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Greater Canada: the past, present and future of the Canadian North-west Osborn, E. B. (Edward Bolland), 1867-1938 1900

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Crown 8vo, buckram, $s. 6d.
Right Hon. Sir CHARLES W. DILKE, M.P.
"Admirable. . . , Sir Charles Dilke writes with a fulness of
knowledge and an experience of affairs such as fall to few men, and
he writes so weightily that his hastiest sentences must give us
% Sir Charles Dilke's new book is assured of world-wide attention,
and it is mild commendation to say that it should run through many
editions. ... It will certainly take its place at once as the book for
average men on the Queen's dominions. The whole forms a worthy
companion to the author's earlier but not more instructive volumes.
It is an invaluable contribution to the literature of Imperialism."—
"A useful and eminently readable little book."—Daily Telegraph.
"In balance and proportion and general conception, this little
volume is an ideal text-book, and it is written in a style which makes
it not only instructive but agreeable."—Echo.
*'Contains a good deal of information in small bulk, and may be
commended to those who wish to study the Empire of which they
are citizens."—Scotsman.
1' A faithful portrait. . . . Sir Charles Dilke's strength is his power
of seeing the facts, a power in which he is absolutely without a rival."
—Morning Post.
"It is really quite astonishing with what ease Sir Charles has got
such a vast subject into such a small space, and made so many
striking points about the whole and most of the parts."—Pall
Mall Gazette.
" A most valuable and instructive little book."—Literary World.
"The volume seems to us the ideal of what a book on Imperial
politics ought to be."—Leeds Mercury.
" We have read no better, no clearer account of the multifarious
energies of our race than this. . . . Just the sort of book good citizens
want to read."—Glasgow Herald.
London : CHATTO & WINDUS, m St. Martin's Lane, W.C GREATER  CANADA
B "From its geographical position and its peculiar
characteristics, Manitoba may be regarded as the
keystone of that mighty arch of sister Provinces
which spans the continent from the Atlantic to the
Pacific. It was here that Canada, emerging from
her woods and forests, first gazed upon her rolling
prairies and unexplored North-West, and learned,
as by an unexpected revelation, that her historical
territories of the Canadas, her eastern seaboards of
New Brunswick, Labrador, and Nova Scotia, her
Laurentian lakes and valleys, lowlands and pastures,
though themselves more extensive than half a dozen
European kingdoms, were but the vestibules and antechambers to that till then undreamed of Dominion,
whose illimitable dimensions confound the arithmetic
of the surveyor and the verification of the explorer."
—Speech of the Marquis of Dufferin and Ava, at
Pembina^ in 1879. PREFACE
In so far as the following pages touch upon the
present prospects of the "Great North-West,"
the writer has attempted to hit the truthful mean
between • the pessimism of the unsuccessful settler
and the optimism of the migration agent. Having
resided for nearly five years in the West, he may
claim to write with some little authority.
E. B. O.
I. The Yukon Discoveries
II. The Progress of the Fur Trade ...
III. The Reign of "The Company"
IV. The New Regime   ...
V. The North-West of To-day    ...
VI. The Far West
VII. The Far West of To-day
VIII. The Far North
IX. The Future of the North-West
X. The Romance of the Fur Trade ...
XI, The Barren Grounds ...
(A) Royal   Charter   for   Incorporating  the
Hudson's Bay Company
(B) Indian Treaties
(C) Irrigation in the North-West
(D) Chronological Table of North-Western
History  ...
(E) Statistics, etc.
INDEX  ...      ...      ...      ...      ,,,
237  • ,
L&   r i
The discovery, three years ago, of phenomenally
rich placer-diggings in the Yukon basin caused
more excitement and has been more written about
than any similar event since 1849 and 1851—years
that saw the epoch-making discoveries of gold
in California and Australia; so that the writer,
who aims at giving an account of the North-West
(that was, that is, and that may be), is naturally
tempted to begin with the Klondike. To yield
to that particular temptation, however, involves no
loss of historical perspective; for it is already
obvious that the discovery of the Klondike placers,
occurring as it did immediately after the establishment of the Kootenay as one of the chief mining
districts of the empire, is by far the most important
fact in the history of the North-West.    Even if
* B
Klondike is not destined to play as indispensable
a part in the development of | Greater Canada § as
the Rand has played in the development of South
Africa, or the Comstock Lode in the development
of Nevada and the neighbouring States, it is certain
that it has drawn the attention of the world to
the North-West and its many probabilities and
possibilities, much as did the discovery of '49 and
*S 1 to the advantages of the | Far West | of the
United States and our own Australia. Placer-
diggings do not, as a rule, last for more than a
decade, and, unless valuable quartz-mines are discovered on the Yukon, we cannot hope to see really
permanent | mining camps " in that cold and sterile
region. Nevertheless, the Klondike discoveries, rich
and romantic and utterly unexpected as they were,
have given the North-West a world-wide advertisement of inestimable value. And this is an age of
Public opinion about such discoveries always
passes through two stages—a period of universal
credulity, followed by a period of universal incredulity. After the first news of preliminary
I pannings | on Eldorado and Bonanza Creeks
was brought to Canada by Mr. Ogilvie (a gentleman who has done more hard travelling in the
Far North than any two living Arctic explorers,
WUlUliMi«lB«i!iBW^ m tm
and has earned the respect of every miner in the
Yukon by refusing to take advantage of an official
position to enrich himself), every Western scribbler
was hard at work inventing circumstantial lies,
many of which were reproduced not only by the
most respectable journals of the Eastern States
and Eastern Canada, but also by those of the
mother country. Probably nine-tenths of these
fictions originated in Seattle, and other sea-coast
towns in the Pacific States, where nearly all the
Alaskan miners buy their outfits and supplies, and
the head offices of the transportation and trading
companies with an Alaskan connection are generally to be found. Thus the Seattle merchant saw
his opportunity, and called in the Seattle newspaper man to his aid ; and the latter worthy sat
down " right there" and began to boom the
Klondike. Knowing that Seattle was a favourite
watering - place of the successful Alaskan, or
Yukon placer-miner (whose modest "sack" of two
or three hundred ounces, the fruit of years of hard
labour on Forty Mile Creek, or along the Stewart
River, could hardly have stood the price of a good
time in lordly 'Frisco), Eastern journalists paid
more attention to his tales of wonderful " strikes |
made in the Far North than they were in the habit
of  doing;   and,  after  the arrival  the   following GREATER CANADA
summer of the first treasure-ship from St. Michael
(the Excelsior, which brought in half a million
dollars' worth of dust), even the mother country
newspapers began to print these tales. As other
ships followed, bringing in large consignments of
gold, and a few of the men who had found it, the
excitement increased, until any newspaper in the
world was only too glad to print and pay for any
sort of Klondike news, providing it came from the
West. And all that winter the Seattle newspaper
man reaped a rich harvest of greenbacks, in spite
of the fact that everybody should have known that
no fresh tidings could possibly have come out of
Dawson after the freezing up of the rivers.
One of the most preposterous of these winter tales
-—a tale which nobody with the slightest knowledge
of geology could possibly have believed—was an
account of the discovery of the " mother-vein"
of all the Klondike gold, which made its appearance in the last week of 1897 *n a Pacific Coast
weekly paper. According to the account (which gave
the names and addresses of the discoverers, and
also their portraits, one of which strangely resembled
that of the referee in the Corbett-FitzSimmons
glove-fight) the mother-vein was a gigantic ribbon
of quartz, everywhere full of nuggets (" all of the
same size, and about the size of marbles !") as a
Christmas pudding is full of plums; and it seemed
to be the opinion of all concerned that not only
the gold of Klondike, but also the gold of Cariboo
and California, had been ground out and distributed by rivers and glaciers from this one deposit.
Nobody who had ever seen a nugget could have
swallowed such a yarn; nevertheless, it was copied
by dozens of influential journals in the Eastern
States and Eastern Canada, and a little later began
to crop up in the European press. And last of all
a little paragraph on the subject appeared in
the Times. True, it was only a very little one,
and it was contradicted the very next week ; still,
its appearance in such a place must always be
regarded as a great achievement of Western
The world-wide attack of Klondikitis, which
occurred two winters ago, was not, however, altogether a result of journalistic enterprise. To begin
with, everybody in Canada or the States who had
a spade or a pound of tea in stock, made up his
mind to sell it to one or other of the prospectors
going up last spring ; and those storekeepers who
found themselves located in such out-of-the-way
North-Western towns as Prince Albert, Edmonton,
and Ashcroft, sent the hat round to collect funds
for advertising that one of the nine or ten | Canadian
V 6
routes " which passed through their particular street.
Though some of these routes are practicable enough,
and may be justly called "poor man's trails," owing
to the abundance of fish and game in the country
through which they pass, their great length is
against them ; for the best of them (such as those
which take in the Mackenzie or the Liard rivers)
cannot be traversed in less than a summer.
Secondly, the Transcontinental railways began to
compete for the privilege of carrying the would-be
Klondigger to his port on the Pacific—a competition which led not only to the issue of millions of
pamphlets, but also to a general cutting-down of
rates. The fact that it was possible in the spring
of '98 to travel from ocean to ocean for as little as
twelve dollars undoubtedly added very largely to
the volume of the rush northward. Thirdly, the
Canadian Government, by their advocacy of the
notorious "All Canadian Route," vid Stikine
River and Teslin Lake, and their definite promises
—neither of which were fulfilled—to have a road
between the river and the lake ready by March
10, 1898, and a railway built by September 1,
induced thousands to go north early in the
year, few of whom would otherwise have made
the attempt. If the Senate had not rejected
the Liberal  Government's bill providing for this THE YUKON DISCOVERIES 7
railway, part of it might have been built; but the
concessions to be granted to the contractors were
so conspicuously liberal, and the whole measure
smacked so strongly of jobbery, that the Senate
cannot be blamed for voting it down.
The result of the boom was that 110,000 persons
(of  whom   at   least  two-thirds  came   from   the
Western States and about one-sixth from Canada)
journeyed to the Pacific Coast in the year ending
May,  1898;  of which number less than  60,000
made any serious attempt to reach their destination.    Of those who made the attempt, hardly a
third got through; for the population of Dawson
City and of the  creeks in  its  vicinity, and the
various camping places along the Yukon, did not
exceed 24,000 a year later.    It would, therefore,
appear  that  hardly one   in  five  of  those  who
reached the Coast have succeeded in finding their
way to the Yukon.    That so large a percentage
failed to carry out their plans was a result of the
sudden collapse of the boom, when the tide of
would-be gold seekers (then at its height) was met
by a wave of refugees from Skagway, Dyea, and
Wrangel, who brought back most dismal accounts
of the state of things at the Passes and in the
camps along the Stikine-Teslin trail.
Small   as   was   the   percentage  of   successful 8
travellers, it is a record for gold rushes in
North America. Of those who set out for California in 1849, it is said that not one in ten ever
reached the mines; of the thirty thousand or so
who tried to reach the placer-diggings on the
Fraser in 1858, only between two and three
thousand arrived; and of the multitudes who
started . on the "Washoe Stampede| of i860
(when the news of the Comstock discovery stirred
up the West), barely one in eight seems to have
reached Virginia City. Still, taking into consideration the greatness of the western population to-day
compared with that of thirty years ago, it cannot
be said that this year's rush to Klondike came up
to the expectations of old-time placer-miners, one
of whom, remembering how all the West stampeded
during the Washoe Silver craze, prophesied to the
writer that in his opinion at least half a million
would make the journey. Truth to tell, the
western love for a gamble of any sort—and of
all the many games that have been or are played
in the West, none offers longer odds than placer-
mining—has been chastened by time; or, as one
might say, has been diverted into the so-called
legitimate channels of business.
After the virtual collapse of the boom, a feeling
of incredulity as to the real richness of the new
i b 11.1 i\}>mmmm*mmma&m THE YUKON  DISCOVERIES
placers became general, and for a time (until Miss
Shaw's much-debated articles appeared in the
Times) it was believed by most people that
Klondike was no better, if no worse, than a second
Cariboo. Nearly $6,000,000 worth of dust had
been shipped out in 1897; when it was seen that
the apparent output for 1898 did not exceed
$8,000,000 (instead of the $20,000,000 confidently
expected), and it was learned that one of the two
richest leads — Bonanzo Creek — had somewhat
disappointed the hopes of its possessors, even
practical miners prophesied that in two or three
years the whole field would be practically stripped
to such an extent that it would hardly pay white
men to work there. And Mr. Ogilvie's assertion
that the Klondike " mining-camp" (in the West
that term always connects a definite area of
metalliferous ground more or less obviously separated from others) held at least $100,000,000 worth
of gold "in sight," with the certainty of much
more in unproved and unprospected creeks, was
regarded as unjustifiable.
This seeming failure was due, however, (1) to
the maladministration of the gold-fields by the
Dominion Government, and (2) to the peculiar
conditions of placer-mining. And it was the
Times correspondent who first pointed out that in
? 1
1898 the gold-fields were in a state of arrested
development owing to these causes, and not because
of their comparative poverty. There were two
good reasons for this lady's success. In the first
place, she was a woman; and it has been use and
wont among placer-miners ever since the North-
and-South Valley of the Sacramento was first
worked over, to give a woman visiting a camp just
whatever she asks for—even if it is information
as to the yield of a claim! In the second place,
she avoided the error that traps so many literary
travellers in the West; she did not rely on the
evidence proffered by officials. As a rule the
English traveller (particularly the observer who is
content to view the country through the plate-
glass windows of an "observation-car") is apt to
believe that the Government official of the West
is as disinterested as the occupant of a similar
position in his own incorruptible Civil Service.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case ; for the
"spoils system" obtains in Canada to an extent
hardly realized by the mere traveller, and is an evil
influence similar in kind, if not the same in degree,
to that which prevails in the States. The rule has
very many exceptions, but it is none the less a
rule that the average office-holder in Canada owes
his post to political influence, knows only too well
that his income is coterminous with his party's
tenure of office, and is tempted to get what he can
while he can. Also, many minor officials have
their own " axes to grind " (they are storekeepers,
land-agents, etc., etc., as well as Government
officials), and it is absurd to suppose that such men
will tell unpleasant truths to a stranger, especially
if tbat stranger is taking notes. So that the only
reliable information to be procured in the North-
West is such as may be gathered from the lips of
the working men—farmers, miners, etc.—who are
not " in politics," or in any way dependent on the
Regarding the maladministration of the Yukon
(which has been made a party-question) it is impossible to speak definitely. Miss Shaw's charges
received no satisfactory answer at the time; and
when those charges were repeated in the Dominion
House of Commons, and the Government was
challenged to answer them, the only answer that
would have satisfied any but a partisan—ue. the
granting of a Royal Commission to inquire into
the matter—was not forthcoming. The misgovern-
ment of the Yukon officials may have been partly
due to the fact that many of them were overworked,
and several of the chief officials are, by unanimous
consent of the Yukon miners, acquitted of any wish 12
to profit unduly by their position; nevertheless it
is certain that many of their subordinates indulged
in " boodling " (a nasty name for a nasty practice)
at the expense of the miners whenever an opportunity offered itself. That claims could not be
recorded without the payment of a substantial interest in the ground, and that claims were sometimes
"jumped " by officials—everybody, who has been
in the country, admits the truth of these allegations
on the part of Miss Shaw and other disinterested
visitors. The reply of the Dominion Government
that no legal evidence of such statements has been
produced is no answer to the indictment; for no
evidence is legal until it has been brought before a
legal tribunal, and they refused to erect such a
tribunal by their refusal of a Royal Commission. 11
is true Mr. Ogilvie was sent to hold inquiry into
the charges, but he had no power to examine
witnesses on oath, and we are therefore obliged to
believe that his mission was merely a political
device to evade the reasonable request of the
Government's critics and profit by Mr. Ogilvie's
personal popularity. No wonder, then, that there
is a general impression in the North-West that
certain members of the Government were disposed
to regard the Yukon Territory as a preserve to be
set apart for the good of their personal and political
friends. Patriotism covers a multitude of political
sins, and nobody doubts the patriotism of Sir
Wilfred Laurier or of any other Canadian politician
(with the possible exception of Mr. Tarte,who thinks
it does not pay in Quebec), but it is to be feared
that this political sin of the maladministration
of the Yukon has diminished the value of the
Klondike object lesson as to the value of the
North-West very considerably.
And not only are the many laws of this district
badly administered, but—and here comes in
another chief cause of the seeming failure of
Klondike—they are bad in themselves. Thus,
while the reduction of the length of a "creek or
gulch claim" from 500 to 250 feet was fair enough
considering the exceptional richness of the ground,
the grabbing of a half of all diggings discovered
after a certain date by a Government which " has
never dug a single prospect shaft" and is doing
nothing whatever to help the prospector, is deeply
resented not only by the old-timers (who disapprove
of all such innovations on principle), but also by
thinking men, who see that such a policy tends to
check private exploration. Still, the miners generally would be content to work | on shares " with
the Government, if that Government had not
decided to annex the profit on their "pard's" half
1 w
of a discovery—which is, practically, the effect of
exacting a ten per cent, royalty on the gross
output of every claim.
In considering this point it must be remembered
that, if the ground in this mining camp is phenomenally rich, the difficulties of working it are
phenomenally great, and the cost of labour is
exceedingly large. The soil is either frozen or
flooded all the year ; the transport of supplies from
Dawson City to the mines costs 10 cents a pound
in winter and 35 cents in summer; and the price
of labour ranges from 10 dollars a day for unskilled
to 15 dollars for skilled workers. Suppose, for
instance, a claim-owner employs 20 men on an
average (the least number with which "sluicing"
can be carried out in an economical way), and the
washing-out of his winter's " dump" results in
75,000 dollars' worth of dust—what is his nett profit
on the year's work ? His wage-bill will be nearer
65,000 dollars than 60,000; the royalty (20 per
cent, on the whole output, less 2500 dollars exempted) is 7250 dollars; and out of the residue
must come the cost of a variety of necessary
supplies and of hauling them or packing them to
the mines. Obviously, in such a case, the profit is
nothing, or next to nothing. What would have
happened to the Rand mines if a ten  per  cent. THE YUKON DISCOVERIES
* 5
royalty on gross output had been charged by the
Transvaal Government ?
Unless, therefore, a claim worked in a fairly
economical way—up to a certain point the more
men employed the more economical sluicing
becomes—can be relied upon to produce more than
that amount of gold in a year, it does not pay to
work it under existing conditions. And since even
in Klondike such claims are not common, it is not
wonderful that scores of mines (bought at a stiff
price from their first holders) remained practically
untouched, and that dozens of mine-owners did
not wash out their dumps in the summer of '98.
" If the d politicians want their royalty," an
Eldorado miner said, pointing to the great heap of
"pay-dirt" taken out in the winter, "there it is
right in there, and let 'em come and take it out
their own selves !" He and many others were
and are waiting for the abolition or reduction of
this iniquitous tithe. They have been waiting some
time now; one result of their inaction being that
thousands of new-comers willing enough to work
were compelled to stand about Dawson City and
kill mosquitoes all the summer of 1898.
Yet another effect of this tax has been the encouragement of " haymaking," i.e. the haphazard
working over of only the richest parts of a claim, i6
among those who are not anxious to prolong their
stay in a dismal and uninviting country. Many
claim-owners, however, being experienced miners,
and well aware that careful and systematic work
pays best in the end, do not wish to be classed
with the £ haymakers," and are desirous of obtaining the help of outside capital; without which, indeed, a multitude of the poorer claims (that would
nevertheless be thought rich anywhere else) cannot be touched at present. To these it is already
evident that the average Klondike creek or gulch
mine cannot be regarded as " poor man's diggings "
in the sense that the California placers were so
regarded, and even the deep pre-glacial leads of
Cariboo, and that the climatic conditions and
peculiar position of the country render placer-
mining there every whit as costly and laborious
as reef-mining in other parts of the world. Until
hydraulic machinery, drainage adits, and so forth
—mining methods which have yielded a rich harvest from creeks thrice worked over (firstly by
" haymaking " pioneers, secondly by expert placer-
miners who bought their claims, and thirdly by
Chinamen and Indians) in California and British
Columbia—are generally possible, the real worth of
the Klondike goldfields will not become apparent,
and, without a large   influx  of outside capital, THE YUKON DISCOVERIES
modern  machinery and  modern engineering an
out of the question.
But until the royalty is removed or considerably
reduced it is not likely that capital will flow in—a
conclusion which may be commended to the attention of Sir Wilfred Laurier, who is a good friend
of the North-West. In the present series of
articles on the North-West (in the course of which
it will be necessary to return to the subject of the
Yukon goldfields) the writer will have to point out
again and again how industrial progress has been
hampered by political blunders, and it is to be
hoped that so illogical and impolitic a blunder
(illogical because it is applied to but one of many
mining districts in the Dominion, impolitic because
it arrests a young industry) will soon be rectified.
As to the extraordinary richness of the Klondike
goldfields there can be no doubt whatever; for all
the vast amount of circumstantial evidence accumulated during the last three years tends to prove
that Mr. Ogilvie's estimate was below—far below—
the mark. Prospecting on the Stewart—" Ogilvie's
tip," as it was called—has not as yet revealed any
great deposit of " coarse gold " there, nor have any
quartz discoveries of real importance been made
in the Yukon ; but the discovery of the Atlin gold-
fields (which seem to be quite as rich as Cariboo) H
leads us to hope that other portions of the
Northern gold-belt will prove valuable. In spite of
the royalty the Klondike Creeks produced nearly
$18,000,000 worth of gold in 1899—double the
output of 1898. Hunker's, which has turned out
surprisingly rich, has produced about $6,ooo,odo,
and both Eldorado and Bonanza have yielded half
as much again as they did last year. Two out of
every three of the claims on these leads now have
machinery (pipe-boilers often to twelve-horse power
and engines of four or five-horse power for hoisting
being the average installation), and machinery will
be at work this winter in several other creeks.
Dominion Creek is expected to make a return of
$7,000,000 next year, and others—Gold Bottom,
Last Chance Quartz and Sulphur among them—
are likely to show good results. As yet, however,
the time when the company takes the place of the
individual has not really arrived, and, until the
present transitional period is over and a better class
of claims come into the market, the investor cannot
be advised to buy shares in any of the Klondike
companies now before the public. Having regard
to the existence of the ten percent, royalty and the
exorbitant figure at which even unproved ground
on the less fertile creeks is held, the great capitalist
is not likely to meddle with Klondike for a while.
As is the case with so many of the provinces of
our world-wide empire, the earlier history of
" Greater Canada " is essentially a chapter—and
that not the least interesting—in the annals of
British commerce. The exploration of the North-
West was almost entirely the work of certain
great fur-trading corporations; to the oldest and
greatest of which, the Hudson's Bay Company,
we owe our peaceful acquisition of a territory as
large as the whole of Europe. For, though the
French were the first to travel beyond the Great
Lakes and establish trading-posts and missions on
the Saskatchewan and other rivers, they lacked
the patience and power of organization necessary
to hold what they had grasped; and long before
Quebec and the French king's " few arpents of
snow" had changed hands, the French traders
found that the inland tribes were so much under
19 20
the influence of the Hudson's Bay Company
officers as to refuse to deal with them. Thus in
1750 Le Gardeur St. Pierre, who had been
continuing Verandrye's exploration of the interior,
reported that "the English on the Bay by their
threats alone are able to make the Indians undertake anything they wish," and that, in consequence,
no Frenchmen could hope to do much business in
those regions. It will be seen, therefore, that the
authority maintained over the Indians by the
Hudson's Bay Company—an authority never
disputed, though never backed by force of arms,
and still as strong in many parts of the North-
West as it was fifty years ago—was already a
political influence of importance.
From the time of the earliest settlements in
"New France," as Lower Canada was called in
the 17th century, the fur trade had been recognized
as the staple industry of its inhabitants. But as
colonization progressed, the more valuable fur-
bearing animals became scarce in the vicinity of
the settlements; and before long the actual
trading in peltries fell into the hands of a peculiar
class of men, the coureurs des dots, hardy, daredevil adventurers, with a knowledge of Indian
language and character, who travelled alone to the
far-off hunting camps and bartered canoe-loads of PROGRESS OF THE FUR TRADE 21
i' ■ n
goods bought on long credit for furs and skins.
These  excursions  often  lasted  into   the  second
year,   and   when   the  traveller   returned—if   he
escaped drowning in some dangerous   rapids, or
the loss of his scalp, he was certain to appear again
—his  store  of peltries  was  turned  over to  the
merchant  who had  supplied the  goods,  and  he
for his part handed over their value (minus the
price of his goods and as much again for his risk)
to the coureur.    Whatever the  latter received—
thanks to the former's arithmetic it was generally
too little rather than too much—was sure to be
spent in a few weeks of riotous living and drinking ;
after which the coureur, finding his pouch empty,
would obtain a fresh credit from his merchant and
seek the woods once more.    After long years of
such  a  life,  the  wilderness,  as it  were,  entered
into his soul, and as often as not he married an
Indian wife, and, except for the purpose of selling
his  furs  and  making  merry  with  the proceeds\
never  set  foot in  the settlements.     From  these
marriages arose the race of the Mitis—the French-
Canadian half-breeds, who  in  later years served
the   British   fur-trading   companies   as   hunters,
trappers, and voyageurs.
Later  on,   the   reckless   misconduct  of   these
coureztrs des bois and their sons  caused them to 22
fall into disrepute with the missionary priests, who
brought pressure to bear on the French Government in Canada, and succeeded in obtaining an
enactment that only those who held a license
should trade with the Indians. It was intended
that these licenses should be issued only to men
of approved character, but in point of fact they
were frequently given as rewards to successful
soldiers and men of good family with influence
at Court, who promptly sold them to anybody
willing to pay a good round price. Accordingly
they fell into the hands of the merchants who
employed the coureurs des bois in their dealings
with the Indians; and things were as bad as
before, or even worse. At last, however, military
outposts were established to control the merchants
and their underlings ; after which a number of
rich and respectable capitalists began to trade
directly with the Indians on a larger and more
liberal scale than the others could afford. But
even then unrestrained competition led to many
and serious abuses; so that, shortly before the
close of French rule—or rather misrule—in Canada,
it could be justly said that "it profited neither a
man's soul nor his purse to engage in fur-trading."
During the wars for the possession of Canada
these coureurs des bois were employed generally by
the French to negotiate alliances with the various
Indian tribes ; and many of them engaged in the
infamous scalp-traffic—a peculiar branch of the
fur trade inaugurated by the French commanders
and prosecuted on the other side only by way of
reprisal—and collected scalps among their Indian
friends as methodically as they had formerly
collected beaver-skins. The outrages committed
on women and children by these men, and by the
Indians and half-breeds at their instigation, left a
memory of abiding horror in the English-speaking
settlements ; so that for many years after the final
conquest the British merchants in Montreal and
Quebec—most of them were Scotchmen, by the
way—absolutely refused to employ them as their
agents. They, on their part, detested the manners
and business methods of the conquerors ; and when
the United States declared their independence, the
great majority of them entered the service of
American traders, who never asked how their furs
had been come by, and were, furthermore, able
to supply goods at much lower rates than their
Canadian rivals. It was estimated that in 1780,
two-thirds of the furs taken in Canada went to
dealers on the American side, and the Montreal
merchants found it necessary to unite for self-
protection.   The result was the formation of the
* 24
famous North-West Company, a combination  of
all the chief fur-trading firms in Montreal.
In those days, when the only means of travel
was by water-way—canoes and their contents being
carried across portages from one river system
to another—the so-called Grand Portage at the
north-west extremity of Lake Superior was the
I key I to the whole North-West. Accordingly,
the first step taken by the canny directors of the
newly-formed company was to petition Governor
Haldimand for the exclusive right to use that
carrying-place, "or"—as was cannily subjoined by
the petitioners—" the other passage we are attempting to discover." But though they gave the
Governor to understand that, unless this favour
was granted, the North-Western fur trade would
infallibly fall into the hands of United States
merchants, this petition was not granted ; nor were
further requests for the exclusive right to trade in
the North-West, and for the privilege of keeping
ships on Lake Superior—at that time only allowed
to be navigated by the king's vessels—entertained
any more favourably by the Government. Finding
they could not obtain these special privileges, the
directors set to work to forestall the competition
they dreaded, or pretended to dread; and so
energetic and successful were their efforts, that in
1784 the value of their property (exclusive of buildings, boats, etc.) in the North-West exceeded
£25,000, and upwards of five hundred men were
employed in taking goods and bringing back furs
from Grand Portage, while as many more were
working for them in the interior. The yearly profit
seems to have averaged ten per cent.—a very fair
dividend considering the enormous difficulty and
expense of transporting goods by river and portage
for distances of from two to four thousand miles.
All this time the Hudson's Bay Company—to
whose first Governor, Prince Rupert, a royal charter
had been granted in 1670—were extending their
operations in every direction from York Factory on
the Bay, and their rivalry was soon felt by the
employees of the North-West Company. For many
years the agents of either corporation, though keen
competitors in the way of business, were on most
friendly terms with one another. Nearly all of
them being Scotchmen, they would naturally think
Scotch and drink Scotch on the rare occasions
of their meeting. And so, until the competition
was intensified by the appearance of a third company, we hear nothing of the war of fur traders,
though it sometimes happened that the factories
of the two great companies were built, as at Red
River, within a few yards of one another.
M 26
In 1798 quarrels arose among the North-West
partners, which resulted in a number seceding and
forming the X Y Company. Almost immediately a
sort of triple duel began. The officers of the three
companies came to blows whenever they met;
alliances defensive and offensive were formed with
the Indians, and a parcel of furs often passed
through the hands of all three companies before
it set out on its way to Montreal, or to York
Factory. Several murders took place, and in 1803
it was-thought necessary to pass an Act placing
the North-West—up to that date a sort of no
man's land in matters of law—under the jurisdiction
of the Canadian courts. This, however, did little
or nothing to stop the fighting and fur-lifting ;
nor did the amalgamation in 1808 of the X Y
and North-West Companies restore the former
peaceful rivalry. The only difference was that the
now North-West Company robbed the Hudson's
Bay people with a greater feeling of pleasure,
knowing that their directors could influence the
Canadian judges and juries in their favour, and
that they were numerically the stronger.
It was the intervention of an outsider, the Earl
of Selkirk—who was in some respects a prototype
of Mr. Cecil Rhodes—that enabled the elder company to hold their own again, and in the end brought
about the defeat of their opponents. At the
beginning of the century that nobleman was deeply
interested in various colonization schemes, and
happening to visit Montreal in connection with
them, became profoundly impressed by the accounts
he received of the great possibilities of the North-
West. During his stay there he collected a mass
of information anent the fur trade and the fur
traders—by the irony of circumstances nobody
helped him more in this matter than the partners
of the North-West Company—and on his return
to England he prosecuted his inquiries in every
direction. He soon saw that the charter-rights
possessed by the Hudson's Bay Company, if used
to the best advantage, must infallibly turn the
scale in their favour. For the distance from
York Factory on the Bay—the depot to which their
trade-goods were shipped from England—to the
north-western trading posts is, as a glance at the
map will show, shorter by more than fifteen
hundred miles than their opponent's overland route
from Montreal, and, according to the terms of the
charter granted to Prince Rupert, not only was
the commerce of the Bay legally and exclusively
theirs, but also the commerce of all the waters
flowing into that great inland sea. These, no
doubt, were the chief considerations which caused 28
Lord Selkirk to espouse their cause, but there were
others of the first importance. All the directors
of the North-West Company were against colonization, thinking it would injure the fur trade; a
large use of liquor was made in their traffic with
the Indians—a pernicious practice condemned by
their opponents ; and they made no attempt, as
did the Hudson's Bay officers, to discourage the
destruction of fur-bearing animals in the breeding
Coming to the conclusion that the Hudson's
Bay Company might be, and should be, masters
of the situation, Lord Selkirk set to work to buy
up a controlling interest, and ultimately succeeded
in obtaining shares to the value of £40,000,
the capital of the company being less than
£110,000. This, together with the election of near
relations and friends of his to the board of
directors, gave him unlimited control of its policy,
and he hastened to use his power to the uttermost.
His first step was to obtain from the company
a grant of land (no less than 116,000 square miles
west of Lake Winnipeg) in which to plant a settlement. There can be no doubt that he meant this
settlement to be a garrison as well as a source
from which supplies and labour could be obtained.
At the time there prevailed in the Highlands a PROGRESS OF THE FUR TRADE 29
desire for emigration—a desire that subsequently
gathered force owing to the cruel conduct of the
Duchess of Sutherland in depopulating her estates
to make sheep pastures; and he had no difficulty
in obtaining recruits there and in Ireland, parties
of whom were despatched in 1811, 1813, and 1815.
These  poor people suffered  incredible hardships,
both on the  road  and when  they reached their
destination ; for they were unprovided with suitable
clothes for the winter, had not the necessary implements, and were shamefully neglected by the agents
entrusted with their care.    Fever on board ship,
scurvy in their winter camps, and a constant lack
of food seem to have killed a third of them; and
the heartless conduct of the North-West Company's
people, who  harried them in every possible way
short of actual bloodshed, prevented any serious
attempt to work on the land.     The presence of
these unwelcome colonists, more especially as later
on some of them were armed and drilled by the
Hudson's  Bay  Company  officers,  naturally   embittered  the  existing warfare, which  came to  a
climax in 1816, when Governor Semple, of Fort
Douglas, and twenty of his men were massacred
by Indians and half-breeds in the employ of the
North-West   Company.     Nearly  all  the  settlers
then] at Red River left for Jack River after that
event, whence they returned under protection of
their patron in the following year.
Hearing of the massacre at Fort Douglas, Lord
Selkirk, who was in Montreal, made up his mind
to levy war on a larger scale. He formed the plan
of seizing Fort William, the headquarters of the
North-West Company, and to that intent engaged
a large band of voyageurs, enlisted about a hundred
men that had belonged to de Meuron's regiment
and had served as mercenaries in the French army
during the war with Spain, bought artillery and
small arms, and set out with his little army forthwith. Before leaving he contrived to get himself
appointed a Justice of the Peace for the Indian
territories and Upper Canada, a position which
added much to his authority and was well worth
what he paid for it. While his preparations were
afoot, the unfortunate North-West partners made
advances to him for a coalition of the two
companies, and at the same time appealed to the
Secretary of State. In neither cases were their
efforts successful, seeing that the news of the
massacre had caused a strong feeling against
Lord Selkirk's campaign was entirely successful.
Arriving in the Kaministiquia River about mid-
August, he deployed his men and cannon so as to
command every approach to Fort William, the
cannon being loaded and pointed on to the
buildings. Next day, in his capacity of Justice of
the Peace, he sent two men into the fort to arrest
the officers in charge, and, no resistance being made,
entered with his force, captured all within and
searched the place, seizing about £12,000 worth of
furs and a quantity of other valuable property.
