British Columbia History

British Columbia Historical Quarterly Jul 31, 1954

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Published by the Archives of British Columbia
in co-operation with the
British Columbia Historical Association.
Willard E. Ireland,
Provincial Archives, Victoria.
Madge Wolfenden,
Provincial Archives, Victoria.
J. C. Goodfellow, Princeton. W. N. Sage, Vancouver.
Editorial communications should be addressed to the Editor.
Subscriptions should be sent to the Provincial Archives, Parliament Buildings,
Victoria, B.C. Price, 501 the copy, or $2 the year. Members of the British
Columbia Historical Association in good standing receive the Quarterly without
further charge.
Neither the Provincial Archives nor the British Columbia Historical Association
assumes any responsibility for statements made by contributors to the magazine. BRITISH COLUMBIA
"Any country worthy of a future
should be interested in its past."
Vol. XVIII Victoria, B.C., July-October, 1954 Nos. 3 and 4
John Tod: " Career of a Scotch Boy."
Edited, with an introduction and notes, by Madge Wolfenden  133
Rumours of Confederate Privateers Operating in Victoria,
Vancouver Island.
By Benjamin F. Gilbert  239
Notes and Comments:
British Columbia Historical Association  257
Okanagan Historical Society  261
Rossland Historical Museum 263
Plaque Commemorating Fort Langley Pioneer Cemetery  264
Midway Historical Marker  265
John S. Ewart Memorial Fund  265
Contributors to This Issue  266
The Northwest Bookshelf:
Cumberland House Journals and Inland Journals, 1775-82.
Second Series, 1779-82.
By Willard E. Ireland 267
Canada's Tomorrow: Papers and Discussions, Canada's Tomorrow
By John Tupper Saywell  268
The North Peace River Parish, Diocese of Caledonia:
A Brief History.
Sovereign: A Tree Grows in Vernon.
Cousins:  Through the Years, 1904-1954.
Davies:  Our Goodly Heritage, 1904-1954.
Jessett:  Pioneering God's Country.
By Willard E. Ireland  271 The Northwest Bookshelf—Continued Pagb
History of Kaslo.
Fraser:  The Story of Osoyoos.
By A. F. Flucke 272
Shorter Notices:
Brown: Admirals, Adventurers and Able Seamen.
Ramsey: Historic Yale, British Columbia.
Timberlake:   The Bishop of Broadway:   David Belasco, His Life
and Work.
Knaplund: James Stephen and the British Colonial System,
By Willard E. Ireland 274 John Tod as a young man.
(From an original water-colour in the Archives of B.C.) JOHN TOD:   "CAREER OF A SCOTCH BOY"
In view of the fact that the following account of life in the fur trade
during the nineteenth century is a particularly interesting one, and that
John Tod's part in it is relatively unknown, it has been deemed appropriate that the Career of a Scotch Boy should be reprinted. The original
version appeared in the Victoria Daily Times in 1905, covering issues
from September 30 to December 23,1 under the editorship of Gilbert
Malcolm Sproat, well known to older British Columbians.
According to Sproat's account, the subject-matter was gathered
from John Tod by G. H. Wilson-Brown and himself during numerous
visits to the Tod house at Oak Bay. As John Tod died in 1882,2 it seems
strange that the material was not published until 1905. Wilson-Brown
was a journalist and reporter and probably wrote shorthand. He died
in Victoria in June, 1904.3 It must be remembered that Sproat was
possessed of a distinctive literary style and, therefore, although the stories
are Tod's, the expression thereof is Sproat's.
Knowing the Tod house with its large open fireplaces and its romantic
setting on the shores of Oak Bay (at that time virtually uninhabited), it
is not difficult to visualize the scenes during the preparation of the story.
The three would, no doubt, be gathered round the fireplace, pipes would
be lighted, possibly glasses of grog placed beside them, Wilson-Brown
with his note-book, and the stage would be set. Tod loved to tell of his
experiences, and Sproat would be one who could draw out from him by
questions the more interesting of his achievements.
An effort has been made to identify the various persons and places
mentioned by Tod throughout the narrative, and for help in this connection sincere thanks are due to the Governor and Committee of the
Hudson's Bay Company for their researches into their Archives in
London.4 During the preparation of the Career of a Scotch Boy for
republication, various biographical details have come to light, about
which a certain amount of doubt and uncertainty has hitherto prevailed.
In order not to overload the narrative, it has been decided to compile
these family details into an appendix.
Victoria, B.C. Madge Wolfenden.
(1) Victoria Daily Times.   September 30; October 7, 14, 21, 28; November
8, 11, 18, 25; December 2, 9, 16, 23, 1905.
(2) Victoria Colonist, September 1 and 5, 1882.
(3) Ibid., June 15, 1904.
(4) Material from this source is published by the kind permission of the
Governor and Committee of the Hudson's Bay Company.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. Xvm, Nos. 3 and 4.
133 134 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
An Unfashionable True Story
By Gilbert Malcolm Sproat
John Tod, the subject of Mr. Sproat's brochure, was, as the
title implies, a Scotch lad who rose through successive steps to
the highest positions in the gift of the Hudson's Bay Company.
He was the contemporary, and peer in many respects, of
Douglas and McLoughlin. He was one of the most remarkable characters in the employ of even the great company.
In his declining days Mr. Tod lived at Oak Bay, Victoria,
and his house was a house of call for many horsemen who
revelled in their favorite sport before the days of fences and
enclosures. It was after long conversations on such occasions
that Mr. Sproat made the notes which form the basis of this
series of articles, which take the form of a self-memoir of
Mr. Tod.
The writer, Gilbert Malcolm Sproat, is known in literature
as the author of several works: Select Odes of Horace in
English Lyrics; Scenes and Studies of Savage Life; On the
Poetry of Sir Walter Scott; Physical Politics; The True Macbeth; The Education of the Rural Poor in England; The
British Opium Policy in India and China, etc., etc. The last
mentioned was the first prize essay in a competition open to
the world, and the award of $1,000 was given by the Indian
Viceroy and the Governors of Bombay and Madras. Mr.
Sproat came to Victoria in 1860, and was a friend of the
" Scotch Boy "—the Honorable John Tod—whose career he
One of the notables in North-west American history is the late Honorable
John Tod, who, after retiring from the Hudson's Bay Company, with the
rank of chief trader, became a member of the council of government, of the
Vancouver Island colony, in 1851. Mr. Tod, perhaps, was more remarkable
for what he was, personally, than for what he did, in the service of the
company or government, though his services were meritorious, and specially
so in Indian diplomacy and management, as the following pages may illustrate.
To me, as a youth, knowing him particularly well, Mr. Tod always seemed
to be somewhat separated from his environment, at any rate not half attached
to it. Standing thus, stoutly in its place, his personality suggested, and,
indeed, more or less exhibited, that reserved force of character which acts
directly by presence and without means. He was a refreshing unconven-
tionalist, who did not deal with facts at second hand, but through his own
insight, [was] guided by natural probity. A reference to standards of truth
and justice, as he conceived them, was the habit of his mind.   This, naturally, 1954 John Tod 135
drew some criticism on the part of those who can only appreciate a principle
when it is lodged in a person. To the last, not far short of 90 years of age,
notwithstanding his hard, narrow fortune until middle life, Mr. Tod's intellect
was as fresh and inquisitive as that of a promising college lad, ever seeking
to realize and illuminate the untried and unknown. Books, music, conversation, in these he delighted, and, strangely enough in one of his speculative
genius, he excelled all men I have listened to, in unaffected, graphic narration,
without scene-painting or counterfeit. You saw, vividly and exactly, what he
recalled and himself saw—" figure, proportion, color," back in its focus, and
the whole placed at a focal distance within the actual horizon of human life.
The following pages, in the guise of a self-memoir of this remarkable personage, comprise actual experiences related by him purposely, in conversations
with me, or with the late Mr. G. H. Wilson-Brown, and recorded by us
respectively, at the time, or, immediately afterwards. For the particular form
of the memoir, and the adaptation of spoken to written language, I must
accept the responsibility, as well as for the application of Lowell's aphorism,
that " knowing what to leave in the inkpot is the wisdom of writing." A few
personal names are omitted or veiled, in deference to an expressed sentiment
on the part of relatives or friends.
I do not know if it would be presumptuous, on my part, to express the
hope that this publication may interest some readers as a personal record,
and, perhaps, as a little contribution to the history of the places and times
referred to. The mere diary of a traveller, in distant lands, rather repels the
reader, and on the other hand the book " written for boys " of an age when
imagination lends its color to everything, is apt to mislead. It was Washington Irving's "Astoria" that long ago suggested to me this present attempt.
That charming work of a great writer by which he now is best known—at any
rate in the middle and western parts of America—is, as he admitted, " of a
rambling and disjointed nature."1 He knew well the value of unity in impressing the historical facts of any period upon the human mind, but failed
to achieve it in the work mentioned, through having essayed too much. It
might have been better, I have thought, had he adopted in the bulk some such
plan as I here, in a single sample, rather diffidently attempt. The necessary
unity and human interest, perhaps, might have been secured by a series of
selected autobiographic presentations, and by weaving into the enterprise and
errantry of each adventurer's life whatever of a climatic, topographical,
zoological or social nature, seemed, properly to belong to it. True, such
a method would have required some knowledge of the actors. This Mr.
Irving lacked, and, moreover, had no personal experiences of western life.
It is a tribute to his fame, as a writer, that a faultily constructed book should
be read, still, with zest.
Gilbert Malcolm Sproat.
(1) ". . . of a rambling and somewhat disjointed nature." Washington Irving,
Astoria, London, 1836, Vol. I, p. vii. 136 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
Chapter I
I was born in 1794, two years before the death of Burns, in a cottage
by the shore of Loch Lomond—the eldest in a family of eleven—but
during most of my boyhood we lived in another dwelling not far away,
on the bank of the river Leven, my father having changed his residence.
He was head clerk in a "print-fields," or small factory in which cloth
was printed with blocks, and earned enough to keep his large family in
reasonable comfort. Both father and mother were Presbyterians, and
very fixed in their opinions and conduct, but I was a rebel against conventionality from my earliest years, though with no lack of feeling, or
duty, as a son. My mother I once overheard saying of me to a neighbor:
" That boy has been different from all the others since the hour he was
born, and I know not what will become of him. I fear little good. You
mind the big storm when the earth shook, and we put the blankets over
our heads—the bairn then was all the time outside on the rocks clapping
his hands at the lightning."
During several more or less uncomfortable years at the parish school
I listened to what the " dominie " had to teach, but could not agree with
much of it. He persisted in cramming me with the grammar of Latin
and with memorised extracts from the Bible, when my bent was towards
arithmetic, the English language and natural history. The result was
that, practically, having to teach myself, further attendance at the school
seemed to me to be a waste of time. When getting on for 17, and, then
a tall, strong lad, my father sent me to a cotton-yard warehouse in
Glasgow, where I acted as under clerk in the office, and Uved with my
grandparents. After about two years in this employment, the porter
having fallen sick, I volunteered to do his work as well as my own, but
as my employers insisted on my continuing this double service without
adding to my pay, I accepted dismissal, and wended my way back to the
home on the Leven. The news had reached there, and my mother, a
good woman, but not demonstratively affectionate, having many cares
and a sharp tongue, met me at the door with warning finger, saying
" So, the ne'er-dae well is back." Big as I was, and ashamed of such
emotion, this made me go, in tears, to my father at the "print-fields,"
and he said: "Dinna tak on, laddie! Dinna tak on; it'll be a'richt as
lang as your feyther's kale-pot stands." By and by, having endured, for
a couple of months the scoff of my own family and the neighbors, a letter 1954 John Tod 137
came from my uncle in Glasgow stating that a Mr. McDonald2 was
engaging young men to go out to the Hudson's Bay Company's land.
My father gave me a little money, together with three books, namely, the
Bible, Burns' Works and Buchan's Medicine,3 and away I went back to
Glasgow, and on seeing Mr. McDonald, whom I knew a Uttle, he said
that as I was young, he could not give me the wages of older men.
" Never mind, sir," said I, " I wiU try to do my duty," whereupon he
engaged me for four years at £20 a year, with a yearly increase of £5.
Then on inquiring what the work would be Mr. McDonald repUed that
he couldn't teU me—I might have to hunt and kiU bears. Next, as my
knowledge of the Hudson's Bay Company's territory was smaU, I asked
whither I might have to go—not that I was caring much about that, for
my only anxiety was to get away from home. He repUed that I would
know soon enough; it was over there in America. This was in March,
1813,4 and I embarked in June, one of a party of sixteen men destined
for the settlement then being formed at Red River by Lord Selkirk,
under some arrangement with the Hudson's Bay Company. The passengers included 40 or 50 laborers for the general service of that company.
I had been aboard a ship once at Greenock, but never at sea in one
before. The vessel was in size about 80 tons, chartered to take us to
Stornoway, where the regular Hudson's Bay ship from London, about
five times as big, would caU to convey the party to Hudson's Bay. The
weather was fine, and the food of fair quality, but too much oatmeal
porridge. A few days' easy saU took us to Stornoway in the outer
Hebridean isle of Lewis, where we were lodged in different parts of the
town, the people being very kind. It was in this town that I first heard
the name of the " Northwest Company," the Hudson's Bay Company's
rival in trade. The people spoke of what agents of the former company
had done in Norway, to dissuade Hudson's Bay Company men from
proceeding to America. Six weeks passed before the arrival of the ship
that was to take us over sea.   Upon her arrival we were immediately
(2) Miles Macdonell was sent by Lord Selkirk to the British Isles in 1811 to
recruit labourers for the Red River Settlement. A. S. Morton, A History of the
Canadian West to 1870-71, London, [1939], pp. 539-541.
(3) William Buchan, Domestic Medicine, Edinburgh, 1769. Robert Burns,
1759-96, the famous Scottish poet, is obviously the one to whom reference is
(4) This should be 1811. Tod sailed to Hudson Bay in the Edward and Ann.
R. H. Fleming (ed.), Minutes of Council Northern Department of Rupert Land,
1821-31, London, 1940, pp. 459-460. See also R. A. Reynolds, Secretary of the
Hudson's Bay Company, to W. E. Ireland, August 23, 1950, MS., Archives of B.C. 138 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
ordered aboard. The captain was sick and the mate, who acted as
skipper in his place, himself being a qualified master, was known as " Old
Davis,"3 long a servant of the Hudson's Bay Company. The anchor was
stiU down after three days, and no food on the table but porridge. This
caused dissatisfaction, and one of the laboring class of passengers, a
young man from Glasgow named Hamilton, who represented the general
feeling, walked up to the acting skipper on the deck and told him, quietly,
that the passengers would not live any longer on such food. " Damn my
buttons," exclaimed Old Davis, " if you don't like the food you may jump
overboard." Hamilton accepted the unmeant alternative, doffed bonnet,
coat and boots, and sUpped into the sea, foUowed by five others, and they
all swam for the shore, distant about one and a half miles.
The ship's boats were lowered to overtake the swimmers, and some
of the shore people witnessing a commotion, and fearsome that their
friends had got among Irish, rowed also to the scene. The two ftotiUas
reached the fugitives about the same time, and after a struggle, in which,
amusingly, the shoulders and feet of some of the swimmers were pulled
in different directions by the contesting rescuers, the town party won and
proceeded to the shore with their willing captives.
That was the last we saw of them, because a few hours afterwards
Old Davis, fearing a further loss of men who, in this voyage, were of a
class less docile than the Orkney men, whom he usually had as passengers, weighed anchor, and started for York Factory in Hudson's Bay.
The fare was improved, and "burgoo,"6 or oatmeal porridge without
milk or any substitute was almost banished from the tables. I had no
idea tiU I tried it, and saw the effect upon others, how distasteful oatmeal
by itself soon becomes, excepting always cakes fried on the griddle. The
voyage was uneventful, and, though sea Ufe was a new experience to me,
and I had oft boated on the Lomond, strangely, I took no interest in the
working of the ship. I saw my first iceberg in Hudson's Strait, where the
floating ice in the narrow channels detained our vessel for two days.
A few of us landed with guns, but got no game. I fired at a large white
bird, which the mate said was an Arctic falcon, which was seen rarely
(5) The skipper of the Edward and Ann was Thomas Gull. John Davison is
listed as supercargo. H.B.C. Archives, C. 1/323. In 1812 Davison was skipper
of the Robert Taylor. E. E. Rich (ed.), Colin Robertson's Correspondence Book,
September, 1817 to September, 1822, London, 1939, p. 225.
(6) A now obsolete term formerly in use in the counties of Northamptonshire
and Hertfordshire. Joseph Wright, English Dialect Dictionary, London, n.d., Vol.
I, p. 450. 1954 John Tod 139
out of Arctic latitudes. Passing numerous islands and entering Hudson's
Bay, as I was told, though it looked like the open sea, we sailed 600
miles across it, southwesterly to York Factory, which we reached after
an eight weeks' passage from Stornoway.7
The "factory," a name continued from the seventeenth century
appeUation for important oversea trading stations, was near the mouth
of Hayes river, which enters the southwestern part of Hudson's Bay
immediately east of Nelson river. The first forts of the company in the
bay, as a friendly doctor at the factory, or fort, afterwards told me, were
at Rupert, Albany, ChurchiU and Hayes rivers, and some of these forts
had been taken and temporarily held by the French in 1782. He said
further that the company, for a long time, rather waited than sought for
trade. A century after its formation it had only four or five forts, or
factories, on the coast of Hudson's Bay, and not over 120 regular servants. York Factory, where we disembarked, was a large coUection of
buUdings, some in disrepair owing to the swampiness of the locality,
which indeed characterizes the whole coast. The factory was buUt partly
on piles. It was within a large, oblong enclosure, waUed by a timber
stockade, with gaUeries to walk on, inside and out—a tower at each
corner and a high " lookout" tower near the end of the main buUding.
This latter was very large, containing a general room 300 feet long with
officers' and servants' rooms entered from it. Fur sheds, shipping warehouses, offices, stores, magazines, boat house and dwellings for the servants made thirty or forty buUdings within the enclosure. There were
cannons in the bastions, and facing the main entrance, chiefly now I was
told, for defence against a possible raid by the rival Northwest Company.
The 16 of us, bound, as I have said, for Red River were on landing
introduced to the officer in charge, an Englishman caUed Cookson,8 and
to Mr. Jameson,9 a Scotchman, and local head man of that district,
neither of whom, though civU enough, gave us any hearty welcome. It
was stated to me, later on, that the conduct of a previous party arriving
(7) The Edward and Ann reached York Factory on September 24, 1811. A. S.
Morton, op. cit., p. 542.
(8) William Hemmings Cook, a native of London who had entered the service
of the Hudson's Bay Company in 1786. In 1809 he took over the management
of York Factory, remaining there until 1815. See Fleming, Minutes of Council,
pp. 432-433.
(9) Tod's memory appears to be at fault, unless he is referring to William
Auld, a Scot, who had been appointed superintendent of the northern factories in
1810, and who spent the trading season of 1811-12 partly at York Factory and
partly at Churchill.   Rich, Colin Robertson's Correspondence Book, pp. 203-205. 140 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
there on the way to Red River, had not pleased the authorities. For our
part I remember that we resented an order to mess by ourselves in the
kitchen and were transferred to the general room. There was a good deal
of rather coarse banter at the table. Mr. Jameson repeated an old joke
as to the company's method of capturing Scotchmen in the hUls by the
recruiter carrying a bag of oatmeal in one hand and box of snuff in the
other, and there was other talk of that sort. Next day the whole party
except myself and another,10 started for Red River in boats that had been
waiting for the ship.
A brass 3-pound cannon, destined for Red River, was sent with them,
and the story went, as we heard it afterward, that, whether from the effect
of fatigue or bad leading, some of the party became so insubordinate on
the journey that the officer in command had to load the cannon with
grape to overawe them. This was not a very likely story, for such a
threat, probably, would have been seriously resented if deemed worth
noticing at all. The reason that I and another of the party of sixteen,
were not sent with the party to Red River was that we were considered
to be too young for the journey. We were ordered instead to enter the
fur trade of the company as "apprentice clerks"—a disposing power
which it appears the local authorities at York Factory possessed with
respect to men sent out for Lord Selkirk's settlements under his arrangement with the company. Though only £20 a year lads, pretty much
at beck and call, we were thus in company parlance just within the class
of " gentlemen " in the service, that is to say, that class eligible, in theory,
and as a rule actuaUy, for commissives [commissions] in the higher
grades. The first training of my companion and myself was to be in
" camp Ufe." For this purpose we were sent a short distance up the
river to Uve in a "lodge." This is a conical structure, supported by
slender long poles, usuaUy covered with birch bark, where that tree
grows, but ours was a leather lodge—the base about 15 feet wide, fireplace in the middle, a smaU doorway and an opening at the tip, pine or
cedar branches on the floor on which to lay bear skin and blankets.
We had to kiU game for our table—an easy task there, for game was
abundant, the ptarmigan being so numerous and unwary that we could
catch them in nets.   A Dr. Calder,11 one of the staff at the fort, the
(10) This is presumably John McLeod of Ross. See his Notes on Service,
1811-1816, Transcript, Archives of B.C.
(11) John Calder was surgeon at York Factory during the outfit 1810-11.
Although he sailed from York Factory in the Eddystone (Captain Thomas Rainsey)
on October 5, 1811 [Log of the Eddystone, H.B.C. Archives], Tod would just have
had time to make his acquaintance. 1954 John Tod 141
doctor above referred to, a pleasant, but not a visiting man, Uved in a
lodge not very far away from ours. Taking him some birds one day
I expressed surprise that he liked to live alone without a companion.
" Why," said he, " I have a companion who comes a[t] meal times.
You stay for dinner, and I will introduce you." The lodge furniture
consisted mainly of a square log on each of two sides of the fire, serving
for a seat and table respectively for two occupants. Sitting on my log
and the host on his, with tea and sugar beside him, I began to wonder
where the expected " companion " would find room, when suddenly
down the pole of the tent came a mouse, which, going straight to the
sugar basin on my host's log picked up a piece of sugar and away with
it up the pole to its own quarters. The sojourn in the lodge broke us
into camp Ufe in about a month, and we were then recalled for a long
tramp to an old estabUshed fort—Fort Severn, at the mouth of a river
of that name, which flows into Hudson's Bay about 200 mUes east from
York Factory.12 It was now winter, which, in that region, comes suddenly with intense frost, sometimes 60 degrees below zero with drifting
and misty snow. This caused my introduction to the regulation dress
of the company, and also to the use of snowshoes, as another stage of
my training.
Light blue was the company's color in attire, and I donned a coat
of that color, worn in this time of winter over a leather, flannel-Uned
doublet, worsted scarlet waist belt, smoked buckskin breeches, blue cloth
leggings up to the knee, under which were three roUs of blanket socks,
encased in moose moccasins. This soft and yielding, though tough footgear, by not impeding the circulation, lessened the risk of freezing which
the use of hard leather boots would have caused. Hanging my buckskin mittens to a cord from my neck to prevent them being lost and
throwing a famUiar Scotch plaid on my shoulder I was ready for the
journey, barring the snowshoes. The men below my grade wore much
the same dress, only more ornamented, and even the Indian servants of
the company had a general uniform dress though the coat was not always
blue. The " fire bag " with flint and steel, and usuaUy a pipe and space
for tobacco, was indispensable to every one, as Ufe might depend on
ability to start a fire. We were allowed two guides on this trip. One
was an old hand—an Orkney man, the other was an EngUsh sailor.
The company, when I think of it, had a considerable number of saUor
(12) Tod and John Brackenridge were the two apprentices sent on this expedition.   H.B.C. Archives, B. 198/d/88 fo. 45, B. 220/d/2, B. 239/b/82 fo. 9d-10. 142 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
men in its service. This one, Joe HaU, was his name, thought it fun
to go ahead out of sight when I tripped and feU into the drift, and of
course his tracks were instantly closed. The torture of the snowshoes
to an inexperienced walker, is, in some states of the weather and [in]
the snow very great. Indian chUdren begin to wear this foot-gear when
only five or six years old. For my part I could not have conceived
what I had to suffer from it on this first trip, but we trudged along doggedly and in fifteen days reached the fort, Fort Severn, a nice coUection
of buUdings with a staff of about ten men. There we were very weU
received, but two pitiful incidents foUowed our arrival, which made me
think I was gaining experience since leaving Loch Lomond. The officer
in charge was a Mr. Santley,13 who had an Indian wife and large famUy.
A Mr. Waring14 acted as steward and assistant trader. There, also, was
a Captain Taylor,15 skipper of a small schooner trading with York
Preparations were in progress for a trip over 200 mUes up the river
or its tributaries to another trading station at Trout lake. And on the
night before the day fixed for leaving, Mr. Santley rose from bed and
went to the store to add something to the suppUes which he had forgotten. In ascending the steps to the top story he stumbled and feU
back on the edge of an open barrel, injuring his head so that for days
he was unconscious. His son, a weU grown lad, and I had to keep
watches in Mr. Santley's bedroom by turns. One night the trader, Mr.
Waring, entered during my watch and looked long and sadly at the
sufferer in the bed, and then quietly retired without a word having been
uttered. Presently there was the report of a gun, but I thought nothing
of that, as many guns were set in the neighborhood for wolves, etc.
But in the early morning the man who had to go to the cow house to
milk the cow came and told me that the door of the trading shed was
open.   This being unusual, I went there and found Mr. Waring lying
(13) James Swain, Sr., was in charge of Severn House, 1811-12. E. E. Rich
(ed.), Journal of Occurrences in the Athabasca Department by George Simpson,
1820 and 1821, and Report, London, 1938, p. 470. See also John Tod, History of
New Caledonia and the North West Coast, Photostat, Archives of B.C., p. 42.
(14) This is James Wilson, a native of Kirkwall, assistant trader at Severn,
1811-12, according to James Swain's report of April 23, 1812, HJi.C. Archives,
B. 198/d/88 fo. 45.
(15) George Taylor was the father of Simpson's "country wife," Margaret.
A. S. Morton, Sir George Simpson, Portland, 1944, p. 159. 1954 John Tod 143
dead inside with indications that he had shot himself.16 He was a
quiet, sober, steady man. Mr. Santley did not recover from the effects
of his accident until the spring, and for a long time afterward was very
weak. I had never seen a corpse before that of Mr. Waring, nor had
my comrade, and the schooner-captain, by this time had sailed away
to escape being shut in by the ice. The ground was frozen hard, and
it was difficult to make a grave—thaw in summer seldom goes deeper
than four inches—but we at last succeeded in giving the poor feUow a
decent burial. Our guides had gone back to York Factory, and the men
at Fort Severn—mostly French-Canadian half-breeds—could give no
assistance owing to their superstitious dread on account of the suicide—
an inherited feeling perhaps, through their Indian blood. For a considerable time, brave as they were said to be against any Uving thing,
these men seemed to fear their own shadows, and would not venture
alone outside the door of their house at night, even if the moon shone
Chapter II
We remained at Fort Severn to assist Mr. Santley during the winter
—my first winter in America. It lasted from the latter part of September to the middle of June. The temperature never was higher than 40
degrees below zero, and often much lower. My duties, owing to the
iU-health of the officer in charge, were of a general nature, and included
less of Indian trading than account work, for which latter my Glasgow
experience had, in some degree, prepared me. I have mentioned the
presence of a cow at the fort. WUd hay had been gathered for it, and
the animal seemed to thrive pretty weU and afforded palatable milk for
the officer's famUy. There also were an immense boar, and an EngUsh
horse of some breeding. The latter had arrived too late to be sent
forward to its destination at Red river. The boar and this horse became
companions, and, as we had no regular food for them, foraged on willow branches, or whatever of an edible nature they could find. The
horse must have been sorry that he left England. The two animals ran
to the fort on hearing the beU for meals, and devoured the goose-bones
and other refuse thrown out, contending for the bits in their pecuUar
ways—the boar usuaUy prevailing. This seemed to me a strange comradeship, but I have since read of a rabbit hunting comradeship in
Ireland between a pointer dog and a pig.   Frozen fish, chopped smaU,
(16) According to James Swain's report of April 23, 1812, Wilson shot himself
on January 27.   H.B.C. Archives, B. 239/b/82 fo. 33. 144 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
were served frequently to the cow, and, occasionaUy, to the horse.
Necessarily in preparing small fish for winter food, they were frozen
without the entrails or scales being removed. They were then strung in
batches of about 20, heads down, on twisted wUlow branches or other
sticks. Venison and flesh-meat in general required different treatment.
The pieces were at once dipped into water, and, on the water freezing
around them, were redipped and so tiU the ice-coat was thick enough.
Meat exposed to the frost without a coating so formed would not keep.
To show how cold the weather was, I may mention that a piece of new
caUco dipped in water and hung over a Une would be totaUy consumed
soon by the action of the frost. The large fish, such as the salmon and
the gray and speckled trout were dried and smoked in the usual manner,
when time permitted, but were not obtainable without undue effort in
quantities to form a staple food. The salmon began to come into the
rivers from the salt water of Hudson's Bay as soon as the ice moved
and the waters cleared. They spawned about the end of August. The
coast Indians caught them, but used more blubber than salmon for food.
South from Hudson's Bay, however, in the interior, the Indians had
salmon and dried or frozen wild geese as staple articles of diet. The
main reliance for winter food at the company's stations was cured or
frozen fish and salted geese. On hearing first of this I remembered my
father having told me that in his grandfather's time the Scotch largely
Uved on salted geese. The bird mostly used by us in the Hudson's Bay
region was the white goose, the migratory habits of which are regular.
The gray goose, in its different varieties being more erratic, could not
be depended on for winter suppUes. The former, appearing from the
south southwest in numbers probably from the region of the Mississippi
river early in May, flew along the coast of Hudson's Bay to a certain
promontory, and thence streamed seaward, always, I was told, from
the same place and in the same direction. That was the direct Une
towards Hudson's Strait, on the innumerable rocks and islets of which
they incubated. No one could teU me what food the birds Uved on
there. They began to return to the southward in September. The flight
of the white geese lasted for three days. They passed over us at a height,
I should guess, of 1,200 to 1,500 feet. We hid in snow shelters on
the coast marsh and made decoys of snow at a convenient distance.
Towards these latter the great successive flocks, from curiosity, lowered before passing, but never alighted. They had not the generalship
to send out scouts;  the whole flock flew lower to examine the snow John Tod in later life.
Eliza Waugh, wife of John Tod.
(From an original miniature in the Archives of B.C.) Mrs. William H. Newton (nee Emmeline Jane Tod).
John Tod residence, Heron Street, Oak Bay, as it stands to-day. 1954 John Tod 145
decoys, and thus we were able to shoot many of them, each gunner
within the shelter having several Indians to reload the guns and pick
up the dead birds before the next flock came. This work on our part—
it was not sport—continued, with intervals for our meals and to clean
the guns, until from 10,000 to 20,000 birds were obtained for salting—
an infinitesmal [sic] percentage of the millions that flew over us.
Mr. Macdonald,17 who engaged me in Glasgow, having, as I have
said, told me I might have to hunt bears in my new habitat, that animal
always had more or less interest for me, but of polar bears I cannot
say very much, and do not know if what were caUed " polar " bears in
southern Hudson Bay were of the genuine polar species. When in that
region I usuaUy was too busy to hunt those bears, though noticing some
of their ways as occasion offered. Other bears I shaU mention as my
narrative proceeds. The polar bears and the seals do not devour their
fish in water, but must get upon a rock or the ice for that purpose.
These bears venture far out to sea in the summer time on floating ice,
but approach the coast towards winter, not, however, to hibernate in
the fuU manner of the black and other bears. The female goes ashore
and " caves," so to speak, in the deep snow, or where the snow drifts
wUl soon cover her, and there she Ues without food tiU she has young.
The male animal, shut from the water by ice, roams the coast and sea
surface for food, as does also the female after cub birth, subject to her
maternal duties. A valued prey of theirs is the seal, which always keeps
an ice hole open through which it may reach the ice, used as a table
for its fish meal. The bear knows these holes and crouches like a cat
to seize the seal when it appears. UsuaUy he carries it some distance
from the hole before eating it. He always is foUowed by a pack of
white foxes, which, during his watch, strive to be quiet, gririning merely,
and turning their heads from one side to the other, but once the fatal
spring is made they trot about expectantly, grinning, whisking their
tails, chattering, and here and there indulging in a fight, untU the bear
is satisfied with his repast and permits them to eat the leavings. But
enough at present, as to some effects of the cold weather on the animals.
Chapter III
The most striking difference next to the uniform low terrain—
between the land I was now in and the hUly Scotch countryside which
(17)  V. supra, foot-note (2). 146 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
I had lately left, was in the sudden coming and the coldness and length
of winter.
" Nine months' frost and snow, and three months' bad weather "
was the usual description by residents of a year's climate in the York
Factory region. Another saying was that there were in four months
three seasons—in June, spring—in July and August, summer—in September, autumn—but Uable to be cut short.
It was this hard climatic condition, together with the attention necessary to appreciate at least some ordinary phases of the Indian's character and to master the rules and details of trading with them that caused
many young men at the stage I now had reached to retire from a service
which they had entered with hope. That was the case of the companion
I have referred to. The Ufe, indeed, was free from certain conventions,
but not as free, otherwise as a novice might have prefigured in his mind.
Discipline and supervision were enforced almost with mUitary rigor,
though with less formality in the social intercourse of the commissioned
ranks that probably exists in the army. A man might be ordered to go
elsewhere on duty at any time, the change perhaps involving 1,000 mUes
of travel, and he might be sent suddenly from a comfortable to an inhospitable station.   These were incidents of the service.
As a rule in such changes the company's interests were solely
regarded, but not invariably so, for the superiors were but men with
human likes and dislikes. The governing body was well constituted
of experienced officers, but in aU such councUs one or two men have
sway, either directly or indirectly. Promotions were made by the company on the nomination of the chief factors in councU, but this rule was
not always adhered to.
Perhaps the weak point after the " coalition " of 1821 with the rival
Northwest Co. was the long tenure of office by the " governor in chief,"
which tended to make him practicaUy autocratic. The first governor
of the coalesced concern in America held office for 37 years.18 He
might, and should, have been sooner retired by the company, but the
ungraciousness of the case of an officer of distinction and long service
seemed to have withheld the exercise of that power by the governing
body in London.19
(18) Sir George Simpson actually was governor for thirty-nine years, from
1821 until his death in 1860.   See Morton, Sir George Simpson, p. 283.
(19) The type-setters seem to have garbled this sentence. Presumably it
should have read: " But the ungracious governing body in London seems to have
withheld the exercise of that power in the case of an officer of distinction and long
service." 1954 John Tod 147
The winter with which I was familiar as a youth in Scotland was
gloomy enough, but nature there did not seem to die as it did in winter
where I now was. The opening of spring at Hudson's Bay gave the
idea of a sort of rising from death to us who had dwelt so long in
frozen-up quarters. Suddenly everywhere were evidences of a new,
more genial condition, an animation that gave deUght to our hearts.
The quickening of the twigs caused a sUght smeU in the terminal buds.
Pieces of ice from the broken fishing holes showed on their underside
signs of a wear or honey-combing by warmer water, though how heat
could reach water fended from the sun was not apparent. The
grey and white headed eagle (the latter cowardly and thievish bird
strangely chosen as the American emblem), these heralds of the spring
came early to seek their prey. The squirrel stretched on a slender
branch looked as if he were " dowsing " for the sweetish sap he likes
to suck. Beavers and also muskrats, more [soon?] appeared on the
roofs of their respective houses or enjoyed a Uttle frisk near them. The
young pet beaver that Uved in our house at the fort was down oftener
to the river-side seeking water to wash his eyes.
Time for us soon to clean, repair and put away winter appliances
and belongings. Ducks, by the by, whirred through the air, and geese
by the million in ploughshare formation. The release of the frogs from
their icebound prison was foUowed soon by their amorous lays. Let
me say here about the frogs that in the mossy swamps, in the mud of
which they spend the winter, I have found them frozen hard as a stone,
yet these when put near a fire revived and croaked, but upon a second
freezing nothing would resuscitate them.
Yet pleasant as the change from winter was to one first experiencing the climate in this part of the continent, I found afterwards that
the winter was the least disagreeable season. The region, as to two-
thirds of it, is composed of water, and what are reaUy marshy islands,
with innumerable muddy lakes and portages. It also is treeless, except
along some of the large streams and a few pines and swamp wUlows
in the open. The travel thus was most laborious to aU, and the plague
of stinging flies maddening to a newcomer until he became immune to
the pain, if not to the worry, of their attacks.
My stay at Fort Severn came to an end as soon as the river opened,
for then the officer in charge of the post at Trout lake, already mentioned, over 200 mUes (as was said) up the river Severn, arrived thence
with his " brigade " of boats laden with furs and to take back suppUes. 148 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
Long previously the Indians, owing to the prestige of the Hudson's Bay
Co., sold the worst of their peltries to the rival Northwest Co., and
took its best to York Factory, but in the pressure of competition the
Hudson's Bay Co. later established forts such as at Trout lake, which
I am now speaking of, to secure trade that might not be offered at York
Factory. The company had buUt a fort at Osnaburg lake20 as early as
1786, and later proceeded farther stiU to Red river. The Trout lake
officer's name was MarshaU21—an old saUor, very skilful in trade. He
ordered me to go from Fort Severn to Trout lake with him, and we
reached that place against the current broken by rapids in fifteen days—
my first real experience in up river, hard canoe travel.
It was now about a year since I left Scotland, and I had learned
something in my new Ufe, but not much yet about actual Indian trading away from the main station of a district. I had now special opportunities of doing this at Trout lake, for Mr. MarshaU sent me with a
guide to many more or less distant Indian camps, and I thus became
famiUar with the trade rules and practice. I learned, too, the Cree
language, or a branch of it at this fort. Mr. MarshaU's wife was of
that people, and he always spoke in Cree in the famUy circle, and, moreover, one of the daughters, a fine girl, nearly grown up, seemed to have
more tact in teaching me language than had the old dominie at the
But the details of that tuition, and my bartering for furs, as a novice,
would less interest the reader, perhaps, than some account of a friend
of mine—the young beaver above referred to—saved by an Indian
hunter, and presented by him to me for a pet. He was as black as a
crow, and soon grew large and strong. He became attached to Mr.
Marshall's children, and used to sleep with them. If confined in another
room he would bite through the door to get to them. The chUdren were
quarter-breeds, but the beaver did not detect their strain. Had he done
so, nothing could have induced him to be their playmate. When the
next winter came the behaviour of this animal was curious in the following respect. His instinctive hatred of Indians was such that when
temporarily blind from some faUure to supply him with water to wash
his eyes, he became uneasy on scenting the presence of an Indian in
(20) Osnaburgh House, built in 1786, was located at the east end of Lake St.
Joseph, Ontario. Ernest Voorhis (comp.), Historic Forts and Trading Posts of
the French Regime and of the English Fur Trading Companies, Ottawa, 1930,
p. 133.
(21) It has not been possible to identify this individual. 1954 John Tod 149
the room. Open-eyed this dislike was manifested by conduct which
had a tincture of what seemed human, but possibly would have been
seriously aggressive but for some dread of the consequences of misbehaving in the presence of his " white friends."
The Indians often were invited to enter the general room, and in
their fashion squatted with their backs against the waU, and laid—
it might be—a skin, a pipe or a knife on the floor beside them. Cir-
cuitously and graduaUy getting nearer to the Indians, their heavy-taUed
enemy seized one of these articles, and in his beaver fashion carried it
on his paws and under his chin outside the house, then giving it a parting whack with his tail he returned for another article. Lastly, he
would seize an Indian by the thigh and take his legs under his jaws,
but the human " article " being too heavy to carry, the beaver could
only push the Indian round—nevertheless, in the absence of opposition
—(for the Indian in this case humored his enemy), the beaver working
with great energy and excitement, but not attempting to bite, forced the
intruder, by gyrations to the door.
On one occasion this same beaver carried out an Indian child, which,
incautiously, had been left alone in the room, and gave it a whack with
his taU after he got it outside the house. Attracted by the chUd's
screams, I beat the beaver so severely that he left Indian chUdren alone
ever afterwards, but stiU showed his hatred of the Indian men and
I have had other beaver pets, but none acted entirely in the way here
described, though, possibly, they aU had it in them to so act. I suppose
that an inherited instinct marked the Indians as enemies of the beaver
race, but had not, as yet, placed the white man—reaUy worse racial
enemies—in the same category.
The Cree Indians, above mentioned, though only numbering 5,000
to 6,000 were the most numerous then of the Northwest tribes the company had to do with. There were two branches of them—those who
Uved along the southwestern and south coast of Hudson's Bay, and for
a considerable distance thence inland, known as the " Swampy " Crees
from the moist surface of the country they occupied. Another division
sometimes regarded as the Crees proper, roamed over a large territory
in the Northwest, from Assiniboine to Athabasca in the basin of the
Mackenzie, and in another direction to lie a la Crosse, which is situated on the farthest north important water system that finds its exit in
Hudson's Bay. 150 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
The language which I learned was the " Swampy " Cree tongue.
It was sufficiently Uke the regular Cree—and indeed the Chipewayan—
to be useful to a trader as far as the Rocky mountains. I found my
knowledge of it occasionally serviceable in New Caledonia.
Chapter IV
Mr. MarshaU some eighteen months after my arrival to work under
him at the Trout lake post, was transferred to Red river, and was succeeded by a Mr. Snooks.22 The latter was directed, in the winter of
1815 and 1816, to ascertain trading possibilities at a large lake in his
district known as "Pent"23 lake, said to be in latitude 54, where no
white man had been. The Indians there were caUed the "Cranes,"24 a
wUd, ferocious tribe. Something prevented Mr. Snooks from himself
going, and I was selected for this expedition, and, nominaUy commanded
it, but in view of my inexperience and youth, being then hardly of age,
I was instructed not to undertake anything of importance without consulting an old Orkneyman, "Archie," who was assigned to the party as
interpreter and boat foreman. The general guide was an Indian, who,
alone in the party, knew the country. I had three other Orkneymen and
two medium sized canoes—the Indian guide occupying a bark canoe
by himself.
We started in the beginning of October, and did not return until the
ice disappeared in the foUowing summer. Our experience was very hard,
and the business result of the expedition, apart from topographical information, rather unsatisfactory, as the Cranes were at war with another
tribe and indisposed to communicate with us; nevertheless, the proceeds
of the hunt more than paid expenses.
It took us seven days to reach what we deemed to be the lake sought,
the last day being on a considerable river, which we came to after making
a portage, but as our guide had deserted, we were at a loss to know
where to encamp. The spot, with winter impending, had to be where
(22) Presumably this is Adam Snodie, who was in charge of Trout Lake,
1813-15.   See Rich, Colin Robertson's Correspondence Book, p. 242.
(23) Presumably Paint Lake. See Fleming, Minutes of Council, p. 459. Tod
in his Reminiscences, Photostat, Archives of B.C., makes reference to a "Spent
(24) "There are two powerful families that frequent the country situated
between Osnaburg and Trout Lake called the Cranes and tinpots, who have long
been notorious for their depredations." Sir George Simpson to Donald Ross,
December 8, 1834, MS., Archives of B.C. 1954 John Tod 151
fishing under the ice was good. As strangers we could not know in
advance, such a place, and, now, with the winter on us, could not easUy
search for a suitable place. Thus, after erecting a log house for quarters
we were confronted by the question of food. Our suppUes of flour, etc.,
for the actual travel were soon exhausted.
The rule of the company, as to such expeditions, was not to cumber
a party with more suppUes than might be needed to reach a certain destination. It had been proved to the company, by experience, that no
matter what suppUes were issued to a party a surplus was never brought
back. The above rule presupposed that traders should be able to Uve
where Indians were able to Uve.
Unfortunately, however, where we were, edible game was scarce.
We kUled minks, martens, foxes, wolverines and others, saving their
skins and eating some of their flesh, when forced to do so. UsuaUy the
otters were shot and the others trapped. As to the fishing, ice had
formed on the lake, immediately upon our arrival, in fact, our fisherman
had just experimentally set his nets the day before winter came, and had
to break the ice to get them out. He then made, and kept open, a large
ice hole through which to lower the net at a newly chosen place, and
with the aid of poles he passed the net to successive holes in a straight
line as far as the length of the net—the " setting " being across a current
The rope attached to the net being drawn through the last hole, and a
long Une tied to it, the net was hauled, daUy, to the main opening for
examination, and afterwards was hauled back to its place by the rope.
We never caught more than half a dozen smaU carp, about one and a half
pounds each—not much for a hungry crew of men to Uve upon.
