BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

Vanguards of Canada MacLean, John, 1851-1928 1918

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Array    r  BOOKS
Canadian Savage Folk        j
650 pages, 100 illustrations, fine index.
The leading book on the Native Tribes of
the Dominion.
The Indians of Canada (4th edition)    -
A splendid volume on the customs of the
The Warden of the Plains -
Thrilling Stories of Cowboys and Indians
on the Western Plains.
Life of James Evans  -
Inventor of the Cree Syllabic.
William Black	
The Apostle of the Maritime Provinces.
Henry B. Steinhauer _.-_,_,
Among the Cree Indians; paper.
The Hero of Saskatchewan (paper)
Life and Times of George McDougall, the
Martyr Missionary of the West.
.25  The Rev. John Maclean, M.A., Ph.D., D.D. ___-
Vanguards of Canada
i By
Member of the British Association, The American Society for the Advancement of Science, The American Folk-Lore Society, Correspondent
of The Bureau of Ethnology, Washington; Chief Archivist
of the Methodist Church, Canada.
a a a
The Missionary Society of the Methodist Church
The Young People's Forward Movement Department
F. C. STEPHENSON, Secretary Copyright, Canada, 1918,
by Frederick Clarke Stephenson
/ ?3j JdO
r *5
The Missionary Society of the Methodist Church
The Young People's Forward Movement
F. C. Stephenson, Secretary. PREFACE
In this admirable book the Rev. Dr. Maclean has done
a piece of work of far-reaching significance. The Doctor
is well fitted by training, experience, knowledge and sympathy to do this work and has done it in a manner which
fully vindicates his claim to all these qualifications.
Our beloved Canada is just emerging into a vigorous
consciousness of nationhood and is showing herself
worthy of the best ideals in her conception of what the
highest nationality really involves. It is therefore of
the utmost importance that the young of this young
nation thrilled with a new sense of power, and conscious
of a new place in the activities of the world, should
understand thoroughly those factors and forces which
have so strikingly combined to give us our present place
of prominence. Our fathers wisely emphasized some
important fundamentals and their fidelity to truth and''
righteousness is largely responsible for that type of
Canadian citizenship of which we are today so justly
proud. The sacrifice and heroism which have so marked
these past four years are not an accident. They are the
product of devoted lives and consecrated personalities.
Great men, forgetful of glory and asking only that they
might serve, have given ungrudgingly all they had of
energy, devotion and ability to the young life of Canada.
These great souls have piloted Canadian life up through
the roughness of the wilderness and the remoteness of
the plain into its present place of power and progress.
To these men there were two great realities in life, all
other things were secondary. The supreme matters were
the moral and spiritual verities. If these were true to
the highest principles of life and being then all was well.
To men of this cast religion was concerned with true
spiritual attitudes and proper moral conceptions. Religion was no mere form nor passing ritual but a deep
and abiding consciousness of living contact with God and
with the spirit world. If men failed to come into touch
with God and this spirit world, then all was lost. It
became a burning passion with these men to bring the VI
new settlers from other lands and the pagan aborigines
of the forest and the plain into a clear and definite
consciousness of their communion with God. Such nearness to and contact with God have a wonderfully purifying effect upon the fountains and streams of life. As a
people, we are just beginning to understand how fundamental the work done by these noble pioneers was to the
splendid fabric of our social and civil life today.
Dr. Maclean gives in the following pages a brief history of a few of these noble men. In a concise form he
gives us a glimpse of the trials and triumphs of some of
the worthy men whose lives were laid upon the altar of
the spiritual welfare of our country.
The Doctor has not attempted to present a long and
critical analysis of the forces which made these men
great, but he has so told the story of their deeds that
any one can readily understand the secret of their power.
While telling each story he has not forgotten to link it
with the other great streams of influence which have been
forming in the years to make Canada our boast and
pride today.
This excellent book coming as it does when an awakened interest is being felt in the noble red man, ought to
be in every home. But the red man is not our only
problem. Thousands are coming to our shores. They
are breathing the fresh air of a new found liberty. They
too must learn the secret of this liberty which we possess.
To make them worthy citizens of Canada should be the
aim of every true Canadian. They must be educated,
enlightened and taught to live and respect the institutions
we love so dearly. In their case, as in all others, the
finest type of citizenship can be secured only by the
power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ felt in the heart and
known in the life. The supreme lesson of this book is
that the law of life is " Thou shalt love the Lord thy God
with all thy heart and soul and strength and thy neighbor
as thvself."
Wesley College, Dec. 4, 1918.
J. H. Riddell »___
I    Kahkewayquonaby       -       -       -       -
Of the Six Nation Indians.
II    Shawundais __.__,
The Ojibway Orator.
III James Evans       -----
Inventor of the Cree Syllabic.
IV Robert Terrill Rundle
First Protestant Missionary in the
V   Thomas Hurlburt       -
Linguist and Scholar.
VI    Thomas Woolsey -
A Pioneer of the Buffalo Days.
VII    Henry B. Steinhauer -       -       -       -
The Native Founder of Missions.
VIII    George McDougall      -
Traveller and Hero.
IX    George Young
The Early Days at Fort Garry.
X    Chief Joseph       -
And the Oka Indians.
XI    Thomas Crosby -
Up and Down the Pacific Coast.
XII    John McDougall fill
Missionary and Empire Builder.
XIII James Woodsworth    -
The Ecclesiastical Statesman.
XIV Martyrs of the Cross
XV    Heroines of Western Canada    -
The Rev. John Maclean, M.A., Ph.D., D.D.   -
Thayendanegea -------
Kahkewayquonaby     ------
Shawundais; The Rev. William Case; Sault
Ste. Marie in 1845     - f   - §   -
The Rev. James Evans; A Marriage Certificate
in Cree Syllabic ------
Rocky Mountain House, 1845; Red River
Settlement in 1845     -----
The Rev. Robert Terrill Rundle; Edmonton in
Mount Rundle, near Banff, in the Canadian
Rockies       -------
Methodist Missionaries from the North, 1876
A Chief of the Blackfoot Indians; A Blackfoot
Record -       -
The Rev. Thomas Woolsey; The Rev. John
McDougall; An Indian Buffalo Hunt
Native Indian Missionaries—the Rev. Henry
B. Steinhauer and His Sons      -
The Rev. George Mill ward McDougall; Norway House, where George McDougall was
Stationed in I860      -----
.Chief Berens and His Wife     -
Missionaries of the Red River District,
Toronto Conference, 1876 -       -       -       -
The Beginning of a Great City—Early Days in
Winnipeg    -------
The Grandson of an Oka Chief in His Grandfather's Dress; The Congregation Leaving
the Indian Church at Oka -      -      -      -
-   Frontispiece
page     4
1       23
A  Flathead  Indian   Mother  and   Baby;   The
Interior of an Indian Lodge     - Facing page 18__
The Rev. Thomas Crosby ------        "196
Chiefs of North-West Indian Tribes; Winter
Travel by Dog Train -
The McDougall Orphanage, Morley, Alberta;
Dr. McDougall, Indian Children, and
Orphanage   Staff -
The Rev. George Young; The Rev. James
Woodsworth;   Wesley   College,   Winnipeg
The Rev. James McLachlan; The Rev. Edward
Paupanakis; The Rev. Fred. Cory
Mrs.  George McDougall -----
Map Showing Journeys of Missionaries -
Of the Six Nation Indians
THE race of heroes never dies. In every age and
country the hero lives, an immortal among his
fellows, careless of life or his place in history,
and unconscious of his power or fame. Savage and
civilized alike yearn for the great man, whom they
delight to honor as a gift from the gods, to lead them
toward noble ideals and the heights of glory, where they
may hold fellowship with all that is best in nature and
man and God. The Greek Hercules is akin to the British
Wellington and Gordon, the Canadian Wolfe and Montcalm, and the American Washington. Our poetry, fiction
and historv would be listless without heroes and heroines.
The thrill of pleasure, the vivid scene to feed the imagination, and our great works of art would be wanting in the
grand element of permanence, without the presence of
heroic thoughts and deeds. Beyond the smoke and din
and blood of the battlefield, there lie other spheres where
men and women fight and die in the cause of freedom.
In the field of industry and the realm of literature, and
on dark continents and lone islands, there are Careys and
Livingstones who lead a mighty host, bearing the banner
of truth, that justice and love may prevail and souls be
won for God. The world is always in need of dreamers,
who stand on the tops of the mountains and look down
the centuries, far apart from their fellowmen, and oftentimes misunderstood and scoffed at; yet their work, unseen and unrecognized, endures and posterity reaps the
reward.   The quest of the Holy Grail remains an abiding
[1] 2
lesson for all ages, and Sir Launfal is the man with a
vision, for whom the days of bustle in the crowded street
of the modern city always wait. On the pages of our
national history, there stands forth one great, solitary
figure, in the person of Samuel de Champlain, a man of
noble deeds and inspiring vision, who visited Panama
more than three hundred years ago, and conceived the
idea of a ship canal across the Isthmus, which would
lessen a voyage to the South Sea by more than three
hundred leagues. When he explored the waters of the
Great Lakes, with the dusky Hurons as his guides, allured
no doubt by the tales of the copper mines on the shores,
he refused the offer of the Montagnais to lead him to the
Hudson Bay, though he was anxious to look upon the
Arctic Sea, hoping it may be, to find a way home to
France by the Hudson Bay route. In July and August,
1615, he was traversing the road from Montreal to the
Georgian Bay, and his dreams are being realized in the
Panama Canal, in the building of the Hudson Bay Railway, and the project of the Georgian Bay Canal. The
men of vision are the true prophets, who make possible
real greatness, and the material progress of modern times.
Canada has forgotten the red man, and ignored her
indebtedness to the savages of other days. We have
exalted Hiawatha and Tecumseh, while refusing recognition and appreciation of other great men who dwelt
in bark wigwams and buffalo-skin lodges, through difference in language and culture. We have called the red
man a savage, but around the camp fire, the dusky
warriors have laughed at the follies and strange customs
of the white race, and the question of savagery has not
yet been settled. The folly of calling names in literature
and history is a pitiable business, as Byron learned to his KAHKEWAYQUONABY 3
disgrace. Parkman's mistake as a historian lay in the
choice of his subject, when the times were not ripe for
its treatment. Instead of writing on the native tribes of
Canada, had he chosen a subject relating to some of the
great nations, and followed in the footsteps of Macaulay,
Gibbon and Motley, he would not have been compelled
to wait fifty years for recognition; and yet, the Jesuits in
America is as noble and dignified as the Decline and Fall
of the Roman Empire, or the Rise of the Dutch Republic.
The real stories of the past are more interesting than
any fiction, when they are infused with poetic fire and
a vivid imagination, and consist not in a mere collection
of names and dates. Good history is biography written
in large characters, as genuine fiction is autobiography
dressed in the colors of all mankind. Few great names
remain in the history of our country, because it is still
young, and tradition is reckoned of little value in a
practical age. Relics of bygone times linger in the names
of extinct tribes and a dwindling race; and the words
on our lips, familiar through repetition, carry with them
visions of languages, tribal wars, and old trails, and have
lost their meaning to the men of a new age. Our lakes,
Erie, Huron and Nipissing; our provinces, Ontario,
Saskatchewan and Manitoba; our cities, Quebec, Ottawa,
Toronto and Winnipeg; Canada, Niagara and numerous
other appellations of places between the Atlantic and Pacific, speak to us of forgotten times and events, which await
the poet's and painter's imagination and creative skill, to
make a modern Aeneid and Odyssey in the new world.
It is a difficult task to lift a native out of our common
life, and believe that he was a great man on the dusty
road where our childhood days were spent; yet Kahke-
wayquonaby was a hero, a man of vision  and a leader, VANGUARDS OF CANADA
without any intention of posing as a player of parts. He
was one of the vanguards, blazing the paths through
the backwoods, breaking the trail for the immigrants on
their march to the new West. As a zealous itinerant, he
roamed over the greater part of the Province of Ontario
in quest of souls, with a faith as unwavering, and a
courage as undaunted, as that of any missionary in any
age of the world. There is no large canvas to sketch his
figure, because the colors are dark, the times unpropitious,
and the distance too short. All these roadmenders were
brave men with noble careers. Their misfortune was to
work at home without the enchantment of distance, and
among tribes despised by the white race, through ignorance of native customs, and hatred begotten through close
contact in the conquest of the land.
Kahkewayquonaby was born at the heights of Burlington Bay in the Province of Ontario, on January i, 1802.
His father, Augustus Jones, was a native of the State of
New York, of Welsh descent, and his mother, Tuhbenah-
neequay, a pure Indian, the daughter of Wahbanosay,
a chief of the Mississauga band of the Ojibways. Augustus must have been a man of more than ordinary
ability, and possessed of a good education, as he was
appointed provincial land surveyor. He had mastered
the language of the natives, and so far ingratiated himself
in the favor of the people, that he became as one of
themselves.    The youth who was destined to add lustre
to the family name was the second son in a household
of five sons and five daughters, and he bore the common
name of Peter. As the father was frequently absent
from home for long periods in his business as surveyor,
the care of the children devolved upon the mother, and
she, being trained in the native customs, traditions and ^
Thayendanegea (Joseph Brant)
The Great Captain of the Six Nations rtU KAHKEWAYOUONABY
religion, naturally brought up the members of the family
according to the faith of her ancestors.
Peter Jones was a pagan in belief and practice, resorting: in his boyliood to ^extreme methods of devotion with
real sincerity, that he might propitiate the tribal gods by
blackening his face, and through fasting and prayer.
Having: nothing: in common with the white race, it was
natural that he should be initiated as other youths of the
tribes, into the mysteries of the native religion; accordingly, his friends prepared a grand feast on the occasion
of his receiving a native name which would constantly
remind him of his maternal relationship to the Ojibway
Indians. His grandfather was the priest in the ceremony,
conferring upon him the honorable name of Kahkeway-
quonaby, signifying "Sacred Waving Feathers/5 He
was placed under the protection of the eagle, the god of
thunder, no doubt because his mother belonged to the
eagle totem. The ceremony was made more impressive
by the gift of a war-club, symbolizing the power of his
protecting spirit, and a bunch of eagle feathers, denoting
swiftness as a charm against attack, and as a mark of
dignity and real worth. How appropriate was the name,
may be found in the familiar expressions, " the wings
of the wind,'5 " the flying clouds,'5 for the bird, like the
wind, sweeps through lofty spaces, sings in the forests,
and rustles on its course; and like the cloud, it floats in
the heavens and casts its shadow on the earth, and these
were great truths to the savage nations. Among some
of the native tribes the feathers of the eagle composed
their war flag, its images were carved in wood, or its
stuffed skin surmounted the council lodges; religious
honors \yere paid to it, for it was recognized as the messenger of the gods, and the  embodiment of departed VANGUARDS OF CANADA
spirits. The warriors arrayed in paint and feathers, the
medicine men performing their incantations, and the ceremony of conferring the name made so deep an impression
on the imagination and memory of the boy, that it
remained vivid till the end of the years.
According to the native custom of adoption into a
family where one of the sons had died, when he was only
nine years of age he was received into the family of one
of the chiefs, and treated as a son. His boyhood was
spent in the woods, wandering with the Indians, following their customs, and becoming a veritable pagan in
heart and life. He attended native feasts and dances,
blackened his face with charcoal, fasted and prayed to
the gods, and was ambitious to become a great hunter.
Frequently he was initiated into customs and feasts that
seem strange to us, but which were a real part of the life
of the people. Near the present site of the city of
Rochester, in the State of New York, a large number of
bears were killed, a sacred feast was held, and each of
the participants drank about a gill of bear's oil. At a
dog feast which he attended, the animal was killed, the
hair singed, the flesh cooked and portions distributed
among the company, and finally a piece was laid on the
fire as a burnt offering. Whenever there was a storm
on the lakes, the Indians thought that there was no sacrifice more likely to appease the wrath of the god of the
waters than that of a dog, and consequently, when Peter
was travelling to Toronto with a number of his friends,
and they were anxious for the safety of their birch bark
canoes, they seized a black dog, tied a stone around his
neck and cast him into the lake. ft
Peter became expert in the use of the bow and arrow,
and was reckoned to be a good hunter even in his tender >____.
years, and as he grew older, his gun furnished an abundance of game, while he roamed the lakes in his canoe,
handling it with the skill of an old man, and his spear
secured large quantities of fish for the home. Life in the
woods, roving here and there, was attended with many
hardships, poverty often dogging his footsteps as a demon;
and the curse of drink, introduced by the white man
among the native tribes, reduced the people to a condition
of degradation, where independence and morality were
forgotten. During a long, drunken frolic in the camp,
the boy, who kept aloof from the evil influences by which
he was surrounded, suffered from cold and hunger
through neglect, and was stricken with paralysis in his
leg which left him helpless for the space of three months.
A messenger being sent to his mother, she walked to the
camp accompanied by another Indian woman, and they
carried him on their backs a distance of thirty miles.
When he was fourteen years of age, his father being
anxious that he should not live in ignorance, but be
equipped for some kind of business, sent him to school,
where he remained for nine months, learning the elementary branches of English, and so earnest was he in the
quest for knowledge that he was able to read the New
Testament in an easy fashion. The family having removed to the Six Nation Reserve near Brantford, where
the English Church had established a mission among the
Mohawk Indians, Peter Jones growing into manhood
was brought under Christian influences, and at the age
of eighteen was induced by his father to be baptized.
The Mohawk tribe was the oldest brother of the Iroquois,
whom Parkman styles by way of pre-eminence i the
Indian of the Indians," and was  essentially a native
Canadian race.   The Mohawk language was adopted at
an early date for communicating with the Six Nation
Indians, though in the council-house on the Grand River,
the chiefs of the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas and Senecas, speak in their own languages without the
aid of an interpreter, and yet, so different are these
languages, that a Seneca and a Mohawk are scarcely able
to carry on a conversation in one of them. There is still
preserved in the old Mohawk Church on the reserve at
Grand River, the silver communion service presented by
Queen Anne, bearing the inscription: "A. R. 1711. The
gift of Her Majesty, by the grace of God, of Great
Britain, France and Ireland, and of her plantations in
North America, Queen: to her Indian Chappel of the
Mohawks." This date has special interest, as it was not
for three years later that the Five Nations received the
Tuscaroras into the confederation, and the Iroquois became known as the Six Nation Indians. Peter Jones
was an Ojibway adopted into the Mohawk tribe, an
appropriate blending of the races, as the annalists of the
Huron-Iroquois relate the memory of a treaty with the
Ojibways, when the latter dwelt on the shores of Lake
Superior, and the meeting place of these two races was at
the Sault Ste. Marie Rapids, and this League is believed to
have been maintained for more than two hundred years.
Like many people boasting of their civilization, and
the glories of their arts, literature and political institutions, the influences of religion produced no moral effect
upon the Indians; they were noted for their drunken and
lazy habits, and sorely tried the zeal and patience of the
missionaries laboring among them. Peter was not a
disinterested spectator of the follies of his companions
and their empty professions of religion, as he was firmly
convinced that the Christian religion was the true one. KAHKEWAYQUONABY
Not only would he participate in the privileges of the
white people, but he would be serving the Great Spirit
if he became a member of the church, and still, while his
heart yearned after a higher life, he sought and found
transient pleasure in all kinds of amusement, while his
conscience troubled him night and day. While his
brother John, two years older than himself, was studying
for the profession of land surveyor, that he might assist
his father and become free from the precarious mode of
existence prevalent among the Indians, he became extremely anxious for a better education, and in order that
he might secure money sufficient to support himself while
at school, he learned the trade of brickmaking, and was
thus enabled to improve himself.
A new factor came into his life which aroused his
ambition still more, and gave definite direction to his
life, in the person of Seth Crawford, a young man from
the United States, who was so deeply impressed with a
call as missionary to the Indians that he came to the
reserve and hired his board at the home of one of the
natives, that he might learn the language. The two young
men became fast friends; the white man instructed his
companion in the great truths of religion, while his
exemplary life emphasized his quiet talks by the way;
the red man revealed the intricacies of the native language and explained the native customs. A Methodist
local preacher, named Edmund Stoney, visited the reserve and held religious services in the house of a Mohawk
chief, named Thomas Davis, an earnest, godly man, and
a work was begun among the aborigines, the beneficent
effects of which continue until the present time. About
twenty years previous, the Rev. William Case came to
Canada from the State of New York, and his heart was 10
deeply touched by the abject condition of the Indians, so
that he prayed earnestly for their conversion; but he had
to wait many years before the vision of a mission to the
red men was fully realized. In the summer of 1823 he
held a camp-meeting near Ancaster, which was attended
by nearly a thousand persons, many of whom came forty
and fifty miles in waggons over rough roads. Among this
vast concourse was quite a large number of Indians,
including Peter Jones and his sister Mary. Though deeply
impressed with the preaching of the Methodist missionaries who visited the reserve, and the piety of his friend,
Seth Crawford, he went to the camp-meeting through
a morbid curiosity, being anxious to see how the white
people worshipped the Great Spirit in the forest. Under
the shadow of the trees the encampment, illuminated at
night by large fires burning on raised stands, the singing
and praying of the people, and the powerful sermons and
searching appeals of the preachers, were calculated to
awaken the fears of the indifferent, and many trophies
of grace were won for Christ. Peter sat under the spell
of the old gospel with tears on his cheeks, and the burden
of his sins became so heavy that he could not sleep, but
retired into the depths of the woods alone to pray. After
several days of wrestling without any peace, and in doubt
as to what he should do, he was invited to go to the
prayer meeting. The preachers exhorted him and prayed
with him until midnight, when he was so exhausted that
he retired to his tent and fell asleep. During the night he
was sought by Edmund Stoney and the Rev. George
Ferguson, and pressed to return to the meeting, as his
sister Mary had been converted. In her new found joy,
she wept and prayed over him as he knelt among the
penitents, and at daybreak light broke in upon his soul, •   ---
and he cried out for joy. As he afterward wrote of this
wonderful revelation of divine mercy and love, he said:
" Everything now appeared in a new light, and all the
works of God seemed to unite with me in uttering the
praises of the Lord. The people, the trees of the woods,
the gentle winds, the warbling notes of the birds and the
approaching sun, all declared the power and goodness
of the Great Spirit."
At the close of the camp-meeting a fellowship meeting
was held at which the converts stood up as an evidence
of their faith in Christ, and when William Case saw
Peter and his sister among the number, he exclaimed:
| Glory to God, there stands a son of Augustus Jones,
of the Grand River, among the converts. Now is the door
opened for the work of conversion among his nation!"
A revival spread among the Indians, and it was a
common sight at the meetings held on the Grand River
Reserve to see the natives on their knees weeping for
mercy, and to hear them praying in English, Mohawk,
and Ojibway. Peter began at once to work for God with
a zeal that was characteristic of him during his whole
life. In a little over a year from the date of his conversion, with the help of Seth Crawford and some of the
Indians, he built the first Methodist Church for the natives ever erected in Canada, the location being at Davis-
ville; there the two young men held regular services on
the Sabbath, and twice during the week, besides having
a day school. Many of his relatives wiio were wandering
on the shores of Lake Ontario heard of his conversion
and of the work of grace among their own people, and
they came to see for themselves, and to listen to the new
story of religion. Peter's lips were unsealed, and almost
unconsciously he began to preach, so striking was his 12
original eloquence, so rich the outpouring of the divine
Spirit, that many were converted. The die was cast, for
though he again entered into the business of brickmaking
and planned to go on a farm, he felt the call to be a
missionary to the Indians. In 1825 he began a journal
of his labors and travels, as the first Indian missionary
of the Methodist Church in Canada.
A day school was established in his father's house and
continued in the church, taught by himself and Seth
Crawford; but the condition of the Indians in the province appealed to him so strongly that he was compelled
to visit the reserves and wandering camps, preaching the
gospel of peace. Long before there was any Moral and
Social reform movement in connection with the church,
Peter Jones was a Moral and Social reformer, and an
earnest Christian missionary. He introduced farming
among his people, selecting land on the reserve, chopping
the trees and clearing the land, teaching them how to
plough, buying seed potatoes and oxen and becoming
an instructor without any compensatiorf. As a leader,
he performed the duties of a Government agent and farm
instructor, maintaining his dignity and influence by the
power of personal religion. When the traders throughout the province enforced their business by the help of
intoxicating liquor, he interceded with many of them and
was successful in inducing them to refrain from debauching the Indians by the gift or sale of liquor. It
was customary at the annual treaty payments for the
Government to make presents to the Indians of kegs of
rum, which wrought havoc among them, while little or
nothing was done toward civilizing them, and there was
no one to intercede on their behalf. In July, 1825, the
young missionary was instructed by Colonel Givens, the KAHKEWAYOUONABY
Indian Agent, to proceed to the Humber, about twelve
miles from the Credit, for the treaty payments, and to
take with him his scholars and singers. Upon their
arrival at the place they pitched their wigwams and he
took his stand upon a pile of stones and preached to the
Indians, many of whom were intoxicated. Some mocked,
others were deeply affected, but he declared his message
with energy and faith. Before the arrival of the military
arid Government party, he interviewed the Christian
Indians on the subject of the distribution of liquor and
they agreed to dispense with it. Upon presenting the
matter with strong arguments and in forcible language
to the Government officials, they acquiesced in his request,
insomuch that the kegs of rum were returned to Toronto,
and from that time no liquor has been supplied at treaty
payments by the authority of the Government. Quietly
and without any display a great reformation was wrought,
the influence of which has extended to the utmost bounds
of the Dominion, in dealing with numerous tribes with
whom treaties have been made.
Beginning his missionary career among the Six Nation
Indians, his soul burned with an intense passion to declare
the Gospel to the roving bands of natives camping in the
forests and on the shores of the lakes, while his fame
as a preacher in the Mohawk and O jib way languages
brought many from distant parts to listen to his message;
and as these found the way of peace, they besought him
to visit the camps in the wilderness. For thirty years he
labored as an itinerant missionary among the Indians,
and hundreds of the natives were brought to Christ. He
travelled incessantly up and down the Province of Ontario teaching and preaching. He founded missions
among the Munceys, visited the scattered bands around 14
Rice Lake, where ultimately an Industrial Institution was
organized, from whose portals many notable missionaries
to the native tribes went forth. At one time he is at
Kingston, in the eastern part of the province; and then
off through the woods, on foot or on horseback or in a
canoe, camping on the shore, visiting a few wigwams,
eating coarse food, sleeping on the ground or in a lone
house; then away to Lake Simcoe, Lake Huron, and the
Saugeen River, unhasting and unresting, full of faith.
With a roving commission as | a missionary to the Indian
tribes," he travelled extensively, enduring many hardships, often tired in body and mind, yet always happy in
his work. With the success of the missions, the conversion of many souls and the progress of education and
industry, he was called to attend missionary meetings in
the Provinces of Quebec and Ontario and in the United
States, and thousands were thrilled with the wonderful
story he told.
Having had the advantage of a good education, his
constant improvement in language, and an increasing
desire for knowledge, he was well qualified to become
an accurate translator in the Ojibway tongue, and from
his twenty-third year till his death, he was engaged in
this important work. He translated the Apostles' Creed,
the Wesleyan Catechism, Hymn Book, part of the Methodist Discipline, the Book of Genesis and the Gospel of
Matthew into the Ojibway language, besides assisting
his brother John in translating the Gospel of John into the
same language, and correcting Hill's translation of the
Gospel of Luke in Mohawk. He also prepared a Spelling
Book, a small Dictionary in Ojibway, and wrote a History of the Ojibway Indians. The Government of Upper
Canada printed two thousand copies of the first seven From a painting by Matilda Jones
Kahkewayquonaby   (Peter Jones)
Missionary to  the  Six  Nation Indians.     The  first native
Methodist missionary in Canada df KAHKEWAYQUONABY
chapters of Matthew's Gospel, the Toronto Auxiliary
Bible Society one thousand copies of the whole of
Matthew and the British and Foreign Bible Society one
thousand "copies of the Gospel of John, a copy of which
he had the honor of presenting in person to King William
IV. Such was his ability in grasping the beauty and
dignity of the Ojibway language, that a competent authority said of some of these translations, that they were
| as perfect as the Chippeway language would admit.'5
The condition of the Indians and their relation to the
Government and to the settlers aroused so much interest
and stirred up such grave questions, that he was induced
and authorized to visit England on behalf of the natives.
The presence of an Indian chief in his native costume
produced a good deal of excitement in the towns and
cities, where he addressed large audiences, and he was
feted everywhere, during more than a year spent in the
old land. In 1832, he had a half-hour interview with the
King and Queen, conversed with many notable men and'
women, including James Montgomery the poet, Rowland
Hill the eccentric preacher, Hannah More, Samuel Drew
and leaders in all the churches. During his visit, he
delivered over a hundred addresses, preached over sixty
times, besides soliciting funds for his work in Canada
and correcting the proofs of his translations. He received
£1,032, of which the Quakers subscribed £174. Again
in 1837, he was in England, and shortly after the Coronation, held a short interview with Queen Victoria. In 1833
he was married to Miss Field of London, England, who
proved to be a wise and devoted helpmate, as she was a
lady of culture and deep piety and blessed with a passion
for saving the red men. In 1844, he made a third and
last visit to England, spending nearly two years, preach- 16
ing and lecturing on behalf of his people. In association
with such men as John Williams, the South Sea missionary, Dr. Chalmers, the Presbyterian statesman, William
Jay, John Angell James, Dr. Adam Clarke and other
great leaders, who delighted to honor him, he was in nowise elated, but retained his modesty. He refrained from
the temptations and allurements of his exalted position,
remaining above all things else the devoted missionary
and Christian man.
He was beloved and honored in his own land as well as
abroad, being a Chief of the Ojibway tribe and also a
Chief of the Muncey and Moraviantown tribes, while the
Government wished to appoint him a Superintendent of
Indian Affairs, a position he courteously refused, as likely
to interfere with his duties as a missionary. After an
arduous career, full of honors and triumphs, he passed
away on the morning of June 29, 1856, surrounded by his
family and mourned by thousands of Indians and white
folks who loved him as a good and great man. He was
one of Canada's distinguished men, worthy to take an
honorable place beside the heroes of other lands and the
most saintly and bravest missionaries of any age. His
work abides in the Indian missions of his own church
and of other denominations, especially in the Province of
Ontario, where he was a pioneer of the Cross among
the red men. In the progress of civilization among the
native tribes and their descendants, and in the movements
for the elevation of his race, may be found his monument,
more enduring than any brass tablet or marble slab.
Kahkewayquonaby was a great Canadian, the first native
Methodist missionary in the Dominion, the friend of his
own race, and a lover of all men. HAPTER II
The Ojibway Orator
ONE hundred years ago, there lived among the Bay
of Quinte Indians a poor drunken savage, who
was destined to leave his mark on the new civilization springing up among the red men of Ontario.
Shawundais was his name, a suggestive cognomen meaning " Sultry Heat," which the sun gives out in summer
just before a fertilizing rain. He became known as John
Sunday, a powerful preacher and successful missionary
and a teller of quaint, humorous and pathetic stories.
He was a Mississauga Indian, which was a sub-tribe of
the Ojibways, who defeated the Iroquois in 1759. His
people were located at the native settlements of New
Credit, near the city of Brantford, at Chemong Lake,
Rice Lake and Lake Scugog, but roamed
province, from the county of Northumberland to Leeds.
Kingston, Bath and Brockville were their chief places of
resort, where they earned a precarious living.
He was born in the State of New York about the year
1796, which is as near the date of his birth as he could
tell, there being no significant events in the woods, no
tribal wars or great hunts, by which he could distinguish
the time that he made his appearance on the earth; and
as he was not a genius, no one took the trouble to hunt
up the native records, until all traces of them were lost.
Like so many other children of the bark wigwams, his
days  and  nights were  spent in the woods, where the
[17] 18
camps were filthy, and debauched men and women, maddened with drink, made the long nights hideous with
their orgies and wild cries of revelry, and the boys and
girls hid in the deep recesses, or crouched in fear in the
hollow of a tree. Before the white man came, the natives
were industrious, making sugar in the spring and building canoes in the summer. These canoes were marvels
of lightness, being so deft in their construction, that two
men could easily carry the largest, while they were strong
enough to surmount the heaviest billows and suffer no
harm, and then off to the fishing camps, where innocent
fun and frolic were the order of the day. The forests
supplied game for food, the furs were sold to traders
to secure the small luxuries of the camp, and there was
existence without hard work or anxiety; but dark, idle
and immoral days came with the introduction of intoxicating liquors, when drunken brawls were frequent, and
filth and debauchery were supreme.
John Sunday's parents were pagans, no better than the
rest of the tribe; his companions were ignorant and degraded, without ambition, but with all the vanity of a
savage bedecked with feathers and paint. There was no
one to give an inspiring word or helping hand and he
seemed quite content to be left alone. Begging dances
at the white settlement for a few coppers relieved the
monotony of camp life; dog-feasts and paltry sacrifices
to the gods served to satisfy his religious instincts and
yearnings. Yet there were serious moments when he
sat alone in his wigwam and high thoughts and grave
questions relating to God and the future destiny of man
troubled his soul. This uncouth savage looked into the
heavens and asked: " Whence came these stars ?" There
were days in the forest when he was unhappy; the tears SHAWUNDAIS
would bring no relief, as he blackened his face with charcoal, and fasted and prayed, while he sat in suspense,
waiting for a vision. Religion is inwrought in the constitution of the red man, as well as in other races, and
though we may ignore him because of his uncouth manners "and strange customs, still even in his darkest hours
he remains a true seeker after God.
A simple child of nature was John Sunday, strongly
built and above medium height; his countenance was
lacking in expression to the casual observer, and he was
a drunkard, yet there were redeeming features in his
character, which were revealed when divine grace touched
the dormant faculties and aroused his ambition. While
a pagan in his thought and mode of life, he possessed the
power of entertaining his companions around the camp
fire, with humorous tales adorned with savage mimicry:
and being familiar with the flowers, birds and insects,
he had a large fund of information that made him the
leader at the feast and in the social circle. Red men and
white were often convulsed with laughter over his droll
stories and sallies of wit, and his queer grimaces, and
the applause satisfied him for a season; but still, his soul
yearned after higher and better things, though none knew
of the inner struggle, as real and terrible as ever depicted
by Paul, John Bunyan, and the spiritual artists of other
The conversion of Peter Jones was the beginning of a
great and genuine work among the Indian tribes in the
Province of Ontario, as he was well qualified, by his
knowledge of the language and by his training, to preach
to the natives. With the experience and ability of the
Rev. William Case, who was deeply interested in the
red man and who was the founder of Methodist Indian 20
Missions in Canada, he was able to lay broad plans for
the civilization of his own race. An evangelistic tour
having been undertaken among the Bay of Quinte Indians
in February, 1826, a public service was held in the church
at Belleville, which was well attended by the white people
and Indians; so great was the crowd that two Indians
who had come to hear the wonderful story of the Gospel
from the lips of the young missionary were compelled to
remain outside. These were John Sunday and Moses,
poor, degraded and drunken natives, whose curiosity had
been awakened by the reports in the camps of a work
of grace among their fellows, and who were so determined
to learn for themselves the meaning of this new kind of
religion that they travelled to Belleville to discover the
secret of the power which was transforming the lives of
the savages. At the hour for the evening service they
entered the church, and as Peter Jones preached on the
two paths of life—the narrow way leading to strength,
beauty, peace and heaven, and the broad way of sorrow,
degradation and death—John Sunday and his companion
sat entranced under the spell of the new gospel, and were
so smitten with conviction of sin that they resolved to
serve the God of the Christians. The sermon on the two
ways made such a lasting impression on John Sunday's
mind and heart that he oftentimes referred to it upon his
own missionary journeys, and it was never forgotten.
For three months he prayed and struggled on his way
to the Cross, and when Peter Jones again visited the
people and a prayer meeting was held, at which a large
number of the natives prayed and related the story of
their conversion in simple and forceful language, the
light broke into his soul and he experienced great joy
in believing on Christ.   Never could he forget that day, SHAWUNDAIS
May 2Jy 1826, when he found the peace of God, and
throughout his long and successful career as a preacher
of the everlasting gospel, he frequently told with tears
streaming down his cheeks the story of his entrance into
the new life.
At once he began to preach and, as with new converts,
his theme was his own conversion and religious experience.
In less than two months he accompanied Peter Jones on
an evangelistic trip to the Indians on Lake Simcoe, and
in the camps his native eloquence found expression on
his beloved theme.    His soul burned with a passion for
the salvation of the people of his own race; and for him
to become a Christian was to set to work, so that he
began his missionary career on the very day that he found
Christ.    His native ability was so great that, as a public
speaker, he was qualified to  rank among the leading
orators of his race; and there were none, not even Pontiac
or Red Jacket, who could sway an audience with greater
power than he, while his wit served to add pungency to
his addresses.   Though unable to read or write, he could
command the beauty and strength of his own tongue to
charm the audiences that listened to him in the camp and
in the congregations of the white people.    For a short
period.he went to school, until he was able to read and
write, but these accomplishments added no force to his
speech, nor did they lend dignity to him as a preacher,
though they enabled him to leave in permanent form the
story of his conversion.   About two years after the light
dawned upon his soul, as he was speaking at a camp meeting at Snake Island, he likened the Christian to the red
squirrel, who looks ahead, providing for every contingency against the approaching winter, and urged the
people to listen to the words of the Great Spirit, and 22
imitate the red squirrel by preparing to meet God. In
relating his own religious experience at this meeting, his
quaint method of preaching is fully exemplified in the
following illustration: " My brothers and sisters, I have
been one of the most miserable creatures on earth. I
lived and wandered among the white people on the Bay
of Quinte, contracted their vices, and soon became very
wicked. At one time I had a beloved child who was very
ill. I tried to save the child Irom dying, but could not,
and he died in defiance of all that I could do for him.
I was then more fully convinced that there must be some
Being greater than man, and that the Great Being does
all things according to His own will. When I heard the
missionaries preach Jesus Christ, and what we ought to
do to be saved, I believed their word and I began at once
to do as they advised, and soon found peace to my soul.
Brothers and sisters, I will tell you what the good missionaries are like—they are like sun-glasses, which scatter
light and heat wherever they are held; so do the ministers
of Christ spread the light and truth amongst the people,
which warms their hearts and makes them very happy."
One morning very early, the Rev. William Case was
awakened by a noise from one of the wigwams, and on
approaching to learn the cause, heard a woman addressing the people, and his heart was made glad as John
Sun/day said to him: " Oh! it is my mother! She so
happy all night she can't sleep." His zeal for the welfare
of his people compelled him to strive for their temporal
good, and as a member of a delegation of chiefs who
interviewed the Government on matters relating to timber
and land, he told the civil authorities of the great work
of grace among the native tribes, and of their progress in
civilization.  Shawundais   (John   Sunday)
The Rev. William Case
Founder  of  Methodist  Indian
Missions  in   Canada
From a painting by Paul Kane
Sault Ste. Marie in 1845
With the exception of a customs officer and the Hudson's Bay Company's
men the  inhabitants  were Indians  and half-breeds SHAWUNDAIS
In 1828, he visited some of the cities of the United
States, including New York and Philadelphia, where his
deep sincerity, vivid gestures and pathetic appeals on
behalf of his people made a deep impression. Though
he spoke in his own tongue the large congregations were
often moved to tears. As he preached to his own people
the coldest hearts were touched, dusky worshippers wept
as they bowed on the ground, and scoffers remained to
pray. Long and arduous missionary journeys were made
to the Indian camps along the north shore of Lake Huron
and the south shore of Lake Superior, where he preached
the gospel, and many souls were won for Christ. In
1832, he was appointed by the Conference as missionary
to the Sault Ste. Marie and other bodies of natives; but
though that field of operations was extensive enough for
any man, his zeal carried him into lonely camps in the
forest, where he preached with an eloquence born of an
intense passion for souls. Among those who were led
captive to the Cross by the love of Christ were chiefs and
medicine men, who threw away their tomahawks, medicine bags and rattles, and became sons of peace. In
1834, he was ordained and stationed among the Indians
on Grape Island, but that was only a centre, as he travelled
here and there in quest of souls.
His strong constitution broke down as the result of his
excessive labors, and he was sent to England in 1837 to
plead the cause of missions.    Large audiences greeted
him everywhere, gazing in wonder on this dark-skinned
native, laughing at his quaint speeches, and deeply stirred
by his appeals.   He was presented to the Queen as the
chief of his people, who had authorized him to speak on
their behalf.
3 24
At the Annual Breakfast of the Wesleyan Missionary
Society, while the returned missionaries, delegates and
officers were partaking of the good things set before them
and talking over the triumphs of the gospel, John Sunday
was listening and enjoying the feast. Among the edibles
on the table was a pot of strong mustard, which was a
new dish to the red man, and as it was passed along he
took a spoonful into his mouth that brought the tears to
his eyes. His native dignity and courtesy would not
permit him to eject the mustard, so he was compelled to
suffer from the pungency and remain silent. When his
friends saw the tears streaming down his cheeks they
concluded that he was so happy under the influence of
the stories of the gospel that he could not speak, and
some of them shouted " Glory! Hallelujah !'5 John remained silent amid these expressions of joy, until he
found his voice, when he looked up with a merry twinkle
in his eye, and one of his queer smiles, and quietly remarked: "No! No! Not Glory, Hallelujah! Just
Addressing a congregation at Plymouth, he said: " I
understand that many of you are disappointed because I
have not brought my Indian dress with me. Perhaps, if
I had it on, you would be afraid of me. Do you wish to
know how I was dressed when I was a pagan Indian? I
will tell you. My face was covered with red paint. I
stuck feathers in my hair. I wore leggings and a blanket.
I had silver ornaments on my breast, a rifle on my
shoulder, a tomahawk and scalping knife in my belt. That
was my dress then. Now do you wish to know why I
wear it no longer? You will find the cause in II Corinthians 5: 17: 'Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a
new creature:  old things have passed away;  behold all SHAWUNDAIS
things are become new.' When I became a Christian,
feathers and paint passed away. I gave my silver ornaments to the mission cause." Holding up a copy of the
Ten Commandments in the Oj ibway language, he said:
I That my tomahawk now! Blanket done away! Behold
all things are become new!"
After his return from England, he visited the Indians
at Sault Ste. Marie, and from 1839 to 1850 he labored
at Rice Lake, Mud Lake and Alderville, but he preached
and lectured far and wide; as he quaintly remarked, | My
family lives at Alderville, but I live everywhere.
A Mormon preacher came into the district where John
Sunday was laboring, and at one of the meetings extolled the Book of Mormon, and declaimed against the
Bible, causing dismay among the Indians, who had been
induced to attend the services along with the white people
in the neighborhood. When the preacher had finished
his discourse, he gave an opportunity to anyone to ask
questions, or to answer him, and John having received
permission to speak, replied in one of his characteristic
speeches: " A great many winters ago, the Great Spirit
gave his good book, the Bible, to the white man over the
great waters. He took it and read it, and it made his
heart all over glad. By arid by white man came over to
this country and brought the good book with him. He
gave it to poor Indian. He hear it and understand it,
and it make his heart very glad too. But when the Great
Spirit gave his good book to the white man, the evil spirit,
the Muche-Munedoo, try to make a book like the Great
Spirit, but he could not, so he go into the woods and
there he dig a hole in the ground and hide his book. After
lying there for many winters, Joe Smith go and dig the
book up.   That is the book this preacher has been talking 26
about. I hold fast to the good old Bible, which has made
my heart so happy. I will have nothing to do with the
devil's book." That quaint speech put an end to the
Mormon propaganda in that section of the country.
He was an able advocate of missions, and his own life
being a splendid illustration of the power of the gospel,
he was in constant demand as a speaker on the missionary
platform, both in his own land, and in the United States.
One of his speeches, apparently unpremeditated, was
called by those who heard it, his 1 Gold Speech," which
is as follows:
I There is a gentleman who, I suppose, is now in this
house. He is a very fine gentleman, but a very modest
one. He does not like to show himself at these meetings. I do not know how long it is since I have seen
him—he comes out so little. I am very much afraid that
he sleeps a good deal of his time, when he ought to be
out doing good.   His name is Gold.
I Mr. Gold, are you here to-night, or are you sleeping
in your iron chest? Come out, Mr. Gold, come out and
help us do this great work, to preach the Gospel to every
creature. Ah, Mr. Gold, you ought to be ashamed of
yourself to sleep so much in your iron chest. Look at
your white brother, Mr. Silver—he does a great deal of
good while you are sleeping. Come out, Mr. Gold. Look,
too, at your little brown brother, Mr. Copper. He is
everywhere. Your poor little brown brother is running
about, doing all he can to help us. Why don't you come
out, Mr. Gold? Well, if you won't show yourself, send
us your shirt, that is, a bank note. That is all I have
to say."
Four years were spent as a missionary among the
Indians at Mount Elgin and Muncey, eleven years at Alnwick; and in 1867, when he was superannuated, he
retired at Alderville, where he lived to the advanced age
of eighty years, passing away on December 14, 1875,
greatly beloved and honored by all classes of citizens of
both races, who admired him for his ability and for the
strength and purity of his life. He died as he had lived,
faithful to his own people and the friend of all. CHAPTER III
Inventor of the Cree Syllabic
AMONG the great names of the pioneers of the
Cross, and of those worthy of being designated
the vanguards of Canada, none holds a higher
place than James Evans, who laid the foundation for a
great work among the Cree Indians and other tribes in
the Dominion, by his invention of the syllabic system.
This simplified the study of the language, made possible
a literature easily understood by the natives, and furnished a means of communication between the white
people and the Indians of the far north.
The inventor of this system was born in Kingston-
upon-Hull, England, in 1801. His father was a sailor,
captain of the troopship Triton, and the boy imbibed the
tastes of the sea, being an expert swimmer at eight years
of age. The father had seen enough of the hardships
of the waters, so he determined to spoil the lad's liking,
so he took him on a couple of voyages, subjecting him
to the toil of a common sailor; and further, he sent him
and his brother Ephraim to a boarding school in Lincolnshire, and finally bound him as an apprentice to a grocer.
Though he was destined for higher things, the training
on the sea and in commercial life served him well in
after years, when he scoured the rivers and lakes in
quest of souls among the native tribes, and with a heart
of oak he faced danger and never knew defeat.
The famous Irish evangelist, Gideon Ouseley, was on
one of his notable tours in England when James Evans,
attracted by the fame of the devoted and brilliant Irish-
[28] The Rev. James Evans
rd *"/ja<;   f/72ayt-<^»^^)
A Marriage Certificate in Cree Syllabic  JAMES EVANS
man, went to one of his meetings, was soundly converted
to God, and at once began his great work of winning
souls. He became a prayer leader and local preacher,
visiting the towns and villages in the vicinity of his home,
preaching with much acceptance and success the everlasting Gospel; the peace and joy of the young convert
was rich and deep, through his new experience of divine
grace. About the year 1821, the family emigrated to
Canada and settled at Lachute, in the Province of
Quebec; but James was in a large glass and crockery
establishment in London, where he remained for two
years before following his relatives to the new world.
The temptations of the city proved too strong for the
young man, adrift among acquaintances who had no
desire for the deep things of the spiritual life, and when
he turned his face toward the west, he was careless of
divine things.
A few months after his arrival in Canada, a school
was opened near L'Orignal. Possessing the necessary
qualifications, he was engaged as teacher, a profession
in which he was eminently successful. As he had a
genius for languages and a strong mind severely trained,
his work as teacher became a stepping-stone to the larger
sphere of a missionary and pioneer of the Cross. About
the year 1832, he was married to Miss Mary Blithe
Smith, a genial soul who entered heartily into all his
schemes for the amelioration of society and shared his
burdens and hardships without a murmur. After spending two years of married life in Lower Canada, the hand
of destiny led them into Upper Canada, and hardly had
they become settled in thedr new home, when, at a camp
meeting at Augusta, they were led to a renewed consecration of their lives to God.   With the vision and inspira- 30
tion of the new life in Christ they found fresh scope for
their talents, and ultimately they found the work and
sphere where they laid the foundations on which other
laborers were called to build.