Shortly afterwards the North-West officers were
sent off to Montreal, where they were charged with
being accessories to the outrages perpetrated on the
earl's estate at Red River that same year. Being
let out on bail, these officers swore out a warrant
for Lord Selkirk's arrest; but when the constable
arrived at Fort William he was taken by the
shoulders and put off the premises and told to go
home again—which he did after a short imprisonment, with the warrant pinned on his back. Lord
Selkirk next sent out parties to capture other
posts belonging to the rival company. The
factories at Fond du Lac, Michipicoton, and Lac
la Pluie fell into his possession without any fighting ; after which a strong body of de Meuron's
mercenaries journeyed to Red River with the view
of recapturing Fort Douglas. The second capture
of that strongly fortified and garrisoned post was
really a notable feat of arms;   for the invaders
-, . 32
took advantage of a dark and stormy night to
scale the walls and make prisoners twice their own
number, before ever they were known to be in the
country. Finally the earl settled his colonists in
their former homes, and obtained a treaty from
the Indians so that they might never be disturbed
in their possession of the land. This done, he
returned to England by way of Dakota and New
York (thus evading about a hundred writs waiting
for him in Montreal), leaving the Hudson's Bay
Company masters of the field.
In spite of Lord Selkirk's high-handed procedure,
he did more than any other man of his time to
strengthen our hold in the North-West, little
known and much misunderstood in those days.
He was the first to recognize the possibilities of
successful agriculture there, and the first to set the
tide of immigration flowing in that direction; and
he persevered in his schemes of colonization, though
they much impaired his private fortune, and in spite
of opposition from some of his fellow-directors as
well as from the Montreal Company. If the Red
River had been colonized by men from the United
States, instead of by Scotchmen and French-
Canadians, the probability is that the Dominion
would have ended where Ontario ends. Also, he
saw that the policy of the Hudson's Bay Company
r \
towards the Indians—a policy which combined
charity with courtesy—was more humane, and
therefore more effective, than that of their
opponents; and, seeing that, would make no
terms with those who followed the common or
" American" methods of trading with the red
man. When in 1821, very shortly after his death,
the companies were united—personal dislike of the
Montreal traders seems to have made him obstinately opposed to this union—the new corporation
kept to the old style of H.B.C.—three letters which
spelt safety among the North-West Indians—and
followed the old-time policy, with the result that
the horrible Indian wars so common in the Western
States never troubled the Canadian North-West.
For which we have to thank Lord Selkirk in no
small measure.
D ft
■r »
The union of the two rival companies took place
in 1821—a year after the death of Lord Selkirk—
on the condition that each party to the contract
should provide an equal capital for carrying on the
trade. Twenty-five chief factors and twenty-eight
chief traders (named alternately from the principal
officers of the old Hudson's Bay and the North-
West Companies) were appointed, and it was
arranged that two-fifths of the yearly profit should
be divided among these in lieu of a fixed salary.
As, therefore, a chief officer's income depended
directly upon the success of the year's trading, and
as, furthermore, any of the other servants (who
received fixed salaries of from £20 to £100 a year)
might hope to gain the position of a factor or
trader by good conduct and energy, the new
Hudson's Bay Company—" The Company," as it
is still called throughout the  North-West—was
always served most faithfully and effectively.    The
rule that no servant in the employ of the company
should deal in furs for his own private benefit was,
for instance, never known to be broken, and so
rapid an extension  of trade took place that in
1836 the number of forts and factories was double
what it had been at the time of the coalition.    In
that year the company possessed   136 of these
establishments and provided employment for 25
chief   factors,   27   chief   traders,    152   "clerks,"
and about 1200 regular servants, in addition to
such occasional  labourers  as voyageurs, hunters
and   trappers,   etc.     In   1856   the    number   of
establishments  had  increased  to   154,   of which
fourteen  were  in Oregon, and twelve in British
Columbia.    And at that time  there were few  of
the Indians (who then, according to evidence given
before a select committee of the House of Commons,
numbered about 147,800) who did not owe some
luxury or  necessity of their  simple  life  to  the
I Hudson's Bay chiefs,"
It was the general custom to give these hunters
credit in advance of their hunt; a custom which
seldom or never led to loss, seeing that (unlike his
semi-civilized descendant of to-day) the old-time
Indian was the soul of honour in the matters of
paying his debt? and keeping his word.    Otherwise
i| 1
■a 36
the North-Western Indian—that " Oriental with a
frozen heart," as he has been happily defined—was
not a creature to be admired. Recklessly improvident, cruel and deceitful, a practised thief and an
inveterate gambler, he was incapable of the splendid
devotion and chivalrous bravery so often displayed
by his Eastern cousins. Each one of the North-
Western " nations" seems to have been distinguished from the rest by the hypertrophy of some
particular vice rather than by the possession of
some excelling virtue. Thus the Salteaux were
too proud and ignorant even to hunt for food in
times of scarcity, and were almost constantly in a
state of starvation. The Surcees were the most
expert thieves, horse-stealing being their speciality.
The Blackfeet were the most turbulent of the
tribes, and otherwise infamous for their treatment
of women, their " squaws " being used as beasts of
burden, though not so well cared for as even the
ponies. The Assiniboine Indians were notorious
for their infamous treachery; for they alone of
North American tribes abused the laws of hospitality, often waylaying and plundering a guest
who had just left their tepees. The Swampies
were little men and great cowards ; and being often
in want of food were sometimes known to resort to
cannibalism.   The Sioux, who once laid claim to THE REIGN OF "THE  COMPANY"    37
hunting-grounds in the British North-West and
were driven by the united * efforts of the other
Indians below the boundary line, were, physically
and morally, the best of the North-Western tribes.
The Coast Indians were far higher in the scale of
civilization than any of these inland tribes ; though
some of their customs were barbarous in the extreme, and they never took so kindly to the white
man as the Crees. Sir George Simpson frequently
comments on the mechanical ingenuity of the
British Columbian Indians; he had seen, for
instance, at Fort Simpson the head of a vessel
some of them were building there, so well executed
as to be taken for the work of a white mechanic,
and one man had prepared accurate charts of the
adjacent shores. They were skilful carvers, and
sufficiently in love with their skill to ornament not
only their huts and totem-poles with carvings, but
also all their other belongings—canoes, fish-spears,
war-clubs, etc.; they worked and engraved ornaments of metal, and last but not least they invented
the Chinook jargon—a species of Volapiik by which
communication between the numerous tribes, each
having its own language, to be found on the
Pacific slopes was rendered possible.    Many of the
* They returned for a time under Sitting Bull after the massacre
of Custer's command. 33
Coast Indians work and earn good wages in the sawmills, canneries, and mines of British Columbia,
and, though they do not accept Christianity so
readily as the inland nations, there is reason to
believe they are far more capable of comprehending
it in both practice and theory.
The kind treatment of all sorts and conditions
of Indians in time of sickness or famine by the
Hudson's Bay officers (who never forgot that in
dealing with savage tribes courtesy is the better
part of charity) did much to increase the feeling
of mutual confidence based upon fair dealing in
matters of business. Moreover, the clerks and
other servants of the company, and even the chief
factors and traders, often married Indian women,
and the offspring of these marriages are to be
met with in every class of North-Western society
at the present day. Many of these Scotch half-
breeds (whatever the fraction of Indian blood,
one-fourth, one-eighth, or even less, the term | half-
breed I is used) have the black eyes, lank blue-black
hair, aquiline nose, and high cheek-bones characteristic of the Indian; a few, however, are as fair as
the fairest of full-blooded Caucasians. The latter
will often deny their Indian ancestry through a
false sense of shame, but in vain ; for their speech
bewrayeth them.    When one who claims to be a
Scotchman from Scotland compliments you on
" a good sot " (shot), or speaks of a " pair of soes |
(shoes), then you know that his blood is not neat
Scotch, and you think it most probable that one
of his ancestors served the company in some
capacity in the good old days, and found he could
not live without feminine society.
The writer remembers hearing the origin of the
" natives" discussed on the verandah of a little
wooden hotel in Saskatchewan. During the conversation an old Irishman pointed out that for
one English | breed" there were ten Scotch and
fifty French, but " niver an Oirish half-breed at
all." The last fact—undoubtedly a fact as far as
the writer's observation goes—he attributed to the
national pride and purity of the Milesian, who
would never demean himself by contracting alliances
with women of an inferior race. But his panegyric
came to an end abruptly when a Canadian suggested that the reason might well be a very
different one. " I've heard say," he remarked,
" that the squaws—even the oldest and the crooked-
est Swampies—won't ever look at an Irishman."
After which there would certainly have been a
mingling of Canadian and Irish blood but for the
opportune ringing of the dinner-bell.
Before the coalition of the Hudson's Bay and 40
North-West Companies the former were in the
habit of importing Orkneymen to serve as voyageurs
and canoemen, whereas the latter invariably made
use of French - Canadian half-breeds. These
Orkneymen, though hardy watermen and hard
workers, were disliked by the Indians on account
of their dour and silent manners ; so that the
Canadian Metis, who possessed the gaiety and
powers of conversation of their French ancestors,
and were ready enough to fraternize with the
Indians (their half-brothers in a sense), proved
much more useful to their employers. Lord
Selkirk, recognizing in this fact one cause of the
North-West Company's greater success in extending their trade, eventually put an end to the importation of men from the Orkneys, and brought
about the employment of Canadian voyageurs by
the Hudson's Bay corporation. Though the building of railways and the use of steamers on the
larger rivers have caused the virtual extinction of
the old-time voyageurs and freighters, a few,
however, may still be met in the country north
of the Saskatchewan—a vast country as yet untouched by settlement. So far as the writer's
experience goes, Harmon's character of the French
half-breed, given in his journal of voyages and
travels in North  America, is as pertinent to-day THE  REIGN  OF  "THE  COMPANY"   41
as it was in 1819. " Although what they consider
good eating and drinking is their chief good," says
that wanderer in the Lone Land, " yet, when
necessity compels them to it, they submit to great
privation and hardship, not only without complaining, but even with cheerfulness and gaiety. They
never think of providing for future wants, and
seldom lay up any part of their earnings to serve
them in any day of sickness or in the decline of
life. They are not brave, but when they apprehend
little danger, they will often, as they say, play the
man. They are very deceitful, and are gross
flatterers to the face of a person, whom they will
basely slander behind his back. They are obedient
but not faithful servants." Of the many descendants of these people—those " Men of the Movement " who rebelled against civilization under the
leadership of Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont—
the writer will have something to say later on,
when he comes to deal with those much misunderstood episodes, the half-breed rebellions of 1870
and 1885. Most of them are now peacefully
settled along the Saskatchewan River, where they
live not unhappily, farming a little, hunting a
little, fishing a little, freighting a little, and talking
over their camp fires not a little of the good
old days, when they or their fathers dwelt on the
r 42
Red   River,  and   served   the   servants   of  § the
In the early days canoes were used, but the
| York boat" (manned by nine voyageurs, eight of
whom rowed and the ninth steered) gradually took
the place of these frail craft. Brigades, composed
of from eight to four of these boats, were constantly travelling between the various posts, carrying supplies and bringing back the bales of furs
collected during the season. When a strong rapid
was encountered the boats were unloaded and,
with their freight, carried past overland—work
which was often excessively severe. If the rapids
were not sufficiently formidable to render a " portage I necessary, the crew would land and draw the
boats along by means of lines. On the greater
lakes a large square sail was hoisted.
The goods carried in these York boats were
usually done up in bales, each weighing about one
hundred pounds. The cargo generally consisted
of from seventy to eighty of these | pieces," so
that the task of carrying them over a seven-mile
portage was by no means a laughing matter.
Latterly the company transported the bulk of
their supplies by ox-cart over the plains, and the
calling of the freighters became more important
than that of the voyageurs.   The carts used—" Red THE REIGN OF "THE COMPANY"   43
River carts," as they were called—were constructed
entirely of wood, without any iron whatever, the
axles and rims of the wheels not excepted.    If a
breakage occurred it was mended by means of a
strip of dried buffalo hide, which was soaked in
water and wound round the injured part; this, as
it dried, contracted and   hardened, binding the
fracture firmly.    Each cart was drawn by one ox
or an Indian pony, the weight of the load carried
being half a ton, and the average rate of progress
about twenty miles a day.    The number of carts
in a train varied, sometimes amounting to several
hundreds, and in that case it was  divided into
brigades of ten carts each.    To each three carts
there was  one driver, and  the whole train had
a  supply of  spare animals  varying in  number
according to the state and length of the train.    The
rate paid to freighters between Red River and St.
Paul, Minnesota, to which place the carts went in
large  numbers,   was   from   sixteen   to   eighteen
shillings per one hundred pounds ; but a large
proportion of this was paid in goods at Fort Garry
prices, which reduced the actual cost of freight
very materially.    In the forties it was estimated
that the Hudson's Bay Company and petty traders
employed about 1500 of these carts between St.
Paul and Red River, and 500 between Red River 44
and the Saskatchewan ; so that 600 to 700 men
were engaged in this business.
Language itself is a species of history, and
many of the so-called " slang" phrases of the
modern Nor'-Wester are historical evidence of the
existence of this reign of the company, Sometimes to-day one hears a dollar-bill described as a
I blanket;" a reference to the Hudson's Bay
Company notes, which formed the only currency
in the North-West of those days and was so styled
by the " old travellers " of the forties.
Again, when a North-Western old-timer invites
you to drink with him, he generally asks you to
| take a horn," and, before swallowing his own
portion, utters the mysterious saying, " Well, here's
a ho, boy! " by which quaint phrases we are reminded of the days when a buffalo-horn was the
commonest form of a drinking-cup, and the signal
to attack on the occasion of the great buffalo-hunts
was the cry of " Ho!" on the part of the leader
of the party. When anything is hidden it is
" cached;" money is often spoken of as " otter-
skins ;" and the settler speaks of his house as a
"tepee," even if he has never seen the Indian's
circular tent to which that name rightly belongs.
An account of the romance of the old fur-
trading days will be found in Appendix A.
. •m
From 1821 to 1869 the Governor and Council of
Assiniboine (appointed by the Hudson's Bay Company) possessed the only legal authority in the Red
River settlement, and, as might have been expected,
found the task of enforcing their decrees often
difficult, and at times impossible. The population consisted largely of French half-breeds, and the
governor had no armed force in reserve to meet
resistance ; so that only the constant exercise of
tact and firmness could ensure the safety of life and
property in times of excitement. Though the fact
that nearly all the members of the community
owed their means of livelihood to the company
strengthened his hands very considerably, yet it
must ever be accounted creditable (not only to the
governors, but also to the governed) that murder
and theft were almost unknown among the Red
River settlers. True, there were seasons of the
year (after the  return of the buffalo-runners, for
instance, and when freighters from Saskatchewan or
York Factory came in) when the little village under
the walls of Fort Garry was a pandemonium of
drunken, gambling | breeds," but nothing worse
than a black eye or a bitten thumb, or a kick
" between the long ribs and the short," ever befell
those who took a hand in these "scrapping-hitches."
As for shooting affrays, lynching parties, and other
incidents of the march of civilization in the Western
States, nothing of the sort is to be found in the
chronicles of Red River in the days when Sir
George Simpson ruled all Rupert's Land. And
perhaps it is to Sir George Simpson himself that
this state of things was due in the last result. For
forty years Governor of Rupert's Land, during all
that time there was no appeal from his decision in
any matter affecting the North-Western policy of
the company, and being president ex officio of the
Council of Assiniboine, he was superior to the
governor, whom, indeed, he himself virtually
appointed. No man ever understood the half-
breeds better, nor was more loved and feared by
them ; and there is reason to believe that if he had
been living in 1869 we should never have heard of
Louis Riel,'or of the rebellions of '70 and '85. The
rapidity of his movements, whether travelling by
water or over the snows—his majestic cordiality THE NEW REGIME
towards inferiors—his wonderful memory for names
and faces—his exact knowledge of the smallest
matters pertaining to the fur trade—are still remembered in the North-West. Another characteristic of this truly great man was his carefulness to
surround himself with all possible display. Wherever
he went he took a piper, and, when entering a fort,
was most particular that his men should be dressed
in their best. On his arrival it was customary to
fire a gun ; after which the piper struck up his
music and the whole party marched into the fort,
the pipes in front and Sir George behind them,
with the rest, also stepping in time, at a decent
During the first half of the company's reign at
Red River, the only cause of ill-feeling between
their officers and those subject to their authority
was their determination to keep at all hazards the
monopoly of the fur trade. About the year 1834
private persons began importing goods from
England on their own account and for their own
use, and gradually the system extended until they
sent for goods on speculation of selling at a profit.
This was countenanced by the company until these
petty traders began to agitate against the exclusive
trade in furs; after which every possible obstacle
was placed in the way of private importation.   This I Bit
was an act of injustice, and, more than that, a tactical
blunder ; for it forced the petty traders to bring in
supplies over the plains from the United States,
and led to furs being smuggled across the boundary.
In the end the company failed to maintain their
legal right to the monopoly of the fur trade, and
after 1849 (when a great demonstration in favour
of "Free-trade" prevented the Hudson's Bay
Company's court from punishing a half-breed who
had sold furs to a private trader) settlers on the
Red River openly equipped parties and sent them
into the interior to traffic with the Indians. The
company, therefore, instead of attempting to punish
these men and their agents, determined to crush
out their competition by the sheer force of their
own greater wealth and superior resources.
Many of these petty traders were Canadians, and
their representations (often highly coloured by
personal prejudice) gradually brought about a
general impression in Canada that the Hudson's
Bay Company were misgoverning for their own
advantage a vast tract of country (to which they
had no moral right), and were trespassing on the
liberties of British subjects. The necessity of
accurately defining the boundaries of Canada
eventually led to the sending of Chief-Justice
Draper to England in 1857 with instructions to THE  NEW REGIME
inquire into the legality of the company's title to
the North-West, and to ascertain how that title
might be extinguished. The direct result of this
mission was that Canadians became convinced the
title was good in law (as the greatest English
lawyers always held), and that it could only be
extinguished by agreement between the Canadas
and the Hudson's Bay Company. An indirect
result was an increased interest in the North-West
by the leading statesmen of the Canadas and what
are now the Maritime Provinces of the Dominion.
In the same year a Select Committee of the British
House of Commons considered the whole question
of the North-West and its future; and, having
collected a vast amount of information on the
subjects of the fur trade and the agricultural
possibilities of the country, made certain recommendations, the chief of which was that Vancouver's
Island should be created a Crown Colony by the
revocation of the Hudson's Bay Company's license
to exclusive trade there. It became increasingly
clear that the North-West was destined to pass
out of the company's hands at no distant date.
Moreover, in 1859 the license granted on the
Queen's accession to exclusive trade in the North-
West for twenty-one years expired, the Secretary
of State's offer to renew it for two years  being
* So
declined by the company—a step which proved
that the authorities of that grand old firm foresaw
and were prepared to accept the inevitable.
British Columbia became a Crown Colony in
1859, and from that time onwards various schemes
for bringing the North-West under Canadian rule
were discussed between the Canadian and British
authorities. When, in the sixties, the idea of
confederation—of a Canada which should extend
from the Atlantic to the Pacific—became a force
in the higher politics of the interested colonies,
actual negotiations began for the purchase of
Rupert's Land by Canada. It was not, however,
till March, 1869, that the transfer was at last
brought about—the Hudson's Bay Company
receiving for the surrender of their rights ,£300,000,
a number of reservations of land in the vicinity of
their forts, and the right to one-eighteenth of all
surveyed land.
During the course of these negotiations the
Hudson's Bay officials at Red River found it
extremely hard to keep order; nevertheless, but
for the foolish boasting of the Canadian-born
element—some of them openly asserted that the
half-breeds would soon be " improved " off the face
of the whole North-West!—the disturbance of 1869
and '70 might never have occurred.    In particular, THE NEW REGIME
the conduct of certain surveyors sent into the
country before the purchase was completed gave
great offence ; for they ran their lines across the
Red River farms (most of which consisted of long
ribbons of land having two or three chains' frontage
on some river or lake and extending back for as
much as two miles) without regard to ancient
boundaries, and caused the occupants to believe
that Canada did not intend to respect their
rights. Though the Dominion system of surveying
(which maps out the country into townships of
6x6 sections or square miles, all boundary-lines
running N. to S. or E. to W.) has been a great
success from the scientific point of view, there is
no doubt the attempt by the Canadian Government to apply it to the whole of their new
possession was the immediate cause of the rebellion
of 1870.
In 1869 the number of settlers along the Red
River and the Assiniboine had risen to 11,800,
half of them French half-breeds unable to read or
write, and very easily led or misled^ None of the
people—not even Louis Riel, who passed for a
"scholar" even among the English-speaking
" natives "—had any knowledge of Canada or the
Canadian Government; with them "The Company"
and the British Empire were synonymous terms, GREATER  CANADA
and their idea of the transfer was that thev and
their belongings had been sold to a foreign^ power.
They judged Canada by the Canadians they knew
—bumptious, ill-mannered traders from Toronto,
who could not even swear in French; and bustling,
business-like surveyors, who carried about with
them evil-looking instruments, and did not conceal
their contempt for the habits and customs of the
I natives." Living in a curiously isolated community, they and their leaders—of whom Riel soon
proved himself the ablest—became convinced that
they could resist any force brought against them
from outside, and by setting up a government of
their own save themselves and their property,
until such time as the Queen could hear and
redress their complaints.
Louis Riel was undoubtedly a man of great
natural ability; and if he had had a sound education—-really he knew nothing of the world outside,
though he had read a great many books—he
might have been a benefactor to his race. He
showed at least one political talent (almost amounting to genius) in the way he gathered together all
the elements of discord on Red River into a strong
and easily-handled party; and his devices for
keeping his heterogeneous forces in line—they
included  at  first  not only the French, but also
most of the English-speaking half-breeds, the
Roman Catholic priests, the advocates of annexation to the States, and a number of others "with
axes to grind "—were admirably calculated. His
proclamations, full of grandiose phrases smacking
of Rousseau, seem to have impressed a community
of simple-minded people ; and he was an orator,
rather magniloquent than eloquent, both in French
and English. He never permitted familiarity, and,
so far as possible, held himself aloof from his people,
the Metis, only going among them on what might
be called | State " occasions; for, like Sir George
Simpson, he saw that a man wishing to keep his
influence over such half-civilized folk must always
remember to stand on his dignity. How to obtain
and to maintain a party in the society about him
—this he understood ; but his childish ignorance
of the forces against him and a species of mega-
lomnia, which possessed him after his first successes
both in '70 and '85, prevented him from making a
good use of that party. The brutal murder of
Scott—an act for which it is impossible to find a
reasonable motive—set Ontario in a flame, and led
to the Red River expedition ; after which Riel
was induced to leave the country privately—^300
being given to him for that purpose by the
Canadian Government and an equal amount to his 54
chief supporter, Lepine!—as the excitement in
Quebec, and the fact that the French half-breeds
still believed in him, rendered a prosecution un-
Almost as soon as the new regime was established
in Manitoba (whose capital and only town at that
time now came to be called Winnipeg) an attempt
was made to settle the grievances of the half-
breeds. It was arranged that I scrip " * should be
issued to every | native " in the North-West, such
scrip entitling the holder to choose 160 acres of
land on any quarter-section already surveyed.
Those already living in parishes were allowed to
choose their lands en bloc, so that old neighbours
and friends might not be separated. Unfor-
tunately this scrip could be sold (if it had been
made inalienable much future difficulty would have
been avoided!), and in nine cases out of ten it was
sold at once and for a mere trifle. This seeming
recklessness is easily explained. For two years
their ordinary occupations (trading, buffalo-running,
freighting, and so forth) had been interrupted, and
* North-Western real estate dealers often have scrip to sell, by
buying which land may be purchased more cheaply than if cash
were paid. Supposing a settler wishes to buy 160 acres at $3 per
acre from the Dominion, he may be able to buy scrip entitling him
to choose 160 acres of land anywhere for $400, and may with this
purchase the land he requires at a saving of $80.
when they resumed them after the excitement and
uncertainty they found that all their old-time ways
of life were swept away. Trading and farming
were out of the question for those who had no
credit, and the temptation of selling their birthright
for a little ready cash (as little as five dollars was
taken for a farm) proved irresistible. And in the
end most of them hitched up their ox-carts and
travelled across the high prairies into " God's
Country," as they called the valley of Saskatchewan, hoping to live out their lives there untroubled by the sight of the Canadian invaders,
and untrammelled by a civilization for which they
had no desire.
The northward flight of these half-breeds and
the Great Trek of the Boers form a curious historical parallel, not only as far as the migrations
are concerned, but also with regard to the results.
A few years later, however, the settlement of
Saskatchewan and Northern Alberta began, and
the hated surveyor again appeared among them.
Stories of the rich placer-diggings on the Saskatchewan north branch (even now a man may wash
out two dollars a day on certain bars) brought a
number to Edmonton and Prince Albert; and, as
often happened in the North-West, those who came
to find " flour gold" were content to remain and m
raise flour. As early as 1877 the Scotch half-
breeds petitioned the Government to instruct the
surveyors to respect the boundaries of their holdings,
and from that time to the outbreak in 1885 the old
settlers and half-breeds of the further North-West
kept sending in these petitions—to none of which
they received any answer whatever.
The sequel is a matter of modern history—too
modern, indeed, to require re-telling. But there
are one or two points (generally overlooked owing
to the fact that no historian has hitherto taken the
trouble to collect information from the half-breeds
themselves) worth mentioning here. Thus, in addition to the unwise conduct of the surveyors, the
building of the Canadian Pacific Railway and the
railway from Regina to Prince Albert had deprived
three hundred half-breeds, who were engaged in
freighting goods across the Plains to Winnipeg, of
their means of livelihood. Secondly, during his
long and poverty-stricken exile in Montana, Riel,
though a teacher at St. Peter's Mission, had had
secret dreams of overthrowing the Roman Catholic
influence over the French half-breeds; and no
sooner had he arrived than he began to pose as
the apostle of a new and mysterious religion. Thus
he ordered all persons butchering cattle to save
the blood for him, and from the first day of January,
1885, he fed exclusively on blood cooked in milk.
Afterwards he daily related accounts of his conversation with angels (sent to him as to God's envoy),
and would read from a book (which he called the
" Prophecy of St. Bridget") passages foretelling the
overthrow of all worldly governments in 1885 and
1886, and the redemption of the world by a descendant of St. Louis—none other than Louis Riel.
These dark sayings produced a wonderful impression on the superstitious men about him ; so that
even now there lingers a belief among the Saskatchewan half-breeds that it was not Riel, but a
sort of ghost with substance, or simulacrum, that
was hanged, and that some day the true Riel will
return and restore the old order of things.
Also, in 1885, Riel found at hand a man of real
military capacity—Gabriel Dumont; and either
because he believed his own prophecies (like many
another, a course of deceiving others led to self-
deception), or because he believed that British and
Canadian forces could not be brought so far north,
he made up his mind for war from the first. He
is known to have sent messengers to all the Indian
Reserves in the neighbourhood, and but for the
fact that he was compelled to show his hand before
the leaves were on the trees (so providing fodder
for horses and permitting the bands to move), nearly
mi 11 I'll   ;  ni—iniu 58
all the Indians would have risen, and most, if not
all, of the North-Western settlements have been
destroyed. Mr. Goldwin Smith's definition of Riel
(written in a letter to the present writer) as | half
patriot, half impostor," is therefore correct; to it
we may add that if he was a patriot in 1870 (when
he undoubtedly served his people), he was an
impostor in 1885.
In 1885, the plan of settling the Indians on a
large number of isolated reserves (a very practical
example of the Imperial adage, Divide et impera,
that became practicable after the practical
extinction of the buffalo) had been completed;
the North-West Mounted Police, the finest and
most chivalrous force of its kind in the empire,
already controlled most of the further North-West;
and the Canadian Pacific Railway—the main bond
at the time between the members of Confederation
—was practically finished. But for these institutions of government, the outbreak of 1885 might
easily have assumed the proportions of some of
the Indian wars in the Western States; for there
is no doubt the Saskatchewan Indians would have
risen, had they had time to do so.
Really the Manitoba of to-day dates from 1881
—the year which saw the entry of the Canadian
Pacific Railway into Winnipeg.   The ten previous
■ \\
years were a period of transition, during which
immigration and capital flowed in very slowly,
and farming on a large scale was impossible owing
to the great cost of bringing in modern machinery.
In 1881, also, began the famous Land Boom.
Early in 1881 certain lots of land in the vicinity
of the railway station were sold at considerably
increased prices, and owners of adjacent properties
began to ask huge sums for them. Before the end
of that year land-values were enormously inflated,
and at the beginning of 1882 Winnipeg was
crowded with a throng of speculators from every
part of the world. From this centre the Boom
radiated all over the North-West, towns being
surveyed in every part, not only of Manitoba, but
also of the Territories. Small parcels of land,
large enough to hold a house, fetched 10,000
dollars to 20,000 dollars, and there is an uninhabited
desolate flat at the junction of the branches of
the Saskatchewan, which was once worth 500
dollars an acre, and is now worth nothing at all.
A railway conductor, who took a trip to the end
of the Canadian Pacific Railway line, felicitously
described the state of things in that wonderful
year. Asked what he had seen—"The greatest
country I ever struck !" he replied. " There are
hundreds of towns and cities between Winnipeg
mi 6o
and Moosejaw, and it takes a rich man to own the
ground under his shoes in those places. Wherever
there's a siding, that's a town; and where there s
a siding and a tank, thafs a city 11
A blockade for some days by snow and floods
led to the sudden bursting of this " Prairie Bubble;"
the gamblers stampeded, values fell 99 per cent.,
and two hundred 1 real estate" orifices shut up
shop. Those who had held on to their land found
they possessed a farm or two without the capital to
work it; most of those who had sold at the height
of the Boom—when " paper " had taken the place
of cash, a sure sign of financial disease in the West
—found they had something wherewith to kindle
their fires; and a few who had been content with
cent, per cent, profits, and had sold early, rejoiced
in the possession of fortunes. Many years passed
before the North-West recovered from the commercial lethargy which followed this attack of
S   K,
In the North-West, as in all other new countries
of the world, political and economic mistakes have
proved more serious obstacles to industrial progress
than the natural disadvantages of climate and
remoteness. The bursting of the Prairie Bubble
of 1881-82, the issue of transferable scrip to the
half-breeds, the payment of huge Government subsidies to railway companies in land instead of cash
—for all these blunders a penalty has been imposed.
The financial catastrophe which followed the epidemic of land-fever resulted in the withdrawal
from settlement of millions of acres of the choicest
lands (much of which is still patiently held by
speculators, who hope to get their money back
after many years), and scared away innumerable
immigrants and a vast amount of what may be
called immigrant capital. The failure to make the
half-breeds'   scrip   inalienable was   indirectly the 62
cause of the rebellion of 1885, which, though it
drew the attention of the world to the North-West,
was at best a left-handed sort of advertisement;
moreover, even now, the old half-breeds' reserves
—the choicest lands in Manitoba—are mostly held
by speculators, who bought them in the boom
years from those who, morally speaking, stole them
a decade before. As for the handing over by the
Dominion Government of nearly half the acreage
of the " Fertile Belt" to the Canadian Pacific,
Hudson's Bay, and other transportation and trading
companies, that policy—though from the Imperial
point of view it may be largely justified—has probably done more to retard the growth of " Greater
Canada" than any and every other blunder of
Canada's politicians. At the time when Sir John
Macdonald introduced the Imperial note into
Canadian politics it seemed more than probable
that the United States would succeed in "Americanizing" the North-West. Thus, in the report
by a committee of the United States Senate on
Pacific railways, published in 1869, it was said:
"The opening by us first of a North Pacific railroad seals the destiny of the British possessions
west of the 91st meridian. They will become so
Americanized in interests and feelings that they
will be in effect severed from the new Dominion, \]
and the question of their annexation will be but
a question of time." So the statesmen of the
Union hoped, and so feared Sir John Macdonald,
the keenest living spectator of the affairs of that
republic. Confederation and its corollary—a transcontinental railway—seemed to him an immediate
necessity; and, happy in his opportunity, happier
still in his personality, he succeeded in persuading
even his opponents to take the same view. And,
besides the desire to preserve the North-West to
the empire, another idea constrained him and,
through him, nine out of every ten Canadians of
whatsoever party. He saw that the success of
the Union was ultimately due to the astonishing
growth of the Western and Pacific States, and he
foresaw that the farm-lands of Manitoba and the
mining camps of British Columbia—to say nothing
of the fertile wilderness between—would provide
employment for the manufacturing and shipping
industries of the East, as well as a field wherein a
man might invest his capital, or, if he had no
money, his own manhood. And though for many
years confederation was rather a machine than an
organism (inter-provincial disputes playing too
prominent a part in politics for the national feeling
to grow quickly), and his visions of a great Western
market for Eastern products—and vice versdagreat
H °4
Eastern market for Western produce—were regarded
as a species of political mirage, at last the machine
is finding a soul, and day by day it becomes
clearer that the mirage was, after all, the reflection
of a prosperity that really existed—only further
away in the future than the "Fathers of Confederation" saw it.
But a necessary evil is none the less an evil.
Though it was arranged that the lands held by
the companies should be sold at a uniform price—
three dollars an acre as a rule, though it is always
possible to buy a whole section at something over
two dollars—yet it was not to be expected that
immigrants would make a practice of purchasing
lands. The man who emigrates from the Eastern
provinces or from Europe is usually young and
without means—if it were not so he would not
leave home—and hardly one in a hundred of those
who have settled in the North-West during the
five years the writer has known it personally would
have been able to buy a farm. The result is that
in nearly every part of the country the land belonging to the companies, or sold by them to speculators—out of thirty-six sections in a township the
odd-numbered eighteen are invariably the property
of some railway or other corporation, only the
other eighteen being open to free settlement— S\
remains unsold and unused, so that farms appear
small oases of cultivation in a wilderness of virgin
prairie ; neighbours live so far apart that no one
has time to be neighbourly; settlements outside
the towns and villages on the railways are small
and straggling; co-operation for the establishment
of churches, schools, creameries, cheese-factories, etc.,
and for the bettering of roads, is more often than
not impossible ; and the necessity of hauling grain
to market over long distances cuts down the profit
of the year's work to a very great degree. This
does not now apply so much to Manitoba, where
the farmers are often big enough men to buy the
land adjacent to their homesteads, as to the North-
West territories ; but even there the withdrawal of
land from free settlement is still an obvious evil—
so obvious, indeed, as to be often overlooked, not
only by travellers, but also by residents. What
it really amounts to in the Territories may be illustrated by the following few facts about the settlement in which the writer at present resides. The
area of that district—triangular in form, and
separated from others in Saskatchewan by two
rivers and a belt of pine woods—is more than 100
square miles, of which area a third—say 20,000
acres—is good farm land. There are only 35
"yards" to be threshed out, and this year's crop
F 66
—a good one—amounted to between 13,000 and
14,000 bushels of all sorts of grain. The average
distances of a farm from the nearest market is
30 miles, and 50 bushels of wheat forms the
maximum load for a "team" or pair of horses,
and bob-sleighs. At present prices that quantity
of good wheat is worth $30, of which amount
about $11 may be taken as nett profit. Now, it
takes two days to market the wheat and bring
back its value in money or supplies; that being
so, how much does the farmer who makes that
journey in winter earn over and above his wages ?