I noticed, first, on this expedition, what many after experiences confirmed, namely, that half starved men bemoan their expected fate, but
brace up when there is nothing whatever to eat in the camp. The ordinary man, too, if he can get fish for food is indisposed to undertake the
ordeal of the hunt.
The pride of youth, commanding the party, kept me from expressed
complaint, though suffering greatly from hunger, which, I must say,
broUed " beast-of-prey "—did not much aUeviate. Cleaning my gun and
its flint lock occupied much of my time. The three books my father had
given me, and which I never traveUed without, prevented utter lonesome-
ness. Solomon's prayer, in the Bible, for wisdom, which seemed to have
been successful, so attracted my attention that I foUowed his example,
with Uttle intermission, daUy, during six weeks, but without any result
that I could appreciate. 152 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
I sought in every direction for a moose camp without success. The
habit of that animal is to spend most of the winter season in a particular
selected spot, where its food of branches is plentiful. As strangers, such
spots were unknown to us. There may have been no moose in the district. Roaming one bright day in April, when the sun had just softened
the upper skin of the snow, and with nothing from the traps but a lean
mink in my shoulder-sack, my delighted eye caught the footprints of
a band of caribou, the flesh of which is exceUent. (The New Caledonia
caribou, I found afterwards, was a finer animal than the caribou here,
and, as food, perhaps even better.) The impression of the feet in the
snow, when a sample was lifted in a lump, was soft, not frozen, showing
that the band had passed lately. I felt akin to Solomon, and examined
carefuUy my gun, flint and pan.25 Moving with the utmost caution for
many mUes, I foUowed the track, or rather its general direction, as these
animals ere they rest, make a circuit to command the approach of followers on their track, but I never saw these caribou, and it was too soon
in the season for the ducks and geese. This passage of the caribou
I did not mention to my doleful comrades in the lonely shieling. But
enough—I have said that we got back to the fort at Trout Lake.
Chapter V
Some time after returning from this expedition I was promoted to
a " clerkship," and transferred from service at Trout lake to the charge
of the already mentioned Fort Severn, where I remained for more than
two years.
Then having acted for a speU as clerk to the managing factor at York
factory, I was made superintendent of the fur shed at the latter place.
These facts, without the presentation of wearisome detaUs, raise the
presumption that I had mastered my business, and the reader, if he
pleases, may now perhaps form some idea of me as a fuU-fledged officer
27 years old—a taU, strong man, with long brown hair, and a hard,
large featured face, unconventional, I fear, in everything, and with an
unconscious, habitual gesture of enforcing utterances by striking my left
palm with the other fist, to the alarm of some of my superiors whom
I might be addressing.
That was the year of the coalition of the Hudson's Bay Company,
or "EngUsh" company as some caUed it, dating from 1670, whose
(25) The part of the lock that held the priming in obsolete types of guns,
according to The Concise Oxford Dictionary, Oxford, 1912. 1954 John Tod 153
servant I was, with its famous rival, the " Northwest Company," dating
actuaUy from 1784—though its former(?) [formal] partnership agreement is dated 1795.26 The latter was largely composed of Scotch Mon-
trealers, but the coaUtion mentioned being a matter of general history
need not be here further referred to—at least not the events that led to it.
A Northwest Company partner, Mr. Benjamin Frobisher,27 imprisoned at the factory, had escaped in September, 1819, and died of privation in November, trying to reach the Northwest Company's post at
Moose lake in the district of Mr. ConnoUy,28 afterwards in charge of
New Caledonia.
My appointment to the fur shed at York Factory was made soon
after the coaUtion, and I was present at the formal banquet given there
by the authorities to the nominaUy united members of the former separate companies. York Factory was considered to be a suitable place for
the function, as it was the chief depot of the northern department,
whence aU the furs—some brought from great distances—were repacked
for shipment to London, and where most of the supplies and passengers
from London were landed. The place retained its importance, after the
coaUtion—in fact, one result of the coaUtion was that the trade of the
Northwest with Canada declined, and that with London, via York and
Moose Factories, largely increased.
This first social meeting of the superior officers of the coalesced
concerns—73 men were present—in the great mess haU of the factory or
fort, 300 feet in length with its two long narrow tables, had some pecuUar
features, owing to the bitter feelings of the guests who had for many
years been keen trade competitors, and sometimes personal antagonists
in willing combat. The "proud Northwest bucks"—mostly Highland
men—had been stalking about the old fort, as haughtily as had been their
wont at their own former headquarters for the interior, namely, Fort
WiUiam, Lake Superior, not trying to converse with the Hudson's Bay-
ites.   It was "doUars to doughnuts"—as the saying is—whether the
(26) Tod's dates seem to be in error. It is difficult to state when the North
West Company was first formed, references to it occurring as early as 1776.
In 1779 a sixteen-share concern was formed, and a new agreement was reached in
1783, from which date the company is usually considered as having begun. In
1787 it absorbed the Gregory, McLeod, and Company and the XY Company in
1804.   G. C. Davidson, The North West Company, Berkeley, 1918, passim.
(27) Ibid., pp. 159, 166. See also Rich, Simpson's Athabasca Journal, pp.
(28) William Connolly, whose daughter, Amelia, married James Douglas in
1826. 154 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
entertainment would be a " feed " or a " fight." Fortunately the governor
in chief, Mr. (afterwards Sir George) Simpson, who, acting with Mr.
Edward EUice,29 afterwards an M.P. in England, had been instrumental
in effecting the coaUtion, was present, endeavouring by courtesy and tact
to complete bis work. He had succeeded in an enlarged official function
Mr. WiUiams,30 who had been head of the Hudson's Bay Company since
the lolling of Mr. Semple31 at Red river in 1816. WUUams once had
commended a ship in the East Indian Company's service—a dictatorial
narrow man, prone to the use of force, but brave personaUy, if you like,
as his sword blade.
The two sections of the guests, at summons of the beU, entered the
great haU in sUenqe, and kept whoUy apart until the new governor moving
in the throng with bows, smiles and introduction, brought about some
conversation or hand-shaking between individuals, and ended by pointing
at, poUtely, where he invited the guests to sit. It was hardly possible, in
the circumstances, and owing to the number of guests, to avoid mistakes
in this matter of seating, and in fact several unfortunate mistakes
Watching the banquet from a corner of the great haU, the scene was
like some of those described in the "Legend of Montrose," a book I
afterwards read. Men found themselves vis a vis, across the narrow
table, who had lately slashed each other with swords, and bore marks of
the combat. I noticed one Highlander so placed whose nostrils seemed
to expand as he glared at his mortal foe, and who snorted, squirmed and
spat, not on the table, but between his legs—he and his enemy opposite
being as restless as if each were sitting on a hillock of ants. Their hate
was real, yet as a spectator assisting in the ceremonies, I could not but
feel a Uttle tickle of the ludicrous.32 Another couple of good haters—a
mobUe-featured, black-eyed man of sinister aspect (under a suspicion of
(29) Edward Ellice the elder, 1781-1863, became associated with the fur trade
in 1803, and was Deputy Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, 1858-1863.
See Beckles Wilson, The Great Company, Toronto, 1899, p. 532.
(30) William Williams was appointed Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company
in 1818.   See Rich, Simpson's Athabasca Journal, pp. xxxvii, 473.
(31) Robert Semple was killed at Fort Garry in 1816. For a biographical
sketch see Rich, Colin Robertson's Correspondence Book, p. 241.
(32) According to Tod's Reminiscences of 1821, Photostat, Archives of B.C.,
these two were Allan Macdonell and Alexander Kennedy. For biographical
data on Kennedy see Rich, Colin Robertson's Correspondence Book, p. 224; and
on Macdonnell see W. S. Wallace (ed.), Documents relating to the North West
Company, Toronto, 1934, p. 465. 1954 John Tod 155
poisoning), and a pompous feUow, with neckerchief and coUar, up to his
ears, had lately fought a pistol duel across a camp-fire after night faU.33
Another was expected to take wine with his jaUor opposite, who a few
months before had imprisoned him, as a captive Northwester, in a dark
ceUar, where he had to inhale the premonitory fumes of brimstone34—
and so on.
The dresses were of aU sorts, between that of a Cree " brave " in time
of peace and the conventional attire of a London diner out—the Hudson's Bay Company's blue color being common. One man33 noted for
braggart talk yet ready " derring do," had three long-haired prime winter
marten furs on the coUar of his coat, and the same costly material in the
cuffs and other parts of his dress.
The situation was saved by the demonstrative—if not very sincere—
comradeship of the several superior officers of the two sections, whose
example others foUowed, though some continued to glare with fierce
eyes at their former personal and official enemies. I feel bound to add,
comparing small things with great, that the good effects of the fine wine
used lavishly on this particular occasion, cannot be denied. Its action in
helping to overcome rigorous discontent, reminded me of the effect of the
spreading warmth of the summer season of this region in mitigating the
winter harshness.
I may add here to show the turn of events, that in addition to the
unfortunate Mr. Frobisher36 above mentioned, whom I had nothing to
do with, the then governor of the Hudson's Bay Company37 (not the
one at the banquet) had captured at Grand Portage,38 at the mouth of
the Saskatchewan river, two Northwest Company partners,39 and I had
charge of these persons at the Hudson's Bay Company's station at Rock
(33) From Tod's Reminiscences of 1821 these two appear to be William Mcintosh and John Clarke. For biographical details of the former see Wallace, op. cit,
pp. 472-473, and of the latter, ibid., pp. 432-433.
(34) This is one of the brothers McVicar, probably Robert. See Tod's Reminiscences of 1821 and Rich, Simpson's Athabasca Journal, p. 457.
(35) According to Tod's Reminiscences of 1821 this was Colin Robertson.
See also Rich, Simpson's Athabasca Journal, pp. 461-463.
(36) Benjamin Frobisher, 1782-1819; see Wallace, op. cit., p. 446.
(37) WilUam Williams.
(38) This should be the Grand Rapid. See Rich, Simpson's Athabasca Journal, p. xxxviii.   In all, eleven prisoners were taken.
(39) John Duncan Campbell, J. G. McTavish, and Angus Shaw were amongst
the partners arrested.    Ibid., p. xxxix. 156 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
depot40 and at York Factory. About the end of August, 1819, Lieut.
Franklin (afterwards Sir John) arrived with others from England on
their way to the Arctic Ocean, and seemed to know something of these
prisoners. A month later the governor required each prisoner to enter
into a recognisance, under a penalty of £3,000, to keep the peace and
appear in a court in England or Canada on some charge not specified 41
The prisoners were sent to England in the end of September, 1819, in
the Hudson's Bay Company's ship " Prince of Wales " as steerage passengers, and the proceedings in their cases were dropped. One of them42
prominently supported the coaUtion that was concluded in 1821, and
soon afterwards as a chief factor, was appointed to York Factory—his
former place of destination, and I, who had been practicaUy his jaUor,
became for some time his clerk there.
Chapter VI
It was my lot or fate, no long time after these last described events,
to be transferred from the Hudson's Bay region to New Caledonia not,
I beg the reader to observe, the French penal settlement of that name,
in an island lying eastward of Queensland—but to another part of North
America. New Caledonia43 was a name given by the Highlanders of
the Northwest Company to the east-central portion of the present province of British Columbia, comprising Fraser, McLeod, Stuart lakes, etc.
It lay between the Rocky mountain and coast ranges from about 53
degrees to 57 degrees north latitude, but was the name given usuaUy to
the north interior section of the company's "Western department,"
which latter included aU the territory between the watershed of the Rocky
mountains and the Pacific Ocean, bounded on the north by the Russian
territory and by the company's "Northern" department, and on the
south by the territory of the Mexican RepubUc.44
This vast department was not within the old charter of the Hudson's
Bay Company, dated in 1670, and the United States considered they
(40) Rock House was situated on the bank of the Hayes River 120 miles above
York Factory.   Ibid., p. 423.
(41) J. G. McTavish was later liberated for want of a prosecutor.   Ibid., p. 457.
(42) Presumably this refers to J. G. McTavish.
(43) Simon Fraser is credited with naming New Caledonia; see E. O. S.
Scholefield and F. W. Howay, British Columbia from the Earliest Times to the
Present, Vancouver, 1914, Vol. I, p. 250.
(44) Tod seems quite to have forgotten the Oregon Territory. 1954 John Tod 157
had a preferable right to it up to the Russian territory, but, meanwhile,
the trade of the company, in which the Northwest Company was now
merged, went on as usual, and was extended.45
No Hudson's Bay man had ever been stationed in New Caledonia,
and the Northwesters gave such a poor account of the country, that, after
the coaUtion, Hudson's Bay men, employed in the better known locaUties,
Uved in fear of being transferred thither.
My belief is that I was disengaged from the flesh pots of York Factory, and sent to this supposed inhospitable district of New Caledonia,
because the Hudson's Bay Company's governor—Sir George Simpson
as I may caU him, though he was not knighted until later on—nearly
tumbled over a stool, in circumstances which I shaU relate. On the
other hand, the apointment, nominaUy, was promotion—for, though stiU
a " clerk " I should be doing a fuU trader's work—and friends of mine
suggested that the country in question might be less inhospitable than
described, that I could not find a worse climate than I had been Uving
in, and that, as New Caledonia had been a Northwest Company's preserve, it was natural that Sir George and the councU should assign an
experienced trader of the Hudson's Bay Company to an important post
in that region, so that his work might be compared with that of former
officers of the other company.
The " stool" incident occurred at York Factory, as foUows, in 1823.
Each chief factor and trader was aUowed a servant, and the servants,
after the officers had messed in the great haU, took their own meals in
an adjoining room, Sir George's own personal attendant was the head
of the servUe staff. The impertinence of the feUow, who was known as
the " governor's Tom,"46 displeased every one except his master, whose
foot he had measured. CaUed out early one morning to receive a
" brigade " of boats—brigade meaning any regular party in charge of
suppUes or peltries—the officer in charge of it, upon finishing his business with me, asked if he could have his breakfast. " Certainly," said
I, " I have not had my own." Proceeding to the mess haU, where the
tables had been cleared, I entered the servant's room, and directed the
steward to bring breakfast for two. He drew himself up and repUed,
sneeringly:   " You have been keeping your bed this morning," where-
(45) Great Britain and the United States arranged "joint occupancy" of the
territory west of the Rocky Mountains from 1818 until 1846.
(46) Tom Taylor, son of George Taylor, to whom reference is made in footnote (15) supra. 158 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
upon I seized him by the throat and struck him a severe blow, saying
that if he added a word I would cut his tongue out. The breakfast was
soon brought for myself, and the fatigued and hungry boat-officer, but
later, Sir George Simpson came with the offending servant behind him,
and asked me: " Did you strike my servant? " " Yes, sir," said I.
" Did you threaten to cut his tongue out? " " Certainly, sir," I repUed—
raising my voice and approaching the interrogator, as was my wont in
coUoquy, bringing down my fist on my left palm—he retreating, with
some alarm on his features, into the embraces of one unperceived stool,
over which he would have faUen had I not grabbed him—another act of
mine which he seemed to regard as not auxiliary, for he went off fuming,
with his man behind him, looking round to exclaim: " You shaU hear
from me, sir."
This threat, however, was not in terms carried out, on the contrary,
Sir George became profusely civU to me—probably having learned the
facts of the case from officers of the councU who knew them, and, may
be, had overheard the steward's offensive remark, for they had rooms
opened into from the great haU.
A month later Sir George received me blandly in his office, touched
Ughtly on the incident of the stool, apologizing in a manner for his
servant's conduct, and then added that the councU had decided to give
me a new appointment. " Indeed, Sir George, where is it? " " Why,
New Caledonia,"47 was the reply. " Good! " exclaimed I, with a double
hand clasp, " the very place I wish to go to. I thought of asking for
an appointment out there."
My unexpected thanks and the suspicion that he was being placed,
with myself, on a common plane of insincerity, seemed to disconcert
the governor, but he dismissed me, civiUy, and I retired with his heart
laid bare in my appreciation.
On reflection, I regretted my own insincere speech, but, as my father
often said, " it taks a lang spune, laddie, to sup wi' the deU." The governor remained hostile to me, more, I imagine, because he knew that I
knew him, than from distaste on account of my independent spirit and
rough manners.
This personage had great abUity in business, and also tact in managing men, but was not mentally inquisitive or cultivated, seldom speaking
of anything beyond the routine of the company's affairs.  He had a great
(47) " New Caledonia . . . was regarded as the Siberia of the fur traders."
George Bryce, Mackenzie, Selkirk, Simpson, Toronto, 1905, p. 268. 1954 John Tod 159
career in the country, but was not equal to his fortune. His reputation
which he won, and in a high degree deserved, became less as time passed,
and as an imperfect sense of justice, undue favoritism in some cases, and
official pressure in others (not always from pure motive), together with
implacableness concealed under snules, became more or less apparent
in his general conduct.48
As for me, in the situation I now found myself, barring the good food,
or certainty of food, and the chance of reading books at York Factory,
there were trammels in the Ufe there, moreover, I was going to a region
where new conditions of trade and of hunting and fishing existed, and,
after aU the region might not be as bad as it was caUed.
The main disadvantage, added to the enmity of the governor in chief,
was that, in New Caledonia, I must, necessarily be under the orders,
locaUy, of former Northwest Company officers, for they alone knew the
trade there, and some of these officers had, as already hinted, a rather
contemptuous feeling towards aU Hudson's Bay Company's men, notwithstanding the recent coaUtion. But I had no homesickness, and
though going to work westward of the great mountains was like beginning my American career again, and though it turned out I was half
starved there, and almost forgot my mother's tongue, I cannot honestly
say, looking back, now, from my age of over four score years, that the
ultimate outcome has been unsatisfactory.
I may here acquaint the reader, by anticipation, that, after my first
long speU in New Caledonia, I was back in the Hudson's Bay region for
a short time, and thence paid visits twice to the Old Country. These
visits to be described in what wUl foUow, perhaps, may be to the untrav-
(48) A tinge of jealousy is evident here. Tod's relations with Simpson were
never happy. Tod's opinions of Simpson are similar to those expressed by John
McLean: " Making every allowance for Sir George's abilities, he is evidently one
of those men whom the blind goddess ' delighteth to honour.' ... Sir George's
administration . . . has been a successful one; yet his own friends will admit
that much of his success must be ascribed to his good fortune rather than to his
talents. . . . His caprice, his favouritism, his disregard of merit in granting promotion, it will be allowed, could not have a favourable effect on the Company's
interests." W. S. Wallace (ed.), John McLean's Notes of a Twenty-five Years'
Service in the Hudson's Bay Territory, Toronto, 1932, pp. 384-389. Simpson
evidently had no good opinion of Tod, for writing to Hargrave in 1836 Simpson
stated: " John Tod has been a most useless and troublesome man of late . . .
he requires more luxury and attention . . . than any governor of Rupert's Land
... let him have all that is fit and proper but not an iota more." Quoted in
Bryce, op. cit., pp. 268-269. 160 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
eUed reader more or less amusing interludes in the duU stage-play of
frontier Ufe which my story presents.
Chapter VII
The exact day of our leaving York Factory I forget; it was early in
June, 1823—the 10th of June I think.49 Old John Stewart,50 a partner
of the former Northwest Company, and now a chief factor of the new
company, commanded the party, of which I was the youngest, and he
also was to be in charge of the whole district of New Caledonia. He was
not the Stuart of Stuarts lake, where is Fort St. James, the first post
estabUshed in that region by the Northwest Company, though some say
that a station at " Kwa "51 or Frazer's lake preceded it a Uttle, in time,
say—1806. There were in the canoe—a large Northwest canoe—two
other officers of the company (one of whom had been in the battle of
Waterloo) and eight French-Canadian boatmen and laborers—a dozen
men altogether.
An ordinary Northwest canoe, manned by five men, carries about
3,000 pounds, and seldom draws, when laden, more than 18 inches of
water. Its average speed with the paddles—painted scarlet (they were
of old)—in normal circumstances is about five mUes an hour. A " portage " as the word impUes, is a neck of land or other obstruction across
which the canoe and goods have to be carried, usuaUy by men, but,
sometimes, horses are avaUable.   The bowman, on reaching a portage,
(49) According to the York Factory Journal, [H.B.C. Archives, B. 239/a/131],
Tod started out with the Athabasca boats on July 19; the rest of the party, consisting of Chief Factor John Stuart, Donald McKenzie, Jr., and Samuel Black,
followed four days later. When they overtook Tod, Black was to exchange places
with him and Tod was to accompany Stuart to New Caledonia. McKenzie (born
about 1787) entered the service of the Hudson's Bay Company in 1818 and served
at various posts in the Northern Department until his retirement in 1850. According to records in the H.B.C. Archives A. 34/1 and A. 34/2, McKenzie was a
lieutenant in the army before joining the Company's service.
(50) This should be John Stuart, who accompanied Simon Fraser on his
famous descent of the Fraser River in 1808. Tod is slightly in error here because
Stuart Lake was named after Fraser's companion and Fort St. James was established there in 1806. Fort McLeod, on the lake of the same name, was built the
previous year. For biographical information on Stuart see Rich, Simpson's Athabasca Journal, p. 469.
(51) According to Simon Fraser the Indian name for Fraser Lake was Natleh
and the well-known Indian chief at Fort St. James was Q'ua (spelled variously).
Scholefield and Howay, op. cit., pp. 251-254. 1954 John Tod 161
leaps into the water to prevent the canoe from grating. Instantly then,
slings are tied to the packages (" pieces ") in the canoe, and the men
walk off with their loads, and return for fresh ones. The usual weight
of a " piece " is 84 pounds, and the strap which keeps it in place, is
broad in the middle and fits the forehead of the carrier. The bowman
and steersman usuaUy carry or superintend the carrying of the canoe.
A partial Ughtening managed in the same way, sometimes takes place
at " rapids " as the guide may determine. When an adverse current is
very strong the crew, except the steersman, land, and from the shore,
or wading, drag the canoe with a line. Canoes being easUy damaged,
a good foreman is a valuable servant. The hardest work is at muddy
portages, and in getting through muddy lakes, where the water is low,
and the bottom too soft for " poling."
Hudson's Bay men, coUoquiaUy also, apply the term " portage," in
a larger sense, to the higher land between water systems, though it may
be 100 mUes broad, and the transport effected by dog sleighs in winter.
Some peculiar expressions used by the French-Canadians also have
vogue in the service—" to march " for instance, generaUy, is appUed to
any progression—including canoe or boat travel.
After, I suppose, nearly 2,000 mUes of journeying, via Ue-a-la-Crosse,
Athabasca and Peace river (the first named an Indian resort for the
favourite " hurdle " game), we reached Fort McLeod at the north end
of McLeod's lake in New Caledonia, on the 10th of October. We had
come the whole way through the wUd country, by water, except at
portages. The voyage was dreary and monotonous. Sitting in a canoe
during four months tires one, particularly if like me, long-legged. The
eye wearies of the endless succession of lakes, rivers, rolling plains,
forests and mountain scenes, many of them beautiful and impressive,
which no doubt some day may attract the artist.
What struck me most was the " cut" of the Peace river through the
Rocky mountains, which, as to its main range, narrows in that quarter.
The river, flowing gently in an east direction 600 to 1,000 feet wide has,
on either side of the " cut," as I caU it, steep, perfectly smooth waUs,
500 or 600 feet high, retreating above, stiU cliff-like, but less regular
in surface, to an immense elevation. On many parts of these smooth
lower waUs, easUy visible from a canoe moving like a tiny feather on
the river, are the remains of smaU marine animals so perfect that you
may almost beUeve they were petrified in the act of preying on one
another, or playing in the water.   The main range, though itself com- 162 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
paratively narrow, however, is flanked closely on its eastern side by more
or less paraUel, generaUy irregular mountain masses.52
The river in its passage through the most easterly and lowest of
these narrows from a width of half a mUe to a few hundred feet—the
rocky walls being waterworn, so as to overhang. It boils, foams and
roars among rocks and boulders for about 15 mUes in which distance
the faU is over 50 feet. Navigation, of course, is barred, and a long
portage necessary, which is called the " Rocky mountain portage." This
is the only absolute obstruction to canoe or boats in the Peace river from
its far western rise in the Stickeen country for 1,000 mUes except a
short rapid and Uttle faU about 250 mUes from its entrance into Athabasca lake. The Rocky mountain portage, in addition to its length has
the disadvantage on the traU of a steepish 1,000-foot hUl, and many
swampy patches. A smaU crew of men finds here the transportation of
large canoes, or heavy baggage, very dUficult. To the traveUer, particularly from the plain country lying eastward, the wUd mountain scenery
to the north and south, and also to the west, where that prospect is open,
is very striking, but, as I have said, the above " cut" through the main
range by the river flowing from the west, fixed my attention most—
perhaps in part from the suggestiveness of the ancient life-records on the
rocks amid the surrounding, silent desolation. Others seemed to have
been impressed as I was.
Ten years later when I revisited York Factory, the governor, Sir G.
Simpson, above referred to—a most unlikely man, as I have said, to
mention anything outside of the company's concerns—rushed toward me
as I landed, and asked, excitedly if I had observed the walls of the above
first mentioned " cut" or pass.
WhUe " nooning " or resting for lunch in our approach to this portage,
at a spot whence across the roughened river a remarkable detached
conical hUl several thousand feet high, compeUed our gaze, an Indian
messenger reached us from Mr. Yale,53 the officer in charge of Fort
George on the Fraser river in New Caledonia, about 54 degrees north
latitude, with the information that two of his men had been murdered.54
(52) W. N. Sage (ed.), "Coal-seekers on Peace River, 1903," British Columbia Historical Quarterly, XIV (1950), pp. 96-100, passim.
(53) James Murray Yale, 17967-1871. For a biography of Yale see Rich,
Simpson's Athabasca Journal, pp. 473-474.
(54) Joseph Bagnoit and Belone Duplante; see E. E. Rich (ed.), Part of Dispatch from George Simpson Esqr Governor of Ruperts Land to the Governor &
Committee of the Hudson's Bay Company March 1, 1829   .   .   .   , London, 1947, 1954 John Tod 163
This was the first item of news from the country I was going to. Toward
the lower end of the portage, about 3,000 Indians of different tribes
were encamped, who had come in friendliness, to meet us, and perhaps
help carry our belongings, for a consideration, across the portage.
After supper, and the usual pipe-smoking and fireside coUoquy with
the chiefs and heads of famUies, we repaired to our own camp, which
had been sent on towards the upper end of the portage, and on awaking
next morning, found that one of our men had deserted. Any loss of
white men was serious, for, in managing the company's stations, casualties were not presumed, and of course in New Caledonia, recruiting was
The Indian camp had not been moved, and I volunteered to go and
seek the man there, but our commander, Mr. Stewart, said: " What do
you know," and he rather sneered at me as a Hudson's Bay man. He
then sent the other Northwest Company's officer (not the " Waterloo "
man), in the party to find and bring the deserter in, but the Northwester faUed to do so, whereupon a renewed offer from me for the service
was uncivUly accepted. I found the deserter among the Indians, after
an hour of hide-and-seek, they fearing that the man would be kUled,
which would have slurred their hospitaUty, in receiving him, but this
fear, on their part, I reUeved by assurances, and taking the man by the
shoulder told him to come along, which he did.
There were Crees in the Indian camp whose language I could speak.
On bringing the man to Mr. Stewart, he said: "What Indian caught
him? " I told him he had better go back himself to the Indian camp
and inquire.
This Uttle incident shows the friction between members of the two
companies notwithstanding the late coaUtion.
Three days more boating to the junction of the Peace and Parsnip
rivers, and up the latter took us from the Rocky mountain portage to
McLeod's lake post, constructed by the Northwest Company long previously.55
I was soon sent thence (in the company of Mr. McDougal,56 lately
appointed to Fort Alexandria) to Fort George, another three days'
p. 24n.    Further details concerning this incident are to be found in Fleming, Minutes of Council, p. 107n.
(55) Fort McLeod, established by the North West Company in 1805.
(56) George McDougal was in New Caledonia from 1821 to 1830.   See Rich,
Simpson's Athabasca Journal, p. 450.
3 164 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
travel, to assist the officer there, Mr. Yale, on account of the murder
of two of his men, as above mentioned. They were French-Canadians,
and had been constructing a large additional buUding.. Two young
Indians from a nearby camp, had been hired to help them, everything
going weU, so far as Mr. Yale knew, until he left, on a to and fro five
days' trip to borrow a cross-cut saw from the post at Fraser lake. The
young Indians, in his absence, arose one night and cut off the heads of
the French-Canadians with their axes, leaving the corpses and bloody
weapons on the floor, and so far as could be ascertained, stealing nothing
from the store when they departed. It appeared to be an individual, not
a tribal matter.
The neighboring Indian chief—of the murderers' tribe—during Mr.
Yale's absence, occupied the store with a number of Indians, and himself afterwards went to meet him on his homeward journey with the sad
news. The bodies were left lying for Mr. Yale to see; it was freezing
hard, and they did not decompose. As said above, nothing in the store
was touched, and the Indian guard did not take anything even for their
food—a fact which the chief asked Mr. Yale to assure himself of and
then departed.57
The practice of the company in such cases was to outlaw the murderer and kUl him when caught—it might be years afterwards. They
were supposed to take such offenders for trial to Canada, but practicaUy
had to disregard that prescription, owing to the intervening physical
Chapter VIII
The Indians, I may remark, would try to hide an Indian accused of
killing a white man, but would not resist his capture. If, however, he
were captured in the camp of another tribe than his own, it was an
offence against traditional Indian law for white men to kUl him without
having prearranged with the harboring tribe, for the payment of what the
man's Indian relatives would be entitled to claim from it for deUvering
to death one who had shared its hospitaUty.
I wUl iUustrate this by an incident connected with the above murder,
and as the Indian law referred to was exemplified, thereby, in the person
of no less a personage than the late Sir James Douglas, K.C.B., who
became a colonial governor. A very strong, stately and dauntless man,
whom it is difficult to think of lying on his own table, enraged and
(57) For an account of this incident, see B. A. McKelvie, Tales of Conflict,
Vancouver, 1949, pp. 26-31. 1954 John Tod 165
trussed with ropes. One of the murderers of Mr. Yale's men, above
mentioned, fled across the Rocky mountains, and it was reported met his
death there from hostile Indians. Of the other, we could hear nothing,
and the years passed with various changes in the Fort staffs, but with
no change in the company's adjudgment of the escaped murderer.
In the spring of 1825, Mr. Stewart already mentioned, was replaced
by Mr. ConnoUy58 as head officer of New Caledonia, who brought Mr.
Douglas, then about 22 years of age with him, and both Uved at Stuart's
lake post,59 Mr. Douglas being the post officer. A great gathering of
Indians took place near the post in 182660 in memory of some departed
chieftain. That was the year in which Mr. Guy Hughes, and six of his
men61 were murdered at a post near Rocky Mountain Portage, and as
there were many strange Indians in the throng, it was deemed prudent
to have night guards round the picketed buUdings. One night, an Indian
woman, from the scene of revelry on a promontory a mUe and a half
distant, approached, asking to see Mr. Douglas, who was in bed. After
some parley with the guard Mr. Douglas was apprised, and on reaching
the outer fence, the woman confided to him that one of the murderers of
Mr. Yale's men three years ago was among the reveUers. Early next day,
in consequence, Mr. ConnoUy, Mr. Douglas and the whole force at the
post, including a man who knew the murderer's person, proceeded to the
Indian camp, whence, already, as it happened aU the chiefs and young
men had gone on a hunt, leaving only old men and the women and chUdren. In one tent were many bundles, and a woman busy packing, or
pretending to pack, them. The search faUed, but as the party retraced
their steps through the camp, Mr. Douglas suggested a re-visit to the tent
of this woman, and on turning over the packages therein, a man was
found who, not waiting to be identified as the person sought—which he
soon, however, was—made a thrust with an arrow at Mr. Douglas's head.
The latter and the others shot at the man, but aU missed him, whereupon
one of the party, not Mr. Douglas, struck the murderer on the head with
the barrel of his gun and killed him.62
(58) William Connolly, 1787-1849, was transferred to New Caledonia in 1824
and from 1825-1831 was in charge of the district. See Rich, Colin Robertson's
Correspondence Book, p. 209.
(59) Fort St. James, established 1806.
(60) This should be 1828; see McKelvie, op. cit., p. 27.
(61) Tod has confused his dates. Guy Hughes and four men were murdered
at Fort St. John, November 2-3,1823.  See Fleming, Minutes of Council, p. 9n.
(62) McKelvie, op. cit., pp. 27-31. 166 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
Justice thus being vindicated, the party returned to the fort and
thought no more of the matter, not even closing the gates in the day time.
This was rather strange in the circumstances, as Mr. Douglas, even in
youth, was inquisitive respecting Indian laws and customs. Perhaps the
fort officers thought that the Indians were intimidated.
Three days later, however, a number of them arrayed in warlike
fashion, rushed into the buUding, tied and threw aU the men into a heap,
and then in spite of his desperate resistance, overpowered Mr. Douglas,
and binding him hand and foot, deposited him writhing and shouting on
the table of the mess haU. The chief, by name, "Kwa,"63 (Fraser lake
in some old maps is "Kwa" lake)—a chief usuaUy friendly to the
whites, and the head chief of the whole gathering, directed the Indians
to sit in sUence on the benches round the room, and upon a luU in his
victim's expostulations, said to him, that when he was perfectly quiet he
would talk with him and explain. " Leave only my hands free," shouted
Mr. Douglas, " and I wUl let you see." "Ah, weU!" responded his
captor, " we are in no hurry, and can wait." FinaUy, on a more promising luU, Kwa approached the table, and Mr. Douglas said: "WeU! what
would'st thou? " The explanation was a reference to the Indian custom
above mentioned. " The man deserved to die, but why was he kUled in
my camp? You should have appUed to me for him; now, his friends are
here for his death, and I am accountable to them and must pay for the
body. We keep your law, and you should keep ours." " Kwa," repUed
Mr. Douglas, "you shaU not have the least thing." "Ah! weU then be
seated again friends, the day is young, and we can wait."
By and by, of course, the " man who tied Douglas," but never dreamt
of bragging of his feat, returned to his camp with his foUowers, carrying
gun and coat for father, a piece of cloth for mother, and ammunition,
etc., for his brothers.64 Perhaps he adjusted matters with the relatives
of the deceased, but of that I know nothing.
The incident was soon forgotten by us in the district, and by none
more willingly than by the future Knight Commander of the Bath, whose
just mind, I daresay, notwithstanding the ever present feeling of the
" ropes," appreciated Kwa's position in the premises. They are aU gone,
these men, and I am left in my age to narrate things that seemed important to aU of us at the time, but, from my present outlook are har[d]ly
worth recording. Yet I am told, and, indeed, see in the Ubraries that
(63) Father A. G. Morice used the spelling Kwah in his History of the Northern
Interior of British Columbia, Toronto, 1904.
(64) McKelvie, op. cit., pp. 27-31. 1954 John Tod 167
Uterature, not related to any human facts, is read, enjoyingly by many
people nowadays, but it is not for me to judge of these predUections.
New men come as the summers pass, and new minds and new feelings.
Chapter LX
It was a pretty hard time of it I had in New Caledonia, the Northwesters' account of the country, given to us at York Factory, proving
to be not far from the truth. Some part of the company's profits, certainly was wrung from the sufferings of its servants, but on the other
hand, if these servants were able to reach certain positions on the staff,
they shared in the profits. My present position was that of a $500 a
year " clerk " in charge of a station of some importance—one of several stations in the district of New Caledonia, which district, as above
said, was included in the western department of the company. The
next highest grade was that of a chief trader. These two latter officers
constituted the class known as " wintering partners," with functions and
partnership interests which I wiU describe later in the narrative. The
next grade in the service, lower than " clerk " was " postmaster "—a
class of non-commissioned officers, usuaUy from the rank and file, who,
having shown good quality as interpreters and traders, were placed in
charge of certain fixed, or " flying " posts. The postmaster seldom rose
to higher rank. Between him and the common laborer were interpreters, guides, mechanics, steersmen, canoe bowmen and middlemen and
others, aU in a weU understood and valued gradation not in its way
unlike that of mUitary service.
To a man from the Hudson's Bay region almost everything in New
Caledonia to the westward of the Rocky mountains was new. The
summer temperature is higher and more varied—ranging, I imagine,
from about 60 degrees to near 100 degrees, and Uable to drop a half
for a day or two each month. The rainfaU for the whole year is smaU,
probably under 10 inches. November usuaUy brings the snow. After
January no large quantity falls, though Ught occasional faUs may continue to early April. The shelter of the mountains prevents strong winds.
The regular water freshets occur between the end of April and the end
of June and, occasionaUy in autumn. The freshets interfere with the
catching of fish. The seasons do not come or go as suddenly as in the
Hudson's Bay region, and the winter is less cold. A winter temperature of 20 to 30 degrees below zero is occasionaUy experienced, but
usuaUy after a few days milder weather comes and ranges between zero
and freezing point, until possibly another very cold speU is experienced. 168 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
This capriciousness of the weather rather wearies a newcomer from
a region with more fixed climatic conditions, but in the dullness of a
narrow Ufe he comes soon, I think, rather to like the uncertainty, though
not ceasing to grumble at it. The above description appUes generaUy
to the long interior stretch of the country that became known to me
west of the Rocky mountains down to Fort Vancouver on the lower
Columbia with less snowfall and other modifications as you go southward. No year's climate anywhere, however, is quite like that of
another year. The snow in New Caledonia except in the northern
parts may be anything from a foot to two feet in depth on the level,
but, as a rule, in the southerly part of the district it does not faU or at
any rate Ue deep enough along the main streams to prevent winter
travel with pack animals. These, here and there, find a coarse kind of
bunch grass for pasture on wind-swept lull-faces or beneath the snow
when they have learned to paw for it.
The system of trade, too, was different in some respects from that
in the Hudson's Bay region I had come from, and so was the food.
There were two special seasons—the spring and the autumn—in which
the trade was carried on—not much, comparatively, in the spring for
the summer ways of the Indians were that each Indian had credit for
what he wanted—the standard being six beaver skins for a gun, and
four skins for a " two point" blanket, or six skins for a " three point"
blanket. The skin as a unit of value was presumed to weigh a pound.
The technical name for it was a " made beaver," of which aliquot parts
also were considered. The merchandise in barter was regulated in
value on the same principle—an article representing so many " made
beavers " or fractions of the same. An individual's account had to be
settled before fresh credit was given but sometimes this rule was relaxed
when only a few skins were short, the shortage being added to the fresh
As the Indians, in order to procure furs for their debts, went into
winter quarters, perhaps several hundred mUes distant that season,
though, shorter and less cold than at Hudson Bay, was very dreary for
the occupant or occupants of a trading post. The food as well as the
trade system also differed in my new habitat. It was chiefly dried salmon straight along, and not always a certainty of that. At Fort McLeod
we got our salmon from Stuart's lake, hauled across the portage 106
mUes by dogs in winter. A young bear furnished a welcome change
in the common fare, and a " gjddee " (Indian dog) when nothing else 1954 John Tod 169
could be had. Dried salmon and an annual aUowance of 50 pounds
of flour for each man was the only food provided by the company.
Any farther provision had to be sought, locaUy with gun, fish hooks or
native nets, but we had no salt. Often craving for cereals, I thought
of the " burgoo " in the transport ship at Stornoway. I had two guns
of my own—a double barrel, serving for either shot or baU, and my
favorite—a single barrel, which I always loaded with baU. Often I
have been away hunting alone, during nine or ten days without even a
dog, no companion but my book. My predecessor65 at McLeod's lake
had a good Ubrary, which on being ordered elsewhere, he could not
take with him, as no transportation had been provided, so that, to my
joy, I had many books added to the three my father had given me.
As time passed I got a fiddle with some music, and taught myself to
play many simple airs, and the instrument stiU is my solace, next to
books. I was close on nine years at the soUtary McLeod lake post,
without any special interpreter, or for most of the time any assistant.
Such assistants as I occasionaUy had were French-Canadians, so that
despite the good Uterature avaUable I almost lost facUity in conversational EngUsh, much to the amusement of my friends at York Factory
when, in the course of time, I revisited that place. They likened my
utterances to a linguistic "stew," made of bits of Scotch, French and
Indian dialects, thickened with what seemed to be EngUsh.
Chapter X
A Uttle story here now on the question of the Indians showing gratitude. There is an exceUent food fish in the lakes of that region—the
white fish66 (" titimeg " or " atikameg," as the Crees caUed it) which
averages about \Vi pounds in weight. It wUl not take bait, and is not
easUy caught. The scoop nets with which the larger white fish of Lake
Superior are caught in the eddies around the rocks, failed us here.
A particular tribe—the TuckuUies67—captured this fish by means of a
pouch-basket ("vervoe")68 placed in the running stream such as was
between the two lakes, McLeod and Lac d'Amour. One man alone—
Cheway—in the tribe of Siccanies, the nearest to me, could make these
(65) In his Reminiscences, p. 5, Tod says this was Peter Warren Dease.
(66) Dr. G. Clifford Carl, Director of the Provincial Museum, suggests that
this is probably the Rocky Mountain whitefish.
(67) Takulli is the spelling generally accepted for these people.
(68) For a description of this trap which Simpson called " vorveaux," see Rich,
Simpson's 1828 Journey to the Columbia, Appendix A, p. 195. 170 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
baskets, and usuaUy before going to his winter hunt, he caught a few
titimegs for me, which, frozen, helped my larder a Uttle. One fore-winter
—I never knew why—Cheway left me without my usual supply of the
prized titimegs. I said nothing of his faUure, and gave him the usual
credit for suppUes, but bis faUure caused me stiU more to pursue my
lonely hunts.
To my dismay on one occasion—the countryside being temporarily
vacant—my eye caught a distant curling smoke above some trees, which,
as I neared it, now sank from sight, then hung as a floating cloud through
which next a column rose, and what did I see there? Near the fire lay
Cheway and his wife too weak almost to speak, and beside them their
chUd dead. He had been trying, under some feeling of remorse for his
conduct to me to return from distant hunting quarters. The party had
eaten broUed leather for several days, but now had nothing. The woman
was a Uttle stronger than the man. "Let me die," said the latter, "I
deserve it." Putting him on my back, however, with the aid of the
woman, I carried him, as far as I could, in the direction of the fort, then
buried the two weak folk in the snow, aU but their mouths for breathing,
and hurried homewards. A sleigh drawn by two dogs brought them in,
and I kept them at the fort tiU the foUowing month of May—Cheway
saying on his departure: "I am your slave, and wUl do anything for
you." He never left me again without my supply of titimegs, as long as
I was in the district, and would not accept pay for the fish or permit his
wife to accept pay.
The Quelling of a Feud
One means of ending a tribal feud is included in another of my
experiences in this locaUty.
It was perhaps due to my own Scotch Highland extraction that the
Indian tribal system and the status in it of heads of famUies and chiefs,
seemed, somehow, more or less famUiar to me. Probably this helped
me in various emergencies wherein my action procured me some credit,
but I was praised, incorrectly, on the occasion now to be referred to for
effecting what both in Old Caledonia and New Caledonia was deemed
well nigh impossible (save by the method described in the " Fair Maid
of Perth ") namely, the ending of a tribal feud. I did end the feud, but
was moved thereto reaUy—at any rate, at the start—by intense indignation, that the " general room " at the fort was the scene of the disorder.
The circumstances were as foUows: The room was 40 feet by 20
feet, with a large fireplace. A band of Siccanies, who had come to trade,
sat in it, by invitation, with their peltries along the waU.   Etiquette 1954 John Tod 171
required the preliminary gift, to each Indian, of several inches of twist
tobacco. I crossed the yard to get that article at the store, and was there
detained opening a package. Meanwhile, unknown to me, another
band—Beaver Indians—rounding a near point in the lake, had landed,
and entered the room, from which a noise, as of dancing, reached my
ears as I recrossed the yard. The two bands were deadly enemies, and
were mingling in fight, when I entered. This fact and the going in of the
second party without invitation, enraged me beyond control, and I hardly
knew what I did, but it appears that, with shouts and mad effort, after
seizing and throwing most of their weapons, bows, arrows and knives
into the fire, a lane was made between the combatants. One of my hands
was cut to the bone, through grasping, by the blade, a knife about to be
plunged into the neck of an opponent.
"Are there chiefs here? Stand forth if such there be, that I may look
at you—know you not more than chUdren, the laws of trade and hospi-
taUty?—who invited you into this room? See your weapons burning
there—every Indian and every white man wUl despise and spurn you—
begone! and take your peltries with you." These and other words of
scorn I uttered in a loud voice, walking to and fro among them, and they
were sflent, but I heard one chief whisper to another: " ShaU he set aside
our revenge? 'tis said he is invulnerable." " What," exclaimed I, catching this latter word, " you cowards, except in conduct I am the same as
you—the same body and spirit; place me against yonder tree and fire at
me," but this they only accepted as stiU greater proof that I could not
taste death.