With the revival of the New England Company for the
propagation of the Gospel in New England under a
royal charter, on the restoration of Charles II, vigorous
steps were taken for the instruction of the Indians, and
with the inspiration of the great work of John Eliot, the
Apostle of the Indians, there sprang up a movement for
the civilization of the Indians of the Province of Ontario. Some years before the Tuscaroras were received
into the confederation, and the Iroquois became known
as the Six Nation Indians, the New England Company
had commenced missionary work among the natives on
the Grand River, and evidence is on hand of the deep
interest aroused on their behalf by a royal'gift of a silver
communion service from Queen Anne, bearing the date
of 1711. For a whole century the work was carried
on by means of a school and religious services, with
translations of the Prayer Book and parts of the Scriptures, but the progress was slow and many of the people
became debauched through the bad influence of the
traders, who supplied them with intoxicating liquor and
degraded them through the example of their own immoral lives.
The early Methodist missionaries in the province were
anxious to do something toward their evangelization, as
seen in the efforts of Nathan Bangs, the first Methodist
missionary in Western Ontario, who came in 1802 and
spent several years in the country. The pioneers of the
Cross were too busy looking after the settlers scattered
through the backwoods to devote much time to the native JAMES EVANS
tribes; besides, their ignorance of the native languages
proved to be a hindrance toward reaching the hearts of
the Indians with the Gospel message. Not until William
Case assumed the responsibility, and consecrated his
talents toward the conversion of the Indians of Ontario,
was much effective work done among them. For thirty
years the salvation of the red men was the ruling passion
of his life. He has been aptly called | The Apostle of
the Indians," as he was a worthy successor of John
Eliot, though lacking in the linguistic ability of his predecessor. He became the presiding genius of the work
among the natives, travelling extensively to find money
to educate the people, training teachers and missionaries,
superintending the translation of hymns and portions of
the Bible, and helping men and women toward positions
of independence. He discovered and trained Peter Jones,
the eloquent preacher, translator and author; John
Sunday, the native orator; Henry B. Steinhauer, the
devoted missionary to the Crees; George McDougall, the
martyr missionary of the far west; James Evans and
many others who became valued teachers, missionaries
and interpreters among their own tribes. He founded
schools, organized missions and established an institution,
which was pre-eminently a missionary college, at Alderville, where the people were taught trades and various
forms of manual labor, native teachers received normal
training,, and missionaries were fitted for service among
the native tribes.
Twelve miles north of Cobourg lies Rice Lake, which
received its name from the large quantities of wild rice
growing in its waters, furnishing food for wild fowl and
the Indians. In the woods skirting the lake there lived
a band of Ojibway Indians with Chief Patosh, who were 32
called Rice Lake Indians. Beside these, on their respective lakes, were the Mud Lake, and Lake Scugog Indians.
When members of these three bands went to Peterborough and Port Hope to trade their furs, they usually
returned intoxicated, and gradually became debauched.
At the Conference held at Hull's Corners, three miles
north of Cobourg, an invitation was sent to the Indians
to attend the Conference religious services and the
Cramaje camp-meeting, and a number of them were converted. In the winter of 1827, a school was built on the
south shore of Rice Lake; this was the eighth Indian
school in operation under the Methodist Missionary
Society and was attended by sixty children. So successful was the work among these people,- that ninety-six
church members were reported at the Conference of 1828.
In that year James Evans began the great work of his
life, by being sent to take charge as teacher of the Rice
Lake School. His ability as a teacher and his genius
in the study of languages was now put to the test, and
he was furnished with opportunity and abundant scope
for his energies. At once he began the study of the
Ojibway language with much enthusiasm. His aptitude
was such that he mastered its difficulties sufficiently to
make attempts at translations, having for his guidance
portions of the Scriptures, hymns and works translated
by Peter Jones and others. One of the chief difficulties
that the natives found in acquiring the power to read
their own language lay in the fact that the Roman
alphabet was used, and James Evans felt the need of
some simpler method of expressing the Indian words.
At the Conference of 1830, held at Kingston, he was
received on probation for the ministry. So efficient had
been his service, that in the short period spent as teacher
H*___t_B-_S i I DB-fin
llB________B---i JAMES EVANS
at Rice Lake he had translated eighteen chapters of
Genesis and twenty Psalms, besides preparing a vocabulary of the Ojibway. These were given to Peter Jones
for correction, and to serve as a guide for other
In 1831, he was sent as missionary to the Credit; in
1833, he was ordained and stationed at St. Catharines.
In 1834, he was sent to Sarnia, to labor among the St.
Clair Indians, who were located on the site of the town
and at several points along the St. Clair River. He was
called to succeed the Rev. Thomas Turner, who had
been stationed there in 1832, by the Wesleyan Missionary
Society of England, in response to a request from the
Colonial Government for a missionary for these people.
A great revival changed the entire character of the tribe,
and stimulated him to a more critical study of the Ojibway language; by 1836, he had discovered that eight
consonants and four vowels would represent the whole
language, and he sought to express all the words by
means of a syllabic system in Roman letters. He wrote
on June nth, 1841, to the Rev. Joseph Stinson, "For
this purpose I prepared a syllabic alphabet such as I
presented to the Bible Society in Toronto in 1836, and of
which they disapproved." While the question of his
syllabic system was left in abeyance, a committee consisting of the Revs. Joseph Stinson, Ephraim Evans,
William Case, Peter Jones and James Evans was appointed to prepare a uniform system of orthography for
the Ojibway language.
In 1837, James Evans spent four months in New York,
superintending the printing of his translations, including
his f Speller and Interpreter in Indian and English," a
hymn book in Ojibway, and some music.   On his journey 34
homeward, when he reached London, in the Province of
Ontario, laden with stores for his family and the mission,
there was no means of transportation. With the determination and inventive skill which he possessed, he
procured some lumber and made a raft—ingenious
enough, having a small compartment for himself. In
this strange craft, he paddled or sailed past Delaware,
through the Indian reservation at Muncey, circling the
Big Bend, on through Moraviantown the embryo city
of Chatham, skirting the great marshes by Lake St.
Clair until he met the St. Clair River, where he turned
up the stream and sailed beyond Walpole Island, to
Sarnia and home.
In the following year, 1838, James Evans and Thomas
Hurlburt were sent to the scattered bands of Indians on
Lake Superior, some of whom had been visited by Peter
Jones and John Sunday. This was the beginning of his
long tours among the native tribes, which were continued
until his death; for while a central point was designated
as his station, he travelled far and wide in quest of souls.
Leaving his wife and children in Ontario, residing at
Sarnia and then at Cobourg, he started on his mission,
preceded by Thomas Hurlburt and his wife, and travelled
by a small boat over the rivers and lakes. Some idea of
the difficulties of the journey may be learned from the
fact that it took over fifty hours to go from Sarnia to
Niagara Falls. His parents were residing at Charlotte-
ville, in the Province of Ontario, and to them, and his
wife, he sent an interesting account of his adventures in
a series of letters in which he recounted his difficulties,
trials and triumphs in the native camps. Never was
there a man more heroic, more imbued with a spirit of
self-sacrifice and enthusiasm than this learned scholar, JAMES EVANS
who had consecrated his talents for the salvation of the
red men. Two weeks were spent at Manitoulin Island,
where several families were baptized. During his stay
here John Sunday arrived to join the party on this missionary tour. There was much opposition from priests
and ministers of other denominations, who resented the
appearance of James Evans and his companions, but he
went on his way preaching the Gospel, and a number of
the natives responded to the truth. After nine days'
hard rowing and one day's fair sailing, he arrived at
Sault Ste. Marie, and received much encouragement in
the prosecution of his missionary labors from Mr. Nause,
the Hudson's Bay Factor. There were many Indians on
both sides of the river and lake, some of whom spent the
winter in the mountains, while others, called by the traders
I Lake Indians," resided continuously near the shores.
A wide field of operations stretched out to the west and
north, that promised scope and success for the pioneers
of the Cross. The natives were ready for the message,
seeking out the missionaries to inquire about salvation,
coming into the post at the time for family prayer, that
they might learn further about faith in Christ. A report
was received that the Indians about Red River were
coming six and seven hundred miles to ask for missionaries. From his lone abode on Lake Superior, he writes:
" I love society, but I trust that God knows I love the poor
benighted heathen more, and heaven is just as near to the
wilderness as to Toronto. I have no home but heaven,
and I desire no other, but hope God will enable me to wander about these dark regions until He calls me home."
Thomas Hurlburt pushed on to Fort William, and
established a mission among the large number of natives
who resorted there, and was anxious to go further west 36
to Rainy Lake, where a vast field was open for the
Gospel; and James Evans, going among the camps in the
wilderness, had Peter Jacobs and his wife as able helpers
in his work, as they were converted Ojibways, and were
well qualified to prepare the way, or follow in the path
of the missionary. The romance of the west had already
begun, for these pathfinders had caught a vision, and
were as eager to explore new territory as the intrepid
navigators who sought to find the North Pole. Greater
treasure than the furs of the northland or the gold of
the Yukon was the object of their march, for with a zeal
worthy of Francis Xavier, or David Livingstone, they
scoured the forests in quest of souls. While Hurlburt
was laboring at Fort William, Evans was contemplating
a journey on snow-shoes from Sault Ste. Marie to join
him, but was compelled to wait for help from the east
to care for his converts, while he pushed toward the west.
Amid the intense loneliness of the mission, and much
opposition from other missionaries, his faith and courage
endured a severe trial through the drowning of his
brother Joseph; and there was none to bring comfort, as
his own family and parents were residing in Ontario.
He remained at his distant post till the summer of 1839,
when he was stationed at Guelph. This was his last year
of labor among the white people. It is worthy of note,
as an offset against the prevailing idea that a missionary
lo the Indians is lacking in ability or is disqualified by
his association with savages for the regular work of the
ministry, that his ministrations in Guelph were marked
by sterling piety, high and deep thinking combined with
persuasive power in the pulpit and able administration;
and hallowed memories of a saintly life, and sinners led
to the Cross remained long after he had passed to the
other side of life. JAMES EVANS
Away in the great northland there was a vast territory, inhabited by thousands of Indians and half-breeds,
with trappers and Hudson's Bay Company men; and for
this populous country there were a few Roman Catholic
missionaries, but most of the natives still lived in practical heathenism. Ever since 1832, the Methodist Church
had longed and prayed for men and means to begin
missions in the Hudson's Bay territory; but not until
the spring of 1840 was there any decision, and then
British Methodism began definite work by appointing
three young missionaries in England, with James Evans
as General Superintendent. Robert Terrill Rundle was
stationed at Edmonton and Rocky Mountain House,
William Mason at Rainy Lake and Fort Alexander,
George Barnley at Moose Factory and Abitibi, and
James Evans at Norway House. The British contingent
left Liverpool on March 16th and arrived in New York
on April 12th. Proceeding to Montreal, they travelled
by the Hudson's Bay Company's brigade of canoes to
their respective stations. James Evans made preparations for his long journey, and accompanied by his wife
and daughter Euphemia, Peter Jacobs and Henry B.
Steinhauer, two young Ojibways who had been educated
and trained as native missionaries, he started for Montreal to join the brigade of canoes; but was doomed to
disappointment, as the brigade had gone. Nothing
daunted, he embarked on the steamer Rideau on the
Rideau canal and went by way of Sarnia, Detroit, Lake
Huron and Lake Superior, where he took canoes and
travelled a long and tedious journey to Norway House.
His goods were sent to London, England, to be carried
by the Hudson's Bay Company to his mission, consuming
three or four months in transportation. The Company
was very liberal in its treatment of the missionaries, as 38
it furnished them with canoes, provisions, interpreters
and houses without any cost, and gave them letters of
introduction to the Factors in charge of the forts. With
a burning passion for souls and strong faith in God,
Evans said: " I am in high spirits, and expect to see
many of the poor savages converted to God."
Norway House, the centre of the mission stations, was
founded in 1819 by a party of Norwegians who were
driven out from the Red River Settlement in 1814 and
had established themselves at Norway Point; and the
Hudson's Bay Company named it Norway House, as it
became one of their chief depots. It is situated at the
north end of Lake Winnipeg, nearly four hundred miles
from the City of Winnipeg, the fort itself being built at
the mouth of the Jack River. The location was excellent, as the buildings were so hidden by rocks that they
could not be seen until the canoe had almost reached
the wharf. This was an excellent site for a mission,
and especially for the General Superintendent a_? the
brigade of boats from York Factory and Red River, on
its way from Athabasca and Mackenzie River, passed
Norway House going and returning; and the Indians
and half-breeds from widely scattered regions of the
great North-west heard the Gospel and carried the message to their own people. Many of the native tribesi were
represented in the canoes, and the progress of the mission
was reported in the camps of the far north and in the
lodges of the prairie tribes south and west, and still
farther the buffalo hunters carried the news to the roving
bands of natives on the banks of the Missouri and
What a vast region was this for one man to superintend from his lone centre on the north of Lake Winni-  From a painting by Paul Kane
Rocky Mountain House, 1845
A western missionary  centre of  the  thousand mile  district,   near  the
present town of  Red  Deer
From a painting by Paul Kane
Red River Settlement in 1845
(The site of the present city of Winnipeg) TAMES EVANS
peg!    Fort Frances on  Rainy River,  where William
Mason was stationed, lav five hundred miles south-east
by canoe route; Moose Factory, where George Barnley
was the missionary, was situated on James Bay in northwestern Ontario, another five hundred miles north-east
from Fort  Frances;  Edmonton  and  Rocky Mountain
House, the centre of Robert T. Rundle's operations, were
in the Province of Alberta, a thousand miles west from
Norway  House;  and with no  railroads  or  organized
system of traffic, and with tribes of Indians along the
routes, one can imagine the prophetic vision and splendid
energy of the man under whose guidance this large field,
embracing the whole of the North-west, was to be consolidated as one great mission for the salvation of the
Indians.    In the first week of August, 1840, he arrived
at Norway House, and began at once to lay foundations
for his work among the Cree Indians, a tribe of Algonquin origin, allied to the Ojibways, Micmacs,  Bloods,
Piegans   and   Blackfeet.  , The   Crees   were   a   hardy,
energetic race, living in a cold and bracing climate, where
timber and water were in abundance.    They obtained
their living by trapping beaver, fishing, and hunting the
moose, elk, fox and other wild animals in the northland,
thus securing food, clothing and lodges, and bartering
furs with the Hudson's Bay Company for the luxuries
of the camp.   They were skilled boatmen on the lakes
and rivers, could run long distances without much fatigue and were trusty and loyal guides for the white man.
Intensely devoted to their native religion, they beheld
in every fantastic tree and strangely-shaped stone, and in
the rapids of the rivers, the abodes of the spirits. Observant of the motion of the stars, and the habits of the
plants, birds and animals, they were superstitious.  Their 40
religion was one of constant fear, consequently, the
medicine men, who were the native priests and doctors—
sometimes called shamans and conjurors—exercised a
great influence over the people. The first winter was
spent at the Hudson's Bay fort instructing the people
and studying the language. In the spring, a beautiful
island in Playgreen Lake was chosen, about two miles
from Norway House, where the mission was permanently
located. As a deep and lasting friendship had sprung
up between the missionary and Donald Ross, the Chief
Factor of the Hudson's Bay Company, and his family,
stationed at Norway House, the mission was named
Aided by the Indians, the missionary went into the
bush and prepared the materials, and in a short time he
had laid the foundation of a prosperous village. There
were erected a school, parsonage, and a neat church
whose white walls contrasted favorably with the sombre
shades of the tall trees in the background, and about
twenty houses for the natives, who settled around the
The people spent the summer in farming and gardening
and in the winter they went off on hunting expeditions.
In the school the children were taught reading, writing
and arithmetic, and as James Evans was a good musician, he trained them to sing the hymns that he had
translated into their language. R. M. Ballantyne, the
famous writer of boys' books, was then in the employment
of the Hudson's Bay Company and was stationed at
Norway House. He describes, in his interesting volume
on | Hudson's Bay," a Christmas festival which he
attended at Rossville; the feast consisted of puddings,
pies and cakes, vegetables and venison, and there were JAMES EVANS
recitations and singing in English and Cree, varied by
religious exercises. The preaching of the Gospel was
attended by demonstrations of power, men and women
weeping and praying at the public services, crying for
mercy and rejoicing in the knowledge of sins forgiven.
The camps throughout the district were transformed,
gambling feasts and dances were discarded, the medicine
man's incantations ceased, and peace and joy reigned.
Class meetings were instituted, and native leaders were
appointed to take charge of them and some of the men
of talent became preachers to their brethren.
Far and wide the news spread of the wonderful work
of grace at Norway House, and the missionary and his
new converts yearned to tell the old, old story to the
tribes beyond. Some of the Hudson's Bay Company's
employees were anxious that the truth should be made
known to the strangers in the forests; and they joined
the Indians in urging James Evans to visit the lodges
in the west and north. With his famous train of dogs,
fierce and swift, he travelled hundreds of miles on his
long journeys, speeding over the snow to the Indian
camps and Hudson's Bay Company's posts, preaching the
Gospel, and marking out places for future missions. In
his quest for souls he travelled to Oxford House, two
hundred and fifty miles northward, then four hundred
miles farther to York Factory.
It is difficult to conceive the extent of territory covered
by this intrepid man as he travelled thousands of miles
throughout the North-west—a man worthy to stand
beside Radisson, La Verandrye, Mackenzie and Samuel
Hearne, the early explorers of the west and north.
While Radisson was in search of furs, and Verandrye,
Mackenzie, Hearne and Thompson were seeking new 42
routes to the north and the Pacific Ocean (and the records
of their travels and discoveries are to be found in their
journals and in the names of rivers and places on the
maps), Evans was making discoveries of another kind,
and the account of his conquests was written on the hearts
and in the lives of men and women, and none but the
angels can read the real story of his life. Had he chosen
to follow in the footsteps of some missionaries who while
still missionaries became explorers, as in the case of
David Livingstone, he might have found at last a resting
place in Westminster Abbey. From Norway House on
Lake Winnipeg to York Factory on Hudson Bay on the
east he travelled over the provinces of Saskatchewan and
Alberta into Athabasca, and away to Fort Chipewyan
on the Peace River. Over the rivers and lakes, with his
well-trained crew of native boatmen, he sped in his
canoe made of sheet tin which the Indians named, on
account of its flashing brightness, the Island of Light.
Never daunted by danger or hardships, facing the fiercest
storms on long and arduous journeys, he pursued his
way, his soul consumed with a burning passion for souls;
he planted the banner of the Cross at lonely posts, and in
far-distant camps. He bore a charmed life in that north
land, as he crossed the lakes in severe storms, camped
out in the coldest weather and risked the swiftest and
wildest rapids, in his great mission.
As early as 1836 he had discovered the secret of his
syllabic system, by which he used characters for syllables
instead of the letters of the Roman alphabet; and he had
then so thoroughly grasped the principles of the Ojibway
language that he reduced it to an alphabet of eight consonants and four vowels, and with nine characters in
four positions he so simplified it that it became very JAMES EVANS
easy to master. The Bible Society, in Toronto, did not
approve his invention which he submitted in 1836, and
began printing the Scriptures with the Roman alphabet;
so he directed his efforts to improve the orthography with
this alphabet, and in his Speller and Interpreter he gave
the result of his labors, which met with a share of success. When he came in contact with the Cree language
at Norway House, he found it to belong to the Algonquin
family language, and having been for twelve years in
touch with the Indian people and their forms of speech,
he was ready for new conquests. At once he fell back
on his syllabic system, and by June 1841, less than a year
after his arrival in the country, he had so perfected it,
that he writes: $ The men, women and children at Norway House write and read it with ease and fluency, as
do some European gentlemen who speak the language of
the Indians in different parts." f This birch-bark talk,"
as the natives called it from the fact that the first books
were made with leaves of birch-bark on which the characters were written with ink made from the soot of the
chimney, awakened much interest among the people; and
with the demand for books, there arose the problem of
printing them. After numerous experiments and difficulties which seemed almost unsurmountable, he cast type
from lead taken from tea chests. In the summer of
1841 he had made a font of Indian type, and with an old
jackpress used for packing furs he had printed five
thousand pages in the Muskego language, and bound a
hundred copies of a small volume of hymns of sixteen
pages. Permission having been gained from the Hudson's Bay Company, a printing press and type were sent
to Norway House from London, England, and the work of
providing literature for the natives was in reality begun. 44
The influence of the new learning spread far and wide
beyond the mission, as the Indians carried the knowledge
to the lodges of other tribes on their hunting expeditions.
Without the intervention of any missionary, the Chipe-
wayan Indians had become possessed of some of the
books and were able to read them. The Cree language
was esteemed by them to be a learned language, which
every cultured Chipewayan ought to know. The English
Church and Roman Catholic missionaries adopted the
syllabic system, made translations in it and published an
extensive literature. It gave an incentive to other syllabic
systems for the Athabascan tribes, the Blackfeet and
other peoples. Its method was so simple and easy to
acquire, that many of the natives were able to master it
in one day, and the average length of time was one week.
With the help of Mr. and Mrs. Ross of Norway House,
Mrs. Evans, Mrs. Mason, and a band of helpers which he
gathered around him, including Henry B. Steinhauer
and William Mason as missionaries, Thomas Hassell,
an educated Chipewayan, and John Sinclair, a clever
half-breed, James Evans carried on the work of translation and printing. John Sinclair translated the Scriptures
from Genesis to Esther and from Matthew to the Acts of
the Apostles, and Steinhauer from Job to Malachi, and
from Romans to Revelation; and the Cree Bible was
published by the British and Foreign Bible Society in
England in 1861. A very extensive literature has been
supplied for the northern tribes in the Cree syllabic,
which has been of great service in moulding them for a
better life.
A sad disagreement arose between James Evans and
some of the Hudson's Bay Company officers over the
observance of the Sabbath and the use of intoxicating JAMES EVANS
liquors, and his character was maligned. Then by accident
his gun was discharged, killing his companion Thomas
Hassell, who was with him in the boat; he made a long
journey to the home of the parents of his friend to give
himself up, to be killed or adopted in place of the lost
son. They chose the latter method and he devoted part
of his salary to their support. He was called to England
by the missionary authorities to answer to the false
charges made upon his character. His friends were able
by the confession of the witnesses, who swore that they
were suborned to make the charges, completely to vindicate him; but his heart was broken by severe toil and
hardship, and by bitter persecution. At a missionary
meeting held at Keilby, Lincolnshire, on November 23,
1846, he spoke of his work with much eloquence to a
large audience; that evening after he had retired to his
room, he suddenly passed away.
Thus died, in the prime of life, a saint and scholar,
whose genius and work, the Earl of Dufferin said was so
ereat that it was worthy "a title and monument in West-
minster Abbey."
Numerous testimonies from travellers, politicians and
missionaries of Protestant and Roman Catholic churches
have been given of the wide influence and extended use,
as well as the large and great benefits that have flowed
from James Evans' invention; and after the lapse of so
many years, the work is still on the increase. The time
may yet come when this undaunted hero in the cause of
religion and civilization will be recognized as one of the
noble pioneers of the Cross, a missionary worthy of a
place beside the greatest -missionaries of all the churches
in every age, and a true and eminent vanguard and
trailmaker of the Canadian West. CHAPTER IV
First Protestant Missionary in the North-west
BEHIND the records of history lie the deeds of men
whose genius has not been discovered till their
work is done and their memory almost forgotten.
Some heroic men and women who were pioneers of
civilization, laying foundations of empire for posterity,
real vanguards of western Canada, have been among
those whose names are not found in any biographical
dictionary, and yet they are worthy to be placed among
the noblest in the land, though counted only as missionaries to the red men.
Robert Terrill Rundle was born in Cornwall, England,
in 1811, a grandson of the saintly William Carvosso,
whose career as a Methodist class leader became an
inspiring force in his own denomination, while his beautiful life has remained as a benediction to all the churches.
Reared in a home where prayer was a daily privilege, the
future missionary was highly favored by the pious
example of his parents and the gracious influences of
" tfie great revival" then in progress in Cornwall. This
revival was induced in highest measure by his devoted
grandfather, as he visited from house to house. He was
a wise and earnest teacher in the science of saving souls
and it is written of him: " Hundreds of awakened consciences found consolation and guidance in his apt and
[46] m
The Rev. Robert Terrill
Rundle (1811-1886)
The first Protestant missionary in
the Northwest. He arrived at
Edmonton  Sept.   18th,   1840
From a painting by Paul Kane
A   Cree Indian  Girl in  Ceremonial
Dress,    Edmonton,    1840
From a painting by Paul Kane
Edmonton in 1840, a Hudson's Bay Trading Post  ROBERT TERRILL RUNDLE
scriptural counsels; thousands of weary pilgrims took
courage from his words to go on to perfection."
It was quite natural that among such blessed helpers
in the way of faith Rundle should be converted in his
youth and receive the assurance of salvation, on which
great emphasis was placed; and in a district where laymen exercised the gift of preaching with power, that he
should become a local preacher while in his teens. A
deep and abiding impression came to his soul that he
must preach the Gospel in a wider sphere. This was
confirmed by the Church, and he was sent to the Theological Institution for training, that he might be fitted
for the arduous duties of a foreign missionary. Though
small in stature, he possessed a brave soul, ready to
endure any hardship that he might win souls for Christ.
In response to the call of the Indians in the Canadian
North-west, he was received on trial, ordained in 1840,
and became one of the famous contingent which founded
the missions to the aborigines west of the Great Lakes.
Sailing from England, he went to Montreal by way of
New York, and on April 2, 1840, he started from Lachine
in a canoe on his journey to Edmonton which was to be
the centre of his missionary operations. Proceeding up
the Ottawa River, interrupted by currents and foaming
cataracts, he arrived at the Hudson's Bay Company's
fort at Mattawa, which he left on May 2nd, and journeyed toward Lake Huron, f listening," as he says in his
journal, " to the cataract thundering in solitude through
lakes embosomed in woods." Two days later he reached
Lake Nipissing and went down French River at the rate
of ninety miles a day; and five days afterward, arrived
at Sault Ste. Marie, entering Lake Superior, over which
his  crew  paddled  eight days before  landing  at  Fort 48
William. There he exchanged his large canoe for two
smaller ones, and continued his westward journey through
Dog Lake, Lake of a Thousand Islands, Ridge, Croix
and Rainy Lakes, and on the twenty-seventh day of the
month arrived at Rat Portage, where the thermometer
registered ninety-two degrees in the shade. Two days
later he reached the Falls of Point-du-Bois where he
was charmed with the wonderful display of Northern
Lights. Next day the party arrived at Slave Falls and'
on the last day of the month he was at Fort Alexander,
on the south-eastern extremity of Lake Winnipeg. Here
he observed eagles, geese, ducks and pelicans, and met
large floats of ice. On June 5th he entered Jack River
and arrived at Norway House in the evening.
The second stage of his journey ended at this Hudson's
Bay Company's post; he was still twelve hundred miles
from his destination. Two months before James Evans,
the real founder of Norway House Mission, arrived,
Rundle was there, and though apparently resting before
setting out for Edmonton, he was abundant in labors
among the Indians and the employees of the Company.
The agent and his family entertained the missionary,
a place of worship within the stockade was placed at his
disposal, contributions were made for the cause of missions, and by August 1st eight marriages and seventy-
nine baptisms were recorded, and the nucleus of a church
With a burning passion for souls, he hastened on his
journey to Edmonton, where he arrived on September
18, 1840, having travelled from New York about three
thousand five hundred miles. There were no luxuries in
travelling in those early days, and the contrast of distances is a striking evidence of the progress of civilization ROBERT TERRILL RUNDLE
in the west, ending to a large degree the romance of the
north country in which hardy voyagers carried by canoe
and dog train the messages of the Hudson's Bay Company Factors. Letters were sent by Indian runners, on
long and arduous journeys by tortuous streams with
many portages, and in the depth of winter these brave
fellows made the trail on snowshoes when the dog-train
failed. A message from York Factory to Winnipeg then
consumed from four to six weeks, but the glamor and
romance have passed away before the wireless telegrams.
At Port Nelson, located a few miles from York
Factory, a wireless station has been erected by the Dominion Government. On January 9th, 1914, the first
message was picked out of the air. It was a trans-
Atlantic message telling of the illness of Lord Strath-
cona, whose name has been coupled with the development
of Canada's great hinterland. Rapid transit by railroads
in modern times, even in the west, brings a vision of
progress when contrasted with Edward Ermatinger's
journeys between Vancouver and Hudson Bay in 1827-
1828, the trip from Vancouver to Norway House having
occupied eighty-nine days, and from York Factory to
Vancouver one hundred and five days.
Rundle was the first Protestant missionary west of
Manitoba and Keewatin, while the scene of his operations was confined wholly to Alberta with Edmonton as
his headquarters. As a matter of history, without the
tinge of a boast, he was the first permanent missionary
of any church to settle in the far-west province, east of
the Rocky Mountains. The Roman Catholic and Anglican missionaries were usually pioneers among the native
tribes, penetrating into hidden recesses of mountain and
forest, and establishing missions on the bleak shores of 50
the Arctic, and they still retain the honor of spiritual
explorers and discoverers of lonely bands of aborigines in
the far north. On their way to the Pacific Coast in 1838,
Fathers Demers and Blanchet erected a cross at Edmonton ; Father Thibault went into the Saskatchewan country
in 1841, and in the following year selected a site for a
mission at Lac Ste. Anne, fifty miles northwest of
Edmonton, because there was an abundance of fuel, and
the soil and fishing were good. This was his first
permanent mission on the Upper Saskatchewan for the
Cree Indians and half breeds; Father de Smet visited
Edmonton in 18451 and Father Lacombe left St. Boniface
in July, 1852, with Chief Factor John Rowand, who had
ten York boats and eighty men. They arrived at Edmonton on December 19th of that year.
Edmonton was the most important post of the Hudson's
Bay Company west of Fort Garry, and was established
in 1795. It was an excellent centre for a mission, as
native tribes speaking different languages brought their
furs to that place, and a missionary had many opportunities of conversing with them and preaching to them
through an interpreter; and the introduction opened up
the way for numerous visits to the Indian camps on the
plains and in the mountains while frequent invitations
came from the chiefs to visit their people and tell them of
the message from the Great Spirit. The trading post
was a busy centre when hundreds of Indians came to
barter their furs or the boats arrived with goods for the
season's trade; but at other times it was lonely enough
for those accustomed to the ways of civilization, as there
was no postal or telegraphic communication. The vast
plains were claimed by the Indians, the buffalo roamed
in countless thousands, great herds of wild deer came out ROBERT TERRILL RUNDLE
of the mountains, the lakes abounded with ducks and
geese, and berries of various kinds grew in profusion
among the foothills; but the soil lay waste without a single
plough to produce a crop, and the great beds of coal
were unproductive, awaiting the genius and energy of the
white race.
A cordial welcome was given Rundle by Mr. John
Rowand, Chief Factor at the fort, and he became a guest
of the family taking up his quarters within the stockade
and supplied with all the necessaries of life at the expense of the Honorable Company. This was a uniform
custom throughout the wide territory covered by the
Company's posts, accredited missionaries of the Churches
being furnished with means for the prosecution of their
work among the Indian tribes, by an annual grant, and,
when urgent, free transportation was given. Life in a
fort was too monotonous for such an intrepid spirit as
Rundle's and he began without delay to preach to the
Cree and Stoney Indians in the vicinity. The arrival of a
man who talked with the Great Spirit was noised abroad,
and became the subject of animated discussions in the.
lodges, and around the camp fires as anxious souls
enquired about the mysterious being who possessed superior power, and the reasons for his coming into the
country. When he first visited the tribes on the plains, a
native council was held to enquire and, if possible, decide
who he was and where he came from, so that the chiefs
might advise their people. On January 3rd, 1841, Rundle
writes: " We had a very interesting English service in
the morning; Cree service in the evening; and afterwards one in Gaelic in my own room. Four children were
baptized at the Cree service. It was a day of unusual
interest, pleasure and profit."   Eleven days later he was 52
off at seven in the evening, in a cariole drawn by four
dogs, for the Fort Hunter's Camp near Beaver Lake.
A brilliant starlit night with faint glimmerings of the
Aurora Borealis, frozen lakes, plenty of snow, a herd of
buffalo surprised at a small lake, and one of them killed
for food, and the camp reached in the afternoon, made a
memorable journey. After a service among the Indians,
a number of Saulteaux left to hunt the buffalo,
having taken offence because he preached against their
pagan practices, yet the congregation was larger in the
evening. On his trip homeward over the Beaver Hills,
his soul was deeply stirred with the beauty of the heavens,
so common in the winter in that part of the country, as
he writes: " The spectacle which was presented answered
to Milton's sublime description of the primeval firmament;
for the stars glowed like a sea of living sapphires."
About one hundred Crees came to the fort, but his
interpreter was ill, and he could not preach to them;
however, he spoke to a small company of them in his
own room. Again he went off in his dog-cariole to Rocky
Mountain House, making the journey in five days, and
was kindly received by the Factor, Mr. J. H. Harriett.
A party of Blood Indians arrived from the plains, gaily
dressed with beads, porcupine quills, and various ornaments, and some of them expressed their pleasure at
meeting him by kissing him, others stroked his dress with
their hands, and others gave him their left hand because
it was nearest the heart. As this was his first opportunity
of preaching the Gospel to the tribes of the plains, he
spoke the Word of Life to four Chiefs, one being a
Sarcee, another a Blackfoot, and two belonging to the
Blood Indian tribe. On the day following, a large party
of Blackfeet and Piegans arrived at the fort, advancing ROBERT TERRILL RUNDLE
in order, the Piegans in front singing a native song, the
Chief leading a horse, whose head was striped with red
ochre, as a present for the Factor and after a mutual
salute was fired and the horse delivered in a ceremonial
fashion, the whole party entered the fort, the chief leading
the way and the Blackfeet bringing up the rear. The
needle-work on the Chiefs' dresses was quite artistic,
showing excellent skill on the part of the women. A
report spread among the natives that Rundle had come
down from heaven in a piece of paper which had been
opened by one of the Hudson's Bay Company's officers,
and thus he had been set free.
During six weeks spent at Rocky Mountain House he
was earnest in his labors among the employees at the fort,
preaching frequently in English and solemnizing marriages; but his heart was especially drawn toward the
Indians whom he loved with a passion born at the Cross.
Bands of Crees, Sarcees, Blackfeet, Bloods, Piegans and
Stonies came to trade, and every new arrival was an
invitation to a bold venture, and an introduction to a wider
sphere among the lodges on the plains. In the Chief's
lodge a company gathered for service, or several hundred
assembled in the open air, where he declared the words of
eternal life. At the close of every service the chiefs,
followed by the men, came forward and shook hands
while they expressed their gratitude for his interest in
their welfare and their anxiety to hear more of his
wonderful message. The Blackfeet impressed him most
favorably, and he says: " I felt the insignificance of my
stature in comparison with these tall sons of the plains."
He made an engagement to visit their camp on the Bow
River, and was pleased with their invitation, as he had
heard such discouraging accounts of these people, who, 54
he says, are % the terrible Indians so blackly painted in
history." A view of the Rocky Mountains deeply impressed him, as he observed them " gleaming like pyramids of silver in the rays of the morning sun." With
the soul of a poet he would descant on the beauties of
nature, and with the passion of a prophet go among the
lodges in quest of human souls.
Big Wolf, a Blood Indian Chief, requested him to say
nothing in his sermons against taking revenge on his
enemies nor against the common practice of sacrificing
their fingers to the sun, as he was determined to have
revenge on a man who stabbed him, and the sacrifices to
the sun ensured success against foes. As this was one of
the greatest warriors among the tribes on the plains, and
he possessed great influence over his own people, the
missionary might well hesitate in the delivery of his
message of peace; but, though small in stature, he had a
stout heart, and at the first service he spoke faithfully
the words of life. The Chief was magnanimous enough
to declare that the missionary's message was best. Not
content with his public deliverance, he sought out Big
Wolf and reasoned with him on his folly, urging him to
give up the use of intoxicating liquor, which was the
chief cause of the deadly strife; and the advice was not in
vain, as he learned afterwards on his visit to the tribes
on the plains.
The purpose of his visit to Rocky Mountain House was
to meet the Rocky Mountain Crees, and when these arrived, accompanied by a band of Stoney Indians, he
addressed them on the existence of God and the creation
and fall of man; and, after the services, one of the Crees
remarked that they were like hungry young birds with
their mouths open, waiting to be fed by their parent. ROBERT TERRILL RUNDLE
When he preached to the natives on salvation, their
earnest attention reminded the missionary of the first days
spent at Norway House.*!!
Although the weather^was cold and the snow lay on
the ground, he left the fort on horseback to visit the
tribes on the plains, and, after two days' journey, arrived
at the Cree camp, where he found a large tent fitted up
for his own use. A great surprise awaited him when he
rode to the Stoney Indian camp a few miles distant; for
all the people, with the Chief at their head, came out in
a procession to greet him, and, as he sat on horseback,
they passed by and shook hands with him, and then proceeded to a large tent prepared for holding service, where
he preached to an attentive ^congregation. The tent
arranged for worship was roofed with skins, while the
ground in the interior was covered with pine brush and
buffalo robes. On his second visit to the camp one hu_i-
dred and sixty persons came out to meet him, withrall &i
whom he shook hands. For nearly two weeks his time
was spent between the two camps, instructing the people
from morning till night, until he left for the Blackfoot
camp on the Bow River. Travelling with the Indians
he came to Big Writing Gully, where there were some
characters engraved on a rock; here he* witnessed a
buffalo hunt. Numerous invitatibns came from the
Chiefs to live in their tents, so he changed his place of
abode frequently, and lived on pemmican, berry-soup,
prairie turnips, and buffalo-tongues cooked in native
His reception at the Blackfoot camp was worthy of
the man and his mission. Two Chiefs came to the Cree
camp and escorted him on his way. A horse was provided for him and when he arrived at the camp the
5 56
principal Chiefs walked abreast, followed by all the
people; and thus he was ushered into the head-chief's
lodge, where he made his home. This lodge was made
of twenty-six buffalo hides, the interior was lined with
robes, and it was large enough to hold one hundred people.
The chief was a great warrior and had seven wives,
while his authority among the Blackfeet was supreme.
Rundle saw the picture-writing on the lodges of the warriors, some descriptive of the prowess of the owner of
the lodge; but what impressed him was the drawing of
two large serpents on the outside of a lodge belonging
to a Sarcee chief.
On his way home from the plains he passed over a
high hill called the Old Man's Knoll, so named from the
grotesque figure of a human form about thirty-five or
forty feet long cut in the earth which, the Indians said,
was the work of a white man who came to instruct them
a long time ago. From this hill he obtained the best view
he had ever had of the Rocky Mountains, " the sublimest
spectacle that I ever expect to behold until I become an
inhabitant of the new heaven and the new earth. Their
pointed and snowy summits rose high into the heavens,
resembling the lofty spires of some vast and magnificent
marble temple, and the scene was truly grand and inspiring. In comparison with these divine productions all the
works of art dwindle into insignificance."
When he had a short respite from his long and frequent
journeys to the native camps, in the fort at Edmonton
and in the Cree lodges he held school twice a day and
preached every morning and evening; and thus through
all the years of his missionary career he maintained something of Christ's enthusiasm for precious souls. ROBERT TERRILL RUNDLE
Maskepetoon, the great peace Chief of the Wood Crees,
met Rundle at Rocky Mountain House, arid this introduction induced the missionary to visit the camp at Burnt
Lake near Red Deer, where the impressions made culminated in the Chief's conversion. When George
McDougall first met the aged chief in 1862, he was
reading the eighth chapter of Romans in the Cree Syllabic
characters from a copy of the New Testament given him
by Rev. Thos. Woolsey. Rundle travelled over the greater
part of Northern Alberta from the Bow River, in quest
of souls. Many of the Crees and Stonies embraced
Christianity, remaining steadfast amid the conflict with
paganism. Some of these people were never visited by any
missionary for several years, and yet, when Steinhauer
entered their camp on the prairie he heard a Christian
hymn being sung and afterward a prayer in which the
suppliant cried: " Lord, send us another missionary like
Rundle! Lord, send us a missionary to teach us out of
Thy word more about Thyself and Thy Son Jesus!"
Rundle was a great traveller, only surpassed by James
Evans, who journeyed by dog-cariole and snow-shoe all
over the North-west—from Fort Frances on the east to
Edmonton on the west; and from Fort Garry on the
south to York Factory, Moose Factory, Dunvegan and
Fort Chipewyan on the north. He visited Indian
camps and Hudson's Bay posts, preached to the people
and taught school by the way, and baptized and married
folks. So incessantly was he on the trail that one winter
journey in this primitive fashion covered six thousand
miles! A volume of Evans' travels from his own pen
would have been invaluable for later generations, but he
was too busy to become an historian, and thus his life
and labors are comparatively unknown. 58
With a spirit of optimism and ever undaunted, Rundle
roamed over the prairies, smiling at hardship and a
stranger to fear. During the wanderings of Paul Kane,
the artist, through the North-west in 1845, he met Rundle
at Carlton, and together they rode for twelve days on
their trip to Edmonton. The missionary had carried witH
him his favorite cat, being afraid she might be lost or
destroyed if left in the fort during his absence; and
having concealed her in the breast of his capote and.
fastened a string about four feet long about her neekyi
he sprang into the saddle and tied the string to the
pommel. The Indians, with whom he was a great friend,
were assembled to see him off. The horse was a skittish
animal, and with the profuse handshaking and noise,
the horse plunged, the string broke, astonishing the natives with the sudden appearance of the cat, which
scratched and■.frightened the horse. The rider was thrown
violently to the ground, but fortunately was not seriously
hurt. Order, however, was soon restored; puss wa_f
left behind to be returned to her master when the men
came up with the boats. On the journey to Edmonton,
the artist and Mr. Rowand, the chief Factor, rdde so
fast that Rundle was unable tq_ keep up with them, so he
remained at a native camp for a brief rest. Some fears
were entertained for his safety when he did not arrive
in due time, as a fire was raging on the prairie; however,
he escaped by making a detour to a bend in the
Saskatchewan River, where he lay until the fire and
dense smoke passed by.
On his return journey from the Pacific Coast, Paul
Kane arrived at Edmonton in 1847 in time for Christmas dinner, for which great preparations had been made.
The Company's servants including the wives and chiln ROBERT TERRILL RUNDLE
dren, numbering about one hundred and thirty, lived in
log houses inside the stockade of the fort. On Christmas
morning there were evidences of numerous feasts by the
smoke from the chimneys and the smell of savoury meat.
:The special dinner, however, was that given by Mr.
Harriett, at that time in charge, and the guests included
Paul Kane, Mr. Rundle, Mr. Thibault (Roman Catholic
missionary), and three clerks of the Company. In the
dining hall, about twenty-five by fifty feet, well heated
by large fires, a genuine catholicity prevailed. At the
head of the table sat Mr. Harriett with a large dish of
boiled buffalo rump; at the foot smoked a small, boiled
buffalo calf; the artist presided over a dish of dried moose
nose; the gentleman on his left distributed impartially
whitefish, delicately browned in buffalo marrow; the
worthy priest helped the buffalo tongue; Rundle cut up
the beavers' tails and the last gentleman dissected a
roasted wild goose. There were no puddings nor pies,
yet it was a dinner never to be forgotten. On January 6,
1848, the daughter of Mr. Harriett was married to Mr.
Rowand, Junior, who resided at Fort Pitt, two hundred
miles distant, the ceremony being performed by Mr.
Rundle. Among the minor adventures by fire and flood,
in winter blizzards, through mishaps on horseback, from
hostile Indians and wild animals, was an attack by husky
dogs outside the fort stockade. These ferocious beasts
had pounced upon a horse belonging to the fort and torn
him so badly that he died almost immediately, and when
the missionary went to visit some of the lodges, they
held him at bay and he would have been devoured had
not his cries brought an Indian woman to his rescue.
In high and desperate adventure white men followed
the trails to the Rockies, called by the Indians " Shining 60
Mountains." The first white man to see them being
Pierre, son of De la Verandrye, in January, 1743; but
the defection of his Indian guides forbade further progress, and it was for Alexander Mackenzie, fifty years
later, to make the first overland journey from ocean to
ocean and to reach the Pacific in the vicinity of Prince
Rupert in July, 1793. Simon Fraser followed, and discovered Fraser River; David Thompson found the Howse
Pass; Ross Cox ascended the Columbia River and crossed
the Athabasca Pass; David Douglas, the first explorer
in the interests of science, whose name is perpetuated
in the Douglas fir tree, exploited two mountains, which
he named Mount Brown and Mount Hooker; and Sir
George Simpson crossed Cascade River, went up the
valley past it, turned south by Healey's Creek and went
on through Simpson Pass to the Kootenay and the coast.
Rundle was the first white man to reach the present site
of Banff, camping four or five weeks at the foot of
Cascade Mountain. He had a worthy successor in
Father De Smet, the Jesuit missionary, who established
a mission in the Kootenay Valley and crossed the watershed of White Man's Pass south of Mt. Assiniboine in
1845, where he set up a wooden cross, named I the Cross
of Peace." When Dr. George M. Dawson explored the
Pass, an Indian showed him the spot where the cross
once stood. Rundle's monument remains in " Mount
Rundle," in the vicinity of Banff, nine thousand, six
hundred and sixty-five feet high. In the month of June,
1874, George McDougall went from Edmonton to Morley
to visit his son John, then living with his family among
the Mountain Stonies, and in the camp he spent a pleasant hour with Kischeepowat, who was the guide with
Rundle  when he made his  memorable ascent  of  the "__
mountain named after him. The old man was one of the
first fruits of missionary effort and the influences of religion were seen in the care shown toward the patriarch
by the members of his own family; this was contrary to
heathen practice, as the natives were accustomed to leave
the infirm and helpless to perish.
Seldom do we find lakes or mountain peaks named
after pioneers of religion, such honors being reserved for
explorers, which is their special right, and for men prominent in the public life of the country. Yet it is worthy
of note that Methodism has been honored in the names
of Mounts Rundle, Robson and Chown. Rundle was
privileged to meet Sir George Simpson at Edmonton on
July 29th, 1841, spending some time at his encampment,
and riding with him for four hours, when the party left
for Columbia. Work among the natives of the plains
compelled the missionaries to travel incessantly among the
camps, thus preventing Rundle and Woolsey from erecting missionary premises at Edmonton; and not until
George McDougall arrived was anything done toward a
permanent settlement.
While William Mason and H. B. Steinhauer were at
Rainy Lake, and Peter Jacobs was at Fort Alexander, and
James Evans was going from post to post on a six-
thousand-mile journey, with the approbation of Sir
George Simpson, as Governor of the Hudson Bay Company, George Barnley was laboring at Moose Factory
among the Cree Indians, making frequent visits to the
far North. On one of these trips up James Bay and the
Great Whale River on the west coast of Labrador, he
found thirty families § engaged in chasing the immense
shoals of white whales which frequented the stream, their
backs studding its surface like hillocks of snow."    On 62
the 23rd of August, 1842, the weather was so severe, that
he says: " We were completely imprisoned by ice, which
spread itself so widely over the surface of the bay, that
it was impossible to discover open water, even from the
masthead of the vessel, or from the highest eminences
we were able to ascend."t< Under these trying circumstances he began his ministry in the open air, while the
natives made a large tent, fifty feet long and ten wide.