It is certain that but for the profit on cattle, which
can carry themselves to market and eat the railway
company's hay without paying rent, there would
be nobody farming in that district. And it is
equally certain that but for the fact that many
thousands of fat acres within easy reach of town
are held by the railway company or by speculators,
nobody would ever have farmed there at all—at
least, not until those reserves had been filled up.
Hundreds of similar instances could be given.
For, great as is the area of the North-West, only
a small and well-defined part of it—the "Fertile
Belt," which is a ribbon of territory of varying
breadth, including the valleys of the Assiniboine
and Red River, the valleys of the two branches of THE  NORTH-WEST OF TO-DAY    67
the " blue " Saskatchewan, and most of Alberta—
possesses the soil and climate suitable for raising
the staple cereals. And of this fertile belt only a
small portion has railway communication within
reasonable distance, and is, therefore, ready for
settlement at present. And of that small portion
half—and that half scattered here and there and
everywhere—is practically reserved.
Another evil growth from the same root is the
system, now condemned by most North-Western
authorities, who are beginning to see that "the
best immigration agent is a contented settler," of
advertisement by means of pamphlets. Most
people must have seen the sort of thing—a neat
little book with a gaudy cover, and full inside of
glowing testimonies to the phenomenal fertility of
the country. If the people responsible for the
issue and circulation of these pamphlets had ever
seen them read and heard them discussed by a
knot of experienced English farmers, the futility
of the system would have been recognized at once.
No doubt a few have been brought to the North-
West by their means; certainly many more have
been kept away. Though these pamphlets were
circulated under Government auspices, yet their
existence is primarily due to the companies with
land to sell, who were naturally anxious to bring 68
in immigrants with money to spend. These companies, employing large numbers of men, and in
former years practically compelling their employees
to vote as they thought fit, had extraordinary
influence with the Government, and used this
influence to help on their business. Thus the
pamphlet system seems to have originated with
the Canadian Pacific Railway, of which powerful
company it used to be said " the Cabinet ministers
ride to Ottawa on the Canadian Pacific Railway,
and when they are there the Canadian Pacific
Railway rides on them." Even now the companies
are in the habit of engineering booms on a small
scale in order to sell their lands. Thus, in journeying to the Saskatchewan country in the spring of
1895, the writer and two friends were offered free
passes to the Edmonton district, which was just
then being boomed by the Canadian Pacific Railway, and advertised in special pamphlets. The
Canadian Pacific Railway land agents had no
interest in Prince Albert (where the land is owned
by another company), and said as much, refusing
to give any information about the Saskatchewan
country. After all, the Edmonton district is as
good as most, and not many suffered loss when
the bottom fell o;ut of the boomlet, while the
Canadian Pacific Railway sold thousands of acres
*£§£*"■ \\
at prices as high as fifteen dollars an acre. But
previous jobs of this kind, such as the attempts
to obtain settlers for portions of Western Manitoba
and Eastern Assiniboia, which suffered from a lack
of rainfall, and are now admitted to form part of
an " arid region " of the North-West, have inflicted
great loss on large numbers of small capitalists.
In the eighties, farming in Manitoba was just a
gamble in wheat; that is to say, the average farmer
rushed in a large crop of wheat, and then sat down
and prayed for suitable weather, high prices, and
a "bonanza crop." Dairy-work, stock-breeding,
etc., were entirely neglected ; so that butter, bacon,
cheese, and so forth, were actually imported from
the East. A course of low prices in the world's
markets, two or three bad seasons, and the inability
of even the rich prairie soil to stand many consecutive years of wheat-cropping, has put an end to
this state of things ; so that nowadays the successful
Manitoban generally practises "mixed farming,"
with a natural and not unwise tendency to rely on
his wheat-fields as a main source of profit. The
ordinary Manitoba farmer compares not unfavourably with the better of his rivals in Ontario and
the United States, and though he is not so well
educated in the niceties of his profession as the
British agriculturist, he can make money, for he
i 70
has no rent to pay ! Moreover, though he has to
pay a high price for labour—the ordinary wages
paid for skilled "help" may be taken as twenty
to twenty-five dollars a month, with board and
lodging, worth another ten dollars—he gets for his
money, not a mere farm-hand like the | right good
turmut-hower " of the old English song, but a man
with a mind, who can turn his hand to almost any
kind of work, and be trusted to do it to the best
of his ability, even when his employer is not
watching. The all-round superiority of the North-
Western "hired man" to his compeer in the Middle
and Western States (who is already obliged to work
fifteen or sixteen hours a day for as many dollars
a month, and is rapidly falling to the status of the
European farm-hand) is a fact that has been much
noticed of late, and has been variously explained.
In the American West—the "mortgaged West,"
as it was so often called during the last presidential
election—not only are there no longer any "free
homesteads" left, but the price of unimproved
land is so high, averaging twice that of very similar
land across the boundary line, that the settler who
wishes to make a farm must have a fair amount
of capital, and can hope for only a small interest
on his investment. This state of things is, in the
main, a result of the system  of aiding railway l\
extension by State land-grants—a system pushed
to such extremes that in several States the railway
companies held at one time or other a monopoly
of the soil—followed by innumerable " land booms,"
many of them much greater affairs and more
disastrous in their consequences than any that have
occurred above the line. Various other evils of
first-rate importance and peculiar to the American
West—the universal corruption of local and State
politics owing to the universal " spoils system," the
many failures of "National" and "Popular" banks
due to unsound banking methods, the commercial
immorality of the business classes in general and
in particular of the " storekeeper at the cross-roads,"
who supplies the farmer with necessities on the
security of his next harvest, and the tardy recognition of the periodic climate of many vast districts,
where the lack of rainfall has had to be supplemented
by great schemes of irrigation, often only partially
successful—have also helped to impoverish the
farmer of the Western States, and to reduce him,
and with him, of course, his hired dependent, to
their position of inferiority to the settler in Manitoba and the North-West. One very significant
fact which should be noticed, but is generally overlooked by travellers through North America, is
that, whereas as often as not the "hired man" in 72
the Western States is married and the father of a
family, in the Canadian North-West he is almost
invariably a bachelor. The latter knows that
before the time comes for him to marry and settle
down he will have saved enough to take up and
start work on a quarter section of Government
land, paying only a registration fee of ten dollars
for that privilege, and live on his own farm. The
former, on the other hand, can have no such certain
hope; and it is too often his fate to work all his
days on another man's land, while his wife serves
in another man's house.
Southern Alberta—aforetime the favourite pasturage of the buffalo, and now one of the best
ranching countries in the world—is, next to Manitoba, the most highly developed part of the North-
West. In the early eighties, when this corner of
the great plains began to be settled by cattle-men
from Montana—who saw that the climate was so
mild that stock could be allowed to run at large
all winter, and that the prairie grasses gradually
cured by the autumn chinooks are as good feed
for cattle as they were for buffalo—the ranchers
had very crude ideas of their business, little or no
attention being paid to the breeding of good cattle
or horses, dairy-work being utterly neglected, and
the breaking-in of horses being entrusted to rough THE NORTH-WEST OF TO-DAY    75
and ignorant "broncho-busters." The stress of a
world-wide competition, and the progress of education in all matters pertaining to agriculture, have
brought about the adoption of more scientific
methods, besides which the rancher's business has
received material benefit from the vigorous "agricultural policy" of the Dominion Government
during the last few years, such measures as the
Irrigation Act of 1894, and the furnishing of facilities for cold storage, being great boons to the
cattle-man. Since 1894 more than 150,000 acres
within the "arid region" mentioned above have
received irrigation, so that in numerous cases the
rancher, who had to import the grain he required
from Manitoba, now raises it for himself, or saves
the freight by purchasing it near at hand; and
the cold storage system, when finally complete,
will remove the effects of the blow given to his
industry by the exclusion from Great Britain of
Canadian cattle.
The reader who thinks or has thought of emigrating should now be able to strike a balance of
the advantages and disadvantages of the agricultural North-West as a field for the investment of
himself and whatever capital he may possess.
Presumably he knows the value of himself better
than the writer, so that it may be presumption on 74
the latter's part to say anything about that part—
always the more important—of the investment.
But it must be laid down as a rule, without exception, that the really successful settler is not only
able-bodied but also able-minded ; so that young
gentlemen who have failed to pass examinations
need not think that fact is a title to success. And
another rule, with few exceptions in the writer's
experience, is that nobody should come out after
his thirtieth birthday; for at that age man lacks
time, even if he has the faculty, to learn the ways
and customs of a new country. Given youth and
a sound mind in a sound body, the would-be
emigrant to the North-West has what experience
proves to be worth more than almost any amount
of money in hand. Indeed, the possession of capital
—especially if it takes the form of a " remittance "
or yearly allowance given by parents—is a dangerous thing, and has more often than not led to
failure, particularly with young fellows who have
been brought up in comfortable middle-class homes.
The phenomenon is easily explained. There are
no conventions in a new country—in Nor'-Western
parlance, " there's nobody holding you "—and with
those newly released from conventions liberty is
apt to become license, unless hard work all the
time is absolutely required. %\
The fate, however, of those who lack the North-
Western virtues of "grit" (physical and moral
endurance), "git" (physical and intellectual alertness), and " git up" (self-respect: a phrase firstly
applied to a horse with a good action, and secondly
to the man who walks erect), is well described in
the following extract from a North-Western writer's
essay thereon. That essay was entitled " Pasture-
lands for Black Sheep," and should be read by
every parent who thinks of sending a ne'er-do-well
into the American West; for there is true humour
—truth and humour—in every word of it.
I Presently," says the essayist, " he becomes
untidy in his dress and habits. Is not the West
a free country, and must not a man shun the soap-
dish and hair-brush, except on festal occasions, if
he wants to be known as a worker and not a
i dude' ? Also, he begins to maltreat the language
of his birthright. Around him he hears people
saying, 'I seen it,' 'We was,' etc., and gradually
and almost insensibly he glides into the same slipshod style of speech. Free country again—free to
choose your grammar. And before long he begins
to wonder if the old notions learned in the 'old
country' may not have been wrong. Old notions
as to propriety of dress, speech, and manners, the
old oil of politeness which makes the wheels of
-^MMWtM 76
social life run smoothly—what need of all that in
a new country ?
"And so the successful farmer, in whose house
are books, musical instruments, cultured women,
ceases to offer him work even at threshing-time,
and he gravitates as 'chore-boy' to some lower-
class American home. There he sees the first fruits
of the ' What-does-it-matter-in-a-new-country ? \
theory; for the children there have license to
say or do anything they please, and the things
they please to say and do are thorns in his
flesh as long as he is a tenderfoot. Only one
restriction is placed upon their liberty—shame that
this should be so in a free country!—and this sole
restriction is that they cannot choose their own
"And consider the pleasant, intellectual evenings,
when the talk drones along, confined to crops,
trails, horses, and stock-raising. Yes, the natural
history of the cow palls upon one after a while.
Oh, those dreary, long-winded yarns, when the
mittens and socks were steaming round the stove,
pointless and uninteresting as the lowing of oxen!
And yet, the man who tells them has a right to
bore you—is it not a free country ?—and if you
don't like it you may go and find somebody else
to give you board and an occasional plug of T and \
B or pair of mitts in exchange for your performance day by day (seven days a week) of all the
dull bits of work known as ' chores.' "
As regards openings other than agricultural,
there are practically none for the new arrival.
" Canada for the Canadians" is a rule of conduct
in the case of public appointments; and the open
professions — especially law — are terribly overcrowded. Clerks and other mechanical brain-
workers are not wanted anywhere. And it would
be the height of folly for a new-comer, even with
a sound commercial training, who has not spent
some years in the country, to invest himself and
his money in any line of business, from politics (a
profession in the North-West, worse luck!) up to
There remains agriculture in all its branches,
and the immigrant, whether he has much or little
capital, will do well to work two or three years on
other men's farms before starting on his own
account. A training at a Colonial College does a
young man no harm, but it is a question whether
it is worth the time and money. The writer is
inclined to think that a farm in some colony is
the best sort of Colonial College, for the professors
there ask no fees for their vigorous and practical
lectures, and loafing of any sort is quite impossible.
& I*
If the would-be North-Western farmer must go to
college, why not send him to an agricultural college
in Canada ? The expense will be smaller and the
learning acquired more to the point; and the successful student will obtain a diploma which may
enable him to obtain such berths as that of manager
to a Government "creamery"—berths which are
never given to men trained in the mother country,
and are well worth having for a time. In British Columbia (at first known as New Caledonia), as everywhere else in the North-West, the
earliest pioneers were fur traders; it was not,
however, until 1858, when the first and greatest
invasion of gold-seekers took place, that the importance of the so-called " Sea of Mountains " was
generally recognized. That Canada possesses her
splendid province on the Pacific, that the Empire's
moiety of the " Gold Belt" of North America—a
claim covering half a million square miles, and
having the Kootenay at one end and Klondike at
the other—did not lapse to the United States is
directly due to the Hudson's Bay Company, the
inheritor and representative of all previous fur-
trading concerns. The servants of the company
in charge of the New Caledonia department undertook the most fatiguing explorations in their efforts
to extend the fur trade, and though their operations
were carried on at a loss—the fur trade was never
79 8o
1   I
profitable on that side of the Rockies, partly
because of the difficulty of sending in supplies,
and partly owing to the covert hostility of the
Indians—the company, recognizing the importance
of maintaining British influence on the Columbia
River, never entertained the idea of withdrawing.
For several decades they were the only civilized
occupants of both banks of the Columbia; and it
is not their fault that nowadays that river does
not flow wholly through British territory. In 1839,
when Alaska was leased from the Russians, the
company had established factories at all likely
spots from Behring Sea to San Francisco; and
they held their ground in Oregon and Washington
Territory until compelled to relinquish their hold
by the Treaty of 1846, at which time, but for the
belief in Great Britain that the countries in question were practically valueless, both Oregon and
Washington, and even Alaska, perhaps, might have
been retained under the British flag for a small
It is not generally known that the first discovery
of gold in British Columbia occurred in 1852—six
years before the great rush to the Fraser River—-
at Mitchell Harbour, on the west coast of the
Queen Charlotte Islands. The story of that long-
forgotten  episode   may suggest  to  the   modern
-•m s\
prospector a new field for his efforts. In 1861 a
nugget was picked up on the beach by an Indian
woman, and, after a part had been cut off, was taken
by the Indians to Fort Simpson, and sold there to
the company's agent. From Fort Simpson it was
sent to Fort Victoria (then, as now, the Hudson's
Bay Company's headquarters on the coast) with
the story of its find, and instructions to send a ship
to the place where it was found. Accordingly that
same year the brigantine Una was despatched to
Mitchell Harbour, where a quartz-vein, seven inches
wide, and containing in places twenty-five per cent.
of gold, was traced for eighty feet. Some of the
quartz was blasted out and shipped; but unfortunately it never reached Fort Victoria, the Una
being lost on the return voyage near Cape Flattery.
Next year a United States brigantine named the
Orbit, which lay on the rocks in Esquimault
Harbour, was bought by the company, and sent
north with thirty miners in addition to the crew,
the miners going "on cahoots" in their venture,
or, in other words, receiving a half-share of the
profits. Three months were spent in getting a
cargo of the quartz, which was eventually sent to
England. These miners received thirty dollars a
month each as their share of the venture, and this
becoming known in San Francisco, a fleet of tiny
w 82
vessels left that port for the Queen Charlotte
Islands. These particular Argonauts seem to have
been a turbulent lot, for H.M.S. Thetis had to be
sent up to keep order between them and the
Indians, who had mustered there in great numbers.
Excepting the Susan Sturgess (whose skipper was
named Rooney, the same being "a very handy
man with hair on his wrists ") none of these ships
got anything of a cargo, and even the Susan
Sturgess was not altogether successful; for, though
Mr. Rooney obtained fourteen hundred dollars for
his first cargo, on a second visit his vessel was
captured and looted by the Indians at Masset,
and he and his crew kept prisoners till the Hudson's Bay Company's steamer Beaver brought
them off.
Though this vein seems to have yielded gold to
the value of forty-five thousand dollars (most of
which sank with the Una), no excitement in California resulted from this discovery; which is curious,
seeing that any sort of a tale—such as that, for
instance, of the "sea washing up gold on the
shores of Humboldt County, so that an able-bodied
man with a wheelbarrow could depend upon making
a fortune in a week "—was sufficient at that time
to set the forty-niners on a stampede.
In  1855, however, a servant of the ubiquitous THE FAR WEST
Hudson's Bay Company found gold near Fort
Colville, and fairly rich diggings began to be
worked there. Indians from the Thompson River,
visiting a woman of their tribe who was married
to a French Canadian at Walla Walla, spread the
report that gold like that found at Colville occurred
also in their hunting-grounds; and in the summer
of 1857 four or five French half-breeds crossed
over to the Thompson, and found workable placers
at Nicoamen, nine miles above the mouth of that
river. On the return of these prospectors, news of
their discoveries spread all along the coast, and
created great excitement in California, at that
time swarming with gold-seekers from every part
of the world, most of whom were "on the bedrock' of their fortunes owing to the playing-out
of the Californian placers after nearly ten years'
working. Between March and June, 1858, twenty-
three thousand persons arrived by sea from San
Francisco to Fort Victoria, and converted that
place from a very quiet little village of two or
three hundred souls to a very noisy and populous
city of tents. At the same time another eight
thousand tried to make their way in by overland
routes from the south. But the country being
qntirely without routes (except the rivers, and those
are not easily navigated in canoes and dug-outs),
S\ 84
and altogether unprovided with food for the
support of so many, all but two or three thousand
returned to California before the following January.
It is said that at least a thousand persons perished
in the course of this exodus. Meanwhile, however,
the auriferous bars and bench-lands in the neighbourhood of Hope and Yale on the Lower Fraser
were already being worked—with such success that
the value of the actual shipments from Victoria
during the first five months of development in
1858 amounted to five hundred and forty-three
thousand dollars.
The dust of the Lower Fraser was fine or I flour "
gold ; and the theory of the Californians, who got
most of it, was that it originated in richer deposits
higher up the river. This theory, though not
scientifically correct, led the more energetic to
push their way into the interior, until in i860 the
famous Cariboo district was entered upon. 1861
saw the discovery of " coarse gold " on Lightning
and Williams Creeks, a pair of gold-bearing streams
comparable in point of richness with Eldorado and
Bonanza of the Yukon gold-fields; and a second
migration of gold-hunters towards the province,
which continued until 1864, and included adventurers from England, Canada, Australia, and New
Zealand.    One consequence of the " Cariboo rush "
was to drain all the other placer-mining camps
in the province, even those diggings which were
returning good " pay " being forsaken, and allowed
to fall into the hands of Indians and the inevitable
A series of smaller rushes, ever tending towards
the north, took place in the next twenty years.
Thus in 1863 rich placers were found in the Koo-
tenay country; in 1864 Leech River, in Vancouver
Island, was found to be auriferous; in 1865 the
Big Bend of the Columbia was invaded; in 1869
the Omenica district—still that one of the mining
regions of British Columbia most difficult to reach,
and most costly to live in—began to be worked ;
and in 1872 the very rich mines of the Cassiar
district—next to Cariboo the "goldenest name"
in British Columbia — were revealed; all other
fields, except Cariboo, being forsaken in their
favour. Finally, the British Columbian placer-
miner found his way into the basin of the Yukon
about 1880.
The value of the gold yielded by the placer-
miners of British Columbia from 1858 to 1888
(inclusive) was about $54,200,000, the average
number of placer-miners at work during those
thirty years being 2775. It follows that the yearly
earnings per man averaged about $630—that is to $6
say, little more than a grub-stake at the best of
times, and a good deal less in such seasons of
scarcity as the height of the Cariboo and Cassiar
"rushes." The writer has been at the pains to
work out a similar average from similar statistics
applying to certain of the Western and Pacific
States ; and, with the exception of the Californians
in the ten years 1849-1858, none of these States
armies of free miners have done so well as the
British Columbians. Any number of reasons could
be given for this statistical fact or fantasy; the one
chosen by the writer—and it is entirely a matter
of choice, there being others just as reasonable or
unreasonable—is that, next to California and the
Klondike, there is no richer gold-field in North
America than that included within the limits of
British Columbia.
On the foregoing statistics, moreover, may be
based a word of thanks to that honest, hardworking
fellow—the old-time prospector for placer mines.
Mr. Bret Harte has drawn the character of the
California " forty-niner" for all time; but as yet
the British Columbian " fifty-eighter" has not
received recognition from the writers of romance.
And yet he well deserves it, for no man ever did
more work for less pay towards the making of a
country.    To put it in a business way, this bearer
■ 1 S\
of pick and pan has in return for a mere "grubstake," and at the risk of his life, explored the
whole of the " Sea of Mountains," and with his
companions given us what may be called the preliminary I assay-map " of half the Cordillera Belt.
For nearly all the great quartz-mines of North
America—and without a quartz-mine no really
permanent mining settlement is possible—have
been discovered by tracing alluvial deposits of gold
to their point of origin in the mother rock; so
that the records of placers found and worked along
the myriad creeks and rivers of British Columbia
are of vital interest to the mining expert, who
without them could do next to nothing towards
opening up the country.
The " fifty-eighter" was, and is, in his way,
as romantic a character as the typical Argonaut
drawn by Bret Harte and his many disciples.
Though he did not shoot at sight and gamble
quite so wildly as the forty-niners—for in the old
Cariboo days Sir Matthew Begbie, that fearless
and indefatigable awarder of justice, taught him
once and for all the value of a man's life in English
law, and his earnings were never sufficient to admit
of very much "bucking agin the tiger"—yet the
annals of his struggles with Nature and Nature's
children  and  foster-children—bears   and  Indians,
1 88
for instance — contain episodes as dramatic as
any of Bret Harte's tales of the first Argonauts.
Instead of duels with derringers, we hear of battles
fought with the coast Indians, who were 75,000
strong, according to Sir George Simpson, in 1857 >
and instead of that quaint childishness of thought
which runs like a gold-bearing quartz-stringer
through the living rock of the Californian manhood, we seem to notice a certain veil of grim
humour, a result no doubt of their constant intercourse with Nature in a wilder and more malign
mood. The following story of a tenderfoot's conversion is pretty fair " spec'men quartz " from this
vein as yet unworked by the professional humourist.
It appears there was a little camp called "Root
Hog or Die" (very streaky diggings there!) on the
Thompson in the sixties. Most of the miners
there knew how to deal with the Indian plague;
so that the appearance of a new-comer, who confessed that he had in his life never killed an Indian,
was bitterly resented. Soon enough, however, the
new arrival became tired of "eatin' crow at all
three meals ;" and, taking a gun loaded with buckshot, set out to repair the omission in his education.
After a long search he came upon three old squaws
picking blueberries with wooden scoops on a little
rising hill; and, " slipping up on 'em, as a man
-X  *--;- THE FAR WEST
slips up on a covey o' chicken, waited till they
crawled into line, an' then let fly. Walking up,
he saw the first was dead, an' the second was
deader, but the third—-she was still openin' an'
shuttin' her eyes like machin'ry. He looks at her
a while, an' then he ses, ' I guess,' ses he, quietlike, ' I won't waste a charge on you.' So he went
back to camp and told the boys, who gave him
drinks and praised him, though there wasn't one
as c'u'dn't ha' done as much an' more."
The old-time placer-miners seldom or never
looked for quartz-veins ; for they lacked the scientific knowledge to "prove" such discoveries, and
also they knew it was impossible to bring in the
necessary machinery for working them when
proved. It costs both time and money to find
out the extent of a vein ; so that when their bar
or bench was worked out they would leave it and
make for other placer-diggings, or try for a new
discovery. And as for silver and silver-ores, these
unlearned gold-hunters had a hearty contempt for
such matters. In view of the fact that the argentiferous galenas of the Slocan pay a better percentage on capital outlay even than the auriferous
sulphides of Trail Creek, and that in Dr. Dawson's
opinion British Columbia is even greater as a silver
country than as a gold-field, this conduct, though 90
justifiable at a time when ore could not be freighted
out nor a single smelter be built, strikes one as foolish
Still, the British Columbian never attained to the
folly of the old-time Nevadan, who, working his
way up the flanks of Mount Davidson, and washing
out a little gold from time to time, used to swear
at a curious " blue-black clay " which often clogged
up his rocker, never dreaming that the same was
really the detritus from the outcrop of the wonderful Comstock lode, and worth about six thousand
dollars a ton.
Next to the little standing army of placer-miners,
British Columbia owes most to the Canadian Geological Survey. The maps and papers issued since
1870 by that admirably conducted body of experts
are valuable, not only to the geologist, but also to
the practical miner. That they are neglected by
the latter is probably due to the fact that they
have never been published in a handy and accessible form ; so that the seeker after information
about any particular district finds it necessary to
examine a very large number of maps and reports
before he gets at what he wants. Nevertheless,
the search, though it cost both time and trouble,
should always be made, for it is really extraordinary
how many of the successes of practical mining in
the Far West have been foretold years before by THE FAR WEST
the officers of the Survey. Thus the real value
of the Trail Creek and Slocan mines in West
Kootenay was pointed out at a time when the
shares in the best of them were regarded as so
much spoilt paper; and ten years before the Klondike discoveries, Dr. Dawson, the director of the
Survey, drew attention to the opportunities offered
by the Yukon basin as a field for prospecting, and
prophesied the finding there of richer deposits of
"coarse gold" than any known to exist at that
As valuable in a different way as the detailed
studies of particular areas are the general observations of the geology of the province to be found in
these much-neglected publications. Such general
considerations of theory, combined with knowledge of the results of practical mining in British
Columbia and the Western and Pacific States,
enable us to estimate the future of the Far West—
a matter which every investor in railways, trading
companies, etc., must take into account. Suffice
it to say for the moment that these considerations
support the saying of the Coast miners: "If the
head of the rat is in Alaska and its tail in Montana,
the body lies in British Columbia."
, m
Before discussing the Kootenay boom of 1895-96,
and the present position of reef-mining in British
Columbia, something must be said concerning the
future of placer-mining within the boundaries of
that province.
In the first place, the discovery of new gold-
bearing creeks- may be expected to occur from
time to time. The portions of the lengths of individual streams which have been found to contain
large quantities of gold are so small—generally
from one to three miles—that, even in the case
of well-known water-courses, paying deposits may
have been overlooked by the old-time prospectors.
Still more likely is it that such sins of omission
may have been committed in the case of less
accessible streams, many of which have never been
carefully explored. The discovery of " coarse gold "
in  Granite Creek  in   1885—Granite   Creek runs ?m
through the heart of the Similkameen district, and
must have been passed by hundreds of hungry
gold-seekers between that year and i860—is a
good instance of the unexpected finding of a rich
" old bed;" and the recognition of the auriferous
qualities of Coyooh Creek (first worked in 1886)
is yet another case in point. It is more than
probable that when the prospector turns his
attention once again to the more "away back"
regions of the Gold and Coast Ranges—for some
years past these have been neglected in favour of
Kootenay and Klondike—other "strikes" of this
nature will be made. But we cannot hope for a
second Cariboo; that would be too much to ask
of Fortune!
Secondly, it is certain that modern machinery
and modern engineering will eventually permit of
the profitable working of the vast stretches of
auriferous gravels, which could not be touched by
individuals working with primitive appliances—
rockers, long toms, or even sluice-boxes—at a
time when the cost of supplies and labour was
very high. The extension of the railway system
of the province will assuredly bring about a great
increase of hydraulic mining; for even now, in
spite of the cost of labour there (from two to four
dollars a day,  and the cost of other necessary 94
supplies are in proportion), companies formed for
the purpose of utilizing the poorer gravels and the
tailings left by old-time "haymakers" in Cariboo
and elsewhere are doing more than paying expenses.
Another point which deserves to be considered
in this connection is the possibility of further
exploring the deep buried channels of such streams
as Lightning, Williams, Cunningham, and Antler
Creeks in Cariboo, only portions of which have
hitherto been worked owing to the lack of sufficiently powerful pumping machinery and of the
capital required for drainage operations on a large
scale. There are also many valleys where, though
the bed of the existing stream has proved rich in
gold, the old channel has never yet been" bottomed "
for the same reason. As soon as these localities
are brought within reach by railways, capital will
be forthcoming for such explorations; at present,
however, the cost of such investigations is practically
Thirdly, it is more than probable that placer
deposits, differing in age and character from those
which have hitherto been worked in the province,
will be discovered. During the period of the
Middle Tertiary a great part of British Columbia
(nearly all that portion between the Gold and
Coast Ranges) was occupied by vast fresh-water
.&!"*' w
lakes. These covered and gradually filled with
their sediment the systems of drainage produced
in the preceding geological age ; and into the lakes
themselves flowed streams from the surrounding
mountain regions, forming here and there great
gravel-beds. Towards the close of the Middle
Tertiary extensive volcanic action took place, and
these sediments and gravel-beds were covered over
by vast flows of basalt and other igneous rocks.
Since that far-ofT time new valleys have been cut
in these Tertiary deposits, and there is good reason
to believe that some of the placers worked within
this area have been enriched more by the robbing
of the Tertiary sediments and gravel-beds underlying the basalts than by the wearing down of the
original rock.
An even more fascinating possibility is the
existence of still more venerable placers, resembling
the wonderfully rich "fossil placers" of Bendigo
and Ballarat, and of conglomerates or "cements,"
comparable with the auriferous deposits of Mount
Morgan in Australia and of the Black Hills of
Dakota. There are several localities where geological considerations all but demonstrate the existence of such mines of wealth, and a capitalist
might do worse than start boring operations in
one or two of these localities, m
The Kootenay boom of 1895-96 was mainly a
result of the phenomenal success of two great
mines—the Le Roi and War Eagle—which turned
the attention of the Western miner to the great
bodies of sulphides known to exist there, but
supposed up to that time to be of too poor a grade
and too intractable to be worth working. In 1894,
Trail Camp, whose capital is the important town
of Rossland, exported $126,000 worth of ore, and
in the following year more than $1,000,000 worth,
while in the first half of the next year (with but
one little railway utterly unable to handle the
output, and a single smelter within fifteen miles)
double as much was shipped away. Naturally
thousands of miners and prospectors rushed in from
all parts of the West; four thousand claims were
staked out in the vicinity of the wonderful creek,
some of them being marked out on the snow in
the middle of winter, and the prices of shares in
the various mines—only half a dozen of which were
proved to any extent—were inflated far beyond
their true value. Better still, the capitalists of the
Western States, who had long had an eye on West
Kootenay, set to work to develop the mines by
means of large investments, whereas the moneyed
men of Montreal and New York would have
nothing to  do with them.    On one occasion   a
mm 1
block of Slocan Star shares (then worth twenty-
five cents, par value being one dollar) was refused
at any price by a New York dealer in stocks, and
the shares were bought for ten cents apiece by a
Slocan mine-owner, and sold for two and a half
dollars, the profit on the whole transaction being
$30,000, less the fare from New York to Spokane.
Almost as striking as the sudden development
of Trail Creek was the development at the same
time of the Slocan silver mines, a few miles north
of Rossland, where the earnings of sixteen mines
during the first half of 1896 exceeded $1,500,000.
Though   the   richness   of  the   ore   (an   average
specimen contains  120 ozs.   of silver  and  from
sixty to seventy per cent, of lead) and the smaller
cost of mining renders the Slocan an even more
profitable   region   than   the   more  famous   Trail
Creek, the boom was never so strong here as in
the vicinity of the sulphides, a fact partly due, no
doubt, to the superior fascination  of the yellow
metal and the fallacy—deeply rooted in the average
man's mind—that as an ounce of gold is more
valuable than an ounce of silver, so a gold mine
must be worth more than a silver mine.    However
this may be, most of the work in the Slocan has
been done by British and Canadian capital, the
capitalist   of  the   Western   States   having   been
H fWrl
If H
imbued with a prejudice against silver mines,
owing to the short-lived prosperity of those on
his side of the Line. But there can be no doubt
now that the galena deposits of the Slocan are
practically inexhaustible, and even a further depreciation of the value of silver, equal to that which
has taken place in the last quarter of a century,
would not render silver-mining unprofitable in the
Kaslo, New Denver, and London "camps."
There remain few or no openings for the small
capitalist in the Kootenay, and the emigrant without
means cannot be recommended to betake himself
to Rossland or thereabouts unless he has a practical
knowledge of mining, or is assured of employment
on his arrival. The writer is convinced, however,
that several of the old placer-mining localities
(most of which yield but little nowadays, and since
the Klondike rush began have been practically
deserted by "white" labour) to be found here
and there on the Gold Belt of British Columbia,
offer numerous good opportunities for educated
young men with a little money who are able and
willing to work with their hands for a time, and
are also capable of acquiring and applying a
modicum of scientific knowledge. As has already
been pointed out, a large number of famous mines
in the Western States have been discovered by \
tracing the gold of alluvial diggings to its source
in the living rock; and it is really astonishing
how little has been done as yet towards solving a
series of almost precisely similar problems in British
Columbia. Then, again, there are the possibilities,
already sufficiently discussed, of new developments
in these old placer-mining camps—possibilities
which, even where they amount to probabilities,
are universally disregarded at present except by
an occasional Australian prospector who has seen
or heard of a " cement" mine. Even in the Cassiar
and Omenica districts (the least accessible of these
localities, and therefore the most expensive to live
in) a "grub-stake" can still be made by working
over the deserted creeks, many of which, so the
writer has lately learned on very good authority,
still pay as high- as n've dollars to ten dollars a
day to the man with a rocker. Furthermore, in
all these districts discoveries of gold-bearing quartz
and silver-bearing galenas have been made from
time to time, and claims thereon entered, and in
some cases—not many—partially developed by the
original holder, so that, apart from geological considerations, and the evidence of placer-mining,
their general resemblance to the Kootenay " mining
camps " has been clearly established.