Changing my tone then, as I was getting a Utile tired, and they,
knowing their error (according to Indian laws), remaining sUent, I asked
why they imitated the beasts whose Kingdom was warfare, instead of
Uving in peace, as befitted men, and thus so " improved the occasion,"
as the elders of the kirk at Loch Lomond used to say, that, on a common
impulse, after coUoquy with their respective tribesmen, the opposing
chiefs shook hands, and on my supplying tobacco, the pipe of peace
passed round, and the feud of these particular tribes, which had lasted for
generations, was not renewed during my stay in the country.
The Beaver Indians of Peace river hunted north and along Nelson
River,69 and occasionaUy ascended the Peace to the west of the Rocky
mountains. A branch, claiming descent from them, Uved on Liard river.
The Siccanies from the west of the mountains, claimed hunting rights,
(69) Now known as the Fort Nelson River, a tributary of the Liard River. 172 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
also, in the Nelson River country, and local quarrels there, foUowed by
bloodshed, had made them and the Beavers as above said, bitter enemies. The Beaver party on this occasion had ascended the Peace and
Parsnip rivers to trade at Fort McLeod, and their presence in the country
was unknown, both to the Siccanies and to me.
The imminence of death in the above recital—an incident I was so
constituted as never at anytime to dread—leads naturaUy to the mention
here of the pecuUar disposition of the corpse among some of these Indians. UsuaUy the body was laid in a scaffold to prevent animals from
devouring it. On this, several rows of wood were placed above and
below the body. The most valuable part of his property formed a
pUlow, and, for several years the nearest of kin in passing left Uttle
articles on the bier. At intervals, also, the women sat near by uttering
The TuckuUies, however, and, less generaUy, the Siccanies, practised
cremation.70 Whether this custom had been brought in by these particular tribes, or was a survival of a former common custom in the region,
I could not discover.
When the body of a man was being consumed on a wooden pyre,
the wife, or woman who stood, in that relation to the deceased, had her
hands tied behind her. A pole held at each end, by a blood-friend of the
deceased husband, was placed across her back under her hands, and she
was hoisted into the fire at its fiercest, and withdrawn, usuaUy of course
much burnt and disfigured. The husband's bones then were reduced to
a powder, and placed in a bag decorated with quUls and beads. This
bag, finaUy, was tied round the widow's neck, and hung on her back for
two years, during which period she was the slave of her late husband's
nearest of kin. The Hindu " Sati,"71 and the early Aryan custom
in Europe to kUl the widow at her husband's funeral, come naturaUy
to mind, in relation to this possibly, modified old practice in New
(70) An excellent description of the Carrier Indians is to be found in the
letter of Father Modeste Demers to the Bishop of Quebec, written at Fort Alexandria, December 20, 1842, in Rapport sur Les Missions de Diocise de Quebec,
No. 6 (1845), pp. 13-20. A. G. Morice, op. cit., p. 6, states that " bodies . . .
were  .  .   .  left uncared for among the Sekanais and some Nahanais."
(71) Sati or suttee, the East Indian custom by which a widow threw herself
on her husband's funeral pyre. 1954 John Tod 173
An officer of the company, who had an opportunity of knowing some
of the Vancouver Island Indians, told me that cremation was practised
formerly by a tribe dwelling near Cape Mudge, but the widow, voluntarily submitted herself to the partial action of the fire, and her relatives
stood by to withdraw her before she had greatly suffered, though, in
proportion to her suffering, was she afterwards praised among the people.
Chapter XI
The weU-bred English horse detained at Fort Severn, as I have
related, ran eagerly to the fort for his dinner of goose-bones, but I never
knew him to dine off a coat, as a " giddee," or Indian dog did, at a way-
camp of mine in 1824. This reaUy was not an extraordinary proceeding
as many a man in the fur trading regions has eaten broUed undressed
animal skin as weU as dressed skin, and, in fact, even parchment, with a
bit of Iceland moss. The odd fact in the case I now refer to was that
the dog ate the coat off his master's back while the latter slept.
The master was an old French-Canadian who accompanied me on
the journey, and, through carelessness left some of our provisions behind.
I could not weU chide him for this delinquency, because I myself should
have examined the outfit. The deprivation, however, proved unfortunate. A pelting storm with bU[n]ding snow arose to delay our progress,
and after two days (it was only a 4-days' trip) our supply of provisions
ran out. The old man wore constantly, by day and night, a large elk
skin coat that came down to his heels, and, of this coat, he was very
proud. My dog at nightfaU took up the usual position between my feet
and the fire, and I noticed, as something curious, on lying down at night,
that the Canadian's dog was stretched out near his master's back—both
dogs, no doubt, hungrier than we were. Being the younger man I arose
first in the morning, lighted a fire, and having waked my companion, sat
down, breakfastless, to smoke. It was half dark, and as he moved
querulously about, I asked what was the matter, to which he repUed that
he sought his coat, nothing of it being left but a strip round his neck,
and a bit hanging down in front.
The unusual rotundity of his dog, and a guUty expression on the
canine visage, suggested the whereabouts of the missing garment, but
beyond a few curses and futile kicks, nothing was done to the offender.
It would have been imprudent to interfere with his digestive processes
in view of our possibly having to eat him the next day, should not the
storm abate. 174 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
HappUy it did abate, enabling us to end our journey—two tired
hungry men—one of them coatless. Whether the "giddee" ate the
whole coat or hid part of it, I never knew, or, if my dog had joined him
in the feast.
This same Indian dog, however, we did eat, two months later, when
on a bear hunting expedition, during which game was not procurable,
and, owing to the occurrence of freshets, we could not catch fish. I weU
remember that time for the foUowing reason.
My own trusty dog, Chiscot, a superior animal of bear-hunting fame,
had conceived an affection for the Canadian's poor " giddee," perhaps
because they were the only two dogs in the locaUty. It feU to the Canadian to kiU his dog, for our food, with a blow of the axe, and, instantly
my dog Chiscot seized the man's throat, threw him down, and would
have kUled him but for my intervention. Chiscot, being hungry, ate, I
presume unknowingly, a broUed portion of bis canine friend. Afterwards the Canadian could never appear in camp with an axe in his hand
without Chiscot attacking him.
A Bear Story
During the expedition above referred to I kUled a bear as I shaU now
relate, if only to show the vitaUty of the animal, besides, of course, the
reader expects at least one " bear story."
It was on the Parsnip river, paraUel to, and nearly at the foot of the
Rocky mountains, and a day to be remembered for its loveliness; but
everything so lonesome. The gentle movement of the water, the blue-
ness of the clear sky, the metaUic hues of the rocks, the bright green
mossy knoUs, and the drapery of the sUver Uchens, made me almost
forget that I was hunting, when—hist! from a bush of what they caU
" wUd grape,"72 on the high bank of the river, at that spot, emerged
the fore part of a large black bear. It was a long shot, but I fired, and
the bear, evidently not perceiving where the shot came from descended
the bank, and after staring at us, went up the bank again, getting as he
ascended, and as we were nearer, some buckshot in bis stern, from my
double-barreUed gun.
The other gun, unloaded, I took with me as I sprang ashore, and
on seeing large blood marks on the trail of the bear, shouted to the
canoe man, " bring the axe, quick "!   " Oui! oui! monsieur "! and I went,
(72) J. R. Anderson, Trees and Shrubs . . . , Victoria, 1925, pp. 62-63,
refers to this plant as Berberis Aquifolium or Berberis nervosa. It is commonly
known as Oregon grape. 1954 John Tod 175
foUowing the footprints of the animal, my continued shouts for the axe
being acknowledged by a distant tremulous " oui! oui"! The prints
ended at a large flatfish rock amid the trees, and whUe wondering on
which side of it the animal had gone, a deep groan assured me that he
was mortaUy wounded. There was the bear, in truth, near by in a
sitting posture, with his head on one side and his tongue out. Not
waiting to reload my gun as might have been prudent, I hit the animal
with a heavy picked up stick on the head, but he merely shook it, and
the stick broke on a second stroke. The third stroke was with the back
part of the axe, which the canoeman, at this juncture, handed to me
from behind a thick brush, but this blow also had no effect. When,
however, I clove the bear's skuU with the sharp edge, he pressed towards
me, the axe fixed in his head and I retreating, but stiU holding the
handle, the animal, for its part, being too weak to claw me.
I have killed very many bears, but this was the only time in which
the kUUng, though unattended with special danger, gave me a feeling of
faintness. I experienced, indeed, something Uke unconsciousness, for
a few minutes, until the man brought me a drink of water. This may
have been caused by the suddenness of the incident—the effect of running quickly up the high bank, and through brushwood and over faUen
trees, and, possibly, in some degree, by the supersession of scenic dreaminess by close combat.
It appeared, on examination that the only bullet fired, my first long
shot, had gone through the heart of the bear.
Other experiences I may add, have shown me that this animal's
heart is not the best part to aim for. If you have courage to meet his
charge, when the bear attacks on his hind legs, a shot in the neck drops
him without a struggle, and so, if he should be in the water, I have found
that a shot in the back of the neck is effective.
Habits of Bears
These bears, both black and brown—ascend trees, of any size, by
using their claws, like the cat, in such ascent, but the grizzly bear has
not this facuity; he only climbs trees that he can hug. Neither wUl
attack a man unless the animal is cornered or wounded. With respect
to the common simUe, in conversation, if not in Uterature, that so and
so's action is Uke that of a bear " sucking its paws," the facts are, that
when a bear first enters his winter den, he has hard pads on the soles of
his feet.   These, from non-use, tend to come off, and the process causes 176 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
itching, which the animal aUeviates by Ucking, biting off, at the same
time, the loosened parts. The pads, naturaUy, are tender on the bear's
exit in spring, and, often, bleed in his passage over rocks. For a short
whUe, in my noviciate, I regarded these bloodmarks as indications of
wounding, and, consequently, of the presence of unknown hunters, and
was surprised to find that some men, who had Uved for a generation in
the country could not otherwise explain them. As in civilized Ufe, so
in the wUds, many men observe nothing accurately—indeed, seem to
lack inquisitiveness. I have known a few experienced, superior officers
in the fur company's service, who could not describe the watersheds in
their districts. Indians, as a rule, judge weU of distances, and appreciate
topography. I have had them, on the traU, trace a map in the thick dust
on my horse's hindquarters, the women interposing with corrections.
I must not extend this " bear " line of narrative, yet may add, here,
that a doctor at York factory, who was said to read Greek, as I, formerly,
was able to read Scotch, gave me the information that a naturaUst of old
Greece averred that Mil a female bear when you may, you wiU never
find her young inside her, and that some modern observers had confirmed the statement. The fact, at any rate, in the northern parts of
North America, is that the female black or brown bear brings forth two
cubs in January. These are contained in two hard baUs, not in general,
unlike the kidneys, and the balls are attached by a sinewy string. After
parturition, the bear licks, presses, tumbles and seems to bite, these
substances, until the form appears of young animals, which it would be
difficult to assign to any animal-kind, but as time passes, it is seen that
they are bear cubs. The mother having to attend to her offspring, is, in
her den, less lethargic than the male, but unless in a very unusual season,
she does not leave her den tUl winter disappears. The male and female
have separate dens, not, always close to each other, but, usuaUy, near.
The den is chosen as the winter approaches, and, is put in repair,
and closed in, graduaUy. When the cold increases, the bear ensconces
himself inside the den, filling up all apertures with boughs, sticks, stones
and mud, and closing the entrance. He then sits on his haunches,
opposite to the portal, and, later, the head sinks in sleep, and the forelegs
widen out to support the forepart of the body. Towards the end of
winter, the head hangs very low, the snout almost touching the ground.
Strange to say, though he has eaten nothing, the male bear at the end
of six or even eight months (in the more northerly cUmates) wUl come
out of his den in spring as fat as when he entered it, but, in a few days— 1954 John Tod 177
say a week or so—he becomes thin and ravenous. The hungry hunter,
opening a den, towards the end of winter, finds the bear sitting in his
unaltered position, and so lethargic, that, though, on the intrusion, he
may move his head up a Uttle, it immediately drops, and the fatal blow
is given, with a heavy stick or stave—less force being required to kUl the
animal in his den than when he is out of it.
A starving man may not be able to judge weU of food-flesh, but my
recoUection is, that youngish bear meat from a den was not unpalatable—
indeed good. It did not seem to have suffered in quaUty—at any rate
up to the middle of winter—from the animal's incarceration. I never
ate cubs from a female's den, and of course the mother-bear herseU, in
den, was not kiUed for food if it could, in any way, be avoided.
Chapter XII
An encounter with a knight equerry [sic, properly " errant"] on a
matter of potatoes may seem in itself trivial and to come in here rather
oddly, but in its way and degree it may not be without interest.
I had occasion at McLeod's lake in 1828, though a peacable man, to
thrash another of the attendants of the governor, Sir George Simpson—
a different man from the one I had thrashed at York factory, by which
I had incurred the governor's enmity, as already related.
It might be wrongly supposed that, in this second case, I sought
occasion to gratify some unworthy feeling on account of my treatment
at York factory, already described, but on the other hand, the circumstances illustrate administrative defects in the management of the great
company, or at any rate in the assumed, administration of justice, on
its part.
It was the governor, Sir G. Simpson's73 first visit to New Caledonia,
though, three years before,74 crossing the Rocky mountains further south,
he had visited Fort Vancouver on the Columbia river. On the occasion
I am now speaking of, after passing my station at McLeod's lake he went
or started, with three canoes from Stuart's lake to descend the Fraser
(73) Details concerning this, the second of Simpson's transcontinental voyages,
are to be found in Rich, Simpson's 1828 Journey to the Columbia. The account of
this same voyage, written by one of his fellow-travellers, Chief Trader Archibald
McDonald, was published by Malcolm McLeod, Peace River: A Canoe Voyage
from Hudson's Bay to the Pacific by the late Sir George Simpson, Ottawa, 1872.
(74) The journal of Simpson's first visit to the Columbia Department in 1824
is to be found in Frederick Merk, Fur Trade and Empire . . . , Cambridge,
Mass., 1931. 178 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
river to assure himself as to its navigableness [sic] aU the way to the sea,
which he found was quite impracticable. He then proceeded to inspect
further the western department before returning to the East. By bestowing presents as he journeyed, he created jealousies among the chieftains,
and dissatisfaction in the minds of the Indians, who afterwards expected
simUar or proportionate largess from officers at posts. This was too
common a practice among the company's superior officers in traveUing.
But to return to the particular incident above referred to. The
governor's party, about 20 all told, mostly Iroquois canoemen, arrived
from the East at my lonely station at McLeod's lake in two large canoes,
and, of course, desired some change of food. I produced dried berries
and a remnant of dog, with regrets that I had nothing better to offer.
"What! no fish," said Sir George, "and a lake here—how is this?"
"No one," I repUed, "can take fish during the freshets. We would not
eat dogs, were it possible to catch fish. I have a very few seed potatoes
which the brigade brought to me two years ago, with strict instructions
not to eat them, but to plant and replant them, and I have not eaten one
of them."75 " That is right," said Sir George, and soon after this interview, though it was pleasant after five years more or less deprivation, to
hear again the EngUsh speech, I bethought me of these same potatoes,
and of the visitors moving around. Going towards the house wherein the
tubers were kept, what happened but I should meet the principal guide
of the party, carrying off the whole of them in a sack? Wrenching the
stolen articles from the man, I knocked him down, and he ran off shouting that he would tell Sir George, which he did, though, had the thief
escaped, Sir George's table would never have seen the potatoes. A court
was held, and I was adjudged to pay the man five shiUings in goods.
This I refused to do unless furnished with a certified copy of the minute
of proceedings, stating the circumstances and my defence, whereupon
the matter was dropped, and, next day the party proceeded on its way,
without having partaken of our dried berries or the remnant of dog.
Poor success, I may add here, attended my farming experiment at
Fort McLeod, which is in about 55 degrees north latitude, and close to
the Rocky mountains. At Stuart's lake, about 100 miles south, and
more westerly, potatoes ripened on the slopes, but in the hoUows, or
near the lake, were Uable to frost bite. In the same direction, and about
40 miles more southerly, near latitude 54 degrees, at Fraser's lake, some
(75) For Simpson's account of his visit to McLeod Lake, see Rich, Simpson's
1828 Journey to the Columbia, p. xxvii. 1954 John Tod 179
barley and vegetables grew for use. I saw patches of wheat that
promised to ripen at Fort George, 80 or 90 miles to the east of Fraser
lake, and in about the last-named latitude. These results of smaU
experiments in New Caledonia indicate that the ordinary cereals and
vegetables might be produced by skUful and careful agriculture. The
climatic difficulty, probably, is not so much a question of northerly
latitude as of the effect of the more or less mountainous surface. The
soil in some parts, so far as I could judge, is fairly good—a sandy loam
over clay—for instance at the junction of the Parsnip, with Peace river,
where I often camped; but the frost there might be an obstacle.
GeneraUy, in relation to the extent of the region, the lands suitable for
tiUage are comparatively smaU in extent, though the vaUeys widen somewhat as you go southwesterly towards the coast range. The natural
grasses on many of the Ughtly timbered uplands, and, on the stretches
of meadow land in some of the river vaUeys in that direction (where the
Indians capture many beavers) suggest rather a grazing than a tillage
future for the country, should it ever be occupied by settlers. There is
a quantity of large timber, spruce, birch and cottonwood, along parts
of Peace river west of the mountains, and also on the Parsnip. The
country between the latter and Stuart's lake is of a park-like character.
There are whitefish, ling76 and varieties of trout in the waters, which
we caught most readily—when the freshets did not interfere—in the
connecting streams between lakes and at the mouths of tributaries of the
Peace river. The dried salmon used at McLeod's lake was procured
chiefly from the post at Stuart's lake. Moose, caribou and deer were
obtainable by hunters who knew where to go for them, and the district
yielded, for the company's special business, without on the whole, much
diminution in my time, peltries and furs from the beaver, bear, marten,
mink, fox, otter and wolves.
The above agricultural experiments at the company's stations had
no relation to general settlement, but were encouraged as a means of
improving the dietary of its servants, and, if possible, that of the Indians,
but as the latter, in order to meet their credit obUgation, had to migrate
to more or less distant hunting grounds in summer they could not attend
to cultivation. The uncertain presence of the company's servants at
some of the posts interfered, also, with the regular care of any larger
crops than garden patches.
(76) Ling (Lota lota), sometimes called Burbot, Losche and Lush. A. C.
Anderson mentions the Loche (Gallus Barbatula) as a "fresh-water cod." The
Dominion at the West, Victoria, 1872, p. 24.
4 180 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
Chapter XITI
I have been forgetting the beaver, so valuable in trade. It is too
interesting an animal to be dismissed with only the reference by me,
made already, as to a pet beaver in the Hudson's Bay region.
For this reason, on second thought, I wUl now devote a short chapter
to " His Wiseness," as some of the Indians caU him.
The house of the beaver is of two stories, the lower one on the level
of the water, and the upper a sleeping room, wherein they Ue on their
backs. The dam is regulated to keep the water always at the same
height. Should a flood occur, the animals immediately open a sluice in
the dam, and on the water falling they repair the break.
During the summer months the beavers do not, as a rule, Uve in their
houses. They repair them in autumn, when they may be seen carrying
building materials between their forepaws and lower jaws. Should a
house on one side of a river get out of repair, as it often does, particularly
in summer when it is Uttle used, and, consequently, neglected, the animals
go up stream and cut down trees in such a manner that they faU in the
easiest way for being roUed or pulled into the stream, down which, under
guidance by pushing, etc., they are conveyed to the desired place.
Trees are cut down, also, for present and future food. I have known the
beavers to cut down poplar trees, some 18 to 20 inches in circumference,
and more than 50 feet high, merely to get the tender branches at the
top, which they remove and eat.
About the beginning of August the beavers begin to coUect their
winter food supply. This consists, chiefly, of grey wiUows, which are
cut into lengths and floated to near their houses. One end is stuck
into the mud at the bottom of the stream, so that the food may be
reached under the ice in winter, through a hole kept open near the
house, or through holes in the bank, giving access to the water below
the ice. Usually, in rivers or lakes completely frozen, the water tends
to recede from the icy roof, leaving in severe winters a vacant space of
as much as a foot, or a foot and a half between the ice and the water.
Ground ice I have never seen in stUl clear water; it usuaUy appears
under roughish, shaUow water.
The above arrangement of apertures towards the water suggested to
Buffon77 and other naturaUsts, that the beavers live on fish, and the
occasional discovery of fish bones in or about their houses seemed to
(77) George Louis LeClerc, comte de Buffon (1707-1788), the French naturalist who, with the assistance of Daubenton, produced Histoire Naturelle. 1954 John Tod 181
strengthen that supposition. I can say, however, of my own knowledge
that otters frequently use beaver holes, and presumably, also, their
houses, in which to devour fish food. When fishing in a part of a frozen
river where there are no houses, the otter gnaws a hole through the ice
near the shore, swims under the ice in search of fish, and returns to his
hole with a captive or to breathe.
With respect to the beaver's famUy, I have heard of ten young
beavers in a Utter, but, according to my own observation—and I exclude,
throughout, aU hearsay from this narrative—4 or 5 in a Utter is a fair
average—say 4. The beavers, unlike in this, the minks, are of a social
disposition. They keep within or near to their homes aU whiter, and
in the famUy circle—so to speak—seem to make the best of that dull
season. By and by, when spring has come, the head of the famUy proposes to the youngsters a trip up the river or to some agreeable spot,
which the wife, feeling rather poorly, does not join in, but remains for
a needed rest. After some 5 or 6 weeks, or maybe two months, the
repeated juvenUe appeal of "father come home" is effective, and he
accompanies the youngsters toward their native dam, they making loud
claps, leaping and smacking tails on the water, only to meet, at the
portal, their half abashed mother, and a fresh batch of little brothers
and sisters, who stare at the returned excursionists.
A Beaver Story
Ten or fifteen mUes west of McLeod lake are two small lakes connected, at low water, by a short Ugament of a stream. At high water
they appear as one stretch of water, and from the north end of the
northerly lake, a Uttle river flows for 6 or 8 mUes to near Fort McLeod.
We caUed these lakes Perch lake. When canoeing in that locaUty I
often saw beaver traces so large that I hardly could beUeve them to be
made by that animal. A trap I did not at first care to set, owing to the
shaUowness of the water, and for other reasons. The Indians, moreover,
said that I could not catch beavers at that place, as only two of these
animals dwelt there, which their own grandfathers and great-grandfathers
had tried in vain to catch, and how the beaver couple were too old for
This put me on my mettle. Thinking anyway that I might shoot
the animals when trapped, I set my trap, the usual double-springed steel
trap with two smooth jaws and a plate. Next morning, a newly cut
stick, half as thick as my wrist, stood upright in the spring trap, and the 182 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
same happened a few days later. I thought perhaps that the Indians
were " playing " me, but became convinced they were not, and that, in
a pitting of wits it was a case now of " Scotchman " versus " Beaver."
On examining the whole neighborhood, I found after several days, a
broad, beaten track leading from the edge of the river to a smaU lake
or pond, and with beaver signs on it.
The plan of capture then adopted was as foUows: Choosing a spot
on the trail near the river, I cut with my knife a piece of the surface as
large as the trap, which piece, placing my paddle under it, I lifted as
a cake and put aside. I then made the hole large enough for the trap.
Similarly caring for the surface I next formed a passage for the chain
and rope that led to a tree by the river. The pieces of surface being
replaced neatly so that no sign of breakage, or cutting was visible. AU
this had to be done without touch by the naked hand. I did not use
for the trap the common beaver scent;78 arguing that aU known devices
had already been tried in vain. A visit next morning showed the success
of my device. The bushes and smaU trees were smashed or fetted as
far as the trap chain would permit, and a monster beaver lay exhausted.
His hind leg had been caught, and I kUled him by strokes. He was as
black as a crow, had long lost his two forefeet, and there was a curious
mark on his side, free from hair. Strong as I was I could not lift the
dead animal, but managed, after disemboweUment, to drag him into the
canoe. His skin was larger than a Hudson's Bay Company's IVi point
blanket. What became of his ancient comrade or, perhaps his wife, was
never known.
This Uttle hunting incident, of course, became a famous camp story
among the Indians in the district, pleasanter with their embellishments
and mystic aUusions, I dare say, to listen to, than my bald, abridged
narration of the capture may be to read. Poor old beaver! Why I
should have kUled him raises, in my mind, now reflecting, a larger question than I have room here to discuss.
The Siffleur
An interesting smaU animal is one of the American badgers, the
whistling badger, or " siffleur," as the French-Canadians caU it. The
" siffleur " is not the animal that makes the holes on the plains so dangerous to horsemen; it dwells in the Rocky mountains and does not visit
the plains.   The " siffleurs " Uve entirely on roots.   A number of them
(78) Castor. 1954 John Tod 183
congregated, reside at particular spots. The sentinel on a rock near
the vUlage, emits a warning cry, or whistle, proportioned in length—
and some say in character—though this latter my ear faUed to detect
to the distance, or nearness of the approaching enemy.
Among the Indians a quick succession of yells or whoops indicates
the nearness of danger, and one prolonged whoop indicates that the
enemy is in the neighborhood, but does not appear to meditate an
immediate attack.
The " siffleurs," in addition to their abiUty thus to judge of distance
and, perhaps time, are clever haymakers. I often have watched them
at this latter work. They cut down, by nibbling the long grass or hay,
and lay it aU one way till the upper part is dry, then they turn it over
for the under part to dry, and finaUy carry the whole for bedding and
cosiness to their respective rocky dens, which are kept particularly clean
and free from aU refuse.
Chapter XIV
This is a medical chapter, but containing only a notable personal
experience and two cures that came under my own observation. The
forts being provided by the company with medical books, simple medicines and instruments, Uttle attention was given to the pharmacy of
the Indians. The latter, moreover, made a mystery of their curative
methods, as has been common among practitioners in aU ages everywhere. I noticed when in London (see sequel) that almost eveiything
got into the newspaper except medical information, perhaps the chief
human concern. Nevertheless, from time to time, indirectly, I became
aware of the nature of some of the simple remedies used by the Indians
and applied them in doctoring the French-Canadians and other servants,
who had more faith in these than in medicines from the medicine chest,
though the latter, minus the effect of "faith," which is not to be
despised—might have been equaUy efficacious.
The Indians do not fight against sickness, as most white men do,
instinctively, but resign to fate. As an unguent for scratches and sores,
they know the value of a decoction of the gum-laden buds of the white-
wood, or "Balm of GUead poplar,"79 mixed with deer fat in proper
proportion. For diarrhoea they used a strong tea made from the roots
of the blackberry bush. A common febrifuge was a boUed infusion of
what we called the " apple of the pine "—a drab coloured fungus of
(79) Populus trichocarpa. See C. P. Lyons, Trees, Shrubs, and Flowers to
Know in British Columbia, Toronto, 1952, p. 36. 184 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
a rude conical shape, half as big as your head, that clings to the bark
high up the tree. To cure a cough they boUed down spruce bark and
mixed the Uquor with some other substance, which I forget, using often,
also, bear's fat and a turpentiny smelling Uquor. The latter may have
been the melted blister-gum that is found under the smooth bark of the
Some of the Indian medicines and medical appUcations, perhaps were
introduced by the Northwest Company's French-Canadians, who had
been in the country for a quarter of a century before my time.
The native doctors, as I have said, being mysterious, I could not
discover satisfactorily what the ancient native pharmacy had been. The
bulk of it for aught I know may have been the result of the people's
own experiences.
Cure of Sciatica
From much sitting with my long legs in a canoe, as some supposed,
I was, in New Caledonia, a sufferer from sciatica during three years
from about 1827. Nothing that I had in the medicine chest or could
get, on a special requisition to doctors in Canada afforded me any reUef,
and I declined to become the patient of a famous Indian doctor who
dwelt near me at Fort McLeod. Dr. John McLoughUn, a Canadian,
who had been educated in Edinburgh, was at the time I speak of the
company's head department officer, and the first it had in that position
westward of the Rocky mountains. His medical aid in my misery I
sought, proceeding with a " brigade "80 to his headquarters at Fort Vancouver, on the Columbia river, many hundred mUes distant. He removed
the painful sensation by bUstering and other methods, and I returned to
Fort McLeod with the brigade.
The first part of the journey was in boats to Okanagan, in which
I felt Uttle pain, but I suffered terribly, as before, during the long horseback section of the route (nearly 500 mUes by the trails) thence to Fort
Alexandria, where we took boats again up the Fraser river, and so,
home. " Not upright yet," said the Indian doctor; " I thought your
great doctor was to cure you." " No, he has not," was my reply, " I wUl
give myself to you to-morrow."   " You come then."
At the appointed time this native physician appeared with an old
greasy leathern bag, containing many smaU packages wrapped in the
bark and leaves of trees—the packages bound together with bird's
(80) A brigade was a fleet of traders' boats or canoes, or, in land travel, a
procession of traders on horseback or with carts. 1954 John Tod 185
claws in the form of clasps or hooks and eyes. Each package bore a
rude mark, probably to indicate the parent plant, or root of the contents.
From these packages, after due examination of my hip, one was selected
and put aside. A fire was then made in the yard of the fort, and a cauldron placed near it containing water, into which red-hot stones were
thrown. I was placed over the pot, so that the steam suffused my hip.
The doctor then proceeded to scarify that part of my body with a
sharpened broken gun flint until the blood flowed, and next with his
hand (which he had washed) he rubbed into the wounds a portion of
the contents of the selected package above referred to. The pain was
excruciating, but I had to bear it without flinching to keep my repute
among the Indians, who condemn one who cannot endure bodUy pain.
Said the doctor, watching my face, " you have a great heart." This
rubbing was repeated daUy for more than a week, when I found reUef
from the sciatic pain, and during fifty years, since, it has never troubled
The substance which the doctor used was a bruised root,81 and one
day he showed me that a spUt piece of this root held near a wound
would draw forth blood and matter. He did not show me, or describe,
the plant, and [in] our respective situations, I could not press for the
information. I merely state the facts. The doctor retired with his
greasy bag, and would not accept remuneration, nor did he in conversation with me, afterwards, ever refer to the incident.
Possibly modern doctors in civilized Ufe may surmise correctly what
the root was, and may conclude that the Indian's treatment was simply
a more vigorous and prolonged appUcation of that which Dr. McLoughUn had begun. Be this as it may, many a time afterwards, in dancing
the Highland Fling, or giving my men a " lift" at a muddy portage, I
have thought of the old Indian practitioner, which shows that a white
man may be grateful, though the Indian denies him the quaUty.
Another remarkable case occurred at Fort Alexandria on the Fraser
river when I was in charge there. Two Indians from a canoe that came
up the river carried something ashore strapped to a board, which they
left on the beach whUe they visited the store for ammunition and tobacco.
It was a young Indian too weak to sit up, an emaciated wretch covered
with sores, apparently in the last state of, as I judged, syphUitic disease,
(81) Probably false Solomon's-seal (Smilacina racemosa). " The thicky fleshy
root-stalk is grated and made into a poultice. According to my father, this was
called by the French-Canadians ' les ecronelles ' or ' resinee.'" J. R. Anderson,
op. cit., p. 139. 186 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
one of the most dreadful objects I have ever seen. His companions said
they were taking him to a famous Indian doctor up the river, and away
the party went.
Some time later—say two months, or it may have been three—
a single Indian, arriving in a canoe, leapt ashore at the same place and
asked if I did not know him. It was the formerly sick man, now going
down river to his home. His account of his case was that for some
time the doctor had given him a preparation from the " soapberry,"82
next a decoction of the " Oregon grape,"83 and lastly he was made to
swallow something which he was not to look at, which caused him to
sleep for a long time. What this was, of course, the doctor could not
be asked, and did not teU him, though he told him what the above preparations were. On awaking, said the patient, he was very weak, but the
disease was defeated, and graduaUy he recovered strength, and now felt
as weU as he had ever been. I thought, at first, without expressing the
suspicion, that by the substitution of individuals the incident might be
a trick of the young Indians played on the " Old Fox " as they caUed
me, but subsequent inquiries showed that the man really was the sick
man I had seen, and that he had been cured as above stated.
The Indians had some knowledge of surgery as weU as of medicine.
I was assured that some of their doctors practiced dissection, but cannot
testify to the fact. As to surgery I remember that an Indian gambler
at my station having lost every stake, including his wife and chUdren,
walked into the yard, and placing the muzzle of his gun in his mouth
blew part of bis skuU off, and his eyes came out of the sockets. The
Indian doctors, in this case, replaced the man's eyes and mended his
skuU. I knew the patient personaUy and can attest that he survived,
at least for two years, because I was there for that time after the event,
and often saw and talked with him. The only difference I noticed in
him was that his utterance was less distinct than before he shot himself.
These Indians had not the superstitious horror respecting suicide,
which the reader may remember was evinced by the natives and French-
Canadians on the occasion of the suicide of Mr. Waring at Fort Severn
in the Hudson's Bay Region.84   I need not cumber these pages with
(82) Shepherdia canadensis Nutt., sometimes called "Brae" by the French-
Canadians.   J. R. Anderson, Trees and Shrubs, Victoria, 1925, p. 131.
(83) V. supra, foot-note (72).
(84) V. supra, foot-notes (14) and (16). 1954 John Tod 187
further medical reminiscences. Later on I may refer to a case in which
the use of blue vitriol defeated strychnine poisoning, but for the present
wUl conclude with a general remark suggested by the context.
The strain of the company's service at the numerous outer stations—
the effects of isolation—constant closeness of death by murder or starvation—the monotonous food, and the hardships of necessary travel,
was such that only hardy, careful-Uving men were able to meet the
insidious attacks of disease or age with the normal power of resistance.
Those possessing some mental resources had, I think, upon the whole,
superior endurance. My old father had, in fact, some prescience in his
parting gift to me of what I called my three " B's "—the Bible, Burns
and Buchan books helpful in their ways to both mind and body, though,
of course, the giver did not realize, particularly, the life that was before
me. Nevertheless, in the frontier career, many aspects of which were
sordid and disappointing, there must have been some goodly flavour,
for I have heard not a few old men in the service say that they did not
regret having entered it. The pitting of your wit against the savage, the
retreat from conventions, the out-door Ufe, the possibleness [sic] of adventure, even the danger in it aU, together with the gratified instinct of
the hunter and the naturaUst, with, of course, the prospect of acquiring
a modest competency in middle life—these perhaps, in some degree,
account for the satisfaction thus expressed.
Chapter XV
Mr. ConnoUy,85 a former Northwester, was head officer in New
Caledonia from 1825 to 1831. As I have said, he had succeeded Mr.
Stewart,86 with whom I came to that region, and himself was succeeded
by Mr. Dashwood.87 The foUowing year, early in 1832,1 myself determined to quit New Caledonia, and perhaps the company's service. I had
been about nine years there, almost the whole time at the soUtary post
of McLeod's lake, and my work, so far as I knew, was not appreciated,
though, as it wUl appear, this was a misconception on my part. Strange!
I may here interpolate; amid hardships, privation and disappointments,
I never longed for the civilized city life of which I had as a youth some
(85) V. supra, foot-note (58).
(86) V. supra, foot-note (50).
(87) Peter Warren Dease (1788-1863) was in charge of New Caledonia from
1831 to 1836. G. P. de T. Glazebrook, The Hargrave Correspondence, 1821-1843,
Toronto, 1938, p. 92n. 188 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
experience in Glasgow. What I desired most was to hear daUy the
speech of my own land (including therein the EngUsh), and to share in
inteUectual coUoquy, after the ministration of more acceptable and varied
food. A murm[ur]ing voice, if not direct, beckoning, seemed to hold me
to a mission in the wUds.
Mr. Dashwood, a newcomer, naturaUy did not wish me to leave New
Caledonia, but he was obUged, by the rules, to furnish me with the
means of undertaking the long journey east to York Factory on Hudson's
Bay. This he did with a bad grace, assigning to me only two men and an
old interpreter. He probably thought that I could not proceed with such
an insufficient party, but my mind was made up and I bade adieu to
McLeod's lake on the 10th or 15th of May in 1832. My successor88 at
the post was shot about two months after he had taken possession. The
guide of my present party grumbled, saying that with so few hands we
could not effect the transportation across the Rocky mountain portage
(described in a former chapter), and that it was not the time of year to
meet helpful Indians there. Secretly, I agreed with him, but took the
chances, and, as luck would have it, on arriving at the portage and going
alone to resurvey its roughness and length, I found, towards the lower
side of it, the camp of a band of Beaver Indians, the very band that was
charged with the murder of Mr. Guy Hughes and six of his men in
1826.89 To their questions I repUed that I would teU them aU by and
by, and would camp with them and have a smoke if they would send
some young men for my few things at the upper side of the portage.
This arrangement pleased them, and as the detachment scampered off
I caUed out, " You may as weU bring my canoe." " Yes, yes," they
bring it.
Thus the time passed with friendly talk and stories on the part of the
chiefs and myself, and not until the canoe was again in the water and my
party in it and I had entered it, after bestowing a reasonable remuneration, did the Indians appear to realize that by diplomacy they had lost
the opportunity of hard bargaining and exaction so dear to their minds.
We had shared food, however, and smoked together, and nothing was
left for them but with grave smUes to bid the " Old Fox " good-bye.
The Indian does not resent being outwitted in his own game. The
other "portages," on our long journey, we were able to cross with
(88) Charles Ross succeeded Tod at Fort McLeod. See Ross to Hargrave,
April, 1832, Glazebrook, op. cit., pp. 91-93. William McGillivray was drowned
in the Fraser River, January 31, 1832.   Ibid.
(89) This should be 1823, v. supra, foot-note (61). 1954 John Tod 189
occasionaUy a Uttle assistance, and so after about two and a half months
of uneventful travel by way of Athabasca, Ile-a-la-Crosse, EngUsh
(ChurchUl) and North (Nelson) Rivers, I reached York factory. There
immediately I was surrounded by old friends, who, in the long tale that
had to be told, could not but laugh at my want of fluency in my own
tongue, and, as I have already mentioned, the interlarding of strange
dialects in my narrative and explanations. The sound of the EngUsh and
the novel certainty of palatable, varied food, made the old factory seem
a veritable haven. One has to go through experiences Uke mine to
realize the joyousness and bond of a common, exclusive speech.
By degrees, as the result of coUoquy, I gained some control over my
outlandish vocabulary, pondering, I remember, why one who was able,
the whUe to enjoy good EngUsh books and could write the language
fairly weU for business purposes, should be unable to speak it with
reasonable faciUty. The confusion, I fancy, is more in the ear than in
the brain, and moreover, in no language, is the spoken and written use
of it the same. An English botanist,90 about that time visiting the
factory, said in a talk I had with him, that he could not speak, or understand spoken French, though he could translate, and appreciate the
more difficult passages of obstruse French writers. For use in business,
or social intercourse, or for information, as to what other people have
thought, or are thinking upon various matters, some acquaintance with
different languages may be profitable, but on the other hand, as aU
thought is wedded to language, and languages differ more or less in construction, is it not open to question whether, educationaUy, a man's
thinking power is helped by bis knowing more languages than one.
But my immediate concern now was my own position in the world.
After nearly 20 years in the company's service, with a fairly good record,
I was stiU an uncommissioned subordinate. The case was without
precedent, and it was felt by the councU that if I should revisit Scotland,
after my long service, without the usual promotion, the company might
suffer in that favorite recruiting ground. This was a consideration which
the personal enmity of the governor towards me could not safely cause
him to disregard, particularly as his own assumed power, practicaUy, had
begun to wane, and, as in the councU, I had several friends. But there
being, as Ul-luck would have it, no suitable vacancy of a more or less
(90) Probably Richard King (18117-1876), the Arctic traveller and ethnologist, who was surgeon and naturalist to the expedition of Sir George Back to the
Great Fish River, 1833-35. See Richard King, Narrative of a Journey to the
Shores of the Arctic Ocean, London, 1836, Vol. II, p. 268. 190 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
permanent character available, I concluded, upon the advice of these
friends, to accept the temporary service at various posts in the Hudson's
Bay region, where, as already related, I had begun my North American
career. Of this intermediate service it is unnecessary for me to trouble
the reader with detaUs, suffice it to relate that in the spring of 1834, on
returning to York factory from special service at a post, the first person
I met on landing was a friend, Mr. Finlayson,91 who, heartily shaking my
hand, exclaimed: " It's all right, old boy, your commission has arrived,"
and so I became a chief trader, with an estimated partnership interest,
worth, at that time, about £600 a year, and a present right to, at least,
a year's leave of absence if the exigencies of the service should permit.
My personal expenditure was almost nothing, and it gave pleasure to the
" ne'er-dae-weel," now, to see his way to send a little something more
to the old folks at home who stUl were fighting, successfuUy, the battle of
Ufe on the banks of the Leven.
Chapter XVI
There were at this time, in the North American organization of the
Hudson's Bay Company, about 16 chief factors and about 20 or 25 chief
traders, aU of whom held commissions. The chief factors usuaUy were
at the departmental headquarters or governing important districts. The
chief traders took charge of important stations, and, sometimes, of
districts that were not governed by chief factors. A few acted as accountants at the depots or local headquarters.
I have mentioned already the subordinate uncommissioned grades.
The chief factors and chief traders, as I have said, were known as the
" Wintering Partners " of the company. The profits of the fur trade
were divided into 100 parts. Of these, 60 parts were appropriated to
the stockholders and 40 to the " Wintering Partners." These last were
divided into 85 shares, of which two were held by each chief factor and
one by each chief trader. The " clerks," as I have said, were paid by
salary. No other than a clerk could be promoted to a chief tradership
(1 1-85 share), and only a chief trader to a chief factorship (2 1-85
shares). On retirement, an officer held his fuU interest for a year, and
half his interest during the succeeding six years, under prescribed conditions relative to any disposal of his interest. I forget the proportion—it,
of course, varied—but in the expanded service, foUowing the coalition
of 1821, necessarily, owing to the number of trading stations, the major-
(91) Possibly Nicol Finlayson.   See Fleming, Minutes of Council, pp. 438-440. 1954 John Tod 191
ity of these were in charge of salaried officers, namely, clerks or postmasters. At its best, probably there has not been any business organization so weU devised as the company to earn profit for the stockholders
and partners, provided subordinates could be found to endure such
experiences as I describe, in a service employing several thousands. The
recruiting grounds of Quebec and Scotland, and, as time passed, the
increasing number of men of mixed blood in the Indian country, helped
the fulfilment of this condition. Employment was scarce in these countries, and many of the people were adventurous. That accounts for the
rank and file, but it is less easy to understand the uncommon proportion
of ever avaUable extraordinary men in the higher ranks of the service—
a proportion not reached, as persons say who are better able than I
am to judge of such a matter, in any modern industrial or commercial
No objection being offered to my leave of absence, I prepared, with
trimmed locks and the best ready-made clothes procurable at York
factory, to visit the Old Land. The head accountant, Mr. MUes,92 with
whose fanuly a Miss Wanklin93 had been staying, and who, periodicaUy,
went to England to give information to the directors as to the accounts,
was bound on the same trip, and, as I may put it, was good enough to
take charge of me.   Miss Wanklin also was of the party.
After a passage of 14 or 15 days from York,94 we landed at Portsmouth—my first step on English, as distinguished from Scottish, soU.
It was the day of the coronation of WiUiam IV,95 at least something was
going on which I understood to be that, though I may be wrong, as he
began to reign in 1830. There were flags flying and a great " to do "
any way, about the fortress and on the warships. A friend has since told
me that the future Queen Victoria and her mother about that time visited
Portsmouth harbor to view the shipping. Miss Wanklin went to friends,
and Mr. MUes and I lost no time in proceeding to London.
A spick and span coach, of a kind I had not seen in Scotland, was
drawn up before the hotel door by four fine horses. It was somewhat
Uke, but seemed smarter, than the Philadelphia stage-coach which I had
seen, in passing through New York.   We had secured two seats—one
(92) Robert Seaborn Miles.   See H.B.C. Archives, C. 1/925.
(93) Eliza Waugh, ibid.
(94) Obviously Tod means York Factory. He went ashore on October 10,
1834.   Ibid.
(95) Tod's memory is not accurate on this point, for William TV was crowned
on September 8, 1831. 192 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct
inside and one out—the latter, of course, being chosen by me. The
noiseless celerity with which the coach started and went along the streets
and roads, the appearance of men in knee breeches, and some with
curious tasseUed boots, the actual windmills, hitherto known to me only
in pictures, and, almost every hour, things new and strange, yet everybody speaking the [sic] EngUsh—these drew from me expressions of
wonder, though I had purposed, as far as possible, to conceal my being
a visitor from the " outlands." The strangest thing to me of aU was a
puffing and laboring steam-moved carriage, which we overtook and
passed. It was the last, so the coachman said, of several that had been
on that road, frightening horses and not going as far [fast?] as a coach.
