, I this work was not a mere local work, but satisfied military and other Imperial conditions." The end
of this, and many other, interviews, at the Colonial
Office and at the Duke's residences, was complete concurrence in the following programme:—(i) the Intercolonial guarantee must be carried by the Duke;
(2) measures must be taken to start Pacific transit, in
the first instance, and as a pioneer. work, by roads and
telegraphs; (3) Confederation must be pushed on; and
(4) that the difficulties arising from the position of the
Hudson's Bay Company must be gravely considered
with a view to some solution.
Mr. Van Koughnet, accompanied by Mrs. Van
Koughnet, was, unfortunately, wrecked off Anticosti,
in the Allan steamer " North Briton." Happily every
one, after a time of great peril, was landed in safety,
while losing personal baggage and almost everything
else. At a critical moment Sir Allen McNab, who was
on board the ship, also on his way to England, when the
G 82'   Negociations as to Intercolonial Railway, 8fc.
vessel was expected to go down, said to Van Koughnet,
" Come with me and bring your wife, and we will go
down together, away from this crowd of frightened
people "—alluding to the mass of steerage passengers
jostling about in panic.
On the nth November Mr. Howe and Mrs. Howe,
and Mr. Tilley arrived: and I took the delegates to the
Duke's house in London on the 14th. The Duke received these delegates with very great cordiality. He
had made, already, an appointment with Lord Palmerston,
the Prime Minister, and had spoken to Mr. Gladstone.
So, armed with a letter from the Duke, we went on to
Cambridge House. We were shown into a room overlooking the court-yard, and had not long to wait for the
veteran minister. He came, as usual, with his grey—
not white—hair brushed up at the sides, his surtout
buttoned up to his satin neck-tie, or, more correctly,
"breast-plate," which had a jewelled pin in the midst
of its amplitude. He said, the Duke had told him our
business, which was very important, not only for the
interests we represented, but for the Empire, and especially so at a time when the " fires were alight" across
the British border.
Mr. Howe very ably and concisely stated the case.
No subsidy wanted, simply a guarantee on perfect
security. Precedent for such guarantees, which had
always been punctually and fully met. Previous promises
of previous Governments—sanction of such statesmen
as Lord Grey, Lord Derby, and Bulwer Lytton. Peculiar
need of the work at this time: and so on.
\\ mm
Lord Palmerston.
Palmerston listened attentively, did not interrupt; did
not while Howe, and afterwards Tilley, were speaking,
stop either, by asking a single question; but when they
had concluded, he repeated and summed up the case in
far fewer words than had been used to state it: and in
a manner which gave a new force to it all. He then
spoke of the various treaties with the United States.
He spoke of the giving up of the fine Aroostook district,
now part'of the State of Maine, and with some heat said,
that " the Ashburton Treaty was the most foolish treaty
ever made." He replied to the argument about the
past commitment of other Governments, by describing
it as " not possessing much attraction for an existing
Government." Here Howe made him laugh much, by
saying, " At least, my Lord, it might have an influence
with your conscientious Chancellor of the Exchequer."
After a good many questions and answers affecting
the state of the Provinces, the facilities and difficulties
of moving troops in winter, the conveyance of the mails,
future closer relations of commerce between the Provinces, and, especially, the state of things in the United
States,—he asked us to " Go and see Gladstone." We
" might say he had suggested it."
Then he shook hands, with a swinging jollity, with
each of us, saw us to the door, and, finally, wished us
" success." There might have been no " Trent" affair
pending, to look at him.
Some delay took place before we could see Mr. Gladstone. But we finally accomplished the interview with
him at his fine house in Carlton House Terrace, on the
G 2 mmmmmmmmmmm
84   Negociations as to Intercolonial Railway, 8fc.
23rd November. After waiting some while, following,
as we did, about a dozen previous waiters on the Chancellor, we were shown into Mr. Gladstone's working
room, or den. The room was very untidy. Placards,
papers, letters, newspapers, magazines, and blue books
on the table, chairs, bookshelves, and the floor. It
looked, altogether, as if the window had been left open,
and the contents of a miscellaneous newspaper, book,
and parliamentary paper shop had been blown into the
apartment. Mr. Gladstone, himself, looked bored and
worried. Though perfectly civil, he had the expression
of a man on his guard against a canvasser or a dun.
He might be thinking of the "Trent" affair. We stated
our errand, and as I had, as arranged, to say something,
I used the argument of probable saving in the Atlantic
mail subsidies, by the creation of land routes, &c. He
brushed that aside by the sharp remark, " Those subsidies are unsound, and they will not be renewed." He
then spoke of the objectionable features of all these
" helps to other people who might help themselves."