In spite of its remoteness, the Cassiar district,
1 I'll if
which in the ten years, i873~82,produced $4,500,000
worth of gold dust, seems to offer the best chances
for the scientific prospector. In the years when
it was occupied by the little standing army of
British Columbian placer-miners the Canadian
Pacific Railway did not exist, and the work of
taking in the necessary supplies was every whit as
difficult as in the case of the Klondike at present;
so that the miners could not afford to touch any
ground that yielded less pay than an average of
ten dollars per day per head, and only a small
part of the region, which is wooded and mountainous, can be said to have been explored. The
miners generally came in by way of Stikine River
(though the overland pack-trail from Fraser Lake
was also used, and a fair number worked their
way in vid Peace River and the Liard), and the
proximity of Dease Lake, the focus of these extensive gold-fields, rendered it certain that, as soon
as the route to Klondike was established, an
attempt would be made to open up a permanent
road into Cassiar, in whose possibilities an increasing interest is already being displayed. The
country about the head waters of the Liard is said
by Hudson's Bay hunters to be one of the best
hunting-grounds in the whole North-West, and
the rivers are open seven months in the year—two
facts which add much to its present value as a
field for prospecting. The white population is
estimated at less than two hundred—some of them
men who "forked off" on their way to the Yukon
—and there are not many Indians there; so that
the new-comer will not find himself crowded.
There are two kinds of prospectors everywhere
to be met with in the mining camps of the Far
West—the one a gambler pure and simple, and
the other a man of business, albeit his business is
of a somewhat hazardous and speculative nature.
The former hopes to make his fortune at a stroke,
and cares nothing about the scientific aspect of
his work, being content to guide himself by the
rough-and-ready maxims—as often as not incorrect
—of the old-fashioned placer-miners; the latter,
having decided to take up mining as his profession,
is a keen student of mining matters, and practical
enough to know the value of theoretical considerations. A sufficient knowledge of geological science,
the ability to make an assay of the commoner ores,
an acquaintance with the methods of engineering
applied to gold- and silver-mining—these are items
in the modern gold-seeker's equipment which are
well worth the time spent in acquiring them. For,
even though the possessor of this mental outfit
fails to find a paying claim of his own, he may I
reasonably hope to obtain employment in some
responsible position about somebody else's mine;
and if he has capital of his own will sooner or later
discover a sound investment for it. And supposing
he has the good fortune to obtain a good claim in
some "away back" locality, which may happen
either by discovery or purchase, and is compelled to
wait until that locality is opened up before he can
realize the value of his investment of time and
money, he will be in no worse a position than
were the owners of claims (some of them are now
millionaires in the American sense) on Trail Creek
or in the Slocan ten years ago. Tout vient d qui
sait attendre is true in mining matters as elsewhere,
but the man who waits must be sure he is waiting
for something.
To speak of prospecting as a profession for a
young fellow with his way to make in the world
may seem the height of folly to the stay-at-home
critic; to the critical student of North-Western life
and labour there appears nothing absurd in such a
point of view. Given a healthy mind in a healthy
body, a knowledge of the theory and practice of
mining or the determination to get it, and a little
capital, the young Englishman who makes such a
choice is pretty certain to obtain at least a living,
which is more than can be said for the over-crowded
professions of the mother country; and for the
benefit of parents and guardians whose ideas of
mining life in the West have their source in the
tales of Mr. Bret Harte and his disciples, it should
be pointed out that the temptations peculiar to a
new country are much the same in an agricultural
district as in a mining settlement, and that only
the mauvais sujet, who is still sent West by foolish
people, is likely to fall a victim to them in either
In conclusion, a little advice to intending investors
should prove useful at the present moment. While
every proposal to the British public must be judged
on its merits, there are certain points often overlooked by the readers of an American or Canadian
In the first place, there is a very dangerous
tendency towards over-capitalization—a tendency
which should be checked by legislation. Thus, in
1896, the total capital asked for by British Columbian mining and transportation companies exceeded
$370,000,000! A parallel tendency among claim-
holders to set too high a value on their claims—
utterly unproved claims being priced at ten or
twenty thousand dollars on the strength of two or
three selected scraps of exceptionally rich rock or
"specimen quartz," as working  miners ironically
I 104
style it—is partly the cause, in part an effect, of
this very serious evil. Accordingly, it behoves the
intending investor to consider very carefully the
nature of the property or properties to be taken
over by the new company, and to endeavour to
arrive at a true comparison of their real value as
compared with the price to be paid to the vendors.
And while this advice applies in the case of all
new companies, whatever part of the world is to
be the scene of operations, it is seven times more
pertinent with regard to the various British Columbian schemes now before the public than with
regard to Australian or South African flotations
of a similar nature ; for in nine cases out of ten
the properties in question will be found to consist
of one or two claims containing gold and silver,
but not necessarily containing money—the distinction should be obvious !—together with a variety of
odds and ends (the properties and goodwill of some
storekeeper or individual, or firm engaged in transportation, are familiar items) which may seem to
the uninitiated to have a certain value, but are in
the eyes of those who know the country (where
even a doctor's practice would not fetch a cent)
worth nothing, or less than nothing.
In the second place, the student of the prospectus of a new company promoted in the West Si
is pretty certain to overrate the strength of the
directorate. Supposing the list of directors contains
the names of members of a provincial legislature
or of the Dominion House of Commons, he is apt
to regard the fact as some guarantee of the soundness of the concern. He knows that the average
English or Scotch M.P. is a business man of substance and repute, and he naturally believes that
the Canadian M.P. (or M.P.P.) is not much inferior
in this respect, and, like the former, would never
allow his name to be used in connection with an
unsound undertaking. But Canada, having no large
leisured class, and being a country of such magnificent distances that the M.P. cannot attend to his
business as well as his legislation, is obliged to
pay the workers on her political machinery, with
the result that politics have come to be looked
upon as a profession (in the States they are looked
upon as a trade, and it may come to that in
Canada!), and the average partisan gets to Ottawa
for the sake of his sessional indemnity and what
he can make by means of his position.
The tendency, so fatal to the cause of good
government in the States, for the successful business man to look upon the game of politics with
a species of amused contempt, is becoming more
and more noticeable in Canada, and it is much to
r~""" I
be feared that substantial business men will become
less and less common in the political circles of the
Dominion. Even as things are, the Canadian
plutocracy (a rapidly increasing class) seldom
meddles with politics, except indirectly, when their
vested interests are likely to be affected; and the
fact that a prominent politician (even if he be a
Cabinet Minister) is the director of a new company
is no argument in favour of its character. " These
politicians are the cheapest directors!" was the
remark made to the writer by a good all-round
authority of British Columbian affairs; and the
saying may be commended to the attention of
those who are directly or indirectly interested in
the financial Hooleyism—or rather Hooliganism !—
of the West.
Finally, it must not be forgotten that the colonial
mining expert (though a more reliable man in
most cases than the American "mining sharp")
is often more or less unqualified, and, even when
duly qualified, is not always altogether trustworthy ;
so that the report of a new company's mining
engineer must be considered with reference to his
name and qualifications and reputation. Most
English mining engineers are honourable men,
who would not lend their names to bolster up any
shady undertaking;  and if the  name of one of
t\Kaaa\& THE FAR WEST OF TO-DAY     107
these authorities occurs in a new prospectus, it may
be taken as a better guarantee of good faith than
the presence of any number of colonial politicians
on the board of directors.
For those who are unable to obtain information
from a friend on the spot, and are in a position
to spare the time and the expense—six weeks and
;£ioo will suffice—a trip to British Columbia may
be recommended as a preliminary to any investment of importance. Apart from the information
to be gained by a personal inspection of the mine
or mines into which the investor thinks of putting
his money—and the writer knows of two cases in
which thousands of pounds have been saved by
such information!—the trip alone is well worth
its cost. There is no more beautiful country in
the world than the " Sea of Mountains;" and
those who have a turn for sport, and do not mind
roughing it for a while, can get as much fishing
and shooting as they desire, at a ridiculously small
In the Far North (as in the Far West) the first
pioneers were servants of the ubiquitous Hudson's
Bay Company, who, though they knew that the
bars of the Yukon held 1 colours " of gold, thought
the collecting of furs and skins a sufficiently pro -
fitable business to engage their whole attention.
From the lips of one of these hardy explorers—an
old Orkneyman of gigantic frame, who helped to
build Fort Selkirk in 1848, and died last year aged
seventy-nine—the writer collected most of the
following facts concerning the Yukon district fifty
years ago.
In 1848—according to this veteran's account—
Chief Factor Campbell and his men went up the
Liard from Fort Simpson, and built a new fort at
the junction of the Pelley and Lewes, supplies
being taken in thirty-two foot "York" boats each
100   "pieces"    (an    Hudson's    Bay
containing THE FAR NORTH
Company's   "piece"   for   packing   or   freighting
weighed 90 to 100 lbs.).    From 1848 to 1853, in
which latter year a band of Chilcoot Indians came
over the coast mountains and  raided the Fort,
trading was carried on continuously in that country,
where game was amazingly plentiful.    Countless
herds of caribou roamed over the uplands, occasionally crossing the rivers at fords, and always
using the same ford at the same season of the year.
At " Caribou  Crossing"—a point passed  by all
going into Klondike vid the coast—herds of five,
ten, or fifteen  thousand were often seen by the
voyageurs.   Moose also were so common that the
Fort Selkirk people had to refuse to take their
skins at any price after a time.     Now a good
moose-skin is worth 12 to 15 dollars.   Innumerable
moose used to be seen  around  the   lakes   and
swamps in summer-time, feeding on the roots and
herbs growing in the water.    In those days the
Indians had a peculiar way of hunting moose.
Taking from the dead animal's shoulder a bone
which is three inches broad at one end and tapers
to a point at the other, they would rattle this
behind a tree, taking care to keep concealed, but
sometimes exposing the broad end of the bone.
The noise and movement of the bone correctly
imitated a moose rubbing a tree with its horns, 11
which is said to be the way these beasts communicate with one another; the noise so made is
very crisp and clear, and can be heard a long way
in the quiet mountain air undisturbed by the
rhythmic sound of the rivers flowing.
Furs were so common that for a flint-lock
musket (worth, say, i$s. in England) the Indians
were expected to pay a pile of fine furs—such as
silver fox-skins—standing as high as the weapon
placed with the stock on the ground.
In those days there was a story current among
the Indian tribes living on the Yukon of a great
battle fought with little men from the North
(Esquimaux, no doubt!) for the possession of the
country—a struggle finally determined by the
arrival of a tribe from the South possessing two or
three trade-guns, whose reports caused a deadly
panic among the invaders.
When in 1853 the Chilcoot Indians—fur-traders
themselves, who dealt with Russian and American
coasting-vessels—crossed the coast mountains and
raided Fort Selkirk, it was decided to abandon the
post, and all the people stationed there made their
way up to Fort Yukon that same summer. In
the following winter they travelled up the Porcupine over the Divide to Fort McPherson — a
record winter's walk, assuredly!   The hardships %\
experienced by the miners packing into the Yukon
district last winter and spring would have been
child's play to these old-fashioned Hudson's Bay
Company hunters and voyageurs, whose only
outfit for much longer and more arduous expeditions was a gun and ammunition. But these
were men wrought, as it were, of chilled iron and
tamarac roots; and even among the Klondikers
of to-day it would be hard to find their equals in
physique. Moreover, they were one and all dead
shots, or they would never have survived a winter
on the Yukon, which was too out-of-the-way a
district to receive the usual supply of pemmican
sent each year to most parts of Rupert's Land.
Messrs. Harper and McQuesten, who started to
trade along the Yukon in 1874, were the first to
recognize the possibility of placer-mining in the
Yukon country; and it was principally owing to
accounts received from them that in 1882 a party
of miners entered by way of the Dyea Pass. All
those who got far enough down the river found it
easy to make a " grub-stake," and though a " home-
stake" (i.e. enough to enable a man to go home
and settle down) was not so easily found, the
Yukon gold-fields soon obtained a fair reputation
among the placer-miners of the coast. It was said
that anybody who went there could always depend
1 II
upon I saving" a thousand dollars' worth of dust
or so in a season, and this fact, together with the
certainty that sooner or later " coarse gold " would
be discovered, led to a gradual increase in the
mining population of the country. The discovery
of "coarse gold" on Forty Mile Creek led to a
small rush to the Yukon, so that at the end of the
following year the number of miners working there
was something between four and five hundred, and
the year's harvest of gold was estimated at 150,000
dollars—an amount not exceeded until the discovery of the Klondike Leads. The story of that
great strike—a piece of chee chacoe, or tenderfoot's
luck, if such a thing ever was!—has been so often
told, that there is surely no need to repeat it here.
Life on the Yukon in the eighties was different
from what it is to-day, when the North-West
mounted police keep order and enforce law, and
the placer-miner's camp followers are there to
relieve him of his superfluous dust. In the old times
(every miner who was on the Yukon before the
finding of gold on Forty Mile ranks as an old-
timer) Miners' Law prevailed; that is to say, in
cases of stealing or murder, not to be confounded
with killing in self-defence, or in the rare event of
a duel, or causing trouble with the Indians, a
meeting of miners was called, before whom the THE FAR NORTH
plaintiff and  defendant and  the witnesses were
examined by the old-timers.   The three mentioned
above were the only offences of which cognizance
was taken, and there were only two set penalties—
death, or an order to leave the country forthwith.
This simple code was, by all accounts, effectively
carried out; indeed, it was not until the great rush
to   Klondike   began   that   theft   became   at   all
frequent.    In judging cases of theft the Yukon
miners made a curious  distinction between the
stealing of a beast of burden (a self-portable chattel,
as it were) and the stealing of food or dust-
property which   is  merely portable—the  former
being invariably more severely punished than the
latter.      In   such   communities   law   is   always
preventive   rather  than reformative;   hence this
distinction,  and   hence,   also,  the   time-honoured
attitude of Judge Lynch towards the horse-stealer,
who so often escapes—by means of the stolen horse!
Another point worth  noticing with regard to
these primitive law courts, is that crimes were
more severely punished in the winter than in the
summer; for during the severer season the milder
sentence was practically equivalent to the death
penalty, only one criminal having ever succeeded
in getting to the coast alive across the abysmal
snows of the mountains.
i H4
Mr. Ogilvie's observation, in his report of 1887,
on the practical working of this Miners' Law may
be quoted in conclusion. " In the main," he wrote,
" the parties to its working meant well; but often
queer views were taken, and it might be said that
a man who was personally unpopular fared badly,
and that, too, without the parties who decided
feeling they had gone the least bit astray. Nothing
else could be expected, as this is human nature
the world over."
The writer has already had occasion to speak of
the peculiar vein of humour discernible in the
character of the North-Western placer-miner—a
point which may be further illustrated by a
reference to some of the " tall tales " of the Yukon
pioneers. As Mr. Ogilvie pointed out in the
report of his explorations in 1885, these men were,
and are, great jokers, and enjoyed nothing so
much as taking advantage of a new-comer's
ignorance of the country in order to stuff him up
with a number of preposterous yarns. A few of
these yarns would have made his pamphlet lighter
reading than it is, but it is possible those told to
him were either too blue or too purple to be set
down in the black-and-white of official print. A
recent specimen of these stories is actually told
of   Mr,  Ogilvie's   medicine-chest,  and   is   worth \\
reproducing in the form in which it reached the
writer. It appears that a party of prospectors at the
mouth of the Stewart were anxious to keep a birthday in good style, but there was no whisky to be
got—" 'nary drop 1" So they filled a pan with
water, boiled it, and put their available store of sugar
in it; and then one of them, who had in the mean
time visited the explorer's canoe, emptied all the
bottles of drugs in his medicine-chest into the
bowl. When tasted "'twas none so bad," so
concludes the anecdote, "and we was all full
when the stuff was done. But, by gosh! next
morning most of us had ter'ble bad pains in the
bellies. I myseP could count nine different kinds
of ache—nine being the exact number d the bottles
in Mr. 0!s medicine-chest! "
The Yukon jester's speciality is the "animal
story," a product of his wit obviously invented
for the benefit of the tenderfoot. Such are the
innumerable tales told about the silver-tip (to
judge from the narratives of Yukonites, you cannot
travel a mile without being attacked by a bear);
the story of the moose, who, being lassoed by the
captain of a river steamer, would certainly have
"yanked the hull outfit up the bank, only the ole
man's lasso parted;" the romantic escape of the
"big horn," which, having accidentally fallen down u6
a forty-foot shaft, leapt out on the approach of the
claim-owner, "an' was seen no more round them
diggins;" and, best of all, perhaps, the story of
the " yaller dawg," who was taught by his ingenious
owner to hunt gold by scent, and, after making
many rich strikes for his owner (who never had
occasion to sink another prospect shaft!), was taken
home to Tacoma, where he ran down a prominent
preacher of total abstinence, who had secretly
taken the gold cure the summer before.
Concerning the present stage of development,
or rather, arrested development, of the Klondike
placers, enough has already been said in the first
chapter of this book; and the conditions of life
and labour in and around Dawson City are probably
familiar by now to every reader of the newspapers.
Accordingly, the writer will confine himself to an
attempt to answer the following questions: (i)
What are the prospects of reef-mining in the
Klondike Region ? and (2) Is it probable that
other important discoveries of "coarse gold" will
be made in the Yukon district ?
Before attempting to find a reasonable answer
to the first question, the geology of the Klondike
placers must be carefully considered. At present
no detailed study of the whole "mining-camp"
(the phrase is here used in its technical sense) has THE FAR NORTH 117
been made by any mining expert or member of
the Canadian Geological Survey, in view of which
fact Mr. F. Stanley's remarks in his little pamphlet
entitled " A Mile of Gold " (a very American title!)
must be taken as being the best we can get. Mr.
F. Stanley, an educated man, as well as a miner
with twenty years' experience of placer-mining in
California, Montana, and elsewhere, is, after all, no
mean authority, in spite of the catch-penny title
of his book ; moreover, his observations are pretty
generally corroborated by the claim-holders on
other creeks within the Klondike area. According
to him, the stones and gravel in these creeks are
quite unlike those in other auriferous streams in
Yukon and elsewhere on the North American
Gold Belt; and the outcrops of the rocks from
which this detritus is derived are also unique, for
there is a total absence of the slates generally found
in connection with gold-bearing rocks along the
Sierra Nevada, and, to a less degree, throughout
British Columbia. It was the prevalence of limestone, generally a sign of sterility, along the
Klondike River, and the lack of flour gold therein,
that caused experienced miners to regard that
stream as good for nothing, except fishing; and,
but for the folly of a tenderfoot (who had no
respect for old miners' lore), the millions lying hid
m ill
in the affluent creeks and side-gulches might never
have been brought to light.
Another notable fact about these repositories of
coarse gold is the presence, in their lower strata, of
the teeth and bones of extinct animals, mostly
mastodons it would appear. This assigns a
geological date to the formation of the Klondike
placers, i.e. they must be pre-glacial.
Now, taking both these points into consideration,
the likeness of Klondike to Caribou, where slates
are not common, becomes very noticeable ; and one
is sorely tempted to prophesy that, as in the case
of Caribou, a very rich placer-mining district will
prove to be poor in reef-mines. For it is now
pretty certain that the rich pre-glacial leads of
Caribou were formed by the wearing down of a
very great bulk of very low-grade ore—the gold
being concentrated by a species of cold weld—in
the furious floods of the Middle Tertiary or
| Animal Age," as the Yukon miners call it.
No doubt reef-mining will some day become a
prominent industry of the Yukon district, but in
the opinion of those qualified to judge, its growth
will be as slow and laborious as the growth of reef-
mining in Alaska. And the writer believes that,
taking into account the remoteness of the northern
part of Canada's claim on the Cordillera from the \\
sea, and the inevitable necessity of obtaining all
food supplies from the outside, the employment of
Mongolian and Indian labour (as in the coal mines,
fisheries, and saw-mills of British Columbia) will
be found generally necessary in these undiscovered
ree£-mines of the future.
An answer to the second question may be found
without the exercise of any particular ingenuity.
The bars and benches of the Stewart River, a
great stream several hundred miles long, are as
rich as were those of the Fraser; and nothing
is more likely than that the old-timer's adage
—"wherever there's a father of rivers* there's a
mother of placers"—will be once more justified
by the discovery of coarse gold somewhere in the
basin of the Stewart. At present, however, the
unexplored part of that river—the long stretch
above the Falls—lies too far from the base of
supplies, and people are too interested in the
Klondike area to trouble about the problem of the
In conclusion, it may be said that the opportunities for prospecting in the Yukon district are
still almost limitless. The area of that district is
300,000 square miles: of which only the more
important river-courses have ever been explored.
* The Indian name for the Fraser—" Father of Waters."
--     - 120
Of such a country the most accurate map gives a
very erroneous idea ; for not only are many of the
names, which take up so much space, representative
of nothing in particular (thus Fort Selkirk has
been for forty years just a scrap of broken wall),
but many also of the marks symbolizing river-
courses and mountain chains are purely conjectural.
At the best a map is a species of fiction, for the
lines which stand for rivers, if they were really
drawn to scale, would be invisible to the naked
eye. If in the ordinary map we take such lines as
denoting the ribbons of territory along these rivers
which have been trodden by man (Indian hunters,
etc.), then the map would be accurately drawn ; so
that the ratio of the total area of those lines to the
whole expanse of paper fairly represents our real
geographical knowledge as compared with our
Considering the vastness of this ultima thule
of the placer-miners, the shortness of the season
during which the only trails—i.e. the water-courses
—can be used, and the extreme ruggedness of the
interior, it is evident that many years must elapse
before Yukon can be thoroughly explored. And
those who think of it as " crowded " at the present
moment, never have seen any of the unsettled
demesnes    of   Greater   Britain,   without   which
"GET population, and all else will be added unto
you," was Mr.  Chamberlain's  word-in-season  to
the  Dominion;   and   that  piece  of  advice  was
naturally taken as their text by nine out of ten
speakers   at  the  great   Immigration   Convention
held at Winnipeg in the February of 1896.    The
chief results of that conference (which was attended
by more than   300  delegates  from  all parts of
Greater Canada) were the condemnation of the
present method of advertising the North-West in
Europe and the United States,  and the  almost
unanimous expression of opinion that "the only
efficient immigration agent is a contented settler."
If the truth of this latter remark be granted—and
it is the writer's experience that four out of five
new settlers in the North-West came out on the
strength of the information received from some
prosperous relative or family friend I—the Dominion
Government   will  find  the fulfilment of  certain
122 I
promises made to the North-Western settlers at
the last general election a more effectual means
of obtaining population than the circulation of
libellous panegyrics on the country.
An extension of the North-Western Railway
system, and legislation with the object of reserving
and redeeming all unoccupied lands " for the settler
and not for the speculator," are planks in the
Liberal platform upon which every "Grit" candidate in 1896 took his stand. As yet, however,
with the exception of a somewhat poorly equipped
expedition to the Hudson Bay, the results of
which are not yet to hand, nothing has been done
towards fulfilling the former promise ; and to judge
from their conduct with regard to the proposed
Stikine-Teslin Railway, it seems certain the present
Government are in no hurry to discontinue the
old short-sighted policy of reserving large blocks
of land—whether the land is agricultural or mineral,
the principle is precisely the same—in newly
opened districts.*
It was hoped that the expedition to the Hudson
Bay would finally settle the vexed question as to
the navigability of the Straits during the summer
and autumn months.    Unfortunately, owing to the
* The Stikine-Teslin Railway Bill was thrown out by the
Dominion Senate ; so that, after all, the promoters did not receive
4,000,000 acres of auriferous land for building 150 miles of line.
._ \, 124
smallness of the grant ($30,000), it was impossible
to obtain a modern steamship of fair speed and
specially built for working through ice, without
which the experiment could add little or nothing
to our knowledge on this point. While it is certain
that the Bay itself is always open, the presence of
heavy drift-ice in the Strait renders the navigation
dangerous, if not impossible, for the greater part
of the year; and, although since Hudson's discoveries in 1609 and 1610 more than 730 voyages
into and out of the Bay have been made, generally
by small sailing-vessels, between the beginning of
June and the middle of October, the exact period
during which the route is practicable for steamships
of a better class than the average "ocean tramp,"
remains to be determined. In the opinion of many,
if the Straits could be proved navigable for five
months in the year, the Hudson's Bay Railway
from Winnipeg to the mouth of the Churchill
River vid Grand Rapids on the Saskatchewan
(forty miles of this railway already actually exists),
would pay its way. The advantages attending a
modern use of the historic route of the Hudson's
Bay Company, the possession of which, as we have
seen, determined the issue of the struggle between
that ancient corporation and the other great fur-
trading companies, would be many and important \]
In the first place, the North-West would be brought
more than fifteen hundred miles nearer the mother
country, so that freight-rates between, say, Liverpool
and Winnipeg, would be about half what they are
at present; and a corresponding reduction in the
cost of passage for emigrants would certainly lead
to a great increase of the particular import most
required in the North-West of to-day, i.e. the
British agricultural labourer, who cannot, as a rule,
save enough out of his wages to pay the expense
even of a journey by steerage and colonist's car.
Secondly, a cool and healthy outlet for cattle and
perishable farm produce would be provided during
the hot Canadian summer. Thirdly, an enormous
area of good agricultural land, at present inaccessible, would be rendered available for immediate
settlement. And, last but not least, a shorter
and safer way to the Pacific Coast for purposes of
Imperial defence or offence would be established.
In weighing this last-mentioned advantage, we
must not forget (certainly Canadians did not overlook these facts during the Venezuelan crisis) that
one shore of the St. Lawrence estuary belongs to
a foreign power, and that it would be easy for that
power to cut the railway communication between
Montreal and Halifax.
The Saskatchewan and Churchill Rivers—albeit
xt> 126
there are natural impediments to their continuous
navigation—would form a valuable adjunct to the
new route until another railway through the valley
of the latter river, from Grand Rapids to Prince
Albert and Edmonton, could be profitably built.
Such a system of railways would open up about
as much land suitable for mixed farming as was
opened up by the Canadian Pacific Railway, and
that at less than a fifth of the cost; for recent
scientific investigations have proved that over a
very large area of land north of the Saskatchewan
Valley, precisely the same climatic conditions prevail
as in Saskatchewan or Northern Alberta. Both Sir
Wilfred Laurier and Sir Charles Tupper are in
favour of building a Hudson's Bay Railway without
delay; but the followers of either leader apparently
regard the work as out of the pale of practical
politics—at any rate for the present. For years,
however, even his own personal friends scoffed at
Sir John Macdonald's scheme of a trans-continental
railway, but in the end the most cautious became
convinced of its feasibility; and it may be that
time—especially if the present prosperity continues
—will convince the most frugal-minded Liberals
of the feasibility of basing a railway system on
the Hudson Bay and its affluent rivers. The great
objection to this railway's success is the present
organization of the Manitoban grain-trade, whereby
wheat can be held in the elevators for a rise in
price; and even the sudden jerk upwards of one or
two cents (due, perhaps, to a far-off rumour of
war, or of bad weather on the other side of the
globe) may be taken advantage of by the holder.
Of course, if wheat was stored for seven or eight
months on the shores of the Bay it could not be
profitably moved back.
Many other schemes for the construction of new
railways are now "in the air," and one, at least,
of these is certain to be partially realized at no
distant date. The great progress made since 1894
by reef-mining in the Kootenay district (which,
judged by the results of placer-mining in the past,
and the investigations of the Canadian Geological
Survey, is not more fertile than any one of four
or five other districts north of the Canadian Pacific
Railway) would almost appear to justify the
immediate construction of a railroad along the
well-defined valley which lies between the "Gold
Range" and the Rockies—the second and first
waves of geological disturbance in the "Sea of
Mountains" — and forms the natural highway
between the northern and southern portions of
the province. Until these distant mining camps
(of which Caribou alone has communication, even
iJl ^r
by road, with the south) are opened up by a railway, nothing more can be done there ; for the high
prices of labour and supplies, and the prohibitive
cost of importing machinery or exporting ore,
prevent the development of many discoveries of
auriferous quartz and silver ores ; and, for the same
reason, the hydraulic mining of alluvial deposits,
too poor to be touched by the old-time placer-
miners, who could never afford to work anything
yielding less than ten dollars a day for each pair
of hands, is, except in the case of Caribou, out of
the question. And when the time comes, if it has
not already arrived, to open up these half-forgotten
fields, it is to be hoped that the work will be done
by Canadian and British capital, and not, as in the
case of the Kootenay, by United States capitalists.
It is estimated that nearly eighty per cent, of the
capital invested in the Kootenay has its home, so
to speak, in the Western States—a partial " Americanizing" of a Canadian estate, which does not
reflect credit on the capitalists of Eastern Canada
and Great Britain, and must not occur again.
Until both the " Fertile Belt" of Manitoba and
the North-West territories, and the "Gold and
Silver Belt" of British Columbia and the Yukon
district, have been completely opened up by means
of railways, the development of Greater Canada THE FUTURE OF THE NORTH-WEST I2g
cannot be regarded as final. Fifty years have
sufficed for the complete opening up of the Western
and Pacific States, some of which have already
passed their prime ; and it may be that 1929—half
a century having elapsed since Lord Dufferin drove
the first spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway at
Pembina, and Canada emerged from her forests—
will see the realization of Sir John Macdonald's
ruling ideal. For even if Winnipeg has not by
then attained the size and importance of the
Chicago of to-day, and Canada's chief port on
the Pacific be still somewhat inferior in wealth
and greatness to the present San Francisco, yet it
is tolerably certain that Greater Canada will be as
populous and prosperous as Canada itself, and that
the centre of gravity of British North America
will lie, not, as at present, somewhere between
Toronto and Montreal, but in Manitoba—midway
between the two oceans. "Thirty years from
now," prophesies a Mazzini of the New World, who
has dared to look further into the twentieth century
than any of the old-world political seers, "the
Dominion will have a population of twenty millions,
and in the production of wheat and precious metals
will equal and, perhaps, surpass the American West
of to-day." And no student of North-Western
statistics will cherish a lesser hope, for, if only the
M 130
present rate of growth be maintained for that
period, all these things will come to pass.
Most people who have not visited the North-
West firmly believe that a long winter of Arctic
rigour prevents all outdoor work during a great
portion of the North-Western year, and forms an
insurmountable obstacle to any such growth in the
future. This fallacy is a chief cause—perhaps tlie
chief cause—of the preference shown by European
emigrants for the States as a field for settlement;
and it is still worked for all it is worth by Yankee
immigration agents, whose tales of the Canadian
climate have caused many new arrivals in Boston
or New York to change their plans—and their
nationality—at the eleventh hour. " Nine months'
winter and three months late in the fall;" even so
the writer has heard the North-Western year
defined by one of these gentry, who are in the
habit of describing the Dominion as "that little
ice-house up there." Here is one of their tallest
tales of the North-Western winter—a sufficiently
quaint specimen of American humour. It takes
the form of a dialogue between two Yankee agents,
who skipped aboard the cars outside Montreal,
and began talking to a batch of immigrants.
Agent No. I: " D'ye mind the cold time we
had in Saskatchewan ?"
—- s\
Agent No. 2: " I guess I do! Didn't all our
stock get froze to death by the summer frosts ?"
Agent No. 1: " Not all, surely! There was
that little red cow that we tried to keep alive in
the cellar through the winter. If you remember,
she got out somehow, and was froze solid outside,
and 'twasn't till July next that we thawed her out."
Agent No. 2 : " Thawed her out f No, sir. Why,
didrit we milk ice-cream from her all that summer ! %
By means of such jests, and the offer of free
drinks and free passes to the South, many used
to be persuaded ; and the agents, who received so
much per head for their converts, drove, and still
drive, a fair business.
The length and severity of the winter is different
in different parts of the North-West, so that it is
hardly correct to speak of " the" North-Western
winter at all. In the southern part of British
Columbia the winter seldom lasts much longer
than three months, and the thermometer hardly
ever falls below — 200 F. On the other flank of the
Rockies, in the ranching country of South Alberta,
the season lasts a fortnight longer, and the thermometer occasionally registers as low as — 300 F.; but
there, as in British Columbia, frequent "chinooks,"
or warm western winds, are the cause of mild
spring-like spells of weather.    In Manitoba there
igsjli 132
are four months of frost rarely broken by a thaw,
and the spirit in the glass sometimes records a
temperature of — 400 F., especially in February,
which is the coldest month. In Saskatchewan and
Northern Alberta things are much the same as in
Manitoba, except that the coldest " snap " generally
comes in January, and temperatures as low as
— 6o° F. are experienced now and again. And it is
not until the traveller arrives at Dawson City, or
Fort MacPherson, that a really Arctic winter
is met with, when for two or three months the
average daily temperature is well below zero, and
there is an occasional fall to — 700 F., or a few
degrees further down.
Now, it is a notable fact that in the North-West
a temperature of — 400 F. (which does not occur
half a dozen times in the course of the hardest
winter on the northernmost limit of the Fertile Belt)
does not affect humanity nearly so much as — io°
F. in the Eastern Provinces, or -J-120 F. (twenty
degrees of frost) in the mother-country. This is
due to the peculiar dryness of the winter air, and
the absence at such temperatures of all wind.
Then, again, the snow is absolutely dry, so that it
is impossible to make a snowball, and the worker
out-of-doors is able to wear loose moccasins and
fingerless   mitts   of   soft   leather   (moose-skin   or M
deer-hide), which keep out the cold and do not impede the circulation of the blood in the extremities.
Add to these a coat and cap of skin or fur, and
good woollen underclothing (the English-made is
best), and the tenderfoot need not think about his
toes, even though the mercury freezes. If, however,
a blizzard is blowing, or the thermometer falls to
— 6o° F. or so, he will be well advised to take a look
at his nose now and again, for the prickly sensation in that organ, which is prelude to a frost-bite
there, is easily overlooked.
In five years' experience of the North-West
climate, the writer remembers only one occasion
when the temperature fell to the last-mentioned
extreme. At such times the vapour-laden breath
from the lungs freezes the moment it leaves the
lips, and mingles with the air, and, falling in the
form of infinitesimal snow-dust, produces a soft
whispering sound—a ghostly susurrus, once heard
never forgotten. Since the temperature of the
breath may be taken as about blood-heat (900 or
6o° above freezing-point, in round numbers), it would
seem that if the air was at a temperature of 300 F.
(6o° below freezing-point) the vapour exhaled might
be expected to become reduced to freezing-point,
and to freeze the moment it was commingled with
that air, and it is not at first sight evident why a /
much lower temperature is required to produce the
phenomenon in question. The explanation of this
mystery will, however, be at once found by those
who are acquainted with the nature of " latent heat,"
or by those who will be at the pains to look up the
matter in some text-book of natural philosophy.
A more serious impediment to the success of
farming in the unsettled parts of the North-West
is the occasional occurrence of summer frosts, which
sometimes damage the wheat-crop to a considerable
extent. Forty years ago the Ontario farmer used
to suffer from this plague of uncleared countries;
but the gradual disappearance of the forest and
bush before the settler's axe—the Canadian, by
the way, is said to be "born with an axe in his
hand by the side of a tree-stump"—has led to a
decrease in the amount of surface-water, and a
consequent cure of the evil. A similar change is
already taking place in Saskatchewan and Northern
Alberta; for the amount of frosted wheat sent to
the local mills is said to be very much less in proportion to the total crop than it was five years ago.