My companion left me at the "Green Dragon" inn96 in the city of
London, whence he went to deUver dispatches at the Hudson's Bay
Company's office, and one of the trials of my Ufe was in his absence, the
approach of a waiter wishing to know what I would please to select for
dinner from a biU-of-fare, to me a novel paper, as everything, so far,
had been managed by Mr. Miles. Several years later, a friend of mine
from the wUds, told me of a similar pUght of his. Having asked a ship
companion to dine with him at a London hotel, and not wishing to
appear strange, he brushed the mysterious bUl-of-fare with his hand,
and returning it to the courteous waiter said: " I want a dinner for two
in an hour, when we shaU return—a dinner, you understand! " It was
a very good dinner, with wines to suit, served in a private room, but it
cost him several pounds, the inkeeper, probably having taken him for an
EngUsh-speaking Cossack prince, and not wishing, in his turn, for the
credit of England, to appear strange.
Before going to bed that first night in the " Green Dragon," in the
realm of England, I had pretty weU concluded to accept the fact that a
man's wiU cannot suddenly overcome the effect of his training and associations. Nevertheless, meeting from time to time, thereafter, with some
kind friends, and receiving attentions from Mr. Smith,97 the secretary to
the Hudson's Bay Company, I found myself graduaUy becoming famiUar
with my temporary new surroundings. I gained quickly a knowledge of
a considerable part of the great city, assisted therein by maps delineating
the course of the river, and the principal streets, parks and buUdings.
(96) A " galleried " inn, described as " a rendezvous for carriers," in Bishop-
gate. A. E. Richardson and H. D. Eberlein, The English Inn, past and present,
London, 1925, pp. 146, 160.
• (97) William Smith, served for many years as secretary of the Hudson's Bay
Company until his retirement in 1843. 1954 John Tod 193
UsuaUy I walked, and in sauntering, inspected the shop windows but,
sometimes mounted to a seat on an omnibus next to the driver. This
was a new vehicle introduced into London in 1829 by a Mr. SbiUibeer,98
the fare for any distance being sixpence. However convenient for city
traffic, the omnibus lacked the celerity, smartness and distinction of the
stage coach.
Thus my time passed, and, later on, it was brightened by a renewed
acquaintance with my feUow passenger from York Factory, Miss
Wanklin [Waugh], already mentioned, whom I married in London.99
AU this time I had not been to see my folks in Scotland, though, of
course, exchanging letters with them. In the circumstances mentioned
I had delayed the visit tiU I could take my wife with me. I need not
say how joyously we were received at the old home by my parents and
the family, or how the weeks went in social intercourse with the neighbours, and in my own rambles, during which early associations were
recalled. There was more sadness than pleasure in the latter, owing to
so much being changed—I mean in things and feelings human—for the
country was Uttie changed. My inteUigent father had managed to add
a few of Scott's expensive books to his Ubrary, but did not seem to
appreciate the scenic descriptions of his own district in them though
pleased with the portrayal of some of the characters. His love for Burns,
however, seemed to have grown. On the evening of my arrival I remember that he ordered punch in an old china bowl in which was a horn
ladle with a whistie at the end of it. "Punch! " said I to myself, "what
is punch? " I had forgotten the name and had not tasted whiskey since
leaving Scotland. Hearing this, the old man exclaimed, " What sort of
a country must it be for the folks to Uve in without whiskey? "
That, I imagine, largely, is a question of climate, the effect of the
Uquor being mUder in moist than in dry climates, though other elements
may be influential. Men unable with impunity to drink whiskey, in
London, told me they could drink it freely without iU effect, on the west
coast of Scotland. The two rival fur companies in North America used
ardent spirits—much dUuted, of course, with water—in their trade with
the Indians, for more than a score of years before their coaUtion in
1821, though at an earUer time, previously to the occurrence of the keen
competition, the Hudson's Bay Company had not generaUy done so.
The restrictions imposed, after that coaUtion, lessened the evU among
(98) George Shillibeer (1797-1866) ran the first omnibus in London in 1829.
(99) The exact date of this marriage has not been discovered. The records at
Somerset House do not begin until 1837. 194 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
the Indians, but the drinking habit was too strong for some of the officers
to resist. The Indians criticized adversely those who yielded to this
indulgence, though they themselves gladly would have shared in it. As
time passed, such cases among the officers of the company became
markedly exceptional, and sobriety almost the universal rule—at any
rate during service—and this, more, I think, from real indisposition to
use Uquor than owing to the difficulty of getting it at the remoter stations.
After a happy time on the Leven, by and by my duty, and in part also
my inclination, caUed me to re-cross the ocean. I sailed from Liverpool
with my wife in what was caUed a " regular packet ship," for New York,
landing there in January, 1836,100 after an agreeable passage. Having
many friends in Montreal, we proceeded thither at once, and enjoyed
ourselves during the winter there, varied by a trip to Quebec, the
romantic. The kindness of the Quebec gentry and my own acquaintance, in the wUds, with the ways and manners of so many of another
French class, made the old town almost seem Uke a second home. But
time and the opening rivers would not wait for any fur trading man in
the company's service.
When navigation opened we left Montreal with a large party in the
canoes for Norway House.101 This is in latitude 54, on the banks of
a water stretch a little way north of Lake Winnipeg, and connected with
that lake. It was the head place of meeting for the Hudson's Bay
Company councU. Such is the story, in outUne, of my first visit home,
and of my marriage, the latter, the greatest incident personaUy, in my
Ufe, but with which the reader of this presentation of triviaUties cannot
be concerned. I was assigned soon afterwards as a commissioned officer
to the charge of Oxford House,102 an important post on the regular route
west, some 250 mUes up the river, which, after being joined by another
river, flows into Hudson Bay at York Factory. Oxford House is on the
east side of Mid-Lake,103 so caUed from being about midway between
(100) Tod is in error as to the date. According to William Smith, secretary of
the Hudson's Bay Company, John and Eliza were booked to sail from Liverpool on
February 24, 1835.   H.B.C. Archives, A. 6/23, fo. 109.
(101) Donald Ross was in charge of Norway House at this time. According
to the Post Journal [ibid., B. 154/a/26], Tod reached that post on June 17, 1835.
(102) Tod appears to have spent the season 1835-36 disposable in the Red
River district and the season 1836-37 in charge of the Island Lake district at Island
Lake House.   See Fleming, Minutes of Council, p. 460.
(103) Oxford House was situated at the north-east end of Oxford Lake on
the Hayes River route from Norway House and Lake Winnipeg to York Factory.
The first post was established there by William Sinclair in 1798 and the second by
John McLeod in 1816.   See Voorhis, op. cit., p. 134. 1954 John Tod 195
York Factory and Lake Winnipeg; midway in travel, if not geographically. The post has for me very sad associations, for my dear wife,
during the first year of our occupying Oxford House, showed signs of an
illness which necessitated her removal elsewhere, and finaUy caused her
death. The company's council in these circumstances was good enough
to grant me a fresh leave of absence, and having decided to take advantage of this UberaUty by revisiting London.104 I wiU now, without further
allusion to the ever-present personal feelings that were my own concern
and burden, mention some incidents of this second home visit. It took
place in 1837, and I may here state, in anticipation, that, on my return
to America aU the remainder of my career in the company's service, and
as a retired officer, was passed to the westward of the Rocky mountains,
ultimately in Vancouver Island, the gem of the west. After my retirement from the company's service and upon that Island being made a
colony, I became a member of the Colonial Legislative CouncU,105 but
this is anticipating my story by about a decade and a half.
Chapter XVII
I referred to Vancouver Island at the close of the last chapter because,
in the strange intertwining of human events, the desire of the Hudson's
Bay Company—nine years before the conclusion of the Oregon arrangement in the treaty of 1846—to possess or to control that Island,106 was
remotely, but really, connected with, perhaps, the most notable incident
to the general reader, in my second trip to the metropoUs of the world,
though related only to my caretaking of an Indian witness in a murder
case. The better foresight and fore-action of British trading companies
contrasted with the action of the British government in some over-sea
matters, is noticeable, but, possibly, these companies have had in the
(104) ". . . C T Jno Tod goes home with his unfortunate wife who is
insane." R. S. Miles to John McLeod, October 2, 1837, MS., Archives of B.C.
The entry from the log of the brig Eagle [H.B.C. Archives, C. 1/285] under date
October 13, 1837, records the arrival of the ship at Shadwell Basin and that " John
Tod Esqr. took his Lady & Daughter ashore."
(105) Richard Blanshard, on his resignation as Governor of Vancouver Island
in 1851, appointed a Legislative Council consisting of James Douglas, John Tod,
and James Cooper.   Blanshard to Grey, August 30, 1851, MS., Archives of B.C.
(106) As early as 1837 the Hudson's Bay Company had sent an expedition to
examine the southern end of Vancouver Island. See W. Kaye Lamb, " The Founding of Fort Victoria," British Columbia Historical Quarterly, VII (1943), pp.
3 196 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
nature of their powers and in the circumstances a freer hand than as a
rule the government possessed.
Be that as it may, the poUcy of the latter company in the thirties of
the nineteenth century was so to impress the home government with the
necessity and advantage of giving Pacific coast dominion to the company
that its proposal for, among other things, a grant on Vancouver Island,
would be faciUtated. The old charter of the company was being assailed.
Where the boundary between the British and American territory west of
the Rocky mountains would be drawn was doubtful. The company
wanted Vancouver Island but the time to ask, directly, for it had not yet
come. An object lesson of the inconvenience to the home government
of the unorganized condition in Northwest America might be useful.
In the present case I rather think that the manoeuvre of the indefatigable
company failed to impress British opinion, but what I have said may
suggest to the reader the circumstances of my acting as the " bear leader "
of a worthy Indian who is now to figure in my story. Whether my fresh
leave of absence was, by the company, in any way connected with my
availableness as a "bear leader" of the Indian in question I did not
inquire. I accepted the furlough as an act of kindness, suggested by my
distress. The motives of human action, usuaUy, are viewed, and the
decisive [decisions?] are not, in aU cases, easUy appreciated by an
In kiUing Indian murderers summarily in the way I have described,
useful as that enforcement of justice was, and approved by many of the
Indian tribes, I knew that it was Ulegal, strictly, for I had seen at York
Factory the British ParUament Acts of the 43rd [reign] by George
the Third (1803) amended by the 1st and 2nd George the Fourth
(1821-2)107 with their regulations as to the committal and trial of
offenders, and in consequence, though wiUing to risk my Ufe to capture
animals [Indians?], I never shared in their actual killing, deeming such
to be on my part unwarranted.
These parUament acts, so far as I am able to judge, were Unconsidered and practicaUy useless in relation to crimes committed in the
wUd western territory. No attempt was made to apply their provisions
when the parties were Indians. Murder is almost the only crime which
the Indian public speciaUy notices, and redress or revenge is usuaUy left
(107) This Act came to be known as the " Canada Act." For Lord Selkirk's
opinion on its interpretation, see E. H. Oliver (ed.), Canadian North-west: its
early development and legislative records . . . , Ottawa, 1914, Vol. L pp. 178-
183. 1954 John Tod 197
to the nearest relatives of the victim. The immense distances of the
Canadian courts and the physical obstructions to reach them, prevented
recourse; also in a case of an Indian killing a white man. To some
extent, as between white men, during the never ending conflicts of the
two rival fur companies, the jurisdiction of the Canadian courts were
[sic] sought, but, speaking generaUy of the whole country, there was no
regular administration of prescribed law—no more probably than in the
Scottish Highlands in the 17th century.
When about to start on this, my second trip to England, the governor
asked me to take charge of Le Grace,108 an Indian witness in a murder
case, which had occurred at Hay River, some 1,500 mUes away. The
company—perhaps for some such reason as above suggested—had
decided to send the case to England. The governor himself was going
thither, and proposed taking the accused with him by way of Canada,
but deemed it advisable that the chief witness should go separately, and
by another route.109 Though disliking the function, I accepted it on the
distinct understanding however that the company should reUeve me of
the man immediately on our arrival in England. Just before leaving
a friendly brother officer of the company, who himself had recently
returned from furlough, pushed ten guineas into my hand with his last
handshake, saying he had no use for the money and I was going where
it would be useful to me.
The Indian Le Grace was a fine, taU, indeed, very handsome, man,
and of a mild, inoffensive disposition. He wore his every day native
dress, coUar of wild beast claws, dressed deer skin shirt ornamented with
designs and fringed with porcupine quUls, antelope hide leggings, with
gay lashings and prettily beaded moc[c]assins. The only change I insisted
on was that his hair, in peaceful fashion, should hang down his back.
These Indians, with hair tied up, were half way to a fight.
(108) "One of the murderers in the McKenzie River affair goes home from
YF. to be sent to Canada for trial and the two others are taken down by the Governor one of whom is allowed to turn King's evidence." [R. S. Miles to John
McLeod, October 2, 1837, MS., Archives of B.C.] Tod has here evidently confused the murderer with the witness. The liberty allowed the Indian in Tod's
account would certainly give the impression that Le Grace was harmless and guiltless. Murdoch McPherson, who was in charge of the Mackenzie District at this
time, wrote to lames Hargrave of this incident, which occurred on December 26,
1835, near Fort Norman. [H.B.C. Archives, A. 1/60, fos. 87d-88; see also Glazebrook, op. cit., pp. 232-233.] Cadieu or Cadien was accused with Creole Lagrasse
or La Graisse.
(109) Tod, in his History of New Caledonia and the North West Coast, p. 41,
says that the murderer had escaped and that Le Grace was subsequently brought
back to Canada. 198 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
On entering the EngUsh channel many ships were seen, and one day
the sea being covered in every direction with apparently windbound
ships, Le Grace asked if they all belonged to the Hudson's Bay Company.
The wind's impeding progress and my orders being to get to London
quickly, the skipper, on my consulting him, recommended me to land at
Brighton. Upon this the pUot took me and my supposed servant ashore
at that place, in consideration of ten guineas, which exhausted the opportune gift of my friend at Norway House. Our passage from America to
London had been prepaid by the company. Once in London, of course,
I could get what money I might require.
Proceeding to the Sea House inn at Brighton,110 the appearance of
Le Grace attracted much attention both in the streets and the hostelry.
It was the evening time when we landed, and he and I, having dined weU
on shipboard, soon retired to our separate bedrooms to rest, but he not
to sleep. Having left the house during the night for a short time, it
appears that, on his return, the number marks on the door meaning
nothing to him, and the doors seeming aU aUke, Le Grace went in and
out of several occupied bedrooms in the quest for his own, to the great
alarm of the occupants. The description by several of these guests,
overheard by me next morning in the reading room, their incomprehension and also the terror caused by the demon visitor were so amusing to
me, knowing Le Grace's harmless nature, that I had to conceal my smUes
behind the newspaper.
To the landlord, however, the incident was serious. " I had so many
complaints, sir," said he, " that I was up half the night and expostulated
with your servant, who simply looked at me; no other but myself would
approach the man, and I feared to lock his door lest he should break it."
" Could you manage, sir, to patronize another inn? I am sorry, but
some of my guests wUl leave if your servant stays another night," and so
on. " Trouble not," I repUed, " We propose to leave after breakfast";
then reflecting that I had no money I desired him to lend me enough to
pay my bUl and the coach fare to London. This seemed to surprise the
landlord, who began to recount his past losses by such loans, but added,
(110) There is some confusion here. Tod's two narratives, the History of
New Caledonia . . . , and the foregoing relate that he and Le Grace landed at
Brighton, whereas the log of the brig Eagle, on the other hand, indicates that he
took his wife and daughter ashore at Shadwell basin, London. [V. supra, foot-note
(104).] Possibly Tod may have landed at Brighton with his Indian, taken him to
London by stage-coach, and then have met the Eagle in London and joined Eliza
and Emmeline. 1954 John Tod 199
finaUy, that he judged a good deal by a man's face, and, what amount
might you require, sir?" "Amount! how do I know? I am going to
London, you know my needs better than I do."
In the end he lent me enough for the two coach fares and an
additional £5. Pending the arrival of the coach after breakfast Le Grace,
in the haU of the inn, submitted with good temper, but with not a snule
on his grave face, to the fingering of his hair and ornamented dress by a
curious crowd of both sexes and of all ages. The coachman, after
driving up, held reins and whip immovable on his box the picture of a
self-contained, somewhat disdainful, if not stoUd Englishman of his class.
The mirth he heard, but would not notice it by any inquiry as to the cause.
It was not kind on my part, perhaps, but seeing the seat next the coachman vacant I could not refrain from giving La Grace instructions how
to reach it, quietly, so as not, I said, to alarm the horses—instructions
which innocently he followed, with the result that on his climbing to bis
seat and putting his face against that of the Jehu, dreaming, perhaps, of
his evening pot and pipe, the latter emitted a yeU, let go reins and whip,
and feU, Uke a bag of sand, to the ground amid the roars of the crowd
which by this time had assembled in the street.
Driving northward with not a very friendly coachman till I " tipped "
him out of my £5 on the principle of a yard of twist tobacco to a
saturnine Indian chief, we struck, I think, the same road that, on my
former visit had taken me from Portsmouth, and so, within five hours
reached London. The country seemed deUghtful, but now, of course,
was not absolutely unfamiliar as on my previous trip. I was glad that the
waiter at the Green Dragon remembered me. He hesitatingly took
charge of Le Grace whUe I went to the company's office, only to find it
closed for the day. The housekeeper, however, having told me the
secretary's address, Mr. Smith's,111 at Hackney, I went there in a coach
and deUvered my dispatches, begging him to reUeve me at once of Le
Grace, as he was unused to hotels and a cause of much trouble. Mr.
Smith came, accordingly, for the Indian next morning to the Green
Dragon, in a carriage, with another man who turned out to be a lawyer.
They wore buttoned frock coats with heavy collars, abundant neck cloths
out of which rose high, pointed shirt coUars, and their lofty hats, widening towards the top, had curled brims. Being struck with Le Grace's
appearance, they inquired if he were dangerous, and finaUy asked me to
go with them in the carriage.
(Ill) William Smith, the secretary of the Hudson's Bay Company. 200 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
Reaching a place—afterwards known to me as ClerkenweU112—
" Excuse me," said Mr. [Shnith, " we have a Uttle business here," and
out both went; then, after a time a portly person appeared and, standing
by the carriage door, read aloud, mumbUngly a paper in which my name
was mentioned, and he said I was wanted inside the building. It turned
out to be a court of justice—a shabby room, and the lawyers disfigured
by dirty white wigs—some bigger than others—a headgear known to me
only in pictures. Le Grace looked curiously at these wigs with perhaps
some thought of certain head coverings at his own home. As for me, I
resented my friend, Mr. Smith's, want of candor in luring me to the
After some talk in the room, no court, as to jurisdiction, I was
conveyed to a box, and the judge said, " You wiU take an oath to duly
interpret," to which my reply was, " No, I wUl not," then noticing the
astonishment around I explained that I would not take an oath for any
Uving soul, and, as to interpreting, though I could speak the Indian's
tongue something might be said to or by the court which his language
would not admit of being interpreted. The end of it was that, as the
accused had not arrived, Le Grace, the witness, was imprisoned tiU
further orders, though, to an Indian, confinement is torture. The newspapers, next day, and afterwards, criticized the company's action severely
for bringing such a case to England, and some of the writers questioned
the jurisdiction of the court in the matter. Dismissing the subject, I
never asked the outcome.113 " Bear hunting " I knew, but " bear leading " I did not appreciate.
Chapter XVIII
It is easy to understand that men, from remote parts, may meet
acquaintances in the principal thoroughfares of a great city, the Strand
for instance, or Rotten Row, in London. Apart from that, nevertheless,
it is odd how sometimes accidental clues bring men together. On this
my second visit home the latter fact was curiously exemplified by experiences during a comparatively short time. These may be in themselves
trivial, yet, perhaps, worth a page or two in my narrative, if only for
their oddness.
(112) ClerkenweU is a northern parish in the borough of Finsbury, London.
(113) Tod, in his History of New Caledonia  .  .  .  , p. 41, says that he
" subsequently assented " to interpret. 1954 John Tod 201
A Modern Touchwood11* in Rotten Row
A favorite haunt of mine was the " Row " in Hyde Park, where I
soon saw that the plump EngUshman, of the comic cartoons, with cheeks
Uke a trumpeter, was not the true type. The equipages, I could not
judge of, having, within my knowledge, nothing of the kind for comparison, but I never saw finer men or horses anywhere—taltish, thin
flanked, long thighed, strong, erect men, in figure and horsemanship,
reminding me of the Nez Perces Indians of Oregon, and the old looked
as weU as the young.
There on a seat, one day, a middle aged gentleman passed his snuff
box to me, and opened talk. He was the very moral [model?] of the
traveUed Touchwood in " St. Ronan's WeU," somewhat modernized in
dress—figure stout, yet active, grey hair, nose upturned, brick red complexion, wrinkled face and high, short manner. Finding I had come
from the Northwest wUds, he asked if I knew so and so there, and on my
saying that I did and inquiring how he himself came to know him, his
rejoinder was that he had last seen him in the Sandwich Islands, where
his friend was giving a dinner to the King and his court, and he much
desired to renew acquaintances. "You wiU find your friend with
another man at the George and Vulture,"115 said I, whereupon he exclaimed, " The George and Vulture! Wherever is that? " Being, as it
turned out, a personage of the West part of the city, Uttle acquainted
with its more easterly part. However, he seemed pleased, and said he
would caU on his friend, and, giving me his own card, took leave with a
hope that we might meet again.
When I mentioned this Uttle incident to my friends at the George and
Vulture, and produced the card, one of them who had been agent of the
Hudson's Bay Company at the Sandwich Islands,116 exclaimed, " Why!
I have been looking everywhere for that man; I have a letter for him
from which the particular address has been omitted."
(114) Peregrine Touchwood, a touchy old East Indian in Sir Walter Scott's
St. Ronan's Well.
(115) The George and Vulture was a favourite haunt of Hudson's Bay Company men. See Margaret MacLeod, " Fur Traders' Inn," Beaver, December, 1947,
and March, 1948.
(116) Possibly Richard Charlton, British Consul at Honolulu, who acted as
agent for the Hudson's Bay Company until the appointment of George Pelly to that
office in 1833. See W. P. St. Clair, Jr., " Beaver in Hawaii," Beaver, September,
1941, pp. 40-42. 202 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
This led, among us, to some pleasant social intercourse, as the owner
of the card caUed the next afternoon at the George and Vulture. This
gentleman had a symbol on his letter paper which became a subject of
conversation between us. He said it was part of a mark of distinction
to which he had a right by birth, and on my remarking that I thought
there was something of the kind among the Indians, he took me to an
office where there was full information on the subject, but only as to the
civilized practice. The " bear," I was told, had been the symbol of the
old Gothic kingdom, but had not been so popular generaUy as the
" Lion." Fur was commonly used in this heraldry as furred skins, in old
times, had covered the shields of soldiers, but chiefly now, only the
ermine appeared. NaturaUy, owing to my avocation, I should Uke to
have had an opportunity of studying this subject more.
An Isle of Skye Sabreur
Another day, on entering an eating house in the city, not at a busy
time of day, a man of dashing appearance occupied the whole hearth and
had his legs up whUe he read a newspaper. Upon a smaU table drawn
near him was a bottle of wine. There was something—I know not
what—" Highland " about this personage, and, anyway, it was clear, he
had not Uved aU his time in the Old Country. No answer was given to
my initiatory climatic remark, but on my inquiry along the same Une,
" if it always rained here," he dropped his legs, and, wheeling round,
exclaimed, after a penetrating, but not uncivil glance, " Where the devU
are you from? " " Northwest America! " " The deuce you are. Do
you know so and so, and so and so. Draw up to the table, man." After
an hour's talk, during which I had mentioned my own friends in town,
he invited me to dine with him, the next day at an eating house or club in
the West End, and, said he, " bring the George and Vulture with you."
He then drove off in a styUsh " tandem " that had waited at the door.
He was an Isle of Skye Highlandman formerly in the British army, and
had fought since in the Mexican revolutions, and bore the scars of sabre
To us this gentleman was very kind, and through him we enlarged
our already considerable social intercourse, which was so welcome, in
my case, in relieving the depression in my spirits. But I refer to him
chiefly to show how strangely we ran against an old tutor of his, whom
we afterwards had to meet at dinner at this new friend's house. We
Hudson's Bay men went one evening to a place of entertainment caUed 1954 John Tod 203
" The Shades,"117 where it was the privUege of a visitor, on a certain
payment, to " caU the band "—the only place of the kind I have been in
or ever heard described, though in simUar resorts hi London it was
common enough for any visitor who thought he could entertain the
company to volunteer a song. The audience at the " Shades " was
motley, and so was the music. I sat beside one of my companions—a
brother Scot and trader among the Cree Indians—the others were elsewhere, and I had exchanged a few remarks with a fat German behind
who spoke EngUsh fluently. Of a sudden, during the playing of Old
Scotia airs at our caU, as it happened, the German ceased to speak
EngUsh and answered me in German, but both my companion and I
heard him say in EngUsh to someone near, " What rubbish! Who can
bear to listen to such music as that? " Nettled by this remark, we both
sprang up and pointing to the amazed critic, then withdrawing our hands
for other gestures, and again pointing at him, we both together poured
forth such a flood of objurgation in the language of the Crees and in the
manner of excited orators of that people, that the sweet, plaintive music
being played by the band was interrupted, and the German fled, incontinently, thinking perhaps that we were lunatics, speaking a strange
It might have been almost any tongue in that room, for aU nationaU-
ties seemed to visit the place, but it is unlikely that the Cree tongue had
been heard there [bejfore, or the animated methods of the Cree orators
It turned out that the obese critic was the old tutor of our acquaintance last above mentioned, and was trying to find his former pupU.
Something in our conversation at the Shades before the embroUing incident—the mention of the map and a club I think—assisted the German
in his search, and, as above said, we met him afterwards at dinner with
our friend, but nothing was said of the incident at the Shades.
He may not have recognized us in our evening dress. The Germans
are musical, but this critic forgot that, with most men, one great charm
of music is in its expressive associations. We love to the last the tunes
our nurses crooned, or our folks ever had joy in. There is such a thing,
I imagine, as educating a human being out of humanity. In a fanuly
I knew, long after this time, were two sisters, one, an accomplished
(117) The Shades, originally a name for wine and beer vaults with a drinking-
bar, either underground or sheltered from the sun by an arcade, originated at
Brighton. [Murray's New Oxford Dictionary.] Probably the forerunner of the
modern night club. 204 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
trained musician, made so at large expense, whose performance, doubtless, educated cities would have commended, but when the comparatively rough hand of her younger sister, on whom not a penny for music
had been spent, touched the notes of the piano, you could not sit in
your seat, but sprang to make your foot-action as it were the echo of
the music.
Lodgings in Islington
Another curious instance of running accidentahy across the traU of
a known man in the midst of a vast population may close my remarks
under this head. Without bearing resentment, for I had to go to him for
money, I was not pleased with the lack of candor on the part of the
Hudson's Bay Company's secretary in the " Le Grace " matter, and,
moreover, he seemed fond of practical jokes, and disposed to make the
most of my social and other blunders, so I determined to lessen the
propinquity of my residence to the Hudson's Bay Company's office,
which propinquity was the real cause of so many company men taking
up their quarters in the Green Dragon, George and Vulture and other
city inns.
" You had better not move," said the secretary, " for John PeUy and
Mr. ColviUe,118 the directors, I know, wish to converse with you."
" I wUl leave my address," said I, " and attend when they desire an
interview." So I went to Islington—"merry Islington" as it was
caUed when formerly a suburban resort, now neither suburban nor
merry. I should have premised that my friends at the George and
Vulture and I, had agreed in our social movements to avoid a particular
Hudson's Bay man119 also in London on furlough, of whom I shaU only
say that his company was to us uncongenial.
In a clean, nice locaUty in Islington aforesaid, I found a couple of
suitable rooms in the house of a taU, middle-aged angular lady, dressed
[in] black, whose brown hair was streaked with grey and the ten commandments imprinted on her visage. Having named the Hudson's Bay
Company as my reference, she said, " I am sorry, but after a late experience of mine, I have vowed never again to accept any lodger so
vouched."   On farther conversation it appeared that our " uncongenial"
(118) Sir John Pelly [see Reginald Saw, "Sir John H. PeUy, Bart., Governor,
Hudson's Bay Company, 1822-1852," British Columbia Historical Quarterly, XJEL
(1949), pp. 23-32] and Andrew Colvile, Deputy Governor of the Company, 1839-
(119) It has not been possible to identify this reference. 1954 John Tod 205
friend, whose society we were shirking, had been in these very lodgings
—one chance in a million that I should so cross his track. Yet the
landlady took me for a week on trial and I never changed my lodgings
while in London.
Settled comfortably there and choosing my own associates, I enjoyed
the opportunity during several months of seeing as much as possible of
the great metropoUs. To one in my circumstances, as of the Indian
country, so of London, it is not easy for me to know what wUl interest
readers. In a camp-fire story the response of the faces that are not in the
shade gives some kind of assurance, but what to me seems noteworthy in
a book presentation, may not have that character to the reader, but be,
in his judgment, trivial, and perhaps ridiculous. This is why I dweU
not long on anything but pass from one incident to another.
Public Opinion About Queen Victoria
The third sovereign I already had Uved under, namely, WiUiam IV,
(though I was Uttle over 40 years of age), died in London when I was
there towards the end of June,120 and his niece, the present Queen, succeeded to the throne, but was not crowned for a year later, in 1838.
The talk at the inns sometimes caUed at was much about the new Queen,
of whom very Uttle seemed to be known, but many were pleased with
the advent of a woman-sovereign, as the late men-sovereigns had not
enhanced the credit or dignity of their office. It was new to me to hear
the free conversation on this subject, and that if the occupants were
respectable, personaUy, it mattered Uttle to the nation who the sovereign
was. There seemed decidedly to be some unrest as to pubUc matters
generaUy in the minds of those I conversed with, or to whom I listened,
and it was without the reticence of disaffected Indians, among whom my
experience had lain.
Emigration of My Family
What concerned me more, however, at this time was the carrying
out of a project which I had long entertained, and was at last able to
assist, namely, the emigration of our whole family to Canada. I visited
Scotland to see them on this subject. My father pleaded that for him
and mother it was too great a wrench, yet, as they could not bear the
severance from the chUdren, my proposal finaUy was accepted.  I accord-
(120) There is another discrepancy here, for William IV died on June 20,
1837, and Tod did not reach England until October 13. 206 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
in[g]Iy proceeded to Canada via New York, sooner than I had intended,
in order to buy a tract of land and make other preparations.
The upper Canada rebeUion had not been entirely repressed on my
arrival in January, 1838, at St. Thomas, where I proposed to spend the
winter with an esteemed friend and correspondent of mine,121 who
resided there. The rebeUion, from my point of view, however, not
seeming to be of much importance, I bought 600 acres of land in the
district, where I had taken up my winter quarters, and sent for my
family to use the land, but as iU-luck would have it, duty caUed me westward on the opening of navigation, before they arrived, so I could not
welcome them to their new home. I have not been there since, though
hearing often from or of them, and now, in old age, feel pleasure in
knowing that some of them stiU reside there and own the land which
I purchased for their forbears.
Back again now, westerly over the Rocky Mountain barriers, into
the land against which the North Pacific ocean leans, where I have
Chapter XLX
The western department of the Hudson's Bay Company, as I have
said, lay between the Rocky Mountains and the shore of the Pacific
Ocean. There were, I think, about the time I speak of, 22 forts or
trading stations in it, including those in the country that is now American, in which latter section of the western department several migratory
trapping and trading parties, also, were employed by the company.
The headquarters had been, since 1824,122 at Fort Vancouver, on the
right bank of the Columbia river, about 90 mUes from its mouth, and
the first chief departmental officer who held office tiU 1846, when Mr.
James Douglas succeeded him, was as I have said, Dr. John McLoughUn,
who tried to cure me of sciatica. Dr. McLoughUn was a very handsome,
courteous and kindly man. After retiring from the company's service
he remained on the American side, and was one of the founders of
Oregon City, some 12 miles from the present city of Portland.    By
(121) Edward Ermatinger (1797-1876), who had retired from the Hudson's
Bay Company in 1828 and settled at St. Thomas, Upper Canada, in 1830. See
Rich, Colin Robertson's Correspondence Book, pp. 211-212. Tod's friendship with
Ermatinger dated back to 1818, when they were both at Island Lake.
(122) The headquarters of the Columbia Department was transferred from
Fort George (Astoria) to Fort Vancouver, which was christened on March 19,
1825. SeeE. E.Rich (ed.), The Letters of John McLoughlin . . . First Series,
London, 1941, p. xxix. 1954 John Tod 207
some over there he has been described as the " Father of Oregon," from
his activity in its early history, and in memory also of his kindness as
head of the Hudson's Bay Company in befriending pioneers, a kindness
which, it is said, the company itself did not appreciate.123
Fort Vancouver was the company's chief coUecting, distributing and
shipping place for the western department. The moderate-sized seagoing vessels of that time could reach the place—as Captain Vancouver
in his ship had done124—from the ocean. The fort was a stockaded
enclosure, 600 feet by 200 feet,125 with an armed bastion at one corner,
and two 18-pound and two swivel guns in front of the Chief Factor's
house, and commanding the principal entrance. Within the enclosure
were the officers' dwellings and the magazines, stores and other buUdings,
about 30 altogether. The hospital, stables and servants' houses formed
a Uttle vUlage outside. Near by was the company's farm, 1,200 acres
in cultivation, good dairy, also 1,500 sheep, 400 or 500 head of cattle,
a band of horses, pigs, poultry, etc. Four mUes distant were a flour null
and a sawmiU, belonging to the company. The products of the above
were used by the company, and sold locaUy, and also were in part
exported, together with prepared fish, to the Sandwich Islands, or
The last decade or so of my Ufe in the company's service as I have
said, was passed at different posts in the above western department.
I went no more either to Canada or the Old Country. There was unrest
in the company's western councUs during that period, and officers were
moved hither and thither more than had been usual.
By the Ashburton Treaty of 1842, the northeastern boundary question between England and America had been settled, and the governments now were trying to adjust in the northwest of the continent the
question of disputed right to the Oregon territory—the Americans claiming the whole region lying on the Pacific west of the Rocky Mountains,
(123) E. E. Rich (ed.), The Letters of John McLoughlin . . . Third Series,
London, 1944, p. Iii.
(124) Tod is in error here. Lieutenant W. R. Broughton, who surveyed the
Columbia River as far as Multnomah Falls, left the Chatham at anchor in Gray's
Bay, about 7 miles inside the mouth of the river. The exploration was carried on
by means of one of the small boats. George Vancouver, A Voyage of Discovery,
London, 1778, Vol. II, p. 56.
(125) According to Warre and Vavasour the stockade would have measured
320 by 690 feet. See L. R. Caywood, " Excavating Fort Vancouver," Beaver,
March, 1948, p. 5. 208 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
between 42° and 54° W of north latitude. Settlers were coming into
Oregon, and the Hudson's Bay Company began to fear that their head
shipping place, Fort Vancouver, above referred to, and their other
Oregon stations, might in certain eventuahties have to be abandoned.
Their desire to possess Vancouver Island and to substitute a shipping
station there in place of Fort Vancouver, consequently grew, and in
1843 they began to buUd " Fort Albert,"126 or as it was renamed " Fort
Victoria," to serve such purpose. But I am concerned here only with
my personal narrative, not with general history.
The reader probably knows that the result of the compromise in the
treaty of 1846 between the above two governments estabUshed the 49th
parallel as the international boundary, and gave Vancouver Island to
Britain. Meantime, Uke others, I was moved about in the long strip of
territory extending from New Caledonia to Fort Vancouver—half trader,
half farmer or stockman—and had various new experiences, some of
which I shaU relate without describing my movements with a particularity that might be wearisome both to the reader and myself.
Appointed to Columbia District—The Dalles Disaster
My first appointment on returning, as stated, from my second and
last trip to England, was to the district of Columbia, in the western
department. In journeying thither, as Ul-luck would have it, from Norway House (the general headquarters of the company west of the
great lakes), which I left in July, 1838, I had to take charge of a party
of 60 individuals, chiefly employed men, but including several passengers
and also women and chUdren. Among the passengers were Bishop
Blanchard, of the Roman CathoUc church, and Father Meyers,127 who
afterwards reached the Uke rank.
The usual route with northwest canoes, via Saskatchewan, Fort
Assiniboine and Athabasca river, took us to the source of the latter,
where is Jasper House (so named from Jasper Hawse, a northwest company's clerk in the early part of the century). This crossing of the
Rocky Mountains, usuaUy caUed the "Athabasca Portage," is about
300 mUes farther south than the crossing at Peace river, mentioned in
my former transmontane journeys.    The mountain range, or thrust-
(126) See W. K. Lamb, " The Founding of Fort Victoria," loc. cit., pp. 88-89.
(127) These were Francois Norbert Blanchet (1795-1883), later to become
Archbishop of Oregon and Modeste Demers (1809-1871), first Roman Catholic
Bishop of Vancouver Island. 1954 John Tod 209
together ranges, are much wider here. Traversing the icy, almost treeless passage, you come to a little bowl of a lake, caUed in fact " Punch
Bowl," guarded by mountain giants, with ever white foreheads. This
Uttle lake or bowl is so balanced on its own table land that one part of
its comparatively tiny outflow seeks the Ar[c]tic ocean by the Mackenzie
river, and another part yields simUar tribute to the Pacific Ocean by
way of the Columbia river.
To my dismay no means of transport awaited us at the above Athabasca portage to enable the party to reach the Columbia river at the
"Boat Encampment" on the sharp bend of the river, where Canoe
river, from the north, joins it a short way above 52 degrees N.L. We
had in our further progress to reach and descend the Columbia, and the
Columbia was distant several days rough travel by land.
Each year invariably a company's party from the east came at the
time we did, but now my party was unusuaUy large, and encumbered
with women and chUdren. Of our five and forty horses, only two or
three were broken in. Fortunately, we had two men very smart with
the lasso. A " corral," or enclosure, accordingly was constructed, with
an entrance narrowing graduaUy inward. Into this, after great difficulty,
the horses were driven one by one, the baggage tied on firmly after
throwing them down and hobbling them, then with a halter, Mexican
fashion, on their heads, the animals were turned out of the " corral"
to run kicking and rearing, helter [haltered?], though they were; however, none would go far away alone, and there was no concert among
them. The few broken-in horses ultimately became a sort of raUying
point and the whole band was under fair control within about three
days. We then succeeded in transporting the large party with its impediments to the Boat Encampment, above mentioned.
A fresh (difficulty now presented itself, which, as I shaU relate, had
lamentable consequences. The western authorities, not knowing, as
above said, the unusual number of my party had caused only two boats
to be left there. A division thus was necessary to ensure safety in
further progress. The two boats would not carry aU without danger
of overcrowding on the rapid river. Dividing the party I proceeded in
the larger of the boats, with most of the women and children, 1,250
mUes down the river to Fort ColvUe,128 having strictly enjoined those
left behind, as the weather was good and suppUes sufficient, not to
attempt to foUow in an overcrowded boat, but to await the arrival of
(128) Fort Colvile had been established in 1825 by the Hudson's Bay Company at Kettle Falls on the Columbia River. 210 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
the one which I was going in for the purpose of ensuring that it would
immediately return with myself to take command of the second party proceeding down the river. Nevertheless, impatience overcoming caution,
those left behind foUowed prematurely. At the Uttle DaUes the boat
was upset, and six of the passengers who had stayed in it, when running
the rapids, were drowned, including two young botanists, Messrs. Wallace and Banks,129 who, as I understood, had been sent out on the
recommendation, or, with the assistance of Mr. (afterwards Sir) Joseph
Paxton,130 also a gentleman named White,131 stepfather of a chUd132
in the boat, who being rescued, many years later married Captain Dodd,
well known in Vancouver Island.
From Fort ColvUe, with the reunited party, we proceeded to our
destination at Fort Vancouver with heavy hearts, where I reported the
circumstances of our journey. I was not popular with this mixed party
that had been under my charge, owing to the discipline enforced, for
reasons which I could not weU teU them, for instance danger from
prowling Blackfeet, but my action was approved by the authorities.
The local governor, Dr. John McLoughUn, being absent, his assistant,
Mr. James Douglas, was in temporary charge. Other officers of the
company, whom I then first saw, Dr. WiUiam Fraser Tolmie,133 and
Mr. Rae134 (a brother of Dr. John Rae,135 the Ar[c]tic traveUer), who
(129) Robert Wallace and Peter Banks; see Rich, Letters of John McLoughlin
. . . First Series, p. 293. For another account of this episode see J. A. Stevenson, "Disaster in the Dalles," Beaver, September, 1942, pp. 19-21.
(130) Sir Joseph Paxton (1801-1865) was a prominent British botanist who
became superintendent of the gardens at Chatsworth, seat of the Duke of Devonshire, a president of the Royal Horticultural Society.
(131) This would be Pierre Le Blanc who had married the ci-devant country-
wife of J. G. McTavish, Nancy Mackenzie. [See Margaret MacLeod (ed.), The
Letters of Letitia Hargrave, Toronto, 1947, pp. 34-35.] Nancy Le Blanc died in
Victoria and was buried on July 26, 1851. Fort Victoria, Register of Burials,
Photostat, Archives of B.C.
(132) Grace McTavish, daughter of Chief Factor J. G. McTavish and Nancy
Mackenzie, married Captain Charles Dodd. They were at a later date residents of
Victoria, where Captain Dodd died on June 2, 1860 [Victoria Colonist, June 5,
(133) See Simon Fraser Tolmie, " My Father: William Fraser Tolmie, 1812-
1886," British Columbia Historical Quarterly, I (1937), pp. 227-240.
(134) William Glen Rae married Eloise, daughter of Dr. John McLoughlin.
Rae afterwards committed suicide at the California post, and his widow subsequently, 1845, married Daniel Harvey. See B. B. Barker (ed.), Letters of Dr. John
McLoughlin, Portland, Ore., 1948, p. 38.
(135) For a biographical sketch of Sir John Rae, see E. E. Rich (ed.), John
Roe's Correspondence with the Hudson's Bay Company on Arctic Exploration,
1844-1855, London, 1953, pp. xiv-cv. 1954 John Tod 211
was about to take charge of the Hudson's Bay post at Yerba Buena
(San Francisco), assisted in making my stay at Fort Vancouver very
pleasant. At Yerba Buena, I was told, apart from the company's station, there were only eight or nine houses (a later story about Yerba
Buena is that, not long before the CaUfornia gold discovery, the company sold 1,000 acres there for £1,000, owing to a dispute between two
chief factors as to the disposition of the land136).
Farming at Cowlitz131
On the governor's return to Fort Vancouver138 it was decided that
I should have my headquarters at a farming station belonging to the
company, some 50 mUes northerly from Fort Vancouver, situated about
15 mUes from the mouth of the latter. I had there a large number of
men employed in caring for the numerous horses, chiefly brood mares,
and cattle. We had 1,000 acres ploughed, also a fine horse park and
large dairy. The crop the first year was about 8,000 bushels of wheat,
half that quantity of oats and also barley and potatoes. The adjacent
CathoUc mission had 160 acres ploughed. We sold farm products to
the Russians from the north, and also to incoming settlers. It was rather
a new experience for me, and agreeable for a time, but devoid of incidents, with any personal bearing.
My notes kept at the farm, possibly, might be acceptable in a journal
devoted to agriculture or the rearing of stock. OccasionaUy some of
the numerous visitors to Fort Vancouver came to the CowUtz for a Uttle
sport, and to see the horses. Among the latter was a fine animal belonging to Mr. Rae, which its master only, could ride. Said to me one day,
a Ueutenant from a British surveying ship,139 who had been visiting
(136) For the story of the Hudson's Bay Company in California, see Anson
S. Blake, " The Hudson's Bay Company in San Francisco," California Historical
Society Quarterly, XXVIII (1949), pp. 97-112, 243-258.
(137) The Company's farm of 1,200 acres in the fertile valley of the Cowlitz
River, a tributary of the Columbia, was established in 1838. Upon the formation
of the Puget's Sound Agricultural Company, both the Cowlitz and Nisqually farms
were operated by the subsidiary concern.