He did not seem to mind the argument, that assuming
this work to be of Imperial as well as of Provincial importance, unless aid,—costless to England, or, at the
highest, a very remote risk, and not in any sense a
subsidy,—were given, the work could not proceed at all.
He struck me to be a man who thought spending money,
or taking risks, however slight, a kind of crime. That,
in fact, it was better to trust to Providence in important
questions, and keep the national pocket tightly buttoned.   We got little out of him, save an insight into mmmmmmmmm
Mr. Gladstone.
the difficulty to be overcome. And yet he had been a
party to the Crimean War. On the final discussion,
in the House, on the vote for the Intercolonial
guarantee, on the 28th March, 1867, Mr. Gladstone
concluded his speech by declaring, " I believe the present guarantee does depend upon motives of policy
belonging to a very high order, and intimately and inseparably associated with most just, most enlightened
views of the true interests of the Empire." Thus we
had sown the seed not in vain, and the counsel of the
Duke was not forgotten.
Mr. Van Koughnet arrived on the 26th November.
On the 27th I took him to see the Duke, and we had a
long conference.
Finally, it was decided to send in a memorial to the
Duke to lay before the Cabinet. Howe prepared it.
It was most ably drawn, like all the State papers of that'
distinguished man, and it was sent in to the Colonial
Office on the 2nd December, 1861. Thus, all had been
done that could then be done by the delegation. We
had to rely upon the Duke. Our difficulty was with
Mr. Gladstone.
In the time of waiting, Howe, Tilley, and I, attended
meetings at Bristol, Manchester, Liverpool, Oldham,
Ashton, and other places, endeavouring, with no small
success, to make the Intercolonial Railway a public
But the delays; the " pillar to post" ; the want of
knowledge of permanent officials,  whose  geography, H91H
Negociations as to Intercolonial Railway, 8fC.
even, I found very defective, made our efforts irksome,
and now and then, apparently, hopeless.
But an event had startled England, like a thunderclap in a summer sky. On the 8th of November,
1861, Captain Wilkes, of the United States ship "San
Jacinta," took the Southern States envoys—Messrs.
Slidel and Mason—and two others, forcibly from the
deck of a British mail ship, "The Trent." The
country was all on fire. Palmerston showed fight, and
the Guards and other troops, and arms and stores to the--
value of more than a million sterling, were sent out to
Canada. The delegates were sent for to the War Office,
and, as desired, I accompanied them. At the time-
all seemed to hang in the balance. The powers had
joined England in protest, and our ambassador was
instructed by despatch, per ship—for the submarine
wires were not at work—to leave Washington in seven-
days if satisfaction were not given.
At the War Office we met Mr. Cornewall Lewis,
Minister for War, a man erudite and accomplished, who
had lived on public employments nearly all his life, but
who hardly knew the difference between the two ends
of a ramrod. He asked, in long sentences, the questions
which Palmerston had put shortly and in the pith ; all»
sorts of queries as to winter transport in the Provinces,
the disposition for fight of the people, and so on. Then
it was demanded, What we had to suggest? Van
Koughnet, who writhed under the tone adopted, bluntly
said, " Why, to fight it out, of course; we in Canada wilt The War Minister—Jack Knives.
have to bear the first brunt. But we cannot fight with
jack-knives ; and there are no arms in the country. You
have failed to keep any store at all." This led to a deliberate note being taken by the Under Secretary, the
present Marquis of Ripon. Other details followed, and
then, finally, we were asked if we had anything more to
propose ? To which I answered "Yes ; send out a man
who may be truly regarded as a general." This was
received with silence and open mouths. The fact was,
the soldier in command in Canada was General Fenwick
Williams, a most gallant man, who, in a siege, would eat
his boots before he would give in : but was not the man
who could so manoeuvre small bodies of men as to keep
in check, in forests and on plains, large masses of the
enemy. When we left, Captain Galton came running
after us, and said, " I am so glad you said that, we all
feel as you do here"—(the War Office).
Although the Government of the United States retreated from an undefendable position, wisely and with
dignity, by surrendering their prisoners, who, delivered
over to a British man-of-war, landed in England on the
29th January, 1862,—still it was decided to keep the
troops in the Provinces, to reinforce them, to add to
the armaments, and to adequately arm strategic points
alongside the American frontier. And, as President of
the Grand Trunk, I was asked to go out to Canada to aid
and direct transport across the country.