The farmer who is able to feed damaged grain to
cattle (a step which is also taken when the price
of grain is very low) will not suffer so much as his
neighbour without stock in the case of such a visitation ; moreover, it is generally possible to choose THE FUTURE OF THE NORTH-WEST  135
land for homesteading, where the summer frosts
are practically harmless. The settler should always
choose land with a slope towards the north, and
open in that direction; for during the summer
nights there is generally a breeze from that direction, and on such land the dank white mists born
of subterranean waters cannot brood long enough
to do damage—in the event of a fall of temperature. CHAPTER X        |j
FOR centuries after the planting of the  earliest
European settlements in North America, the fur
trade was considered by far the most important
industry   of  the   settlers,   and  the  great  profits
derived  therefrom   were  the   main   incentives to
further exploration.    It was in the prosecution of
the trade in peltries that men first entered the vast
prairies beyond the Great Lakes, ascended the two
Saskatchewans and the Mississippi and Missouri,
and,   scaling   the   long   rampart  of the  Rockies,
descended   into  the   undreamed-of  territories  of
Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.    The
annals of these explorations are for the most part
unwritten (except, indeed, in the geography books,
whose maps and lists of place-names are the only
monuments to hundreds of makers of history as
well as geography), and little more can be done
by the professed historian than the tracing of the
-— M
various steps by which the dead-and-gone fur
traders attained their first sight of the Pacific—the
least known and most romantic of the Seven Seas
before the nineteenth century began, and plainly
destined to be the world's battlefield in the twentieth. But here and there in his researches the
historian finds not merely history but a story, and
has not a few stray glimpses of the spacious times
of these fur-trading pioneers.
Even during the French occupation of Canada
hunting and trapping in the vicinity of the settlements soon ceased to be profitable; so that the
fur-trader, and those from whom he obtained his
furs, found it necessary to travel further and further
afield. In the partially settled tracts of the North-
West of to-day it is noticed that even a small
amount of traffic to and fro (to say nothing of
actual settlement) will cause a strikingly rapid
diminution in the amount of game there. Experienced hunters and trappers will tell you that a
mere haying-trail or saddle-path, or even a cattle-
track (for next to the scent of man wild beasts
most loathe and dread the scent of domestic
animals), will exclude moose and bear from a
district as effectually as would a barbed-wire fence ;
and even in the case of geese, duck, and other
wildfowl, the progress of settlement is invariably 133
injurious to the hunter's chance of success.   Accordingly,   as   early  as the  seventeenth   century the
coureurs des bois—men who travelled for months
together into the unsettled wastes, trapping and
hunting  themselves,  and  also  exchanging  goods
(both wet and dry) for the furs taken by Indians
—were  already  a  prominent  class  in  Canadian
society.     At   the   beginning   of  the   eighteenth
century  some   of   the  recognized trade-routes—
routes whose milestones were the nameless graves
of such as had perished by misadventure or at the
hands   of  hostile   Indians—used   by   these   folk
already   touched   on   the   confines   of   the   Great
Plains ; and it was a report brought in by one of
these coureurs des bois of the astounding richness
in game of the lands beyond the Great Lakes, and
of the  genial  character  of the   Indians dwelling
therein, which led Verandrye, son of the Sieur de
Varennes, to take his memorable journey "beyond
the sunset."    Verandrye's work of exploration was
carried a step further by Le Gardeur St. Pierre,
who was sent by order of the Governor of New
France (as Canada was then called) to "search for
the Western Sea."    He found that sea—but it was
a sea of grass, the pasturage of a million buffalo!
—and it is in his report of the expedition that
we   first  hear of the   Hudson's  Bay  Company's s\
operations from a French source. " The English,"
he writes, "annoyed at not receiving a large amount
of furs at the Bay, sent collars to the Indians,
forbidding them under penalty of dying to carry
the furs elsewhere than to them. Not having
done so, and about eight hundred of them having
died from cold, the rest were all seized with fright,
and told one another that the Manitou had wreaked
vengeance on them in answer to the prayer of the
It will be seen from St. Pierre's orders that one
of the incentives to exploration was the desire to
discover the "Western Sea." Here is yet another
instance of that quest for the Western or North-
West passage (i.e. a short route westward or northwestward to the wealth of the East Indies) which
inspired so many great explorers from the days
of Christopher Columbus to those of Sir John
Franklin. And yet another instance of the same
aspiration is to be found in the preamble of the
famous charter granted by Charles II. to Prince
Rupert and his fellow-adventurers—that charter
which was the legal life and being of the Hudson's
Bay Company. The motive assigned for the royal
gift was "that the corporators have at their own
great cost and charges undertaken an expedition
for  Hudson's   Bay   for  the discovery of a new
M 140
passage into the South Sea, and for finding some
trade for furs, minerals, and other considerable
commodities, and by such their undertaking have
already made such discoveries as do encourage
them to proceed further in pursuance of their
said design, by means whereof there may probably arise very great advantage to us and our
Never was a better bargain driven ; for to the
Hudson's Bay Company and their servants, who
ruled the Indians with such tact and patience for
so many decades, the Empire owes the possession
of Greater Canada.
That the French-Canadian (or, at any rate, his
half-brother the French-Canadian half-breed) entered the high prairies before his English-speaking
rival in business, could be proved (if the fact were
not otherwise demonstrable) from a consideration
of the older North-Western place-names, most of
which are French versions of the still more ancient
Indian appellations. Perhaps the best case in point
is that of Qu'Appelle (Anglice, "Who calls?"—
there are both a river and a town of that name in
the North-West Territories), which is quite meaningless to those who do not know the story. A
certain Cree Indian was returning from the sale
of his furs to one of the coureurs des bois.    His
--"-——^—— VI
take had included a number of fine silver fox-skins,
so that he returned rich beyond expectation, and
had made up his mind to marry his betrothed
before joining his own band. Accordingly, instead
of taking the direct homeward trail, he turned his
canoe down through the "beautiful wooded vales
of the Qu'Appelle," travelling the shining reaches
of that fair stream till the sun set and the crescent
moon grew bright. Even then he plied his paddle
instead of resting, for he had determined within
his soul to see the face of his maiden at sunrise.
But at moonset he stopped opposite a little
poplar-bluff, and even as he turned in-shore,
plunging his paddle in deep on the left so as to
turn, he heard his name uttered as if out of the
depths of the bluff. " Qu'Appelle ? Who calls ? |
he cried; and a long silence followed. Then, just
as he made ready to paddle on—for he had no
heart to rest in that haunted shade—he heard his
name uttered again, and this time he recognized
the voice as that of his betrothed. Again he cried,
" Who calls ?" but no answer came, and after waiting for a while he continued his journey. All that
night he travelled on, and at early sunrise came
within sight and hearing of the lodges of his
friends. They were singing the death-songs over
his dead  maiden.    And, inquiring the time and
•ft 142
circumstances of her death, he was told that she
died as the moon set, and that before dying she
uttered his name twice.
The Canadian records—as yet, the keeper of
the archives at Ottawa has not more than half
completed the herculean task of putting in order,
and rendering accessible to the student, the tons
of documentary evidence bearing on the history
of Canada—teem with facts relating to the fur-
traders' dealings with the Indians; but it is seldom,
indeed, that such an immortelle of romance is found
in those dusty piles of dry-as-dust details. Through
all these bald chronicles of obscure struggles with
the French and the Indians—particularly the
Iroquois—who fought on their side, one sordid
fact is everlastingly evident: that the real motive
of the fighting was a desire for the lion's share of
the profit from the fur trade. And in the end the
lion got his share ! Indeed, there were times when
the gathering of scalp-locks was to all intents and
purposes a branch—and that not the least lucrative
—of the commerce in peltries. Not only did the
French and British pay a price for Indian scalps
(competition causing the prices to be high), but in
1764 the grandson of William Penn (who had
declared the person of an Indian to be sacred)
offered $150 for the scalp of an Indian man, $ioq \
for that of a boy under ten, and $50 for that of a
woman or girl.
Even when the struggle between French and
British for the possession of Canada was finally
settled at the Heights of Abraham, and the aw-
oh-aw-oh-aw-oh (the last syllable an octave higher
than the rest, and prolonged till the chest was
empty of air) of the Iroquois war-whoop or scalp-
cry ceased to be heard in the East, men still
fought over parcels of furs. The competition
between the Yankee free-traders and the Canadian
merchants was carried on not without bloodshed;
and then there was the great war between the
Hudson's Bay and North-West Companies, which
began in 1815 and ended in 1821, when the two
corporations were finally united. The worst outrage
perpetrated in this civil war was the murder of
Governor Semple of Fort Douglas on the Red
River, and a score of his subordinates, by a gang
of Indians and half-breeds in the pay of the
North-West Company. Fort Douglas was armed
with artillery, and commanded the only water-way
out of the North-West; and the Nor'-Westers*
army was journeying past to escort their company's boat-loads of fur down the river, when they
were met by Semple and his men, whom they
massacred,  in  spite   of their  leader's   efforts   to 144
restrain them. The scene and action of many
stories have been laid in the North-West at that
period of anarchy, of which more or less historical
romances Mr. Gilbert Parker's "Chief Factor" is
the most masterly, seeing that it is no mere photograph of bygone scenery and customs, but a
picture—such a picture as Millet, working in
another medium, has often given to the world—in
which there is action, character, atmosphere, and,
most definite but least definable of all literary
qualities, the unworldliness and aloofness of true
There are still living hunters and trappers and
others who remember the palmy days of the
Hudson's Bay Company, when they ruled the
country from the Bay to the Pacific, and from the
Arctic Circle down to the international boundary-
line. Many such are to be met with in the " away
back" parts of Saskatchewan and Athabasca, and
with some of these the writer has hunted, and, after
a square meal of wildfowl and a " horn " or two of
rye-whisky, talked with them, or rather listened to
their talk. And much as he prizes his experiences
of sport in those little-known territories, he prizes
even more the occasional glimpses which the
rambling discourses of these men have afforded
him of the spacious life of the North-West that was. ROMANCE OF THE FUR TRADE 145
The summer " Running of the Buffalo" by the
hunters of the Red River Settlement was perhaps
the most notable event of the year during the
period of " The Company's " utmost prosperity (i.e.
from 1821 to i860), and some description of that
gigantic hunting-party will give the reader a fair
idea of the romantic side of the fur-trader's life.
As early as 1820 the number of ox-carts assembled
for the "Summer Hunt" exceeded five hundred,
and in the fifties there were years when as many
as fifteen hundred carts and waggons and more
than two thousand men, women, and children came
to the time-honoured trysting-place on the high
prairies about two days' journey from Fort Garry.
A hunter's wage consisted in those days of Hudson's Bay " blankets" or notes to the value of £3
sterling; the women, whose duty it was to skin
and cut up the carcases of the buffalo and make
them into the famous pemmican, received £2 $s.
apiece ; and each of the boys and girls who assisted
obtained the sum of £1 as a quid pro quo. Seeing
that the hunt generally lasted a full three months,
nobody can say these folk were too well paid for
their work, especially when it is remembered that
buffalo-running was an arduous and risky pursuit,
and that now and again the parties were molested
by Blackfeet and other "wicked" Indians.
~" - - '    :    I
H '
Many of the hunters of the plains were also
farmers in a small way, so that a start was not
possible until after seeding. For the same reason
it was necessary to return before harvest-time.
But as soon as the spring rains were fallen, and
their long " river-lots " newly clad in a silken windblown vesture of green, they would hitch up their
oxen or " shaganappies," i.e. native ponies, and
trundle off in their springless Red River carts to
the rendezvous. There they would camp until all
the hunters on the roll had arrived, spending their
time casting bullets, cleaning their guns, mending
their carts, and talking over the weather.
The last evening at home was a time of revelry,
and many of the Red River settlers who did not
intend to make the hunt, would come down to the
camp to help on the fun. After sundown great
watch-fires would be kindled within the circle of
carts, and the older hunters would sit round about
on their heels in the wavering firelight, exchanging
tales of adventures in every nook and corner of
the West, while the younger chatted with the
women and girls who sat in or under the carts.
Then, in some sudden expectant hush—that strange,
inevitable silence which sooner or later falls upon
the noisiest of such gatherings—somebody would
begin   the  beautiful   old   ditty   of  "A la   Claire
Fontaine." Long before the end of the first verse
all the men would be singing or beating time, and
when it came to the refrain—
" II y a longtemps que je t'aime,
Jamais je ne t'oublierai,"
the women's voices would soar above the men's in
a sudden gush of sound, fresh and clear as the
fountain of the song. Then perhaps "Lochaber
no more " would be sung by the many Scotchmen
and Scotch half-breeds in the gathering, and after
that saddest and most haunting of all melodies, a
fiddle would be pulled out of its moose-skin bag,
and the stirring strains of the "Red River Jig"
would bring everybody to their feet. Next to a
plaintive ditty the hunters of the plains loved a
rollicking dance; and, having once begun, they
would not stop till the sun was under their feet and
the bonfires nothing but heaps of grey crumbling
On these occasions particular attention was paid
to the moon. If her appearance was such that
"a man could hang up his kettle on her horn,"
everybody believed there would be a month of
fine weather. If not—why, they would hope for
the best.
At sunrise next morning the roll would be called
over, and immediately afterwards, at a meeting of
m 148
the chief hunters, a leader and his staff, captains,
guides, and a crier were appointed. The leader
had authority over the whole party, and at the
beginning and end of each day's march issued
general orders through the members of his staff,
who also acted as police; the captains with their
men took turns at patrolling the camp and mounting guard; the guides conducted the hunters from
one good camping-place to another; and the crier,
who called the hunters together whenever the "law
of the hunt" had been violated, not only proclaimed
the sentence of the court, but also executed it.
It was the duty of the officers, one and all, to see
that the camp was properly set out at night. The
carts were drawn up in a close circle, and within
this the tents were pitched in double and treble
rows, the women and children sleeping in the
innermost. If danger was apprehended, the oxen
and horses were tethered inside the corral and
the men lay with their guns loaded; otherwise
the cattle were allowed to graze on the open
Long before the buffalo were sighted, they could
be heard by the experienced hunter. Though at
the time barely in his teens, one of the writer's
informants vividly recollected how he entered the
summer pasturage of the buffalo for the first time
in his life.    One windy morning, three weeks after
they had left the Red River, his father asked him
if he could hear the bulls; a*id when he said he
could hear nothing but the  wind,  all  the   men
laughed at him, and his father was not very well
pleased.   By-and-by they came to a badger's hole,
and his father pulled him off the cart and told him
to put his ear into it, and when he did so he distinctly heard a deep, far-off rumbling sound.    That
happened  early  in  the morning, but it was not
until noon that a man standing up in his stirrups
could discern what seemed to be a long streak of
dun-coloured  cloud  resting  on  the high western
rim of the horizon.   At sunset this cloud resolved
itself into two vast herds of buffalo, all moving at
the same slow pace and  grazing  as they went.
Everybody wanted to be at them, but the authorities would not hear of it; for a night alarm would
sometimes cause the herds to stampede for fifty
miles or more.    But at ten o'clock next morning
the hunters were made to fall into line, and the
crier was ordered to cry the  " ho!" which was
the signal for a general attack.
The quaint expression, " Here's a ho!" which
old-fashioned North-Western folk utter before
gulping down the dram or " horn" of whisky, is
really a reminiscence of this ancient signal to begin [Ill
the fun, and not, as some authorities say, a silly
reference to the opening phrase of Isaiah lv.
The hunters used to enter on the chase with
their mouths full of bullets, loading and firing
from horseback, and leaving the ownership of the
slain to be settled afterwards. When loading, they
poured the powder from the palm of the hand,
and dropped a bullet from the mouth into the
muzzle of the gun, and they sometimes fired without
putting it up to the shoulder, and in such haste
that the bullet had not always time to fall down
the barrel. These guns cost fifteen to twenty
shillings each, and were not exactly masterpieces
of the gun maker's art, so that explosions were
common enough, and the sight of a hunter who
lacked a thumb or a few fingers as a consequence
of his hurry was not infrequent.
And so, day by day, week after week, until it
was time to turn back, or the buffalo had fled
beyond reach, this disciplined army of hunters
harried the rear of the herds, slaying hundreds
between sunrise and sunset, and going back on
their trail at nightfall to set the camp. The work
of skinning and breaking up the slaughtered
animals, and making the choice parts into the
famous pemmican, or spreading them to be dried
in the sun,  fell upon  the  women   and   children 1
whose labours were often prolonged far into the
The Hudson's Bay Company, it should be
noticed, always did their best to prevent the
indiscriminate slaughter of the wild animals, upon
whose welfare their own ultimately depended,
and the buffalo-runners in their employ seldom
killed the calves or hunted in the breeding season ;
so that the practical extinction of the North
American bison cannot be attributed to the company's policy of supplying their many northern
ports with pemmican, the most nutritious and
most portable of all prepared foods. The Yankee
"free-traders," who in 1870 had nearly a score of
factories in the Bow and Belly Rivers district, and
employed a thousand Indians to hunt for them,
are principally to be blamed for this result. The
finer furs, which come chiefly from the Far North,
were out of the reach of these traders, and in
order to make good profits they encouraged the
Indians to hunt at all seasons, the skin of the
buffalo calf, which fetched a good price in the
East, being the favourite purchase. They generally
paid the Indians in liquor—the vilest of "red-eye"
—but, if possible, they paid them only with blows ;
so that their presence was a menace to the country's
welfare, and one of the first pieces of work done GREATER CANADA
by the newly established North-West Mounted
Police was to break up their establishments, which
had become cities of refuge for all the worst
villains in Montana and the Western States.
The fur trade was never so important in the
Western and Pacific States as it was in the
Canadian States. One reason for this was the
lack of the finer furs, which are not found so far
south as a rule ; and then again, after the discovery
of gold in California in 1849, the quest for a gold
or silver mine was the Western pioneer's only
notion of a hunt. Still, many of the Wisconsin
old-timers were fur-traders, and much of the
romance of their life was personified in Pierre Le
Count, a French Canadian by birth, who lately
died at Green Bay, Wisconsin, at the age of ninety-
seven. This old man was probably the last of the
red-shirted, buckskin-breeched French-Canadian
voyageurs and trappers; but seventy-odd years
spent below the Line had made of him a fairly
complete Yankee. One of his many friends—for
during the last ten years of his life he was regarded
as a sort of State monument, and as such frequently visited by those interested in the antiquities of Wisconsin—took notes of his conversation ;
the substance of which notes, in so far as they
concern the present subject, is here set down.
««* i 1
As happens with so many of the Western pioneers,
his was a green old age. It was not till the very
last that he lost his health and good spirits ;
neither was his memory (in which, as in a mirror,
seventy years of life by field and flood were
reflected) dimmed by the course of time.
For some years Le Count worked for the
Canadian companies, but finding that he could
get a better price in the States, and that there
were no restrictions on the fur trade there, he
decided to transfer the scene of his operations to
the territory now called Wisconsin. Fort Dearborn,
where Chicago stands to-day, was then the centre
of the American fur trade. At the time when
Le Count began to hunt and trap for his livelihood,
John Jacob Astor (the second of the name) was
beginning his abortive attempt to corner the fur
trade, not only of the States, but also of Canada.
In the first part of his task he succeeded, but in the
second he failed signally; and the only memento
of his scheming is the name "Astoria " of a small
town in one of the Pacific States.
Asked his most curious experience, this old man
was inclined to put his visit to New York "to see
Jake Astor* in the pride of place as the most
thrilling event of his career. It appears that
Astor's   agent   at  Fort   Dearborn   was   for  ever w
attempting to cut prices down, and in so doing
he made criticisms on Le Count's furs which hurt
the old man—he was young enough then—in his
weak point. That is to say, his pride as a first-
rate hunter was touched. According to Astor's
agent, his beaver was too early (i.e. caught too
soon in the autumn to have the finest natural
gloss); his otter-skin was taken from a drowned
animal, and had lain in the water too long ; his
minks were all "kits," and too small to be worth
the full market price. One year—1828 or 1829,
which he could not remember—happening to have
money saved from the previous season's work, he
made up his mind to visit Astor at New York,
and sell to him directly. Even if he got no more
than the agent offered (so the simple-minded
trapper argued) he would see not only a really
great city, but also a really great man. To the
Western fur-traders of that day, John Jacob Astor
the Second shared with Sir George Simpson the
fame of being the greatest man in the world.
Accordingly, he travelled to Buffalo by boat, thence
to Albany by four-horse stage, and from Albany
by boat down the Hudson, taking with him his
bundle of furs. Arrived at New York, he found
he did not know where Astor lived; but after
many fruitless inquiries a " real nice man" took ROMANCE OF THE FUR TRADE 155
him to Astor's abode, which, to Le Count's vast
surprise, was not a trading-place, but a big, smart-
looking house.
What happened next is best told in the old man's
own words, translated to some extent. " Not
meaning to wilt after coming all that way to see
Jake, I climbed the steps and pulled the knocker.
A man came to the door, and I told him who I
was and what I wanted, and he said Mr. Astor
was not at home. I said I was willing to wait
till he came home, and the man shut the door.
So I sat down on the door-step, and waited till
near on sunset—one, two, three hours. Then I
pulled the knocker again, and the same man
opened the door, and seemed kind of surprised to
see me there still. I asked him again if Astor
was at home, and he laughed like a crazy creature,
and said he didn't think Mr. Astor would ever
come home for me. I stuck it out for another
hour after he shut the door, and then the town-
watch came along, and I told him what I was
waiting for. Then he explained some things which
set me agin Astor for evermore, and I just packed
up my furs and started back for Fort Dearborn
and sold my furs there—but not to Astor's man.
Never dealt with Jake Astor again."
Next to this incident, the most striking thing m
which befell the old trapper was a discovery he
made in 1834.   That year he was trapping along
the   head-waters   of the   Mississippi  (near   Lake
Itaska, as it is now called), and on the bank of a
little creek he found something that puzzled him.
On the little knoll where the underbrush had been
cleared away years before was a soft maple tree.
In one side of the trunk of this tree was sticking
the blade of a very long slender knife.    The blade
had been driven clean through a man's head, and
the skull was still pinned fast to the tree.    There
were a lot of bones on the ground that had been
his body.    Who killed that man, and why, there
was no guessing.    It was not done by an Indian,
for the knife was a fine one—silver handle like
a cross, and carved—and no Indian would have
left his  knife  in  a tree.     It was   driven  in by
some white man, and he hated the man he had
killed   so   badly   that   he   wanted   him   to   stay
there   where   he   was   fastened.    And   the   man
stayed there until the wolves "or other varmints"
had picked his meat off and the bones fell apart.
But there the skull stuck, and rattled when  the
wind began to blow, being a trifle loose-set after
all those years.
Le Count sent the knife to the State of Wisconsin   Historical  Society, in hopes some of the ROMANCE OF THE FUR TRADE 157
members would be able to  dig  up its  history.
But they never solved the puzzle for him.
When old age compelled him to give up active
life, Le Count had a cabin erected on the road
leading west from Suamico, about seventeen miles
north of Green Bay. It stands in a dense grove
of pines and hardwood timber, screened from the
northerly gales by the pine-forest, while to the
south the spires of the little city that was his
birthplace (it was called La Baye then) show
beyond the shining waters. In this cabin he died
as he had lived—alone. One afternoon a neighbour living a mile or so away went to the hut to
see if the old man needed anything. The trapper
was sitting in his big chair, his long-barrelled
muzzle-loader across his knees, and his dog at his
feet. Both were silent and motionless; but while
the dog was asleep, his master was dead. Even
so peacefully, and dreaming, it may be, of some
hunting exploit far away in space and time, died
one of the last—the last of all perhaps—of the
French-Canadian voyageurs.
The boundary-line between the | Barren Grounds I
(or "the Barrens," as they are generally called by
the fur-traders) and the forest region of Canada
is by no means so distinct and regular as the
boundary-line between the tundri or treeless wastes
and the forests of Siberia. The Canadian Barrens
attain their most southerly limit (lat. 5 7°) in
Labrador—a fact which is sufficiently explained
by the position of that peninsula, bounded on
three sides by ice-ridden seas, and perpetually
washed by cold currents out of the high Arctic
seas. On the opposite coasts of the Hudson's Bay
they begin at about 6o° of latitude; and thence
the vanishing point of the forests follows a line
curving upwards to the mouth of the Mackenzie,
where trees are found as high as 68°, or even
higher, along the low, marshy banks of that river.
From the Mackenzie the line curves slightly southward till it reaches Behring's Sea in 650.    If we
include the area of the Arctic islands, which form
so large a part of the Dominion (especially on the
new Canadian two-cent stamp), the area of these
cheerless wastes exceeds a million and a half
square miles.
In point of fact the boundary-line between the
forest region and the Barrens of Canada is as nonexistent as any other line drawn by physical
geographers, for the one merges into the other
almost imperceptibly; and just as portions of the
first are treeless, e.g. much of the south shore of
the Hudson's Bay, so occasional areas of the latter,
e.g. river valleys, the margins of lakes, and sheltered
spots generally, are wooded to some extent. The
influence of the local winds is a most important
factor in the matter. Thus the northerly winds
which prevail throughout the summer months in
Baffin's Bay and Davis's Straits, and fill the northeastern part of the American Archipelago with
rank Arctic ice, are the cause of the very low
temperatures there and the lack of timber; while,
on the other hand, the southerly summer winds
of the Mackenzie valley help to extend the forest
of that favoured region nearly as far as the very
shores of the Arctic Ocean. Athabasca and Saskatchewan owe their possession of fine timber-limits
to the prevalence of the warm western wind or GREATER  CANADA
" chinook," which blows out of the Pacific across
the mountains ; whereas Keewatin—the land " at
the back of the north wind"—has little good
timber, because the chinook never reaches there,
and throughout the settled North-West the difference between the timber on the south or western
and the northern or eastern slopes of rising ground
is always very marked.
Long before the treeless wastes are reached the
forests cease to be forests except by courtesy.
The trees—black and white spruce, the Canadian
larch, and the grey pine, willow, alder, etc.—have
an appearance of youth; so that the traveller
would hardly suppose them to be more than a few
years old at first sight. Really this juvenile appearance is a species of second childhood; for on
the shores of the Great Bear Lake four centuries
are necessary for the growth of a trunk not as
thick as a man's wrist. The explanation of this
fact is that the summer is so short that, though
fresh shoots are brought forth each season, there
is no time for the formation of new wood. The
further north the more lamentably decrepit becomes
the appearance of these woodlands, until presently
their sordidness is veiled by thick growths of grey
lichens—the "caribou moss," as it is called—which
clothe the trunks and hang down from the shrivelled THE BARREN  GROUNDS
boughs.   And still further north the trees become
mere stunted stems, set with blighted buds that
have never been able to develop themselves into
branches; until, finally, the last vestiges of arboreal
growth take refuge under a thick carpet of lichens
and mosses, the characteristic vegetation of the
Barren Grounds.
Nothing more dismal than the winter aspect of
these wastes   can   be   imagined.     The   Northern
forests are silent enough in winter-time, but the
silence of the Barren Grounds is far more profound.
Even   in   the   depths   of  mid-winter  the   North-
Western bush has voices and is full of animal life.
The barking cry of the crows (these birds are the
greatest imaginable nuisance to the trapper, whose
baits they steal even before his back is turned) is
still heard ; the snow-birds and other small-winged
creatures are never quiet between sunset and sunrise ; the jack-rabbit, whose black bead-like  eye
betrays   his  presence   among  the   snow-drifts  in
spite of his snow-white fur,  is common  enough;
and the child-like wailing of the coyotes is heard
every night.    But with the exception of the shriek
of the snow-owl or the yelping of a fox emerged
from his lair, there is no sound of life during seven
or eight or nine months of winter on the Barren
Grounds; unless the traveller is able to hear the
M 162
rushing sound—some can hear it, others cannot
of the shifting Northern lights.
In May, however, when the snows melt and th
swamps begin to thaw, the Barren Grounds become
full of life. To begin with, the sky is literally
darkened with enormous flights of wildfowl, whom
instinct brings from the southern reaches of the
Mississippi and its tributaries to these sub-Arctic
wildernesses, where they find an abundance of
food, and at the same time build their nests and
rear their young in safety. The snow-geese are
the first to arrive; next come the common and
eider-duck; after them the great northern black-
and-red-throated divers; and last of all the pintail and the long-tail ducks. Some of these go
no further than just beyond the outskirts of the
forest region; others, flying further northward, lay
their eggs in the open on the moss. Eagles and
hawks prey on these migratory hosts ; troops of
ptarmigan (which the writer has seen as far south
as Saskatchewan; they are said to go to no place
where the mercury does not freeze) seek food
among the stunted willows on the shores of the
lakes and sloughs; and in sunny weather the
snow-bunting's song is heard.
As soon as the first frosts of September begin,
11 these birds (with the exception of the ptarmigan, THE BARREN GROUNDS
whose presence in the settled parts of North-West
Territories is regarded as proof of an extraordinarily severe Arctic winter) depart for the South,
the long-tail ducks being the first to leave, and
the snow-geese the last.
Soon after the arrival of the migratory birds
the wilderness becomes newly clothed in green
and grey. The snow, which never once thaws
during the long winter, forms a safe protection for
vegetable life. Snow is one of the worst conductors
of heat known, and no blanket of eiderdown or
" robe' of lynx-tails (these make the prettiest and
warmest and one of the most costly of coverlets
used by Hudson's Bay Company officers) could
protect the plant-life of the Far North as well as
the four or five feet of snow which cover these
Barren Grounds. Thus, when the temperature of
the air is — 400 F., that of the ground beneath the
snow may be not colder than two or three degrees
below freezing-point (32° F.), a fact which the
writer himself has frequently verified.
As soon as the lengthening summer's day has
thawed this coverlet of snows, vegetation comes
on at a surprising rate—a week's sunshine on the
wet soil completely transforming the aspect of the
country. It is then that the caribou leave their
winter quarters in the forest region—these animals
are found in winter wherever the "caribou moss,"
on which they feed and which resemble them
in colour, is found—and journey to the Barren
Grounds, where the female brings forth her young.
Just as the prairies might have been called
" Buffalo-land " thirty years ago, and the intervening
enforested' country may still be styled "Moose-
land"—not that the moose is nearly so common
in Saskatchewan and Athabasca as it was before
the rebellion of 1885 opened up that country—so
from the hunter's point of view "Caribou-land"
would be an exceedingly apt name for the tundri
of Greater Canada. Only the Indians and the
Esquimaux (the former living on the confines of
the forests, and the latter along the far Arctic
coasts) visit these territories, and but for the
presence of the vast herds of caribou it is pretty
certain that such mosquito-haunted wastes—like
the mosquitoes of the Yukon placer-miners, those
of the Barren Grounds "seem big as rabbits, and
able to bite at both ends "—would never be trodden
by man. It is true that the musk-ox is an important inhabitant of the wastes, but the numbers
of that strange beast, which seems to be half-
sheep, half-ox, are not nearly so great, and there
are reasons to believe that it is being slowly but
surely  driven   from   its   ancient pastures by the
caribou, just as, in so many parts of the world,
the nations of the antelope have receded before
the deer-tribes. Not enough is known either of
the habits of the musk-oxen or of the caribou to
say why the caribou is getting the best of the
struggle for existence; but that they are gradually
forcing the others towards the floes appears to be
unquestionable. No doubt the process is just
another instance of the survival of the fittest (some
third and unknown factor determining which of
the two is the fitter), and, so far as the old world
is concerned, has been completed hundreds, perhaps
thousands, of years ago; for no musk-oxen have
ever been found living either in European Russia
or in Siberia, whereas fossil remains of the same
or a very analogous species abound on either side
of the Urals. However, there are parts of the
Barren Grounds (particularly the inner coast-line
of the Labradorian Peninsula, where Mr. A. P.
Low saw a herd which he estimated to number
thirty thousand!) where musk-oxen are still very
numerous even in these latter days.
The caribou is, of course, the same animal as
the reindeer of the Old World ; unlike the reindeer,
however, it has never been domesticated and used
as a beast of burden. The Locheux Indians have
often been asked why they do not tame the caribou; but a superstitious fear that to do so would cause
them to desert the country forthwith, together with
an aversion to exchange the hunter's existence for
a pastoral life, has hitherto prevented the experiment. Apparently, also, the caribou has neither
the same intelligence nor even the pulling strength
of the reindeer proper; as may be guessed from
the fact that "strong as a moose" and "cute as
a bear" are not less common expressions among
the trappers and hunters of the Far North than
the odious comparison, "stupid as a caribou."
Without taking such sayings too seriously, it may
be said that no beast more readily falls a victim
to the hunters, who despise it accordingly.
In the winter the caribou frequents the sub-
Arctic forests, living on the "caribou moss" and
the lichens beneath the snow. One of the most
surprising traits in the creature's character is its
instinct for finding hidden stores of such food.
Having first made sure that the moss lies below
by thrusting the muzzle beneath the surface of
the snow, the caribou sets to work with its forefeet
until a sufficient pasturage has been dug out—a
habit which renders the winter tracking of caribou
a very simple matter. They are found in wintertime as far south as Athabasca and the northern
half of British Columbia, while they used to be THE BARREN  GROUNDS
astonishingly plentiful at that season in Alaska
and along the head-waters of the Yukon, until
the influx of miners and prospectors frightened
them away.
In the summer the caribou migrate to the Barren
Grounds, which are, as has been pointed out, their
breeding-grounds. Even in winter, though necessarily dispersed here and there through the forests
in search of food, they run in herds often numbering many hundreds; but when their forces are
collected for the spring migration, the strength of
the herd is almost incredible. Thus at " Caribou
Crossing " on the Upper Yukon, herds estimated at
from fifty to ninety thousand used to be seen every
season bv the Hudson's Bay servants stationed at
Fort Selkirk in the early fifties ; and even in these
latter days—"these game-forsaken days," as the
writer once heard an old-timer call them—herds
many thousand strong are annually seen passing
across the eastern verge of the Mackenzie valley-
forest to the plains about the Hudson's Bay and
the Great Bear and Great Slave Lakes. They
keep to the same routes year after year, and these
trails (which are often indicated by the Indian
place-names, one or two of which appear on the
maps) may easily be traced by the bones of
those who have fallen on the march, victims either ill
W. ft K:     :
to disease or to the teeth and bullets of their
arch enemies, the wolverine and the Chipewyan
The number of caribou skins taken annually by
the North-Western traders (of which the Hudson's
Bay Company buys two-thirds) exceeds eighty
thousand. This number does not include those
used by Indian and other hunters and trappers for
their own clothing. It would therefore appear that
the foregoing statistics are not merely "hunters'
tales," but must have a foundation in fact.