(138) Dr. John McLoughlin visited England and the continent of Europe
during the summer of 1838 and resumed command of Fort Vancouver in October,
1839.   See'Rich, Fort Vancouver Letters . . . Second Series, London, 1943, p. xi.
(139) H.M. surveying ships Sulphur and Starling were in the Columbia River
from July 16 to September 12, 1839. See F. V. Longstaff and W. Kaye Lamb, "The
Royal Navy on the Northwest Coast, 1813-1850," British Columbia Historical
Quarterly, IX (1945), p. 15.
6 212 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
Fort Vancouver, where two American survey vessels140 then were, " that
seems a tidy good 'un, give me a mount, old feUow." I tried to dissuade
him, not associating naval men with riding other than the waves, and
not remembering, indeed, not then realizing that the scions of EngUsh
county famUies often know the stable before entering the gun room,
but aU to no purpose, and away he went fuU tilt across the prairies—
the horse, apparently, as happy as the rider, judging by his bounds and
his settling down to great speed, which soon took both out of sight.
After a whUe, being uneasy, I kept a lookout, and to my joy the horse
returned at a furious pace with the rider stUl on, sitting at ease and his
longish black hair streaming from under his cap.
" How did you lose your stirrups," said I, when he puUed up.
" Eh! what! They're here aU right, old boy. I triced them up in
front"—and so he had.
Chapter XX
After over two years of this, chiefly bucoUc, experience in the
Columbia district, I was appointed as officer in charge of Fort Alexandria,141 on Fraser river, five or six hundred mUes (longer by the traU)
northwest, in the direction of my old habitat of New Caledonia. The
"fort" was a stockaded enclosure with a block house and the usual
buildings. It was close to the bank amid dark forests. The road thither,
after about 300 miles, led past the important Hudson's Bay Co.'s station
at the junction of the north and south branches of Thompson's river, so
named from Mr. David Thompson,142 a Hudson's Bay man, who, whUe
(140) The American surveying vessels mentioned by Tod have not been identified. The U.S. exploring expedition under Commander Charles Wilkes did not
reach the Columbia River until 1841, by which time Tod had been transferred to
New Caledonia.
(141) Fort Alexandria, on the left bank of the Fraser River, was built by the
North West Company just prior to the coalition in the summer of 1821. It was
intended as a transfer point between land and water travel for the convenience of
the New Caledonia brigades and to be used to supply the New Caledonia posts
from the coast instead of from York Factory. This post was at the point where
Sir Alexander Mackenzie in 1793 retraced his steps northward to the Blackwater
River before proceeding westward to the Pacific Ocean. See Fleming, Minutes of
Council, p. xvii.
(142) David Thompson was a North West Company employee. His name
was bestowed upon the river by Simon Fraser during his epic journey of 1808.
For biographical data on Thompson, see M. Catherine White, David Thompson's
Journals Relating to Montana and Adjacent Regions, 1808-1812, Missoula, 1950. 1954 John Tod 213
in the service of the Northwest Company, spent most of the time between
1808 and 1812, as a trader and explorer west of the Rocky Mountains,
discovering in 1811 the northern head waters of the Columbia, which
river he foUowed to the ocean. The Indians called the place " Kahm-o-
loops," meaning the "meeting of the waters," and we, less poeticaUy,
caUed it the "Forks" of the Thompson.
The fort was on the right bank of the North Thompson at its mouth,
opposite the modern viUage, or town, of Kamloops.
The surrounding country, in its general character, presents south of
the river a rolling, open surface, the vaUeys clear, save for aspen poplars
along the streams, and the uplands sparsely timbered, chieffly] with
"red" or "buU" pines. It is more a pastoral than an agricultural
district, irrigation being necessary in most parts for cultivation. The
officer in charge of the fort, Mr. Black,143 a chief trader, gave me a
hearty welcome during the day of my stay there. Some calamitous
presage, which I never could account for, affected me on bidding him
good-bye next morning, but passed away as we proceeded on our journey.
Murder of Mr. Black at Kamloops
A few weeks later, being at Alexandria on a dark night in February,
a French-Canadian showing the traces of a hard journey entered the fort
and said, "Mr. Black is murdered, and aU the men at Kamloops fort
have fled in different directions."
I may anticipate a Uttle by stating here the facts of this tragic occurrence, as these have been wrongly described in the book of his journey
round the world in 1841-2, by the Governor, Sir George Simpson,144
who was at Fort Vancouver, on the Columbia river, in the middle of
1841, several months after it happened, and also described wrongly by
other writers.
A chief called TranquUle, of an Indian tribe near the fort, had died
lately, and the widow, in her grief and concern for the departed, told her
(143) Samuel Black, a native of Aberdeen, joined the North West Company
in 1804. After the amalgamation of the companies in 1821 he joined the Hudson's
Bay Company as a clerk in 1823, being promoted to chief trader the following
year. During the summer of 1824 he was employed exploring the Finlay River
and in 1825 was given charge of Fort Nez Perces, where he remained until 1830,
when he was transferred to Kamloops. He secured his chief factorship in 1837
and met an untimely death at the hands of one of his Indians on the night of
February 9, 1841.
(144) Sir George Simpson, Narrative of a Journey round the World, during
the years 1841 and 1842, London, 1847, 2 vols. 214 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
son, a fine youth of eighteen, weU disposed and quiet, that the father's
spirit should not be left to go alone, but should be accompanied by the
spirit of some chief of equal rank. This was urged daUy, until the youth,
worn by importunity and a supposed sense of duty to his deceased father,
seized his gun and sat himself down moodily in the haU of the Kamloops
fort. Something in his appearance caused a servant to remark to Mr.
Black that the Indian looked dangerous, but the latter said that, probably,
the boy was ailing. Soon afterwards, on Mr. Black crossing the haU
from one room towards another, the Indian suddenly rose and fired at
his back, and the buUet passed through the victim's heart and body and
lodged in the waU.
But to return. On hearing the French-Canadian's report, I directed
him and two other men to start with me at dawn on horseback, with
relays, from Alexandria for Kamloops. There were two feet of snow on
the ground during the first part of our trip of 270 mUes, and after a long
week of almost incessant travel, or " march " as the word was, we reached
our destination to find Fort Kamloops abandoned save for the widow
and chUdren stiU weeping over Mr. Black's frozen body, lying where it
feU. An Indian named Lolo,145 but, as a "mission" Indian who
preached about St. Paul, commonly called "Paul," who had been
occasionaUy employed at the fort, appeared soon, to sympathize with
us, and, possibly, to report proceedings to the Indians, whose neighboring camp was sUent.
After examining as far as might be the course of the buUet, we buried
the body, ascertained the murderer's name from Lolo, and then began
to make an inventory of the goods at the fort.   These seemed to be intact.
Several days were thus occupied during which an armed Hudson's
Bay Company party arrived from Fort ColvUe, and later another armed
party from Fort Vancouver (to which southern place some of the men
fleeing from the fort had gone), the expectation being that the Indians
would be found in possession of the Kamloops fort. As my own station
at Alexandria demanded my care, I returned thither at once in these
circumstances, but the end was not yet.
The party from headquarters at Fort Vancouver began to terrorize
the Indians within reach of Kamloops as a means of enforcing deUvery
of the murderer.   Horses were seized, property destroyed, and, prac-
(145) Jean Baptiste Lolo St. Paul. See G. D. Brown, Jr., and W. Kaye Lamb,
"Captain St. Paul of Kamloops," British Columbia Historical Quarterly, HI
(1939), pp. 115-127; and G. D. Brown, Jr., "A Further Note on Captain St
Paul," ibid., pp. 223-224. 1954 John Tod 215
ticaUy, short of killing men, war against the people was undertaken.
The result of this Ul-judged action, of course, was rul, except in causing
bitterness, and, after a time, the company's forces were recaUed to Fort
Vancouver and Colvile. A council held at the former fort, at which as
I said, the Governor-in-Chief was present,146 then decided on the poUcy
to be adopted.
Obviously with hostile Indians mtervening, the year's pack of furs
from the interior and New Caledonia which required a cavalcade of 400
laden horses, could not reach the shipping depot at Fort Vancouver, nor
could the posts receive thence their goods for next year's trade. Accordingly a temporizing poUcy was approved.
I was transferred from Alexandria to succeed Mr. Black at Kamloops,147 with instructions to try to continue trading and the business of
the district as usual, and with an intimation that towards the end of the
year a weU armed force would be sent to aid me in "prosecuting
The Policy Adopted by Me
As the above poUcy of the authorities seemed to me unnecessary and
also dangerously provocative, in view of the number and boldness of the
Indians, though not aU of them had guns or much ammunition, or the
wherewithal to purchase warlike equipment, I asked for, and was given
rather grudgingly, more or less of a free hand in the circumstances, and
I shaU now relate what took place, not for self-praise, but to illustrate
how not to make an Indian war.
Despatching Lolo, the Indian already mentioned (he was a man of
birth and undoubted courage, but I never fully trusted him), to the
different camps and tribes, I ascertained what horses had been taken
from each and what property had been destroyed by the punitive
expeditions, and I returned the horses from the bands at the fort and
paid for the property, in every case that was substantiated.    Then
(146) Sir George Simpson arrived at Fort Vancouver, August 24, 1841.
[See Rich, McLoughlin's Fort Vancouver Letters . . . Second Series, p. 40.]
As Tod had set out for Kamloops immediately after hearing of Black's death in
February, 1841, returning thence to his duties at Alexandria, it is obvious that all
the arrangements concerning Kamloops had been undertaken by John McLoughlin
and Archibald McDonald, the latter sending Donald McLean and John McPherson
from Fort Colvile. [Ibid., pp. 248-249.] For another version of this sad event,
see Tod, History of New Caledonia  .... pp. 10-19.
(147) Tod returned to Kamloops on August 3, 1841; see Thompson's River
Journal, 1841-43, MS., Archives of B.C. 216 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
I offered a bale of " goods " to anyone who would show me or my agents
where the murderer was; I desired no other help.
On the third night after this notification an Indian caUed me up to
say that his friends had decided to permit him to act as a guide, but he
was to take no pay, in goods or otherwise. The murderer was far away
in a vaUey covered with prickly pears, encamped there near a stream and
guarded by twelve warriors. His information proved to be correct, for
on my sending, with a guide, a smaU party of three men (advisedly small
in pursuance of my own poUcy of regarding the matter as individual and
not tribal) the place was reached, but, though the guards and the murderer's wife and his two chUd girls were there, he himself, unwitting of
the present pursuit, had visited the Fraser river to buy salmon. Indiscreetly, as I considered, the party seized one of the chUdren and brought
her back to the Kamloops fort, whither they returned for suppUes and
further orders. I caused the child to be dressed prettily from goods in
the store, suppUed with a bag of toys, and immediately conveyed back
to her mother by a special messenger on horseback.
The latter remained a day at the camp (to which the murderer had
not returned), and, before departing homeward, was told by the
" guards " that they would protect the man no longer, but would go
home. Thus the youth became an outcast among his own people, with
his doom fixed and the avengers on his track, but it was not until four
or five months after this that he was run down and kiUed, as I shaU now
Pursuit of the Murderer
The pursuers, guided by the informant, came to the crest of a hUl
and looked down on a smaU encampment on the opposite side of a river
in the vaUey. The guide said: " There is his place and the ford is in
front of the camp." Accordingly, when night feU, creeping to the river
side, they crossed, the guide a Uttle ahead, until he stopped to whisper,
" Hush! they are talking in the lodge—two men's voices—one man, the
man we want, is telling of his dream that the white men were hanging
In the rush one inmate of the lodge was seized by the throat, the
other inmate dashed through the doorway, escaping the clutch of the
foreman of the pursuers on his hair, as it had been cut short, but the
foreman, a swift Scotchman, overtook and knocked him down with
the butt of a gun.   This fugitive was the murderer. 1954 John Tod 217
Quickly he was taken across the ford in the river, tied securely on a
horse, and the party traveUed homeward on their four days' march, and
finaUy reached a ferry on the Thompson river, which would save a round
of several mUes. A pipe was there smoked, and the foreman pondered
on the risk of putting the prisoner in a canoe—finaUy, he sent an armed
man to the other side, and placed in the canoe one paddler in the stern,
another in the bow, and the prisoner in the middle, not tying the hands
of the latter. About the middle of the stream the prisoner upset the
canoe, and, after diving, swam to the opposite side. The guard there,
with leveUed gun, ordered him to go back. " Let me land," pleaded
the murderer, " ff they had killed me at the time of the deed it would
have been weU, now, I wish to Uve," whereupon the guard fired, wounding him in the hand. He waUed and turned into the water, and the
current took him down stream within short gun range of the foreman and
another man at a point, or spit, of gravel, from which they shot and
kUled him—he crying out before he sank that he did not wish his death
Chapter XXI
The illustration of the Indian character and manners, and of animal
or bird Ufe, does not faU within the scope of a narrative merely personal
to the writer, yet cannot but form some part of it in these pages, owing
to the nature of my occupation, not to say predUections. I could not,
for instance, in the foregoing resist altogether a Uttle mention of his
lordship the bear, and his wiseness the beaver, and now, perhaps, in the
following anecdotes, the seeming self-praise of my own methods of
managing the Indians wUl be excused on account of the intertwined
testimony as to their own ways.
Many wars between whites and Indians, and, I daresay, between
civilized people, have had their origin in misconceptions—in not understanding the opponents' view of the case, in servitude to shabby points
of honor, or in human proneness to use force.
Keep Your Tobacco!   Whoo-oop!   Whoop!!
The Indian, Uke ourselves, is acquisitive—at any rate in requiring
recompense for his work, but I recall an instance of pride over-ruling
acquisitiveness. Our party was to blame, but I was second in command
and had no control in the matter.
It was a large party, heavUy laden, and, in the absence of help, the
portage work at the DaUes of the Columbia river would have taken a 218 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
long time. Big boats, as weU as heavy packs, had to be taken across.
A band of the proud Nez Perc6s, or Sah-haptin,148 Indians, whose country is between that of the WaUa WaUas and the Rocky Mountains, and
who seemed to Uve on horseback (the reader may remember they came
to my mind sitting in Hyde Park, London), happened to be near, and
they, without bargaining, took the heavy boats and cargo across the
portage on roUers in good fashion. My superior officer149 hummed and
hawed about paying them, or rather paying them quickly, for he had
read in Irving's "Astoria "150 of a dispute which had arisen from paying
the Indians too soon. I could not understand his reasoning, or his
action, but finaUy, when we were ready to start he cast from a bag leaf
tobacco in handfuls, on the rocks below, where the Indians were, they
looking disdainfully at his unceremonious proceeding from their horses;
then, on a common impulse, with a loud whoo-oop! whoop! they wheeled
and dashed away in grand style, evidently much offended. Said I to
myself, this comes of Mr. Irving, in his retreat on the banks of the river
Hudson at New York, writing a book about Indians without personaUy
knowing them, lumping together, so to speak, Tom, Dick and Harry—
and I said other things about my own superior on this trip, but only in
my mind.
After the pierced nosed Indians151 had gaUoped off, the fish eating
Indians152 of the neighborhood crept out of caverns in the rocks near by
and gathered up eagerly the rejected tobacco. Some later party of white
men, I feared, that might seek the aid of Nez Perces Indians would have
reason to say that their great reputation was undeserved, and that, reaUy,
they were Indians of the common low class type, and the other " do
nothing " Indians who had secured the tobacco would agree with the
verdict—thus history is foUed, and as a rule I give limited regard to it.
What I do see is that European diplomacy, so strange to the common
folk, only differs in degree from Indian diplomacy out here—the needful,
(148) The Nez Perces or Sahaptin Indians occupied Western Idaho, Northeastern Oregon, and South-eastern Washington living on the Lower Snake River
and its tributaries.
(149) This would be William Connolly. For another account of this incident
see Tod's History of New Caledonia   .   .   .   , pp. 64-66.
(150) Washington Irving, Astoria: or Anecdotes of an enterprise beyond the
Rocky Mountains, Philadelphia, 1836, 2 vols.
(151) The Nez Perces, from their habit of piercing the nose and inserting an
ornament of dentalium.
(152) Possibly Tod refers to the Coast Indians, whose staple diet was salmon. 1954 John Tod 219
inteUectual and moral equipment hi the two cases respectively being
Baffling Horse Thieves
It was found convenient to take the annual produce of the trade of
New Caledonia and the districts immediately south of it, on pack horses,
southerly to the shipping place at Fort Vancouver on the Columbia river.
This was the cheapest, indeed, the only, method. The country, for the
most part, was easUy traversed and furnished grass for pasture. The
long journeying of this noble cavalcade of 400 or 500 horses, with their
numerous attendants, drafted from various stations, took place annuaUy
at a stated time, 200 horses were kept at Fort Alexandria for the transport—and I was always ready to join forces with my large contingent
when the cavalcade reached Kamloops. Each officer, however, retained
control of his own horses. A " brigade " as appUed in this organization
consisted of 16 horses in charge of two men. The horses so banded kept
together and each had its name. The load for each horse was two
" pieces " of 84 pounds each, and the horse was supposed to convey this
about 20 mUes a day, but, in fact, the distances between camping places
I remember on one of the above periodical journeys a Uttle incident
which shows the importance of concUiating and trusting the Indians.
It was customary for a number of these people to meet this regular
cavalcade at the forks of Okanagan river, not so much for trade as to
exchange civUities. Jogging along towards that place three Indians,
dressed in their best, accosted me with an invitation to camp near their
party, but added that they thought it right to inform me that several
notorious Indian horse thieves had come among them, over whom they
had not the same power as over their own people. My reply being that
I would camp in the midst, they went off weU pleased. On my telling
this arrangement to my co-officer of the calvalcade he became angry, drew
out his own horses from it, and went to seek an encampment that would
not be, as he said, " among a lot of horse thieves." About 1,000 Indians
were present at the Forks, and the evening scene was picturesque. To
my fire a number of chiefs came, and there were many stories and
abundant mirthfulness; finaUy, before retiring, and after a distribution of
tobacco, I made a speech in the manner they Uke, and wound up by
stating that my men had for two nights lost their rest, and we now were
going to have a good sleep, leaving horses and eveiything in the Indians'
care.   They sent the horses to some good pasture, and next morning, 220 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
though I had some misgivings during the night, every horse was brought
to the camp.
Dispatching the loaded train, and having had the usual half hour's
chat with the chiefs before starting, I cantered along and came up to my
co-officer, who seemed in an excited state—the stem of his big pipe in
his hand and the bowl swinging by the string, as he strode, bridle over
arm, gesticulating and swearing. " HeUo! " said I, " what's up? "
" Those cursed horse thieves," was the gruff reply, " have taken three of
my horses, and they took two of them off last night before they were
unladen.   How many have you lost? "   " Not a one," said I.
In stating that it may be prudent to repose trust, occasionaUy, in the
Indians, I am far from meaning that, as a rule, they may be trusted.
The moral[i]ty of both civilized and uncivilized men, largely, is that of
their parents and their own community. For this reason, it may have
been observed, that, in recording Uttle successes of my own in dealing
with difficult Indian situations, my appeal always was to a general rather
than to an individual, sentiment. The worst result, often may foUow
from unduly trusting Indian individuals who have been unable to
assimilate even the general tribal sentiment and suddenly evince an
actuation by devilish impulse, more noticeable in them than among
civilized men. On a lower plane than the latter, the Indian, however, is
a Uke creature of Ught and shade—good qualities and corresponding
defects—vices and compensating virtues. To say, as my above co-officer
of the annual cavalcade, who lost his three horses, was wont to say that
aU the Indians are " damned scoundrels," is, I think, an over statement.
A Supplementary Medical Experience With Myself as the Doctor
The unrest of the Hudson's Bay Company on account of the doubtful, yet in a degree, anticipated, result of the diplomatic discussions
respecting the international boundary caused the transfer of a number of
horses, and also cattle from districts south of the 49th paraUel to the
Kamloops station, where bunch grass pasture was plentiful. Some of
these came from my old farming station on the CowUtz, and I amused
myself with the pretence that they recognized me. Two hundred brood
mares were included in the great band thus sent to Kamloops, and in the
spring, foals began to appear.
Unfortunately, also, there soon appeared an addition to the bands of
wolves in the locaUty, as if these beasts of prey had been foUowing the
progress of the diplomatic negotiations. VigUance was useless, but having heard of strychnine, and wishing to try it on the wolves, I sent Indian 1954 John Tod 221
messengers, southerly, 300 mUes to WaUa WaUa for a supply of that
potent drug. They returned with many companions and deUvered the
packet to me at the fort gates, the leader remarking: " We do not beUeve
in your poison." " No," said I, " bring me a dog," and they having done
so, I sprinkled some of the powder on a bit of horse flesh, and the dog
ate it and soon died, whereupon the Indians, who aU have a horror of
poisons, ran away howling.
It happened that about this time I had three parties out, in different
places squaring logs to make new buUdings, and to these I gave horse
flesh and portions of the poison, for wolf baits, enjoining them, strictly
to take the baits up every morning. A man, CamUle, from one of these
wood camps, on his way to the fort for a supply of provisions, placed,
fooUshly, a remnant of salt salmon he had with him on one of these wolf
baits, as he passed it, which bait had not been removed. Later on, a
hungry Indian, seeing the morsel, kindled a fire and ate, not only the
salmon, but the horse flesh wolf bait (which perhaps I should have
marked), and, when CamUle, on returning that way, noticed the head of
the Indian rising and falling in the long grass, he bethought him of the
poison, and gaUoping back to the fort to teU me what he had seen.
Seldom had I been in such a difficulty as then. What to do I knew
not, but, running to the medicine chest, I took out some blue vitriol, and
we hastened to the scene. The Indian's teeth were set, but, by forcing
his jaws open a Uttle, I poured the vitriol down his throat. This, almost
immediately caused violent vomiting, and he survived, but was an invaUd
for a considerable time.
The Indians generaUy, meanwhUe, had been talking about the poison;
and this mishap to one of their number, added much to their uneasiness.
Several hundreds in a state of excitement and alarm, but not in war dress,
appeared at the fort to demand explanations. Speech after speech was
made by chiefs—the fear, evidently, being entertained, that I meditated
poisoning the people. " What," said I in reply, " what do you suppose
I am Uving among you for? Is it not to obtain furs and to trade? How
could I get the furs if you were poisoned? Had I desired to poison you,
I could have done it long ago. You know that I sent for the poison to
kiU the wolves that were killing the foals—your foals as weU as mine."
Then, perceiving the entry into the haU, of the man who had taken the
poison, I seized him, and, dragging him forward, said: " Here is the
cause of your trouble—this thief who steals the white man's provisions—
such a hungry thief that he wUl eat what is meant to kUl wolves." 222 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
This diversion and attack saved the situation, for the poor wretch
technicaUy, had committed two offences condemned by tribal sentiment—he had robbed from a white man, and he had robbed what was
akin to a " trap," and, moreover, he had stirred others against me who
had saved his own Ufe lately by the exercise of wonderful medical skUl,
though I had burned his gullet in the process. I was not pleased with
my own argument, but it served the purpose. The location of poison
baits I marked afterwards in a particular way, and the Indians of the
neighborhood recognized them.
Chapter XXII
Barrel of Powder Incident
As the "barrel of powder incident" at this Kamloops fort, in
1867,153 has been variously described in common talk, I here mention
the facts, promising that in this quarter of the Hudson's Bay Company
field of trade operations, the Indians naturaUy had less reverence for the
company than in the region around Hudson Bay, where the feeling was
hereditary. The changes, and rumors of changes, also, in the company's
business in the western department consequent upon the Oregon Treaty
of 1846, tended to disturb the Indian mind as to the future, though these
changes, practicaUy, did not affect the natives I am speaking of. A band
of Indians, trading usuaUy at the fort, but which did not affUiate with the
Indians of any " nation," was permitted by me to encamp in the neighborhood, while waiting to proceed to a distant hunting ground on a
further opening of the spring season.
The news spread widely, even so far as Okanagan Forks (over 200
mUes distant, south) and caused excitement, unknown to me. Nicola,
a very great chieftain and a bold man, for he had 17 wives, ruled the
Indians there, and claimed lordship over a territory as big as half of
Scotland, stretching far into the present British Columbia, an administrative district which [now] bears his name. The band I had permitted
to encamp was, unfortunately, the hereditary enemy of Nicola's people.
The old chief sat for two days pondering, then jumped up and spoke to
his warriors of the misdeeds of the encamping tribe which had ventured
into land under his own (claimed) jurisdiction, and he urged them, if
they had the hearts of men and not of women, to wipe out those people.
(153) This should be 1847. For another account of this episode see H. H.
Bancroft, History of British Columbia, San Francisco, 1887, pp. 152-158. 1954 John Tod 223
" Let us march! " exclaimed the young men. " Nay, not yet! " interposed Nicola, " for we lack ammunition."
My first hint of impending mischief was the desire of an Indian for
a gun and a quantity of ammunition as the price of ten skins, instead of,
as usual, taking blankets and cloth as part of the barter. " We are going
to the Black Feet country," said he. Next week another came with the
same story, but by that time I had heard of Nicola's speech, and said I
had no ammunition to spare, whereupon, leaving his bundle of furs in
the store, the Indian hurried back to Nicola to report progress, or rather
faUure, which so confounded the old chief that he again sat, for several
days I was told, in meditation. "This man of the Kamloops fort,"
finaUy said he, in a great speech, " shelters our enemies and refuses to
trade; we wUl take the fort and aU there is in it, and have our revenge
on our enemies." Spies told me of this decision and of the approach of
the Nicola war party, painted and prancing along the bank of the South
Thompson river, which caused the half dozen French-Canadians at the
fort to flee hurriedly—though the wife of one upbraided him as a
coward—and it caused many other white men who were near to depart,
as also the encamped band that was the cause of the mischief.
It was now my turn, Uke the old chief, Nicola, to sit down and
ponder, but my pondering occupied minutes instead of days. Seizing an
Indian who passed the fort gate on foot, I dragged him, roughly, inside
and compeUed him to bring from the store a barrel of gunpowder and
place it near the door. Then, opening the barrel, I spUled the contents
aU over the doorway and directed the Indian to bring me a flint and a
steel, on which request he bolted, but I caught him, saying, " Not yet;
I only wish to see that the flint wUl act." We tried several and at last got
a good apparatus. Thrusting the man out of the fort, I then laid a train
of powder to the mass of it and sat down to wait. In about an hour the
local Indian, Lolo, or Paul, with a Nicola Indian from the war party—
the latter whitewashed as when not meditating a war parley, approached
in a canoe. These I addressed from the bank of the river at the fort,
driving them off with reproaches: " Begone, and quick! I want not
you; where is that woman chief of yours? Where is he? I am alone
here, and Nicola fears with his whole tribe to attack a single man," and
so forth.   That was the " barrel of powder " incident.
Nicola, to whom the Indian who had seen the powder spilling ran,
held councils, but did not risk an attack. The Indians knew the effect of
a flask exploded, but a barrel, they conceived, might devastate the whole
district.   The end of the matter foUowed the practice in such cases of the 224 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
civilized nations. Several of Nicola's principal chiefs who knew me came
in peaceful array with assurances that he had only been conducting a
" reconnaisance in force," and was pleased to know that the enemies of
his people had departed; his respect for the great company and its
honorable local manager was immense; it was a misapprehension that
he ever contemplated an entry into the fort without invitation, but he,
personally, hoped for an opportunity of enjoying that satisfaction according to recognized etiquette before departing to the south. So I swept up
the powder and entertained as best I could the baffled chieftain. He was
a stately personage, the very pink of courtesy, who sat his horse Uke a
crusader and commanded the entire devotion of his foUowers in any
enterprise that did not involve the experimental personal test of an
unknown explosive power. I myself never saw a whole barrel of powder
exploded. I suppose, in these modern mining days, it would be a trivial
incident for outsiders. The Waterloo man,154 in the canoe that took me,
first, as I have related, to New Caledonia, said that the explosion of
1,200 barrels of powder at Corunna in 1809, by the British army before
embarking, was the finest sight he had ever seen. They formed a pyramid, which did not burst aU at once, but with growing crack and rumbling
threw out a succession of side flashes and upward flashes, lifted afterwards, as it seemed, into the midst of a stupendous smoky glare, whence
issued thunderous redoubled roars and detonations.
War Fever Cured by Dread of Small Pox
Some time before the " barrel of powder incident," in October, 1846,
I think it was, we had been menaced very seriously by the action of a
collection of tribes very different from, and, I should say rather inferior
to, Nicola's people. They dwelt in a different quarter, namely, from
Spuzzum on Fraser river, along its banks, northerly, towards New Caledonia. They were numerous, but in scattered bands, without any great
head chief, and were caUed " Saw-mee-nas "155 by the lower Fraser
Indians, with whom a constant feud existed.
(154) Possibly Donald McKenzie, Jr.   Cf. Tod, Reminiscences, p. 54.
(155) Siamannas ("hunters"), a name applied generally to the Interior
Indians by tribes in Washington and British Columbia. F. W. Hodge (ed.),
Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, Washington, 1912, II, p. 564. 1954 John Tod 225
At Pebeion,156 or, as the whites came to caU it " PavUion," on the
Fraser, these combined tribes, at a particular time, dried and smoked
large quantities of salmon, and the Kamloops station depended on a
supply of 10 or 12,000 salmon, from that fishery every season—in fact
could not get along without it.
In the year I speak of, some rumor of bad feeling by these people
towards the whites, gained currency, but I did not fear a general attack
on their part, as in order to make it, they must have entered Nicola's
country, and the latter at that time, was not unfriendly to the company.
What I feared was the loss of the salmon, but concealing even that
apprehension, I dispatched a smaU party, with 60 horses, as usual, to
trade for, and bring our supply from Pebeion.
The interpreter, Lolo, returned when this party had covered about
seventy mUes, to inform me that he was assured that the Pebeion people
were in war dress, and had resolved not to furnish the usual supplies.
What their reason for this was, I never could discover, but have always
suspected that Lolo in some way was at the bottom of it. He may have
wished to annoy us and then to gain credit by intervening to remove the
cause of the annoyance. To us, as above hinted, the loss of the salmon
might mean the ruin of our year's work. That same morning of the
interpreter's return, news had reached me from Oregon of the prevalence
of smaU pox among some of the Walla WaUa Indians, and of the murder
of Dr. Whitman and his wife.157 These worthy people reaUy had been
trying to help the Indians, but had faUen under a suspicion in their
minds, of having tried to poison them.
This suggested certain tactics to me which I proceeded to carry out
in the foUowing manner. The next dawn, I put several lancets and a
bottle of lymph in my pocket, mounted my fine grey mare, and, with
a young half breed attendant, reached the camp of our train on Hat
river, some 60 or 70 mUes away, before night had much advanced.
Proceeding onwards, alone, next day, I went ahead to scout, and from
a wood near the Indians' camp, saw that the hair of the Indians was tied
(156) Skwailuh (" hoar-frost") was the name for a Shuswap town on Pavilion
creek, sometimes spelled "Papillion." Hodge, op. cit., Vol. H, p. 596. There
seems to be no authority for Tod's spelling of the name, which may indicate that
it is a misprint.
(157) Marcus Whitman, his wife, Narcissa, and twelve others were savagely
murdered at their mission station at Wai-i-lat-pu in Washington Territory on
November 29, 1847. See W. N. Sage, Jir James Douglas and British Columbia,
Toronto, 1930, p. 135. 226 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
up and their faces painted, and some were walking about brandishing
weapons.   There must have been about 1,500 of them.
Bringing up the train to this wood, and directing my men to Ught
a fire so as to make a smoke, I put spurs to my gallant grey, and gaUoped
towards the camp of the Indians, among whom I bounded to their
infinite astonishment. " What! you! you! Where are you from? What
is it? Have you come to trade salmon? " " Salmon! No! I want none
of your salmon, but have you heard the news? " " What news? " " Why,
the smaU pox is in WaUa Walla, and travelling north, and as I did not
wish to see you lying dead on the river bank Uke your salmon, I come
to vaccinate you. My time is short, so come round me, and let us get
to work; but first, cut down that tree, and when cut down, cut it into
two pieces." This tree cutting was to occupy their minds and prevent
councUs. After the tree was cut, and whUe I was busy at work with the
lancet, some left the camp and returned soon with a band of women
bearing packages of salmon, which they offered to me. I persisted in
refusing, but said, if your women wish to trade whUe we are at work
with the medicine, they can look about for my men and my train—
perhaps they may see a smoke. I vaccinated about seventy of the
Indians on their right arms, and told them to hold these limbs in a sling,
and in a certain position, adding that I would give them a lancet and
some lymph, in the morning, and instruct them how to get inoculating
matter, by and by, from the patients operated on.
The only war the Indians thought of by this time was war against the
smaU pox—so I retired to my own camp, which they pointed out to me,
saying that the women had been trading at it. This was true, and the
trade was to some purpose, for my men had secured about 10,000
salmon. The laden horse train started homeward at dayUght, and, then,
after seeing it off, I revisited Pebeion, received the thanks of the Indians,
and gave them further medical instructions before saying good-bye.
I never said a word to Lolo of these circumstances, or of my suspicion
of him in the matter, but acted as ff the trade had proceeded in the
normal manner.
Experience had shown me that nothing impresses and baffles these
people more than reticence and self-possession, broken by decisive action
upon occasion. In this, perhaps they do not differ much from white
men. A head watchman or poUceman and I had several talks in London,
as to managing excited crowds. He said, I remember, that excitement,
after a certain height invariably feU; therefore, unless riot accompanied
it, he did not actively interfere until the subsidence had begun.   He 1954 John Tod 227
knew, also, by experience, the value in such work, of diverted attention.
He laughed when I said his training, in some degree was fitting him to
take charge of an Indian trade district.
Chapter XXIII
The reader may have been surprised at my statement in the last
chapter, that we were dependent at Fort Kamloops on a salmon supply
for food in what has become a fine farming and pastoral district. But,
in truth, farm produce, had it existed, would have been of Uttle use, as
food, in the extensive, special business of the company, with its many
isolated posts in unfertile districts, and its servants, outside of the actual
trading staff, constantly on the move, for long and short distances.
A simUar remark applies to the common and reaUy abundant fish of
different kinds in the lakes, rivers and streams of the interior country
(some in the lakes very Uke Scotch red trout). The staple for food had
to be something obtainable regularly in large quantities, something fairly
nutritious, prepared so as to keep long without decay, easUy packed and
carried, and with the advantage, also, of cheapness. Dried animal flesh,
as in other parts of the continent, might have served most of these conditions, but would have been much more expensive. The company's
farms that I have men[t]ioned were exceptional industries, near important stations, or where free settlers were coming in. Even close to the
best farm the old rations were issued—for instance at Fort Vancouver,
the company's former headquarters of the western department, where
from 100 to 200 men were employed according to the time of the year,
and where there was, as at CowUtz a large farm, the weekly ration per
man was usuaUy twenty-one pounds salmon, and a bushel of potatoes—
very Uttle beef or pork being at any time issued. I had a good Uttle farm
at Kamloops, made productive by irrigation, and the officers in charge
of many posts, as I have said, had smaU gardens, but these counted for
nothing in the company's general requirements. " No salmon, no furs,"
was a pithy, true saying to the westward of the Rocky mountains. In the
plain country east from the range, the staple food was different, consisting of dried and pounded vension and buffalo meat, served usuaUy with
(158) This would be pemmican, a preparation of dried buffalo meat pounded,
to which melted buffalo tallow and sometimes dried berries were added.   The
whole mixture was packed into bags of buffalo hide, which were then sewn up.
See Merk, op. cit., pp. 346-347.
7 228 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
In the Hudson's Bay region, as I have said, salted geese and ducks,
and, also, dried fish and venison, were largely consumed. I am speaking
of staples which the company from a business point of view had to
regard, and provide: individual officers everywhere, of course, strove
to vary the regular diet, as far as possible, without an expenditure that
would be noticed. The dietetic history of service in these fur companies
shows that men, for longer and shorter periods, can digest, and Uve on
anything, from buttery bear-fat, and sinewy dog flesh, down to broUed
leather. Men seem to suffer more from the sameness of food than from
its poor quality. We became very tired—most of us—even of the
indispensable salmon.
I myself always liked the best food I could get, but others were not
so particular.
Travelling on one occasion with my friend, Mr. Yale159 already
mentioned in these pages, we reached a smaU station. When the man
in charge was absent I had my cook " Como " with me, nominaUy .a
Sandwich Islander, but reaUy, a composite of every human race then
existing, with which distraction of lineage his speech corresponded—
" language of the antipodes " spoken of by Rabelais, which " even the
devU could not have a try at"—nevertheless a good, cleanly cook.
Looking down the bank, said I. " Como, these are nice salmon in that
canoe, but to-day I fancy a bit of young bear," pointing to certain smaU
carcasses on the beach near the canoe, void of heads, taUs and feet.
" There is no time for braising them with your usual skUl—let it be
a roast." " Oui! Oui! monsieur," was the reply, and in due course a fine
roast appeared on our table. I chewed and chewed, tiU [my] jaw was
weary, then, turning to Como, said: " What on earth is this, Como?
How can a young bear be so tough? " " Bear," repUed Como, " he is
weUy good bow-wow."
This ended my meal, but Mr. Yale, a very taciturn man, proceeded
with seeming enjoyment, to let piece after piece down his throat without
the ordeal of mastication. The reader may remember, that at the York
Factory " coaUtion" banquet I referred to a guest of sinister aspect,
who was under a suspicion of " poisoning." The suspicion was that, at
Peace river he had tried to poison Mr. Yale, I now reaUsed the cause of
his faUure.160
(159) James Murray Yale, v. supra, foot-note (53).
(160) V. supra, foot-note (33). 1954 John Tod 229
Chapter XXIV
The foregoing Uttle memories, in a simple narrative of select experiences and observations, might be multipUed without effort, but perhaps
they have sufficed in their presentation to give the reader, without
tedium, some general notion of the frontier Ufe which it was my lot to
endure for nearly forty years.   That is a long period in any man's career,
but in my case, having retired with a comfortable fortune for a person
of my position, I regarded aU the past as an apprenticeship, leading not
to a reposeful, but to an inquisitive new Ufe on which I proposed to enter.
Withdrawal meant to me what the Elizabethan poet wrote of death:
" It is to end
An old, stale, weary work, and to commence
A newer and a better."
Some of the company's officers on retiring went to Scotland; others
to Canada; those who, Uke me, were unwearied of the west, naturaUy
tended to settle near the headquarters of the old company. The new
fort at Victoria, Vancouver Island, which had been begun in 1843, had
been finished now several years. The company in 1849 transferred its
headquarters thither from Fort Vancouver on the Columbia river, and
in the same year obtained a ten years' conditional grant of Vancouver
Island from the home government for purposes of colonization, save the
mark! Simultaneously the home government erected Vancouver Island
into a colony, and sent out a governor, one Mr. Richard Blanshard, a
worthy man, suffering from neuralgia, who tried to fill an impossible
position in the front of the great fur company. Some of the books which
he left on going home I added to my Ubrary.
It was to Victoria that I went, and, liking the place and climate, and
with no feeUng of an exUe, owing to the presence there of a " fort," and
numbers of friends, I purchased a farm on the seashore a few mUes away
and buUt on it a house, in which I took up my residence, bringing thereto
aU my books and the fiddle and such reminiscences of a fur trader's
career as these pages contain—samples of a larger bulk. The dwelling,
drawn back a Uttle from the actual shore of the islet stream, narrow
gulf, has a south south-east aspect, bounded, across the sea by a lofty
mountain range, and, more distant and easte[r]ly by vast, more or less
serrated ranges, buttressing a huge, broad shouldered, ever-snowy blunt
cone, hidden some days by clouds and at other times calmly briUiant in 230 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
the sunlight.161 The one want in my new place—appUcable, indeed, to
the whole neighborhood—is the want of vivid, running water; but having
had a surfeit during my Ufe since manhood in North America of riverine
views and impediments, it was long before I missed this charm of the
running water or the ear of my memory reopened to the thrilling murmur
that had pleased me in an earUer time as a wandering boy along the
Now, disinclined as I am for travel, there cannot be, I fear, any more
" Leven " for me, save in the excursions which sometimes I make thither
in my sleep. My new, or as I regard it, my real life, stretched out beyond
three decades since my retirement, is to be the subject of Part JJ of the
"Scotch Boy's Career."162 The materials exist, indeed, their written
shape too, comprising slender, short experiences as a justice of the peace,
and in poUtics as a legislative counciUor, but mainly the result of fruitful
considerations—^fruitful at any rate to me—of some of the speculative
varieties of human existence without preparedness on my part. But
purposes and preparations that relate to the ninth decade of a man's
life must be infirm, and, as I said, with some truth in " The good, natural
man," this same plulosophy is a " good horse in the stable but an arrant
jade on a journey." So as to further book-making, it may be as it will.
Every book, I dare say, has almost as many sequels as it has readers,
each thinking out unconsciously some kind of sequel.
The End.
(161) Mount Baker in the Coast Range in adjacent Washington State.
(162) It is to be regretted that further instalments never came from John Tod's
facile pen. 1954 John Tod 231
Notes on the Tod Family
A glimpse into a man's home life is not only of interest, but it helps in an
appraisal of his career " for better for worse " and in an appreciation of his
relations with his fellow-men. For this reason, and to place the author of the
foregoing reminiscences in his rightful setting, it seems appropriate to add
these few notes on the life and family relations of John Tod which are not
generally known.
Although Tod himself gives his birthplace as Loch Lomond, and the
year 1794,1 according to the records of the Hudson's Bay Company he was
born the previous year at Glasgow. These slight variations, at this remote
period, are not of much consequence, however, but one or two opinions of
his character and his achievements are, nevertheless, of importance.
The various stages of his progress in the service of the Company and the
different regions in which he was active during his thirty-eight years have
been dealt with by himself and will, of necessity, not be repeated. Governor
Simpson's opinion of Tod that he was " a good Trader and expresses himself
weU by Letter. ... Is not generaUy liked but I think has claims to promotion and may in due time succeed in attaining a Chief Tradership,"2 reveals
that he was, no doubt, prejudiced against Tod from the beginning. Alexander Simpson, George's cousin, on the other hand, spoke thus of him:
"... John Tod, is a good Lowland Scot, and a very experienced trader.
. . . He is a man of excellent principle, but vulgar manners."3 Another
opinion, expressed by a fellow fur-trader was: "... those who know him,
know the genuineness of his Soul which is opposed to everything mean or
From reading the life-stories of the fur-traders, one is perhaps at first
shocked at the matrimonial relations of many of them. EspeciaUy is this so
when one considers the general attitude toward such matters which prevailed
not only in the Victorian British Isles, but also in the young United States of
America of those days. Upon consideration of the extremely uncongenial
conditions of a fur-trader's life, the remoteness from centres of civilized
living, the rigours of insalubrious weather, and the scarcity of food and other
domestic comforts, it is not difficult to understand that the company of young
native women was the one and only redeeming feature in an otherwise
more-than-austere existence.
John Tod was no exception to the general practice of fur-traders. His
first alliance of which there is any record was to Catherine Birstone, and
whilst in the Island Lake District, not far from Norway House, their son
(1) V. supra, p. 3.
(2) Governor Simpson's Character Book, 1832, HS.C. Archives, A. 34/2,
fols. 49d-50.
(3) Alexander Simpson, The Life and Travels of Thomas Simpson, London,
1845, p. 83.
(4) R. S. Miles to Edward Ermatinger, August 3, 1839, Transcript, Archives
of B.C. 232 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
James was born about the year 1818.5 James was sent to school at the Red
River settlement to the Rev. David T. Jones. Whether Tod and Catherine
Birstone were formally married is doubtful; nevertheless, they presumably
parted, for by the year 1826, after having been in the New Caledonia District
for three years, he wrote to his friend, Edward Ermatinger: " I wish you
would send that poor boy of mine at R[ed] R[iver] a few things. . . . His
mother, I expect, from what Mr Brown wrote me, is under the protection
of an other."6 Three years later another reference is made to James, as
follows: " I am really obliged to you for speaking to Finlayson about the
Boy—I wish to God I had him with me, tho' not his mother."7
Tod had not been long in New Caledonia when he made another attachment, as revealed to Ermatinger: "... my fellow labourer in the vineyard
is possessed of an excellent ear for music & never fails to accompany me on
the Flute with her voice when I take up the instrument."8 Again, in 1829,
another reference is made to this same girl: " You ask me what is become of
the girl who used to sing at McLeod's Lake . . . why . . . she still
continues the only companion of my solitude, without her, or some other
substitute Ufe in such a wretched place as this, would be altogether insupportable."9 How many children were born of this union is unknown, but there
was at least one daughter as related to the faithful Ermatinger:—
Mrs McGillivray, her infant son, with my girl & an other Indian child were, from
want of due consideration, sent off to angle in a rapid & dangerous River close to
the Fort [McLeod?]—their canoe was, by some mischance, overturned and the
helpless victims precipitated into the raging Stream where direful to relate all except
mine, sunk to rise no more—the latter saved herself by swimming. i«
The above graphic, but dramatic, description, gives a pen-picture of the
dangerous conditions of life in the wilds of British Columbia 100 years ago.