It was lighted with a candle thrust into the spinal orifice
of a joint of the whale's vertebrae and suspended from
the ridge pole of the tent. In that sacred tabernacle,
encamped on a sandy plain, with a lofty mountain, like
another Sinai, in the neighborhood, he held services for
three weeks. At the close of the services, there were
frequent expressions of gratitude. Some resolved to
lead a new life, thus giving proof that the seed sown
would finally be seen in changed lives. At Moose Factory, until a church was erected, the whole population
assembled for religious worship in the missionary's
quarters in the fort. Numerous conversions took place,
and two classes were formed, at wThich men and women
delighted to relate their Christian experiences. Once a
year a fleet of boats arrived at Albany from the interior,
and Barnley seized the opportunity of visits to that place
to preach to both Indians and white men the message of
the everlasting Gospel. During eight years spent in that
region, the old paganism was superseded by Christianity,
and the new order brought comfort and joy to^many
souls. In 1898, Barnley was residing at Oadly, Leicester, England, and a small volume was published, entitled:
" Kenooshao: a Red Indian Tragedy," the story of an
Indian plot in 1830 for a general attack on the Hudson's
Bay Company's posts, the account of which was buried ROBERT TERR-XL RUNDLE
in the unpublished journal of the Company at the posts
at Hannah Bay and Rupert's River. The agent, his wife,
the employees and a number of Indians, were killed; but
the incipient iebellion was put down through the help of
friendly natives who were living at Moose Factory when
the missionary resided there.
Among Rundle's converts was Stephen Kecheyees, a
notable man, belonging to the Wood Stonies, whom
George McDougall met on his first visit to these people in
1863. Standing at the door of his teftt, his long %hite
hair floating in the breeze, the aged patriarch, leaning
on his staff, gave the missionary and his son John a
gracious welcome; and when a hymn had been sung and
prayer ended, as the party left on a Sunday morning for
their home, he administered a gentle rebuke as he said:
" You have God's Word, can read it and understand it.
I cannot read, nor do I understand very much, but I am
told that God said, I Keep the prating day holy,' and
therefore, wherever the evening of the day before the
praying day finds me, I camp vmtil the light of the day
after the praying day comes."
Ben Sinclair was another of Rundle's men. The missionary instructed Sinclair to establish a mission on the
shore of Pigeon Lake, but? a party of Blackfeet killed
some of Rundle's disciples, about ten miles from tfee Lake,
and Sinclair with his party were driven over two hundred
miles into the northern country, and the mission was not
t^egun. Sinclair, however, laid the foundation of an important mission at White Fish Lake, where Henry B.
Steinhauer labored for many years, until his death which
occurred a few months before the second Riel Rebellion.
The famous Cree chief, Broken Arm, was strongly
opposed to Christianity because of the difference in the 64
teaching of the Roman Catholic and Protestant missionaries, yet he succumbed to Rundle's influence and
became a devoted man, whose influence for peace
was felt by the tribes on the plains. Paul Kane met him
in his western rambles, and was deeply impressed with
his good judgment and ability.
Pakan, the notable Cree chief whose loyalty during the
rebellion of 1885 was recognized by the Dominion Government; Peter Erasmus, the able missionary assistant,
interpreter and translator and many others, were led into
the Way of Life by the undaunted soul with a large
faith, who first trod the western plains with the message
of the Cross.
For eight strenuous years Rundle labored in the Northwest, but was compelled to leave for his home in England,
as the hardship and incessant travel had completely
broken down his health; still he cherished the hope of
returning to the foothills and spending his life among the
people he loved so well. From 1850 to 1886 he performed the duties of a minister on several circuits in his
native land, including Kineton and Wigton. In 1887,
he retired from active service, as a superannuated minister of the Wesleyan Conference. His last years were
spent in Wolverhampton, where he found delight in going
from house to house as a servant of the faith; and these
visits were welcome, as they brought peace to many
weary hearts.
On February 4, 1886, he passed away at Garstang,
Lancashire, the birthplace of William Bramwell, the
Methodist revivalist and worthy. Those who knew
Rundle, the companions of his youth and the friends of
his mature years, have said that he was so humble that
few had any idea of his real greatness.    His influence ROBERT TERRILL RUNDLE
abides in the west and is more than a memory, for his
life and work have become inwrought into the character
of men; as a pioneer he laid foundations on which other
men have built. Ten years after Rundle had returned to
England, the Rev. Dr. Enoch Wood of Toronto received
lengthy communications from the missionaries at Edmonton recounting their success among the native tribes and
he says: " The seed of the Word sown by Mr. Rundle has
been wonderfully preserved and blessed, notwithstanding
so long a time has elapsed without its receiving any
In the " Church of Scotland Missionary Record " of
April, 1869, appeared the following note: "The Earl of
Southesk, during his recent hunting expedition in the
Rocky Mountains, fell in with twelve families of Assini-
boines or Stone Indians (very wild and savage as a
tribe), who professed Christianity, and so far as he could
judge, were acting up to their profession. These families
were far from any mission station, and had not even
seen a missionary for many years; still they showed considerable acquaintance with Scripture, and were regular
in their morning and evening devotions. At their earnest
request, his Lordship wrote out for them several passages
of Scripture. Their knowledge of religion is supposed
to have been imparted by the Rev. Mr. Rundle, a Wesleyan missionary, who went to Fort Edmonton in 1840,
and left the country in 1848, on account of ill-health. They
have, however, a regular teacher in one of themselves,
who has been set apart by them for that purpose."
This devoted missionary was one of the great men of
the early days in the North-west, and his memory abides
among the descendants of the men and women won from
nomadic ways and pagan life. ; r CHAPTER V     ^w *CJ;"-
-.        .;;,;,•"■•- -.-,- THOMAS HURLBURT    ■:■   ..   n   •:
'■■■'*&*-■■   Linguist and Scholar
GENIUS halted when the ancestor of the Hurl-
burts crossed the Atlantic in 1635, and settled in
--^f the United States. The name, originally Whirl-
bat, meaning an instrument of war hurled by the hand,
is suggestive of the character of the family, as the members were determined fighters in the cause of right.
Heman Hurlburt, the father of the noted brothers, was
the son of an officer in the British Army during the American Revolution who was a staunch United Empire
Loyalist. He belonged to the sixth generation of that
name on the continent and was born in Arlington, Vermont, in 1773. He came with his parents to Canada in
1785, and they settled on the banks of the St. Lawrence
River, nearly opposite Ogdensburg. He was a thrifty
farmer, giving to each of his sons two hundred acres of
land or their equivalent; an enthusiast on education, two
of his sons being graduates of American universities before such institutions existed in Canada, and six or
seven of his sons and daughters being students at Victoria College, Cobourg; a devoted Christian, and a loyal
Methodist. r J# : n
Hannah Mosier was the daughter of a major in the
British army, born in Connecticut, June 7, 1780, and at
the age of three years emigrated to Canada with her
parents, who were United Empire Loyalists, and settled
about five miles west of Prescott, at a short distance
from the Hurlburt farm. In 1798 she was married to
Heman Hurlburt, to whom were born sixteen children—
eleven sons and five daughters. Five of the sons became
ministers, one died in youth, three were lawyers and two
were tanners. The daughters-.wer^ no less remarkable
than the sons for their intellectual tastes and ability,
being students, even in their old age, of Palty and Butler,
and of standard works in astronomy and natural history.
.-The Canadian branch of the stock belonged to theDold
Palatines, the wives of Asahel, Sylvester and sHeman
Hurlburt, Jr., being great-nieces of Paul and Barbara
Heck. There is still in the possession of the^lagg family
of Mitchell, Ont, a copy of the first edition of Wesley's
notes on the New Testament, bound in leather and almost
as large as a family Bible. t| This is supposed to be the
volume that Philip Embury used, when at the call of
Barbara Heck, he* preached the first Methodist serm^te
in the United States. In the graveyard of the famous
Blue Church, where the sacred dust of Barbara Heck
lies, there are buried the parents and foi^r of the sons
of the family, a notable memorial of the early days gf?
Methodism in the land.
Thomas Hurlburt, one of the heroes of Indian missions,
was born March 3rd, 1808, the fourth son of the family
and the second to enter the ministry. When he was only
eight years of age he was converted, but as little emphasis
was then placed on the religion of childhood, he drifted
and had lost his faith by the time he was twelve years old.
At the age of eighteen, however, he caught a vision of
Christ that kept him faithful to the end of life. The call
to work among the Indians came to him-, as he was working at home on the farm, in the form of the vision of an
Indian standing beside him, whose features, were so
distinct that they were indelibly impressed on his memory,
and when some years later, he was permitted to rejoisel 68
over his first native convert, he recognized the man of
the vision. At the age of twenty years he began his
life work by becoming a teacher of the Indian School at
Muncey, where he performed the duties of missionary,
living in a bark shanty the first year, then in an Indian
house; and in his leisure hours and at night he built with
his own hands the first mission house among the people.
So successful was he in his efforts for the salvation of
the natives, that at the end of three years, when he left,
there were eighty-five members; when he took charge of
the mission there were only fifteen. During his stay at
Munceytown and Grape Island, he began the study of the
Ojibway language, becoming thoroughly familiar with its
strength and beauty, and laying the foundation of knowledge which was to help him in his contact with the Cree
and other native tribes.
After his ordination he was sent as missionary to Sau-
geen, on the shores of Lake Huron, where he spent two
years. He was then transferred to St. Clair and Walpole
Island, where he labored for one year. Having shown
great aptitude in the study of the native language and
being destined for greater things by his wide outlook
and enthusiasm, he was appointed to the Pic Mission on
Lake Superior which furnished a wide scope for his
energies. The three years he spent in that region were
so productive of results that a still wider field became
necessary for a man of his ability. In a letter sent me
by Froome Talfourd, Esq., dated February 6, 1892, the
writer being superintendent of Indian Affairs for ten
years, and living at St. Clair when James Evans and
subsequently Thomas Hurlburt were stationed there, he
says: " I always thought James Evans the most perfect
Indian missionary I had ever known, and Thomas Hurl- Pr\
burt the next. He was the most simple-minded man I
have ever known, capable of enduring any amount of
work, and always perfectly satisfied with any kind of
food or lodging. I am afraid I did not quite appreciate
his delight of talking about the abrasions of the banks of
the rivers."
Froome Talfourd was a notable man, who was in the
mercantile service for some time. He entered the Royal
Navy in 1829, and sailed with Captain Marryatt, the
famous writer of sea stories for boys, and had many
thrilling adventures chasing and catching slavers off the
coast of Africa. He was brother of Hon. Sir Thomas
Noon Talfourd, eminent as a lawyer and novelist, a close
personal friend of Charles Dickens and the original of
" Tom Traddles " in | David Copper-field." He became
famous as a judge, dying on the bench at the Stafford
Assizes, March 14, 1854, after giving the ominous utterance : " If I were asked what is the great want of English
society, I would say that it is the mingling of class with
class. I would say in one word that want is the want of
sympathy.'^ Froome Talfourd was honored by being
made a magistrate, an Associate Justice of the Peace for
Assize at Sarnia, Commissioner in the Court of Request,
Captain of Militia and Lieutenant-Colonel; but with all
his honors he remained modest, seldom speaking of his
social position, a devoted Christian whose name has been
held in great esteem among the Indians. He died in
London, England, in 1901, at the advanced age of ninety-
four years.
During Hurlburt's residence at the Pic he continued
his studies in the Ojibway language, as learned from the
fact that he carried on a correspondence with H. R.
Schoolcraft, the noted writer on the Indian tribes.    He 70
furnished a " Memoir upon the Inflections of the Chippewa tongue,'5 which was published in Volume IV of
Schoolcraft's History, prepared under the direction of
the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs, and also
" Remarks on Indian Orthography, with some examples
in Chippewa' in the same author's § Personal Mem$#J&
of a Residence of Thirty Years with the Indian Tribes.'3
Always in labors abundant, he toiled with his hands,
erecting the mission house himself, sawing by hand about
ten thousand feet of lumber, getting out part of the timber
alone, and by his own strength hauling it a mile and a half
on the ice. For lack of glass for the windows he pasted
large sheets of oiled, white paper on the sash. These
admitted considerable light, and presented a beautify
appearance when the sun shone upon them. He supported himself to a large extent by fishing, built his own
canoes, and found amusement by studying tfee Indiaji
language and the geology of the district.
Secluded from civilization, he had not the privilege
of meeting with his fellow missionaries, and for several
years he was unable to attend the Conference where he
might enjoy the fellowship of kindred spirits, or participate in the discussions congenial to his mind and helpful
to his work. Accompanied by James Evans, he travelled
through the camps on the shores of Lake Superior; still
his heart reached forth to the natives of the great Northwest. Pushing onward he arrived at Fort WSJiam, and
spent some time there in 1839, where he taught the children and preached to the natives. There were calls from
Nipigon, Rainy River, Fort Garry and the far north for
missionaries^ and when James Evans was sent to begin
the rrfssion at Norway House and the regions beyond, he
joined his zealous co-worker and assisted in visiting the THOMAS HURLBURT
outposts of empire. For two years he continued his
intrepid labors, preaching in the camps at Lake Nipigon,
where he spent one month in 1841, and again in 1842, and
in widely scattered districts in the west and far north.
Possessing the hardy spirit of an explorer, a burning
passion for souls, and an undaunted courage and faith
that laughed at danger and hardship, he travelled into
unknown regions in quest of the red men whose language
was so familiar to him that he could speak, think and
dream in the Ojibway tongue. He was called by the
Indians an | Indian in a white man's skin," and indeed,
when he spoke English, it was with an Indian idiom and
intonation. Returning east, he spent one year among the
Indians around Lake Simcoe. Then, obedient to the
call of God, he went to the United States, where he
labored for six years, becoming a member of the Indian
Missionary Conference, and a presiding elder. He travelled among the native tribes from north to southwest of
the Mississippi, enlarging his knowledge of the Indian
dialects and doing splendid service in leading many souls
to Christ. He still, however, yearned ioi the people and
for the country in which he was born and where he
had lived so long. In 1851 he returned to Canada, and
labored for« three years at Alderville and Rice Lake,
which was the Mecca of Indian Missions. Here a host
of native children were trained in civilized habits, schoolteachers and native preachers were educated, and missionaries of both races were equipped for the important
work of preaching the Gospel to the scattered tribes of
the Dominion and of teaching the people farming and
industrial arts.
Norway House, the mission centre of the unlimited
field in the North-west, had suffered through the untimely
6 72
death of James Evans. William Mason, one of the four
members who were sent by the Wesleyan Missionary
Society, in 1840, to begin the missions in the Hudson Bay
country, had spent four years at Rainy Lake. He was
then transferred to Norway House as James Evans'
assistant and, on the death of the founder of the mission, became his successor. He carried on the work
faithfully for ten years, when he joined the Anglican
Church, was ordained by Bishop Anderson at Fort Garry
in 1854, and stationed at York Factory. The mission
being left without any ruling spirit, Thomas Hurlburt
was sent to Norway House in the spring of 1854. In
June of that year, the Rev. John Ryerson left Ontario
on a tour of inspection of the Wesleyan Missions on
Lake Superior and the North-west. He was accompanied
by Thomas Hurlburt, Robert Brooking, and Allan Salt;
with their wives. An interesting and valuable account of
the journey was published in the following year entitled,
I Hudson's Bay: or A Missionary Tour in the Territory
of the Hudson's Bay Company, by the Rev. John Ryerson." Besides the important information in relation to
the country, the native tribes, and the Roman Catholic,
Anglican and Methodist missions, it is interesting as the
first volume published at the Book Room in Toronto by
the Wesleyan Missionary Society of Canada.
On the western trip, the party visited Garden River
Mission where the Rev. George McDougall was then
stationed, and Hurlburt had a delightful time among the
Indians with whom he had formerly labored. A hit of
native humor was shown at one of the meetings, wh«n an
Indian speaking of Hurlburt remarked: " I have heard
of Neqiek Noss (the Indian name of otter) so long that
I thought he nmst be an old man by this."   Hurlburt THOMAS HURLBURT
could not help smiling and enjoying the compliment, as he
said: § Was it not a spice of refined flattery ? Could
Talleyrand have done it any better?"
When they visited a Roman Catholic mission and
learned that the priest had been there nine years and
could speak the language very well, Hurlburt writes:
"All the Roman Catholic missionaries all over the world
pursue this course, and study the language of the people
where they reside as soon as possible. What a pity we
are not as wise as they in this respect!" And at the same
time, with reference to himself, he writes: 1 Now I
believe there is not a white Methodist missionary in all
North America, except myself, who preaches in the
Indian language."
When passing the Pic Station where he had labored
for three years, he remarks: | It is now twelve years
since I left the place. We had gathered a church of
twenty souls, a good part of whom were soundly converted, and maintained a consistent walk. I have a great
work to perform, and I have forsaken all to perform it."
This was the second time that he had gone into the
Hudson's Bay country, and the fifth time that ihe missionary family had broken up housekeeping and disposed
of their effects. On leaving for his new mission he
was compelled to leave all his family behind except his
wife and youngest child, and to dispose of all his goods.
This was indeed a sore trial, as the collection of years was
scattered, for he writes: 1 Among other things, I emptied
a bushel or two of my books on the floor and told my
friends to help themselves. I miss some of them now
that I am settled again."
Allan Salt was left at Rainy Lake where Peter Jacobs,
a native missionary, had been laboring; and at the old 74
Stone Fort and Fort Garry, now Winnipeg, the party
spent a week calling upon some of the notables, including Ballantyne the chief Factor, Bishop Anderson, Archdeacon Hunter the Cree scholar and translator, Adam
Tom the famous Recorder, the Rev. Wm. Black the
pioneer Presbyterian minister, and the priests and nuns
at St. Boniface. While there, they met the Rev. Wm.
Mason who had seceded from the Wesleyan Church, and
had been recently ordained by Bishop Anderson.
Arriving at Norway House, Hurlburt began his work
with his usual energy, while the party went on to Oxford
House, where Robert Brooking remained as missionary.
Henry B. Steinhauer, who had been working as teacher
and translator at Norway House and Oxford House,
accompanied Ryerson to York Factory, and thence by
ship to England. Hurlburt was enthusiastic in his mission, the Hudson's Bay Missions having been transferred
to the Canadian Conference, while he was entrusted with
the superintendency of all the work in that territory.
As his station was the central depot of trade for all the
interior, the natives soon learned of his arrival. Some
came eight hundred miles to hear the Gospel, while a
few families came from Fort Churchill, on the border of
the Esquimaux country, and settled there. The population around the mission was three hundred and fifty, of
whom one hundred were in attendance at the school.
The religious services were well attended on the Sabbath
and during the week, the membership of the church being
one hundred and sixty-five.
Though a profound scholar in the Ojibway language,
the missionary was now confronted with the Cree, the
learned language of the plains and of all the north
country.     While the Cree belonged to the Algonquin CO
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stock and was similar in its grammatical construction, it
was so new and different that he was puzzled and much
discouraged. With characteristic courage, however, he
applied himself with all his might to the study of the
language, conversing with the people as he was able,
studying the books in the Evans' syllabic characters and
thinking over the words at leisure. He says: | The first
thing in the morning was to talk Cree, and the last thing
I remembered at night on going to sleep was making
mental speeches in Cree." In the course of three months
he was able to read the New Testament in the syllabic
characters to his native congregations, and later he could
preach in the Cree language.
There was a great demand for books in the Cree
tongue, and fortunately he found in the old printing office
erected by James Evans, a supply of paper, which had
been donated by the British and Foreign Bible Society,
and the old printing press, with a stamp on it dating its
construction in 1787. With the constant cry for books,
he overcame his timidity and began his first attempt at
printing books in the Cree Syllabics; but it seemed a
hopeless task. The type had been handled by children
and was badly mixed, so that when he set up the Lord's
Prayer, while the composition looked perfect, the first
impression dashed his hopes to the ground, as it was full
of mistakes. Still he persevered, and in the autumn of
1856, with the help of a young man who was part
Esquimaux, as pressman, he printed one thousand copies
of John's Gospel, and two thousand of three Epistles,
which had been previously translated. Before he set
up three pages, his type was exhausted, and he was
compelled to cast new type by means of a hand-mould.
After the day's work in the printing office, he repaired to 76
an old kitchen outside, where he toiled till late at night
over a small fire, with the thermometer thirty or forty
degrees below zero, and was well satisfied if he could
make four hundred type in one night. Thus he worked
until he had type enough for sixteen pages, which was
all that he required. As copies of the Scriptures were
scarce, and the people were anxious to learn the great
truths embodied therein, the missionary gathered the
people on Sabbath afternoons, and read a chapter, freely
commenting upon it. Translations of portions of the
Scriptures were made, printed, and put in circulation.
The people were so anxious to obtain copies of the books
that they were unwilling to leave for their winter hunting
grounds without possessing them. Old Amos, the native
assistant, remarked: " The Great Spirit's Word causes
many new thoughts to arise." When the New Testament
in the syllabic characters was published, its influence was
so great that thousands of Indians all over the vast territory sat up at night arid read it by the light of their
camp fires, and many were converted. A great change
was wrought among the people. Songs of praise arose
in the lodges and camps every morning and night, prayer
lingered upon lips that had been accustomed to imprecations, native preachers declared with native eloquence the
truths of the everlasting Gospel, the camps were cleansed
of their impurities, the Sabbath was held in reverence,
the Word of God was honored and God was glorified.
Quickened and blessed with the power of the new
message, the people became anxious to tell their brethren
in the far north the good news of salvation. A Missionary Society was organized, and fifty dollars raised by
which two native preachers were sent on a missionary
tour.   They visited some tribes, two hundred miles dis- THOMAS HURLBURT
tant, who had never been touched by a missionary teacher.
During their two months' absence they were surprised
and delighted to discover copies of portions of the
Scriptures in the lodges, which the natives had learned to
read and were devouring with an eagerness that brought
joy to the hearts of the messengers of peace. They found
their way into some camps of the Chipewayans, whose
language was different from their own, but they had a
knowledge of the Cree and even there the natives were
in possession of some of the Indian books, and were
reading them with care and profit. Sawing lumber by
hand, building houses, instructing the people in agriculture and native handicrafts, preaching incessantly,
teaching school, studying the intricacies of the Cree
language, translating hymns and portions of the Scriptures, casting type and printing, and visilfiftg the people in
their homes, were sufficient to tax the strength of any
man. Yet Hurlburt, with his heroic soul, rejoiced as
oppO-Ttunity increased, and in a muscular fashion, with
a body capable of enduring much hardship, and a mind
alert and strong, a soul glowing with a vision, and a deep
sense of the presence of God, he lived and labored as an
old prophet in a new land in modern days.
Through the rigors of the northern climate, and the
many years spent on hard and lonely mission fields, the
health of the lady of the mission house failed, and she
was compelled to return to Ontario. The journey across
Lake Winnipeg from Norway House was made in a
canoe constructed by Hurlburt himself, who with three
men to assist him pushed on for two days in the middle
of May, along through a narrow channel between
solid ice, until open water was reached, and in ten days
arrived at Winnipeg. Taking his wife to St. Paul, he
returned to spend a year alone at Norway House. 78
As he was returning he joined a party with John Tait,
a man with a romantic history in the early days of the
Red River Settlement, as the guide. As an orphan boy,
he was hired to drive cattle to St. Paul, where he secured
work. He saved money enough so that when he reached
manhood he was able to purchase a reaping machine
which he took to Red Deer at harvest time. The people
flocked in great numbers with old-fashioned sickles in
their hands, to watch the operations of the machine; and
after much misgiving, one old Scotchman led the way by
throwing away his sickle, as he had no further use for it.
In the year following Tait returned from St. Paul with
a threshing machine, and this was another new wonder;
and some of the orthodox were afraid that there was
some heresy hidden within it. As one old Scotchman
remarked: 11 dinna think it is richt to thresh grain in
that way. It is contrary to God's law." When a steam
mill was erected at a later date, many were afraid of it,
and some parents even removed their children from the
school which stood half a mile distant from the mill, lest
it would blow up and destroy them. Hurlburt visited the
settlement, and noted that the domestic customs of the
settlers seemed like a dream of fifty years before.
One of Hurlburt's most efficient helpers was Miss
Adams, the devoted school teacher, who taught a large
school during the day and spent her evenings in the training of the mothers and daughters in household duties,
and in visiting the sick and needy in their homes. While
learning the Cree language in her hours of leisure she
gathered the girls of the mission to help her in stitching
and binding books. By her energy three thousand copies
of one of the Gospels and four Epistles printed on the
rude press were stitched and bound, and thus made suit- THOMAS HURLBURT
able for circulation among the native tribes of the north
and west. A precious relic indeed would be one of these
old books of the years 1855 and 1856, but it is doubtful
if any are now in existence.
Thomas Hurlburt returned to Norway House and
spent a year, and before he left there were striking
evidences of the power of the Gospel among the natives.
During his three years' residence the population had increased and the people had become more industrious,
hunting for furs, farming, and working for the Hudson's
Bay Company, whereby they managed to secure an
abundant supply of wholesome food and good clothing.
A better class of house was being built, stoves were being
used (one coming all the way from St. Paul at a cost of
seventy dollars), cows were purchased for family use,
the people were free from disease, and were increasing
(a fact that applied to the Christian Indians only), the
old native costume had disappeared, reverence in public
worship and genuine piety were manifest, and civilized
habits were becoming real among them. One of the
oldest servants of the Hudson's Bay Company testified
that before the arrival of James Evans in 1840 the
Indians at Norway House were among the most degraded
Indians in the country, and only procured ten packs of
furs during the winter, while now they brought in ninety.
At Nelson River, where some of the native preachers
had gone to help, the people were ripe for the Gospel,
as one had sent word that he often sat and wept because
no missionary came to them. When Hurlburt left, Robert
Brooking, who had spent three years at Oxford House,
was sent to Norway House, and Charles Strinfellow followed Brooking in his important mission field. 80
One year was spent on the old Garden River Mission,
and then he removed to St. Clair and Sarnia, where he
lived for six years and was as zealous as ever in the cause
of missions. While resident there he published a paper
for the benefit of the Indians, called " Petaubun—Peep
of Day," consisting of four pages of three columns each,
the first three pages being in Ojibway and the last in
English. Hurlburt was proprietor, editor, compositor and
printer, and the work was well done. It was neatly
printed and is quite a curiosity; the copy which I have
seen, belonging to Mrs. J. H. Flagg, of Mitchell, Ontario,
is dated, I Sarnia, C. W., August 1862, Vol. 2, No. 7."
It is ten inches wide by fourteen inches long, and is
printed in Roman characters. At the bottom of the last
page is the following: " Sarnia, Ca,—Printed and Published by Rev. Thomas Hurlburt.—Terms, 50 cts. a year."
Within its pages were published letters from natives and
missionaries on the Indian missions, while Hurlburt gave
a full account of his missionary labors and travels. The
Conference determined to train men for the Indian work,
and decided to place two young men under his care to
be taught the native language, and fitted for their respective missions.
Still reaching out to distant fields and in his capacity
as chairman of the missions on Lake Superior, he made
a missionary tour, visiting the missions on the lake, during which he travelled by steamer 560 miles, and 450 miles
in a small boat. Were the missionary to awake suddenly,
it would be more than a Rip Van Winkle vision, for he
is amused at the idea of a railroad on the north shore of
Lake Superior, as he says: " The road must pass through
one of the most mountainous and barren regions of our
globe for 80 or 100 miles, as though travel and traffic THOMAS HURLBURT
could be forced oyer this route at ten times the expense
and danger, and requiring three times as much time, as to
go by St. Paul and Red River. Loyalty to one's country
and government may do a great deal, but it cannot do
everything. The only feasible route to Red River and
Saskatchewan is through Minnesota to the navigable
waters of the Mississippi. Even now a man may leave
Toronto and go all the way by railroad, steamboat, stage,
and in ten or twelve days be in Red River, with little
danger to life or limb." Greater men than Hurlburt have
made similar mistakes, and the outlook only shows that
we have made great progress through the inventions and
discoveries of the last half-century.
Five years were spent on missions at Mooretown, Cais-
torville, and Point Albina, and then he went to Manitoulin
Island, where he finished a long and arduous missionary
life. He was not an old man, but he was worn out by the
strenuous years on hard mission fields; and still he had
not lost his accustomed zeal to make known the way of
salvation. For some time the family lived in a board
shanty, until he erected a log parsonage, yet he was
content. Thirty years before he had been in that region,
when he had taken a young Indian into his home and
trained him for six months. This Indian became an
efficient assistant missionary, keeping the little church
together till some one came to minister to them. He was
known through all the region as the Wise Indian.
When the natives around Lake Nipigon heard of his
intention of visiting them in 1841, they threatened to
upset his canoe, give him a ducking, and send him away;
but when he arrived they received him as a messenger
of God, saying: | We know you have come with the
words of the Great Spirit."   Though Protestant mission- 82
aries may have been at the mouth of the river since
Hurlburt's first visit, not one had visited the people at
their home at the north end of the lake for more than
thirty years, and yet when Hurlburt was there six hundred souls were under our control, paganism was broken
down, and they were ready for the Gospel. When he
visited them in 1871, he found an old man who recognized
him, and told him of having been instructed how to pray
to the Great Spirit thirty years before. As he visited
the small bands of natives along the shores and on the
islands of Lake Superior, he found many converts who
were willing to go as volunteers to preach the Gospel
without any remuneration, but they were in need of
training. He contemplated organizing a theological school
for the natives, but he had no funds, and his physical
strength was failing, so the scheme never was brought
into effect.
At sixty-five years of age he travelled ten miles on
snowshoes and preached three times every Sabbath. He
had plans to make a boat, that he might visit a large band
of degraded pagans at the Mississauga River, eighty
miles up the lake. Through a fall on the ice near his
home, concussion and paralysis of the brain followed.
He died at Little Current on April 14, 1873, and was
buried on Manitoulin Island. For forty-four years he
had labored on Indian Missions and was a linguist of
more than ordinary ability, having the reputation of
being able to converse in seven Indian dialects. He was
a valuable worker in ethnology, and wrote a good deal
in the early sixties for the Toronto Globe. Though he
was travelling incessantly, preaching in the native camps,
he rendered good service as a translator, having translated the Wesleyan Catechism No. II in Ojibway and
some portions of the Scriptures in Cree.    He was no THOMAS HURLBURT
mean geologist, and his knowledge of natural science
was very extensive. He delighted his friends with practical observations on the water of Lake Superior, the
rocks on the St. Clair River, the flora and fauna of the
North-west and of other parts of the Dominion where he
had labored'. At a meeting of the Chicago Academy of
Science, held in that city in October, 1868, a paper prepared by Hurlburt entitled "The Northern Drift," was
read by Dr. Andrews. It was a long and exhaustive
treatment of the subject, the data having been gathered
during a long term of years.
Gentle and sympathetic in disposition, with a strong
physique tempered to roughness by hard work in the wilds,
this man of culture covered his genius with the modesty of
a maiden, while his daring soul knew no fear in the discharge of duty. Had he lived in the Middle Ages and
his numerous letters and journals been preserved, he
would have won the heart of an old chronicler, who
would have given him a place in the " Lives of the
Saints"; or had he been numbered among the Jesuits
in Canada, of whom he would have been counted a
worthy member, whose courage and self-denial were
never surpassed, he would have won the heart and pen
of a Parkman, to tell the story of an heroic scholar whose
work and life have been well nigh forgotten.
If any man deserved a memorial in the form of a
volume, wherein the records of a notable career were
preserved, that man is the subject of this sketch; for no
greater missionary ever belonged to any order, or denomination. But great men are not always remembered and
noble deeds are often unseen and unknown. He was one
of Canada's great men, and one of the greatest missionaries of any Church. CHAPTER VI
A Pioneer oi? th£ Bu_?_?a__,o Days
HE early history of Canada is enshrined in the
notable " Jesuit Relations " of fifty-four volumes,
consisting of annual letters from the Jesuit mis
sionaries   laboring
the   native   tribes.    These
contain important notes on the migrations, languages,
traditions, religion and social habits of the people. These
volumes covered the period between 1632 and 1679.
Besides these there were the | Jesuit Journals," dating
from 1645 *° J668, and the " Letters Edifiantes," begun
in 1719 and lasting to 1776. There is not a complete
collection of the " Relations " in existence; but those that
have been preserved are of great value to every student
of the early history of Canada. Had the Protestant missionaries among the Indians been compelled by law or
the custom of their respective societies to send an annual
report, including their studies and observations among
the native tribes, we should have possessed some valuable
records similar to the " Relations," which would have
made possible another Parkman, and which would have
placed every historian of the country under lasting
For seven years after Rundle left the North-west he
had no successor, until his brother-in-law, Thomas
Woolsey, went to Edmonton in 1855. The young missionary of only three years' experience was ordained at
the Conference held in London, Ontario, and at once left
for his far distant field, his soul burning with a passion
for the red men. He was accompanied by the Rev.
Henry B. Steinhauer, who had gone to England with the
Rev. John Ryerson in the previous year from Norway
House, where he had been laboring; and as he was
ordained at the same time as Woolsey and was conversant
with western modes of travel, it was fitting that they
should journey together to their respective missions.
Woolsey made his headquarters at Edmonton and Steinhauer went to Lac la Biche, where he remained for two
years and then removed to Whitefish Lake to found a
new mission.   There he stayed until he died.
Having lived for ten years in London, the world's
metropolis, the journey from Toronto to Edmonton, long
and arduous, was strange and fascinating; and on his
arrival at Fort Garry he could not help contrasting his
former life with his new experience. During his stay
in the embryo city of Winnipeg he was the guest of the
Rev. Dr. John Black of Kildonan, the sturdy minister
and founder of Presbyterianism in the West, and was
favored with an interview with the Bishop of Rupert's
Land, who gave him the right hand of fellowship and
wished him success in his mission. Presenting letters of
introduction to Governor McTavish of the Hudson's Bay
Company, he was assured that the Company would
assist the missionaries as far as practicable on their
journey. They started up Lake Winnipeg to Norway
House, where they spent a few days with Thomas Hurh-
burt and his family, before proceeding on the further
extension of one thousand miles to Edmonton. Through
the courtesy of Chief Factor Sinclair, they became deck
passengers on the boat; and with numerous portages, one 86
of which was three miles long, involving the carrying of
the loads of merchandise on the shoulders, wading
through water and travelling over rough ground, the
tedium of the journey relieved by the bustle at Cumberland House, Carlton, Fort Pitt and other points, they
arrived at Edmonton on the 26th of September. The
Indians and white people at the fort accorded the missionaries a most enthusiastic reception, and the arrival of the
mail was a bright spot in the lives of the resident population, as they were favored] with it only twice a year.
Father Lacombe, the veteran missionary, reached
Edmonton in 1852, and Father Vital Grandin, who
subsequently became bishop of the diocese, came in the
same year as Woolsey and Steinhauer, so that the Roman
Catholic and Protestant missionaries worked in the same
territory for the propagation of the faith. Progress was
slow in the early days of Canada and the contrast between
the rapid development of the means of transportation at
the present time and the easy-going fashion of the past is
striking indeed. Two hundred years ago there was not
a telegraph line, railroad nor mail service in any part of
the country. On January 26, 1721, a mail stage service
was established between Quebec and Montreal, which was
probably the first overland mail and passenger service in
Canada; and so great was the enthusiasm of the inhabitants that when the cumbersome coaches arrived at either
city, the horses were unhitched and the vehicles dragged
through the streets amid great demonstrations. And no
wonder, for the citizens before that time had to depend
upon the water routes as a mode of travel and for the
transportation of their letters. Again, in the first rnonth
of 1854 the first sections of through railroad in Upper
Canada were completed, when the Grand Trunk was A Chief of the Blackfoot Indians
v* \
A Blackfoot Record
Important events chronicled by the Indians by pictures on a skin r THOMAS WOOLSEY
opened between London and Windsor and the good folks
saw the trains passing along at the rate of twenty miles
an hour. In the following year, when Woolsey went to
the far west, the money order system was established
for Canadian Post Offices. The pioneers of the Cross
among the native tribes on the plains had to be content
with a buffalo-skin lodge in the camp, and when travelling,
had often in the depth of winter to find repose enclosed
in buffalo robes by the fire, with the open sky overhead,
and when at home they found shelter in the fort of the
Hudson's Bay Company.
Woolsey was the guest of the Company at Edmonton,
and made no attempt to erect mission buildings, as his
days were spent in the camps with the natives on the
plains, and when at home his ministrations were confined
to the employees in the fort and the few residents in the
embryo town. Monotonous indeed was life in a small
trading post at any time in the year. But as Edmonton
was the headquarters of the Company for their Saskatchewan trade and the residence of a chief factor of the
corporation, and as strangers were always treated in a
hospitable manner, with a private room and a place at
the officers' mess and a means of conveyance supplied
when necessary, the missionary in the fort had congenial
company and was well cared for. There was no lack of
comfort, though he sometimes longed for some of the
joys of civilized life.
Out on the plains among the Indians, living in a buffalo
skin lodge, sleeping on the ground, feasting and fasting
by turns on buffalo meat, travelling through snowstorms
and blizzards, and becoming a native in his modes of life,
undaunted and undismayed, he followed his high destiny
as  counsellor,  guide  and  teacher,  and lover  of men.
7 88
These were the continual experiences of Woolsey during
all the years spent in missionary work in the west. Hardships were abundant but, uncomplaining, he visited the
camps, going from lodge to lodge, preaching the everlasting Gospel, and his message of peace, love and hope found
a place in many a savage heart. Gathering a few children
in one of the lodges in the winter, or seated on the grass
in the open in the summer, he held school and was content
to lay foundations for the days to come. His congregations of dusky warriors listened to the story of the life
and death of Christ with a strange fascination, as it was
new and wonderful in its proclamation of love to friends
and foes. Unaccustomed to roughing it on the prairie,
with a constitution not too robust, with no knowledge
of the native language and with no knowledge nor
experience of conditions in a new country, the young
missionary was confronted with untold difficulties which'
would have crushed a stronger man; still with undaunted
faith and courage and an optimism that banished clouds,
he pursued his way, going from lodge to lodge with a
song of cheer, and a burning passion for the souls of
men. Over the plains and among the foothills of the
Rocky Mountains, through the blizzards of winter and the
sweltering heat of summer, he carried his message of
peace and was undismayed. For days he was compelled
to live on fish, and when out on the prairie, rabbits
supplied food when nothing else was to be obtained; but
when a herd of buffalo passed by there were tongues and
marrow bones, dried meat and pemmican, back fats and
choice bits, and the fast was forgotten in the feast.
In 1857, he began a mission at Pigeon Lake, hoping
to have better access to the Stoney Indians and the Blackfeet, as well as the Crees among whom he had been THOMAS WOOLSEY
laboring. He enjoyed a measure of success, as many of
the Crees had been baptized, some adults had united
with the church, and his congregations were very attentive to his message. Woolsey at his new mission, and
Steinhauer at Lac la Biche were the only Protestant
missionaries in all that vast region.
The discovery of gold in the mountains caused a rush
of prospectors, and in the summer of that year an exploring expedition was sent out by the Imperial Government
under the direction of Captain Palliser. He was accompanied by several scientific men, including Dr. Hector,
Lieutenant Blackiston, John W. Sullivan and M.
Bourgeau. Four years were spent in the examination of
the country from Lake Superior to the Okanagan lakes
in British Columbia, and from the international boundary
line northward to the sources of the chief rivers which
flow into the Arctic Ocean. Five of the chief passes
across the continental watershed were investigated,
namely: the Kootenay, Kananaskis, Vermilion, Kicking
Horse (now called Hector) and Howse Pass, and three
lesser passes between important valleys on the same side
of the Divide. This exploration furnished us with the
first serviceable map of the North-west Territory, and,
from a geological standpoint, it showed the existence of
a great coal-bearing area of cretaceous and tertiary rocks,
extending from the Laurentian axis on the north-east to
the Rocky Mountains on the west. Dr. Hector first
recorded the occurrence of gold in the Saskatchewan.
The report sent to Parliament stated that it would be
unwise to open up the western country for settlement, and
that it would be impracticable to construct a railway
through the mountains to the Pacific Ocean. The greater
number of the early explorers, missionaries and pioneers, 90
held the same opinion, the barri|rs, apparently insurmountable, spelling disaster to any attempt to unite the
east and west by a transcontinental railroad.
While Woolsey was residing at the Edmonton fort,
a party of Blackfeet arrived, and, as a number of Crees
with whom they were at war were encamped in the
vicinity, the officer in charge warned the Crees and made
preparations for the approach of the warriors from the
south. When the Blackfeet came to the river they fired
their guns as a signal of their presence; this was expected,
as on the previous day two of their chiefs had apprized
the officer at the fort of th_eir intended visit. Crossing
the river in a boat the pajnted warriors, preceded by their
chief marched, singing, shouting, jirigling bells and
firing their guns, and entered the fort as two salutes
were fired from the cannon in their honor. The chiefs
shook hands with the chief officer, and embraced the
employees, while a warrior, daubed with paint, a drawn
sword in his hand, entered Woolsey's room and rather
discomfited the missionary. The native embraced him
and begged for rum, but, when informed that he was
a praying man, the dusky savage sat down and gazed
upon him in astonishment, and then said: | Give me
medicine to make me wise." Again he embraced the
missionary and departed.
Before the Blackfeet left the fort a treaty of peace
was made with the Crees. The leading men of both
tribes assembled in the large hall, where eloquent speeches
were delivered by the Blackfoot chiefs, and replies made
by the Crees. The calumets of the tribes wefe placed
on the table, forming an angle. They were afterward
lighted, and were passed .aground and smoked, expressive
of union and peace.    Another Blackfoot gave to each THOMAS WOOLSEY
of the Cree chiefs a piece of lump stigar, which he first
touched with his own lips, and afterward applied to the
lips of the Cree; another Blackfoot passed around kiting
each of the Cree chiefs; finally a fourth went around
and shook hands with them. The Crees iri turn passed
around \#ith a small parcel of tobacco for each of the
Blackfoot chiefs, and also for those who were not present
at the making of the native treaty. Before each of these
ceremonial acts the participants made a speech, declaring
their loyalty and desire for peace. The missionary was
deeply impressed with the eloquence and vigor of intellect
of the Blackfeet, and longed to win them to the Christian
During that winter the resident population at the fort
was about one hundred and fifty persons, as the "boatmen
had come in and supplemented the permanent residents,
who consisted of the gentlemen, the steward, interpreter,
boatbuilders, coopers, carpenters, blacksmiths and hunters
with their families. Woolsey was the only Protestant
missionary in the vast Saskatchewan country, indeed in
all the country west of Manitoba and Keewatin until
1859, when the first English Church missionary went into
the Mackenzie River District. Following in the footsteps of Rundle, his predecessor, Woolsey made his
headquarters at Edmonton, going from camp to camp,
and from post to post in quest of souls. He was anxious,
however, to start an independent mission, that he might
gather the natives around him and train them in habits
of civilized life. The Blackfeet had a bad reputation for
going on the waf path, and the missionary had a taste
of their savage daring at Drunken Lake, on the Blackfoot
trail south of Edmonton, when he and Peter Erasmus
were held up by a party of them and barefy escaped with 92
their lives. The treaty so ostentatiously made with the
Crees was soon broken. In 1868, there were ten thousand
Crees and Blackfeet in the vicinity of Edmonton, when
the Blackfeet drove the plain Crees near to Victoria, and
the people of Edmonton had a skirmish with them.
In 1862 George McDougall visited the Saskatchewan,
making the long journey from his own mission station
at Norway House, and having as a companion his son,
John, who was destined to do important work in that
region. Henry B. Steinhauer had been at Whitefish Lake
for five years, and Woolsey was at Smoking Lake, about
thirty miles north of the Saskatchewan River, where he
had erected a cabin and proposed to locate a mission.
The larger experience of McDougall determined a spot
on the bank of the river as a better location, though it
lay on the war path of the Blackfeet; and when he
returned to Norway House he left his son, John, then
twenty years of age, to assist in the erection of buildings
which ultimately grew into the Victoria Mission. Timber
had to be got out and hauled, lumber cut by whipsaw, fish
and other provisions secured, and sleds and harness
made for dogs and horses. The harness for the dogs
was made of tanned moose skins and for the oxen and
horses of tanned buffalo hide, known as power-flesh, the
name apparently derived from the tedious process of
sewing it. Steinhauer was anxious that his two daughters
should receive the rudiments of an education, and, as he
desired to confer with Woolsey on matters affecting the
missions, he took them with him to place them under
Mr. Woolsey's care, as teacher and friend. The journey
from Whitefish Lake to Smoking Lake was tedious, as
the snow was deep and the cold intense. The distance
of one hundred and thirty miles lay through the forest The Rev. Thomas Woolsey
(1818-1894) .
The Rev. John McDougall
From a painting by Paul Kane
An Indian Buffalo Hunt
The last stage—making for the corral  /T\
and across the plains, where new trails had to be broken,
and the party was compelled to camp without any tent,
sleeping in the open on the frozen ground, with the stars
The arrival at Edmonton of the winter packet with the
mail was of special interest, as it was the great event of
the cold season, and served to bring good cheer. But
when it passed the camp where the missionary was working one hundred miles or more from the Post Office at
the fort, and when he learned that there were important
letters and he was unable to secure them or follow the
packet to its destination for a couple of weeks, the
pleasure was changed to chagrin. Mr. Hardisty who had
charge of the winter packet of 1862, informed John
McDougall that there were important letters for Woolsey
and himself, but the sealed packet could not be opened
and the young man went on to Smoking Lake. He
begged Woolsey to allow him to go for the mail, but not
a man could be spared from the work of preparing the
timber for the new mission premises. Two weeks had
passed since the mail had gone over the trail, and then
Woolsey reluctantly consented to allow his young companion to go alone, but no sooner had he gone than he
repented. He dreamed of him bleeding to death, lost on
the plains and frozen, and when the young man arrived
back safely, he did not think much about the letters, but
was so overjoyed that he took him in his arms with
expressions of gratitude for his safe return.
Woolsey was not an expert dog driver, he could not
run nor even walk at a quick pace, and consequently when
a fast trip had to be made he was wedged into a cariole
and thus travelled from one camp to another.   He became 94
accustomed to frequent upsets, some of which looked
rather serious, as the cariole, dogs and missionary rolled
down Kill.
With the approach of spring of 1863 preparations were
made to move the timber, lumber, and goods and chattels
from Smoking Lake to Victoria. When these had been
transported the Indians came in from the plains and
hundreds of lodges were pitched at the mission. Some
of these natives had accepted Christianity through the
preaching of Rundle and Woolsey, but the majority of
them were pagans. The missionary was delighted as he
went through the camp, holding meetings, attending
councils, visiting the sick, becoming, as circumstances
demanded, doctor, surgeon, magistrate and spiritual
counsellor. Whilst thus engaged the rest of the party
were bu§y taking out timber up the river and hauling it
down, whipsawing lumber, building the mission house,
fencing and planting a field for a garden. Intent on his
quest after souls, Woolsey paid little heed to material
things, forgetting especially the voracious appetite of the
dogs, and sometimes choice morsels of buffalo meat
disappeared in a mysterious fashion, as they were not
put beyond the reach of the animals.
Some buffalo tongues had been left over from dinner,
and John McDougall decided to teach the missionary a
lesson, so he hid the tongues and scattered dishes around
on the floor of the lodge. When Woolsey came in and
saw the confusion he concluded that the dogs had eaten
the tongues and proceeded to thrash them, but relented,
blaming himself for his carelessness. As he looked on
in dismay, the real culprit entered the lodge laughing and,
producing the tongues, received the thanks of his friend
and g&ide, while he too laughed heartily over the episode. THOMAS WOOLSEY
Missionary travel was no luxury before the advent of
the railroad, when long journeys had to be made over
the plains. This is shown by the trip from Norway
House to Victoria in the Saskatchewan country, when,
in July 1863, George McDougall brought his wife and
family on the summer brigade. More than forty days
were spent on the boat from Norway House to Fort
Carlton. Woolsey gave John McDougall permission to
go and meet his parents. On their arrival a new and
temporary dwelling was put up instead of the house which
Woolsey was erecting in the fashion of the Hudson's Bay
Company's fort. Peter Erasmus, one of the leading men
of the Whitefish Lake Mission, became interpreter and
general assistant, and the first permanent Protestant
mission in the country was established on a secure
foundation at Victoria.