In the meantime—whether the cause was the " Trent"
affair, or pre-occupation on the part of the Duke, or
neglect of permanent officials, or their bad habit at that 88   Negociations as to Intercolonial Railway, fyc.
time of regarding Colonists as inferior persons—our
delegates and their wives felt hurt at the social neglect
which they experienced. And I agreed in the truth of
their complaints so much, that I formally addressed
the Duke on the 31st December. He acknowledged
the neglect, apologised for it, and thereafter, until the
day of their departure, the delegates, and Mrs. Howe
and Mrs. Van Koughnet, were received in high circles,
and were especially invited to Clumber.
To sum up, I left England for Canada, in " The Asia,"
on the 1 st February, 1862, landing at New York, where
my son and Messrs. Brydges and Hickson met me—arid
after a deal of hard work on the part of every officer and
man on the Grand Trunk, and no small anxiety, labour,
responsibility, and exposure to storms and climate, inflicted upon myself, Mr. Brydges, Mr. Hickson, and
the whole staff, Quartermaster-General Mackenzie sent
us a handsome acknowledgment of our semi-military
services. But the authorities at home did not condescend
to recognize our existence or our labours.
The late Sir Philip Rose gave me the greatest assistance with Mr. Disraeli, Sir E. Bulwer Lytton, and all
the great party whose confidence he possessed.. The
following letter, addressed to him by Sir E. Bulwer
Lytton, will be read with great interest:—
"Buxton, Derbyshire,
"April 27, 1862.
" My dear Sir,
" I am much flattered by your wish, and that of
our Colonial friends; but I fear that I must decline the Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton.
important and honourable task to which you invite me :
partly from a valid personal reason ; partly on political
grounds. With regard to the first, I am here for a
•course of the Baths, in hopes to get rid of a troublesome
lumbago, which has harassed me all the winter, and
appears to have been epidemical from the number of
victims it has cramped and racked this wet season. And
I fear I shall not be able to get away till the middle of
May, unless it be for some special vote. But apart from
this consideration, I doubt whether it would be prudent
for any member of Lord Derby's late Government, with
the support of those leaders who might very soon form
another administration, to urge upon Parliament any
new pecuniary burthen, nay, any new loan, in the face
of a deficit. Would not this really play into Gladstone's
hands, and furnish him with a plausible retaliation in
case of attack on the side in which he is most vulnerable, viz., the dealing with a deficit as if it were a surplus ? And again, would it be quite prudent in the
coming Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer and
his future colleagues to commit themselves to a measure
they might find it inconvenient to carry out when in
power ?
1 These are doubts that occur to me; and would be
well weighed by Mr. Disraeli—who might, perhaps,
agree with me, that, on the whole, it would be better
that this very important question should be brought
before the House by some one not in the late Cabinet
—some great merchant, perhaps—some one, in short,
II 90   Negociations as to Intercolonial Railway, fyc.
who could not be supposed to compromise or commit
the future administrative policy of the party.
"I remain, however, of the same opinion, that aid
to intercolonial communication can be defended on
Imperial grounds—and would in itself, if not opposed
on purely fiscal reasons, be a wise as well as generous
" I regret much that my absence from town prevents
my seeing Mr. Watkin and profiting by the information
he could give me. I fear he will have left London before I return to it. But I should be very glad if he
would write to me and acquaint me with the exact state
of the case at present—and the exact wishes and requests of the Colonists.
" Is it a renewal of the former proposition or what r
' The whole question of intercolonial communication ' is
a vast one. But I suppose practically it would limit
itself before Parliament to the Railway before submitted
to us—according to the sent me.
" Believe me,
" Yours very truly and obliged,
The following letter was addressed to me:—
" Buxton,
« t-n        o " May 3> l862-
" Dear Sir, ' °
"Allow me to thank you cordially for a letter,.
which cannot but be extremely gratifying to my feelings-
Certainly my first  object when I had the honour to Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton.
preside at the Colonial Office was to attach all parts of
that vast Empire which our Colonies comprise to the
Mother Country, by all the ties of mutual interests and
reciprocal affection.
" The importance of the Railway line between
Halifax and Quebec must be transparent to every clearsighted politician. And had I remained in office, I
should have urged upon my colleagues—I do not doubt
successfully—the justice and expediency, both for Imperial interests, commercial and military, and for the
vindication of the Imperial good faith which seems to
me indisputably pledged to it, some efficient aid, or
guarantees the completion of the line. I should willingly have undertaken the responsibility of recommending that aid to Parliament; and I do not think the
House of Commons would have refused it when proposed with the authority of Government. In that case
the Railway by this time would have been nearly, if not
wholly, completed.