It is not easy to obtain reliable information
regarding the habits of the caribou in its summer
pastures. The Indian or half-breed hunter is not
a trained naturalist, and about the only habit of
the animal in which he takes any particular
interest is its habit of occasionally passing down
his throat — as the writer has heard it said.
Nevertheless, a few facts of interest are obtainable.
Thus the wolverine or American glutton, by far
the largest of the weasel tribe, is the caribou's
natural enemy. Curious yarns are told of this
creature's appetite for caribou-meat, but the plain
truth is that, like most of his tribe, he only eats
the flesh of his quarry when he cannot get his fill
of fresh blood. Wolverines follow and prey on
the herds throughout the winter, a single wolverine THE  BARREN  GROUNDS
often killing half a dozen in a day, and leaving
each carcase as soon as he has sucked out as
much fresh bright blood as he cares for at the
time being. He is, in fact, rather a gourmand
than a glutton.
The caribou is said to "carry his scent" in the
cleft of the hoof; so that the wolverine is able to
track him over naked soil very much as a stoat
hunts a hare in the mother country. In May,
however, the female altogether loses her scent, and
is thus .able to elude her enemy in the Barren
Grounds and bring forth her calf in peace and
security—which may be a mere consequence, as
the savants tell us, of the law of natural selection ;
but by those simple-minded Scotchmen, whose
faith has been strengthened by a life spent in
the Far North, is always quoted as a signal instance of the merciful foresight of an Almighty
As has already been hinted, there is little sport
in caribou-shooting. The caribou is easily approached, and when fired at jumps to and fro as
though undecided what to do. It will then run a
short distance, but just as likely towards the hunter
as from him, stop again and again, and finally (after
a number of false starts, and perhaps not until
many of its companions have been killed) will go
off on a continuous run. Once a herd of caribou
begin to run they will not stop till forty or fifty
miles have been covered. When the Indians find
a herd they surround it, gradually contracting the
circle thus formed, until they are within gunshot;
and the caribou, too timid to take the chance of
escaping by a sudden rush, allow themselves to
be killed wholesale. Another plan is to build a
V-shaped fence at the head of some convenient
valley, and the herd, being driven along the valley,
find their retreat to the uplands barred, and, not
daring to charge and break down the obstacle, are
sometimes slaughtered to a beast. As happened
in the case of the buffalo, the Indians often kill
far more than they can use, slaying for slaughter's
sake, and without the excuse either of the wolverine
(who is artistic in his diet), or of the old-time
buffalo-runner, who cared for no part of the buffalo
but the "robe" and tongue. Generally in the
latter half of the winter the caribou is so poor in
condition as to be absolutely worthless; and in
summer a species of gad-fly which lays its eggs
under the hide (with the result that the whole of
the flesh is full of larvae) often renders his meat
useless, except to those who have nothing better to
eat than their own, or even their companions', skin
breeches and moccasins.   Nevertheless, the Indians \
will kill them under these circumstances, or when
heavy with young, in spite of the orders of
the Hudson's Bay Company, whose officers have
always, unlike the "free-traders," done all in
their power for the preservation of game in their
Just as the Indians of the Great Plains (Sioux,
Blackfeet, etc.) depended mainly on buffalo-running
for their livelihood and clothing; and just as the
Indians of the forest-region (the Crees and lesser
stocks) were and are moose-hunters,—so the Chipe-
wyans of the north (the Locheux in the furthest
north-east and north-west,* the Chipewyans proper
in the centre of the Mackenzie Basin, and the
Beavers of the Peace Country, are the chief branches
of that race) are first and last and by force of
environment, caribou-hunters. In their original
condition they were purely nomadic, the difficulty
of finding food in sufficient quantities for any
length of time making it necessary for them to
split up into very small bands and wander over
the great spaces of country. The Hudson's Bay
Company, by providing a constant market for furs,
and  helping  these small bands  with  food   and
* By some authorities the Locheux are classed as a race apart;
a classification supported by a study of their language and racial
customs. 1
medicines in times of want and disease, have to a
certain extent improved their condition ; and in the
case of the North-Western Locheux (those, that
is, who live in the territories drained by the Peel
River and the Yukon and its tributaries) the
advent of the placer-miners has transformed their
existence not altogether for the better. On the
Mackenzie, however, the Chipewyans live very
much as they did before the coming of "The
Company." During the winter, when they sojourn
on the limits of the forest as a rule, they seldom
remain in the same camp for more than a week
at a time ; for whenever the caribou within hunting
distance (say within a radius of eight or ten miles
from camp) are slain or frightened away, it becomes
absolutely necessary to move on. The custom is
for the men to take the lead, " breaking track | as
they go, and for the women and children to follow,
hauling along the tepees and the band's other
possessions (a few pots and pans, a few robes and
furs, and little besides) on sleighs. On arriving
at the spot selected for the camp, each man marks
on the snow the place for his lodge, and sets off
forthwith in search of game, while the squaws clear
away the snow, chop fuel, and prepare a meal
against the men's return. If game is found, all
goes merrily till it is eaten and there ceases to be THE BARREN GROUNDS
anything within hunting distance. If not, after a
night's rest the doleful march through the snow is
resumed. The average winter temperature of the
Mackenzie Basin is — 200 F.; so that this method
of life does not tend to length of days, and soon
kills off those who are affected with any physical
In summer these bands often follow the caribou
to the Barren Grounds, but such is not their invariable custom. It is generally necessary for the
hunters to visit one or other of the Hudson's Bay
Company forts to sell their furs, and time for
summer hunting is not always left. And if they
enter the Barren Grounds they do not go in for
further than a few days' journey, following some
water-route ; so that except for the inland boundaries and those to seaward, where the Esquimaux
live, these endless wastes are left as a sanctuary for
their four-footed and winged visitors.
Unless mineral discoveries are made in the
Barren Grounds it is unlikely that permanent
habitations of men will arise there. As to the
possibility or probability of such discoveries, it is
impossible to speak to any purpose. Stories are,
however, current as to the existence of auriferous
sands in the country between the Mackenzie and
the Bay, and as some of these were told in the 174
North-West before the Klondike was spoken of,
there may be something in them after all. As
yet, however, the Barren Grounds cannot be recommended as a likely field for prospectors—in spite
of the discoveries in Siberia !
wfrc-wy^i jp-nMj ~- APPENDICES IM-V APPENDIX   A
Granted a.d. 1670
Charles the Second, by the grace of God, King of
England, Scotland, France and Ireland, defender of the
faith, &c, to all to whom these presents shall come,
greeting :
Whereas our dear and entirely beloved cousin, Prince
Rupert, Count Palatine of the Rhine, Duke of Bavaria
and Cumberland, &c.; Christopher, Duke of Albemarle;
William, Earl of Craven; Henry, Lord Arlington;
Anthony, Lord Ashley; Sir John Robinson, and Sir
Robert Vyner, Knights and Baronets; Sir Peter Colleton,
Baronet; Sir Edward Hungerford, Knight of the Bath ;
Sir Paul Neele, Knight; Sir John Griffith and Sir
Philip Carteret, Knights; James Hayes, John Kirke,
Francis Millington, William Prettyman, John Fenn,
Esquires; and John Portman, Citizen and Goldsmith of
London; have, at their own great cost and charges,
undertaken an expedition for Hudson's Bay, in the
north-west part of America, for the discovery of a new
passage into the South Sea, and for the finding some
trade for furs, minerals and other considerable commodities, and by such, their undertaking, have already
made such discoveries as do encourage them to proceed
further in pursuance of their said design, by means
whereof there may probably arise very great advantage
to us and our kingdom: And, whereas the said undertakers for their further encouragement in the said design,
have humbly besought us to incorporate them, and grant
unto them and their successors the sole trade and
commerce of all those seas, straits, bays, rivers, lakes,
creeks and sounds, in whatsoever latitude they shall be,
that lie within the entrance of the straits, commonly
called Hudson's Straits, together with all the lands,
countries and territories upon the coasts and confines of
the seas, straits, bays, lakes, rivers, creeks and sounds,
aforesaid, which are not now actually possessed by any
of our subjects, or by the subjects of any other Christian
Prince or State. Now Know Ye, that we, being desirous
to promote all endeavors tending to the public good of
our people, and to encourage the said undertaking,
have of our special grace, certain knowledge and mere
motion, given, granted, ratified and confirmed, and
by these presents, for us, our heirs and successors, do
give, grant, ratify and confirm unto our said cousin,
Prince Rupert, Christopher, Duke of Albemarle; William,
Earl of Craven; Henry, Lord Arlington; Anthony,
Lord Ashley; Sir John Robinson, Sir Robert Vyner,
Sir Peter Colleton, Sir Edward Hungerford, Sir Paul
Neele, Sir John Griffith and Sir Philip Carteret, James
Hayes, John Kirke, Francis Millington, William Pretty-
man, John Fenn and John Portman, that they, and
such others as shall be admitted into the said society as APPENDIX A
is hereafter expressed, shall be one body, corporate and
politic, in deed and in name, by the name of | The
Governor and Company of Adventurers of England,
trading into Hudson's Bay," and them by the name of
the I Governor and Company of Adventurers of England, trading into Hudson's Bay" one body corporate
and politic, in deed and in name, really and fully forever,
for us, our heirs and successors, we do make, ordain,
constitute, establish, confirm and declare by these
presents, and that by the name of | Governor and
Company of Adventurers of England, trading into
Hudson's Bay," they shall have perpetual succession,
and that they and their successors, by the name
of "The Governor and Company of Adventurers of
England, trading into Hudson's Bay," be, and at all
times hereafter shall be, personable and capable in law,
to have, purchase, receive, possess, enjoy and retain
lands, rents, privileges, liberties, jurisdictions, franchises
and hereditaments, of what kind, nature or quality soever
they may be, to them and their successors; and also to
give, grant, demise, alien, assign and dispose lands,
tenements and hereditaments, and to do and execute all
and singular other things by the same name that to them
shall or may appertain to do; and that they and their
successors, by the name of " The Governor and Company
of Adventurers of England, trading into Hudson's Bay,"
may plead and be impleaded, answer and be answered,
defend and be defended, in whatsoever courts and
places, before whatsoever judges and justices, and other
persons and officers, in all and singular actions, pleas,
suits, quarrels, causes and demands whatsoever, of whatsoever kind, nature or sort, in such manner and form as i8o
any other our liege people of this our realm of England,
being persons able and capable in law, may or can have,
purchase, receive, possess,  enjoy, retain, give,  grant,
demise, alien,  assign,  dispose, plead, defend and be
defended, do permit and execute;   and that the said
i Governor and Company of Adventurers of England,
trading into Hudson's Bay," and their successors may
have a common seal to serve for all the causes and
businesses of them and their successors, and that it shall
and may be lawful to the said Governor and Company and
their successors, the same seal, from time to time, at their
will and pleasure, to break, change, and to make anew
or alter, as to them shall seem expedient.    And further,
we will, and by these presents, for us, our heirs and
successors, we do ordain that theie-shalLbe from-hence-
forth  one of the same Company, to be elected _and
appointed in such form as hereafter in these presents is
expressed, which shall be called the Governor of the
said Company; and that the said Governor and Com-
gany, shall or may elect seven of their number, in such
form as hereafter in these presents is expressed, which
shall be called the Committee of the said Company,
which  Committee  of  seven,  or   any three of  them,
together with the Governor or Deputy-Governor of the
said Company for the time being, shall have the direction
of the voyages of and for the said Company, and the
provision of the shipping and merchandises thereunto
belonging, and also the sale of all merchandises, goods
and other things returned, in all or any of the voyages
or ships of or for the said Company, and the managing
and handling of all other business, affairs and things
belonging to the said Company.   And we will, ordain, \
and grant by these presents, for us, our heirs and
successors, unto the said Governor and Company, and
their successors, that they the said Governor and Company and their successors shall from henceforth, forever
be ruled, ordered and governed, according to such
manner and form as is hereafter in these presents
expressed, and not otherwise; and that they shall have,
hold, retain and enjoy the grants, liberties, privileges,
jurisdictions, and immunities only hereafter in these
presents granted and expressed, and no other : And for
the better execution of our will and grant in this behalf,
we have assigned, nominated, constituted and made, and
by these presents, for us, our heirs and successors, we do
assign, nominate, constitute and make our said cousin,
Prince Rupert, to be the first and present Governor of
the said Company, and to continue in the said office,
from the date of these presents until the ioth November
then next following, if he, the said Prince Rupert, shall
so long live, and so until a new Governor be chosen by
the said Company, in form hereafter expressed: And
also we have assigned, nominated and appointed, and
by these presents, for us, our heirs and successors, we
do assign, nominate and constitute, the said Sir John
Robinson, Sir Robert Vyner, Sir Peter Colleton, James
Hayes, John Kirke, Francis Millington and John Port-
man, to be the seven first and present Committees of the
said Company, from the date of these presents until the
said ioth day of November then also next following, and
so until new Committees shall be chosen in form hereafter expressed : And further we will and grant by these
presents, for us, our heirs and successors, unto the said
Governor and Company, and their successors, that it shall and may be lawful to and for the said Governor
and Company for the time being, or the greater part of
them present at any public assembly, commonly called
the Court General, to be holden for the said Company,
the Governor of the said Company being always one,
from time to time to elect, nominate and appoint one of
the said Company to be Deputy to the said Governor,
which Deputy shall take a corporal oath, before the
Governor and three or more of the Committee of the
said Company for the time being, well, truly and faithfully to execute his said office of Deputy to the Governor
of the said Company, and after his oath so taken shall
and may from time to time in the absence of the said
Governor, exercise and execute the office of Governor
of the said Company, in such sort as the said Governor
ought to do: And further we will and grant by these
presents, for us, our heirs and successors, unto the said
Governor and Company of Adventurers of England
trading into Hudson's Bay, and their successors, that
they, or the greater part of them, whereof the Governor
for the time being or his Deputy to be one, from time to
time, and at all times hereafter, shall and may have
authority and power, yearly and every year, between the
first and last day of November, to assemble and meet
together in some convenient place, to be appointed from
time to time by the Governor, or in his absence by the
Deputy of the said Governor for the time being, and
that they being so assembled, it shall and may be lawful
to and for the said Governor or Deputy of the said
Governor, and the said Company for the time being, or
the greater part of them which then shall happen to be
present, whereof the Governor of the said Company or APPENDIX A
his Deputy for the time being to be one, to elect and
nominate one of the said Company, which shall be
Governor of the said Company for one whole year then
next following, which person being so elected and
nominated to be Governor of the said Company as is
aforesaid, before he be admitted to the execution of the
said office, shall take a corporal oath before the last
Governor, being his predecessor or his Deputy, and any
three or more of the Committee of the said Company
for the time being, that he shall from time to time well
and truly execute the office of Governor of the said
Company in all things concerning the same; and that
immediately after the same oath so taken, he shall and
may execute and use the said office of Governor of the
said Company for one whole year from thence next
following: And in like sort we will and grant, that as
well, every one of the above-named to be of the said
Company, or Fellowship, as all others hereafter to be
admitted or free of the said Company, shall take a
corporal oath before the Governor of the said Company
or his Deputy for the time being, to such effect as by
the said Governor and Company, or the greater part of
them, in any public Court to be held for the said
Company, shall be in reasonable or legal manner set
down and devised, before they shall be allowed or
admitted to trade or traffic as a freeman of the said
Company: And further we will and grant by these
presents, for us, our heirs and successors, unto the said
Governor and Company, and their successors, that the
said Governor or Deputy-Governor, and the rest of the
said Company, and their successors for the time being,
or the greater part of them, whereof the Governor or
i 184
Deputy-Governor from time to time to be one, shall and
may from time to time, and at all times hereafter, have
power and authority, yearly and every year, between the
first and last day of November, to assemble and meet
together in some convenient place, from time to time to
be appointed by the said Governor of the said Company,
or in his absence, by his Deputy; and that they being so
assembled, it shall and may be lawful to and for the said
Governor or his Deputy, and the Company for the time
being, or the greater part of them, which then shall
happen to be present, whereof the Governor of the said
Company or his Deputy for the time being to be one, to
elect and nominate seven of the said Company, which
shall be a Committee of the said Company for one
whole year from the next ensuing, which persons being
so elected and nominated to be a Committee of the said
Company as aforesaid, before they be admitted to the
execution of their office, shall take a corporal oath
before the Governor or his Deputy, and any three or
more of the said Committee of the said Company, being
their last predecessors, that they and every of them shall
and faithfully perform their said office of Committees in
all things concerning the same, and that immediately
after the said oath so taken, they shall and may execute
and use their said office of Committees of the said
Company, for one whole year from thence next following : And moreover our will and pleasure is, and by
these presents, for us, our heirs and successors, we do
grant unto the said Governor and Company, and their
successors, that when and as often as it shall happen the
Governor or Deputy-Governor of the said Company, for
the time being, at any time within one year after that he APPENDIX A
shall be nominated, elected and sworn to the office of
the Governor of the said Company, as is aforesaid, to die
orlto be removed from the said office, which Governor
or Deputy-Governor, not demeaning himself well in his
said office, we will to be removable at the pleasure of
the rest of the said Company, or the greater part of them
which shall be present at their public assemblies, commonly
called their general courts, holden for the said Company,
that then and so often, it shall and may be lawful to and
for the residue of the said Company, for the time being,
or the greater part of them, within a convenient time
after the death or removing of any such Governor or
Deputy-Governor, to assemble themselves in such convenient place as they shall think fit, for the election of
the Governor or Deputy-Governor, of the said Company;
and that the said Company, or the greater part of them,
being then and there present, shall and may, then and
there, before their departure from the said place, elect
and nominate one other of the said Company to be
Governor or Deputy-Governor for the said Company, in
the place and stead of him that so died or was removed;
which person, being so elected and nominated to the
office of Governor or Deputy-Governor of the said
Company, shall have and exercise the said office for and
during the residue of the said year, taking first a corporal
oath, as is aforesaid, for the due execution thereof; and
this to be done from time to time so often as the case
shall so require: And also, our will and pleasure is, and
by these presents for us, our heirs and successors, we do
grant unto the said Governor and Company, that when,
and as often as it shall happen, any person or persons of
the Committee of the said Company, for the time being,
j^^ " Wf
at any time within one year next after that they or any
of them shall be nominated, elected and sworn to the
office of Committee of the said Company, as is aforesaid,
to die or be removed from the said office, which Committees not demeaning themselves well in their said
office, we will to be removable at the pleasure of the
said Governor and Company, or the greater part of
them, whereof the Governor of the said Company, for
the time being, or his Deputy, to be one, that then and
so often, it shall and may be lawful to and for the said
Governor, and the rest of the Company for the time
being, or the greater part of them, whereof the Governor,
for the time being, or his Deputy to be one, within
convenient time after the death or removing of any of
the said Committee, to assemble themselves in such
convenient place as is or shall be usual and accustomed
for the election of the Governor of the said Company,
or where else the Governor of the said Company, for the
time being, or his Deputy shall appoint: And that the
said Governor and Company, or the greater part of
them, whereof the Governor, for the time being, or his
Deputy to be one, being then and there present, shall
and may, then and there, before their departure from
the said place, elect and nominate one or more of the
said Company to be of the Committee of the said
Company in the place and stead of him or them that
so died, or were or was so removed, which person or
persons so nominated and elected to the office of Committee of the said Company, shall have and exercise the
said office for and during the residue of the said year,
taking first a corporal oath, as is aforesaid, for the due
execution thereof, and this to be done from time to APPENDIX A
time, so often as the case shall require : And to the end
the said Governor and Company of Adventurers of
England, trading into Hudson's Bay, may be encouraged
to undertake and effectually to prosecute the said design,
of our more especial grace, certain knowledge, and mere
motion, we have given, granted, and confirmed, and by
these presents for us, our heirs and successors, do give,
grant and confirm, unto the said Governor and Company,
and their successors, the sole trade and commerce of all
those seas, straits, bays, rivers, lakes, creeks and sounds,
in whatsoever latitude they shall be, that lie within the
entrance of the straits commonly called Hudson's Straits,
together with all the lands and territories upon the
countries, coasts, and confines of the seas, bays, lakes,
rivers, creeks, and sounds aforesaid, that are not already
actually possessed by or granted to any of our subjects,
or possessed by the subjects of any other Christian
Prince or State, with the fishing of all sorts of fish,
whales, sturgeons, and all other royal fishes in the seas,
bays, inlets, and rivers within the premises, and the fish
therein taken, together with the royalty of the sea upon
the coasts within the limits aforesaid, and all mines
royal, as well discovered as not discovered, of gold,
silver, gems, and precious stones, to be found or discovered within the territories, limits and places aforesaid,
and that the said land be from henceforth reckoned and
reputed as one of our plantations or colonies in America,
called " Rupert's Land :" And further, we do, by these
presents for us, our heirs and successors, make, create
and constitute the said Governor and Company, for the
time being, and their successors, the true and absolute
lords and proprietors of the same territory, limits and
s& I!
places aforesaid, and of all other the premises, saving
always the faith, allegiance and sovereign dominion due
to us, our heirs and successors, for the same, to have,
hold, possess and enjoy the said territory, limits and
places, and all and singular other the premises, hereby
granted as aforesaid, with their and every of their rights,
members, jurisdictions, prerogatives, royalties and appurtenances whatsoever, to them, the said Governor and
Company, and their successors for ever, to be holden of
us, our heirs and successors, as of our manor of East
Greenwich, in our county of Kent, in free and common
soccage, and not in capite or by knight's service; yielding and paying yearly to us, our heirs and successors, for
the same, two elks and two black beavers, whensoever
and as often as we, our heirs and successors, shall happen
to enter into the said countries, territories and regions
hereby granted: And further, our will and pleasure is,
and by these presents for us, our heirs and successors,
we do grant unto the said Governor and Company, and
to their successors, that it shall and may be lawful to
and for the said Governor and Company, and to their
successors, from time to time, to assemble themselves,
for or about any the matters, causes, affairs or businesses
of the said trade, in any place or places for the same
convenient, within our dominions or elsewhere, and
there to hold court for the said Company, and the affairs
thereof; and that also, it shall and may be lawful to
and for them, and the greater part of them, being so
assembled, and that shall then and there be present, in
any such place or places, whereof the Governor or his
Deputy, for the time being, to be one, to make, ordain
and   constitute   such   and   so  many  reasonable   laws, Aft
constitutions, orders and ordinances as to them, or the
greater part of them, being then and there present, shall
seem necessary and convenient for the good  government of the said Company, and of all governors  of
colonies, forts and plantations, factors, masters, mariners,
and other officers employed, or to be employed, in any
of the territories and lands aforesaid, and in any of their
voyages;   and for the better   advancement  and  continuance of the said trade or traffic, and plantations, and
the same laws, constitutions, orders and ordinances so
made, to put in, use and execute accordingly, and at
their pleasure to revoke and alter the same, or any of
them, as the occasion shall require; and that the said
Governor and Company, so often as they shall make,
ordain, or establish any such laws, constitutions, orders
and ordinances, in such form as aforesaid, shall and may
lawfully impose, ordain, limit, and provide such pains,
penalties, and punishments upon all offenders, contrary
to such laws, constitutions, orders and ordinances, or
any of them, as to the said Governor and Company, for
the time being, or the greater part of them, then and
there being present, the said Governor or his Deputy
being always one, shall seem  necessary, requisite,  or
convenient for the observation of the same laws, constitutions, orders, and ordinances;  and the same fines
and amerciaments shall and may, by their officers and
servants, from time to time to be appointed for that
purpose, levy, take and have, to the use of the said
Governor and Company, and their successors, without
the impediment of us, our heirs, or successors, or of any
the officers or ministers of us, our heirs, or successors,
and without any account therefor to us, our heirs, or mM
successors, to be made: All and singular which laws,
constitutions, orders and ordinances, so as aforesaid to be
made, we will to be duly observed and kept under the
pains and penalties therein to be contained; so always
as the said laws, constitutions, orders and ordinances,
fines and amerciaments, be reasonable, and not contrary
or repugnant, but as near as may be agreeable to the
laws, statutes or customs of this our realm : And furthermore, of our ample and abundant grace, certain knowledge and mere motion, we have granted, and by these
presents, for us, our heirs and successors, do grant unto
the said Governor and Company, and their successors,
that they and their successors, and their factors, servants,
and agents, for them and on their behalf, and not otherwise, shall forever hereafter have, use and enjoy, not
only the whole, entire and only trade and traffic, and the
whole, entire and only liberty, use and privilege of
trading and trafficking to and from the territories, limits,
and places aforesaid; but also the whole and entire
trade and traffic to and from all havens, bays, creeks,
rivers, lakes and seas, into which they shall find entrance
or passage by water or land out of the territories, limits
or places aforesaid jj and to and with all the natives and
people inhabiting, or which shall inhabit within the
territories, limits and places aforesaid; and to and with
all other nations inhabiting any of the coasts adjacent
to the said territories, limits and places which are
not already possessed as aforesaid, or whereof the sole
liberty or privilege of trade and traffic is not granted to
any other of our subjects: And we, of our further royal
favor, and of our more especial grace, certain knowledge
and mere motion, have granted, and by these presents, APPENDIX A
for us, our heirs and successors, do grant to the said
Governor and Company, and to their successors, that
neither the said territories, limits and places, hereby
granted as aforesaid, nor any part thereof, nor the
islands, havens, ports, cities, towns, or places thereof,
or therein contained, shall be visited, frequented, or
haunted by any of the subjects of us, our heirs,
or successors, contrary to the true meaning of these
presents, and by virtue of our prerogative royal, which
we will not have in that behalf argued or brought into
question: We strictly charge, command and prohibit for us,
our heirs and successors, all the subjects of us, our heirs
and successors, of what degree or quality soever they be,
that none of them, directly or indirectly, do visit, haunt,
frequent or trade, traffic, or adventure, by way of
merchandise, into or from any of the said territories,
limits or places hereby granted, or any, or either of them,
other than the said Governor and Company, and such
particular persons as now be, or hereafter shall be, of
that Company, their agents, factors and assigns, unless
it be by the license and agreement of the said Governor
and Company, in writing first had and obtained, under the
common seal, to be granted, upon pain that every such
person or persons that shall trade or traffic into or from
any of the countries, territories or limits aforesaid, other
than the said Governor and Company, and their
successors, shall incur our indignation, and the forfeiture
and loss of the goods, merchandise, and other things
whatsoever, which so shall be brought into this realm of
England, or any of the dominions of the same, contrary
to our said prohibition, or the purport or true meaning of
these presents, for which the said Governor and Company
dm 192
shall find, take and seize in other places out of our
dominions,   where   the   said   Company,  their   agents,
factors or ministers, shall trade, traffic, or inhabit, by
virtue of these our letter patent, as also the ship and
ships, with the furniture thereof, wherein such goods,
merchandises, and other things, shall be brought and
found, the one-half of all the said forfeitures to be to
us, our heirs and successors, and the other half thereof
we do by these presents clearly and wholly, for us, our
heirs and successors, give  and   grant unto the said
Governor and Company, and their successors:   And
further, all and every the said offenders, for the said
contempt, to suffer such other punishment as to us, our
heirs and successors, for so high a contempt, shall seem
meet and convenient, and not to be in any wise delivered
until they and every one of them shall become bound
into the said Governor for the time being, in the sum of
one thousand pounds at the least, at no time thereafter
to trade or traffic into any of the said places, seas, straits,
bays, ports, havens, or territories aforesaid, contrary to
our express commandment in that behalf set down and
published: And further, of our more especial grace, we
have condescended and granted, and by these presents,
for us, our heirs and successors, do grant unto the said
Governor and Company, and their successors, that we,
our heirs and successors, will not grant liberty, license
or power to any person or persons whatsoever, contrary
to the tenor of these our letters patent, to trade, traffic,
or inhabit, unto or upon any the territories, limits or
places afore specified, contrary to the true meaning of
these presents, without the consent of the said Governor
and Company, or the most part of them: And, of our APPENDIX A
more abundant grace and favor to the said Governor
and Company, we do hereby declare our will and
pleasure to be, that if it shall so happen that any of the
persons free or to be free of the said Company of
Adventurers of England trading into Hudson's Bay, who
shall, before the going forth of any ship or ships appointed
for a voyage or otherwise, promise or agree, by writing
under his or their hands, to adventure any sum or sums
of money towards the furnishing any provision or
maintenance of any voyage or voyages, set forth, or to
be set forth, or intended or meant to be set forth, by the
said Governor and Company, or the more part of them
present at any public assembly, commonly called their
general court, shall not within the space of twenty days
next after warning given to him or them by the said
Governor or Company, or their known officer or minister,
bring in and deliver to the Treasurer or Treasurers,
appointed for the Company, such sums of money as shall
have been expressed and set down in writing by the said
person or persons, subscribed with the name of said
adventurer or adventurers,'that then and at all times after
it shall and may be lawful to and for the said Governor
and Company, or the more part of them present, whereof
the said Governor or his Deputy to be one, at any of
their general courts or general assemblies, to remove and
disfranchise him or them, and every such person and
persons at their wills and pleasures, and he or they so
removed and disfranchised, not to be permitted to trade
into the countries, territories, and limits aforesaid, or any
part thereof, nor to have any adventure or stock going
or remaining with or amongst the said Company, without
the special license of the said Governor and Company,
mm 194
or the more part of them present at any General Court,
first had and obtained in that behalf, any thing before in
these presents to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding : And our will and pleasure is, and hereby
we do also ordain, that it shall and may be lawful to and
for the said Governor and Company, or the greater part
of them, whereof the Governor for the time being or his
Deputy to be one, to admit into and to be of the said
Company all such servants and factors, of or for the said
Company, and all such others as to them or the most
part of them present, at any Court held for the said
Company, the Governor   or   his   Deputy being   one,
shall be thought fit and agreeable with the orders and
ordinances made and to be made for the Government of
the said Company: And further, our will and pleasure
is, and by these presents, for us, our heirs and successors,
we do grant unto the said Governor and Company, and
to their successors, that it shall and may be lawful in all
elections and by-laws to be made by the General Court
of the Adventurers  of the  said  Company that every
person shall have a number of votes according to his
stock, that is to say, for every hundred pounds by him
subscribed or brought into the present stock, one vote,
and that any of those that have subscribed less than one
hundred pounds, may join their respective sums to make
up one hundred pounds, and have one vote jointly for
the same, and not otherwise: And further of our especial
grace, certain knowledge and mere motion, we do for us,
our heirs and successors, grant to and with the said
Governor and  Company of Adventurers of England
trading into   Hudson's  Bay, that   all   lands, islands,
territories, plantations, forts, fortifications, factories or APPENDIX A
colonies, where the said Company's factories and trade
are or shall be, within the posts or places afore limited,
shall be immediately and from henceforth under the
power and command of the said Governor and Company,
their successors   and   assigns;   saving the   faith   and
allegiance due to be performed to us, our heirs  and
successors as aforesaid; and that the said Governor and
Company shall have liberty, full power and authority to
appoint and establish Governors and all other officers to
govern them, and that the Governor and his Council of
the several and respective places where the said Company
shall have plantations, forts, factories, colonies, or places
of trade within any of the countries, lands or territories
hereby granted may have power to judge all persons
belonging to the said Governor and Company, or that
shall live under them, in all causes, whether civil or
criminal, according to the laws of this kingdom, and to
execute justice accordingly; and in case any crime or
misdemeanour shall be committed in  any of the said
Company's plantations, forts, factories, or places of trade
within the limits aforesaid, where judicature cannot be
executed for want of a Governor and Council there, then
in such case it shall and may be lawful for the chief
factor of that place and his Council to transmit  the
party, together with the offence, to such other plantation,
factory or  fort where there shall be a Governor and
Council, where justice may be executed, or into  this
kingdom of England, as shall be thought most convenient,
there to receive such punishment as the nature of his
offence shall deserve:   And,  moreover,  our will and
pleasure is, and by these presents, for us, our heirs and
.successors, we do give and grant unto the said Governor
and Company, and their successors, free liberty and
license, in case they conceive it necessary, to send either
ships of war, men or ammunition, unto any of their
plantations, forts, factories or places of trade aforesaid,
for the security and defence of the same, and to choose
commanders and officers over them, and to give them
power and authority, by commission under their common
seal, or otherwise, to continue or make peace or war
with any prince or people whatsoever, that are not
Christians, in any places where the said Company shall
have any plantations, forts, or factories, or adjacent
thereunto, as shall be most for the advantage and benefit
of the said Governor and Company, and of their trade;
and also to right and recompense themselves upon the
goods, estates or people of those posts, by whom the
said Governor and Company shall sustain any injury,
loss or damage, or upon any other people whatsoever
that shall any way, contrary to the intent of these
presents, interrupt, wrong, or injure them in their said
trade, within the said places, territories, and limits
granted by this charter. And that it shall and may be
lawful to and for the said Governor and Company, and
their successors, from time to time, and at all times from
henceforth, to erect and build such castles, fortifications,
forts, garrisons, colonies, or plantations, towns or villages,
in any post or places within the limits and bounds
granted before in these presents unto the said Governor
and Company, as they in their discretion shall think fit
and requisite, and for the supply of such as shall be
needful and convenient; to keep and be in the same, to
send out of this kingdom, to the said castles, forts,
fortifications, garrisons, colonies, plantations, towns qr APPENDIX A
villages, all kinds of clothing, provision of victuals,
ammunition and implements necessary for such purpose,
paying the duties and customs for the same, as also to
transport and carry over such number of men, being
willing themselves, or not prohibited, as they shall think
fit, and also to govern them in such legal and reasonable
manner as the said Governor and Company shall think
best, and to inflict punishment for misdemeanours or
impose such fines upon them for breach of their orders,
as in these presents are formerly expressed : And further,
our will and pleasure is, and by these presents, for us,
our heirs and successors, we do grant unto the said
Governor and Company, and to their successors, full
power and lawful authority to seize upon the persons of
all such English, or any other our subjects which shall
sail into Hudson's Bay, or inhabit in any of the countries,
islands or territories hereby granted to the said Governor
and Company, without their leave and license in that
behalf first had and obtained, or that shall condemn or
disobey their orders, and send them to England; and
that all and every person or persons, being our subjects,
any ways employed by the said Governor and Company,
within any the parts, places, and limits aforesaid, shall
be liable unto and suffer such punishment for any
offences by them committed in the parts aforesaid, as
the President and Council for the said Governor and
Company there shall think fit, and the merit for the
offence shall require, as aforesaid; and in case any
person or persons being convicted and sentenced by
the President and Council of the said Governor and
Company, in the countries, lands, or limits aforesaid,
their factors or agents there, for any offence by them
/■^L 198
done, shall appeal from the same, that then and in such
case it shall and may be lawful to and for the said
President and Council, factors or agents, to seize upon
him or them, and to carry him or them home prisoners
into England, to the said Governor and Company, there
to receive such condign punishment as his cause shall
require, and the laws of this nation allow of; and for the
better discovery of abuses and injuries to be done unto
the said Governor and Company, or their successors, by
any servant by them to be employed in the said voyages
and plantations, it shall and may be lawful to and for
the said Governor and Company, and their respective
President, Chief Agent or Governor in the parts aforesaid, to examine upon oath all factors, masters, pursers,
supercargoes, commanders of castles, forts, fortifications,
plantations or colonies, or other persons, touching or
concerning any matter or thing in which by law or usage
an oath may be administered, so as the said oath, and
the matter therein contained, be not repugnant, but
agreeable to the laws of this realm: and we do hereby
strictly charge and command all and singular our
Admirals, Vice-Admirals, Justices, Mayors, Sheriffs,
Constables, Bailiffs, and all and singular other our
officers, ministers, liege men and subjects whatsoever, to
be aiding, favouring, helping and assisting to the said
Governor and Company, and to their successors, and to
their deputies, officers, factors, servants, assigns and
ministers, and every of them, executing, and enjoying
the premises as well on land as on sea, from time to
time, when any of you shall thereunto be required: Any
statute, act, ordinance, proviso, proclamation or restraint
heretofore had, made, set forth, ordained, or provided
When Rupert's Land was transferred to Canada, one of
the gravest questions of the day was the maintenance of
friendly relations with the Indian tribes inhabiting that
vast territory. The Hudson's Bay Company, Canada's
predecessors in this sovereignty, had held, for many long
years, their goodwill; but on their sway coming to an
end the Indian mind was perplexed, not only by the
events of 1869-70 in the Red River region, but also by
the appearance of white settlers and traders. In Manitoba
white settlers took possession of the soil, and made for
themselves homes; and as time went on steamboats were
placed on the inland waters, surveyors passed through
their hunting-grounds, and the " speaking wires " (as the
Indians called the telegraph) were set up here and there.