Woolsey's description of his frequent visits to the
camps of the Mountain and Wood Stonies, and of the
manly traits that distinguished these people from the
other Indians, awakened much enthusiasm. George
McDougall became anxious to visit them, and see what
could be done toward weaning them from a nomadic life
to civilized habits, and leading them to become devoted
Christians. With Peter Erasmus as gtiide, and his son
tfJ assist as general helper, he went off early in September
on the search and discovered their trail near the crossing
of the Red Deer river. The party found the Wood
Stonies near the Battle River Crossing. Services were
held in their camp, the people rejSieed at the presence
of a praying man and another link was made in the chain
of influence to win the Wood and Mountain Stonies for
the Christian faith. 96
Woolsey was eager to reach the Stonies through the
medium of their own language. He was ever on the
quest of one versed in English, Cree and Stoney, that
hymns and portions of the Bible might be translated for
their use. He had sufficiently mastered the EVans'
Syllabic system of the Cree that he could read and write
in it and teach others how to use it. Without any pretence in the knowledge of the Cree and never attempting
to give a sermon or address without the aid of an interpreter, he became a skilful teacher of the people. Seated
by the camp fire in a lodge, or in the woods, or on a
grassy knoll on the prairie with a tripod covered with a
blanket, or in his own room in the Hudson's Bay Company's fort, he would gather a company of natives and
read a chapter in the Cree Testament. While he did not
understand many words, his hearers grasped the full
import of the message, and many were led to the
knowledge of Christ and salvation by his simple instructions, and reading of the Scriptures. As it was the
custom of the officers and employees of the Hudson's
Bay Company to spend Christmas at Edmonton, he
determined to visit the fort at that time, as it gave him
an opportunity of meeting people from the outposts as
well as the permanent residents. The Christmas of 1863
was fraught with blessed results, as on that visit he met
a small party of Mountain Stonies who had come to trade.
Among them was Jonas, one of Rundle's converts, who
understood Cree well, and he persuaded Woolsey to go
with him to Victoria to assist in translating some hymns
into the Stoney language. The rest of Jonas' party
started south, and about fifty miles from Edmonton they
were attacked by the Blackfeet, and some on both sides
were killed and wounded.   Peter Erasmus spent several AtA
days with Jonas translating the hymns, and with the
assistance of Woolsey and George McDougall, they were
transcribed into the syllabic characters. With a copy of
these hymns and a grateful heart Jonas set out on his
three-hundred-mile tramp to his home in the mountains,
where he taught the Stoneys the words of Life through
these Gospel hymns.
The Mountain Stonies had been sought out by Rundle
and Woolsey, and many of them had become loyal
Christians, while all of them avowed their attachment to
the Methodist Church. During the Riel Rebellion of 1885,
Woolsey wrote: " Many of the Cree and Stoney Indians
were members of our church in 1864, and would have
been chronicled as such had I remained. In fact, my
successor, the late Rev. George McDougall, returned
three hundred as members the following year, that brother
being satisfied that the labors of his predecessors had not
been in vain in the Lord."
Among the trophies of the Cross won by Woolsey in
his dauntless career among the Crees, Stonies and Blackfeet, was Maskepetoon, or Crooked Arm, a noted chief
of the Crees. The missionary taught him to read in the
Cree Syllabic and presented him with a copy of the New
Testament, which he prized so highly that he read two
chapters every day. When George McDougall visited the
camp of which he was head chief, he found him in his
lodge reading the eighth chapter of the Epistle to the
Romans. This old warrior was famed for his courage
and wisdom, and dreaded by his enemies while he lived
as a pagan; but by the grace of God he became an earnest
Christian man, always working in the interests of peace
among the tribes, while furnishing an example of heroism
combined with gentleness, which was  a  new type of 98
character among the natives. In the company of Peter
Erasmus and the McDougalls, he was on his way to hunt
the buffalo, when the party met an old man, and, as the
others shook hands, the warrior turned aside. Feelings
of revenge stirred his soul for a few moments, and a
scene of bloodshed would have been witnessed a few
months previous, but, finally he shook hands with the
stranger, who did not recognize him, and who was thus
in Maskepetoon's power. The old man was none other
than the murderer of the son of this noted Cree chief.
The preaching of Rundle and Woolsey was surely not
in vain, when the savage heart could thus be changed,
and the native custom of revenge and the law of compensation be rejected for the spirit of Christ.
A faithful helper and able local preacher was The Red
Bank, who became a Christian under Woolsey's instruction and at his baptism was named Thomas Woolsey.
He was a kind, cheerful man, whose influence among the
Indians was elevating, and when he died during the smallpox epidemic in 1870 hundreds mourned the passing of
a beautiful soul. When George McDougall was
approaching a charming lake in the Saskatchewan country,
his guide pointed to a grave close by, and remarked:
That is the resting place of one of our head men. He
was a great friend of Mr. Woolsey's, a good man, and died
happy." Of Chief Lapatack, a gentleman said: "I spent
a week in the tent of the good old Indian, and shall never
forget the impression friade on my mind by his Christian
conduct; night and morning he called his people together
for prayer/' Disinterested travellers have testified to the
genuineness of the faith and purity of life of the red
men, won from the savage customs of the camp and the
war path, to ways  of independence  and truth.    Not THOMAS WOOLSEY
hundreds, but thousands were brought out of the darkness
into the light of the Gospel of Christ through the efforts
of t-he first Protestant missionaries under the shadow of
the Rocky Mountains.
Enduring hardship as a good soldier, without a murmur
on his lips, Woolsey travelled over tlie plains among the
camps in quest of souls. Oftentimes in danger of freezing
to death in a storm, shivering by the camp fire with little
to satisfy the pangs of hunger, once in a while getting
on the wrong trail and being lost, he still pursued his way
with a passion that would not die. On a trip from
Edmonton to Victoria his dogs made a dash for home,
jumping over a precipice with Woolsey in the cariole,
and only the presence of mind of John McDougall, who
upset the cariole and threw the missionary out, saved
him from death.
Many of the Indians and Hudson's Bay employees
were relieved in times of sickness by his knowledge of
medicine, and no journey was too long or arduous to help
a woman or child in hours of distress. His reputation
as a medicine man spread far and wide among the camps,
and he was loved as a kind physician whose ministrations
brought no material compensation but were rewarded by
gratitude, undying friendship and love.
In April, 1864, he made a farewell visit to Edmonton,
where he had many friends, and in the summer he looked
for the last time on the mountains and plains where nine
years of faithful service had been given to the native
tribes. The following year he spent in England among the
scenes of his boyhood, and the subsequent years were
spent at Farnham in the Province of Quebec, at New
Credit, Bruce Mines, Rama and Hiawatha, amid sacred
associations full of historic lore.   In 1885 he was super- 100
annuated and went to live in Toronto, where he died,
May 2, 1894, aged seventy-six years. The aged missionary never lost his interest in the western tribes, and the
old fire flashed in his eyes as I sat in his home and told
him of later conquests among the Stonies, Crees and
Blackfeet. A brave man, modest and gentle indeed, was
Thomas Woolsey, whose name still lingers in the lodges,
though fifty years have passed away. The   Rev.   Henry   B.
The   Rev.   Egerton
The Rev. Robert Steinhauer and Family *.
The Native Founder o_? Missions
IN that memorable year of 1820, momentous and prophetic in the history of Protestant missions in Canada,
Henry B. Steinhauer, an Ojibway Indian, was born.
A general awakening among the inhabitants of the
Province of Ontario on behalf of the native population
took place. The Methodists, under the leadership of the
Rev. William Case, were especially active in arousing the
Christian people to a sense of their responsibility in striving
to Christianize and civilize the red men. The Rev. John
West, Anglican clergyman, went in that year as the first
Protestant missionary to the Selkirk Settlement, and while
events such as these are not of large historic significance
yet they assume large proportions in the making of the
red race in Canada. The eastern shore of Lake Couchi-
ching, in the county of Ontario, near Rama, was the place
of Steinhauer's birth, notable in early history. It was in
tl at vicinity that Champlain spent nine days, entertained
every night by the inhabitants of Cahiague, not far from
the present town of Orillia, with war dances and banquets.
Between Lakes Simcoe and Huron were the towns of
the gentle Hurons and the warlike Iroquois, inhabited by
not less than twenty thousand Indians, and it was from
the frontier town of Cahiague, where abode nearly two
th-Msand Hurons, that Champlain advanced to attack
>|| Iroquois in their own country. The region abounds
in thrilling adventure and noble heroism as the Jesuit
minions were planted there.   Two of their missionaries,
[101] . 102
Breboeuf and Lalemant were put to death after horrible
tortures at the hands of the Iroquois. Huron ossuaries
have been discovered in recent years, articles of French
manufacture have been unearthed by the plough and
spade, and stories of brave deeds have been repeatedly
told concerning the pioneers of the Cross on this historic
ground. The Huron nation and the Jesuit missions have
passed away, and the Ojibways now occupy the territory
but are ignorant of the great deeds performed there in
the early part of the seventeenth century.
Superstition, drunkenness and vice prevailed among the
native tribes when Steinhauer, title child of the wigwam,
was born; and no prophet could have discerned the germs
of greatness hidden in the brain of this helpljf-ps- son of
the forest. On June 17th, 1828, one hundred and thirty-
two Indians were baptized, the greatest number of Protestant Indians ever baptized at one time in Canada, and
among them was Henry B. Steinhauer. That initiation
was the beginning of a noble career as he was rescued
from the wild, roving life of his fathers and placed under
religious instruction. Schools were founded as an adjunct
of religion, the men were taught methods of farming and
the women were instructed in domestic arts, and many of
them were eager learners. Though surrounded with
many temptations and just emerging from the savage
conditions of camp life in the forest, and being taught
through the medium of the English language, to them a
foreign tongue, they made considerable progress. As
funds were required to carry on the work of the schools
and the institutional agencies, William Case made frequent visits to the United States, where he made appeals
for help at missionary meetings. As an evidence of the
success of the enterprise, he took native boys and girls HENRY B. STEINHAUER
with him, who delighted large and enthusiastic audiences
with their Ojibway hymns and specimens of their handicraft. The success of John Elliot and other missionaries
among the Indians had in a great measure been forgotten,
and when John Sunday and Peter Jones related the story
of their lives in the wigwams and their religious
experiences, with an eloquence new and strange, whatever
doubts existed as to the conversion of the red men and
the possibility of educating them, vanished before the
living examples of divine grace.
During a visit to the city of Philadelphia much interest
was awakened and a Mr. Steinhauer and his family were
deeply impressed with the genuineness of the work among
the natives. As they had recently been bereaved by the
death of a son, they requested William Case to select a
promising lad whom they would educate. It was in this
fashion that Henry B. Steinhauer got his name and
education and his pagan ancestry was lost in his subsequent career. In 1829 the lad was sent to the school at
Grape Island where the first church of converted Indians
was organized on May 31st, 1826, and there he remained
for three years under the gracious influence of capable
teachers. Among his companions was a devoted native
youth John Summerfield, so named after the famous Irish
preacher, whose eloquence and piety charmed thousands
and who, all too soon, passed away. These lads were sent
to Cazanovia Seminary, a reputable institution in the
United States, and young Summerfield, who had been
baptized in 1825 and was being educated at the expense
of some New York ladies, gave much promise of a useful
career. He prepared a grammar of the Ojibway language
which was published; but he died at Grand River August
1st, 1836, at the early age of twenty years.
**5*****W 104
After a few sessions at the Seminary, Steinhauer began
his work as a missionary. He was appointed school
teacher at the Credit Mission, situated at the mouth of
the River Credit, one of the best fisheries on Lake Ontario.
A number of the Mississauga Indians who had been
converted at the Grand River Mission in 1826 began to
settle at the river Credit. The Rev. Egerton Ryerson,
well known in the later years as the eloquent preacher,
ecclesiastical statesman and the founder of the educational
system of Ontario, was sent as missionary. Unconsciously the young teacher was being trained for the
future while he was educating others, as he was learning
the art of agriculture, receiving instruction as a carpenter
and builder, and noting methods of progress among the
people, all of which he was to put into practice as a
founder of missions in the far west part of the Dominion.
Having spent a year on the mission, Steinhauer was
sent in 1835 to Upper Canada Academy, afterwards
known as Victoria College, at Cobourg; but before proceeding there he went on a visit to his old home near
Rama, on the shores of Lake Simcoe, as he yearned to
see his mother and the scenes of his childhood. Great
changes had taken place since he left the native camp—
the Indians had forsaken many of their old customs;
the power of the medicine-man was broken, the drunken
orgies and grave immorality were replaced by songs of
peace and love and divine grace. Possessed of a thorough
knowledge of the Ojibway language and the customs of
the natives, having good abilities and a strong desire for
an excellent English education, the young man was well
qualified for the duties and responsibilities of a native
missionary. William Case who was constantly urging
the missionaries to keep a journal, report regularly the HENRY B. STEINHAUER
progress of the mission work and devote themselves
assiduously to translating the Scriptures into the language
of the people, determined to give him the best training
possible to fit him for a useful career. After spending
one year at college he went to Alderville to teach school
for a year and then returned to college for another year.
His kind and gentle disposition won for him many friends
and the change from study to work enabled him to see
what would best fit him for life; his progress in learning
became rapid and definite and his habits of study were
confirmed and retained throughout a long life of isolation
in the Canadian North-west. His ability and industry
were seen in the fact that during his last year he stood at
the head of his class. So highly was he esteemed by the
Rev. Dr. Matthew Richey, Principal of the college, that
he employed him to read the proof sheets of the " Life
of William Black," the founder of Methodism in the
Maritime Provinces, which he was then publishing.
Steinhauer became a proficient Greek and Hebrew scholar
and he kept up the practice of reading a chapter daily out
of the Hebrew Bible. Having finished his course at
college, he returned to Alderville and remained there
teaching school until he was called to the North-west,
where all the subsequent years of his life were spent.
At twenty years of age, having the training necessary to
make an able interpreter and translator, he was sent with
the missionary contingent, in 1840, to open up the work
among the native tribes west of Lake Superior and
around Hudson's Bay and west to the Rocky Mountains.
A great revival had taken place among the students and
the people of the town of Cobourg during his last year
at college and, though it was the year of the civil rebellion,
the work was not retarded.   Under the gracious influence 106
of this blessed season of grace, which remained with him
for many years, he started in April, 1840, for his distant
mission field. ||
He travelled by wagon to Lachine and from there he
journeyed by the Hudson's Bay Company's canoes, early
in May, to his destination at Lac la Pluie, better known
as Rainy Lake. The lake is a beautiful sheet of water
forty-eight miles long with an average width of ten miles,
distant eighty-three miles from the Lake of the Woods,
and from thence sixty-eight miles to Rat Portage, now
called Kenora. At the west end of Rainy Lake is the
Hudson's Bay Company's fort, named Fort Frances in
honor of the wife of Sir George Simpson, Governor
of the Company. It is now an enterprising town, but
when our missionaries went there in 1840, it was simply
a trading post, with the store and cottages of the factor
and employees, in the form of a square surrounded by
stockades about ten feet high. Not far from the fort
is the magnificent flow of water known as the Chaudiere
Falls, formed by the river, nearly two hundred yards
wide, pouring in roaring cascades over a granite ridge.
The ceaseless music of the waters has ever been a charm
to travellers who have visited them. The scenery around
the fort is beautiful and, although the natives are not
supposed to have a deep sense of the beauty of nature,
the location of the fort was sufficient to make it a rendezvous for the Ojibways, who came there several times a
year to trade. In later years it was a central position
for conferences of Government officials with the natives.
William Mason was the missionary at Rainy Lake, with
Steinhauer as interpreter and school teacher, while Peter
Jacobs, an Ojibway, born in 1805 at Rice Lake, was with
his  family at  Fort Alexander, at the mouth of  the HENRY B. STEINHAUER
Winnipeg River as it flows into Lake Winnipeg. The
mission at Rainy Lake was so successful that within three
months after it was begun, an Indian was converted and
he became so eager to learn that, having mastered the
alphabet, he struggled hard in his efforts to know how
to read. Within the next four months two more were
converted and others were anxious to become Christians.
A school was organized which was attended by all the
boys and girls at the fort. Steinhauer was busy teaching,
interpreting and translating and Mason writes on December 8th, 1840: "Mr. Steinhauer is exceedingly useful to
the mission as translator, interpreter and schoolmaster.
He has translated the Liturgy which we use twice a day.
I sincerely hope we shall ere long have the Scriptures and
some elementary books translated and printed in good
Indian, not for Englishmen but for the natives." On
March 23rd, 1841, Steinhauer writes: "My school has
been my principal employment this winter. I had the
pleasure of seeing some of the scholars beginning to read
the Word of God in both English and Indian." So great
was the success of the mission that within one year there
were several conversions, seven families had been induced
to cultivate the soil and were sowing their small farms,
in the school some of the children were able to read the
New Testament and write several hymns and portions of
the Scriptures, and every Sabbath two sermons were
preached to interested congregations. Judson spent
several years in Burmah before he had a single convert,
Carey passed through a similar experience in India and
Morrison in China, while Steinhauer saw the first fruit
of his labors within one year. As the language of the
people was his native tongue, he had the advantage over
the missionaries whose first years on the field must be 108
given to language study. His energy, faith and piety
brought abundant success.
Peter Jacobs, whose Indian name was Pah-tah-se-ga,
was trained by William Case as a missionary and labored
among the native tribes on Lake Superior, Fort Alexander, Norway House, Rainy Lake, Saugeen, and Rama
where he died. He visited England twice and charmed
large audiences in Exeter Hall, London, and elsewhere,
with his vivid descriptions of native life and missionary
experiences. He was twice presented to Queen Victoria
and was highly honored by receiving from Her Majesty,
a magnificent robe and a framed portrait of herself. In
1852 he spent three months in making a trip from Toronto
to York Factory, travelling by way of Buffalo, Detroit,
Sault Ste. Marie, Fort Garry and Norway House. He
published a small volume which has now become rare,
in the form of a Journal, which gave an account of this
journey, a brief review of his life, and a sketch of the
Wesleyan missions in the Hudson's Bay Territory. In it
there are interesting references to James Evans, William
Mason, Steinhauer, Thomas Hurlburt and other missionaries to the native tribes.
James Evans, being in need of some one to assist in the
work of translating while he was perfecting his Syllabic
system of the Cree language, called Steinhauer to Norway
House, where he became interpreter and school teacher;
and in 1843, Mason was transferred to the same mission
as assistant missionary. In a very short time Steinhauer
had sufficiently mastered the Cree language to become an
able translator and when Evans went to England in 1846
Mason and Steinhauer were left in charge of the missions.
Abundant success came to the worthy laborers by means
of the translations in the Syllabic.    Large numbers of HENRY B. STEINHAUER
the natives forsook their heathen customs, a flourishing
school was in operation, the people were able to read
portions of the Bible and to sing hymns. The lodges were
transformed into homes of peace and comfort, where the
love of Christ was known and joy found a permanent
One of the converts was Chief Thomas Mustahgun,
nearly eighty years of age, an intelligent man who was
chief guide for three expeditions which went in search
of Sir John Franklin. Another convert was Chief Jacob
Berens who journeyed from Berens River to Norway
House to learn the Syllabic characters. He remained
there until he could read the Cree Bible, returning home
to tell his people the good news of salvation. In 1848
Mason wrote of the northern Indians that they were
docile, anxious to be taught, respectable in appearance
and that there were no cases of drunkenness among them..
Many of them held family worship in their homes and
kept up the practice when absent on hunting expeditions.
Visitors from the far north carried the stories of the
Gospel to their heathen brethren and these yearned for
the wonderful message of peace. In answer to their
appeal Steinhauer went to Oxford House, two hundred
miles distant, and there began a new mission among the
Crees. The journey was made in canoes over lakes and
rivers, with not a house to be seen. Oxford Lake is a
beautiful sheet of water thirty-five miles long and from
eight to twelve miles wide, covered with numerous
islands and abounding in fish of a fine quality. Oxford
House, the Hudson's Bay Company's post, was situated
at the north-east end of the lake. The fort consisted of a
number of houses one storey high, surrounded by a
stockade.   The mission was established twenty miles from iio
the fort, and well situated on a peninsula at the head
of Jackson's Bay, which was formed by the Bay and the
River Wire. The Bay was named after the Rev. Thomas
Jackson, President of the British Wesleyan Conference.
The peninsula included fifteen acres of excellent land
producing abundantly, under cultivation, many kinds of
vegetables. Steinhauer was welcomed by the agents and
employees of the Company, as well as by the Indians,
and he laid the foundations of a very successful mission.
He spent several years in hard work, until he left on a
visit to England with the Rev. John Ryerson in 1854. He
was succeeded by the Rev. Robert Brooking.
After spending six weeks in England he returned to
Canada and was ordained at the Conference held in
London, Ontario. He left with Thomas Woolsey for
Edmonton, selecting the Lac la Biche district as his new
field of operations. For four years he travelled among
the lodges with no permanent abode, telling to thousands
of the nomads the story of Christ and salvation, and
many converts were won for the faith. Without schools
to educate the children and having no settled camp where
the aged and infirm could be cared for, it was impossible
to build up a strong mission, so the missionary decided
to seek a suitable place for settlement. Outside the trail
of war parties lay Whitefish Lake, where fish was
abundant and the land was good for agriculture. The
question of removal being submitted to the natives, they
gladly acceded to the proposal, and in i860 the foundation
of the new mission was laid, where Steinhauer labored
until his death. Houses were erected at this outpost and
land was broken with wooden spades, as there were
neither ploughs nor hoes. When the first plough was
secured the native horses would not perform their work, HENRY B. STEINHAUER
but the undaunted leader and his loyal band hitched twelve
stout Indians with shaganappi and a piece of land was
prepared on which barley was sown; thus farming was
begun among the Crees at Whitefish Lake. Religious
services attended by large congregations were held on
the Sabbath and during the week; there were numerous
conversions and a flourishing school was established.
During the winter of 1869-1870 the Blackfeet were out
on the warpath, but the mission was unmolested. A year
later came the sad news of the Riel Rebellion in Manitoba.
An epidemic of smallpox among the Plain Crees in the
Saskatchewan country and among the Sarcees and Blackfeet in Southern Alberta swept away thousands of the
natives. Communication was cut off with Whitefish Lake
and grave fears were entertained for Steinhauer and his
Indians. But, with rare wisdom, he removed his Indians
to a secluded spot where they remained in safety until
the plague was stayed, and not a single member belonging to the mission was stricken with the scourge. With
the passing of the epidemic the natives turned with fresh
enthusiasm to their farms, the school and religious services were renewed, a commodious mission house was
built and materials were collected for a larger church.
The new settlement was far in advance of any in the
country, due to the good judgment, ability and zeal of
the missionary. His faith and courage were strengthened
by large additions of converts. At an examination of
the school, attended by George and John McDougall,
Chief Factor William J. Christie and Mr. Hardisty, the
native scholars surprised the visitors by their attainments
in reading, writing, spelling, geography, arithmetic and
Bible History. An address in the name of the people was
presented to Mr. Christie, who complimented Ira Snyder, 112
the schoolmaster, Steinhauer, the scholars and their
parents, on the splendid work being done. Despite the
famine which followed the smallpox, the natives were so
grateful for the blessings of the Gospel that, at a missionary meeting, they raised two hundred and fifty dollars
for the school at Whitefish Lake. Steinhauer spent one
year at Pigeon Lake in missionary toil and then returned
to his old mission to continue until the end of his days.
Never having had a respite from his heavy labors since
he went to the North-west in 1855, and as his experience
would be of great service in arousing missionary enthusiasm, he accompanied the Rev. Dr. Alexander
Sutherland, who was on a tour of inspection of the
western missions during the summer of 1880, to Ontario.
They came down the Saskatchewan River to Prince
Albert, and drove across the prairie to Winnipeg. Large
audiences listened to his quaint speeches and simple story
of divine grace among the natives, and much enthusiasm
on behalf of missions was aroused among the people in
the towns and cities. At Brampton, when the Toronto
Conference was in session, he read an address from the
Indians of Georgian Island, thanking the Conference for
supplying them with devoted teachers and missionaries,
and rejoicing that so many of their people on Georgian
Island, at Rama and Snake Island had been saved through
grace, and won from ignorance and superstition to purity
and peace and a measure of independence.
Fourteen months were spent in the central and eastern
provinces and on August 16, 1881, he started across the
prairie from Portage La Prairie, arriving at Whitefish
Lake on the morning of the third Sunday in October.
As he passed through Good Fish Lake Settlement he
discovered that all the people had gone to church.   He HENRY B. STEINHAUER
rejoiced that during his absence the local preachers and
class leaders had been so faithful that there were no
relapses into heathenism, though the people were surrounded by the powerful influences of the medicine men
among the tribes still wedded to pagan customs and belief.
The arduous work in the east and his long journey over
the prairie undermined his constitution and for six weeks
he was laid aside through illness. On recovery he threw
himself with new zest into the work of preaching, giving
counsel and directing the people in material and spiritual
affairs. A missionary meeting was held and fifty-six
dollars were raised to send the Gospel to the heathen.
The missionary was now confronted with new problems,
as the tide of immigration had set in and the influence of
the white settlers was not always conducive to progress
in morality and advancement in civilization. The older
native opponents of the Christian faith became more
determined than ever to increase their power by the
extension of their tribal customs, and the young men,
chafing under the bonds which their fathersi had imposed
upon them, yearned after independence, and were restless.
During the year the fishing in the lake was a failure;
there were not many moose in the vicinity, though there
was an abundance of muskrats and rabbits. The crops
were good and there was plenty of wood, but that was a
hindrance to farming operations as with the progress of
the people more land was required. Though the future
seemed dark, they decided not to appeal for help from
the Government and yet it was thought advisable to seek
another location better suited to the growing needs.
At this juncture a revival of religion broke out, holding the daring spirits in check and bringing a new vision.
A yearning after purity of life compelled a purging of 114
the church register and a decrease in membership; this
not only made a stronger, but a better church. The
spiritual awakening spread to Saddle Lake and Egg Lake
and many were led out into the light and faith of the
Gospel. With the increasing infirmities of age and the
result of an accident which occurred as Steinhauer was
on a journey from Whitefish Lake to Edmonton in 1883,
there was need of an assistant to carry on the work of
the mission. One of his sons, Egerton, returning from
Victoria College toward the close of the year, took up
the falling mantle and rendered splendid service among
the people, besides bringing joy and comfort to his aged
parents. Egerton and his brother Robert received their
elementary education in the mission school and then
went as young men to Cobourg, Ontario, entering the
Collegiate Institute and the University, where Robert
remained until he graduated! in Arts. They worked during the summer to supplement the help from home to pay
their expenses during their college career, and were
respected and loved by their fellow students, while they
had a host of friends around them.
The young assistant threw himself with zest into the
work of teaching, preaching, and helping the people in
their farming operations; the Gospel was carried to other
native camps; new schools were erected; the old mission
premises renovated; a choir and singing classes were
organized and, with a volume of Cree hymns edited by
Thomas Woolsey and printed in syllabic characters, a
praise meeing was held every Sunday evening. Attendance at school was increased by young men and women
ambitious for the advantages of education, being enrolled
as scholars. So great was the proficiency in the school
that some of the younger students were able to recite HENRY B. STEINHAUER
from memory, from eight to twenty-five verses of the
English Bible. One recited sixty verses, which was certainly an accomplishment, as the Cree was their native
tongue and English a foreign language. J| A gracious
revival followed in which nearly all the young people
joined the church, while the older members of the tribe
became contented. They not only decided to remain on
the reserve but became more progressive in their efforts
to make a comfortable living and were held with the
precious memories of their old home.
The aged missionary spent much of his time in translating portions of literature for the use of his people. In
this kind of work he was specially skilful, as he had
translated the Old Testament from the beginning of the
Psalms to the end of Malachi and from the Epistle to
the Romans to the end of the New Testament. He and
John Sinclair, the half-breed interpreter at the Norway
House Mission, assisted the Rev. William Mason and his
wife in the translation of the Bible into the Cree language
and the whole volume was published by the British and
Foreign Bible Society in 1861 and 1862. Besides his
work of Bible translation, with the help of Mrs. Hunter,
wife of Archdeacon James Hunter, Anglican Missionary,
and Peter Erasmus, native interpreter, a Cree hymn book
was translated and published by the Wesleyan Missionary
Society, London. He also rendered Mrs. Hunter valuable
assistance in her numerous translations.
Forty-four years of missionary toil among the Indians
of the west were not spent in vain, as evidenced in the
growth of the missions, the native literature, souls won
from heathenism and the foundations and progress of
civilized communities. At Whitefish Lake there was
scarcely a man, woman or child but could read the Scrip- 116
tures in the syllabic characters. At the public services
every Indian might be seen with his Bible and when the
lessons were read following the reading and carefully
noting the texts. About four hundred professed conversion, most of whom were living consistent lives; five
class-meetings were held every week; two day-schools
and a Sabbath School were in operation and there were
two local preachers who conducted the services in the
absence of the missionary.
Almost every family owned a small farm, a yoke of
oxen, besides cows and pigs, and were able to live in
comfort. The women were no longer treated as slaves
and chattels, nor compelled to do all' the work around the
camp, as the men now shared their burdens. The
evidences of their faith were seen in the changed styles
of dress and the cleanliness of their homes. When the
traders saw the progress of the mission, they were
anxious to establish posts in the vicinity but they were
denied the privilege, as their presence would be baneful
and the work of grace would be hindered. Before the
advent of the missionary, the war whoop and war songs
resounded in the camp, but the Christian faith brought
visions of peace, and hymns of praise were heard in the
camp, on the hunter's trail on the prairie, and in the
heart of the mountains.
At the Conference held in Brandon, in June 1884, the
aged missionary delivered a thrilling address, the last he
was to utter before a white audience. A severe epidemic
of influenza visited the mission in December and many
of the natives were stricken down. On Sabbath, the 14th
of the month, he preached twice, visited the sick and lay
down, never to rise again. On Sabbath evening, the
29th, he called his family around his bed and exhorted HENRY B. STEINHAUER
them to be faithful to Christ, and at his request they sang
" The Gates Ajar." On the following evening, the chief
of the tribe and some of the Indians joined the household,
and, as they knelt and prayed, thanking God for the
unselfish and beautiful life, the soul of the missionary
went home. Thirty-six hours later, Benjamin Sinclair,
the devoted Cree evangelist and servant of God for nearly
forty-five years, passed away. On New Year's Day these
aged soldiers of the Cross were buried in the same grave.
In their passing they were saved from the trials and
sorrows of the second Riel Rebellion, for scarcely had
they gone than the sounds of war were heard on the
prairies of the west.
This man of low stature was a native statesman who
courted obscurity while others sought fame, content to
lay foundations for the betterment of the race without
recognition from church or state, waiting patiently for
the verdict of posterity and the approval of God. Behind
the dark-skinned visage lay an heroic soul, unconscious
of its own greatness. The message of inspiration burned
deeply and slowly into the passion of a prophet, finding
expression in silent deeds on the lone prairies, where the
heralds of civilization marked the trails to unknown
cities in distant days.
One of the Indians in Dr. Rae's party in search of Sir
John Franklin in the Arctic regions was a brother-in-law
of Steinhauer and a member of the church at Rossville.
Thomas Woolsey, in a eulogy on the sainted missionary,
wrote in glowing terms of " his varied talents as schoolmaster, interpreter, translator and missionary, during
forty-five years of his eventful life: but I wish to acknowledge my indebtedness to him for a thorough revision of
our Catechism and Indian hymn book in the Cree syllabic 118
characters." The Rev. Lachlan Taylor, D.D,, visited the
missions in the Saskatchewan country and bore a fine
testimony to the splendid work at Whitefish Lake, and
Principal Grant in his popular work, " Ocean to Ocean,"
referring to his visit to the mission where eighty Cree
children were attending school, says, "The Crees at
Whitefish Lake are all Christianized and value the school
highly." | §
Steinhauer was one of nature's noblemen, gentle in
demeanor, whose native dignity was not lost through
association with pagans. He lived as a saint among men,
moulding them for the new civilization and revealing to
them the holy vision which leads to the altar of God. He
was a benefactor to his race, a member of the Church
universal, and his work will abide through all the years.
His memory and influence engraven on human hearts
are more enduring than monument of marble or tablet
of brass.  The Rev. George Millward McDougall
Missionary to the Indians in Ontario and the Northwest
—--___,   k*   «*^,,_*__
A glimpse of Norway House, where George McDougall
Traveler and Hero
THREE things are required in the making of a great
missionary—vision, passion and patience; vision,
to see the possibilities of the individual and the
tribe, passion, to save the souls of men, and patience, to
lay foundations upon which other men can build. George
McDougall possessed these qualities in an eminent degree.
Like many great men in all ranks of life, he came of a
sturdy race from among the heather-clad hills of Scotland, his forbears being fed on homely fare. Plain food
and high thinking were fine training for the hardships
of a farm in the backwoods of Canada. His father,
being a non-commissioned officer in the British Navy,
was able to serve his country in naval service on the
lakes, during the war of 1812. He was a fine example
of patriotism, and of strong faith in God.
George Millward McDougall was born in 1820, in the
City of Kingston, in the Province of Ontario, the third
son in the family, two of whom died before his birth.
With the close of the war of 1812, a home was sought in
the backwoods on the Penetanguishene Road, above the
present town of Barrie; and there under the care of a
pious mother, amid honest poverty, the foundations of
education and sterling character were laid. There were
no schools, the country was in a state of primitive wild-
ness, brain and muscle were required to secure a
livelihood, manners were rough, but compensations were
found in  hard  work,  affection  and  simplicity  in  the
[119] I
9 120
home. Along with his younger brother David, he
trapped fur-bearing animals, cleared the bush-farm
and worked for the settlers; and thus the brothers
became experts with the axe, gun and trap. He spent
five months in the militia, as a private in the Royal
Foresters' Regiment. In his nineteenth year, he was converted at a field meeting held by Peter White, a local
preacher, an event which awakened a strong desire for
On January ioth, 1842, he was married; his wife,
Elizabeth Chantler, a birth-right member of the Society
of Friends, was converted at the watch-night service at
Barrie in 1840-41, conducted by the Rev. Thomas
McMullen. This saintly woman became one of the
pioneers of the west, enduring hardship on lonely mission
fields, and winning many souls1 for Christ. After a short
period on a farm, he sailed Lakes Huron, Erie and
Michigan as captain of the schooners " Indian Prince "
and " Sydenham," trading with the Indians, and preaching to them at every suitable opportunity. With a burning
passion for the souls of the natives, he determined to
become a missionary. In order that he might secure an
education, the young couple toiled early and late, studying
economy to the utmost, that the necessary funds might be
secured to meet all expenses. Moses, the youngest of
their three children, having died, John and David were
left in the care of friends, while the parents spent the
year 1849 a* Cobourg, the husband attending classes in
the Victoria College, and preaching on Sunday.
At the Conference of 1850, he was " received on trial,"
as a candidate for the ministry, and stationed at Alderville,
as assistant to the Rev. William Case, where he spent
one year.   He was then sent to establish a! mission in the GEORGE McDOUGALL
vicinity of Lake Huron, where the Indians would congregate. After making observations he decided to locate
at Garden River, and having called the native council,
and explained the benefits of religion, he brought his
family and began work under very unpromising circumstances. Nearly the whole population was crazed with
liquor when the mission family arrived, yet undaunted,
the missionary remained and with his own hands got logs
from the bush, and erected a large mission house and
school. Within two years, several notable characters were
converted, and the Council appointed two Indians whose
duty it was to spill any liquor brought to the settlement.
During the six years spent on this mission the foundations were so well laid, that thirty years after, a band of
Indians was found near Chapleau, numbering seventy-two
souls, of whom the Rev. Silas Huntingdon said, that
though separated from the body of their tribe, they had
kept their faith, and had maintained their religious worship without the aid of a missionary. The Hudson's Bay
Company's officer said: "These Indians are a godly
people. I often attend their services, and find their
prayers and addresses fervent and intelligent, and they
have not been corrupted by the vices of the white men."
In August, 1857, he proceeded as missionary to Rama,
a land of classic lore, inhabited two hundred years before
by the gentle Huron and warlike Iroquois, in whose
villages there were not less than twenty thousand souls.
In that vicinity was St. Joseph or Ihonatiria on the west
entrance to Penetanguishene Bay; north of Lake Simcoe,
near Orillia, lay the frontier town of the Hurons, named
Cahiague or St. John the Baptist, from whence Champlain
advanced to attack the Iroquois; on the right bank of the
River Wye, the Jesuits erected a fort in 1639, named St. 122
Mary; gn the west coast of Hogg's Bay was the village
of St. Louis, where Breboeuf and Lalemant were captured by the Iroquois in 1649; and about two and a half
miles distant was the village of St. Ignatius, where these
two brave men were cruelly tortured and put to death.
In this ancient domain of the native lords of Canada, the
Huron ossuaries are still being discovered, and aboriginal
relics mingle with articles of French manufacture. We
read anew with thrilling interest of deeds of daring
enacted by the dominant race which inhabited this region
nearly three hundred years ago. Upon such sacred soil,
baptized with blood, the Rev. William Herkimer began
a mission among the Ojibway Indians in 1845, an^ with
so great success that in one year he reported one hundred
and twenty-six converts. George McDougall upheld the
traditions of his predecessors at Rama, in reclaiming men
and women from sin, training them in the arts of civilization, and developing a large measure of independence.
After the year's apprenticeship on Indian missions in
Ontario, when the call to larger work in the regions
beyond the Great Lakes came to him, he was ready, with
a new and fresh consecration of his talents, experience
and enthusiasm, to enter the boundless territory in quest
of new lands to conquer. In June, i860, he was chosen
to succeed Robert Brooking at Norway House, with the
additional responsibility of superintending the missions
lying between Lake Superior on the east, and the Rocky
Mountains on the west. Twenty years had passed since
Rundle and Evans went to Norway House, and great
things had been accomplished in winning the natives from
heathenism. Robert Brooking had spent seven years as
a missionary in West Africa before coming to Canada.
Six years among the Indians at Rice Lake and St. Clair GEORGE McDOUGALL
missions were sufficient preparation for service among
the aborigines in the far north, whither he went in June,
1854, with the Rev. John Ryerson, who was on a visit of
inspection to Rainy River, Fort Garry, Norway House
and York Factory. He was accompanied by Thomas
Hurlburt, Allen Salt, a native missionary, and Robert
Brooking, with their families. An interesting volume,
" Hudson's Bay Territory," the result of this visit, was
published, and was the first volume sent out from the
Toronto Publishing House by the Methodist Missionary
Society of Canada. Salt was stationed at Rainy Lake,
Hurlburt at Norway House, and Brooking at Oxford
House, where he remained three years, and then at
Norway House for a similar term. Returning east he
labored for twenty-three years among the Indians at
Rama and Hiawatha. This brave man died at Cobourg
in 1893, aged eighty years, and his work and life are
worthy of remembrance.
In the northern country, at Norway House and beyond,
George McDougall came in contact with the Cree Indians,
a new tribe for him to conquer, but he was able to adapt
himself to any conditions, and never flinched in the face
of hardship. Counting it an honor to serve his country
as a soldier or a missionary, he was a stranger to fear;
as a citizen, he was loyal to the laws of the land; as a
Christian, he was broad in his sympathies and courteous
in manner. These characteristics served him well in his
work among the natives, who respected and obeyed a
leader whom they could trust, and whose sole interest was
for the general uplifting of the race. Upon his arrival at
his new station, he quickly made observations, and with
unflinching enthusiasm and undaunted courage, he literally threw himself with savage energy into the great task 124
of saving a tribe which had slackened for a season in
seeking the higher things of life. The results of his
strenuous efforts were seen at the end of two years, when
he reported new houses erected, gardens fenced, the
dilapidated mission premises renovated, increased attendance at the day school and public services. The cause of
temperance had improved, many of the Indians and white
folks having signed the pledge. He also reported one
hundred and sixty-seven church members, an increase of
twenty-seven, and missionary contributions for one year,
at Norway House, of one hundred and sixty-nine dollars,
and from the Indians at Rossville of over thirty dollars.
At Oxford House, some of the natives had read the
New Testament through in the Cree Syllabic characters,
and the study of divine revelations had produced a higher
type of piety and civilization. Some of the Indians had
died, but their faith in Christ was strong, and they passed
away rejoicing in the blessed hope of immortality. Among
the number was John Coland, born a pagan, who had
embraced the truth about 1850. His zeal and piety
marked him out for a class leader, wherein he was faithful in dealing with men concerning their sins. When the
end came, he was absent from Oxford House. Amid
much suffering, he requested his nephew who was with
him to read to him. As the words 1 thou shalt see greater
things than these " fell faintly upon his ears, this earnest
disciple, beloved by all the people, stepped beyond the
everlasting hills to the land where glory ever dwelleth.
When Chief Jacob Berens was a young man, having
heard of the good work going on among the Crees in the
north, he travelled from Berens River to Norway House,
and stayed there long enough to master the Syllabic
characters, so that he could read the Cree Bible. Having Chief Berens and His Wife
Chief Berens went from Berens River to Norway House to learn about
God.    He returned home and taught his own people  GEORGE McDOUGALL
been baptized by George McDougall, he returned to
declare the riches of the Gospel, and to lay the foundations of a successful mission among his own people.
Twenty-six years after these events, the Revs. John
McDougall, James Woodsworth and Joshua Dyke visited
Norway House. Among other services was a fellowship
meeting in Cree, lasting over four hours. One of those
who related their religious experiences was Chief Thomas
Mustahgun, eighty years of age, who had been chief
guide for three search expeditions after Sir John Franklin
and his party, lost in the Arctic wilds. He said that he
did not rise to speak that others might hear him, nor to
tell them that he was a good man, but to speak for God,
who had done much for him. In his early life he had
been a wicked man, and had walked far away in the paths
of unrighteousness, yet the Lord had been merciful to
him, and now he wanted the people of God to pray for
him, that he might remain faithful, until he passed to the
land where there is no sorrow and sin.
During his frequent trips westward, George McDougall
had come in contact with several bands of Cree Indians
from the Saskatchewan country, and so impressed were
some of these people with the gracious influences of the
Gospel, that three different deputations waited upon him,
pleading for a missionary to be sent tO) the tribes farther
west. In the summer of 1862, he started on a twelve
hundred mile trip on a tour of investigation, travelling by
boat to Fort Garry, and then across the great prairies on
horseback, fifty and sixty miles a day. He crossed the
South Saskatchewan at Batoche, and the North Saskatchewan at Carlton, calling at Fort Pitt, and finally
arrived at Whitefish Lake, where the Rev. Henry B.
Steinhauer was in charge of the mission at that point. 126
Though dangers lay on every hand from the hostile
Blackfeet, who were at war with the Crees, the missionary and his son John seized every opportunity of
preaching the Gospel at the Hudson's Bay Company's
posts, at the half-breed camps, and among the Indian
lodges which they passed on the trail, on their long
journey. In after years the fruit of these visits was seen
in men and women won from the paths of sin. So great
was the call, and so deeply impressed was the missionary
with the vast opportunities for service, and the hidden
possibilities, which he saw with prophetic vision, in the
western provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta, that he
selected a site for a new mission at Victoria, now called
Pakan, after the famous Cree chief. Leaving Thomas
Woolsey and John McDougall to get out the timber and
erect mission buildings, he hastened homeward to Norway
House, a month's journey, determined to bring his family,
and lay foundations under the shadow of the Rocky
Mountains. The following summer found him at his
new post, ready to live or die in contending for the faith.
Victoria lay nine hundred and twenty miles north and
west of Winnipeg, about midway between Fort Pitt and
Edmonton on the Saskatchewan River. On account of
the rich soil, abundance of timber, good pasturage and
splendid climate, besides, being a Hudson's Bay Company's post, where half-breeds and Indians, freighters
and travellers were coming and going, it was an excellent
centre for a mission. Thomas Woolsey had begun a
mission at Smoking Lake, about twenty-five miles north
of Victoria, but the man of wider experience wisely
decided upon the new location, and the site was changed.
Along the North Saskatchewan, the North-west Fur
Company had trading posts as early as 1791, while north- __________
east of Edmonton stood Lac d'Original, and about 1793,
another post named Fort George was built. The
employees of all the trading posts were of French,
English and Scotch extraction, some having come from
the old land, and joined the Company in their youth.
Through marriage with native maidens, there sprang up
the half-breed race, who became the voyageurs and
bourgeois of the west. There were several Roman
Catholic missions located not far from Victoria, the members of which were chiefly French half-breeds. At Lake
Ste. Anne a mission had been established in 1844, by the
Rev. Mr. Thibault, and on the shores of Grand Lac a
mission named St. Albert had been organized by the
Rev. Albert Lacombe in 1861. The site was selected by
Archbishop Tache, and this mission finally became the
See of a Bishopric, the seat of Bishop Grandin. A convent was erected, and the nuns managed efficiently a
large school for the children of the settlement. George
McDougall rejoiced in any efforts for the welfare of the
Indians and half-breeds and the few white settlers in the
country, but the territory was so large, and the natives
so numerous, that he went his own way in striving
especially for the conversion of the red men.
The Hudson's Bay Company's mail packet came to
Victoria once a year, and an occasional budget of letters
was brought by a passing traveller, yet this privation was
not counted a sacrifice for the sake of the cause of Christ.
While the workers at the mission made their own harness,
mended their carts and wagons, and hunted the buffalo
for meat, these were only preliminary to the great work
of civilizing the natives. Strangers passing through the
country, having heard that a mission had been started
on the river near Hairy Bay—the old name for the valley 128
behind the mission house, because it had been a favorite
feeding ground for the buffalo—came out of their way
to see what was taking place, and, during their stay of two
or three days, heard the 'Gospel message and went forth
to live better lives in the wilds of the north. Ever anxious
for greater conquests, John McDougall and Oliver Gowler
were sent to start a mission at Pigeon Lake, as the Wood
Crees and Wood Stonies were without a missionary.
Thomas Woolsey had been designated for that post, but
no site had been chosen. An excellent location was made
by these two men, where in three days they cut enough
timber for two houses, and over a new trail they sped
homeward, making eighty miles in one day by dog-train.
This mission, subsequently named Woodville, after the
Rev. Dr. Enoch Wood, became a centre of influence for
many years, and souls were won for God.
The condition of the Wood and Mountain Stonies, as
well as their courage and ability, touched the heart of
George McDougall, and when about forty lodges of the
former came from the north in the winter of 1864, and
camped for a couple of days at Victoria, on their way to
hunt the buffalo, the missionary seized the opportunity of
telling them the story of the Cross. These Wood Stonies
were known as Wood-hunters, as they hunted the moose,
elk, deer and bear in the wooded country north of the
Saskatchewan, which was their home, and also to distinguish them from the Mountain Stonies, whose habitat
was on the plains, and in the mountains farther south;
still they were bands of the same tribe, speaking the same
language with slight dialectical differences. They were
inveterate gamblers and polygamists, yet were possessed
of some sterling qualities, for when they had been absent
a month hunting the buffalo, they sent   word   to   the GEORGE McDOUGALL
missionary to come for provisions. After a journey of
seventy-five miles, they were found camped near Birch
Lake, and they gave McDougall four splendid loads of
dried meat and grease.