A few quotations in reference to Tod's disappointments with regard to the
Company may not be out of place at this point. Governor Simpson had
stopped overnight with Tod on his journey to the Pacific in 1828. Relating
this to Ermatinger, Tod said:—
. . . when the Gov[erno]r was here, I had a little chit chat with him on the
subject of my being left in the lurch, at the late appointments—all that passed
between us on the affair, afforded me but little satisfaction—he exhorted me several
times not to dispair [sic] " Yes " said I " but you give me no hopes."u
Tod was bitterly disappointed. In the same letter he anticipates going to the
Columbia, which plan, however, came to nought: " My going [to the] Columbia is a favour granted me unasked. But I was getting about as unruly &
restless as a ghost in an uninhabited castle."12
(5) Baptism record of James, son of John Todd [sic] and Catherine Birstone,
H.B.C. Archives, E. 4/la/1820-41, p. 2. The Victoria Colonist, February 28,
1904, in recording the death of James, states that he was then 86 years of age.
(6) Tod to Ermatinger, February 27, 1826, Transcript, Archives of B.C.
(7) Tod to Ermatinger, February 14, 1829, ibid.
(8) Tod to Ermatinger, February 27, 1826, ibid.
(9) Tod to Ermatinger, February 14, 1829, ibid.
(10) Tod to Ermatinger, February 18, 1830, ibid.
(11) Tod to Ermatinger, February 14, 1829, ibid.
(12) Ibid. 1954 John Tod 233
Writing his annual letter to friend Ermatinger, Tod makes further poignant references to his unhappy lot:—
It is from not Knowing how to better my condition that, in a manner, compels me
to remain in their service—I was once a great builder of castles in the air, but, for
the most part, I have now given it up as an unprofitable speculation
Again in the same letter:—
Neither a successful return of Beaver skins, merit, nor length of service, will give
one a chance for promotion in this hateful employ. That feathering thing called
favour will always make those, who have nothing but honest worth to recommend
them, Kick the beam. Do you know that I conceive myself very ill used, and I
think I have just cause to complain.'3
All his efforts were in vain and he was doomed to stay longer in the " Land
of sin & misery" until a breakdown removed him. Whilst stiU at Fort
McLeod he wrote with resignation: "... misfortunes, we are told, form
the anvil on which a man's patience is to be tried, and I find that they have
made me a little more a stoic than I was."14 Even Governor Simpson
admitted that Tod had " experienced much privation in New Caledonia which
has injured his constitution & destroyed his health."13
Leave was granted in 1832 for a year, and Tod left New Caledonia to
return to the York Factory District, and in 1833-34 whilst in charge of
Nelson River he established Fort Seaborn. Presumably the "singing girl"
was left behind in New Caledonia, with her child or children.
More leave and the prospect of going home came at long last for Tod,
and he sailed from Hudson Bay in the Company's annual ship Prince Rupert
with Robert MUes, landing at Portsmouth on October 10, 1834. On board
ship he made the acquaintance of Eliza Waugh,16 a Welshwoman, then about
27 years of age. Eliza had been in the Red River District since 1829, having
accompanied Rev. and Mrs. David Jones thither on the former's return from
leave.17 Her father had at one time been the Governor of Carmarthen
Gaol.18 Tod himself says that they were married shortly afterwards in
London, but the exact date has not yet been estabUshed. By the foUowing
February, however, they were on their way to New York by the packet
ship of the 24th, after an absence of six months from the " Indian Country."19
After visiting in Montreal and at Norway House, John and Eliza apparently
settled at Fort Alexander in the York Factory District, where their daughter
Emmeline Jane was born on December 3, 1835.20
(13) Tod to Ermatinger, February 18, 1830, ibid.
(14) Tod to Ermatinger, April 10, 1831, ibid.
(15) Governor Simpson's Character Book, 1832, H.B.C. Archives, A. 34/2,
fols. 49d-50.
(16) H.B.C. Archives, C. 1/925.
(17) Ibid., A. 10/60, December 20, 1834, and C. 1/915 makes reference to
Eliza as " Elizabeth," and she is classified as a " servant," which probably meant
that she was a governess.
(18) N. de B. Lugrin, The Pioneer Women of Vancouver Island, Victoria,
1928, p. 34.
(19) H.B.C. Archives, A. 6/23, fo. 109.
(20) At the time of the death of Emmeline the entry in the British Columbia
Department of Vital Statistics gives the birth date as December 3, 1837, but there
is an obvious mistake in the year. 234 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
Prior to this event the gossiping illiterate, William Sinclair, in writing to
Edward Ermatinger, referred to Eliza as "half Cracked Brainid Chamber
Maid," and that " they already show symptoms of discord between them."21
By April, 1836, there are references to Eliza's mental state,22 but by the
summer she seemed to have improved slightly, so that Tod, after contemplating taking her home, decided that they would spend the winter at Island
Lake House, which they did.23 The following summer, however, it was more
than obvious that Eliza could not stay in the country and, consequently, Tod
was again granted leave of absence, and they embarked with the infant
Emmeline, in the brig Eagle from Hudson Bay bound for London, where
they landed on October 13.24 EUza was placed in charge of her mother,
Letitia Waugh, at Carmarthen, Wales, who wrote to the Governor and
Committee of the Company on February 24, 1838, in part, as follows:—
. . . my unhappy Daughter . . . accompanied the Revd. Mr. & Mrs. Jones
. . . to the Red River Settlement ... not only in a perfectly sound state of
mind, but possessed of very considerable talents . . . [she] has lately returned to
me, to my indescribable misery, a confirmed Lunatic.25
Tod, presumably, brought the little Emmeline back again on his return,
for in the spring of 1838, when writing to Ermatinger, he said: "Should you
visit Montreal in course of the Summ[e]r, I shall take it kindly could you find
time to call at Mr. Sam[ue]l Greenshields and see my little Emma."26 During
the autumn of 1838 Tod travelled with the brigade to the Columbia River,
thereafter to remain on the west side of the Rocky Mountains. From 1839
until 1841 he served at Fort Alexandria on the Fraser River. In his correspondence with Ermatinger during the ensuing years until 1844 there are
affectionate references to Emma from time to time. It would appear, however, that she was eventually sent to school in England, staying there until
her twenty-first year, when she took the long voyage to Vancouver Island,
around Cape Horn, in the ship Princess Royal11 in company with Miss Susan
Pemberton, to rejoin her father in 1856.
Just when Tod made his fourth marital alliance, which was to Sophia
Lolo, is not known, but it was probably between 1843 and 1844. Writing
from Thompson's River (Fort Kamloops) to James Hargrave on March 15,
1843, he refers to himself, thus: "... my berth is . . . intolerably
dreary & lonesome I hae eye enough a do to keep the bogles . . . out o'
my head. . . . Altho' solitary & alone I have not yet quite forgot my
mother's tongue.   .   .   . "28   In the same letter he refers to Eliza as being in
(21) Sinclair to Ermatinger, August 1, 1835, Transcript, Archives of B.C.
(22) Archibald Macdonald to Ermatinger, April 1, 1836, ibid., and Thomas
Simpson to Donald Ross, April 12, 1836, MS., Archives of B.C.
(23) John Charles to Governor Simpson, July 29, 1836, and Charles to John
Tod, August 20, 1836, H.B.C. Archives, B. 239/b/92. See also Fleming, Minutes
of Council, p. 460.
(24) H.B.C. Archives, C. 1/285.
(25) Ibid., A. 10/6.
(26) Tod to Ermatinger, May 19, 1838, Transcript, Archives of B.C. The
Greenshields were relatives of Tod's.
(27) H.B.C. Archives, A. 16/63.
(28) Quoted in G. P. de T. Glazebrook (ed.), The Hargrave Correspondence,
1821-1843, Toronto, 1938, pp. 422-423. 1954 John Tod 235
" Tharborton's asylum " and to Emmeline as " making good progress in her
education."   His thoughts were definitely of home and family at that moment.
Sophia Lolo was perhaps a daughter of Jean Baptiste Lolo (or Leolo)
St. Paul,29 but, to date, research in that direction has been of no avail. It is
known, however, that Lolo and John Tod were well acquainted, and that the
former had been engaged as interpreter in the New Caledonia and Thompson's River Districts from 1822 onwards.30 The family of Lolo would, therefore, have been known to Tod. According to information suppUed at the
time of the death of Sophia on February 9, 1883, at the age of 57 years, she
was a native of the North West Territory.31 This information would point
to her having been born about the year 1826. By 1844 she would have been
about 17 or 18 years of age and therefore marriageable, although 32 years
junior to Tod. Subsequent references by Tod himself would indicate that he
had again set up housekeeping by that time, for, speaking later of the trouble
which occurred with the Indians at Kamloops in 1847, he says "... Even
my wife & Children I sent away,"32 and another reference to his " wife and 3
children " is also made in connection with another dramatic event which took
place about this time.33 It was not until August 17, 1863, that Tod secured
a Ucence through the Rev. John Hall in order to marry Sophia.34
During the summer of 1849 Tod and his family left Kamloops and trav-
eUed to the coast. They appear to have contemplated settling at Point Roberts, where they stayed for a short time.35 But by August they had reached
Fort Nisqually on Puget Sound, as recorded in the Journal of that post under
an entry dated August 19: " Mr. Tod with his family arrived from F[raser]
River."36 In November he was at Fort Victoria and was a witness to the
formal marriage of John Work and Josette Legace, which took place on the
6th.37 At that time the decision to settle on Vancouver Island was made,
according to John Work in a letter to Ermatinger: "... [Tod] selects a
lot . . . intends commencing operations next season."38 However, Tod
returned to Nisqually early in 1850 in order to allow Dr. Tolmie to have a
brief spell of leave while he took charge of the post.39   Shortly thereafter he
(29) For a full biographical account of this unique Indian see George G.
Brown, Ir., and W. Kaye Lamb, " Captain St. Paul of Kamloops," British Columbia Historical Quarterly, HI (1939), pp. 115-127.
(30) Abstracts of Servants' Accounts, H.B.C. Archives, B. 239/g/l-25; also
ibid., B. 239/1/1-5 and B. 239/1/13-16.
(31) Information supplied from records in the British Columbia Department
of Vital Statistics.
(32) John Tod, History of New Caledonia and North West Coast, p. 93,
Photostat, Archives of B.C.
(33) Ibid., p. SI.
(34) Register of Marriage Licenses for Vancouver Island, 1864-69, Transcript,
Archives of B.C.
(35) Tod, History of New Caledonia and North West Coast, p. 23.
(36) V. J. Farrar (ed.), "The Nisqually Journal," Washington Historical
Quarterly, X (1919), p. 226.
(37) Fort Victoria, Register of Marriages, Photostat, Archives of B.C.
(38) John Work to Ermatinger, December 10, 1849, Transcript, ibid.
(39) Tod was in charge at Nisqually from January 15 until February 26, 1850,
see Farrar, op. cit., XI (1920), p. 145. 236 Madge Wolfenden July-Oct.
came back to Vancouver Island, began building a house and ploughing up
his first 100 acres of land on the shores of Oak Bay, where he lived during
his retirement and until his death on August 31, 1882.40
In an effort to sort out the various children of John Tod, numerous difficulties have been encountered, but of the nine who have been traced, interest
centres round four of them—James, Emmeline, Mary and Elizabeth.
James apparently remained at the Red River settlement until his father's
return from England in the autumn of 1837, for Tod, having made a will at
that time in favour of Emmeline, made reference to James, who was to " be
immediately withdrawn from thence [Red River settlement] & placed with
his mother."41 Early in 1840 James was at Fort Vancouver and is referred
to by his father in these terms: "... a great stout fellow & a regular
ploughman."42 The following year he was on his way back to St. Thomas,
Ont., as reported by Archibald Macdonald, who states that he " bears a very
excellent Character for Sedateness & Correctness of conduct."43 A further
interesting clue to the character of James is to be found in one of the many
letters which passed between Tod and Ermatinger, as for instance:—
. . . James, in as far as regards the powers of intellect hereditary transmission
appears to have had its full force. You will not find him a bright character, he has
however been represented to me as having little of the general character of his
country man, but [is] a well disposed hard working lad.   .   .   M
By the autumn of 1850 James was again west of the Rocky Mountains,
as recorded in the Nisqually Journal under date of November 6: " Mr. J.
Todd [sic] here to day, he is on his way to Victoria, there to join his father
Mr. Todd [sic] now a resident at Vancouver's IsQand]."45 He was married
on October 15, 1857, at Victoria by the Rev. Edward Cridge, to Flora, one
of the daughters of Donald Macaulay,46 a servant of the Hudson's Bay Company whose name has been perpetuated in Macaulay Point, where he Uved.
The couple settled near Cedar Hill, or Mount Douglas, on the outskirts of
Victoria, where they farmed for a number of years and brought up a large
family. By a curious coincidence Flora suffered fits of mental derangement.
James lived to the ripe old age of 86 years, passing away on February 27,
James's mother, Catherine Birstone, turned up in Victoria, as reported by
Dr. J. S. Helmcken: " . . . at this time [September, 1863] Jim Todd [sic]
mother nursed Cecilia."48 Her name also appears in the Rev. Edward
Cridge's list of communicants for 1863, where her name is entered as
" widow."49   One more reference is aU that has been found concerning her
(40) Victoria Colonist, September 1, 1882.
(41) H.B.C. Archives, Wills, 1837.
(42) Tod to Ermatinger, February, 1840, Transcript, Archives of B.C.
(43) Macdonald to Ermatinger, March 5, 1841, ibid.
(44) Tod to Ermatinger, March 10, 1842, ibid.
(45) Farrar, op. cit., XII (1921), p. 145.
(46) Fort Victoria, Register of Marriages, Photostat, Archives of B.C.
(47) Victoria Colonist, February 28, 1904.
(48) J. S. Helmcken, Reminiscences, MS., Archives of B.C., Vol. V, pp. 1-2.
(49) Original MS., Archives of B.C. 1954 John Tod 237
residence in Victoria: "After service Spelde told me Mrs. Tod had given
Charlie Rabey heartshorn by mistake instead of hive[?] syrup."50
Emmeline Jane, as her name is recorded by the Registrar of Deaths at
Victoria, although the variations Emmaline Jean are to be found in numerous Hudson's Bay Company records, was perhaps the most outstanding of
John Tod's children. Upon her arrival in Victoria in 1856 she was domi-
riled at the Fort rather than with her father at Oak Bay. This may be taken
as an indication that the minage which prevailed at the latter place was distasteful to her. Very soon afterwards, however, she was married to WilUam
Henry Newton51 and removed to Fort Langley on the Fraser River. Emmeline and her husband became the parents of six children, most of them weU
known to residents of British Columbia. After Newton's death, she was
married on November 22, 1878, to Edward Mohun, and continued to reside
in Victoria until her death on December 28, 1928.52
Emmeline's mother, after a number of years spent at Tharborton's Asylum in Ayrshire, was eventually admitted to the " Lunatic House " of Guy's
Hospital, London, on November 6, 1844, where she died on May 12, 1857.53
Mary, who, on May 24, 1864, was married to John Sylvester Bowker,54
is designated the " second " daughter of John Tod. They were married by
the Rev. John HaU of the Presbyterian Church. Towards the end of her Ufe,
Mary used to winter in California, and she passed away at Del Monte somewhere about 1911.55 Her son, John S. Bowker, Jr., was a well-known resident of Oak Bay for a number of years, where he resided on part of the Tod
property. There are at present many descendants Uving in British Columbia:
Mary Tod's name is perpetuated in Mary Tod Island, a smaU island off the
shores of Oak Bay, between it and the Chain Islands, and Bowker Creek,
which flows into the bay, recalls her husband's name.
Elizabeth Tod married J. S. Drummond on August 11, 1878, the ceremony being performed by Dr. John Reid of the First Presbyterian Church in
Victoria. The marriage record states that Elizabeth was the daughter of
John and Sophia Tod and her age is given as 20 years.. Elizabeth died on
November 14, 1884.56
Of the remaining children, John, Jr., appears to have been the next son
after James, but of course with a different mother. At the time of his death
on September 5, 1889, he is referred to as the second son and his age is given
as 40 years.57   Isaac, William, and Simeon remain to be placed in the Ust.
(50) Edward Cridge, Diary, entry for March 18, 1868, MS., Archives of B.C.
(51) Fort Victoria, Register of Marriages, Photostat, Archives of B.C. The
marriage took place on September 30, 1856, in the newly erected Victoria District
(52) Victoria Colonist, November 29, 1878, and December 29, 1928.
(53) Certified copy of the entry of death, No. 99224, Somerset House, London,
(54) Victoria Colonist, May 26, 1864. For a more recent account of this
wedding see J. K. Nesbitt, " Old Homes and Families," ibid., April 20, 1952.
(55) Ibid.
(56) Ibid., November 15, 1884. Verified by records in the British Columbia
Department of Vital Statistics.
(57) Victoria Colonist, September 6, 1889. 238 Madge Wolfenden
WUUam died on April 27, 1881, and the newspaper account names him the
fourth son.58 He was born on May 12, 1854, and was baptised by the Rev.
T. R. Holme, chaplain of H.M.S. President, on October 12 of the same year,
the record giving Sophia as his mother.59
From the fragments of information available, with the exception of James
and Emmeline, the rest of the fanuly would appear to have been the chUdren of Sophia. They are all, except WUliam, mentioned in a wiU which
Tod made on July 25, 1882. Small legacies were left to the four Newton
daughters. The sons John, Alexander, Isaac, and Sym [Simeon] are mentioned in the above order, and the first three were to receive $500, while
$1,000 was left to Sym. Elizabeth and Mary were remembered more generously. To his wife he left his "furniture and household goods" and
instructions were given that " all monies standing to the credit of my account
... be applied and expended by Mary ... in maintaining keeping
and supporting my wife Mrs. Tod."60 Alexander died on September 5, 1889,
at the age of 40 years.61 Sophia herself passed away at Oak Bay on February 9, 1883, less than six months after her husband.62 Of Isaac and Simeon,
no details have thus far been ascertained, except that the former died in
The foregoing inadequate genealogical record of one of Victoria's earliest
famUies has been compiled with the hope that it may be of general interest
in recalling a now almost forgotten man, who in the year 1851 was one of
the three Legislative Councillors appointed by Governor Blanshard, besides
being a representative fur-trader of a bygone era. To-day the sole material
memorial of this eccentric Scot, who spent most of his life amongst Indians,
is his house (now on Heron Street), the oldest remaining dwelling in what is
now Greater Victoria.
Madge Wolfenden.
(58) Ibid., April 28, 1881.
(59) Fort Victoria, Register of Baptisms, Photostat, Archives of B.C.
(60) John Tod's will is on file in the Court-house, Victoria, B.C., and a
transcript is in the Archives of B.C.
(61) Victoria Colonist, September 6, 1889.
(62) Ibid., February 10, 1883. RUMOURS OF CONFEDERATE PRIVATEERS
The threat of privateering in the Pacific during the American CivU
War presented a major problem to the United States State Department
and to the Pacific Squadron of the navy. The Confederate States
planned to interfere with California's commerce and to capture gold
shipments along the Pacific sea lanes, for a stoppage of the flow of gold
from the mines of CaUfornia would weaken the credit and purchasing
power of the Federal Government. Indeed, the annual shipments of
$40,000,000 in gold and sUver from San Francisco to the Northern
States and to Europe constituted rich prizes.1 Along the entire Pacific
Coast of North America, from Panama to Vancouver Island, attempts
were instigated to outfit privateers. Some ventures were authorized by
the Richmond Government, whUe others were the mere aspirations of
Confederate sympathizers. Two actual plots to intercept gold shipments
were frustrated by the Pacific Squadron in co-operation with Federal
and local officials in San Francisco and Panama. At San Francisco in
March, 1863, Ridgeley Greathouse and Asbury Harpending tried to
outfit the /. M. Chapman as a Confederate privateer, and in November,
1864, at Panama, Thomas E. Hogg, a master's mate in the Confederate
States Navy, endeavoured to capture the Salvador in order to convert
her into a Confederate raider.2
In addition to these two known plots, numerous rumours circulated
that Confederate privateers were active elsewhere. Many such rumours
emanated from British Pacific waters, and this factor, coupled with the
Trent affair, caused an interesting exchange of diplomatic correspondence and at times created mutual fears on both sides of the far western
Canadian border. A final incident in the diplomatic tangle was the
appearance of the Confederate warship Shenandoah in the Pacific.
(1) Brainerd Dyer, " Confederate Naval and Privateering Activities in the
Pacific," Pacific Historical Review, HI (1934), p. 433.
(2) Benjamin F. Gilbert, "Kentucky Privateers in California," Register of
the Kentucky Historical Society, XXXVm (1940), pp. 256-266; William M.
Robinson, Ir., The Confederate Privateers, New Haven, 1928, pp. 272-289.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. XVin, Nos. 3 and 4.
239 240 Benjamin F. Gilbert July-Oct.
On May 11, 1861, the Duke of Newcastle, British Secretary of State,
sent a confidential dispatch to James Douglas, Governor of Vancouver
Island, stating that Her Majesty's Government recognized the beUiger-
ency of the Southern States, and that instructions regarding questions
likely to arise out of the conflict would be issued from time to time. The
letter also stated that the naval forces should be impartial and grant
neither party in the conflict any preference.3 On May 16, Newcastle
forwarded a copy of the Queen's Proclamation of NeutraUty to the
Governor requesting that it receive the utmost pubUcity.4 Two weeks
later, instructions were circularized to prohibit both warring powers from
carrying prizes into British territory.5 On January 16, 1862, Newcastle
informed the Governor that no beUigerent ship was to be permitted to
leave the same British port or harbour within twenty-four hours of the
departure of any enemy ship, whether it be armed or unarmed. The
Governor was also ordered to notify the commander of any armed
vessel of this neutraUty rule.6
The crisis resulting from the capture of the Trent created a war scare
between the United States and Great Britain. On November 8, 1861,
Commodore Charles Wilkes boarded the Trent upon the high seas near
Havana and removed the Confederate Commissioners James M. Mason
and John SUdeU. The act was a definite violation of international law,
but was approved by the American people and the United States House
of Representatives. Later the incident was successfuUy settled, but
meanwlule the British prepared for possible hostiUties.7
At Vancouver Island the British naval forces, as reported in December, 1861, consisted of four vessels—the steam frigate Topaze, surveying
ship Hecate, and gun-boats Forward and Grappler. AU ships were seaworthy except the Forward, whose boUers needed repairs. In addition,
there was a detachment of Royal Engineers stationed in British Columbia, and Royal Marines occupied the disputed San Juan Island. These
two detachments together formed approximately 200 officers and men.
Governor James Douglas related that the United States had no naval
vessels in the vicinity except for one or two smaU revenue cutters.   He
(3) Douglas to Newcastle, August 21,1861, MS., Archives of B.C.
(4) Newcastle to Douglas, May 16,1861, Circular Dispatch, Archives of B.C.
(5) Newcastle to Douglas, June 1,1861, Circular Dispatch, Archives of B.C.
(6) Newcastle to Douglas, January 16, 1862, Circular Dispatch, Archives of
(7) T. L. Harris, The Trent Affair, New York, 1896, passim; J. T. Scharf,
History of the Confederate States Navy, New York, 1887, p. 662. 1954      Confederate Privateers and Vancouver Island        241
possessed inteUigence that the United States only had one artiUery company in Oregon and Washington Territory, since the regular troops had
been withdrawn.8
Governor Douglas wrote to the Duke of Newcastle stating that it
would be impossible to defend the British possessions with the smaU
forces avaUable. Hence he suggested that the best defence in the event
of war would be an offensive action against Puget Sound by the naval
vessels and such local auxiliaries as could be mustered. He beUeved
that his plan would prevent the sending of any expedition against British
possessions and would cripple United States trade and resources before
any effective counter measures could be undertaken.9
Douglas pointed out the undefended coast and stated that the British
fleet was capable of occupying Puget Sound without opposition. He
further asserted that with reinforcements of two regiments of Her
Majesty's troops that there would be " no reason why we should not
push overland from Puget Sound and establish advanced posts on the
Columbia River, maintaining it as a permanent frontier."10 The Governor also suggested the dispatch of naval units up the Columbia River to
secure the occupation. He assured his home office in London that the
scattered settlers would welcome any government able to protect them
from the Indians. Douglas firmly beUeved in the practicabUity of the
operation, conjecturing:—
With Puget Sound, and the line of the Columbia River in our hands, we should
hold the only navigable outlets of the country—command its trade, and soon
compel it to submit to Her Majesty's Rule."
The Victoria Chronicle, issue of February 4, 1863, pubUshed an
article entitled "A Bold Plot," in which appeared an account of the
arrival of a commodore of the Confederate States Navy to Victoria the
previous month. According to the story the commodore held a commission signed by Jefferson Davis authorizing him to purchase an EngUsh
vessel to be outfitted as a privateer. The vessel was to be armed and
a crew recruited. Then the privateer would secretively saU from Victoria
for the purpose of capturing a Panama-bound CaUfornia steamer laden
with a miUion doUars in treasure. The would-be privateers were to
abandon their own ship and man the captured vessel, and either put the
(8) Douglas to Newcastle, December 28, 1861, MS., Archives of B.C.
(9) Ibid.
(10) Ibid.
(11) Ibid. 242 Benjamin F. Gilbert July-Oct
passengers aboard the privateer or ashore somewhere along the Mexican
coast. Once their objective was accompUshed, the privateers would
abandon or scuttle the steamer and go ashore in Victoria or another
British port with their newly acquired riches. However, the newspaper
stated that the plan faUed for lack of funds, and concluded with the
foUowing warning, which is interesting in Ught of the actual Chapman
attempt at privateering occurring five weeks later in San Francisco:—
Had not the funds fallen short, the " bold privateer" might to-day have been
afloat, and a treasure-freighted California steamer in a fair way of being sent to
Davy Jones' locker. As it is, no one has been hurt, and our San Francisco friends,
remembering that " fore-warned is fore-armed," will, if they are wise, immediately
guard against even the probabilities of the plot being carried to a successful
consummation at some future time.12
On the same day a supposedly irate reader addressed a letter to the
editor of the Chronicle which was printed the foUowing day. The writer
headed his letter " The ' Bolt Plot,'" and signed it "A Confederate."
He admitted the recent appearance of a Confederate commodore with
a commission, but protested the unjust charge that the passengers would
have been treated as enemies. The author of the letter further claimed
that Lincoln and his Cabinet had acknowledged the right of privateering
by the Confederate States. He aUuded to the respect previously accorded
to private property and individual rights by Confederate privateers, and
completed his retort:—
I think, Mr. Editor, I may safely say that you now have no fears or apprehensions of a treasure freighted California steamer being sent to Davy Jones'
locker. So we think you need not forewarn or even advise your California
" friends" to kick until the rowl touches, for Greenbacks are somewhat under
par now, and you might cause a depreciation. If you do honestly sympathize
with them don't give Uncle Abraham any unnecessary uneasiness, as I understand
he has made another start for Richmond, and I am fearful he has taken the
wrong road, and, as Bonaparte said, in crossing the Alps, the road is barely
passable, for Uncle Abe has two Hills to cross, one Longstreet to traverse, one
Stonewall to surmount, and then will have to enter the city on the Lee side, where,
I am told, the wind is very unfavorable for Uncle Abe's crafts.
Most respectfully,
A third party now entered the controversy, the rival newspaper,
Victoria Colonist. Under the caption " Confederate Privateer," it accused their " local contemporary " of publishing numerous " sensation
(12) Victoria Chronicle, February 4, 1863.
(13) Ibid., February 5,1863. 1954      Confederate Privateers and Vancouver Island        243
items," the latest of which was the story of a Confederate commodore
attempting to purchase the steamer Thames. The Colonist labeled the
story as " perfect bosh," and related that the only basis for the rumour
had been the arrival from San Francisco of a certain Captain Manly who
negotiated unsuccessfuUy the purchase of the EngUsh steamer for a firm
engaged in the Mexican trade. The newspaper stated that the people
have been deceived and the United States authorities led to beUeve a
privateer would saU from Victoria. The journal printed a letter from
the firm S. & S. M. Holderness, dated January 7, 1863, San Francisco,
which was addressed to Henry Nathan & Co. in Victoria. The letter
revealed the intention of this San Francisco shipping firm to purchase
the Thames and said that Captain Manly was being sent as their representative. The Colonist indicated that Messrs. Holderness wanted the
Thames sent to San Francisco before purchasing it in Victoria, but the
offer was not high enough. The newspaper also stated in reference to
San Francisco, "A pretty place indeed in which to fit out a Confederate
privateer! "14
In reply the Chronicle of the next day stated that they had not named
Captain Manly as the commodore nor the Thames as the intended privateer. The newspaper asserted that they were ready to prove an attempt
had been made to outfit a privateer and that a commodore had spent
three weeks in Victoria. It also corrected an earUer statement that the
plan faUed for lack of funds, the real reason being disagreement among
the ringleaders of the plot. The Chronicle chaUenged the correspondent
" Confederate " or the Colonist's editor to refute the truthfulness of the
two articles pubUshed on the subject.15
The Colonist, on February 7, repUed, repeating that her competitor
pubUshed falsehoods. It charged that the Chronicle caused local Americans to distrust both Southerners and EngUshmen, creating a situation
in which espionage abounded in Victoria. In this regard the journal
stated: "All that would be required would be an Alcatraz Island or
a Fort La Fayette, with the power to arrest, to make Victoria Uke New
York or San Francisco."16
The Chronicle, in its issue of the same day, denied being a sensation
sheet and printed another letter from its " Confederate " correspondent,
identified as John T. Jeffreys, whom it described as a respectable Orego-
(14) Victoria Colonist, February 5, 1863.
(15) Victoria Chronicle, February 6, 1863.
(16) Victoria Colonist, February 7, 1863.
8 244 Benjamin F. Gilbert July-Oct.
nian holding large interests in Cariboo. Jeffreys, in this second letter,
wrote that he admitted as true eveiything stated by the Chronicle, except
that the plan was of a piratical nature. However, he charged the editor
with betraying a confidence when he exposed the plot. Beneath the
letter the Chronicle announced that they had a signed letter from their
informant authorizing them to publish whatever they thought proper.
It further stated that Jeffreys could see the letter if he cared to caU at
the editor's office.17
In the same issue of the Chronicle there appeared an article revealing
a plot to seize the United States revenue cutter Shubrick. It stated that
her commander, Lieutenant James M. Selden, was aware of the scheme
to seize the cutter whUe en route through the sound to Port Townsend.
The cutter was then to saU to Victoria, where Confederate privateers
would board her. The article concluded that the vessel had not, up to
late the previous night, arrived in Victoria, and it assumed that the plot
faUed because of the loyalty of Lieutenant Selden.18 This issue also disclosed that the Thames was steaming for Barclay Sound and " has not
gone a-privateering, but still remains the property of Anderson & Co., of
this city."19
On February 9 the Colonist ridiculed the Chronicle for publishing
Jeffreys's letter. It referred to Jeffreys as a "veritable Baron Munchausen " and the Chronicle as " beUevers in nursery tales." The journal also asserted that it possessed reUable information that no plot ever
existed.20 The next day the Chronicle related that they had been informed
that Jeffreys, on the previous Sunday, February 8, told the editor of the
Colonist, before witnesses, the truthfulness of his letter. It also asserted
that Jeffreys was shown the evidence possessed by the Chronicle and
was caUed upon to confirm or deny it.21- On February 11 Jeffreys wrote
a letter from the St. Nicholas Hotel to the editor of the Chronicle asking
why he was requested to repeat what he had already stated. He asked
whether or not the editor wished to hold his name to ridicule and, if such
should be the case, suggested a duel. Once again Jeffreys reiterated his
earUer statements concerning the plot.    He concluded with the hope
(17) Victoria Chronicle, February 7,1863.
(18) Ibid.
(19) Ibid.
(20) Victoria Colonist, February 9, 1863.
(21) Victoria Chronicle, February 10, 1863. 1954      Confederate Privateers and Vancouver Island        245
that he would not be consulted again and that friendlier feelings would
develop between the two rival newspapers.22
The lengthy controversy of words in the columns of the two Victoria
newspapers ended after ten days' duration. The Colonist merely stated
that there had never been a commodore in Victoria, and again referred
to its rival as " a sensation sheet" and its correspondent as " a Confederate Baron Munchausen."23 The Chronicle assumed that this was
an admission by the other newspaper that a plot at least existed.24
In 1904 David WUUams Higgins, at the age of 70, who had been
editor of the Chronicle in 1863, wrote a book relating his reminiscences.
In a chapter entitled " Sweet Marie," he told the story of the supposed
plot, which seems confusing in Ught of the newspaper controversy just
presented. A summary of Higgins's account appears pertinent He stated
that soon after the outbreak of the CivU War many Southern sympathizers took up residence in Victoria. One group migrated to Cariboo
and engaged in gold-mining and trading. Among these were two groups
of brothers—Jerome and Thaddeus Harper from Virginia and John and
OUver Jeffreys from Alabama. They drove cattle from CaUfornia and
Oregon to British Columbia, making good profits.25
In Victoria the St. Nicholas Hotel, located on Government Street,
became a meeting-place for Southern sympathizers. Higgins was a resident of the hotel. The Jeffreys brothers occupied Rooms 23 and 24,
where they entertained Southern friends. Included among their friends
were Mr. and Mrs. Pusey, Miss Jackson, and Richard LoveU. Higgins
described LoveU as a handsome young man who claimed to be a Southerner. He was a good dresser and always perfumed his clothes. One
evening the Jeffreys brothers and the Puseys gave a party to which
Higgins, LoveU, and Miss Jackson were invited. The ladies played
music and aU sang " Way Down South in Dixie " and " My Maryland."
The men and ladies both drank brandy and Hudson's Bay rum.26
On another occasion a party was held celebrating a Confederate
victory. When the celebration was over, John Jeffreys foUowed Higgins
into his room, locked the door, and searched about to see that they were
(22) Ibid., February 12, 1863.
(23) Victoria Colonist, February 13, 1863.
(24) Victoria Chronicle, February 14, 1863.
(25) David William Higgins, The Mystic Spring and Other Tales of Western
Life, Toronto, 1904, p. 107.
(26) Ibid., pp. 108-110. 246 Benjamin F. Gilbert July-Oct.
alone.27 Then Jeffreys asked for Higgins's assistance in a secret plan
and told him that if he declined he would have to take an oath not to
reveal the scheme. Higgins at first refused, but finaUy gave his pledge
with a definite reluctance.   Jeffreys then said:—
We intend to fit out a privateer at Victoria to prey on American shipping.
A treasure ship leaves San Francisco twice a month with from $2,000,000 to
$3,000,000 in gold dust for the East. With a good boat we can intercept and
rob and burn two of those steamers on the lonely Mexican coast and return to
Victoria with five million dollars before the Washington Government will have
heard of the incident.28
Higgins argued that such a scheme would constitute an act of piracy,
and Jeffreys continued to say that he had letters of marque signed by
Jefferson Davis and sealed by Judah P. Benjamin, the Confederate Secretary of State. He also told Higgins that a crew was ready, and that only
a suitable ship was needed. Jeffreys asked Higgins to print an article in
his newspaper which would mislead the United States Consul, Allen
Francis [brother named Simeon Francis], and place the Consul's detectives on the wrong trail. Higgins asked for time to decide, and Jeffreys
left agreeing to return in a few days. After Jeffreys departed, Higgins
smeUed the awful perfume of Dick LoveU in the passage of the hotel.29
Higgins continued his story, telling how he regretted the fact that he
aUowed himself to hear the secret plan. He later refused to participate
in the plot. He even related that Jeffreys chaUenged him to a duel and
told how the fear of being kUled haunted him. EventuaUy the plot was
uncovered by detectives from the United States Consulate, who were
none other than Richard LoveU and Miss Jackson, two guests at the gay
parties held by John Jeffreys. As to the title of the chapter, " Sweet
Marie," the author said that it was the name of the perfume used by
Dick LoveU, the Union spy, who had listened to the conversation held
between Jeffreys and himself.30
According to Higgins the U.S.S. Shubrick was the vessel which the
Confederates attempted to capture. It wUl be recaUed that this plot was
mentioned in his newspaper, the Victoria Chronicle of February 7, 1863.
In his reminiscences Higgins stated that the Shubrick was engaged in
customs and guard duty on Puget Sound. She saUed into Victoria, docking along the Hudson Bay Company's wharf.   Victor Smith, Cottector
(27) Ibid., p. 111.
(28) Ibid., p. 112.
(29) Ibid., pp. 113-114.
(30) Ibid.,pp. 116-126. 1954      Confederate Privateers and Vancouver Island        247
of Customs for Puget Sound, discharged the officers and crew except
Captain Selden and the chief engineer named Winship. Those discharged were suspected of being disloyal and of being involved in the
plot. A new crew was hired, and the conspirators thus faUed in their
The fact that Higgins in his reminiscences did not mention the editorial controversy between his newspaper and the Colonist nor Jeffreys's
two letters would lead one to doubt the existence of a plot. However,
when Jeffreys returned to United States territory in Oregon, he was
arrested. On January 1, 1864, Brigadier-General Benjamin Alvord,
commanding the District of Oregon, addressed a letter to AUen Francis,
United States Consul at Victoria, referring to his appreciation of the
Consul's vigUance. Alvord requested that Francis try to obtain from
Higgins "the original card" signed by John T. Jeffreys during the
previous February which had been published in the Chronicle. The
General wanted the original manuscript signed by Jeffreys, and requested
that it be sent to Edward W. McGraw, United States District Attorney
at Portland, for it was needed as testimony against Jeffreys. Alvord also
asked for the names of witnesses who could avow that Jeffreys participated in schemes against United States commerce, and inquired whether
Higgins would come to Portland in order to testify.32
The first alarm over rumours of privateering in Victoria signified by
a United States authority occurred on February 25, 1863, when General
Alvord dispatched a letter to the War Department in Washington, D.C,
in which he caUed attention to the defencelessness of the Oregon and
Washington coast. He stressed the need for heavy ordnance at the
mouth of the Columbia River, and urged that the Secretary of Navy send
an iron-clad to the Columbia River. He stated that he had written to
the Navy Department the previous September, but had received no
answer. Alvord pointed to the danger across the border in British territory of designs upon United States commerce. He enclosed in his letter
a coUection of newspaper items commenting on the Victoria Chronicle
account of the plot to capture the Shubrick.33
The American State Department became gravely concerned about
this rumour from Victoria, and the matter resulted in lengthy correspon-
(31) Ibid., p. 123.
(32) Alvord to Francis, January 1, 1864, in Robert N. Scott (comp.), The
War of the RebeUion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and
Confederate Armies, Washington, 1890-1901, Ser. I, Vol. L, pt. ii, pp. 714-715.
(33) Alvord to Thomas, February 25,1863, ibid., pp. 322-323. 248 Benjamin F. Gilbert July-Oct.
dence between Seward's office and the British Legation.   On March 31,
1863, Secretary Seward wrote to Lord Lyons:—
I regret to inform you that reliable information has reached this department
that an attempt was made in January last, at Victoria, Vancouver's island, to fit
out the English steamer Thames as a privateer, under the flag of the insurgents,
to cruise against the merchant shipping of the United States in the Pacific. Fortunately, however, the scheme was temporarily, at least, frustrated by its premature
In view, however, of the ravages upon the commerce of the United States in
that quarter which might result from similar attempts which will in all probability
be repeated, the expediency of asking the attention of her Majesty's colonial
authorities to the subject, in order that such violations of the act of Parliament
and of her majesty's proclamation may not be committed, is submitted to your
Two days later Lord Lyons repUed that he would immediately send
a copy of Seward's note to the Governor of Vancouver Island, which he
did on the same day.35 On April 15 Seward forwarded a second note
to Lyons enclosing the foUowing telegram he had just received from
Ira E. Rankin, CoUector of Customs at San Francisco:—
Collector at Puget Sound reports plans for fitting out Privateers at Victoria,
Secessionists very active and our Officers much alarmed, Colonial Authorities
inform Consul that they cannot interfere with the fitting out of Privateers. Can
anything be done to secure instructions from Home Government. I am trying
to get Commanding Naval Officer to send steamer to the Sound.36
Lyons wired at once to WiUiam Lane Booker, British Consul of San
Francisco, instructing him to write to the Governor of Vancouver Island
in order to obtain assurance that all attempts at privateering would be
stopped.37 In the meantime the commandant's office at Mare Island
Navy Yard became apprehensive. Captain Thomas O. Selfridge ordered
Lieutenant-Commander William E. Hopkins, commanding the U.S.S.
Saginaw, to set saU for Port Angeles and Port Townsend, Washington
Territory, and for Victoria. Ii the rumours were confirmed, Hopkins
was told to prevent the escape of any privateer, but was cautioned to heed
(34) Seward to Lyons, March 31, 1863, enclosure in Booker to Douglas, April
17, 1863, MS., Archives of B.C. This was also printed in House Executive Document, No. 1, 38th Cong., 1st Sess., Pt. I, p. 535.
(35) Lyons to Seward, April 2, 1863, enclosure in Booker to Douglas, April
17, 1863, MS., Archives of B.C.
(36) Rankin to Seward, April 14, 1863, enclosure in Booker to Douglas, April
17, 1863, MS., Archives of B.C.
(37) Lyons to Booker, April 16, 1863, enclosure in Booker to Douglas, April
17, 1863, MS., Archives of B.C. 1954      Confederate Privateers and Vancouver Island        249
the neutraUty laws of Great Britain. After a certain lapse of time, the
Saginaw was to coal at Bellingham Bay, and return to San Francisco.38
Captain Selfridge telegraphed Gideon WeUes, Secretary of Navy:—
I have sent the Saginaw to Puget Sound on important service. The Cyane is
here [Mare Island], and the Saranac at San Francisco, for repairs.39
Lord Lyons wrote again to Governor James Douglas at Victoria on
April 16, stating:—
The alarm and exasperation created by the proceedings of the Confederate
Privateers, or ships of War, which have escaped from England, are so great that
I am extremely desirous of being enabled to allay, as soon as possible, the anxiety
which is felt, lest successful attempts should be made to equip similar Vessels in
other parts of the Queen's Dominions.40
On May 14, 1863, Douglas repUed to Lyons's communication,
requesting that the President of the United States be informed that
" every vigUance " would be used. Douglas stated that there was a report
of a privateer being outfitted, but its truth was questionable. He also
indicated that the vessel involved, the Thames, was not suited for that
On June 3, 1863, Captain Thomas O. Selfridge reported to Secretary WeUes on the reconnaissance tour of the Saginaw. The vessel had
visited the principal ports of Washington Territory and Esquimalt. Commander Hopkins disclosed that the secessionists in the British possessions
had gone undercover since the capture of the Confederate privateer
Chapman at San Francisco. He further explained that there were no
vessels plying the sound which were suitable for conversion into a cruiser
or privateer. Hopkins reported one rumour to the effect that a smaU
steamer, long overdue in port, had been purchased by Confederates, but
indicated that it was not suited for privateering. At Esquimalt, Hopkins
was unofficiaUy informed that the Saginaw would be ordered to leave
the port within twenty-four hours in accordance with Her Majesty's
neutraUty laws.42
(38) Selfridge to Hopkins, April 23, 1863, in Official Records of the Union
and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Washington, D.C, 1894-
1922, Ser. I, Vol. II, pp. 165-166.
(39) Selfridge to Welles, April 28,1863, ibid., p. 173.
(40) Lyons to Douglas, April 16, 1863, MS., Archives of B.C.
(41) Douglas to Lyons, May 14,1863, MS., Archives of B.C.
(42) Selfridge to Welles, June 3, 1863, in Official Records . . . Navies,
Ser. I, Vol. n, pp. 259-260. 250 Benjamin F. Gilbert July-Oct.
In his report, Captain Selfridge also included a letter from AUen
Francis, United States Consul at Victoria, revealing the pleasure of
United States citizens there caused by the appearance of the Saginaw.
Francis mentioned that an EngUsh steamer, Fusi Yama, was due at
Victoria, and was rumoured to have been purchased as a privateer. It
was reported that the 700-ton vessel, a fast saner, had munitions stowed
aboard. Francis stated that the Chapman plot at San Francisco had
created a sensation in Victoria, but he indicated that the activities of
privateers had lessened.43
Not all rumours on the Pacific Coast disseminated from Victoria.