"Traffic begets traffic; railways lead on to railways ;
and a line once formed to Quebec, it would not be long
before the resources of British Columbia would, if properly directed and developed, suffice to commence the
Railway that must ultimately connect the Atlantic and
Pacific. That once accomplished, the destinies of
British North America seem to me assured.
" I shall rejoice to hear that the present Government
make a proposal which the Provinces accept. Some
time, I conclude, must elapse before their decision can
be known; and in that case the question can scarcely 92    Negociations as to Intercolonial Railway, 8fC.
come before Parliament this Session. A mode of aid
accepted by the Colonies would have my most favourable
consideration ; and, I cannot doubt, my hearty support,
whatever might be the administration that proposed it.
" Yours truly obliged,
The Canadian Parliament met, early in March, 1862,
at Quebec; in bitter winter and snow storms. We took
down all the members who chose to go, by a special
through train, in charge of Mr. Brydges,—desiring to
show them that, poor and unfortunate as the Grand
Trunk might be, we could carry " M.P. Ps." safely and
quickly, as we had carried soldiers, and guns, and stores,
to the satisfaction of the military authorities. The train
made a famous journey. In a few days I followed in
company with the Honourable John Ross, and was
several days on the road—in constant fight with snowdrifts—in getting to Point Levi. Then came the canoe
crossing of the St. Lawrence, an enterprise startling, no
doubt, as a first experience, though safe, if tedious.
We were put in a canoe, really a disembowelled tree,
and this was dragged, like a sledge, by a horse down to
the margin of the river, where it was launched amongst
floating ice, going up, down, and across the stream and
its eddies. Our canoe men coming to a big piece of
ice, perhaps 20 feet square, jumped out, dragged our
canoe over the obstruction, and then launched it aeain.
When getting jammed between the floating ice, they got
on the sides of our boat, and working it up and down, To Quebec through the Ice.
like pumping the old fire engine, they liberated us.
Sometimes we went up stream, sometimes down—all
points of the compass—but, after an hour's struggle, we
gained the wharf at Quebec, safe and sound. But a
while after I certainly was exercised. It was important
that Mr. Brydges should go back to Montreal, and my
son went with him. I watched their crossing the river
from the " Platform," in a clear, grey, winter afternoon.
They were two hours in crossing the river, a mile or two
in width, in a straight line. At one time, I almost despaired, for they had drifted down almost into the Bay;
but, by the pluck and hard work of their men, they kept,
in this tacking backwards and forwards, and up and down,
gradually making their way, till they landed, a long way
below the right point, however, and we exchanged handkerchief signals—and all was well.
In the interval between this and my last visit, Lord
Monck had been appointed Governor-General in place
of Sir Edmund Head, retiring. In talking with the
Duke about this appointment, he said, " I offered the
position to five men previously, and they refused it." I
replied, " Did your Grace offer it to Lord Lawrence, now
at home ? " The Duke put down his pen, turned from
one side of his chair to the other, looked down and
looked up, and at last said, " Upon my honour, I never
thought of that. What a good appointment it would
have been!" Be that as it may, Lord Monck made an
excellent Governor in very difficult times. Canada, and
the great cause of Confederation, owe him a deep debt
of gratitude.
ii 94   Negociations as to Intercolonial Railway, 8fC.
I found unexpected difficulties about Grand Trunk
affairs. The Government were afraid of their own
shadows. Instead of bringing in the Grand Trunk
Relief Bill as a Government measure, as we had expected, they, in spite of remonstrance from Mr. Gait,
confided it to a private member, and such was the,
unexplained, opposition that I verily believe had the
Cartier-Macdonald Government remained in power the
Bill, though entirely in the nature of a private Bill,
affecting the public in every sense of indirect advantage,
would have, been thrown out. The newspapers throughout the two Provinces, with half-a dozen honorable
exceptions, were vile and vicious, as trans-Atlantic
newspapers especially can be. I was full of unexpected
anxiety. The Government tactics were Fabian; and
on the 5th April they decided to adjourn the House to
the 23rd. So I went home in the " China" from New
York on the 9th April with my son ; saw the Duke of
Newcastle, discussed the situation; saw the opening of
the Great Exhibition of 1862 on the 1st May, and a few
days afterwards sailed, with Lady Watkin, in the old
Cunarder, the "Niagara;" arriving at Boston after
a long and difficult passage, and then travelling on to
Quebec. But, on the 20th May, an event occurred—
caused, it seemed to me, as a looker on, through
want of tact—which ended in the resignation of the
Government. The circumstances were these. Under
pressure from home, administered through the new
Governor-General, the Ministry had brought forward
measures of defence. They proposed to raise and
equip, at-the cost of Canada, 50,000 men.   They pro- The Change of Government.