When John McDougall returned from Fort Garry that
winter with supplies for the missions, he learned that his
father, with Henry B. Steinhauer and Peter Erasmus,
had gone on a long trip to the Mountain Stonies, who
were strongly attached to the missionaries ever since
Rundle and Woolsey had visited their camps and preached
to them. Abundant success had already attended the
efforts made to win the natives to the Christian faith,
many of them having discarded polygamy and pagan
customs, and having become devoted followers of Christ.
Mission premises were erected at Victoria, Whitefish
Lake and Pigeon Lake; schools were in operation; the
sick were brought from the mountains and plains for
treatment; others relying upon the wisdom, justice and
love of their teachers sought advice on domestic and camp
difficulties. Six class meetings were regularly held at
Victoria, and peace reigned at all the missions. Among
the notable men who were soundly converted were
Maskepetoon, the famous Cree chief, and Little Squirrel,
a Cree chief and noted medicine man, who had long
struggled before he lost faith in his incantations, but,
when the decisive hour arrived, he and one of his sons
were the first and only members of his tribe to come
forward and be baptized.
The rapid decrease of the buffalo brought much destitution among the Indians in the winter of 1867-8, and the
cause was attributed to the presence of the white people;
and then, the energy and good judgment of George McDougall and his son John became manifest as well as the 130
confidence reposed in them by the natives and the Government. They travelled far and wide among the camps,
allaying the fears of their dusky friends, and letters were
written to the Governor, asking that treaties and a peaceful settlement be made with the tribes. No sooner had
he accomplished his purpose, than George McDougall
hurried off to Ontario, and by his thrilling addresses
aroused the people to the great possibilities of the lone
land, and the need of men and money to carry on the
work. So successful was he on this important visit, that
he returned with a band of missionaries to undertake new
conquests for the truth. It was then that George Young
came to found missions for the white settlers at Fort
Garry and vicinity; Egerton R. Young went forth to
Norway House; Peter Campbell travelled to the Saskatchewan country to preach to the half-breeds and
Indians, and Ira Snyder and his brother to teach in the
Indian schools. A large meteorite lay on the plains, an
object of superstitious reverence and worship to the
Indians. As of some scientific value, and to lead the
natives to a higher faith, George McDougall had it
removed, and sent to Victoria University. Though the
calamities predicted by the medicine men, which would
follow its transportation, seemed to befall the plain tribes,
ultimately, they discovered a better way of life than
implicit trust in the> iron stone.
With the outbreak of the Riel Rebellion at Red River,
and the widespread dissatisfaction among the Crees
and Blackfeet in the Saskatchewan country, George
McDougall hastened to Fort Garry to secure supplies for
the missions, and to obtain military protection for the
white people in the far west. He offered to be one of
twenty men to surprise the rebels and take Fort Garry; GEORGE McDOUGALL
but there was no time to lose in parleys, as his presence
was required at home. In his own wide district, he and
his son incessantly visited the native camps. Meetings
of the white settlers were held at Edmonton. Letters
were written to Governor McDougall, urging that Commissioners be sent to treat with the Indians. He also
advised that no surveyors nor any white men be allowed
to enter the country, as there were many rough characters
already in the west who hated the name of English, and
who were ready to repeat Riel's experiment.
Before peace had been permanently restored, smallpox
broke out in the native camps, and in the half-breed and
white settlements, and thousands of the people died.
The missionaries were compelled to isolate themselves,
enemies cast infected garments on the white man's trail
and no communication could be carried on. At the
mission house at Victoria, Flora and Georgina McDougall,
aged eleven and eighteen years, and Anna, an adopted
daughter, aged fourteen, died, and were buried by the
stricken father. Peter Campbell, Henry B. Steinhauer
and John McDougall removed their people from the
scene of the plague and were saved. When John returned
home, and stood at the garden fence, he was informed of
the death of his beloved sisters, and warned not to enter
the house till all danger had passed.
In the spring of 1871, George McDougall removed to
Edmonton, and laid the foundation of a permanent
mission. He built a mission house and stable, costing
over twelve hundred dollars, which were completed in
December of that year. Rundle had begun the mission
in 1840, and was followed by Woolsey and McDougall,
but these were the first buildings to be erected. As the
central depot of the Hudson's Bay Company  for the 132
north, situated in the heart of a large agricultural country
on the bank of the Saskatchewan River, and with great
possibilities of development, the site chosen was excellent, as its later growth has revealed, being now the
capital of the Province of Alberta.
The Mountain Stonies had frequently importuned
George McDougall to found a permanent mission for
them. They had suggested the valley of the Bow River as a
suitable location, on account of its fertility, salubrious climate, water privileges, abundance of timber and pasturage,
and beautiful scenery among the foothills, with the mountain sentinels crowned with eternal snow looking down
upon them. Still bent on making new and permanent
mission centres, he explored the district, accompanied by a
single native, and decided upon a spot a few miles east of
what is now Morley Mission, so named after the Rev. Dr.
Wm. Morley Punshon. Having accomplished this
important task, he started across the plains for Fort
Garry to attend the first Methodist Missionary Conference ever held in the west, which assembled in Grace
Church, on the morning of July 26th, 1872. During its
sessions John McDougall was ordained and the mission
to the Stonies on Bow River was endorsed. Some of the
missionaries had been on the way twenty days, and one
of them twenty-five, in order to attend the Conference;
and the men from the western prairies camped on the
outskirts of the embryo city, in preference to staying in
the homes of the people.
With the close of the Conference and business affairs,
the missionary started across the plains on August 2nd,
and on the same day, the San ford Fleming Expedition
started on its westward trip, with Principal Grant as
secretary.   He has given a splendid description of the GEORGE McDOUGALL
country in his notable volume, " Ocean to Ocean," while
Professor Macoun, the botanist, has given the results of
his explorations in a large book. George McDougall,
with his Cree servant Souzie, travelled with the party.
The missionary acted as spiritual adviser and preacher,
till one day Souzie discovered Dr. Grant praying in secret.
Having informed his master, the learned Principal was
compelled to take his share in the religious exercises
during the rest of the journey.
In the following spring the Rev. Dr. Lachlan Taylor
visited the missions on Lake Winnipeg, with John
McDougall as guide, and with George McDougall inspected the missions in the Saskatchewan district. He
then turned southward for Missouri, spending a night
among the whiskey traders at Fort Whoop-Up, embarking at Fort Benton for home.
In November, 1873, the new mission to the Mountain
Stonies at Morley was begun in earnest by the erection
of premises, and John McDougall with his wife and three
children and about seven hundred Indians settled there.
During the following summer, George McDougall visited
Victoria, Athabaska and Morley, and then started with
his wife for Ontario, she not having been home for
fourteen years. Ever alert on schemes for the welfare
of the Indians, before leaving for the east he called a
meeting in conjunction with Chief Factor Christie, at
which a petition was prepared, asking the Government,
as he had done two years previous, to suppress the liquor
traffic in the country, and to send a military force to
establish law and order. This action culminated in the
Mounted Police being sent out the following year, the
Dominion Parliament having passed an Act to establish
a military force for the North-west. 134
The autumn and winter were spent in addressing meetings in the interest of missions in Ontario, Quebec and
the Maritime Provinces. In the following spring, on
invitation of the missionary authorities, he visited England and Scotland, where great enthusiasm was awakened
by his thrilling story of life among the Indians, and the
vastness of the almost unknown land. In July, 1875, he
left Toronto for his home at the foot of the Rocky
Mountains, accompanied by the Rev. Dr. Enoch Wood,
Rev. Henry M. Manning and school teachers for the
Indians. On arrival at Winnipeg, he learned that troubles
were brooding among the native tribes, owing to the
presence of parties constructing a telegraph line, Canadian
Pacific Railroad surveyors, and a party belonging to the
Geological Survey. Lieutenant-Governor Morris, being
authorized by the Dominion Government, requested him
to visit the native tribes so as to allay their fears, and
though anxious to reach home, he sent on the mission
party in charge of his son David across the plains, and
with his wife, spent the summer visiting the native camps,
comprising four thousand, nine hundred and seventy-six
persons. His mission was abundantly successful, the
only trouble apparent being the rebellious attitude of Big
Bear, a Salteaux, who tried to take an important part in
the native council, but was overborne by the Cree
chiefs. In his report to the Lieutenant-Governor, George
McDougall stated that the Crees were pleased to receive
their presents, and believed that the Government would
deal justly with them, and they would remain loyal; that
Big Bear and his small party of Salteaux were shrewd
men, but the mischief makers in the western country;
that the Crees wanted the * prohibition of intoxicating
liquor, and a law against the use of poison for destroying george mcdougall
animals on the prairies; that a law should be made
punishing Indians, half-breeds and whites, who set fire to
the forest or prairie, and finally that chief ships should be
established by the Government, in order that the best men
of the tribes should be chosen to guide them. His keen
insight, firmness and good judgment were shown in bringing peace, so that the surveyors were unmolested, settlers
were able to locate in the country, the way was opened
for treaties with the tribes, and even Big Bear, who
caused so much trouble during the second Riel Rebellion
in 1885, was shorn of his strength. The whole Dominion
became indebted to this intrepid, unselfish and patriotic
missionary, for the splendid service performed on this
important mission. It was one of great political influence,
saving the country a large outlay in the preservation of
peace, as the sparks of rebellion and seeds of discord
were brought to nothing through wise counsels and
strong faith.
There was a short period of rest at Morley, and the
project of a mission to the Blackfeet was undertaken.
The missionary authorities sanctioned the scheme, and
the Methodist Sunday School of Charlottetown, Prince
Edward Island, promised one thousand dollars a year
toward its support. A beautiful location was selected by
George McDougall and his son John, at Pincher Creek,
thirty miles west of Macleod, and was named the Playground Mission, after the legend of Napioa, the Old Man
of the Mountains, on whose playground the mission was
located. It was too late in the year to begin operations,
and the intention was to erect buildings in the spring.
But the death of the missionary delayed the project. Not
until the summer of 1880, was the mission to the Blackfeet begun, when the writer and his wife went among the
10 136
Blood Indians.   Macleod was the centre for the first year,
and afterward it was on the Blood Indian Reserve.
After a trip to High River and vicinity late in December, visiting the Indian camps, the missionary brought
word that the buffalo were moving westward. In January,
1876, a hunting party was organized to secure buffalo
meat, consisting of George McDougall, his son John, and
nephew' Moses, who was only a boy, and had been in the
country but five months, and an Indian and his twelve-
year-old son. On Monday, January 24th, the party was
about eight or ten miles from Calgary, and distant from
Morley about thirty miles. They had killed six animals,
and darkness came on before the meat was dressed and
put on the sleds. The camp lay eight miles distant, and
the party travelled along, father and son conversing till
within two miles of the lodge, where Moses had been left
in charge. The missionary then suggested that he would
go ahead, and have supper ready when the others
arrived. Pointing to a star, he remarked to his son,
" That bright star there is over our camp, is it not ?" and
the answer being in the affirmative, he rode away, and
never again was seen alive. On the thirteenth day after
he parted with his son, his frozen body was discovered
not far from the camp which he had vainly sought, by a
half-breed, and brought to his lodge, and a native woman
reverently placed her shawl over the remains. Five years
afterward, Jim Howse, a half-breed, informed the writer
that he saw the missionary walking through the snow,
leading his horse, during the heavy storm that raged,
seeking the camp, but did not know that he was lost.
The sainted hero was buried at Morley. The sad news
was borne far and wide among the Indian camps, while
from the Atlantic to the Pacific, there were stricken GEORGE McDOUGALL
hearts, for a brave man fallen in the faithful discharge of
duty. An appropriate monument stands in the Morley
burial ground, where some of the Stoney Indians are
buried, and a plain memorial tablet of white marble set
on black slate, having a suitable inscription in Cree and
English, has been placed in the McDougall Memorial
Church, Edmonton. But better far and more enduring
than monument of marble, are the hosts of red men won
from paganism, the social movements, the laws enacted,
the settlement of the west, the loyalty of the people, which
received their impetus from his wide vision and commanding influence during the years spent in the north
and west. Men of different creeds and politics have been
unanimous in their testimony to the catholicity of his
spirit, unflinching courage, daring unselfishness, and
Principal Grant spoke of him as " one of our simple
great ones." He' was full of ready resources, thoroughly
acquainted with the country, and an obliging fellow-
traveller. Lieutenant-Governor Laird employed him to
carry a message to the Indian tribes, and, in referring to
him, said that he was one of the most devoted and intelligent advisers the Indians ever had. Dr. Leonard Gaetz
in a public address said: "Whatever we may say or
leave unsaid, the name of George McDougall will be
written among the few immortal names. That name is so
deeply engraven upon the history of the North-west, and
upon the hearts of its aboriginal races, that the pen of the
historian will haste to do it honor, and even the untutored
Indian will hand down to his posterity the memory of an
honest official, a zealous peacemaker, an unselfish friend,
and above all, an heroic minister of Jesus Christ." 138
Dr. Enoch Wood wrote, that " McDougall was devoted
to his work, possessed of strong love for souls, absorbed
in the welfare of the Indians, most unselfish, noble and
generous, bold and unflinchingly courageous, had great
powers of endurance, was firm in his friendships, graphic
in his written descriptions, and very eloquent upon the
platform. He was zealous and enterprising in enlarging
the work, and his plans were generally marked by practical good sense. The officials of the Hudson's Bay
Company had unlimited confidence in him, and deservedly
Katherine Hughes in her " Life of Father Lacombe "
says of George McDougall that he " was a man to whose
useful life and fine character Father Lacombe testifies in
fraternal charity."
His work abides, unseen by mortal vision. With the
passing years, the spiritual forces set in motion have
changed thousands of lives, making them richer with a
fulness of blessing from the Cross, while men and women
have crossed the great divide and have found eternal
peace in the land of the blessed.  M   <& #\U%
&y*x -%
.Pk i<r<-^';#
rsi rJH/?*
Missionaries of the Red River District, Toronto Conference,
1876, the Rev. George Young, D.D., Chairman
The ^District extended from Winnipeg north to Norway House and west
to Saskatchewan. Twelve churches, three parsonages, and about
3,200 total attendance at worship is the Conference record of 1878. CHAPTER IX
The Eari_y Days at Fort Garry
IN the building of a nation religion has always borne an
important part, and been a leading factor in moulding
the individual and national character of the people,
stimulating literature, purifying social customs, organizing
public institutions and fashioning political ideals. In
snatches of old songs or the stones of a forgotten cairn,
there abide broken fragments of an early faith; the ruins
of abbeys and monasteries speak of spiritual instincts;
and the lingering legends and traditions of our fathers
are memorials of religion, which made sturdy men who
learned to live and die for sons and daughters yet unborn.
The natives of western Canada, though designated barbarians and pagans by civilized folks, had their own
forms of religion, but the vast expanse of forest, lake and
prairie, and the nomadic habits of the people prevented
them from erecting permanent buildings for sacred uses.
Yet they were not alone in this neglect of solid tabernacles,
as after the Hudson's Bay Company had been in existence
for a century and a half, there were neither churches nor
schools in the North-west. Governor Semple wrote in
1815: " I have trodden the burnt ruins of houses, barns,
a mill, a fort, and sharpened stockades, but none of a
place of worship, save on the smallest scale. I blush to
say that throughout the whole of the Hudson's Bay
territories no such building exists."   When George Young
[139] **^_*_*_**_
arrived in Winnipeg there was no religious sanctuary
in the village, and except the small churches of the
Anglicans and Presbyterians now included in the northern
part of the city, and of the Roman Catholics in St. Boniface, and a stray edifice here and there, the wide expanse
of prairie stretching from Lake Superior to the Rocky
Mountains was without any evidences of religious sentiment in buildings set apart to sacred uses.
George Young, the pioneer missionary to the white
settlers in the west, born December 31, 1821, was of
United Empire Loyalist stock, and with his mother, a
widow at nineteen years of age, spent his early boyhood
with his grandparents on a farm. He was educated at
the Grammar School, Picton, Ontario. During the
Mackenzie Rebellion in 1837, he enlisted, and served his
country. Three years later he was converted, and in
1842 he entered the ministry, serving faithfully as a good
soldier of Jesus Christ for the long period of fifty years.
While George Young was ministering to the important
congregation in Richmond Street Church, Toronto,
George McDougall was arousing the people on behalf of
the Indian missions, imparting information about the
fertile prairies of the west, stirring up their patriotism
and heroic virtues, and making a strong appeal for a
missionary to labor among the white settlers who were
beginning to come into the country. In response to this
appeal Egerton R. Young and Peter Campbell were
secured as missionaries to the Indians, the two Snyder
brothers as teachers, and George Young volunteered to go
to Fort Garry as the first Methodist missionary to the
white people in the west. Conditions on the Red River
were not inviting from the standpoint of material comforts
and advancement, but the field was large, wayward souls GEORGE YOUNG
were in need of inspiration and guidance, and the vision
of a new empire was sufficient for a prophet of modern
times. This man of quiet determination, whose abilities
in statesmanship would have placed him in the front rank
in the realm of politics, accepted the challenge of the
Cross, and went forth to lay foundations greater than he
The party left Toronto on May 9, 1868, travelling by
rail and steamboat, without adventure, to St. Paul, and
then by Red River carts across a stretch of prairie more
than six hundred miles to Fort Garry, consuming a month
of time on the way. Crossing the Assiniboine River by
ferry on July 4th, they found a scattered village with a
population of one hundred people, streets without a sidewalk, where the unwary pedestrian encountered the greasy
mud, an abiding memory of pioneer days, and not a
church nor school. Yet, the precursor of civilization was
present in " Dutch George's " little tavern, and a few small
stores with poor goods at high prices. Two years later
some progress had been made, as the town then consisted
of about forty houses of every shape and size lining the
Stone Fort trail for about half a mile, and situated about
half a mile north of Fort Garry. Colonel Steele, writing
of his arrival with Wolseley's troops for the suppression
of the Riel Rebellion, in his interesting volume says: "The
first house from the fort was that of the Rev. Dr. Young,
the truly Christian pastor of the little Methodist Church.
There was one fairly good hotel kept by a Mr. Davis,
who was later on, premier of the new Province of Manitoba. There were nine stores, three chemist shops, one
saddlery, one hardware store, and of course, several
saloons, with such names as i Hell's Gate/ j The Red
Saloon/ etc." 142
Winnipeg is a city of dismantled forts, whose history
covers a period of a hundred and seventy years, Fort
Rouge being built by Verandrye in 1738. The proud
name of Fort Gibraltar was given to a fort erected in
1806, and destroyed in 1816. When the Hudson's Bay
and North-west Companies were amalgamated, it was
rebuilt, and named Fort Garry af ter Nicholas Garry, the
deputy governor of the new company, the former name
of the fort being the North-west Company's name. It
was rebuilt in 1835, by Chief Factor Christie, who also
built the Lower Stone Fort near Selkirk. The stone
gateway on Main Street is all that remains of the fort,
while Fort Douglas, commemorating the family name of
the Earl of Selkirk, situated at the base of Point Douglas,
has passed out of existence. This was known in the early
days as the Selkirk Fort and the Colony Fort, for while
the Hudson's Bay Company had a fort alongside Fort
Gibraltar, Fort Douglas was the colonist's fort.
The old fur days were passing and a new era was
dawning; with the confederation of the provinces in 1867,
and with the transfer of the North-west Territory to the
Dominion, the regime of the Hudson's Bay Company
was closing. The invitation of the west as a great opportunity for settlement was sufficient to awaken an interest
in the country, and to induce men of courage and faith
to make the adventure as pioneers of the farmers, who
were destined to reveal the possibilities of the soil and
climate, and to lay the foundations of the vast granary of
the empire.
On the first Sunday spent in the camp, which was
pitched near Colony Creek, west of the present Young
Church in the city of Winnipeg, George Young and
George McDougall organized the first Methodist Sunday GEORGE YOUNG
School, outside of those belonging to the Indian missions,
lying between the great lakes and the Rocky Mountains.
There was an attendance of five persons, and the service
was held in the Cree and English languages. Dr. Young
became the first Superintendent, and held that position
for six years. From that beginning, such has been the
growth, that there are now over eight thousand scholars,
with more than eight hundred teachers and officers in
the Methodist Sunday Schools in the city, twenty-one
churches, two institutes for foreigners, a Deaconess Home,
and Wesley College; while, all over the prairies, and
away in the far north, there are thousands of churches
and Sunday Schools, with numerous institutions of learning ministered unto by a large body of devoted men and
Clad in the prophet's mantle, and with an undying zeal
for the spiritual welfare of the straggling settlers, the
pioneer missionary sped over the plains, establishing
centres of religious influence at Sturgeon Creek, Head-
ingly, Gowler's, now called Setter's, High Bluff and
Portage la Prairie. William Gowler had come to the
country in the service of the Hudson's Bay Company,
and when his term was finished, settled a few miles west
of Fort Garry, and in 1864, he had the largest farm in
the Red River Settlement. Having been a Wesleyan Methodist in the old land, and having been! visited by Thomas
Woolsey, George McDougall, and his son John, he was
ready to open his house to George Young. In the year
following this visit, there was a blessed revival under the
direction of the Rev. Matthew Robison, and a church
was erected. It is now known as Setter's Appointment,
the Setter men being grandsons of Mr. Gowler. At High
Bluff, the first class-meeting in the west was organized, 144
a church was erected, and a pulpit Bible bearing the date,
" Winnipeg, Dec. 2nd, 1871," which is still in use, was
donated by George Young.
Long before these times, there had been missionary
efforts in the Red River Settlement. When La Verandrye came in 1731, Father Messager, a French Canadian
priest, accompanied him, but no permanent mission was.
established, and in 1818, Fathers Provencher and
Dumoulin arrived, and founded St. Boniface Mission.
Four years later Father Provencher was made a Bishop,
as auxiliary to the Bishop of Quebec. In 1844 the Northwest was made into an independent See, and twenty-
five years later it was erected into an Archbishopric. The
Roman Catholics were almost entirely French half-breeds,
there being a few settlers of pure French extraction,
and the rest were composed of various nationalities. In
1865 there were between 5,000 and 6,000 Roman Catholics
in the Settlement, very slightly outnumbering the
The first Anglican missionary, the Rev. John West,
came in 1820, as chaplain of the Hudson's Bay Company
and missionary of the Church Missionary Society. The
Company gave him several hundred acres of land about
two miles north of Fort Garry, where he built a small
church and school, which have grown into St. John's
Cathedral and St. John's College. Remaining three years
in the country, striving to evangelize the Indians and
minister to the Company's officers and servants and to the
English and Scotch settlers, he laid the foundations of
the Anglican denomination in the west.
The Methodist missionaries found their way to the
embryo city as they passed to and from the Indian
missions.   James Evans, pioneer missionary genius, and
great traveller, whose parish extended from Lake Superior to the Rocky Mountains, and from the International
Boundary to the Arctic Circle, gave a passing glance at
Fort Garry in 1841; Thomas Woolsey and Henry B.
Steinhauer spent a few days there in 1855 as guests of the
Rev. Dr. Black, as they were on their way to Edmonton;
and George and John McDougall made frequent journeys
from Norway House and Edmonton to obtain supplies
at the fort; but there were no attempts made toward
giving religious services to the settlers by the Red River.
For thirty years the Scotch settlers, who were Presbyterians, attended the Anglican Church till the Rev. John
Black arrived in 1851, when they united in founding the
first congregation of Presbyterians in the west, situated
at Kildonan, two miles north of Winnipeg. The hardy
natives of Rupert's Land, sprung from the loins of the
old Selkirk Selkirks, have remained loyal to the faith of
their fathers, and have left the impress of their devotion
in churches and institutions, and upon the political, social,
industrial and religious life of the north and west.
Several winters of destitution followed the advent of
the grasshoppers, which came in swarms in 1865, and
continued coming and going until 1875, destroying the
gardens and farm crops; and so vast were the numbers
of these aliens, that a gang of men with wheelbarrows
was employed to carry the heaps of dead locusts from
the stone walls of Fort Garry to the Assiniboine River,
as a protection against disease. In the winter of 1868
the buffalo hunt was a failure, and George Young became
a member of a relief committee to make a tour of investigation of conditions. It was shown that over 3,000
persons were in great need. The people eked out a bare
living on rabbits and jack fish, and the freighters brought
I* 146
in provisions at half-rates. To help the relief committee
in their distribution of flour and other necessaries, the
Methodist missionary made an appeal to friends in
Ontario, and money and goods were abundantly supplied
to assist the needy folk. Undaunted by the sad experiences of the settlers in the country, he began preparations
for the building of a church and parsonage, but, being
delayed in his efforts through the Rebellion, he threw
himself with characteristic loyalty and energy into the
fray, and into missionary work over a circuit one hundred
miles long. Snatches from his diary in February, 1869,
of one week's work, will show the stamp of the man,
worthy to follow the great itinerant John Wesley. On
the last Sabbath of January, he conducted two Sabbath
Schools, held a class-meeting and a prayer meeting,
preached three sermons on different texts to good congregations, travelled ten miles, and wrapping himself in
his buffalo robes, lay down on some hay in the corner
of a settler's home and enjoyed the sleep of the just.
Rose on Monday at five o'clock, travelled forty miles
amid intensely cold weather, preached to a full congregation gathered on two hours' notice, of which he says:
" In all my travels I have not seen a congregation who
seemed to drink in the Word as those do who compose this
one. Surely the Lord will shortly pour upon them the
Spirit of His grace!" On Tuesday he drove eight miles
and preached at High Bluff, where in the previous
October a class-meeting had been formed, which met
regularly every Sabbath, and blessed results followed in
conversions. On Wednesday he drove to the White Mud
River, in the vicinity of Gladstone, a distance of twenty-
seven miles without stopping, preached at six o'clock to
a small company, and spent the evening visiting from GEORGE YOUNG
house to house. One poor man said to him, "We are
thankful to you for coming among us, as we can understand you well, and if I had money enough I would never
let you go away." At nine o'clock next morning there
was another sermon, the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper
was dispensed to a few aged people, a babe baptized, and
he drove back twenty-seven miles to High Bluff. On
Friday he was visiting the district, and preached at a
new appointment in the evening. An aged man who had
been brought up among the Indians until nearly twenty
years of age, and who had been his guide through the
woods, was so eager to hear the Gospel that he travelled
sixty miles, following the preacher from place to place
and listening to five sermons. On Saturday night the
missionary lectured on temperance, when over twenty
signed the pledge. On Sunday, he held a class-meeting
at nine o'clock, preached at ten, drove eight miles and
preached at one o'clock, drove fifteen miles, visiting a
sick woman by the way, preached to a crowd at five
o'clock, received three members on trial, formed a class,
and went on after eight o'clock to stay with a settler,
making twenty-five miles for the day. On Monday he
rose at half-past four, drove forty miles, stayed over night
at Headingly, and arrived at Winnipeg next day at noon.
Over the trails in the depth of winter, with a passion for
souls, this dauntless hero of the plains sped from day to
day, sustained by the joy of winning souls for Christ,
and many found peace as he delivered his message of
salvation through the Cross.
In the autumn of 1869, there were mutterings of
discontent among the French-speaking population, at the
steps being taken for the transfer of the " Hudson's Bay
Territory," including the Province of Assiniboia, to the 148
Dominion, and the establishment of a local government.
Though a large petition had been sent to the Canadian
Parliament in 1857 for this purpose, the agitators blamed
the Hudson's Bay Company and the Imperial and Dominion Governments for conspiring to inflict wrongs upon
them, without their being consulted. The presence of
surveyors staking out the land, the reports that they were
to be deprived of their title deeds, and the exultation of
some of the English-speaking settlers, who were indiscreet
and insolent toward their French neighbors, by whom
they were outnumbered, increased the excitement. This
disturbance culminated in Louis Riel, as the spokesman
of the discontented party, seizing the reins of government,
declaring rebellion by the organization of a military force,
and taking possession of Fort Garry. Lieutenant-
Governor McDougall was debarred from entering the
province, loyal citizens were imprisoned in Fort Garry
and their lives threatened, and despite the efforts of
Archbishop Tache, Archbishop Machray, Archdeacon
McLean, Lord Strathcona, George Young and other
leaders, Riel committed the terrible mistake of executing
a loyal subject, Thomas Scott. Although George Young
was an intense and active loyalist when some of the
English settlers were content to remain neutral, so great?
was his influence with Riel, that permission was granted
to him to visit the prisoners every day and pray with
them. It was he who ministered to Scott in his last hours,
and stood by the coffin when he was shot. His request
for the body was refused by Riel, and though it is generally believed that it was thrust under the ice of the
Assiniboine River, there are some who confidently assert
that it was buried in the district of Fort Rouge. Major
Boulton   in   his   "Reminiscences   of   the   North-west GEORGE YOUNG
Rebellion," says: "To the Bishop of Rupert's Land,
Judge Black, Mr. Donald A. Smith (Lord Strathcona),
Archdeacon McLean, and the Rev. Mr. Young, is chiefly
due the salvation of the Settlement through the winter
by the prudence of their policy and the influence of their
With the arrival of General Wolseley and the troops at
Point Douglas on August 24th, 1870, Riel and the rebels
fled, and the rebellion was practically over without firing
a single shot. When the news came to Rev. George
Young that the troops had landed and were marching
toward Fort Garry, he hung on his bell-tower a strip of
cotton, which he had prepared in anticipation of the
event, bearing the word " Welcome." Then he rang the
bell with great vim, and having finished his doxology,
hastened to meet the brave men who brought relief. The
tones of this Liberty Bell were as sweet that day as the
Bells of St. Boniface, immortalized by Whittier in his
I Red River Voyageur." The bell was donated to Grace
Church by the Sunday School at Oshawa, Ont., and the
trustees having no use for it when they left "Wesley
Hall," gave it to George Young, who loaned it to the
church at Emerson, where it now hangs.
After leaving his camp on the prairie, the first religious
service held by George Young in the Red River Settlement was in a rented room, where he and his wife were
boarding, and his first sermon was in July, 1868, from
the text, " I have a message from God unto thee." A
service was regularly held for the officers and employees
of the Hudson's Bay Company in the small courtroom
at the fort. Greater visions came with the renting of a
house which was being built at the corner of Main Street
and Portage Avenue,  for which he had to make an 150
advance of about eighty dollars for three months' rent,
to help in completing the building. He employed a
plasterer and acted as his assistant by mixing the mortar
and carrying the hod. But even with all this help winter
had set in before the building was finished. After thawing out the frozen walls, he took possession on December
13, 1868, using the upper flat for a parsonage, and the
lower for a place of worship, and in this Wesley Hall
No. 1, he preached on the following day. The congregations increased so rapidly, that a week evening service
and class-meeting were established, and within a year
preparations were begun for the erection of a church and
parsonage. Governor McTavish, who was a good friend
of the missionary, presented to the Governor-in-Council
of the Hudson's Bay Company in London, England, the
application made for a site, which George Young had
selected, and an acre of land was given on the corner of
Main and Water Streets. Oak and poplar logs were
rafted down the river from High Bluff by Messrs.
Norquay and Smith, members of our church there; J. H.
Ashdown, a man of business experience, enthusiastic and
energetic in the new enterprise, worked not only with his
gifts of materials and money, but also with his hands;
on August 17, 1869, Wesley Hall No. 2 was taken
possession of by the family, a class meeting being held
in the lower flat on the same night. On the following
Sunday, the first sermon was preached from the text,
" Hitherto hath the Lord helped us." It was the intention
to build a church and parsonage, but part of the raft of
timber did not arrive in time, and the Rebellion came,
necessitating a change of plans. There was no delay
however, for the missionary, assisted by J. H. Ashdown,
Colonel Kennedy and other friends of the cause, was GEORGE YOUNG
busy collecting materials for the buildings. One can
imagine this man of refinement, an able minister of a
cultured congregation in Toronto before he came west,
hauling the timber from the river with his horse and an
"ingenious use of a pair of very large Red River cart
wheels and axle, with a strong pole and rope"; also,
getting out stone, as he writes under date of May 24,
1870: " Hired a half-breed to help me in quarrying stone;
drove out six miles; hot day, mosquitoes very troublesome; tired from heavy lifting; a fine lot ready for being
drawn." The new building, thirty by fifty feet, was a
credit to the town, and declared to be the neatest church
north of St. Paul. It had stained glass windows donated
by several Sunday Schools in Ontario and Quebec. These
were subsequently given to Wesley Church in the city,
where they still remain in a dilapidated condition in the
building on the corner of Sherbrooke Street and Ross
Avenue, now used as a blacksmith shop. The graining
of the doors of the church, with the name on the gable,
was done in an artistic fashion by Colonel Kennedy.
While the friends were hesitating between " Zion " and
"Wesley" as a name for the church, George Young
gave his decision in favor of "Grace," as there "was
so much of grace, both divine and human, in the disposing
and enabling of so many to aid us in our desire to arise
and build." Archbishop Machray was to have preached
the opening sermon on Sunday, September 17, 1871, but
he being called to England, George Young himself officiated, the first sermon being from the text, " The
exceeding riches of his grace." He preached again in
the evening, the Rev. M. Robison, his assistant, preaching
in the afternoon.    Owing to an epidemic of the Red
River fever, the concert and social was postponed till
11 1'52
December 6th. It was so successful that, with the subscriptions collected by the minister, with the assistance
of J. H. Ashdown, Colonel Kennedy and others, over
two thousand dollars were raised.
The first Grace Church became too small for the
growing population, and Wesley Hall No. 3 was built
during the pastorate of Rev. Dr. Rice, in 1.881. It was
known as Wesley Hall Block, being erected on the site
of the old parsonage at Wesley Street, and the Industrial
Bureau. The consummation came in the second and
present Grace Church, when the Rev. Dr. E. A. Stafford
was minister, the dedication taking place on September
30, 1883, the sermon being preached and the dedication
service conducted by George Young. The mother church
of the west has been outgrown by others during the last
C_» J ^^j
half century, yet it was fitting that the Jubilee of Western
Methodism among the white settlers was held in Grace
Church in June, 1918.
Great events were taking place making history, and
causing a passing stir in the community. The abortive
Fenian Raid in the Fall of 1871 led by O'Neil, O'Donohue
and others, abetted by Riel and some of his compatriots,
who came from the United States, and in the name of the
Provisional Government of Red River, seized the Hudson's Bay Company's fort at Pembina, was quickly
suppressed through the influence of Consul Taylor, who
commttnicated with Washington, and American troops
dispelled the rebels. George Young went south with two
hundred men from Winnipeg, but returned after a five
days' campafign without seeing a Fenian. On their return
the gallant company halted before the parsonage, and
gave three cheers for their worthy chaplain. Telegraphic
communication was established with the outside, the first GEORGE YOUNG
messages sent and received being on November 20, 1871.
A few months later came a telegram from Toronto
summoning all the Methodist missionaries to meet a
missionary deputation, and on July 26, 1872, the First
Conference was opened in the first Grace Church. The
deputation comprised Dr. Morley Punshon, Dr. Enoch
Wood, Missionary Secretary, and John Macdonald,
Treasurer of the Society. The missionaries came from
the west as far as Edmonton, and from Norway House,
some of them travelling twenty and twenty-five days.
Morley Punshon charmed and instructed the citizens with
his lectures, John McDougall was ordained on the Sabbath, plans were laid for an extension of operations and
an increase in missionaries. An Indian from Norway
House was so delighted as he saw the sun flashing on
the stained glass windows of the church, that he
exclaimed, " Sagastao! The Sunrise—I am going to
heaven.   I hope it will be as beautiful as this."
Prophecy and reality were united in the Sanford
Fleming Expedition, making explorations in that year for
a route for a transcontinental railroad, which culminated
in the building of the Canadian Pacific Railroad. Principal Grant of Queen's University was the secretary of
the party, and his interesting volume " Ocean to Ocean "
gives an admirable account of the memorable trip from
Winnipeg to Vancouver. Walter Moberly, the great
explorer, had gone through the Selkirk Range in 1865,
and discovered the Kicking Horse, Eagle, and Roger's
Passes; and when Sir Sanford Fleming was on the point
of deciding upon the Yellowhead Pass as the most
-feasible route, it was he who recommended Major Rogers
to go to the south-east fork of the Illecilleweat River,
hence the Roger's Pass.    It was Moberley who chose 154
Burrard Inlet for the western terminal of the railroad,
and the shores of the Inlet for the site of the future
city of Vancouver. Among these changes was the growing influence of the press: " The Norwester," founded in
1859; the "Newsletter," and Riel's organ "The New
Nation " published during the Rebellion; " The Mani-
toban" and the " Manitoba Liberal," all issued from
Winnipeg at different periods, until " The Manitoba Free
Press " was published in 1872, which has remained until
the present day. The " Metis," a French newspaper, is
also still in existence.
As evidence of the development in the west, a Lew
items of about twelve years, from 1872 to 1880, taken at
random, will mark the growth. Buffalo robes could be
bought in Winnipeg in 1872 for two dollars and a half
each; in the summer of 1874 twenty-four days were consumed in travel by the members of the Little Saskatchewan Colony between Port Arthur and Winnipeg; in
1875, traders came in from the plains, buffalo hides were
sold at $1.50 and $2.00 each, and pemmican was reported
scarce; the road between the city and Kildonan was in a
rascally condition with the proverbial mud; a new
sidewalk was recommended from the Post Office to the
steamboat landing; over one hundred people crossed the
Red River on the mammoth ferry boat to participate in
the fete on St. Jean Baptiste Day in St. Boniface. In
1874, and the following year, there was great distress
on account of the grasshoppers, and the Dominion Government had to make grants of flour, pork, and seed-wheat
to the needy settlers. Yet in these two years the population of the town had nearly doubled, having in 1876
over 5,000 inhabitants. Villages were springing up in
the province, free homesteads being taken up, which in When Winnipeg
began to grow.
Main Street,
Winnipeg as
George Young
first saw it in
1868   \~"
Reading from
the right.
First  School,
Schultz's Warehouse, Hotel,
Club House
1876, amounted to 55,000 acres, and in 1878, to 300,000.
In  1870, there were only sixteen post offices in the
province, yet in 1878, there were fifty-eight; in the former
year there were only sixteen Protestant School Districts
and in the latter, there were one hundred.   In 1879, an
important meeting was held in the city to discuss the
necessity for a bridge over the Red River; in the autumn
a line of railroad reached Winnipeg from the south, and
the population had increased to ten thousand.   The 9th
of October, 1877, ushered in an era of progress with
civic recognition, as the first whistle of a locomotive was
heard in Manitoba, the " Countess of Dufferin " having
been brought on the steamer "Selkirk" to St. Boniface,
where it was used in the construction of the Pembina
Branch.   The first locomotive that steamed into the city,
the I John Haggart," belonging to the John Ryan Company, came across the Red River on rails laid on the ice,
on  December 29th,   1879, and  was employed  in  the
construction of the first one hundred miles of the Canadian  Pacific west of  Winnipeg.   The  "Countess of
Dufferin " now occupies a place of honor in an enclosed
grass plot in front of the Canadian Pacific station in the
city.   In the summer of 1879, between three and four
hundred Indians were in a starving condition in the
vicinity of Fort Ellice.   In the same year the first phonograph was heard in the city;  and also in that year, the
Hudson's Bay Company shipped to New York five thousand pounds of pemmican for the Howgate Arctic Expedition.    In the following summer, the steamer " Marquette" made the round trip from Winnipeg to Fort
Ellice and return in eight days and twenty hours, a distance of two hundred miles between these two points by 156
rail. Stranger than fiction are these records of less than
twenty years in the Province of Manitoba.
In response to a resolution of the first Winnipeg
Conference to send an official to visit the remote missions,
the General Missionary Society sent the Rev. Dr. Lachlan
Taylor, the famous traveller and orator. After nine days'
travel from Toronto, he arrived in Winnipeg on May 14,
^73, where he preached to a congregation of nearly three
hundred on Sabbath morning. Referring to George
Young in the report of his trip, he says: " I was highly
delighted to find that he was regarded by all as a first-class
representative of our body on any and every occasion,
both in the pulpit and on the platform." Concerning the
Rebellion he states that" the firm and manly stand " taken
by George Young "during the dark and perilous days
through which the infant colony passed, when traitors
were in the ascendant . . . has given him a place in the
affections and memories of the people that will not be
forgotten during the present generation."
The missionary was deeply interested in education and,
as there were quite a number of children and no public
school system, he erected at his own cost a small school
on the church lot, and placed a competent lady teacher
in charge. So popular did the school become in a few
months, that a larger building was required. So he went
east, after an absence of six years, and spent two months
in Ontario soliciting funds, with the result that the
Wesleyan Institute was built, and opened on November
3rd, 1873, at a cost of three thousand dollars. This
building still stands in a dilapidated condition, south of
the Industrial Bureau, and is occupied by a taxidermist.
In the year previous, a deputation, consisting of Dr.
Motley Punshon, Dr. Enoch Wood and John Macdonald, GEORGE YOUNG
Esq., waited upon Donald A. Smith (Lord Strathcona)
in Winnipeg, upon the subject of establishing a Methodist College in the city.    He assured them that if the
Church   took   up   the   enterprise,   the   Hudson's   Bay
Company would make a grant of land sufficient for the
purpose.   Accommodation for one hundred students was
provided in the Institute, and in the first month there were
forty on the register.   The Rev. A. Bowerman, M.A., gold
medallist of Victoria University, with a competent staff
of teachers, was appointed, and with good equipment,
efficient work was done.   The Rev. T. E. Morden, B.A.,
came out in 1875, and at the close of that year's session,
the report shows that there were seventy-one students,
including two young men preparing for the University.
Besides the various branches of the Public School and
Collegiate, there were evening classes in German and
shorthand, vocal music was taught, and there was also
a Commercial Department.   Owing to the heavy expense
and the beginning of the Public School System in the
province, the Institute was closed as no longer necessary.
The Rev. A. Bowerman has maintained his interest in
Western education, having recently given ten thousand
dollars for a monument to be placed in the campus of
Saskatchewan  University  at  Saskatoon.    The  Roman
Catholic Church had St. Boniface College, the Anglicans
maintained St. John's   College   and   the   Presbyterians,
Manitoba College, and when the Manitoba Legislature
established the University of Manitoba with these Colleges
in affiliation, a Charter was given to Wesley College,
which was amended in 1886.   The actual work of Wesley
College began in 1888, with the Rev. J. W. Sparling, D.D.,
as Principal, the first year's work being done in the class
rooms of Grace Church.   The corner stone of Wesley 158
College was laid on June 26, 1894, and the building and
land cost over one hundred thousand dollars.
Political changes were making their influence felt in
the community, affecting all classes and putting new life
into the people. On July 15, 1870, the Territories of
Rupert's Land and the North-west were legally transferred by the Hudson's Bay Company to the Dominion.
The town of Fort Garry was incorporated in 1873 and its
name changed to Winnipeg; the Manitoba Legislature
was inaugurated. The regime of the autocratic Sir
George Simpson had passed, and the influence of Donald
A. Smith (Lord Strathcona), David Laird and similar
men of a sturdy, independent type moulded a new nation
with a large vision.
With the advent of the Mounted Police Force in 1874,
the lawlessness of the whiskey-traders in Southern Alberta
came to an end, tribal wars among the Indians passed
away, never to be repeated, and all over the country, peace
and good order prevailed. The departure of the vast
herds of buffalo brought destitution to the natives, but the
Riders of the Plains, and supplies given by the Dominion
Government sustained thousands of the red men, until
they were able to maintain themselves on reservations set
apart for their use. George Young, the intense patriot,
after an interview with Colonel French, accompanied the
Mounted Police as far west as Fort Pelly, preaching to
the men, and exploring the territory so as to found new
missions. After a round trip of nearly seven hundred
miles, and an absence of four weeks, he was again at
work on his home field. The illness of his son, Captain
George H. Young, who was in command of the escort
which took Riel to Regina for trial in 1885, and who has
in his possession the rope that bound Thomas Scott in GEORGE YOUNG
1870 and the handcuffs he used on Riel on his way to
prison after his capture, kept him at home for over two
months. The recovery of his son enabled him to attend
the first General Conference in Toronto, when the union
of the Wesleyan and New Connexion denominations in
Canada took place.
On his return from Ontario, he opened, in December,
1875, a new church at High Bluff. On his arrival home,
he found Rev. E. R. Young with four Indians, four sleds
and sixteen dogs waiting for him, to take him on a journey
of twelve hundred miles by dog-train and five hundred
miles with horses, to visit the Indian missions as far
north as Nelson River, two hundred miles beyond Norway
House. After eight years of pioneer life, he was induced
to return to Ontario in the latter part of May, 1876. Before leaving, an address with a purse of money was
presented to him by Chief Justice Wood, on behalf of
the citizens of Winnipeg, in which was expressed " Our
deep sense of the obligation the citizens of Red River
Settlement are under to you for the patriotic course taken
by you during the troubles of 1869 and '70, in this
country." Another address was presented by Sir John
Schultz, his old friend, in the name of the prisoners during
the Riel Rebellion, in which it speaks of his loyalty in
giving his only son to defend the flag of the country, and
closes with this paragraph: " A meeting of the prisoners
of 1869-70 have accordingly instructed us to express to
you their high appreciation of your conduct as a minister
of the Gospel, and a patriotic man during these trying
times; to tender their thanks for your zealous, kindly,
and sympathizing attention to them while in prison; and
to say to you that, among the many who are now publicly
testifying their appreciation of the services you have
Bin 160
rendered this country, there are none who more deeply
regiset yourudeparture, or who will longer hold you to
grateful remembrance."
During these pioneer days the tide of immigration had
set in, and gentle forces were moulding the west into a
new nation. The Russian Mennonites, who had gone in
thousands from Prussia into Russia in 1788, sent a delegation in 1878, to spy out the land in Manitoba, as the
Russian Government had in 1870 demanded military
service of them, but their religious belief prohibited them
from taking up arms. In the summer of 1874, the first
company, consisting of sixty-five families, comprising
three hundred and eighty persons, arrived and settled in
Southern Manitoba. These were followed at various
times by other contingents, until they now number several
thousands, and many of them have become very wealthy
farmers. A delegation of five Icelanders arrived in
Winnipeg on July 16, 1875, having come from Nova
Scotia, where a small colony had been started a few
months previous, but conditions had not been favorable.
After exploration, they decided upon the western shore
of Lake Winnipeg, where the first Icelanders settled in
October of that year; at Gimli, which in the old Norse
language means | a home of the Gods," and farther north,
the settlements have produced some of the best educated
and most enterprising citizens of the west.
In these movements of new settlers George Young
was deeply interested, but a change was needed for himself, so he wisely decided to hand over the reins of power
to younger men. There were many friends at the steamer
to bid him farewell when he left Winnipeg; a deputation
met him at Toronto to give him a welcome; two important
city churches wished to secure him as their minister: the GEORGE YOUNG
Conference stationed him at Richmond Street Church,
Toronto, the church he had left to go west; he was elected
Chairman of the Toronto District; and in the following
year he was raised to the office of President of Conference. Honors came fast upon him in recognition of
his sterling character and the efficient work done, the
degree of Doctor of Divinity being conferred upon him
by Cornell College, Iowa. In 1879, when his term as
minister of Berkeley Street Church, Toronto, expired,
an urgent call from the west came to the Mission Rooms
for a man to guide the destinies of the numerous immigrants. Again he offered his services and was accepted,
thus commencing a second period of missionary work in
Manitoba. Arriving at Emerson, December 19, 1879, he
found a population of one thousand, an increase of seven
hundred within one year; this was sufficient to inspire
him for renewed efforts to win the country for Christ.
Roughing it was again the missionary's experience. A
church and parsonage of a primitive kind were speedily
erected, missions were established at Dominion City and
West Lynne, and then came the great calamity of his
life, in the death of his wife and one child. For thirty-
two years husband and Wife had labored together, and
the saintly woman of the parsonage endured many hardships without a murmur, counting it an honor to suffer
for Christ. In his loneliness, bowed down with the weight
of so many cares, he requested to be left without an
appointment for one year. This was granted in June,
1882, when he left for Ontario.