There were even rumours in England that the United States was making
miUtary preparations in CaUfornia designed to occupy British possessions
north of Washington Territory. On May 19, 1863, a dispatch was sent
from Downing Street to Governor James Douglas reporting that it had
been assured by Secretary of State Seward that the rumours had no
On October 16, 1863, Judah P. Benjamin, the Confederate Secretary
of State, received a letter regarding the aspirations of a would-be privateer in British Columbia. A certain Jules David, president of the Southern Association of Vancouver Island and British Columbia, had been
corresponding with James M. Mason, the Confederate Commissioner at
London. He informed Mason about the organization of his Confederate
society in Victoria and requested the grant of a letter of marque. Mason,
who did not have the authority to issue letters of marque, referred David
to the Confederate Government at Richmond. Heeding this advice,
David wrote to Benjamin, asking permission " to harass and injure our
enemies," and requesting that he immediately be sent a letter of marque,
for the Southern Association had procured a strong and fast vessel of
400 tons and the funds to arm it. He also stated that in case the Confederate Government denied his request and preferred to send its own
vessel to the Pacific Coast, the Southern Association would co-operate
in assisting her. David beUeved that a privateer could easUy prey upon
United States commerce in the Pacific, as indicated by an extract from
his letter:—
The Federal Government have not force on this coast, and our privateers
could do any amount of mischief without fear of capture.
(43) Francis to Selfridge, May 13, 1863, ibid., p. 260.
(44) Lyons to Russell, April 27, 1863, enclosure in Newcastle to Douglas, May
19, 1863, MS., Archives of B.C. 1954      Confederate Privateers and Vancouver Island        251
It is our most anxious wish to do something for our country, and we can not
serve her better than in destroying the commerce and property of our enemies.
If you will for a moment reflect upon the extensive commerce of the Federal
States with South America, California, the islands, China, and Japan, you can well
imagine what a rich field we have before us.4'
Four days after Jules David penned his letter, the United States
Consul at Victoria, AUen Francis, wrote to his brother, Major Simeon
Francis, stationed at Fort Vancouver, stating:—
We had a strange arrival here the other day. It was a vessel made entirely of
steel. The masts were also steel. She was schooner rigged, of about 300 tons,
and is said to be very fast. Since here arrival rumors have been rife that the
rebels have been trying to buy her for a privateer, and it is further said that if
they gave the price asked they can have her.'W
Francis also revealed that three weeks previously an English ship,
the Jasper, arrived from Liverpool with 1,000 barrels of powder and
sheU, and it had been assumed by some individuals that a connection
existed between the two events. He stated that it was a blunder not to
have warships in the North Pacific, and that the only avaUable ship was
the brigantine Joe Lane, which had neither adequate speed nor armament. Francis further related that miners of secessionists sympathy were
coming to Victoria from the Interior in desperate circumstances, and that
the " rebels " were holding regular private meetings.47
Major Francis was absent from his station, and the Consul's letter
remained unopened for a month. On November 20 Brigadier-General
Benjamin Alvord at Fort Vancouver sent a copy of the letter to army
headquarters in San Francisco. Then he telegraphed General George
Wright at Sacramento, requesting that steps be taken to send the U.S.S.
Saginaw or another naval ship to Puget Sound. Alvord also recommended that the army send a copy of the letter to Admiral Charles H.
BeU, aboard his flag-ship, U.S.S. Lancaster, or to the Commandant, Mare
Island Navy Yard. Evidently Alvord was fearful that among the numerous miners returning to CaUfornia for the winter there might be some
conspirators boarding the steamers, which were heavily laden with gold
shipments. However, Admiral BeU repUed that he was unable to spare
a vessel at the present time.48   On November 23 Consul Francis assured
(45) Jules David to Benjamin, October  16,  1863, Official Records  .   .   .
Navies, Ser. H, Vol. HI, pp. 933-934.
(46) Francis to Major S. Francis, October 20, 1863, in R. N. Scott, op. cit.,
Ser. I, Vol. L, pt. ii, p. 678.
(47) Ibid.
(48) Alvord to Francis, November 20, 1863, ibid., pp. 679-680. 252 Benjamin F. Gilbert July-Oct.
General Alvord that he was exerting aU efforts to queU any plot. He
stated that the Confederate colony had increased because of the influx
of miners from British Columbia, but he reported no alarming movements. Nonetheless, Francis noted the ease with which a vessel could
be outfitted, since Vancouver Island had so many harbours. He again
expressed his beUef that the Government was negUgent in not keeping
a warship in the vicinity.49
Consul Francis continuaUy received inteUigence of Confederate plans
to outfit privateers, and he had requested a warship on numerous occasions. Again in December, 1863, he begged for the Saginaw. Upon
arriving at Acapulco, Admiral Charles H. BeU received a communication from Commodore Charles H. Poor at San Francisco, relating that
Francis possessed information concerning the outfitting of a privateer.
As soon as the U.S.S. Narragansett completed repairs, Commodore Poor
dispatched her to Victoria with instructions to the commanding officer,
Selim E. Woodworth, to stop or capture the privateer. A number of
saUors and marines from the U.S.S. Saranac and from Mare Island Navy
Yard were transferred to the Narragansett in order to increase her complement to a fuU quota for the mission. The warship stood out of San
Francisco on December 11, 1863, and Admiral BeU urged the Secretary
of Navy either to cancel previous orders to send the Narragansett to
Boston or to furnish him with another ship.50
The foUowing February 20 General Richard C. Drum, located at
army headquarters in San Francisco, addressed a letter to Governor
Frederick F. Low of CaUfornia regarding the use of the Narragansett.
The letter stated that a number of prominent citizens had requested
General George Wright to unite with Governor Low in sending a telegram to authorities in Washington, D.C, in order to advocate the retention of the vessel on the Pacific Coast.51 Three weeks later the warship
was undergoing repairs at San Francisco.52 EventuaUy the vessel reached
Vancouver Island, for, on April 22, 1864, Austin H. Layard, British
Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, wrote to the Admiralty
(49) Francis to Alvord, November 23, 1863, ibid., p. 682.
(50) Bell to Welles, January 9, 1864, in Official Records  .   .   .  Navies, Ser.
I, Vol. II, p. 583.
(51) Drum to Low, February 20, 1864, in R. N. Scott, op cit., Ser. I, Vol. L,
pt. ii, p. 761.
(52) Poor to Wright, March 15, 1864, ibid., pp. 789-790. 1954      Confederate Privateers and Vancouver Island        253
stating that the strictest neutraUty should be enforced concerning the
Narragansett's movements within the limits of Vancouver Island.53
Consul Francis's last mention of a rumour about a privateer was on
November 18, 1864, when he wrote to Major-General Irvin McDoweHj
Commandant, Pacific Division, relating that a large group of Southerners from British Columbia and Idaho Territory were gathering in
Victoria. Their headquarters were in the " Confederate Saloon," and
it was beUeved that they were machinating to procure a privateer.
Francis also indicated that Governor Arthur E. Kennedy of Vancouver
Island was co-operating with him to uncover the plot.54
Rumours of Confederate privateers operating in Victoria stopped
circulating during the final stages of the CivU War. However, British
authorities in Victoria became concerned with one additional problem
when the C.S.S. Shenandoah appeared in the North Pacific. This British-
buUt raider had been recently refitted in Melbourne, and after the conclusion of the war continued her depredations against the American
whaling fleet in the Arctic and North Pacific. On July 20, 1865, the
whaleship Milo arrived in San Francisco with a party of survivors from
the sunken whalers.55 The next day the San Francisco journal Daily
Evening Bulletin suggested, in an article entitled "A Chance for John
BuU to do the Handsome Thing," that a British gun-boat from Esquimalt should be sent in pursuit of the Shenandoah, for it would be three
weeks in advance of any United States warship ordered in pursuit. The
newspaper asserted that this would be " an exceUent stroke of poUcy "
by the British Columbian authorities, inasmuch as the " pirate " was
armed and manned by Englishmen and made use of the EngUsh flag.56
The Portland Oregonian of August 14 quoted an excerpt from the
Victoria Chronicle, suggesting that protection be extended to the Shenandoah within the confines of law, but also expressing a desire for the
early end of the " career " of the raider. The Oregonian protested this
attitude in no uncertain terms and asked:—
Do the Victorians now desire an opportunity to prove as faithless to the United
States as their home did when it perfidiously sent the Shenandoah on her lawless
(53) Layard to the Admiralty, April 22, 1864, enclosure in Layard to Rogers,
April 23, 1864, enclosure in Cardwell to Kennedy, April 30, 1864, MS., Archives
of B.C.
(54) Francis to McDowell, November 18, 1864, in R. C. Scott, op. cit., Ser. I,
Vol. L, pt. ii, p. 1061.
(55) San Francisco Daily Alta California, July 21, 1865.
(56) San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin, July 21, 1865.
(57) Portland Oregonian, August 14, 1865. 254 Benjamin F. Gilbert July-Oct.
On July 24 Consul Francis and Judge Lander of Washington Territory caUed on Governor Arthur E. Kennedy of Vancouver Island and
asked him to dispatch a British warship to notify the Shenandoah of the
faU of the Confederacy. However, the Governor repUed that he could
not act in the matter without official sanction.58 MeanwhUe the British
Foreign Office forwarded a circular letter to Governor Kennedy, enclosing a letter of June 19 from James D. BuUoch, the Confederate naval
agent at Liverpool, addressed to the commander of the Shenandoah.
BuUoch's letter contained instructions relative to the disposal of the
ship.59 Then on September 7 the British Colonial Office issued a circular
dispatch to Governor Kennedy stating:—
It is the desire of Her Majesty's Government that the " Shenandoah " should
be detained in any British Port which she may enter. If she should arrive in a Port
of your Colony, you will notify to her Commander that it is incumbent on him to
deliver up the vessel and her armament to the Colonial Authorities in order to be
dealt with as may be ordered by Her Majesty's Government. You will detain the
vessel, by force if necessary, supposing that you have on the spot a sufficient force
to command obedience. And, at all events, you will prohibit any supplies of any
description to the vessel, so as to give her no facilities whatever for going to sea.*0
On October 1 the Admiralty ordered British naval forces in the
Pacific to detain the Shenandoah, provided she put into a port, or to
seize her, if she were equipped as a vessel of war, upon the high seas.
Rear-Admiral Joseph Denman was directed to treat the Shenandoah as
a " pirate,"61 and his orders read:—
You are at liberty to communicate these Instructions to the Commander of any
cruizer [sic] of the United States' Navy; and, without actually detaching any of the
vessels under your command in pursuit of the " Shenandoah," you may render any
assistance in your power in putting an end of the mischievous career of this
(58) Victoria Colonist, July 26, 1865.
(59) Cardwell to Kennedy, July 5, 1865, with enclosures Bulloch to Commander of Shenandoah, June 19, 1865; Mason to Russell, June 20, 1865, Circular
Dispatches, MS., Archives of B.C. The second enclosure was a request by the
Confederate agent, James M. Mason, to send instruction to the Shenandoah via
British diplomatic channels to the possible places where the vessel might stop.
These places were Nagasaki, Shanghai, and the Sandwich Islands.
(60) Cardwell to Kennedy, September 7, 1865, ibid.
(61) Cardwell to Kennedy, October 11, 1865, with enclosures Romaine to
Denman, October 1, 1865, and Law Officers of the Crown to Russell, September
21, 1865, ibid.
(62) Romaine to Denman, October 1, 1865, ibid. 1954      Confederate Privateers and Vancouver Island        255
On October 11 another confidential circular from the Foreign Office
stated that if the Shenandoah was detained or captured, she should be
deUvered to the United States, but her crew could be aUowed to go free.63
While the search by the United States warships was stiU being made in
the Pacific, the Shenandoah finaUy came to anchor in the Mersey at
Liverpool on November 6, 1865.64
Although the aUeged Confederate privateers in Victoria faUed to
outfit any vessel, the rumours of their activities did present a thorny
problem in Anglo-American relations, for the United States did not
welcome the British recognition of the beUigerency of the Confederacy.
Fortunately no privateer appeared nor was outfitted in British Columbia,
and her authorities were co-operative with the United States in investigating the rumours. Also they must have been reUeved when the
Shenandoah discontinued her warlike moves. The only damage inflicted
by Confederate plots along the entire Pacific Coast was to delay gold
shipments and to entaU expense to the United States in guarding her
commercial route to the Isthmus of Panama.
Benjamin F. Gilbert.
San Jose State College,
San Jose, Calif.
(63) Cardwell to Kennedy, October 11, 1865, ibid.
(64) Cornelius E. Hunt, Cruise of the Shenandoah, New York, 1867, p. 247,
see also J. T. Scharf, op. cit., p. 811. NOTES AND COMMENTS
Victoria Section
A regular meeting of the Section was held in the Provincial Library on Thursday evening, May 27, with Miss Madge Wolfenden in the chair. The speaker on
that occasion was Mr. John T. Saywell, a graduate of the University of British
Columbia and a former staff member of the Provincial Archives, now studying for
his doctorate at Harvard University. The subject of his address was A New Light
on Joseph Trutch and the Establishment of British Columbia's First Provincial
Government. The responsibility for the inauguration of a Provincial government
in British Columbia after Confederation in 1871 fell to Sir Joseph Trutch, a former
colonial official whose appointment to the position of Lieutenant-Governor by the
Federal Government was only moderately well received in the Province. Sir John
A. Macdonald had hoped to secure the services of Dr. J. S. Helmcken as the first
Premier, but the latter remained firm in his decision to retire from political life.
Trutch, therefore, turned to John Foster McCreight, whom he groomed for the
position and used his influence to ensure his election. The first session of the
Legislature was a difficult one, for the level of Provincial politics was not very high
and there was great need for leadership of a strong calibre. John Robson and
Amor de Cosmos were probably the two most prominent political figures, doubtless
due to the newspaper backing which they could command. By October, 1872,
Trutch was less inclined to take part in governmental affairs. For one thing he
was becoming bored and found his role as Lieutenant-Governor unsatisfying. The
Legislature was even more divided, and, in consequence of the attacks on the
McCreight government by Robson and de Cosmos, it was defeated. Trutch then
called upon de Cosmos to organize a new ministry, and the transition from the
colonial administration to full Provincial responsible government was completed.
Dr. F. Henry lohnson proposed a vote of thanks to the speaker.
Mr. R. E. Potter, Vice-Chairman, presided at the meeting of the Section held
on Monday evening, June 28, in the Provincial Library, when the speaker was
Mr. J. H. Hamilton and his subject The Origin and Early History of the "All-red
Route." Mr. Hamilton was formerly manager of the Vancouver Shipping and
Merchants Exchange and an authority on marine matters. His paper traced the
development of the trans-Pacific steamship service to Australia from its origin in
1893 with the arrival of the Miowera at Victoria on June 6th to its termination
in June, 1953, when the Aorangi was withdrawn from service. The inception of
this line of communication rounded out the service established by the Canadian
Pacific Railway across Canada and its trans-Pacific steamship service to the
Orient. In addition to his address, Mr. Hamilton showed a number of photographs of the old ships engaged in the service. The thanks of the meeting were
tendered to the speaker by Mr. G. H. Stevens.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. XVIII, Nos. 3 and 4.
257 258 Notes and Comments July-Oct.
To mark the centenary of the arrival of the ship Princess Royal with its passengers, who became in reality the founders of Nanaimo, the members of the
Section motored to Nanaimo on their annual field-day on Saturday afternoon,
August 28. There they were entertained by the members of the Nanaimo Section,
whose Chairman, Mr. J. C. McGregor, a grandson of Mrs. John Meakin, a passenger on the Princess Royal, addressed the group in St. Paul's Parish Hall on the
history of this famous ship and the significance of its arrival to the Nanaimo
district. During the afternoon the members also visited the James Dunsmuir
home at Departure Bay and the home of Robert Dunsmuir.
The first regular meeting in the fall season was held in the Provincial Library
on Friday evening, September 24. The Chairman, Miss Madge Wolfenden, took
the occasion to pay a tribute to Hayman Claudet, the recently deceased youngest
son of Francis G. Claudet, head of the assay office and mint at New Westminster
who had been responsible for the minting of British Columbia's only gold coins
in 1862. The speaker of the evening was Mr. Reginald Roy, who recently joined
the staff of the Provincial Archives, and his subject Early Militia and the Defence
of British Columbia, 1871-1885. Mr. Roy, who served for a number of years
with the Historical Section of the Canadian Army in the preparation of the official
army history of World War H, was well qualified for the task he undertook. The
first war scare in British Columbia after Confederation originated from an anonymous letter addressed to the Lieutenant-Governor warning that Fenians were
holding regular meetings and drilling with a view to an attack on the Island.
There was no effective military force available, and defence rested entirely with
the British naval vessels then present at Esquimalt. Trutch was aware of the
weakness of this arrangement, for the naval forces were responsible for the protection of British interests in an area covering several thousands of square miles,
and he constantly agitated for better defences. Five years later another scare
developed in consequence of the Russo-Turkish War. The danger of a hit-and-run
attack by Russian naval forces was brought to the attention of the Government in
British Columbia, and there was renewed activity on the part of both the Federal
and Imperial Governments in the defence of the Province. However, it was not
until 1885, following another war scare involving Great Britain and Russia, that
the Federal Government became prepared to spend additional money on British
Columbia defences.   A vote of thanks was proposed by Mr. J. H. Hamilton.
A meeting of the Section was held in the Provincial Library on Thursday
evening, October 28, when the Chairman, Miss Madge Wolfenden, presented to
the meeting extracts from the memoirs prepared by Mr. Hayman Claudet a short
while prior to his death, dealing with the life of his father, Francis G. Claudet.
Born in England of French parents, Claudet was educated at University College,
London, and Caroline College, Brunswick, Germany, and in 1859 received an
appointment to establish and operate an assay office in the colony of British
Columbia. He reached Victoria early in 1860, having come by way of the
Panama, and was then only 23 years of age. From the outset he was faced with
many difficulties in organizing his department. For one thing, privately operated
assay offices had been first in the field, and they were opposed to the establishment
of a colonial assay office. In addition, there was considerable bickering between
the various colonial officials.   Claudet early advocated the undertaking of a geo- 1954 Notes and Comments 259
logical survey of the colony and the establishment of a mineralogical research
bureau; in both of these he was twenty years before his time. He was held in
high esteem by Governors Seymour and Musgrave and held many government
appointments in addition to his duties as assayer. He fitted well into colonial life
and made many friends during his residence in British Columbia, which did not
terminate until his return to England in 1873. After a period of unsettlement he
eventually became manager of a chemical works in Cheshire and ultimately
joined his brother, Frederick, at the Assay Office, London. There he died in 1906.
Miss Wolfenden read extracts from his diaries and letters which gave an interesting sidelight on colonial life in New Westminster and Victoria, as well as providing
an intimate insight into the character of Claudet. Mr. R. A. Wootton proposed
a vote of appreciation to the speaker and pointed out that Hayman Claudet was
a pioneer in his own right, having been sent from England in 1904 to install the
first oil-flotation plant for the reduction of complex ores at the Le Roi mine in
Vancouver Section
A regular meeting of the Section was held in the Grosvenor Hotel on Wednesday evening, May 5, with Dr. Margaret A. Ormsby in the chair. The speaker on
that occasion was Mr. N. H. McDiarmid, a Vancouver lawyer, who chose as his
subject The Cedar Creek Gold Rush. Cedar Creek, west of Williams Lake and
opposite Likely on the road from the 150 Mile House to Keithley Creek, was
first known as a placer operation in the early 1860's. During the winter of
1921-22, reports began to reach Vancouver of a great gold strike. That winter
Johnny Lynes, an experienced placer-miner, and Alfred Pratt, the blacksmith at
150 Mile House, found gold, and by May their claim was showing about 160
ounces of gold to the yard, for a value of about $3,000. Through errors in
staking, Lynes and Pratt lost out to a group known as the Big Six or The Trappers
after extensive litigation. Mr. McDiarmid had acted for the latter group in the
Courts and was thus able to shed much light on a latter-day gold-rush that has
been comparatively neglected in the mining annals of this Province.
The annual picnic of the Section was held on Saturday, June 26, when about
125 members and friends travelled by the Canadian Pacific Railway to Yale.
There the party was divided into smaller groups and taken on tours of historic
sites in the old town—All Hallows School, St. John's Anglican Church, Front
Street, and Steamboat Landing. Later they reassembled and the Secretary of the
Section, Mr. Bruce Ramsey, spoke on Place-names of the Cariboo Road. In conjunction with this outing, the Section had prepared and printed an excellent illustrated brochure entitled Historic Yale, which is sold at 50 cents per copy.
The first meeting in the fall season was held in the Grosvenor Hotel on
Tuesday evening, October 12, when the speaker was Dr. H. V. Warren and his
subject Prospectors and Prospecting in British Columbia. Dr. Warren was
eminently qualified to deal with his subject, for he is Professor of Mineralogy in
the Department of Geology at the University of British Columbia. In the course
of his address the speaker outlined the work of prospectors in opening up the
country, described the difficult terrain they encountered, and gave an excellent
summary of the contributions they had made to the development of the Province.
9 260 Notes and Comments July-Oct.
Nanaimo Section
The regular meetings of the Section held on May 11 and June 8 were used to
discuss plans for the celebration of the centenary of the arrival in Nanaimo on
November 27, 1854, of the passengers brought to the colony of Vancouver Island
in the Princess Royal. Arrangements are well in hand for a pageant re-enacting
the landing of the pioneers and for the preparation of a roster of the original
passengers and their descendants.
On August 28 the Section was host to the Victoria Section on the occasion of
its annual field-day. Tours of points of interest were arranged, and the Chairman
of the Section, Mr. J. C. McGregor, spoke to the members on the significance of
the events associated with the Princess Royal.
A regular meeting of the Section was held on October 12, on which occasion
Mr. J. G. Parker read a paper on Fifty Years of Education in Nanaimo. For this
address Miss Dorothy Bryant, of Ladysmith, had made available the note-books
and diaries of her father, Cornelius Bryant, one of the pioneer teachers in the
West Kootenay Section
A regular meeting of the Section was held on May 3, when the speaker was
Mr. Gordon T. German and his subject Rossland before 1900. This was a very
carefully prepared chronological account of the early days in Rossland from the
time of the first recorded discovery of a mine to the end of the litigation over the
famous Le Roi mine. In 1887 two prospectors, Bohman and Leyson, discovered
what became the Lily May, but the real activity did not begin until 1896, when
the Homestake, Centre Star, War Eagle, Le Roi, Idaho, Virginia, and Iron Mask
locations were staked. Communication was mainly by wagon-road to Northport
and thence by boat, but there was considerable agitation for a wagon-road down
Trail Creek to the Columbia. In 1894 Augustus Heinze acquired one-third of
the Trail townsite for a smelter and began building a railroad to the Rossland
mines, and he also planned a line connecting Robson with Trail. In 1898 Heinze
was bought out by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. Mr. German also
traced the development of the city, which was incorporated on March 4, 1897,
paying particular attention to the introduction of public services. He also dealt
with outstanding events such as the winter carnival, and in conclusion pointed out
that two important pieces of labour legislation in this Province—the eight-hour
day and workmen's compensation—were inspired by men from the Rossland
At a meeting held on June 14 the constitution and by-laws of the Section as
drafted by Mr. F. M. Etheridge were presented and adopted. The balance of the
evening was taken up with the identification of old photographs provided by Mr.
J. M. Cameron.
On October 25 the Provincial Librarian and Archivist, Mr. Willard E. Ireland,
addressed the Section, having chosen as his subject The Role of a River, in which
he outlined the history of the communication route that the Columbia River
provided from the earliest days of the fur trade down to the advent of continuous
steam navigation in the late 1890's. Reference was made to the numerous references to the region from the many published accounts of voyagers on the Columbia. 1954 Notes and Comments 261
Boundary Section
In conjunction with the unveiling of the historic marker at Midway on Sunday
afternoon, September 19, the President of the British Columbia Historical Association, Captain C. W. Cates, addressed a meeting of the Section. He spoke particularly on the Indian lore of the Province, a subject on which he is well versed.
Several of the old-timers of the district present at the gathering were introduced
by Mr. E. S. Reynolds, including E. C. Henniger and Howard Pennell, of Midway;
I. Lindsay, of Rock Creek; and Mrs. R. B. White, of Penticton, each of whom
spoke briefly on their reminiscences of earlier days in the Boundary country.
The annual meeting of the Okanagan Historical Society was held in the board
room of the B.C. Tree Fruits Limited, Kelowna, on Wednesday afternoon, June 2,
with Mr. J. B. Knowles in the chair. In his annual report the President noted
that there was a growing appreciation of things historical throughout British
Columbia. Recently the Society had been requested by the Veterans' Land Administration to suggest appropriate names for streets and roads in the new subdivisions
at Westbank and Cawston, and this had been done. Passing reference was also
made to the publication of The Story of Osoyoos, by Mr. George J. Fraser. It
was with regret that the Society accepted the resignation of Dr. Margaret A.
Ormsby as editor of the Annual Report, and as a token of the Society's appreciation a bound set of the reports issued under her editorship was prepared for her.
It was reported that the Seventeenth Report had been issued and the plans were
well advanced for the Eighteenth Report, which was to feature the fiftieth anniversary of the incorporation of Kelowna in 1905, with Dr. J. C. Goodfellow acting
as editor-in-chief. Other reports indicated that the Society was in a flourishing
Following the business meeting a dinner was held in the Royal Anne Hotel,
when seventy-five members were in attendance. The guest speaker was Louise
Gabriel, secretary of the Indian Council of the Penticton reservation, who gave
a very interesting and informative talk on the preparation and use of foods and
medicines by the Indians in early days. She explained the Indian technique of
steam-cooking: hot rocks were placed in the bottom of a pit, which was lined
with bark and pine-needles, then the roots to be cooked were placed on rose
branches above the hot rocks, and the whole was covered in, except for an aperture at the top through which water was poured. Indian bread made from moss
was also cooked in a similar fashion. Other foods were usually dried for winter
use. Each fall the men made ready for hunting by making bows and arrows, the
latter from the strong, straight shoots of the syringa, which had to be tipped with -
flint. Before setting out the hunters had to cleanse themselves so that the wild
game would not be able to pick up scent. For this purpose, use was made of the
"sweat-house" followed by a plunge into the cold lake. The sweat-house was
an "igloo-like" affair, built of small branches intertwined and stuck into the
ground and covered with fir boughs and dirt. Heated stones were rolled into the
centre and water poured over them to create a steam bath. The hunter would
crawl into the sweat-house and close the opening.   The speaker also dealt in some 262
Notes and Comments
detail with other techniques used in the hunt and in the preservation of foodstuffs and skins. Indian medicines were many and effective, and all were provided
by nature. Olallie juice was given a baby after he was weaned, and wild-strawberry leaves dried and powdered was an effective remedy for his sore mouth. An
infusion of red willow was used for irritated skin, and Oregon grape provided a
spring tonic. Infusions of balsam bark or thorn-bush cured hemorrhage, and
mint tea cured fevers, as did also a tea made from dried fish-heads. Soopolallie
made a mild laxative, and rattlesnake-weed was used for more drastic purging.
One of the many sagebrushes was used as a remedy for colds, and an onion-like
root was dug and prepared for treating poison ivy.
Mr. Guy P. Bagnall, of Vernon, also spoke briefly on the question of Indian
The officers elected for the year 1954-55 are as follows:—
Honorary Patron  -
Honorary President -
First Vice-President -
Second Vice-President
Third Vice-President -
Treasurer -       -       -
Editor     ...
Assistant Editor    -
His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor.
0. L. Jones, M.P.
1. B. Knowles, Kelowna.
I. D. Whitham, Kelowna.
Mrs. R. B. White, Penticton.
C. E. Bentley, Summerland.
Rev. J. C. Goodfellow, D.D., Princeton.
Guy P. Bagnall, Vernon.
T. R. Jenner, Vernon.
Rev. J. C. Goodfellow, D.D., Princeton.
Mrs. R. L. Cawston, Westbridge.
Burt R. Campbell, Kamloops. J. G. Simms, Vernon.
J. H. Wilson, Armstrong.
Mrs. D. Gellatly, Westbank.   James Goldie, Okanagan Centre.
Dr. Frank Quinn, Kelowna.
Mrs. Vera Bennett, Penticton.      George J. Fraser, Osoyoos.
Captain J. B. Weeks, Penticton.
At large—
Miss K. Ellis, Penticton. A. K. Loyd, Kelowna.
R. J. McDougall, Sorrento. Mrs. G. Maisonville, Kelowna.
The executives of the branch societies are as follows:—
President  -       -       -
Mrs. D.G. Crozier.
Arthur Young.
J. H. Wilson.
Arthur Marshall.
Mrs. Myles MacDonald. 1954
Notes and Comments
President  -       -       -
Secretary-Treasurer    -
E. M. Carruthers.
Mrs. G. D. Fitzgerald.
Mrs. D. Gellatly.
R C. Gore.
J. B. Knowles.
L. L. Kerry.
Mrs. G. Maisonville.
Nigel Pooley.
J. D. Whitham.
President  ------ H. Cochrane.
Vice-Presidents  Mrs. R. B. White.
J. G. Harris.
Secretary  Mrs. C. G. Bennett.
Treasurer  Captain J. B. Weeks.
C. E. Bentley. J. T. Leslie.
Mrs. R. L. Cawston. Mrs. A. M. Warren.
C. F. Guernsey. Mrs. H. Whittaker.
President  -       -       -       -       -       - H. V. Simpson.
Vice-President       ----- Mrs. E. Lacey.
Secretary  ------ R. Butler.
Treasurer  A. Kalten.
L. Ball. A. Millar.
A. McGibbon. Mrs. A. Millar.
President  -
A. E. Berry.
F. V. Harewood.
-   George Falconer.
G. E. McMahon.
B. R. Campbell.
On Saturday afternoon, June 12, an interesting ceremony took place on the
lawns adjacent to the Court-house, Rossland, to mark the official opening of the
Rossland Historical Museum. For some time a special committee of the Rossland
Rotary Club, which had taken the museum as a community project, had been at
work, and as a result much interesting material had been gathered together and
permission received to have it housed in two rooms on the ground floor of the
Court-house. Prime mover in this effort was Mr. Gordon T. German, manager
of the Bank of Montreal in Rossland.   In November, 1954, a public meeting was 264 Notes and Comments July-Oct.
held with a view to turning the project over to a group of citizens interested in the
operation of the museum, and at that time an interim committee was elected,
empowered to draw up a constitution and to secure incorporation under the
" Societies Act." This was carried out, and on March 31 the Rossland Historical
Museum Association came into existence, with Mr. Gordon T. German as Chairman. At the official opening Mr. R. J. Cotton, president of the Rotary Club, paid
tribute to the hard work of Mr. German and his colleagues, and a letter of congratulation from Mr. Willard E. Ireland, Provincial Librarian and Archivist, was
read. Mayor Harold Elmes officially opened the museum. Mr. J. H. Armstrong,
Chairman of the West Kootenay Section of the British Columbia Historical Association, and Mrs. A. D. Turnbull, First Vice-President of that Association, were
present and offered their congratulations. At the conclusion of the ceremony, tea
was served by the Rotary Anns, at which background music was supplied by a
Model "A" Edison " Fireside" phonograph of 1906 vintage.
This museum, which has as its object the preservation of items of interest which
tell some of the history of the City of Rossland and its immediate vicinity, has
done a remarkably good job. Of particular interest is the one wall of the entrance
room which has been papered with stock certificates reminiscent of the great
mining boom of the late 1890's, which gives at a glance a vivid impression of the
raison d'etre for the community. An excellent start has been made in gathering
together a full photographic record of the region, in which project the Provincial
Archives has been co-operating. Several show-cases have been donated, and
already many valuable historical exhibits are in place.
On Wednesday, June 16, a bronze tablet prepared by the British Columbia
Department of Trade and Industry was unveiled in conjunction with the consecration by Right Rev. G. P. Gower, Bishop of New Westminster, of the cemetery
adjoining St. George's Church, Langley. The plaque was unveiled by Mr. E. G.
Rowebottom, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, whose grandfather was one
of the Royal Engineers that came to British Columbia in 1859.
Only two older cemeteries are known to have existed on the Mainland before
the one at St. George's was used. In the early days of Fort Langley the Hudson's
Bay Company used a cemetery on River Road near the original fort-site at Derby,
but no one now knows its exact location, Jason Allard, who passed away twenty
years ago, being the last to remember the site. When Fort Langley was moved
to its new site, a new cemetery adjacent thereto came into existence, but it was
completely destroyed a number of years ago when the Canadian Northern Railway
right-of-way cut away the bank of the fort hill for a supply of gravel. The cemetery now marked was first used about 1840, but most of the records and tombstones connected with the burial-ground have been lost, destroyed, or allowed to
deteriorate over the years. No commitals have been made in the last fifty years.
Most of those who lie buried in this cemetery were Hudson's Bay Company
employees at Fort Langley or very early settlers in the district.   A committee of 1954 Notes and Comments 265
officials of St. George's Church was responsible for the ceremony.   The inscription
on the plaque, which is fastened to a large granite rock, is as follows:—
Pioneer Cemetery
Among the many pioneers of the Langley District
who here lie buried are
Ovid Allard, 1817-1874
William H. Newton, 1833-1875
two faithful servants of the Hudson's Bay Company
at its post, Fort Langley.
More than 250 persons were in attendance when Captain C. W. Cates, President
of the British Columbia Association, unveiled a bronze tablet erected at Midway
through the kindness of the Provincial Department of Trade and Industry on
Sunday afternoon, September 19. The plaque, embedded in a concrete base,
stands in front of the pioneer entwined trees, only a few yards from the old Midway school to the south of the highway. The ceremony was arranged by the
newly organized Boundary Section of the British Columbia Historical Association,
whose Chairman, Mrs. Jessie Woodward, extended greetings to all visitors who
had travelled from Grand Forks, Greenwood, Midway, Rock Creek, Kettle Valley,
and some from the Okanagan Valley. Joe Someday ("Chief Walking Grizzly
Bear"), of the Colville Indian band, was also present. Rev. O. L. Greene pronounced the invocation, and music was supplied by the combined Grand Forks
and Curlew City bands.   The inscription on the plaque reads:—
When the International Boundary line was being surveyed in
1857-1861, the major portion of the large Indian band then living in
the area moved to the reservation at Colville, Washington.   One of
the Indians entwined two sapling pines, saying:
" Though divided we are united still—we are one."
This tree symbolizes the spirit of friendship existing between
Canada and the United States.
The Senate of the University of Manitoba invites applications for grants from
the John S. Ewart Memorial Fund. This Fund was established to make possible
grants for travel to the Public Archives of Canada, Ottawa, by students of Canadian history and writers on historical theses from the four Western Provinces of
Canada. Information will be supplied and applications received by the Registrar,
The University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Man. 266 Notes and Comments
Madge Wolfenden recently retired as Assistant Provincial Archivist and is a
Past President of the British Columbia Historical Association and a student of
Pacific Northwest history.
Benjamin Franklin Gilbert is Assistant Professor of History, Division of Social
Science, at San lose State College, San Jose, California.
Willard E. Ireland, editor of this Quarterly, is the Provincial Librarian and
Archivist for the Province of British Columbia.
John Tupper Saywell, a contributor to this Quarterly, is a former member of
the staff of the Provincial Archives, now on the staff of the Department of History,
University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario.
A. F. Flucke is head of the Cataloguing Department of the Provincial Archives
Cumberland House Journals and Inland Journals, 1775-82. Second Series, 1779-82.
Edited by E. E. Rich, with an introduction by Richard Glover. London: The
Hudson's Bay Record Society, 1952.  Pp. lxii, 313, xiv.
This fifteenth volume in the admirable series of publications undertaken by the
Hudson's Bay Record Society, like its immediate predecessor, deals with the beginning of Company posts on the Saskatchewan, the first advance from the shores of
Hudson Bay into the fur hinterland. Six journals are here reproduced: three for
Cumberland House covering the years 1779-82 as kept by William Walker, William
Tomison, and George Hudson, and three covering the same years for the subsidiary
post, Hudson House, as kept by William Tomison, Robert Longmoor, James
Elphinstone, and William Walker. As might be expected, they contain the day-today happenings at these isolated posts, and quite frankly at times they make for
tedious reading, but nevertheless there are many significant entries which provide
rare insight into the problems the Hudson's Bay Company had to face when it
finally decided to leave the Bay and to move inland in order better to meet the
competition of the Canadian pedlars. In these journals it becomes apparent that at
least by 1782 the grave shortage of man-power was being overcome at least to a
degree. Canoes, the other half of the transportation problem, had proved to be
easier of solution.
The introduction by Dr. Richard Glover, Associate Professor of History at the
University of Manitoba, is an excellent continuation of his contribution to the first
series. In that volume he drew together all pertinent biographical information,
meagre though it was in places, about the men who actually founded the posts
on the Saskatchewan. In this volume he has turned his attention to an equally
important figure, Humphrey Marten, the Company's chief factor at York, who,
although he never saw the inland posts, directed the whole venture and gave it his
very considerable personal support. Hitherto, Marten has not appeared in too good
a light, thanks to the writings of Edward Umfreville in The Present State of Hudson's Bay. Dr. Glover takes great pains to contradict Umfreville's aspersions one
by one and to build up the contrasting picture of a loyal and able, though elderly,
Company servant, plagued with ill health, but whole-heartedly in accord with the
new policy of establishing the inland posts and determined that everything within
his power should be done to launch them successfully. One of his great assets was
his unexcelled insight into Indian character. In addition, his dealings with the
Company's white servants in the interior was always marked by an honest appreciation of the conditions under which they worked, and he was courageous in pressing
their cause even to the point of ignoring the instructions he had himself received
from his superiors in London. Marten took great pains to keep the Company in
London fully aware of the requirements of the inland posts if the experiment were
to succeed, and his comments were often pithy as well as pointed.
Much has been written about the French voyageur and his contribution to the
opening-up of the continent, but little has been written of his counterpart in the
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. XVni, Nos. 3 and 4.
267 268 The Northwest Bookshelf July-Oct.
service of the Hudson's Bay Company. Once again Dr. Glover has plunged into
the defence of the maligned—this time the Company's—labourers, the bulk of
whom were recruited from the Orkney Islands and were often not held in high
regard by many Company officials. Their home environment fitted them admirably
for the rigours of life in the fur country, and, moreover, the Orkneys lay practically on the route from London to Hudson Bay. They rapidly mastered the art of
canoemanship, were skilled and patient fishermen, and were (if one omits La
Verendrye's men) the first gardeners on the prairies.
The journals end on a note of disaster. On the Bay the two principal posts—
Churchill and York Factories—were destroyed by the French fleet under La
Perouse. In the interior a devastating plague of smallpox swept the country in
1781-82, dealing a double blow to the Company—destroying by the thousands its
beaver-hunters and cutting off the Indians who normally helped to transport the
furs to York Factory from Cumberland House. Hitherto, this appalling disaster
has been known only through the second-hand accounts of men like Edward Umfreville, David Thompson, and Alexander Mackenzie. Now in the journals of William
Tomison and William Walker we have the contemporary account compiled by men
who lived through the tragedy, untouched by it physically, but often recording " as
shattering a disaster as any native race outside Tasmania has ever received from
the white man."
A few supplementary documents have been provided in an appendix. It can
only be surmised that the failure to provide the extremely valuable series of biographical notes that one has come to expect in this series arises from the lack of
sufficient data in the archives of the Company to make it worth while. If so, this
is regrettable, for here are to be found many af the first residents of the Canadian
West, and the meagre information provided in the footnotes and introduction,
though appreciated, leaves one's curiosity largely unsatisfied. As usual, the volume
is an excellent example of the bookmaker's craft.
Willard E. Ireland.
Provincial Archives,
Victoria, B.C.
Canada's Tomorrow: Papers and Discussions, Canada's Tomorrow Conference,
Quebec City, November, 1953. Edited by G. P. Gilmour. Toronto: The Macmillan Company of Canada, Ltd., 1954. Pp. 324, vii. Bis.  $3.50.
Canada in 2003 a.d. will not be too different from the Canada we know in 1954.
We will be a more populous nation, but our population will remain only a fraction
of that of the United States; our natural resources will be greatly developed and
will be in much greater demand, particularly as the American reserves near depletion; technological development will witness immense strides and the applied
sciences will continue to be the pampered profession; the role of government will
not differ to any great extent from that to which we have grown accustomed in the
post-war years, and there seems to be little likelihood of a socialistic or even highly
paternalistic state. Canadian educators will probably still be split between traditional and progressive schools of thought, although we might benefit from some
synthesis of the two; culturally we will remain indifferent, and the general cultural
level will remain lower than we would like, but due to governmental and private 1954 The Northwest Bookshelf 269
encouragement Canadian artists should achieve more national and international
renown. Due to the basic facts and fundamental principles of our environment and
character, we will probably still lack a distinctive foreign policy, although doubtless
we will continue to expand our influence in world affairs. So say the seers who
gathered at Quebec under the auspices of the Canadian Westinghouse Company.
There is a good deal omitted in this volume of essays that one would have
expected to be included. Yet there is much food for thought—mental nourishment
that most Canadians cannot afford to neglect. If no clear picture of Canada in
2003 a.d. emerges, it is hardly the fault of the authors, for it is impossible for even
the most gifted to foresee the future with any accuracy, as most of the writers
hasten to admit. Indeed, the articles are interesting from an historical point of
view because they illustrate both the advantages and the limitations of historical
knowledge as the basis for prophecy. Each of the essays—The Canadian People,
Canada's Natural Resources, The Challenge to Science, The Constriction of Industry, The Role of Government, The Challenge to Education, Cultural Evolution,
Canada in the World, and An Outsider Looking In—seeks in some way, and with
varying degrees of success, to outline some of the likely tendencies of the future by
means of principles and patterns drawn from the past.
Some of the articles merely present old wine in new bottles, but the wine is
no less for all that. Others contain refreshing and stimulating potions, a little too
heady for the common taste, perhaps, and not quite so well brewed as those to
which we have grown accustomed. It is refreshing, for example, to note the
cautions of an eminent Canadian scientist that exclusive concentration on scientific
progress as an end in itself might well lead to Utopia—which is nowhere—or even
into a state of hopeless social confusion where means and ends have become sadly
reversed. The scientific study of human society must go hand in hand with
applied science; we neglect the social sciences at our peril, particularly in the midst
of a gigantic social upheaval caused largely by the staggering progress in the applied
sciences. The Canadians of the future—the Canadians of today—must assess the
use of their new-found and ever-growing leisure time that is the result of increased
productivity; they must—we must—be able to distinguish between and carefully
weigh the educational and propagandistic values and symptoms of the new mass
media in communications; they must consider the social results of free and easy
instalment buying, of the rise of " suburbia," of noise, dirt, and congestion. Social
scientists and the humanists generally have often questioned the long-term objectives and results of applied science. It is heartening to hear the echo from the
citadel itself.
Miss Hilda Neatby has done an able job of describing the general level of Canadian culture, but her summary does not obviate the need for thoughtful Canadians
to read the Massey Commission Report and the studies prepared for it, from which
she has drawn the great bulk of her observations. As one might expect, a slight
note of pessimism prevails, but on the whole there appear to be no insuperable
obstacles in the way of a constantly rising cultural standard that cannot be overcome by " a conscious dedication to the good life, a genuine worship of the truth."
The admirable illustrations by Eric Aldwinckle are themselves certain evidence that
very competent interpretative work is being done in the creative arts. 270 The Northwest Bookshelf July-Oct.
Contrary to common opinion, Mr. Maurice Lamontagne, of Laval, sees no great
change in the role of government fifty years hence. " Private initiative will continue
to play the dynamic and dominant role in the field of long-term industrial development," while government activities will be only "auxiliary and conditioning." As
in the past, free enterprise will cause frequent periods of short-term economic
instability which the government will be forced to offset by enlightened fiscal and
trade policies. The government will continue to interfere in some aspects of life,
notably health, education, and housing, but only for a short time until an undefined
minimum standard is reached, at which point public pressure will force a halt. The
federal government in undertaking these duties will ipso facto tend to increase its
power at the expense of the Provinces. Other than this slight reference, Mr. Lamontagne neglects to comment at all on the very crucial problems of Canadian
federalism. At the same time he does yeoman service in warning against dangers
implicit in the unrestrained and uncontrollable growth of a semi-independent,
almost irresponsible, bureaucracy. He might well have mentioned, too, the increasing power of the Cabinet as against both parliament, party, and, it seems, the
people. Improved methods of democratic control we must have, but the author,
while admitting the need, offers no suggestion as to how this may be achieved.