ceeded, if my memory serves me, by the introduction of
a Bill, and that Bill was rejected by a very small majority
(61 to 54), composed of Sandfield Macdonald and a few
others, described as " Ishmaelites." Upon that vote
Mr. Carrier at once resigned, as I thought in too much
haste. I met him as he walked away from the Parliament House in the afternoon, and expressed regret.
He said, with set teeth, clenched fist, and sparkling
eyes, " Ah! Well, I have saved the honour of
my country against those ' Grits' and ' Rouges;'
traitres, traitres." Mr. J. A. Macdonald, afterwards,
took the matter very quietly, merely remarking that
the slightest tact might have prevented the occurrence.
So I thought.
The question was, Who was to succeed ? In the
ordinary course Mr. Foley, the assumed leader of the
Opposition, would have been sent for. It was the
opinion of the Honorable John Ross that he ought to
have been. But the Governor, considering, I suppose,
that the scanty majority was led by Sandfield Macdonald,
sent for him. All sides believed that it would be a
ministry of a month. But this astute descendant
of Highlanders managed to stay in for nearly two
years: two years of no good: two years of plausible
postponement of all that the Duke had been so loyally
working for in the interest of Canada. Personally, I
had no reason to complain as regarded Grand Trunk
legislation. Sandfield Macdonald promised to carry our
Bill, and he honourably fulfilled his promise. The
Bill passed; Lady Watkin and I sailed from Boston for
England on the 7th June.
II 96   Negociations as to Intercolonial Railway', 8fc.
But the refusal of the Canadian Parliament to vote
money for defence had created a very bad impression in
England. England had made large sacrifices in filling
Canada with troops and stores, at a critical time—and
it was naturally said, in many quarters, "Are these
people cowards ? Are they longing for another rule ? "
Sir E. Bulwer Lytton, when Mr. Rose and I called upon
him at his lodgings, in St. James's Place, during my
short stay in London, said, " I do not see what we can
do. Had Canada helped us at all, we could have succeeded. Now every one will say, What is the use of
helping such people ?" And Mr. Disraeli said, in the
House, answering a statement that the vote of the
Canadian Parliament did not represent the feeling of
the people: "I decline to assume that the vote of a
popular assembly is not the vote of those they represent." All this was awkward. But I resolved I would
never give in. So I went to Canada again in the
autumn of 1862.
Mr. Joseph Howe came from Halifax to Canada to
meet me. He did all he could to induce Sandfield
Macdonald to settle the long out-standing postal claim
on Canada of the Grand Trunk ; but in vain. He never
would settle it, just and honest as it was. Mr. Howe tried
to induce the Government to take up the Intercolonial
question, where we had left it in the previous autumn :
and in this he so far succeeded that it was agreed a
delegation from Canada should meet delegations from
Nova Scotia and New Brunswick before the end of this
year—1862—in London. Messrs. Howland and Sicotte
were the Canadian delegates; Mr. Howe for Nova Scotia, Messrs. Howland and Sicotte.
and Mr. Tilley for New Brunswick. We set to work to
carry both the Intercolonial guarantee, and the Pacific
transit scheme, the moment these gentlemen arrived in
Meeting Messrs. Howland and Sicotte at their
hotel, in Jermyn Street, on the 2nd December, 1862,
and discussing matters all round, they certainly led
me, unsuspectingly, to believe they had the same
desire to carry the Intercolonial as that entertained by
Messrs. Howe and Tilley; and further, that if a road
and telegraph project could be carried on the broad
lines laid down in so many discussions, their arrangements on "both questions would be cordially welcomed
and approved by their colleagues. I very soon found out,
however, that they were 1 riding to orders," and those
orders, no doubt, being interpreted, were: " Refuse
nothing, discuss everything, but do nothing."
On the 8th December we met the Canadian delegates
at the bank of Messrs. Glyn, in Lombard Street, and we
-drew up a proposal, which these gentlemen corrected.
We adopted their corrections and sent in the paper, as
an agreed paper, to the Duke.