In that year there came a repetition of the Red River
floods. Among the most notable of the overflows of the
river affecting the settlement was that of 1826, when only
three houses were left standing at Kildonan, and the 162
people fled to Stony Mountain, where they remained for
a whole month; again in 1852, St. Boniface was in gloom,
as cattle were drowned, houses and barns were swept
away, and the cathedral and Bishop's palace became public
warehouses and places of retreat. On'the west side of
the river, the old Selkirk settlers were compelled to seek
refuge for a month at Little Stony Mountain, and St
James. In 1872, when Winnipeg was a hamlet of less
than one hundred small wooden houses scattered along
the west bank of the Red River, with four primitive hotels,
not a place of amusement, and Main Street a zig-zag trail,
the Red and Assiniboine rivers overflowed their banks
and swamped the town. The population at that time was
about three hundred, two-thirds being half-breeds and
the others, Scotch and Irish settlers, chiefly from Ontario.
These were the years of denominational beginnings.
The Methodist Episcopal Church of Canada sent its first
missionary, the Rev. Daniel Pomeroy, to Emerson, which
he reached on September .30th, 1875, and a church was
erected there in 1879. The Revs. Thomas Argue, F. M.
Finn, and F. W. Warne, now a Bishop of the American
Methodist Church in India, followed, and laid foundations. The town of Carman was named after Bishop
Carman, General Superintendent of the Methodist
Church after the Union. Missions were established in
Carman, Winnipeg and Neepawa. These were successful, and later were merged in the union of the Methodist denominations. The first service of the Congre-
gationalists was held in the Temperance Hall, Winnipeg,
on July 14, 1879, by ^e ^ev« Mr. Ewing of Montreal.
In the same year the Bible Christian Church of Canada
sent the Rev. John Greenway from Wisconsin, the
Conference  having  two   ecclesiastical  districts  in  the GEORGE YOUNG
United States. Having explored the country around
Crystal City, and opened a mission there, he went east
to the Conference held at Port Hope in 1882. He pleaded
so eloquently for men for mission work, that the Rev.
Andrew Gordon was sent out, and with his wife and six
children stationed at Thornhill, as a centre of a large
mission. The Rev. James Hoskin came at the same time,
and began his work at Souris. The Rev. William Kinley
came out in the previous year, but, owing to an attack
of snow-blindness, was compelled to retire for several
years. He ultimately joined the Conference, and did good
work. The missions grew in extent and efficiency until
the Union of 1883, when they were absorbed in the
general scheme, and the ministers threw themselves with
characteristic energy into the larger denomination.
After a missionary tour through the Maritime Provinces, George Young attended the General Conference
held in Hamilton in September, 1882, when it was decided
to appoint a Superintendent of Missions for the Northwest, whose duty it should be to organize a Conference
in 1883 and act as its first President. The selection of
that official being left with the General Board of Missions,
they wisely chose the pioneer missionary for that important office. Within three days he was on his journey
westward. Once more in his great mission field he spent
a month visiting the missions as far west as Regina and
Moose Jaw, and then away for two months at missionary
meetings in the Maritime Provinces, and six weeks in
Ontario. His health broke down, and no wonder under
such incessant travelling and speaking; yet we find him in
March again in the North-west visiting missions, returning to Ontario in June to secure more missionaries for the
new fields, and back in Winnipeg in July to organize the 164
first Conference and to act as its first President. The
sessions of that notable Conference were held in Wesley
Hall. The Rev. John Semmens was elected Secretary;
the Rev. S. D. Rice, D.D., President of the General
Conference, and the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, then
lecturing in the city, were present, and both of these
gentlemen delivered inspiring addresses. At the Conference Missionary Meeting, the speakers were: Principal
Grant of Queen's University, the Revs. A. W. Ross, Indian Missionary from Lake Winnipeg, John McDougall,
with his wonderful tales of the buffalo, and the Indians,
and the writer, with his story of work among the Blood
Indians at the foot of the Rocky Mountains.
At the close of the Conference, unhasting, unresting,
George Young was off again on a tour, but the hard
work in hot weather proved too much for his constitution,
and he was laid aside for nearly two months at the home
of J. W. Sifton, Esq., Brandon. On August 29th he was
at Belleville, when? the Union of the Methodist denominations was consummated. At the close of this historical
General Conference, he hurried off to Winnipeg, where
he conducted the dedicatory service of the large and
second Grace Church, on September 30, 1883. The
following month was spent among the missions as far
west as Qu'Appelle, and some idea may be gathered of his
energy, when we learn that in thirteen months, from
October 2, 1882, to October 16, 1883, he travelled by rail,
steamboat and horse conveyance no less than 20,900 miles
throughout the Dominion. The winter was spent in
Ontario at his old occupation as a speaker at missionary
meetings, and in May, he was again in Manitoba, journeying from place to place. A serious illness prevented him
from attending the conference in June, 1884, at Brandon, GEORGE YOUNG
and he was compelled to ask to be superannuated. The
Conference, of which the Rev. Dr. Ezra A. Stafford was
President, passed a complimentary resolution by a
standing vote, and he retired from the active work of the
ministry full of honors and beloved by all.
In numerous ways, outside of his respective duties, Dr.
Young used his influence on behalf of the people, irrespective of politics or religion. I He was one of the prime
movers for the general hospital, Winnipeg, which was
erected in 1875. It was he who called the public meeting
from which sprang the Volunteer Corps in garrison at
Fort Garry, in Octol>er, 1870, and he accompanied that
force on its march toward the frontier. The impetus for
expansion in his own denomination, enforced by his
worthy example, found legitimate expression in the
formation of an Auxiliary of the Woman's Missionary
Society in Grace Church in 1883, followed by other
societies, which united in the Manitoba Branch in 1895.
The yearning after a western denominational paper
resulted in the short career of " The Methodist Gleaner,"
published at Boissevain by the Revs. George H. Long and
Henry Lewis, and " The Methodist Times " at Winnipeg,
under the editorial management of the Revs. Robert
Milliken and J. H. Morgan. He inspired the entrance
into public life, and into the affairs of Church and State,
of men and women who have counted it an honor to bear
the burdens of the country for the good of all citizens.
Dr. James Woodsworth was appointed his successor
as Superintendent of Missions. •
On August 1, 1910, in the city of Toronto, at the age
of eighty-nine years, the brave loyalist and pioneer
missionary passed to his rest. The press throughout the
Dominion   made  eulogistic   references   to   his   sterling 166
character, and to the great work done on behalf of the
country in the west during the trying years. His intense
patriotism left its impress upon men of public spirit, who
became deeply attached to him as a personal friend, and
the position maintained by his own denomination was due
in a great measure to the firm and definite stand taken
by him among neutrals in the early days. When the
Jubilee of Methodism at the Red River was held in June,
1918, a Memorial Tablet was unveiled to his memory in
Grace Church, and yet his permanent eulogy must be read
in the expansion of the church, and in the loyalty and
development of the three provinces west of the great
lakes. CHAPTER X
j|:' And THE Oka Indians
THE last of the great missions founded by the early
Jesuits, lingers on through the centuries, in the
remnant of the Huron-Iroquois at Oka, the Lake
of Two Mountains, St. Regis, and Caughnawaga, and
memories of other days remain among these descendants
of a noble race. The Hurons and Iroquois were originally two tribes belonging to the same stock. When the
European explorers first came in contact with them, they
found the Hurons separated from the Six Nation Indians, which comprised five tribes, known as the Iroquois
Confederacy, and the family pair of tribes—the Hurons
and Iroquois-—at deadly enmity, determined to exterminate each other. The Iroquois flourished for nearly two
centuries. Their civil organization, systematized in their
political system known as the " League of the Iroquois,"
made them chief among the native tribes. They were
finished and developed savages, but possessed of kindness
and courtesy. They were able to withstand the encroachments of other tribes, and form a native civilization
surpassed only by the Indian races of Mexico and Peru.
Their war cry was heard under the walls of Quebec and
on the shores of Lake Superior, as they fought against
the Hurons and French under Champlain. The memory
of their prowess abides in the thrilling story of Adam
Daulac and his faithful band of seventeen, who achieved
so great a feat of bravery, that many years followed
before the Iroquois dared venture within the vicinity of
12 168
Montreal. It was among these polished savages that
Isaac Jogues, the Jesuit missionary, suffered excessive
torture, having his fingers cut off, his flesh torn in strips
from his body, and at last, martyred under the blow of a
tomahawk. The population of twenty-five thousand in
the seventeenth century became reduced through tribal
wars, conflicts with the French, and the war of the
Revolution, until less than eight thousand are to be
found in Canada. These are located at Caughnawaga,
St. Regis and Oka in Quebec; the Oneidas on the Thames,
the Six Nations at Grand River, a few on the Gibson
Reserve, in Ontario, and a small band near Smoking River
in the Canadian North-west. The Hurons at Lake of Two
Mountains defended Montreal against the frequent
incursions of the Iroquois, and when the latter were
Christianized, they were gathered into the settlement at
the former place, and became its chief strength.
The Indians at Oka were originally Mohawks intermingled with other tribes of the Five Nations, who left
their own people through the influence of the early French
missionaries, and removed to Lower Canada. On the
eastern shore of the River Ottawa, in the Seigniory of
Two Mountains in the Province of Quebec, is the Indian
Reserve and the village of Oka, where the famous
Trappist Monastery is located, and the brothers in white
live in the valley of silence. Oka is two hundred years
old, and has been prominent in the history of the country
through the existence of the Trappist community, and
on account of the struggle between some of the Iroquois
and the Sulpicians for the possession of the land. In
1657, the Seminary of St. Sulpice of Paris established a
branch at Montreal, and the citizens resolved to hand over
the temporal management of the island and city to them MS
for protection from the Indians. The Iroquois had
almost depopulated the country, until Adam Daulac and
his companions saved it by their heroic sacrifice at the
Long Sault. This arrangement was finally effected in
1663. The mission of the Sulpicians established at the
fort at Montreal for the Algonquins and Hurons was
afterward transferred to Sault-au-Recollet, nine miles
farther north. This held an important position in the
minds of the religious teachers, as these Indians were the
defenders of the outposts of the city, and it was to
Christianize these people that the Sulpicians and Jesuits
bent their efforts. The Sulpicians, having obtained as
trustees for the Indians, a tract of land nine miles square,
subsequently double in size, at the Lake of Two Mountains, removed them from Sault-au-Reeollet in 1718.    1|
On September 4, 1845, there was born, five miles from
the village of Oka, Joseph Onesakenarat, an Iroquois of
untainted blood, destined in his short life to leave a deep
and abiding impression upon his own people and the
whole country, as he was no common man, though of
native origin. His parents being Roman Catholics, he
was trained in that faith, and was a devout member of
the church, never questioning its authority, loyal and
obedient to its doctrines and polity, and anxious to
further its interests. Possessed of superior natural
ability, which was improved by a little travel and association with English-speaking folks, his manner and native
genius attracted the notice of Father Cuoq, who took a
real interest in the welfare of the Indians, and consequently, sent him at fourteen years of age to the school at
Oka. The progress made in his studies revealed the
hidden powers of the apt scholar, and he was sent to St.
Mary's College, Montreal, to be trained for the priesthood. 170
Having the qualities necessary for leadership, special care
was taken of him during his period of education, but
Joseph did not forget that he was an Iroquois Indian,
with a purpose in life, and that his first obligation was to
his own people. Returning from Montreal to his native
village of Oka, he was employed by the Sulpician Fathers
as Secretary, and in this important office was brought
into close contact with the Indians, and with the authorities of the Roman Catholic Church. As some of the
members of the tribe travelled through Ontario and
some parts of the United States, they were brought into
relation with the Six Nation Indians. .These people
possessed the New Testament in the Mohawk language,
which the Oka Iroquois understood. Several copies of
the Testament were given them, and these were brought
home, and distributed in the homes of their friends. The
parish priest discovered these Testaments, and having
taken possession of them, threw them into a box in the
office, where the young secretary was at work. In his
idle moments, Joseph looked into the book, and, becoming
convinced that its contents were good, and likely to prove
beneficial to his people, he redistributed the Testaments
among them. It was evident that he was losing faith in
the doctrinal teachings of the church in which he was
trained, or he would not have had the courage to oppose
the parish priest, and the Seminary of St. Sulpice.
Stealthily he turned over the pages of his new found
treasure, and, like Luther, his eyes were opened to the
saving truths of the Gospel, and he was soundly converted. This change compelled him to renounce the
church of his youth, and brought him into open conflict
with the ecclesiastical authorities. He could not retain
his situation as Secretary of the Sulpicians, when his CHIEF JOSEPH
mind and heart, and the whole tenor of his life was at
variance with them.
The Oka Indians are ruled by chiefs, who are elected.
Joseph's superior intelligence and manifest interest in the
tribe, caused him to be looked upon as a coming chief, so
that when the time came for one to be elected, the feeling
of the Indians was strongly in his favor. When asked by
the people if he would serve were he elected, he could
not give his consent, as he was in the service of the
Sulpicians. At first, the Seminary of St. Sulpice objected,
but when it became evident that the people desired him
to act in the capacity of chief, and he was willing to
accede to their request, the gentlemen of the Seminary
urged him not to interfere in the dispute over the question
of the ownership of the land, and never to approach the
Government on the matter. When Joseph was in attendance at St. Mary's College, he asserted afterward, it was
openly admitted by his teachers that the Seminary had
no right to the lands at Oka, except as guardians and
tutors of the Indians, and as held in trust for them.
In 1868, Joseph was elected one of the chiefs, and
immediately, he set about the work of securing the rights
claimed by the Indians. He visited the Superintendent of
Indian Affairs, and received such encouragement, that a
petition was sent to the Government, which reported the
matter to the Seminary of St. Sulpice. Thus began the
first open disagreement with the Indians, who were
denounced for their perfidy and disloyalty; the dispute
still remains unsettled. The deputation, consisting of
three chiefs and Joseph, which waited upon the Superintendent of Indian Affairs, was assured that justice would
be done, if the Indians would patiently bide their time.
The   priests  of   the   Seigniory of St. Sulpice claimed 172
absolute possession of the property, while the Indians
were assured that the Seminary held the lands at Oka, as
trustees, for the benefit of the Indians.
When the mission to these Indians was removed to
Sault-au-Recollet, the Seminary required a title to the
land. As the French king owned the country, the Sulpicians asked for grants of land, while the Jesuits, who
were jealous of them, sought to prevent them from
establishing themselves in Canada. But the king made
the grant, entailing many conditions on the Sulpicians,
and none on the Indians, and the question as to whether
the Seminary of St. Sulpice is the sole proprietor, or
simply a trustee, holding the lands for the benefit of the
Indians, has never been definitely settled. The first
missionaries sent by the Jesuits and Sulpicians were the
best that could be obtained for the difficult missions, and
have never been surpassed in Canada, while their successors became traders as well as ecclesiastics. While
trading was a profitable business, the Indians were used
for purposes of trade, and a source of revenue. When
wars came to an end, the Oka Indians were wards of the
Seminary of St. Sulpice, and were so far forgotten by
the country, that they were left to the sole care of the
Seminary. The spirit of self-sacrifice which had animated
the first Sulpician missionaries had vanished, and the
Sulpicians of Montreal had become seigniors of whole
counties, and so wealthy as to defy, and ultimately to
surpass the Jesuits. One of the richest portions of their
territory was the Seigniory of Two Mountains, on part
of which dwelt the Oka Indians, who claimed the land as
their own, until their right should expire, either by the
death of all the claimants, or by voluntary emigration. CHIEF JOSEPH
A large number of these Indians left the Roman
Catholic Church, and united with the Methodist Church,
and naturally, the authorities of the Seminary were displeased, and not favorable to the interests of their wards.
There seems to be no doubt that the lands at Lake of Two
Mountains were originally given by the French king to
the Seminary of St. Sulpice for the benefit of the Indians;
but the Indians themselves could not claim a right to the
estates in fee simple, and this matter has not yet been
settled by the courts. The powerful influence of the
Seminary of St. Sulpice, as representing the Roman
Catholic Church in Lower Canada, has given them a
decided advantage over the Protestant Indians in
all phases of this controversy. Until the year 1868, when
the breach with the Seminary occurred, the Algonquins
and Iroquois lived at either end of the village, while in
the centre stood the Roman Catholic Church, the Presbytery and Convent. With the advent of the troubles, the
Seminary built a high wooden fence, thus making two
separate villages, and when any of the Protestant Indians
moved away, their places were filled with French
When Canada passed into the hands of the British, the
Indians changed their allegiance from the French, and
fought on the side of the British. A notable instance of
this occurred in the second year of the war of 1812, when
General Hampton with five thousand American soldiers,
marched from Lake Champlain to attack Montreal. Four
hundred Canadians, called by historians, voltigeurs,
among whom were some Indians from Oka, opposed
Hampton, and the two small armies met at the junction
of the Chateauguay and the Outarde, where the Canadians were strongly entrenched behind a breastwork of 174
logs. The ranks of the enemy were being gradually
thinned by the musketry fire, but such a large body of
men could not easily be defeated; however, Colonel
de Salaberry, who led the Canadians, despatched his
buglers to the right and left of his troops in the thick
woods, and at a signal, the charge was sounded. The
Americans, unconscious of the strength of the Canadians,
were taken by surprise, and were completely routed.
Forty years ago, there were Indians at Oka in receipt of
a pension for their services in this action. One of the
most notable, was head chief of his tribe, who died at
Oka in 1878, aged one hundred years. He led his band
of scouts at the battle of Cataraqui (Kingston), and,
after a skirmish, he saw an American soldier wounded
and sitting upon a log, about to be bayoneted by one of
his own men, when he interposed and saved his life. Ten
years later, the rescued man met the chief in Kingston,
and gave him a handsome reward. At the time of his
death the chief held a commission from Earl Gosford, in
recognition of his services to the British Government,
as the head chief of the Iroquois, and possessed two
silver medals of the reign of " Georgius III, Dei Gratia
Britanniarum Rex, F. D."
On account of the troubles between the Indians and
the Seminary, a deputation was sent from Oka to Montreal, to secure advice and assistance toward establishing
their claims. They were directed to Mr. J. A. Mathewson,
a prominent Methodist gentleman, who was deeply interested in the Indians of the Province of Quebec, and who
had on a previous occasion sent an English teacher to
instruct the Caughnawaga Indians, when they had
appealed to him for help. In answer to the Oka deputation, he was instrumental in having the Rev. Xavier Rivet CHIEF JOSEPH
sent to Oka in 1869, and this was the beginning of
Methodism among these people on the reserve. From the
arrival of Mr. Rivet, the condition of the Indians began
to improve, and, though he spent only one year there, and
did not report any members to the society, he was able to
build a church as a permanent place of worship. A small
house was bought from an Indian, and fitted up for a
school and for religious services, but this soon proved to
be too small, and consequently, a site was purchased, and
a church costing twelve hundred dollars was erected.
Some friends on the opposite side of the river, noting the
marked change for good in the native population, became
interested in the mission, and donated a bell for the church
at a cost of one hundred and fifty dollars. In the following year, the Rev. Amand Parent was sent as missionary,
and remained one year, when he reported one hundred
and ten church members. He was succeeded by the Rev.
Abraham Sickles, a native belonging to the Oneida tribe
of Indians, whose spiritual ministrations were so much
blessed, that when he left, at the close of his three years'
ministry, there were two hundred and nine members. In
1874 the Rev. Amand Parent returned, and, through the
unstinted energy of the Rev. Dr. John Borland, who was
Chairman of the French and Indian work in the Province
of Quebec, and Joseph Onesakenarat, the subject of our
sketch, assistant at Oka for two years, great progress
was made. Mr. Parent sought to improve the temporal
condition of the people, and secured gifts of clothing and
other necessaries from the congregation of St. James
Methodist Church, Montreal. He preached in French,
an Iroquois chief translated the sermon into Iroquois,
and as the Indians had good voices, there was excellent
singing in the congregation.   During the five years spent 176
on the mission, many converts were won for Christ, as
there were two hundred and seventy-six members in 1878.
The mission was called Lake of Two Mountains when
it was organized, but its name was changed in 1877, to
that of Oka Mission. During these troublous times, the
Methodist Church was torn down and the congregation
was compelled to worship in the school building. The
work was continued by Rev. Joseph A. Dorion, who
labored among the people from 1879 to 1886. But evil
days came, and the mission began to decline by removals,
as the Protestants became weary of the litigations and
trials, which they had to endure. The people were poor,
still there were two day schools and one Sunday School
maintained, and the religious services were well attended.
The missionary told of a woman, who died happy in
Christ, and who as she lay on her deathbed, exhorted her
mother and grandmother to be true to the Protestant
faith, and desired that her four children be brought up
as Protestants.
When Chief Joseph changed his faith, he united with
the Methodist Church, and in 1874, became assistant to
the Rev. Amand Parent at Oka. In the following year
he was received on probation for the ministry, remaining
another year at Oka, when he was transferred to Caugh-
nawaga at St. Regis, ministering to the natives at these
places for four years. His natural ability and thorough
knowledge of the Iroquois language, supplemented by his
college education, and training as secretary for the Seminary of St. Sulpice, were of great service to him during his
probation for the ministry. In 1880, he was ordained
and received into full connexion in the Montreal Conference of the Methodist Church. The Grandson of an Oka Chief in his Grandfather's Dress
The Congregation Leaving the Indian Church at Oka  CHIEF JOSEPH
During these years of turmoil at Oka, the quaint little
village was the scene of religious strife, the fences of the
Protestant burying ground were torn down, and animals
tramped upon the graves, while numerous cases of lawlessness and desecration took place. The blame for these
sacrilegious acts was laid at the door, first of the
Protestants, and again of the Roman Catholic population.
Owing to the internal conflict, a number of the Oka
Protestants removed in 1881, to the township of Gibson,
in Muskoka, where a reserve had been set apart for
them by the Dominion Government. In the following
year, the Rev. Charles Fish, Chairman of the Bracebridge
District, accompanied by the Rev. Mr. Dunlop and Mr.
Scriven, visited the Gibson Reserve, and held a service
with the people, Mr. Fish preaching in English, and Chief
Louis Sanaton interpreted into Iroquois. At the close of
the service, there was a Love Feast, and thirty-nine
Indians partook of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper.
The deputation spoke in high terms of the Christian
character, and excellent social qualities of the natives.
A request for a missionary was written and signed.
Although this movement seemed to end the period of
strife, a large number of the Protestant Indians still
remained at Oka, claiming the right to share in the
inheritance possessed by their fathers; the conflict still
continues, without any prospect of a settlement.
Grave complications arose between the Roman Catholic
priests and the Protestant Indians, in which Chief Joseph
was implicated; and with several of the Indians he was
placed in prison, where they remained for fifteen days.
So bitter was the strife, that Joseph was put in the jail at
St. Scholastique no less than eight times, and yet he
declared that the only thing he and his fellow-prisoners 178
were guilty of, was that of going to the priests and
informing them that the Iroquois did not any longer wish
instruction from them.
As in the case of John Bunyan, the enforced retirement
supplied the leisure for translating portions of the Scriptures into the language of the people, bringing them great
blessing. The language spoken by the Oka Indians is
substantially the same as the Mohawk used by their relatives in Ontario, from whom they have been separated
for a long time; the difference relates chiefly to
changes in diction and grammatical forms, and is also
due to an admixture with the Onondagas and others
speaking different dialects. Sir Daniel Wilson, in an able
paper on the Huron-Iroquois, read before the Royal
Society of Canada, spoke in glowing terms of the ability
and attainments of Chief Joseph as a native scholar, and
referred also to Joseph A. Dorion, the missionary at Oka.
Of Joseph's translation of the Four Gospels into the
Iroquois language, he said: | His translation must be
accepted as the work of an educated native Iroquois,"
and, | A comparison between the language of this recent
translation and that of the old Mohawk Prayer Book is
full of interest." p
Joseph was a great scholar, translating Iroquois, English and French with ease. During his several terms
of imprisonment, he translated from the French into
Iroquois, the four Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, and
the first Epistle to the Corinthians, besides a large
number of Sankey's Gospel Hymns, and he had hoped to
have finished the whole of the New Testament by June,
1881. The Upper Canada Bible Society undertook the
publication of the four Gospels, as in the report of the
Society for 1880 it is stated: " The directors have ascer- 	
-_-__*_______. ..
tained that there are several thousand of this tribe in both
Quebec and Ontario and that Chief Joseph (Onesaken-
arat) of Oka, the translator, is quite competent thus to
give, with their help, a good and useful version of the
Gospels to his own people." In the year following, an
edition of one thousand copies was published, and in Sir
Daniel Wilson's paper on the Huron-Iroquois, there is a
copy of the Oka version of the Lord's Prayer as it occurs
in the sixth chapter of Matthew in Chief Joseph's translation.   1
His useful life suddenly came to an end on February
7th, 1881, when he was only thirty-five years old. With
hopes unrealized of completing the translation of the
New Testament, and passing like the venerable Bede from
his sacred task to the city beyond the sea, he died in the
midst of his labors, beloved by thousands of the red and
white folk, who loved him for his personal worth, and
for the great work he had performed on behalf of his
people. He was a great man, full of courage, a friend of
the oppressed, a modern saint, a native scholar, almost
forgotten by the people of Canada, yet worthy to be
remembered by the people of every age and country. He
was a hero in the days of national peace. He lived for
the welfare of the race, laying foundations for the building of an empire, and revealing an experience and a
character understood by religious people of all denominations and times. " He did his work well"—an epitaph
worthy of the greatest saint or hero of any country or
age in the history of the world. CHAPTER  XI
Up and Down the Pacific Coast
ACROSS the continent, on the western shores of the
Dominion, lies the sunlit Province of British
Columbia, where snow-clad mountains rear their
shining peaks above the clouds, and mighty rivers rush
and foam on their march to the sea, while boundless
forests, inexhaustible fisheries and unexplored mineral
fields wait in patience the coming of the great procession
of sturdy folk to develop the hidden resources of the land
of adventure and peace. Seven stocks of languages among
thirty thousand Indians, divided into numerous tribes
scattered up and down the North Pacific Coast, frequently
engaged in tribal wars, with abundant wealth in fisheries
and furs, invited traders of various nations to barter
flimsy trinkets and intoxicating liquors, at the expense of
the demoralization of the people.
The Hudson's Bay Company, the North-west and the
Astor Companies built forts and plied their trade in furs
with increasing wealth, while the natives coming in contact with the white people gradually degenerated, becoming slaves to evil passions, outcasts of society, despised
and rejected of men. Among the traders, however, were
some men of sterling worth whose lives were an inspiration, and their quiet teachings left a deep and abiding
impression upon the hearts of some of the red men. This
was strengthened by the Lewis and Clark expedition in
1804-06, as some seeds of divine truth were sown in
dusky souls by these explorers, when conversing in the
camps with the natives.
The simple tales of religion related by wandering
trappers were repeated around the Indian camp fires and
aroused so much interest that a Council of the Flatheads
on the Columbia River was held in 1832, where in deep
seriousness the chiefs discussed the question of the Book
of Heaven in possession of the white men. Four native
leaders were sent across mountain and plain to search
out some definite knowledge of the white man's God and
of the great Book of divine wisdom. They continued
their long journey making enquiries by the way, until
they reached the frontier town of St. Louis, where they
met General Clark, whose name was remembered in the
native camps, but during their stay they made no discovery of the hidden knowledge that made the pale-face
powerful and wise. Two of the Indians died, and when
the others were ready to leave for their distant home,
General Clark tendered a farewell in their honor, at
which one of them made a pathetic speech, bewailing the
fact that while they had been honored beyond their
deserts and the people had been very kind to them during
their stay, the secret of the Book of Heaven had not been
revealed to them, and that when they reached their home,
and told their old men, the camps would be silent with
dismay and the Flatheads would go out in the darkness in
search of the long path to other hunting grounds. One
only lived to reach his home, and with a sad heart, he told
the story of the failure of the expedition to find the Book
of Heaven.
An account of this sad and strange adventure was
published in the newspapers and the whole American 182
Church was aroused with keen sympathy and a deep sense
of responsibility, insomuch that the Methodist Episcopal
Church began the first mission to the Indians west of the
Rocky Mountains. Jason Lee, a Canadian, born in Stan-
stead, in the Province of Quebec, a fine specimen of manhood standing six feet three inches, and of proportionate
build, was chosen leader. In the spring of 1834, accompanied by his brother Daniel and two laymen, they
" mounted their horses and followed the Oregon trail."
In September they reached Vancouver and at once began
mission work. A boarding school for Indian children was
established in the Willamette Valley, where now stands
the Willamette University. Conversions were numerous
among the whites and natives, for Jason Lee was a preacher
of marvellous power. An evidence of his influence was
the safety of travellers, as the Gospel of the grace of
God had transformed savages into law abiding citizens.
A great wave of spiritual awakening among the Indian
tribes passed over the western continent in 1839 and the
two following years, resulting in the conversion of thousands of souls. Up and down the north Pacific Coast,
along the Skeena and Columbia Rivers, through the
Okanagan Valley, on to the upper waters of the Fraser
River in the far north, and for more than two thousand
miles eastward the revival spread; though the laborers
were few there was a great harvest of souls. The Takus
of Alaska journeyed eastward into the interior and met
some of the converts of Rundle and Evans, who talked
with the Great Spirit and read wonderful things in the
Cree Syllabic, as they sat around the lodge fires; the
Chinooks of the 'Columbia River were stirred anew by the
memory of Jason Lee's spiritual messages; the Shuswaps
in   the Okanagan  Valley  were  converted   to   Roman From a painting by Paul Kane
A Flathead Indian Mother and Baby
From a painting by Paul Kane
The Interior of an Indian Lodge  /TV
Catholicism through the labors of Father Demers; at
Edmonton and Rocky Mountain House, and on the plains
of Northern Alberta, Rundle won many converts among
the Crees, Stonies and Blackfeet; on the shores of the
Hudson's Bay, at York Factory, and at Forts Churchill
and Albany, George Barnley saw a blessed work of grace;
on Lake Winnipeg and far north into Athabasca, Evans
and Steinhauer led hundreds of Crees into the kingdom
of God; and at Rainy River, Mason and Jacobs wept and
prayed over many converts, while as far east as Lake
Superior the red men were anxiously enquiring about the
way of salvation.
The discovery of gold on the bars of the Fraser River
and in the Caribou district in 1858, brought a wild stampede of prospectors, and in their train came whiskey
traders, gamblers and desperadoes from all parts of the
world. The consequent demoralization of the white
settlers and of thousands of Indians aroused the Church
to a deep sense of responsibility and to the large opportunities for service in the cause of Christ. The Methodist
Church at once sent the first band of missionaries to the
Pacific Coast—the Revs. Ephraim Evans, D.D., Edward
White, Ebenezer Robson and Arthur Browning, who
began work at Victoria and Nanaimo on Vancouver
Island and at New Westminster and Hope on the Fraser
River. While the misery and degradation of the native
population appealed strongly for sympathy and help, the
field was so large and the work so heavy among the
miners and white settlers, that they could only pray, and
send out urgent requests for workers among the Indians.
Some of these letters, sent by the Rev. Edward White,
made a deep and lasting impression on the mind and heart
of a young man whom God was preparing for eminent
13 184
service among the aborigines of British Columbia. Born
in Pickering, Yorkshire, England, in 1840, coming to
Canada with his parents when sixteen years of age and
settling on a farm near Woodstock, Ontario, this lad
Thomas Crosby, having become the subject of gracious
religious influences, read one of these letters on his knees
in his room, and decided that if the way were opened, he
would go as a missionary to these benighted people.
There were serious difficulties, however, in the way;
he had not sufficient training to be sent as an ordained
missionary; had he offered himself to the Missionary
Society, he would promptly and definitely have been
rejected; he had no money to secure an outfit and pay
the expenses of the long journey and though the family
was large enough to spare him, it was not likely that he
would secure his parents' consent to go to an unknown
region to work among savages. When God calls a man,
however, the difficulties vanish; and so it happened
that a friend, seeing him dejected through the burden on
his heart, asked the cause and at once offered the necessary funds as a loan or a gift. His mother, with tears in
her eyes and anguish in her soul, lent him to the Lord, and
in after years received an abundant recompense.
Bidding a sad farewell to his friends in the Church anc
Sunday School, and with the rich benediction of his
mother, he started from Woodstock on February 25th
1862. He travelled by way of New York, thence by sea
to the Isthmus of Panama, on to San Francisco; and after
two months and a half arrived at Victoria on April nth.
Clad in homespun, he reported himself to the Rev. Dr.
Ephraim Evans, and attended the Love Feast, where the
staid folks, shocked with the "Aniens" and "Hallelujahs"
of this stranger, began to make enquiries about this mis- THOMAS CROSBY
sionary lad, who was destined to become one of the best
known and most influential citizens in the Province of
British Columbia. With characteristic energy he sought
and found hard manual labor, and for eleven months
toiled until he had sufficient to pay with interest, the loan
which his friend had advanced for expenses. Again the
mysterious ways of Providence were seen, for as soon as
this was done, the Rev. Dr. Evans sent him to teach an
Indian school at Nanaimo. Here he entered upon the
first stage of his missionary career. His destination was
only seventy-five miles from Victoria, yet the journey in
the little sloop carrying Her Majesty's mail consumed
eight days. Landing at the little town built of logs, with
an Indian village a mile distant, he was cordially welcomed by the Rev. Cornelius Bryant, the oldest Methodist
in the province. At once he began his work in the native
camp in a small building erected by the Rev. Ebenezer
Robson as a church and school. The missionary began to
work among the red men, but owing to the pressing
claims of the miners and white settlers, was compelled to
With a firm conviction that the only successful way to
reach the heart of any people is through the medium of
their language, Thomas Crosby steadfastly refused to
accommodate himself to the use of the Chinook jargon,
but determined to acquire the native tongue. He studied
the language in the lodges, carrying a note book in his
hand; on his knees he prayed for divine help to master it,
and even awoke from his night slumbers repeating words
and sentences he had learned. By the device of a large
swing he won the confidence of the children; with the
help of the sign language and a few Indian words he
marched up and down the street calling the children to 186
school. Although there was much indifference, and he
was compelled to clothe the needy, and wash the dirty
youngsters, so great was his enthusiasm and adaptiveness,
that success crowned his efforts. For, not only did some
become good students, but souls were won for Christ,
and thus was laid the foundation of the evangelization of
the tribes on the North Pacific Coast.
With a vision of hidden possibilities, he laid out a neat
garden plot in front of his primitive mission house; this
aroused the latent energies of the natives, and induced the
converted families to move toward the model home, until
there grew up a Christian street, easily distinguished from
and in striking contrast with the heathen street. The
lesson spread far beyond the limits of the province, for
the eloquent Morley Punshon told the British Wesleyan
Conference, " that he had seen the powerful influences of
the Gospel far away on the Pacific Coast, near Nanaimo,
on the east coast of Vancouver Island, where he saw the
heathen street and the Christian street side by side."
Visitors from other tribes came, saw and were conquered, so that many of the people became small farmers.
Even the young men rejected the temptation of the
potlatch, and, instead of giving away the money which
they had saved to secure a temporary popularity, they
purchased cattle, horses and farming implements. The
grace of God in their hearts begat a spirit of independence
which was seen in schools and churches built by their
own efforts, and a passion to help others, which was
shown by their contributions to the cause of missions.
While Mlorley Punshon was in British Columbia in
1871 he visited Nanaimo and gave his famous lecture,
% Daniel in Babylon," and at the close, informed the young
missionary that he was to be ordained on the following
Sunday at Victoria. Thomas Crosby was unprepared for
this announcement, as he had hoped to go east to attend
college; there was little sleep for him that night as he
saw his plans frustrated by the stern decision of his
superiors, and naturally he objected. But, in the good
providence of God, the wisdom of the missionaries was
seen and understood in the after years. His ordination
took place in Pandora Street Church, Victoria, before a
large congregation, Morley Punshon preaching a wonderful sermon on the occasion from the text, " And ye
shall receive power." With his new and enlarged responsibilities, he was sent on a missionary tour among various
tribes, and marvellous scenes were witnessed under the
preaching of the Gospel, men and women crying for
mercy. Songs of gladness fell from pagan lips touched
with the new power of the Cross of Christ, whole villages
responded to the wonderful story of Calvary, and the
filthy and immoral camp was transformed into a haven of
In the Christian villages the dingy houses, crowded
together with the invariable totem pole in front, gave
place to neat and comfortable homes with tidy garden
plots. The tawdry garments, emblems of poverty and
degradation, were cast aside as unworthy of the new
civilization. The art of tatooing the bodies with strange
symbols was well-nigh forgotten. The old marriage
customs of buying and selling women, the native feasts
and dances with their wild midnight orgies, the potlatch,
which impoverished the ambitious, and the dark scenes of
gambling began to pass away with the dawn of a new day.
The power of the medicine-men was lessened with the
improvement in the health of the people, through cleanly
habits and better food, and by the introduction of simple 188
remedies and such help as the missionary could give. No
longer in these villages did the medicine-man shake his
rattle and chant his weird songs over the sick and dying;
the sun-worshippers bowed in reverence before the Light
of the World; sacrifices were withheld from the spirits
of the rapids; and the places of Christian burial with their
well-kept graves replaced the old pagan cemeteries.
These changed conditions preached an eloquent sermon
to the pagan stranger who spent a few days under the
new regime.
The whiskey demon claimed the entire coast as his own
special territory, and havoc was wrought among the tribes
that came in contact with the white man. Old "Coal
Tyee," an Indian who first discovered coal in the province, filled his canoe with a sample of the precious
material, and paddled seventy-five miles to Victoria,
where he sold his secret for a bottle of rum. Miners and
sailors peddled the fire-water among the natives, and dens
of iniquity, sanctioned by law, sprang up in the vicinity of
the camps. Crosby's ire and pity were aroused, so that
he was compelled to take strenuous measures for the
suppression of the traffic. With axe in hand he would
smash the boxes and bottles, while the helpless Indians
stood by, begging in vain for a drop. The § Whiskey
Synagogue " near Nanaimo, a low, despicable tavern, was
put out of business by the missionary, after a lawsuit,
when the proprietor had his license cancelled and was
fined three hundred dollars for selling liquor to the
Having mastered the language, Crosby was set free
from teaching school, and sent on a roving commission
among the scattered tribes, travelling in all kinds of
weather, over stormy seas in a large canoe manned by THOMAS CROSBY
natives, the trips covering more than two thousand miles
a year. Beset by mosquitoes on the Fraser River, eating
strange decoctions cooked by Indian women, detained by
storms from meeting his fellow missionaries after a long
and tedious trip, sleeping in the open air with the rain
pouring on his unsheltered limbs, were passing episodes
in a husy career, and accepted as part of the high privilege
of being counted worthy to suffer for Christ.
The converted Indians learned to reverence the Sabbath,
and though hampered in reckoning the days of the week,
they devised methods that were sometimes amusing, as
in the case of Pyuke, the old chief of the Penulkuts, who
tied a knot on a bit of native twine for each day of the
week and two knots for the Sabbath, and as he kept up this
custom for many years, he owned a huge ball as his timekeeper.
The second period in Crosby's career as a missionary
began when he was sent to the Chilliwack Valley in the
spring of 1869. Previous to this time, invitations had
been repeatedly sent to him to visit the Indians on the
Fraser River, who spoke the same language as the
Nanaimos. Twice he had gone into the valley, preaching
to as many as two thousand Indians assembled at one
time on the street, and to many of the white settlers also
who had not heard the Gospel for several years. On his
second visit, the smallpox scourge was rampant, and the
Government having supplied him with a stock of vaccine,
he vaccinated the people as he passed among the camps.
So great was the havoc made by the plague that of one
thousand Hydahs who went from Queen Charlotte Islands
to Victoria, only one man returned home. As the missionary was preaching at Chilliwack, to a small band of
Indians, the chief, Atchelalah, stepped forward, and lay- 190
ing down a dollar and a half, said: " Missionary, we want
you to build a church here. You have opened our ears."
This was the first subscription for the building of the first
Protestant Church in the Chilliwack Valley, and it was a
token of a good time, for a wave of spiritual revival
swept over the prairies, along the rivers, through the
mountains and valleys, and hundreds of Indians, white
desperadoes and lonely settlers were soundly converted.
When Crosby left Nanaimo to take up his work as
permanent missionary in the Chilliwack Valley, the
revival was in progress. With the help of the Chairman
of the District, the Rev. Edward White, and two native
helpers who had been won for Christ, field meetings and
camp meetings attended by large numbers of Indians,
were held at various points. From distant camps the
Indians gathered; David Sallosalton preached his famous
steamboat-whistle sermon, and Amos Cushan his deeply
impressive sermon on the final judgment; and these two
natives, whose eloquence stirred with mighty power the
vast crowds that hung upon their lips, were the means of
leading many souls to God. In the open fields, on the
banks of the rivers, in primitive settlements, gambling dens,
rough taverns, stores and kitchens, the missionary band
held religious services, travelling hundreds of miles with
the Gospel message, while the gamblers laid aside their
playing cards, and raised a whiskey barrel for a pulpit,
taking up a collection to express their gratitude and to
maintain their orthodoxy. All through the Bunch-Grass
country they went, witnessing marvellous scenes of divine
grace. Crosby was startled by hearing the earnest prayer
of a Chinaman who had been converted in Canton under
the preaching of George Piercy, Crosby's missionary heso
from his native town, Pickering, Yorkshire. THOMAS CROSBY
None can compute the effective service and trophies
won by the native helpers under the inspiration and guidance of the missionary. Amos Cushan, the first Protestant to carry the Gospel to Alberni and the country of the
Ats, was brought up in heathenism, and fell a victim to
the degrading influence of the fire-water of the white
man. Converted in the mission house garden one spring
morning when he was working, he always pointed with
delight to the spot where he found Christ, saying: I For
a long time before this I had two hearts, but now Jesus
became chief in my heart. Only one chief now. Jesus is
my great Chief." As an agent of the Missionary Society
he made many long and trying trips, preaching in the
open air, often hungry and wet, sleeping anywhere, but
glad to serve. But exposure and hard work brought on
consumption, and after a long illness he died triumphantly
in the faith; he passed away saying: "All, all is peace.
Jesus is very precious." His last days were spent in
exhorting the heathen who came to a big potlatch, to
give their hearts to Jesus.
Another trophy of divine grace was David Saliosalton,
whose heathen name was Satana. He was taken into the
mission house, at his own earnest entreaty, when a small
boy, and became very useful as interpreter and class-
leader, and later was known as the boy preacher. He had
the sterling qualities of a native orator, and at camp meetings thrilled thousands by his original and wonderful
sermons. Of him Dr. Morley Punshon, the eloquent
British preacher and lecturer said: " In British Columbia,
I met an Indian, one of the most eloquent men I ever
heard. If I had not met Sciarelli, I should have said he is
the most eloquent man who ever stood before an audience.
He was only seventeen years of age, but a youth of very 192
great promise, who rejoiced our hearts with the prospect
of long continued usefulness, but whom God loved so
much that He took him out of the world, after a short
time of most earnest and successful labor upon the Fraser
River. This young man, David Sallosalton, wrought a
great work among his countrymen." Many other
preachers and native workers were raised up in the
camps, through the preaching of the Gospel, who were the
means of leading thousands to the Cross.
After twelve years spent in pioneer work along the
Pacific Coast, Thomas Crosby was granted a furlough of
one year; but it was not one of ease, for his unbounded
enthusiasm literally hurled him here and there, through
the Provinces of Ontario and Quebec, where large audiences hung spellbound upon his thrilling accounts of
notable conversions, great revivals, revolting customs
abolished, adventures by land and sea, and of triumphant
deaths. Accompanied hy the Rev. E. R. Young, from the
country of the Cree Indians north of Lake Winnipeg, he
visited towns and cities, and the twain marched as conquering heroes of the Cross. Not only were souls converted, but many were induced to become missionaries to
China, Japan and to the Indians of the west.
During this campaign he met Miss Emma J. Douse,
daughter of the Rev. John Douse, who was a teacher in
the Wesleyan Ladies' College, Hamilton, Ontario. They
were married in April, 1874, at the home of Mr. Henry
Hough at Cobourg, and started for their new and
important mission at Fort Simpson. This was the beginning of the third missionary period of his life.
It was a long journey to Port Simpson by way of San
Francisco, then by boat to Victoria, and from thence a
voyage of about six hundred miles up the coast, but there THOMAS CROSBY
were compensations in the delightful scenery, and at the
end, the natives gave the missionary and his bride a great
reception. The way had been prepared for founding the
mission by the Rev. C. M. Tate, who had gone there as
a teacher in February of that year, and the advent of Mr.
and Mrs. Crosby was the incentive for enthusiastic service. A blessed revival of religion came upon the whole
district, and the natives responded to the call for a church
to hold about a thousand people, and for a mission house,
by subscribing freely in labor, money and goods. The
missionary was full of energy; a new language had to be
learned, another church had to be built as the first one
was blown down, the sick were numerous and they had
to be cared for, but undaunted zeal blazed the way to
fresh conquests for Christ. A school for the older people
was started and a converts' band organized. With a
company of native workers he sped away one hundred
and fifty miles north in a big canoe to the country of the
Tsimpsheans, and many of these heathen people were
A great change came over Port Simpson by the organizing of a native Council; laws relating to the Sabbath and
marriage were passed; a tax was placed on dogs; a brass
band, a fire company and a rifle brigade were formed; a
sawmill was started; a cemetery laid out; new houses,
bridges and sidewalks built; roads were made, and
finally a newspaper was published. The news spread far
and wide of the progress of the town, and the prosperity
of the people. Heathen visitors came from afar, and
gazed in astonishment at the wonderful transformation
through the Gospel of Christ. An Industrial Fair was a
new and successful venture, and the various companies
and departments of work revealed Crosby's ability as a 194
social reformer, and the native municipal council marked
him as a political statesman. ■ However, he never lost sight
of the fact that he was first of all an evangelist, and his
great message of salvation with his converts' band opened
up the regions beyond. Wars between the tribes had
wrought sad havoc, many being slain, others made slaves,
and bitter enmity continued; but Crosby secured peace
by a great Council of the Chiefs from distant parts, and
a lasting treaty was made.
When Clah, a member of the Dog Eater Society, born
at Fort Simpson, was converted along with his wife, he
was baptized Philip McKay, and began at once to work
for Christ. Along with some of the native Christians, he
went to work cutting wood at Fort Wrangel, Alaska, and
at the same time preached the Gospel, and with such good
effect that many were converted. After laboring there
for two years, the mission was handed over to the
American Presbyterian Church, which has done a great
work in that country under Dr. Sheldon Jackson, while
Clah is known as the Apostle of Alaska. Numerous calls
for missionaries came from the regions beyond, which
were answered by Crosby himself in a visit, or by his
native evangelists. At Bella Bella, two hundred miles
north of Vancouver, the heathen responded to Crosby's
message, and many were led to Christ. After some years
a new village was built with a hospital, council hall and
mission house, while the natives owned their sawmill and
began an industry in canoes, boxes and mats. Great
success attended the founding of the Naas Mission, which
was visited twice by Mr. Crosby, and then a deputation of
Chiefs came to Fort Simpson asking for a missionary.
For several years missionaries carried on the work and THOMAS CROSBY
blessed revivals followed, but finally the mission was
handed over to the Church Missionary Society.
From the headwaters of the Upper Skeena River,
several hundred miles distant, came a blind Indian named
Jack, who gave all the money he had, seventy-five cents,
to the missionary at Fort Simpson to help build a church
and found a mission among his people. He was a good
singer and remained long enough to learn some hymns,
and for two years, he summoned the people with a handbell, sang the hymns, held up the Bible he could not read,
and told them the story of salvation. For several years
calls came from the Upper Skeena for a missionary, but
not till after Blind Jack's death could Crosby visit the
people. Subsequently a mission was founded where hundreds have been converted.