President N. A. M. Mackenzie takes a healthy mid-way stand in the current
continent-wide education controversy. The great challenge to educators during the
next fifty years will be " to work out a synthesis of the best features of traditional
and progressive thought." Education must assuredly prepare the Canadian students
for the difficult task of making a living in the manner most in line with his ability
and interests. But it must do more: it must prepare him for enlightened citizenship
in a democracy, for "the future citizens must realize that the forms in which they
participate are empty without the knowledge of the Cromwell's work and the spirit
of Hampden "; it must refine his tastes, intellect, and emotions; it must attempt to
extend " the rule of love " among men, regardless of social, national, racial, and
religious barriers. No shallow phrases these, but words well worth marking for
those attempting the difficult passage between Scylla and Charybdis.
Although Professor D. G. Creighton exhibits his expected brilliant insight and
masterful prose style (delighting the reader with his use of Lytton Strachey's well-
known description of the life of Queen Elizabeth as being "passed in a passion of
postponements" when assessing the work of W. L. Mackenzie King), the most
readable essay came from the pen of D. W. Brogan, the "outsider looking in."
Professor Brogan has seen what many Canadians do not see—or, if they do see,
disregard—that we have too long tended to define our Canadianism in negative
terms. Some of us have been content to sum up our national achievement as continued political separation from the United States, while others have almost exclusively concentrated on the development of Dominion autonomy and the forging
of a unique international status. Uncertain and insecure, we have been forever
comparing ourselves to others, and concluding that we are less emotional and less
boastful than the American (without pausing to think that we have not yet been
subjected to equal emotional strains or have as yet less to boast about), less insular
than the English, less volatile than the French and so on. This may all be very
true, but such comparisons do little to explain or to develop the Canadian character.
As Professor Brogan pointedly declares, however, the time has come when 1954 The Northwest Bookshelf 271
" Canadianism must be given a positive and burdensome content," when Canadianism must give " the concept of Canada a positive, not a negative, content." This
is, of course, impossible without a sure grasp of what Canada has been and what
it is and where it is likely to go. Canada's Tomorrow, even though one may disagree with many of the view-points expressed, encourages thoughtful analysis on
a wide range of subjects and furthers the habit of self-cultivation that President
Mackenzie stresses as one of the major and essential duties of Canadian education,
and is certainly one of the major duties of every Canadian citizen.
UNTVERsmr of Toronto, John Tupper Saywell.
Toronto, Ont.
The North Peace River Parish, Diocese of Caledonia: a Brief History. Fort St.
John:  The Alaska Highway News, 1954.   Pp. 22.   Maps & ills.
A Tree Grows in Vernon: the History of All Saints' Parish, Vernon, B.C. By Right
Rev. A. H. Sovereign.   Vernon:  1953.   Pp. 39.   Dls.
Through the Years, 1904-1954. Woman's Auxiliary of the Church of England in
Canada, New Westminster Diocesan Board. Edited by Mrs. F. G. Cousins.
Vancouver:   1954.   Pp. 36.   Ills.
Our Goodly Heritage, 1904-1954. Woman's Auxiliary of the Church of England
in Canada, British Columbia Diocesan Board. Edited by H. Kathleen Davies.
Victoria:   1954.   Pp. 44.   Dls.
Pioneering God's Country: the History of the Diocese of Olympia, 1853-1953.
By Thomas E. Jessett. Tacoma: The Church Lantern Press, 1953. Pp. 54.
This has been a period of significant anniversaries for the Church of England
in Canada and, in consequence, a number of brochures have been published which
contain the results of a considerable amount of research into church history, a field
which the local historian for long tended to ignore but which now, evidently, is
coming into its own.
The North Peace River Parish deals with the origin and development of the
work of the Anglican Church in that part of the Diocese of Caledonia lying mainly
within the Peace River District, and in particular with St. Martin's Church, Fort
St. John; the Church of the Good Shepherd, Taylor; and St. Matthias' Church,
Cecil Lake. Party of the story is written by Monica Storrs, who came to the
district in 1929, largely through the efforts of Miss F. H. E. Hassel, of the Caravan
Sunday School Mission, the real pioneer missionary in the area. She tells of her
experiences in a delightful way and makes reference to many of the personalities
and events in the period of laying the foundations. Miss E. W. Higginbottom, who
was sent out by the Fellowship of the Maple Leaf, spent the years 1936-39 in the
district and has contributed her reminiscences of the events in which she participated. More recent developments are also chronicled, and the brochure is well
illustrated with photographs and pen and ink sketches.
The occasion of a diamond jubilee in 1953 afforded All Saints' Parish, Vernon,
the opportunity to prepare a detailed history of the parish, and they were fortunate
to secure the services of Bishop A. H. Sovereign to undertake the task.   The result 272 The Northwest Bookshelf July-Oct.
is a very readable brochure which has much of interest in it on the history of the
Okanagan Valley generally. First services of the Church of England in the valley
were held in 1879 at Grand Prairie (Westwold), and subsequently at the Coldstream ranch of Forbes Vernon in 1881, when Bishop Sillitoe was present. For
some time thereafter Vernon was served from Kamloops. Many interesting records
survived from this period of activity, which have been used with great care by the
author. In 1893 the first church was established in Vernon. From that date onward the highlights of the progress of the parish are recorded and often illustrated
with interesting and amusing anecdotes.
In 1954 the Woman's Auxiliary of the Church of England in Canada celebrated
its golden jubilee, and to commemorate the event the New Westminster and British
Columbia Diocesan Boards had prepared for publication attractive brochures.
For the New Westminster Diocese it was also the occasion of the seventy-fifth
anniversary of its founding. This booklet is arranged by chapters chronicling the
events during the incumbency of each president, and there is a most useful list of
officers and departments throughout the fifty-year period. The brochure of the
British Columbia Diocesan Board also follows the strictly chronological approach.
Both are well illustrated and worthily commemorate the anniversary celebrated.
Pioneering God's Country is a more ambitious undertaking by Thomas E.
Jessett, historiographer of the Diocese of Olympia, a long-time student of church
history in the Pacific Northwest, and is designed for the centennial celebration of
the diocese. Mr. Jessett has not confined himself only to the history of the .American Episcopal Church in the Northwest, which might be said to date formally from
the arrival at Portland on January 19, 1853, of Rev. John McCarty, D.D., but he
has also sketched out the earlier activity of priests of the Church of England,
including Rev. Herbert Beaver and Rev. R. J. Staines. The pattern followed in
this booklet is to trace developments as they occurred during the various episcopates, from that of Thomas Fielding Scott, first Bishop of Oregon and Washington
Territories. The expanding interest was naturally reflected in growing ecclesiastical
organization, as shown by the creation of additional dioceses, Olympia achieving
full diocesan status in 1910. As a source book for many of the essential details in
connection with the history of the American Episcopal Church in the State of
Washington generally, this publication will prove extremely useful. The present
incumbent,  Bishop Stephen F. Bayne, Jr., has contributed a very thoughtful
foreword. ,_r _  _
Willard E. Ireland.
Provincial Archives,
Victoria, B.C.
History of Kaslo. Kaslo Diamond Jubilee, 1893-1953. By the Historical Committee, Mrs. Ringheim, chairman. Nelson: Leon & Ramsay Printers, 1953.
Pp. 64.   Ills.
The Story of Osoyoos—September, 1811, to December, 1952. By George J.
Fraser.   Penticton:  Penticton Herald, 1953.   Pp. 212.   Ills.
All too often local histories are little more than chronological recitations of
local incidents.   As conscientious and detailed as these may be, frequently the 1954 The Northwest Bookshelf 273
result is a work in which significant historical facts and the day-to-day trivia of
pioneer life are confused and there is little to interest the reading public beyond
the confines of the local scene—those whose lives are in some way connected with
the people and events discussed. Except for the particularization of names, dates,
and places, which is always of antiquarian interest, local histories will be little
appreciated until the writers learn to remove judiciously the shrubbery so that the
reader may see the forest. Local-history writers might make greater contributions
by outlining the personalities and activities of the pioneers as well as the residents
of later days who played major roles in the commercial, social, and cultural development of the locality, and by writing of local events in terms of the persons
mainly concerned. Biographical sketches give considerable insight into the history
of an area, besides indicating the type of citizen that contributed to its development.
In this History of Kaslo, written to commemorate the jubilee of that city's
incorporation, the tendency remarked upon at the beginning of this review is much
less noticeable than in some others produced in recent years. Mrs. Ringheim and
the members of her committee have accumulated a generous fund of information
concerning the pioneer days of their city. Kaslo had its origin in the lode-mining
boom that sent thousands of people surging into the Kootenays during the early
1890's. A little more background information on early mining developments might
have added considerably to the outside reader's understanding of and interest in
the area. Also place-names and biographical details could very well have formed
separate sections instead of being inserted in arbitrary chronological order. Nevertheless, the writers have given a very clear and interesting picture of the inception
and growth of Kaslo.
The first section, headed " Early History," deals with early mining pre-emptors,
then follows on to discuss the various stages of community development and problems of transportation that are met with in every pioneer settlement. The sections
on the fire and flood of 1894 make particularly good reading and bear the marks
of having been written from eye-witness accounts. The relating of the Kaslo-
Slocan railway difficulties is also well done. The book is illustrated with some
very good photographs, which add much to its interest.
Referring back to the few introductory remarks on local histories in general,
The Story of Osoyoos, by George J. Fraser, has several of the points mentioned
to commend it. This local history contains a good many short, but detailed,
biographies. The topical subdivisions are well chosen, both for interest as well
as for providing a recognizable historical pattern. Purely local events such as the
inception and accomplishments of community organizations and business concerns
are confined to separate sections and not squeezed in here and there with those
having a broader historical interest. This is a larger work than the one dealing
with Kaslo. It has fewer and poorer pictures, but the style of writing is better.
It is printed on better paper and includes a table of contents. Unfortunately from
this point on, one can offer little more than criticism. Glancing at the table of
contents, one is impressed by the division headings and the material they include,
but on attempting to follow them one finds that apart from the first section—
"Fur Trading Era, 1811-1861 "—nothing else in the book fits the contents list.
Following the administration of W. G. Cox in 1861, we leap to " The Village "
from 1920 to date.   The next section is headed " Official Osoyoos, 1946-1950," 274 The Northwest Bookshelf July-Oct.
which is not included anywhere in the table of contents. Following this we jump
back to the "Haynes Administration of 1860." There follows a 47-page section
headed " Biographies," which includes paragraphs on the Indian reserves, the
moving of the Customs House, " Government Frugality," " Trails," " Early Land
Recordings," and several outstanding geographical features of the area. After this
we dodge back to 1910 and the author's first arrival on the scene. This is headed
" Development of Osoyoos," but according to the table of contents should be " Era
of Evolution of Ranching to Horticulture." When this last-mentioned section is
finally located, we find that apart from being pushed to the back of the book, it
has been mysteriously mixed up with a number of biographies.
If the table of contents had been followed, The Story of Osoyoos would have
been one of the better local histories because, as mentioned before, it is written in
a pleasing style and the topical subdivisions have been well chosen to provide a
reasonably integrated historical pattern. It is extremely unfortunate in this reviewer's opinion that this has been offset by such muddled composition. However,
certain sections taken on their own are very well done and provide much interesting
information on important aspects of the local economy. There are good sections
on " Marketing in the Early Days " and " Problems of the Pioneer Ground Crop
Growers." There is another good section on " The Problems of Education," and
still another dealing with " Illicit Liquor Traffic " during the prohibition days in the
United States.
The author, George J. Fraser, was born in Ontario and educated in Manitoba.
After ranching for a time in Alberta, he came to the Okanagan District in 1906 to
begin fruit-ranching with his brother. His varied career has included the operation
of an automobile agency in the early days and, of recent years, an insurance and
real-estate business. Mr. Fraser disclaims the distinction of being a real pioneer;
nevertheless, he has taken a major part in community affairs during a period of
intense development and has been active in promoting and developing several local
industries in the Osoyoos area. In 1952 the Village of Osoyoos conferred the
award of "All Time Good Citizenship " on both Mr. and Mrs. Fraser.
Provincial Archives, A. F. Flucke.
Victoria, B.C.
Admirals, Adventurers and Able Seamen.   By Harrison Brown.   Vancouver:  The
Keystone Press Ltd., 1954.   Pp. 31.   Ills.
There is always great curiosity amongst the general public and visiting tourists
in particular about the derivation of place-names. Mr. Brown, in a very attractively
produced booklet, has attempted to meet this need in so far as the lower coastal
region of the Province is concerned. The sub-title, "Forgotten Stories about
Places on Our British Columbia Coast and How They Got Their Names," gives an
adequate description of the publication. Here in simple digest form are to be found
many of the incidents relative to the work of the early explorers—Spanish, British,
and American—and amusing incidents of other seafarers like Jemmy Jones. 1954 The Northwest Bookshelf 275
Historic Yale, British Columbia.   Edited by Bruce Ramsey.   Vancouver: Vancouver Section, British Columbia Historical Association, 1954.   Pp. 32.   Ills.
In the summer of 1954 the Vancouver Section of the British Columbia Historical Association made the journey to Yale for its annual outing, and in connection
therewith published this brochure, which traces the history of this little community
from its inception as a fur-trade post of the Hudson's Bay Company in 1848
through the hectic days of the gold-rush and the even more lively era of railroad
construction. Special attention is paid to its historic Anglican church, St. John the
Divine, and the Anglican school, All Hallows in the West, as well as the Roman
Catholic St. Joseph's Mission. There is also an interesting section dealing with
steamboating on the Fraser River, for Yale was the head of navigation. A number
of good photographs have been reproduced, adding greatly to the attractiveness of
the publication.
The Bishop of Broadway: David Belasco, His Life and Work.   By Craig Timber-
lake.   New York: Library Publishers, 1954.   Pp. 491.   His.   $4.75.
This full-scale biography of one of the most remarkable figures in the history
of the American theatre is of particular interest to British Columbians because of
the childhood associations of David Belasco with Victoria in the years 1858-1865.
The earlier biography of Belasco by William Winter, published in 1918, recounted
(probably with Belasco's consent) many stories concerning that period of his life
which Mr. Timberiake has been at great pains to investigate. Family traditions
and legends die hard, but the result of much of the research proves most of them
to be without foundation.
James Stephen and the British Colonial System, 1813-1847.   By Paul Knaplund.
Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1953.   Pp. ix, 315.   $5.50.
Dr. Knaplund has contributed several articles to this Quarterly and has established his reputation as an authority on British colonial policy in the nineteenth
century. This study of the administration of Sir James Stephen at the Colonial
Office from his appointment as legal counsellor until his retirement in 1847 as
permanent under-secretary is a masterly analysis of the contribution of one of the
great rebuilders of the Empire that emerged from the ruins resulting from the
American Revolution. It is not a biography, but such personal data as are pertinent
and explanatory of many of the policies that Stephen so strenuously advocated during his tenure of office are provided. A topical approach is taken to Stephen's work
over the whole of his administrative career. British colonial interest in the Pacific
Northwest had just been aroused when Stephen retired, so there are only minor
references to the colonization of Vancouver Island, but as an aid in appreciating
the political and administrative climate in which the Crown Colony of Vancouver
Island began, the book is invaluable.
Published by the Archives of British Columbia in co-operation with the
British Columbia Historical Association EDITOR
WhxardE. Ireland,
Provincial Archives, Victoria, B.C.
Madge Wolfenden,
Provincial Archives, Victoria, B.C.
J. C. Goodfellow, Princeton, B.C. W. N. Saqb, Vancouver, B.C.
Editorial communications should be addressed to the Provincial Archives,
Parliament Buildings, Victoria, B.C. CONTENTS OF VOLUME XVHI
Articles: Paob
The Early MiUtia and Defence of British Columbia, 1871-1885.
By Reginald H. Roy 1
Post-Contact Culture Changes among the Lummi Indians.
By Wayne Suttles    29
Arthur Kennedy's Administration of the Colony of Western AustraUa
Examined as a Background to the Initiation of the Vancouver
Island Exploring Expedition of 1864.
By H. C. Gilliland 103
The Naming of Holland Point.
By Madge Wolfenden 117
John Tod: " Career of a Scotch Boy."
Edited by Madge Wolfenden 133
Rumours of Confederate Privateers Operating in Victoria, Vancouver
By Benjamin F. Gilbert 239
Notes and Comments 123, 257
The Northwest Bookshelf:
Cumberland House Journals and Inland Journals, 1775-82. Second
Series, 1779-82.
By Willard E. Ireland '. 267
Canada's Tomorrow.
By John Tupper Saywell 268
The North Peace River Parish.
A Tree Grows in Vernon.
Through the Years, 1904-1954.
Our Goodly Heritage, 1904-1954.
Pioneering Gods Country.
By Willard E. Ireland 271
History of Kaslo.
The Story of Osoyoos.
By A. F. Flucke 272
Shorter Notices 274
Index 277
Page 31, line 2: For lk'wafii'nan read lk'^sni'nan.
Page 52, line 32: For ele'bn read ele'lsn.
Page 55, line 18: For Ellice read Elliot. INDEX
Admirals, Adventurers and Able Seamen, review of, 274
Alaska Packing Company, 79
Alexia, John, 81, 83
Alvord, Brig.-Gen. Benjamin, 247, 251, 232
Anderson & Co., 244
Archllle, George, 69
Arthur Kennedy's Administration of the Colony
of Western Australia Examined as a Background to the Initiation of the Vancouver
Island Exploration Expedition of 1864, 103-
Athabasca Portage, 208, 209
Auld, William, 139
Back, Sir George, 189
Badgers, 182, 183
Bagnoit, Joseph, 162
Bainbridge, Indian, 33, 38
Baird, Rear-Admiral J. K. B., 27
Baker, Mount, 229, 230
Banks, Peter, 210
Beacon Hill, Victoria, 15-19, 21
Bears, 145, 174-177
Beaver, Rev. Herbert, 119
Beaver, 148, 149, 180-182
Beaver Indians, 171, 172, 188
Bedford, Capt F. D. G., 18
Belasco, David, His Life and Work: The
Bishop of Broadway, review of, 273
Bell, Adm. Charles H., 251, 252
Bellingham, 54
Bellingham Bay, 54, 55, 38, 59
Belmont HUl, Victoria, 21
Benjamin, Judah P., 250
Birstone, Catherine, 231, 232, 236, 237
Bishop of Broadway, The: David Belasco, His
Life and Work, review of, 275
Black, Samuel, 160, 213-213
Blackwater River, 212
Blair, Col. G. F., 10, 11, 13
Blanchard, Bishop, see Blanchet, F. N.
Blanchet, F. N., 39, 40, 57, 208
Blanshard, Richard, 195, 229, 238
Boat Encampment, 209
Bolduc, J. B. Z., 40
Booker, William Lane, 248
Boulet, Father, 72, 78
Bowker, John Sylvester, 237
Bowker, John Sylvester, Jr., 237
Bowker Creek, 237
Brackenridge, John, 141
Brigade, 184, 219
British Columbia, defence of, 240, 241
British Columbia Historical Association, 123-
130, 257-261
British Columbia Provisional Regiment of Garrison Artillery, 23
Brother's Island, 17, 21
Broughton, W. R,, 207
Brown, 232
Brown, James, 112
Brown, Harrison, Admirals, Adventurers and
Able Seamen, review of, 274
Buchanan, Dr. Charles, 80-83
Buckley, Patrick, 71
Buffon, see LeClerc, George Louis
Bulloch, James D., 254
"C" Battery, 24-26
Cadieu, Indian, 197
Calm, Boat Encampment, 131, 132
Calder, Dr. John, 140, 141
Camille, 221
Campbell, John Duncan, 155
Canada Act, 196, 197
Canada's Tomorrow, review of, 268-271
Canoes, 160, 161
"Career of a Scotch Boy," John Tod, 133-238
Caron, A. P. C, 24-26
Carrier Indians, 172
Cartier, Sir George E., 6, 7
Cator, Capt. R. P., 2-4, 6
Charles, Aloysius, 86, 87
Charles, Mrs. Julius, 61, 73
Charlton, Richard, 201
Cheway, Indian, 169, 170
Chinook jargon, 46, 47
Chirouse, Father Casimir, 40, 56-39, 70-72, 98
Chowitsut, Indian Chief, 53-55, 67
Clarke, John, 155
Claudet, Francis G., 258
Clover Point, Victoria, 118
Coast Salish Indians, agriculture, 44; alcohol,
45; bibliography, 100-102; contacts with
whites, 37-47; family life, 34-37, 45, 46;
firearms, 38, 42, 44; food, 31-33, 43, 44:
Government relations, 41; implements, 44:
intertribal relations, 42, 46; language, 46;
marriage, 47-50; missionaries, 39, 40, 49
population, 42, 43, 45; religion, 33, 33-37
48-51; shamanism, 37; smallpox, 42, 43:
social classes, 33, 34, 45, 46; textiles, 44:
tobacco, 45; tools and weapons, 43, 44
tribes, 97-99; warfare, 42, 44, 45
Columbia River, 241, 247
Colvile, Andrew, 204
Como, 228
Confederate Privateers Operating In Victoria,
Vancouver Island, Rumours of, 239-253
Conger, Father, 88
Connolly, Amelia, 153
Connolly, William, 153, 165, 187, 218
Cook, William Hemmings, 139
Cookson, see Cook, William Hemmings
Cooper, Capt, 119
Cooper, James, 193
Cousins, Mrs. F. G., ed., Through the Years,
1904-1954, review of, 271
Cowichan Indians, 99
Cowlitz, 211, 227
Cranes Indians, 150
Cree Indians, 148-150, 163, 169
Cree language, 149, 203
Cridge, Edward, 236
Crockett, David, 50, 53, 57, 58, 67
Cumberland House Journals and Inland Journals, 1775-82, Second Series, 1779-82, review
of, 267, 268
277 278
Dashwood, see Dease, Peter Warren
David, Jules, 250, 251
Davies, H. Kathleen, ed., Our Goodly Heritage,
1904-1954, review of, 271
Davis, Jefferson, 241, 246
Davis, Old, see Gull, Thomas
Davison, John, 138
Dease, Peter Warren, 169, 187, 188
Defence of British Columbia, 1871-1885, The
Early MiUtia and, 1-28
De Horsey, Rear-Admiral, A. F. R., 15, 17
Delacombe, Capt. W. A., 7
Demers, Modeste, 39, 57, 208
Denman, Rear-Admiral Joseph, 254
Dodd, Capt. Charles, 210
Dogs, 173, 174
Douglas, Sir James, 153, 195, 206, 210;   and
defence of British Columbia, 240, 241, 249,
250; and Indians, 41, 164-166
Drill-shed, Nanaimo, 10; New Westminster, 10;
Victoria, 9
Drum, Gen. Richard C, 252
Drummond, J. S., 237
Duplante, Belone, 162
Dupont, Capt, 22, 23
Early MiUtia and Defence of British Columbia,
1871-1885, The, 1-28
East, Capt. J. R., 24, 23
Egerton, Lieut-Commander F. £., 3
Eldridge, Jim, 61, 62, 74
ElUce, Edward, 154
Ermatinger, Edward, 206, 232-236
Ewart, John S., Memorial Fund, 265
Fenians, 1-6, 12
Ferndale school, 85, 86
Finkbonner, C. C, 56, 59, 64, 65, 97
Finlay River, 213
Finlayson, Nicol, 190
Fisgard Island, 15, 17
Fitzhugh, 34, 55
Flucke, A. F., History of Kaslo, review by,
272-274; The Story of Osoyoos, review by,
Fornsby, Johnny, 81, 82
Fort Langley Pioneer Cemetery, Plaque Commemorating, 264, 265
Fort Nelson River, 171
Forts and trading-posts, Albert, 208; Alexandria, 163, 184-186, 212, 213, 215, 219, 233,
234; Assiniboine, 208; Astoria, 206; Colvile,
209, 210, 214, 215; George, 162, 163, 179;
Island Lake House, 194; Jasper House, 208;
Kamloops, 213-216, 219-224, 227, 234; Langley, 39, 119, 120, 237, 264, 263; McLeod, 160,
161, 168, 172, 178, 179, 181, 184, 232-234;
Nez Perces, 213; Nisqually, 235; Norway
House, 194, 208, 231; Osnaburgh House, 148;
Oxford House, 194; St. James, 160, 165; St
John, 165; Seaborn, 233; Severn, 141-144,
152, 173, 186; Vancouver, 168,177, 184, 206-
208, 210-216, 219, 227, 229, 236, 251; Victoria, 119-121, 208, 229, 235; William, 153
Francis, Allen, 246, 247, 250-254
Francis, Major Simeon, 251
Franklin, Sir John, 156
Fraser, George I., The Story of Osoyoos, review of, 272-274
Fraser, Simon, 38, 39, 156, 160, 212
Fraser Lake, 160, 164, 166
Fraser River, 177, 178
Frobisher, Benjamin, 153, 155
Fur trade, 38, 39
Georgina's Range, 108
Gilbert, Benjamin, F., Rumours of Confederate
Privateers Operating In Victoria, Vancouver
Island, 239-255
Gilliland, H. C, Arthur Kennedy's Administration of the Colony of Western AustraUa
Examined as a Background to the Initiation
of the Vancouver Island Exploration Expedition of 1864, 103-115
Gilmour, G. P., ed., Canada's Tomorrow, review of, 268-271
Gold, shipment of, from California, 239, 241,
242, 246
Gooseberry Point, 51-53, 80
Grand Rapid, 155
Grant, W. C, 41
Gray's Bay, 207
Greathouse, Ridgeley, 239
Greenshields, Samuel, 234
Gregory, Frank T., 108, 109
Gregory, McLeod, and Company, 153
Guemes Island, 97
Gull, Thomas, 138
HaU, Joe, 142
Hall, Rev. John, 235, 237
Hamilton, 138
Hargrave, James, 197
Hargraves, E. H., 110
Harpending, Asbury, 239
Harper, Jerome, 245
Harper, Thaddeus, 245
Harvey, Daniel, 210
Hat River, 225
Hawse, Jasper, 208
Hay River, 197
Helmcken, Dr. J. S., 120, 121, 236
Higgins, David WUUams, 245-247
Historic Yale, British Columbia, review of, 275
History  of Kaslo.    Kaslo  Diamond Jubilee,
1893-1953, review of, 272-274
Hogg, Thomas E., 239
Holderness, S. & S. M., 243
Holland, George, 118-121
Holland Point, 17, 21, 117, 118
HoUand Point, The Naming of, 117-121
Holme, Rev. T. R., 238
Holmes, Lieut-Col. J. G., 23, 24, 26-28
Home, Capt, 120
Hopkins, William E., 248, 249
Houghton, Lieut-Col. Charles F., 7, 8, 12, 18,
Howe, Joseph, 4
Hudson Bay, 138, 139
Hudson's  Bay Company,   137-139,  148,   163;
organization, 146, 147, 190, 191;  union with
North West  Company,  152-136,   159,   193;
Vancouver Island, 195, 196 Index
Hughes, Guy, 165, 188'
Hume, Lieut, 3
Indians, Northwest Canadian, character and
customs, 217-224; food, 169, 170, 218; intertribal relations, 170-172, 222-224; Uquor,
193, 194; medicine, 183-187; mortuary customs, 172, 173; murder, 162-166, 195-197,
213-219;  smallpox, 225, 226
Inglis, WiUiam, 120
Ireland, W. E., Admirals, Adventurers and
Able Seamen, review by, 274; Bishop of
Broadway, The: David Belasco, His Life and
Work, review by, 275; Cumberland House
Journals and Inland Journals, 1775-82, Second Series, 1779-82, review by, 267-268;
Historic Yale, British Columbia, review by,
275; James Stephen and the British Colonial
System, 1813-1847, review by, 275; North
Peace River Parish, Diocese of Caledonia,
The: A Brief History, review by, 271, 272;
Our Goodly Heritage, 1904-1954, review by,
271, 272; Pioneering God's Country: the History of the Diocese of Olympia, 1853-1953,
review by, 271, 272; Through the Years,
1904-1954, review by, 271, 282; A Tree
Grows In Vernon: the History of All Saints
Parish, Vernon, B.C., review by, 271, 272.
Irving, Washington, 135, 218
Irwin, Lieut-Col. D. T., 15, 17, 18
Jackson, Miss, 245, 246
James Stephen and the British Colonial System, 1813-1847, review of, 273
Jameson, 139, 140
Jeffreys, John T., 243-247
Jeffreys, OUver, 243
Jessett, Thomas E„ Pioneering God's Country,
review of, 271, 282
John S. Ewart Memorial Fund, 263
John Tod: "Career of a Scotch Boy," 133-
Jones, A. G., 14
Jones, Rev. David T., 232-234
Kamloops Museum Association, 130, 131
Kaslo, History of. Kaslo Diamond Jubilee,
1893-1953, review of, 272-274
KeUett, Capt. Henry, 117
Kennedy, Alexander, 154
Kennedy, Arthur, 103-115, 253, 254
Kennedy, Mount, Western AustraUa, 108
Kennedy Range, Western Australia, 108
Kennedy's Administration of the Colony of
Western Australia Examined as a Background to the Initiation of the Vancouver
Island Exploration Expedition of 1864, 103-
Kettle Falls, 209
King, Richard, 189
Knaplund, Paul, James Stephen and the British
Colonial System, 1813-1847, review of, 275
Kootenay VUlage, 10
Kwa, Indian, 160, 166
Kwakiutl Indians, 46
Kwina, Henry, Indian Chief, 67, 84
Lambert, 119
Lander, Judge, 254
Laurie, Col. J. W., 22
Layard, Austin H., 252
Le Blanc, Pierre, 210
LeClerc, George Louis, 180
Legac£, Josette, 233
Le Grace, Indian, 198-200, 204
Liard River, 171
Lolo, see St. Paul, Jean Baptiste Lolo
Lolo, Sophia, 234, 235
Lopez Island, 51, 52
Lome, Marquis of, 24
LoveU, Col. J. W., 19-21, 23, 26
LoveU, Richard, 245, 246
Low, Frederick F., 252
Lummi Indians, agriculture, 64-66, 76-78, 87,
95; associations, 89; bibliography, 100-102;
Christianity, 50, 57-59, 67, 69-75, 78, 79, 88,
89, 92, 93; contact with whites, 34-37, 63-99;
courts, 68, 69; crime, 87; death, 75, 76, 93.
94, 96; economy, 63-66, 87, 88, 95; family
Ufe, 62, 63, 73-75, 85, 90-92; food, 33, 54,
58, 59, 63, 64; government, 67-69, 83, 84, 96;
hop-picking, 66, 77, 96; houses, 59, 61-63,
90; Indian Bureau, 84-86; inheritance, 85;
marriages, 73, 91, 92, 93, 96; modern life,
83-95; police, 68, 69, 87; population, 65, 72,
83, 87; potlatches, 73, 79, 81, 82, 90; religion and native culture, 72-77, 79-83, 89-92,
96; reservation, 41, 51, 52, 55-57, 59-65, 77,
79, 80, 83, 86; schools, 71, 72, 76, 77, 80-82,
85, 86; shamanism, 72, 73, 81, 82, 94; smallpox, 53, 54; social life, 89, 90; territory, 51-
53, 55, 58-60; treaties, 41, 55, 56, 80-83;
vUlage, 58-63.
Lummi Indians, Post-contact Culture among
the, 29-102
Lyons, Lord, 248, 249
Macaulay, Donald, 236
Macaulay, Flora, 236
Macaulay Point, Victoria, 12, 14-18, 236
McCluskey, WiUiam, 80
McCreight J. F., 3
McDonald, see MacdoneU, Miles
McDonald, Archibald, 177, 215, 236
Macdonald, Sir John A., 5, 6
Macdonell, AUen, 154
MacdoneU, MUes, 137, 145
McDonough, 61, 64
McDougal, George, 163
McDowell, Major-Gen. Irvin, 253
McGUUvray, Mrs. 232
McGUUvray, WiUiam, 188
McGraw, Edward W., 247
Mcintosh, William, 155
McKenny, 98
Mackenzie, Sir Alexander, 212
McKenzie, Donald, Jr., 160, 224
Mackenzie, Nancy, 210
McLean, Donald, 215
McLean, John, 159
McLeod, John, 140, 194, 195, 197
McLeod, Malcolm, 177
McLeod's Lake, 177-179, 181, 187, 188, 232
McLoughlin, Elolse, 210
McLoughUn, Dr. John, 117, 184, 185, 206, 207,
210, 211, 215 280
McMillan, James, 39
McNeUl, W. H., 117
McPherson, John, 213
McPherson, Murdoch, 197
McTavish, Grace, 210
McTavish, J. G., 155, 156, 210
McVicar, Robert, 155
Magazine, powder, New Westminster, 10; Victoria, 9
Manly, Capt, 243
Marietta, 58-41
MarshaU, 148, 150
Martin, August, 84
Mary Tod Island, 237
Mason, James M., 240, 250, 254
Meyers, Father, see Demers, Modeste
Midway Historical Marker, 265
MUes, Robert Seaborn, 191, 192, 195, 197, 233
MUitary District No. 11, 6, 7
Militia and Defence of British Columbia, 1871-
1885, The Early, 1-28
Mist, Commander H. W., 3
Mohun, Edward, 237
Naming of Holland Point, The, 117-121
Nathan, Henry, & Co., 243
Natleh, 160
Nelson River, 171, 172
New Caledonia,   153,   156-163,   165,   167-170,
177-179,   184,  187,  188, 208, 212, 215-219,
224, 234, 235
New Westminster Historic Centre, 131
New Westminster Volunteer Rifles, 1
Newcastle, Duke of, 240, 241
Newton, WiUiam Henry, 237
Nez Perces Indians, 218
Nicola, Indian Chief, 222-223
NisquaUy Farm, 211
Nooksack River, 53, 55, 77-79, 84
North Peace River Parish,  The, Diocese of
Caledonia:  a Brief History, review of, 271,
North West Company, 137, 139, 146, 148, 153,
157, 159, 160, 163, 212, 213;  coaUtion with
Hudson's Bay Company, 153-156, 193
Okanagan Forks, 219, 222
Okanagan Historical Society, 261-263
Orcas Island, 31, 32
Oregon City, 206
Oregon Territory, 156, 207, 208   .
Osoyoos, The Story of—September, 1811, to
December, 1952, review of, 272-274
Our  Goodly  Heritage,  1904-1954,  review  of
271, 272
Oxford Lake, 194
Paint Lake, 150
Panter, Inspector, 110
Parsnip River, 163, 172, 174, 175, 179
Pavilion, 225, 226
Paxton, Sir Joseph, 210
Peace River, 161-163, 172, 179, 208
PeUy, George, 201
PeUy, Sir John, 204
Pemberton, Susan, 234
Pent Lake, see Paint Lake
Perch Lake, 181
Pioneering God's Country: the History of th*
Diocese of Olympia, 1853-1953, review of,
271, 272
Plague Commemorating Fort Langley Pioneer
Cemetery, 264,265
Point Roberts, 37, 38, 78, 235
Poor, Charles H., 252
Portland Oregonian, 253
Post-contact Culture Change among the Lummi
Indians, 29-102
PoweU, Col. I. W., 8, 27
Prior, E. G., 9
Privateers  Operating  In   Victoria,   Vancouver
Island, Rumours of Confederate, 239-255
Puget Sound, 241
Puget's Sound Agricultural Company, 211
Punch Bowl, 209
Pusey, 245
Quimper, Manuel, 37, 38
Rabey, Charlie, 237
Rae, Sir John, 210
Rae, WiUiam Glen, 210, 211
Rainsey, Capt. Thomas, 140
Ramsey, Bruce, Historic Yale, British Columbia, review of, 275
Rankin, Ira E., 248
Red River Settlement, 137, 139, 140, 232, 236
Reid, Dr. John, 237
Rifle companies, 8, 9, 21
Robertson, Colin, 155
Robertson-Ross, Col. F., 6-8
Robinson, Capt. F. C. B., 13
Rock House, 155, 156
Rodd HiU, Victoria, 19, 21
Roe, J. S., 108, 109
Ross, Charles, 188
Ross, Donald, 194
Rossland Historical Museum, 263, 264
Roy, Reginald H., The Early Militia and Defence of British Columbia, 1871-1885, 1-28
Royal Engineers, 1, 10, 11, 20, 240
Royal Marines, 3, 7, 240
Rumours of Confederate Privateers Operating
in Victoria, Vancouver Island, 239-255
Russia, 12-14
Saanich Indians, 29-32, 38, 40, 43, 45, 98, 99
Sahaptin Indians, 218
St. Nicholas Hotel, Victoria, 244-246
St. Paul, Jean Baptiste Lolo, 214-216, 223, 225,
226, 235
St. Thomas, Ontario, 206
SaUsh Indians, see Coast SaUsh Indians
Samish Indians, 30, 31, 41-43, 45, 52, 5S, 56,
Samish Island, 56, 97
San Juan Island, 51, 52, 240
Sangster's KnoU, 19
Santley, see Swaine, James, Sr.
Saxe, Cape, 19
Saywell, John T., Canada's Tomorrow, review
by, 268-271
Scarborough, Capt. James, 118
Scott, R. W., 15 Index
Sehome, 55
Selden, Lieut James M., 244, 247
Selfridge, Capt Thomas O., 248-230
Selkirk, Lord, 137, 140
Semple, Robert, 154
Seward, W. H., 248, 230
Seymour ArtiUery Company, 1
Seymour Battery of Garrison ArtiUery, 9, 21,
Shaw, Angus, 155
Shaw Island, 52
Shelton, Mra. WiUiam, 81
ShUUbeer, George, 193
Ships, Beaver, 117-120; H.M.S. Boxer, 3, 4;
Cadboro, 118, 119; H.M.S. Chatham, 207;
Cimbria, 13; Columbia, 119, 120; Eagle,
195, 234; Eddystone, 140; Edward and Ann,
137-139; H.M.S. Forward, 240; Fusi Yama,
230; H.M.S. Grappler, 240; H.M.S. Hecate,
240; H.M.S. Herald, 117; J. M. Chapman,
239, 242, 249, 250; Jasper, 251; Joe Lane,
251; U.S.S. Lancaster, 251; Milo, 253;
H.M.S. Myrmidon, 9; U.S.S. Narragansett,
252, 253; Norman Morison, 120; H.M.S.
President, 238; Prince of Wales, 156; Prince
Rupert, 233; Princess Royal, 234; Robert
Taylor, 138; U.S.S. Saginaw, 248-232; Salvador, 239; U.S.S. Saranac, 232; H.M.S.
Scout, 3, 3; Shenandoah, 239, 253-255;
U.S.S. Shubrick, 244, 246, 247; H.M.S.
Sparrowhawk, 3-5; H.M.S. Starling, 211;
H.M.S. Sulphur, 211; Thames, 243, 244, 248,
249;  H.M.S. Topaze, 240;   Trent, 239, 240
Shoemaker, Dick, 69
Siamannas Indians, 224
Siccanies Indians, 169, 170, 172
Signal HUl, 19, 21
Simpson, Alexander, 231
Simpson, Sir George, 146, 154, 157-159, 177,
178, 213, 215, 231-233
Simpson, Margaret, 142
Sinclair, WilUam, 194, 234
SUdell, John, 240
Slocum, John, 79
Smith, Victor, 246, 247
Smith, WilUam, 192, 194, 199, 200
Smyth, Major-Gen. E. Selby, 10, 11, 13-16
Snodie, Adam, 150
Snooks, see Snodie, Adam
Songish Indians, 29-31, 37, 41-43, 46, 32, 98,
Sooke Indians, 29-31, 37, 42, 43, 98
Southern Association of Vancouver Island and
British Columbia, 230
Sovereign, A. H., A Tree Grows In Vernon:
the History of All Saints Parish, Vernon,
B.C., review of, 271, 272
Sproat G. M., 134
Sproat; G. M., Career of a Scotch Boy Who
Became Hon. John Tod, 134-230
Stephen, James, and the British Colonial System, 1813-1847, review of, 273
Stewart John, see Stuart, John
Story of Osoyoos—September, 1811, to December, 1952, The, review of, 272-274
Straits tribes, see Coast Salish
Strange, Lieut-Col. T. B., 19, 21, 23, 26
Stuart, John, 160, 163, 163, 187
Stuarts Lake, 160, 177-179
Suttles, Wayne, Post-contact Culture Change
among the Lummi Indians, 29-102
Swain, James, Sr., 142, 143
Swinomish Reservation, 97, 98
TakuUi Indians, 169, 172
Taylor, George, 142, 137
Taylor, Tom, 137, 158
Teuse, David, 69
Thomas, Earl, 86
Thomas, Jim, 69
Thompson, David, 212, 213
Through the Years, 1904-1954, review of, 271,
Timberlake, Craig, The Bishop of Broadway:
David Belasco, His Life and Work, review
of, 275
Tod, Alexander, 238
Tod, Mrs. Eliza, 193-195, 198, 233-235, 237
Tod, Elizabeth, 237, 238
Tod, Emmeline Jane, 198, 233-238
Tod, Isaac, 237, 238
Tod, James, 232, 236, 237
Tod, John, birth and childhood, 136, 137, 231;
coaUtion of N.W. Co. and H.B. Co. banquet,
153-155; Chief Trader, 190; Columbia District 208-212; CowUtz, 211, 212, 227; emigration of Tod family to Canada, 205, 206;
family, 231-238; farming, 178, 179, 211, 227;
food, 227, 228; Fort Alexandria, 185, 186,
212, 213, 234; Fort McLeod, 168, 169, 177-
179, 184, 187, 233; Fort Severn, 142-147,
152; gun-powder incident, 222-224; house,
133, 134, 229, 230, 238; Island Lake House,
234; journey to Columbia District, 208-210;
Kamloops, 213-228, 234, 235; marriages, 193,
231-235; member of Legislative CouncU,
Vancouver Island, 195, 238; New Caledonia,
157-187; Nisqually, 235; Oxford House, 194,
195; personality, 134,135,231; Point Roberts,
235; Red River District, 194, 195; sciatica,
184-186; Trout Lake, 147-152; Vancouver
Island, 195, 235, 236, 238; visits to Great
Britain, 191-206; voyages to North America,
137, 138, 194, 233; Western Department,
206-208; York Factory, 139-141, 152-160,
162, 177, 189, 190
Tod, John, "Career of a Scotch Boy," 133-238
Tod, John, Jr., 237, 238
Tod, Mary, 237, 238
Tod, Simeon, 237, 238
Tod, Mrs. Sophia, 235, 237, 238
Tod, WiUiam, 237, 238
Tolmie, Dr. WiUiam Fraser, 210, 233
TranquUle, Indian Chief, 213, 214
Tree Grows In Vernon, A: the History of All
Saints Parish, Vernon, B.C., review of, 271,
Trout Lake, 147-152
Trutch, Joseph W., 2-6
TulaUp, 56, 57, 71, 80
Vancouver, George, 38, 207
Vancouver Island, 195, 196, 208, 209
Vancouver Island, Colony of, 103, 104, 114, IU 282
Vancouver Island Exploration Expedition, 1864,
Victoria Battery of Garrison ArtiUery, 15, 19
Victoria Chronicle, 241-247, 253
Victoria Colonist, 242-245, 247
Victoria Point, 15-17
Victoria Rifle Corps, 1, 4, 22
Village Point, 78
Walbran, Capt J. T., 117
WaUa WaUa Indians, 223
Wallace, Robert, 210
Wankin, Miss, see Waugh, Eliza
Waring, see Wilson, James
Washington, Joseph, 87
Waugh, Eliza, 191, 193, 233, 234
Waugh, Mrs. Letitia, 234
WeUes, Gideon, 249
Western AustraUa, 104-113
White, see Le Blanc, Pierre
Whitman, Dr. Marcus, 223
Wilkes, Commander Charles, 212, 240
WUUams, Mrs. Harriet, 81, 82
Williams, WiUiam, 154
Wilson, James, 142, 143, 186
Wilson-Brown, G. H., 133, 135
Winship, 247
Wishart Capt D. D., 120, 121
Wolfenden, Madge, ed., John Tod:   "Career
of a Scotch Boy," 133-238;   The Naming of
Holland Point, 117-121
Woodworm, Selim E., 232
Work, John, 233
Wright, Gen. George, 252
XY Company, 153
Yale, James Murray, 162, 164, 165, 228
Yale, Historic, British Columbia, review of,
Yerba Buena, 211
York Factory, 138-143, 146, 148, 152-160, 162,
169, 177, 188-191, 193, 194, 196, 228, 233
Yukulta Indians, 42
Printed by Dok McDiarmid, Printer to the Queen's Most ExceUent Majesty


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