No wonder that a chief of the Plain Crees, looking up
at the strange curved lines crossing his sky, exclaimed to
his people, " We have done foolishly to allow that wire to
be put there, before the Government obtained our leave
to do so. There is a white chief at Red River, and that
wire speaks to him, and if we do anything wrong he will
200 I
stretch out a long arm and catch hold of us before we
can hide ourselves."
The Government of Canada, however, anticipating
the probabilities of such a state of affairs, resolved that
formal alliances should be formed with the Indian tribes
at the same time as their rule was formally established on
the Plains. It was in 1870 that the Parliament of
Canada created the machinery of the Province of
Manitoba and of the North-West Territories, and
in the following year the first of the seven Indian
Treaties, whereby the Indian titles (by prior occupation) to all the land within the Fertile Belt were
extinguished, was entered upon and diplomatically
There were three precedents for these Treaties :
1. A treaty made between the Earl of Selkirk and a
number of Crees and Saulteaux, whereby the Indian
title to a parcel of land on the Red and Assiniboine
Rivers was formally extinguished. The Indians were
made to comprehend the depth of the land they were
surrendering by being told that it was the greatest
distance at which the daylight under the belly of a horse
standing on the level prairie could be seen. And the
consideration for the surrender was the payment,
annually to each nation, of one hundred pounds of good
merchantable tobacco.
2. The % Robinson Treaties," made in 1850 by the
Hon. W. B. Robinson of Toronto with the Indians of
the shores and islands of Lakes Superior and Huron.
A special feature of this sequence of Treaties was the
adjustment of claims preferred by the Indians to receive
the  amount paid to the  Government for the sale of 202
r' /
mining locations. The total number of Indians affected
was 2662, to whom an indemnity of ^4000 and an
annuity of about ^1000 were granted.
3. The Treaty made with Indians dwelling on Great
Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron by the Hon. W. M.
McDougallin 1862, whereby their title to a large portion
of land suitable for settlement was extinguished.
At the time Treaty No. 1 was carried through, in
1871, the Indian population with which the Dominion
authorities desired to deal was distributed as follows :—
(a) The Ojjibewas, Chippeways, or Saulteaux, as they
now call themselves, were numerous both in Kee-wa-
tin and Manitoba, and a few were to be found in the
Territories. These Indians migrated from the older
Provinces of Quebec and Ontario at the beginning of
the century.
(b) The Crees inhabited the North-West Territories
for the most part; they were known as Plain, Wood,
and Swampy Crees, according to the nature of the region
they lived in. The Swam pies resided in Kee-wa-tin and
parts of Manitoba.
(c) The Black Feet nation inhabited the slopes of
the Rockies and the most westerly portion of the
(d) A few Chippewyans or Northerners still dwelt in
the more northerly districts of the Territories.
(e) The nation of the Assiniboines or Stonies (exceedingly powerful and numerous in Verandrye's days, and in
the earlier years of the century) were but few in number
and only to be found in the Territories.
(f) The Sioux in the Dominion at that time were APPENDIX B
refugees from the United States, having taken refuge
there in 1862-3 after the massacre of the whites by
Indians in Minnesota. Though on several occasions
the United States authorities offered these refugees
protection and absolution for past offences, they could
not be persuaded to return, and they remained in parts
of Manitoba and Assiniboia, where the settlers found
their help very useful in grain-cutting, making fence-
rails, and ploughing. They also hunted, trapped, and
fished at certain seasons. After the settlement of the
Saulteaux, their hereditary enemies, these bands were
granted reserves on the Assiniboine River in 1874.
Another band received a reserve at Turtle Mountains in
1876. In 1877, after the annihilation of Custer's
command, Sitting Bull and his Sioux warriors entered
Canadian territory; these refugees were followed by
numerous other bands, until between five and six thousand
American Indians were living in the Canadian North-
West. There were suggestions that reserves should be
granted to these people, but they were never seriously
entertained by the authorities, and the surrender to the
United States authorities in 1881 at Fort Burford of
Sitting Bull and his followers finally settled a difficult
and somewhat ominous problem.
The Seven Treaties made from 1871 to 1877, as the
tide of immigration spread along the Fertile Belt,
provided for the following changes :—
1. The relinquishment, in all the vast region from
Lake Superior to the foot of the Rockies, of all the
right and title to the ownership of the lands covered by
the Treaties, saving and except certain reservations for
their own use.    And, in return for such relinquishment: APPENDIX B
2. Permission to the Indians to hunt over the ceded
territory, and to fish in the waters thereof, excepting
such portions of the territory as pass from the Crown
into the occupation of individuals from time to
3. The perpetual payment of annuities of $5 per head
to every Indian—man, woman, or child. The payment
of an annual salary of $25 to each chief, and of $15 to
each councillor, or head man, of a chief, so that each of
these became in a sense officers of the Crown; and in
addition, official clothing for both chiefs and councillors,
together with British flags and silver medals for the
The gift of red coats and Union Jacks to the chiefs
and councillors emphasized their position as officers of
the Queen. Medals were given, as in the United States,
in accordance with an ancient custom, and are much
prized and cherished by the owners and their families.
Indians often exhibit old medals, bearing the likeness of
the king before the American War of Independence, which
have passed down from hand to hand as heirlooms. It
was considered desirable, at the time of making these
treaties, to strengthen the hands of the chiefs and
councillors whose tact and common sense had greatly
helped on the negotiations, and to make them, as it were,
partially responsible State-officials; to which end, having
regard to the Indian love of display, no better means
could have been devised than the presentation of these
uniforms, flags, and medals.
4. The allotment of lands to the Indians, to be set
aside as reserves for agricultural purposes, and not to be
sold or alienated without their consent and then only for
-?!*~\ ' APPENDIX B
their benefit; one "section," or 640 acres, being thus
reserved for each family of five. The Canadian system
of allotting reserves to one or more bands together, in
the localities where they had been in the habit of
residing, has proved far preferable to the United States
system of locating whole tribes on huge reserves, which
eventually excited the cupidity of their white neighbours
and were broken up, often without even a show of legality.
In several cases this breaking up of national reserves led
to warfare, and in many others to widespread and bitter
discontent. Even the most vagrant Indians of the
North-West were strongly attached to the localities in
which they and their fathers had been accustomed to
pitch their camps from time to time, and, very wisely,
the Canadian Government decided to cultivate their
rudimentary sense of the meaning of the word " home "
to the utmost extent of their power. Furthermore, the
Canadian system of band-reserves was an application of
the Imperial maxim Divide et impera; not only because
it diminished the strength for offence of the Indians, but
also because it facilitated the instruction of them in the
arts of peace. And, again, the fact of these reserves
being located here and there among the settled areas of
the North-West has enabled nearly all the Indian bands
to obtain markets among the white colonists for surplus
produce of any kind.
5. A very important feature was the presentation to
all these bands of agricultural implements, oxen, cattle to
be the nuclei of herds, and seed-grain, whenever required.
Even at the time the treaties were arranged many of the
Indians were not unconscious of their destiny, and of
the necessity of seeking part of their livelihood from the <z
II i
earth. Thus, one of the Fort Pitt chiefs described to
Governor Morris his efforts to get a little farming done.
11 got a plough from Mr. Christie of the Company," said
the old man; " I have no cattle; I put myself and my
young men in front of it in the spring, and drag it
through the ground. I have no hoes; I make them out
of the roots of trees. Surely when the Great Mother"
(i.e. the Queen) "hears of our needs she will come to
our help." This disposition has been encouraged in
every possible way by the Canadian Government, and
all the reserves in the North-West are now full of
comfortable houses and "gardens" (as the Indians call
their crop-fields) of considerable extent.
6. Finally, provision has been made in every case for
a school or schools on the reserves.
7. All the treaties provide for the exclusion of spirits
from the reserves in accordance with the strongly-
expressed wishes of the chiefs, who helped to make them,
and knew the weakness of their people.
In order to carry them out in detail the area affected
by these treaties was divided into two superintendencies;
that of Manitoba including Treaties 1, 2, 3, and 4; and
that of the North-West Territories including Nos. 5, 6,
and 7. Since then, year after year, improvements have
been made in the working of the scheme, and at the
present time nearly all the officers of the Indian
Department are men with a practical knowledge of the
Indian character, who carry out their duties with tact
and firmness. But for the unfortunate intrusion of
the "spoils system" into Canadian politics, the exceptions to this rule would be still fewer; even
as   things    are,   however,   the   Canadian   Indian   is APPENDIX B
infinitely  better   governed   than   his   brother   in   the
United States.
During 1899 an eighth has been added to these seven
treaties, by which the Indian title to Athabasca and the
Peace River district has been extinguished. The
provisions of this new treaty are the same, mutatis
mutandis, as those of No. 7, which I quote in full. In
course of time, no doubt, the Indians of the Yukon and
Mackenzie Rivers will " take treaty" as wards and
pensioners of the Great Mother; but the fact that the
Far North is incapable of agricultural development renders
that contingency remote, though not so remote as might
at first thought appear. Already the moose and caribou,
on which these poor people live, as well as the smaller
animals, whose pelts pay them the only luxuries—tea,
sugar, and tobacco—of their hard and cheerless lives,
are disappearing before the advance of the white trader
and miner, and the recent abolition of the old credit
system (the outward and visible sign of which is the
use of a greenback instead of a " made beaver" as the
unit of transactions) of the Hudson's Bay Company,
while it will improve the position of some, must depress
that of the majority.
To these the future will bring enough for their humble
needs; the possession, that is, of a small but perpetual annuity and the certainty of employment at a
living wage in the mines of Yukon, and, it may be, of
Articles of a Treaty made and concluded this twenty-
second day of September, in the year of our Lord
one  thousand  eight hundred and   seventy-seven,
between Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen of
Great Britain and Ireland, by her Commissioners,
the Honourable David Laird, Lieutenant-Governor
and Indian Superintendent of the North-West
Territories,    and   James   Farquharson    McLeod,
C.M.G., Commissioner of the North-West Mounted
Police, of the one part; and the Blackfeet, Blood,
Piegan, Sarcee, Stony, and other Indians, inhabitants of the territory north of the United States
boundary line, east of the central range of the
Rocky Mountains, and south and west of Treaties
numbers six and four, by their head chiefs and
minor chiefs or councillors, chosen as hereinafter
mentioned, of the other part:
Whereas the Indians inhabiting the said territory have,
pursuant to an appointment made by the said Commissioners, been convened at a meeting at the " Black-
foot crossing" of the Bow River, to deliberate upon certain
matters of interest to Her Most Gracious Majesty, of the
one part, and the said Indians of the other :
And whereas the said Indians have been informed by
Her Majesty's Commissioners that it is the desire of
Her Majesty to open up for settlement, and such other
purposes as to Her Majesty may seem meet, a tract of
country, bounded and described as hereinafter mentioned,
and to obtain the consent thereto of her Indian subjects
inhabiting the said tract, and to make a treaty, and
arrange with them, so that there may be peace and goodwill between them and Her Majesty, and between them
and Her Majesty's other subjects; and that her Indian \\
people may know and feel assured of what allowance
they are to count upon and receive from Her Majesty's
bounty and benevolence:
And whereas the Indians of the said tract, duly convened
in council, and being requested by Her Majesty's Commissioners to present their head chiefs and minor chiefs
and councillors, who shall be authorized, on their behalf,
to conduct such negotiations and sign any treaty to be
founded thereon, and to become responsible to Her
Majesty for the faithful performance by their respective
bands of such obligations as should be assumed by them,
the Blackfeet, Blood, Piegan, and Sarcee Indians have
therefore acknowledged for that purpose the several
head and minor chiefs, and the said Stony Indians, the
chiefs and councillors who have subscribed hereto, that
thereupon in open council the said Commissioners
received and acknowledged the head and minor chiefs,
and the chiefs and councillors presented for the purpose
And whereas the said Commissioners have proceeded
to negotiate a treaty with the said Indians; and the
same has been finally agreed upon and concluded as
follows, that is to say, the Blackfeet, Blood, Piegan,
Sarcee, Stony, and other Indians inhabiting the district
hereinafter more fully described and defined, do hereby
cede, release, surrender, and yield up to the Government
of Canada, for Her Majesty the Queen and her successors
for ever, all their rights, titles, and privileges whatsoever,
to the lands included within the following limits, that is
to say:
Commencing at a point on the international boundary
due south of the western extremity of the Cypress Hills;
11 BfcLt.
thence west along the said boundary to the central range
of the Rocky Mountains, or to the boundary of the
Province of British Columbia; thence north-westerly
along the said boundary to a point due west of the
source of the main branch of the Red Deer River; thence
south-westerly and southerly, following on the boundaries
of the tracts ceded by the Treaties numbered Six and
Four to the place of commencement; and also all their
rights, titles, and privileges whatsoever to all other lands
wherever situated in the North-West Territories or in any
other portion of the Dominion of Canada:
To have and to hold the same to Her Majesty the
Queen and her successors for ever.
And Her Majesty the Queen hereby agrees with her
said Indians, that they shall have right to pursue their
vocations of hunting throughout the tract surrendered as
heretofore described, subject to such regulations as may
from time to time be made by the Government of the
country, acting under the authority of Her Majesty; and
saving and excepting such tracts as may be required or
taken up from time to time for settlement, mining,
trading or other purposes by her Government of Canada,
or by any of Her Majesty's subjects duly authorized
therefor by the said Government.
It is also agreed between Her Majesty and her said
Indians, that reserves shall be assigned them of sufficient
area to allow one square mile for each family of five
persons, or in that proportion for larger or small families,
and that said reserves shall be located as follows, that is
to say:
First—The reserves of the Blackfeet, Blood, and
Sarcee bands of Indians shall consist of a belt of land r.
on the north side of the Bow and South Saskatchewan
Rivers, of an average width of four miles along said
rivers, down stream, commencing at a point on the Bow
River twenty miles north-westerly of the " Blackfoot
crossing" thereof, and extending to the Red Deer River
at its junction with the South Saskatchewan; also for
the term of ten years, and no longer, from the date of
the concluding of this treaty, when it shall cease to be a
portion of said Indian reserves, as fully to all intents
and purposes as if it had not at any time been included
therein, and without any compensation  to  individual
Indians for improvements, of a similar belt of land on
the south side of the Bow and Saskatchewan Rivers of
an average width of one mile along said rivers, down
stream;   commencing at  the  aforesaid  point  on  the
Bow River, and extending to a point one mile west of
the coal seam on said river, about five miles below the
said "Blackfoot crossing
o »
again one
east of the said coal seam and extending to the mouth of
Maple Creek at its junction with the South Saskatchewan;
and beginning again at the junction of the Bow River
with the latter river, and extending on both sides of the
South Saskatchewan in an average width on each side
thereof of one mile, along said river, against the stream,
to the junction of the Little Bow River with the latter
river, reserving to Her Majesty, as may now or hereafter
be required by her for the use of her Indian and other
subjects, from all the reserves hereinbefore described,
the right to navigate the above-mentioned rivers, to land
and receive fuel and cargoes on the shores and banks
thereof, to build bridges and establish ferries thereon, to
use the fords thereof and all the trails leading thereto,
and to open such other roads through the said reserves
as may appear to Her Majesty's Government of Canada
necessary for the ordinary travel of her Indian and other
subjects, due compensation being paid to individual
Indians for improvements, when the same may be in any
manner encroached upon by such roads.
Secondly.—That the reserve of the Piegan band of
Indians shall be on the Old Man's River, near the foot of
the Porcupine Hills, at a place called " Crow's Creek."
And thirdly.—The reserve of the Stony band of
Indians shall be in the vicinity of Morleyville.
In view of the satisfaction of Her Majesty with the
recent general good conduct of her said Indians, and in
extinguishment of all their past claims, she hereby, through
her Commissioners, agrees to make them a present payment of twelve dollars each in cash to each man, woman,
and child of the families here represented.
Her Majesty also agrees that next year, and annually
afterwards for ever, she will cause to be paid to the
said Indians, in cash, at suitable places and dates, of
which the said Indians shall be duly notified, to each
chief twenty-five dollars, each minor chief or councillor
(not exceeding fifteen minor chiefs to the Blackfeet and
Blood Indians, and four to the Piegan and Sarcee
bands, and five councillors to the Stony Indian bands)
fifteen dollars, and to every other Indian of whatever
age, five dollars; the same, unless there be some
exceptional reason, to be paid to the heads of families
for those belonging thereto.
Further, Her Majesty agrees that the sum of two
thousand dollars shall hereafter every year be expended
in the purchase of ammunition for distribution among APPENDIX B
the said Indians; provided that if at any future time
ammunition became comparatively unnecessary for said
Indians, her Government, with the consent of said
Indians, or any of the bands thereof, may expend the
proportion due to such band otherwise for their benefit.
Further, Her Majesty agrees that each head chief and
minor chief, and each chief and councillor duly recognized as such, shall once in every three years during the
term of their office receive a suitable suit of clothing,
and the head chief and Stony chief, in recognition of the
closing of the treaty, a suitable medal and flag, and next
year, or as soon as convenient, each head chief and
minor chief and Stony chief shall receive a Winchester
Further, Her Majesty agrees to pay the salary of such
teachers to instruct the children of said Indians as to
her Government of Canada may seem advisable, when
said Indians are settled on their reserves and shall
desire teachers.
Further, Her Majesty agrees to supply each head and
minor chief, and each Stony chief, for the use of their
bands, ten axes, five handsaws, five augers, one grindstone, and the necessary files and whetstones.
And further, Her Majesty agrees that the said Indians
shall be supplied as soon as convenient, after any band
shall make the application therefor, with the following
cattle for raising stock, that is to say: for every family
of five persons and under, two cows; for every family of
more than five persons and less than ten persons, three
cows; for every family of over ten persons, four cows;
and every head and minor chief, and every Stony chief,
for the use of their bands? one bull; but if any band
1 214
desire to cultivate the soil as well as raise stock, each
family of such band shall receive one cow less than the
above mentioned number, and in lieu thereof, when
settled on their reserves and prepared to break up the soil,
two hoes, one spade, one scythe, and two hay forks; and
for every three families, one plough and one harrow;
and for each band, enough potatoes, barley, oats, and
wheat (if such seeds be suited for the locality of their
reserves) to plant the land actually broken up. All the
aforesaid articles to be given, once for all, for the encouragement of the practice of agriculture among the
And the undersigned Blackfeet, Blood, Piegan, and
Sarcee head chiefs and minor chiefs, and Stony chiefs
and councillors, on their own behalf, and on behalf of
all other Indians inhabiting the tract within ceded, do
hereby solemnly promise and engage to strictly observe
this treaty, and also to conduct and behave themselves
as good and loyal subjects of Her Majesty the Queen.
They promise and engage that they will, in all respects,
obey and abide by the law, that they will maintain peace
and good order between each other, and between
themselves and other tribes of Indians, and between
themselves and others of Her Majesty's subjects, whether
Indians, half-breeds, or whites, now inhabiting, or hereafter to inhabit, any part of the said ceded tract; and that
they will not molest the person or property of any inhabitant of such ceded tract, or the property of Her Majesty the
Queen, or interfere with or trouble any person passing or
travelling through the said tract, or any part thereof, and
that they will assist the officers of Her Majesty in bringing  to justice and  punishment  any  Indian offending APPENDIX B
against the stipulations of this treaty, or infringing the
laws in force in the country so ceded.
In witness whereof Her Majesty's said Commissioners,
and the said Indian head and minor chiefs, and Stony
chiefs and councillors have hereunto subscribed and set
their hands, at the " Blackfoot crossing" of Bow River,
the day and year herein first above written.
(Signed)   David Laird,
Gov.  of N.-W.  T.,  and Special Indian
James F. McLeod,
Lieut-Colonel,   Com.   N. - W. M. P.,   and
Special Indian Commissioner.
Chapo-Mexico (or Crowfoot), His X mark.
Head Chief of the South Blackfeet.
Matose-Apiw (or Old Sun),    His X mark.
Head Chief of the North Blackfeet
Stamiscotocan (or Bull Head), His X mark.
Head Chief of the Sarcees.
Mekasto (or Red Crow), His X mark.
Head Chief of the South Bloods.
Setenah (or Rainy Chief),      His X mark.
Head Chief of the North Bloods.
Sakoye-Aotan (or Heavy
Shield), His X mark.
Head Chief of the Middle Blackfeet.
Zoatze-Tapitapiw (or Sitting on an
Eagle Tail), His X mark.
Head Chief of the North Piegans.
And forty-four others. APPENDIX   C
Meteorological data collected at various Government
observations during the last twelve years—to say nothing
of the experience of thousands of farmers, who have
year after year incurred serious losses—have now conclusively proved that over a large and fairly well-defined
area of Western Canada the yearly rainfall is, as a rule,
insufficient to mature the ordinary grain and root crops.
Investigation has shown that this " Arid Region I of the
prairie-country may be regarded as bounded by the
following limits—on the south by the International
boundary; on the east by a line starting at the intersection
of the 102nd meridian of longitude with the International
boundary, and running from thence north-westerly to
latitude 510 30'; on the north by that parallel of latitude,
and on the west by the Rocky Mountains. Within
these limits are contained not less than 80,000 square
miles, or upwards of 50,000,000 acres, and a population
much greater than that to be found in any other section
of the North-West Territories of equal area.   The soil of
the  Arid  Region—which includes most of Assiniboia
and of Southern Alberta—is, as a whole, very deep and
of an exceptionally fertile constitution.
The settlers in the more easterly localities of this
territory, which are not specially adapted for stock-
raising owing to the comparative lack of vegetation on the
prairie, are for the most part men of small means, who
have naturally turned their attention to mixed farming;
on the other hand, Western Assiniboia and Southern
Alberta, whose wealth of rich and delicate native grasses
rendered them a favourite pasturage of the buffalo during
the reign of " The Company," have attracted many capitalists, who have been able to engage in stock-raising on a
large scale—a pursuit which requires a considerable preliminary outlay and is not immediately profitable. Seeing
that the yearly rainfall (which averages 10*91 inches over
the whole of the Arid Region and is as much as sixteen
inches in Southern Alberta) is always sufficient to ensure
an adequate supply of "ridge-hay" for the wandering
bands of cattle, the business of stock-raising has prospered
fairly well; mixed farming, however, has in most localities
proved more or less of a failure since 1884, and the
necessity of importing all sorts of farm-produce from
Manitoba and from other parts of the Territories has
reduced even the profits of the big cattle-men. Accordingly a large percentage of the original settlers have
either removed into other parts of Canada or have
emigrated a second time to the Western States.
The question, How came so many emigrants to settle
in a country so unsuitable for agriculture ? is certain to
be asked; and it is worth answering at some length,
if only because the explanation of so notable a blunder
illustrates  the necessity of scientific inquiry into the Bf
climatology of a newly-opened field for settlement.
Though it was known that several districts—similarly
situated with regard to well-marked mountain-ranges and
with regard to the ocean—not only in South America
but also in the United States, are subject to a periodic
variation of their yearly rainfall, yet the operation of a
like cycle of dry to wet seasons in the prairie-country of
Western Canada was quite unsuspected in the early
eighties, when the tide of immigration which followed
the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway was at
its height. These years were remarkable for a rainfall
much above the average in almost all localities between
the Rocky Mountains and the Great Lakes, and the
" Arid Region " received a sufficient supply of moisture.
Indeed, in 1884 * the rainfall in Assiniboia and Southern
Alberta was so great that, although the two following years
were comparatively dry, the amount of water retained
in the lakes and creeks led settlers to believe that 1885
and 1886 were seasons of abnormal deficiency. The
warnings of Indian hunters and half-breed " freighters,"
who pointed out places where the old trails ran down
into these lakes and creeks, were disregarded by the
new arrivals; and several seasons of still more pronounced
drought passed away before the necessity of irrigation
was perceived and its utility demonstrated by the
success of small systems constructed here and there by
enterprising individuals.
The presence of a considerable population within the
limits of the Arid Region was, no  doubt, the main
consideration   which   induced   the   late    Conservative
Government to introduce the innovation of State-aided
* The same thing occurred in 1899. APPENDIX C
irrigation into Canada. The North-West Irrigation Act,
which was placed upon the Dominion Statute-book in
1894, has been framed with unusual care and completeness. Not only were copies of the original bill (which
passed its second reading in 1893, but was subsequently
withdrawn for further amendment) sent to a number of
Irrigation engineers, many of whose suggestions were
utilised; but also a member of the Land Survey Department visited California, Colorado, Utah, and Washington,
and embodied his observations on the systems in vogue
in those four States in an exhaustive report (to be found
in the "Annual Report for 1895 " of the Minister of the
Interior), which should be read by every intending
emigrant who thinks of trying " wet farming " in Canada
or the United States. From a legal point of view the
most important provisions of the Act are the abolition of
riparian rights and the vesting of the absolute control of
all water in the same strong central authority which
owns the vacant lands. The Dominion Government,
accordingly, having control not only of the water but
also of the land, should be able to administer the two so
as to secure the greatest benefit to the greatest number.
In some of the Western States riparian rights have been
thus abolished and the title to the water vested in the
Commonwealth (i.e. in the individual State), but there
all vacant lands are the property of the Federal Government, so that it has proved impossible, owing to this
division of authority, to manage the land and water to the
best advantage, or even to avoid extensive jobbery and
much costly litigation.
From the elaborate hydrographical survey carried out
during the summer and autumn of 1894 by Mr. J. S.
f J w
Dennis and other officials of the Land Survey of Canada,
it would appear that the water-supply available for
irrigation in the Arid Region of Western Canada is more
plentiful and more accessible than might have been
expected. Indeed, that portion of the territory in
question which lies between the Rocky Mountains and
the i ioth meridian of longitude is more fortunate in
this respect than any one of the four " Irrigation States "
—Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming—whose
climatic conditions and topography are to some extent
like those of Western Canada. This district is watered
by a number of rivers and innumerable creeks, nearly all
of which, being run-off channels for mountainous catchment areas, are subject to spring and summer freshets.
After leaving the foothills the larger streams, with few
exceptions, flow in very deep valleys, so that only the
bottom-lands could be directly irrigated, but the fall of
these streams, more especially in their upper reaches, is
so very considerable that many opportunities are afforded
of diverting their waters to the high bench or prairie
lands farther down. By such devices, and by utilizing
the numerous favourable sites for the construction of
reservoirs to retain the flood-discharge of these watercourses, it is certain that between two and three millions
of acres lying west of longtitude no° can be reclaimed
at an average cost per acre of less than $4.
With regard to the remainder of the Arid Region—a
large expanse of level or rolling prairie drained chiefly
by the South Saskatchewan River, which flows in a
wide terraced valley several hundreds of feet below
prairie level—it is hardly possible at present to estimate
how much of the land there is irrigable at a less cost
tritmmm^. -«m*< APPENDIX C
than $6 per acre—the maximum expenditure which fields
producing the staple crops of the temperate zone can
reasonably be expected to repay. A number of small
and scattered areas can be irrigated cheaply enough by
means of storage reservoirs constructed along the smaller
watercourses and on the slopes of the Missouri Coteau
and of the Cypress Hills; and the bottom-lands of the
Qu'Appelle River are also worthy of attention; but to
reclaim the extensive tracts of open prairie towards the
east requires engineering works of great magnitude.
Further surveys, however, must be made before the two
schemes suggested by Mr. Dennis—the diverting of water
from the South Saskatchewan via the Qu'Appelle Valley;
and the draining of certain large alkaline lakes, so that
their basins may be used to save the flood-waters of
various drainage channels—need be seriously considered.
The former scheme was first discussed as long ago as
1859 by Professor Hind, whose idea was to create a
navigable water-way across the Fertile Belt by augmenting
the shallow Qu'Appelle River.
The great part which Irrigation—less judiciously
controlled and far more costly than is likely to be the
case in Western Canada—has played in the development
of the Western States during the last twenty years is not
generally known. The following statistics from the
United States Census Report for 1890 justify the hope
that Canada's newly-found I Irrigation policy" will
eventually prove a considerable factor in the prosperity
of the North-West Territories. In 1890 the total area
under irrigation in eleven of the Western States was
3,564,416 acres; the estimated value of these lands was
296,850,000, and the value of their produce in 1889
\ si
VI Ill
was $53,057,000, whereas the estimated first cost of
bringing in the water was no more than $29,050,000 and
the yearly expenditure on the maintenance of irrigation
works was judged to be about $3,815,000. Considering
that at least nine-tenths of these lands were practically
valueless before the water was brought to them, and the
irrigated area of the Western States is thought to have
increased between 30 and 35 per cent, since 1890, it is
not too much to say that this method of aiding farmers
and fruit-growers has added ^60,000,000 to the national
wealth, and still adds ;£i5,000,000 to the gross annual
income of the United States. Furthermore, it has largely
helped to maintain that phenomenal increase in the
population of the Western States, which Sir John Mac-
donald saw to be a chief cause of the success of the
Union. Thus the remark addressed by a Californian
farmer to the writer, j Water has done more for us than
gold or silver or politics," is no Yankee hyperbole, but
the witty expression of a notable truth.
Though there can be no approach to that extraordinary
increase in the value of land which has followed the
artificial application of water in certain portions of
California, there is no reason in the nature of things why
Alberta and Assiniboia should not profit by the introduction of irrigation to at least as great an extent as
Montana and Arizona. Besides a considerable addition
to the national wealth and to the gross annual income
of the Dominion, it is more than probable that the
reclamation of the Arid Region of Western Canada will
bring about a decided increase in the yearly influx of
immigration and of immigrant capital across the International boundary.    In particular, not a few of these V
*>*> 7
Canadian settlers in the United States, whose repatriation
is so earnestly desired by all political parties in Canada,
may be thereby induced to return.    Also, since irrigable
areas generally occur at intervals, and are seldom very
extensive,  the  " hamlet-system"  of settlement,  which
materially reduces the preliminary expenses of emigrants,
and has many social and commercial advantages,  is
certain to be more commonly practised.    The hundred
odd Scandinavian,  German,  Russian,  and   Mennonite
village communities which have been founded on that
system in  Manitoba and the  North-West Territories,
have, cceteris paribus, enjoyed   a  greater   measure   of
prosperity than the average English-speaking settlement,
where the simplest forms of co-operative farming are
seldom practicable.    The American  Colonial  Club—a
really admirable  institution,  which   has   done a   vast
amount of colonization work in an unostentatious manner
—has planted a number of such "agricultural brotherhoods "  in the  Irrigation  States;  and,   besides these
communities, of which the Greeley Colony in Colorado
is perhaps the most successful, the Mormon Colonies in
Utah and Ontario, with numerous other villages founded
by Canadians in South California, are good instances of
the application of the hamlet-system of settlement to
irrigated or irrigable areas.    Finally, the curious fact that
irrigation prevents or minimizes the evil effects of summer
frosts—a common plague in many parts  of the Arid
Region—must not be overlooked because no scientific
explanation thereof is forthcoming.    Even if the witness
of farmers and fruit-growers in the colder Irrigation States
were rejected, the sight frequently seen of late years in
Southern Alberta of uninjured irrigated crops alongside APPENDIX C
unirrigated fields which have been entirely destroyed by
summer frost, should suffice to convince the most sceptical
of its truth.
During the last few years the increase of area under
irrigation within the limits of the Arid Region and the
results from the application of water to growing crops
have been very satisfactory. The number of ditches and
canals in operation in 1897 was 115, representing a
total length of 130 miles and an irrigated acreage of
79,300; since then the irrigated area is estimated to have
been doubled, wet seasons, however, having led to a
decrease of energy in this matter. It is a notable fact
that the water has been brought to the land at an
average cost of two and a quarter dollars per acre—less
than half the average cost of similar work in Montana,
which possesses the cheapest system of irrigation in the
United States.
A little advice to would-be settlers in the Canadian
North-West may be based on the foregoing account of
a new departure.
1. Southern Alberta and Western Assiniboia have
long been favourably known as stock-raising districts,
albeit most emigrants from the United Kingdom
possessed of the capital necessary for a start in that
pursuit have preferred the United States, owing to the
prevalent impression that better markets could be secured
there. Of late years, however, that portion of the Arid
Region—lying as it does on a chief highway between
ocean and ocean, and not only having access to the
markets of Eastern Canada and of Great Britain but
also controlling that of British Columbia, where stock-
raising is not and never can be more than a very minor iti
industry—has  been at least as well situated in  this
respect as Montana or even Texas.    The progress of
irrigation (the statistics quoted above, for the accuracy
of which the Lieutenant-Governor of the North-West
Territories is responsible, show that a good beginning
has been made) is bound to be accompanied by a great
development not only of stock-raising but also of dairy-
farming.    It should be remembered that the reclamation
of an insignificant acreage often renders a very large
adjoining tract of arid land valuable as a cattle-range,
seeing that the certainty of being able to grow enough
fodder for wintering the stock permits all land which
produces enough feed for the summer to be used as
pasturage.    Even the most arid parts of the so-called
Arid Region fulfil this condition.     Also the unsettled
districts of Saskatchewan and other parts of the North-
West Territories,  though  they may be   described   as
humid, are not so well suited for stock-raising on a large
scale; for—to say nothing of the inaccessibility—being
thickly wooded, they do not afford such facilities  for
pasturage as the plains,   and the winter there is  too
severe for cattle to run at large all the year round.    Any
man having the necessary capital and knowledge of the
business  may safely invest himself and his money in
Alberta, and—always provided he is content to begin on
a moderate scale—may reasonably hope to make good
interest on his investment after the first three years or so.