At Kitamaat, Charlie Amos, a converted Indian, began
telling the people about Christ, and though opposed by
conjurors, many souls were won, and after Crosby went
and saw what was needed, a missionary was sent. There
were numerous conversions; a Church, School and
Children's Home were erected, and a quarterly magazine
named I Nanakwa," or " Dawn on the Northwest Coast,"
was printed by the Indian children. These are all evidences of successful work.
With the call for a missionary from Queen Charlotte
Islands, and the conversion of Gedanst, named Amos
Russ, the movement against heathenism began on the
Islands, and though the struggle was great, Christ conquered and many were won to a new life. Crosby went
among the people, the mission grew rapidly, the scattered
tribes were united under the banner of the Cross and a
new type of civilization was introduced and prospered. 196
Along the North Pacific Coast, and in the interior, day
schools are successfully carried on at all the missions,
boarding schools are doing wonders in educating the
young folks, and an Industrial Institute is in operation at
Chilliwack where young men are taught trades and young
women prepared for life work. The Girls' Home and
Boys' Home at Port Simpson, and similar institutions,
are some of the results of the work of the great evangelist and his wife and the noble band of native helpers
and missionaries on the coast. Hospitals have been
erected, following the advent of Dr. Bolton in answer to
Crosby's appeal after an outbreak of diphtheria from
which three of his children died in one week, and many
Indians lost their little ones. These medical missionaries
have saved thousands from death.
Dangers were numerous on the long and rough canoe
trips until the Gospel Ship " Glad Tidings " was built, and
the Waterways Mission founded; and with the " Thomas
Crosby," launched in 1912, now ploughing the seas, the
missions have been blessed for many years, and thousands
of red and white men and settlers have heard the Gospel.
In 1907, the man who had given forty-five years of
missionary service on the Pacific Coast was compelled to
superannuate. Stricken with paralysis, he retired to Vancouver, where he died on January 13th, 1914, aged 73
years. When he went to the west coast, British Columbia
was a crown colony, the people were pagans, and there
were no converts to the Christian faith. When he went
east on furlough in 1906, there were thirty-two churches
connected with Methodist Indian Missions, twenty-four
parsonages, twelve schools, four hospitals, two boarding
schools, one industrial school, a church membership of
1,650, two Indian ordained missionaries, three medical The Rev. Thomas Crosby, D.D. (1840-1914)
For forty-five years missionary to the Indians of British Columbia  THOMAS CROSBY
missionaries, ten ordained white missionaries and thirty
other workers. His death called forth glowing testimonies
to his worth, from Indian converts in the west and from
men of high station all over the Dominion. He was a
great man, a militant saint, an enthusiastic evangelist, a
lover of his fellows of every creed and nationality, beloved
by thousands, and his monument may be seen in the missions founded, where Christian villages abound; but his
true record no human eye can read or see, for it abides
on high. CHAPTER XII
john mcdougall
'Missionary and Empire Builder
FORTY-ONE years, almost to a day, lay between the
passing of George McDougall and his son John,
and both died within a few miles of the same spot,
the former alone on the open prairie, far from human
settlement, and the latter at home, surrounded by his
family, in a modern city. Between January 23rd, 1876,
and January 15th, 1917, there were great strides of
civilization, wide movements of population, history was
being rapidly written, a new age and a new nation had
sprung into being. Only a prophet could tell the story of
these forty-one years. With his father's death the mantle
of Elijah fell upon the shoulders of the young Elisha.
John McDougall was already trained for the conflict,
and with an unaccustomed tear for his father—the hero
of the plains—he | went on his way, and the angels of
God met him."
In view of his great career as a missionary and empire-
builder, John McDougall could not have been born at a
more appropriate time than on December 27th, 1842, and
there could not have been a better site for a birthplace
than Owen Sound on the shores of Georgian Bay.
Seventy years ago the village was the centre of a brisk
trade among the Indian tribes located on the shores of
the Bay, and contact with these people in relation to their
language and customs supplied the best possible education
for one who was destined to be a leader of the red men,
and who was to reveal to them noble ideals, far removed
from the savage instincts of the race. There is an old
tradition that he was the first white child born on the
shores of Georgian Bay, but there is no virtue attached
to such a claim and his wotffeh lies in another sphere. His
heart was white, and his home was of the Anglo-Saxon
type, but from his birth he was a son of the wigwam,
speaking the Ojibway language in infancy, thinking as a
native, a lover of the outdoor life, and holding close
fellowship with the red men, until he became higher
than the chiefs. His name will abide as a precious memory
among the traditions of the western men, through all
the passing years. His first memories were of bows and
arrows, great forests, log heaps, stumps and corduroy
roads; of paddles and boats, from the small birch-bark
canoe to bateaux and mackinaw craft; of deep snow in
winter, with hot summers and myriads of mosquitoes.
The missionary family went to Alderville on Rice Lake,
when the boy was seven years of age, and the native
children called him " Dapi-tic-a-mon," a nickname which
arose from the fact that he had to take care of his younger
brother David, and was accustomed to say to his charge,
" David, come on." But later, in the fashion of the
Indians, he won a new and more dignified name, " Pa-ke-
noh-ka," meaning " The Winner," as he was usually the
first in the foot races among the boys. He might well
have retained that name to the end of his life, as on the
old trails, or open prairie, whether on foot or horseback
or driving a buckboard, he was always ahead of the rest
of the company. #
When he was eleven years of age, he was sent to school
at Owen Sound for a year.    In these early years his
14 200
knowledge of the Ojibway language enabled him to render
helpful service to his father as interpreter, and secured
for him a situation with a trader among the Indians, at
the small salary of five dollars a month. His education
always seemed to be out of doors, and still he had aspirations after a college career; but that was destined to be of
only two years' duration, and perhaps he could not have
chosen better training than that which Providence thrust
upon him. He laid his plans, but a higher power changed
them, and he remained to the end of his life, a child of
destiny. At the age of sixteen, he was sent to Victoria
College, at Cobourg, where his native habits won for him
the obnoxious name " the Indian fellow." But instead
of humiliation there was a genuine pride, as he was still
" the winner," being first on the campus, and besides,
he was so kind and genial that his fellow students could
not help liking him. Indeed his knowledge of the
geography of his own country surpassed that of his
companions; for as one boy asked another, " Where does
he come from ?" the reply was, " Why, he comes from
Lake Superior, at the foot of the Rocky Mountains."
Even now, some folks in the Dominion may not know
that a thousand miles lie between them.
His course at College came abruptly to an end, by his
father being appointed to Norway House on Lake Winnipeg, and the young man of eighteen years with his
thorough grasp of the Ojibway language and well versed
in Indian lore was needed in that great northland. It
was enough for his father to say quietly to him, " My
son, I want you to go with me." With the obedience
and alertness belonging to military life, they literally
sprang to the task of preparation, and with keen zest and
a new vision, they were off to the land where fame was JOHN McDOUGALL
found unsought, and with which their names were forever
linked. Ever afterward, they were destined to be travelling westward, until they went home to God in the white
stone canoe to the islands of the blessed, that lie beyond
the setting sun. In the centre of native trade at Norway
House, with an important Hudson's Bay Company's post,
there was a new task for the young man, as the Cree
language, though belonging, as did the Ojibway, to the
Algonquin family, was a language and not a dialect;
however, with his genius for the native tongues, he soon
mastered its difficulties, and lived to become one of the
greatest Cree scholars that ever dwelt in the west. These
people in the north were superior to the Ojibways, being
steady and hard-working fellows. This brought a bit of
inspiration, while some things were added to his education,
such as driving dog trains in the winter, exploring the
far northern wilds, coursing along the rivers, and sleeping
in the open. Hardly had they got settled, than a new.
occupation was given him, as teacher of a school of eighty
boys. By canoe and dog-train they came from adjacent
islands, and the young man of eighteen fashioned these
dusky lads by the manliness of his own character. His
exuberant spirits found expression in leading his scholars
to high ideals, and he was ultimately rewarded by seeing
some of them graduating in later years into native teachers
and preachers to their own people.
Far to the west lay " the great lone land," and a vision
of greater possibilities came to George McDougall. With
the insight of the prophet, he decided to visit the tribes
on the Saskatchewan and the missions in the vicinity of
Edmonton. In that memorable year of 1862, father and
son started westward, travelling by canoe until they
reached the plains, when they journeyed on horseback. 202
John awoke to greatness on the trip, for then he killed his
first buffalo and bear. Never again would he be a common man, for his courage and skill would be recognized,
and he would be held in esteem. The vision became true,
for George McDougall decided to make Victoria, on the
Saskatchewan, the centre of his operations, from which
he might be able to evangelize the Crees, Stonies and
Blackfeet. With this hope, he left John with Thomas
Woolsey, the missionary, giving instructions to erect
buildings, while he hurried back to Norway House before
winter set in, that he might return with the others of his
family in the following summer. John was twenty years
old, with the experience of a pioneer, and no better
assistant could Woolsey have had than the young man of
strong muscle and active hrain, whose life had been spent
among the native tribes.
There were many hardships, and the brave assistant
was sometimes lonesome, but worst of all was the
monotony of the food, which consisted of fish and buffalo
meat three times a day or as often as the two men were
hungry. On one of his trips, John visited a Church of
England Mission, and got his first square meal in two
years, of bread and butter, and needless to say, the good
housewife had no complaints to make about her poor
cooking, as the victuals disappeared in quick fashion.
In a few months after the return of George McDougall
with his family from Norway House, the first school in
the present Province of Alberta was opened in the
Mission House with nine scholars, and thus was begun
the system of public education. In 1865, when John was
twenty-three years old, he married Miss Steinhauer,
daughter of the missionary at Whitefish Lake. The
honeymoon trip was to Victoria by dog train.    As a From a painting by Paul Kane
Chiefs of Northwest Indian Tribes
Winter Travel by Dog-Train  JOHN McDOUGALL
wedding gift George McDougall presented the young
couple with a pair of Hudson's Bay blankets, two hundred
balk and gunpowder, and some net twine.
Having decided to begin work at Pigeon Lake, the
young missionary and his wife with three others started
on the journey, but were compelled to halt, as an epidemic
of measles and scarlet fever had broken out among the
Indians, and three of the party, including the young bride,
were taken seriously ill. There was no doctor nearer
than Fort Garry, more than a thousand miles away, but
a temporary hospital was improvised, where the * party
remained for six days, and then went on their way. The
epidemic swept all over western Canada, and with building operations at the mission, visiting the camps and nursing the sick, there was abundant work for all. Great
indeed was the surprise at the Mission, when David
McDougall brought the sister who had been in Ontario
for five years, to visit John and his wife, and she was
amused to see her brother clad in a leather suit of clothes,
his long hair falling on his shoulders, in real western
The first year at Pigeon Lake marked the entrance of
John into the ranks of the Methodist ministry, of which
during his long career he was to become a shining
example of heroic unselfishness and concentrated devotion. The following year, John made a trip to Mountain
Fort, one hundred and eighty miles from Edmonton; and
in January, 1866, he got his first view of the Rocky Mountains, a vision as great and inspiring as that which came
to Verandrye, when he saw the " Shining Mountains," as
he called them. In these days, Winnipeg was a frontier
village, and there was no permanent white settlement outside of it, except down at Kildonan, around St. Boniface, 204
and at a stray spot here and there. A few miners were
washing for gold on the bars of the Saskatchewan River
in the spring, and hunting buffalo during the balance of
the year. There was one small settlement of French half-
breeds at St. Albert, and another of English and Scotch
half-breeds at Victoria, sixty miles north-east of Edmonton. A bit of gardening was done at Victoria which was
the only attempt at the cultivation of the soil in the far
west, outside of the mission stations. Conditions of
living were sometimes precarious, and now and again
amusing, as when he had a light breakfast on wild duck
left over from the previous day, lunched at noon on
young owlets, and supped on rabbit stew; but next morning had a full larder, and enjoyed a rich repast on the
venison. The winter of 1866 and 1867 was a severe one,
and the buffalo were far away on the plains, so that the
Indians were in danger of starvation.   The Hudson's Bav
o _-
Company and the missionaries did their utmost to relieve
the distress. . . M
When George Young began his missionary work in the
Red River Settlement, the whiskey traders were plying
their nefarious business among the tribes on the plains,
and dire consequences in bloodshed, rapine and immorality
followed in their train. John McDougall got up a petition, which the native chiefs were glad to sign in the
interests of peace and good government, and this was
sent forward to Lieutenant-Governor Archibald, with a
request for total prohibition in the North-west Territories.
So successful was the work performed in dealing with
the Indians, that the Hudson's Bay Company made a
tempting offer to the missionary to enter their service,
but he was too loyal and devoted in his great ministrations
of the Cross  of  Christ  to  step  aside,  and  he  never JOHN McDOUGALL
regretted his decision. During the winter of 1869 and
1870, the sad news of the Riel Rebellion was brought to
the mission, and an epidemic of small-pox among the
Indian tribes caused much distress and suffering. There
were frequent raids; the Blackfeet hated the Crees and
Stonies; and there were grave fears of an Indian uprising
all over the west. The Government and Hudson's Bay
Company sent John McDougall on a mission of peace and
patriotism. He visited the camps, and in the lodges and
in meetings of the native councils, he explained the condition of affairs, allayed the fears of the people, contradicted false reports, and assured them that their rights
would be fully and faithfully protected. Never was any
mission performed better, nor did any ever meet with
greater success, than that of John McDougall, that winter
on the plains. While the strain of this service was upon
him, he received word that the epidemic of small-pox had
reached the Mission House. He hastened thither to find
that two of his sisters, Georgina, aged eighteen, and Flora,
aged eleven, and Anna, an adopted daughter, aged fourteen, were dead and buried. George McDougall and his
son David dug the graves in the mission garden. When
John arrived he was not permitted to enter the house,
but had only a passing word or two, then off to carry out
his commission among the Indians on the plains. On
returning again to Edmonton as he entered the fort, a
messenger brought the sad news to him that his wife was
dead, leaving three daughters to his tender care. Out
upon the plains he went to prepare the Indians for the
making of treaties with the Government, and to explain
the reason for the presence of surveyors, who were
already in some districts measuring the land, and blocking out townships. 206
Within two years he was in Winnipeg, June, 1872,
attending the first Methodist Conference in the west.
Being invited by Dr. Morley Punshon, in the significant
words, " John, let us take a walk," he went along, and
was interviewed regarding his work. Little was said
about his theology, and he was much surprised, at the
close of the conversation, when the famous pulpit orator
said: " Well, your examination is perfectly satisfactory,
and we will ordain you in the morning." Going east to
Ontario for a trip, he spent some time with relatives at
Meaford, where he wooed and won Miss Elizabeth Boyd.
Their marriage was a benediction, as she proved a helpful
co-worker in the mission field, and through all the years
has been in labors abundant, enduring severe hardship
without a murmur, and glad to serve the Indians to the
utmost of her ability. i
Back again on the plains, he began the foundation of
the first mission to the Stoney Indians. In the Bow River
Valley he spent the greater part of his life, until far and
wide, the mission at Morley became known as one of the
most successful on the continent. These men of the
mountains were transformed from wild nomads into
useful citizens, and lovers of peace. The lawlessness of
the old buffalo days, and the regime of the whiskey
traders came to an end with the advent of the Mounted
Police, who made their famous march across the plains
in 1874. At once order was begun, and good government
was established, making possible the settlement of the
vast areas of agricultural land, and the development of
the resources of the country. In 1878, the buffalo went
south, and were finally exterminated by the Crow, Sioux
and Mandan Indians, on the Yellowstone and Missouri
Rivers. ^m^w^^^^^^l^»^^^^MSv^W;:l^i^;^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Mi^^^^^^^^»^^^^^^^P
The McDougall Orphanage, Morley, Alberta
The  Home   and   School  established  by   Dr.   McDougall
Dr. McDougall, Indian Children, and Orphanage Staff  JOHN McDOUGALL
While serving the Church as a missionary and always
zealous to win souls for Christ, he maintained close relations with the Government, being anxious that the whole
country might be opened up for civilization. He was
convinced of its great possibilities, and could never rest
content till he saw the long procession of immigrants
from many lands making their homes in the west. He
was not a politician in the narrow sense of the word, but
a man of vision, and when surveyors and exploring
parties came in advance of the building of railroads, he
often acted as guide, and his knowledge of the trails
and mountain passes was sought for and utilized by Sir
Sanford Fleming and Colonel Rogers. While giving
personal help unstinted, he employed his Stony Indians
as guides to further the important work. References to
his splendid services were given by Principal Grant in his
notable book, "Ocean to Ocean," and yet the half has
not been told. Again, during the second Riel Rebellion,
he showed the sterling qualities of a patriot, by visiting
the native camps to encourage the Indians to maintain
their loyalty to Queen and Empire. He travelled with
the troops, guiding them over unknown trails and dangerous routes, and ministering to their spiritual needs. He
was a militant Christian in the interests of peace, and a
preacher of the great verities of the Christian faith.
When he superannuated at the age of 64 years, he worked
as hard as ever, and was appointed by the Dominion
Government, Commissioner for the Doukhobors, and
Special Commissioner for the Indians, and in this dual
capacity he rendered important service to the country.
With every Governor General from the days of Lord
Dufferin, he was in close personal relations, and was
frequently called upon by the premiers of the Dominion, 208
and the Lieutenant-Governors of the western provinces,
for advice in dealing with the Indians, and concerning
western affairs. His knowledge, experience, and good
judgment were highly valued, and usually acted upon.
He contested the Riding of Centre Calgary in the Alberta
Legislature as Liberal Candidate, and was defeated, but
he retired with honor and without a single stain upon
his reputation. As Temperance Commissioner in Alberta
for the enforcement of prohibition of the liquor traffic
he was energetic and loyal to the cause for which he had
fought during his whole life.
With an intense love of country, and a deep and abiding
conviction of the boundless possibilities of the west, this
prophet of the new age seized every opportunity of telling
the people of Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime Provinces about the vast areas of agricultural land, the coal
deposits, mineral and forest resources, the great heritage
for millions of people. With the natural gifts of oratory,
possessed by both father and son, vast audiences were
thrilled with his fascinating story of an empire in the
west. It was, however, as a missionary of the Cross that
he went up and down the land, telling his tales of adventure to the delight of old and young. Only once did he
venture on a lecturing tour in Great Britain, and did
not embark on such an enterprise in the United States.
It seems now to us that the Government and the country
lost a splendid opportunity in not sending him as a representative to other lands in the interests of immigration,
for he was a good type of the empire builder.
It was in the town of Cobourg, that I first met him,
and that was in 1879. His daughter Flora was attending
the Wesleyan Ladies' College in Hamilton, his two
brothers-in-law, the Steinhauer brothers, were attending JOHN McDOUGALL
the Collegiate Institute in Cobourg, and his wife and
family and his mother were taking a year's rest in that
old University town. In the spring of the following year,
along with my wife, I left with him and the party, for
my work as missionary to the Blackfeet. An account of
that journey was published by Dr. Alexander Sutherland
under the title " A Summer in Prairie Land." Every few
years afterward, John McDougall went east on a missionary tour, and was incessantly lecturing and writing about
the Indians, or the country. After the Rebellion, he
visited Ontario and Quebec, taking with him three loyal
Indian chiefs—Pakan, Samson and Jacob. In later
years, he was kept busy addressing Canadian Clubs,
Institutes and Church organizations, and he had one
theme only—the civilization of the Indians, and the development of the west.
As a Cree scholar, he bore the reputation of being
chief of all the white men speaking that language. So
proficient was he, that he thought in Cree, and frequently
had to translate his thoughts from Cree into English.
Along with E. B. Glass, one of our missionaries, he prepared a Primer and Language Lessons in Cree and a
Cree Hymn Book in 1888. Both of these men were
valued members of the Committee on the Revision of the
Cree Bible. As an author, he published "The Life of
George McDougall," " Forest, Lake and Prairie,"
followed by four similar^ volumes on his life in the west;
two books of fiction, "The White Buffalo," and
" Katrine, the Belle of the North," the latter in the
Sunday School paper, " Onward."
So great was his faith in the Indians, that if any one
dared to speak disparagingly of them, he sprang forward
as their champion in the press and on the platform, and 210
no sacrifice was too great for him to make for them. He
was always the peace-maker, for even when only twenty-
three years of age, he lived for three days with an Indian
chief, and in danger of his life, that he might ensure
peace between two tribes at war, and he won the day.
Besides the honors given him by the state, the Church
to which he belonged held him in high esteem. He was
elected President of the Manitoba and North-west Conference, a delegate to nearly every General Conference,
and Victoria College conferred on him the degree of
Doctor of Divinity.
He died at Calgary, and in that city, on January 2ist,
1917, he was buried with great honors. All classes of
people were there; representatives from the Alberta
Legislature, the Civic Councils, Boards of Education,
Colleges, religious denominations and public institutions
of Edmonton and Calgary, as well as other parts of the
province, were in attendance. A fine guard of the
Mounted Police, veterans of the Rebellions, Indians in full
dress, men and women belonging to all the learned professions, besides many of the common folks, to whom he
had been a good friend, were present. There were glowing tributes to his memory by the Rev. S. W. Fallis, his
pastor, by George Webber, the President of the Alberta
Methodist Conference, and by the Hon. W. H. Gushing
and Dr. Riddell of Alberta College. The newspapers all
over the Dominion gave editorial expression to his great
worth, white " In Memoriam " sketches were published
by old fellow travellers. I cannot close this sketch of my
brave companion of other days better than in the words
of Chief Jonas Bigstony, delivered at the funeral, and
interpreted by the Rev. E. R. Steinhauer: " As far as I
can remember, I am going to tell you, and speak a little. ssRsr;
While our land was free, and the country was free, our
friends here met our father on the plains. They followed
his as a friend and brother, and had faith in him and in
his teaching. As he found us, all our families were
pagans. All these teachings dropped, and we are now
following him in his steps. And as far as I can remember,
day and night, storm and shine, we always found our
friend here to do his duty. Just as we all remember him
to-day, and all our lives, we will strive to follow him. All
the tribes, the Stonies, Crees, and Blackfeet, all have the
same feeling of loneliness. Just as you are all here
to-day, there may be difference as to the color of the skin,
but we have one aim as brethren. As I think of the days
of the past, I think of the ministry of our brother, and
how he told us the time would come when our spirits
will depart, and to-day, as I think of it, I say in my heart,
he has faithfully done his duty. And as you hear me
to-day express my thoughts, he had done his duty as a
guide faithfully, and now as we are here to-day, with a
common feeling of loss, we want to express our sorrow
to his wife, daughter, and sons. As I look at this Bible
opened up, and this is what brought us together, and I
look on his wife, I can almost say, she has been a mother,
helping us to do the right. And as we all remember, we
have heard him tell how Christ came to the world. They
(Dr. and Mrs. McDougall) have fulfilled their part, and
this I wish my people may follow."
This empire builder, patriot, and great missionary, my
companion of the early days in many a camp, and on long
journeys on the prairie, has gone, and I am left lonely
and sad, but his influence abides, and shall continue
beyond the eternal stars. CHAPTER XIII fc
Ths Ecci^siasticai, Statesman
SAINTS or statesmen are not made in a day, and
there is something in heredity and environment.
As if by instinct, when a man attains a high position,
or when a great man dies, we ask concerning his nationality, ancestry and home training, as therein we hope to
find the secret of his strength, and the purpose of his
life. Like some of those of whom we have written in
these pages, James Woodsworth was Canadian born, and
though it is an honor to belong to Great Britain's largest
colony, we are prouder far to be citizens of one of the
free nations united under the Union Jack, for in these
tragic days, the Canadian name has a charm, and carries
an influence recognized all over the world. In Toronto,
the capital of Upper Canada, James Woodsworth made
his appearance, without any concern save to the members
of his own family; and there was not likely to be any
portent in the sky, making the announcement that a child
was born in that home, for his parents were gentle folks
doing their simple duty as common citizens, serving God
and their fellowmen. He was the son of Richard Woods-
worth, who was the son of another Woodsworth, who was
the son of still another Woodsworth, who was the son of
Adam, who was the son of God. This child of modern
democracy was descended from the aristocracy of heaven,
and he never rejected his title of nobility, though he did
not flaunt it in the face of men.
On the third day of the merry month of May, when the
early blossoms were ushering in the short Canadian spring
time, and in the year 1843, this child of destiny was born.
Though the country was young, it was in troublous times
that this gentle soul was ushered in. The dregs of the
Mackenzie Rebellion in Upper Canada, and of Papineau
in Lower Canada remained until the union of the two
provinces in 1841. The famous Ashburton Treaty, increased immigration, and discontent along the border
prepared the way for the Fenian Raid of later years;
still out of all the turmoil, there came peace and progress,
and hope for a larger and better union. Some of the
tragic events of this period took place in his native city,
and left abiding impressions in his memory. But the
growing child found in the rapid strides in education in
Canada West, as the Province of Ontario was then called,
something more congenial to his nature, which served as
an impetus to his ambition and love of peace. Richard
and Mary Ann Woodsworth were industrious and gentle
folks, who cared well for the members of their family,
and their piety was revealed in giving two sons to the
ministry, both of whom rose to eminence, and served the
church and their country well. Richard Woodsworth was
a lumber merchant and contractor in Toronto, and among
the numerous buildings erected by him was the Richmond
Street Church, which later, gave place to the first Wesley
Buildings. His thrift and energy sufficed to make him
a man of independent means, but he trusted his friends
too well, and suffered the loss of the most of his fortune
by endorsing notes which he was compelled to pay.
His sons were trained in business habits under his care,
and James, during his boyhood, was privileged to share in
the general improvement in education. The pioneer period
was passing away, and with the union of the Canadas in
1841, a measure was passed reorganizing the common 214
schools. With the appointment in 1844, of Egerton
Ryerson, the eloquent Methodist minister, editor, and
great leader, as chief superintendent of education in
Upper Canada, a new era was ushered in. The Province
of Ontario found in Dr. Ryerson, a man similar to Sir
James Kay-Shuttleworth in England, and Horace Mann
in the United States. Dr. Ryerson's ideal system was one
of free public schools, and compulsory attendance of the
pupils. His strong personality gave an impetus to higher
education, which was shared by all the leading religious
denominations, and in a few years, colleges were established which paved the way for a deeper and broader
national life. The influences of this movement awakened
and developed the intellect of James Woodsworth. The
ministry was in need of men, owing to increasing population and the formation of new missions, and although he
was debarred the privilege of university training, he had
a good mind, and was well equipped for his life work.
At the age of twenty-one, he was received on trial for
the ministry, and four years later, at the Conference of
1868, he was ordained. A few days later, on June 16th,
1868, he was married to Miss Esther Josephine, daughter
of Peter and Esther Shaver, of Cooksville, Ontario. The
years of his probation were spent on country circuits, an
experience thought necessary for the itinerant, and these
included Cooksville, Craighurst and Penetanguishene,
Orillia and Innisfail. The circuit to which he took his
young bride was Vespra, where he spent two years. The
man whom we delight to honor belonged to the great
Sanhedrin of the Saddle-fcags. Their doctrines embraced
all mankind in the scheme of redemption, with its offer of
free salvation to men and women of all nationalities and
of every tongue, to those of high and low degree, of all JAMES WOODSWORTH
creeds and of none, for the message proclaimed the atoning merits of the sacrifice made by the great High Priest,
who "breaks the power of cancelled sin, and sets the
prisoner free." His ministry in the Province of Ontario
comprised, after the period at Vespra, one year at Stay-
ner, and two at Wellesley, when his health broke down.
He returned to Mrs. Woodsworth's home at Cooksville
for a year's rest, after which he spent three years at
Hastings, and two at Horning's Mills.
Those were the days of revival services and camp
meetings, rough corduroy roads, and blazed trails through
the bush. The spiritual atmosphere was charged with
power, and the people were keenly alive to the movements
of divine grace. A London Methodist, a local preacher
named Hoby, claimed a share in the winning of Wellington's battles, by reason of the boats he made for the Duke
in St. James Square, and by virtue of the prayers which
he offered for him in Islington. In like manner James
Woodsworth might well have made a large claim in the
interests of civilization, as he bore the burdens of a
pioneer on heavy fields of labor. The debt we owe to the
brave men of the saddlebags will never be fully known or
fully appreciated, for out of the rugged ledge of human
nature they quarried the stones for the temple of their
own denomination, without claiming any monopoly, or
breathing any anathema. No opponent was ever branded
as unfit for society, or beyond the pale of the Gospel of
light and truth. Theodore Roosevelt has well said: " The
whole country is under a debt of gratitude to the Methodist circuit-riders, the Methodist pioneer preachers,
whose movement westward kept pace with the movement
of the frontier, who shared all the hardships in the life of
the frontiersman while at the same time ministering to
15 216
that frontiersman's spiritual needs, and seeing that his
pressing material cares, and the hard and grinding poverty of his life did not wholly extinguish the divine fire
within his soul." dj§
The revival services held in the old log schoolhouse or
church, in the backwoods, were often rough and noisy,
as the folks came from " the clearings," some bent on
mischief, and others in quest of rich blessings; yet, the
gatherings were generally seasons of great power. The
preachers selected lurid texts, and depicted hell-fire in
strong terms. The writer well remembers his old superintendent, the Rev. George Ferguson, prim and neat in
his person and dress, preaching on " Who shall deliver
us from everlasting burnings?" Once he said to me as
I was going into the pulpit, | My lad, give them hell-fire
and damnation." In one year, we had thirty-three weeks
of continuous services on the ten appointments, and many
souls were won for Christ. Vivid are the memories of
the camp meetings in the forest, where thousands were in
attendance; the preacher's stand, with a small room for
meditation, the rough boards on trunks of trees for seats,
the pine roots burning at night on the light stands, casting
a ruddy glare around, the penitent bench where Indians
and white folks fell prostrate, " under the power," and
awoke from their unconscious state singing:
" My God is reconciled,
His pardoning voice I hear."
Those were great times, and though they have passed
away, their influence abides, and many still rejoice in the
blessings they received under the spell of the Gospel from
the lips of devoted men. JAMES WOODSWORTH
The western vision came to James Woodsworth, when
he was sent to Muskoka in 1879, where he spent one year
at Parry Sound, and two at Bracebridge. Then came the
pioneer days when in 1882, at thirty-nine years of age, he
was appointed to Portage la Prairie, where he spent
three years. The country was new, the people were poor,
but they had faith in the west. Their optimism led them
into real estate booms, which ended disastrously, and
brought heavy burdens, and church enterprises were
hampered for several years. In accordance with the prevailing ideas of those days, a block of stores was built,
with a hall above for church services. The old church
and parsonage, being too far out for the convenience of
the congregation, were sold, and a new parsonage
erected. This was the custom at that time, as shown by
Wesley Hall, belonging to the Methodists in Winnipeg.
Selkirk Hall, on Logan Avenue in the same city, was one
of the chief edifices of the Presbyterians, which developed
later into St. Andrew's and Westminster congregations.
In the following June, the first regular Methodist Conference was held in Wesley Hall, the General Superintendent, the Rev. Dr. Samuel Dwight Rice, a former pastor
of Grace Church, and at that time President of the General Conference, being present. The Rev. Dr. George
Young, who was Superintendent of Missions for Manitoba and the North-west, was the President. The Rev.
John Semmens was Secretary. The Rev. John E. Hunter,
afterwards famous in his evangelistic campaigns with
H. S. Crossley, was assistant secretary, and G. K. B.
Adams journal secretary. Forty-seven ministerial and
lay delegates composed that Conference, and there were
two notable visitors, Henry Ward Beecher, who gave an
inspiring impromptu address, and Principal  Grant of 218
Queen's University, who delivered a splendid speech at
the missionary meeting. A. W. Ross, missionary from
Fisher River, gave an account of his work among the
Indians on Lake Winnipeg. I had just come from
the Rocky Mountains, and in speaking of my mission,
gave an outline of the native religion of the Blackfoot Indians, and when I incidentally referred to the
large herds of buffalo I had seen on the Missouri River,
the audience seemed incredulous, and laughed heartily.
I did not care to be reckoned a modern Munchausen, so
retorted: | Wait till John McDougall tells you some of his
buffalo stories, and you will have something to laugh at."
That was the inspiring touch, for when John came on,
with his magic oratory, and his thrilling tales of millions
of buffalo and great buffalo hunts, the audience was convulsed, and I was forgotten.
During the sessions, a vote of thanks was tendered
James Woodsworth for his sermon to the Conference,
which was characterized as j soundly Methodistic, able
and faithful," and among the numerous resolutions
passed, was one by him, expressing satisfaction at the
progress made toward the union of the Methodist Church
of Canada, the. Primitive Methodist, Bible Christian, and
Methodist Episcopal Church. Another resolution was,
on the appointment of a committee to take steps toward
securing buildings and endowments for a denominational
college; another, on the advisability of establishing a book
room in Winnipeg, and issuing a newspaper in the interests of Western Methodism; and still others, on holding
two camp meetings, the publication of native literature
for the use of the Indians and the missionaries, a com-
mendatiori of the Rev. Orrin German of Norway House,
for his Cree translations of part of the Catechism, and JAMES WOODSWORTH
many hymns and tracts. Mr. German was then in Toronto
superintending their publication. Addresses of loyalty
were sent to the Honorable Edgar Dewdney, Lieutenant-
Governor of the North-west Territories, and the Honorable James C. Aikins, Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba,
father of the present Lieutenant-Governor of the province. Methodism at that date in the city of Winnipeg
was represented by Grace Church, known as Wesley
Hall, with the Rev. E. A. Stafford as minister; Zion
Church, with the Rev. W. L. Rutledge; and Bannatyne
Street Church, afterward called Wesley Church, with the
Rev. George Daniel as its pastor.
In September of that year, the General Conference met
in Belleville, Ontario, and consummated the union of the
four branches of Methodism. At the first Annual Conference of the united church, held in Brandon, June, 1884,
the Rev. E. A. Stafford was elected president, the Rev.
Thomas Argue, who had been presiding elder of the
Methodist Episcopal Church in Manitoba, and an able
administrator, was chosen secretary, and A. Monkman,
Esq., assistant secretary. The status of Western Methodism, as shown by the records of the Conference of 1883,
was not much to boast of, as it was a day of small things.
Yet, the missionaries travelled over an area of 175,000
square miles, in which there were 5 self-sustaining fields,
46 missions to the white settlers, and 17 to the Indian
tribes, a total of 68. In this wide territory there were
269 preaching stations, 48 churches, 32 parsonages, 12
rented houses used as parsonages, 13,875 hearers in the
congregations, 2,883 members of the church, 1,767 Methodist families, 82 class meetings, 68 Sunday Schools, and
the amount raised on ministers' salaries was $13,085.00. 220
Of the members of that Conference still living in the
west, and engaged in the active work of the ministry,
there are: T. B. Wilson, G. K. B. Adams, Thomas Lawson,
Andrew Stewart, W. G. Wilson, J. H. L. Joslyn, and
John Maclean; among those superannuated, John Sem-
mens, J. H. Ruttan, Charles Ladner, S. E. Colwill, and
Wellington Bridgman; and of the laymen, J. A. M.
Aikins, J. H. Ashdown, A. Monkman, R. T. Riley, M. E.
Boughton, Henry Rose, Thomas Ryan, Alan Bowerman,
and a few other names not recorded. At the union of the
four denominations, the Methodist Episcopal Church in
the west added 348 members to the strength of the
church. In numerous places all over the three western
provinces linger tender memories of the pioneer missionaries, who have ceased to work and live, especially of
J. M. Harrison, T. B. Beynon, T. E. Morden, I. N. Robinson, William Halstead and Henry Kenner.
In the year of the second Riel Rebellion, James Woods-
worth was stationed at Brandon, and at the Conference
in June was elected president, with Professor A. Stewart,
secretary. At that time so marked was Woodsworth's
genius and ability as an ecclesiastical statesman, possessed
of a vision and an optimism native to new conditions in
the country, that when the General Conference met in
the autumn of 1886, he was elected Superintendent of
Missions. In the June following, he entered upon his
duties, ignorant of the great task, and of the hardships to
be endured in laying foundations for the future. No
bishop ever held in his hand such a vast territory, as this
diocese. It extended from Port Arthur on Thunder Bay,
to the boundary of British Columbia, and even that province on the Pacific coast was included in later years, and
from the International Boundary to the North Pole, and JAMES WOODSWORTH
down the other side, if there were souls to save—and he
could get there. For twenty years the family made their
home in Brandon, until they removed to Winnipeg, as
more central for the work to be done, but the Superintendent of Missions lived all over. He was a lodger and
boarder for a few days with his family, and then he was
off to some distant mission, or small settlement, where
the people were destitute of the public means of grace.
The steady tramp of the procession of western immigrants awakened dormant faculties, and brought visions
of greatness to the pioneers of the Cross. They followed the primitive trails, and scoured the foothills in
quest of souls, and as they ran about the log shanties, like
Whittier's 1 Barefoot Boy," they were not forgetful of
the high claims of the future citizens. It is worthy of
note in passing, that about the year 1854, Whittier visited
the Roman Catholic Mission at St. Boniface, and after
his return home, he wrote his famous poem "The Red
River Voyageur." On his eighty-fourth birthday the
bells of St. Boniface rang out a joy-peal from the tower
of the Cathedral, and when this fact was made known
to the poet by United States Consul Taylor, he wrote a
beautiful letter to Archbishop Tache in acknowledgment
of the tribute.
With the unspoken prophecy of a new empire in the
making, these western pathfinders laid deep foundations,
and builded better than they knew. A College Board of
Directors was formed in 1886, part of whose duties was
to look into the offer of the trustees of Grace Church
concerning the transfer of the Wesley Hall property on
Main Street, Winnipeg, for college purposes; also to
enquire concerning the property left by the Rev. Edward
Morrow for the same object, which had been sold for £*&&
taxes and, if deemed advisable, to redeem it. Lest the
multiplicity of pastoral affairs might induce intellectual
stagnation in the ministers, a Theological Institute was
organized, to hold its sessions annually at the seat of
Conference. It had a two-fold purpose: " the study of
theology, and the cultivation of piety by means of lectures,
sermons, essays, addresses, and devotional exercises; and
the collection and preservation of historic records of
Methodism in this country." When James Woodsworth
took up the heavy responsibilities of his office, the Rev.
Andrew Stewart was President of Conference, and the
Rev. J. M. Harrison, Secretary. A scheme was drawn
up for a Theological College in Winnipeg, at an annual
cost for expenses of $4,000, toward which the members
of the Conference subscribed for three years, $1,350 per
The Rev. David Savage, editor of the organ of the
Methodist New Connexion Church in Canada, had become assistant editor of the " Christian Guardian," when
the Wesleyan and New Connexion Churches united, and
formed the Methodist Church of Canada, but he yearned
after the work of an evangelist. He organized a band of
men and women as voluntary workers, known as "The
Savage Band," which toured the Province of Ontario and
accomplished much good. For nearly two years, this
devoted minister held meetings at the centres of population in the west, with blessed results. Into these movements the Superintendent threw his energies, and so great
was his enthusiasm, and so wise his administration, that
at the close of his first year's work, the Conference passed
a hearty vote of thanks, and highly commended him for
what had been accomplished. jSlili
The Rev. George Young, D.D.
First   Methodist   Missionary   to   the
White People of the North-West
The Rev. James Woodsworth, D.D.
Supt. of Missions for the North-West
B*g£*.-    Wfc
"j V
I   1
L '
Wesley College, Winnipeg
Dr. Young opened the First School in Winnipeg. Dr. Woodsworth
proposed to Conference (1883) that a Methodist College be
opened in Winnipeg ___»• JAMES WOODSWORTH
All the mission fields being under his care, the Superintendent started on a tour of inspection of the Indian
Missions on Lake Winnipeg, accompanied by his son
James, the Revs. John McDougall and Joshua Dyke.
Leaving Selkirk on July 6th, 1888, the part}r was absent
one month. Many changes had taken place since the
Rev. James Evans had been stationed at Norway House,
and the Rev. W. Mason had been assigned to Rainy Lake,
Rat Portage (Kenora), Fort Alexander, Osnaburgh
House, Lac-le-Sal, and territory beyond, with headquarters at Fort Frances, when their salary was paid,
interpreters, and means of conveyance from place to
place, with lodgings and meals, were supplied free by the
Hudson's Bay Company, and its hospitality was unstinted. But our missionary party had to hire a skiff, and
tent, and two stalwart Indians to carry them from one
mission to another. The news of the visit of these leaders
of the church had gone forth to distant parts in the far
north, and a deputation of seven men came from Oxford
House, another of seven men from Cross Lake, and still
another of twenty-nine men from Nelson River, all pleading for missionaries and teachers. The Revs. John Sem-
mens, J. H. Ruttan, E. R. Young and Enos Langf ord had
explored the vast territory, and many of the red men of
the great north land had become humble disciples of
Christ. Native preachers still ministered to the people,
but they were not ordained, and could neither baptize nor
marry, consequently they had to wait till an ordained
missionary paid them a visit. The eloquent and very
successful Edward Paupanakis was in a dilemma, when
some young people asked him to marry them, and he had
no authority to do so. But he solved the problem by saying : " I will announce your intention to the congregation, 224
and when the missionary visits us he will perform the
ceremony." In his quaint English, Edward explained to
the missionary party, that these were " Breach of Promise
Marriages." In justice to the people, the man, and the
church itself, he was subsequently ordained. His life and
work were eloquent, and his memory is still revered in
the far north. Again in July, 1893, James Woodsworth
made a similar tour, accompanied by some members of his
family, and the Rev. John Semmens. Both of these trips
were full of interest, stimulating the natives to greater
effort in the cause of Christ. They helped the Missionary
Society toward a wise expenditure of men and money,
by revealing the greatness of the task, and in bringing
back a large fund of information relating to the success of
the Gospel in winning men and women from sin. Far to
the west among the foothills of the Rocky Mountains the
Superintendent went on his great work, stopping a few
days with the writer at his mission among the Blackfoot
Indians, then hastened away over the plains of Alberta,
as a spiritual surveyor to locate new missions.
The story of James Woodsworth is too large for a
single sketch, and there is left but a brief space for a
summary of his career. This prophet of the long trails
founded new missions in every nook and corner of the
western provinces, beginning with a sparse population,
and a church here and there. He continued his work as
Superintendent of Missions for the long period of twenty-
nine years, during which time sixty-eight circuits and
missions had become six hundred and fifty, and the small
Conference had grown into three large ones. Instead of
one superintendent, there were six, and special officials
had been appointed for work in Sunday Schools and
among young people.    His genius for organization en- JAMES WOODSWORTH
abled him to plant these spiritual nurseries at strategic
points, where they became centres of influence, and developed into large and important churches, as the small
settlement or hamlet grew into a large town or city. So
efficient was his plan of consolidation and expansion, that
he carried out his large schemes with the strictest economy, thus saving tens of thousands of dollars of missionary funds.
His duties bore him from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
In the west, he guided the affairs of the church all over
the plains, up and down the rivers, and among the mountains of British Columbia. Once he seized the opportunity of going as far north as Sitka in Alaska. In the
east, he travelled through Ontario and the Maritime Provinces, telling the wonderful story of the discovery of
opportunities for service, and in quest of heroic men for
the missions. By all kinds of vehicles, in the sweltering
heat of summer, and in the howling blizzard in the depth
of winter, he journeyed, glad to have a shake-down on the
floor of a bachelor's shanty, if only he could pave the way
for a sky-pilot to guide the way to heaven. He has slipped
into the mission house of the writer at two o'clock on a
bitter cold morning, and his cheery words of greeting did
not reveal the hardships of his long and weary trip. Never
did he confess that he was tired, but sometimes we learned
that he was compelled to stay at home for a few days to
recover from the exhaustion incident to his work. During
the first four years as Superintendent, he travelled 55,000
miles, and he complained that he wished to do more, but
there were only twelve months in the year, and he had to
stop, as neither his time-piece nor the sun would change
their old methods to suit his convenience. In one trip
through British Columbia, he travelled over three thou- 99
sand miles, and had many strange experiences in mining
camps and Indian villages. Some of his companions on
the stage coach were characters, who knew more than
they cared to tell of the seamy side of life.
With the advancing tide of immigration, and the growth
of settlement, new missions were required, but there were
not sufficient missionaries in the country, so he turned
his face toward Great Britain, with the hope of securing
suitable men. So wise was his judgment, and so large his
influence, that, although South Africa, Australia, and the
United States were drawing heavily on Great Britain for
ministers, and fewer candidates were offering themselves
for the ministry than in former years, he was able during
seven annual visits across the ocean, to bring out two
hundred and eighty men.
He was honored above many of the brethren of his own
denomination, being elected delegate to every General
Conference. In 1891, he was chosen one of twelve ministerial delegates from Canada to attend the Methodist
Ecumenical Council held in Washington, D.C, Victoria
College conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of
Divinity, and on every important committee or board in
connection with Wesley College and the Conference he
held a seat. With the Rev. Dr. Sparling, the revered
Principal of Wesley College, he wofked hard to further
the interests of that institution of learning, and rejoiced
in its continual success. It was he who inaugurated the
religious and social work among the foreigners in the
west, which developed into AU People's Mission and
kindred organizations. In June, 1915, special services
were held in Young Church, Winnipeg, in honor of his
fiftieth year in the ministry. He retired from active work,
though he still was untiring with hi9 counsel, which was JAMES WOODSWORTH
sought and gladly given, in all affaks in which his long
experience might be of benefit.
The gentle lady who still presides over the home, was
never known to mtirmur over his long absences, though
training six children for spheres of usefulness in the
world was sufficient to tax her strength. He died on
January 26th, 1917, and was buried in Elmwood Cemetery two days later. A large congregation filled Young
Church, and at the service Dr. A. Stewart, Richard
Whiting and the writer bore their testimony to his great
worth. His brethren in the ministry were the pall bearers
on that triumphant day. Four sons and two daughters,
with the white-haired widow, remain, and every one of
them lives in a parsonage. His family is a great legacy
to the church and the nation, and a silent and enduring
testimony to the value of the family altar, and the
religious training in the home.
A good and great man has slipped away amid the din
of war, and there comes no moaning music from the
clouds, nor sad refrain from the muffled drum, to speak
the golden sorrow of the heart for one of nature's beloved, who bore the name of gentleman, and died with
the kiss of God on his cheek. A brave knight of the
Cross, pioneer of the west, and a great Puritan of modern
days has passed away, as a ship passes in the night. He
belonged to the company of adventurers, who explored
the boundless wastes of the west and north, in search of
lonely settlements, where messages of inspiration and
comfort were seldom heard. Leaving the impress of his
foot on the virgin soil as a mark of possession, and;
promise of relief, he sped across the sea in quest of
volunteers, who would have to make hidden sacrifices at
lonely posts, where the foundations of future towns and 228
cities were to be laid. These men, charmed with the
intrepid spirit of the man with a new vision, and of
dauntless courage, followed the trail, and found their
destiny without a murmur on their lips.
This missionary saint with a limitless territory, smiled
at hardship in storm and sweltering heat. The old log
shanty where he shared the frugal meal, was transformed
and became a pinnacled temple, as he spoke the eternal
message to dying souls. He was a bishop beyond episcopacy, whose wise government none dared to dispute.
As an ecclesiastical statesman he mapped out a continent
with mission stations at the outposts of civilization, and
with his genius for organization, moulded institutions
and passed among us, unknown to the multitude, who are
accustomed to the blare of trumpets, and the empty
plaudits of the crowd to herald greatness.
His life and work were honored by institutions of
learning, and religious councils, but if you would measure
his real worth, look around. Not in facts and figures,
but in human character, in the hidden depth of common
souls, there may be found jewels of kindness and gems
of wisdom, lofty ideals and germs of living truth which
will abide for evermore.