Two days afterwards, for better assurance, we received
the following memorandum :—
" With a view of better enabling the gentlemen whom
they met yesterday at 67, Lombard Street, to take immediate measures to form a Company for the object of
carrying out the construction of a telegraph line, and
of a road to establish frequent and easy communication
between Canada and the Pacific, and to facilitate the
H mmmmmm
98   Negociations as to Intercolonial Railway, fyc.
carrying of mails, passengers, and traffic, the undersigned have the honour to state, that they are of opinion
that the Canadian Government will agree to give a
guarantee of interest at the rate of four per cent, upon
one-third of the sum expended, provided the whole sum
does not exceed five hundred thousand pounds, and
provided also that the same guarantee of interest will
be secured upon the other two-thirds of the expenditure by Imperial or Columbian contributions.
" If a Company composed of men of the standing
and wealth of those they had the pleasure to meet is
formed for the above purposes, under such conditions
as will secure the interests of all parties interested, and
the accomplishment of the objects they have in view,
such an organization will be highly favourable to the
settlements of an immense territory, and, if properly
administered, may prove to be also of great advantage
to the trade of England.
f London, 10 Deer. 1862.
"To MM.
&c. &c. &c."
A few days afterwards these Canadian delegates started
an objection. The Imperial Government merely gave
land  and   did   not   take   one-third  of the   proposed «"S5BHP
The Pacific Transit.
guarantee, and the following further memorandum was
sent to me :—
"Although little disposed to believe that Her Majesty's
Government will not accede to the proposal of co-operation they have made in relation to the opening of communication from Canada to the Pacific, the undersigned
have the honour to state, in answer to the letter of
Mr. Watkin of the 17th instant, that in their opinion
the Government of Canada will grant to a Company
organised as proposed in the papers already exchanged,
a guarantee of interest, even on one-half of the capital
stated in these documents, should the Imperial Government refuse to contribute any portion of this guaranteed
sum of interest.
" In answer to another demand made in the same
letter, the undersigned must state that the guarantee of
the Canadian Government of this payment of interest
ought to secure the moneys required at the rate of four
per cent., and that they will not advise and press with
their colleagues a higher rate of interest as the basis of
the arrangement.
" London, 20 December, 1862.
p Ed. Watkin, Esq., London."
So much, and so far, for the Pacific affair. But in
the Intercolonial discussion there was an undercurrent.
The only points left for discussion with the Duke and
Mr. Gladstone were the question of survey, which was
H 2 Ill i
ioo   Negociations as to Intercolonial Railway, 8fC.
easily settled, and the question of a sinking fund for the
loan to be made on the credit of Great Britain. At first
Mr. Gladstone insisted on such a short term of repayment, and therefore so heavy a put-by, that his terms
took away the pecuniary value of the guarantee itself:
that is to say, that what the Colonies would have
annually to pay, would have amounted to more than the
annual sum for which they could have borrowed the
money themselves. I suggested a longer term, and
also, that the interest on the annual put-by, to accumulate, should be altered so as to alleviate the burden. In
answer to a letter written with the assistance of Messrs.
Howe and Tilley, I received the following from the
" Clumber,
1 8 Deer. 1862.
" My dear Sir,
" I am sorry to say your letter confirms the impression I have entertained from my first interview with
the Canadian delegates—an impression strengthened
by each subsequent meeting—that Mr. Sicotte is a
traitor to the cause he has come over to advocate. I
am unable to make out whether he is playing false on
his own account or by order of his colleagues; but I
cannot say I have any reason to associate Mr. Howland
with the want of faith in any dealings with me.
" You can have no idea how I have been compelled to
forbear and to fence with Mr. S. to prevent his breaking
off upon every possible occasion and upon any almost
impossible pretext. ' His whole aim has been to find mm
The Duke's Letters.
some excuse for throwing up the railroad and saying
it was the act of the Imperial Government. As for
Mr. Gladstone being ' all powerful,' he knows that in the
financial details alone Mr. G. interferes, and I presume
Mr. Howland would tell him that this is the duty of a
Finance Minister.
" Nothing struck me more than Mr. S.'s objection to
your being present at our meetings.    When you did
' drop in' I felt obliged to say nothing about it till your
card was brought, and on that occasion I particularly
remarked that his usual obstructiveness was suspended.
'' The one point now in dispute between the delegates
and the Treasury is really of no importance to either
party. I hope and expect that Mr. G. will give way;
but I suspect if he does Mr. S. will be (by no means for
the first time) much disappointed.
" Have you seen a remarkable letter in the