Indeed, if he avoids certain blunders too often perpetrated
by North-Western stock-raisers, he should do exceedingly
well.   The big cattle-men of the North-West lose many
thousands of dollars annually by exporting half-filled
stock, whose beef is necessarily inferior to that of really
mBBWWm 226
"fat" cattle both in quantity and quality; and it is
really astounding how many of them are unable or unwilling to grasp and apply those principles of breeding
beef, which are so well understood in Ontario. Also
as regards horses, though things are not nearly so bad as
they were a few years back, the art of breeding and the
advantages of breeding something better than the | ten-
dollar buck-jumper" are too often disregarded, and the
breaking in and handling of well-bred animals is too
often left to brutal and ignorant " range-riders."
2. Emigrants of small means who intend to settle in
the Dominion, should bear in mind that the experience
of farmers in Western America clearly proves that a
better living may be made on a small well-irrigated area
than on 160 or 320 acres of average prairie-land which
are subject to occasional drought. From one point of
view irrigation is a form of insurance of crops, and—at
any rate so far as Western America is concerned—is a
very cheap method of obtaining security against losses.
Again, it is probable that for some years to come
irrigated or irrigable lands in Western Canada may be
bought at a very small fraction of the price asked for
lands of similar capabilities on the other side of the
International boundary, where also it has been truly
said, I the upper mill-stone of a bad banking system and
the under one of the mill-owners' ring grind the small
farmer exceeding small."
3. The advantages of the "hamlet-system" of settlement as applied to irrigated or irrigable areas of moderate
size should be remembered by philanthropists and
philanthropic bodies in the north-country who assist
1 1765
Royal Charter, incorporating the Hudson's Bay
Company, granted by Charles II. to Prince
Rupert and his associates.
Hudson's Bay Company built a factory on Nelson
Verandrye built Fort St. Charles on the Lake of
the Woods.
English traders first entered the North-West.
English traders penetrated to the Saskatchewan.
Cumberland Post established by Hudson's Bay
North-West Company formed; it was reconstructed five years later.
John Jacob Astor arrived in New York.
Hudson's Bay Company made their first appearance at Red River.
Formation of the X Y Company.
Coalition of North-West and X Y Companies.
South-West Fur Company established.
North-West Company crossed the Rockies. mfflr
1811    Astoria founded by South-West Company.    First
Selkirk settlers leave Stornoway.
1813   Astoria fell into the hands of the  North-West
1816 Massacre of Governor Semple and his men.
1817 First Indian Treaty in the North-West.
1820 Lord Selkirk died.
1821 Union of  the Hudson's  Bay and North-West
1831    Lower Fort Garry built.
1839   The Hudson's Bay Company leased Alaska from
the Russian Government.
1846    The 49th parallel of latitude agreed upon as the
International Boundary-line.
1857 Select Committee of the House of Commons on
the Hudson's Bay Company.
1858 The discovery of gold on the Fraser River.
1859 The Hudson's Bay Company's license to exclusive
•  trade expires.
i860   The Company abandons Oregon and Washington.
Death of Sir George Simpson.
Cariboo placers discovered.
1867    Passing of the British-North-America Act.
T869    Conclusion  of negotiations  for  transfer  of the
North-West Canada.
1870 Murder of Scott by Riel's party.
Expedition   under   Col.   Wolseley   enters   Fort
1871 Fenian Raid into Manitoba.
Indian Treaties, No. r and No. 2, concluded.
1873    Indian Treaty No. 3 concluded.
Formation of North-West Mounted Police.
1874 Indian Treaty No. 4 concluded.
1875 Indian Treaty No. 5 concluded.
Organization of the North-West Territories.
1876 Indian Treaty No. 6.
1877 Indian Treaty No. 7.
1881 Winnipeg Boom began.
1882 Capital   of  North-West   Territories   moved   to
1884   Canadian Volunteers go to Egypt under Wolseley.
Discontent among old settlers on the Saskatche-
Riel invited from Montana.
The Second Riel Rebellion.
Last spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway driven
by Sir Donald A. Smith.   [Lord Strathcona and
Mount Royal.]
First shipment of wool from Alberta ranches.
1887 First   shipment   of   cattle   from   North-West
1888 North-West Territories Act passed.
1890   The Empress of China Line of steamers began to
1892   Death of Sir John A. Macdonald.
1897    Klondike discoveries.
1899 Indian Treaty No. 8, whereby the Indian title to
Athabasca was extinguished.
1900 Strathcona's Horse raised for service in  South
*r,   r
«m APPENDIX   E ,*
The subjoined tables give Acreage, Total Yield, and
Yield per Acre of Wheat, Oats, and Barley, within the
Province of Manitoba during the years 1893-99.
Yield per
Total yield.
• • •
• » t
• a 4
Yield per
Total yield.
• • •
• ♦*
t • •
* See note on next page.
Yield per
Total yield.
• • t
• i •
• a *
• • t
Cost of planting an Acre of Wheat in Manitoba and the
North-West Territories, and the Profit thereof.t
Ploughing once    ... ...           ...            ...           ... $1*25
Harrowing twice         ... ...           ...           ...            *20
Cultivating twice ... ...           ...           ...           ...      -40
Drilling         ...           ... ...            ...            ...             '22
Binding ...           ... ...            ...            ...           ...      "33
Cost of twine              ... ...           ...           ...             *i8
Stooking              ... ...            ...           ...           ...      *i6
o tacking        ...            ... ...            ...            ...              *5^
Rent of land—calculated at two years' interest at 6 per
cent, on land valued at $15 per acre          ...           ...    i*8o
Depreciation of implements, etc. ...           ...             *5o
Threshing charges ...           ...           ...            ...    I'oo
... ...           ...            ...               /5
Seed 11 bushel
• • • ••• • •t • # • •••        5
For this he gets 20 bushels of wheat worth, say, 50 cents per
* The enormous "bonanza" crop of 1896 was not fully
harvested until the ground froze up and left no time for " full"
ploughing. The spring of 1896 was also very late; so that not only
was the acreage of crop necessarily smaller, but much of the seed
was sown on the stubble.
t The calculations are based on trials made at the Government
( ' lbs.
Value of Mineral Output, 1890-1898.
Owing to the great
extent of the Territories, and
the lack of local authorities through whom the Territorial
Government can collect reliable statistics, the Annual
Experimental Farm near Brandon. The yield on that occasion was
29 bushels per acre, but I have taken 20 bushels as representing the
average yield in an average season and have made other slight but
necessary alterations.
* This temporary falling off was due to labour disputes. APPENDIX E
Report of the N.-W.T. Department of Agriculture is
necessarily very incomplete in this respect. The following remarks show that the importance of the work of
collecting and collating statistics bearing on the economy
of a new country is well understood.
" It may be said that the compilation of statistics bears
the same relation to the administration of a country as
an intelligent system of book-keeping to the management
of any business. In addition to the value of statistics as
showing the progress and development of the country as
years go, this work possesses an actual direct value to
the farmer and business man. . . . Lack of statistical information invariably creates instability of markets. The
middleman must purchase at safe prices, and the result
always is that any loss is borne by the producer."
A good case in point is the oat-crop along the
Calgary and Edmonton Railway, most of which for
some years past dealers in agricultural produce have
bought up for British Columbian markets. In a great
many cases oats have been purchased by these dealers
at as low a figure as twelve cents a bushel, and the
invariable experience has been that by the time an
approximation of the supply and demand could be
arrived at the value has risen considerably—has even
been doubled. Here the loss falls altogether on the
producer. Now, if estimates could be formed of the
Territorial crops as well as of those of Manitoba (which
are generally known within half a million bushels before
harvesting), and the probable demand for grain, hay, etc.,
in the Kootenay and other mining districts could be
gauged at the same time, and this information placed
before the Territorial producers, it is certain that the
\ti m^>
income of a large number of settlers would be greatly
increased each year.
The subjoined Tables (taken from the Annual Report
for 1898 of the Territorial Department of Agriculture)
are of great importance to the would-be settler in the
Territories. No. 1, which gives the mean annual precipitation for a varying number of years at eight centres
of North-Western settlement, should be studied in
connection with the Appendix on Irrigation in Western
Canada. It will be noticed, e.g., that in five years out
of fifteen the precipitation at Regina was less than 5*00
inches, and in those five years the crops were a failure.
It follows, therefore, that the district of which Regina is
the market-town is by no means a favourable location for
the grain-producer; for, in spite of the fact that of late
seasons have been rainy, it is certain that the seasons of
complete drought will recur. No. 2 gives the wheat
production for ten districts, and the production per
acre of wheat, oats, and barley. From these the relative
development of the sixteen districts may be judged, but
until such tables extending over a term of years can be
compared and contrasted by the statistician, no light is
thrown on the relative fertility of the localities in question
from this source. In the case of Districts 2 and 10 wheat
is grown on irrigated land. APPENDIX E
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rf s
H  wCUP^
■   I 2\6
per acre.
I.  South-East Assiniboia
2. South-West Assiniboia
3. Central Assiniboia      ...
4. North-East Assiniboia           ..
5. North-West Assiniboia
returns at
6. East Saskatchewan     ...       .
7. West Saskatchewan    ...       .,
8. North Alberta	
9. Central Alberta           ...       .
10. South Alberta ...       ...       .,
24 Alaska leased from Russians,
Alaska, reef-mining in, 118
"All Canadian Route," 6
Antelope and deer-tribes, 165
Assiniboine    Indians,    characteristics, 36
Astor, John Jacob (second) and
fur trade, 153
Athabasca,   cause   of   timber-
limits in, 159
Atlin goldfields discovered, 17
Ballarat, " fossil placers," 95
Barrens of Canada, 1$% seqq.
Spring on, 162
Vegetation, 161
Winter on, 161
Begbie, Sir Matthew, 87
Bendigo, "fossil placers," 95
Bison,    extinction    of    North
American, 151
Black Hills of Dakota, auriferous
deposits, 95
Blackfeet, characteristics, 36
Bonanza Creek, 9
Output, 18
" Pannings" on, 2
Gold rush, 8
Placers played out, S^
Canada, Dominion of—
Administration    of    gold-
fields, 9, 11, 13
Necessity     for      defining
boundaries, 48
Policy in North-West, 62
Politics   a  profession
Canada,   Dominion   of—con-
" Spoils system " in, 10
System of surveying, 51
Winter in, 130
Canadian Pacific Railway—
Built, 56, 58
Pamphlet system and, 68
" Canadian routes," 6
Cariboo goldfield, 9, 16, 17
Entered, 84
Possibility  of  further
ploring in, 94
"Rush,"  consequence
Caribou, 163
Herds, 109, 167
Indian mode of  catching,
Shooting, 169
Skins, 168
Traits of, 166, 168
" Caribou Crossing," 109,
moss,"    160,
" Caribou
Cassiar district—
" Grub-stakes" in, 99
Rich gold mines in, 85
Scientific prospector's
chances in, 100
Chamberlain, J., advice to the
Dominion, 122
Charles  II.  grants
Prince    Rupert,
Appendix A, 177
Chilcoot    Indians
Selkirk, 109, 110
Chinook jargon, 37
Caribou-hunters, 171
Customs, 172
Chronological Table of North-
Western  History,   Appendix
D, 227
Churchill River, 125
Coast   Indians,  characteristics,
37, 38
Charter to
25,     139,
raid    Fort
Columbia River,  gold in Big
Bend, 85
Comstock Lode, 2, 8
Outcrop, 90
Coyooh      Creek,      auriferous
qualities, 93
Coyotes, 161
Crows, 161
Dawson City, 116
Cost of transport to mines
from, 14
Population of, 7
" Sub-Arctic 1 winter   in,
Dawson, Dr., opinion of British
Columbia as silver country,
Dease Lake, 100
Divers, black-and-red-throated,
Dominion Creek, 18
Draper,     Chief-Justice,    visits
England, 48
Ducks,  pin-tail and   long-tail,
Dufferin,   Lord,    drives     first
spike   of   Canadian   Pacific
Railway, 129
Dumont, Gabriel, 41
Character, 57
Dyea Pass, 111
Refugees from, 7
Eagles, 162
Edmonton, 55, 68, 126
Eider-duck, 162
Eldorado Creek—
Output, 18
" Pannings " on, 2
Esquimaux, 164, 173 x
1 Fertile Belt," account of, 66
" Fifty-eighter " prospector, 86
Forest region and Barrens, 159
Fort Colville, gold found at, 83
Fort Dearborn, centre of American fur trade, 153
Fort Douglas—
Massacre at, 29, 143
Seized by Lord Selkirk, 31
Fort Garry, 46
Fort McPherson, no
"Sub-Arctic"   winter   in,
Fort Selkirk built, 108
Fort Simpson, 81, 108
Fort   Victoria,   Hudson's   Bay
Company's headquarters, 81
City of tents at, 83
Early shipments from, 84
Fort William, seized  by Lord
Selkirk, 31
Fort Yukon, no
Fraser River, rush to placers on,
8, 80
French-Canadian      half-breeds
(Metis), 21, 40
Flight to Saskatchewan, 55
Harmon's character of, 41
Origin of, 21
Rebellion under Riel, 52
" Scrip " issued to, 54, 61
French traders in North-West, 19
Fur trade—
American traders, 23
Competition between Yankee free-traders and Canadian merchants, 143
Coureurs des boisi20)22, 138
Explorations of traders, 136
North-West Company—
Established, 24
United with Hudson's
Bay   Company,  34,
Fur Trade—continued
Progress of, 19 seqq.
1 Red River carts," 43
Romance of, 136 seqq.
Scalp-traffic, 23, 142
X Y Company formed, 26
" York boat," 42
(See   also    Hudson's   Bay
Company; Selkirk, Earl
of; and Red River Settlement)
"Gold   and    Silver   Belt"   of
British Columbia and Yukon,
need for railway, 128
Granite Creek, "coarse gold
in, 92
Great Bear Lake, trees on, 160
Haldimand,   Governor,  refuses
petition of, North-West Company, 24
Harmon,  character of  French
half-breed, 41
Harper, recognizes possibility of
placer-mining on Yukon, ill
Harte,     Bret,     character     of
I \ forty-niner " prospector, 86
Hawks, 162
Hudson Bay, expedition to, 123
Hudson's Bay Company—
Boundaries of rule, 144
British Columbia and, 79
Carts, 43
Exploration of North-West,
19, 79
Forts and factories, 35
License expires, 49
Orkney men imported, 40
Pioneers in Yukon district,
mm Immigrants, advice to, 74, 77
Immigration     Convention     at
Winnipeg, 122
Indian   hunter,  characteristics,
Indian mode of catching caribou,
Indian treaties, Appendix B,
Indians of forest-region moose-
hunters, 171
Indians of Great Plains and
buffalo-running, 171
Irrigation in North-West, Appendix C, 216
Jack River, settlers at, 29
Jack-rabbit, 161
Kaministiquia River, 30
Klondike goldfields—
Boom, 3 ; results, 7
Klondike goldfields—continued
Causes of apparent failure,
Cost of labour, 14
Discovered, 1
Duration of, 2
Geology of placers, 116
"Haymaking," 15
Likeness to Caribou, 118
Maladministration, 9,    n3
Output, 1899. .18
Reef-mining prospects, 116,
Routes to, 6
Royalty on, 14,
Kootenay district, 1, 79
Boom,   1895-96 . . 92,
Capital invested in, 128
Need for railway, 127
Placers found in, 85
Possibilities of old placers,
Labrador, musk-oxen in, 165
Lake Superior, Grand Portage,
Land boom, Manitoba, 59
Laurier, Sir Wilfred—
And North-West,
In favour of Hudson's Bay
Railway, 126
Le Count, Pierre—
Notes  from   his conversation, 152
Visit to New York, 154
Le Roi Mine, 96
Leech  River  found to be auriferous, 85
Lepine supp'orts Louis Riel, 54
Liard River, country about head
waters good hunting-ground,
i Lightning Creek, "coarse gold
on, 84
Local winds, influence of, 159
Locheux Indians and caribou, 165
Low, A.  P., on musk-oxen in
Labrador, 165
Lower Fraser,
Macdonald, Sir John—
And confederation, 63
Scheme of trans-continental
railway, 126
Mackenzie Basin, winter temperature, 173
McQuesten recognizes possibility
of placer-mining on Yukon,
Manitoba, 58
Farming in, 69
Grain-trade and Hudson's
Bay Railway, 126, 128
Land boom, 59
Settlements in, 65
Winter in, 132
Mazzini,    prophecy   of    New
World, 129
Metis    (see    French-Canadian
Miners' Law, 112
Mitchell   Harbour,   gold   discovered at, 80
Montana, 91, 117, 152
Moose, Indian manner of hunting, 109
"Moose-land," 164
Mosquitoes, 164
Mount Davidson, 90
Mount  Morgan,  auriferous deposits of, 95
Musk-ox and caribou, 164
"New France," Lower Canada,
Ogilvie, William—
Estimate      of     Klondike
Mining-camp," 9, 17
Inquires   into   charges   of
maladministration, 12
Medicine-chest,    story   of,
On Miners' Law, 114
Takes news of " pannings "
on Eldorado and Bonanza
Creeks to Canada, 2
Omenica district—
Gold found in, 85
" Grub-stakes
Orbit bought by Hudson's Bay
Company, 81
Oregon, 80
Ottawa archives, 142
Pamphlet advertisements, 67
Pasture - lands    for     Black
Sheep," extract from, 75
Pembina, first spike of Canadian
Pacific Railway driven at, 129
Pemmican, 145, 151
Placer-miners' yarns, 114 242
" Prairie Bubble," 60, 61
Prince Albert, 55, 126
Prospecting as a profession, 102
Prospectors, two kinds, 101
Ptarmigan, 162
Qu'Appelle,   origin   of   name,
Red River Settlement, 28, 29,
45 .
Council of Assiniboine, 45
" Running of the Buffalo,"
145 seqq.
Reindeer (see Caribou)
Rhodes, Cecil, 26
Riel, Louis, 41
Conduct of rebellion, 52
Poses as apostle of a new
religion, $6
Rooney,    skipper    of    Susan
Sturgess, 82
Rossland, capital of Trail Camp,
Royal Charter for incorporating
Hudson's Bay Company, Appendix A, 177
" Running of the Buffalo," 145
Rupert,   Prince,    Governor    of
Hudson's Bay Company, 25
Royal Charter granted to,
25>   139,    Appendix A,
Rupert's   Land   transferred   to
Canada, 50
St. Paul, Minnesota, 43
St. Pierre, Le Gardeur—
On  English  on   Hudson's
Bay, 20
" Search for the  Western
Sea," 138
Salteaux, characteristics, 36
S askatche wan—
Cause of timber-limits, 159
Summer frosts, 134
Winter in, 132
Saskatchewan River, 125
French half-breeds on, 41
French trading-posts   and
missions on, 19
Settlement, 55
Scalp-traffic, 23, 142
Scotch half-breeds, 38
Petitions to Government, 56
" Sea of Mountains," 79, 87
Fishing   and   shooting in,
Seattle and Klondike boom, 3
Selkirk, Earl of—
And  Hudson's  Bay Company, 27 seqq.
Seizes   Fort  William  and
Fort Douglas, 31
Settlement at Red River, 28
Semple,   Governor,   murdered,
29, 143
Shaw, Miss, articles in   Times
on Klondike placers, 9
Silver in British Columbia, 89
Similkameen  district,   " coarse
gold" in, 93
Simpson, Sir George—
As Governor of  Rupert's
Land, 46
On   ingenuity   of   British
Columbian Indians, 37
On     number    of    Coast
Indians, 88
Sioux, characteristics, 36
Skagway, refugees from, 7
" Slang" phrases, 44, 149
Slocan Silver Mines, 89, 91, 97,
98 ■pew*
Slocan Star Shares,   price of,
Smith,  Goldwin,  definition of
Riel, 58
Snow-birds, 161
Snow-bunting, 162
Snow-geese, 162
Southern Alberta ranches, 72
v Spoils  System"  in Canada,
Stanley,    F.,    on   geology   of
Klondike placers, 117
Statistics,   etc.,   Appendix   E
Stuart River—
Placers on, 119
Prospecting on, 17
Stikine River, 100
Stikine-Teslin    Railway,
and note
Stikine-Teslin trail, 6, 7
Surcees, characteristics, 36
Susan   Sturgess   captured   and
looted by Indians, 82
Sutherland, Duchess of, depopulates estates, 29
Swampies, characteristics, 36
Tarte, Mr., 13
Thompson River, 83
Times, articles on Klondike
placers, 9
Trail Camp, ore exported
from, 96
Trail Creek, auriferous sulphides, 89, 91
"York boats," 42, 108
Yukon district, area, 119
Yukon goldfields, 111
Miners' Law on, 112
(See   also   Klondike gold-
Bound in Boards,   TWO   SHILLINGS each.
The Fellah.
Carr of Carrlyon.
Maid, Wife, or Widow ?
Valerie's Pate.  |   Blind Fate.
A Life Interest.
Mona's Choice.
By Woman's Wit.
Strange Stories.
Philistia. |    Babylon.
The Beckoning Hand.
In All Shades.
For Maimie's Sake.
The Devil's Die.
This Mortal Coil.
The Tents of Shem.
The Great Taboo.
Dumaresq's Daughter.
The Duchess of Powysland.
Ivan Greet's Masterpiece.
The Scallywag.
At Market Value.
Under Sealed Orders.
Phra the Phoenician.
A Recoiling Vengeance.
For Love and Honour.
John Ford; & His Helpmate.
Honest Davie.
A Prodigal's Progress.
Felly Morrison.
Lieutenant Barnabas.
Found Guilty.
Fettered for Life.
Between Life and Death.
The Sin of Olga Zassoulich.
Little Lady Linton.
Woman of the Iron Bracelets.
The Harding Scandal.
A Missing Witness.
Grantley Grange.
Beady-Money Mortiboy.
With Harp and Crown.
This Son of Vulcan.
My Little Girl.
The Case of Mr. Lucraft.
The Golden Butterfly.
By Celia's Arbour.
The Monks of Thelema.
'Twas in Trafalgar's Bay.
The Seamy Side.
The Ten Years' Tenant.
The Chaplain of the Fleet.
All Sorts & Conditions of Men.
The Captains' Room.
All in a Garden Fair.
Dorothy Forster.
Uncle Jack.
Children of Gibeon.
World went very well then.
Herr Paulus.
For Faith and Freedom.
To Call her Mine.
The Bell of St. Paul's.
The Holy Rose.
Armorel of Lyonesse.
St. Katherine's by the Tower.
The Ivory Gate.
Verbena Camellia Stephanotis
The Rebel Queen.
Beyond the Dreams of Avarice.
The Revolt of Man.
In Deacon's Orders.
The Master Craftsman.
The City of Refuge.
In the Midst of Life.
Camp Notes.
Savage Life.
Chronicles of No-Man's Land.
The Shadow of the Sword.
A Child of Nature.
God and the Man.
Annan Water.
The New Abelard.
The Martyrdom of Madeline.
Love Me for Ever.
Matt: a Story of a Caravan.
Foxglove Manor.
The Master of the Mine.
The Heir of Linne.
Woman and the Man.
Rachel Dene.
Lady Kilpatrick.
The Charlatan.
The Shadow of a Crime.
A Son of Hagar
The Deemster.
Cruise of the ' Black Prince.
For the Love of a Lass.
Paul Ferroll.
Why Paul Ferroll Killed Wife.
The Cure of Souls.
The Red Sultan.
The Bar Sinister.
After Dark. No Name.
A Rogue's Life.      Antonina.
Hide and Seek.       Basil.
The Dead Secret.
Queen of Hearts.
My Miscellanies.
The Woman in White.
The Moonstone.
Man and Wife.
Poor Miss Finch.
Miss or Mrs. ?
The New Magdalen.
The Frozen Deep.
The Law and the Lady,
The Two Destinies.
The Haunted Hotel.
The Fallen Leaves.
Jezebel's Daughter.
The Black Robe.
Heart and Science.
* I say No.'    j      Blind Love.
The Evil Genius.
Little Novels.
The Legacy of Cain.
Sweet Anne Page.
From Midnight to Midnight.
A Fight with Fortune.
Sweet and Twenty. | Frances.
The Village Comedy.
You Play Me False.
Blacksmith and Scholar.
Every Inch a Soldier.
The  Propnet of  the  Great
Smoky Mountains.
Adventures of a Fair Rebel.
Pretty Miss Neville.
Proper Pride.    |   • To Let.*
A Bird of Passage.
Diana Barrington.
A Family Likeness.
Village   Tales and   Jungle
Two Masters.   |   Mr. Jervis.
The Real Lady Hilda.
Married or Single ?
A Third Person.
London: CHATTO 4" WINDUS, 111 St. Martin's Lane, W.C.
<   M 2
Hearts of Gold.
The Evangelist.
The Fountain of Youth.
A. Castle in Spain.
Our Lady of Tears.
Circe's Lovers.
The Man-hunter.
Caught at Last!
Tracked and Taken.
Who Poisoned Hetty Duncan ?
The Man from Manchester.
A Detective's Triumphs.
In the Grip of the Law.
From Information Received,
Tracked to Doom.
Link by Link.
Suspicion Aroused.
Dark Deeds.
Riddles Read.
Mystery of Jamaica Terrace.
The   Chronicles  of   Michael
A Point of Honour.
Archie Lovell.
The New Mistress.
Witness to the Deed
The Tiger Lily.
The White Virgin.
Bella Donna.
The Second Mrs. Tillotson.
Seventy-five Brooke Street.
Never Forgotten.
The Lady of Brantome.
Fatal Zero.
Strange Secrets.
Filthy Lucre.
One by One.
Queen Cophetua.
A Real Queen.
King or Knave.
Romances of the Law.
Ropes of Sand.
A Dog and his Shadow.
Seth's Brother's Wife.
The Lawton Girl.
Pandurang Hari.
The Oapel Girls.
A Strange Manuscript Found
in a Copper Cylinder.
Robin Gray.
For Lack of Gold.
What will the World Say ?
In Honour Bound.
In Love and War.
For the King.
Queen of the Meadow.
In Pastures Green.
The Flower of the Forest.
A Heart's Problem.
The Braes of Yarrow.
The Golden Shaft.
Of High Degree.
The Dead Heart.
By Mead and Stream.
Heart's Delight.
Fancy Free.
Loving a Dream.
A Hard Knot.
James Duke.
Dr. Austin's Guests.
The Wizard of the Mountain.
The Lost Heiress.
The Fossicker.
A Fair Colonist.
Red Spider.
A Noble Woman.
Oorinthia Marazion.
The Days of his Vanity.
Brueton's Bayou.
Country Luck.
Every-Day Papers.
under the Greenwood Tree.
An Heiress of Red Dog.
The Luck of Roaring Camp.
Californian Stories.
Gabriel Conroy.
A Phyllis of the Sierras.
A Waif of the Plains.
A Ward of the Golden Gate.
Ellice Quentin.
Sebastian Strome.
Fortune's Fool.
Beatrix Randolph.
Miss Oadogna.
Love—or a Name.
David   Poindexter's   Disap«
The Spectre of the Camera.
I    BY G. A. HE.
Rujub, the Juggler.
A Leading Lady.
Zambra, the Detective.
The Lover's Creed.
The House of Raby.
In Durance Vile.
A Maiden all Forlorn.
A Mental Struggle.
A Modern Circe.
Lady Verner's Flight.
The Red-House Mystery.
The Three Graces.
An Unsatisfactory Lover.
Lady Patty.
Nora Oreina.
The Professor's Experiment.
April's Lady.
Peter's Wife.
Thornicroft's Model.
The Leaden Casket.
That Other Person.
My Dead Self.
The Dark Colleen.
The Queen of Connaught.
Colonial Facts and Fictions.
A Drawn Game.
•The Wearing of the Green.'
Passion's Slave.
Bell Barry.
Madame Sans-Gene.
The Lindsays.
Patricia KembalL
Atonement of Learn Dundas.
The World Well Lost.
Under which Lord ?
With a Silken Thread.
The Rebel of the Family.
' My Love!'
Paston Carew.
Sowing the Wind.
The One Too Many.
Dulcie Everton.
Gideon Fleyce.
Dear Lady Disdain.
The Waterdale Neighbours.
My Enemy's Daughter.
A Fair Saxon.
Linley Rochford.
Miss Misanthrope.
Donna Quixote.
The Comet of a Season.
Maid of Athens.
Camiola: a Girl with Fortune.
The Dictator.
Red Diamonds.
The Riddle Ring.
Mr. Stranger's Sealed Packet.
Heather and Snow.
Quaker Cousins.
The Evil Eye.
Lost Rose.
The New Republic
Romance of the 19th Century.
Half-a-dozen Daughters.
A Secret of the Sea.
A Soldier of Fortune.
The Man who was Good.
Touch and Go.
Mr. Dorillion.
Hathercourt Rectory.
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BY OUIDA—continued.
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[JAN.   igoo.]
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Madame Sans-Gene.
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The World Well Lost.
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The Piccadilly (3/6) Novels—continued.
Peg Wofflngton; and
Christie Johnstone.
Hard Cash.
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a 'Martyr ;   and The
Griffith Gaunt.
Love Little, Love Long.
The Double Marriage.
Foul Play.
Put Y'rself in His Place
A Terrible Temptation.
A Simpleton.
A Woman-Hater.
The Jilt, & other Stories;
& Good Stories of Man
and other Animals.
A Perilous Secret.
Readiana; and Bible
Wandering Heir,
J. RUNCIMAN.—Skippers and Shellbacks
Round the Galley-Fire.
In the Middle Watch.
On the Fo'k'sle Head
A Voyage to the Cape.
Book for the Hammock.
Mysteryof 'Ocean Star'
Jenny Harlowe.
An Ocean Tragedy.
A Tale of Two Tunnels.
My Shipmate Louise.
Alone on Wide Wide Sea.
The Phantom Death.
IS He the Man ?
Good Ship 'Mohock.'
The Convict Ship.
Heart of Oak.
The Tale of the Ten.
The Last Entry.
By DORA RUSSELL.-Drift of Fate.
BAYLE ST. JOHN.-A Levantine Family
Dr. Endicott's Experiment.
Once Upon a Christmas Time. | In London's Heart.
Without Love or Licence.   The Outsider.
The Master of Rathkelly.    Beatrice <_ Benedick.
Long Odds. v A RacingRubber.
A Secret of the Sea
The Grey Monk.
The Master of Trenance
A Minion of the Moon.
8ecretWyvern Towers.
The Doom of Siva
A Fellow of Trinity.
The Junior Dean.
Master of St. Benedict's.
To his Own Master.
Gallantry Bower.
In Face of the World.
Orchard Damerel.
The Tremlett Diamonds.
The Wooing of May.
A Tragic Honeymoon.
A Proctor's Wooing.
Fortune's Gate.
By JOHN STAFFORD.—Doris and I.
By R. STEPHENS.—The Cructferm Mark.
The Afghan Knife.
The Suicide Club.
the Young Master of Hyson Hall.
By ANNIE THOMAS.—The Sirens Web.
Proud Maisie. | The Violin-Player.
Like Ships upon Sea.
Anne Furness.
The Way we Live Now
Fran Frohmann.
Marion Fay.
Stories from Foreign Novelists.
Choice Works.
Library of Humour.
The Innocents Abroad.
Roughing It;  and The
Innocents at Home.
A Tramp Abroad.
The American Claimant.
Tom Sawyer Abroad.
Tom Sawyer, Detect ive
Pudd'nhead Wilson.
The Gilded Age.
Prince and the Pauper.
Life on the Mississippi.
The   Adventures   of
Huckleberry Finn.
A Yankee at the Court
of King Arthur.
Stolen White Elephant.
£1.000.000 Bank-note.
Mistress Judith.
Buried Diamonds. ' Mrs Carmichael's God
The Blackhall Ghosts.
The Macdonald Lass.
Witch-Wife. | Sapphira
The Queen against Owen
desses. | Lady Bell.
Rachel Langton.
A Honeymoon's Eclipse
I The Prince of Balklstaa
A Court Tragedy.
By E. A. VIZETELLY.-The Scorpion.
By F. WARDEN.—Joan, the Curate.
By CY  WARMAN.-Express Messenger,
For Honour and Life.
A Woman Tempted Him
Her Two Millions.
Two Finches of Snuff.
Nigel Fortescue.
Birch Dene.
The Phantom City.
A Queer Baca.
Ben Clough.
The Old Factory.
Red Ryvington.
Ralph Norbreck's Trust.
Sons of Belial.
The Shadow of Hilton Fernbrook.
By C. J. WILLS.—An Easy-going Fellow.
Cavalry Life and Regimental Legends.
A Soldier's Children.
By M.  WYNMAN.-MyFlirtations,
By E.  ZOLA.
The Fortune of the Rougons.
Abbe Mouret's Transgression. ■
The Conquest of Plassans.
The Downfall.
The Dream,   j Money.
Dr. Pascal.     ! Lourdes.
The Fat and the Thin.
His Excellency.
The Dram-Shop.
Rome.       |    Paris.
Z Z.'
A Nineteenth Century Miracle.
d boards, as. each.
Phra the Phoenician.
Post 8vo, illustrate
Artemus Ward Complete.
The Fellah. _e!_S
Carr of Carrlyon. I Confidences.
Maid, Wife, or Widow ?
Blind Fate.
Valerie's Fate.
A Life Interest.
Mona's Choice.
By Woman's Wit.
Philistia.    I    Babylon.
Strange Stories.
For Maimie's Sake.
En aU Shades.
The Beckoning Hand.
The Devil's Die.
The Tents of Shem.
Ihe Great Taboo.
Dumaresq's Daughter.
Duchess of Powysland.
Blood Royal.       [piece.
Ivan  Great's   Master-
The Scallywag.
This Mortal Coil.
At Market Value.
Under Sealed Orders.
Fettered for Life.
Little Lady Linton. .
Between Life <fc Death.
Sinof.Olga Zassoulich.
Folly Morrison.
Lieut. Barnabas.
Honest Davie.
A Prodigal's Progress.