This prophet of the simple life was eloquently silent
on his personal virtues. Unconscious to the last of his
greatness, "his strength was as the strength of ten because his heart was pure"; and still, as strong as an
oak in defence of the rights of the common people, he
lost himself in the cause of the poor, and lived for his
country, his fellowmen and God.
Farewell! The camp fires burn no longer, the old
stories in the buffalo skin lodge are ended, the clouds
hang low on the side of the mountains, the trumpets are
calling to battle.   Farewell! CHAPTER XIV
THERE are men and women in every walk of life
living among us, wearing the scarlet robe and the
m crown of thorns, unrecognized by their fellowmen,
yet worthy of the honor and high privilege of martyrdom
for the faith for which they suffer. There are others
whose names are written in blood on the pages of the
history of every age and country, a countless host, heroes
of the healing art, patriots of a lost cause, explorers of
new lands, adventurers in the realm of science, whose
piety and devotion have stirred the hearts of thousands
in reading of the brave deeds in the performance of which
they perished. From the days of John the Baptist, and
Stephen the sainted deacon, from Polycarp and the Ten
Great Persecutions, down through the Dark Ages until
the present, the pages of church history are illumined
with thrilling accounts of the faith and courage of men
and women who counted themselves less than worthy
to share the glory of martyrs of the Cross. These belonged not to any single denomination, but to all, for
their devotion and example are the common heritage of
the human race. The I Lives of the Saints," | Fox's
Book of Martyrs," and the "Scots Worthies" belong
to all the churches, though there may be differences in
religious doctrine and ritual.
We dare not lightly pass by the countless deeds of
heroism of Speke, Mungo Park, Livingstone and other
notable explorers of the Dark Continent; or of Franklin,
[229] 230
Steffanson and Peary in the Arctic; or of Scott and
Shackleton in the Antarctic; nor are we unmindful of
the great host of brave men who have endured hardship
on behalf of science and civilization. Neither can we forget the heroes of the tragic fields of war, the soldiers who
climb the heights and sail above the clouds, and those that
scour the waters, under the boisterous waves of the deep
blue sea. It is not however of the men and women that
suffered by thumbscrew and rack, or were burned at the
stake that we write, but of the martyrs of the long trail,
the pioneers of the Cross, who went in quest of souls
among savage tribes beyond the ranges, ahead of the
trapper and trader.
In all the annals of Christendom there is no grander
story than that of the martyrs of New France. The
Jesuits in Canada in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, laid the foundations of empire amid untold agonies
of hunger, thirst and intense cold, while Iroquois savages
mutilated their bodies by cutting off their fingers, placing
burning coals and hot ashes on their naked bodies as
they were tied to stakes, branding them with red hot
irons, pouring boiling water on their heads, and inventing
methods of torture almost impossible to describe. Father
Anne de Noud, the first martyr of Canadian missions,
while on his way from Three Rivers to the fort on the
Richelieu River, accompanied by two soldiers and a
Huron Indian, left the party who were perishing with
cold, and pushed on alone. He intended to secure help
to bring in the sledge laden with provisions for the
garrison, but was caught in a blinding snowstorm. He
died communing with God, as he was found two days
later on his knees, with his hands clasped across his
breast.   Adam Daulac and his band of volunteer French- MARTYRS OF THE CROSS
men and Hurons, determined to put an end to the harassing onslaughts of the Iroquois upon the white settlements, won a season of peace by the heroic sacrifice
of their lives at the battle of Long Sault. La Salle, the
greatest explorer of the early days, amid untold privations, traversed the continent from the St. Lawrence to
the Mississippi, built forts which have become great
centres of population, and made discoveries that brought
wealth and comfort to future generations, and at last,
died at the hands of an assassin. Within the borders of
the Province of Ontario, Isaac Jogues, one of the purest
and noblest men of any age, began a mission among the
Indians of the Tobacco Nation on the southern shore
of Nottawasaga Bay. He was maltreated by the Hurons,
and captured by the Iroquois, who cut off his left thumb
with a coarse clam shell. Though he was gashed with
knives and beaten with clubs, and coals of fire were
applied to the bruised skin, he escaped, and returned to
labor among his savage flock, and suffer a martyr's death.
Antoine Daniel, after establishing a successful mission
at Quebec, spent four years among the Huron Indians
at St. Joseph, near Orillia, where he labored with success,
until the village was attacked by the Iroquois. He exhorted, baptized and protected his people, and at last he
fell under a shower of arrows at the church door, and
the savages stripped his body naked, mutilated it, and
bathed their faces in his blood. Jean de Breboeuf went
as far west as Thunder Bay, but confined his special
efforts to the Huron town of St. Ignace on Georgian
Bay, where he and Father Lalemant endured terrible
sufferings, Breboeuf having a red hot iron thrust down
his throat, his face lacerated, the lower lip completely
severed, boiling water poured on his bare Head, his body
16 232
gashed with knives, and as he sank on the ground, his
murderers tore open his breast and drank his blood.
Lalemant suffered similar tortures.
In western Canada, the famous French explorer La
Verandrye stepped beyond the boundaries of civilization,
and suffered incredible hardships. He was harassed by
his creditors in the fur trade, neglected by the French
Government, in danger of his life by savage tribes, and
at last, his eldest son, Jean Baptiste, with the priest,
Father Aulneau and nineteen men were treacherously
slain on Massacre Island, in the Lake of the Woods
region. At Le Pas, Father J. E. Darveau suffered a
martyr's fate. On the prairie between St. Paul, Minn.,
and Pembina, Father Joseph Griffon was caught in a
blizzard. He was rescued by Samuel Pritchard with his
brother Hugh and their nephew John Mathewson, and
taken by a French half-breed, Joseph Rolette, to St.
Boniface. His right leg was amputated, and as the left
foot was removed, an artery was ruptured, and his life
was despaired of. That night the bishop's palace and
the cathedral caught fire and were burned to the ground.
vStrange to relate, the intense cold of the night stopped the
hemorrhage, the priest's life was saved, and after a
successful ministry in St. Paul, he died at an advanced
age in 1910.
Away in the Arctic Circle, Father Grollier, suffering
untold agonies from asthma, with no doctor or medicines
to relieve him, labored with intense devotion at Good
Hope and Fort Norman. He died, as he lay on a buffalo
robe on the floor of his humble cabin, a hero and saint,
unknown to fame. Louis Daze, a French-Canadian lay-
brother of the St. Albert Mission in the Edmonton district, perished in a snowstorm in November, 1874, after MARTYRS OF THE CROSS
travelling five or six days without food, and within five
minutes' walk of an Indian camp. Father Eynard was
drowned in Lake Athabasca the previous year; Brother
Alexis Reynard, while on his way from the Athabasca
River to Lac-la-Biche, was killed with an axe, and his
flesh partly devoured by an Iroquois half-breed in the
summer of 1875; Father Gerasime Chapeliere was
drowned in the He a la Crosse district in July, 1882, while
attempting to save two Indian children; Fathers Tafard
and Marchand were killed by Big Bear's Indians at Frog
Lake, during the Riel Rebellion of 1885; and two priests
Fathers Leroux and Rouviere, stationed at Fort Norman
on the Mackenzie River, were slain by Eskimos in 1914.
In the far north, John Horden, the Anglican Bishop of
Moosonee, began his missionary career in 1851, at Moose
Factory, where George Barnly, a Wesleyan missionary,
had labored with much success for several years, and
had left evidences of his faithfulness in devoted Christian
natives. For forty-two years Horden made that station
his home, and the centre of his great and extensive work
among the Eskimo and Indian tribes. In the depth of
winter with the thermometer down to forty degrees below
zero, he made long journeys, visiting scattered tribes of
Indians and Eskimos, and endured severe hardships from
hunger and cold. Food was often scarce, and he was
compelled to sleep in the open, but he had a dauntless
soul, burning with a passion to save lost men, and lay
foundations more abiding than the stars. Four times
he visited England in connection with his missionary
duties. Once he was separated from his wife and family
for six years, while they remained in England, that the
children might be educated. When he died at his post,
they were still absent except one daughter, and he had not 234
seen them for five years. After forty-one years as a
missionary, he intended to resign, and was spending the
closing year in revising his translation of the Bible in
the Cree language, and making preparation for return to
England, when the end came. This brave man who
delighted in making sacrifices for Christ, and seldom
spoke of personal hardship, passed away on January 12th,
1893, as a hero returning from battle. His daughter
and her husband were at his bedside. He was mourned
by thousands in the far north, and tens of thousands at
home. He left as an enduring memorial, a Grammar,
the whole Bible, the Anglican Book of Common Prayer,
and numerous other publications in the Cree language.
One native clergyman, twenty-six native lay teachers at
work, and nearly three thousand, six hundred baptized
native Christians, were some of the results of his faithful
In every Arctic and sub-Arctic village, along every
trail and waterway from Athabasca to Herschel Island,
from the Mackenzie to the Yukon, the name of Bompas,
the apostle of the north who was loved and revered as a
true friend and great missionary, is well known. William
Carpenter Bompas, Anglican Bishop of the Mackenzie
River District, spent forty-one years in the far north,
where the thermometer sometimes registered sixty degrees below zero. He travelled over vast distances, being
absent from home for eight months or more at a time,
often in danger of being drowned, or frozen to death.
Yet his courage never failed, although hunger and cold
were frequent companions; he smiled at hardship, and
seldom spoke of his trials on the trail. Across the
Barren Lands, the habitat of the musk-ox, down the
Mackenzie and up the Yukon, and through the mountains MARTYRS OF THE CROSS
he roamed in quest of souls. Among the Tukudh and
Dene nations, including the Chipewayans, Dog-Ribs,
Slavies and other tribes, and the Eskimos of the Arctic
Coast, he labored with intense zeal, contented with a
single visit to Winnipeg and the Pacific Coast during
his long missionary career. When at home among his
own flock, every moment, when not teaching school
or preaching, was spent in the preparation of translations, and of primers in the Athabasca, Algonquin and
Eskimo languages.
His remoteness from civilization can be understood bv
an extract from one of his letters: " You can have little
idea of the way in which we count here by years, what
you count by days. You would say: \ I will get it tomorrow.' We say, ' It has not come this year, perhaps
it will come next'; or, t I must order such a book from
home; if no mistake occurs, in three or four years, I
may hope to see it.'" For more than forty years, he
and his wife toiled in the land of snow and ice, and having made ready to leave on the morrow to reside in England, he suddenly passed away, and was buried amid the
scene of his labors. He was the first Anglican Bishop
of Athabasca, then of Mackenzie River Diocese, and
finally of Selkirk, which included the Yukon. A more
heroic and modest man never laid down his life for the
native tribes of the north.
Away up in Baffin Land, the Rev. Percy Broughton
was laboring among the Eskimos. While going to the
mission station at Lake Harbor in the depth of winter, he
became separated from his guides and finding that he
was lost, attempted to reach an Eskimo village on the
coast, and while walking on the ice, broke through. A
strong wind drove the ice off shore; however, he managed 236
to gain land. When removing his boots to wring out his
socks, one of the boots was frozen stiff, so that he could
not put it on again. After spending two nights in the
open, he reached the village by crawling on his hands
and knees, and while he waited for help from one of the
mission stations, the Eskimo women applied heat to his
frozen feet, instead of putting them in cold water. For
three months he lay, suffering terrible agony. His cook
amputated the toes of his right foot. When the mission
ship took him off, he was eighty-four days on the journey
before reaching Halifax, where two operations were
necessary to save his foot. When he left for England,
he expressed a firm determination to return to his mission
field, as he knew the language of the people, and felt that
no sacrifice was too great for Christ and the souls of men
and women. Such are some of the experiences of the
pioneers of the Cross.
A notable character was Jack Matheson of the Selkirk
Settlement. From the day that he was sixteen years of
age, the only white man among four hundred and seventy
hunters after the buffalo, with an Indian chief as captain,
until he was forty years of age, he led the free and careless life of the west. As a boy of fourteen he was mail
carrier for the Hudson's Bay "Company, travelling between Norway House and the Rocky Mountains, a
distance of eighteen hundred miles. After that, he ran
brigades of fur canoes down the rivers, and there was
not a camp between old Fort Whoop-Up and Edmonton,
in which he had not entered fully into the wild life of
the plains. Out in British Columbia, the unexpected
happened, for there he was converted. With his knowledge of the Cree language, and of the habits and customs
of the natives, he determined to become a missionary MARTYRS OF THE CROSS
to the half-breeds and Indians. After ordination in the
Anglican Church, he betook himself to the Onion Lake
Reserve, and his wife with indomitable energy, feeling
the need of the people for medical help, went to Toronto
and Winnipeg to study, and graduated in medicine. A
small mission-house was built, which was afterwards
enlarged for a home for Indian children; then, a church,
a three-storey school building, and a comfortable hospital were built, while a ranch supplied the needs of the
mission. When the missionary was telling the story of
the change in his life, he said: "I had earned a good
living, when I served the devil, and I thought I could
still earn a good living serving God. I don't see the sense
of a man beginning to pule and whine, because he's got
the joy of Christ in his heart. I thought I could do more
good out here, where I know the Cree tongue, and how
to handle men, so out I came." On his salary of six hundred dollars a year, he could not carry on such extensive
work, so he tells us how he managed his mission: "Of
course on six hundred dollars a year, to sustain a hospital,
and keep eighty Indian children in the school, would have
been impossible if it were not for my ranch, but when
a man can earn a good living serving the devil, why can't
he earn a better one serving God? It costs Mrs. Matheson and me from six thousand to eight thousand dollars
a year to run this place, but I keep about one hundred
and fifty head of cattle on the ranch, and all we have is
God's. When I need money, I sell a steer. When a
starving old Indian comes for help, there will be a cow
or calf that can go. We raise everything we can possibly
need. We cure our own meat. We grow our own vegetables. As soon as we can get a mill, we'll grind our own
wheat.     God  never  lets  us  lack.    We  are   repaid  a 238
hundred-fold every cent we spend. I am rich! I am rich!
I lack nothing. Thirty dollars a year is more than
enough for a man's clothes, and how many of your
millionaire fellows can say they lack nothing?" When
he attended the Synod, the same cheerful spirit was
manifested, as shown in his speech there: " That reminds
me of the first Synod I ever attended. It was down in
Montreal. I'll answer you as I answered them. I had
come all wild and woolly out of the west, and I dare say
all my Matheson brothers, in the church like myself,
were a wee bit uneasy about what I might do. Well,
it was the Indian mission night. One missionary got
up, and he whined, and he puled, and drew a face as
long as the back of a soup spoon, and begged the dear
sisters to have a sewin' meetin' or something to raise
money to build a fence. Another had a sorry tale to
tell of lack of firewood. Oh! I felt myself getting hotter
and hotter under the collar. It was a hot night anyway,
and I had pulled off my coat and was in shirt sleeves,
and I'm not sure I hadn't loosened up my clerical collar
a bit. Anyway, when yet another got up to play the
beggar, and pull a poor mouth,—servants of Christ, and
of the King of Heaven acting the part of beggars, think
of it!—I could not keep off my feet. I jumped right up
in full meeting, and I loosened up these stiff, starched
things round my neck, and I bursted loose on them, forgetting where I was. i If the ladies and gentlemen/ I
said, ' will excuse a plain man speaking a few plain
truths, I would advise the men folks to stop begging, and
begging, and begging the dear sisters to do this, and do
that! | If you will peel off your own coats, and build
your own fence, and shingle your own roof, you will
find the Lord will take care of you, without any of this MARTYRS OF THE CROSS
unmanly whining, and baby-bottle pulling, and begging
of women to do a man's job.'" This strong man at last
was stricken with paralysis, and for several months was
a helpless invalid, yet retained his optimism, as he said
to those who came to sympathize with him: " I have
nothing to complain of, nothing at all. And I have had
such a good time all my life." Before the end came, he
tried to sing his favorite hymn, " Nearer my God to
Thee," but all that the friends could hear, was: "All
that thou sendest me, in mercy given." Indian pallbearers, and half-breeds with a few white settlers formed
the sad procession, while his brother, Canon Matheson
of Battleford, with Mrs. Matheson and seven children
of the family, were the chief mourners. The memory
of this great and good man in the days of romance has
been assured by Agnes C. Laut, in her novel, "Freebooters in the Wilderness."
One of the outstanding figures of the west was Robert
Macdonald, hero and saint of the Yukon. His father
was one of the explorers under Sir John Franklin, and
his mother was a daughter of Robert Logan, Governor
of Assiniboia. He was born in Winnipeg in 1829, educated at St. John's College under Bishop Anderson, and
went in 1862, to Fort Yukon. In 1871 he was sent to
Porcupine River, and in the following year to Peel River,
where he labored till 1904. Failing health compelled
him to retire to Winnipeg, after forty-two years in the
north, and he died in the city of his birth on August 28th,
1913. His missionary career began at Norway House,
where he was teacher of the Methodist day school for
a year. Afterward he returned to Winnipeg to study
for the ministry. After his ordination in 1853, he was
stationed at Islington on the Winnipeg River, where he 240
remained till he went to the Arctic Mission; while there
he translated the Minor Prophets into the Ojibway language. During his stay in the north, he travelled
thousands of miles every year, visiting the scattered
Indian tribes and Eskimos, until his health broke down,
and even then he endured severe hardship in the cause
of Christ. Thirty years before the rush to the Klondike,
he discovered gold, but wealth could not allure him from
his great task of saving souls.
Having keen powers of observation, he discovered the
fossil remains of the horse, goat, sheep, heads of the
musk-ox, and jaw bones of the hairy elephant." These
he carried over a twelve mile portage to his mission
quarters, and afterwards divided them to the British
Museum, the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge,
and to the Natural History Society Museum at Montreal.
He trained a number of native lay readers, who carried
the Gospel far and wide. The Bible, Prayer Book, a
hymn book, a grammar and dictionary, and a book of
family prayers, in their own tongue, were given by him
to the people of the north. This devoted man, gentle and
unassuming, known through all the west and north as
Archdeacon Macdonald, laid such deep foundations that
the work will continue, and his influence will never die.
When the Selkirk colonists settled on the banks of the
Red River in 1812, there was no Presbyterian minister
to supply them with religious services until James Sutherland, an ordained elder, came in 1815. He remained
three years, when he was forcibly removed to Eastern
Canada by the North-west Company during the conflict
between that Company and Hudson's Bay Company. For
thirty-three years the sturdy Highlanders attended the
services of the Anglican Church, while repeatedly peti- MARTYRS OF THE CROSS
tioning the authorities for a minister of their own faith.
In 1851, when the Rev. John Black arrived, as the first
Presbyterian minister in the west, three hundred Presbyterians united and formed the congregation of Kildonan.
On September 28, 1851, he preached his first sermon in
the manse, which the people had erected in advance, and
as there were no pews, the folks came that Sabbath
morning, each carrying his own seat for the service. The
first communion was held on December 14, of that year,
with forty-six communicants, and in January, 1854, a
stone church was completed and opened, the members of
the congregation doing nearly all the work. For twenty-
eight years this brave man preached strong, eloquent and
prophetic sermons from the pulpit of this stone church.
With a zeal for the salvation of the settlers at the outposts
of civilization, and the scattered Indian tribes, and with
a vision of the future, he appealed for help, and laid
foundations for the empire builders of the west. Kildonan became the Iona of the west, the centre of
missionary enterprise and education, where an institution
of learning was established. This developed into a High
School in 1869, under the Rev. D. B. Whimster, and
ultimately in 1871 was transferred to Winnipeg, and
became Manitoba College, with the Rev. Dr. George Bryce
as the first Professor. This pioneer of the Cross, of
dauntless faith and sterling courage, with broad sympathy
reaching far beyond the confines of his own denomination,
stretched forth a helping hand to all in need, and laughed
at blinding snowstorms in his visits to the sick and
dying. With evangelistic fervor, he preached the everlasting Gospel, employing revival services as a means of
decision for Christ. With innate modesty and on account
of ill health he declined the high honor of Moderator of 242
the General Assembly. On February nth, 1882, the
grand old man of the Presbyterian faith fell asleep,
mourned by thousands all over the land.
Earnestly and persistently pleading for assistance to
reach the ever extending boundaries of the white settlements, and for a missionary to the native tribes on the
plains, he toiled on, alone and unaided till 1862. At that
time the Rev. James Nisbet, born in Glasgow, Scotland,
educated for the ministry in Knox College, Toronto, and
minister at Oakville, Ontario, for twelve years, came west,
and labored with intense zeal till his death on September
26th, 1874. For four years he labored among the white
settlers at Kildonan, Little Britain, Headingly, and outlying districts. Having been trained by his father, as
a contractor and builder, he planned and erected a stone
school at Kildonan, which served the purpose of the
community for forty years. In 1866, in answer to his
own appeal and that of John Black, the Synod sent him
into the Saskatchewan country as a missionary among
the Cree Indians. Locating on the north branch of the
Saskatchewan, he named the place Prince Albert, after
the Prince Consort, who had recently died, and the
modern city still bears the name. Seven strenuous years
were spent on that lonely field. Excellent mission buildings were erected, farms were started for the Indians,
the young people were educated, large numbers of adult
Indians were brought under the care of the Church, white
settlers were attracted by the fame of the mission, and
were united in a Church of their own. But the strain
was too heavy and the missionary became an old man
while still in his prime. The health of his wife also
was undermined. A long journey over the plains to
their old home at Kildonan, in search of health proved MARTYRS OF THE CROSS
their undoing, as Mrs. Nisbet passed away, and eleven
days later the saintly man was laid to rest. In the old
Kildonan graveyard a splendid shaft erected by the Presbyterian Church marks the sacred spot, and in Manitoba
College, hangs a painting of one of the bravest men that
ever trod the western plains.
With James Nisbet's missionary party on their way to
Prince Albert, was George Flett, an expert trader and
buffalo hunter. His family came from the Saskatchewan
country in 1824, and settled at Point Douglas, where they
suffered severely from the flood of 1826, but afterward
prospered. The yearning after new lands led them in
1835, to form a party of Scotch and French settlers, who
travelled overland to the United States, hoping to settle
there on better farms. Fifteen months of almost incessant
travelling found them again at Fort Garry, the party
broken up, and the Flett family were quite content to
remain in Canada. Drifting back to the Saskatchewan,
George Flett the younger became a trader, and made
some famous trips over the plains, having thrilling adventures and strange experiences among the Crees and
Blackfeet. Finally, the vision came of a new and better
life in Christ, and he followed the way of grace and
truth. As a missionary among the Cree Indians at
Okanase, he laid the foundation of a prosperous mission,
which is still carried on effectively, and many of the red
men have become educated and useful citizens of the
With the onward rush of settlers toward the far west,
James Robertson, the great Superintendent, came in
October, 1874, as minister of Knox Church, Winnipeg.
So efficient were his services, and so great his abilities,
that in 1881, the General Assembly elected him to the 244
superitttendency of Home Missions in Manitoba, the
North-West Territories and British Columbia. From the
day that he entered upon his important duties till he
died, on January 3rd, 1902, there was no rest for his
intrepid spirit. In log shanties and mud shacks, in barrooms and gravel pits, among prospectors, cowboys, and
lonely settlers he preached the Word of Life. Before
great audiences in towns and cities, and at General Assemblies and Canadian Clubs, he told in graphic language the
story of the west, and the response to his appeals came
in men and money for the extension of the Kingdom.
Hungry, wet and cold, he would pursue his way; the
blizzard delayed but never deterred him in his mission.
This man with a great dream saw the future, and lived
a whole month in a single day. His home was a lodging
for a night, his family were comparative strangers to
him; he had one aim, and for that he lived and died. He
was a knight of the nineteenth century, and one of the
great empire builders* of the west.
When some of the American Sioux Indians came to
Canada, and resided among their friends at Bird-Tail
Creek, near Birtle, Manitoba, the native Christians among
these refugees appealed to Dr. Williamson of the American Presbyterian Board, for a native missionary.
Solomon Toonkanshaecheye, an ordained native pastor,
and Samuel Hopkins as assistant were sent in June, 1875.
After a few months' hard work, they were compelled to
return home, and Appearing Cloud, one of the Canadian
Sioux, taught school and preached to his people. He
made a strong appeal for the missionary to come back,
and this was sustained by Dr. John Black, insomuch that
the Canadian missionary undertook to carry on a new
mission, and Solomon was sent to Bird-Tail Reserve in MARTYRS OF THE CROSS
October, 1877. For several years this faithful man of
God labored among the scattered bands of Sioux, going
as far west as Moose Jaw. A Church was organized
called Middle Hill, and great success followed his labors,
but disease undermined his strength, and he went home
to die. His work still abides and progress has been made,
as seen in the splendid buildings, fine missionary equipment, and above all in the lives of the enterprising young
men and women, and the loyal Christians, who still proclaim the faith that Solomon taught them so long ago.
From the days of the great Methodist, James Evans,
at Norway House and the regions beyond, there have
never been lacking men and women of heroic mould.
These have scorned the comforts of daily life in their
endeavor to penetrate the darkness of the forest and
plain, and have dared to cross frozen lakes and dangerous
ravines, that they might tell the wonderful story of redeeming love to savage souls, enshrouded in the darkness
of superstition and sin. Over the long trail of Evans and
Barnley came Robert Brooking,! an old African missionary, who was discontented with civilization. He spent
six years at Oxford House and Norway House, traversing
wide territory, and enduring severe hardship, till, broken
down from exposure and heavy burdens, he was compelled to turn his back upon the great northland. Before
he left, Charles Stringfellow was there, sturdy and strong,
with a lust for work. For nine years, he went here and
there among the native camps, holding forth the Word
of Life, and when no longer able to serve, another brave
soul looked toward the east for rest of body and mind.
The work might be hard and uninviting, yet it did not
deter brave men and women from entering the wilds to
lay down their lives for Christ and human souls.    One 246
by one they were compelled to leave their chosen fields
of labor, broken down in health, through hardship, isolation, and the strain of heavy work. The Rev. E. R.
Young spent seven years in the land of the auroras, with
headquarters at Norway House and Berens River. In
long and distant journeys by canoe and dog-train he
told the wonderful story of the Cross to heathen tribes
until, compelled by illness in his family, he followed the
procession of faithful workers to his old home in the
east. John Semmens explored new haunts, and visited
old mission stations, winning many converts to the faith
in Christ. Native workers were trained under his guidance, who themselves were trophies of grace, and
afterward they became earnest and successful advocates
of the new religion. Orrin German went to Oxford
House in 1873, and labored for ten years in the northland.
Then with a western vision he sped away to labor among
the Cree Indians in the country now included in the
Province of Alberta, where his grasp of the native
language fitted him in troublous times to maintain the
loyalty of the tribes. With real heroism he remained
at his post until he died. John H. Ruttan spent five years
at Norway House in labors abundant; Andrew W. Ross
gave nine years of splendid service at Berens River and
Fisher River; Peter Campbell roamed among the wild
tribes in the vicinity of Edmonton and Victoria, on the
Saskatchewan, for six years; and Enos L,angford with
rare enthusiasm carried on the missionary work of his
predecessors at Oxford House and Berens River for
nine years. On being transferred to Winnipeg he was
placed in charge of McDougall Church in the northern
part of the city, and then Fort Rouge in the south.   In MARTYRS OF THE CROSS
the midst of his labors he was stricken with fever, and
died at the age of forty years.
Tragic indeed was the passing of some of the missionaries in the west. In 1868, Enoch Wood Skinner, a lad
from Ontario, came with one of the missionary parties
which arrived at frequent intervals, and spent a few years
with the family of George McDougall, where he learned
the Cree language, and was initiated into the ways of the
country. On his return to Ontario, he was led to trust
in Christ as his Saviour, entered the ministry in 1877,
and the following year was sent as assistant to John
McDougall. Having arrived safely in Winnipeg, he
bought an outfit, and started for the Saskatchewan with
a company of the Mounted Police, but subsequently had
a half-breed as his sole companion. After passing Fort
Pitt, they camped on the trail near Carlton, and in the
morning his companion went out on the prairie to catch
the horses. When he returned, the young missionary lay
dead in the camp, his gun having accidentally discharged.
His body was taken to the English Church Cemetery at
Prince Albert, and there it lies in an unmarked grave.
James A. McLachlan, an heroic soul, spent eleven years
at Victoria, Saskatchewan, and was then transferred to
Berens River, on Lake Winnipeg, where he labored hard
for the material and spiritual welfare of the Indians.
He was an expert sailor, and encountered many storms
on the lakes, but he laughed at danger, and knew no fear.
With a large boat filled with six native children for the
Industrial School at Brandon, and an Indian boatman, he
sailed away on a calm day, but a terrific squall caught
them on the open waters, and the whole company was
drowned. Edward Eves, who was stationed at Norway
House, went on a journey for the purpose of erecting a
17 248
mission building. He resolved to run a rapid, to save the
arduous task of making a portage, and in the attempt,
the boat was upset, and he lost his life at the early age of
forty-one years.
The missionaries to the native tribes of the Dominion
were in general men of culture, who counted it an honor
to serve the red men. Some of them were eloquent
preachers, possessing superior intellectual power. Among
these may be counted Egerton Ryerson, the founder of
the educational system of the Province of Ontario, who
spent one year on an Indian Mission; the Hurlburt
brothers, five of whom were ministers, and of these, three
were missionaries to the Indians; and James Evans, the
inventor of the Syllabic characters of the Cree language.
All of these, and many more, in all the denominations
were scholarly men.
In the pioneer days among the few white settlers in the
vast territory between the Great Lakes and the Pacific
Coast, there were unknown heroes, whose names are only
a memory, for no marble shaft or bronze tablet keeps
immortal their illustrious worth. There was William
West, a modern saint cast in a gentle mould, who went
among the lonely shanties between Port Arthur and
Ignace, snatching a few hours' sleep in cold railway
stations, oftentimes hungry, and dying at his post. Within
one month of his last journey, he lay at his old home near
Ottawa on a beautiful Sabbath morning, and as the sun's
rays fell upon the bed, he said: " I want to go home
on a Sabbath morning, when the sun is shining.'3 His
sweet and simple wish was granted. Brave soul, loyal and
devoted, he was only twenty-nine years old when he
reached the end of the trail. E. W. Wood, who seems to
have had an erratic conversion, was a poetic soul and The Rev. James McLachlan
Missionary to  the  Indians
of Lake Winnipeg District
The Rev. Edward Paupanakis
An   eloquent  Indian  preacher   of
Lake Winnipeg  District
The Rev. Fred Cory
"They shall be mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when
I   make  up  my jewels "
possessed a genius for preaching. He was the son of a
British soldier, who bequeathed to the preacher lad the
gift for stern discipline. This courageous youth defied
disease, as was shown when he went alone to a settler's
shanty and prepared for burial a man who had died of
diphtheria. His sermons compelled his hearers, in old
log buildings and small schoolhouses on the prairies of
Manitoba, to stare in wonder, and to go home to think
and act. When this undaunted soul was laboring in
Alberta, there lay between him and his appointment at
Carstairs, the swollen river, but he knew no fear. Tying
a rope to the horn of his saddle, and the other end to his
body, he drove the animal into the stream, and followed,
determined to swim to the other side. In mid-stream, the
rope broke, and he was swept down by the rapid current,
and thus another brave man went home to God.
Fred Cory was another hero in homespun, who loved
adventure, dared hardship in the cause of Christ, and was
always on the alert in quest of souls. Of this brave young
soul, the Rev. Dr. J. E. Hughson, his intimate friend and
counsellor, writes: " Fred Cory left old London and
went out to Alberta, followed by the prayers and tears of
a widowed mother. For two years he served the church
in the northern districts, preaching in school houses, and
organizing little Sunday Schools and congregations. Then
he went south and into the country around Lethbridge,
following the advancing settlements with the privileges
of the Gospel. He was an optimistic soul; it mattered
not how cold it was, how hard the blizzard blew, how few
people came out to hear him, or how many difficulties he
encountered, he always wore a smile that would not come
off. He went to Macleod in the month of April, to write
his third year's examinations, intending to go to college 250
the following autumn. He finished his paper on Friday
morning, and the friends urged him to stay over Sunday,
but he replied that he could not disappoint the little
congregations that would be awaiting him on the plains,
and with a wave of his hand, he rode away in his
little two-wheeled cart, eager for his work. He came
to the Old Man River, then swollen by the melting
snows of the Rockies, and in fording the stream he
missed his way, and when discovered, the horse had
drowned, the little cart was just showing above the
water, and the preacher was clinging for his life. A
half-breed swam out, but the chilly water compelled
him to return, and the most he could do was to
fling out a rope. The rope reached the drowning man,
who seized it eagerly, but his hands were paralyzed, and
he could not hold it; a moment later, the current overturned the little cart, in which his foot was caught, and
took him down to rise no more. The next day the
mounted police recovered the body. In his pocket was a
little Testament, in the Testament was an outline of the
sermon he had prepared for the following Sunday, and
this was his text: 'They shall be mine, saith the Lord of
hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels.' We
brought his body to Lethbridge where we laid it in a
prairie grave, with the flowers of summer to deck his
resting place, and the snows of winter to be his winding
sheet. Around the grave were cow-boys and ranchers,
men and women and little children, who had come thirty
and forty miles to do honor to the friend whom they had
lost. The next day I went to the Post Office, hoping to
secure the address of his mother, and send her tidings of
the sad event. They gave me the last letter she ever
wrote; it was full of a mother's love.   She spoke of the
cold winter through which we had passed, and urged her
boy to endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
The next day I was handed a letter from his brother
which read: 'Yesterday, mother was cleaning the windows
in the upper storey of our home. Somehow, she must
have lost her balance and fallen to the pavement below,
and when we picked her up she only breathed a few times
and was gone.' She never heard that her boy had
struggled with the waters of the Old Man River; he
never heard that his mother had fallen from that upper
storey. They parted in old London in the days that were
gone, and they met in the City whose streets are gold.
They have talked it over, and between that mother and
her boy there is not a regret for the hardships endured, or
the life that was given for God, the Methodist Church
and the future of the nation. He was a hero, not in
khaki, but in homespun, and his influence still lives in the
foothills and upon the plains."
What shall I more say? for the time would fail me to
tell of brave men and women of whom the world has
never heard who lived in lonely outposts of civilization,
holding up the standard of the Cross. They travelled
over the long trails, explored deep ravines, crossed mountains, lived in native camps, were often cold and hungry,
and murmured not. They have passed on with the smile
of God upon their faces, and are now at home. CHAPTER XV
THE story of brave women on the lonely homesteads
of the prairie, and among the mountains, has never
been written, and can never be fully told; and who
shall give a record of the heroic women of the mission
house, far removed from the haunts of civilization, with
dusky maids and mothers as their only neighbors, and
exposed to the hardships of the frontier. Not alone, in
dark lands across the seas, where the children of superstition roam in unbridled license, is heroism manifested
by the white sisters of the Christian faith, for here at
home, in primitive log houses and disjointed frame buildings, on the shores of northern lakes and far inland rivers,
and even in the Arctic wilds, women of beauty and
refinement have lived in dense solitude, that they might
win a few savages as disciples of the great Christ. Never
shall I forget a young school teacher calling on me at the
office of " The Wesleyan " in Halifax, Nova Scotia, as I
sat in the editorial chair, that she might get some information about an Anglican Mission, where she was going to
teach some Eskimo children. When I told her that the
end of the railroad was at Edmonton, and her destination
lay more than a thousand miles beyond, and that it would
take her from six weeks to two months to complete the
journey, she smiled at the prospect, and went away with
joy in her heart. A vision still lingers of a young woman
in Winnipeg holding out her hand as a token of farewell,
and telling me that she was off to Africa in a fortnight.    It
seemed so natural for her to go, and yet so far away into
the unknown. Having in mind the danger of crossing the
ocean in time of war, we talked thus: " What about the
submarines?" " If I am in the Lord's work, he will take
care of me." " Where are you going to land?" " I don't
know." | When do you expect to reach your destination?" " I cannot tell." We parted with a mutual blessing, and I saw her no more. She remarked to one of her
friends on leaving, " If I can land in Africa, my prayers
will be answered, and should the Lord call me home early,
I shall be content." In less than three months, there
came a telephone message to me: " Have you heard the
news ?" I What news ?" I said. The answer was:
| Martha is dead. She landed in Africa, and started up
the country to her mission, was stricken with fever, and
in two weeks passed away in triumph." And so Winnipeg
and Africa were joined in sorrow, and another heroine
of western Canada, in the person of my old friend Martha
Marr, was numbered in the roll call of the dead.
Another heroic woman was Apauakas, White Antelope
as the Blackfeet called her, the companion of my youth,
my comrade and mate, since we started west on our
honeymoon, thirty-eight years ago. She was often left
alone among the Indians with children to care for, when
I went on a trip to Edmonton, and was absent five weeks.
Frequent were these journeys of mine in the early days,
but she had no such vacation. The monotony and isolation were apt to produce depression of spirits, but never
a murmur escaped from her lips, though the silent tear
was eloquent in a moment of weakness. Like angels' visits,
letters from friends were few and far between, as the mail
came only once a month, and when delayed by blizzards
did not arrive sometimes for six weeks.   We were appar- 254
ently forgotten, except by near relatives, and a letter
would often have cheered us, as it does the soldiers in the
trenches, but we did not through all the years spent in the
mission field, receive more than an average of four letters
a year. When Mrs. T. W. Jeffery, the saintly woman of
the parsonage in Toronto, sent a simple Christmas card,
with the words inscribed, " I have not forgotten you,"
there were tears in our eyes.
Time and again before the days of railroads, Apauakas
has crept under the buckboard on the treeless prairie,
when the thermometer was more than 300 below zero,
and with the tent thrown over the vehicle, as the ground
was too hard to drive the picket pins into the soil, and
we have been awakened by the howling of the storm, to
find the snow piled up around us. She has been caught
on the old north trail in a pelting hail storm with no
covering for protection, and the frightened horses speeding like demons to escape the smarting pain. She has
tucked her garments around her, and with her feet high
on the top of the dashboard, has held the two children in
her arms, while I guided the horses over the bar on the
swollen river. Twenty feet from the bar, the rapid fell
to a depth of fifteen feet, and the folks have stood on the
shore watching the dangerous but necessary experiment,
and unable to render any assistance should the worst have
happened. When the prairie fire swept through the
Coulee, it was she who bundled the children into the
buckboard, and helped to fight the fire. When the call
came from a sick white woman fifty miles distant, though
the mountain streams were surging with the melting
snows, and there were no bridges, and though there was a
strange driver, and darkness would set in before the end
of the trip, she packed her small valise, and was off on her HEROINES OF WESTERN CANADA     255
mission of mercy. After ten days' nursing, she came
back with two pounds of butter, and two dozen eggs to
help eke out the disconsolate larder in the mission house.
Donations were rare in those days, seldom were there
any marriage fees, and there was never a reception with
an address of welcome, nor at the time of departure, a
parting gift; so the butter and eggs were a benediction,
and we enjoyed a feast, which was remembered for a long
time, as one of the bright spots in mission life.
On lonely mission fields consecrated women serving as
nuns of the Roman Catholic Church have given their
lives in the service of the heathen in the far north, and
are worthy successors of the Jesuit Fathers of the days
long ago, when Canada was young.
When Elizabeth Oke became the wife of John Horden,
and they left Gravesend on June 8, 1851, for Moosonee,
she was ready for any sacrifice, but never dreamed that
when her husband became Bishop of a vast diocese on the
shores of Hudson's Bay, that she would be separated from
him for several years. Once a year, if there was no
accident, a ship brought their mail, but Moose Fort was
so cut off from the outside world, that when the annual
vessel bringing out supplies was caught in the ice, the
news reached England before it was known at Albany,
which was only one hundred miles from Moose Fort.
After thirteen years' hard service, the missionary family
planned to go home for a rest, and to place their three
children at school in England. But the ship was crushed
in the ice, and not until a year later, in 1865, did they
manage to take the long and tiresome journey in a sailing
vessel, which beat about the Atlantic for many dreary
weeks in severe storms. After spending two years at
home, they returned to their mission station, by way of 256
Montreal, bringing their two youngest children with
them. The last 1,200 miles had to be covered by canoes,
which included camping out at night, and making long
portages, that caused endless trouble and anxiety. In
1872, the good woman was left at the mission, while her
husband went to England, and in Westminster Abbey,
was consecrated Anglican Bishop of Moosonee. Heavy
responsibilities fell upon the mother during the long
absences of her husband, who had sometimes to travel
six hundred miles to visit some of his flock. In 1878, she
went to England taking two of her daughters with her
to attend school, and for two years the bishop was alone
in the northland, away from his family. After eighteen
months of reunion, he returned to his diocese alone. For
six years husband and wife did not see each other, and
then as the days of retirement from the mission were
close at hand, they hoped they would no longer be separated. Alas! that time never came. The Bishop went
back expecting to finish his work in a few months, but it
was not completed for nearly four years, and when he
was ready to depart and retire from the mission field, he
suddenly passed away. A patient, godly and devoted
woman was Elizabeth Horden, and her name is still
revered in the far distant north.
Another brave soul was Charlotte Selina Bompas, wife
of the Anglican Bishop of the Mackenzie River and the
Yukon, a lady of refinement, who spent forty years away
from civilization, in the cold and bleak regions of the
north, that she might tell the old, old story to pagan waifs.
The letters she received were usually eight months on the
way, and were a luxury when they came, yet she did not
complain, and was too busy to feel lonesome. In the
spring of 1877, she was very ill, and had to leave for HEROINES OF WESTERN CANADA     257
England. Despite her frail condition, she was compelled
to travel by boat from Fort Simpson in Athabasca to
Winnipeg, a distance of over one thousand miles. There
were numerous portages and rapids, and amid storm and
sunshine, they travelled on the rough waters by day, and
camped in the open at night. Nevertheless, as soon as
she had recovered, she was eager to return, counting it
an honor to serve God in any place. When a woman had
been murdered, she took her child, a Mackenzie River
Indian waif, into her home, and not only cared for it,
but loved it as much as a mother would. She told the
story of the child in her beautiful little book, " Owinda—
the Weeping One." After her husband had died, and
she herself had become feeble, her heart was still in
Canada. Mrs. Bompas had many friends in Winnipeg,
and the northern country, for she was a lovely woman.
On January 23, 1917, at the age of eighty-seven, she
passed away in Westmount, Province of Quebec.
For several years Mrs. W. A. Burman, wife of the first
Anglican missionary to the Sioux Indians at Oak River,
Manitoba, worked hard among the natives. Her husband
was an excellent scholar in the Sioux and Cree languages,
a notable paper on the construction of the former being
published by him, and he was also Chairman of the Committee on the Revision of the Cree Bible. Beside these
linguistic accomplishments, he was an authority on the
botany of the Province of Manitoba. Some years ago,
when I was giving a lecture in the village of Oak River,
on the native tribes, incidentally I made mention of the
splendid work done by this missionary and his devoted
wife, and at the close, a number of people bore testimony
to the simple beauty of their lives, and the honor in which
they were held by the Indians.   Although this good lady's  HEROINES OF WESTERN CANADA     259
1840, along through the years, to the times of Mrs.
Hurlburt and her devoted successors on lonely fields,
there have not been wanting brave women, volunteers of
the right sort when conscription was unknown, who went
forward into the wilds, and if need be, were ready to
suffer and to die for the faith. They taught the maids
and mothers the simple arts of domestic science, and the
useful art of cleanliness, and initiated them into the
modes of dress of civilized life, and gently led them to
Christ. The long line has been thinned by death, though
a few linger, their silver hair a benediction to weary
souls. There was Mrs. E. R. Young, patient and faithful,
telling the wonderful story of love; Mrs. Ruttan loyal to
the last; Mrs. Enos Langford, worn out with suffering,
and slipping home to God in the city of Winnipeg; and
Mrs. John Semmens broken down in health with the
work of years. Mrs. Edward Eves, and Mrs. James A.
McLachlan, are still living, both of whom had stood on
the shores of Lake Winnipeg to receive the bodies of-
their husbands, faithful men, who met tragic deaths in
their mission work.
Mrs. George McDougall spent many years on mission
fields, first in Ontario, then in the north and west, at
Norway House, on Lake Winnipeg, then at Victoria, near
Edmonton. She cared for the orphans in the camps of
the Crees and Stonies, taught school, nursed the sick,
stood by the dying, and brought consolation to the sorrowing and bereaved. She saw her husband bury two of
their daughters in the mission garden within one week,
and bore the long suspense while mounted parties scoured
the plains searching for her lost husband, and with patient
resignation received his frozen body, when it was brought
to her door.   Her cup of suffering seemed filled to over- 260
flowing when news was brought that her youngest son
George had been killed in Montana; yet, through all
the tragic years, she murmured not, but unto the last,
gave thanks, and sought to win souls for Christ.
It seemed a strange thing for a woman to found the
first Protestant Mission in Southern Alberta, but that
honor was reserved for Miss Barratt, the mission teacher,
whom John McDougall sent, with one of his daughters as
companion, to Fort Macleod. There she started a school,
and held possession, until Henry Manning, his wife and
family came on the ground six months afterward. He
remained one year, until I entered, as " Missionary to the
Blackfoot Indians," which was the legend on my orders
for the west. An heroic soul was this pioneer woman,
who lived and taught among the Indians for several years,
and then returned to her home in Ontario, still longing
to go back, but never able to find a way.
Pathetic indeed was the passing of Mrs. Sibbald, wife
of the mission teacher at Morley, who was stricken with
typhoid fever, and the nearest doctor was one hundred
and fifty miles distant. Her last prayer was a benediction
on her dusky friends. Their gratitude and love were
seen as the Stonies returned from their hunting grounds
in the mountains, and dropped twigs on her grave, as
they said: " She was a good woman, and we loved her."
When Mrs. Orrin German was suffering from cancer,
and her missionary husband brought her in a sled over
the snow in the depth of winter, kind friends in Calgary
came to their help, and raised funds sufficient to send her
to the Pacific 'Coast for medical treatment. But it was
too late; she passed away in the land of strangers, far
from home and kindred, with her husband and God to
comfort her in her last hours. HEROINES OF WESTERN CANADA     261
One lone figure among the missionary women remains,
binding the old and the new regime as no other, the widow
of John McDougall at Calgary. What changes have taken
place since she came west, and what a traveller she has
been, witnessing sights that will never return, and conversing with people whose names are unknown! Accompanied by her husband, she has traversed wild regions far
inland on Lake Winnipeg, and a thousand miles westward; she1 has gone to the far north. Of these visions,
many books might be written, but she abides content with
the memory of having done her duty to the savages of
these western lands.
And who shall write the wonderful story of Mrs.
Crosby, or tell the tales of the camp fires on the Coast?
No one can describe the pathos of a mother with her
three dead children, waiting for the return of husband
and father from a long missionary trip. In perils oft by
land and sea, in dangers among drunken Indians and
medicine men opposed to their work, amid lonely haunts
and degraded surroundings, she pursued her undaunted
course through a long period of years, seeking no sympathy, and courting no honors. This heroine of the
western coast, with other faithful women of her kind,
has sung songs for other hearts when her own was sad,
and waits for the benediction of the Master, when she
goes home.
The days of heroic endeavor have not passed away,
and home mission fields are still distant and isolated.
Brave women like Mrs. S. D. Gaudin and Mrs. Fred G.
Stevens on Lake Winnipeg, and others in the far west,
are still standing at the outposts of civilization, guarding
the frontier for Christ, and glad of opportunities to do
their bit for the Empire and the human race. 262
Let us not forget them while they live, and send an
occasional letter to them, without waiting for any introduction. None is needed, for they belong to us all. Then
we shall not mourn' over lost benedictions, and unspoken
words, which might have brought some cheer, and prolonged lives of usefulness to a perishing race.
THE END.   -__-___-_ri_-__-___-__-a_-
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